Weight Watchers Breakfast Quiche

This recipe came as a recommendation from my friend Theresa. It’s a Weight Watchers breakfast recipe. I’ve made a lot of egg recipe over the years and many times, they start to taste the same. This one is a little different mixing evaporated milk, egg substitute, Swiss cheese, and turkey bacon. But nutmeg is the secret ingredient that gives this recipe its flavor.

If you are trying to watch what you eat, Phyllo Dough is one of the best crusts you can use. I like to buy Wonton Wrappers since they work pretty much the same. In case you aren’t sure where they are located in the grocery store (I didn’t know and had to ask when I first started using it), they are by the fresh fruit and veggies in the refrigerated case.

Breakfast QuicheWeight Watchers Breakfast Quiche
2 sheets of phyllo dough
3 eggs
1/4 c. egg substitute
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 T. flour
1/2 oz. Swiss Cheese (3 T. )
3 oz. turkey bacon, cooked (about 1/3 c.)
1 c. evaporated milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9 inch pie plate with nonstick spray. Line dish with dough. Spray with cooking spray. Whisk together all ingredients except cheese and bacon. Sprinkle with cheese and bacon on dough. Pour egg mixture over. Bake on baking sheet for 30-35 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Cut into eight wedges. Each piece is 3 Weight Watchers Points.

Notes:

  • I used Wonton Wrappers instead of phyllo dough. I layered it in the bottom of the pie dish. Just be sure to cover as much as possible it you don’t want a crunchy crust.
  • I also tried to make it in a muffin. Crust is definitely crispier. But you get to eat two pieces for 3 WW Points and it only takes 12 minutes to cook. A messy muffin tin is also a minus to doing this.
  • I used fat free cheddar and low sodium bacon when baking one time. I tasted just fine.

FrootLoops Bars

When I was a child, my Great Grandma Kingston used to always make Rice Krispies Treats for our birthday parties. My Great Grandma Reith would make homemade ice cream. I had party cool great grandmas, right?

I used to help my mom a lot in the kitchen. One treat that I always avoided helping with though was Rice Krispies bars. They were a hot gooey mess to stir and get to stick in the pan. As I got a little older, Kellogg’s started packaging and selling these treats in the grocery store. I tried making them once in college but I learned quickly it was easier to buy the pre-made ones. My rule is if someone can do it better than you for a cheap price, buy it. They are also great treats to ship to service men and women serving our country overseas.

A few weeks ago, I ran across this recipe in the Hy-Vee ad for Simple Cereal Bars. The ad featured FrootLoops, Frosted Flakes, and Apple Jacks bars. I decided if I wanted another treat flavor, I would have to give it a try. The directions suggested making it on the stovetop. My mother used to use the microwave so I thought this might be a bit easier. I selected my large oblong Rachael Ray pan. I also sprayed both the 13 x 9 pan and silicone spoon with non-stick spray. I really think both of these things helped. Recipe challenge accepted and achieved. Pick your favorite cereal and give it a try.

FrootLoops Cereal BarsFrootLoops Bars by Hy-Vee
1/4 c. of butter
6 c. mini-marshmallows
6 c. FrootLoops

Melt butter in a large saucepan on a low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat and pour in cereal. Stir until completely melted. Press into greased 13 x 9 pan. This recipe serves 12.

Notes:

  • My mother likes to make them with Cheerios. I think Golden Grahams might also be good.
  • Look for coupons for your favorite cereal and buy them when they are on sale (about every 6-8 weeks). This recipe takes a whole bag of miniature marshmallows and almost a whole box of cereal. As you know, I’m a big believer in always having a variety of cereals on hand and I love to save $.
  • I put the cereal bars in the fridge to harden before cutting.

Cantaloupe Chicken Salad

It’s hot! Who wants to cook? Here is a simple summer salad recipe. It won 1st Place in a Taste of Home Healthy Cooking recipe contest. I thought it was OK but I much perfected this Poppy Seed Chicken Salad recipe.

Cantaloupe Chicken SaladCantaloupe Chicken Salad with Yogurt Chive Dressing by Elizabeth King
1/2 c. plain yogurt
1/2 c. reduced fat mayo
1 T. minced chives
1 T. lime juice
1/4 tsp. salt
2 1/2 c. cubed cooked chicken breast
5 c. cubed cubed cantaloupe
1 medium cucumber, seeded and chopped
1 c. green grapes

In a large bowl, combine first five ingredients. Add remaining ingredients and toss gentle. Chill until serving.

