Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Taco Night!!

The title says it all, Enjoy!!


1 batch of Chicken Picadillo (press link for recipe)
1 batch of Taco Shell's

Assorted Toppings: Shredded Cheese, FF sourcream, salsa (I love Jack's Special), hot sauce, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, jalepenos, and whatever else you like on your tacos.


1. Grab taco shell
2. Fill with picadillo
3. Top with desired toppings
4. Make sure to have a napkin nearby, and dig in!!!

Final Product:


Chicken Picadillo/ Taco Meat

This is a quick and simple recipe. It's very versatile and can be used for any recipe that calls for a ground beef mixture. Best of all, it's healthy!! I found this recipe walking through Publix. It was through one of the demonstrations that Apron's was having. So I hope you get to enjoy this as much as I have.


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb ground chicken
1/3 cup sliced green olives (drained)
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
1/3 cup pre-diced onions
1/4 cup raisins (optional)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon taco seasoning if making taco meat, or 1 packet Sazon Goya complete if making picadillo
salt and pepper, if desired


1. Preheat large sauté pan on medium-high 2–3 minutes.
2. Place oil in pan; swirl to coat. Add chicken; cook 5–7 minutes, stirring to crumble meat, or until meat is brown and no pink remains. Meanwhile, chop olives coarsely.

3. Stir in remaining ingredients; cook 6–8 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until flavors are blended and mixture is thoroughly heated.

Final Product:


Low Carb Taco Shell's

Taco's are one of my favorite things to eat, but it's not always the healthiest option. Especially the taco shell. Well if you haven't figured it out already, I love to experiment. I wanted a way to have tacos without all the excess fat and carbs. So I put on my mad scientist cap and headed to the kitchen. In the end they tasted soo yummy. It ended up being more like a soft taco then a crunchy taco,but a taco is a taco. I'm sure they would have been more stable had I let them hang longer, but the husband was way to hungry to wait. lol

Well here you go, enjoy!!


I package 2% milk Mexican blend cheese
3 eggs (could substitute with egg whites)
2 medium zucchini
dash of salt


Pre-heat oven 450 Degrees F.

1. Wash and dry zucchini, then cut ends off and discard.

2. In a bowl shred zucchini(if there is extra water from the zucchini make sure to drain)

3. Mix package of cheese, dash of salt, and eggs into the shredded zucchini. Mix until well blended, add extra cheese if necessary to create thick mix.

4. Grease 2 cookie sheets with butter or spray with Pam.
5. Fill 1/2 cup measuring cup with mixture, make sure it's compressed.

6. Flip onto greased sheets and with flat side of spoon press gently down until you have formed circles. About 6 inches.

7. Place into preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until tops are brown.
8. With a plastic spatula CAREFULLY flip shells and bake for another 5-6 minutes. If it slightly falls apart, finish flipping, patch it up with a little cheese, and pat down until it looks like a circle a again.
9. When cool enough to handle remove with plastic spatula. Hang them for a few hours, until well formed. I suggest anywhere between 4-6 hours. ( I didn't wait long enough so it didn't have a chance to set)

Final Product: (Please forgive the cheap plates)


Semi-Homemade Guava and Cheese

Ever since I found La Cubanita sugar free guava paste, I've been trying to think of different things I could make with it. So while at the Publix I picked up a package of my favorite guava, and when I made a 180 degree turn I saw it.....cream cheese, then slightly to my left...reduced fat crescent rolls. It was like a light bulb went off and I thought, "hhhhm guava....cream cheese......and crescent rolls....genious"! and that's how I came up with my semi-homemade guava and cheese pastry. These are so good, you'll be having dreams about them. lol I hope you enjoy them!! oh and did I forget to mention they are SUPER easy to make. Just wanted to add that little note. ;-)


1 package of Cubanita Sugar Free Guava Paste (cut into 8 equal strips)
1 small package of fat free cream cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons of Splenda
1 package of reduced fat crescent rolls (I'm sure the whole wheat biscuits would be just as good)
1 egg
2 teaspoons of Splenda or you can even try the new truvia


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

1. Put cream cheese and 1 1/2 tablespoons of Splenda into mixer. Mix on high for 1 minute or until it looks nice and airy.

2. Place a piece of parchment paper on the cookie sheet.

3. Roll out dough individually. Then in each roll spread 1 tbls of cream cheese onto dough, then place a strip of guava. Roll dough and pinch ends shut so that nothing oozes out during baking.

4. Beat egg and 2 tsp of water.

5. With a brush (or in my case a napkin) lightly brush top of pastry with egg wash.

6. Sprinkle remaining Splenda over pastries, and enter into pre-heated oven.

7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until completely baked and golden brown.

8. Place on cooling rack for at least 10 minutes. (I know they smell and look good, but if you bite into them too early you WILL get burned. Trust me been there done that. hehe)
Finished Product:


Thursday, September 25, 2008

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Quinoa con Leche

Quinoa is a grain much like a seed, but it cooks like rice. It is very versatile and can be used in any recipe that would call for rice.
I started having some strong cravings for Arroz con Leche (rice pudding), and it occurred to me. Why not make Quinoa con Leche instead? It wasn't easy, but the end result was to DIE FOR!!! I would encourage everyone to make it at least once in their lifetime. It's a labor of love, but it is soo worth it. It also has the added bonus that it's pact with protein.

1 cup quinoa (thoroughly rinsed with cold water)
3 cups of fat free milk
2 cups warm water
1/2 cup Splenda brown sugar
2 cups of sugar free whip cream
1 tsp of vanilla extract (could use sf vanilla syrup instead, but increase it by 2 tsp)
2 scoops of vanilla protein powder (I use Muscle Milk Light)
1 small box of raisins (optional)
cinnamon powder for garnish (optional)
Note: It is very important that you use a wooden spoon.


1. Place quinoa and 2 cups of milk in a heavy pan on high heat. Let it come to a rapid boil (make sure it boils for at least a minute). It is VERY important that during the whole process you are constantly stirring to prevent milk from burning, curdling, and boiling over.

2. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 30 minutes or until all liquid is nearly absorbed and quinoa has slightly softened. Yes, once again during these 30 minutes it is very important to constantly be stirring (I told you it was a labor of love, lol)

3. Add remaining milk and increase heat to high. Keep stirring until it comes to a rapid boil, once it starts to boil make sure to stir vigorously to prevent burning and curdley. Be careful during this time. The milk will be absorbed very rapidly so have some warm water next to you and add it to the mixture little by little as needed to prevent it from drying out. Make sure to stir vigorously once in rapid boil for exactly 5 minutes, and keep on adding water as needed until all two cups are in.

4. Once nearly all liquid is absorbed remove pan from heat and add the brown sugar Splenda, whip cream, vanilla extract, protein powder, and mix well.

5. Return pan to a reduced heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring intermediately to prevent burning.

6. During the last 7 minutes cover, only stirring once halfway through.

7. Mixture should be of a pudding like consistency and should lightly coat your spoon.

8. Remove from heat, add raisins, stir, and immediately cover pan for at least 10 minutes.

9. Place in plastic or ceramic container, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

10. Once ready to serve you can add cinnamon for garnish and taste.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mac & Cheese with Ground Turkey Casserole

This was a total experiment. For my first try it actually didn't come out too bad. It was a little dry so I think for next time I will omit one egg, add more milk (or even some fat free half and half), and not sure if I want to add the ricotta again. The recipe you see below though is exactly the amounts that I used.

Try it and play around with the ingredients as much as you like. Let me know what works for you.

16 ounces Dreamfields™ Elbows (cooked al dente, and drained completely)
1 Pound ground turkey (I use jenny o's 97% fat free ground turkey)
1/2 packet of Lipton onion soup mix
1 package of part skim ricotta cheese (15 oz)
1 1/2 Cups of Fat free milk
4 large eggs
2 cups shredded cheese of your choice (regular Cheddar is good, but you can get quite creative with some of the stronger cheeses)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
add salt and pepper to your liking
Parmesan Cheese
Progresso bread crumbs


1. Preheat the oven to 350° F
2. Grease a 13x9 casserole dish, and set aside.

3. In a large saute pan brown ground turkey. Once completely brown add packet of the Lipton onion soup mix. (may add more salt and pepper to your liking) Set aside and let cool.

4. Mix ricotta, 1 egg, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 pepper.

5. Whisk together the remaining eggs, milk, salt, and paprika in a bowl

6. Add a little bit of of ground turkey mixture to ricotta to temper eggs. Once done add ricotta mixture to the ground turkey mixture and mix completely.

7. Mix cooked macaroni and ground turkey mixture together.
8. Layer the cooked macaroni mixture with 1 1/2 cups of the cheese in the casserole dish
Pour milk, egg and spice mixture over everything. Top with the remaining cheese, and sprinkle a liberal amount of Parmesan cheese and add a little sprinkle of breadcrumbs.

8. Bake it for 40 to 45 minutes or until the mixture is set in the middle.
This is the finished product. Yum!!!!


Monday, September 22, 2008

Lipton No-Fuss Pork Chops with Quinoa

This recipe is soo easy to make. It is great for one of those nights when you have to whip something up quick. The inspiration came from my fellow poster, cowboyonfire from OH. This is his recipe; I just made a few adjustments.

Lipton No-Fuss Pork Chops


3 Lean boneless pork chop (about 1/2 inch thick)
1 Tablespoon mayonnaise (use the reduced fat kind)
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese (the kind in a can, and reduced fat)
2 Tablespoons of finely chopped onion
1/2 packet of Lipton Onion Soup Mix
Salt, pepper as desired
Pam Spray (I use the organic olive oil kind)

1. Preheat oven at 350º degrees F.
2. Rinse pork chops, then pat dry with paper towel.
3. Cover baking dish with aluminum for easy clean up, then spray some Pam on the dish to prevent meat from sticking.
4. Place the pork chops on the greased baking dish. Season liberally on both sides with the salt, pepper, and Lipton pack. Top each lightly with mayonnaise, then parmesan. Sprinkle the onions over the pork chops, and Spray a little Pam on the pork chops.
5.Bake, uncovered, for about 20 minutes or until the meat is done.(It's best if you have a meat thermometer and cook till at 160 degrees) DO NOT OVERCOOK or else it will be dry. If you would like a crispier top, place under broiler for a couple of minutes but do then reduce your original cooking time by 4 minutes.

Quinoa Recipe


1 Cup of Quinoa (rinsed)
2 Cups of water
1/2 Tablespoon of salt
1 Packet of "Sazon Goya"
1/2 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

1. Place all ingredients into pot and mix thoroughly.
2. Let mixture come to a rapid boil.
3. Cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes.
5. Fluff and serve immediately.

No-Boil Lasagna

I decided to make lasagna with the Dreamfield pasta. The recipe is directly from their website, except for a few minor adjustments. This is the link to the original recipe:http://www.dreamfieldsfoods.com/no-boil-lasagna.html

10 Dreamfields™ lasagna noodles, uncooked
8 ounces lean hamburger (I used one whole package, about 1lb)
8 ounces mild Italian sausage (I used one whole package)
1/2 cup onion, chopped (adjusted to be 3/4 cup and used publix pre-chopped onions from the freezer)
2 cloves garlic, minced (I used the preminsed type and added about 2-3tsp)
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 jar (26 ounces) marinara sauce(Gia Russa is the ONLY sauce, because of it's low sugar content) 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
1/4 cup water
15 ounces part-skim ricotta
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used the reduced fat kind)
1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim Mozzarella cheese (I used a combination of the fat free mozzarella and sargento's reduced fat italian blend)

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown hamburger and Italian sausage until no longer pink, about 7 minutes. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes. Add marinara sauce and water and simmer for 10 minutes. (It will seem like alot, but trust me it all fits)

In a medium bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, egg, salt and pepper.

In a deep (9x13 baking dish), lasagna pan spread 1/3 of meat sauce mixture. Layer 4 lasagna noodles and place the 5th noodle cross-wise. Spread half of the cheese mixture over the noodles. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup of the Mozzarella cheese. Spread 1/3 of meat sauce, 5 more lasagna noodles, remaining ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. Layer the rest of the meat sauce and the rest of the Mozzarella cheese. (make sure to cover your dish in aluminum for easy clean-up)

Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375-degrees F for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Final Product:
Please forgive the cheap plates ;-)

First Post

Since the beginning of my journey, many things have changed. I view food and activities completely different now. I do still enjoy eating, but in a different way. Before I lived to have whatever junk food I could shovel into my mouth, now I enjoy more fulfilling foods that are good and good for me. This in turn has inspired me to share many of the foods I make on a daily basis with you. I hope you can enjoy it too, and no worries you may adjust the recipes to your liking, I won't be offended. Please leave comments whenever possible.

Johanna M.
aka MRSaphrodites/Aphrodites