Veggie, Cheesy, De-LITEFUL Lasagna!

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 (14.5 oz) cans Italian diced tomatoes, drained
Optional: zucchini or squash diced
1/4 cup tomato sauce
5 basil leaves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup fat free ricotta cheese
1/2 cup low fat mozzarella cheese
3 tablespoons low fat Parmesan cheese

About 6 lasagna noodles, cooked. (I used spinach ones I got at the health food store)

2 tablespoons parsley for garnish at end (dried or fresh)

Directions:

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until softened, or longer if you want more carmalized: 5-15 minutes. Add garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant, about one minute. Add in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, salt and pepper. Cook mixture until it thickens up a bit, around 5 minutes.

Cook noodles while browning onions as directed. (Big pot of boiling water)

Heat oven to 375

Layer sauce, noodles, cheese, sauce, noodles, cheese, sauce… Top with parm. Place in oven (uncovered) and bake for 35 minutes (until things start bubbling up hot!)

Douse with parsley.

Serve.

This made us dinner for TWO nights – a great big HUGE hunk, too. When I put the recipe into WW Points Plus, it came to 7pts for each serving (serves 4).

Recipe: Apple Cinnamon Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats

Let me tell you the many ways I love Steel Cut Oats! They are amazing. If you don’t know what they are… here we go. They are the original, un-processed form of OATMEAL. Instead of being rolled, crushed, flattened and dried, they are beautiful little nuggets. And because they are less-processed, they stay with you longer! Now, I have never really loved oatmeal. Sure, give me a packet of Quaker Instant Oats with Maple/Brown Sugar (and add a scoop of brown sugar..), and I’ll gobble it down. But, I may as well have eaten a Snickers bar, really. Steel Cut Oats now, these are entirely different. They have FLAVOR and TEXTURE! I love their nuttiness, and the nice little nugget they are.

Lately I have been making a pot of SCO each Sunday, and packing up portions for the morning. Works great. But, I found this recipe for using the Slow Cooker I couldnt pass up. I was running out of time in the evening to make a pot, so this was perfect, and really – tons faster and easier!

So, here we go….

INGREDIENTS:

2-3 Apples of your choice. Cored, and chopped up into 1/2ish chunks. About 3 cups worth. You can peel also, if you wish. This is the part that takes the longest of this whole receipe.

2 cups Milk – use any kind of milk here you want. Skim, whole, almond, coconut… Personally, I used coconut because I had an overabundance of it.

2 cups water.

2 packets of Truvia, or similar sugar substitue (stevia based) – or, if you are wild & crazy, use 2 TB brown sugar.

1 TB Chia seeds. OK, this is optional. But I really love my chia seeds.

1/2 tsp Cinammon (or more!)

1/4 tsp salt (or less!)

1 cup uncooked steel cut oats!

p.s. I added 1 mashed up banana. Optional.

DIRECTIONS:

Mix all of the above into a bowl.

Spray your crock pot with cooking spray. This is Very Important. You will probably still have some sticking, but it helps.

Toss everything into crock pot.

Cover & cook on low for 7 hours.

Awakend to a wonderful breakfast made just for you! I typically top with some nuts and maybe an extra splash of milk.

I portion out the oats into about 1 cup portions and toss in the fridge. Then in the morning the rest of the week – a little splash of milk and a couple minutes in the micro and I have a wonderful, totally healthy breakfast.

TRY IT!

Recipe: Carmalized Onion Toast

This is based off a Tapas plate we get at Sangria in Sarasota. We have recently discovered it, and it is super yum.

Ingredients:
1 sweet onion
Olive oil
Balsamic glaze (optional)
Goat cheese
French bread of some sort, sliced into 6 pieces, about 1/2 inch thick.

Directions:
In a large pan, drizzle 2 tbs olive oil and heat to medium.

Meanwhile, slice up onion into slices. Doesn’t have to be fancy. In fact, you could do a rough chop, too, as they cook down to very little.

