Stew-Pendous Ninja Beef Stew Recipe

This is based off this recipe Stew-Pendous Beef Stew with Biscuits (I LOVE these sisters). I skipped the biscuits and made a couple changes to the recipe based on what I had on had. You can see my ingredient list below.

2 pounds stewing beef
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
1.5 cups chopped celery
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons herbs de provence
2 1/2 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups chopped carrots
6 baby yellow potatoes
6 baby red potatoes
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup frozen corn

beef stew in the ninja cooking system

I browned my beef in the Ninja, after I added the veggies and cooked all together for a couple minutes. Then I just added everything else and cooked on low for eight hours. I totally cooked it too long but it was still tasty. Next time I made stew I think I will try a different recipe. There is one in the Loneyspoons Collection cookbook that is made for a slow cooker and says to cook for 8 hours – I wonder how that one differs.

Stew-Pendous Ninja Beef Stew Recipe
My calorie count for the stew ended up the same as the original – 399 calories per serving.

Honestly my love for this recipe wasn’t there like some of the others. This isn’t the first time I have made it but it has been a while. I don’t know if it was because I made it right after making soup or if I just didn’t like. Like I said, it was tasty it just didn’t appeal to me – maybe just because I cooked it too long. My husband really liked it though. Maybe I just don’t like stew?

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.

Dinner: Frozen Meal Salad

Look at me, blogging again – weeeee. Really struggling to stay on track so just trying to do everything I can. So tonight I was alone for dinner and decided to make a frozen Weight Watchers Meal – Smart Ones Santa Fe Style Beans and Rice. I put it on top of some spring mix and called it a salad.

This is something I do often for lunches at work.

Weight Watchers Meal - Smart Ones Santa Fe Style Beans and Rice

Total calories: 330

Quick and Easy Dinner: Crockpot Roasted Chicken

I guess it is really more like steamed chicken when you cook in the crockpot. But whatever. I have posted about doing this before but I am posting about it again. Posting stuff like this helps keep me on track. I have been terrible about making dinners lately – seriously. Lots of frozen pizza and pre made food it is horrible. Really trying to get back on track with making nice dinners. The new cookbook I got the other day should help with that.

I love chicken. The thing that sucks about making your own chicken is that it costs the same or MORE then just buying it already cooked. Kind of stupid really but I am sure this is better for me. And I get the satisfaction or knowing I made it myself. I also find when I buy the pre-cooked chicken I ended up buying a pre-cooked side or something bad for me to go along with it for an instant dinner. Cooking the chicken myself leads to all around better and healthier cooked meal.

So yah, buy a chicken and stick it in your crockpot before work. I topped mine with salt, pepper, garlic powder and cajun seasoning. I poured a splash or a bit more then a splash of wine into the bottom of my crockpot. Put the lid on and turned it on low. I let it cooked while I was at work. Super easy.

When I got home I steamed some broccoli and made some mashed sweet potato. I did both things in the microwave. Dinner took less then 30 minutes to prepare in total and the chicken cooked itself while I was at work. Awesome.

Oh, and it tasted DELICIOUS!

Quick and Easy Dinner: Taco Salad

This is one of our favourites around our house.

First you cook up some extra lean ground beef or chicken chicken or turkey or whatever you want. I like to add some taco seasonings.

Then you take some lettuce, I like to use this stuff:

free express iceberg garden salad mix

Free Express - Iceberg Garden Salad Mix

I dump in on a plate or in a bowl – whatever I am in the mood for. Sometimes I top it with chopped tomatoes, cucumber and onion – sometimes I am lazy and don’t. I add some cheese, the ground meat and use hot sauce and light sour cream for the dressing!

Pretty straight forward, it takes maybe 10-15 minutes to cook the meat and that is that. Calories are going to depend on how much meat and cheese you use – I probably use too much. But it is delicious!

Lazy = Frozen Meals

Back when I started this journey of losing weight and a better lifestyle I was against frozen meals. Well times have changed. I still don’t think they are good for you but they really do help with portion control and eating out. I don’t eat them daily but some weeks I do eat them a couple times a week – it just depends if I have dinner left overs.

I just don’t feel like spending 10-20 minutes in the mornings anymore preparing breakfast and lunch. Coming home to make dinner after a long day in the office can sometimes be bad enough.

Frozen meals can be expensive. I DO NOT buy them unless then are on sale. I also don’t always buy the “healthy”, lower calorie meals either. I find the Michelina’s meals often go on sale for $1 each at various stores. Most of them are between 300-400 calories – really not too bad for a lunch. Sometimes I add some veggies or a side salad.

I have tried a few different Michelina’s meals and they have always been pretty tasty. The Macaroni and Cheese is by far my favourtie – I LOVE IT. I loved adding diced tomatoes to it. Diced bell peppers work well too – if I am really adventurous even some spinach.
Michelina's Macaroni and Cheese

And for breakfast I was delighted to find the Weight Watchers Smart Ones English Muffin Sandwiches. The Weight Watchers meals sometimes go on sale for $2-$2.50. You get two sandwiches in a box, so $1 – $1.25 for one. Not as cheap as toast I am sure, but a little treat – something to hit the spot when you wish you could have a McDonalds for an Egg McMuffin. As a bonus, they are cheaper too!

The Weight Watchers Smart Ones English Muffin Sandwiches are 210 calories. With some fruit or yogurt it makes for a delicious breakfast. I enjoy a lot of the Weight Watchers meal but like the Michelina’s ones better because they are cheaper.

Again, not the healthiest meals but sometimes connivence wins. I also find I usually enjoy them and having a lunch ready I enjoy means I am much less likely to get take out.

Recipe: Stuffed Green Peppers (no rice)

I enjoyed these… the boyfriend, not as much. But he doesn’t like weird vegetables like green peppers. Hope you saw the sarcasm in that, green bell peppers are not weird at least not to normal people.

They turned out not bad. I could see having fun with these and adding different things/spices for a different taste. For this recipe I used chili tomatoes and some chili powder. Next time I might poke some holes in the green peppers before I fill them up, just to help some of the extra liquid drain while cooking. I wrote this recipe using 5 medium bell peppers, I probably could of used more like 6 – MAYBE 6.5 or 7. I had some filling left, but my peppers were on the smaller side. Stupid store didn’t have any nice ones. Just keep that in mind, not that spare filling is a bad thing… but it would change the calories/nutritional information of each serving.

Stuffed Green Peppers (no rice) Recipe
5 servings, 2 halves (whole pepper) per serving

550 g extra lean ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium onion, minced
1 1/2 cups yellow corn
1 can (540 ml) canned tomatoes, chili flavor
1 can (146 ml) tomato paste
chili powered, to taste
5 medium green bell peppers
60 g cheddar cheese, grated

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Brown extra lean ground been, onion and garlic. Once cooked stir in corn, tomatoes, tomato paste and chili powder. Let simmer for a couple minutes.
3. While the meat mixture is simmering cut your peppers in half lengthwise, remove white bits, seeds and stems. Place in shallow baking dish… really use whatever dish you want, deep even – go for it! There will be a tiny bit of dripping in the bottom, so maybe don’t use your good pie plate or anything.
4. Fill peppers with meat mixture. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes.
5. Removed peppers, top with cheese and place back in over for a couple minutes. Until the cheese is melted.

Nutritional Information Stuffed Green Peppers
per 1 serving, 2 halves
356 calories
12.3 grams fat
26.3 carbohydrates
5.7 grams fiber
36.5 grams protein

I found the calories very good for the serving size, and I didn’t feel like it needed more cheese or anything. Not that more cheese is every bad… while unless you are trying to lose weight. 😉

Recipe Review: Chicken and White Bean Enchiladas


Chicken and White Bean Enchiladas with Creamy Salsa Verde

I seriously love Gina and her recipes – they haven’t let me down yet. And this one was simply fantastic, my mouth is watering thinking about them.

I didn’t change much with this one – I did have to use some higher calorie tortilla’s because low calorie ones simple don’t exist and Canada. Also, the higher calories ones come in a 15 pack for $3.99 at Costco (read: I am cheap). I also used regular cheese.

Chicken and White Bean Enchiladas

As you can see I forgot to put the green stuff on top (was just going to use green onions.) I bought a cooked chicken for the chicken, I am lazy like that. I also find it cheaper – plus there is lots of chicken left to make another chicken recipe tonight. Oh, and I really didn’t have that much cheese on them – it just melted really nice and made it look like lots. That is one plus of using regular cheese or low-fat cheese; it melts way better. I gave up on “light” cheese ages ago.

Anyway, these were great. The boyfriend didn’t really love them – I think it was the mess I made cooking them that he didn’t like. It was a fair mess – but worth to me. YUM! Can’t wait for lunch leftovers. I think the biggest beef I had was that it cost $5 for the green chiles – still awesome though and I could see myself making these again.

Adventures with Tofu

I have had Tofu before – added in stuff or deep fried at a Japanese restaurant. But I have never made it for myself or even bought it. Yesterday a friend showed me this recipe for Spicy Sweet and Sour Tofu. I thought it looked good, I had everything but the Tofu, so on my way home I picked some up. Pretty cheap, $2.50 for a blob of it.


Looks better in the photo then it did in real life. It also had this smell to it. But anyway. Following the recipe (sorta) I smushed it in some paper towel (to dry it?). Letting it sit for about 30 minutes. Then I chopped it up and fried it in some oil and garlic (now that sounds healthy.)

tofu frying in garlic

There is no real reason for the above photo, I just like to post pictures – and I got a new camera to play with hehe. Anyway after that I added the sauce (found here). It looked pretty good, especially when I stirred in the green onions.

spicy sweet and sour tofu

Doesn’t that look good? The end result wasn’t bad. I didn’t jump for joy and go, “OH MY GOD I LOVE YOU TOFU” – I wish it had of. Tofu seems really good for you, high in protein and calcium and low in fat (except when you fry it in oil). I have been trying to eat more calcium, so I was happy to see how much was in the Tofu. I would like to eat it more, but I dunno if cutting it up in chunks and serving it as a main dish is the way to go. Unless of course it is Agedashi Tofu. I might try buying it again and cutting it smaller and adding it to something like spaghetti. Maybe.

The boyfriend stuck his fork in and said “I don’t think I can eat this.” In the end he had a small nibble, he said it tasted like nothing but he couldn’t eat a big chunk of it.

And that ends that cooking adventure with Tofu.

Kitchen Sink Pasta

Or Cleaning out the Fridge Pasta. Both names work.

I had a nice clam linguine planned for last night; but as we all know, plans change. The boyfriend wanted to come home from work to have dinner with me and he doesn’t do seafood. So I threw together this and it was surprisingly good!

I cooked up some bow tie noodles. While those were boiling I chopped up: 1/2 onion, 1/4 yellow pepper, 1/4 orange pepper, 1 turkey smokie, 6 turkey/veggie meatballs, few cloves of garlic and a couple flowers of broccoli. I tossed that in a pan with some cooking spray. For the sauce, I blended one tomato and a couple jarred banana peppers in the food processor. Then I mixed in 1 tbsp pesto sauce, 1 tbsp olive oil and 3 tbsp lemon juice. I drained the pasta and tossed everything all together in the pan.

The results:
kitchen sink pasta

Like I said, it was good! I really enjoyed the sauce – so nice and light. I figured calories to be approximately 500 calories for a 1/3 of a serving. Of course it is going to vary depending on what you have in your fridge. This is a great way to use up leftovers, odds and ends, have fun and be creative!