Tag Archives: Holly Clegg

Mother’s Day: Mexican Breakfast Casserole and a homemade gift of Brown Sugar Scrub

Mexican Breakfast CasseroleMother’s Day is just around the corner. Luckily my friend, Holly Clegg, has a couple terrific ideas for mom’s special day from Mexican Breakfast Casserole for breakfast in bed to a brown sugar scrub that can easily be made by the kids as a lovely homemade gift for mom.

Find more of Holly’s trim& TERRIFIC® recipes at hollyclegg.com and The Healthy Cooking Blog. Don’t forget to check out Holly’s new cookbook, which should be on the shelves soon - Holly Clegg's trim&TERRIFIC Eating Well to Fight Arthritis: 200 easy recipes and practical tips to help reduce inflammation and ease symptoms (affiliate link).

Breakfast in Bed

One of my favorite ways to show Mom how special she is with a wonderful, stress-free brunch. And don’t worry, no one ever said brunch meant spending an entire morning in the kitchen. Mexican Breakfast Casserole is great because you can make it ahead of time to surprise your family the next morning. Prepare and put together easily the night before and simply bake in the morning so the whole family will wake up to the enticing smell of this fabulous dish. This hearty breakfast recipe is so full of flavor made with tortillas, green chilies, and turkey sausage – use corn tortillas for a gluten free meal. Impress your mom with this easy yet special one-dish meal for breakfast – just serve with juice…and maybe pick a flower from the garden!

Homemade gifts always take a special spot in Mom’s heart and kids of all ages will have fun mixing up this Diva Dermatology recipe from Too Hot in the Kitchen: Secrets to Sizzle At Any Age (affiliate link). Purchase an inexpensive container, fill, tie with a ribbon and Voila - your homemade skincare gift, Brown Sugar Scrub, is ready!

Mexican Breakfast Casserole

Recipe from Too Hot in the Kitchen: Secrets to Sizzle At Any Age 

Simple ingredients magically create this make-ahead scrumptious breakfast dish fulfilling everyone’s expectations in my house.

Makes 8-10 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 (4-ounce) can green chilies
  • 8 ounces ground breakfast turkey sausage
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red, green, or yellow bell pepper, cored and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 5 eggs
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 cups fat-free half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 5 (8-inch) 98% fat-free flour or corn tortillas, cut into quarters

Directions:

  1. Coat 13x9x2-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spread green chilies along bottom of dish.
  2. In large nonstick skillet, cook and crumble sausage until starts to brown. Add onion and bell pepper, cooking until sausage is done and vegetables tender. Add garlic and chili powder. Remove from heat. Cool.
  3. In large bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, and half-and-half. In another bowl, combine green onion and cheese.
  4. Spoon one-third of sausage mixture over chilies in baking dish. Top with one-third tortilla quarters and one-third cheese mixture. Repeat layers, ending with cheese. Pour egg mixture evenly over casserole and refrigerate, covered, at least 6 hours or overnight.
  5. Preheat oven 350°F. If using glass baking dish, place in cold oven and bake 50-60 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown and knife inserted into custard comes out clean.

Nutritional information:

  • Calories 262
  • Calories from fat 28%
  • Fat 7g
  • Saturated Fat 3g
  • Cholesterol 129mg
  • Sodium 578mg
  • Carbohydrate 23g
  • Dietary Fiber 2g
  • Sugars 5g
  • Protein 18g

Dietary Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 2 1/2 lean meat

homemade brown sugar scrub

Brown Sugar Scrub

Recipe from Too Hot in the Kitchen: Secrets to Sizzle At Any Age 

Your hands or whatever body part you scrub felt so soft afterwards. Olive oil contains vitamin E and antioxidants — good for nails.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Directions:

  1. Mix together and place in a decorative jar or container.
  2. Use on hand, feet or body. Rinse.

Recipes and photos used with permission of the author.

Fish Tacos with Southwestern Cole Slaw

Fish Tacos with Southwestern Cole Slaw | At This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.comFish tacos are one of my favorite foods, which was why I was so excited that my friend, Holly Clegg, offered to share her recipe for Fish Tacos with Southwestern Cole Slaw. Not only is this a terrific meal for Lent, it’s great for entertaining, too. Plus, if you have picky kids like I do, you may be able to persuade them to try some fish with their cole slaw!

Find more of Holly’s trim& TERRIFIC® recipes at hollyclegg.com and The Healthy Cooking Blog. Don’t forget to check out Holly’s new cookbook, KITCHEN 101: Secrets to Cooking Confidence, too!

