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.