Monday, October 31, 2011

Bison Sirloin Steak w/ Sauteed Mushrooms, Grilled Potatoes, and...

Dinner Tonight: Bison Sirloin Steak w/ Sauteed Mushrooms, Grilled Potatoes, and Whole Grain Bread

I've yet to come across a bad Bison Sirloin Steak and this one was no exception. I had a Bison Sirloin Steak that I seasoned with McCormick Grinder Steakhouse Seasoning. I pan fried it in a a half a tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil about 4 minutes per side. Topped it with Sauteed Mushrooms that were seasoned with Sea Salt, Ground Black Pepper, Smoked Ground Cumin, and Parsley. Then lightly sauteed in Extra Virgin Olive oil and a pat of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter. I also had Meijer Grilled Potatoes and Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. For a dessert/snack later a 100 Calorie Mini Bag of Jolly Time Pop Corn.

Fruit of the Week - Lychee

The lychee (Litchi chinensis, and commonly called leechi, litchi, laichi, lichu, lizhi) is the sole member of the genus Litchi in the soapberry family, Sapindaceae. It is a tropical and subtropical fruit tree native to Southern China and Southeast Asia, and now cultivated in many parts of the world. The fresh fruit has a "delicate, whitish pulp" with a "perfume" flavor that is lost in canning, so the fruit is mostly eaten fresh.

An evergreen tree reaching 10–20 m tall, the lychee bears fleshy fruits that are up to 5 cm (2.0 in) long and 4 cm (1.6 in) wide. The outside of the fruit is covered by a pink-red, roughly-textured rind that is inedible but easily removed to expose a layer of sweet, translucent white flesh. Lychees are eaten in many different dessert dishes, and are especially popular in China, throughout South-East Asia, along with South Asia and India.

The lychee is cultivated in China, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, and northern India (in particular Bihar, which accounts for 75% of total Indian production.) South Africa and the United States (Hawaii and Florida) also have commercial lychee production.

The lychee has a history of cultivation going back as far as 2000 BC according to records in China. Cultivation began in the area of southern China, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Wild trees still grow in parts of southern China and on Hainan Island. There are many stories of the fruit's use as a delicacy in the Chinese Imperial Court. It was first described and introduced to the west in 1782.

Litchi chinensis is an evergreen tree that is frequently less than 10 m (33 ft) tall, sometimes reaching more than 15 m (49 ft). The bark is grey-black, the branches a brownish-red. Leaves are 10 to 25 cm (3.9 to 9.8 in) or longer, with leaflets in 2-4 pairs. Litchee have a similar foliage to the Lauraceae family likely due to convergent evolution. They are adapted by developing leaves that repel water, similar to laurophyll or lauroide leaves which are adapted to high rainfall and humidity in laurel forest habitats. Flowers grow on a terminal inflorescence with many panicles on the current season's growth. The panicles grow in clusters of ten or more, reaching 10 to 40 cm (3.9 to 16 in) or longer, holding hundreds of small white, yellow, or green flowers that are distinctively fragrant.

Fruits mature in 80–112 days, depending on climate, location, and cultivar. Fruits reach up to 5 cm (2.0 in) long and 4 cm (1.6 in) wide, varying in shape from round, to ovoid, to heart-shaped. The thin, tough inedible skin is green when immature, ripening to red or pink-red, and is smooth or covered with small sharp protuberances. The skin turns brown and dry when left out after harvesting. The fleshy, edible portion of the fruit is an aril, surrounding one dark brown inedible seed that is 1 to 3.3 cm (0.39 to 1.3 in) long and .6 to 1.2 cm (0.24 to 0.47 in) wide. Some cultivars produce a high percentage of fruits with shriveled aborted seeds known as 'chicken tongues'. These fruit typically have a higher price, due to having more edible flesh.

Lychees are extensively grown in China, and also elsewhere in Brazil, South-East Asia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, southern Japan, and more recently in California, Hawaii, Texas, Florida, the wetter areas of eastern Australia and sub-tropical regions of South Africa, Israel and also in the states of Sinaloa and San Luis Potosí (specifically, in La Huasteca) in Mexico. They require a warm subtropical to tropical climate that is cool but also frost-free or with only very slight winter frosts not below -4°C, and with high summer heat, rainfall, and humidity. Growth is best on well-drained, slightly acidic soils rich in organic matter. A wide range of cultivars is available, with early and late maturing forms suited to warmer and cooler climates respectively. They are also grown as an ornamental tree as well as for their fruit.

Lychees are commonly sold fresh in Asian markets, and in recent years, also widely in supermarkets worldwide. The red rind turns dark brown when the fruit is refrigerated, but the taste is not affected. It is also sold canned year-round. The fruit can be dried with the rind intact, at which point the flesh shrinks and darkens. Dried lychee are often called lychee nuts, though, of course, they are not a real nut.

According to folklore, a lychee tree that is not producing much fruit can be girdled, leading to more fruit production.

The lychee contains on average a total 72 mg of Vitamin C per 100 grams of fruit.[11] On average nine lychee fruits would meet an adult’s daily recommended Vitamin C requirement.

A cup of lychee fruit provides, among other minerals, for a 2000-calorie diet, mainly from sugar, 14%DV of copper, 9%DV of phosphorus, and 6%DV of potassium.

Like most plant-based foods, lychees are low in saturated fat and sodium and are cholesterol free. Lychees have moderate amounts of polyphenols, shown in one French study to be higher than several other fruits analyzed. On the phenolic composition, flavan-3-ol monomers and dimers were the major found compounds representing about 87.0% of the phenolic compounds that declined with storage or browning. Cyanidin-3-glucoside was a major anthocyanin and represented 91.9% of anthocyanins. It also declined with storage or browning. Small amounts of malvidin-3-glucoside were also found.

In traditional Chinese medicine, Lychee is known for being a fruit with "hot" properties (see the six excesses for more details on the definition of heat), and excessive consumption of Lychee can, in certain extreme cases, lead to fainting spells or skin rashes.

Iced Lychees

From EatingWell:  February/March 2005, The EatingWell Healthy in a Hurry Cookbook (2006), The EatingWell Diabetes Cookbook (2005)

In China, the creamy lychee fruit is considered good luck. Freezing turns them into a sorbet-like treat.

4 servings | Active Time: 5 minutes | Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes

    1 20-ounce can lychees, drained


    Place lychees on a sheet pan and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.


Per serving : 115 Calories; 0 g Fat; 0 g Sat; 0 g Mono; 0 mg Cholesterol; 29 g Carbohydrates; 1 g Protein; 1 g Fiber; 2 mg Sodium; 126 mg Potassium

2 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 2 fruit

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Jennie-O Turkey Nachos Extreme!

Dinner Tonight: Jennie-O Turkey  Nachos Extreme!

Ran across this while at Walmart earlier and I knew I had my dinner for later! I was wanting something light and easy to fix while getting my Sunday dose of Football. Easy to fix, yes! The Kit comes with the Cooked Taco Flavored Turkey (8oz.), Corn Tortilla Chips (4oz.), and Shredded Cheese (3oz.).

Step 1 - Open the end of theTaco Meat Package
Step 2 - Layer Chips in tray, top with contents of Meat pouch. Use fork to break up Meat and distribute evenly over Chips. Top with Cheese.
Step 3 - Microwave uncovered on High for approximately 2 minutes. Serve.

Can't get much easier! They turned out great! I also added a small can of Sliced Black Olives before heating and was going to add some sliced Peppers but was out of them. I'll be buying more of these a good tasting and quick and easy way to fix Nachos! Plus only 290 calories and 22 carbs per serving, there are 4 servings per kit.    

Nutrition Facts
Jennie-O Turkey Store - Nachos Extreme!


Calories     290     Sodium     595 mg
Total Fat     14 g     Potassium     0 mg
Saturated     5 g     Total Carbs     22 g
Polyunsaturated     0 g     Dietary Fiber     0 g
Monounsaturated     0 g     Sugars     0 g
Trans     0 g     Protein     16 g
Cholesterol     65 mg


Hungry Girl 100% Whole Wheat w/Flax Foldit Flatbread

I am hopelessly addicted to pasta, bread, and rice. So I'm always looking for new and healthier products.
I found a new product, well new to me, called Hungry Girl Foldit Flatbread. There are different types and I tried the 100% Whole Wheat w/Flax Foldit Flatbread. You can put anything you want inside and then fold one end over, kind of like a taco shell but bread.  I made mine for lunch and put some Jennie - O Turkey Tenders I had left over from the other night and a half piece of Kraft 2% Deli Style Sliced Sharp Cheddar. I then warmed it up in my Panini Maker. Tasted fantastic and browned up beautifully! Another new product to keep on hand. One serving is one piece - 100 calories, 0 fat, 290 mg sodium, 19 g carbs, 3 g fiber, and 6 g protein.

