Friday Night Cooking with a NINJA

While waiting for husband to get off work I decided to spend some time in the kitchen. The meal was sort of calorie conscious but not completely.

I started off by making my favourtie Smackaroni and Cheese recipe from The Looneyspoons Collection. I cooked it just like the recipe said and then I let it sit in my Ninja a little too long as my noodles were pretty soft. Next time I think I might try adding the noodles dry and letting the cheese sauce cook them. Or just eat it a little sooner or cook the noodles a little less. It was still as delicious as always I just prefer my noodles a little more al-dente.

Smackaroni and Cheese in the Ninja Cooking System

While that was simmering (a step not called for in the recipe, again – probably why my noodles were soft) I made some hummus. Nothing special about the hummus I was just looking for a reason to try out my new Breville Control Grip immersion blender (it works awesome BTW!) I used this recipe – Hummus Without Tahini. I used cumin instead of red pepper flakes – I love spicy but wasn’t feeling it. Not really a very healthy hummus recipe but it was pretty decent. Normally I cut back on the olive oil but didn’t feel like it this time. I served my hummus with pita’s that I fried in a frying pan with a bit of olive oil and seasoning salt – again, not a very calorie conscious choice.

Garlic Hummus Without Tahini

I love cooking and trying new recipes but for the past few months I have just been so lazy. Right now I am just trying to get back in the habit of cooking at least mostly healthy recipes and blogging about it.

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?

Ninja 3 in 1 Cooking System

I got a Ninja Cooking System for Christmas. I had never even heard of one before I got it. At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep it but after reading lots of reviews online I decided it was worth trying it.

ninja 3 in 1 cooking systek
It sure does look bad ass!

I tried it today for the first time. I spent some time looking up recipes and reading the books that came with it. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a lot of recipes for it but the nice thing is you can do anything you want in it. At first I was a bit confused by it but it really is simple. It is like a crock pot but better.

I decided to cook a soup from the The Looneyspoons Collection that I have made before – The Chicken Soup that Flu the Coup. It is really similar to Chicken Soup with Humpty Dumplings from the Eat Shrink and Be Merry cookbook. It just doesn’t have the dumplings. I love these sisters. All their recipes are so good.

vegggies
VEGGIES!

cooking in the ninja

Using the Ninja was so easy and I think the soup turned out better then ever. I did make a few changes to the soup recipe – I added more veggies, used chicken breast instead of thighs, replaced the fresh tomatoes with canned, added some dried chili peppers and a hand full of mini pasta. It passed the husband test – he had a second bowl!

chicken soup that flu the coup
Chicken Soup that Flu the Coup – 153 calories & 14g protein per serving.

I think cooking it was even easier too – not that it was every hard on the stove but this just seemed easier and better. Clean up was easy too. I can’t wait to try more recipes in my Ninja!

It has been so long since I have blogged but when I opened my Ninja today I thought it was a good time to get back in the habit. The Ninja is so new I thought blogging about my experience might help and encourage others. Also it’s a new year and time to get back on the eating better train. Let’s see how long that lasts!

I can’t believe I went all of 2012 without blogging. 2012 was a crazy year! I actually lost about 40 pounds in 5 months in order to look my best for our wedding. Unfortunately since then I have gained back a few pounds. Okay, a bit more then a few pounds. But it is a new year. Back to eating healthy and cooking more. I really hope my Ninja helps me with that!

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!

Simple, Low Calorie Fettucine Alfredo

I really had a craving for fettuccine alfredo, after a lot of googling I found this recipe for Light, Low Calorie Creamy Fettuccine Afredo (with or without chicken).

300 calories for a serving of fettuccine alfredo? Unbelievable! Actually it is unbelievable, my serving was more around the 700 calorie mark, but it was a fair size serving. I only changed one thing, I fried a bit of garlic with my chicken.

The original recipe had 4 servings, I made mine into two – I like big portions. One of my biggest beef with “low calorie” recipes – they are only low calorie because the portions are so damn small!

I made the sauce from the recipe exactly the same and it came out to 153 calories for half a serving, not too bad.

Low Calorie Fettuccine Alfredo Sauce – Nutritional Information
    1/2 of recipe
        153     calories
        2.3      grams of fat
        5.3      carbohydrates
        0         grams of fiber
        13.2    grams of protein

I found that knowing the calories for the sauce separate was easier, because they I could adjust my calories accordingly. I had 1.5 servings of whole wheat fettuccine (405 calories) and approximately one small chicken breast (90 calories) and half a tablespoon of oil (60 calories). Bringing my total to 708 calories for a generous portion of fettuccine alfredo. That’s not a lot of calories for fettuccine alfredo, but it’s a lot of calories for one meal I think.

It sure looked good.

But honestly it wasn’t that fantastic. It was good, but not that good – not 700 calories good anyway. I found the sauce kinda lumpy and not that flavorful. I might make it again, but I sure wouldn’t make it often. I think next time I want fettuccine alfrado, I will just go all out.