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Gramma’s Baked Beans

Gramma’s Baked Beans

My mom’s homemade beans, written up for Kenneth & Meaghan in June 2015.

1 large onion, diced

1 green pepper, cut into strips

1 Tbsp light olive oil

A liberal grinding of black pepper

3/4-1 cup of ketchup

3/4 – 1 cup of molasses

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 Tbsp dijon mustard

3 28oz cans of great northern white beans, drained and rinsed

8 slices bacon

1. Preheat oven to 325F.

2. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.  Throw in onions and peppers. Add the pepper. Stir them for a few minutes until tender.

3. Mix ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, and mustard together and set aside.

4. Drain and rinse the beans.  Add to cooked peppers and onions.

5. Pour in the ketchup/molasses mixture.  Bring all to a simmer, then pour into a baking pan.

6. Lay the bacon across the top and bake in preheated oven for 2 hours.


Cheesy Black Bean and Pepper Enchiladas

This is a favorite meatless meal in our home. Every time I make this I have to google to find the recipe. This time I could only find a cached copy so I’m putting it up here for future reference.

Cheesy Black Bean and Pepper Enchiladas

Recipe from Aggie’s Kitchen

8 tortilla shells
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
4 oz reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature
1 bell pepper (I used yellow, but use what you have on hand), chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 handfuls fresh spinach, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1 can enchilada sauce
4 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
2 jalapenos, sliced thin (optional)
chopped cilantro for garnish (chopped cilantro is shown in photos)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl combine black beans, cream cheese, bell pepper, onion, spinach, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly using a spoon or your hands.

Lay your tortilla flat and spoon 2 tablespoons of filling in center. Roll up tight and place in large greased baking dish. Fill and roll all 8 shells and lay side by side in baking dish. Top with enchilada sauce, shredded cheese and jalapenos. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted and slightly browned. Sprinkle chopped cilantro over enchiladas before serving.

Serve with Fresh Corn Salsa.

Haddock Fillet with Roasted Vegetable Ragoût

P1020555Much yumminess at our house last night.

Haddock Fillet with Roasted Vegetable Ragout – original recipe called for cod

Followed the recipe pretty closely, for me anyway. Used haddock instead of cod.  Used 2 pounds of fish, not 24 oz.  Omitted the bread crumb/parsley/salt/pepper topping.  The fish was exceptionally moist.  The kids gobbled it up…. even before the veggies… and they are good veggie eaters.

Very low-cal and low-fat.  I didn’t run the numbers but if it’s not low-carb it is at least ONLY good carbs 🙂  Oodles of protein, of course.

Buffalo Chicken Chowder

Buffalo Chicken Chowder

makes 6 generous bowls

4 cups low-salt chicken stock or canned chicken broth
3 large boned and skinned chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce, or more to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 stalks celery, diced
6 oz shredded carrots (thin match sticks)
1 medium onion, diced
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup skim milk
4 ounces low fat mexican blend, shredded
salt and pepper to taste
crumbled reduced fat blue cheese & celery sticks for garnish, if desired

1. Place chicken breasts, chicken stock, and wing sauce in slow cooker and
cook until tender enough to shred. Shred with 2 forks.(I just put frozen IQF
chicken breasts in on low the AM and shredded them in the late afternoon.)

2. Cook the celery, carrot, and onion in the olive oil until tender, about
10 minutes. Add the flour and allow to cook until absorbed, about 2 minutes
more. Slowly stir the half-and-half and stock/wing sauce from crock pot into
the mixture. Cook until bubbly and thick.

3. Stir in shredded chicken and cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce
heat to medium-low. Stirring occasionally, allow the soup to simmer until
the cheese has melted completely, about 10 minutes.

4. Serve sprinkled with blue cheese and garnished with a celery stick, if
desired. Not included in nutrition.

Nutrition (calculated from recipe ingredients)
Calories: 300
Calories From Fat: 88
Total Fat: 9.9g
Cholesterol: 78.7mg
Sodium: 1205.8mg
Potassium: 796.1mg
Carbohydrates: 15.2g
Fiber: 2.5g
Sugar: 6.6g
Protein: 36.6g

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Zucchini Muffins

Makes 24 whole wheat zucchini muffins with a delicate texture and fantastic muffin top.

2 1/2  cups          whole wheat pastry flour
1/2  cup           flax seed meal
1      tablespoon    baking powder
2      tsp           pumpkin pie spice
1/2  tsp           salt
1/2  cup           egg whites
3      cups          finely shredded zucchini
1      cup           brown sugar, packed
1/2  cup           extra light olive oil
2      tsp           finely shredded orange peel
1      tsp           vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom and 1/2 inch up the
sides of 24 muffin cups; set aside. In a large bowl stir together flour, flax
seed meal, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Make a well in the
center of flour mixture; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl combine egg whites, zucchini, brown sugar, oil, vanilla,
and orange peel. Add zucchini mixture all at once to flour mixture; stir
just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Spoon batter into prepared
loaf pan.

3. Bake for 18-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes
out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool
on wire rack.

Nutrition (calculated from recipe ingredients)
Calories: 139
Calories From Fat: 54
Total Fat: 6.2g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 121.3mg
Potassium: 129.8mg
Carbohydrates: 19.4g
Fiber: 2.7g
Sugar: 8.8g
Protein: 3.1g

Not-A-Nightmare Macaroni and Cheese

One thing my children really missed when I changed how we ate was macaroni and cheese.  My daughter’s favorite macaroni and cheese came from a book called Dream Dinners (or something like that) and is called Dream Macaroni and Cheese.  Unfortunately, it was made with white pasta and full fat cheese and LOTS of breadcrumbs.  I’ve been working on cleaning it up.  It’s still not quite there yet (IMO…. they love it) but I’m working on it.  Last night I used reduced fat Mexican blend cheese.  I thought it made a good sauce.  I cut the breadcrumbs in half which was a vast improvement on the original recipe.  I used a whole box of pasta and that, I think, was a mistake.  The macaroni and cheese was much drier than I’d have liked.  That’s a LOT more pasta than the original recipe called for (2 cups dry).  I did it to feed a family of 4 without all the calories of doing more sauce.  I think next time I will use 2/3 of the box of pasta (since we had leftovers even with people taking seconds) in hopes of having a creamier dish.  (I’d be open to other suggestions too.  Maybe I just need to stretch the sauce with milk?)
Nutritionally, I am VERY happy with this dish.  Yes, it’s a lot of calories.  This is not ‘diet’ food.  Look at the macronutrient profile.  I LOVE that it’s a high protein mac and cheese!  I love that we’re under 30% fat.  The fiber is high.  The salt is in line with everything else.  I’m going to keep playing with it because I want a mac and cheese that is both great tasting and healthy enough to fit into our lives.

NOTE (8/10/2015): We’ve now done this enough times that I feel confident in posting it.  To get a nice creamy mac and cheese use just 1/2 of the box of pasta OR double the sauce and use the whole box.  I typically serve this with a large garden salad and we go through 1/2 a batch of ‘double the sauce + a whole box of elbows’.  (And then the kids are in mac-n-cheese heaven eating leftovers for a while.)

Not-A-Nightmare Macaroni and Cheese

Makes 6 main dish servings
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp whole wheat flour
1 dash hot pepper sauce
2 cups fat-free (skim) milk
8 oz shredded light cheese
1 12.5 oz box Barilla Plus Elbows
1/2 cup seasoned whole wheat bread crumbs

1 Cook elbows according to package directions. Drain.
2 Melt butter over medium heat. Blend in flour until golden brown. Season with hot sauce. Pour in milk. Simmer until thick and bubbly.
3 Add cheese and stir until melted and creamy.
4 Stir sauce into elbows until combined.
5 Pour into casserole dish. Sprinkle with seasoned bread crumbs.
6 Bake at 325F for about 1/2 hour.

Amount Per Serving
Calories 479.98
Calories From Fat (25%) 121.97
% Daily Value
Total Fat 13.73g 21%
Saturated Fat 8.24g 41%
Cholesterol 40.33mg 13%
Sodium 479.36mg 20%
Potassium 179.73mg 5%
Total Carbohydrates 57.85g 19%
Fiber 5.73g 23%
Sugar 8.03g
Protein 25.52g 51%

Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry with Soba Noodles

Last night’s dinner ……  double batch was just a bit too much for our hungry family of 4….  

Delicious and oft requested meal from Clean Eating Magazine.  My grocery store doesn’t carry soba noodles so I order them from Amazon.  The local $$$$ grocery store carries them but it is cheaper to go through Amazon.