Monday, April 12, 2010

Low-Carb Homemade Mac & Cheese

Who doesn't love macaroni and cheese? This is a great way to satisfy everyone's craving for this classic, but still adhere to the low-carb guidelines. My daughter tells me "Mom's Mac & Cheese" is better than the box stuff!!! :) That sure feels good :)

Low-Carb Homemade Mac & Cheese

8 oz. dried elbow macaroni (2 cups) We use Dreamfields Pasta - it is low-carb pasta and can be purchased on-line or at Fry's ( I have used penne pasta or rotini as well)
1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
2 Tablespoons butter/margarine
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups of milk
2 cups shredded cheddar (8 oz.)
1 cup shredded american cheese (4 oz.) (I use Velveeta)

Cook macaroni as per package directions, drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, in large saucepan, saute onion in melted butter until tender, but not brown. Stir in flour and stir for a minute or two. Add milk all at once, whisking the milk into the flour mixture, continue cooking over medium heat until slightly thickened and bubbly. (This will typically take 10-15 minutes). TIP - You can warm up your milk in the microwave or another pot so that when you add it to your onion/butter/flour mixture it doesn't take as long to heat it up.

Add cheeses to the milk mixture, stirring until melted. Stir in cooked macaroni, or put macaroni in 2 quart baking dish and then pour sauce over the top. Combine the noodles/sauce mixture in your baking dish. Bake uncovered at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and heated throgh. let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Options: You can change up the types of cheese you use to make it different each time - try some pepper jack cheese to spice it up one night or a combination of sharp cheddar and jack cheeses. I would still use some of the american to help keep the smooth texture you are looking for in the sauce.

Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff

Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff

2 lbs. of beef cut into cubes or strips (I would use chuck roast/round steak)
1/2 teaspoon Tastefully Simple Garlic Garlic
10 3/4 oz. Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 envelope Lipton dry onion soup mix
9 oz. jar of sliced mushrooms, drained
2 Tbspon Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 cup sour cream

Place cubed or strips of beef in crock pot; in bowl combine mushroom soup, broth, Garlic Garlic, dry onion soup mix. Pour mixture over beef and cook on low 6-7 hours or 3- 31/2 hours on high. Stir in mushrooms and sour cream and cook on high another 10-15 minutes. Serve over noodles or rice (we use low-carb noodles or brown rice).

Serves 4-6.

No-Boil Noodle Lasagna

Here is a classic that will please the whole family!!! We use low-carb lasagna noodles to keep us on track with South Beach. It is so much easier because you don't need to cook your lasagna noodles before assembling the lasagna. It is healthy and really easy to make ahead. I made the lasagna this afternoon and baked it, then loosely covered with foil and turned the oven off. It was still hot when we returned from our afternoon activities - yummy!!! We will usually freeze the other half of the pan of lasagna so that it will serve us for another dinner in a few weeks on a night when we are really busy.


1 pound of ground beef
12 dry lasagna noodles
40 oz. of tomato/pasta sauce ( we use a low-carb sauce)
3 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 16 oz. container of cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
1 egg

In a large sautee pan brown ground beef (or ground turkey), drain. Add tomato sauce and simmer on low for about 5 minutes to warm the sauce through. While meat mixture is simmering, in a small bowl combine one beaten egg and the cottage/ricotta cheese. In a 9x13 baking dish (I use pyrex), begin assembling lasagna. Lay four noodles in bottom of dish - I use three going the long way and then break the fourth to put width-wise across the top, then spoon 1/3 of your meat sauce mixture over the noodles, then sprinkle 1/3 of the cottage cheese/egg mixture on top of the sauce, then 1/3 of shredded mozzarella cheese. Repeat these same layers twice more then cover with foil. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees, bake, covered for 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake another 25 minutes or until to pis lightly browned. Let lasagna rest 10 minutes before cutting and serving. Makes 8-10 servings.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

Do you feel like you are always on the go at the time you need to be putting dinner together? Try this great one-dish meal that the family will love and you will too - you can prepare it earlier in the afternoon, keep it in the fridge and then bake it off when you get home!!! This is a slight variation on those great Campbell's Soup recipes!!! Enjoy!!!

Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole

1 can (10 3/4 oz) Cream of Chicken Soup
1 1/3 cups of chicken stock (or you can use water if you don't have any stock on hand)
3/4 cup of uncooked regular long grain rice (we use brown rice)
1 Tbspn Tastefully Simple Onion Onion
1 teaspoon Tastefully Simple Seasoned Salt
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1. Stir soup, stock, rice, seasoning and veggies in bowl and pour into an 11x8 (2 qt. baking dish)
2. Top with chicken breasts - season chicken as desired - I used a little more Tastefully Simple Seasoned Salt. Cover with foil.

(You may refrigerate at this point for baking off later in the day)

3. Bake at 375 for 50 minutes (unless you prepare it ahead of time, then I would bake for 60 minutes). Then top with cheese and let stand for 10 minutes. Stir rice before serving. Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Heather's Scrumptious Sloppy Joes

A friend just asked for a good sloppy joe recipe, so here is one that always brings compliments:

Heather's Scrumptious Sloppy Joes

2 lbs. ground beef
3/4 c. chopped onion
1/4 c. chopped green pepper
1/4 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. ketchup
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 - 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes
2 Tbspn. Worcesteshire Sauce
1 tsp. garlic salt
2 Tbspn. molasses

Begin browning ground beef and add onions, green peppers and celery. Drain meat, then add canned diced tomatoes and balance of ingredients. Simmer 1/2 hour or longer, or leave in slow cooker/crock pot. Taste after 1/2 hr - 45 minutes, then can adjust seasonings to make sweeter or more spicey. Enjoy!!!

The recipe can definitely be doubled or tripled for a large crowd, or cut in half, if you don't want leftovers, but it freezes really well!!! Then you have dinner for any night of the week by just tossing it into the crock pot and the gang can eat whenever they are home!!!

Variations - you could definitely luse very lean ground beef or use ground turkey because there is so much moisture from the other ingredients, so feel free to take advantage of that to make it more healthy.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Tastefully Simple Tomato Pie

This dish is requested so often, and is so easy to make!!! It makes a fantastic lunch with a salad, or great side dish with dinner. It has been brought to many potlucks, lunches with girlfriends and showers of all types. Don't be afraid to try something never know what you might create!!!

Dried Tomato & Garlic Pesto Tart (courtesy of Karen Huftalin (IL) and the Tastefully Simple Cookbook)

1 unbaked pie crust (we use the refrigerated pie crusts)
1 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
9 medium Roma tomatoes, quartered
2 Tbsp. Tastefully Simple Dried Tomato Garlic Pesto (prepared with oil and water)
1/2 cup mayonaise
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/8 tsp. white pepper (I have often omitted this and it tastes great without it too)

Bake pie crust as directed on package, for one crust pie shell. While hot, sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Arrange tomatoes on top of melted cheese. Sprinkle Dried Tomato and Garlic Pesto over tomatoes. In medium bowl, mix 1 cup mozzarella cheese, mayonaise, Parmesan cheese and pepper. Spread over tomatoes, covering as much as possible. Bake at 375 for additional 35-40 minutes. Serve hot or cold. Delicious!!!!

Mom's Mini Quiche Lorraine

These little quiches are great for breakfast, brunch, lunch or with soup for dinner - they are easy, delicious and can be changed to make different flavors very easily. We had them for brunch this morning with some Tastefully Simple Berry Sunrise Pancakes and raspberry syrup. Enjoy!!!

Mom's Mini Quiche Lorraine

3 sleeves (1 and 1/2 boxes) of Pillsbury (or store-brand) refrigerated pie crusts
2 cups shredded cheese (I use a blend of cheddar and jack or cheddar and swiss)
2/3 cup of bacon or ham (or I substitute a few Tablespoons of Tastefully Simple Bacon Bacon)
1/4 cup chopped green onion
4 eggs
1 1/3 cup of sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Worcesteshire Sauce

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Cut 3" round circles out of pastry dough (we use the base of a glass/cup to cut) and place into tart pans or mini muffin pans. In one small bowl, combine shredded cheese and green onion as well as bacon/ham (if using Bacon Bacon, do not add it, keep it to the side to be added on its own later). In separate bowl whisk eggs, sour cream, Worcesteshire and salt until smooth. Place a good size pinch of cheese/onion mixture into bottom of pastry circles in pans, (if using Bacon Bacon, put a pinch on top of the cheese on each) then gently spoon 1 Tablespoon of the egg mixture down on top of the cheese. Remove when they are slightly brown on the top, remove and put on cooling racks. Best served warm or room temperature. Store in airtight containers, once they are cooled, and place in refrigerator.

Makes about 3 1/2 - 4 dozen mini quiches.

Variations: You can use any type of veggie/meat/cheese combination you would like for these, just use the same process and they will turn out great. You could try some crab meat and cheese, artichokes and chicken, broccoli, make pizza quiches!!! Your only limitation is your imagination!!! Dont' forget a few with just jam if you have some leftover (no egg on these) :)

My mom always used to make a few jam tarts with the leftover dough - yummy!!!