Monday, January 25, 2010

Cuban Picadillo Sandwich (Cuban Sloppy Joes)

This was a bit of a departure from recipes that I normally pick out for Abe because of the raisins and olives.  But I'm glad I did.  Murmurs of "MmmmmmM!" were uttered throughout his 3 (three!) sandwiches.

This recipe originally called for ground pork, but I had trouble finding that in the store, so I went with ground turkey.  The raisins and olives play off of each other, while the pumpkin pie spice gives it depth of flavor.

I found this recipe on


Cuban Picadillo Sandwiches (Cuban Sloppy Joes)

1 1/2  cups  chopped onion (about 1 medium)
1  teaspoon  minced garlic
1  pound  lean ground pork
1/2  cup  golden raisins
1  tablespoon  chili powder
2  tablespoons  red wine vinegar
1  teaspoon  pumpkin pie spice
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1  (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1/4  cup  sliced pimiento-stuffed green olives
8  (1 1/2-ounce) whole wheat hamburger buns, toasted

Cook onion, garlic, and pork in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain and return mixture to pan. Stir in raisins and next 5 ingredients (through tomatoes). Reduce heat, and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in olives. Spread about 2/3 cup picadillo mixture on bottom half of each bun; cover with top half of bun.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Balsamic-Glazed Tuna

We're trying to get more fish into our diet.... ok, Abe's diet since I'm a vegetarian.  I'm not used to cooking fish, but found this recipe so easy to make.  And Abe LOVED it.  Can't beat that combo. Not to mention it's so healthy.

If you don't have a grill pan, a skillet on medium high heat will work well.  Just make sure that the pan is screaming hot and that you don't over cook the fish; it should be pink in the middle.

I got this from  I served it with herb rice and garlic spinach.

Balsamic-Glazed Tuna
Serves 4

1 1/4  teaspoons  coarsely ground black pepper
1/4  teaspoon  salt
4  (6-ounce) tuna steaks (about 3/4 inch thick)
1/4  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1  tablespoon  balsamic vinegar
4  teaspoons  dark brown sugar
1  tablespoon  low-sodium soy sauce
1/2  teaspoon  cornstarch
1/4  cup  diagonally sliced green onions

Place a grill pan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat until hot. Sprinkle pepper and salt over fish. Place fish in grill pan; cook 3 minutes on each side until medium-rare or desired degree of doneness. Remove from heat.
Combine broth, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Spoon glaze over fish; top with green onions.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Pork Chops with Country Gravy and Mashed Potatoes

I wanted to try something a little different with the pork chops I had found on sale.  This fit the bill.  While I think Abe and Jimi were a bit apprehensive in trying something called "country gravy", they both liked it.  It was SO easy to make.

I served it with homemade mashed potatoes, corn and green salad.

I got this from

Pork Chops with Country Gravy and Mashed Potatoes
Serves 4

3/4  teaspoon  salt, divided
4  (4-ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops (about 1 inch thick)
1  teaspoon  butter
1 1/3  cups  1% low-fat milk
3  tablespoons  all-purpose flour
1/4  teaspoon  poultry seasoning (or steak seasoning for an extra kick)
1/4  teaspoon  black pepper

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt evenly over both sides of pork. Add 1 teaspoon butter to pan, stirring until butter is melted. Add the pork to pan, and cook pork for 3 minutes on each side. Remove pork from pan, and keep warm.
Combine low-fat milk and flour, stirring with a whisk. Add the milk mixture to pan, stirring with a whisk. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, poultry seasoning, and black pepper. Return pork to pan. Cover; reduce heat, and simmer for 7 minutes or until gravy is thick and pork is done.

Serve with either homemade or store-bought mashed potatoes.

Calories: 322 (29% from fat)
Fat: 10.5g (sat 3.7g,mono 3.9g,poly 0.5g)
Protein: 26.7g

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Beef Daube Provençal (French Beef Stew)

This was served to Abe and his gang of friends.  It was a hit.  Little did they know it was healthy.

If you don't have a dutch oven (I'm dying to buy one), you can use a covered pan that's ovensafe.  Most are to 350 degrees.  If you don't, you can transport everything to a covered casserole dish to be baked.  You can also use a slow cooker.

