Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Portobello-Lentil Tacos

Meat is high in calories.  Vegetables are not.  On days when I've been bad, I prefer not to add to the problem.  Today is one of those days, so I'm going to enjoy Taco Tuesday vegetarian-style.

I was guestimating when this started, but I gobbled these down like there was no tomorrow.  3 and I was absolutely full! And, I think I liked them more than the turkey meat!

I'm not going to give you the calorie count for everything on this one.  You decide what toppings you like.  The important part is the filling.

To figure out how much taco seasoning to use, 1/4 cup dry lentils is about 4-6oz. of cooked lentils.  A pound of meat is 16 oz.



1/4 cup green, dry lentils
1 cup water
1 oz. onion, chopped
1 Portobello mushroom cap of average size
taco seasoning of your choice
  1. Combine lentils with water and seasoning to taste.  I use 1 Tbsp. Lawry Cumin Chile and 1/2 tsp. cayenne.  Bring to a full boil, then reduce to a simmer, uncovered.
  2. Once nearly done (test by biting, should be easy bite but still a little al dente), add in onion. Cook until translucent.
  3. One onion is translucent and lentils are soft, stir in portobello and cook through.
  4. If you used spices like me, and want a saucier taco, add in 2 tsp. all purpose flour once water is nearly boiled off, or a bit juicy. Stir well. If you used taco seasoning, skip this step. 
Seen here served with wild rice, yogurt tortillas with a Tbsp. of curry added before they were cooked, tomato, and greek yogurt for 115 calories a serving.

Makes 8 servings for 26 calories a serving.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Easy Personal Pizza Dough

I'm starving and lazy tonight, so I'm dipping into my fridge horde of goodies.  Every Sunday I make up some sort of breadie stuff-tortillas, English muffins, rolls, etc.  This week I tossed in 2 personal pan pizza shells.



1/2 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup self rising flour and some for kneading.
  1. Combine and stir until a soft dough forms.  
  2. Toss out on floured surface and knead until you can easily handle it.  
  3. Split in half and roll each half into a ball.
  4. Heat a nonstick skillet on medium.
  5. Pat out shell into desired shape and thickness
  6. Cook in an until one size golden spotted.  Flip just long enough to cook top layer.
  7. Store in fridge in airtight container for up to 1 week.
Prepare your favorite way, and bake 350F until cheese is golden.  I do mine in the toaster oven and just dark toast it twice. 

Seen here with Prego 3 cheese,  2 links al fresno chicken sausage, and 1/4 cup great value half skim mozz for 575 calories combined.


2 shells for 260 calories total, or 130 calories a shell.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Blueberry Breakfast Bread

Blueberries are starting to look like blueberries again on the shelves, and this week there were giant ones I just couldn't pass up.  I figured I'd be snacking on them, but I woke up to a chilly morning and wanted something more than a fruit salad for breakfast.

I have to admit, I was aiming for muffin, but this was still delicious.  It's someplace between a cinnamon roll and a quick bread.

Monkfruit is my sweetener of choice when I'm trying to cut sugar. It tastes the most like sugar and feels like it.


1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup. self rising flour
1 tsp. monkfruit sweetener
1/4 cup blueberries
  1. Mix yogurt, flour, and sweetener until a soft dough forms.
  2. Stir in blueberries.
  3. Spray ramekin with cooking spray (I use coconut) and drop dough in.
  4. Bake in toaster oven at 275F or real oven at 325F for 15-20 min, until golden.
  5. Serve warm with lite syrup, a quick glaze, or straight up butter.

166 calories without topping; makes 1

Monday, April 11, 2016

Seafood Zoodles with Diavolo

I'm starving. All of the time.  I'm just always hungry.  This is, of course, an issue when you're slowly losing weight.  I'm constantly trying to find ways to fill my belly enough to shut it up.

These zoodles are a pretty easy way to make a big plate that feels like you're being really, really naughty.



2 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 small onion, diced
3 small cloved garlic, crushed and chopped
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 imitation crab legs, sliced into thin coins
6 oz. zucchini, spiralized

Combine tomato, onion, garlic, and salt.  Cook until soft, and onions are translucent. Add in cayenne, crab, and zoodles, and heat through. Not so long or the zucchini will get slimy.

Garnish with red pepper falkes, and serve immediately.

188 calories.  Serves 1.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Turkey Taco Tuesday

I love tacos.  I could eat them all day.  I'd get sick, but I could do it.  For awhile, fajitas did it for me, but I find now I want the tacos of my childhood.  So, I tinkered around with my kitchen, and came up with an acceptable substitute.

I have a large thing of Lawry Smokey Chile and Cumin Rub that my mother got for free in one of those weird business baskets around Christmas.  I use it as a base for my tacos, and when I run out I'll be figuring out the ratios.  For now, this is my go to flavor. For this particular batch, I wanted something more Ortega in nature, so I added cayenne and thickener. Worked like a charm!

Feel free to add any other veggies, this is just what I like!



1/2 lbs. ground turkey 96/4 or less fat.
1 oz. onion, diced
2 tsp. flour
3 tsp. Lawry smokey chile cumin rub
1 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. honey
3 Tbsp. water

1/2 cup plain, fat free Greek yogurt
1/2 cup 2% milk or reduced fat Mexican cheese
8 small yogurt tortillas


  1. Cook ground turkey. If you're using lower fat, don't drain.
  2. Add the water, chile rub, cayenne and honey to the meat, and cook until thickens.
  3. Heat tortillas in mic. for about 10 seconds before using.
  4. Serve with yogurt instead of sour cream, cheese and tomatoes. 

Served as is, 116 calories a taco.
Taco meat only is 48 calories a serving, makes 8.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Spicy Garlic Pickled Peppers

On Sundays, I try to use up stuff that may go bad if it isn't used soon.  Some of my peppers are looking a little soft, so I know what needs to be done.  One of my favorite snacks is pickled peppers.  They're not as crunchy as a dill, and not as sloppy as roasted reds.  Added bonus, they're pretty easy to make, and look like sunshine in a jar.



1:1 ratio unseasoned rice vinegar and water
2 large cloves garlic, sliced
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. mustard seed
About 5-8 mini sweet peppers, stems and seeds removed
A jar 14 oz. ish

I use my old coconut oil jars.  They're the perfect size for single old me.  They hold 14 oz. of oil, so they're probably closer to 16 oz. jars.
  1. Pack your jar full of sliced peppers. Bigger ones I slice three times the long way, smaller just twice. In between layers, add in your sliced garlic.  
  2. Once jar is packed, top with salt, pepper flakes, mustard seed, and sugar. 
  3. Add vinegar, filling half full. 
  4. Add water the rest of the way.
  5. Cap and shake.  
  6. Refrigerate overnight.  The longer they're in the fridge, the stronger they get!
Calories vary by pepper, but generally 3 pickled peppers worth is about 30-40 calories.


Saturday, April 2, 2016

Split Yellow Pea & Bacon Soup

Sometimes you just need soemthing to warm you up on a chilly day.  I love split pea soups, and I snagged a bag of yellows on clearance last time I was shopping.  It was about time I used them.

I just love the shade. So sunshiny and warm.


1/2 cup dried, split, yellow peas
5 cups homemade stock
2 oz. diced onion
1/8 tsp. hickory salt
1 Tbsp. honey/brown sugar
3 slices reduced fat, reduced sodium bacon
  1. Combine peas and chicken stock over low heat.  
  2. Bring to a simmer slowly, and continue to simmer until peas are tender.  
  3. Add in onion and cook until translucent.
  4. Fry and drain bacon.  Remove to side.
  5. Combine pea, broth, and onion mix with salt in blender and blend until smooth. Add honey and additional hickory salt to taste.
Serve with one slice of crumbled bacon on top.

Makes 3 servings, 220 calories a serving.




Friday, April 1, 2016

Small Batch Blood Orange Marmalade

Blood orange, or moro orange, season is almost over.  I'm actually not a huge orange drinker.  I enjoy the juice, but avoid it because of sugar, and I enjoy the flavor but most orange things, once again, are full of sugar.  I do enjoy moro oranges, and usually snag a few here or there when they're in season.

This is my last one, but I'm not feeling it. So, I decided to make one little jar of marmalade before time ran out on the piece of fruit. I used a combination of recipes to figure out what might be my best bet for a toothsome, sweet concoction, but most notably this recipe from Love and Olive Oil. In the end, I didn't follow any of them exactly, and I'm glad.  I got a beautiful, ruby-shaded sweet that is just chewy enough and full of that sweet, citrusy zing I was looking for.



1 blood orange (4-5 oz.)
1/2 heaping cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup water
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. coconut oil
  1. Clean orange.
  2. Cut in half and remove pithy center.  Discard pithy center.
  3. Cut orange slices. I recommend using a mandolin for thin, thin slices.  Otherwise, cut as thin as you can, including peel.
  4. Combine water, salt, and sugar in medium bowl.
  5. Add orange and orange peels.
  6. Soak on counter for 2 hours. If you have pets, cover it with a flour sack or towel.
  7. Melt coconut oil in medium saucepan.
  8. Pour all orange mixture into coconut oil and bring to simmer.
  9. Cook until reduced by half and 222-225F. No thermometer?  That's fine, see 10.
  10. Check the gel by placing a small spoon on cold plate.  If runny, cook for 5 minutes more and test again.
  11. Remove from heat and skim off foam if it forms.
  12. Can in sterile jar and refrigerate.
Seen here with my super easy English muffins.

12 servings of 1 Tbsp. or 6 oz.  at 46 calories each.