Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Janice's BBQ Sauce with Lemon

This is my go-to BBQ sauce for chicken, pork, and ribs. Adjust the cayenne (or Tabasco) sauce to your heat preferences.

The nutrition facts are at Calorie Count!

BBQ Sauce with Lemon


2 T butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 sweet red pepper, finely chopped
1/2 C celery, finely chopped
2 T vinegar
4 T lemon juice, juice some fresh lemons instead of using it from a jar!
2 T brown sugar
1/2 t cayenne pepper - or Tabasco sauce
3 T Worcestershire sauce
1 C ketchup, read the labels - you can get no HFCS ketchup!
1/2 T ground mustard
1 T celery seed
2 T olive oil
up to 1/2 C water


Combine butter, onion, pepper, and celery in a saucepan and simmer for a few minutes. Add everything but the water and simmer on low stirring every now and then for about 12-15 minutes. If the sauce looks too thick, thin it a bit with water - this sauce works wonderfully as a "glaze".

Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference.


I do not cook with salt, you may want to add a little at the end, but try it this way first and be judicious with the salt.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Meganr's Orzo with Grilled Asparagus and Feta

This quick and easy vegetarian dish will soon become one of your standard meals. Try it tonight!
The nutrition facts for this delicious meal can be found at Calorie Count

DaVinci Orzo, 100% Durum Wheat Semolina, 16 Ounce Bags (Pack of 12)Orzo with Grilled Asparagus and Feta 

Serves 4


3 cups asparagus, washed and well drained with woody ends trimmed and cut into 1 ½ inch lengths
6 oz feta cheese
2 T olive oil
1 T mustard, preferably spicy brown
6 cloves garlic
2 T lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 t lemon zest
5 cups orzo pasta equivalent to one 12 oz package


Prepare the grill for the asparagus.

Start water for the orzo so that it comes to a boil when the grill is ready.

Make the marinade for the asparagus by putting the lemon zest and garlic in a mini-blender and chop until fine. Add mustard and lemon juice and blend again. Add the olive oil and blend well. Add the marinade to the asparagus in a zip lock bag or tightly covered bowl making sure all pieces are well coated and set aside.

Add orzo to the boiling water and set the timer so you can test for al dente-ness.

Put the asparagus on the grill, turn and stir so it doesn’t burn. Depending upon how fast your grill cooks, it should be done shortly before the orzo is done. Take the asparagus off the grill and cover to keep warm.

When the orzo is al dente, drain well. Place orzo in a big bowl, add the feta, asparagus, and mix it all up.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Hollie's Pico De Gallo

There is no need to spend all that money buying a jar of salsa or Pico de gallo when it is so easy to make a fresh batch whenever you want it. This simple recipe is easily expanded or altered to taste. Enjoy some today.

The nutrition facts are at Calorie Count! 

Pico De Gallo on a taco!
Pico De Gallo


2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 medium white onion, chopped
1 serano or jalapeno pepper, ribs and seeds removed, then finely chopped
1/8 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup lemon or lime juice
1/2 tsp sea salt


Chop, measure, and combine all ingredients and serve chilled. 


serves about 6 as an appetizer to load onto taco chips or as a condiment for burritos and tacos. Adjust the amount of pepper to your taste. Just as great without the salt!

About 10 minutes to prep, 30 minutes+ to chill, about 10 minutes to totally consume.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Janice's Sauteed Mixed Mushrooms

Mushrooms are remarkably low in calorie, filling, and very good for you. For this recipe, use whatever type of mushroom you prefer. Try types that are new to you, try mixing them up for variety, but whatever you do - cook and eat the beautiful fungi often!

The nutrition facts can be found at Calorie Count! The nutrition facts are for the two serving size.

12 Edible Mushrooms in the US
Sauteed Mixed Mushrooms

Serves 2 as a topping for rice, or 4 as a side dish


1 pound of any combination of mushrooms you love

3 T vegetable stock
2 garlic cloves
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 - 1 t rosemary, to taste
1 green onion, sliced


Clean and slice the mushrooms, including the stems if you like them (just cut off the dried part at the tip)

Add the stock to a non-stick pan with a lid and heat til the stock is steaming. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cover for 3 minutes. Remove the lid and cook another 4-5 minutes or til the mushrooms are nearly cooked to your tastes. Stir in the seasonings and continue to cook for one minute. Remove from heat and drizzle with olive oil and green onion slices and stir. Serve immediately.


