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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    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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    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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    July 26th, 2013adminAppetizers, Dinner, Italian, Kid Friendly, Sides

    Here’s another one of those appetizers that also makes a great dinner side – these are great served next to a hearty bowl of minestrone soup.

    Mini Calzones

    Mini Calzones


    24 servings
    50 calories per serving

    1 11 oz. can soft breadsticks
    1/2 t garlic powder
    1/2 c shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
    6 slices very thin deli ham, each rolled and cut into 4 pieces
    ¼ t oregano flakes
    2 T grated parmesan cheese

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Let dough come to room temperature then unroll it and separate into 12 sticks then cut each in half making 2 short sticks. Flatten each piece of dough to about a 2 inch wide piece. Sprinkle all the dough pieces with garlic powder. Place 1 t mozzarella cheese in the center. Fold ham and place over the cheese making sure to leave a border so you will be able to seal the calzones. Fold the dough over and pinch the edges to seal and make a little pocket. Place on a baking sheet and sprinkle with the parm and oregano. Bake 15 minute or until golden brown.

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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 26th, 2013adminAppetizers, Italian, Vegetables

    Stuffed artichokes cooked in a pressure cooker are delectable ! They soften up beautifully and the garlic seems to just be infused into the artichoke leaves. This is a great recipe – so flavorful, so classic.

    Stuffed Artichokes (Pressure Cooker)

    Stuffed Artichokes (Pressure Cooker)

    8 servings
    105 calories per serving

    8 large artichokes, trimmed
    ½ c bread crumbs
    ½ c grated parmesan cheese
    ½ c minced garlic
    1 c chicken or vegetable broth
    Salt and pepper to taste
    1 lemon

    Everyone trims an artichoke differently – I cut off the stem and then ½ inch from the top. Then I trim all the leaves by nipping off the end. To get the leaves to open up enough to stuff them, I bang the leave side down on the counter a couple of times – then you can use your fingers to pry open the leaves some. Yes, all this work is definitely worth it :)

    Separate leaves slightly so you can drop in the ingredients – each should get bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and garlic.

    Place artichokes in pressure cooker (you can double decker them) and pour over broth. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then squirt with the juice of 1 lemon. Close pressure cooker and bring to pressure and cook 60 minutes. Quick release pressure.

    If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can cook these stovetop in a dutch oven – simmer for 2 hours or until tender.

    You can make these ahead of time and just reheat in the microwave prior to serving – I actually prefer to do it this way. They just seem to be more flavorful with the second heating.

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    April 16th, 2013adminchicken, Dinner, Italian, Kid Friendly

    Milanese style just means a breaded cutlet – - This is easy to throw together and the cutlets rival my old standby recipe – it’s the parmesan cheese in them that make these really special. Change up the salad by adding different veggies; tonight I had some left over zucchini and radishes that I threw in.

    Chicken Milanese with Salad

    Chicken Milanese with Salad

    4 servings
    197 calories per serving

    4 3 oz boneless chicken breasts
    1/4 t black pepper
    ¼ t salt
    1/4 c seasoned bread crumbs
    2 T grated parmesan cheese
    1 1/2 t oil
    3 c baby salad greens or field greens
    1 c grape tomatoes, halved
    1/4 c matchstick cut carrots (pre-packaged)
    3 T low fat balsamic dressing
    Pam

    Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Rinse chicken in water. Combine bread crumbs and parmesan in a bowl and press chicken cutlets in to coat well. Spray a skillet with Pam and heat over medium heat and add the chicken and cook about 4-5 minutes per side or until browned. Mix the salad greens, carrots, tomatoes and dressing and serve salad alongside chicken cutlet.

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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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