Thursday, February 1, 2018

Brussels Sprouts Chicken

2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken breasts (1 lb)
2 Tbsp. oil
1 pkg. (9 oz.) Shaved Brussels Sprouts
1 tsp. Tarragon
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut chicken into nuggets.  Heat oil on medium high in an ovenproof frying pan.  Add chicken and saute about 5 minutes stirring frequently.  Add shaved brussels sprouts, tarragon and garlic to chicken.  Bake 20 minutes or until chicken is done, stirring about every 5 minutes.  Add parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.  Bake another 5 minutes or until melted.  Serves 4

Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 398
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 26 g
41 %
Saturated Fat 10 g
51 %
Monounsaturated Fat 10 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 91 mg
30 %
Sodium 1087 mg
45 %
Potassium 279 mg
8 %
Total Carbohydrate 6 g
2 %
Dietary Fiber 2 g
7 %
Sugars 0 g
Protein 42 g
85 %
Vitamin A
7 %
Vitamin C
3 %
65 %
8 %

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

What Not to Add to Your Salad #4 - Creamy Salad Dressing

Creamy Salad Dressing

Even if you fill your salad bowl with healthy, nutritious ingredients you can easily ruin it with a creamy dressing. Check out the calorie counts of these popular flavors.

Blue Cheese: 146 calories, 15 grams fat
Ranch Dressing: 126 calories, 14 grams fat
Thousand Island: 114 calories, 11 grams fat
Green Goddess: 128 calories, 13 grams fat

And if you think that fat-free dressings are better, think again!  Many brands add sugar to compensate for the fat that was removed. And the calorie count isn't always very low. Some run as high as 60-80 calories per 2 tablespoon serving.

If you love dressing, stick to a single serving of a healthy, homemade vinaigrette. Or make your own creamy dressing at home. Or better yet, fill your salad bowl with tasty ingredients and skip the dressing altogether.

Comments:  I love creamy dressings!  This recipe is one that goes a long way, has low calories and carbs but also taste great!  You can even double your serving size and still stay within your range.

Creamy Italian Dressing

Yield: About 1/4 cup
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 0 mins
Total Time: 5 minutes

1/4 cup
1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon
cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon
1/8 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon
garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon
garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon
In jar with tight fitting lid; combine all ingredients.

Shake well.  Makes 6 servings.

Calories 4
Total Fat 0.10 g
Cholesterol 0.40 mg
Carbohydrate 0.50 g
Sodium 1.50 mg
Protein 0.10 g

Monday, January 29, 2018

Ham Cauliflower "Potato" Stew

3 cups diced ham
1/4 cup heavy cream
14.5 oz chicken broth 
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup cheddar cheese 
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
dash pepper
16 oz bag frozen cauliflower florets or fresh head cut into florets

Mix all ingredients except cauliflower together in medium crockpot.  Cover and cook on High setting for 4 hours. Add in cauliflower and cook on high another 30 minutes.

Comments:  I cut the recipe in half and eliminated the salt.  My ham was a 1/2" slice that I found at the grocery store that was marked down to $1.47.  I cut it into small pieces and added ALL of the ingredients to my slow cooker, cooking on high.  This took about 1 hr. to cook which allowed the flavors to blend throughout the cauliflower.  As for taste.  I loved it!  Better than potatoes and a lot healthier.  My serving size for 1/2 the recipe came to about 3 cups.  The original recipe recipe said it served 6.  For my cost, if I add the $1.47 for the ham, 1/2 bag of cauliflower which was $1.29 for the full bag, and a few cents for the cheese and seasonings, I would say this dish came out to about $2.62 or around $.90 per serving.

