Thursday, January 31, 2013

Days 24, 25 & 26: Broccoli, Bacon & Brussels Sprouts!

This week has flown by us! We had school activities, busy work schedules and winter weather to navigate! We ate out twice this week. Those meals were not under 500 calories so I tried to balance out with our at home meals. On Wednesday, I tried my hand at a GF chicken and broccoli Stromboli. I used GF Bisquik and my crust came out not so pretty because I'm still a novice at handling such soft dough. I tried to roll it out and fold it like a firmer wheat flour dough an it crumbled so I must confess that I just lumped everything on he baking sheet and pressed it together. My friend, Lisa, called it rustica while I called it a hot mess! She has more experience with GF dough and gave me a great pointer of treating it like a double crust pie. Roll out half the dough between piece of parchment and then lay it on your baking sheet, remove the op layer of parchment and add you desired filling. Repeat the rolling process and gently lay the dough layer over your filling and then crimp and seal the two dough layers together. Thanks, Lisa! I can't wait to try that technique!

Last night, I made a really simple meal of baked cod, potatoes and Brussels sprouts! The whole meal took less than 45 minutes from start to table. My seven year old wasn't sure of the meal because it didn't look like fish sticks and fries, but he did grudgingly eat all of his potatoes an fish.

After a long week, we've decided this will be a lay around and read, watch basketball and basically do nothing day! It will be a two simple meal day. This morning, I made breakfast burritos and tonight before the big game, nachos! The big game is IU vs, Michigan of course! The burrito recipe makes enough for 8 servings so we have enough for breakfast tomorrow!

I want to take a moment to give kudos to my husband. He has lost 2 lbs this week! Way to go, Honey!!

GF Chicken and Broccoli Stromboli:
(Serves 4)

GF pizza crust prepared per package instructions
1 pound cooked chicken, diced
1 head of broccoli
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Break up the broccoli into florets. Steam the broccoli florets over boiling water for 6-8 minutes. Set aside and let cool. Roll out dough per the instructions above. Top with chicken, broccoli and cheese. Cover with remaining dough. Bake in a 400* oven for 20 minutes.

Baked Cod:
(Serves 4; 282 calories per serving)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 medium onions, very thinly sliced
1 cup dry white wine
1 1/4 pounds cod, cut into 4 pieces
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 400*. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until just starting to soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Add wine, increase heat to high and cook, stirring often, until the wine is slightly reduced, 2 to 4 minutes.
Place cod on the onions and sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. Cover the pan tightly with foil; transfer to the oven and bake for 12 . Uncover and bake until the fish is opaque in the center, about 10 minutes more.

Crispy Baked Potatoes:
(Serves 4; 220 calories per serving)

4-5 potatoes (equal sized)
1 grated garlic clove or 1/4 to 1/2 tsp garlic powder
chicken or vegetable broth
tiny cubes butter
minced parsley
pepper and salt

Use an ovenproof dish. Place the peeled and washed (even-sized) potatoes in there and make sure they fit snuggly together. Add the grated garlic or powder to the broth and heat it for a minute to get the flavors going. Pour hot broth in there until there’s about 1 inch of broth in the dish and sprinkle a little salt and pepper on top of the potatoes. Place a tiny slice of butter on top of each potato. Bake for 35 minutes at 350*.

Bacon and Bleu Brussels Sprouts:
(Serves 4; 166 calories per serving)

4 slices uncooked bacon, diced
1 bunch green onions, diced
4 cups Brussels sprouts, halved
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles

Cook the bacon pieces over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until just beginning to crisp. Add in the green onions and stir to incorporate before adding in the Brussels sprouts*. Sprinkle lightly with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until Brussels sprouts are golden brown around the edges and on the flat side. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of water over the top and stir until the water is absorbed into a natural sauce. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the blue cheese.

