Home Made Granola

Filed Under (Breakfast, Quick Meals) by Lisa on 27-12-2009

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I have wanted to made granola from scratch for quite some time now. I was recently motivated to make it since I have discovered that there is a good possibility I may have an allergy to soy products.

I have been trying to avoid all products with any type of soy in them lately, and I have found that is really difficult to do. Soy is in almost everything! The most common soy product that seems to be everywhere is soy lecithin. Why do they have to put this in everything? I know that it is used as an emulsifier in many food products, however I don’t know why it is put in so many types of food.

I have concluded that the only way to avoid all soy products is to make almost everything from scratch. So that is what inspired me to finally make the granola I have been contemplating making for some time.

The recipe I followed and morphed greatly came from Bonnie Stern’s Simply Heart Smart Cooking book (page 231). My home made granola is amazing! It’s the best granola I have ever had. I love it because it’s not too sweet, and all the nuts give it enough protein to keep me going. I usually eat my granola with no fat vanilla yogurt.  Below is my adapted version of the recipe.


4 cups rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup unsweetened medium shredded coconut
2 ml cinnamon
2/3 cup pure maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9X13 pan with parchment paper (line it with this)
Heat the maple syrup for a few minutes on medium heat. Combine all the other ingredients in a large bowl, and add the heated maple syrup. Stir until combined.
Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the granola is lightly toasted. Store in an air tight container.

Macaroni and Cheese For Lunch

Filed Under (Lunch, Pasta, Quick Meals) by Lisa on 21-10-2009

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The weather these days has really cooled off. This afternoon I was really cold, so I decided whatever I had for lunch it had to be warm or hot. I was in the mood for cooking but couldn’t decide what to make, so I went with something quick and easy. I made macaroni and cheese (from the box) with a few special additions.

To give my lunch some added protein I added two sticks of turkey and  chicken pepperoni. I also added about 1 tablespoon of low fat grated cheddar cheese to my macaroni. This gave it an added zest that was very pleasing.

To balance out my meal I had my macaroni and cheese with a large amount of raw carrot sticks, and some left over green onion/garlic dip from a couple days ago.




How do you like your Mac and Cheese? Do you have a special recipe for it?

It’s A Wrap

Filed Under (Lunch, Quick Meals) by Lisa on 18-04-2009

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I have always been a huge fan of wraps of all kinds. I use to eat them often but haven’t had one in quite a few months.

A few days ago I decided to make myself a wrap for lunch. I used my left over cajun chicken breast, a whole wheat tortilla shell, marble cheese, ranch dressing, and romaine lettuce. It turned out super yummy. Here is a photo.
Wrap unrolled

The Best Salad Ever!!

Filed Under (Appetizers, Lunch, Quick Meals, Salads) by Lisa on 15-04-2009

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The Best Salad Ever

This afternoon I was in a mood for healthy food. I decided to make some salad for lunch. I was inspired by the recipe on fellow blogger Jenn’s blog at http://eatingbender.wordpress.com/2009/04/14/%c2%a1ensalada/

This salad is unique and yummy. The many tastes and textures combine to give this salad “zing” like no other. I was so full after. As usual I morphed the recipe. Here is my version.

Romaine lettuce


½ red pepper

Some cucumber

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

3 heaped tbsp low fat cottage cheese

A few shakes of ground light parmesan cheese

A small amount of grated marble cheese

2-3 tbsp medium salsa

Some sliced/slivered almonds

Prepare Vegetables. Combine all the ingredients in a medium-large sized salad dish. If desired have sections for each dressing ingredient. Toss if desired serve immediately.

I made myself a Pom-Wonderful Punch to go with my lovely salad with the juices below.


Pom Punch

A Simple Lunch

Filed Under (Lunch, Quick Meals) by Lisa on 15-04-2009

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bagel with cheese

Today I wanted something simple for lunch so I decided to have a plain toasted bagel with olive oil margarine and marble cheese. I used my favorite kitchen tool the cheese slicer, to create nice thin slices of cheese.

thin cheese

For an appetizer I had a lovely bowl of fresh cantaloupe.


I felt full and satisfied after I had this simple meal.

TGI Friday’s Potato Skins-A Quick Simple Appetizer

Filed Under (Appetizers, Quick Meals, Review, Snacks) by Lisa on 09-03-2009

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A few months ago I was at Costco browsing in the frozen food section. I found some potato skins by TGI Fridays that seemed appealing so I bought them. They have been sitting in the freezer ever since.

Today I decided to give them a try.The box directions said to bake them in the oven for 11-12 minutes. I was impressed with the quick baking time.

The potato skins are stuffed with cheddar and bacon. I had a few hot out of the oven. They were slightly crispy on the outside and nice and soft in the middle.

I had them with some mild salsa. However even with salsa they seemed like they were missing a “zing” to them. Maybe I just thought they would be more flavorful then they were. Maybe if I had eaten them with a medium salsa that would have given me the “zing” that I was hoping for.

Nutrition wise the potato skins have 70 calories in each potato skin or 210 calories in three skins. They also have the following (in three skins): 12 g fat, 25 mg cholesterol (ouch), 15% sodium 360 mg, and 10% calcium ( I thought this was a very good thing for me).

Overall I did enjoy the potato skins, however since they were missing a “zing” in flavor that I was hoping for I’m not sure if I would buy them again.

The Not So Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Filed Under (Cooking, Lunch, Quick Meals) by Lisa on 20-01-2009

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When I was a kid my mom introduced me to what she called “grilled cheese sandwiches”. It was not until later in life that I learned that these sandwiches that she called “grilled” were not grilled at all. Instead they were baked.

I have had real “grilled” cheese sandwiches a few times in my life (in my 20’s), and from those experiences eating them I can say that they are nothing like the baked (grilled) cheese sandwiches that I grew up with. Both kinds are very good, but in different ways.

Here are the not so grilled cheese sandwiches that I grew up with.

I made them with whole wheat sliced Italian bread, and low fat marble cheese. I baked them in the oven for about 4 minutes on 375 degrees F. Then I placed some garlic style sliced baby dill pickles on top. That is it. There are no sauces and no margarine or butter. The fat in a low fat cheese is enough to make the bread (not dry).

I think the not so grilled cheese sandwich is a good alternative to “real” grilled cheese sandwiches because real ones seem to have butter or margarine in them (meaning more calories).

Souffer’s Bistro Crustini Review

Filed Under (Quick Meals, Review, Snacks) by Lisa on 06-01-2009

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Awhile ago I bought a Souffer’s  Bistro Crustini package for my boyfriend. In the end it ended up in my freezer instead of his. It is not something I normally would have bought, but knowing he likes them that it what made me buy it.

Yesterday I decided to give it a try, so I had it for lunch. Here are my thoughts on it.

The Bistro Crustini type was Philly-Style Steak and Cheese. The box describes this Crustini as: layers of tender steak and mozzarella cheese in a flakey crust.

Before cooking the Crustini you place it in the crusting envelope/pouch provided.

The Crustini is a frozen food. The instructions say to microwave it for 2 minutes. I cooked it in the microwave for 1 min 55 seconds, and that seemed too long. It was way to hot to eat right away.

One thing that I liked about the Crustini, is that it did not get soggy in the microwave. The crusting pouch works really well.

Taste wise the Souffer’s Philly-Style Steak and cheese Crustini is very yummy. The meat and cheese melt in to a succulent melody of flavor. The flakey crust is also perfect.

As far as a meal goes, the Crustini probably won’t fill you up. However it is a good, quick snack to have.

In each Bistro Crustini box there are 2 individually wrapped Crustini. The average price for a box is about $3.90, so that works out to $1.95 per package. It is a decent price (not super cheap or super expensive) for a snack.

Nutrition wise the Bistro Crustini doesn’t score too well. In each Crustini there are 310 calories! This tasty snack is also high in sodium (670 mg 28% of your daily intake) and fat (14g 22% of your daily intake). The Crustini is a decent source of calcium (15% of your daily intake) and iron (15% of your daily intake).

The Bistro Crustini; Philly-Style Steak and Cheese is a tasty snack. It might not be the best option if your on a low fat diet or low calorie diet. It is decently priced, and a quick and easy snack idea.

I enjoyed eating the Crustini, but probably won’t buy it again (unless my boyfriend really wants it for himself) since it doesn’t score high on the health scale.

Green Salad for Lunch

Filed Under (Quick Meals, Salads) by Lisa on 10-10-2008

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I have been trying to eat more healthy these days, as well as get regular exercise (go to the gym 3-5 times/week). In my attempt to become stronger, strengthen my immune system, and loose a few pounds.

I have been eating salad galore, and got quite tired of it (always eating the same kind of lettuce). I decided to try something different. Here is what I had for lunch.


Green Salad

Romaine Lettuce


Low fat grated cheddar cheese

Salsa Ranch Dressing (the zestyness is a nice change).

Sun dried tomato turkey breast (from the deli)

Mix it together in a bowl and enjoy.

Below is an image of the salad.