Share/Like This Post

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Brunswick Stew

Oh my my...I have been a bad bad blogger! One problem is not enough daylight to take pictures of food! Half the stuff I make I haven't been photographing because I refuse to use a flash! I have probably 10 recipes to upload but have been completely slammed with the holidays and one other very important thing in my life right now, opening a yoga studio with my mom!
We are opening a yoga studio down the road from where we live and we have been working non-stop! Check out our website at and if you like us on Facebook then you get a free class... We haven't officially opened yet but have done a couple donation classes and raised money for some great causes. We will open in January.

I have made lots of things and have a really yummy lemon chicken that I made the other night but tonight I am going to post a family favorite and a fool-proof way to make Brunswick stew. It is easy as pie and out of this world delicious! It's my mom's recipe and it is always amazing but for some reason it always intimidated me. Now that I made it I have no idea why it is really a dream it's so easy. I didn't take any pictures in the beginning and and just took one of the final product when I realized it was way to good not to share!

So here goes.


2 large onions, chopped
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 lb lean ground beef, browned 
3 cans cream corn
1 cup corn (fresh or frozen)
1 28 oz can crushed or diced tomatoes
1 cup Lima beans
1/2 cup ketchup
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 c. Worcestershire sauce
2 T butter cut up
2 T cider vinegar
2 T Mustard
salt and pepper to taste
hot pepper sauce to taste

Place onion in a large slow cooker, place chicken over onion.  Add all other ingredients, EXCEPT the browned ground beef. Cook covered at HIGH 6 hours.  Remove chicken and shred, return to stew.  If desired, cook and brown 1 pound ground beef, add to stew. It is even better the next day!

Weight Watcher Friends:
Each cup has 5 points. Recipe makes 12-13 cups.So hearty and delicious!!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sausage and Polenta Triangles

My family is very traditional at Thanksgiving we all meet up at our family farm, my mom makes the turkey and dressing, my aunt makes a ham and her special cranberry jello (my favorite dish at Thanksgiving click here for the recipe) my cousin Dana, brings sweet potato souffle and macaroni and cheese my brother brings collards and mashed potatoes, and I always bring broccoli casserole. We are so lucky that we all live close to each other so no one really has to travel far to be together on holidays. I try really hard to instill gratefulness in my kids. In a world of give me, I need more, enough is never good enough, I think gratitude is one of the best values I could instill in my children, honestly if they don't get any others I pray they get gratitude. Each year at the beginning of November we make a tree and cut leaves, each day we all write something we are grateful for and paste it to the tree. My kids love doing it and this year when friends or family came over they would immediately give them each a leaf and ask to them to contribute to our thankful tree.

You probably can't read any of our thankful leaves so here's a close-up...
This is an important part of the season in our house and one I hope makes an impact on my kids. 

As far as this recipe, I found it in a Cooking Light magazine and as soon as I saw it I thought it would make a perfect addition to our traditional Thanksgiving! Of course I made a few changes, I just have such a hard time following directions, however it is a trait that I am actually grateful for as it helps with my creativity in the kitchen.

1 roll of reduced fat pork sausage (I used Jimmy Deans)
1 small onion, diced small
1 stalk celery, diced small
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 1/4 cups 1% milk
1 cut polenta (corn grits)
2 T grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
2 t Olive oil, divided

Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook, as sausage begins to brown stir to help crumble into small bits. Once browned, add the onion, celery and garlic. Cook until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Next add chicken stock and milk and bring to a boil. Slowly add the polenta constantly stirring so no clumps form. Add Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Once thickened, spoon the polenta-sausage mixture into a large casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Cool to room temp then cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight. Once chilled, using a butter knife cut the polenta into 8 squares then cut each square diagonally to form a triangle. Heat a large non-stick skillet to high heat and add 1 teaspoon olive oil, place half the triangles in skillet and brown on each side about 3-4 minutes per side. Serve immediately.

I took this picture with cornmeal see the notes below, don't use cornmeal.

This is the sausage cooking with the celery, garlic and onion, love that steam!

Here is the 1st batch I made with cornmeal...

Here is the 2nd batch I made with polenta.

Sauteing the polenta batch, Yum!

It tastes like an Italian Thanksgiving. So delicious, I can't wait for my family to try these babies tomorrow!

*Notes I searched for polenta for in 6 regular grocery stores and the only kind I could find was:
Don't use this...instead use this...

The only place I could find this was at Natural Foods Warehouse!
I made it once with cornmeal and it was not as good, if you can't find polenta, just use grits! Really it's the same thing other than the color. 

Weight Watcher Friends: Each triangle has 2 points.

Source: Cooking Light Magazine Nov 2012

Thursday, November 1, 2012

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bites

Lately I have been hearing about all kinds of little balls of food, some people call them energy balls, protein balls, whatever you want to call them these babies are awesome! Last week we were at our farm and my cousin Rusty and his wife Ali, had brought some "balls" up to share. They were great, we all snacked on them. Then we chatted about making them, because I knew these would be a perfect recipe to share with my readers. The bottom line is that there are no real rules when it comes to these little bites of yumminess...the main important components are ingredients 1-7, after that add or omit what you want. These are just an idea. You could use walnuts, pecans, raisins, any kind of seeds, substitute almond or sunflower butter, really the possibilities are endless with these little loves. They are a yummy, raw food recipe and healthy nonetheless! Enjoy...

1 cup oats
2/3 cup coconut
1/2 cup Peanut butter (I used natural crunchy)
1/2 cup ground flax
1/3 cup honey
1/2 t salt
1/2 t vanilla
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli dark chips)
1/4 dried cherries
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, mix together well. Place bowl in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Spray hands with baking spray so the mixture won't stick to your hands. Roll together, actually it's more of a pressing into the shape of a ball. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Makes about 30 balls.

Gather your ingredients, might be the most time consuming part of this one...

Add them to a mixing bowl...

Stir to combine, then refrigerate.

After the mixture is chilled shape into small balls.

A little hand wanted one while I was taking pictures, my kids like them. Although the competition for sweets is tough right now being the day after Halloween!

Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Weight Watcher Friends: These have 2 points per ball. Add or omit whatever fits your tastes but these are a very satisfying treat that is packed full of wholesome goodness!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween

I love the fall and the Halloween season but all the candy and junk food make me CRAZY! So a couple of years ago I decided to fill my kids up with healthy snacks before we headed out to Trick-or-Treat. I did some research on the Internet and then made up a few of my own. I thought I would share these pictures with you in case you wanted to try something like this as well. My kids loved this, they thought it was all so great. But the best part for me was that I knew they were getting some healthy things in their little bodies before they were filled with food dyes, sugar and artificial ingredients!

It was quite a spread of fun! This was done before my blogging days so excuse the horrid lighting.
Spooky Eyes:
Take a dried apple ring, top with a dried apricot then top with a raisin. I think I used a dab of cream cheese to secure it all.
Mummy Pizzas:
1/2 bagel bite, top with pizza sauce, strips of mozzarella cheese and use black olives for eyes. I made noses with mine but I think the eyes would just be fine. Then bake for 10-12 minutes.
Finger Dip:
Take your favorite veggie dip and slice a small flat part on the tip of the carrot then use some cream cheese to attach sliced almonds to make fingernails.
Freaky Mouths:
Cut apples in half, gently remove the core. Carefully cut a small opening in the skin side. Use your knife and make slits under the apple skin to stick almond slices in for the teeth.

Bread Stick Bones:
These are just refrigerated bread sticks, that I shaped into bones and baked.
All extremely simple but lots of fun for the kids!
This is a little picture I found of my babies from a couple years ago.
 Have a Happy Happy Halloween!!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bang Bang Shrimp (my way)

I have posted another remake of a Bonefish Grill dish on here before, Lily's Chicken. It is really good and gets a lot of action on this site. I also really like the Bang Bang Shrimp at Bonefish Grill but I hate the way I feel after I eat fried food, ugh! (note the emphasis on the worked after because I actually feel quite good while I am eating fried food). After researching several remakes of this dish online and tried a few the one this is closet to is Gina's from Skinnytase, love her site! But I made a few changes of my own.  This is so super yummy!! You can make it as an app, a salad, or a main course, but just go make it, I promise you won't be sorry!

1 lb fresh shrimp, peeled & devained
1 1/2 t cornstarch
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 t canola oil
2 cups bib/butter lettuce
4 scallions/green onions, chopped

1 1/2 T Mayonnaise
2 T Sweet Thai Chili Sauce

Toss shrimp in cornstarch, salt and pepper. Heat wok over high heat add oil then toss shrimp in and cook until done. Plate the lettuce, add the shrimp and top with green onions. Use the sauce to dip. (Really, does it get any easier than that?)



Weight Watcher Friends: Serves 4 and is 5 points plus per serving. It really is super yummy, if you use a low fat mayo you could probably save points but I hate low fat stuff, I'd rather eat good and count the points!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

White Chicken Chili

I cannot believe I haven't posted this before! I actually went to my blog today to remind myself of how to make this and was shocked that it wasn't here! So I worked it out and here it is in all it's glory and I do mean glory. I forgot how much I love this dish.

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
2 t canola oil
1 t salt
1 onion, diced
2 T fresh garlic, minced
1 t ground cumin
1 t chili powder
1 (14 oz) can great northern beans, drained
1 (14 oz) can pinto beans, drained
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup water
1 (4oz) can chopped green chilies

Optional toppings:
chopped cilantro

Heat a large pot over high heat. Add oil. Season chicken with salt and fresh cracked pepper. Add seasoned chicken to the pot, saute about 4 minutes. Add onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and Saute for about 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and the water, then the white northern beans, bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Meanwhile take the pinto beans and mash them in a bowl then add the can of diced green chilies, mix well then add to the soup to thicken. Cook about 5 more minutes. Serve and top with cilantro, lime and avocado.

One of my best secrets is stock, not broth, it really makes a difference in your food!

Season chicken with salt and pepper before adding it to the pot.

Next add, the onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, water and stock and white beans.

Pour beans into a bowl and grab a fork!

Mash the beans, it takes about 2-3 minutes, then add the chilies, this turns this from soup to chili!

The avocado, lime and cilantro are crucial to the yumminess of the dish!

Weight Watcher Friends: This pot of chili makes 6 one servings and each one is 6 points. In terms of optional toppings, the cilantro and lime are 0 points but you'll have to add points for the avocado if you add it.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pork Wraps

As soon as I mentioned making these my husband said YES! He loved this dinner and at the end said "wow babe, this is award winning" which I must say is a pretty big deal. So I figured I better share this little gem of a recipe. If you have never had Savoy cabbage before it is a little chewier than regular green cabbage. I love the flavor and the texture is fine in the mix however for the wraps I feel like regular green cabbage would be best. However, we like to try new things in this house so so we ate it up with no problem, but for next time I will use the savoy in the mix and regular for the wraps.

1 head Savoy cabbage
1 lb pork tenderloin
1 t sesame oil
1 t canola oil
2 T soy sauce (I always use Tamari, Gluten Free)
2 T Sweet Thai Chili Sauce
1 t corn starch
1/2 cup matchstick carrots
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced

Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage (about 8 for the wraps) and dice the rest of the head of the cabbage. Set aside along with the diced onions, carrots and garlic. Slice the pork into 1/4 inch pieces and toss with 1 teaspoon of cornstarch . Heat wok over high heat add 1 teaspoon sesame oil and 1 teaspoon of canola oil, once hot add the pork, allow the meat to brown on one side before moving it around the wok about 1 minute. Then toss around and allow the pork to cook through. Mix the soy sauce and the sweet Thai chili sauce together and add to the pork. Allow to soak into the pork and simmer for about 2 minutes. Move to a plate and cover to keep warm. Next add the remaining teaspoon of canola oil to the wok, once hot, add the onion and carrots. After about 1-2 minutes add the garlic and the cabbage, toss to combine with the onions and carrots. Finally add the pork back to the wok and toss to combine. Place about 1/3 cup into each of the cabbage leaves and serve. We used some of the sweet Thai chili sauce to dip. These were great!

Really is a beautiful vegetable

Pull 6-8 leaves off  to reserve for the wraps
Diced up the rest
I cut about 8-10 baby carrots into sticks, and had 1/4 of a red onion in my fridge so I used both
1 whole pork tenderloin

Chop it up, I really hate cutting raw meat, but it was worth it for this recipe

Once it's all cooked serve in cabbage cups!

Weight Watcher Friends: This recipe serves 6 and each serving is 4 points.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Honey-Beer Chicken

I am very lucky to always have a supply of good beer! When I say good, I really mean it in every sense of the word. My husband makes it so I know where all the ingredients come from and that always makes me a little happier but it doesn't hurt that he actually makes GREAT beer, he recently entered some of his brews in a competition of over 500 local home brewers, he came in 3rd place so I feel pretty confident saying that his beer is good, great and fantastic! When I found this recipe in my Cooking Light magazine I knew I had to try it.

2 t canola oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 shallots, sliced
1/2 cup good beer (I used a rye ale of my husband's but a pale or IPA or would be great too)
2 T soy sauce
1 T whole grain Dijon mustard
1 T honey
2 T chopped parsley
Salt and Pepper (to season the chicken)

Heat a skillet on high heat and add the oil. Add the oil to the pan and turn the pan so it coats the bottom. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to the pan and saute for 3-4 minutes per side or until the chicken is done. Remove from pan. Add shallots to the pan, cook until wilted, add beer, soy sauce, mustard and honey and whisk in the pan, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for about 3 minutes. Pour sauce over chicken and serve. I served this with quinoa and fresh beets with goat cheese. It was a great dinner, my kids were pouring the honey beer sauce all over their quinoa like it was gravy!

Season the chicken.

Slice Shallots and parsley

Set the chicken aside while you make the sauce
This is just after I added the beer
After the sauce cooks, it's dark brown and yummy!

Weight Watcher Friends: Each chicken breast has 4 points.

Source: Cooking Light Magazine