Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole

I wanted to make something special to have for breakfast Christmas morning this year so when I came across this recipe I knew it would be perfect. It turned out wonderful! My husband had the leftovers for breakfast today. :) I did half the recipe since it was only the two of us. Definitely a remake.
Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole
Recipe & Picture by Our Best Bites

6-8 slices white bread
about 1/4 C softened butter (just for buttering the bread slices)
2 C grated jack cheese
2 C grated cheddar cheese
12 oz pork sausage, browned and drained if necessary
1 4 oz can green chiles ( I omitted)
6 eggs
2 C milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dry mustard

Start by removing the crusts from your bread and lightly buttering one side. Place bread butter side down in a 9x13 baking dish. You usually need 6 pieces of bread, plus 1 cut in half to finish up the bottom row. You just want the bottom of the pan covered with no big gaps.

Grate your cheese and sprinkle it evenly over the top of the bread. And yes, you're reading the recipe correctly, 4 cups baby! Spread the browned sausage on top of that, and top with the green chiles.

In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk eggs. Add milk and then seasonings and whisk to combine well.

Slowly stir the egg mixture while you pour it evenly on top of the assembled casserole. You'll want to keep stirring or else the spices will all gather in one spot and drop onto one single piece of casserole.

Cover well and place in the refrigerator overnight.In the morning preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Pop the casserole in there and bake for 50-60 minutes. You'll want the center to be set and the outside edges to be golden brown.

It's important to let it cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into it or it will just fall apart. As it cools it will settle- don't worry, that's normal! Cut into squares and serve warm. Enjoy!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Crafts

With Christmas around the corner and my new addiction to blogs, I decided to try out some of the fun crafts to give as presents this year. Here are how they turned out. :) I promise I will have some recipes soon! :)

** If you are at all related to me (Mom and Michelle) please stop reading now!

Personalized Monthly 2010 Calenders

Etched Dinner Glasses

Monogrammed Wine Glasses

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Weekly Menu

Hey guys! I am sorry I have been so bad about updating my blog. Things have turned crazy since the holiday season has arrived. I am sure you all can relate. I have also been really bad about cooking. So I am getting back on track this week with a good menu. :)

Monday: Hearty Chicken and Noodle Casserole
Tuesday: Salsbury Steak with Mashed Potatoes and Veggie
Wednesday: Spagetti and Meatballs
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Going to a Rehearsal Dinner

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Marble Cheesecake Squares

I decided to try my hand at making cheesecake. I have never ventured into this before and have done very little baking in my time. I have to say these turned out pretty darn tasty. They were all gone at the party in no time!

Marble Cheesecake Squares
12 servings
5pts per serving
1 cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs (about 9 cookie sheets)
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 (8-ounce) blocks fat-free cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large egg whites
1 large egg
1 ounce semisweet chocolate
Preheat oven to 325°.
Place crumbs in a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray; drizzle with butter. Toss with a fork until moist. Press into bottom of pan. Bake at 325° for 8 minutes; cool on a wire rack.

Place cheeses in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until smooth. Add sugar and flour; beat well. Add vanilla, egg whites, and egg; beat until well blended. Pour cheese mixture into prepared pan.

Place chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl; microwave at high 1 1/2 minutes or until soft, stirring after 45 seconds (chocolate should not completely melt). Stir until smooth.
Drop melted chocolate onto cheese mixture to form 9 mounds. Swirl chocolate into batter using the tip of a knife.
Bake at 325° for 35 minutes or until almost set. Cool on a wire rack. Cover and chill at least 4 hours.

Halloween Party!

I know I am a few days behind on posting this but better late than never, right? Here are some of the fun things I made for this years Halloween bash. The party was a hit and so was the food. There was nothing left! I had a great time making some of these creative items. Some were Halloween based and some just the traditional party foods we always have.
Here is a picture of the full spread.
I had Jalapeno Bacon Poppers, Queso, Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Balsamic Bruschetta.......

Marble Cheesecake Squares (recipe to come)
Dead Man Spinach Dip (served with veggies)

& Mummy Dogs!

Skillet Chicken Pitas

I got this recipe from Marin's Creations blog and it was a hit. I think my husband worded it best, it is nice, fresh and light-yet filled him up. I enjoyed it because it was healthy and low in points. It was fairly easy to make and great for leftovers!

Skillet Chicken Pitas
6pts per serving

1/3 cup cilantro
1/4 cup Asian sweet chili sauce
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" strips/chunks
1 large red bell pepper, sliced into bite size strips
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp. lime juice
8 pita rounds
8 leaves of lettuce

In a ziploc bag combine 1/3 cup cilantro, chili sauce, 2 Tbsp. lime juice, garlic, oil, and salt. Add Chicken, seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Heat a large skillet over med-high heat. Add chicken mixture and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add red pepper and continue cooking until chicken is no longer pink. Transfer chicken to a large bowl, cover, and refrigerate 1-8 hours.

For dressing, combine mayo, 1/2 cup cilantro, and 2 Tbsp. lime juice.To serve, top each pita with a leaf of lettuce, spoon chicken mixture over half, and drizzle with dressing.

Baked Shells with Pesto, Mozzarella, and Meat Sauce

We really enjoyed this dish. I am a huge lover of pasta so am always on the lookout for new, fun recipes. My husband isn't the biggest fan of pesto, but with the combination of the tomatoes, it wasn't strong and he really enjoyed this one. I did make the adjustments that were suggested by Cooking This and That as noted below. Enjoy!

Baked Shells with Pesto, Mozzarella, and Meat Sauce
amounts adapted from Food & Wine
Makes about 8 servings
**Probably should half recipe
**Add some tomato sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 package (usually about 1.25 pounds) ground beef
28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup store-bought or homemade pesto
1 pound medium pasta shells
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat either a 15 x 10 baking dish or two 8 x 8 baking dishes with cooking spray.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until it starts to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook until meat is no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes. Drain off any excess fat.

Add the tomatoes and salt to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook until most of the liquid evaporates, about 10-12 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and stir in pesto.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente as directed on package, about 7-8 minutes. Drain and toss with the sauce.

