BLT Pasta Salad

I have had this recipe in my folder of “Recipe’s To Eventually Try” for some time now. And that time has finally come. Huge and I mean huge hit with the family. It really tastes like a BLT and is so easy to throw together. It’s even filling enough to eat as the main course for a meal.

BLT Pasta Salad

  • 1/2 pound fusilli pasta
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup lowfat buttermilk or milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 pound sliced bacon, cooked until crisp and chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, preferably heirloom, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 4 lightly packed cups sliced romaine or other crispy lettuce

Cook fusilli according to package directions until just tender; drain, cool under cold running water and drain again.

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Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, buttermilk, mustard, garlic and salt. Add pasta and toss until coated. Add bacon, tomatoes, onion and lettuce and toss again.

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Serve immediately.

This recipe was found on the Whole Foods website.
I did make a few adjustments to ours by using bacon pieces,organic fat free milk and only using half the garlic called for.
It is delicious, give it a try.

Crunchy Ground Turkey Pockets or Lettuce Wraps

Quick and easy is the key to this recipe. A little goes a long way, so it’s great for a group.

Crunchy Ground Turkey Pockets

1 lb. ground turkey

package of fresh mushroom slices(as big or small as you wish)

1/2 cup hoisin sauce

14 oz package of shredded coleslaw mix

In a nonstick pan brown your ground turkey along with your sliced mushrooms until it’s no longer pink. Add the entire bag of coleslaw cabbage and 1/2 cup hoisin sauce.

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Saute this, mixing it together well, for about 8-10 minutes. Or until the cabbage is to your desired tenderness.

Take your pita pockets and hold them open and stuff them with this mixture. This also works wonderful to fill butter lettuce leaves with.

Fast, easy, cheap and delicious:)

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Pull Apart Cinnamon Rolls

Years ago our son  became friends with a classmate which resulted in our families becoming friends all through their school years together. He once visited their home and they had this recipe while he was there. He raved about it for days which made me finally ask for the recipe. Now, every Christmas morning this is our breakfast. It has been for years, and I hope maybe someday he will keep up this tradition with his family.

I will warn you, this is far from a healthy breakfast, although it is cream cheese free:) This is what makes it all the more special. It’s the one day a year I make it and enjoy it and don’t worry about what’s so bad about it.

Pull Apart Cinnamon Rolls

2 loaves frozen bread dough

1/2 c. butter(1 stick)

1 cup brown sugar

1 lg box cook n serve vanilla pudding

2 TBSP milk

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Defrost the bread for 1 hour so it is easy to handle and cut. Cut each loaf into 4 parts lengthwise then cut into 1 inch pieces.

Grease 9×13 cake pan and put the pieces from one loaf in a single layer. Melt all the other ingredients together over low heat until smooth. Pour this over the bread pieces. Next, take the pieces from the second loaf and fill in the spaces. Let it rise for about one hour.

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Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

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Let it cool for about 15 minutes and turn it over onto a large plate.

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Enjoy the ooooy gooooy yumminess with your family.

Crock Pot Beef Stew

I have the perfect beef stew recipe for those nights when you need dinner fast. You could even chop all your veggies the night before. Then before you leave in the morning simply toss them in, mix up the sauce, pour it over the ingredients and your done.

Here you go, give it a try and see what you think.

Crock Pot Beef Stew

1-1 1/2 pounds of beef stew meat

1 cup of frozen peas-thawed

4 large carrots

3 medium potatoes

1 medium onion

1 tsp. of your favorite grill seasoning

1 can tomato soup

1 can golden mushroom soup

Spray your crock pot with non stick cooking spray. Prepare your veggies by washing them and peeling the potatoes and carrots. Cut all the veggies into stew like chunks.

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Layer the beef first in the crock pot. Next the veggies. (NOT THE PEAS)

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Mix in a small bowl both cans of soup together along with the seasoning. Pour this over the top of the beef and veggies. Cover and set on low for 6-8 hours. A half hour before your ready to serve add the thawed peas.

So super easy. This recipe also freezes well if you have leftovers.

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Enjoy!

A Drink Recipe to Take the Winter Chill Off

With the temperatures here in the single digits, I thought this would be a perfect way to warm up.

A few years ago my husband came across this recipe that was concocted by Canadian back country skiers.We thought we would give it a try and ever since, we have been hooked. This is a wonderful warming drink after a winter activity.

For myself, just standing in the window of my home looking out at the snow falling makes this drink all the more delightful. Who says you actually have to go out and enjoy the snow to enjoy this treat?

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Cougars Milk

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2 TBSP  sweetened condensed milk

1 oz. of rum (spiced and coconut are our favorite)

pinch of nutmeg

pinch of cinnamon

8 oz. of boiling water(more or less depending on your sweet tooth)

Add the milk, rum and spices to your cup and then add the boiling water. Mix and enjoy.

This could be the only good thing about winter that I can possibly think of….

Brie with Carmelized Onions

While my son was home for Thanksgiving I asked him for a suggestion on what to do with the Trader Joe’s brie that I had purchased. Knowing his love for cheese, I knew he would come up with something fairly quickly. He suggested caramelizing some onions, adding some bacon and putting this on a baguette covered in brie goat cheese. Which is exactly what we did.

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Brie with Caramelized Onions

1  crusty baguette cut into 1 inch slices

one round of brie

two medium onions thinly sliced

1 tbsp. smart balance butter spread

1/2 package real bacon salad toppings

balsamic glaze

Cut your baguette and lay the slices on a baking pan. Spread a small amount of brie on each slice.

Preheat your oven to 425. Saute your onions in a pan with the butter spread. Add your bacon pieces when the onions are about half done.

Keep your onions over low heat to keep them warm and place your brie covered slices into the oven to melt. Watch them closely, this will only take 3-5 minutes.

Remove the slices and place a small amount of the onion topping onto each slice of bread.

Drizzle with balsamic glaze and enjoy.

Getting Your Significant Other On The Healthy Bandwagon

Whether it be your husband, wife, or significant other, if one part of the pair is trying to be healthier, I think it’s only normal to want the other part of you to be healthier also.

The big question is, how to make this happen? Honestly, you can’t unless they are ready willing and able. Sometimes just you being healthy and them seeing the benefits of your progress is enough to persuade them to give it a try. If they see the rewards of you feeling better, having more energy and even losing weight,they may be more apt to giving it a try.

When I first started to change to a healthier lifestyle, my husband was not into any changes what so ever. After a few months, and a not so great doctor appointment, he came home and said we needed to change some things with him. By this time, I had already lost a good amount of weight and had started walking for exercise. We agreed that he would start walking with me twice a week for two miles. We also agreed that we would not cut red meat totally out of his diet, but would have it no more than twice a week. As far as the snacks that my husband loved, they almost all changed. Chips turned into baked chips, ramen noodles were banned from the house, he rarely had the pleasure of cookies being in the house, and eating an entire frozen pizza was never going to happen again. Oh, and his beloved deep fryer went to the city dump.Ultimately, he adjusted fairly good to all these changes.

We added more veggies to our meals and had healthier snacks readily available to grab and go.

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Today he is walking with me almost on a daily basis and if we are not walking we are doing some other activity. I still to this day ask him to join the gym I belong to, but so far he continues to turn me down. That’s alright though because we have accomplished what we were trying to do which is making our family healthier.

Now, there are a few tricks that you can try if your significant other is picky about what they like to eat or do for exercise.  You can easily bake things only using egg whites and not the entire egg. If you need something crunchy, try panko crumbs and baking the items instead of breading and deep frying. In some recipes applesauce can be substituted for the oil that’s called for in the recipe. Substitute ground turkey for ground beef. It is very easy to hide veggies in casseroles like spinach or zucchini in lasagna, finely chopped carrots in chili or a thin layer of hummus in wraps, etc..

When suggesting exercise, don’t suggest it during his/her favorite television show or when it’s 90 degrees outside.  Suggest it at a time when nothing else is really happening, you have a better chance of getting a positive response. Make exercise more fun than actual exercise. Suggest trying a new sport like tennis, bike riding, find a pool with open swim times in your area, go hike and area trail, learn to geocache, try basket ball at a near by park with hoops, try frisbee. There are so many things you could do and all the while be getting exercise.

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Concentrate on starting out slow and don’t force them to do it, because they will never stick to it. I will admit, I was pretty lucky, both my husband and son just sort of followed along when I decided to make my lifestyle change. We have learned so many new sports and activities, and are so much happier because of our new way of life. Not everyone is going to feel this way at first. That’s ok. You do what you need to do for yourself and if they like the change they see in you maybe they will follow along for the adventure.