Hungry Girl 100% Whole Wheat with Flax

90 Calories
Excellent Source of ALA Omega 3

Excellent Source of Fiber
43% Less Net Carbs than sliced bread

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 flatbread (43g)

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 25
Calories 90

% Daily Values*
Total Fat 2.5g     4%
      Saturated Fat 0g     0%
      Trans Fat 0g    
Cholesterol 0mg     0%
Sodium 360mg     15%
Total Carbohydrate 15g     5%
      Dietary Fiber 7g     28%
      Sugars -    
Protein 7g    

Vitamin A -         Vitamin C -
Calcium -         Iron -
*    Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pan Seared Sockeye Salmon and Basil Pesto w/ Green Beans, Sweet Corn...

Dinner Tonight: Pan Seared Sockeye Salmon and Basil Pesto w/ Green Beans, Sweet Corn, and Whole Grain Bread

I had a Pan Seared Sockeye Salmon and Basil Pesto with a Lemon Wedge. I seasoned the Salmon with McCormick Grinder Sea Salt, McCormick Grinder Black Peppercorn, and Parsley. I then pan seared with Extra Virgin Olive Oil about 3 1/2 minutes per side. When done I topped it with Basil Pesto and a Lemon Wedge. The Salmon contains those healthy omega-3′s that we need to be incorporating into our diet!

 For sides I had Green Beans and Sweet Corn along with Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. I tried a can of Del Monte Summer Crisp Whole Kernal Golden Sweet Corn and loved it! Great flavor and only 80 calories and 16 carbs. The Del Monte Cut Green beans are 20 calories and 5 carbs and the Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread 80 calories and 16 carbs. So for 3 sides it's only a total of 180 calories and 37 carbs! Not bad at all. For dessert later a Mini Banana Split. Using a Mini Banana, Breyer's Carb Smart Vanilla Ice Cream, Smucker's Sugar Free Hot Fudge Chocolate Topping, and a Tablespoon of Cool Whip Free. If you crave one at least make it as low calorie and low carb as you can.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Marinated Baked Turkey Tenderloin and Crushed Pineapple w/ Asparagus,...

Dinner Tonight: Marinated Baked Turkey Tenderloin and Crushed Pineapple w/ Grilled Asparagus, Grilled Potatoes, and Whole Grain Bread

I had Jennie - O Baked Turkey Tenderloin that I had marinated for three hours in JB’s Fat Boy Sticky Stuff BBQ. After seasoning it with Sea Salt, Ground Black Pepper, and Smoked Cumin I then baked it for 30 minutes covered and thirty minutes uncovered at 350 degrees. After uncovering it I added the Crushed Pineapple and 2 tablespoons of the Pineapple Juice from the can for the final 30 minutes of baking. The Turkey turned out moist and delicious. The JB’s Fat Boy Sticy Stuff BBQ. Sauce along with the Crushed Pioneapple make for a perfect combo that gives the Turkey a fantastic taste! I've yet to have anything bad from Jennie -O products. Meijer is the only one in my area that sells all of the Jenni - O products but I hear Kroger is now considering switching to them.

 As sides I had Grilled Asparagus Spears, Grilled Sliced Potatoes with Cheese &Herb Seasoning, and Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. The Asparagus and Potatoes are Meijer Brands, which may I add has in my opinion some of the best selection and tasting frozen Veggies. For dessert a Jello Sugar free Chocolate Pudding topped with Cool Whip Free.

The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs - Sunday on Food Network

The new season of The Next Iron Chef premieres October 30. This should be good!

Contestants are: Anne Burrell, Michael Chiarello, Elizabeth Falkner, Alex Guarnaschelli, Chuck Hughes, Robert Irvine, Beau MacMillan, Geoffrey Zakarian, Spike Mendelsohn, and Marcus Samuelsson.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ground Pork Pesto Burger and Apple Mayo w/ Baked Steak Fries

Dinner Tonight: Ground Pork Pesto Burger and Apple Mayo w/ Baked Steak Fries

My favorite Burger is the Bison Burger and I love the Turkey and Chicken Burgers too but there is a new Burger in town and this one is too good! I used Ground Pork, a 93/7 blend, and added Italian Style Bread Crumbs, Basil Pesto Sauce to make the patties. I seasoned them with Sea salt and Ground Black Pepper. Fried in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, about a half a tablespoon.  Served on a Healthy Life Whole Grain Bun I also made a Apple Mayo for the topping and added a slice of Smoked Gouda. They are delicious, my parents loved them! The Mayo is very easy I used Kraft Mayo w/ Olive Oil and added a 2 teaspoons of Apple Juice and sliced and diced 1 small Gala Apple. Mixed all together in a small bowl and served. I'll leave the recipe below for the Burgers and Mayo. I also had a side of Ore Ida Baked Steak Fries.

Ground Pork Burgers
(Makes 4 Burgers)

1 LB. Ground Pork (I used a 93/7 Blend)
1/4 Cup Basil Pesto (You can add more to taste)
1/2 cup Italian Style Bread Crumbs
Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper, to taste
4 Slices of Smoked Gouda Cheese, Optional


* In a mixing bowl add your pesto and ground pork. Mix together and form into 4 Burgers
* Spray a large skillet and heat on medium heat and add 1/2 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
* Fry the Burgers to your liking, I fried these for about 4 minutes per side.
* Serve on a Bun of your choice (I used Heathy Life Whole Grain Buns). Add Apple Mayo and Slice of Smoked Gouda Cheese.

Apple Mayo
1 Medium Gala Apple or Honey Crisp
1 Cup Kraft Reduced Fat Mayo w/ Olive Oil
2 Teaspoons Apple Juice

* Core Apple and quarter it. Then slice each quarter into thin slices and dice all slices up.
* In a small bowl add Mayo, Diced Apple, and Apple Juice and mix well.
* You can also add a little Paprika to give it a bit of heat *

National Dish of the Week - United Kingdom

 Traditional pub food - a pie and chips, along with a pint 
English cuisine encompasses the cooking styles, traditions and recipes associated with England. It has distinctive attributes of its own, but also shares much with wider British cuisine, largely due to the importation of ingredients and ideas from places such as North America, China, and India during the time of the British Empire and as a result of post-war immigration.

In the Early Modern Period the food of England was historically characterized by its simplicity of approach and a reliance on the high quality of natural produce. This, was in no small part influenced by England's Puritan flavor at the time, and resulted in a traditional cuisine which tended to veer from strong flavors, such as garlic, and an avoidance of complex sauces which were commonly associated with Catholic Continental political affiliations. It is possible the effects of this can still be seen in traditional cuisine.

Traditional meals have ancient origins, such as bread and cheese, roasted and stewed meats, meat and game pies, boiled vegetables and broths, and freshwater and saltwater fish. The 14th century English cookbook, the Forme of Cury, contains recipes for these, and dates from the royal court of Richard II. In the second half of the 18th century Rev. Gilbert White, in The Natural History of Selborne made note of the increased consumption of vegetables by ordinary country people in the south of England, to which, he noted, potatoes had only been added during the reign of George III: "Green-stalls in cities now support multitudes in comfortable state, while gardeners get fortunes. Every decent labourer also has his garden, which is half his support; and common farmers provide plenty of beans, peas, and greens, for their hinds to eat with their bacon."

Other meals, such as fish and chips, which were once urban street food eaten from newspaper with salt and malt vinegar, and pies and sausages with mashed potatoes, onions, and gravy, are now matched in popularity by curries from the Bangladesh and Pakistan, and stir-fries based on Chinese and Thai cooking. Italian cuisine and French cuisine are also now widely adapted. Britain was also quick to adopt the innovation of fast food from the United States, and continues to absorb culinary ideas from all over the world while at the same time rediscovering its roots in sustainable rural agriculture.

The Sunday roast was once the most common feature of English cooking. The Sunday dinner traditionally includes roast potatoes (or boiled or mashed potatoes) accompanying a roasted joint of meat such as roast beef, lamb, pork, or a roast chicken and assorted other vegetables, themselves generally boiled and served with a gravy. Sauces are chosen depending on the type of meat: horseradish for beef, mint sauce for lamb, apple sauce for pork, and bread sauce for chicken. Yorkshire pudding normally accompanies beef (although it was originally served first as a "filler"), sage and onion stuffing pork, and usually parsley stuffing chicken; gravy is now often served as an accompaniment to the main course. The practice of serving a roast dinner on a Sunday is related to the elaborate preparation required, and to the housewife's practice of performing the weekly wash on a Monday, when the cold remains of the roast made an easily-assembled meal. Sunday was once the only rest day after a six-day working week; it was also a demonstration that the household was prosperous enough to afford the cost of a better than normal meal. An elaborate version of roast dinner is traditionally eaten at Christmas, with almost every detail rigidly specified by tradition. Since its widespread availability after World War II the most popular Christmas roast is turkey, superseding the goose of Dickens's time. Before the period of cheap turkeys, roast chicken would be more common than goose although Chicken was still a once a year treat until the 1950's; goose being unsuitable for small groups of diners. Game meats such as venison which were traditionally the domain of higher classes are occasionally also eaten by those wishing to experiment with a wider choice of foods, due to their promotion by celebrity chefs, although they are not usually eaten frequently in the average household.

