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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    March 6th, 2014admincrock pot, Dinner, Italian

    I am very passionate about my sauce ! My Italian Grandma and Mom taught me well :) I have been making my own since I was 16 and over the years developed a recipe that is LOVED and CRAVED by many. That recipe included cooking sausage and meatballs in the sauce – and that gives it a very rich flavor. But it also adds calories. So in my quest to keep things lower cal, I’ve been trying a few batches of sauce without meat and this one is really, really good. It comes quite close to my regular recipe !

    I’ve added beef bouillon to make up for some of the lost flavor from the meat, I’ve added roasted garlic which gives a great depth of flavor (much different than dropping in raw or sautéed garlic) and I make sure to use tomato paste. Tomato paste is to tomatoes what lemonade concentrate is to lemonade – - it is highly concentrated and adds a different flavor than any other tomato product out there. And finally I add 2 secret ingredients – shhhhhhh ! Fennel and anise seeds add the flavor you would get if you cooked sausage in the sauce. It is the finishing touch that so many sauces are missing. You only get the slightest hint of taste of the seeds in the finished product. But let me tell you, without them, the sauce is just not the same.

    If you’ve never tried sauce before – try !! This one starts from canned products, not raw tomatoes – so it is NOT labor intensive. And even a bad batch of homemade is better than a jar of Ragu ;) It’s what makes a pasta meal special, so do it up !

    Basil Garlic Marinara Sauce

    Basil Garlic Marinara Sauce

    12 servings
    58 calories per serving

    8 cloves roasted garlic, minced
    2 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
    1 6 oz. can tomato paste
    ¾ c water
    1 T oil
    2 t basil flakes
    6 basil leaves, torn into small pieces
    1 t oregano flakes
    ½ t red pepper flakes
    ½ t garlic powder
    ½ t onion powder
    ½ t whole anise seeds
    1 t whole fennel seeds
    2 packets or 2 cubes beef bouillon
    Salt and pepper to taste
    ¼ c parmesan cheese

    Mix all ingredients in a crock pot, cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or high 4-5 hours.

    You can also put this in a pressure cooker for 20 minutes or simmer stove top for 2-3 hours.

    The length of time does make a different – the sauce tastes much richer when simmered for hours than a quick sauce (which have their place in some recipes, but don’t equal a traditional slowly simmered sauce).


    Freeze your extra portions and next time it’s pasta night, just defrost in the frig over night and quickly reheat in a sauce pan.

    Let me know how you like it ! :)

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    March 5th, 2014adminDinner, Kid Friendly, Polish

    Making pierogi dough and getting it the right consistency can be hard. Want to make some quick and easy? Then try using wonton wrappers for the dough – you wouldn’t believe it, but they come out just FANTASTIC !

    Pierogies 1-2-3

    Pierogies 1-2-3

    12 servings (3 pierogies each)
    169 calories per serving

    2 c cooled mashed potatoes
    4 oz. whipped cream cheese with chives and onions
    1/2 t pepper
    36 wonton wrappers
    Water
    3 T butter
    1/2 c light sour cream

    Boil water in a saucepan. Mix potatoes, cheese and pepper. Cut wonton wrappers into circles (if you have to have a pierogi in the typical half moon shape – otherwise just make triangles !) Brush edges of pierogies with water and place 1 T of the potato mix inside. Fold in half and seal edges together. Working in batches, add to boiling water and cook 3 minutes or until they float. Drain and rinse with cold water. Again, working in batches melt butter and cook 12 pierogies at a time. Serve with sour cream.

    Pierogies 1-2-3

    Pierogies 1-2-3

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    March 4th, 2014adminchicken, Dinner

    This is one of those WOW good meals ! And since you are using shake and bake and prepared pesto, preparation is a snap. This makes shake and bake super special and meal you’ll serve to guests.

    Baked Italian Chicken with Pesto

    Baked Italian Chicken with Pesto

    4 servings
    250 calories per serving

    4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (5 oz. each)
    1 pack Shake and Bake Mix
    2 T prepared pesto (available in the refrigerator section of your market)
    1/4 c shredded mozzarella cheese

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wet chicken with water and then coat with Shake and Bake and place in a baking pan or on a cookie sheet. Bake 20 minutes or until done throughout. Mix pesto and cheese and spoon on top of chicken and bake another 5 minutes.

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    March 3rd, 2014adminchicken, Dinner, FiberGourmet, Italian, pasta

    Some meals are just extra special and this is definitely one of them ! The perfect portion of pasta, chicken and veggies all covered in a scrumptious sauce and layers of cheese. You just can’t go wrong !

    Chicken Florentine Casserole

    Chicken Florentine Casserole

    4 servings
    270 calories per serving

    1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
    2 T flour
    8 oz. FiberGourmet penne pasta (without FiberGourmet, you have to add 80 calories per serving)
    2 T low fat balsamic vinaigrette dressing
    1 c chicken broth
    2 oz. light cream cheese, cubed
    10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed, and drained well (press it down in a sieve to get a lot of water out)
    1 c shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
    3 T grated parmesan
    Salt and pepper to taste
    ½ t garlic powder

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions. Heat dressing in a skillet. Mix chicken with flour and add to skillet and cook 3-4 minutes or until browned. Add broth and cream cheese and cook until cheese is melted. Add the spinach, garlic powder, salt and pepper and heat 1 minute. Remove from heat. Mix drained pasta with skillet mixture and spoon half of it into a 2 quart casserole dish. Top with ½ the mozzarella then add the rest of the chicken mix. Finally top with the remaining mozzarella and the parmesan. Bake 20 minutes to heat through and melt the cheese.

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    March 2nd, 2014adminDinner, Kid Friendly, Sides, Vegetables

    This one got its name because we kept asking each other to pass the mashed things. They were so good that I got my husband to eat carrots and my daughter to eat cauliflower ;)

    Mashed Things

    Mashed Things

    2 servings
    200 calories per serving

    1 red potato, peeled and cubed
    1 c small cauliflower florets
    1/2 c baby carrots
    1 c chicken broth
    1 oz. cream cheese, softened
    1 t garlic powder
    Salt and pepper to taste
    1 slice Kraft fat free singles American cheese
    2 T skim milk
    5 squirts ICBINB Spray

    Bring veggies to a boil in the broth. Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until veggies are soft. Drain the veggies and place them in a bowl with the cream cheese, cheese, garlic, milk, salt and pepper and beat with a mixer until creamy. If they are too dry, you can add more milk. Spray with the I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter spray just before serving.

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    March 1st, 2014admincrock pot, Dinner, Kid Friendly, Mexican, pork

    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.

    Easy Pork Carnitas

    Easy Pork Carnitas

    4 servings
    208 calories per serving

    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano
    1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
    1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 ½ lb. boneless pork shoulder roast
    2 bay leaves
    2 cups chicken broth
    1 lime cut into wedges

    Mix together salt, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, coriander, and cinnamon in a bowl. Rub spice mix into the pork.. Place the bay leaves in the bottom of a slow cooker and add the broth then put the pork on top. Cover and cook on low about 10 hours, turning half way through. Remove and let cool then use 2 forks to shred the meat. Use the left over liquid to moisten the meat. Plate and squirt each portion with a bit of lime just before serving. I like to serve this on a flour tortilla with some avocado slices (not included in calorie count above – add 210 calories for a flour tortilla and 2 -3 slices avocado)

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    February 14th, 2014adminDinner, Italian, turkey

    These are more delicious than regular stuffed peppers – the cream sauce mixes in with the meat and rice so beautifully – every ounce is coated and it makes for a super creamy taste sensation.

    Inside Out Stuffed Peppers

    Inside Out Stuffed Peppers

    6 servings
    311 calories per person

    1 lb. lean ground turkey
    2 green peppers, coarsely chopped
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    Salt and pepper to taste
    2 c cooked brown rice or even use a chicken or beef flavored rice mix for extra flavor
    16 oz. jarred marinara sauce
    1 c shredded low fat mozzarella cheese
    1/4 c cream cheese cooking creme (I used Philadelphia tomato and basil flavor)
    1/4 c chopped basil

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown meat, peppers, salt and pepper in a large skillet. Add in garlic during the last minute of cooking. Drain and add rice, sauce, 1/2 c mozzarella and cream cheese. Mix well and spoon into a 2 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 c mozzarella and bake 25 minutes.

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    January 27th, 2014adminItalian, Lunch, pork, Soups

    Minestrone meets Stracciatella in this soup full of beans, spinach, cheese and yummy sausage ! To make this a dinner serving instead, just add some pasta or rice to bring it up to 400 calories.

    Sausage Soup

    Sausage Soup

    4 servings
    264 calories per serving

    10 oz. sweet sausage
    Pam
    1 c chopped shallot (onion will do if you do not have shallots)
    2 t minced garlic
    ½ c water
    15 oz. cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
    14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
    24 oz. can fat free chicken broth
    2 c baby spinach
    1 T fresh basil or parsley, chopped
    2 T grated parmesan cheese
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Remove casing from sausage (or buy it without the casing). Spray pan with Pam and cook sausage on high heat until brown stirring to break up the pieces well. Add shallot and garlic and cook 2 more minutes. Stir in water, beans, tomatoes, broth, salt and pepper and cover and bring to a boil. Uncover and cook 4 minutes or until it has thickened up a little bit. Remove from heat and stir in spinach and basil and then place in bowls and sprinkle with cheese.

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    November 27th, 2013adminDinner, Kid Friendly, turkey

    This is so creamy and full of nutty flavor from the wild rice. It’s a great dish and a perfect way to use up left over turkey.

    Turkey Wild Rice Casserole

    Turkey Wild Rice Casserole

    5 servings
    370 calories per serving

    4 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
    1 lb. cooked turkey breast cut into bite sized pieces
    1 c carrots, julienned
    1/2 c onion, chopped finely
    1/2 c celery, sliced
    1 c raw wild rice
    1 can low fat cream of chicken soup
    2 1/2 c water
    2 T soy sauce
    1/2 t marjoram flakes
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Pam

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a skillet with Pam and cook bacon until almost crisp then add turkey, carrots, onion and celery and cook 3 minutes or until turkey is heated. Cook rice according to package instructions. Mix rice and turkey then add soup, water, soy and spices and place in a baking dish sprayed with Pam. Cover and bake half hour.

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    November 26th, 2013adminKid Friendly, Lunch, Soups, turkey

    Another super quick soup that tastes like it’s been simmering for hours, but it’s just a ½ hour meal. Try using Perdue Shortcuts turkey strips if you don’t have any leftover turkey on hand.

    Turkey Noodle Soup

    Turkey Noodle Soup

    2 servings
    156 calories per serving

    2 c water
    ¾ c cooked cubed turkey breast
    1 rib celery, sliced
    Leaves from top of celery
    2 cloves garlic minced
    Salt to taste
    1/8 t marjoram flakes
    1/8 t pepper
    1 bay leaf
    ½ t onion powder
    ½ c canned diced potatoes
    ¼ c frozen peas and carrots mix
    ¼ c yolk free egg noodles
    Dash Kitchen Bouquet

    Mix water, turkey, celery, onion, garlic, salt, onion powder, marjoram, pepper and bay leaf and bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Then mix in the potatoes, peas and noodles. Cover and simmer 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove bay leaf before serving.

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