Category Archives: Busy living a healthy life

Sweet and Sour Meatballs


Calories 428  Fat 19.2 Protein 34g.

I cut this recipe  out of one of my Cooking Light magazines but when I went to the website to link it here, I couldn’t find it. Hmmm It’s just too good not to share, so here is how I did it.

During any given week night, I don’t have a lot of time so I did all my prep work on Saturday. I made the meatballs, cooked them, cooled them and refrigerated. I also made the tangy sauce and stored it close to the meatballs. When I got home tonight I was already in the middle of a call with a volunteer, but that didn’t slow down dinner. I started my stock to boil for the Polenta and began heating the sauce and meatballs up. Once I was finished with the call I used both hands to chop an onion and began to sauté some baby spinach.


3 c. chicken stock

1/4 kosher salt

3/4  c ground polenta

1 Tbs butter, unsalted

1 1/4 pd 93% ground turkey

2 tbs dark sesame oil

Cooking spray

1/4 c water

1/4 c ketchup, unsalted

2 tbs Sriracha (hot chile sauce)

1 1/2 tbs oyster sauce ( I used fish sauce because that’s what I had)

1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Addition to original recipe: 1 small onion, chopped, 5 c fresh baby spinach

Bring stock and salt to a boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Gradually add Polenta, stirring constantly with a whisk. Reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and Polenta is thickened. Add butter, stirring until melted.

Combine turkey and sesame oil in a medium bowl. Divide and shape turkey mixture into 20 meatballs. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add meatballs to pan; cook 6 minutes, turning  to brown on all sides. Remove meatballs from pan. Add 1/4 c water and remaining ingredients to pan, stirring with whisk; bring to a boil. Return meatballs to pan. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes or until meatballs are done. Serve over Polenta.

I plated the Polenta, topped it with a little sauté baby spinach then added a few meatballs and drizzled the sauce over the top. This sauce kinda has a kick to it so don’t go crazy at first just in case. I loved the cooling effect the Polenta had with the Bam of the saucy meatballs but if the constant attention to Polenta causes you grief this would be just as delicious over rice, mashed potatoes, couscous, risotto; you get the point the meat balls just need a bed to lay on so they don’t roll off your plate.








What’s Green All Over and Low in Calories?

Traditionally the tasty treat on St. Patrick’s Day is a hearty Corn Beef & Cabbage and I have found a really fantastic recipe for this. Tyler Florence, Corn beef & Cabbage

In my house however it’s not a favorite of anyone but me. So this year I was thinking green and low calorie and came up with this tasty recipe. Split Pea Soup Just 304 calories compared to other recipes that can add up to 500+ in calories.  Since the holiday falls in the middle of the week a little prep work is required so that when you and your family hit the door after a long week this hearty, warm and welcoming soup is ready to go with just a few minor prepping details. I rinsed and drained my peas over the weekend as well as cut up all my veggies. Thursday morning before I leave the house I’ll just have to toss everything into the Crock-Pot and out the door I go. When I get home all I’ll have to do is hit it with the immersion blender and my very GREEN dinner is table ready. Happy St. Patrick’s day

Split Pea Soup

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Servings: 8 Calories: 304 Fat: 4g Protein: 22g Carbs: 45g

1 lb dried green split peas, rinsed and drained
1 lg or 2 small Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced (reserve peelings)
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped.
5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 bay leaf
2 lbs ham hocks
6 cups beef broth (or a combination of water and broth totaling 6 cups)

Combine all ingredients into a crock pot, set LOW for 8 hours
Remove ham hocks, remove any meat from bones, discard bones
Remove bay leaf and discard
Using an immersion blender, blend soup, adding additional water until desired consistency. Do not over blend, you want to leave some texture. If you don’t have an immersion blender- get one Amazon has this super great Red one that I love, they are awesome.  But you can use a potato masher heck even a fork will do the trick. You just want to mash it up a bit. I don’t recommend putting the hot soup in your blender- Yikes this will make quite a mess.  Add the ham reserved from the bones and serve it up.

Subsitute – If you don’t have a ham hock- I just happen to have save one in the freezer from our Thanksgiving Ham, but I’ve also made this using precooked diced ham. just add it after you’ve blended it.  Just a good. Sour cream would be a great topping but don’t forget to add those calories… Trust me this is amazing without it.

