Monthly Archives: October 2013

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Tricks for all the Condiment Flavor Minus the Calories

We all have our favorite dips, condiments and dressings. Unfortunately, it can take an otherwise healthy meal or snack and load it down with fat and calories. What’s the point of a yummy, healthy salad or a platter of your favorite veggies if you cover it in fat-laden ranch? Why bother paying a little more for healthy meats for sandwiches if it just gets weighed down with mayo? Why ruin a perfect, nutritious bowl of chili with the calories that come with sour cream? You know you drown your chili with it!…. :)

chiliRanch Dressing: When you can’t resist the taste of ranch (my favorite!), try this instead. Put some ranch into a spray bottle. Yep, you heard me. Add a little water to water it down and spritz your salad or veggies or whatever. It works!

Mayo: Can’t stand the thought of your lunch sandwich with no mayo? I hear ya. Use mustard instead, it isn’t as bad for you. If you like the creamier taste of mayo, then mix some mustard with plain, non-fat greek yogurt.

Sour Cream: Again, opt for non-fat greek yogurt. Give it a little more oomph by shredding some fresh, low fat cheese on top of it, too.



Pasta Gets Creative!


Mushroom Lover’s Cheesy Noodles

  • 2 cups elbow macaroni (that’s before cooking)
  • 2 TBS butter or margarine
  • 2 TBS flour
  • 1 package beef dry mushroom soup mix
  • 2 c. milk
  • 2 c. shredded American cheese

Preheat oven to 350.

First get your noodles cooking (follow directions on your package). While cooking, melt your butter in a small to medium sauce pan. Once it melts, slowly stir in the soup mix and flour. It will create a pretty thick paste. Immediately start to slowly add in milk. Make sure you keep stirring! Now stir in 1 1/2 cups of your cheese. Your noodles should be close to being done now. Drain them. Combine the sauce you just made with your noodles in a buttered baking dish (we use a 1 1/2 quart one). Top it with the rest of your cheese and bake for about thirty minutes (or until it starts to get a nice browning and bubbling going on).

*Make this healthier: Substitute the American cheese for low-fat versions. Use all purpose whole wheat flour instead of regular white all purpose. Use whole grain noodles. Easy!

Noodles Cheddar


  • 1 cup cottage cheese 11/2 plain non fat yogurt
  • 1 freshly crushed garlic clove
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 TBS grated onion
  • 1/2 tsp salt (more or less according to taste)
  • 5 cups cooked egg noodles (works out to about eight ounces)
  • 1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400.

Cook and drain your noodles according to your package. In a large bowl, mix together all of your ingredients, but holding back 1/4 c. of the shredded cheese. Butter up or spray a two quart casserole dish. Use the rest of your cheese to sprinkle the top. bake for about 25 minutes.

Super Easy, Cold Macaroni Cheese Salad

  • 1 c. macaroni, cooked, drained
  • 1 c. diced Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 chopped hard boiled eggs
  • 2 TBS chopped pimiento
  • 2 TBS pickle relish
  • 2 TBS chopped onion
  • 2 TBS your favorite Italian dressing
  • 3/4 cup sour cream 3/4 teaspoon salt

Combine everything together and blend it all together. Chill it. You’re done.

Hearty Beef Spaghetti 

  • 3/4 lb ground beef
  • 3/4 c. chopped onions
  • 2 TBS oil
  • 3 8-oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 envelope Italian salad dressing mix
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • hot cooked spaghetti

Serves 3-4

Brown your beef and drain. Mix in the onion, oil and tomato sauce. Let it slowly come to a boil. Cover it and let it simmer for about ten minutes. Serve hot over your noodles.


  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 c. chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 2 c. (1 pound) tomatoes
  • 1 6-oz can tomato paste
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 8 oz mostaccioli noodles, cooked, drained
  • 1/2 lb cheese spread,
  • Thinly sliced grated Parmesan cheese (for topping)

Preheat oven to 350.

First brown and drain your beef. Throw your onion and green peppers in. Cook a few minutes, just until to they’re a little tender (or to however soft you want them). Blend in the tomato paste, tomatoes, seasonings and water. Put half your noodles into a sprayed two quart baking dish, add some meat sauce and cheese, keep layering. Top it with the parmesan and back about 25 minutes.