Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Janice's Artichoke & Spinach Dip

I've made this a zillion times...ok, maybe not quite so many times, but I've made it a lot. Always get raves and never have left over. Cut pita chips into triangles and toast them in the oven. Serve them warm with the dip. Very versatile. Make it suit the way you eat!

The nutrition facts are at Calorie Count!

Artichoke & Spinach Dip

Step One Ingredients:

1 of those square boxes of frozen artichoke hearts (12 oz?), or One 15 oz can artichoke hearts, drained
1 box frozen spinach (12 oz?)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 T minced garlic

Step Two Ingredients:

2 T low fat mayo
1 T lemon juice, fresh squeezed
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
3-6 dashes Tabasco sauce
1/4 t pepper
salt optional

Step One Directions:

In a medium sauce pan, combine Step One Ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer about 12 minutes. Drain, process in your favorite way to smooth things out a bit, and return to the fridge to cool.

Step Two Directions:

Remove the chilled artichoke and spinach dip from the fridg, and stir in the Step Two Ingredients. Place in a pretty bowl and serve.

Alternative Ideas:

Use Monterrey Jack Cheese, omit mayo and serve hot. I've made it this way and nuked it right before serving. You can easily increase the spinach or any of the other ingredients. Yum!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sandi's Ginger Chicken Broth

I love the addition of ginger to this most excellent broth.

Ginger Chicken Broth


as many chicken bones as you can fit into a pot (I even save the cooked ones from a baked chicken)
1 sliced onion
3 stalks celery, sliced
fresh ginger about 1 tbsp or 2-3 slices
red pepper flakes about 1/4 tsp
garlic cloves 2
peppercorns about 8
bay leaves 2/3
lemon zest from 1/2 a lemon
oregano about 1/2 tsp. (if you want) optinal
1 vegeta bouillon cube or one you like.
a few sprigs of fresh cilantro
If I have some salad that is wilting I will throw into the broth.(not dressed of course).


Put everything in a large pot and bring it to a rapid boil then turn down heat. skim off the scum as soon as it stops boiling. skim off some of the fat while simmering.

Simmer for about 1 1/2 hours - add cilantro during the final half hour. Strain and cool. Remove the fat that will rise to the top and form an easily removed layer.

Sandi loves to just sip a cup of this broth anytime.

Try it over some noodles and add leftover chicken and veggies for a wonderful soup dinner.

Janice's Pear and Feta Salad

Pear and Feta Salad

The nutrition facts are at Calorie Count!


1 head (or bag) of your favorite lettuce, rinsed, dried and torn into pieces (Romain is fantastic, but you may prefer red leaf or a blend of lettuces)
1 - 2 red pears, cored and sliced
1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese (or Blue Cheese)
1/2 cup pecan halves (either plain toasted or praline pecans if your calories allow)
4 T your favorite dressing (most excellent indeed are: Raspberry vinaigrette, Champagne Dressing, or Poppy Seed)


Toss together in a beautiful serving bowl.

Fancy, fabulously easy, and festive!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Crazypotato98's Leftover Turkey and Ravioli Soup

Try this simple, quick, and awesome (per Crazypotato98's husband) soup the day after Thanksgiving!

The nutrition facts are at Calorie Count.

Leftover Turkey and Ravioli Soup


6 cups chicken or turkey broth/stock - homemade or from a box
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 t Italian seasoning
8 oz turkey, cooked, chopped
9 oz cheese ravioli
2 cups spinach, shredded


Place broth, pepper, onion, and Italian seasoning in a large soup pot. Heat to boiling, reduce to simmer. Simmer covered for about five minutes. Add the turkey and ravioli, return to a boil, reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for about six minutes or until ravioli is tender. Stir in the spinach and simmer one more minute. Delicious with fresh grated Parmesan cheese!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Janice's Veggie Stock with Caramelized Onion

I don't have the tools to do the nutrition facts for this particular stock, so I am going to link to Calorie Count's vegetable stock facts of the my favorite prepared stock - Kitchen Basics.

Veggie Stock with Caramelized Onion


1 tablespoon pure olive oil
1 large onion*, rinsed, roots trimmed off, quartered and layers peeled apart (save the peel, you will use it in the stock)
pinch salt
2 stalks celery, cut into large chunks and make sure you include a lot of the tasty leaves
2 large carrots - unpeeled, ends trimmed off, and cut into large (oh, two inch or so chunks that are then cut in half
1 leek, rinsed, cut a little above the green and then halve
1 sweet red bell pepper, rinsed, trimmed seeds removed, and cut into large chunks
8 cloves garlic, leave the skin on, and smash with a nice garlic smasher
8 sprigs fresh parsley
6 sprigs fresh thyme if you have it, or use 2 t dried thyme
2 bay leaves
pinch of salt
lots of cracked black pepper or whole pepper corns
2 quarts water


Heat oil over medium low in your stock pot. Add the onion and the pinch of salt and saute until they turn a beautiful brown. Do not stir all the time, just every now and then to prevent burning. The onions have to remain in contact with the hot oil to brown well. This step adds a wonderful depth of flavor to the stock. 

Once the onion is caramelized, add all but the second pinch of salt, pepper, and water. This is where you add in the onion peels. They too have lots of flavor.

Saute over high heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Stir, frequently.

Add salt, pepper, and water and bring to a near boil.

Lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for an hour or two or until the stock has reduced a bit. Strain and discard the vegetables. Taste and adjust the seasonings. You can add all sorts of seasonings such as marjoram - use whatever you like to add to soup. To really make it super low fat, allow to chill in the fridge a bit and then skim off the little bit of fat that solidifies on top. Speaking of soup, you can just add in some fresh chopped veggies and such and simmer a bit more covered until the veggies are tender and enjoy some of the most awesome soup ever.

Stock freezes well. Since most recipes call for stock measured in cups, measure label and freeze in that way in good freezer containers - Zip lock bags work well, they can be laid flat and not take up so much space in the freezer. Just keep the zipper part elevated until the stock freezes!

Add just about any veggie trimmings you may have on that day. The simmering will extract every last bit of nutrition and flavor so you can have the healthiest soup ever.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Catnmoos' Bread and Mashed Potato Filling

In the coal region of Pennsylvania, Catnmoos says, we don't call what goes inside a turkey stuffing or dressing, we call it FILLING....maybe for two reasons...because we fill the bird, and because it then fills us!

The surprising nutrition facts are at Calorie Count!

Bread and Mashed Potato Filling


3 sticks of celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 tsp sage
1/2 t garlic powder
2 cups mashed potatoes
two loaves of bread, cubed (approximately 8 cups)


In a large skillet over medium heat, sweat the celery and onion in a stick of butter.  Add in the egg and the cup of milk, stir. Add The seasonings and stir. Stir in the mashed potatoes. Place the cubed bread in a large bowl and gently stir in the heated mixture.

You can either stuff the bird with the mix and roast, or do as Catnmoos does and place the mix in a Pam sprayed pan. Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes. Baste the pan with the liquid from the pan that is cooking your turkey or chicken. Always use an instant read thermometer to make sure stuffing is done to about 170 degrees - whether in the bird or out!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Janice's Roasted Garlic

One problem that people have when eating to lose weight is that they find the food decidedly unappealing. It helps to ramp up the delicious factor by considering using seasonings in a different way. I add a few shakes of Tabasco to a lot of things that would surprise people because I find that far superior to adding salt - yes it has a little salt, but not as much as you get when you add salt.

Try adding whole cloves of roasted garlic to ramp up the flavor to many sauces in many savory dishes. They make a perfect addition to any pasta sauce. I also make a dish that I call garlic chicken that uses at least 40 cloves to a tomato stock sauce that holds the simmering chicken. It's simple to do and requires no fat.

Roasted Garlic


2 heads of garlic - cloves separated but left unpeeled
1 pan (don't spray it with anything)
400F preheated oven


Put the cloves on a pan (don't crowd) and roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes. The papery edges of the cloves will be browned and the cloves themselves softened. You can roast them in the toaster oven.

Cool completely, peel, and add to your favorite sauce...or pizza!

Now, wasn't that easy! And your house now smells awesome!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Janice's Baked Apples

No crust goodness, an A for nutrition, and very low in calories. Enjoy! The nutrition facts are at Calorie Count.

Baked Apples


6 apples (you can easily use up to 8 if you prefer and use your favorite firm fleshed apple)
1/2 cup sugar
3 T flour
1 t cinnamon, ground
1/2 t nutmeg, ground
1/4 t cloves, ground
1/2 cup raisins or currents
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup whole milk - yes this is important so just buy a small container if you don't usually use it


Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Spray Pam in a 2 quart casserole dish.

Peel (optional), core, and slice apples; place in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Add to the apples and mix well. Stir in the raisins and walnuts. Place into a casserole and pour milk over the entire thing.

Bake for about 45 - 60 minutes or until bubbly.

Allow to cool and set a little bit, but not so long that it cools complete, serve while warm.

Janice's Apple Blackberry Crisp

Beautiful finish to a holiday meal. The nutrition facts are at Calorie Count - know your calories and enjoy a bit of sweet. If a regular sized slice does not fit in to your day's calories, a half slice will still be very satisfying.

Apple Blackberry Crisp


4 apples - Rome apples are good for this, but so are Winesap - I bet Granny Smiths would be terrific too!
2 cups blackberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup plus 2 T flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 t cinnamon
1/2 cup butter


Preheat oven - 400 F.

Spray Pam in a 2 quart casserole dish.

Core and slice the apple into chunks about 1/4 inch thick - peeling is optional but traditional, unfortunately, it also peels off a lot of the nutrition. Heat in a large pot over low heat for about 10 minutes, stir a lot.

Remove from heat and stir in the berries.

Combine the regular sugar and 2 T of the flour, stir in to the fruit, then pour into the casserole.

In a medium sized bowl, stir 1 cup of flour, the brown sugar and cinnamon. Then "cut" in the butter as you would if you were making baking powder biscuits using a cutting motion with a fork over stirring a little every now and then to coat the butter with the dry ingredients. Keep it up until you have some coarse crumbs no larger than pea sized.

Sprinkle the mix over the filling and bake for 30 minutes or until the crumbs are nicely browned.

Delicious as is. If you are one of those that needs to add calories to your day, top with a dollop of freshly made whipped cream.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fuzzypainters Poor Man's Shrimp Cocktail

This is a fabulous idea for a low calorie high nutrition appetizer! The nutrition facts can be found at Calorie Count!
Poor Man's Shrimp Cocktail


1/2 cup ketchup
2 T ground horseradish
1/4 t lemon juice
4 cups (one head) of cauliflower broken into florets


Mix the first three ingredients well and adjust for taste - if you are not a big horseradish person, cut it in half and then taste and add as you think best.

Place the cocktail sauce in a pretty bowl in the center of a lovely plate and surround with rinsed cauliflower florets.

Most excellent!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Laura's Blueberry Banana Bran Muffins

The three B's in Laura's muffins are packed with loads of nutrition and are an awesome way to start your calorie counting day!

The nutrition facts are at Calorie Count! 

Blueberry Banana Bran Muffins 


1 cup bran
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 ts baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
2 Tbsp vegetable oil or butter
1 cup low fat milk or yogurt
1 cup blueberries (can be frozen)
1 very ripe banana, mashed 


Preheat oven to 425 F. Spray oil into muffin tins.

Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.

Beat together the egg, oil and banana in another bowl.

Stir in blueberries and milk (or yogurt)

Add the liquid to the dry and stir only just until the ingredients are mixed and damp.

Spoon into the muffin tins and bake for about 20 minutes. 


Add sunflower seeds, nuts, or any of your favorite fresh or dried fruit!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Michael's Kahlua Yams

Michael's yams are not really made with yams. They are made with what Americans call yams - a "soft" sweet potato. Michael's decision to add Kahlua to the mixture was an absolutely fantastic way to get creative in cookery.

Kahlua Yams

The nutrition facts are at Calorie Count!


4 yams
2 T butter
2 T dark brown sugar
1/4 cup Kahlua


Roast (or you can boil) the yams and then mash with the other three ingredients. Place in a Pam sprayed casserole and bake at 375 F for about 20 minutes. 


If you can afford the calories, during the last few minutes of baking, you can either top with more brown sugar or some of those mini marshmallows.

If you're pressed for time or oven space, use good quality canned yams, WITH the liquid. Put all ingredients in a saucepan, boil until the liquid reduces by about half, and pour into a serving dish.

Simple and delicious!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Susan's Roasted Delicata Squash

A lovely winter squash similar to butternut squash. Easier to slice, no need to peel, and a lot faster to cook! If you like winter squash but don't make it often because it is hard to peel and cut, you will love the delicata!

The nutrition facts are at Calorie Count!

Roasted Delicata Squash

2 delicata squash
1 T olive oil
1/4 t garlic salt
2 T Parmesan cheese


Preheat the oven to 425 F.

Meanwhile, Poke a few holes in the squash and microwave for five minutes. Then cut lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Cut into spears and put in a foil lined pan. Brush with olive oil using a basting brush, sprinkle with garlic salt and Parmesan cheese. Roast for about 10-15 minutes or til browned and easily pierced with a fork.

Simple fast and a wonderful way to eat low calorie high nutrition squash on a weeknight!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sheila's Crock Pot Apple Pie

The nutrition facts for this easy as crock pot pie are at Calorie Count!

Crock Pot Apple Pie


8  apples*
1 ¼ teaspoon  ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon  allspice
¼ teaspoon  nutmeg
¾ cup  milk
2 teaspoon  butter
¾ cup  sugar
2  eggs
1 teaspoon  vanilla
1 ½ cups Bisquick, divided
1/3 cup  brown sugar
3 teaspoon  cold butter


Peeled and core apples. Cut into 1/2 inch slices lengthwise. Toss apples in large bowl with cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Place in lightly greased crockpot.

Combine milk, softened butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and 1/2 cup Bisquick. Spoon over apples.

Combine 1 cup Bisquick and brown sugar. cut the cold butter into mixture until crumbly.
Sprinkle this mixture over top of apple mixture.

Cover and cook on low until apples are soft - around five hours

Check to see if they are soft after five hours. If you go too long and the edges will be burnt.

*Granny Smith Apples work the best