Crock Pot Favorites
    Sausage and Bean Stew (Crock Pot)

    Sausage and Bean Stew (Crock Pot)

    What a great appetizer or lunch. The sausage, beans and garlic make a perfect stew. Served with cheese toast, this makes a great dish to serve to guests. Even with the bread, this dish comes in under 400 calories !! 6 servings 350 calories per serving 2 t oil 3 ...

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    Hamburger Soup (Crock Pot)

    Hamburger Soup (Crock Pot)

    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 ...

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    Chinese Pulled Pork

    Chinese Pulled Pork (Crock Pot)

    This recipe was really interesting. Usually when you think of pulled pork, you expect a spicy Southwest flavor. But this one has an awesome Chinese sauce that is mellow and mild and is perfect with pulled pork. 8 servings 227 calories per serving 1/4 c soy sauce 1/4 c ...

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    Get the ’400 Calories or Less’ App and eBooks now !

    Get the '400 Calories or Less' App and eBooks now !

    I'm so very pleased to announce the 400 Calorie or Less App and eBooks ! The eBooks are now available for the Nook and the Kindle. There are 4 eBooks and they each host 40+ recipes to help you lose weight while eating the foods you love and ...

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    Easy Pork Carnitas

    Easy Pork Carnitas

    This is another great authentic recipe that cooks all day in the crock pot - it turns out a fantastically tender and juicy meat that is easily shredded and tastes great with a bit of lime and avocado. 4 servings 208 calories per serving 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon ground ...

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    Black Bean Chili (Crock Pot)

    Black Bean Chili (Crock Pot)

    This is one of the most awesome chili recipes I have ever made ! The depth of flavor was amazing. This is a truly authentic, rich, aromatic and spicy chili that is just plain PERFECT. Don’t forget the squirt of lime just before serving – it actually ...

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    Chicken Tortellini Stew (Crock Pot)

    Chicken Tortellini Stew (Crock Pot)

    This is a soupy stew or a thick soup :) Whatever it is, it's absolutely delicious. The sweet fennel adds just the little something different that makes this meal one of a kind. 6 servings 380 calories per serving 2 carrots, sliced 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast cut ...

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    Lasagna (Crock Pot)

    Lasagna (Crock Pot)

    Even traditional lasagna lovers like this one - and it is nice and easy to do. Start it at lunch time and have dinner ready 4 hours later. Take a look at my video below for instructions on how to layer it in your crock. 8 servings 275 calories per ...

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    April 20th, 2012adminLunch, Mexican, Vegetables, Videos

    This is one of those recipes where you just don’t miss the meat – not one bit ! Roasting the veggies first gives them a great flavor, then you add chili powder, then you add rice simmered with chipotle for the smoky flavor and then you add CHEESE ! This is a satisfying, perfect lunch.

    Vegetable Burritos

    Vegetable Burritos

    4 servings
    380 calories per serving

    Salt and pepper to taste
    1 1/3 c water
    ½ c brown rice
    1 T minced canned chipotle in adobo sauce
    4 bell peppers cut into thin strips
    4 medium carrots thinly sliced
    1 T oil
    1 T chili powder
    6 oz. fresh spinach leaves thinly sliced
    4 10 inch burritos
    ¾ c low fat shredded Monterey Jack cheese
    ½ c salsa (optional)

    Vegetable Burritos

    Vegetable Burritos

    Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bring water to a boil and add rice and 1 t salt along with the diced chipotle. Cover and cook 45 minutes then remove from heat and let stand 15 minutes. Toss pepper, carrots, oil and chili powder in a baking pan and roast about ½ hour then add spinach and toss. Warm tortillas and add rice, cheese and veggies and wrap. Serve with salsa.

    Here a quick video on how to create a wrap so it does not leak

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    I just made these again recently – what a great recipe ! I had the wrong calorie count on them and a reader helped me realize that – but I have updated taking into account the calorie count of the most popular brand of eggroll wrappers.

    These eggrolls will soon be on your favorites list. Add 1/4 c duck sauce to the side for just an extra 60 calories. If you’re in the mood for some seafood try adding some cooked popcorn shrimp.

    These make a great side dish, stand alone lunch, appetizer – - very, very versatile !

    Vegetable Eggrolls

    Vegetable Eggrolls

    6 servings
    162 calories per serving (1 serving = 2 rolls)

    12 square eggroll wrappers (available in all grocery stores)
    2 c shredded cabbage
    1 c chopped onions
    1/2 c shredded carrots
    1/2 chopped bean sprouts (canned are fine)
    1/2 c chopped celery
    1/4 c low sodium soy sauce
    2 T minced garlic
    Salt and pepper to taste
    1/2 t onion powder
    1/2 t garlic powder

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place all the ingredients other than the wrappers in a frying pan sprayed with Pam and cook on medium high heat, stirring often, for 15 minutes or until vegetables are softened a good amount.

    Spray a cookie sheet with Pam. Work with just a couple of wrappers at a time. Place wrappers on a DRY surface and place 2 spoonfuls of filling on each. Dip your finger in water and moisten all 4 edges of the wrapper. Fold sides in toward the middle. Then roll bottom up and around rolling until you have a fully done roll.

    Here’s the filling mix:

    Eggroll Filling

    Eggroll Filling

    Here’s a great instructional site with pictures that shows you how to quickly roll an eggroll

    And here’s a video I just made so you can see how it’s done – it’s so easy !!

    Seal the outside edge with a wet finger and place roll on the baking sheet. Finish up the rest of the rolls. Once all the rolls are complete, spray the tops with Pam. Bake 20-25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

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    August 8th, 2011admin400 Calorie Meals - the plan, Videos

    Wonder what the plan is all about? Let me explain it to you :)

    All the great recipes on this site fit into the plan and will help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

    If you’d like a mobile version so you can review recipes on the go, please CLICK HERE

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    Wraps are a nice change from a sandwich – and they hold in the contents so much better than 2 slices of bread. Here is a standard turkey, bacon and tomato sandwich and because it is on a wrap you can add in some crumbled feta and avocado slices without worrying about them flying out the sandwich. And the avocado adds your MUFA for the meal :) Enjoy !

    Turkey and Feta Wrap

    Turkey and Feta Wrap

    1 serving
    300 calories per serving

    1 T Miracle Whip
    1 T low fat crumbled feta cheese
    1 Whole wheat wrap (80 calorie version by Smart and Delicious)
    ¼ c shredded lettuce
    4 slices deli turkey breast
    1 slice tomato, cut into strips
    2 slices turkey bacon, cooked
    ¼ c avocado slices
    Pepper

    Sprinkle turkey with pepper. Place it all in the wrap and roll it up ! Here is a video that will show you how to fold up a wrap securely

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    October 7th, 2010adminInstructional, Lunch, Soups, Videos

    This spicy broth is a nice contrast to the mild and creamy wontons. The ricotta mixed with the spinach for the filling makes for a very creamy textured wonton center. Wontons are definitely NOT hard to make ! Give it a shot ! Even if they don’t come out quite the right shape, as long as they stay sealed, that is really all that matters :) And at only 137 calories per serving, double up the portion and you still have room for some crispy homemade flat breads as a side !

    Spinach Soup with Wontons

    Spinach Soup with Wontons



    8 servings
    137 calories per serving

    10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
    ½ c part skim ricotta cheese
    1 t chopped basil ( or ¼ t basil flakes)
    ½ t pepper
    32 wonton wrappers
    4 14.5 oz. cans chicken broth
    2 T soy sauce
    2 t chili sauce (available in the Asian section of your market)
    ½ c scallions, thinly sliced

    For this recipe, be sure to use a pot that is large enough that the wontons have room and don’t get all piled on top of one another. Mix spinach, ricotta, basil and pepper in a blender until smooth. Place 1 T filling in each wonton and fold according to package instructions being sure to seal the last fold with a bit of water. Bring broth, soy and chili sauce to a boil. Add wontons and scallions and bring back to a boil. Cover and reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes or until wontons are tender.

