Thursday, May 31, 2012

Baconed Brussels Sprouts

I came across this recipe while reading a book I just got in the mail, Reshaping it All by Candace Cameron Bure, and for anyone who struggles regarding weight loss or getting healthier I would highly recommend reading it. She did a wonderful job of giving strong inspirations throughout the entire book but mostly she quotes a lot of scripture that just hammers home what she is trying to teach. I love it, I’m still reading it but so far I really have been enjoying it. I’ve gone back and re-read some chapters and highlighted good sections. Anyhow, enough about that, this recipe is completely yum. We really liked it. I used this as the main dish and am completely satisfied by it. Even Baby Cakes loved it, and he’s not much for veggies, sure he eats them but he would always rather have something else.

I did remake this recipe per say. I shrunk it a bit, basically halved the recipe and then omitted some of the bacon as well.

Baconed Brussels Sprouts
recipe lightly adapted from Reshaping it All by Candace Cameron Bure, pg. 62

10 thick slices bacon, large diced
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
seasoning blend, your choice, to taste

In a large, deep skillet, cook the bacon over moderately high heat until browned, about 8 minutes; using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Pat off excess fat.

Add the onion and garlic to the skillet; reduce the heat to moderate and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the softened vegetables from the pan and set aside.

Add the Brussels sprouts in batches and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown on the outside. Add the reserved bacon and vegetables to the Brussels sprouts in the pan along with salt and pepper to taste.

Cover the skillet with a lid and cook, stirring occasionally, until sprouts are just tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

Now this skillet, as a main dish, made 4 servings at 336 calories each. At that amount you can still afford some side items as well.

We loved it! The carmelized sprouts and crispy bacon. Seriously yummy.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Greek Garbanzo Salad

If you’ve followed me for a length of time you will notice that I have spurts of healthy cooking, be it Weight Watchers, Cook This Not That, etc., but I always seem to go back to my norm of cookery, the unhealthy southern fare I grew up eating, heavy on the butter and cream. My only saving grace is I’ve only fried maybe 2 things in the last few years, eggs and salmon patties. What you can’t see are the meals my husband and I eat the rest of the time. He doesn’t need to watch his intake and count calories and I do, or did before now. I’ll spare you the nitty gritty but some factors in our private lives have made it imperative that I follow a certain diet plan, a Low Amylose Diet to be exact. So due to this for the time being the majority of post for the next say 6 months will be following this plan. Now that I’ve shared that let’s get started on the first recipe, shall we?

I needed a side dish that I could eat without guilt and that would fit the outdoor picnic occasion, so I made this salad based off of some ideas I had seen online of garbanzo bean salad, although I couldn’t tell you where or when.

This dish is the one to eat if you are seriously craving pasta. I loved it! So much so that I ate half of of dish, every single glorious flavorful bite.

Greek Garbanzo Salad


3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons of crushed oregano
1 teaspoon of salt
pinch of pepper

Put all ingredients into a mason jar, screw on the cap and shake until combined. Chill overnight or a minimum of 3 hours.


16 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
½ cucumber, peeled and small diced
roma tomatoes, small dice
10 kalamata olives, sliced
¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons dressing, recipe above

Add all the salad ingredients except the feta cheese into a bowl and toss to combine. Chill for 2 plus hours. Just before serving stir in the feta cheese.

Makes 4 servings at 174 calories each or 6 servings at 116 calories each.

If you’re not following the Low Amylose Diet you could always add ½ a purple onion thinly sliced to the salad as well which will up the calorie count a bit.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pioneer Women’s Aunt Trish’s Salad

Who doesn’t know the Pioneer Women? She’s had a blog longer than I have and now she has a cooking show on Food Network. I love her style of cooking; she makes good old home cooked food and this simple tossed salad is no exception.

I first saw this recipe on Food Network a few weeks ago and then during my blogging break I made it and took it to Mother’s Day at my Momma and Daddies house, it got rave reviews from both sisters in law and one of my baby brothers, not to mention I loved it. Well, with reviews like that regarding salad it’s a keeping in my opinion. So I am making it again tonight to go with some steaks that Baby Cakes is grilling for supper.

Just a heads up, the dressing has to sit and marry over a 24 hour period at a minimum. I can’t stand it when I go to make something the day of and realize I didn’t read the entire directions and didn’t give myself enough time. Lesson learned? Always read cooking instructions in advance but, just in case you’re anything like I used to be there’s your heads up.

Pioneer Women’s Aunt Trish’s Salad Dressing
recipe from Pioneer Women

¾ cups canola oil
juice of 1 lemon
4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
dash salt, to taste
dash black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoons sugar
dash of paprika
garlic clove, minced

Place all ingredients into a jar. Shake it up and store in the fridge at least 24 hours before serving.

Serve on a green salad with halved cherry tomatoes and a thinly sliced red onion.

Also works well on pasta salad.

It’s summer time, time to start trying out some new salad recipes.

Now to get a calorie count I just divided the entire salad, with lettuce, tomatoes, and onions, already tossed with the dressing into 8 servings making it 225 calories each serving.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Smothered Cabbage with Sausage

First and foremost, I’m back y’all! I had a lovely break, although I continued cooking to restock my posts, but even still it was a lovely little break from blogging. Now I can’t promise I won’t be having a few more of these throughout the summer due to real vacations and some other personal things, in fact, I am 100% sure I will be taking a couple more blogger breaks before this summer is over, just so you know. Grin.

It’s no secret I love sausage, although I know it’s not something I should be eating regularly, and cabbage? Forgetaboutit! In the Baby Cakes household we eat cabbage regularly and proudly. So when I came across this recipe on my reader I was all for it and wouldn’t you know it, I had everything on hand to make this delicious meal.

Smothered Cabbage with Sausage
recipe slightly adapted from

1/2 stick butter
1 small head of cabbage, chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 lb. pork link sausage, sliced into coins
1 teaspoon olive oil
15 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat; brown the sausage coins. Transfer to a paper towel lined dish and set aside.

Melt the butter in the same skillet; add the onion and green pepper and cook for about 5 minutes or until just softened. Stir in the cabbage and cook about 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients, including the browned sausage; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Golly Gee this was good! Like seriously gonna want thirds good. Then again, anything cooked in butter is. I would, and will, totally be making this again, and again, and again in the very near future. Baby Cakes raved throughout his entire two helpings about how great it was.

1 serving has 336 calories.

Don’t you just love cabbage? It is so low in calories and yet is so filling. You would never guess that the entire bowl full of goodness has so few calories.    

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Little Vacay...

Noticing my lack of posting I have decided to take a blogging break for a bit. Not too long. I will be back really soon.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Crockpot Oriental Chicken Thighs

Whew has my world been crazy busy as of late. It has been madness. My schedule at work has been wonky, not to mention my baby brother’s wedding is almost upon us so both Baby Cakes and I have been partaking in those festivities. Because I have been so busy I haven’t been cooking, here’s a little secret, we tend to go through seasons at our house, seasons where I cook almost daily and then to the total opposite end of the spectrum where we’re frequenting restaurants and I never cook. Apparently this is a restaurant season because I have officially run out of back up posts. The plus side in that is I get to cook more?

Ah my crockpot. It has been awhile hasn’t it? The weather is turning warmer and with that our schedules are getting tighter, no better excuse to pull out that old comeback kid the crockpot. I’m not going to lie, I adore mine, we go way back. Baby Cakes gets to take the credit for this delicious meal, I prepped everything the evening before and when he woke up he put it all in the crockpot, turned it on and then had to sit and wait all the while smelling it’s wonderful enticing aroma. He’s a strong man! I have broken by enduring less.

The word I would use to describe this recipe would have to be, Amazing!, simply amazing.

Crockpot Oriental Chicken Thighs
slightly adapted from

10 boneless skinless chicken thighs
5 teaspoons olive oil
1/3 cup warm water
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon allspice
2 tablespoons dried green onion flakes
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water
hot cooked rice
sliced green onions

Stack the chicken thighs in crock pot sprayed with nonstick cooking spray or lined with a liner.

Combine olive oil, water, brown sugar, orange juice, ketchup, vinegar, garlic, red pepper, allspice, and green onions; pour that mixture over the chicken thighs. Cover and cook on low 5-6 hours.

Combine cornstarch and water; add the slurry into the crock pot and stir; Cook on high 30 minutes longer or until thickened.

Serve the chicken over rice with a colorful steamed vegetable.

I know that they don’t look that pretty but I cannot stress enough how delicious these chicken thighs were. The hardest part about this recipe was chopping the garlic and I can live with only having to chop garlic for sure. As long as I keep finding incredibly easy and incredibly flavorful recipes like this one I honestly have no excuse to not cook dinner almost every night. But hush; don’t tell Baby Cakes that I said that. Grin!

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