Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pineapple Teriyaki Turkey Burgers

Dinner Tonight: Pineapple Teriyaki Turkey Burger

Love these Burgers! I need to have them more often. Had a Pineapple Teriyaki Turkey Burger. I used Honeysuckle White 93% Lean Ground Turkey. Topped it with a slice of Pineapple, that was added during frying, and reduced Mayo w/ Olive Oil mix. Seasoned with  Sea Salt, Ground Black Pepper, Fresh Ginger, and Pineapple Juice reserved from the can of Pineapple Slices. Served on Healthy Life Whole Grain Sandwich Buns. Had sides of Sauteed Mushrooms. The recipe calls for grilling the Burgers, I used an Grill Pan and cooked them indoors (Only 36 degrees out!). Recipe follows.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Baked Salmon w/ Brown Rice

Dinner Tonight: Baked Salmon w/ Brown Rice and Hearth Whole Grain Bread.

Healthy and delicious was Dinner tonight! I had Baked Salmon along with Brown Rice. I was at Walmart earlier and as going by the Meat and Seafood Dept. they had some beautiful Salmon Fillets. That was the first time I tried the Salmon from Walmart and it was delicious! I seasoned it with Sea Salt, Grinder Black Pepper, Parsley, and topped with Sesame Seeds and lightly rubbed with Extra Virgin Light Olive Oil. I baked it at 400 degees for 12 minutes. I used Uncle Ben's Brown Rice and and I also had a slice of Aunt Millie's Hearth Whole Grain Bread.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bison Sirloin Steak and Mushrooms w/....

Dinner Tonight: Bison Sirloin Steak and Sauteed Mushrooms w/ Green Beans and Hearth Whole Grain Bread.

Love that Bison! And why not it's low calorie, low carb, tender and delicious. Had a Bison Sirloin Steak cooked medium rare and seasoned with McCormick Grinder Steakhouse Seasoning. I topped it with Sauteed Mushrooms and seasoned those with Sea Salt, Ground Pepper, Parsley, Cumin, Thyme, and Sauteed in a 1/2 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a touch of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter. Also had a slice of Aunt Millie's Hearth Whole Grain Bread.

Ethiopian Spicy Split Lentil Stew (Yimser Wot)

Wat, wet, or wot, known as tsebhi in Tigrinya is an Ethiopian and Eritrean stew or curry which may be prepared with chicken, beef, lamb, a variety of vegetables, and spice mixtures such as berbere and niter kibbeh, a seasoned clarified butter.

Several properties distinguish wats from stews of other cultures. Perhaps the most obvious is an unusual cooking technique: the preparation of a wat begins with chopped onions cooked in a dry skillet or pot until much of their moisture has been driven away. Fat (usually niter kibbeh) is then added, often in quantities that might seem excessive by modern Western standards, and the onions and other aromatics are sautéed before the addition of other ingredients. This method causes the onions to break down and thicken the stew.

Wats are traditionally eaten with injera, a spongy flat bread made from the millet-like grain known as teff. Doro wat is one such stew, made from chicken and sometimes hard-boiled eggs; the ethnologist Donald Levine records that doro wat was the most popular traditional food in Ethiopia, often eaten as part of a group who share a communal bowl and basket of injera Another is sega wat, made with beef

Servings: 4

    * 1 cup split red lentils
    * 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder (Berbere)
    * 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    * 1 red onions (chopped) or 1 shallot (chopped)
    * 5 1/2 cups water
    * 4 garlic cloves (diced) or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    * 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder (if available)
    * salt and black pepper


   1. Bring to boil 4 cups of water in a medium pot. Rinse the lentils with fresh water and add to it. Cook for 5 minutes.
   2. Remove the foam with spoon and discard . Lightly drain the extra water in a container or a cup.
   3.  Meanwhile, sauté the onion with ½ cup of water and one tablespoon of oil for 5 minutesor until tender.
   4. To the cooked onion add one cup of water, hot red chili powder (berbere), the rest of the oil, garlic and black pepper. Stir for 10 minutes.
   5.  Combine the lentils and sauce. Mix well. If more water is needed, use the set-aside water. Cook the stew for 20 minutes until it simmers.
   6.  Add false cardamom and salt to taste. Remove from heat. Serve it warm or cold.
    * P.S. To make it mild, you may use tomato sauce.
   * You will find these spices in Ethiopian or Indian shops/groceries.

National Dish of the Week: Ethiopia

Wat (Stew)
Ethiopian cuisine and Eritrean cuisine characteristically consists of spicy vegetable and meat dishes, usually in the form of wat (or wot), a thick stew, served atop injera, a large sourdough flatbread, which is about 20 inches in diameter and made out of fermented teff flour. Ethiopians eat with their right hands, using pieces of injera to pick up bites of entrées and side dishes. No utensils are used.

About half of the Ethiopian population is Orthodox Christian. During Lent, the forty days preceding the Christian holiday of Easter, Orthodox Christians are prohibited from eating any animal products (no meat, cheese, milk, or butter). Instead they eat dishes made from beans, lentils, and chick peas called mitin shiro that is a mixture of beans and berbere . This is made with lentils, peas, field peas, chick peas, and peanuts. The beans are boiled, roasted, ground, and combined with berbere . This mixture is made into a vegetarian wot by adding vegetable oil and then is shaped like a fish or an egg; it is eaten cold. A vegetable alecha may also be eaten during Lent.

During festive times such as marriage feasts, kwalima , a kind of beef sausage, is eaten. This sausage is made with beef, onions, pepper, ginger, cumin, basil, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and tumeric. It is smoked and dried.

Ethiopian cuisine is mostly made up of breads, stews (known as Wat), grains, and spices. Typically, an Ethiopian meal consists of a combination of injera (flatbread) with different wats, yet each diverse cultural group has their unique variation. A typical snack would be baked small pieces of bread called dabo kollo or local grains called kollo. Coffee is also a large part of Ethiopian culture/cuisine, after every meal a coffee ceremony is enacted and espresso coffee is drunk.

Berbere, a combination of powdered chili pepper and other spices (somewhat analogous to Southwestern American chili powder), is an important ingredient used in many dishes. Also essential is niter kibbeh, a clarified butter infused with ginger, garlic, and several spices. Wat stews all begin with a large amount of chopped red onions, which the cook simmers or sautees in a pot.

The national dish of Ethiopia is wot , a spicy stew. Wot may be made from beef, lamb, chicken, goat, or even lentils or chickpeas, but it always contains spicy berbere . Alecha is a less-spicy stew seasoned with green ginger. For most Ethiopians, who are either Orthodox Christian or Muslim, eating pork is forbidden. Ethiopian food is eaten with the hands, using pieces of a type of flat bread called injera. Diners tear off a piece of injera , and then use it to scoop up or pinch off mouthfuls of food from a large shared platter. A soft white cheese called lab is popular. Although Ethiopians rarely use sugar in their cooking, honey is occasionally used as a sweetener. An Ethiopian treat is injera wrapped around a slab of fresh honeycomb with young honeybee grubs still inside. Injera is usually made from teff, a kind of grain grown in Ethiopia. The bread dough is fermented for several days in a process similar to that used to make sourdough bread. Usually enough bread is made at one time for three days. Little fried snacks called dabo kolo are also popular.

Firfir or fitfit, made from shredded injera with spices, is a typical breakfast dish. Another popular breakfast food is dulet, a spicy mixture of tripe, liver, beef, and peppers with injera. Fatira consists of a large fried pancake made with flour, often with a layer of egg, eaten with honey. Chechebsa (or kita firfir) resembles a pancake covered with berbere and kibbeh, or spices, and may be eaten with a spoon.

During festive times such as marriage feasts, kwalima , a kind of beef sausage, is eaten. This sausage is made with beef, onions, pepper, ginger, cumin, basil, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and tumeric. It is smoked and dried.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Bison and Bleu Burger w/ Smashed Potatoes and...

Dinner Tonight: Ground Bison Sirloin Burger and Bleu Cheese w/ Smashed New Potatoes and Chili Beans.

What a delicious and easy to cook meal! Had a Ground Bison Sirloin Burger seasoned with McCormick Grinder Steakhouse Seasoning. Cooked medium rare and topped with Lighthouse Idaho Bleu Crumbled Bleu Cheese and served on a Healthy Life Whole grain Sandwich Bun. As sides I had Smashed New Potatoes and Chili Beans. I took 4 New Potatoes and quartered each one and coated them with a 1/2 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and seasoned with Sea Salt and Ground Pepper. Then put them in a microwave bowl and nuked for 5 minutes and then used a hand masher and partially mashed them. I used Chili Beans and added Jack Daniels Honey BBQ Sauce, 3 dashes of Frank's Red Hot Sauce, crumbled 2 pieces ofTurkey Bacon (Fixed Earlier), and seasoned with Cumin and Ground Cinnamon and heated. Later on for dessert I'll have a slice of Walmart Bakery's Sugar Free Angel Food Cake and top it with some Del Monte Sugarless Peaches!

*Only had 1 serving of Beans and Potatoes, picture was taken with 2 servings* 

Spice of the Week - Savory

Satureja is a genus of aromatic plants of the family Lamiaceae, related to rosemary and thyme. There are about 30 species called savories, of which Summer savory and Winter savory are the most important in cultivation.
The primary use of savory is in cooking, and the two savories were among the strongest cooking herbs available to Europeans until world exploration and trade brought them tropical spices like black pepper. The savories have been used to enhance the flavor of food for over 2,000 years. Savory is an herb so bold and peppery in flavor that since the time of the Saxons it has come to denote not only the herb itself, but is synonymous with tasty and flavorful foods.

Culinary Uses

Savory's wonderfully distinct piquancy brings an agreeable tasty element to relatively mild foods without overpowering them. The classic blend fines herbs and the traditional bunch of herbs for casseroles, bouquet garni will often contain savory. Savory complements egg dishes, whether chopped finely and added to scrambled eggs and omelets, or treated as a garnish with parsley. Beans, lentils and peas all benefit from the addition of savory in almost any situation. Its robust flavor holds up well in long, slow-cooked dishes such as soups and stews. Savory combines well with breadcrumbs for stuffings.

Most commonly used as a seasoning for green vegetables, savory's special affinity is for beans. Use summer savory, with its more delicate flavor, for tender baby green beans, and winter savory to enhance a whole medley of dried beans and lentils. It is no coincidence that the German word for the herb is Bohenkraut, meaning bean herb, as one of the components of the herb naturally aids the digestion of these sometimes problematic legumes.

Attributed Medicinal Properties

While both varieties are used in cooking, Summer Savory has a much longer tradition of medicinal use.It has long been reputed to be a general tonic to the digestive tract and as a powerful antiseptic. Branches of savory were tossed onto fire to create an aromatic disinfectant. Even today, because of its pungent oils, it is commonly used in toothpaste and soaps. Active compounds of the savory leaf include volatile oils (carvacrol, p-cymene, alpha-thujene, alpha-pinene, beta-myrcene, beta-caryophyllene, terpinene, and thymol), and tannic acid. The carvacol and p-cymene content of this herb give it a mild antiseptic effect. The tannin content is responsible for savory’s astringent qualities, making it a popular choice in the relief of diarrhea. The herb has also been used as a gargle for sore throat. As a digestive aid, savory is used in cases of indigestion and flatulence. It is often added as a spice to dishes containing beans for this reason. The most common medicinal use of savory today is in the treatment of gastrointestinal enteritis, the inflammation of the intestinal tract. In some folk cultures, savory has been used to increase libido.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Pork Loin Chop w/ Green Beans and…

Today’s Menu: Pork Loin Chop w/ Green Beans and Mashed Potatoes.

Had a Bone In Pork Loin Chop seasoned with McCormick Grill Mates Applewood Rub and Minute Maid Apple Juice. The Applewood Rub is just incredibly tasting on Pork and I by adding the Apple Juice after turning the Pork Chop and it gives you one of the most tender and juicy Chops you’ll ever had. I also had some Mashed Potatoes, leftover from last night’s dinner,  along with our last jar of canned Green Beans from last year. Hope this years Green Bean crop is as tasty as last year’s was.

Pan-Seared Tilapia With Chile Lime Butter

Pan-Seared Tilapia With Chile Lime Butter
I've been seeing this one around on several sites and I finally tried it out and thought I would pass it along. I used I Can't Believe It's Not Butter instead of the unsalted Butter that was in the original recipe along with using Sea Salt instead of Salt and Extra Virgin Olive Oil over Corn Oil. Turned out delicious!

(Serves 6)

For Chile Lime Butter

    * 1/4 Cup I Can't Believe It's Not Butter (Stick), softened
    * 1 Tablespoon finely chopped Shallot, Substitute with Minced Garlic if preferred
    * 1 Teaspoon finely grated fresh Lime Zest
    * 2 Teaspoons fresh Lime Juice
    * 1 Teaspoon minced fresh Serrano Chili, including seeds
    * 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt

For Tilapia

    * 6 (5 ounce) skinless Tilapia Fillets
     * 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt, to taste
    * Ground Pepper, to taste
   * 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

   1.  Make Chile Lime Butter:.
   2.  Stir together Butter, Shallot, Zest, Lime Juice, Chile and Salt in a bowl.
   3.  Prepare Fish:.
   4.  Pat Fish dry and sprinkle with Salt.
   5.  Heat 1 tablespoon Oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until just smoking.
   6.  Saute 3 pieces of Fish, using a spatula to turn once, until golden and just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes.
   7.  Transfer to a plate and saute remaining fish in same manner.
   8.  Serve each piece of Fish with a dollop of Chile Lime Butter.
* Side Dish suggestion, Baked Potato or Brown Rice

Nutrition Facts
Pan-Seared Tilapia With Chile Lime Butter

Serving Size: 1 (160 g)

Servings Per Recipe: 6

Amount Per Serving
    % Daily Value
Calories 245.7
Calories from Fat 131
Total Fat 14.6 g
Saturated Fat 6.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.2 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 91.2 mg
Sodium 462.6 mg
Potassium 439.1 mg
Magnesium 39.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 0.4 g
Dietary Fiber 0.0 g
Sugars 0.0 g
Protein 28.6 g

Saturday, March 26, 2011

9 Best Canned Foods

9 Best Canned Foods

By William Leigh

Published March 25, 2011 |

When it comes to eating canned foods, common sense is in order. Plenty of myths abound about the impact canning and preserving have on foods, much in the same way they exist about frozen produce (a lot of which is actually healthier than fresh produce).

The general argument is that vitamins diminish over time when produce is tinned, but this is actually just as (if not more) likely to occur with fresh produce, which often sits around in packing plants for lengthy periods before hitting the shelves at your local grocery store.

Fruits and vegetables picked for canning are usually processed quickly. A study at the University of Illinois found that a great deal of canned fruit and vegetables contains the same amount of dietary fiber and vitamins as their fresh equivalents.

Now that we’ve established canned foods ain’t all that bad, we ask: What are the best canned foods out there? And what can we do with them?

Canned salmon
The first heavyweight on our best canned foods list is the mighty salmon. It’s a worthy inclusion, as not only is this fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, it's actually better for you when canned because it’s packed with the bones intact, meaning more calcium for your bones and teeth. Also, some of the fat is removed, making it a healthier option.

Try making a salmon Nicoise: Mix the salmon with cooked potatoes, quartered tomatoes, pitted (stoned) black olives, cooked green beans, and soft-boiled eggs. Dress with a vinaigrette made from olive oil, lemon juice and Dijon.

Canned pinto beans
There is virtually no difference between the nutritional value of canned and fresh pinto beans; both require cooking for similar amounts of time. The canned beans are much more convenient and can easily be added to soups or stews. They’re a good source of folate and manganese, relatively high in protein, and rich in vitamin B1 as well as a slew of other minerals.

Make a traditional tortilla soup (but lose the tortillas if you’re dieting) with chilies, tomatoes, chicken broth, avocados (a good source of healthy fats), cilantro, lime juice — the usual suspects — but add a can of pinto beans to warm through near the end of the cooking time. The soup will go much farther, and you’ll reap the health benefits from the beans.

Canned tomatoes
Scientists have been talking about ketchup being a healthy part of your diet for a while now, and this is mainly because lycopene, the antioxidant component of the tomato, becomes more potent when heated. Thus, canned tomatoes are a high source of lycopene and are also rich in vitamins A and C while containing no fat or salt.

Make a flavorful sauce to go with roast or grilled chicken. Gently soften sliced onions with garlic. Add torn olives and canned tomatoes, and let cook for a short while. Just before serving, throw in some torn-up basil, then serve alongside your meat.

