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Homemade Applesauce

17 Jan

I never have really been an applesauce girl so to speak.  However, I’m definitely a “warm apple pie filling poured over a 100 calorie cup of vanilla ice cream” kind of girl.  And I decided to make homemade apple sauce tonight, which turned out really delicious.  But before I put it in the fridge to cool for tomorrow night’s dinner, i snuck a half cup while it was still warm and it was glorious!

Again, I’ll give you both the crock pot and the instant pot versions below.


  • 3 lbs of gala apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup of water
  • 2 tsp lemon juice (if you’re using the crock pot. Not needed for instant pot)


For Crock Pot

  1. Mix all ingredients together in crock pot, and heat on high 3 hrs, or low 6 hrs.
  2. Once time is up, open lid and stir apples until they have broken up and sort of melded together.  Sauce will be chunky.
  3. Use an immersion blender to break up chunks until sauce reaches desired consistency.  You can dump the sauce into a food processor or blender as well, but listen. LISTEN to me.  Do not fill more than 1/2 way at a time with hot apples, or it will blow boiling hot apples all over you when you push the button.  Trust me.  This is why i use the immersion blender.
  4. You can cook the apples down a little longer if you find there’s more juice than you want.

Serve hot or cold in 1/2 cup serving sizes.

For Instant Pot:

  1. Mix all ingredients (except lemon juice) together in instant pot.
  2. Use the manual setting to cook for 5 minutes at high pressure.
  3. Once cooking is complete, use the pressure dial to release the steam (QR).
  4. Once steam is released, open lid and stir apples until they have broken up and sort of melded together.  Sauce will be chunky.
  5. Use an immersion blender to break up chunks until sauce reaches desired consistency.  You can dump the sauce into a food processor or blender as well, but listen. LISTEN to me.  Do not fill more than 1/2 way at a time with hot apples, or it will blow boiling hot apples all over you when you push the button.  Trust me.  This is why i use the immersion blender.
  6. You can cook the apples down a little longer on the saute or keep warm setting if you find there’s more juice than you want.  If you plan to serve cold, sauce will thicken in some in the fridge.

Serve hot or cold in 1/2 cup serving sizes.

Makes 8 (1/2 cup) servings= 150 Calories per serving

Editors Note: This sauce is sweet, and I love it that way. If you wanted to make this unsweetened by omitting the brown sugar, your 8 servings would come out to 124 calories each.

Editors Note: I actually left the peels on half of my apples, but the peels stayed in tact when i blended them all together, which i don’t mind at all… but you know… kids.  So  next time I’ll probably peel them all.  If you’re using the blender or food processor, i wouldn’t even bother peeling them.

Open Faced Breakfast Sandwiches

21 Aug

Tonight my family asked for breakfast for dinner (which is not unusual in this house).  I wanted to do something a little different, so we went with Open Face Sandwiches.  I know that this recipe calls for packaged instant gravy (GASP!) which is almost a deadly sin in the American south (and in my home particularly).  I chose to go this route for 2 reasons.  1. Packaged instant gravy is much lower in calories than homemade white gravy, and 2. it’s easier, and on a weeknight, time is precious.  I used some pretty specific brand name ingredients here, but i’ll list the calorie counts for what i used, in case you’d like to use an alternative brand, or these items are not available in your area.

I usually like to stay around 250 calories or less for breakfast, so this works better as a lunch or dinner option for me. However, you could lower the calories by using 2 slices of canadian bacon instead of sausage, or using only egg whites.


  • 4 Light (100 calorie) English Muffins
  • 4 Eggs
  • 4 Egg Whites
  • 8 chicken or turkey sausage patties (I used chicken sausage at 120 cal per 2 patties)
  • 1 envelope of white country gravy (I used Pioneer at 45 calories per 1/4 cup)
  • 1/8 tsp salt


  1. Cook sausage patties according to directions on package.
  2. Prepare gravy according to instructions on packet. Stir in salt.
  3. Mix eggs and egg whites together and whisk until blended.
  4. In a large skillet, spray non stick cooking spray, and scramble your egg mixture on medium heat until eggs are done. Season eggs with salt and pepper if you wish.
  5. While eggs are cooking, split your english muffins and toast them all in the toaster, or on broil in the oven.
  6. To assemble sandwiches, place 1 muffin top, and 1 bottom on each plate.  Top each muffin with a sausage patty.
  7. Divide eggs evenly between each of the 8 muffin pieces.
  8. Top plate with 1/3 cup of gravy, split evenly between the 2 muffins.

Makes 4 servings= 365 calories per serving

Approximately 9 weight watchers points plus per serving.

Mcdonalds egg white delight switcheroo

4 Jan

So, I love the egg white delight at McDonald’s for breakfast. It’s filling, and pretty reasonable at 250 calories. However, on days when I’m home I sometimes make these for myself, and at a much lower calorie count.


– 1 Thomas 100 calorie English muffin, toasted
– 1 slice of Canadian bacon
– 1 or 2 egg whites
– 1 slice American cheese (40 calories)

Notes: 1 egg white is less than what comes on the mcdonalds version, so I use 2. But if you like it lighter on egg, the 1 is good. American cheese varies significantly from one friend to another in calorie count. I used a velveeta single. Try pepper jack singles for a bit of variety. They’re my favorite!


1. Spray a small skitter with nonstick spray and heat Canadian bacon.

2. Remove bacon and use same skillet to “fry” the egg whites, folding them over to make them about the size of the English muffin.

3. Once the eggs are cooked through, add cheese to the top, and place egg and cheese on the bottom toasted English muffin.

4. Add bacon and top of muffin. Enjoy

With 1 egg white= 185 calories
Appx 5 ww points plus

With 2 egg whites= 210 calories
Appx 5 ww points plus


Ham and Havarti Frittata

27 Aug

This was pretty good, and it was really quick. I served it with some fresh fruit in a 1/8 serving size, but it’s pretty low-cal and full of protein, so i’ll list different serving sizes today, in case you’re a little hungrier 🙂 Great for Breakfast, Brunch, or Dinner, and Frittatas are versatile, so I’ll be posting more versions with different ingredients in the future.

Editors Note: I used a 10 Inch cast Iron skillet for this. I’m not sure how else you could make it, because of the high heat needed to finish this in the oven. Most oven-safe skillets are only “oven safe” to a certain temperature, so be sure yours will work in the oven.



  • 4 Egg whites
  • 5 whole eggs
  • 1/3 cup 1% Milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • Diced Ham, 4 ounces (i bought a 4 oz pre-diced pack in the deli section)
  • 5 ounces Havarti Cheese (I used Boars Head creamy havarti from the deli)


1. Preheat oven to broil.

2. Heat oil in your cast iron skillet, on a medium setting on the stovetop. Sautee onions and diced ham until onions become translucent.

3. In a medium bowl, mix egg whites, eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and thyme. Whisk until everything is well blended.

4. Once onions and ham have been sauteed, spread them in an even layer in the skillet, and cover with the sliced havarti cheese.

5. Pour egg mixture over the top of the ham, onions and cheese and cook on medium on the stovetop 3-4 minutes until eggs appear to be set on the bottom, and are beginning to set through the middle. Don’t stir the eggs. Pay attention here to the heat. If your heat is too high your eggs will scorch. I set mine on about 4-5 on a 1-10 setting.

6. CAUTION: USE A POT HOLDER: The skillet handle will get very hot both on the stovetop, and of course, in the oven.

After bottom and middle of eggs have begun to set, place the whole skillet into the oven and allow it to broil 4-6 additional minutes.

7. Remove from oven when eggs appear set all the way through and top has just begun to turn golden in spots.

8. Allow to cool about 5 minutes before slicing the frittata like a pie to serve.
6 Servings= 225 Calories per serving

8 Servings= 165 Calories per serving

Approximately 5 weight watchers points plus for 1/6, or 4 points plus for 1/8.





Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Apple Butter Filling

16 Aug

These Muffins are a “Mommy’s on a Diet” original! Far more delicious, and better yet, far lower in calories, than I could have hoped. I’m super happy with how these little gems turned out, and my kids love the little apple butter surprise in the center. You’ll be hard pressed to find another muffin under 130 calories that tastes this good!!!


  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup quick cook oats
  • 1/3 cup splenda brown sugar mix
  • 2 Tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 Tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 an apple, diced
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 1/2 Cup 1% Milk
  • 1/4 Cup water
  • 1 Tbsp Canola Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Lite Syrup
  • 12 Tsp Apple Butter


1. Place the Oats in a food Processor and chop until they become more like a powder or grainy flour.

2. Mix all Dry ingredients (flour-cinnamon) in a medium sized bowl.

3. In a smaller bowl, mix all wet ingredients except Apple Butter (Egg whites-Lite Syrup). Whisk together until smooth.

4. Add wet ingredients with dry, and stir until everything’s well incorporated. Add Apples and stir them in.

5. Spray a 12 count muffin pan liberally with non-stick spray.

6. Scoop 1/4 cup of muffin batter into each cup.

7. Spoon Apple Butter into one corner of a ziplock baggie. Carefully cut a small piece from the corner of the baggie where the apple butter is contained. This allows you to use the baggie as a piping bag.

8. Dip the cut tip of the baggie into the center of each muffin, and squeeze gently, inserting about 1 tsp of apple butter into the center of each muffin.

9. Bake Muffins on 400 for 12-15 minutes, or until they bounce back when touched on the top.

10. Allow to cool about 10 min before serving. Center is hot.

Makes 12 Muffins= 128 Calories per muffin!

Appx 3 weight watchers points plus




Lemon blueberry pancakes

2 Aug

I know, you haven’t read the recipe yet, but I am anticipating that after you do, you might say “why on Earth would I put Ricotta cheese in my pancakes!?” I’ll answer that question. Although most of us think of ricotta in savory dishes, it can be used in sweet treats too, like a marscapone almost. By adding the ricotta, you get a lighter, fluffier pancake. You can’t taste the “cheese” but it carries the lemon flavor nicely, and also bulks up the pancakes with less calories than if you used more cheeseless batter. Anyway, I liked these little guys. I hope you do too.


–  1 cup buttermilk “just add water” pancake mix*
–  1 tsp sugar
–  1/2 tsp nutmeg
–  Juice from 1 lemon
–  Zest from 1 lemon
–  3 egg whites
–  1/2 cup 1% milk
–  1 tsp vanilla extract
–  1/2 cup low fat ricotta cheese
–  3/4 cup fresh blueberries


1. Mix lemon juice, zest, vanilla, and egg whites in a small bowl. Add milk and whisk until all ingredients are mixed.

2. In a medium sized bowl, mix pancake mix, sugar, and nutmeg.

3. Add wet ingredients to dry, and mix until everything is incorporated and mixture is mostly smooth.

4. Stir in ricotta and blueberries.

5. Heat a large skillet or griddle and spray with nonstick spray.

6. Pour 1/3 cup of batter into pan and cook until you see bubbles form in center of pancake. Flip pancake and continue cooking until golden brown on both sides.

* the pancake mix I used has 220 cal per 1/2 cup. They vary a lot, and I don’t want to throw off your calorie count if you make these at home.

Makes 7 pancakes. Serving size = 2 pancakes. Makes 3 1/2 servings.

I served with 2 tbsp sugar free syrup, not included in calorie counts shown here.

1 serving = 220 Calories
Appx 6 weight watchers points plus



Sausage, Egg, & Cheese Breakfast Quesadillas

19 May

This recipe was delicious, and will definitely be a repeat in my house! We ate them for dinner, because my family is fond of breakfast for dinner. You could use turkey bacon, or ham if you prefer, and add any veggies you might like. Just try not to over-stuff or your quesadilla won’t close!


– 4 low carb tortillas (60 cal each)
– 3 whole eggs
– 3 egg whites
– Salt and pepper
– 1/4 cup diced onion
– 8 oz cooked turkey sausage
– 12 TBSP 2% shredded cheddar cheese
– Non-stick cooking spray


1. Coat a small-medium skillet in non-stick spray, and sautéed onions until translucent. Remove from pan.

2. Mix eggs, egg whites, salt and pepper. Re-spray same skillet with nonstick spray, and scramble eggs until cooked through.

3. On a pre-heated large skillet or griddle (heated to 375), spray a generous coating of nonstick spray. Place a tortilla on the hot surface.

4. Cover one half of tortilla with 1/4 of egg, onion, and sausage. Sprinkle 3 TBSP cheese over whole tortilla, slightly heavier on the side with no egg.

5. Fold cheese side of tortilla over egg side, and press with spatula to close tortilla.

6. Flip quesadilla and cook on each side until done.

7. Repeat with remaining ingredients.


Editors Note:  For that extra pop of flavor, serve with 2 tbsp of chunky salsa!

Makes 4 servings= 307 calories per serving

Appx 8 weight watcher points plus




Oven Roasted Potatoes

22 Mar

This recipe requires about 45 minutes, which is a luxury I don’t often have with our busy schedule. If you have all the time in the world…continue on. I prefer the results of the “slow cook” method. However, If you’re interested in speeding this up, you can use a ziplock steamer bag, and cook your potatoes 1/2 of the time listed on the bag. Then toss in olive oil and bake for only about 15-20 min.


– 3 medium size (4 inches) Red potatoes
– 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
– 1 tsp salt
– 1/4 tsp pepper
– 1/4 tsp garlic powder
– 1/4 tsp paprika (optional)


1. Cut potatoes into cubes, no more than 1 inch wide.

2. Place potatoes, and olive oil in a large ziplock bag. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and shake until all potatoes are lightly oiled.

3. Spray a flat baking sheet liberally with nonstick spray, and spread potatoes in a single layer on pan.

4. Cover pan with aluminum foil, making sure all corners are tucked under to create a seal.

5. Bake at 425 for 25 minutes. Uncover, turn potatoes, and bake another 10-15 minutes.

Makes 3 (1 cup) servings= 205 Calories per serving

Lower Calorie Breakfast Casserole

14 Jan

I’ve tried the full fat version of this, and then I took that recipe and turned it into the low calorie version below. I actually prefer the low calorie version, and although it’s a little more calories than I’d eat at breakfast, you could either have a smaller portion, or a lighter lunch. I, on the other hand, like to make breakfast for dinner…so this works out great for us.


– 8 reduced fat pilsbury crescent rolls
– 12 oz (1 roll) reduced fat breakfast sausage- Jimmy Dean
– 1 cup 2% cheddar cheese
– 1/2 cup part skim mozzarella
– 2 cups egg beaters (1 small carton)
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1 tsp oregano


1. Brown sausage in a skillet.

2. Roll crescent rolls out across the bottom of a 13X9 pan, sprayed with nonstick spray. (see photo)

3. Spread sausage evenly across crescent layer, and spread cheeses over sausage.

4. Mix egg beaters, salt, and oregano. Pour evenly over the top of the casserole.

5. Cover with foil, and bake.

ceramic pan: bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake 10-15 minutes, or until middle of casserole is springy, and bounces back when you touch it.

Glass pan: cover with foil and bake at 350 for 25 min. uncover and continue baking additional 15-20 min.

Note, I’ve made this several times, and the cooking time has been a little different each time. Keep an eye on it to be safe.

Editors Note: Try adding some mushroom, tomato, onion, spinach, etc for something different.

6 Servings= 370 Calories per serving (appx 10 ww points plus)
8 Servings= 277 Calories per serving (appx 7 ww points plus)


90 Calorie “Fried” Apples

2 Nov

I love Fried Apples, as any good southern girl should. I remember, growing up my grandmother taught me to save my fried apples at dinner and eat them on a biscuit for dessert…just like apple pie. Here’s a great “not really fried” apple recipe that my family enjoys. It’s a pretty decent substitute for the real thing when you’re calorie conscious.

– 4 medium to large apples (I used gala)
– 1 tablespoon splenda
– 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
– 1/2 tablespoon 0 calorie butter spray
– 1 tbsp.- 1/4 cup water

1. Wash, core, and slice (but don’t you dare peel!) all apples.
2. Mix with cinnamon and splenda.
3. spray 0 calorie butter spray into a small-med size frying pan, and add apple mixture.
4. heat on medium heat, stirring regularly for about 3 min.
5. When/If apples start to stick, or you’re afraid they’ll burn, add 1 tbsp. water at a time to the skillet.
6. Cook apples down, stirring often (adding water as often as needed) until they reach the texture you prefer.

Enjoy these as a lovely side, or throw some fat free coolwhip on top for dessert.