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 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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    November 22nd, 2013admincrock pot, Dinner

    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 makes a big difference in the total package.

    Black Bean Chili (Crock Pot)

    Black Bean Chili (Crock Pot)

    10 servings
    280 calories per serving

    1 lb. dried black beans, rinsed
    1 T oil
    1 T mustard seeds
    2 T chili powder
    1 1/2 t cumin seeds
    1/2 t cardamom seeds (or ground cardamom)
    2 medium onions, chopped
    1 lb. sliced mushrooms
    8 oz. jarred salsa verde (medium heat)
    1/4 c water
    4 c vegetable broth
    6 oz. can tomato paste
    ½ t salt
    2 T minced canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
    1 1/4 c shredded low fat cheddar cheese
    1/2 c low fat sour cream
    1/2 c chopped cilantro
    2 limes, cut into wedges

    Place beans in a bowl with 2 quarts of water and soak overnight. Mix oil, mustard seeds, chili powder, cumin and cardamom and place in a hot Dutch oven for 30 seconds to release more flavor then add in onions, mushrooms, tomatillos and water. Cover and cook 7 minutes then uncover and cook 15 minutes to lightly brown the veggies. Then add broth, tomato paste, salt and chipotles and mix. Place beans in a slow cooker and pour over the vegetable mix. Cover and cook on high 6-8 hours. Place into bowls and garnish with sour cream and cilantro and squirt with lime.

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    May 31st, 2013adminchicken, Dinner, Kid Friendly, Summer

    Simple grilled chicken made super special with the addition of a creamy pesto sauce. This is lightened up quite a bit compared to plain pesto and the sour cream and yogurt make a great cream base for the pesto flavor to shine. Serve this one next time you are grilling with friends. The pesto sauce can be made hours ahead and left in the refrigerator.

    Grilled Chicken with Creamy Pesto Sauce

    Grilled Chicken with Creamy Pesto Sauce


    4 servings
    298 calories per serving

    4 5 oz. boneless skinless chicken breasts
    Pam
    Salt and pepper to taste
    ½ t garlic powder
    4 T plain low fat Greek yogurt
    4 T fat free sour cream
    2 T prepared pesto (available in the refrigerated section of your grocer)

    Heat grill and spray with high heat Pam. Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Grill chicken 4 minutes per side or until done. Meanwhile combine yogurt, sour cream and pesto. Spread pesto sauce on plate and serve chicken atop it.

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    November 20th, 2012adminDinner, Kid Friendly, Sides

    Potatoes, cheese and sour cream – they are just meant to go together ! The little bit of baking gives the potatoes a nice crispy crust and this is a great side to anything – especially a grilled meat such as Grilled Chili Rubbed Sirloin.

    Mashed Potato Bake

    Mashed Potato Bake

    3 servings
    185 calories per serving

    24 oz. potatoes, peeled and quartered (you can use the frozen Oreida Steam and Mash here for a quick alternative)
    2 oz. low fat cream cheese, cubed
    1/4 c low fat sour cream
    1 T skim milk
    1/2 t onion powder
    1/2 t salt
    ¼ t pepper
    Pam
    ICBINB spray (I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter)

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover potatoes with water and bring to a boil them reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes or until tender. Mash the potatoes and add the rest of the ingredients then place in a 13×9 baking dish sprayed with Pam. Spray with a few spritzes of ICBINB. Bake 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.

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    October 29th, 2012admincrock pot, Dinner, Kid Friendly, Mexican, pork

    This turns out a dish much like pork carnitas, but with a bit more juice so you can enjoy it as a stew. Serve it piping hot and enjoy !

    Mexican Pork Stew (Crock Pot)

    Mexican Pork Stew (Crock Pot)

    8 servings
    252 calories per serving

    3 lb. pork loin
    1 1/2 c salsa verde
    1 3/4 c chicken broth
    1 medium onion, thinly sliced
    1 t ground cumin
    Salt and pepper to taste
    14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained well
    1/2 c chopped fresh cilantro, divided
    1/2 c low fat sour cream

    Trim meat and cut into 2 inch chunks and place in crock pot; sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a saucepan mix salsa, broth, onion, cumin, salt and pepper and bring to a boil then pour it into the crock pot. Add tomatoes and mix. Cover and cool 6-7 hours or until meat is very tender. Transfer meat to a bowl and keep warm. Pour the sauce an veggies into a skillet and cook for 15-20 minutes to thicken sauce. Add in pork and ¼ c cilantro and heat through. Garnish each dish with sour cream and cilantro.

    To make this without a crock pot, preheat oven to 350 degrees and place pork, salsa, broth, onion, cumin, salt, pepper, tomatoes and ¼ c cilantro in a large baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake 2 ½ hours. Uncover and bake 15 minutes. Garnish with sour cream and cilantro.

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    August 13th, 2012adminDessert, Kid Friendly, Summer

    Even though I make these pops in a Zoku maker, you can make any of these recipes in traditional pop makers – each pop here is 2 oz. so adjust accordingly. And if you love pops like me, then do yourself a favor and get a Zoku :) Their recipes turn out fantastic pops – I often skinny them up a bit, but I mostly use their measurements and basic recipe and am always pleased with the results.

    Neopolitan Pops

    Neopolitan Pops

    6 servings
    113 calories per serving

    Strawberry Layer
    3 ½ oz. hulled and quartered strawberries
    3 T skim milk
    1 T light sour cream
    1 T + 1 t sugar
    1 ½ t vanilla extract
    ½ t heavy cream

    Combine the strawberries and milk in a blender until smooth and then press through a fine mesh sieve so you strain out the seeds – I usually run a spoon back and forth over the berries and that pushes the mix through the sieve pretty good. You should end up with ¼ c plus 3 T of seedless puree. Whisk in the sour cream, sugar, vanilla and cream.

    Vanilla Layer
    ¼ c + 2 T skim milk
    2 ½ T heavy cream
    1 ½ T sugar
    1 ½ t vanilla extract

    Whisk all ingredients until the sugar is dissolved.

    Chocolate Layer
    1/3 c skim milk
    2 ½ T chocolate syrup
    1 T heavy cream
    1 ½ t water
    ¼ t vanilla extract

    Whisk all the ingredients together.

    To make the pops in a Zoku, pour the strawberry layer 1/3 of the way up the mold and let freeze all the way. Then repeat with the vanilla and chocolate layers.

    In traditional molds, freeze each layer at least an hour before adding the next and then freeze the whole thing 6 hours.

    Toast the pecans in a skillet with the butter and sugar. Cook about 3 minutes stirring often. Let nuts cool completely.

    In a saucepan over low heat whisk water and butterscotch morsels and cook until melted, but don’t boil. Cool 10 minutes then stir in the half and half and vanilla and then refrigerate until completely cool, about 20 minutes. Whisk occasionally so that a skin does not form on top of the mixture.

    Working in 2 batches – place approximately 6 pecan halves in each mold and then pour in the butterscotch mixture up to the fill line. In 7-9 minutes you’ll have rich, flavorful pops that rival the experience of butter pecan ice cream 

    If you are using traditional molds, freeze 6 hours.

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    May 23rd, 2012adminDinner, Kid Friendly, Mexican, turkey

    Whip this up in a flash – save and bake later or bake right away for a super Mexican inspired dinner. Serve with some sliced avocado for a special treat.

    Taco Pie

    Taco Pie

    6 servings
    296 calories per serving

    1 lb. extra lean ground turkey
    2 t dried onion
    1 Tbsp. taco seasoning (more if you like your meat zesty and flavorful)
    14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained well
    12 oz. frozen corn, thawed and drained
    4 La Tortilla Factory low carb tortilla wraps (only 80 calories each!)
    1 c low fat shredded cheddar cheese
    1/4 c light sour cream

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brown meat with dried onions and taco seasoning then add tomatoes and corn and cook 5 minutes. Spoon 1 1/2 c of the mix into a 2 quart square or round casserole dish. Spread out and then top with 2 tortillas. Add the rest of the meat mix and 1/2 c of cheese. Add 2 more tortillas and the rest of the cheese and cover and bake 25 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 5 minutes.

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    March 3rd, 2012adminAppetizers, Snacks

    This tastes much like the spinach dip you often find in a hollowed out bread bowl – but this one adds many more veggies and is a much healthier and lower cal option.

    Spinach and Ranch Snack

    Spinach and Ranch Snack

    18 servings
    170 calories per serving (2 T dip and 15-17 crackers)

    1 c low fat sour cream
    ¼ c light ranch dressing
    10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
    1 shredded carrot
    ½ c finely chopped yellow bell peppers
    Wheat Thins or Triscuits

    Mix sour cream and dressing then stir in veggies.

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    February 8th, 2012adminDinner, Kid Friendly, Sides, Vegetables

    Very cheesy, very veggie – this is a veggie dish that will really get the kids eating up !

    Veggie Bake

    Veggie Bake

    6 servings
    211 calories per serving

    1 can 26 oz. Light Cream of Chicken Soup
    2/3 c low fat sour cream
    1/2 t pepper
    1/2 t onion powder
    10 oz. frozen veggie mix (carrots, cauliflower, broccoli), thawed
    6 oz. frozen green beans, thawed
    1 medium zucchini, chopped
    1 c shredded Swiss cheese
    1 c Stovetop stuffing mix

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix soup, sour cream, onion powder and pepper then stir in veggies, 1/2 c cheese. Turn into a 2 quart baking dish. Cover and bake 40 minutes. Stir and then top with the rest of the cheese and the stuffing mix and bake 5 minutes uncovered.

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    December 17th, 2011adminbeef, Dinner, Kid Friendly

    This is like a cross between a stroganoff and a goulash – very, very good and quite satisfying. The cream sauce is just delicious :)

    Creamy Beef Dinner

    Creamy Beef Dinner

    4 servings
    390 calories per serving

    1 T oil, divided
    1 lb. boneless beef sirloin steak, cut into strips
    1/2 t pepper
    3 c whole wheat egg noodles, uncooked
    1/4 c Light Zesty Italian Dressing
    2 onions, chopped
    1/2 lb. Portobello mushrooms, sliced
    3 T minced garlic
    1 T paprika
    3/4 c beef broth
    1 c frozen peas
    1/2 c light sour cream
    1 small tomato, chopped

    Heat 1 ½ t oil in a skillet and add beef. Sprinkle with pepper and brown meat 2 minutes. Work in batches with the rest of the meat and oil so as not to overcrowd the pan and make sure meat is patted dry – these 2 things will help make sure it browns nicely. Cook noodles according to package instructions. Heat dressing in skillet and add onions and cook 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, garlic and paprika and cook 12 minutes. Stir in broth and peas and simmer 2 minutes then add meat and cook 5 minutes to heat through. Stir in sour cream at the very end and serve over noodles with the tomato sprinkled over the top.

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