Nutrition Facts: (makes five servings) 2 cups equals 290 calories, 11 g. fat (2 g. saturated fat), 65 mg cholesterol, 380 mg. sodium, 24 g. carbs, 2 g. fiber, 24 g. protein.

Notes:

  • omitted the cucumber. However, one of the chefs at my hotel swears cantaloupe and cucumber have similar taste.
  • I also used fat free mayo.

Orange Julius

My mother loves Orange Julius. You know, the orange fruit smoothie available in food courts everywhere as well as your local Dairy Queen.

One of my family’s favorite things to do is go shopping the day after Thanksgiving. For years, we have gotten up very early in the morning to catch the Black Friday sales and complete most of our holiday. As you know, many stores are now starting to open at Midnight to catch people before they go to bed.

This past year, we decided to swing by the mall in Norfolk on our way back to Columbus from dropping of my grandparents off at their home in Wayne. (For those of you not from northeast Nebraska, these towns are all about 30-45 minutes apart.)

Our first stop was at Target. Who doesn’t love a Target deal? And in our family, it also means our purchases are helping pay the salaries of two family members employed by the company. (I always encourage people to shop place that support your employer or others you know.) I love Target because their Black Friday deals last for two days. This usually means the store isn’t super crazy if you show up an hour or two after it opens. Our run through Target was quick and then it was time to split up.

Somehow, my mother and sister got stuck in a line at Herbergers (it’s like Dillards or Macy’s if you aren’t from a smaller community) for well over an hour. My nephew Brock and I had shopped the whole mall and were starving. What else would be open but the wonderful food court. We called my mother and she wanted a drink. My sister Stephanie wanted a soft pretzel. Brock and split up – one of taking Orange Julius and the other tackling The PretzelMaker. I hadn’t consumed an Orange Julius in years but it was quite refreshing. It gave us just the energy we needed to drive the last 45 minutes back to my sister and nephew’s home.

I ran across the copycat recipe in Pinterest fairly recently. I met it with a little skepticism since the recipe lacks fruit and contains sugar. However, I have to say this recipe taste just like an original Orange Julius. I think milk is the secret froth maker in this treat.

Orange Julius Copy Cat Orange Julius by Pinterest
1 can of frozen orange juice concentrate
1 c. milk
1 c. water
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
10-12 ice cubes

Blend ingredients together and serve. It makes approximately four – 10-12 oz. drinks.

Notes:

  • I used pulp free frozen orange juice concentrate and skim milk.
  • I halved the recipe crushing five ice cubes.
  • Since OJ is very high in sugar, I made one using a sugar substitute (Splenda) to decrease sugar in recipe. It tasted pretty similar.

Chocolate Chip Snack Cake

Everyone has a word they don’t like. One of my exs over used the word “audacity” so I avoid using the word at all cost. Others struggle to pronounce words. My ex who was bilingual in two languages really struggled with the word “Worcestershire Sauce”. It is a kind of hard word to say if you don’t slow down.

The first word that came to mind when I tasted this recipe was moist. It made me think of my friend and former co-worker Kelly. She detested the word “Moist”, perhaps even more that she hate people inappropriately using exclamation marks. (Can you tell we worked together as grant writers?) One time, a co-worker and myself called her office and said “moist” just to freak Kelly out. Of course she knew it was us by the internal caller id. But we were laughing so hard it still puts a smile on my face just thinking about it. It truly is a terrible word. When you thesaurus synonyms for moist, you get: humid, soggy, clammy, saturated, soaking, damp, wet, and tacky. Not exactly the words I was looking for to express my sentiments. Perhaps the best words for me to describe this cake are – soft, sweet, and delicious. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Yellow cake with sour cream chocolate frosting is my favorite birthday cake flavor.

