Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Weight Watchers Lasagna...YUM!

I am sure as most of you have guessed by now, I am doing WW.
My sister called me up the beginning of February & asked if I would join with her.
On a whim, I said sure.
So glad I did.
I found out that before I had even started I lost 30lbs.  Since I have been a member, I've lost 16.6.
Grand total...46.6 lbs.

Holla!

Well, I love to use recipes to help with the new lifestyle and this recipe is to die for!
Plus, make it in the crockpot.

Holla, again!

Not to mention, Tuttorossa sent me a nice sample pack of some great canned tomatoes.  It included:
28 oz Tuttorosso Crushed with Basil, Tuttorosso NSA Peeled Plum and Tuttorosso Diced Tomatoes. 

I was excited to get them, as I grew up with Tuttorossa products.
They have actually teamed with Inspiralized.com for some fun.

Check out their Facebook promo: Tuttorossa Tomatoes.
You can win so many different things.  Check out what the grand prize is:
Spiralizer, Inspiralized Book, Apron, Picnic Basket and Kitchen Gadgets.

Nice.
Here's the catch, it ends tomorrow.
So, quick, check it out.

Now, onto my 7pt serving Lasagna.

I got the recipe from Weight Watchers.

First gather your ingredients:




  •  1 pound(s) uncooked 93% lean ground beef   (I used ground turkey & no one in my fam knew the difference).
  •  1 small uncooked onion(s), chopped  
  • 1 clove(s) (medium) garlic clove(s), minced   
  •  28 oz canned crushed tomatoes   
  •  15 oz canned tomato sauce   
  •  1 tsp table salt   
  • 1 tsp dried oregano   
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil   
  •  1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste   
  • 1 cup(s) part-skim ricotta cheese   
  •  1 1/2 cup(s) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided   
  • 6 item(s) uncooked lasagna noodles   (I used Healthy Harvest)
  •  1/2 cup(s) shredded parmesan cheese, strong-flavored like Parmigiano Reggiano   


After you have gathered your ingredients & your slow cooker, start your engines & get ready to make a great lasagna.


  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon as it cooks, about 5 to 7 minutes. 



  • Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, oregano, basil and red pepper flakes; simmer 5 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together ricotta cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. 


  • Spoon 1/3 of beef mixture into a 5-quart slow cooker. Break 3 lasagna sheets in half and arrange over beef mixture; top with half of ricotta mixture. Repeat with another layer and finish with remaining 1/3 of beef mixture.


  • Cover slow cooker and cook on low setting for 4 to 6 hours. Remove cover; turn off heat and season to taste, if desired.
  • In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese; sprinkle over beef mixture. Cover and set aside until cheese melts and lasagna firms up, about 10 minutes. Yields 1/6th of dish per serving.

This is the finished product.
It is good.

Now for the point value...if you cut it into 1/8"  slices, it's 7 points.  If you give yourself a larger portion, count it as 10.
I'm telling you this is worth it!!!!

Tell me, how do you cook your lasagna?





Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner

I know it's April.
Believe it or not, I have been reading.
Avidly.

I just finished this series:


These are YA.  Young Adult.  What great books.  Loved each one except for The Kill Order.  It's the prequel, which was written after the first three.  While a good story, the ending was meh.

I first gained interest in these novels after watching "The Maze Runner" on demand.  The movie was ok but I thought the book has to be better.

It was.  Tons of details, delves into the characters and much more plot.  I find this to usually be the way, books are better than movies.

Each book kept me on the edge of the my seat.  When Death Cure ended, I thought to myself "I am so glad I read these".  A coworker had seen what I was reading and told me he thought they were great.  

The story is based in  post apocolyptic Earth.  Sun flares have caused much of the human race to die off and the ones left behind are fighting "The Flare".  Of course, there is a coalition that is trying to find a cure.  They are doing test by dropping unsuspecting teen boys (with their memories erased) into a Maze.  They will use their finding to see how the brain works which will help with the antidote for "The Flare".  

The author shows how young men, put in a precarious position, work, live and sleep together.  How they form their own society, their own rules, their own punishments.  

All four books are an easy read.  I would say two thumbs up on all but the prequel.  I give that one, one and a half thumbs up. I really detested the wrap up!

Tell me, what are you reading?



