Monthly Archives: May, 2013

Rachael Ray’s Mexican Lasagna

Rachael Ray’s Mexican Lasagna (adapted by Carlton)

photo credit: Food Network

photo credit: Food Network

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds ground chicken or turkey breast
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
1 cup medium heat taco sauce or 1 (14-oz) can stewed or fire roasted tomatoes
1 cup frozen corn kernels
8 (8 inch) whole wheat tortillas
2 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar or shredded pepper jack, low-fat
2 scallions, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil – twice around the pan. Add chicken/turkey and season with chili powder, cumin, and red onion. Brown the meat, 5 minutes. Add taco sauce or stewed or fire roasted tomatoes. Add black beans and corn. Heat the mixture through, 2 to 3 minutes then season with salt, to your taste.

Coat a shallow baking dish with remaining extra-virgin olive oil, about 1 tablespoon oil. Cut the tortillas in half or quarters to make them easy to layer with. Build lasagna in layers of meat and beans, then tortillas, then cheese. Repeat: meat, tortilla, cheese again. Bake lasagna 12 to 15 minutes until cheese is brown and bubbly. Top with the scallions and serve.

Notes about this recipe:

  • If you bake this in a 9 X 13 inch pan, you should get about 12 servings.  If you use a smaller pan, the lasagna will yield less servings.
  • The original recipe used spinach flavored flour tortillas.  Although they may add a little flavor and color, they are also higher in fat and sodium.  Using whole wheat reduces both.
  • I usually add a jar of fresh salsa to the top of the casserole for added moisture.  Or I’ll serve it on the side.
  • To further reduce the sodium content, cook your own beans instead of using canned.

Benefits from this recipe:

  • Low in sodium and fat and good source of protein.
  • Easy and quick to assemble.

Nutritional Analysis

Calories               275.9

Total Fat               7.7 g

Saturated Fat     2.6 g

      Polyunsaturated Fat       0.4 g

      Monounsaturated Fat   1.5 g

Cholesterol         48.3 mg

Sodium                 396.2 mg

Potassium           219.2 mg

Total Carbohydrate         24.0 g

Dietary Fiber      4.6 g

             Sugars   1.9 g

Protein                 28.0 g

Vitamin A            13.7 %

Vitamin B-12      1.9 %

Vitamin B-6         5.4 %

Vitamin C             9.8 %

Vitamin D            0.0 %

Vitamin E             1.6 %

Calcium                16.8 %

Copper                 4.0 %

Folate                   9.9 %

Iron                        15.4 %

Magnesium        6.7 %

Manganese        8.6 %

Niacin                    3.2 %

Pantothenic Acid              2.6 %

Phosphorus        16.2 %

Riboflavin            5.8 %

Selenium             5.6 %

Thiamin                6.2 %

Zinc                        5.0 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


Smoothie Recipes

You will not get bored with smoothies if you use this chart.  There are 18 different recipes!  I’ve tried a couple of them and they are good.  For more information, check out the website, Super Skinny Me .

photo credit: SuperSkinnyMe

photo credit: SuperSkinnyMe

Rise and Grind Juice Recipe

For all of the PG Foodies who own juice machines, here’s a recipe to try (NOTE: ACV is an abbreviation for apple cider vinegar).

photo credit: FitLife.TV

photo credit: FitLife.TV

Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salad

Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salad (contributed by Nancy Conard)

12 servings

Nancy says this dish is a hit every time she serves it.  It’s also good served with tortilla chips and pita bread.

1 lb. frozen corn kernels thawed
2 Tablespoons oil
1 Tablespoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cumin
6 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
5 Tablespoons oil
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup chopped red onion
3 Italian plum tomatoes, chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 15 oz cans of black beans rinsed and drained
2 large avocados, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Preheat oven to 450°. Combine corn and 2 Tablespoons oil in a medium bowl. Toss to coat. Spread corn on

Preheat oven to 450. Combine corn and 2 Tablespoons oil in a medium bowl. Toss to coat. Spread corn on ungreased baking pan. Bake 18-22 minutes until corn turns light golden brown, stirring every 5-10 minutes. Remove corn from oven and cool 10 minutes. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine salt, cumin, lime juice, 5 Tbsp. oil, and vinegar. Shake until blended. In a large bowl, combine cilantro, onion, tomatoes, jalapeno, bell pepper, garlic, beans, and roasted corn. Mix well and add dressing from the jar and stir. Add avocados and toss gently to combine. Refrigerate up to 6 hours before serving.

FYI – Cumin is good for digestion!  This dish is also low in sodium and high in potassium, Vitamin C 

Nutritional Analysis

Calories     247.9

Total Fat     13.1 g

      Saturated Fat    1.8 g

      Polyunsaturated Fat     1.5 g

      Monounsaturated Fat    8.8 g

Cholesterol     0.0 mg

Sodium     201.2 mg

Potassium     567.6 mg

Total Carbohydrate     29.1 g

     Dietary Fiber     8.8 g

     Sugars     2.0 g

Protein     7.5 g

Vitamin A     21.4%

Vitamin B-6     13.8%

Vitamin C     61.0%

Vitamin E     7.9%

Calcium     3.0%

Copper     11.5%

Folate     34.3%

Iron     11.4%

Magnesium     17.0%

Manganese     22.1%

Niacin     8.9%

Pantothenic Acid     7.7%

Phosphorus     14.4%

Riboflavin     7.8%

Selenium     2.0%

Thiamin      15.6%

Zinc     8.2%

(based upon a 2,000 calories per day diet)

Grilled Chicken Breasts With Spicy Peach Glaze

Grilled Chicken Breasts With Spicy Peach Glaze

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Spicy Peach Glaze
Recipe courtesy Bobby Flay
Show: Hot Off the Grill with Bobby FlayEpisode: Grilled Chicken Breasts with Spicy Peach Glaze

Read more at:

Spicy Peach Glaze:
2 cups peach preserves or jam
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 small jalapeno, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
8 Frenched” chicken breasts
4 ripe peaches, cut in half and pitted
Combine Spicy Peach Glaze ingredients in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Reserve 1/2 cup.

Preheat grill. Brush the chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place skin-side down and cook for 6 to 7 minutes, until golden brown. Turn over and continue cooking for 5 to 6 minutes. Brush both sides with the peach glaze and continue cooking an additional 4 to 5 minutes.

Place peach halves, cut side down on the grill and grill for 2 minutes. Turn over and brush with the reserved 1/2 cup of peach glaze, grill for 3 to 4 more minutes until peaches are soft.

Per Serving: Calories: 415 ;Total Fat: 7 grams; Saturated Fat: 1 gram; Protein: 28 grams; Total carbohydrates: 61 grams; Sugar: 55 grams; Fiber: 1 gram; Cholesterol: 68 milligrams; Sodium: 255 milligrams

Read more at:

Recipe Renovation – Creamy Mac and Cheese

I promise you this recipe will taste better than this stuff in a box...

I promise you this recipe will taste better than this stuff in a box…

Creamy Mac and Cheese

(adapted from a recipe in Cooking Light magazine)

Serves 6

  • 4 cups uncooked medium elbow macaroni
  • 1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 1/4 cups fat-free milk
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt. Drain and set aside.

While pasta cooks, place garlic, flour, salt, and pepper in a large saucepan. Stir over a low heat for a couple of minutes.  Add milk, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Drop cream cheese by teaspoonfuls into milk mixture; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; simmer 2 minutes or until thick and cream cheese melts, stirring occasionally. Stir in mustard and smoked paprika; simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add cheddar cheese, stirring until cheese melts. Combine pasta and cheese sauce in a large bowl; toss well.


I usually use rotini noodles to catch all that creamy sauce!


I combine the flour, salt, pepper and garlic as a foundation for the sauce and flavor profile.


Initially, add a little bit of the milk to the flour to begin the “roux”.


The cheese is added to the sauce, which also helps to thicken it.


The finished product, sprinkled with an additional couple of tablespoons of shredded cheese.

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 257.3
  • Fat: 6.7g
  • Saturated fat: 3.9g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 1.8g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.5g
  • Protein: 15.8g
  • Carbohydrate: 30.3g
  • Fiber: 1.1g
  • Cholesterol: 27mg
  • Iron: 1.4mg
  • Sodium: 536mg
  • Calcium: 312mg

Notes about this recipe:

  • The biggest plus with this recipe is a decrease in fat and sodium.  Although the sodium content is not low, it is greatly decreased from the 900 to 1,000 mg found in most homemade or restaurant recipes.  And the fat content is much lower compared to 18 grams found in restaurant recipes.
  • This side dish would go well with steamed veggies  or a salad and a lean portion of protein.

Benefits from this recipe:

  • This recipe is quick to assemble because there’s no prep work involved.
  • A lot of rich sauces start with a roux of butter and flour.  The butter is omitted in this recipe to reduce the fat.  The flour and cream cheese create the thick, creamy texture in the sauce.
  • The fat in the recipe is reduced but eliminating butter, using low fat cream cheese and fat-free milk (instead of heavy cream or whole milk, both of which have a higher fat content).
  • Garlic adds flavor and great health benefits.  Also, using the garlic at the beginning allows you to use some of the garlic juice to create the roux.

Other tasty tips:

  • Add some chopped broccoli, tomatoes, or chopped bell peppers for color.
  • Spice it up with your favorite herbs and spices.
  • Using whole wheat pasta will increase fiber by about 4 grams.
  • If you like a bit of crunch with your mac and cheese, you can sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of PLAIN Japanese panko crumbs on top and broil in the oven for a few minutes.  Just remember to keep an eye on it so you don’t burn the crumbs.  And also consider the crumbs will add about 20 to 30  calories.  It will also slightly increase sodium and carb content, depending on the manufacturer.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT – MAY 14, 2013: Health Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water




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