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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    June 16th, 2014adminchicken, Dinner, Summer

    You know the drill – toss the skewers and throw this in a grill basket ! But I still call it a “Kabob” recipe so you can visualize it :) The yogurt sauce is JUST PERFECT in this recipe. Serve with some cous cous on the side.

    Curry Lime Chicken Kabobs

    Curry Lime Chicken Kabobs

    4 servings
    261 calories per serving

    1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
    ½ c plain yogurt
    ¼ c chopped cilantro
    1 t grated lime zest
    2 T lime juice
    2 T oil
    1 T honey
    1 T Dijon mustard
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    ½ t curry powder
    ¼ t salt
    ¼ t pepper
    2 green bell peppers cut into 1 inch pieces
    1 zucchini in ½ inch slices
    10 grape tomatoes
    Pam

    For the marinade, mix yogurt, cilantro, lime peel and juice, oil, honey, mustard, garlic, curry, salt and pepper. Place chicken in a zip loc and pour in the marinade and refrigerate 4-24 hours. Heat grill and spray a grill basket with Pam. Cook 15 minutes or until chicken is done, stirring occasionally so that all sides of the meat and veggies get browned.

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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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    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 23rd, 2013adminbeef, crock pot, Dinner, Kid Friendly, Soups

    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 20 minutes you’ll have a healthy soup ready to go. Serve with some low fat biscuits or some Cheesy Spirals.

    Hamburger Soup (Crock Pot)

    Hamburger Soup (Crock Pot)

    6 servings
    260 calories per serving

    1 lb. extra lean ground beef
    1 medium onion, chopped coarsely
    1 stalk celery in slices
    1 package Lipton dry Beef Mushroom soup mix
    14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes
    6 c water
    ½ t salt
    ¼ t pepper
    1 t onion powder
    1/2 t garlic powder
    2 c frozen mixed vegetables, thawed and drained
    1 c uncooked fine egg noodles

    Brown ground beef and drain thoroughly. Combine all ingredients except the noodles and frozen veggies in the crock pot, cover and cook on low 6-8 hours. 20 minutes before serving add thawed veggies and noodles and mix well. Increase heat to high, recover and cook another 20 minutes.

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    April 28th, 2013adminLunch, MUFAs, Salads, turkey, Vegetables

    Cobb salads are a perfect lunch. They are packed with protein and give you the energy to get through the afternoon without any ‘3 o’clock sleepies’.

    Turkey Cobb

    Turkey Cobb

    8 servings
    200 calories per serving

    12 c mixed salad greens
    6 oz. thin deli sliced roasted turkey breast, cut into strips
    1 chopped avocado
    1 ½ c grape tomatoes, halved
    8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
    3 hard boiled eggs cut into wedges
    1 c low fat shredded cheddar cheese
    8 oz. light balsamic vinaigrette dressing

    Place greens on a platter and then lay other ingredients in strips across the top. Place dressing on top of individual portions.

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    November 29th, 2012adminAppetizers, Dinner, Sides

    These make a great side dish to a chicken or fish dinner. Or make a double batch and serve as appetizers at your next get together. Warm and homey without being a heavy dish and these make a really nice presentation – just perfect !

    Zucchini Quiche Cups

    Zucchini Quiche Cups

    12 servings
    115 calories per serving

    2 c zucchini, in small cubes
    2 t olive oil
    Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
    12 slices light wheat bread, crusts removed
    12 grape tomatoes, quartered
    1/2 cup soft low fat cream cheese spread
    ¾ c egg beaters
    1/4 c light cream
    2 T chopped fresh chives
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Pam

    Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix zucchini with oil and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper them bake until tender, about 15 minutes. Spray a cupcake tin with Pam. Flatten bread with a rolling pin or the bottom of a heavy pan and cut out a notch in the top so that when you place it in the cucpcake tins, it will wrap around nicely.

    Zucchini Quiche Cups

    Zucchini Quiche Cups

    Then press into the bottom of the cupcake cups. Mix zucchini and tomatoes and spoon into the cups. Beat eggs, cream cheese, cream, chives, salt and pepper. Pour into the cups and bake 15-20 minutes or until they are set.

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    May 17th, 2012adminProduct Reviews

    Bella Sun Luci is a premium brand of Mooney Farms in Chico, Calilfornia. The company has been family owned and operated and their dedication to value and quality shines through in their products !
    Sun Dried Tomatoes

    I have used sun dried tomatoes in many of my dishes – I love the flavor of them. Sometimes I find certain brands are just a little too sweet for my liking. Bella Sun Luci products are just perfect to me – they are sweet, but not overly sweet. All the sweet goodness you expect from a sun dried tomato is there, but without the sweet aftertaste that you get from some other products. To me, this makes them just PERFECT.

    You can use sun dried tomatoes in sooooo many ways. I often put them on a sandwich. Add a few and you’ll find no need for mayo or mustard – the POW of flavor from the tomatoes is all you need. Try their herbed julienne cut or even their tomato halves. They are packed with lycopene and other good healthful things – but more importantly, they are packed with flavor. Flavor you won’t forget and flavor you will find yourself craving !!

