Monday, January 31, 2011

Mac and Cheese Muffins

Easy Mac and Cheese Muffins Recipe 

(the picture is from since I forgot to take one)


  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3 tsp hot sauce (or more if you like it spicy)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. In a small bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, olive oil and salt; set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook for about 8 minutes, it should still be a little bit firm. Remove from the heat, drain and return to the pan; stir in the butter and egg until pasta is evenly coated. Reserve 1/2 cup of sharp Cheddar cheese and stir the remaining Cheddar cheese, milk and mozzarella cheese into the pasta. Spoon into the prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle the reserved cheese and the bread crumb mixture over the tops.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the topping is nicely browned. Allow the muffins to cool for a few minutes before removing from the pan. This will allow the cheese to set and they will hold their muffin shape.

These are super good!  I am always looking for things my kids like, and things I can make and freeze and this fits both criteria.  Once they have cooled, just pop them in a freezer long enough to keep their shape and then put them all in a freezer bag.  They reheat wonderfully!

I made this recipe for a for a BSI (Blogger secret Ingredient) contest hosted by Debbi Does Dinner and BSI. If you are looking for some good, low calorie, tasty, awesome recipes, check out Debbi's blog.  It is fabulous!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Chewy Granola Bars


  • 4 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cups miniature semisweet chocolate chips, nuts, fruits, or candy pieces (whatever you prefer)


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease one 9x13 inch pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the oats, flour, baking soda, vanilla, butter or margarine, honey and brown sugar. Stir in the assorted chocolate chips, raisins, nuts etc.
  3. Lightly press mixture into the prepared pan. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes then cut into bars. Let bars cool completely in pan before removing or serving.

So this recipe might not be the lowest in calories, but it's got to be better than all the preservatives you find in store granola bars.  Those things have a shelf life of almost forever it seems.  One way to cut down on the calories of this is to use less butter and sugar.  The original recipe called for 2/3 c. butter and 1/2 c honey and 1/3 c. brown sugar.  After reading some reviews of the recipe, a lot of people said it was too dry.  A lot of people added more honey and butter and i decided to try it.  My defense is, is that honey is better than regular sugar, I added less chocolate chips (the original said 2 cups!) and I used a light butter.  But I think next time I may try using applesauce instead of butter, that will cut the calories in almost half I think.  As I made it, it is 3-4 points per bar, depending on how big you cut them.  I cut it so I had 24, so they were 3 points each.  Another thing to change would be instead of chocolate ships in side, melt some and drizzle over the top.  These would also be superb without any chocolate, but I have a major addiction to chocolate.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Chicken sweet potato soup

If you are anything like me, you probably overindulged during the holidays and now your clothes are paying for it.  I need to find me some nice filling food that is healthy so that is my goal for the next little while. 


Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Total preparation time: 40 minutes
Makes 9 cups
  • 2-1/2 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery (2 ribs)
  • 1 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup water
  • 14 ounces canned chicken broth (i did 3 cubes of chicken bouillon with 14 oz. water)
  • 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/16 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken or turkey (leftover or pre-cooked)
  • 6 slices turkey bacon, cooked, crumbled (optional)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups skim milk
Combine sweet potatoes, celery, onion, garlic, water and broth in a pot. Add marjoram, thyme and cayenne pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a slow boil and cook about 15 minutes until sweet potatoes are fully cooked. Stir in chicken, bacon and peas. Combine cornstarch and milk in a small dish, then stir it slowly into the soup mixture. Cook until thick and bubbly, about 5 minutes.  
To add extra flavor to the chicken, cook the turkey bacon first and the cook the chicken in the same pan.  The bacon doesn't have grease but it adds a nice flavor.
The total points for this is around 35 points, and I think it makes at least 8 servings, probably more if you do smaller ones.  So that means it can be 4 points or less per serving.  This is chock full of veggies so it will fill you up.  And since veggies are low cal/no points, feel free too add more =)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Crockpot Taco Soup


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (16 ounce) can chili beans, with liquid
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans with liquid
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, with liquid
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans peeled and diced tomatoes
  • 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chile peppers
  • 1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix


  1. In a medium skillet, cook the ground beef until browned over medium heat. Drain, and set aside.
  2. Place the ground beef, onion, chili beans, kidney beans, corn, tomato sauce, water, diced tomatoes, green chile peppers and taco seasoning mix in a slow cooker. Mix to blend, and cook on Low setting for 8 hours.

This is the original recipe.  I added some stuff to mine, of course.  I didn't have 2 cans of tomatoes, so i used one can of tomatoes and then i had a can of tomatoes with diced chilies mixed so I used that instead and omitted the green chillies, but if you like a kick, use both.  I only used half an onion, but my onion was pretty big.  I also added half a packet of ranch seasoning, but I think it would do with a little more.  I cooked mine for 4 hours on high because I didn't have enough time.  It is super good with some tortilla chips crumbled on top and some shredded cheese.  If you want to cut the calories a little, you can use turkey burger instead.
The calories per serving of the original is about 385, and it says the recipe has 8 servings, but I think it has more like 16 bowl size servings.  So if you go with the 16 servings, it is around 200 calories, add a little for cheese and chips if you add them.  I paired it with some homemade french bread and it was wonderful!!!!  I think this is going to be a new favorite.  Plus, it makes plenty so I can freeze some for later since soups freeze great.