Add onion to pan, and stir. Continue to stir periodically, taking care not to but the onions. Heat at medium is good, though I continued to lower the heat. Keep watching and stirring occasionally until onions get all brown and gooey.

I then added a dash of salt and a splash of balsamic glaze… This is optional.

Heat oven to 350, and quickly crisp the sliced bread. Let cool.

Once the bread is cool, layer on some goat cheese, and then top with onions.

The sweet onions with the tang of balsamic and the creamy goat cheese make for a wonderful few bites! A great little appetizer to start off an evening.

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Recipe: Walnut Molasses Pie

This came from Taste of Home years ago, and I hung onto it after making it the first time. So easy to make, but high in calories! Take care with portion size. I made this for work recently, and it got raves!

Ingredients

3 eggs
3/4 cup light corn syrup
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup molasses
1 teaspoon Spice Islands® pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1 unbaked pastry shell (9 inches)

Directions

In a bowl, whisk the eggs, corn syrup, sugar, butter, molasses and vanilla until blended; stir in walnuts. Pour into pastry shell. Cover edges with foil.

Bake at 350° for 25 minutes; remove foil. Bake 12-17 minutes longer or until top of pie is et and crust is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours before cutting. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 slice) equals 537 calories, 30 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 105 mg cholesterol, 242 mg sodium, 63 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 9 g protein.

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Crock Pot Recipe: Turkey Taco Chili

I made this up on my own, though I’m sure there are many similar recipes out there. We are always looking for new ways to make healthy dinners, and ground turkey isn’t our favorite. But, this is super yummy! Also, crock pot anything is my best friend.

Ingredients:

Onion
1 lb. ground lean turkey
Taco seasoning
Can of pinto beans, or any kind
Small can mexican corn
Small can green chilis
Small can chopped black olives
2 cups water
Dash of chili peppers
Dash of salt

Directions:

Chop up 1 onion in big chunks. Put in bottom of crock pot.
Add ground turkey, mixed up
Add the rest of the ingredients.
Add taco seasoning to water, mix, then dump in crock pot

Cover, and cook on low 8 hrs. Salt & pepper to taste.

Stir and enjoy! I added a bit of cheese on my serving, along with a few tortilla chips.

Recipe: Quinoa and Grilled Zucchini

I have recently become a fan of Quinoa. People seem afraid of it, but it is so yummy, and really just as easy to make as rice. I brought this dish to work the other day, and people RAVED about it! I think I’ve turned many onto this awesome grain. Give it a try!

INGREDIENTS:
1 large avocado, ripe
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup lightly packed cilantro

1/4 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 large zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch thick coins
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
couple pinches of fine grain sea salt
2 cups quinoa, cooked, room temperature (1 cup uncooked quinoa)
1/4 cup slivered almonds (or any nut you like…)
1/4 cup feta (or goat or whatever you have on hand…)

DIRECTIONS:
Soak 1 cup uncooked quinoa for 15 minutes. Then rinse for 3 minutes.
On stovetop, mix your 1 cup uncooked quinoa, with 1 ¼ cup water. Bring to boil. Reduce to low, cover, and simmer 35 minutes. (depending on how you like your quinoa, reduce water. I usually use only 1cup, I like mine a little crunchy). Let cool to room temperature.
Blend avocado, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, yogurt, water, and salt in a blender and set aside.
Chop up zucchini into chunks nice sized for grilling. Then toss it with olive oil, garlic and salt. I grilled the zucchini in foil for about 15 minutes.
Mix everything together, and add the nuts & cheese at the end. Enjoy!
Serves 4 to 6.

Recipe: Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

This is amazingly yummy.

Ingredients
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1/4-1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (the amount you use is really up to you. I use as little as possible)

Directions

1. Place vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper into a blender (or use an Emulsion Blender, which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU GET ASAP!).
2. Pulse to combine, then add the olive oil in a steady stream with the motor running.

Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving Calories: 165 | Total Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 0mg
Powered by ESHA Nutrient Database

Recipe: Grilled Coconut Shrimp (Healthy!)

Grilled Coconut Shrimp
Super Delish!
We have made this a couple times and it gets better and better! Highly recommend if you are looking for a coconut shrimp fix, and don’t want that deep fried YUCK.

Ingredients
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 garlic cloves
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro (I go MUCH lighter on this, was too much the 1st time)
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
skewers soaked in water

Directions
1. Combine the jalapeno, lime zest, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, coconut, olive oil, and soy sauce in a food processor; blend until smooth. Place the shrimp in a large bowl. Pour the sauce over the shrimp and toss to coat. Cover and allow to marinate at least 2 hours.
2. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate.
3. Thread the shrimp onto skewers, piercing each shrimp near the head and tail.
4. Cook the skewers on the preheated grill, turning frequently until nicely browned on all sides and the meat is no longer pink in the center, 2 to 3 minutes per side.


Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving Calories: 169 | Total Fat: 10.9g | Cholesterol: 115mgPowered by ESHA Nutrient Database

“Famous” Lemon Chicken Recipe

Lemon Chicken recipe is always a hit with guests, and easy to make.

From Jillian Michaels Master Your Metabolism Cookbook

INGREDIENTS:

1 tsp. lemon zest

Juice of a lemon

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or oregano

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard

2 garlic cloves, minded

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

6 (4 to 5 ounce ) boneless, skinless chicken breast

1/4 pitted kalamata olives, halved (I use capers instead, no chopping involved…)

Olive oil spray for the grill.

To prepare the dressing.. whisk together the lemon zest and juice, the basil, honey, mustard, garlic and salt and pepper. Whisking constantly, add the olive oil in a slow stream. Set aside.

To prepare chicken: It is best to POUND the chicken breasts so they are all the same thickness. I sometimes don’t have time for this and things seem just as tasty but if I can I do it. Other than that, just plac the chicken breasts in a plastic bag, poured the half the dressing over them, and allowed them to marinate for a few hours. Sometimes I only do 30 minutes depending on how much time I have. So 30mins to 3 hours!

If using a gas or charcoal grill, spray the grill with olive oil spray and prepare a medium hot grill.

Discard the marinade and grill the chicken until it is opaque in the center, 5 to 6 minutes per side.

Place the chicken on platter and drizzle with the remaining dressing.

This chicken is AMAZING and we always love it, and guests always want the recipe! Give it a try.

Turkey Meatball Soup

Turkey Meatball Soup (We got two meals out of this)

INGREDIENTS:

1 TBSP. olive oil
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped (I hate celery, I used a dash of celery seed instead)
1 small onion, chopped
2 tsp. fennel seed
1 can petite diced tomatoes
5 cups chicken stock (I used 4 as that is what size I had)
1 lb. ground turkey
Handful of parsley, chopped
1 egg
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese (I used the low fat stuff)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 pinch nutmeg
4 handfuls fresh spinach (I used an entire container of the organic stuff in the plastic bin)
Salt & Pepper to taste
For Spice if you want: a few dashes of Tobasco or Red Pepper Flakes – this is what we did.

1. Heat a large pot to medium heat and add olive oil. Sautee the carrots, celery, onion, and fennel seed until onion is a light golden brown. Add the diced tomatoes and chicken stock, then turn up the heat and bring the soup to a slow boil.

2. While the stock is coming to a boil, mix ground turkey, egg, parmesan cheese, garlic, and nutmeg together. Roll into about 20 balls and drop into the soup – a note here: I would roll them into much smaller balls. It is a little boring, but I wound up chopping the meatballs into quarters as I ate it.

Wait until you have all the meatballs rolled out before you drop them into the soup and try to add them all quickly so they all cook at the same rate. Cook the meatballs in the soup while it simmers for about 10-15 minutes. Add the spinach and cook for an additional 10 minutes!

It will smell, and TASTE amazing, and best part is super low in calories carbs and high in protein!

Nutrition: 256 calories, 26 g protein, 11 g carbs, 12 g fat, 4 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 832 mg sodium

Adapted from Muscle and Fitness Hers magazine, and given to me by Sara B.!

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