Chocolate Chip CakeChocolate Chip Snack Cake by Betty Crocker website
1/2 box yellow cake mix
1/3 c. water
1/4 c. sour cream
3 T. butter, melted
1 egg
1 1/4 c. mini chocolate chips
1/2 tsp. vegetable oil

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8 inch glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, sour cream, butter, and egg with a mixer. Stir in 1/2 c. chocolate chips. Pour in dish. Bake for 22-28 minutes. Cool completely – one hour. Then, melt 1/2 c. chocolate chips with 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil. Microwave it on high for 45 seconds, plus 15 seconds increments til completely melted. Pour into a Ziploc baggie, cut corner, and drizzle over cake. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips.

Nutritional Information: (Makes nine servings) 270 calories (120 from fat), 14 g. fat (8 g. saturated fat) 35 mg. cholesterol, 210 mg. sodium, 35 g. carbs, 1 g. fiber, 23 g. sugar, and 2 g. protein

Notes:

  • I used half light and half fat free sour cream. Another great substitute is regular or Greek yogurt.
  • I also used sugar free cake mix. I also think you could have used a chocolate cake for an even richer dessert.
  • You could easily skip the extra chocolate chips on top and it would still be good.

Sugar-Cone Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I was a kid, one of my sister and my favorite cereals was Ice Cream Cone Cereal. It was recently listed in a “You know you are a kid from the 80s if…” list on the internet. It made my sister and I laugh. I think one of the reasons we liked the cereal so much was because we loved getting sugar cones when we went to Goodrich.

This recipe came from my most recent issue of Taste of Home’s Simple and Delicious Magazine (August/September 2013). I happened to have some sugar cones at my house that I bought for another recipe so I decided to give it a try. The smell of it baking is like that wonderful smell when you walk into a homemade ice cream store – like Murray’s or Sylas & Maddy’s (my KC favs). It also combines a soft cookie with a crunch. I think it would be fabulous to serve these warm with homemade vanilla ice cream. Heaven in your mouth!

Sugar Cone Chocolate Chip CookiesSugar-Cone Chocolate Chip Cookies by Paula Marchesi
1 c. butter, softened (2 sticks)
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
3 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. chocolate chips
2 c. coarsely chopped sugar cones
1 c. sprinkles

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream together sugars and butter. Add eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add to creamy mixture. Gradually add sprinkles and chocolate chips. Fold in sugar cone. Scoop onto baking sheet and cook for 8-10 minutes.

Notes:

  • I halved the recipe.
  • I also used about half as much sprinkles as recommended. Still pretty and crunchy.

Crack Potatoes

Thanks to Dan Quayle, does anyone else have a fear of misspelling potato/potatoes every time they write it? Maybe it’s just me since I was in elementary school when that infamous news story broke. I also spent way more time watching news at as a kid than most children. I remember how exciting it was to go to journalism school and find a bunch of other media geeks.

This is another one of my Pinterest recipe finds. Although these potatoes are quite tasty, I don’t know that they are as addictive as the author named them. I think my mother’s recipe for cheesy hashbrown potatoes are better. But it was nice to try something a little different.

Crack PotatoesCrack Potatoes
2 (16 oz.) containers of sour cream 
2 c. cheddar cheese
2 (3 oz. bags) of bacon bits
2 packages of powder ranch dressing mix
1 large (30 oz.) bag of hash browns, shredded

Combine the first four ingredients. Add hash browns. Pour into a 13 x 9 pan and bake for 45-60 minutes at 400 degrees.

Notes:

  • I used one light and one fat free sour cream containers.
  • I used half 2% cheddar cheese and half fat free cheese.
  • I bake three slices of low sodium bacon for this recipe. That’s less than the recipe calls for.
  • I halved the recipe and baked it in my bubble and brown casserole dish. It still took 60 minutes to cook.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

I first saw this recipe on Facebook. It got buried in my Facebook timeline and I had to go search the internet to find it. As a single person, it make way more than I can eat to decided to share it with my co-workers. They loved it and I hope you will too. It’s a good balance of chocolate and peanut butter.

Chocolate Peanut Butter BarsChocolate Peanut Butter Bars
2 c. instant oatmeal
1 1/2 c. flour
1 3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 c. of butter (2 sticks)
1/2 c. chopped peanuts
1 c. chocolate chips
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 can sweet and condensed milk (14 oz.)
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter

Mix together oats, brown sugar, flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Cut in butter. Save 1 1/2 cups. Stir in egg to bowl and press in the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. In a separate bowl, stir together sweet and condensed milk and peanut butter. Pour over crust. Sprinkle crumble, chocolate chips, and nuts. Bake 15 minutes more.

Notes:

  • I omitted the peanuts.
  • I used Fat Free sweet and condensed milk and reduced fat peanut butter.

Make Ahead Breakfast

I saw a recipe on Pinterest encouraging people to save money on McDonald’s breakfast sandwiches by cooking them yourself. To be honest, I really don’t like McDonald’s breakfast. I know, you probably are in complete and total shock. I’ve always been more of a fan of Burger King’s Croissan’wich. Although I haven’t had one in years, I also really liked the Hardee’s Sourdough breakfast sandwich. I suddenly have a craving to see if they still carry this item. Perhaps I should check on my way to work one morning. But I’m getting a little off track now.

As a kid, my sister and I used to spend a lot of time at our Grandma and Grandpa Fletcher’s house. When my mother had to work on Saturdays or a day off from school, we would ride up to Wayne and hang out with Grandma. My Grandma had a routine that included mass, breakfast at Popo’s, Bible Study, lunch out (usually Popo’s but sometimes for piz-za), and an afternoon project. Sometimes we would clean. Other times we would be doing one of my grandma’s many hobbies – ceramics, puffy paint sweatshirts, sewing baptismal bibs, making Barbie clothing, oil painting, etc. But sometimes Grandma would get it in her head that she could make something even better food wise at home. My Grandma loved “The Snackmaster” – she would put anything between two slices of bread (pre-low carb diet days). Another one of Grandma’s creations was the breakfast sandwich. Grandma would make them in the microwave usually with bacon (one of her favorites).

Although I think I can make a better tasting fresh breakfast sandwich pretty quickly, I did like the use of the muffin tin to cook eggs. It’s a great way to prepare eggs to everyone’s liking. I just wish I had used my silicone muffin cups because baked on egg is a mess to clean up. I also liked the crunch of the English Muffin.

Eggs your wayBreakfast Sandwiches
eggs
cheese
English Muffins

Crack each egg into it’s own muffin cup. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Undo English Muffins and place on a baking sheet. Cook at the same time for 10 minutes on the lower rack. Remove from oven and place eggs on muffins. Top with cheese and bake for 5 additional minutes to melt.

If frozen, reheat for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Notes:

  • I made a scrambled egg with ham. I think the add-ins (spinach, tomato, turkey bacon, etc.) are endless.
  • I made an over hard egg.
  • I also made an egg white with fat free cheese.

Crock Pot Chicken Casserole

In the last month, I have become a more active user of Pinterest. Part of the reason I because I am helping a great animal shelter called Wayside Waifs try to win the ASPCA/Rachael Ray 100K Challenge.

Wayside Waifs is Kansas City’s largest no-kill animal shelter. Each year, they find loving homes for near 6,500 abused, neglected, and abandoned animals in our community. Through the ASPCA/Rachael Ray Challenge, they are trying to increase their pet adoptions by the greatest percentage over last year. Since they run entirely on donations, their goal is to win the $100,000 grand prize so they can continue providing shelter for Kansas City’s most vulnerable animals.

One way I am helping achieve their social media goals designed to increase adoptions is by helping them with Pinterest. (I’m amazed I haven’t adopted one of these adorable little furry friends – they are so cute!) Spending a lot of time Pinning for them has increased my personal interest in Pinterest. With all the Pins of yummy food, I may never have to buy another recipe book/magazine again. This particular recipe came from a personal three hour binge pinning. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. It kind of reminded me of Hamburger Casserole expect with chicken.

Crock Pot Chicken CasseroleCrock Pot Chicken Casserole
1 (32 oz.) bag of tater tots
1 package (2 cups) cheddar cheese
3 oz. of cooked bacon or bacon bits
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, diced and raw

Spray your crock pot with non-stick cooking spray. Pour in half a bag of tater tots. Layer with a 1/3 of cheese and bacon. Cover with diced pieces of chicken. Top with a 1/3 of cheese and bacon. Top with remaining tater tots. Finally top with remaining cheese and bacon. Bake on low for 4 – 4 1/2 hours (up to 6 hours if you have an older slow cooker.)