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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    January 31st, 2010adminBreakfast, Instructional, Kid Friendly, Videos

    This breakfast muffin has not one, but TWO pieces of Canadian bacon, cheese and eggs – all for 250 calories ! Compare that to the fast food breakfast sandwiches that weigh in between 300 and 500 calories and the choice is clear !

    Bacon, Egg and Cheese Muffin

    Bacon, Egg and Cheese Muffin

    1 serving
    250 calories per serving

    1/4 c Egg Beaters
    2 slices Canadian bacon
    1 slice Kraft fat free American cheese
    1 lite whole wheat muffin, toasted
    1 T lite buttery spread
    Pam

    Heat pan on medium high heat. Remove from heat and spray with Pam. Return to heat. Add Egg Beaters and reduce heat to medium and use a spatula to keep eggs contained to a small circle while they set and cook. Cook until done. Meanwhile, heat bacon in microwave 30 seconds. Butter muffin and place cheese on hot toasted muffin so it will melt. Add eggs and bacon.

    Here’s a quick video to show you how to prep the eggs:

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    January 31st, 2010adminBreakfast, Instructional, Videos

    Scrambled Egg Beaters just fall out of a breakfast muffin. It’s best to try and keep them in a small circle so that they easily fit on the muffin and stay put. Here is a quick video showing you how to do this :)

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    January 31st, 2010admin400 Calorie Meals - the plan

    I wanted to give a big thank you to all my Facebook fans and Blog followers. I’ve taken my love of cooking, a new interest in food photography, wrapped it up with my need for a food/meal plan that is healthy and something I can stick with – - and it all became 400 Calories or Less.

    Seeing your interest, reading your comments and emails, and knowing that I am helping others really makes it all so rewarding.

    And to answer a few questions that are coming in often:

    1. Yes, I do take all the pictures of the food. (Special thanks to my family for being so patient as I photograph the food before we sit down to eat !)

    2. Yes, I cook all these recipes. Not a single one goes up without my trying it at least once. And the ones that are not blog worthy never get posted here. These are tried and true and definitely worth your experimentation.

    3. Yes, portions are typically big. It just does not make sense to me to sit in front of a cupful of food and try and call that a meal. All the meals are plentiful and satisfying. That is a big part of my challenge – - fitting in as much healthful, delicious food as I can for 400 calories.

    4. Yes, I have lost weight and continue to do so. It has been about 6 months and my husband has lost 30 pounds and continues to keep it off. His drop was fast and his maintenance has been over a couple months now. He did not exercise a bit during this 6 month period. He eats 2000 calories a day as opposed to my 1600. We basically double up dinner for him. My drop has been slower – a pound or sometimes more a week and so far I have dropped 25 pounds and plan to keep going for another 10 pounds or so before I move to a maintenance plan. And our plan includes a “CHEAT DAY” once a week. We don’t go completely overboard (well, maybe sometimes a little – who can resist KFC hot wings?!?!?!?!?!) but we eat what we like on this day, often eating out for dinner.

    I hope you reach your goals ! If I can help in any way, please write. I love to hear from you all :) Stay tuned for lots more recipes and tips. And again, thanks !!!

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    January 29th, 2010admincrock pot, Dessert, Kid Friendly

    Can you say ooey gooey chocolate? This recipe sure does ! This is definitely a 4 star keeper :)

    Crock Pot Brownies

    Crock Pot Brownies

    12 servings
    198 calories per serving

    2/3 c flour
    2/3 c sugar
    1/3 c cocoa powder
    1 t baking powder
    1/4 t salt
    2/3 c fat free evaporated milk
    1/3 c margarine, melted and cooled
    1/4 c Egg Beaters
    1 1/2 t vanilla
    1 c semi sweet baking chips
    Pam
    Powdered Sugar

    Spray a 4 qt crock pot with Pam. Mix flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Combine milk, margarine, egg and vanilla in another bowl. Mix the dry mix into the wet mix until smooth. Finally stir in the chips. Spread batter in the crock pot and cook on low 2-3 hours or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool 30 minutes and then invert over a plate and cut into 12 pieces. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

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    January 29th, 2010adminMexican, Sides

    The recipe below calls for a small piece of whole wheat bread. Often I double up the calories using a piece of thinly sliced Italian bread instead, especially if the rest of the meal is relatively low in calories.

