Spicy Brown Rice Meatloaf

Two words … Burning Deliciousness. I had plans to make Tosca Reno’s Brown Rice Turkey Meatloaf for dinner, but my taste buds were craving some serious flava flave.

So, I decided to play with the recipe and add in some GIN flavor – salsa, jalapeno and chili powder. And thank heavens it was absolutely delish … the boy had three servings, which is what I call a win.

If you want a less spicy version, cut back on the chili powder or jalapeno.

1 lb Lean ground turkey
1 cup Cooked brown rice
1 Egg
1/2 cup part-skim Mexican blend cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped  yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1 finely chopped jalapeno 
3 tbs Salsa
1 tsp Sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp chili powder  
Preheat oven to 350*F
Cook rice according to package directions.

In a large bowl combine all ingredients with a pair of clean hands. Place in a loaf pan with a light coating of non-stick vegetable cooking spray. Bake for about an hour. Let cool ten minutes before serving

Makes 6 Servings
Per Slice:
174 Calories
9 Carbs
8 Fat
18 Protein
590 Sodium
2 Sugar


Apple Chicken Salad


I attempted to make my own salad dressing for the first time ever and it was delicious! I recently visited a local restaurant and they served a salad with a honey apple cider vinaigrette that is flipping to die for and since I couldn’t find it on the shelves at Kroger, I made it for myself:


3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

For the salad, I tossed the dressing with iceberg and spring mix and topped it with sliced apples, cranberries and grilled chicken.

For the entire salad:
466 calories
37 carbs
25 fat
21 protein

Baked Chicken and Rice with Sugar Snap Peas and Carrots

Mondays scream for easy, simple, delicious meals. Now, What I had planned tonight was a complicated dish I’d never made before … and of course, I could not find a key ingredient. So I grabbed the thawed chicken and waited for inspiration; this is what came of it.




2 Chicken Breasts
1 cup white (or brown) rice
2 cups water
2 Tbs Marinade (I used a garlic herb and lemon marinade)
1 Tbs McCormick Grillmates Chicken Rub
1 cup sugar snap peas and baby carrots (raw)

Marinade chicken (with rub) for one hour in the refrigerator  Preheat oven to 375. Spray baking dish with cooking spray. Add rice and water to baking dish and stir (add salt and pepper, to taste – I did not add any, the chicken provided a nice flavor for the rice). Add chicken and sugar snap peas and carrots. Bake covered for 45 minutes.

Makes 4 servings
Calories: 295
Carbs: 40g
Fat: 3g
Protein: 27g

Veggie Stew

My first attempt at both using a crock pot and making a stew. The forecast today called for rain and storms all day; so we prepped for a day in and bought firewood … and, of course, no rain.But, regardless the day and the stew turned out great (which is a good thing, because I’ll be eating it for lunch for the rest of the week)! The original recipe, can be found on Fat Free Vegan Recipes. Because it was my first stew, I didn’t change much at all. Although, the next go-round will definitely have a Girl In Nashville twist.


1 medium eggplant, peeled — cut in 1/2″ cubes
2 cups chopped tomato
1 1/2 cups sliced carrot
15 ounces garbanzo beans, canned — drained
8 ounces red kidney beans, canned — rinsed and drained
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced celery
3 tsp minced garlic
3 cups vegetable broth
6 ounces tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sea salt pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 bay leaf

1. In a 3 1/2, 4 or 5-quart crockpot, combine eggplant, tomatoes, carrots, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, onion, celery and garlic.

2. Combine vegetable broth, tomato paste, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and bay leaf. Pour over vegetables.

3. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 7 to 8 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Discard bay leaf. Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional Information calculated on MyFitnessPal.
198 Calories
33 Carbs
2 Fat
10 Protein

Chicken Pad Thai

Expanding my cooking horizons on this one and attempting a new cuisine … Thai. I love Pad Thai and order it quite often, but always feel guilty and overly full afterwards. So, when I found this recipe on Skinny Taste, I had to try it. Since the boy doesn’t like seafood, I opted for chicken. Made a few other changes … Stevia instead of sugar, EVOO instead of oil, added more chili powder and left out the peanuts (because I don’t like them if you want to keep them, add them at the end of the process).

Coming in at only 318 calories, this was delicious. Although, next time, I will definitely add more spice.

3 oz packaged rice noodles (rice sticks)
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
4 oz chicken breast, skinless, boneless, cut into bite-size pieces
1 large egg
3 tsp egg whites
1 cup bean sprouts
1 oz Chinese chives (or scallions), cut into ¼ inch lengths
lime wedges

For the Seasonings:
1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce (A Taste of Thai brand for gluten free)
1.5 packets Stevia
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp chili powder or more, to taste


Follow the package instructions to cook the dry rice noodles. The rice noodles should be soft (but still chewy and not mushy) after boiling. Rinse the boiled noodles with cold running water.

Mix all the seasoning ingredients in a small bowl until well combined, set aside.

Heat up a large skillet on high heat and add the oil. As soon as the oil is hot, add the garlic to the skillet and start stirring until you smell the aroma of the garlic. Add the chicken and continue stirring. As soon as the chicken changes color, add the noodles and stir-continuously, about 30 seconds. Use the spatula to push the noodles to one side of the skillet, and crack the eggs on the empty side of the skillet. Use the spatula to break the egg yolk and let cook for about 30 seconds. Combine the egg and the noodles, and add the seasoning sauce. Stir to combine well with the noodles.

Next, add the bean sprouts and scallions and continue stirring. As soon as the bean sprouts are cooked, turn off the heat and serve the Pad Thai immediately with the lime wedges.

Calories: 318
Carbs: 99g
Fat: 8g
Protein: 24g

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meatballs

I’ve been working on this recipe for a while; this was my third attempt at spaghetti squash; and according to the boy, I nailed it! It was quite delicious. Not the prettiest, but it was quite yummy!

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meatballs (4 servings)




Turkey Meatballs (makes 10 small)
½ pound lean ground turkey
½ large egg
¼ cup crushed croutons
1 tsp melted butter or olive oil
1 tbs Shredded Parmesan Cheese
2 tsp Italian seasoning blend
½ tsp minced garlic
Dash crushed red pepper
Dash chopped onion
Pinch rosemary
Preheat oven to 425. Mix ingredients together. Shape meat balls. Bake 20 minutes, flip, bake additional 10-15 minutes.

1 14.5 oz can diced tomato (no salt added)
1 6 oz can tomato paste
6 oz water
1 8 oz can tomato sauce (no salt added)
Season to taste: Italian blend, minced garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper, oregano, basil
Simmer for 45-60 minutes; stirring occasionally

Spaghetti Squash
Preheat oven to 450
Cut Spaghetti squash in half
Remove all seeds (they look like pumpkin seeds and insides – all this has to go)
Spread a thin layer of olive oil on the inside of the squash, sprinkle garlic salt on the inside
Bake, rind up, for 45 minutes
Remove from oven and use a fork to scrape the “spaghetti” out

Put it all together …
Leave oven set to 450. Transfer spaghetti to a glass baking dish (I used a 9x5x3). Toss in meatballs and cover with marinara sauce (use as little or as much as you prefer). Sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Calories: 230
Carbs: 19g
Fat: 10g
Protein: 17g

Greek Night!

I love Greek food almost as much as I love ice cream (ok, slight exaggeration, but you get the point). So, it was only a matter of time before I tried a Greek-inspired dish (because, let’s be honest, as an American anything with Feta must be Greek!). I was sold at the works “Chicken artichoke feta.” Yep, I’m that easy. The original recipe called for chicken thighs, but, I’m a breast girl … you know what I mean.

The recipe itself is fairly quick and simple, which was perfect for today … 9 hours at work and an hour workout after. The original recipe was from Skinny Taste. Served with whole wheat pitas, garlic and chive hummus and couscous, the whole meal was about 340 calories … a very filling 340 calories (though when your boyfriend doesn’t know if he like artichokes, it can lead to additional calories when you steal them off of his plate … which, for the record is the one pictured above and contains a smidge over 340 calories.)

Chicken with Artichoke and Feta

2 skinless boneless chicken breasts
6 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp oregano
1/4 cup reduced fat feta cheese
Salt and fresh pepper

Combine artichoke hearts along with liquid and chicken and let it marinade about 20 minutes or longer. After it’s marinated, drain all liquid, add garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.

Broil on low about 6 inches from the flame for about 10 minutes or until golden brown, turn chicken and cook an additional 8-10 minutes and chicken is fully cooked. Top chicken with feta and broil an additional minute. Remove from oven and top with fresh oregano.

Makes 4 servings (one serving is half a chicken breast):
Calories: 122
Carbs: 4
Fat: 5
Protein: 15

Here is the actual serving size …


Baked Chicken Parmesan Wraps

I found the recipe for these on Pinterest and literally made them the same day; they looked that good. I didn’t even modify the recipe … well, aside from making my “famous” marinara sauce (someday I may get around to posting the recipe for the sauce). I also marinated the chicken in a sparkling Moscato and seasoned with minced garlic, sea salt and Italian seasoning for about an hour in the fridge.

To find the recipe, visit Can You Stay For Dinner? She’s got some other fantastic recipes.


Girl in Nashville Turkey Lettuce Wraps

I love P.F. Chang’s Lettuce Wraps and on a day when the thermometer hits 107, nothing is as refreshing as this delicious goodness wrapped in crisp, iceberg lettuce. Each serving has 378 calories.



Turkey mixture

1 lb extra lean ground turkey
1 ½ tsp Gourmet Garden Chili Pepper Spice BlendPepper (freshly ground) to taste
6 scallions, white & green part chopped
1 can (8 oz) water chestnuts, drained, rinsed & chopped
¼ red bell pepper, chopped fine
¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 ½ tbsp Hoisin Sauce
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tbsp water
2 tsp sesame oil
1 large head iceberg lettuce, washed, dried & leaves separated

¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 tsp Truvia
½ tsp ginger powder
1 tsp sesame oil
½ tsp garlic
1 tsp Gourmet Garden Chili Pepper Spice Blend

1. In a large pan, brown the turkey, breaking up the pieces; add 1 ½ tsp Gourmet Garden Chili Pepper Spice Blend and fresh ground pepper. Pour into a colander in the sink and drain the fat.
2. In a medium bowl mix the scallions, water chestnuts, red pepper, soy sauce, Hoisin sauce, ginger, water, Gourmet Garden Chili Pepper Spice Blend and sesame oil. Mix with turkey.
4. In a small bowl, add all the dipping sauce ingredients together and mix well.
5. To assemble each wrap, spoon desired amount of mixture onto one lettuce leaf, top with about one teaspoon of sauce and then roll it up.

Makes 4 servings

Nutritional Information (calculated with My Fitness Pal) per serving
Calories: 378
Carbs: 22g
Fat 21g
Protein: 25g

This recipe was inspired by Confessions of a Fat Girl’s “Like P.F. Chang’s lettuce wraps” post; with several modifications to the original recipe and ingredients.


Stuffed Bell Peppers

Okay, I admit it I don’t like peppers. I feel nothing ruins a pizza more than green peppers … the taste lingers and affects every piece. I won’t even share a pizza if someone wants green peppers on their half … the flavor permeates the whole thing. But, I do love a good chile relleno or stuffed pepper. The recipe below was modified from Skinny Taste’s Turkey Stuffed Peppers.

Served with steamed veggies and sliced tomato, the whole meal is under 300 calories

Servings: 4 servings (1/2 pepper) • Time: 55 minutes

2/3 lb lean chopped turkey meat
2/3 garlic, minced
1/8 onion, minced
2/3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
2/3 tsp garlic powder
2/3 tsp Tony’s Creole Seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste|
2 large orange or yellow bell peppers, washed
2/3 cup fat free chicken broth
1/8 cup tomato sauce
1 cups cooked brown rice
Olive oil spray
1/8 cup reduced fat shredded cheese

Heat oven to 400°. Spray a little olive oil spray in a medium size sauté pan and heat on a medium flame. Add onion, garlic and cilantro to the pan. Sauté about 2 minutes and add ground turkey. Season with salt and garlic powder, and cumin and brown meat for several minutes until meat is completely cooked through. Add 1/4 cup of tomato sauce and 1/3 cup of chicken broth mix well and simmer on low for about 5 minutes. Combine cooked rice and meat together.

Cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise, and remove all seeds. Place in a baking dish.

Spoon the meat mixture into each pepper half and fill it with as much as you can. Place all stuffed pepper halves on the baking dish and pour the remainder of the chicken broth on the bottom of the pan. Cover tight with aluminum foil and bake for about 35 minutes. Top with shredded cheddar cheese and enjoy.

Nutritional Information from My Fitness Pal:

Calories: 118
Fat: 4 g
Protein: 36 g
Carb: 14 g