Skillet Pork Curry with Apples

Pork is a very versatile and economic meat. Pork tenderloin is often readily available. If you don’t like pork, you can easily sub this with chicken or turkey breast.

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Overview

Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 to 1-1/2 pork tenderloin
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp of ground coriander
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1 tsp of turmeric
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger root
  • 2 red skinned apples cored and cubed
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp of flour
  • 1 cup of low fat plain yogourt
  • 1 tbsp liquid honey
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 1/4 cup of raisins
  • 1/4 cup of chopped peanuts

Directions

  1. Slice meat into small coin sized pieces by cutting twice length wide the tenderloin and then again into coins
  2. Heat a little of the oil in a non stick skillet and brown the pork on high heat
  3. Reduce heat to medium low, add remaining oil, coriander, cumin, turmeric, red pepper flakes stirring for about 1 minute. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Add apples, stirring frequently, approximately 5 minutes. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and stir in pork. Cover and simmer for about 3 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle flour over yogourt, add honey and mix well. Stir into pork mixture

Nutritional facts per Serving

  • Calories 320
  • Sugar 19.9 g
  • Carbohydrates 27 g
  • Protein 29.7 g
  • Fiber 3.8 g
  • Fat 11.4 g

This recipe is not overpowering in spice or very spicy. It’s is fine for most pallets. You can adjust as you need. The original recipe called for Chinese noodles, unfortunately those are extremely high in carbs. My suggestion would be over rice. A half cup of cooked rice is a good portion for a calorie reduced plan. Anything you chose, the key is portion size. Your choices are endless so have fun and make it your own.

 

 

Basic French Crepes

Here is a basic crepe batter that is easy, tasty, and can be ready in minutes. The ingredients are usually readily available in any house. These are low in calorie, it’s up to you what you put in them

Overview

Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes (if you have two pans it’s a lot quicker)
Makes 10 crepes

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Ingredients

• 1-1/4 cups of all purpose flour
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup of low fat milk
• 1/2 cup of water
• 1/4 tsp of salt
• 2 tbsp of margarine

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk milk, eggs, water, butter
  2. Combine flour and salt in a small bowl
  3. Gradually add the flour to the milk mixture while whisking until smooth
  4. In a nonstick 8 inch pan over medium heat pour 1/4 cup of batter and tilt the pan in a circular motion to coat the bottom evenly with batter
  5. Cook for approximately 1-1/2 minutes until bottom is light brown and flip and cook for another 30 seconds
  6. Place each crepe on a plate separated with wax paper

Nutritional Facts per Serving (one crepe)

  • Calories 103
  • Sugar 1.5 g
  • Carbohydrates 13.2 g
  • Protein 3.6 g
  • Fiber 0.8 g
  • Fat 3.6 g

Now for the fun part. As a dessert, as seen in picture you can add 1/2 cup of fruit with 1/3 cup of greek vanilla yogourt and this is approximately 180 cal. That is one of my favourite ways to do this. For someone where calories and fat don’t matter you could do it with whipped cream. You could do it as a breakfast crepe where you would heat it for 20 seconds in microwave and put Nutella and bananas in it. The possibilities are endless.

Let your imagination go, have fun and make it your own.

Oatmeal Carrot Muffins

I can not take credit for this recipe. This is a variation from John Ashlie, and Anne Lindsay made it her own and now I have adapted it slightly here.

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Overview

Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 20-25 minutes
Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup margarine melted
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • 1 tsp grated orange rind
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 baking soda
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, pour buttermilk over oats, stir to mix. Cover and left stand for 2 hours or refrigerate overnight.
  2. Mix together carrots, brown sugar, margarine egg and orange rind: stir into oat mixture.
  3. Sift together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, baking soda; stir in raisins. Stir until batter is moistened.
  4. Using an ice-cream scoop (I love this trick) scoop into a lined muffin tin. Should fill just about to the top.
  5. Place in preheated oven at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until cake tester comes out clean. Let stand for 2 minutes

Nutritional facts per Serving

  • Calories 145
  • Sugar 13.8 g
  • Carbohydrates 30 g
  • Protein 3.3 g
  • Fiber 1.6 g
  • Fat 1.4 g

These muffins are moist, delicious, healthy and light. What more could we ask for. I like dark raisins but if you prefer the light those are good too. I added some time in the preparation due to the grating of the carrots. 1 large carrot should do it.
Play with the spices, and remember to have fun and make it your own.

