My husband tends to wrinkle his nose whenever I pick up a fajita or taco packet or kit. I like to sing the little song that goes with them, I find them a tasty guilty pleasure but they appear to be the bane of his existence. The prepackagedness of them seems to be his biggest complaint. Oh yeah, revel in my created word of the moment. Mmmmmm. Moving on, I decided to break down and make my own spice mix for fajita. I can’t believe how easy it was really. Although, I will miss my husband loudly announcing in the grocery store that I was getting Fa-jI-tahs…oh yeah…the j is not an h sound for this one. The stares from aghast women as they cover the ears of their precious innocent giggling children. Won’t anyone think of the children? Alright…maybe there weren’t many aghast women or scandalized children but you get the idea. Funtimes.
- 1 packet chicken reduced salt oxo
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3 tbl paprika
- 3 tbl chili powder
- Combine, store in a sealed jar.
For chicken fajita:
- Sprinkle 3 tbl worth of the spice and 1 tsp of olive oil onto two chicken breasts cut into strips. Stir, and allowed to marinate for 1 hour.
- Slice a medium onion and pepper.
- Heat a pan to medium. Add the chicken to the hot pan, brown and cook until done.
- Add the onions, peppers, and 1/4 cup water. Cook until the water reduces to form a nice thick sauce.
Serve on a whole grain tortilla or on a salad. Serves two. Each serving contains 178 calories, 5.1 grams of fat, and 3.5 grams of fibre. I imagine this mix would be good for beef, pork and tofu as well.
When I was in my second year of university this korean restaurant opened. I was absolutely delighted. Korean food was something you had to get out to Toronto to have for the longest time before that. My mom’s favourite dish is the ever popular Bi Bim Bop but for me I have to say it’s the bulgogi. I’m still amused by the childhood memory of my mom talking about getting some bim bop and seriously thinking she had made up such a fun sounding dish. Sure, korean food is everywhere now but it can still be pretty high in fat and calories. You shouldn’t have to give up healthy food just to have those fun korean dishes. Ofcourse, I’m in no way traditional this is just my attempt.
- 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 2 tbl honey
- 3 garlic cloves, pressed
- 4 green onions, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
- 1 tsp ground pepper
- 300 grams sirloin cut thinly into stir fry strips
- 5 cup savoy cabbage, sliced
- 1 tbl toasted sesame seeds
- Combine the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, honey, garlic and pepper in a large bowl. Add the beef strips, stir until well coated. Allow to marinate atleast 4 hours, overnight is best.
- Heat a wok or frying pan to medium. Add cabbage and 2 tbl of water. Stir fry until soft, usually just a few minutes.
- Heat the pan to medium high. Spray the pan, remove the meat from it’s marinade and add to the wok. Don’t cook in the sauce just yet or the meat won’t have the greatest consistency. Stir fry for 4-5 minutes. Add the sauce, cabbage, and onions. Cook for 2 more minutes. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
Doesn’t take much to get your bulgogi on does it? Serves 4. Each serving contains 242 calories, 7.3 grams of fat, and 3.6 grams of fibre. This is great served on rice. Like your bulgogi a bit hotter? I highly recommend adding some of that chili garlic sauce to your marinade at the beginning. You know, the one with the rooster on it. Num!!
So, in the game roast pork is made from pork, onion and butter. The item is described as being “cooked simply”. Well hmmm, that leaves far too much wiggle room. So I sat down and asked…wwhd…what would hobbits do? hehe. The answer was obvious really. Stuff it with mushrooms ofcourse! I love stuffed pork tenderloin. Lovely organic mushrooms were even on sale this week. So, I sent my husband out on a mission of mushroom retrieval and began plotting. The end result was delicious!
- 1 tbl extra virgin olive oil
- 150 grams crimini mushrooms
- 2 tbl yellow onion, chopped
- 1 small garlic clove
- 2 tbl dry sherry
- 1 tbl chopped fresh basil
- 1 tsp light butter or butter flavoured cooking spray
- 12 ounces pork tenderloin
- salt and pepper
- Slice the pork lengthwise but not all the way through, open it up, cover with plastic and pound flat. I find 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch thickness works best for me.
- Puree the olive oil, mushrooms, onion, garlic, sherry, and a bit of salt and pepper together until you get a smooth almost mousse like consistency.
- Fill the center of the pounded pork with the mushroom filling and roll closed. Bind it closed using either cooking twine or toothpicks.
- Melt the butter and brush on the tenderloin or spray with butter flavoured cooking spray. Season by sprinkling with salt, pepper, and chopped basil.
- Bake at 350F for 45 minutes. Allow to rest for atleast 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Serves 4. Each serving contains 215 calories, 9.6 grams of fat, and 2.6 grams of fibre. Calculated using light butter although this time I used cooking spray. I served this with a lovely butter lettuce salad. A side note this mushroom mousse recipe of mine was originally used to fill homemade ravioli. So delicious! If you are also a home pasta maker I definitely recommend this as a filling. My original recipe for the pasta filling though was half baby bella and half shitaake. Either way is very tasty.
Come on, everyone has a recipe for these. They are so great for parties or in my case role playing groups. I usually have a chili layer I include in these but I skipped it this time to make it more vegetarian friendly. Served this with a choice of regular tortilla chips and baked chips…and it disappeared fast. Such a crowd pleaser and really not that hard to portion control for yourself. Get a spoon and grab a cross section for yourself, fill up a ramekin (which is usually 1/4 cup) and you have yourself one serving of this dip! That and you won’t have to fight the others as they omnomnom this too. Why no pictures of it baked? Because as soon as it came out of the oven it was grisly zombie scene of devouring frenzy. Goodtimes.
First layer ( the jalapeno popper inspired layer)
- 5 oz. Fat free cream cheese
- 1 jalapeno pepper (with seeds)
Second layer ( guacamole inspired layer)
- 1 avocado
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp lime juice
- 1/2 small onion
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 tbl Taco sauce of desired hotness or chili layer
Fourth Layer (bean dip inspired layer)
- 1 cup low fat refried beans
- 1 tbl lime juice
- 2 tsp. Taco seasoning
- 1/2 cup shredded light cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup chopped green onions
- Combine ingredients for first layer in a blender. Jalapeno first and then added the cream cheese, room temperature. Spread evenly on bottom of oven proof container. I use my loaf pan, always the perfect size.
- Combine the various layers ingredients and layer them on top accordingly. For the bean layer I used the blender. Finish it up by sprinkling the cheese on top and then topping with green onions (if serving cold, if baked add green onions after baking).
- Two ways to serve this. Keep in the refrigerator for an hour and serve cold or heat oven to 350F and bake for 30 minutes (or until cheese is just the way you want it). I prefer the hot way.
Makes about 8 servings of about 1/4 cup. Each serving contains 102 calories, 4 grams of fat and 3.6 grams of fibre. Calculated assuming you used a taco sauce layer, if you go with chili make sure you add those values! Totally delicious!
I hummed and ha’d over this dish for a long time. Originally, I had wanted to make my own pork sausage…but then I realized that wouldn’t really be true to the game. We buy the pork sausage from the vendor. So, in real life I also bought the pork sausage. I found a really nice low fat one made by president’s choice. In the game pork sausage is made with spiced potatoes and (the real shocker) pork sausage. So, I concentrated on making some fun spiced potatoes on the side and served this with a tasty curry mayo (combine a bit of curry dip mix with a tbl of light mayo, very nummy with pork sausage). I know, it’s a bit racy to post a pork sausage on valentines day but…well…it makes me giggle and we all need a good giggle sometimes.
- Low fat pork sausage of choice
- 2 large red potatoes, cubed (I like to leave the skins on)
- 1 tbl dried parsley
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Curry mayo *optional, refer to the recipe intro
- Combine the parsley, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, onion, salt and pepper in a container. Add the cubed potatoes and shake to coat.
- Remove the potatoes and onions from the container and place on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake at 450F for 30 minutes.
- Score the top of the pork sausage. Prepare the sausage according to directions. I pan fried mine since it seemed to capture the “fried to perfection” essence of the recipe.
Serves 2. Since the pork sausage would vary according to the brand you bought I’ll just give the nutritional info for the potatoes. Each serving contains 318 calories, 2.2 grams of fat, and 8.9 grams of fibre. This is a really generous portion, you could probably feed four folks with it but I was really in a potato mood that night.
A true hobbit favourite, a basic recipe but always a winner. Like it says in the description “easy to make and enjoyable anytime.” These are great as a side dish or topping for any main ingredient. According to the game all you need is mushrooms and butter, and it is so true! Choose a tasty fancy mushroom and let that flavour shine through!
- 400 grams Mushroom of choice
- 1 tbl light butter
- 1 clove garlic, pressed
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Clean the mushrooms and slice them. You can leave the stalks on most types if you wish, I tend to remove them and reward my foodie puppies with them.
- Heat a pan to medium, Spray the pan with butter flavoured cooking spray. Add the mushrooms then add the butter.
- As the butter melts add the garlic and a bit of salt and pepper. Either shake or stir the mushrooms around making sure that neither the mushrooms or the butter burns.
- Allow the juices from the mushrooms and the butter reduce, serve!
This makes plenty for two, especially for hobbits such as ourselves. Each serving contains 71 calories, 3.2 grams of fat and 2.7 grams of fibre. Great even on toast! An awesome simple recipe that helps build a dish to true hobbit greatness.
Yesterday, I logged on and found out it was national pie day. Well, being the obedient gamer that I am I have to make pie. The first thing that leaps to mind when I think pie is definitely a dessert, and I’ve made one of those too. Since today is hardcore hobbit day though I figured I should post what I think is a most hobbit of hobbit pies, the mushroom pie ofcourse. In the game the pie is made simply with mushrooms and pie crust. Pie crust for this pie was a phyllo dough, I had some leftover from a strudel craving…don’t worry I’ll post that another day. I made my pies as tarts but you can make a full on pie using the same method. I just like the portion control and epic cuteness of a hobbit tart.
- 8 oz crimini mushrooms (any kind will do, this is the type I used), sliced
- 4 sheets phyllo dough
- 1 can reduced fat cream of mushroom soup
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 egg white
- 1 sprig rosemary
- salt and pepper to taste
- cooking spray
- Lay out a sheet of phyllo dough. Spray with cooking spray and top with another layer of phyllo dough. Repeat until all layers have been sprayed.
- Carefully cut the phyllo dough with a knife into 12 squares. Spray a muffin tin, place each layered square into a muffin cup forming a crust.
- Heat a pan to medium and saute garlic and mushrooms. Pour into blender. Add mushroom soup, rosemary, egg white, salt and pepper. Blend to desired consistency.
- Divide the mixture into the 12 phyllo cups. Bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes.
Serves 12. Each mushroom tart contains 37 calories, 1 gram of fat, and .5 gram of fibre. If you have extra calories and fat to spend that day I highly recommend topping the pies with a bit of cheese in the last 5 minutes of cooking. My husband said his mozzarella topped one were nummy. I recommend goat cheese…but then I just love goat cheese on everything. These would be great to serve at a party or keep to yourself omnomnom. If you are making this as a pie all you do is fit the sheets into a pie pan instead of cutting them up, the cooking time is increased by 5 minutes. Pair this with a salad and you have dinner!!
Putting the peasant back into this peasant food inspired haute cuisine dish. This is only vaguely close to the cooking processes used for this dish today. It’s easy and tasty this way though…and I don’t argue with tasty. She fights dirty. Ofcourse, the other thing that makes this dish a good idea for hungry hobbits all over the world….MUSHROOMS!! See? Tasty fights dirty bigtime. The key to make this healthier is really in the cut of your stewing beef. Try to get one that only has a bit of marbling. If you can get sirloin stewing beef then you are golden. Some butchers offer “steak ends” which are the bits they cut off those sirloin steaks to make them beautiful. These are awesome lean cuts that are perfect for this dish. The other reason I absolutely had to post a beef dish today? I was watching ‘Come Dine with me Canada’. On it was this woman who kept complaining that when she was dieting all she could eat was chicken, that is why she dislikes chicken. Sheesh. No idea what diet she was trying but I seem to be doing just fine and NOT living on just chicken. So there. It’s not a beautiful picture, as I embraced it’s peasant roots, but it sure was tasty.
- 1 slice bacon, chopped
- 1 pkg crimini mushrooms, sliced or puree (according to preference)
- 8 pearl onions (I used red pearl onions for colour)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbl cornstarch (I like my boeuf with a thick sauce, if you don’t skip this)
- 1 tsp poultry spice
- 1/2 chicken broth
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 large potatoes, cubed
- 4 carrots, sliced
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- 8 oz stewing beef
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a pan to medium, add bacon, garlic and mushrooms. Cook until the bacon is crispy. Drain the fat and pour into a crockpot.
- Toss the beef in cornstarch to coat then add to the pan and brown. You just want to sear the meat here, not cook it. Pour into the crockpot.
- Deglaze the pan with the red wine, scraping off the browned bits from the pan. Pour into the crockpot.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the crockpot and allow to cook on low for 8 hours or high for 5 hours.
Makes 4 servings. Each serving contains 278 calories, 5.7 grams of fat and 3.8 grams of fibre. Very diet friendly to me. Living on chicken, heh, the very idea!
Posted in Comfort Foods, Crockpot Creations, Dinner
Tagged bacon, Beef, carrot, celery, Garlic, mushroom, Onion, Potato, wine
Aack, so I forgot to update on friday again! I was so busy running errands, gazing at my newly acquired blood oranges, shopping for new 10 sided dice, gazing again at the blood oranges, that I completely forgot! Maybe a meatball sub will make it better? Oh I think so. Always a big old mess to eat but such a happy mess really. In this recipe I was going for a quick fix so I used store bought turkey meatballs. If you want to make your own turkey meatballs I would make them the same way I made my thintastic thai meatballs just use turkey meat, and skip the hoisin sauce in the mix. This was such a tasty indulgence…and without consequence. Sweet!
- 2 sub buns
- 16 lean turkey meatballs
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 1 tbl oregano leaves, dried
- 1 tbl italian spice
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced (Garlic and I are best buds for evah!)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 6 tbl parmesan cheese
- Saute the onion and garlic in a pan until golden. Add to crockpot.
- Add the meatballs, tomato sauce, oregano leaves, and italian spice to the crockpot. Cook on low for 6 hours.
- Serve 8 meatballs on each bun with a bit of sauce, top with 3 tbl of cheese. Enjoy!
Serve 2 hungry hobbits. I did not include the bun in the nutritional value since there is so much variation in what you can choose. I suggest a nice high fibre bun. I’m lucky to have a store local to me that makes a good fibre bun that pretends to be white bread. Tastes just like subway…or maybe even better! Each serving contains 217 calories, 7 grams of fat and 6 grams of fibre. You will have leftover tomato sauce from this. I suggest saving it for a pasta night. Delicious!!! Don’t have a crockpot? No sweat, you can do this stove top same way except you should leave it simmering for 30 minutes.
This is actually my first time having this particular fish. I keep seeing it around and a friend of ours raves about it. I tend to go savoury when making fish dishes but all those reality cooking shows keep pairing citrus with it. Well, obviously I must be missing something so I thought I would give it a go and it worked out really tasty. Again, I should be eating more fish so this was another foray into that eat more fish thing.
- 4 tilapia fillets
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp finely shredded orange zest
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 tbl lemon juice
- 1 tbl green onion, chopped
- ground pepper
- Arrange the fillets in a baking dish and set aside.
- Mix the juices together and pour them over the fish.
- Combine the garlic, green onion and zest together. Sprinkle the mixture on the fish. Top with ground pepper.
- Cover the baking dish with foil and bake at 400F for 10-15 minutes. The fish should flake apart easily with a fork when done.
Makes four servings. Each serving contains (based on a 3 ounce fillet) 92 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, and .1 grams of fibre. It’s amazing how low calorie and low fat fish can be. With and entrée like that I was able to go nuts with my side dishes, a big pile of my beloved herbed wild rice, a bunch of glazed carrots, and some orange wedges for garnish. Tasty!