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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Yummy Brussels Sprouts

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I was not a fan of brussels sprouts growing up. Hell, I wasn’t a fan into most of adulthood. In the last five or six years I have started loving them. Really nutritious and powerful flavor that I now love! Of course Cooking Light came to the rescue with a yummy recipe that I think you’ll love!

6 slices bacon
1/2 cup shallots, sliced
1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
6 cloves garlic, sliced
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon, and sauté for 5 minutes or until bacon begins to brown. Remove pan from heat. Remove the bacon from pan with a slotted spoon, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pan (discard the remaining drippings).

2. Return pan to medium-high heat, and stir in bacon, shallot, and Brussels sprouts; sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic, and saute for 4 minutes or until garlic begins to brown, stirring frequently. Add the chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes or until the broth mostly evaporates and the sprouts are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in salt and pepper.

6 Servings

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 99 Calories; 4g Fat (29.7% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 13g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 5mg Cholesterol; 268mg Sodium.

Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 2 1/2 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat


Chicken With Balsamic Fig Sauce

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I want this!!!!!! Now! Cooking Light has done it again. Love them. 🙂

chicken with balsamic fig sauce

chicken with balsamic fig sauce

1 1/4 pounds chicken breast, no skin, no bone, R-T-C
1 1/2 tablespoons thyme, fresh
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup dried figs, finely chopped

1. Sprinkle both sides of chicken evenly with 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan; keep warm.

2. Reduce heat to medium; add butter to pan. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add broth, vinegar, soy sauce, and figs. Simmer until sauce is reduced to 1 cup (about 3 minutes). Add 1 tablespoon thyme and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cut chicken breast halves lengthwise on the diagonal into slices. Serve sauce over chicken.

4 Servings.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 311 Calories; 11g Fat (30.2% calories from fat); 34g Protein; 21g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 94mg Cholesterol; 571mg Sodium.

Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 4 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 1 Fruit; 1 1/2 Fat.


Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

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chocolate chip pumpkin muffins

chocolate chip pumpkin muffins

I love chocolate chip pumpkin muffins! They taste like fall! I don’t always add the ginger or allspice. Sometimes I kick up the cinnamon. And sometimes if I want them even more moist I will add 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce.

This recipe was originally from Taste of Home. But as I stated above, I adapt it to whatever I want at the time.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
dash allspice
1 egg
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
2/3 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips

1. In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Combine the egg, brown sugar, pumpkin, milk, butter and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Stir in chocolate chips.

2. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 375° for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

Serves 12.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 210 Calories; 6g Fat (25.7% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 36g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 27mg Cholesterol; 314mg Sodium.

Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 1 Fat; 1 Other Carbohydrates.


October 23, 2012

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I have figured out how much my job contributes to my unhealthy eating. This week I have worked such crazy hours and I am so tired. I ate convenience food. I did have a salad one day but it was convenient. It was really good, but if it hadn’t been easy to get I wouldn’t have eaten it. The other day I went into work what was supposed to be a short 4 hour shift at work. My relief called out. Four hours turned into 12. I hadn’t planned on that long so there was no meal prep. I was glad I had left my handy dandy hummus in the fridge along with some of my tasty pita chips in my locker. That was dinner and a snack! And thankfully I had taken a 2 liter of Diet Mtn Dew with me. I couldn’t leave to go get anything and frankly I was pizza’d out. People think I exaggerate about how things happen at work. I don’t. I usually end up staying late daily. I get called in frequently. This has been my on-call week and I was also scheduled for 46 hours initially for the week. Then there are the obligatory call-outs. My organization has to cover the shift. You don’t just say so-and-so will deal with it tomorrow. We have to have a set number of people on duty all the time. So this week I have worked over 60 hours. Sleeping during the day is next to impossible because the world operates during the day. It takes me about 10 hours to achieve about 7 hours sleep. Between this week and last, my paycheck will have 38 hours of overtime on it.

So if you’re wondering why I’m grouchy, this is why. I’m tired. Sorry. Next week will be better I hope!


Relationships With Food

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Our relationships with food start early. That is pretty obvious. You begin to eat and your relationship with food has begun. So it is really important for parents to recognize this and try to foster good relationships. I see kids drinking energy drinks and wonder what parent buys that for their kid. I think there should be an age limit on energy drinks just like alcohol. No kid should be purchasing those things. I will admit that I have used them, but I am a middle-aged woman! I also drink too much soda. Again, I am a middle-aged woman. Would I allow a child to drink as much soda as I do? No way! It’s terrible for you! Why do I do it? Because it keeps my energy up for a 3rd shift job. It is hard to work like this constantly. I am fighting natural instincts to sleep at night.

I think parents should really look at the obesity rates and recognize that if they don’t do something while their children are young, they will be adding to that number. Their kids may not be fat now, but if they don’t teach them good eating habits young, the weight will eventually catch up with them. You have to cultivate their palates. You have to introduce them to new foods. You don’t have to starve them, but you  do need to help them experience new stuff. They’re never going to learn to like new stuff if they don’t know what it tastes like.

So how do you get them to eat new stuff? Introduce a new food once in a while. Cook foods differently every now and then. As kids get older, let them pick a food they want to try at the grocery store. Let them help with meal planning. Let them help prepare the meal! Kids will enjoy the food much more if they help create it.

Parents, just because you don’t like something, don’t assume your kids don’t or won’t. And also don’t assume that because you do like something that your kids will. For example, my parents loved black-eyed peas. I despise them. Actually, I really despise a lot of peas and beans. Know what I do like, though? Hummus! I love it! I  have been eating it a lot lately. Guess what it is made from! Garbanzo beans. I don’t know if my parents liked garbanzos, but I do. (Daddy probably did. That man ate just about anything! I loved watching Daddy eat. He weighed all of about 145 pounds and ate any and everything!) Also, I love pineapple on my pizza and both my parents thought that was horrible. For years I hated hot dogs. It turned out that it was the brand my mother was buying. Once she bought turkey dogs or kosher hot dogs, I was fine and loved them.

If you start young with variety, your kids will most likely try things. This goes especially for veggies. At four years old I was eating beets, okra, turnips, pinto beans, kraut, and all kinds of other stuff. I was lucky to have a huge garden to eat from. Daddy loved to garden and he never did a small one.

Mama had the one-bite rule. If she made it and she would eat it, then I had to try one bite. I didn’t have to eat the whole helping, but I had to try a bite. We did this for a long time with peas and we learned that Amy hates peas. And that is OK. And Mama realized that and didn’t push. But she also realized that Amy loved squash this way. But if Mama wouldn’t eat it, Amy didn’t have to. Maybe not  the best thing, but…thankfully Mama did have a good palate.

October 17, 2012

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New food addiction. Stacy’s Pita Chips Simply Naked (No, I don’t eat them naked) and some hummus I picked up at the grocery store. I believe it was sundried tomato and basil. It also had a ton of garlic in it. Let’s just say you can only eat a little hummus and it packs a punch! Your breath will stink and you just don’t care! It’s that good.

Cranberry Crockpot Pork Roast

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Perfect time of year for this easy and delicious recipe. Let it do the work!

Roast Pork Loin

Roast Pork Loin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3 pounds pork roast
salt and pepper
1 cup ground or finely chopped cranberries
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper. Place in crockpot. Combine remaining ingredients; pour over roast. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. Boneless or pork loin roast may be used.

Serves 8.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 291 Calories; 16g Fat (50.0% calories from fat); 25g Protein; 11g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 84mg Cholesterol; 76mg Sodium.

Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 3 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Fruit; 1 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.