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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    November 21st, 2013adminDessert, Kid Friendly

    Where do I begin? Sweet angel food cake? No, that was good, but that’s not the start. Luscious homemade whipped cream? No, as decadent as that was, it’s not the start of the story. The best, best part of this was the strawberry mix – - combing the balsamic and sugar along with the berries enhanced the flavor so much that it was like eating strawberries to the 10th power. It was just wonderful ! When you combined that flavor with the whipped cream and cake, this was just the most perfect dessert. I think it was way better than regular Strawberry Shortcake !

    At only 160 calories, there is plenty of room to add some chocolate sauce – I’ll have to try that next time :)

    Strawberry Shortcake

    Strawberry Shortcake

    4 servings
    160 calories per serving

    4 2 ½ inch thick slices Angel Food Cake (prepared)
    1 pint strawberries, sliced
    ½ T balsamic vinegar
    1 T sugar
    ¼ c heavy cream
    ¼ t vanilla

    Mix berries with vinegar and ½ T sugar and let sit. Combine cream, vanilla and ½ T sugar and beat at high speed until soft peaks form. Top each slice of cake with cream and strawberries.

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    September 22nd, 2013adminDessert, Kid Friendly, Snacks

    These are sooooo easy to put together. Serve warm from the oven and you’ll have the family waiting in line for the sweet goodness of these perfect sweet rolls.

    Apricot Sweet Rolls

    Apricot Sweet Rolls

    8 servings
    160 calories per serving

    1 can low fat refrigerated dinner rolls or biscuits
    1/3 c apricot – pineapple preserves (or any flavor preserves that you like)
    2 t sugar
    ¼ t cinnamon
    ¼ c sliced almonds
    Pam

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9 inch round cake pan or a deep dish pie plate with Pam. Separate dough into individual rolls and place in pan – I do a circle around the edge with 8 rolls and 2 in the center. Starting ¼ inch in from the edges cut a deep X into the top of each roll then open slightly by pulling the dough toward the edges. Fill each with 2 t of the preserves. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon then sprinkle with almonds and bake ½ hour or until golden. Serve warm.

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    June 24th, 2013adminDessert, Summer

    This is sooooo refreshing. Between the tart lemon, the sweet tea and the cold, cold temperature, you’ll turn down the heat in any room when you serve this summery dessert.

    Tea and Lemon Sorbet

    Tea and Lemon Sorbet

    8 servings
    68 calories per serving

    2 c boiling water
    4 Earl Grey tea bags
    1/2 cup sugar
    ¾ c fresh lemon juice
    1 c ice water

    Boil 2 c of water and then steep the tea bags for 6-8 minutes. Remove bags and stir in sugar. Add lemon and 1 c ice water then chill 2 hours. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze. When done, place in a container and freeze one hour before serving. If you do not have an ice cream maker, you can make this mixture into ice pops using molds or into a granita by following these instructions:
    Place a metal bowl in the freezer to chill. Combine ingredients and pour into the bowl and place in the freezer for 30 – 60 minutes. When ice crystals form on the edges, stir with a fork being sure to pull away all the frozen pieces around the edges and freeze another 2-3 hours stirring every ½ hour. Best to serve right after the initial freeze time, but if you let it sit overnight, be sure to defrost for 15 minutes or so before serving.

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    June 3rd, 2013adminDessert, Kid Friendly, Summer

    I recently got a Zoku Quick Pop Maker. BEST THING EVER ! I love making pops but hate the wait time. Now I have ‘em in 7-9 minutes :) This is one of the recipes I pulled from the Zoku book – of course, I’ve tweaked many of the recipes to suit my own tastes, bring down calories, and to get creative with the pops, but some are in their original goodness.

    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 :)

    I recently got a Zoku Quick Pop Maker.  BEST THING EVER !  I love making pops but hate the wait time.  Now I have ‘em in 7-9 minutes :)  This is one of the recipes I pulled from the Zoku book – of course, I’ve tweaked many of the recipes  to suit my own tastes, bring down calories, and to get creative with the pops, but some are in their original goodness.

    Zoku Quick Pop Maker

    6 servings
    265 calories per serving

    1 c water
    2 1/3 oz. bittersweet chocolate (I used ghiradelli bittersweet morsels)
    1/3 c sugar
    1 pinch salt
    1/3 c skim milk
    1 T fat free half and half
    ½ c very thin banana slices
    6 T Magic Shell chocolate shell for ice cream
    3 T chopped peanuts

    In a saucepan whisk chocolate, sugar, water and salt and cook until completely melted, about 5 minutes. Let cool about 10 minutes in the fridge and then whish in the milk and half and half. Then return to the fridge and cool completely (about ½ hour).

    Working in 2 batches – Place bananas on the sides of the maker molds then pour in the mix. In 7-9 minutes you’ll have creamy, fudgy goodness with a bit of banana thrown in for interest :)

    If you are using traditional molds, you can suspend the bananas by filling the molds half way. Freezing a bit, then adding the bananas and the rest of the mix. Or you can just let the drop to the bottom – it will still taste dandy ! Freeze 6 hours.

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    May 10th, 2013adminDessert, fruit, Kid Friendly, Summer

    This is so completely and utterly delicious ! You won’t even miss the CREAM in this ice ‘cream’. The yogurt and sugar make a great, sweet and creamy base and then the minced up frozen strawberries just take over and you have an explosion of flavor with each bite. This is an award winner. And at 70 calories per serving – soooooooooooo guilt free !

    Strawberry Ice 'Cream'

    Strawberry Ice 'Cream'

    4 servings
    70 calories per serving

    1 lb. frozen strawberries
    1 c 2 % plain Greek yogurt
    ¼ c sugar
    ½ t vanilla extract

    In food processor pulse 1 c frozen berries until finely chopped and then transfer to a metal bowl (a metal bowl will get colder quicker in the freezer). Process yogurt, sugar, vanilla and the rest of the berries – move to metal bowl and stir with the other strawberries. Cover and freeze 1 hour (do not let get too hard).

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    November 16th, 2012adminDessert, Kid Friendly

    Moist and flavorful ! This is like eating a super moist cupcake with a piece of cheesecake thrown in for good measure.

    Pumpkin Muffins

    Pumpkin Muffins

    24 servings
    190 calories per serving

    1 spice cake mix
    3.4 oz. instant vanilla pudding
    1 c canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix – just regular pumpkin)
    8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
    1/4 c sugar
    1 egg

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cake batter as directed then add in pudding mix and pumpkin. Spoon into 24 paper lined cups. Beat cream cheese with sugar and egg and spoon over the batter. Bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire racks. Refrigerate any uneaten portions.

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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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    July 19th, 2012adminDessert, MUFAs, Summer

    This is not your run of the mill ice cream ! It is filled with MUFA, is sweet and tasty, and will definitely turn heads ! Give it a try next time you are ready to make some ice cream.

    Avocado Ice Cream

    Avocado Ice Cream

    8 servings
    224 calories per serving

    1 ½ c avocado puree (about 3 avocados worth)
    1 ½ c water
    1 1/3 c sugar
    ¼ c lime juice
    1/3 c tequila
    Lime zest garnish

    Puree avocado and add water, sugar, lime juice and tequila and pulse until well combined. Refrigerate the mix from 1 hour to overnight. Place in ice cream maker and freeze according to instructions. Garnish with lime zest.

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    February 16th, 2012adminDessert

    Rustic and homey – these pumpkin bars with pepitas are a great dessert for those who like desserts a little less sweet.

    Pumpkin Dessert Bars

    Pumpkin Dessert Bars

    8 servings
    264 calories per serving

    ½ c whole wheat flour
    1 c rolled oats
    ½ t baking soda
    ½ t cinnamon
    ½ t allspice
    ¼ t salt
    ½ c canned pure pumpkin
    1 egg
    ¼ c canola oil
    1 t vanilla
    ¼ c sugar
    ¼ c raw,. shelled pumpkin seeds (Pepitas)
    Pam

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8×8 square baking pan with Pam. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and salt. Whisk together pumpkin. egg, oil, vanilla and sugar then stir pumpkin mix into the flour mix and stir in pumpkin seeds. Spread evenly into prepared pan and bake 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool and then cut into 8 bars. Wrap bars individually and store in the refrigerator.

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    October 26th, 2011adminDessert, Kid Friendly, Uncategorized

    Rich, creamy and very flavorful. The family won’t even know they are eating healthy cottage cheese ! So much healthier than sugar laden puddings, ice creams, etc.

    Mocha Parfaits

    Mocha Parfaits

    4 servings
    210 calories per serving

    16 oz. low fat cottage cheese
    1/4 c sugar
    1 T cocoa powder
    1 1/2 t instant coffee powder
    2 cups sliced strawberries
    1/2 cup + 2 T Cool Whip Lite
    1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

    Blend cottage cheese, sugar, cocoa and coffee in a blender. Take 1half of the mixture out of the blender and distribute among the 4 parfait cups. Place 2 T Cool Whip in blender and quickly blend. Distribute half the berries in the parfait glasses. Then add the remainder of the mocha mix and the remainder of the berries. Top with Cool Whip and nuts.

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