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My favorite Italian herb blend is an aromatic, peppery blend of seven dried herbs. I toss it on frozen pizzas, on english muffin pizzas, in ground beef (for spaghetti, stromboli, and in my two meat spicey game day cheese dip (with a little black pepper and salt it makes ground beef taste like sausage)), and I use it to round out the flavors in homemade tomato sauces.
Unfortunately, this beloved go-to blend costs me a pretty penny, and I was looking for a way to make my own similar mix for less 'cha-ching'. I started with recipes found online calling for equal proportions of each herb, then adjusted by smell using the order of ingredients on the label of my favorite store bought blend as a guide (assuming ingredients on label were listed first by volume then in alphabetical order). Using this methodology any ingredients in alphabetical order may or may not be of equal proportions to the prior ingredient but anything out of alphabetical order was clearly in a different class. By this system I came up with the following grouping:
Tier 1 = oregano
Tier 2 = marjoram, savory, thyme
Tier 3 = basil, rosemary, sage
It may not be precise but i think it's pretty darned close. You are welcome to adjust ingredients to your own taste and share what you've come up with in 'comments'. :)
I will warn, "savory" was difficult for me to find, 'Morton & Bassett' was the only company who sold savory at my local grocer and funny thing-- it cost me $8 for a bottle while all other herbs I was able to buy in bulk for some $1 for every 4oz . (Fortunately a single bottle of savory should make several batches of this herb blend, and should last a good while).
Another wham bam thank you m'am salad in my repetoire.
I enjoy eating fresh raw vegetables because they're low in calories, high in nutrients, and have plenty of fiber. IMHO It's a great way to fill you up pretty solidly for a meager calorie allotment.
It's easy to mush these simple ingredients together and adjust quantities to taste. Substituting or adding/subtracting ingredients is also easy. I hate cilantro and though there is some already in the salsa I use- it's not overpowering and I don't add any more. (this is part of the reason i'd prefer to make my own than to use purchased guacamole).
I'm always looking for a way to sneak vegetables into my kid's food. The herb blend I use helps make this meatball taste like sausage (my kids call it sausage). A squirt of brown mustard may also help enhance this flavor.
Chopping the veggies finely helps keep picky eaters from being suspicious- but it also helps to break up the meatballs and toss in the pasta sauce before adding to pasta. My kids love the taste and fight over who has more meatballs in their dish but they're highly suspicious of anything not shapped like a chicken nugget.
I prefer to use two kinds of meat (to add more beef flavor to the Turkey meatball) but meat types can be easily changed out and you could use all one type of meat if you'd like.I prefer to ground white chicken meat when availble, though the recipe calls for ground turkey (which I find more readily available). 2-3 pounds of meat should do the trick and seasonings can be adjusted as needed. When using 100% poultry I add breadcrumbs to help make the recipe less sticky.
This makes about 3 'batches' which match nicely to one box of pasta and jar of sauce (I use the Veggie Smart Smooth and Sweet by Prego).
I'm in love with the Green Giant 'Healthy Vision' steamed blend of zucchini and carrots with rosemary but i get tired of paying $2 a box for a serving of veggies. I whipped up my own version for less than half the cost and it's as simple as slice- nuke- and toss.
This is my own recipe based off the basic Joy of Cooking recipe- but with my own twist. Usually when I make something a first time it needs to be tweaked but this is devine. The eggs are optional - but i suggest adding them esp if you're not going to be stuffing a bird with this.
You should reheat the stuffing before stuffing it into a bird or moisten with extra egg and or stock.
Simple yet flavorful grilled meal
Each time I make this it's a little different. You really can play with the amounts of ingredients. This is my base recipe and I tweak from there. You can cut the meat out too but I always use the beef bouillon cubes, you'll want to double or triple your veggies if you're going without the meat.
A large vegetarian salad filled with delicious crunchy veggies.
I pulled this one together, with a little inspiration from a half dozen recipes. I'm eating alot of spinach now. As a pregnant woman, you learn that you have certain nutritional needs. 3 cups of raw spinach daily equates to your total daily vitamin C requirement, your total Leafy Green Vegetable requirement, and has calcium and iron to boot. (Requirements presented in What to Expect when You're Expecting). And it's really very very low in calories so it's (spinach) good for calorie counting diets too. So i consider spinach to be the ultimate power food. Look even though this has sinful tastes of bacon, and the sweetness of maple syrup it's still less than 270 calories for a nice big bowl full, a filling dinner, packed with calcium, iron, vitamin C, Vitamin A, and green leafy goodness. You could also split the portions into 4-6 smaller side salads and serve with a nice potato soup, or as an appetizer.
I threw this together adlibing seasoning with the basic tahini to garbanzo ratio from the joy of cooking. This is so easy. And so cheap, for $1 i can buy 6 pita loafs and 78Cents I can get a can of garbanzo beans. It's a great pick me up before or after an aerobic workout. It also makes for a great snack, or even a very low calorie lunch or dinner. Once you try homemade hummus you will NEVER shell out $3 for prepackaged again.
A meatless version of my Jerk Chicken salad. A fruity, refreshing salad with a little bit of a spicy bite.
Using Jerk Chicken using another recipe (bottled marinade), Jerk Salad Dressing (another recipe), Mandarin oranges and fresh baby spinach, this is a spicy slightly sweet treat that's good on the waistline. This would also taste great with dried cranberries, and toasted almond slices.
You have to mix these ingredients to taste
I make this for my annual Jamaican me Crazy Girl's poker night. The first time i made it, i poured the extra marinade on top before cooking, and it was so hot it was miserable, but even my friends who aren't spicy friends said 'it's so spicy i can't stand it but i can't stop eating it!'. Just be sure to use the marinade moderately, and discard leftover marinade after removing chicken from it. Here pictured traditional jerk Chicken on top, BBQ Jerk on bottom.
I used to eat these religiously in College. They're easy, tasty, and it's possible to make them in a toaster oven. You can alter the 'toppings' to suit your needs/tastes.
I just throw this together for breakfast or a snack. You could use light canned pears or another canned fruit, sometimes I also use fresh pears. Also you can use fat free cottage cheese, or lower fat cottage cheese.
With so few calories you'll be surprised how filling this is. If your pantry is nearly bare, you're hungry and you only have a couple of minutes to make something, this is the recipe. It's very low in calories, but quite filling. Every restaurant has their own version of EggDrop soup, mine is thin, with asian flavor and very simple. You could also add corn (rinse first if canned).
A simple vegetable dish, that tastes so delicious. Grilling is the key ingredient to add that smokey flavor. Also i read recently that adding small amounts of healthy fats helps to better absorb the beneficial vitamins of vegetables, like zucchini.
I came up with this simple recipe to go with the Greek Salad Dressing i found on the internet. Shown here in picture WITH CHICKEN and without Tomatoes.
I'm trying to come up with my own mustard vinegarette that's similar to Outback's which is slightly sweet, slightly thick, and has herbs in it along with a warm mustard taste. This recipe is a work in progress
I cook simple dinners, and this is no exception. It's not dark or crusty like some blackened chicken but it has a heavy cajun flavor with a little bit of herbs like blackened chicken does. Shown here in picture with 1/4 chicken breast done cajun style but not 'blackened'
This is my traditional salad for lunch or dinner or as a side. Shown here in picture with cucumber.
This is a very basic salad I often eat for lunch
This is what I what i usually make when guests come over. I get rave reviews.
Mom makes this slow cooked crock pot veggie soup with beef. I made a very low key alternative that is easy enough to make over a campfire or for a college student.
I had the munchies one night, and a bare pantry. I threw together this crispy tortilla snack and I find it quite tasty, and easy to make. Would make a good garnish instead of croutons for a salad. Could possibly be used with dips or spreads (hadn't tried that yet). I generally eat them in place of chips. And serve at parties.
Found this recipe on the internet and had to size it down from industrial to household amounts
My Husband and I enjoyed a dinner at MiLuna a Tappas Restaurant in Houston. They had the most delicous bread dip pesto. I spent a few weeks coming up with my own version with a similar taste. I like full flavor so it's hot from garlic and pepper, you can always cut the amounts to taste.
Well it's not exactly lean (I'm a calorie counter, not a no-fatter) but you could try making it with turkey or vegan bacon, and with light cream cheese. They are tasty though and i do get asked for the recipe alot.
This is a Southern Living Recipe (from the magazine and website). It is very easy and quite tasty. I listed it so I could calculate the calories and share the recipe with a friend. The original recipe calls for pork, but the 'options' for pork chops as an ingredient were so confusing I listed chicken instead (instructions for both included). (The picture is of the pork)
When you cut a pita in half there's a hollow inside you can stuff most any sandwich/wrap ingredients inside for a tasty sandwich (less calories than 2 slices of bread)
I've been making Spaghetti from a jar since i was 7, but recently we learned to jazz it up and it tastes amazing!
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I just wanted to put my sparkrecipes in one place for friends to access. I'm a calorie counter, and a portion controller. So some of these may be 'indulgent' but they're at least 'counted'.
|TTM's high protein low cal collection
easy access to recipes from other members with high protein contents