Homemade Sugar Free Crock Pot Apple Sauce !

This was so simple. So easy. And is so delicious.
I gave the kids a taste test and they immediately asked for a whole bowl !!

So ... here's what I did.

4 Granny Smith Apples
6 Fuji Apples
8 Sundowner Apples
just under 1/2 cup of water

I used a combination of apples. Granny Smith because they cook well and add a nice texture. Fuji because they are my FAVORITE tasting apple. And Sundowner because they were cheap and the sign said they were sweet ... I'll bet you could use as many of any combination that you want and it would be delicious. Although, if you did ALL Granny Smith I think it might be a bit tart without the addition of sugar.

So, peel, core and quarter the apples. Actually ... you should core, peel and quarter them. I did them the other way (peeling first) and the apples were browning by the time I was ready to quarter them.

Throw 'em in the crock pot with the water and a sprinkle of cinnamon (to taste).

I turned mine on high for an hour and then turned it down to low. I checked after four hours on low, got a spoon in there and tried to scoop the bottom ones up to the top, and it was like I had used a potato masher on them. I just stirred them up, gave the kids a taste test and the rest ... well ... the rest is history.

I will make this time and time again. I'm so pleased !

Salsa Fish Packets

Salsa Fish Packets

Favorite White fish (we've used Tilapia and Swai)
Favoite Salsa
Optional: pickled jalapenos

Place fish on a piece of foil (big enough to fold into a packet - we use a double layer of heavy duty foil).

Top fish with favorite salsa.

Optional: place single line of jalapenos along top of fish.

Fold foil closed into a packet.

Grill packets on high for approximately 10 minutes (or until you open packet and fish is flaky and done).


Turkey Chili

1 pound ground turkey
1 red bell pepper
1 onion
Rough chopped garlic (however much you want)
1-2 can(s) of crushed tomatoes
1 can of tomato sauce
1T chili powder
1t salt
1/2t black pepper
Optional: 1 can of green chilis

Brown ground turkey with onion and garlic. Add all ingredients to the crock pot. Cook on low 8 hours. Serve.

Chicken-Mushroom-Green bean Stir Fry

Chicken-Mushroom-Green bean Stir Fry

1 whole roasted chicken (minus skin) - pulled off the bone
Enough of the following to feed your family:
Red bell pepper
Mushrooms (we usually use baby bellas)
Fresh French green beans (or you can use frozen...we like the fresh better, but the frozen were yummy too)
Sesame seeds

Garlic Powder
Soy sauce
Peanut oil (the original recipe called for olive oil, so either one or your go to oil would work fine)

Cut veggies to desired size.
Sautee veggies in soy sauce and oil until desired tenderness. (we usually add the juice left from the roasted chicken and additional water or chicken broth if needed) When the veggies are about half cooked (not an exact science) I add in garlic powder to taste. We like garlic around here...so I am rather generous with it.
Mix in chicken. Heat.
Toss in sesame seeds.

Mexican Cole Slaw

Mexican Cole Slaw

1 bag of cole slaw (the kind with carrots)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2T extra-virgin olive oil
1/2t salt

Mix sauce together. Pour over slaw. Toss well. Enjoy!

Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers

NOTE: We are cooking these as I type...will let you know whether they are tasty!

Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers

1 1/2 pounds ground turkey

2 eggs (beaten)

1/2 cup red onion (chopped)

4 cloves of garlic (crushed)

2 T parsley

2 T Worchestershire Sauce

1t salt

1/2t ground sage

1/8t ground pepper

6 colorful bell peppers

In a bowl, beat 2 eggs, as you add each additional ingredient, stir well.

Add ground turkey last and mix well.

Cut the tops off 6 colorful bell peppers and set aside.

Stuff ground turkey mixture evenly into peppers (the mixture will be runnier then normal meat loaf because of the lack of bread/cracker crumbs)

Place pepper tops on top of each pepper.

Place peppers standing up in baking dish of choice.

Optional: add 1/4 inch of HOT water to bottom of baking dish.

Bake at 350 until meat is cooked (we're guessing about an hour...)


