Skinny Slow Cooker Oats

Delicious and easy recipe for slow cooker oats that you can cook 
overnight using steel cut oats.

  • 1 cup steel cut oats 
  • 4 cups water 
  • 2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • Splenda or Brown Sugar Splenda to taste 
Directions: Heavily coat slow cooker with cooking spray. Place oats in slow cooker and pour water over oats. Add in cinnamon and vanilla and stir to mix. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours overnight. Wake up and stir oats. Add Splenda and or Brown Sugar Splenda to taste. If the oats are too thick, simply add in skim milk or almond milk and stir to desired consistency.

Optional: Top with fresh blueberries, pecans, and milk. 

Nutrition Info Per Serving: (serves 4) Calories: 150, Fat: 2.5g, Carbohydrate: 27g, Fiber: 4g, Protein: 5g, Sugars: 1g


Savory Mac & Cheese "Muffins" with Spinach

O............M..............G!!      LOOKEY WHAT I FOUND! 
Oh, how I love homemade macaroni & cheese! Unfortunately, I love it so much that I rarely make it for fear that I will lose all portion control abilities and end up eating far more than I planned. And then comes....The Mac & Cheese Muffin!! 
I'm so flippin excited right now - I can't pound my keyboard fast enough to get this out to you to share!!

These individual sized portions of creamy, cheesy pasta are the perfect solution to satiate your cravings without going overboard. Two of them for dinner with a side salad and you can be happily satisfied. 
I think one would also make a perfect side dish to chicken, beef or pork. There’s even spinach in these so you can feel good about getting in some veggies! Real, full fat cheese are used in these (at still only 4 WW Points+ per muffin that seemed worth it to me) but if you want to lighten them up further you could use reduced fat cheeses. These are made with sharp white cheddar and Gruyere but feel free to get creative and use any of your favorite cheeses instead! 

Super Easy Healthy Cranberry Raisin Cookies

A great way to conquer your sweet tooth is with these super yummy and super soft cookies! Although there is no sugar added, they taste as if there is! 

  • 3 mashed bananas (ripe)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetend apple sauce 
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (used unsweetened) 
  • 2 cups oats 
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins or both!
  • 1 tsp vanilla for taste 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
 Mix together and  drop on cookie sheet by the spoonful or make a double batch and put them in a cake pan for soft and chewy bars! 

Throw them in the oven at 325°F for 20 minutes

Re-Vamped Taco Salad (Healthy Style)

MMMMmmm Did someone say Tacos???????  I love, love, love tacos and it's been really hard for me to cut them out of my life. But NOT ANYMORE - Taco's here I come!! I found a great re-vamped taco recipe from a facebook page! Not just any old facebook page but a great one called Fit Life - Happy Wife (super cute name) Check it out if you get the chance, she has some great ideas! 
Anyhoo....Here is her recipe for Taco Salad (for one) 

Homemade Ranch Dressing - Whole Jar...255 Calories!

I love ranch, but it's so fattening!! Until now. This whole jar of ranch is only 1.75 grams of fat and 255 calories! 1 cup dannon oikos plain greek yogurt, 1 packet hidden valley ranch mix, 1/2 cup 1% milk. Whisk together, chill 1 hour before use. Perfect consistency and tastes better than bottled!

75 Best Snacks Under 50 Calories

I seems like FOREVER to me between meals - yes....I really like to eat - I think it's the whole needing to chew on something - I haven't really pin-pointed that out yet and I really don't buy snack foods because snack foods to me are Ho-Ho's and Ding Dongs and Twinkies.......OH MY!  So I went on a hunt for some low calorie snacks and compiled this list, because I'm sure I'm not the only one this happens to! 

Quick & Easy Grilled Fruit

So last night I was stalking Foodie Facebook pages and came across quite a few really, really good ones! One of them was Pampered Chef Consultant - Carol's Corner where this awesome idea came from! I love me some fruit and have never had it grilled, but now that I've read this, I can't wait to go fruit shopping and bust out the grill and get busy! Doesn't this grilled peach look fantastic??

Grilling fruit intensifies its taste and caramelizes its natural sugars. Try grilled peaches on spinach and chicken salad, bacon and brie burgers with grilled apple, grilled watermelon and mango with shrimp or a grilled plum salad with gorgonzola cheese and pecans! Or transform it into simple, tasty, beautiful desserts with a little ice cream, fruit sorbet, whipped cream or a drizzle of balsamic!

Easily Freeze Individual Portions

I was surfing the wonderful world of food blogs tonight and came across this great tip from Lunch In a Box, that is totally worthy of my blog! LOL I've been doing this for years but it never occurred to me to actually write about it. DUH! (No one ever said I was the brightest crayon in the box!) Anyway,  It comes in very handy for us single folk out there and if the family is busy out doing different things, it's a great way to just make one individual serving.  There is nothing worse than buying in bulk, such as hamburger, and having to cook the whole thing at once and wasting food.

The first thing you do is to put the food (meat or sauces or what ever) into a large freezer bag and smush it out as flat as possible, making sure to get rid of all the air pockets. (Making it thin speeds up defrost time due to the increased surface area, and pressing out excess air 
guards against freezer burn.) 

Use a long chopstick or ruler to create divisions within the food, forming individual portions. This way when you freeze the entire bag, you’ll be able to quickly break off just as much as you want to use, no more. 

Because you’re touching the freezer bag and not the meat directly when flattening it out, your hands don’t get messy, and the food and work surface stay clean. You also reduce the waste that would be generated by individually wrapping each little serving in plastic wrap. This freezing technique isn’t limited to ground meat, though. Think thick pasta sauces, mashed or pureed fruit or vegetables, cooked meat soboro, rice, fried rice, cookie dough, etc.

GREAT SPACE SAVER TOO!  You don't have to lay them flat either.  You can fold it in 3rd or halves depending on your portion size. 

How to Recondition & Re-Season your Cast Iron Cookware

First of all, I just wanna say that as much as I would like to take credit for this awesome post, I cannot.  I saw this pic on Pinterest and thought that this would be a good post for my blog too - but, the full credit goes to I Believe I can Fry (cute name by the way) 

I'm sure most of us have one, if not more of these rusty old things out in the garage or in the basement taking up space, so now is the time to go and grab them and put them to use! 

I have always wanted to learn how to do this and I'm sure many of you have to so......Here ya go! 

Pina Colada Freeze

Tropical Treat! It's hot out. So, you really have no choice but to indulge in a frozen pineapple-coconut cocktail, right?! But rather than suck down a typical piña colada packed with crazy amounts of calories and fat, be a little creative and whip up one of ours. It's insanely creamy, super-delicious and we pretty much guarantee that you'll like it as much as any piña colada you've ever had. Don't believe me? Whip out that blender and give those blades a whirl!  Don't drink alcohol? Try swapping the liquor in this recipe with an ounce of water and another 1/2 oz. of coconut syrup. You'll get a virgin version with about 55 calories!

Blueberry Bliss Cheesecake

Do you think just because you're dieting, you can't have cheesecake....well, take a look again because for a slice of this little piece of heaven is only 168 calories baby!!  Add a delicious topping of blueberry goo, and it's irresistible! 

Red Velvet Shake

Better Off Red! There's no reason to get sucked in by scarlet-hued shakes with scary-high calorie counts. Toss a few no-guilt ingredients in the blender, and voilà! Red velvety goodness... 

How to Peel an Egg Without Peeling

  I saw this on one of my Aunts Blogs and I had to share it with you. This is a great way to entertain your kids.  I wish I knew about this easy methods ions ago!! Check out this video!

How to use a Pressure Cooker

Using a Pressure Cooker has got to be the BEST way to cook meat, in my opinion. My uncle used to cook the best ribs, carrots, and potatoes that I've ever had in a pressure cooker.  I'm not a big cooked carrot fan but boy, when he made this, he knew to make extra because the juices of the meat infused with the potatoes and carrots making them SO sweet and delicious.  He would use the yellow Yukon Gold potatoes and when they came out of the pressure cooker, they were so good that they didn't even need butter!! Imagine butter on potatoes!! YUMMO!

How to make Really Good Hummus!

Hummus is pretty basic right? You have maybe 5 ingredients that you throw into a food processor and blend. Should be straight forward, but like making fresh mayo it ISN'T! Isn't a 1-2-3 in the bag dish that is. I've been wanting to make hummus for ages but only recently have I figured out how to do that! And thanks to this video I found on YouTube, now you can too!! Go grab a pen and paper and get ready to write down the ingredients! 

So what's the key to making fabulous hummus? Two things; balance of flavors and consistency. The balance of acid, fat, heat and aromatics is the first part. The consistency part has to do with, how much tahini you add, how long you blend it, and the amount of water you add. The water helps to break down the beans while processing the hummus to give it a creamier consistency. He used to add olive oil instead of water because he thinks the oil gives it more texture. Really the oil has no effect on the texture and it didn't do anything for the consistency. In fact it may have worked against both. Water helps open up the pores of the ingredients allowing distribution of flavor and achieving the right texture. As you'll see in the video, he make it a tad more loose then some of you might, but trust in the fact that it will firm up in the fridge.

See what you think and let me know how your next batch turns out.

Hearty Vegetable Lasagna - YUM!

This Veggie lasagna is VERY, VERY, VERY good!! I was skeptical at first because I really like my meaty lasagna, but with the mushrooms and the veggies,  I didn't even miss the meat! This is a super hearty version that I will definitely make again and again! If you add some spinach to the ricotta cheese, it makes it even better! 

How to Poach an Egg

Many of us cooks, including me, has been frustrated by the seemingly simple and straightforward task of poaching an egg. Hopefully, you have already seen your mistake. Most egg poaching disasters can be averted by keeping the water below a simmer. 

  • Bring 3 inches of water and a splash of vinegar to about 170 degrees, F. 
  • Look carefully at the bottom of the pan. There should be small bubbles all over it, but they should not be rising to the top and breaking. 
  • Crack an egg into a small cup. 
  • Lower the egg—cup and all—into the water in the center of the pan. 
  • Tip the cup to let the egg slide out gently. If any errant strings of white try to swirl away from the egg, gently push them back with a heat-resistant spatula or a spoon. 
  • Let the egg gently poach for about 4-5 minutes, depending on how done you like your eggs. 
  • “Jiggle” the egg with your spoon. The white should be fairly firm, but the yolk should still shimmy. 
  • Remove the egg with a slotted spoon, and let it drain on some paper towels. 
  • Serve on buttered toast, or get fancy and make Eggs Benedict. A lovely way to serve a poached egg at dinner is to make a salad with a fairly acidic dressing. Perch the warm poached egg atop the salad and break the yolk. The rich yolk will blend with and become part of the dressing. Wonderful!

How to Blanch Foods

If you watch cooking shows or are an avid cook, I'm sure you've heard the word Blanch numerous times, but what exactly is it you ask??? Well, Blanching is a two-step process in which foods are plunged into boiling water, usually for only a minute or two and then put into ice water to rapidly stop the cooking process.  Blanching is one of those techniques that home cooks do not often employ, but it is a useful technique to know. It is easy to do, it doesn't take much time, and it can make life in the kitchen easier. Below I will give you a "how to" and "why" to blanch your foods.  

Creamy Avocado & White Bean Wrap

White beans mashed with ripe avocado and blended with sharp Cheddar and onion makes an incredibly rich, flavorful filling for this wrap. The tangy, spicy slaw adds crunch. A pinch (or more) of ground chipotle pepper and an extra dash of cider vinegar can be used in place of the canned chipotles in adobo sauce.  These would be great served with my Black Bean Salad and Homemade Tortilla chips.

Shrimp Fried Rice

Chili sauce and sesame oil add lively flavor to this easy stir-fry dish. It's a perfect solution for nights when there's no time to cook.

Red (Strawberry), White (Chocolate), and Blue (Blueberry) Nachos

These wonderful and beautiful snack is not gonna last long at your next BBQ!
Fresh flour tortillas are quick to cook up in a pan and produce unbelievably flaky chips when baked. This exquisitely flavored Italian cream cheese is worth the money. Slather it on cinnamon-sugar, baked flour tortilla chips. Then top with fresh fruit and white chocolate shavings for a snack or dessert that will start a celebration in your mouth. If you can’t find Mascarpone, substitute softened and sweetened cream cheese, or whipped cream cheese. For us calorie watchers we can use yogurt cheese or a low-fat Swiss cheese.

Low-Calorie Creamy Balsamic Salad Dressing

This is a  low-calorie dressing with nonfat Greek yogurt as the base. Light on fat, heavy on flavor.Sweet and sour is a good description for the honey/balsamic combination with subtle flavor notes from the soy sauce and Dijon mustard. Yogurt smooths out the flavors. It’s excellent with any kind of lettuce/fruit and/or nut combination. I love it with chicken and sliced oranges, or dried cranberries and almonds or dried blueberries and toasted pecans.

Roasted Fish and Veggies with Quinoa and Pine Nuts

This easy, colorful meal is roasted in a parchment-paper-lined pan to avoid the need for added oil. You can garnish the finished dish with cilantro and pine nuts, but a combination of basil and almonds or walnuts and parsley would be delicious as well. I have recently found that I LOVE the roasted Edaname (which is roasted soy beans) better than the pine nuts! Check out the health benefits of Quino HERE

How to make Roasted Tomato Sauce

'Tis almost the season for TOMATOES!! yayyyyyy -  I can't wait!! Unfortunately, I didn't grow a garden this year and that really stinks...BUT...I am going to enjoy the Farmers Market this year to support my local growers. And one of the easiest ways to preserve that great unique flavor of your summer veggies from the market or your own garden, is to make a basic, roasted tomato sauce that can be adapted later on when we have that craving for summer tastes in the winter time.  Roasted sauce requires very little effort and roasting the tomatoes brings out a layer of richness in taste that fresh tomatoes do not have. Make a huge batch and freeze it for later on for all your pasta recipes, Mexican recipes or slap it on a fresh crust of Italian bread. OH!!  I can't forget about the eggplant dishes!!  Great, speaking of Eggplant, now I want that!! Roma Tomatoes are the best for roasting because out of the tomato varieties, they have the least seeds. 

Mexican Eggs in Tortilla Cup

Great for spicing up a vegetarian dinner or weekend brunch! This fast and easy recipe is full of zest, satisfying and nutritious. Ground cumin and a dose of chili powder combine with AllWhites® in a baked tortilla cup. 

Almond Crusted Walleye

Fishing season is here!! Send your man out to catch dinner while you get ready to bathe these walleye in Parmesan cheese and fresh basil! It creates the perfect crust for this favorite freshwater fish. 

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