Sunday, January 30, 2011

Banana Slow Bread

While looking around for a recipe for bread I happened upon this one on I healthied it up a bit and came up with this:

Banana Slow Bread
PP Value:    2
Servings:  16 (If 12 then 3 PP)

Preparation Time:  5 min
Cooking Time:  150 min
Level of Difficulty:  Easy
A more filling and more versatile version of banana bread. Great for a quick snack, breakfast or an on the go lunch when coupled with a yogurt (or other protein).


 4 medium bananas
2 1/2 cup(s) White Whole Wheat Flour   
1/4 cup(s) uncooked oat bran   
1/4 cup(s) ground flax seed meal   
  1/2 cup(s) fat-free skim milk   
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon   
1 tsp ground nutmeg   
2 Tbsp honey   
2 1/2 tsp yeast   


Blend the bananas in a blender or break into small pieces. Place all ingredients in bread maker in the order your manufacturer suggests. Set on White 1.5 pound loaf. Relax and enjoy!

I don't know if it is because my yeast died, or because of the lack of enough liquid, but mine didn't rise very well. My kitchen is also very cold and I left the ingredients in the bread maker overnight and set the timer so that it would be ready at 9am. 

I'm going to go test my yeast right now. Have fun!

Dinner for 1/28/11 and 1/29/11

       Chicken Chili

PointsPlus™ Value:    5
Servings:  4
Also known as white chili.


2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, or breast   
  15 oz canned cannellini beans   
  8 3/4 oz yellow corn   
  1 cup(s) fat-free chicken broth   
  1 small onion(s)   
2 Tbsp minced garlic   
1 Tbsp Spiced seasoning mix, meaning whatever spices you like   


Dice and cook chicken, set aside. Spray the bottom of a 3 quart, or larger, saucepan with cooking spray. Over medium heat saute the onion and garlic until just browned. Add whatever spices you would like (I used cumin, corriander, ginger and a small dash of italian seasoning) as well as the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, add chicken, beans, and corn heat until cooked through. Simmer until most of liquid is gone. Serve with salsa and/or sour cream over rice.

I made it with chicken thighs this time in order to use up what we have in the freezer, but I will definitely use chicken breast next time in an effort to switch it to all power foods.

Maxwell didn't eat it, but everyone else loved it. In fact, I am eating some of the leftovers right now (turned out to be more than 4 servings) with the last of the pulled pork and carrots we had for dinner last night. Here is the pulled pork recipe I used:

      Pulled Pork
Course: main meals
PointsPlus™ Value:    8
Servings:  4

Preparation Time:  5 min
Cooking Time:  480 min.
Super simple and super yummy.


4 servings Sweet Baby Rays Hickory BBQ Sauce   
  1 cup fat-free beef broth   
1 1/2 pounds pork center loin, lean and fat   
  2 cups carrots   


Put all ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on low for 8 or more hours or high for 5 or more hours. Pull out carrots, drain and serve on the side. Pull apart the pork and serve over rice, pasta, or pasta.

Friday, January 28, 2011

As requested... PP values

The meatloaf, as listed, was 4 PP value (I'm sure the cheese I put on it added another 1 or 2).

The Pumpkin crescent rolls are a very solid 1 PP value.

The blueberry muffins are 3 PP value.

I'm not sure how much the garlic muffins were in the original recipe. Here are my revamped ingredients that came up as 2 PP value:

1 Tbsp baking powder   
1 tsp sea salt   
1 Tbsp sugar   
3 Tbsp Brummel & Brown Soft Spread Margarine   
  1 cup fat-free skim milk   
4 cloves garlic (medium), minced   
  1 medium onion, diced   
  2 egg whites   
1 1/2 cup(s) White Whole Wheat Flour   
1/2 cup(s) dry potato flakes    


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dinner for 1/27/11

    I think that I have come up with the best meatloaf recipe, at least for my family. The kids both finished theirs and then asked for more. Guess I'll have to make them each their own the next time.

The following makes three servings:

4 oz. ground chicken breast
6 oz. 96% lean ground beef
1/2 cup potato flakes
1 1/2 cup shredded fresh spinach leaves
1/3 cup egg whites
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 400 F. Combine all ingredients. Put in individual casserole dishes or in a larger dish and bake for 30-45 minutes. I put a layer of cheese on top of each one as well, then broiled them for about 2 minutes before taking them out.

I served this with the Pumpkin crescent rolls I mentioned in my previous post which came out fairly dense so only Max and I liked them. I ate one with a slice of colby jack cheese, heavenly. 

Pumpkin Crescent Rolls

I got this recipe off of I will be trying the even healthier version I came up with today. Here are both versions:

Pumpkin Crescent Rolls


    * 1-3/4  cups  all-purpose flour
    * 1  teaspoon  baking powder
    * 1/4  teaspoon  baking soda
    * 1/4  teaspoon  ground nutmeg
    * 1/8  teaspoon  salt
    * 3/4  cup  canned pumpkin        
    * 3  tablespoons  cooking oil
    * 2  tablespoons  brown sugar
    * 2  teaspoons  granulated sugar
    * 1/4  teaspoon  ground cinnamon


1. In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt.

2. In a small mixing bowl combine the pumpkin, oil, and brown sugar. Add pumpkin mixture to dry mixture, stirring with a fork until combined. Form into a ball.

3. Line a large baking sheet with foil. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough gently for 10 to 12 strokes. Divide dough in half. Roll each half to a 10-inch circle. Cut each circle into 8 wedges. To shape, begin at the wide end of each wedge and loosely roll toward the point. Place point sides down, about 2 inches apart, on the prepared baking sheet. Curve ends of rolls slightly.

4. Combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over crescents. Bake in a 400 degree F. oven for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. Makes 16 rolls.

Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare, bake, and cool rolls. Freeze in a freezer container or bag up to 1 month. Wrap frozen rolls in foil and thaw at room temperature for 2 hours; reheat in a 375 degree F. oven for 3 to 5 minutes.



3/4 cup dry potato flakes   
1/4 tsp baking soda   
1 tsp baking powder     
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg     
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  3 Tbsp plain fat-free yogurt   
1 Tbsp molasses   
  3/4 cup canned pumpkin   
  2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce   
1/2 cup quick cooking rolled oats, ground to powder   
1/2 cup White Whole Wheat Flour   


1. In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, potato, oats baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
2. In a small mixing bowl combine the pumpkin, yogurt, applesauce and molasses. Add pumpkin mixture to dry mixture, stirring with a fork until combined. Form into a ball.
3. Line a large baking sheet with foil. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough gently for 10 to 12 strokes. Divide dough in half. Roll each half to a 10-inch circle. Cut each circle into 8 wedges. To shape, begin at the wide end of each wedge and loosely roll toward the point. Place point sides down, about 2 inches apart, on the prepared baking sheet. Curve ends of rolls slightly.
4. Bake in a 400 degree F. oven for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. Makes 16 rolls.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Apple Crisp

I looked around for a fat free version of apple crisp, and found them, but they all still had a ton of sugar in them, so I decided to try my hand at inventing something. This blog had the closest thing that I found to what I wanted so I left out the sugar, upped the applesauce and came up with this:


6 apples cored, peeled and sliced
1 cup regular or quick cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup oat bran or wheat bran
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, divided
2 teaspoons ground ginger, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the bottom of an 8X8 pan with cooking spray. Place apples in the bottom pan. Sprinkle half the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and vanilla on the apples. In a medium bowl mix together the remaining ingredients. Spread oat mixture over the top of the apples and bake for 20-30 minutes or until the apples are soft. Makes about 6 servings

Other possible add ins: sugar substitute, sugar-free maple syrup, ground nuts, dried fruit, wheat germ, flax seed, or anything else you think would go well.

It's in my little convection oven right now, and it smells great!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Muffins galore!

Today I made muffins. We had pasta for dinner and I made garlic muffins to go with it.

Garlic Muffins

These tasty muffins are great with soups and stews, and I love to to serve them even when we grill. They are quick and easy to make when you want a nice side bread with dinner.

2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese


Heat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. In a small bowl, mix together egg, milk, garlic and onion. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and pour in the egg mixture and melted butter. Mix together using as few strokes as possible. The batter should have small lumps in it. Pour into 12 muffins tins coated with cooking spray, filling about 2/3 full. Bake 20 minutes or until muffins begin to turn golden on top. Test for doneness with a toothpick, which should come out clean. Remove from tins and cool slightly.

Then, for dessert I made blueberry muffins. I searched for healthy blueberry muffins and found a few different recipes. This one was based on a Biggest Loser recipe. I replaced the oil with yogurt, and they came out great! The original recipe was for 24 mini muffins.

Blueberry Muffins

1 1/2 cups unprocessed wheat bran or oat bran
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup fat-free milk
1/3 cup applesauce
1 ripe medium banana
2 tablespoons yogurt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries or other berry


Makes 12 Servings

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F.  Lightly coat  nonstick muffin pans with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the bran, flour, flax seed, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.  Set aside.  In another medium bowl or a blender, combine the milk, applesauce, banana, egg, yogurt, and vanilla extract until smooth.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in one third of the liquid mixture.  Using a spoon, stir until smooth.  Add the remaining liquid mixture and stir until well combined.  Add the blueberries and stir again, but don't over mix.

Spoon 4 tablespoons of batter into prepared muffin cups.  Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the tops spring back when pressed gently in the centers.  Do not over bake.  Cool the muffins int he pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from the cups.  Serve warm, or allow them to cool completely on the rack.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Dinner for 1/24/11


Sylvia's Class Act Dinner Theater Chicken Rosemary

    1/2 c  All-purpose flour
    1/2 ts Salt
    1/4 ts Pepper
     6    6-oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    1/4 c  Olive oil
     6    Cloves garlic, minced (2 Tablespoons)
    1 1/4 c  Chicken broth
    1/4 ts Dried rosemary

  Combine flour, salt and pepper.  Dredge chicken breasts in flour mixture, shaking off excess.

  Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet.  Brown chicken in oil until lightly browned, approximately 5 minutes on each side.  Remove from skillet.  Add minced garlic to the skillet and saute' lightly. Stir in chicken broth and sherry.

  Return chicken to skillet and sprinkle with rosemary.  Cover skillet tightly with a lid, and simmer slowly for 30 to 45 minutes, or until chicken is tender.  Thicken juice, if desired.

 This dish serves about 4 to 6 people

I definitely used less oil than the recipe called for, whole wheat flour and made the portions of chicken smaller, but it was a great recipe. I found it by searching for unique dinner ideas. Some great ideas here. Then, it got me excited and I started looking through a whole bunch of Cooking Light recipes and saved a bunch from there. I am going to be trying some new stuff soon!

For sides I made roasted potatoes with salt, pepper, rosemary and a seasoning combo. Then, I boiled a can of green beans with onion, garlic and apple cider vinegar, super yummy, but a bit strong flavored. The kids did not like it.


My mom gave me some oat bran and I have been experimenting with it. Thought I would add it to this recipe and really give these brownies a healthy kick! This morning I made french toast which I covered in oat bran after the egg mixture, the kids loved it. It came out crunchy on the outside and soft and yummy on the inside. I put cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and vanilla extract in the egg/milk combo. It was like having dessert for breakfast. With food that tastes this good, it's hard not to eat well! 
Black Bean Brownies

PointsPlus™ Value:    2
Servings:  12

Preparation Time:  10 min
Cooking Time:  45 min
Level of Difficulty:  Easy

These healthy brownies will satisfy your sweet tooth and add fiber to your diet.


    15 1/2 oz canned black beans  
    2/3 cup Egg Beaters Egg Beaters  
    1/4 cup Cocoa powder  
    1 medium banana  
    1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce  
    1/4 cup sugar  
    1/4 tsp table salt  
    1/2 cup oat bran or wheat germ  
    1 tsp baking soda  


Preheat oven to 350. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into an 8 by 8 baking dish or 12 muffin tins. Bake for 40-45 minutes.

Monday, January 10, 2011

It's been awhile

     I know that it's been awhile, but I have been busy. I am now working at the deli in the Shaw's here in Springfield, VT. So, I was working two jobs, but I recently had to quit my job at the middle school because we could no longer afford to send the kids to daycare. I am looking into the possibility of having someone come live with us and having that be my job. I won't be able to put up anything about that since it will all be confidential.
     Matt and I have fallen a bit off the WW wagon since we stopped going to meeting and the holidays were here. We are renewing our commitment to continue the weight loss. (We are both over 50 pounds lost now.) We are going to be trying to do the plan where we only eat what are now called power foods. However, we are still allowed to use weekly points for whatever we want, so tonight I am making a decadent meal: macaroni and cheese. Working in the deli I have access to first pick of the end packages and I got one that had swiss, american, and provolone cheeses in it. I used that, added some cheddar, some fat free half and half, some butter substitute and (obviously) pasta. It's cooking right now.
     I also made some wicked good oatmeal cookies today:

1/2 cup buttery substance
1/2 cup mushed banana
1 cup applesauce
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour (I used half all purpose, half whole wheat)
teaspoon baking soda
teaspoon salt
teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups quick oats
1 medium apple, cut into pieces
1/4 cup dried cranberries

Combine ingredients in the order listed above. Drop by tablespoonfuls, cook 10-12 minutes at 375. They are super moist and super yummy!