Nutrition Facts
Crock Pot Ham Cauliflower "Potato" Stew
Amount Per Serving 
Calories 274 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 28%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Cholesterol 83mg 28%
Sodium 1352mg 56%
Potassium 333mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 2g
Protein 21g 42%
Vitamin A 10.5%
Vitamin C 50.7%
Calcium 30.3%

Iron 6.2% 

Saturday, January 27, 2018

What Not to Add to Your Salad #3 - Crispy Anything

Crispy Anything

Chicken is a healthy salad ingredient.  Shrimp is a healthy salad ingredient. Fish is a healthy salad ingredient. But when you fry these foods in oil, they aren't healthy anymore. Fried foods are full of fat and calories—even when they are fried in oils that are healthy. 

The best way to avoid fried foods in your salad is to get smart when you read the menu. Foods that are "crispy," "battered," "breaded," "crunchy," or "crusted" are almost always fried. If you're not sure, ask your server. Ask to substitute a grilled item instead.

Comment:  I've found a way to cover this one.  I buy chicken breasts when on sale, package 1-2 in freezer bags and keep them frozen until needed.  I then take out a package, season it with my favorite flavors (no salt) and cook in my toaster oven.  I've found this method of cooking keeps the chicken moist and allows the seasonings to flow through the meat.  When done, I cut into pieces and refrigerate using as much as I need for my salads.  When I go out to eat I always ask for the grilled instead of 'crispy'.  One place that I've found has some delicious grilled chicken for my salad is Wendy's.  Delicious!

I seldom add seafood to my salad but when I do I want it boiled, broiled or baked.  I don't like the fried taste of seafood on my salad.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Roasted Garlic Chicken Spaghetti with Angel Hair

2 chicken breasts (1 ½ lb)
1/2 cup, Roasted Garlic Spaghetti Sauce
1/2 cup, shredded, Cheese, mozzarella, whole milk 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake chicken breasts until done.  Remove bone and skin.  Break into pieces and place in the bottom of a baking dish.  Spread cheese over the chicken.  Spoon spaghetti sauce over cheese.  Bake until bubbly and cheese is melted. 

Comment:  I did all my cooking in my toaster oven.  I also used a baking dish that fit into my toaster oven.  I served this over ¼ cup of cooked Angel Hair Pasta which still kept me at 13 carbs, 21 protein and 233 calories.  This book came out delicious

Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 185
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11 g
16 %
Saturated Fat 4 g
19 %
Monounsaturated Fat 4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 58 mg
19 %
Sodium 233 mg
10 %
Potassium 170 mg
5 %
Total Carbohydrate 3 g
1 %
Dietary Fiber 1 g
2 %
Sugars 1 g
Protein 19 g
37 %
Vitamin A
7 %
Vitamin C
0 %
9 %
4 %

Angel Hair Pasta ¼ cup
3 mg
Total Fat
0 g
0 mg
0 g
Total Carbs
10 g
0 g
Dietary Fiber
1 g
0 g
0 g
0 g
2 g
0 mg

Thursday, January 25, 2018

What Not to Add to Your Salad #2 Croutons


Croutons aren't the worst offenders when it comes to diet-disasters, but they add calories from processed grains without providing any nutritional benefit. And many times the croutons are fried so they add unnecessary fat to your otherwise healthy meal.

If you're making your own salad, be wary of crouton brands that look healthy or low in calories. The serving size listed on most crouton nutritional facts labels is just two tablespoons.  That's about two croutons! If you add the number of croutons that most people add, you'll probably add 100 or more calories in bread and oil.

If you absolutely love to have a bit of crunch on your salad, try adding a tablespoon or two of Grape-Nuts cereal. You get all the texture with the benefit of whole grain fiber.

Comments:  I do love the croutons to my salad.  I've read the package contents and this is true that it says 2 tablespoons.  I have a feeling that if you crumble up the croutons to come up with 2 tablespoons you won't have but maybe 5-8 at the most.  And many are fried.  So.... I make my own croutons - in the oven.  I check the number of calories per slice of bread, cut it into small cubes, sprinkle it with some seasonings and bake at 350 until they are crispy.  By checking the calories I'm able to count how many cubes I can have at each meal.  I usually only add 8-10 small cubes giving me about 1/2 the calories, fat, carbs, etc. of the whole slice.  The seasonings I use are salt free and range from Italian seasonings to sage, etc.  Whatever my taste is at the time.  I bag them in plastic bags and they keep forever.  

