Archive | June, 2013

Low Calorie Spaghetti with Meat sauce

28 Jun

I’m not sure that I can even call this a “recipe” since it’s really just a list of pre-packaged ingredients thrown together to make a “much more calorie friendly version” of something we all already know how to make. This is more just a “calories figured for you” documentation of what you can use to lighten up this comfort food!

Editors note: Make this a “real” recipe by using my homemade marinara!

Serves 4

-1 (12 oz)box of Ronzoni Smart Taste Spaghetti (the purple box)
-1 jar of Prego SmartLight* spaghetti sauce
-1 package of Butterball turkey italian sausage (5 links)

Mushrooms, Onions, Green pepper, fresh garlic- all optional


1. remove sausages from casing, and fry meat on medium heat, crumbling into peices as you go. Now’s a good time to add those optional ingredients like mushrooms or onions as well.
2. Drain excess grease from meat mixture.
3. Add spaghetti sauce, and any additional spices you like (I add about 1 tbsp oregano and some garlic powder)
4. Cook sauce on low in a covered pan, stirring occassionally.
5. Break pasta into manageable pieces and add to boiling water (with 1 tbsp salt if you like).
6. Cook pasta until it reaches your preferred texture.
7. Serve with sauce over drained pasta, in 4 equal parts.

4 Servings= 525 Calories per serving

*Note: Prego SmartLight is the key here. this suace has about 1/2 the calories of any other pasta sauce i’ve found out there, and it tastes good too.

Red Beans and Rice- Crockpot

22 Jun

Red Beans- 2 cans
-1 can kidney beans
-1/2 package turkey smoked sausage, sliced
-1 onion, diced
-1 can of diced tomatoes
-5 bay leaves
-salt, pepper,
-1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp. minced garlic

3 cups cooked white rice (I like to use jasmine rice)

1. Add all ingredients except rice to crockpot, and cook on low 8 hours.
2. If beans are not “thick” remove from crockpot and cook in a pan on medium-high on the stove (no lid) until they thicken.
3. Cook rice separately, according to directions on package.
4. Serve Beans over rice.

4 Servings= 488 Calories

*** By 1/2 package of turkey sausage I mean this: They come in either 1 long, u shaped link, or 2 separate straighter links…. use 1 straight link, or cut the U shaped link in half.


100 lbs gone! My husband and I, together have reached a HUGE milestone!

19 Jun

This entry will be short, and sweet…and to the (VERY EXCITING) point! Tonight, we are just 1 lb shy of the above referenced milestone, but I always weigh 2 lbs heavier at night, so I know that in the morning we will get there, and I wanted to share with you all.

Combined, my husband and I have lost a total of 100 LBS!!!! We began our weightloss journey on January 6, 2013…and it took us about 6 months to lose the weight. We are far from done. In fact, we’d each consider ourselves about halfway to where we want to be…. but I’m so proud of how far we’ve come! Check us out!!!!

100 lbs

If anyone’s interested in HOW we’re doing it. We’re losing a FREE app that counts calories for food and exercise, and budgets them for you daily. You track everything you eat, and your workouts…and it does the rest for you. It’s called “loseit” and we love it. We also apply lots of principles we learned on previous adventures with weight watchers….however, we decided this app does the same thing…for free. how can you go wrong? Check it out!


Roasted Red Pepper and Swiss stuffed Chicken Breast

18 Jun

– (4) 5 oz chicken breasts
– 2 wedges of light laughing cow swiss cheese
– Roasted Red Peppers, diced (about 1/4 cup)
– 4 tsp fat free mayo
– 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs, seasoned with salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425, and spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.

2. with a fork mix together laughing cow wedges and red peppers until blended.

3. Use a knife to cut a small pocket about 2/12 inches long, into the side of each chicken breast. Fill pocket with 1/4 cheese/pepper mixture, and press the edges closed (use a toothpick if needed)

4. brush the top of each chicken breast with Mayo, and then press the mayo side of the chicken into the breadcrumbs.

5. Place on baking sheet, coated side up, and spray top of chicken lightly with nonstick spray.

6. Bake until golden brown and done in the middle. About 25 minutes.

**Variation: this works great with sundried tomatos too, instead of roasted red peppers.

4 Servings= 230 Calories per serving

Appx 6 weight watchers points plus

Hiking in the Shenandoah National Park- VA

10 Jun

Yesterday, my family and I decided to take a nice hike while vacationing. We headed out to the Shenandoah National Park near Elkton, VA, and chose a 2.6 mile path, which had a beautiful waterfall at the turnaround point. To paint the picture, there were 2 teenage boys, 3 9 year olds, and my 2 year old son in tow on this trip. Along with myself, my husband, my sister-in-law, and brother-in-law. There were little streams to cross, logs to get over, and other minor obstacles along the path, which was mostly down hill (on the way there) and seemed long, but not too difficult to maneuver, while holding the hand of/carrying a 2 year old along the way. We saw some pretty orange and black centipedes that scared the living daylights out of my 9 year old daughter, and, upon arriving, we saw a group of 5 rattlesnakes…which somehow scared her much less that the 4 inch centipedes. Go figure. Aggressive poisonous snakes vs. harmless colorful bug-creatures.

The view was beautiful (see below). They call this the “South River” waterfall. So, if you’re ever wondering around Virginia looking for a decent hike and a pretty view… here ya go.

We turned around to head back, just around my 2 year old’s normal nap time…and right on cue, he fell asleep on his daddy’s shoulders not long after we began ascending our way back to the car. Did I mention the hike back was all up hill, and he would have to be carried the whole way? (all 32 lbs of him)

The hike was lovely on the way there. It was TORTURE on the way back. I hauled myself about 3/4 of the way up and then suddenly reached a point where my body just could not physically make it any further. I had to stop and rest. I got dizzy, nauseous, light headed, and I could literally hear my heart beating, it was beating so hard and fast. The last quarter of the return hike was very rough. I stopped periodically, but there were really times I wasn’t sure I could make it another step… BUT I DID! I stopped along the way to rest, but I MADE IT! I HIKED 1.3 miles UP HILL and didn’t die or evaporate or fall off the side of the mountain. And that, folks, is my victory story for the day 🙂 I really, really wanted to be the person who can do anything..but i had a humbling experience that made me realize that I’ve really still got a long way to go. But, had it not been for the last 6 months of working out, I would never have made it back. Or, at least, not without the assistance of an EMT and/or rescue helicopter 🙂

In the end. I burned about 1200 calories in that 3 hour hike. AWESOME! Take a look at the beautiful view!


Peanut Butter Pie

3 Jun


– 1 chocolate graham cracker crust
– 1 8 oz block of fat free cream cheese, softened
– 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
– 2/4 cup “better ‘n peanut butter” spread
– 1/2 container of cool-whip lite or free


1. mix cream cheese and peanut butter.
2. add confectioners sugar
3. gently fold in cool whip.
4. pour mixture into pie crust
5. freeze for 2 hours.
6. serve frozen or thaw in refrigerator 1-2 hours before serving.

Optional: Serve with remaining cool whip for garnish.

serves 8: 305 calories per slice (not counting cool whip as garnish)


Grilled Lemon-dill Cod

2 Jun


1 lb cod fillet
1 fresh lemon, cut into 6 pieces
Fresh dill, to taste
spray butter
salt and pepper

Heavy duty foil


1. Lay out large piece of aluminum foil, then lay another piece on top of that.
2. spray the top piece of foil with nonstick spray.
3. Lay Cod fillet out on top of foil.
4. Season with salt and pepper. Spray with fat free butter spray. Squeeze juice of 3 lemon pieces on top of fish.
5. Lie the lemons you sweezed onto the foil, and flip the fish over so seasoned side Is on top of lemons.
6. Season the other side of the fish, just like the first side.
7. Fold/roll the sides of the foil up tight encasing fish into a tight fitting package.

Grill on medium heat, 7 minutes per side. Fish is done when it’s white and flakey.

Serves 4= 125 calories per serving