Saturday, December 31, 2011

New England Clam Chowder & Potatoes w/ Griiled Ham & Cheese Sandwich

Dinner Tonight: New England Clam Chowder & Potatoes w/ Grilled Ham & Cheese Sandwich

I'm ending my year on a comfort food delight dinner! I had New England Clam Chowder w/ Hearty Potatoes along with a Grilled Ham and Cheese. I used Campbell's New England Clam Chowder. Thick, hearty and tasty and very easily made. Just heat and serve! I used Sara Lee Thin Sliced Honey Ham, Sargento Reduced Fat Colby/Jack Sliced Cheese, and Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. The Ham is only 60 calories while the Cheese is only 50 calories a slice, and I used 2 slices for the sandwich. For dessert/snack later a Mini Bag of 100 Calorie Jolly Time Pop Corn.


A Healthy and Happy New Year!

From the web site a couple of healthy appetizers to end the Year and start the New Year off right with. If your not familiar with Eating Well they have a great web site and magazine packed full of healthy recipes and ideas. Enjoy these and Happy New Year!

Five-Spice Scallops

8 servings

Active Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes


    1 pound large dry sea scallops, quartered (see Note)
    2 teaspoons canola oil
    1 teaspoon five-spice powder, (see Note)
    1/4 teaspoon salt


    Preheat broiler.
    Toss scallops with oil, five-spice powder and salt. Broil on a baking sheet until cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Serve with toothpicks.

Tips & Notes

    Notes: We prefer "dry" sea scallops (not treated with sodium tripolyphosphate, or STP). Scallops treated with STP ("wet" scallops) are mushy, less flavorful and will not brown properly.
    Often a blend of cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise and Szechuan peppercorns, five-spice powder was originally considered a cure-all miracle blend encompassing the five elements (sour, bitter, sweet, pungent, salty). Look for it in the supermarket spice section.


Per serving: 61 calories; 2 g fat ( 0 g sat , 1 g mono ); 19 mg cholesterol; 2 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 10 g protein; 0 g fiber; 164 mg sodium; 183 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Protein, magnesium, potassium, selenium.

Exchanges: 1 1/2 very lean meat

Lemon-Garlic Marinated Shrimp

12 servings

Active Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes


    3 tablespoons minced garlic
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    1/4 cup lemon juice
    1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/2 teaspoon pepper
    1 1/4 pounds cooked shrimp


    Place garlic and oil in a small skillet and cook over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper. Toss with shrimp in a large bowl. Chill until ready to serve.

Tips & Notes

    Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.


Per serving: 73 calories; 3 g fat ( 0 g sat , 2 g mono ); 92 mg cholesterol; 1 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 10 g protein; 0 g fiber; 154 mg sodium; 108 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Protein, selenium.

Exchanges: 1 1/2 lean meat

Friday, December 30, 2011

Velveeta Cheesy Skillet Turkey Mac w/ French Bread

Dinner Tonight: Velveeta Cheesy Turkey Mac w/ Rustic French Bread

You have to love these one pot meals. I used Kraft/Velveeta Cheesy Skillets Dinner Kit/Ultimate Cheeseburger Mac. The dinner kit includes: Pasta, Velveeta Cheese Sauce, and Seasoning pack. All I had to do was add the 2 cups of water and 1lb. of Ground Turkey. I used Jennie – O Extra Lean Ground Turkey. Using the Extra Lean Ground Turkey instead of the Ground Beef you can lower the calorie count by anywhere from 60 – 80 calories! As I browned the Turkey I added Sea Salt, Pepper, and Ground Smoked Cumin for seasoning. It’s ready in about 10 minutes. I then add 2 cups of water, the seasoning and pasta. Simmer for 11 - 13 minutes and add the Velveeta Cheese and your ready for dinner.  I’ll leave the instructions at the end of the post. It’s 350 calories and 27 carbs but you can lower the calorie count by using the Ground Turkey as stated above. I had a side of Pillsbury Rustic French Bread.

Velveeta Cheesy Skillets Ultimate Cheeseburger Mac

* 1 LB. Ground Beef or Ground Turkey (Extra Lean)
* Sea Salt, Pepper, Ground Smoked Cumin to taste; Optional
* 2 Cups Water
* 1 Velveeta Cheesy Skillets Dinner Kit/Ultimate Cheeseburger Mac
* Brown and season 1 LB. Ground Turkey in large skillet. Drain
* Add 2 cups water, seasoning and pasta. Bring to a boil. Reduce Heat.
* Cover, Simmer and stir often until most of water is gone about 11-13 minutes. Remove from heat.
* Add Cheese from Velveeta Cheese Pouch. Stir in Cheese Sauce and serve

Mastrad - Top Chips Maker

Mastrad - Top Chips Maker

I'm a sucker for the info commercials so when I seen the one on the Mastard - Top Chips Maker I had to try it. It arrived well packaged with very little wait time. It comes with a peeler, hand held slicer, and the Top Chips Microwave tray. I only had some small Golden Potatoes so I used them, a bigger Potato would be better. Anyway I sliced them up and seasoned them with Sea Salt and Pepper. I ordered several packets of seasoning but I wanted to save them for the larger Potatoes. I followed the directions step by step and sure enough I had my first bowl of Chips! Like I sdaid it would be better If I had larger Potatoes. They turned out good and crisp. I'll be making more using the larger Potatoes to get a bigger chip. The instruction booklet also has several recipes in it. I'll be trying it with Apples soon to make some Apple Chips.

Mastrad - Top Chips Maker
Create healthy chips and crispy snacks in minutes-all in your microwave with the Top Chips Maker. Crispy chips and snacks are achieved without any oils or fats, cooking up light and crispy, all with the use of your microwave. So many vegetables and fruits contain valuable vitamins and minerals that we miss out on because we don’t like the limited ways we know to prepare them. With the Top Chips Maker-you can add healthy nutrients to your diet in a fun and delicious way-without all the harmful preservatives you find in pre-packaged versions of your favorite crisp snacks. To use, just slice potatoes, or other fruits and vegetables thinly and evenly. Place in a single layer on the Top Chips Tray, and microwave according to enclosed directions. Season with your favorite topping and voila. You have a healthy, delicious snack that you will feel good about serving to your children and guests. Stack multiple trays to cook more than one serving at a time. A fun way for kids to experiment and try different vegetables and fruits they may not be used to. The Top Chips maker is designed for even the smallest of microwaves, perfect for small microwaves such as those found in RVs, dorm rooms and apartments-you can use your Top Chips everywhere. Hand wash or top-rack dishwasher-safe. Made by Mastrad, the makers of innovative and award-winning kitchen products loved the world-over.
Includes ALL YOU NEED to make FAT-FREE crispy chips in your own microwave!

    Topchips™ tray
    Recipes and User Guide
    Plus: Get 2 exclusive Topchips seasoning packets: Sour Cream & Onion, Apple Pie
    30-day money back guarantee*
    FREE Elios® Vegetable Peeler. ($10 value)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Why is green tea so healthy?

Why is green tea so healthy?
by AMY ANDERSON, Daily Mail

It has just emerged that American doctors have developed a cream to ward off skin cancer. The magic ingredient is green tea, which is well known for its cancer-fighting properties.
Natural antioxidants called polyphenols in the tea help block the growth of skin cancer cells. In fact, green tea has a whole host of other health benefits.

Green tea helps burn fat
It can help speed up the metabolic rate because its antioxidant effect helps the liver to function more efficiently.
A recent U.S. study of overweight men found that, with no other changes to their diet or exercise regimes, drinking green tea three times a day burned up 200 extra calories a day. The green tea drinkers also found that their energy levels were greatly increased.

Green tea protects against heart disease
It has been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, because its potent antioxidant effects inhibit the oxidation of LDL cholesterol in the arteries.
The formation of abnormal blood clots (thrombosis) is the leading cause of heart attack and stroke, and green tea has been shown to inhibit abnormal blood clot formation as effectively as aspirin.

Green tea can help lower blood pressure
A major cause of hypertension (high blood pressure) is an enzyme secreted by the kidneys called angiotension- converting enzyme (ACE).
Popular drugs for hypertension act as ACE inhibitors: by blocking the effects of ACE, blood pressure is reduced. Green tea is a natural ACE inhibitor, and several medical studies show lowered blood pressure in animals and humans given green tea extracts.

