Monday, September 25, 2017

Lazy Shepherd's Pie Your Kids Will Love

This one’s “lazy” because it has no crust (which also means less preparation time AND fewer calories).

Box mashed potatoes (even though this is faster, my husband is not a fan, so I actually peel, boil and mash about 6 medium potatoes)
1/2 stick butter for potatoes
1 Can peas, carrots, whatever
2 lb. ground beef
1 T. garlic, pinch onion salt, pinch thyme, pinch white pepper
2 packages brown gravy mix (yes, I DO know how to make real gravy, thank you very much)
Melt a couple of frozen zucchini cubes into gravy (or not!)
1/2 cup cheddar cheese

1. If you use real mashed potatoes, add at least ½ stick of butter and some white pepper. Otherwise, make the boxed variety as directed. Set aside potatoes. This morning I used heavy whipping cream because I needed to use it up. So these aren't lazy potatoes, they are heart-stopping potatoes!

2. Brown 2 pounds of ground beef in 1 T. minced garlic. Drain the fat and put the beef in a 10” x 8” pan, or whatever you have around. Add some onion salt and thyme and mix. You can skip the onion salt, but don’t skip the thyme! You need the thyme/time.

3. Cook one of the brown gravy mixes according to the directions, sneaking in a couple of frozen zucchini cubes, if you had a few baseball bat-size zucchinis over the summer, like I did. Dump the gravy over the ground beef and stir it around.

4. Open up a small can of peas or carrots or corn (or none of the above if your kids hate them all) and add to beef mixture. If your kids hate veggies, puree some and sneak them into the beef mixture.

5. Spoon potatoes over beef mixture.

6. Cook at 350 degrees for ½ hour.

7. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top and cook another couple of minutes.

8. Prepare the other brown gravy mix and serve some over each individual piece of “pie”.

9. Smile to yourself that you snuck veggies into dinner!

By the way, I’m usually the anti-Martha Stewart, so if you have problems with this recipe, please contact her because she will know what to do.

Chicken Lasagna Recipe with Spinach and Cheddar Cheese

Make a few of these in advance and freeze them for a nice, lazy evening where all you have to do is pop the pan in the oven and turn it on.

2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1 cup frozen spinach or other veggie (thaw and drain)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese + 1 cup shredded Italian blend cheese
½ small onion, chopped finely and sautéed in a pan with some olive oil and garlic
1 T cornstarch
1 t. black pepper
1 10-ounce can cream of chicken soup (or mushroom)
1 cup sour cream + ½ cup mayonnaise
9 lasagna noodles, cooked

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine in a large bowl: chicken, spinach (or other veggie), cheeses, onion/garlic, cornstarch, pepper, soup, sour cream and mayo.
3. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and place a layer of noodles in the pan.
4. Spread about 1/3 of the chicken mixture over noodles and repeat twice more.
5. Bake for 45 minutes.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

At-Home Iced Coffee (Cheap and 1 Weight Watchers Point)

1/4 cup cold-brewed coffee (I love Trader Joe's but you can cold-brew your own at home even cheaper)
1/2 cup water
1 T half and half (I do not use fat-free)
2 T sugar free vanilla syrup

Mix the ingredients together and you have a little iced coffee!

You can double it.

You can change up the syrup flavor.

You can add more cream, less cream or go fat-free.

Customize it for your own taste!

If you liked this recipe, you'll love my book, The Tater Tot Casserole Cookbook! It's available in print and ebook versions (free if you are a Kindle Unlimited member so you can try it before you buy it in print!).

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Mock Quiche (Frittata)

This is what I call quiche around my house, but it’s much healthier since it has no crust. This no-crust option also makes it cheaper and quicker to make.

You’ll need:
8 eggs
1 ½ cups chopped or diced ham, turkey or chicken (I often just use cheap deli meat)
1 cup chopped veggie of your choice that your kid will eat (broccoli or asparagus are good choices at my house)
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese (throw in some mozzarella or Swiss if you love it)
A dash of garlic salt

1. Preheat oven at 300 degrees.
2. Spray a pie pan (metal, glass or stoneware) with cooking spray.
3. Crack eggs into a bowl and mix them up with a fork until blended.
4. Add garlic salt.
5. Add meat, veggie and cheese.
6. Stir ingredients together.
7. Pour egg mixture into pie pan.
8. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes at 300 degrees.

*My oven is 43 years old, so the cooking time may vary in your oven!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Cheesecake Factory's Skinnylicious Menu

In a nutshell, I love it! My daughter wanted to go to Cheesecake Factory for our mommy/daughter date, and this can be a landmine for those of us on Weight Watchers. So I hit their online menu and was happy to see they  have a Skinnylicious menu.

I chose in advance (so I would not order mashed potatoes and clam chowder!) a beet/goat cheese/pecan/arugula salad then had Mexican lettuce wrap tacos. This was so I could then have lemon raspberry cheesecake later.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Delicious Lemon Poke Cake

I’m all about baking and stuff lately for some reason. Maybe because I’m proofreading cookbooks! So here is something I’ve grabbed and then changed some based on ingredients we have here. Head over to Bubblews to check it out!

Left is a photo of my daughter poking holes. I didn't cook the cake long enough, though, so it was a little doughy.

Then she wanted me to finish and I didn't read the instructions all the way and poked the holes all the way to the bottom! OOPS!

So my holes were massive and all the way down and my condensed milk mixture didn't even fill them up! I chilled it and put the frosting on (above) anyway and I'm sure my family will enjoy it anyway!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Cilantro Lime Pesto Chicken Fajitas with Low-Carb Tortillas

When my friend Maureen made this for my family recently, we all attacked it and could not believe how yummy it was! I’m not much of a cook, though, and just knew it would be too difficult for me to make. Boy, was I wrong! Check out this terrific recipe, perfect for a day when you are busy, perfect for doubling and freezing, or perfect for doubling and giving some to a friend! Let me know what you think!

Cilantro Lime Pesto Chicken Fajitas
-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
-Salt, pepper and garlic powder
-1/2 cup cilantro lime pesto (see below)
-1 medium onion
-1 pepper (whichever color you love best)
-Tortillas (I love Mission brand’s carb control version, which is whole wheat also, but you can choose corn tortillas for a gluten-free version)
-Taco sauce/picante sauce/salsa (whichever you prefer)
-1 ripe avocado
-Sour cream (omit for dairy free diets)
-Shredded cheese (omit for dairy free diets)
I like for things to be super easy, so I love to cook the chicken breasts in the slow cooker for a few hours on high. When they are cooked through, I take them out, chop them up and toss the pieces in a bowl. Then I sprinkle on some salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. 

Then I cook my chopped peppers and onions in a skillet with a little bit of olive oil. That’s when the cilantro lime pesto comes in (see recipe below). I take about 1/2 cup of that and stir it into the chicken mixture. Ready to serve! If you love the pesto, you can just add more to your fajita for a refreshing take on a fajita.

Cilantro Lime Pesto
-1 bunch fresh cilantro leaves
-3 tablespoons olive oil
-3 tablespoons sliced, toasted almonds
-4 tablespoons minced garlic
-2 teaspoons lime juice
-1/2 cup shredded Romano cheese
-2 teaspoons salt
-The chicken broth from the slow cooker, about 1/4 cup
Using a food processor, blend ingredients together until smooth.

I like to get Mission Carb Balance tortillas to eat with my creation.