Sunday, December 16, 2012

Media attention!

I sent out an email regarding our weight loss story to some surrounding newspapers and received a reply from a writer at the Ogden Standard Examiner.  She was interested in writing a story about our family's weight loss. Eddie, Kyle and myself answered questions through email and then a photographer was sent out to take some photos.  Our story ran in the paper on Dec. 11th 2012.  That same day I answered my door and found a reporter and camera man from ABC channel 4 news, Utah. ( Come to find out, I went to Jr. High and High school with the camera man!)  They had read our story that morning and wanted to do an interview!  I had not been aware that our story ran that morning, so that was a surprise.  Another surprise was that the news crew wanted to interview us RIGHT then and air it on the evening news. I was taking this all in while standing there in my workout clothes, no make up, hair going in all!  While the reporter talked with Eddie, Kyle (who I had just woken up!) got dressed and made himself presentable and I threw on make up, clothes and sprayed my hair.  I'm happy to say that it actually cooperated and I looked halfway decent...ha ha!!  We are excited at the attention our weight loss story is receiving and hope that we can help inspire others to make healthy, lifelong changes in their lives.  =)
Layton family reduces its combined weight by 367 pounds

Copy youtube link and open in a different tab in order to view it.

Stew Good to Be True-Slow cooker beef and vegetable stew-Looneyspoons Cookbook

2 lbs. stewing beef, trimmed of fat and cut into 1 inch cubes
3 cups peeled and cubed potatoes
2 cups chopped carrots
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
2 cups no-salt-added tomato sauce
1 can (10 ounce) reduced-sodium beef broth, undiluted
1 T Dijon mustard
2 tsp minced garlic
1 bay leaf
1 1/4 tsp each dried marjoram and dried thyme
1 tsp granulated sugar (I used splenda)
1 T cornstarch
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

Combine all ingredients except cornstarch and parsley in a 3-quart or larger slow cooker.  Cover and simmer on low setting for 8 hours.
Combine cornstarch with an equal amount water and stir until lump free.  Add to stew and mix well.  Cook for 1 more hour.  Stir in parsley just before serving.
This was so easy and tasted great.  Smelled really good while cooking.  I served this with multi-grain saltine crackers.     

Monday, December 10, 2012

Crock-a-Doodle-Do Beef and Sausage Chili-Looneyspoons Cookbook

8 ounces light Italian sausage (I used Jennie-O turkey sausage patties)
1 1/2 lbs. extra lean ground beef (I used extra lean ground turkey)
1 cup chopped onions
2 tsp minced garlic
1 can (19 ounce) no salt added diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (19 ounce) no salt added red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (19 ounce) no salt added navy beans or black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can reduced sodium beef broth, undiluted
1 can (5.5 ounce) tomato paste
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 cup medium salsa
1 1/2 T chili powder
2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 T minced fresh cilantro or parsley (optional)

Remove casing from sausage and break into small pieces in large, nonstick skillet.  Add ground beef, onions and garlic.  Cook and stir over medium high heat until meat is no longer pink.  Drain liquid/fat from skillet and transfer meat mixture to a slow cooker.
Add remaining ingredients, except cilantro, to slow cooker.  Mix well.  Cover and cook on low heat setting for about 5 hours.  Stir in cilantro before serving, if desired.
This smelled so good good while cooking!  Tasted great...served it with multi-grain saltine crackers and fat free sour cream.     

Friday, December 7, 2012

Hawaiian Turkey Meatballs-I combined two different recipes from my Looneyspoons Cookbook

1 1/2 lbs. lean ground turkey
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup dry unseasoned bread crumbs
3 T finely minced green onions
1 T minced fresh cilantro
3 T egg substitute
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. grated gingerroot
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 tsp. each salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray rimmed cookie sheet or large baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
To make meatballs, combine all ingredients in a large bowl (using your hands works best).  Form meat mixture  into 1 to 1 1/2 inch meatballs.  Place on prepared pan.  
Bake for 15-18 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through and nicely browned on the outside.
While meatballs are cooking prepare the following sauce:
2/3 cup your favorite barbeque sauce
10 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce
2 T grated gingerroot
4 tsp honey
2 tsp sesame oil
Whisk together in large skillet over medium heat.
Add the following to skillet:
1 can (20 ounce) pineapple chunks, juice drained
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
3 green onions, chopped
1 large container of fresh, sliced mushrooms
Mix together and cook until veggies are tender.  Add cooked meatballs to mixture and stir.  I served this over spaghetti squash.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Marla's Maple Pork-Looneyspoons Cookbook

1 1/2 lbs. pork tenderloin
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (I used sugar free)
2 T each reduced sodium soy sauce and ketchup
1 T Dijon mustard
2 tsp grated orange zest
1 1/2 tsp each curry powder and ground coriander
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Trim pork of all visible fat.  Place pork in large, heavy-duty ziplock bag.  Whisk together all remaining ingredients in a medium bowl.  Pour marinade over pork and seal bag.  Turn bag several times to coat pork evenly.  Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour.

