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Roasted Carrots with Thyme

2 Feb

This is a simple side dish, but it’s low calorie and it turned out delicious when I made it last night, so I decided to share.  My one regret is that I don’t have a better picture.  By the way, this recipe was inspired by one I made using the home chef delivery service.

Ingredients:

  • 8 carrots, cleaned and peeled
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 Tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Cut carrots on the bias (diagonally) into slices 1/2 inch thick.
  3. In an oven safe skillet, warm your olive oil over medium high heat.
  4. Once oil is hot, add carrots.  Allow carrots to cook, turning them periodically for about 4-5 minutes, until the bottoms begin to char just a bit, or turn golden brown.
  5. Once carrots have a little char on them, add salt and pepper, and thyme.  Mix in seasonings.
  6. Transfer oven safe skillet to a hot oven, and bake 17 minutes at 450 degrees.
  7. When removing the hot skillet from the oven, be very careful.  Handle will be very, very hot.

5 servings= 65 calories per serving

carrots

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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.

Ingredients

  • 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)

Directions: 

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.

Low Calorie Homemade Pizza

10 Jan

 

So, this recipe is officially for pizza, but some folks don’t wan to go through the trouble of making sauce or they already have store bought sauce on hand.  Also, everyone likes different things on their pizza.  So I’m going to give you 2 things here.  I’ll give you the recipe for just crust, along with calorie count, and then I’ll give you my recipe for a cheese pizza.  That way if you make your own pizza, all you have to add are the calories associated with whatever toppings you choose to use.  This turned out much better than I expected.  In fact, the family loved it and it’ll definitely be making a return visit to my dinner table.

Crust Ingredients:

  • 2 single serve containers of plain greek low fat yogurt
  • 3 cups of self rising flower
  • 2 tablespoons of water

That’s it.  Yeah, I know. This sounds crazy, but it’s good I promise. Mix it together, knead with your hands for about 5 minutes, and voila!  Spray a large baking pan with sides down with nonstick spray.  Roll your dough out evenly to the edges of the pan, pressing any extra little dough up against the sides.  Use a fork to poke some holes throughout the crust and top your pizza with everything you want on it before baking. (13 min at 475).  Continue on if you wish to use my sauce recipe.

Pizza Sauce:

  • 2 6 oz cans of tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 1/4 tablespoon of granulated garlic (garlic powder)
  • 1/2 tsp of oregano
  • 1/4 tsp of basil
  • just a dash of onion powder if you like it.

Instructions:

Mix ingredients together in a bowl and spread evenly over crust.

To make Cheese pizza:  add 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese and bake at 475 for 13 minutes.

Makes 5 average servings  or 4 pretty large servings. Cut into 15 slices (5 smaller servings, 3 slices each) or 8 large slices (4 servings, 2 slices each)

 

4 servings: Crust only= 345 calories             4 servings: Cheese Pizza = 580 Calories

5 servings: Crust only = 275 calories           5 servings: Cheese Pizza= 464 Calories

 

I used turkey pepperoni, turkey sausage, and fresh mushrooms on my pizza pictured here. Well.. parts of it. The lower bottom right quarter is just cheese for my picky kid:

pizza-2             pizza-1

 

 

 

Avacado Salad

3 Apr

My need to try this salad started with one of those 30 second video recipes on facebook.  I don’t know which site it was that posted it, but it sent me on a google search for something similar.  So, I won’t take credit for this recipe.  It’s one I borrowed from a blog called Natasha’s Kitchen.  The only alterations I made were using less lemon, and less oil.  This was yummy.  I’ll make it again in the summer.  Sort of like turning Guacamole into salad…how can you go wrong? 🙂

Ingredients: 

  • 2 Haas Avacados, ripe
  • 3 Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 of a red tomato diced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • Juice from 1/2 a large lemon
  • Fresh Ground Pepper (to taste)
  • Sea Salt (to taste)

Directions: 

  1. Chop your avacado, and tomatoes to about the same size.
  2. Slice your cucumber down the center long ways and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.  Dice the cucumber a little smaller than the tomatoes and avacado.
  3. Mix all your veggies together, stir in the Oil and Lemon Juice, as well as cilantro.
  4. Salt, Pepper, Stir, and enjoy 🙂

Makes 6 Servings= 131 calories per serving 

img_2890  

 

Beef Eggroll Tacos

20 Mar

I love the idea of fusion cuisine:  Taking 2 cultures and smooshing them together to create something delicious.  I also, incidentally, love food trucks.  My favorite food truck is a little place called “traveling kitchen” in Louisville, Ky.  They serve korean street tacos.  A beautiful mix up of korean and mexican cultures, and they are delicious.  That’s where I drew inspiration for this one.  That, and a recipe for a low carb dish that people call “crack slaw”… These are yummy.  You can adjust the chili paste if you like things spicy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of lean ground beef
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 TBSP sesame oil
  • 2 TBSP of minced garlic
  • 16 oz bag of coleslaw mix (cabbage, carrots, etc from the produce aisle)
  • 3 TBSP Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp asian chili paste
  • 1 packet of splenda no-calorie sweetener
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 12 small (6 in) flour tortillas (mine were 110 calories each)
  • Pickled Onions
  • Sriracha to taste

Instructions:

1. Season ground beef with salt and pepper, and brown in a large skillet. Remove beef from the skillet and set aside.

2. Heat sesame oil in the same pan you used to cook the beef.  Add the garlic and slaw mix, and cook on low-medium heat, stirring frequently.  Cook until slaw mix is cooked through and cabbage becomes almost transparent.

3. Add beef back to the skillet, along with:  Soy sauce, chili paste, splenda, ginger, and vinegar.

4. Cook all together, stirring regularly, for about 3-5 minutes.  Taste before serving, and salt/pepper according to taste.

Garnish with pickled onion and sriracha if desired.  (Sriracha sparingly–it’s super spicy)

*picture below does not show pickled onions or sriracha- not reflected in calorie count (though the calories are minimal)

Makes 12 generously stuffed tacos (2 per serving)

1 serving= 390 Calories

  

 

 

 

Steakhouse sautéed mushrooms

16 Feb

These are a simple and delicious accompaniment  to a nice steak, or a beautifully grilled porkchop. And they’re super low cal to boot!
Ingredients:

  • 1  tablespoon butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 small carton sliced mushrooms (about 3 cups)
  • 2 tbsp worschestire sauce

Directions:

Use a medium sized skillet with a lid. Melt the butter, and add mushrooms once butter is melted.

Sautéed mushrooms a bit in butter, adding salt and pepper.

After a minute or two, add worschestire sauce and stir into mushrooms.

Cover and allow to cook about 2-3 minutes at a time. After 2-3 minutes, stir mushrooms and replace lid until they reach desired texture.

Serve immediately while hot.

3 servings= 44 calories per serving 

2 servings = 66 calories per serving


Tomato Basil Soup

2 Feb

I have long had an aversion to canned tomato soup.  I’ve hated it since I was a kid, and for a long time I thought i didn’t like Tomato Soup at all.  Then, in college, I discovered tomato basil soup at a local restaurant, and from that point on, I was in love.  I’ve wanted to try this at home for years, but never got around to it.  I try not to eat it too often out anymore, because the calorie count can vary dramatically depending on the use of butter and heavy cream.  So, it seemed like I just needed to skinny up some tomato soup and make it at home.  Last weekend, I finally got around to it and the results are delicious.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 Red onion, diced
  • 32 oz (one big box) of Vegetable Stock
  • 3 TBSP of minced garlic, or 3 cloves of fresh garlic, pressed
  • 1 (28 oz) Can of Crushed tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup- 1 cup of half and half
  • About 10 leaves of fresh basil, cut into little pieces
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Place red onions in a 4 qt pot with about 1 cup of vegetable stock.  Bring to a Simmer and simmer onions for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic to the onions and continue to simmer about 3 additional minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper into the mixture, and bring to a boil.  Once it begins to boil, reduce heat back to a simmer.
  4. Continue to simmer soup for about 15 additional minutes, stirring periodically.
  5. If you have a great immersion blender, you’ll use it at this point to puree the soup into a smooth blend.  If you do not have a great immersion blender, you can use your regular blender, but listen up here..this is important.  Do not pour the entire pot of soup into the blender at once.  If you do, the boiling soup is going to explode out of the top of the blender and all over you when you hit the button, trust me on this one.  Divide the soup into 2-3 batches, and after blending each one, return them all back to the pot. Your blender shouldn’t be more than 1/2 full with each batch.
  6. Once all your stuff is blended well and back in the pot, stir in your half and half, and your basil and salt and pepper to taste.   Continue to simmer the soup about 10-15 minutes or until it reaches the consistency you enjoy.

My batch used 3/4 cup of half and half, and i think it turned out nicely.  If you use 1 cup, add about 10 calories per serving.

 

6 (1 Cup) Servings= 105 Calories per cup

Approximately 2 weight watchers points plus per cup