Saturday, January 21, 2012

Turkey Swedish Meatballs & Home Made Tortillas/Enchiladas!

     I have been away for a while - and while I do promise to get the Alfredo sauce recipe as well as my meatballs, I have others that I want to share more!

     First are the turkey Swedish meatballs from the South Beach Diet Quick & Easy cookbook. It is a recipe I got from a friend and LOVE!

South Beach Diet - Turkey Swedish Meatballs

Makes 4 servings, 180 calories each
Points Plus Values: 5

3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ground turkey breast
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup lower-sodium chicken broth *
3 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream *
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

* at times I have added MORE of this to make more sauce for the meatballs - adjust your PPV accordingly!

I serve this with rice, quinoa and have also used no-yolk egg noodles. I prefer rice!

Finished meatballs, served with spinach!

1. Mix together salt, allspice, and pepper.
2. Add the turkey and mix in the spices - DO NOT OVER MIX! Shape into 1 inch balls - you can make 24, unless you're like me and as you go, they get bigger and bigger!
3. Heat (HEALTHY! Woo Hoo) oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs and cook until browned.
4. Lower heat to medium and cook 3 more minutes, gently shaking pan (this is pretty fun...). Using a slotted spoon, transfer meatballs to a plate.
5. Add broth to the same skillet, increase heat to medium-high, and simmer until liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
Whisk in sour cream and cook 1 minute more. Add meatballs. Sprinkle with parsley and serve hot.
Recipe from The South Beach Diet® Quick & Easy Cookbook

Next, is the home made tortilla recipe and enchilada sauce. I do not have PPV or calories for these, but they're MIGHTLY tasty! Making tortillas was a lot easier than I thought!

Tortillas - From All Recipes

Makes 10-12 medium sized tortillas

3 c All Purpose Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Salt
3/4 c Shortening
3/4 c really hot water (not boiling - but as hot as your can handle it)

1. Combine dry ingredients and cut in shortening until crumbly. Add more shortening if needed.

2. Add enough water to make the dough moist.

3. Knead and add more flour if needed.

4. Let the dough sit for at least a half hour. 

5. Create 10-12 balls (combine for a larger tortilla, I combined two in order to make the enchiladas.) Roll the ball on a floured surface until 1/8 inch thick.

6. In a hot cast iron skillet, cook 1-2 minutes or until not doughy. (be sure to flip!)

Ten Minute Enchilada Sauce  from All Recipes
This is MUCH better than store bought! My husband has an aversion to vinegar and since this recipe doesn't use vinegar, he loves it!

Makes 6 servings

1/4 c vegetable oil
2 tbsp self rising flour
1/4 c chili powder
1 (8oz) can of tomato sauce
1/4 tsp ground cumin (I never realized this was the spice that made things taste "Mexican"!)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion salt
salt to taste

1. Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat.

2. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium and cook until lightly brown (this smells great!) stir constantly to avoid burning.

3. Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder and onion salt, into the flour and chili powder until smooth.

4. Continue cooking until thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Season with salt.

To make my enchiladas:

I took a tortilla and covered both sides with sauce, then placed it in the cast iron skillet and browned each side. I placed chicken in the tortilla with some sauce then folded it over the best I could. I placed the tortilla seam down in a baking dish (sprayed with non-stick spray.) After the dish was full, I topped the whole thing with shredded cheese, covered with foil and placed in a 350 degree oven for about 5-10 minutes. We ate this with rice, mexicorn and some sour cream!

Tonite we are having enchiladas again, only with beef! I'm hoping they're going to be fantastic!

Happy eating!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Sorry for the lack of updates lately! We have been super busy with holidays and of course, the weeks before Christmas with five year olds all day, is a little taxing!

We are currently at my sister's up in Pittsburgh, so, while I have my computer and pictures of yummy things I want to share, I do not have the recipes. So, some awesome things to look forward to are: BETTER THAN OLIVE GARDEN Alfredo sauce, my famous meatballs (with approximate measurements, since I don't measure!) South Beach turkey Swedish meatballs (I prefer these over real Swedish meatballs,) sugar cookies with home made frosting, hamburger casserole (cheesy low-cal goodness!) and of course thats just the back log!

I am hoping for some new yummy recipes from my new cookbooks (I got the Weight Watcher's Power Food cookbook! Yeah!

I'm always better when I share my resolutions with others, so here they are:
1. Track my food each day, it's such a chore but I can do it!
2. Get exercise each day, no matter what it is.
3. Be positive!
4. Find some "me time" each week.
5. Be more patient.

So, Happy New Year, Happy eating and happy 2012!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Two-For-One Deal!

     At this time of year, who doesn't love a two-for-one deal? Ha! Well, you're getting one because I was too lazy to post one yesterday (and the power cord of my laptop is temperamental and has chosen not to work for the past few days.) 

     The two recipes tonight are Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole and Weekday Lasagna, both received a thumbs up by my test audience (however, I had to give Christopher the casserole without the broccoli!)

Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole - Slow CookerFrom the Fix It And Forget It Big Cookbook - by Phyllis Pellman Good

Makes 8 servings, 200 calories each
Points Plus Values: 4

1 c long-grain rice, uncooked
3 c water
2 tsp. low sodium chicken bullion granules 
10 3/4 oz can fat-free, low sodium cream of chicken soup
2 c chopped, cooked chicken breast
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion salt
1 c shredded, fat-free cheddar cheese
16 oz bag of frozen broccoli, thawed

I boiled my chicken with garlic and parsley for extra flavor.

1. Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker, except the broccoli.

2. One hour before end of cooking time, stir in the broccoli.

3. Cook on high for a total of 3-4 hours, or on low for a total of 6-7 hours.

Tip: If the casserole is too runny as the end of cooking time nears, remove lid from slow cooker for 15 minutes while continuing to cook on high.

Weekday Lasagna - From the Comfort Food Diet Cookbook
Makes 9 servings, 280 calories each
Points Plus Values: 7

1 lb lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped (I just added onion powder, family not a big fan of onions!)
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 3/4 c water (I forgot to add this, it was perfect without...)
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 envelope spaghetti sauce mix *
1 egg, beaten
2 c fat free cottage cheese
2 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
6 uncooked lasagna noodles
1 c shredded mozzarella cheese

* Spaghetti Sauce Mix: I could NOT find this in the store. My mom and I decided that it was probably a mix of spices for sauce, so we figured regular spaghetti sauce spices would be cool, I used:
Oregano, Parsley, Basil, Onion Salt, Garlic Powder
I just added to taste, and I would have used onion powder if I hadn't run out!

     In a large sauce pan, cook the beef and onion over medium  heat until meat is no longer pink. Stir in the tomatoes, water (remember, I forgot this!), tomato paste and spaghetti sauce mix.Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Cheese mixture

meat sauce

     In a small bowl, combine the egg, cottage cheese and Parmesan cheese. Coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 2 cups of the meat sauce on the bottom. Layer with three noodles (I thought this was a small amount, but it works!) half of the cottage cheese mixture and half of the meat sauce. Repeat layers.
Almost done with layers!

Ready to go!

     Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake 10-15 minutes or until bubbly and the cheese is melted. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting.

Delicious dinner for TWO nights!

I served this with a salad (getting in my 2 tsp of healthy oil!) and a piece of regular wheat bread with butter and garlic powder, toasted in the toaster oven! Yum!

     I hope you all like these recipes, they have been great here at home! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Potato Ham Skillet

     Today's dinner is another quickie from The Comfort Food Diet. It is a one pan meal that is very low in calories! I'm very glad it was quick because we have two kids who aren't feeling very well and I needed to get it done quick before I sent them off to rest!