Canned smoked mackerel
Although cooked mackerel is generally healthier for you than smoked (as it doesn't contain any of the nitrates associated with this method of cooking), we’ve gone for the smoked because it is infinitely more versatile and delicious. Canned smoked mackerel is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids and is very inexpensive.

Make a smoked mackerel paste by blitzing the mackerel with cottage cheese, low-fat natural yogurt, cracked black pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Eat with crackers or on whole wheat toast.

Canned sardines
Like salmon and mackerel, sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. They are often packed in a tomato sauce, which is great for its lycopene content, but often this sauce has high levels of sodium as well. Instead, go for a low-sodium option packed in water. Sardines are a good choice of fish because they are sustainable and inexpensive, and they contain high amounts of vitamin B12 (second only to calf liver), which promotes heart health.

Make a healthy potato salad with cooked, cooled, cubed potatoes; a chopped-up hard-boiled egg; diced chives and scallions; and a dressing made with olive oil, lemon juice and whole grain mustard. Serve alongside the drained sardines.

Canned kidney beans
Like pinto beans, kidney beans require long cooking times. Thus, there is little difference between those cooked for long periods of time for canning and the dried ones you cook at home. They are high in fiber, iron and memory-boosting B1, release their energy slowly (meaning no sugar spikes), and contain a relatively good amount of protein.

Bulk up your lunch box with a bean salad made of kidney beans, diced bell peppers, jalapeños, cilantro, and cooked green beans. Mash a garlic clove on a chopping board with some salt to create a paste, mix with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then stir the mixture through your beans. Scatter more balsamic vinegar over the top, and serve.

Canned pumpkin
Avoid the canned pumpkin pie filling that is packed with sugar and other ingredients. Go for natural canned pumpkin flesh, which is low in calories, high in fiber and fat-free. It contains over 500 percent of your RDA of vitamin A, 8 percent of magnesium, 10 percent of vitamin C, and 10 percent of iron (among others, including beta-carotene). As canned pumpkin has less water than the fresh variety, some of these vitamins and nutrients are actually more concentrated.

Make a risotto as you usually would, softening a shallot and garlic, then adding rice, wine and stock. Next, add and stir through canned pumpkin. Continue to cook, then serve with cubes of roasted pumpkin, a scattering of toasted flaked almonds and grated low-sodium Parmesan.

Canned clams
These shellfish are high in protein and zinc — critical for the well-being of your immune system — and rich in iron (containing far greater quantities than found in red meat) and selenium. They are also high in omega-3 fatty acids and are a good source of phosphorous, manganese and potassium. They do contain a bit of cholesterol, but nowhere near the quantities found in prawns.

Cook whole wheat or regular linguine till tender. Drain and set aside, keeping a little of the cooking water. Toss garlic and chili into a pan with hot olive oil until they begin to sizzle. Add the clams and spaghetti, then toss to combine. Add a splash of the cooking liquor, then stir through some flat leaf parsley before serving.

Canned chicken
It might not sound massively appealing, but a can of cooked chicken is a versatile ingredient that is packed with protein and incredibly low in fat for a relatively low calorie count. Chicken is high in selenium as well as cancer-preventing B-vitamin niacin. It also contains B6, which is important for energy metabolism.

Dice canned chicken and stir-fry with onions, garlic and chili in a wok. Add Chinese greens, bok choy or just regular spinach, and allow to wilt with a splash of soy and a drizzle of oyster sauce. Serve over brown rice with a squeeze of lime.

Green Tea Can Have an Impressive Effect on Your Overall Wellness

Green Tea Can Have an Impressive Effect on Your Overall Wellness

Written by Vanessa Summer

For greater than two thousand years, green tea has been regarded in China and other Asian nations. A great deal of analysis spanning many years has been performed concerning likely benefits for heart disease and even cancer. Other research continues to be directed toward green tea’s ability to assist with fat loss, diabetes, cholesterol, stroke and antiaging properties. But it is a wise idea to keep it all in view and realize that green tea’s potential is placed in ongoing use for a long time. Living a wholesome way of life will definitely contribute to your success.

What has additionally been discovered is the occurrence of antioxidants, catechins and polyphenols, which are acknowledged to be highly helpful. Antioxidants work within the body by fighting the free radicals which cause so much harm to the cells. There is little question that polyphenols as well as catechins play a significant role in the health giving properties found in green tea. Just as in Asia where tea is included every day, the defense supplied by these compounds will only occur with frequent use.

Green tea is made differently from others such as black tea, and it is this basic preparation after harvesting that makes the difference. Black and white teas are treated using a distinct procedure from green tea. What takes place with the standard black tea is it is run through a fermentation process. The technique used with green tea leaves consists of steaming once the leaves are left to entirely dry out. What occurs as a result is all the beneficial components come to be more potent.

You might have read about weight loss benefits conferred by sipping green tea. While green tea does have just a little caffeine, studies demonstrate that this tea achieves fat burning ability in other ways. There are extra ingredients that produce a thermogenic effect and contribute to a higher amount of fat cell metabolism. Yes, it is accurate that drinking green tea will raise your metabolism, but it is found to achieve this for a lot more than one cause. Weight management and burning off extra fat is the greatest result, or at a minimum one of them, that is available with green tea.

You could possibly be surprised to find out that green tea also is helpful against cavities in the teeth. Your immune system in general will become more powerful with regular use of this tea. You can come to be less vulnerable to infections because your immune system will be more robust. Also, blood pressure support and general control is provided with green tea, as well. Additionally, asthma sufferers can benefit from drinking green tea mainly because of a substance that promotes the relaxation of the muscles near the bronchial tubes. So what that may do is permit the asthmatic to breathe with less effort and difficulty.

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Ravioli and Cheese Bake

Dinner Tonight: Ravioli Cheese Bake w/ Hearth Grain Bread

I seen this recipe in latest issue of Kraft Food's magazine Food and Family, Fuss - Free Ravioli and Cheese Bake. It looked and sounded delicious but I wanted to lower the calories and carbs in it (420 Calories and 42 Carbs). So for the Cheese I used Kraft 2% Mozzarella Shredded Cheese, Bella Vita Low Carb Pasta Sauce, Swanson 99% Fat Free Reduced Sodium Beef Broth,  Annie's Organic Cheesy Ravioli, and Kraft Free Zesty Italian Dressing.  Everything turned out delicious! I also had a slice of Aunt Millie's Hearth Whole Grain Bread. The recipe and directions are below. Give it a try!

1 Jar (16 oz.) Bella Vita Low Carb Pasta Sauce
1 Can  (14-1/2 oz.) diced Tomatoes, undrained
1 Can (10 oz.) Fat-Free Reduced-Sodium Beef Broth
1/4 Cup  KRAFT Free Zesty Italian Dressing
2 Cans Annie's Organic Cheesy Ravioli, drained
1 cup  KRAFT 2% Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
8 Slices Turkey Pepperoni


HEAT oven to 375°F.

COMBINE first 4 ingredients in 13x9-inch baking dish. Add ravioli; toss to coat. Top off with the Turkey Pepperoni. Cover.

BAKE 50 min. or until ravioli is tender.

TOP with cheese; let stand 5 min. or until melted.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bison and Bleu Burger w/....

Dinner Tonight: Bison and Bleu Burger w/ Baked and diced Golden Potatoes.

Had a Bison Ground Sirloin Burger, cooked medium rare and seasoned with Sea Salt and Grinder Black Pepper on an Healthy Life Wheat Bun with Litehouse Idaho Bleu Crumbled Bleu Cheese on top. As a side had baked and diced Golden Potatoes. Baked at 400 degrees fior 25 minutes and seasoned with Sea Salt, Grinder Black Pepper, and Parsley, and a dab of Breakstone reduced Sour Cream for the Potatoes.

Store-brand food seen eating up market share

(Reuters) - Grocery retailers' store-brand products are expected to double their share of the global packaged food market over the next 15 years to make up half the market, according to a report issued on Thursday.
The report by Sebastiaan Schreijen, associate director of processed food and retail at Rabobank, said growth of private-label brands will be fueled by retail consolidation in developed markets, adoption of modern retail in developing markets, and increased consumer acceptance of private-label brands following the recession, among other factors.