Seafood for Dinner

Looking for a delicious meatless Lenten meal? With the festivities of Mardi Gras behind us, one of my very favorite ingredients is seafood, always keeping various types such as salmon, shrimp, or tilapia in the freezer for quick, go-to meals. And what better time to spotlight this mouth-watering meal, Fish Tacos with Southwestern Slaw, that just happens to be healthy, then when the Lenten season falls in the National Nutrition Month of March! With only 140-200 calories and very little fat and sodium in 4 ounces of fish, such as tilapia and trout – baked fish is always a lean heart-healthy choice. What a great fresh recipe to check out with spring weather around the corner - I cannot wait for you to try it!

Fish Tacos with Southwestern Cole Slaw

Spicy fish and fabulous cool cole slaw — easy and perfect pairing. Jarred jalapeño may be used, adjusted to preference, or left out.

Recipe from KITCHEN 101: Secrets to Cooking Confidence

Makes 6 fish tacos

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds tilapia filets (or fish of choice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 flour tortillas (or corn tortillas)
  • Southwestern Cole Slaw (recipe follows)

Directions:

  1. Preheat broiler. Season fish with chili powder and season to taste. Broil 4-6 minutes per 1/2–inch thickness or until fish flakes with fork. Fish may be grilled or pan sautéed also.
  2. Fill each tortilla with fish and Southwestern Cole Slaw (see recipe).
  3. Warm tortillas according to package directions or heat in microwave about 30 seconds covered with damp paper towel. Serve with cole slaw or condiments of choice

Nutritional info

Per serving:

  • Calories 209
  • Calories from Fat 19%
  • Fat 4g
  • Saturated Fat 2g
  • Cholesterol 57mg
  • Sodium 353mg
  • Carbohydrates 16g
  • Dietary Fiber 1g
  • Total Sugars 1g
  • Protein 26g

Dietary Exchanges: 1 starch, 3 lean meat

Southwestern Cole Slaw

Serve extra slaw with burgers.

Recipe from KITCHEN 101: Secrets to Cooking Confidence

Makes 12 (1/2 cup) servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 (10-ounce) bag angel hair or classic cole slaw (about 5 cups)
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped jalapeños (found in jar)
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 (11-ounce) can Mexican style corn, drained
  • 3/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 avocado, chopped and drizzled with lime juice

Directions:

  1. In large bowl, combine cole slaw, green onions, jalapeños, tomatoes, and corn.
  2. In small bowl, mix yogurt, mayonnaise, and vinegar. Toss with slaw. Season to taste and fold in avocados.

Nutritional info

Per serving:

  • Calories 76
  • Calories from Fat 35%
  • Fat 3g
  • Saturated Fat 0g
  • Cholesterol 0mg
  • Sodium 173mg
  • Carbohydrates 10g
  • Dietary Fiber 3g
  • Total Sugars 4g
  • Protein 3g

Dietary Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1/2 fat

Recipe and photo used with permission of the author.

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Disclosure: Amazon links are affiliate links. A commission may be earned from a referred sale to their website.

Fig, Caramelized Onion, Prosciutto & Goat Cheese Pizza

Fig, Caramelized Onion, Prosciutto & Goat Cheese Pizza at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.comMy son, Nathan, came home from school the other day asking me if I had a goat cheese and fig pizza recipe on my blog. Seems he has a teacher who grows figs in her yard and she needed some ideas. Nathan told her about the goat cheese and fig pizza made with Udi’s Gluten Free pizza crusts I'd made for dinner a few times, and thought I'd a posted recipe for it. However, while I had recipes for Goat Cheese Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Baby Greens and Balsamic Reduction and Caramelized Onion & Fig Mini Pizzas, I didn’t have one that combined the two. That is until now, thanks to my friend, Holly Clegg.

I love figs and can usually find fresh ones here in Georgia when they’re in season or dried ones when they’re not. However, if you’re having a tough time finding any sort of figs, you can substitute dates or even dried plums.

Find more of Holly’s trim& TERRIFIC® recipes at hollyclegg.com and The Healthy Cooking Blog. Don’t forget to check out Holly’s new cookbook, KITCHEN 101: Secrets to Cooking Confidence, too!

Gourmet Aphrodisiacs this Valentine’s Day

If you are looking for just the right subtly sweet and savory dish with gourmet appeal yet quick and easy – then look no further than my delightful Fig, Caramelized Onion, Prosciutto & Goat Cheese Pizza. Did you know that figs are considered a symbol of fertility and revered as an aphrodisiac? From the “Food for the Mood” chapter in Holly Clegg's trim&TERRIFIC Too Hot in the Kitchen: Secrets to Sizzle at Any Age, this is the go-to cookbook for a fun-filled Valentine’s Day gift! Filled with recipes for romance, aphrodisiac ingredients, and enticing words like, “A good marriage is like a good wine, it gets better with age.”

Turn up the heat this Valentine’s Day and you’ll definitely sizzle in your kitchen!

Fig, Caramelized Onion, Prosciutto & Goat Cheese Pizza at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Fig, Caramelized Onion, Prosciutto & Goat Cheese Pizza

Figs, considered a symbol of fertility and revered as an aphrodisiac, turn pizza into an alluring palate pleasing masterpiece.