Green tea can help protect against diabetes
When starch is consumed, it requires the enzyme amylase to break it down into simple sugars that can be absorbed in the bloodstream.
Green tea polyphenols inhibit amylase, and so can help lower blood sugar levels. High blood levels of glucose and insulin predispose people to diabetes.

Green tea can help prevent food poisoning
As it can kill bacteria, drinking green tea with meals may reduce the risk of bacterial food poisoning.
It prevents the growth of dangerous intestinal bacterial strains such as clostridia and E. coli and promotes the growth of friendly bifidobacteria.

Green tea can prevent bad breath
Drinking green tea - which is a natural anti-bacterial agent - with food may help kill the oral bacteria that cause cavities and bad breath.

Green tea guards against hepatitis
Viral hepatitis is often triggered by high levels of iron in the liver. Green tea lowers iron levels throughout the body, so may have a direct anti-viral effect against certain strains of hepatitis.

Green tea can protect against cancer
There is growing evidence to suggest that green tea contains compounds that fight cancer. The tea contains a compound called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which helps inhibit blood vessel growth.

Green tea can help prevent arthritis
A recent study found that antioxidants in green tea may prevent or reduce the severity of symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Antioxidants in the tea inhibit the Cox-2 gene that triggers inflammation, working in much the same way as anti-inflammatory drugs.

Green tea improves your immunity
Gargling with green tea boosts immunity to influenza and flu, according to a study in Japan.
Research at Harvard University also indicated that green tea chemicals stimulated gammadelta T-cells, which bolster immunity against bacteria and viruses.

Green tea can protect against Alzheimer's disease
A recent two-year study of a group of people aged 80 and over found that 96 per cent of those who drank ten cups of green tea a day showed no signs of cognitive impairment, compared to only 12 per cent who didn't drink green tea.

Green tea can help fight allergies
Researchers in Japan have identified a compound in green tea that, in laboratory tests, blocks a key cell receptor involved in producing an allergic response.
The compound, methylated epigallocatechin gallate, works by blocking the production of histamine and immunoglobulin E, two compounds in the body that are chiefly involved in triggering and sustaining allergic reactions

Read more:

Baked Chicken Breasts w/ Grilled Asparagus, Seasoned Potatoes, and...

Today's Menu: Baked Chicken Breasts w/ Grilled Asparagus, Seasoned Potatoes, and Whole Grain Bread

I had a package of Miller's Amish Chicken Breasts and wanted a recipe for baking them when I came across this one from  It's called Heavenly Chicken and that's the way it came out, Heavenly! Moist and delicious, it's a really good Baked Chicken Breast recipe. I left the recipe and web site link at the end of the post.

Had sides of Grilled Asparagus and Grilled Potatoes w/ Cheese and Herb Seasoning. Both are Meijer frozen products. I also had Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. For dessert later a Jello Sugar Free Chocolate Pudding topped with Cool Whip Free.

Heavenly Chicken
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs
2 Tablespoons light olive oil
1 1/2 cups light sour cream or plain yogurt
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 cups crushed Ritz crackers (1 sleeve) or seasoned breadcrumbs
2 Tablespoons melted butter

Preheat the oven to 350'F. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil and spread the olive oil over the foil.

In a medium bowl or zip style bag, stir together the sour cream, salt, onion powder, and paprika. Add the chicken to this mixture and turn the chicken so that all sides are fully coated.

Place the crushed crackers or breadcrumbs in a large bowl and dredge each piece of chicken in the crumbs so that all sides are coated.

Place the coated chicken on the prepared pan, drizzle the top of each piece with melted butter.

Bake at 350'F for about 45 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165'F.

*  I used Italian Bread Crumbs and baked it at 375 degrees instead of 350. *

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Crock Pot Baby Back Ribs w/ Kicked Up Chili Beans and White Shoepeg Corn

Dinner Tonight: Crock Pot BBQ Baby Back Ribs w/ Kicked Up Chili Beans and White Shoepeg Corn

Had some more of the Crock Pot BBQ Baby Back Ribs! I went to Kroger early this morning and purchased 2 lbs. of Pork Baby Back Ribs and had the Meat Department cut the racks into Riblets for me, they looked beautiful! While I had the crock pot warming up on high I seasoned the Riblets with JB’s Fat Boy Premium Rub. I then brushed a half a bottle of JB’s Fat Boy Haugwaush Bar B Cue Sauce. I cooked the ribs for 8 hours on low in the crock pot. After 5 hours I applied the other half of Haugwaush to the Ribs.  About midway through the aroma of those ribs were all through the house, just like last time! The ribs came out perfect! Tender fall off the bone delicious. No knife needed as the bones could be removed by just pulling on them. i think I've found my favorite way to fix ribs!

For the Beans I used Joan of Arc Spicy Chili Beans and added Jack Daniel’s BBQ Sauce, Crumbled Turkey Bacon Bits, Splenda Brown Sugar, and a few dashes of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. I left the recipe at the end of the post. Along with the Beans we had Pict Sweet White Shoepeg Corn. Dessert later perhaps a slice of Pillsbury Nut Quick Bread.

Kicked Up Chili Beans


1 Can Spicy Chili Beans, Brand your choice. I use Joan of Arc
3 Pieces Crumbled Turkey Bacon. You can use Turkey or Turkey 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
1 Teaspoon Ground Mustard


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

Rachael Vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off

Rachael Vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off

Two of Food Network’s most popular personalities, Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri, are going head-to-head in a new series premiering this winter, Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off. Both Rachael and Guy will serve as coaches and mentors to eight multi-talented celebrities — from an Olympic gold medalist to Grammy-winning artists to a Golden Globe-nominated actor — contestants who are all passionate about food and cooking.

Divided into Team Rachael and Team Guy, the contestants will face intense weekly challenges that are sure to have them working, fighting and laughing as they race against the clock to prepare elaborate meals for up to 150 guests. The winning and losing teams will be chosen by the guest diners and after six episodes, the last celebrity standing will win a cash donation to his or her favorite charity.

The show’s all-star line-up includes:

•    Summer Sanders: two-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer and national sportscaster
•    Lou Diamond Phillips: Golden Globe-nominated actor (Stand and Deliver, SGU Stargate Universe)
•    Aaron Carter: Multi-platinum-selling recording artist and actor (Popstar, Supercross)
•    Joey Fatone: Singer, actor, television personality and founding member of top-selling supergroup *NSync
•    Taylor Dayne: Chart-topping recording star and actress (Broadway’s Aida, television’s Nightman)
•    Coolio: Grammy-winning hip-hop artist
•    Cheech Marin: Grammy-winning comedian, screenwriter and actor (Judging Amy, Cars 2)
•    Alyssa Campanella: Winner, Miss USA 2011 and Runner-Up, Miss Teen USA 2007

"Rachael Vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off" premieres Sun., Jan 1 at 9PM ET on the Food Network.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fried Tilapia w/ Green Beans, Cheesy Hash Brown, and Whole Grain Bread

Dinner Tonight: Fried Tilapia w/ Green Beans, Cheesy Hash Brown, and Whole Grain Bread

I had fried Tilapia with sides for dinner tonight. I first seasoned the Tilapia with Sea Salt and Black Pepper and then I combined Whole Wheat Flour, Italian Bread Crumbs, and Old Bay Seasoning in a Zip Lock plastic bag and added my fillet until it was well coated. I fried the fillet in Extra Virgin Olive Oil about 3 minutes per side. It came out golden brown and flakey.

For my sides I had Green Beans, Idahoan Cheesy Hash Brown, and Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. The Idaohan Cheesy Hash Brown was a new item I tried. I figured that this had to be as good as the rest of their products and I was right. You could prepare them on the stove or by baking which is what I did. They came out delicious as all Idahoan products do. I left the product description along with the directions at the end of the post. For dessert later a slice of Pillsbury Nut Quick Bread with a scoop of Breyer's Carb Smart Ice Cream.

Idahoan Farmhouse Fix'ins Cheesy Hash Brown

Product Description

Idahoan's Farmhouse Fixns breakfast casseroles are packed with 100% Idaho® potato hash browns and bursting with top-of-the-mornin flavor. Cheesy Hash Browns are a classic farmhouse breakfast side.