If using a 15 x 10 dish: Put half of the pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with one cup mozzarella and 3 tablespoons of the Parmesan. Repeat with the remaining pasta, mozzarella, and Parmesan.

If using two 8 x 8 dishes: Put 1/4 of the pasta mixture in each of the prepared dishes. Top each with 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1 1/2 tablespoons Parmesan. Repeat layers in each dish.
Bake until bubbling and slightly browned on top, about 15 minutes.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Craft Time

I have been reading these awesome craft blogs lately and it has gotten me into the craft mood. I know this isn't really cooking related, but I just wanted to post these because I am excited about how they turned out. I decoupage a W for our last name, I got the idea from a fellow blogger and love how it looks. The other craft was with decorative crosses. I saw something similar at local shopping center and figured I could recreate it myself. It isn't exactly the same, but I like the results. Here they are:

Pizza with Sun-Dried Tomato Sausage and Peppers

This is another great recipe from the WW Comfort Classics cookbook. It was surprisingly filling. I couldn't find sun-dried tomato chicken sausages, but I did find smoked mozzarella with artichoke and garlic chicken sausage that were only 100 calories a link so I figured it would work just as well. It was delicious. I am not the biggest fan of bell peppers but I definitely didn't mind them in this dish. Again the husband was surprised to find this was another WW recipe and that it was healthy. I served this is a light Caesar salad.

Pizza with Sun-Dried-Tomato Sausage and Peppers
WW Comfort Classics Cookbook
Serves 4 (serving size 1/4 pizza)
Points: 7

2 (3 oz) fully cooked sun-dried tomato chicken sausages, sliced (I used Smoked Mozzarella with
Artichokes and Garlic chicken sausage)
1 (8oz) package sliced mushrooms (I omitted)
1/2 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced (I used green bell pepper)
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 (10 oz) thin whole-wheat pizza crust
1 cup fat-free tomato-basil pasta sauce
2/4 cup shredded fat-free mozzarella
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan

Place an oven rack on the bottom rung of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425.

Spray a medium nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add mushrooms and bell pepper to the skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat.

Place the crust on a baking sheet. Spread evenly with the pasta sauce; top with the mozzarella, sausage, and mushroom mixture. Sprinkle with the Parmesan. Bake until crust is crisp and the cheese is melted, 8-10 minutes. Cut into 8 wedges.


Cheesy Chicken Carbonara with Fettuccine

I had been reading about the new Weight Watchers Comfort Classics Cookbook that just recently came out on the WW Community board and how good the recipes are. So I decided to order it and give a few a try. I am so glad I did! This was my first recipe that I tried and it was great! I am an Italian food lover myself so this recipe just called my name. My husband couldn't believe that is was a 'diet' meal. I did use thin spaghetti instead since for some odd reason my husband doesn't like the fettuccine noodle and I added some peas for a little extra color.

Cheesy Chicken Carbonara with Fettuccine
WW Comfort Classics Cookbook
Serves 4 (serving size 1 cup)
Points: 7

6 oz fettuccine (I used thin spaghetti)
3/4 cup fat-free milk ( I used 1%)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
4 slices center cut bacon, chopped
1 small onion, chopped (I omitted)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup chopped cooked chicken breast

Cook the pasta according to package directions, omitting the salt if desired. Drain and keep warm.

Meanwhile, whisk the milk, Parmesan, egg, salt, and pepper in a bowl until blended.

Cook the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the onion begins to brown, 2-3 minutes.

Add the chicken and cook until heated through, 1-2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the fettuccine and the milk mixture. Cook, tossing, until the sauce is thickened and creamy, 2-3 minutes.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

It has been cool and rainy for the last week. I guess you could say fall is here. I have been craving Broccoli Cheese soup with all this gloomy weather. Nothing is better than a warm bowl of soup on a rainy day. I was excited when I found this recipe on the Cooking Light website. It was voted one of the reader's favorites and I would have to totally agree. It was delicious! It hit the spot and fixed my craving. I also made roasted cheesy tomatoes. The perfect compliment to the meal. :)

Broccoli and Cheese Soup
Serves 6 (serving size: 1 1/3 cups)

Cooking spray
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (16-ounce) package broccoli florets
2 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 ounces light processed cheese, cubed (such as Velveeta Light)

Heat a large nonstick saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute 3 minutes or until tender. Add broth and broccoli. Bring broccoli mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook 10 minutes.

Combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Add milk mixture to broccoli mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Stir in pepper. Remove from heat; add cheese, stirring until cheese melts.

Place one-third of the soup in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Return pureed soup mixture to pan.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 203 (28% from fat)
Fat: 6.3g (sat 4g,mono 1.8g,poly 0.4g)
Fiber: 2.9g

* For the cheesy tomatoes, I took some plum tomatoes, cut in have and remove the seeds. Place on a baking sheet and sprinkle some breadcrumbs and about 1 tsp of shredded mozzarella cheese. Spray olive oil spray on them. Broil at 400 for about 2-3 minutes. That's it!

Chicken Spinach Quesadillas

This was a delicious, quick meal. I got to use my panini press for it! I love anything I can use any of my fun cooking tools. :) Plus who doesn't love a quick weekend night meal? These were pretty filling so you wouldn't really need to make any sides to go with it. My husband really enjoyed them and had two servings!

Chicken Spinach Quesadillas
who got it from : Ellie Krieger
Serves 4
6 pts per serving (Does not include sour cream)

1 T oil1 large onion, chopped (I used onion powder)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 c cooked, shredded or chopped chicken
1 t ground cumin
1 t chili powder
1 t dried oregano
2 c baby spinach, sliced into ribbons
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
4 (10-inch) whole wheat tortillas
1 c shredded Mexican blend (I used 2% reduced fat shredded Mexican Cheese)
1/2 c Salsa and sour cream for serving

Heat oil in a large saute pan. Add the onions and cook about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.

Add chicken, cumin, chili powder and oregano. Stir to incorporate all spices. Then add the salsa and cook for about 2 minutes until heated through.

Add spinach, salt and pepper and cook until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat.

On 1/2 of a tortilla shell - layer on a bit of cheese, the chicken mixture, then a bit more cheese. Fold and repeat with remaining tortillas.

Heat a large nonstick skillet or cast iron skillet to medium heat (or panini press). Place the quesadilla in skillet and cook until lightly browned and cheese is melted (about 2-3 minutes), flip and brown other side.

To serve - cut into thirds and serve with salsa and/or sour cream.


Crock Pot Pasta Fagioli

As winter approaches, I tend to turn to my crock pot for most our dinners. I love my crock pot! This was a new recipe that I am glad I tried. It was warm, delicious and very filling. It taste alot like the Pasta Fagioli soup from Olive Garden. It made a ton so if you aren't cooking for a large group, I would try to half the recipe. Definitely a remake!

Crock Pot Pasta Fagioli
From: A Year of Slow Cooking
1 pound lean ground beef, browned and drained
1/2 large red onion, chopped (I just put in onion powder)
1 cup carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes (and juice)
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups beef broth
1 jar (16.5 oz) pasta sauce
2 tsp oregano
1 T Tabasco sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup dry pasta, to add at end of cooking time
Brown the meat on the stove top, and drain well. Let it cool a bit.
Chop up the carrots, onion, and celery. Add it to the empty crock pot. Drain and rinse the beans, and add them. Add the whole cans of tomatoes, and the pasta sauce. Add the beef broth. Add the salt, pepper, oregano, and Tabasco sauce. Stir in your meat.
Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4. When the vegetables are tender, stir in the 1/2 cup of dry pasta.
Cover and cook for another hour on low, or until the pasta is tender. It will swell quite a bit. Serve with a bit of parmesan cheese if you have it.
**Use a 6 quart or larger crock pot, or cut the recipe in half.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Buffalo Chicken Bites

We both loved this recipe! It is the perfect cure for when a craving for buffalo wings hits. It wasn't hard to make at all. I was actually really surprised how easy it is to make wing sauce. My hubby said he thought they were better than Wing Stop! I feel horrible, but I have no idea where I got this recipe from. If this is yours, please let me know and thank you!!

Buffalo Chicken Bites

2 chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
Pinch of onion powder
Pam or vegetable spray
Dash of ground black pepper
Dash of garlic powder
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup hot sauce (I used Frank's Red Hot)

In a small bowl or ziplock bag, mix together the flour, paprika, cayenne pepper and salt. Place chicken pieces in bowl, and mix until pieces are evenly coated. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to 2 hours. (I did this the night before serving.) (This is very important to ensure pieces get crispy in the oven. Do not skip this step!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a wire rack over a jelly roll pan. (If you don't have a wire rack, you can create a make-shift rack out of aluminum foil.) Place chicken on rack, and bake for 35 minutes. Turn the oven up to 375 degrees, spray chicken with Pam, and bake for 5 more minutes so they get crispy.

While the chicken is baking, in a small saucepan over low heat, combine the butter and the hot sauce. Stir together until the butter is melted and mixture is well blended. Remove from heat and set aside.

Once chicken is cooked, place bites in a small bowl. Add hot sauce mixture and stir together.

Serve with your favorite dipping sauce and some celery.

Taco Rice Skillet

This is a great one pot meal for any busy week night supper. It was easy to make and easy to clean up! I definitely recommend this one. My husband got the tortillas out and used it as a filling for a burrito.
Taco Rice Skillet
Serves: 3-4
Approx 8pts (without cheese)

1 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped onion (I used onion powder)
1 package taco seasoning
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup salsa
1 cup frozen corn
1 1/2 cups uncooked instant rice
1 cup shredded cheese

In a skillet, cook turkey and onion until meat is no longer pink; drain if necessary.

Stir in taco seasoning, water, salsa and corn; bring to a boil. Add rice. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.

Sprinkle with cheese; cover and let stand until the cheese is melted.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sun Dried Tomato Tortellini

This next recipe is one that I got from a friend's girlfriend. I believe she got the idea from a Johny Carino's dish. I have not eaten at Johny Carino's very often so I am not sure which dish she was trying to copy, but whichever one-this is fabulous and super easy. It has been my go to dish ever since. I don't know the exact measurements ( I usually just eyeball it). It is pretty hard to mess this one up. The only bad thing is that it isn't exactly WW friendly, but you have to indulge every now and then, right?

Sun Dried Tomato Tortellini
Frozen Tortellini
1 to 2 Sausage links, diced
A jar of Sun Dried Tomato Alfredo
Approx 1 cup frozen peas
Tomato, diced
Approx 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350.
Combine all ingredients and pour into a 9x13 greased dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes uncovered.
That's it. How easy is that! It is delicious too. Enjoy!

Baked Chicken Parmesan

I have just recently become a fan of Chicken Parmesan. I am not really sure why I haven't ordered it before, but it is fabulous! This is a healthier version and it tastes just as wonderful. I am definitely pulling this one out again in the future to help with those Italian food cravings.

Baked Chicken Parmesan
From: Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Serves 8 5.5 ww points

4 (8 oz) chicken breast halves, sliced in half
3/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp butter, melted
3/4 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese
1 cup marinara
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 450°.

Spray a large baking sheet lightly with spray.

Combine breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese in a bowl. Melt the butter in another bowl. Lightly brush the butter onto the chicken, then dip into breadcrumb mixture. Place on baking sheet and repeat with the remaining chicken.

Lightly spray a little more cooking oil on top and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Turn chicken over, bake another 5 minutes.

Remove from oven, spoon sauce over chicken and top with shredded cheese. Bake 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Instant Shepard's Pie

So I have started to notice a theme to my choices in our evening meals. I am all about the quick, healthy dishes and this is definitely one of them. I found this recipe in the Weight Watchers magazine I picked up at the store one day. This one was great! Even the husband liked this one and said it was a remake. I couldn't believe how quick and easy it was to make on top of it all. This one you definitely need to try. :)

Instant Shepard's Pie
From: WW Magazine (10meals, 10minutes, 10dollars article)
Serves 4
Points value: 6

1 (1lb) bag frozen mixed vegetables for stir-fry
20 Italian-seasoned appetizer-size fully cooked turkey meatballs
1 (12oz) jar fat-free turkey gravy
1 red bell pepper, diced (I omitted)
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 tsp. salt
1 2/3 cup instant mashed potato flakes
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Bring the vegetables, meatballs, and gravy to a boil in a large deep skillet. Reduce the heat; cover and simmer 3 minutes. Stir in the bell pepper; cover and simmer until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring the water and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the potato flakes and milk, stirring until creamy.

