Sunday, November 23, 2008

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Honestly, nothing says "fall/winter" like a nice pot of hot soup. It doesn't matter what kind of soup. Perhaps bean soup, chili, or chicken noodle soup. There's nothing more comforting than a bowl of hot soup on a chilly day.

I've already made a few soup dishes this season but have just not had time to post the dinners on the blog. I will in time, not to worry. I will be making some of the recipes again, I am certain. This is my prime soup-making season.

Tonight we are having chicken noodle soup from the crock pot. Chunks of carrots and celery, seasoned with garlic and onion and large egg noodles.....mmmmm.....even the kids eat this!!



  • 3-4 chicken breasts, cut up in small pieces
  • 1 lb bag of baby carrots, diced
  • 6-7 stalks of celery, cut up
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 32 oz of low sodium chicken broth
  • 8 oz bag of whole wheat egg noodles
  • water as needed

Place all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on high for 4-5 hours. Add the egg noodles during the last hour of cooking. Add spices as needed. (I sprinkle in a bit of thyme, garlic powder and parsley).

Serve with crackers and sandwiches.

Easy, no fuss dinner!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Parmesan Chicken and Rice Casserole

Ooooh, this was a fantastic meal!

This past weekend, D and I had some house guests. I wanted to make a nice dinner for them, and set out browsing some of my Cooking Light magazines for a dish that was suitable for their dietary needs due to dieting, cultural and religious reasons.

I found this recipe in the March 2008 issue and decided to give it a go. The recipe called for chicken thighs, but I used skinless, boneless chicken breasts. The magazine offered up nutritional information for the entree itself, but I am not sure how using chicken breasts vs chicken thighs might have altered that content.

In any case, here is the nutritional information for the casserole entree itself:

498 calories
19 grams of fat
38 grams of protein
43 grams of carbs

3 mg of iron

765 mg of sodium
(mine had less because I omitted the salt)

With this entree, we had broiled tomatoes and Green Beans with warm bacon dressing.

The recipe called for regular pork bacon, but I used turkey bacon to accommodate our guests restrictions. It was pretty good and I didn't miss the additional fat the pork bacon would have added to the meal.

The dinner was wonderful.

Dinner Tonight was:
Parmesan Chicken and Rice Casserole

Green Beans with warm Bacon dressing

Broiled Tomatoes

Ingredients for Parmesan Chicken and Rice Casserole

  • 1 cup of chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 (3.5 ounces) boil-in-a-bag brown rice (I actually cooked brown rice instead of using this)
  • 2 lbs chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of thyme
  • 2 cups of fat free, lower sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons of whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Coat with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; saute 2 minutes. Add garlic; saute 30 seconds. Add cooked rice to pan; saute 30 seconds. Spoon rice mixture from skillet into a large casserole dish coated with cooking spray in an even layer.
  3. Arrange chicken breasts in a single layer over rice mixture. Combine broth and cream in bowl; whisk. Pour over chicken and rice mixture. Sprinkle thyme over chicken evenly.
  4. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until chicken is done.

Makes 4 servings

Green Beans in Warm Bacon Dressing Ingredients
  • 1 lb fresh, trimmed green beans
  • 4 strips of bacon
  • 1/4 cup shallots
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

  1. Cook green beans in boiling water for 3 minutes.
  2. Drain.
  3. Cook 4 strips of bacon in skillet over medium heat until crisp.
  4. Remove bacon from pan and crumble
  5. Add shallots to pan drippings; cook for 3 minutes
  6. Add 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar; cook 1 minute (I didn't do this)
  7. Add green beans. Toss to coat
  8. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon.

Broiled Tomatoes
  • 4 tomatoes
  • basil
  • parmesan cheese

  1. Halve the tomatoes
  2. sprinkle with basil and Parmesan
  3. Broil for 2-3 minutes

Monday, September 22, 2008

Chicken, Potato and Lemon Green Beans

Another meal as a family! I absolutely love sitting down to the dinner table as a family with the kids, and I love even more that we are eating more and more healthy foods and teaching the kids that not only is eating as a family important, but eating healthy is too.

