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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Easy Oven Beef Bourguignon

Difficulty:  EASY EASY
Servings:  8 generous
Nutrition Information
Calories 365; Protein 42g; Carbohydrates 31g
Fat < 2g.  Fiber 5g

About This Recipe

The basis for this recipe comes from the cookbook "Frieda's Favorite Recipes".  The book was written by Frieda Guilbault, a Copper Country native, who not only was a great cook, but evidently knew a thing or two about healthy living and longevity--she died at the tender age of 100-1/2.  Frieda loved meeting new people and learning new things and still entertained with her wonderful cooking and superb hospitality--cocktails before dinner, a beautiful table and always a delicious dinner.

Her cookbook is still in print, and if you are interested in ordering a copy, you can email Frieda's son and daughter in-law, Rod and Deb Guilbault at  It's a nice collection of unique tried and true recipes, many of which have their origins in diverse ethnic groups--Cornish Pasties, French Tourtiere, Croation Povatica, and so on.

In her book, Frieda credits a woman named Sophie Ferries (mother of Olympic skiers Chuck and Barbara) for this recipe.  In my anabolic version, I have kicked up the flavor, antioxidants, and longevity ingredients by adding garlic, more herbs, more red wine (i.e. more resveratrol), replaced the sugar with organic honey, and added button mushrooms (a natural aromatase inhibitor).   This is an EASY EASY version of this all-time Bistro favorite.  It could also be made in your slow cooker--just put all the ingredients in at one time, and set it to low for the entire work day.


  • 2 Pounds Beef Steak cut into 1 inch cubes (I used top round steak)
  • 4-6 Carrots cut on the bias into 1-1/2 inch pieces
  • 3 Medium Onions (quartered).  You can also use Pearl Onions (check frozen food section)
  • 3 Stalks Celery cut on the bias into 1 inch pieces.
  • 2 Large Cloves Garlic (pressed)
  • 8 Ounces Button Mushrooms quartered
  • 1-3/4 Pounds Baby Redskin or other small potatoes (scrubbed--Do not peel) then Quartered
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried Thyme (crumbled)
  • 1 teaspoon dried Basil (crumbled)
  • 1 teaspoon dried Rosemary (crumbled)
    (If you substitute FRESH herbs, use 1 Tablespoon of each)
  • 2 dried Bay Leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon Raw or Organic Honey
  • 1 Cup of Dry Red Wine (such as Cabernet)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Can Condensed Beef Consomme Soup (undiluted)
  • 3-4 Tablespoons Instant Tapioca

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Into a large oven-safe dutch oven or casserole dish, place all ingredients except for potatoes, mushrooms, and wine.  Stir to thoroughly combine.  Bake for 2 hours.
  3. Add potatoes, mushrooms, wine, and stir.  Bake an additional 1-1/2 hours until potatoes and beef are tender.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Pannukakku (Finnish Pancake)--Kicked up Anabolic Version

Difficulty:  EASY
Servings: 6
Nutrition Information
Calories:  314
Carbohydrates 27g; Protein 24g.
Fat:  Saturated 7g; Polyunsaturated 1g; Monosaturated 4g

Hyvää Heikinpäivä!

In honor of Heikinpäivä (Saint Henrik’s Day), I have chosen to upload a kicked up anabolic version of Panukakku (A custard-like Finnish pancake). Even Paavo Nurmi (the most famous Finnish athlete) would have approved this version! St. Henrik is the patron saint of Finland, and St. Henrik's Day (Heikinpäivä) is the day that marks the halfway point of the winter. At this time farmers checked to make sure that their stock of hay, grains and other commodities were only half gone as to sustain them for the rest of the winter.

On this day, as well as most other Finnish name days, there are some folk sayings associated with Heikinpäivä. Three that are still rather popular and they are: Karhu kaantaa kylkea (The bear rolls over to the other side, meaning winter is half over), Talven selka taittuu (Winter's back breaks), and Heikki heinaa jakaa (Heikki divides the hay). In our small town of Hancock, Michigan, with its close ties to our sister city, Porvoo, Finland; and with Finlandia University in the epicenter of the city; Heikinpäivä is celebrated with vim and vigor. A parade, dancing, an artisan market (Tori), Finnish crafts, a wife-carrying contest, and the ever popular “Polar Dive” into the icy waters of Portage Lake are annual traditions. Check out these images of some of last year's Heikinpäivä Celebration.

About this Recipe

This is about as close to a perfect balance of protein, carboyhdrates and fat as you can get in one meal--pretty close to the 40/40/20 ratio described on the General Nutrition Page.  We pair this up with an anti-oxidant packed sugar-free blueberry sauce (recipe follows).  Of all the fruits, Blueberries are the most antioxidant-rich of all.  Pannukakku with blueberry sauce makes a great breakfast, and works quite well as an anabolic dessert.  Leftovers will keep 4-5 days in the refrigerator--nuke it for 45 seconds to reheat.


  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup Honey (Use organic or raw honey to get the most health benefit)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2.5 Cups Skim Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Unbleached Flour
  • 3 Scoops Vanilla or Unflavored Whey Protein Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) Butter


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Select a HEAVY oven-safe 12 inch frying pan (I like cast iron) and preheat it in the oven as well.
  2. When the oven and frying pan are preheated, place the butter into the hot frying pan. Gently rotate the frying pan to coat it evenly with the melted butter.
  3. Place all the remaining ingredients into a blender or mixing bowl.
  4. Pour all of the excess melted butter from the frying pan into the batter mixture and process or whisk until the dry and wet ingredients are fully incorprated--DO NOT OVER BLEND. You don't want this mixture to be foamy.
  5. Pour the batter into your prepared frying pan and bake for about 25 minutes. The pancake should be nice and puffy with raised edges that are golden brown. A knife inserted into the center of the pancake should come out clean. Meanwhile, make the blueberry sauce.
  6. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving. Cut into 6 wedges. Note:  The pannukakku will fall in the middle as it rests--This is the way it is supposed to be.

Blueberry Sauce--The Finns call it Marja Vellia (Berry Soup)

  • 1 Cup Frozen (or fresh) Blueberries
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 2 to 3 packets of your favorite artificial sweetener (I prefer all-natural stevia)
  • 2 teaspoons Cornstarch + 1 Tablespoon water


  1. Combine blueberries, 1/4 cup water, and the artificial sweetener in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Combine the cornstarch with 1 Tablespoon of cold water and whisk into the hot berry mixture until the sauce is slightly thickened.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Stuffed Matzoh Ball Soup--Best this side of New Jersey

Difficulty:  Moderate
Servings:  12
Nutrition Information
Coming soon.
Here it is. . .As I promised, a tribute to the Kosher body builders--My stuffed matzoh ball soup.  Enjoy!


  • 1 Box (2 packets) Matzoh Ball Mix (I like Manischewitz) Get it Delivered Right to your Door from Amazon:  MANISCHEWITZ Matzo Ball Mix, 5-Ounce Boxes
  • 12 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock
  • 3 Medium Carrots Sliced on the Bias (optional)
  • 2 Stalks Celery Sliced on the Bias (optional)
  • 4 Green Onions Finely Minced and a few sprigs Parsley Minced (for garnish)

For Stuffing

  • 1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Onion
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Celery
  • 1 Large Clove Garlic (pressed)
  • 1/3 Cup Minced Fresh Parsley
  • 3/4 Cup Diced Cooked Chicken
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dried Rubbed Sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon Freshly Grated Black Pepper


  1. Mix BOTH PACKETS of the Matzoh Ball Mix according to package directions and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Saute garlic, onion and celery in oil until softened (3-4 mins).
  3. Into a food processor fitted with the knife blade, process sauteed mixture along with remaining stuffing ingredients until the mixture resembles a coarse paste.
  4. Working with oiled or wet hands, form matzoh mixture into 12 balls.  You can make them half the size for a more elegeant presentation, but it's twice the work.  Hollow out the balls with your finger, fill with 1/12 of the stuffing and reform ball.
  5. Poach the matzoh balls in boiling water (I prefer unsalted water, as I find the Manischewitz mix to be a little salty) for about 20 minutes in a covered stock pot.  Water should be boiling, but not so vigorously that it demolishes the matzoh balls.  Matzoh balls will come to the surface, then sink again.  When that happens, they're done.
  6. Remove matzoh balls with slotted spoon.  Poached matzoh balls can be refrigerated for up to one day.

Just Before Serving

  1. If previously refrigerated, rewarm matzoh balls in a covered casserole dish either in the microwave or conventional oven.
  2. Bring chicken stock to a rolling boil.  Add the carrot and celery if desired and boil about 5-6 minutes until the vegetables are crisp tender.
  3. Place 1 matzoh ball in each bowl, add 1/2 teaspoon or so of the minced green onion, ladle in the boiling chicken stock over the matzoh ball, and garnish with some minced parsley.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Kosher Diet Challenges

I was talking with my colleague, Jon, today at the office. Being a bodybuilder, he mentioned that it can sometimes be a challenge getting enough protein when you adhere a Kosher diet.   For all of us goyim that have never even thought about this, let alone abide by it, here are the two big rules for Kosher dining:

  • Rule number 1:  You cannot combine meat products (except for fish) with dairy products. And eggs are considered meat. Moreover, you may not eat meat and dairy products at the same time. There goes combining eggs or meat with whey protein powder! There goes creme brulee and any custard-type desserts. There goes the chicken enchiladas. And forget putting Parmesan cheese on your favorite Italian-style chicken and pasta.
  • Rule number 2:  There are a couple of NO-NOs.  No pork products.  There goes my favorite ECONOMICAL protein source!   No shellfish either--no shrimp, no scallops, no lobster, no crustaceans! 
The more I thought about Jon's challenge, the more I realized that it may not be such a big challenge after all.  So you don't pair the garlic and herb roasted chicken with the garlic-smashed redskins.  So what?  Pair it with some brown rice pilaf cooked in chicken stock, and maybe sweet potatoes (hold the butter, and instead drizzle with some EVOO).  Round it off with some broccoli sauteed in garlic and EVOO and you have a complete balanced meal.  My conclusion is that a Kosher diet is not that big of a deal.  It's just that you have to be a little more creative in designing the menu.  A Bi Gazunt my mensch, you can eat meat!  Things could be worse, you could be a vegetarian.

In honor of Jon and all the other bodybuilders that adhere to a Kosher diet, tomorrow I'll post my recipe for "Oy Gevalt, I can't believe he's not Jewish, Stuffed Matzoh Ball Soup".  Trust me, it's the best this side of New Jersey!

Garlic and Herb Roasted Chicken

Difficulty: EASY
Servings: 4

Nutrition Information:
Calories: 324
Fat:  12g.
Carbohydrates: <1g.
Protein: 42g.

A Great Sunday Dinner

This Sunday we herb-roasted a couple of whole chickens, accompanied by a recipe of garlic smashed rosemary-scented redskins, steamed broccoli, and Shirley's homemade stuffing.  I made gravy from the rendered pan drippings which worked nicely over the garlic-smashed redskins.  Talk about an easy, healthy Sunday meal brimming with flavor!

About This Recipe

The essential oils of the herbs in this recipe, especially oregano, basil, sage and thyme, contain high amounts of antioxidants. In fact, oregano has more than 42 times the antioxidant activity as apples, 30 times more than potatoes, and 12 times more than oranges. These herbs have many other healthy properties as well. Thyme, for example, contains high amounts of rosmarinic and ursolic acids which have cancer-protective effects. These herbs also possess many other health properties--google them.


  • 1 Whole Chicken (3-4 lbs)--washed and patted dry
  • 4 Cloves Garlic (divided)
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Fresh-Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of ground sage, dried basil, thyme, oregano, and marjoram (crush these herbs together in a mortar and pestle to release more essential oils)


  1. Place the chicken breast side up in a shallow roasting pan.
  2. Smash three cloves of garlic with the broad side of a chef's knife and vigorously rub the garlic all over the outside of the chicken. Place the garlic pieces and the two bay leaves into the cavity of the chicken.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine the olive oil, remaining garlic clove (pressed or minced), salt, pepper, and the remaining herbs. Warm the garlic and herb infused oil over medium heat until the garlic begins to sizzle and release its essence.
  4. Spoon about 1/3 of the herbed oil mixture into the cavity of the chicken and roll it around to evenly coat the interior of the cavity.
  5. Brush the remaining herbed oil mixture all over the chicken. Allow the chicken to sit for a bit to allow the flavors to begin penetrating, and allow the bird to come to room temperature before roasting.
  6. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  7. Roast chicken for 15 minutes at 450 degrees F. Then lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F. and continue roasting for 1 hour longer, basting 2 or 3 times during the hour.
  8. Allow chicken to rest under a tent of foil for 15 minutes before carving.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Almond and Anise Biscotti (Authentic Version)

Authentic Almond Anise Biscotti
Difficulty:  Moderate
Yield:  64 Serving Size:  2 biscotti
Nutrition Information
Calroies:  192; Sat Fat 4g; Polyunsat: 0.7g; monosat: 3g.
Carbohydrates 27g; Protein 3g

The Authentic Almond and Anise Biscotti were a hit at the Italian Party last night at The Miscowaubik Club. Just before they were served (with our gelato), I taught everyone how to say the word and eat biscotti like a real Italian--by dunking them in your wine. It's something about the alcohol in the wine that brings out the essential oils of the anise and almond more so than with coffee or tea. Dunk them in whatever you like, just don't say "Bis SCOTTY"!

I started working on a sugar-free, high protein anabolic version of these as well.  I need to do a little more experimenting to get the texture and sweetness just right.  These will have half the calories, 1/3 of the carbs, and double the protein of the authentic recipe.

This recipe uses two silicone baking sheets. I prefer the original DeMarle Silpat over other brands. If you do any amount of baking, these are great. They provide a non-stick insulated surface to your baking pan, preventing sticking and burning at the same time. They're washable and last for years.

You can get them at Amazon for a good price and free shipping:


  • 2 Tablespoons Anise Seed (pulverized in a small food or coffee grinder)
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 1 Cup (2 Sticks) Butter, softened
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 1/3 Cup Brandy
  • 1.5 teaspoons Pure Anise Extract (get a good brand--Dollar Store Anise is weak)
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 4.5 Cups Unbleached All Purpose Flour
  • 4 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Cup Slivered Blanched Almonds (toasted and coarsely ground)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two heavy baking sheets with silicone baking mats.
  2. Pulverize the anise seed in a small food grinder or coffee grinder.  This releases more essential oil from the seeds.
  3. Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder and set it aside.
  4. Combine the brandy, anise, and vanilla and set it aside.
  5. Using your heavy duty mixer (with paddle attachment) cream butter, pulverized anise seed, and sugar.
  6. With the mixer running, add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
  7. Gradually add dry ingredients and the brandy mixture ALTERNATING 1/4 of each at a time, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Add the coarsely-ground almonds and mix until just combined.  You will have soft and somewhat sticky dough.
  8. Drop the dough by spoonfuls onto your LINED baking sheets, forming two narrow strips on each baking sheet.  Working with wet hands, form the soft dough into four narrow logs.  The logs will spread and widen during baking.
  9. Bake for 28-30 minutes, and unless you have a convection oven, rotate the pans every 10 minutes for even browning.
  10. Cool logs to room temperature, and reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
  11. Using a very sharp knife, carefully slice the logs on diagonal into 1/2"to 3/4" slices.
  12. Lay the sliced biscotti on the lined cookie sheets and toast in the oven for about 40 minutes, turning once after 20 minutes, until biscotti are crisp-tender and golden brown.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Coming This Weekend. . .

The weekend is almost here!  Work gets in the way of cooking and blogging sometimes. . .But you'll want to check back later this weekend for a couple of new anabolic recipes.

Also, I want to hear some feedback from you. If you've made something (and I know many of you have because you've told me so), write a comment or two at the end of the post. . .Or send an email to I'd like to hear from you, hear about what you've made, and how it turned out.

If I can get some fresh Lake Superior trout from Peterson's fish market on Friday, I'm going to prepare some trout that's over the top---Over the top and brimming with flavor, yes!  But also over the top in terms of cancer-fighting and cardio-healthy herbs, seasonings, and Omega-3 fats. If you don't like fish (good, more for us! lol), you might want to try this recipe with no fishy taste.

I got suckered into making some authentic almond-anise biscotti for an Italian party on Saturday, so watch for both the authentic and my anabolic, sugar-free version here as well. By the way, it REALLY bugs me when people mis-pronounce "Biscotti". They are not "bis SCOTTY"! The correct pronunciation is "bees KOAH tee". . .C'mon people, say it like the Romans.

Sunday we'll plan a kickazz family dinner--Not sure what yet, but check back Sunday night to see what we fixed.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Body Builders' High Protein Homemade Fettuccine

Difficulty:  Medium (worth the effort)
Servings:  6
Nutrition Information
Calories:  335; Protein 26g; Carbohydrates 25g
Sat Fat 1.8g; Monosaturated 2g; Polyunsaturated 1g; Fiber: 2.3g

About this Recipe

My grandmother Vincenza used to make these homemade noodles by hand at least once a week.  She would pile the flour onto the kitchen counter, and make a well in the center of the flour mound.  Into that well, she'd put the eggs and oil and start beating the eggs with her hands, gradually working in the flour a little at a time. . .then knead the dough into a silky ball which was as smooth and silky as a baby's butt.