    Sun Dried Tomatoes

    Sun Dried Tomatoes

    As well as sandwiches, try the julienne cut in pasta salads of all types. Just cook pasta, add the tomatoes, artichoke hearts, some sliced prosciutto, some diced kalamata olives and sprinkle with some feta cheese for a great salad that goes well next to just about anything.

    By far my most favorite product from Bella Sun Luci that I tried was their Sun Dried Tomato Pesto. This is TO DIE FOR !! The complexity of flavor was astounding. There was just the right amount of tomato mixed with just the right amount of pesto and this has now become a staple in my pantry !! First I made some crostini and ate it pure and simple on the bread (with just a slight dusting of grated parmesan cheese on top). Delicious !

    Sun Dried Tomatoes

    Sun Dried Tomatoes

    Then I sauteed some onions and peppers and added a few tablespoons in right at the end of the cooking period. Can you say FLAVOR ? Now I can’t wait to try it mixed into a soup broth. Take any chicken or fish soup that has a chicken or vegetable broth. Stir in just a tablespoon or two…see what I mean !?! Utterly delicious!

    Be sure to keep your eye out for my review of their new marinades, Carne Asada and Basque Norte. Mooney Farms certainly has my vote for delicious products and you’ll want to make sure you try these products soon – my local market carries many of their items and I’m sure yours does as well ! If not, you can always head over to the website and order there.

    Looking for some more recipes that use sun dried tomatoes? Check out these recipes that I’ve posted:

    Tilapia Puttanesca
    Rotini with Ham
    Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes
    Couscous with Sun Dried Tomatoes
    Sun Dried Tomato and Spinach Soup

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    May 3rd, 2012admincrock pot, Dinner, Fish

    This is a great seafood stew full of flavor and body. If you have leftover bits of cooked fish. you only need to put them in the crock for 15 minutes or so to heat up. If you like it a bit spicier, add some hot sauce and you get a jambalaya tasting dish.

    Seafood Stew (Crock Pot)

    Seafood Stew (Crock Pot)

    8 servings
    215 calories per serving

    2 c chopped onions
    2 stalks celery finely chopped (about 1 c)
    5 garlic cloves, minced
    28 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
    8 oz. clam juice
    6 oz. tomato paste
    ½ c white wine or water
    1 T red vinegar
    1 T oil
    ½ t basil flakes
    ½ t parsley flakes
    ½ t onion powder
    ½ t garlic powder
    ½ t oregano flakes
    ¼ t sugar
    ¼ t red pepper flakes
    1/2 t dried thyme
    1 bay leaf
    1 lb. firm white fish in 1 inch pieces
    ¾ lb shelled, cleaned shrimp, tailed removed
    6.5 oz. can chopped clams and their juice
    6 oz. can crabmeat (or fresh)
    ¼ c parsley, chopped

    Combine onions, celery, garlic, tomatoes, clam juice, tomato paste, vinegar, spices, sugar, thyme, pepper flakes and bay leaf and mix well. Cover and cook on high 4 hours. Stir in fish, shrimp, clams and crab and reduce heat to low and cook 45- 1 hour minutes or until fish is done. Remove bay leaf before serving. Stir in parsley.

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    April 27th, 2012adminDinner, Sides, Vegetables

    Warmed tomatoes are so flavorful – the heat just sweetens them and intensifies the already great taste. Add a little pesto and you get a divine side dish that can be served next to anything.

    Roasted Pesto Tomatoes

    Roasted Pesto Tomatoes

    4 servings
    142 calories per serving

    12 plum tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
    1 T oil
    1/4 t salt
    1/8 t red pepper flakes
    1/4 c pesto

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a baking sheet with Pam. Mix the tomatoes with oil, salt, pesto and the pepper flakes and place on baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes and serve immediately.

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    April 23rd, 2012adminDinner, pork

    This is a fantastic dish – the feta cheese brings a nice flavor and makes the dish much more special. It’s a great balanced meal in a bowl – all your protein, veggies and carbs all in one nice package.

    Pork and Orzo

    Pork and Orzo

    6 servings
    373 calories per serving

    1 ½ lb. pork tenderloin
    1 t coarsely ground pepper
    2 T oil
    ½ t Kitchen Bouquet (flavoring in the gravy or spice section of your market)
    3 qt. water
    1 ¼ c orzo
    ¼ t salt
    6 oz. baby spinach
    1 c grape tomatoes, halved
    ¾ c reduced fat feta cheese, crumbled
    Lemon juice

    Rub pepper into meat and cut into bite sized pieces then cook in oil over medium heat for 10 minutes or until no longer pink. Stir in Kitchen Bouquet and stir well. Cook pasta for 9 minutes in boiling water and then stir in spinach and cook a minute longer. Add tomatoes to the pork and cook 1 minute then add the drained orzo and finally add the feta cheese. Just before serving, splash with some fresh lemon juice.

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