- peach melba pie
- swedish apple pie
- creamed corn (yes, this will involve whole cream... yikes...)
- funeral potatoes with lots of cheese, butter and sour cream
what are you making for your holiday feast?
merry christmas, everyone!
this is my cute daughter eating dinner and posing with the muffins. i love that face!
the applesauce for oil substitution will work in any recipe. try the flour and sugar ones. if it isn't yummy in one recipe try it in another!
i wanted to use some of the homemade baby food my daughter is no longer eating so i decided to create these carrot cake bars. (have no fear, you can simply steam some carrots and run them through your blender with some water. 4 oz is about 4 ice cube sized blocks). they have no white flour, no oil or butter, lots of carrots and even the un-frosting has no butter and has less than a cup of powdered sugar instead of like 4-5 cups like normal frosting. i brought them to a church thing and people couldn't believe what wasn't in them. you can see how good they were from the picture. :)
no-guilt carrot cake bars with cream cheese un-frosting
makes 1 jelly roll pan-full
3/4 cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups applesauce
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup oat flour
1 cup wheat flour
½ cup wheat germ
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 (4 ounce) jar carrot baby food (or homemade baby food, see note above)
1 cup shredded carrots (or more if you'd like!)
½ cup un sweetened shredded coconut (optional), soaked in water for 20 minutes
2. add oat flour, wheat flour, wheat germ, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. mix until combined. add carrot baby food and mix again until combined.
3. stir in shredded carrots and coconut.
4. bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes in a jelly roll pan. done when toothpick comes out clean.
cream cheese un-frosting
whip 1 block 1/3 less fat cream cheese (softened). then add 4 tablespoons milk and ¼ cup + 3 tablespoons powdered sugar and whip until combined. spread over carrot cake bars.
1/2 recipe easy pizza dough from here
16 oz penne pasta, cooked as per directions
your favorite pasta sauce
1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
grated cheese (i used mozerella and a little bit of parmesan)
meat optional - (like ground turkey or some chicken)
1. when done rising, split in half and roll out each half thin and into the shape of a 13x9 in glass baking dish.
2. combine pasta, sauce and cheeses in a large bowl and stir until combined
3. lay one half of your pasta into the bottom of the baking dish (greased). lay the pasta/sauce/cheese mixture onto the dough and then top with the other half of the rolled out dough.
4. bake in the oven at 400 for 15-20 minutes or until crust is done.
here's a yummy dinner i made last week. i love parmesan crusted chicken and this one was perfect.
parmesan crusted balsamic chicken and tomato florentine couscous
1 chicken breast and 1 1/2 cups couscous (about 3 servings - double all if you need more!)
parmesan crusted balsamic chicken
pound 1 chicken breast (or cut into thin peices) and marinate all day in:
1/4 cup italian dressing
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon oil
for coating, mix the following ingredients in a bowl:
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (chop smaller if you have the fresh, grated kind so it will stick to the chicken easier)
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
black pepper to your liking
simply pull the chicken out of the marinade and coat each side with the parmesan mixture.
bake at 350 in a 13 x 9 inch glass baking dish for 15-20 minutes (may vary depending on the thickness of your chicken!)
tomato florentine couscous
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups couscous
1 teaspoon dried parsley
2 cups (or more, to your liking) fresh spinach leaves, chopped
1 roma large tomato, chopped
3 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
bring broth to a boil. add couscous and spinach, stir then turn off heat and set lid in place. let stand 5 minutes. add dried herbs, tomatoes and onion and toss with fork.
want to save even more money? plan according to sales.
and here's that veggie soup recipe (compliments of my friend holley) i just mentioned. sorry no pics, my good camera is broken and my back up was otherwise occupied. i made whole wheat breadsticks to go with this soup from here and it was delicious, fast, healthy and cheap meal!
garden veggie soup (4 servings)
1 1/3 cup sliced carrots
1 cup diced onion
3-4 cloves garlic, diced (depends on how big!)
6 cups broth (chicken, beef, veggie)
3 cups diced green cabbage
1 can green beans, drained
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup diced zucchini
1. spray pan and sautee carrots, onions and garlic for 5 minutes
2. add broth, cabbage, beans, tomato paste, basil, oregano and salt. bring to a boil.
3. reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. stir in zucchini and heat 3 to 4 more minutes.
you're probably noticing a trend - things are generally more healthy and less expensive when you make them yourself! this is something that we all know, but sometimes it's good to get a refresher!
i created these yummy snack loaved the other day for a number of reasons. 1 - i had brown bananas i didn't want to waste! :) 2 - i wanted a little bit of a sweet snack with no oil, butter or white flour in it. 3 - traditional sized loaves seem to get dry on the outside while the inside is waiting to cook, so these snack loaves are moist all the way through. yum. and 4 - a piece of a normal sized-loaf is often too much if i just need a tiny snack to hold me over.
my husband definitely prefers bread like this with white flour in it but he loved this one! it's light, moist and pretty good on the healthy snack scale! hope your health-resistant husband likes it too!
i usually just throw them into things frozen, but they do defrost quickly in case you're putting them on/in something where the extra water would be bad (i.e. pizza).
here's a recipe to try after you freeze some yummy bell peppers. when i realized i was out of money in my food budget, i started brain storming and almost immediately started dreaming of these yummy enchiladas. enjoy!
shredded chicken enchiladas with homemade red sauce
2 chicken breasts, cut in half
¼ teaspoon onion salt
¼ teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 bay leaf
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1 can petit diced tomatoes, drained
½ cup green peppers, diced super tiny or put in small food processor or blender
more seasoning to taste (taco seasoning, chili powder, cumin, garlic salt – whatever you like! get creative!)
12 corn tortillas
1 recipe "red enchilada sauce" (i'm obsessed with this enchilada sauce - it is so yummy! use 1 or 1 1/4 cups water instead of 1 1/2 cups and for the salsa part i make easy fresh salsa ala skinny bovine)
fat free sour cream
1. place all ingredients (except chicken and extra seasoning) into crockpot and stir.
2. add chicken. cook on high for 4 hours (or on low for 6-8 hours).
3. make enchilada sauce.
4. when chicken is done, remove bay leaf and shred chicken with a fork - it should basically just fall apart.
5. add extra seasoning as desired to make your chicken extra yummy! you be the chef!
6. use a fork (so extra liquid drains off) to scoop chicken mixture into corn tortillas. fit into pan - 10 across and then 2 along the bottom. top with all of the enchilada sauce and cheese to your liking. serve with fat free sour cream.
my good camera broke, so my pictures look miserable. sorry! they are lots yummier than they look!
i've been on a muffin kick lately - or i guess i should say my husband is on one. my freezer is full of muffins he can take to school with him to snack on. so, here's a yummy one to try - its one of my favorites because it sneaks in a few veggies too!
zucchini carrot muffins
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup oat flour (put oats in the blender and voila! oat flour!)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup white sugar (or brown or 1/2 brown, 1/2 white - whatever you prefer!)
3/4 cup honey (if honey is a budget buster right now, use more brown sugar instead)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1. preheat oven to 400 degrees. lightly grease 24 muffin cups.
2. In a bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oat flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. in a separate bowl, beat together eggs, applesauce, yogurt, sugar, honey, and vanilla. mix the flour mixture into the egg mixture. fold in the zucchini and carrots. scoop into the prepared muffin cups.
3. bake 18 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
zucchini carrot muffins modified from "zucchini yogurt multigrain muffins" from allrecipes.com
1 package penne pasta (16 oz)
1 chicken breast, cut into small pieces
garlic salt and black pepper
1/2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp fat free italian dressing
1 block 1/3 less fat cream cheese
½ cup skim milk
1 tablespoon soy sauce
½ tsp worchestershire sauce
2 ½ to 3 cups spinach or 1 bunch spinach (cut off stems if you use bunch)
parmesan cheese (optional)
1. cook pasta according to directions.
2. while pasta is cooking, combine oil, italian dressing and chicken in large skillet. season with garlic salt and a little bit of black pepper. cook until done.
3. when chicken is done, add block of cream cheese and ¼ cup of the milk. stir constantly until cream cheese is melted. add soy sauce and worchestershire sauce. add more garlic salt to taste if needed. add more milk to thin sauce as desired.
4. add spinach last and cook until spinach is no longer crunchy.
5. toss pasta and sauce together in large bowl and parmesan cheese if desired.
looks the same as rachel ray's, eh?
total savings for all 6 servings:
okay - that is totally amazing!!!!!!!!! i don't usually obsessively break it down like that, but i'm even shocked now. that is real healthy and budgeted savings!
hope this post was as fun for you to read as it was for me to create! now, go to it - go mess with a recipe! take something out, add something yummy, make it better and make it your own!