Friday, October 23, 2009

Barbecue Pulled Pork

Recipe posted at mom's request. I started off with a recipe on the food network, but I changed it somewhat.

BBQ Pulled Pork Shoulder


One Pork Shoulder, 4-6 pounds

½ - one red onion

Cloves of garlic, 3-4, as desired

Ground cloves

BBQ or pork seasoning

Liquid Smoke

Barbecue sauce


Sandwich Rolls


Rub pork shoulder with the seasoning liberally.

Place it in your crock pot and sprinkle the top with ground cloves

Quarter the onion, separate the slices, and throw them in there. Add the garlic cloves, whole or crushed.

Pour some liquid smoke into there. You can add more later if you want it to taste smokier.

Fill about ½ up with water.

Cook on low for 4-6 hours or until it starts to fall apart.

Remove from pot. Pour off most of the excess water, leaving only about a cup or so. Remove the onions and garlic (if you left the cloves whole).

Using two forks, pull the pork apart. Place back in pot

Add a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce . cook on low for another hour or so, until the liquid has reduced enough. You want the mixture to be wet, but not watery, and you want it to be hot all the way through.


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Monday, October 19, 2009

My Last Class Schedule-- Ever!


Louisiana Security Devices Survey
Sales and Lease
Introduction to Intellectual Property
Hazardous Waste
Race Relations Seminar

910-1010 Security Devices
1240-140 Sales
150-250 Introduction to Intellectual Property

950-1050 Security Devices
300-500 Race Relations Seminar
500-630 Hazardous Waste

910-1010 Security Devices
1240-140 Sales
150-250 Introduction to Intellectual Property
950-1050 Security Devices
1240-140 Sales
150-250 Introduction to Intellectual Property
5-630 Hazardous Waste


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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

How to Read a Nutrition Label

It occurs to me that many people don't understand what a calorie is, what it means to consume a calorie, and where the calories are coming from in the food we eat.

So, for anyone who is interested, please read on:

**A disclaimer: I didn't major in science in college, so if I make a mistake, please point it out. but nicely. Doing the best I can here.

First thing, grab a can of food out of your pantry, or anything with a nutrition label.

After the serving size and number of servings in the package, the first thing you'll see is "Calories."
In chemistry class, you probably heard that a calorie is the amount of energy that it takes to raise one cubic centimeter of water by one degree celsius. The calories in your food are Calories, with a capital C. They're 1,000 of the little guys. Essentially, calories are energy.

When you eat food, your body uses the calories to operate. if you eat more calories than your body needs to operate in a day, the calories get stored. as fat. that's what makes you gain weight. if you eat fewer calories than your body needs in a day, you'll lose weight (but only to a certain degree. I'm certainly not advocating starving yourself to lose weight. for a number of reasons, that won't work).

Different kinds of nutrients in food contain varying amounts of calories.
One gram of fat = 9 calories
One gram of alcohol= 7 calories
One gram of Protein = 4 calories
One gram of carbohydrates = 4 calories.

So, back to the nutrition label. you can look at the nutrients and know approximately how many calories out of the whole you're getting from protein, carbohydrates, and fat.

*Note: Sugar and fiber are a part of the total carbohydrates. they aren't calculated on their own. The same is true for the various fats listed under "total fat."

Obviously, fat contains a lot more energy per gram than protein and carbohydrates. that's why most diets suggest that you limit your fat-- you're getting a lot more calories in a lot less food than you would if you ate foods high in protein and complex carbohydrates, like whole grain bread.

A final note: keep in mind that alcohol is NOT a low calorie food... in fact, as you can see, one gram of alcohol contains seven calories.

Hope this helps anyone out there who is reading and may have questions on this subject.

Additional resource:
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Banana Pudding!


1 package sugar free, fat free instant Jello pudding mix. Banana cream or vanilla, your choice.
2 cups cold skim milk
2 medium bananas
32 reduced fat vanilla wafers.
1 8 oz container cool whip free


(1) Prepare pudding.
(2) layer in a pan (or a storage container if you are lazy like me) the wafers, pudding, bananas, and cool whip in whatever order pleases you. I'd recommend a layer of wafers on the bottom, and either wafers or cool whip on the top. Go to town. have fun. Let your kids get messy with the spatula if you feel like it.
(3) Eat. Eat, Eat, Eat.

The Breakdown:

Makes 16 servings. Or 8 servings. 1/16 of this dessert contains: 80 calories, .6 grams of fat, .6 mg of cholesterol, 165 mg of sodium, 16.9 carbohydrates, 5.8 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein. So, you could easily have two servings for 160 calories, 1.2 grams of fat, 34 g. of carbohydrates, etc....

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Easy and Quick Black Bean and Corn Salsa

1 can of black beans
1.5 cups of frozen sweet corn
1 cup of chopped tomatoes
1 jalepeno, chopped
3 T cilantro
Juice of one Lime
1 t Salt
You can also add: Onions or Red Peppers. Not included in nutrition information, but it really doesn't add very many calories.

Combine ingredients and enjoy.
I like to mix the salsa with a store-bought salsa like pace, but you can enjoy it on its own too.

