Recipe Review: Smackaroni and Cheese (The Looneyspoons Collection)

Finally got a chance to cook out of my new cookbook – The Looneyspoons Collection – this same recipe can be found in Eat, Shrink and Be Merry but I used my new book :p I made this before a while ago but it was even better then I remembered it! SO AMAZING! I made a couple small changes, I used ground turkey instead of beef, left out the zucchini, and replaced light cheese whiz with jalapeno tex mex cheese whiz! The spicy cheese whiz added a nice little kick and flavour boost. I am pretty sure I am going to be making these recipe over and over – my man loved it. What’s not to love, pasta, meat and cheese. YUM!

The best thing was, dinner was ready in just half an hour!

Recipe Review: Smackaroni and Cheese (The Looneyspoons Collection)

There are two different versions of this recipe, one of them can be found here – it is different then the one I made.

New Cookbook: The Looneyspoons Collection by Janet and Greta Podlesk

Words can’t even describe how extremely excited I am about this cookbook. I absolutely adore Janet and Greta Podlesk other three cookbooks and this one is their best yet.

When I am on plan I cook at least once a week from their other book Eat, Shrink and Be Merry. Having a new book to cook from is extra exciting and should help me stay on plan easier. I haven’t had much of a chance to really go through it yet but at a quick glance it does have a lot of their popular recipes and some new ones too.

I pre-ordered my copy of The Looneyspoons Collections almost two months ago! The wait almost killed me.

You can order your copy here at Chapters.cause promo code OLNOV11 to save $5 during the month of November.

Since you need $25 to get free shipping you should book up their other cookbooks, they are all fantastic. I really can’t say enough good things about these books – if you can’t tell. I just love that their recipes are low calorie but don’t taste it. I also really like that they use ingredients I can find in Canada, since they are Canadian too.

I am sure there will be many more posts once I start cooking. But first I must look at it!

Recipe Review: Turk De Soleil (Turkey Burgers)

[rating: 5]
Eat Shrink and Be Merry, page 134

I made these turkey burgers before and was not a huge fan. Trying them again I used less cilantro and they were awesome! My only guess is that I don’t like cilantro and used too much last time. I was using dry over fresh like the recipe calls for – and I probably used 2 TBSP dried when I made them before. But anyway, these were so good. The leftovers tonight were just as good and I am sad there is no more – can not wait to make these again.

turkey burgers

This recipe uses a peanut sauce to make them different from your regular burger. You mix a bit of the sauce in with the meat mixture and smear the rest on them while they are cooking. I really can not say enough good things for this cookbook. I cooked from it 3 times alone on Saturday – I live off this book.

I served the turkey burgers on a sun dried tomato tortilla with hot sauce, onions, tomatoes and lettuce. On the side I served up some grilled corn on the cob.

grilled corn on the cob

Doesn’t that corn look delicious? I have never BBQ’d corn on the cob before but it was easy. I dipped some olive oil on it and tossed it on the grill with the burgers. Ready in 10-15! Easy and no mess to clean up.

And in case anyone is wondering – the calories in a turkey burger was 230 calories according to the cookbook. To me that seemed a really low – peanut sauce has a lot of calories and I couldn’t find a light option like the book called for. But still they were awesome.

Recipe Review: No Weigh, José! Mexican Lasagna

From Eat, Shrink and Be Merry page 132

This is a nice take on lasagna – it uses whole grain tortillas instead of noodles and has lots of added veggies like beans and corn. I also like that it only uses one kind of cheese – making it a little cheaper to make.

Mexican Lasagna = DELICIOUS! This was so good – I knew it would be, I have made it before but forgot about it for a while. I am going to try and make this more often. I did modify mine some – for starters I used ground turkey. I replaced green pepper with celery (had it in the fridge) – I also used more beans and corn. Black beans do not come in 1 cup cans and corn does not come in half a cup cans. So I just used a whole can of each! I rarely measure my veggies in stuff like this – I know that corn and beans are fairly high in calories so I adjust my calorie count accordingly. The calorie count posted here is for the original recipe.

I also left out the tomato sauce – I didn’t have it. I did add a bit of tomato paste and some water – but only because I had an open can in the fridge.

I am going to admit I hardly ever measure veggies, I almost always add way more then what a recipe calls for. Especially onion, so low in calories and it really shrinks down and is easy to hide.

No Weigh, José! Mexican Lasagna

1 1/2 lbs ground chicken
1 cup each diced red onions and diced green bell pepper
2 tsp garlic
1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 cup frozen or canned corn
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
2 cups tomato sauce
1 cup medium salsa
2 tbsp fresh cilantro
4 large or 8 small whole wheat flour tortillas
1 1/2 cup shredded light cheddar
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 cup light sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray a 9×13 casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a large pan cook the ground meat, green pepper, onions and garlic until meat is no longer pink.
3. Add black beans, tomatoes, corn, chilli powder, and cumin. Cook and stir for 2 more minutes. Add pasta sauce and salsa; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cilantro and remove from heat.
4. To assemble lasagna, spread 1/3 sauce mixture over bottom of casserole dish. Top with 1/2 tortillas, overlapping and cutting as needed. Top with 1/3 mixture, then 1/2 the cheese. Cover with remaining tortillas, then sauce and the top with remainder of cheese and green onions
5. Cover with foil and bake for 30-35 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 more minutes. Let lasagna stand about 10 minutes before serving. Top with sour cream.

Makes 8 servings.

Nutritional Information per 1 serving of No Weigh, José! Mexican Lasagna
319 calories, 8 grams of fat, 30 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams of fiber, 31 grams of protein

Mexican Lasagna

I found one serving to be filling. Add a side salad and you have the perfect meal for less then 400 calories (depending on your dressing choice of course!).

What’s cooking tonight? Mexican Lasagna!

No Weigh, José! Mexican Lasagna

This just looked so beautiful as I was cooking it – I had to take some pictures to share! The colours of the black beans, corn, tomatoes, etc – just was so nice all together.

No Weigh, José! Mexican Lasagna

This is another recipe from the Eat, Shrink and Be Merry cookbook – can you tell I just love this cookbook? This one can be found on page 132 and is called No Weigh, José! Mexican Lasagna

No Weigh, José! Mexican Lasagna

I am sure I will be writing a recipe review for this one sometime soon – I already know it is good, because I have made it before! mmmm is it dinner time yet?

Recipe Review: Sweet Home Alabanana – Low Calorie Banana Bread

From Eat, Shrink and Be Merry – page 160.

I have made this banana bread a few times and it is so delicious. Some of the best banana bread I have ever made. I always replace the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour and never even notice.

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup oat bran
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups mashed rip bananas (3-4)
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray two 8×4 inch pans with cooking spray and set aside.
2. Mix flour, oat bran, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Mix and set aside.
3. Beat together eggs and brown sugar on medium speed of electric mixer for 2 minutes. Add bananas, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Beat again until well mixed.
4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix just until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not use electric mixer. Fold in nuts and chocolate chips.
5. Divide the batter between the two load banks and bake for 30-35 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

banana bread

Nutritional Information per 1 slice.
Makes 8 slices for each loaf, total 16 slices
173 calories, 6.4 grams of fat, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 1.9 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein

Some helpful tips: using ripe bananas is very important as this recipe doesn’t use a lot of sugar. Also, you can add a splash of lemon juice in regular milk to replace buttermilk. I also usually just half this recipe as I don’t need two loaves of banana bread about the house.

Eat Shrink and Be Merry, Girl-Guy Cookies


Found on page 168.
Or Peanut-BETTER Gingersnap Cookies as they are called on the Eat Shrink and Be Merry Food Network Site.

I made these cookies last night. Buying all the stuff I was missing (ginger, allspice, molasses, etc) was a bit expensive but worth it. These cookies were great.

They are sill 90-100 calories a cookie – so they really aren’t that “low calorie” but they made for a delicious treat. My boyfriend wasn’t a fan; too bad for him! I ended up doubling the recipe – I sent my little sister home with a huge bag and then took the rest to work for my co-workers (who loved them!) Okay, I did have to leave a few at home – but for the dog, because she likes them to. *wink wink* (she really does like them)

eat shrink and be merry girl guy cookies

Anyway, if you are looking for a different cookie to try – make these! They are just a nice combo of peanut butter and ginger snap (or ginger bread even). Neither of the flavours are over powering making them perfect. One big problem – it is very easy to eat too many. I find I can eat maybe two peanut butter cookies before I get sick of them. I could easily eat 5 or 6 of these. I am not admitting that I already did that. Nope.

Recipe from

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice and salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1/3 cup light peanut butter
3 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons molasses
1×1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together both flours, baking soda, 1 tsp cinnamon, ginger, allspice and salt. Set aside. Combine granulated sugar and remaining 1 tsp cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.

3. In another medium bowl, beat together brown sugar, peanut butter and butter on medium speed of electric mixer for about 1 minute. Add molasses, egg and vanilla. Beat again until smooth.

4. Using a wooden spoon, stir flour mixture into peanut butter mixture. You will be making a stiff dough. Using your hands, shape dough into 1 1/2-inch balls. Roll balls in reserved cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place on cookie sheet at least 2 inches apart (they spread a lot when baking). Flatten cookies slightly using a fork.

5. Bake cookies for 7 minutes. They may appear undercooked, but that’s okay. Remove cookies from oven and immediately transfer from pan to a wire rack to cool.

I totally never rolled my cookies in the cinnamon-sugar mixture, what can I say… I am lazy. I have done that before with snicker-doodles and it just makes a huge mess. A tip though if you are doing to do. Put the mixture in a zip-lock bag and then just drop the cookies in the bag and shake them around.

5 stars from me. I would totally make them again… good thing, because I have enough ingredients to make a few hundred more.

Nutritional Information (per cookie)
108 calories
3.4g total fat (1.6g saturated fat)
2g protein
17g carbohydrate
0.8g fiber
15mg cholesterol
100mg sodium

Banana Bread: Sweet Home Alabanana

This Banana bread comes from the cookbook Eat Shrink and Be Merry. It contains delicious bananas (obviously), oat brand, pecans and mini chocolate chips.

It turned out fantastic and it was the first banana bread I have ever made. I am actually not normally a big banana bread lover; but, the boyfriend requested banana bread, and banana bread he got. (plus it was a good excuse to try a new recipe)

There was a downside to this fantastic looking banana bread. It was delicious and the recipe made two loaves. Being on a ‘diet’ with two wonderful loaves of banana bread sitting around… well enough said. At least it came from a healthy cookbook; right? 😀

Warm banana bread, mmmmm….

Would you like a slice?

The calories in the Sweet Home Alabanana actually were not too bad.

Sweet Home Alabanana; Banana Bread – Nutritional Information
  per slice, 1/8 of a loaf (a fair size slice)
    173     calories
    6.4      grams of fat
    28       carbohydrates
    1.9      grams of fiber
    4         grams of protein

Hungry Girl Fans

Hungry Girl’s Lisa is on the cover of this weeks Woman’ World. The issue will be displayed until the October 6th (I believe). I have already picked up my copy but have only flipped through it. It contains some of Hungry Girl’s ‘best’ recipes. Like I said, haven’t read the article yet so not sure if it is worth the buy if you have the cookbook – but just thought I would give everyone a heads up!

How Very Cool!

I was super excited this morning when I saw that someone from the Eat, Shrink and Be Merry team left me comment! How exciting is that?

On the top of E,S&M I made the Beef Noodle salad that night and it was FANTASTIC! Even my boyfriend liked it (mind you, he is a huge steak and broccoli fan) – his only complainant was that it was cold. So I think next time I will leave the noodles and steak warm – or even serve the steak on the side. But I loved it! I only made half the recipe (3 lunch servings, 2 dinner servings) and there was STILL left overs it made so much. I think this will become a weekly dish in my house… along with that pizza dip, the pizza dip is FANTASTIC! Seriously everyone – you NEED this cookbook. I haven’t touched my hungry girl cookbook in weeks – I am just addicted to this one now.

I ordered Crazy Plates from Amazon last week! Fingers crossed that it comes this week! I also found a copy of LooneySpoons (no longer in print) on ebay so I picked that up as well should be here next week or the week after.

So someone like me – young, only lived on my own a couple years – cooking was not my forte. My idea of a healthy meal before was some chicken, veggies and sidekicks (those Lipton noodle things) so this is a huge change for me to be cooking REAL, HEALTHY meals. I think actually cooking this time will help me FINALLY reach my goal!

Anyway this post went on and on I really just wanted to say how cool it is that they found my blog and posted! If you don’t have this cookbook you need to get it – and if you order from they site you get another copy free!