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Recipe: Vegetable Beef Soup

January 10, 2012 Leave a comment

I’ve never been a huge fan of soup, but the other day I started craving vegetable beef soup.  After looking at several recipes, I decided to do some combining and tweaking to meet my family’s preferences.  This is not an especially low carb soup (I estimate it has about 20 g of carbs per serving), but since the majority of those come from the potatoes, I am thinking you could leave them out to lower the carb count.  I haven’t had a potato in so long, I decided to leave them in 🙂  The recipe below is for 8 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1.25 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion white or yellow
  • 1 (28 oz) can stewed tomatoesnext time I’m going to use half or just one 14.5 oz. can
  • 6 cups beef stock use unsalted for 3 cups, regular for the other 3
  • 1 cube beef bouillon
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 2 potatoes skin on, cut into bite size pieces
  • 12 cup fresh green beans
  • 12 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 12 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 12 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 bay leaves

Directions:

Brown the beef and onion in a large stock pot.  Drain any grease, then add the tomatoes, beef stock, bouillon, celery, potatoes, garlic, thyme, basil and bay leaves.  Cover and cook about 45 minutes (or until the veggies are tender).  Add the green beans and frozen corn and cook another 5 minutes.

Ease: The part that takes the longest is cutting everything up – the onion, the potatoes, celery, and prepping the green beans.  Other than that, it was smooth sailing.  This is a meal that I’d save for the weekend just because it takes almost an hour to cook and about 30 minutes to prep.

Whole-Family Appeal: 2 of 3 thumbs up – DS hardly ate any of his.  He was turned off by the potatoes, even though I tried explaining that he was basically eating the middle of a french fry.  Oh well, we’ll try again with him sometime.  Meanwhile, DH and I will still eat this!

Wouldeatitagain Factor: Yeahbsolutely.  This fed us a hearty dinner on Sunday night (served with a piece of Swiss cheese and a slice of whole grain bread w/ butter), and gave us lunch for Monday and Tuesday.

Categories: Recipes, Weight Loss

Recipe: Chicken Breasts Baked in Wine

December 11, 2011 Leave a comment

Tonight we had a delicious dinner of chicken breasts that were baked in wine, plus glazed carrots.  I would say this meal is pretty South Beach Diet-worthy, probably Phase 2 because of the carrots.  There is also the Splenda brown sugar blend in both, but for the chicken I’m not sure how much really gets absorbed by the chicken and how much just stays in the dish.  So use your own judgement.  Regardless, it was super tasty!  According to my calculations, the whole meal came in at under 400 calories.  It might be neat to have this with a little brown rice sometime as well.  The original recipe is posted here and below it is tweaked for 3 people with some modifications to make it even more healthy than it already was.

Ingredients:

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup less sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Splenda brown sugar blend
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all ingredients in a deep dish.  Bake for 1.5 hours.

Ease: Prep is way easy, but the long baking time for me makes it a weekend dinner.  However, the juicy chicken is well worth it in the end!

Whole-Family Appeal: 3 of 3 thumbs up – we all loved it!

Wouldeatitagain Factor: For sure.  The breasts we had were about 6 oz. each so we saved part to have for lunch over salads this week.

Recipe: Chicken Spinach Pear Salad With Gorgonzola and Pecans

November 15, 2011 Leave a comment

We had this salad for dinner the other night and I was:

A) Amazed that you could have fruit, strong cheese and nuts all on the same salad

B) Surprised that I was even interested in a recipe with “Spinach” in the title

C) Pleasantly filled after eating

D) All of the above

The answer, of course, is D) All of the above.  Both DH and I were pleasantly surprised by this dish and commented that it felt like we were out to eat at a fancy restaurant.  I can’t do salad for dinner all the time, especially if I have salad for lunch, but I think we’ll definitely be keeping this one in a regular rotation.  The original recipe is from this site, though it is slightly tweaked for our preferences:

Ingredients:

  • 4 Skinless Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Water
  • 1 12 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 14 tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Ripe D’Anjou Pear cut lengthwise into 15 slices
  • 10 oz. Bag of Tender Garden salad mix (or Spinach)
  • 14 cup Thinly Sliced Red Onion
  • 12 cup Crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese
  • 12 cup Pecans (toasted)

Directions:

Heat olive oil in skillet and cook chicken on medium heat until done, about 4-6 minutes on each side.  Remove and let rest for 5 minutes, then cut into slices.  To make the dressing, whisk water, vinegar, olive oil, honey, mustard, and pepper in small bowl.  Place pear slices in large salad bowl and toss with 1 Tbsp dressing.  Add salad mix, sliced red onion and rest of dressing, tossing well.  Plate the salad and top with chicken, Gorgonzola, and pecans.

Ease: Perfect any night of the week, or for a nice lunch!

Whole-Family Appeal: 2 of 2 thumbs up (DS didn’t have any, so I’m not sure what he would think.  I think if you have young kids, it is a good recipe for the adults to have while the kids get something that you shouldn’t always eat – like mac ‘n cheese.)

Wouldeatitagain Factor: Oh yeah!  Any salad that fills me up enough for dinner and is this easy to make is going to be a regular item in our rotation.

Categories: Recipes

Recipe: A1 Ranch Patty Burgers

November 2, 2011 Leave a comment

We had these burgers a couple of weeks ago and I thought they were so good, I figured I’d post the recipe.  When following the South Beach Diet, I’ve had a hard time eating burgers without the bun.  I honestly don’t like meat that much and kind of rely on the bun to cut all the meat taste, if that makes any sense.  So I was pleasantly surprised when I had these burgers and didn’t even miss the bun!  The recipe is originally from beef.betterrecipes.com and modified slightly.  I think these are good for South Beach dieters, except for the sugar.  I need to look into the steak sauce too…

Ingredients

  • 6 Tbsp A1 Steak Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Ranch Dressing Mix Powder
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1 lb Ground Beef 90% Lean
  • 2 tsp Smart Balance

Directions

Combine steak sauce, ranch powder, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour over ground beef and mix well. Divide into four equal portions and shape into patties. In a large skillet, melt Smart Balance, then add burgers and cook on each side for four minutes or until patties are cooked to taste. Remove burgers, place on plate with side items, and do not add a bun. Drizzle drippings on each burger and serve.

Ease: Great for weeknights

Whole-Family Appeal: 2.5 of 3 thumbs up (DH thought that the flavors were too strong.  We’re thinking next time we’ll reduce the A1 to maybe 4 Tbsp and see if that helps.  I’m also interested in trying to substitute Splenda instead of the sugar next time.)

Wouldeatitagain Factor: We’re definitely going to try this again.  I actually took the leftover burger in for lunch the next day and that’s almost unheard of for me – so I’m stoked!

Recipe: Beef Tips in Crockpot

August 20, 2011 Leave a comment

If you’ve read the last several blog posts, you’ll know that DH and I are both struggling mightily to stay on that low carb bandwagon.  We usually do pretty good about 4 days a week, and not quite as good the other 3.  Lunches typically remain good with salads and breakfasts are as good as they’re going to get (I just can’t give up my Fiber One bar), so it is the dinners that are really hurting.  We’ve been turning to fast food or ordering in or eating out more than we should.  So, finding quick, easy low carb dinners is a key for us.

This meal is pretty good – we ended up eating it over a serving of brown rice, which is probably more appropriate for people in Phase 2 of the South Beach Diet.  You could certainly just eat the beef on its own if you were on Phase 1.

Original recipe can be found here – the recipe below is simply for 4 servings instead of 8.

Ingredients

1 lb. lean stew meat (we used meat for stir fry)
1 envelope Lipton onion soup mix
1 (10.5 oz.) can of 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup red wine (or beef broth)
1 (8 oz.) can sliced mushrooms, drained

Directions

Mix all ingredients in crockpot and cook on low 6-8 hours.  Serve over brown rice or noodles if desired.

Ease: Perfect for any night of the week

Whole-Family Appeal: 2.75 of 3 thumbs up (DS didn’t like the sliced mushrooms.  I’m not a huge fan of them either, but the sauce was so stinking good that I was able to eat most of them!)

Wouldeatitagain Factor: Yes!  We had it over brown rice, but we might just try on its own sometime, maybe with a side of green beans.

Categories: Recipes, South Beach

Recipe: Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes (sugar-free)

June 29, 2011 Leave a comment

This weekend, I drove myself crazy looking at about a dozen websites with recipes for delicious looking (and I’m sure even better tasting) cupcakes.  Oh, sweet torture.  Realizing that I needed to behave, I started looking for some “healthy” varieties, if there is such a thing.  Anywho, I ran across a recipe on SkinnyTaste.com for Pineapple Bliss Cupcakes.  Super simple, right?

So we’re at the grocery store, picking out a yellow cake mix to use when DH spots a Pillsbury sugar-free cake mix and asks if we can try using it instead.  Since the pineapple is so sweet, I was game and thus was born our “Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes (sugar-free)”.  Granted, I’ve never had pineapple upside down cake, so it may taste nothing like it.  And maybe it tastes even better with regular cake mix.  We were still pleased and felt that this was a dessert we could probably get away with on Phase 2 of the South Beach Diet as a “once in a while” type of thing (simply due to the fact that pineapple is still on the somewhat naughty list).

Ingredients:

Pillsbury sugar-free yellow cake mix
20 oz. can of pineapple chunks in juice (do not drain)
Fat free Cool Whip

Directions:

Dump the can of pineapple chunks and juice into the cake mix and mix for 2 minutes.  Bake as the box instructs.  When ready to eat, top the cupcake with a dollop of fat free Cool Whip.

Categories: Recipes, Weight Loss

Recipe: Strip Steaks with Gorgonzola, Herb, and Pine Nut Butter

June 26, 2011 Leave a comment

We had the most scrumptious dinner tonight!  I was poking around http://www.allrecipes.com the other day, looking for some low-carb recipes when I came across this one for Tenderloin with Spicy Gorgonzola-Pine-Nut-Herb Butter.  Well, if you’ve looked at the price of meat lately you’ll know that trying to get beef tenderloin for 3 people isn’t exactly cheap.  So, not knowing whether we’d like this and not being much of a meat connoisseur, we opted to make this recipe with some slight modifications – and strip steak.

I also goofed and made 8 servings of the butter, so we plan to give it a try on some burgers this weekend.

The recipe should be pretty South Beach Diet-friendly, but should be eaten in moderation due to the high fat content in the butter.  I think in the future I might also try this with Smart Balance and cut down the fat.  If you’ve tried it before, please let me know how it is!

Check out the original recipe for more information – we did make a couple of modifications just for our own taste preferences (cut down on the rosemary and garlic).  That’s why I renamed it Gorgonzola, Herb and Pine Nut butter…because I think the Gorgonzola and herbs are the main focus.  Makes 8, 2 Tbsp. servings.

Ingredients:

1 stick butter (softened)
1/2 c. crumbled Gorgonzola
3 T fresh thyme (minced)
1 1/2 T fresh rosemary (minced)
2 T fresh Italian parsley (minced)
1 t crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 garlic cloves (sliced)
scant 1/4 c. pine nuts

Combine everything into a food processor and mix well.  Put a 2 Tbsp. dollop on a steak fresh off the grill – it melts nicely if put on immediately after the steaks come off the grill.  I also took some of the 2 Tbsp. off the steak (it really is a lot) and put it on some hot, steamed green beans.  YUM!