Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Yum Yum and then some Brown Sugar Meatloaf...And Cauliflower mashed

Ok, so keeping with the low carb vibe wanted to make a nice good comfort food dinner. So, I had some ground lamb on hand decided to throw it together for some awesome meatloaf. I searched on all recipes.com and found the top rated recipe for meat loaf and used this as a base and added a few other things and changed it a bit. This recipe called Brown Sugar meat loaf had 4.5 stars and some 2,800 reviews/ratings ...hmm all those cooks cant be wrong? Right?

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground lamb (you can use lean ground beef or ground turkey)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 cup finely crushed Ritz buttery crackers
  • 1/2 green pepper diced
  • 1 large garlic clove minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic power
  • 1.tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Directions: Mix brown sugar and ketchup in bowl and set aside. Ok so here is what I did differently than the recipe on allrecipes.com. Ok , so in a non-stick frying pan add 1 tablespoon olive oil, then add the garlic , onion , and green pepper saute till done. About 8 mins. In a separate larger bowl mix all the other spices, crackers, milk , with the ground meat. (everything but brown sugar mix) .Then add the onion and green pepper mix to the meat. Toss together and add to baking loaf pan. Top with the brown sugar mix. Also if you add 2 pieces of plain bread doesn't matter what kind to the bottom of the loaf pan before you add the meat it will soak up the oil from the meat and make the meatloaf a little healthier. Then discard the bread after cooking.

I served this with Cauliflower mashed (yum taste just like mashed potatoes ) low-fat crescent rolls and zucchini squash. Delicious !

Ok so I do not have a separate pic of the cauliflower mashed so I will combining this post. So last week I was watching FitTV and saw Blaine's low Carb Kitchen. And he made what looked like some yummy cauliflower mashed. Basically for those that do not know its an alternative for mashed potatoes made with cauliflower and taste just like mashed potatoes. Great for low carb dieters. So , anyways was watching fit tv and became instantly inspired to try it. Little did I know this would be so easy and so tasty. I didn't use his exact recipe I kinda just made up my own as I went along and it turned out great.

3 cups cauliflower (approx. 1 head)
2/3 cup. light fat free sour cream
3 tablespoons low-fat butter spread
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup low fat cheddar cheese
1 tsp. paprika
1 small garlic clove .
Trim hard stems and leaves from cauliflower. Cut florets from stem (discard stem) and place in steamer . Steam until tender about 15mins.

Place hot cauliflower and garlic in food processor with large blade. Pulse while adding butter and sour cream. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon mash into 1-quart oven-proof casserole dish and add in Parmesan cheese and mix. Then add cheddar cheese to top. Add a dash of paprika. Bake in oven for about 7mins. until cheese is bubbly.

This meal was soooooooo good .

Eggcellent Veggie omelet

  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach
  • 1/3 cup portobello mushrooms sliced
  • small onion diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 tablespoon margarine
  • 3/4 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup Egg beaters
  • 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
Directions :
In a large nonstick skillet, saute mushrooms, spinach, onion ,green pepper, & tomato in butter until tender. Add the oregano and pepper. Cook for 5 mins until veggies are done and drain any liquid, then set aside. Beat egg whites, water, and salt . Place egg beaters in another bowl then fold in egg white mixture. Pour egg mix into non-stick frying pan, then add veggies and half of the cheese. Fold over sides of omelet with spatula add remaining cheese . And serve.

Side note : This omelet was so good and healthy but, it makes a big omelet. I could only eat half of it . If you are feeling extra greedy then this is awesome or if you are sharing breakfast with someone this would be great as well. I made it with Morning Star farms veggie breakfast links umm great combination! Half the omelet is about 200 calories + the veggie links =320 calories. Not bad for a really good breakfast.

Friday, December 26, 2008

4-Cheese Spinach Alfredo Tortellini with Grilled Chicken

This was soo soo good. I used a pack of 4- cheese Tortellini from Trader Joe's. Yum Good stuff right there. Cooked pasta and set aside. Then I made a quick Alfredo sauce. Here is the recipe
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Directions

  • Melt butter in a medium, non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Add cream cheese and garlic powder, stirring with wire whisk until smooth. Add milk, a little at a time, whisking to smooth out lumps. Stir in Parmesan and pepper. Remove from heat when sauce reaches desired consistency. Sauce will thicken rapidly, thin with milk if cooked too long. Then I tossed this with the pasta.
In sauce pan : saute 2 garlic cloves sliced, 1/2 diced yellow onion, and bag of fresh baby spinach until spinach cooks down. Drain any juices and add to the pasta.

Earlier I had 6 chicken breast marinating with 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, Juice 1/2 lemon, 3 garlic cloves minced. About 1/2 teaspoon kosher sea salt. A few shakes of fresh ground black pepper. 1/4 cup fresh parsley.
Directions after chicken marinated for 2hrs I grilled on the George forman till nice and juicy.

I added the chicken to the pasta and this made for one awesome dish . If you don't care about over doing it with the carbs then make with Texas toast.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Fat-Free No Pudge brownies

Ok these aren't really from scratch, they are from a box . ...BUT, these are the best tasting fat-free brownies I have ever had so I just had to share. Now, even though I try to be health conscious and eat balanced meals some sweets in moderation is ok. With that being said, I'm still always skeptical when I see something that says fat-free and chocolate in the same product. It just doesn't look right. So, I was at Trader Joe's today and since I love that store so much and they have yet to steer me wrong decided to try the "No pudge fudge chocolate brownies". Wow these are so so good. The only thing you add to the mix is vanilla yogurt. (I used Trader Joe's organic low fat vanilla yogurt). Somewhere I read these are supposed to be like 2 ww points. Also, these are sticky so when making them defiantly use some Pam or make them in muffins pans. They turn out prettier this way and easier to cut. I made mine in muffin pans.

Saturday, December 20, 2008



2 bunches of parsley
2 tbs mint
1/2 cup Spanish onion
2 vine ripened tomatoes
1/2 cup bulghar wheat
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
Juice from 1 lemon
1 cup boiling water


  1. Place bulghar wheat in a bowl with the boiling water. Cover and let it stand for 20 minutes. Strain the bulghar wheat to drain off any excess water. Set aside.
  2. Finely chop the parsley and mint. Place in a mixing bowl.
  3. De-seed the tomatoes and dice. Dice the Spanish onion. Place tomato and onion in the mixing bowl with the parsley and mint.
  4. Add the cooled bulghar wheat to the mixture. Add the lemon juice, remaining salt and olive oil. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Cover and refrigerate . This salad is soo good. I could eat this everyday. This is another recipe I found on Taste buddies blog thanks Syrie.


I love Hummus !!! This was my first try making it & it turned out great. I added extra garlic 4 cloves total and dash of cayenne pepper.


  • 2 cups canned garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, halved
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pinch paprika
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley


  1. Place the garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, salt and garlic in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Transfer mixture to a serving bowl.
  2. Drizzle olive oil over the garbanzo bean mixture. Sprinkle with paprika and parsley.
(only 77 calories !!!!)

Lamb Samosa


1 (14 ounce) package spring roll wrappers
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds ground Lamb
1 leek, chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon water, or as needed
1 quart oil for frying


Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.Add onions, leek and garlic, and cook, stirring until the onions are transparent. Add ground beef, and cook until about halfway done. Season with cumin,cardamom, salt and pepper. Mix well, and continue cooking until beef has browned.In a small dish or cup, mix together the flour and water to make a thin paste. Using one wrapper at a time, fold into the shape of a cone. Fill the cone with the meat mixture, close the top, and seal with thepaste. Repeat until wraps or filling are used up. Heat the oil to 365 degrees F ( 170 degrees C) in a deep-fryer or deep heavy pot. There should be enough oil to submerge the wraps. Fry the Samosa a few at a time until golden brown. You can also make these with ground beef or turkey. This recipe is actually the Somalian version of Samosa not the Indian . I prefer the Somalian recipe , the combination of spices are makes it soo soo good.

Lebanese Rice and Shish Tahouk Chicken

Lebanese Rice and Shish Tahouk Chicken
This rice was super easy and so good.

1/4 c. oil
1 c. vermicelli noodles
4 1/2 c. water
4 bouillon cubes (chicken or beef)
2 c. Basmati rice

Crush vermicelli noodles and pour in pot with oil. On medium heat, stir continuously until browned. Pour water into pot. Cook on high until water boils. Stir in bouillon cubes and rice. Cover pan. Cook on medium for 10 minutes, then on low for 5 minutes. Take cover off and stir. I made this with only 3 Bouillon cubes because that was all that I had and used authentic imported noodles, don't know the brand package was not in English. It turned out great. The guy at the meat market recommended the imported brand over other vermicelli for this type of rice for better quality. I also used about 1/3 cup slivered almonds in the rice . And browned it with the noodles.

Shish Tahouk Chicken I found this delicious easy recipe on one of my favorite blogs Taste Buddies
4 chicken breasts
6 crushed garlic cloves
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt
Cut the chicken into thin strips. Mix the ingredients and add the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for several hours. The original recipe from taste buddies is for if you want to grill the chicken with skewers. Well , its December so instead of freezing outside I decided to nix the skewers step and use my George forman grill instead. I refrigerated the chicken for 2 hours then cooked on the George forman. Lots of flavor , next time I probably will let it marinate over night but it was still really good.

My big fat middle eastern dinner ...

Ok, so Monday Dec. 8th was Eid -Al Adha. And of course I had to work. And since then I have been crazy busy so I haven't gotten around to making a big fabulous Eid dinner until today . Back home for Eid we always had food from Sultans, which is the best Lebanese restaurant in East Lansing. So since there are like -0 Lebanese places here I decided to hook up my own fabulous dinner and it turned out awesome. Since this dinner was so fabulous and yummy there will be several posts for this dinner, 1 for each dish..also I need to do multiple so that the whole labeling thing does not get all messed up. So I was able to find some authentic recipes and ended up making : Lebanese rice , Shish Tahouk Chicken, Tabbouleh (salad), Lamb Samosa , Hummus, and fat-free brownies. This meal was so yummy defiantly will make everything again. 5 stars. And low in fat. (well not the Samosa but everything else)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Let them eat cake...Cupcakes!!!

Ok, so even though not really cooking right now since I am still on the Master cleanse for another week or so still need to blog to keep the fans happy lol. So I came across these super cute butterfly cupcake wrappers form Paper Orchid.
I think i will order some of these , will make some cupcakes one of these days. The site also has other designs but these are the best IMO.

Found this great Apple Banana cupcake recipe from all recipes 152 calories not too bad. Will try this maybe in a few weeks. Stay posted.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Chicken Bryan ..like Carrabba's

Ok, so I love , love, love Carrabba's. My favorite dish of theirs is the Chicken Bryan. Its been a long time since I've had it from there so I decided to try to make it myself. After googling a bit found this awesome site Robbies copy cat recipes
They have recipes for almost any restaurant you can think of. So I decided to make this. Well , actually I made this about a month ago and I have been busy and a little lazy so just uploaded the pictures from my camera. Anyhoo... This turned out great. Only thing I did differently was add a lot of extra goat cheese and the sun dried tomato basil sauce on top. Sometimes restaurants get a little stingy on the extra toppings trying to save money with this whole economy crisis I guess. And gold star for me, this was my first time cooking with wine and I was really amazed at my genius culinary skills..lol recepie taste IMO just like the real thing. If your trying to save some money and want a really good Italian dinner make this yourself. I think they charge like $21 x dinner for 2 plus tip well over $50. All the ingredients cost roughly $25 tops and it makes enough for 6. Top pic is mine bottom pic from Carrabba's. I served this with Garlic red potatoes, steamed broccoli and Texas toast. (defiantly not diet friendly but soooo good) Also I used my george forman grill to grill the chicken super easy.
Calories : 540 .Calories from Fat :337

Chicken Bryan like Carrabba's®
Grilled chicken breast topped with

caprino cheese and
sun-dried tomato, basil, and lemon

butter sauce.

Serves: 6
Prep. Time: 0:55

1 Tbls. minced garlic
1 Tbls. minced yellow onion
2 Tbls. butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup cold butter - sliced
1 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. white pepper
6 boned, skinned chicken breast halves
extra virgin olive oil - for brushing
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

8 oz. caprino OR other goat cheese - room temperature

Sauté garlic and onion in 2 Tbls. butter in a large skillet over medium heat until tender.
-Stir wine and lemon juice into skillet, increase heat to medium high, and simmer to reduce by half.
-Reduce heat to low and stir in cold butter, one slice at a time.
-Stir in tomatoes, basil, kosher salt, and white pepper; remove from heat; set aside.
-Brush chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
-Grill chicken over hot coals 15 - 20 minutes, or until cooked through.
-A couple of minutes before chicken is done, place equal amounts of cheese on each breast
-Spoon prepared sun-dried tomato sauce over chicken.

Master Cleanse

Ok so wont I be posting for awhile ...i know slacker girl, I was cooking few weeks ago I will update my blog soon with more recipes and pictures. Currently I am on the Master Cleanse. Its not really anything I cook, well if you count fresh squeeze lemons for the juice but I still wanted to blog on it. So far its been great. I am on day 10 of possibly 14 or 21 depending on how the days go. For those that are not familiar the Master cleanse or lemondade diet is a great detox which has been around for along time (give or take 40 yrs). So far I have lost 11.5 lbs. Although that wasnt my goal on the cleanse. I really want to stress that this is not a diet but a detox to purify your body and purge yourself from all that back junk and toxins you have built up. After I had a gluttony fest for thanksgiving I decided now was a good time as ever to do the cleanse. Also , there are lots of health benefits associated with detoxing , relieving yourself of body aches, allergies, headaches, eliminates waste, helps build a healthy blood stream, helps purify the glands, cells, and kidneys during this time. These are the claims , so far I am feeling great lots of energy so my experience the claims are true. A few days before the cleanse I went to see an allergy specialist for my eczema and sinus allergies . And surprise , she loaded me up with meds and sent me on my way. Well , I haven't even got the prescriptions filled let alone take the meds. But since I have been on the cleanse 10days now have lost 11.5lbs and no allergies, no sneezing, no eczema , skin is clear, hair is so shinny. AND lots of energy so will I always go the natural route from here on. The above picture is everything you need to get started water, organic lemons, organic Grade B Maple Syrup, Senna tea the flavored kind is good tasty.Cayenne pepper and salt.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Salmon Bake with Pecan Crunch Coating

Ok , so if you have been following along thus far you know I am on somewhat of a health kick. Or at least i try to be. So once again wanted to try something new with fish . I love salmon and had some on had . I found this recipe from allrecipes.com, which had 4.5 stars and 389 ratings/reviews i figured I'd make it some 300+ people couldn't be wrong... right? So after reading some of the reviews that were rated most helpful I made a few minor changes. First I used Italian bread crumbs instead of plain. I didn't have plain and didn't feel like toasting bread. So used 1/3 cup Italian bread crumbs and 4 Ritz butter crackers for the crumb mix and about 3/4 cup chopped pecans. I then baked it for 20mins on 350 ,then melted 1 tablespoon butter and drizzled it on top the fish (because some of the bread crumb mix wasn't toasted like i wanted. ) then baked for 8 more mins. I served this with Baked Sweet potato, and steamed fresh broccoli .


  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 5 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 3 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 6 (4 ounce) fillets salmon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 lemon wedges


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, butter, and honey. In another bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, pecans, and parsley.
  2. Season each salmon fillet with salt and pepper. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush with mustard-honey mixture. Cover the top of each fillet with bread crumb mixture.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes per inch of thickness, measured at thickest part, or until salmon just flakes when tested with a fork. Serve garnished with lemon wedges.
Ok So overall I give this recipe 3 stars . It was super easy, and a switch to plain salmon but still undecided on the flavor. Not sure how excited I will be to make this again. Was expecting more. Think it could used more Dijon and more honey. Next time will try it with the plain bread crumbs the Italian may have took away from the Dijon /honey mix . The baked sweet potato was sooooooo good. 5 stars , and so was the broccoli.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Strawberry-Mango Parfait

Ok so wanted something quick and easy for breakfast. So decided to make this yummy parfait.
Ingredients :
Vanilla yogurt (used Activa light fat free yogurt )
Granola (used Almond Vanilla granola cereal Trader Joes brand)
4- fresh strawberries
1/5 mango sliced and diced.
Cool Whip (fat free light)
Directions : Add yogurt to bottom of dish, then granola, top with fruit and cool whip. This recipe is crazy easy my 4 year old niece can make it. Also its virtually fat free, great breakfast or anytime healthy snack any fruit can be used, I also make it with pineapples and Mandarin oranges if i don't have fresh fruit on hand.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pineapple Mango Salsa!! Omg its so good

Ok, so i love fresh salsa so decided to make some to go with the beanstuff I made. It is simply delicious and like zero fat great snack.


  • 1 large mango, ripe but still firm, peeled and diced
  • 1 large can pineapple tidbits
  • 1 large red bell pepper seeded-and diced
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced (optional for added kick I left them out I don't like jalapenos)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (juice of 2 limes were enough)
  • 1 ripe vine tomato diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Directions :Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.Cover and refrigerate for several hours before serving. Serve with Tostitos Lime chips. The picture doesn't do this meal justice .This salsa is the bomb. And fat free !!!

7-layer taco bake (a.k.a beanstuff)..

Ok , so was craving this because while I was in Detroit this week my cousin made some and I had to catch my flight which by the way was delayed 1.5hrs so i didn't have time to eat. This dish is super easy, and has been in my family at least since i was a young bebe kid who knows maybe even longer. If you make it you have to make it with lime tortilla chips they are the bomb. Tostitos makes them. I made a few minor changes to my moms original recipe to make it a little healthier.

1lb-ground beef (I actually sub. beef for 12oz bag of Morningstar Farm meal starters like i said in prev post trying to be easy and limit my red meat)
2-cups shredded cheddar cheese (I sub for low-fat Kraft taco style shredded cheese)
2 -16oz. cans refried beans (fat free)
1 box Spanish rice mix (optional original recipe doesn't include rice however wanted to make it more filling my greedy little brother and cousin were joining us.)
1.5 cups shredded lettuce ( i used romaine better for you than iceberg lettuce)
1 -16oz container of sour cream (light sour cream)
1-pack taco seasoning mix
2 ripe vine tomatoes (diced)
1/3 cup onion and green pepper mix diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro

Directions : preheat oven at 350. Add refried beans to baking dish, season with garlic power and pepper add to oven.Let beans cook for 15. Cook Spanish rice then set aside. In medium bowl mix sour cream and 3/4 taco seasoning mix set aside. Saute green peppers and onions , add ground beef , the rest of the taco seasoning mix, few dashes of garlic, salt, pepper to taste, cook until done . Add sour cream mix to refried beans in the baking dish. then layer with rice, ground beef, lettuce, tomato, cilantro , then top with cheese and bake until cheese is all bubbly approximately 15-20 mins depending on oven. Serve with Tostitos lime chips.

I served this with sautéed sweet corn and Pineapple Mango salsa. Was sooooooooo good


Monday, October 13, 2008

Baked Parmesan Perch

So I decided to limit my red meat intake and add more fish and lean meats into my diet. Its just much better the body for so many reasons. I had some perch and salmon on hand so wanted to try a twist on the usual baked fish. I found this recipe online at allrecipes.com . Most of the recipes that i will be reviewing will be from here. Its a great site, I love how you can change to serving amount to fit the number of people you need to cook for , also it gives you the nutrition info on all the recipes and great reviews. I used this basic recipe for "baked Parmesan Perch"
and added a few other ingredients to give it my own flavor.

5. pieces perch
1/4 cup. Italian bread crumbs instead of plain
3 tablespoons butter (actually used smart balance light butter spread)
1-tablespoon Onion flakes
couple shakes oregano (roughly 1 teaspoon) original recipe calls for basil didn't have any so sub for oregano.
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon-. Garlic powder

Mix all dry ingredients in small bowl, in 2nd bowl melt butter in microwave for 20 secs. Dip fish in butter then in bread crumb mix. Add to greased baking dish. Bake uncovered for 20 mins at 350 or until fish is flaky and good. (Side note, when i made this dish i forgot the paprika until the fish was already i the pan so I just added it to give a little color and flavor on top a few shakes.)

I made this with garlic mashed potatoes and steamed mixed veggies and garlic bread. ( pepperidge farm Texas toast to be exact omg i love that stuff. ) Give this recipe five stars was so good, and easy and had everything on hand which hardly ever happens. Also low in fat and calories for those that are counting, delicious source of protein ,
great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, and Vitamin A.

Ok, so whats for dinner?

Yay my first post . Ok, so recently decided that I need to up my game in the kitchen. After visiting with my family I realized my culinary skills have slipped...and fell . I used to be a domestic diva before I started working a million hours . So now i will be posting weekly updates of new dishes I will be cooking and recipes I will be reviewing. Will try to keep my recipes as health conscious as possible however, there will be some good old fashion comfort foods here and there. Stay posted will update blog weekly , would be daily if i had the luxury of not working. Anyhoo let the cooking begin.