Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Simple, sweet dressing

When I started doing sugar free I really missed having a fruity sweet dressing occasionally for my green salad. The other day I was watching Rachel Ray and she inspired this no sugar super tasty dressing. It is only 1/3 Olive Oil so you get more bang for your fat too! This is thick and really sticks to your lettuce. Lee loves it (and he is not a big one for sugar free stuff :). You can switch this up with any sugar free jam and any vinegar....Enjoy!

1 part balsamic vinegar
1 part EVOO
1 part simply fruit 100% fruit strawberry jam

Melt the jam without the lid a bit in the microwave. Blend all ingredients.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Brick Chicken and Ratatouille

We are deep into veggie season and are loving it. I made this the other night and it was an all around hit (even with the 2 year old that A. dressed herself and B. fed herself and C. insisted on a picture). The chicken is moist and we fought over the leftover veggies. If you didn't want to you could serve this without a starch.
The chicken is based on Guy Fieri's Brick In the Wall Bird I didn't bother with the salsa verde. The chicken was moist and tender. I was AMAZED at all the fat that came out of the chicken. I didn't use a whole bird I used leg quarters that I got on a great sale. I also didn't use a brick I didn't have one. I took my stock pot and put it on top and then filled that with free weights :) It worked fabulous. I loved the crisp on the outside! It tasted fried (without flour). It was super moist which was surprising for all the fat that came out.

I don't think it was a true Ratatouille. To me it seemed like just a bunch of roasted veggies. Maybe I just liked the combo. I didn't understand why she had you saute the onions. Nothing is better then roasted onions. I threw all the veggies on a silpat lined pan. I put them all in 1/2 inch chunks except for the roma tomato's which I sliced. I tossed with a TAD bit of EVOO, kosher salt, and thyme (I did not have the marjoram either). I actually forgot to put on the vinegar too....come to think of it is probably nothing like ratatouille....although I LOVED it! Here is Ann's recipe if you would like to give it a try. Most important don't leave out the makes it!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

photo from Eat.Drink.Smile.

Without flour I am left without PIZZA! My family really enjoys pizza including me. It is up there as our favorite meal. I was a little excited when I saw this. It was worth a try. Here is her recipe. I made some revisions (of course). First of all I tried to just cook 1 cup of the riced cauliflower. By 8 minutes it was burnt to nothing. The second time I did a cup and a half which was about 4 ounces in weight and I cooked it for about 3 minutes. Perfect. Second I can't pull off the calories for 1 to 1 cheese to cauli. I did only a little over an ounce of mozzarella and the whole egg (although next time I think I will only do 1/2 the egg). Also, pan spray was not time I will cook it on a silpat so I don't loose an ounce :) I put sauce, roasted tomatoes, and basil on top with a touch more of cheese. It was REALLY good. You don't taste cauliflower (although I really like cauli). Lee took a little bite and liked it too!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Holden's Golden Salsa

Lee and I want to love canned salsa but just have not up until now. We have really struggled with the flavorless mush we usually get. This year I have had 3 people tell me they have the "best" salsa recipe. Being the student I am Lee and I tried all 3. Jamie Holden truly has the BEST salsa recipe. Lee and I bottled another 19 jars after the last batch....just to last us :) Lee and I named it Holden's Golden because it will pretty much be treated like gold when they get low!

Jamie Holdens Golden Salsa
3 small cans tomato paste (I really think this is the secret!)
20 tomatoes (I used 25 romas)
1 green pepper (I used one small one and one small yellow one)
2-4 hot peppers (I used 4 jalapenos)
4 onions (mine were big so I did 3)
1 T garlic (I minced about 6 cloves)
1 c cilantro
3 T sugar (you can sub steevia)
2 T salt
1 t pepper (I didn't bother)

Chop the tomatoes pretty small. Put in a colander and get some of the juice off. I press on it a bit.
Chop everything else up pretty small. Put it all in a big pot. Bring to a boil then turn down to medium. Cook for 30 minutes. Put 1 Tbsp lemon juice in each jar. I honestly just used bottled. I was lazy. Add salsa to the jar while still hot. Process in a water bath for 20 minutes. She said it makes 12-14 pints. We made her recipe 3x and never got more then 10.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

PB Banana Shake

This is a heavenly treat for me. I have it with my breakfast sometimes. It is healthy, cold, and delicious!
1 frozen banana
1 banana
4 ice cubes
8 oz milk
1 oz sugar free peanut butter

You can add Steevia if you want. I think it is great just how it is! I have also been known to add a touch of cocoa powder if I am needing a little chocolate!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Roasted Tomato Spaghetti

Oh how I love garden time! We are living right now in the land of plenty. Even though we couldn't have a great garden this year we have had access to plenty of fresh stuff. Lee said this was hands down the best spaghetti he ever had and not a drop came out of a can. To make the sauce I used this method on Our Best Bites. I did 2 cookie sheets full, cut way back on the evoo and added 2 course chopped onions and 2 chopped red bells. I cooked it for 2 hours at 350. When it was done I put it in a pan and took my immersion blender to it. Right before I served it I threw a handful of minced fresh basil.
For the meatballs I used 8 oz ground beef, 8 oz ground sausage, 6 oz cottage cheese blended up and an egg (no breadcrumbs). I mixed in 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning. I made them a bit flat to keep them from crumbling. I browned them on each side then baked for 20 min at 350.
I ate mine on a bed of "peeled" zucchini that I sauteed in Pam spray. Deliciouso!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sugar Free Canned Peaches

We live in a big agriculture town. We are loving all the cheap fresh produce. This week I got a case of peaches (25 pounds) from the grower for $12. Honestly we ate about half of them. I wanted to bottle the rest for when produce is not as plentiful. I didn't want to make them sugary though. I was thrilled when Costco had this Welches 100% peach and grape juice on their coupon. I used this method to peel the peaches. I sliced them and stuffed them in the jar (don't be shy or you will be sad with how much space you gain when they are boiled). I boiled the juice and poured it over them leaving about an inch of space in the top. Wipe the top rims and add boiled fresh lids. I then put the bottles in a large pot of boiling water (cover the jars by at least an inch). The quarts cooked for 25 minutes and the pints 20 minutes.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sofrito Mashed Potato

I am a big Guy Fieri fan. I am not only not eating flour or sugar but I am cutting back on starches. To keep it interesting I am trying a lot of new recipes. I LOVED this one (as did the hubby and kids). The beauty of this one is that for my portion I measured half potato and half the sauce so my potato was half veg. Anything that gives me more potato is great in my book. For mine I only did 1/2 a TBSP of butter. In all of them I substituted lowfat buttermilk for the cream. Give 'em a try you will love 'em! Get the recipe here.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sugar Free!!!!

Going sugar free (and flour free) really seems to work for me. I have flirted with Diabetes with the last 2 pregnancies and I really am trying to avoid going into full blown Type 2. I have gone about 40 days now without a drop of sugar (not even IN stuff). When I make dinner now I occasionally make adjustments which I will post for mine. It really has not been too bad once I made up my mind. For me it is better to be completely abstinent then but back.
This picture is of my FAVORITE treat right now. My sister Meesha makes it and I LOVE it. It is great at night when the kids and Lee are having ice cream or something.
Sugar Free (but YUMMY smoothie)
12 oz raspberry lemonade Crystal Light (you can use any kind but the tang in this is great!)
8 oz mixed frozen fruit (my favorite is blueberry, banana, nectarine)
Blend until smooth. Please note you can also use non-frozen fruit but it is kinda frothy and not as good. If you use banana (even just a 1/2) it makes it really creamy. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Overnight Pizza!

We are a pizza loving family. I buy the big bag of shredded mozzarella at Costco and break it up into 5 or 6 small bags and throw it in the freezer. I also buy their big bag of pepperoni and break it up into like 20 bags and throw it in the deep freeze. I always have the makings (with whatever fresh veggies I have on hand) for a great pizza. I came across this overnight pizza crust from the Cooks Illustrated magazine on Baked Bree and I certainly think it is my favorite (we have tried DOZENS of crusts over the years). I did try to make up a number of the crusts and freeze them and it just didn't work out right (I freeze dough all the time and it works beautifully...not sure why this one does not). You can make this the day before, or 3 days before and it hangs out great in your refrigerator. SO....if I take the time to get out the food processor for something else I often get some dough ready for the fridge.

Overnight Pizza Crust

3 cups bread flour

2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp instant yeast

1 1/3 cups ice water

1 Tbsp Vegetable oil

1 1/2 tsp salt

In the bowl of your food processor pulse together the dry ingredients. Pour the ice water through the feed tube with the processor going and run until all the flour is incorporated. Let stand for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes add the salt and oil and process until it comes from the sides into a ball. Pour out the dough and knead it for about a minute until it is smooth. Put in a bowl sprayed with pan spray. I then spray the top of the dough too so it doesn't dry out and cover with plastic wrap.

When I am ready for my pizza I pull out the dough. My favorite part of this is how easy it is to flatten out. I go for a "rustic" shape. It easily pulls into whatever shape you want. I make 2 pizzas out of the dough. I have also made 4 individual pizza's and thrown them on the grill (my favorite).

If you are going to bake these beauties after assembling put your oven rack up as high as it will go and heat the oven to 500 degrees for at least 15 minutes. Make the pizza on a cookie sheet turned over and oiled up (or if you have a pizza stone throw a little cornmeal on that and that works great). Bake your pizza for 10-12 minutes.

To grill them turn the grill up to med high. Make your crust and brush one side with olive oil. Throw on the grill and cook for 2 minutes or so just until lines start showing on the bottom. Take them off and make your pizza on the grilled side (you do need to go easy on toppings or pre-cook them a bit). Put them back on the grill (no need to oil up the other side now it is partially baked so it doesn't stick). Cook until the cheese is melty (about 4 minutes or so).

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I love me a good falafel. I don't know what about it but it is satisfying to me. For awhile after we were married I bought falafel mix and we would have it for our Sunday Lunch. Lee wasn't a fan but he was accommodating. My sister said I was crazy to spend that money on a gross mix. I guess it took me 6 years to listen to her :)
The other day after I made some Hummus from this Alton Brown recipe. In the recipe Alton has such an easy way to cook the garbanzo's I don't think I will go back to canned EVER. I got a whole crock pot full of garbanzo's for about a buck. The hummus was great but I thought I would mix it up a bit with the leftovers and try out some falafel. I scoured the Internet and made this combination of a number of recipe's. I really liked it. I do have to say the one's I over cooked were the best....extra crispy. I served it with the sauce from my Chicken Slouvaki. If you make the sauce and you can use Greek yogurt you won't be sorry :) I wrapped mine in a high fiber wheat tortilla, my family had theirs in wheat pita. Don't forget fresh tomato, crisp lettuce, and a little red onion....mmmm. My family loved it!

15 oz cooked chickpeas (garbanzos)....either cooked from scratch or if you must canned
1 small onion chopped
1/2 cup parsley chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 whole egg, and 1 egg white
2 tsp ground cumin
1 cilantro cube (I bought these awhile ago in the Mexican section, they are like chicken bullion cubes. VERY nice to have on hand. If I have fresh cilantro I would have used about 3 TBSP instead)
1 tsp salt
pinch cayenne
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup panko
olive oil for browning
In a bowl mash chickpeas with a potato mashers. Don't throw them in the food processor or they get gummy and not as good, chunks are good. Throw onion, parsley, and garlic in the food processor or blender until smooth (if your kids hate onion they won't even know it is there :). Mix with rest of ingredients and chickpeas (go easy on the panko, I didn't use the whole cup). I formed about a dozen balls then flattened them. Put a little olive oil in the pan. Heat to medium high and brown on each side. Most falafel is fried in about an inch of oil. I think it is good with just a bit of oil and browning them. Your call though :) Assemble your wrap, pita while still warm.

Monday, April 18, 2011

LIGHT Chicken Slouvaki

FIRST of all...does YOUR costco have these lovely tortillas (you can see the bag in the background)? They are SO high in fiber and LOW in net carbs. For someone watching their weight and blood sugar they are WONDERFUL. They have a great flavor. I have been subbing them for bread or pita. There is so much fiber in them that one fills you up! I found this recipe on the food network awhile ago. It has become a family favorite (and a mama favorite because I can whip it up in 15 minutes)! The recipe is by Sandra Lee but I have made some changes (mostly because I never have 5 bucks to spend on fresh dill :). Chicken Slouvaki

  • 1 Tbsp dry dill

  • 1 Tbsp chopped garlic

  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning

  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil (I go a little less)

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken cut in strips or chunks

Mix all but the chicken together then add the chicken. Let marinate 30 minutes to overnight (I am always about an hour). Once you have it to this point it goes QUICK! In a large skillet add chicken mixture. Cook until cooked through (about 10 minutes). While it is cooking you can cut your toppings. We like purple onions, tomato, lettuce, and Tzatziki sauce!

Best (and easiest) tzatziki sauce

  • 1 cucumber seeded and diced fine

  • 1 Tbsp dry dill

  • 8 oz plain yogurt

  • 2 tsp lemon juice

  • 2 tsp hot sauce (I use Frank's sauce. My kids think 2 tsp is too hot (although I like it) for them I go with one)

  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together and set in fridge until ready to serve.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


I am on this NO TV kick. I just can't stand the TV on. There are no kids in our neighborhood and Keaton doesn't go to pre-school so he gets a little bored. My friend Allyson shared this cool blog with me full of kids ideas. No Time For Flash Cards is a pretty cool place to visit. I hope I go there a lot to keep this little guy busy and off the TV. I made her favorite play dough recipe today and they have been playing for 2 hours.....aaahhhhhh. Keaton even helped me mix it up. It is such a smooth nice playdough. Enjoy!

P.S. I did have some better shots of Savannah smiling but this one of Keaton was priceless :)

NTFFC Favorite Playdough

(measure everything EXACT)

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 c salt

3 Tbsp oil

1 Tbsp alum (why I had this on hand I am not sure :)

2 cups boiling water

food coloring of your choice

Mix together and you are done! If it is too oily add more flour (that will make it dry out faster though....mine was perfect as is after it cooled) if it is too sticky add more oil.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Potato Cheese Soup

I have meant to get this up for awhile but I have been dealing with a BAD pregnancy (are they ever good?) and have not. I will have to add a picture later. I think I have made this a dozen times and have not taken a picture! This recipe is easy, cheap, and a crowd pleaser. It is one of those classic comfort foods that you go back to again and again. This recipe is from my Aunt Maryann's kitchen. She uses about 2x the cheese and whole milk...which does indeed make it really rich. I usually just use the regular amount of cheese and 1% or 2% milk.

  • Potato Cheese Soup

  • 6 med potatoes peeled and roughly chopped

  • 1/3 cup green onions (about 3 or 4 cut all the way up)

  • 3 stalks of celery diced fine (NOTHING worse then a chunk of under-done celery)

  • 3 cups chicken broth

  • 1 c milk

  • 2 c grated cheddar

  • Put first 4 ingredients in a stock pot. Boil until soft (about 1/2 hour usually). Mash (or stick an immersion blender in favorite). Add milk and cheese about 10 minutes before serving.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tortellini Soup

Photo from Our Best Bites
Have you not been to Our Best Bites? You know you really should. They have great meals many of which are pretty healthy. This is one of them. This Tortellini Soup I made the other night. It was GREAT. The shredded zucchini makes it seem really hearty. If you are not doing flour you can substitute diced potato for the Tortellini it makes a nice hearty Italian soup. The next day Lee and Keaton fought over the leftovers for lunch. We are having missionaries from our church over for dinner this week. We are serving this!
To get the recipe click here. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Balsamic Chicken w/ Tomato & Mozarella Topping

I know it has been awhile. I became pregnant (yea!), moved to a new state (not so yea), and had a great Christmas. I am cooking new stuff again and thought I would share. This recipe I found on the Family Favorite Blog I LOVE. I love the Balsamic Chicken at Macaroni Grill but the last time I got it there it was not the same. This has a sugar free marinade and topping, and it fresh and lovely. I cannot wait until summer when I can make this again with garden tomatoes and fresh basil. Instead for today I used regular store tomatoes and a little Italian seasoning instead of the basil. I couldn't stop eating the topping especially. SOOO yummy! The chicken was wonderful alone too.

P.S. The carrots were just steamed then tossed with a little sauteed garlic and about a Tbsp of honey (my Dad's recipe).