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • Pinch sugar
  • 1 (12-ounce) thin pizza crust
  • 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 4 ounces figs, sliced in thirds
  • 2 ounces prosciutto, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, optional

Directions

  1. In small nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil and sauté onion, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes until start to turn golden. Add sugar and continue cooking until caramel color. Set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat oven 450°F. On pizza crust, spread remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and cover with orange marmalade. Arrange cooled onions, figs, prosciutto, goat cheese and mozzarella on crust.
  3. Sprinkle with rosemary, if desired. Bake 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust crisp.
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour
Servings: Makes 8 servings
  • Serving size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 281
  • Calories from Fat: 96 (34%)
  • Total Fat: 10g
  • Saturated fat: 4g
  • Unsaturated fat: 6g
  • Sodium: 279mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 38g
  • Sugar: 12g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 6g
  • Cholesterol: 16mg

Dietary Exchanges: 2 starch, 1/2 fruit, 1/2 lean meat, 1 1/2 fat

Recipe and photo used with permission of the author.

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Disclosure: Amazon links are affiliate links. A commission may be earned from a referred sale to their website.

Healthy holiday desserts: Holly Clegg’s Red Velvet Cheesecake

Red Velvet CheesecakeWhen Holly Clegg sent over this month’s guest post, I nearly fell off my chair. I mean, Red Velvet Cheesecake, and one that is healthy? She’s a miracle worker!

You can find  more of Holly’s trim& TERRIFIC® recipes at hollyclegg.com and The Healthy Cooking Blog. Don’t forget that Holly’s new cookbook, KITCHEN 101: Secrets to Cooking Confidence, makes a terrific holiday gift, too!

Holiday menus – no thinking required

The holidays are a magical time of fun and festivities, but before you know it, they can turn into one of the busiest, most stressful seasons making your “to do” list longer than ever! And there’s no need to stress about hosting a holiday meal when my new cookbook, Kitchen 101: Secrets to Cooking Confidence, takes the guess work out of meal planning with complete dinner and party menus, no crazy ingredients, just healthy, mouth watering food– no thinking required!

From the “Holiday Heroes” menu of the Ready-Made Menus chapter, the Red Velvet Cheesecake is a luscious combination of American’s favorite dessert with a holiday twist, and best of all you can make ahead and keep in the freezer to pull out before the meal. And, if you want an affordable gift for your neighbor, teacher, or friend, purchase commercially prepared chocolate crusts in foil disposable pans, fill, freeze and give out for the ultimate holiday gift – that’s what I am doing!

Red Velvet Cheesecake

Two popular desserts, red velvet cake and cheesecake create the ultimate indulgence.

Makes 2 (9-inch round) cheesecake pies — 16 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoon cocoa
  • 1 cup nonfat sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 (1-ounce) bottle red food coloring
  • 2 (9-inch) round commercially bought chocolate pie crusts

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven 350° F. In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until creamy.
  2. Add eggs, egg white, cornstarch, cocoa, sour cream, vanilla, buttermilk, vinegar and red food coloring, mixing well.
  3. Pour into crust. Bake 35-40 minutes or until center is firm. Turn off oven and remain in oven 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled.

Terrific Tidbit: For chocolate crust: 1 1/4 cups chocolate, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons butter melted, combine all, press into bottom of spring form pan, and bake 350°F 10 minutes.

Nutritional information

Per serving:

  • Calories 270
  • Calories from Fat 39%
  • Fat 12g
  • Saturated Fat 5g
  • Cholesterol 46mg
  • Sodium 262mg
  • Carbohydrates 34g
  • Dietary Fiber 1g
  • Total Sugars 23g
  • Protein 7g
  • Dietary Exchanges: 2 1/2 other carbohydrate, 2 1/2 fat

Recipe and photo used with permission of the author.

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Disclosure: Amazon links are affiliate links. A commission may be earned from a referred sale to their website.

Healthy Halloween: Satisfy a crowd with Quick Chili

Quick Chili

Here’s another trim& TERRIFIC® recipe from my  friend, Holly Clegg’s new cookbook, Kitchen 101: Secrets to Cooking Confidence. This one’s perfect to serve on a busy Halloween night!

You can check out more of Holly’s trim& TERRIFIC® recipes at hollyclegg.com and The Healthy Cooking Blog.

Satisfy a crowd with Quick Chili

When you think of October, sure candy is on the minds of little one’s. But there’s more to this fun filled night than just sugar-loaded snacks. Even though this holiday focuses on the children, there are always adults around, and all of that trick-or-treating can really make a crowd hungry! A simmering pot of hearty soup on the stove is a satisfying economical dinner that not only feeds a crowd, but also this one-pot meal leaves little cleanup.

And not much else hits the spot on a crisp fall evening than a big bowl of Quick Chili – full of flavor and oh-so-simple to whip up! Not enough bowls to go around? Don’t worry; pull out mugs for easy entertaining.

Quick Chili

From KITCHEN 101: Secrets to Cooking Confidence

Serve with chopped red onions, avocado and shredded reduced-fat cheese. Terrific Tip: To cook in slow cooker, first cook meat and onion in skillet until done.

Makes 4 heaping (1-cup) servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 (10 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Dash ground cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

Directions:

  1. In large nonstick pot, cook meat and onion until done; drain off any excess fat.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and cook over low heat about 10 minutes.

Nutritional info

  • Calories 318
  • Calories from Fat 20%
  • Fat 7g
  • Saturated Fat 2g
  • Cholesterol 62mg
  • Sodium 759mg
  • Carbohydrates 31g
  • Dietary Fiber 11g
  • Total Sugars 9g
  • Protein 34g
  • Dietary Exchanges: 1 starch, 3 vegetable, 4 lean meat

Recipe and photo used with permission of the author.

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Disclosure: Amazon links are affiliate links. A commission may be earned from a referred sale to their website.

Healthy tailgate food: Spinach Dip { Holly Clegg’s new cookbook give away! }

spinach-dip

My friend, Holly Clegg, has a new cookbook out called, Kitchen 101: Secrets to Cooking Confidence. Holly’s generously given me a copy to give away – details on how to win after the Spinach Dip recipe. It’s a terrific cookbook those just starting out on their healthy eating lifestyle.  Since it has a photo for each recipe, it’s perfect for first time cooks, too. There’s also a chapter on Crock Pot cooking. Can’t wait to try out the brisket recipe!

When you have a second, check out Holly’s trim& TERRIFIC® recipes at hollyclegg.com and The Healthy Cooking Blog. But for now, read Holly’s guest post on football party entertaining!

Football is here

Football is here, and for me that means one thing – tailgate food! Whether you are watching the big game at home or tailgating outside, football food should be yummy for all ages, easy to serve, and quick to pick up to insure you are in your seat before the ball is in the air. With the Ready-Made Menus chapter from my new cookbook, Kitchen 101: Secrets to Cooking Confidence, I’ve taken all of the dirty work out of party planning, no thinking required! Spinach Dip is a classic favorite and my version of this yummy make-ahead dip is made with an array of flavorful ingredients giving this recipe a powerful flavor and crunch. The dill and feta knock the dip out of the park! And serving couldn’t be simpler-pick your favorite chip or veggie to dip, spread on sandwiches or serve in a Hawaiian bread bowl to cut down on dirty dishes. Who would ever think a cold spinach dip and veggies could be so tasty?

Spinach Dip

Serve this fantastically flavored cold spinach dip in different ways — with veggies, pitas, chips, sandwiches or stuff cucumber and celery.

Makes 24 (2-tablespoon) servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 (8-ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup Greek nonfat plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt or season to taste
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat feta cheese

Directions:

  1. Thaw, squeeze and drain chopped spinach.
  2. In bowl combine all ingredients except feta, mixing well.
  3. Stir in feta and refrigerate until serving.

Nutritional info

  • Calories 35
  • Calories from Fat 58%
  • Fat 2g
  • Saturated Fat 1g
  • Cholesterol 7mg
  • Sodium 105mg
  • Carbohydrates 1g
  • Dietary Fiber 0g
  • Total Sugars 1g
  • Protein 2g
  • Dietary Exchanges: 1/2 fat

Kitchen 101: Secrets to Cooking Confidence cookbook giveaway

Kitchen 101I’m giving away one copy of Holly’s newest cookbook, Kitchen 101: Secrets to Cooking Confidence. (Retail value $24.95)

Giveaway closed. Congrats to Sandra L.!

To enter:

  1. Visit Holly’s Healthy Cooking Blog and tell me what recipe you’d like to make in the comments below.
  2. Sign up for my enewsletter for ONE additional entry.
  3. Follow @amnichols on Twitter for ONE additional entry.
  4. Follow amnichols on Pinterest for ONE additional entry.
  5. Spread the word about this giveaway by submitting a link to this post on Twitter for ONE additional entry. You must leave a link to your tweet in your comment so I can check.
  6. If you have done any of these additional activities you MUST come back here and leave a comment telling me what you did. I will be checking!
  7. Maximum amount of entries is FIVE.
  8. You have until  midnight on Sunday, October 7, 2012 to enter.

ONE winner will be chosen at random. You must be willing to send me your full name and mailing address so I pass your info on to Holly. I’ll announce the winner on this blog. I won’t share your mailing info with the public, just your name. If you have a blog, I’ll link back to it when I announce the winner.

The giveaway is valued at $24.95 and is only open to legal residents of the United States, 18 years of age and older. No purchase required. Odds of winning based on number of entries. Up to FIVE entries per person. ONE cookbook will be given away. Void where prohibited by law.

