Monthly Archives: October 2014

Vegetable Beef Soup

Dinner cannot get much easier than this, and it freezes and reheats well.

Vegetable Beef Soup

2 lb ground chuck or ground round
1 large yellow onion, diced
28 oz can petite-diced tomatoes
14 oz can tomato puree
28 oz water
1 tsp. minced garlic
1-2 tbsp. Better Than Bouillon Beef Base*
½ tsp. dried oregano
1 ½ c. frozen baby lima beans
1 ½ c. frozen yellow corn
2 c. frozen cut okra
salt and pepper to taste

Cook ground beef and onions together until ground beef is browned and onions are very tender. Add, tomatoes, tomato puree, water, garlic, bouillon and oregano. Bring to a boil and simmer 1 hour. Then add lima beans and simmer 20 minutes. Add corn and okra and simmer an additional 20-30 minutes, until okra is tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. If it seems too thick, add more water and adjust seasonings.

*Be careful with beef bouillon concentrate, it gives a great flavor but if you add too much, it will be too salty. I add a little at the time and taste before I add more. Always add this before adding salt.


Baked Apple Banana Oatmeal Protein Bars

I found this great recipe from Natalie Hodson at I made a few modifications to suit my taste and these protein oatmeal bars were born. They make a great quick breakfast or snack.

I used BSN Syntha-6 Isolate Vanilla whey protein powder.

Baked Apple Banana Oatmeal Protein Bars
Serves 8

Dry Ingredients:
2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
4 scoops vanilla whey protein powder
2 tbsp ground flax seed
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Wet Ingredients:
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups skim milk
1/4 Cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, combine wet ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into the large bowl and mix well.

Spray a 8 inch or 9 inch square baking pan with non-stick spray. Pour oatmeal mixture into pan and smooth top with a spatula. Bake for 40-45 minutes until top is beginning to brown, or inserted knife comes out clean.

Let cool 10-15 minutes in pan, then invert pan on a cutting board and cut into 8 bars. You could also invert on a cooling rack, and allow to cool completely before cutting. Store in the refrigerator.

To freeze, make sure oatmeal bars are completely cooled first. Then wrap each bar in wax paper or parchment paper and place in a large freezer bag or container. For quick grab and go convenience, you can also place oatmeal bars in individual snack-sized plastic bags, then refrigerate or freeze until needed.

Per serving: 226 cal, 3 grams fat, 30 grams carbs, 5 grams fiber, 9 grams sugar, 20 grams protein

Individual Frittatas – Cheeseburger style

I made a large batch of these savory muffins so I could freeze some to take out for future quick meals. I used my Texas-size muffin pans because I thought it would make a good main dish serving size, however, half of one is plenty for me. Next time I make them I will use regular size muffin pans.

2 lb ground beef – I use ground sirloin
1-2 cups water
2 yellow onions, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup reduced sugar ketchup
2 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
18 large eggs, beaten
2 cups cheddar cheese – I use a fat-free type

Lightly spray 12 Texas size muffin pans with non-stick spray, or use oil. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine ground beef, 1 cup water, onion and garlic in a large skillet over med-high heat. Cook until all water has evaporated, stirring often to break up the meat. I usually add another cup of water and continue to cook until that water has evaporated also – this gives the ground beef a softer texture that I like, but it’s up to you whether you do this or not. Once the water has evaporated, if there is any fat accumulated in pan, drain it off. Add ketchup, soy sauce, salt and pepper to the cooked meat, and stir.

Spoon ground beef evenly into muffin pans. Top with cheddar cheese, then pour beaten eggs over the beef and cheese mixture. Place muffin pans in preheated oven and bake for approximately 45 minutes, until tops are slightly browned and puffed. Let the frittatas cool for about 10-15 minutes then remove from pan.

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