Thursday, October 29, 2009

coconut Oatmeal Bars

These were not bad, but I think they'd be better with some mini chocolate chips. :)

Coconut Oatmeal Cookie Bars

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup Splenda
1 egg white
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups oats
1 cup flour
1 c. coconut flakes
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat brown sugar, applesauce and sugar until creamy. Add egg beaters, water and vanilla; beat well. Add combined oats, flour, salt and baking soda; mix well. Press dough into an ungreased 9x13 pan. Bake 30-35 minutes.
Yields: 18 bars. Per bar= 181 Calories; 3g Fat (15.7% calories from fat); 5g Protein; 33g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 171mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1/2 Fruit; 1/2 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

So I called Aetna...

So I called Aetna last Friday and asked the customer service girl "who sets Aetna's policies? Do you have a medical director?"
She stammers around then says, "The policies are set by your HR staff."
"No," I say, "not MY policy, ALL of the policies of Aetna. Like not paying for diagnostic mammograms."
She sighs and asks me to hold.
I say, "Sure, and why don't you find a supervisor I can talk to?"
"Well, they're going to have to do the same thing I'm doing- research."
"That's fine. Please transfer me to a supervisor."
After a few minutes she comes back and says she can't transfer me to a supervisor without my member ID number. ??!!!!
I give her the number, even though it has nothing to do with my question. She puts me on hold again. After 5 minutes of waiting, I hung up.
But online at the Aetna site I find that Lonny Reisman is the Chief Medical Officer for Aetna. They give a number for the media to call. So, as a freelance writer, I am media, so I call. I left a message. I wonder how long it will take them to call me back?
Meanwhile, Mom calls tonight and says she got an email from Aetna and they are going to pay for the first diagnostic mammogram she had this year!

Beef Cabbage & Peanut Sauce

I made this with cube steak. It was ok.

Beef Cabbage & peanut sauce
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/3 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound sirloin steak, trimmed and thinly sliced (see Tip)
1 lb shredded cabbage
2-5 tablespoons water

Whisk peanut butter, orange juice, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add steak and cook, stirring, until browned and barely pink in the middle, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Reduce heat to medium. Add cabbage and 2 tablespoons water; cook, stirring, until beginning to wilt, 3 to 5 minutes. Cook, stirring, until just tender, about 3 minutes more. Return the steak and any accumulated juices to the pan, then pour in the peanut sauce and toss to combine.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For me, it's also Insurance Awareness Month. My mother had breast cancer almost 5 years ago. It was detected at stage 0 by a mammogram. She went through radiation treatments after having a lumpectomy and has been fine ever since. BUT she has to have diagnostic mammograms each year. This year she's had two diagnostic mammograms. In Oklahoma, insurance companies are required to pay for one routine mammogram each year. Not diagnostic mammograms. Today I learned that breast cancer survivors (at least in OK, not sure about other states) are paying for their own mammograms. Insurance does not cover these, unless of course, the deductible has been met. Even then their coverage is usually no more than 80%. Does this make sense to anyone? So, if I've had breast cancer my insurance company doesn't care enough about me having a mammogram to even pay for it? Do they really want to pay more if I end up with breast cancer again?? Or do they just figure it's ok because surely I'll want to live and I will pay for the diagnostic mammogram? This is incredibly unfair. Insurance companies need to step up and pay for at least one diagnostic mammogram each year. It's in their best interest and the interest of their customers. In this time of healtcare reform can they really afford to do less?

Ladies, it is time to make some noise. Contact your insurance company, your state insurance commission and your senator. Keep talking about this and do not stop until someone realizes we will not "go quietly into that good night."

"Therefore my dear [sisters] stand firm." -1 Cor. 15:58a

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pumpkin Fudge

Ok, I was revising the original recipe so I made it 3 times trying to get it to set up. the 2nd batch did set up. It is VERY important to cook the sugar mixture long enough. But after this fudge set out for a while it became a gooey mess. So...I think the recipe still needs a little work. If you play with this and get a good recipe that doesn't require 3 cups of sugar be sure to let me know!
regardless of it not setting up---it was delicious!