Potato Ham Skillet
Makes 6 servings, 189 calories each
Points Plus Values: 5

4 1/2 tsp butter
3 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (I used 9-12 red potatoes, unpeeled)
1/2 tsp salt (I used garlic salt)
1/4 tsp pepper
7 green onions, chopped (I didn't use onion)
1/2 c green pepper (didn't use, not a fan!)
2 c fully cooked ham, diced
3/4 c egg substitute (I used 1 c)
1/2 c shredded cheddar

Minced Fresh Parsley

All of the chopped ingredients!
-In a 10 inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat. In skillet, layer half of the potatoes, salt, pepper, onion, green pepper and ham. Repeat layers.

 -Cover and cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

-Pour egg substitute over the top, cover and cook for 3-5 minutes or until eggs are nearly set. Sprinkle with cheese and cook 3-5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

-Cut into wedges and sprinkle with parsley.

      Now, mine didn't stay in a wedge, I believe it is because I used the little potatoes, so there was nothing to hold it together. We also served ours with toast and made it four servings and not six. Everyone enjoyed this. It would be a quick and easy breakfast on the weekend or even on a weekday morning. I wish I had the loaf bread that I had made, but we used store bought for the toast. I'm not sure how well this will keep, but we will see, since Haley didn't finish hers tonight, poor kid isn't feeling well!

      Next time I may try adding in other things like mushrooms or tomatoes, maybe spinach? I think anything that is omelet worthy would be tasty in this meal!


Monday, December 5, 2011

Steak & Cheese Wraps

     A slightly healthier (note that I said "slightly") version of the favorite sandwich. My kids LOVE these, I was looking for a way to eliminate some of the bread in our diets. I use the spinach tortillas, but I tell the kids that they're just green and I don't know why! They are 13 and 14 and believe me!

Steak and Cheese Wraps

steak-umms or other frozen steak
mozzarella cheese
burrito or wrap style tortillas

Optional Ingredients:
...anything else you like!

I start by cooking the onions in a few sprays of cooking spray. Half way through I add a tiny bit of water.

I move to cooking the steaks. I like to break them up, but that is a preference!

While cooking the steaks, I prepare the tortillas. Usually we use the salad plates, but these are big so we pull out the big boys! I get them ready per family preference. Yes, that is a lot of cheese.

     I top the cheese with the steak because it seems to melt better. You may have also noticed that I cook the onions in a different pan, this is because some of my family members do not like them.These are another quick and easy dinner. We do not do these kind often, so it is a big treat for everyone! I serve this with tater-tots or french fries. 


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Creamy Swiss Steak in the slow cooker & Whole Wheat Bread

     Okay... I have a confession! Tonight's dinner was so good, I didn't have time to take a picture of the plate, all that we had left was this:
     However, this does tell you that it is going to be great! It is a crock pot meal, which I usually make the night before, place in the fridge and in the morning I put it in the pot. Today I woke up and made it before church, since it is Sunday! It was a great, hearty, Sunday dinner for the winter!

     I also decided, last minute, to bake some bread. I wanted to use my wheat flour and I had some rapid rise yeast (which I didn't know what to do with!) So, I baked bread. I was looking on the Fleischmann's site for a recipe, and it took me forever. I find a good one, and what do you know, its on the back of the yeast package!

     So here it is folks, the bread recipe and the delicious Swiss steak!

100% Whole Wheat Bread (from the yeast packet!)
Makes 2 loaves
Points Plus Values: 3 per slice (1/37th of the recipe, apparently!)

8-81/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 envelopes Fleischmann's Rapid Rise Yeast
2 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c water
1 1/2 c milk
1/4 c vegetable oil
1/4 c honey

-Combine 3 1/2 c flour, undissolved yeast and salt in a large bowl. 
-Heat water, milk, oil and honey until very warm (mine was about to boil - they say 120-130 degrees.)
-Gradually add to flour mixture and beat for 2 minutes on medium speed with an electric mixer (I used my Kitchen Aid with the dough hook.) Scrape the bowl occasionally.
-Add 1 c flour and beat for 2 minutes on high speed, scraping the bowl occasionally.
-With a spoon, stir in remaining flour until you have a soft dough (I used a wooden spoon at this point.)
-Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic. I had to add a bit more flour.
This should take about 6-8 minutes.
-Cover kneaded dough and let rest on floured surface for 10 minutes.
Dough ball.

Shh, its sleeping.

-Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 12x7 inch rectangle (just think of a sheet of paper, its about that size.) Beginning at a short end, roll up tightly as in a jelly roll. Pinch seams and ends to seal. Place seam side down in a greased loaf pan.
-Cover and let rise in a warm, draft free place (aka my microwave) for 30-60 minutes. My loaves were good at 45. They should double in size. 

-Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake 35-45 minutes or until done. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.

Now, I didn't have two loaf pans, so I have a loaf and a flat-ish bread that I rolled and placed in a baking dish. It was good for dinner bread.

The Loaf
Flatty McFlaterson

     The flat loaf was great for dinner and the regular loaf was used to make sandwiches for our lunches tomorrow! Again, I LOVE to make as much of the things in our lunch as possible. We have home made cookies all of the time and fruit. I try to keep things as healthy and natural as possible!

Creamy Swiss Steak (from Taste of Home, Comfort Food Diet)
Makes 8 servings
1 serving without noodles = 243 calories
Points Plus Values: 4

3/4 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt (I just sprinkled)
1/2 tsp pepper (again, just sprinkled)
2 lbs boneless, beef round steak - cut into serving size portions (however, it will fall apart)
2 tbsp butter
1/2 c chopped onions (I cut them large so that Christopher and Mariah can pick them out)
2 cans of condensed cream of mushroom soup (I use cream of chicken, I'm the only mushroom fan)
1 c water

Hot cooked noodles

     In a shallow bowl (I use a pie pan,) combine flour, salt and pepper, dredge beef. In a large skillet, brown beef in butter on both sides. 

    Transfer to a 3 qt slow cooker, top with onion. Combine soup and water, pour over onion. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours, or until meat is tender. Serve with noodles.

     We also had Green Giant green beans with almonds, only 1ppv per serving! The dinner was delicious!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Honey Chicken Stir Fry

Okay, this is one of my favorite go-to meals. It cooks quick (especially if you don't have to defrost the chicken!) and it is incredibly tasty! Believe me, I worked 10 hours today, got home around 6pm and we are done and the kids are cleaning up now at 7, this meal is quick, and PLUS, you probably have most of the ingredients at home!

A note on chicken: frozen chicken breasts are HUGE! They are more than a good portion of chicken. I will cook two regular breasts and half them before serving, or my favorite option - I buy the bag of frozen chicken breast tenderloins! The family doesn't seem to notice a difference. We all are getting a more reasonable portion and its much easier when you just need a small amount!

Honey Chicken Stir Fry (from Taste of Home, Comfort Food Diet)
Makes 4 servings
1 c. stir fry mixture without rice = 243 calories
Points Plus Values: 6

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 garlic clove, minced (we buy the "jar o' garlic" at Target, it keeps well in the fridge and is much quicker!)
3 tsp olive oil, divided
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1/8 tsp salt (I just shake it in!)
1/8 tsp pepper (same)
1 package (16 oz) frozen broccoli stir-fry vegetable blend (I have used other blends, this may change PPV)
2 tsp corn starch
1 tbsp cold water

Serve over hot cooked rice.

In a large, non stick skillet, stir fry chicken and garlic in 2 tsp oil.
I warm the garlic and oil first.

Cook the chicken until juices run clear!

Add honey, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until chicken is lightly browned. Remove and keep warm.

In the same pan, stir fry the vegetables in remaining oil for 4-5 minutes or until tender.
Return chicken to the pan and stir to coat. Combine corn starch and water until smooth, gradually stir into chicken mixture.
Bring to a boil, cook and stir (yes, Ive said stir a million times, but it IS STIR fry!) for one minute or until thickened. If you like a thicker sauce, add more corn starch and water mixture, but only a little and wait to see results - the mix needs to boil or get pretty hot before you notice a change! However, depending on the "ice" on your veggies, the sauce may be watery.
YUM! Serve over rice or quinoa! I have used both and both taste great!

I hope you enjoy the stir fry!