Transfer pork and marinade to a small roasting pan or baking dish.  Roast, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  Pork should be slightly pink in the middle.

Let pork stand for 5 minutes before slicing.  Slice thinly.  Drizzle extra sauce over pork and serve immediately.

I served this with green beans and squash.  It was so easy and tasted great.    

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Orient Express-Linguini, chicken and veggies-Looneyspoons Cookbook

12 ounces uncooked whole wheat linguini
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
2 tsp minced garlic
1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup each reduced sodium soy sauce and ketchup
3 T seasoned rice vinegar
1 T each freshly squeezed lemon juice, sesame oil and grated gingerroot
2 tsp honey
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 T cornstarch
2 cups chopped or sliced cooked chicken breast
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
1 cup carrots, cut into thin strips

Prepare linguini according to package directions.  Drain and keep warm.  
While pasta is cooking, prepare sauce.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic.  Cook and stir until vegetables begin to soften, about 4 minutes.  Add broth, soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, lemon juice, sesame oil, gingerroot, honey, hot pepper sauce and black pepper.  Mix well and bring to a boil.  Blend cornstarch with an equal amount of water until smooth.  Add to sauce.  Cook and stir until sauce is bubbly and has thickened, about 1 minute.
Add cooked chicken pieces, broccoli, red pepper and carrots to sauce.  Mix well.  Cook 3 to 4 minutes, until vegetables are tender-crisp.  Pour chicken-vegetable mixture over warm linguini and toss to coat evenly.  Serve hot.        

Monday, November 26, 2012

Mother Souperior's Best Barley-Turkey and Barley Soup-Looneyspoons Cookbook

2 tsp. olive oil
1 lb. boneless skinless turkey breasts, cut into cubes (I used leftover turkey from Thanksgiving)
1 1/2 cups each chopped celery and peeled, chopped carrots
1 cup chopped onions
(I also added fresh, sliced mushrooms)
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. each dried thyme, dried sage and dried marjoram
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 can (28 ounces) no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
1/3 cup pearl barley (I used 1/2 cup quinoa)
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. each salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat.  Add turkey cubes and cook until lightly browned.  Reduce heat to medium.  Add celery, carrots, onions and garlic.  Cook and stir for 5 more minutes.  Stir in thyme, sage and marjoram.  Cook for 1 more minute.
Add all remaining ingredients.  Mix well.  Bring soup to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to low.
Cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes, until tureky and barley are tender.  Serve hot.
This was such an easy soup to make and I was able to use up the rest of my leftover turkey.  I served this with multi-grain saltine crackers.          

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

No Weigh, Jose'! Mexican Lasagna-Looneyspoons Cookbook

1 1/2 lbs. ground chicken (I used extra lean ground turkey)
1 Cup each diced red onions and diced green bell pepper
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 Cup canned no-salt-added black beans, drained and rinsed
1 Cup diced tomatoes
1/2 Cup frozen or canned corn
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 Cups your favorite tomato pasta sauce
1 Cup medium salsa
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 T. minced fresh cilantro
4 large or 8 small whole-grain flour tortillas
1 1/2 Cups packed shredded light old (sharp) cheddar cheese
1 Cup light sour cream (I used fat free)
1/4 Cup chopped green onions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray 9x13 inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside. 
In a large, non-stick pot or skillet, cook ground chicken, onions, green pepper and garlic over medium-high heat until meat is no longer pink.  Break up any large pieces of chicken as it's cooking.
Add black beans, tomatoes, corn, chili powder and cumin.  Cook and stir for 2 more minutes.  Add pasta sauce, salsa and black pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low.  Cover and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in cilantro and remove from heat.
To assemble lasagna, spread 1/3 sauce mixture over bottom of prepared pan.  Top with 1/2 the tortillas, overlapping and cutting them as necessary to fit.  Top with 1/3 sauce mixture, followed by 1/2 the cheese.  Cover cheese with the remaining tortillas, followed by remaining sauce.  Sprinkle remaining cheese over sauce.
Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes.  Uncover and bake for 10 more minutes.  Let lasagna stand for at least 10 minutes before slicing for easier serving.  Top each piece with a dollop of sour cream and some chopped onions.  I also topped mine with some sliced black olives.  I served this with spaghetti squash and baked veggies. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Crockpot Hamburger Soup

