Monday, November 14, 2016

Strawberry-Cream Cheese Dessert WW Plus+ = 3

Prep Time: 25 Minutes.
Cooking Time: 10 Minutes.
Total Time: 5 Hours.


1-1/2 cups finely crushed pretzels
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1 stick margarine, melted
1-1/2 (8 oz) bars Neufchatel Cheese, softened
2 tbsp skim milk
1 cup sugar free frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 cups boiling water
1 (0.6 oz) box sugar-free strawberry gelatin
1-1/2 cups cold water
4 cups fresh strawberries, sliced


1. Preheat oven to 350° F.

2. Mix together the pretzel crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar and margarine; press onto bottom of a 13x9-inch pan. Bake 10 minutes Cool.

3. Beat the Neufchatel, remaining sugar and milk until blended. Stir in the thawed whipped topping; spread over crust. Refrigerate until ready to use.

4. Add boiling water to gelatin mix in a large bowl; stir 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Stir in cold water. Refrigerate 1-1/2 hours or until thickened. Stir in strawberries; spoon over Neufchatel layer. Refrigerate 3 hours or until firm. Cut into 20 equal sized squares.

Yield: 20 Servings.

Weight Watchers PointsPlus+ = 3
Carb Choices: 1/2

Diet Exchange: 1/2 Carbohydrate + 1-1/2 Fat

Calories: 110, Total Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 10mg, Sodium: 160mg, Carbohydrates: 10g,
Fiber: 1g, Sugars: 6g, Protein: 2g, Vitamin A: 6 %DV, Vitamin C: 25 %DV, Calcium: 2 %DV, Iron: 0 %DV

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Grandpa's Classic Coney Sauce

Ingredients Serves 12 7 items on sale
Choose your zip, pick favorite stores
2 lb ground beef
1⁄2 cup onion, chopped
1 1⁄2 cup ketchup
1⁄4 cup white sugar
1⁄4 cup white vinegar
1⁄4 cup prepared yellow mustard
1⁄2 tsp celery seeds
3⁄4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1⁄2 tsp ground black pepper
3⁄4 tsp salt

Prep 10 min Cook 120 min Ready 130 min
Place the ground beef and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring to crumble, until beef is browned. Drain. Transfer the beef and onion to a slow cooker and stir in ketchup, sugar, vinegar and mustard. Season with celery seed, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and salt. Cover and simmer on Low setting for a few hours before serving.
Recipe originally inspired by AllRecipes with 5-star rating and 206 reviews.
Nutritional Information

Serving Size: 1/12 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 187 Calories from Fat 83
% Daily Value
Total Fat 9g 14%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 46mg 15%
Sodium 586mg 23%
Potassium 293mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Sugars 11g
Protein 14g 27%
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Nutrient information may not be available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data. Use this data as a guide only.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Chicken with Asparagus and Three Cheeses

Chicken and Asparagus with Three Cheeses
(Makes 4 servings, recipe created by Kalyn)

4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, each cut in two pieces
olive oil for browning chicken
salt, pepper, poultry seasoning for seasoning chicken
1 lb. fresh asparagus
1 cup chicken stock, simmer until reduced to 3/4 cup
1/2 cup low fat sour cream
3 oz. soft goat cheese (Chevre or Montrachet type)
3 T Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup low fat sharp cheddar

Preheat oven to 375. Trim all visible fat and membrane from chicken breasts and cut each one in half crosswise.

Season chicken with spices, then saute in large frying pan in about 1 T olive oil. Cook until chicken pieces are well browned on both sides. (You will have to turn each piece a couple of times to get this result. Don't rush this step.)

Meanwhile, cut off woody ends of asparagus. (Snap one piece to see how much to cut off, it will break off right where the woody part starts.) Cut asparagus diagonally into 2 inch pieces. Bring pan of barely salted water to a gentle boil, put asparagus in and boil 3 minutes, drain, then put asparagus in cold water to stop cooking and drain again. Let it drain well.

Spray casserole dish with nonstick spray. Layer browned chicken, then asparagus. Use chicken stock to deglaze pan that you cooked the chicken in and scrape up all little browned bits. Let stock simmer about five minutes. Lower heat and whisk sour cream into sauce and continue to heat over very low heat. When mixture is hot (but not boiling) add goat cheese and Parmesan and whisk into sauce until melted. Do not boil or the mixture will separate.

Pour sauce over chicken and asparagus and sprinkle sharp cheddar over top. Bake 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and mixture is just starting to bubble. (Don't cook it too long or the sauce will separate.)

Grilled Zucchini Low-Carb Lasagna with Italian Sausage, Tomato, and Basil Sauce

Grilled Zucchini Slices made into Lasagna for a low-carb and gluten-free treat! I love this method of making lasagna with thick slices of barely-grilled zucchini replacing the noodles, and this is a favorite zucchini dish I look forward to every fall.

(Makes about 8 servings, recipe created by Kalyn.) 

It's important to use a dish that's fairly deep for this recipe.  The first time I made this I used a dish that was 9" x 11" and 3" deep.  This time I used my new lasagna pan that was 12.5" x 10" and 3" deep, which worked a lot better.  I would use the larger amounts of cottage cheese and egg for if you have a deep pan like this.)

2-4 large zucchini, cut into lengthwise or round slices about 5/8 inch thick (enough zucchini slices to make two layers, be careful not to cut too thin)
olive oil, for brushing lasagna slices
Italian Herb Blend, for sprinkling zucchini before grilling (optional) 
4 cups Sausage and Basil Marinara Sauce, reduced to make 3 cups. (See below for an option if you don't have homemade sauce.)
2 cups low-fat cottage cheese (or use 1 1/2 cups for smaller dish size)
4 eggs (or use 3 eggs for smaller dish size)
2 cups grated low-fat Mozzarella cheese 
1 cup coarsely grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
(or use about 3 cups of any type of white cheese that melts well)

Sauce Ingredients if You Don't Have Homemade Sauce: 
1 T olive oil 
1 pkg. (19.5 oz.) hot or mild turkey Italian Sausage links
24 oz. jar tomato-basil sauce (choose the lowest sugar sauce you can find)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (optional, but use if available)

If you don't have homemade sauce,  heat one tablespoon olive oil in frying pan with high sides.  Squeeze the turkey Italian sausage out of the links, and cook until it's nicely browned, breaking apart with a turner or potato masher as it cooks.  (Most turkey sausage will release some liquid; just cook until that evaporates.)  When the sausage is brown, add the jar of sauce and rinse out the jar with about 1/2 cup water.  Simmer until the sauce mixture is reduced to 3 cups, about 20 minutes, then stir in the chopped fresh basil if using.

Preheat oven to 400F.  Brush grill or stove-top grill pan with olive oil or spray with grill spray and preheat to high heat. (You can only hold your hand there for a few seconds at that heat.) While grill heats, cut zucchini into slices about 5/8 inch thick. Brush both sides of zucchini lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with Italian Herb Blend if using.  Grill zucchini slices until they're lightly browned on both sides, but not fully cooked, about 3-4 minutes per side.  Remove the zucchini slices to a cutting board and press lightly with a paper towel to absorb some of the moisture.  (Put zucchini between two pieces of paper towel if it seems especially juicy.)

Beat eggs in small bowl, then stir in cottage cheese.  (If using homemade sauce, be sure it has reduced to 3 cups.)

Spray heavy ceramic or glass lasagna dish with non-stick spray or olive oil.  Then make a layer of lasagna slices, a layer with half the sauce, a layer with half the cottage cheese-egg mixture, and a layer with half the cheese. Top with second layer of grilled lasagna slices, sauce, cottage cheese-egg mixture, and remaining cheese.

Bake 30-40 minutes, or until cheese is melted and browned on top and mixture is slightly bubbling. (I hate to cover it with foil because the cheese always sticks to the foil, but you can cover it for part of the time if you don't want the top quite so brown.) Let sit at least 10-15 minutes before cutting, then cut into pieces and serve hot.  (This will be a little juicier than regular lasagna, letting it sit for a few minutes will help with that.)

This keeps very well in the fridge for several days and it might even be better re-heated, because some of the juice absorbs into the zucchini when it's refrigerated!  I would not recommend freezing.

Thursday, June 2, 2016


I am not a big cake fan (ice cream is another story altogether). However, on occasion, I do enjoy a slice of white cake topped with berries and loads of homemade whipped cream. This low carb grain free white cake  is perfect for making such a treat. This is a cake recipe I make quite often.

It does not contain any grains, dairy, or sugar. As a sweetener, I like to use a blend of erythritol and liquid stevia.

Note: I do not use stevia when I make the cake for my husband. He says he can taste it and HATES it. I have tried putting just a few drops, but he can usually tell. :/ He says it has a bitter aftertaste. You can leave the stevia, out and add a bit more erythritol if you do not find the cake sweet enough.  You can also replace the erythritol with xylitol (a natural granulated sugar) or plain white sugar if you prefer.

Note: I buy my supplies from Amazon, Vitacost, or iHerb. (The last two being my favorites.)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a bowl: place the coconut flour,  salt, baking soda, and erythritol (or xylitol/granulated sugar substitute of your choice). Mix with a whisk until no lumps are left.

In another bowl: combine the coconut oil, vanilla extract, butter extract (if using), liquid vanilla stevia, two egg yolks, and three whole eggs. Mix with your whisk until well combined.

Incorporate the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and mix until well combined. At this point, your batter will be very thick.

With a hand mixer, beat the remaining two egg whites into soft peaks and gently incorporate them into the batter.

Grease an 8-inch cake pan (I like to use a springform pan for ease).

Place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom.

Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Do not over-bake or the cake will be quite dry.

Let cool for 15 minutes before removing.

Makes one cake with 12 slices.

Trim Healthy Mama: S Recipe

1 serving is 3 Weight Watchers Point Plus

This information is based on a yield of 12 servings: calories: 125, total fat: 11.4g, sat fat: 8.6g, cholesterol: 68mg, sodium: 83mg, carbohydrates: 2.8g, fiber: 1.7g, sugars: 0, protein: 3g

Net Carbs: 1.1 g

Crescent Jalapeño Poppers

This unusual twist on chile poppers, with herbed cheese and a dollop of sweet salsa, roll up fast with prepared crescent dough.


4jalapeño chiles (about 3 inches long)

1/3cup Boursin cheese with garlic and herbs (from 5.2-oz container)

8slices packaged precooked bacon (from 2.2-oz package), halved

1can (8 oz) Pillsbury™ refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

1/2cup pineapple or fruit salsa, if desired


Heat oven to 375°F. Carefully remove stems from chiles; cut each in half lengthwise and again horizontally to make 4 pieces. Remove and discard seeds. Spoon about 1 teaspoon cheese into each chile quarter. Wrap half slice of bacon around each.

On cutting board, unroll dough; separate dough into 8 triangles. From center of longest side to opposite point, cut each triangle in half, making 16 triangles. Place chile, cheese side down, on dough triangle. Fold 1 point of triangle over filling; fold 2 remaining points over first point. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve with salsa.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Low Carb Jalapeno Popper Chicken Skillet 40 mins to make, serves 4-6


5 Slices bacon, cooked crisp and chopped
4-6 boneless chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat (If thick, flatten a bit with mallet)
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
8 Ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/4 Cup mayo
1/2 Teaspoon garlic powder
1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 Cup grated parmesan cheese
4-6 fresh jalapeno peppers, finely chopped (seeds and ribs removed)
cilantro sprigs for garnish

Serves 4-6
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Meal type Main Dis

Low Carb Jalapeno Popper Skillet evolved from Aunt Bee's Recipes' similarly named dish.

I've made a few changes to suit our tastes and cooking style.  Streamline clean-up by using a cast iron skillet -- cook the bacon, the chicken, saute the jalapenos and then heat the entire assembled dish.  I even bring it to the table in the cast iron skillet.  Easy!


Step 1

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Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Cook bacon to crispy, set aside.

Season chicken breasts with a little salt and pepper and cook over medium-high heat either in the same pan you used for the bacon (pour off all but 1 Tablespoon of grease) or use a different skillet and add about a tablespoon of olive oil.

Depending on the size of the breasts, cook each side 3-4 minutes, or until juices run clear.

While chicken is cooking, remove seeds/ribs from jalapenos. Chop peppers finely.

Once chicken is done, move to plate and set aside.

Add chopped jalapenos to pan and saute briefly. Turn off heat.

In medium bowl, mix cream cheese, mayo, a little salt and pepper to taste, garlic powder.

Add cheddar and parmesan cheeses (I reserve a little for topping before baking), sauteed jalapenos, crumbled bacon.

Place chicken back into skillet (or other ovenproof dish), top with cream cheese mixture, sprinkle a little additional cheddar and parmesan if desired.

Bake in oven until well heated (about 20 minutes).

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Meat, Tomato, and Mozzarella Stuffed Zucchini Cups

Meat, Tomato, and Mozzarella Stuffed Zucchini Cups use giant zucchini slices hollowed out to make "cups" and filled with a meat, tomato, and mozzarella mixture; so yummy! And this recipe is low-carb and gluten-free.

(Makes 6-8 servings, recipe created by Kalyn)
2 large zucchini or yellow squash, about 12 inches long
2 tsp. + 2 tsp. olive oil (may need more, depending on your pan)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 green pepper, finely chopped
2 T finely minced fresh garlic
1 lb. ground beef (10% fat or less)
12 oz. ground turkey (10% fat or less)
(use any combination of ground meat you'd like, but use low-fat ground meat for the South Beach Diet.)
1-2 tsp. Spike seasoning (optional but recommended)
2 C flavorful tomato-basil pasta sauce
2 cups low-fat mozzarella or other mild white cheese (I used low-fat blend of six cheeses called Italian blend.)

Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Chop onion and green pepper. Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a non-stick pan, then saute onion and pepper for 3-4 minutes, until just starting to soften. Add minced garlic and saute about 1 minute more, being careful not to brown the garlic. Remove the onion, pepper, and garlic mixture to a bowl.

Add 2 tsp. more olive oil to the pan. Crumble in the ground beef and ground turkey, season with Spike seasoning, and cook over medium heat until the meat is well browned. Tilt pan to see if there is any extra fat, and remove with a spoon if there is, then stir cooked vegetables and garlic back into the meat. Add tomato sauce and simmer until the mixture has thickened and liquid has cooked off, about 10 minutes, then turn off heat.

While meat cools, cut zucchini into 2 inch thick slices, discarding ends. Use a sharp spoon or melon baller to hollow out a cup in each zucchini slice, leaving just over 1/4 inch of zucchini flesh. Be careful not to get too close to the skin or the cups will leak liquid when they cook.

Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray and stand up zucchini cups, open end up. Stir 1 1/2 cups grated cheese into the cooled meat mixture (it doesn't need to be completely cool), then spoon the meat-cheese mixture into zucchini cups, pressing down with the spoon and mounding it up a little over the top of the zucchini.

Bake zucchini cups for 20 minutes, then remove from oven and use remaining cheese to top each one with a generous pinch of cheese. Put back in oven and bake 10-15 minutes more, until zucchini is slightly soft when pierced with a fork and cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve hot.

Low-Carb Pepperoni Pizza Chicken Bake

When you need some low-carb (and gluten-free) comfort food, try this Pepperoni Pizza Chicken Bake! This is a dinner the whole family will enjoy.

(Makes 6-8 servings, depending on what else you serve with it.  Recipe developed by Kalyn and Jake, with a few tries that weren't quite right but got eaten anyway!)

1 jar (14 oz) pizza sauce, reduced to 1 cup
(Use the lowest-carb sauce you can find, or make your own pizza sauce and omit the sugar.)
4 large boneless-skinless chicken breasts (6-8 oz. each)
1 T olive oil
1 tsp. Greek oregano (sometimes just called oregano)
1 tsp. garlic powder
6 oz. piece of part-skim Mozzarella, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
2 oz. sliced pepperoni (regular or turkey pepperoni)

Preheat oven to 400F/200C.  Put the pizza sauce in a small saucepan and simmer over low heat until it's reduced to one cup, about 20 minutes.  Don't skip this step or the dish will be watery.

While the sauce reduces, trim the chicken breasts and cut each one crosswise to make two same-size pieces.  Put chicken pieces one at a time inside a heavy plastic bag and use a meat mallet (or something heavy) to pound the chicken until it's as thin as you can get it without it shredding apart.  (Don't worry if some pieces break apart a little.)  Mix the Greek oregano and garlic powder in a little bowl and then sprinkle both sides of each piece of chicken with the mixture.

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in the largest non-stick frying pan you have (you may have to do this in 2 batches if your pan isn't big enough.) Add the chicken pieces and cook 1-2 minutes on each side, just long enough to brown the chicken but not long enough to cook it through.

Choose the smallest glass casserole dish you have that will fit all the browned chicken pieces, and lay the chicken in the dish in a single layer.  Cut the Mozzarella into slices and cut the slices as needed to make enough pieces to mostly cover the top of each piece of chicken.

By now the sauce should be nicely reduced, so spread sauce over the top of each chicken breast.  (Use it all.)  Top each piece with sliced Mozzarella and pepperoni slices, covering the top of each piece of chicken as much as you can.

Bake uncovered about 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and starting to brown and the pepperoni is slightly crisped.  (Some pieces of pepperoni will slice off the chicken, try not to obsess about that like I did.)  Serve hot.

I'm having leftovers of this tonight for dinner so I'll report back on how it reheats after it's been in the fridge a few days, but you probably won't have any left!  (Edit 1-14-15  This was great reheated in the microwave for a few minutes.)

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Here Are 13 Amazing Low Carb Foods For Your Diet

Having a good diet is very important. One should try to keep a balance between the kinds of food they consume. Listed below are suggestions on foods low on carbohydrate, which are essential for someone on a diet.

Low Carb Foods:
1. Yogurt:

Yogurt is fermented milk. It is a low carbohydrate food. It can be had as a desert or as a meal. It can complement almost any food. Yogurt can be had with fresh fruits as a snack or breakfast too. Departmental stores sell various kind of yogurt like low fat or flavoured yogurt.

2. Cherries:

Cherries are not only low on carbohydrates but help cure diseases and accelerate sleep. Moreover they are very tasty and are rich in vitamin C and A. they can be eaten as a fruit or cooked into a meal. Fresh cherries have a magnificent taste.

3. Red Grapefruit:

This fruit is loaded with vitamin C and is great in preventing diseases. They are low in carbohydrates and make a very delicious snack which makes it a great low carb food!

4. Plum:

 plum benefits

Plums are delicious, fleshy and succulent fruits which are low in carbohydrates and high in nutrients.

5. Peach:

Peaches are very appetizing and can be eating as a fruit or as a salad. They are great fruits to start the day with.

6. Watermelon:

Watermelons are bright red with dark green exteriors. They are the perfect summer fruit. They are high on water content and low on carbohydrates.

7. Guava:

Guavas make a very tasty fruit. It can be eaten as a fruit or in a fruit salad. Guava can also be made into a very delicious juice.

8. Kiwi:
The kiwifruit, often shortened kiwi is a hen egg shaped fruit. It has a very coarse and brown exterior but a wonderful green interior. High in nutrients like vitamin C, kiwi is great for a low Carb diet.

9. Cucumber:
Cucumbers are low on carbohydrates and very filling too. That is why they can be eaten as a full meal. They are refreshing and have high water content. They can be eaten instead of crackers and chips. Cucumbers are especially good for a hot summer day.

10. Carrots:

Apart from helping control weight, carrots can do a lot more like improving vision, preventing cancer, resulting in healthy skin, cleansing the body and taking care of the gums. They are great to eat and are great as salads or side dishes. Desserts can also be made from carrots.

11. Meat:

A good steak can be very filling and yet is very low on carbohydrates. There are numerous main course dishes which can be made with meat. Meat is a tasty and healthy way to maintain your diet. Remember to avoid red or fried meat, only consume cooked and boiled meat.

12. Fish:

Salmon, hilsa, tuna, mackerel, anchovies, bass, catfish, snapper and pomfret; when it comes to fish there are a vast number of choices. Fish are high on nutrients but low on carbohydrates. Grilled fish with boiled vegetables can be a very tasty and at the same time non fattening meal.

13. Eggs:

Eggs can be eaten in a variety of ways. They can be eaten as an omelette, a fried egg, scrambled or boiled. They can also be used to cook other dishes like cakes. They are loaded with nutrients like proteins which are very important for the body. Eggs can also be eaten as a substitute to cereals filled with carbohydrates.

50 Fantastic Low Carb Snacks .

Having quick and easy snacks will often help you stay on your Low Carb eating plan, don't be afraid to get creative with things.

Making snacks ahead of time will keep you from reaching for traditional high carb snacks, keeping you on track with weight loss.

What Should You Consider When Choosing A Low Carb Snack?
Ideally in the simplest sense, a low carb snack should have minimal carbs (duh!) but also have one or both of the following characteristics.  Higher in protein, protein can help you build and repair muscle, it will also help you feel full longer.  The food should also contain some fat which is caloric dense and will also help you keep feeling full.

Secondly, the snack could be fiberous veggies instead of protein/fat examples such as celery, broccoli, spinach. These have minimal carbs, plenty of fiber and will help keep you feeling full.​

1) Little Smokies

​2) Peanut Butter and Celery

3) Ham and Cheese Roll Ups

4) String Cheese

5) Beef Jerky

6) Tuna and lettuce wraps

7) Homemade Trail Mix (mixed nuts)

8) Hard Boiled Eggs

9) Cottage Cheese and Raspberries

10) Stuffed Mushrooms

11) Pepperoni and Cheese Cubes

12) Oscar Meyer Protein Pack

13) Pickles

14) Bacon Crumbles

15) Meatballs

16) Plain full fat yogurt

17) Berries

18) Deli Meats

19) Pork Rinds

20) Cucumbers

21) Sunflower SEeds

22) Sardines

23) Celery w/cream cheese

24) Baked Parmesan Crisps

25) Pulled Pork Wraps​

26) Dark Chocolate 85%+ (higher the better)

27) Sandwich Pepperoni wrapped cheese stick

28) Cucumber Sandwiches

29) Celery and Cottage Cheese

30) Pepper Slices

32) Deviled Eggs

33) Shredded Cheddar Baked Crisp

34) Grilled Chicken Bites

35) Sugar Free Jello

36) Chocolate Trail Mix (dark chocolate chips and mixed nuts)

37) egg salad bacon wraps

38) Kale Chips

39) Pepperoni Crips (baked pepperoni)

40) Broccoli

41) Broccoli Cheese Bites

42) Almonds

43) Olives and Feta Cheese

44) Egg Muffin Bites

45) Salami Cream Cheese Rolls

46) Pickle Tuna Sandwich (sliced pickles with tuna filling)

47) Cucumber Subs (stuff with whatever meat of your choosing)

48) Antipasto Salad

49) Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

50) Fat Bombs​

There have been a lot of requests for us to provide recipes for each of the above snack ideas. Some are fairly straight forward, while others are a little more complex.  Rest assured we will be publishing recipes in the near future for each of these items.  If you have any requests you want to see right away please post below in the comments.

Philly Stuffed Peppers

I spent last weekend "back at college" celebrating my baby sisters graduation... everytime I go I realize why I gained so many lbs lol!  Every meal was something oh so bad for me but oh so tasty!  It is crazy once you start to cut out a majority of the bad stuff that you can feel your body act differently when you put it back in. By Sunday night I wasn't feeling so great and I was craving something with some nutrients.  I pinned this recipe awhile back and figured it would be the perfect thing to try.

  I loved that this had no refined carbs and was super filling for under 180 calories a pepper half.  Also it took a few ingredients and not too much prep work to make which is perfect in my book.  I got the original recipe here but modified it to make it a bit bigger and a bit healthier!

4 green peppers cut in half and seeded
1 tbs coconut oil
1 small sweet onion chopped
1 package button mushrooms sliced
1 clove garlic
1 lb roast beef sliced, and cut into strips
8 pieces of mozzarella cheese


1) In large skillet heat coconut oil, add onion, mushrooms, garlic, and S&P to taste
2) Sautee until onions are translucent and mushrooms become tender
3) Add roast beef and heat through
4) Place pepper halves in large baking dish, place half a piece of cheese into each half, top with some beef/onion/mushroom mixture, then top with other half of cheese
5) Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes until peppers are soft and cheese is melted (you can include a little bit of water in the bottom of the pan to help the peppers soften up while cooking if you like them softer)
6) Enjoy!

High Protein, low carb recipes/GARLIC PARMESAN CHICKEN/

One of my all time favorite aromas in a kitchen is the smell of sauteing garlic.

Pure.bliss. (Note if you do not love garlic, this recipe is not for you)

Seriously, if I run out of garlic, my kitchen closes down. I don’t know how to cook with out. (Okay, I’m a tad bit exaggerating but this Italian girl loves her garlic!)

This recipe is quick and simple….but it feels like you are eating out. It doesn’t take fancy skills or lots of expensive ingredients to make a great dish.

Garlic Parmesan Chicken is good enough to stand alone but is wonderful over pasta. Or, if you are gluten-free, like me, try it over zucchini noodles. This (Amazon link) tool to make ‘zoodles’ has been worth the investment. I use it several times a week.

3 tbsp. butter
6 cloves minced garlic
2 chicken breasts-chopped into bite size pieces
sea salt
¼-1/2 cups parm cheese
2 cups spinach

Saute garlic in butter for a minute or two
Add chicken pieces, salt, and cook until no longer pink in the middle.
Make sure to stir chicken to coat with butter and garlic
Add parm cheese and stir until the chicken is coated.
Add spinach and cook until wilted
Serve by itself or over pasta or zoodles

Friday, May 27, 2016

Skinny Bell Pepper Nacho Boats

Sure- nachos taste delicious, but they probably don’t rank high on the list of nutritious, wholesome recipes, especially when you’re trying to eat healthy! However, you can satisfy your cravings for this classic Tex-Mex snack without worrying about your waistline by subbing in bell peppers for ordinary tortilla chips. This recipe for Bell Pepper Nacho Boats calls for delicious ingredients, like lean ground meat, savory spices, juicy salsa, and melted cheddar cheese.

Instead of lathering the mixture over carb-laden chips, simply stuff the wholesome combination of flavors and textures into nutrient-rich pepper boats! This lightened up dish makes a perfect appetizer at parties or game night, while allowing you and family to indulge in nachos while still eating clean. For a super vibrant and eye-catching presentation, use a mix of different colored bell peppers!  If you prefer a sweeter bell pepper, opt for red as they are the sweetest of all the peppers. Green is more on the bitter side, while yellow and orange are a little sweeter and have a milder taste. This easy to prepare recipe is low-carb, low-calorie, and high protein. So, eat up!

Yields: 18 boats | Serving: 2 boats | Calories: 145 | Total Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 293mg | Carbohydrates: 4g | Fiber: 1g | Sugars: 2g | Protein: 13g | SmartPoints: 4 |


1 pound lean ground turkey
1 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
3/4 cup salsa, no sugar added
1 cup grated cheddar cheese, reduced-fat
3 bell peppers


Remove seeds, core, and membrane from bell peppers then slice each one into 6 verticle pieces where they dip down. Set sliced bell peppers aside.

Cook ground turkey over medium-high heat, breaking up as it cooks. Cook until the turkey loses it's pink color and is cooked through. Drain off any fat.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine cooked turkey with spices and salsa. Evenly distribute mixture into the bell pepper boats, top with cheese. Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and peppers are hot.

NOTE: If you prefer much softer bell peppers, add a few tablespoons water to the bottom of a large casserole dish, add filled nachos, cover tightly with foil and bake 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and add additional toppings, If desired.

Optional ingredients: sliced Jalepeno peppers, diced avocado, fat-free Greek yogurt or sour cream, or sliced green onions.



When you can’t eat bread, either because of allergies, diabetes, or you are choosing to be on a low carb diet, this recipe for Low Carb Cauliflower Breadsticks will put a big smile on your face and help you stick to that new year’s resolution!

I have always been pretty addicted to carbs, but I feel so much better when I limit them in my diet. My body responds better to eating a high protein, low carb diet. I have more energy, my head is clearer, I sleep better, I’m so much more productive, the list could go on. I just feel all around great when I limit my carb intake.

Because I feel so much better, I don’t want to slip back into my old habits that make me feel not-so-good, but I sure do miss bread. When I saw a recipe for Cauliflower Squares on Allrecipes, I thought they looked like an interesting addition to my low carb diet. There are a whole host of recipes for Cauliflower Breadsticks on the web, but this one looked easy enough. I made some adjustments to the recipe, because I can’t help myself, but I think it turned out almost as good as cheesy bread.

These low carb breadsticks taste fresh, garlicky, and cheesy just like an amazing garlic bread smothered in a layer of Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. There is a hint of cauliflower flavor, but it certainly doesn’t overwhelm. The texture is a bit softer than bread, but that didn’t bother me one bit, because all I could think about was the ooey gooey goodness of the garlicky cheese bursting with fresh basil just like my favorite cheesy bread, but it’s low carb!! I am so happy I can enjoy cheesy bread while eating a low carb diet, I don’t even care that it is ‘faux cheesy bread’.

My next adventure in cauliflower bread will be low carb pizza crust! The topping choices are endless, so I’m having a hard time deciding where to start, but I’m excited to enjoy pizza while living a low carb lifestyle. What do you think? Where should I start? What is your favorite pizza topping?

Low Carb Cauliflower Breadsticks with fresh herbs, garlic, and lots of ooey gooey cheese atop a cauliflower crust looks and tastes like cheesy bread.

Prep time  15 mins
Cook time  15 mins

Total time    30 mins

Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 4-6 Servings

1 head cauliflower, riced
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan Cheese
1 large egg
1/2 tablespoon freshly minced garlic
1/2 tablespoon freshly chopped basil
1/2 tablespoon freshly chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
To rice the cauliflower I cored it and broke it into florets. Then I placed it in the bowl of my food processor and pulsed until it was the texture of rice.
In a large bowl, mix the riced cauliflower, 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 1 egg, 1/2 tablespoon fresh garlic, 1/2 tablespoon fresh basil, 1/2 tablespoon fresh parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper until combined and holds together. Place the mixture onto the parchment lined baking sheet and spread out into a rectangle about 9x7" and 1/4" thick.
Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and top with 3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese and return to oven to continue baking until the cheese is melted and starting to brown. Cool about 10 minutes and cut into 'breadsticks'. Garnish with fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese. Serve with your favorite Red Sauce and enjoy!


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Low-Carb Sausage and Kale Mock Lasagna Casserole (Gluten-Free)

This Low-Carb Sausage and Kale Mock Lasagna is so delicious, you won't even miss the noodles!
(Makes 6-8 servings; recipe created by Kalyn.)
2 medium-sized bunches of kale
1 tsp. salt (for water to cook kale)
2 tsp. olive oil
1 pkg (19.5 oz) hot turkey Italian Sausage
3 cups low-sugar pasta sauce (I used Classico Tomato and Basil sauce from a jar because I didn't have any homemade sauce)
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. ground fennel
2 T + 2 T finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 C + 1 C grated reduced-fat mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375F/190C.  Spray a 9" x 12" lasagna-type glass or crockery casserole dish with olive oil or non-stick spray.

Add the salt to a large pot of water and bring to a boil.  Trim stems from the kale, then cut the kale into ribbons about 1/2 inch wide.  When the water starts to boil add the kale, lower heat so the water is gently boiling, and cook kale 5-6 minutes.  Drain kale into a colander in the sink and let it continue to drain while you prepare other ingredients.  (I used a salad spinner to gently spin the water from the cooked kale and then let it continue to drain.)

While the kale is cooking, heat the oil in a large heavy frying pan, squeeze sausage out of the casings, and saute until the sausage is cooked through and nicely browned, breaking it apart with the turner as it cooks.  When the sausage is done, add the pasta sauce, dried basil, and ground fennel.  Stir to combine and let the sauce simmer 20-25 minutes, or until it's thickened and the liquid is reduced.

In the casserole dish, layer 1/2 the drained kale, sprinkle 2 T Parmesan, 1/2 the sauce, and 1 cup mozzarella.  Repeat with another layer of kale, Parmesan, sauce, and mozzarella.  Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake another 15-20 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbling and cheese is starting to brown.

Let the mock lasagna sit for about 5 minutes before you cut it.  Serve hot.

I am guessing this freezes well, although I haven't thawed out any of my frozen servings yet.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

12 Deliciously Healthy Low-Carb Casserole Recipes

Low-Carb Turkey Casserole with Mushrooms, Mozzarella, and Cauliflower Rice
(Makes 8 servings; recipe created by Kalyn and Kara, after many previous attempts that were not keepers!)

Low-Carb Ham and Cauliflower Casserole au Gratin

This Low-Carb Ham and Cauliflower Casserole Au Gratin is definitely a treat for low-carb comfort food, and it's also gluten-free and South Beach Diet friendly.

Low-Carb Sausage and Roasted Peppers Mock Lasagna Casserole

If you like the flavor combination of sausage and peppers and the cheesy goodness of lasagna, you'll love this Low-Carb Sausage and Roasted Peppers Mock Lasagna Casserole! This delicious mock lasagna is also gluten-free.

Sausage, Peppers, and Mushrooms Low-Carb Cheesy Bake
Sausage, Peppers, and Mushrooms Low-Carb Cheesy Bake is easy and delicious for a quick dinner and this tasty casserole is gluten-free if you pick the right sausage!
(Makes about 6 servings, depending on what else you serve it with; recipe created by Kalyn.).

Low-Carb Cauliflower Rice Southwestern Stuffed Peppers with Turkey and Poblanos (Gluten-Free)

Delicious Cauliflower Rice Low-Carb Stuffed Peppers with Southwestern Flavors!
(Makes 6 peppers; recipe created by Kalyn and Kara.)

Low-Carb Enchilada Casserole with Ground Turkey and Chiles
This Ground Turkey Low-Carb Enchilada Casserole was so good, I had leftovers for breakfast one day. And this healthy enchilada casserole made with ground turkey is low-carb and gluten-free!

Makes 8 servings; recipe created by Kalyn and inspired by Green Chile and Chicken Mock Enchilada Casserole.

Low-Carb Stuffed Peppers with Turkey Italian Sausage, Ground Beef, and Mozzarella

These Low-Carb Stuffed Peppers with Turkey Italian Sausage, Ground Beef, and Mozzarella are delicious and easy to make! And this recipe is also gluten-free and the peppers freeze well for an easy meal later.

Low-Carb Mock Lasagna Spaghetti Squash Casserole
This Low-Carb (and Gluten-Free) Mock Lasagna Spaghetti Squash Casserole is serious comfort food, and you won't miss the carbs. We used turkey Italian sausage in this spaghetti squash lasagna, but make a meatless version if you prefer.

Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake Recipe (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free)

If you like zucchini, fresh basil, and cheese, you'll love this Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake. And for those who care, this tasty recipe is low-carb, gluten-free, meatless, and South Beach Diet friendly.

(Makes 4-6 servings; recipe adapted from a recipe by Karen Niessing in Penzeys Back to School 2011 Catalog, with suggestions from my sister Pam.)

Twice-Baked Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Parmesan.

Spaghetti squash is delicious with pesto and Parmesan and this Twice-Baked Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Parmesan is low-carb and gluten-free. It makes a nice winter side dish if you're avoiding higher-carb vegetables.

Baked Chicken with Curry Sauce
Years ago when my niece Kara got married we had a recipe shower, and her future mother-in-law shared this recipe for chicken breasts with a creamy sauce.  It's one of those simple recipes that really do taste good, and when I first started the South Beach Diet I ate this fairly often for an easy dinner.  Nowdays I rarely cook with canned soup, but I can see from the stats that this recipe does have some fans despite the fact that it's gone for six years without a photo!

Alice Springs Chicken Casserole
(Makes  4-6 servings, recipe inspired by a version of Outback Steakhouse Alice Springs Chicken created by my brother-in-law Kelly)

Monday, May 23, 2016

Low-Carb Turkey Casserole with Mushrooms, Mozzarella, and Cauliflower Rice

You can also use chicken to make this Low-Carb and Gluten-Free Turkey Casserole with Mushrooms, Mozzarella, and Cauliflower Rice.

(Makes 8 servings; recipe created by Kalyn and Kara, after many previous attempts that were not keepers!)
6 cups chopped cauliflower
1 pound Crimini (Baby Bella) mushrooms, washed and sliced
4 cups cooked leftover turkey or chicken
1 onion, chopped
2 T olive oil, divided (more or less depending on your pan)
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried Poultry Seasoning
salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
1 cup coarsely grated Mozzarella (or more; I used reduced-fat Mozzarella)

Sauce Ingredients:
1 cup sour cream (regular or light but do not use fat-free which has added sugar)
1/2 cup mayo
2 T Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried Poultry seasoning
1 cup grated Mozzarella (I used reduced-fat Mozzarella)
1/4 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese

Spray a large glass or crockery casserole dish with olive oil or non-stick spray.  (I used a dish that was 10" x 13" but any size that's close to that will work.)  Preheat oven to 375F/190C.

Chop up enough cauliflower to make 6 cups of small cauliflower pieces.  The use a food processor with a steel blade to pulse the cauliflower until it's finely chopped, slightly larger then kernels of rice.  (See the recipe for cauliflower rice for more about how to do this.  You can also chop the cauliflower by grating it on the side of a box grater.)

Wash the mushrooms and cut into thick half slices.  Dice the leftover turkey (or chicken) into bite-sized pieces.  Mix together the sour cream, mayo, Dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp each dried thyme and Poultry seasoning, 1 cup grated Mozzarella, and 1/4 cup Parmesan to make the thick sauce mixture.

Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan and saute the mushrooms over medium-high heat until they release their liquid, all liquid evaporates, and mushrooms are starting to brown.  Put mushrooms in the bottom of the casserole dish.  Add about 2 tsp. more olive oil and saute the onions over medium-high heat until they are softened and starting to brown.  Put onions over the mushrooms in the casserole dish.  Heat another 2 tsp. of olive oil and add the finely-chopped cauliflower.  Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the cauliflower is starting to soften and barely brown, about 3-4 minutes.  Add the 1 teaspoon each of dried thyme and Poultry Seasoning and cook about 1 minute more.  Season the cauliflower rice with a little salt and fresh-ground black pepper; then put it into the casserole dish over the mushrooms and onions.

Put the diced turkey into the casserole dish over the veggies and use a plastic spoon to combine the ingredients right in the dish.  (You can do this in a bowl if you prefer, but we were trying to get away without dirtying another dish!)  Spread the sauce mixture over the top and then use the spoon to gently combine the ingredients with the sauce, until the ingredients are well mixed into the sauce.   Wipe off the sides of the casserole dish with a paper towel if needed.  Sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese and bake uncovered until the casserole is starting to bubble and the top is nicely browned, about 40 minutes.

Let cool about 5 minutes; then cut into 8 servings and eat while hot.  This kept amazingly well in the fridge for days, and can easily be reheated in the microwave or in a pan on top of the stove.  I'm guessing it freezes well, but I ate all my leftovers before I could freeze any.

Low-Carb Ham and Cauliflower Casserole au Gratin

This Low-Carb Ham and Cauliflower Casserole Au Gratin is definitely a treat for low-carb comfort food, and it's also gluten-free and South Beach Diet friendly.

at least 6 cups cauliflower flowerets, cut fairly small (1 large head cauliflower or 1 1/2 small heads)
1/2 tsp. salt (for water to cook cauliflower)
2 cups diced lean ham
4 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup fat-free Greek yogurt (I used my favorite fat-free Greek yogurt but you can also make this with sour cream if you prefer.)
2 T finely-grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
fresh ground black pepper to taste
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese (or more, depending on the size of your dish)

Preheat oven to 350F/180C.  Fill a medium-sized pot half full with water, add 1/2 tsp. salt, and start to bring to a boil.  Cut up the cauliflower into small flowerets, discarding the leaves and core.  Put cauliflower pieces into the water and cook at a low boil until the cauliflower is starting to get barely sort. Check it often and don't overcook; the cauliflower will soften more in the oven.

While cauliflower is cooking, cut the ham into very small cubes and slice green onions. Put cream cheese into a glass dish or measuring cup and soften it in the microwave for a few minutes.   (Or you can soften it on top of the pre-heating oven if you don't have a microwave.)  When cream cheese is soft stir in the Greek yogurt (or sour cream), Parmesan, and sliced green onions.

When cauliflower is cooked enough to start to soften, pour into a colander placed in the sink and let it drain well (at least 5 minutes.)  Put the drained cauliflower back into the pot you cooked it in and mash with a potato masher until it's barely mashed with quite a few chunks left.  Stir in the sauce mixture and combine well with the cauliflower; then gently mix in the diced ham.  Season to taste with fresh-ground black pepper.  (I didn't use salt because the ham and the Parmesan are both salty.)

Spray glass or crockery casserole dish with non-stick spray or olive oil.  (I used a round dish that was 8 inches across with fairly high sides the first time I made this. For the new photos I used a glass casserole dish that was about 8" x 10".)  Pour cauliflower mixture into the dish, spread out evenly, and sprinkle with the cheese.

Bake 30-35 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned and all the mixture is hot throughout and starting to bubble.  Let sit 10 minutes for any liquid to be absorbed, then serve hot.

I am assuming that this freezes well, but I still haven't tried freezing it because I never have any leftovers.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Low-Carb Sausage and Roasted Peppers Mock Lasagna Casserole

If you like the flavor combination of sausage and peppers and the cheesy goodness of lasagna, you'll love this Low-Carb Sausage and Roasted Peppers Mock Lasagna Casserole! This delicious mock lasagna is also gluten-free

(Makes 6-8 servings; inspired by Slow Cooker Sausage and Four Cheese Lasagna from The Perfect Pantry and perfected with recipe testing help from Jake and Kara.)

5 links (19.5 oz.) hot or mild turkey Italian sausage (I used Jenni-O Hot sausage)
2 tsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced small
2-3 tsp. minced garlic
1 can (14.5 oz.) crushed tomatoes with juice
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with juice
1 T tomato paste
1 T Dijon mustard (probably optional but highly recommended)
1 tsp. Italian Sausage Seasoning (optional; you could use Italian seasoning instead if you have that)
4-6 T chopped fresh basil, divided (I used my frozen basil; use basil pesto from a jar or chopped basil from a tube if you don't have fresh or frozen basil.)
2/3 C + 2/3 C grated Mozzarella
1 cup cottage cheese
15 oz. Ricotta cheese (slightly over 2 cups of ricotta)
2 eggs
1/2 C + 1/4 C grated Parmesan
4 or 5 fresh red bell peppers (We used 4 peppers, but next time I would use 5. If you're not up for roasting peppers, use 2 jars -12 oz. each - of roasted red peppers, drain them well and pat dry.)

Heat the olive oil in a large deep frying pan, squeeze the turkey Italian sausage into the pan and cook over medium-high heat until the sausage is nicely browned and all liquid has evaporated. Break it apart with a turner (or use an old-fashioned potato masher) while it cooks. When the sausage is brown add the diced onion and minced garlic and cook 2-3 minutes more.

Add the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, Dijon mustard, Italian sausage seasoning (if using), and 2-3 T chopped basil, stir to combine, then turn the heat to low and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated and you have a thick sauce, about 15-20 minutes.

While the sauce simmers, mix 2/3 cup Mozzarella, cottage cheese, Ricotta cheese, eggs, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and the other 2-3 T chopped basil to make the cheese mixture.

Preheat broiler and spray a large baking sheet with non-stick spray.  Cut each pepper in quarters lengthwise, cutting away the stem and seeds, and place peppers skin side up on the baking sheet. Put the baking sheet with the peppers about 3-4 inches away from the broiler heat element and broil peppers until the skin is mostly black and charred. (You will have to watch them, actual time will depend on your broiler.)

When the pepper skins are mostly black and charred immediately transfer peppers to a plastic or glass bowl and cover with cling-wrap. Let them steam in the bowl about 15 minutes, then peel the skins from the peppers. (The skin should come off quite easily, but no problem if a little skin stays on.)

Switch the oven to bake and preheat to 375F/190C. Spray a large baking dish with non-stick spray. (I used a dish that was 13" x 8" but any similar size will work.)

Make layers with half the roasted peppers, half the sausage sauce, and half the cheese mixture, spreading out the sauce and cheese mixture so it's even and covers the whole surface. Then make a second layer of each ingredient with the second half of the roasted peppers, sausage sauce, and cheese mixture. Sprinkle the other 2/3 cup grated Mozzarella and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan over the top.

Bake 45-55 minutes or until the the casserole is bubbling and the top is browned to your liking. Serve hot, with a little more grated Parmesan to add at the table if desired. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for several days and can also be frozen, and this reheats well.