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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    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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    September 17th, 2013adminSides, Vegetables

    Get the pre-washed, pre-trimmed beans and your prep time is literally 1 minute. Using kosher salt can really make a difference in recipes and it does in this one. Kosher salt is a much larger crystal (much like sea salt) and instead of melting into the food, it kind of stays on the surface giving you a much bigger burst of the salt flavor – I think it works really well with green beans.

    Roasted Green Beans

    Roasted Green Beans

    4 servings
    42 calories per serving

    1 pound fresh green beans
    1/2 T olive oil
    1 t balsamic vinegar
    2 t minced fresh basil
    Kosher salt and pepper to taste

    Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Mix together green beans, oil, vinegar and basil. Place on a non-stick baking sheet in one layer and roast for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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    May 28th, 2013adminDinner, Lunch, Sides, Summer

    At only 160 calories, make this one often ! The lite buttermilk, lemon and wine is a nice change from your typical mayo and vinegar dressing. The flavor is right on and this will definitely satisfy your potato salad craving.

    Light Potato Salad

    Light Potato Salad

    12 servings
    160 calories per serving

    4 lb. small red potatoes, quartered
    Salt and pepper to taste
    ¼ c dry white wine
    4 T lemon juice
    ½ c low fat buttermilk
    ¼ c low fat mayo
    1 T Dijon mustard
    1 c packed basil leaves sliced very thin
    Cilantro for garnish

    Add cold water to potatoes to cover them by 2 inches, cover and bring to a boil then add 1 t salt, recover and reduce heat to medium low and cook 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain. Add wine and 1 T lemon juice them toss and cool to room temperature.

    Whisk buttermilk, mayo, mustard, ¼ t salt, pepper and 3 T lemon juice. Blend well and then toss with potatoes and basil.

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    May 22nd, 2013adminDinner, Fish

    This pesto sauce is so incredibly flavorful that you will want to put it on everything. Usually pestos have nuts in them – the subtraction of the nuts leaves you with a lighter pesto and this one would go great with so many different dishes.

    White Fish with Lime Basil Pesto

    White Fish with Lime Basil Pesto

    4 servings
    226 calories per serving

    1 c basil leaves
    ¼ c grated parmesan
    ½ t grated lime zest
    2 T lime juice
    1 ½ T oil
    ¼ t salt
    3 garlic cloves, chopped
    4 6 ounce sea bass fillets (or other white fish)
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Pam

    Mix basil, parm, lime juice and zest, oil, garlic and salt in a food processor until very finely chopped.

    Spray a skillet with Pam and cook fish 3-4 minutes per side or until done. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve with basil blend.

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    May 21st, 2013adminDinner, Kid Friendly, Sides, Summer, Vegetables

    A special parmesan butter atop a fresh grilled piece of corn just spells S U M M E R !!

    Grilled Corn

    Grilled Corn

    4 servings
    200 calories per serving

    4 ears of corn, husked and cleaned
    ¼ c butter, softened
    2 T parmesan cheese
    2 t basil, chopped
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Shuck corn and clean it well. Wrap in foil and grill 15-20 minutes or until tender.

    Grilled Corn

    Grilled Corn

    Mix butter, cheese and parsley. When corn is done, open foil and place a pat of butter on the corn. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

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    May 12th, 2013adminchicken, Dinner, Italian, Kid Friendly

    For years I used MY standard chicken cacciatore recipe and I was very wary of trying a new one. Let me tell you, this one really fits the bill for a tasty, flavor packed, nutritious version that will quickly become one of your favorites.

    Chicken Cacciatore in a Snap

    Chicken Cacciatore in a Snap

    4 servings
    297 calories per serving

    1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
    1 t oregano flakes
    1/2 t basil flakes
    1/4 t red pepper flakes
    Pam
    2 c sliced mushrooms
    3/4 c chopped bell pepper
    1 1/2 c fat free marinara sauce
    1/4 c water
    ½ t garlic powder
    ½ t onion powder
    1/4 t salt
    1/4 t black pepper
    1/2 c shredded Parmesan cheese
    2 T sliced fresh basil

    Heat a large skillet on medium high and spray with Pam. Add chicken to pan with oregano, basil and red pepper. Saute until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and pepper and cook 5 minutes. Stir in sauce, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and water and bring to a simmer. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat, sprinkle with cheese and fresh basil. Serve immediately.

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    April 8th, 2013adminDinner, Fish, Lunch, pasta

    This is one of the pasta salads you will make again and again. The added protein from the tuna makes this a great complete meal, or you can serve as a side to any salad for a great lunch or light dinner.

    Lemony Orzo and Tuna

    Lemony Orzo and Tuna

    6 servings
    256 calories per serving

    3/4 c orzo
    1/2 t grated lemon zest
    3 T lemon juice
    1 T oil
    Salt and pepper to taste
    1 t minced garlic
    ½ t red pepper flakes
    1 c drained and flaked tuna fish
    1/2 c diced English cucumber
    1/2 c chopped red bell pepper
    1/3 c scallions, sliced into thin rings
    1 T sliced basil
    1/2 c crumbled goat cheese

    Cook pasta according to package directions. When done, drain, rinse to stop the cooking process and place in a bowl. Mix lemon zest, oil, garlic, pepper flakes, salt, pepper and mix with the pasta. Add fish, cucumber, pepper and scallions and mix well. Place and sprinkle with cheese and basil.

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    August 6th, 2012adminAppetizers, Italian, Snacks, Summer

    This is best with fresh mozzarella (it is WIDELY available at regular and gourmet markets as well as cheese shops) and fresh garden tomatoes.

    Mozzarella and Tomato with Balsamic Vinegar

    Mozzarella and Tomato with Balsamic Vinegar

    4 servings
    177 calories per serving

    4 2 oz. slices of mozzarella cheese
    4 large tomato slices
    4 basil leaves
    4 T balsamic vinegar
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Place cheese on plate and top with tomato slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper then top with basil leaves and sprinkle with balsamic vinegar.

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    June 25th, 2012adminDinner, Mediterranean, Salads, Sides

    This is all the good stuff out of the salad and leaves the lettuce behind. Crisp, refreshing and a great summer salad.

    Mediterranean Salad

    Mediterranean Salad


    8 servings
    109 calories per serving

    2 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
    1 green pepper chopped coarsely
    1 red or 1 yellow pepper chopped coarsely
    1 zucchini, cut lengthwise in half, and chopped coarsely
    ½ of a small cucumber, peeled, seeded and julienned
    1/2 c fat free Italian dressing
    2 T chopped basil
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    3 low fat mozzarella sticks, sliced into small rounds

    Mix all together and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

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