Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Worlds Best Whole Wheat Waffles

Before you read another word, promise me you will try making these waffles! Please, PROMISE! Not only do I say this is a 5 star recipe but so do 30,048 people on allrecipes and 507 not only gave it 5 stars but also raving written reviews. OK. Now that you've promised, read on...
This summer our family went to Moab for a little vacation and thanks to Yelp reviews we ate breakfast at a little place on the main road called "Love Muffin Cafe". Its kind of organic, healthy, hippy food, but I highly recommend it. There I ate the best waffle of my life. So full of yummy hearty flavor but surprisingly light. Oh, mamma it was good. So for Valentines day I decided to recreate this waffle for James and found a recipe that had similar ingredients. And it too was oh, so good. (Not as perfect... but so close to it that you can't tell the difference.) So there you go. I know flax seed meal costs almost $4.oo for a bag, but you only use 1/4 cup so it will last you a long time and is worth that investment! This recipe has minimal fat thanks to the use of applesauce instead of more oil or butter and is full of whole grain goodness. So try it!

2 eggs, beaten
1 3/4 cups skim milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup flax seed meal
1/4 cup wheat bran (or wheat germ)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Beat in whole wheat pastry flour, flax seed meal, wheat germ, all-purpose flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt until batter is smooth.
Preheat a waffle iron, and coat with cooking spray. Pour batter into waffle iron in batches, and cook until crisp and golden brown.

(Calories: 280)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The 3 Week Meal Plan

What? Did Kathy really post her 3 week meal plan?! Oh, yes I did!!! So here is my crazy confession. Ready for it... I plan 3 weeks in advance for all my meals. (I know... I must be have border line OCD) It began when I was pregnant with Grace and had no desire to cook or think up meals or haul MK and my tired body to the store to pick up that one ingredient. So I buy everything in 3 week chunks and then get more produce after a week or two. I have continued to test out Rocco's healthy recipes but I have done a terrible job at posting them on this blog. So here you go. How about 18 meals all at once?! Aren't you so excited? I have picked my favorite Rocco recipes and a few others from Mels Kitchen Cafe, Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30, & Our Best Bites. I really have enjoyed these. I realize you may not want to make all of them, but try out at least a few. They are all 400 calories or lower... so eat and enjoy! Click here for the Menu and Click here for the Recipes. Scroll down for a little sneak peak. As soon as I can, I'll try to link a new post and picture with each of these meals. I have been taking pictures and I really want to tell you about each one individually.

Grilled Island Chicken / Black Bean Sweet Corn Quinoa Salad

Red Pepper Quesadillas

Penne Alla Vodka/ Roasted Broccoli

Grilled Chicken with Warm Mango Salsa on Rice

Eggplant Manicotti

Spinach Chicken Stromboli

Roasted Pork Tenderloin/ Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

Turkey Tacos

Philly Cheese Steak/ Sweet Potato Fries

Grilled Chicken Parmesan

Italian Chicken Vegetable Kabobs

Shepherds Pie with Beef

Lasagna Soup

Loaded Nachos

Honey Lemon Chicken

Creamy Chicken Pot Pie

Tomato Soup /Whole Wheat Veggie Turkey Panini

Mediterranean Pizza

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Brownies (Black Bean)

What? There are black beans in these brownies? Yep a whole can! Gross?! No... in fact if you blend them well, no one can tell. We brought some to the neighbors and had them try to guess the secret ingredient and they had no clue. Since then they have made them multiple times and have people in their family with gluten issues who love them! I will not lie and say that I've never had better, but yes they are good and even better the next day after being refrigerated. I am just trying to work out the texture issue... they're a bit spongy, but James likes them that way and swears they are great! Try them... low cal, low fat, and packed with protein and nutrients. Now that is worth a try, right!?

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1½ cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder (I used postum or pero)
  • ¾ cup egg substitute (or 3 eggs)
  • 2 tablespoons low-calorie sugar-free chocolate syrup (or just the real stuff!)
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 24 packets (84 g) Truvia or 8 tablespoons granulated Splenda (or 1/2 cup to 1 cup sugar*)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • a handful of dark chocolate chips or cocoa nibs... (adds a few extra calories, but so good.)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Spray an 8×8-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the beans, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and egg substitute in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl halfway through.
  3. Add the chocolate syrup, sour cream, butter, Truvia, and vanilla. Process until all of the ingredients are combined, about 1 minute. Add the chocolate chips if desired.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish, and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes, turning the dish halfway through the baking time. A toothpick inserted in the center will come out with soft batter clinging to it.
  5. Let the brownies cool completely in the baking dish on a wire rack. Then cut into 12 squares and serve. Refrigerate any leftovers.
* I do not feel good about giving little kids artificial sweeteners like Splenda and we have no diabetics in our family, so I go for the real stuff. The reason why I say 1/2 cup to 1 cup sugar is because I only put 8 Tbsp.=1/2 cup of sugar in but found it wasn't very sweet. James said it was great and so did the neighbors, but after further research I discovered I was right! Artificial sweeteners are 200% sweeter than regular sugar. So if you want the same sweetness that Splenda would give, you will have to put in twice the amount of real sugar. Or just leave it less sweet. It's up to you.

The "Now Eat This" Challenge

"150 of America's Favorite Foods All Under 350 Calories"

For my 30th birthday my grandma sent me this book as a gift. She said that she loves it and that my aunt and uncle, who introduced it to her have already lost 15 lbs and eat recipes only from it. Now you have to have some thick skin to not be offended when someone sends you a weight loss recipe book for your birthday... but I know she was only being kind & loving by it.
So since September I have made a goal to cook at least 2 or 3 recipes from this book a week until I have cooked them all. After cooking them all, I will then be able to say which ones are good, great, or hardly edible. If you'd like to join me in my healthy eating journey, please join in. I will test them out for you, and let you know which ones you have to try and which ones to not waste y our time & energy on. I know... I haven't blogged about my cooking in ages. But here's to a fresh start. If I'm the only one left still reading this blog, that's OK. At least our little of family of 4 will be all the healthier & more delicious for it. Wish me luck! We're about to find out if healthy really can taste good, I mean "comfort food good"!

Disclaimer: By the looks of things, this cook book contains ingredients that are not always "cheap" like my blog address proclaims. However, there is a little Italian proverb that says, "You either pay the farmer or the doctor." So as I grumble about the extra produce I have to buy, I will remind myself that they're cheaper than a box of Oreos and definitely cheaper than a new heart or kidney. :) I also may throw in a few random recipes from time to time that are not from this book that I insist you must try and can't wait till this challenge is over to share them with you.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Yummy Thin Crust Pizza

I decided I needed to put more family friendly, fast recipes that people could use weekly or monthly. Something reliable & loved by many. So I turned to my sister Mary, mother of 5 who makes this every "Friday Pizza Night". It is so fast,good, & cheap. She triples the recipe but for a family of 3 we did it exactly as written & it worked great!

1 package yeast (1 Tbsp.)
1/4 tsp. sugar
3/4 c. hot water
1 3/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 500 degrees (I didn't know my oven went that high- but it does!) Dissolve yeast and sugar in the hot water and allow to rest for 8 min. Combine flour and salt in a separate bowl. Add yeast mixture to flour mixture.
Mix and knead. (I just stick it in my kitchenaid with the dough hook for about 5 min.) Top with sauce, cheese, & toppings.
Bake for 10 min. (The little pizza's bake for 8-10 min.)
Makes one pizza or 6 small pizzas.

Frosted Ginger Snaps

These are cheap, but not guilt free! However they are so soft & delicious that I just had to make the recipe accessible to you. They aren't too spicy or strong, but they have lots of yummy flavor and I think the frosting adds the perfect touch. Enjoy!

1/2 c. butter softened
1/4 c. canola oil
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1/4 c. molasses
2 c. + 2 T. flour
1/2 t. salt
2 t. baking soda
1 t. ginger
2 t. cinnamon

Cream together butter, oil, sugar, egg & molasses. Sift together flour, salt, baking soday, ginger, & cinnamon in a separate bowl. Combine. Roll into 1 inch balls & roll in additional sugar if you do not plan on frosting them. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 for 8 to 10 minutes.
*If you make a large pizza size cookie bake 6 min. Cover the edges with foil & bake an additional 8 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/4 c. butter (half stick)
1/2 pkg. cream cheese
1 c. powdered sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
Whip the softened butter & cream cheese. Mix in powdered sugar & vanilla.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Hunger Games Dinner

This month for my book club we read the Hunger Games & I hosted the discussion night. To make it extra fun I made some food mentioned in the book for us all to enjoy. I hope you do too!

Warm Rolls Eaten in the Cave
(Cool-rise Rich Dough)

This recipe comes from my good friend Cherise Lee & is so worth making. I am a terrible bread baker and yet these came out delicious. If you have a kitchen aid these are so easy! I doubled the recipe when I made it.

