Hobo packs are one of the best ways to make good food fast.  I'm trying to cut back on calories but want to eat something other than cardboard or lettuce. These meals on the fly cooked in foil or parchment paper are so good and so easy because you can cook, serve, and clean up very quickly. These are not only good for a party; (we used to make them at Girl Scouts with hamburger, cooked on the campfire) but they are perfect for busy nights when you just want to get dinner on the table. I make up a few at the beginning of the week and cook them as I need them. Use any flavor profile you want: Greek, Italian, Southern, Cajun, you get the picture. I typically use what I have on hand and want to get rid of... onions, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, kale, spinach, parsnips, butternut squash, and more are all great choices. NOTE: Make sure to slice the potatoes and other fast cooking vegetables larger than your carrots and other dense root vegetables so they'll cook at the same time.



1 small yellow onion, sliced very thin

2 carrots, peeled and sliced thin

1 potato, peeled and cubed

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

thyme, rosemary, oregano, or other herbs as you desire


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Tear off two 18' pieces of foil. Arrange the veggies on the foil. Begin with the onion, carrot, and then potato. Sprinkle with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Add the chicken breast on top and a bit more olive oil, salt and pepper. Add any herbs you like. Seal the top and the sides of each package carefully so that no steam will escape. Place on a baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes depending on how large your chicken breasts are. (Chicken is done at 165 degrees.)

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I'm working on getting some pounds off and have also eliminated sweets for a while. That doesn't stop me from wanting sweets, however. Here's a recipe that not only helps with the cravings, it helps pump up my energy level in the mid-afternoon. And while not typically party fare, a smoothie is actually very versatile, just perfect for breakfast,, brunch, or burger night. Make them very frothy and icy but without having to add ice by using very cold milk and freezing the fruit. Serve in place of ice cream shake for burgers with the kids. They will love it and you'll love that they ate fresh fruit.

This recipe takes about one minute to make and clean up if you use an immersion blender. If you don't have one, I'd suggest getting one- it is my #1 kitchen tool. So much easier than getting out the big blender or food processor!



1/2 cup fresh strawberries, chilled and sliced

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

1 tablespoon agave nectar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup skim milk, super cold

dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, powdered ginger or whatever spices you like.


Put all of the ingredients into a glass and buzz them with your immersion blender for about 30 seconds or until smooth. If you chill the milk and the berries, you will not need to use ice and the process is fast and easy. Makes 1.

For supper, I put together a quick "hobo pack" dinner of chicken and veggies which is far superior in taste and quality to pre-packaged diet food yet equally convenient. And it is only 300 calories for a lot of food with no preservatives.

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Welcome to Food Lovers Fit Club where we will do our best to support each other as we get fit, lose weight, and eat healthier.

Since I was on Food Network Star in 2012, I've changed and not in a good way. As part of my work, I've visited and eaten at hundreds of restaurants. I've traveled non-stop. I've developed recipes and taste-tested them all. I've eaten millions of amazing calories and have the pictures and the pounds to prove it. To put it mildly, it's time to do something because the weight is getting to be a problem!  Today, on Facebook, I told everyone I was on a mission to cut some calories and pounds before Easter. Many of my friends offered to help me and go on the journey with me. As a result, I've created a new event page where I'll post my daily activities... hopefully, that will keep me accountable.

FEBRUARY 18, 2015


FOOD: I've given up sweets for Lent and am committed to more exercise. Today is Day 1.

Total calories: 1420.

I'm really bad about skipping meals and drinking enough water. Today I did much better and ate 3 small meals during the day (including breakfast) and have a lot more energy without the mid-day slump. I whipped up a fantastic smoothie in 1 minute around lunch time with blueberries and strawberries. Using the immersion blender, the whole thing took 1 minute to make and clean up. Get the recipe...

For supper, I put together a quick "hobo pack" dinner of chicken and veggies which is far superior in taste and quality to pre-packaged diet food yet equally convenient. And it is only 300 calories for a lot of food with no preservatives. Get the recipe...


I'm extremely lazy when it comes to the exercise! I get so bored and I do much better if I am at the gym than when I use the treadmill at home. I did 20 minutes today on the treadmill but admit to stopping because had work calls scheduled. I need to get up earlier and get an earlier start. Going to buy a Fitbit tomorrow, I think. Everyone raves about it.

What about your progress? How did you do today?