Split Pea and Ham Soup

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Here’s a delicious soup that I make ahead and store in the freezer. It’s very low fat and high in fiber.

1 pound diced ham, chopped finely

1 raw ham bone, optional

2- 16 oz bags split peas

2- 32 oz containers chicken stock, unsalted

6 medium to small Yukon gold potatoes, diced into 1 inch cubes

1 large white onion, finely chopped

4 cups small sliced carrots

1 stalk celery, chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

4 chicken bouillon cubes

4 bay leaves

2 glasses of water

Add thyme, oregano, parsley, basil, garlic, etc…to taste

Directions:

In a large soup pot. Combine all ingredients.

Cook on slow boil for 30 minutes until split peas and carrots are tender.

This recipe makes a huge pot of low fat, very healthy soup. I put it into individual containers in the freezer. This eliminates stopping for takeout on the long days when there’s no time to cook.

Also, it’s a lot more healthy than the store-bought canned soups.

Hope you enjoy my split pea and ham soup.

May good fortune guide your path,

J.A. Ireland

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Single serving of Split Pea and Ham Soup

 

Taco Stuffed Bell Peppers

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Here’s a delicious recipe that’s easy and low fat. Also heart healthy.

Ingredients:

1 pound ground turkey

3 or 4 whole red, yellow, orange bell peppers

1 cup sliced carrots

1 cup whole corn

½ cup red onions chopped finely

½ cup portabella mushrooms chopped

1 tomato diced

2 large garlic cloves finely chopped

1 taco seasoning packet, low sodium

Basil, oregano, Italian seasoning, parsley.

¼ cup chicken stock, unsalted

Directions:

In a medium soup dish, cook ground turkey. When finished, drain the juices very well. Add all the ingredients except the whole peppers.

Cook on medium heat for a minute to blend well. Turn off heat. Let the mixture set briefly.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Wash bell peppers. Cut off the tops and save. Remove the insides and toss.

Using a medium casserole dish, pour all the mixture into the oven dish.

Next, stuff the peppers full with the mixture and embed them into the remaining mixture. Surround with the mixture. Lean the stuffed peppers toward each other so they stand upright. Put their tops back on.

Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

When serving, the peppers can be juicy inside. Try, over a bowl, poke a small slit in the bottom of the peppers to allow the juice to drain before putting on the plate.

Suggestion; Serve with a spinach leaf salad, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc… and low fat dressing.

This is an easy meal that’s tasty.  Very low fat and heart healthy.

I hope you enjoy.

May good fortune guide your path.

J.A. Ireland

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Single serving of Taco Stuffed Bell Peppers

 

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Full dish of Taco Stuffed Bell Peppers

 

 

 

Glazed; Sweet and Sour Baked Alaskan Salmon

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Here’s my delicious baked salmon recipe that’s easy and fun. Since fresh salmon fillets are so large, one fillet works great for family gatherings.

Ingredients:

3 pound fresh Alaskan Salmon fillet

4 tablespoons peanut oil

2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 onion finely chopped

1 tablespoon onion powder

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 and ½ teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Procedure:

In a bowl, mix all the ingredients together except, only use one tablespoon of brown sugar. Save two tablespoons for the top—later. Put the topping in the fridge for later.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. For heart healthy cooking, I use extra-virgin olive oil non-stick.

Remove salmon from the deli wrapping and scrap off all scales. Rinse thoroughly with cold tap water. Cut into desired fillets and place onto prepared baking sheet—skin side down.

Remove the topping from fridge and spoon on top of fillets; coat evenly. Next use the 2 tablespoons of brown sugar that are remaining to sprinkle over the topping. This is the glaze.

Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and carefully pour off the juice. Be careful—the salmon will easily slide off the baking sheet.

If you like your fish a little more crispy like we do, put back in the oven and bake for 5 minutes at 400 degrees. If not, keep the temp at 350 degrees for 5 more minutes of baking. Your choice.

Total baking time is 15 minutes.

This Salmon has a sweet and sour zip that adds to the flavor of the fish. If you like new fish recipes this is a great one to try. It’s delicious, fun, and very heart healthy.

Thanks for stopping by.

J.A. Ireland.

Glazed; Sweet and Sour Baked Alaskan Salmon

Glazed; Sweet and Sour Baked Alaskan Salmon

The Virgin Islands; Picturesque Tropical Beauty and Inviting

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Dear cruisers,

There’s nothing like a family vacation. After months of hard work we’ve all earned one.

St. Thomas USVI

St. Thomas USVI

We as a family often times choose to cruise on our vacations due to the advantages. No cooking, no cleaning, the shows, the decks, the ocean,  the food, etc. You get my point.

On this vacation we sailed to St. Thomas USVI from Port Canaveral, Florida on the Disney Magic. We sailed on a  7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise.

St. Maarten, St. Barth, British Virgin Islands

St. Maarten, St. Barth, British Virgin Islands

We enjoyed a shore tour at St. Maarten; the beauty of this Caribbean island is enchanting.  We saw much of the tropical island from motor coach; the scenery was memorable.

The Virgin Islands were beautiful and breathtaking as we sailed through the open waters. There were small islands on both sides of the ship as we cruised by.

St. Thomas is a very beautiful but busy seaport; one of the more popular we’d ever been to. It’s easy to see why St. Thomas and St. Maartin are such popular cruise destinations; their beauty is beyond imagination.

Nautilus Semi Submarine

Nautilus VI Semi-Submersible Submarine

Coral World Ocean Park

Coral World Ocean Park home for  Native Iguana Lizards

For our shore excursion on St. Thomas, we decided to plan something special. We went to Coral World Ocean Park near Coki Beach.  Coral World is the one of the top tourist attractions in St. Thomas. We had a blast; It’s a family friendly marine and ocean park.

In addition to Coral World, we rode in the Nautilus VI; a semi-submersible submarine. The crew aboard the Nautilus took us on a sightseeing tour out to the coral reefs. Once there, we entered the Nautilus VI submarine, we saw the interior seating area was a large tube with individual seats and windows for viewing.

The submarine part stretched about 10 feet under the water;  this is where we entered the under sea world. The abundance of undersea life was incredible. We saw several live conch shells lying on the ocean floor as we slowly motored by.

 We Saw Hundreds of Fish From the Nautilus VI

We Saw Hundreds of Fish From the Nautilus VI

Sailing through the tropical waters, we found the coral reef colors to be spectacular as we viewed them from our underwater lookout windows in the Nautilus VI. The sea was teaming with marine life. We saw hundreds of colorful tropical fish, turtles, living sea shells, as well as living sea vegetation.

One of the crew from the Nautilus put on diving gear and began feeding the tropical fish in the waters outside our viewing window; that was fun to watch. There were so many fish we couldn’t see the diver at some points. Our time in the sub lasted about 45 minutes. It was a fun adventure into the under sea world.

As we arrived back at the dock, we were greeted by several different sized, free-roaming, iguana lizards. They were sunning themselves on the docks and walkways. We passed by the giant lizards and continued back to Coral World.

"Hi! Glad to Meet Ya Dude!"

“Hi! Glad to Meet Ya Dude!”

Coral World Ocean Park is a beautiful marine park with many interesting exhibits to walk through.  We saw giant sea turtles the size of automobile tires in their ocean side exhibits. We hand fed and touched stingrays.

There’s also a shark tank and a large observation pier spanning far out into the sea. We wandered around the entire park; It was an enjoyable afternoon in the tropics.

I wish we could have spent more time in St. Thomas and the Virgin Islands; The area is so beautiful. We would have loved to take a day to visit the beautiful island of St. John but time didn’t allow; perhaps another cruise someday? Another 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise would definitely be nice. St. John will be a must see next time.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my article of our cruise to St. Thomas and the Virgin Islands USVI on the Disney Magic. Thanks for stopping by.

May good fortune guide your path.

J.A. Ireland

Summer Delights; Country Strawberry Shortcake

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This is my recipe for strawberry shortcake. It’s easy to make.

Ingredients:

¼ cup canola light butter melted, a bit more, un-melted, to grease the baking pan

1 and ¼ cups sugar

1 cup self-rising flour

1 cup low-fat buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla flavoring

Procedure:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together in a medium bowl; melted butter, sugar, flour, buttermilk, and vanilla. Whisk well and let sit briefly.

Thoroughly grease with canola light butter, then flour an 8×11 baking dish. Pour the batter into your prepared baking dish.

Bake on a higher oven rack for 40 to 45 minutes until golden brown on top.

 

Strawberry’s

Ingredients:

1 pound fresh strawberries

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons orange juice w/pulp

low-fat frozen Yogurt, strawberry

Preparation:

Clean and slice the strawberries. Put in a medium mixing bowl. Add sugar and orange juice. Toss gently until the sugar turns to liquid. Place in fridge until ready to serve.

Serving; Place a slice of the shortbread on the plate. Followed by a generous portion of strawberry topping. Then top with three small scoops of yogurt. This is a delicious summer desert; Yummy!

I hope you try it. I know you’ll enjoy it.

Thanks for stopping by.

I’m J.A. Ireland.

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The Shortcake Is Golden Brown And  Ready To Cut Into Pieces

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Summer Delight’s; Country Strawberry Shortcake, Single Serving. Yummy!

Glazed; Sweet and Sour Baked Alaskan Salmon

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Here’s a baked salmon recipe that’s very tasty. My family loved it.

Ingredients:

3 pounds fresh Alaskan Salmon

4 tablespoons peanut oil

2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 onion finely chopped

1 tablespoon onion powder

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 and ½ teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Procedure:

In a mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients together except, only use one tablespoon of brown sugar. Save two tablespoons for the top—later. Put the topping in the fridge for later.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray your baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. For heart healthy cooking, I use extra-virgin olive oil non-stick.

Remove the salmon from the deli wrapping and scrap off all scales; then rinse thoroughly with cold tap water. Cut into desired fillets and place onto prepared baking sheet—skin side down.

Remove the topping from fridge and spoon on top of fillets; coat evenly. Next use the 2 tablespoons of brown sugar that are remaining to sprinkle over the topping; this is the glaze.

Glazed; Sweet and Sour Baked Alaskan Salmon

Glazed; Sweet and Sour Baked Alaskan Salmon

Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and carefully pour off the juice. Be careful—the salmon will easily slide off the baking sheet.

If you like your fish a little more crispy like we do, put it back in the oven and bake for 5 minutes at 400 degrees. If not, keep the temp at 350 degrees for 5 more minutes of baking; your choice.

Total baking time is 15 minutes.

This Salmon has a sweet and sour taste that adds to the flavor of the fish. If you like trying new fish recipes this is a good one to try; It’s delicious.

Check out my Maxx Zeqster blog at: https://detectivemaxxzeqsterscreepycrawlyamazingadventures.wordpress.com/ .

Thanks for stopping by. I’m J. A. Ireland.

Low Fat Cheddar Cheese Pizza

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Today I’m cooking another type of pizza that my family loves. I’m using low fat ingredients so it’s a healthy choice when my family wants pizza.

Ingredients:

One roll white bread dough—bought frozen then thawed the night before

One pound extra lean ground hamburger—96-4%

4.5 oz. sliced turkey pepperoni

8 oz. mini portabella mushrooms

One large bell pepper

One can black olives

One large onion

One bag, two cups cheddar cheese—low fat, low sodium

One cup parmesan cheese—low sodium, low fat

Small 14 oz. Jar of low sodium pizza sauce

Prep work:

Cook the hamburger. Then drain the grease and place the meat in a bowl lined with paper towels to absorb the grease; let sit.

Next chop the mushrooms, olives, onion, and peppers. Put everything including hamburger into separate bowls. Discard grease soaked paper towel. Place all items in the fridge until later.

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Spray your pizza pan with non- stick; I prefer either canola or extra-virgin olive oil non- stick for heart healthy cooking.

Dough Ready To Roll

Dough Ready To Roll

Making the pizza crust. I use my counter top. I sprinkle the counter lightly with flour and unwrap the dough. It should look like a large, white mushroom ball.

Put the dough on the flour then flip it over. Begin rolling. Roll enough to fit your pan—don’t excessively roll. Dough stretches easily in the pan. Do this quickly. Carefully remove the dough from the counter; it peels off. Lay in the prepared pan with the edges sticking over the rim of your oven pan. If the dough isn’t quite big enough, that’s ok. Gently rub from the middle to the outside edges. It stretches easily on the non-stick sprayed oven pan. Complete this process quickly as well; don’t play with it.

Tuck the excess dough inside the rims. If there’s a tear in the dough—don’t worry. Use some of the excess dough on the walls and fill in the tear(s); pinch it off and rub it in the holes.

Prick small holes in the crust with a fork so it doesn’t bubble while baking; make many prick holes. But, don’t destroy your work; just vent it well. Sprinkle on the spices, basil, garlic, Italian Seasoning, oregano, parsley, pepper. Whatever spices you like.

Pizza Crust Ready To Bake

Pizza Crust Seasoned And Ready To Bake

This is what my pizza crust looks like before baking.

Bake the crust for 6 minutes at 400 degrees on the top rack. Remove from the oven.

Make The Pizza:

I start with ½ bag, one cup, of cheddar cheese on the crust ( spread evenly)

¾ of the jar of pizza sauce (save the rest for dipping sauce)

hamburger

onions

bell peppers

black olives

portabella mushrooms

The remaining ½ bag, one cup, of cheddar cheese followed by the parmesan cheese

Lastly; turkey pepperoni on top.

It’s ready to bake. I bake my pizza for 8 minutes then remove from the oven.

My Cheddar Cheese Pizza Ready to Serve

My Cheddar Cheese Pizza Ready to Serve

I cut it, and bake for 20 more minutes. The total baking time is about 30 minutes—until the top edges are golden brown. Also my pizzas are typically ¾ of an inch thick when ready for cooking—and full of natural juices. Portabella mushrooms are a trade-off; they add tremendous flavor along with a lot of extra juice. If you don’t want the liquid—maybe skip portabellas.

Here’s a picture of my low fat cheddar cheese pizza. It’s full of flavor and my family gobbled it down. Also check out my Maxx Zeqster blog at: https://detectivemaxxzeqsterscreepycrawlyamazingadventures.wordpress.com/

Thanks for stopping by. J. A. Ireland.