Healthier Queso Chili con Carne Dip

As we approach the season of parties for things like the Super Bowl and the Oscars we come to the dilemma of finding a way to serve amazing appetizers and yet not kill every healthy resolution we have entered into. One of my favorite calorie crusher is queso dip. Now pretty much every recipe you find is all going to include the infamous Velveeta cheese, which in all honesty is a crime against cheese. And with 66% of the fat per serving coming from saturated fat it is a huge calorie violator. So this year I was inspired by my mom to try a healthier version of this wonderful melted cheese dip. And the great thing about it is how incredibly easy it is to make. It is also has 1/4 of the calories of a traditional recipe.

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Mashed Turnips and Carrots

Turnips have gotten an very unfair rap as a vile, sour vegetable but that couldn’t be further then the truth. Turnips actually have a very sweet, pleasant taste very similar to a rutabaga. (swede) My husband has been encouraging me to give them a try so at the farmers market I stocked up. At first I felt I didn’t know what to do with it, however after researching them I found that they could be prepared in the same way that you would potatoes or rutabagas. My first attempt was to roast them in a vegetable medley which turned out even better then I could imagine. So after reading a new blog that I discovered, Laura Rebecca’s Kitchen, I was inspired to try it mashed. The result was the perfect blend of sweetness as the carrots nicely complimented the turnips. I would encourage everyone to give this poor misunderstood root a chance, it may surprise you.

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How do you know you are getting a real deal at the Grocery store

When I go to the grocery store price and quality are the two things that matter the most to me. So knowing that I am getting the best in both areas is really important. Years ago I took the time to learn how to properly read nutrition labels and I am now confident with my skills in that area. But what about knowing that I am getting a good price deal? That one can often be a tricky one because manufacturers have been working for years to fool us with packaging and labeling. So how do you know that you are getting a good deal, well here is a little trick that might help. When you are comparing to similar items don’t look at the total price, most grocery stores will place in the bottom left hand corner the price per ounce. This will give you a more accurate way of assessing which is the better buy. Don’t be fooled into thinking you are buying more just because the packaging is bigger. For example the other day I was buying cheese sticks for packed lunches, the store had their own brand and then there was Frigo a national brand. Upon first glance it would seem that the off brand was the cheaper buy, it was .50 cents cheaper and had the same number of cheese sticks. But one glance at the price per ounce and I discovered that the Frigo brand cost less per ounce, which means that the off brand was about 1/3 the size. The same can happen when you purchase things like bags of chips, often times to protect the chips from being damaged manufactures will put them in a larger bag and fill it with air. So you think you are buying more when in fact sometimes you could be buying less. So remember double checking your items will help you know that you are really getting the best deal possible.

Click here for a coupon for Frigo String Cheese

Butternut Squash Ravioli

Butternut squash is one of those winter veggies that no matter how it is prepared seems to warm you inside. Nothing beats out the cold better then a bowl of butternut squash soup. So on this cold winter day I decided that it was time to warm up with some butternut squash. But today I was in the mood for something a little different the soup. I wanted to combine the filling richness of the squash in a hearty pasta dish. And what could be better then ravioli. I had tried it once at a restaurant and it was amazing, so I wanted to see if I could create an equally amazing dish myself.

But not everyone has time to make pasta from scratch, so I began researching the secret that makes it easier using wonton wrappers. I had heard of it but never tried it myself, so after reading an article in the Dallas Morning News as guidance, combined that with a wonderful recipe from the Food Network I set out to create. The process is simple, however it takes time to prepare each ravioli so make sure you have enough time to do it.

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