Better For You Food

Lately my lovely husband and I have been trying to eat much healthier. Which, unfortunately, has killed my desire to cook; thus explaining my lack of posts. I love to cook, I love to read about cooking, I love to read cookbooks, and watch TV about cooking. Cooking and eating make me happy, because I get to do it for and with the people I love. I am trying to find happiness in cooking healthier, but like the saying goes, “it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks.” Now I am not an old dog, its just that I’ve been cooking for a good ten years or so not giving a single thought to the caloric content of my food. All that was important to me was if the food tasted good and if the people I was serving enjoyed it.

I have found a calorie counter, which allows you to analyze the nutritional value of your recipe. I use this tool as a guideline, it is not completely accurate, but it was the best I could find. Let me know if there is a more accurate tool out there! Hopefully I will be posting several recipes that will be better for you. The nutritional data will not be available with all the recipes, but I will tell you if I think the recipe is better for you.

If you need a midmorning or mid afternoon pick me up, a great snack is a Fiber One bar. With 140-150 calories and 35% of your daily fiber requirement it is a great snack. Oats & Caramel is my favorite flavor, the great caramel flavor tastes like you are cheating. CQ Products has a 100 calorie snack cookbook for a very reasonable price. Make your own snacks for far cheaper than you could buy those snack packs you see at your local market.

*Disclaimer* I am NOT a registered dietitian or nutritionist. I am a regular person who is trying to eat a little healthier. ALWAYS consult your doctor before starting any diet.

I made this turkey burger recipe last night, but did not take any photos, I thought I already had photos saved on my computer. A quick search of my food folder this morning proved me wrong. Sorry there are no photos of this tasty burger. Trust me the appearance of the burger can not capture it’s tastiness. This burger is so moist and delicious, you won’t miss the higher calorie red meat cousin.

TURKEY BURGER

1 lb low fat ground turkey
2-4 celery ribs, chopped finely
1/2 medium sized onion, minced
1 tsp poultry seasoning (I used ground sage)
1 T extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Over medium heat, add olive oil, celery, and onion to pan. Sautee until vegetables are tender. Remove from pan and cool slightly. Once vegetables are cooled add to ground turkey. Mix well. Form into four patties. In a nonstick skillet, cook your burgers over medium-medium high heat 3-4 minutes on each side. The burgers are done once the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.

Serving suggestion: Place burger on a whole wheat bun smeared with lite mayo, top burger with a slice of Muenster cheese.

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Recipe Redo

I subscribe to the magazine Every Day with Rachael Ray. I love her quick and easy recipes. In the April 2008 issue, Rachael has redone some of our favorite comfort food recipes, making them more figure friendly. One recipe Rachael redid was Shepherd’s Pie that had 311 calories per serving, compared to the 622 it had before. I redid Rachael’s redo with my own even lower calorie and just as tasty Turkey Shepherd’s Pie. I will include Rachael’s recipe and my own. Enjoy!

SHEPHERD’S PIE
(from Every Day with Rachael Ray April 08)
311 Calories/ serving
Serves 8

2 lb yellow-fleshed potatoes
2 T extra virgin olive oil
10 oz cremini mushroom slices
2 carrots, cut into 1 in pieces
2 parsnips, cut into 1 in pieces
1 onion, chopped
1 lb 93 % lean ground beef
1/4 c flour
1 1/2 c beef broth
1/2 c canned crushed tomatoes
salt and pepper
3/4 c 2 % milk
1 1/2 lb baby spinach

In a large saucepan, combine the potatoes with enough salted water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and return to the pot, cover.

In a large, deep skillet, heat 1/2 T olive oil over high heat, add the mushrooms and cook stirring until browned, about 5 minutes. Arrange in a greased 9×13 baking dish in an even layer.

In same skillet, heat 1 T olive oil over medium high heat. Add the carrots, parsnips, and onions. Cook until crisp-tender, 6-7 minutes. Add the beef and cook, breaking it up, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Stir in the flour. Add the beef broth and tomatoes, and simmer, stirring until thickened, about 5 minutes, season with salt and pepper. Ladle the meat mixture over the mushrooms.

position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400. Add the milk to the potatoes and mash. Season with salt and pepper.

In the reserved skillet, bring 1 c water to a boil. Add the spinach and cook, turning until wilted, about 2 minutes, season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a colander, press to extract any liquid.

Arrange the spinach over the meat mixture, then spoon the potatoes over top. Drizzle with remaining 1/2 T olive oil. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes.

MY TURKEY SHEPHERD’S PIE
242 Calories/ Serving
Serves 8

2 lb yellow-fleshed potatoes
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 c carrots, cut into 1 in pieces
1 c celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 lb 93 % lean ground turkey
1/4 c flour
1 1/2 c chicken broth
1/2 c canned crushed tomatoes
salt and pepper
3/4 c skim milk
1 1/2 lb baby spinach

In a large saucepan, combine the potatoes with enough salted water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and return to the pot, cover.

In same skillet, heat 1 T olive oil over medium high heat. Add the carrots, celery, and onions. Cook until crisp-tender, 6-7 minutes. Add the turkey and cook, breaking it up, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the flour. Add the broth and tomatoes, and simmer, stirring until thickened, about 5 minutes, season with salt and pepper. Ladle the meat mixture into greased 9×13 pan.

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400. Add the milk to the potatoes and mash. Season with salt and pepper.

Spoon the potatoes over top. Drizzle with remaining 1/2 T olive oil. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes.