Sandy's Kitchen: Other

Showing posts with label Other. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Other. Show all posts
Ground beef mixed with bbq sauce, grated cauliflower, diced tomatoes topped with melted cheddar cheese all stuffed in a sweet bell pepper makes a yummy family friendly meal!

When I was barely a teenager, I came across a recipe in one of the many cookbooks that my Dad owned. I guess you could say my love for cooking came from my father. He was in the Air Force so he really didn't have much time to cook during the weekdays, but the weekends were his time to unwind and well... cook. Don't get me wrong... my mother was and still is a good cook, but I always remembered the weekends belonging to Dad. I have lots of great memories of weekend family shenanigans.

The recipe I had found in one of his cookbooks was an easy one made with only a few ingredients. It was called Barbecue Cups. They were absolutely delicious, yet so simple. It consisted of ground beef mixed with barbecue sauce and then stuffed into a muffin cup. Each muffin cup was lined with a refrigerated biscuit. They were topped with shredded cheese and placed in the oven. That's it! I told you they were easy. 

Biscuits are mighty tasty, but peppers work just as well. I just needed to find something that could hold the meat mixture, yet still taste great. I personally like the taste of sweet red peppers. I love them raw, roasted, grilled, etc... Either way, they taste delicious! You don't even have to use red peppers. Use and color you like. I don't discriminate! They are all yummy to me!

This recipe makes two Lean and Green meals, but feel free to double or triple the recipe if you have a large family or if you want more left overs!

Start off by cutting the tops off the peppers and getting rid of the seeds and membranes.

Then boil the peppers in a large pot of water for only 5 minutes. It helps soften the peppers so you don't have to spend so much time baking.

Measure out 7.5 ounces of cooked lean ground beef. Use a food scale! It is one of those gadgets you should own for portion control. You don't want to cheat yourself of any food you may be missing or vice versa... getting too much of a certain food. It just makes measuring simpler. Set aside the ground beef.

Next, measure out 1/2 a cup of riced cauliflower. Riced cauliflower is a great alternative to rice so it works great in this recipe. You can always grate your own cauliflower, but purchasing it already done is so much easier and saves some time!

Cover the bowl of riced cauliflower with clear plastic wrap or place a plate over the bowl. Microwave a few minutes until the cauliflower is tender. No need to add anything, but I have seen some people add a little bit of oil to the cauliflower. It really doesn't need it, but if you ever need that extra healthy fat, then adding it would be a great way to get it in.

Add the cooked cauliflower to the ground beef.

Then add the drained Italian diced tomatoes.

I added Stacey Hawkin's Honey BBQ Seasoning. It is delicious and it enhances the flavor of the meat mixture. If you don't already have it, you can purchase it HERE. It has quickly become a favorite of mine.

If you do not have the Honey BBQ Seasoning, don't fret! You can use any combination of your favorite seasonings. Just make sure you do not exceed two condiments total.

Now you are going to add the barbecue sauce! I found this sugar free barbecue sauce at Wal-mart. I have to say... considering it is sugar free... it is pretty darn good! My husband who hates sugar free anything actually likes this one. It comes in a variety of flavors too!

Mix all of the ingredients together until everything is combined.

Stuff the meat mixture in the cooked peppers. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 30 minutes.

Uncover and sprinkle 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese on each pepper.

Bake for about 5 more minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Look at all that melted cheese! Don't they look heavenly? Enjoy!

BBQ Beef Stuffed Peppers

2 Sweet Bell Peppers (4 Greens)
7.50 ounces 93% Lean Ground Beef, cooked (1 1/2 Leans)
1/2 cup 2% Cheddar Cheese, shredded (1/2 Lean)
1/2 cup raw grated Cauliflower (1 Green)
1/2 cup Italian diced Tomatoes, drained (1 Green)
* 1 tsp Stacey Hawkins Honey BBQ Seasoning (2 Condiments)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut the tops off both peppers. Discard the seeds and membranes.
Boil a large pot of water over medium-high heat. Add the peppers and cook for about 5 minutes or until slightly tender. Remove the peppers from the water and place the peppers upside down on a plate to drain the water. Set aside.

Put the grated cauliflower in a small bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap or you can place a plate over the top of the bowl. Microwave on high for about 2 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender. Set aside.

Combine cooked ground beef, cooked cauliflower, diced tomatoes, BBQ sauce and seasonings of choice in a large bowl. Evenly divide meat mixture between the two cooked peppers.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle 1/4 cup of cheese on each pepper. Bake uncovered for 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted. One stuffed pepper is one full Lean and Green Meal.

*If you do not have Stacey Hawkin's Honey BBQ Seasoning, you can use any combination of seasonings of your choice. Just make sure the total number of condiments does not exceed a total amount of 2 Condiments.

Makes 2 Servings
Per serving:
1 Lean, 3 Greens, and 3 Condiments

I have been hearing about kale chips for some time now, but never got around to making them until now. I never thought I would get a delicious treat out of these green veggies, but boy was I surprised! They were crispy, but very delicate, almost to the point of being crumbly. They had a nice salty flavor, but you don't have to use just salt. I think I am going to try garlic and parmesan or possibly a little soy sauce for an Asian flavor next time. Variety is key for me. I will also tell you that they are extremely addictive and just like potato chips... you can't eat just one, at least I can't! I did learn not to sprinkle too much sea salt on the chips because the cooking process gives them a salt like taste as they get crispy so go easy on any spices or flavorings you decide to use.

These kale chips are wonderful for movie night! My husband and I enjoyed these yummy snacks but my son and dog definitely wanted a piece of the action too! My son was more interested in crumbling these chips between his fingers, while my dog just wants to eat EVERYTHING! For a night of entertainment, these were easy and yummy to make!

Separate the kale leaves from the thick stem. Then tear the kale into pieces or cut them with a knife. I used my fingers. No need to make the leaves pretty. Wash the leaves in water and let them air dry or you can use a salad spinner to dry them faster. 

Spray the kale with olive oil cooking spray and massage the leaves so that the olive oil is distributed evenly. Then spread the leaves on a parchment lined cookie sheet in a single layer and sprinkle with salt.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 to 15 min turning the leaves halfway through. Cook until the edges start to get a light brown color, but don't burn them. Burnt chips do not taste very good. Then enjoy these delicious crispy veggie chips!

Kale Chips

4 1/2 cups or 11 oz kale, after leaves are removed from stems (9 Greens)
Olive oil cooking spray or 1 tbsp olive oil (3 Healthy Fats)
1/4 tsp sea salt or your favorite seasonings (1 Condiment)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Remove the center stem from the leaves and discard. Tear the leaves into 2 to 3 inch pieces. Wash the leaves thoroughly and let dry. 

In a large bowl add kale and spray lightly with olive oil cooking spray or drizzle with olive oil. Massage the oil into the kale to distribute evenly. Place the kale on the prepared cookie sheet in single layers. Sprinkle with salt.

Bake until the edges are brown but not burnt, 10 to 15 min, turning halfway through. Watch closely so they don't burn! Try 10 min first and add more time if needed.

How to store them:
Your best option is to store them in a dry paper bag or in an air tight container at room temperature. If they're less crispy the next day, dry them out a bit in the oven at a low temperature (175 F) for 15 minutes.
Over time, the chips will absorb moisture from the air, so a batch will probably last a few days (a week at the most).

 Try experimenting with various spices such as smoked paprika, garlic, Italian spices, parmesan cheese, nutritional yeast, etc.

Makes 3 Servings
Each serving provides
3 Greens , 1 Healthy Fat and 1/3 of a Condiment

To air fry:
Air fry at 280 degrees for 6 to 8 min, shaking the basket halfway through. Make sure to check the basket often after 6 min so you do not overcook it.

I have got a great recipe for you... well you know it is that time of year when we all bring out our grills and enjoy the beautiful sunshine outdoors! Considering Vegas gets well over 100 degrees quite often (hey what can you expect living in the desert), so we typically grill in the morning or in the evening because the afternoon heat can get unbearable. At least for us, considering we came from Colorado.

My husband and I love to grill... well actually, he likes to grill and I like to eat the grilled food! My famous words, "Call me when it is done honey!" Yeah, we make a great team! This recipe contains two of my favorite things! Shrimp and Frank's hot sauce! You just can't go wrong there! It's the perfect dish for Summer! The best thing about this recipe is that it is great dish to bring to a pot luck or enjoy at home with the family. A crowd pleaser for sure! I would limit this dish to have on occasion because Frank's hot sauce does have a lot of sodium so weigh in on Friday and eat this on Saturday!

Don't want shrimp? Use chicken! Chicken requires only 1 healthy fat so if using butter in the buffalo sauce, you will have to serve it with another side that doesn't use a healthy fat. If you really want to have the ranch slaw, just omit the butter in the buffalo sauce. Use about 8 to 9 oz raw to get 6 oz cooked. If using cheese in the ranch broccoli slaw, then you will only need 4.5 oz cooked chicken.

Grilled Buffalo Shrimp

  • 9 to 10 ounce raw, peeled, deveined shrimp - should yield 7 ounces cooked (1 Leanest)
  • 1/4 cup Frank's Hot Sauce (2 Condiments)
  • 1 tbsp. light butter - I like to use Land O Lakes Light Butter with Canola Oil (1 Healthy Fat)
  1. Melt butter in the microwave for about 30 seconds. 
  2. Add butter and hot sauce in a small bowl, stirring until combined.
  3. Place shrimp on skewers. 
  4. Baste very lightly with the sauce, saving majority of the sauce for when they are done cooking.
  5. Grill until shrimp are cooked, about 2 minutes on each side. 
  6. Baste with remaining buffalo sauce.
Don't forget to weigh your shrimp after they are cooked. You should have 7 ounces of cooked shrimp. If you are serving the ranch broccoli slaw with this meal, you will only need 3/4 Leanest which will be 5.25 ounces cooked.

Make 1 Serving
Each serving provides:
1 Leanest, 2 Condiments, and 1 Healthy Fat 
(You still need 1 more Healthy Fat)

Here is a recipe for ranch broccoli slaw. As you can tell, both recipes are really, really easy to make. This one requires no cooking at all so no burning down the house! Just mix the ingredients together and you have a quick tasty side dish. The coolness of the ranch dressing pairs so well with the bit of heat from the shrimp and it adds a nice crunch! A match made in heaven!

I bought the broccoli slaw at Wal-Mart. It does have bits of carrots mixed in, but I picked them all out. Well, most of them anyways. It wasn't easy, but I did it! If you don't mind the carrots, leave them in! The added cheddar cheese and bacon bits really complete the dish so don't leave them out! Have a wonderful weekend you guys! Stay on plan and you won't regret it when Monday comes right around the corner!

Ranch Broccoli Slaw

  • 1- 1/2 cups broccoli slaw or fresh broccoli florets (3 Greens)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Great Value light ranch dressing (3/4 Healthy Fat)
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded (1/4 Lean)
  • 1 tbsp Oscar Meyer turkey bacon pieces (1 Condiment)
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl. 
  2. Stir until combined. 
  3. Serve chilled.

Makes 1 Serving
Each serving provides:
1/4 Lean, 3 Greens, 3/4 Healthy Fat, and 1 Condiment

If you omit the cheese, you can use 2 tbsp of ranch dressing.

I love shepherd's pie, but my traditional recipe is loaded with carbs! I swapped out the usual mashed potato topping for mashed cauliflower and melted cheese. I also added more veggies to the ground beef mixture. I used french style green beans, but yellow squash and zucchini are also great choices. It turned out amazing! I am so glad I have an extra serving for tomorrow!

Shepherd's Pie


7.5 oz cooked 93% lean ground beef (1 1/2 Leans)
 1 tbsp + 1 tsp McCormick less sodium brown gravy mix (4 Condiments)
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups (7.14 oz) canned french style green beans, drained 
or cooked from frozen (3 Greens)
1/4 tsp salt (1 Condiment)
1/8 tsp black pepper (1/4 Condiment)
1/4 tsp garlic powder (1/2 Condiment)
1 1/2 cups (9.51 oz) cooked from frozen cauliflower, 
mashed (3 Greens)
1/2 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese (1/2 Lean)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Follow the cooking directions on the back of the package if using frozen green beans. If using canned green beans, drain liquid. Measure out 1 1/2 cups or 7.14 oz for the recipe and set aside the rest for another day.
Combine cooked ground beef, gravy mix, water, and green beans in a medium skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 to 10 minutes. Spread ground beef and green bean mixture on the bottom of a small casserole dish. 
Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to mashed cauliflower then spread over the ground beef and green bean mixture. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until cheese has melted.

Makes 2 Servings

Each serving provides
1 Lean, 3 Greens, and 3 Condiments

Craving tuna Casserole? I used green beans for the "noodles" but spiralized zucchini or spaghetti squash are also excellent substitutes! I personally like green beans for this particular recipe. I used a combination of light ranch dressing and sour cream to give it a little zing and to make it creamier. Enjoy!

Ranch Tuna "Noodle" Casserole

14 oz canned tuna, drained (2 Leanest Leans)
1/4 tsp salt (1 Condiment)
1/4 tsp pepper (1/2 Condiment)
1/4 tsp garlic powder (1/2 Condiment)
1/4 cup regular or light sour cream (4 Condiments)
1/2 cup light Hidden Valley ranch dressing (4 Healthy Fats)
2 cans french style green beans, drained * (7 Greens)
1 cup mushrooms (2 Greens)
1 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese (1 Lean)
3 tbsp parmesan cheese (3 Condiments)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bring water to a boil in a small sauce pan. Add mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes or until they are tender. Drain and set aside.
Combine tuna, salt, pepper, garlic powder, sour cream, and ranch dressing until combined.
Stir in green beans and mushrooms. Divide mixture into three medium sized ramekins.
Top each ramekin with 1/3 cup of  cheddar cheese and 1 tbsp parmesan cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese has melted.

* You can also use 3 1/2 cups of fresh or frozen green beans. Use this helpful Vegetable Conversion Chart if you would like to weigh your veggies! Don't like mushrooms? Try sweet bell peppers or celery instead!

Makes 3 Servings
Each serving provides
1 Lean, 3 Greens, 3 Condiments and 2 Healthy Fats (for the leanest lean tuna) per serving

Missing fries? How about home fries made from radishes? They taste mighty good! Serve them with reduced sugar ketchup! Yum! 
Enjoy the recipe!

Home Fries (Radishes)

1 tbsp butter (2 Healthy Fats)
3 cups (12.3 oz) thinly sliced radishes (6 Greens)
1/2 tsp garlic powder or onion powder (1 Condiment)
1/4 tsp salt (1 Condiment)
1/4 tsp black pepper (1/2 Condiment)


Melt butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add radishes to the pan and season with garlic powder or onion powder, salt, and pepper. Cook the radishes until they are soft and the edges are brown about 10 minutes. Do not stir frequently so the radishes have time to brown. Enjoy!

Makes 2 Servings
Each serving provides
3 Greens, 1.25 Condiments, and 1 Healthy Fat
Serve with a Leaner or Leanest option (add 1 additional Healthy Fat with Leanest option)

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