Maple Majestic Apple Pie

Apple Pie

Maple Majestic Apple Pie

By JoAnna M. Lund

Here’s a good apple pie recipe that cuts the calories where possible but doesn’t cut the taste. Serves 8


1 (4-serving) package JELL-O sugar-free vanilla cook-and-serve pudding mix

¾ cup Cary’s Sugar Free Maple Syrup

½ cup water

3 cups (6 small) cored, peeled, and sliced cooking apples

1 (6 ounce) Keebler graham cracker piecrust. (Any kind will do.)

2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs – purchased or broken up

2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

Directions:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, combine dry pudding mix, maple syrup, and water. Add apples, and mix well to combine. Cook over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes or until mixture starts to thicken and apples soften, stirring often. Spoon hot mixture into piecrust. Evenly sprinkle cracker crumbs and walnuts over top. Bake for 30 minutes. Place pie plate on a wire rack and let set for 15 minutes. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Cut into 8 servings.

190 Calories, Fat – 6gm, Protein -2gm, Carbohydrates – 32gm

From the JoAnna M Lund Cookbook “Cooking Healthy Across America.”

(Picture above just representative of recipe)


Broccoli and Chicken Salad

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Broccoli and Chicken Salad

Here is a quick summer salad with a tasty twist to broccoli.

2 servings

2 Cups fresh broccoli florets, chopped

¼ Cup chopped walnuts

¼ Cup Red onions diced

1 Chicken Breast boneless cooked diced

31/2 Tablespoons Newman’s Lite Balsamic Vinaigrette

Mix it all up and serve.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Servings Per Container 2

Amount Per Serving
Calories 278 Calories from Fat 131.4
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14.6g 22%
Saturated Fat .9g 5%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 56mg 19%
Sodium 83.3mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 9.3g 3%
Dietary Fiber 3.5g 14%
Sugars 1.4g
Protein 27.5g 55%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Coconut Oil Scramble

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Coconut Oil Scramble

I don’t much like omelets. I would rather have a scramble if I can’t have poached or over easy eggs. Experiment with different vegetables and cook your scramble in olive oil one day and coconut oil the next.

Serves 1

½ Onion, chopped

5 Cherry tomatoes, halved

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

2 Eggs, beaten

1 tablespoon coconut oil

2 tablespoons salsa

1 tablespoons shredded cheese

¼ Avocado, sliced (optional)


Add the onion, tomato, salt, and pepper to the beaten eggs in a bowl and mix. Add the coconut oil to a skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the egg mixture and cook until the eggs begin to set (about 2 minutes). Stir the mixture with a spatula and cook until the eggs are no longer runny (about 1 more minute). Transfer to a plate, and serve hot with salsa and sliced avocado on top. Add some fruit such as half a banana.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size Recipe
Servings Per Container 1

Amount Per Serving
Calories 270 Calories from Fat 149.4
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16.6g 26%
Saturated Fat 8.4g 42%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 378.3mg 126%
Sodium 239.7mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 13.7g 5%
Dietary Fiber 3.4g 14%
Sugars 4.9g
Protein 16.1g 32%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Char’s Chicken Veggie Soup

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From time to time we want to share some of our on plan recipes. Some we adapt and some Charlene just tosses together. Here is a low calorie chicken veggie soup. She makes it in a large soup pot and it usually is filled to the top. It barely fits in a 8.1 quart bowl and that’s about 32 to 33 cups. That gives us many 2 cup servings for the week.

Here’s what she put in this one. (It varies each time by what veggies she tosses in and what seasonings she puts in it.)

1 package of Trader Joe’s frozen Melange a Trois (fancy name for three kinds of bell pepper)

1 package of Trader Joe’s frozen Broccoli florets

1 package of sliced mushrooms (10oz) (Yes we get them at Trader Joe’s)

3 Onions diced

½ package of Trader Joe’s frozen spinach

2 ½ cans of low sodium diced tomatoes

4 Chicken boneless breasts – precooked

3 32oz boxes of Trader Joe’s low sodium chicken broth (Some broths aren’t very low sodium so check the label)

1 C Kale chopped

½ Head Red Cabbage chopped

Charlene doesn’t measure seasonings but this is what she put in.

Lawry’s Low Sodium Seasoning Salt


Herbs de province

Garlic powder

Minced garlic

Mrs. Dash table blend


Course you can season to your liking. You may want it spicier so you could toss in cayenne or red pepper flakes. As low calorie as it is you could eat more than two cups if you’re real hungry.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Cup
Servings Per Container 1

Amount Per Serving
Calories 53.1 Calories from Fat 5.4
% Daily Value*
Total Fat .6g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 12.6mg 4%
Sodium 127.5mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 4.4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1.6g 6%
Sugars 2g
Protein 7.2g 14%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Chicken and Rice Soup

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Chicken and Rice Soup

While on our trip to California, we tried this recipe at my mother’s house. It gave us several good lunches and my mother liked it as well. We didn’t put in much ginger. If you prefer a stronger ginger flavor, you can add more. It turned out very good and fit “The Plan.”

Hey, got to stick to “The Plan.”


Makes 6 cups or so


1/2 cup instant brown rice (Prepare per instructions)

4 cups low sodium chicken or veggie stock (We used one container of Trader Joe’s Low Sodium Chicken broth)

1 teaspoon ginger or fresh mashed

2 cloves worth of garlic either minced, or powder, or crushed

1 lb. skinless and boneless diced chicken breasts (We precooked them)

1 tsp salt

1 cup diced broccoli (We put in a packaged of Trader Joe’s frozen broccoli which is about a pound)

1 cup diced celery (about 3 stalks, cut into 1/2 inch pieces)

Any other spices you might like. We tossed in pepper and Mrs. Dash.


In a large pot, bring the ingredients to a boil. Lower heat to medium and cook for about 30 minutes or until ingredients are the consistency you like.


Mexican Chicken Cauliflower Soup

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Mexican Chicken Cauliflower Soup

Servings: 8


4 Tbsp. Olive Oil
6 cups sliced onions
2 Tbsp. Chili Powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 Medium Heads Cauliflower, cored and cut into chunks
8 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 tsp. salt ½ tsp. freshly ground pepper 3 cooked diced boneless chicken breasts
2 Tbsp. Trader Joe’s Salsa per serving and added when served, optional
1 avocado, diced, optional


In a soup pot, sauté onions in olive oil until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add chili powder and cumin, cooking for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add cauliflower and chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until vegetables are tender.

Purée ½ of the mixture in a blender, food processor, or with a hand blender. (You can blend it all if you don’t want any cauliflower chunks.) Thin to desired consistency with a little stock or water or leave as is, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Add cooked diced chicken breasts and stir. Measure out individual servings.

Top with 2 Tbsp. Trader Joe’s Salsa per bowl and serve. (You can also add grated jack/cheddar cheese and chopped fresh oregano, if desired. But dairy isn’t on our plan).

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 1/2 C
Servings Per Container 8

Amount Per Serving
Calories 270 Calories from Fat 74.7
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8.3g 13%
Saturated Fat 1.0g 5%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 48mg 16%
Sodium 260.6mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 25.3g 8%
Dietary Fiber 8.4g 34%
Sugars 3g
Protein 26.1g 52%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Brown Rice Pasta Meat Sauce

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Here’s that recipe I promised you yesterday. It’s a great substitute for white pasta or even whole wheat or whole rain pasta. It’s also delicious.

Brown Rice Pasta Meat Sauce

Servings= 6


1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
6-8 fresh mushrooms, sliced and halved
1 bell pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 tsp. Dried Italian Seasoning
1 tsp. Dried Basil
½ tsp. garlic powder or more if desired
1 lb. ground turkey
1 jar of Trader Joe’s Marinara Sauce
1 1/2 cups dry, Trader Joe’s Rice Pasta Fusilli


Dice the peppers, onion, and sliced, halved mushrooms. Sauté in a frying pan with a little olive oil. You can also add a few shakes of the dried seasonings with these vegetables as well. Sauté on lower heat until cooked to desired tenderness. Remove from frying pan before adding ground turkey to cook. Set veggies aside.

Crumble ground turkey in frying pan and add a little more olive oil. Stir as needed so turkey doesn’t burn or stick, but cook thoroughly. While meat continues cooking on medium heat, add seasonings and stir frequently.

Measure 1 1/2 cups of uncooked Trader Joe’s Rice Pasta Fusilli. Add pasta to hot water and boil according to package directions. Cook until tender and drain thoroughly. Set aside.

Once meat is cooked add to a food processor until mixture is a more uniform mixture.

In a separate pan, add meat mixture, vegetables, and jar of Trader Joe’s Marinara Sauce and stir thoroughly. Cook on low, stirring often until most of the watery portion is gone.

Pasta should be cooked by now. Be sure to drain well before placing serving portions on dinner plates.  Spoon meat/vegetable mixture over pasta. Serve immediately.

The leftover meat/vegetable/sauce mixture can be refrigerated for another meal or two with any remaining pasta, and be an easy heat-n-eat meal.


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Cup
Servings Per Container 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories 180 Calories from Fat 57.6
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6.4g 10%
Saturated Fat 1.7g 9%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 53.3mg 18%
Sodium 256.8mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 15.2g 5%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 2.5g
Protein 16.3g 33%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Peanut Blossom

Peanut Blossom 700x400One more cookie I’ve been snacking on this year. Charlene has had these recipes for many years. Kids of all ages like this one including me.

Peanut Blossom


½ cup butter (or margarine)
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar
½ cup smooth peanut butter
1 egg
2 Tablespoons milk
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ¾ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Chocolate kisses – enough for one per cookie


  1. Mix (cream) butter, sugars, peanut butter, egg, milk, and vanilla.
  2. Sift flour, soda, and salt together. Add to mixture.
  3. Make heaping teaspoons of dough into balls.
  4. Put on parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned.
  6. As cookie comes out of oven, stick a chocolate kiss in the center.
  7. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Russian Tea Cakes

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Do you want to know what cookies I’ve been eating? Charlene has graciously allowed her mother’s secret recipe to appear on this blog. The recipe is Russian Tea Cakes. Some people call them snowballs. Either way they are good. (The missing one in the middle tasted good.)

Russian Tea Cakes


1 cup butter (softened is better)
½ cup powdered Sugar (extra for tossing)
2 ½ cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup nuts (we use chopped walnuts)


  1. Mix (cream) butter, add powdered sugar gradually, and mix (cream) well.
  2. Sift flour before measuring. Measure and sift with salt. Add to the butter mixture and work in with hands.
  3. Work in the vanilla and nuts.
  4. Form into small balls.
  5. Place in greased cookie sheet. Last time we used parchment paper and it’s much easier.
  6. Bake for 14 to 17 minutes, or until delicately brown in oven set to 400 degrees.
  7. Toss in powdered sugar while warm, then toss again when cold.
  8. Makes 4 to 5 dozen.


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This recipe was on Facebook. Haven’t tried it yet but it looks good. Don’t know where it came from so I just left the credit to Paula Deen. We made some changes or additions to personalize it for our tastes. You can do the same.

60 minutes to make. Serves 6

Paul Deen’s Goulash


2 lbs lean ground beef or ground turkey
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped or minced garlic equivalent
3 cups water
2 (15 oz.) cans tomato sauce (Low Sodium if possible)
2 (15 oz.) cans diced tomatoes (Low Sodium if possible)
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning (optional)
3 bay leaves (optional)
3 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. mixture of black pepper and garlic powder
1 tbsp. salt and / or sprinkles of Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
2 cups elbow macaroni or other kinds like shells for variety


In large pot, cook ground beef over medium heat until browned, spoon off any extra grease. Add onion and garlic, sauté until transparent. Add 3 cups of water, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, all seasonings, soy sauce, and bay leaves (if you choose to use them). Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add macaroni and allow it to simmer an additional 20 minutes or until tender. Remove bay leaves before serving.