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!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fudgy "No-guilt" Brownies

When I was flipping through "Cuisine at Home", a magazine my sister Mary sent me and I saw "No-Guilt" brownies I was intrigued! What could be better for my cheap & guilt free blog. So I tested it out... first you must know that I am a brownie snob.I love a good fudgy, moist brownie, so I will not go easy on these. They were not melt in your mouth delicious... a little to spongy or cake like for me. But good and chocolaty and very low in fat. Now it could have been that I stirred them too much, which you should never do to brownies because it over works the gluten and makes them cake or bread like. I say give them a try. Besides over the past 2 days I've eaten half the pan and if you're like me, it's better to eat half the pan of guilt-free!

Melt together:(in microwave, stir every 45 sec till smooth)
4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped (1/2 c. choc. chips)
4 T. unsalted butter, cubbed
2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 t. coffee granules, (I substituted pero/postum or you can omit it)
Stir in; Add:
1/2 c.sugar
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
3 egg whites
2/3 c. flour
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. baking powder
1/2 c. walnuts, toasted, chopped
Dust with:
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Line the inside of square pan with foil & coat with spray. Be sure to blend dry ingredients just until incorporated. Fold in nuts, then pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 min, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool brownies in pan, then lift out and peel back foil. Dust with powdered sugar, then cut into 12 bars.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Crisp Wontons with Strawberries & Yogurt

My friend, Emily Dougall, lent me her Everyday Food magazines that are packed with "Fast & Healthy Dishes in 30 minutes or less". I was pleasantly surprised with Miss Martha Stewart's recipes. This one is a fantastic spring/summer snack! It had just enough sweetness and crunch with nearly zero fat. Plus with the price of strawberries lately, this little treat is sweet on the pocket book too. It takes 20 minutes max from start to finish and is easy enough for kids to make it!

12 wonton wrappers
1 Tbsp. butter, melted (or substitute with H2O)
3 Tbsp. sugar
3/4 c. whole natural almonds, finely chopped
1 cup plain greek yogurt (or fat free yoplait any flavor or ricotta)
2 Tbsp. honey
1 3/4 c. fresh strawberries, sliced

1. Preheat oven to 400. Place wonton wrappers on a rimmed baking sheet and brush with butter. Sprinkle with sugar and almonds. Bake until golden brown and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer wontons to a wire rack and let cool.

2. Dividing evenly, top 6 wontons with yogurt, a drizzle of honey, and strawberries, then sandwich with remaining wontons. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Zesty Meatball Soup

First off, I apologize for not posting for so long. James and I began Body for Life which requires me to work out daily (except Sunday). So I've been cooking healthy, just not posting the healthy things we've made.
This recipe is sooo yummy. We loved all the flavor it has. It's also fairly fast & cheap because it makes tons! I saw the recipe on the back of my Zesta whole wheat saltines box and decided to give it a try. I hope you will make this because it is healthy and so tasty. I adapted the recipe to not require using a dutch oven because honestly, who uses that daily in the kitchen?!

1 egg beaten
10 saltine crackers(whole wheat)finely crushed
1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp fresh parsley (or dried)
1/4 tsp pepper
1 lb. lean ground beef
2 small zucchini, chopped(2 cups)
1/2 c. chopped onion
2 cans(14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes (with Italian seasonings)
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce (with Italian seasonings)
1 can (14 oz) reduced sodium beef broth (or 1 3/4c. water + 2 bouillon cubes)
1/2 c. uncooked dry small shell pasta

1.In a large bowl combine egg, crackers, cheese, parsley, and pepper. Add ground beef. Mix well. Shape into thirty six 1 inch meatballs.
2. Spray a pyrex 8 x 11 pan. Cook meatballs in a 350 degree preheated oven until no longer pink in the center. (I put mine in the oven and took them out and into the soup when the pasta was tender. So however long that is.)
3.In a large deep skillet cook zucchini and onion until tender (in a small amount of olive oil... if you like). Stir in undrained tomatoes, tomato sacue, beef broth, and pasta. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 8 minutes or until pasta is tender. Stir in meatballs. Heat through.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Parmesan Chicken French Bread Pizza

Thanks to Laura Larson, my mom, I can make pizza and salad in under 15 minutes for under $5! (Can you tell that she had 8 children?!) She never had time to make pizza dough and never had the money to buy the dough or Boboli crusts, so instead she made us french bread pizza. Maybe it was a favorite at your home too... I flavored it up a bit with a few things I found in my fridge, but I honestly only spent $2.50 at the store tonight, buying a loaf of french bread and mozzarella. That's it. So see what you have and create your own. It has always been one of my favorite "Mom Meals". Look at all the veggies you can pack into your family's diet. Enjoy!

1 loaf of french bread
1 small can of tomato or spaghetti sauce
1 1/2 c. mozzarella cheese
1 chicken breast, grilled in garlic & olive oil, chopped
I used sun dried tomatoes, onion, red bell pepper, spinach, a little low fat ricotta cheese,
and Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

Cut the french bread loaf in half, lengthwise. Spread on the seasoned tomato sauce, sprinkle on the cheese, add the chicken & toppings, and sprinkle with Parmesan. Put it in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cheese melts and the edges are golden. While the pizza cooks, chop vegetables & make your salad. Ta-Da! Dinner in a snap!

Thai Peanut Sauce

We love Thai food! Especially Thai food from our favorite resaruant in Orem, Bangok Grill. Mmmm... So GOOD! But now that we live in Salt Lake, we can't exactly stop by regularly, so on a very tired night, James made me this Pad Thai & Peanut Sauce with Rice. He made up the Pad Thai chicken off the cuff, but he did follow a recipe for the Peanut sauce. So here it is. I loved it and thought others should try it. I'm thankful for the great diversity of food and cultures around the world and for a wonderful husband who cooks well!

4 teaspoons canola oil,
1/2 cup minced red onion,
2 tablespoons minced garlic,
1/2 teaspoon hot chili pepper
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar,
1/3 cup peanut butter,
1 cup of water

In a blender, combine oil, onion, garlic and hot chili pepper; blend for 1 minute. (James skipped that step because we like chunky texture.) Empty the mixture into a saucepan and place over low heat until the mixture starts releasing aroma. Add peanut butter and mix well over low heat. Add water and let it simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened. Stir in vinegar and sugar; continue to simmer for another 1-2 minutes. Taste and add more vinegar and sugar if the mixture does not have the sour and sweet taste.

Place sauce in a shallow plate for satay dipping or pour over fresh salad.

Honey Pear Crisp

I need to return my C is for Cooking book to the library tomorrow, so I thought, "Lets do one last Sesame Street recipe just for fun!" This Honey Pear Crisp is very yummy and inexpensive, but I'll tell you the honest truth... The crisp stuff on top of the apple or pear was the best part of it all. I could eat I pan of just that... but that would not be guilt free, now would it. Darn! If you like apples or pears, I think you'll really enjoy this recipe. Once again, it is a kids recipe so it's easy and fast and tastes great with Low fat cool whip or a titch of vanilla ice cream.

1/2 cup uncooked oats
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, softened
4 peeled, ripe pears, halved & cored
(instead of pears, you can substitute apples)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp honey
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 375. Coat a 9 in pie plate with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a medium bowl, use a fork to stir together oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until well mixed. With your fingers, work in the butter until a crumbly mixture forms.
3. Place the pears in the pie plate, cut side up.
4. Sprinkle the pears with lemon juice. Drizzle with honey.
5. Crumble the oat topping all over the pears.
6. Bake until pears are softened and topping is crisp and lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Let stand for at least 15 minutes. Spoon into individual dessert bowls. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream, if you like.


After eating this little meal all I can say is, "More Mini Meatloaf!" These small meat loaves cook in muffin cups and are done in half the time. I enjoyed them so much. We had our friends, Tia & Merrick over for dinner and they too thought it was "tasty". Although they aren't the prettiest things you've ever seen, they are kid friendly. Of course, their recipe comes from the Sesame street C is for Cooking book. I think your little ones would especially enjoy them. They're so simple and fast that the kids can help and I believe the total cost was under $5 for this meal. Not bad. If you buy ground turkey or very lean beef, then pretty darn healthy too, thanks to the added oatmeal and grated carrot inside.

1 egg
1 pound ground meat
1 cup uncooked oatmeal
1 onion, grated
1 carrot, shredded
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Additonal ketchup for topping (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly coat 8 muffin cups with vegetable oil or cooking spray.
2. Crack the egg in the bowl. Then in the bowl, combine the meat, oatmeal, onion, carrot, ketchup, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. With clean hands or a wooden spoon, mix until well-blended.
3. Divide the mixture up into 8 equal sized balls.
4. Place a ball of meat into each muffin cup and press down lightly. If you like, brush the top of each mini loaf with ketchup.
5. Bake until meat loaves are no longer pink in center, 20 to 25 minutes.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Crunchy Oriental Chicken Salad

Who doesn't love Ramen?! Ask any of my neices or nephews, they'll tell you it's awesome. This recipe comes from good ol' Betty Crocker. The salad is so fast and flavorful and best of all... cheap! The dressing is homemade and is much less fattening than most dressings, but I must admit, thanks to the Ramen, the sodium is a bit high. It has a very fresh, lite taste with just the right amount of crunch. True confession... One night after eating this for dinner, James and I were in the kitchen washing dishes. I went to clean the large glass serving bowl this salad was in, when I saw that there was some dressing left in it. Impulsively, I put the large bowl to my lips and chugged the last of the vinaigrette. James stared at me with shock in his eyes and a dropped jaw and said, "Did you really just do that?" We both started laughing so hard we could barely breath. Oh, lovely! That's how yummy it is!

2 Tbsp butter or margarine
1 pkg. Oriental flavored Ramen noodles
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups cooked chopped chicken
1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts, if desired
4 medium green onions, sliced
1 bag coleslaw mix (or 16 oz. cabbage, sliced)
1 can mandarin orange segments, drained

1. In large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in seasoning packet from soup mix. Break block of noodles into bite size pieces over skillet; stir into butter mixture.
2. Cook noodles 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in sesame seeds. (Unless you're like me and don't have any... it tasted great without them.) Cook about 2 minutes longer, stirring occasionally, until noodles are golden brown; remove from heat.
3. In large bowl, mix sugar, vinegar, oil, and pepper. Add noodle mixture and remaining ingredients; toss. Serve immediately to preserve the crunch of the noodles.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Healthiest Happy Meal

Moms out there, this recipe is for you! I know your kids probably don't love some of the fancy, gourmet foods on this blog. They just want chicken nuggets and fries. So I went to my library and checked out the greatest cookbook for kids called C is for Cooking (created by Sesame Street & Food Network Chefs) The recipes are created or approved by a registered dietitian, so they're good for kids bodies. It's only 9 to 10 bucks on, which tempts me to buy it. The recipes are made for kids not only to eat, but to help cook. They didn't have a fry recipe, so I added in a Paula Dean recipe to complete the meal. I hope you like it. It was so easy and fun to make that even my 4 month old baby helped to crush up the saltines. So fun! I hope you love it too. It makes a lot!

Grover's Little & Adorable Chicken Nuggets

24 saltine crackers (I used whole wheat saltines)
1 lb. thin sliced chicken breasts
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp mayo.
1 egg white
2 tsp. honey mustard

1. Preheat the oven to 400. Lightly grease a large cookie sheet.
2. (Kids) Place the crackers in a plastic ziplock bag and zip the bag. Now gently pound on the bag with your fists to crush the crackers into fine crumbs. Pour the crumbs onto a large plate. Set aside.
3. Cut the chicken breast into 1 1/2 in squares. Sprinkle evenly with salt.
4. (Kids) in a large bowl, stir together the mayo, egg white, and honey mustard until well mixed. Add the chicken to the mayo mixture and gently toss to coat the chicken pieces.
5. (Kids) Gently press each piece into the cracker crumbs until the nugget is covered all over. Transfer the nuggets to the greased cookie sheet.
6.Bake the nuggets until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
McDonald's chicken nuggets have 38 ingredients, many of which are synthetic. These have 6 ingredients and other than the 1 Tbsp of mayo and little salt, they're very good for you.

Paula Dean's Sweet Potato Fries:
2 to 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4 in long slices, then 1/4 in wide strips
Olive oil for tossing
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp paprika
Line a tray with parchment. In a bowl toss sweet potatoes with just enough oil to coat. Sprinkle on seasonings and toss again. Spread sweet potatoes in a single layer on prepared baking sheet, being sure not to overcrowd. Bake until sweet potatoes are tender and golden brown, turning occasionally, about 20 minutes. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

*These are so much better for you than regular fries because you use sweet potatoes, which have tons more nutrients than potatoes, and because you bake them in small amounts of olive oil instead of deep fat frying them in oil that often contains trans or saturated fats.

Abby Cadabby's Magic Golden Zucchini Coins:
6 small, thin zucchini or yellow summer squash or a combination
Salt to taste
1/3 c. grated Parmesan Cheese

1. (Kids) Use a plastic knife to slice each zucchini into 1/4 in thick rounds.
2. In a large saucepan, steam or boil the zucchini until barely tender, 4 to 6 min. Drain in a colander and set aside to cool slightly.
3. Preheat the broiler.
4. (Kids) Place the zucchini in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle each "coin" with a tiny pinch of salt and some Parmesan cheese.
5. Broil the zucchini until just golden, 1 to 2 minutes.

*James, my husband, is a 27 year old kid and just loved these. They are so simple and fast and flavorful too!

Bert's Best Blueberry Oatmeal Bars

This recipe is sooo yummy. It comes from the C is for Cooking (sesame street cookbook) but is delicious enough for kids from 2 to 102! James, who doesn't love really sweet foods, says this dessert has just the right amount of sweetness. It has the appeal of an oatmeal cookie, but with a little something extra in a soft, crumbly bar form. You'll love it too... but beware, you could eat half the pan if you're not careful. Don't fret if you don't have blueberries. They were $5.99 so I had to decline. But the recipe says, "If fresh blueberries are unavailable, you can substitute 1 cup of dried blueberries, cherries, raisins or cranberries." We did half raisins, half cranberries and loved it! Let your kids help. They'll have so much fun. It's not exactly guilt free, but all the recipes in this book have been approved by child nutritionists, so there you go. But is definitely cheap!

1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. butter or margarine, softened
1/2 c. oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 c. uncooked oats
1 pint(2 c.) fresh blueberries

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 13 x 9 in baking pan with aluminum foil. Lightly grease the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
2. (Kids) In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt until well mixed.
3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed, beat together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and butter until fluffy. Beat in the oil, eggs, and vanilla. With awooden spoon, mix in flow mixture until blended. Then Stir in the oats and blueberries.
4. (Kids) Use a rubber spatula to spread the batter evenly into the pan.
5. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center come out clean, 30 to 35 min. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Lift by the foil from the pan and cut into 25 bar cookies.

(Yes. Their's looked much prettier than mine, but I thought I should still post a picture of mine so you don't feel bad if yours don't turn out like their picture. They still taste great!)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Spinach Lasagna with Red Pepper Sauce

I went to the library and checked out a cookbook that claims "Recipes for a Healthy Weight and a Healthy Life." I thought to myself, I need to loose 10 to 15 lbs of baby weight, so this cookbook is for me! It's called The New American Plate. This recipe was a little too gourmet to be called "cheap" (although ricotta cheese was on sale for 1.50) but the recipe is definetly "guilt free". I enjoyed the flavors, but I honestly wanted more cheese and the comfort of the fatty lasagna my mom makes. But I'm never going to loose weight eating my mom's lasagna. So if you like a challenge & veggie lasagna, go ahead and give this recipe a try!

3 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 medium onions, one thinly sliced one chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped and divided
1 jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1/2 tbsp. dried crushed basil
1 can (28 oz) tomato sauce
1 c. water, divided
3 pkg frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry (I only used 2 and it was plenty)
1 container (15 oz) lowfat ricotta cheese
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
12 sheets lasagna noodles
1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese ( I used dried powdered b/c that's all I had.)

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat in a large pan. Saute the sliced onion and half of the garlic for about 4 min, stirring often, until translucent. Add the peppers, basil, tomato sauce, and 1/2 c. of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 min. Cool slightly and then puree in a blender or food processor.
Preheat the oven to 350. Boil water & cook lasagna noodles, unless you purchase oven ready noodles. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium high heat. Saute the chopped onion and garlic for 4 min, stirring often. Add the spinach and remaining 1/2 c. water. Cook for 10 min, stirring occasionally, until the water evaporates and the spinach and onion are tender. Meanwhile, combine the ricotta and mozzarella cheese in a bowl.
Spoon 1/4 of the pureed sauce to cover the bottom of a 13 x 9 in baking dish. Arrange 3 sheets of pasta over the sauce. Cover with 1/3 of the spinach. Spread 1/3 of the cheese mixture over the top . Sprinkle on 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese. Repeat this process twice, starting with the sauce. For the final (fourth) layer, arrange the remaining pasta over the cheese and top with the remaining sauce and Parmesan.
Cover the lasagna with foil and bake for 45 min. Remove the lasagna from the oven and let stand for 15 min before serving. Enjoy!

Curried Chicken Salad

Lindsay, one of my best friends & also one of the only people who reads this blog, emailed me and suggested that I try making this recipe. It is a Food Network recipe. She said, "Here is one we tried and really like. We eat it with rolls. It's scrumptious!" James and I really enjoyed it. The grapes add a perfect sweetness to the curry sauce. It leaves you feeling really healthy. It is guilt free and relatively quick to make (other than the way they cook their chicken). It wasn't super cheap because of the alnonds, yogurt, and grapes not being on sale... but if you see any of those items on sale, make this for your family because it is so good. It's worth a little splurge if they're not on sale because of the yummy flavors.

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup water

1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast halves, no more than 3/4-inch thick

1/4 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 cup halved red grapes

1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

5 ounces mixed greens (about 5 cups lightly packed))

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Bring the broth and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add chicken to broth and simmer, covered, for 8 minutes. Turn the heat off and let chicken stand in the cooking liquid, covered, until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken from the broth and cool completely in the refrigerator. Cut into 1/4-inch dice. Toast the almonds in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant and beginning to turn golden, 2 to 3 minutes.

In a large bowl, stir together the yogurt, mayonnaise, and curry powder. Fold in the chicken, grapes and cilantro and season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss the greens with the oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper, to taste. Arrange the greens on 4 individual plates, top with a scoop of the chicken salad and sprinkle with the almonds.

Curried Sweet Potato and Apple Pilaf

When I checked this New American Plate cookbook out, the cute college age librarian said, "Oh, I love that cookbook. My favorite recipe was the Apple and Sweet Potato Recipe. It was so good!" So I thought to myself, I better make that one. She could have been referring to the honey-roasted parsnips with sweet potatoes and apples recipe that is in this book also, but I think she was talking about this one. It was really good and very affordable. The curry and tart apples balanced each other well. It left you with a healthy, good feeling. P.S. I added chicken because I felt like I couldn't eat a dinner vegetarian or vegan style. We thought the chicken was a good addition.

1 tbsp canola oil
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1 c. instant brown rice
1 tbsp curry powder
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 1 1/2 c.)
1 c. coarsely chopped fresh kale or spinach, loosely packed
2 c. reduced sodium chicken broth
3 small tart apples (granny smith)
1/4 c. currants or raisins or craisins
*1 chicken breast (I added it & though it no longer was vegetarian, it was so good)
Salt and pepper

In a large skillet, heat the canola oil over medium high heat. Add onion and saute for 5 min, until golden. Add the rice and curry powder and saute for 3 min. Stir in the sweet potato and kale and saute for 2 min.
Add the broth and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 min, until the rice and sweet potato are nearly tender and the liquid is almost absorbed. If the mixture becomes too dry, additional broth can be added.
Stir in the apples and currants (and cooked cubed chicken). Simmer about 5 min, stirring frequently, until the apples are tender and all the liquid is absorbed. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Cranberry- Apple Lattice Pie

Mmm... apple pie with a little less guilt because it is whole wheat crust with no shortening and only 1 tbsp. butter and more natural sugars and fruits. It was so tasty to us. It may become a family favorite pie. I was nervous about such a healthy crust, but don't fear it. Embrace it! You'll love it. This recipe comes to you from a cookbook called The New American Plate Cookbook. Enjoy! (Note: I couldn't find fresh or frozen cranberries so I used dried craisins & I couldn't find the ginger and didn't have walnuts or cloves, but it still turned out delicious. So don't stress!)
1 bag (12 oz) fresh or frozen cranberries*
3 medium golden delicious apples, peeled, cored, and chopped (5 cups)
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped candied or crystallized ginger*
2/3 c. packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves*
1/3 c. apple cider or frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed, divided
1/2 c. chopped walnuts*
4 tsp. cornstarch
canola oil spray
Dough for 1 (or 2 if you're like me) New American Plate Pie Crusts
Unbleached all purpose flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 c. sugar

In a deep saucepan with a tight fitting lid, combine the cranberries, apples, raisins, ginger, sugar, cinnamon, and cloves. Add 1/4 c. of juice and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook uncovered for about 5 min. or until some of the cranberries pop and the mixture is moist and bubbling. Stir well, cover, and cook for 5 min, until cranberries are soft. Mix in the walnuts. In a small bowl, combine remaining juice and cornstarch and mix into the cranberry mixture. Cook for 2 min, stirring constantly, until thickened.
Lightly coat 9 in pie plate with canola spray and turn the filling into the pie plate (or put down 1 pie crust into plate and then put in filling if you love crust like I do!) Let filling come to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. On wax paper roll dough into a 6 by 10 in rectangle. Cut into 12 half inch strips. Place 6 strips one way over the pie and then carefully weave the other 6 strips one by one into the first strips at a 90 degree angle to them. Trim and border the rim with the remnants. Crimp the dges. Brush the crust with egg and then spprinkle with sugar.
Set the pie on a baking sheet and bake for 10 min. Then reduce heat to 350 and bake 25 to 30 min more, until golden. Cool the pie 20 min before serving.

New American Plate Pie Crust:
1/4 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c. flour
1 tbsp. powdered sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. canola oil (or vegetable oil)
1 to 2 tbsp. ice water or cold apple juice
Combine the flours, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and oil. Cut in or pulse in a food processor until resembles crumbs (pea size). Add 1 tbsp of water at a time until the dough starts to come together. Gather dough into a ball and let rest a few minutes.
Press the dough into a flattened disk in wax paper with rolling pin into a 12 in circle. The dough can be covered and refrigerated overnight or tightly wrapped and frozen up to a month or baked immediately.

Kat's Slow Chicken

This recipe comes to you from my Rival Crock Pot Slow Cooker Recipes. I choose it because I had all the ingredients on hand, it has little to no fat, lots of vegetables, was cheap, and so easy because it is a crock pot recipe. We liked it, but it needed more salt. James put seasoning salt on it and liked it so much more. Give it a try and adapt it to your own family's tastes.

4 to 6 boneless skinless breasts or 1 cut up whole chicken (3 lbs)
1 jar (26 oz) pasta sauce
1 medium onion, sliced
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into strips
4 carrots, sliced
1 rib celery, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp to 1/4 c. water, divided
1 to 2 tbsp. cornstarch
Prepared mashed potatoes or hot cooked noodles (optional)
Combine all ingredients, except water, cornstarch and mashed potatoes in slow cooker. Cover; cook on low 6 to 8 hours. Before serving, combine 2 tbsp. water and 1 tbsp cornstarch in small bowl. Stir until mixture is smooth. Add to slow cooker. Cook on high an additional 15 minutes or until mixture thickens. If mixture needs additional thickening, add remaining water and cornstarch. Serve chicken and vegetables over mashed potatoes if desired.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Herbed Tomatoes, Chicken & Rice

This recipe comes from the kraft food website under their budget healthy living recipes... they're cheap & guilt free. This has always been one of my favorite cooking websites (ties with Here is the link:

James and I really enjoyed this recipe, James even more so than I. There was a little crunchiness in the brown rice because I didn't have instant and so I tried to adapt the recipe to regular brown rice and I didn't nail it. One thing to be said about this recipe is that it is pretty tasty, very cheap, and takes under 45 minutes from start to finish.

1/4 cup Italian Dressing

4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 cup water

2 cups instant brown rice, uncooked

1 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

1 fresh tomato, chopped

2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro

1 avocado (optional)

Heat dressing in large skillet on medium heat. Add chicken and garlic; cover. Cook 5 min. on each side or until chicken is browned on both sides. Remove chicken from skillet; set aside.

Add canned tomatoes and water to skillet; stir in rice. Bring to boil; simmer, uncovered, on low heat 10 min. Return chicken to skillet. Top with cheese; cover.

Cook 5 min. or until chicken is done; top with remaining ingredients.

Great Easy Chicken Tacos

This recipe is super easy, fast, very low in fat & cost under $5 (depending on how cheap you can find avacado)! Now that's what I call a "cheap, guilt free" recipe!

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder (or taco seasoning)
1 small garlic clove
1 large chicken breast(or halibut fillets)
8 small corn tortillas
(toppings: shredded cabbage, onion, tomato, avocado, cilantro, lime)

Combine the olive oil, garlic, and chicken in a large nonstick skillet. Stir in spices and coat chicken well. Cook the chicken over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until there's no pink meat or juices. While chicken is cooking, chop vegetables for toppings and heat the tortillas (either in microwave or on an 8 in skillet for 3 minutes) Fold tortillas and set aside covered to keep warm. Once chicken is done, assemble the tacos and serve with rice and beans.


I served a mission in Italy & ate this nearly everyday. As a Home Ec. teacher, this was usually a favorite recipe among my 8th graders. It is super cheap and super easy and only uses a small amount of olive oil and low fat mozarella. You could even use a whole wheat baguette, if you could find one that is. Enjoy! I love it!

2 large tomato, chopped
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning (or just basil)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 baguette or loaf french bread, cut into 1 inch slices
1 cup mozzarella cheese, diced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, combine tomato, olive oil, garlic, Italian seasoning, and cheese. Place bread on a baking sheet, and top with tomato mixture. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until bottom of bread is browned. You can also broil them for about 3 minutes until golden, but if you broil keep a very close eye because they can burn so fast. Serve.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 c. self-rising flour*
2/3 c. sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 c. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 bag miniature chocolate chips

1. Preheat the ocen to 325.
2. Put the flour & sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, olive oil, and vanilla and almond extract. Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture and mix until a smooth dough forms. The mixture will be slightly crumbly and a little oily.
3. Knead several times on the counter. Form into 24 balls. Roll the tops in miniature chocolate chips. Line a large baking sheet with parchment or use a silicon pad. Place the cookies 1 in. apart. Bake for 25 minutes or until firm to the touch. Temove from the oven and let cool on the pan.
Makes 2 dozen. Recipe from: Eat Fresh Food

*2 cup self rising flour= 2 c. all purpose flour + 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder and 2 pinches of salt... I accidently substituted baking soda instead of powder and they turned out so gross! Baking powder is the key!
** I would only do 18-20 min. cook time and I would put 1 tsp. almond extract.

Why is it so healthy? Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat which will increase your high density lipoprotien (HDL healthy cholestrol) and decrease your low density lipoprotien (LDL unhealthy cholestrol). Butter is a saturated fat and does the exact opposite and margarine or shortening can be made of both polyunsaturated or trans fat, both types are not great. Trans fat is a man made fat that your body cannot digest and directly links to rapid heart attacks. (It is banned & illegal in Sweden) So there you have it. That is why this recipe is better for you and also because it uses darker chocolate and a bit less sugar than my typical cookie recipe.

Mac-and-Cheese with Cauliflower & Creamy Red Pepper Sauce

4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 medium red bell peppers
3 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. honey
1/8 tsp. chile powder
8 oz penne pasta
5 c. small cauliflower florets
3 Tbsp. chopped chives

1. Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds. Cut into 1 inch pieces and put in a small saucepan with 1/2 cup water. Cut the garlic in half, lengthwise, and add to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium, and cover. Cook for 15 minutes or until the peppers are very soft. Transfer the contents of the saucepan, including the water, to a food processor or blender. Add the butter, honey, chile powder, and salt to taste and process until very smooth. Return to saucepan.
2.Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cauliflower and cook for 12 minutes, or until tender. Drain well and shake dry. Transfer to a large bowl. Heat the sauce and pour it over the pasta. Add the cheese and stir well. Add salt to taste. Sprinkle with chives. Serves 6.
Recipe from: Eat Fresh Food

Why so good for you: Because there is only 1 c. cheese & 1 T. butter, but more importantly it is loaded with bell peppers and cauliflower. Here are some facts about them:
Cauliflower: This food is very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Potassium and Manganese.
Red bell peppers are among the most nutrient-dense vegetables you can buy, with just one medium pepper (148 g) containing only about 30-40 calories and providing an excellentsource of vitamin C (one of the best sources), vitamin A, and vitamin B6. This same serving also provides a good source of fiber and vitamin E (a potent antioxidant). This diet-friendly treat has no fat, cholesterol or sodium and very few carbohydrates.

Appearance: Very pretty for Mac & Cheese... gourmet for sure!
Cost: Our Bell Peppers were on sale for 90 cents, but those can get pricey... so I plan to only make this when they go on sale.
Taste: My confession is that I can hardly tolerate cauliflower. I just have never grown to love it and I keep trying it in hopes that I will someday grow up and love it. But alas, this recipe didn't do it for me. However James really liked it. So if you love cauliflower and bell pepper, you will love it! And if you don't you will enjoy a few bites and then be done with your monthly fill of cauliflower.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Banana Bread Muffins

1 1/4cups sugar
1/2cup butter or margarine, softened*
1 1/2cups mashed ripe bananas (3 medium)
1/2cup milk
1teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2cups all-purpose flour*
1teaspoon baking soda
1teaspoon salt
1cup chopped nuts, if desired

Preheat the oven to 350. Mix sugar and butter in large bowl. Stir in eggs until well blended. Add bananas, buttermilk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt just until moistened. Stir in nuts. Pour into greased muffin tins. Bake for 20 minutes. (I started making these into muffins because I didn’t have the patience for loafs. I also wanted easily edible bite size breakfasts for us on the go… I even make mini muffins too!) If you would like to make loafs, pour into 2 greased loaf pans and bake for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean. Recipe from: Betty Crocker, altered by me!

*To make these even healthier you can do the following:
1. Use 1/4cup unsweetened applesauce & 1/4cup margarine instead of 1/2 c. butter
2. Use 1/2cup fat-free cholesterol-free egg product instead of 2 eggs
3. Use 1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour & 1 1/4 c. white flour or all whole wheat… James loves this. It makes the muffin have a hearty almost nutty flavor to it. I highly suggest this! Today I ran out of sugar and so I only put in 3/4 c.and they still were "Pleasantly sweet" like our friend Clinton said I could quote him saying.
**Guilty Confession: They taste even better with soft, melting butter on top, but that is not guilt free and defeats the whole purpose... but it is true.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Grilled Steak & Vegetables

Tonight's dinner was created because I couldn't find my shishkabob skewers and I had steak that I got in the discounted section of Smith's grocery store for only $3.03 total that I needed to use up before it went bad. I was going to fire up the grill, but without skewers it was hopeless, so here is what I did instead:

Chop meat, fruits, vegetables and onions into bite size pieces. Pour on a 1/4 c. olive oil, salt, pepper, and either marinade or BBQ sauce(I used a mixture of bbq and raspberry chipotle). Stir and coat evenly. Spread onto a broiler pan or cookie sheet. Broil on high in oven for 10 minutes, then rotate and broil for another 10 or until golden and edges are brown. While the meat and vegetables were cooking I put brown rice, a minced clove of garlic, and a Tbsp. of olive oil in the rice cooker. When the rice was done I topped it with a little mango salsa and avacado...mmm so good! I'm in a hurry, so I'll leave the ratings to you, we loved it, but the key for price is to find your meat on sale or substitute it with chicken (which is healthier anyway).
P.S. I also was out of pineapple, so I used an apple instead with my bell pepper and onion. It turned out so yummy... so if all you have is an apple, try it. It absorbs alot of flavor and gives a nice little sweetness.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pasta Carbonara

• 1/2 pound bacon, chopped (I left it out & just used olive oil.)
• 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1 pound fresh spaghetti or bowtie, cooked al dente
• 4 large eggs, beaten
• Salt
• 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used powdered)
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
• Mixed vegetables or peas (optional)
In a large saute pan, over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy, about 6 minutes. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels. Pour off all of the oil except for 3 tablespoons. Add the garlic. Add the vegetables, if desired. Season with black pepper. Saute for 30 seconds. Add the crispy bacon and the pasta. Saute for 1 minute. Season the eggs with salt. Remove the pan from the heat and add the eggs, whisking quickly until the eggs thicken, but do not scramble. Add the cheese and re-season with salt and pepper. Mound into serving bowls and garnish with parsley.

Time: Less than 30 minutes
Cost: Less than $5
Taste: Ryan, James'best friend, says out of 5 it was a 4.2 at first bite and then 3.8 after a few bites when it got cold.
Healthiness: I can't say exactly,but I can say if you take out the bacon, use olive oil, add vegetables, and even use whole wheat pasta, there is no way it could be that bad for you! But I'll be honest, in Italy I loved it with Pancetta(bacon):)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Crab Ragoons & Avacado Egg Rolls

*Important note: We baked both the egg rolls & ragoons to make them healthier Substitute the oil for a light eggwash, then bake at 350 until they are as crisped as you like. You still have the crunch, but lose that nice oil flavor. At least you dont have to feel guilty afterwards though. If you find that the end product is a little to shiney and crisped, just thin out the eggwash next time with a little water." We also used low fat cream cheese. We paired it with brown rice and vegetables.

$11 for the whole meal.
Time: 1 hour ( a little long, but was fun making them together)
Flavor: Good, the dipping sauce is amazing! We didn't have saffron or tamarid, but it was still very flavorful without it. We thought the baked was good, but not as tasty as fried. We will make it again, but change up a few things... like a little less crab & not forget the cumin in the sauce like I did. I'd give it a 3 out of 5.

Cheese Cake Factory Crab Rangoons

• 8 ounces low fat cream cheese
• 8 ounces fresh crab meat or canned crab meat, drained and flaked
• 1 teaspoon red onion, chopped
• 1/2 teaspoon Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
• 1/2 teaspoon light soy sauce
• freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 1 green onion, finely sliced
• 1 large clove garlic, smashed, peeled, and finely minced
• 1 package won ton wrappers
• 1 small bowl water
• Oil for deep-frying, as needed
Combine the cream cheese and crab meat. Mix in the remaining six filling ingredients (up to the wonton wrappers) one at a time.

On a flat surface, lay out a won ton wrapper in front of you so that it forms 2 triangles (not a square). Wet the edges of the won ton.

Add 1 teaspoon of filling to the middle, and spread it out toward the left and right points of the wrapper so that it forms a log or rectangular shape (otherwise the wrapper may break in the middle during deep-frying).

Fold over the edges of the wrapper to make a triangle. Wet the edges with water and press together to seal.

Keep the completed Crab Rangoon covered with a damp towel or paper towel to keep them from drying out while preparing the remainder.

Heat wok and add oil for deep-frying. When oil is ready (the temperature should be between 360 - 375 degrees), carefully slide in the Crab Rangoon, taking care not to overcrowd the wok. Deep-fry until they are golden brown, about 3 minutes, turning once. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain. Serve hot with Sweet and Sour Sauce or Chinese Hot Mustard.

Cheesecake Factory Avocado Eggroll

dipping sauce
3-4 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon tamarind pulp
1/2 cup honey
1 pinch powdered saffron
1/2 cup chopped cashews
2/3 cup fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves
2 green onions
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup olive oil

egg rolls
1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, & diced
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped
1 tablespoon minced red onions
1/2 teaspoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1 pinch salt
3 egg roll wraps
1 egg, beaten
1. Stir together vinegars, tamarind, honey, and saffron in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave for 1 minute.
2. Stir until tamarind is dissolved.
3. In a blender, Puree tamarind mixture, cashews, 2/3 cup cilantro, garlic, onions, sugar, pepper, and cumin.
4. Pour mixture into a bowl and stir in oil.
5. Refrigerate until ready to use.
6. Gently stir together avocado, tomatoes, onion, 1/2 teaspoon cilantro, and salt.
7. Distribute filling evenly onto center of each egg roll wrapper.
8. Position a wrapper so that a corner is pointing toward you; fold the bottom corner up, 1/4 of the way over the filling.
9. Brush remaining corners and edges of the wrapper with egg, roll up from side to side, fold top corner over all and press to seal.
10. Repeat with remaining wrappers.
11. Continue by deep-frying the egg rolls in 375 degree oil for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown.
12. Drain on brown paper bags.
13. Slice egg rolls diagonally across middle and serve with prepared dipping sauce

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Roasted Rosemary-Onion Potatoes

4 medium potatoes ( I used 1 large sweet potato & 4 small red potatoes)
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. chopped rosemary leaves or 2 tsp. dried rosemary leaves
1/4 tsp. dried thyme leaves ( I substituted basil instead)
¼ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
Heat oven to 450ºF. Grease cookie sheet, 15 1/2x10 1/2x1 inch. Cut potatoes into 1-inch chunks. Mix remaining ingredients in large bowl. Add potatoes; toss to coat. Spread potatoes in single layer in pan. Bake uncovered 20 to 25 minutes, turning occasionally, until potatoes are light brown and tender when pierced with fork.

Recipe from: Betty Crocker Cookbook & altered by me!

Taste: 3 or a 4 (French Fries are a 5 & these are close behind!)
Cost: For the entire meal I spent under $5 (which included fresh steamed broccoli, lean pork chops, and the Rosemary Potatoes)- So I'd call that cheap!
Time/Easiness: So easy! I started cooking at 5:50, everything was in the oven or steamer by 6:00, James & I left the house, came back at 6:30, dinner was ready!
Healthiness: Only2 Tbsp. olive oil & a little salt- confession James said they'd be better with more salt. If you use Sweet Potatoes it is way healthy. Here are a few facts I got on sweet potatoes from the 5 a Day Website, "These tuberous roots are among the most nutritious foods in the vegetable kingdom. They are packed with calcium, potassium, and vitamins A and C. This is why one colonial physician called them the "vegetable indispensable."
Appearance: 3 out of 5... they're colorful and pair well with so many dishes

**If you like sweet potato fries like I do this is the delicious & healthy alternative. One last thing: I put a bit of bbq sauce on the pork... I tried a new kind called Sweet Baby Rays! It is to die for, seriously 5 out of 5. James and I are tempted to name our first son Sweet Baby Ray in honor of it! Mmm! Probably not super healthy, but only a little is guilt free. :)