Category Archives: protein

Crock Pot Chicken Tacos + Homemade Taco Seasoning

Good morning! ๐Ÿ˜€

I hadn’t planned to blog this morning, but I couldn’t sleep in any. I was going to try sleeping in until…get this…6:30am! I know, what an exciting life I lead. Yesterday’s commutes were much better than expected and I was in the car just under 3 hours all day. That sounds insane, but considering the mileage and the snow, that’s not bad at all!! When I expect the worst, I end up early…go figure ๐Ÿ˜‰

Last night was another successful class. We talked about carbohydrates and the dangers of low-carb diets. I think I have them all convinced that carbs are good…especially the ones that contain fiber and are healthiest! ๐Ÿ˜€ I feel like they are so engaged and interested in the topics we talk about, it really makes for a fun, engaging class. I hope they feel the same way, ha!

So yes, I couldn’t sleep in but maybe that’s because I was so anxious to share a new crock pot recipe with you all! As I had planned, the old crock has been getting some use and the results have been scrumptious! Not always pretty, but healthy and good! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Oh, and time-efficient, too!!


Homemade Taco Seasoning from Sweet Life Kitchen as seen on Bean Town Baker

3 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried onion flakes
3/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp oregano
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 1/2 Tbsp cumin
2 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp black pepper


Mix it all together! The mix can be stored in an airtight container for up to a year! 2 1/2 tablespoons = 1 store-bought packet.


Crockpot Chicken Tacos from Sweet Life Kitchen as seen on Bean Town Baker

2 1/2 Tbsp taco seasoning mix (recipe above) or 1 packet of store-bought
15 oz low-sodium chicken broth
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes and liquid
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 5 ounces each)
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce + 2 Tbsp adobo sauce
Your favorite taco fixins (lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, etc.)*


In a large bowl or measuring cup pour the chicken broth in, and use a fork to whisk in the taco seasoning mixture.

Spray the slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Open the diced tomato can and pour all contents over the bottom of the slow cooker. Lay the chicken breasts on top of the tomatoes and pour the broth, seasoning, and adobo peppers and sauce over that. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-10 hours. The chicken should fork apart easily in the crock pot. Serve. Yield: 5 servings (4-ounces each).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 146 calories; 2.8 g. fat; 65 mg. sodium; 460 mg. sodium; 5.8 g. carbohydrate; 1.6 g. fiber; 24.2 g. protein

Result: Ohhh my goodness! These were OUT of this world! Personally, I think the chipotle peppers in the adobo sauce are what made this taco meat so flavorful, but I’m probably a little biased since I made that addition to the original recipe. There is plenty of liquid to let this cook as long as you need to without drying out, and the meat just flakes apart with the touch of a fork. Reheats beautifully, too! *Nutrition information is for the meat only – tortilla and taco fixin’s are not accounted for. Enjoy!

Question: Hard shell or soft shell tacos?

I always do soft corn shells…so much flavor and healthier, too!

I’m off to work and then leaving for Chicago! My 15-hour work day yesterday more than makes up for a 3-day relaxing weekend with my family!! ๐Ÿ˜€ Cannot wait!! I also can’t wait to get in a good workout…my last workout was shoveling on Tuesday. My parent’s gym will be seeing plenty of me!

“See” you in the Windy City!



Filed under carb-controlled, carbohydrates, crock pot, dinner, exercise, guilt-free, healthy cooking, low-carb, protein, recipe, teaching, travel, work

Quiche Cornbread

Gooood morning!

I hope your weekend is going splendidly! I got in both lesson planning AND a good workout yesterday (3 mile run + 15 minutes on the elliptical) all while managing to stay in my PJ’s until 4pm :-D. And I grocery shopped, too! Mr. P and I stayed in with a movie and just ate leftovers…nothing special ๐Ÿ™‚ But this morning I made up for a dull culinary night.

Quiche Cornbread adapted from Healthy Tipping Point

1 head broccoli, roasted
8.5 ounce box Jiffy corn muffin mix
5 eggs, divided
1/2 cup egg substitute
1/4 2/3 cup almond skim milk, divided
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup 2% cheddar cheese, shredded


Preheat oven to 350ยฐ F.