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

What Not to Add to Your Salad! #1 Bacon

I found this on VeryWell.Com

Dieters often choose salad as a meal option because they think it will help them to lose weight. But many times the salad that they make at home or that they order in a restaurant is full of fat and calories. The result is that they gain weight instead.

If you want to slim down faster, avoid these ten unhealthy salad ingredients. While they are popular ingredients in many salads, they add very little nutritional value to your meal. Instead, they fill your salad bowl full of needless fat grams and useless calories. 

#1 - Bacon

The bacon loaded on top of your favorite weight loss salad might add a whopping 400 calories and 30 grams of fat to the total nutrition. Of course, the number will depend on how much bacon is added. But bacon on any salad is bound to boost the fat and calorie count through the roof.

So are bacon-style toppings any better? Not really. Many processed bacon (flavored) bits aren't really made out of meat, so they provide no nutritional benefit. In fact, some contain a mixture of trans fat, salt and, believe it or not, sugar!  So skip the salty, fatty toppings and add crunch and flavor with savory vegetables like radishes or peppers.

Comment:  I do love bacon on my salad.  I've tried the imitation bacon but they just won't cut it. I don't add a lot of bacon, just enough for the flavor.  I've tried turkey bacon and the flavor is there as well as the texture so, I checked into Turkey bacon vs pork bacon.  This is what I found.

Turkey bacon has slightly fewer calories and less fat than regular bacon. A 2-ounce portion of cooked pork bacon contains 268 calories, while an equivalent serving of cooked turkey bacon has 218 calories. They both have beneficial protein -- 20 grams per serving of pork bacon, or 17 grams for turkey bacon -- which supports hormone production and helps you maintain or repair healthy tissue. Both types of bacon also come packed with fat. A 2-ounce portion of pork bacon contains 20 grams of total fat, while an equivalent serving of turkey bacon contains 16 grams of fat.

With no more bacon than I actually add I think I'll try to add my bacon, decreasing the portion with each salad until its no longer needed.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Broccoli Cheese Soup

3 Tbsp. Butter
3 Tbsp. Onion
3 Tbsp. flour
14.50 fluid ounce, Chicken Broth
1 cup 2% Milk  
½ cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
10 oz. pkg, Broccoli, frozen, chopped, drained

Melt butter in a saucepan on medium-high heat.  Add onions.  Cook 3-5 minutes or until crispy tender, stirring frequently.  Wisk in flour until blended.  Add broth, milk and broccoli.  Cook on medium heat until broccoli is tender.  Remove from heat and stir in cheese.

Comment:  This soup is simply delicious!  It is almost equal in carbs and protein but the carbs are low enough that you could add maybe some chicken salad and have a delicious meal.  As for cost, cheap.  The broccoli was around $1.00.  The cheese is $2.00 for a 2 cup package so using only 1/2 cup brought the cost down to about $.50.  The broth was $1.29 and the butter, onions, milk and flour are items I always have on hand so I'll give them an estimate of maybe $1.00 and that is estimating high.  Total estimated cost per serving is under $.80.  Not bad!

Nutrition Facts
Servings 5.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 170
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10 g
16 %
Saturated Fat 5 g
25 %
Monounsaturated Fat 2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 34 mg
11 %
Sodium 190 mg
8 %
Potassium 178 mg
5 %
Total Carbohydrate 9 g
3 %
Dietary Fiber 2 g
7 %
Sugars 3 g
Protein 8 g
16 %
Vitamin A
17 %
Vitamin C
39 %
17 %
3 %

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Don't Do's When Dieting


1.  Stockpile treats at home, in your car or in your desk at the office.

This is one that is hard for me.  I spend 2 hrs. a week at the nursing home and always take my friend, who is a patient, a treat as well as treats to the staff.  So, whenever shopping I spot items on sale that I'm not supposed to eat myself but know they would like so yes, I stockpile them, making them tempting for me.  This is when my will power really has to kick in.

2.  Eat faster than others at the table with you.

Another problem for me.  I've always eaten in a hurry and have carried it on into my older years.  I don't like idle time and eating seems to be just that so I finish my meals asap so I can go on to something more productive.  And 90% of the time I'm the 1st to finish.  As they say - 'drink your food' which means, eat slow and chew your food until it's mush.  I'm trying to teach myself to do this and to put my fork down after each bite.

3.  Snack off and on all day instead of eating only at regular times.

I've actually just about made it through this one.  In the past I had the habit of walking into the kitchen, spotting something that looks good and giving in to the temptation.  Now I can actually walk by, most of the time.

4.  Comfort yourself with food whenever you're angry, depressed, worried or bored - or reward yourself with food when things go well. 

I fall into this in different ways.  If I'm angry or bored, I do want to eat.  If I'm depressed or worried, I don't want to eat.  If I stayed depressed or worried all the time I would be skinny.  Thankfully I don't get these feelings very often.  Now for the angry and boredom, I'm still working on those.  I've been lucky with rewarding myself with food.  Never have had that connection.

5.  Sample everything you're cooking.

I fit this one 100%, BUT - when I sample my foods I normally don't want to eat the meal.  I sample lightly, just enough to make sure the food is flavored the way I want so I'm not eating as much as a healthy portion but am getting full.  I don't feel too bad about this unless I'm cooking something for someone else and the dishes aren't low carb or they just happen to be desserts.  That is when I'm really in trouble.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

'Roast' Beef Pita Sandwich

1 lb. beef (roast, etc. - not ground)
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 Green Bell Pepper
4 Pita, Flax, Oat Bran & Whole Wheat Pita Bread (I use Joseph's)
1/2 cup Creamy Spinach Dip (I used Tostitos)

I used a package of boneless beef ribs, which I had never used before but found it on sale so decided to give it a try.  I cooked the meat in my slow cooker (not crock pot but I’m sure you could adjust to it).  When the meat was tender and falling apart.  The onions and peppers I sauted in a frying pan. I added this to the beef and let it slow cook on low for about 30 minutes.  To make the sandwiches I sliced the pita in half, spread some of the spinach dip on one side of the pita and then added the beef.  Serves 4

Comment:  As I said, I’ve never used boneless beef ribs before but they were on mark-down sale with the sale by date being 2 days away.  The cost - $4.30 for just over a pound.  I noticed the meat was lean, with very little fat, making me decide to use it in place of a higher price roast cuts.  Great decision!  I keep chopped onions and bell peppers in the freezer so they took no time and just pennies in cost.  The Joseph’s pita bread is some I found on sale at Walmart that when I read the nutritional info I couldn’t turn it down.  I bought a package of 6 for $1.36.  And the spinach dip’s price was on sale for $2.99.  I used about 1/3 of the spinach dip making the cost around $1.00.  This gives this an approximate cost of $1.70 per serving.  Not bad.

The taste of this dish was wonderful!  The spinach dip gave it a delicious change from the traditional mayo.  And for me, half a sandwich was plenty (the picture above is for a half sandwich cut in half so they are rather large).  You can even add a little cheese if you want and still stay within your calorie, protein, carb limits. 

Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 256
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10 g 15 %
Saturated Fat 0 g 0 %
Monounsaturated Fat 2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 4 mg 1 %
Sodium 411 mg 17 %
Potassium 52 mg 1 %
Total Carbohydrate 11 g 4 %
Dietary Fiber 4 g 17 %
Sugars 1 g
Protein 30 g 61 %
Vitamin A 3 %
Vitamin C 55 %
Calcium 10 %
Iron 5 %