Sunday, March 29, 2015

Weight Watchers Skinny Italian Chicken Stew

I have found a mecca & it is called Skinny Italian Chicken Stew.
Guess what else?
Made in the slow cooker.
Oh yea!!!!

Really?
Skinny?
Slow Cooker?
I'm in.

First gather your ingredients & your slow cooker like so:


Here is what you will need:
Chicken Sausage - 3 links 
Spaghetti Sauce - 2 cups
Yukon Gold Potatoes - 1 pound
Peppers - 2
Garlic - Minced - 1tbs

First up, the prep.
Slice chicken sausage into slices & then dices if you wish.
Dice peppers.
Cut potatoes into equal bite sized pieces.

Second:
Dump all in the slow cooker, do not forget your garlic.

Third:
Add 2 cups spaghetti sauce (any flavor)

Stir together & it shall look like so:


Turn your slow cooker on for 6 hours & forget about it.

I have made this twice and I take it for my lunch.
It is yummy!

This is what you will get when all done:



It's 7 pp for one cup.
I usually have a cheese stick with it (1 pp) & some fruit.
You can even have a side salad.

I am telling you this is the bomb diggity (yes, yes, I just went old school).

Tell me, what is one of your fave recipes?



Sunday, March 15, 2015

Weight Watchers Inspired: Healthy Chicken Parm Dinner - 8 Points.

I think I took an unintended blogging hiatus.
Didn't mean to, just haven't had anything to write about really.
Unless you want to hear about this fabulous customer service classes I have to take at work.
*crickets*
Yea, I thought so.

Anyway, I made this great dish from Real Food For Healthy Kids. I bought this book a few years ago as a birthday present to myself.  Not only do I want my kids to eat healthy, but as parents we could benefit from it as well.
The nice thing is each recipe comes with the nutritional value.
Yes.
Easy to do your "points" if you do Weight Watchers or just monitor your intake of values.

Let's get on to the good part.

The ingredients:

1/4C. Unbleached All Purpose Flour (I used all purpose, if it was unbleached or not, I have no idea!)
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1lb. Thin Chicken Breast Cutlet ( I pounded mine out with the back of a weighted ice cream scoop...best kitchen hack ever!)
3TBP EVOO
1C. Canned Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
1.5C. Packed Mozzarella Cheese (6oz.)(I used Fat Free)
1/2C. Marina Sauce (You can used jarred or make your own...I am of the Irish/Scottish decent so my sauce comes from a jar...must to the dismay of the Nana...she can actually make her own thanks to the influence of the Italian neighbors growing up!).

Now the actually recipe:

1. Combine the flour, salt & pepper in a gallon size plastic bag, seal & shake to mix.  Add about 1/3 of the chicken & shake to coat. Remove chicken, lightly shake off excess flour & lay flat plate.  Repeat with other chicken.

2.  Heat 1.5TBS EVOO in a non-stick 12" skillet over med heat until hot.  Add half the chicken & cook until browned underneath, about 2 mins.  Turn, cook another 2 mins & transfer the chicken to a plate.  Add the remaining 1.5TBS EVOO & chicken, repeat.

It will look like this:


3. Pour off any remaining fat in the skillet & add the chicken broth to the pan.  Bring to a boil & cook until reduced by half (about 3 mins).  Return the meat to the pan & turn to coat in the broth.  Arrange the cutlets in an even layer, sprinkle the mozzarella on top & spoon a lil sauce on top.  Cover the pan with lid or foil (I did foil) & cook until cheese is melted (1-2 mins).  

4.  Transfer to plate, add garnish if you wish & serve.

I served mine w/ a side of broccoli.  Always a veggie people, always a veggie.


Everyone loved it.
Cheeks raved about it & called it pizza chicken.
When his brother came home, he told him "Chris, you have to try this pizza chicken, it is delicious"

And for you counting points...it's 8points a breast.
One breast for me was more than enough.

It is so good.
This dish will not disappoint!!!

Tell me something you make that is healthy.
Leave me a quick recipe in the comments.  If I make it, I will post it.



Sunday, February 01, 2015

2015 Goals...Are you on track?

So, it's officially one month down in 2015.
February 1st is upon us.
Super Bowl Sunday.
Shortest month of the year.

My question to you is, how are you doing on your 2015 resolutions/goals?

We are doing ok.
Our main goal is to save money to pay off the debt to save money again.

I think a lot of people are doing this goal.

We took the month of January on like bulls in a china shop.

Not going to lie tho, we did send out for pizza approximately 4 times.  One of those times was completely free except for the tip.  SCORE!

Other than that, our biggest money drainer is eating out.  So I have been meal planning and buying breakfast & lunch items for us.
Those are my two downfalls.  It is just so much easier to stop & pick up, then have to think about & make to bring.

We were able to pay off a huge chunk of our cable bill.  I let it go.

Next is our electric bill.  Eek! I don't even want to look at it.

I have applied to lower my car payment per month.  The van is just sitting out back...dead.
Waiting to get my taxes back so I can get it fixed.
Fingers crossed it isn't more than my tax refund.

Haven't done much of anything that cost money.  The weather is so awful, between snow, rain & bitter cold, we don't want to go anywhere anyway.

Hopefully February will be just as good as January was to us.
I went shopping today.  Even with great deals and coupons, I still spent $170.
Boys, they eat you out of house and home.

Well, tell me, how are you doing with your goals & resolutions?


Sunday, January 18, 2015

An Amish Second Christmas by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Ruth Reid, & Tricia Goyer



An Amish Second Christmas is a book of novellas by four different authors.
Let me start out by saying what a refreshing change this book was from most of the books I have read lately.
Not that the other books were trashy, by no means! These stories are just as sweet, wholesome and tasteful as can be.

I was fortunate enough to win this book in a contest held on a blog.
Don't ask me which one, I have forgotten.  Side effects from being mid-forties.

At first I didn't think I would enjoy the four short stories but I quickly learned I was wrong.

All about the Amish's celebration of the day after Christmas, Second Christmas.  Such sweet stories of tradition with a whole love story told.  I was surprised to see all authors make reference to the young couples spending time alone and sharing a kiss.  It made me think of the Duggars.  Their daughters have to side hug and save kisses til the wedding day.  I tthought, there is wholesome and there is WHOLESOME!  I like the Duggars, so no flaming please.

While all the stories are predictable, they are full of the scenery that you imagine (and if you have ever been to an Amish country, it is even more vivid), family and God.  None of which is thrown down your throat.

Each story in unique and makes you want more.  Makes you want to know how they go one and live their lives.

Definitely a good snuggle under the blanket with a cup of cocoa in one hand & this book in another.
It's a must read.

Tell me, what are you reading currently?



Monday, January 12, 2015

January #EatInChallenge Win Some Lose Some

Hey, before I forgot, don't forget about the giveaway going on.

Check it out here: Eat In Challenge Giveaway

So let's get down to business.
We have been doing really great eating at home for our Buchman Back on Track Financially philosophy.  We eat out way to much and I have already seen the kind of money we are saving.

Last night I made a kick ass meatloaf.  Both Bob & I thought it was wonderful.  We had two plates full & I took leftovers with me for lunch.

Today, dinner was a use what is in the freezer/fridge/pantry night.

So decided on Crockpot Italian Chicken.
The original recipe is from Six Sisters.  If you haven't visited the website, run.  They have fab recipes plus great ideas.

My version may vary slightly from theirs.

Ingredients:
Chicken Breasts (roughly 2lbs)
Packet of Italian Dressing
Block of Cream Cheese (I did low fat)
2 10.5oz Cans of Cream of Chicken Soup. (Also low fat)

You put the chicken in the crockpot, sprinkle the dressing over.

Then heat up the cream cheese & soup til blended.

Pour over chicken, cook 8hrs.

You then leave whole or shred.  I chose leave whole.
You can serve over noodles or rice.  Noodles was a winner.

See:



It's sort of all one color.
I won't tell you what I think the sauce looks like, actually what the whole meal looks like.

I was super excited to make this.
Matter of fact I think I made it before but I can't remember.

Anyway I took a fork, put that meal bite into my mouth and thought:
"OMG! What have I done!"

While not horrendously horrible, it ranked up there as an Epic Fail meal.
It was a bit on the bland side.  Bobster & the kids added hot sauce and said it made it edible.

So, you may give it a try, perhaps you will like it but in our home...never again!

Tell me do you have any meals you were excited about & then whomp! whomp! Let down!

Let me know.