We've also started a new "family" activity, and that is taking a walk (1 mile) directly after dinner down our country road. The kids love this, and during times when they may not be here it becomes a nice, quiet and undistracted time for D and I to catch up with one another. The walk is beautiful, and being taken at dusk only enhances the beauty.

However, this is about healthy meals and what we had for dinner tonight was healthy. I am on a new low glycemic index diet, I believe I have mentioned in previous posts. So our dinners here lately will reflect that.

Tonight we had:

Salad with Vegetables and oil/vinegar dressing
Grilled Chicken with herbs
Baked Potato
Lemon Green Beans
Grilled/Broiled Chicken Ingredients
(servings: 1)

  • 1/3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 oz boneless chicken breast

Pre-heat broiler or grill. Rinse and pat chicken dry. Whisk olive oil and spices together in a pie plate; add chicken and coat. If possible, cover and marinate in fridge for 30 minutes. Grill or broil chicken for 5-7 minutes, then turn and cook an additional 5-6 minutes or until inside is no longer pink. Serve.

Baked Potato

  • 1 small potato

Scrub potato and prick with fork. Bake in 375 degrees for 50 minutes.


Lemon Green Beans

  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • 1/3 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

Microwave or steam green beans according to package directions.

Drain thoroughly.

Toss with lemon juice and oil; sprinkle with oregano.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Steak Dinner

Mmmmm.....last night we had steak. It was a small portion, and the loin cut and broiled so it was a nice treat. We don't cook steak all that often.

This was indeed a night where I cooked something different for the kids. Easy and likable kid food, like corn dogs. Steak, broccoli and rice just wasn't something they would eat.

So, on the menu last night was:

Broiled Steak
Brown Rice
Steamed Broccoli
Fresh Strawberries

All ingredient measurements are for 1 serving, so multiply that as you need for however many you are feeding.

Steak Ingredients

4 oz beef steak, loin cut

Grill or broil steak for about 4-6 minutes on each side for medium or cook to desired doneness.

(Boy that was easy!)

Brown Rice

2/3 cup of brown rice
1 1/3 cup of water

Cook rice according to package directions. Usually, this means you place the rice and water in a saucepan, bring it to a boil, lower the heat, then cover and simmer for about 45 minutes.

Steamed Broccoli
(I used fresh broccoli and steamed it in my steamer)

1 cup of frozen broccoli
1 teaspoon Parmesan Cheese

Place broccoli in microwave safe bowl, cover and microwave for about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve.

Bon appetit!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Chicken, Sweet Potato and Spinach Salad

You got it! Another family dinner around the table for four of us here at my house. And Mom is following a Low Glycemic Index Diet, which means that for the most part, that affects everyone at dinner!

We were already trying to eat healthier, so that's not a big issue. It's just that with this diet, I have only select options for dinner, so trying to find one that we ALL will eat is a challenge.

Nonetheless, we're doing it. It is also introducing the kiddos to some foods that I don't normally cook, like tonight with the sweet potatoes. The kids didn't eat them although they were included on their plate. Both did try it. So, that's all I ask is that they attempt it. I don't push my kids to eat something if they don't want it. I won't, except in certain circumstances (usually planned), fix them something else, though. So - they eat what they have or don't. I do try to make sure, as I have said before, that I include something on the menu that they will eat and tonight I did a bit extra for them so they'd eat the chicken. While D and I had the recipe as I will share it, I brushed BBQ sauce on the kids' pieces to make it more appealing to them. Small compromise to get them to eat it.

Dinner Tonight was low fat and low sodium. The serving size that I will be listing in the recipe is for one, so if you are cooking for multiple people, multiply it by whatever you need to.

Baked Chicken Baked Sweet Potato Spinach-Strawberry Salad

Chicken Ingredients

  • 3 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse and pat dry the chicken; rub with garlic and black pepper and any other spices of your choice. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Baked Sweet Potato Ingredients
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Scrub potato and pierce with a fork. Put in oven before the Chicken and bake for 45-60 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes. Split, sprinkle with cinnamon and serve.

Spinach Strawberry Salad Ingredients
  • 2 cups of fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup fresh sliced strawberries
  • 3 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

Rinse and dry spinach. Toss spinach with strawberries and balsamic vinegar in a bowl. Top with walnuts and serve.

See. A Super Easy and Healthy dinner.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Healthy Tacos

D and I have started a low glycemic index diet. (How long will that last? Stay tuned!)

In this, I am following a certain diet that provides me with the recipes to follow this kind of diet for each meal. And last night's dinner just happened to be Beef Tacos with a cup of red grapes.

The serving size is 2 taco shells plus 3 oz of beef (1/1/2 oz for each shell) plus lettuce, a bit of cheese, salsa and avacado.

It's relatively simple, really. I have another blog - an actual diet blog - which I may actually post out the actual food I am eating during the day, breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner all - and I will include the link here at some point in the near future for anyone interested.

In any case, this was an easy dinner. The kids, as usual, had their bean and cheese burritos, so the theme of the food was not lost on them.


3 oz of lean ground beef (I use the 96/4 lean)
1/4 cup of diced onion
dash of paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons of salsa
1 ounce of shredded low fat cheddar
chopped tomato
1 tablespoon chopped avocado

2 corn taco shells

Brown the ground beef in a skillet with the onion.

Add the paprika, chili powder and garlic powder while cooking.

Add the salsa.

Spoon into taco shells, top with cheddar, lettuce, tomato and avocado.

Our recipe called for a cup of grapes to be eaten with this dinner too. So, that's optional for you.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Chicken with Ginger and Snow Peas

This is a low-salt recipe that is amazingly delicious. It calls for soy sauce, which is pretty high in sodium. Alas, this recipe came from my low salt cook book and boasts only 185 mg of sodium per 1 cup serving! Not bad for such a tasty meal. It is full of protein (28 grams per serving) and low fat as well as low in calories. (166 calories per serving and only 3 grams of fat.) I also absolutely abhor peas in any other form. But snow peas are subtle in their flavor, therefore not overpowering the dish and complementing the other gentle flavors.

It makes for a wonderfully nutritious, yet satisfying meal - especially when combined with brown rice, which is what I use with this dish. It also goes very well with steamed broccoli.

So, Dinner Tonight was:

Salad greens with a sprinkle of cheddar, cherry tomatoes, chopped cucumber and fat free dressing

Chicken with Ginger and Snow Peas

Brown Rice

Steamed Broccoli


Chicken with Ginger and Snow Peas

  • 6 ounces of fresh snow peas
  • 1/2 cup of low sodium or no sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of sesame oil
  • 1 1/4 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders
  • 2 medium cloves of garlic. minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon of minced ginger root

  1. Trim ends off of snow peas
  2. In small bowl, whisk together the broth, cornstarch, soy sauce, and pepper.
  3. Heat a large, heavy skillet over high heat, add oil, and swirl to coat bottom. Cook the chicken for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add the snow peas, garlic, and ginger root. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Add the chicken broth mixture and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the sauce thickens and the chicken is no longer pink in the center, stirring constantly. If mixture begins to burn, remove skillet from heat momentarily and add a teaspoon or two of chicken broth - or water.
Nutritional Information per 1 cup serving:

166 calories
5 grams if carbohydrates
26 grams of protein
66 mg of cholesterol
3 grams of fat
1 gram of fiber
185 mg of sodium
380 mg of potassium
31 mg of calcium

Brown Rice

Cook according to package directions. Remember, brown rice is much more nutritious for you than enriched white rice. Read package for serving size and nutritional information.

Steamed Broccoli

You can use fresh broccoli and steam it of you have a steamer. Or, buying fresh, pre-cut broccoli in a bag and microwaving it according to package directions to steam it will work just fine. Read package for serving size and nutritional information.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Healthy Taco Salad

This is a dish that I tweak and finagle every time I make it. I absolutely love mexican food and when you get rid of the fatty, greasy things like tortilla chips and refried beans, the ingredients used to make mexican foods are actually quite healthful. It's prevalent in tomatoes and onions, two things that are great for you. Onions have been shown to have cancer fighting properties and may possibly help reduce the risk of heart disease. Tomatoes have lycopene, which is also a cancer fighting anti-oxidant.

