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 7th, 2014adminDinner, FiberGourmet, Italian, Kid Friendly, pasta

    This recipe makes up a wonderfully flavorful sauce – anything with bacon is good in my book !

    Spaghetti Carbonara

    Spaghetti Carbonara

    2 servings
    300 calories per serving

    4 ounces uncooked FiberGourmet spaghetti
    1/2 cup skim milk
    3 T grated Parmesan cheese
    1 T chopped parsley
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Pam
    1/3 c chopped pancetta or thick cut bacon (about 1 1/2 ounces)
    1/4 c finely chopped onion
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1 large egg

    Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain reserving ¼ c of the cooking water. Mix milk, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Heat a skillet and spray with Pam then sauté pancetta 3 minutes. Add onions and garlic and continue cooking another 5 minutes until onion is browned. Reduce heat to medium low and add milk mix and spaghetti to the pan. Whisk egg in a bowl and add the reserved cooking liquid stirring constantly so egg does not start to cook. Gradually add to pan stirring constantly and cook 4 minutes on low until sauce is thick.

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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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    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 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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    November 14th, 2013adminAsian, crock pot, Dinner, Kid Friendly, pork

    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.

    Chinese Pulled Pork

    Chinese Pulled Pork

    8 servings
    227 calories per serving

    1/4 c soy sauce
    1/4 c hoisin sauce
    3 T ketchup
    3 T honey
    2 t minced garlic
    2 t grated fresh ginger
    1 t dark sesame oil
    1/2 t five-spice powder
    2 lb. boneless pork roast, trimmed
    1/2 c chicken broth

    Mix soy, Hoisin, ketchup, honey, garlic, ginger, oil and five spice and place in a zip loc bag. Add roast and mush it around so the spice adheres to the roast. Place in refrigerator for 3 – 24 hours. When ready to cook, place in crock and cook on low 8 hours. Remove roast and cover to keep warm. Place broth in croc, re-cover and cook another 1./2 hour or until sauce thickens. Shred pork and serve with extra sauce.

    If you do not have Chinese 5 spice, here’s a quick recipe so you can make it yourself:

    Mix all of this in a spice grinder and then use the appropriate amount in your recipe:

    1 T peppercorns
    1 T cloves
    1 t anise seed or 1 T star anise
    1 T fennel seeds
    1 T cinnamon

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    August 9th, 2013adminKid Friendly, Lunch, Mexican

    Sometimes you are just in the mood for ‘junk food’ for lunch. This junk food favorite gets pretty healthy when you bake your own chips and add healthy toppings. So go for it !!

    Lunch Nachos

    Lunch Nachos

    6 servings
    344 calories per serving

    12 6 inch corn tortillas, quartered
    Pam
    1 T oil
    2 t ground cumin
    1 ½ t chili powder
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    30 oz. pinto beans, undrained
    1 c crumbled queso fresco or shredded low fat cheddar cheese
    1 c chunky salsa
    1 c diced avocado
    6 T chopped cilantro
    Salt to taste

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with Pam. Sprinkle tortilla quarters with salt and ½ t chili powder and bake 8 minutes or until crisp. Work in batches. Heat oil and add cumin, 1 t chili powder and garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add pinto beans and bring to a boil stirring frequently. Lower heat and simmer 10 minutes then partially mash beans. Place 8 chips per plate and spoon bean mix over the chops. Top with cheese and microwave 30 seconds to melt cheese. Add salsa and avocado and garnish with cilantro.

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    August 4th, 2013adminDinner, Fish, Summer

    A nice ‘beefy’ tuna steak on the grill is one of those great summer treats. The leftovers make a GREAT tuna salad – just add a little low fat mayo and some diced up pickles or celery.

    Chili Garlic Tuna

    Chili Garlic Tuna


    4 servings
    335 calories per serving

    2 cloves garlic, minced
    ½ t crushed red pepper
    4 tuna steaks – 8 oz. each
    2 t Chili Garlic sauce (found in the Asian section of your market)
    Salt and pepper to taste
    4 t oil
    Lime zest as garnish
    Lime juice

    Heat the grill or preheat the broiler. Combine garlic, pepper flakes, chili garlic sauce and salt. Make several small slits in the tuna steaks and insert the garlic mix into the slits. Then rub the oil on the steaks and sprinkle with salt and pepper and grill or broil 3 – 5 minutes per side or until desired doneness. Squirt with a bit of lime juice and sprinkle with lime zest and serve.

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    July 4th, 2013adminDinner, Salads, Sides, Summer, Vegetables

    This just has ‘summer’ written all over it. Use garden fresh or farmer’s market fresh veggies for the best flavors :)

    Green Beans and Tomatoes

    Green Beans and Tomatoes

    8 servings
    90 calories per serving

    1 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into pieces
    2 lb. beefsteak tomatoes, seeded and cut into ½ inch wedges
    5 T balsamic vinegar
    3 t minced garlic clove
    ½ t Kosher salt
    ½ t pepper
    1 anchovy fillet, minced
    3 T oil

    Boil green beans 3 minutes, drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Add tomatoes. Whisk vinegar, anchovy and oil and add to beans. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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    June 17th, 2013adminAsian, chicken, Dinner, Kid Friendly, Summer

    Throw away those kabob skewers and get a grill basket – it makes cooking small pieces of things on the grill a snap ! Just cut it up, marinate and then throw in the grill basket. It’s like stir frying on the grill and you get a great even cook on all the bits.

    Teriyaki Grill Basket

    Teriyaki Grill Basket

    6 servings
    244 calories per serving

    1/3 c soy sauce
    2 T vegetable oil
    1 T brown sugar
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1 t ground ginger
    1 t seasoned salt
    Pepper to taste
    1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
    12 whole fresh mushrooms
    1 large green bell pepper, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
    1 large onion, cut into wedges
    12 cherry tomatoes
    Pam

    Mix soy, oil, sugar, garlic, ginger, pepper and salt. Place chicken pieces in a Ziploc bag and pour over the marinade. Seal and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. During the last hour, add the veggies to the bag. Heat grill and spray a grill basket with high heat Pam. Cook veggies and chicken until chicken is done.

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