Friday, November 16, 2012

Peaches & Cream Refrigerator Oatmeal

Don't let the name fool you!  This breakfast is one of my new favorites, and it's super healthy.

The night before, combine, cover, and refrigerate:
1/2 c. old fashioned (uncooked) oats (not quick cook)
1 TBSP chia seeds
1/2 c. light vanilla soy milk (You may want more in the morning to thin the oatmeal.)
1 small container (5-6 oz.) peach yogurt (If you use Greek yogurt, you may want to add a little more milk.)
1 diced peach (I used canned.)

In the morning, stir and enjoy!  Again, if the oatmeal is too thick for your liking, add in a little more milk.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Spinach Apple Salad


  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1 package (6 ounces) fresh baby spinach
  • 1 medium apple, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped Diamond of California® Walnuts


  • In a small bowl, whisk the first six ingredients. In a salad bowl, combine the spinach, apple, onion, blue cheese and walnuts. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. Serve immediately. Yield: 8 servings.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Chicken Taco Chili

8 Servings, about 200 calories each 1 can black beans 1 can kidney beans 1 can corn kernels 1 small can diced tomatoes with green chilies 16 oz tomato sauce 28 oz diced tomatoes packet taco seasoning 1 Tbsp chili powder 3 boneless chicken breasts Cook 6 hours high or 10 hours low in the crock pot. Note: I used mild chilies. Choose your own hotness. A dollop of sour cream on top is quite tasty.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Zucchini Oven Crisps

1/4 c. bread crumbs [Italian Seasoned are delicious!]
1/4 c. grated fresh parmesan
1/4 tsp. salt*
1/4 tsp. garlic powder*
1/8 tsp. pepper*
        *Or about 1/2 tsp. Paula Deen's House Seasoning
2 TBSP. skim milk [I used 1%.]
2-1/2 c. zucchini slices (about 2 small)
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Combine first five ingredients in a small bowl.  Pour milk into another bowl.  Dip the zucchini slices in the milk, coat in the bread crumbs, and place on a well-sprayed baking sheet.  Bake for 20-30 minutes.

[This recipe is one that I pinned on Pinterest and am so glad that I tried.]

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hobo Packets

Here is a fun meal to make while camping, but you can also bake them in the oven for an easy meal that's also easy to clean up!

2 lbs. ground beef (the leaner the better) [Or whatever meat you'd like: chicken tenders, kielbasa, etc.!]
1 onion
4-8 potatoes
1 lb. baby carrots
optional: sliced mushrooms, squash, peppers, etc.
salt & pepper to taste
optional: Dale's or Moore's seasoning sauce

Form beef into 6-8 patties.  Place each patty into a large square of foil.  (This part could easily be done ahead!)  Slice up your onion and potatoes (I like to leave the skins on).  Place onions onto the patty, then potatoes, and then carrots.  Add mushrooms too if you like.  Season with salt & pepper or drizzle on a tablespoon or two of the steak sauce.

Wrap up the packets and seal tightly.  (A second layer is probably a good idea.)  Place on a hot grill (med-high heat) and cook for 30-45 minutes.  (If you're making them at home, cook in a preheated 350 deg. oven for 45-60 min.)

Here's a link I found to all kinds of packet meals- even grilled s'mores!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Greek Chicken Salad

2 cucumbers
1/2 lb. carrots
3 oz. feta
3 cooked chicken breasts, diced
Italian dressing

Cube cucumbers and slice carrots into thin rounds.  Add chicken and crumble feta into salad.  Pour salad dressing (one small bottle or about half a large bottle) over everything and stir.  Marinate at least one hour to overnight.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Carrot Cake

In a medium bowl, sift together: 2 c cake flour 2 tsp of each: baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon 1 tsp salt Set aside. In a large bowl, combine: 1 ½ c oil (can use ½ c oil and 1 c apple sauce) 2 c sugar 4 eggs, adding one at a time 4 c shredded carrots 1 ½ c chopped pecans raisins, optional Gradually add flour mixture into the large bowl. Pour into 3 8" cake pans that are greased and lined with wax paper, or a greased and floured 13x9" pan. Bake @ 325̊ degrees for 45-60 minutes until sides start to pull away from pan. Let cool 30 minutes before icing. Cream Cheese Icing 1 stick butter, softened 8 oz cream cheese, softened 1 tsp vanilla Box Confectioner's sugar Whip together butter and cream cheese. Add vanilla and powdered sugar. If too stiff for spreading, thin with milk. Sprinkle with nutty topping, if desired. Cook's note: Amy made this in cake pans and used the oil/applesauce combination, which made for a very moist cake. I will try that the next time. I always made this in the oblong glass dish, but cake pans worked very well.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Bug Juice

"Bug Juice" is the name of our favorite summertime drink, and it brings back such fond childhood memories!

You have to make it in a large drink cooler when you're expecting a crowd because it makes a ton (3+ gallons?).

All you need are two cans frozen lemonade concentrate and one can grape concentrate (all approximately the same size).  Follow the directions on the can for how much water to add.  (I also added several extra cans of water because it was too sweet to me otherwise.)  Enjoy!  

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Haley's Broccoli Salad {Lightened Up}

1-2 heads fresh broccoli, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
3-5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 small (not tiny) box of raisins
1 6-oz container plain nonfat yogurt {I prefer Greek.}
3 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. sugar

Begin by making the dressing.  Add enough mayo to the yogurt to make one cup.  Add the sugar and vinegar and mix well.  Regrigerate.

Combine the rest of the ingredients.  Pour the dressing over the salad and stir well.  {I love to make this early in the day or the day before so that the flavors mix well.  Stir every so often.}

Click HERE to try a broccoli slaw that sounds very similar in ingredients.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Man-pleasing Chicken

Preheat oven to 450̊

Place in ovenproof baking dish:
1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
salt and pepper thighs

Mix the following, then fully coat thighs:
½ c Dijon mustard
1/4 c maple syrup
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar

Place chicken thighs into the oven, and let them bake for 40 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 165̊. Baste the tops of the chicken with sauce by turning them over halfway through cooking.

Let the chicken rest 5 minutes before serving. Plate the chicken, making sure to spoon some extra sauce over the top. Sprinkle with fresh (or dried) rosemary. Serve this savory goodness over rice. Penne pasta wasn’t quite right for this.

Cook’s note:
With cooking this dish on high, it makes a mess of the baking dish. I would spray Pam around the inside of the dish next time. But also next time, I will try this in the crockpot (Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours...should work equally as well when you don’t want to heat up the kitchen with the oven.).

Thanks to

Friday, April 20, 2012

Chinese Coleslaw

One more version:

1 head of cabbage, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
½ stick butter, melted
1 c sliced almonds
½ c sesame seeds
1 c sunflower oil
1/3 c rice wine vinegar
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 bag ramen noodles (no flavor packet)

Chop one head of cabbage and 4 green onions. Store in fridge in separate bags until ready to mix.

Melt butter and saute: 1 cup of sliced almonds, ½ cup of sesame seeds. Let drain on a paper towel.

Dressing---Mix together:
1 c sunflower oil
½ c rice wine vinegar
1/4 c of sugar
1 tsp salt
l tsp pepper

Just before serving, mix the cabbage, onions, and nut mixture. Pour the dressing over the salad. Mix in the crunched up ramen noodles (uncooked-no flavor packet).


Joan Crooks

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Juicy Low-Fat Parmesan Chicken

6 oz. fat free plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp. (or one clove) minced garlic
1/3 c. parmesan cheese
1/3 c. Italian bread crumbs
4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts

If you have time, add the garlic to the yogurt 30 min. to an hour prior to prepping the rest. (Mixing ahead will just marinate the flavor better. It's okay to mix and continue if you don't have time.) Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

If chicken breasts are thick, pound thin or even slice in half into cutlets. Place on greased baking sheet. Salt and pepper, if desired.

Add the parmesan cheese to the garlic-yogurt mix and spread onto the tops of the chicken breasts. Sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly on top.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

{Original recipe can be found HERE.}

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Blackeye Pea Supper Dish

4 servings

1 can blackeye peas, with liquid
½ lb bulk sausage
½ c chopped green pepper (or celery or green onions)
1/4 c chopped onion
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 c canned tomatoes
1/3 tsp black pepper
1/3 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp rosemary
1/2-1 c grated cheese

Cook sausage in large frying pan, crumbling with a fork as it cooks. Drain fat from pan. Add green pepper, onion, and garlic. Cook 5 min., stirring vegetables into sausage. Add tomatoes and seasonings. Stir well. Pour in blackeye peas with the liquid in the can. Cover and simmer slowly 15 minutes. Serve very hot with grated cheese sprinkled on top. (If this can be prepared ahead of time, the flavors have a better chance to blend. Reheat at mealtime and top with cheese when ready to serve.)

Editor note: I made a double batch, and added a bit more garlic. Next time, I will add twice the amount of tomatoes, since we like tomatoes. It was GOOD!

Barb Gretter

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Italian Meatball and Tortellini Soup

6-8 servings

2 Tbsp butter
1 onion, diced
1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
2 quarts beef stock
1 (12 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 cup green beans
1 cup diced carrot
1 cup chopped kale
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 bay leaf (I left this out)
1 pound frozen, cooked Italian-style meatballs - thawed
1 pound fresh cheese tortellini
grated Parmesan cheese

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat; cook the onion and garlic in the melted butter until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Pour the beef stock into the pot; add the tomatoes, green beans, carrot, kale, Italian seasoning, and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in the meatballs and tortellini; simmer 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls and top each with grated Parmesan cheese to serve.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Kielbasa, Kale, & Cannelini Pasta

1 package kielbasa, sliced
[Try turkey kielbasa!]
4-6 garlic cloves, minced [or use the stuff from a jar]
1 onion, chopped
1 bunch kale, cleaned and stems removed [or if using precut, as much as will fit in your pot]
1 can cannelini beans, drained
1-1.5 c. chicken broth
parmesan cheese
pasta of choice

Begin sauteeing kielbasa while starting the pasta water to boil. After a few minutes, add in the onion and garlic, cooking until translucent. Meanwhile, when the water is ready, add the kale and cook for 5 min. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the kielbasa mixture. Add in the beans and chicken broth, scraping the bottom of the pan. Let simmer while the pasta cooks.

Reserve 1 c. of the pasta water then drain pasta. Add water to the kielbasa mix IF it needs thinning. Serve over the pasta with cheese.

[I think this could make a really good soup too if you adjusted the chicken broth and water amounts.]

The original recipe can be found HERE.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Super Bowl Dip

1 package Velveeta - (16 oz)
1 can chili - no beans
1 pound medium or spicy sausage -- browned, crumbled

You can heat this on the stove until the cheese melts and it all mixes together, or put it in the crockpot on LOW until blended and heated through --- then keep it there to serve. I serve with sturdy chips, fritos or even pita pieces. If you are trying to be healthy, serve it with celery sticks. GREAT for Super Bowl Sunday.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


(pronounced "pee-kah-dee-yo")

This is what Cubans do with ground beef instead of making hamburgers. There are many different versions of it, but this one is most authentic:

2 Tbsp cooking oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, chopped coarsely
S & P to taste
½ tsp MSG (I leave this out)
1 lb lean beef, ground
1/3 c dry, white wine
2 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped (or one 15 oz. can chopped tomatoes)
½ c dark or light raisins, pumped up in hot water
1/3 c pimiento-stuffed olives, sliced in thirds
1 seeded green pepper chopped in half-inch squares (I leave this out)

In the oil, sauté the garlic and onion for five minutes, stirring frequently. Add the seasonings, the meat, the wine, and stir again. Add the tomatoes, raisins, olives and stir. Add green pepper and cook only long enough for it to get thoroughly hot; it should retain crispness and color.

One of Picadillo’s charms is that all the chopping and slicing can be done in advance, the cooking requiring only a few (10) minutes’ time. The Cubans serve this dish with plain white rice, either in a separate dish, or with the Picadillo on top of the rice and its juices trickling down. (Enough for 3-5 people)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Savory Cornbread

5 eggs, beaten
1 large onion, chopped fine
10 oz frozen broccoli, thawed and drained well (or use fresh, chopped fine)
1 ½ sticks butter
2 c cottage cheese
2 - 7 oz packages Jiffy corn mix
2 Tbsp sugar

Mix all ingredients well. Put in greased 9x12 baking dish @ 400o and bake till brown, about 45-60 minutes (½ recipe takes about 30 minutes in an 8x8 pan).

This is the BEST ever corn bread, in my humble opinion! I got the recipe from Marj Bell Heaton many years ago.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Crockpot Brown Rice

5 c. water
2 c. brown rice
1-2 tsp. salt

Place everything in crockpot and stir. Cook on high (without removing lid) for 3 hours.

Honey Garlic Crockpot Chicken

4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2-3 onions (optional)
3/4 c. ketchup
3/4 c. soy sauce
1/2 c. honey
3-5 garlic cloves, minced (or smashed)
1-1/2 tsp. dried basil

Place chicken breasts in bottom of crockpot. Lightly season with salt and pepper (or use Paula Deen's House Seasoning). If using, slice the onions into wedges and add to crockpot. In a bowl, mix together the rest of the ingredients, then pour the sauce over the chicken and onions. Cook on low 6 hours.

Modified from the original recipe (Crockpot 365) can be found HERE.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

100 Healthy Snacks

Click HERE for the complete list (including a link to a printable version).

Monday, January 16, 2012

Prairie Pork Chops

8 pork chops
1/2 cup spicy mustard
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 box Stove Top stuffing
1 can corn, drained
1 cup water

Spray 9x13 baking dish with non stick spray. In a shallow bowl, mix brown sugar and mustard. One by one, coat each side of pork chops with mustard mixture. Top chops with any remaining mixture (you'll want every last bit of this stuff, trust me!) In a medium sized bowl, mix stuffing, corn, and water. Top pork chops with stuffing mixture. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.

(Original recipe HERE; copied exactly from her site)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Tyler Florence's Guacamole Recipe

4 ripe avocados
1 lime, juiced
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 vine-ripe tomato, diced
1 big handful fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper [or about 1/4 tsp of Paula Deen's house seasoning]

Halve and pit the avocados; scoop out the flesh with a tablespoon into a mixing bowl. Mash the avocados with a fork, leaving them still a bit chunky. [Instead, I was able to easily peel my avocados, then dice them. I left the entire mix chunky.] Add the remaining ingredients, and fold everything together to gently mix.

Lay a piece of plastic wrap right on the surface of the guacamole so it doesn't brown and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

[I have left the original recipe intact but added my notes.]

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Chicken Enchiladas

4 corn tortillas [or use whole wheat for more fiber]
1-1/2 c. shredded, cooked chicken
1/2 c. navy beans [or other white beans that your family won't notice]
1/2 c. corn
1 c. salsa [medium or hot, not mild]
1 c. plain low fat yogurt
1/2 c. low fat sour cream
1/2 c. reduced fat Jack cheese

Mix chicken, beans, and corn. In another bowl, mix the next three ingredients. Add half the salsa mixture to the chicken mixture, then fill the tortillas (heated according to package directions) with the chicken mixture. Place tortillas seam side down in sprayed 8"x8" baking pan. Pour the rest of the salsa mix on top. Sprinkle cheese on top. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Original recipe can be found HERE.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Crockpot Honey Mustard Chicken

whole cut up chicken (or equivalent chicken pieces), skinned
1/2 c. honey
1/4 c. mustard
1/2-1 tsp Paula Deen's house seasoning (or salt & pepper to taste)

Place chicken in crockpot. In small bowl, mix the remaining ingredients. Pour over chicken. Cook for 6-8 hours on low.

[Original recipe HERE]

Homemade Chicken Stock

Click HERE for the recipe.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Cranberry Salsa

1 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries, no need to thaw (I used fresh, not frozen)
1 Granny Smith Apple, peeled, cored & chopped in eights
½ large red pepper
½ medium red onion
3/4 c sugar
1/3 c apple juice
3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp chopped, pickled jalapeno pepper (I used plain, not pickled)
1 tsp grated lime zest

Place cranberries, apple, pepper & onion in food processor; pulse till chopped; stir in remaining ingredients till blended. Cover and refrigerate.

Serve with favorite tortillas...the lime ones are good with this.