Monday, March 26, 2012

Spaghetti for my low carb friends!

This "spaghetti" is especially for my low carb diet friends out there.
The sad reality is that true "diet" food tends to be low in flavor.  A common diet is the low carb diet.  On this diet, people tend to do without some of their favorite foods, such as bread and potatoes.  What??  If I had to do without a food, it would make me want that food so much more.  It is just human nature.  I would obsess with the food I was not supposed to eat.  

So, personally, I never truly diet, I just try to find the best substitute for my favorite foods with the least amount of calories.  In the process, I try not to sacrifice the taste.   My food consists of big quantities and lots of vitamins but low in calories and fat.   This dish is a PERFECT example of what I try to do.

I have discovered what I think is an excellent substitute for spaghetti.  It is a HUGE plate of food and you would not believe it, but the whole thing is only about 250 calories and 40 carbs.  And I mean HUGE!   It is over 4 cups, which in normal spaghetti terms is about 800-1000 calories and 100-125 carbs.   So, if you crave spaghetti, this substitute is the way to go, you could even eat half and still be full.  I personally eat the whole thing, just because it is so healthy and YUM!  

First of all, if you have a problem with textures of foods, this may not be the spaghetti for you.  The "noodles" are going to be a 4 cup bag of broccoli slaw.  They will be cooked and come out fairly tender, but they still have a slight "crisp" to them.   I personally kinda like it, but I know of people who have a problem with food textures and that can be a big problem for them to overcome.

To begin, you will cook the slaw. Pour the whole bag into a large skillet with about 1/2 cup of water and one chicken bullion cube.  If it seems to be getting dry, add another splash of water.  Cook it on medium until tender, approximately 10 minutes.  If you like it more tender, cook it a little longer, and if it seems to be cooking dry, add more water while cooking.  Just be sure the water cooks out before you add the sauce in the next step.

The sauce I like is Newman's Own Marinara.  It has a wonderful taste and a little bit of chunkiness.   You can use your favorite spaghetti sauce or whatever you have on hand.  After the broccoli slaw is cooked, add about 3/4 cup of the sauce and cook on low for about 3-4 minutes.  You can add more sauce as your tastebuds desire.

Plate the "spaghetti" onto a large plate and top with a little Parmesan.  I love this shredded parm from the picture above that I found at Kroger. It has so much more flavor than the green can kind.  

Sooo, eat what you love, love what you eat!  :)

The little lobster that could.

What a BEAUTIFUL March weekend we just had!  The weather had me in such a cooking/grilling mood.  Sometimes I just really get excited about cooking.  This was one of those weekends!  

Recently, my husband has taken a liking to lobster.  I think it is okay but really prefer shrimp myself.   He has been wanting me to cook a lobster, and I have been avoiding it.  Since I was in such a cooking mood, I thought now was the time.

The only kind of lobster that I could find was already cooked, so it actually only took a few minutes to broil it in the oven.  The bad part was cleaning it.  I am all about some fish, I love salmon which is fishy, but this little guy was a stinker.   I didn't know they actually had such a strong odor.  Whew!

I looked up online how to cut the shell and pull the lobster out a little to make a nice presentation.  A little butter and parsley, and it was good to go.  It was a small lobster, but it looked good with the filet mignon that I wrapped in bacon and grilled to medium.
For the mashed potatoes, I also tried something new.  I saw on a cooking show that you could use chicken broth in potatoes instead of a lot of cream and butter.  I used broth, a little butter, and some new roasted garlic powder that I just bought.  They were awesome and didn't have all that added fat from the cream.  

Eat what you love, love what you eat!    :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Butternut and sausage saute!

It's Friday!  And I am in a cooking mood!

Let the recipe begin!

I am making a butternut squash and asiago cheese chicken sausage saute.  I saw it online and fell in love.  I cooked it completely different than the recipe that I first read because it was all cooked in the oven.  I love to saute my foods, so I will explain what I changed. 

First, cut your butternut in half and spray it with cooking spray.  Place it on a pan with foil and cook at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.  You want to remove it while still firm, because you will be cooking it more later in a skillet.   Here is my cute little butternut.  

Dice a few pearl onions.  Heat a skillet over medium and add a tablespoon or 2 of olive oil.  Add the onions and a teaspoon of diced garlic.  Saute for a minute then add your sausage that has been cut into slices.   I made a single large serving, so I added one chicken asiago cheese sausage from Sam's Club and one half of the butternut.

Cook the onions, garlic and sausage over medium heat until starting to brown.

Next, you will add the baked butternut that you have cut into cubes.  Add a tablespoon of brown sugar and a splash of soy sauce.

Continue to saute the ingredients until all have browned to perfection!
Here is the final result that I loved tremendously!  Eat what you love, love what you eat!    :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Random outfits on a rainy day.

 Well, it looks to be a long rainy day here, so I looked through some pics and decided to post a couple of randoms.  In case anyone was having a bad day and not knowing what to wear.  

I love love love spring but with the temperature ups and downs, it can make picking an outfit an even bigger challenge than it already is.  It is a little cooler here today with the rain, so either of these outfits would fit for the weather at hand.

This one with the jeans is a little more casual.  I wore it shopping one day recently.  Super comfortable and perfect for shopping with the flat boots.

If you are like me, all it takes is an inspirational photo to get those creative juices flowing.  I can see an outfit and start putting it together in my head with what I may have in my closet.   

The black and white is still comfortable, but a little more towards the dressy side.  The boots have a heel, so I wouldn't want to shop all day in them.  

The tights are lined and really thick, so this outfit is almost past its season.  It will soon be outta here until fall rolls around.

This striped dress was long sleeve, so I could have even worn it without the sweater.  It is pretty short though, and even though the tights are almost like pants, I felt more comfortable with the sweater on.   

Well, I hope that you acquire some inspiration from these outfits.  

Even if it is just one item that sparks your imagination, that is all it takes to make an outfit come to life!    If you have any questions, feel free to comment!  :)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Enough is enough.

Sometimes, you just get that urge to make something BIG.  This time, I think I have gone big enough.  Time to start back at square one and start making some mini burgers.  This one was just a little too much. 

It's not my fault entirely.  I saw these oversize super soft buns at Kroger, and immediately knew that I had to make a giant burger.  Unfortunately, I bought the more fatty hamburger meat to make the burger tasty, and the patties shrank tremendously during the grilling process, but overall it was a success.

I fried some thin sliced potatoes and stacked them in the layers.  There are 3 cheesy beef patties and all the trimmings stacked in there also. 

In the end, it had to be eaten with a knife and fork and required 3 rolls of paper towels, but it was enjoyed nonetheless.  Ah, the joys of cooking and eating.   :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Would you like fries with that?

Hello out there!  Thanks for stopping by to read my blog.  I am trying to post fairly often, it may be food or it may be fashion.  I do need to post more on the spark plugs side of things.  I will try to get some tips together and do a post about vehicle maintenance soon.  :)

This post is going to be about the glorious CHEESEBURGER!   My husband loves them, therefore I am forever trying to come up with a new and exciting way to make them.  Today's burger will include homemade fries, right there on the burger.  I have seen fries put onto a burger on some of the cooking channels, but I have never tried it for myself.  Turns out, it's kinda cool.

So here is the little guy we are talking about.  He has Miracle Whip, mustard, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, dill pickles, purple onion, cheddar and Gouda cheeses on a grilled, hand pattied burger, sesame seed bun and.....homemade french fries!  
First of all, it is hard to beat a good ole fried tater.  You just can't hardly mess them up, unless you burn them, so don't do that.  

To make these fries, I cut some russet potatoes into thin strips and fried them in a little vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat, adding a dash of salt and pepper.  I fried them while I was grilling the burgers, so that they would be done at about the same time.  If you make them too far ahead of time, they may get soggy, although sometimes I like soggy fries.  :)

I added all of the basic burger ingredients, but you can be as wild as you want with your toppings.  Some other toppings to try would be BBQ sauce, ranch dressing (I LOVE fat free Hidden Valley ranch), honey mustard or even 1000 Island dressing.  

