Honey and Pepper Jelly Grilled Pork Chops

img_20161130_183551I love pork chops! I especially love them grilled with a tangy marinade. Sweet or spicy, doesn’t matter. In this recipe I use my sodium free marinade using my FAVORITE pepper jelly! It is also the low sugar version of the jelly so this marinade is good AND healthy!! You can use this marinade on any type of pork, chicken or fish. Good stuff!! 🙂

You will need:

  • 1/2 c  Jennifer’s Kitchen Low Sugar Strawberry Pepper Preserves (available on Amazon) *You will need more for dipping! 🙂
  • 1 tsp. Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 TBS Organic Honey
  • (I prefer Simply Organic herbs and spices in my recipes)
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander
  • 2 TBS Olive oil
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 4 Thick cut boneless pork chops
  • img_20170105_174018330_hdr

In a medium to large bowl add first ten ingredients and mix well. Add pork chops and coat them well (wash hands thoroughly). Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in refrigerator 30 min up to overnight…whatever fits your schedule. I prefer at least an hour. **give them an extra stir in the bowl after marinating before cooking so they are good and coatedimg_20170105_173341465

There are a many ways you can prepare these. You can broil them, bake them, fry them in a grill pan with a grill press or grill them. My favorite way is the good ol’ grill but not everyone can always grill or weather doesn’t permit it. The last time I made them in the grill pan on medium heat and they turned out perfect! No matter how you choose to prepare them make sure they are cooked to an internal temp of 170 degrees.

When you grill or fry them leave them on the first side until you see white before you turn them. And using a grill pan and a grill press, in my opinion, cooks them more evenly and makes those pretty grill marks! ** Spray your pan and press with a little cooking spray before cooking

Serve with your favorite sides (I prefer rice and vegetables) and give them a drizzle of olive oil and add a dollop of that delicious strawberry pepper jelly on the side for dipping 🙂

** X2 Leftover Meal… Any leftover pork can be sliced and put over any salad you prefer.

** Like I stated this is a sodium free marinade, if you like a saltier taste you may add 2 tsp of soy sauce OR 1/2 tsp salt to the recipe. img_20161130_183551

Created with love by:

Creations_by_Char

Char Head 🙂

Enjoy!!!

 

Chicken Parm Burger

img_20170102_163034This is such a fun, yummy and messy recipe! Who doesn’t love Chicken parm? Well, I created a healthier way to eat it and on a bun!! It is lower in sodium and fits in well with my family’s new healthy way of eating. Ya gotta try it.. but bring the napkins! 🙂

You will need:

  • 1-lb. Perdue ground chicken
  • (I prefer Simply Organic herbs and spices in my recipes)
  • 2 tsp. Onion powder
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Parsley flakes
  • 2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Red pepper flakes
  • 1- 1/2 TBS Olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp Basil (Fresh or dried) *you will also need a little more for garnish
  • **************************************************
  • Sliced Mozzarella- 3-4 slices
  • Kraft Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 4-6 oz Spaghetti noodles cooked al dente
  • 100% whole wheat buns

 

You will need for the sauce:

  • 1- 14.5 oz can Hunts no salt added sauce
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

img_20161230_180238398

In a mixing bowl combine chicken and next 10 ingredients. Mix well. Wash hands thoroughly. Begin to cook pasta. Set aside and keep warm when done.

In a small sauce pan or microwave dish put sauce and the other 4 sauce ingredients and mix well. Warm sauce in dish covered in microwave or warm sauce on low heat in sauce pan. img_20161230_175947722

In a grill pan or non stick skillet on medium heat drizzle some olive oil. Form 3-4 patties from chicken mixture, depending on what size you like your burgers. Put them in warmed pan. If you have a grill press spray it with cooking spray and lay on top of burgers. I think they turn out nicer with the press but it is not necessary. When the burgers start to turn white flip them. Cook them to an internal temp of 170 degrees and until they are no longer pink.

img_20161230_180009615img_20161230_180657052

Turn off heat and top each burger with a slice of mozzarella (you may warm, grill, or broil your buns) img_20161230_180957416_hdr

Now…the fun begins! Place a burger on a bun, then top with a small amount of noodles, then a nice dollop of the sauce, then a generous sprinkle of Basil and Parmesan cheese. End with the top of the bun and give it a gentle press! YUM!!! Be prepared to get a little messy! But, it is so worth it! Serves 3-4img_20161230_182011785_hdr

**I have added zero salt to this recipe. If you are not on a sodium restricted diet or like more of a salty taste you may add 1/4-1/2 tsp of salt to the chicken and also to the sauce. Or you may use regular salt added sauce.

**You can also slice burgers in half or quarters and dip them in the extra sauce

**If you want it spicier.. increase red pepper flakes

*TIME SAVER… noodles and sauce can be made the day before and just warmed up to put on the burgers when they are done 🙂 Or.. warm up that leftover spaghetti from yesterdays dinner to top the burgers for a leftover x2 meal!! 🙂 img_20170102_163034

Created with love by:

Creations_by_Char

Char Head 🙂

Enjoy!!