Weight management

There are many reasons for weight management, health being the primary reason. Let’s face it, one of the reasons is vanity. No one likes looking in the mirror and seeing those extra pounds just hanging around. No one likes taking out their favourite outfit and it’s just too snug or doesn’t fit at all.

A friend of mine had a close call with her diabetes, which reinforced the fact that we must maintain a healthy weight with a healthy diet and exercise. It made me look in the mirror and admit that I have quite a few pounds to lose myself.

We all know some of the downfalls of being overweight. Diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gallbladder disease, arthritis, joint problems, sleep disorders, menstrual issues and fertility issues. That is beside the emotional well-being of ourselves.

Losing weight is all about a lifestyle change. Eating better, leaner, smaller portions, healthy snacks, and of course being active.

A diet that takes away any of the essentials foods can not be healthy. I’m not a doctor, nor do I claim to be one, but telling me I can’t eat something makes me think I will want it. I like my carbs, take them away, I will lose the 10 or 20 lbs in a short time but the minute I reach that goal, I will sit there in front of a large plate of pasta, with a cream sauce, and have a chocolate molten cake for dessert. Within a few months to a year, I will put that weight back on.

I believe that anything in moderation is fine. I had been followed by a nutritionist a while back and her main thing was portion control and healthy choices. I succeeded at that time losing 75 lbs. Over the last decade I’ve put 40 of those lbs back on. Foods a little richer, portions got a little bigger. Time to get back on track.

For a while, most of the recipes that will be posted will be fat reduced, healthy and tasty. This is no way means, boring, dull, unflavourful, tasteless meals, and no treats. Quite the opposite, let us have fun and make this our own.

 

Authentic New Orleans Style Gumbo

This Gumbo is made with a dark roux, vegetables, chicken, sausage and shrimp. Served over rice. You need to have patience for this recipe. The roux will take you an hour of constant stirring. There are no short cuts, no easy way, but you will find it so worth it at the end. It’s the only way to have this authentic New Orleans Gumbo

Overview
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 1h15 minutes
Serves 6 (large portions)

Ingredients

For the Roux:

  • 1 heaping cup of all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup of canola oil

For the Gumbo:

  • 3 celery ribs (diced, leaves and all)
  • 1 green pepper diced
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 1 bunch of green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley leaves (about 1 cup) finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp of Cajun seasoning
  • 6-8 cups of chicken broth
  • 12 ounces of Andouille sausage sliced into coins
  • 1 lb of cooked cut chicken
  • 2 cups of cooked shrimp
  • 3 cups of cooked rice for serving (not included in nutritional value)

Directions

  1. Make the roux: In a large stock pot or dutch oven, combine flour and oil. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring constantly for 45-60 minutes. This takes a lot of patience. When it is finished it should be the color of a dark brick and have a soft cookie dough like consistency. Be very careful to not let it burn. Feel free to add flour or oil for the needed consistency. img_1571
  2. Cook the vegetables: in a pan heat oil and sweat your onion and garlic. Add vegetables and 1/2 cup of broth to soften the vegetables. Once the vegetables are soft, put aside.
  3. Brown the sausage. Over medium high heat add to the pan that had the vegetables, place in pan in one layer. Brown them well on one side (2-3 minutes) and then use a fork to flip over onto the other side to brown.
  4. Add vegetables, sausage, chicken, shrimp and remaining broth to the roux and mix well. Stir in the spices and parsley. Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for 7-10 minutes.
  5. Serve with white rice. Preferably unflavored so your gumbo is the star.img_1574

Nutritional facts per Serving

  • Calories 464
  • Sugar 1 g
  • Carbohydrates 5 g
  • Protein 12 g
  • Fiber 1 g
  • Fat 29 g

 

Your roux can be made ahead 3-5 days, and stored in the fridge in a large resealable bag for 3-4 days.

The portions are very generous. The recipe says 6 servings. We actually did 8. Since this recipe does make a lot you can save leftovers by freezing them. Allow it to cool completely and store in a freezer safe container (separate from the rice) for 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and repeat on the stove over low heat. Season this to your taste, you can add more Cajun spices to your liking and remember patience is key and have fun and make it your own.

Maple-Sweeteneed Banana Muffins

These whole wheat maple sweetened banana muffins are easy to make, with basic ingredients, one bowl and moist. Don’t tell anyone but they are healthy too.

3806971F-CD7E-4588-A8C6-59C372A96DF7Overview

  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup of vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup of maple syrup
  • 2 eggs, preferable at room temperature
  • 1 cup of mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium bananas)
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, plus a little more for sprinkling on top
  • 1-3/4 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup of rolled oats, plus a little more for sprinkling on top
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar or brown sugar, for sprinkling on top

Directions

  1. Preheat oven at 325. Grease your muffin tin if necessary. I use silicon muffin liners in my pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the oil and maple syrup with a whisk. Add the eggs and beat well. Mix in the mashed bananas and milk, followed by the baking soda, vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon.
  3. Add flour and oats to the bowl and mix with a large spoon, just until combined. (this is where you would add in any additional ingredients, that make it your own)
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the muffins. (I use an ice-cream scoop filled and it works out pretty good)
  5. Top with sugar, extra oats and cinnamon.
  6. Bake for 22-25 minutes until cake tester or toothpick come out clean from centre.
  7. Place on cooling rack to cool. These muffins will keep at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the fridge for 4-7 days. You can also freeze them in a freezer bag for up to 3 months (just defrost individual muffins as needed).

Nutritional facts per Serving

  • Calories 208
  • Sugar 12.6 g
  • Carbohydrates 33 g
  • Protein 4.5 g
  • Fiber 3.4 g
  • Fat 7.6 g

Serving suggestions: these muffins are great on their own, or with a pat of butter, or peanut butter. You can have them cold or slightly heated in the micro for no more than 30 seconds.

This is where you can fun. Your add-ins are your creation. You could fold in up to 3/4 cup of chocolate chips, chopped dried fruit including cranberries, cystalized ginger and or chopped nuts. You could put a topping like cream cheese icing or maple glaze. It’s all up to you but remember to have fun and make it your own.

Bolognese Sauce

This is something you do when you have the time and you are in the mood for comfort food. You can’t rush this sauce.  This is one variation of it. It’s is very meaty.  I will give you suggestions on alternates lower to help make it your own.

Overview 

  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 3 hours
  • Serves 5 or 6

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of ground turkey 
  • 12 ounces of hot Italian sausage sliced thinly
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery chopped
  • 2 medium carrots chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 1 cup of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1 tsp of dried oregano
  • 1 tsp of dried basil
  • 1 tsp of dried parsley
  • 1 tsp of black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper
  • 1 tbsp of sugar

Directions

  1. In large Dutch oven, brown meat over medium-high heat.
  2. Remove meat and cook vegetables. Once vegetables are tender add meat back.
  3. Add milk and simmer uncovered until milk is almost completely evaporated
  4. Stir in broth and simmer uncovered until nearly evaporated.
  5. Stir in tomatoes and spices and paste.

Nutritional facts per Serving 

  • Calories 426
  • Sugar 16.5 g
  • Carbohydrates 15.25 g
  • Protein 30 g
  • Fiber 4.75 g
  • Fat 23.6 g

This is where you can fun. You can change your meats.  As long as you keep the weight the same you are good. Example 4 ounces less of Italian sausage and increase 4 ounces of bacon. Change the turkey meat for ground beef. The amount of spice is up to you. Have fun and make it your own.

Best-Ever Blueberry Buckle Cake

Who doesn’t like blueberries? Put that into a cake and you have a recipe for success. A little high on the calorie count but sometimes it’s just worth it.

Overview
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 40-45 minutes
Serves 15

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Ingredients

For topping

  • 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 4 tbsp of melted butter
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • Pinch of kosher salt

For Cake

  • 2 cup of all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 tbsp butter softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup of packed brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp of melted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of buttermilk (if you don’t have use regular milk with 2 tbsp of vinegar)
  • 2 cups of fresh blueberries


Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 and grease a 9 by 12 pan. If you use a different size pan, adjust your cook time by testing every five minutes. The bigger the pan the less cook time.
  2. Make topping: in a medium bowl stir to combine all ingredients until no dry spots remain
  3. Make cake: in a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, beat to combine butter, sugars, egg and vanilla. Slowly add to dry ingredients until all is incorporated. Gently fold in blueberries until just combined. Transfer to prepared baking pan.
  4. Add the topper sporadically across the cake. Bake for 40-45 minutes until cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Let cool for 15 minutes before slicing and serving

Nutritional facts per Serving

  • Calories 220
  • Sugar 3.6 g
  • Carbohydrates 20 g
  • Protein 4 g
  • Fiber 1.3 g
  • Fat 7 g

You can add some nuts to the top when you put the topping on. You can serve it with ice cream, if calories don’t matter, that is. I also could see it with a blueberry coils or some whipped cream. Have fun and make it your own.

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Fluffy Pancakes

Can we really have too many pancake recipes? I think not. This one is a favourite in our house. They are fluffy, tasty and easy to make.  The original recipe calls for buttermilk.  Not something that I usually have in the house so I’ve altered the recipe accordingly.

Overview 

Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Makes 8 pancakes

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup of low fat milk
  • 2 tbsp of white vinegar
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp of white sugar
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of baking side
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp ofmelted butter

Directions

  • Combine milk and vinegar in a medium bowl and set aside to sour (5 minutes)
  • Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well
  • Whisk soured milk, egg and butter together
  • Pour into dry ingredients and mix well until smooth and no lumps.  Let sit for 5 minutes
  • Heat large skillet or hot plate and coat with cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cup onto skillet and cook on medium heat until bubbles form on the top. Flip and cook until brown.

Nutritional facts per Serving (one pancake)

  • Calories 106
  • Sugar 12 g
  • Carbohydrates 17 g
  • Protein 3 g
  • Fiber 0 g

This is where you can start having fun. You could add cinnamon or chopped walnuts, or vanilla extract. You can add chocolate chips, raisins, cranberries, blueberries. The list is endless.  We like them plain but have fun and make it your own.

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Pumpkin Muffins

I know it’s not the time of year for pumpkin anything, but when you go to your pantry and see a can of pumpkin pie filling that is about to expire you say, “Time to make the muffins!” You can also make this with pumpkin purée, see note for adding spices.

IMG_1543Overview

Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 22-28 minutes
Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup of white flour (I use unbleached flour)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 540 ml can of pumpkin pie filling or 15 ounce can
  • 1/2 cup canola oil 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375 and line standard muffin tin with paper liners
  • Mix dry ingredients together.
  • In another bowl whisk eggs, pumpkin, oil and vanilla
  • Pour wet ingredients into the dry and stir together. Do not over mix.  Just make sure everything blends together.
  • I use an ice cream scoop to evenly distribute the batter. It’s also quite easy with less spillage.
  • Bake for 22-28 minutes until toothpick comes out clean

Note: if you are using pumpkin purée add the following spices: another tsp of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves, 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg

Nutritional facts per Muffin

  • Calories 256
  • Sugar 25 g
  • Carbohydrates 41 g
  • Protein 3.4 g
  • Fiber 2 g

I thought about this after, I could have added some raisins, or some walnuts, or chocolate chips.  So whatever time of year it is, it’s always a good time for pumpkin muffins.  Have fun and make it your own.