Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day #30 - Breakfast Scramble & Strawberries

As I mentioned before, I made the hubby throw dinner together for the girls before he took them back to the ferry. So I was on my own for dinner tonight, which was actually kind of nice. I spent 10 minutes going from the fridge to the pantry to the chest freezer, back to the fridge, then the pantry and the chest freezer once more, trying to see what looked good. I don't know why I wasted my time - I already knew I was in the mood for some breakfast. Big surprise, I know (I'm totally my dad's child). Oh - and we went to Costco Saturday evening and they had some amazing looking strawberries - so we got some. And I ate some. And they were F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S!

The nutritional information for this meal was actually really easy to throw together (that and I have the house to myself for the next hour and fifteen minutes) so I'm going to go ahead and post the info below. Enjoy!

Ingredients: (Keep In Mind This List Is For a 1-Man Meal)

1 Whole Egg
2 Egg Whites
1 tsp Butter
1 Tbsp Milk
1 Baby Dutch Yellow Potato (about 2 oz)
3 Slices Canadian Bacon
1/8 oz Shredded Cheese
3 Strawberries


Beat eggs and milk in a glass bowl. Melt butter in a frying pan. Add potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Pan fry until potatoes become golden brown and tender. Add ham and cook long enough to heat. Move potatoes and ham to one side of the pan. Add eggs and cook until almost done. Add potatoes and eggs to the mix and finish cooking. Sprinkle with cheese. Wash strawberries and cut as desired. Enjoy!

** My dad would add a little salsa or Tobasco sauce to this meal if it were up to him. I was tempted, but afraid of ruining a perfectly good meal if I did, so I played it safe!

Nutritional Information (For The Exact Amount Listed Above - 1 Serving):

Total Calories: 218 cal

Total Fat: 6.5 g

Total Carbs: 16 g

Total Protein: 20 g

Playing Catchup

I have not been starving my family this weekend - I promise!

This last week at work was pretty stressful and from Thursday until today, I have had no time for blogging......or cooking. Yes - I'm ashamed to admit it - we have had a slight relapse. But don't worry - today we managed to jump right back on track and so we will continue this journey next week. And although we did resort to eating out, I have actually been pretty good about finding healthy choices and have avoided fried foods and soda.

Day #27 - Right after work, I had to meet Jim at the house, pick him up, went to get Kayla and from there we headed down to the dance studio to get Kayla signed up for her Hip Hop class. She starts Tuesday and is more than excited! Anyway - by the time we did all that, it was 6:45 pm and as we were driving down Auburn Way wondered at the same time "what's for dinner?" The meal I had planned took more than 60 minutes to prep and cook - so Godfather's Pizza and Salad Bar it was.
Day #28 - I don't think I need to remind anybody about Fridays in our house - they just flat out suck. This Friday, I had so much work to do to get caught up from my crazy stressful week, I just stayed at work until Jim made it Bellevue (6:15 pm) and from there we went up to Edmonds to get Katlynne and Kelsey. We stopped at Arby's where I got a the Grilled Chicken Club sandwich (bacon removed) and a water (no fries - yay me!).

Day #29 - A certain someone in my house was in a foul mood all day. So I left him with the girls to fend for themselves and went to hang out with some amazing friends for a game night. They supplied a great dinner of hoagie sandwiches with fruit & veggies. It was great and the entertainment was just what I needed to relax and have a good time.

As far as today goes - that certain someone is still in a foul mood - so again, I made him figure out dinner for the girls while I'm up here playing blog catchup. It smells like he cooked chicken nuggets or something - I'm not certain. As for myself - I will blog about my own dinner in a little bit.

I also need to post my favorite gadget for this last week......I'll have to think about that one.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day #26 - Chili & Cornbread

About a year ago, Jim decided he wanted to try making homemade chili all by himself. I was skeptical at first, but eventually consented after he assured me he would find a recipe and follow it. He ended up finding a really awesome recipe and made a few modifications to accommodate our taste preferences. And let me tell you - it was fantastic! We've had the recipe sitting around but he never made it since.....until tonight! Again - since it's Wednesday, Jim was in charge of dinner and he didn't disappoint! Homemade chili and cornbread - Yum!

As a small side note: I decided that if I am going to continue cooking and posting my meals, I am going to stop calculating nutritional information. It's the most time consuming part of this whole goal and the only reason some of my posts don't get published in time is because I haven't had time to do the nutritional information. So until further notice - I will continue posting the recipes and directions - but will skip the nutritional info unless it is requested on a particular recipe OR unless the nutritional information is already available from a recipe I have followed and all I have to do is copy it.

Ingredients (don't be intimidated by the amount of ingredients):

2 lbs Ground Beef / Turkey
1 lb Ground Italian Sausage
3 Cans Chili Beans in Mild Sauce (do not drain)
1 can chili beans in Spicy Sauce **
2 Cans Diced Tomatoes with Juice
1 Can Tomato Paste
1 Large Yellow Onion, Chopped
1 Green Bell Pepper, Chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper, Chopped
2 Green Chili Peppers, Seeds Removed and Chopped
3 Tbsp Bacon Bits
1 tsp Sugar
4 Cubes Beef Bouillon
1/2 Cup Beer
1/4 Cup Chili Powder
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
1 Tbsp Dried Oregano
2 tsp Ground Cumin
2 tsp Tabasco Sauce
1 tsp Dried Basil
Salt & Pepper to Taste
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Paprika

** We used 4 cans of chili beans in mild sauce because once you add all the other ingredients, you will get a big enough kick of spiciness. I think the beans in spicy sauce is overkill.


Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Brown beef and sausage. Drain off excess grease.

Add remaining ingredients and stir to blend. Cover and let simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours. Longer if you can - the key to good flavor is simmering. Adjusting seasoning if needed after two hours.

Serve with Corn chips, sour cream, shredded cheddar and / or cornbread.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day #25 - Pizza

Tonight was pizza night again. Its just so simple and easy and depending on which toppings you choose, relatively healthy. Our favorite toppings are turkey pepperoni, green peppers, mushrooms and olives (Kayla picks off the green peppers).

This pizza is the exact same as the one I posted before - so if you want ingredients and nutritional information, check it out here!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Day #24 - Sweet & Sour Pork

Let me just start by sharing with you all, that I have a pretty amazing husband! Today, at work, it was one of those days where nothing was going right and by about 10:30 this morning, I just knew that I was in for a long one....and boy was I right! I use to think that only nurses worked 12 hour shifts, but lately, I'm starting to think otherwise. The difference is that nurses work three or four 12-hour shifts and then get three or four days off. I only wish that were the case!

I got to work at 6:45 am. I left work at 6:30 pm (without taking a lunch break, or any break for that matter, because yeah - it was really just ONE OF THOSE DAYS).

Anyway - I had a really nice dinner planned on the menu tonight and I spent my commute home stressing about how I would ever be able to pull it off. I walked in the door trembling from low blood sugar because as I mentioned before, I skipped lunch....and I'm completely shocked when my husband says: "dinner's ready"!

Not only did he make dinner - but he made what was on the menu!

Sweet & Sour Pork

Kayla insisted we have Caesar Salad with it!

I'm not entirely sure how Jim cooked the pork - that and I'm tired as heck and still need to run to Target to pick up some necessities - so I'm not going to list ingredients or nutritional information.

But essentially, the sauce came from here:

Throw in a little diced up red pepper, green pepper and pineapple - use a little water to reduce the thickness and sweetness - and you have yourself a LOVELY sweet & sour sauce! It was fabulous! And the best part - I already have my lunch made for tomorrow!!!


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day #23 - Eggs & Toast

I love breakfast foods - they are probably one of my favorite. If you haven't noticed, it's what we resort to when we're in a pinch for dinner. Tonight, we spent all day cleaning the house and then had to go pick Kayla up from her dad's. I wasn't in the mood to be creative in the kitchen. So - this is what we had - over easy eggs & toast with cantaloupe. Yummy!


2 Eggs
1 Piece of Bread
1/2 Tbsp of butter


Put bread in the toaster (duh). Spray frying pan with cooking spray. Crack eggs into pan. Pour 1/4 cup water into pan and cover with a tight lid. Cook on medium-low heat for 3 minutes. Remove from heat. When toast is done, butter as desired. Place eggs on top of toast and enjoy!

Nutritional Information (Approximately For 2 Eggs, 1 Pieces of Toast, 1/2 Cup Cantaloupe):

Total Calories: 278 cal

Total Fat: 9 g

Total Carbs: 23.7 g

Total Protein: 21 g

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day #22 - Date Night!

Prior to yesterday's events, Jim and I had decided that today was going to be our monthly date night. I wasn't about to let the fact that we resorted to eating out the previous evening, ruin our dinner plans for tonight. We ended up meeting some of our good friends for dinner at an awesome little Greek restaurant in Kent - Spiros. It's a fabulous place - the food is amazing and the atmosphere is great! I was so excited, I forgot to take a picture until AFTER I was full. The portion sizes are quite large - so we all know what I will be having for lunch tomorrow - YUMMY!

After dinner, we stopped at Bath & Body Works where I stocked up on soap and got myself some yummy smelling lotion. I LOVE that place too!

Our movie doesn't start until 9:50 - which is why I'm at home blogging in the middle of our date night. But I'd rather do it now than when we get home after the movie at like 1:00 am.

It's been a fabulous night!

The Gyro Platter!

Day #21 - Ultimate Chicken Grill Sandwich

Have I ever mentioned how much I love Fridays? Probably not - because I hate Fridays. They are probably the most chaotic of the seven days in a week for us. This particular Friday, I got to work at 7:00 am and left work at 6:45 pm. I had to have Jim pick up Kayla, pick me up at work and then we took Kayla to Kirkland where we met her dad.

At 7:15, we were all starving and I had to make a quick dinner decision: A) Stop some place along the way that has a few healthier food choices or B) Wait until we get home and eat at 10:00.

I pulled out my phone which has a pretty cool program that lists the nutritional information for about 100 different restaurants. I knew there was a Wendy's along the way, so I checked there first. Their Ultimate Chicken Grill Sandwich has only 370 calories and 7 g of fat. Not bad.

Then, I had to think about our options at home would be. The only option that came to mind were hot dogs. I hadn't taken anything out of the freezer for dinner that night! I decided eating hot dogs (about 430 calories with the bun) at 10:00 at night was not the better option.