2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 can of corn
1/2 of a small bag of baby carrots, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 1/2 lbs. extra lean hamburger, lightly browned
2 cans tomato soup
2 soup cans of water
salt and pepper
oregano leaves
Worcestershire sauce

Place veggies and corn in Crockpot. Place browned hamburger on top.  Cover with soup and water.  Mix well. Season with salt and pepper, douse with Worcestershire sauce and sprinkle with oregano leaves.  Cook on low for 8 hours.  I served this with whole grain saltine crackers and topped it with fat free sour cream.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Tubes and Cubes-chicken cubes with bbq sauce-Looneyspoons cookbook

2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 C. chopped red onions
1 tsp. minced garlic
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cups slices mushrooms
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup your favorite low sodium tomato pasta sauce
1/3 cup barbeque sauce
8 oz uncooked rigatoni (about 5 cups dry) I used bow tie pasta.
1/2 cup packed shredded light Monterey Jack cheese 
Minced fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add onions and garlic.  Cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes, until onions are softened.  Add chicken and cook until no longer pink.  Add mushrooms and green pepper.  Continue to cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until vegetables are tender.  Add pasta sauce and barbecue sauce.  Mix well.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare rigatoni according to package directions.  Drain well.  Add rigatoni to chicken and vegetables and mix well.  Spoon pasta mixture onto serving plates and sprinkle with cheese and cilantro.

I also added some sliced black olives on top.  I served this with a side of baked veggies.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Someone Pasta Meatballs-Looneyspoons cookbook

1 1/2 C. fresh whole-grain bread crumbs (I used whole wheat bread, torn into small pieces)
1/2 C. 1% milk (I used almond milk)
1 lb. extra lean ground sirloin (I used extra lean ground turkey)
8 oz. light mild Italian sausage, casing removed (I used Jenni-O turkey breakfast sausage patties)
1/3 C. packed freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg or 1/4 C. egg substitute
1 T. minced fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. each salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 T. olive oil
Place fresh bread crumbs in a bowl and pour milk over crumbs.  Let stand for 5 minutes or until crumbs have absorbed milk.
In a large bowl, combine crumbs with all remaining ingredients, except olive oil.  Mix well (using your hands works best).  Shape meat mixture into uniform sized meatballs.  (Tip:Pack meat mixture into 1/3 C. measuring cup.  Use this amount to make two meatballs).
Heat olive oil in a deep, non-stick, 14 inch skillet.  Add meatballs and cook over medium-high heat until lightly browned on all sides.  Be careful not to break them.
To finish cooking meatballs, either (1) Add two jars (about 6 cups) of your favorite tomato pasta sauce to the skillet. (I added one jar of Ragu light/sugar free). Reduce heat and, cover and simmer until meatballs are cooked through, about 25 minutes; or (2) Remove meatballs from skillet and transfer to a large baking pan.  Bake meatballs at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until cooked through. 

I served these over spaghetti squash with green beans and butternut squash on the side.     

Friday, October 19, 2012

Two and a half year anniversary!

October 14th, 2012 was my two and a half year anniversary of my healthy lifestyle. I've learned a lot over the past two and half years.  I have learned that I can control food, it does not control me unless I let it.  I have learned that I am a lot stronger than I ever thought I was, both mentally and physically.  I feel like I have made a difference in several peoples lives by sharing my story and hope to continue to motivate and inspire others.  =)

Tuskinny Chicken-Looneyspoons Cookbook

1 T. olive oil
12 boneless skinless chicken thighs (I used 6 chicken breasts, cut into strips and halved the recipe)
1 1/2 C. coarsely chopped red onions
2 tsp. minced garlic
3 C. sliced mushrooms
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1 large yellow bell pepper, sliced
2 T. each minced fresh basil leaves, oregano leaves and rosemary, or 1 1/2 tsp. each dried
1 jar (22 ounces) of your favorite tomato pasta sauce
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used chicken broth)
1 C. canned no-salt-added chickpeas or white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 C. grated Romano or Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a large deep non-stick skillet over medium high heat.  Add chicken and cook until chicken is lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes on each side.  Remove chicken from skillet and keep warm. 
Add onions and garlic to the same skillet.  Cook and stir until onions begin to soften, about 3 minutes.  Be careful not to burn them.  Add mushrooms, zucchini and yellow pepper.  Cook and stir until vegetables are tender-crisp, about 6 more minutes.  Stir in herbs and cook for 1 more minute.
Add pasta sauce, wine, chickpeas and black pepper.  Bring mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low.  Return chicken pieces to skillet.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Uncover and cook an additional 10 minutes. (This will help thicken the sauce).  remove from heat and let the dish stand, uncovered, for another 5 minutes to cool slightly.  
Serve, topped with a sprinkling of grated Romano cheese.
I served this with green beans and broccoli.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Slow cooked Pork