Breakfast Burritos:
(Serves 8; 345 calories per serving)

8 tortillas
6 slices of bacon, diced
1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 potatoes, diced
4 oz mushrooms, sliced
8 eggs
1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
1 tsp onion powder
Salt and pepper

Wrap tortillas in foil and warm in a 350* oven for 10 minutes. Cook bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove and drain. Add the bell pepper to the hot skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes and then add the mushrooms and diced potatoes. Cook for 10 minutes stirring frequently. Add crumbled bacon back to the skillet. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, cheese and spices. Add egg mixture to the skillet. Stir gently while the mixture is cooking. Eggs will take 6-8 minutes to come together. Scoop skillet mixture onto the warm tortillas and fold them closed. Wrap in foil if they are going to be eaten on the go!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Day 22 of the Under 500 Calorie Challenge: Chicken Tortilla Soup

Today is Day 22 of the Under 500 calorie challenge! I can't believe it has been 3 weeks! I was another pound down for a total of 4.5 lbs! I've been cooking 4-5 nights each week and eating out the other days. This weekend, we had pizza on Friday night and Saturday night was a great Chicken Salsa Fresca at On the Border along with a skinny margarita, Yum! My inspiration recipe for tonight was a slow cooker recipe. This may sound silly, but I didn't have time to do the slow cooker method as it called for cooking at 4 hours on high which would have meant dinner at 9pm. The recipe also called for the use of a rotisserie chicken, but I'm not a big fan of the mess of taking off the skin and getting the meat of the bone. Instead, last night I cooked a package of skinless, boneless chicken breasts. I placed the chicken in a shallow baking dish with a cup of chicken broth. I cover the dish with foil and baked it for 30 minutes at 350*. I then just stored the meat in the refridge overnight and shredded it this afternoon before adding it to the soup pot.

Chicken Tortilla Soup:
(Serves 16, 507 calories per serving)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
3 14oz cans of low sodium chicken broth
2 28 oz cans of mild enchilada sauce
2 cans of Rotel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies
1 cup reduced fat sour cream
2 packages of Spanish rice
3 tbsp cumin
4 cups shredded chicken breast
Cilantro and shredded cheddar cheese for garnish

Cook spanish rice according to package directions. In a large stockpot, heat olive oil and sauté the diced onion and garlic until softened about 5 minutes. Stir in the broth, enchilada sauce, diced tomatoes and cream. Add the cumin blend all together. Add the shredded chicken and Spanish rice. Let simmer on low for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Garnish with fresh cilantro and a tablespoon of cheddar cheese if desired.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Day 18: GF Italian Chicken

Today, I had fully intended to make a slow cooker chicken dish that I had repinned from a neighbor, but this morning, I realized that I had forgotten to get the chicken out of the freezer! I didn't want to waste the ingredients that I had planned to use so I tweaked the original recipe by adding some oil and wine for a stove to oven cooking method. This meal only took an hour from start to finish and even with the tweaks, I managed to keep it at 504 calories per serving!

GF Italian Chicken:

2 tbsp saffron oil
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
2 large carrots, cut into ½-inch slices
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (3 oz)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 cup red wine
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes, undrained
1 pkg uncooked GF penne pasta (16oz)
Parmesan cheese, to garnish
Chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, to garnish

Preheat the oven to 350*. In an ovenproof stockpot heat the saffron oil at medium. Sear the chicken 1-2 minutes on each side and then set aside on a plate. Add the garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add the carrot, bell pepper and mushrooms and cook another 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently. After the vegetables are softened, add the wine and bing o a boil. Let the liquid reduce and add the seasoning, salt and pepper. After 5 minutes, add the crushed tomatoes and combine. Place the chicken back into the pot and cover with the sauce mixture. Cover the pot and place into the hot oven for 25 minutes. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Mix the pasta, sauce and chicken all together. Serve with Parmesan and parsley if desired.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hitting the Sauce on Day 17: Pad Thai

I've been trying to work a couple of meatless meals in each week so tonight I made Pad Thai. I've never made pad Thai, but have eaten it on a few occasions. I came across a delicious looking recipe on Pinterest that didn't look too complicated! As you can see by the pre cooking picture there are several ingredients, but most go into the sauce. I found all the ingredients at my local grocery store which is how all my recipes are as I don't want to be running all over town looking for a specialty item!

I doubled everything from the original recipe except the chili sauce! I wanted to make sure it wasn't too hot for my boys. My oldest thought it was good, but the 7 year old was praying for a hot dog! He did manage to eat a couple of bites.

Simple Pad Thai(Serves 6; 391 calories per serving)

14 ounces pad Thai noodles
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 eggs
6 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoons sambal oelek (or sriracha)
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 tablespoons canola oil
4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 cup fresh bean sprouts or a 14oz can of sprouts
2 cup cilantro
6 green onions, sliced
1 cup chopped peanuts

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Remove from heat and add the noodles. Let sit roughly 10 minutes, or until soft. Drain and rinse under cool water. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium. Crack the eggs and scramble until set, 2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, fish sauce, sambal oelek, lime juice, canola oil and brown sugar. Whisk until emulsified. Back in the large skillet, combine the noodles, Thai dressing, bean sprouts, scrambled eggs, cilantro and scallions. Toss until combined. Serve garnished with peanuts!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Blackberry Frozen Yogurt

Yesterday, my friend Sherry liked this recipe on Facebook and it looked o good I had to try it! I didn't own an ice cream maker so I went out and bought one yesterday afternoon! This recipe only has 3 ingredients!! Blackberry Frozen Yogurt (Serves 12, 197 calories per serving) 3 cups blackberries 3 cups Greek yogurt 1 can sweetened condensed milk In a blender, puree the blackberries with the sweetened condensed milk. In a medium bowl mix the puree with the yogurt cheese. Pour the mixture in to your ice-cream maker and follow the manufacturer's directions. Original recipe on Kitchen Corners

Day 15: Sea Scallops with Saffron Sauce

We made it to Day 15 of the 500 Calorie or Under Challenge! Day 13, I was on an overnight mom escape with a friend. yesterday, we had Qdoba for dinner which I figured was a better fast food option. Tonight's meal was quick too! It only took 30 minutes from start to table. I made seared sea scallops with a saffron sauce served over brown rice. Asparagus is in season so that was our vegetable. I just lay the asparagus on a baking sheet and sprinkle with 1-2 tbp of olive oil and salt & pepper to taste. Cook for 20 minutes in a 350* oven turning halfway through. The scallops was another recipe that I found on Pinterest! We love the nutty flavor that the saffron sauce brought to the scallops. My husband hasn't been on a scale lately, but says his clothes feel looser and I'm officially down a pound this week for a two week total of 3.5 pounds!

Seared Sea Scallops with Saffron Sauce:
(Serves 4, 278 calories per serving)

12 sea scallops
6 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup cooking sherry or dry white wine
2 tbsp heavy cream
1/4 tsp saffron threads

Into a nonstick pan, melt 2 tablespoons butter and olive oil. Add scallops. Season tops with salt and sear well on both sides. Careful to turn only once {you don't want scallops to tear} Remove scallops from pan and keep warm. Add wine to hot pan and de-glaze pan. Reduce temperature to medium - low and allow wine to reduce by half. Add cream, remaining butter and allow to combine. Once butter has combined, add saffron threads. Stir well to combine. Return scallops to pan. Turn to coat. Serve immediately.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Day 12 of the Under 500 Calorie Challenge: Herb Roasted Flank Steak

Yesterday was Day 12 of my challenge, Day 11 was a splurge day! I had a ranch bacon burger with fries when we ate out. My husband had a club sandwich and all the bread and mayo did not sit well with him so last night, I went back to my basic formula of meat, veggie, starch. I had a beautiful piece of flank steak in the freezer, but instead of grilling it, I seared it on the stove top and finished it off in the oven. The recipe that was my springboard was from Cooking Light and is only 167 calories per 3oz serving! I was a little worried because I usually do flank steak in an overnight marinade to tenderize it, but this meat was very tender too! I didn't have beef broth or garlic cloves so I improvised with chicken broth and garlic powder with little effect on the overall taste. The rest of the meal was sugar snap peas which are 40 calories per 2/3 cup serving and mashed potatoes which were 130 calories per serving for a total of 337 calories for our dinner last night!

Herb Roasted Flank Steak:
(Serves 6)


1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
2 teaspoon parsley flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (1 1/2-pound) flank steak, trimmed
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium beef broth


Preheat oven to 400°.
Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.
Sprinkle salt and pepper over steak. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray ( I used a cast iron skillet so I didn't coat with spray). Add steak to pan; cook 3 minute on each side or until browned. Add wine and broth; cook 1 minute. Spread herb mixture over steak; place pan in oven. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes for rare or until desired degree of doneness (I cooked the steak for 15 minutes) Let stand 10 minutes before cutting steak diagonally across the grain into thin slices. Serve with pan sauce. Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs, if desired.

Nutritional Information:
Amount per serving
Calories: 167
Calories from fat: 38%
Fat: 7g
Protein: 23.9g
Carbohydrate: 0.5g
Fiber: 0.1g
Cholesterol: 37mg
Iron: 1.6mg
Sodium: 266mg
Calcium: 21mg

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Day 10 of the Under 500 Calorie Challenge: Spaghetti with Meatballs

An exciting thing happened in our household this afternoon, we had a freezer delivered! I've been wanting one for several years as the one in our side-by-side is really narrow and you can't fit much in it. The new freezer is a 16 cubic foot upright which I think is plenty for the size of our family, but I may rethink that when the boys reach their teens! To try out the new freezer, I made a batch of marinara with half going to our dinner tonight. I tried some Quinoa spaghetti noodles which we really liked! They were much less dense than the rice flour noodles and more like wheat flour noodles. I threw in some pre-cooked turkey meatballs from Target, I just throw the frozen meatballs directly into the sauce. Lastly, I made garlic toast using a GF, casein and egg free baguette by Schar. The calories for this meal were 513. If I had eliminated the garlic butter, it would have made it under the wire as you can see from the breakdown.

1/4 cup Marinara - 93 calories
1 tsp Garlic Butter - 35 calories
2 oz Quinoa Spaghetti - 210 calories
3 meatballs - 65 calories
1 serving GF Baguette - 110 calories

I've posted my marinara sauce back in September, but I'll repost here so you don't have to scroll.

Marinara Sauce:

1 tbsp olive oil
4 29oz cans of tomato sauce ( I use Hunt's)
1 8 oz can of tomato paste
2 cans of diced tomatoes
1/2 small onion diced fine
4 cloves of garlic
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp each of basil, oregano and thyme
3 tbsp sugar

Heat olive oil in a large sauce pot over low-med heat. Add the diced onion and cook until translucent. Add diced garlic and cook 2 minutes more. Add the spices and cook another minute to start releasing the flavors. Add the cans of sauce, paste and diced tomatoes. Stir gently to combine. Add sugar stirring again. Turn heat to low and simmer for 1-2 hours. Stirring occasionally. Taste after 1 hour and add spices and/or sugar to taste.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Day 9 of the Under 500 Calorie Challenge: GF Macaroni and Cheese withLil Smokies

Tuesday night is scout night for my boys and husband so I need to do a quick meal. We usually do sandwiches and chips. I wanted to try something a little more filling. I thought about what I had on hand and remembered my snowbird parents brought over two large packages of cocktail sausages and a block of cheddar cheese last week when they mptied their refridge before flying off to their winter retreat! I had a bag of GF spiral pasta in the pantry so I thought I could pull it all together to slim down one of my boys' favorite meals, mac&cheese with hotdogs. This meal took about 40 minutes from start to table.

GF Macaroni and Cheese with Lil Smokies:
(Serves 6; 493 calories per serving)
8oz gluten free noodles, cooked and drained
4 tbsp Butter, divided
2 tbsp Almond Meal Flour
1 cup Heavy Cream
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
2 cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded and divided
1/4 cup Corn Flake Crumbs
1/8 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
10 Lil Smokies, cut in thirds

Preheat oven to 350* and prepare a 2qt casserole dish by lightly greasing with nonstick spray. Melt 2 tbsp butter over low heat in a medium sauce pan. Add flour and cook for 2 minutes while whisking continuously. The mixture will turn a rich amber color. Turn up the heat to medium and whisk in the cream. Cook for 5 minutes, whisking periodically until the sauce is thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in the mustard and 1 cup of the shredded cheese. Keep whisking until all ingredients are well blended. Fold in the cooked noodles and Lil smokies. Spoon into the prepared casserole dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese. In a microwaveable bowl, melt the other 2 tbsp of butter and then mix the corn flake crumbs and Parmesan into the bowl. Place crumb mixture over the noodles and cheese. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Day 8 of the under 500 Calorie Challenge: Cilantro Lime Pork Chops

Today was Day 8 of my 500 calorie or less dinner challenge. I made Cilantro Lime Pork Chops which I discovered I had left 2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro off the earlier recipe when I wrote it in the blog! I also made the potato & cabbage casserole. The chops were 275 calories and the casserole is 149 calories per serving so I opted to add a dessert tonight and dipped orange slices in chocolate! My ulterior motive was to sneak some fruit in on my 7 year old who dislikes almost everything by sight! He picked at the chocolate, but didn't taste the orange :(. Everyone else enjoyed them though. Each serving was 81 calories each! So the dinner was 505 calories in total which I think is till pretty good. On a side note, the scale said I was 2.5 lbs less than last Monday which I will attribute to the challenge! It is keeping me energized to keep going!

Chocolate Covered Orange Slices:
(Serves 6)

3 oranges, peeled and sectioned
4 pieces Bakers Milk Chocolate, melted per package instructions.

Cover a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Dip 1/2 of each orange slice in the melted chocolate and place on baking sheet. Chill tray in the refridge for at least 15 minutes to low the chocolate to firm up.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Days 5, 6 and 7 of the Under 500 Calorie Challenge

I thought I would post an update even though there are no new recipes. Day 5, my husband and I had a rare night out as our boys went on a sleepover. We chose to eat at the Bonefish Grill. iAd the Pecan Parmesan Rainbow Trout after splitting an appetizer of Bang Bang Shrimp! Oh so good, but oh so over 500 calories! On Day 6, we had New York style pizza at a wonderful little place down the street called Brozzini's. Today, we were back on the under 500 plan as I made the Pioneer Woman's Simple, Perfect Chili. The calorie count is below: Nutrition Facts Serving Size 199 g Amount Per Serving Calories 319Calories from Fat 92 % Daily Value* Total Fat 10.2g16% Saturated Fat 3.8g19% Cholesterol 135mg45% Sodium 712mg30% Total Carbohydrates 7.7g3% Dietary Fiber 2.1g8% Sugars 1.9g Protein 47.3g Vitamin A 19% • Vitamin C 8% Calcium 4% • Iron 36% Nutrition Grade A- * Based on a 2000 calorie diet

GF Snickerdoodle Blondies

This morning, my friend, Sherry tagged me in Facebook with a recipe for Snickerdoodle Brownies.  She asked if I would bake a batch!  I did a quick check of my pantry and found that I had all the necessary ingredients.  I put my own twist on them and used gluten free all purpose flour instead of wheat flour.  I doubled the recipe below so Sherry could take a batch home to here family.  The blondies took about 10 minutes to prepare and 25 minutes to bake! This is a great alternative to making cookies.

GF Snickerdoodle Blondies:
(Serves 20)

2 2/3 cups GF all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350*. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and beat until well blended. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. In a separate bowl, combine the white sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the top of the blondie batter. Bake for 25 minutes and remove from the oven when a toothpick put into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10-15 minutes prior to cutting.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 50 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 207Calories from Fat 89
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9.9g15%
Saturated Fat 6.0g30%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 41mg14%
Sodium 192mg8%
Total Carbohydrates 27.8g9%
Dietary Fiber 1.7g7%
Sugars 15.4g
Protein 2.3g
Vitamin A 6% • Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 4% • Iron 1%

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Day 4 of the Under 500 Calorie: Quinoa Veggie Fried Rice

Today's meal was another quick meal. It was about 30 minutes from start to table with most of the time spent on veggie prep. The recipe is from DamnDelicous blog. I flubbed a bit because I didn't have broccoli so I used cauliflower instead. It was still good!

Quinoa Veggie Fried Rice:
(Serves 6)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • Sriracha, for serving
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over low heat. Add eggs and fry until cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side, flipping only once. Let cool before dicing into small pieces.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring often, until onions become translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
Add mushrooms, broccoli and zucchini. Cook, stirring constantly, until vegetables are tender, about 3-4 minutes.
Add corn, peas, carrots and quinoa. Cook, stirring constantly, until heated through, about 1-2 minutes.
Add ginger and soy sauce, and gently toss to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, until heated through, about 2 minutes.
Stir in green onions and eggs.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 260 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 421Calories from Fat 106
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11.7g18%
Saturated Fat 1.8g9%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 62mg21%
Sodium 515mg21%
Total Carbohydrates

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Day 3 of the Under 500 Calorie Challenge: Cilantro Lime Shrimp withGreen Beans and Roasted Potatoes

Today is Day 3 of my cooking challenge. Yesterday, we just had tuna sandwiches with veggie straws in case you are wondering :). This meal was super simple and quick, only 45 minutes from start to table! The potatoes are my on concoction while the shrimp and green beans were from Pinterest. Shrimp and green beans are favorite foods of my boys so this was a meal enjoyed by all! To check the nutritional information, I am using:

Oven Roasted Potatoes:
(Serves 8)

2 lb Yukon Gold Potatoes, quartered
2-3 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp Lawry's Season Salt
Salt and Pepper to taste


Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil on a baking sheet and sprinkle with 1/3 of the seasonings. Heat the pan for 5 minutes in a 350* oven. Toss the potatoes in a bowl with remaining oil and seasonings. Place potatoes in a single layer on the hot pan and bake for 30 minutes. Stir once half way through the baking.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 117 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 135Calories from Fat 33
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3.6g6%
Saturated Fat 0.5g3%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 11mg0%
Total Carbohydrates 24.0g8%
Dietary Fiber 2.5g10%
Sugars 1.3g
Protein 2.8g
Vitamin A 0% • Vitamin C 18%
Calcium 2% • Iron 7%
Nutrition Grade B+
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Cilantro Lime Shrimp & Green Beans:
(Serves 4 )
• Serving Size: 6 oz shrimp & 1-1/2 cups green beans Calories: 257.3 • Fat: 5.1g • Protein: 35.9 g • Carb: 17.4 g • Fiber: 4.1 g

2 tsp olive oil
2 lb shrimp, shelled and deviened
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime
Salt and Pepper
6 cups green beans


Heat a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Add oil to the pan, when hot add shrimp. Season with salt and pepper. When the shrimp is cooked on one side, about 2 minutes, turn over and add garlic. Saute another minute or two until shrimp is cooked, careful not to overcook. Remove from heat. Squeeze lime all over shrimp and toss with cilantro. Serve hot.

In a separate pan, add 6 cups green beans, crushed garlic to taste, and season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium high for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water and cover, cook for an additional 8 minutes. Uncover and cook until water evaporates. Serve hot on the side of shrimp.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Day 1 of the Under 500 Calorie Meal Challenge: Braised Chicken withTomatillos and Rice

Over the last year, my husband has lost over 22 lbs with his eye on losing another 15. Since Halloween, he has been on a plateau and although he is happy with no gain during the holiday season, he is ready for the numbers to start going down again! He already works out 3-4 days a week so I thought I would shake up our meals in order to push him off the plateau. I went on a pinning frenzy and found several low calorie meals. Tonight's meal was a recipe from Leite's Culinaria. It is braised chicken with tomatillos over brown rice.

This meal took about 90 minutes from start to table.  This was my first time to roast a pepper and cook with tomatillos.  I only used 2 peppers instead of the 3 called for in the recipe because I didn't want to have too much heat for the boys. Next time, I'll cut back on the chicken broth by about a 1/4 cup.

Braised Chicken with Tomatillos:


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 1/2 pounds assorted chicken pieces, skin-on and bone-in or boneless and skinless
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 Anaheim or poblano chiles, fresh or canned, roasted, peeled, and finely chopped (in a pinch, 1 or 2 jalapeños will work)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and quartered
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro, plus whole leaves for garnish
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons ground cumin, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  •  Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  •  Cooked white rice or flour or corn tortillas, warmed


  • 1. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, sear the chicken until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  • 2. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion to the pan, and cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the stock or broth, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the roasted chiles, garlic, tomatillos, chopped cilantro, and cumin. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Return the chicken and any juices that’ve collected on the plate to the pan, cover, and simmer, turning once, until the chicken is opaque throughout, 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size and type. (Smaller pieces of chicken, boneless pieces, and white meat will cook more quickly than larger pieces, bone-in pieces, and dark meat.) Transfer the chicken to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm.
  • 3. Add the lime juice to the sauce remaining in the pan and simmer over medium-high heat until slightly reduced and thickened, 10 to 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. If a smoother sauce is desired, pulse all or half the sauce in a food processor or blender until the desired consistency is reached.
  • 4. Meanwhile, shred the chicken, if desired, discarding any skin and bone.
  • 5. Pour the sauce over the chicken pieces or shredded chicken on the platter and garnish with the whole cilantro leaves. Serve with rice or tortillas on the side.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 371 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 380Calories from Fat 98
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10.9g17%
Saturated Fat 2.3g12%
Cholesterol 153mg51%
Sodium 338mg14%
Total Carbohydrates 8.1g3%
Dietary Fiber 2.1g8%
Sugars 1.0g
Protein 60.0g
Vitamin A 3% • Vitamin C 21%
Calcium 5% • Iron 16%
Nutrition Grade B+
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year's Day Good Luck Dinner

Yesterday was the start of the new year and we followed the Dutch-German tradition of having a dinner of sauerkraut, pork and apple sauce. This meal is said to ensure good luck! I had the good fortune of cooking with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law! I also had fun making apple pie with my nephew (5yo) and niece (almost 3 yo)! They made little apple turnovers that we enjoyed with lunch. We all had lots of fun! I apologize for the lack of pictures, but in the flurry of getting the meal on the table, I missed my opportunity! The meal took a little prep and lots of cooking time. I use silver floss sauerkraut packed in glass jars. You can usually find it in the cold deli case near the dill pickles.

Roast Pork Loin
Hot Dogs
Mashed Potatoes
Apple Sauce
Apple Pie

Roast pork with Sauerkraut:
(Serves 12)

4-5 lb pork loin
5 lbs sauerkraut floss
3-4 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp caraway seeds
1 beer
4-5 cups water

Preheat oven to 325*. Drain and rinse sauerkraut. Place the sauerkraut into a deep roasting pan. Add the caraway seeds, brown sugar, beer and water. Mix all ingredients with a fork. Make a nest in the middle of the pan and place the pork loin fat side up in the well you made. Cover the loin as pictured below. Tent the pan with a piece of foil to prevent browning of the sauerkraut. Baste the roast with the pan liquid every hour or so. After 3 hours, the roast should be approximately 170*. Let roast rest on a cutting board with the foil covering it for 30 minutes. During that time, place hot dogs in the sauerkraut and allow to cook.

(Serves 10)

6-8 medium McIntosh Apples
2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Core and slice the apples keeping the skins on. Place apples and water in a covered pan over high heat. Allow the apples to cook down about 45 minutes. Mash the apples and add the sugar and cinnamon. Cook for an additional 10-15 minutes. Cool and chill for at least an hour then enjoy!