Preparation Instruction
Oven Directions

    COMBINE potatoes and sauce mix in a 1 1/2 quart baking dish.
    STIR in 1 3/4 cups of boiling water, 1/2 cup of 2% milk and 2 table spoons of margarine or butter.
    BAKE uncovered for 20 minutes at 450°F.
    REMOVE from oven and let stand a few minutes before serving.
    * If softer casserole is desired, add a little more water or milk.

Stove Top Directions

    COMBINE potatoes, sauce mix, 1 3/4 cup boiling water, 1/2 cup of 2% milk and 2 tablespoons of margarine or butter in a 2 quart saucepan.
    STIR well and bring to boil (watch carefully to avoid boil over).
    REDUCE heat; cover and simmer 15 minutes.
    * If more sauce is desired, add 1/4 cup more water.

Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving     Unprepared     Prepared
Calories     110     170
Calories from fat     20     80
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g*     3%     12%
Saturated Fat 1g     5%     10%
Trans Fat 0g          
Cholesterol 0mg     0%     2%
Sodium 490mg     20%     24%
Total Carbohydrates 21g     7%     8%
Dietary Fiber 2g     8%     8%
Sugars 2g          
Protein 2g           

Fruit of the Week - Sea-buckthorn Berry

Close-up of fruit of Common Sea-Buckthorn
Sea-buckthorn Berry

The sea-buckthorns (Hippophae L.) are deciduous shrubs in the genus Hippophae, family Elaeagnaceae. The name sea-buckthorn is hyphenated here to avoid confusion with the buckthorns (Rhamnus, family Rhamnaceae). It is also referred to as sandthorn, sallowthorn, or seaberry.

There are considered to be seven species, two of them probably of hybrid origin, native over a wide area of Europe and Asia.

The common sea-buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) is by far the most widespread of the species in the genus, with the ranges of its eight subspecies extending from the Atlantic coasts of Europe right across to northwestern China. In western Europe, it is largely confined to sea coasts where salt spray off the sea prevents other larger plants from out-competing it, but in central Asia it is more widespread in dry semi-desert sites where other plants cannot survive the dry conditions. In central Europe and Asia it also occurs as a subalpine shrub above tree line in mountains, and other sunny areas such as river banks. They are tolerant of salt in the air and soil, but demand full sunlight for good growth and do not tolerate shady conditions near larger trees. They typically grow in dry, sandy areas.

More than 90 percent or about 1.5 million hectares of the world's sea buckthorn plantations can be found in China where the plant is exploited for soil and water conservation purposes.

The shrubs reach 1.6–20 ft tall, rarely up to 33 ft in central Asia. The leaf arrangement can be alternate, or opposite. Common sea-buckthorn has branches that are dense and stiff, and very thorny. The leaves are a distinct pale silvery-green, lanceolate, 1.2–3.1 in long and less than 0.28 in broad. It is dioecious, with separate male and female plants. The male produces brownish flowers which produce wind-distributed pollen. The female plants produce orange berry-like fruit 0.24–0.35 in in diameter, soft, juicy and rich in oils. The roots distribute rapidly and extensively, providing a non-leguminous nitrogen fixation role in surrounding soils.

Hippophae salicifolia (willow-leaved sea-buckthorn) is restricted to the Himalaya, to the south of the common sea-buckthorn, growing at high altitudes in dry valleys; it differs from H. rhamnoides in having broader 0.39 in broad and greener (less silvery) leaves, and yellow berries. A wild variant occurs in the same area, but at even higher altitudes in the alpine zone. It is a low shrub not growing taller than 3.3 ft with small leaves 0.39–1.2 in long.

Harvesting is difficult due to the dense thorn arrangement among the berries on each branch. A common harvesting technique is to remove an entire branch, though this is destructive to the shrub and reduces future harvests. A branch removed in this way is next frozen, allowing the berries to be easily shaken off. The branches are cut, deep frozen to −32°C, then shaken or abraded for removal of the berries.

The worker then crushes the berries to remove up to 95% of the leaves and other debris. This causes the berries to melt slightly from the surface as the work takes place at ambient temperature (about 20°C). Berries or the crushed pulp are later frozen for storage.

The most effective way to harvest berries and not damage branches is by using a berry-shaker. Mechanical harvesting leaves up to 50% in the field and the berries can be harvested only once in two years. They only get about 25% of the yield that could be harvested with this relatively new machinery.

During the Cold War, Russian and East German horticulturists developed new varieties with greater nutritional value, larger berries, different ripening months and a branch that is easier to harvest. Over the past 20 years, experimental crops have been grown in the United States, one in Nevada and one in Arizona, and in several provinces of Canada.

Sea-buckthorn is also a popular garden and landscaping shrub, particularly making a good vandal-proof barrier hedge with an aggressive basal shoot system exploited in some parts of the world as wind breaks and to stabilize riverbanks and steep slopes. They have value in northern climates for their landscape qualities, as the colorful berry clusters are retained through winter. Branches may be used by florists for designing ornaments. The plant is the regional flora of the Finnish region of Satakunta.

Sea-buckthorn is distributed free of charge to Canadian prairie farmers by PFRA to be used in shelterbelts.

Sea-buckthorn berries are edible and nutritious, though very acidic (astringent) and oily, unpleasant to eat raw, unless 'bletted' (frosted to reduce the astringency) and/or mixed as a juice with sweeter substances such as apple or grape juice.

When the berries are pressed, the resulting sea-buckthorn juice separates into three layers: on top is a thick, orange cream; in the middle, a layer containing sea-buckthorn's characteristic high content of saturated and polyunsaturated fats; and the bottom layer is sediment and juice. Containing fat sources applicable for cosmetic purposes, the upper two layers can be processed for skin creams and liniments, whereas the bottom layer can be used for edible products like syrup.

Nutrient and phytochemical constituents of sea-buckthorn berries may have potential effect in inflammatory disorders, cancer prevention or positive effect on bone marrow after chemotherapy  or other diseases, although no specific health benefits have yet been proven by clinical research in humans.

The fruit of the plant has a high vitamin C content – in a range of 114 to 1550 mg per 100 grams with an average content (695 mg per 100 grams) about 15 times greater than oranges (45 mg per 100 grams) – placing sea-buckthorn fruit among the most enriched plant sources of vitamin C. The fruit also contains dense contents of carotenoids, vitamin E, amino acids, dietary minerals, β-sitosterol and polyphenols. Flavonols were found to be the predominating polyphenols while phenolic acids and flavan-3-ols (catechins) represent minor components. Of the seven flavonols identified, isorhamnetin 3-O-glycosides were highest quantitatively.

Sea-buckthorn fruit can be used to make pies, jams, lotions and liquors. The juice or pulp has other potential applications in foods or beverages. For example, in Finland, it is used as a nutritional ingredient in baby food. Fruit drinks were among the earliest sea-buckthorn products developed in China. Seabuckthorn-based juice is popular in Germany and Scandinavian countries. It provides a nutritious beverage, rich in vitamin C and carotenes. A specialty beer called Tyrnilambic Baie d'Argousier has been produced at the Cantillon Brewery in Brussels exclusively for the Finnish Market.

For its troops confronting extremely low temperatures (see Siachen), India's Defence Research Development Organization established a factory in Leh to manufacture a multi-vitamin herbal beverage based on sea-buckthorn juice.

The seed and pulp oils have nutritional properties that vary under different processing methods. Sea-buckthorn oils are used as a source for ingredients in several commercially available cosmetic products and nutritional supplements.

To overcome high acidity, juice made by adding five-parts water to one-part sea-buckthorn and sweetened to taste, put through a blender and strained, is said to taste like orange or peach juice. Sea-buckthorn leaves, dried and shredded, can be made into teas.

Different parts of sea-buckthorn have been used as traditional therapies for diseases. As no applications discussed in this section have been verified by science and sufficient clinical trial evidence, such knowledge remains mostly unreferenced outside of Asia and is communicated mainly from person to person, therefore falling into the category of folk medicine.

Grown widely throughout its native China and other mainland regions of Asia, sea-buckthorn is an herbal remedy reputedly used over centuries to relieve cough, aid digestion, invigorate blood circulation and alleviate pain.

Bark and leaves may be used for treating diarrhea and dermatological disorders. Berry oil, taken either orally or applied topically, may be used as a skin softener.

For its hemostatic and anti-inflammatory effects, berry fruits are added to medications for pulmonary, gastrointestinal, cardiac, blood and metabolic disorders in Indian, Chinese and Tibetan medicines. Sea-buckthorn berry components have potential activity against cancer and dengue virus.

