Hi, my name is Aileen and it’s great to see you here sharing my blog. I have been cooking since I was a teen. My Mom put a home cooked meal on the table every night and so do I (it’s a challenge when you work full time, but it is well worth it!). I love food – I love making it, I love eating it. I love how it brings people together. My most favorite thing to do is share a meal with family and friends. And we often end up talking about other food while we are eating this food.
There’s pretty much nothing I can’t make, though I really prefer cooking savory meals to baking. I have made it all from scratch at one time or another and still cook mainly this way. I have a discerning palate and a taste for spicing things just the right way. My recipes are definitely not bland and that helps when creating satisfying meals – your mouth knows it ate after it’s done with one of my meals
I am one of 5 Neon Pigs, a self named group of foodies. How did we get the name? We decided it was sooooo appropriate because everything right in the world exists in a BBQ joint with a neon pig hung in the window
I was blessed with a great metabolism and for years and years ate anything I wished without gaining an ounce. From 35 forward I gained a few pounds here and a few pounds there and then after age 40 my metabolism came to a screeching halt and I could just not get off the weight that had compounded with just plain exercise. A drastic plan was needed….so here I am, 40 something and trying to make my world right by creating recipes that satisfy yet still fall into a healthful lifestyle that I know I will have to now forever follow if I want to maintain a healthy body.
These are just FANTASTIC ! Forget about regular stuffing next Thanksgiving – I am going to make these ahead of time and simply reheat in the oven while the turkey is being carved. These are simply delicious !
209 calories per serving
1/4 c butter
3/4 c celery, chopped fine
1/4 c carrots, chopped fine
1 1/2 c water
6 oz. Stovetop stuffing mix
1/3 c Craisins or raisins
1/4 c chopped walnuts
1 1/2 c low fat shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup egg beaters
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin tin with Pam. In a skillet, melt butter and cook celery and carrot 5-6 minutes. Add water and bring to a boil them remove from heat and stir in stuffing mix, craisins and nuts then add 1 cup of cheese and the egg beaters and mix well. Spoon into 10 muffin cups and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese then back 10 minutes to melt cheese.
Savory, hot chili – make it as spicy or as mild as you like. This one bulks up the veggies and uses turkey and very lean ground beef so it comes in at a low calorie count for a good sized portion. For 400 calories you can have a huge portion ! Try making this the next time you have a football party.
All the different tomato products used in this recipe have their own unique flavor and the combination of them is just perfect. But if you don’t particularly like one or another, feel free to substitute.
Cook this stovetop for hours to get that deep, rich, long simmer flavor – or you can cook this in the crock pot all day long while you are at work. Chili also does well in a pressure cooker. If you need instructions, just write to me and I’ll be happy to send you info.
210 calories per serving
2 T oil
1 onion, chopped
20 oz. lean ground turkey
16 oz. very lean ground beef
5 ribs of celery, sliced
1 green pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
4 t minced garlic
10 oz. mushrooms, chopped
15.5 oz. can chick peas, rinsed and drained
15.5 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
15.5 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 15.75 oz. cans Campbells Pork and Beans (this addition really mellows out the tomato base)
28 oz. petite diced tomatoes
14.5 oz. fired roasted diced tomatoes
14.5 oz. stewed tomatoes
3 oz. chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped (if you don’t like heat, remove this ingredient. If you like it very spicy, add more of this ingredient)
29 oz. tomato sauce
1 T salt
1 T pepper
2 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
5 T chili powder
3 t cumin
2 t basil flakes
2 t parsley flakes
3 t oregano flakes
Heat the oil in the bottom of a large dutch oven or soup pot. Saute onions, celery and green pepper and yellow pepper 15 minutes. Add the turkey and beef and continue cooking until meat is done. Be sure to break up meat into little pieces as it cooks. (if cooking in a crock pot, do this first step stove top in a skillet and then turn it all into a heated crock) Add garlic and mushrooms and stir. Add all spices and mix well. Bring to a boil them lower and simmer for 2-3 hours on a low heat. Stir occasionally and adjust spice during the last half hour of cooking. (if cooking in a crock pot, cook on low 8-10 hours or high 5-6 hours)
The leftovers freeze well – so don’t be afraid of the huge serving size. You can also cut this in half and make 10 servings – just halve everything. Serve with low fat sour cream and low fat shredded cheddar as a garnish / topping.
This is so tasty – it’s something I have made many times and everyone who eats it is always delighted with the great heartiness and warmth. Beings this is a crock pot recipe, you can start this one before work, come home, drop in the noodles and in 20 minutes you’ll have a healthy soup ready to go. Serve with some low fat biscuits or some Cheesy Spirals.
