Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sloppy Fired Up Bison Joe’s w/ Crinkle Fries

Today’s Menu: Sloppy Fired Up Bison Joe’s w/ Crinkle Fries

I made some Sloppy Bison Joes only I fired them up a bit this time! I first browned the Bison in Extra Virgin Olive Oil and seasoned it with Sea Salt, ground Black Pepper, and Ground Smoked Cumin. I try to use Cumin as much as I can due to the health benefits of it. After browning the Bison I added a jar of Hormel Not So Sloppy Joe Sauce, about 6 shakes of Frank's Red Hot Sauce, and 4 chopped up slices of Deli Style Jalapenos . A bit of heat but nothing over powering. I made enough so there will be some great leftovers for lunch! I served them on Healthy Life Whole Grain Buns. I had a side of Ore Ida Crinkle Fries. For dessert/snack later a bag of Jolly Time 100 Calorie Mini Bag of Pop Corn.

Low Fat Sausage, Mushroom and Red Pepper Pizza

I'll be passing along some healthy and easy to fix Super Bowl Party food through out the week.

Low Fat Sausage, Mushroom and Red Pepper Pizza

We all love pizza, but not what it does to our waistlines. Make this simple and delicious low fat sausage, mushroom and red pepper pizza in less time than it would take to order in from your local pizza parlor.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

    2 chicken-sausage links, spicy Italian or Buffalo style (such as al fresco chicken sausages)
    1 cup sliced mushrooms
    1 ready-to-bake pizza dough (such as Trader Joe’s Almost Whole Wheat Pizza Dough)
    1/4 cup store-bought pizza sauce (such as Trader Joe's)
    1 7-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and cut into strips
    3/4 cup reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a pizza pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Remove casings from sausage links. Crumble sausage meat into a small nonstick skillet placed on medium heat. No oil should be necessary. Add mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes until sausage pieces are browned. Remove with slotted spoon and rest on kitchen paper to drain of any fat.

Roll out pizza dough to a 12-inch circle on a floured surface and place on nonstick or lightly oiled pizza sheet. Spread tomato sauce thinly on base. Lay roast peppers on top. Add sausage and mushroom mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 10 minutes. Serves 6

Per Serving: Calories 275, Calories from Fat 57, Total Fat 6.5g (sat 2.3g), Cholesterol 25mg, Sodium 875mg, Carbohydrate 38.3g, Fiber 4.9g, Protein 16g


Monday, January 30, 2012

Zatarain's New Orleans Style Pasta Dinner Shrimp Scampi

Dinner Tonight: Zatarain's New Orleans Style Pasta Dinner Shrimp Scampi w/ Baked Sourdough Loaf Bread

WOW what a meal put together by myself, Zatarain's, and American Shrimpers! Tried something new for dinner Zatarain's New Orleans Style Scampi Pasta Mix. You can add Chicken, Pork, or Shrimp, which is what I added, to it to make a complete meal. I used medium size Shelled and Tailless Shrimp. I boiled the Shrimp for about 4 minutes and seasoned it with Old Bay Seasoning. I then cooked the Pasta by the box directions and added in the Shrimp as the Pasta was finishing up. I left the info and details at the bottom of the post on the Zatarain's. The Scampi came out fantastic! Great flavor, seasoned just right with a bit of heat! Real easy to make and the Zatarains Scampi Pasta is only 100 calories and 21 carbs. The added Shrimp was 110 calories and 0 carbs. I'll be stocking up on this, delicious, low cal and low carb, and easy to fix.  I had a side of Sourdough Loaf Bread that I baked. For dessert later a Yoplait Delight 100 Calorie Chocolate Eclair Parfait.

Scampi Pasta Dinner Mix
Introducing Zatarain's New Orleans Style Pasta Dinners - the fun of pasta with the flavor of New Orleans! Just add chicken, sausage or shrimp to complete this easy-to-prepare dinner your whole family will love. And you know it has to be good because it's from Zatarain's…a New Orleans tradition since 1889.


All You Need Is: 2 cups water; 3 tbsp margarine, 1 pound of chicken, sausage or shrimp. Range Top: 1. Brown 1 lb precut (diced) chicken, sausage or shrimp (When shrimp is used, reduce water by 1/4 cup and add the shrimp after the first 5 minutes of cooking. Zatarain's Scampi Pasta Dinner Mix tastes great even when prepared without meat or seafood.) in a two-quart saucepan. 2. Stir in 2 cups cold water, 3 tbsp butter or margarine, and Zatarain's Scampi Pasta Dinner Mix. Blend Thoroughly. Bring to a boil. 3. Stir, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. 4. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Sauce will thicken as it stands. Stir before serving. Microwave: 1. In a two-quart microwave-safe bowl, cook 1 lb precut (diced) chicken, sausage or shrimp (When shrimp is used, reduce water by 1/4 cup and add the shrimp after the first 5 minutes of cooking. Zatarain's Scampi Pasta Dinner Mix tastes great even when prepared without meat or seafood.) 3-5 minutes on High or until cooked. 2. Stir in 2 cups water, 3 tbsp butter or margarine and Zatarain's Scampi Pasta Dinner Mix. Blend thoroughly. 3. Microwave uncovered on High for 15 to 17 minutes. Stir occasionally. 4. Let stand for 5 minutes. Sauce will thicken as it stands. Stir before serving. Caution: Cook time may vary depending on the power of the microwave oven.
Product Details

Add meat to make a complete meal. Serves 5. This easy-to-prepare dinner mix has just the right blend of ingredients for a great tasting, authentic New Orleans style meal. Zatarain's has been the leader in authentic New Orleans style food since 1889. So when you want great flavor, Jazz It Up with Zatarain's! With Zatarain's New Orleans Style Pasta Dinners you can enjoy the fun of pasta and the authentic flavor of New Orleans! Just add chicken, hamburger or shrimp to complete this easy-to-prepare dinner your whole family will love.
Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1 cup
Servings per container: 5
Nutrient    Qty    %DV
Calories     100    
Calories from Fat     10    
Total Fat     1 g     1%
Sodium     400 mg     17%
Total Carbohydrate     21 g     7%
Sugars     1 g    
Protein     4 g    
Vitamin A         4%
Iron         6%
Is or Contains Flavor       
Niacin         8%
Riboflavin         40%
Thiamine         35%

Nut of the Week - Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts, with shell (left), without shell (right)
A hazelnut is the nut of the hazel and is also known as a cob nut or filbert nut according to species. A cob is roughly spherical to oval, about 15–25 mm long and 10–15 mm in diameter, with an outer fibrous husk surrounding a smooth shell. A filbert is more elongated, being about twice as long as it is round. The nut falls out of the husk when ripe, about seven to eight months after pollination. The kernel of the seed is edible and used raw or roasted, or ground into a paste. Hazelnuts are also used for livestock feed, as are chestnuts and acorns. The seed has a thin dark brown skin, which is sometimes removed before cooking.

Hazelnuts are produced in commercial quantities in Turkey, Italy, Greece and in the American states of Oregon and Washington. Turkey is, by far, the largest producer of hazelnuts in the world.

Hazelnuts are used in confectionery to make praline, and also used in combination with chocolate for chocolate truffles and products such as Nutella. Hazelnut oil, pressed from hazelnuts, is strongly flavoured and used as a cooking oil.

Hazelnuts are rich in protein and unsaturated fat. Moreover, they contain significant amounts of thiamine and vitamin B6, as well as smaller amounts of other B vitamins.

Common hazel is widely cultivated for its nuts, including in commercial orchards in Europe, Turkey, Iran and the Caucasus. The name "hazelnut" applies to the nuts of any of the species of the genus Corylus. This hazelnut, the kernel of the seed, is edible and used raw or roasted, or ground into a paste. The seed has a thin dark brown skin, which has a bitter flavor and is sometimes removed before cooking. The top producer of hazelnuts, by a large margin, is Turkey, specifically the Ordu Province. Turkish hazelnut production of 625,000 tonnes accounts for approximately 75% of worldwide production.

In North America: in the United States, hazelnut production is concentrated in Oregon; they are also grown extensively just to the north, in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia, Canada. In 1996, the in-shell production in Oregon was about 19,900 tons, compared to 100 tons in Washington. Hazelnuts are also found in the Pangi valley of Chamba district in India, where they are known as thangi. The hazelnut is growing in popularity in the U.S., where the Hazelnut Marketing Board was established in 1949 by Federal Hazelnut Marketing Order section 982. The harvesting of hazelnuts is done either by hand or by manual or mechanical raking of fallen nuts.

There are many cultivars of the hazel, including 'Barcelona', 'Butler', 'Casina', 'Clark' 'Cosford', 'Daviana', 'Delle Langhe', 'England', 'Ennis', 'Fillbert', 'Halls Giant', 'Jemtegaard', 'Kent Cob', 'Lewis', 'Tokolyi', 'Tonda Gentile', 'Tonda di Giffoni', 'Tonda Romana', 'Wanliss Pride', and 'Willamette'. Some of these are grown for specific qualities of the nut; these qualities include large nut size and early and late fruiting cultivars, whereas others are grown as pollinators. The majority of commercial hazelnuts are propagated from root sprouts. Some cultivars are of hybrid origin between common hazel and filbert. One cultivar grown in Washington state, the "DuChilly", has an elongated appearance, a thinner and less bitter skin, and a distinctly sweeter flavor than other varieties.

Hazelnuts are harvested annually in mid-autumn. As autumn comes to a close, the trees drop their nuts and leaves. Most commercial growers wait for the nuts to drop on their own, rather than use equipment to shake them from the tree.

Hazelnuts are used in confectionery to make some pralines, in chocolate for some chocolate truffles, and in some hazelnut paste products (such as Nutella). In the United States, hazelnut butter is being promoted as a more nutritious spread than its peanut butter counterpart, though it has a higher fat content. In Austria and especially in Vienna, hazelnut paste is an ingredient in the making of tortes (such as Viennese hazelnut torte) which are famous there. In the Kiev cake hazelnut flour is used to flavor its meringue body and crushed hazelnuts are sprinkled over its sides. Hazelnuts are also the main ingredient of the classic Dacquoise liqueur. Hazelnut liqueurs, such as Frangelico, are Vodka-based.

Hazelnut-flavored coffee seems (to many users) to be slightly sweetened and less acidic, even though the nut is low in natural saccharides. The reason for such perception is not yet understood.

In Australia, over 2,000 tons are imported annually, mostly to supply the demand from the Cadbury company. Hazelnut oil, pressed from hazelnuts, is strongly flavored and used as a cooking oil. Hazelnuts are also grown extensively in Australia, in orchards growing varieties mostly imported from Europe. It is also grown in New Zealand and Chile.

Common hazel is used by a number of species of Lepidoptera as a food plant.

Hazelnuts have a significant place among the types of dried nuts in terms of nutrition and health because of the special composition of fats (primarily oleic acid), protein, carbohydrates, vitamins (vitamin E), minerals, dietary fibers, phytosterol (beta-cytosterol) and antioxidant phenolics such as flavan-3-ols.

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

Elegant Italian cookies with chocolate chips and toasted hazelnuts.

5 tbsp salted butter , melted
5 tbsp sweetener (sugar substitute) (Splenda)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup Flour, bread, unenriched
1/2 tsp low sodium baking powder
2 tbsp Cocoa Powder, unsweetened
1/4 cup Baking Chips, chocolate morsels, semi sweet, mini
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts , lightly toasted

1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the melted butter and Splenda® in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix together until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix together.
2 Sift together the flour, baking powder, and cocoa and add them to the liquid ingredients.
3 Add the chocolate chips and hazelnuts. Mix together to form a dough.
4 Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a lightly floured surface. Knead it together and roll it out into a cylinder, 12 inches long.
5 Place the cylinder on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
6 Flatten the dough with the palm of your hand to form a strip 2-1/2-inches thick. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until set.
7 Remove from the oven and cool.
8 When the dough is cool, cut it into 1/2-inch slices and arrange them 1/2-inch apart on a cookie sheet. Rebake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes, until crispy.

Nutrition Facts
Makes 24 servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories     73.9
Total Carbs     9.7 g
Dietary Fiber     0.5 g
Sugars     3.9 g
Total Fat     4.3 g
Saturated Fat     2.1 g
Unsaturated Fat     2.2 g
Potassium     39.8 mg
Protein     1.8 g
Sodium     22.9 mg


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Bleu and ‘Shroom Bison Burger w/ Crinkle Fries

Dinner Tonight: Bleu and ‘Shroom Bison Burger w/ Crinkle Fries

Bison Burger and Fries for dinner tonight! Made with Ground Bison Sirloin that I seasoned with McCormick Grinder Steakhouse Seasoning and fried in Extra Virgin Olive Oil about 4 minutes per side. I topped it with Sauteed Mushrooms and Maytag Crumbled Bleu Cheese. Served on a Healthy Life Whole Grain Bun. I had a side of Ore Ida Crinkle Fries. For dessert later a bowl of Breyer's Carb Smart Vanilla Ice Cream topped with Dole No Sugar Added Sliced Peaches.

Jalapeño Poppers

I'll be passing along some healthy and easy to fix Super Bowl Party food through out the week.

Jalapeño Poppers

12-18 poppers


    12-18 whole fresh Jalape
    1 cup nonfat Refried Beans
    1 cup shredded Monterey Jack or 2% extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
    1 Scallion, sliced
    1 teaspoon Sea Salt, divided
    1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
    2 large eggs or 1/2 Cup Egg Beaters
    1/2 cup fine Cornmeal
    Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Pam w/ Olive Oil Cooking Spray


  *  Make a small slit on one side of each pepper. Place the peppers in a large microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on High until just softened, about 5 minutes.
  * Meanwhile, combine refried beans, cheese, scallion and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.
  *  When the peppers are cool enough to handle, scrape out the seeds with a small spoon (a 1/4-teaspoon measuring spoon works well). Fill each pepper with about 1 tablespoon of the bean filling, or until the pepper is full but not overstuffed (the amount will depend on the size of the pepper). Close the pepper around the filling.
   * Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
   * Place flour in a shallow dish. Lightly beat eggs in another shallow dish. Combine cornmeal and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a third shallow dish. Roll each stuffed pepper in flour, shaking off any excess. Dip in egg and let any excess drip off. Then roll in the cornmeal mixture. Place the peppers on the prepared baking sheet. Generously coat all sides of each pepper with cooking spray.
    *Bake for 5 minutes. Turn each pepper over and continue baking until hot and the filling starts to ooze in a few spots, about 5 minutes more.


Per popper : 87 Calories; 4 g Fat; 2 g Sat; 1 g Mono; 39 mg Cholesterol; 8 g Carbohydrates; 5 g Protein; 2 g Fiber; 419 mg Sodium; 119 mg Potassium

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Baked Pork Chop w/ Mashed Potatoes, Green & Shelly Beans, and...

Dinner Tonight: Baked Pork Chop w/ Mashed Potatoes, Green & Shelly Beans, and Whole Grain Bread

I had one a large Center Cut Pork Loin Chop. I marinated it in J B’s Fat Boy’s Haugwaush 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 browned the Chop on both sides then baked the Chops at 350 degrees for 35 minutes and then flipping the Chops over and baking another 30 minutes until the temperature read 165 degrees. I love these Big Chops moist and tender and perfect for baking and they are so big it also makes some great leftovers for breakfast the next morning.

For sides I had Idahoan Mashed Potatoes, Cut Green and Shelly Beans, and Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread.  For dessert a Yoplait Delight 100 Calorie Chocolate Eclair Parfait.

Crock Pot Spicy & Sweet italian Turkey Sausage Sandwich

I'll be passing along some healthy and easy to fix Super Bowl Party food through out the week.

Crock Pot Spicy & Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage Sandwich


        5 lbs Italian Turkey Sausages or 5 lbs Turkey Bratwursts. Jennie - O, Honeysuckle White, or Johnsonville Brands.
        26 ounces Spaghetti sauce, Bella Vita Low Carb Pasta Sauce
        1 large Vidalia Onions
        1 Green Bell Peppers, sliced
        1 Red Bell Peppers, sliced
        1/2 cup packed Brown Sugar, or Splenda Brown Sugar 1/4 Cup


    1) Combine everything in a crock pot.
    2) Cover and cook on low 8 hours or high 4 hours.
    3) Serve on Italian rolls with Provolone cheese, or Whole Grain Buns and 2% Provolone Cheese.

Boneless Buffalo Wings

I'll be passing along some healthy and easy to fix Super Bowl Party food through out the week

.Boneless Buffalo Wings

From EatingWell:  January/February 2007

Even though boneless Buffalo wings are made with healthy white-meat chicken, they're usually deep-fried and drenched in hot sauce laced with butter. The solution: chicken tenders are dredged in seasoned whole-wheat flour and cornmeal, pan-fried in only a small amount of oil and then drizzled with a tangy hot pepper sauce. With a fraction of the fat, calories and sodium, these boneless wings are reason enough to throw a party.

8 servings (2 "wings", 1/2 cup vegetables & 2 tablespoons dip each) | Active Time: 30 minutes | Total Time: 40 minutes

Spicy Blue Cheese Dip

    2/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
    2/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
    1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Wings & Vegetables

    3 tablespoons nonfat buttermilk, (see Tip)
    3 tablespoons hot sauce, such as Frank's RedHot, divided
    3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar, divided
    2 pounds chicken tenders, (see Ingredient Note)
    6 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
    6 tablespoons cornmeal
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
    2 cups carrot sticks
    2 cups celery sticks


    To prepare dip: Whisk sour cream, blue cheese, 1 tablespoon vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
    To prepare wings: Whisk buttermilk, 2 tablespoons hot sauce and 2 tablespoons vinegar in a large bowl until combined. Add chicken; toss to coat. Transfer to the refrigerator and let marinate for at least 10 minutes or up to 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
    Meanwhile, whisk flour and cornmeal in a shallow dish. Whisk the remaining 1 tablespoon hot sauce and 1 tablespoon vinegar in a small bowl; set aside.
    Remove the chicken from the marinade and roll in the flour mixture until evenly coated. (Discard remaining marinade and flour mixture.) Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon cayenne.
    Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken, placing each piece in a little oil. Cook until golden brown and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a serving platter. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and chicken, reducing the heat if necessary to prevent burning. Transfer to the platter. Drizzle the chicken with the reserved hot sauce mixture. Serve with carrots, celery and Spicy Blue Cheese Dip.


Per serving : 256 Calories; 10 g Fat; 4 g Sat; 4 g Mono; 83 mg Cholesterol; 12 g Carbohydrates; 31 g Protein; 2 g Fiber; 353 mg Sodium; 248 mg Potassium

1 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 1/2 lean meat
Tips & Notes

    Make Ahead Tip: The chicken can marinate (Step 1) for up to 1 hour.

    Tip: No buttermilk? You can use buttermilk powder prepared according to package directions. Or make “sour milk”: mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup milk.
    Ingredient note: Chicken tenders, virtually fat-free, are a strip of rib meat typically found attached to the underside of the chicken breast, but they can also be purchased separately. Four 1-ounce tenders will yield a 3-ounce cooked portion. Tenders are perfect for quick stir-fries, chicken satay or kid-friendly breaded “chicken fingers.”

Friday, January 27, 2012

Lean-O Cioppino

Dinner Tonight: Lean-O Cioppino w/ Sourdough Bread

When I seen this being made on Hungry Girl the other day it looked and sounded too good not to try! I went earlier today to stock up on the inredients and also picked up a loaf of freshly Sour Dough Bread, from the Kroger Bakery. It looked delicious but I had never heard of Cioppino so I looked it up and here's what I found:

 Cioppino is a fish stew originating in San Francisco. It is considered an Italian-American dish, and is related to various regional fish soups and stews of Italian cuisine. Cioppino is traditionally made from the catch of the day, which in the dish's place of origin is typically a combination of dungeness crab, clams, shrimp, scallops, squid, mussels and fish. The seafood is then combined with fresh tomatoes in a wine sauce, and served with toasted bread, either sourdough or baguette. The dish is comparable to cacciucco and brodetto from Italy, as well as other fish dishes from the Mediterranean region such as bouillabaisse, burrida, and bourride of the French Provence, suquet de peix from Catalan speaking regions of coastal Spain.

This recipe from Hungrey Girl called for Clams and Shrimp. The recipe also called for Amy's Organic Light In Sodium Chunky Tomato Bisque but they were out of stock of that so I went with a can of  Amy's Organic Light In Sodium Cream of Tomato and when preparing it I added a half a can of Tomato Paste to it to thicken it up a bit. It's very easy to make and every bit as delicious as it sounded! What a great combination to make a healthy and hearty Soup and it's only 185 calories and 20 carbs. I topped it with some crumbled John Wm Macy's Cheese Sticks and I had a side of Sour Dough Loaf Bread. This is a fantastic recipe, give it a try! I left the recipe along with the link to "Hungrey Girl" at the end of the post. For dessert later a 100 Calorie Breyer's Ice Cream Bar. 

Lean-O Cioppino

2011 Hungry Girl


    Two 15-oz. cans reduced-sodium creamy tomato soup with 4g fat or less per serving (like the Light in Sodium version of Amy's Chunky Tomato Bisque)

    One 10-oz. can whole baby clams, drained
    6 oz. (about 30) cooked ready-to-eat medium-small shrimp
    1/4 tsp. dried oregano
    2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
    Salt and black pepper, to taste
    Optional garnish: fresh basil leaves


Place a nonstick pot on the stove, and set temperature to medium heat. Pour in the soup.

Add clams, shrimp, oregano, and basil. Stirring often, bring to desired heat, about 2 minutes.

If you like, season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with basil leaves. Enjoy!
PER SERVING (1/4th of recipe, 1 generous cup): 185 calories, 3.5g fat, 885mg sodium, 20g carbs, 2g fiber, 13g sugars, 19g protein


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Whole Grain Penne Pasta and Turkey Sausage

Dinner Tonight:  Whole Grain Penne Pasta and Turkey Sausage w/ Low Carb Pasta Sauce and Whole Grain Bread

Another rainy and dreary day and on days like this nothing like a hearty and healthy comfort food dinner.I had Whole Grain Penne Pasta and Turkey Sausage. This is a definite added recipe keeper! I used Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Grain Penne Rigate Pasta, a healthy pasta choice at 180 calories and 41 carbs. For the sauce I used Bella Vita Low Carb Pasta Sauce and that being only 70 calories and 6 carbs! I love this sauce it has great flavor and good on any pasta. So you get the full flavor of pasta sauce but not the calories or carbs. Then for the Turkey Sausage I tried a new one, Johnsonville Turkey Sausage. The sausage is 110 calories and 0 carbs.

I precooked and sliced the Turkey Sausage earlier. I boiled the pasta and while it was boiling I heated the pasta sauce and added the sliced Turkey Sausage. After boiling and draining the pasta I added the pasta back to pot and added the sauce and sausage to it and mixed until the pasta was well coated. Seasoned the Pasta with McCormick Grinder Italian Seasoning and some fresh chopped Italian Parsley. Served the pasta with Healthy Choice Whole Grain Bread. For dessert later a Pillsbury Nut Quick Bread Cupcake. Instead of making the Nut Quick Bread in mini loaf pans I made them into cupcakes, they turned out fantastic.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Three Bean Turkey Chili Night

Dinner Tonight: Three Bean Turkey Chili w/ Cornbread

I knew I would be busy most of the day so I wanted something that wouldn't take that long to prepare. Nothing easier than a Crock Pot Meal so I decided to make some more of the 3 Bean Turkey Chili! I browned and seasoned the Ground Turkey the night before so in the morning all I had to do was open the Beans up, start the Crock Pot and add everything to the pot. I set it on low and I was done. By 5:00 the Chili was ready, you could tell by the aroma that had filled the kitchen. I topped with a handful of Shredded Gouda Cheese. On the side I had a few Oyster Crackers and a slice of Cornbread my Mom had fixed for their dinner yesterday. For a dessert/snack later a bag of Jolly Time 100 Calories Mini Bag of Pop Corn. Life is good! 

Three Bean Turkey Chili


1 lb. Ground turkey
2 Cans (6 oz.) Hunt’s Tomato Paste
1 Can (15 oz.) Chili Beans, rinsed
1 Can (15 oz.) Kidney Beans, rinsed
1 Can (15 oz.) Great Northern Beans, rinsed
1/2 Cup of Water
1 Packet McCormick Chili Mix
1 Tbs Minced Garlic
1 Tbs Ground Cocoa Chili Blend (McCormick)
1/2 Tsp Ground Chipotle Chili Pepper (McCormick)
1 Tsp. Ground Smoked Cumin
1 Tbs of Cilantro Leaves
5 Dashes of Frank’s Hot Sauce or to taste.
KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Oyster Crackers, Reduced Fat

*COOK turkey in large saucepan on medium-high heat 10 min. or until no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Add all remaining ingredients except 1 can of the tomato paste and the cheese and crackers.

*ADD to slow cooker and add in the remaining 1 can of tomato paste.

*COVER with lid. Cook on HIGH 3 to 4 hours (or on LOW 5 to 6 hours).

*Serve in bowl or mug with cheese and the oyster crackers, A Tablespoon of fat free sour cream, or serve with some home made cornbread ears.

Marble Hill captures local flavor - Cincinnati Enquirer

I wanted to pass this news article along, a really good story. I left the article link and Marble Hill Facebook link at the bottom of the post.

Marble Hill captures local flavor

Frequent farm visitor makes jams and jellies with fresh ingredients

By Polly Campbell

Bill Sands grew up in New York City, in the Marble Hill area of the Bronx.

He named his first company, Marble Hill Chocolatier, and his new one, Marble Hill Provisions, after his old neighborhood.

But for a guy who grew up in the city, Sands has been spending a lot of time in the country.

Ever since he began developing recipes for the jams, jellies, preserves and pickles that he sells as Marble Hill Provisions, he’s been hanging out at farmers markets, spending weekends driving around rural Ohio, talking to farmers, even pitching in on farm work.

“That’s the fun part,” he said. “Almost as fun as making the products. I get a lot out of it, personally, seeing how the products are grown and harvested, talking to the farmers about what goes into producing them.”

Sands, who makes his home in Union, Ky., has visited Wayward Seed Farm in Marysville, Ohio, where he buys sweet potatoes for his sweet potato butter. He’s visited the orchards at Eshelman Fruit Farm in Clyde, near Sandusky, where he gets apples and pears.

He got started with produce from Can-Du farm in Bethel, whose owners he met while selling jams and jellies at the Madeira Farmers market in summer 2008. He spent a day in the field with the root vegetable team at Chef’s Garden, the well-known specialty grower in Huron, Ohio.

“Almost all our products have a connection with a specific farm or producer,” he said. “That relationship gives such a sense of integrity. The one-on-one relationship is so important to what I’m doing.”

Each product is a season and a place captured in a jar to be enjoyed even in January or February. Production is seasonal; the products change with the availability of raw ingredients. So when they make Fortune Plum butter, it’s gone until next season for fortune plums.

For all the local, homegrown ingredients, the flavors and ingredients of some of the products have a big-city sophistication. There’s a strawberry-espresso and an apricot-bourbon jam. Sands seeks out unusual fruits and varieties such as quince, or the fortune plums, made into a fruit butter scented with cardamom. One popular style of his pickles is bottled with rye whiskey.

One popular flavor, which doesn’t use local ingredients, is the Meyer lemon-kumquat marmalade.

Sands and his one employee, Brooke Brandon, were making that variety one morning recently in the kitchen of Cumin, the Hyde Park restaurant. After chopping the citrus fruit and squeezing the juice, it was all combined in one shallow copper pot with flared sides.

“Copper works best because it heats quickly and evenly,” said Sands. “Jellies and marmalades need the high heat.” It’s also beautiful, with the shiny copper reflecting the fruit mixture, getting thicker and glossier as it reduces. It’s an intuitive cooking process; it’s done not so much at a specific temperature as when it reaches the particular consistency. The hot mixture is ladled into 8-ounce jars and then pasteurized.

That’s all there is to making marmalade. They don’t use added pectin. Most products have just a few ingredients.

“The Meyer lemon naturally has a spicy note, so we don’t add anything else. We want every product to taste mostly like its main ingredient,” said Sands.

This is production on a small scale. This batch will make one case of the marmalade, to be delivered to Fresh Market in Kenwood or Oakley, Marble Hill’s biggest customer. (Some kinds are also available at Park and Vine and Coffee Emporium.) Anthony La Marca, manger of the Kenwood store, said that the products were selling well, with their own display near the produce section, even at a premium price, about $10. “People just see them and are attracted to them,” he said. “And the guy’s here all the time, sampling and demonstrating his products.”

Sands is not actually there all the time, because he has a full-time job in IT sales, and runs Marble Hill on evenings and weekends. He’s about to take his next big step in developing his business. His products will be carried by Fresh Markets in Columbus, Cleveland, and soon in Indiana and Kentucky.

They will soon grow out of the Cumin kitchen, and are looking for a new production spot.

Meanwhile, Sands is working on expanding his network of farmers who will grow with him. They’ve used California strawberries in the past, but hope by this summer, they’ll have a local supplier.

As he moves to Fresh Markets in other parts of the country, he sees an opportunity to create connections with farmers in those areas.

“Ten years ago, I don’t think this would have worked,” he said. “But I’m finding smaller, family farms who are really open to this. When they see I’m serious, they want to support the company and grow together. I’m finding a real spirit of partnership out there.”



A little history about Bread

Various leavened breads
Bread is a staple food prepared by cooking a dough of flour and water and often additional ingredients. Doughs are usually baked, but in some cuisines breads are steamed (e.g., mantou), fried (e.g., puri), or baked on an unoiled frying pan (e.g., tortillas). It may be leavened or unleavened (e.g. matzo). Salt, fat and leavening agents such as yeast and baking soda are common ingredients, though bread may contain other ingredients, such as milk, egg, sugar, spice, fruit (such as raisins), vegetables (such as onion), nuts (such as walnuts) or seeds (such as poppy). Referred to colloquially as the "staff of life", bread has been prepared for at least 30,000 years. The development of leavened bread can probably also be traced to prehistoric times. Sometimes, the word bread refers to a sweetened loaf cake, often containing appealing ingredients like dried fruit, chocolate chips, nuts or spices, such as pumpkin bread, banana bread or gingerbread.

Fresh bread is prized for its taste, aroma, quality, appearance and texture. Retaining its freshness is important to keep it appetizing. Bread that has stiffened or dried past its prime is said to be stale. Modern bread is sometimes wrapped in paper or plastic film or stored in a container such as a breadbox to reduce drying. Bread that is kept in warm, moist environments is prone to the growth of mold. Bread kept at low temperatures, in a refrigerator for example, will develop mold growth more slowly than bread kept at room temperature, but will turn stale quickly due to retrogradation.

The soft, inner part of bread is known to bakers and other culinary professionals as the crumb, which is not to be confused with small bits of bread that often fall off, called crumbs. The outer hard portion of bread is called the crust.

Bread is one of the oldest prepared foods. Evidence from 30,000 years ago in Europe revealed starch residue on rocks used for pounding plants. It is possible that during this time, starch extract from the roots of plants, such as cattails and ferns, was spread on a flat rock, placed over a fire and cooked into a primitive form of flatbread. Around 10,000 BC, with the dawn of the Neolithic age and the spread of agriculture, grains became the mainstay of making bread. Yeast spores are ubiquitous, including the surface of cereal grains, so any dough left to rest will become naturally leavened. There were multiple sources of leavening available for early bread. Airborne yeasts could be harnessed by leaving uncooked dough exposed to air for some time before cooking. Pliny the Elder reported that the Gauls and Iberians used the foam skimmed from beer to produce "a lighter kind of bread than other peoples." Parts of the ancient world that drank wine instead of beer used a paste composed of grape juice and flour that was allowed to begin fermenting, or wheat bran steeped in wine, as a source for yeast. The most common source of leavening was to retain a piece of dough from the previous day to use as a form of sourdough starter.

A major advance happened in 1961 with the development of the Chorleywood bread process, which used the intense mechanical working of dough to dramatically reduce the fermentation period and the time taken to produce a loaf. The process, whose high-energy mixing allows for the use of lower protein grain, is now widely used around the world in large factories. As a result, bread can be produced very quickly and at low costs to the manufacturer and the consumer.

Recently, domestic bread machines that automate the process of making bread have become popular.

Bread is the staple food in Europe, European-derived cultures such as the Americas, and the Middle East and North Africa, as opposed to East Asia whose staple is rice. Bread is usually made from a wheat-flour dough that is cultured with yeast, allowed to rise, and finally baked in an oven. Owing to its high levels of gluten (which give the dough sponginess and elasticity), common wheat (also known as bread wheat) is the most common grain used for the preparation of bread, but bread is also made from the flour of other wheat species (including durum, spelt and emmer), rye, barley, maize (corn), and oats, usually, but not always, in combination with wheat flour. Spelt bread (Dinkelbrot) continues to be widely consumed in Germany, and emmer bread was a staple food in ancient Egypt. Canadian bread is known for its heartier consistency due to high protein levels in Canadian flour.

    White bread is made from flour containing only the central core of the grain (endosperm).

    Brown bread is made with endosperm and 10% bran. It can also refer to white bread with added colouring (often caramel colouring) to make it brown; this is commonly labeled in America as wheat bread (as opposed to whole-wheat bread).

    Wholemeal bread contains the whole of the wheat grain (endosperm and bran). It is also referred to as "whole-grain" or "whole-wheat bread", especially in North America.

    Wheat germ bread has added wheat germ for flavoring.

    Whole-grain bread can refer to the same as wholemeal bread, or to white bread with added whole grains to increase its fibre content, as in "60% whole-grain bread".

    Roti is a whole-wheat-based bread eaten in South Asia. Chapatti is a larger variant of roti. Naan is a leavened equivalent to these.

    Granary bread is made from flaked wheat grains and white or brown flour. The standard malting process is modified to maximise the maltose or sugar content but minimise residual alpha amylase content. Other flavour components are imparted from partial fermentation due to the particular malting process used and to Maillard reactions on flaking and toasting.

    Rye bread is made with flour from rye grain of varying levels. It is higher in fiber than many common types of bread and is often darker in color and stronger in flavor. It is popular in Scandinavia, Germany, Finland, the Baltic States, and Russia.

    Unleavened bread or matzo, used for the Jewish feast of Passover, does not include yeast, so it does not rise.

    Sourdough bread is made with a starter.

    Flatbread is often simple, made with flour, water, and salt, and then formed into flattened dough; most are unleavened, made without yeast or sourdough culture, though some are made with yeast.

    Hempbread Hemp seeds do not mill into flour because of their high oil content (~30%). Hemp flour is the by-product after pressing the oil and milling the residue. Hemp flour doesn't rise, and is best mixed with other flours. A 3:1 ratio produces a hearty, heavy, nutritious loaf high in protein and essential fatty acids.

The term quick bread usually refers to a bread chemically leavened, usually with both baking powder and baking soda, and a balance of acidic ingredients and alkaline ingredients. Examples include pancakes and waffles, muffins and carrot cake, Boston brown bread, and zucchini and banana bread.

The proportion of water to flour is the most important measurement in a bread recipe, as it affects texture and crumb the most. Professional bakers use a system of percentages known as baker's percentage in their recipe formulations. They measure ingredients by weight instead of by volume, because measurement by weight is much more accurate and consistent than measurement by volume, especially for the dry ingredients.

The amount of flour is always stated as 100%, and the amounts of the rest of the ingredients are expressed as a percent of that amount by weight. Common table bread in the U.S. uses about 50% water, resulting in a finely textured, light bread. Most artisan bread formulas contain anywhere from 60 to 75% water. In yeast breads, the higher water percentages result in more CO2 bubbles and a coarser bread crumb. One pound (450 g) of flour will yield a standard loaf of bread or two French loaves.

Calcium propionate is commonly added by commercial bakeries to retard the growth of molds.

Traditional breads in the United States include cornbreads and various quick breads, such as biscuits. Cornbread is made from cornmeal and can differ significantly in taste and texture from region to region. In general, the South prefers white cornmeal with little to no wheat flour or sweeteners added. It is traditionally baked in a cast-iron skillet and ideally has a crunchy outside and moist inside. The North usually prefers yellow cornmeal with sometimes as much as half wheat flour in its composition, as well as sugar, honey, or maple syrup. This results in a bread that is softer and sweeter than its southern counterpart. Homemade wheat breads are made in a rectangular tin similar to those in the United Kingdom. Rolls, made from wheat flour and yeast, are another popular and traditional bread, eaten with the dinner meal. Sourdough biscuits are traditional "cowboy food" in the West. The San Francisco Bay Area is known for its crusty sourdough. Spoon bread, also called batter bread or egg bread, is made of cornmeal with or without added rice and hominy, and is mixed with milk, eggs, shortening and leavening to such a consistency that it must be served from the baking dish with a spoon. This is popular chiefly in the South. Up until the 20th century (and even later in certain regions), any flour other than cornmeal was considered a luxury; this would explain the greater variety in cornbread types compared to that of wheat breads. In terms of commercial manufacture, the most popular bread has been a soft-textured type with a thin crust that is usually made with milk and is slightly sweet; this is the type that is generally sold ready-sliced in packages. It is usually eaten with the crust, but some eaters or preparers may remove the crust due to a personal preference or style of serving, as with finger sandwiches served with afternoon tea. Some of the softest bread, including Wonder Bread, is referred to as "balloon bread". Though white "sandwich bread" is the most popular, Americans are trending toward more artisanal breads. Different regions of the country feature certain ethnic bread varieties including the French baguette, the Ashkenazi Jewish bagel, scali (an Italian-style bread made in New England), Native American frybread (a product of hardship, developed during the Indian resettlements of the 19th century), and Jewish rye, a bread commonly associated with delicatessen cuisine.

White bread (left) and brown bread.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

BBQ Chicken Pizza Night

Dinner Tonight: BBQ Chicken Pizza!

Back by popular demand, my Mom, it was BBQ Chicken Pizza for dinner tonight! This is one delicious Pizza. The Chicken, Gouda Cheese, 2% Mozzarella Cheese, Pita Bread and J B's Fat Boy Sticky Stuff Sauce makes an incredible Pizza and then add in the Mushrooms and Black Olives, Too good! A note about the Gouda Cheese, I love this cheese! It melts perfectly. If you like ooey, gooey cheese you have to try this one. I've been buying block cheese and grating it myself. It's a lot cheaper by the block than buying it shredded. I also used Wheat Pita Breads from Meijer Bakery and I baked 2 Boneless Miller's Amish Chicken Breasts. After the breasts were done I shredded them.  Easy to fix and done in minutes from the oven. A lot healthier than frozen or Delivery Pizza also. I left the recipe below.

BBQ Chicken Pizza


1 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Rotissiaire Chicken or 2 baked Boneless Chicken Breasts
1 Cup Barbecue Sauce (recommended: J B's Fat Boy Sticky Stuff BBQ Sauce)
2 Wheat or Whole Wheat Pita Bread
4 Medium Baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced thin
1 Can Sliced Black Olives, 1 Tablespoon on each Pizza
1 Cup Shredded Gouda, I used Murray's Dutch Gouda
1/2 Cup Shredded 2% Mozzarella


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Remove the skin and pull and shred all the meat from the Rotissiaire  Chicken and store in a bowl or plastic container. After pulling all the meat add 1/2 cup of the BBQ Sauce and mix until the Chicken is coated.

Build the Pizza. Brush Pita Bread with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add remaining 1/2 cup BBQ Sauce and brush it on the Pita Breads. Add layer of the shredded Chicken, Black Olives, Sliced Mushrooms, Shredded 2% Mozzarella and Shredded Gouda Cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees until Cheese is melted and pizza is warmed. Enjoy!

12 hot food trends out of the Winter Fancy Food Show

12 hot food trends out of the Winter Fancy Food Show

by elizabeth weise
Last Modified: Jan 24, 2012 12:02PM

SAN FRANCISCO — So we know dark chocolate is good for us because it has antioxidants and lamb is the new pork, which was the new chicken. Or was it beef?

But a walk through the 206,000 square feet of exhibits at this year’s Winter Fancy Food Show is a glimpse into the possible future of your grocery cart or dinner table. At this year’s show, held earlier this month, 17,000 attendees visited 1,300 booths to see the future of specialty food. From the aisles, here are 12 food trends for 2012:

1. Salt

Forget Morton. If it’s not Himalayan or Northwest Indian Salish-inspired, alder-smoked,....

To read the entire article click on the link below:


Green tea is very special - Jamaica Gleaner Online

Green tea is very special

Jamaica Gleaner Online

A TEA lover, Bernard-Paul Heroux, once wrote: "There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea."

Today, medical research clearly highlights the special health benefits of a specific tea - green tea, a drink made from the leaves of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis). The same plant produces green tea, black tea, and oolong tea, but because of the way it is processed, green tea is truly unique.

Tea is the most consumed beverage in the world besides water and has been used by man for millennia. Much of its benefits have been attributed to potent antioxidants found in the tea leaves called polyphenols. These substances are also found in smaller amounts in other plant foods like cocoa.

Recently, however, researchers have identified another substance that is found only in the tea plant. It is a special amino acid called theanine that accounts for the ability of tea to create relaxation while energising the drinker. Theanine is the predominant amino acid in green tea leaves and gives tea its characteristic taste while contributing to many of its other medicinal benefits.

You can read the entire article by following the link below:


Monday, January 23, 2012

Bison Sirloin & Sauteed Mushrooms w/ Cheesy Hash Browns, Green Beans, and...

Dinner Tonight: Bison Sirloin & Sauteed Mushrooms w/ Cheesy Hash Browns, Green Beans, and Whole Grain Bread

I had a petite Bison Sirloin Steak & Sauteed Mushrooms for dinner tonight. I love Bison I personally think that it's the best tasting and most tender meat there is. I seasoned it with McCormick Grinder Steak House Seasoning and lightly pan fried it on medium low heat until medium rare. I topped it with some Baby Bella Sauteed Mushrooms that I seasoned with Sea Salt, Ground Smoked Cumin, Ground Thyme, and Parsley.

For sides I had baked Idahoan Farm House Fix'ns Cheesy Hash Browns, Green Beans, and Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. The Hash Browns are easy to fix, just mix the box ingredients and add 2% Milk, water, and Butter then bake. Easy and delicious. For dessert/snack later some Tostio's Artisan Corn Chips along with some Kroger Orgnic Black Bean & Corn Salsa.

Nut of the Week - Chestnuts

Chestnut (Castanea), some species called chinkapin or chinquapin, is a genus of eight or nine species of deciduous trees and shrubs in the beech family Fagaceae, native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The name also refers to the edible nuts they produce.

The chestnut belongs to the same Fagaceae family as the oak and beech. There are four main species, commonly known as European, Chinese, Japanese and American chestnuts:

    European species sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa) (also called "Spanish chestnut" in the US) is the only European species of chestnut, though successfully introduced to the Himalayas and other temperate parts of Asia.
    Asiatic species Castanea crenata (Japanese chestnut), Castanea mollissima (Chinese chestnut), Castanea davidii (China), Castanea henryi (Chinese chinkapin, also called Henry's chestnut – China) and Castanea seguinii (also called Seguin's chestnut - China).
    American species These include Castanea dentata (American chestnut - Eastern states), Castanea pumila (American- or Allegheny chinkapin, also known as "dwarf chestnut" - Eastern states), Castanea alnifolia (Southern states), Castanea ashei (Southern states), Castanea floridana (Southern states) and Castanea paupispina (Southern states).

Chestnuts should not be confused with horse chestnuts (genus Aesculus), which are unrelated to Castanea and are named for producing nuts of similar appearance but of no notable edibility. Nor should they be confused with water chestnut (family Cyperaceae), which are also unrelated to Castanea and are tubers of similar taste from an aquatic herbaceous plant. Other trees commonly mistaken for the chestnut tree are the chestnut oak (Quercus prinus) and the American beech (Fagus grandifolia).

Chestnut trees are of moderate growth rate (for the Chinese chestnut tree) to fast-growing for American and European species. Their mature heights vary from the smallest species of chinkapins, often shrubby, to the giant of past American forests, Castanea dentata that could reach 60 m. In between these extremes are found the Japanese chestnut (Castanea crenata) at 10 m average; followed by the Chinese Chestnut (Castanea mollissima) at about 15 m, then the European chestnut (Castanea sativa) around 30 m.

The Chinese and more so the Japanese chestnuts are both often multileadered and wide-spreading, whereas European and especially American species tend to grow very erect when planted among others, with little tapering of their columnar trunk, which is firmly set and massive. When standing on their own, they spread on the sides and develop broad, rounded, dense crowns at maturity. The two latter's foliage has striking yellow autumn coloring.

Its bark is smooth when young, of a vinous maroon or red-brown color for the American chestnut, grey for the European chestnut. With age American species' becomes grey and darker, thick and deeply furrowed; the furrows run longitudinally, and tend to twist around the trunk as the tree ages; it sometimes reminds one of a large cable with twisted strands.

The leaves are simple, ovate or lanceolate, 10–30 cm long and 4–10 cm wide, with sharply pointed, widely-spaced teeth, with shallow rounded sinuates between.

The flowers follow the leaves, appearing in late spring or early summer or onto July. They are arranged in long catkins of two kinds, with both kinds being borne on every tree. Some catkins are made of only male flowers, which mature first. Each flower has eight stamens, or 10 to 12 for Castanea mollissima. The ripe pollen carries a heavy sweet odor that some people find too sweet or unpleasant. Other catkins have these pollen-bearing flowers, but also carry near the twig from which these spring, small clusters of female or fruit-producing flowers. Two or three flowers together form a four-lobed prickly calybium, which ultimately grows completely together to make the brown hull, or husk, covering the fruits.

The fruit is contained in a spiny (very sharp) cupule 5–11 cm in diameter, also called "bur" or "burr". The burrs are often paired or clustered on the branch and contain one to seven nuts according to the different species, varieties and cultivars. Around the time the fruits reach maturity, the burrs turn yellow-brown and split open in 2 or 4 sections. They can remain on the tree longer than they hold the fruit, but more often achieve complete opening and release the fruits only after having fallen on the ground; opening is partly due to soil humidity.

The chestnut fruit has a pointed end with a small tuft at its tip (called "flame" in Italian, and at the other end, a hilum – a pale brown attachment scar. In many varieties, the fruit is flattened on one or two sides. It has two skins. The first one is a hard outer shiny brown hull or husk, called the pericarpus; the industry calls this the peel. Underneath the pericarpus is another thinner skin, called the "pellicle" or "episperm". The pellicle closely adheres to the seed itself, following the grooves usually present at the surface of the fruit. These grooves are of variable sizes and depth according to the species and variety.

The fruit inside these shows two cotyledons with a creamy-white flesh throughout, except in some varieties which show only one cotyledon, and whose episperm is only slightly or not intruded at all. Usually these varieties have only one large fruit per burr, well rounded (no flat face) and which is called "marron" ("marron de Lyon" in France, "marron di Mugello" in Italy, or "Paragon").

The superior fruiting varieties among European chestnuts have good size, sweet taste and easy-to-remove inner skins. American chestnuts are usually very small (around 5 g), but sweet-tasting with easy-to-remove pellicles. Some Japanese varieties have very large nuts (around 40 g), with typically difficult-to-remove pellicles. Chinese chestnut pellicles are usually easy to remove, and their sizes vary greatly according to the varieties, although usually smaller than the Japanese chestnut.

Fresh chestnut fruits have about 180 calories (800 kJ) per 100 grams of edible parts, which is much lower than walnuts, almonds, other nuts and dried fruit (about 600 kcal/100 g). Chestnuts, as with all plant foods, contain no cholesterol[49] and contain very little fat, mostly unsaturated, and no gluten.

Their carbohydrate content compares with that of wheat and rice; chestnuts have twice as much starch as the potato. In addition, chestnuts contain about 8 percent of various sugars, mainly sucrose, glucose, fructose, and, in less amount, stachyose, and raffinose. In some areas, sweet chestnut trees are called "the bread tree". When chestnuts are just starting to ripen, the fruit is mostly starch and is very firm under finger pressure from the high water content. As the chestnuts ripen, the starch is slowly converted into sugars; and moisture content also starts decreasing. Upon pressing the chestnut, a slight 'give' can be felt; the hull is not so tense, and there is space between it and the flesh of the fruit. The water is being replaced by sugars, which means better conservation.

They are the only "nuts" that contain vitamin C, with about 40 mg per 100 g of raw product, which is about 65 percent of the U.S. recommended daily intake. The amount of vitamin C decreases by about 40 percent after heating. Fresh chestnuts contain about 52 percent water by weight, which will evaporate relatively quickly during storage; they can lose even 1 percent of weight in one day at 20 °C and 70% relative humidity.

Tannin is contained in the bark as well as in the wood, leaves and seed husks. The husks contain 10–13% tannin.

The fruit can be peeled and eaten raw, but it can be somewhat astringent, especially if the pellicle is not removed.

Another method of eating the fruit involves roasting, which does not require peeling. Roasting requires scoring the fruit beforehand to prevent undue expansion and "explosion" of the fruit. Once cooked, its texture is similar to that of a baked potato, with a delicate, sweet, and nutty flavour. This method of preparation is popular in northern China as well as in Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Greece, Italy, France, Korea and Southeast Asia, where the scored chestnuts may be cooked in a tub of heated coal pebbles[clarification needed] mixed with a little sugar.

Chestnuts can be dried and milled into flour, which can then be used to prepare breads, cakes, pancakes, pastas (it is the original ingredient for polenta, known in Corsica as pulenda), or used as thickener for stews, soups, and sauces. In Corsica, the flour is fried into doughnut-like fritters called fritelli and made into necci, pattoni, castagnacci, and cialdi.

The flour can be light beige like that from Castagniccia, or darker in other regions. It is a good solution for long storage of a nutritious food. Chestnut bread can stay fresh for as long as two weeks.

The nuts can also be eaten candied, boiled, steamed, grilled, or roasted in sweet or savoury recipes. They can be used to stuff vegetables, poultry, fowl and other edibles. They are available fresh, dried, ground or canned (whole or in puree).

A fine granular sugar can be obtained from the fermentation of the juice, as well as a beer; the roasted fruit provides a coffee substitute. Parmentier, who among other things was a famous potato promoter, extracted sugar from chestnuts and sent a chestnut sugarloaf weighing several pounds to the Academy of Lyon. The continental blockade following shortly after (1806–1814) increased the research into developing chestnuts as a source of sugar, but Napoleon chose beets instead.

Candied chestnuts (whole chestnuts candied in sugar syrup, then iced are sold under the French name marrons glacés or Turkish name kestane şekeri ("sugared chestnuts"). They appeared in France in the 16th century. Towards the end of 19th century, Lyon went into a recession with the collapse of the textile market, notably silk. Clément Faugier ingénieur des Ponts et Chaussées was looking for a way to revitalize the regional economy. In 1882 at Privas, he invented the technology to make marrons glacés on an industrial scale (although a great deal of the over-twenty necessary steps from harvest to the finished product are still accomplished manually). Chestnuts are picked in autumn, and candied from the start of the following summer for the ensuing Christmas. Thus the marrons glacés eaten at Christmas are those picked the year before.

Sweet chestnuts are not easy to peel when cold. One kilogram of untainted chestnuts yields about 700 g of shelled chestnuts.

Chestnut flavors vary slightly from one to the next, but it[clarification needed]is somewhat sweet and certainly unique. Chestnut-based recipes and preparations are making a comeback in Italian cuisine, as part of the trend toward rediscovery of traditional dishes and better nutrition.

Chestnut wood is a useful source of natural tannin and was used for tanning leather before the introduction of synthetic tannins. On a 10% moisture basis, the bark contains 6.8% tannin and the wood 13.4%.[53] The bark imparts a dark colour to the tannin, and has a higher sugar content, which increases the percentage of soluble non-tans, or impurities, in the extract; so it was not employed in this use.
Chestnut tannin has a naturally low pH value, relatively low salts content and a high acids content. It is one of the pyrogallol class of tannins (also known as hydrolysable tannin). As it tends to give a reddish tone to the leather, it is most often used in combination with quebracho, mimosa, myrabolans, and valonia.
The wood seems to reach its highest tannin content after the trees reach 30 years old. The southern European chestnut wood usually contains at least 10 to 13% more tannin than chestnut trees in northern climates. Today, the largest producer of extract for tanning is Italy.

Fabric can be starched with chestnut meal.

Linen cloth can be whitened with chestnut meal.

The leaves and the skins (husk and pellicle) of the fruits provide a hair shampoo.

Chestnut and Apple Bisque

Chestnut and Apple Bisque

A creamy soup with roasted chestnuts, apples, sherry, and fresh thyme.

1 tbsp butter
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cup fresh chopped onion
1 tsp fresh thyme , finely chopped
14 oz low sodium chicken broth
2 medium apples , peeled, cored, and chopped (about 3 cups)
2 cup cold water
8 oz canned water chestnuts , coarsely chopped
2 oz cream sherry
3/4 tsp salt and pepper (optional)
1/4 tsp black pepper , freshly ground
1 cup ground thyme (optional)

1 Combine butter, oil, onion, and thyme in a large pot; saute 10 minutes.
2 Add in broth and apples, place lid on pot, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring often.
3 Mix in water, chestnuts, sherry, salt, and pepper; lower heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes, stirring often.
4 Take pot off of heat and let rest for 5 minutes.
5 Using a food processor or blender, puree half the apple mixture until smooth.
6 Spoon mixture back into the pot. Puree the other half and add to the pot. Heat over low heat for 5 minutes.
7 Top soup with thyme leaves.

Nutrition Facts
Makes 6 servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories     121.2
Total Carbs     18.1 g
Dietary Fiber     3.3 g
Sugars     10.1 g
Total Fat     3.5 g
Saturated Fat     1.4 g
Unsaturated Fat     2.1 g
Potassium     215.3 mg
Protein     3.2 g
Sodium     390.8 mg


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Baked Cheddar Jack & Bacon Coated Tilapia w/ Grilled Asparagus, Sliced New Potatoes...

Dinner Tonight: Baked Cheddar Jack & Bacon Coated Tilapia w/ Grilled Asparagus, Sliced New Potatoes and Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread

I tried one of the new Kraft Fresh Takes. I used the Cheddar Jack & Bacon Breadcrumb Mix and used Tilapia. After mixing the coating I put in a Hefty Zip Bag and added my Tilapia and shook until the fillets were coated. I then baked them for 13 minutes at 400 degrees. The topping is fantastic! This would great on Chicken or Pork also. The Tilapia came out flaky and full of flavor. I left a write up about the Kraft Fresh Take at the end of the post.

For sides I had Grilled Asparagus, Boiled Sliced New Potatoes, and Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. I seasoned the Asparagus with Garlic Salt and a touch of Sea Salt while I seasoned the Potatoes with Sea Salt, Ground Black Pepper, Ground Thyme, and Parsley. For dessert later a bowl of Breyer's Carb Smart Vanilla Ice Cream topped with Del Monte No Sugar Added Sliced Peaches.

Kraft Fresh Take Cheddar Jack & Bacon Breadcrumb Mix Recipe

Kraft Foods has unveiled Kraft Fresh Take, the company's latest mealtime solution, in dairy aisles nationwide.

Kraft Fresh Take combines Kraft Natural cheeses and seasoned breadcrumbs that are designed to provide a "flavor upgrade" to ordinary dishes, the company said. The product launch also includes a website, KraftFreshTake.com, which houses recipes that use Kraft Fresh Take as an ingredient.

Kraft Fresh Take is available in six varieties — Southwest three cheese, Italian parmesan, rosemary and roasted garlic, cheddar jack and bacon, chili lime and panko, and savory four cheese — for a suggested retail price of $2.99.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/6 packet (28g)

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 50
Calories 100

% Daily Values*
Total Fat 6g     9%
      Saturated Fat 3.5g     18%
      Trans Fat 0g    
Cholesterol 15mg     5%
Sodium 380mg     16%
Total Carbohydrate 8g     3%
      Dietary Fiber 0g     0%
      Sugars 0g    
Protein 5g

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Bobby Deen’s new show lightens mom Paula’s recipes

Paula Deen is known for her no-holds-barred approach to Southern cooking, using sometimes shocking amounts of butter, cream cheese and more.

Now, one of her sons, Bobby, will attempt to create new associations with the family name as he tries to lighten his mother’s recipes on his new show Not My Mama’s Meals.

Though Bobby learned to cook at his mother’s hip, he experienced a lifestyle change about ten years ago as he began lifting weights. He says, “I embraced exercise and it completely changed my relationship with food… I like to eat for the way I want to feel.” To that end, he’s revamping the family recipes in order to drastically reduce the fat and calorie content. His mom’s response? “Good luck to you, sonny boy.”

In one episode, Bobby remakes Paula’s Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding — a recipe that according to Paula is a “one serving per lifetime” recipe. Using whole wheat doughnuts, cutting the portion size and making other substitutions, Bobby transforms takes this gluttonous dessert from 470 calories and 16 grams of fat to one with 230 calories and three grams of fat.

Not My Mama’s Meals tackles recipes such as the family’s gooey butter cake, pimento cheese and chocolate meringue pie. But Bobby’s favorite remake is the fried chicken. His version, the “unfried chicken” uses boneless, skinless chicken thighs coated with unsweetened cornflakes and baked in the oven.

Clips of Paula Deen cooking the original recipes on her own shows flank each recipe remake. Mama herself even appears on the first two episodes to weigh in on the recipes. After tasting a few, she says, “Son, don’t put your Mama out of business now, okay?” and “You’re on to something, darlin’ and I’m very proud of you.”

In fact, Bobby seems surprised that people wonder if Paula takes offense at his attempts to rein in her recipes. He says, “What mother wouldn’t want to see her 40-year-old son healthy?”

Could Paula Deen be converted to Bobby’s cooking style? After a hearty laugh and a pause, Bobby says, “I don’t think so. My mother is comfortable in her own skin. She’s happy with who she is. She doesn’t deprive herself of anything — she has few vices. She’s proud of what I’m doing. But, it might inspire her to do lighter stuff.” In one episode, Paula concedes, “It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.”

Will any of the revamped recipes show up on the menu at the family’s Savannah-based restaurant, The Lady & Sons? To that, Bobby answers that it isn’t likely and cites the old saying, “Dance with the one that brung ya.”

Not My Mama’s Meals airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on the Cooking Channel.

–by Jenny Turknett, Food and More blog


Pulled Chicken Breast BBQ Sandwich w/ Baked Crinkle Fries

Dinner Tonight: Pulled Chicken Breast BBQ Sandwich w/ Baked Crinkle Fries

I boiled a couple of boneless Chicken Breasts until they were tender. i seasoned them with Sea Salt, Black Pepper, and Smoked Cumin. I also added 2 Swanson Chicken Flavor Boost Packets as they were boiling. I love these Swanson Flavor Packets you can use them on Turkey or Chicken and it does as it says it provides a great flavor boost to what ever you use it for. Works really well if rewarming up any poultry products or reheating soups or sauces. After boiling I pulled the meat apart and partially shredded it. I put all the meat in a resealable bowl and added Fat Boy Sticky Sauce for Poultry mixing well until all the meat was coated. I served it on a Healthy Life Whole Grain Bun. Had a side of Ore Ida Baked Crinkle Fries. For dessert later a slice of Pillsbury Nut Quick Bread. 

Szechwan Shrimp

A hot dish to warm up these cold winter days!

Szechwan Shrimp

Speed up prep time for this Chinese favorite by purchasing shrimp that has already been peeled and deveined.
MAKES: 4 servings

    1 pound fresh or frozen shrimp in shells
    3 tablespoons water
    2 tablespoons ketchup
    1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
    1 tablespoon rice wine, dry sherry, or water
    2 teaspoons cornstarch
    1 teaspoon honey
    1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger or 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
    1 tablespoon peanut oil or cooking oil
    1/2 cup sliced green onions
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    2 cups rice noodles or hot cooked rice
    2 small fresh red chile peppers (such as Fresno or Thai), sliced* (optional)

1. Thaw shrimp, if frozen. Peel and devein shrimp; cut in half lengthwise. Rinse; shrimp pat dry with paper towels. Set aside.

2. For sauce, in a small bowl, stir together the 3 tablespoons water, ketchup, soy sauce, rice wine, cornstarch, honey, ground ginger (if using), and crushed red pepper. Set aside.

3. Pour oil into a large skillet or wok. Heat over medium-high heat. Add green onions, garlic, and grated fresh ginger (if using); stir-fry for 30 seconds.

4. Add shrimp. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp are opaque; push to side of skillet or wok. Stir sauce; add to center of skillet or wok. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Serve with rice noodles or rice. If desired, garnish with sliced red chile peppers. Makes 4 servings.

    * Because chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes, avoid direct contact with them as much as possible. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If your bare hands do touch the peppers, wash your hands and nails well with soap and warm water.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:

    Servings Per Recipe: 4
    Calories: 249
    Protein(gm): 19
    Carbohydrate(gm): 30
    Fat, total(gm): 5
    Cholesterol(mg): 129
    Saturated fat(gm): 1
    Sodium(mg): 372


Friday, January 20, 2012

Ham and Cheese Crescent Roll-Ups and Creamy Tomato Soup

Today's Menu: Ham and Cheese Crescent Roll-Ups and Creamy Tomato Soup

It's been a really cold and blustery day out so I wanted something hot and healthy. So I made some Ham and Cheese Crescent Roll-Ups along with some Creamy Tomato Soup. I used Pillsbury Reduced Fat Crescent Rolls, Sara Lee Thin Sliced Baked Ham, and Sargento's 2% Reduced Fat Colby/Jack Sliced Cheese. The recipe is at the end of the post. I used Campbell's Creamy Tomato Soup. For dessert later I made another batch of the Frozen Chocolate Dipped Mini Bananas, I used Hershy's Sugarless Dark Chocolate to dip them in and rolled them in crushed Walnuts.

Ham and Cheese Crescent Roll-Ups

1 Can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated Reduced Fat Crescent Dinner Rolls
8 Thin slices Cooked Ham (8 oz), Sara Lee Thin Slice
4 Thin slices Cheddar cheese (4 oz), each cut into 4 strips. Sargento 2% Reduced Fat Colby/Jack


    Heat oven to 350°F. Separate dough into 8 triangles. Place 1 piece of ham on each triangle; place 2 strips of cheese down center of ham. Fold in edges of ham to match shape of dough triangle.
    Roll up each crescent, ending at tip of triangle. Place with tips down on ungreased cookie sheet.
    Bake 15 to 19 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.

A little about Pizza!

Pizza is an oven-baked, flat, round bread typically topped with a tomato sauce, cheese and various toppings.

Originating in Italy, from the Neapolitan cuisine, the dish has become popular in many parts of the world. An establishment that makes and sells pizzas is called a "pizzeria". Pizza is one of the national foods of Italy and the Italian people.

The Ancient Greeks covered their bread with oils, herbs and cheese. In Byzantine Greek, the word was spelled πίτα or pita, meaning pie. The word has now spread to Turkish as pide, Serbo-Croatian and Bulgarian as pita, Albanian as pite and Modern Hebrew pittāh. The Romans developed placenta, a sheet of dough topped with cheese and honey and flavored with bay leaves. Modern pizza originated in Italy as the Neapolitan pie with tomato. In 1889, cheese was added.

In 1889, during a visit to Naples, Queen Margherita of Italy was served a pizza resembling the colors of the Italian flag, red (tomato), white (mozzarella) and green (basil). This kind of pizza has been named after the Queen as Pizza Margherita.

The bottom of the pizza, called the "crust", may vary widely according to style—thin as in a typical hand-tossed pizza or Roman pizza, or thick as in a typical pan pizza or Chicago-style pizza. It is traditionally plain, but may also be seasoned with garlic, or herbs, or stuffed with cheese.

In restaurants, pizza can be baked in an oven with stone bricks above the heat source, an electric deck oven, a conveyor belt oven or, in the case of more expensive restaurants, a wood- or coal-fired brick oven. On deck ovens, the pizza can be slid into the oven on a long paddle, called a peel, and baked directly on the hot bricks or baked on a screen (a round metal grate, typically aluminum). When made at home, it can be baked on a pizza stone in a regular oven to reproduce the effect of a brick oven. Another option is grilled pizza, in which the crust is baked directly on a barbecue grill. Greek pizza, like Chicago-style pizza, is baked in a pan rather than directly on the bricks of the pizza oven.

Neapolitan pizza (pizza napoletana): Authentic Neapolitan pizzas are typically made with tomatoes and Mozzarella cheese. They can be made with ingredients like San Marzano tomatoes, which grow on the volcanic plains to the south of Mount Vesuvius, and mozzarella di bufala Campana, made with the milk from water buffalo raised in the marshlands of Campania and Lazio in a semi-wild state (this mozzarella is protected with its own European protected designation of origin).

According to the rules proposed by the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana,[6] the genuine Neapolitan pizza dough consists of wheat flour (type 0 or 00, or a mixture of both), natural Neapolitan yeast or brewer's yeast, salt and water. For proper results, strong flour with high protein content (as used for bread-making rather than cakes) must be used. The dough must be kneaded by hand or with a low-speed mixer. After the rising process, the dough must be formed by hand without the help of a rolling pin or other machine, and may be no more than 3 millimetres (0.12 in) thick. The pizza must be baked for 60–90 seconds in a 485 °C (905 °F) stone oven with an oak-wood fire. When cooked, it should be crispy, tender and fragrant. There are three official variants: pizza marinara, which is made with tomato, garlic, oregano and extra virgin olive oil, pizza Margherita, made with tomato, sliced mozzarella, basil and extra-virgin olive oil, and pizza Margherita extra made with tomato, mozzarella from Campania in fillets, basil and extra virgin olive oil. The pizza napoletana is a Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (Specialità Tradizionale Garantita, STG) product in Europe.

Lazio style: Pizza in Lazio (Rome), as well as in many other parts of Italy, is available in two different styles. Take-away shops sell pizza rustica or pizza al taglio. This pizza is cooked in long, rectangular baking pans and relatively thick (1–2 cm). The pizza is often cooked in an electric oven. It is usually cut with scissors or a knife and sold by weight. In pizzerias, pizza is served in a dish in its traditional round shape. It has a thin, crisp base quite different from the thicker and softer Neapolitan style base. It is usually cooked in a wood-fired oven, giving the pizza its unique flavor and texture. In Rome, a pizza napoletana is topped with tomato, mozzarella, anchovies and oil (thus, what in Naples is called pizza romana, in Rome is called pizza napoletana).

Other types of Lazio-style pizza include:

    Pizza romana: tomato, mozzarella, anchovies, oregano, oil
    Pizza viennese: tomato, mozzarella, German sausage, oregano, oil
    Pizza capricciosa: mozzarella, tomato, mushrooms, artichokes, cooked ham, olives, oil
    Pizza quattro formaggi ("four cheese pizza"): tomatoes, and the cheeses mozzarella, stracchino, fontina, and gorgonzola. Sometimes ricotta is swapped for one of the last three.
    Pizza bianca In Rome, the term pizza bianca refers to a type of bread topped with olive oil, salt and, occasionally, rosemary sprigs. It is also a Roman style to add figs to the pizza, the result being known as pizza e fichi
    Pizza alla casalinga ("Grandma pizza") consists of a thin layer of dough is stretched into an oiled, square "Sicilian" pan, topped sparingly with shredded mozzarella, crushed uncooked canned tomatoes, chopped garlic and olive oil, and baked until the top bubbles and the bottom is crisp.

Pizza is available frozen. Ways have been developed to overcome challenges such as preventing the sauce from combining with the dough and producing a crust that can be frozen and reheated without becoming rigid. Modified corn starch is commonly used as a moisture barrier between the sauce and crust. Traditionally the dough is partially baked and other ingredients are also sometimes precooked. There are frozen pizzas with raw ingredients and self-rising crusts. A form of uncooked pizza is available from take and bake pizzerias. This pizza is created fresh using raw ingredients, then sold to customers to bake in their own ovens and microwaves.

In the 20th century, pizza has become a globally accessible dish mainly due to Italian immigrants that have brought their dishes to new people with resounding success and many times in racially and culturally resistive environments.

Due to the wide influence of Italian and Greek immigrants in American culture, the US has developed regional forms of pizza, some bearing only a casual resemblance to the Italian original. Chicago has its own style of a deep-dish pizza, Detroit also has its unique twice-baked style, with cheese all the way to the crust, whereas New York City has developed its own distinct variety of thin crust pizza.

1905 - Gennaro Lombardi claims to have opened the first United States Pizzeria in New York City at 53 1/2 Spring Street. Lombardo is now known as America's "Patriaca della Pizza." It wasn't until the early 1930s that he added tables and chairs and sold spaghetti as well.

1943 - Chicago-style deep-dish pizza (a pizza with a flaky crust that rises an inch or more above the plate and surrounds deep piles of toppings) was created by Ike Sewell at his bar and grill called Pizzeria Uno.

1945 - With the stationing of American soldiers in Italy during World War II (1941-1945) came a growing appreciation of pizza. When the soldiers returned from war, they brought with them a taste for pizza.

1948 - The first commercial pizza-pie mix, "Roman Pizza Mix," was produced in Worcester, Massachusetts by Frank A. Fiorello.

1950s - It wasn't until the 1950s that Americans really started noticing pizza. Celebrities of Italian origin, such as Jerry Colonna, Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Durante, and baseball star Joe DiMaggio all devoured pizzas. It is also said that the line from the song by famous singer, Dean Martin; "When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that amore" set America singing and eating pizzas.

1957 - Frozen pizzas were introduced and found in local grocery stores. The first was marketed by the Celentano Brothers. Pizza soon became the most popular of all frozen food.

21st Century

December 9, 2009 - The European Union established a ruling to protect Naples' Neapolitan pizzas. The EU's ruling said Neapolitan pizza was now part of Europe's food heritage, and that all pizzerias aspiring to supply and make the real Neapolitan pizzas must comply to strict traditional standards regarding ingredients and preparation that include using only San Marzano tomatoes and fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese. This protect status will enable producers to not only boast about their exclusivity, but also charge a premium for the pizza.

Pizza can be high in salt, fat and calories. There are concerns about negative health effects. Food chains, such as Pizza Hut, have come under criticism for the high salt content of some of their meals, which were found to contain more than twice the daily recommended amount of salt for an adult.

European nutrition research on the eating habits of people with cancer of the mouth, oesophagus, throat or colon showed those who ate pizza at least once a week had less chance of developing cancer. Dr Silvano Gallus, of the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmaceutical Research in Milan, attributed it to lycopene, an antioxidant chemical in tomatoes, which is thought to offer some protection against cancer. Carlo La Vecchia, a Milan-based epidemiologist said, "Pizza could simply be indicative of a lifestyle and food habits, in other words the Italian version of a Mediterranean diet." A traditional Mediterranean diet is rich in olive oil, fiber, vegetables, fruit, flour, and freshly cooked food. In contrast to the traditional Italian pizza used in the research, popular pizza varieties in many parts of the world are often loaded with high fat cheeses and fatty meats, a high intake of which can contribute to obesity, itself a risk factor for cancer.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Honey-Mustard Pork Chops w/ Baked Macaroni and Cheese, Green Beans, and...

Dinner Tonight: Honey-Mustard Pork Chops w/ Baked Macaroni and Cheese, Green Beans, and Whole Grain Bread

Tried a couple of new recipes for dinner tonight, Honey-Mustard Pork Chops w/ Baked Macaroni and Cheese. Both easy to fix and both low calorie and low carb. The Chops wee good but they would have been better if I would have had thicker Pork Chops, all I had were the thin cut chops. But as I said they were very good. It was nice combo of Honey and Dijon Mustard that gives it a great flavor. The recipe calls to broil the chops but because mine were so thin I had to bake them instead so not get them over done. Still turned out good though. The baked Mac and Cheese was also good. I didn't have enough of Penne pasta so I mixed it with Rotini Pasta. I used Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Grain Pastas. I left the recipes for both at the end of the post. I also had sides of Green Beans and Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. For dessert later a Yoplait Delight 100 Calorie Chocolate Eclair Parfait.

Honey-Mustard Pork Chops


        1/4 cup Dijon mustard
        4 teaspoons honey
        1 teaspoon apple cider or 1 teaspoon white-wine vinegar
        1/4 teaspoon black pepper
        20 ounces bone-in loin pork chops, 4 each about 1 inch thick


1. To prepare the marinade, in a small saucepan over low heat, heat the honey until it liquefies. Stir in the mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper; cool to room temperature.

2. Place the pork chops in a gallon-size sealable plastic bag; add the marinade. Seal the bag, squeezing out the air; turn to coat the chops. Refrigerate, turning the bag occasionally, at least 8 hours or overnight. Remove the chops from the refrig 30 minutes before broiling.

3. Preheat the broiler. Discard the marinade. Place the chops on the broiler rack and broil 3-4" from the heat until cooked through, 6-7 minutes on each side.

1 pork chop serving contain 165 calories, 5 grams total fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 59 mg cholesterol, 546 mg sodium, 9 grams total carbs, 5 grams total sugar, 0 gram fiber, 19 g protein, 17 mg calcium.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese


    8 ounces whole wheat penne
    2 tablespoons canola oil
    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    2 cups fat-free milk
    2 1/3 cups shredded fat-free Cheddar cheese
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    ¼ teaspoon black pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Cook penne according to package directions, omitting salt if desired. Drain in colander, then rinse under cold running water; drain.

2. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, 2 minutes. Gradually add milk, whisking until smooth. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil; boil 1 minute.

3. Remove saucepan from heat; add 2 cups of Cheddar, the salt, and pepper, stirring until cheese is melted. Stir in pasta. Pour into shallow 2-quart baking dish or 6 individual baking dishes; sprinkle with remaining 1/3 cup cheese. Bake until lightly browned and bubbly, about 25 minutes for a 2-quart baking dish and about 15 minutes for individual baking dishes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.


    Whisk together marinade ingredients in small bowl or cup: mustard, honey, vinegar, and pepper.
    Transfer marinade to large zip lock plastic bag and add pork. Squeeze out air and seal bag. Coat pork completely with marinade by turning bag several times.
    Chill pork in marinade 4 hours or overnight, turning bag occasionally.
    Preheat broiler. Spray broiler rack with nonstick spray.
    Remove chops from bag and discard marinade. Place chops on broiler rack and broil 5 inches from heat until browned and cooked through, about 6 minutes per side.

Per serving (about ¾ cup):165 grams, 267 Cal, 5 g Total Fat, 1 g Sat Fat, 0 g Trans Fat, 9 mg Chol, 521 mg Sod, 36 g Total Carb, 5 g Total Sugar, 3 g Fib, 21 g Prot, 466 mg Calc.