Sunday, January 30, 2011

Three Bean Chili

For the first time, I have successfully met my 5 workout/week goal.  I have finally kicked whatever cold bug I had and I'm really hoping to be down at least a pound when I weigh in tomorrow morning.  Once I get into calorie counting and working out I become almost obsessed with it, and I'm getting to that point.  When you keep track of every single morsel of food that enters your mouth, it really puts things into perspective and how much you used to mindlessly eat.  I'm hoping that I'm even more successful this time around because we hardly ever go out to eat anymore, so I'm forced to cook almost every night.  Before we had Redmond, we would eat out at least twice a week....but now we don't want to take him out if we don't have to, especially during the Michigan winter.  And, it's a lot more work now to run to the gas station to get a bag of Cheetos and a Little Debbie snack cake :)

So, speaking of food, onto today's recipe.  During the winter I make chili at least twice a month - it's so easy, yummy, spicy and warm.  We love it!

Three Bean Vegetarian Chili:
About 8 (large) servings
  • 1 can (30.5oz) Brooks Chili Hot Beans, undrained
  • 1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 can great northern beans, drained & rinsed
  • 2 cans (14.5oz) no salt added diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (14.5oz) diced tomatoes w/ chiles
  • 2 medium green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tbsp Cumin
  • Salt
  • Pepper
1. Combine all ingredients into 4-5 quart crock pot, add seasonings to taste and cook on low for 8-9 hours. 

I don't measure any of the seasonings, so the measurements are kind of an estimate.  And of course, it's even better with cheese:


We're supposed to get hit with a huge snowstorm starting tomorrow evening through Wednesday.  Thankfully I got all of the grocery shopping done today and have our menu figured out for the week....or at least the main dishes.  Stay tuned for:
  • Stuffed Poblanos
  • Peanut Butter Noodles
  • French Onion Soup (vegetarian, of course)
  • Au Gratin Potatoes
  • Creamy Pasta with Spinach
Can't wait for dinner!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Crock Pot Vegetable Minestrone

This is such a great recipe and it only takes about 15-20 minutes to get it going in the crock pot.  Very low in fat and calories too which is always a plus!

Crock Pot Vegetable Minestrone:
12 servings
  • 4 tsp vegetable bouillon dissolved into 4 cups warm water
  • 4 cups no salt added tomato juice
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1 can (14.5oz) no salt added diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (14.5oz) no salt added diced tomatoes w/ garlic, basil & garlic
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1-2 Parmesan rinds* (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cup (6oz) multigrain rotini
  1. Combine all ingredients except rotini into a 4-5 quart slow cooker.
  2. Cook on low 7-8 hours or until vegetables are cooked.
  3. Stir in pasta and cook on high for 15-20 minutes or until pasta is cooked.  Top each serving with parmesan cheese, if desired.
Nutritional Info:
Cal 104, Fat .3g, Sodium 518mg, Carbs 22g, Fiber 4g, Protein 4g

*I save all of my Parmesan rinds in the freezer.  They make a great addition to soups and stews - just add them in and remove them before serving!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

"Healthified" Linguine Alfredo

We had a good, busy weekend.  Friday night we went out for Mexican with my BFF, her hubby and some other people.  Before Redmond, that was a Friday night tradition....that was the first time we'd been back there since he's been born.  Of course it has to be the week that I finally buckled down on my diet.  Oh well, it was good to be back.  Good friends, good food,  good times :)  Saturday we packed up and headed to Ohio to my cousin's wedding.  It was great to see my family and have them meet Redmond.  The wedding was fun and my cousin was absolutely gorgeous!  I just love weddings. diet kind of went down the tubes this weekend through no fault but my own.  But, I did make a fairly healthy dinner tonight.  It's another Eat Better America recipe...well, kind of.  It's my take on their "Healthified" Fettuccine Alfredo.  I've made a couple of adjustments but it's basically the same recipe.  The main difference is that I use whole wheat linguine, while they use regular fettuccine.  I couldn't find whole wheat fettuccine or I would use that.

