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For links to the recipes in the posts, click on the bolded pink words!  

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cookie! Cookie! Cookie!

I think if this platter was placed in front of "monster" he'd turn back into "cookie monster".

The official taste testers favorite cookie: Chocolate Chip

Here's the recipe!

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 (3.4 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour and baking soda, set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips and nuts. Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Edges should be golden brown.

My Favorite Cookie: Coconut Macaroon

I actually made two versions. One version contained sweetened condensed milk, I preferred the version without it.

3 large egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 package (14 ounces) sweetened flaked coconut (5 1/3 cups)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper (or coat generously with nonstick cooking spray).
In a large bowl, whisk together egg whites, sugar, and salt until frothy. With a fork, stir in coconut until moistened.
Drop mixture by packed level tablespoons onto prepared sheet (cookies will not spread). Bake until lightly golden, 25 to 30 minutes.

Holiday Lasagna

Not at all healthy or good for you (other than the taste-buds) this lasagna is delish! The homemade sauce is amazing and I will be duplicating for other recipes (non-lasagna related) in the future! I made it with and without the spinach. Both versions are fantastic! Enjoy!

Bon Appetit

Three-Cheese Lasagna with Italian Sausage

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup finely chopped peeled carrots
2 tablespoons minced garlic
8 ounces lean ground beef
6 ounces spicy Italian sausages, casings removed
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon golden brown sugar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
15 lasagna noodles (about 12 ounces)
2 15-ounce containers part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, squeezed dry
2 large eggs
4 3/4 cups grated mozzarella cheese (about 1 1/4 pounds)
Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and garlic; sauté until softened, about 12 minutes. Add beef and sausages to pan; sauté until cooked through, breaking up meat with back of spoon, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer until flavors blend and sauce measures about 5 cups, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Cool.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until almost tender, about 7 minutes. Drain; cover with cold water.
Combine ricotta and 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese in medium bowl. Mix in spinach. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in eggs.
Drain pasta and pat dry. Spread 1/2 cup sauce over bottom of 13x9-inch glass baking dish. Place 5 noodles over sauce, overlapping to fit. Spread half of ricotta-spinach mixture evenly over noodles. Sprinkle 2 cups mozzarella cheese evenly over ricotta-spinach mixture. Spoon 1 1/2 cups sauce over cheese, spreading with spatula to cover (sauce will be thick). Repeat layering with 5 noodles, remaining ricotta-spinach mixture, 2 cups mozzarella and 1 1/2 cups sauce. Arrange remaining 5 noodles over sauce. Spread remaining sauce over noodles. Sprinkle remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese evenly over lasagna. (Can be prepared up to 1 day ahead. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate.) Cover baking dish with aluminum foil. Bake lasagna 40 minutes; uncover and bake until hot and bubbly, about 40 minutes. Let lasagna stand 15 minutes before serving.

Monday, December 21, 2009

2009 Christmas Cookie List

The final list is in! The final cookies have been decided! Here is the 2009 Christmas Cookie List. It's bigger than ever before!! The cookie menu will follow shortly!

1 - Truffles
2 - Coconut Cookies
3 - Rugalach
4 - Chocolate Sandwhich Cookies
5 - Cowboy Cookies
6 - Vienesse Hazelnut Butter Thins
7 - Cookie Rings
8 - Mexican Wedding Cookies
9 - Spritz Cookies
10 - Thumbprint
11 - Triple Layer Fudge
12 - Sugar
13 - Oatmeal
14 - Chocolate Chip
15 - Peanut Butter Cup
16 - Macaroons
17 - Hershey's Kiss

And that's a wrap!!! Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Cake!

For our office Christmas Party this year, I made a Coconut Cream Cake! It was so delicious! So decadent you cannot eat it all the time, but what the heck! It's Christmas!!!

Coconut Cream Cake:

1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1 (14 ounce) can coconut cream
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 cup flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.

In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, eggs, oil, water and coconut flavoring. Beat for 2 minutes and pour into 9x13 inch pan.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

In a medium bowl, combine coconut cream with sweetened condensed milk and stir until smooth.

Allow cake to cool completely. Poke holes into it in even rows using a large fork or chopsticks (larger holes work best). **Don't poke the holes through the cake or it will drain to the bottom of the pan! You want the cake to absorb all the liquid to be moist and yummy** Pour milk mixture over, allowing it to soak into the cake.

Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

In a large bowl, whisk cream until soft peaks form. Add sugar and continue whipping until stiff. Spread over cooled cake. Sprinkle top with flaked coconut.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Pecan Pie

This is such a yummy pie! It doesn't contain corn syrup, so even though it isn't good for you, at least it's a little better for you!!!

1 (9 inch) deep dish pie crust
2 cups light brown sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup melted margarine
1 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C.)
In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, margarine, milk, vanilla and eggs. Blend until smooth. Stir in chopped pecans. Pour into pie crust. Place whole pecan meats gently on top in decorative manner.
Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown and filling is set.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thanksgiving Time!

I am going to try to post a recipe everyday until Thanksgiving of what we are going to have to eat!

Sausage & Cornbread stuffing
1 pound fresh pork sausage, casings removed, crumbled (plus giblets, diced; optional)
1 large onion, (about 2 cups), finely chopped
3 celery, finely chopped (1 1/2 cups)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 pounds prepared cornbread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (12 cups)
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 to 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large nonstick skillet, cook sausage (and giblets, if using) over medium-high heat, stirring often, until browned and cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a large bowl.
To pan, add onion, celery, and 1/4 cup water. Reduce heat to medium; cook, scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon, until vegetables soften, about 10 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add to sausage.
Add cornbread, sage, and eggs to sausage and vegetables. Bring broth to a simmer in a small saucepan; pour 1/2 cup over stuffing, and toss gently (cornbread will break down into smaller pieces). If needed, add up to 1/2 cup more broth, until stuffing feels moist, but not wet. Stuff into turkey, using about 4 cups. Spoon remaining stuffing into a baking pan; it should reach the top. Refrigerate stuffing in pan and remaining broth separately, covered, until ready to bake.

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs
2 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Brush bottom and sides of a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with 2 tablespoons butter.
In a medium bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and buttermilk; whisk in remaining butter. Stir cornmeal mixture into buttermilk mixture just until moistened. (Do not overmix.)
Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool in pan at least 15 minutes before inverting and slicing.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Honey Pecan Pork chops

These are super moist and very delicious! I promise, you won't even know they are good for you!

• 1 1/4 lbs boneless pork loin, pounded thin (I just used regular pork chops and did not pound thin)
• 1/2 c almond flour
• sea salt
• pepper to taste
• 2 t olive oil
• 1/4 c raw honey
• 1/4 c chopped pecans
In a shallow dish, mix together flour, salt, and pepper. Roll pork in the flour mixture.
In a large skillet, add oil over medium-high heat. Add chops and brown both sides. Transfer
to a warm plate. Mix honey and pecans in the pan drippings. Heat, stirring constantly. Pour
sauce over cutlets.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

New Lifestyle, New Recipe Ideas

I am on a 36 day Paleo Challenge (for more information click here ), so I am trying to come up with some new recipe ideas. Today, I made Primal Pancakes and Pumpkin Lasagna. There is no wheat, gluten, or sugar in either dish. I ate the pancakes for breakfast and will eat the lasagna for lunch! Can't wait!!!

Here's how I did the Lasagna:

1 lb ground beef
1/2 roll of Natural sausage
3/4 - 1 cup spaghetti sauce (no sugar)
salt, pepper, italian seasoning, basil, oregano

1 - "sugar" pumpkin, halved, gutted, and sliced into crescents

Brown beef, sausage and onion together; drain.
Mix together spaghetti sauce, spices and meat mixture.

Saute the crescent pumpkin slices in olive oil

Layer, pumpkin and meat mixture in a baking dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Enjoy!

Almond Flour Pancakes
1 c almond meal/flour
3 eggs
1/8 t cinnamon
1/8 t vanilla
pecans (optional)
wild Maine blueberries (optional)

Mix all ingredients together and spoon onto a hot oiled pan. They won't get fluffy like other pancakes. Flip and cook the other side. Serve with a drizzle of raw honey and topped with sliced bananas or berries.

The pancakes are a great alternative to carb crazy normal pancakes and they are yummy and satisfying!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Dutch Oven Pineapple Upside Down Cake

This has become a camping tradition to make a cake in my dutch oven. I love that you are able to make baked goods in a dutch oven while camping! Cake, biscuits, whatever! It all works!

I kind of just wing the recipe .. use a box mix and some canned pineapple and maraschino cherries, but I found this recipe:

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Topping Cake Batter
4 Tbs. butter 1 yellow cake mix
1 cup brown sugar 1 cup pineapple juice
8 pineapple rings 1/3 cup water
8 maraschino cherries 3 eggs
1/3 cup oil

Prepare Cake Topping: Melt butter in bottom of a 12" Dutch oven. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over butter being careful not to touch the sugar once it has begun to dissolve into the butter. Carefully place pineapple rings on top of the brown sugar, 7 around the outside and 1 in the center. Place a maraschino cherry in the center of each pineapple ring.

Prepare Cake Batter: In a mixing bowl combine cake mix, pineapple juice, water, eggs and oil; mix well. Spoon cake batter carefully over the top of pineapple rings. Spread batter evenly to edges.

Bake: Cover Dutch oven and bake usinge 10-12 briquettes bottom and 14-16 briquettes top for 45 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched.

Let the cake cool for 10 minutes or so in the oven with the lid cracked. Next run a rubber spatula around the inside edge of the oven to loosen the cake. To turn the cake out, first lay a piece of parchment paper across the top of the oven so it lays flat and replace the lid so that it holds the paper in place. Make sure you have an available lid stand resting on your table for the next step. Using gloved hands place one hand on the lid and the other hand under the oven and carefully lift and flip the oven over so the cake falls onto the lid. Rest the oven upside down on the lid stand and tap the bottom and sides of the oven lightly with your hand to make sure the cake didn't stick. Then lift the oven off the lid. The cake will be resting on the parchment lined lid and can be cooled this way or slid off the lid using the parchment paper. Allow cake to cool slightly before service.

Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin

This is my favorite recipe by far! I wish I would have remembered the red pepper and garlic! But I was trying to get it ready really quick before work! Next time!! It's not the best picture ever, but you get the idea!

1 - 2lb pork tenderloin
pork seasoning - I used Old Bay
1 pkt Ranch dressing mix
2 cans chx broth
1 can crm of mushroom soup
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes * I Forgot
2 cloves minced garlic * I forgot

Liberally season tenderloin with pork seasoning.

Sear the pork loin in a large skillet preheated over medium high heat using 1/3 cup canola oil. Approximately 5 to 6 minutes per side.

While the pork is searing pour one can of cream of mushroom soup into your slow cooker, along with two cans of chicken broth. Add one envelope of ranch salad dressing mix (dry) and 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes and 2 cloves of minced garlic.

Place the seared pork into the slow cooker, cover and set to 4 - 6 hours or cook on high for 2 hours and low for 4 hours.

I did not do this step:
After 6 hours, remove pork loin from slow cooker and allow to rest. While the loin is resting, ladle the gravy into a sauce pan and thicken with flour or cornstarch and season to taste. I thickened our gravy with a little flour and seasoned with salt, pepper and Herbs de Provence.

For more pictures click here

Black Bottom Cupcakes

I made these for a work celebration today, they were a huge hit! And oh so yummy! I doubled the recipe and highly recommend doing the same!

Black Bottom Cupcakes

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 egg
1/3 cup white sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
** I added about a tsp of vanilla to the crm chz recipe

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly butter muffin tins and set aside.

Beat together the cream cheese, egg, sugar and salt. Stir in chocolate chips and set aside.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add the water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Beat until well combined. Batter will be thin.

Fill muffin cups 1/3 full with the chocolate batter. Top each one with a spoonful of cream cheese mixture.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.** I found that 25-30 (I did 27 minutes) was perfect

Friday, July 17, 2009

My new favorite breakfast

Zoned Crustless Quiche Breakfast

2 whole eggs (2 blocks protein)
4 egg whites (2 blocks protein)
(OR substitute 1 cup egg substitute for egg whites and whole egg)

2 oz skim mozzarella (2 blocks protein)
1 1/2 cups chopped portabella or button mushrooms (1/2 carb)
1/2 cup chopped onion (1/2 carb)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup frozen spinach (thawed and drained) (1/2 carb)
3/4 cup chopped tomato (1/2 block carb)
(OR use other vegetables equaling 2 blocks carb)

6 macadamia nuts, crushed (6 blocks fat)
Basil, parsley, salt and pepper to taste
2 apples, sprinkled with cinnamon (4 blocks carb)


Use nonstick mini bread loaf pans or coat each with a little vegetable spray. (I made it in a casserole dish and just divided it in 2)

Layer vegetables in two mini bread loaf pans. Layer half the cheese on top of each loaf.

Beat eggs and add seasonings. Pour one-half of the eggs over each pan and sprinkle with macadamia nuts.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until brown on top.

Makes two mini quiches, each with 3 blocks protein, 3 blocks fat and 1 block carbohydrate.

Remark: Serve two, 3-blocks meals.
Eat one with an apple and cinnamon for a 3 block complete breakfast. (also an ovo-lacto vegetarian meal).

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Blueberry Pancakes

Inspired by my recent stay at the Captain's Inn B&B in Moss Landing, Ca, I found this recipe for Zone appropriate pancakes! The innkeeper made these amazing high protein blueberry custard pancakes! I hope these are close!

Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes

1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
3/4 cup fresh or frozen (not thawed) blueberries

1. Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and nutmeg in a small bowl. Whisk ricotta, egg, egg white, buttermilk, lemon zest and juice in a large bowl until smooth. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.
2. Brush a large nonstick skillet with 1/2 teaspoon oil and place over medium heat until hot. Using a generous 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake, pour the batter for 2 pancakes into the pan, sprinkle blueberries on each pancake and cook until the edges are dry and bubbles begin to form, about 2 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes more. Repeat with the remaining oil, batter and berries, adjusting the heat as necessary to prevent burning.

Serve these light pancakes with our Chunky Blueberry Sauce, maple syrup or honey. Sprinkling the berries on top of the cooking pancakes ensures even distribution. Keep finished pancakes warm in a 200°F oven, if desired, while cooking the rest.

Makes 4 servings, 2 pancakes each

238 calories; 8 g fat (3 g sat, 3 g mono); 68 mg cholesterol; 30 g carbohydrate; 12 g protein; 3 g fiber; 334 mg sodium; 128 mg potassium.
Nutrition bonus: Selenium (24% daily value), Calcium (16% dv).

Zone-ing? This recipe contains almost 3 full blocks of fat, just shy of 2 blocks of protein, and 3 blocks of carbs. To make it a perfect 3 block meal, add 1 oz of turkey sausage on the side for your protein, and an almond.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Independence Day Banana Pudding!

What celebrates independence like banana pudding? Nothing! Not healthy or Zone in any way, shape, or form, but totally yum!

From the talented Paula Deen (and yes, it contains a stick of butter)!

3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 cups milk
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ounces (1/2 stick) butter
3 medium bananas, sliced
1 (12-ounce box) vanilla wafers
For the meringue topping, optional:
3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar
Mix together sugar and cornstarch and slowly add milk. This should be cooked in the top of a double boiler, but you can cook it over low to medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens--do not leave it unattended. Slightly beat egg yolks and temper with a small amount of the hot custard; stir well. Add egg mixture to custard pot and cook 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla and butter. Let cool. In a 9 by 9-inch oven proof baking dish, alternate pudding, bananas, and wafers, beginning with pudding and ending with pudding. Add topping, if desired.

For the meringue topping, if using:
Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar until stiff peaks form, then spread onto top of pudding mixture. Bake until golden brown.

**I recommend doubling the custard recipe! **

Start with sliced bananas (dip in lemon juice to avoid browning)

Make and cool the custard

Another reason I love the stand alone mixer: perfect meringue!

Bake to brown! YUM!

Early Birthday!

Don't you love getting early birthday gifts!? Especially in the form of earrings?!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Spaghetti - Zone Style

Not eating spaghetti noodles and bread can be depressing at times, but not with this dish! It's very yummy and you won't even miss those noodles!!

Serves 2 (3 Blocks)

2 c spaghetti squash (cooked) (2c)
1 c spaghetti sauce (low-carb) (2c)
2 c chopped zucchini (1c)
6 oz chx breast (6p)
2 t EVOO (6F)
1 c Strawberries (1c)

Half lengthwise the spaghetti squash and place cut side down in 350 oven for 45 min. When you remove the squash from the oven, use a fork to "shred" the squahs, making it look like noodles.

Saute zucchini in EVOO, add to taste Oregano, Basil, Parsley. Cook until zucchini is tender.

To serve, put cooked spaghetti squash, zucchini, chicken, and sauce in saute pan and toss together. Sprinkle a small amount of cheese on top. Serve strawberries as dessert.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Zone Stuffed Peppers

Makes 2 servings - 3 blocks each

6 green bell peppers - 4 with tops off and 2 diced up for stuffing (2c)
1 c diced onion (1c)
2/5 c cooked brown rice (2c)
1 1/4 c diced tomato (1 c)
6 oz lean ground beef** (4 p)
2 oz low fat cheese (2p)
2 t EVOO (6f)
salt and pepper

** I substituted Yves Veggie Ground Round to make this dish vegetarian (I used 1 & 1/2 c of the veggie ground round). Rich couldn't even tell the difference! To make this super quick, I used frozen precut onion and diced bell pepper. I used the peppers I had, yellow and red.

Cook 4 peppers ina small amount of water and salt in the microwave, until slightly tender. Combine rice, diced peppers, tomato, hamburger meat, and salt and pepper and saute in EVOO until veggies are tender. Stuff the 4 green peppers with mixture. Any remaining mixture should be placed around stuffed peppers. Bake in 350 degree oven, top with cheese and serve.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Zone Blueberry Muffins

If you can't find oat flour, you can grind old fashioned oats in the blender or you can find them in the natural/health food store/section at the grocery.

1 1/3 cups oat flour
4 - 1 oz. scoops vanilla whey protein (84g of protein)
(2 & 1/4 t pumpkin or apple pie spice - optional)
1 T nonaluminum baking powder
(1 T grated orange rind - optional)
4 whole eggs or 8 egg whites
5 1/3 teaspoons unrefined canola oil
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 c fresh or 1 & 1/3 c frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a mini muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray and set aside (makes 16 mini muffins). Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl. Stir and set aside. Combine the wet ingredients (except blueberries) in a blender. Cover and blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides. Or, whisk the wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir just until evenly mixed, scraping the bottom of the bowl to incorporate the flour and removed lumps. Do not overmix or the muffins will be tough. Gently fold in blueberries.

Bake until firm to the touch and golden on top and around the edges 12-15 minutes. Cover and refrigerate muffins. Use the muffins within 1 week or freeze them. Best kept in the fridge!

Each muffin contains 1 protein, 1 carb, 1 fat! Perfect for snacks and oh so delicious!!!

Variation: You can also make large muffins making it 4 - 4 block muffins. Fill 4 muffin tins with batter and bake 20-24 minutes.

Eggplant Parmesan

This recipe comes from It is a great recipe. I made one modification, instead of 8oz of cheese, I reduced the cheese to 4 oz and added 4 oz of chicken. The first time I made it, I did the peaches, but the second, I omitted the peaches, chives, and lime and added a 16oz bag of frozen chopped broccoli (I steamed the broccoli first). I like the second version better than the first, even though it turned into an eggplant broccoli casserole instead of eggplant parmesan! If you are hungry on Zone, try this recipe! Still hungry?!!!

Eggplant Parmesan - makes two - 4 block meals

8 oz low fat skim mozzarella, shredded
3 cups eggplant (peeled/sliced)
2 cups tomato sauce
Zone Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 peaches
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon basil
2 Tbsp. chives, minced
juice of 1 lime

Brush sliced eggplant lightly with olive oil and roast them on a hot grill, season with salt & pepper. In the bottom of a glass baking dish, place 1 cup tomato sauce, eggplant and ½ of the mozzarella. Top with the remaining 1 cup tomato sauce, herbs, and then rest of mozzarella. Bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes. Cut the peaches in half, then into thin slices and lightly grill on both sides. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with lime juice. Leave in refrigerator to marinate for 1 hour. Garnish with fresh basil and chives

Zoned Baked Oatmeal

This is my new favorite oatmeal breakfast! Even the official taste-tester who loves his bacon and eggs in the morning loves this one! I like to do a mix of strawberries and blueberries and add just a few chopped up nuts. I make it the night before for a quick on the go breakfast, but I imagine (though I haven't tried it) that it is amazing straight from the oven!! If you like cinnamon, I'd add more!

Baked Oatmeal - Makes 4 -3 Block Portions
3 cups rolled oats
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. sea salt
½ cup applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups egg substitute
1 cup milk
4 scoops Protein Powder (28g protein per scoop)
½ cup blueberries or 1 cup strawberries - diced (I used 1/4 c bluberries and 1/2 c strawberries)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl except fruit. Add milk, fold in strawberries or blueberries. Lightly spray a 9x9 pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place mixture into pan. Bake around 30 minutes. I test the center with a toothpick.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Stuffed Portobella Mushrooms

So yummy! Zone recipes, serves 2 .. 4 blocks each

Vegetable oil cooking spray
1/2 cup favorite prepared marinara sauce
2 large (5 to 6 inch) portabella mushrooms, cleaned with stems and gills removed
1 (3/4 cup) small zucchini, diced
1/2 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
1 large egg
4 sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained and minced
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1/4 cup Fontina cheese, diced
1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, divided
Freshly ground black pepper, seasoned to taste
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly mist a shallow baking dish with vegetable oil cooking spray. Spoon marinara sauce onto the bottom of the prepared dish and set aside. Place two mushroom caps in the dish with the tops facing down.Place zucchini pieces in a microwave-safe container, add 1 teaspoon of water and microwave for 1 minute. Drain well and pat dry with paper towel.In a mixing bowl, combine the zucchini, ricotta cheese, egg, sundried tomatoes, pine nuts, Fontina cheese, 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano and pepper. Spoon an even amount of this mixture into each mushroom cap. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano and bread crumbs. Divide and sprinkle this mixture over each filled mushroom cap. Spray caps generously with vegetable oil cooking spray and bake for 15 to17 minutes. Increase heat to broil and broil for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the bread crumbs are golden.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Favorite TV Cooking Reality Show

The winner: TOP CHEF!!! WIth 40% of the votes!

Coffee Cake

I am on a quest to find a good coffee cake recipe. This I made for Rich's grandparents for breakfast today. Do you have a good coffee cake recipe? Please post if you do!!

Changes: I doubled the topping recipe and put half of the topping in the middle of the coffee cake before I poured the rest of the batter into the pan. I made it in a bunt pan, but it seemed to take a long time to bake. Next time, I will use a regular pan. Also, I felt like the pecans became overly toasted (some burned) so I may put the topping on the bottom of the pan, add batter, then add the rest of the topping to the middle before pouring the rest of the batter on so that doesn't happen again! Aside from the slightly burned pecans, the flavor was pretty good!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a 9x13 inch pan with aluminum foil, and lightly grease with vegetable oil or cooking spray. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in sour cream, then beat in sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. By hand, fold in the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Spread batter into prepared pan.

To make the Pecan Topping: In a medium bowl, mix together brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon. Stir in melted butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over cake batter in pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack, and remove foil.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Chicken Mania

I made some Chicken Tortilla Soup for a food day at work today. It's so good and so yummy and Zone appropriate! 1/12 of the recipe is 2.5 blocks. Good luck on the math on that one! Thanks Formula Zone!

Tomorrow night is Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Night! Yum.

2 cup Cheese, cheddar, 2%, shredded
3/4 lb Chicken, breast
1 16oz cn Refried beans, canned
2 10oz cn Soup, cream of mushroom, 98% fat free
2 cup Sour Cream, Light
12 ea Tortillas, taco, low carb, MISSION

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Use canned chicken breast. Drain water from chicken. Combine cheeses. In a medium sized bowl combine chicken, soup, 1 cup sour cream and 1 cup cheese. Divide mixture evenly between the 12 tortillas, roll the tortillas and place seam side down in a 9 x 13 inch dish (you will have to squish them all in). Using the same bowl, combine remaining cheese, sour cream and the last can of soup. Spread evenly over the top of the enchiladas. Bake uncovered in the oven for 35 minutes or until cheese looks melted and enchiladas are heated through. Heat beans in the microwave and serve on the side. Enjoy!

Amazing Cupcakes

These are not at all healthy, but they are oh so good. Imagine a Hostess cupcake with cream filling, only homemade and 10x better. They are time consuming to make, but are great! Make sure the icing on top is in swirls just like the Hostess ones!!

For the Cupcakes:

* 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
* 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
* 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

For the Filling:

* 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 1 cup confectioners' sugar
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 3 tablespoons heavy cream
* 1 cup marshmallow creme

For the Ganache and Icing:

* 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
* 1/2 cup heavy cream
* 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
* 2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1 tablespoon milk
* 2 cups confectioners' sugar


Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Place paper liners in two 12-cup muffin pans.
Prepare the cupcakes:

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Bring the sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in a saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Pour into a large bowl; add the chocolate and butter and let sit, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture has cooled slightly. Stir in the vanilla. Using a mixer, beat in the eggs, then mix in the dry ingredients.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans (about 1/4 cup batter per cupcake) and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in the pans for about 25 minutes, then transfer cupcakes to a rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling:

Using a mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar. Add the vanilla and 1 tablespoon heavy cream; beat until smooth. Beat in the remaining 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar and 2 tablespoons heavy cream in batches, alternating after each addition. Beat in the marshmallow creme; set aside.
Prepare the ganache:

Place the chocolate in a stainless-steel bowl. Heat the cream and 1 tablespoon butter until just boiling, then pour over the chocolate; let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla; let stand until cool but still glossy and liquid.

Spoon the filling into a pastry bag with a medium tip. Insert the tip into the center of each cupcake top; fill until the cupcake is heavier (do not overfill). Dip the cupcake tops in the ganache. Chill for at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the icing: Using a mixer, beat the remaining 1 stick butter, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, the milk and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spoon into a pastry bag with a small tip; pipe onto the cupcakes to decorate.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Zone Chocolate Muffins

Once the blueberry muffins are gone, can't wait to try these! From Dr. Sears'

**Update 4/17/09 - We tried these muffins and they aren't very good. I couldn't even eat one! Rich had to douse his in peanut butter .. I just gave up. So the verdict is.. good concept but don't waste your time!!

Guilt-free Chocolate Muffins
4 - 1 Block Muffins

Nonstick spray Oat flour to dust pans
1/3 cup oat flour
21 grams chocolate protein powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 teaspoon fructose
1/3 cup low-fat milk
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 whole egg
1 1/3 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375°F. Oil 4 muffin tins. Dust tins with oat flour to prevent sticking. In a bowl, sift oat flour and protein powder. Add baking powder, sugar, cocoa powder, salt and fructose. Sift and set aside. In another bowl combine milk, egg, oil and vanilla. Whisk with a fork. Add to dry ingredients and stir until evenly mixed. Fill each prepared muffin tin about halfway. Bake for 20-30 minutes.

Bacon and Apple Sandwich

Can't wait to try this sandwich!!! From Dr. Sears'

Bacon and Apple Sandwich
3 Block Meal

1 1/2 teaspoons natural peanut butter
3 oz. lean Canadian bacon
1/2 apple sliced thinly
1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts
1 slice rye bread

Lightly toast bread and spread with peanut butter. Layer Canadian bacon, apple and sprouts. You may also cut back on Canadian bacon and serve with low-fat cottage cheese.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Clean Baby Ike

Zone Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

This so fantastic! I can't wait to eat the leftovers!

1 tsp Basil, dried
10 oz Broccoli, frozen, chopped
2 oz Cheese, swiss, reduced fat
12 oz Chicken, Deli, Breast Strips, Grilled
1 Tbsp Mayonnaise, Light
1/2 cup Milk, nonfat
4 oz Noodles, Whole-Wheat
3 tsp Oil, Olive, Extra Virgin
1/2 cup Onions, Green
1/8 tsp Pepper, black
1 10oz cn Soup, cream of mushroom, 98% fat free
3 med Tomatoes

Cut precooked chicken into chunks . Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain well. In 2-quart casserole stir together noodles, chicken, broccoli, and diced green onion. In a medium mixing bowl stir together soup, milk, mayo, cheese, basil and pepper. Stir into noodle mixture. Bake, covered, in a 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes. Slice tomatoes into bowl and drizzle with olive oil, serve on the side.

Makes 6 servings .. 2.9 Blocks each

Zone Blueberry Muffins

Really yummy! Very dense!

1 Tbsp Baking powder
1 cup Blueberries
1/2 cup Egg substitute
1/2 cup Fructose
1 & 1/4 cup Milk, nonfat
2 & 1/4 cup Oat bran
3 Tbsp Oil, vegetable, canola
3 scoop Protein Powder

Makes 36 Mini muffins (0.5 Blocks each)

NOTE: Protein powders vary and scoop sizes vary. You want to use enough protein powder to yield 60 grams of protein. Your batter should be workable. If it is too stiff, add some water, a little at a time to make a workable batter.

Preheat oven. In a large bowl combine the oat bran, baking powder, protein powder, fructose, milk, egg substitute, and oil. Gently fold in the blueberries. If using frozen blueberries, do not thaw or muffins will be purple! Line mini muffin pan with paper baking cups, and fill with batter. Bake for 13 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick; it should come out moist but not wet.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Almond Chicken

Can't wait to try this recipe!! 3 Blocks

From Dr. Sears' ZoneDiet.Com

Almond Chicken

3 Blocks

3oz. skinless chicken breast – sliced
1 tsp. olive oil
1cup cherry tomatoes
1 Green Pepper – chopped
1 Red Pepper – chopped
1 cup onion – chopped
1 clove of garlic – minced
3 cups of broccoli flowerets – steamed
Salt & pepper to taste
2 tsp toasted and slivered almonds
1 cup of strawberries or 1 pear

In a sauté pan heat olive oil. Add chicken, green pepper, red pepper, onion, garlic. Sauté until vegetables are cooked el dante and chicken is cooked through. Add in tomatoes and steamed broccoli. Top with almonds. Eat fruit for dessert.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Buffalo Chicken Chili

So yummy and very hearty! Makes 1 serving for 3.5 blocks!

1/4 14oz cn Beans, black, canned
1/4 cup Celery
1/2 oz Cheese, blue
1 & 1/2 oz Chicken, breast
1/4 Tbsp Chili powder
1/8 tsp Cumin
1/4 ea Garlic, clove
3/4 tsp Oil, olive
1/4 cup Onions
1 oz Peppers, chili, green, canned
1/4 cup Salsa
1/4 tsp Tabasco Sauce
1/4 14oz cn Tomatoes, Italian, Diced, Canned

Makes 1-1/2 cups

Heat olive oil in pot. Add diced chicken and cook until no longr pink. Add diced onion , minced garlic and diced celery and continue cooking on medium-low until vegetables begin to soften. Add rinsed and drained beans, tomatoes, chilies, salsa, cumin and chili powder (and salt and pepper to taste if desired). Stir, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in Tabasco sauce.

Breakfast Burrito!

Yummy quick and easy 2.8 Block Zone friendly breakfast!

1/2 oz Cheese, low fat, cheddar or colby
1 ea Egg, white
1 ea Egg, Whole, Extra Large
1/2 cup Milk, nonfat
1 Tbsp Salsa
1 ea Tortillas, low-carb, small, LA TORTILLA FACTORY

Makes 1-1/4 burritos

Break eggs. Add salsa and cheese. Beat together. Scramble mixture. Heat tortillas in microwave for approximately 10-20 seconds. Place egg mixture in tortillas and roll up. . Serve with milk.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Crab Salad in a Tomato

I love this as a snack! I think it will be great in the summer!! This is another Zone recipe.

1 Tbsp Celery
6 oz Crab, imitation
1/2 tsp Lemon juice
3/4 Tbsp Mayonnaise, Light
1 & 1/2 Tbsp Olives, ripe, canned
1/4 tsp Pepper, black
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Sour Cream, Light
2 med Tomatoes

Makes 2 Tomatoes
(Each whole Tomatoes is 1.6 Blocks)

Dice celery and olives. Flake crab. Mix celery, olives, and crab with light mayonnaise, light sour cream and lemon juice. Salt and pepper to taste. Cut stem spot off tomatoes. Slice tomatoes almost all the way through from top to bottom into eighths and open out like a star. Fill tomatoes equally with crab salad.

The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

This recipe comes from a lady at work. It's essentially the basic Nestle Tollhouse Cookie recipe, with a couple of modifications. I swear, they are the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever tasted! The * indicates the change from the original recipe.


* 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour*
* 2 teaspoons baking soda*
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 sticks butter flavored Crisco*
* 3/4 cup granulated sugar
* 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract*
* 2 large eggs
* 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
* 1 cup chopped nuts

PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

My Favorite New Chicken Salad Wrap

This is another Zone Recipe .. Serving size is 1 wrap though it makes enough for 1.5 wraps! It is super easy and super yummy!!!

1/4 10oz cn Chicken, canned
1 lg Egg, white
1 lg Egg, whole
1 & 1/4 Tbsp Mayonnaise, Fat Free
2 tsp Nuts, pecans, raw
1/2 Tbsp Pickle relish, sweet
3/8 Tbsp Seasoning, Cajun
1 ea Tortillas, low-carb, large, LA TORTILLA FACTORY

Makes 1-1/2 wraps
(Each whole wraps is 3.4 Blocks)

Boil eggs. Mix chicken, chopped eggs, nuts, mayo, relish, and seasoning in a bowl. Store in airtight container in refrigerator until ready to serve. To serve, spread chicken salad on tortilla and enjoy!

Zone Diet

I started the Zone Diet last month in an effort to increase my performance during workouts and to lose weight. It's working! I lost 4 lbs in the first week! Every meal and snack is weighed and measured to the ounce, so it's a little time consuming but worth the effort. This recipe is a Zone recipe, but so yummy!

"Zoned" Chicken Stir-Fry
Makes 1 Serving

1/2 cup Carrots
1/2 cup Celery
2 oz Chicken, breast
1/2 Tbsp Cornstarch
1/2 cup Mushrooms
1 & 3/4 tsp Oil, olive
1/2 cup Onions
1/2 cup Peppers, Bell, green
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce, Light
2 & 1/4 Tbsp Water
3 & 1/2 Tbsp Water chestnuts
1/2 cup Zucchini

Recipes is 3.7 Blocks

Slice or chop all vegetables as desired. Slice or dice chicken. Heat oil in a wok or skillet. Add chicken, cook for 5 minutes. Add carrots, celery and onions. Stir fry for 5 minutes. Add green pepper, zucchini, mushrooms. Stir fry for 5 minutes. Add water chestnuts. Mix soy sauce, corn starch, and water, then add to pan and stir until thickened. Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 onion, chopped
1 (16 ounce) can pinto beans
1 (15 ounce) can black beans
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (12 fluid ounce) chicken broth
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
Taco Seasoning (recipe below)
3 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts

Shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
Sour cream (optional)
Crushed tortilla chips (optional)

Place the onion, beans, corn, tomato sauce, chicken broth, and diced tomatoes in a slow cooker. Add taco seasoning, and stir to blend. Lay chicken breasts on top of the mixture, pressing down slightly until just covered by the other ingredients. Set slow cooker for low heat, cover, and cook for 5 hours (I ended up cooking this for over 9 hours and it turned out delicious).

Remove chicken breasts from the soup, and allow to cool long enough to be handled. Stir the shredded chicken back into the soup, and continue cooking for 2 hours. Serve topped with shredded Cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips, if desired. Makes GREAT leftovers.

Taco Seasoning:
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper