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***Now We’re Cooking…Hungarian Mushroom Soup***

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

***Now We’re Cooking…Hungarian Mushroom Soup***

Now We’re Cooking…with Winfield28

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I guess I just have soup on the brain this month.

Here’s another favorite soup recipe that I have made for several years.

“Hungarian Mushroom Soup.”

My entire family enjoys it.

It’s a vegetarian recipe if you use vegetable broth instead of the chicken broth.
You also can control the sodium if you choose a lower sodium broth or you could use water instead of the broth.

This recipe makes 6 servings and there are 201 calories per serving.

Hungarian Mushroom Soup

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups chopped onions
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced – choose a variety of different mushrooms, if you can for added texture and flavor
2 teaspoons of dried dill weed
1 Tablespoon of paprika
1 Tablespoon of soy sauce – you could use the low sodium version
2 cups of Chicken broth – vegetable or beef broth or Water
1 cup low fat or skim milk
3 Tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt – could use less
Ground black pepper to taste
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
¼ cup of chopped fresh parsley or a couple Tablespoons of dried parsley
½ cup of sour cream – could use reduced fat or fat free sour cream or even Greek yogurt would work here

1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Saute the onions in the butter for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 5 more minutes. Stir in the dill, paprika, soy sauce and broth. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
2. In a separate small bowl, whisk the milk and flour together.
Pour this into the soup and stir well to blend. Cover and simmer for 15 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Finally, stir in the salt, ground black pepper, lemon juice, parsley and sour cream. Mix together and allow to heat through over low heat, about 3 to 5 minutes. Do not boil. Serve immediately.

This re-heats very well and is good also on the second day!

I have not entered my recipe in the Spark Recipe section of this site, because there is a very similar recipe already posted there.

Here is the nutritional information on my version of this recipe:
Servings Per Recipe: 6
Calories: 201
Total Fat: 13.5 g
Cholesterol: 32mg
Sodium: 829 mg (using chicken broth)
Total Carbs: 14.8g
Dietary Fiber: 2.4g
Protein: 7.5g

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARRENK 9/21/2010 9:10PM

    This sounds so good!!! Soup is such a great thing to take for lunch at work - I think this will be added to the soup rotation!

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ROSEWCI 9/21/2010 11:10AM

    Mmmmmmm....I love mushroom soup! Thanks for the recipe Maria!

emoticon Rose

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COOKWITHME65 9/21/2010 10:55AM

    Thanks for the recipe Maria. I love soups during the cooler months. I have never made mushroom soup before. I'll have to give this a try. emoticon

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TONISTRELEC 9/21/2010 10:00AM

    I printed this off, can't wait to try it. emoticon

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MARGARITTM 9/21/2010 9:58AM

    Yum - never had a recipe for this!

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3 Months at SparkPeople & 80/20 Rule Fits My Lifestyle!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Today I entered a "Secrets of Success" that I titled:
"Adopt the 80-20 Principle (or Atleast the 90/10)."
It got me really thinking...

This is really how I am eating. 80% of the time, I am making good, healthy, solid nutritional food choices. And I do allow myself that 20% to be a little "human."

It's working well for me. I have been using the tools here on SparkPeople for 3 months - last Thursday was my 3rd month anniversary! I am eating healthier, I'm exercising more and consistently, and the best part - I'm taking it a day at a time and suddenly, or so it seemed - it's been 3 months. I don't feel like I'm depriving myself. I actually feel like I'm treating myself BETTER than I have in years! I've lost just shy of 20 pounds. Hoping tomorrow's weigh-in may reach that point. If not, there's another week to keep reaching for it.

So here's a my Secret to MY Success:

Adopt The 80-20 Principle (or Atleast The 90-10)
Give yourself some healthy wiggle room.
We can't always eat "perfectly" nor should we put that kind of pressure on ourselves.
"If 80 percent of the time, what you eat is healthy, then allow yourself to take it a little easier for the remaining 20 percent."
With this principle, I can eat well most of the time, I don't have the pressure I used to "put on myself," and I can eat like this, hopefully, for the rest of my life...which is my GOAL!

I wish everyone a very healthy & active week!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REBELBLITZ 5/22/2011 11:30PM

    That is a great idea! It is very difficult to be on track every moment.


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SNARDEESNIFF 9/20/2010 1:23AM

    Great blog, Maria! Congrats on you 3 month "Spark-versary" and on losing almost 20 pounds!

emoticon emoticon


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ROSEWCI 9/19/2010 7:52PM

    Oh Maria, how I admire your spirit! I feel you radiate such a POSITIVE SP energy! Your thoughts are always so well organized & presented, & I'm always learning something new!

Congrats on your successes thus far! You are well on your way to becoming a healthier & happier you! Spark on!

emoticon Rose

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MRSBENNETT2 9/19/2010 4:53PM

    This is a good post! I think we really need to not beat ourselves up if we have a day when we aren't optimum. Just call it our weeks' 20% day and get over it. You can't live your life if you think you can never have a cookie or something like that.

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***Now We’re Cooking…Mexican Beef Barley Soup***

Friday, September 17, 2010

***Now We’re Cooking…Mexican Beef Barley Soup***
Now We’re Cooking…with Winfield28

Friday, September 17, 2010

Okay, January is National Soup Month, but when the calendar says September, I start making soups again.

I am a BIG fan of soups.
I like to eat soup as a meal.
I never tire of soup!
With it’s nutritional content and it’s ability to induce a feeling of fullness, soup can be a part of any one’s weight loss or maintenance program!

Today I will share with you a soup recipe that I got from a friend & former co-worker. She liked to make this soup and take it with her to share at an annual Quilter’s Retreat she would attend in February each year.
She would assemble it ahead of time, put it into a slow cooker, refrigerate it and take it with her to reheat and heat and serve once at the retreat.
Serve it with hearty crackers or crusty bread. Yum!


* Note: I have entered this recipe in the Spark People Recipe section of this site, if you are interested in the nutritional information.

Mexican Beef Barley Soup (Gail’s Recipe)

This is a wonderful full flavored soup with salsa as the secret ingredient. Choose mild, medium or hot salsa to suit your taste. Whole grain barley adds great texture and extra nutrients.

2/3 cup quick pearl barley or 1/2 cup regular pearl barley
3 cups water
1 pound lean ground beef
1 large onion, diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 cups fat-free beef broth
2 cups mild, medium or hot salsa
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, undrained
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine barley and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and continue to boil gently for 10 minutes or until the barley is tender. Drain and set barley aside. In a large soup pot, combine ground beef and onions. Cook over medium-hot heat until beef is brown and onions are tender. Add all remaining ingredients except the salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10-20 minutes. Add barley and heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste. If desired, add additional broth to thin to desired consistency.

Note: If using regular pearled barley it will need to be cooked for about 40 minutes.

Serves 6

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROSEWCI 9/18/2010 9:27PM

    Mmmmmmmmmm.....sounds yummy! I'm a BIG fan of soups when the weather begins to cool & soups are one of my all time comfort foods! You're ALWAYS cooking something good Maria! Thanks for sharing!


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SNARDEESNIFF 9/18/2010 2:31PM

    Does sound yummy! We love soup, too. I like barley in soup, though I have never cooked with it myself. I may have to try it soon. Seems we are often looking for a new soup to try. Thanks for posting this!

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COOKWITHME65 9/17/2010 1:08PM

I love soup also. Especially those with a little kick to it. This sounds wonderful. I have never cooked with barley before. Not even sure where to find it in my regular supermarket although I do think that I have seen it at Whole foods in the bulk department. Will have to check it out.

Thanks for the recipe,

Kristan emoticon

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LRRSNDRS 9/17/2010 10:54AM

    I love soup. This one sounds great. I will be trying it soon. Thanks for sharing it.

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***Now We’re Cooking…Grilled Pork (or Chicken) Fajitas***

Thursday, September 16, 2010

***Now We’re Cooking…Grilled Pork (or Chicken) Fajitas***
Now We’re Cooking…with Winfield28

Thursday, September 16, 2010

At our house, we use pork loin or tenderloin a lot in our cooking.

It’s very lean and a great source of protein.

One of my favorite ways to prepare it, is to season it with a light Mexican spice rub and grill it.

Today I will share with you a fast and easy preparation for Grilled Pork Fajitas.

You could use chicken breasts instead of the pork.

Just add your favorite traditional fajitas ingredients: tortillas, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, salsa & sour cream.

**Additional Notes:
I will mix up the spice portion of this recipe times 3 – to just have it on hand as a rub.
We use it as a rub on boneless pork chops that we cut from a whole pork loin.
These are very lean and it is an economical cut of meat.

*I have posted this recipe in the Spark Recipes section of this site if you would like to see the nutritional information.


Grilled Pork Fajitas

1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into strips
1 medium onion, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced into rings
Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill.

In a small bowl, stir together the chili powder, oregano, paprika, cumin and garlic powder. Dredge the pork pieces in the seasonings, coating completely.

Place the pork strips, onion slices and pepper rings in a grill basket. Grill, turning several times, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes.

Serve with traditional fajitas ingredients: tortillas, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce & salsa.

Makes 4 Servings.

Bonus Recipe # 2 Today

***Now We’re Cooking…Fresh Tomato and Green Pepper Salad***
Now We’re Cooking…with Winfield28

This is a recipe that uses both garden fresh tomatoes and peppers. I made this on Tuesday using several varieties of tomatoes and a couple small bell peppers; one purple and one red – from my garden. Also, I used a yellow onion instead of a red one, as that is what I had in my pantry.
This is an old fashioned recipe, one that grandmothers have been making for years in one way or another. You could add other vegetables to it if you wanted.
It’s kind of like a sweet, fresh salsa – only it doesn’t have the heat that one associates with salsa.
The sugar could be eliminated and an artificial sweetener could be used if you need to control sugar intake.

I did grill pork chops earlier this week and used this salad as a condiment/topping. Very good on it!

This makes 6 servings at 30 calories per serving.

*Note: I have entered this recipe in the Spark Recipe section of this site if you would like the nutrition information.


Fresh Tomato and Green Pepper Salad

3 medium Tomatoes, seeded & chopped
1 medium Green Pepper, diced
1/2 cup diced Red Onion
2 Tablespoons Cider Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

In a large bowl combine the tomatoes, green pepper and onion. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir into the tomato mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve with a slotted spoon.
Makes 6 Servings.

Number of Servings: 6

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COOKWITHME65 9/16/2010 10:08AM

    I love mexican food. Usually do steak or chicken but the pork will be a nice switch up to the fajitas. thanks again Maria!

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***Now We’re Cooking…Creamy Date Porridge***

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

***Now We’re Cooking…Creamy Date Porridge***
Now We’re Cooking …with Winfield28

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

When I hear the word “Porridge” all I can think of is “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.”
So when I see this recipe, I think of that childhood story.
Porridge wasn’t a commonly used term where I come from. I think I always wondered what it really was and why they called it that.
My Grandma must have told me that it was like “oatmeal.”

So, in 1998 I found the following recipe in an issue of Eating Well Magazine.

I made it many times, but some how I lost it. It must have been before I had a computer and could “Save” a copy of it.
Several years ago I went “internet searching” and found the recipe again. I was thrilled!
It has one of my favorite fruits in it – DATES!

Since it’s fall and I am in the mood to cook all these wonderful, warming, traditional foods – I offer to you today, my beloved “Creamy Date Porridge.”
So get yourself a copy of “Goldilocks and Three Bears” to read to your children or grandchildren and make some of this old-fashioned porridge to share with them!


Creamy Date Porridge

Dates, oats and dark brown sugar turn into a decadent breakfast treat in this creamy porridge.

4 servings, about 1/2 cup each | Active Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 20 minutes.

• 2 cups nonfat or low-fat milk
• 1 cup oats
• 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
• 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, (optional)
• Sliced bananas, or apples (optional)
• Plain nonfat yogurt, (optional)

1. Combine milk, oats, dates, brown sugar, salt and stick in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring, until mixture is thick and creamy, about 4 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick; stir in vanilla.
2. Spoon into bowls and top with walnuts, sliced bananas or apples and plain nonfat yogurt (if desired).

Per serving : 194 Calories; 2 g Fat; 0 g Sat; 0 g Mono; 2 mg Cholesterol; 40 g Carbohydrates; 7 g Protein; 4 g Fiber; 212 mg Sodium; 434 mg Potassium
2 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 fruit, 1/2 fat-free milk

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARRENK 9/15/2010 11:30PM

    Sounds like a good breakfast for fall/winter. Love the intro to your recipe! I think the stories we associate with recipes help make them special.

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JUDY4652 9/15/2010 9:47AM

    Sounds really yummy! Also sounds good for a cold winter's morning!

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