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 4th, 2013adminDessert, fruit, Kid Friendly, Snacks

    These whip up in no time and are so versatile – you can use any flavor jello and any flavor fruit – - just make sure it’s frozen fruit. The frozen fruit is what makes the jello firm up in no time flat. I did this with raspberries and the dessert was just amazing tasting !

    Fruit Parfaits

    Fruit Parfaits

    4 servings
    85 calories per serving

    3/4 c boiling water
    1 c Cool Whip, thawed
    .3 oz. package flavored sugar free jello, raspberry or strawberry flavor
    2 c frozen raspberries or strawberries

    Add water to jello and stir 2 minutes to dissolve then stir in 2 c frozen fruit until jello starts to thicken. Add ½ c of the mix to the Cool Whip and whisk to blend then spoon into dessert cups and cover with the rest of the jello mix. Refrigerate 15 minutes.

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    April 1st, 2013adminDinner, Lunch

    A whole quarter of this casserole is yours for under 400 calories ! And it is so very flavorful. I used to do a version of this with a can of cream soup as well, but let me tell you, you don’t even miss it and without the extra calories, there’s a big old portion with my name on it :)

    Trim the serving size by ½ and you have a great side dish or appetizer for just 195 calories.

    Spinach, Ham and Rice Casserole

    Spinach, Ham and Rice Casserole

    4 servings
    390 calories per serving

    2 10 oz. packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
    2 c cooked brown or white rice
    2/3 c skim milk
    ½ c Egg Beaters
    1 c grated low fat cheddar cheese (or parmesan, or gruyere, or swiss – whatever low fat cheese you like)
    Salt and pepper to taste
    1 T oil
    1 medium onion, chopped
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    ½ c fat free chicken broth
    ½ pound lean ham, chopped

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix spinach, rice, milk, eggs, ¾ c cheese, salt and pepper. Heat oil in a skillet and cook onion with salt and pepper until onion begins to brown, about 8-10 minutes. During the last 2 minutes, add the garlic, then add broth and cook 4-5 minutes or so then add ham and cook until warm. Combine the 2 mixes and place in a baking dish and top with the remaining cheese and bake uncovered ½ hour.

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    March 29th, 2013adminHoliday Meals, Uncategorized

    Having guests over for Easter? Attending a potluck or an event where you need to bring a dish? Then take a look at some of the perfect Easter dishes from 400 Calories or Less !

    I typically make holidays my ‘Cheat Day’ for the week, but I don’t go wild – I just don’t watch quite as close as I normally do. With my low cal dishes, you can have an appetizer, soup, your meal and dessert for less than some single slices of cake (think Cheesecake Factory). So put your apron and get makin’ some Easter goodies :)

    My Easter Meal Recommendation:

    Appetizers:
    Stuffed Mushrooms
    Zucchini Pizzas
    Spinach Tarts

    Soup:
    Lemon Soup

    Dinner:
    Baked Ham
    Steamed Potatoes with Garlic Sauce
    Lemony Green Beans

    Dessert:
    Chocolate Bark
    Banana Cake

    The mushrooms can be prepped ahead of time and cooked when the guest arrive. Same with the zucchini pizzas. The spinach tarts can be prepared AND cooked the day ahead – they reheat great in the microwave or oven.

    The soup can be prepared ahead and kept warm in a crock pot set to the ‘warm’ setting.

    The ham can go in the oven early, taken out while you cook the appetizers and placed back in to finish up the cooking. And the potatoes can be done ahead and you keep them warm in a crock or reheat at the last minute. Keep the steamer out and reuse it to do the beans. The beans should be done at the last minute – but it is just a steaming and quick mix with the other ingredients before you bring them to the table.

    The 2 desserts can be prepared the day before.

    Happy Easter and Happy Cooking !

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    March 27th, 2013adminbeef, Dinner, Fish, Kid Friendly

    Surf and term usually includes a large portion of meat and a lobster tail dripping in butter. If you’re looking for a healthier alternative, try a Skinny Surf and Turf with a lean piece of filet mignon and some Lemon Shrimp. Just as good, much lower fat, and a perfect celebration meal.

    Skinny Surf and Turf

    Skinny Surf and Turf

    2 servings
    346 calories per serving

    2 4 oz. filet mignons
    Garlic powder
    Salt and pepper to taste
    I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter Spray

    Add 2 servings of LEMON SHRIMP for the perfect ‘surf’ !

    Preheat grill. Sprinkle meat with garlic, salt and pepper. Grill a couple of minutes each side or until desired temperature. When done, spritz with ICBINB Spray.

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    March 23rd, 2013adminDessert, Kid Friendly

    Decadent, Delicious, Moist, and just the right amount of peanut butter. These just could not have been any better !!

    Peanut Butter Cupcakes

    Peanut Butter Cupcakes

    30 cupcakes
    235 calories per serving

    1 package super moist yellow cake mix
    1 ½ c water
    ¼ c vegetable oil
    3 eggs
    ¾ c creamy peanut butter
    1 tub ready to spread chocolate frosting
    ¼ c creamy peanut butter
    1/3 c chopped peanuts

    Heat oven to 350 degrees . Line muffin cups with paper liners. Beat cake mix, water, oil, eggs and ¾ c peanut butter on low 30 seconds and then on medium 2 minutes. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter and bake 20-25 minutes. Cool completely. Stir together frosting and ¼ c peanut butter and frost cupcakes. Sprinkle with peanuts.

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    March 21st, 2013adminDinner, Sides

    Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish made with potatoes and cabbage. It makes an excellent side dish. And it’s a perfect way to use up left over cabbage and potatoes !

    Irish Colcannon

    Irish Colcannon

    10 servings
    115 calories per serving

    1 1/2 lb. potatoes (about 4 large), peeled and quartered
    3 slices bacon, chopped
    1 small onion, chopped
    1/2 c water
    4 c cabbage, thinly sliced
    2 T butter
    1/2 c skim milk, warmed
    Salt to taste

    Put potatoes in a large Dutch oven and add enough cold water to cover the potatoes then bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Heat a skillet and cook bacon then remove it from pan and drain. Add onions to skillet and cook 4 minutes. Add water and stir to loosen the bits stuck to the pan then add cabbage, cover and cook 7 minutes until water is evaporated. Mash drained potatoes with butter and milk then add the cabbage mix and salt and mix well.

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    March 19th, 2013adminDrinks, Summer

    Refreshingly sweet with a spicy ginger flavor – this is a great drink !

    Ginger Tea

    Ginger Tea

    8 servings
    73 calories per serving

    8 c water, divided
    1/4 c minced ginger
    1/4 c honey
    1/4 c molasses
    3/4 c lemon juice
    1/4 c cider vinegar
    4 c seltzer
    Lemon slices for garnish

    Mix 3 c water and ginger and boil 2 minutes. Then remove from heat and let sit 20 minutes. Strain the mix through a fine strainer into a large pitcher. Add honey, molasses, lemon juice and vinegar and mix until all dissolved. Add 6 c water then chill overnight. As you serve, mix tea with ½ c seltzer and garnish each glass with a lemon slice.

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    March 15th, 2013adminDinner, FiberGourmet, Italian, pasta

    By using FiberGourmet pasta, you really cut down the calorie count here – and with all the added vegetables, this is a very filling meal. Thank you, FiberGourmet !!

    Eggplant Pomodoro over Spaghetti

    Eggplant Pomodoro over Spaghetti

    6 servings
    212 calories per serving

    2 T oil
    1 medium eggplant, cut into small cubes
    2 cloves garlic, minced, 4 plum tomatoes, diced
    1/3 c chopped green or black olives
    2 T white wine vinegar
    Salt and pepper to taste
    12 oz. FiberGourmet Spaghetti
    ¼ c chopped fresh parsley or basil

    Take cubed eggplant and place in a colander. Sprinkle with 1 t salt and mix well. Place a bowl atop the eggplant and weight it with canned goods or something heavy. This helps the bitterness leave the eggplant. Leave like that for ½ hour then rinse well and pat dry. Heat oil in a skillet and cook eggplant 10 minutes then add garlic and cook another minute. Add tomato, vinegar, salt and pepper and cook 10 more minutes. Cook pasta according to package directions and serve with the pomodoro sauce over it.

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    March 13th, 2013adminKid Friendly, Lunch, Sandwiches

    A Monte Cristo Sandwich is dipped in egg and fried – this version adds LOTS of gooey Gruyere cheese (the kind you find on top of French Onion Soup). If you prefer a milder cheese, switch to Swiss or cheddar.

    Monte Cristo Sandwich

    Monte Cristo Sandwich

    4 servings
    350 calories per serving

    1 T Dijon mustard
    1 T fat free mayonnaise
    8 slices Italian bread (1 oz. each) I recommend that you get a kitchen scale – it takes out the guess work !!
    6 oz. deli ham, thinly sliced
    1 c shredded Gruyere cheese (substitute Swiss or cheddar or jack if you don’t like Gruyere)
    1/4 t black pepper
    1/2 c Egg Beaters
    1/4 c skim milk
    Pam

    Combine mustard and mayo. Spread each of 8 slices with an even amount of the mix. Then layer 4 slices each with ham and cheese. Sprinkle evenly with pepper and cover with other 4 pieces of bread. Combine eggs and milk. Dip both side of each sandwich in the mix. Heat a large skillet on medium high heat and spray with Pam. Cook sandwiches 3 minutes each side or until lightly brown.

    Here is a kitchen scale like I use:

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    March 11th, 2013adminAsian, beef, Dinner

    This dish is a FAVORITE of mine when I go to Asian restaurants. Now I’ve recreated it at home ! I’ve added some more veggies that you usually get in the restaurant dish and it makes it a nice complete meal. This tastes so authentic and so delicious !

    Beef Chow Fun

    Beef Chow Fun

    4 servings
    385 calories per serving

    8 oz. rice noodles (pad thai work great – the wider the better, but whatever you can find !)
    1/2 c beef broth
    4 teaspoons black bean garlic sauce (available in the Asian section of your market)
    1 T soy sauce
    2 t brown sugar
    2 t cornstarch
    4 t peanut oil
    1 teaspoon minced ginger
    1 small onion, thinly sliced
    5 ½ c sliced and cut stir fry veggies (snow pea pods, carrots, broccoli, celery) (if using frozen, thaw them)
    1/2 c water, divided
    8 ounces sirloin steak, cut into thin slices
    ¼ c douchi (fermented black beans available at your local Asian market)

    Prepare noodles according to package instructions then rinse in cold water and drain and set aside. Mix Sherry, sauces, sugar and cornstarch and set aside. Heat 2 t oil in a non stick skillet and cook ginger 30 seconds. Add onion and cook 5 minutes or until softened up a bit then add the rest of the veggies plus ¼ c water. Cover and cook 5 minutes or until the veggies are softened a bit. Add the veggies to the noodles and wipe out your pan. Add 2 t oil to the pan and cook steak 3-4 minutes to brown it then add in the cornstarch and cook 2 minutes to thicken the sauce. Now add the veggies and noodles to the pan with ¼ c water and the fermented black beans. Heat through for about 2-3 minutes and serve immediately.

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