    Here is a video to help you lean how to prepare wontons -

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    I modeled this recipe after a restaurant favorite of mine – it is a wild mushroom ravioli appetizer that I could not help but order every time I frequented a certain restaurant, but the calorie count was over the top. Not this one !! Between the RICH cream sauce and the multiple mushroom flavors, this meal tastes just as decadent but with so few calories, you can eat it without any guilt.

    Portobello and Ricotta Wontons

    Portobello and Ricotta Wontons

    Thanks to Marxfoods.com for the wild mushrooms to create this masterpiece ! The different varieties lend quite a flavor to this dish. The dish would just not be the same using run of the mill mushrooms. The mixture of the chanterelles and matsutakes inside the little packet of goodness combined with the flavors of the porcini, lobster and black trumpet mushroom sauce … well, it’s just a little bit of heaven right here on earth.

    Marxfoods offers a bunch of wild mushroom varieties – I think my favorite in this dish were the black trumpet mushrooms – they have a very delicate texture and the aroma is akin to a truffle. These are definitely on my list of favorites.

    8 appetizer servings (3 wontons each) – 106 calories per serving
    4 dinner servings (6 wontons each – 212 calories per serving

    Filling –
    1 t oil
    4 shallots, sliced
    ¼ c water
    2 oz. reconstituted dry chanterelle mushrooms (reserve the liquid)
    2 oz. reconstituted dry matsutake mushrooms (reserve the liquid)
    2 oz. Portobello mushrooms, sliced
    ½ t salt
    ¼ t pepper
    1/3 c part skim ricotta cheese

    To reconstitute dried wild mushroom, place in a glass bowl and cover with very hot water. Let sit 20-30 minutes. Reserve the water to use as when boiling the wontons.

    Heat 1 t oil in a skillet and sauté the shallots on medium high heat for 5 minutes. Add 1-2 T of water if needed to keep the shallots moist. Add the reconstituted mushroom and sauté another 2 minutes. Finally add the Portobello mushrooms and sauté another 7 minutes. When done, place all in a food processor and pulse 14 times. (It’s best to chop or mince the woodier mushrooms like chanterelles and matsutakes). Turn into a bowl and mix with the ricotta. Set aside.

    Sauce –
    1 t oil
    1.5 oz. reconstituted dry porcini mushrooms (reserve the liquid)
    .25 oz. reconstituted dry black trumpet mushrooms (reserve the liquid)
    .50 oz. reconstituted dry lobster mushrooms (reserve the liquid)
    1 T water
    1 c beef broth
    2 t cornstarch
    ¼ c fat free evaporated milk
    1 t red vinegar

    To reconstitute dried wild mushroom, place in a glass bowl and cover with very hot water. Let sit 20-30 minutes. Reserve the water to use as when boiling the wontons.

    Heat 1 t oil in a skillet and sauté the mushrooms 6 minutes. Add up to 1 T of water to keep the mixture moist. Mix starch and broth and add to the pan along with the evaporated milk. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and cook 2 minutes to thicken the sauce. During the last minute of cooking, add the vinegar. Set aside.

    Wontons –
    24 wonton wrappers
    Small bowl of water
    Reserved mushroom liquid
    Water
    2 t salt

    Put reserved liquid in a pot and add enough water to make 2 quarts. Add salt and bring to a boil.

    Fill wontons with 1 T of the filling – - either use instructions on the back of the wonton package or watch this short video tutorial:

    Complete all wontons then boil in 2 batches. Use a slotted spoon to lift the wontons out of the pot – put on a platter and cover with the sauce.

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    September 7th, 2010adminDinner, Sides, Videos

    Instead of basil, this pesto is made with arugula and adds a nice tang to the salad. Sometimes instead of the yukon gold potatoes I use unpeeled new potatoes and the recipe is just as delicious !

    Pesto Potato Salad

    Pesto Potato Salad

    8 servings
    208 calories per serving

    2 lb. Yukon gold potatoes
    2 ½ c arugula leaves
    1/3 c parmesan cheese, grated
    1/3 c pine nuts, toasted
    3 T water
    2 t lemon juice
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    ½ t salt
    ½ t pepper
    ¼ c olive oil
    1 c grape tomatoes, halved

    Cook potatoes covered in salted water 25 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool. Then peel the potatoes and cube them. Here is a great video on how to easily boil and peel potatoes.

    In a food processor mix arugula, 1/3 c cheese, 1/3 c pine nuts, water, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper then slowly add the oil and mix thoroughly. Pour mix over potatoes and stir in tomatoes. Serve at room temperature.

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    July 21st, 2010adminDinner, Instructional, Sides, Videos

    So very good ! You can stuff potatoes with just about anything but this recipe turns out a perfect twice baked potato – the sour cream and mozzarella are just perfect here.

    Twice Baked Potatoes

    Twice Baked Potatoes

    4 servings
    172 calories per serving

    4 medium baking potatoes
    1/3 c low fat sour cream
    2 T chopped fresh basil and chives and parsley
    2 T grated parmesan cheese
    Skim milk
    ¼ c shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Clean potatoes, dry them and prick them with a fork. Bake one hour. Cut a 1 inch slit in the top and spoon out pulp into a bowl. Do this gently so the skin stays in tact. Use a blender so you get nice whipped consistency and mix together the pulp, sour cream, herbs and parmesan cheese. Add a few tablespoons of milk if the mix is too dry. Stuff the mixture back into the potato skins and sprinkle with mozzarella. Place in a baking dish and bake 20 minutes or refrigerate and then when you bake, cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes then uncover and bake another 20 minutes.

    To hollow out the potatoes, after you bake them, let them cool and then follow the instructions in this video.

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    March 24th, 2010adminchicken, Lunch, Mexican, Videos

    These took just 10 minutes to throw together and were so very good – the onion was just enough, the beans leant a great flavor as well as making the texture really nice, and the cumin and lime made for a great overall flavor. You can make these ahead and freeze them – then you have a quick nutritious microwave lunch ready in 3 minutes !

    Chicken Cheese Burritos

    Chicken Cheese Burritos

    6 servings
    367 calories per serving

    2 t oil
    1 c diced onion
    1 T minced garlic
    1 15 oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
    2 c cooked and diced chicken breast (Perdue Shortcuts work great here!)
    1 T cumin
    2 plum tomatoes, diced
    2 jalapeno peppers, diced
    1 T minced lime zest
    2 T fresh lime juice
    2 t oregano flakes
    ¼ t salt
    ¼ t pepper
    6 8 inch whole wheat tortillas (Smart Delicious 80 calorie version)
    1 ½ c shredded low fat cheddar cheese

    Heat oil in skillet and cook onion and garlic about 2 minutes then add beans. Mix chicken with cumin and add to onion mix. Stir in tomatoes, jalapeno, zest, juice, oregano, salt and pepper and cook until jalapenos are slightly softened, about 5 minutes then let filling cool slightly. Place tortillas on a flat surface and fill with ¾ c filling and ¼ c cheese. Fold and eat ! Here is a video that will help you learn how to roll the burrito so it does not leak.

    If you are making these to freeze and eat later, make sure you let the mix cool completely before putting them together and then fold in all 4 sides and roll, securing the filling inside. Wrap each in plastic wrap and then place all the burritos in a zip loc freezer bag.

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    March 9th, 2010adminInstructional, Summer, Videos

    Let’s face it – peeling potatoes is a drag ! Well, I came across these instructions on the internet and let me tell you, they work like a charm. The peels just pulled off the boiled potatoes in no time ! Usually if you peel them ahead of time, the outsides get all mushy and mealy and peeling them afterward with a peeler or knife is time consuming at best.

    Here is a video instructional showing you how to do it:

    Basically, you just score the potatoes the whole way around with a sharp knife (about 1/4 inch deep) and drop them into boiling water for 15 minutes. Take them out and place into an ice bath (ice cubes mixed with cold water) and mix around for 15 seconds. Then take them out of the ice water and apply a little squeezing pressure and the peels come right off !

    The only thing I would do different than the video is cook the potatoes a little longer – they were not quite done yet in the middle. If I was going to cube them up for hash browns or further cooking after being sliced or cubed, this would be fine. But they were too undercooked to use for potato salad – I would boil another 5-7 minutes for that. Hope you use this method for easier potato prep in the future !

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