Spoon about 1 1/4 cups of the meatball mixture into each of 4 shallow bowls. Top each serving with 2/3 cup of the mashed potatoes and sprinkle evenly with the pepper.

Yep, that easy! Enjoy!

Beer Can Cornish Hens

Cornish hens were on sale one day when I was at the store so I picked a couple up. I have never cooked Cornish hens before so I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with them. I have always wanted to try a Beer Can Chicken from Deen Bros cookbook. I figured why couldn't I do it with a Cornish hen?? I emptied small tomato juice cans, cleaned them and poured my beer into those. It worked perfectly. The hens turned out great but didn't have as much flavor to them as I thought it would. Next time I might try cooking them a different way and in the oven.

Beer Can Cornish Hens
From: The Deen Bros Cookbook

1/4 cup mayonnaise
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 Cornish hens
2 emptied tomato juice can or anything of that size ( I think tomato paste cans would work)
Beer of your choice

In a large bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, lemon zest. paprika, celery seeds, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Slather Cornish hens inside and out with the mayonnaise mixture, place in a bowl and let stand in the refrigerator while you prepare the grill.

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for indirect grilling. If using a gas grill, preheat the grill to medium and place a drip pan in the center (we preheated ours to about 350). If using a charcoal grill, light the coals. When they are red-hot, use tongs to move them to into two pile on opposite side of the grill. Let coals burn until they are covered with a thin layer of gray ash. Set a metal drip pan in the center of the grill between the piles of coal.

When grill is ready, pour your beer of choice into your emptied juice cans. Put the can into the Cornish hen's rear cavity, keeping the can upright. Stand the hen upright on the grill grate over the drip pan. Cover the grill and cook for about 45minutes. When done, the internal temperature of the hen should register 180F on a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh but not touching the bone.

Transfer to your plates and enjoy!!

Penne Saute with Italian Turkey Sausage and Vegetables

This is another recipe I got from the cooking class I took with my mom at Central Market. It turned out just as tasty. I think next time I will get marinated artichoke hearts so they aren't as bland. It was another quick, easy yet yummy meal. I definitely recommend it for any of you pasta lovers out there!

Penne Saute with Italian Turkey Sausage and Vegetables
Serves 4
7pts per serving

8 ounces Italian Turkey Sausage
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced (I omitted)
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
1 (15oz) can Italian-seasoned diced tomatoes
1 (15oz) can artichoke hearts, drained of juices ( I recommend seasoned if you can get it)
1 (2.25 oz) can sliced black olives, drained of juices
3 cups cooked pasta

Remove casing from sausage and cook over medium-high heat in a large, deep skillet for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring to break up sausage, until no longer pink in the center. Remove any excess drippings from sausage buy blotting bottom of skillet with paper towel.

Add bell pepper and garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until peppers are tender-crisp.

Add tomatoes with juices, artichoke hearts, and black olives ( and salt and pepper to taste, if desired), and bring to a simmer on medium-high heat. Simmer over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until mixture is warmed through.

Add cooked pasta and cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is warmed through.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Fried Rice with Ham & Vegetables

For a belated Mother's Day gift, I gave my mom a mother/daughter time with a cooking class at our local Central Market. We had a great time and learned a ton of new, delicious, healthy recipes. I am going to try and remake them in hopes they turn out just a good. This one was a success! I never realized how easy it is to make fried rice. We won't be turning to take out again!

Fried Rice with Ham & Vegetables
Serves 4

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup diced cooked ham
2 cups frozen stir-fry vegetables
4 cups cooked rice, chilled
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce ( I added)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil (I added)

Preheat a large nonstick skillet or wok on medium-high heat. Add oil to pan. Add the beaten eggs, cooking until set. With the edge of your spatula, break cooked egg into smaller pieces making thing strips. Place eggs on a plate and set aside.

Add ham and frozen vegetable to pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in cooked rice and reserved egg strips. Sprinkle with soy sauce (and Hoisin and sesame oil). Heat through, about 3 to 5 minutes, tossing gently to coat with soy sauce. Serve with additional soy sauce if desired.

Grilled Chicken with Southwest Salsa

This is another recipe from the cooking class I took with my mom. It was just as yummy as I remember. It is so easy and quick to make, this will definitely be on the list of remakes in the future!
Grilled Chicken with Southwest Salsa
Serves 4

2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
1 (15ounce) can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 (15 ounce) can corn, drained

Combine in a shallow bowl lime juice, vegetable oil, and chili powder. Rinse chicken under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Trip visible fat from chicken breast. Lightly pound chicken breasts, between two pieces of plastic wrap, with the flat side of a meat mallet or heavy rolling pin, until chicken is slightly flattened. Place chicken in lime juice mixture, turning to coat.

In a medium bowl , combine black beans, corn and salsa; reserve.

Grill chicken on a preheated outdoor grill (medium-hot coals) or stove top grill on medium high heat for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, or until no longer pink in center.

Spoon some of the reserved salsa mixture over each chicken breast and serve warm.

** I used 2 chicken breast and cut them in half to save on points. It turned out to be about 6 points this way. **

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Oh So Sorry!

Ok, guys. I know it has been forever since I updated this blog. I have several new recipes that I have tried that I want to post, but things have been crazy and I haven't had a chance to sit down at home and log them in. Hopefully I will be able to get some in tonight. I promise I haven't forgotten!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Asian Grilled Chicken

With the weather being so nice lately, I wanted to take advantage and grill out. This was sooo good! I planned on marinating it over night but when I went to put it all together, I realized I was missing one of the main ingredients-the terriyaki sauce. So needless to stay, I sent the hubby out the next day to pick some up. It was still awesome after only marinating for 3 hours. We both loved it and will be making it again. It is perfect for a summer evening meal. I served it with steamed rice and grilled corn on the cob.

