Living Loving Learning

Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Name Your Dish

In Recipes on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 7:39 am

What is your favorite, must-have-at-Thanksgiving dinner dish?

At the Meadows Thanksgiving event, the most asked for side to Dirk’s famous smoked turkey, is loaded mashed potatoes, followed by Erin’s to-die-for stuffing, and Katie’s new asked-for-often recipe, cheesecake squares (minus the nuts).     This year we get to sample Abbi’s grandmother’s corn casserole.   Can’t wait!

So?  Tell us.  What is your favorite Thanksgiving food or side-dish?

Beans, Glorious Beans!

In Lifestyle, Recipes on Wednesday, April 8, 2009 at 10:22 pm

White Bean Hummus


1 pkg cooked  (or can) white beans

2 cloves garlic

one sprig fresh rosemary (about 1 T.)

2 t. olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

a few shakes hot sauce


Place all ingredients into food processor and whirl until smooth. Add a couple teaspoons water, if necessary, to make smooth.


Serve with vegetable stick or pita chips (pita bread quartered and baked in oven until crisp)


Mexican Black Bean Dip


1 pkg cooked and thawed (or 1 can) black beans, rinsed
1/3 cup salsa
1/4 cup cilantro leaves ( or more, I love cilantro)
1 Tbs. lime juice
l clove garlic

Drain and rinse the black beans. Combine the black beans, salsa, cilantro leaves, lemon juice, and garlic in a food processor. Blend until smooth.


Serve with tortilla chips or vegetable sticks.


Bean Flautas (1 pkg beans makes about 5-6 flautas)


1-2 pkgs cooked and thawed (or 1-2 cans) pinto beans

2 t. chili powder (or to taste)

1 t. cumin (or to taste)

salt, hot sauce to taste


non-stick spray


Place beans in skillet and mash with potato masher until mostly blended.  Heat through.


Place 2-3 Tbs. beans on softened corn or flour tortillas.  Roll tortilla.  Place on baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.  Spray flauta with non-stick spray.


Bake at 350 degrees until flautas are lightly browned and crisp


Serve with salsa (or salsa mixed with Ranch dressing, as my boys do).  This is one of my teen sons’ favorite lunches. 


Find a few other favorite beans recipes here.


Hope you enjoy trying these good-for-you, low-fat, high fiber recipes.




If You Don’t Know Beans About Beans

In Lifestyle, Recipes on Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 9:26 pm

Beans get a bad rap.  But did you know they are a great source of protein, are high in fiber, and low in calories. 482200_dry_beans


If you cook your own from dried, they will cost you about ½ as much as the canned varieties!  (and have you ever checked out the sodium content in those cans??!! Whew!)


It’s easy to do.


Purchase a pound package of dried beans (on the same aisle as the rice and pasta in most grocery stores).  Choose from white, red, pinto, black and many other varieties. 


Rinse in a colander and place in a large pot.  Completely cover with water.  Leave over night to soak.  The next morning, bring the temperature of the water to almost boiling, and turn down to a low simmer.  Now, cook for 4-6 hours, or until soft.  (1 lb. dried = approx. 10 cups cooked.)


That’s it! 


You can even soak them overnight in the crockpot and cook all the next day. Season them now, or later. 



At this point they are ready to be used in recipes or stored in the freezer. 



I usually place 2 cups in a zip-lock freezer bag, seal, and lay flat in the freezer.


Currently, my freezer has red beans, white beans, black beans and a new supply of pintos.  To use them, I lay the frozen bag into the microwave and heat until thawed. Then, use as you would for canned beans.


Tomorrow, I’ll share a few recipes:


White Bean Hummus

Mexican Black Bean Dip

Bean Flautas


C’mon…use your bean and start eating more beans!



Do you like beans?  Do you use them in any recipes?  Do share!




Double-Dog Dare: 30 Meals in 30 Days

In Lifestyle, Recipes on Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 9:26 pm

picky-girlLast year I had a free subscription to Cookie magazine. It’s technically for parents, but the articles are really cool and artsy, so I read it. One story in particular spoke to me, especially since Andrew’s daughters have become increasingly interested in cooking and “weird” foods. The article opens like this:

“I started making a list on the train home from work one night last fall. I was sitting there, racking my brain, in a mild panic, trying to decide what to cook for dinner that night. Here’s what came to mind: nothing.

So I pulled out a piece of paper and wrote down all the meals I could make for my husband and two kids that didn’t involve the toaster oven, or customizing plate after plate, or Gitmo-style negotiations before every microscopic bite (“If you don’t try that pork/pea/basmati grain, no dessert! Okay. I’m counting to three…!”). The exercise didn’t take very long. I stared in disbelief at the sad, sorry lot that was my culinary repertoire:

The sad, sorry lot:
Breaded chicken cutlets
Sautéed shrimp

Four meals. How was this possible? How had my mammoth archive of prekid dinners devolved into this grim little lineup?”

After making her list, the author made a pact with herself to get more creative in the kitchen and expose her kids to new things. I know this is an issue many parents can relate to. It seems that so many of us (especially us self-proclaimed BUSY folks) struggle to break out of culinary ruts sometimes…or we don’t know how our families will respond if we attempt to do so.

For those of you with picky eaters in your house (whether it’s your kids or your spouse!), I encourage you…no, I DARE YOU, to do a similar experiment in your household, maybe even making it a game if you must.

Read the full article here (make sure you see all of it…it’s a few pages, including tips and suggested menus) and get 30-days’ worth of recipes here.

Bon Appétit!

Are there picky eaters in your household? What’s your favorite “weird” food? Are you going to accept my dare? 🙂

abbi1 ABBI

Biggest Loser Cookbook

In Lifestyle, Recipes on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 at 10:54 pm


I don’t know about you guys but I love watching The Biggest Loser. When I saw they came out with a new cookbook that was all about being budget friendly, I couldn’t wait to get it from the library. It shows us how we CAN stop using the excuse that it costs too much to eat healthy. Here is a sneak peek at one of the recipes I tried this week.  It’s really good…like Potatoes O’Brien.

Breakfast Sweet Potatoesimg_5330

1 lb. Sweet Potatoes, cubed
1/2 c. Green pepper, chopped
3/4 c. Onions, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. Garlic
1 1/2 tsp. Olive oil
1/4 tsp. Paprika
1/8 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
Mix ingredients and arrange in single layer on pan. Bake 20 min, turn and bake 20-25 more min.

Makes 4 Servings

Calories 125
Fat 2g
Fiber 4g

2 points per serving





Tweaking Tricks for Baking

In Lifestyle, Recipes on Monday, March 23, 2009 at 9:09 pm

Use these tweaking tricks to help you squeeze out the fat and calories in your baking and in turn help you squeeze into your cute jeans.  😉


Most basic baking recipes call for dry ingredients, wet ingredients, fat ingredients, and sweet ingredients. 


For dry ingredients such as flour you can pretty much substitute any whole grain type flour and/or whole grain cereal (oatmeal, cream of wheat) or mix and match.  I use a scant less than it calls for when baking with whole grains to keep my baked goods moist.


For the wet ingredients you can make any substitute of skim, lowfat, reduced fat, etc. in place of whole fats.  (in place of whole milk, sour cream, yogurt, etc.)


For fat ingredients you can substitute no-sugar added applesauce cup for cup with little or no change in taste for any oil, margarine or butter that the recipe calls for.  I use a bit more applesauce to oil to help with the moistness.  For things where the flavor would be appropriate bananas, pumpkin, and plain non-fat yogurt can be substituted for the fat. 


To tweak the sweet ingredients choose from these lower calorie and/or healthy substitutes :





Sugar-free maple syrup

Go here for specific details on using these substitutes in your baking.


So to take this recipe I just randomly looked up, check out how I would tweak it in the parenthesis that follow each ingredient:


To Die For Blueberry Muffins



1 -1/2 c. all-purpose flour (slightly less of a mixture of whole wheat flour, little wheat germ, little oat bran)

3/4 c. white sugar (splenda, or other tweaks from above)

1/2 t. salt

 2 t. baking powder

 1/3 c. vegetable oil (applesauce or banana – or a little of both)

 1 egg

1/3 c. milk (skim)

1 c. fresh blueberries


I’m going to bake these at 375 (25 degrees less than it calls for) and check them way earlier than the original baking time (about 12 minutes) all to keep moist.  Using high fiber and sugar substitutes makes things drier and causes things to cook faster so I work real hard to keep my baked goods moist.


So, find a recipe or use one of those favorites you’ve had to put away because it is too fattening and get to experimenting.  Now you can enjoy those baked goods a little more often since you have some new baking tricks up your sleeve.




Cake for Dinner!

In Recipes on Monday, February 16, 2009 at 10:15 pm

 Oh yes, we have cake for dinner at least twice a month.  What, you say?  Has Erin finally fallen off the wagon of healthy eating?  No worries!  These cakes are loaded with fiber, vegetables and are  well-rounded in nutrition to allow you the pleasure of cake for dinner.


For meat based cakes I use about 1 lb. of raw meat with some shredded or chopped veggies (done in the food processor).  For veggie based,  about 3 – 4 cups veggies.


You use two add-ins:

 1.  Dump in a handful of oatmeal or a slice or two of double-the-fiber bread in the food processor along with the veggies and/or meat.  Or add whole grain flour to the mix until you reach desired consistency. 


2.  Mix with a couple of eggs


You want to scoop out a large dollop on griddle or skillet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.  Flatten to about a ½” and lightly fry on each side.  (About 3 min. each side – or ’til cooked through, as in the case of meat).


Cheese is an optional add-in and can even be added on top after flipping (this is what we do here on part of the batch of cakes since cheese is usually not an indulgence I allow myself, but all my guys love.)


Our favorite cakes are zucchini (just shredded zucchini w/ a little onion mixed with the egg and flour), confetti veggie cakes (pictured) (shredded potato, carrots, squash, onion, peppers – whatever else I have on hand! with egg and flour), tuna cakes (canned, drained tuna with various veggies, bread crumbs and eggs), and turkey cakes (ground turkey, various veggies, bread crumbs and eggs).  (The turkey ones are great on the grill as well! – Form into patties as you would a hamburger).


Have you ever made cakes for dinner?  I think your kids would like the sound of it at least!  They may even ask for syrup on them like our little Will!  😉





Sow Your Oats

In Lifestyle, Recipes on Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 11:02 pm



Do you eat breakfast?  Shame on you if you don’t!  Don’t get me started on the benefits of starting your day off right!  If there were a pill that was super cheap, fought cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and cholesterol you’d probably jump right on it right?  Well, you don’t have to take a pill, you just have to eat oatmeal – and you could do this everyday for months and not even have to eat the same flavor!


Dad and Mom Meadows eat oatmeal E-V-E-R-Y-D-A-Y!  I love to give them a hard time about it (especially because they only eat it two different ways) but I’ve seen the benefits in their health when they started this daily regime.  Plus, I can’t say anything because I eat oatmeal for breakfast at least half the time.  Oatmeal can be pretty bland though and I get really bored if I don’t mix up the flavors.  Well, over the years I have tried many different ways to make this yummy-health-in-a-bowl and I thought I would share some of the ideas.


For your base, mix:

 ½ cup dried old-fashioned oats (not instant – not as healthy!  And no packaged pre-mixed oatmeal!)

1-cup milk (variations: soy milk, chocolate soy milk, water + 1/3 c. dry milk)


Flavor Variations:


mix ½ cup fruit of choice (frozen or fresh chopped apples, peaches, pears, bananas, pineapple, mango, applesauce, berries, canned pumpkin, whatever sounds good!)



1 t. appropriate spice (cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, ginger, all spice, almond or vanilla extract)



1 teaspoon,  more or less of Splenda or favorite sweetener (sometimes the fruit is sweet enough!)


Other Variations:

Add 1 T. peanut butter, small handful of favorite nuts; use sugar-free maple syrup or sugar-free coffee syrup in place of both seasoning and sweetener (the variations here are countless!)  For super healthy additions add 1 T. ground flax seed (like Dad and Mom) or 2 T. wheat germ.


Microwave for 5 minutes on half power (stirring once or twice to keep from spilling over).


You can even make baked oatmeal

Try any type of fruit in place of the pineapple


And if you love those easy packets (that are filled with tons of chemicals) you can make your own here


So make sure and get you some power food and start your day off right!



Do you eat breakfast?   What do you have?







Chocolate and Chicken….Yum!

In Lifestyle, Recipes on Wednesday, January 7, 2009 at 11:29 pm

As promised, two recipes from the Hungry Girl Cookbook.

Death by Chocolate Cupcakes

2 cups moist-style chocolate cake mix (half of an 18.25-oz. box)

Two 25-calorie packets diet hot cocoa mix

1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)

2 tbsp. semi-sweet mini chocolate chips

1 tsp. Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)

1/8 tsp. salt

Place chocolate chips and the contents of both cocoa packets in a tall glass. Add 12 ounces of boiling water, and stir until chips and cocoa mix have dissolved. Place glass in the freezer to chill for 25 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Once cocoa has chilled, give it a stir, and mix with all other ingredients in a mixing bowl. Whip batter with a whisk or fork for 2 minutes. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray, or line it with baking cups. Evenly spoon batter (which will be thin, but don’t worry, your cupcakes will puff up!) into the pan. Place pan in the oven, and bake for 15 minutes. Cupcakes will look shiny when done. MAKES 12 SERVINGS 

Serving Size: 1 cupcake

Calories: 108

Fat: 2.5g

Carbs: 19g

Fiber: 1g

POINTS® value 2*


Kickin’ Chicken Pot Pie 

8 oz. raw boneless skinless chicken breast; cut into bite-sized pieces

3 cups  Mixed Vegetables

1 can (10.75 oz.) Campbell’s Condensed Soup, 98% Fat Free Cream of Celery

3 servings Pillsbury Reduced Fat Crescent Rolls (unprepared)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute chicken pieces for several minutes in a pan spritzed with nonstick cooking spray, until chicken is light brown/cooked but still tender; set aside. Heat frozen veggies in microwave according to package. Mix chicken, vegetables and soup together and put in a 9″ round baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Place dish in oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly (stir about halfway through). While dish is cooking, unroll 3 crescent rolls. Combine pieces together with hands to make one large ball of dough. With a rolling pin, roll dough out into a circle to cover top of dish. Add dough to the top of the dish and cook for an additional 15 – 20 minutes or until top is golden brown. Serves 4.

Serving Size: 1/4th pie (approx. 7 oz.)

Calories: 210

Fat: 6g 

Carbs: 24g

Fiber: 2.5g

 *4 Points



Spiced Wine and Europe!

In Recipes on Friday, December 19, 2008 at 7:48 am

Hot Spiced Wine Recipe 3058071647_a428c400cf

Okay, so I don’t really have a “recipe” for this drink but here is what I am using

Apple cider
Red wine
Cinnamon sticks
Apples (granny smith)

I’ve looked up a few recipes to see what proportions to use but I don’t
like measuring things so by eye I will add half to two thirds cider and
half to one third red wine to a crockpot, I will probably heat about
two cups of the cider on the stove to dissolve the sugar in before
adding it to the mix, about 1 1/2 cups of sugar. One or two sliced apples in
the crockpot add a nice flavor and are tasty to chew on when it soaks up
all the juice! Cinnamon sticks and cloves to taste. I have seen some
recipes use brandy in it as well, so we will see what we have around
when I am making it.  🙂

Can’t wait!







Alexander and Katie’s Christmas Trip Itinerary:
December 25:  Fly out of Will Rogers Airport in OKC late afternoon.
December 26:  Arrive in Frankfurt, Germany in the evening.  Take the train from the Frankfurt Airport to Zurich. Meet up with a friend in Zurich.  My (Alexander) cousin and her family live in Winkel, which is a suburb of Zurich.  We will be taking advantage of their hospitality during our stay in Switzerland.
December 27 – January 3: Hang out with family and explore Switzerland.  Possibly catch a train to Paris for the New Year’s Eve/New Year’s celebration.
January 3:  Take the train or bus to Austria.
January 4:  Take in an early morning mass in the Hapsburg Palace with the Vienna Boys Choir and then meet up with more friends in the afternoon.
January 4-7:  Explore Austria.
January 7:  Leave for Bratislava, Slovakia.  Spend the day exploring Bratislava.
January 8:  Travel to Prague, in the Czech Republic.  
January 8-10: Explore Prague.
January 10-11:  Travel back to Frankfurt and fly home from the Frankfurt airport.
January 11: Arrive back in OKC late in the evening.
Some of this is tentative.  Most of our plans for time spent exploring is pretty open ended. 🙂