Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Reviews and Recipes

As promised... (yes, I know it was well over a week ago...)  But here they are.  We got a lot, so get comfy.

Up first..   My version of chicken salad.   A few weeks back, a co-worker, Marcy brought this amazing chicken salad she found at Sam's.  It was sweet, and chunky, and super-fab.  I decided I could re-create this.  Sho nuff...  here ya go.

Here's what you need:
1 can Tyson Canned chicken breast (mostly because it's just easier)
4 tbsp of Kraft Poppyseed dressing
8 tbsp of Fresh Gourmet Cranberries and Walnuts (if you dont like nuts, just go with the cranberries)
1 small/medium Granny Smith apple (not pictured)

It made 4, 1 cup servings and came out to 208 calories, 18 carbs and 20 grams of protein per cup.   I ate mine with Kashi Asiago crackers.  YUM!

Let's move onto product reviews...

If you've followed by blog for awhile, you know I LOVE my salads.   As mentioned before Bolthouse Farms Yogurt dressings are my ABSOLUTE favorite!!  They come in a variety of flavors and ranch from 45 to 80 calories per serving, depending on the dressing you choose.   Locally, they can be found at Schnuck's and Dierbergs.  Each location has different selections of course, and they're located in the refrigerated section with the bagged salads.  They're normally around $3.99 each, which is more than I typically care to spend on salad dressings, but take my word for it, they're worth it!  Check the date though!!!  Some of them expire quickly... I'm guessing it's because of the "yogurt" in them. 

from left to right - Thousand Island, Chunky Bleu Cheese, Classic Ranch, Ceasar Parmesan, Honey Dijon,
 Classic Coleslaw 

My favorites are...

Bolthouse Farms Yogurt Ranch - 70 calories per 2 tbsp
Bolthouse Farms Balsamic Vinagarette - 45 calories per 2 tbsp
Botlhouse Farms Ceasar Parmesan - 70 calories per 2 tbsp
Bolthouse Farms Honey Dijon - 45 calories per 2 tbsp (EXCELLENT on grilled chicken breast topped with melted swiss)

and my 2 new favorites that I just found at Dierberg's (Thanks Pam for the heads up)

Bolthouse Salsa Ranch - 45 calories per 2 tbsp
Botlhouse Zesty French - 45 calories per 2 tbsp

Next up...  Marshmallows!!!! 

I usually hate marshmallows.  It's the texture that gets me.  BUT - I found these at Dierberg's and they were $1.  So why not right???   They came in all types of flavors.  I saw Chocolate Mint, German Chocolate, Coconut, and they were out of the Pumpkin Spice, so I opted for the Cinnamon Bun flavor.  My first thought was, "what the hell am I going to do with marshmallows??".  Then it hit me.. I'm a sucker for coffee creamer, so why not add it to my coffee for wayyyyyy less calories??   BINGO!

You can have 17 of these little gems for 100 calories!!! They're a pretty good size so I only added 4 (24 calories) to my coffee with 1 tbsp of Sugar Free Vanilla Coffeemate.  It was delish!  

I wish they would've had the Pumpkin Spice because how good would that be topped on some warm sweet potatoes!!!??? 

I think that's all I have for new stuff.   Let's move to Thanksgiving sides!   My favorite food ever... Macaroni and Cheese!!!   I'm making 2 versions this year.  My normal crock pot mac and cheese (recipe below), and a pumpkin mac and cheese.   I found this Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese recipe in the October Better Homes and Gardens magazine.  I love all things pumpkin, and let's be honest here, EVERYTHING is better with cheese, so why not give it a go!?   I'll report next week how good it is. LOL

In addition to the mac and cheeses, I'm making 2 cheesecakes, one pumpkin cranberry and one chocolate chip, and Hawaiian Bread Stuffing.

I love Thanksgiving!!!  But, let's keep it in check people!!  Take your measuring cups, your food scales, use smaller plates, whatever the hell you gotta do NOT to go crazy!  Stick to the white meat, no skin, skip the gravy... opt for either mashed potatoes OR stuffing, or just have smaller servings of both.  Stick to ONE plate and have dessert... no seconds.  These are all great ideas, yeah???  Let's see if I can take my own advice. LOL doubtful!  

Either way...   HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you and yours!!  As always, thanks for reading! 

Hawaiian bread stuffing

2 cups chicken broth
1 cup craisins
1/4 cup I Cant Believe It's Not Butter Light
1 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery, or 2 stalks
2 Granny Smith apples, cored and finely chopped
3 large eggs
1 (10.75-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
8-10 Hawaiian rolls, cubed and toasted Salt and pepper to taste


*Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish.
*In a small bowl, combine chicken broth and cranberries; let soak for 30 minutes.
*In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, pepper and celery; cook for 5 minutes stirring frequently or until tender. Add apples and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

*Remove from heat and place in a large bowl.
*Beat 3 eggs in a separate bowl. Add salt and pepper. Set aside.
*In the large bowl with vegetables, stir in chicken broth mixture, mushroom soup, and nutmeg. Add toasted bread, stirring gently to combine. Add eggs. Spoon mixture into prepared dish and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until center is set.

12 (1 cup) servings.
227 calories per serving, 38 carbs, and 6 grams of protein

Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese

1 pound (2 cups) elbow macaroni or shells (or any other pasta of your choice - I prefer fusilli, or spiral pasta, it tends to hold sauces/cheeses better)
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
24 oz (2 cans) evaporated milk
3 cups heavy cream (or milk, but if I’m doing mac and cheese, I’m going all in with the cream)
4 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste


*Coat the inside of the slow cooker with cooking spray

*In a large bowl, beat eggs with cream and evaporated milks.  Mix in the uncooked macaroni and 4 cups of the shredded cheese mixture.  Transfer to slow cooker, and sprinkle remaining cheese on top.

*cook on low for 5-6 hours.  Do not stir or remove lid while cooking.

15 (1 cup) servings
555 calories per serving, 30 carbs, 20 grams of protein


  1. I'll have to try out those dressings Jac! The zesty salsa sounds good! :)

    Please give a review on the pumpkin mac n cheese. It sounds like a science experiment, no offense, but I'm sure it's good comfort food!

  2. I <3 you! Everything is better with cheese :)Hawaiian bread is my downfall this time of year!

  3. Love the recipes and am gonna definitely try the chicken salad. The dressings seem a great choice with the nutrition and will look to see if I can find some. Love the turkey picture....Have a great holiday.