Turkey Tacos

Recently, a group was using our kitchen at work to teach a nutritious cooking class for daycare providers. The group leader invited me to sample some of their recipes. I really liked this tasty taco. It wasn’t too spicy and extra healthy with beans and sweet potatoes. Jeremiah and I used tortillas high in fiber so one taco really filled us up. We also served it with fresh guacamole and homemade tortilla chips.

Creative Commons photo by: John Liu

Creative Commons photo by: John Liu

Turkey Tacos by John Haddock
1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 can white beans, drained
1 sweet potato, zucchini, or carrot grated
1 can low sodium diced tomatoes
1 T. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper

Cook ground turkey over a medium heat. Add beans, veggies, and seasoning. Cook on medium for 20 minutes. Serve in a tortilla shell. Top with shredded cheese and any desired toppings (tomatoes, lettuce, guacamole, salsa, or sour cream).

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Whole Wheat Pancakes

This recipe is for all of you out there trying to eat healthy but are still feeling hungry. My sister is doing the doing the Mayo Diet where you don’t eat sugar (non-natural sugar) for 10 days. I’ve been watching my diet and tracking everything I eat for the last two months. Sugar is in everything – or added to everything to make it taste better according to the documentary Fed Up. I told my sister I thought she could eat this recipe if she use the Cary’s sugar free syrup my grandma has to use for diabetic reasons.

I ate three of these as was so full that I skipped lunch.

Whole Wheat PancakesWhole Wheat Greek Yogurt Pancakes from the Coffee & Quinoa Blog via Pinterest
1 ½ c. whole wheat flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 c. plain nonfat Greek yogurt
¾ c. skim milk (or almond milk)
1 egg
2 T. maple syrup
½ tsp. vanilla

Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix all wet ingredients. Pour into dry and stir. If it seems too thick, you can add 2 T. of milk. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Pour and cook. Serve with fresh fruit or milk syrup. (Made six medium pancakes.)

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Honey, bananas, and Greek yogurt are great healthy recipe substitutions. The recipe has all plus the low fat, high fiber quick oats. Throw in a little flax seed which is currently being researched to prevent breast cancer. You might be surprised to learn this recipe is actually pretty good. I would totally make it again.

Banana Oatmeal MuffinsBanana Oatmeal Muffins from Pinterest
2 ½ c. oats
1 c. low-fat Greek yogurt
2 eggs
½ c. honey
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 T. flax seed
1 tsp. vanilla
2 ripe bananas

Food process oats to a finer consistency. Add remaining ingredients and blend until mixed. Pour into 12 muffin cups and bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

Notes:

  • I halved the recipe and it still made 9 muffins.
  • I substituted low-fat vanilla yogurt because it was what I had on hand.
  • I added some frozen berries to a few muffins. Feel free to mix chocolate chips or nuts into yours. The plain muffins were also good.
  • I didn’t have any flax seed so I made it without.

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.

Lighter Homecookin’

About six weeks ago, a friend and I went to a meet and greet with Bobby Deen (son of Paula Deen). If you have read People magazine lately, then you probably know that he and his family have lost a lot of weight. Bobby did his by recreating his mother’s recipes with healthier substitutes. In fact, this cookbook is so popular it is a best seller. As part of this event, Season 52 prepared some of the recipes for a special dinner. I have to say the food was excellent and Bobby was so sweet.

This is the first recipe I prepared from his cookbook. I was a little surprised to see corn, sour cream, and apple sauce in the same recipe. But I have to tell you, it was fluffy and delicious. In fact, every recipe my co-workers and I have tried in the cookbook has been good. They best part is he uses normal ingredients – just lighter or fat free versions of them. I would recommend buying this cookbook – From Mama’s Table to Mine.

I think this recipe would be good for Easter dinner.

This plate includes Bobby's recipes for meatballs and twice baked potato as well.

This plate includes Bobby’s recipes for meatballs and twice baked potato as well.

Scalped Corn by Bobby Deen
1 can cream style corn
1 can regular corn (I did not drain because the recipe didn’t say to)
1 egg white
1 c. light sour cream
1/4 c. apple sauce
1 box Jiffy corn bread mix

Mix together sour cream, apple sauce, and the egg white. Slowly add corns and corn bread mix. Spray a 2 qt dish with nonstick spray and bake for 60 mintes at 350 degrees.

 Nutritional Information: Serves 7. Contains 9 g. fat, 6 g. protein, 47 carbs, 1.5 g. fiber, and 660 mg sodium.