"Overall, the impact of the recession has given private label an enormous boost ... Indirectly, the effects of the recession will fuel further private-label expansion across the globe for years to come," the report said, citing increased consumer awareness and competitive pressure.
In addition, private-label suppliers are getting more professional, the report said, which is improving the quality of the products.

Private-label brands, such as those from Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) and Kroger Co (KR.N) in the United States, Tesco Plc (TSCO.L) in Britain, Aldi in Germany and Carrefour (CARR.PA) in France, currently make up about a quarter of the food sold in grocery stores, the report said.
The private labels often carry lower price tags than branded goods from manufactures such as Nestle (NESN.VX), Kraft Foods Inc (KFT.N) and Unilever (ULVR.L).
Even as private brands gain market share, leading national brands will keep their market position and gain in importance, Schreijen said, as they stand as reference points for price and quality for each product category.
That means pressure will mount on the secondary brands, the report said, likely leading to weak sales and heavy price competition between suppliers.

(Reporting by Martinne Geller; editing by John Wallace)

Corn Bread Applesauce Muffins

My thanks to Amy for letting me know about this recipe off the web site. Sounds great and the carbs and calories are all right! I'll be trying it soon.

Yield: 8 servings

    * Vegetable oil spray
    * 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    * 1/2 cup coarse yellow cornmeal
    * 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    * 1/4 teaspoon salt
    * 1/2 cup fat-free milk
    * Egg substitute equivalent to 1 egg or 1 egg
    * 2 tablespoons honey
    * 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce


   1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly spray eight muffin cups with vegetable oil spray.
   2. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl, stirring well.
   3. Beat remaining ingredients in a small bowl.
   4. Make a well in cornmeal mixture. Pour milk mixture into well, stirring just until moistened. Fill muffin cups two-thirds full with batter.
   5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in center of muffins comes out clean.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)
Calories:    86
Protein:    3 g
Sodium:     189 mg
Cholesterol:    0 mg
Fat:     1 g
Dietary Fiber:     1 g
Carbohydrates:     18 g
Exchanges:     1 Bread/Starch

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Turkey Crumble Tacos

Dinner Tonight: Turkey Crumble Tacos

I had Turkey Crumble Tacos  for dinner tonight, super easy to make! I used Jimmy Dean Turkey Crumbles. All you do heat the crumbles up in a skillet for 6 -8 minutes and done. I used flour soft tacos then took a whole leaf of lettuce topped with the Turkey Crumbles, Black Bean and Corn Salsa, and Kraft 2% Shredded Cheese. Try the Jimmy Dean Turkey Crumbles makes tacos and your other recipes easier and at only 80 calories and 2 carbs!

National Dish of the Week: Egypt

Thousands of years ago, ancient Egyptians left evidence of their love for food. Well-preserved wall paintings and carvings have been discovered on tombs and temples, depicting large feasts and a variety of foods. Many of these ancient foods are still eaten in Egyptian households today. Peas, beans, cucumbers, dates, figs, and grapes were popular fruits and vegetables in ancient times. Wheat and barley, ancient staple crops, were used to make bread and beer. Fish and poultry were also popular. Dried fish was prepared by cleaning the fish, coating the pieces with salt, and placing them the sun to dry. Fasieekh (salted, dried fish) remained a popular meal in Egypt as of 2000.

Ful Medames
The unique Egyptian cuisine has been influenced throughout history, particularly by its neighbors from the Middle East. Persians (modern-day Iraqis), Greeks, Romans (modern-day Italians), Arabs, and Ottomans (from modern-day Turkey) first influenced Egyptian cuisine thousands of years ago. More recently, the foods of other Arabic people in the Middle East such as the Lebanese, Palestinians, Syrians, as well as some foods from Europe, have affected the Egyptian diet. However, Egyptian cuisine maintains its uniqueness. After thousands of years, rice and bread remain staple foods, and molokhiyya (a spinach-like vegetable) and ful mudammas (cooked, creamy fava beans), a national dish, are nearly as popular as long ago. Meat has been very expensive for most Egyptians throughout history, and a great deal of vegetarian dishes have developed to work around this economic reality.
Approximately 90 percent of Egyptians are Muslims, which means they practice the religion of Islam. The most important time of the year for Muslims is a month long holiday called Ramadan. During the month of Ramadan (the ninth month on the Islamic calendar, usually November or December), Muslims fast (do not eat or drink) from sunrise to sunset, and think about people around the world who do not have enough food. Muslim families will often come together to prepare hearty meals, including a variety of sweets, after sunset. Muslims end Ramadan with a three-day celebration called Eid al-Fitr.

Eid al-Adha, a three-day long "great feast," is another important holiday for Muslims. In recognition of the Bible story of Abraham's sacrifice of his son, Jacob, families will sacrifice (kill) a sheep or a lamb. The animal is slaughtered and cooked whole on a spit over an open fire, and some of the meat is usually given to poorer families. These animals are also sacrificed on other important occasions, such as births, deaths, or marriages.

Throughout the year, several moulids may take place. A moulid is a day (or as long as a week) celebrating the birthday of a local saint or holy person. Several events take place during this time. Food stands decorating the town's streets are usually set up near the holy person's tomb. Cairo, the capital of Egypt, celebrates at least three moulids every year. The largest moulid, Moulid el Nabit, commemorates the birthday of Muhammad and takes place in Cairo in early August.

Just under 10 percent of Egypt's population are Christians, whose most important holiday is Easter, falling in either March or April. It is common for families to come together to share a hearty meal, much as Christians worldwide do. Egyptian Christians observe the Orthodox calendar, which places Christmas on January 7 each year.

Dining customs vary throughout the country and between different religions. When guests are in the presence of Muslims (who make up approximately 90 percent of Egypt's population), there are some general guidelines one should follow. The left hand is considered unclean and should not be used for eating, feet should always been tucked under the table, and alcohol and pork should not be requested.

When invited to be a guest in an Egyptian household, it is polite for guests to bring a small gift to the host, such as flowers or chocolate, to show their appreciation for the meal. Before dinner, cocktails (often nonalcoholic) are frequently served. This is a time for socializing and becoming acquainted. Mezze (salads and dips) would also be served at this time. When dinner is ready, usually between 9 P.M. and 10 P.M. , guests seat themselves and food is placed in the middle of the table. Bread will almost always accompany meals, which may include vegetables, rice dishes, soups, and meat dishes. Following dinner, guests will move into another room and enjoy coffee or mint tea. Guests should always compliment the cook.

Most Egyptian peasants cannot afford a large meal. Their diet includes vegetables, lentils, and beans. Meat, which is more costly, is eaten on special occasions. Most middle-class families eat a similar diet, but add more expensive ingredients when they can afford to. All social classes, however, enjoy quick bites at Egyptian cafes or street vendors. Traditional teahouses will serve tea in tall glasses (rather than teacups) and cafes normally offer strong, sweet Turkish coffee. Street vendors sell a variety of inexpensive foods, including ful (fava beans) and koushari (a macaroni, rice, and lentil dish) as a lunchtime favorite. Vendors also sell a variety of asiir (fresh-squeezed juices) made from fruits like banana, guava, mango, pomegranate, strawberry, from sugar cane, and even hibiscus flowers.

Egypt National Dish - Kushari

Kushari served at an Egyptian restaurant in Cairo

Kushari, often transliterated as koshary, kosheri or koshari, is a popular traditional Egyptian national dish. It consists of a base of rice, brown lentils, chickpeas, macaroni, and a topping of Egyptian garlic and vinegar and spicy tomato sauce (salsa). Fried onion are commonly added as a garnish. Koshary is normally a vegetarian and usually a vegan dish, possibly reflecting the meatless diet of Coptic Christians during Lent[citation needed] and other fasts and/or the high cost of meat for the lower classes. It is becoming common to add fried liver or shawarma meat as an additional topping.

Koshary is one of the most popular, inexpensive, and common dishes in Egypt, and many restaurants specialize in this one dish.


1 ½ cups brown lentils (cooked)
1 ½ cups white pearl rice (cooked)
1 cup elbow macaroni (cooked)
Salt all to taste

-combine all 3 ingredients above in cooking pot
-add strained oil from caramelized onions
-cook over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes stirring often
serve by topping each portion with Spicy tomato sauce
and caramelized onions.

Caramelized onions

3 tbsp oil or butter
2 onions (sliced)

-heat pan, add oil
-brown onion rings until golden
-strain oil, put onions on absorbent paper

Spicy tomato sauce

1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
2 medium diced onions
7 garlic cloves diced very small
2 tsp vinegar
cooking oil
hot chili flakes to taste

-sauté onions until soft
-add garlic and fry till pale brown
-add paste, salt, pepper, chili and vinegar
-add crushed tomatoes stirring often
-simmer on low heat until sauce darkens ½ to 1 hour

Monday, March 21, 2011

Good Earth Glazed Shrimp Dinner

Dinner Tonight: Good Earth Spicy Citrus Glazed Shrimp w/ Angel Hair Pasta.

Had the Good Earth Spicy Citrus Glazed Shrimp tonight with the leftover Shrimp from last night. Also had Aunt Millie's Whole Grain Bread. I had included the instructions on this dinner from a previous posting and thought I would include it again. These dinners are great, just add the Chicken or Shrimp, 2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and 1 Tablespoon of I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter.


1 Box of Good Earth Spicy Citrus Glazed Shrimp
1 Lb. uncooked Shrimp (26 – 32 Medium), thawed
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter“

*Fill 2 quart sauce pan 2/3 full of water. Heat to boiling and stir in Pasta.
*Gently boil uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
*While Pasta is cooking empty Whole Wheat Flour into medium bowl or food storage bag.Coat well drained thawed Shrimp with Flour.
*Heat oil in non-stick 10″ skillet over medium – high heat. Carefully add Shrimp to hot oil and cook 1 – 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
*Reduce heat to medium. Cut off 3/4 inch corner of Spicy Citrus Glaze pouch. Carefully pour glaze into skillet with Shrimp. Cook uncovered 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until Shrimp are cooked through and coated with glaze.
*Drain Pasta. Add Butter and Pasta Seasoning to Pasta and toss with fork to coat.
Serve Shrimp with Pasta.

1 Cup prepared has 290 Calories and 38 Carbs.

Save Time and Money at the Grocery Store

There is more variety on today’s grocery store shelves than ever before. With so many choices, it is easy to get overwhelmed.

Make shopping easier by following these guidelines:
• Don’t shop when you’re hungry. You’re more likely to make impulse purchases on less nutritious items that cost more.
• Make and stick to a shopping list. If you keep a running list at home of items that need to be replaced, you won’t have to worry about forgetting anything.
• Organize your list into sections according to the layout of the supermarket. This cuts down on time and the number of passes you need to make through the aisles.
• Check for supermarket specials printed in the newspaper or online and plan your shopping trip around what is on sale.

If you are a single-person household, maximize your food dollars at the grocery store:
• Buy frozen vegetables and fruit in bags so you can take out what you need and freeze the rest.
• Look for foods sold in single servings such as juice, yogurt, frozen meals, soup and pudding.
• Shop from bulk bins so you can buy smaller amounts.
• Ask the butcher or produce manager for a smaller amount of prepackaged items.
• Buy produce that keeps longer in the refrigerator such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and carrots.
• Buy small loaves of bread or wrap and freeze bread you won’t use right away.

Spice of the Week - Lemon Balm

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), not to be confused with bee balm, Monarda species, is a perennial herb in the mint family Lamiaceae, native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean region. In England it may be known simply as "balm"
This herb can be easy to cultivate in Plant Hardiness Zones 4 to 9 according to the United States Department of Agriculture. In zone 4, it needs well-drained sandy soil and a winter mulch or adequate snow cover to survive. In zone 7, it can be harvested at least until the end of November. While it prefers full sun (as described on most plant tags), it is moderately shade-tolerant, much more so than most herbs. In dry climates, it grows best in partial shade. It can also be easily grown as an indoor potted herb.

In North America, Melissa officinalis has escaped cultivation and spread into the wild.Lemon balm requires light and at least 20 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit) to germinate, so it is best to plant indoors or in spring and not to cover the seeds. Lemon balm grows in clumps and spreads vegetative as well as by seed. In mild temperate zones, the stems of the plant die off at the start of the winter, but shoot up again in spring. It can be easily grown from stem cuttings rooted in water, or from seeds. Under ideal conditions, it will seed itself prolifically and can become a nuisance in gardens.

Culinary Uses

Because of its delicate lemon flavour, lemon balm has a wide culinary potential. Apart from using fresh leaves as an attractive garnish, Chopped fresh leaves can be used to to add zest to sweet or tangy dishes. It combines well with allspice, bay leaves, mint, pepper, rosemary and thyme. Fresh herbs with essential oils, however, are less potent and should be added at the end of cooking. A wonderful addition to fruit salads, green salads, herb butters, fruit drinks, sorbets. It can also be used in egg dishes, custards, soups and casseroles. It works well in stuffings for poultry,lamb or pork. Its subtle flavour is a perfect for sauces and marinades for fish. Lemon balm and chervil are also good combination.
Lemon Balm is the basis of the cordial eau des Carmes and is also found in Benedictine and Chartreuse.

Attributed Medicinal Properties

Lemon balm tea was known to have powers of longevity. Today the tea is taken to treat colds and flu, lower blood pressure and for insomnia and indigestion.
Balm is an excellent carminative herb that relieves spasms in the digestive tract, and is used in cases of flatulent dyspepsia. Because of its mild anti-depressive properties, it is primarily indicated where there is dyspepsia associated with anxiety or depression, as the gently sedative oils relieve tension & stress reactions, thus acting to lighten depression. Primary chemical constituents of this herb include essential oil (citral, linalool, eugenol, citronellal, geraniol), tannins, bitter principle, resin, tannins, polyphenols, flavonoids, succinic acid, and rosmarinic acid. The volatile oils appear to act between the digestive tract and nervous system. It may be used effectively in conditions of migraine that are associated with tension, neuralgia, anxiety induced palpitations, and/or insomnia. Lemon balm has a tonic effect on the heart and circulatory system causing mild vasodilation of the peripheral vessels, thus lowering blood pressure. It can be used in feverish conditions such as influenza. Hot water extracts have anti-viral properties, possibly due in part to rosmarinic acid and other polyphenolics constituents. A lotion-based extract may be used for skin lesions of herpes simplex, the anti-viral activity having been confirmed in both laboratory and clinical trial. It also inhibits the receptor binding and biological activity of immunoglobulins in the blood of patients with Graves disease, a condition which results in hyperthyroidism. German studies show that the essential oil of Lemon Balm acts upon the part of the brain governing the autonomic nervous system and protect the cerbrum from excessive external stimuli. This is a safe herb for children, and it tastes very good.
Fresh leaves can be used to sooth insect bites, and a linement made with lemon balm will help heal cold sores.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Shrimp Soft Tacos

Dinner Tonight: Shrimp Tacos

I made and had Shrimp Tacos for the first time, and this will not be the last time! They turned out fantastic! The Shrimp was tasty and cooked just right and all the seasoning and ingredients came together just right. Too good!


(Makes 2 Tacos or Burritos)

For Shrimp:
6 Jumbo or Extra Large Shrimp
1 Teaspoon McCormick Cilantro Leaves
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Corriander Seed
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cummin
Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper (To Taste)
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Leaves of Lettuce
2 Tablespoons Reduced Sour Cream
1/4 Cup Kraft 2% Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 Cup Salsa ( I used my favorite Naturally Preferred Organic Black Bean and Corn Salsa)
2 Soft Tortillas ( Whole Grain or Corn Flour )

*  Preheat, medium heat,  medium size skillet. Before heating spray pan using Pam Spray With Olive Oil. After pan has heated add Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
* As pan is heating heat Tortillas as directed by Tortilla instructions. (I heated mine by microwave )
* Add Shrimp and season with all the seasonings. Cook Shrimp 2 – 3 minutes per side.
* Lay a leaf of the Lettuce on each Tortilla then add Shrimp on the Lettuce, 3 Shrimp per Tortilla.
* Add your toppings, to taste. Salsa, Sour Cream, and Mozzarella Cheese. Fold the tortilla your favorite way or leave open face.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Good health your cup of tea? Have a sip

The health benefits of drinking teas have been known for centuries, but in recent years scientists have begun investigating the medicinal properties of green, black, oolong and other teas as well as herbal teas.

After water, tea is the world's most widely consumed beverage. Tea sales in the United States have quadrupled since 1990 and total about $7 billion annually, according to the Tea Association of the USA. The major reason: Scientific evidence that the polyphenols and other antioxidants in tea may reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and other afflictions.

Beth Johnston, CEO and founder of Teas, Etc., a premium and specialty tea importer and blender based in West Palm Beach, said it's important to distinguish between true teas that are derived from the age-old camellia sinensis tea bush and herbal teas, which are infusions derived from anything other than the tea bush. Chamomile tea, for example, is an herbal.

"In the U.S., everything we drink hot that is not coffee or hot cocoa, we call tea. Truly tea comes from the plant camellia sinensis," said Johnston, whose 13-year-old company sells true teas and herbals.

Harvard University Medical School researchers have said that tea's health benefits are largely due to its high content of flavonoids - plant-derived compounds that are antioxidants. They identified green tea as the best source of a group of antioxidants called catechins. They are also found in wine, dark chocolate and vegetables.

In test tubes, catechins are more powerful than vitamins C and E in halting oxidative damage to cells and appear to have other disease-fighting properties. Studies have found an association between consuming green tea and a reduced risk for several cancers, including, skin, breast, lung, colon, esophageal and bladder, according to Harvard Women's Health Watch.

Benefits also in bottles?

What about those pricey pre-brewed bottled teas claiming to be loaded with cancer-fighting flavonoids and antioxidants?

Save your money and stick with home-brewed tea, says the American Chemical Society in Washington.

The fancy bottled teas contain fewer polyphenols than a single cup of home-brewed green or black tea, scientists reported last year. Some contain such small amounts that consumers would have to drink 20 bottles to get the polyphenols present in one cup of tea.

"Consumers understand very well the concept of the health benefits from drinking tea or consuming other tea products," said Rutgers University chemist Shiming Li. "However, there is a huge gap between the perception that tea consumption is healthy and the actual amount of the healthful nutrients - polyphenols - found in bottled tea beverages. Our analysis of tea beverages found that the polyphenol content is extremely low."

The six teas Li analyzed contained 81, 43, 40, 13, 4, and 3 milligrams of polyphenols per 16-ounce bottle. One average cup of home-brewed green or black tea, which costs only a few cents, contains 50 milligrams to 150 milligrams of polyphenols.

Health claims about teas can only go so far before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cracks down on manufacturers for making unqualified claims, said Johnston, of Teas, Etc.

"There are a lot of claims. The slippery slope comes in making claims that have not been accepted by the FDA," Johnston said.

"Green tea has been found to potentially deliver benefits that help to reduce the risk of certain cancers. Black tea has been found to possibly reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke."

Some studies have suggested that tea has bone-density building benefits, and some people say drinking certain types of tea has helped lower their cholesterol, Johnston said. White teas are said to help build the immune system.

"I think health benefits have been a big driver for the industry. People are seeking a longer, higher quality of life," she said.

Researchers are making progress identifying the benefits of herbal teas as well. Tufts University scientists recently conducted a clinical trial that found volunteers who drank three cups of hibiscus tea a day had a 7 point drop in their systolic blood pressure (the top number), while those who drank a placebo beverage had a 1 point drop.

Whether you choose to believe the health claims or not, there's no doubt that drinking tea can have a calming effect.

"Tea requires you stop and take a minute," Johnston said. "It requires a little bit more mindfulness. It is not difficult. You select it, you prepare it, then drink it.


The tea story

Teas are grown in different regions around the world. The most widely recognized are China, Japan and India.

When tea leaves are harvested, a natural oxidation begins to occur. This oxidation is environmental, not man-made, and is halted by heating the tea leaves. This heating is done by firing or steaming the leaves. Oxidation, or the lack of oxidation, is the basic difference in tea s.

    * White and green teas are both harvested and then heated immediately, making them non-oxidized. They produce a fragrant, vegetal character, and when brewed the tea liquor will appear light and clear with a pale green or yellow hue. These delicate teas should never be made with boiling water.
    * Oolong teas are allowed to oxidize for various lengths of time (15 percent to 75 percent oxidation), allowing for a wide range of character and caffeine content; the darker, or more oxidized, the higher the caffeine content.
    * Black teas are fully oxidized, giving them a rich, dark appearance, the greatest amount of caffeine and a strong, brisk flavor. Black teas prevent heart disease and stroke, and like green, white and oolong tea, provide antioxidants.

Source: Beth Johnston, Teas, Etc., West Palm Beach;

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thin Cut Chicken Breast w/ Asparagus and…

Dinner Tonight: Thin Cut Chicken Breast w/ Asparagus and Pasta Salad

Had a Tyson Chicken Thin Cut Breast, rolled in Flour and Bread Crumbs and seasoned with Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper, lightly fried in Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Had sides of Asparagus Bits and a Whole Wheat Pasta Salad. The Pasta Salad was made with Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Wheat Pasta Rotini Pasta. Added Sliced Turkey Pepperoni, Anchovies, Capers, Sliced Black Olives, Kalamata Halved Olives, and seasoned with McCormick Grinder Italian Seasoning.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Saint Patrick's Day

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig is the Gaelic way of expressing a wish that you have all the blessings of St Patrick's Day and the "luck of the Irish" to go with it. There are many humorous explanations for this expression. One comes from the legend of the 'Little People' of the land, know as leprechauns. Finding or catching a leprechaun (who would then give you gold) was a lucky event that could only take place in Ireland ! The Irish are descendants of great Celtic and Viking fighters and invaders. Their natural fighting skills often ensured survival & hence they became known as the 'lucky' people .a classic case of making your own luck ! But then "The Luck of the Irish" may all be legend.

Saint Patricks Day Parades Worldwide, Irish Pubs all around the globe, Fun Runs, Irish Associations, Irish Music Festivals, Irish Names, Irish Dancing Schools,Irish Music Irish Roots, Irish Festivals,Scottish Highland Games USA & Canada, as well as, Scottish Pipes & Drum Bands.

St Patricks Day is for thinking about our Saint as well as a time to think of loved ones across the water.

So, why is it celebrated on March 17th? One theory is that that is the day that St. Patrick died. Since the holiday began in Ireland, it is believed that as the Irish spread out around the world, they took with them their history and celebrations. The biggest observance of all is, of course, in Ireland. With the exception of restaurants and pubs, almost all businesses close on March 17th. Being a religious holiday as well, many Irish attend mass, where March 17th is the traditional day for offering prayers for missionaries worldwide before the serious celebrating begins.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Crappie and Risotto

Dinner Tonight: Crappie Fillets w/ Parmesan Risotto and Hearth Grain Bread

Had some more of that fantastic tasting Crappie from Lake Okeechobee! Can’t get enough of that fresh Crappie. I rolled the fillets in a Bread Crumb and Whole Wheat Flour mix lightly fried and seasoned with Sea Salt, Black Pepper, and Parsley. As sides had Parmesan Risotto  and a slice of Aunt Millie’s Hearth Whole Grain Bread. More about dessert later!

Diet Dr. Pepper Ice Cream Float

…and About That Dessert

I had a Dessert I haven’t had in a very long time, an Ice Cream Float. It’s been since High School since I’ve had one of these. It was actually a Diet Dr. Pepper Ice Cream Float. Very easy and simple to make. I used Diet Dr. Pepper and Breyesrs Carb Smart Ice Cream. Calorie and carb wise this is a winner with Diet Dr. Pepper at 0 calories and 0 carbs and Breyers Carb Smart Ice Cream 90 calories and 13 carbs. If you make this add your Ice Cream to a tall glass and then add the Dr. Pepper, add the Dr. Pepper slowly and with the glass slightly tilted to avoid foaming over. It turned out too good. The foam from the Dr. Pepper was almost frozen when mixing with the Ice Cream. If you haven’t had one in a while give it try!

Diabetic Irish Beef Pot Roast with Vegetables

I found a good St. Patrick's Day recipe to pass along for those with Diabetes, Diabetic Irish Beef Pot Roast with Vegetables. Also a little Irish blessing to go along with the meal.

May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.
~Irish Blessing


    * 1 boneless beef bottom round rump roast or beef bottom round (3 to 3-1/4 pounds)
    * 2 packages (24 ounces each) fresh pot roast vegetables (potatoes, onions, carrots, celery)
    * 2 packages (.75 to .88 ounces each) mushroom or brown gravy mix
    * 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
    * 1/2 teaspoon salt
    * 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    * 1 cup beer
    * Chopped fresh parsley (optional)


   1. Prepare pot roast vegetables: cut potatoes in half (or into quarters if large), onions into 1/2-inch wedges, and carrots and celery into 2-inch pieces; set aside.
   2. Combine gravy mixes, flour, salt and pepper in large bowl. Add vegetables to bowl; toss to coat well. Remove vegetables from flour mixture and place in 5 to 6-quart slow cooker. Add beef roast to bowl, turning to coat evenly with flour mixture. Remove roast and place in slow cooker in center of vegetables.
   3. Whisk beer into remaining flour mixture until smooth; add to slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW 10 to 11 hours, or on HIGH 6 to 7 hours, or until beef and vegetables are fork-tender. (No stirring is necessary during cooking.)
   4. Remove roast and vegetables. Skim fat from gravy. Carve roast into thin slices. Serve with vegetables and gravy. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)
Calories:    318
Protein:    39 g
Sodium:     516 mg
Cholesterol:    112 mg
Fat:     9 g
Saturated Fat:     3 g
Dietary Fiber:     3 g
Carbohydrates:     17 g

Photo and Recipe Courtesy of

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

$12 Saved is $12 Earned - Grocery Price Wars

With money getting tighter and prices at the local Grocery Stores rising I've been doing a price search on grocery items we use frequently.I shopped and priced at three different grocery stores, Walmart, Kroger, and Meijer. I priced over 40 items and narrowed that down to varied selection of 15 items for the price comparison.The items ranged from Bigelow Tea, Ronzoni Pasta, to Tide Detergent. I'll provide a list of the 15 at the bottom of the post. The totals were really shocking and I will be changing my shopping habits from now on. These prices may vary in different areas or depending on sale items. The totals from the three were:

Walmart - $43.80, Kroger $55.85, Meijer - $50.69

Each store had various items cheaper than the other stores and all three had excellent selections, one was poorly stocked and that was 10:30 am. There are certain items that I will continue to purchase from Kroger like Ground Bison and Bison Sirloin and certain Kroger baked items and Meijer Aunt Millie's Bread products (best prices), and Meijer Seafood Department for their selection and prices. Overall I'll be doing my shopping at Walmart, their prices can't be beat right now. Like I said prices may vary in different areas and items on sale. Below is a list of the 15 items, shop smart!

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter    Egg Beaters   Hershey's Sugarless Dark Chocolate
Quaker Rice Cakes                   Cherrio's       Bigelow Decaf Tea
Ziploc Quart Freezer Bags        Oscar Mayer Carver Board Ham
Ball Park Turkey Franks            Ronzoni Pasta    Campbell's Cunky Soup
Pioneer Gravy                           Kraft 2% Shredded Cheese
Tide 100 oz. Detergent               Gold Medal 5lb. Flour

Diabetes 2 Friendly Product Review - Natuarally Preferred Organic Salsa

Naturally Preferred Organic Salsa - Black Bean and Corn (Kroger Brand)

I wasn't a real big fan of Salsa until I tried Kroger Brand Naturally Preferred Salsa. They have several different flavors but the one I stick with is the Black Bean and Corn.Great tasting with plenty of ingredients. I've had this with Tortilla Chips and on baked potatoes. The best part is with all this flavor and being Organic it contains only 15 calories and 3 carbs! If you get a chance try a jar. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Bison Sirloin Steak w/ Asparagus and...

Dinner Tonight: Bison Sirloin Steak and Sauteed Mushrooms w/ Asparagus Spears, Diced Potatoes and Hearth Whole Wheat Bread

Had a Bison Sirloin Steak, cooked medium and seasoned with McCormick Grinder Steakhouse Seasoning topped with Sauteed Mushrooms. As sides had  Asparagus Spears seasoned with Garlic Salt and Black Pepper, sprinkled with sliced Almonds. I also had Diced Potatoes along with Aunt Millie’s Hearth Whole Wheat Bread.

Czech republic - Vepřo knedlo zelo (Roast pork with dumplings and sauerkraut)

Vepřo knedlo zelo (Roast pork with dumplings and sauerkraut)

Roast pork with dumplings and cabbage is colloquially called vepřo-knedlo-zelo. It is believed to be the country’s most popular dish. There are two regional variants in the way that the cabbage is prepared; the Bohemian method and that of the Moravians. The Bohemians tend to eat their cabbage sour, so they use Sauerkraut in the preparation of the dish. The Moravians prefer their cabbage much sweeter and use fresh cabbage often with a little sugar. Both styles are available nationally and both taste equally as good. The real success of this tasty Czech dish lies in the quality of the pork, which should be on the fatty side rather than lean. The additional fat makes this into a succulent, juicy roast. Whilst the dumplings and cabbage are the traditional accompaniment, mashed potatoes would work well as a substitute. Beer is the perfect beverage with this meal.

Recipe: Vepřová Pečeně s Knedlíky a se Zelím
1 kg of pork roast
2-3 cloves crushed garlic
Generous pinch of caraway seeds

For the dumplings:
180 g flour
A pinch salt
1-2 eggs
235 ml milk
1-2 white bread rolls, diced
1 teaspoon baking powder

For the cabbage:
1 head of cabbage
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons of lard or butter
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
sugar,salt and vinegar to taste

Rub the meat with the crushed garlic and salt then sprinkle on the caraway seeds, and roast the meat in the oven. If the meat is on the lean side, pour a little water underneath it. Cover the meat, but uncover later when nearly cooked. Mix all of the dumpling ingredients together, but add the cubes of bread roll last of all. This mixture should form a dough, which can be shaped into 2-3 long baguette shapes. Lower them into a pan of boiling water and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Once cooked – they should be very soft but not falling apart, slice them into 2 cm thick slices with a sharp knife. Slice the cabbage into thin strips and blanch in a pan of boiling water then sieve and remove the excess water. Melt some of the lard and gently fry the onion, then add the cabbage and the caraway seeds. Continue cooking until the cabbage is tender and translucent. Avoid letting it stick to the bottom of the pan by adding a little water. Add the sugar, salt and vinegar until the cabbage tastes sweet-and-sour.

National Dish of the Week: Czech Republic

Czech cuisine was influenced historically by the surrounding regions that dominated the country. In 1273, Count Rudolph, King of Germany, founded the Hapsburg dynasty. Eventually the dynasty controlled most of Europe, including the region of the present-day Czech Republic. The Germans brought with them roast goose, sauerkraut, and dumplings, which have since become Czech staple dishes.
1526, Ferdinand I of Austria began his reign as King of Bohemia (a western region in the Czech Republic) and the Hapsburg rule of Central Europe grew. From Vienna, the capital city of Austria, schnitzels (breaded and fried chicken or pork patties) were introduced to the Czechs.

Other culinary influences come from Hungary and Eastern Europe, whose people used present-day Czech Republic as a crossroad to other European countries. Hungary introduced gulás (goulash) to the Czechs, a meat-based dish served with dumplings, and Eastern Europe offered such flavorings as sour cream, vinegar, and pickles. Goose, duck, rabbit and wild game are served. Fish is rare, with the occasional exception of fresh trout and carp, which is served at Christmas.
More than 80 percent of the Czech Republic population is Christian, either Catholic or Protestant. Two of the biggest religious holidays are Christmas and Easter. Christmas Eve is celebrated on December 24 with a large dinner. According to one of the many Czech Christmas customs and traditions, a bowl of garlic is placed under the dinner table to provide protection to a family. There is an old superstition that if anyone leaves the dinner table early, they will die the following year. As a result, everything is prepared and placed on the table before anyone sits down so no one needs to get up before the meal is finished.

The traditional Christmas Eve meal is usually served around 6 P.M. and might include potato salad, soups, cookies, a fruit bread called vánocka , koláce (a type of pastry), and carp. Czechs go fishing for carp before Christmas Eve and usually keep the fish alive in the bathtub until it is ready to be prepared.
Fried Bramboraky
A typical snídane (breakfast) in a Czech home is hearty–bread with butter, cheese, eggs, ham or sausage, jam or yogurt, and coffee or tea. For a quick breakfast, a Bohemian koláce (pastry) topped with poppy seeds, cottage cheese, or plum jam may be bought at a bakery.

Obed (lunch) is the main meal of the day for Czechs, where dinner may be no more than a cold plate of meats or cheese, such as mala sousta se syre ("small cheese bites"), and condiments. Obed is eaten between 11 A.M. and 1 P.M. Popular dishes may include gulás (goulash), svícková , roast beef in a creamy sauce topped with lemon and lingonberries (similar to cranberries), smazený syr (fried cheese), or smázené zampiony (fried mushrooms).

Travelers may stop at a street stand and buy a párek (hotdog), klobása (spicy sausage), or hamburgery , which are not like Western hamburgers. A hamburgery is ground pork (not beef) with sauerkraut, mustard, and ketchup on a bun. Stands also sell Middle Eastern specialties such as falafil (deep-fried chickpea balls) and shawerma (grilled, skewered meat). Open-faced sandwiches called oblozené chlebícky are also popular, which are commonly made with cold meat, eggs, cheese, or mayonnaise-based salads, such as ham and pea, or potato. Sandwiches may be eaten with soups, such as rajska (tomato and rice), polevka jatrovymi knedlicky (soup with liver dumplings), or polevka z hlavkoveho zeli s parkem (cabbage soup with frankfurters).

Czech beer has been produced since the 1000s, and is considered some of the best in the world. Adults usually drink it at every meal, sometimes even at breakfast.

If there is room at the end of a meal, desserts such as palacinky , rolled crepes filled with jam, fruit, or topped with chocolate sauce, or jablkový závin (apple strudel) may be served.

Czechs prepare their foods in the kitchen and bring out the plates to the table. The head of the household or the guests are served first. The Czechs use their eating utensils to eat their meals. The nuz (knife) and vidlicka (fork) are kept in their hands throughout the meal and left crossed on the table to show that they are not finished eating. In many families, conversation while eating is minimal, unless there are guests. It is considered polite for a guest to bring inexpensive gifts to the children of a host.

Aside from Slivovitz, Czech beer and wine, Czechs also produce two uniquely Czech liquors, Fernet Stock and Becherovka. Kofola is a non-alcoholic Czech soft drink somewhat similar in look and taste to Coca-Cola but not as sweet. A mixed drink consisting of Becherovka and tonic water is called Beton (concrete in Czech). Beton is an abbreviation of BEcherovka and TONic. Another popular mixed drink is Fernet Stock mixed with tonic, called "Bavorák" (literally: the bavarian).

Spice of the Week - Cubeb

Cubeb (Piper cubeba), or tailed pepper, is a plant in genus Piper, cultivated for its fruit and essential oil. It is mostly grown in Java and Sumatra, hence sometimes called Java pepper. The fruits are gathered before they are ripe, and carefully dried. Commercial cubebs consist of the dried berries, similar in appearance to black pepper, but with stalks attached — the "tails" in "tailed pepper". The dried pericarp is wrinkled, its color ranges from grayish-brown to black. The seed is hard, white and oily. The odor of cubeb is described as agreeable and aromatic. The taste, pungent, acrid, slightly bitter and persistent. It has been described as tasting like allspice, or like a cross between allspice and black pepper.

Spice Description:
This is the small, red-brown irregular seeds of a cardamom-like plant. The seeds are 3-4 mm (1/8”) in diameter and are numerously contained in a brown wrinkled, fig-shaped dried capsule about 30mm (1-1/4”) in length; they have a white kernel. They are rarely found in the West.
Plant Description
A tropical, climbing perennial vine with a round grey stem. The leaves are smooth and ovate with a pointed tip. The small white flowers are arranged in spikes that later develop into an aggregate of berries along the central axis. The fruits are brown.

Preparation and Storage:
As with other pepper, grind as necessary; ground pepper rapidly loses its aroma.

Culinary Uses:
Cubeb is used in local Indonesian cookery, especially in Indonesian gulés (curries). It was once popular in Arab cooking. Although there are no specific uses for cubeb in modern Western cookery, it was popular in the Middle Ages and in moderation may still be used to effect both as a spice and a pepper substitute. Because of its aromatic qualities, cubeb would go well with meat, cheese and vegetable dishes. It may be substituted for pepper in spice mixtures such as quatre-épices for flavoring patés, sausages, gingerbreads and spiced biscuits. Another use for cubeb is in place of allspice, where it will give a more peppery flavor.

Attributed Medicinal Properties:
Cubeb berry is considered a carminative, diuretic, expectorant, stimulant, and antiseptic. It has often been used in the treatment of gonorrhea. Cubeb Berry has been shown to be effective in easing the symptoms of chronic bronchitis. It is also used for digestive ailments and is effective in treating dysentery. Cubeb also has a local stimulating effect on the mucous membranes of the urinary and respiratory tracts. The herb has often been associated with the reproductive system and has been used to treat cystitis, leucorrhea, urethritis, and prostate infections. Its action in regards to genital problems have led many to believe that cubeb has aphrodisiacal properties and is often used in traditional love spells.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sweet Potato Biscuits

From diabetic recipes web site, a low calorie, low carb Biscuit treat. Sweet Potato at that!  Passed along to me from Tricia.


(makes 18 biscuits)

Butter-flavored cooking spray or baking parchment paper
2 1/2     Cups  sifted Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2     Tablespoons Brown Sugar substitute
2     Teaspoons  Baking Powder
1     Teaspoon  Baking Soda
1/2     Teaspoon  Ground Nutmeg
1/2     Teaspoon  Salt
1/2     Teaspoon  Granulated Sugar
1/4     Cup Canola Oil
3/4     Cup  + 2 tablespoons Cultured Nonfat Buttermilk
3/4     Cup  mashed cooked Sweet Potato

1. Preheat oven to 425°F.  Lightly spray a nonstick baking sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, and sugar.
3. In a large measuring cup, combine oil, buttermilk, and mashed sweet potato. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. (The dough will be quite dry).
4. Transfer dough to a floured work surface. Knead a few times and pat to 1 inch  thickness rectangle about 8 inches X 5 inches. Dip a sharp knife in flour, then cut the dough into thirds lengthwise. Then cut each long strip into 6 equal pieces, making 18 squares in all. Transfer biscuits to prepared baking sheet.
5. Bake about 12 to 13 minutes, until tops are golden and firm to the touch. Serve warm.

Per biscuit:     104 calories (29% calories from fat), 2 g protein, 3 g total fat (0.4 g saturated), 16 g carbohydrate, 1 g dietary fiber, trace cholesterol, 204 mg sodium
Exchanges:     1 carbohydrate (1 bread/starch), 1/2 fat

Friday, March 11, 2011

National Nutrition Month Blog

National Nutrition Month Blog

July is the peak time for blueberries, but you can still enjoy them during the other months, including during National Nutrition Month, either fresh or frozen. Blueberries are among the fruits with the highest amounts of antioxidants, which may help fight aging, cancer and heart disease.

Blueberries are also loaded with dietary fiber and vitamins A and C. At only 80 calories per cup, blueberries are also virtually fat-free!

Did you know that 90% of the highbush blueberry crop is harvested in six states, Michigan, New Jersey, Oregon, North Carolina, Georgia and Washington? When you buy fresh blueberries, make sure they are firm, dry, plump, smooth-skinned, with a silvery surface bloom and free from leaves and stems. Refrigerate fresh blueberries as soon as you get them home in their original package or in a covered bowl or storage container. Use fresh berries within 10 days of purchase and wash them just before use.

If you opt for frozen berries from your grocery store, know that commercially frozen berries are washed before being frozen and do not need to be washed again.

Blueberries are great as a snack, in pancakes, a salad or muffins. Want something different for breakfast? Try these Blueberry Yogurt Belgian Waffles which are also gluten-free.

Crappie Tonight!!

Dinner Tonight: Crappie w/ Velveeta/Kraft Shells and Cheese and Hearth Whole Grain Bread

Crappie Fillets
Everyone has their favorite foods mine Bison and Crappie! I know Spring is just around the corner when my Mom’s cousin’s family are returning from their annual winter retreat from Lake Okeechobee. Which also means they bring me a
fresh batch of Lake Okeechobee Crappie or Specks as they call them down in Florida. I could eat these every day and not get tired of them. This year’s catch is a tasty one, as I found out for dinner!
I had Crappie rolled in a Whole Wheat Flour and Bread Crumb mixture and seasoned with Sea Salt, Pepper, McCormick ParmesanSeasoning, and Parsley. Lightly pan fried in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, just lightly browned. As sides had Velveeta/Kraft 2% Shells and Cheese and a slice of Aunt Millie’s Hearth Whole Grain Bread. Did I tell you I love eating Crappie?
**Thank you Starr and Dinah!!**