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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

Monday, October 1, 2012

Carnival Squash

Have you ever seen this funky looking guy in your grocery store? Well I always thought this was one of those "just for decoration" fall time items. I did not know they were full of such yumminess! If you like acorn squash then you will LOVE this! There are several ways to make it but I tried this way first....

1 carnival squash
1 t olive oil
1/4 cup water
1 t butter
salt and pepper to taste


Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the squash right down the middle. Clean out the seeds with a spoon and discard. In an oven-proof dish add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and spread around so it covers the bottom of dish. Place the squash flesh side down in dish, add 1/4 cup water. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven add the butter, salt and pepper and serve.
It's so pretty!

Such an interesting veggie...

Does not look so appetizing here, smells just like a pumpkin

Cut side down and bake for 30 minutes

 Yum, you can eat it right out of the skin.

Really is very similar to acorn squash, highly recommend it!

Weight Watcher Friends: This serves two and has 1 point per serving.