Of course, there is the cheese, which is laden with fat. But in moderation, cheese has a place in a healthy diet. Cheese is rich in protein as well as calcium.

The traditional fried shells for taco salads are full of grease; hence, they are full of horrible fat. But who says that taco salad must be served in a deep fried tortilla shell, or even over tortilla chips? After all, the term "salad" is in the name of this dish, and what is a normal base of salad?

Why, lettuce of course!!

Awhile back, I took a liking to green leaf lettuce. When spun in a salad spinner, this lettuce perks right up even if it came out of the fridge looking a tad wilted. From what I gather, it is also a bit better for us than iceburg. Never researched why that is; nonetheless, every diet and health show/book I've listened to has suggested other lettuces than iceburg.

After looking at taco seasoning packets, I realized that many of them had a lot of sodium.

So, I opted for making my own taco seasoning for the beef in my salad..


Taco Seasoning Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and set aside until needed.


Beef Taco Mixture Ingredients

  • 1 lb of 96% lean ground sirloin
  • 1/2 onion, minced (use a food processor)
  • 1 can of red kidney beans, no salt added
  • homemade taco seasoning
  • fresh tomatoes
  • fat free or low fat sour cream
  • low fat shredded cheddar
  • green leaf lettuce

  1. Cook the beef and onion until beef is done
  2. Add kidney beans and homemade taco seasoning, mixing well. Cover and let simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally

Spread the lettuce liberally on the bottom of a plate. Spoon taco mixture onto the lettuce. Top with fresh, diced tomatoes, cheese, and sour cream.

Yum! I was full before even finishing!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Chicken and Spinach Sauté Over Pasta

So, tonight I made the chicken and spinach Sauté over Pasta. Since we were having pasta, I went ahead and heated up some Ragu marinara for the kids to heap onto their pasta rather than eat the chicken and spinach, which was NOT going to happen. And hey - I don't kid myself. I fight the battle if it's worth fighting and I know I can somewhat have a win. But an all and out fight with kids trying to force feed them when a simple heating of one easy thing brings in peace? Nah. There's more important things to have a battle of wills over. For the most part, I don't cook them a whole extra dinner. I just make sure that there is something that we are having that they will more than likely eat. Even if that means adding another side dish, or topping.

D and I however -- we eat this chicken and spinach mixture quite often. It's pretty good, low fat and very low sodium. As a matter of fact, how much sodium you have depends pretty much on your choice of chicken broth -- even tho I have found with this recipe, the chicken broth is not really needed. The natural chicken juices give it as much flavor.

So - dinner tonight was:

Fresh Garden Salad (watch the commercial dressing - it's kinda high in sodium)
Chicken and Spinach Sauté Over Pasta
(Spaghetti Sauce for kids to spoon over Pasta)
Fresh Cantaloupe
Chicken and Spinach Sauté Over Pasta Ingredients

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh mushrooms
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup low sodium or no sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons of Parmesan
  • whole wheat thin spaghetti

  1. Cut chicken into cubes and mince garlic.
  2. Heat oil in skillet and sauté chicken and mushrooms until chicken is cooked
  3. Add garlic and spinach; cook until spinach is wilted
  4. Add broth. Cook 1-2 minutes.
  5. Serve over 1 1/2 ounces of whole wheat thin spaghetti

That's it! Let me know what you think if you try this. Like I said, we cook it quite often as it is low fat and low sodium and fairly tasty.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Chicken and Veggie Night

I have to admit that last night I winged it a bit. There was no real recipe I followed, other than a quick one I found at a recipe site when I decided at the last moment to include chicken with our dinner which was intended to be just all vegetables.

We have a local farmer's market that we have started frequenting. With all the news about salmonella being found in fresh produce over the recent months, I figured this was a better avenue to take in obtaining as much of the fresh produce we use as we could. After all, many of these people are our neighbors in this small town of ours, so it had the added benefit of supporting our local farmers.

So, our dinner last night consisted of:

  • Brown Rice
  • Chicken in Worcestershire (it's not as bad a it sounds and, with a bit of splenda brown sugar, tasted very much like teryaki sauce without all the sodium!)
  • Zucchini and summer squash Bake
  • Green Bean and Potato Salad
We've really been trying not to eat so many enriched carbs. So, I try to use brown rice as much as possible to get the nutrients that are usually lost in the enrichment process of white rice. All of the vegetables I used are fresh, and I steamed them all for maximum nutrient conservation. All in all, it was quite a low fat dinner and low sodium as well.

I was cooking for only the two of us last night. What we fixed and ate was more than one serving of veggies --- but that's not a bad thing! I used only one chicken breast between us and we each had half.

Brown Rice

  • 1 cup of rice
  • 2 cups of water

Brown rice is made a bit differently and must cook longer than white rice.
  1. Combine the rice and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Lower heat, cover and simmer 45 minutes.

Worcestershire Chicken
(I swear this is good!)

This doesn't seem like it would be "low sodium" but keep in mind that, while it has 65 mg of sodium (roughly 3% of RDA based on a 2,000 calorie diet) per teaspoon and this recipe calls for 1/2 cup, it is used mostly to marinade the chicken during cooking and most of the liquid will be left behind in the pan. You may get an actual teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce on the actual chicken on your plate, so the sodium level should be acceptable.)

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into strips (cooks easier this way)
  • 1/2 cup of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Spenda Brown Sugar (optional)

  1. Spray skillet with nonstick spray
  2. Brown Chicken pieces
  3. Add the Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar
  4. Lower heat and cover, letting simmer for 20-30 minutes (or more)
Zucchini and Squash Bake
1 zucchini, cut (the one we had was quite large and may have equaled two regular ones from the store)

  • 1 summer squash
  • 1/2 sliced sweet onion
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and sliced
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • sprinkle of mozzarella (Parmesan works great too)

  1. Spray casserole dish with nonstick spray
  2. lay zucchini, squash, onion, pepper and water in dish
  3. sprinkle with mozzerella
  4. Cover with aluminum foil and cook at 350 for 30 minutes

Green Beans and Potatoes

  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (omega fats -- the GOOD fat)
  • 1 lb of fresh green beans
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 4 red new potatoes, quartered
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • pepper to taste

  1. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic to pan; saute 30 seconds.
  2. Add potato, celery and beans. Saute 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup of water; cover and cook for 5 minutes until green beans are crisp-tender.
  3. Add tomatoes. Cover, reduce heat and cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in pepper.

Without salt, it's not super flavorful, but is good. The hardest part in cutting out sodium is learning to enjoy the natural taste of the vegetables you cook. I happen to loooooove fresh green beans and cook them a lot.

Until another day....signing off.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Hello all! I've been out of town, which usually means no cooking!

In an effort to get everyone to sit at the table and eat the same thing, I have had to evaluate recipes when I look at them to determine several things. One thing - is it fairly healthy? Second thing - is there something, at least one thing, on the dinner table that everyone will eat?

Like most people, I have kids who can be picky eaters, especially when it comes to healthy veggies. On top of that finickiness, I have a son who is autistic and with that comes sensory challenges, particularly with food and the texture.

With this recipe, I determined to try it out and see if my son would eat it. I knew we, the adults, would and my daughter tends to like tuna anyway as well as vegetables. This casserole surprisingly has a creamy texture that makes it almost as tasty as mac and cheese, which all three of my kids love. I was skeptical if my son would buy into this -- after all it has tuna in it, plus other veggies. I have a rule, though, that he must at least attempt to eat what I am serving and this night was no different.

Imagine my surprise when my son not only ate it all up, but asked for a second helping! Score one for Mom getting vegetables, and healthy fish, down her picky child. (I use a food processor to chop the veggies so it's very fine and barely detectable by texture.)

This recipe comes from the Alli diet book of recipes. It is low fat and fairly lower sodium than most dinners.

This recipe makes 4 servings at 4 grams of fat and 262 calories per serving.

Tuna Noodle Casserole
serves 4

  • 1 cup whole wheat elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup of chopped celery
  • 1/3 cup of chopped onion
  • 1 can of low fat, lower sodium cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) evaporated fat-free milk
  • 1 can (9.5 ounces) of white albacore tuna, packed in water
  • 2 tablespoons grated low-fat Parmesan cheese

  • Cook macaroni according to package directions.
  • Coat a large saucepan with nonstick cooking spray and place over medium heat for 1 minute. Add celery and onion; cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the soup and milk. Cook for 2 minutes until heated thoroughly. Stir in tuna and macaroni
  • Coat 1 1/2 quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Add the macaroni mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Serve with a large garden salad, and maybe a vegetable on the side. For dessert, we had fresh berries and non-fat plain yogurt with a bit of splenda to sweeten it.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mexican Night

Well, really, we had Chicken Fajitas and I made Bean and Cheese Burritos for the kids because my autistic son looooooves bean burritos. On a full fledged Mexican night in the past, I would normally make beef and bean and cheese burritos smothered in enchilada sauce (or homemade queso and enchilada sauce) and then bake it in the oven. Then we would have side stuff, like chips and cheese, salsa---well, basically nachos and on occasion I would even make quesadillas. Sometimes I'd also heat up taco shells and we'd have all the fixin's, like shredded lettuce and all....

However, not only is that too much food for just the four (and occasionally five) of us that are here, it's also very high in fat and sodium. I found a fajita recipe that I tried awhile back and we liked it so much that we've had it several times since. It's very tasty, and the bonus is that the fat content is relatively lower than most dinners (I hate to say "low fat", cuz one fajita is 12 grams of fat and 438 calories, but this can be cut down a bit by cutting out the guacamole and maybe using fat free tortillas and using cooking spray instead of oil. We usually have 2 fajitas apiece.)

It is however lower in sodium than most average dinners, despite the soy sauce. Keep in mind that a serving size of soy sauce is 1 tablespoon (which is equal to 3 teaspoons), and the sodium content is very high. This recipe calls for 1 teaspoon and will be dispersed throughout 5 servings.

All in all, it is very tasty and good.

Chicken Fajitas

  • 2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil (use cooking spray to cut fat content)
  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled and cut into thin strips
  • 1 sweet green pepper, cored seeded and cut into strips
  • 1 sweet red pepper, cored and seeded and cut into strips
  • 1/3 cup of fat free, low sodium (or no sodium) chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup of fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon of soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • 2 teaspoons of cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 4 whole wheat tortillas (use fat free to cut fat content)
  • shredded lettuce
  • guacamole (optional, to control fat content)
  • salsa
  • fat free or low fat sour cream

(note: for busy cooks, buying the frozen, pre-cooked chicken already sliced into strips should not alter things much)

  1. Bake the chicken until cooked thoroughly. Slice crosswise into strips.
  2. Warm oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and peppers. Cook, stirring, until tender - about 5 minutes.
  3. In small bowl whisk broth, lime juice, soy sauce, honey, cornstarch, and garlic. Stir until cornstarch is dissolved. Add to skillet (stirring once more just before you pour it in because the honey tends to settle at the bottom) Stir constantly for 1 to 2 minutes, until slightly thickened. Add chicken and stir until warm.
  4. (To soften tortillas, place a stack of about 4 or 5 on a plate, cover with a wet paper towel and microwave for about 40 seconds)
  5. Spoon onto the tortillas. Top with condiments of choice, roll up and serve.