By submitting your name and email address, you agree to receive relevant promotional emails and contest follow up communications from This Mama Cooks! On a Diet in compliance with my privacy policy and giveaway rules.

Recipe and photo used with permission from the author.

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Disclosure: I received a Kitchen 101: Secrets to Cooking Confidence to facilitate this review and giveaway. All opinions and experiences are my own.

Amazon links are affiliate links. A commission may be earned from a referred sale to their website.

Spinach and Melon Salad with Honey Citrus Vinaigrette

summer-salad

Leave it to my friend Holly Clegg to come up with a wonderful guest post about summer salads. You can check out more of Holly’s trim& TERRIFIC® recipes at hollyclegg.com and The Healthy Cooking Blog.

Summer watermelon

There is nothing quite like a big slice of watermelon on a sizzling summer day. An excellent source of antioxidants, Vitamin C and lycopene, not to mention watermelon is naturally sweet and so juicy! In the Spinach and Melon Salad with Honey Citrus Vinaigrette, melon is a fun surprise ingredient in this delightful, colorful salad. A must-try for that leftover refreshing watermelon! And, now finally the perfect solution to leftover watermelon!!!

Spinach and Melon Salad with Honey Citrus Vinaigrette

Looking for a great summer salad that’s refreshing, colorful, and jam-packed with flavor? Here it is! Give your taste buds a thrill with this fruity spinach salad accented with Maple Pecans, if desired.

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 (6-ounce) package fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup cubed seeded watermelon
  • 1 cup cubed cantaloupe
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • Honey Citrus Vinaigrette (recipe below)
  • Maple Pecans (optional, recipe below)

Directions:

  1. In large bowl, combine together all ingredients. Toss with Honey Citrus Dressing (recipe below) and Maple Pecans (recipes below).

Honey Citrus Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dash hot sauce

Directions:

  1. In small bowl, whisk together all ingredients.

Nutritional information per serving: Calories 77, Calories from fat (%) 28, Fat (g) 3, Saturated Fat (g) 0, Cholesterol (mg) 0, Sodium (mg) 29, Carbohydrate (g) 14, Dietary Fiber (g) 1, Sugars (g) 11, Protein (g) 2, Diabetic Exchanges: 1 carbohydrate, 1/2 fat

Maple Pecans

Simple and adds that extra enticing crunch and sweetness to any salad or use as a snack.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup pecan halves
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Coat baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In small bowl, mix together pecans and maple syrup. Spread on prepared pan. Bake 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Nutritional information per serving of Maple Pecans: Calories 40, Calories from fat (%) 72, Fat (g) 3, Saturated Fat (g) 0, Cholesterol (mg) 0, Sodium (mg) 0, Carbohydrate (g) 3, Dietary Fiber (g) 0, Sugars (g) 2, Protein (g) 0, Diabetic Exchanges: 1/2 fat

Picture courtesy of Holly Clegg and used with permission.

Holly Clegg’s Watermelon and Feta Salsa

Watermelon-and-Feta-Salsa

While I’m busy setting up my new home in the Athens, Georgia area, my friend Holly Clegg has written up a wonderful guest post on one of my favorite salad combinations for summer – watermelon, feta and mint. You can check out more of Holly’s trim& TERRIFIC® recipes athollyclegg.com and The Healthy Cooking Blog.

Mint – the taste of summer

If you don’t have mint growing outside, you should. Green thumb or not, mint is about the easiest thing to grow – in fact it’s hard to kill! It can run rampant though, so a good idea to keep it from taking over your garden is to grow it in pots. The fragrant herb comes in many varieties, but the most widely used kitchen herb is spearmint, as it has a milder mint flavor better suited for cooking and garnishing. Peppermint is another popular, yet stronger mint flavoring used in anything from chewing gum to toothpaste.

To me, mint is the taste of summer, and I love to use it in as many dishes as possible. When it is fresh and in season it is hard to beat, especially since it is straight from my yard! I love to go right outside, and pick it to add to yummy recipes. Watermelon Feta Salsa is one of my favorites and always a winner. Finally something scrumptious to do with that leftover watermelon! Pair with toasted whole-wheat pita triangles and you have a delicious, nutritious sweet and savory snack or even serve as a summer salad.

Spicy Advice: Try the red pepper seasoned rice vinegar for a little extra zing. Raid a salad bar for fresh Kalamata olives-it makes a difference.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chopped watermelon
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

Directions

  1. In small bowl mix together all ingredients. Serve.
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 15 Minutes
Servings: 16 servings
  • Serving size: 1/4 cup
  • Calories: 29
  • Calories from Fat: 1
  • Total Fat: 36%
  • Saturated fat: 0g
  • Unsaturated fat: 1g
  • Sodium: 98mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 4g
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 1mg

Dietary Exchanges: 1/2 fruit

Photo and recipe courtesy of Holly Clegg.

Blueberry Muffin Streusel Cake

Blueberry Muffin Streusel Cake at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

If you’re looking for a Mother’s Day recipe that’s easy enough for the kids to make, try this one by Holly Clegg for Blueberry Muffin Streusel Cake. Not only is it perfect for Mother’s and Father’s Day brunch, but it’s a great dish to bring to morning breakfast meetings or play dates.

Holly’s post follows below. You can check out more of Holly’s trim& TERRIFIC® recipes at hollyclegg.com and The Healthy Cooking Blog.

Check out this gluten and dairy free version of Holly's Blueberry Muffin Streusel Cake recipe at Bizzy Bakes!

You can reduce the calorie and carb count by using stevia or Swerve Sweetener [affiliate links] instead of sugar.

Mother’s Day Brunch 2012

Looking for a nice way to show your mom, or mother of your children how much you care and appreciate all of the hard, tireless work she does all year? Here’s a secret to what we mom’s want….the way to the heart is not just through man’s stomach, but a woman’s stomach, too. Surprise her with a wonderful brunch, and Blueberry Muffin Streusel Cake is just the ticket! My absolute favorite brunch dish as I can eat it all day long. The kids will even have fun mixing the batter and sprinkling the topping.

In fact, you will want to keep these ingredients on hand to whip up when the cravings hit, or you just want to impress your mom…doing the dishes and wrapping up the gift of Too Hot in the Kitchen: Secrets to Sizzle At Any Age [affiliate link] cookbook won’t hurt either!

Blueberry Muffin Streusel Cake at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Blueberry Muffin Streusel Cake

My friend, Teresa, gave me this recipe that has been in her family for years. A cross between a muffin and cake. Here’s my version that I made, again, again, and again — that’s how good it is.

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • Streusel Topping (recipe follows)

For the streusel topping:

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Directions

For the cake:

  1. Preheat oven 375°F. Coat 9x9x2-inch square pan with nonstick cooking spray
  2. In bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, sugar, milk and egg.
  3. Stir in oil and blueberries, only until mixed.
  4. Sprinkle 1/2 cup reserved Streusel Topping (see recipe) on bottom of pan. Carefully spread cake mixture on top. Cover with remaining reserved Streusel Pecan Topping.
  5. Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out dry.

For the streusel topping:

  1. In small bowl, mix together sugar, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon.
  2. Cut in vanilla and butter using pastry blender or fork.
  3. Reserve 1/2 cup topping and add pecans to remaining topping.
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Total Time: 55 Minutes
Servings: Makes 12 servings
  • Serving size: 1/12 of recipe
  • Calories: 231
  • Calories from Fat: 81
  • Total Fat: 9g
  • Saturated fat: 2g
  • Unsaturated fat: 7g
  • Sodium: 83mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 36g
  • Sugar: 22g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 25mg

Dietary Exchanges: 2 1/2 other carbohydrate, 2 fat

Photo and recipe courtesy of Holly Clegg.

Easy & healthy dessert for Easter: Heavenly Yam Delight

Easy & healthy dessert for Easter: Heavenly Yam Delight at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Leave it to my friend, Holly Clegg, to come up with an Easter dessert that’s delicious, gorgeous and healthy. You can check out more of Holly’s trim& TERRIFIC® recipes at hollyclegg.com and The Healthy Cooking Blog.

Healthy Easter treats

Easter is around the corner and what a great day to spend with family. Around the dinner table or outside hunting Easter eggs, everyone loves to dive into a luscious, creamy dessert. The Heavenly Yam Delight is just that!

Easy to make, and layered in a trifle bowl, you may not have realized sweet potatoes could be an ingredient be in a delicious dessert. No one has to know that they are getting important vitamins, nutrients and fiber - but I can assure you it will be the hit of the family.

Easy & healthy dessert for Easter: Heavenly Yam Delight at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Heavenly Yam Delight

This treat is a sweet potato version of a favorite layered dessert. The perfect sweet to make when you’re in a hurry, wonderful!

Terrific Tidbit: 2 cups fresh cooked Louisiana yams = 1 (29-ounce) can sweet potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, divided
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) package fat-free cream cheese
  • 1 (8-ounce) container fat-free frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
  • 1 (29-ounce) can sweet potatoes (yams), drained or 2 cups cooked mashed Louisiana yams
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven 350F. In large bowl, combine flour, 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, pecans, and butter. Press into bottom of 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Bake 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. In mixing bowl, mix cream cheese and remaining 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar until creamy. Fold in 3/4 cup whipped topping. Spread cream cheese mixture over cooled crust.
  3. In mixing bowl, beat sweet potatoes, cinnamon, and sugar until smooth. Spread over cream cheese mixture. Top with remaining whipped topping. Refrigerate.
Servings: Makes 16 servings
  • Serving size: 1/16 of recipe
  • Calories: 205
  • Calories from Fat: 57
  • Total Fat: 6g
  • Saturated fat: 1g
  • Unsaturated fat: 5g
  • Sodium: 143mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 33g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Cholesterol: 1mg

Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 other carbohydrate, 1 fat

Picture courtesy of Holly Clegg.

