Friday, January 16, 2009

Hot Cereal

I love hot cereal. There's nothing like a bowl of warm yumminess on a cold snowy morning. My current favorite right now is a mixture of cracked wheat and oatmeal....mmmmmm. This is low fat and high in fiber, and really good for you if you don't load it down with sugar. Oh, and did I mention cheap? You can find cracked wheat at lots of health food type stores, or order it online. My secret to not adding tons of sugar (I have a hard time with this cuz I have a sweet tooth!) is to add a bit of unsweetened applesauce and some raisins, and then it only needs a little sugar. This is my favorite way to prepare it:

1/4 C Cracked Wheat
1/4 C Old Fashioned Oats (don't use quick oats, or you might have a soggy mess)
1 1/2 C Water (or 3/4 C water, 3/4 Cup milk...this makes it a little creamier)
Pinch of Salt
1/4 C Raisins or Craisins (you could also use fresh or frozen blueberries, but I wouldn't add them until the last few minutes of cooking time)
4 tsp. Brown Sugar
1/2-1 tsp Cinnamon (depending on how much you like cinnamon)
2 Tbs. Applesauce

Add cereals, salt, and water to a small pot and simmer, stirring periodically, on low heat for 13-15 minutes, or until it reaches your desired consistency. If you are using milk instead of water, be sure not to let it get above a simmer. If you like your raisins soft and plump, add them in at the beginning. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients. Serve with additional milk (or sugar, or honey), if desired. There are lots of possibilities, be creative and have fun with your cereal! If you split this into two servings (as written), it is about 3 weight watchers points per serving.

**If you need to have a quick breakfast during the week before work, make a double batch of this on Saturday or Sunday and put it in the fridge. Each morning, just spoon some out, add a little milk, and reheat it in the microwave. I was surprised at how good and fresh it tasted after being reheated!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mini Meatloaves

I stumbled upon this meatloaf recipe a while back when I was searching for a recipe that didn't call for 2 pounds of hamburger. This has been my favorite meatloaf recipe since. You can make it for two people, or ten (put your math skills to the test!). It doesn't have to cook for hours, and everyone I've made it for loves it. Oh, and the little loaves really are quite cute!

1 egg
¼ C Milk
1/3 C crushed Saltine crackers
3 Tbs. chopped onion
¼ tsp. Salt
1/8 tsp. Sage
Dash of Pepper
½ lb Lean Ground Beef (I usually use one with 10% fat or less. Figure 1/4 lb per person, or more if you have hungry boys at your house.)
¼ C Ketchup
2 Tbs. brown sugar
¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce

In a bowl, beat the egg. Add milk, cracker crumbs, onion, salt, sage and pepper. Crumble beef over mixture, then get your hands in there and mix well. Don't over mix. Just squish it together until everything is incorporated.

Then, shape into loaves, place in a shallow baking dish or cookie sheet lined with foil. (This makes clean up SO much easier!)

Now for the sauce! Do not skimp on the sauce! Spread it all on there, and try not to lick your fingers. In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Stir until sugar is mostly dissolved and then spoon it evenly over meat loaves. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until meat is no longer pink and a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees. I love to serve these with baked potatoes, green beans and salad!