A terrific side dish with a steak or as a meatless entree over brown rice.

Like fungi? Check out this book by our own Chef Meganr - Fungi of Dryad Ranch!

Janice's Healthy Summer Squash Saute

The nutrition facts for this wonderful side dish can be found at Calorie Count!

Healthy Summer Squash Saute

Serves four


3 zucchinis, sliced
3 yellow summer squash, sliced
1 sweet red pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 T water
1/8 t fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 - 1 t thyme
1 t olive oil


Pre-chop and slice all veggies. In a large non-stick saute pan add a couple tablespoons of water and heat over medium until the water is steamy. Add the zucchinis, squash, red pepper, and onion. Cover the pan and steam for a few minutes. Remove the lid and continue to saute til crisp tender, adding small bits of water if the pan goes dry. A minute or so before the veggies are ready, add the black pepper and thyme and stir a bit. Remove from heat, stir in the olive oil and serve immediately.


For more flavor instead of water, use a little vegetable stock.

Try adding some crushed red pepper for a bit of heat or use habanero olive oil.

To make a delicious Vegetarian main dish, try serving it over rice or with pasta and sprinkle with a bit of Parmesan cheese.

I never cook with salt, but you might prefer it. If so, add it with the olive oil.

Janice's Healthy Egg Scramble

Get your day off to a fabulous and filling start with this delicious breakfast. You can check off at least two servings of your day's veggies with this 192* calorie dish. When served with a slice of whole grain bread spread with a bit of jam it will keep you going strong til lunch.

* If you do not want to add oil at all, reduce the calories by 44. You can simply steam saute the onions, peppers, and veggies in a little water (about 1 tablespoon to start). You are not really sauteing as the word implies the use of oil, but we will throw caution to the wind and say that sauteing in water is a far healthier way to saute for those that need to reduce fat in their diet. Add more water a little bits (a teaspoon or so) at a time as it evaporates and stir until the veggies are softened - a short time left alone in the pan after evaporation with very little stirring will give you some nice browned bits and make it as visually appealing as the traditional olive oil saute. The World's Healthiest Foods suggests that it is better to add the olive oil after cooking anyway as it's properties are compromised when heated.

The nutrition facts for this recipe can be found at Calorie Count!

Healthy Egg Scramble
before adding the eggs
Serves one


1/4 cup or more of chopped onions
1/4 cup or more of chopped sweet red pepper
1 t habanero olive oil
1 cup or more of torn fresh spinach
1/8 t or more of turmeric
2 good quality eggs, beaten well with a fork


Coarsely chop the onions and sweet red pepper. I like to have it sit a few minutes as research suggests that there is a chemical reaction when onions and garlic are cut and exposed to air that allows a health-promoting allicin to form.

Add one teaspoon of olive oil to a good non-stick pan and bring to a shimmer over medium heat. Add the onions and sweet red pepper - stir occasionally until the onions start to turn translucent. Sprinkle with turmeric and stir one minute. I use more, but if you are new to turmeric, start with 1/8 of a teaspoon. Turmeric is one of the foods and herbs that work wonders for my arthritis. Add a cup or two of torn spinach and saute until wilted. Finally add two eggs (if you can't get good eggs from a farmers market, try looking for Country Hen eggs or any free range eggs) and scramble til you get the consistency you like. 
Remove from heat. You can drizzle with more olive oil after cooking or use more to saute if you need more healthy fat in your day. Incredibly aromatic way to start the day.  


Try folding the egg scramble inside of a slightly warmed tortilla.

Don't add cheese - I've tried it and it competes with rather than enhancing the other flavors, this may be due to the turmeric.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Crazypotato98's Hearty Bean and Rice Soup

I cannot wait to try Crazypotato98's Hearty Bean and Rice Soup! Cooking with thyme is quite standard at my house - especially for soups - but I've always used dried thyme, not fresh. Off to get a new herb for the garden so I can make this recipe!

