Homemade roast rub

An opened mini Mason jar labeled as "Roast Rub" with seasonings inside.I like throwing an eye of round roast into the crockpot on weekends for hubby and I to eat throughout the week. Some people use steak seasoning to season roasts. Others make their own. I like to make my own. Since I make a roast every week or two, I tend to make up extra rub seasoning and put it into mini Mason jars. Here’s what I’ve been using as of late:

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Satisfying Sides: Roasted garlic herb potatoes

Roasted garlic herb potatoes as a side dishAlthough I’ve cut right back on how many potatoes I eat these days, I still allow myself to have them from time to time — just in smaller portions. I’ve also been craving fries. So what a great way to get my potatoes and my fries craving taken care of than to roast some mini potatoes up in the  oven and have them as a side dish?

Here’s what I did:

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Chicken parmesan meatloaf muffins

Two 'muffin'-sized meatloaves made of ground chicken and seasonings are topped with homemade marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. Served with cauliflower risotto.I love chicken parmesan when I go out to eat, but I’ve been avoiding it due to the elevated sodium levels I know the sauce will undoubtedly have, the breading on the chicken, etc. I’ve been learning that some of my favourites from restaurants over the years are not the healthiest of choices and tend to have a million calories, two million grams of fat and an ungodly amount of sodium. Chicken parmesan is no exception, sadly.

But does this mean I have to swear off of it? No! Why not make my own and adjust things to fit my dietary needs? I’ll save my waistline from expanding (or my feet!) and save my pocketbook too!

I had a craving for it one night but didn’t have any chicken breasts to make it myself. What did I have? Ground chicken. What could I do with that? Well, I make beef meatloaf ‘muffins’ all the time, so why not do the same with the chicken? They’d have bread crumbs worked into them, using a similar theme to chicken parmesan. And heck, I have light parmesan in the fridge at all times! If I made up my own sauce, I could control the sodium considerably. So I went to work on it and here’s what I did:

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Filling breakfasts: 2-egg omelet: onion, mushroom, turkey bacon

A plate with a 3-egg omelet and a handful of cherry tomatoes.I love omelets. I’m not really a fan of scrambled eggs, but there’s something truly satisfying about a nice omelet, especially one that’s filled with good stuff.

Last week, there was one morning that I woke up feeling rotten. I don’t know if it was the beginning of the summer cold I appear to have now, or if it was just a bad case of combined sinus headache and allergy attack. Either way, I contacted my boss to say I wouldn’t be in, then went right back to bed. Sometime around lunch, I woke up and stumbled into the kitchen to see about food, before I had to go back to bed.

The omelet I made was just what the doctor ordered. Here’s what I did:

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Canada Day breakfast: chicken maple sausage patties

A plate holds two maple chicken sausage patties overlapping each other with a side of tomato slices.HAPPY CANADA DAY!

Why not celebrate with two posts in one day? 🙂

I had a surplus of extra lean ground chicken in my fridge this weekend and knew I needed to cook some of it up today (along with the roast which is already in my slow-cooker). I could make burgers for lunch, but then, I hadn’t had breakfast yet. Canada Day without breakfast?! How about brunch? Even better!

By noon, I had whipped up two pounds of this ground chicken into 18 chicken sausage patties based on Sophy’s Chicken Maple Sausage Patties #1 recipe on Spark Recipes. My version is very similar, but I made a few adjustments based on what I had on hand and dietary needs.

Three tablespoons of maple syrup bumped up the sugar content a bit more than I wanted, so I cut back, for example, and still found that we could taste the maple-y sweetness in  them. We’re also not fans of cayenne, so I omitted that and the coriander because I didn’t have any on hand. But what a special way to celebrate Canada Day, imo!

Here’s how I made mine:

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Homemade chili seasoning (mild)

A side view of a small Mason jar with a label that says "Chili Seasoning".Since I’ve been cutting back on my sodium intake, I’ve been finding it challenging to find spots to cut back on salt. I never really used to cook with a ton of salt to begin with — or so I thought. I suppose I should actually say that I never really added extra salt to cooking because it already exists in so many of our foods already!

Take a look at canned tomatoes. While I understand that sodium is used a lot in preserving foods, I know they have cut back on some things, marking them as ‘reduced sodium’ or ‘lower sodium’. So I compared two cans of diced tomatoes of the same brand. For half a cup of the regular brand, it was about 450 mg of sodium, but for the ‘reduced sodium’ can, it was only 25 mg. What a difference!

I didn’t even want to guess how much sodium was in a package of chili seasoning. Too much, I’m supposing. So I scoured the web, took some advice from a few different recipes and came up with my own chili seasoning to cut back on the sodium levels. Keep in mind that this is relatively tame compared to other seasonings, but in higher quantities in the crockpot, it can have a bite. My tastes prefer mild seasonings, so bump up the hotter ingredients if you prefer it spicy!

Here’s what I did:

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Low-carb adventures: egg muffins!

A mini quiche made in a muffin pan.Breakfast has never been easy for me. I’m not one who can generally eat as soon as she gets up in the morning. I’ve had issues with feeling ill at the mere thought of eating so soon from waking, so often,  I’m not getting hungry until I’m on my way out the door to work in the morning, or by the time I get there. So, grabbing breakfast on the go is something really important to me.

I’ve been stopping at McDonald’s for McMuffins or Tim Horton’s for bagels, but both are not healthy choices. McD’s  is a no-brainer, but bagels are very high in carbs and sugar. I’ve been trying  to cut back on my breads/grains intake, so bagels are not the way to go. Well, I love omelets but couldn’t think of how to make one very portable until I got thinking about the muffin-sized meatloaves I have made and started poking around the net for some guidance on how to use that method for eggs. Here’s what I ended up doing…

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