The Breakdown: Makes 10 servings. One serving yields: 57.3 Calories, .4 g fat, .1 g saturated fat, 47.1 mg sodium, 178 mg potassium, 11.5 g carbohydrates, 2.9 g fiber, .2 g sugar, 3.1 g protein

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Yummy & Easy Chocolate Mousse


1.5 cups skim milk
1 large package (2.1 oz) Sugar Free, Fat Free Instant Jello, Chocolate Flavor
1 8-oz container Cool Whip Free

1) Combine Skim Milk with the Jello. Allow it to set up for a moment.
2) Fold in the Cool Whip
3) Enjoy!

The Breakdown: One 4-oz (By weight) serving:79.2 Calories, 0 g. fat 1.2 mg cholesterol, 344.4 mg sodium, 15.6 g carbohydrates, 0 g sugar, 2.5 g protein.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Easy Peasy Chicken

(that even my husband loves!)

Rachel Ray's Israeli Spice Chicken:

Step one: Get some chicken. Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast. Proper portion size is about 3-4 oz. per person, but it's high in protein and low in fat so if you want more, you'll probably be okay.

Step two: Mix up the following spices. I like to mix up a biiig batch and save it for the next time I make the recipe. 1 1/2 tablespoons (1 1/2 palmfuls) sweet paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons (1 1/2 palmfuls) ground cumin
1 teaspoon (1/3 palmful) dried oregano
1 teaspoon (1/3 palmful) ground coriander
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (medium to hot in spice level)
1 1/2 teaspoons (1/2 palmful), coarse kosher salt

Step Three: get a pan. heat it up. use cooking spray to lubricate, or a little oil if you want (I don't need to add, this adds calories and fat)

Step four: Cook the chicken.

Step five: Eat the chicken.

See how easy this is? It's quite flavorful and very, very healthy. Also easy.

Serve it with whatever you like; I'm serving it with saffron rice and broccoli slaw, which is flavored with a dressing consisting of rice vinegar, mayonnaise, and spices.
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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Apologies all Around

Sorry it's been so long since I've posted. I'll forego the excuses since I don't really have any.

Here's my update-- it's a quick one, and just recipes. no pictures, sorry. Maybe I'll add some later! Publish Post

Sinless Pumpkin Mousse

**a warning: this tastes a little bit like raw pumpkin pie. that can be off-putting to people who, well, don't like raw things. I found it delicious, but my husband wasn't as big of a fan. just a heads-up.

1-2 packages (small) of jello instant fat free sugar free vanilla pudding mix. I used one, but two will make it thicker and impart a more vanilla-y flavor.

2 cups of skim milk

1 15-oz can of pumpkin. just pumpkin, not the pie filling

1 8-oz container of cool whip free. (You can use light, too-- it adds about 5 calories per 2 tbsp of cool whop.)

1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice (It doesn't sound like much, but it goes a long way. if you find it lacking in flavor, by all means, add more)


1) mix the jello and milk as per packet instructions. put in in the fridge for 3-5 minutes.
2) Add everything else. You might want the cool whip to be thawed or you'll have frozen chunks of cool whip in there.
3) enjoy!

Here's the breakdown:
Per 4-oz (by weight) serving: 67.2 calories, .4 grams of fat, 65.6 grams sodium, 12.8 g carbohydrates, 0 grams sugar, 1.6 grams fiber, 2.4 grams protein.

**Note: This is using only one box of the vanilla pudding. although using two boxes won't be that much worse, since it is after all fat free sugar free.

Texas King Ranch Casserole, Improved

12 oz (pre-cooked weight) boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and shredded or cubed.
1 can 98% fat free or healthy request cream of mushroom soup
1 cup Kraft 2% sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 can Ro-Tel Tomatoes (I am going to re-try this dish using fresh tomatoes and jalepenos. I'll let you know)
6 Corn tortillas
1 small bell pepper (about .25 cups)
half of a small yellow onion, finely chopped (note: I didn't use it here because hubby doesn't like onion)

1) Soften onion and green pepper in 1 t vegetable oil
2) Add to this chicken, soup, and Ro-Tel
3) Layer in small casserole dish tortillas, soup mixture, and cheese, ending with cheese.
4) Bake at 325 until hot and bubbly (Took me about 20 minutes)

The Breakdown: four servings, each of which has 323.5 calories, 10 grams of fat, 73.1 mg of cholesterol, 980 mg of sodium (yikes-- use healthy request if you're worried about this), 27.4 g of carbohydrates, 3.8 grams of fiber, and 29.6 grams of protein.

The content of the original King Ranch Casserole: 432 calories, 21.8 grams of fat, 11.2 grams saturated fat, 97.3 mg cholesterol, 1,110.5 mg sodium 27.9 g. carbohydrates, 3.5 grams fiber, 2.7 grams of sugar, 30.8 grams protein

What I have cut out is mostly fat and calories from fat. the original recipe called for a 1/4 cup of butter, and, of course, full fat ingredients. I find that the improved version tastes pretty good. I'm worried about the sodium, but making cream of mushroom soup on my own with less salt seems... well, honestly, way too much work! and the healthy request version... I just don't care for.

Hope you enjoy the recipes!
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