Linguine Alfredo:
Serves 4
  • 8 oz uncooked whole wheat linguine
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • black pepper
  • cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 2 oz 1/3 less-fat cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • steamed veggies (optional)
  • fresh parsley (optional)
  1. Cook linguine as directed on package.  Drain and keep warm
  2. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, stir milk, flour, salt, black pepper and cayenne with wire whisk until smooth. In 2-quart saucepan melt butter over medium-low heat. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly (do not burn). With wire whisk, stir milk mixture into butter in saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes or until mixture thickens & boils.
  3. Stir in cream cheese until melted. Stir in Parmesan cheese until melted. Pour over linguine and steamed veggies (if using); toss to coat. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Nutritional Info (not including any added veggies): Cal 303, Fat 10g, Chol 27, Sodium 237, Carbs 46, Fiber 6g, Protein 12g

Jason says "It's like fine dining at home." :)

This alfredo definitely isn't as creamy as regular alfredo, and does get kind of thick quickly, but it is still pretty darn tasty.  I really like it with broccoli (I just chop it up and throw it in with the pasta to cook it), but I forgot to pick some up at the store.  I had a bag of frozen corn, carrots & broccoli so I picked all the carrots and broccoli out of that and added it in tonight.  Of course it would be good with chicken too, I'm sure.

That's all I have for tonight....gonna go snuggle with my baby boy and make up my menu and grocery list for the week.  Tomorrow is my first official weigh-in day - wish me luck!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cheesy Broccoli Potato Chowder

This recipe is from one of my favorite recipe sites, Eat Better America.  They "healthify" everyday recipes and make them just as tasty, but much better for you  (the "healthified" mac & cheese is one of Jason's faves). 

"It's a cheesy broccoli soup that actually fills you up", according to Jason :)

"Healthified" Cheesy Potato Chowder:
  • 2lbs (about 6-7 medium) red potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 32 oz vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 bag (12 oz) Green Giant® Valley Fresh Steamers™ frozen broccoli cuts
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup fat free milk
  • 8 oz brick 2% cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup fat free sour cream (I used reduced fat)
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  1. In 5-quart Dutch oven, place potatoes; add just enough water to cover. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are very tender. Drain. Reserve 1 cup potatoes; return remaining potatoes to saucepan. In small bowl, mash reserved potatoes with fork; return to saucepan.
  2. Stir in broth, salt and pepper. Heat to boiling. Add broccoli. Return to boiling; cook uncovered 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium.
  3. In small bowl with wire whisk, stir flour into milk until well mixed. Add milk mixture to potato mixture, stirring constantly. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens and boils. Stir in cheese until melted and smooth. Stir in sour cream and green onions; cook until thoroughly heated.
  4. Serve and enjoy!
Both Jason and I really enjoyed this soup, I served it with onion dill crusty bread.  Very hearty and very filling.  I'm sure it would be really good with diced ham or bacon too.....if you're into that kind of thing :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Homemade Pot Pies

C is for Chicken, V is for Veggies!

This recipe is so simple and so easy.  I can't believe that I ever ate those frozen pot mom wouldn't let us eat them growing up so those, like many other processed "bad for you" foods, I ate a lot of them in college.  I have made this recipe before, but had left it vegetarian.  Today was my husband's lucky day - I made one for me with just veggies and one for him with chicken.

  • 6 cups of whatever veggies you choose - can be fresh or frozen - diced.  I used fresh potatoes, carrots & onions and frozen green beans, peas & corn. 
    • Onions
    • Carrots
    • Celery
    • Bell Pepper
    • Potatoes
    • Leeks
    • Peas
    • Corn
    • Green Beans
    • Spinach
    • Tomato
    • Zucchini
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3-4 cups warm veggie stock
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 t salt
  • black pepper
  • pie crust, either homemade or store bought
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Melt butter in heavy stock pot and add any fresh veggies you are using and cook until almost tender.  Add any frozen veggies and garlic clove and cook until heated through.
  3. Sprinkle flour on top and combine, stirring for 2 minutes.
  4. Gradually add the warm liquid, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens.
  5. Add thyme and parsley and continue cooking until all of the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in salt and pepper, then transfer vegetables to a 2 quart casserole dish or, if making two pot pies, to two pie pans.
  6. Top pie with pie crust, sealing the edges and putting vents in the top.  Top with egg wash, if desired.
  7. Bake for 20-30 minutes until crust is golden and filling is bubbly.
  8. Enjoy!
Unfortunately, I'm feeling a little under the weather today, so I didn't have much of an appetite.  My husband on the other hand did....
I can hear him in the kitchen right now eating out of the pan :)