A Recipe Recommendation and a New Food!

I save hundreds of recipes from the internet. I rarely try any of them. The other day I was scrolling through all my old bookmarks and came across this recipe for Banana Split Bars. And it wasn’t even in my recipes folder! I checked it out, and the stats sounded good to me. I liked the list of ingredients–no wheat or sugar–and even better was that I had all the ingredients in the house. I can’t remember if I ever made these before. But they are most certainly worthy! I followed the recipe exactly, and baked them for 30 minutes. They were soft-set, which I like.  I cut them into 12 bars (because, you know, I am a volume eater.) This made them about 190 calories each. They are delicious as a breakfast treat, or for a nice dessert.

The new (to me) food is Edamame spaghetti. I saw the box on my way out of Costco, checked the stats, and was astounded. Ingredients list: organic edamame and water.  Same calories as a regular serving of pasta (200 cal) but 24 GRAMS OF PROTEIN and 11 grams of fiber per serving!! I really like edamame, so I decided to try this. So far I’ve only tried them with a bit of garlic and olive oil, but they were very good. I liked the texture (much better than whole wheat pasta.) As far as taste…they were pretty neutral, just like I think normal pasta is. There was definitely no “weird” taste. I have all the ingredients for my Darn Good Spaghetti Sauce, and I am going to make that for dinner tomorrow. 

Recipe Review: Debby’s Fried Rice

Just a quickie. I mention this recipe so frequently that it doesn’t really need a review. But I happened to have the bowl of rice on the stove right next to the veggies I was cooking, and I thought it provided a good perspective on the rice to vegetable ratio. You don’t really need a lot of rice to make it a very satisfying dish.


And I’ll just mention again that this is a very versatile recipe. You can use almost any vegetables that you like and that you happen to have on hand, and I always use whatever pre-cooked meat I have available in the freezer.

This batch was so easy to make. I used part of a bag of cole slaw (shredded cabbage,) the last of a bag of shredded carrots, and some frozen peas. Oh, and one small onion. That’s the only veggie chopping I had to do! For meat I used a couple of chicken drumsticks and some ham. I didn’t have a whole egg, so I used 1/2 cup of egg beaters. Done! Four large, very satisfying servings for only 250 calories each!


Click here for the recipe for Debby’s Fried Rice.

Recipe Review: Ham and Cheese Breakfast Muffins

That darn Facebook! People are always posting “recipes I can’t try” on there! The other day I saw a recipe for breakfast muffins and it reminded me of an oldy but goodie of mine–Ham and Cheese Breakfast Muffins. 

And hey! I had all the ingredients right in the house. Or so I thought. Also, as I looked at the recipe, I thought–why were you so skimpy with the ham? So I changed it up a bit-increasing the ham from 1/4 cup to a whole cup. Oh, and then I forgot I was out of oatmeal (had already made a batch of Shelley’s Hippie Granola that morning–yummmm.) And I only had one egg. Never you mind, I am the queen of substitutions. Some of which work, and some which don’t. These worked marvelously. I used oat bran instead of oatmeal and sub’d egg beaters for one of the eggs. Oh, and I wanted to make a “dinner sized muffin” so I made six big muffins instead of 8 smaller ones. And I baked them for 30 minutes instead of 25 minutes. Don’t worry–I’ll post all the changes on the actual recipe. To tell you how old this recipe is, I only listed points instead of calories. These new larger muffins come in at about 150 calories and 12 grams of protein. A very good deal indeed. And oh so delicious! For dinner I had one muffin with some of that Kale super foods salad from Costco.


Hope you are having a wonderful relaxing weekend! These would also be a great “Sunday Brunch” item. This is one of my healthy recipes that I’m pretty sure the mainstream would enjoy, so its a good one to share with friends.

Recipe Review: Bare Bones Scones

This is one of my all time favorite recipes. It has gone through a number of revisions, and this is the one I created last year when I was attempting to make some new, lighter breakfasts. Its still based on my “Best New Blueberry Scones” recipe, but with a few of the bells and whistles cut out to get the calorie count down to 155 per scone. And just in case you’re wondering, these are nice sized scones. I notice that a lot of “low cal” scone recipes just make the portion size smaller. That’s one way to go. Its just not the way I prefer to go : )

I usually make these scones with blueberries. Bleuberries are easy to work with either fresh or frozen. But for this batch I had a basket of particularly lovely raspberries in the fridge. I probably wouldn’t try making the scones with frozen raspberries–they are too delicate.


The recipe for the Bare Bones Scones is here.

Sometimes I enjoy my scone with a cup of tea in my favorite Christmas present:


Recipe Review: Chai Tea!

Winter seems like the perfect time to review this recipe. At first glance, you might think its not worth gathering all those spices to make your own Chai tea. Let me try to convince you that it is. Most of the spices I found at my local grocery store. A couple of them I found at the local natural foods store. I have one small container devoted to my complete supply of Chai spices. Once I gathered all of them, they’ve lasted me a couple of years. Your house smells unbelievably delicious while you’re brewing the tea, and the smell lasts for hours afterwards.

Your other choices for pre-prepared Chai tea are the stuff in cartons or powder in boxes in the grocery store that are usually loaded with sugar, or teabags that have very little flavor. Or you could go to Starbuck’s and blow 200-300 calories on a Chai tea latte. Or you could spend 20 minutes making this base brew for Chai tea and have 4-6 servings. Originally I made it with agave syrup in the blend, but now I make it without any sweetener, and just add a little splenda before I drink it. If I made a 2 cup serving (Starbuck’s Grande size) it is only 30 calories (for the unsweetened almond milk.)


Its just the right treat for a cold winter afternoon by the fireplace!

Recipe Review: Darn Good Spaghetti Sauce



I’ll just quickly say that the title says it all–this spaghetti sauce is just darn good. What I really like is the thickness and chunkiness of it. That makes it more satisfying to me. It more than makes up for any lack of oil or meat in a sauce. I like it over regular spaghetti, whole grain spaghetti, or over a sautéed veggie mix–zucchini, carrots, onion, and mushrooms. at 110 calories per generous 3/4 cup serving, its a darn good deal!

You can vary the original recipe–cook some chopped onions instead of adding dry, or use a different brand of marinara sauce (or just tomato sauce and your own spices!) The most recent batch I made without the meat. That gave me more flexibility when it came time to use it. It freezes very well, so works for the type of cooking I enjoy most–about one quarter of the time I actually cook dinner. The rest of the time I am just “assembling” a meal.

Recipe Review: Debby’s Famous Mac and Cheese


Macaroni and cheese used to be one of my favorite “comfort foods.” My mom made it with cubes of cheddar cheese that melted into the pasta. I like that so much better than the saucy stuff. So when I tried to make a lightened up version of Mom’s mac and cheese, I pretty much followed her assembly method, and just lightened up the amount of cheese and butter involved. Oh, and I usually use almond milk (only 30 calories in a whole cup!) And, the biggest change I made was to add the butternut squash. I really enjoy the taste of the butternut squash with the macaroni and cheese, and of course, it substantially increases the portion size! This recipe makes four large servings at approximately 250 calories each. Why did I name it Debby’s FAMOUS Mac and Cheese? I don’t know. Its only famous in my own mind. I don’t think I’ve ever served it to anyone else…

As an added bonus, here is a new recipe. Its kind of a version of another recipe (Breakfast Fruit Wrap) I did a long time ago, but it was different enough that I just wrote it as a separate recipe. This was stupendously delicious and satisfying. I haven’t used the La Tortilla Factory Smart and Delicious 100 calorie tortillas for a long time, so I don’t know if they’ve changed their formula, but I thought the tortilla was delicious. Anyway, the recipe is here for Cheesy Apple Breakfast Tortilla. So yummy, I will be having it for breakfast tomorrow!

DSCN0689Okay, for someone who says they minimize wheat in their diet, I am fully aware that I am endorsing two recipes that contain wheat. What can I say? Oh, I know. Yumm.

Recipe Review: Baked Oatmeal and a Simple Shrimp Dish

This week I’ll review two reliable recipes. Both are ones I developed this past year in my efforts to make simple low calorie foods that were still enjoyable to eat. Both have been consistent “repeaters” for me, and both of these happen to be variations on the original recipe.

The first is my “Bare Bones Baked Oatmeal.” Some baked oatmeal recipes are pretty decadent (and therefore VERY tasty.) They are higher in fat and sugar than this recipe, and so their serving size is a lot smaller. Since I am a volume eater, I experimented to see if I couldn’t get a bigger serving size for less calories, and this is what I came up with. I love my original version with the blueberries and apples. But since I had some leftover pumpkin in the fridge, and its that time of year, I decided to try an Apple-Pumpkin version. This was very enjoyable. It would be SOOOO Good with pecans, wouldn’t it? You have my permission to try that. But leaving the pecans out meant I got a bigger serving. I just do better with that. Plus, I’m not tempted to go back for more, like I probably would be if there were nuts in it…


I’ll put the specific recipe changes on the original recipe site.

The second recipe is my Simple Shrimp and Snow Peas recipe. This is a just plain yummy recipe. And it is VERY low in calories. For the version pictured here, I added some chopped zucchini, red bell peppers, a bit of fresh ginger, and some scallions. And I served it over a bed of brown rice.


I definitely think that the original recipe is MUCH better. That surprised me. Sometimes simple is good.