1 boneless whole pork loin roast (3 1/2-4 lbs.)
1 T. canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 celery rib, cut into 1 inch pieces (I used mushrooms instead)
1 envelope brown gravy mix
1 cup water
1 cup unsweetened apple juice
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Cut roast in half.  In a large skillet, brown roast in oil on all sides.  Transfer to a 5 quart slow cooker.  In the same skillet, saute onion and celery until tender.  Add to slow cooker

In a small bowl, whisk together gravy mix and water.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Pour over pork.  Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until meat is tender.  Skim fat from cooking juices.  Thicken if desired.  Serve with roast.

I served this with asparagus and spaghetti squash.  The leftover pork makes great sandwiches or used on tortillas.  

Melancauli Baby-Cauliflower soup-Looneyspoons cookbook

1 T. olive oil or butter
2 Cups thinly slicked leeks (about 2 large)
2 tsp. minced garlic
4 Cups small, cauliflower florets
1 1/2 Cups peeled, cubed sweet potato
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
4 Cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 Cup cooked brown and wild rice blend ( I just used brown rice )
1 Cup 2% evaporated milk ( I used almond milk )
1/2 Cup packed shredded light Swiss cheese 

Heat butter or olive oil in large pot over medium heat.  Add leeks and garlic.  Cook and stir until leeks begin to soften, about 3 minutes.

Stir in cauliflower, sweet potato, curry and cumin.  Cook and stir for 1 more minute.  Add broth, salt and pepper.  Bring mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

Carefully transfer half the soup to a blender and puree' until smooth.  Return pureed' soup to pot with remaining soup and mix well.  Stir in cooked rice, milk and Swiss cheese.  Heat soup for 1 more minute until cheese melts.  Serve hot.

I served this with whole grain crackers and topped it with fat free sour cream. 


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Slow Cooker Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 T. curry powder (I may use more next time to give it more of a curry flavor)
1 package chicken gravy mix
1 can (14 1/2 ounce) chicken broth
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 medium golden delicious apple, unpeeled, cored and coarsely chopped
1/4 C. raisins
1/4 C. chopped onions
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 cup of instant rice (I made rice in my rice cooker instead of using the instant.  I did not add it to the slow cooker)
Cut each chicken breast in half.  Sprinkle chicken with curry powder ( I also sprinkled them with salt and pepper)
Gradually stir gravy mix into broth in slow cooker until well blended.  Add seasoned chicken and remaining ingredients except rice. Stir well.  Cover and cook for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.  Gently stir in instant rice.  Cover and cook for an additional 15-20 min. on high or until rice is tender.  Remove bay leaves before serving.
I served this with green beans and squash.  

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Easy topping for chicken or fish

1/2 C. Dijon mustard
1/4 C. maple syrup ( I used sugar free )
1 T. red wine vinegar
salt and pepper

Season chicken or fish ( I used salmon ) with salt and pepper and place in baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.  Mix all ingredients except rosemary, together in a small bowl. Pour mixture over meat and bake at 375 for about 40 min. for chicken, 30 min. for fish.  After baking, sprinkle with rosemary.
I served this with spaghetti squash, green beans and corn on the cob.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Chicken Teriwacky-Looneyspoons Cookbook

2 T. reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 T. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 T. honey
2 T. ketchup
2 T. minced green onions with the white parts
1 T. grated gingerroot
2 tsp. grated orange zest
1 tsp. minced garlic

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 T. toasted sesame seeds
Whisk together all marinade ingredients in a small bowl.  Place chicken breasts in a large, heavy duty, resealable bag.  Add marinade and seal bag.  Turn bag several times to coat chicken with marinade.  Marinate for at least 4 hours, or overnight if possible.
Remove chicken from marinade and cook on grill.  Dispose of marinade.  Serve chicken sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds.  I sprayed a small skillet with non-stick spray and toasted to sesame seeds that way.  I served this with grilled asparagus and squash.