 

Rustic Glazed Carrots

img_20161208_152920I LOVE carrots… any way shape or form. I love them roasted, in soups, and even just fresh. They are the epitome of “earthy”. So I rarely peel them. I buy organic carrots, wash them thoroughly and leave the skin on. I feel it makes them even better. So when we were forced to follow restricted diets in our house, I have had to slowly revamp our favorite holiday dishes… not an easy task. I was pretty happy with the results of changing my glazed carrot recipe and even though they aren’t perfect, they are much improved, and the flavor is still there. This recipe is lower in sugar, sodium, fat and calories than my original. But, don’t despair.. I will be posting my original recipes as well 🙂img_20170102_084043

You will need:

  • 6-8 large organic carrots washed thoroughly, not peeled, cut into large chunks
  • 1/2-1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup Truvia sugar substitute
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 3 TBS unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 2 TBS organic honey

In a medium saucepan put carrots then all other ingredients, except reserve 1/2 c of water to add during cooking. img_20161124_144642916_hdr

Cook covered on low to low/medium heat, stoves vary. You don’t want carrots to boil just simmer. At the 30 min point gently stir the carrots and if it looks like they need more water add some of your reserve. You don’t want them to get dry or they will stick or burn but you also don’t want them swimming lol you want them to get a little syrupy. Cook at same heat another 30 min checking and gently stirring periodically. Add more water when needed. The carrots will take 45-90 min to cook depending on your pan and stoves heat. They are done when you stick a fork in and the carrots are nice and soft. They will stay hot covered in the pan even off the heat while you take time to prepare other dishes for your meal. Stir well before serving and pour entire contents of pan into serving dish. You want all that good syrup in there 🙂img_20151127_095155-1**This is a pic of my original recipe. It’s a lot more syrupy but has more sodium, fat, sugar and calories. I will post my original soon 🙂

Serve with an added drizzle of olive oil and honey. Serves 6-8

**If you like more salt either use salted butter or add 1 tsp of salt to the other ingredients.

Enjoy! 🙂

Created with love by:

Creations_by_Char

Char Head 🙂

Peppered Bacon Green Beans

img_20151126_193203-1If you are looking for a change from green bean casserole for the holidays I invite you to try this delicious and easy recipe. Now this doesn’t fall into my Healthy Selection category (AT ALL) but it IS for the Holidays when you make those little splurges. I have never been a fan of the good ol’ green bean casserole and this is what I have always made, and as far as I know, I haven’t had any complaints 🙂

You will need:

  • 1 pkg. (includes 3 bags) Schwan’s Live Smart Microsteam Green Beans (you can also use fresh washed green beans)
  • 6-8 slices Schwan’s Thick Sliced bacon thawed and cut into 1 inch pieces (you can use the whole package if you like more bacon)
  • 1 c water to start- may need a little more throughout cooking
  • approx. 1 tsp fresh ground pepper up to 1-1/2 tsp if you like a little more pepper flavorimg_20161122_094245284

In a 5-7 quart pot, non-stick works best, on medium heat fry and stir bacon pieces until crispy. Remove from heat. Remove half the cooked bacon and set aside…you will use it for serving. Put all 3 bags of frozen green beans in pot and add the water. Yes, you will leave the bacon and bacon grease in the pot. Cover and cook on very low heat for at least an hour. I prefer 2 hours. Check and stir occasionally because you may need to add a little water at times and you want to mix those flavors around.

Beans should become a lighter green and limp but not mushy… then you will know they are done. Give them a gentle stir and transfer to a serving dish and garnish with remaining bacon. Can’t get easier than that!! 🙂  Makes approx. 10-12 servings

They are also great leftover and can be made ahead for large groups and warmed up to serve. img_20151126_193203-1

Created with love by:

Creations_by_Char

Char Head 🙂

Enjoy!!!

Chunky Chicken Meatballs

img_20161110_123248This is similar to my other chunky meatball recipe but with ground chicken..LOVE.. and lower in sodium and just so much healthier! These meatballs are so versatile. You can have them with pasta, rice, pasta sauce, white sauce, or just by themselves. I love to add mushrooms to them but my daughter wouldn’t stand for that…so I don’t have them in this recipe. Try to add them if you are a fan or for variety. And for large groups you can double or triple the recipe very easily. Enjoy! 🙂

You will need:

  • 2 lbs. Perdue ground chicken
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1- 1/3 TBS Olive Oil
  • 10 saltine crackers crushed
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion chopped a little “chunky”
  • 1/4 c fresh chopped Basil ( chop a bit more for garnish)
  • (I prefer Simply Organic or Olde Thompson herbs and spices in my recipes)
  • 1-1/2 tsp Onion powder
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp dried Basil
  • 2-1/2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 2 tsp dried Parsley
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander
  • 1 tsp Fresh ground pepper
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Mozzarella, Pepper Jack, or Monterey Jack cheese (optional)img_20161109_161754718   img_20161109_161706553_hdr

In a large mixing bowl add all ingredients except the cheeses. Mix well until blended. (wash hands thoroughly) Marinate in refrigerator at least 15 minutes. img_20161109_161506928

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Spray a 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray. Form meat mixture into large balls.. a little bigger than a golf ball (no need to be perfect, remember they are chunky meatballs!!)

Assemble them in dish as spread out as you can. img_20161109_162217937_hdr

**(wash hands thoroughly)

Cover with foil and bake approx. 40 minutes (ovens vary)

Uncover and bake an additional 5 minutes to an internal temp of 170 deg

Sprinkle with desired amount of parmesan cheese and/or one of the optional cheeses and bake 5 more minutes uncovered

Remove from oven and let rest 3-5 minutesimg_20161109_172943223_hdr

Serve on pasta, rice, or with any sauce you like. They can also be served just the way they are with a garnish of chopped basil, olive oil and parmesan cheese. Use your imagination!

Created with love by:

Creations_by_Char

Char Head 🙂

Enjoy!!!

Curry Chicken Sloppy Joes Pasta (x2 Leftover Meal)

img_20161014_171813Seems like a crazy combo right? Sloppy Joes and pasta? Well, it’s delicious!!! On the next day with your Curry Chicken Soppy Joes leftovers you can most surely have sloppy Joes again, but if you want a little change here’s a really easy leftover meal and it doesn’t seem leftover at all! And even better, remember this meal is a Healthy Selection and low in sodium..Yum! 🙂

You will need:

  • At least 1/2 of recipe leftover Curry Chicken Sloppy Joes
  • 16 oz box Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Penne Pasta (cooked according to pkg directions) or pasta of your choice
  • Parmesan, cheddar, or pepper jack cheese
  • washed & chopped green onions
  •  1-28oz can Hunts No Salt Added diced tomatoes
  • approx. 1/8 cup fresh chopped basil
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • (I prefer Simply Organic herbs and spices in my recipes)
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Curry powder
  • 1/3 tsp fresh ground pepperimg_20161010_173124565_hdr

Begin to prepare the pasta. In a Dutch oven or large pot warm on medium heat the leftover sloppy joes. Add tomatoes, 1/2 the basil, corn, oregano, Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, curry and pepper. Stir well and continue to warm on medium heat. When hot turn down to very low heat, stir and cover until pasta is ready.

Remove from heat. Serve over pasta and garnish with basil, green onions and your choice of cheese.

Serves at least 4

If you have more leftover its great on a hot dog or to make nachos!!

Created with love by:

Creations_by_Char

Char Head 🙂

Enjoy!!!img_20161014_171813

 

Curry Chicken Sloppy Joes

img_20161013_155246My daughters friend mentioned to me the other day when we were talking about chicken burgers.. ” I am in the mood for sloppy joes.” And of course my ever creating lightbulb went off full tilt! Yes!! Chicken sloppy joes! Perfect! So I went to work and created the recipe. I was very happy with it and they were yummy! And of course it is a healthy sloppy joes because its ground chicken and very low sodium.. Yeah! Enjoy!! 🙂

You will need:

  • Olive Oil
  • 2-lbs Perdue ground chicken
  • 2 cups chopped bell peppers (any color)
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 1- pkg cherry or grape tomatoes any color halved
  • 3-4 chopped garlic cloves
  • 3 tsp fresh chopped basil
  • (I prefer Simply Organic herbs and spices in my recipes)
  • 1-1/2 TBS curry powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 3 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 3-1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3-1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1- 29 oz can Hunts no salt added sauce
  • 2-1/2 tsp Olde Thompson Mesquite Grilling Grinder spice
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 5 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 TBS low fat sour cream
  • chopped green onions
  • Shredded pepper jack cheese
  • Wooden spoonimg_20161009_175818699_hdr

In a Dutch oven or large pot on medium heat drizzle some olive oil approx. 3 TBS in bottom of pan and when heated add onion and bell peppers. Stir with wooden spoon until slightly softened. Add garlic, tomatoes, basil, curry, pepper flakes, Turmeric, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and onion powder. Stir until the spices coat the veggies and the tomatoes are softened. Add chicken, wash hands thoroughly, and break up and cook until no longer pink and mixed well with other ingredients. Add sauce and stir well. Add mesquite spice, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and sour cream and gently stir.

Take down to low heat for about 15 min stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat, cover and let sit 5-10 minutes.

Will be a little soupy so use a slotted spoon to serve (will be thicker next day). Put on your favorite bun and top with shredded pepper jack cheese and green onions or any topping you prefer. My husband likes to add jalapenos and hot sauce!

This recipe makes a lot so of course I have a x2 leftover recipe. Or you can eat sloppy joes twice, whatever your family prefers. 🙂

Created with love by:

Creations_by_Char

Char Head 🙂

Enjoy!!img_20161013_155246