In mixing bowl:Dissolve 1 package (or 1 Tbsp.) dry yeast in 1/3 c. warm water.
While yeast is dissolving, in another bowl(microwave safe) mix:
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
2 T. butter

Warm this mixture in microwave until it reaches 125 degrees. ( I start with cold ingredients and use high power for 2 minutes) Pour into the yeast mixture and begin adding flour.

2 1/2 - 3 c. flour
1 egg, best at room temp.

Add egg while adding flour. Beat until smooth. Need with hook on mixture for 10 min. If doing it by hand, knead until the dough is rubbery & looks right.

Put back in bowl (or leave in kitchen aid bowl). Cover & let rise for 20-30 min. Pour out on floured board, knead again, shape, & put on sprayed cookie sheet or casserole dish. Brush with oil, cover with towel and let rise for at least 30 minutes. Bake at 375 for 15 min or until golden brown. Take out and brush with melted butter.

Note:Called "Cool-rise" because you can make them in the morning or up to 25 hours before you want to bake them, cover them, and put them in the fridge. Take out of the fridge 2 hours before you want to bake them to allow them to rise again. Then Bake.

Lamb and Dried Plum Stew (Katniss' favorite dish)

This recipe is a mix of 2 recipes: 1 from the Oprah magazine & 1 from To make it cheap & guilt free, I used only 1/2 lb. of lamb instead of 3 lbs & added 1 1/2 beef.

1/4 c. olive oil
1 large onion, grated
2 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 lb lamb shoulder + 1 1/2 lb stew beef, cut into 1 1/2 in. pieces
2 1/2 c. chicken broth
4 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise & cut into 1 inch pieces
Zest of 1 orange, cut in wide strips
2 c. butternut squash, cubed into 1 in. pieces
1 roasted bell pepper, cut into 1 in pieces
1/4- 1/2 c. dried plums (prunes), chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped

1. Combine the oil, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper in a large, heavy pot. Stir well, then add the meat. Toss the meat with the spice mixture to coat it well.

2. Add the broth, carrots, orange zest, and butternut squash. Bring to a boil over high heat. Then reduce the heat and simmer gently, partially covered, over medium heat for 30 minutes. Add the roasted pepper and dried plums; cook, partially covered, until the lamb and vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes more. Remove and discard the chili and orange zest. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve immediately.

"Goat Cheese & Apples" Salad

(also eaten in the cave with Peeta)

This recipe is from and is to die for! Granted it was originally made with Roquefort cheese & pears, I switched it up to fit the story. The dressing is what makes it divine. My goat cheese got a little too soft like cream cheese so if I did it again I would freeze it or keep it refrigerated longer so it didn't get so soft. This salad tastes amazing with feta cheese also.

1 head of lettuce or bag spinach, torn into bite size pieces
2 apples- peeled, cored, and chopped
5 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
1 avocado- peeled, pitted, & diced
1/2 c. thinly sliced green onions
1/4 c. white sugar
1/2 c. pecans
1/3 c. olive oil
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 Tbsp. white sugar
1/2 Tbsp. prepared mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
Black pepper to taste
  1. In a skillet over medium heat, stir 1/4 cup of sugar together with the pecans. Continue stirring gently until sugar has melted and caramelized the pecans. Carefully transfer nuts onto waxed paper. Allow to cool, and break into pieces.
  2. For the dressing, blend oil, vinegar, 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, mustard, chopped garlic, salt, and pepper.
  3. In a large serving bowl, layer lettuce, apples, cheese, avocado, and green onions. Pour dressing over salad, sprinkle with pecans, and serve.
Cookies from Peeta's Father
Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are cheap, but not guilt free and oh so good. I put a little to much flour in mine when I made them for The Hunger Games book club. This is my sister Mary's recipe & truly one of my all time favorite cookies. It makes a ton but if you don't want a ton, just freeze the dough. She is friends with the owner of "smart cookie" company and he told her the secret to their delicious cookies is to use bread flour instead of all-purpose. I tried it & it makes a difference! So you should try it too!

1 lb. butter (4 cubes), softened to room temp
2 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 c. white sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla (real, not imitation)
6- 6 1/2 c. bread flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
Chocolate chips

Cream the butter and sugars. Mix in eggs & vanilla. Slowly incorporate in flour, salt, & baking soda. Lastly fold in your chocolate chips. Dish with a cookie disher onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 to 12 min. or until edges are lightly golden. Place on cooling rack & devour!