Ground Pork Pesto Burger w/ Green Beans

February 29, 2012 at 6:56 PM | Posted in cheese, Food, greenbeans, Ground Pork, Healthy Life Whole Grain Breads | 1 Comment
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Today’s Menu: Ground Pork Pesto Burger w/ Green Beans

Love these Ground Pork Burgers the taste is fantastic, the pesto mixed in with the Pork is a perfect match! I fried the Burger in Extra Virgin Olive Oil about 4 minutes per side. Comes out moist and juicy bursting with flavor. I topped it with some reduced Kraft Mayo and a slice of Smoked Gouda Cheese and served it on a Healthy Life Whole Grain Bun. I left the recipe at the end of the post.  As a side I had Green Beans. A bit different for a side for a Burger but it just sounded good! Green Beans are my favorite Veggie.  i also had a bottle of the new Snapple Drink, Half and Half Iced Tea & Lemonade Diet Snapple. Really liked it, has a fantastic flavor. Plus it’s only 10 calories and 0 carbs! For dessert later a Yoplait Delight 100 Calorie Chocolate Eclair Parfait.

Ground Pork Burgers
(Makes 4 Burgers)

1 LB. Ground Pork (I used a 93/7 Blend)
1/4 Cup Basil Pesto (You can add more or less to taste)
1/4 cup Italian Style Bread Crumbs
Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper, to taste
4 Slices of Smoked Gouda Cheese, Optional
Lettuce, sliced Tomato optional


* In a mixing bowl add your bread crumbs, pesto, and ground pork. Mix together and form into 4 Burgers
* Spray a large skillet and heat on medium heat and add 1/2 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
* Fry the Burgers to your liking, I fried these for about 4 minutes per side.
* Serve on a Bun of your choice (I used Heathy Life Whole Grain Buns). Add Reduced or Lite Mayo and Slice of Smoked Gouda Cheese.


Chili Vegetarian-Style

February 29, 2012 at 11:25 AM | Posted in chili, Food, spices and herbs, vegetables | 2 Comments
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Chili Vegetarian-Style


1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, fine chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/3 cups red & yellow peppers, chopped
6 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon ground (cayenne) red pepper
1/3 cup Splenda Granular or choice of Sugar substitute
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes with thick tomato puree
2 (15-ounce) can black beans (Do Not Drain!)
2 (15-ounce) cans dark red kidney beans (Do Not Drain!)
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans (Do Not Drain!)
1 (10-ounce) box Corn kernels, frozen
Salt to taste (optional)
*For added heat you can add 2 Adobe Peppers and a tablespoon of the Adobe Sauce, 1 Can


In a large, non stick, stock pot heat olive oil. Sauté jalapeno, onions, and red & yellow peppers over medium heat until onions are translucent (5 to 8 minutes).
Add the remaining ingredients and slowly bring to a boil. Cover pot and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. Serve hot.*

Makes 16 servings.

Note: If spicier chile is preferred, increase the ground cayenne red pepper to 1 teaspoon, & increase the chili powder to 7 teaspoons. If sweeter chili is preferred, increase SPLENDA® Granular to 2/3 cup.

* This chile, like most chiles, tastes best the day after it is made. Refrigerate chile in covered pot overnight. Bring to a boil over a low heat, stirring constantly.

* You can top the chili with cheese and sour cream before serving

Nutritional Facts Per Serving (1/16 of recipe): Calories 160, Carbohydrates 30 g, Protein 9 g, Total Fat 1.5 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 480 mg.

Ramen Noodle w/ Shrimp, Carrots, and Mushrooms

February 28, 2012 at 6:22 PM | Posted in carrots, diabetes, diabetes friendly, Food, low calorie, low carb, mushrooms, noodle, shrimp | Leave a comment
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Today’s Menu: Ramen Noodle w/ Shrimp, Carrots, and Mushrooms

Wasn’t real sure on what I wanted for dinner so it was a last minute pot luck dinner of Ramen Noodle w/ Shrimp, Carrots, and Mushrooms, and it turned out great! I always keep packs of Chow Mein or Ramen Noodles in stock just in case of these last minute dinner ideas. Easy to fix, easy on the calories and carbs, and can go with about any type of meat or veggie. I used Maruchan Ramen Shrimp Flavored Noodles. To prepare the Noodles I used a medium size skillet and boiled one cup of water then added the Noodles. When all the water had been absorbed I added Mini Carrots, Shrimp, Mushrooms, 1 tablespoon of Cilantro Leaves, and 1 tablespoon of Light Soy Sauce.

Before I boiled the Noodles I prepared my 3 add on ingredients. I used Large Shrimp 19 – 25 Count that I boiled for 3 minutes, seasoned with Sea Salt. The Carrots were the Mini Carrots that I boiled also until the were fork tender and for the Mushrooms I used Baby Bella Mushrooms that I sauteed in Extra Virgin Olive Oil and seasoned with Sea Salt, Ground Smoked Cumin, and Parsley. It all came together for a healthy low calorie and low carb dinner! Love it when something unplanned comes together. For dessert later a bowl of Breyer’s Carb Smart Vanilla Ice Cream topped with Dole Crushed Pineapple.

Cheese of the Week – Abertam

February 28, 2012 at 1:40 PM | Posted in baking, cheese, grilling | Leave a comment
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Traditional, farmhouse, hard cheese made from sheep’s milk. It has a shape of irregular ball with thin, yellow to orange, natural rind. It

Abertam cheese

is used as a table cheese or for melting. Abertam is made in Karlovy Vary, the famous spa town. The natural pastures of this mountainous part of Bohemia provide the sheep with a rich diet that is revealed in the robust flavor of the hard, pressed cheese. The cheese ripens in two months.

Abertam is considered an excellent cheese for melting and is substituted in a wide range of recipes to add flavor. One of the best known fondues is made by combining the cheese with milk butter, flour, sour cream and spices. The cheese is also used in grilled preparations and does not burn when grilled. The cheese has a slight tangy flavor which makes it a popular ingredient in cakes and dip prepared with apples. It is also used as a sandwich spread.

With a fat content of 45%, not considered a very healthy ingredient, especially for people who suffer from heart disease, high cholesterol and/or obesity, abertam  is, however, advisably consumed  in controlled quantities.

Country: Czech Republic

Milk: ewe milk

Texture: hard

Fat content: 45 %

Producer: Karlovy%20Vary

I’m on a roll!

February 28, 2012 at 10:55 AM | Posted in baking, diabetes, Food | Leave a comment
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I’ve been a member in Foodie Blogroll for a while now. They are always giving away different food and food related items. Well I was informed that I was the winner of  a copy of Healing Powers of Honey by Cal Orey plus a 7 ounce bag of Intentional Chocolate samples! I never win anything but later yesterday after being informed that I won this I had purchased 3 scratch off Ohio Lottery Tickets and won $50! When your hot your hot! Anyway when you get time check out

It’s a great site full of food blogs, recipes, and great giveaway’s for members. So check it out. I have a link on my blogs or the link above will get you there. I left a copy of my weinning notification below.

Hello Mark!

We are happy to let you know that your blog was selected as this week’s winner for the Foodie Blogroll “Spread the word to win a copy of ‘The Healing Powers of Honey’ Book” contest!

You will receive a receive a copy of Healing Powers of Honey by Cal Orey plus a 7 ounce bag of Intentional Chocolate samples!

Leap year

February 28, 2012 at 10:05 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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A leap year (or intercalary or bissextile year) is a year containing one additional day (or, in the case of lunisolar calendars, a month) in order to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year. Because seasons and astronomical events do not repeat in a whole number of days, a calendar that had the same number of days in each year would, over time, drift with respect to the event it was supposed to track. By occasionally inserting (or intercalating) an additional day or month into the year, the drift can be corrected. A year that is not a leap year is called a common year.

For example, in the Gregorian calendar (a common solar calendar), February in a leap year has 29 days instead of the usual 28, so the year lasts 366 days instead of the usual 365. Similarly, in the Hebrew calendar (a lunisolar calendar), a 13th lunar month is added seven times every 19 years to the twelve lunar months in its common years to keep its calendar year from drifting through the seasons too rapidly.

A leap year is a year with an extra day (most commonly referred to as a “leap day“) in February, making it 29 days instead of 28 days. Leap years generally occur once every four years, the last being 2008 and the next being 2012.

The current system is:

Every 4th year starting with year 0 is a leap year
Except every 100th year, when it is not observed
Except every 400th year, when it is.

So 1900 was not a leap year, although the years 1896 and 1904 were. 2000, due to the “back in again” every 400 years, was a leap year

The system above was adopted in various countries at irregular intervals

In the British Isles, it is a tradition that women may propose marriage only on leap years. While it has been claimed that the tradition was initiated by Saint Patrick or Brigid of Kildare in 5th century Ireland, this is dubious, as the tradition has not been attested before the 19th century. Supposedly, a 1288 law by Queen Margaret of Scotland (then age five and living in Norway), required that fines be levied if a marriage proposal was refused by the man; compensation ranged from a kiss to £1 to a silk gown, in order to soften the blow. In some places the tradition was tightened to restricting female proposals to the modern leap day, February 29, or to the medieval (bissextile) leap day, February 24.

According to Felten: “A play from the turn of the 17th century, ‘The Maydes Metamorphosis,’ has it that ‘this is leape year/women wear breeches.’ A few hundred years later, breeches wouldn’t do at all: Women looking to take advantage of their opportunity to pitch woo were expected to wear a scarlet petticoat—fair warning, if you will.”

In Denmark, the tradition is that women may propose on the bissextile leap day, February 24, and that refusal must be compensated with 12 pairs of gloves.

In Finland, the tradition is that if a man refuses a woman’s proposal on leap day, he should buy her the fabrics for a skirt.

In Greece, marriage in a leap year is considered unlucky. One in five engaged couples in Greece will plan to avoid getting married in a leap year.

Baked Tilapia w/ Whole Grain Rotni & Cheese and Whole Grain Bread

February 27, 2012 at 6:22 PM | Posted in fish, tilapia, Velveeta/Kraft Dinners | Leave a comment
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Today’s Menu: Baked Tilapia w/ Whole Grain Rotni & Cheese and Whole Grain Bread

Kroger had some monster size Tilapia fillets on sale last week. I purchased 4 fillets freezing 3 of them. I seasoned the Tilapia with Parsley, McCormick Grinder Sea Salt and Black Peppercorn then rolled it in a Italian Bread Crumb and Whole Wheat Flour mix. I baked it at 400 degrees for 12 minutes. What a huge and great tasting fillet! I cut the fillet in half and I’ll have it tomorrow for lunch. I’ll be using one of the other ones to make Fish Tacos with. Tilapia tastes great no matter how you fix it or use it.

For sides I had Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread and Kraft/Velveeta Wholw Grain Rotini & Cheese. Love this kind of Kraft Mac! For dessert/snack later a bag of Jolly Time 100 Calorie Mini Bag of Pop Corn.

Green tea business grows in India amid health awareness

February 27, 2012 at 12:02 PM | Posted in diabetes, diabetes friendly, Food, green tea | 3 Comments
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Green tea business grows in India amid health awareness

Article on the health benifits of one of my favorite drinks, Green Tea. Click on the link at the bottom of the post to read the entire article.

Mithun Dasgupta | 27 Feb, 2012
More and more tea makers are adding green tea in their portfolio as consumers in India are developing a taste for the beverage for its many health-promoting effects.

Green tea consumption in India is rising at a rate of more than 10 percent annually. According to J Thomas & Company, the world’s largest tea auctioneer, consumption of green tea, considered very urbane and sophisticated, is rising from a very tiny base.

“From a small consumption base, demand for green tea is increasing. There will be growth in consumption. Traditionally, people here drink black tea with sugar and milk. But green tea consumption will grow in the future because of its health benefits and awareness,” said Krishan Katyal, J Thomas & Co director.

Katyal said India, the world’s second biggest producer of tea, on an average produces 9-11 million kg of green tea annually and half of that was currently being consumed domestically.

“It (consumption) will grow. I, however, do not think that it will grow by leaps and bounds,” he observed…..

Click on the link below to read the entire article:

Nut of the Week – Pine Nut

February 27, 2012 at 8:53 AM | Posted in diabetes, diabetes friendly, Food, low calorie, low carb, nuts | Leave a comment
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Pine nuts are the edible seeds of pines (family Pinaceae, genus Pinus). About 20 species of pine produce seeds large enough to be worth

Shelled European pine nuts

harvesting; in other pines the seeds are also edible, but are too small to be of great value as a human food.

In Asia, two species are widely harvested, Korean Pine (Pinus koraiensis) in northeast Asia (the most important species in international trade), and Chilgoza Pine (Pinus gerardiana) in the western Himalaya. Four other species, Siberian Pine (Pinus sibirica), Siberian Dwarf Pine (Pinus pumila), Chinese White Pine (Pinus armandii) and Lacebark Pine (Pinus bungeana), are also used to a lesser extent. Afghanistan is an important source of pine nuts.

Pine nuts produced in Europe mostly come from the Stone Pine (Pinus pinea), which has been cultivated for its nuts for over 6,000 years, and harvested from wild trees for far longer. The Swiss Pine (Pinus cembra) is also used to a very small extent.

In North America, the main species are three of the pinyon pines, Colorado Pinyon (Pinus edulis), Single-leaf Pinyon (Pinus monophylla), and Mexican Pinyon (Pinus cembroides). The other eight pinyon species are used to a small extent, as are Gray Pine (Pinus sabineana), Torrey Pine (Pinus torreyana), Sugar Pine (Pinus lambertiana) and Parry Pinyon (Pinus quadrifolia).

In the United States, pine nuts are mainly harvested by Native Americans, particularly the Uto-Aztecan: Shoshone, Paiute and Hopi, and Washoe tribes. Certain treaties negotiated by tribes and laws in Nevada guarantee Native Americans’ right to harvest pine nuts.

Pine nuts contain, depending on species, 10–34% protein, with Stone Pine having the highest content. They are also a source of dietary fiber. When first extracted from the pine cone, they are covered with a hard shell (seed coat), thin in some species, thick in others. The nutrition is stored in the embryo (sporophyte) in the centre. Although a nut in the culinary sense, in the botanical sense pine nuts are seeds; being a gymnosperm, they lack a carpel (fruit) outside.

The shell must be removed before the pine nut can be eaten. Unshelled pine nuts have a long shelf life if kept dry and refrigerated (−5 °C (23 °F) to 2 °C (36 °F)); shelled nuts (and unshelled nuts in warm conditions) deteriorate rapidly, becoming rancid within a few

Stone Pine cone with pine nuts

weeks or even days in warm humid conditions. Pine nuts are commercially available in shelled form, but due to poor storage, can have poor flavour and may be already rancid at the time of purchase. Consequently, pine nuts are often frozen to preserve their flavor.

European pine nuts may be distinguished from Asian ones by their greater length in comparison to girth; Asian pine nuts are stubbier, shaped somewhat like long kernels of corn. The American pinyon nuts are known for their large size and ease of shelling. In the United States, P. edulis, the hard shell or New Mexico and Colorado, became a sought-after species due to the Trading Post System and the Navajo people who used the nuts as a means of commerce. The Italian pine nut, (P. pinea) was brought to the United States by immigrants, and became a favored treat along the East Coast until the early 1930s, when bumper crops of American pine nuts were readily available at low prices.

Pine nuts have been eaten in Europe and Asia since the Paleolithic period. They are frequently added to meat, fish, salads and vegetable dishes or baked into bread. In Italian they are called pinoli (in the U.S. they are often called “pignoli” but in Italy “pignolo” is actually a word far more commonly used to describe a fussy, overly fastidious or extremely meticulous person) and are an essential component of Italian pesto sauce. Pignoli cookies, an Italian American specialty confection (in Italy these would be called “biscotti ai pinoli”), are made of almond flour formed into a dough similar to that of a macaroon and then topped with pine nuts. In Spain, a sweet is made of small marzipan balls covered with pine nuts, painted with egg and lightly cooked. Pine nuts are also featured in the salade landaise of southwestern France. Pine nut coffee, known as piñón (Spanish for pine nut), is a speciality found in the southwest United States, especially New Mexico, and is typically a dark roast coffee having a deep, nutty flavour; roasted and lightly salted pine nuts can often be found sold on the side of the road in cities across New Mexico to be used for this purpose, as well as a snack. The Nevada, or Great Basin, pine nut has a sweet fruity flavor and is relished for its large size, sweet flavor and ease of peeling. Pine nuts are also widely used in Middle Eastern cuisine, reflected in a diverse range of dishes such as kibbeh, sambusek, desserts such as baklava, and many others.

Throughout Europe and Middle East the pine nuts used are from Pinus pinea (Stone Pine). They are easily distinguished from the Asian pine nuts by their more slender shape and more homogeneous flesh. Due to the lower price, Asian pine nuts are also often used, especially in cheaper preparations. Pine nuts contain thiamine (vitamin B1) and protein.

Nutritional information

100g of dried pine nuts contains:

Calories :673
Carbohydrates(g): 13.08
Fibers(g): 3.7
Protein(g): 13.69
Cholesterol(mg): 0

Pine Nut Cookies Recipe

February 27, 2012 at 8:49 AM | Posted in baking, diabetes, diabetes friendly, low calorie, low carb | Leave a comment
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Pine Nut Cookies Recipe


1 package (7 ounces) almond paste, grated
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Pinch salt
1/2 cup pine nuts


In a large bowl, beat the almond paste and sugars until crumbly. Beat in egg whites and vanilla. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to almond mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until easy to handle.
Place pine nuts in a shallow bowl. Working one at a time, with greased hands, drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into pine nuts. Place cookies nut side up 2 in. apart onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
Bake at 325° for 15-17 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool completely on baking sheets before carefully removing to wire racks. Store in an airtight container with waxed paper between layers. Yield: 2-1/2 dozen.

Nutritional Facts 1 cookie equals 68 calories, 3 g fat (trace saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 9 mg sodium, 9 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 1 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1/2 fat.

There are several sites with the same or similar recipe.

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