Monday, November 12, 2012

As Sweet As A Potato

Last Christmas, my mother gifted me a crock pot. Last Christmas, my mother gave me a life-changing gift.

Okay, so maybe not so drastic as “life-changing”, but it can be the lazy girl’s best friend to a hearty and healthy dinner.

And what is better in the fall than sweet potatoes? This cousin to the yam is packed with vitamin A, potassium and fiber. Plus they’re delicious. They’re subtly sweet taste goes with everything from savory dishes, like my adapted Crock Pot Sweet Potato Chicken Drumsticks, to Grandma’s traditional sweet potato pie. Their bright orange color inside color adds an eye catching vibrancy that makes you almost just want to look at your meal instead of divulge in it…almost.

I originally found a Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew recipe on and added my own twist.

Crock Pot Sweet Potato Chicken Drumsticks

Servings: 6 (1 chicken drumstick and 1 cup sweet potatoes)
Calories: 249, Fat: 3.3 g, Sat. Fat: 0.8 g, Carb: 33 g, Protein: 14.5 g, Fiber: 5 g, Sodium: 519 g, Potassium: 777.5 g

5 – 6 skinless chicken drumsticks
2 lb sweet potatoes, cubed
½ lb white button mushrooms, sliced
4 shallots, halved
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dry white wine or white cooking wine (found next to the vinegar in the grocery store)
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary or ½ tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 ½ Tbsp white wine vinegar

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours, 15 minutes

1.      Place cubed sweet potatoes, sliced mushrooms, halved shallots, minced garlic into the crockpot.
2.      Bury drumsticks into the ingredients already in the crockpot.
3.      Season with rosemary, salt and pepper. Add dry white wine and white wine vinegar. Carefully stir to combine all ingredients.
4.      Put lid on and cook on low for the next 4 hours. Do not lift to stir.
5.      After 4 hours, check temperature of chicken (should be 165 degrees for at least 15 seconds) and sweet potato chunks should be tender. 

Serve this on a busy yet cool fall or winter day. It’ll warm you up right away! 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Now With Nutrition Facts!

All of the recipes I post from here on out will include serving sizes and nutrition facts! These are not nutrition facts that I have taken from other sources, but nutrition facts that I have analyzed myself. I will include at least one extra nutrient a dish is high in for a little extra bonus. Be happy, be healthy!

It's Not Bad To Be A Little Cheesy

If you like something, make it in large quantities, but only if you know you'll eat it all. With this dish, you'll be licking the bottom of the pan.

Pizza Hut used to or still does (I haven't checked) makes a dish similar to a cheap, cheesy, meaty, unhealthy lasagna. One night I found myself craving it because who doesn't love carb filling, greasy, cheesy pasta?

I found myself with a new make this dish, but make this dish healthier. I think I have found a solution. Inspired by a recipe called Bakey Cheesy Pasta from, I put my own twist on it and here is what satisfying dish I have deliciously made to share.

Caution: This recipe does contain meat. I'm currently deciding what filling vegetable to replace the meat.

Cheesy Lasagna Impostor 

Servings: 8
Calories: 301, Fat: 15.5 g, Sat. Fat: 6.5 g, Carb: 16 g, Protein: 24.5 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sodium: 167 g, Calcium 233.5 mg

1 box (13.25 oz) whole grain penne
1 chopped green pepper
1/2 chopped lg yellow onion
Olive oil
1 lb ground turkey
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp garlic powder
1 package (8 oz) shredded low-fat mozzarella

Prep Time: 20 minutes (including pasta cooking time)
Bake Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: about 35 minutes

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Make pasta per box instructions.

3. While waiting for water to boil and pasta to cook, sautee green pepper and onion in a little bit of olive oil with 1 tsp each of dried basil, dried oregano and garlic powder. Sautee until onions are translucent and reduce heat until pasta is finished.

4. In a separate pan, start to brown ground turkey. While ground turkey is in the pan, season with 1 tsp of dried basil, dried oregano and garlic powder. Cook until full browned. Time browning the meat with the end of the pasta cooking to reduce sitting time. Start browning about half way 1/4 to almost 1/2 cooking time of pasta.

5. Drain pasta in colander.

6. In a 13 x 9 dish, carefully combine turkey, green pepper and onions and pasta. Stir in pasta sauce until it completely covers the dish from bottom to top. Sprinkle 2 cups of mozzarella cheese on top. Bake for 15 minutes.

7. Remove from the oven. Let rest for a couple of minutes before serving.

Store leftovers for a couple days. Serve with bread or side of steamed vegetables.