Pumpkin Fudge
2/3 cups white sugar
1 TB light margarine
¼ tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 cups butterscotch chips
1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
1 C. Splenda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Spray 11x7 pan with cooking spray. In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar, margarine, cream of tartar, pumpkin, and spice; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Continue boiling over medium heat until mixture reaches 234 degrees F (118 degrees C) on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes. (ahhh...I boiled 4-5 minutes...maybe a little longer would do the trick)
Remove from heat. Stir in butterscotch chips. When chips are melted, add marshmallow cream, and vanilla. Mix until well blended.
Immediately pour butterscotch mixture into prepared pan. Spread evenly. Cool at room temperature. Cut into squares, and store in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.
Yield: 24 small squares. Per square= 108 Calories; 1g Fat (6.2% calories from fat); trace Protein; 26g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 1mg Cholesterol; 16mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 0 Fat; 1 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

need pumpkin pie spice?

Need some pumpkin pie spice? Just make your own mix.

Pumpkin Pie Spice
4 TB cinnamon
4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
4 teaspoons ground ginger
3 teaspoons ground allspice

combine and store in air tight container.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

Calico Corn

This came from Busy People's Lowfat Cookbook. I'm sorry, but...yuck! This was not good!

Calico Corn
2 can whole kernel corn
1 TB sugar
1/4 c. Fat Free French Dressing
1 c. chunky salsa

In 2 qt microwavable bowl, combine ingredients. Heat in microwave 3 minutes or until heated through.

Yield: 7 (1/2 cup) servings.

The Very Best New Orleans Shrimp

I didn't have beer so I used a little merlot. They were tasty!

The Very Best New Orleans Shrimp
Servings 2

1/2 pound shrimp
2 Tbsp light margarine
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup fat-free chicken broth
1/4 can or bottle light beer

Seasoning Mix:
1/2 to 1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp Italian seasoning

Combine the dry ingredients and mix well. In a heavy skillet over high heat combine butter, garlic, worcestershire and seasoning mix. When butter is melted, add shrimp. Cook for 2 minutes, shaking panback and forth. Do not stir! Add stock and beer and cook an additional 2 minutes, shaking pan. Remove from heat. Serve with white rice and crusty french bread to soak up sauce.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Raspberry Coconut Bars

These were really good but thin so they were nearly impossible to get out of the pan. I'm thinking if I made them in an 11x7 pan instead of 9x13 then the bottom would be thicker and the milk wouldn't stick to the bottom as bad... of course, there would also be fewer bars and so each bar would have more calories, etc.

Raspberry Coconut Bars

1 2/3 cups graham cracker crumbs (1 pkg, crumbled)
1 tablespoon light margarine, melted
3 TB water
2 cups coconut flakes
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk, fat free
1 cup sugar free raspberry preserves
1/3 cup mini-chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350^. Combine graham cracker crumbs, margarine and water. Press mixture into 11x7 pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle coconut flakes over crust. Pour milk over coconut. Bake 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Spread preserves over crust. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Cut into bars and serve.

Yield: 24 bars. Per bar= 121 Calories; 4g Fat (24.5% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 22g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 75mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Fruit; 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pizza Chili

Why didn't I think of this before!?

Pizza Chili

15 ounces kidney beans, canned, rinsed and drained
8 ounces ground beef, 95% lean
2 ounces turkey pepperoni
1 ounce sliced black olives
2 cups spaghetti sauce, del monte traditional
14 1/2 ounces stewed tomatoes
1/2 cup bell pepper
1/2 cup water

Brown ground beef in large sauce pan. Add all remaining ingredients. bring to a boil and simmer.

Yield: 5 servings. per serving (about 1 cup)= 295 Calories; 4g Fat (16.0% calories from fat); 15g Protein; 32g Carbohydrate; 7g Dietary Fiber; 28mg Cholesterol; 1079mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 0 Fat.

Pizza Meatloaf Pie

This is really tasty and really easy!

Pepperoni Pizza-Hamburger Pie

1 pound ground beef, 95% lean
1/3 cup Stuffing, Stove Top, chicken
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 small green bell pepper
1/3 cup turkey pepperoni
1 ounce ripe olives, sliced
2/3 cup spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, 2%

Heat oven to 400F. Mix beef, bread crumbs, egg, oregano and salt; press evenly against bottom and side of ungreased pie plate, 9 × 1 1/4 inches. Sprinkle mushrooms, bell pepper, pepperoni and olives into meat—lined plate. Pour spaghetti sauce over toppings.
Bake uncovered 25 minutes or until beef is no longer pink in center and juice is clear; carefully drain. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake about 5 minutes longer or until cheese is light brown. Let pie stand 5 minutes before cutting.
Yield: 6 servings. Per serving= 313 Calories; 7g Fat (41.0% calories from fat); 16g Protein; 8g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 74mg Cholesterol; 676mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Fat.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Peach Tea Bread

This was not bad...but I think it needs more cinnamon. It is nice with tea! :)

Peach Tea Bread
2-1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 c. Splenda
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 c. finely chopped fresh peaches or drained, thawed, frozen peach slices
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/3 c. skim milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 lg. Egg whites

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9 x 5 loaf pan. In large bowl, combine flour, Splenda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. In 2 cup glass measuring cup, combine oil, milk, egg whites and vanilla. Add oil mixture to flour mixture and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Do Not overbeat. Fold in diced peaches. Spoon into prepared pan. Bake bread for 55 to 60 minutes or until top is golden brown and center springs back when lightly pressed with finger tip. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan and cool to room temperature before slicing.
Yield: 10 servings. Per serving= 182 Calories; 6g Fat (28.8% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 28g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; trace Cholesterol; 269mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Fruit; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 1 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Grilled Margarita shrimp

I made this tonight, but instead of grilling I just saute'd them in a small skillet.

Grilled Margarita Shrimp for Two
A fresh cilantro marinade makes this dinner for two irresistible!

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup margarita mix (from 33.8-oz. bottle)
2 tablespoons tequila
12 shelled deveined uncooked large shrimp with tails left on

1. Soak 4 bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes. In 1-quart resealable food storage plastic bag, combine cilantro, garlic, margarita mix and tequila. Add shrimp; seal bag and shake to coat. Refrigerate 30 minutes to marinate.
2. Meanwhile, heat grill.
3. When ready to grill, thread shrimp on skewers; discard marinade. Place shrimp on gas grill over medium heat or on charcoal grill 4 to 6 inches over medium coals. Cook 5 to 7 minutes or until shrimp turns pink, turning several times.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mexican salsa dip

I did not like this. The cream cheese sort of curdled. It just didn't look attractive.

Mexican Salsa Dip
1 can black beans, drained
1 can corn, drained
1 c. salsa
3 oz reduced fat pepperjack cheese
1 8 oz. pkg. light cream cheese, softened

Spread cream cheese on bottom of quich plate. Layer beans, corn, salsa and shredded cheese. Bake at 350 for about 20 min.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pumpkin Dump Cake

This is really good! I will serve it tomorrow at work with Cool Whip Lite.

Pumpkin Dump Cake

28 ounces canned pumpkin
1 1/2 cups Splenda
12 ounces evaporated skim milk
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
18 1/4 ounces yellow cake mix
1/2 c. water

Preheat oven to 350*. Spray 13x9 pan with cooking spray. In medium bowl, combine pumpkin, Splenda, milk, egg whites, vanilla and pie spice. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle cake mix over pumpkin mixture. Pour water over cake mix. Bake 45-50 minutes or until lightly browned.
Yield: 12 servings. Per serving= 236 Calories; 5g Fat (19.8% calories from fat); 5g Protein; 43g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 2mg Cholesterol; 328mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 1/2 Non-Fat Milk; 1 Fat; 2 Other Carbohydrates.

Spicy Zucchini Soup

This was delicious! and very filling!

Spicy Zucchini Soup

8 ounces sausage, reduced fat Jimmy Dean
9 ounces chicken asiago spinach sausage
3 cups zucchini
1 cup celery
14 1/2 ounces canned tomatoes
2 cups tomato sauce
15 ounces fat-free chicken broth
1/4 cup diced onion
3 cups water
2 teaspoons italian seasoning
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Cook sausage and sliced chicken sausage in large saucepan. Then add broth, onion, zucchini, and celery. Bring to a boil then add tomatoes, water, and seasonings. Simmer 20 minutes.
Yield: 6 servings. Per serving ( about 1 1/2 cups)= 203 Calories; 10g Fat (39.0% calories from fat); 19g Protein; 14g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 57mg Cholesterol; 1546mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 2 Vegetable; 0 Fat.