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Cinnamon Sugar Sweet Potato Fries

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I love fries. Who doesn’t? I found this recipe in an old Weight Watchers magazine.

1 1/2 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

2 sweet potatoes (1 lb each)

1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 425. Line large rimmed baking sheet with silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

Combine sugar and cinnamon in small bowl; set aside.

Peel potatoes and cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch thick slices; cut each slice into 1/2 inch thick sticks (you should have 48 fries). Spread fries on prepared pan, making sure they do not touch or overlap. Spray with nonstick spray and sprinkle with salt.

Bake 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven; spray fries with nonstick spray and sprinkle with half of the sugar mixture. Flip fries and spray with nonstick spray and sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture. Bake 10 minutes longer. Remove from ove, toss well and bake until brown and tender, about 5 more minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool several minutes before serving.

Serving size: 8 fries per person

144 calories, 8 g total fat, 9 g sat fat, 277 mg sodium, 34 g total carbs, 9 g sugar, 5 g fiber, 2 g protein

Points Plus: 4

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Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry

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I saw this on Diabetic Living Online and the recipe looked great. The only problem was they didn’t tell how much the calories were including the rice. I calculated it with the rice. Still a good calorie count with rice.

4 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 medium red onion, cut into strips
1/4 medium pineapple, peeled and cored, and chopped
3/4 cup zucchini, cut into strips
3/4 cup peas, sugar snap
12 ounces chicken breast half without skin, cut into bite-sized pieces
3 tablespoons stir-fry sauce
2 cups cooked rice

1. In a wok or large skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Stir-fry red onion in hot oil for 2 minutes. Add pineapple pieces, zucchini, and pea pods. Stir-fry for 2 minutes more. Remove mixture from wok.

2. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to hot wok. Add chicken. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink. Return onion mixture to wok. Add stir-fry sauce. Cook and stir about 1 minute or until heated through. If desired, serve with fresh pineapple wedges.

Serves 4.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 301 Calories; 6g Fat (18.0% calories from fat); 21g Protein; 40g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 39mg Cholesterol; 447mg Sodium.

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

April 10, 2014

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I am a slacker. I admit it. I haven’t been writing here because I have tried to balance everything. It’s not been working so well. The one good thing recently is that I’ve tried to get back on the wagon with healthier eating. Yay me? Yeah, I fell off. It was a hard landing. I was working crazy hours. I wasn’t sleeping well. I wasn’t eating well. I was just functioning. Now I am trying to just get back on track. I have moved towards eating healthier. I have quit eating out so much. I was eating out all the time because it is hard to cook when you have less than 12 hours at home before you have to be back at work. I just wanted food immediately and sleep. Then I wasn’t sleeping well because of the food. Ugh! So I have started cooking up big batches of rice and veggies so I have these meals ready to microwave. It’s easier and more affordable. And tastier! I cook a helluva lot better than McDonalds!

I was also recently inspired by a friend who told me he lost 15 lbs. I was impressed. So I figured if he can, I can get back to it! I’m doing my shakes and eating better and feeling better slowly. It’s not the easiest road. Most of us know that. But it is a process.

Beet Veggie Burger

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I’ve been looking for a great veggie burger. I found this site that had what looked yummy. Check them for other recipes if you’d like.

3 large beets
1/2 cup brown rice, uncooked
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced fine
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cans black beans, canned
1/4 cup prunes, finely chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons brown mustard
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 large egg
salt and pepper, to taste
6 each hamburger bun

1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Wrap the beets loosely in aluminum foil and roast until easily pierced with a fork, 50 to 60 minutes. Set aside to cool.

2. Meanwhile, bring a 2-quart pot of water to a boil. Salt the water generously and add the rice. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the rice until it’s a little beyond al dente. You want it a little over-cooked, but still firm (not completely mushy). This should take about 35 to 40 minutes. Drain the rice and set it aside to cool.

3. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Stir the onions every minute or two, and cook until they are golden and getting charred around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. A few wisps of smoke as you are cooking is ok, but if it seems that the onions are burning, lower the heat. A dark, sticky crust should develop on the bottom of the pan.

4. Add the garlic and cook until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the cider vinegar and scrape up the dark sticky crust. Continue to simmer until the cider has evaporated and the pan is nearly dry again. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

5. Process the oats in a food processor until they have reduced to a fine flour. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

6. Drain and rinse one of the cans of beans and transfer the beans to the food processor. Scatter the prunes on top. Pulse in 1-second bursts just until the beans are roughly chopped — not so long that they become mush — 8 to 10 pulses. Transfer this mixture to a large mixing bowl. Drain and rinse the second can of beans and add these whole beans to the mixing bowl as well.

7. Use the edge of a spoon or a paper towel to scrape the skins off the cooled roasted beets; the skins should slip off easily. Grate the peeled beets on the largest holes of a box grater. Transfer the beet gratings to a strainer set over the sink. Press and squeeze the beet gratings to remove as much liquid as possible from the beets. (You can also do this over a bowl and save the beet juice for another purpose.)

8. Transfer the squeezed beets, cooked rice, and sautéed onions to the bowl with the beans. Sprinkle the olive oil, brown mustard, smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, and thyme over the top of the mixture. Mix all the ingredients until combined. Taste the mixture and add salt, pepper, or any additional spices or flavorings to taste. Finally, add the oatmeal flour and egg (if using), and mix until you no longer see any dry oatmeal or egg.

9. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or transfer the mixture to a refrigerator container, and refrigerate the burger mixture for at least 2 hours or (ideally) overnight. The mix can also be kept refrigerated for up to three days before cooking.

10. When ready to cook the burgers, first shape them into burgers. Scoop up about a scant cup of the burger mixture and shape it between your palms into a thick patty the size of your hamburger buns. You should end up with 6 large patties.

11. Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add a few tablespoons of vegetable oil to completely coat the bottom of the pan. When you see the oil shimmer a flick of water evaporates on contact, the pan is ready.

12. Transfer the patties to the pan. Cook as many as will fit without crowding; I normally cook 3 patties at a time in my 10-inch cast iron skillet.

13. Cook the patties for 2 minutes, then flip them to the other side. You should see a nice crust on the cooked side. If any pieces break off when you flip the burgers, just pat them back into place with the spatula. Cook for another 2 minutes, then cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 4 more minutes until the patties are warmed through. If you’re adding cheese, lay a slice over the burgers in the last minute of cooking.

14. Serve the veggie burgers on soft burger buns or lightly toasted sandwich bread along with some fresh greens.

6 servings.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 313 Calories; 7g Fat (19.3% calories from fat); 10g Protein; 53g Carbohydrate; 6g Dietary Fiber; 35mg Cholesterol; 443mg Sodium.

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

Crockpot Chicken & Mushrooms

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I found this recipe at http://southernfood.about.com/ and thought it sounded really good. I tweaked it a little bit because I can’t leave a recipe alone. I did the calorie count using cooked rice so you could see pretty much what the full meal would cost you calorie-wise. Under 500, which is pretty good for a full meal!

4 each chicken breast, no skin, no bone, R-T-C, cut 1″ thick
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon paprika
1 can cream of mushroom soup, condensed
10 small pearl onions
1/4 cup flour, all-purpose
6 ounces mushroom pieces, canned with liquid
3 cups cooked rice

1. Rinse chicken breasts and pat dry. Cut into 1″ thick strips. Sprinkle salt, pepper and paprika on both sides.

2. Arrange chicken breasts in crockpot. Combine remaining ingredients except for rice and spoon over the chicken.

3. Cook on LOW for 6 to 7 hours, until tender but not dry.

Servings: 6

Notes: R-T-C: Ready to cook

Serving Ideas: If you prefer to serve with mashed potatoes instead of rice, it’s an easy and delicious substitution.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 426 Calories; 9g Fat (18.7% calories from fat); 41g Protein; 44g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 96mg Cholesterol; 832mg Sodium.

Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 5 Lean Meat; 2 Vegetable; 1 Fat.

Lighten Up Secrets, Revealed! – Cooking Light

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Ever get frustrated and want to lighten something up and not know how? This is a great article to help figure out how to do it! I thought the tips were amazing. 

Lighten Up Secrets, Revealed! – Cooking Light.

 

Not Fried Chicken

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I love fried chicken but I hate the calories. Here’s a way to have the same taste without the calories.

not fried chicken

4 each chicken breast half without skin
6 ounces yogurt, Greek
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup Italian bread crumbs, crushed
olive oil spray

1. Mix chili powder and honey into Greek yogurt. Dip chicken into yogurt mixture and completely coat. Shake off excess. Dip chicken into bread crumbs. Place on sprayed baking sheet. Spray top of chicken.

2. Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes, until completely done.

4 servings.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 286 Calories; 4g Fat (12.3% calories from fat); 33g Protein; 28g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 74mg Cholesterol; 904mg Sodium.

Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 4 Lean Meat; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 1/2 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.