Chop broccoli into florets and roast for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the cornbread mix by adding 1/3 cup milk and 1 egg to the box of Jiffy. Combine well. Pour into a greased 12″ cast iron skillet and bake for 15 minutes.

After roasted and slightly cooled, chop broccoli into bits. Combine broccoli, 4 eggs, egg substitute, milk, and salt and pepper in a small bowl.ย  Beat thoroughly. Pour egg mix on top of cornbread. Sprinkle with cheese.ย  Put back in the oven and bake for 15 minutes at 350.ย  Increase temp to 400 degrees and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before slicing. Yield: 6 pieces.

Nutrition Information (for 1/6th): 280 calories; 10.3 g. fat; 186 mg. cholesterol; 643 mg. sodium; 34.8 g. carbohydrate; 1.7 g. fiber; 14.7 g. protein

Result: This was delicious! I highly recommend making this for a group or as breakfast to reheat for the week. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, I think a round bakeware would do just fine. And you’ve got to love veggies for breakfast…woop woop! Enjoy!

I get to play hockey tonight! Last “season” ended in early December and I do believe my skate blades are getting a bit rusty!! Hope we win! ๐Ÿ˜€

Question: Do you enjoy quiche?

Weight Watchers post tomorrow – look for it! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Filed under breakfast, exercise, fruits and vegetables, healthy cooking, hockey, protein, recipe, vegetarian

Start 2011 off right & tasty!

HAPPY 2011!!!!!

I hope the coming year brings you all nothing but health and happiness! ๐Ÿ˜€

Mr. Prevention and I had a cocktail at my favorite bar last night and then went out for a late seafood dinner. YUM! 9pm dinners miss the NYE crowd, FYI…it was very nice. ๐Ÿ™‚ Then we headed over to a friend’s house for a mellow get together and just watched the NYC festivities on TV and played Mad Gab – it was fun! I stayed up til nearly 2am and slept until 9:30am! Definitely not standard for me, but at least I got my sleep ๐Ÿ˜€ (We like to sleep in this house. A lot.)

If you’re like most Americans, and myself, you may have (or plan to) set a new years resolution that involves health. Your resolution may involve weight loss, weight maintenance, exercise, healthy eating, cooking, resistance training, eating less processed foods, or so on. The sky is the limit and we all have different goals…goals that likely entail following a healthy lifestyle. And what better way to lead a healthy lifestyle than to eat a healthy diet. Three meals a day can easily lead to success or failure when it comes to attaining health and wellness goals. Thus, healthy cooking is the cornerstone to the healthy lifestyle I lead and blog about here at Prevention RD.

My blog has definitely taken that turn towards a healthy cooking blog in the past year and I love its new direction. Americans don’t cook enough and it has helped land us in the obesity crisis we are now in. While I do love to whip up some fancy stuff to challenge my culinary abilities, I more so enjoy finding healthy, tasty, quick, and low-cost meals that anyone could enjoy. Eating well SHOULD taste great, that much I can assure you!

I saw a recipe that caught my eye on My Kitchen Adventures. I’ve been CRAVING chicken salad, and this was the perfect answer to my stomach’s call.

“Waldorf Style” Chicken Salad adapted from Skinnytaste, as seen on My Kitchen Adventures

1 1/2 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded
1/4 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp nonfat Greek yogurt
1/4 tsp dried tarragon (optional)I omitted.
1 cup chopped apple (I used 1 medium Fuji)
1/2 cup celery, diced
2 Tbsp dried cranberries
2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
salt and pepper, to taste (I used about 1/4 tsp each)


In a medium bowl, combine the mayo, vinegar, yogurt, salt, and pepper. Add in the chicken, apple, celery, cranberries and walnuts.ย  Cover and allow flavors to blend in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Serves 4 (about 1 cup/serving).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 204 calories; 7.3 g. fat; 41 mg. cholesterol; 308 mg. sodium; 14 g. carbohydrate; 2.3 g. fiber; 20.5 g. protein

Result: This was WONDERFUL! The flavors just…work! It keeps well in the fridge for upwards of a week, and the vinegar keeps the apples from browning so it always looks fresh and delicious, too. I ate 1 cup of the chicken salad on about 6-8 Triscuits as a meal and it was so filling, high in fiber, low in calories, and provided lots of lean protein. I am thinking about making this recipe for my patients because it is so good, simple, and high in lean protein.

T-2 days until teaching time – eek! I am going to be planning my lectures for the rest of the weekend and working out, that’s about it!

Question: How do you spend New Year’s Day?

Happy 2011, friends! Stop by tomorrow for a giveaway!


Filed under healthy cooking, low-carb, protein, recipe, Uncategorized, weight loss, weight maintentance

Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken

When the weather started to cool off, before snow began to fall, I committed to using my crock pot more. Crock pot meals are fabulous…who would’ve love walking in from a long work day to find a delicious, piping hot meal? Mmm…sign me up! ๐Ÿ˜€

When I got home really late on Tuesday night (10pm is really late, people!), Mr. Prevention and I quickly popped this meal into the crock pot. It took all of 5 minutes, and 4 minutes of that was hand-washing and trimming up the chicken breasts. That simple, yep. We popped the prepared crock pot in the fridge and Mr. P turned the crock pot on at 2pm yesterday. At 7pm, we were eating a delicious, healthy (albeit higher in sodium), no-fuss meal. Crock pot liners are your friend. Invest.

Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken very slightly adapted from Group Recipes and That’s Damn Good!

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (can be frozen)
15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
15-ounce can corn, drained
16-ounce salsa
8 ounces light cream cheese


Add chicken to slow cooker and cover with black beans, corn and salsa. Cook on high for 4-6 hours until chicken is cooked. Place cream cheese on top and cook an additional 30 minutes. Chicken will naturally shred, and cream cheese will blend nicely after being stirred. Yield: 5 entree portions.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 421 calories; 12.4 g. fat; 90 mg. cholesteorl; 890 mg. sodium; 50 g. carbohydrate; 5 g. fiber; 4.8 g. sugar; 44.8 g. protein

Result: Mr. P said, “It’s not pretty, but it’s good…especially considering how easy and cheap it was.” That pretty much sums it up. It is on the higher side in regards to sodium, due to the canned goods (the salsa added the most sodium), but the fiber, protein, fat, and carbohydrates are all very balanced. I plan to make this again, and will probably try making homemade salsa/pico de gallo to cut out a LOT of the sodium. The portion is generous and can be made into a salad, tacos, or just eaten on its own. Enjoy!

And because it was a night of Illini football and basketball to finish up 2 LONG days at work, I popped open some Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale. It was very dark and I didn’t finish it all. Good thing…9% ABV!


Question: Do you own a crock pot? If so, do you use it?

I am going to a Weight Watchers meeting tonight — I look forward to learning about the program and providing feedback to you all!

Off I go,

Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken
Serves 4-6

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts(can be frozen)
15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
15-ounce can corn, drained
16-ounce salsa
8-ounce cream cheese

Add chicken to slow cooker and cover with black beans, corn and salsa.ย  Cook on high for 4-6 hours until chicken is cooked.ย  Place cream cheese on top and cook an additional 30 minutes.ย  Serve.


Filed under beer, crock pot, dinner, fiber, protein, recipe, reduced-calorie, sodium, Weight Watchers

Brown Sugar Bacon Waffles

Before you inaccurately assume Brown Sugar Bacon Waffles are unhealthy and gross, let me tell you how I kicked my own tushie yesterday. You see, after picking up Lily on Monday, I had no motivation for a sweat session…I just wanted to cuddle with my furbaby and relax after the travel nightmare that was last weekend. Seeing as my last workout was Saturday during a hike and Thursday evening prior to that (Tuesday, too), I was far below my quota of 4-5 workouts a week. Oops..

So as I was driving to work yesterday morning trying not to slide into a ditch in the Winter Wonderland, I was game planning my own torturous workout for after work. I landed on 800 meter repeats. You see, I ran cross-country in high school. Not well, but I was on the team (there were no tryouts, hence, I “made” the team), and I HATED 800 meter (~1/2 mile) repeats. 800 meter repeats are tough because they’re long enough to tire you out, but short enough that you have to do lots of them — a lose-lose in my book. And just like in high school, running really isn’t my forte… I just like to think it is. Running is, after all, a killer workout. I digress. My planned torture mapped out like so:

2 minute warm-up, walking @ 4 mph
5 minute run @ 6 mph (10 min/mile)
5 minute “recovery” on the elliptical (level 8 of 12)
5 minute run @ 6.5 mph (9:13 min/mile)
5 minute “recovery” on the elliptical (level 7 of 12)
5 minute run @ 7 mph (8:34 min/mile)
5 minute “recovery” on the elliptical (level 7 of 12)
5 minute run @ 7.5 mph (8:00 min/mile)
5 minute “recovery” on the elliptical (level 6 of 12)

Whew! For my 10-11 minute/mile self, this was a killer workout. My 5 minute runs were between 800 and 1000 meters, roughly. While an 8 minute/mile pace is a run for some, it’s more like a sprint for me! My 5’3 frame with my tree trunk-like thighs just don’t run all that quickly. So I kicked my own butt in my workout yesterday and it really did feel great. You know, the once-every-few-months-or-so kind of great, not the I-should-do-this-more-often kind of great! I have totally transitioned into an exercise for health not fitness type of person, and I’m totally okay with that.

Here’sย  a few more photos (on my crappy camera) from my prior workout — an ~4 mile hike in Albuquerque. It was gorgeous — 60ยฐ F and sunny!

And on to these ever so curious-sounding waffles!

Brown Sugar Bacon Waffles adapted from Jaime Cooks and Chef Mommy

10 slices of nitrate-free turkey bacon
3 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour + 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
ยผ cup brown sugar
2/3 1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 ยฝ cups low-fat buttermilk


Preheat oven to 400โฐ F.

Lay the bacon a sheet pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the bacon is really crispy. Dry on paper towels and serve. Place them on a cutting board to cool before chopping. Once cool, chop the bacon into bite size bits and set aside.

Set up your waffle iron on a level, clean surface and turn on to preheat.

In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and brown sugar. Whisk to blend. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, buttermilk and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold. Once almost fully incorporated, add the bacon bites. Stir.

Cook according to your waffle machine instructions. Serves 8.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 361 calories; 15.1 g. fat; 123 mg. cholesterol; 768 mg. sodium; 44.3 g. carbohydrate; 2.4 g. fiber; 10.1 g. sugar; 10.3 g. protein

Result: Can I first say that Mr. Prevention thought these waffles sounded gross? I was appauled and shocked all at the same time. My man loves him some turkey bacon, mmkay? Weirdo. These were delicious (and he agreed after getting over himself)! If you’re not jiggy with the idea of bacon in your waffle batter (which you should be, FYI), just omit the bacon and have delicious, fluffy buttermilk waffles. This batter could just as easily be used to make pancakes, so don’t fret if you don’t have a waffle iron. While I tried to make-over the recipe to include some nutrition, the sodium content remained high due to the bacon, baking soda, and baking powder. I will try cutting the baking powder in half next time, I just fear the waffles might lose their beloved fluffiness if I do so. We shall see. I served the waffles with Smart Balance Light mixed with agave nectar in a 2:1 ration – YUM…and then just a drizzle of lower sugar maple syrup, a side of orange sections, and 1 pan-fried egg (fat omitted in frying)…a delicious breakfast for dinner meal. Enjoy! ๐Ÿ˜€

Question: From the sound of it, thumbs up or thumbs down for bacon waffles?

I’m off today to go Christmas shopping with Gina! ๐Ÿ˜€ Weee!!!


Filed under breakfast, butter, dinner, exercise, fruits and vegetables, holiday, protein, recipe, reduced-calorie, sodium

Mexican Chicken Casserole & Sprinkle Man’s Delight

Haven’t all these Christmas cookie recipes been fun? I sure think so, anyways! But I have to mix up the sugar high with something comforting, simple, and healthy. A girl cannot should not live on cookies alone (I haven’t been, promise!). I saw this recipe last week and loved the simple ingredient list. Slimmed down recipes that still pack lots of punch are the best! Mmmm!

Mexican Chicken Casserole slightly adapted from Mia Cucina and Cooking Light

1 cupย  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 (4.5-ounce) cans chopped green chiles, divided
1 3/4 poundsย  skinned, boned chicken breasts
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup evaporated skim milk
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup (2 ounces) tub-style light cream cheese
1 (10-ounce) can enchilada sauce
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
Cooking spray
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1 oz. tortilla chips, crushed (about 6 chips)


Combine broth and 1 can of chiles in a large skillet; bring to a boil. Add chicken; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until chicken is done, turning chicken once. Remove chicken from cooking liquid, reserving cooking liquid; cool chicken. Shred meat with two forks, and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350ยฐ F.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 can of chiles and onion; sautรฉ 3 minutes or until soft. Add reserved cooking liquid, milk, Monterey Jack, cream cheese, and enchilada sauce; stir well. Stir in shredded chicken; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Place 4 tortillas in the bottom of a 2-quart casserole coated with cooking spray. Spoon 2 cups chicken mixture over tortillas. Repeat layers twice, ending with chicken mixture. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and chips. Bake at 350ยฐ for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serves 8.

Nutrition Information (per serving – approx. 1 cup): 337 calories; 11.1 g. fat; 74 mg. cholesterol; 604 mg. sodium; 29.5 g. carbohydrate; 5.3 g. sugar; 3.9 g. fiber; 31.4 g. protein

Result: Very good! And very meaty — a lean, high protein, moderate carbohydrate meal. Don’t base the recipe on that photo…it’s not a photogenic casserole. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Mr. Prevention rated it a B+ and I would agree — B+/A-. I served the casserole with fat-free refried beans and steamed corn and it was very filling and high in fiber. I made my dish in a 2 quart round casserole dish which worked fine, but I think I would use an 8×8 or 9×13 next time. Enjoy!


Today’s cookie recipe is the classic Christmas sugar cookie with frosting and sprinkles! ๐Ÿ˜€

Mr. Prevention was declared Sprinkle Man during this activity. It was the only ounce of help I received during my baking marathon, and it was much appreciated, if only for my enjoyment. He took his job rather seriously and I fount it awfully cute ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies from and Christmas Cookie Frosting from

For the cookies:
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

For the frosting:
4 cups powdered sugar (1 lb.)
2 egg whites
1/4 (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla extract
food coloring, optional


In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).

Preheat oven to 400ยฐ F. Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.

For the frosting: Mix all ingredients together until well combined. Stir in food coloring, if desired. Frost cookies after they have cooled completely. Yield: About 5 dozen (my recipe made 57 cookies).

Nutrition Information (per cookie w/ frosting): 148 calories; 5.7 g. fat; 15 mg. cholesterol; 64 mg. sodium; 23 g. carbohydrate; 0 g. fiber; 1.6 g. protein

Result: I didn’t have a tried and true sugar cookie recipe, but this is it. They were fantastic! The recipes makes a lot and the frosting recipe is the exact amount to frost each cookie generously. These are a popular Christmas cookie and I’m glad I made them — always a hit! Who wouldn’t love sprinkles!?

Needless to say, I’m still finding sprinkles in every crevice of my kitchen.

(Tough) Question: Buttercream or cream cheese frosting?

Have a fabulous day!


Filed under butter, Cooking Light, dessert, fiber, healthy cooking, protein, recipe, reduced-calorie, Uncategorized

Fleur de Sel Caramels with Vanilla Bean + Asian Noodle Salad with Cashew Dressing

Thank you for all the congrats on the new gig! I really appreciate all of the support ๐Ÿ˜€ Muah! I had so much trouble sleeping last night and the night before — so many racing thoughts of excitement, the unknown, how my schedule will work out, etc. I love the various opportunities working several part-time jobs brings, but sometimes it feels like I’m juggling too many balls in the air…leading me to the realization that I need become more organized! Yep, definitely need to be more organized.

I tested out the new elliptical last night and let it kick my butt for 40 minutes. My legs were a bit jittery walking up from the basement — I’m all about resistance, not speed. Great workout! I’m glad Mr. Prevention didn’t follow through on his threat to hide the power cord so that I had something to open on Christmas. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Today’s post includes 2 pretty simple recipes. I know, hard to believe with a post title like that one, but hear me out. I’ll start with dinner, then the dessert. ๐Ÿ˜‰


Asian Noodle Salad with Cashew Dressing slightly adapted Eats Well With Others and Living in the Kitchen With Puppies

1/2 inch fresh ginger, chopped
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup cashew butter
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
3 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup water
hot sauce to taste
1/2 lb thin rice noodles
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 box extra-firm tofu, pressed and sliced
2 medium zucchini, sliced into half moons
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup scallions, sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
lime wedges (optional)


Combine ginger, garlic, cashew butter, soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and water in a food processor and process until completely blended and smooth.ย  Adjust consistency by adding more water or cashew butter (thinner v. thicker, respectively).ย  Taste and add your favorite hot sauce, if desired.ย  Makes about 1 1/2 cups dressing.

Set a pot of water to boil for the noodles.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat one tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat.ย  Add the tofu strips and saute until lightly brown, turning 2-3 minutes.ย  Add the red bell pepper and zucchini to the pan.ย  Saute for about 7 minutes or until the veggies are cooked to desired degree of doneness.

When the water is boiling, add the rice noodles to it and cook for 2 minutes.ย  Strain.ย  In a large bowl, combine the noodles, veggies, cashew dressing, scallions and basil.ย  Mix well.ย  Add salt to taste.ย  Serve with a lime wedge and squeeze over the pasta before eating, if desired. Serves 5.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 521 calories; 22.2 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 722 mg. sodium; 65.4 g. carbohydrate; 5.6 g. fiber; 14.4 g. protein

Result: We both loved this! Joanne’s recipes are always amazing! Besides, she had my attention at “8 cloves of garlic” – that’s my kind of recipe! And we were in dire need of a vegetarian, healthy meal! I worked at a create-your-own stir fry grill back in college and this took me back to those days. YUM! The cashew dressing was amazing and I think it could be used in various different ways. Mr. P tolerated the tofu while I loved it. Sometimes tofu needs the right seasoning/flavor, and this dressing is it! If you’re not a tofu fan, try this recipe with tofu and see what you think. I imagine you’ll be a convert. Of course, any other protein can be substituted for tofu for meat lovers out there! Enjoy!


Fleur de Sel Caramels with Vanilla Bean from Confections of A Foodie Bride, and originally Gourmet 2004

1 cup heavy cream
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 vanilla bean pod, split and seeds scraped out
1 1/4 tsp fleur de se (sea salt), plus more for sprinkling
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
candy thermometer (handy, but optional)


Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, then lightly butter parchment.

Bring cream, butter, vanilla, vanilla beans, pods, and fleur de sel to a boil in a small saucepan, then remove from heat and set aside.

Boil sugar, corn syrup, and water in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil, without stirring but gently swirling pan, until mixture is a golden caramel. *It will come to a serious boil for 10-15 minutes before turning caramel colored. Be sure the liquid is a brown caramel before removing, especially if you are not using a candy thermometer.

Remove pods and carefully stir cream mixture into the caramel (mixture will bubble up) and simmer, stirring frequently, until caramel registers 248 on thermometer. Pour into baking pan and cool 30 minutes. Sprinkle another pinch or two of fleur de sel over the top of the caramel for a nice salty crunch and let sit until completely cooled. Cut into 1-inch pieces (I buttered a pizza cutter), and then wrap each piece in a 4-inch square of wax paper, twisting 2 ends to close. Yield: 80 caramels

Nutrition Information (per caramel): 33 calories; 1.7 g. fat; 4 mg. cholesterol; 38 mg. sodium; 4.4 g. carbohydrate; 0 g. fiber; 0 g. protein

Result: I love caramels, and these really are simple. Just be patient waiting for your liquid to turn a caramel color, and then be sure to let it go another 30-60 seconds to ensure it reaches a high enough temperature. These are deeelicious, though, and I love that they’re 33 calories each! Sure, they’re not big, but they take the edge off my evening sweets craving with very little caloric damage! Enjoy!

Question: When you make/eat stir fry, do you prefer noodles or rice?

Happy hump day!


Filed under dessert, dinner, exercise, fruits and vegetables, garlic, healthy cooking, physical activity, protein, recipe, sodium, vegetarian, work