It is a widespread stereotype that the English "drop everything" for a teatime meal in the mid-afternoon. This is no longer the case in the workplace, and is rarer in the home than it once was. A formal teatime meal is now often an accompaniment to tourism, particularly in Devon and neighboring counties, where comestibles may include scones with jam and clotted cream (together known as a cream tea). There are also fairy cakes, simple small sponge cakes which can be iced or eaten plain. Nationwide, assorted biscuits and sandwiches are eaten. Generally, however, the teatime meal has been replaced by snacking, or simply dispensed with.

Although a wide variety of fish are caught in British waters, the English tend to mainly eat only a few species. Cod, haddock, plaice, huss, and skate are the fish-and-chip shop favourites. (The unadventurous approach and the tendency to eat fish battered were mocked by Keith Floyd with the phrase "unidentified frying objects". A few other species, such as coley and pollack are found in the anonymous form of bread crumbed fishcakes and fish fingers.

English sausages are colloquially known as "bangers". They are distinctive in that they are usually made from fresh meats and rarely smoked, dried, or strongly flavored. Following the post World War II period, sausages tended to contain low-quality meat, fat, and rusk. However, there has been a backlash in recent years, with most butchers and supermarkets now selling premium varieties.

Pork and beef are by far the most common bases, although gourmet varieties may contain venison, wild boar, etc. There are particularly famous regional varieties, such as the herbal Lincolnshire, and the long, curled Cumberland with many butchers offering their own individual recipes and variations often handed down through generations, but are generally not made from cured meats such as Italian selections or available in such a variety as found in Germany.

Most larger supermarkets in England will stock at least a dozen types of English sausage: not only Cumberland and Lincolnshire but often varieties such as pork and apple, pork and herb; beef and stilton; pork and mozzarella, and others. There are estimated to be around 400 sausage varieties in the United Kingdom.

Sausages form the basis of toad in the hole, where they are combined with a batter similar to a Yorkshire pudding and baked in the oven, this can be served with an onion gravy made by frying sliced onions for anywhere over an hour on a low heat then mixed with a stock, wine or ale then reduced to form a sauce or gravy used in bangers and mash.

Northern European countries generally have a tradition of salting, smoking, pickling and otherwise preserving foods. Kippers, bloaters, ham, and bacon are some of the varieties of preserved meat and fish known in England. Onions, cabbage and some other vegetables may be pickled. Smoked cheese is not common or traditional, although apple-wood smoked cheddar has become available in many supermarkets. Meats other than pork are generally not cured. The "three breakfasts a day" principle can be implemented by eating bacon sandwiches at any time. (These have many colloquial names such as "bacon sarnies" or "bacon butties").

Traditionally pubs in England were drinking establishments and little emphasis was placed on the serving of food, other than "bar snacks", such as pork scratchings, and pickled eggs, along with salted crisps and peanuts which helped to increase beer sales. If a pub served meals they were usually basic cold dishes such as a ploughman's lunch. In South East England (especially London) it was common until recent times for vendors selling cockles, whelks, mussels and other shellfish, to sell to customers during the evening and at closing time. Many mobile shellfish stalls would set up near pubs, a practice that continues in London's East End.

In the 1950s some British pubs would offer "a pie and a pint", with hot individual steak and ale pies made easily on the premises by the landlord's wife. In the 1960s and 1970s this developed into the then-fashionable "chicken in a basket", a portion of roast chicken with chips, served on a napkin, in a wicker basket. Quality dropped but variety increased with the introduction of microwave ovens and freezer food. "Pub grub" expanded to include British food items such as steak and ale pie, shepherd's pie, fish and chips, bangers and mash, Sunday roast, ploughman's lunch, and pasties. In addition, dishes such as burgers, lasagna and chili con carne are often served.

Since the 1990s food has become more important as part of a pub's trade, and today most pubs serve lunches and dinners at the table in addition to (or instead of) snacks consumed at the bar. They may have a separate dining room. Some pubs serve meals to a higher standard, to match good restaurant standards; these are sometimes termed gastropubs.

Catherine of Braganza, wife of Charles II, took the tea habit to Great Britain around 1660, subsequently to the introduction of coffee. Initially, its expense restricted it to wealthy consumers, but the price gradually dropped, until the 19th century, when tea became as widely consumed as it is today.

In Britain, tea is usually black tea served with milk (never cream; the cream of a "cream tea" is clotted cream served on top of scones then normally strawberry jam on top, a tradition originating from Devon and Cornwall). Strong tea served with lots of milk and often two teaspoons of sugar, usually in a mug, is commonly referred to as builder's tea. Much of the time in the United Kingdom, tea drinking is not the delicate, refined cultural expression that the rest of the world imagines—a cup (or commonly a mug) of tea is something drunk often, with some people drinking six or more cups of tea a day. Employers generally allow breaks for tea and sometimes biscuits to be served. A mug of tea is the standard accompaniment to a meal in an inexpensive unlicensed eatery, such as a café or"caff".

Earl Grey tea is a distinctive variation flavored with Bergamot. In recent years, herbal teas and speciality teas have also become popular.

Beer was the first alcoholic drink to be produced in England, and has been brewed continuously since prehistoric times. England is one of the few countries where ale (cask conditioned beer) is still a major part of the market. Lager or Pilsener style beer has increased considerably in popularity since the mid 20th century, and is often used as an accompaniment to spicy ethnic food. Any kind of beer may accompany a meal in a pub. English beer cookery includes steak and ale pie and beer-battered fish and chips.

Stout is a globally known style of beer which originated in England, although it came to be associated with Ireland. It has a culinary association with oysters; they can be used to flavour stout, or it can be drunk with them.

In Britain, "cider" always means an alcoholic drink of fermented apple juice. Technically, it is a member of the wine family, but it is always served by the pint or half pint like beer. It is traditionally associated with certain regions, such as the South West, Worcestershire and Herefordshire, but commercial brands are available nationwide. The cloudy, unfiltered version is called scrumpy, and the related beverage made from pears, is called perry. In England it is sometimes distilled into apple brandy, but this is not as widespread as with Calvados in France. Culinarily, cider is sometimes used in pork or rabbit dishes.

English - Sunday Roast

Sunday roast -  roast beef, mashed potatoes, other vegetables and mini Yorkshire puddings
The Sunday roast is a traditional British main meal served on Sundays (usually in the early afternoon for lunch), consisting of roasted meat, roast potato or mashed potato, with accompaniments such as Yorkshire pudding, stuffing, vegetables and gravy.

It is popular throughout the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland. Other names for this meal are Sunday dinner, Sunday lunch, Sunday tea, Roast dinner, and Sunday joint, joint being a word that specifically refers to the joint of meat. The meal is often comparable to a less grand version of a traditional Christmas dinner in these cultures.

English Roast Beef


    5 pounds beef round roast
    salt and pepper to taste
    2 tablespoons butter
    1/2 cup water
    1/2 teaspoon dried sage
    1/2 teaspoon dried mint
    1 medium onion, sliced (optional)
    1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
    1/8 teaspoon seasoning salt (optional)
    1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
    1 tablespoon butter
    1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup cold water
    1/4 teaspoon dried sage
    1/4 teaspoon dried mint


    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Season the roast with salt and pepper to taste. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the outside of the roast on all sides in the butter. After the roast is browned, add 1/2 cup water to the pan, and sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of sage, and 1/2 teaspoon of mint onto the roast. Place onion and garlic into the pan if desired, and season with seasoning salt and red pepper flakes, if using.
    Cover the pot, and place the roast in the oven for 2 to 3 hours depending on how well done you prefer the meat to be. 2 hours for rare, and 3 for well done. Removed finished roast to a pan to keep warm.
    Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium skillet. Whisk flour into melted butter until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in 1/2 cup cold water. Mix until a smooth paste is formed. Return to medium heat, and season with remaining sage and mint. Stir in the liquid from the roasting pan, and boil, stirring constantly until the gravy is thickened. Remove from heat. Slice the roast and serve with gravy poured over the meat.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Baked Chicken Breast Tenders w/ Harvest Vegetables

Dinner Tonight: Baked Chicken Breast  Strips w/ Harvest Vegetables

I used Pilgrim's Pride Southern Style Breast Strips that I baked at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. It came out as it always does a moist, meaty, flavorful Chicken Breast Strip. If you've never tried Pilgrim's Pride give them a try quick and easy to fix and always good and flavorful Chicken Breast and it's only 190 calories and 17 carbs per serving!

