Balsamic Pork & Apples in Crockpot

It’s that time year and autumn is officially here.  Apples are in full season by the bushels and they are a great addition to any pork dish.  And, I love using the crockpot.  It takes less than 5 minutes to prep and your meal is ready when you get home from work or when you are finished with your daily chores. I have to admit this recipe I threw together was absolutely delish!!!

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WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 4 Boneless loin pork chops
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1-2 Tbsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 large apple

DIRECTIONS:

In crockpot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and garlic on high for a few minutes. Place pork chops in crockpot and season with black pepper, allspice and basil. Pour the balsamic vinegar over the pork. Cook on high for 4-8 hours until done. An hour before done place sliced apples on top.

NUTRITION INFO per 1 Pork Chop

  • 189 Calories
  • 7 g Fat
  • 1.7 g Sat Fat
  • 4.1 g MUFA
  • 53 mg Cholesterol
  • 12 g Carbohydrate
  • 1 g Fiber
  • 18 g Protein
  • 50 mg Sodium

 

January is National Oatmeal Month

How perfect for January to be National Oatmeal Month.  A big bowl of hot oatmeal is best on cold winter days!

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Oatmeal can be easy and fast to prepare. Place 1/2 cup rolled oats and 1 cup water in a large mug and microwave for 1-2 minutes. Then, I usually stir in skim milk and a touch of brown sugar or honey. Now, it is ready to eat.

What is oatmeal?

  • Oatmeal is ground oat groats.

What are the health benefits?

  • Oatmeal has a high soluble fiber content which helps lower cholesterol. Oatmeal is also sodium free.

What is the difference between rolled oats and steel-cut oats?

  • Rolled oats are oats that have been steamed and rolled flat.
  • Steel-cut oats are oats that have been sliced into small pieces. They take much longer to cook and have a nutty robust flavor. They have the same nutritional value as rolled oats; however, they have a lower glycemic index.
  • Instant oatmeal has added sugars and is high in sodium.

Turkey Chili with Barley

Chili is perfect any time of year; but, especially on cold snowy days.  This recipe is a healthier version of chili and quite tasty.  Please enjoy and pray that nicer weather is around the corner.  As they say, “Enough snow already!”

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1-15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1-8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1-15 oz can red beans
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup barley

DIRECTIONS:

Brown turkey and garlic until meat is no longer pink. Drain the fat and discard.  Stir in the spices.  Add the tomatoes, sauce, water, and barley.  Let simmer for 20 minutes.  Stir in the kidney beans and simmer an additional 20 minutes.  Makes 8- 1 cup servings.  May top with fat-free sour cream and shredded cheese.

NUTRITION INFO:  (PER SERVING)

175 Calories; 5 gm fat; 45 mg cholesterol; 806 mg sodium; 19 gm carbohydrate; 5 gm fiber; 15 gm protein

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Skinny Corn Bread

Cornbread is a generic name for a quick bread containing cornmeal.  It is a common bread in southern cuisine, but enjoyed by many for it’s texture and aroma.  Here is a recipe for a healthy version of cornbread.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup corn meal
  • 1 cup whole wheat white flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup fat free milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

DIRECTIONS:

In a bowl, combine first 4 ingredients.  Add the milk, egg and oil.  Stir until blended.  Pour into  a 8×8 baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.  Cut into 16 squares.

NUTRITION INFO:  (per serving)

102 Calories; 4 gm fat; 14 gm carbohydrate; 1 gm fiber; 3 gm protein; 13 mg sodium; 12 mg cholesterol

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Quinoa Banana Muffins

These muffins are filled with healthy ingredients and very satisfying.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup quinoa, dry
  • 1-1/2 cup oats, dry
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup egg beater
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 medium bananas, smashed
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

Cook quinoa (boil with 1/2 cup water for 15 minutes).  Mix all ingredients, except the chocolate chips, well and let sit.  Meanwhile, line muffin tin or spray with Pam.  Stir the chips into batter.  Fill muffin cups.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Yields 12 muffins.

NUTRITION INFO: per muffin

120 Calories; 2.5 g fat; 3.5 g protein; 21 g cho; 4 g fiber; 27 mg sodium 

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Are You Addicted to Oreo’s?

If you think you may have an oreo addiction, it might be true.  Eating high-fat sugary foods stimulate the neurons in the pleasure center of the brain.  This is the same effect that addictive drugs have on the brain.  Please read http://www.today.com/health/addicted-oreos-you-truly-might-be-8C11399682 for more information.

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Skinny Crockpot Italian Chicken

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(Picture taken from google images)

Here’s another crockpot favorite recipe of mine!

What you need:

4-6 Chicken Breast
2 cans Italian diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
Italian seasoning (oregano, basil, parsley, garlic powder)
1 can white beans
What to do:

Place chicken in crock pot. Mix all ingredients and pour over chicken.  Cook on high for 4-6 hours.  Serve over pasta if desired and add a salad to complete your meal.  Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Analysis:  250 calories, 2 gm fat, 34 gm pro, 24 gm carb, 5 gm fiber per serving.

Stuffed Pepper with Quinoa

These stuffed peppers are absolutely delicious and healthy too.

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Ingredients:

1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 cup water

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed

3 large green peppers

1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)

3 teaspoons dried parsley flakes

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/4 cup ketchup

2 cans (8 ounces each) no-salt-added tomato sauce, divided

3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed

1 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

Directions:

Drain tomatoes reserving juice; set aside. In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add quinoa. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

Meanwhile, cut peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds. In a Dutch oven, cook peppers in boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water; invert onto paper towels.

In a large skillet, cook the beef,  garlic, parsley,  salt, pepper flakes and pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink.  Stir in half of one can tomato sauce, ketchup, corn, quinoa and tomatoes; heat through.

Spoon into pepper halves. Place in a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine the reserved tomato juice and remaining tomato sauce; pour over peppers.

Cover and bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until peppers are tender. Sprinkle with cheese; bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Makes 6 Servings; 266 Calories per serving

Editor’s Note: Look for quinoa in the  organic food aisle.

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SKINNY TACO DIPS

INDIVIDUAL TACO DIPS

The great thing about these individual dips is that you can adjust it to your personal taste and they are portion controlled.   These would be great for watching a football game or for any type of party.  I found the original recipe on “The Girl Who Ate Everything Blog”; did some minor tweaking and renamed it.

Individual Taco Dips

Makes about 8 individual dips @ 150 calories per dip.

Ingredients

1 (16 ounce) can refried beans

1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning

1 cup guacamole 

1 (8 ounce) container fat-free sour cream

1 cup chunky salsa

1 cup low-fat shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese

2 Roma tomatoes, diced

1/2 bunch of green onions, sliced

1 (2.25 ounce) can of sliced olives, drained

8 (9 ounce) plastic cups

tortilla chips

Instructions

In a small bowl mix taco seasoning with refried beans.

Here’s how the layers are assembled:

Layer 1: beans and taco seasoning; Layer 2: sour cream; Layer 3: guacamole; Layer 4: salsa; Layer 5: cheese; Layer 6: tomatoes; Layer 7: green onions and olives

In each plastic glass, layer about 2 Tablespoons of the beans, followed by 2 Tablespoons of sour cream, 2 Tablespoons of guacamole, 2 Tablespoons of salsa, and 2 Tablespoons of cheese.  Make sure you drain your salsa or pico to get the excess liquid out before you pour it on. Then top with about 1-2 teaspoons of tomatoes, olives, and green onion (If making ahead of time, wait to add these toppings until shortly before serving).

Garnish with one tortilla chip. Store in the refrigerator until serving and serve with chips. Makes around 8 individual dips.

Recipe and photo’s from:  http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2011/12/individual-seven-layer-dips.html