Bean Burritos for the Kids (easy)

  • whole wheat tortillas
  • can of fat free refried beans
  • shredded cheddar
  • mild salsa

Cook the refried beans in small saucepan until hot, stirring often. Spoon out onto the tortillas, sprinkle with a bit of cheese, a little bit of salsa and roll up. Yum!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Chicken in Sweet Cream, Potatoes, Broccoli

Tonight I made something that wasn't exactly low in fat, although I did take measures to cut fat where I could. In some instances, like with the heavy whipping cream, the fat content was inevitable. I usually make it a point to watch the fat too, but we hadn't had this dish in sooooo long and I was wanting to try a new mashed potato recipe with chicken as the main dish, and as I thought it over I realized that my autistic son was not going to have anything on his plate that he liked, being the picky eater he is. I really try to have at least one thing on the plate that my son will eat. I knew he wouldn't eat the mashed potatoes (squishy texture), or the broccoli and cauliflower mix. So - I chose the sweet cream chicken because I know he likes that a lot, and also because we hadn't had it in awhile (due to the fat content). It also goes really well with mashed potatoes.

The dinner was low sodium, though. So something accomplished there for my fiance with hypertension.

Dinner Tonight Was ----

Fresh Salad
Sweet Cream Chicken
Broccoli and Cauliflower in a cheese sauce (yum!)
Mashed Potatoes
Pineapple Bake (for dessert)

Salad - easy....

Bowl of bagged salad w/veggies
some chopped cucumber
wedged tomato
sprinkle of cheddar cheese
Fat Free ranch Dressing

Sweet Cream Chicken Ingredients
(serves 6-8)

4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter (I use Smart Squeeze. Only 5 cals, no hydrogenated oils, 0 fat, 0 sodium)
1/2 cup of low sodium or no sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup apple juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Trim fat from chicken, the cut into strips while raw. Sprinkle with pepper. Place butter in large skillet and add chicken strips. Cook until no longer pink, about 10-15 minutes. (Sometimes I cover the skillet and stir periodically.) Add broth and apple juice and simmer for 15 minutes.

Mix cornstarch and whipping cream in a bowl with a whisk. Add to skillet and stir until thickened and bubbly.

Mashed Potatoes Ingredients

6-8 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
3 oz low fat or fat free cream cheese, softened
6 oz low fat or fat free sour cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (or butter substitute)
1/2 package of dry ranch dressing mix

Boil potatoes until tender. Drain. Add back to pot and add remaining ingredients. Mix with mixer until creamy.


Broccoli and Cauliflower in Easy Cheese Sauce

I bought a bag of pre-cut fresh broccoli and cauliflower, pierced it and microwaved it on high for about 4 1/2 minutes to steam it.

In a small bowl, combine these three ingredients:

1/2 cup of unsalted butter, melted (or butter substitute)
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Place broccoli and cauliflower in large serving bowl, pour cheese sauce over top and toss.

Pineapple Bake Ingredients

2 beaten eggs, or egg substitute
1/4 cup of unsalted butter (or butter substitute)
1/4 cup of flour
1/2 cup of splenda
1- 20 oz can of crushed pineapple, with juice
2 teaspoons lemon juice
sprinkle of cinnamon

Combine all ingredients, then pour in rectangular casserole dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour.


Our dinner -- tonight.

Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs

I don't know the nutritional information for this, but you can probably roughly estimate it by reading your ingredient's nutritional panel.

This is a low sodium recipe. The secret to the sauce is to let it simmer. When first mixed together, it doesn't taste so great but after simmering awhile it thickens and the flavor starts to come out.

If it seems too bland, add about 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the skillet.

Serve with a large garden salad.


8 0z whole wheat thin spaghetti
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes (no salt added)
  • 2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce (no salt added)
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste (no salt added)
  • 1/4 cup chopped, sweet onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Splenda
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons basil
Add oil to a large skillet and saute onions, for about 4 minutes. Combine the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, garlic, splenda, vinegar, oregano and basil. Stir all together and simmer over low heat for at least 30 minutes (for the best flavor). Stir frequently to prevent burning.


- 1lbGround sirloin
- 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
-1 egg, or egg substitute
-2 tblspns bread crumbs
-pepper to taste
-dash of nutmeg

make into meatballs and bake at 375 for 25 minutes