Bonus: You might be tempted to toast up some crusty bread to dip, but save those calories and carbs for dessert and try using the peelings from the potatoes… Put them in zip top bag, add a drizzle of olive oil, s & p and toss. Then lay out the peelings on a baking sheet and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for 5-7 min. Yum!

What’s for dinner on a Wednesday?

Wednesdays always seem so blah… but if you remembered to thaw out some chicken this morning you are in luck. I just posted my Lemon Dill Chicken recipe and it’s only going to take you about 20 mins to get this on the table and into your belly when you get home tonight. Super low calories; just 173, so there is either room for a fresh salad or dessert depending on how good you’ve been today. Let me know what you think.

Skinny Minute Beans & Rice

Skinny Minute Beans & Rice

1 tsp canola oil

8 oz smoked Andouill chicken sausage links, cut on the diagonal about ½ inch thick

2 can 15-16 oz red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

2 cups sweat potato, peeled and diced

1 cup green pepper, diced

1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth

¾ cup celery, chopped

¾ cup onion, chopped

¾ cup water

¼ tomato paste (no salt added)

1 bay leaf 1 tsp dried thyme, crushed

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp allspice

Dash of paprika

Dash of ground cayenne pepper (to taste)

2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice

Sliced green onions for garnish

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In a large skillet oven heat oil over med heat. Add sausage, cook until browned, stirring occasionally add remaining ingredients except rice and green onions. Cook covered 10 min. Uncover, simmer about 5 more minutes more until additional moisture has evaporated and sauce becomes slightly thickened. Discard bay leaf. Serve mixture over prepared hot brown rice. Top with green onions and sour cream if desired (add the extra calories)

Servings: 5 1 cup/bean mixture + 1/3 cup rice

Cal 272

Fat 6g

Protein 16g

Carbs 41g

Time saver tip, over the weekend I cooked the rice and bagged it. I sliced the sausage and bagged it. Then I chopped up all veggies and bagged it along with all the seasoning. So when I got home at 5:30 I heated the pan, microwaved the rice and followed the remaining directions. BAM dinner in 30

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Super Bowl Baby

Recipe will be uploaded soon BUSYGAL - WIN_20160206_065516I’ve been under tremendous pressure to divert from this healthy lifestyle path and layout the junk food for the “big game” but I’m resisting temptation. Just finished my menu and its loaded with veggies. I’m off to the store… pray for me as I try to dodge the giant chip, soda and sweets displayed down every isle.

Busy Day…no plan

Each of these recipes are quick and easy!

Herbalife Pumpkin Spice Formula 1 shake mix (2 scoops) 1 banana and a dash of pumpkin pie spice. Add water or 1% milk and mix, so yummy!

I always have hard boiled eggs in the fridge so I quickly peeled a couple, added a handful of shredded carrots and a tbs of mayo. In my to-go container I put a handful of fresh baby spinach topped it with my ‘egg salad’ and then just because they were handy I tossed in a few grape tomatoes. This was a very satisfying lunch.

Totally forgot to take something out of the freezer… after a long work day I needed a ‘quicky’ dinner. Reached for the fresh spinach again, added a chopped apple and a high quality balsamic vinegar, a little s&p and bam! A quick, healthy and satisfying day. Give some of these a try next time you find yourself unprepared for the day.



Warming up with Chili

Winter 2016

When it looks like this outside it’s best to be inside with a warm bowl of chili. I host Sunday dinner at my house and it’s tough watching your calories while feeding a crowd. My chicken chili works here for a lot of reasons. The spices really bring a warm heat to the chili, I’m not talking about nose running kind of heat just that slow spreading heat that makes you feel cozy inside. With 392 cal. per 1 cup serving you can replenish all those calories you’ve burned shoveling snow all day and not feel guilty about it. This calorie count doesn’t include any of the toppings so if your watching this number be careful here. Trust me, it’s completely filing without any additions but when you’ve got a couple of hungry men to satisfy these toppings are a perfect option. I also made corn bread. Just used a box mix and added a handful of cheddar cheese and diced scallions to the batter before baking, per package directions. A little honey butter to top them seemed to make my soon-to-be son in law very happy. 2 helpings for him and my husband!  Give it a try and let me know how you liked it. You’ll find the recipe “Busygals Chicken Chili” under the Yummy Nutrition tab.