Making it easy to find great tasting and healthy meals

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Crock Pot Creamy Tomato Soup

Adapted from Skinny Taste
This is an easy and really good soup that cooks all day then you finish it up with the light cream and cheese in the end.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup finely diced celery
  • 1 cup finely diced carrots
  • 1 cup finely diced onions
  • 28 oz can whole plum tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 3 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth (or vegetable for vegetarians)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/3 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1 3/4 cups reduced fat (1%) milk, warmed
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste


Heat a large skillet over medium heat, then add the oil, celery, carrots and onions; cook 5 to 6 minutes, or until golden. Add to slow cooker.

Pour the juice of the tomatoes into the slow cooker, then roughly crush the tomatoes with your hands; add to slow cooker. Then add chicken (or vegetable broth), thyme, basil, and bay leaf. 

Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours, until the vegetables get soft and the flavors blend. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth (or you can carefully do this in small batches in the blender).
Melt the butter over low heat in a large skillet and add the flour. Stir constantly with a whisk for 4 to 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in about 1 cup of the hot soup, then add the 1 3/4 cups of warmed milk and stir until smooth. Pour back into the slow cooker and stir, add the grated Romano cheese and adjust salt and pepper, to taste. Pin It

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Healthier Baked Macaroni and Cheese

My kids and I loved this! Comfort food without all the guilt! And they actually ate the vegetables!
This is from Skinny Taste

Skinny Baked Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese 
Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1 cup • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 314.9 • Fat: 9.8 g • Protein: 17.7 g • Carb: 44.3 g • Fiber: 6.3 g 
• Sugar: 4 g
Sodium: 215.7 (without salt)  


  • 12 oz elbow macaroni
  • 1 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 cup fat free chicken broth (vegetarians use vegetable broth)
  • 8 oz (2 cups) reduced-fat sharp cheddar 
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 12 oz fresh broccoli florets 
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • cooking spray


Cook pasta and broccoli together in a large pot of salted water, according to package directions for al dente (or slightly under cook 2 minutes). Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 375°.
In a large, heavy skillet, melt butter. Add onion and cook over low heat about 2 minutes, add flour and cook another minute, or until the flour is golden and well combined. Add milk and chicken broth and whisk, raising heat to medium-high until it comes to a boil; cook about 5 minutes or until the sauce becomes smooth and thick.Season with salt and pepper.
Once the sauce is thick, remove from heatadd cheese and mix well until cheese is melted. Adjust salt and pepper to taste, add cooked macaroni and broccoli and mix well. Pour into prepared baking dish. Top with grated parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. 
Bake for 15-20 minutes, then broil for a few minutes to get the breadcrumbs golden.
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Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Original recipe makes 4 servings

For Sauce:
  • 1 (6 ounce) container plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cucumber - peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise(optional)
For Falafel:
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dash pepper
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • oil for frying
  • 2 pita breads, cut in half(optional)
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes(optional)


  • In a small bowl combine yogurt,cucumber, dill, salt, pepper and mayonnaise and mix well. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
  • In a large bowl mash chickpeas until thick and pasty; don't use a blender, as the consistency will be too thin. In a blender, process onion, parsley and garlic until smooth. Stir into mashed chickpeas.
  • In a small bowl combine egg, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, cayenne, lemon juice and baking powder. Stir into chickpea mixture along with olive oil. Slowly add bread crumbs until mixture is not sticky but will hold together; add more or less bread crumbs, as needed. Form 8 balls and then flatten into patties.
  • Heat 1 inch of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry patties in hot oil until brown on both sides. Serve two falafels in each pita half topped with chopped tomatoes and cucumber sauce.
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Cauliflower and Potato Curry

Cauliflower and Potato Curry
1 medium cauliflower
2 medium potatoes
3 T coconut oil
1 t cumin 
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped
½ t cayenne pepper (or less if you don’t want it spicy)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 t salt
1 medum-size tomato, chopped
3/4 cup good quality yogurt or coconut milk
2 T fresh cilantro, chopped

1. Wash and cut cauliflower into medium-size florets.
2. Peel and cut potatoes into ½ inch cubes.
3. Heat oil on medium heat in a nonstick frying pan.
4. Add cumin seeds to the hot oil and fry for a few seconds. Stir in ginger, chili powder, and turmeric powder.
5. Reduce heat to medium-high. Add cauliflower, potatoes, and salt. Mix them well so the vegetables are coated with spices.
6. Cover and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally. When cooked (potatoes should easily break with slight pressure), add tomatoes.
7. Cook another 2 minutes or until tomatoes become soft and liquid is absorbed.
8. Add yogurt and warm through.
9. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve hot with basmati rice.
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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

BBQ Cauliflower Salad

Originally from Fork and Beans
Serves 2
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1/2 c. BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 c. black beans
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 ear of corn, cooked and sliced
  • 1/4 of a red onion, diced
  • shredded carrots
  • 3 c. lettuce
  • non-dairy ranch dressing (add some BBQ sauce to spice it up if you desire)
  • crushed torilla chips
  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil.
  2. Place cauliflower florets on the sheet and bake 5-7 minutes.
  3. Brush the BBQ sauce onto the cauliflower. Bake another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Assemble all of the ingredients together for the salad.
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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Tomato soup with Roasted Bell Peppers

Makes two servings
  • 1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with basil and garlic (15 oz.)
  • ½ cup diced roasted red bell peppers
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • handful of toasted pumpkin seeds
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, and sauté onion until just softened. Add the tomatoes and roasted peppers, sauté for five minutes, and then add the stock. Simmer the soup for an additional five minutes. Using an immersion blender, blend soup until smooth. Stir in the coconut milk, simmer gently until heated through, and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Ladle into two serving bowls and top each with a generous handful of fresh basil and toasted pumpkin seeds.
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Tempeh Scramble

Serves 1
5 oz cubed tempeh
1/2 red bell pepper
1/4 red onion
1/4 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook all these together for a few minutes until veggies are slightly tender.

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Blueberry and Nectarine Salad

  • 2 Hearts of Romaine, washed, dried, and chopped
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 2 nectarines, chopped
  • 1 avocado, pitted and chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup red onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • For the Citrus Vinaigrette
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large bowl, combine the chopped romaine and fresh spinach, and toss.
  2. Top with the blueberries, nectarines, avocado, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and freshly crumbled blue cheese.
  3. To make the Vinaigrette; whisk together the lime juice, orange juice, honey, avocado oil, and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste.
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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Millet and Black-Bean Salad With Sun-Dried-Tomato Vinaigrette

This is from Experience Life Magazine but I change the amount of oil to 1/4 c
Makes four to six servings
  • 2 cups cooked millet
  • 1 can black beans (15 oz.), drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 2 cups thinly sliced spinach
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated in warm water, drained and minced
  • ¼ cup sherry vinegar or apple-cider vinegar
  • 1/4  cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ to ½ tsp. salt, or to taste
  • ½ tsp. smoked Spanish paprika
  • ¼ tsp. chipotle-pepper powder
Mix the millet, beans, carrots, kale, pumpkin seeds and green onions in a medium bowl. Whisk the sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, salt and spices together in a small bowl. Toss the millet-and-bean mixture with the vinaigrette, and serve.
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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Cherry Berry Salad

6 C salad greens
1 C strawberries, sliced
1 C cherries, pitted
1/2 C blueberries
2 Tbsp low fat feta cheese
2 Tbsp raw sunflower seeds
Place salad greens on serving dish, spread remaining ingredients evenly over greens. Top with Cherry Yogurt Dressing. Enjoy!

Cherry Yogurt Dressing

1 C cherries, pitted and halved
1 C vanilla low fat yogurt
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Combine ingredients in blender, blend until smooth.
This is from

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Edamame and Cilantro Hummus

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Zucchini And Squash Ribbon Pasta
This beautiful dish, with its elegant ribbons of zucchini and squash, swaps out carb-heavy pasta noodles for vegetables. Top it with a sprinkle of crunchy walnuts and cheese for a presentation that will blow away your dinner guests.

1 whole zucchini, washed
1 whole yellow squash, washed
1 whole cob or about 1/2 c. raw, fresh corn kernels
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small shallot, julienned
1/4 c. pecans, coarsely chopped
1 lemon, zested
1/4 c. pesto
Parmigiano-reggiano cheese, freshly grated
rosemary and thyme to taste
A few tbsp. olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste

Cut the ends off the squash and zucchini. With a conventional hand peeler, peel the squash long ways into ribbons. Set them aside in a bowl. In a skillet, heat up a few tbsp. olive oil and proceed to sauté the garlic and shallots. Once softened, add corn kernels to the pan and sauté for about a minute or two. Add the squash and zucchini ribbons and toss it all together. Add the pesto as well, making sure everything is evenly coated. Once the squash and zucchini have cooked a couple minutes, add the pecans, lemon zest, herbs, salt and pepper. Toss together. Serve with cheese on top.
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Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos

Easiest Crock Pot Chicken Salsa Verde
Servings: 6 • Size: 1/2 cup • Old Points: 3 • Weight Watcher Points+: 3 pt 
Calories: 145 • Fat: 2 g • Carb: 5 g • Fiber: 0 g • Protein: 26 g • Sugar: 0 g
Sodium: 415 mg (without the salt) • Cholest: 0 mg 

  • 1 1/2 lbs raw skinless chicken tenders
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp oregano
  • 1/8 tsp ground cumin
  • salt, to taste
  • 16 oz roasted salsa verde

Season chicken with garlic powder, oregano, cumin and salt and place in the bottom of the slow cooker. Cover with salsa verde, cover and cook HIGH 2 hours. 

Salsa Verde Chicken Tostadas:
  • 3/4 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice (or more to taste)
  • 5 cilantro leaves
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 cups easy crock pot chicken salsa verde (warmed) 
  • 6 tostada shells 
  • 3/4 cup shredded reduced fat Mexican Cheese 
  • pickled jalapeño slices (optional)
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Monday, June 3, 2013

Superfood Triple Berry Chia Pudding

This recipe is from Skinny Taste

I really enjoyed this as a tasty and healthy treat!

Superfood Triple Berry Chia Pudding
Servings: 2 • Size: about 1 cup • Old Points: 2 pts • Weight Watcher Points+: 2 pt 
Calories: 110 • Fat: 5 g • Carb: 12 g • Fiber: 7.5 g • Protein: 4 g • Sugar: 3 g
Sodium: 64 mg • Cholest: 0 mg


  • 1 cup unsweetened almond/coconut milk beverage (used Almond Breeze)
  • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries, blackberries and raspberries
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 5-6 drops Nu-Naturals liquid stevia (or sugar/honey to taste)


Combine the Almond Breeze almond-coconut milk together with the chia seeds and fruit in a glass jar with a lid. Cover and shake well, set aside for 15 minutes. Give it another good shake then refrigerate overnight or at least 5-6 hours. Pin It

Monday, April 22, 2013

Chicken Enchiladas with Creamy Avocado Sauce

Adapted from The Holzmanns
Approximately 400 calories each. I think next time I will use even less sour cream and try it vegetarian.

  • • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • • 1 medium white or yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • • 2 Serrano peppers, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
  • • 8-10 flour tortillas
  • • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • • 2-3 cups Monterrey Jack cheese
  • • optional garnish: fresh cilantro, sour cream, and/or shredded cheese
  • Avocado Cream Sauce Ingredients:
  • • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • • 2 cups chicken broth
  • • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • • ½ tsp. cumin
  • • ½ tsp. salt
  • • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • • 2 California avocados, peeled and pitted
  • • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • • juice of one lime
  • Instructions
    1. First make the avocado cream sauce:
    2. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the flour, whisking until golden and bubbly, about 2-3 minutes.
    3. Slowly whisk the broth into the flour mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.
    4. Stir in the sour cream, cumin, salt, garlic powder and pepper, whisking if necessary to remove any lumps.
    5. Remove from heat and transfer mixture to a blender or food processor. Add avocados, cilantro and lime juice, and pulse until smooth and well-blended. (Be very careful blending hot liquids — the heat will expand! So be sure to remove the lid occasionally so that the heat can escape.)
    6. Season with additional salt or pepper if needed.
    7. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, Serrano and jalapeno, and saute for 5-6 minutes until the onions are cooked and translucent.
    8. Remove from heat.
    9. To assemble the enchiladas, place a tortilla on a flat surface.
    10. Spread a tablespoon or two of the avocado sauce down the middle of the tortilla. Then layer on some of the vegetable mixture, shredded chicken and cheese.
    11. Carefully roll the tortilla and place it seam side down in the baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
    12. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
    13. Drizzle the top with about half of the remaining avocado cream sauce, then cover the dish with foil and bake for about 20 minutes, or until tortillas are heated through and begin to harden.
    14. Remove from the oven, then serve individual enchiladas drizzled with the remainder of the avocado cream sauce. You can also garnish with additional cilantro, cheese, and/or sour cream.
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Monday, April 8, 2013

Lighter Sweet and Sour Chicken

From Iowa Girl Eats but I changed a few things.
Serves 4. I doubled it.
About 250 calories per serving
without rice

For the Stir Fry:
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. coconut oil, divided
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 breasts), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large white onion, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into coins
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • sesame seeds (if desired)
  • white or brown rice, for serving
For the Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 3 Tbsp. red pepper chile sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 pinch white pepper
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice (or orange juice, or any kind of citrus juice)
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large deep-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper, then add to skillet. Saute for about 5 minutes, flipping occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink on the inside. Remove chicken and set aside.
  • Add an additional 1 Tbsp. oil to the skillet, then add in the onion, peppers, carrots. Saute for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook for another 3 minutes or until the vegetables are tender yet still a bit crisp. Remove vegetables and set aside.
  • Add ketchup, red chili pepper sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and white pepper to pan, and whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together the fruit juice and cornstarch until it has dissolved. Then add the mixture to the sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Add back in the vegetables and chicken, and stir until evenly coated.
  • Remove from heat and serve over rice, garnished with sesame seeds if desired. Serve immediately, or refrigerate in a covered container for up to 3 days.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

No Sugar, No Butter Cookies

These are from the Bread Geek. These makes about 12 so I would double this.
Heat oven to 350
2 tsp ground flax seed
6 Prunes
1/4 C. Golden Rasins
1/4 C. Pecans
1/3 C. shredded coconut

Process these together in a food processor. Put in bowl and add 1/4 C.  natural yeast starter ( she has some great classes and you can get your own starter for wonderful breads and desserts, or you can get a starter by mail), 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 egg, and mini chocolate chips to taste. 
Drop gold dollar sized bits on a greased cookie sheet. Bake 8 minutes.

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Spinach Lasagna Rolls

I forgot to use the egg and parmesan and it was great. That would lower the calories if you want to try it like I did.
Servings: 10 • Serving Size: 1 roll • Old Points: 4 pts • WW Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 258.5 • Fat: 8.4 g • Fiber: 3 g • Protein: 11.5 g • Carbs: 30.5 • Sugar: 2 g
Sodium: 208 g (without salt)


  • 10 (9 oz dry) lasagna noodles, cooked
  • 2 1/2 cups marinara sauce
  • 5 cups spinach, stems removed, chopped fine
  • 8 oz mushrooms, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 15 oz part skim ricotta cheese (I like Polly-o)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • 3 oz (10 tbsp) part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded


Preheat oven to 350°. Ladle about 1 cup sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish.

Place spinach in a food processor and pulse a few times until chopped.

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until golden, about a minute. Add spinach, salt and pepper and sauté about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms to the pan, cook until soft, an additional 5-6 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper.

Combine cooked spinach, mushrooms, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, egg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and lay out cooked lasagna noodles. Make sure noodles are dry. Take 1/3 cup of mushroom spinach mixture and spread evenly over noodle. Roll carefully and place seam side down onto the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.
Ladle 1 cup of sauce over the noodles in the baking dish and top each one with 1 tbsp mozzarella cheese. Put foil over baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, until cheese melts. Pin It