For a side I had another quickie but goodie, Pictsweet Steam'ables Harvest Vegetables w/ Roasted Potatoes and a Garliic Herb Sauce. Just 6 minutes in the microwave and I have steaming hot Vegetable Harvest. It includes Snap Snow Peas, Red Potatoes, and Mini Carrots in a Garlic Herb Sauce.  Also I had Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. For dessert a Jello Sugar free Chocolate Pudding (60 Calories) topped with a dab of Cool Whip free.

Crescent Dogs

Finally got a chance to try the Crescent Dog Recipe. Easy to fix and makes a good meal. To prepare them by the Pillsbury Recipe they are 290 calories and 13 carbs and as good as they look and sounded I wanted to knock off some of the calories. So I used Ball Park Smoked White Turkey Franks, Pillsbury Reduced Crescent Rolls, and Kraft 2% Deli Sliced Sharp Cheddar. The recipe calls for you to put a slit in the Hot Dog and insert the Cheese. Instead I used a half a piece of Sliced Cheese and placed the Dog on top of the Cheese and then wrapped them. I baked them at 375 degrees for 17 minutes. They taste fantastic! I mean what's not to like, Turkey Franks, Crescent Rolls, and Cheese! I put a dab of French's Yellow Mustard on it before eating. Give them a try the leaner way you'll love them! I left the Pillsbury Recipe along with Pillsbury Link below.

Crescent Dogs

Prep Time: 10 Min
Total Time: 25 Min
Makes: 8 sandwiches

8 hot dogs
4 slices (3/4 oz each) American cheese, each cut into 6 strips
1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls


    Heat oven to 375°F. Slit hot dogs to within 1/2 inch of ends; insert 3 strips of cheese into each slit.
    Separate dough into triangles. Wrap dough triangle around each hot dog. Place on ungreased cookie sheet, cheese side up.
    Bake at 375°F. for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Nutritional Information:
1 Serving (1 Sandwich)

    Calories 290
        (Calories from Fat 200),

    Total Fat 23g
        (Saturated Fat 9g,
        Trans Fat 2g),
    Cholesterol 35mg;
    Sodium 810mg;
    Total Carbohydrate 13g
        (Dietary Fiber 0g,
        Sugars 4g),
    Protein 9g;

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Asian Pork & Mushrooms w/ Brown Rice and pita Bread

Today's Menu; Asian Pork & Mushrooms w/ Brown Rice and pita Bread

I used some of the leftover Asian Pork & Mushrooms for dinner. I took a Meijer Bakery Wheat Pita Bread and topped it with Uncle Ben's Brown Rice and then topped that with the Asian Pork & Mushroom. It wasn't anything difficult or fancy but it was delicious! The Brown Rice went great with The Asian Pork and the Pita Bread was great as it absorbed all the juice from the Asian Pork &Mushrooms. Really a great trio together! For dessert later a Jello Sugar Free Chocolate Pudding topped with Cool Whip Free.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Crock Pot Asian Pork and Mushrooms w/ Scalloped Potatoes and Mini Carrots

Today's Menu: Crock Pot Asian Pork and Mushrooms w/ Scalloped Potatoes and Mini Carrots

What a meal! I came across this recipe from another blog Which is one of the finer blogs around and that is packed with low calorie, low carb, Weight Watcher recipes. When you get a chance check it out! I'll leave a link to the site and you can get the full recipe there.

Anyway on to my dinner. This recipe has nothing but good things in it! It takes 8 hours in the crock pot so it's not one of those you can whip up in a few minutes. I used a Pork Center Loin Roast. After browning the Roast on all sides I added it to the crock pot with all the other ingredients including Low Sodium Fat free Chicken Broth, Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce, Agave, Chinese Five Spice along with many other ingredients. With about 30 minutes left I removed the Pork to let it rest and added my sliced Mushrooms. I shredded the pork and added it back to the crock pot with the Mushrooms. As I mentioned you can find the full recipe at the above link to the web site.

Along with the Mushrooms i made some boiled Mini Carrots and, something new, Idahoan Scalloped Potatoes. I had tried their Au Gratin Potatoes last week so I wanted to give the Scalloped a try for dinner tonight. Another delicious Potato dish from Idahoan. A breeze to make just mix the ingredients and bake at 450 degrees for 25 minutes and you have some delicious Scalloped Potatoes. Plus their only 160 calories and 20 carbs. With everything it made quite a meal, with plenty of leftovers! The Pork will make some killer sandwiches. A big thank you again to ( Gina's Skinny Recipes ) for a low calorie and low carb Delicious recipe!  

Fruit of the Week - Kumquat

Kumquat fruit cross-section

Cumquats or kumquats are a group of small fruit-bearing trees in the flowering plant family Rutaceae, either forming the genus Fortunella, or placed within Citrus sensu lato. The edible fruit closely resembles that of the orange (Citrus sinensis), but it is much smaller and ovular, being approximately the size and shape of an olive.

They are slow-growing evergreen shrubs or short trees, from 8 to 15 ft tall, with sparse branches, sometimes bearing small thorns. The leaves are dark glossy green, and the flowers white, similar to other citrus flowers, borne singly or clustered in the leaf-axils. The kumquat tree produces 30 to 50 fruit each year.[dubious – discuss] The tree can be hydrophytic, with the fruit often found floating on water near shore during the ripe season.

The plant is native to south Asia and the Asia-Pacific. The earliest historical reference to kumquats appears in literature of China in the 12th century. They have long been cultivated in Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines and southeast Asia. They were introduced to Europe in 1846 by Robert Fortune, collector for the London Horticultural Society, and shortly thereafter into North America.

The Round Kumquat (also Marumi Kumquat or Morgani Kumquat) is an evergreen tree, producing edible golden-yellow colored fruit. The fruit is small and usually round but can be oval shaped. The peel has a sweet flavor but the fruit has a sour center. The fruit can be eaten cooked but is mainly used to make marmalade and jelly. It is grown as an ornamental plant and can be used in bonsai. This plant symbolizes good luck in China and other Asian countries, where it is sometimes given as a gift during the Lunar New Year. It's more commonly cultivated than most other kumquats as it is cold tolerant. It can be kept as a houseplant.

When the kumquats are divided into multiple species the name Fortunella japonica (Citrus japonica) is retained by this group.

Fortunella margarita, also known as the oval kumquat or the Nagami kumquat, is a close relative to Citrus species. It is a small evergreen tree, that can reach more than 12 ft  high and 9 ft  large. It is native to southeastern Asia, and more precisely to China. The oval kumquat has very fragrant citrus-like white flowers, and small edible oval orange fruits. The oval kumquat is an ornamental little tree, with showy foliage, flowers and fruits. It is also fairly frost-hardy, and will withstand negative temperatures such as 14 °F (-10 °C), and even a little lower for very brief periods. It can be grown in USDA hardiness zones 9 and warmer, but can also be tried in sheltered places, in USDA hardiness zone 8. Unlike most citrus species, the oval kumquat has a shorter growth period, and goes into dormancy fairly earlier in autumn. This partly explains its better frost hardiness.

The evergreen leaves of the oval kumquat are deep-green and relatively small. They can reach up to 3 in  long and 1.5 in  wide. The white flowers of the oval kumquat are similar to the citrus flowers. They are strongly perfumed, and they appear relatively late in the growing season, generally late spring.

The oval kumquat is a fruit that looks like any citrus fruit, with an orange rind. The fruits are oblong, up to 2 in (5 cm) long. Unlike the common citrus, which have a rind which is inedible raw, oval kumquats have an edible sweet rind. The flesh, however, is not as sweet as the rind, and the juice is quite acidic and sour, with a lemon-like flavor. This fruit is generally eaten fresh, with its rind. It can also be processed into preserves, jams, and other products.

The Jiangsu Kumquat or Fukushu Kumquat bears edible fruit that can be eaten raw. The fruit can be made into jelly and marmalade. The fruit can be round or bell shaped, it's bright orange when fully ripe. It may also be distinguished from other kumquats by its round leaves that make this species unique within the genus. It is grown for its edible fruit and as an ornamental plant. It cannot withstand frost.

When the kumquats are divided into multiple species the name Fortunella obovata (Citrus obovata) is used for this group.

Kumquats are cultivated in China, South Korea, North Korea, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, Japan, the Middle East, Europe (notably Corfu, Greece), southern Pakistan, and the southern United States (notably Florida, Louisiana, Alabama) and California.

They are much hardier than other citrus plants such as oranges. The 'Nagami' kumquat requires a hot summer, ranging from 77 ° to 100 °F, but can withstand frost down to about −10 °C (14 °F) without injury. They grow in the tea hills of Hunan, China, where the climate is too cold for other citrus fruits, even the Mikan (also known as the Satsuma) orange. The trees differ also from other citrus species in that they enter into a period of winter dormancy so profound that they will remain in it through several weeks of subsequent warm weather without putting out new shoots or blossoms. Despite their ability to survive low temperatures, kumquat trees grow better and produce larger and sweeter fruits in warmer regions.

