Pasta with Broccoli and Italian Sausage


We saw something like this on a food show. I used unsalted butter rather than olive oil and used marsala instead of the broccoli cooking water. I used a full pound of Sweet Italian Sausage and all the fresh broccoli left from Christmas, about 3 cups I would guess. The pepper flakes can be added by each person if they want. I will cook the whole wheat angel hair pasta and heat it all together right before dinner. The Pickiest Eater I know tasted it and thought it was marvelous, so hurray!


I will post my plate photo and opinion after dinner. For lunch I had Tacos from the freezer with romaine and picante sauce.


Here is my bowl. I liked this very much and think it is a nice variation of spaghetti. Here is the inside of the cake:


It was very good, as I remembered it. The fondant wasn’t even bad at all.


Mini Pizza

Today, I prepared several dishes that I will finish cooking and serve tomorrow. The first is just reduced-fat crescent roll dough cut into circles the same size as the pepperoni, topped with homemade pizza sauce, parmesan cheese and then the pepperoni. I baked them at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes and put them in the fridge.


I also made mushrooms the same as for the Tea Party, which will need to cook for about 10 minutes tomorrow.


And a spinach pie similar to the one here from Gabi at Cooking Without Limits. I cut the recipe in half and used cranberry Wensleydale instead of feta. It will need 15 minutes in the oven tomorrow.

Spinach Pie.jpg

For lunch, I had panko breaded tilapia from the freezer (store bought). I think I may have chips and dip again for dinner, the cold makes me too tired to eat.

BLT Club Salad

I saw this and had to make it. I used:

  • 8 ounces spiral whole wheat pasta
  • 11 ounces grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 8 large romaine lettuce leaves
  • 4 ounces low-fat colby-jack, shredded
  • 250 grams deli turkey slices, diced
  • 1 small avocado, diced and sprinkled with lime juice
  • 1/4 cucumber, grated
  • 8 slices of cooked bacon
  • 1/3 cup avocado oil mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard

I stirred all together and left it to chill, covered, until dinner.


Still dragging from the cold but I had to get last minute gifts so we had Philly Cheesesteak Hot Pockets for lunch before braving the crowds. It really wasn’t bad and I found something for myself as well! I tried on some clothes that I bought but never wore and they fit! I can’t get over how successful this diet has been. I am going to gain a bit over Christmas (I have been picking at the treats), but I will get strictly back on the plan in January.



I have seen some beautiful, extravagant ramen recipes, but I have fond memories of very simple ramen. It used to be a regular dinner when the kids were small. I would chop chicken thighs, throw them into a pot of water with a bit of bouillon, add mixed frozen vegetables, then ramen noodles and finally the seasoning packet. They loved it. (For some reason we also had slices of white bread with peanut butter on it with this). But what I really remember is a golf course club house on an army base in Japan that served a very simple ramen. It was a pork ramen with a slice of ham and 1/2 hard boiled egg. I can’t remember if they had vegetables in it. I am going to try to recreate that memory, using Costco’s frozen stir-fry vegetables, sliced ham and hard boiled egg halves. The sodium content will be half a day’s RDI, and it won’t be low in saturated fat, but I know it will be filling and hope it will be tasty. Another memory is watching men in stalls making the ramen noodles. I always wanted to try that, but wonder how hard it really is. Since this takes no time to cook, I will take a picture and give my comment after dinner.


Not fancy, but warming, filling and delicious.

Pizza Rolls

I ran across this interesting blend of two very different foods, pizza and cinnamon rolls. I am adding pepperoni to the filling. For sauce I am giving this recipe a try. I used only 1 tablespoon of oil to saute a whole onion and garlic, used Splenda instead of sugar and added 1 teaspoon each of fennel and rosemary. I let it cook an hour while the dough rose. I just arranged the pepperoni in rows across the dough. I used 2/3 cup pizza sauce, 200 grams mozzarella and 120 grams pepperoni. 2 of these is about 500 calories.


I had a garlic rosemary blend that I shook on top after brushing with the ICBINB. These smell so good. They are a bit underdone, I will bake them for 5-10 minutes to heat them up for dinner. I’ll give my opinion after dinner.

Even the smell didn’t do these justice. They were so good, everyone was surprised. We were expecting just another form of pizza, but they were much better. I think it was the dough, but the dipping sauce helped as well. Someone wants this every week. (But that makes months worth of food I would have to make every week.)

I made Cocoa Puffs for Miss Picky for breakfast, so I had to have that instead of my usual protein bar. I had Jaeger Schnitzel from the freezer for lunch.