The nutrition facts can be found at the best FREE website to count your calories - Calorie Count!

My German Thyme!
Hearty Bean and Rice Soup 

Serves 6


1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T olive oil
5 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1/2 cup brown rice, uncooked but rinsed
3 medium tomatoes, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
6 cups fresh spinach
1 15 oz can Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup thyme, fresh and snipped
1/4 t cracked black pepper


Cook celery, onion, and garlic in hot oil until tender. Add broth, water and uncooked rice (if using brown rice, you can soak it in water up to two days prior to cooking). Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop the tomatoes; coarsely chop the zucchini, torn spinach, beans, thyme, and pepper into mixture. Cook and stir until heated through.


Try topping each serving with feta cheese - but don't forget to count the calories!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Laura K's Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Two cups of of spaghetti squash has only 84 calories. Two cups of regular spaghetti has 442 calories. Eat a larger serving, get more nutrition, and enjoy it with your preferred sauce. Laura K's idea of layering marinara with roasted red peppers makes a tasty and lovely presentation.

The nutrition facts for this beautiful healthy recipe can be found at Calorie Count!

Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Serves 2

Squash Ingredients:

1 spaghetti squash
2 C water

Topping Ingredients:

2 cups marinara sauce (your favorite from a jar)
1 cup roasted red peppers, cut into strips
1 t olive oil
ground black pepper to taste (more is great!)
ground crushed red pepper to taste
2 T Feta crumbles

Place the spaghetti squash whole into a slow cooker with 2 cups of water. Heat on low for 8-9 hours. Before the squash is removed, heat the sauce. Slice the red peppers and mix with the olive oil, the black pepper, and maybe a shake of red pepper if you like your dinner to bite back a bit. Do not open the squash until all of this is ready.

Prepare the squash immediately before serving by cutting in half lengthwise as this ensure long strands. Remove as many seeds as you can from the center. Then run a fork through the squash to remove the strands. Mound the squash on a plate and top with the olive oil and peppers.

Ladle on the sauce. Add feta crumbles and serve immediately as the squash will cool quickly.


If you don't want to use the marinara, toss the squash with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and pepper, lay the roasted red peppers on top, add feta and serve. 

Alternative Squash Cooking Methods:

Quick Microwave Whole Squash Method - poke 10-12 holes in the squash with a knife about 1" deep (be careful to not stab yourself, the squash is hard - us a very sharp knife only). Microwave on high for 10 mins, flip sides (careful - super hot) and microwave side 2 for 10 minutes (until soft and easily pierced with a fork), cut lengthwise and proceed as directed above.

Relaxed Microwave/Oven Whole Squash Method - Poke the squash several times with a knife or sharp fork. Then nuke it for 10-15 minutes. Then forget about it for a bit. Just let it sit for an hour or more. (I find a good way to do this is to start the microwave when I am on my way out - by the time I get back from shopping or whatever it is done cooking and sitting). This can make it pretty easy to cut in half. The secret to easy slicing in half is the letting it sit part though so don't skip that step. After slicing it in half then drizzle the olive oil on it and let it bake at 350 degrees, cut side down for 40 minutes or so. Scoop out the squash while it is still HOT.

Oven Only Whole Squash Method - Pierce the whole squash several times with a sharp knife. Bake an hour at at 375 degrees. Slice in half lengthwise, scoop seeds and pulp, and proceed as directed above.

Oven Only Half Squash Method - Use a large very sharp knife and cut the squash in half lengthwise. If this is not something you can do because of arthritic fingers or lack of strength, just do one of the whole squash methods. After Cutting the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and pulpy stuff. Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes or until the squash is softened and easily pierced with a fork.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Marg's Microwave Tomato Beef Soup

Marg has a delicious twist on basic tomato soup - ramp up the nutrition with mushrooms and speed up the cooking time by using the microwave!

Microwave Tomato Beef Soup


1/2 lb. extra lean ground beef
3 T. flour
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp onion powder
pepper to taste
4 cups tomato juice
1 1/2 cups cooked rice (basmati works well, as does white or brown rice)
1 clove garlic, crushed
8 oz. sliced mushrooms (white button or any mushroom you prefer)
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups milk, 2%


Over medium heat, cook hamburger in a skillet on the stove until the meat is no longer pink.
Drain the grease and place the meat in a large microwave safe bowl or casserole dish.  Stir in flour and spices to coat the meat.  Saute the onions and mushrooms in the skillet you used to brown the meat. Add the cooked veggies to meat mixture.  Add tomato juice, rice, garlic.  Stir in milk.

Microwave covered on  high 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until hot and thickened.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Claire's Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Delicious nutritious sweet potatoes are so tasty and easy to fix, they should be a part of your regular repertoire of go-to low calorie healthy side dishes. Try this and you will never put a marshmallow on a sweet potato again!

The nutrition facts can be found at Calorie Count! 

Sweet Potatoes!
Claire's Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes


5 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and Pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400°F.

Arrange sweet potatoes in an even layer in a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish sprayed with a non-stick spray or lightly coated with a bit of olive oil if you use a metal baking pan.

Combine maple syrup, butter, lemon juice, salt and pepper in small bowl. Pour the mixture over the sweet potatoes; toss to coat.

Cover with lid or tightly with foil and bake the sweet potatoes for 15 minutes. Uncover, stir and cook, stirring every 15 minutes, until tender and starting to brown, 45 to 50 minutes more.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Buggy's Lemongrass Chicken

Fantastic version of this Asian standard!

The nutrition facts can be found at the best FREE place on the internet to count your calories - Calorie Count

Lemongrass Chicken 


1 T ginger, minced
1 T garlic, minced
1 T lemongrass, minced
1 T brown sugar
1/2 t salt
1/2 C Hoisin Sauce
1 C onion, chopped
16 oz chicken breast, thinly sliced


Mix all ingredients together. Marinate for 1 hour. Stir fry chicken in a wok or large skillet sprayed with Pam. Serve with freshly steamed vegetables and brown rice.


BBQ over coals!

May be served as an appetizer. Serve with rice paper (softened in warm water), bean sprouts, shredded carrots, thinly sliced cucumber, lettuce and cooked angel hair rice noodles.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Aline's Shrimp Scrambled Eggs

Aline had a few extra shrimp one day and decided to see how they worked in an egg scramble - this is a terrific idea for something different! Lots of other ways to take this recipe - it can be an omelet, use habanero olive oil or add some jalapeno, turmeric, or any of your favorite things to eat with an egg.

The nutrition facts for this delicious filling breakfast are found at Calorie Count!

Shrimp Scrambled Eggs 


8 eggs, beaten
¼ - Large onion
2 Tablespoons sun dried tomatoes
1/3 lb. shrimp, medium sized and sliced length-wise
½ - Bell pepper (red or green or both) If you don’t have any good without.
1 Tablespoon olive oil


Sauté onions, peppers, or other veggies in olive oil until the onion is clear clear. Add shrimp and sauté for just a few minutes until they start to turn opaque.  Add eggs and cook the way you like them.


Try adding some salsa at the table!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Laura's Black Bean/Avocado Burritos

This easy no cook lunch has only 390 calories super nutritious calories. Black beans make this a wonderful high protein filling meal. Check out the link to the World's Healthiest Foods and take advantage of all the great nutritional research done there for black beans  - and a few more serving/recipe ideas as well!

The nutrition facts for this quick and easy meal can be found at Calorie Count! 

Black Bean/Avocado Burritos
1 serving (two small burritos)

3/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 avocado, chopped
1/4 cup salsa
1/2 tsp cumin
1 lime, juiced
2 small (6 inch) whole-grain tortillas

Stir together beans, avocado, salsa, cumin and lime juice.  Spoon into tortillas and roll or fold to eat.


Also great with 1/4 cup black beans + 2 oz. cooked, diced cooked chicken breast - terrific way to use left over chicken from a roasted bird.

