Friday, July 31, 2009

Fabulous Fajitas!

These were SO easy and good. You can whip these up in no time and your family will think you are a superstar!

Easy Fajitas
1 lb steak
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 red pepper sliced thin
1 green pepper sliced thin
1/2 large onion sliced thin
1 tbl lime juice
1/2 tbl canola oil
Sprinkle about 1/3 of the envelope of taco seasoning on the steak both sides and rub it in good.
Sprinkle 1 tbl of the seasoning and 1 tbl of lime juice onto the cut up veggies and mix well. (You'll have about 1/2 an envelope of seasoning left. Just stick it in a ziploc and keep for another recipe or throw in with your chili next time you make it!)
Grill or broil the steak about 5 minutes each side and let set to partially cool. (This allows the juices to stay in the meat and not come out when you cut it)
Put the canola oil in a fry pan over med-high heat and add veggies. Cook until tender. If all your spices stick to the bottom, just add a small amt of water to deglaze that off the bottom.
Thinly slice steak. Serve with veggies, low carb tortillas (I like Mission brand), cheese, sour cream, salsa... whatever. These were really good and EASY!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Peanut Butter and Chocolate...

*** Just wanted to edit this to say - this recipe won me the contest and some great goodies from Kay's Natural! ***
So, I made and submitted this recipe for the Kay's Naturals contest. It's really good and FILLING... argh... should have just had 1/2 a peice.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Pretzel Desert

3 bags (1.5oz) Kays Cinnamon Pretzel Sticks
3 tbl butter
1/2 cup grain sweetened chocolate chips (or sugar free)

8 oz light cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granular sweetner (like Splenda)
1/2 cup unsweetened, natural peanut butter
2 tbl sugar free caramel sauce
4oz sugar free whipped topping

4oz sugar free whipped topping

Coarsley crush the Kay's pretzels and melt butter. Mix together and press into the bottom of an 8x8 casserole and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. As soon as you get the crust out of the oven, evenly sprinkle the chocolate chips over the bottom. Cover with foil and let chips melt. Spread them over the bottom with a spatuala. (it's OK if it's not even or pretty) Set aside to cool.

With a mixer, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, sweetner and caramel until fluffy. Fold in the whipped topping (this is half of an 8oz container). Spread over cooled crust. Top with remaining whipped topping and chill.

Cut into 12 peices.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

There are some fabulous bakers out there!

One of them is Lauren over at Healthy Indulgences.
She has a yellow cake recipe with beans I've been wanting to try forever. Well, yesterday was the day. This cake was moist, flavorful and everything you would want in a cake - Oh ya, also gluten free, sugar free and no white flour!

The recipe is here. I actually didnt tweak this too much. I just used liquid sucralose (Fiberfit) instead of stevia and didnt make cupcakes, since the my cupcake pan doesnt fit in my countertop oven and it was too hot to turn the big oven on.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

When Shrimp Attack...

Made a quick meal 3 out of 4 of us enjoyed. DD won't even think about eating shrimp. Oh well, more for us.

What you see are just sliced cucumbers (from our garden, of course), green beans (from the same soil as the cukes) and shrimp scampi.

The shrimp was made from this recipe - - however, I cut WAAAYYY Y down on butter/oil. It was still tasty.

Beans were simmered in some water until tender/crisp. I then added seasoning salt and real bacon bits and simmered a little longer. We gobbled these up.

Cukes are just sliced with low fat Italian dressing - boring, but good!

Hope you are all enjoying the bounty of your gardens! I love this time of year.

Not creative - but good!

So, we were planning on going out to eat, but then didn't feel like packing the kids up. Now I needed dinner on the go. In the old days, that would have meant calling up for pizza delivery or putting some chicken nuggets and fries in the oven. Well, with a semi-stocked pantry and freezer, I knew I could do better.

This is my "go to" meal when I'm too tired to cook. It just involves opening cans. There are so many versions of this on the internet, but really it will work with whatever you have in your cupboard.

~Mexican Skillet Chicken and Beans~

Cooked chicken (shredded, diced or even canned)

Can of diced tomatoes (mine were plain, but Rotel would give it a kick)

1/2 jar of salsa or picante sauce or taco sauce

Can of drained and rinsed beans (Black, kidney, pinto)

Toppings - shredded lettuce, cheese, sour cream (or plain yogurt), cilantro, guacamole

Put everything in the skillet and simmer on low until well incorporated. If you have a lot of chicken like I did, this will be more of a casserole. With less chicken, it will be more of a stew. You can serve over rice, if that's what you like or roll it up in a tortilla.

So quick and good. Leftovers today for lunch!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Quick, Healthy Dinner

Last night I needed a quick dinner. I had a whole bag of frozen tilapia fillets in the freezer, so did a quick thaw and perused for some recipes. I came up with this mish mash of several I found on there. It got thumbs up from ALL the family - even the kids. (yes, I hit my head on the counter when I fainted). The little salad you see is cucumber, tomato and basil from my garden with a simple white wine vinaigrette. (1tbl white wine, 2 tbl vinegar, 2 tbl olive oil and a bit of splenda).

~Pecan Coated Tilapia~

5 tilapia fillets

3 oz ground pecans (This ended up being about 2/3 cup after I put the pecans in the blender)

1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper (my pepper is very spicy, so you might want to use more depending on your spice)

Salt to taste

1 egg

1 tbl skim milk

Heat oven to 425

In a shallow bowl whisk egg and milk. In another shallow bowl mix pecans, panko crumbs, cayenne and salt. Coat the fish in the egg wash and then in the pecan mixture. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining fish. Bake for 20 minutes.

The fish was very moist and tender. I think adding some Parmesan to the coating would be really good and I'll try that next time. Leaving out the cayenne and maybe using Italian spices...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Berry Tasty Dessert

~Berry Bake~

This is somewhere between a crisp and a cobbler. You can call it what you want. My family called it YUMMY!

2 cups frozen berries (hey use fresh if ya have em)
1/4 cup granular splenda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup Quaker Oats
1/4 cup ground flax
1/4 cup spelt flour (use whole wheat, it's OK)
1/4 cup unsweetened ground coconut
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/4 cup flavored syrup (I used DaVinci French Vanilla)
2 packets Splenda (Cuz I like things sweet)
In a small baking dish combine berries, granular splenda and cinnamon. In a bowl combine dry ingredients. Beat egg and syrup and add to the dry ingredients. Spread this mixture over the berries and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes until top is browned.
This is best if you let it set for 1/2 hour or more. The juice from the berries gets into the top crust and it is yummy. Serve with SF ice cream, some milk over top, whipped cream or eat alone. It's all good!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Cheesy Low Carb Fancy Chicken

This is an adaptation of a recipe I found on RecipeZaar (Recipe #347196 if you're interested).
It's probably one of my hubby's favorites. The sauce is not very thick. If you wanted a thick sauce, adding some cornstarch or flour would do that nicely. This seems like a "fancy" dish, but whips up pretty quickly. I served it with some mixed vegetables and a berry dessert. (Recipe tomorrow)
I used about 5 small chicken breast halves.
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
2 tbl olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup shredded mozzerella cheese
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesean
1 triangle of Laughing cow light swiss cheese.
Directions: In a skillet on med/high heat, brown chicken breasts on both sides in one tbl of olive oil. Transfer chicken to baking dish. Turn heat to medium and use the remaining olive oil and cook onions until transluscent and then add garlic and saute until tender. Deglaze the pan with the wine. (this just means you add the wine and scrape up all the chicken bits from the bottom of the pan) Add the chicken broth and bring heat up to simmer. Add the laughing cow in small cut up bits and stir until melted. Add the mushrooms and continue to simmer. Once mushrooms are softened, place mixture on the chicken breasts and cover with cheeses.
Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Chicken should be cooked through and cheese should be melted.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Protein and Zucchini??

Yep, I'm going there. I made some protein bars and used up some zucchini. I took these little darlin's on vacation with me and they made a great breakfast every morning.

~Zucchini Bread Protein Bars~

1/2 cup of each of the following:
*Oats blended to a "flour" (used my blender and some Quaker Oats)
*Ground Almonds (Almond flour/Almond meal are the same thing)
*Ground Golden flax (use the golden if you have it - they'll look nicer and it has a milder taste)
3 scoops vanilla protein powder
1/2 cup soy flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar free vanilla syrup like Torani or Davinci
1/2 cup sugar free pancake syrup (I used cheap WalMart brand)
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 tsp vanilla
Mix dry ingredients and set aside. In separate bowl, beat egg with remainder of ingredients. Add wet to dry and mix. This looks like a big sticky blob. It is not nice smooth cake batter.

Spray a 8x8 cake pan VERY well with Pam. (You can also use parchment paper). Add the dough to the pan and smooth it out. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes. Bake until the sides just start to brown. Dont overbake.

Cool on baking rack and cut into 9 squares. I store them in a big ziploc in the fridge after they are completely cooled. I think they stay more moist this way.

I did not have to use oil w/ this recipe. These bars were VERY moist.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

MIA - For good reason!

Sorry I've been MIA - promise more recipes to come. But dontcha' think this is a good reason for the absence! I love VACATION!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Apple Zucchini Pancakes

OK, I told you I was working on combo-ing these together. These turned out like a little bite of apple pie... Seriously.

The pancakes are a bit stubborn to flip. If you are a cottage cheese pancake maker, you'll do fine. If not - listen up - make these fairly small. Cook them LOW and SLOW. Don't be adverse to some butter or canola oil in the pan. Don't expect them to be crispy little hash browns.

OK - on to the recipe.

2 cups shredded zucchini (peel it if you are trying to hide it from the kids or juvenile adults) Put zucchini in colander to drain a bit while you are assembling your ingredients to get out the extra moisture.
1 cup shredded tart apple
4 tbl Splenda granular
1 tsp cinnamon
dash of pumpkin or apple pie spice
1 egg
2 tbl spelt flour (or white, whole wheat, coconut flour - whatever your preference)
2 tbl ground flax (this keeps getting healthier and healthier :) )

Mix all together and let sit for a few minutes to thicken up. In a skillet melt a bit of butter or canola oil. Over a medium low heat (I use 3 on a scale of 10 on my stove. Now if your stove goes up to 11... well then I guess your out of luck!) cook them until browned and CAREFULLY flip.

Transfer to a plate and let cool a bit. They do become a bit firmer after sitting a few minutes. I then put SF caramel on mine!

These definitely passed the taste test for my 15 year old and he got zucchini and flax in a dessert! Yea me!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The oven is cold today... sorry

The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while Nature cures the disease -Voltaire

No cooking today. I have a BIG test tomorrow. I thought this quote was quit appropriate since my test is in the medical field. I wonder what they would think if I just wrote this on the front of the test and left? Ya, probably wouldn't appreciate it. Oh well - back to the grind.

I promise more recipes to come. I am working on something (in my mind) to use up the rest of the zucchini's and apples. Sounds good, right?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Zucchini and Squash out the Ying Yang!

What is a ying yang? 0.O
Anyway, I have some gorgeous early summer squash and zucchini my wonderful uncle gave to me out of his garden. This is a recipe I developed last summer and my kids LURV it! If you can get your children (either of the juvenile or adult nature) to try it, I promise they will come back for seconds! This is easily baking in your oven while you grill. I love using my countertop convection oven so it doesnt heat up the kitchen.

This recipe is stored with a lot of my others at . I enter most my recipes here to get the nutritional information.

Have a super day!

Baked Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

Nutritional Info
Fat: 1.5g
Carbohydrates: 6.5g
Calories: 49.4
Protein: 2.5g

20 zucchini slices (This was about 3/4 of a very large zucchini)
1/3 cup liquid egg substitute (or one whole egg and one egg white)
2 Tbs Miracle Whip Light
1/4 cup grated Parmesan (I'm not usually a food snob, but please dont use the canned stuff, it won't melt up and get nice and cheesy like fresh)
1 cup Panko Bread crumbs (much better than regular bread crumbs... trust me on this)
1.5 tsp seasoning salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a large cooking sheet with nonstick sprayMix the egg substitute and the the miracle whip until creamy. Add a tsp or so of water to thin it out a bit. Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Dip zucchini in egg mixture, then into the crumb mixture, place on cookie sheet until all gone. Bake about 8 minutes (until brown on bottom), flip and bake another 5 minutes or so.These are very savory and cheesy. We love them!
Number of Servings: 15

Monday, July 6, 2009

More Chocolate!

I have tweaked many, many recipes. I think this is one of my favorites. My friend Vicky loves this recipe as well. So in honor of her being the very FIRST follower on my blog, I thought I'd post this recipe for you all. Thanks Vicky and HUGS! For all you pumpkin haters, I promise you can't taste it in here.

Chocolate Flax Muffins
Nutritional Info
Fat: 9.9g
Carbohydrates: 6.4g
Calories: 134.7
Protein: 7.6g


1/3 cup ground almonds
2/3 cup ground flax seed (flax meal)
1/3 cup splenda granular
1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I use Max protein from GNC)
2 tsp baking powder
1 square unsweetened baking chocolate
1 Tbl powdered milk
3 eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not flavored/spiced for pies)
1/4 cup sugar free syrup (I use DaVinci French Vanilla)
1 TBL plus 1 tsp oil


Mix the flax, almond, baking powder, splenda and chocolate protein powder and set aside.In a bowl large enough to accomodate the remaining ingredients (ie, larger than a cereal bowl), place the baking chocolate and melt SLOWLY in the microwave. Stir and break up every 10 seconds (Dont burn the chocolate). Once almost melted, stir vigorously to complete the melting. Add in the powdered milk. Add in one of the eggs and stir, stir, stir until it's incorporated. It will eventually incorporate, be patient. Then add remaining eggs until smooth. Stir in pumpkin, oil and syrup. Add the wet to dry and stir well. Let batter sit for 5 minutes and put into silicone muffin tins or spray with nonstick spray. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until the top is firm to touch. Makes 9 muffins.

Fruits of my Labor...

The apples were very tart because they were so early. The dumplings turned out OK. DH loved them because of the tartness. However, Mrs. Sweet-tooth (guilty) found them not sweet enough. The apple butter I do like. It almost reminds me of rhubarb because of the tartness. I'll be putting this on my cottage cheese for lunch. YUM!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Apples and lots of em'

Well, I have to do something with my apples today. I'm going to make some dumplings using low fat Pilsbury crescent rolls, splenda and brown sugar. I'll make a sauce with SF Smuckers Caramel sauce to go over them.

The rest will go into the crockpot for apple butter.

Basic recipe for apple butter
Apples - cut and peeled
Optional spices - nutmeg, allspice, cloves

Put all this in your crock and cook for 10 or more hours. Dont take the lid off. About halfway through, smoosh 'em real good. Otherwise try to resist peaking. Did you know you lose 30 minutes of cooking time everytime you take the lid off your slow cooker?

I have seen a few recipes that add vinegar. I have never used this and not sure what it contributes. My apple butter always turns out good without it.

I also like to use some sugar free cinnamon syrup (DaVinci brand) to give it a little more "hot cinnamon" taste. Like those little cinnamon red hot candies. Remember those?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

For those who have served and are still serving and to the families that support them....


We have a pretty uneventful 4th.Scored 10 lbs of apples for 5 bucks at our farmers market. Will have to come up with a recipe for these. I wanted to share the dessert recipe I'm taking to a picnic tonight. (No apples in this one :) )

~No Bake Pineapple/Peach Cheesecake~

I wanted to call this Pee-Pee Pie, but thought twice.

1/2 cup almond meal
2 cups sugar free cookies (I used the Joseph's Pecan Shortbread)
1/2 stick of butter, melted
1/4 cup splenda
1 can crushed pineapple (in it's own juice) - juice strained and fruit squeezed dry to within an inch of it's life
-2 8oz packages light cream cheese, softened to room temp
-1/2 cup splenda
-1 sleeve of sugar free instant jello pudding for one (OK, not sure if you need the pudding mix, but I was paranoid it wasnt going to set up, so I threw it in. I'm sure it would be fine without. If you are a confident, self-assured person - leave it out)
-1 16 oz container Cool-Whip (I use sugar free, but there are a million other versions and they all basically have the same stats... not sure if it matters which you use)

Crush cookies in blender and add to rest of crust ingredients. Press into either two pie plates or a flat casserolle. I think a 9 x 11 pan would be too big. The one I used is about 7 x 10. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes and let cool. * you could skip all this and get a graham cracker crust.

With a mixer, blend cream cheese and splenda, add pudding and blend some more. Add pineapple and mix in by hand. Fold in cool whip by hand. Spread onto cooled crust and refrigerate.

IF YOU ARENT FAINT OF HEART and are channelling your inner Martha.... Then you can make the peachy glaze to go on top. You can also stop right here.
Use the juice of the pineapple you drained, heat on stove top with corn starch (start with 1 1/2 tsp and go from there) and some splenda to taste. Bring to a very slow boil, stirring constantly. Sprinkle 1/2 envelope of SF orange jello. When thickened, take off heat and add in some canned cut up peaches. Let cool slightly and put glaze over top the pie. This is really pretty and good.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Kids... Gotta love em!

No reason to post this other than she's so beautiful!

Tweak, tweak... Chocolate cookies!

Chocolate cookies!

As promised, here's the tweak on the 7 ingredient cookie. This is a bit lower carb and makes a nice soft, cake-like chocolate cookie. It is the base of my sugar free brownie sundae. I can also imagine making a filling out of some cream cheese, coolwhip and splenda and having an old fashioned "whoopie pie". Those are actually what I'm reminded of with the texture. Never had a homemade whoopie pie?? - Here ya go!

On to the recipe -

1 egg
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tbls cocoa (I used Hershey's)
dash of salt
2 scoops of chocolate protein powder (uh oh.... franken-food!) (just pick up some at your local health food store or even Walmart - good brands are Matrix, Max Protein, Designer Whey)
1/2 cup Almond Meal (Bob's Red Mill or just put some unroasted almonds in a blender and pulse slowly until they are fine crumbs. Keep pulsing and mixing or you'll get almond butter)
1/2 cup ground flax seeds (easy to find or just grind your own. Bob has these too.)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 - 1/2 cup splenda granular (to taste)

Mix all together and then... LET IT SIT.... clean your junk off the counter. Put your almond meal and flax back in the refrigerator (yes, I want you to store it there). Get out a cookie sheet and spray with non stick or line with parchment, cuz these puppies will stick. Preheat oven to 350. OK, about 5 minutes has passed. NOW you can put them on the cookie sheet. (It takes time for the flax to absorb some of the liquid, so this is why they are sitting)

Take a big spoon and plop little cow paddies onto the cookie sheet. This is runny, it's OK. Dont panic and add... gasp~ flour to them. Bake for 12-15 minutes (check them, b/c cooking time varies depending on how big you make them). Let them cool for a bit on the sheet and then transfer to a rack to cool.

Have fun - I mean it is chocolate. How could you not have fun?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Introducing... ME

I'm not a writer and I'm not pretending to be one in either real life or cyber space. I just wanted a place to put all my kitchen creations, thoughts on family and life and any other disjointed ramblings crossing my mind.

I cook for a family of 4 (soon to be 5) and we try for low carb meals. I'm not opposed to using "franken-food" to accomplish this goal. (Splenda, sugar alcohols in moderation and weird grains and flours) I'll put some of my recipes out here and if you tweak em' or try em' - let me know!

I have lots of thoughts on - pregnancy after age 40, the healthcare system, child rearing, kids with special abilities and other stuff. I may get brave enough to post those some day, but for now it's all about the FOOD!

The first recipe is NOT my own, I have just seen it on various message boards. I'll publish my own tweaks of it later, but for now - here's the original.

7 Ingredient Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup splenda
1 cup oats (not sure if steel cut would work, I've just used rolled oats)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
** OK now is when I'm thinking - "What the heck is the seventh ingredient??????"
1 tsp cinnamon... whew, thought my Alzheimer's was kicking in

Just mix them all together and drop by little mounds onto a cookie sheet with nonstick spray. These will NOT rise or spread out, so you need to mound them up into whatever shape you want them to be. DONT spread them out. They are VERY runny, but they'll stay together.
Bake 350 for 15 minutes. They are VERY cake-like and not chewy at all. BUT at 70 calories a piece, they are great.

My tweak on this was to make them chocolate! Then I put some SF vanilla ice cream and SF chocolate syrup on them and I had myself a brownie sundae. I'll post that recipe later.