Holly Clegg’s Chicken Chili Soup

Holly Clegg's Chicken Chili Soup at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com Colorado is in the grip of Tebow fever, so I’m sure everyone’s having a football watching party on Saturday. So what kind of party food recipes will you be serving?

This Speedy Chicken Chili from today’s guest poster, Holly Clegg, is sure to be a healthy party food hit no matter who you're rooting for. Check out more of Holly’s trim& TERRIFIC® recipes at hollyclegg.com and The Healthy Cooking Blog.

Soup-er Bowl Easy Suppers

What kind of party food is better to feed and please a hungry crowd for a football watching party than a Soup-er easy supper?! Entertaining should be fun and easy – making sure the hosts are able to enjoy the party. A hearty, healthy and satisfying meal on the table is simple with this belly-filling and heart warming soup.

One-pot meals are great because they leave easy cleanup, without the hassle of tons of dirty dishes, they feed a crowd and can easily be frozen in batches for making ahead or dinner another day. I cannot wait to share with you my must-try “soup-er” supper!

Tips for an easy Soup-er Bowl party

  • A soup buffet is the perfect solution to feed a “come and go crowd.”
  • Serve soup simmering on the stove or use crock-pots to keep your soup warm.
  • Have mugs by the soup so guests can eat at their leisure.
  • Freeze soups ahead of time.
  • Double the recipe and place half in the freezer to pull out when we have the urge.
Holly Clegg's Chicken Chili Soup at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Speedy Chicken Chili Soup

From Holly Clegg’s trim&TERRIFIC® Too Hot in the Kitchen Secrets to Sizzle At Any Age

Serve with reduced-fat cheese, avocado, and onions. Look for fresh salsa or your favorite flavored salsa to pump up flavor. For a short-cut, use pre- cooked, grilled whole chicken breast fillets (great grilled flavor) or rotisserie chicken.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups salsa
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, with juice
  • 4 cups fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • Shredded reduced-fat cheese, avocado, and red onions, optional

Directions

  1. In large pot coated with nonstick cooking spray, season chicken and cook until lightly browned, 5 minutes.
  2. Add salsa, tomatoes, broth, green chilies, oregano, and cumin. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and cook 15 minutes. Add corn and beans, cooking another 5-10 minutes until well heated and bubbly. Serve with condiments.
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Total Time: 40 Minutes
Servings: Makes 10 servings
  • Serving size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 257
  • Calories from Fat: 18
  • Total Fat: 2g
  • Saturated fat: 0g
  • Unsaturated fat: 2g
  • Sodium: 740mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 29g
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Protein: 29g
  • Cholesterol: 53mg

Dietary Exchanges: 2 starch, 4 very lean meat

Healthy holiday treats: Holly Clegg’s Banana Cranberry Bread

Holly Clegg banana cranberry bread

Today’s guest post from Holly Clegg focuses on healthy holiday baking. Since fresh cranberries freeze up to a year, you can bake up her Banana Cranberry Bread all year round. This is a terrific recipe for using up any overripe bananas you may have, too!

Check out more of Holly’s trim& TERRIFIC® recipes at hollyclegg.com and The Healthy Cooking Blog.

Homemade healthy holiday treats

Looking for a healthy gift that keeps on giving? Quick breads are one of my favorite homemade gifts as they are easy to make, budget-friendly, and something you make yourself. What could be better during the holidays than my festive favorite, Banana Cranberry Bread?

Quick breads are so easy to prepare as there is no yeast and there is no need for a mixer. I wrap the individual loaves in plastic wrap, and then store in a zip top bag to freeze until I’m ready to distribute them to my neighbors and friends. Tie several mini loafs with a ribbon and your gift is done!

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe bananas, peeled
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup dried cranberries or fresh cranberries, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind

Directions

  1. Preheat oven 350°F. Coat 9x5x 3-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In large bowl, beat bananas until puréed. Add sugar, brown sugar, canola oil, eggs, and vanilla, and continue beating until creamy.
  3. In separate, small bowl combine flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir flour mixture alternately with buttermilk into banana mixture, beginning and ending with flour, mixing only until combined.
  4. Stir in dried cranberries and orange rind. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Prep Time: 15 - 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 40 - 45 Minutes
Total Time: 55 - 1 Hour 5 Minutes
Servings: 16 slices
  • Serving size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 144
  • Calories from Fat: 37
  • Total Fat: 4g
  • Saturated fat: 1g
  • Unsaturated fat: 3g
  • Sodium: 50mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 25g
  • Sugar: NA
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 27mg

Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 0.5 fruit, 0.5 fat

This Mama’s tips

Here are some tips to further “health up” Holly’s recipe:

  • Instead of 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup light brown sugar, use 1/4 cup powdered stevia and 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar.
  • For the 1 cup of all-purpose flour, substitute 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour. This may dry out the recipe a bit, so add a tablespoon or two more of the buttermilk.
  • To make this recipe gluten free, substitute your favorite all-purpose gluten free flour mix for the regular flour.
  • Try substituting 2 egg whites for one of the eggs to lower the fat content.

Photo courtesy of Holly Clegg.

Holly Clegg’s Southwestern Soup for a healthier Halloween #glutenfree

southwestern soup Today’s guest post from Holly Clegg focuses on serving up a healthier Halloween with her Southwestern Soup. It’s GF - that's gluten free - not ghost or goblin free!

Want to check out more of Holly’s time-friendly trim& TERRIFIC® recipes from her Louisiana kitchen? Then visit hollyclegg.com and The Healthy Cooking Blog.

A happy healthy Halloween

On Halloween, the focus is on the tricks and treats but my focus was always on dinner. I always serve a one-pot meal that is time-friendly to eat whenever everyone strolls back to the house. A big pot of hearty Southwestern Soup from my Gulf Coast Favorites cookbook brewing on the stove with mugs around to serve yourself makes an ideal meal for young and old on this come and go cool evening.

Best of all this soup is as simple as opening cans making it perfect for this busy night. The nutritiously sweet yams give the soup a jolt of orange giving Halloween spirit. Did you know you can substitute sweet potatoes for potatoes in any recipe for a nutritional boost? If you have a crowd coming, just double the recipe and if you have extra, cool and freeze in freezable zip lock bags that easily stack in the freezer.

southwestern soup

Southwestern Soup

By Holly Clegg from her cookbook Gulf Coast Favorites

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 cups Louisiana yams (sweet potatoes), peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups frozen corn

Directions

  1. In large nonstick pot, cook meat and onion over medium heat until meat is done, about 5-7 minutes. Drain excess fat.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, except corn. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, simmer about 30 minutes.
  3. Add corn, continue cooking, covered, 15 minutes.
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 50 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour
Servings: 9 servings
  • Serving size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 149
  • Calories from Fat: 25
  • Total Fat: 3g
  • Saturated fat: 1g
  • Unsaturated fat: 2g
  • Sodium: 289mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 19g
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 13g
  • Cholesterol: 28mg

Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 1/2 very lean meat
___________________
Disclosure: Holly Clegg is a spokesperson for the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission

Photo courtesy of Holly Clegg.

Holly Clegg’s Open Face Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

open face pulled chicken sandwich Today’s guest recipe from Holly Clegg comes from her Too Hot in the Kitchen cookbook. Maybe it should be called Too Hot and Too Busy to Cook In the Kitchen since so many of Holly’s recipe are easy and quick like this one for pulled chicken sandwiches.

If you’re too busy to cook and want to check out more of Holly’s time-friendly trim& TERRIFIC® recipes from her Louisiana kitchen, visit hollyclegg.com and The Healthy Cooking Blog.

Too busy to cook?

Looking for a quick dinner this hectic time of year? Or an easy no-fuss BBQ recipe for Labor Day? Whether you grill or not, you’ll have a guaranteed hit with my Pulled Chicken recipe. A great make-ahead recipe, this recipe can be a crowd pleaser to serve buffet style. A perfectly balanced tangy and sweet savory barbecue sauce cooks with the chicken in one pot in no time at all.

If you want another step-saver, rotisserie chicken from the grocery store may be used by heating it in the sauce.

open face pulled chicken sandwich

Open Faced Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

From Too Hot in the Kitchen

Serve with your favorite barbecue condiments—I like red onions and pickles. Try with Brie, for a fantastic addition.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 pound chicken breast tenders, cut into chunks
  • 2 whole wheat buns, split and toasted

Directions

  1. In medium pot, combine all ingredients except chicken. Bring to boil, add chicken. Reduce heat, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally until chicken is tender, 20-25 minutes.
  2. When chicken is fall-apart tender, shred chicken using two forks. Pile on toasted buns.
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 - 25 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Servings: 2 cups pulled chicken
  • Serving size: Makes 4 servings with 1/2 cup pulled chicken
  • Calories: 220
  • Calories from Fat: 12%
  • Total Fat: 3g
  • Saturated fat: 1g
  • Unsaturated fat: 2g
  • Sodium: 429mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 20g
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Fiber: 29g
  • Protein: 8g
  • Cholesterol: 66mg

Spicy Advice: Try serving over Sweet Potato Cornmeal Biscuits.

Dietary Exchanges: 1 starch, 1/2 other carbohydrate, 3 very lean meat