Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Slowcooker Mexican Beefy Mac

Slowcooker Mexican Beefy Mac
Makes 4 Servings

1 pound ground beef
1 tbsp minced garlic, jarred
salt and pepper, to taste
1 can fat-free cream of chicken soup
½ cup fat-free sour cream
1 can rotel
1 packet taco seasoning
1 tsp hot sauce
8 oz. pasta (short shape of your choice)

Add beef to slowcooker. Mix soup, garlic, sour cream, rotel, taco seasoning and hot sauce. Stir well and pour over beef. Cook on high 3 hours. Stir, ensuring beef is cooked/no longer pink. If cooked, stir in noodles. Cook for 20 minutes until noodles soften.

Nutritional Information: 457 calories, 60 carabs, 7 fat grams and 32 protein grams.

Review: This was super easy, yummy and spicy! I liked being able to just add raw meat and a few cans/packets to a slowcooker and then having a yummy meal. To reduce the spice, simply remove or decrease the hot sauce - easy peasy. I liked this dish too because I LOVE slowcooker dishes and that cook the pasta for me - gives the noodles a lot of great flavor. This one is an easy one and will definitely be repeated. To make it 6 servings I'd consider just adding a can of corn or a can of black beans! This is definitely one of those you can make your own by adding salsa instead of rotel, topping with guac or jalapeno, etc.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Breakfast Round Up!

I posted this over on my other blog and thought I should add it here too - LOVING these Christmas-breakfast-recipes!
1. Breakfast Wonton Cups
Breakfast Wonton cups
Makes 4 Servings (12 cups)
Recipe adapted from Cooking with Mel
Nutritional Information (for 3 cups): 262 calories, 14 carbs, 12 fat grams and 21 protein grams.
I LOVED these little bits of fabulous. I loved that you could have 3, I loved the flavor. I hearted the crispy on the outside fluffy egg in the inside. Make these! All you need are simple ingredients and a muffin tin! You could even let guests make their own with a toppings bar! Recipe is here!

2.  Italian Egg Bake
Italian Egg Bake
Makes 6 Servings
Inspired by a Pillsbury recipe
Nutritional Information: 353 calories, 24 carbs, 17 fat grams and 24 protein grams.
Tastes great and is very filling - didn't take long either which is always nice. I'd pre-cooked the sausage, so it was already in a box cooked and ready, and the cheese was already grated too - this helped! I liked the add of the Italian bread crumbs - the crunchy topping was nice with the softer, fluffy egg/potato layer. It's also great that it makes 6 servings AND reheats well. Recipe is here!

3. Spicy Potato & Bacon Breakfast

Spicy Potato and Bacon Breakfast Casserole
Recipe adapted from Our Best Bites
Makes 4 Servings
Nutritional Information: 308 calories, 27 carbs, 12 fat grams and 22 protein grams.
Really easy, pretty (in my humble opinion) and made very healthy sized servings. Especially for 300 calories - I felt more like it tasted like a 400-calorie meal! It's a keeper, and I think you could really make it your own with more veggies, too! Recipe is here!

4. Ricotta Tomato Toast & Italian Eggs
Makes 4 Servings
Nutritional Information: 295 calories, 16 carbs, 16 fat grams and 25 protein grams.

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 due to the cold tomato! Recipe is here!

5. Breakfast Nachos

Breakfast Nachos
Recipe from My Bizzy Kitchen
Makes 2 Servings
Nutritional Information: 337 calories, 32 carbs, 15 fat grams and 18 protein grams.

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.  It filled me up to - while the calories aren't super high the fat helped as well as the protein. Just double, triple or quadruple for a crowd - just get out your baking sheets and go! Recipe is here!

There you have it - Christmas Breakfast round-up! 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Breakfast Wonton cups

Breakfast Wonton cups
Makes 4 Servings (12 cups)
Recipe adapted from Cooking with Mel

12 Wonton Wraps
2 oz. (56 grams) Cabot 75% reduced fat cheese, shredded (divided)
5 eggs
½ tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp hot sauce
½ tbsp onion powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ cup fat-free milk
½ red bell pepper, diced
2 tbsp fresh parsley, diced
½ tbsp minced garlic
8 slices turkey bacon
1 oz. Sargento Reduced Fat Mexican Cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400. Spray nonstick spray into muffin tins. Add one wonton wrap to each muffin cup and add all of the cabot cheese at the bottom (14 grams of cheese for each 3 cups/serving). Bake for 5 minutes. Combine eggs, garlic powder, hot sauce, onion powder, salt and pepper and milk. Whisk together. Dice pepper into small pieces and add to egg mixture along with parsley. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic. Stir for 30 seconds, then add bacon. Heat 2 minutes on each side until crisp. Remove from pan and dice. Remove pan from oven. Sprinkle 2 pieces of now-diced bacon each over each 3 cups/serving. Pour egg mixture evenly across each cup, and top with final ounce cheese across each cup. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes (or until the eggs are set).

Nutritional Information (for 3 cups): 262 calories, 14 carbs, 12 fat grams and 21 protein grams.

Review: Seriously?! I LOVED these little bits of fabulous. I loved that you could have 3, I loved the flavor. I hearted the crispy on the outside fluffy egg in the inside. I worried the spice would be too overpowering but it was JUST right. To make this easier, just dice up some ham and use pre-shredded cheese and/or pre-cut veggies. I think I am about to try a TON of variations of these – SO exciting!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Slowcooker Chicken, Chickpea & Potato Curry

Slowcooker Chicken, Chickpea & Potato Curry
Adapted from
Makes 6 Servings

22 oz. chicken (frozen or raw)
1 tbsp canola oil
2 cups carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 onion, sliced
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 can diced tomatoes (not drained)
4-5 red potatoes, quartered (24 oz.)
2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup light coconut milk

Spray slowcooker with cooking spray. Add chicken. Heat oil in a pan over medium. Add garlic. Stir constantly for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add carrots and onion; sauté 3-4 minutes. Add spices and tomatoes to the pan. Continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes or until the spices become fragrant. Remove from heat and pour into slow cooker. Add potatoes, chickepeas, vegetable stock and a bay leaf. Set slow cooker on high for 3 hours. Add milk and continue to cook for 15 minutes. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Nutritional Information: 409 calories, 51 carbs, 7 fat grams and 33 protein grams.

Review: So hearty! This is a great, filling recipe that reheats very well. I loved the use of potatoes - I don't use them enough! And the shredded chicken tasted wonderful. For more spice, simply add red pepper flakes - it had enough for me as is, but Austin added a bit to his!  For the carrots, I used pre-cut match sticks - less work! Everything else was pretty much ready to go - just add to the slowcooker and walk away. I also liked that it made 6 servings - and the nutritionals were right in line with my goals for meals.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Oven Chili Dogs

Oven Chili Dogs
Makes 4 Servings (8 hotdogs total)
Adapted from Real Mom Kitchen and Blog Chef

8 hot dog buns (120 calories or less for each)
8 light hot dogs (100 calories or less for each)
4 tsp mustard
½ cup 98% fat free Hormel Turkey Chili with Beans, divided
2 tbsp white onion, diced
2 tbsp green onion, diced

Preheat oven to 350. Squirt ½ tsp mustard into each hot dog bum. Fill buns with hot dogs in a rectangular baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray (6 across and 2 on side). Top each with 1 tbsp chili (save remaining chili in container for another recipe) and white onion. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and top with green onion. Serve.

Nutritional Information: 446 calories, 53 carbs, 16 fat grams and 22 protein grams.

Review: LOVED. I crave food like this, but don't give in. Now I can! If only I can figure out a way to get these into football games.... that's when I really crave them. LOL But really, great taste, not soggy at all, I loved how it cooked the hot dog in the bun - very tasty.
1 serving - 2 dogs!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cheeseburger and Fries Casserole

Cheeseburger and Fries Casserole
Recipe adapted from Lauren’s Kitchen
Makes 4 Servings

1 pound 96/4 ground beef
¼ tsp salt and pepper
¼ tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 can condensed cheddar cheese soup
8 tbsp fat-free sour cream
8 oz. frozen French fries
2 oz. 75% Cabot reduced fat cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Bake french fries on baking sheet for 10 minutes while preparing beef. In a skillet over medium heat, brown beef in half of Worcestershire sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally until beef is no longer pink. Drain excess grease, and add seasonings and remaining sauce. Return to heat, and stir in the cheese soup and sour cream until blended. Heat through, 3 minutes, and remove from stove. Transfer to an 8x8 inch baking dish. Cover the ground beef mixture with a layer of partially cooked French fries. Bake for 10  minutes. Remove casserole from oven and sprinkle cheese on top. Return to the oven and bake until cheese has melted, 5 minutes.

Nutritional Information: 403 calories, 26 carbs, 17 fat grams and 31 protein grams.

Review: It really tasted like a cheeseburger! I loved the recipe, the Worcestershire sauce went a long way and the dish was super cheesy and creamy. I worried about how it would reheat, but while the fries did lose their crispiness, it wasn't mushy like I'd feared! The serving size filled me up, and it's definitely a fun, childlike dish. I wouldn't make it for guests (it's just too silly of a dish!), but would definitely make it again for us and think it would be a great meal for kiddos.
One serving!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Club Sandwiches

Thanksgiving Club Sandwiches
Makes 2 Servings

2 rolls (about 200 calories each)
2 tbsp fat-free mayonnaise
2 tsp minced garlic, jarred
6 oz. cooked turkey, room temperature or warmed in microwave
2 pieces turkey bacon, cooked in microwave
1 slice reduced fat provolone cheese, cut in half
2 tbsp dried cranberries
1 handful arugula

Set oven to broil. Cut rolls in half and lay open side up on a baking sheet. Mix together mayonnaise and garlic in a small prep bowl. Spread on the inside of each roll. Top with turkey, bacon, cheese and carefully place cranberries on cheese. Broil for 3-5 minutes, keeping an eye on the oven to avoid overcooking. Remove when cheese has melted. Add arugula on top and put lid on.

Nutritional Information: 390 calories, 51 carbs, 9 fat grams and 25 protein grams.

Review: LOVED. Super creamy due to the mayo blend and cheese, soft and still crispy due to broiling and the cranberries and arugula added a nice twist. This was a yummy way to use our leftovers - it makes me want to keep cooked turkey around! You could easily take this down in calories by using a less caloric roll. This way you could add a side salad to make up those calories. While it was filling, it may be more filling this way.
The inside!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Lemony Chicken & Rice Soup

Lemony Chicken & Rice Soup
Makes 4 Servings
Adapted from What’s Cookin’ Chicago

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup carrot, finely diced or matchsticks
1 pound chicken
1 cup long grain rice
5 cups chicken stock or broth
1/4 cup lemon juice (fresh - juice from 2 lemons)
2 tbsp heavy cream
1/2 cup spinach (optional)
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley (optional)
8 oz. mushrooms (optional)

Heat a large pan (with lid) over medium high heat; add oil. When oil is hot, add garlic and onion. Cook until softened, 5 minutes. Add chicken and brown slightly, then add carrots and rice. Stir to toast the rice for a minute. Add chicken broth and lemon juice to the pot. Bring to a boil and stir. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the rice cooks completely. Add cream. Continue cooking and stirring for 2-3 minutes, then garnish with parsley and serve.

Nutritional Information: 358 calories, 44 carbs, 5 fat grams and 35 protein grams.

Review: Big fan! I will say that the mushrooms gave it a different taste, but I made it without and you got much more of a lemony taste. I thought it had a great flavor, and loved the parsley with lemon taste, and that little bit of cream went a long way, too. I think it's a great fall dish and of course anything with rice is a win for me. My recommendations would be to make sure the chicken is more shredded then diced, use fresh lemon juice, and make sure you cook the onions and carrots to where they're soft not crunchy (which is why i'm a fan of matchstick carrots - easier to cook!).
A bite - yum!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Crockpot Chicken Parmesan

Crockpot Chicken Parmesan
Inspired by Recipe Shoebox
Makes 4 Servings

1 pound chicken, 4 4-oz. chicken breasts (or 8 2-oz. chicken tenders) - defrosted/not cooked
¼ cup Italian bread crumbs
8 tsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 egg, beaten
¼ cup reduced fat mozzarella, grated
1.5 cups spaghetti sauce
8 oz. pasta (long shape of your choice)
Parsley, fresh for garnish (optional)

Spray crockpot with nonstick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, beat egg. In second medium bowl, mix bread crumbs, spices and grated Parmesan cheese together. Dip chicken in beaten egg and then toss into bread crumb mixture to coat on both sides. Place chicken on bottom of crockpot; add mozzarella on top. Cover chicken with sauce. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours. Serve over cooked pasta.

Nutritional information: 457 calories, 56 carbs, 8 fat grams and 41 protein grams.

Review: WOW - we have a new favorite slowcooker recipe! I loved not having to cook the chicken - just drip it in egg, dip it in bread crumb mix, drop on cheese, pour on sauce and walk away while it cooks into yumminess! Austin was a BIG fan - even better than when using the oven. The chicken just falls apart and the breading added a lot to the dish. We'll be having this A LOT - I think it's Austin's favorite slowcooker dish!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Chicken Lo Mein

Chicken Lo Mein 
Makes 4 Servings
Recipe inspired by Blog Chef

1 pound chicken
5 tbsp soy sauce
5 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tsp fresh ginger
1 tbsp fresh garlic
4 tsp sesame oil, divided
1 cups carrots, shredded
1 cup cabbage, sliced thin
8 ounce fat-free chicken broth
3 green onions (sliced)
1 package (10 oz.) Somen noodles (Japanese noodles; cooked and drained)

In a large bowl combine chicken, soy sauce, cornstarch, ginger, and garlic. Mix well and set aside for 10 minutes. Heat 1 teaspoon of sesame oil in a skillet over high heat. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon reserving marinade. Add to the skillet and stir fry until chicken is no longer pink (7-8 minutes). Remove from the skillet and set aside. Add another teaspoon of sesame oil to the skillet and add carrots. Stir try for 1 minute. Remove from the skillet. Add remaining 2 teaspoons of sesame oil and add cabbage and cook for 1 minute. Add chicken broth and the reserve marinade to the wok. Add the cooked chicken and vegetables. Cook until the sauce has thickened (about 1 minute). Mix the chicken and sauce mixture with the cooked linguini and mix in green onions.

Nutritional Information: 467 calories, 63 carbs, 6 fat grams and 37 protein grams.

Review: First, Somen noodles are kind of awesome. Even without any sauce, they have a lot of flavor straight out of the pot plain. I found them at Publix and couldn’t wait to use them. Now, I didn’t have to use 10 oz. (i.e. 5 servings) – but I figured I’d try them all. You can easily take this dish down in calories & carbs by using 4 servings instead. On to the dish – it was a lot of food and very filling. The veggies added a lot of crunch and flavor, and the sauce made up of spices and cornstarch had a great taste and went well with the somen noodles. Great dish, Austin was a fan, we’ll be having it again!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Supreme Pizza Lasagna

Supreme Pizza Lasagna
Makes 6 Servings

½ cup red onion
8 oz. mushrooms
1 large bell pepper, diced
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp olive oil
400 grams fat-free ricotta cheese
1 egg
150 grams mozzarella cheese, shredded (divided)
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 - 4 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
3 ½ cups low-calorie spaghetti sauce
12 no-boil lasagna noodles
¼ cup progresso Italian Bread Crumbs
50 turkey pepperonis
Optional for spice: red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 475. Toss onion, mushrooms, bell pepper, tomatoes, garlic and oil in a bowl. Season with salt to taste. Place vegetables on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Spray cooking spray lightly over top of vegetables. Roast for 22 minutes, until golden brown.While they’re cooking, in a medium-sized bowl, add ricotta, egg, 60 grams of mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Combine until mixed thoroughly. Layer a rectangular baking pan with one cup spaghetti sauce. Lay four noodles on top. Spread half of ricotta mixture on the noodles. Then, once done, spoon half of vegetable mixture on top. Repeat with one cup sauce, four noodles, remainder of ricotta mixture, remainder of vegetable mixture and one cup sauce. Top with 50 turkey pepperonis spread evenly, then last four noodles, remaining ½ cup sauce and remaining 90 grams of cheese. Sprinkle on bread crumbs. Bake covered in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes.

Nutritional Information: 410 calories, 49 carbs, 12 fat grams and 22 protein grams.

Review: YUM – it tasted just like pizza to me, but then lasagna. I just really liked it. I always get nervous making my own recipes, but I had all of the vegetables to roast (they were about to go bad!), then the pepperonis were on hand and it just kind of hit me – supreme pizza lasagna! The servings were filling and me and Austin both liked it a lot. I’ll definitely make this again, good dish for a crowd!

whole dish
Vegetables to roast! You can do a huge tray, and then use for several recipes!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Peppery Pork in Creamy Tomato Sauce

Peppery Pork with Creamy Tomato Sauce
Makes 4 Servings
Recipe adapted from For the Love of Cooking

2 tsp olive oil
1 pound Pork cutlets
1 tbsp light butter
1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
8 oz of button mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp paprika
1 cup of beef broth
1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
8 oz. Egg noodles, cooked per instructions
Handful of baby spinach

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Season both sides of the pork with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Cook pork for 2-3 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Set meat aside to rest under a tin foil tent. Add butter to the same skillet and add onions. Cook for 3 minutes or until slightly tender. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, flour and paprika. Stir well and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add beef broth and stir. Simmer until thickened, then add sour cream and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook egg noodles per package instructions while the sour cream sauce is cooking. Once noodles are done, drain water then toss noodles with fresh spinach. The hot noodles will cook the spinach just slightly. For each serving, place 2 pork cutlets on top of noodles and spinach, then top with the sauce.

Nutritional Information: 432 calories, 51 carbs, 8 fat grams and 38 protein grams.

Review: We've now made this one twice - it's just so good! I love the soft egg noodles and how well they go with the beefy/tomato/creamy sauce. The spinach and mushrooms boost up the veggie quotient (which I'm really trying to get better at!), and it came together quickly. I think it's a great, easy recipe that reheats well, and I'm happy to be finding more pork recipes that I enjoy. I had no idea how calorie-friendly pork cutlets are, or how quickly they cook up due to how thin they are - perfect! I highly recommend this one. And if you worry about the sour cream, don't! Austin made it without it one time and it was great - just a little less creamy and a little more tomatoey!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

BBQ Chicken Pizza Cups

BBQ Chicken Pizza Cups
Makes 4 Servings or 12 appetizers
Recipe Inspired by For the Love of Cooking

Cooking spray
1 tube of refrigerator biscuits
2 oz. 75% reduced fat Cabot cheese, grated
2 oz. reduced fat mozzarella cheese, grated
6 oz. cooked chicken
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
¼ cup red onion, finely diced
¼ cup parsley, finely diced

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. Shred chicken. Add 2 tbsp BBQ sauce to chicken and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Add 2 more tbsp of BBQ sauce and microwave for 15 seconds. Stir. Spoon 2 tbsp BBQ chicken onto each biscuit. Microwave remaining 4 tbsp BBQ sauce for 20 seconds. While it cooks, mix together cheeses, and top each BBQ chicken biscuit with 10 grams cheese and 1 tsp red onion. Spoon a dollop of BB sauce on top of each. Bake for 10 minutes; remove from onion, sprinkle on parsley, then bake for remaining 5 minutes or until the crust is brown. Let sit for 5 minutes to cool down, then use spoon around edges to ensure each biscuit stays in tact.

Nutritional Information (for 3): 448 calories, 49 carbs, 16 fat grams and 25 protein grams. For 1 (appetizer): 149 calories, 16 carbs, 5 fat grams and 8 protein grams.

Review: LOVED THESE LITTLE GUYS! I had 3 for a meal and was filled up and happy - the flavor was great, the fresh parsley gave it a nice twist and I really liked that BBQ chicken flavor, especially with the blend of cheeses. Awesome little bites - think they would make a great appetizer and tested them - they reheat well. I'm loving the biscuit cup idea I got from Pam, and hope to try more mix ins to the biscuit bites! Try these if you're a fan of BBQ pizza.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Asian Peanut Pesto

Spicy Asian Peanut Pesto
Inspired by Café Lynnylu
Makes 4 Servings

40 basil leaves
1 tbsp soy sauce
7 tbsp Jif extra crunchy peanut butter
1 tsp siracha hot chili sauce
1/4 cup hot water (or pasta water)

Add all ingredients and pulse until well blended. If too thick, add more hot water and pulse.

Additional Items to make Meal:

12 oz. chicken, diced and sprinkled with salt
8 oz. pasta, cooked per package instructions

Heat large pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray over medium heat. Add chicken. Cook for 5-6 minutes until chicken is just cooked, still a little pink. Add pesto. Stir until blended well. Add cooked, drained noodles. Stir until well coated. Add 1 tsp of hot water at a time to loosen up the mixture if need be. Divide into four servings. Top with additional basil as garnish if desired.

Nutritional Information (with Chicken & Pasta): 464 calories, 49 carbs, 16 fat grams and 34 protein grams.

Review: Really good recipe, but definitely not a normal/standard pesto! It has the consistency of a pesto, but it has a heavy peanut taste. The peanut butter provided a solid base, and you could tell that PB is in there, so if you're not a PB fan stay away! Austin said it's like pesto with an infusion of heavy peanut flavor. We liked that it was so saucy due to the water, and that it was different. It made a lot of sauce, froze well, and reheated well. - we'll definitely make this again!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hot Chicken Salad Pasta

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

1 pound chicken, cooked and shredded
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ cup fat-free mayonnaise
½ cup celery, finely diced
1 can 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
8 oz. pasta, cooked

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all the ingredients except cheese, potato chips and chicken. Add chicken and stir well. Place mixture in baking dish and add cheese then chips to the top of mixture. Bake for 20 minutes.

Nutritional Information: 446 calories, 57 carbs, 8 fat grams and 37 protein grams.

Review: So I had originally made this recipe but without pasta - instead it was in a wrap. I liked it, but wanted to try it with pasta - it just sounded good! So I tweaked the recipe a bit and here goes! It was super creamy, and I liked the little bites of celery - gave it some flavor but make SURE to dice the celery very finely so it adds flavor without too much crunch/vegetable awkwardness. I think what I liked best about this one was that it was really creamy. I think if you wanted to avoid potato chips, you could easily put panko bread crumbs on top, or even crushed reduced fat ritz crackers! I like it and will make it again!

whole dish

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Quinoa Crusted Quiche

Quinoa Crusted Quiche
Inspired by a Lynn's Kitchen Adventures recipe
Makes 6 Servings

1.5 cups quinoa cooked in chicken stock
3 tbsp butter, melted
1 pound (5 links) Italian Turkey Sausage, cooked
3 oz. 75% reduced fat cheddar cheese
1 tbsp Frank’s cayenne pepper sauce
3 eggs
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1 tsp minced garlic

Cook quinoa in chicken broth per package instructions. Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Remove sausage from casings and cook until no longer pink, 7-8 minutes. Once quinoa is cooked, press quinoa into the bottom of a rectangular pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Drizzle with melted butter. Combine sausage, cheeses, and hot pepper sauce and spread over quinoa. Beat eggs, milk, garlic powder,
onion powder and garlic. Pour over sausage over mixture. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information: 405 calories, 32 carbs, 18 fat grams and 28 protein grams.

Review: I loved it. Austin said, "it's good, but it's weird to eat quinoa for breakfast." hehe I personally like a grain at breakfast time, it kind of reminded me of the breakfast risotto. Anyway, I thought the spicy sausage added a lot of flavor, and as usual the Cabot cheese melted well and tasted great without adding too many calories and fat grams. I couldn't really taste the egg, but it did help keep it all together and made the quinoa a bit more crispy than usual. All in all, i'd make it again, but maybe next time in a rectangular dish so it would be easier to eat then the deep oval dish!
One serving!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Cheesy Chicken Broccoli & Rice Bake

Cheesy Chicken Broccoli & Rice Bake
Found on Meet the Dubien’s
Makes 4 Servings

1 can condensed cheddar cheese soup
1 can water
3 oz. shredded cheddar cheese, plus additional for topping if desired
1 cup uncooked regular white long-grain rice
2 cups broccoli florets, chopped small
16 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, raw/defrosted
salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup Italian Panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375. Whisk together soup and water in a large bowl until there are no lumps. Add shredded cheese, broccoli and rice and mix well. Stir in salt and pepper. Place raw chicken in a square baking dish and add soup/rice mixture. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top. Cover with foil. Bake for 55 minutes or until chicken is cooked.

Nutritional Information: 435 calories, 48 carbs, 6 fat grams and 39 protein grams.

Review: Cheesy is right! The cheese soup with shredded cheese made a great sauce that went well with the rice and broccoli. I loved that this one pot meal cooked the chicken and the rice in the baking dish - awesome! The bread crumbs also added a nice crunchy kick. This was easy to put together, and great for pre-cooking as I could make other meals on the stovetop while this one baked! We'll be having this again for sure - it reheated well, too!
Whole pan of yumminess

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Asian Basil Pesto

Asian Basil Pesto
Recipe found on
Makes 4 Servings

2 cups fresh Thai basil leaves
2 tbsp dry-roasted peanuts
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp dark sesame oil
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
½ tsp crushed red pepper
1 ½ tsp minced garlic
¼ tsp salt
8 oz. spaghetti
16 oz. chicken, diced and salted

Cook spaghetti per package instructions. Drain, reserving ¼ cup pasta water. In the meantime, place all ingredients in a food processor, process until smooth. Add pasta water and process again. Heat large pan over medium heat. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Add chicken, cook until no longer pink, about 6 minutes. Add pesto and pasta. Stir 3-4 minutes until thoroughly mixed and heated through.

Nutritional Information: 417 calories, 43 carbs, 10 fat grams and 38 protein grams.

Review: Wonderful, nutty and flavorful pesto! I loved all of the Thai basil and what great flavor it gave (without the calories and high sodium from other sauces/mixes). It was super easy to put together with a small blender and ingredients we already had on hand - easy peasy! I highly recommend this. And note, it reheated well, but I did have to add a dash of water before microwaving, and a dash of salt to enhance the flavors that we re lost during reheating.
Thai Basil from  Austin's garden!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Slowcooker Buffalo Chicken Mac

Slowcooker Buffalo Chicken Mac
Makes 4 Servings

1 pound chicken, raw
2 tsp minced garlic, jarred
4 tbsp Frank’s Red Hot Wings Sauce
4 tbsp Fat-Free Ranch Dressing (Hidden Valley)
2 tbsp reduced fat parmesan cheese
1 cup fat-free milk
2 oz. Cabot 75% reduced fat cheese
1 tbsp Frank's Cayenne Pepper Sauce
1 tsp hot sauce
8 oz. pasta (small shape)

Add chicken to slowcooker sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Mix garlic, Frank’s hot wing sauce, ranch dressing, milk, and parmesan cheese; pour over chicken. Cook on high for three hours. Remove chicken, shred it, and add back to slowcooker. Stir in cheese, frank's cayenne pepper sauce, hot sauce and noodles; stir until noodles are coated in sauce. Cook on high for 25 minutes until noodles soften. Top with diced green onions or blue cheese crumbles as desired.

Nutritional Information: 428 calories, 54 carbs, 5 fat grams and 42 protein grams.

Review: Great recipe! Loved that it didn't have any 'cream of' anything - nice sauce based on the milk. I will say that I used penne, and I'd prefer it with a smaller shape like macaroni. Next time! I think my favorite part was that the recipe was one pot - everything cooked in the slowcooker so it was easy peasy - tough to mess up. And the calories/fat grams were great for a filling serving.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Skinny General Tso’s Chicken

Skinny General Tso’s Chicken
Adapted from Coup De Pouce Magazine (as seen on Tracey’s Culinary Adventures, who saw it on La Table de Nana)
Makes 4 Servings

1/3 cup light brown sugar (5 tbsp + 1 tsp)
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/3 cup water
2 tsp olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp sesame oil
6-8 green onions chopped, plus more for serving
3 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated
1/4 tsp each hot pepper flakes and sesame seeds (optional)
1 cup basmati rice, dry

In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, hoisin sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce and water. Set aside. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Dredge the chicken in the cornstarch and shake off any excess. Cook the chicken in the olive oil until browned. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside. Using a paper towel, wipe skillet clean. Add sesame oil, green onions and ginger. Cook for 30 seconds. Add sauce mixture and bring to a boil. Simmer mixture for 2 minutes, or until sauce thickens a bit. Add chicken back into the skillet, toss to coat with sauce, and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through, about 4-5 minutes. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes if desired. Serve over rice and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds (if desired).

Nutritional Information: 441 calories, 65 carbs, 6 fat grams and 30 protein grams.

Review: Okay - yes, it's a bit high carb, but it made that thick, textured sauce you find in those little white square to-go boxes. Awesome. Plenty of sauce that went a long way - you could easily add your favorite Asain veggies - enough sauce to go around. I liked the extra breading, too - a little bit of cornstarch goes such a long way - good stuff! A new household favorite for sure - but next time i'll make sure to save some green onions for garnish - oopsie!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Wontons

Buffalo Chicken Wontons
Makes 28 appetizers

12 oz. raw chicken
4 tbsp Frank’s Red Hot Wings Sauce
60 oz. Cabot 50% reduced fat jalapeno cheese (if you can't find this subbing for regular reduced fat cheese should be fine but this adds an extra kick!!)
4 tbsp Fat-Free Ranch Dressing (Hidden Valley)
2 tbsp reduced fat parmesan cheese
28 Wonton wrappers (Nasoya)

Boil water. Once rolling, add chicken and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 7-8 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink. In the meantime, add hot sauce, cheese, ranch and parmesan to a bowl. Stir together. Remove chicken from water; drain any excess water on chicken until mostly dry. Add chicken to bowl and, with two forks, shred chicken finely while blending into sauce. Stir well. Refrigerate for 2 hours until mixture is thick. When ready to prepare, heat oven to 375. Lay out sheets of wax paper, and spread wontons across the surface until all are out. Using your hands, add clumps (about 2 tbsp) of chicken mixture onto each until all have the same amount. Roll each up (to roll, turn into diamond shape with point facing you; fold point over to other point, tucking in mixture; tuck sides in and flip over). Use small bowl of water to seal each with your fingers/water. Lay all on baking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Once all are on tray, spray tops with cooking spray. Cook for 18- 20 minutes until crispy.

Nutritional Information: Whole recipe – 1,332 calories, 153 carbs, 19 fat grams and 122 protein grams. 7 wontons each (for 4 people to split) – 334 calories, 38 carbs, 5 fat grams and 31 protein grams. Each single wonton – 47 calories, 5 carbs, <1 fat gram and 4 protein grams.

Review: LOVED. These were great, came together pretty quickly and went FAST. The boys loved them, and us girls had a couple, too, and they’re great. I told the boys they were low-fat/fat-free and they laughed. I don’t think they quite believed me. Oh well. These were great baked, still had a ton of flavor with the hot sauce/ranch and didn’t require dipping since the ranch was inside (still could have served with dip/fat-free dressing if you wanted to). I will absolutely be making these again – great bite-size poppers. Just note: they are SUPER hot out of the oven and need about 5 minutes to cool down. And yes, I will get a picture of the inside next time - sorry!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Black Bean Fiesta Burgers

Black Bean Fiesta Burgers
Makes 4 large burgers or 12 mini burgers for sliders

1 15-oz. can black beans, drained, rinsed and given time to dry
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 onion, cut into wedges
1 tbsp minced garlic, jarred
1 egg
Taco seasoning packet
¼ cup salsa
1 tsp hot sauce
1/2 cup bread crumbs
(Sliders: 6 tbsp fat-free sour cream, divided; 12 small potato rolls)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly oil a baking sheet. In a medium bowl, mash black beans with a fork until thick. In a food processor, finely chop bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Strain mixture. Then stir into mashed beans. In a small bowl, stir together egg, taco seasoning, salsa and hot sauce. Stir egg mixture into mashed beans. Mix in bread crumbs until mixture is sticky and holds together. Divide into 8 small patties. Place patties on baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes on each side.

Nutritional Information: one large pattie - 205 calories, 38 carbs, 2 fat grams and 9 protein grams; one mini pattie – 66 calories, 12 carbs, <1 fat gram and 3 protein grams. For sliders, adding potato buns and sour cream, each: 161 calories, 30 carbs, 2 fat grams and 7 protein grams. I had two mini patties on two potato rolls which each had ½ tbsp fat-free sour cream. This comes out to: 322 calories, 60 carbs, 4 fat grams and 14 protein grams.

Review: Loved them! They tasted kind of like Amy’s breakfast burritos – so much so that Austin suggested we take the big pattie and use it to fill a medium-size tortilla for breakfast burritos! Great flavor, love the fiesta flavor, and truly think that you could take the breadcrumbs down if you want to reduce the calories a bit – up to you. I’m a huge fan and love that it was so filling, but yet had no meat. New favorite for us – so glad we tried it! We even reheated them for breakfast and I found two to be a great, filling breakfast - fabulous!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Creamy Slowcooker Pork Chops

Creamy Slowcooker Pork Chops
Makes 4 Servings
Recipe adapted from

1 pound pork chops, boneless medallions
Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
8 tbsp all-purpose flour, seasoned with pepper, garlic powder and paprkia
1 large onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 cubes chicken bouillon
2 cups boiling water
1 tbsp minced garlic, jarred
10 tbsp fat-free sour cream

Season pork chops with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste, and then dredge in 6 tbsp seasoned flour. In a skillet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray over medium heat, lightly brown chops. Meanwhile, boil water in microwave. Once boiled, dissolve bouillon cubes in water. Stir in garlic. Place chops in slow cooker, and top with onion slices. Pour sauce over chops and onions in crock pot. Cover and cook on high 3 to 4 hours. Once done, add sour cream and stir. If still too thick, use cornstarch/cold water to thicken. Serve over egg noodles.

Nutritional Information: 452 calories, 58 carbs, 7 fat grams and 36 protein grams.

Review: If you like super soft, fall-apart pork chops in a creamy sauce you're good with this recipe! It was super creamy and I loved the softened onions - they added a lot. The first time I made it (sans minced garlic) I felt it needed something - so I added the garlic and it made the difference. I like a lot of flavor, and this was a great dish. I will say I could see how this would be good on the stove, too, but without the crockpot the onions and pork chops wouldn't be as soft. I also think you could put the pork chops in to the crock pot raw to cut out that step. I'm going to try that next time! Either way - yummy slowcooker dish!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Honey Lime Enchiladas

Honey Lime Enchiladas
Makes 5 Servings
Recipe adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Café (found on Stephanie Cooks)

1 tsp olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic
½ cup onions, diced
1 pound raw chicken tenders, not diced
6 tbsp honey
5 tbsp lime juice (juice from1 large lime)
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
10 small flour tortillas (La Banderita)
4 oz. Cabot 75% reduced fat cheddar cheese
16 ounces green enchilada sauce
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream

Set a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil, garlic, and onions. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink. Remove chicken from skillet and shred it. Mix the first four ingredients and toss with shredded chicken. Let it marinate for at least 1/2 hour. Pour 1/2 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9X13 baking pan. Add 2 oz. cheese to chicken mixture. Fill flour tortillas with chicken and shredded cheese, saving about 1 cup of cheese to sprinkle on top of enchiladas. Mix the remaining enchilada sauce with cream. Pour sauce on enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until brown and crispy on top.

Nutritional Information: 442 calories, 59 carbs, 7 fat grams and 35 protein grams.

Review: Loved. Austin loved more, he's a big lime guy, but I loved a lot, too. They have a distinct flavor with the honey mixed with lime, and I loved how cheesy and saucy they came out. I like the idea of a different enchilada, and to save time can easily see making this a casserole. I liked that it had flour instead of corn tortillas - mixed it up a bit! I also thought the serving was filling. Normally I do 4 or 6 servings, but 5 came out right to stay somewhat true to the original recipe, but not too over- or under-caloric for me! These will be made again, and I think they would freeze/reheat very well!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Spicy Chipotle Meatballs with Rice

Spicy Chipotle Meatballs with Rice
Recipe adapted from Real Simple
Makes 4 Servings

2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 28-oz. can whole tomatoes
3 canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, diced
1 cup jasmine rice, cooked per package instructions
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp ground cumin
kosher salt and black pepper

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and half the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add tomatoes (with their juices) and chipotles; using a potato masher, break up the tomatoes. Simmer, partially covered, until the sauce has thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. If the sauce becomes too thick, add up to ½ cup water. Meanwhile, cook the rice according to the package directions. While the rice is cooking, in a medium bowl, combine beef, cilantro, bread crumbs, egg, cumin, the remaining garlic, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Shape the mixture into 16 same-sized meatballs. Heat broiler. Place meatballs on a foil-lined baking sheet and broil, turning once with tongs, until almost cooked through, 7 minutes. Add meatballs to the sauce. Cook 2-3 more minutes in sauce. Serve over the rice and sprinkle with additional cilantro.

Nutritional Information: 426 calories, 53 carbs, 8 fat grams and 31 protein grams.

Review: We really liked these! Very filling, good nutritional values for the amount you get and a great, adobo-spiced flavor. I will say spicy was RIGHT, if you're not into spice, I'd simply take out one pepper and you'd be good to go! I thought the cilantro added a lot, and I liked that it was over rice, almost like a jambalaya (but without the cajun seasonings!). We'll make this again for sure, and because it was so saucy I think it would freeze very well - bonus.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mexican Quinoa Skillet

Mexican Quinoa Skillet
Inspired by a $5 Dinners Recipe
Makes 4 Servings

2 tsp minced garlic, jarred
1 pound 96/4 ground beef
½ cup onion, diced
1 packet taco seasoning
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large tomato, diced
2 small summer squash, diced
hot sauce, to taste
1 cup quinoa, dry
1 1/2 cup water
Optional: 2 green onions and fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Add large pan to medium heat. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add beef and onion and stir until beef is mostly browned, about 5 minutes. Add taco seasonings and stir for 1 minute. Add black beans, tomato and squash. Drop in a bit of hot sauce. Stir, and then add quinoa and water. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 20 minutes. Remove lid, stir, then add lid and cook for another 5 minutes until quinoa is done and most of the liquid is gone. Remove from heat, divide into four servings, and top with green onions and cilantro.

Nutritional Information: 450 calories, 59 carbs, 8 fat grams and 36 protein grams.

Review: Awesome, healthy, filling, rainbow recipe! I was really happy with this one, especially since it's a one-pot (or skillet!) recipe - I love when you don't have to cook the carb in a separate pot! I especially enjoyed all of the colors and flavors from the tomatoes, squash, black beans and green onions. And of course - finding another quinoa recipe we love  makes me very happy. This one is a winner and will be made again, and again.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Beef & Noodle Toss

Beef  & Noodle Toss
Makes 4 Servings
Recipe adapted from Better Homes & Gardens

8 oz. lasagna noodles
12 oz. boneless beef sirloin, cut into bite size pieces
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups grape tomatoes
8 oz. mushrooms
2 tsp minced garlic
1 14-oz. can beef broth

Break noodles in half. Cook according to package instructions. Drain (do not rinse). Meanwhile, season beef with ½ tsp each salt and pepper. Toss with flour. Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add meat, any remaining flour, add tomatoes to the skillet. Cook 3-4 minutes until beef is browned, stirring often. Add mushrooms and garlic. Cook 5 minutes more. Add broth; cook 3-4 minutes more or until beef is done and liquid is slightly thickened. Add cooked noodles to skillet; stir gently to coat. Heat through. Spoon into pasta bowls to serve.

Nutritional Information: 430 calories, 46 carbs, 12 fat grams and 37 protein grams.

Review: We liked this one a lot, but I will make a change next time. Basically, the sauce  is thin, so the big lasagna noodles made it a bit difficult to eat. SO, I will either leave the lasagna noodles but thicken up the sauce with cornstarch/water OR go to a smaller pasta shape. Other than this future change, I will leave it EXACTLY as is. The steak was great, the fresh tomatoes were yummy and the sauce blended well. Great, easy recipe with common ingredients so easy to throw together at the last minute!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Italian Egg Bake

Italian Egg Bake
Makes 6 Servings
Inspired by a Pillsbury recipe

1 pound reduced fat sausage
4 cups frozen hash-brown potatoes, thawed
4 oz. (1 cup) Cabot 75% reduced fat cheddar cheese
6 tbsp diced sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
6 large eggs
¾ cup fat-free milk
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
¼ cup Progressso Panko Italian bread crumbs
4 tsp (10 grams) shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
¼ fresh basil, diced
Red pepper flakes, garlic powder, Italian Seasoning to taste

Heat oven to 450. Spray rectangular baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In large nonstick skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat until browned, stirring occasionally. In medium bowl, combine potatoes and 2.5 oz. cheese. In baking dish, layer potato mixture, sausage, tomatoes and half of the basil. In medium bowl, beat eggs. Add milk, salt and pepper; beat well. Add optional seasonings to taste (red pepper flakes, garlic powder, Italian seasoning). Pour evenly over potato mixture. Top with bread crumbs. Cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining 1.5 oz. Cabot cheese and Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered for an additional 3 minutes until cheese melts.

Nutritional Information: 353 calories, 24 carbs, 17 fat grams and 24 protein grams.

Review: Winner! Tasted great and was very filling - didn't take long either which is always nice. I'd pre-cooked the sausage, so it was already in a box cooked and ready, and the cheese was already grated too - this helped! I loved the addition of the fresh basil, it definitely made the recipe along with the sundried tomatoes. I also liked the add of the Italian bread crumbs - the crunchy topping was nice with the softer, fluffy egg/potato layer. I will absolutely make this again, and of course it's great that it makes 6 servings AND reheats well. And I've added it to my new favorite breakfast - move over brunch pizza squares- there's a new casserole in town! (forgive my cheesy lameness) :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Lemon Basil Almond Pesto

Lemon Basil Almond Pesto
Adapted from Tastespace
Makes 4 Servings

1 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
Juice from ½ lemon
50 grams almond slivers
1 packed cup basil (about 40 leaves)
1 tbsp minced garlic, jarred
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp hot water

Add almonds to food processor. Puree. Add remaining ingredients except for water and pulse until well blended. If too thick, add hot water and pulse.

Additional Items to make Meal:

16 oz. chicken, diced and sprinkled with salt
8 oz. pasta, cooked per package instructions

Heat large pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray over medium heat. Add chicken. Cook for 5-6 minutes until chicken is just cooked, still a little pink. Add pesto. Stir until blended well. Add cooked, drained noodles. Stir until well coated. Add 1tsp of hot water at a time to loosen up the mixture if need be. Divide into four servings. Top with additional basil as garnish if desired.

Nutritional Information (with Chicken & Pasta): 418 calories, 46 carbs, 11 fat grams and 36 protein grams.

Nutritional Information (pesto only): 94 calories, 4 carbs, 9 fat grams and 3 protein grams.

Review: Awesome. I'm a huge fan of lemon and basil anyway, so knew this would be a favorite. I was intrigued at using the almonds instead of the pinenuts, but it gave it a sweeter, nuttier flavor. I liked it a lot! This was more of a lime green than a deep green, but of course I could have added more basil. That's kind of the beauty of making your own pesto - you can add more amounts of low-calorie or no-calorie ingredients like lemon juice and basil to make it your own. We tasted as we made it (with cooked noodles - just dipped them into the blender). So while the above mixed worked for us (i.e. half a lemon of juice was plenty!), mix it up - just know that if you add more almonds or olive oil the nutritional information WILL be impacted. I hope this helps, I hope you try it and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. I'll let you know how it freezes. :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Baked Turkey Egg Rolls

Baked Turkey Egg Rolls
Makes 4 Servings (of 2 egg rolls each)
Recipe adapted from Annie’s Eats

2 celery stalks
½ head cabbage, shredded/diced
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
½ cup onion, diced
1 pound purdue 99% fat-free ground turkey breast
5 tbsp soy sauce
½ tsp red chili pepper flakes
1 tsp siracha
8 egg roll wraps

Chop celery into small chunks in food processor. Combine in a microwave safe bowl with cabbage and microwave, covered for 5 minutes. Add onion to food processor and chop until slushy. Add garlic and ginger until all are blended. Heat large pan over medium heat with oil. Spoon mixture into skillet and sauté in oil for 2-3 minutes. Add ground turkey and 3 tbsp soy sauce; cook until no longer pink, breaking up turkey further as you cook it. Drain any excess liquid and return to skillet. Add cooked cabbage and celery, remaining soy sauce and red chili pepper flakes. Stir until combined, remove from heat and allow to cool for 4-5 minutes. Heat oven to 400 degrees, spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray and get out a small cup of water. Lay 8 egg roll wrappers on a big sheet of wax paper. Spoon mixture onto each, ensuring they have the same amount of filling. Roll each and seal with water. Bake for 10 minutes, turn and bake for 5 minutes or until browned.

Nutritional Information: 354 calories, 42 carbs, 5 fat grams and 34 protein grams.

Review: The outside was really crispy and they had a nice spicy taste. I thought the turkey added an interesting twist - I liked how much it broke up - the pieces were tiny and so every bite tasted meaty rather than cabbagey if you know what I mean! The ginger/garlic/onion mixture was a great add too, and made the turkey taste extra juicy. I also liked that the meal was two packed egg rolls, very filling and a good, light eat. I worried it wouldn't reheat well, but we tested it with a George Foreman and it crisped right up! So good to reheat at home, but not at work (unless you can bring a panini maker to work!).

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Margarita Pasta

Margarita Pasta
Makes 4 Servings
Recipe adapted from Real Simple

10 oz. spaghetti
3 large beefsteak tomatoes, each cut into 4 thick pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
4 oz. reduced-fat mozzarella, grated
6 tsp full-fat grated parmesan
2 tsp minced garlic
½ tsp crushed red pepper
¾ cup fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving
Salt and Pepper

Heat broiler. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and return to pot. Meanwhile, arrange tomatoes into a single layer on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Season with ¼ tsp each salt and pepper. Dividing evenly, sprinkle the slices with mozzarella and parmesan. Broil until cheese is bubbly and golden, 3 to 5 minutes. In a small saucepan, warm oil with garlic and red pepper over medium heat until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add the garlic oil, basil, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper to the pasta and toss to combine. Serve topped with tomatoes and additional basil.

Nutritional Information: 449 calories, 56 carbs, 15 fat grams and 23 protein grams.

Review: What's not to like? I'm a  huge margarita pizza fan so I figured i'd be a fan of this! The pasta really gets a lot of flavor from the garlic mix, and the tomatoes came out super juicy and cheesy. Just make sure to use large ones so you have enough surface for the cheese to go on! We thought this one reheated well, too. The tomatoes weren't as crispy, but still good, and since the pasta had so much juice with the tomatoes and "sauce' it didn't dry out, always a must for reheating! This was also a 20 minutes or less recipe for sure - and another yummy meatless dish. To reduce the calories/fat, I'd suggest using 2.5 or 3 oz. of mozzarella instead, I don't think it would be missed! I would definitely leave the olive oil at this level though.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Egg and Bean Breakfast Tostados

Egg and Bean Breakfast Tostados
Recipe adapted from a nacho recipe at My Bizzy Kitchen
Makes 2 Servings

4 small corn tortillas
2 eggs and ¼ cup egg beaters (1 egg and 2 tbsp egg beaters for each)
1 tbsp fat-free milk, divided
½ oz. Cabot 75% reduced fat cheddar, grated
1 can black beans, drained
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp hot sauce
Cilantro, diced (for garnish) or dry
2-4 tbsp salsa, divided

Preheat oven to 350. Lay corn tortillas on cookie sheet and spray them with Pam. Sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 9 minutes. Cook bean/garlic/hot sauce mixture in pot for about 10 minutes. Mash beans with potato masher. Set aside. Whisk half of egg mixture with milk and a bit of salt; microwave in bowl (about the size of tortillas). Repeat with second serving of eggs. When tortillas are done, divide bean mixture. Spread half of bean mixture carefully onto one tortilla, then top with second tortilla, then round, now-cooked egg. Add cheese. Repeat for second serving. Broil until cheese melts, about 4 minutes (watch it or it will burn!). Then top each with cilantro and salsa if desired, or serve on the side.

Nutritional Information: 383 calories, 57 carbs, 9 fat grams and 26 protein grams.

Review: This meatless breakfast is insanely filling – must be all of those beans! I loved the garlic and hot sauce in the beans – great kick, but not too spicy. The tostado was crunchy, but the beans helped soften it. To make the tostado less crunch, I’d suggest lightly spreading salsa on one side of each tortilla. I would consider this one a weekend recipe – I worry it would lose its crunch on the reheat. This is a great recipe, ready under 20 minutes, and a great, filling start to the day! We will make this again. And it's easy to double if needed!
A look at the inside! I cut mine in half and dipped each bite in salsa!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Creamy Chicken Noodle Skillet

Creamy Chicken Noodle Skillet
Makes 4 Servings; Total Time: 20 Minutes
Adapted from Slim Shoppin' and My Bizzy Kitchen

2 tbsp light butter
2 tbsp flour
2 cups skim milk
8 oz. egg noodles
2 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ cup parmesan cheese (4 tbsp)
16 oz. raw chicken, diced and sprinkled with salt and pepper

Cook noodles according to package directions and drain. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking liquid. While noodles cook, in a large skillet, cook chicken over medium heat. Brown on all sides but don’t cook all the way through. Remove chicken from skillet and set it aside. In the same large skillet add butter. Once melted, add flour and, using a whisk, break it up. Add skim milk, salt, Dijon mustard and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Whisk until sauce starts to thicken. Add partially cooked chicken into the sauce and continue to cook until no longer pink in the middle. Add noodles and stir to coat all the noodles. If it’s too thick, add reserved pasta liquid to thin it out.

Nutritional Information: 455 calories, 52 carbs, 8 fat grams and 40 protein grams.

Review: Crazy creamy - almost like an alfredo sauce but better. I love the difference that little bit of dijon mustard makes. I used very little pasta water (maybe 1 tbsp) - everything cooked up well and blended together great. Definitely used the whisk - I tried at first to use just a fork but it didn't work nearly as well. I used the wide egg noodles and really liked the texture over regular pasta. Great comfort food, great classic chicken dish - and super easy to put together. Austin said it was almost like an 'alfredo gravy' - yum.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Creamy Taco Mac

One serving
Creamy Taco Mac
Adapted from Annie’s Eats
Makes 4 Servings

1 pound 96/4 ground beef
8 oz. dry pasta
½ cup onion, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic, jarred
1 (14 oz.) can plain or mexican/zesty diced tomatoes, drained
1 pack taco seasoning
3 oz. fat-free cream cheese, softened
½ cup fat-free sour cream
Salt and pepper
1 oz. Cabot 75% reduced fat cheddar cheese
Fresh cilantro (optional)

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving ½ cup of pasta water. Set aside. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook onions over medium-high heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add beef and cook until beef is no longer pink. Once meat is cooked, mix in garlic and cook for 30 seconds.Mix in tomatoes and taco seasoning and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir in cooked pasta, cream cheese, sour cream and reserved pasta water, and continue stirring until the cream cheese is melted and the sauce is well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over medium-low heat 4 minutes to reduce the sauce. Turn off heat. Top with shredded cheddar cheese and cilantro. Cover and let it sit off the heat until the cheese melts, about 2 minutes.

Nutritional Information: 457 calories, 58 carbs, 7 fat grams and 34 protein grams.

Review: Creamy is right - the sour cream/cream cheese mixture made the red sauce a lighter color -  it was so creamy! I loved it with the pasta shells - it was really like Mexican Mac and Cheese! Big fan. I will say I only had Italian diced tomatoes on hand (boo) so I drained them, but next time would like to use zesty jalapeno diced tomatoes - or just plain. This is a great recipe and makes HUGE servings - I couldn't even eat the whole thing! We'll definitely put this one in the rotation!
Whole pan!