    Grilled Bread with Sofrito

    Grilled Bread with Sofrito

    6 servings
    80 calories per serving

    6 slices 45 calorie wheat bread
    6 T sofrito (available in most supermarkets with all the Goya products, it is a condiment of richly condensed tomatoes, peppers and spices).

    Spread 1 T sofrito on each slice of bread and place the bread sofrito side up in a toaster oven. Heat until bread edges or toasty brown. Serve immediately.

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    January 29th, 2010adminEating Out, Lunch, Mexican

    Taco Bell has a new menu section called their FRESCO menu – several items 400 Calories or Less !!

    Taco Bell Fresco Menu

    Taco Bell Fresco Menu

    I finally had to give it a try – some days you just don’t have time to cook lunch and there are few places to get a decent meal that is under 400 calories. My expectations were high because I.LOVE.TACO BELL. I know, I know … but I can’t help it – their tacos are just so good :)

    So here’s what my husband and I got for lunch:

    Me:

    1 Fresco Crunchy Taco – 150 calories
    1 Fresco Ranchero Chicken Soft Taco – 170 calories

    Him:

    1 Fresco Crunchy Taco – 150 calories
    1 Fresco Burrito Supreme Steak – 330 calories

    Taco Bell

    Taco Bell

    And the consensus is…….

    2 thumbs up :) The tacos are minus some cheese, but other than that, they are pretty much the normal Taco Bell fare. These will definitely stay on the list for a quick meal that fits into the 400 calorie plan !

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    January 28th, 2010admincrock pot, Dinner, Instructional, Italian, Videos

    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.

    Lasagna (Crock Pot)

    Lasagna (Crock Pot)

    8 servings
    275 calories per serving

    1 lb. lean ground beef
    2 c diced eggplant
    1 jar Paul Newman’s marinara sauce
    1/4 t red pepper flakes
    ¼ t garlic powder
    ¼ t onion powder
    ¼ t basil flakes
    1 c water
    15 oz part skim ricotta cheese
    1 T chopped parsley
    1/4 c Egg Beaters
    1 c shredded parmesan cheese (not grated, shredded)
    8 no boil lasagna noodles

    Brown the ground beef in a heated skillet and drain off any fat and water. Stir in the pepper, sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, basil flakes, water, and eggplant. In a bowl combine the egg, cheeses and parsley. Place a layer of meat sauce on the bottom of a crock pot. I find my oval shaped on works the best here. Top with 2-3 noodles, nipping off the corners in order to get a nice fit. Add another layer of meat sauce and then one thick layer of the cheese mixture. Top with a final layer of noodles and then a final layer of meat sauce. Cover and cook on low 3-4 hours.

    Here is a video of how to layer it up in the crock pot:

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    January 28th, 2010adminBreakfast, Kid Friendly

    I stick to a handful of breakfasts that I rotate through during the week – it’s just easier and gets you out the door quicker. This is one of my favorites and is a great nutritious breakfast. And it really keeps me filled up until lunch. Try almond butter or cashew butter instead to change it up !

    Peanut Butter Toast with Bananas

    Peanut Butter Toast with Bananas

    1 serving
    343 calories

    2 slices 45 calories bread
    2 T peanut butter
    1/2 c banana slices

    Toast bread and immediately spread peanut butter while toast is warm. Top with banana slices.

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    January 27th, 2010adminLunch, Mexican

    This is another one of those very versatile lunches – swap out the black beans for refried beans, the red peppers for green peppers, the cumin for chili powder – and you have a whole different beast ! Just be sure to microwave the wraps for 15 seconds so that they are nice and pliable and don’t break when you are wrapping the contents.

    Bean Burrito

    Bean Burrito

    4 servings
    207 calories per serving

    15 oz black beans, drained and rinsed, then mashed
    1/2 t ground cumin
    4 whole wheat tortillas (80 calorie version)
    1 c chopped tomato
    1 c chopped red bell pepper
    1 c salsa
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Mix beans with cumin, salt, pepper and chopped red peppers. Microwave 1 minute to heat. Spread over tortillas. Sprinkle with salsa and tomato. Roll up and enjoy. Take a look at my instructional video to learn how to fold a wrap so the contents won’t fall out the end :)

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    January 27th, 2010adminInstructional, Videos

    Take a look at my instructional video to learn how to fold a wrap so the contents won’t fall out the end :)

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