To lower the sodium content, make your own fresh salsa with chopped onions, jalapenos, tomatoes, and cilantro!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Meganr's White Bean Dip

Dip your veggies into something a little different and give Meganr's White Bean Dip a try. It has a nice lemony tang and the heat can be adjusted to your preference by adding more or less cayenne.

The nutrition facts for this simple and delicious dip can be found at Calorie Count! 

White Bean Dip


1 1/2 cup cooked white beans (canned or prepared from dry beans)
1 T tomato paste
4 cloves garlic
1 T olive oil
1 lemon - juiced
1/4 t cayenne 


Preheat oven to 375. Peel the garlic and place the whole cloves in a piece of tin foil. Roast the garlic for around 20 - 25 minutes or until soft.

Once the garlic has roasted, put everything into a food processor and smush it up until smooth.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Janice's Warm Wild Blueberry Sauce with Grilled Angel Food Cake

Grilling the low fat low calorie angel food cake over coals creates beautiful brown stripes of caramelized crispness on the outside while slightly softening the sugar spun insides of the cake, and when combined with warm blueberry sauce it is simply to die for good.

Take Angel Food Cake to a totally new level of beauty and deliciousness.

The nutrition facts for are found at Calorie Count!

Grilled Angel Food Cake with Warm Wild Blueberry Sauce.

10 servings each with only 154 calories!


One Store Bought Angel Food Cake


Slice the cake into 10 slices and grill 2-4 minutes on each side. How long depends upon how hot your coals are, do not put the cake slices too close to the coals and watch carefully so that the cake does not burn or flame on.

The sauce (below) can be prepared ahead of time and then just reheated, or made fresh in about 10 minutes.

Warm Wild Blueberry Sauce

Ingredients -

2 10 oz packages of frozen wild blueberries
1/3 C orange juice
1/3 C sugar
2 T lemon juice
4 t cornstarch

Directions -

Combine blueberries, juice and sugar in a medium saucepan. Cover and gradually bring to a boil over medium high heat, stir every now and then. After it begins to boil, reduce heat and simmer for four minutes.

While it's simmering, combine the lemon juice and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add this to the berries after the four minute simmer concludes and return to a boil for a minute or two stirring often. Remove from heat and either use it right away, or cool and put in the fridge for reheating while the angel food cake is grilling. Can be made 3-4 days in advance.


This sauce can be used on anything you want - pancakes, oatmeal, cakes, ice cream, cheesecake, or eat it out of hand with a spoon. Lovely and remember, blueberries are good for you. Don't use a wooden spoon that you love very much while stirring as it will turn very purple.

One enterprising friend of mine just toasted the angel food cake in the toaster oven since she does not have a grill. You will miss that smokey flavor, but it sure will work in a pinch...or when the weather does not permit grilling!


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Crazypotato98's Spinach, Chicken, Couscous

The nutrition facts  for this quick delicious meal can be found at Calorie Count.

Spinach, Chicken, Couscous 

1 tbsp olive oil
20 oz boneless skinless chicken
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
3 cups spinach
1 1/4 cups water
2 tbsp chicken broth
1 pkg (6oz) Near East Herbed Chicken Couscous or flavor of your choice.


Heat olive oil in large pan (with a lid) over medium heat and saute onion, garlic, and chicken until  the chicken is no longer pink. Stir in spinach, mushrooms, water, chicken broth and contents of spice sack; bring to a boil. Stir in couscous, cover, and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes; fluff couscous with fork.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Laura's Dried Fruit and Flax Oatmeal

It is so easy to get in a rut with breakfast, same thing day after day. Laura's deliciously simple recipe adds even more nutrition to the ubiquitous rolled oats. Enjoy it with a mug of hot tea for a great start to your day.

Dried Fruit & Flax Oatmeal (1 serving)

1/2 cup 1% milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup dried fruit (such as dried blueberries or craisins)
1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
1 tsp honey
dash cinnamon

Bring milk, water and oats to a boil; simmer & stir for 5 minutes.
Add fruit, flaxseed, honey and cinnamon.

Suggestion: microwave, stirring at the halfway point. Stock up on a variety of dried fruits and experiment until you find the ones you love the most!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Janice's Shirazi Salad

A simple, light, and marvelous side dish to just about any meal.

The nutrition facts can be found at Calorie Count!

Shirazi Salad

6 large servings and only 52 calories!


2 large tomatoes, diced
1 English cucumber, peeled and diced (or 2 medium cucumbers)
1/2 large red onion, diced (less if you are not an onion lover)
1 T lemon juice
1 T olive oil
1 T fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 T fresh cilantro leaves (or parsley), chopped
a bit of fresh ground black pepper


Prepare the vegetables and place in a large bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. I do not use salt when I cook, but if you prefer salt, a little bit of sea salt would be just fine.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Spinach, Chicken and Mushroom Couscous

The nutrition information for this recipe can be found on Calorie Count at http://caloriecount.about.com/chicken-spinach-mushroom-couscous-recipe-r638111

1 tbsp olive oil
20 oz boneless skinless chicken
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
3 cups spinach
1 1/4 cups water
2 tbsp chicken broth
1 pkg (6oz) Near East Herbed Chicken Couscous or flavor of your choice

Directions: Heat olive oil and cook chicken until no longer pink, along with onion and garlic. Stir in spinach, mushrooms, water, chicken broth and contents of spice sack; bring to a boil. Stir in couscous, cover, and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes; fluff couscous with fork.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Claire's Best Ever Apple Cake

One of my first friends at Calorie Count was Claire, a beautiful woman whom we all miss. I'd like to share some of her recipes with you at The CC Palate as they are some of the most delicious recipes ever, and that is the point of this blog - losing weight while eating delicious food!

The nutrition facts can be found at Calorie Count, the best FREE website for counting calories and for making a lot of good friends. 

Claire's Best Ever Apple Cake

serves 18 with only 143 calories a serving! 


1 1/2 cups Egg Beaters
1 cup applesauce
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups apples, grated
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cloves, ground
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped 


Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 9' x 13' x 2' pan with non stick baking spray.

Beat together the egg beaters, sugar, and applesauce until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla and grated apples.

Combine the dry ingredients and fold into the wet ingredients. Fold in the raisins and walnuts.

Spread in the pan and bake for 45 - 55 minutes or until the cake tests done. Turn the cake out onto a rack and cool completely before cutting into 18 squares.

Yes, you can have dessert every now and then and lose weight. It's all about knowing the calories and portion control. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bonnie's Italian Chicken

Another wonderful chicken dish from Bonnie!

The nutrition facts can be found at Calorie Count!

Italian Chicken

1-2 tsps olive oil
4 frozen or not boneless skinless chicken breasts (4-6 oz each)
2 boullion cubes
1/2 c water
1 small can of diced tomatoes
3 tsps Italian spice blend
1 large onion/diced
salt and pepper to taste


In a large skillet, brown the onions in a little olive oil.

Add the chicken breasts (frozen or thawed) and brown a little.

Add entire can of tomatoes.

Dissolve bouillon cubes in water and add to chicken.

Add seasonings, or your favorite dried Italian spice blend and some salt and pepper to taste.

Cook covered on medium low for 60 min (if chicken was thawed) 90 min (if frozen) or... until very tender. YUM! BONN appetit!


A little honey may be added for verve!

Chicken Breast on FoodistaChicken Breast

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Janice's Fresh Cacciatore Sauce

Delightful, fresh and fast. Wonderful on gnocchi (those terrific little potato pastas) or over chicken breasts and rice.

Taste the sauce after about 10 minutes of simmering and decide if you would prefer more garlic, crushed red pepper, or if it is too acidic and needs a pinch more sugar (this depends on the type of tomatoes you use). Almost impossible to put in too much fresh parsley or fresh basil, so just go outside and grab bunches of the lovely things!

The nutrition facts can be found at Calorie Count! Four generous servings of sauce with only 136 calories!

Fresh Cacciatori Sauce


1 T olive oil
1/2 cup onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed - large crush or big slices
30 oz tomatoes, fresh or two cans of tomatoes, chopped
1/4 C fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 C fresh basil, chopped
1/2 t brown sugar
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes

optional: extra garlic powder, more red pepper flakes, or more basil, etc....


place the olive oil and saute the onions til soft. Then add the crushed garlic cloves and let it go until golden brown. Remove and discard garlic (you won't get it all, just get the bigger hunks).

Add the rest of the ingredients to the, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Taste and adjust seasonings and simmer until the rest of the meal is done and ready to be sauced.

If you want to serve it with gnocchi, boil the gnocchi right before making the sauce and let it sit in a colander until the sauce has simmered. You can make the sauce in the same pot. Add the gnocchi to the sauce and allow it to simmer a few more minutes. Serve as is or with a little Parmesan.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Suchit's Thai Yum Nua

Counting calories is not hard at all when those calories are extremely tasty! This traditional Thai salad from my good friend Suchit is fantastically high protein as well as off the charts in a variety of vitamins. When you make this at home, you are in charge of how hot and spicy it is. The Thai way would be far too hot for the non-Thai, but that is easily taken care of by reducing the number of chilis. Taste the dressing by dipping a cucumber slice into it and adjust the heat as high as you like.

The nutrition facts for this recipe are found at Calorie Count, the best FREE website to count your calories and find a lot of very supportive friends.

Yum Nua
(serves 4)


1 pound lean tender steak such as a strip steak grilled from medium to rare as you prefer and thinly sliced
1 medium size red onion, thinly sliced
Leaf lettuce, just enough to provide a bed for the rest of the salad
Cilantro leaves, chopped (add as much as you like, perhaps 1/3 of a bunch)
10 cloves of garlic, minced or ground
5 Thai chilis or 2-3 jalapeno, grind with a mortar and pestle
1 large cucumber thinly sliced
1 tomato, cut into chunks
3 T good quality fish sauce
3 T Lime juice
Mortar and Pestle
1 T Sugar


Grind the fresh garlic and chilis using a mortar and pestle. Then mix with the fish sauce, lime and sugar in a medium bowl. This is your dressing.

Arrange the lettuce, steak, red onion, cucumber and cilantro on a platter. Pour the dressing over the salad platter reserving some to serve at the table for those that like more dressing.

Hint for the lazy chef:

If you cannot find fresh Thai or Jalapeno peppers in your area, look in the Asian section of your grocery store for those nice little jars of already ground red chilis - my favorite brand has a drawing of a rooster on it.

If you are not a hot and spicy food person, try adding only a scant teaspoon first and increase it as you taste. If you want authentic like Suchit makes - grind those chilis and garlic!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Hollie's Black Bean Soup

An easy crock-pot variation of traditional black bean soup. Adjust the heat to your taste by increasing or decreasing the peppers, cumin, and cayenne. Black beans are amazingly good for you and filling which makes them a terrific addition to a calorie conscious meal.

The nutrition facts can be found at Calorie Count!

Black Bean Soup

makes 8 large portions with only 259 calories each!

1 lb dried black beans
8 cups hot water
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1/2 large white onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 Serrano peppers, ribs and seeds removed, then chopped
1 T minced garlic
2 T ground cumin
2 T paprika (smokey)
1 tsp cayenne
a dash of cinnamon (optional for more depth of flavor)
sea salt and pepper to taste
2 T corn starch dissolved in 2 T water


Pre-soak beans using preferred method or as marked on package. Discard soaking water.

In crockpot, add beans and hot water, cover and leave to simmer on Low for approximately 3 hours.

At 3 hour mark, saute onion, peppers, and garlic until tender. Add onion mixture, tomatoes, and tomato paste to crockpot and stir until tomato paste is well combined into water.

Season with cumin, paprika, cayenne, cinnamon, salt and pepper.

Add corn starch mixture and combine well.

Cover, increase heat to High and allow to simmer another 2-4 hours, until beans reach desired tenderness.

This part is according to preference, but I take a potato masher and gently mash some of the beans to let some of the starch into the broth for thickening.

Serve hot. It is tasty as a stand alone soup, or with a scoop of white or brown rice.