Cheeseburger Pie (Low-Calorie)

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I will be the first to admit – I do not like ground turkey or cottage cheese. I’ve tried several “skinny” recipes incorporating these ingredients with no luck. I am not one to give up on trying and FINALLY I found one that was a winner for my family’s taste – including mine! It’s so good, I had to share it with you – and on my continued search for low-cal recipes that are truly delicious – I am creating a new category on my blog to make these recipes easy to find and try. I will continue to test new more healthy recipes, as I could lose a few pounds. But trust me on this, I won’t sacrifice taste for less calories!


1 lb lean ground turkey
3/4 cup onion, chopped
2 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 package reduced-fat crescent rolls
2.5 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 egg
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup reduced-fat, shredded cheddar cheese
4-8 slices of tomato

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brown ground turkey, garlic and onion in a large pan on medium heat.

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Drain any grease from the pan. Mix Worcestershire sauce into the meat. Turn heat to low.

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Spray a 9.5 inch pan with cooking spray. Take the crescent rolls and place them in the pan like a puzzle, covering the sides and bottom of the pan. Pinch any spaces between the crescent rolls together (ps – I’m a working mom and I don’t care if it’s perfect – it’s about taste not look!)

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Place the pan with the dough in the oven and bake for 8 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix cottage and eggs.

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When the 8 minutes are up, take the pie pan out of the oven. Spoon the meat mixture into the pan. Top with the cottage cheese/egg mixture. Top that with the shredded cheddar cheese. Then place the tomato slices on top.

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Bake for an additional 27-30 minutes (double check it and make sure the crust isn’t getting too burnt – mine got pretty crispy after 27 minutes). Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

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Yummm – so good AND healthy.

Calories 262 (per serving – makes 6 servings)
Calories from Fat 125
Total fat: 13.9g
Dietary fiber: 0.6g

Recipe adapted from:


Meatball-Tortellini Soup



Wow, I can’t believe it’s been over a month since my last post. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. We have been extremely busy. I loved all the time we spent with family and friends. And I traveled for work twice (once in -20 degree weather!). Finally the craziness of the holidays seems to be over. This was the first weekend of too many to count where I actually had no plans. My house desperately needed a cleaning. And it was only 18 degrees outside and we accumulated 2 extra inches of snow on Saturday. Following a pretty heavy lunch of hamburgers with tots, this soup was a nice, warming dinner for the family who had spent most of their day outside.

My recommendation for this recipe is to make extra meatballs to either freeze or use with spaghetti later in the week. The meatballs make this dish and are REALLY good!


8 ounces ground beef chuck  (to make extra meatballs, use 1.5 lbs ground beef chuck)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping (for extra: 3/4 c. parm cheese)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (for extra: 1/2 c. parsley)
1 large egg, lightly beaten (for extra: 2 eggs)
2 clove garlic, minced (for extra: 4 cloves)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
1 9 -ounce package refrigerated cheese tortellini
4 cups loosely packed baby spinach (about 3 ounces)

Combine ground chuck, parmesan cheese, parsley, egg, garlic, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Mix with your hands until just combined.



Form 1 inch meatballs.



Heat the olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook, turning until golden, about 5-7 minutes. Since I was making double the recipe, I used a skillet for the second batch of meatballs. 

While the meatballs are cooking, chop up your carrots and celery.



Remove the meatballs to a plate.



Add carrots and celery to the pot, stirring until just softened (about 5-7 minutes).


Add the broth and 3 cups of water to the pot. Bring to a boil.



Return the meatballs (if you made extra, return only half the meatballs) along with 2 tbsp fresh parsley and 1/2 tsp of salt. Turn to simmer.

Add the tortellini and cook until they float to the top (about 4 minutes). Add the spinach and stir, until wilted (about 2 minutes). Season with salt and pepper. Top with more parmesan.




Coming soon to momworkcook – Meal Planning! Save extra money on your grocery bill by planning your week’s meals in advance. For my family of 4, I usually spend $400/month on groceries (the average grocery spend is $940 month for a family our size). We always have enough food/snacks/drinks for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. You’ll learn more about how I do it, and we can shop/cook together!


Recipe adapted from:



Grinch Martini


On the docket for tonight is wrapping, wrapping, and maybe a little baking. EVERYONE knows that wrapping is so much easier when you’ve had a cocktail, or two. To help get in the Christmas spirit, I’ve mixed up the Grinch Cocktail. Enjoy!


4 oz Midori Melon Liqueur
1 oz lemon juice
2 tsp simple syrup
2 Maraschino cherries, for garnish

Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


Bacon Chocolate Cupcakes


My stepson LOVES bacon. He does not like cake. Today is his 11th birthday. We had a party with family for him today and I wanted to try something a little different and special for his dessert. Yes, I did buy a Dairy Queen mint chocolate chip oreo cookie cake for dessert. But I’ve been eyeing up this bacon chocolate cupcake recipe and thought it would be a great time to try. My stepson is a picky eater. If he says a meal I make is “ok”, I’ve won. If he likes it, it’s a huge win. All other food is a fight. It was a risk, being that he doesn’t like cake (hence the ice cream cake,) but he devoured it last night…for the win!

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted – work has had me extremely busy and braving -20 degree temps in WI and IL. I’ve had a lot of catching up/cleaning up to do – so no pics during the baking process. But here’s the recipe – try it and let me know what you think!!

12 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled (it should be crispy)
2 c. all purpose flour
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 c. white sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 eggs
1 c. cold, strong brewed coffee
1 c. buttermilk (don’t have buttermilk? see my tip below!)
1/2 c. vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Make a well in the center, and pour in the eggs, coffee, buttermilk and vegetable oil.
Stir just until blended.
Mix in 3/4 of the bacon, reserving the remainder for garnish.
Spoon the batter into the cups (I filled mine 3/4 full).
Bake in the preheated oven for 22 to 25 minutes until the tops spring back when lightly pressed.
Cool in the pan set over a wire rack.

For your topping you can use chocolate frosting with bacon crumbles on top. Or, if you don’t have frosting (or mess it up because you’re in a rush like I was), sift confectioners sugar over the cupcakes and drizzle with chocolate syrup. Sprinkle bacon crumbles on top.

Buttermilk – If you don’t have buttermilk, no problem! Take a little less than 1 cup of milk and mix with 1 tbsp of white vinegar or lemon juice. Let stand for 5 minutes. Done, buttermilk! This is what I used in the recipe above and it worked just fine.



Adapted from:

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

IMG_1302[1]Here in PA it’s been getting pretty cold at night lately – tonight’s low is below freezing. The best way to warm up on a cold, late Fall night is with a bowl of hot soup. This recipe combines two of my favorites – shrimp and corn, into an appetizing chowder. This soup will definitely be on our regular rotation, at least for the colder months. My husband loved it, even saying that it tasted like a soup one would get at a high-end restaurant.

Chop up the vegetables – celery and scallions. While you’re chopping, heat the butter in a dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat.


Stir in the celery, scallions, potatoes, and corn. Add the thyme, bay leaves, 3/4 tsp salt and a few grinds of pepper and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes.


Stir in the flour until incorporated, about 3 minutes.


Stir in the milk, then cover and bring to a boil. Uncover, reduce the heat to medium low, and gently simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat. Discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaves.

Transfer 1/3 of the mixture to the blender and puree until smooth, then return to the pot. Return to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir in the shrimp and cook until opaque, about 4 minutes. Season with salt. Serve with paprika sprinkled over the top.



3 teaspoons unsalted butter
4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
3 bunches scallions, chopped
5 cups frozen diced potatoes
4 cups frozen corn
4 sprigs thyme
3 bay leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1.5 quart low-fat milk
1.5 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Paprika, for sprinkling

Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat.
Stir in the celery, scallions, potatoes and corn.
Add the thyme, bay leaves, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and cook, stirring, 3 minutes.
Stir in the flour until incorporated, about 2 minutes.
Stir in the milk, then cover and bring to a boil. Uncover, reduce the heat to medium low and gently simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes.
Remove from the heat. Discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
Transfer one-third of the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth, then return to the pot.
Return to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir in the shrimp and cook until opaque, about 4 minutes.
Season with salt. If the soup is too thick, stir in up to 1 cup water. Divide among bowls and sprinkle with paprika.

Adapted from

Healthy Sesame Chicken & Rice


I love take out, the ease and flavors. I don’t love the way I feel after eating it. That overly full and just yuck feeling. I always find that it never tastes anywhere near as good the next day for leftovers either. I’m happy anytime I can replicate a take out recipe at home, still with the great flavor. This healthy version of Sesame Chicken uses all fresh vegetables and coconut oil. To save on time, you can certainly replace the fresh vegetables with one of those frozen bags of peppers and onions.

In a medium bowl, combine honey, tamari, sesame oil, minced garlic and toasted sesame seeds.


Whisk until combined.


Cube the chicken and season with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and egg whites. Add in the seasoned chicken and toss.


In a large skillet 2 tbsps of coconut oil, heat on medium-high. While the oil is heating, start the rice.


Once the oil is hot, add the chopped peppers and onions. Cook until slightly softened (4-8 minutes). Remove to a plate.


In the same skillet, heat up 3 tbsp of coconut oil. Add in chicken and cook until the chicken is golden brown (it took me about 10 minutes). Add the peppers and onions back to the pan, along with the green onions and sesame sauce. Stir until all is combined.


Serve over prepared white or brown rice. Add some Sriracha sauce for extra flavor and heat.

The recipe listed below is for about 6 servings. The 3 of us definitely needed the extra servings – my husband and daughter both had second helpings.IMG_1274[1]


3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup tamari
1.5 tsp sesame oil
6 tbsp sesame seeds
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 egg whites
6 tbsp corn starch
5 medium sized chicken breasts, cubed into 1 inch pieces
salt and black pepper
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 large yellow onion, diced
6 green onions, sliced
coconut oil
6 servings of Prepared White or Brown Rice

In a medium bowl, combine honey, tamari, sesame oil, garlic and sesame seeds. Whisk until combined and set aside.
Season cubed chicken with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl whisk together the egg whites and corn starch. Add in the seasoned chicken and toss.
In a large 10 to 12 inch non-stick skillet add 2 tbsp of coconut oil and heat over medium-high heat. Once hot add in the peppers and onions and cook for until slightly softened (4-8 minutes). Remove to a plate.
In the same skillet heat up 3 more tbsp of coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add in the chicken and cook until golden and fully cooked (about 10 minutes). Add the peppers and onions back in along with the sliced green onions and the sesame sauce.
Stir and serve over prepared white or brown rice. Makes 6 servings.

Adapted from

Simple Slow Cooked Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

I love slow-cooked dishes that require so little prep that I can throw it all in the crockpot before work and come home to a delicious meal. This is one of those recipes. My mornings usually consist of spending 10 minutes waking up my daughter, making her breakfast, and getting us both ready. Since we are usually in such a rush, I prefer our evenings, where we spend the most time together. I love cooking for my family, but I don’t mind the days where I can come home from work and just relax. This meal gave me that extra quality family time, for only 10 extra minutes of prep in the morning!

There won’t be a lot of prepping pictures to accompany this recipe, since time was of the essence in the morning when I was putting it together. But believe me when I say, it was SO EASY!

balsamic pork

Doesn’t that look so good?

1 2-3 pound boneless pork tenderloin
1.5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3/4 cups balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (a little more if you like the heat)
4 cloves garlic, chopped

Mix together all ingredients except for pork tenderloin in your slow cooker.
Add in your pork (I flipped mine over a few times in the pot to get all sides seasoned) – see, I wasn’t kidding when I said E.A.S.Y!
Cook for 4 hours on high, or 6-8 hours on low (I did 7).

Makes about 6 servings. Serve over rice with a healthy helping of broccoli (the sauce tastes delicious with both!)

Cranberry-Pear Crisp


It’s been a long time since I have had a Saturday with nothing planned. Cheer season is over, basketball hasn’t yet started….and my house is a mess. After spending the day FINALLY cleaning my house, a salami, cheese, mustard, and pickles plate was in order for dinner. Following that, well it only made sense for a delicious, homemade, baked dessert. This Cranberry-Pear Crisp was way too easy for how tasty it is. And the crisp part..well, I will definitely keep it for use on top of other fruit crisps I make, it was superb.


1 pound cranberries (thawed if frozen)
1 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 firm pears (such as Bosc), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground allspice
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Combine the fresh and dried cranberries in a large bowl.


Add 1 cup sugar, water and vanilla – tossing to coat. Lightly smash with a potato masher or fork.


Add the pears, cinnamon, allspice and flour – toss to coat. Transfer to a 3qt baking dish.


Make the topping: mix flour, pecans, oats, remaining sugar and salt in a medium bowl, then stir in the melted butter. Pinch the topping into small clumps and sprinkle over the fruit.


Bake for 40 minutes, or until top is golden brown and fruit is bubbling. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Recipe courtesy of:

Simply Delish Beef Pot Roast


picture courtesy of

There’s just something about a slow-cooked meal on a cold, fall day. I love my slow-cooker. So far, almost everything I’ve used it for has turned out delicious…except for that one time (we’ll save that story for another day!). The Simply Delish Beef Pot Roast is no exception. I started the pot roast at 9am before we went out for breakfast, and by 630pm, a rich, meat and potatoes meal was waiting for us. Have I mentioned that a meal is perfect in my husband’s eyes as long as it contains meat and potatoes? Another reason we love this dish!

Small to medium size rump roast
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 envelope brown gravy mix
2 individual size serving apple sauce
2 cups water
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 medium to large size potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
1 small onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, sliced

Sear all sides of the roast in the frying pan in a little bit of oil.
Put roast in the crock pot, top with vegetables.
Mix envelope mixes with water and applesauce, then pour over roast and vegetables.
Cook on low for 8-10 hours (I cooked for 9.5 hours).
Best served with warm rolls.
Makes about six servings.


Recipe adapted from

Pumpkin Whoopie Pie Minis

My latest food obsession has been Whoopie Pies. The first batch I made was chocolate cookies with a peanut butter filling. They were good, but each pie was about the size of my palm and could be shared among 2-3 people. They were way too big for one person to enjoy. Solution: Whoopie Pie Minis. And since we’re right in the midst of a brisk fall, I figured what could be better than pumpkin Whoopie Pies with a light and fluffy cream cheese filling.


Dry Ingredients: 2 c. all-purpose flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger

Combine all your dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
1 stick (1/2 c.) of softened butter, 1 1/4 c. sugar
Beat butter and sugar on medium speed in large mixer bowl on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
Lightly beat two room temperature eggs. Add eggs, one at time to the mixer, beating well after each addition.

1 c. pumpkin, 1 tsp vanilla
Add pumpkin and vanilla extract to mixer, beating well until smooth.
Stir in flour mixture until combined.
Grease baking pan. Drop by heaping measuring teaspoons onto pan.

Bake for 10-13 minutes (I did 12) in a 350 degree oven. They are done when springy to the touch.


Beat room temperature cream cheese, butter and vanilla on medium speed until fluffy.
Gradually beat in powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
Assembling the cookies is a fun part that kids will enjoy helping with. My daughter assembled all of our cookies. Once they are cool add a dollop of icing to one cookie, topping with a second cookie. 

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Combine all your dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
Beat butter and sugar on medium speed in a large mixer bowl for about 2 minutes.
Lightly beat 2 room temperature eggs.
Add eggs one at a time to the mixer, beating well after each addition.
Add pumpkin and vanilla extract to mixer, beating until smooth.
Stir in flour mixture until combined.
Drop dough by heaping measuring teaspoons onto greased pans.
Bake for 10-13 minutes in 350 degree oven. They are done when springy to the touch.
Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then move to wire racks to cool completely.

Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla on medium speed until fluffy.
Gradually beat in powdered sugar until light and fluffy.

When the cookies are nice and cool, put a dollop of icing on a cookie, and top with the second cookie.

Adapted from: