Posted in Tips/Hints, Travel

Eating In Tennessee

We were on the road a few days and are finishing up our fun trip to Nashville.  I love going to places I have never been before to sample the delicious tastings that other parts of our  big  beautiful country has to offer.  I have to say that the food in Tennessee did not disappoint and even though we are in BBQ country, there were low fat options available (even if they aren’t advertised that way).  Nick had smoked turkey for lunch one day and BBQ pork loin for dinner another.  Dean and I changed it up a little and went for the BBQ pork ribs and beef brisket BBQ but then ordered a lighter item for the next meal.

If you are traveling and trying to keep things on the low fat side, you can choose lower fat cuts of meat and still enjoy the local cuisine.  Chicken breasts, turkey, pork loin and sirloin steaks are just a few options to choose from.  The nice thing is you still get to enjoy the local flavors through BBQ and other sauces, just stay away from creamy sauces or sauces that have butter written in the descriptions.

However, I must say that my favorite dish in Nashville was the shrimp and grits.  The grits had a very subtle hint of parmesan cheese in them and the shrimps were pan fried with bacon and scallions. I just took a few bacon pieces for the flavor but knew to keep away from eating all of them.  I am not sure if this is a standard local dish but it is worth trying to create a low fat version of this and I expect that when I get home, I will be shopping for grits & shrimp.  Don’t be surprised if you see a recipe for this dish in the coming days after we return.

Next stop…Roanoke, Virginia.

Until then, enjoy and happy traveling!

Posted in Beef

A flavor for BBQ

We are leaving for a road trip out to to Nashville, TN tomrrow morning.  I am very excited since we have never been out that way before.  In anticipation of visiting that part of the country, I been having a major hankering for BBQ.  So in the spirit of our upcoming trip, I cooked a BBQ Beef Stew.  I used a top round beef that has less fat in it than other types of beef.   This allows you to watch your calorie and fat intake while still enjoying a hearty dinner.

Enjoy and happy BBQing!!

Beef BBQ Stew

Serves 8

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 1 ½ – 2 hours


2 pounds top round beef – trimmed of any fat

Salt and pepper to season beef

1 cup strong coffee

1 cup crushed tomatoes from a can

1 cup beer

½ cup ketchup

½ cup Worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons chili powder

¼ cup brown sugar

½ – 1 jalapeno (depending on personal preference) – finely chopped

3 cloves garlic – minced

½ teaspoon liquid smoke

1 teaspoon smoke salt

1 tablespoon corn starch

¼ cup water


  1. Cut beef into 1-inch cubes. Heat a large deep skillet on medium high heat and spray with cooking spray.  Season beef with salt and pepper and add to skillet.  Brown beef for about 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine coffee, crushed tomatoes, beer, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, brown sugar, garlic, liquid smoke and smoke salt then add to skillet with beef.  Bring mixture to a boil then lower heat and simmer for 1 ½ – 2 hours until beef is very tender.
  3. With a slotted spoon, remove beef and spoon into a serving bowl.  In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water then add to sauce in pan.  Bring to boil, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly and thick.  Pour sauce over beef and serve.

Estimated Values per serving:

Calories = 300                                              Fat = 7 grams