Servings: 6 servings
Points: 3.3 ww points

6 thin boneless skinless chicken breasts (3 oz each) ( I used 3 big breasts since that is what I had)
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 green onions, minced
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1 tsp honey
2 tsp sesame oil ( I used peanut oil)
Combine all marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Pour the mixture over the chicken, turn the pieces to coat evenly, cover and place in refrigerator a minimum of three hours, but preferably overnight.
Preheat grill to high. Grill chicken top side down first until well browned charred, about 5 minutes, turn and cook on the second side about 3 more minutes. Transfer to a serving platter. Enjoy!

Twice Baked Taco Potatoes

Who doesn't love twice baked potatoes and tacos? I thought this recipe sounded delicious and it was! I think I might add some butter or milk to make it a bit more creamy, but over all it was yummy and very filling. The husband also love it (which is a plus). I served it with a side salad with low fat ranch.

Twice Baked Taco Potatoes
1 Potato= 4 points

4 medium potatoes-baked and scooped out. Save the shell
1/2 cup salsa (or more to taste)
1Cup chicken breast chicken taco meat (I used lean ground beef)
1/2 Cup chopped green onions
FF cheddar cheese shredded ( I place a slice of ff cheese on each one)
FF sour cream

After you've scooped out the potatoes, mix the potato guts, salsa, chicken meat, and onions.

Put the mix back into the potato shells, and bake for about 20 minutes in a 325 degree oven.

Top with 1 TBSP cheese, and 1 TBS FF sour cream if you like. Enjoy!

Smothered Buttermilk Chicken

I tend to work long hours so I absolutely love my crockpot. I am in constant lookout for new, yummy recipes to use my crockpot. This one turned out good, but not great. I am not sure if I will make it again. My husband wasn't the biggest fan. I am not sure what I could do differently next time. If you try it and have an idea, I would love to hear it!

Smothered Buttermilk Chicken
4 servings Aprox 7pts
Not including Rice
From: WW Community Board

1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs (I used breasts)
3 medium carrots -- sliced
1/3 cup onion -- chopped (I used onion powder)
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf
1 package roasted chicken gravy mix
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons flour
1 cup frozen peas

In a 4 to 6 quart crock pot, combine chicken, carrots, onion, water, butter, salt, pepper and bay leaf; mix well. Cover; cook on low setting for 6 to 8 hours or on high setting for 3 to 4 hours.

About 20 minutes before serving, stir gravy mix into crock pot. Remove and discard bay leaf. In a measuring cup, blend buttermilk and flour until smooth. Stir flour mixture and peas into chicken; mix well.

Cover, increase heat to high; cover and cook an additional 25-20 minutes or until peas are cooked. Serve with rice or biscuits.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Lemon Pepper Chicken with Artichoke Salsa

I know that I eat too many carbs. I can't help myself. I have a horrible obsession with pasta and bread. My two all-time favorite foods. Knowing that I really do need to cut back drastically on these loves, I am always on the look out for yummy low/no carb meals. This one matches that perfectly! Both my husband and I found it delicious. I know it looks really fancy, but really took no time to make. An easy 20-25 minute meal, max. This one is a keeper.

Lemon Pepper Chicken with Artichoke Salsa
Serves 4

4 chicken breasts
Lemon Pepper seasoning
1 bunch asparagus
4 handfuls baby spinach
Feta cheese*
2 small, ripe tomatoes** ( I forgot to add these )

Artichoke Salsa
1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
2 T capers
1/4 small red onion, diced ( I omitted)
1 lemon, juiced
1 T chopped garlic
Sprinkle of red pepper flakes
3-4 dashes of dried oregano, or to taste
1-2 dashes of dried thyme, or to taste
Reduced-fat Italian salad dressing


Spray chicken breasts with non-stick spray and season with lemon pepper on both sides. Grill 6-7 minutes a side, or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle

Snap bottoms of asparagus stalks off and cook using any of the following methods: Microwave with a little water in a microwave safe dish or steamer for 4-5 minutes; Roast in a 450 degree oven with a little olive oil and S&P for 5-6 minutes, shaking the pan half way through; Spray with non-stick spray and lay on the grill for 3-4 minutes, rolling stalks to grill on both sides half way through

In a medium sized bowl, combine ingredients for artichoke salsa. Add reduced-fat Italian salad dressing until desired consistency is reached.

Place a handful of spinach on a plate or in a bowl and top with cooked asparagus. Lay grilled chicken down and top with artichoke salsa. Sprinkle feta cheese on top. Serve!

* You could use any type of cheese you like to garnish this dish - or omit it all together!

**This is also really good topped with chopped, fresh tomatoes - or with sundried tomatoes added into the artichoke salsa!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Creamy Potato Ham Bake

This meal is definitely a remake! My husband could not stop talking about how good it was. He was surprised to find that it is another awesome weight watchers recipe! It took almost no time putting together. Perfect for busy weeknights! I definitely recommend all try this one. I think the cheese adds that extra flavor.

Creamy Potato Ham Bake
4 points/serving, makes 4 servings

16 oz raw shredded potatoes or thawed hash browns
1 full cup 97% fat-free lean ham
1 can green beans
1/2 tsp dried parsley flakes
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 can Healthy Request Cream of Celery soup
3 oz Velveeta Lite, cut up in small pieces

Mix all ingredients together thoroughly. Place mixture in sprayed 8X8 baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

That's it! Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mexican Shepard's Pie

This recipe was great! I loved it. My husband added some more cheese to it, but he is a cheese guy. I loved it as is. The portion size was huge and for low points. It was pretty easy to assemble for a weeknight dinner. I might use a packet of taco seasoning next time to give it a bit more of a Mexican flavor, but definitely a remake!

Mexican Shepherd's Pie
From WW Community Board
Servings 8
Estimated Points per serving 6

1 medium onion ( I used onion powder)
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb extra lean ground beef
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp black pepper
8 oz can tomato sauce
15 oz can diced tomatoes
8 oz can diced green chili peppers
15 oz can dark red kidney beans, drained
2 boxes Jiffy Corn Bread Mix
1 8oz bag reduced fat Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese


1. In a skillet, saute onion, garlic, and diced red pepper until tender

2. Add ground beef, chili powder, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cook until ground beef is browned

3. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, diced green chili peppers, and drained kidney beans to meat mixture. Simmer until warmed

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

5. In a bowl, mix Jiffy Corn Bread mixes per package instructions

6. In a baking dish/pan, spread the meat mixture on the bottom

7. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of the meat mixture

8. Pour Corn Bread batter on top of the shredded cheese, spreading evenly

9. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the Corn Bread is golden brown. Enjoy!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Barbecued Ribs

Ribs were on sale at Kroger the other week, so I decided to pick some up. Who doesn't love ribs? I have never used the same recipe for ribs more than once. I found this recipe in my Better Homes and Garden Cookbook. It was good and my husband loved them. It isn't' exactly what I am looking for. I am still looking for that perfect oven baked ribs recipe. Although the recipe is really easy, I may try to make a few changes next time. Just haven't figured out what yet.
Barbecued Ribs
From: Better Homes and Garden Cookbook
Makes: 6 servings

3 to 4 pounds pork loin back ribs
3/4 cup catsup
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 cup finely chopped onion ( I omitted)

1. If desired, cut ribs into serving-size pieces. In a large shallow roasting pan place the ribs with the bone sides down. Bake, covered, in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Carefully drain off liquid in roasting pan.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine the catsup, water, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, chili powder, black pepper, salt and red pepper. Stir in onion. Pour mixture over ribs. bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes more or until ribs are tender, basting once with sauce. Pass sauce with ribs.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 298 cal, 15g total fat, 1g fiber

Chocolate Chip Blondies

Ok, I know that is isn't exactly 'healthy' or 'low fat' but sometime you just have to splurge. I was bored one Saturday afternoon and was looking through my Kitchen Aid Cookbook and came across this recipe. I had all the ingredients on hand, so I decided to give it a try. I am just learning to bake and taking baby steps, but these turned out great! My husband isn't a big sweets person, so instead of having them in the house all week, I had him take some to work. His co-workers loved them! I might try my hand again a baking......

Chocolate Chip Blondie's
From: Kitchen Aid Best Loved Recipes Book
Makes 2 dozen bars

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 13x9x2 pan. Place butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla in a bowl of electric stand mixer. Turn to medium-low and mix 1 minute. Stop and scrape bowl.

2. Add flour, baking powder and salt. Turn to low and mix 15 seconds. Stop and scrape bowl. Continue mixing on low, and add nuts and chocolate chips, mixing just until combined.

3. Press dough into prepared pan. Bake 20-25minutes. Cool in pan, and then cut into 3x1 1/2 inch bars.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Ranch House Crock Pot Pork Chops

This recipe is beyond easy and totally delish! It only has three ingredients. I will definitely be making this again. I served it with some rice and peas. Sorry I forgot to take a picture.

Ranch House Crock Pot Pork Chops
From: (From: Picky Palate)
6 servings

6 pork chops, 1/2 inch thick (I just used 3)
1 packet dry Ranch Dressing Seasoning
10 oz can Cream of Chicken Soup

Place pork chops, Ranch seasoning and soup into a medium sized crock pot over high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 6 hours.

How easy is that! Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Savory Turkey Burgers with Garlicky Mayonnaise

I found a new website,, that was mentioned on the WW community board. It is great! Definitely a new one I will be going to frequently. I found this recipe on there and decided to give it a try. It was delicious! My husband said that he liked it, but feel that secretly he was kind of disappointed. I believe he thought it would be more like a burger, and was kind of disappointed when it wasn't. In the end he had 1 and half turkey burgers so it couldn't have been too bad! I served with with some homemade oven fries. I added a little garlic and some extra seasonings to it since some of the reviews said it was kind of bland. I loved it and will definitely be make it again!

Savory Turkey Burgers with Garlicky Mayonnaise
Prep Time:10 min
Start to Finish:25 min
makes:4 sandwiches

Garlicky Mayonnaise
1/4 cup fat-free or reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

1 lb ground turkey breast
1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt-free seasoning blend
1 small onion, finely chopped (1/4 cup) ( I used onion powder)
1 egg white
Some chopped Garlic
4 whole wheat burger buns, split
4 lettuce leaves ( I didn't have any so omitted)
4 tomato slices

1. Heat gas or charcoal grill. In small bowl, mix mayonnaise, lemon juice and garlic. Cover; refrigerate until serving time.

2. In large bowl, stir turkey, oats, soy sauce, seasoning blend, onion and egg white until well mixed. Shape mixture into 4 patties, about 3/4 inch thick.

3. Place patties on grill. Cook uncovered over medium heat about 15 minutes, turning once, until thermometer inserted in center of patty reads 165°F.

4. Spread 1 tablespoon mayonnaise on bottom of each bun. Place burgers over mayonnaise; top with lettuce, tomatoes and top of buns.

Nutritional Information 1 Sandwich: Calories 270 (Calories from Fat 30); Total Fat 3 1/2g (Saturated Fat 1g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 75mg; Sodium 520mg; Total Carbohydrate 26g (Dietary Fiber 4g, Sugars 7g); Protein 34g % Daily Value*: Vitamin A 4%; Vitamin C 4%; Calcium 8%; Iron 15% Exchanges: 1 1/2 Starch; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 4 Very Lean Meat Carbohydrate Choices: 2 My Pyramid Servings: 1 tsp Fats & Oils, 2 oz-equivalents Grains, 3 oz-equivalents Meat & Beans, 1/4 c Vegetables *% Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

BBQ Meatballs

I got this recipe from the famous Pioneer Woman's website and like always she never fails to give a great recipe. My husband loved this meal and said that the leftovers were even better! It was fairly easy to make. I think next time I will keep them in the freezer a bit longer because some of my meatballs fell apart when I tried to brown them. But never fail, over all it was a success! I made about 23 large sized meatballs, and surprisingly they were fairly low in points. You can probably make some more adjustments or smaller meatballs for lower points. I served these with some mashed potatoes. Yummy!

(My husbands plate)

BBQ Meatballs - Comfort Food to the Max
(I made 23 meatballs at 2pts per meatball)

1 1/2 pounds ground beef (I used 93% lean)
3/4 cup oats
1 cup milk (2%)
3 tablespoons very finely minced onion
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
Plenty of ground black pepper

1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire
4 to 6 tablespoons onion (I omitted)
Dash of Tabasco

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all meatball ingredients. Roll into medium-small balls and place on a cookie sheet. Place sheet in freezer for five minutes.

Remove from freezer and immediately dredge in unseasoned flour. Brown meatballs in canola oil until just brown. Place into a baking dish.

Combine all sauce ingredients. Pour over meatballs and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve with egg noodles, mashed potatoes, or crusty french bread.


Cheesy Chicken Casserole

This one was good but I felt it was kind of dry. I think next time I will use cream of chicken or mushroom soup in place of the milk and egg. I am going to try and make this one again. It was a nice quick, easy and healthy weeknight meal. My husband enjoyed it.

Cheesy Chicken Casserole
Serves 6
8 pts/serving

1 cup dry rice, cooked
2 chicken breasts, ground and seared on George Foreman ( I used leftover rotisserie chicken shredded)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (2%)
1 tablespoon EVOO
1 egg
1 cup skim milk ( I used 2/%)
2 cups broccoli florets, chopped finely and steamed in microwave for three minutes
Pepper and salt to taste


Mix cooked brown rice, seared ground chicken breast, shredded cheddar cheese, EVOO, egg, milk, steamed broccoli florets, and salt and pepper in a bowl

.Spread into greased casserole dish.Bake 375 degrees for 30 minutes.Add a little cheese to the top and broil for another few minutes.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Deep Dish Cheesy Lasagna

This is a great, easy lasagna recipe. My husband loves it! It does take some time to make since you have to let the sauce simmer for about an hour and a half, but well worth the wait. A friend of mine just had a baby so I made this and split it into two dishes making a meal for us and them! We had garlic bread ( bad, I know-but so good!) and salad. Sorry I forgot to take a picture. :( I am not sure where I got this recipe, so if it is yours-Thank you!

Deep Dish Cheesy Lasagna

12 uncooked whole wheat lasagna noodles ( I used regular lasagna noodles)
2/3 cups chopped onion (omitted)
1 lb extra lean ground sirloin (I used lean ground beef)
3 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1.5 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
4/5 tbsp freshly chopped parsley, divided
2.5 tsp salt, divided
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan
1/2 cup water
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 6.5 oz tomato sauce
1-2 6.5 oz cans tomato paste
16 oz part skim or fat free ricotta cheese
3 cups part skim shredded mozzarella cheese (I used mozzarella cheese slices)
1 egg

In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook ground beef, and add in onions and garlic till browned, drain. Return to pot, and stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, paste(you can just add one can and add more later to thicken), and water. Season with sugar, basil, oregano, Italian seasoning, 2 tsp salt, pepper & parsley. Simmer covered for about 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally.

Bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook lasagna noodles about 8-10 minutes, or I will cook about a minute less than according to directions. Drain & rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine 1/2 salt, egg, ricotta & 1/2 tbsp of parsley.

In a greased 9 x 13 baking dish, spread 1.5 cups of sauce, and layer 4 noodles and spread half of the ricotta mixture, 1 - 1.5 cups of sauce, 1 cup mozzarella. Repeat this layer again, and the last layer will be noodles, sauce & mozzarella cheese.

Bake covered in preheated oven for 25 minutes, remove foil, and bake 20-25 more minutes. Let lasagna cool 10 minutes before serving.

8 Servings, 9pts

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Shepherd's Pie

I decided to try my hand at making Shepard's Pie this St. Patties day. It turned out great, but I think I had a little more potatoes than the recipe called for, but who doesn't love mashed potatoes! I did add some sour cream and cheese to the potatoes for a little extra flavor.

Shepherd's Pie
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 50 minutes
1 tbsp canola oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
1 pound extra-lean ground beef
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp no-salt-added tomato paste
2 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 cup fat-free, reduced sodium beef broth
1 cup frozen peas
For the Topping:
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-1 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1 tbsp light butter
In a large pot, heat canola oil on medium-low heat. Saute onions and carrots until softened. Turn up heat to medium-high and add beef; cook until no longer pink. Add Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, herbs and broth. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Add peas, then simmer 5 minutes more.
Tip: If sauce seems too watery for your liking, combine 1 tsp of cornstarch into 1/8 cup of water and stir into beef mixture.
While sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of water to boil. Add potatoes, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain water. Add milk and light butter. Mash with a potato masher until smooth. Season if you like.
Pour sauce into an 11-inch by 7-inch baking dish and allow to cool slightly. Top with potato. Optional: sprinkle with 1/3 cup reduced-fat cheese.
Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.
Serves 6. Per Serving (without cheese): Calories 322, Calories from Fat 67, Total Fat 7.6g (Sat 2.8g), Cholesterol 49mg, Sodium 260mg, Carbohydrate 41.2g, Fiber 5.7g, Protein 22.5g

Taco Pasta Skillet

I know there is no excuse for my lack of updates on recipes. But I do have a few to update to you today! This one was really good, the portion size was very large and it was very filling. I had it for leftovers a few times last week ( I don't really like leftovers either!). I got this recipe off the weight watchers community board. It was so easy to make, my husband actually cooked this one!

Taco Pasta Skillet
6 servings/ 7pts per serving
8 oz. very lean ground beef
1 package taco seasoning
11oz. of undrained corn
14 oz of undrained black beans
1 cup salsa
3 cups hot water
8 oz. uncooked penne pasta
4 oz. fat free cream cheese
4 oz shredded fat free cheddar cheese
Brown in meat in a large skillet. Drain fat and rinse under hot water to remove additional fat. Add taco seasoning, corn, black beans,salsa, water, and pasta. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer for 15 minutes or until pasta is cooked. Add cheeses and stir until melted.
** He had to move everything over to the dutch oven to prevent over flow.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hambuger Noodle Casserole

I am always on the look out for new healthy, low fat recipes. So when I saw the Taste of Home Comfort Food Diet Cookbook at the grocery store, I had to get it. There are so many yummy looking recipes. It also has a photo of every recipe, which I like when finding new recipes. I like to know if my results are anywhere near what it is supposed to look like. Tonight was my first time to try one of these new meals. It turned out great! My husband loved it and even went back for seconds! It was very tasty and filling. The recipe reminds me of a taco casserole recipe I have read on several other blogs.

Hamburger Noodle Casserole
From: Taste of Home Comfort Food Diet Cookbook
5 cups uncooked yolk-free noodles
1-1/4 lbs lean ground beef
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cans (8 oz each) tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 package (8 oz) reduced fat cream cheese
1 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese
1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
3 green onions, thinly sliced, divided
2/3 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
Cook noddles according to package directions. Meanwhile in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook beef and garlic until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the tomato sauce, sugar, salt and pepper; heat through. Drain noodles; stir into beef mixture.
In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, ricotta cheese and sour cream until blended. Stir in half of the onions.
Spoon half of the noodle mixture into a 13-in x 9-in baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with cheese mixture and remaining noodle mixture.
Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with cheddar cheese. bake 5-10 minutes longer or until heated through and cheese is melted. Sprinkle with remaining onions.
Yield 10 servings
1 serving = 1 cup
6 pts per serving
Nutrition Facts: 290 calories, 12g fat, 2g fiber

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Asian Lettuce Wraps

I know I haven't blogged in awhile. I really don't have a good excuse, but I do have some new recipes to post. We had this one last night. It is one of my husband's favorites. It is really rather simple to make and very healthy. I added an egg roll as a side. I got this recipe from my Biggest Loser Cookbook, but made a few adjustments. We both give this one a two thumbs up!
Asian Lettuce Wraps

1 can (8 oz) bamboo shoots, drained and minced
1 can (8 oz) water chestnuts, drained and minced
3 tablespoons sherry
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon reduced fat peanut butter
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons hot-pepper sauce
1 packet (.35 oz) sugar substitute (ie. Splenda)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup minced onion
1 lb ground turkey (lean)
2 teaspoons ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
Butter Lettuce leaves

In a medium bowl, combine the bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, sherry, hoisin sauce, peanut butter, soy sauce, hot-pepper sauce, and sugar substitute. Mix well. Set aside.

Mist a large, nonstick with olive oil stray and set over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, or 3 to 4 minutes, or until tender or just starting to brown. Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the turkey, ginger, and salt. Cook, breaking up the turkey into small chunks until no longer pink. Add the reserved bamboo shoot mixture. Cook for 2 minutes or until hot. Remove the pan from the heat. Spoon the turkey mixture, evenly divided, into the lettuce leaves. Set on serving dish. Ready to serve.

2 wraps per serving size
3pt per serving

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Chicken Lasagna Florentine

I found this recipe on the Weight Watchers community board and it was delish! I can't believe the portion size is so big for only 7 points. My husband loved it and ask for me to make it again! I did half the recipe since it was just two of us, but here is the original recipe for you.

Chicken Lasagna Florentine
from WW Website Community Board

-2 1/2 cup(s) Campbell's Healthy Request Cream of Chicken Soup, (two cans)
-10-oz chopped frozen spinach, (one package), thawed, drained and squeezed dry
-9 oz cooked chicken breast, diced
-8 oz fat-free sour cream
-1 cup fat-free skim milk
-1/3 cup onions, chopped ( I omitted)
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-1/2 cup(s) shredded Parmesan cheese
-1/2 tsp black pepper
-1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
-2 1/2 servings Ronzoni Healthy Harvest lasagna pasta, (approximately 9 noodles)
-cooking spray
-1 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese


Combine the first 11 ingredients in a bowl.

Coat inside of crock pot w/ cooking spray, take 3 lasagna noodles and place in bottom of crockpot -break noodles in half if needed. Spread 1/3 of spinach mixture on top of noodles. Sprinkle w/ 1/3 cup mozzarella - repeat layers twice. Cover w/ lid cook on high 1 hour, reduce to low heat and cook 5 hours or until pasta is done

.Servings size approx. 1 cup.For larger portions (6 servings), 7 points each.

** I actually cooked the noodles, layered the lasagna in a dish and cooked in the oven at 375 for approx 20-30min.

Zucchini Oven Chips

One Sunday afternoon I had some chicken in the crockpot with some BBQ sauce and was trying to figure out what our side was going to be to go with it. I came across this recipe and thought that I would give it a try. They were awesome! My husband ate all of them. Plus they are much healthier than chips or fries, what we normally would of had. I can not remember where I got this recipe though-but definitely worth a try!

Zucchini Oven Chips
Yield 4 servings (serving size: about 3/4 cup)
1pt each serving

-1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
-1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
-1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
-2 tablespoons fat-free milk
-2 1/2 cups (1/4-inch-thick) slices zucchini (about 2 small)
-Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 425°.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Place milk in a shallow bowl. Dip zucchini slices in milk, and dredge in breadcrumb mixture. Place coated slices on an ovenproof wire rack coated with cooking spray; place rack on a baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes or until browned and crisp. Serve immediately

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Creamy Chicken and Green Chili Enchiladas

My sister and her family just recently moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico. My mom, my sister-in-law and myself went up to visit them in December. There she introduced us to the wonderful green chili which is very popluar in New Mexico. We had green chili bagels that were to die for! So when I found this recipe for green chili enchiladas I was eager to give them a try. I am glad I did! They turned out great. Jeff loved them and requested they be made again, soon.

Creamy Chicken and Green Chili Enchiladas
Makes 12 enchiladas - serves 6
-4 chicken breasts or purchased already cooked rotisserie chicken
-Olive oil
-2 medium onions, thinly sliced (I omitted)
-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
-1 teaspoon cumin
-1/3 cup flour
-2 cups chicken broth
-1 cup salsa verde (I recommend Trader Joe's or Goya brands)
-1/2 cup sour cream
-1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
-12 6-inch flour tortillas
-3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I used 2% Shredded Cheddar)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place chicken on a large baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for about 40 - 50 minutes or until the internal temperature is about 170 degrees. Remove from oven and let cool.
When cool enough to handle, shred chicken into bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan to medium high and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the onions. Saute for 8 - 10 minutes or until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cumin and saute for an additional minute. Stir in the flour until blended and cook for a minute. Slowly pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cook for 2 - 4 minutes or until thickened. Add the salsa verde, sour cream, and cilantro. Stir to combine. Season the creamy green chili sauce with salt and pepper.
Add about 1 cup of the creamy green chili sauce to the shredded chicken and stir to combine.
To assemble enchiladas get a large baking dish. