Hopp Diva's Blog


Braised Beef With Red Wine Sauce November 3, 2013

Filed under: Main Dishes & Sandwiches — Hopp Diva @ 11:01 am

I used to make this recipe all the time before I changed my eating lifestyle ūüôā¬† But the good news for all of us is I have found a way to still make this delicious meal but cut the fat down a great deal.¬† The original recipe called for a sirloin tip or round roast (which was about 24 grams of fat for each serving and the recipe is supposed to serve 6) but I changed it up by using beef tenderloin instead.¬† Remember if you choose to make the recipe my way with the tenderloin, you will need to reduce the time from the original recipe.¬† Enjoy!!!¬† For comments/questions email ramona@lowfatdivablog.com


4   ounces pancetta, diced
1  tablespoon olive oil
1  2 1/2 Р3  pound beef tenderloin or use boneless sirloin tip or round roast
1/2  teaspoon salt
1/4  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2   medium carrots, chopped
1   large onion, chopped
1/2  cup chopped celery
1   medium red sweet pepper, seeded and chopped
2   cloves garlic, minced
3/4  cup dry red wine
1  28  ounce can Italian-style whole peeled tomatoes in puree, cut up
1   tablespoon tomato paste
2   tablespoons snipped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1   teaspoon snipped fresh oregano or 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1   bay leaf

1/4  cup no fat half & half cream

In a 4- to 6-quart Dutch oven cook pancetta over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove pancetta and set aside. Reserve any drippings in pan. Add olive oil to pan. Add meat and brown on both sides in hot oil, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer meat to a plate; reserve drippings in pan.

Add carrots, onion, celery, sweet pepper, and garlic to pan. Cook and stir for 10 minutes or until light brown. Add the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer the wine for 1 minute. Stir in undrained tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, and oregano. Return beef to pot and add the bay leaf.

Cover the pan and reduce heat to low. Simmer about 1-1/2 hours or until the beef is tender. Remove beef from pan and let stand while preparing sauce. For sauce, simmer tomato mixture, uncovered, until mixture measures about 4-1/2 cups (about 12 minutes). Stir in cream. Serve beef with sauce. Sprinkle with pancetta. Makes 6 servings.









Bourbon Hamburgers May 31, 2013

Filed under: Main Dishes & Sandwiches — Hopp Diva @ 10:01 am
Tags: ,

I just made these on a whim last night and they were fantastic!  I had some venison burger thawed out and I would not have changed a thing with the recipe.  If you do not care for venison burger then use a very lean cut of burger (no more than 8 grams in a 4 oz patty).  All the alcohol is cooked out but the blending of flavors is wonderful and they are perfect for the warm weekend we are to have here in the Mitten.  Enjoy!!!!  For comments/questions email ramona@gmail.com

Bourbon Burgers

1 teaspoon  instant coffee crystals

1 teaspoon  unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon  chili powder

1/8 teaspoon  salt

1 tablespoon garlic

1 tablespoon  whiskey/bourbon or water

1 pound  ground venison

4 ciabiatta rolls or kaiser rolls toasted

In a medium bowl, combine coffee crystals, cocoa powder, chili powder, garlic and salt . Stir in whiskey or water. Add venison; mix being careful to not over mix. Shape into four 1/2-inch-thick patties.

Grill to your likeness, let set off heat for 5 minutes to retain juices.

Top with  tomato slice, red onion, and/or pickles. Add bun tops. No need for katsup .



Kitchen Sink Beer Baked Beans January 31, 2013

I asked my mom, friends and anyone I met what their favorite recipe was for baked beans.¬† I received a huge variety of recipes and most had a few things in common; brown sugar, onion, molasses and ketchup.¬†¬† Ok, well that was a start but not what I was looking for.¬† So I took all the recipes that I sort of liked, combined them into one and as I was making the beans I found myself constantly adding more stuff, thus the Kitchen Sink Baked Beans (the beer was an afterthought).¬†¬† I know in my article this month in Women’s Lifestyle Northshore I told you not to heat up balsamic vinegar but as with most rules this¬† is an exception.¬† The “tang” part of the beans is from the balsamic vinegar and it give the recipe a great flavor!

Cooking time will vary with this recipe and it also depends on if you put them in the oven or in a crock pot.  I used a crock pot for this recipe (have 3 and don’t ever use them).    Enjoy!!!  For comments/questions email Ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

 Kitchen Sink Baked Beans

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 ¬Ĺ cup diced onions or leeks

1 cup diced celery

1 cup diced carrot

¬ľ cup Balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons tomato paste

3 tablespoons whole grain Dijon Mustard

1 ¬Ĺ teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

3 teaspoons smoked paprika

1/3 cup  brown sugar (start with this amount and you may decide to add more)

2 teaspoon liquid smoke

2 cups dried navy beans or other dried bean of your choice

1 can great northern beans (size is your choice)

5 cups water

8 oz. of any Porter or Stout beer (not sweet flavors) ‚Äď keep 4 oz for the end of the cooking

6 oz. cooked and chopped up turkey bacon

Place dried beans in a pot and cover with water (you can use half beer and half water).  Leave them to soak over nights.

The next day drain beans and set aside.¬† In a non stick frying pan place the olive oil, add the onion, celery and carrots.¬† Cook until translucent ‚Äď about 10 minutes.¬† Add in the balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan for 1 more minute.¬† Add the tomato paste, mustard, rosemary, cocoa powder and paprika.¬† Saute for another 2-3 minutes.¬† Remove from heat

Set your crock pot on high if you want them done in about 5 hours.  Add the beans, vegetable mixture, water and beer.  Stir the mixture about every hour or so.  In the last 2 hours, add the canned northern beans and the cooked bacon.  I add the other 4 ounces of beer  at this time or more if I want my beans to have a bit more liquid.  There is nothing I hate more than having baked beans that are more like dry baked paste!

NOTE:  My friend Dawn browns up very lean ground beef or turkey and adds that into her baked beans during the cooking cycle.  The meat does give the beans a nice flavor.

baked beans


Beer Marinated Flank Steak July 17, 2012

Filed under: Diva's Brew-ha,Main Dishes & Sandwiches — Hopp Diva @ 9:13 pm

Flank steak is already quite tender (as long as you don’t over cook it) but his really makes it even more yummy!¬† Be sure to use a dark beer or an ale but not one that has a great deal of hops because the hops will make the food taste bitter.¬†¬†¬† Enjoy!!!¬† For comments/questions email ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

Beer Marinated Flank Steak

2 (16 ounce) flank steak pieces

1/4 cup dark beer

2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1-2  teaspoon garlic powder

  1. Preheat grill for high heat.
  2. Use a fork to poke holes all over the surface of the steaks, and place steaks in a large baking dish. In a bowl, mix together beer, teriyaki sauce, and brown sugar. Pour sauce over steaks, and let sit about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/2 the seasoned salt, pepper, and garlic powder; set aside for 10 minutes. Turn steaks over, sprinkle with remaining seasoned salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and continue marinating for 10 more minutes.
  3. Remove steaks from marinade. Pour marinade into a small saucepan, bring to a boil, and cook for several minutes (it will thicken up a bit)
  4. Lightly oil the grill grate with Pam Spray for grills . Grill steaks for 5 minutes per side, or to your preferred meat color, but remember flank steak will become very tough if you need your steak to be well done.   During the last few minutes of grilling, baste steaks with the boiled marinade to enhance the flavor.    Enjoy !!!!

There are so many different beers you can enjoy for your marinade.  If you use a beer with fruit, you may want to reduce the quantity of sugar in the recipe.


Beer Butt Chicken

Filed under: Diva's Brew-ha,Main Dishes & Sandwiches — Hopp Diva @ 8:42 pm

You would have to be living under a rock if you have not heard the term “beer butt chicken”.¬† I¬† remember years ago my dad gave my husband a contraption he found at a flee market in Florida that was especially for making beer butt chicken.¬† We laughed at the gift but one day decided to give it a whirl, ok, I decided to try it.

The chicken was delicious, tender and very moist so I was sold on the idea.¬† I actually still have my beer butt chicken contraption that dad gave us and use it during the grilling season a great deal.¬† I now use a soda can (because we don’t purchase can beer anymore since we brew our own) and add what ever flavor of beer I want.¬† Last night (only 92 degrees outside instead of the 99 today) I made a beer butt chicken and put my husband’s clone of Oberon, I also cut up some oranges to put in the cavity of the bird, a bit of fresh garlic, some cilantro and some pepper.¬† The bird was wonderful!!!

You can use what ever beer type you would like.¬† Just pour some (3/4 of the can full) in a soda can/beer can, season the inside of the bird with what ever seasonings you would like but that would also compliment the beer (would not recommend a beer with a great deal of hops like an IPA – this might make the chicken too bitter), place the can with the open side up into the cavity of the bird with legs dangling and place on the grill over indirect heat.¬† If you have the contraption for beer butt chicken, the chicken will sit much better ūüôā¬† A 3.5 – 4 pound chicken will take about 1.5 – 2 hours to cook, depending on your grill.¬† Just be sure to place the bird over indirect heat so you don’t burn it.¬† I have also placed this contraption in my smoker and it was so tasty.¬†¬†¬† Enjoy!!!!!¬† For comments/questions email ramona@lowfatdivablog.com


A Pizza For Breakfast????? Oh Yea! October 3, 2011

Filed under: Breakfast,Main Dishes & Sandwiches — Hopp Diva @ 3:14 pm

This recipe for breakfast pizza is fun and it’s a delicious change for your kids instead of cereal for breakfast. The pizza is low in fat but full of flavor.¬† You can even design it the way your family likes.¬† If you have part of your family that likes sausage and the rest like bacon – no problem!¬† My daughter’s family likes to have breakfast for supper, this pizza works very well for that also.¬† As I stated in my earlier blog, I like to keep pizza dough balls in my freezer.¬† This pizza is made with one of those dough balls.

Defrost 1 dough ball

1 cup of egg beaters

1 1/2 cups of No Fat Mozzarella Cheese/Skim Mozzarella


ground turkey breast sausage/chicken sausage, Canadian bacon, turkey bacon

On a pizza stone or a pizza pan spread out your pizza dough into round or square shape.  Spray with butter flavored Pam and sprinkle with some seasonings (we use hot peppers).  Place in 450 degree oven for about 7-9 min. or until the crust is just starting to turn brown.  While crust is baking, in a frying pan that has been sprayed with Pam, cook your sausage or turkey bacon.  Set aside.   Respray if needed but add your egg beaters to the pan and cook them as if you were making scrambled eggs Рbe sure not to over cook them Рremember you will be baking them with the pizza. I also stir in about 1/2 cup of cheese to my eggs.   If you choose to have mushrooms or any other vegetables , make sure to cook them up too before you top your pizza.

When your pizza is partially cooked, remove from oven, sprinkle the remaining cheese over the crust, top with the eggs and then the meat of your choice.  Layer any ingredients the way you want but your eggs should be on the bottom over the cheese.  Spray the edge of your crust with butter flavored Pam.  Bake for about 7-9 more minutes or until your crust is a golden brown on the bottom.  Remove from oven, let rest about 3-5 min. before you cut.  Enjoy!!!!   For questions/comments email me 1lowfatdiva@gmail.com

Breakfast Pizza with eggs and Canadian bacon!


Hearty Stew March 11, 2011

Filed under: Low Fat Diva Blog,Main Dishes & Sandwiches — Hopp Diva @ 12:59 pm

I have two recipes for you for this month’s Women’s Lifestyle Magazine.¬† The first is a wonderful Hearty Stew that has some ingredients you will be amazed at and the other is a Pulled Pork.¬† Yes, you read that correct, pulled pork.¬† Normally pulled pork is quite high in fat but I have found a way to make it with a different cut of meat and it is wonderful!

Both recipes call for a Brown Ale.  Although I did make it with beer you can use only low fat chicken stock.  Before you become too leery about the beer remember all the alcohol is cooked out of the recipe long before you eat it.  One of the recipes takes 2 hours to make and the other is in a slow cooker for over 8 hours.  The flavor the ale provides to the dish is a richness that truly is worth the venture.   Enjoy:)  Send comments/questions to 1lowfatdiva@gmail.com

Low Fat Pulled Pork

Hearty Low Fat Stew

Low Fat Version Of Pulled Pork

3 # of Pork Tenderloin

2 Tlb. Cumin

6-8oz Dark Malt Porter Beer ( or you can use a Bordeaux)

1 cup Ketchup

3 Tlb Cider Vinegar

4 Cloves Minced Garlic

2 Pinches of Red Pepper

1 Tlb. Molasses

2 Tlb. Honey

1-2 tsp. Liquid smoke

Take out pork so that it’s room temperature.   Combine all the sauce mix in bottom of slow cooker.  Stir so all the ingredients so they are combined well.  If you choose not to use beer or the Bordeaux, just substitute no fat chicken broth for the liquid.

On high heat, brown the roast in a pan that has been sprayed with Pam.  Make sure you keep an eye to not cook it, you are just browning all the sides.

Place the browned tenderloin into the slow cooker.¬† The ‚Äúsauce‚ÄĚ should cover the tenderloin.¬† Turn the slow cooker on low for 6 hours.

After 6-7 hours remove the pork loin and place on a pan that has sides (13×9 works great).¬† Using a fork, pull the pork into pieces.

If you have a grease separator you can strain the liquid from the crockpot.¬† I use some of this liquid to mix into the pork once I have finished ‚Äúpulling‚ÄĚ it because of all the great flavors or you can mix some of the liquid into the bbq sauce of your choice.¬† Ciabatta rolls are quite low in fat and work great for pulled pork sandwiches!

Hearty Low Fat Stew

1# of Pork Tenderloin (cut into bite size pieces)

2 Tlb. Flour

1 Small Onion (roughly chopped)

1-2 Parsnip (peeled & roughly chopped)

1-2 Carrot (peeled & roughly chopped)

2 med. Yukon Gold Potatoes or Red Potatoes (roughly chopped with skins on) NOTE: You can use whole small potatoes too

1 Tlb. Rosemary

1 cup No Fat Chicken Stock

1-¬Ĺ cups Brown Ale Beer

Salt & Pepper

2 Tlb. Blue Bonnett Lite

4-6 oz. Portabella Mushrooms

Put flour and a bit of salt & pepper in a bowl.¬† Add pork pieces just a few at a time to dust the pieces in flour.¬† Melt the oleo in a pot and brown the pork pieces.¬† After all the pieces have been browned add the left over flour to the pan.¬† Add the rosemary, onions, beer and stock stirring to dissolve the flour.¬† Bring to a boil and quickly reduce the heat to a low simmer for 1 ¬Ĺ hours.¬† In the last ¬Ĺ hour add all the vegetables (parsnip, carrot, potatoes, mushrooms) and cook.

NOTE: I make homemade bread to go along with or you can use a rustic low fat bread from local Plumbs Market bakery.  This is a great way to soak up the gravy from the stew!


%d bloggers like this: