• 18Apr

    Angel Hair Pasta with Roasted Pepper Salsa and Chicken
    Serves: 5
    This is a delicious dish that comes together pretty quick, and is extremely easy to make. The recipe calls for fresh basil, and make sure you do use fresh. The dried stuff just doesn't cut it with this recipe. Adapted from a recipe from MasterCook 15's Weekend Gourmet cookbook.
    • 10 angel hair pasta
    • 2 whole red bell peppers
    • 3 tablespoons finely shredded fresh basil
    • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
    • 1 clove garlic -- minced
    • ¼ teaspoon salt -- or to taste
    • Pepper -- to taste
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts -- cut into small cubes
    • ½ cup Kitchen Basics Unsalted Chicken Stock
    1. Roast and peel the peppers as follows: Place the peppers directly over a gas jet of the range (or under a pre-heated broiler), turning them often with a pair of tongs, until blackened on all sides. Transfer them to a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let them stand until cool. Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and remove the stems and seeds. Scrape off the blackened skin of the pepper. Cut the peppers into ¼-inch pieces.
    2. Toss the diced roasted peppers with the basil, balsamic vinegar or lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. (This salsa may be prepared and refrigerated up to one day in advance.)
    3. Prepare pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and stir until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Add the roasted pepper salsa and stir 30 seconds, scraping up the brown bits that stick to the pan. Remove the skillet from the heat.
    4. Drain the pasta, reserving ¼ cup of the cooking water. Add the water and the chicken broth to the skillet with the chicken mixture. Return the pasta to the pot. When the chicken is cooked through, transfer the contents of the skillet to the pot and heat over high heat until the sauce is boiling and reduced enough to lightly coat the pasta. Season to taste. Serve hot.
    Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 304 Calories; 5g Fat (14.6% calories from fat); 18g Protein; 46g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 28mg Cholesterol; 151mg Sodium.

    Exchanges: 3 Grain(Starch); 1½ Lean Meat; ½ Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 Fat.


  • 09Mar

    This recipe is adapted from a recipe on Diabetic Living Online.  When I adapted it, I left out the fried chow mein noodles in order to keep the sodium and carbs down so it could be made into 4 servings instead of 6 – with the use of cornstarch, it wouldn’t reheat very well.  When I made it, I also left out the carrots because I forgot about them, and carrots tend to cause my blood sugar to spike.

    Garlic Cashew Chicken Casserole
    Serves: 4
    A delicious, easy to make casserole that has been added to our weekly rotations.
    • Nonstick cooking spray
    • 1 cup Kitchen Basics Unsalted Chicken Stock
    • ¼ cup hoisin sauce
    • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger -- grated
    • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
    • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
    • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1 pound skinless boneless chicken breast -- cut into 1-inch strips
    • 2 medium onions -- cut into thin wedges
    • 2 cups bok choy -- sliced
    • 1 cup celery -- sliced (2 stalks)
    • 1 cup carrots -- sliced (2 medium)
    • ¾ cup green bell pepper -- chopped (1 medium)
    • 6 cloves garlic -- minced
    • 2 cups cooked brown rice
    • ½ cup cashews
    • ¼ cup green onions -- thinly sliced (2)
    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat a 2-quart rectangular baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
    2. For sauce, in a medium bowl whisk together broth, hoisin sauce, ginger, cornstarch, crushed red pepper, and black pepper; set aside.
    3. Lightly coat an extra-large skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Add chicken to skillet; cook until lightly browned. Remove from skillet. Add onion wedges, bok choy, celery, carrots, and sweet pepper to the skillet. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until vegetables start to soften. Add garlic; cook for 30 seconds more. Stir in the sauce. Cook and stir about 3 minutes or until sauce is thickened and bubbly. Stir in cooked rice and browned chicken.
    4. Spoon chicken-rice mixture into the prepared baking dish. Cover and bake about 20 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and chicken is no longer pink (165 degrees F). Sprinkle chow mein noodles and cashews over. Bake, uncovered, for 4 to 5 minutes more or until noodles and cashews are golden brown. Sprinkle with green onions.
    Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 440 Calories; 11g Fat (22.1% calories from fat); 35g Protein; 51g Carbohydrate; 7g Dietary Fiber; 66mg Cholesterol; 438mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 4 Lean Meat; 2½ Vegetable; 1½ Fat; ½ Other Carbohydrates.


  • 23Feb

    Jam Crumble Bars
    Based on a recipe in Good Housekeeping's 400 Recipes and Heart Healthy Tips. It certainly doesn't taste like a heart healthy recipe, and it's been added to the "You WILL make this again!" list.
    • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
    • ¼ cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
    • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
    • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • ½ cup unsalted butter -- cut into small pieces
    • ¼ cup chopped pecans
    • ½ cup Smuckers sugar free blackberry jam
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil.
    2. In food processor with the blade attachment, combine flour, brown sugar baking blend, baking soda and cinnamon, then pulse until mixed. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs and, when pressed, holds together.
    3. Transfer ½ cup of crumb mixture to a small bowl. Stir in pecans.
    4. Press remaining mixture firmly into prepared pan.
    5. Spread jam evenly over dough, leaving a ½-inch border. Crumble reserved topping mixture over jam.
    6. Bake until top and edges are browned, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
    7. When cool, lift foil, with pastry, out of the pan and peel foil away from the sides. Cut pastry into 4 strips, then cut each strip crosswise into 4 pieces. Store bars in airtight container up to 5 days, or freeze up to 3 months.
    Nutrition Information
    Serving size: 1 bar Calories: 114 Fat: 7 Carbohydrates: 12 Sodium: 21 Cholesterol: 16


  • 22Feb

    I had an appointment with the dietitian today, and came out of it feeling very positive. Lost some more weight (so it looks like the meds aren’t going to impede my efforts as I thought they might be).

    Anyway, this is the dietitian I had seen before, so she was familiar with what I was going through (diabetes-wise, anyway), so we kind of glossed over the basics (like recognizing portion sizes and so on). Very quickly, we got to what I needed help with.

    As it turns out, she approves of MyFitnessPal’s ratio for where your calories should come from: 50% carbs, 20% protein and 30% fat. She also is okay with the suggested caloric intake of 1480 (what she recommended for me before was 1500) and sodium of 1500 mg.

    That said, we went over minimums (1200 calories a day, 45 carbs a meal) and not to sweat it over “sugar” intake, so long as it’s from “proper” food (milk, fruit, etc) as opposed to table sugar and the like. More importantly, I think, was our discussion about eating out with regards to sodium. Her advice? “Don’t sweat it too much – practicing damage control is perfectly fine.” As long as I try to keep it under 2300 mg of sodium those days, I’ll be fine – it’s not like going over 1500 mg is going to make me immediately have a stroke. I cannot tell you how much of a relief it was to hear, that I don’t have to be “perfect” every single day.

    Now, what does all this have to do with reading nutrition labels? I’d been kind of despairing about caffeine – but more importantly, sodium. It’s not like I guzzle coffee. I have, maybe, two or three caffeinated drinks a week because anything more tends to mess with some other conditions I have. But, Diet Coke was always my go-to drink when we eat out, or if I wanted something sweet, and I was always under the impression Diet Coke was loaded with sodium.

    Imagine my surprise – and delight – to discover a 32 oz (a McDonald’s large) serving of Diet Coke has only 35 mg of sodium. I felt rather silly for not doing what I usually do, which is read the nutrition information. I thought it was in the hundreds of milligrams.

    So, today I was reminded of the importance of reading labels – it really makes life a lot easier. 🙂

  • 19Feb


    Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
    Prep time: 
    Cook time: 
    Total time: 
    Serves: 14
    This soup is just as good the day it's made as it is the next day. The recipe makes approximately 14 cups. The nutrition info is for a 1 cup serving. If you have more than a cup, just do the math. The Meijer brand beans are what I usually buy, but you can substitute your favorite reduced sodium beans (1 can = approx. 1.75 cups of beans).
    • 2 cups diced chicken
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 2 cans Rotel No Salt Added Tomatoes & Green Chiles
    • 1 can Meijer reduced sodium black beans
    • 1 can Meijer Reduced Sodium Dark Red Kidney Beans
    • 1½ cups frozen corn -- thawed
    • 4 cups Kitchen Basics Unsalted Chicken Stock
    • 2 cups water
    • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
    • 1 tablespoon chili powder
    • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
    • 1 tablespoon dried cilantro
    1. Put chopped onion, cans of beans, rotel, corn, chicken broth, water, and spices in CrockPot and stir to mix. Cook on low 8 to 9 hours
    2. Before serving, add chicken to slow cooker, stir to combine, and let cook for another 20 to 30 minutes, or until chicken is heated through.
    3. To serve put a few tortilla chips in the bottom of a bowl, ladle soup over tortilla chips, top with shredded cheddar cheese, and a dollop of sour cream, serve with more chips if you like. (These items not included in nutritional info.)
    Nutrition Information
    Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 108 Calories Fat: 5 g Carbohydrates: 7g Sodium: 78 mg Fiber: 1g Protein: 8g Cholesterol: 24mg


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