I’ve finally gotten off my lazy duff to write another entry. I always have the best intentions; I come to the wordpress page, I look at the new post tab, I start thinking about what to write and then next thing I know my mind has wondered off so far that it’s hours later and usually time for bed. My hat is off to people who post regularly! Now, onto business and recipes!

Grown Up Slowcooker Mac and Cheese (adapted from Kelly’s adaptation of Paula Deen’s deliciousness)

1 cup fat-free milk
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can campbell’s Cheddar cheese soup
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups reduced fat grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1 16-oz. box elbow macaroni
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 sweet yellow onion
1.5 cups of mushrooms
1/2-1 chicken breast per serving

1. Boil macaroni in a 2 quart saucepan in plenty of water until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain. (Don’t forget to salt the water before adding Mac!)
2. In a medium saucepan, mix butter and cheese. Stir until cheese melts. I waited until cheese was nice and bubbly and the kitchen smelled like a grilled cheese!
3. In a slow cooker sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, combine cheese/butter mixture and add sour cream, soup, salt, milk, mustard and pepper and stir well.
4. Add in your beaten eggs. Then add drained macaroni and stir again. Set the slow cooker on low setting and cook for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
5. When there’s about 40 minutes left, saute your onions and mushrooms using olive oil for about five minutes (until tender/cooked – onions should be moderately translucent). Mix the veggies into the slowcooker with mac and cheese.
6. When ready to serve, grill (we use a foreman) a chicken breast. Cut into strips (or diced, whichever you prefer) and toss with the mac
mixture. Enjoy!

Nutritionals: This makes ten “servings” with half a chicken breast each. 472
calories per servings, 15g fat, 41g protein.

I get it, not the HEALTHIEST thing ever, but if  you serve it with a huge salad and a nicely seasoned half chicken breast  it makes a hearty dinner! Or, if you’re opposed to having a dinner that high in cals: (a) cut the serving size in half, nix the chicken and use as a side to something light, or (b) reduce serving size by 1/3 to 1/2, keep chicken, and serve with a salad and fruit for a filling lunch!

What’d we think? Hubs declared this to be delicious. We love all things Paula Deen so this was a clear winner. It was nice to see that the recipe still tasted good even with modifications to make it “healthier.” (Paula’s recipe uses full fat everything!) Sometimes recipes don’t turn out quite right when you sub in reduced fat versions – the opposite was true in this case!

Squash Lasagna (inspired by Kelly and Meghann‘s lasagna recipes)

1 lb 99% lean ground turkey
4 medium sized yellow squash
1-2 cups of baby spinach
1 sweet onion
1-2 cups of sliced mushrooms
Large jar of tomato sauce, any “flavor”
Clove of garlic, minced
2 – 4 tbsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
400 grams reduced-free ricotta cheese
1 egg
2 tbsp light parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups light mozzarella cheese, shredded

1. Cook turkey in a medium pan over medium-high heat until meat is no longer pink. Remove meat to a medium bowl and set aside. 
2. Saute your onions, garlic, and mushrooms in olive oil for 5-7 minutes (until onions start to become translucent). (Tip: Add your garlic last, with about 2 minutes left. This keeps the flavor from overpowering the mushrooms and onions. Garlic also takes less time to cook!)
3. While your veggies are being sauted, mix together ricotta, egg, basil, oregano, 1/2 cup mozzarella, 1 tbsp of parmesean, and salt and pepper. This is your cheesey filling for in between layers.
4. Once your veggies have cooked, mix them into the bowl with the ground turkey and set aside.
5. Using a mandoline (or serious knife skills!) thinly and uniformly slice up your squash. Our slices were 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick.
6. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick spray and prepare to start the layering process!
7. Pour enough tomato sauce into your baking dish to cover the bottom of the dish. Don’t make it too deep! Then, put down a layer of squash. Pieces don’t need to overlap, just get them close together. Apply a schmear of your ricotta mixture to the squash. Add a layer of your veggie and group turkey mix and finally, top this all off with a layer of baby spinach leaves.
8. Repeat the layers: tomato sauce, squash, cheese schmear, veggies/turkey, spinach.
9. Cover with a final layer of squash and tomato sauce. Then, top lasagna with 1 cup mozzarella and 1 tbsp of parmesean (or, to taste).
10. Cover lasagna with tinfoil and cook covered in a 375 degree oven for half an hour. Then, remove the tinfoil and cook for another 15 minutes, uncovered. Cheese should be bubbly and delicious looking when done. (Kelly’s pro-tip: spray your tinfoil with non-stick spray so your cheesy deliciousness doesn’t stick to the tinfoil.)

Nutritionals: Makes 8 servings; 285 cals, 9.7g fat, and 31.6g protein.

What’d we think?: I love it! So many flavors and I love that it still feels like I’m eating lasagna even though the noodles aren’t there. To be honest, I didn’t miss the noodles at all – I really like the added texture that squash brings. Hubs has been found rustling around in the fridge for more several times since it was made. Also, this reheats wonderfully even if it doesn’t look quite as pretty.

Blogging pros: I need picture help! I started a picasa site to load pictures into so I could post them here. However, wordpress says it’s not working! How do you load pictures to your blog??

Time for breakfast round two, some more work, and then a “lunch break workout” courtesy of my ability to work at home today! Happy Pre-Friday Folks!

1 Comment

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One response to “Sharing

  1. Yay!! So glad you made a variation of the mac and cheese – we just loved it. I like your ideas of adding mushroom and onions – and especially chicken. Clever girl!

    I have blogspot so I upload through the site. 😦

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