So just go wild and have your burger and fries right there under the same bun!  Enjoy and buh-bye for now!  :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunday pasta experiment.

Sunday Sunday Sunday.  I love you Sunday, you are my only day off!   So, it is Sunday.  My experimental cook day.  Did I mention, I love Sunday?   What is your favorite day?  Until I win the lottery, my only day off will be Sunday, so I love every single second of it!   So anyway, I knew I wanted to cook some sort of shrimp and pasta.  I had some baby bella mushrooms and some roasted red peppers.  The rest of the whole combination just kinda fell together.  

First, I sauteed the shrimp in a tad bit of olive oil.  
Then, after they were browned, I deglazed the pan with some white wine.
Then, I added the sliced mushrooms, chopped roasted red peppers and a little more wine.
I boiled some fettuccine noodles until done.  Added a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for spiciness, and 2 tablespoons of fat free cream cheese until melted, then incorporated all of the ingredients together.  And topped with 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley. 

The result was delicious and spicy.  :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Rainy day burrito recipe!

Buenos Dias!  I have for you a yummy burrito recipe!  I have been meaning to attempt the photo recipe thing for a while now.  Yesterday, while making beef and bean burritos at home, I decided to take photos during the whole cooking process.  I have seen this done and love it!  And, since I seldom write down my recipes, this is a great way to bring them together.

Since we are expecting about 4 inches of rain here today, and it will be quite a boring work day, I am going to try to bring the recipe back to life.

These are refried bean, cheese and beef burritos and are yummy!

First, you will need a large skillet, about 3 tablespoons of oil, and one half of a large onion chopped.  Saute the onions over medium heat until slightly browned and translucent.  They were almost ready in this photo.
Now, add a small package of ground chuck and begin browning it with the onions.
While browning the meat, add in 2 teaspoons of chili powder.  Note: if you want them to be hot and spicy, also add some cayenne, a teaspoon would probably do it.
One teaspoon of cumin.
One small can of chopped green chiles.
One teaspoon of diced garlic.
Add a dash of salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes more, until all of the meat is browned well.  If you used a fatty meat, you may want to drain some of the grease from the pan.  

Next, you will need a package of large flour burrito shells, a can of refried beans and some shredded cheese (I used a four cheese Mexican blend).  Lay one shell on a large plate and spread a small amount of beans toward one end of the shell.  Then add some of your burrito meat mixture and top with some shredded cheese.  I added a few drops of hot sauce because the hubs likes his hot.  I don't like the burn of hot sauce, so mine stays naked. 
Next, you will roll the short end over the meat, tuck the corners in and roll the long end over, then it will look like this:
Now, spray a small skillet with nonstick spray and heat over medium low.  Cook the burrito on both sides until lightly browned.
Looking pretty tan!

Now top with whatever your heart desires.  I use a red enchilada sauce (I have made my own, but the canned kind is pretty hard to beat), more cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, fat free sour cream and black olives.

Holler if you have any questions or if I made a boo-boo.  I am very capable of those.  :)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Acorn squash! My newest addiction.

So, an addiction is not normally a good thing, but being addicted to yummy, healthy food has to be okay, right?

Acorn squash is such a versatile little cutie.  You can make it sweet or savory.  I have so far only cooked it with sausage and cheese stuffed inside, and it was mouth watering good.   My next attempt is going to be using brown sugar and making it sweet.   Here is a photo of the chicken sausage and spinach stuffed version with guyere cheese on top. 

To begin, simply cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and bake it for about an hour at 375 degrees.  After that, you can top it with whatever you are craving and cook accordingly. 

Here is what I did for this little yummy bite....While the squash is baking, spray a nonstick skillet with olive oil spray and saute half a diced onion for just a minute.  Then add a teaspoon of garlic cloves and a precooked chicken sausage link chopped.  Let that cook for a couple of minutes and add a couple of handfuls of chopped spinach and cook a couple more minutes.  Stuff this mixture into the squash, top with cheese, and broil until the cheese browns a little.  Love it!