After all of last week's Crock Pot craze, I was inspired to try out the Chocolate Lava Cake recipe, but wanted to make a reduced fat/calorie version. I switched out the eggs, oil, and whole milk for with lighter stuff and the results were great! The consistency of this dessert is delicate, with a combination of moist cake and warm, oozing pudding. It is rich in chocolate flavor so a scoop of low fat vanilla ice cream tones down each bite and adds a coolness your mouth is sure to enjoy.
I just got a request to "resend that email about the crockpot taco soup" so I thought why not share it with you all? Chicken Taco Soup is light on your wallet, waistline, and watch! Take 10 minutes prep time before work and it is ready by the time you get home! To quote my husband, "Out of a 1-10 scale, this meal is a 10." Enjoy!
I have an obsession with bread pudding, and it's no secret. Anyone who's ever dined with me and the server happened to mention "bread pudding" as a dessert option, has noticed my school girl giddy reaction to such news. It was only a matter of time before I tried make one myself (I don't pride myself as being a baker by any means). Being a bit selfish, I wanted to highlight cinnamon, one of my favorite dessert flavors as the main ingredient, hence the "Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding." A little less selfish of me, I opted not to use raisins as I would have liked to since some of the family coming over do not care for them, so I added in some chocolate chips!
Que rico! That’s all I can say about the Cuban feast we enjoyed last night. I adore getting back to my roots and chowing down on some home style Latin fare. This recipe isn’t a family heirloom (we actually don’t have one for Lechon Asado). It’s derived from the trustworthy 3 Guys from Miami one along with a little Flavor Appraiser flare. Being that I had to get this meal done on a weekday and revolve it around my work lunch break (I went home to get this sucker suckling in the oven), I didn’t get to cook the roast as long as I wanted to (a little longer and the meat would have been shreddable), but the flavor of the pork was so amazing, it didn’t matter what shape each bite was in.
My first go at Lechon Asado went over very well (just ask the guest of honor, birthday girl Vrenda) and I am proud to share it with you all. If you liked the Ropa Vieja recipe, you’ll love this other Spanish favorite. The next time I make the roast, I’m using the slow cooker (and finishing it off in the oven) so that I can put it in the pot in the morning and avoid the heart palpitations about leaving my oven on unattended. I’ll even provide the slow cooker method that I anticipate using in case anyone out there wants to give that a try!
Make sure you read the recipe all the way to the end for the bonus part of the meal!
Here’s another one for the crockpot. While I wouldn’t say that this meal is the most beautiful dish to come out of my kitchen, I can say that the outcome does a great job of mocking traditional Chicken & Dumplings at a fraction of the calories and effort. It provides you with that comfort food feel minus the post dinner remorse. What I especially like about this recipe is you don’t have to cook anything before you put it in the slowcooker- just toss in the ingredients and get on with your life.
Thick & creamy, comforting, tasty, simple, pretty.... I could go on about how great this Loaded Baked Potato Soup is. Did I mention how easy it is to make (once you get passed the potato peeling part)? Inspired by the Crockin' Girls, I decided to give this soup a shot, but of course I had to lighten it up. No butter, no cream, yet it still had a richness that made super satisfying. If I was having one of my more obsessive calorie counting moments of life, I would have taken the "lightness" a bit further and used fat free cheese and turkey bacon, but since we were having company, I opted for the reduced fat cheddar and real bacon pieces. Believe it or not, the packaged bacon pieces only have 25 calories and a couple grams of fat per tablespoon- not too bad when you consider the flavor it adds (I don't think the soup would be complete without it).
The version is much lower in fat and calories than most of the other Loaded Baked Potato Soups out there, but I promise you all of the flavor is there. It tastes even better on day two!
"Curry." This is a word I used to avoid at all costs, but as I've allowed my taste buds to develop, I have learned to appreciate curry slowly, but surely. There are several different kinds (some of which I am still trying to acquire a taste for), and for now, my own kitchen has only seen the addition of your basic curry powder. That's the key ingredient in this Chicken Curry Quinoa dish. I based my recipe off one I found online (I'd love to give credit to the original creator but umpteen websites have the same recipe listsed). Being that I've only made it once, I was more than pleased with the initial results, however, next time I might take it up a notch and use coconut milk instead of regular milk!
This is a great healthy recipe perfect for during the week when you want something light and simple- it doesn't get much easier than throwing all the ingredients into the crock pot!
This Stuffed Cabbage is another family recipe that I have liked ever since I was a kid. It's one of mom's go to recipes when she's got ground meat to use and can be one of yours too! The preparation is rather simple, especially if you want to forgo the actually stuffing part (omit the cabbage leaves comepletely and prepare at large meatballs). Once you've got it all in the crock pot, you're done until it's time to serve.
The Cuban side of me loves authentic Cuban cooking and I can be sure to find such cuisine here in South Florida, however I wanted to be able to show off my heritage in my own kitchen. After searching up and down for the perfect Ropa Vieja, I opted to use a life line- I called my mom. We talked it out and came up with one together that could be done in the slow cooker. I executed it last night and the family (including Mom) approved! Phew. Now, for those of you who aced Spanish 101, you may be thinking "rope vieja" means "old clothes." Well, you're right! There are several theories out there for the origin of its name, but my Cubana pal (Julie) tells me that in Spain they used to get a roast and cook it all week to make a broth. By the end of the week it was looking old and ragged so they would shred it and spruce it up with sauce to make it more tender, all the while resembling "old clothes." Either way, it tastes amazing and I am so glad to have a recipe for one of my favorite dishes of all time!
If you've got still got leftover turkey in the fridge, it's time to get rid of it. This is one last meal that will morph Tom into a delicious, light and healthy soup that everyone will enjoy. I raided the veggie bin, used the last of the turkey, and added in some fun star-shaped pasta to make this a complete meal. The flavors came together perfectly as is, but the soup is really a versatile concept. Toss in green beans, corn, or whatever other veggies you've got to make your own version.