Saturday, October 29, 2011

Heavy on the Veggie Stuffing/Dressing

Who says that the stuffing has to be all bread? Go ahead and veggie it up to your heart's content. If you think the following needs more veggies, add them! The more the better for a wonderful healthier Thanksgiving...or any other meal where you want dressing!

Vegetable Dressing/Stuffing


2 T butter
2 cups baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 onion, chopped
1 ¾ cup vegetable stock (no or low salt is best)
1 can water chestnuts, sliced
2 cups fresh spinach, torn
¼ cup parsley, chopped
¼ t pepper
2 t chopped garlic
1 t sage
1 t thyme
4 cups dried cubed bread (or stuffing mix)


Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and sauté the carrots until they start to become tender. Add the mushrooms and onions and continue to sauté (don’t forget to stir!) until the mushrooms soften and the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the stock, water chestnuts, spinach, and seasonings and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and stir in the bread cubes. You can just put the lid on and allow it to steam until the bread is soft or put it in a casserole and heat it up later in the oven. If it seems dry, just stir in a few tablespoons of stock. I’ve never put this in a bird, but it should be quite good!

Janice's Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Simple and much better tasting than that marshmallow brown sugar stuff people serve at Thanksgiving. Enjoy this anytime, but it's perfect with the turkey! A slightly modified version of Claire's Roast Sweet Potatoes - largely to give measurements to the seasonings.

The nutrition facts are at Calorie Count!

Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes


4-5 medium sweet potatoes
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 T butter, melted
1 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/8 t salt
1/4 t fresh cracked black pepper


Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Arrange the cut into chunks or slices sweet potatoes in an even layer in a large (preferrably glass) 9x13 inch baking dish.

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

Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover, stir, and cook for about 45-50 minutes more until the sweet potatoes are tender - stir every 15 minutes to prevent burning and sticking to the pan.

Serve immediately.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Buggy's Savory Yam Perogies

Remember, if you think in terms of ounces and pounds instead of grams, Buggy's recipes are a great way for you to get familiar with Calorie Count's Conversion Tool (convenient link on the right hand side of this blog) where you will also find this recipe's nutrition facts.

This particular recipe makes a great amount of individual perogies, so you may need to reduce.

Savory Yams

2000 grams  yam, boiled and mashed
400 grams  onion, finely chopped
2 tsp  ground garlic powder
2 tsp  curry powder
1 tsp  chili powder
1 tsp  ground cinnamon
1 tsp  ground ginger
½ tsp  ground cumin
½ tsp  ground turmeric


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Janice's Green Beans with Tomato and Caramelized Onion

Caramelized onions, seasoned brown sugar enriched tomato paste, and green beans...all for only 131 calories per generous serving? Absolutely! This is a perfect "company's coming" side dish or really, anytime you want something just a little fancy.

The nutrition facts are at Calorie Count!

Green Beans with Tomato and Caramelized Onion


1 1/2 pounds green beans
1/4 cup pure olive oil
1/2 t salt
1 yellow onion
3 T tomato paste
1 t dark brown sugar
3/4 cup water
1/4 t fresh cracked black pepper


Monday, October 24, 2011

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are great to eat and easy to toast. The nutrition facts are at Calorie Count!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds


One medium sized pumpkin
1/4 t Salt
2 T Olive oil


Preheat the oven to 375 F. Cut the pumpkin in half, remove the "lid", and scooped out the stringy guts and seeds. Separate the seeds the best you can from the stringy stuff. Rinse well and dry thoroughly on a paper towel.

Toss the seeds with olive oil, spread out in a large baking pan in a single layer, and sprinkle with freshly ground sea salt.

Put the pan in the oven and roast for about 10-20 minutes. The length of cooking time depends on how brown you want them to be. When they are perfect for you, remove them to cool a bit and then munch away on this healthy snack. Eat the entire shell and seed for terrific taste and fiber!

Simple nutrition that kids of all ages will enjoy!

Sharpshootinstar's Pumpkin Soup

 Pumpkin savoriness with minimalist calories from Sharpshootinstar! The nutrition facts are at Calorie Count and are set using 3 cups of stock.

Pumpkin Soup


1 15oz can pumpkin puree (not pie filling!)
1 med onion
2 tablespoons butter
2-4 cups chicken stock (depends on how thick or thin you like it)
1 chipotle pepper + 2 tablespoons adobo sauce.


Chop up the onion and put it in a soup pot with the butter. 

Lulufit's Pumpkin Fluff Fruit Dip

What a great idea from Lulufit! The nutrition facts are at Calorie Count and are set with the use as a dip. A little fun, good nutrition, and some extra fruit for you and your kids!

Pumpkin Fluff Fruit Dip


1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
1 16 oz container of whipped topping, like Cool Whip
1 package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice


In a big bowl, mix all together.  Chill & serve with cut up fruit.

For extra Halloween-ness, serve in a hollowed out sugar pumpkin with fruit kabobs.

If you don't have any pumpkin pie spice, just use pumpkin pie mix instead of puree!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Janice's Basic Wild Rice Stuffing

This is a very simple and extremely basic recipe that you need to tweak to include nutritious things that you love to eat - suggestions for add ins or swap outs: almonds, pecans, mushrooms, currents, apple, celery, dried cranberries, persimmon, change the rice to any kind you prefer or try an exotic blend for terrific visual appeal.

The nutrition facts are at Calorie Count, but if you use "mix-ins" remember to count those calories too. It's easy to make a "new recipe" at Calorie Count and know how to count each serving!

If you cut this in half, it's the perfect amount for stuffing a chicken...or an acorn squash...or some bell peppers!

Basic Wild Rice Stuffing

Ingredients for eight 1/2 cup servings:

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Susan's Turkey in a Crockpot

This is one of those very basic "recipes" that each cook needs to take as a starting position only. Vary each ingredient to your individual tastes. Like all white meat? Don't use the thighs. Prefer different veggies? Go for it! Season as you prefer as well. If you are a calorie counter, make sure you take a weighed portion and count up those calories using these nutrition facts for white meat turkey or the nutrition facts for dark meat turkey from Calorie Count! The meat will have absorbed sodium, but to be honest I have no idea as to how one would count those numbers.

Turkey in a Crockpot

Ingredients and Directions all Mixed Up:
Put a whole bunch of "new" (small) yukon gold potatoes in the bottom of the crock. Rub the turkey parts of your choice* liberally with poultry seasoning and place them on top of the potatoes. Pour in some chicken or turkey stock - enough to make it about an inch deep. Cover and let it cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. 
When you are done you have potatoes cooked to perfection in drippings so they are super flavorful for mashing or eating as they are. The meat is tender. Tons of "drippings" for turning into gravy too.

A Brine for All Time...and Turkey

From this allrecipes post with a few modifications suggested by the commenters that tried it. If you are a calorie counter, make sure you take a weighed portion and count up those calories using these nutrition facts for white meat turkey or the nutrition facts for dark meat turkey from Calorie Count! The meat will have absorbed sodium, but to be honest I have no idea as to how one would count those numbers.

Brine for Turkey

Ingredients to make enough brine for a 12-18 pound turkey:

1/2 gallons veggie stock
1/2 gallon apple juice
1 large onion sliced
2 stalks celery rough chopped include leaves
1 cup sea salt
1 T rosemary
1 T sage
1 T thyme
1 handful peppercorns
1 T savory
1 gallon ice water


Combine all except the ice water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Stir until the salt is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Pour into a large food safe container such as a large pot with lid or plastic container with lid large enough to hold all the liquid and the turkey. It will need to hold about five gallons to be large enough and you may need to purchase a special container just for this project. Food safe is critical. Do not use a large garbage bag or a regular bucket designed for use while mopping I don't care how new it is.

Add the ice water to the brine starter and stir.

Remove the goodie bags from the turkey, rinse and dry it by wiping it with paper towels.

Then add the turkey and make sure it is pushed into the liquid so that it runs throughout the cavities.

Cover and place in the fridge overnight. The next morning, remove the turkey and drain off the excess brine and pat dry with paper towels.

Cook as usual except for one thing - you won't need to baste! Because you won't be opening the oven door all the time letting out the heat, you will find that the turkey cooks a bit faster - by about 30 minutes.

Brian's Smoked or Grilled Turkey

Smoking or grilling turkey is a wonderful way to make a flavorful bird that is so much easier than messing about in and heating up a kitchen! If you are a calorie counter, make sure you take a weighed portion and count up those calories using these nutrition facts for white meat turkey or the nutrition facts for dark meat turkey from Calorie Count!

Smoked or Grilled Turkey

1 fresh 14 pound turkey
3-4 cloves crushed garlic

Turkey Preparation:

spread crushed garlic inside turkey
salt and pepper inside of turkey
Place medallions of butter under turkey skin on top half of turkey
Salt and pepper outside of turkey

Smoking Instructions:

Smoke in a charcoal smoker using your smokers directions at 230 for 8 hours or until an internal temp of 165 is achieved using hickory chips for smoke flavor

Grilling Instructions:

Start 50 coals in a charcoal chimney, divide coals so that half are on each side of the kettle grill. Place a drip pan between the 2 piles. Place giblets in drip pan with 3 cups water. Add 6 coals to each pile every hour and grill until an internal temp of 165 is achieved (2-3 hours) Baste every hour with apple juice.

Additional Yumminess

Tent turkey with tin foil and allow it to rest for 1 hour.
Remove drip pan from grill
in frying pan,melt 2 Tbs butter
Add 2 Tbs flour to melted butter and form a roux
Add contents of drip pan after skimming off fat
Stir until a nice gravy consistency is met

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Janice's Roasted Cauliflower

Simple and superb way to serve cauliflower. The nutrition facts are at Calorie Count!

Roasted Cauliflower


2 tablespoons (minimum) garlic cut into slices
2 tablespoons pure olive oil or canola oil (do not use extra virgin olive oil)
1 large head cauliflower, separated into florets (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup onion sliced into chunks about the size of the florets

1/3 cup Panko
black pepper to taste
cayenne pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley*
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese


Peel and slice the garlic and set aside. Rinse, trim and separate the cauliflower into florets of approximately equal size so they roast evenly.

Mix the Panko, black pepper, cayenne, parsley, and garlic slices in a large bowl. Add the prepared cauliflower and onion. Mix well, drizzle with olive oil, and toss. The ingredients should be lightly coated with oil. If not, you may need to toss more or add a smidge more oil.

Spread onto a baking sheet and place in a preheated to 425 F oven for about 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is only just tender, top with the cheese and return to the oven for a few more minutes - you don't want the cheese to blacken, but brown is nice...just heated works well too!

If you want to consider adding other veggies, make sure that they are of the type that will cook in about the same amount of time so you don't get some not-quite-done and some just right. Broccoli would be a good addition here!

* you can jazz up the flavor with other herbs instead of cayenne. Try thyme, rosemary, mustard, cumin, or even nutmeg!

Bubbles Cauliflower Salad

Enjoy this wonderful cauliflower salad from Bubbles! The terrific nutrition facts are at Calorie Count!

Cauliflower Salad


1 cauliflower cut into little florretts (about 4 cups)
4 little green onions, whites and greens chopped.
2 cups of snap peas, freash, chopped into about 3/8 to 1/2 inch segments


1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp rice vinegar
3/4 tbsp brown mustard
3/4 tbsp yellow curry


Rinse, chop, and combine the veggies in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix the dressing ingredients and then toss with the veggies.

Also delicious with a fresh tomato on the side.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Aline's Crawfish Etouffee

My wonderful Cajun friend Aline is a terrific source for a lot of Louisiana style cookery! This recipe was her submission for the Football Futbol Chefery Challenge.  The nutrition facts can be found at Calorie Count!

Her team: The New Orleans Saints
Her recipe: Crawfish Etouffee


1 Lb. Crayfish (bag of peeled tails*)
1 Medium Onion (Chopped Fine)
2 Stalks Celery
1/2 large Green Bell Pepper (or one small)
1 Stick Butter
3 Tablespoons Tony Chachere Instant Roux**
1 Cup Water Cold Water
1 clove garlic
1/2  Tsp. of Salt or Salt or to your Taste
1/2 Tsp. Red Hot Pepper Sauce
1/4 t ground black pepper or to your Taste
1/3 can Cream of Mushroom soup
3 Stalks Green Onions (Chopped)
1 to 1-1/2 cups of white rice, cooked per package directions


Saute onion, celery, bell pepper , and garlic for 10 to 12 minutes.  Add crayfish, salt, red pepper, cream of mushroom soup and Roux simmer for about 20 minutes.  Add 1 cup of water and simmer for another 15 minutes (if too thick add more water).  Turn off and mix in green onions and let cool for about 10 minutes.

Serve over white rice.


yup, that's a crawfish/crayfish/crawdad
* Peeling a crawfish is very similar to prepping a shrimp, except that the shell is harder and more red in color. They are common in South Louisiana.. Break off the head and peel the tail and pop them in the Etouffee! There are many ways to cook a crawfish - many love to boil them in the same way you do a shrimp boil.

**make your own roux if you prefer, but Tony Chachere makes a great instant version!