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Low Carb Cabbage Rolls

17 May

For our Healthy Eats Group this month I found this great recipe on and decided that I could make it better like most recipes start out. I decided to replace the rice it suggested using with steamed and minced cauliflower to reduce the carb content. I also decided to kick it up a notch in terms of seasoning and what do you know it was a hit. My approach to cooking is like an ongoing scientific project and so while the outcome of one test may have been very good I am always looking to one up myself next time which explains my additional suggestions. I am sure there will revamps of this recipe and I will come back and update as needed.

Ingredients
12 cabbage leaves from one large steamed head of cabbage (I like to core the head of cabbage at the bottom and then just peel off 12 leaves. You could also use sheering scissors and just snip them off. I throw them into boiling water for two minutes so they soften but retain their color. I shred the rest to make fish tacos later in the week.)
1 cup of steamed, minced cauliflower or you can just use cooked rice. (An easy way to do cauliflower is to just cut off a third of a head, wash, mince till it looks like rice, measure out 1 1/2 C. Then cook in microwave for 3 minutes – it will shrink to 1 cup.)
1/2 C. onion minced
1 Tbsp. garlic minced
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh ginger grated
1 1/2 lb. lean ground turkey
1 egg
1/4 C. fat free milk
1 1/4 tsp. pepper or to your preference
1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. Worcester sauce

Mix all ingredients together until well integrated. Scoop 1/4 C. worth of meat mixture and place in middle of softened cabbage leaf and fold in ends like a burrito, place in bottom of a crockpot. You’ll have 12 -14 cabbage rolls; cover it all with the following sauce:
Sauce
2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. Stevia brown sugar blend (can substitute with 2 Tbsp. regular brown sugar or can leave out altogether next time if I add the following seasonings instead.)
(If avoiding sugar and Splenda you could add the following instead: 1-2 Tbsp. of oregano, basil and 1-2 tsp. garlic powder and one small can of tomato paste.) I may cut the sauce topping in half next time to dry it up a bit. It also helps to not overcook the veggies involved before placing in crockpot.
Cook in crockpot on low for 8-9 hours.
I would serve these rolls on a bed of brown rice with extra sauce for kids but for me I would mince up the rest of the cauliflower until it is rice like and serve it on top of that with extra sauce. To make it even easier to prepare you could make up cabbage rolls night before, keep in fridge and just put it in the crockpot in the morning, cover with sauce and set on low.— submitted by Melissa Campbell

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Asian Lettuce Wraps

16 May

This tasty dish was brought to our last health eats meet up by the beautiful Kate Wilson. It is low in carbs since it leaves out the traditional rice or noodles popular with so many Asian dishes. It was also very, very tasty. She got it from the very popular food blog Best Bites it is actually one of my personal favorite foodie sites as well and I had made this recipe previously for my four boys and they absolutely loved it!
Ingredients:
2 tsp. canola oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. fresh minced ginger
1 lb. ground chicken (or turkey)
3 oz. mushrooms, finely chopped (8 small mushrooms)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
4 C. Bagged coleslaw mix or thinly shredded cabbage
1 (8 oz.) can sliced water chestnuts, drained, rinsed, and finely minced
1/2 C. Thinly sliced green onions
4 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 lemon zested and juiced (3-4 Tbsp.)
1/2-1 tsp. Sriracha or other hot sauce optional
1/3 C. Roughly chopped cilantro
1-2 heads iceberg lettuce

Dipping/Drizzling Sauce
4 Tbsp. soy sauce
4 Tbsp. vinegar
3 Tbsp. Water
2 tsp. honey
1-2 tsp. finely minced ginger

Heat a very large skillet to medium-high heat on the stove top. When hot, add vegetable oil and then garlic and giner. Saute for about 30 seconds, until fragrant, and then add ground chicken, chopped mushrooms and kosher salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until chicken is cooked through. Remove any extra liquid from pan. Add cabbage, water chestnuts and green onions. Cook for about 2 minutes, until cabbage starts to wilt. Add soy sauce, sesame oil, the zest from the lemon and the lemon juice and hot sauce to taste. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro
To prepare dipping sauce, combine all ingredients and whisk to combine. Serve on lettuce leaf. Top with sauce.

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Lentil Tacos or Chip Dip your Pick

29 Apr

This dish was brought to the Healthy Eats night by a sweet lady who has gone on a clean eating diet recently and has lost 15 pounds since January although it may have been more since last I talked to her. She found on Allrecipes.com a tasty submission by a Michelle Thomas http://m.allrecipes.com/recipe/222610/tasty-lentil-tacos-2
Lentils are a great nonfat source of protein, lots of fiber and folate all of which can lower cholesterol and help prevent breast cancer. It’s a power house in itself.
Ingredients:
1 C. Onion finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. canola oil
1 C. Dried lentils, rinsed
1 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 1/2 C. Chicken broth or veggie broth
1 C. Salsa
12 taco shells (or chips if for dip)
1 1/2 C. Shredded lettuce
1 C. Chopped tomato
1 1/2 C. Shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
6 Tbsp. fat free sour cream
In a large nonstick skillet, sauté onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add lentils, chili powder, cumin and oregano; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Uncover; cook for 6-8 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Mash lentil slightly. Stir in salsa. If serving as tacos, assemble as usual. Could layer lentils, sour cream, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes as a chip dip. We had the lentils plain with chips which was also good. I thought it would work well layered as a taco salad minus the chips for a lower-carb option. — Submitted by Alicia Wood

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Gluten Free Mini Corn Dog Muffins

28 Apr

So it was son number three’s birthday today and he really wanted corn dogs. Despite corn being primary in the title most corn bread mix contains wheat and since we are gluten free for now that meant I had to get creative. I recalled seeing a Pinterest post by Iowa Girl Eats http://iowagirleats.com/2012/01/30/super-bowl-recipe-week-mini-corn-dog-muffins/ for these mini corn dog muffins, of course it used flour but then I recalled an easy GF corn bread recipe from the Gluten Free Cooking School http://www.glutenfreecookingschool.com/archives/gluten-free-southern-cornbread/ I decided to alter it a bit and thus this recipe was born.
Ingredients:
1Tbsp. Oil
1 1/4 C. GF white corn meal
1/2 C. Brown rice flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. Splenda or stevia or sweetener
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 C. Milk or soy milk
1 package low fat hot dogs, I used turkey dogs

Mix dry ingredients, then add wet ingredients. Blend well. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease or spray wells of mini muffin tray. Spoon corn batter into tin, cut hot dog into one inch pieces, mine made 4-5. Place hotdogs in middle of each muffin well with flat cut side down. Bake 15-18 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes. I had to use a flat table knife to run around each muffin at this point to allow it to release nicely as I pried them out with a fork. I might grease then dust inside with corn flour next time to see if it makes getting them out easier. The kids absolutely devoured them, I ended up making two batches, cooked up the entire package of hotdogs and used all my batter. There was nothing leftover when all was said and done. I let them dip them in ketchup, mustard or ranch.

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Brigitte’s Curry Chicken

25 Apr

This is another Healthy Eats Club submission. Our friend Brigitte wasn’t able to make it that night but she still sent us food which you just have to love. This dish was a little exotic, absolutely delicious and completely satisfying served with a little brown rice. It seemed like a good one to make for my kids some night, they would love it.

Ingredients:
4 Tbsp. Olive Oil
6 chicken breasts, cut up bite sized
1 onion, chopped
1 can curry paste (yellow can is mildest)
2 cans coconut milk ( use lite)
Any veggies you like: sliced carrots, sliced parsnips, sliced bell peppers, sliced yucca, sliced zucchini, edema
Add soy sauce to taste

In large skillet over medium-high heat oil, add cut up chicken breast and onions, sauté til chicken is no longer pink. Add curry paste, coconut milk, veggies and simmer until veggies are slightly tender but don’t over cook. Add soy sauce to taste, serve with brown rice. — Submitted by Brigitte Buelteuson

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Fountain of Youth Sweet Salad

24 Apr

We had our Healthy Eats Book Club meeting last night, so fun! So I’ll be posting pictures and reviews for some amazing healthy recipes that were shared.
The lady who shared this surprisingly tasty combination of fruit, whole grains and beans is such an amazing woman. A elegant grandmother she has aged like a beautiful fine wine, if I can learn her secrets to gorgeous aging I will really have something to look forward to every birthday. Well here it is a fountain of youth salad:

Dressing:
1/4 C. Olive Oil
1/4 C. Coconut Oil
2/3 C. Rice Vinegar or Light Balsamic
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp. Fresh Nutmeg
1/2 maple syrup, or to taste

Salad:
2 C. Cooked grains, your choice of wheat, kamut, quinoa, etc.
2 C. Cooked Beans, your choice of white, black, red, Anasazi — rinsed and drained
Grapes, sliced
Strawberries, sliced
Blueberries
Bananas
Zucchini, diced
Yep any fruit combination you like and the zucchini will fit in just fine, trust me! It’s a meal in itself and so delicious. Bet you’re feeling younger already. — Submitted by Marcia Marshall

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Cheesy Carrot Soup (Healthy Soup for Picky Eaters)

3 Apr

This healthy soup recipe was shared with me by a sister in our church who has six young children and this is their favorite soup. You know if that many young children like it, well it has to be good. I’ll have to try it out on my own four picky boys and post pics. later but here it is for now. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 cups Chicken broth
2 cups coarsely chopped carrots
2 cups cooked white beans
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 cup milk
salt, pepper, and/or herbs to taste
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Bring broth to a boil in a sauce pan, add carrots, beans, and onion powder. Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender. Transfer hot mixture to blender carefully, add milk and puree until smooth. Add seasonings. Pour into serving bowls and top with cheese.

*To cook dry beans, use one cup of dry beans to get two cups cooked. Rinse them and cover with water in a pan on the stove. Heat to boiling and let it rapidly boil for 2 minutes. Then take it off the burner and put a lid on it. Let it sit for 3-4 hours. Then drain the water and put new water in and then heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer until soft (about 1 hour). Make sure they don’t lose too much water or they will burn! — Submitted by Angi Danielson

Gluten Free Chicken, Broccoli and Brown Rice Casserol

21 Feb

Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2 cups uncooked brown rice
4 cups gluten free chicken broth (Herbox works great for this)
12 oz. frozen broccoli, chopped
2 Tbsp. rice flour
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dried mustard
1 1/2 C. Milk
Squeeze lemon juice
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise (can use light version)
1 1/2 C. Cheddar cheese
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese
2 C. Gluten free bread crumbs (I save bread ends in freezer for this but you could also crunch up some GF corn Chex for this — I can’t recommend the Chex topping, we tried it the boys hated it. I ended up scrapping it off and doing breadcrumbs anyways.)
Mix the butter in medium sauce pan. Add flour, salt, pepper, mustard, cook until well incorporated. Slowly whisk in milk and cook on medium until thickened. Stir in cheese and remove from heat. Cook brown rice in medium sauce pan with 4 cups chicken broth, bring to boil then place lid on top and reduce heat to simmer for about 45 minutes and liquid is absorbed and rice tender. Mix rice, chicken, broccoli and cheese sauce in large bowl until well mixed, add lemon juice and Mayo, put in 9×13 casserole dish and top with GF bread crumbs. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. You can make this into an even healthier version by using fat free or reduced fat cheese and milk. I made the full fat version for my four boys and it got 4 stars and second helpings all around.

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Book Club Chicken Salad

20 Feb

Ingredients:

6 to 8 chicken breasts

(Sprinkle some lemon pepper and a little salt on both sides. Cook chicken for 30 minutes at 350 degeres on foil lined cookie sheet, cover with another piece of foil.)

1 1/2 C. silvered almonds

5 Tbsp. brown sugar blend Splenda or favorite low calorie brown sugar

In a small skillet, sprinkle sugar over almonds and cook over medium heat until almonds are coated and sugar has dissolved.

3 bags European blend salad mix

1 1/2 C. craisins

2 C. shredded fat-free mozzarella cheese

1 1/2 lb. turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled up

Dressing:

1/2 large red onion

2 C. splenda

4 tsp. dry mustard

2 tsp. salt

1 C. red wine vinegar

2 C. vegetable oil

Finely chop red onion in food processor. Add sweetener, dry mustard, salt and vinegar and blend until frothy. Slowly add oil. Create salad assembly line and let people put together their own salad mix of greens, craisins, cheese, nuts, dressing or you can preassemble it if you like.

Whole Wheat Pizza

19 Feb

Whole Wheat Crust:
2 1/2 C. Whole wheat flour
2 1/4 tsp. yeast
3/4 tsp. salt
1 C. Warm water
1 Tbsp. sugar
Combine water, yeast, oil, salt and sugar. Let stand 5 min. Mix in flour a little at a time. Knead until dough becomes soft and elastic. Roll out very thin and place on pizza pan or stone. This makes enough for two very thin crusts or one normal crust.
Toppings:
Top with favorite pizza sauce, low or non-fat mozzarella cheese, low-fat turkey pepperoni and favorite vegetables. I top with fresh spinach leaves, mushrooms, black olives, green peppers and chopped tomatoes. Bake at 400 degrees for about 18 minutes. — Submitted by Mindy Sturgell