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Guilt free macaroni and cheese!

Low Fat Macaroni and Cheese

I was looking for a classic dish to make, and decided on macaroni and cheese. This meal is usually very high in fat, so I replaced the high fat ingredients for ones that had less calories and less carbs. By substituting these items, my dinner was a little less cheesy, but it still tasted great and I didn’t feel guilty after eating a bunch of it! I ended up adding salt and pepper for a little more taste, and it finished off the recipe perfectly!

What the recipe calls for:

  •  2 packages of 0 calories Miracle Noodle Rigatoni Pasta
  • 1 tbsp light butter
  • 1/8 cup fat free skim milk
  • 1/4 cup cheese powder
  • Salt and pepper for taste

Perfect with some salt and pepper!

Directions: 

Drain and Rinse your noodles very well. Pat noodles as dry as possible with paper towels. It’ super important to get the noodles as try as you can!  Microwave your noodles for about 2 minutes on high. Transfer noodles to a medium sized sauce pan and turn on medium heat. Add butter and stir until melted. Add in cheese powder and milk, and stir until cheese has fully dissolved. Serve warm.

Nutrition: 

Calories: 270 • Fat: 2 g • Protein: 11 g • Carb: 52 g • Fiber: 2 g

Steals & Deals:

I found the Miracle Noodles at Trader Joe’s Market on the “must sale” rack for only $2.25 for a small package. They’re usually $8-$12 each, so I was very lucky! I bought a 1lb tub of light margarine $3.15, along with cheese powder for $1.70. I already had slim milk, so altogether this meal cost $7.65! It lasted for three nights, and was very yummy!

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Sweet and salty kettle corn!

Healthy Kettle Corn

Here is a great snack that is guilt free and taste delicious! I received this recipe from The Skinny Kitchen website, and I have made it multiple times now. It’s the perfect late night snack that is easy to prepare, it’s sweet and salty and a great dish to share with friends!

What the recipe calls for:

  • ¼ vegetable oil (do not use olive oil for this recipe)
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ⅔ cup un-popped white or yellow popcorn kernels
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste

Perfect late night snack!

Directions:

In a large, deep nonstick pot add the oil, sugar, water and popcorn. Mix together until all kernels are coated.  Shake to spread out over pan.  Cover and heat on medium-high heat. Shake the pan often to keep the sugar from burning.  Once the popping has started, shake pan continuously until all kernels have slowed to once every 2-3 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and continue to shake until the popping has stopped. Pour into a large bowl.  Sprinkle with salt and serve  warm.

Nutrition:

Calories: 125 • Fat: 7 g • Protein: 1 g • Carb: 14 g • Fiber: 1 g

Steals and Deals:

I bought the vegetable oil for $4.25 at the Safeway Grocery Store, along with a bag of un-popped kernels for only  $2.75. The salt and sugar I already had, so this snack that lasts for weeks only cost me $6.50!

The best birthday chicken!

Low Fat Grilled Lemon Chicken Breast

For my boyfriend’s birthday, I decided I would attempt to grill him dinner instead of making one of my smaller portioned meals. I chose to make grilled lemon breast chicken, which took about 35 minutes to cook; however it was an extremely simple recipe. I found the recipe idea from the website, allrecipes.com. I paired the chicken breasts with corn on the cob, potato slices and grilled veggies. It was a perfect meal for two, and unfortunately there wasn’t any leftovers. Next time I would grill a couple more breasts that way I can save them for other meals.

What the recipe calls for:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 cup of lemon juice
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of onion powder
  • salt and pepper for taste

Perfect dinner for two!

Directions:
Preheat grill for medium to high heat, and lightly oil the grate. Dip chicken breast into the lemon juice, sprinkle the onion powder and add salt and pepper. Cook on the grill for about 10-15 minutes on each side. Make sure the meat is not pink and the juices run clear before you serve.
Nutrition:
Calories: 139 • Fat: 1.5 g • Protein: 22.5 g • Carb: 45.3 g • Fiber: 4.2 g
Steals & Deals:
I bought the chicken breasts on sale with a $1.00 off coupon at Safeway Grocery Store for $1.69 per pound for boneless skinless chicken breast, 4 pounds per bag. The corn on the cob was also on sale for only .10 cents a piece! I bought two small baked potatoes for .79 cents each. The veggies I already had, as well as the lemon juice. I stopped into Walmart and bought a small bottle of  onion powder $1.29. It’s super easy to find deals if you just search for weekly ads and you know exactly what you are looking for, that way you do not buy any unnecessary items.

Quick and easy baked ziti!

Low Fat Baked Ziti

I was extremely busy this week, so I decided I needed to cook a dish that would last all week, and taste relatively good for left overs. My mother (the cooking expert), suggested that I try a low fat Baked Ziti recipe of hers because she said it was fairly easy, it serves 8 and I had most of the cheese left from my last meal- Pasta with Ricotta Cheese and Spinach. It actually turned out great, and it was nice because I was able to have a lot of carbs without feeling guilty.


What the recipe calls for: 

  • 1 lb high fiber ziti such as Barilla Noodles
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic,minced
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 8 oz fat-free ricotta
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan
  • 2 cups (8 oz) part skim mozzarella
  • Non stick cooking spray

Bon Appetite!

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with non stick cooking spray. In a large pot of salted water, cook pasta according to instructions until the noodles are firm. Drain noodles and return to pot. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, add olive oil and sauté garlic. Add salt, pepper and chopped tomatoes. Season with garlic salt. Add sauce to the pasta and combine the ziti. Add half of the mozzarella, Parmesan cheese and ricotta. Mix well then transfer to the baking pan. Pour the pasta mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Top with the remaining mozzarella. Bake for 30 minutes, or until mozzarella is melted and the edges are lightly browned.

Nutrition: 

Calories: 331 • Fat: 7.1 g • Protein: 17.5 g • Carb: 54.7 g • Fiber: 7.8 g

Steals & Deals:

I already had the garlic cloves, ricotta cheese, non stick cooking spray and olive oil from my previous dinner last week. I went to Wal Mart and bought Hunt’s Crushed Tomatoes with garlic, basil and oregano for $3.00. I also found a box of Barilla Ziti noodles for $2.00, Great Value Parmesan Cheese for $1.58 along with 8 oz of skim mozzarella cheese for $4.70. So for my low fat baked ziti it cost me about $13.00 and lasted 6 nights!

Zesty pasta with ricotta cheese and spinach!

Rotini Pasta with Ricotta Cheese and Spinach

This week I thought I would try to make a dish that was a little more formal than chicken breast, so I opted for rotini pasta with ricotta cheese and spinach. I found the recipe off of the TLC television website: http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/pasta-with-spinach-and-ricotta-recipe.htm. I wanted to make an Italian main entree and stumbled upon this recipe that only took 24 minutes total to prepare and cook, so I decided to try it out.

What the recipe calls for:

  • 12 ounces rotini, penne or shell pasta
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 10 ounces baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup nonfat milk

Preparation

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, coat a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat medium to low heat. Saute garlic for about 5 minutes or until it’s soft. Add spinach and basil to the skillet, and stir until wilted. Then add ricotta cheese and milk to skillet and stir well. Drain pasta, but keep 1/4 cup or so of cooking water. Combine cooked pasta and ricotta mixture in a large bowl. Add the 1/4 cup of cooking water to mixture if needed. Serve immediately with salt and pepper.
Nutrition facts:

Calories 296, Total Fat 5.9g, Carbohydrates 47.2g, Fiber 3.1g, Protein 13.8g

Steals & Deals:

I was able to find the 16 oz rotini shells on sale for $1.50 at the Fry’s Grocery Store on Rural Rd and Southern Rd, as well as Frigo low fat Ricotta cheese 32 oz tub for only $3.99. I bought a large container of organic spinach leaves for $3.75 at the same store. The rest of the ingredients I already had, so all together it cost be about $10.00 for this meal; however I was able to make it 4 additional nights for dinner. I would say that is a deal!

Photo Story

Choosing which size cup I'd like to devour at the Zoyo Neighborhood Yogurt shop at the Arizona State University Tempe Campus location.

The best part of the process is picking out my most favorite toppings.

Weighing in at .78 oz, this delicious treat was a nice end to my day.

My first meal

 

I did it! I finally made my first meal, and it wasn’t so bad I have to admit. I received the recipe from one of my mothers personal cook books, and was pleasantly surprised by the turn out. I wanted to try something with a little substance so I decided to try grilled chicken with spinach and melted mozzarella cheese. I had grapes and sliced tomatoes with garlic salt for my side entrees.

I bought the chicken actually on sale for $1.69/lb at the Safeway on Broadway and University in Tempe, along with the garlic cloves, spinach and mozzarella cheese. The meal is supposed to serve 6 people, so I had grilled chicken every night for dinner. The good thing was I could cut it up and put it in a salad, I made a chicken sandwich using ciabatta bread and also mixed it in with a bowl of white rice. I only spent $13.44 at the store, which provided me with dinner and a couple lunches for an entire week- I would say that is a major score. This meal was also a low fat recipe, so I didn’t feel guilty after I was uncomfortably full from the dish.

What the recipe calls for:

  • 24 oz (3 large) chicken breasts sliced in half lengthwise to make 6 cutlets
  • salt and pepper (for taste)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 10 oz frozen spinach, drained
  • 3 oz shredded part skim mozzarella
  • 1 roasted red pepper, sliced in strips
  • olive oil spray
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400°. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Lightly spray a grill with oil (I used my off brand George Foreman grill). Cook chicken on the grill until no longer pink. Meanwhile, heat a sauté pan on medium heat. Add oil and garlic, sauté a few seconds, add spinach, salt and pepper. Cook a few minutes until heated through. When the chicken is done, lay on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment for easy clean-up. Divide spinach evenly between the 6 pieces and place on top. Top each with half oz mozzarella, then slices of roasted pepper and bake until melted, about 6-8 minutes.
Nutrition facts:
Calories: 153.3 Fat: 4.2 g Protein: 24.5 g Carb: 4.0 g Fiber: 1.3 g Sugar: .7 g