Thursday, November 7, 2013

Brussels Sprouts & Noodle Stir Fry

This vegetarian entree needs a good dash of teriyaki sauce or soy sauce, but I thought it was a great light meal.  The actual cooking time is quick, but budget in some extra time for all of the slicing and chopping.


Recipe Notes
My cooking time was significantly longer than the recipe suggested.  I personally like my brussels sprouts nice and soft (not al dente) and it took a while to get an entire skillet of them that way.

Nutritional Information (per serving - serves 4)
230 calories - 10 g. fat - 31 g. carbohydrates - 6 g. fiber - 9 g. protein

  • 3 oz. dried whole what thin spaghetti
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 12 oz. fresh Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced or shredded
  • 1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 c. chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 c. finely-shredded carrot
  • 1/3 c. fresh chopped cilantro
  • 3 tbsp. slivered almonds, toasted
1.  Break pasta into 1 inch pieces.  Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, and set aside.
2.  Heat a very large skillet over high heat.  Add onion, oil, and garlic and stir vigorously for one minute.
3.  Stir in Brussels sprouts, ginger, and crushed red pepper.  Cook and stir for one minute.  (This step is where I took more like 10 minutes to let the vegetables cook.)
4.  Add chicken broth and soy sauce.  Cook about 2 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
5.  Remove skillet from heat.  Stir in cooked pasta, carrot, and cilantro.
6.  Sprinkle the top with almonds and serve.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Lightened Shrimp & Cheesy Grits

I found this recipe on Pinterest courtesy of the blog "A Healthy Makeover".  I made a couple of tweaks, but the recipe should be just about as advertised as far as nutrition goes.


Recipe Notes
The original recipe called for a sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley over the top, but I didn't think it was worth the trouble or the cost of buying a bunch of parsley.  Serve this dish with a nice, simple green salad and you've got a hearty (and light) dinner.

Nutritional Information (per serving - serves 4)
462 calories - 38 g. carbohydrates - 11 g. fat - 52 g. protein - 1 g. fiber

  • 3 c. fat free chicken broth
  • 1 c. old fashioned (hominy) grits
  • 1/2 c. 2% shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 3 thin slices of deli ham (I used honey ham), chopped
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 3 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. finely minced garlic
  • Salt & pepper to taste
1.  In a medium saucepan, bring chicken broth to a boil.
2.  Stir in grits and reduce heat to medium low.  Stir occasionally until thickened.  (Original recipe calls for 12 minutes, mine took more like 5 minutes).
3.  Remove grits from heat and mix in cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese.  Stir until melted.  Cover grits and set aside.
4.  In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium/high heat.  
5.  Add chopped ham and cook until slightly crispy.  Remove to a paper towel and set aside.
6.  In the same pan (do not wash it out), add shrimp and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
7.  Saute until cooked throughout.
8.  Add lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic.  Heat sauce through and then add the ham.
9.  Spoon grits, ham, and sauce over cheese grits.

Apple Butter Pie

I found this pie recipe in Southern Living, and it was actually so much quicker to put together than most pies.  The crust didn't even have to cool all the way before I could add the filling and finish baking our dessert treat.  This pie is a cross between an apple pie and a pumpkin pie - kind of a spiced custard pie that is great for fall.


Recipe Notes
You can garnish this pie with whipped cream and/or crushed gingersnaps.  Southern Living tested this pie with Smucker's Spiced Apple Butter.  I used the plain old Kroger brand (and saved a couple of bucks) and it turned out great.

  • 8 oz. gingersnaps (about 1/2 box), crushed
  • 3 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk (I used fat free)
  • 1 c. spiced apple butter
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1-1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Mix crushed gingersnaps (I used my Cuisinart to crush them) and melted butter until well-blended.
3.  Spray a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray.  Press gingersnap crust mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate.
4.  Bake crust at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Cool for 5 minutes.
5.  While crust bakes, whisk together sweetened condensed milk, apple butter, egg yolks, and cider vinegar.
6.  Pour custard mixture into prepared pie crust.
7.  Bake for 15 minutes more at 350 degrees.
8.  Chill for 2-24 hours and serve.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Pork Roast & Harvest Vegetables

I found this recipe in a "Fast and Healthy" cookbook I picked up in the airport.  I think that credit should go to Taste of Home.  I was very skeptical about this recipe, because it had apple juice and cinnamon in it (and I typically don't like overly-sweet sauces).  However, the sauce cooks down nicely with the beef bouillon and works well with the pork.  Very tasty slow cooker meal with minimal prep.
Recipe Notes
Crock Pot timing is 5-6 hours on high or 10-12 hours on low.  Ours cooked for 10 hours on low and it was ready when we were ready to eat.  I also used a trimmed pork tenderloin in lieu of the boneless pork shoulder roast and it worked out great.
Nutritional Information (Per serving - serves 6)
309 calories - 9 g. fat - 32 g. carbohydrates - 4 g. fiber - 24 g. protein
  • 1/2 lb. boneless pork shoulder roast or pork tenderloin
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 c. parsnips (about 2 large), peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1-1/2 c. carrots (about 3 medium), peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 c. diced celery
  • 1 large green bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 tbsp. quick-cooking tapioca
  • 6 oz. can frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1 tsp. instant beef bouillon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1.  Trim any fat from the meat.  In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add pork and cook until browned, turning to brown evenly on all sides.  Set meat aside.
2.  Combine parsnips, carrots, celery, and bell pepper in Crock Pot.  Sprinkle vegetables with tapioca.
3.  In a small bowl, combine apple juice, water, beef bouillon, cinnamon, and black pepper.
4.  Pour apple juice mixture over vegetables.  Place browned pork tenderloin on top of vegetables.
5.  Cover and cook on LOW for 10-12 hours.
6.  Transfer meat and vegetables to a serving platter.  Shred pork.
7.  Strain sauce and skim off fat.  Drizzle cooking liquid over meat and pass the remaining sauce to serve with the vegetables.