Apple Sea-Buckthorn Pie

Apple Sea-Buckthorn Pie

Ingredients -

4 cooking apples, peeled and sliced
2 cups Sea berries, without the stems
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
several dashes of ground cloves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and
prepare oil pastry for crust.

1. Add sea-buckthorn berries to a pan
with a little water and six teaspoons of
the sugar. Bring to a boil, simmer for
about 20 minutes until the fruit are soft
and pulpy.

2. Press pulp through a sieve into a
glass mixing bowl to remove the seeds.
Add cooking apples, remaining sugar,
flour and cloves and microwave for about
five minutes until the apples are softened.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and
prepare oil pastry for crust.

4. Bake for approximated fifteen
minutes. Lower oven temperature to 350
degrees F. and bake until the crust is
brown and juice is bubbling from the
steam vents.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Leftover Prime Rib w/ Mashed Potatoes & Brown Mushroom Gravy, Green Beans, and…

Dinner Tonight: Leftover Prime Rib w/ Mashed Potatoes & Brown Mushroom Gravy, Green Beans, and Rustic French Bread

 Well dinner tonight are the leftovers from our Christmas Dinner. Prime Rib w/ Mashed Potatoes & Brown Mushroom Gravy, Green Beans, and Rustic French Bread. I had slow baked the Prime Rib at 250 degrees for three hours, until it was a beautiful medium rare. It came out a just melt in your mouth piece of Prime Rib. I made several sides so everyone had a choice. I made Mashed Potatoes & Brown Mushroom Gravy (Heinz Gravy), Scalloped Potatoes, Green Beans, Baked Glazed Carrots, Rustic French Bread or Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. For dessert a choice of Pillsbury Nut Quick Bread or my Mom made a Apple Cake.

Prime Rib and Folded Egg on English Muffin w/ Hashbrowns

Breakfast the day after Christmas

I got up early this morning and made Breakfast for everyone. I made a big skillet of Hash Browns and I then took some of the leftover Prime Rib and warmed it up. I scrambled one Egg for each Sandwich seasoning it with McCormick Grinder Sea Salt and Black Peppercorn. I folded the Egg and and served it on an Healthy Life Whole Grain English Muffin and added thin slices of Prime Rib with a dab of Woeber's Horse Radish Mustard. A great light Breakfast to start a beautiful day!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Prime Rib w/ Mashed Potatoes & Brown Mushroom Gravy, Green Beans, and...

Christmas Dinner: Prime Rib w/ Mashed Potatoes & Brown Mushroom Gravy, Green Beans, and Rustic French Bread

First of all Merry Christmas Everyone! Second, What a Dinner!  Prime Rib w/ Mashed Potatoes & Brown Mushroom Gravy, Green Beans, and Rustic French Bread. I slow baked the Prime Rib at 250 degrees for three hours, until it was a beautiful medium rare. It came out a just melt in your mouth piece of Prime Rib. I made several sides so everyone had a choice. I made Mashed Potatoes & Brown Mushroom Gravy (Heinz Gravy), Scalloped Potatoes, Green Beans, Baked Glazed Carrots, Rustic French Bread or Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. For dessert we had a choice of Pillsbury Nut Quick Bread or my Mom made a Apple Cake. No one left hungry!
                                                                                Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Pizza Three Ways - Pepperoni, Turkey Sausage, and Ham & Pineapple

Dinner Tonight: Pizza Three Ways - Pepperoni, Turkey Sausage, and Ham & Pineapple

I had three of the  Meijer Wheat Pita Bread's left so I used them to make three different Pizzas for everyone for dinner tonight. I made a Turkey Pepperoni, Turkey Sausage, and a Ham & Pineapple Pizza. The Pita Bread is only 80 calories and 17 carbs per serving which is half the Pita. At that the whole Pita Bread is only 160 calories. Pita Bread is a great alternative for your Pizza Crust, being lower in calories and carbs. I used Ragu Pizza Sauce, Kraft 2% Shredded Mozzarella Cheese for all 3 Pizzas.  I brushed each Pita Bread with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and  baked them at 385 degrees for about 9 minutes.

On the Pepperoni Pizza I used Hormel Turkey Pepperoni, Mushrooms and Sliced Black Olives.

For the Turkey Sausage Pizza I used Jennie - O Italian Turkey Sausage, Sliced Black Olives, and Mushrooms. I precooked the Turkey Italian Sausage before adding it as a topping.

For the last Pizza I used Mushrooms, Sarah Lee Thin Sliced Honey Baked Ham along with Dole Pineapple Chunks.

It was unanimous I needed to make more of the Ham & Pineapple. What a great flavor combination! The hint of Salt from the Ham and Sweetness from the Pineapple makes a delicious Pizza. For dessert later a bowl of Breyer's Carb Smart Vanilla Ice Cream topped with some Dole Pineapple Chunks that were leftover from dinner.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Twas the Night before Christmas Poem

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

Twas the Night before Christmas Poem

Friday, December 23, 2011

Bison Pattie Melt w/ Turkey Chili Spud

Dinner Tonight: Bison Pattie Melt w/ Turkey Chili Spud

Cool and windy day outside today so I wanted a healthy and hearty, stick to your ribs comfort food dinner! I had a Bison Pattie Melt w/ Turkey Chili Spud. I used Ground Bison Sirloin that I flattened out a bit. I seasoned it with McCormick Grinder Sea Salt and Black Peppercorn. I fried it in Extra Virgin Olive Oil about 4 minutes per side. After I flipped the burger I topped it with a slice of Hardwood Smoked Gouda Cheese. I served it on Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread that I toasted. I had a Turkey Chili Spud as a side. I baked a Russet Potato and topped it with Hormel Turkey Chili With Beans! It tasted even better than it sounds! For a dessert/snack later tonight I'll be trying something new Tostitos artisan Roasted Garlic & Black Bean Tortilla Chips. I had heard how good they were so I decided it was time to try them out. The chips are 140 calories and 18 carbs per serving. I'll have them with Kroger Brand Organic Black Bean & Corn Salsa.

Maple-Glazed Meatballs

I was looking for a Turkey Meatball recipe when I came across this on on the Honeysuckle White web site and they sounded too good not to pass along! The home page link is:

Maple-Glazed Meatballs

2 packages (about 1 1/2 pounds) Honeysuckle White® Fresh Italian Style Turkey Meatballs

1/3 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

    *Combine sauce ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook 5 minutes or until bubbly, stirring occasionally.
    *Add meatballs and simmer for 15 minutes or until meatballs and sauce are hot.
    *Serve on small plates with decorative picks and extra sauce drizzled on top.

Recipe Nutrition Facts
Serving size:    5.5oz/157g
Calories per serving:    307
Calories from fat:    121
Total fat:    13g
Saturated fat:    4g
Cholesterol:    87mg
Sodium:    1411mg
Carbohydrate:    20g
Fiber Carbs:    1g
Sugar Carbs:    12g
Protein:    24g

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Bison Sirloin & Sauteed Mushrooms w/ Green Beans & Carrots and…

Dinner Tonight: Bison Sirloin & Sauteed Mushrooms w/ Green Beans & Carrots and Harvest Grain Bread

Back to the Bison for dinner tonight. I had a Bison Sirloin that I seasoned with McCormick Grinder Steakhouse Seasoning. I pan fried it in a a 1/2 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 Parsly. Then lightly sauteed in Extra Virgin Olive oil and a pat of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.

For sides I had Kroger Bakery Harvest Grain Bread and the leftover Pero Family Farms Green Beans & Carrots I had the other night. The Green Beans & Carrots was something I picked up earlier in the week at Meijer. Easy to fix, microwave in the bag or boil in 3 cups of water for 7 minutes which is what I did. They came out crisp and delicious. For dessert later a slice of Pillsbury Nut Quick Bread with a scoop of Breyer’s Carb Smart Vanilla Ice Cream.

Starting the day with a Healthy Breakfast!

