Thursday, October 30, 2008

Beef Stew

Nick and I were both working late tonight so I decided to go with a crock pot meal. This cooked for about 9 hours and I could smell it cooking as I walked up to the door! I served it over pasta but it would be fine by itself.

1 lb lean beef round - cut into 1 inch cubes
cooking spray
1 onion - chopped
2 c mushrooms - sliced
2 garlic cloves - minced
2 carrots - sliced
15oz can pinto beans - drained and rinsed
1 1/2 c canned beef broth
15oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp thyme
salt and pepper

1. Place beef in crock pot
2. Coat skillet with cooking spray. Add onion, mushrooms and garlic - saute over med/high heat for 5 minutes. Add to crock pot. Add carrots to crock pot. Put half of the beans into crock pot.
3. Put remaining beans in blender. Add 1/2 cup of the broth and puree. Add mixture to crock pot. Add remaining broth, tomatoes and spices.
4. Cook on high setting for 6-7 hours.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Taco Pizza

Definitely kid friendly. Ben loved it. There are a ton of variations to this recipe. You can pretty much add anything you like on a taco. Add sour cream and black olives. Add some jalapenos for spice. Super easy to make and a hit with everyone.

1 lb lean ground beef
12 taco shells or equivalent of tortilla chips
1 package taco seasoning
1 prepared pizza crust
1 c shredded cheese - mexican style
1 c shredded lettuce
1 tomato - chopped

1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Cook meat with taco seasoning mix.
3. Place pizza crust on cookie sheet and top with cooked meat. sprinkle with cheese
4. Bake 8-10 minutes, until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted
5. Top with lettuce and tomatoes (and any other toppings). Crush taco shells and sprinkle on top. Drizzle with salsa if desired.

Hearty Turkey Chili

This is another weight watchers recipe and it was so full of flavor I had to pass it along. The leftovers only lasted until the next day and Nick finished it off. I served it with homemade cornbread and Nick added Velveeta cheese to his.

cooking spray
1 tsp canola oil - I forgot to use this and didn't notice a difference
1 large onion - chopped
2 garlic cloves - minced
2 carrots - thinly sliced into rounds
1 lb lean ground turkey - I use Jennie-O extra lean and it wasn't too dry
2 TBSP chili powder
1 TBSP paprika
1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tomatoes - chopped
1 c. canned tomato sauce - I used an entire 14.5 oz can
1 c. canned chicken broth - I used an entire 14.5 oz can
1 1/2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
15 oz can kidney beans - rinsed and drained
1 green pepper - chopped
salt, pepper

1. Coat a large pot with cooking spray and place over medium heat
2. Add oil and onion - saute onion until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and carrots. Cook until garlic is softened, about 1 minute. Add turkey - brown meat.
3. Add all remaining ingredients except salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil.
4. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until meat and veggies are tender - about 30-45 minutes.
5. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

I am working on losing about 20 pounds before the wedding so there are going to be a lot of "healthy" recipes on here for awhile. This is another weight watchers recipe that turned out well. There is no marinara sauce, pureed veggies are used instead. Most whole wheat pastas have a weird taste to me but the whole wheat lasagna noodles worked fine.

Grocery store find: Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta - saves 30 calories per serving and ups the fiber by 4 grams. Also, tastes exactly the same as other white pastas.

3 medium raw eggplant - cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 medium red peppers - chopped - I used 4
4 small tomatoes - seeded and chopped
4 medium garlic cloves - peeled and chopped
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp salt or to taste
1/4 tsp pepper or to taste
9 lasagna noodles - cooked and drained - tip: place noodles separately on foil to prevent sticking while cooling
1/4 c parmesan cheese - can always add more
3/4 c mozzarella cheese - again, add more for any other cheese fanatics out there

1. Preheat oven to 425F
2. In roasting pan, combine veggies, garlic and oil. Bake until veggies are tender, stir occasionally - approx 25min
3. Place 1/2 of veggies, salt, pepper and 1/2 c of water into food processor and process until smooth - I added crushed red pepper for more spice
4. Spoon 1/2 c of veggie puree into bottom of 9x13 baking dish. Place 3 noodles over puree
top with 1/2 c puree, 1/2 of remaining veggies, parm cheese and mozz. Repeat layers and top with remaining noodles, puree and cheeses
5. Bake until bubbly - approx 40 min

Greek Shrimp with Orzo

I found this recipe on and it looked tasty so I thought I'd give a try. It makes a ton so be prepared to have leftovers. Nick and I didn't really make a dent in it. We paired it with a side salad and some sauteed zucchini and squash. And of course, a glass of wine.

12oz uncooked orzo
2tsp olive oil
1/2 c onion, chopped
1 med green pepper, chopped
2 med garlic cloves, minced - I buy the minced garlic in the jar and used a TBSP or so, but we love garlic
28oz can diced tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano - I used more than this to add more flavor
1lb shrimp, med sized, peeled and deveined - I used the frozen shrimp and just pulled the tails off
1/4 c basil, fresh, chopped
2 TBSP crumbled feta cheese - or more if you love cheese


1. Cook orzo in salted water according to package directions
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in saucepan on medium heat Add onion, pepper and garlic - cook until soft, stirring occasionally, approx 3 min. Add tomatoes and oregano - bring to a simmer. Add shrimp - cook until shrimp are warmed through, approx 5 min
3. Spoon cooked orzo into shrimp mixture - stir to combine
4. Remove from heat and stir in basil
5. Spoon into individual bowls and top with feta