Thursday, February 25, 2010

Creamed Tuna over Rice

This is a childhood comfort food for me - the recipe came from my grandma and I've been eating it my whole life. It's one of our family's favorite meals! (and another "quick-n-easy" recipe)

There are 2 recipes - one is my quick-n-easy version, the other is the from-scratch recipe my grandma used. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

My "from cans" Recipe:
Creamed Tuna over Rice - Quick-n-Easy Recipe
1 can cream celery soup  (I use fat-free soups)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 - 1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup dried onions
1 T dried parsley
2 cans tuna, drained & shredded with a fork
salt & pepper, to taste
White rice
Frozen peas
  1. Cook white rice & peas according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, mix soups & milk until well-blended. Add milk until mixture reaches desired consistency, just thinner than gravy.
  3. Add onions, parsley & tuna.
  4. Cook at low heat 5-10 minutes, until heated through.
  5. Serve over white rice w/green peas.

My Mom's "from scratch" Recipe
med Tuna - From Scratch Recipe
4 T shortening
5 T all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1/2 cup dried celery
1/3 c dried onions
salt & pepper to taste
2 cans tuna, drained
White rice
Frozen peas

  1. In saucepan, melt shortening.
  2. Stir in flour briskly to make paste.
  3. Gradually add milk, stirring briskly to avoid lumps.
  4. Cook & stir until thick.
  5. Add remaining ingredients. Cook at low heat 5-10 minutes, until heated through.
  6. Serve over white rice with green peas.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Herb-Garlic Beef Roast

This was YUM! I needed something on the table in 20 minutes and this was definitely quick-n-easy and satisfying!

This is the beef product I used - usually about $4.99 at my grocery store. There are usually coupons for $1.00 off available too.

Don't skip the herb/garlic topping!! It makes a world of difference. Enjoy!

Herb-Garlic Beef Roast
1 17-oz pkg refrigerated cooked beef roast au jus
1 lb. small red potatoes
3 medium carrots
1 T cooking oil
Salt & pepper
3 T chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T finely shredded lemon peel

1. In large skillet, cook beef roast, covered, over medium heat for 10 minutes. Uncover & simmer 5 minutes more, until juices are slightly reduced.

2. Meanwhile, quarter potatoes. Peel & diagonally slice carrots in 3/4" pieces. Place vegetables in a microwave-safe dish. Drizzle with cooking oil & sprinkle with a dash of salt & pepper; toss to coat. Tightly cover lwith lid or plastic wrap - seal completely, do not vent. Microwave on HIGH (100%) for 10 minutes or until tender.

3. For herb/garlic topping: In a small bowl, combine parsley, garlic, and lemon peel. Add a dash of salt & pepper, if desired.

4. To serve: Stir vegetables into skillet with beef and juices, coating all with the au jus. Spoon into serving dish & sprinkle with herb/garlic topping.

Serves 3-4 - recipe courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens Magazine

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

BBQ Ribs

**These ribs were so fall off the bone tender and yummy. I actually cooked 8lbs of ribs and it all fit in my crock pot. I tripled the recipe below for the marinade. **

* I just made these ribs again for my husbands birthday and this time I used boneless ribs and they were yummy too! I took them out of the crock pot and just stuck them under broiler for about 7 minutes with extra BBQ sauce added on top, and Voila! *

3 1/2 pounds pork loin back ribs
1/4 cup brown sugar -- packed
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons liquid smoke flavoring
2 cloves garlic -- chopped
1 medium onion -- sliced (I used dried minced onion)
1/2 cup cola
1 1/2 cup barbecue sauce

Spray inside of 4- to 5-quart Crock-Pot slow cooker with cooking spray. (I put mine in a crock pot bag to reduce the clean up mess afterwards.)

Cut ribs into 4"-6" pieces. Mix brown sugar, pepper, liquid smoke, garlic and minced onion. Put ribs in crock pot bag or in a large bowl. Pour mixture into ribs. Let marinate overnight. The next morning layer ribs in slow cooker with marinade. Pour cola over ribs.

Cover and cook on low heat setting 7 to 8 hours or until tender. Remove ribs from slow cooker. Drain and discard liquid.

Place ribs back in slow cooker. Pour BBQ sauce over ribs. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 1 hour longer."

Healthier Potato Cheese Soup

**This was really good even using lower fat ingredients. My girls both loved it.

Potato Cheese Soup
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 TB olive oil
2 15oz cans reduced sodium chicken broth
5 small red potatoes diced with skins on
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4-1/2 cup chopped carrot
2 cups nonfat milk
1/4 cup flour
2 cups reduced fat cheese
1tsp parsley
1/2 tsp basil
**I added also about 1/2 tsp onion salt because I wanted a little more flavor**
In a medium stock pot add 2 cans of chicken broth. Saute onion in small skillet on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add to chicken broth. Add potatoes, carrots and celery. Bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are tender. Meanwhile add the milk and flour in a blender and blend well. Pour into soup mixture that is boiling. Stir until thickened. Turn heat off. Add cheese, parsley and basil. Stir until cheese is all melted and mixed in.
Serve with crackers or cornbread.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Elbows on the Table

This super-quick meal can be made with italian sausage or without, making it vegetarian. This recipe feeds 6-8 people so adjust if your family is smaller or eats less.

Elbows on the Table

Yield: 8 cups Prep & cook time: 15 minutes

1/2 lb or 3 cups dry elbow macaroni

1 lb bulk sweet Italian sausage (optional)

2 garlic cloves, minced (or 2 tsp pre-minced garlic)

1 tsp ground cumin (optional - we've never used this since I don't like spicy foods)

2 cups marinara sauce (your favorite)

1/4 cup water

1 can chickpeas (garbanzos), drained & rinsed

1 can kidney beans, drained & rinsed

1-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley (optional)

  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions.
  2. While macaroni is cooking: Brown sausage well in heated large skillet. Reduce heat to medium & add garlic & cumin; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. ** if you're not using sausage, just add garlic & cumin to step #4 **
4. Stir in marinara sauce, water, chickpeas & kidney beans. Reduce heat to low
& cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Drain pasta & transfer to large bowl. Toss with sausage (or marinara)
mixture. Sprinkle with cheese & parsley.
Serve & enjoy!
We like this with a green salad. SUPER yummy!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Black Bean Burger

I bought this box of black bean burgers at Costco and can I say that these are yummy!! It would be nice to find this flavor at the store that maybe have a little smaller patty, but I say give them a try. You still need to watch your fat with these, they are 7g fat per patty, but they have alot protein other than animal protein, and 7g of dietary fiber.

Lunch or Dinner

I had a half of a patty in a whole wheat pita pocket for lunch with a tomato slice, lettuce and some avocado.

You can also have it burger style on a whole wheat sandwich thin.

Do you like the Southwest Eggrolls at Chili's?? This burger tastes just like the inside of those eggrolls. So, heat one up in the microwave instead of the skillet and then mash it. Roll it into a whole wheat tortilla. 1 tortilla will be stuffed more like a burrito, 2 tortillas will be more like taquitos. Brush them with some olive oil and bake them until crispy. Yum!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Orange Chicken

**For those of you lucky enough to have a Trader Joes (which is a store that carries healthy alternatives) you have to try the Orange chicken.....YUM! It tastes just like or better than the Orange chicken at Panda Express, AND the good part is the nutritional information. Look at the information above compared to Panda....
400 calories, 20g fat, 3.5g sat fat, 90mg cholesterol, 640mg sodium, 42g carbs, 18g sugar, 15g protein. You still don't want to eat it often, but it is a great alternative.

Homemade Granola

**This ended up being a yummy snack, and pardon the picture, but I even tried it as a cereal and added some raisins. Yum!**


4 cups Quick Quaker oats ( I used half old fashioned, half quick)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 sliced almonds
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts chopped
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
In a large bowl, mix together oats, brown sugar, coconut, almonds, pecans or walnuts. Set aside. In a saucepan, stir together water, oil, honey and peanut butter; bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add 1 tsp vanilla. Add to the oat mixture and stir well. Spread out onto large baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you don't stir well throughout baking, the outer edges can start burning.

Sausage and Bean Pasta

**Another new recipe that is healthier. When I make this again, I will use at least 1 tsp of fennel seed. I think it would be best to make the sauce ahead of time and let it sit and let the flavors all combine. Then closer to dinner re-heat it, make the pasta, and add it to the tomato mixture and serve. ALSO, next time I make it, I was even thinking of possibly adding a little cornstarch and milk mixture to thicken the sauce. ** THIS DOES NOT MAKE THAT GOOD OF A LEFT OVER. THE WHOLE GRAIN NOODLES SEEM TO GET MORE MUSHY. Just a thought. :)

Sausage and Bean Pasta
1 13oz box whole grain pasta - I used shells ( I didn't use whole box, and next time I may even use a little less. )
1TB olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves minced
1 lb turkey italian sausage
1 cup less sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp fennel seed
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
1 15oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles
2 15oz cans cannelini or northern white beans
romano cheese for garnish
Cook pasta according to directions.
Heat oil in large skillet. Add onion and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes. Add sausage. Cook until browned. Stir in chicken broth scraping pan to loosen any bits. Add all seasonings, beans, and tomatoes. Bring to boil and then reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes. Add pasta and serve immediately with cheese for garnish.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Fiesta Rice and Vegetable Bake

*This is a recipe we just tried. We are trying to eat more healthy and to eat meat more "sparingly." We thought it was good enough to post." If you wanted to you could add some cooked chicken or ground meat.

Fiesta Rice and Vegetable Bake
2 cups low sodium organic vegetable broth (I did buy the organic low sodium because it only had 140g of sodium vs the 900g sodium in the swansons.)
1 cup long grain brown rice
16oz salsa
1 15oz can black beans
1 1/2 cups fresh brocoli (I lightly steamed mine first)
1 TB Taco seasoning
1/3 - 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup mexican blend shredded cheese
*This recipe has been updated from original post. (See comment section) I updated it to how I remember making it the first time and enjoyed it better. The difference is adding parmesan cheese to the main mixture.*

Combine broth and rice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 50minutes. When rice is done Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9" baking dish with non stick cooking spray. In a large bowl combine rice and all remaining ingredients except the shredded mexican cheese. Stir well. Spoon in to prepared dish and top with mexican blend cheese. Bake for 20 minutes.

**UPDATE--We had this the next day for lunch in a whole whet pita pocket. YUM! My parents made this the night after I posted it, and they all loved it too**


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