Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tuna Recipes

There are so many benefits to eating tuna. It is an excellent source of lean protein, vitamins, and minerals. One 6 oz can of tuna is about one third of our recommended daily amount of protein. It is naturally low in fat and calories. For 1-6oz can of StarKist Chunk Light Tuna in Water, there is 100 calories, 2g of fat and 22g of protein.

Here are some great links to tuna recipes:

Middle Eastern Tuna Salad

Fruity Tuna-Salad Pita Sandwiches
Crackers and Tuna
Tuscan-Style Tuna Salad
Tuna Melt
Tasty Tuna Burgers
Tuna Fish Salad
Zippy Tuna Salad
Zesty Lemon Tuna Cakes
Tuna-Garbanzo Salad

TIP: Use a low fat mayonnaise or a non-fat Miracle Whip. You'll save lots of calories and fat.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

McCormick's White Chicken Chili

This recipe is so easy and so quick to make. Oh and, it is soooo good!

White Chicken Chili
1 pkg. McCormick's White Chicken Chili Seasoning Mix
1 Tbsp. oil
1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1 cup water
1 can white beans, undrained

Heat oil and cook chicken 3-5 min until no longer pink. I used my slow cooker to cook the chicken with 1/2 cup of salsa and then I shred it. I find it more tender this way. But either way is fine!
Stir in seasoning mix,water and beans. Bring to a boil; cover. Reduce heat and simmer 10 mins, stirring occasionally.

Makes 8 Bandster portions with 170 calories and 18g of protein per serving without toppings.

Top your chili with, cheese, salsa, avocado, cilantro, or fat-free sour cream.
Remember, extra topping=extra calories.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

1lb extra lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 can of whole beans, (red, white, pinto, black..your choice)
1 taco seasoning packet (low sodium, if you can find it)
green peppers

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees. Depending on the how many you are serving, cut bell pepper. I quartered mine and made 4 servings. 2 bell peppers = 8 servings. Place cut peppers in a pan and bake till tender... you could grill them, too!
Meanwhile, brown your meat, drain well. Then add beans and taco seasoning. Add water according to the measurement on the taco seasoning packet. Simmer.
Top green peppers with taco mix.

Makes about 8 Bandster servings at 150 calories and 15g protein per serving size without extra topping.
Top with salsa (2 Tsp=10 cal), reduce-fat cheddar cheese (1 serving= 80 cal), fat-free sour cream (2Tbs=20cal).

Friday, July 24, 2009

Zucchini Fritters

Zucchini Fritters

1 medium zucchini, grated
2 eggs (1/2 cup Egg Beaters)
3 Tbs flour
salt and pepper
2 Tbs oil

Heat oil in pan, a good coat of Pam cooking spray works, too. Mix all ingredients together and season to taste. Pour 2-3 spoonfuls in pan and cook like a pancake. It only takes a minute or two to cook on each side.

Makes about 6 Bandster portions at 80 calories, and 3g of protein per serving.
It doesn't have a lot of protein. Don't forget to always eat your protein first.
These would taste really good with turkey sausage or refried black beans.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Italian Vegetable Soup

This soup was so good and it had so much flavor! It was gone before I could take a picture. I found the recipe in an old cookbook I've had since forever, Betty Crocker's Good and Easy Cookbook.

Italian Vegetable Soup
1 lb bulk Italian turkey sausage
1 medium onion
1 1/2 cups water
1 Tbs chopped fresh basil or 2 Tbs dry
2 medium summer squash
(I used one zucchini and one yellow)
1 can whole tomatoes, undrained
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 can beef broth

First, Cook sausage and onion. Drain.
Then, Stir in remaining ingredients, breaking up tomatoes. Heat to a boil; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 5 mins until squash is tender.
Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Makes 8 servings at 265 calories and 17g of protein per serving.

With soups, I don't typically eat them with the broth. I pick out the meat and the veggies.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Spinach-Bacon Quiche

Spinach-Bacon Quiche

2/3rds of a Pie crust
6 eggs (1 1/2 cup Egg Beaters)
1/2 cup non-fat milk
1/2 reduce fat cheddar cheese
4-5 cups fresh spinach, chopped or 1 package frozen (thawed and drained)
4 strips of cooked bacon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

First, On a floured surface roll out your pie crust with a rolling pin. Cut to the size you need. You don't have to do this step, but it makes it easier to eat for those who might have problem with crust and plus it's less calories. If you want to reduce even more calories, omit the crust all together.
Second, Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put your crust in the baking dish. Place crust in the oven to cook for 2-3 minutes while you start browning bacon and chopping spinach. Take the crust out and add spinach and cheese. Beat with hand mixer eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Add mixture to dish. The mixture should barely cover spinach. If it doesn't, add an extra whisked egg.
Top with crumbled bacon. Turkey bacon is a great substitute.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until eggs are cooked in center of quiche.
Makes 8 servings at 122 calories per serving.

Make it a Muffin Tin Meal!- you could omit the crust and bake in muffin tins!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

My Husband's Favorite Breakfast

Scrambled Eggs with Refried Black Beans
My husband is from Guatemala, where black beans is a staple in their daily diet. They eat refried black beans with bread for breakfast, and rice and black beans for lunch and dinner. He loves them with everything, it's like ketchup to him. Here is how I make the Band-friendly version, it's not quite like his mother's (heaven forbid), but they are still very tasty.

Refried Black Beans

1 can black beans
1/2-1 Tbs canola oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2-1 cup water
salt to taste

Drain a little bit of liquid from canned black beans. Then blend in food processor to the constistancy you like. I like them chuncky, the hubby likes them smooth. Heat oil, saute garlic and onion. Add pureed beans. Stir over medium heat and let them. Stir in water until beans are creamy. Add salt to taste.
Make 3 bandster servings with 165 calories

With our beans we had:
Scrambled Eggs with Mixed Peppers

1/4 cup of Southwestern Egg Beaters
1/4 cup of Mixed Peppers (green, red, yellow)

1 Bandster serving with 45 calories.

Total Breakfast: 210 calories

You know what is missing from this picture... Cilantro and Fat-Free sour cream(1Tsp=15cals).

Friday, July 17, 2009

Dinner Last Night

This was dinner last night...

Creamy Vegetables
1 can of low fat Cream of Mushroom Soup
1lb bag of frozen vegetables (I used a broccoli, cauliflower, carrot blend)
1/2 cup of reduce-fat cheddar cheese
Salt, pepper, dried basil to taste

Mix together and bake till vegetables are tender.
Makes 6 Bandster portions at 90 calories per serving.

For protein we had:
Lloyd's Seasoned Pulled Pork with Original BBQ Sauce

I found this the other day on sale and I thought I would try it. I am always looking for a quick dinner. Man, it was quick! It only takes 5 minutes to cook. We all have 5 minutes, right? It was pretty tasty, too. It has 70 calories per 2 oz serving and it makes 9 2oz servings. You can find it in your meat department.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 cup fat-free milk
2 cups chicken broth
1 lb chicken breast
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup peas
1 medium potato, chopped
1/2 green beans
Salt, pepper, Italian seasoning
1 store bought Pie Crust
First, cook your chicken. I cooked mine in a slow cooker for 6 hours on high. You could pan "fry", use left over chicken, or chicken from a can.
Next, to make the gravy, melt butter in sauce pan and flour. Stir. Add milk. Continue stirring. Mixture will start to thicken. Add chicken broth and seasonings. Add vegetables and chicken. Let cook on medium heat while you prepare pie crust.
Here's a Tip: As bandsters, we are always looking for ways to reduce calories. So with store bought pie crusts, I roll them out on a floured surface to make thinner. Then I cut it to the size I need. With this pot pie, I only used 2/3rds of the original pie crust. Hey, it saved me about 200 calories off my total dish.

Anyhow, fill an oven safe dish with the chicken and vegetables. Then top with your pie crust. Bake at 350 for about 1 hour. Makes a ton! Somewhere between 8-10 bandster portions with about 200 calories per serving.

With such a low cal dish,
I hope you saved room for dessert...

How cute is this?
I hope you saved that extra pie crust!!

You are going to need:
1/3 of a pie crust
2 medium apples
little bit of Splenda and Cinnamon

Bake in the tiniest oven safe dish you have for about an hour.
Serves two at 188 calories per serving.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tomato Gratin

This recipe is perfect for entertaining. It is tasty and healthy.
Original recipe found here.

Tomato Gratin
4 slices whole-grain bread, torn into quarters
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup finely shredded Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
4 medium tomatoes, sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

First, Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a shallow 2-quart baking dish with nonstick spray.

Second, Place bread in a food processor and pulse until coarse crumbs form. Add garlic, oil and cheese; pulse to combine. Spread the seasoned breadcrumbs on a baking sheet and bake until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, layer tomato slices in the prepared baking dish, sprinkling each layer with basil, pepper and salt. Bake the tomatoes for 10 minutes; sprinkle with the toasted breadcrumbs, and bake for 10 minutes more. Serve immediately.

I divided the recipe in half and got about 4 Bandster sized portions. About 96 calories per serving.

If you wanted to cut some of the calories, omit the cheese.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Cheesy Ragu

Here is a product I love!
Only 70 calories for 1/4 cup!

Chicken Alfredo

This recipe is so simple. It's 1lb chicken breast. I cooked the chicken with a squirt or two of fat-free Italian dressing in a slow cooker first. Then I chopped it up and add 1 cup of reduce fat Cheesy Ragu Light Parmesan Alfredo.
Makes 6 bandster portions. 135 calories per serving with 19g protein.

Chicken Stuffed with Ham and Cheese

Butterfly chicken breast half and beat flat with meat mallet. Season with favorite herbs. I used salt, pepper and dried basil. Add 1/4 cup or reduce-fat or fat-free cheese and a slice or two of chopped deli ham or turkey and roll. Secure with tooth picks. Bake until chicken is cooked (180 degrees). If you wanted to add a few more calories, you could lightly cover the chicken in bread crumbs and pan fry in a little oil. Baked chicken dries out quickly...try not to over cook. Add 1/4 cup of Cheesy Ragu Light Parmesan Alfredo to top.
Makes 2 bandster portions. 200 calories per serving with 23g protein.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Tips and Tricks- Chicken

Chicken can be really hard for some Bandsters to eat. Here are a few tips and tricks for tender chicken.

1. Don't over cook... cook boneless chicken until to 180 degrees and bone-in chicken to 170.
2. Chicken cooked with the bone-in tends to be more tender
3. Avoid freezing it. A lot of the juices are lost in defrosting.
4. Marinades help chicken stay moist while cooking.
5. Baste
6. Rubs help seal in juices
7. Don't use salt until after the chicken is cooked. Salt extract juices.
8. Use the old crock pot. If fresh, cook on low for 5-6 hours with 1/2 cup water or broth. If frozen, cook 8-10 hours with 1/2 cup water or broth.

I tend to use my crock pot the most. If I know I will be using chicken for dinner, I through it in the Crock Pot in the morning and it is done by dinner time. The only thing is when using boneless chicken breast, by the time it's done, it becomes more like shredded chicken instead of actual breast. Which is nice, because it is very easy to eat.

When buying a Crock Pot or slow cooker, bigger isn't always better. If you are only cooking a pound at a time, then get the smallest one you can find. I have a big one I use for 3-4 lbs and a smaller one for 1-2 lbs. When I use my big Crock Pot for my 1 lb of meat, it dries out a lot faster.

I hope this helps!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Quick Snack and A Quick Jam

I don't really have a name for it but...
It kind of tastes like Cheesecake.

1Before the band, I would eat this on an English muffin or bagel.

1 reduce-fat gram cracker 60 cal
1/2 oz fat-free cream cheese 15 cal
your favorite jam

I make my jam. I do it every year. This year I am starting to experiment more with using Splenda and natural fruit juice instead of regular sugar. Freezer jam is something everyone can do. It is so simple and you don't need any special equipment.

Strawberry Freezer Jam
You will need:

Box of Ball No Cook Freezer Jam Fruit Pectin
4 cups mashed Strawberries (5-6 cups whole)
1 1/2 cup Splenda
Plastic Containers


First, Clean and hull strawberries. Mash them. I use my blender. You don't want to puree them, you want them to have liquid, but still be chunky.
Second, Mix Splenda and Pectin in separate bowl. Mix well.
Third, Add mashed strawberries and stir for 3-5 mins.
Fourth, Ladle mixture into clean jars or plastic containers. Let sit for an hour or so.

Store in Freezer up to a year or Refrigerate for 3 weeks.

If you don't like the after taste of Splenda, you could do a half sugar-half Splenda mixture. Or 1 cup Slenda and 1/2 cup of sugar. Remember, sugar=calories.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Baked Fish

I haven't experimented a lot with fish. I was raised on fried, beer-battered catfish and fish sticks. So when it comes to real fish, I am totally clueless. When I came across these...

I got excited. I found them in the frozen food section of my local grocery store. They are individual, 4oz servings, which is awesome if you are just cooking for one. The great thing is that they were only 1 dollar each... so if I totally messed them up, then I wasn't out much.

So here is how it went down:
I sprayed tin foil with a light coat of Pam.
Seasoned the fish with my favorite seasonings
(salt, Italian seasoning, minced garlic)
Add fresh veggies and a tiny bit of butter.
Wrap it up and bake.
I used the recommended temperature and time from the bag.

All in all, it turned out pretty good. Well worth my dollar!

The Tilapia (top picture) was only 140 calories total with broccoli and 29g protein.
The Alaska Pollock (bottom picture) was only 200 calories total and 26g protein.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Tuna Melt

Tuna Melt

1 can tuna in water
1 green onion
1 Tbs fat-free mayonnaise
1/2 Tbs lemon juice
Salt and Pepper
2 Roma tomatoes

Slice tomatoes horizontally and spoon out the insides. Drain tuna and mix everything together. Fill tomatoes with mixture. Top with favorite cheese. I used mozzarella.
Bake 400 for about 10mins.

Makes 2 Bandster portions at 126 calories each serving.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Chicken Parmesan with Zucchini Pasta

Chicken Parmesan with Zucchini Pasta

Doesn't this look good! I have made this twice this week. It is so good and easy. At first, my husband was a little iffy about the sauteed zucchini instead of pasta (Thanks to Cook Yourself Thin for the idea!). But after one bite, he was convinced.

A while back, I read over the original recipe and thought it was the craziest thing. I think it was from a Fix-it and Forget-It slow cooker recipe book. Anyhow, the other day, I found myself out of chicken breasts and staring at a Costco-sized bag of chicken nuggets in my freezer wondering what I could do with them. Then, out of the blue, this recipe came back to me.

It went something like this:

Chicken Nuggets

Yes, those are Mickey Mouse nuggets! I do have kids, you know.
Line the bottom of your slow cooker with chicken nuggets. Just one layer. I used 15 in total.
Then add spaghetti sauce. I used 1 1/2 cups.

Cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours until everything is cooked and tender.
About 15 mins before you want to serve add 1/2 cup of cheese. I used Mozzarella.
Cover and continue cooking.

Zucchini "as" Pasta

1 medium zucchini= 2 servings
Thinly slice zucchini...paper thin. I used the slicer on my old school, hand held grater.
Season to taste.
Saute in 1 Tbs Extra light olive oil for a minute or two
Serve as your pasta.

Serves 5 Bandster sized portions. My calorie estimations per serving:
265 for Chicken
80 for Zucchini

Wow, that is only 345 calories! Not bad!

Oh, I am sure you could bake it if you didn't have a slow cooker.


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