Black Bean Brownies

A few month ago, Susan G. Komen for the Cure added a health recipe section to their website (click here for Komen recipes). One of the reasons is because living a healthy lifestyle (exercise and maintaining a healthy weight) can help reduce your risk for breast cancer. As someone concerned about these things, I decided to give a few of the recipes a try. This is one I just made for my co-workers.

Black Bean BrowniesBlack Bean Brownies by Komen.org
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
4 eggs
1/2 c. granulated artificial sweetener
3 T. cocoa powder
2 T. strong coffee
1 tsp. baking powder
2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using cooking spray, coat an 8X8 baking pan. Add all ingredients into a food processor except for the beans and blend. Add the beans and blend thoroughly. Pour brownie batter into the baking pan and bake for 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let the brownies cool before cutting.

Nutrition (per serving – 16 servings) Calories: 79 cal, Total fat: 3g, Saturated fat: 1g, Monounsaturated fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 53mg, Sodium: 46mg, Potassium: 126mg, Carbohydrate: 9g, Fiber: 3g, Protein: 4g.

Note:

  • Although it didn’t really taste like black beans, I did find the sugar substitute to leave a little bit of an after taste. Just be aware if you don’t normally drink diet pop (soda).
  • They are very moist but without preservatives get moldy quickly. If you don’t eat them in three or four days, be sure you keep them refrigerated.

Black Bean Pumpkin Soup

My friend Michelle and I go way back. She was one of my first friends in Kansas City. I don’t remember what classes we had together but I know we met in graduate school at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. We were both working on our Masters in Public Administration. Like me, she loves to cook and enjoys great food. When she first moved to Kansas City, Michelle nannied for people who were great friends with some of Kansas City’s best chefs. Needless to say, she introduced me to a couple of great places in town. Michelle loves Brookside so she took me to a lot of great places by UMKC – Aixois and Bella Napoli to name a few. Michelle also used to host dinner parties at her apartment where everyone would bring different dishes based on a theme like “Caribbean”. A great way to sample a lot of new recipes.

Last fall, Michelle invited me to her new house for dinner and to help handout Halloween candy. This recipe is what she made for dinner. It’s from one of her favorite food blogs – The Smitten Kitten. One of the things I love about Michelle is her willingness to try adventurous recipes. Although this recipe isn’t pretty in appearance it is quite delicious. A hearty, healthy recipe for soup made with black beans, pumpkin, tomatoes, and onions.

Black Bean Pumpkin Soup by Gourmet, November 1996 posted on The Smitten Kitten Blog

Photo by: blogs.babble.com

Photo by: blogs.babble.com

Three cans of black beans (about 4 1/2 cups), drained and rinsed
1 c. drained diced tomatoes
1 1/4 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. minced shallot
4 garlic cloves minced (I would substitute jar garlic)
1 T. plus 2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
4 c. beef broth
1 can pumpkin
1/2 c. dry Sherry
1/2 lb. cooked ham, diced
3 to 4 T. Sherry vinegar

In a food processor, puree beans and tomatoes. In a stock pot/Dutch oven, cook onion, shallot, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper in butter over moderate heat, stirring, until onions is softened. Stir in bean mixture. Add broth, pumpkin, and Sherry until well combined. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally f0r 25 minutes, or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Just before serving, add ham and vinegar to soup, stirring, until thoroughly heated. Makes 9 cups.

Note – We ate this with crackers and corn bread muffins. Original recipe suggest sour cream or pumpkin seeds.

Panko Salmon

I was having dinner with my friend Kelly over Christmas break. I was telling her how I was going to be cooking a bunch of meals for my grandparents while I was home. The goal is to make it like Social Supper for them – prep, freeze, thaw, and cook. I also told Kelly that I needed some healthier dishes that were not chicken or turkey based as my Grandpa won’t eat those meats. She had this great Weight Watcher recipe suggestion. I’ve eaten something similar with chicken so it sounded perfect. Give it a try to help you achieve those New Year’s resolutions.

HoneyMustard_SalmonPanko Salmon by Kelly Howard
4 salmon filets
1/2 c. Panko bread crumbs
3 T. honey mustard
1 T. honey
a touch of paprika and thyme (optional)

Mix mustard and honey together. Brush on thawed salmon. Roll in bread crumbs. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

Note: I served it with a half serving of Weight Watchers Smart Ones – Mac and Cheese.