Wednesday, 14 November 2012

No pain AND no gain!

Yup, that's right.  I said it.  And I meant it too!

So earlier this week, I was lying in bed starting to mentally compile a list of all the family feeding frenzies gatherings and drink fests holiday open houses we'd be attending over the next few weeks, and the thought occurred to me.  Wouldn't it be easier to get through these events if I were able to go armed with some tried and true skinny recipes?

I have a few in my arsenal that I've used in the past, but well, I could use some merry in my Christmas. Some holly in my bells.  Some what?  Oh, right.  Some new recipes!  Et voila!  The Skinny Mini Holiday Recipe Hop was born!  I'm co-hosting with the super-loverly Janelle at Domestically Seasoned  who it turns out is a seasoned pro at these blog-hop things!  Make sure you hop on over to her blog and check out all of the amazingness she has there!

Anywhoooo, turns our there are several other lady bloggers out there who thought this was a great idea too so I think that we might just make it through this holiday season still wearing our skinny jeans ladies!

So today, marks the very first of the Skinny Mini Holiday Recipe Blog Hop and I get to go first!  Are you ready for this?  Can you even guess what I'm about to throw your way?  I'll give you a hint, no Thanksgiving table would be complete without these two VIP items.  Done guessing? too!  So, I'm about to blow your mind with skinnified versions of sausage stuffing and sweet potatoes!  Seriously, these are going to be show stoppers on your table.  Like, for real!  My kids and husband devoured both of these when I did my photo session meal!

Let me introduce you to the cast of characters who will be joining us for this gastronomical adventure!

Let's pull out the big guns first, shall we?

Skip the fat and keep the skinny jeans chicken sausage stuffing

I know, I know.  Stuffing recipes are sacred.  Don't screw around with the glue of the meal, right?  Well, you haven't tried this one yet. I've made this a mish-mash between my Mom's amazing stuffing recipe and the one from Gina @

Here's what you'll need:

2 baguettes, sliced in 1 inch pieces with as much crust removed as you can
4 celery stalks, chopped finely
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, bet you can't guess - oh that's right, finely chopped!
4 tsp unsalted butter
450g / 16 oz chicken sausage - casings removed.
1/4 cup fresh sage - chopped finely
1-2 tbsp fresh thyme - what's a synonym for finely chopped?  Insert it here...
2-3 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 1/2 cups button mushrooms - sliced  **optional**

Preheat your oven to 350 - especially if you have the slowest heating-upper-oven-on-the-face-of-the-planet, like I do!

Once you've sliced your baguette and removed the crust, while attempting desperately to not eat all of the bread pieces that are now lying discarded in front of you and screaming your name, cut the slices into cubes.  I went for roughly 1 1/2 " pieces, but I like the big chunks of bread.  If you like it smaller, by all means go right ahead.

Next, put all of your little bready bits (that makes me giggle for some reason) onto a baking sheet and put it in the oven for about 20 minutes.  If you are a planner and actually do things ahead of time as opposed to people like me who are always standing in the kitchen doing things when guests arrive, you could also chop the bread the night before and leave it out to dry on it's own.  That would probably wreck a lot of the fun though.  I'm just sayin'...

While your break is getting twice baked, chop up your celery, onions and garlic.  Then throw them in a big ole frying pan - or a dutch oven if you're lazy like me and just like to do it all in one pot!  Stir that all around and let it cook for about 7/8 minutes or until the onions are translucent.  You could at this point removed the onion/celery mixture from the pot and cook the sausage separately.  I choose however to be lazy and throw the sausage into the pool too!

Let's talk sausage here for a minute.  I have a fantastic butcher who I get all of my meats from.  I know that they use the best quality meat in everything that they sell, not to mention the leanest cuts.  If you can get them from a butcher, do.  If not, your favourite brand is fine.

So, now you've got the sausage in the pot getting all cooked up.  Make sure you destroy that sucker with a spoon - well, not really.  But do break it up into bits so that everyone gets some of that deliciousness on their plates.

While you're drooling over the smells coming from your kitchen, get to chopping that sage and thyme.  If you're a big fan of either of these particular herbs, feel free to play with the amounts.  Obviously because we're dealing with fresh vs dried herbs the flavours aren't quite as strong.  I found these amounts to be perfect for my delicate pallet!   Once you've got them chopped as finely as you like, add them to the sausage mixture along with the mushrooms (if you're adding them.)

Right about now, the yummy little bready bits should be golden and hard.  Pull those little dudes (why did the bread all of a sudden become masculine?) out and mix them into the rest of the concoction.  Pour the chicken stock over top of the whole big pot of love and throw that bad boy into the oven.  I only added 2 cups because I don't like my stuffing to be really mushy.  Add more stock if you like it softer.  I clearly like it...oh wait, where was I?

Right about now I'm really hoping you're concentrating more on the deliciousness in that pot than on my horrible early 90's countertops.  Please don't judge, they're changing really soon!

After about 30 minutes, pull it out and mix everything around.  Pop it back in the oven for about 30/35 minutes more, until it's all golden and beautiful!

Those crumbs?  They may or may not be from me sampling a little bit as I was putting this uh-MAZE-ing stuffing into my cute pumpkin serving dish!  It was just that deeee-lish!

Serves 12.
Total calories - 182, Total fat - 6.8g, Total sodium - 594 mg, Total carbs - 21.6 g, Total fiber - 2 g, Total protein - 8 g

Have yourself a skinny little sweet potato brulee

I seriously love sweet potatoes.  Like, I could lick the bowl when I'm making them every.single.time.  That could be however because I put a crap load of calories into those things.  So, when I decided to seek out skinny holiday recipes, this one was a no-brainer!  This one is again partly thanks to Gina at but I've put my own spin on it.  She uses 1% milk in hers, I use non-fat, plain greek yogurt instead.

Here's what you'll need:

4 Large sweet potatoes - chopped into 1" chunks
1/2 cup non-fat, plain greek yogurt
2 tsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar

Chop, chop, chop those potatoes.

Once you've got the potatoes all chopped, cover them with water and bring them to a boil.  You wanna cook those orange beauties for about 20ish minutes - or until you can do the fork test and the fork just slides through it.

Once you've done the fork test and it's dominated those lil' gems, get those babies out of the hot water and throw them back in the pot!

Mash those puppies down with the masher and while you're at it, throw in the butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and yogurt!  Mix it all around and then taste it.  If you want to add more cinnamon or nutmeg (you could also add some ginger to the mix) add it now.

Put all of that amazingness into a 9 x 11 baking dish.  Sprinkle the sugar on top of the potato mixture as evenly as you can.  I actually think you could get away with using less sugar and it would still be amazing.  My kids L.O.V.E.D, the candied sugar on the top!

Put your masterpiece under the broiler until the sugar melts.  I took about 4-5 minutes for mine to fully melt, but keep a close eye on it!  The sugar will burn pretty quickly if you're not careful - especially if you have clumps.  (my clumps, my clumps, my sweet potato clumps!)

Serves 10
Total calories - 128, Total fat - 1 g, Total sodium - 49 mg, Total carbs - 28 g, Total Fiber - 3 g, Total protein - 3 g.

NOW, I've given you two amazing recipes to arm yourself for the holidays, go check out what Janelle has up at Domestically Seasoned today.  I know I can't wait!  BUT before you go!  Grab the button and link up with us so that you can help us stay in our skinny jeans too!

There are but a few simple rules that I would like to remind you of:

  1. When you go to the host's site, please leave them a little love in their comment section.  Everyone needs a little love, and it is the holidays after all!
  2. We want to be able to follow you too.  The best way to do that, is to follow the amazing sites you're going to get to visit over the next few weeks.  Join by Google+, email, RSS Feed - whatever floats your boat.  Just make sure join in the fun!
  3. Plaster that button up above all over your own blog.  The more the merrier after all!

    Inch By Inch and Step by step
    <div align="center"><a href="" title="Inch By Inch and Step by step" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="Inch By Inch and Step by step" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Simple stuff, right?  I know!!  Well, this 158.6 girl (you didn't think I'd forget about 
Weigh-in Wednesday, did you?) has got a few leftovers to go and enjoy - in a totally
responsible way of course!  Let's get this Skinny, Mini party started!



  1. I love sweet potatoes but prefer to just roast them. I have never been down with the sweetened up ones. I can't wait to try that stuffing though! Yummy!! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Jessica!
      The stuffing was amazing, I hope you enjoy it! I love plain sweet potatoes too. I think that's one of the things I really liked about this recipe was that although you get a bit of the sweetness, but not in every single bite!
      Happy Thanksgiving!


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