So Wendy's it was!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Gadgets Galore....

It's time to spotlight another of my favorite kitchen gadgets. This week, I bring to you: The Rival Steamer!

This gadget / appliance - is my best friend! We have steamed everything in this beast of a machine: salmon, broccoli, cauliflower, halibut, carrots, zucchini, potatoes. Anything you want steamed, this machine will do it! All you do is add water to the base, set up your steaming baskets with whatever veggies or meat your little heart desires, plug it in, set the timer and let it be! However - I wouldn't recommend putting fish on the bottom layer (as is pictured), because then your broccoli will taste like fish - and I'm not sure that's a good flavor combination. Ugh! I highly recommend this beauty!

Day #20 - Buffalo Chicken Salad

This is one of my most favorite meals I have prepared so far this year - and it was also probably the easiest!!! I had some Frank's Sweet & Spicy BBQ Hotwing Sauce left over from the latest Hawks defeat - so I used it all up on my chicken tonight! It was really tasty - and not too spicy.

Buffalo Chicken Salad


1 Head of Romaine Lettuce, Washed and Chopped
1/2 Cup Shredded Carrots
2 Ribs of Celery with Greens, Chopped
1/2 Cup Ranch Dressing (I made my own with fat free sour cream)
1/4 Cup Blue Cheese Crumbles
1 lb Chicken, Cut Into Bite Sized Pieces
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
Salt & Pepper to Taste
1/4 Cup Favorite Hot Sauce


Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and chicken to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and sear for 2 or 3 minutes. Add hot sauce and continue cooking for 3 to 6 minutes until chicken is completely cooked.

In a large bowl, combine lettuce, carrots and celery. Mix ranch dressing and blue cheese crumbles in a separate bowl.

Toss the salad with the ranch dressing and season with salt and pepper. Toss with Buffalo chicken and serve!

Nutritional Information (For Approximately 2 Cups Salad w/ Dressing & 4 oz Chicken):

Total Calories: 240 cal

Total Fat: 2.0 g

Total Carbs: 5.0 g

Total Protein: 30.6 g


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day #19 - Swiss Steak & Mashed Potatoes

"The recipe for perpetual ignorance is a very simple and effective one:
Be satisfied with your opinions and content with your knowledge."
~ Elbert Hubbard

For those of you who don't know - back in October, I left the dental field and returned to the Pathology Department at Overlake Hospital (you can read all about it HERE). The hospital has always offered some pretty good benefits including medical, dental, vision, 401K, PTO, etc., etc., etc.

The greatest benefit, however, is working next to the printer where the best pathologist by day / chef by night, prints his Cooks Illustrated recipes. If he's trying something new - I can expect the printer to start going between 2:30 and 3:00. If I'm not busy - I'll sneak a peak to see whats on the menu for the evening. If it turns out to be a meal worth mentioning, he will usually tell us all about it and will share the recipe with us the next day.

This recipe is coming to you, compliments of Cooks Illustrated (and Dr. N): Swiss Steak

This recipe is so simple and tastes absolutely AMAZING! I left the directions with Jim this morning and had a home cooked meal waiting for me when I got home (it's Wednesday - Jim's night to cook). Dinner tonight totally brought back childhood memories! The meat is so tender - Kayla thought it was chicken!!!

This one is going into my collection of keepers and will we be making it for years to come. Enjoy!

This recipe makes a lot - as in, enough to feed 3 people for 3 meals. Needless to say, I'm having it for lunch today! You can adjust the ingredients to fit your family's needs.

2 lb Top Sirloin (Cut Into 2" x 2" pieces)
2 Tbsp Flour
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
1-1/2 Onions, Finely Chopped
2 Green Bell peppers
4 Cloves of Garlic
1 Can Tomato Sauce
1 Can Diced Tomatoes
1 Cup Water


Tenderize both sides of the steak with flour. Brown with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper (to taste). Saute onion, green pepper and garlic to translucency. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and water. Cover and let simmer for 2 hours.

Nutritional Information (Approximately For 3 oz of Steak & 1/4 Cup Sauce):

Total Calories: 198 cal

Total Fat: 7.3 g

Total Carbs: 8 g

Total Protein: 30.8 g

When paired with 2/3 cup mashed potatoes, 2 tbsp of sauce, and some steamed veggies: Total = 336 calories, 10.7 g of fat, 24 g of carbs and 34.8 g of protein. Not bad for something so yummy!

Day #18 - Classic BLT

When Kayla was in 1st grade, we put her in a ballet / gymnastics split class where she would do 30 minutes of ballet and then 30 minutes of gymnastics. She LOVED the gymnastics and HATED ballet. About three months into it, she broke her wrist - and that was the end of both ballet AND gymnastics. Recently, she showed interest in dance lessons again. So - it looks like Tuesday nights, Kayla will be doing hip hop - which means dinners on Tuesdays will have to be simple.

Tonight - we resorted to: The Classic BLT

Ingredients, directions and nutritional information can be found at the link above. You just can't go wrong with something so simple!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Day #17 - Lebanese Meat Pies

Jim and I decided that once a week, we are going to try something completely new for dinner to try and expand our cookbook. I got this idea from my good friend Josh. He has made these before and his looked so yummy - I just had to try it when he made the suggestion. The recipe I found online requested that I make my own phyllo dough - but I had some sitting in my freezer, so why would I make it when all I had to do was let mine defrost? Well - next time (if there is such a thing), I think I'll make my own dough. It was a sad situation for these Lebanese meat pies - and needless to say, we enjoyed the corn much more than the meat pies.

These Are Josh's Lebanese Meat Pies:

These Are My Lebanese Meat Pies:

There is absolutely no way I was getting my pies to stand up all nice and neat like his. Aside from the presentation of it all - I'm not a fan of ground lamb. It was really greasy and made my pies soggy. I dunno - maybe I need to take cooking lessons from Josh.

This recipe was such a disappointment, I'm not going to bother with the recipe or the nutrition information. If I can convince Josh to tell me how he made his, I might attempt this again. Otherwise - I'll make these Lebanese Meat Pies as a FAIL!


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Day #16 - Breakfast

It was a sad day in Seattle today. Our boys in blue and green were defeated for the last time this season. We are all crossing our fingers for a better win:loss ratio next season.

We did, however, eat lots of good food before, during and a little bit after the game. So we weren't really hungry for dinner....until about 9:30 this evening. The girls BEGGED us for waffles - so we caved and had breakfast for dinner at 10:00 pm. At least we won't need to feed them breakfast in the morning =) Just kidding.

Day #15 - Happy Birthday Ryan!!!

Today for lunch, we got together with some of my family at Red Robin to celebrate Ryan turning the big 21!!!

Who is Ryan you might ask??? Well - please, let me tell you, because you all should know who he is.

Everyone - Meet Ryan:

Ryan is my cousin who is pretty dang amazing! He's smart (when he isn't spending his time trying to break a 2x4 with his head out of sheer boredom), makes people laugh (even if it is with his crazy videos doing the previously mentioned stunt), he has a humongous heart, and he's just a truly genuine and kind person - the kind of person you just have to be friends with. Well - lucky for me, I'm related to him, so he HAS to be friends with me....just kidding (sort of). He loves kids (especially mine) - Kayla adores him and always wants to see pictures of him when I'm on Facebook, which is how we usually communicate with him these days. Why? Because when he isn't home on leave, he spends his time doing things like this:

Saving Poor Innocent Turtles From Being Crushed In The Road:

Rescuing Poor Starving Puppies From Disaster:

Showing Off His Mean Side (Which Doesn't Exist - I'm Certain):

Oh - but those are just things he does in his spare time. In addition to working out and rescuing poor suffering animals, Ryan is currently serving in the United States Army as a UAV pilot, recently finishing an 11 month deployment to Afghanistan where he flew these:

Fortunately for us, he was able to make it home in time for Christmas and we got to hang with him at our family Christmas party. We also got to hang with him on his birthday - stuffing our happy bellies with Red Robin goodness. It's been great. Sadly - he flies out on the 18th again, but he is headed to Germany....for now. We love you Ryan!

Now - you're probably wondering how Ryan could possibly have anything to do with what we had for dinner tonight. Well - we were all so full after having lunch with him, we didn't even have dinner! We killed two birds with one stone: Hung out with the coolest kid around AND consume enough food for lunch and dinner - SCORE!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day #14 - Leftovers

Since Fridays are so hectic for us - Jim and I have officially implemented "Friday - Leftovers" night. Our schedules are just hectic to try and pull a full meal together. So, instead of resorting to eating out, we will just dig through the fridge and pantry and eat whatever is left over from the week.

Tonight - we had left over tacos. Can't go wrong there! We were so pressed for time to get out of the house in time to make it to Edmonds by 7:30, I was almost done with my taco before I remembered to take a picture.

Please excuse the lack of presentation - we were in a hurry!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Day #13 - Pub Style Chicken

My cousin gave me the recipe for tonight's dinner. I needed some new ideas and she came through for me. Fortunately I had all the ingredients I needed which made it even better. I think I may have changed it up a little in the way I cooked the chicken, but for the most part, it's the same. It was pretty easy to make and was the perfect meal to pair with a salad and some steamed vegetables. One of the things that I love about my 8-year-old is that she absolutely LOVES vegetables: fresh, frozen, canned or steamed....she will eat them without a struggle. Her favorite is steamed broccoli and cauliflower - hence what you see on the plate.


3 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 Cup White Flour
1 Package Ranch Dressing Mix
2 Tbsp EVOO
3 oz Shredded Cheddar Cheese
3 Slices Hormel Natural Choice Bacon, Pan Fried To Crispy


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine flour and ranch dressing mix in a shallow dish. Coat chicken breasts with flour mixture, covering each side. Heat EVOO in a pan on the stove. Pan sear chicken breasts until golden brown (about 2 minutes each side). Place chicken in a small baking dish and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes (cooking time also depends on how big or small your chicken breasts are).

When there are three minutes remaining on the clock, top each chicken breast with 1 oz of shredded cheddar cheese and 1 slice of cooked bacon, crumbled. Continue baking remaining 3 minutes until cheese is melted.

Nutritional Information (Approximately for a 4 oz Chicken Breast, 1 oz of Cheese, 1 Slice of Bacon):

Total Calories: 172 cal

Total Fat: 4.5 g

Total Carbs: 0.1 g

Total Protein: 33 g

Paired with 1 cup of steamed cauliflower, 1/2 cup steamed broccoli, 2 cups of salad with Kraft Catalina Salad Dressing adds only 105 additional calories making this meals total: 277 calories. Not bad!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day #12 - Slow Cooker Roast

I love the idea of cooking in a slow cooker....I have used my slow cooker many times. However, I am not convinced that it is the best option when you are away from the house for 10+ hours each day. Most recipes call for a cooking time of between 6 and 8 hours. Which means my food will sit in the slow cooker for 2 to 4 hours before we get home. I have tried making a chicken dish in the slow cooker once before while we were away at work, and it turned out way over cooked. Our slow cooker automatically switches to "warm" mode after the allowed cook time has passed, but I'm convinced it's "warm" setting is still too high for just keeping food warm. It continues to cook the food. So I don't use my slow cooker very often....usually on the weekends or when someone is going to be home to monitor the food's progress.
Today qualified as a "crock pot day". It's Wednesday again, which means Jim was in charge of dinner tonight. He took advantage of the crock pot and made a fabulous "set it and forget it" roast with carrots, potatoes and a salad. It was REALLY good - so good that I am taking leftovers for lunch tomorrow!


1 Small to Medium Sized Roast
1 Medium Onion, Cut
2 Carrots, Diced
3 Stalks of Celery, Diced
3 Large Potatoes, Cubed
1 Package McCormick's Slow Cooker Roast Mix


Place vegetables and roast in the slow cooker. Mix roast seasoning with 1 cup of water and pour over roast and veggies. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Nutritional Information (Approximately for 3 oz of Roast, 1/2 cup potato, 1/4 cup carrot, gravy):

Total Calories: 350 cal

Total Fat: 23 g

Total Carbs: 12 g

Total Protein: 25 g

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Gadgets Galore....

Since I've been cooking practically every night this month so far, I have discovered a new found love of Kitchen Gadgets! There are so many - some of which I already have but have never used until just recently. Whenever we go to the store, I find myself browsing the Kitchen Gadget wall to see if there is anything new I "need". And now that I'm cooking more, I can actually justify getting new gadgets!!! It's so much fun! Once a week I am going to post about my favorite gadget for the week.

This week - I bring to you: The Chopper!

It may look small and worthless, but don't underestimate the power and value of this bad boy! I have chopped EVERYTHING with this thing: onions, green peppers, red peppers, tomatoes, olives, mushrooms, eggs, pickles, etc. I have used it almost every night! If you don't already have one, you really should get one! You will LOVE it too!

Day #11 - Dressed Up Sloppy Joes

The Sloppy Joe is one of of those foods you remember LOVING as a kid, but as an adult, you could either take it or leave it. This recipe, will rekindle that long lost childhood love for the Sloppy Joe once again! And it's pretty dang healthy too (if you use ground turkey instead of ground beef). Jim and Kayla devoured dinner tonight!

The thing I LOVE about this recipe, is it freezes and reheats extremely well. The recipe could easily make 6 or 7 Sloppy Joe sandwiches and since it's just the three of us, I put the rest of the mixture in a freezer safe container and stick it in the freezer! Then - some time in the next 6 months, we can enjoy the good old Sloppy Joe once again without the mess of preparing it!

Oh - and we had to run to Target tonight to pick up some treats for Kayla's class tomorrow (she gets to celebrate her half birthday at school since she has a summer birthday). We've been SO good about eating dinner at home so far this month, so we stopped at McDonalds and we each got a very generous sized kiddie cone.....only about 70 calories (a "normal" sized kiddie cone is 45 calories....the lady making our cones was a little too generous, so I'm guessing our cones were about 70 calories). It was totally yummy and totally worth it!


1 lb lean ground beef (I use ground turkey breast - it's healthier)
Seasoning Salt, To Taste (Seasoning Salt and I don't get along - I use Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper)
1 Medium Onion, Finely Chopped
1/2 Green Bell Pepper, Finely Chopped
4 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
3/4 Cup Ketchup
1 tsp Yellow Mustard
1-1/2 tsp Red Wine Vinegar
3/4 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
3 Tbsp Tomato Paste
1/2 Cup Water (More if necessary to reach desired consistency)
6 Hamburger Buns or Sandwich Rolls


Brown ground beef with onion, green pepper and garlic. Season to taste with seasoning salt (or Kosher salt and pepper). Add mustard, ketchup, brown sugar, red wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Combine tomato paste and water and add to hamburger mixture. Add more water if desired. Cover, turn heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve on lightly toasted hamburger buns or sandwich rolls.

Nutritional Information (Approximately for 1 Sandwich Roll and 1/2 Cup Sloppy Joe Mixture):

Total Calories: 290 cal

Total Fat: 4 g

Total Carbs: 32.5 g (all bread)

Total Protein: 33 g

Monday, January 10, 2011

Day #10 - Waffles

Work was extremely busy today - I worked through my lunch break, hoping I could get enough done to get off on time. Didn't quite work out that way. The plan was to make my yummy Sloppy Joe mix, but because I didn't get home early enough, Jim made us quick and easy waffles.....from a bag.

But really, the mix is simply flour and baking powder - we just added the milk and eggs! Who doesn't LOVE waffles? It was Totally Good!

Since we made our waffles from a mix in a bag, I am going to post my all-time favorite home made waffle recipe. And since I threw away the bag from the waffle mix long ago when I transferred the dry goods to a handy Tupperware storage container, I don't have the nutritional information for you either. But I will provide the nutritional information for the recipe I am providing.

"Eating Well Waffles"


  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups nonfat buttermilk (we keep a small canister of the powdered buttermilk on hand for times like this)
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (this is listed as optional - but for me, it's a MUST and totally makes these worth making)
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (we use Splenda)

  • Directions:
  • Stir whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Whisk buttermilk, the egg yolk, oil and vanilla (if using) in a separate bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon just until moistened.
  • Beat the 3 egg whites in a grease-free mixing bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add sugar and continue beating until stiff and glossy. Whisk one-quarter of the beaten egg whites into the batter. Fold in the remaining beaten egg whites with a rubber spatula.
  • Preheat a waffle iron. Brush the surface lightly with oil. Fill the waffle iron two-thirds full of batter. Cook until the waffles are crisp and golden, 5 to 6 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter, brushing the surface with oil before cooking each batch.
Top with Mrs. Butterworth's Sugar Free Syrup and you're good to go!

  • Nutritional Information (Approximately for 1 Whole Waffle):

Total Calories: 241 cal

Total Fat: 4 g

Total Carbs: 41 g

Total Protein: 11 g

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day #9 - BBQ Ribs & Baked Potatoes

My parents are awesome!!! Just as I was digging through our chest freezer looking for something to defrost for dinner tonight, my phone rang. My wonderful mom invited us over for dinner with BBQ ribs, baked potatoes (with homemade bacon bits - thanks dad!), and veggies on the menu! How do you say no to that???

So this is what we had tonight and since I didn't make it - I'm not going to post any recipes or nutritional information because I can guarantee it isn't good for me. But it sure tasted good going down and still counts as feeding my family a home cooked meal - only this time, I didn't make it (which is even better).

Tomorrow - we will be back on track with healthy meals.

Day #8 - Celebratory Dinner @ Red Robin!

So after the kind of day I had yesterday which lead to a whole lot of tension between Jim and myself all day today - I finally broke the silence at 8:00 pm and asked him what he wanted for dinner. He suggested we celebrate. What were we celebrating - you might be asking (aside from finally speaking to each other again)?

Our boys in BLUE kicked some Saints bootay today!!!

So in honor of tonight's game - I give you, the BBQ Chicken Wrap:

No nutritional information - I don't even want to know - but it sure tasted good!

Day #7 - Time

When I made this goal, I knew that Fridays were going to be my biggest challenge because on alternating Fridays, we are either driving to Kirkland to drop off one kid or driving up to Edmonds to pick up two kids. This Friday, I got off work at 4:15, had to drive from Bellevue to Auburn (in rush hour traffic) to pick up Kayla, stop at the house so she could pack a weekend bag (and chips and salsa for her to eat in the car for dinner), drive all the way up to Kirkland to meet her dad (took us about 60 minutes in the carpool lane with pouring rain) and then I drove back to Auburn without being able to use the carpool lane, in continued rush hour-type traffic. It was a nightmare! I didn't get home until almost 9:00 pm at which point, I ignored my husband, passed out on the couch from low blood sugar, and surrendered myself to my bed and forgot about dinner all together. In the morning I discovered that my husband had made himself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner after he realized I probably wasn't coming back downstairs. But don't feel sorry for him - he could have made my evening commute a little easier....


A whole latta nothing!


Walk upstairs, brush your teeth, pull down the covers, climb into bed, lay your head on your pillow and snooze for the next 10 hours.

Nutritional Information (This Is The Best Part):

Total Calories: 0 cal

Total Fat: 0 gm

Total Carbs: 0 gm

Total Protein: 0 gm

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day #6 - Tacos

Tacos are an all-time favorite for my family and fortunately it's a pretty simple meal to make. We always keep ingredients on hand for tacos and use it as our "go to" meal when we didn't plan the night before. This is Kayla's favorite dinner - you really can't screw it up.


6 Carb Balance Whole Wheat Tortillas
1/2 lb Lean Ground Beef
Lawry's Taco Seasoning
1/2 can Fat-Free Refried Beans
1/4 Cup Salsa
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 Cup Shredded Lettuce
1/2 Tomato Cut Up


Brown ground beef in a pan until fully cooked and drain any remaining grease. Add taco seasoning to taste (I buy the big plastic container from Costco and add seasoning until it tastes just right) - you might need to add a couple tablespoons of water to help mix the seasoning in.

Mix salsa and refried beans in a pan - cook until heated through.

Heat tortillas in the microwave for 10 seconds. Add 2 tbsp refried beans, 2 oz ground beef, 1/2 oz shredded cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. Enjoy!

Nutritional Information (approximately for 2 soft tacos):

Total Calories: 459 cal

Total Fat: 17.3 gm

Total Carbs: 18 gm

Total Protein: 24.75 gm

Next time, I'm going to use ground turkey to see how it would change the nutritional information, especially the calories!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Day #5 - Old Fashioned Meatloaf

Sorry to disappoint... but there are no pictures of tonight's meal. Since Jim has Wednesdays off from work, we have decided that this will be his day to help out and make our evening meals. He did a fabulous job tonight and it tasted great!!!

However, I haven't been feeling so hot today and wasn't really in the mood to snap a picture or calculate nutritional information. But I will provide you with this fabulous recipe for Old Fashioned Meatloaf.


For Meatloaf:

1 Pound Lean Ground Beef
1 Egg
1/3 Cup Grated Onion
2/3 Cup Bread Crumbs
2/3 Cup Ketchup
4 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
2-1/2 Tbsp Chopped Parsley
Salt & Pepper to Taste

For Sauce:

1/3 Cup Water
1/3 Cup Mustard
1/3 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
2-1/2 Tbsp Packed Brown Sugar


Spray meatloaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, combine egg, onion, bread crumbs, and ground beef. Add 1/2 cup ketchup, worcestershire sauce, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix to combine.
Form meat mixture into a loaf and place in prepared pan. Spread 1/4 cup of ketchup on top of meatloaf and bake until cooked through - about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes.

Combine remaining ketchup, water, mustard, vinegar and brown sugar in a small saucepan and whisk to combine. Bring mixture to a boil and then simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.

Pour sauce over prepared meatloaf and serve immediately.
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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Day #4 - Classic BLT

Tuesdays are always hard when it comes to dinner....I never know what time I'm going to get home from work, so it's hard to plan an elaborate dinner. Tonight, I played it safe and went with quick and easy comfort food......the good old BLT! You can't go wrong with that....except I toasted my bread a little too long and it tore up the roof of my mouth. Note to self: LIGHTLY toast the bread next time.

I contemplated using Turkey Bacon for our BLT's, but have you ever looked at the sodium content on Turkey Bacon??? I was shocked - so I played it safe and went with the Hormel Natural Choice (MSG and Preservative free) bacon. It was great!

Ingredients (Serves 3):

9 Slices Hormel Natural Choice Bacon, Pan Fried To Crispy
3 Pieces Iceberg Lettuce
1 Large Tomato, sliced thick
3 Tbsp Light Mayo or Miracle Whip (I was raised on Miracle Whip)
6 Slices of Whole Grain Bread - Toasted


Cooking directions probably aren't necessary, but for the sake of consistent formatting, I'm going to include it. Pan fry bacon and set aside on a paper towel to drain any lingering grease. LIGHT toast the bread and spread 1 tbsp of Mayo / Miracle Whip per sandwich. Layer 1-1/2 pieces of bacon, then lettuce, then tomato and top with another 1-1/2 pieces of bacon. You should use three pieces of bacon per sandwich. Cut in half and enjoy. Pretty simple.

Nutritional Information (For 1 Sandwich Fully Assembled)

Total Calories: 311 cal (of which 200 calories are from the bread alone)

Total Fat: 11.5 g

Total Carbs: 40.4 g (of which 36 g are from the bread alone)

Total Protein: 15.5 g

Monday, January 3, 2011

It's been three whole days since I made the commitment to cook dinner for 350 days this year. I have to admit - it's not so bad. Actually - it's been FANTASTIC! The key, I am discovering, is meal planning and knowing what you are going to make the night before. I am realizing that before, half the battle every evening was trying to decide what to make, which would take up half of our evening. But if you already know what you're going to make, it takes guessing out of the equation.

I am finding multiple benefits to my new-found culinary interest - here are my top five:

1. Family time around the dinner table - we are actually enjoying each other's company.

2. We are eating MUCH healthier meals and portion sizes.

3. I am expanding my recipe book with new yummy healthy recipes.

4. We are saving $$$ money $$$ (I will expand on this later - I am waiting until the end of this month to compare our monthly dining out expenses. Let's just say I was SHOCKED to discover just how much money we were spending on eating out the last two months).

5. I haven't had to do dishes in three days - let's hope this one continues!

Can it get any better than that???

Day #3 - Chicken Parmigiana

Tonight I got off work early, so I decided we needed to have a "fancy dinner".....I set the table and EVERYTHING. I know - don't look so shocked. I surprised even myself.

In anticipation of tonight's meal, I packed a very low calorie lunch for work, and although it was a filling lunch, it wasn't my ideal afternoon meal. I am now realizing this was a wasted effort because even though this dinner may seem like it's oh so bad for you, after putting together the nutritional numbers, I'm realizing it's really not oh so bad. Especially considering this same meal at my favorite local Italian restaurant (you know who you are) has over twice the calories and 3 times the fat....yeah it's that bad. I'm so excited to have found this great healthier substitution. The only thing I would change about this recipe next time, is baking the chicken rather than frying it. I don't see the benefit to frying the chicken.


2 Whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (Trimmed & Pounded Flat - 1/4" Thick)
1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
Salt and Pepper (To Taste)
1/2 Cups Olive Oil
2 tbsp Butter (I eliminated the butter)
1 Medium Onion, Chopped
4 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
3/4 Cups Red Wine
3 Cans Crushed Tomatoes
2 Tablespoons Sugar (I used Splenda)
1/4 Cup Chopped Parsley
1 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese (I used low-fat Mozzarella to save on calories)
1 Pound Thin Linguine (I used a small hand full of whole grain spaghetti instead).


Mix flour, salt and pepper together in a large plate.
Dredge flattened chicken breasts in flour mixture, set aside.
Heat olive oil and butter (if using) in a large skillet over medium heat. When butter is melted and oil is hot, fry chicken breasts until nice and golden brown on each side - about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
Remove chicken breasts from the skillet - set aside and keep warm.
Without cleaning the skillet, add onions and garlic and gently stir for two minutes. Pour in wine and scrape the bottom of the pan, getting all the flavorful bits on the bottom. Allow wine to cook down until reduced by half, about two minutes.
Pour in crushed tomatoes and stir to combine. Add sugar (or Splenda) and more salt and pepper to taste. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
Prepare pot of water for your pasta. Cook pasta until al dente.
Toward the end of its cooking time, add chopped parsley to sauce and give it a final stir.
Carefully lay chicken breasts on top of the sauce and completely cover them in grated Parmesan cheese. Place lid on skillet and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer until cheese is melted and chicken is thoroughly heated.
To plate: Place cooked noodles on a plate and cover with sauce. Place chicken breast on top and sprinkle with parsley.

Nutritional Information (Approximately For One Cup of Spaghetti, 1/2 Cup Tomato Sauce, 1/2 Chicken Breast)

Total Calories: 442 cal

Total Fat: 10 g

Total Carbs: 48 g

Total Protein: 41.7 g

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Day #2 - Boboli Supreme Pizza

I have to admit, I kind of cheated with dinner tonight. The original plan was to have a nice family dinner since we got to pick up Kayla from her dad's tonight. I was going to make Chicken Parmesan, but Jim and I ended up having a late lunch, so we weren't really in the mood for a heavy dinner. Chicken Parmesan is now on the menu for tomorrow.

Aside from an already prepared Boboli crust, I consider tonight's dinner to be a homemade in, it didn't come from the hands of a fast food worker or a waitress (although I sometimes am treated like a waitress by my family). Fortunately, we had the pizza toppings sitting around, so it was pretty simple. We paired this with a nice green salad and a glass of left over sparkling cider from our New Year celebration. It was quite tasty!


1 Boboli Pizza Crust
1 Packet of Boboli Pizza Sauce
1 Package of Turkey Pepperoni
1/2 Cut up Green Bell Pepper
1/2 Can Sliced Olives
2 Whole Mushrooms, Sliced
1 Cup Low-Fat Mozzarella Cheese


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spread sauce evenly over pizza crust. Layer 3/4 cup of Mozzarella cheese on top of sauce. Layer remaining toppings evenly over pizza sauce. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup of cheese over toppings. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until cheese on top starts to brown. Slice and serve. Serves 4.

This isn't exactly a low-carb meal, but it's fairly low in calories if paired with a simple salad or other steamed or grilled vegetable.

Nutritional Information (For Approximately 1/4 of the pizza)

Total Calories: 244.25 cal

Total Fat: 8.7 g

Total Carbs: 25.7 g

Total Protein: 16 g

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day #1 - Sauteed Shrimp With Bell Peppers

This dinner was completely quick and easy, something I just threw together with ingredients that I had on hand. It's quicker and easier if you are able to buy prawns that have already been shelled and deveined, but for me, it's not worth the extra cost. I have no problem getting my hands dirty and doing it myself.

Tonight it was just Jim and myself for dinner - so the ingredients below can be adjusted as needed for larger families. I paired this with a simple green salad and added the other half of my red pepper for color and flavor.


12 Jumbo Prawns (Fresh or Frozen)
1/2 Red Bell Pepper
1/2 Green Bell Pepper
2 tsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Lawry's Sesame Ginger Marinade


If using frozen prawns, take prawns out of the freezer the night before and allow them to thaw in the fridge. If prawns are not completely thawed by the time you are ready to prepare your meal, finish the thawing process by running prawns under cold water for about 5 minutes. Once thawed, remove prawn shells and devein, if necessary.

Cut red and green bell peppers into matchstick slices. Sauté peppers with 1 tsp of olive oil until slightly tender, you still want them to be a little bit crunchy. Push peppers to one side of your pan. Add remaining olive oil and prawns. Sauté prawns on both sides for about 2 minutes. Add sesame ginger marinade and stir in to prawns and peppers. Continue to heat for another minute, two if needed. Do not overcook your prawns or they will become tough and rubbery.

Serve immediately with a simple green salad or other steamed vegetables you have on hand.

Nutritional Information (Approximately For 6 Prawns and 1/2 The Peppers):

Total Calories: 212 cal

Total Fat: 5.2 g (mostly from olive oil)

Total Carbs: 4.9 g

Total Protein: 18.7 g

A New Adventure Begins...

As the main cook in our household, I am embarking on a new adventure for the year 2011 in an attempt to make smarter and healthier meal choices for my family. This is not a New Year's Resolution - We all know it's difficult to follow through with a resolution. Instead, this is a commitment I am making to my myself and to my family in an attempt to promise a healthier and happier family. It's the least I can do for all they do for me.

Taking into account holidays and special occasions where eating out will now be the exception rather than the rule.....

The Goal For 2011:

350 Days of Home Cooked Meals Personally Prepared With Love By Yours Truly!

Let The Cooking Begin!