Crispy Deli Rolls

When the Pickiest Eater I Know was young, I made these out of a Pillsbury Bake-Off pamphlet and she kept asking me to make them again. She has now forgotten the recipe altogether because I never did make them again. I am making these now because although they are small but high in calories and a bit fiddly, she will be here for dinner and I want to remind her how delicious they were. Plus, I am running out of ideas. The recipe can be found here. I am using reduced fat crescent roll dough, ICBINB, very lean ham slices and Torani Sugar-free Brown Sugar Cinnamon syrup instead of honey and avocado oil mayonnaise in the dipping sauce. I could reduce more if I used low-fat mozzarella but I need to use up what I have. I ended up doubling the recipe and making 8 (2 without spinach), but used only 3 cups Bugles and 3 tablespoons ICBINB for dipping, so the end result is a respectable 480 calories.


It is too bad smell transmitting technology hasn’t been invented because you would want to make these right now if you could smell them!

Toad in the Hole

First, I love Yorkshire Pudding! You know I finally got a recipe to taste right for Thanksgiving, even if they didn’t look great. Anyway, that is the high bar set for this recipe I borrowed from Ros over at Cooking Up the Pantry.

I did make a few changes, I used turkey American-style breakfast sausages, call it a whim. They are small so I cut 6 slices of bacon in half length-wise. I ran out of milk so I used 1/2 cup half and half and 1/2 cup water and the batter seemed a good thickness so I left it at that. It smelled glorious while baking and I can’t wait to eat it tonight. Oh, I made 8 servings out of it. Some with 1/2 sausage, some with 1 and some with two, depending upon how the bread puffed. I am having frozen broccoli with this.


This was declared delicious by all.



BLT Crepes

We are gathering again to share Thanksgiving with those not able to make it Thursday. Because of this, I need to make and post dinner early. I am not sure what I will eat for lunch, I will photo my plate but might not have a real good calorie count. Anyway, these cold burrito-style crepes will make an easy and delicious dinner.


I chopped 4 slices of cooked bacon, 12 thin slices of turkey bacon, 2 Roma tomatoes, 1/2 of a ripe but firm avocado (tossed in lime juice), 6 large leaves of Romaine lettuce and mixed in enough olive oil mayonnaise to coat. I made 4 large crepes using 1/2 recipe of a Mabel Hoffman crepe batter (1 cup flour, 1 cup skim milk, 2 eggs, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup butter) but I used canola oil and randomly added 1/2 teaspoon of savory. I have no idea what difference it made in the crepes, but my taste of the filling has me anxiously awaiting dinner.

I hope you all are having a great weekend and thanks for visiting!

Here are my lunch and dessert plates. I only ate 2/3rds of the sweet potato and 1/2 of the bread with ham and gravy on it. See how tiny my bites of treacle tart and cheesecake were? I enjoyed them tremendously though. And dinner was really good!


Ham Stuffing Casserole

The first thing I remember making on my own for dinner was stuffed ham. My mother left instructions and I was so proud to be doing it all by myself. It was just a box of stuffing mix prepared and spread between two ham steaks and baked, but it was a meal and I made it by myself. I recalled this when wondering how to use up a package of deli ham (260 grams) of which I used a small part. I also had stuffing mix that didn’t get used yesterday. I prepared the stuffing, threw in 400 grams of the wonderful stir-fry veggies from Costco, the chopped ham and a can of cream of mushroom soup (not condensed). I spread the mixture in a baking dish and topped with about 2 ounces shredded low-fat colby jack cheese. It baked in a 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes. Someone adores this kind of food and I must admit it smells quite delicious.


For lunch I had Spaghetti All’ Amatriciana from the freezer. ) I was delighted to weigh less the day after Thanksgiving than I did the day before!)

Quick Pizza

I am going to be out most of the day so I have to prepare dinner and post this before I go. When I was a teen, one of the meals I prepared for the family was either Chef Boyardee or Appian Way Cheese Pizza Kit and then add toppings as desired. It was quick and easy. Today, I am going above that but not quite to the level of from-scratch pizza. When planning a motorhome trip, I bought things that could be made without refrigerated items, including all the fixings for pizza. One of these was Krusteaz Flatbread Mix. (It smells wonderful.) We didn’t end up using it so I wanted to use it before it goes bad. Here is how I made today’s pizza:

* Exported from MasterCook *

Quick Pizza

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
1 package Krusteaz Italian Herb Flatbread Mix
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup warm water — 115F
2 teaspoons minced garlic
30 grams Mizithra Cheese
3/4 cup pizza sauce
115 grams ricotta cheese, part skim milk — (low-fat)
48 grams pepperoni slice
30 grams diced olives
120 grams mozzarella cheese
78 grams portobello mushrooms

Combine all dough ingredients and mix well. Let rest while oven preheats to 475 degrees F. Spread dough in large (12X17) sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Spread dough with minced garlic and sprinkle with mizithra cheese. Bake for 5 minutes. Combine pizza sauce and ricotta. Spread over dough. Arrange slices of pepperoni and mushroom evenly. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Chill until ready to make. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.


I originally planned to cut this in 9 pieces, but if I cut it into 12, 2 pieces are still under 500 calories, so that will seem like a big helping! (Notice the lack of olives and mushroom on the far right side? Miss Picky’s share.) I will bake it just before dinner and give a review and picture of my plate after dinner. For lunch I am having a barbecued all-beef hot dog, cooked over a campfire, but I will not be tempted by the s’mores because I really don’t like them.


These were so nice. The herbs in the flatbread mix were excellent!

Chinese Pork

We used to go to a Chinese take out place and get some of the best Chinese food I’ve ever had. The thing I really liked (apart from prawn toast) was Char Sui Pork. I would love to make it at home but I didn’t have everything required by this recipe, so I just mixed stuff together that I did have on hand (busy day today). It should be pretty tasty regardless of whether or not it reminds me of the stuff I loved.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Chinese Pork

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
500 grams pork chops
1/4 cup agave syrup
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon Yoshida’s Gourmet Sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon clove, ground
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds — ground
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 drops red food coloring
1 tablespoon agave syrup


I marinated it for 6 hours and cooked according to the instructions in the original recipe, 350 degrees F for 25 minutes, brushed with marinade mixed with 1 T agave syrup, then brushed again and broiled until charred on each side. I have a package of BBQ flavored rice that I wanted to get rid of and I will stir-fry some vegetables to complete this meal.


For lunch I had German Roulade from the freezer.  I will post a picture and review after dinner. I felt really hungry between lunch and dinner and I ate a protein bar.


While these taste delicious and just like Chinese Barbecued Ribs, they aren’t really like what I was going for. Still this is a good recipe to have.

Egg McMuffin Casserole

Breakfast for dinner! Another find and the perfect vehicle for the half loaf of English Muffin Loaf in the freezer. Here is the recipe, which I tweaked by using reduced fat Colby-Jack cheese, deli ham slices, skim milk, ICBINB and the homemade bread. This would be great for holiday guests as it can sit overnight and just be baked fresh on a busy morning. It makes 8 servings at under 350 calories.


We will probably have steamed vegetables with this. And I will post a photo and review after dinner. For lunch I had Enchilada Soup (no chips or cheese) and spinach mixed in.


This was so good. I think the bread had a bit to do with how delicate it was, but the flavor was great and I wouldn’t change a thing.

French Pork Pie

A couple of days ago I was searching for food to make and came across this recipe. I was going to make it with just a top crust lattice made of puff pastry. Then I thought about weaving bacon in the top crust and changed my plan to a pie crust that I had in the freezer and used turkey bacon. So that is what I did. I used a can of whole new potatoes instead of a raw potato and just diced and added it after the 10 minute cooking time. Also, I minced two medium yellow carrots and cooked them with the pork and onion. The recipe doesn’t give a cooking temperature so I used 350 degrees F. The two I cooked this afternoon took 45 minutes to brown and crisp the bacon.


I took a tiny taste and I really liked it.



Chicken Fried Spam

This is a favorite of the pickiest eater I know. She loves schnitzel and loves Spam. I’ll save her a piece for the next time she visits. My mom used to make this with saltines, though I will use a bit fancier crackers, just to use them before they grow stale and because they have 2 grams of fiber in an 80 calorie portion. This technique is used for thinly-hammered steak, chicken and pork. I am using reduced-sodium Spam (though the bacon-flavored Spam would be great for this). I am making a package of country gravy, instant mashed potatoes made with canola oil, and steamed mixed vegetables.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Chicken Fried Spam

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
210 grams spam — lower-sodium
3 tablespoons flour — 1/4 cup to start
1 large egg
2 tablespoons water
60 grams Grains First Crackers — finely crushed (72 grams to start)
1/4 cup canola oil — (1/2 cup to start)

Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Place flour, egg beaten with water and crumbs in a separate pie pan. Slice the spam into 21 grams slices and dredge in flour, then egg then crumbs. Immediately place in skillet. Cook until golden brown on each side. Drain on paper towels.


There are two patties stacked on each other, so this is a fair-sized meal. This is about 400 calories.