260 calories per serving
1 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped coarsely
1 stalk celery in slices
1 package Lipton dry Beef Mushroom soup mix
14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes
6 c water
½ t salt
¼ t pepper
1 t onion powder
1/2 t garlic powder
2 c frozen mixed vegetables, thawed and drained
1 c uncooked fine egg noodles
Brown ground beef and drain thoroughly. Combine all ingredients except the noodles and frozen veggies in the crock pot, cover and cook on low 6-8 hours. 20 minutes before serving add thawed veggies and noodles and mix well. Increase heat to high, recover and cook another 20 minutes.
I made 4, 3 of us ate one each and then fought over the 4th 🙂 They are that good !! Make sure you use a nice creamy vanilla yogurt; one that tastes like ice cream. I love Turkey Hill brand. This is just one of those perfect desserts !
270 calories per serving
2 cups vanilla frozen yogurt, softened (I like Turkey Hill brand)
8 Nilla Wafer cookies, crushed well
1 1/2 bananas, sliced
1/4 c chopped toasted pecans
In small dessert cups or parfait glasses or even in wine glasses, layer ingredients and then freeze at least half an hour. Here are the layers:
1 slice of banana for garnish
Turkey with a zesty cheese sauce is the perfect lunch !
272 calories per serving
3 T lowfat mayonnaise
2 T nonfat plain yogurt
2 T shredded (not grated) Parmesan cheese
2 T chopped basil
1 t lemon juice
Pepper to taste
8 slices light whole wheat bread
8 oz. thinly sliced deli turkey
8 slices tomato
2 t canola oil
Mix mayo, yogurt, cheese, basil, lemon juice and pepper. Spread 2 t of the mixture on each slice of bread and then fill the sandwiches with turkey and tomato. Heat 1 t oil in a large nonstick pan and put in 2 sandwiches. Use a Panini press to weight down the sandwiches. Cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Spray the top with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Spray and then flip the sandwich and cook until the second side is golden. Repeat with the 2 remaining sandwiches.
This is a great seafood stew full of flavor and body. If you have leftover bits of cooked fish. you only need to put them in the crock for 15 minutes or so to heat up. If you like it a bit spicier, add some hot sauce and you get a jambalaya tasting dish.
215 calories per serving
2 c chopped onions
2 stalks celery finely chopped (about 1 c)
5 garlic cloves, minced
28 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
8 oz. clam juice
6 oz. tomato paste
½ c white wine or water
1 T red vinegar
1 T oil
½ t basil flakes
½ t parsley flakes
½ t onion powder
½ t garlic powder
½ t oregano flakes
¼ t sugar
¼ t red pepper flakes
1/2 t dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 lb. firm white fish in 1 inch pieces
¾ lb shelled, cleaned shrimp, tailed removed
6.5 oz. can chopped clams and their juice
6 oz. can crabmeat (or fresh)
¼ c parsley, chopped
Combine onions, celery, garlic, tomatoes, clam juice, tomato paste, vinegar, spices, sugar, thyme, pepper flakes and bay leaf and mix well. Cover and cook on high 4 hours. Stir in fish, shrimp, clams and crab and reduce heat to low and cook 45- 1 hour minutes or until fish is done. Remove bay leaf before serving. Stir in parsley.
So easy to make – this takes just a few minutes. And the results are SUPER ! There will be lots of yummy noises as your group eats this one up. Serve with low cal crackers.
72 calories per serving
10 oz. package frozen broccoli
8 oz. Cabot low fat sharp cheddar, grated
4 oz. cream cheese
2 T milk
1 t Tabasco sauce
1/2 t pepper
Microwave broccoli in a partially covered dish 8-10 minutes. Add cheddar, cream cheese, tabasco and pepper. Recover and microwave 1-2 minutes or until cheeses are melted. Stir until smooth. Serve immediately with crackers.
This dish has a subtle yet delicious curry flavoring – it’s perfect next to chicken and fish dinners. If you haven’t tried curry before, but you like cauliflower, this is a great dish to try. It’ll get you hooked on curry, I bet 🙂
100 calories per serving
1/4 c olive oil
2 t curry powder
2 t sugar
1 t lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
4 c cauliflower florets
1/3 c slivered or sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix oil, curry, sugar, lemon, salt and pepper than mix in cauliflower. Pour all into a 13×9 baking dish and cover. Bake 15 minutes then stir and add almonds and cook another 10-15 minutes uncovered.