Today we have heavy duty mixers that make her all afternoon task a breeze. Her original recipe called for 3 to 3.5 cups of unbleached flour.  To kick up the protein and reduce the carbohydrates, this recipe replaces 2/3 of the flour with a combination of UNFLAVORED whey protein powder (which has a very slight nutty taste) and chickpea flour.  These homemade noodles have about half the carbs and 4 times the protein of conventional store bought pasta. All that aside, NOTHING compares to the taste and texture of these egg noodles.  If you make them with all unbleached flour (instead of the chickpea flour/protein powder/unbleached flour combination) you'll have my grandmother's authentic recipe. . .but with double the carbs and much less protein of course.  However you make them, be sure to use unbleached flour rather than bleached, as it makes the dough much more silky and elastic, so it will stretch much easier.

Can't find unflavored protein powder?  I use THIS ONE from  Use referral code KOQ452 when you check out and you'll get $5 off your first order.


  • 1 Cup Chickpea Flour (also called Besan or Gram--not graham flour)
  • 1-1/4 Cups UNFLAVORED Whey Protein Powder
  • 1 Cup All Purpose UNBLEACHED Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 5 Large Eggs
  • 4 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided)

Step By Step Picture Directions (click images to enlarge)

1.  Mix dry ingredients together in the bowl of your heavy duty mixer.  Make a well in the center of the flour, and add the eggs and 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil.

2.  Using your electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix and knead on medium-low speed until a soft, silky, and slightly sticky dough is formed.  The dough should be very smooth.  If dough is too dry, add up to 1/4 cup water a tablespoon or two at a time.  If dough is too wet, add a bit more unbleached flour a tablespoon at a time.

3.  Coat a clean small mixing bowl with remaining 2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Turn the dough a couple of times into the oiled bowl to evenly coat the dough with olive oil.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow dough to rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or longer. Resting the dough is very important and will make the dough much easier to work with.

4.  Once the dough has rested, generously flour a large work surface with a mixture of 50% chickpea flour and 50% unbleached flour.  Using a rolling pin, roll and stretch the dough to approximately a 30x30 rough rectangle.  Don't worry if it's not perfectly shaped or has a small hole or two. Generously dust the dough with more flour as you stretch and roll the dough.  Allow the dough to dry slightly, approximately 30 minutes +/-.  Drying time will vary with humidity conditions.  The dough should be pliable and dry enough not to stick to itself when folded, but not so dry that it becomes brittle and breaks at the folds.

5.  Working from two sides, fold the dough over onto itself in 2-3 inch folds, dusting each fold with flour.  Keep folding like a business letter until you have a 3-4 inch wide layered strip.

6.  Slice the strip into fettuccine sized ribbons and unfold them a few at a time.  Set on a floured surface to dry a bit more.

7.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil.  Drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook for 5-7 minutes for al-dente.  Serve with your favorite pasta sauce.  Uncooked noodles will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week and can be frozen for up to a month.  When boiling frozen noodles, do not thaw them--just throw the frozen noodles into the boiling salted water.

Creamy Salmon Spread

Difficulty:  EASY
Yield: 9 1/3 cup servings – Keeps in refrigerator for 1 week

Nutrition Information
Calories: 138
Protein 14g; Carbohydrates 1.7g;
Saturated Fat 4g; Monosaturated Fat 3.7g

About This Recipe

Loaded with protein, nutrients, antioxidants, and flavor, this easy to prepare recipe is great made into a sandwich with lettuce and tomato or served as a paté with rye or multigrain crostini.  However you like it, salmon is rich in calcium, niacin, phosphorous, selenium, and vitamins B6 and B12.


  • 1 (8 oz.) pkg. Light Cream Cheese (Neufchatel), softened
  • ¼ C. Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon Prepared Horseradish
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon
  • 1 Small Red Onion (finely diced)
  • ½ of a 1 oz. package FRESH dill weed, finely minced
  • 1 Lb. Leftover Grilled salmon or one 14-¾ oz. can Pink Salmon—drained, picked through, bones and skin discarded. If using canned salmon, DO NOT RINSE.
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow flavors to blend. Serve chilled.

This recipe also works well with an equivalent amount of water-packed solid white albacore tuna.

Did you know?

At 12 grams per half cup, Greek yogurt has double the protein of conventional yogurt.

Horseradish is a rich source of Glucosinolates. A study from the University of Illinois shows that horseradish has substantial quantities of glucosinolates, compounds that have been shown to increase human resistance to cancer. "Glucosinolates increase the liver's ability to detoxify carcinogens and they may actually suppress the growth of existing cancerous tumors," said Mosbah Kushad, U of I associate professor of foodcrop systems. "And our analysis of various horseradish varieties shows they are a rich source of these compounds." Horseradish has approximately 10 times more glucosinolates than Broccoli, the next richest source.

Dill is high in substances known as monoterpenes, also shown to have anti-cancer activity. Monoterpenes activate an enzyme called gluthathione-S-tranferase. When these components come in contact with oxidized molecules which would harm our body they become attached to them and neutralize the damages, working particularly hard against certain carcinogens such as benzopyrenes found in cigarette, incinerator and grill smoke.

Champion Chicken Enchiladas (reduced fat)

Servings:  20 (makes two 9x13 pans)
Difficulty:  Easy, but a little putsy
Nutrition Information
Calories: 400
Fat:  Saturated 5g; Monosaturated 1.5g; Polyunsaturated 0.5g
Carbohydrates:  45g
Protein:  30g

About this Recipe

These chicken enchiladas are not only a healthy version of this all-time Tex-Mex favorite; everyone that eats them says they're the BEST! Although this recipe makes 20 servings, they'll likely be back for seconds, so I usually plan 1.5 to 2 servings per person.  The recipe makes 2 (9x13) pans with 10 enchiladas in each pan. I always make two pans at once (same work), and freeze one pan after step 7 for another time.  When ready to bake the frozen enchiladas, thaw (or partially thaw) them before baking.


  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 Cloves Garlic (minced or pressed)
  • 1 (5.5 oz) package Green Onions (Scallions) chopped
  • 2 Medium Tomatoes (seeded and diced)
  • 2 (4-oz) Cans Diced Green Chilies
  • 3 teaspoons Ground Cumin (Watch freshness--cumin gets stale fast!)
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano (crumbled)
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper Diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
  • 2.5 Lbs. Boneless Cooked Chicken Breast or Turkey Breast Meat (sliced, cubed or shredded)
  • 1 (15.25 oz.) Can. Black Beans (thoroughly rinsed and drained)
  • 1 (15.5 oz.) Can Great Northern Beans (thoroughly rinsed and drained)
  • 1 (6 oz.) Can Black Olives (sliced)
  • 8 oz. Pepper Jack Cheese (shredded)
  • 1 (24-oz.) Carton Lowfat Cottage Cheese
  • 4 Oz. Light Cream Cheese (Neufchatel)
  • 2 (14.1 oz.) Packages Large Flour Tortilla Shells (10/pack)
  • Cooking Spray
  • 4 Cups Fat Free Half and Half (Divided)
  • 2 T. All Purpose Flour (Divided)
  • 4-6 oz. Shredded Co-Jack Cheese (Divided)
  • Fresh Salsa (from your local deli)
  • Lowfat or Fat Free Sour Cream (optional)


  1. In a dutch oven set atop your stove over medium heat, saute garlic, green onions, tomatoes, green chilies, cumin and oregano in the 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, until onions and garlic are slightly softened.
  2. Add the chicken, both of the beans, and the red bell pepper.  Carefully stir until heated through.
  3. Add the cottage cheese, cream cheese, and pepper jack cheese.  Heat and stir until the cheeses are melted and your filling is nice and creamy.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the black olives.  Cool slightly (for ease of handling).
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and spray 2 9x13 baking pans with non-stick cooking spray.  If you don't have cooking spray, be sure to thoroughly oil the pan with canola oil, or you'll have a mess on your hands at serving time.
  6. Fill each tortilla shell with 3/4 cup of the filling and place 10 filled tortilla shells in each baking pan seam side down.
  7. Sprinkle each pan of filled tortillas with 2-3 ounces of the cojack cheese.  At this point, the filled tortillas can be frozen for up to a month.  Thaw prior to baking.
  8. For each 9x13 pan, whisk together 2 cups of Fat Free Half and Half and 1 Tablespoon of all purpose flour.  Optionally, you can add a pinch each of cumin and oregano to enhance the flavor of the sauce.
  9. Carefully pour the half and half mixture over the enchiladas.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes until sauce is bubbly and tops of enchiladas are golden brown.  Rest enchiladas for 10 minutes before serving.
  11. Serve, passing a bowl of fresh salsa and lowfat sour cream.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Italian Style Chicken with Pasta

Servings:  4-5
Difficulty:  Easy (20 minutes of attended time; 2 hrs unattended)

About this Recipe

This recipe comes from my grandmother, Vincenza Villanelli.  She was a great Italian cook.  Most of the food she prepared we considered "Peasant Food". And looking back, most everything she prepared was healthy--lots of cooked tomato products; plenty of garlic and onions, dandelion salad, sauteed organic greens that she gathered in the woods; wild mushrooms; fava beans; lean meats; baccala (cod fish); anchovies; and she always cooked with olive oil.

This recipe has some fat, as the sauce gets it's richness from the chicken stewing in the sauce--skin, fat, bones, and all.  Grandma would always say "You gotta have fat chickens that are nice and yellow if you want a good sauce."  She also used to say that certain brands of tomato paste were bitter--always use Hunt's.  If you happen to use a different brand of tomato paste and your sauce turns out a little bitter, just add about 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar before returning the chicken to the sauce at the end.

Health Benefits of This Recipe

Cooked tomato products (spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, tomato paste, tomato sauce, ketchup, etc.) contain high-concentrations of the antioxidant Lycopene.  Lycopene, perhaps best known for it's cancer preventative properties in prostate cancer, also helps neutralize free radicals in heart disease, helps break down LDL cholesterol, improves the health of the skin, helps reduce other forms of cancer, and even helps reduce the symptoms of age-related macular degeneration.  For more information on the benefits of Lycopene, click here.


  • 1 Cut-up Fat Yellow Chicken (with skin and bones)
  • 3-4 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 6 Cloves Garlic (minced or pressed)
  • 1 (12-oz) Can Tomato Paste
  • 4 (14.5-oz) Cans Crushed Tomatoes (or petite diced)
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Freshly Ground Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Basil (crushed)
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning (crushed)
  • 1 Dried Bay Leaf
  • 2 (4-oz) Cans Button Mushrooms (stems and pieces are fine)
  • 1 (14.5  oz) Box Barilla Plus Pasta (comes in a yellow box) Or try your hand at HOMEMADE HI PROTEIN NOODLES <--recipe here
  • Parmesan Cheese (omit for Kosher)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Select a medium sized non-reactive roaster with a cover or an oven-safe dutch oven with cover. 
  2. Place the open roaster over medium heat and add the olive oil and garlic.  Heat until the garlic begins to sizzle.
  3. Season chicken pieces with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
  4. Brown the seasoned chicken pieces on the stove top until the chicken pieces are golden brown (about 15 minutes).
  5. In a bowl stir together the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, basil, bay leaf and Italian seasoning.
  6. Pour the tomato mixture over the chicken, cover the roaster, and bake in the oven for 1 hour or just until the chicken is cooked through.  Remove the chicken from the sauce and set aside.
  7. Add the mushrooms (juice and all) to the sauce, replace the cover and continue baking the sauce for another hour.
  8. About 15 minutes before serving, return the chicken to the sauce and place the roaster back into the oven until chicken is heated through.  Meanwhile, cook your favorite pasta until al-dente.
  9. Serve chicken over a generous serving of pasta and plenty of the flavorful sauce.  Add shredded or grated Parmesan cheese to taste.

Double Chocolate Cherry Amaretto Protein Shake

Difficulty:  Super EASY
Serves: 2


  • 1 Cup Skim Milk
  • 2 Scoops Chocolate Whey Protein Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cherry Extract
  • 1 teaspoon Almond Extract
  • 10 drops Liquid Stevia Extract (or 2 tsp. granulated sugar, if you prefer)
  • 12 Ice Cubes
  • Optional Garnish--cherries, toasted almonds, whipped cream


    1. Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
    2. Optionally garnish with whipped cream, toasted ground almonds, and a cherry.

    Friday, January 7, 2011

    Honey Mustard Rosemary Rubbed Pork Tenderloin

    Difficulty: EASY
    Serving Size 6 oz.
    Nutrition Information
    Calories:  290
    Fat:  8g; Carbohydrates 7g; Protein 48g.

    About This Recipe

    Again with the Rosemary!  Adding it to meats before cooking reduces cancer-causing herterocyclic amines (HCAs).  A nice lean pork tenderloin, is an economical and healthy way to get that protein!  Pork tenderloins are often packaged two to a pack in the meat case.  Cook them both, they'll be back for more!


    • 4-5 Lbs. Pork Tenderloin
    • 1 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • 3 Cloves Garlic (pressed)
    • 1 Tablespoon Honey
    • 2 teaspoons Good Dijon Mustard
    • 1-1/2 Tablespoons Fresh Rosemary Leaves (finely minced)
    • Zest (yellow part ONLY) of 1/2 a Lemon (grated)
    • Salt and Pepper to taste.


    1. In a small cup or bowl combine, EVOO, garlic, honey, Dijon mustard, rosemary and lemon zest.  Stir to thoroughly combine and let it sit on your counter for 15 or 20 minutes so the flavors will infuse.
    2. One hour before roasting, carefully trim the tenderloins of every single speck of silver skin, membrane, and most of the fat.  Place loin(s) into a shallow roasting pan and rub the seasoning mixture all over both sides of tenderloin, and generously season with plenty of salt and freshly ground pepper. 
    3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. and roast tenderloins for 15 minutes. 
    4. Lower oven temperature to 350 and continue roasting about 20 more minutes until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 155 degrees F (or 160 at MOST!).  Who wants to eat dry pork?
    5. Allow tenderloin(s) to rest under a tent of foil for 20 minutes before slicing.

    Creamy Basil Pesto Alfredo (Reduced Fat)

    Difficulty:  EASY
    Servings:  7 
    Nutrition Information
    Per Serving:  114 Calories
    Fat 10g total; 3g saturated; 1g polyunsaturated; 6g monosaturated
    Protein:  3g
    Carbohydrates 2g

    About This Recipe

    Basil is a strong antioxidant, has anti-bacterial properties, and has anti-inflamatory effects.  It's also a rich source of Beta-carotene, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium and Vitamins C and K.  This recipe is a very quick and easy to make in a small food processor.  I pair it with some Barilla Plus (yellow box) pasta, which has a bit more protein, less carbs, and good ALA Omega-3 fats.  Better yet, try making my HOMEMADE HI PROTEIN NOODLES <--recipe here


    • 1/2 C. PACKED Basil Leaves (coarsely minced)
    • 4 Cloves Garlic (pressed)
    • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • 4 Ounces Light Cream Cheese (Neufchatel)
    • 1/2 Cup Lowfat Cottage Cheese
    • 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese (grated or shredded)
    • 3 T. skim milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
    • 1 teaspoon Pepper
    • 1/2 C. Toasted Pine Nuts or Toasted Slivered Almonds (optional)

    1. In the bowl of a small food processor combine basil, garlic and olive oil.  Pulse process until basil and garlic are well macerated.
    2. Add remaining ingredients and process until completely smooth and sauce is nicely speckled with bits of basil.
    3. Toss 2/3 of sauce with one 14.5 oz. package of cooked pasta, top servings with remaining sauce and garnish with toasted pine nuts or almonds and additional Parmesan cheese.  Serve immediately, if not sooner.

    Shirley's Black Bean Cardio Salad

    Difficulty:  Super EASY
    Servings: 4 (1 cup) servings
    Nutrition Information
    Per Serving:  200 Calories; 4g. Fat (only 0.6g. saturated)
    Fiber:  12g.
    Protein:  12g
    Carbohydrates (all clean):  33g

    About This Recipe

    This recipe comes from "My Girl Shirl" and it's loaded with heart-healthy nutrients--folate, soluble fiber, antioxidants, organic sulfur and flavonoids, and plenty of monosaturated and omega-3 fats.


    • 2 (15 oz) Cans Black Beans (Drained and THOROUGHLY rinsed)
    • 1 Red Bell Pepper finely diced
    • 4 Scallions (green onions) thinly sliced
    • 3 Tbsp. finely minced fresh Cilantro
    • 2 Tbsp. White Wine Vinegar
    • 1 Tbsp. good Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper to Taste
    • 1 (6 oz.) can Solid White, Water-Packed Tuna (optional)


    In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, and thoroughly mix.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend.