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Pork Guinness Stew

13 Oct

This is a hearty Irish stew made easily in the crock pot. It turned out very filling and delicious, and the calorie count was much lower than I expected. I call this guiness stew because you use a dark beer (like guinness) in the stew. It doesn’t have to be guiness. Any dark beer will do.  In fact, the one I used wasn’t actually guinness. One thing I love about crock pot recipes is how easy they are the day of.  For this one, I cut the meat, salt and peppered it and stored it in the crock pot insert in the fridge overnight.  I cut the onion/carrot/celery and stored them together in a ziplock bag in the fridge, and measured out all my spices and set them aside.  So on the morning that I put this together I just peeled and chopped a potato, and put everything in the crock pot.  This made life easy on one of those busy days, and the house smelled fantastic when I got home from work 🙂  One thing… don’t cut the potato the night before… it could oxidize in the fridge which is bad news.

Ingredients: 

  • 2 lb lean pork loin
  • 1 large russet potato
  • 25 baby carrots
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped into 1 in slices
  • 1 can low fat chicken broth
  • 8 oz of dark beer
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp caraway seed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp corn starch

Directions:

1. Cut your pork loin into cubes, about 1 inch x 1 inch, and place pork in the bottom of crock pot. Salt and pepper the pork to taste.

Note:  I find cutting the pork is easier if you freeze the meat about halfway first. If the meat is already frozen, thaw it halfway before attempting to cut (I just set a frozen pork loin in the fridge Sunday night, and I prepped this Monday evening to cook Tues morning).

2. Peel potato and chop into about 1×1 inch pieces as well. Spread evenly over meat. It’s important that potatoes are directly on top of meat so they will be covered with liquid while cooking. If they are not covered they will not cook through and they may oxidize and turn black (you don’t want that)

3.  Place carrots, onion and celery on top of potatoes.

4.  Mix broth, beer, vinegar, bay leaf, garlic powder, and caraway seeds together and pour over the items in the pot.

5. Cook on low for 10 hours. Don’t open the lid. Seriously. Don’t open it until it’s done.

6. After cooking 10 hours, mix contents with a spoon and remove 1/2 cup of broth. In a small bowl mix 1/2 cup broth with corn starch until a smooth cream is formed.

7. Pour cornstarch mixture into crock pot and stir to mix well with the stew. Turn crock pot up to high and leave uncovered for 10 min, stirring periodically. This will thicken your sauce.

Serve with rice, bread, noodles, or as is. Makes 9 1/2 cups of stew.

1 cup= 182 calories

Appx 4 weight watchers points per cup

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Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup

22 Sep

I put this recipe together while trying to recreate a soup I’ve had many times at Izzy’s restaurant in Cinci. This goes nicely with the Turkey Reuben sandwich I posted yesterday, and combined they’re only about 300 calories!

It’s a simple but yummy soup.  I really enjoyed it, and if you like cabbage, I think you will too.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small-medium head of cabbage, diced into 1 inch squares
  • 1/2 a medium onion, chopped
  • 40 oz of beef broth (use vegetable broth to make this vegetarian!)
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 TBSP splenda brown sugar blend
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together in a soup pot, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and cook, covered for about 1 hour, stirring periodically.

Note:  I tried to make this in the crockpot and it didn’t really work.  This one’s a stovetop soup for me going forward.

Makes 6 cups of soup at only 42 Calories per cup!

0 weight watchers points per cup

Turkey Reuben

21 Sep

There is a restaurant in the greater Cincinnati called Izzys.  I love to go there and eat the turkey reuben, and I usually get a half sandwich, and cabbage soup, because that’s pretty low calorie and so, so delicious.  Inspired by Izzys, I decided this weekend to make turkey reubens and sweet and sour cabbage soup for dinner tonight. They pair well together, so I’ve even included a photo of them together for your viewing pleasure 🙂

There were 4 of us eating dinner tonight, so, this recipe makes 4 sandwiches.  You could adjust accordingly if you need more/less.

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz of Boars Head Golden Roasted Turkey, sliced to your preference
  • 8 Slices of 35 Calorie Bread (We like Aunt Millie’s potato bread)
  • Parkay 0 calorie spray butter
  • 3/4 Cup of sauerkraut
  • 6 TBSP kraft fat free thousand island dressing
  • 4 slices of Sargento ultra thin swiss cheese

Directions:

  1. Portion your turkey out into 3 oz portions.
  2. Spray 1 side of each piece of bread liberally with spray butter.
  3. In a small bowl, mix your sauerkraut and thousand island together.
  4. Please each slice of bread butter size down in a large skillet or electric griddle to grill your bread.
  5. Spray the skillet or griddle with non-stick spray, and place each of your 3 0z portions of turkey in the skillet separately.  Cook each stack of turkey on one side, and then flip to cook on the other side.  The idea is to warm the turkey through, not cook it crisp.
  6. Once your turkey is warmed, place a slice of cheese on top of each turkey portion and allow cheese to begin melting.
  7. Transfer each stack of turkey and cheese to a piece of “grilled side down” bread, and top each of the turkey portions evenly with sauerkraut mixture.
  8. Top each sandwich with a remaining slice of grilled bread, grilled side up.  Slice sandwiches in half, and enjoy.

Makes 4 sandwiches at only 238 calories each

Appx 6 weight watchers points each

 

  
  

Curry Chicken Salad (for sandwiches)

14 Sep

Hey guys!  So, this recipe is an original that I threw together this weekend.  It was inspired by a deli that used to be near my work, that sold Curry chicken salad on croissants.  I loved the stuff, but the deli went out of business.  I hadn’t had curry chicken salad in years, but last week I got a craving for it, and so this low calorie version was born.  I think this is delicious, and I will definitely be repeating it in my own household.  Even the husband enjoyed it, although he was unsure about trying it at first.  It’s yummy, and not too overwhelming with Curry.   The sweet cherry craisins are a nice comliment to the curry flavor.  I served this with 2 slices of 35 calorie bread (not included in the calorie count below).

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast (cooked and shredded)
  • 1/4 cup + 1 TBSP fat free miracle whip
  • 1 stalk of celery, finely diced
  • 1 TBSP onion, finely diced
  • 3/4 tsp of curry powder (i used a 1/2 tsp and a 1/4 tsp to measure)
  • 1 TBSP slivered almonds
  • 2 TBSP cherry flavored dried cranberries (I used craisins)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Mix everything but the chicken together first, to be sure your curry is mixed in well.
  2. Add chicken to mixture, and stir until everything is well incorporated.
  3. Serve with saltine crackers or low calorie bread.  Add Lettuce and tomato if you like.

Makes 4 (1/2 cup) servings= 161 Calories per serving

Appx 4 weight watchers points plus


Chocolate Brownies with strawberries and cream

8 Aug

This recipe definitely satisfied a craving for chocolate, and although they are made in a cupcake tin, they are more like brownies than cupcake.  Delicious little round brownies 🙂  The addition of strawberries and cream was a yummy one that I’d recommend. It really bulks up this little guy so you feel like you’re having a real, full sized dessert, without many calories.  Enjoy.

Ingredients: 

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp splenda brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp melted light margarine or butter (50 cal per tbsp)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

 

Directions: 

  1. In a medium bowl, mix all dry ingredients.  In a smaller bowl, mix all wet ingredients.
  2. Mix wet and dry ingredients together, and stir until well mixed and not too lumpy.
  3. Divide batter between 10 cups in a standard muffin tin (no liners). Spray tin well with non-stick spray first.
  4. Bake at 350 for 15-17 minutes.  Let cool 5 min before serving.

 

Makes 10 servings= 97 calories per serving

appx 2 weight watchers points plus per serving

 

1 brownie, served as seen here, with 4 large strawberries, cut into quarters, and about 5 tablespoons of fat free reddi whip=

140 calories

 

 

Garlic smashed potatoes

31 Jul

These are really yummy. I used a ziplock steamer bag in this recipe… They are an item I rely on pretty regularly in my kitchen. If you don’t have them you can use any traditional steaming method, or even boil or bake the potatoes instead.

Ingredients

  • 6 red new potatoes (about tennis ball size)
  • Low calorie Spray butter
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic

Directions:

1. Place all of your potatoes inside of Ziploc steamer baggy and steam according to directions on bag until potatoes are done.

2. Preheat oven to 400°

3. Spray a metal baking pan liberally with nonstick cooking spray.

4. Remove potatoes from steamer bag and line them up on the pan. Use a fork or other utensil to gently smashed down the center of each potato, until the sides split, exposing the white part of the potato.

5. Spray each potato with about five or six squirts of butter, and season to taste with sea salt and pepper. 

6. Distribute minced garlic evenly between the potatoes and spread it across the top of each one using a fork.

7. Bake potatoes at 400° for 10 minutes. If you have a broiler with a low setting continue cooking potatoes for five additional minutes on low broil. (If you only have one broil setting cook them until they appear to be turning golden brown)

One serving equals one and a half potatoes. Makes four servings.

1 Serving= 180 calories

Appx 4 weight watchers points plus

   
   

Creamy Mushroom Chicken

1 Jul

So, I was inspired to try a recipe like this, when a friend of mine mentioned how much her family loved a similar dish.  I took to the internet for a full fat version, and started updating it to make it more calorie friendly.  I loved the results, although this version did take a long time to cook in the oven.  I think it will work just as well if i throw it all in the crockpot, and next time i’m going to do just that.  I’ll come back and let y’all know how that works out.  Enjoy!  (ps: eat this with mashed potatoes or rice. omg, that sauce!)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken (i used 4 breasts, 5 oz each)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 can reduced fat cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
  • 1 jar of sliced mushrooms, drained (the larger glass jar, or 2 smaller cans)
  • Paprika to taste

Directions:

  1. Arrange chicken in a 9 x 13 pan and salt and pepper the tops of the chicken (to taste).  Spread mushrooms evenly over chicken.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together: mushroom soup, wine and sour cream.  Pour over chicken, completely covering it.
  3. Dust with paprika.
  4. Cover baking pan with aluminum foil, and Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hours.  Uncover pan and continue baking an additional 20 min.

Makes 4 servings of chicken + Sauce= 256 Calories per Serving

Appx 6.5 weight watchers points plus per serving