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2008 Eat Well, Live Well Challenge Recipes and Book Recommendations



Amazing Pecan Pie

3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup margarine, softened
2 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 teaspoons white vinegar
1 cup chopped pecans
Pecan halves for top
Prepared pie shell (store bought or homemade)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C.)
In a large bowl, mix together sugar and margarine. Stir in eggs, vanilla and vinegar. Stir in pecans. Pour into prepared pie shell. Arrange pecan halves decoratively on top.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is lightly browned, and filling is set

Carol's Creation

1 16 oz. carton Low Fat Cottage Cheese
1 pkg (4 serving) Sugar Free Gelatin – any flavor
1 8 oz. carton Cool Whip – I use reduced fat/sugar

Thoroughly mix the cottage cheese and dry gelatin together.  Fold in the Cool Whip and ENJOY!

Herma's Healthy Habbit

1 zucchini (summer quash) diced
1 eggplant, diced
1 package of sliced mushrooms
1 can of garbanzo beans (optional-add only if more protein is desired)
1 jar of low sodium, low fat spaghetti sauce
1 box of Ronzoni Healthy pasta (any kind will do)-this pasta is really high in fiber!

Mix first five ingredients together and cook until veggies are semi tender (I like some bite to them).
In the meantime, cook the pasta al dente. Serve sauce over pasta, add some Parmesan cheese (but watch for that extra sodium) and enjoy!!! Add a mixed salad for even more veggies!

Low-Fat Chilled Rice Salad (12 servings)

4 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup raisins or craisins
1 cup shredded carrots
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
4 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, toasted
2 tablespoons minced onion- very fine
6 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
4 tablespoons pure maple syrup

In large bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour prior to serving to allow flavors to blend (overnight is best)

Potato Casserole

Peeled sliced Potatos (use as many as it takes to fill 3/4 full your desired size baking casserole dish)
1 lb. ground beef or Turkey
1-2 cans of Stewed Tomatoes
Salt & Pepper
Red Pepper flakes (Optional)
Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Preheat oven to 350-375.  Brown burger in pan and drain, add stewed tomatoes and seasoning to meat simmering for 5-10 mins.  Use Pam Cooking spray in casserole dish.  Pour some of the stewed tomato burger mixture in bottom of casserole dish,  layer with potatos, cheese, and continue alternating until dish is full and top with cheese.  Bake 45 min. or until Potatos seem cooked.

Spicy Roasted Red Pepper Bean Dip

 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo bean, drained
 1 (4 ounce) jar roasted red pepper, drained
 3 tablespoons lemon juice
 1 garlic clove, minced
 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper  (or more if you like it super spicy)
 1/4 teaspoon salt
In an electric blender or food processor, puree the chickpeas, red peppers, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, cayenne, and salt. Process, using long pulses, until the mixture is fairly smooth, and slightly fluffy.
Make sure to scrape the mixture off the sides of the food processor or blender in between pulses.
Transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.  Return to room Temperature before serving.
Serve with veggies for dipping (carrots, broccoli, red peppers etc); wheat crackers; or toasted pita chips.
This keeps up to a week in the fridge and it also freezes well.

Spiced Lentil Soup

1 - 28oz can stewed tomatoes,undrained
2 medium potatoes, diced
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 bay leaves
3 tsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
4 cups low fat, low sodium chicken or vegetable broth

COMBINE ALL IN CROCK POT! COVER AND COOK ON LOW 8-10 HOUR OR ON HIGH FOR 4-5 HOURS. Remove bay leaves before serving. Makes 4-5 servings only 1 gram of fat per serving and it is delicious!

Stir-fry chicken & veggies

I package frozen chicken breast (Aldi's)
1-2 tbsp soy sauce (or to taste-use Lite Soy for a healthier option)
1 can pineapple chunks (Aldi's)
2 cans chicken stock (Aldi's Fit & Active)
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 package frozen veggies (any variety, but I use Aldi's frozen "stir-fry" veggies.  Combo of carrots, water chestnuts, mushrooms, broccoli, and green beans)

Brown chicken breast in large fry pan or electric fry pan with soy sauce.  After chicken is cooked, cut up into chunks.  Add chicken stock.  Separate pineapple chunks and juice.  Add cornstarch to pineapple juice and whisk until blended.  Add pineapple and cornstarch mixture to chicken and cook to boil.  Stir occasionally.  The sauce will thicken as it cooks.  You may need to add a little water if the sauce is too thick.  Add frozen veggies, stir and let cook until veggies are tender (about 1/2 hour).  Add pineapple chunks at the end of cooking to heat through.
Serve over pasta or rice. (brown rice or whole wheat pasta for a healthier option).

Sun Dried Tomato Garlic Chicken

6 cloves garlic
2/3 c. Sun dried tomatoes
Basil (fresh if possible)
Cavetelli pasta (You can substitute any pasta)
2 lbs. chicken breast
1 lemon
14 oz. Chicken broth
¼ c. Olive Oil

Boil water for the pasta (cook while you are cooking the other stuff)
Heat olive oil (4 tbsp) in a pan; add garlic (finely chopped) and sauté until opaque
Season chicken with salt, pepper, basil and 1/4-cup olive oil (toss chicken in this then add to pan).
Cook until chicken is almost done,
Add 2/3 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes & 14 oz can chicken broth & simmer.
Add juice from 1 lemon
Drain pasta and add.
Simmer about 5 to 10 minutes and serve.
Grated Parmesan on top is good too.

Tracy's Treat

1-2 summer squash, sliced thick
1 onion, sliced
1 tomato cut into chunks
2-3 tbsp butter/ olive oil
1tbsp parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp garlic salt

Saute squash and onion in butter or oil until lightly browned. Add tomato and garlic, cover and cook until tender (5 minutes) , sprinkle with the cheese to finish. This recipe can be altered to how much of each ingrediant you favor or doubled. 


Book Recommendations

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto

By Michael Pollan

This is not a typical “diet” book.  You won’t find any food or exercise plans.  What you will find are plain and simple guidelines to help us escape what is widely known as “The western Diet”.  Pollan describes an entirely new way of eating based on simple whole foods.  He urges us to give up fad diets and overly processed food “products” in favor of real food; the un-adulterated; un-engineered whole foods that our grandparents ate.  In fact, one of the guidelines he proposes is to stop eating anything that your Grandmother would not recognize as food.
Pollan also encourages bringing ecological balance into our kitchens; our health, he says, can not be separated from the chain of food we eat.  Low quality, polluted ingredients grown on depleted soils can not be expected to bring us good health.  He encourages supporting our local food growers by shopping at local farm markets and in that way eating produce that is less contaminated and better for us nutritionally than foods that have travelled many miles to get to our plate.
Pollan explains how, in what he calls the “Western diet”, food has been replaced by nutrients and common sense by confusion. The result is what he calls the American paradox: The more we worry about nutrition, the less healthy we seem to become.
In Defense of Food shows us how to escape the Western diet and most of the chronic diseases which are caused by that diet.  Michael Pollan encourages us to relearn which foods are healthy.  This book doesn’t have any flashy color pictures or recipes.  But it does guide us through easy steps to help us make thoughtful food choices and bring back the joy of eating.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who wishes to understand how the food we eat can impact our health and well being.

Eat Pray Love

By Elizabeth Gilbert

Summary: Elizabeth is in the middle of her life and she realizes everything she has been working for and towards is really nothing that she wants at all. She decides she needs to change everything and while taking small steps in her everyday life to change she is not satisfied enough. She decides she needs to take a bigger leap. She embarks on a monumental journey across several very different countries and discovers herself in a whole new way. She travels to Italy to learn about pleasure, India to gain a greater sense of self, devotion, and spirituality and lastly Indonesia where she hoped to reach her ultimate goal of balance for her new life.

Additional Comments: While this book does talk about the religion at the ashram in India, religion is not pushed upon the reader. I do not think it was intended to change anyone's mind about their own religion. I think she just wanted to let us know about what else is out there and to teach us to be open minded.