Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pepperoni Pizza Cups

Pepperoni Pizza Cups
Recipe adapted from For the Love of Cooking
Makes 12 appetizers or snacks

Cooking spray
1 tube of refrigerator biscuits
1 ½ cups low-calorie spaghetti sauce
4 oz. 50% reduced fat Cabot cheese, shredded
24 turkey pepperoni slices
30 grams Parmesan Cheese, shredded
dried oregano
dried red pepper flakes

Preheat the oven to 375. Coat a 12-hole muffin tin with cooking spray. Cut each biscuit in half then press dough into the bottom and sides of each muffin tin. Repeat with remaining dough. Spoon 2 tbsp sauce into each cup. Top each with 2 slices of pepperoni, 10 grams cheddar cheese, 3 grams Parmesan cheese, and oregano and red pepper flakes. Bake for 15 minutes or until the crust is brown.

Nutritional Information (per cup): 140 calories, 15 carbs, 7 fat grams and 5 protein grams.

Review: Perfection in a cup! I love the biscuit bites and know these will become a standard, fabulous little snack, much like the big pigs in a blanket. You could toss anything in here, but I loved the simple pepperoni, cheese and sauce mix. They were also SO easy - it took me about 5 minutes to assemble - the same time it took the oven to preheat. They tasted well reheated, too. Can't wait to make these again!

pan of yumminess

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Spinach & Mushroom Frittata

Spinach & Mushroom Frittata
Makes 6 Servings
Recipe adapted from Finecooking.com

2 tbsp light canola butter
8 oz. mushrooms
3 oz. baby spinach leaves, thinly sliced
½ cup thinly sliced fresh chives
Kosher salt
10 large eggs
2 tbsp heavy cream
6 slices turkey bacon
6 English Muffins

In a large skillet, melt1 tbsp butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms and sauté for 6 minutes. While mushrooms cook, heat bacon in microwave and dice. Set bacon aside. In a large bowl, toss hot mushrooms with sliced spinach. Stir in bacon, chives and ¼ tsp salt. Heat broiler on high. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, cream, 2 tbsp water, ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Stir in mushroom mixture. In the same skillet, heat remaining tbsp butter over medium-high heat, swirling pan so butter coats the sides. Add eggs to pan and sprinkle with ¼ tsp pepper. Cook until eggs begin to set and the bottom turns brown, occasionally lifting the sides with a spatula to let uncooked egg run underneath, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to oven-save rectangular dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, and put in broiler.Broil until eggs are almost fully set and the top puffs and browns, 1 to 5 minutes. Check frittata every minute to avoid overbrowning. Divide into 6 servings and serve in toasted English muffin.

Nutritional Information: 317 calories, 27 carbs, 14 fat grams and 20 protein grams.

Review: I loved this! I thought the little bit of whipping cream added a lot, and it tasted fluffy and flavorful. I think my favorite part were the big mushrooms! Sometimes I would eat this in the muffin, or sometimes on the side of a muffin cut in half with a bit of fat-free cream cheese. It reheated well and tasted great. I also liked that it didn't require a cast iron/oven-ready skillet, since I still don't have one yet. I will say that it took a bit of prep, but not too much, especially considering that it feeds 2 people breakfast for 3 days! I'd make it again for sure.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Egg & Veggie Breakfast Pockets

Egg & Veggie Breakfast Pockets
Recipe adapted from Better Homes & Gardens
Makes 4 Servings

5 eggs
2 tbsp egg substitute, divided
1 tsp olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic
½ cup chopped onion
1 package reduced fat crescent rolls
1 ½ cups baby spinach leaves
¼ cup fresh basil, diced
4 tsp grated parmesan cheese
2 oz. fat-free feta cheese
½ cup low-calorie spaghetti sauce

Preheat oven to 400. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, parmesan, 1 tbsp egg substitute, ¼ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion. Cook and stir for 3-4 minutes until tender. Add spinach and basil, then pour egg mixture into skillet. Cook without stirring until mixture begins to set around edges. With a large spatula, lift and fold partially cooked egg mixture so the uncooked portion flows underneath. Cook until heated through. Unroll crescent rolls on wax paper, and separate into 4 rectangles. Press seams together. Divide egg mixture into four, and place one serving on each crescent rectangle. Top with feta, then pick up one side and fold over to the middle. Pick up the other side and do the same. Press together the new seam, and fold over the ends, using your fingers to press the sides closed. Repeat with the other three. Brush top of each with egg substitute. Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes. Serve each with 2 tbsp spaghetti sauce.

Nutritional Information: 325 calories, 27 carbs, 16 fat grams and 18 protein grams.

Review: Love this flavor! This was my first time having spaghetti sauce for breakfast but wow - it works great with this! The pocket was just crispy and soft enough - the onions added nice crunch and the spinach mixed in well. The garlic helped give it a bit of kick, and the egg filling went well in the crescent. All in all a good breakfast. Yes, a bit high in fat, but it kept me full for hours. It also reheated very well - it wasn't as crispy but it was just as good and didn't lose its flavor.

the outside before cutting!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

BLT Flatbread with Maple Vinaigrette

BLT Flatbread with Maple Vinaigrette
Adapted from a Can you Stay for Dinner recipe
Makes 4 Servings

2-3 cups arugula, divided
1 small tomato, diced and divided
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced and divided
8 slices bacon (I used Hormel ready bacon)
1 cup fat-free feta cheese
Maple bacon vinaigrette (below)
4 pieces Naan

Dice bacon. Set aside 1/4 of one strip and mince. Add to vinaigrette. Gently toss greens, tomato, onion, remaining bacon, and feta cheese with the vinaigrette in a large bowl. Broil naan for 2-3 minutes per side, until charred and crispy. Divide salad mixture among the four warm naans, slice each into 4-5 pieces and serve immediately.

Maple Vinaigrette
1 tbsp olive oil
1 ½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp minced bacon
1 tbsp fat-free maple syrup
2 tsp spicy brown mustard
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

Whisk ingredients in a medium bowl until well combined.

Nutritional Information: 428 calories, 55 carbs, 12 fat grams and 17 protein grams.

Review: We are fans! The vinaigrette was really tangy, and mixed with the bacon, feta and maple it had a lot of flavor. The mustard also added a good punch. The mix was good fresh, and after refrigerating it was just as good, maybe better because the flavors had more time to mingle. The vinaigrette went a long way, and the recipe was very filling. I liked how it could be eaten almost like bruschetta. I could see this being a great appetizer, too, to serve on small, 3" pitas. We will definitely have this again - a great, summer recipe!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Two Cheese Naan Breakfast Pizza

Two-Cheese Naan Breakfast Pizza
Makes 2 Servings (above is one serving!)

1 piece of naan
3 tbsp low-calorie spaghetti sauce
2 eggs
2 tbsp egg substitute
¼ tsp dried basil, divided
1 tbsp fat-free milk
40 grams 75% reduced fat cabot cheese
5 grams grated parmesan cheese
1 serving Jimmy Dean Turkey Sausage crumbles

Turn on broiler. Whisk together eggs, milk and half of basil. Heat sausage in microwave per package instructions. Pour egg mixture into a small pan over medium heat. Add in sausage, and cook until eggs are just done; should still be wet. Remove from heat. Place naan on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Spread sauce on naan with the back of a spoon. Top with egg mixture, shredded cheese and sprinkle with remaining basil. Broil for 5-7 minutes until cheese is just browned. Keep an eye on it to avoid burning.

Nutritional Information: 303 calories, 16 carbs, 10 fat grams and 16 protein grams.

Review: It's my new favorite breakfast dish. Seriously! The spaghetti sauce added a great base, and I loved the egg/sausage mixture. The cheese mixture was great too - loved the difference that a tiny bit of fresh, grated Parmesan cheese made. And the naan is still succeeding as the best pizza "crust." Don't get me wrong - this recipe would be great with a pita (although it would take the calorie counts down A LOT), but the crispiness of the naan helps make this breakfast special. And short of the awesome taste, it filled me up. Perfect breakfast!

whole pizza before slicing into 2 servings

Friday, May 13, 2011

Chipotle Bean Burritos

Chipotle Bean Burritos
Adapted from Pearce’s Kitchen, Cooking Light and Pink Parsley Catering
Makes 4 Servings

1 tsp canola oil
2 tsp minced garlic
1 1/4 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, minced
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup salsa (like Pace medium)
4 burrito-size (large) tortillas, warmed in microwave for 10-15 seconds
2 oz. Cabot 75% reduced fat cheddar cheese, divided
4 tbsp fat-free sour cream, divided
Optional: 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, divided; 4 tbsp green onion, diced and divided

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, chil powder, chipotle chile, cumin, and salt, and cook for 1 minute. Add beans and broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in salsa, and mash with potato masher. Lay out tortillas. Top each with 1 tbsp sour cream, spreading on with the back of a spoon. Divide bean mixture into four equal servings, and spoon onto tortilla. Then top each tortilla with ½ oz. shredded cheese, 1 tbsp green onion and ½ tbsp cilantro. Roll tightly and serve immediately, or crisp outside in panini maker or pan.

Nutritional Information: 429 calories, 74 carbs, 6 fat grams and 23 protein grams.

Review: I made these for dinner on Sunday and loved them! It originally called for cherry tomatoes inside but I omitted these - I preferred to have them on the side or not at all! I thought the bean mixture had a nice spicy, without being too spicy, taste. I'm loving those chipotle chiles in adobo sauce - they are perfect. The sour cream was a nice add too, and helped cool it down. Total winner and i'll be making these again!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Asian Meatball Pasta with Lime Sauce

Asian Meatball Pasta with Lime Sauce
Adapted from a Gina's Weight Watcher Recipe
Makes 4 Servings

1/4 cup panko crumbs
1 pound 96/4 ground beef
1 egg
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 green onions, chopped
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil

Dipping Sauce
4 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp water
1 chopped green onion
Other: 8 oz. long pasta; green onion (garnish)

Preheat oven to 500°F. Mix beef, panko, egg, salt, scallions, cilantro, 1 tbsp soy sauce, and 2 tsp oil and mix with your hands until combined well. Shape 1/4 cup meat mixture into a ball and transfer to a baking dish. Repeat until you have 12 same-sized meatballs. Bake in a deep cooking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray until cooked through, 15 minutes. While meatballs bake, cook pasta per package instructions. Also, mix together sauce. Remove meatballs from oven. Drain pasta and add back to pot over medium heat. Toss with sauce. Divide pasta into 4 servings. Top with meatballs. Garnish with green onion if desired.

Nutritional Information: 451 calories, 46 carbs, 12 fat grams and 37 protein grams.

Review: The meatballs were awesome - they seemed bad for you because of the oil, and really heated up quick, maybe could have even done 12 minutes! Gina (original recipe) used them as apps and dipped in the sauce, but I liked the idea of using that sauce to coat pasta and making it a main dish rather than app. The sauce had a great flavor - next time I may even add some lime zest to give it even more of a kick, or maybe some red pepper flakes. I would also consider doing 16 so each serving would have 4 (but definitely cut the cooking time down). Anywho, just some thoughts - we were happy with it and I LOVE that i've found another Asian-inspired keeper!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sausage, Tomato and Argula Pasta

Sausage, Tomato and Argula Pasta
Recipe adapted from For the Love of Cooking
Makes 6 Servings

1 tsp olive oil
5 turkey Italian sausages, removed from casings
3 tsp minced garlic, jarred
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp dried oregano
1 ½ cups grape tomatoes
1 ½ cups arugula
3 oz. fresh mozzarella, rolled into small balls
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
12 oz. pasta, cooked per instructions

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Remove sausage from casings and form into small balls. Place balls into the skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add minced garlic and tomatoes then stir constantly for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, oregano, salt and pepper. Break up a few of the tomatoes with the spatula. Cook for 8-10 minutes while pasta cooks.
Drain pasta and add to sauce, toss to coat. Add arugula and balls of cheese then serve immediately.

Nutritional Information: 373 calories, 43 carbs, 12 fat grams and 24 protein grams.

Review: This dish packs SO much flavor and is really filling. I love the addition of argula for color, and the cherry tomatoes were great, too. Do be careful breaking up the tomatoes - don't wait to get a squirter and wind up with tomato juice all over you! This one reheated well, too - which made me happy because i'm always nervous heating up lettuce you know? But it meshed well in here and I wouldn't make this dish without the arugula. I also liked the idea of sausage balls and cheese balls - I ended up just throwing the sausage in more roughly (no perfect balls) but will do that next time. I did like the add the little cheese balls made though. Great, quick, filling recipe - good for a weeknight!

full dish in pan while I stirred it - almost looks plain but the sauce had a lot of flavor. I love how much chicken broth can enhance a dish!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Southwest Salad and Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

Southwest Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
Makes 40+ side servings

2 cups of fresh cilantro, chopped
1 cup canola oil
½ cup fresh lime juice (juice from 2 limes squeezed to death)
¼ cup red wine vinegar
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
2 tsp jarred minced garlic
2 tsp oregano

Add to blender. Blend. Refrigerate until ready to serve. (pulse one more time before adding to salads)


4 bags romaine lettuce, divided
2 cans corn, drained, divided
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained, divided
2 cups Kraft 2% Mexican cheese, divided
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered (depending on size), divided
1 cup of red onion, diced and divided in half
Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette (recipe above), divided in half

Take out two large bowls. Add 2 bags of lettuce to each bowl. Drain corn and black beans. Add a can of corn and a can of black beans to each. Add 1 cup of cheese to each. Add ¾ cup diced tomatoes to each. Add 1/2 cup of diced red onion to each. Pulse salad dressing to ensure it’s mixed. If you plan to serve both at the same time: Drizzle each with half of the salad dressing. If you plan to serve one first and the other when it runs out: Drizzle half with salad dressing. Put the other salad and ½ dressing in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve.

Nutritional Information (for each huge bowl of salad including dressing):2,023 calories, 158 carbs, 136 fat grams and 65 protein grams.

Review: We LOVED it and it seemed to go over really well! I made it the night before, left it in the mini processor and put it in the fridge. Right before I served the salad (both at the same time), I dropped it on top of the mini processor, pulsed it again, then poured half over each salad.

Just so you know, for less salad dressing, simply divide the recipe above by 4. This is what I did (I multiplied Pam's recipe by 4!) - Pam's Recipe:

1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
1/4 cup canola oil
1-2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp oregano

Friday, May 6, 2011

Best Ever Chicken Soft Tacos

Best Ever Chicken Soft Tacos
Recipe adapted from My Bizzy Kitchen Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
Makes 4 Servings

1 tsp canola oil
2 tsp minced garlic, jarred
2 tbsp canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, diced
1/2 cup cilantro, diced and divided
½ cup orange juice
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp yellow mustard
Pinch of salt/pepper
8 small soft tortillas (about 80 calories each)
Toppings: 2 oz. Cabot 75% reduced fat cheddar cheese, 4 tbsp fat-free sour cream and 1 cup lettuce, grated (I used arugula) - all divided into 4

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and chipotles and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Stir in 1/3 cup cilantro, Worcestershire sauce and orange juice. Nestle chicken into skillet, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 7 minutes. Remove lid, flip each piece and cook for 7 minutes. Cook for additional 2-4 minutes if still pink. Remove chicken from pan with slotted spoon and transfer to a cutting board. Continue to simmer sauce over medium heat until it starts to reduce, 5 minutes. While sauce reduces, shred chicken loosely using 2 forks. Remove sauce from heat; stir in mustard and remaining cilantro. Add in chicken and stir. Serve chicken on tortillas (147 grams of chicken for each serving/2 tacos) with desired toppings.

Nutritional Information: 421 calories, 37 carbs, 6 fat grams and 51 protein grams.

Review: These were amazing. So flavorful and tangy - we loved the kick. I'd never used chipotle peppers in adobo sauce - I can't wait to find more recipes with it. I've also never cooked with orange juice but it added such a nice citrus zing. I can't WAIT to eat the leftovers and to make this again - next time i'll be doubling for even more leftovers - seriously - it was THAT good.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Shrimp with Feta Tomato Sauce and Rice

Shrimp with Feta Tomato Sauce and Rice
Adapted from a Dinners for a Year and Beyond Recipe
Makes 4 servings

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
1 14.5-oz. can fire roasted tomatoes, diced
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
2 ounces fat-free feta cheese, plus more for sprinkling on top
1 1/4 cups jasmine rice, cooked to package directions for 'firm' rice and kept warm

Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add onions and saute until softened, about 3 - 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds more. Add tomatoes and bring the sauce to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and let simmer for 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and continue simmering until the shrimp are just cooked through, about 4 - 6 minutes. Add the herbs and feta cheese and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately over hot jasmine rice and sprinkle with extra cheese if desired.

Nutritional Information: 360 calories, 44 carbs, 5 fat grams and 30 protein grams.

Review: Yum! Because of the 'fire' in those tomatoes it had more of a Cajun thing going on - almost like a jambalaya. Austin actually put some hot sauce on his! It was great and reheated well (make sure to reheat on 50% power so it doesn't overcook the shrimp). Also, cook the rice so it's more firm than watery since the sauce is watery (so it makes a different texture/contrast). I thought this was a great recipe and pretty easy to make for a weeknight. I also like the low calorie and fat counts on this, especially since it made so much food and was so filling. It reminded me a little bit of this Baked Shrimp in Tomatoes And Feta recipe, but heavier with the dense rice and more spicy/Cajun with the seasonings!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Vegetable Tortellini Soup

Vegetable Tortellini Soup
Recipe Adapted from For the Love of Cooking
Makes 4 Servings

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup sweet yellow onion, diced
4 7” carrots, diced
2 10” celery stocks, diced
3 tsp minced garlic
6 cups of chicken broth
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
2 cups zucchini, diced
1 9-oz. package refrigerated cheese tortellini
3 cups sliced fresh spinach (about 3 ounces)
2 oz. Cabot cheese, shredded, divided
Salt and Pepper to taste

Place olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and celery and cook 4-5 minutes until softened. Add seasonings and garlic, then stir constantly for 60 seconds before adding tomatoes and broth. Let simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Increase heat to medium high, then add the tortellini, zucchini and squash. Cook for 10 minutes or until tortellini is cooked through. Stir in spinach and simmer until it’s wilted, about 1 minute. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with cheese.

Nutritional Information: 372 calories, 47 carbs, 12 fat grams and 19 protein grams.

Review: I liked it a lot! The tortellini bites were my favorites, and all of the veggies really meshed well - almost like vegetable soup but SO fresh with big bites. I'm not a huge carrot person, so my first thought was to reduce the amount, but Austin said leave as is - he loved it! So maybe i'll just scoop more carrots into his bowl next time. :) I'd also like to try vegetable broth instead of chicken broth - I had purchased for the recipe but accidentally used the wrong one. oops! Either way, a success, and you guys - the servings are HUGE and filling.

in the pan!