Woke up hungry and ready to eat this morning. So I put together a filling and healthy breakfast. I had French Toast w/ Turkey Bacon. I used a flat griddle pan to make everything. I used Oscar Mayer Low Sodium Turkey Bacon and for the toast I used Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. I then used 2 servings of Egg Beaters and added Ground Cinnamon and Nutmeg and mixed well. I dipped 2 slices of bread in the mixture, coating on both sides. I started grilling the Bacon first and then added the toast after flipping the Bacon, this way they were both done at the same time. I topped the French Toast with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter and Joseph's Sugar Free Maple Syrup. I love this Syrup tastes just as good as Syrup with all the Sugar. A serving which is a 1/4 Cup is only 35 calories and 9 carbs! I order the Syrup on line from  They have a great selection of sugarless products check it out sometime. Love starting the day off with a great Breakfast!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Turkey Chili Cheese Coneys

Dinner Tonight: Turkey Chili Cheese Coneys

I wanted some Cheese Coneys for dinner and I wanted them hearty! So I used Ball Park Smoked White Turkey Franks, Hormel Turkey Chili w/ Beans, Kraft 2% Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, and Healthy Life Whole Grain Hot Dog Buns. Boil the Franks 4 -5 minutes and while the dogs are boiling warm up your Turkey Chili in a small sauce pan. To assemble place the Hot Dog in the Bun top with the Turkey Chili, Frank's Red Hot Sauce, add chopped Onions or Jalenpenos (Optional), a squirt of Yellow Mustard, and top with the Shredded Cheese. I also had a 1/2 a serving of Oyster Crackers. Now chow down on some delicious Dogs! For dessert later a Yoplait Delight 100 Calorie Chocolate Eclair Parfait.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Baked Pork Chop w/ Green Beans & Carrots and...

Dinner Tonight: Baked Pork Chop w/ Green Beans & Carrots and Harvest Grain Bread

Had another of the large Center Cut Pork Loin Chop. I marinated it in J B’s Fat Boy’s Haugwash Barbcue Sauce and refrigerated it for 3 hours. I removed the chop from the fridge and shook off any excess of the sauce and then seasoned it with McCormick Grinder Sea Salt and Grinder Black Peppercorn and then applied a light rub of McCormick Grillmate’s Applewood Rub. I then pan fried the Chop browning it on both sides then baked the Chops at 350 degrees for 30 minutes and then flipping the Chops over and baking another 35 minutes until the temperature read 165 degrees. I love these Big Chops moist and tender with some great leftovers!

For sides I had Kroger Bakery Harvest Grain Bread and a new item that I hadn't tried Pero Family Farms Green Beans & Carrots. I hadn't had the Harvest Grain Loaf Bread in a while so it was good to have some again. The Green Beans & Carrots was something I picked up earlier in the week at Meijer. Easy to fix, microwave in the bag or boil in 3 cups of water for 7 minutes which is what I did. They came out crisp and delicious, I'll have to buy some more of these! For dessert later a slice of Pillsbury Nut Quick Bread with a scoop of Breyer's Carb Smart Vanilla Ice Cream.

Fruit of the Week - Jackfruit

Jackfruit tree with fruit
The jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) is a species of tree in the Artocarpus genus of the mulberry family (Moraceae). It is native to parts of Southern and Southeast Asia. Jackfruit is the national fruit of Bangladesh, and is known as "kathal." The jackfruit tree is believed to be indigenous to the southwestern rain forests of India. It is widely cultivated in tropical regions of the Indian subcontinent, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia. Jackfruit is also found in East Africa, e.g., in Uganda and Mauritius, as well as throughout Brazil and Caribbean nations like Jamaica. It is well suited to tropical lowlands, and its fruit is the largest tree-born fruit, reaching as much as 80 pounds (36 kg) in weight and up to 36 inches (90 cm) long and 20 inches (50 cm) in diameter.

The common English name jackfruit is a name used by the physician and naturalist Garcia de Orta in his 1563 book Colóquios dos simples e drogas da India. A botanist, Ralph Randles Stewart suggests that it was named after William Jack (1795–1822), a Scottish botanist who worked for the East India Company in Bengal, Sumatra and Malaysia. This is apocryphal as the fruit was called a "Jack" in English before William Jack was born: for instance, in Dampier's 1699 book, A new voyage round the world.

The jackfruit has played a significant role in Indian agriculture for centuries. Archeological findings in India have revealed that jackfruit was cultivated in India 3000 to 6000 years ago[citation needed]. Varahamihira, the Indian astronomer, mathematician, and astrologer, mentioned jackfruit trees in his Brhat Samhita.. His treatise includes a specific reference on grafting to be performed on trees such as jackfruit. Maturing in 35–40 years, their wood can be used for furniture. The gum from this tree is used to repair small holes in pots. In Kerala (India), Jackfruit trees support the Black Pepper vine, which is a climber. Thus, the trunks of jackfruit trees of Kerala are usually covered with the dark green leaves of the pepper vine cultivated by the farmers.

The jackfruit is considered an invasive species in Brazil, especially in the Tijuca Forest National Park in Rio de Janeiro. The Tijuca forest is mostly an artificial secondary forest, whose planting began during the mid-nineteenth century, and jackfruit trees have been a part of the park's flora since its founding. Recently, the species expanded excessively, due to the fact that its fruits, once they had naturally fallen to the ground and opened, were eagerly eaten by small mammals such as the common marmoset and the coati. The seeds are dispersed by these animals, which allows the jackfruit to compete for space with native tree-species. Additionally, as the marmoset and coati also prey opportunistically on bird's eggs and nestlings, the supply of jackfruit as a ready source of food has allowed them to expand their populations, to the detriment of the local bird population. Between 2002 and 2007, 55,662 jackfruit saplings were destroyed in the Tijuca Forest area in a deliberate culling effort by the park's management.

Outside of its countries of origin, fresh jackfruit can be found at Asian food markets, especially in the Philippines. It is also extensively cultivated in the Brazilian coastal region, where it is sold in local markets. It is available canned in sugar syrup, or frozen. Dried jackfruit chips are produced by various manufacturers. In northern Australia, particularly in Darwin, Australia, jackfruit can be found at outdoor produce markets during the dry season. Outside of countries where it is grown, jackfruit can be obtained year-round both canned or dried. It has a ripening season in Asia of late Spring to late Summer.

The flesh of the jackfruit is starchy, fibrous and is a source of dietary fiber. The flavor is similar to a tart banana. Varieties of jackfruit are distinguished according to the characteristics of the fruits' flesh. In Brazil, three varieties are recognized. These are: jaca-dura, or "hard" variety, which has firm flesh and the largest fruits that can weigh between 15 and 40 kilograms each; jaca-mole, or "soft" variety, which bears smaller fruits, with softer and sweeter flesh; and jaca-manteiga, or "butter" variety, which bears sweet fruits, whose flesh has a consistency intermediate between the "hard" and "soft" varieties.

In Kerala, two varieties of jackfruit predominate: varikka and kuzha. Varikka has slightly hard inner flesh when ripe, while the inner flesh of the ripe kuzha fruit is very soft and almost dissolving. A sweet preparation called Chakka Varattiyathu is made by seasoning the Varikka fruit flesh pieces in jaggery, which can be preserved and used for many months. Huge jackfruits up to 4 feet in length with matching girth are sometimes seen in Kerala. In Mangalore, Karnataka the varieties are called bakke and imba. The pulp of the imba jackruit is ground and is made into a paste. It is then spread over a mat and is allowed to dry in the sun to create a natural chewy candy.

Jackfruit is commonly used in South and Southeast Asian cuisines. It can be eaten unripe (young) when cooked, or ripe uncooked. The seeds may be boiled or baked like beans. The leaves are used as a wrapping for steamed idlis.

The young fruit is called Polos in Sri Lanka. It is a dish with spices to replace meat curries in Sri Lankan and eastern-Indian (Bengali) cuisine. The skin of unripe (young) jack fruit must be pared first and discarded and then the whole fruit can be chopped into edible portions and cooked to be eaten. The raw young fruit is not edible. Young jackfruit has a mild flavour and distinctive poultry-like texture. The cuisines of India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Vietnam use cooked young jackfruit. In Indonesia, young jackfruit is cooked with coconut milk as gudeg. In many cultures, jackfruit is boiled and used in curries as a staple food. In the Philippines it is cooked with coconut milk (Ginataang langka)

Ripe jackfruit is naturally sweet with subtle flavouring. It can be used to make a variety of dishes including custards, cakes, halo-halo and more. Ripe jackfruit arils are sometimes seeded, fried or freeze-dried and sold as jackfruit chips.

Seeds from ripe fruits are edible and are prepared by boiling in salted water for about 25 minutes. They have a milky, sweet taste. In many parts of India, roasted salted seed is also eaten and considered a delicacy.

The wood of the tree is used for the production of musical instruments. In Indonesia it forms part of the gamelan and in the Philippines, its soft wood is made into the hull of a kutiyapi, a type of Philippine boat lute. It is also used to make the body of the Indian string instrument Veena and the drums Mridangam and Kanjira, the Golden yellow coloured timber with good grains is used for building furniture and house construction in India. The ornated wooden plank called Avani Palaka made of the wood of Jackfruit tree is used as the priest's seat during Hindu ceremonies in Kerala.

Jackfruit wood is widely used in the manufacture of furniture, doors and windows, and in roof construction. The heartwood of the jackfruit tree is used by Buddhist forest monastics in Southeast Asia as a dye, giving the robes of the monks in those traditions their distinctive light brown color.

Jackfruit Curry with Bell Peppers, Cashews, and Lime Leaf

This Jackfruit Curry Recipe is exotically delicious, and makes for a fantastic vegetarian or vegan main dish. Green jackfruit (purchased frozen or canned) is remarkably similar to chicken in consistency, and is even referred to as "vegetable meat" in many parts of Southeast-Asia. In Thailand, fresh jackfruit ("khanun") can be seen in the marketplaces (a prickly-looking fruit similar to durian), as well as in its dried form. Jackfruit is very healthy, loaded with numerous vitamins and minerals, plus isoflavones, phytonutrients, and anti-oxidants.



    SERVES 4
    1 package frozen jackfruit, preferably unripe/green, OR 1 can prepared jackfruit in brine (not syrup), drained
    1 small to medium cooking onion, cut into eighths (wedge-like pieces)
    1 green bell pepper, de-seeded and chopped/sliced
    1 red bell pepper, de-seeded and chopped/sliced
    3/4 cup dry roasted (unsalted) cashews
    1/3 to 1/2 can coconut milk (depending on how much sauce you prefer)
    generous handful of fresh basil for garnish
    2 Tbsp. oil for stir-frying
    3-4 Tbsp. white wine (or white cooking wine) for stir-frying
    3 spring onions, sliced
    1 fresh red chili (or more if you want it ultra spicy)
    4-5 whole lime leaves, fresh or frozen (available in the produce or freezer section of most Asian/Chinese food stores)
    4 cloves garlic
    1 Tbsp. lemon or lime juice
    2 Tbsp. vegetarian fish sauce (or regular fish sauce if non-vegetarian), available at Vietnamese stores
    1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
    2 Tbsp. coconut, canola, olive, or other healthy, good-tasting oil
    2 Tbsp. soy sauce
    optional: 1 tsp. dark soy sauce (available at Asian/Chinese food stores)
    1 tsp. sugar


    First, prepare the curry paste. Place all paste ingredients together in a food processor or mini-chopper and process well. OR you can pound the dry ingredients together using a pestle & mortar, then add wet ingredients to combine. If you do not have these implements: Simply mince dry ingredients finely by hand, then stir to combine them with wet ingredients in a small bowl.Lime Leaf Tip: Prepare the lime leaves using scissors to cut out (and discard) the hard central stem. If lime leaves are frozen, you can quickly thaw them by running under some hot water. Set paste aside.
    Cut jackfruit into desired bite size, either in strips or cubes/chunks (as you would with chicken). Set aside.
    Place 2 Tbsp. oil in a wok or deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and stir-fry 2-3 minutes. Add a little of the wine (1/2 to 1 Tbsp. at a time) instead of more oil whenever wok/pan becomes dry.
    Add the bell peppers. If using green jackfruit, add it now as well. Continue stir-frying another 2-3 minutes, or until peppers have softened and turned bright in color. Again, add a little wine when wok/pan becomes dry to keep ingredients frying nicely.
    Add the paste you made earlier, plus the coconut milk (start by adding 1/3 can). If using ripe (unsweetened) jackfruit, add it now as well. Stir well to combine.
    Reduce heat to medium-low, allowing curry to gently simmer 2-3 minutes, or until ingredients are nicely cooked, but not overcooked (bell peppers should still retain their firmness and color). Tip: Try not to overcook this curry, or you will lose the fragrance and taste of the paste. When done, the green jackfruit should shred easily (like chicken). If using ripe, unsweetened jackfruit, it should be soft (but not mushy) in texture.
    Just before serving, add the cashews, gently stirring them in. Now do a taste-test, looking for a balance of salty, sour, sweet and spicy. If not salty enough, add more [vegetarian] fish sauce, soy sauce, or a little salt. If too salty for your taste, add another squeeze of lime/lemon juice. If not spicy enough, add more fresh chili. If too spicy (or if you prefer more sauce), add a little more coconut milk. Add a little more sugar if too sour.
    To serve, either portion out in bowls or on plates, or ladle the curry into a serving dish. Sprinkle with generous amounts of fresh basil, and serve with plenty of Thai jasmine-scented rice. ENJOY!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Roasted Chicken Sandwich & Smoked Gouda on Whole Grain Toast w/ Salad

Dinner Tonight:  Roasted Chicken Sandwich & Smoked Gouda on Whole Grain Toast w/ Salad and Dressing

I used the leftover Crock Pot Roasted Chicken from the other day and made it into a sandwich. I served the Chicken on 2 slices of toasted Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread and topped it with a slice of Hardwood Smoked Gouda Cheese and Heinz 57 Sauce. As a side I had Tossed Salad with Black Olives and Marzetti Light Honey French Dressing. For dessert later a Yoplait delight 100 Calorie Chocolate Eclair Parfait.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Fried Lake Perch w/ Green Beans, Shells & Cheese, and...

Dinner Tonight: Fried Lake Perch w/ Green Beans, Shells & Cheese, and Whole Grain Bread

While at Meijer the other day I picked up some beautiful Lake Perch Fillets. I seasoned the fillets with McCormick Grinder Sea Salt and Black Peppercorn. I then rolled the fillets in a Whole Grain Flour/Italian Bread Crumb mix. The fillets were not very big or thick so I fried them about 3 minutes per side in Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

For sides I had Del Monte Green Beans, Velveeta/Kraft 2% Shells and Cheese, and Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. The Velveeta Shells and Cheese come in a microwavable single serving cup and contain 180 calories and 31 carbs. Really a great tasting and cheesy Mac & Cheese, especially for microwave Mac. For dessert later a Jello Sugar Free Chocolate Pudding topped with Cool Whip Free.   

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Fall Off the Bone Herb & Spice Crock Pot Chicken w/ Carrots and Golden Potatoes

Today's Menu: Fall Off the Bone Herb & Spice Crock Pot Roasted Chicken w/ Baby Carrots and Golden Potatoes

I put the new crock pot to use today. I made Fall Off the Bone Herb & Spice Crock Pot Chicken w/ Carrots and Golden Potatoes. It's the first time I made a roasted Chicken in the crock pot. Cooking a whole Chicken in the crock pot is super easy. First unwrap the Chicken, remove the bag of innards from the cavity and give the chicken a quick rinse. After I cleaned and rinsed the Chicken I rubbed the Chicken with the Butter over the outside and on the inside of the cavity. I then seasoned the Chicken with Sea Salt, White Pepper, and Smoked Ground Cumin. I then took the fresh Herbs (Rosemary, Sage, Thyme) and rubbed it in on the outside of the Chicken and then took 2 sprigs of the Rosemary, 2 sprigs of the Sage, and 4 sprigs of the Thyme and inserted it into the Chicken cavity.

Before putting the Chicken in the crock pot I layered the Baby Carrots evenly across bottom of the crock pot. I then scrubbed the Potatoes and quartered them with peel on, spreading them around the edges, leaving room for the chicken to sit in the middle. Then set the crock pot on high and roast for 6 - 8 hours. This can vary depending on your crock pot and size of the Chicken.

I use Crock Pot Liners all the time and in this case it really came in handy. The Chicken was so tender I couldn't remove it from the crock pot without it falling apart so by using the liner I was able to lift the entire Chicken and Veggies out and on to the platter. The Chicken came out "Falling Off the Bone" delicious! Same with the Carrots and Potatoes. Both were bursting with flavor and just as tender as the Chicken! I'll be putting this new crock pot to use quite often. For dessert later a Yoplait Delight 100 Calorie Chocolate Eclair Parfait.

Fall Off the Bone Herb & Spice Crock Pot Roasted Chicken


 1 (2 to 3 pound) Whole Chicken
1 bag Baby Carrots
6-8 Small Potatoes
Sea Salt and White Pepper to taste
1 Table spoon Smoked Cumin
Fresh Rosemary, Sage, Thyme to taste
1 cup Swanson Low Sodium Chicken Stock or Broth
I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, 1 1/2 Table spoons


Layer baby carrots evenly across bottom of the crock pot.

Scrub potatoes and quarter them with peel on, spreading them around the edges, leaving room for the chicken to sit in the middle. If necessary, rearrange carrots/potatoes to ensure crock pot lid will seal. Then add the cup of Chicken Stock over top.

Rinse chicken and pat dry; empty cavity if necessary. Rub the Chicken with Butter outside and in the cavity and then season with spices. Then add the fresh Herbs rubbing them over the entire outside of the Chicken and then breaking off sprigs of the fresh Herbs and putting them in the cavity.

Cook on low all day, for 8-10 hours, depending on crock pot settings and size of the Chicken.

Fruits and Vegetables Web Site


Read about this site in a magazine and checked it out. Full of info, tips, and recipes for Fruits and Vegetables. Really a great site check it out!

Sponsered by:  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention     Department of Health
and Human Services    National Cancer Institute    

Fruits and Vegetables Can Protect Your Health
Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that may help protect you from chronic diseases. Compared with people who consume a diet with only small amounts of fruits and vegetables, those who eat more generous amounts as part of a healthful diet are likely to have reduced risk of chronic diseases, including stroke and perhaps other cardiovascular diseases, and certain cancers.

Whole Foods or Supplements?
Nutrients should come primarily from foods. Foods such as fruits and vegetables contain not only the vitamins and minerals that are often found in supplements, but also other naturally occurring substances that may help protect you from chronic diseases.

For some people, fortified foods or supplements can be helpful in getting the nutrients their bodies need. A fortified food contains a nutrient in an amount greater than what is typically found in that food.

The Colors of Health
Fruits and vegetables come in terrific colors and flavors, but their real beauty lies in what's inside. Fruits and vegetables are great sources of many vitamins, minerals and other natural substances that may help protect you from chronic diseases.

To get a healthy variety, think color. Eating fruits and vegetables of different colors gives your body a wide range of valuable nutrients, like fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamins A and C. Some examples include green spinach, orange sweet potatoes, black beans, yellow corn, purple plums, red watermelon, and white onions. For more variety, try new fruits and vegetables regularly.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Baked Catfish Tenders & Remoulade Dipping Sauce w/ Scalloped Potatoes....

Dinner Tonight: Baked Catfish Tenders & Remoulade Dipping Sauce w/ Scalloped Potatoes, Sweet Corn, and Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread.

Baked Catfish tonight. I used Kroger brand Catfish Tenders. Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes and they come out perfect every time! 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.

 For sides we had Idahoan Scalloped Potatoes, Del Monte Sweet Corn, and Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. The Idahoan Scalloped Potatoes are the easy and quick way for some Scalloped Potatoes. 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. For dessert later a slice of Pillsbury Nut Quick Bread with a scoop of Breyer's Carb Smart Vanilla Ice Cream.

Remoulade Sauce


1 Cup Light Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp 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.

Imagine Organic Creamy Potato Leek

Came across this at Meijer and I've been hooked ever since. I had the Potato Leek for lunch today. They have several different kinds and I'm looking forward to trying them all! Below is a description and Nutrition info.

Organic Creamy Potato Leek Soup

Discover the robust flavor of Imagine Organic Creamy Potato Leek Soup. Enjoy its smooth texture and perfect balance of fresh herbs and delicate seasonings. One spoonful tells you that this soup is made from the finest organic vegetables, harvested at the peak of ripeness. Feed your imagination with the best that nature has to offer.
Available in 16 and 32 oz. sizes
Certified Organic by Quality Assurance International (QAI)
filtered water, organic potatoes, organic onions, organic leeks, organic expeller pressed safflower oil, and/or sunflower oil and/or canola oil, sea salt, organic garlic, organic onion powder, organic spice.
Nutritional Information
Serving Size    
1 Cup (240mL)
Servings per Container    
about 2
Calories from Fat    
      Amount Per Serving     % Daily Value
Total Fat    
Saturated Fat    
Total Carbohydrate    

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ground Pork Burger w/ Crinkle Fries

Today’s Menu: Ground Pork Burger topped with Turkey Bacon, Smoked Gouda    w/ Crinkle Fries

 Love these Ground Pork Burgers the taste is fantastic, the pesto with the Pork is a perfect match! I had froze about 5 of them and this is the last one. Time to make another batch! I fried the Burger in Extra Virgin Olive Oil about 4 minutes per side. Came out moist and juicy bursting with flavor. I left the recipe at the end of the post. I topped it with a slice of Turkey Bacon and a slice of Hardwood Smoked Gouda Cheese. Served it on an Healthy Life Whole Grain Bun. As a side I had Ore Ida Crinkle Fries. For dessert later a Chocolate Dipped Frozen Banana. You can find the recipe for this in my previous post.

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
Lettuce, sliced Tomato 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 Healthy Life Whole Grain Buns). Add Reduced or Lite Mayo and Slice of Smoked Gouda Cheese.

Chocolate Dipped Frozen Mini Bananas

This was a first never tried making these before, Chocolate Dipped Frozen Mini Bananas. They turned out fantastic! Although I'm off my Diabetes Medication I still stay on the foods that I ate as if I still was on medication. So I'm always looking to make things that fit in that Diabetes friendly menu. I used Mini Bananas, Hershey's Sugar Free Special Dark Chocolate, and Walnut Pieces. I used some Corn dog Sticks for the Bananas. I inserted the sicks into the Bananas and melted the Chocolate down by microwave, I think next time I'll put the Chocolate into a sauce pan and melt it down on the stove. After the Chocolate had melted down I rolled the Bananas on the stick in the Chocolate and then into a bowl that had the Walnut Pieces. I put Wax Paper on a small Cookie Sheet Pan and laid the covered Bananas on the pan and into the freezer. I kept them in the freezer for about 3 hours and then sat them in the refrigerator until we had them. They were a bit to frozen to eat directly from the freezer. We had them as dessert after dinner later tonight. Makes a fantastic and different dessert that everyone enjoyed! Delicious and Diabetic friendly!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wheat Pita Pizza

Today's Menu: Wheat Pita Pizza

Pizza for dinner tonight! I love Pizza but don't like the calories and carbs that go with it. I started using these Wheat Pita Bread from Meijer a while back. Only 80 calories and 17 carbs per serving which is half the Pita. At that the whole Pita Bread is only 160 calories! For toppings I used Jennie - 1/4 of a O Italian Turkey Sausage, 1/2 a serving (8 Slices) Hormel Turkey Pepperoni, Sliced Black Olives, Sliced Baby Bela Mushrooms, Ragu Pizza Sauce (1/2 Serving), Kraft 2% Shredded Mozzarella. I precooked the Turkey Italian Sausage before adding it as a topping. The 1/2 Pita serving doesn't have a lot of calories or carbs but plenty of taste and very filling. After building my Pizza I baked it at 385 degrees for about 9 minutes. I made 2 of them and it was more than enogh for 3 people. For dessert/snack later a Mini Bag of Jolly Time 100 Calorie Pop Corn.

Sugar Free Cupcakes

Tis the Season!

My parents are going to their Seniors Church Christmas Party today so I made some cupcakes for them to take. I used Pillsbury Sugar Free Cake mix and Sugar Free Frosting. I made them with the Pillsbury Moist Supreme Sugar Free Classic Yellow Cake Mix and topped them with Sugar Free Vanilla Frosting and Red and Green Sprinkles. I used Egg Beaters instead of Eggs and added a Snack Cup of Sugar Free Vanilla Pudding. Adding Pudding to any Cake Mix really makes it moist. I left the Nutrition info on both below.

Pillsbury Moist Supreme Sugar Free Classic Yellow Cake Mix

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1/12 package (38g mix)
Amount per Serving
Calories 120
Calories from Fat 31.5
% Daily Value *

Total Fat 3.5g
Saturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 250mg
Total Carbohydrate 29g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 0g
Protein 2g

Sugar Free Vanilla Frosting

Nutrition Facts

        Serving Size 2 Tbsp (30g)
        Servings Per Container About 14
        Calories 100
        Calories from Fat 60

    Amount/Serving     % Daily Value
Total Fat     6g     9%
Saturated Fat     1.5g     8%
Trans Fat     2g   
Cholesterol     mg     %
Sodium     60mg     2%
Total Carbohydrate     17g     6%
Dietary Fiber     3g     14%
Sugars     0g   
SugarAlcohol     10g   
Protein     0g

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Baked Rainbow Trout Fillet w/ Green Beans, Shoepeg White Corn and...

Dinner Tonight: Baked Rainbow Trout Fillet w/ Green Beans, Shoe peg White Corn and Whole Grain Bread

I had 1 Rainbow Trout fillet left in the freezer so I went with that. I seasoned the Trout with McCormick Grinder Sea Salt, McCormick Grinder Black Peppercorn, Rosemary, and Sage. Baked at 400 degrees for 12 minutes. Came out flakey and seasoned just right. As sides I had Green Beans, Shoepeg White Corn, and Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. For dessert a Yoplait Delight 100 Calorie Chocolate Eclair Parfait.

Monday, December 12, 2011

St. Louis Style Pork Spareribs w/ Mashed Potatoes

Dinner Tonight: St. Louis Style Pork Spareribs w/ Mashed Potatoes and Whole Grain Bread.

Warmed a half rack of Lloyd’s St. Louis Style Pork Spareribs. Easily fixed, 35 minutes at 375 degrees and done.  Very good Sauce and the Ribs are very meaty plus some great leftovers! As sides I had Idahoan Mashed Potatoes and Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. For dessert later a bowl of Breyer's Carb Smart Vanilla Ice Cream topped with a serving of Smucker's Sugar Free Hot Fudge Topping.
I bought a new Hamilton Beach Oval 5.5 Qt. Crock Pot this morning and really looking forward to a lot of new recipes!

Fruit of the Week - Custard Apple

Cross Section of Custard Apple
The custard-apple, also called bullock's heart or bull's heart, is the fruit of the tree Annona reticulata. This tree is a small deciduous or semi-evergreen tree sometimes reaching 33 ft tall and a native of the tropical New World that prefers low elevations, and a warm, humid climate. It also occurs as feral populations in many parts of the world including Southeast Asia, Taiwan, India, Australia, and Africa.

The fruits are variable in shape, oblong, or irregular. The size ranges from 2.8 in to 4.7 in. When ripe, the fruit is brown or yellowish, with red highlights and a varying degree of reticulation, depending on variety. The flavor is sweet and pleasant, akin to the taste of 'traditional' custard.

The custard apple is believed to be a native of the West Indies but it was carried in early times through Central America to southern Mexico. It has long been cultivated and naturalized as far south as Peru and Brazil. It is commonly grown in the Bahamas and occasionally in Bermuda and southern Florida.

Apparently it was introduced into tropical Africa early in the 17th century and it is grown in South Africa as a dooryard fruit tree. In India the tree is cultivated, especially around Calcutta, and runs wild in many areas. It has become fairly common on the east coast of Malaya, and more or less throughout southeast Asia and the Philippines though nowhere particularly esteemed. Eighty years ago it was reported as thoroughly naturalized in Guam. In Hawaii it is not well known.

The custard apple tree needs a tropical climate but with cooler winters than those of the west coast of Malaya. It flourishes in the coastal lowlands of Ecuador; is rare above 5,000 ft (1,500 m). In Guatemala, it is nearly always found below 4,000 ft (1,220 m). In India, it does well from the plains up to an elevation of 4,000 ft (1,220 m); in Ceylon, it cannot be grown above 3,000 ft (915 m). Around Luzon in the Philippines, it is common below 2,600 ft (800 m). It is too tender for California and trees introduced into Palestine succumbed to the cold. In southem Florida the leaves are shed at the first onset of cold weather and the tree is dormant all winter. Fully grown, it has survived temperatures of 27º to 28ºF (-2.78º to 2.22ºC) without serious harm. This species is less drought-tolerant than the sugar apple and prefers a more humid atmosphere.

The custard apple has the advantage of cropping in late winter and spring when the preferred members of the genus are not in season. It is picked when it has lost all green color and ripens without splitting so that it is readily sold in local markets. If picked green, it will not color well and will be of inferior quality. The tree is naturally a fairly heavy bearer. With adequate care, a mature tree will produce 75 to 100 lbs (34-45 kg) of fruits per year. The short twigs are shed after they have borne flowers and fruits.

In India, the fruit is eaten only by the lower classes, out-of-hand. In Central America, Mexico and the West Indies, the fruit is appreciated by all. When fully ripe it is soft to the touch and the stem and attached core can be easily pulled out. The flesh may be scooped from the skin and eaten as is or served with light cream and a sprinkling of sugar. Often it is pressed through a sieve and added to milk shakes, custards or ice cream.

The leaves have been employed in tanning and they yield a blue or black dye. A fiber derived from the young twigs is superior to the bark fiber from Annona squamosa. Custard apple wood is yellow, rather soft, fibrous but durable, moderately close-grained, with a specific gravity of 0.650. It has been used to make yokes for oxen.

The leaf decoction is given as a vermifuge. Crushed leaves or a paste of the flesh may be poulticed on boils, abscesses and ulcers. The unripe fruit is rich in tannin; is dried, pulverized and employed against diarrhea and dysentery. The bark is very astringent and the decoction is taken as a tonic and also as a remedy for diarrhea and dysentery. In severe cases, the leaves, bark and green fruits are all boiled together for 5 minutes in a liter of water to make an exceedingly potent decoction. Fragments of the root bark are packed around the gums to relieve toothache. The root decoction is taken as a febrifuge.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Shrimp and Linguine Alfredo

Dinner Tonight: Shrimp and Linguine Alfredo

Tried a new one for dinner tonight, Shrimp and Linguine Alfredo. I used a medium size White Shrimp, Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Wheat Linguine, Kraft 2% Sharp Cheddar Shredded Cheese, Kraft Shredded Parm Cheese, and seasoning. The Classico Light Creamy Alfredo Sauce is only 60 calories and 3 carbs and very tasty! With using the Light Sauce along with the Whole Wheat Pasta, and 2% Cheese your saving a lot of calories and carbs. It's the first time I made Shrimp Alfredo and it turned out delicious and I'll be fixing it again soon. I had Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread on the side. For dessert/snack later I made some Stuffed Bacon Mushrooms. I'll leave the Mushrooms recipe on a separate post.

Classico Light Alfredo Shrimp Linguine


    1 jar (15 oz.) Classico® Creamy Alfredo Pasta Sauce
    8 ounces Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Grain Linguine
    1 tablespoons olive oil
    1 pound large, peeled and deveined raw shrimp
    1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or parsley


    Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and keep warm.
    Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook shrimp and basil for 2 to 3 minutes, or until shrimp are pink, stirring occasionally. Add Pasta Sauce, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste if desired. Serve hot with cooked pasta.

Cheese 'n Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms

  Came across this recipe for Stuffed Mushrooms. The prepared recipe is only 70 calories and I even lowered that by using fat free and reduced ingredients. They turned out delicious!

Cheese 'n Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms 


    12 large fresh mushrooms (1 lb.)
    4 oz.  (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Fat Free Cream Cheese, softened
    1 clove Garlic, minced
    4 slices  OSCAR MAYER Turkey Bacon, cooked, crumbled
    1/2 cup KRAFT 2% Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
    1 Tbsp.  chopped fresh Parsley

    HEAT oven to 350°F.

    REMOVE stems from mushrooms; discard or reserve for another use.

    MIX remaining ingredients; spoon into mushroom caps. Place, filled-sides up, in shallow baking dish.

    BAKE 18 to 20 min. or until heated through.
    Kraft Kitchens Tips
    Prepare using PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, OSCAR MAYER Turkey Bacon and KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Cheddar Cheese.
    Special Extra
    Sprinkle with paprika before baking.
    nutritional information
    per serving

    Total fat
     6 g
    Saturated fat
     3.5 g
     20 mg
     115 mg
     1 g
    Dietary fiber
     0 g
     1 g
     3 g