I got this recipe from

Beef Daube Provençal (French Beef Stew)
Serves 5

2  teaspoons  olive oil
12  garlic cloves, crushed
1  (2-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
1 1/2  teaspoons  salt, divided
1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper, divided
1  cup  red wine
2  cups  chopped carrot
1 1/2  cups  chopped onion
1/2  cup  less-sodium beef broth
1  tablespoon  tomato paste
1  teaspoon  chopped fresh rosemary
1  teaspoon  chopped fresh thyme
Dash of ground cloves
1  (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1  bay leaf
3  cups  cooked medium egg noodles (about 4 cups uncooked noodles)

Heat oil in a small Dutch oven over low heat. Add garlic; cook 5 minutes or until garlic is fragrant, stirring occasionally. Remove garlic with a slotted spoon, and set aside. Increase heat to medium-high. Add beef to pan; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove beef from pan. Add wine to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add garlic, beef, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, carrot, and next 8 ingredients (through bay leaf), and bring to a boil.

Cover and bake at 300° for 2 1/2 hours or until beef is tender. Discard bay leaf. Serve over noodles.
Note: To make in a slow cooker, prepare through Step 2. Place beef mixture in an electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours.

Calories: 367 (31% from fat) 

Fat: 12.8g (sat 4.3g,mono 5.8g,poly 0.9g)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Chipotle Sloppy Joes

Who doesn't love a good sloppy joe?  How about one that is considered "healthy"? This one can be made even healthier than the original recipe if you use ground turkey. 

It's a spicy recipe, so don't go overboard with the adobo sauce and chipotle, unless you like it super hot!  I put kid approved because Jimi liked it, but it might be too spicy for some kids.

Serve this with coleslaw and a pickle.  Throw some chips in if you're not watching your figure.

I got this from


Chipotle Sloppy Joes
Serves 5

2 1/2  cups sliced Vidalia or other sweet onion
1  (7-ounce) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1  pound  ground sirloin
1/2  cup chopped green bell pepper
2  tablespoons  tomato paste
1  teaspoon  kosher salt
1/2  teaspoon  ground cumin
1  (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
5  (1 1/2-ounce) hamburger buns, toasted

1. Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; cover and cook 8 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; set aside.

2. Remove 1 teaspoon adobo sauce from can; set aside. Remove 1 chipotle chile from can; chop and set aside. Reserve remaining chiles and adobo sauce for another use.
3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add beef to pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add bell pepper to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in chopped chipotle chile, adobo sauce, tomato paste, and next 3 ingredients (through tomato sauce); cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon 1/2 cup beef mixture over bottom half of each bun, and top evenly with onions and top half of bun.

Calories: 273
Fat: 6.1g (sat 2.1g,mono 2.1g,poly 1.3g)
Protein: 23.3g
Carbohydrate: 32.1g
Fiber: 3.4g
Cholesterol: 48mg

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Vegetable and Chickpea Curry

I love Indian food.  I love the ginger, coconut milk, curry, spices.  Get me near an Indian buffet and I will eat until I'm sick.  Hey, how many places serve so much vegetarian?  Can't blame me.

I made this for Abe and me in our quest for a healthy January.  It's low in calories and fat, but ripe with flavors.  I served it over rice.

I got this from

Vegetable and Chickpea Curry
Serves 6

1  tablespoon  olive oil
1 1/2  cups  chopped onion
1  cup  (1/4-inch-thick) slices carrot
1  tablespoon  curry powder
1  teaspoon  brown sugar
1  teaspoon  grated peeled fresh ginger
2  garlic cloves, minced
1  serrano chile, seeded and minced
3  cups  cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 1/2  cups  cubed peeled baking potato
1  cup  diced green bell pepper
1  cup  (1-inch) cut green beans
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
1/8  teaspoon  ground red pepper
1  (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1  (14-ounce) can vegetable broth
3  cups  fresh baby spinach
1  cup  light coconut milk
6  lemon wedges

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and carrot; cover and cook 5 minutes or until tender. Add curry powder, sugar, ginger, garlic, and chile; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Place onion mixture in a 5-quart electric slow cooker. Stir in chickpeas and next 8 ingredients (through broth). Cover and cook on HIGH 6 hours or until vegetables are tender. Add spinach and coconut milk; stir until spinach wilts. Serve with lemon wedges.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Two-Bean Soup with Kale

Bean soups can be hit or miss.  Kale, to me, is something that goes around the salad bar at restaurants. I'm not sure why I decided to try this recipe, but I'm glad I did.  Simple to make, great flavor and so satisfying on a cold winter night like we're having in the Midwest.

You can use any combo of beans you have on hand, but I love the silkiness of the cannelloni beans.

Add chopped chicken or sausage if you want to make it heartier.

I got this from


Two-Bean Soup with Kale
Serves 6

  • 3  tablespoons  olive oil
  • 1  cup  chopped onion
  • 1/2  cup  chopped carrot
  • 1/2  cup  chopped celery
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt, divided
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 4  cups  organic vegetable broth, divided
  • 7  cups  stemmed, chopped kale (about 1 bunch)
  • 2  (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added cannelloni beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
  • 1  (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1  tablespoon  red wine vinegar
  • 1  teaspoon  chopped fresh rosemary


1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, carrot, and celery, and saute 6 minutes or until tender. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and garlic; cook 1 minute. Stir in 3 cups vegetable broth and kale. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until kale is crisp-tender.
2. Place half of cannelloni beans and remaining 1 cup vegetable broth in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Add pureed bean mixture, remaining cannelloni beans, black beans, and pepper to soup. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, vinegar, and rosemary.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 250
Fat: 10.4g (sat 1.4g,mono 5.5g,poly 2.2g)
Protein: 11.8g
Carbohydrate: 30.5g
Fiber: 9.2g
Cholesterol: 0.0mg
Iron: 3.8mg
Sodium: 593mg
Calcium: 189mg

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Tuna Steaks with Soy-Mustard Vinaigrette

Abe really loved this one.  So easy and delicious! 

Make sure you don't over cook the tuna.  It should be pink in the middle.  I used a grill pan on the stove, which worked very well and gave nice grill marks.  You can use a non-stick pan, too.

I served it with roasted potato wedges.

I got this from my Heart Healthy Cookbook.

Tuna Steaks with Soy-Mustard Vinaigrette
Serves 4

1/4 cup fat-free, no salt added chicken broth
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
4 tuna steaks, each about 5 oz. and 1 inch thick
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 cups baby spinach leaves or other baby greens
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives or green onion

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the broth, vinegar, soy sauce, lemon juice, orange juice, mustard and ginger.  Set aside.

2.  In another small bowl, combine the oils.  Brush over the tuna steaks and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat.  Add the tuna and sear, turning once, until browned on the outside but still rare on the inside, about 3 minutes on each side or longer for more well done tuna.  Transfer the tuna to a platter, cover and keep warm.

3.  Add the spinach to the hot pan and cook, stirring constantly, just until wilted, about 2 minutes.  Divide among warmed individual plates and place a tuna steak on top of each portion.  Keep warm.

4.  Add the vinaigrette mixture to the hot pan and cook until it comes to a boil.  Pour over the tuna steaks and garnish with the chives.  Serve immediately.

Calories: 214
Protein: 36g
Cholesterol:  64 mg
Total Fat: 6 g

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal

Oatmeal in a slow cooker?  Why even bother?   Because the cooker takes a pretty average breakfast meal to completely delicious.  I mean, the best oatmeal you'll ever taste.

This is perfect when you have overnight guests or just for a cozy Saturday breakfast.  Heck, you can even make it for any day of the week.  Who doesn't love waking up to breakfast already made?

It's key to use a small slow cooker (1 1/2 to 2 1/2 quarts).  Anything larger and the oatmeal will overcook. 

I got this from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook.

Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal
Serves 2

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats or thick-cut rolled oats
2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, to your taste
Pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups water or a combo of water and apple juice
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium apple or pear, peeled, cored and chopped

1. Combine all the ingredients in the slow cooker.  Cover and cook on LOW for 7-9 hours or overnight, or on HIGH for 2-3 hours.

2. Stir the oatmeal well and serve with milk or cream.