Kumquats are often eaten raw. As the rind is sweet and the juicy centre is sour, the raw fruit is usually consumed either whole—to savour the contrast—or only the rind is eaten. The fruit is considered ripe when it reaches a yellowish-orange stage and has just shed the last tint of green.

Culinary uses include candying and kumquat preserves, marmalade, and jelly. Kumquats can also be sliced and added to salads. In recent years kumquats have gained popularity as a garnish for cocktail beverages, including the martini as a replacement for the more familiar olive. A kumquat liqueur mixes the fruit with vodka or other clear spirit. Kumquats are also being used by chefs to create a niche for their desserts and are common in European countries.
Potted kumquat trees at a kumquat liqueur distillery in Corfu.

The Cantonese often preserve kumquats in salt or sugar. A batch of the fruit is buried in dry salt inside a glass jar. Over time, all the juice from the fruit is diffused into the salt. The fruit in the jar becomes shrunken, wrinkled, and dark brown in colour, and the salt combines with the juice to become a dark brown brine. A few salted kumquats with a few teaspoons of the brine/juice may be mixed with hot water to make a remedy for sore throats. A jar of such preserved kumquats can last several years and still keep its taste

In the Philippines and Taiwan, kumquats are a popular addition to green tea and black tea, either hot or iced.

In Vietnam, kumquat bonsai trees (round kumquat plant) are used as a decoration for the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday. Kumquat fruits are also boiled or dried to make a candied snack called mứt quất.

Variants of the kumquat are grown specially in India.

Sparkling Kumquat Salad

Sparkling Kumquat Salad

1/3 cup walnut halves , toasted
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
2 tbsp fennel greens , snipped (leafy tops)
12 cup salad greens , torn and mixed
1 fennel bulb , trimmed and thinly sliced
4 oz kumquats , seeds removed and thinly sliced
1/4 oz salt
1/8 tsp black pepper

Sparkling Vinaigrette
4 oz kumquats , seeded and coarsley chopped
4 oz champagne (or any sparkling wine or sparkling grape juice)
1/4 cup walnut oil
1 medium shallots
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp coriander, ground (or cardamom)

1 In small bowl combine walnut pieces, pomegranate seeds, fennel tops, and 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette and set aside.
2 In large salad bowl combine salad greens, sliced fennel, kumquats, salt, and pepper. Drizzle with remaining vinaigrette.
3 Toss gently to coat. Sprinkle salad with walnut mixture.
Sparkling Vinaigrette
1 In blender or small food processor bowl combine kumquats, sparkling white wine or chilled alcohol-free sparkling white grape beverage, walnut oil, shallots, salt, black pepper, and ground coriander or ground cardamom.
2 Cover and blend or process until nearly smooth.

Nutrition Facts
Makes 10 servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories     108
Total Carbs     7.8 g
Dietary Fiber     2.9 g
Sugars     2.2 g
Total Fat     7.6 g
Saturated Fat     0.7 g
Unsaturated Fat     6.9 g
Potassium     122.6 mg
Protein     1.8 g
Sodium     99.7 mg

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Jennie -O Roasted Turkey Breast Roast and Gravy w/ Mashed Potatoes and Glazed Carrots

Today's Menu: Jennie -O  Turkey Breast Roast and Gravy w/ Mashed Potatoes and Glazed Carrots

Came across this yesterday at Meijer while grocery shopping and decided to give it a try, Jennie - O So Easy Turkey Breast Roast With Gravy. Easy to fix just bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes and it's done. You can also microwave it but I went with baking option. It really turned out great, very moist, tender and the gravy was very good. Plus it's only 110 calories and 7 carbs per serving! The sodium (760 mg ) is higher than I normally like but it's one of those that you can live with from time to time. I left the Nutrition of Turkey Breast at the end of the post. Anyway I served it with Idahoan Mashed Potatoes and Green Giant Glazed Carrots. It was more less a mini Thanksgiving Dinner and it was only 310 calories and 42 carbs! Not bad at all for all that. For a snack later a mini bag Of Jolly Time Pop Corn.

Jennie - O So Easy Turkey Breast Roast With Gravy

Nutritional Information
Serving Size     140 g     Total Carbohydrates     7 g
Calories     110     Dietary Fiber     0 g
Calories From Fat     15     Sugars     2 g
Total Fat     1.5 g     Protein     18 g
Saturated Fat     .5 g     Vitamin A     0%
Trans Fat     .0 g     Vitamin C     0%
Cholesterol     35 mg     Iron     6%
Sodium     760 mg     Calcium     2%

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Rainbow Trout w/ Grilled Potatoes, Grilled Asparagus Spears, and...

Today's Menu:  Rainbow Trout w/ Grilled Potatoes, Grilled Asparagus Spears, and Whole Grain Bread

My early morning Meijer grocery shopping provided a lot of finds including some beautiful Rainbow Trout Fillets, which is what's for dinner tonight. I seasoned the fillet with McCormick Grinder Sea Salt and Black Peppercorn and also a light dusting of Italian Bread Crumbs. I then fried the fillat in Extra Virgin Olive Oil on medium heat about 3 1/2 minutes per side.

For sides I had Meijer Grilled Potatoes with Cheese and Herb Seasoning along with Grilled Asparagus Spears. It was the first time I had tried the Potatoes and they were excellent! I'm doing more and more of my shopping at Meijer lately because of variety and prices. I also had Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. A very tasty and filling dinner and all at 310 calories and 40 carbs! The fillet shown in the picture was actually 2 servings. I had half and saved the other half for lunch tomorrow. For dessert later a Yoplait Delight Chocolate Eclair Parfait.

Wheat Pita Turkey Pepperoni & Mushroom Pizza

Lunch Today: Wheat Pita Turkey Pepperoni & Mushroom Pizza

For lunch today I had a Wheat Pita Turkey Pepperoni & Mushroom Pizza. Been a while since I had purchased any Pita Bread. So while at Meijer early this morning they were just putting out some fresh baked Wheat Pita Bread. The bakery this morning had aroma's that was bringing the entire store to it!

 I used Ragu Traditional Pizza Sauce, Fresh sliced Mushrooms, Hormel Turkey Pepperoni, and Pizza Cheese. After adding all the ingredients I baked it for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. After removing the Pizza from the oven I added a couple of dashes of Ground Black Pepper. I'll have to start keeping this Pita Bread in stock, everything turned out great. Added a Diet Peach Tea Snapple to wash everything down!The serving size of the Pita is half the Pita. The calories for the Pita and toppings is 215 and only 23 carbs!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Turkey Joes w/ Blue Cheese and Kicked Up Spicy Chili Beans

Today’s Menu: Turkey Joes w/ Blue Cheese and Kicked Up Spicy Chili Beans

Hot, Healthy, and some great leftovers! I used Jennie – O Extra Lean Ground Turkey. While browning the Turkey I seasoned it with McCormick Ground Smoked Cunin, Ground Thyme, McCormick Grinder Sea Salt and Black Peppercorn. Served on a Healthy Life Whole Grain Sandwich Bun topped with Murray's Mayfield Crumbled Blue Cheese. The full recipe follows at the end of the post. As a side I had Kicked Up Spicy Chili Beans, this recipe also follows at the end of the post, and a 1/2 serving of some Bob Evans Glazed Apples that I had left over. For my Beans I used Joan of Arc Spicy Chili Beans. The good part there’s plenty left for some great leftovers! For dessert/snack later a bag of Jolly Time Mini Bag of Pop Corn.

Sloppy Turkey Joes

Ground Smoked Cunin, Sea Salt, Pepper to taste
1 pkg. McCormick Sloppy Joe Seasoning Mix
1 lb. Lean Ground Turkey
1 can (6 oz.) Tomato Paste *
1¼ cups Water
Crumbled Blue Cheese for topping
Healthy Life Whole Grain Sandwich Buns


Brown Turkey in large skillet on medium-high heat, seasoning to taste. Drain fat.
STIR in Seasoning Mix, tomato paste and water.
BRING to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve on buns top Turkey with Crumbled Blue Cheese.

* Substitution: Use 1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce in place of tomato paste and water.

Kicked Up Chili Spicy Beans


1 Can Spicy Chili Beans, Brand your choice. I use Joan of Arc
3 Pieces Crumbled Turkey Bacon. You can use Turkey or Pork Bacon Crumbles
4 Shakes Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
1/2 Cup Jack Daniel’s Honey Smokehouse BBQ Sauce
1/2 Tablespoon Splenda Brown Sugar


Empty can of Beans into a medium sauce pan
Add Turkey Crumbles, Brown Sugar, Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, Honey BBQ Sauce, stir and mix.
Heat until desired temperature, and serve

Food Day is October 24, 2011

Food Day will be October 24—in 2011 and in years to come. Food Day seeks to bring together Americans from all walks of life—parents, teachers, and students; health professionals, community organizers, and local officials; chefs, school lunch providers, and eaters of all stripes—to push for healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way. We will work with people around the country to create thousands of events in homes, schools, churches, farmers markets, city halls, and state capitals.

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) are the Honorary Co-Chairs for Food Day 2011, and the day is sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the nonprofit watchdog group that has led successful fights for food labeling, better nutrition, and safer food since 1971. Like CSPI, Food Day will be people-powered and does not accept funding from government or corporations—though restaurants, supermarkets, and others are certainly encouraged to observe Food Day in their own ways.

Food Day is backed by an impressive advisory board that includes anti-hunger advocates, physicians, authors, politicians, and leaders of groups focused on everything from farmers markets to animal welfare to public health. But the most important ingredient in Food Day is you—and we invite you to organize an event and help make Food Day a success.

*Food Day's goal is nothing less than to transform the American diet*

Bunyan's Diabetic Chicken Cacciatore

Bunyan's Diabetic Chicken Cacciatore
by Paul Bushay [chefbunyan)

Another good one from Chef Paul on the web site. Paul has many diabetic recipes on the site. Check him out sometime!

 Diabetic Chicken Cacciatore
- 2 clove minced garlic
- 1 sm diced onion
- 1 sm green bell pepper
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small can(s) crushed tomatoes
- 1 c water
- 1/2 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp dry oregano
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 c flour
- 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- 1/4 c olive oil, extra virgin

1.   Wash the chicken under running water and drain

2.   Add the olive oil to a heavy skillet, brown the chicken lightly

3.   place chicken in a 13X9 baking pan, set aside

4.   In the same skillet used to brown the chicken, saute the garlic, onions, & peppers until tender

5.   Add tomatoes, water, bay leaf, chili powder, oregano & salt

6.   Simmer 1 1/2 hours

7.   Pour over the chicken

8.   Bake in a pre heated 325 oven for 30 mins or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked

9.   Serve

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Baked Catfish Tenders & Remoulade Dipping Sauce w/ Potato Pancakes and...

Dinner Tonight: Baked Catfish Tenders & Remoulade Dipping Sauce w/ Potato Pancakes and Creamy Parmesan Risotto

Mom and Dad wanted Fish tonight so that's what I had to make. I used a Kroger brand Catfish Tenders. Baked at 425 degrees for 25 minutes, they come out perfect! I made a Remoulade Dipping Sauce for them also. This Sauce is fantastic and goes well with almost all Fish. I'll leave the recipe at the end of the post for the Sauce.
As sides I made one my Mom's favorites Potato Pancakes. I use Manischewitz Potato Pancke Mix. Not only are these delicious but their only 80 calories and 18 carbs per serving, 3 pancakes! I also had Lundberg Creamy Parmesan Risotto it takes about 25 - 30 minutes to whip this up. Really a quick and very good tasting Risotto. For dessert later a Yoplait Delight Chocolate Eclair Parfait. 

Remoulade Sauce


1 Cup Light Mayonnaise
2 Tblsp Chili Sauce
1 tsp Garlic Salt
1tsp Curry Powder, or to taste
1 Tbsp Hot Prepared Horseradish
1 tsp Dry Mustard

*Add all ingredients to jar or container
*Mix until well blended
*Refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours before serving.

National Dish of the Week - Turkey

Imam Bayildi with Borek
Turkish cuisine (Turkish: Türk mutfağı) is largely the heritage of Ottoman cuisine, which can be described as a fusion and refinement of Central Asian, Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines. Turkish cuisine has in turn influenced those and other neighbouring cuisines, including that of western Europe. The Ottomans fused various culinary traditions of their realm with influences from Middle Eastern cuisines, along with traditional Turkic elements from Central Asia (such as yogurt), creating a vast array of specialities- many with strong regional associations.

Turkish cuisine varies across the country. The cooking of Istanbul, Bursa, Izmir, and rest of the Aegean region inherits many elements of Ottoman court cuisine, with a lighter use of spices, a preference for rice over bulgur, and a wider use of seafoods. The cuisine of the Black Sea Region uses fish extensively, especially the Black Sea anchovy (hamsi), has been influenced by Balkan and Slavic cuisine, and includes maize dishes. The cuisine of the southeast—Urfa, Gaziantep and Adana—is famous for its kebabs, mezes and dough-based desserts such as baklava, kadayıf and künefe (kanafeh).

Especially in the western parts of Turkey, where olive trees grow abundantly, olive oil is the major type of oil used for cooking. The cuisines of the Aegean, Marmara and Mediterranean regions are rich in vegetables, herbs, and fish. Central Anatolia is famous specialties, such as keşkek (kashkak), mantı (especially from Kayseri) and gözleme.

A specialty's name sometimes includes that of a city or region, either in or outside of Turkey, and may refer to the specific technique or ingredients used in that area. For example, the difference between urfa kebab and adana kebab is the thickness of the skewer and the amount of hot pepper that kebab contains. Urfa kebab is less spicy and thicker than adana kebab.

Homemade food is a must for Turkish people. Although the newly introduced way of life pushes the new generation to eat out, Turkish people generally prefer to eat at home. A typical meal starts with soup (in the winter), followed by a dish made with vegetables or legumes boiled in a pot (typically with meat or minced meat), then rice or bulgur (crushed wheat) pilaf in addition of a salad or cacık (made from diluted yogurt and minced cucumbers). Another typical meal is dried beans cooked with meat or pastırma mixed or eaten with rice pilaf and cacık.

Although fast food is gaining popularity and many major foreign fast food chains have opened all over Turkey, Turkish people still rely primarily on the rich and extensive dishes of the Turkish cuisine. In addition, some traditional Turkish foods, especially köfte, döner, kokoreç, börek and gözleme are often served as fast food in Turkey. Eating out has always been common in large commercial cities. Esnaf lokantası (meaning restaurants for shopkeepers and tradesmen) are widespread, serving traditional Turkish home cooking at affordable prices.

Frequently used ingredients in Turkish specialities include: lamb, beef, chicken, fish, eggplants, green peppers, onions, garlic, lentils, beans, and tomatoes. Nuts, especially pistachios, chestnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts, together with spices, have a special place in Turkish cuisine. Preferred spices and herbs include parsley, cumin, black pepper, paprika, mint, oregano, pul biber (red pepper), and thyme.

In the Ottoman cuisine, fruit frequently accompanied meat as a side dish. Plums, apricots, dates, apples, grapes, and figs are the most frequently used fruits (either fresh or dried) in Turkish cuisine. For example, komposto (compote) or hoşaf (from Persian khosh âb, literally meaning "nice water") are among the main side dishes to meat or pilav. Dolma and pilaf usually contain currants or raisins. Etli yaprak sarma (vine leaves stuffed with meat and rice) used to be cooked with sour plums in Ottoman cuisine.

Eggplant (Turkish: patlıcan) has a special place in the Turkish cuisine. It is combined with minced meat in karnıyarık. As a speciality of eastern Turkey, there are patlıcan kebabs, such as Tokat Kebab, a specialty of Tokat province, and Antep's eggplant kebab. In a large number of mezes, side-dishes, and main courses -such as şakşuka, patlıcan salatası ("eggplant salad", an eggplant purée/dip), patlıcan dolma ("filled eggplant"), hünkâr beğendi (eggplant purée prepared with cheese and traditionally served with lamb stew), imam bayildi, and musakka- eggplant is the major element. In Antalya province it is used for making eggplant jam ("patlıcan reçeli") .

In some regions, meat, which was mostly eaten only at wedding ceremonies or during the Kurban Bayramı (Eid ul-Adha) as etli pilav (pilaf with meat), has become part of the daily diet since the introduction of industrial production. Veal, formerly shunned, is now widely consumed. The main use of meat in cooking remains the combination of ground meat and vegetable, with names such as kıymalı fasulye (bean with ground meat) or kıymalı ıspanak (spinach with ground meat, which is almost always served with yogurt). Alternatively, in coastal towns, cheap fish such as sardines (sardalya) or hamsi (anchovies) are widely available, as well as many others with seasonal availability. Poultry consumption, almost exclusively of chicken and eggs, is common. Milk-fed lambs, once the most popular source of meat in Turkey, comprise a small part of contemporary consumption. Kuzu çevirme, cooking milk-fed lamb on a spit, once an important ceremony, is rarely seen. Because it is a predominantly Islamic country, pork plays no role in Turkish cuisine.

Yoghurt is an important element in Turkish cuisine. In fact, the English word yoghurt or yogurt derives from the Turkish word yoğurt. Yoghurt can accompany almost all meat dishes (kebabs, köfte), vegetable dishes (especially fried eggplant, courgette, spinach with minced meat etc.), meze and a speciality called mantı (folded triangles of dough containing minced meat). In villages, yoghurt is regularly eaten with rice or bread. A thicker, higher-fat variety, süzme yoğurt or "strained yoghurt", is made by straining the yoghurt curds from the whey. One of the most common Turkish drinks, ayran, is made from yoghurt. Also, yoghurt is often used in the preparation of cakes, some soups and pastries.

Turkey produces many varieties of cheese, mostly from sheep's milk. In general, these cheeses are not long matured, with a comparatively low fat content. The production of many kinds of cheese is local to particular regions.

Doner Kebab - Turkey

Doner Kebab
Doner kebab (Turkish: döner kebabı) or sometimes döner kebap, lit. 'rotating roast', often shortened to Doner (Turkish: döner), lit. 'turn around', also spelled "doener", "donair", "donar", "doner", or sometimes "donner") is a Turkish dish made of lamb meat (mainly) cooked on a vertical spit and sliced off to order.

There are many variants in the composition of the meat, the ways of serving it, and the garnishes. Derived dishes include shawarma in Arabic and gyros in Greek, although ingredients and sauces differ. The term kebab in some countries refers specifically to doner kebab.

Doner Kebab

3 lb. leg of lamb (boned and cut in slices)
1 tablespoon black pepper
Lamb fat
1 egg
3 tablespoons salt
onions (processed until a liquid-3 cups)
1 cup olive oil
1 tomato (large)

Cooking Instructions

Remove all bits of skin and bone from the meat. Cut into serving-size slices, almost 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Pound with a meat tenderizer until 1/8 cm. thick and trim.
Prepare a marinade of onion juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, and soak meat in the marinade overnight.
Spread over each part of meat the lamb fat, and ground lamb mixed with one egg. Thread pieces of meat on a long skewer, starting with the larger pieces. Trim the chunk of meat on the skewer and add trimmings to the end of skewer. The tomato is put on the skewer whole at the end. The chunk of meat is broiled in the 'Doner Kebab' broiler, made specially for the purpose. You could use the electric rotisserie
As the meat turns on the spit and is cooked, it is sliced off the sides with a sharp knife. You could serve with pilaf and drinks (example ayran).

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Turkey Meatloaf Sandwich w/ Boiled Mini Carrots and Glazed Apples

Dinner Tonight: Turkey Meatloaf Sandwich w/ Boiled Mini Carrots and Glazed Apples

Ahhh Meatloaf Leftovers! Warmed up the Meatloaf left over from last night's dinner. It's just as good the second time around! Topped it with just a little more Ketchup and a couple of dashes of Worchester Sauce and served on an Healthy Life Whole Grain Bun. For sides I had Boiled Mini Carrots along with Bob Evans Glazed Apples. For dessert/snack later this evening I'm having Triscut Reduced Fat Baked Whole Wheat Crackers along with some Cracker Barrel 2% Sharp Cheddar Cheese and slices of Hormel Turkey Pepperoni.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Turkey Meatloaf w/ Au Gratin Potatoes, Green Beans, and...

Dinner Tonight: Turkey Meatloaf w/ Au Gratin Potatoes, Green Beans, and Whole Grain Bread

With a cool, crisp Fall day at hand today a Turkey Meatloaf sounded just right for dinner! I used Jennie - O Extra Lean 97/3 Blend of Ground Turkey. Easy to fix, delicious, and lower in carbs and calories than most Meatloaves. I made plenty so there would be leftovers which means Meatloaf Sandwiches! I listed the recipe at the end of the post.
For sides I warmed up some of the Idahoan Au Gratin Potatoes I had left over from last night along with Green Beans and Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. Later for dessert/snack it will be Chip'ins Pop Corn Chips along with Kroger Organic Black Bean and Corn Salsa.

Turkey Meatloaf

* Instead of the 1 cup of Chopped Onions I used 1/4 Cup of Chopped Chives and 1 Teaspoon of Onion Powder *
*  I also used 2 Mini Loaf Foil Pans instead of the 1 8×4 pan *


2 Tablespoons Butter  or I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter
1 Cup Onions, Chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 1/4 lbs Ground Turkey
1/2 Cup Italian Breadcrumbs
1/4 Cup Egg Substitute  (Egg Beaters)
1 Cup Ketchup
2 Teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 Teaspoon Cumin
1 Teaspoon Ground Thyme
3/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper


1. Melt butter in a skillet.
2. Cook onion and garlic in melted butter for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Place mixture in a large bowl to cool for 5 minutes.
4. Combine turkey, bread crumbs, egg, 1/4 cup of the Ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper with onion mixture.
5. Press meatloaf into an 8×4-inch loaf pan.
6. Spread remaining Ketchup on top.
7. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 50-55 minutes.
8. (Internal temperature should reach 165 degrees.) Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Circleville Pumpkin Show

Circleville Pumpkin Show
Circleville, Pickaway County, Ohio
Downtown streets of Circleville
October 19 - 22, 2011

The 'Greatest Free Show on Earth' will observe its 104th anniversary; two parades daily at 3:30 and 8p.m. (except on Saturday, the visiting OFEA queens' parade at 8p.m.) Featured will be a large pumpkin pie, contests, entertainment, all kinds of pumpkin foods, as well as giant pumpkins, squash, gourds, fruits and vegetables, baked goods, arts and crafts, canned goods, art show, and flowers. Come join us 10a.m. till 11p.m. Information: Circleville Pumpkin Show, 159 E. Franklin Street, Circleville, OH 43113 (740) 474-7000 or (740) 474-8973; parade info: (740) 474-8725;

Contact This Festival:

    Circleville Pumpkin Show, 159 E. Franklin St., Circleville, OH 43113
    (740) 474-7000, (740) 474-8973, or (740) 474-8725 (parade info)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Baked Salmon w/ Potatoes Au Gratin, Grilled Asparagus, and...

Dinner Tonight: Baked Salmon w/ Potatoes Au Gratin, Grilled Asparagus, and Whole Grain Bread

What a dinner! I purchased a large Sockeye Salmon fillet that I cut into 4 pieces, having 1 for dinner and freezing the other 3. I brushed the Salmon with some fresh Lemon Juice to start. I then took about 1 oz. of Splenda Brown Sugar and 2 oz. of Light Soy Sauce and mixed the two together in a small bowl. Then I brushed the Sauce over the fillet evenly. I then baked the Salmon at 400 degrees for 12 minutes. I'll leave the Ingredients at the end of the post. The Soy Sauce and Brown Sugar makes a fantastic great tasting Sauce.

As sides I had Grilled Asparagus Spears and Idahoan Potatoes Au Gratin. I had never tried these before and I was really looking forward to it. I love Potatoes Au Gratin and hadn't had them in forever. They were easy to fix and turned out delicious! The box contains your Potatoes and Sauce. You just add Water, 3/4 Cup 2% Milk and 1 1/2 Tablespoon of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter. You can either bake it or cook it on stove top. I baked mine to give it a Golden Browning. Baked it for 25 minutes at 450 degrees. They are 160 Calories and 20 carbs as fixed by the directions but I substituted the Milk for 2% Milk and Butter with the I Can't Believe It's Not Butter to cut back on both the calories and carbs. Along with the Asparagus and Potatoes I had Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. For dessert latera Yoplait Delight 100 Calorie Parfait.   

Sauce for Salmon


2 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1 oz. Firmly Packed Splenda Brown Sugar
2 oz. Light Soy Sauce

*Brush Salmon with Lemon Juice
*In a small bowl, blend Brown Sugar and Soy Sauce. Brush Sauce evenly over fillets.
*Bake Salmon at 400 degrees for 11 minutes or until done. 

Fruit of the Week - Guava

Ripe Guava

Guavas are plants in the myrtle family (Myrtaceae) genus Psidium (meaning "pomegranate" in Latin), which contains about 100 species of tropical shrubs and small trees. They are native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. Guavas are now cultivated and naturalized throughout the tropics and subtropics in Southeast Asia, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Florida and Africa.

The most frequently encountered species, and the one often simply referred to as "the guava", is the Apple Guava (Psidium guajava).[citation needed]

Guavas are typical Myrtoideae, with tough dark leaves that are opposite, simple, elliptic to ovate and 5–15 cm long. The flowers are white, with five petals and numerous stamens.

The genera Accara and Feijoa (= Acca, Pineapple Guava) were formerly included in Psidium.

Psidium species are used as food plants by the caterpillars of some Lepidoptera, mainly moths like the Ello Sphinx (Erinnyis ello), Eupseudosoma aberrans, E. involutum, and Hypercompe icasia. Mites like Pronematus pruni and Tydeus munsteri are known to parasitize the Apple Guava (P. guajava) and perhaps other species. The bacterium Erwinia psidii causes rot diseases of the Apple Guava.

The fruit are not only relished by humans, but by many mammals and birds as well. The spread of introduced guavas owes much to this fact, as animals will eat the fruit and disperse the seeds in their droppings.

In several tropical regions, including Hawaii, some species (namely Strawberry Guava, P. littorale, and to a lesser extent Apple Guava Psidium guajava) have become invasive species. On the other hand, several species have become very rare due to habitat destruction and at least one (Jamaican Guava, P. dumetorum), is already extinct.

Guava wood is used for meat smoking in Hawaii and is being used at barbecue competitions across the United States. In Cuba the leaves are also used in barbecues, providing a smoked flavor and scent to the meat.

Guavas are cultivated in many tropical and subtropical countries for their edible fruit. Several species are grown commercially; apple guava (P. guajava) and its cultivars are those most commonly traded internationally.

Mature trees of most species are fairly cold-hardy and can survive as low as 5 °C (41 °F) for short periods of time, but younger plants will not survive. They are known to survive in Northern Pakistan where they can get down to 5°C or lower during the night. A few species - notably strawberry guavas - can survive temperatures several degrees below freezing for short periods of time.

Guavas are also of interest to home growers in temperate areas, being one of the few tropical fruits that can grow to fruiting size in pots indoors. When grown from seed, guavas can bloom and bear fruit as soon as two years, or as long as eight years

In Hawaii, guava fruit is eaten with soy sauce and vinegar. Occasionally, a pinch of sugar and black pepper are added to the soy sauce and vinegar mixture. The guava fruit is cut up and dipped into the sauce.

In Pakistan and India, guava fruit is often eaten raw, typically cut into quarters with a pinch of salt and pepper and sometimes cayenne powder/masala. Street vendors often sell guava fruit for a couple of rupees each.

In the Philippines, ripe guava is used in cooking sinigang.

The fruit is also often prepared as a dessert, in fruit salads. In Asia, fresh guava slices are often dipped in preserved prune powder or salt. In India it is often sprinkled with red rock salt, which is very tart.

Because of the high level of pectin, guavas are extensively used to make candies, preserves, jellies, jams, marmalades (Brazilian goiabada), and also for juices and aguas frescas.

Guava juice is very popular in Hawaii, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Venezuela, Egypt, Mexico, and South Africa.

"Red" guavas can be used as the base of salted products such as sauces, substituting for tomatoes, especially for those sensitive to the latter's acidity. In Asia, a drink is made from an infusion of guava fruits and leaves. In Brazil, the infusion made with guava tree leaves (chá-de-goiabeira, i.e. "tea" of guava tree leaves) is considered medicinal.

Guavas are often included among super fruits, being rich in dietary fiber, vitamins A and C, folic acid, and the dietary minerals, potassium, copper and manganese. Having a generally broad, low-calorie profile of essential nutrients, a single common guava (P. guajava) fruit contains about four times the amount of vitamin C as an orange.

However, nutrient content varies across guava cultivars. Although the strawberry guava (P. littorale var. cattleianum), notably containing 90 mg of vitamin C per serving, has about 25% of the amount found in more common varieties, its total vitamin C content in one serving still provides 100% of the Dietary Reference Intake for adult males.
'Thai maroon' guavas, a red apple guava cultivar, rich in carotenoids and polyphenols

Guavas contain both carotenoids and polyphenols like (+)-gallocatechin, guaijaverin, leucocyanidin and amritoside – the major classes of antioxidant pigments – giving them relatively high potential antioxidant value among plant foods. As these pigments produce the fruit skin and flesh color, guavas that are red-orange have more pigment content as polyphenol, carotenoid and pro-vitamin A, retinoid sources than yellow-green ones.

Guava and Tamarind Sauce

Guava and Tamarind Sauce

A sweet and spicy sauce made with guava paste, chile pepper, and red onion.

1/4 red onion , red onion
1/2 small red bell peppers , minced
1 red hot chile peppers , seeded and minced (or Tabasco sauce or other hot pepper sauce to taste)
2 medium garlic cloves , pressed or minced
1/2 cup cold water , hot
1/4 cup fresh cilantro , finely chopped
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp tamarind paste
1/4 cup guava paste
1/2 tsp salt

1 In a blender or food processor, puree the red onions, bell peppers, chile, garlic, hot water, cilantro, lemon juice, oil, tamarind concentrate, guava paste, and salt until smooth. Add a little bit of water to make it more pourable. Set the sauce aside for 3 to 4 hours for the flavors to meld.
2 Serve this sauce at room temperature or gently heated in a double boiler or on a heat diffuser to prevent scorching.
Additional Information
Guava paste can be found in Latin American grocery stores and in the ethnic or condiment sections of many grocery stores. Tamarind concentrate is available at Indian and Asian food markets.

Nutrition Facts
Makes 4 servings
Serving Size: 2 oz
Amount Per Serving
Calories     53.5
Total Carbs     9.7 g
Dietary Fiber     2.5 g
Sugars     3.2 g
Total Fat     1.5 g
Saturated Fat     0.2 g
Unsaturated Fat     1.3 g
Potassium     106.1 mg
Protein     0.5 g
Sodium     297.1 mg

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Turkey Burger w/ Sauteed Mushrooms and Hardwood Smoked Gouda Cheese

Dinner Tonight: Turkey Burger w/ Sauteed Mushrooms and Hardwood Smoked Gouda Cheese

 I had a Jennie – O Turkey Burger that I topped with Sauteed Mushrooms and a slice of Hardwood Smoked Gouda Cheese. Seasoned the Burger with McCormick Grinder Sea Salt and Grinder Black Peppercorn. Gouda is bit higher in calories than my 2% Cheese I normally have but it’s worth it from time to time. Gouda is a great Cheese for any type of burger or sandwich. Rich and creamy and melts just right on the burgers. I seasoned the Mushrooms with Smoked Cumin, Sea Salt, Ground Pepper, and Ground Thyme. I had the burger on a Healthy Life Whole Grain Bun. Served it with Ore Ida Steak Fries that I baked. For dessert later a Yoplait Delight Chocolate Eclair Parfait.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Came across this recipethat seemed to fit the season and wanted to pass it along. Their diabetic friendly cookies.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

1/2 cup margarine, softened
9 teaspoons Equal® for Recipes or 30 packets Equal® Sweetener or 1 1/4 cups Equal® Spoonful™
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon orange extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 cup raisins, finely chopped
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
1/4 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons Equal® for Recipes or 20 packets Equal® Sweetener or 3/4 cup plus 4 teaspoons Equal® Spoonful™
Warm skim milk or water
Ground cinnamon

    Beat margarine and 9 teaspoons Equal® for Recipes or 30 packets or 1 1/4 cups Equal® Spoonful™ until fluffy in large bowl; beat in pumpkin and orange extract.
    Mix in combined flours, baking soda, salt, and spices alternately with sour cream. Mix in raisins, orange rind, and pecans.
    Spoon batter by heaping teaspoons onto greased cookie sheets. Bake cookies in preheated 375°F (190°C) oven until browned, 10 to 12 minutes.
    Mix 2 tablespoons Equal® for Recipes or 20 packets or 3/4 cup plus 4 teaspoons Equal® Spoonful™ with enough warm milk to make a thin glaze consistency; brush lightly on warm cookies and sprinkle with cinnamon. Cool on wire racks.

Makes 6 dozen.

Nutrition Information Per Serving (2 cookies): 72 cal., 1 g pro., 9 g carbo., 4 g fat, 1 mg chol., 82 mg sodium.

Diabetic Food Exchanges: 1/2 Bread, 1 Fat.

Recipe provided courtesy of Merisant Corporation ® and the NutraSweet Company, makers of Equal®.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cincinnati Style Chili Cheese Coneys Night

Dinner Tonight: Cincinnati Style Cheese Coneys

It’s Cheese Coneys for dinner tonight. I used Ball Park White Smoked Turkey Franks, 1 Can of Skyline Chili, French’s Mustard, Frank's Red Hot Sauce (Optional), Kraft 2% Shredded Sharp Cheese, and Healthy Life Hot Dog Buns. Put it all together and you have the Cincinnati Style Chili Cheese Coney. As an option you can add Onions, a lot of people will add chopped Onions to their Coneys. For a dessert/snack later tonight it will be a Mini Bag of Jolly Time Pop Corn.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bison Sirloin Steak and Sauteed Mushrooms w/ Baked Potato and...

Dinner Tonight: Bison Sirloin Steak and Sauteed Mushrooms w/  Baked Potato and Whole Grain Bread

Ahhh my favorite Steak, the Bison Sirloin! I've yet to have a bad Bison Sirloin. Always absolutely delicious and this one was no different. I fried the Steak in a 1/2 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil a little less than 4 minutes per side. It came out a perfect medium rare. I topped it with Sauteed Mushrooms that I had seasoned with Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Smoked Cumin, and Parsley.  As sides I had a Baked Potato and Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. For dessert a real treat! A Mini Banana Split. I used a Mini Banana, Breyer's Carb Smart Vanilla Ice Cream, and Smuckers Sugarless Chocolate Hot Fudge Topping, tooo good!