Thursday, December 30, 2010

Skillet Chili Mac with Corn

Skillet Chili Mac with Corn

Recipe adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Café

Makes 6 Servings

1 tbsp canola oil
1 pound 96/4 ground beef
1 onion, minced
3/4 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 14-oz. can tomato sauce
2 cups water
8 ounces elbow macaroni
1 11-oz. can corn, drained
1 4.5-oz can chopped green chiles
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
3 oz. Cabot 75% cheddar cheese, grated

Heat oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add beef, onion, chili powder, coriander and salt. Cook beef until it is no longer pink. Drain any excess fat or grease. Stir in garlic and brown sugar and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato sauce, water and macaroni. Cover and cook, stirring often and keeping the heat at a steady simmer until macaroni is tender, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in corn, green chiles and cilantro and sprinkle cheese over the top. Cover and let it sit off the heat until the cheese melts, about 2 minutes.

Nutritional Information: 357 calories, 43 carbs, 8 fat grams and 27 protein grams.

Review: Wonderful! I liked that it's lower calorie but still filling, and the macaroni came out great. I love recipes that cook the macaroni for me - nice! I will say that I had to add a bit of salt to mine, and next time I might add some hot sauce to the mix to give it a little more heat. It had flavor, but I like mine a bit more spicy. Regardless, this one was a winner, and I love that it makes 6 servings and only takes 25 minutes tops, including prep!

In the skillet!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Chicken Tortellini Bake

Chicken Tortellini Bake
Recipe adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Café
Makes 4 Servings

9 ounce package of cheese tortellini (refrigerated not dry)
1 tbsp olive oil
16 oz. chicken
3 green onions finely chopped, white and green parts
2 tbsp flour
1 cup chicken broth
8 ounces fresh mushrooms
1 cup fat-free sour cream
2 oz. cabot 75% cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken for 1-2 minutes and add fresh mushrooms and green onions, cooking until chicken is done and mushrooms are brown, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir to combine for 1-2 minutes. Add chicken broth and stir until thickened, 3-4 minutes. Mix in sour cream and cook for 1-2 minutes. Spray a square baking pan with cooking spray. Pour tortellini in bottom. Put cooked chicken/sauce mixture over it and sprinkle cheese on top. Bake covered with tin foil (spray foil with nonstick cooking spray so it won't stick to cheesy top!) for 30 minutes, uncover and bake for additional 15 minutes until bubbly.

Nutritional Information: 462 calories, 41 carbs, 11 fat grams and 43 protein grams.

Review: Wow. The cream sauce this makes tastes downright bad for you. I love that! The mushrooms were a nice flavor too - very soft and melted right in to the sauce. I couldn't taste the green onions, but i'm sure I would have missed them if they hadn't been there! Also, I'm glad I put the tortellini straight in rather than boiled it - this was a tip from Mel that was definitely a time-saver! I will be making this one again - I also love that it has a short recipe list.

Whole dish

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sweet and Sour Chicken #2

Sweet and Sour Chicken #2
Recipe adapted from a My Kitchen Café Recipe
Makes 4 Servings

16 oz. chicken
Salt and pepper
½ cup cornstarch
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp canola oil
2 cups white rice, divided
Sauce: ¾ cup splenda, 4 tbsp ketchup, ½ cup vinegar, 1 tbsp light soy sauce and 1 tsp garlic salt.

Cut boneless chicken breasts into chunks. Season with salt and pepper. Dip chicken in cornstarch and then in egg. Fry in a little oil until brown but not cooked through. Place in a single layer in a baking dish. Mix sauce ingredients together and pour over chicken. Bake for one hour at 325 degrees. Turn chicken every 15 minutes so it is evenly coated with the sauce. Serve over rice. (1/2 cup per serving)

Nutritional Information: 450 calories, 61 carbs, 9 fat grams and 28 protein grams.

Review: We loved this - the fact that it was breaded pretty much meant that Austin was 100% about it. I loved that I made my own sauce - always better than jarred! Yes, it took a while which could be seen as a downside, but it would make it easy to make while pre-cooking (i.e. can cook something else while it's in the oven!) and honestly, it's worth it! I'm always looking for new Asian-inspired recipes and this one is DEFINITELY a keeper!

Close up of the chicken - definitely breaded and "legit" as Austin says

Friday, December 24, 2010

Out of Town

I probably should have said bye on this blog! haha Oops. Basically, I've been skiing since Monday and will be here, in Colorado, until Sunday. I will resume cooking new recipes and posting new things this coming Monday!! I hope you're all having happy holidays!
Me and Austin - Day 2 of our Trip

Friday, December 17, 2010

Classic Red Chili

Classic Red Chili
Recipe adapted from My Kitchen Café
Makes 10 servings

2 medium onions, diced
2 tsp salt
2 pounds 96/4 ground beef
3 large cans (29 ounces each) pinto beans, drained
2 46 oz. can tomato juice
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 cup ketchup
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup water
3/4 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tbsp light brown sugar

Brown the hamburger and onion in a large skillet with salt. Drain grease. In a small bowl combine the 1/2 cup water with the garlic salt, pepper, chili powder, cayenne pepper, cumin and brown sugar. In a large pot, combine tomato juice, beans, tomato sauce, and ketchup. Stir in hamburger and onions and seasoning/water mixture. Mix well. Stir in bay leaves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer over medium-low heat for an hour, stirring occasionally (this can simmer for as long as 4-5 hours).

Nutritional Information: 423 calories, 55 carbs, 7 fat grams and 34 protein grams.

Review: I actually didn’t follow the directions above – I slowcooked the whole thing raw beef and all. However, I wish I had because this BARELY fit in the slowcooker and took forever to cook! Haha So I’d follow the directions above. :) And don’t forget to drain those beans! I forgot to drain the first can so it was a little soupier than I wanted. SO all in all, regardless of my errors, it was STILL good! Hehe I really liked it, less smokey and more sweet. It has a lot of flavor and is definitely filling. I’m going to make this again – but by following the recipe above!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chicken Shawarma

Chicken Shawarma
Recipe Adapted from Cooking Light
Makes 4 Servings

Chicken: 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp curry powder, 2 tsp olive oil, ¾ tsp salt, ½ tsp cumin, 2 tsp minced garlic, 1 pound chicken, diced.
Sauce: 1 small container 0% Fage yogurt, 1 ½ tbsp tahini, 2 tsp lemon juice, ¼ tsp salt, ½ tsp minced garlic
Also: cooking spray, 4 pitas, 1 cup lettuce, 8 tomato slices
Options: 1 cup couscous OR 1 large pita

Combine first six ingredients in a bowl. Add chicken to bowl. Let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. To prepare sauce, combine all ingredients stirring with a whisk. Cook chicken over medium heat in medium pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, 4 minutes on each side until no longer pink.
Pita Option: Place pitas in toaster; cook for 1 minute or until lightly toasted. Place 1 pita on each of 4 plates; top each with ¼ cup lettuce and 2 tomato slices. Top each serving with a quarter of the chicken pieces and sauce. (to make it easier to eat – spread sauce on pita with the back of a spoon, then top with lettuce, tomato and chicken so they “stick” to the pita).
Couscous Option: Cook couscous per package instructions. Divide couscous across 4 plates. Then serve lettuce, tomato, chicken and sauce alongside it.

Nutritional Information (couscous option): 475 calories, 61 carbs, 7 fat grams and 39 protein grams.
Nutritional Information (pita option): 434 calories, 53 carbs, 7 fat grams and 39 protein grams.

Review: I really liked this light recipe. I tried it hot and cold (with the pita) and both were good. I preferred it cold and made it like an Indian Pita Pizza with the sauce as the base so the ingredients would stick – very good! My sauce mix was 200 grams total, so if you weigh it’s 50 grams of sauce on each one. This is a keeper. It was good with couscous as well – but not as filling to me.

A pic of it with the sauce on bottom and "toppings" above it!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cheesy Chicken Lasagna

Cheesy Chicken Lasagna (next time Cheesy Chicken Pasta Bake)
Adapted from a Real Mom Kitchen recipe
Makes 6 servings

2 12-oz. cans evaporated milk
1 (1 oz) package dry ranch dressing mix
24 oz. cubed, cooked, chicken
1/8 tsp pepper
12 no-boil lasagna noodles (next time 7.5 oz. barilla macaroni)
3.5 oz. 75% reduced fat cheddar cheese, grated
75 grams fresh mozzarella cheese, grated

Combine evaporated milk and Ranch dressing in a 3-quart heavy saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring frequently until dry ingredients are dissolved. Stir in chicken and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes, stirring frequently. Layer: 4 lasagna noodles, chicken sauce, ½ cup cheese, 4 lasagna noodles, chicken sauce, 4 lasagna noodles, remaining cheese in 9×13 pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Next time, cook pasta per box instructions then mix together all ingredients except for cheese. Wait and add cheese after 30 minutes. Bake covered at 375 for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes.

Nutritional Information: 488 calories, 38 carbs, 14 fat grams and 47 protein grams.

Review: I really like the filling - the evaporated milk added a lot to this dish - it almost tenderized the chicken and mixed with the ranch it had a great flavor. I will say that I was NOT happy with how the top layer of the lasagna came out - too tough. I made notes above about what i'm going to do next time (make it more of a pasta bake instead of a lasagna so it cooks more evenly. I think this will make a huge difference.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Breakfast Nachos

Breakfast Nachos
Recipe from My Bizzy Kitchen
Makes 2 Servings

5 small corn tortillas
3 eggs
1 tbsp fat-free milk
½ oz. Cabot 75% reduced fat cheddar, grated
4 slices turkey bacon
4 tbsp salsa

Cut corn tortillas into 6 triangle pieces and spray them with Pam. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt and bake for 12 minutes at 350. Cook bacon in the microwave per instructions, and dice it up. Scramble eggs with milk and a bit of salt. When the tortillas are done, split them into two piles of 15 triangles and divide the eggs over the top. Then sprinkle bacon over each pile and add cheese. Broil until the cheese melts, about 3 minute (watch it or it will burn!). Then top each pile with two tablespoons of salsa (I used Trader Joe’s 3-Pepper Salsa).

Nutritional Information: 337 calories, 32 carbs, 15 fat grams and 18 protein grams.

Review: YUM. Seriously - I loved the flavors of the eggs, bacon and salsa and the crunch of the nachos, which made them really fun to eat. This, to me, is definitely more for the weekends as i'm not sure how it would reheat, but it could be easily switched to during the week if you made it more like a quesadilla or even a tostado. Regardless, I want mine in nacho form. It filled me up to - while the calories aren't super high the fat helped as well as the protein. Great recipe that i'll be making again!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Creamy White Chili

Creamy White Chili
Recipe adapted from My Kitchen Café
Makes 6 Servings

20 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup onion, diced
1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
1 tbsp olive oil
2 15.5-oz. cansGreat Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5-oz. can chicken broth
1 4-oz. can chopped green chilies 1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup fat-free sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream
Optional: fresh cilantro for garnish

In a large saucepan, saute chicken, onion and garlic powder in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add beans, broth, chilies and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream and cream. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: 384 calories, 27 carbs, 15 fat grams and 29 protein grams.

Review: Wow. The sour cream + whipping cream base really make this soup taste sinful. The can of green chiles adds a nice kick, but it's mild (add a second can for even more!). There is nothing I would do different. The serving may not look huge but it packs a lot of protein with the chicken and beans and kept me full for hours. Austin, Teresa and Forrest agree that this soup is a winner! Austin likes his with a piece of toast.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Chicken and Mushroom Risotto

Chicken and Mushroom Risotto
Adapted from a Taste and Tell Recipe
Makes 6 Servings

4 cups fat-free chicken broth, room temperature
1 pound mixed fresh mushrooms of your choice
3 tbsp olive oil
4 tsp minced garlic, jarred
4 tbsp light butter
1 cup onion, diced
9 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, diced
1 ½ cups arborio rice
2/3 cup dry white wine
salt and pepper

To garnish:
12 tsp Kraft parmesan cheese
¼ cup fresh Italian parsley

Heat olive oil in a second, large skillet. Add mushrooms and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove to a plate. Heat butter in the same skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add chicken and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Reduce heat, add rice, and stir to coat in butter. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes. Add wine, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Gradually add stock, a cupful at a time. Stir constantly and add more liquid as the rice absorbs it. Increase heat to medium so liquid bubbles. Cook for 17 minutes, or until all of the liquid is absorbed. Stir in mushrooms and cook for 3 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide into six servings and then stir parmesan cheese into each and top with parsley.

Nutritional Information: 403 calories, 43 carbs, 12 fat grams and 24 protein grams.

Review: Creamy and delicious! I'm such a huge risotto fan now. I really like the thick, richness of it, and it makes a great, healthy serving that is very filling. As you can imagine, if you're not a mushroom fan don't go for this recipe (I mean come on - a pound of mushrooms made me smile but if you're meh on them - pass on this). I thought the mushrooms added a lot of flavor, as did the minced garlic. I'll be making this again!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Rotel Slowcooker Chicken Burritos

Rotel Slowcooker Chicken Burritos
Recipe adapted from Fabulessly Frugal
Makes 6 Servings

16 oz. chicken
1 can Rotel
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 packet taco seasoning
6 large Mission flour tortillas
1 avocado (116 grams)
1 can Trader Joe’s refried beans with jalapeno seasoning*
60 grams (2 oz) cabot 75% reduced fat cheddar, divided into 6
6 tbsp Sour cream, divided into 6

*If you can’t find these, get a can of black beans, drain them, and mash them with a fork

Place chicken in slowcooker. Mix Rotel, chicken broth and taco seasoning and pour mixture over chicken. Cook on high for 4 hours. Remove chicken from slow cooker, shred it, and add back to slowcooker to blend with any remaining sauce. Scoop out contents of avocado and mash, leaving mixture chunky. Mix beans and avocado together and spread evenly on six warm tortillas (about 85 grams each). Sprinkle each with cheese (10 grams). Add a scoop of chicken mixture (114 grams) and a dollop of sour cream (15 grams). Fold into burritos and enjoy.

Nutritional Information: 462 calories, 58 carbs, 10 fat grams and 32 protein grams.

Review: Yum! The guacamole added so much mixed with those beans. It was almost like a bean burrito then no – there’s some spicy chicken! I liked the sour cream and that little bit of cheese went a long way. This was a great burrito/wrap that we’ll definitely be having again. Although, next time I’ll double the chicken and use the other half in salads or in a taco or enchilada bake!

The inside

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My Cooking Inspiration

Ranchero Macaroni Bake

Ranchero Macaroni Bake
Recipe adapted from a Recipes for Moms recipe
Makes 6 Servings

1 can (14.5 oz.) fat-free cream of mushroom soup
½ cup skim milk
3 oz. Cabot 75% reduced fat Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup red salsa, medium
1/4 cup green salsa, hot
10 oz. elbow macaroni, uncooked
2 oz. tortilla chips, coarsely crushed
16 oz. chicken
1 packet taco seasoning
½ cup fat-free chicken broth

Cook macaroni according to package directions. While it cooks, cook chicken in a large skillet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray over medium heat with chicken broth and taco seasoning. Cook for 7-8 minutes until no longer pink. Drain macaroni. Combine soup and milk in a large bowl. Stir in cheese, salsa and cooked macaroni. Stir in chicken. Spoon into a baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Stir; sprinkle with crushed chips. Bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Full Dish - 6 servings

Nutritional Information: 401 calories, 47 carbs, 6 fat grams and 32 protein grams.

Review: Very good. The green salsa really added some extra fire that I think I would have missed if I hadn't added. The soupiness helped - I was nervous at first to stir before adding the chips, but it made a big difference and helped it cook more evenly. I liked the chip layer too - very crunchy, especially against the pasta/soupiness of the rest of the recipe. All in all, I would make this again and wouldn't change anything, great pastsa bake!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Chicken Brushetta Bake

Chicken Brushetta Bake
Recipe adapted from a Lauren’s Kitchen recipe (from Stovetop)
Makes 4 Servings

1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 package stove top stuffing mix for chicken
1/2 cup water
1 tsp minced garlic
18 oz. chicken
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
1 oz. fresh mozzarella, grated
2 oz. Cabot 75% reduced fat cheddar, grated

Heat oven to 400°F. Mix tomatoes, stuffing mix, water and garlic just until stuffing mix is moistened. Spray a square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Put raw chicken on bottom, then stuffing mix. Press until flat, then top with cheeses and basil. Bake 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

whole dish - 4 servings

Nutritional Information: 396 calories, 38 carbs, 7 fat grams and 41 protein grams.

Review: LOVED. Great mix and I never cook with stuffing so it was fun to use a new starch. The mix came out tasting a lot like brushetta, and I loved that it called for so much cheese, but was still so relatively low calorie. It was filling too - and the chicken layer at the bottom was moist. I love cooking chicken in the bottom of a casserole - genius. We'll be making this one again for sure -Austin was a fan, too.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Welcome to My New All-Recipe Blog!

Hi Friends! So... I never thought I'd cook much. I just wanted to lose weight and slowly found that an easy way to do it was by preparing my own food. Then I became addicted to finding new recipes, found myself pre-cooking for the week and making meal plans and now, here I am, devoting a site to over 200 of my favorite recipes. Insane the way things spiral out of control you develop a passion out of no where. A few things to note:
  • I rarely create my own recipes from scratch- most are inspired by fabulous bloggers like For the Love of Cooking, Real Mom Kitchen and Aggie's Kitchen. Or from sites like And of course I also get recipe ideas from my friends, co-workers, etc.
  • I find a recipe I want to make, and then get to work in Sparkpeople finding a way to tweak it to be filling but calorie-conscious. Sometimes this involves using fat-free ingredients, reducing the portion size, adding servings, etc. I also sometimes take out ingredients we don't like (i.e. peas) or add in ones we love (i.e. mushrooms). I aim for meals between 300 and 500 calories (most are around 400 or 450). I post nutritionals including calories, carbs, fat grams and protein grams.
  • Then I make the recipe, take a picture (if I can remember!), and post it on my main blog. Now i'll post it here as well, making it much easier to find what you're looking for with the categories and tags on the sidebars, and in the recipe index.
I'm so excited to get started. Next up for this blog?
  • Recook the recipes that are missing pictures and post them.
  • Finish the 'Products I Use' section.
  • Add many, many more meal plans. I only have two so far.
  • Make more recipes of course, and potentially foray into more desserts, side dishes, snacks appetizers and more!
If you have any questions, ideas, or suggestions please email me at

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fiesta Sliders

Fiesta Sliders
Makes 12 mini burgers
Recipe adapted from Lauren’s Kitchen

1 pound 96/4 ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
½ cup salsa
¼ cup breadcrumbs, plain
¼ cup onion
12 tbsp fat-free sour cream
12 slider rolls I like Martin's potato rolls (90 calories each)
Optional topping: 24 tsp salsa I don't think you need it!


Preheat oven to 375. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Combine meat, taco seasoning, salsa and onions. Mix with a fork. Add breadcrumbs. Form into 12 mini burger patties and cook for 8 minutes on each side, or until done. Meanwhile, smear 1/2 tbsp sour cream on the inside of each bun. Add the patty and top with bun. Option: serve with toppings like diced tomatoes and lettuce.

Nutritional Information (per slider): 173 calories, 23 carbs, 2 fat grams and 12 protein grams.
Nutritional Information (for 2 sliders as a meal): 345 calories, 46 carbs, 5 fat grams and 25 protein grams.

Review: I thought these were excellent! The boys (Austin & his bros) gobbled them up! They definitely weren't traditional sliders as they had the mexican flavors, but they were yummy - loved sour cream as the spread instead of mayo on a traditional burger - I thought it was neat! Austin did note that they were more like sloppy joes than burgers, I don't think there was enough bread crumbs to hold them together so I upped it above. Great appetizer, and I think it would be a great meal if you had two and maybe a side of some chips!

Black and White Bean Dip

Black and White Bean Dip
My Kitchen Café recipe
Makes 20 Servings

1 can of black beans, drained
1 can of white beans, drained
1 can of shoepeg corn, drained
½ cup Herdez salsa verde
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese, divided
15 grape tomatoes, quartered (squeeze liquid out of tomatoes after chopping)
garlic salt to taste (I used about 1/2 teaspoon)

Preheat oven to 400. Rinse and drain both cans of beans. Also drain the can of shoepeg corn. Make sure to squeeze liquid out of tomatoes before chopping so the dip doesn’t turn runny. Put 1.5 cups of cheese and everything else in a bowl and mix together. Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray before spooning in the bean mixture. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and pop into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and it is all warm and bubbly. Remove from oven and sprinkle with diced avocado and serve with tortilla chips.

Nutritional Information (without chips): 80 calories, 10 carbs, 3 fat grams and 5 protein grams.

Review: I thought this was excellent! Very different with all of the beans but super flavorful in the green salsa. The garlic salt definitely added a little something extra, and it bubbled up quick. This tasted good after it got cold, too, and it was good the next day. It makes LOTS of food –next time I may use a more shallow pan or pie dish so it’s not as deep.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Upside Down Pizza

Upside Down Pizza
Recipe adapted from an recipe
Makes 6 Servings

1 pound 96/4 ground beef
½ cup onion, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
2 cups jarred low-calorie spaghetti sauce
125 grams (a little over 1 cup) fresh mozzarella cheese, grated (divided)
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, grated (divided)
1 (8 ounce) light crescent rolls
¼ tsp Italian seasoning
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
Salt to taste
1 egg white
Dried basil for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a large pan. Add garlic and stir constantly for 30 seconds. Add onions and continue stirring for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add beef, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes, and cook, stirring every few minutes, until beef is no longer pink, 6 – 8 minutes. Once done, add spaghetti sauce and stir. Add salt if desired. In a 9x13 inch baking dish, spread a layer of sauce. Top with half of the mozzarella and half of the parmesan cheese. Add remainder of sauce then remainder of cheeses. Top with crescent rolls, pinching seams together. Brush egg white on top. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the top is brown. Sprinkle with dried basil as garnish.

Full pan cut and ready to eat - 6 servings

Nutritional Information: 367 calories, 24 carbs, 18 fat grams and 29 protein grams.

Review: We loved it! I was a little worried about crescent on top and truth be told I probably could have closed the seams better, but I was ready to stick it in the oven and try it! The sauce mix with the layered cheeses was really good - almost tasted like a parmesany spaghetti. And the breaded top added a lot to it - the crescents really baked up when on top, whereas i'm sure if they were on bottom it would have been much less doughy. We really liked it and wouldn't change it a bit - i'm glad I added the red pepper flakes and seasonings - the extra heat made it even more appealing!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Szechuan Chicken and Rice

Szechuan Chicken and Rice
Makes 4 Servings
Recipe adapted from a Stephanie Cooks recipe (from Blog Chef)

16 ounces chicken
½ cup water
¼ cup ketchup
2 tbsp light soy sauce
4 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp honey
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon minced ginger, jarred
1.5 tbsp canola oil
4 tsp minced garlic, jarred
3 cups white rice, divided

In a small bowl mix together water, ketchup, soy sauce, cornstarch, honey, crushed red pepper flakes and ginger. Heat oil in a wok over medium heat. Add garlic and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add chicken and toss to coat with oil. Heat for 3-4 minutes. While it’s still a bit pink, pour in sauce. Heat until sauce is thick and bubbly, 3-4 minutes, then reduce heat to simmer and cook until chicken is no longer pink. Serve over white rice.

Nutritional Information: 457 calories, 66 carbs, 7 fat grams and 27 protein grams.

Review: Amazing. Seriously. Austin had one bite and said it tasted ‘for real restaurant style.’ High praise. It’s spicy, but not too spicy, and I loved how thick it was and how much sauce it made. I felt like if it had been jarred this way it would have had way more calories. The recipe originally called for shrimp, which I’m sure would be great too. It also called for green onions which I would have used had I had some on hand. Great recipe, will make this again for sure. Could reduce oil to 1 tbsp if you want to lower calories a bit. This seriously may be my best Asian-inspired recipe yet!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Greek Style Shrimp with Christmas Quinoa

Greek Style Shrimp with Christmas Quinoa

Inspired by an April 2010 Fitness Magazine recipe
Makes 4 Servings

1 pound shrimp, raw and defrosted
2 tbsp olive oil
Juice of one lemon
1 ½ tsp minced garlic
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup parsley, coarsely chopped
3 oz. fat-free feta
4 servings quinoa, cooked per package instructions with chicken broth
2 cups chicken broth (for quinoa)

Place shrimp, 1 tablespoon of oil, half of lemon juice, 1 tsp garlic, ¼ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper in a large ziplock bag. Let it sit. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, parsley, feta and remaining olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Add cooked quinoa and mix well. Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Place shrimp in pan in a single layer and cook for 2 minutes. Flip and cook for 2 more minutes. Serve with quinoa.

Nutritional Information: 392 calories, 36 carbs, 12 fat grams and 34 protein grams.

Review: Awesome! I really liked the flavors and it blended well (and quickly). I liked how the warm quinoa softened the tomatoes and parsley and almost melted the feta. I'm not sure how well this would reheat (i'm not a huge fan of reheating shrimp), but I think you could easily cook the shrimp for 2 and then reheat the quinoa the next day and cook shrimp for 2 again. It's just heating it up since the shrimp are already cooked. Just a thought - it's a great one though!

Greek Feta Chicken

Picture coming soon!

Greek Feta Chicken

Receipe Adapted from Kitchen Parade
Makes 4 Servings
Requires overnight Marinade

1 cup fat-free Greek yogurt (0% Fage)
1 tsp minced garlic
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp black pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced
2 oz. fat feta cheese
3 cups white rice

Whisk together yogurt, garlic, oregano and black pepper in a bowl. Add chicken to mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Preheat the broiler. Add chicken mixture to shallow pan. Broil for 6 minutes, then flip over each piece of chicken. Sprinkle with feta and broil for another 5 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center shows juice that runs clear. Serve over rice.

Nutritional Information: 413 calories, 57 carbs, 1 fat grams and 35 protein grams.

Review: This one is a family favorite! I've tweaked it a lot, tried it with curried rice, fresh oregano, etc. but found that this way is just as good and much easier/more convenient. Aside from the overnight marinade, it's a very quick recipe since you broil and is great for weeknights. It heats up well too as the rice really soaks in the soupier chicken mix.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ricotta Tomato Toast and Italian Eggs

Ricotta Tomato Toast and Italian Eggs
Makes 4 Servings

4 slices whole grain bread
½ cup fat-free Ricotta Cheese (124 grams)
10 fresh basil leaves
8 slices tomato
11 eggs
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1 tbsp parmesan cheese

Set a pan to medium and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk together eggs, Italian seasoning and parmesan cheese. Add to pan and scramble until cooked. While cooking eggs, toast bread. Spread each slice with two tablespoons of fat-fat ricotta cheese and top with basil leaves and tomato slices.

Nutritional Information: 295 calories, 16 carbs, 16 fat grams and 25 protein grams.

Review: LOVE the basily eggs - so good! The toast is great too, but just make sure you're okay with the fact that it's a bit cold (if that makes sense). The eggs are warm (obvi) but the toast isn't!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hot Chicken Salad

Hot Chicken Salad
Adapted from a Fabulessly Frugal recipe
Makes 4 Servings

1 pound chicken, cooked and cubed
1 tbsp lemon juice
15 grams slivered almonds (2 tbsp)
½ cup fat-free mayonnaise
½ cup celery, finely diced
½ cup fat-free cream of chicken soup
½ tsp minced onion, dried
28 grams Cabot 75% cheddar cheese, grated (1/4 cup)
1 oz. potato chips, crumbled
4 Mission tortillas, burrito size

Toast almonds on cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven for 7 minutes. While toasting, mix all the ingredients except cheese and potato chips. Remove almonds and add to mixture, then turn the oven to 400 degrees. Place mixture in baking dish and add cheese then chips to the top of mixture. Bake for 20 minutes Serve with wraps.

After baking - could easily spoon over noodles or rice instead! I wouldn't recommend lettuce though - I think it would make it welt. The recipe suggested croissants.

Nutritional Information: 451 calories, 48 carbs, 13 fat grams and 37 protein grams.

Review: Loved! These were insanely filling, which was awesome. The casserole could easily be put on rice or noodles, but we liked them in wraps. They were warm and gooey - the mayonnaise, cream of chicken, cheese mix really tasted like it was so bad for you, but 450 is great! Next time I may even try BBQ chips for a little kick!

Tomato and Mozzarella Sammy

Picture coming soon!

Tomato and Mozzarella Sammy
Makes 1 Sandwich

2 basil leaves, finely diced
2 slices of Nature's Own wheat bread
1/4 tsp olive oil
2 slices of tomato
2 tsp light butter
1 tsp minced garlic, jarred
2 tbsp low-calorie spaghetti sauce
55 grams fresh mozzarella

Turn George Foreman on to heat up. Spread butter on one side of each piece of bread. Place butter side down in grill, then quickly add sauce, cheese, tomato, basil and a drizzle of olive oil. Top with second piece of bread (butter out) and close the lid. Heat for 4-5 minutes until desired crispiness.

Nutritional Information: 301 calories, 25 carbs, 16 fat grams and 20 protein grams.

Review: LOVE this sammy. Great flavor and love the fresh basil and tomatoes. The addition of butter and olive oil makes it taste very bad for you! For extra calories/protein - consider adding turkey pepperoni slices!

Herbed Greek Chicken Salad Pitas

Herbed Greek Chicken Salad Pitas recipe

½ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp black pepper, divided
¼ tsp salt, divided
Cooking spray
8 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
2.5 tsp fresh lemon juice, divided
½ cup plain fat-free yogurt (Fage 0%)
1 tsp tahini
½ tsp minced garlic
6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
8 grape tomatoes, halved
44 grams fat-free feta cheese

Combine oregano, garlic powder, ¼ tsp pepper and 1/8 tsp salt in a bowl. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken and spice mixture; sauté until chicken is done. Drizzle with 1.5 tsp lemon juice; stir. Remove from pan. Combine remaining tsp of lemon juice, remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, yogurt, tahini and garlic in a small bowl; stir well. Combine lettuce and tomatoes. Top with chicken mixture and cheese. Add yogurt mixture and stir. Stuff ¼ to ½ a cup in 8” pitas (cut in half).

Tomato and Fresh Basil Crostini with Feta and Roasted Garlic Cheese Spread

Tomato and Fresh Basil Crostini with Feta and Roasted Garlic Cheese Spread
For the Love of Cooking recipe

1/2 cup fat free feta cheese
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
1/2 head of roasted garlic, chopped (recipe below)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 vine ripened tomato, sliced thinly
5-6 fresh basil leaves, chopped finely into ribbons
Fresh cracked pepper and sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine feta cheese, sour cream, 1/2 head of roasted garlic, salt and pepper to taste and mix thoroughly. Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet and spray tops with cooking spray. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside. Lay the basil leaves on top of each other and roll into a tube, cut into thin slices. Spread the feta mixture evenly onto the crostini then top with a slice of tomato, sprinkle with sea salt & fresh cracked pepper and top with basil ribbons.

Roasted Garlic
1 head of garlic
1 tsp olive oil
Dash of sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice the top of the head off so every clove of garlic is exposed. Place on a small square of tinfoil.Drizzle with olive oil and salt to taste. Fold edges of tinfoil together and twist to make a sealed bundle. Place in oven and bake for 30-45 minutes depending on the size of the garlic. Let cool before serving. Squeeze to remove the roasted cloves.

Pasta Salad in Vinaigrette

Pasta Salad in Vinaigrette (on right)
For the Love of Cooking recipe

6 oz. rotini (or pasta of choice), cooked per instructions
Handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 large cucumber, seeded & diced
1/4 sweet yellow onion, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
Feta cheese
Vinaigrette (recipe below)
Fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta per instructions, drain and cool. Once the pasta has cooled, add the cherry tomato halves, cucumber, onion, bell pepper, feta cheese and basil then mix thoroughly. Slowly add the vinaigrette, salt and pepper. Taste and add more dressing as needed.

½ cup canola oil
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp spenda
Salt and pepper

Combine ingredients with a whisk. Let it sit overnight so flavors marinate together.

Penne with Chicken Sausage

Penne with Chicken Sausage (on left)
For the Love of cooking Recipe

1 tbsp olive oil, divided
4 tbsp yellow onions, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
5 garlic and herb chicken sausages, chopped into ½” pieces
2 tbsp yellow baby bell peppers, diced
2 tbsp red bell peppers, diced
10 grape tomatoes, cut in half
6 oz. penne, cooked per instructions (in boiled water for 12 minutes)
Salt and pepper to taste

Spray large, deep pan with olive oil flavored cooking spray, and set a pot of water to boil. Drop in 1 teaspoon of olive oil in pan over medium heat. Once hot, add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until browned. Season with salt and set aside on a plate. Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the same skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add minced garlic, stirring constantly for 60 seconds. Set aside on same plate as onions. Add dry pasta to boiling water for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. While pasta cooks, add sausage to skillet over medium heat and cook until brown, about 6-7 minutes then add onion, tomatoes, bell peppers and spinach to pan. Drizzle 1 teaspoon olive oil over mixture. Cook over medium heat until tomatoes are soft, about 3-4 minutes. Drain pasta and add to skillet. Stir, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well for 1-2 minutes then serve.

Marinated Mushrooms

Marinated mushrooms
Recipe Girl recipe

2 lbs fresh white button mushrooms
½ cup olive oil
½ cup white wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp crushed oregano
½ tsp chili pepper flakes, crushed

Trim mushrooms by cutting off a thin slice of the stem of each mushroom. Drop the mushrooms into boiling water and reduce the heat. Simmer for 5 minutes; do not boil. Drain the mushrooms and cover with cold water. Let stand until cool. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.Whisk olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, oregano and chili pepper flakes in a bowl. Add mushrooms to the olive oil mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until well coated. Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours or longer, stirring occasionally.

Tips: These mushrooms are best when they have marinated for a long time. Take them out of the refrigerator in time for them to return to room temperature before serving. Serve sliced baguette when you display your mushrooms. Baguette slices dipped in the drippings can be considered another appetizer.