Thursday, December 31, 2009

A New Blog

Are you wanting to lose weight this next year but don’t know exactly where to start?  Are you wishing you had an accountability partner to help you?  Are you interested in some motivation to help you along your journey?  Are you wanting to hear encouragement from other women that are also trying to lose weight?  Then I have a blog for you!

I am starting a new blog – Let’s Lose Weight Together.  My goal for the blog is for it to be a place where you can gain instruction, accountability, motivation, encouragement and hopefully a little fun to help you lose weight.  I would love to have you be a part of this blog!

So please head on over to Let’s Lose Weight Together and put the blog on your follower’s list or subscribe to receive a daily email of the posts!!  I have already entered a few posts to get us started but am looking at really starting to “get with it” come next week!!

Come along and take this journey with us!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Peppermint Brown Sugar Meringues

I was checking in on the blogs that I follow this morning and I came across a post on No Ordinary Moments (one of my favorite blogs written by a homeschooling mother).  The post was about peppermint meringues that she made.  They looked SOOO GOOD!! 

I immediately wondered if there was a way to make these “diet friendly”.  So I went over to another favorite website, Hungry Girl, and looked up a recipe for meringues.  She had a recipe for brown sugar meringues!

So I decided HEY why not combine the two recipes – and that is what I did.  So below is my recipe for peppermint brown sugar meringues.  And if I did my calculations right each cookie is about 45 calories and 1 gram of fat (that’s 1 WW point people!!!)  They are super super yummy!!  Such a fun little holiday treat!!


  • 4 large egg whites
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 6 oz mini chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with waxed or parchment paper.
  2. With an electric mixer beat the egg whites, salt and peppermint extract on high speed until soft peaks form.
  3. Continue mixing on high speed while adding 1/2 cup of the sugar.  Add the remaining sugar 1 tbsp at a time.  Beat for another 1-2 minutes, until the mixture is stiff and shiny.  Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Drop by the spoonful onto the cookie sheets.  Flatten each cookie slightly with the back of a spoon.  Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.  Makes about 36 cookies – 1 ww point per cookie!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie

Before I get to the recipe I just want to say something.  I got on the scales this morning and I am down 32 pounds now!!  WOW!!  I have lost 32 pounds in 4 months!!  If you would have told me 6 months ago that I would be cutting out practically all sugar, as much fat as possible, using ground turkey instead of ground meat, using whole wheat flour, eating whole wheat and high fiber bread, etc…I would have told you were crazy!!!  I have never been real health nut when it comes to food…but I am quickly changing my mind!  I used to think healthy food had no flavor but I was so wrong!!

Not only am I losing weight I feel better than I have in a long time!!  Now all I need to do is add some exercise to this living and I will really be doing well!

I am not on a diet – I have made a LIFEFSTYLE CHANGE!  This is the way I plan on eating from now on!!  I refuse to yo-yo with my weight the rest of my life.  I am determined to keep this weight off!

I hope I didn’t bore you with that story…now to a yummy recipe!!

I love chicken pot pie!!  It is one of my all time favorite comfort foods!!  I decided to give hungry girl’s recipe a try…it is actually very close to the recipe that I have always done.    I made a slight change to the recipe but you still get 1 serving for about 230 calories, 7 grams of fat, and 2 1/2 grams of fiber (that is 4.7 ww points people!!).


  • 1/2 lb (8 oz.) raw boneless skinless chicken breast; cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 cups frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 can (10.75 oz.) Campbell's Condensed Soup, 98% Fat Free Cream of Celery
  • 4 servings  (1/2 can) Pillsbury Reduced Fat Crescent Rolls (unprepared)
  • season salt (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute chicken pieces for several minutes in a pan spritzed with nonstick cooking spray, until chicken is light brown/cooked but still tender; set aside.
  2. Heat frozen veggies in microwave (I place mine in a covered dish with a couple of tbsp of water).
  3. Mix chicken, vegetables and soup together and put in a 9" pie plate sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. (I added a few dashes of season salt to the mixture…I think it adds good flavor…but it is completely optional). Place dish in oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
  4. While dish is cooking, unroll 4 crescent rolls. Hungry girl’s recipe states to take the dough (and she only uses 3 crescent rolls) and combine into a ball and then roll out with a rolling pin.  I thought of something much easier.  Since the dish is to make 4 servings and the crescent rolls are already triangle shaped I decided to just place them on top of the filling in the pie plate.  I had to fold and manipulate the triangles a bit to get it to fit right but it worked out well and this way each serving gets a whole crecent roll! 
  5. Put back in the oven and cook for an additional 15 - 20 minutes or until top is golden brown. Serves 4.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Chocolate Lava Cake

Here is a dessert that may look guilty as sin, but at 182 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, and 1.5 grams of fiber (4 points) per serving, is a guiltless indulgence!!  Thanks to Hungry Girl – she has done it again!!!  I have added some notes to the recipe below that I think may be helpful when you go to make this treat (and trust me – it really is easy to make).


For Cake

  • 1 cup moist-style chocolate cake mix (1/4 of an 18.25-oz. box)
  • One 25-calorie packet diet hot cocoa mix
  • 1/4 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
  • 1 tbsp. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp. Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
  • 2 dashes salt

For Filling

  • One-half Jell-O Sugar Free Chocolate Pudding Snack (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 tbsp. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. fat-free liquid creamer (like Coffee-mate Fat Free Original)
  • 1/2 tsp. light whipped butter or light buttery spread (like Brummel & Brown)


  1. Place the chocolate chips for the filling in a glass and set aside. Pour the creamer in a microwave-safe bowl with the butter, and heat in the microwave for about 15 seconds, until butter has melted and mixture is very hot. Pour the mixture over the chocolate chips and stir until they have dissolved. Allow to cool for several minutes.
  2. Add the pudding to the mixture and stir well. Hungry-Girl said to put the mixture into 4 even mounds on a plate…I used a muffin tin and divided the mixture into 4 of the sections of the muffin tin (it was about 1 tbsp in each section).  I did spray the muffin tin with cooking spray.  Place in the freezer for about 25 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Place chocolate chips for the cake in a tall glass (I used a 2 cup glass measuring cup) along with the contents of the cocoa packet. Add 1/4 cup boiling water and stir until chips and cocoa have dissolved. Add 1/2 cup cold water and stir well. Pour the contents of the glass into a mixing bowl. Add all of the remaining ingredients for the cake (cake mix, egg substitute, Splenda, and salt) to the mixing bowl, and whip batter with a whisk or fork for 2 minutes.
  5. Once the chocolate mounds in the freezer are a little firm, spray four baking ramekins (each about 4 inches in diameter) with nonstick spray. Evenly spoon the cake batter (which will be a little thin, but don't worry!) into the ramekins. Remove chocolate mounds from the freezer, and place one in the center of each batter-filled ramekin (I removed them from the muffin tin with a spoon very easily). Put the ramekins in the oven and bake for 15 minutes (hungry-girl said 15 minutes but I found I had to bake them for about 20 minutes). Cakes will look shiny when done.
  6. Carefully remove each ramekin from the oven. You can eat the cake right out of the ramekin (while the center is still gooey!), but make sure to let it cool a little bit, because the ramekin will be hot. Or you can wait until it has cooled completely and plate the cake by running a knife along the edges and flipping it upside down. (Then just pop it in the microwave for about 15 seconds to heat it back up.) (I dusted them with a dash of powdered sugar) Enjoy!

Southern Oven Fried Chicken


Not too long ago someone told me that the only bad thing about healthy cooking is the fact that you can’t cook the yummy southern dishes that a lot of us grew up on!  Well – this recipe will prove them wrong!!  I have made this recipe twice now and it is so very good!!  Believe me when I say the chicken tastes like it has been fried!!  It is so crunchy and so full of flavor!  But at about 5 points a serving – it is ok for your diet :-)

I paired it with some mashed potatoes (went simple this time – just mashed them with a little bit of buttermilk, a small dab of light margarine, salt, pepper, and a dash of garlic powder) and some fried okra (if you be good and mind your portions…it is only about 3 to 4 points a serving!). 

Here is the recipe for the chicken!


  • 1/2 cup fat free buttermilk (or 1/2 cup skim milk mixed with 1 tsp vinegar)
  • 1/2 cup cornflakes crushed
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 lbs chicken parts-skinned (I have used both cut up chicken breasts and thighs (I deboned the thighs))
  • 4 tsp canola oil


  1. In one bowl pour in the buttermilk.  In another bowl combine the cornflakes, flour, salt and pepper (if you would like a little heat in your chicken you could either add a few drops of hot sauce to the buttermilk or a bit of cayenne pepper to the flour mixture).
  2. Dip chicken in buttermilk. Dredge chicken in cornflakes, flour, salt and pepper mixture, making sure chicken is coated well.  Place on a baking sheet that is sprayed with cooking spray.
  3. Drizzle the chicken pieces with oil. Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes. Turn chicken and bake 15-20 min more.  Makes 4 servings.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Parmesan Turkey Meatloaf


I am really becoming a lover of ground turkey!  It cooks up very nice and it has a good flavor (make sure when you are shopping for ground turkey though that you make sure you buy the LEAN ground turkey…if you are not careful you can get ground turkey that has just as much fat as ground beef…then you are not doing yourself any good!)

I got this recipe from my Weight Watchers cookbook!  It was very good!!!  There was so much flavor in this meatloaf!  And at 4 points a serving you can’t beat it!!  I paired it with Green Giant Garden Vegetable Medley.  People if you haven’t discovered these easy good sides you really need to give them a try.  This particular one was only 70 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, and 1 gram of fiber per serving (that is only 1 WW point!!).  They have many different varieties…we have tried several…and they are full of flavor and very simple to prepare.  All you do is take the bag out of the freezer and put it in the microwave for 8 minutes!!

So this entire meal was only 5 points!!  OMG – you could have 2 pieces of meatloaf and still have a meal under 10 points!


Here is the recipe for the meatloaf:

Makes 8 Servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 ¼ lbs ground skinless turkey
  • 4 slices whole-wheat bread, made into fine crumbs
  • ½ cup fat-free milk
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crumbled
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper



1. Preheat the oven to 350o F; spray an 8x5” loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a small non-stick skillet, heat the oil. Sauté the onion until tender, 4-5 minutes.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the onion, turkey, bread crumbs, milk, egg white, ketchup, cheese, garlic powder, basil, thyme and pepper; blend well. Shape into a loaf and transfer to the pan. Bake until browned and cooked through, 50-60 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Frito Chili Cheese Wrap

Sonic came up with the most wonderful idea a while back – take the yummy comfort junk food – frito pie – and wrap it up in a tortilla – YUM!!  But when you find out that one of those wraps is 674 calories and 38.5 grams of fat (16 ww points) you realize that you might as well just eat a tub of lard!!!

But there is no reason to be depressed!!!  There is a healthy alternative that will give you all of the flavor of Sonic’s wrap but with only a fraction of the calories and fat (in fact one of these buritos is only about 5 ww points)!!  I once again found this at!!!  Below is the recipe that I made (I used a couple of her alternatives due to not being able to find items in the store.)

NOTE:  I discovered something about chili when making this recipe!! I bought the Hormel 98% fat free turkey chili for this recipe!  It is suprisingly very good!!  I seriously could not tell the difference between it and “normal” chili!  I was curious how healthy this could be since it did taste so good.  I had a can of Wolf Brand meat chili and I thought I would compare the nutritional value between the two.  1 serving of the Wolf Brand chili has an astounding 400 calories and 27 grams of fat and is 9 ww points!!!  The turkey chili, on the other hand, has 210 calories and only 3 grams of fat and is only 3 ww points!!  Friends – I have found a new chili!  I don’t think I will ever eat that other chili again!


  • 1/3 cup low-fat turkey or veggie chili (I used Hormel’s 98% fat free turkey chili)
  • 1 low carb, high fiber large burito size tortilla (I used the whole wheat tortillas from Target – aim for a tortilla with calorie count between 80 and 110 calories per serving)
  • 2 tbsp. shredded fat-free cheddar cheese
  • 10 Fritos original corn chips (or 1/2 package of Fritos 100 calorie pack original corn chips)
  • Optional: 2 tbsp. diced onion


  1. Place chili in a microwave-safe bowl, cover, and heat for 45 - 60 seconds, until hot. Set aside.
  2. Lay tortilla flat on a microwave-safe plate, and warm in the microwave for about 10 seconds. Spoon chili down the center of the tortilla. Cover the chili with cheese, and then top with Fritos. If you like, sprinkle with onion.
  3. Wrap tortilla up like a burrito, folding the sides in first, and then rolling it up from the bottom. (Or serve it wrap-style, with one end left open.) Place burrito seam-side down on the plate, and microwave for 30 seconds.

This meal seriously made me so happy!!  I felt like I was having a junk food meal but did not need to feel any guilt for eating it!!  You have got to try it!

Holiday Stuffed Pork Chops

If you will be entertaining this holiday season then you need to try this entree!  Not only is this a very yummy dish, it is also a very beautiful dish!!  And my mom and I decided that the dressing that you make to stuff the pork chops is so good and pretty itself that it would be good to serve as is!!  This was a WINNER at my family’s Thanksgiving dinner this year!!

I got this recipe from the Southern Living Christmas Cookbook.  It did not give nutritional information so I don’t have that information to pass on.   My educated guess would be 5 to 6 points per serving.  (and of course, as usual, my recipe below has a couple of differences from the recipe in the cookbook)


  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup 98% fat free chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground sage
  • 1 (4 lb) boneless pork loin roast (about 9 in long)  (or you can substitute 6 (1 1/2 in thick) boneless pork chops)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  1. Melt butter in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat; add onion and celery.  Sauté 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender and liquid evaporates. Remove from heat.  Stir in breadcrumbs, cranberries, chicken broth, parsley, salt and sage.  Let stand for 1o minutes.   Transfer to another bowl and wipe skillet clean.
  2. Cut pork loin into 6 (1 1/2 in thick) chops.  Cut a 1 1/2 inch slit in one side of each chop, cutting to but not through other side (about 1 1/2 to 2 in), to form a pocket.
  3. Spoon breadcrumb mixture evenly into slits in pork. 
  4. Cook chops in hot oil in ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until chops are browned.  Cover skillet with lid or aluminum foil.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until thermometer inserted in pork registers 155 degrees.  Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes or until thermometer registers 160 degrees.
  5. Note:  I increased this recipe to be able to handle the number of people I needed to serve.  Therefore I did not have a skillet big enough to hold all of the chops so I browned 4 at a time and then transferred to a baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray.  I found that I needed to cook them for about 45 minutes as well.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

This yummy appetizer tastes just as good as what you would get at the restaurant but is most likely much healthier (each 1/3 cup serving is only about 90 calories and 2 ww points)!  This is another recipe I got from!  I am in love with that website!!


  • One 10-oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained very well
  • One 14-oz. can artichoke hearts (packed in water), drained very well and chopped
  • One 8-oz. container fat-free cream cheese, room temperature
  • Half an 8-oz. can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
  • 1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 1/4 cup fat-free mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup parmesan-style grated topping, divided
  • 3 tbsp. chopped onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper


  1. If you want to serve this dish hot, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, and 3 tbsp. of the parmesan-style topping. Add the salt and cayenne pepper, and then stir until smooth.
  3. In a pan sprayed with nonstick spray, cook the onions and garlic over medium heat until soft (1 - 2 minutes). Set aside.
  4. To the large bowl, add spinach, artichoke hearts, water chestnuts and garlic/shallot mixture. Stir well.
  5. If serving dip cold, top with the remaining tbsp. of parm-style topping. If you want to serve the dip hot, transfer to a casserole dish, top with the remaining parm, and then bake for 30 minutes (or until bubbly).

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

This recipe lets you enjoy the creamy goodness of mashed potatoes without as many calories and fat!!  The trick – use fat-free buttermilk instead of cream and butter!   I promise that you will not go back to your old recipe after trying these!  And at 2 ww points per serving you can eat a double helping without feeling guilty!!


  • 1 medium head garlic, papery skin removed and top sliced off to expose cloves
  • 1 1/4 pounds all-purpose potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp fat-free buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Wrap the garlic head in aluminum foil; bake until the cloves are soft, 45-60 minutes.  Let cool 10 minutes; squeeze the pulp from the cloves into a small bowl.
  2. in a large pot, combine the potatoes, bay leaf, 1/4 tsp of the salt, and enough cold water to cover; bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, 10-15 minutes.  Drain, reserving the cooking liquid; discard the bay leaf.
  3. with a potato masher or an electric mixer at low speed, mash the potatoes with the garlic, buttermilk, and the remaining 1/4 tsp salt; thin with the cooking liquid, if needed.  Makes 4 servings.  Each serving has 135 calories, 0 grams fat and 3 grams fiber and is 2 ww points!

Chicken Taquitos

We love us some Mexican food at our house!!  And these taquitos were so good that Seth had 3 helpings!!!  These were from the hungry-girl recipe for chicken taquitos.

The taquitos are about 2 points each!  I heated up a can of refried beans (a serving is only 1/2 of a point!) and made some mexican rice (my recipe below – 3 points a serving)!  So for the plate serving you see in the picture is 10 points!!! The red is salsa used to dip the tequitos in – which is 1/2 point for 4 tbsp!!!)

Note: The hungry girl recipe used 98% fat-free chunk white chicken canned in water.  I am not a big canned chicken fan (even though it does work in a pinch sometimes).  I used chicken breasts that I cooked in the microwave. My recipe is below.  You can always use the canned chicken…but for the number of servings that I have altered the recipe for you will need 1 1/2 cans of the chicken.

Chicken Taquitos


  • 12  yellow corn tortillas
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and chopped up
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup shredded fat-free cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. dry taco seasoning mix
  • Optional: red enchilada sauce, additional salsa, fat-free sour cream, for dipping


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the chicken and salsa, and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove chicken mixture from the fridge, and drain any excess liquid. Add cheese and taco seasoning, and mix to combine. This is your filling. Set aside.
  4. Prepare a baking sheet by spraying with nonstick spray, and set it aside.
  5. Dampen two paper towels, and place tortillas between them. Microwave for about 1 minute, until tortillas are warm and pliable.
  6. Take one tortilla (keep the rest between the paper towels), spray both sides lightly with nonstick spray, and lay it flat on a clean dry surface. Spoon about 2 heaping tbsp. of filling onto the tortilla. Spread it evenly across the entire surface, and roll tortilla up tightly, so that you have a cigar-shaped tube. Secure with toothpicks and place seam-side down on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.
  7. Bake for 14 - 16 minutes, until crispy. Allow taquitos to cool for 5 minutes. If you like, dunk in enchilada sauce, salsa, or sour cream! Makes 4 servings of 3 tequitos (6 ww points per serving)

Mexican Rice


  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup salsa


  1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil over med high heat. 
  2. Once the water is boiling put lid on saucepan and decrease heat.  Simmer for 15 minutes. 
  3. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.  Add salt to taste.  Serves 4.  3 ww points per serving.