Diet-friendly Menu

Sunday Dinner
Ground Turkey stuffed Peppers
Grilled Asparagus

Monday Breakfast

Monday Lunch
Stuffed Tomatoes on lettuce

Snack - greek yogurt with berries

Monday Dinner
Salmon patties (from Costco) with tomato and onion slices

Tuesday Breakfast
Greek yogurt with berries

Tuesday Lunch

Super salad

Tuesday Dinner

Wednesday Breakfast
Cottage cheese with pear

Wednesday Lunch

Green salad with salmon/tuna/chicken (depending on the person)

Wednesday Dinner
Roasted turkey breast (from Costco)

Thursday Breakfast

Greek yogurt with berries

Thursday Lunch
Spinach salad

Thursday Dinner

Friday Breakfast
2 hard-boiled eggs
1/2 of a grapefruit

Friday Lunch
Salad with grilled chicken breast

Friday Dinner
TBD - Shabbat

Saturday Breakfast
TBD - Shabbat
(hopefully trying out one of the new, healthy
muffin recipes we've found...will try and remember to keep you updated!)

Saturday Lunch

Green salad with tuna/salmon

Saturday Dinner
Tomato/onion salad with italian dressing
Asparagus (or some other veggie)

Sunday Breakfast
Scrambled eggs with salsa

Sunday Lunch

Sunday Dinner
Shepherd's pie (cauliflower style - experimental recipe...will post if we like it!)

Cauliflower Mash a la Rory

I don't know how he does it but my husband has this knack for makin' stuff taste goooooood ! I asked him how he does it and he said, "I just stand in front of the spice drawer and look at what's there, grab a couple that look good and go from there ...." I'm sure if I did the same, it would NOT taste great.

Here's his latest creation:

Greek Yoghurt, 2 spoons
Fresh herbs (rosemary, basil, parsley, oregano, thyme) finely chopped
Minced garlic, one clove
Pinch cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg

Boil the cauliflower til tender. Zoop Zoop it. (that means blend it with a stick blender) Add salt, pepper and fresh herbs to taste. Mix in yoghurt. Add garlic and the stuff measures in pinches ...

And that's it ! So yum !! Seriously ... it's weird but I think this tasted like pumpkin pie. YUM !!

Super Healthy Chicken-Vegetable Soup

Diets often equal bland, boring food...but the new diet that we've been exploring is MUCH better than normal and it works! (for those interested it's called the 17 day diet...there's a book).

I modified this soup recipe from one found in the diet book.

NOTE: I don't really measure the ingredients...just try and make a BIG pot of soup that's pretty balanced ingredients-wise.

Super Healthy (and YUMMY) Chicken-Vegetable Soup

Lightly salt and pepper 1 package of chicken breasts (we often use chicken breast tenders). Grill until just done (I think I do about 3 to 4 minutes per side). Dice into small chunks.

Large chop the following veggies: (large chopping the veggies make this soup super fast to throw together)
- 1/2 head of cabbage
- 3 to 5 large carrots
- 1/2 bag of frozen, chopped okra (I've discovered that not all frozen okra is alike...the okra from Safeway seemed slimier)
- 1 to 2 large onions
- 4 to 5 celery heart stalks with leaves
- 1 bulb of garlic (or less as desired...I leave them mostly whole...just slightly crush them)

Using approximately 1T of olive oil, I saute the garlic for 1 minute before adding the onions. Then add the carrots and celery and continue to saute for another couple of minutes. Add remaining veggies.

Add the following ingredients:
- 4 to 5 cans of chicken broth
- 2 cans of crushed tomatoes
- bit of white pepper (or pepper of choice)
- coriander, celery salt, and cumin to taste

Cover and bring to a boil then lower to a simmer. Simmer for one hour or until veggies are done to your liking.

Once the veggies are cooked, add the chicken.

We keep this soup in the fridge all week to have for lunches or snacks.


Chimichanga Lettuce Wraps

i read somewhere just the other day that anything you can wrap in a tortilla, you can wrap in lettuce. i read this at the right time, since we're not currently eating tortillas ! i decided to give it a try and tonight we had chicken chimichanga meat wrapped in lettuce, and it was DELICIOUS ! a hit with the whole family !

here's what i did ...

mix the following items together in a bowl ...
2 chicken breasts, cooked (we grilled them) and diced
1 jar salsa, I use a medium
1 tsp ground cumin
a bit of fresh oregano, maybe 2 or 3 teaspoons of leaves (or 1 tsp if using dried)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 finely chopped green onions (spring onions)
1 tin of tomatoes

throw that in the microwave for just a couple minutes to heat it all up. it doesn't need to be piping hot, just warm ...

i put that bowl on the table, about 1/2 a head of iceberg lettuce pulled apart, the greek yoghurt (you could use sour cream if you prefer) and some hot salsa for Rory.


wrap 'em up and eat 'em.

oh, and make sure you have plenty of napkins on the table ... these bad boys are MESSY !

My Menu - Bonnie - 20 August 2011

You probably don't know, unless you've been to my house, that until today, my computer was in the guest bedroom. I've been wanting to move it out into the family room for a long time but it just has never happened. Well, today it happened and I'm sooooo excited about it ! As I type, Rory is finishing up the dinner dishes, the kids are watching the footy and I'm out here in the middle of it all instead of tucked away in the back room ! I love that !! The photo above shows my little corner ! The bookshelf is home to all of my cookbooks which was super handy this afternoon when I planned this menu !! I use the cookbooks AND the internet a lot so having them in the same spot is BRILLIANT !

So ...... we ate WAY too much while we were on our 6 week holiday ! We came back feeling like we needed to not eat all all ! Of course, that's not going to happen so we're doing lean proteins and veg for a few weeks .....

Here's what we've planned for this week.

Tonight we had a roast turkey breast,
crispy kale (that we grew in our garden!)
and lemon rosemary carrots.

Lunch ~ leftover turkey,
cauliflower "popcorn" (but I'm going to top it with the spices from spicy potatoes)

Dinner ~Chimichanga Lettuce Wraps
(I'm making the chimichanga meat but rather than wrapping
it in tortillas, we're going to wrap it in lettuce. It's an experiment, we'll see )

Lunch ~ Fuji Chicken Salad

Dinner ~ Chargrilled Salmon with Asparagus in a Lime Vinaigrette

Lunch ~ Grilled Chicken and Salad

Dinner ~ Lemon Thyme Fish
Spanish Garlic Mushrooms

Lunch ~ dinner leftovers

Dinner ~ Spanikopita meatballs (without rice)
Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli


Lunch ~ dinner leftovers

Dinner ~ Spinach/Quark Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce
(I'm modifying a recipe we've tried before ...substituting the quark for the ricotta
and omitting the flour ...we'll see how it goes ...)

Lunch ~ dinner leftovers

Dinner ~ Chicken Souvlaki (Khrista's recipe)
but without pitas ... I'm going to make it as a salad.

Asparagus Artichoke Salad *EDITED

When the weather turns a bit warmer and the stores start displaying green lovely asparagus I HAVE to make this salad.
The recipe is incredibly simple and was inspired whilst shopping at Whole Foods for a dish to contribute to a family Easter dinner.
While perusing the deli case for something pre-made I glimpsed this delicious looking salad!
I scrutinized it and at $5.99/lb. I knew I could re-create it for far less. So I went about the store collecting all the items I thought might be in the dish. It turned out splendidly and was well received at our family gathering.

Without further adieu...
My Favorite Spring Salad
1 bunch fresh asparagus*
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1-15 oz. can artichoke hearts (packed in water)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic chopped or minced
Salt & Pepper

Wash asparagus and trim ends, then cut to desired size.
Place in large bowl.
Wash and halve cherry tomatoes.
Add to asparagus.
Cut artichoke hearts into desired size and add to bowl.
Heat olive oil in pan and warm the garlic until fragrant and soft.
Drizzle over vegetables and gently toss.
Season with salt & pepper.

*When choosing asparagus, select firm, green spears with tight, crisp tips. I prefer thin asparagus as the thicker ones tend to come from older plants and can be tough.

Printable recipe:
Asparagus Artichoke Salad

Chocolate Croissants

A most simple, yet decedent treat...

-1 can refrigerator croissants
-a few chocolate chips per croissant

Roll chocolate chips into each croissant.
Place on baking sheet.
Bake as directed on package.
Let cool a bit, then bite into a little bit of heaven!
A truly naughty treat!

Bell Peppers Stuffed with Salsa, Rice & Beans (Crockpot)

4 large bell peppers
2 ½ cups cooked brown rice
15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup tomato salsa
3 scallions, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
15 oz. can crushed tomatoes
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon sugar

Cut the tops off the bell peppers, save for later use, and remove and discard the seeds and membranes. Arrange the peppers upright in a 5 ½ - 6 quart slow cooker.
(My Crock Pot is only 4 quarts and they turned out fine.)
In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the rice, beans, salsa, and scallions and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
Fill the prepared peppers evenly with rice mixture, packing it lightly. Replace the pepper tops. In the same mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, cumin, oregano and sugar and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Pour over and around the peppers in the slow cooker.
Cover and cook on Low for 4 hours, until peppers are fork-tender but still hold their shape.
Serve hot.

Note: Adapted from a recipe from the book titled: Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker

menu plan monday // Khrista 08.15.11

Bell Peppers Stuffed with Salsa, Rice & Beans
(I said I would post this recipe a while back, I'll try to share this week!)
Salad Bar
We pull out TONS of veg and all make a big salad! Perfect for hot Summer nights! 
Here's a list of things we normally have available: 
Cherry Tomatoes

Snap Peas
Bok Choy
Red Cabbage
Butter Beans
Kidney Beans
Sunflower Seeds
Pumpkin Seeds
We dress it with Extra-Virgin Olive Oil or Flaxseed oil & vinegar or lemon juice.
We make a new recipe every Thursday this week we will try Sprouted Kitchen's 
Pizza Night
we'll have either Funky Lime or Taco Pizza (the Taco Pizza is my current fave!)
(it's a tradition!)
(this is new to us, it will be tested to see if it remains permanent. ;)

Ranch Style Dip (with optional green extra)

So .... I wanted to make a dip that used greek yoghurt as the base. I found a few online for ideas and then combined them to make this. It was nice. You'll notice that the two photos are pretty different. I forgot to add the spinach until today (when I found it in the microwave where it was defrosting last night !!! ha ha) But ... it was good BOTH ways and next time I might not even worry with the spinach because it was kinda like ranch before the spinach went in !

Anyway, here's what I did ...

500g greek yoghurt
1/2 cup reduced fat feta, crumbled pretty small
500g spinach (optional - especially if you forget it !)
1/4 small red onion, finely diced
2 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 Tablespoons garlic flakes
1 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients. Refrigerate for at least an hour so that flavors combine ! I served with carrot sticks, cucumber slices, red and yellow capsicum (bell pepper) strips, cauliflower and broccoli florets.

Fuji Chicken Salad

This salad is incredibly tasty. And so simple. And only 9 ingredients ! (including a homemade salad dressing) I had this salad for lunch today, I wish there was more so I could have it for dinner tonight. Yeah ... THAT's how good it was !

I made individual salads, one for me and one for Rory. Here is the ingredient list for a single salad ... adjust as necessary.

1 cup ice-burg lettuce, chopped
1 cup wombok (chinese or napa cabbage), chopped
1 chicken breast, cooked & sliced (we seasoned with salt/pepper then grilled ours on the BBQ)
1 Fuji apple, thinly sliced

Dressing: (this was enough dressing for two salads)
1/4 cup caramelised balsamic vinegar (use a good one !!)
1/8 cup olive oil
1 tsp Italian herbs
salt and pepper

Here come the complicated instructions ...
1. Put the dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake 'em up.
2. Put salad ingredients into a bowl or onto a plate.(or into a tupperware for lunch, like I did !)
3. Top with dressing.

Cauliflower Mash

1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
salt, pepper, garlic powder

Bring a pot of water to the boil, add cauliflower and cook til tender. Mine took about 12 minutes. Scoop out a coffee mug full of the water you boiled the cauliflower in and then pour the remaining water with the cauliflower into a colander to drain. Puree cauliflower in a food processor, using the reserved water and olive oil to make it smooth. Season to taste.

We served this tonight as a bed for Chargrilled Salmon with Asparagus in a Lime Vinaigrette. (pictured above)

Delicious !!

Honey-Teriyaki Chicken Fingers with sesame seeds

We do like this meal. Last time we had it we just made the chicken. This time we made the noodles and snap peas with it.

small amount sesame and vegetable oil for frying
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp molasses
1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp liquid smoke seasoning
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into thin strips (I used 4)
1/4 cup sesame seeds, lightly toasted
8 oz cellophane noodles, soaked in hot water until tender
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 tsp sesame oil
4 cups snap peas, steamed

Whisk together soy sauce, honey, molases, ginger, garlic, liquid smoke seasoning, and black pepper. Add chicken strips and turn to coat. (I marinated mine while I prepped the beans and noodles.) Heat about a tbsp each sesame oil and vegetable oil in a large frying pan (or wok) and add chicken. Cook 5-7 minutes until cooked through, turning once during cooking. Remove chicken from grill pan and roll in toasted sesame seeds.

Remove ends from snap peas and place in frying pan after removing chicken. Place a bit of soy sauce in the pan to deglaze and pick up the flavor from the marinade of the chicken. Cook a few minutes until heated.

Drain cellophane noodles and toss with cilantro and sesame oil. Serve chicken with noodles and snap peas. (We used a different kind of noodle that called for cooking after soaking. So I tossed them in a frying pan with some sesame oil... they ended up being very dry. I don't know how they will taste if you actually follow the directions, but we were thinking next time to make up a little more of the marinade... or something to add a bit of moisture to the dish.