Thursday, February 26, 2009


Hi, y'all! I just wanted to post and apologize to you all for not keeping this up as much as I intend to. The past few weeks have been very stressful, hectic and just generally crazy. There were moments when I didn't know which state I would be living in by the end of March! But things have all settled down and been figured out. We're remaining in Saratoga Springs, at least for awhile, and I am so very happy about that!

Now that life is a little more settled, I will be posting more. Again, I'm sorry that this blog is one of the things that got overlooked when the craziness began!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Best Meatloaf EVER

I think I've mentioned here before that I love sausage. I mean, seriously. Any kind of sausage you throw at me, I'm going to devour. Unfortunately, a lot of said sausage is high in fat. In flies turkey sausage. Welcome to my Diet Heaven. Turkey sausage was a breakfast MUST when I was completely carb free. Now I can have oatmeal, and when I can, I have an amazing Irishy breakfast by adding some sausages. Sausage makes everything better.

This recipe originally came out of the Bride & Groom: First and Forever Cookbook. Usually, meatloaf is held together with some breadcrumbs. Obviously, that isn't an option here. The taste doesn't suffer at all to leave the crumbs out entirely. However, the loaf doesn't hold together and come out in pretty slices. That is something I'm willing to sacrifice when I'm just cooking for Scott and myself. I will be experimenting in the near future with alternatives to breadcrumbs in holding it all together. Until then, the depth of flavor in this loaf is worth the not-quite-held-togetherness.

In the Gilliland house, meatloaf is traditionally served with green beans and Kraft mac and cheese. I've heard in other families, mashed potatoes and some other green thing is an accompaniment. Since neither of these options are available, you can see in the picture I served with mashed sweet potatoes. Delicious, but not even close to mac and cheese. *sigh* Someday, I will have mac and cheese as my splurge of the week and man will it be good. Anyway, if you can't have sweet potatoes, just some sauteed green beans would be delicious!!

My Best Meatloaf Ever
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4 c milk (omit if not using breadcrumbs)
  • 1 c. breadcrumbs (omit if going low-carb)
  • 4 tsp. worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 c. canned tomato sauce (ketchup if you aren't watching sugars)
  • 1 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 8 oz ground turkey breakfast sausage
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp Montreal steak seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1. Preheat oven to 350°
2. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Saute onions until tender. Transfer to a large bowl.
3. Combine milk & breadcrumbs (if using) in small bowl. Set aside.
4. Combine 1/4 c. tomato sauce (or ketchup) and 2 tsp worcestchershire sauce in another small bowl. Set aside.
5. Add ground beef, sausage, remaining tomato sauce/ketchup, and worcestchershire sauce, egg, seasoning, garlic powder and bread crumbs (if using) into bowl with onions. Mix until just incorporated. (Be sure to evenly mix the sausage and ground beef. Sometimes it is easier to do this before adding the other items).
6. Mound mixture in a 9x5x3 loaf pan. Bake 45 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and pour off some of the fat.
8. Spread tomato mixture from step 4 on top.
9. Bake until internal temperature is 160° (about 30 more minutes)
10. let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Carb options
Pretty obvious here--use breadcrumbs! Also, accompany with your favorite tradition, whether it's mac and cheese (definitely my recommendation!) or mashed potatoes (with cream and chives!), or sweet potatoes! Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Spiced Chicken and Barley

Happy Wednesday, folks! I just got in from my bellydancing class. It is a super work out! I feel sore in muscles I didn't know I had! I'm sorry for not posting the exercise-at-home information as I mentioned last week. This week has been pretty busy, but I finally got a break today! It was really nice to have the morning to work on my thesis and clean the house a little. And since that's caught up, I can spend some time this evening posting a delicious recipe!

This recipe was given to me by my best friend Megan a few years ago. I've loved it ever since. The spices used give the dish a slight ethnic feel, but not so overwhelming that your kids or parents won't eat it! It takes a little time on the stove, but most if it is unattended. So if you come home from work and still have a few things to do around the house before sitting down to dinner, this is perfect. I usually serve with some steamed broccoli or a salad.

Those not on Stage 3 of the Dr. Malone diet yet, may want to hold off on this recipe until then. The chicken and barley cook together and it would be difficult (not to mention horribly tempting) to separate the two for eating.

Spiced Chicken & Barley
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. dried mint flakes
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 6 (4-oz) boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I use breasts, just be sure to cut them in half for portion size)
  • 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1 c. chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 (14.25-oz) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 c. uncooked pearl barley
  • 1 (14.5-oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 6 Tbsp. chopped green onions
1. Combine first 7 ingredients; rub chicken with half of spice mixture.
2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown chicken
and remove from pan.
3. Add onion and pepper, cook until lightly browned. Stir in soy
sauce, broth, barley, tomatoes, and remaining spice mixture.
4. Add chicken, nestling into veg mixture. Bring to a boil; cover,
reduce heat, simmer 45 minutes. Uncover; simmer 10 minutes or until
liquid almost evaporates. Let stand 15 minutes. Sprinkle with green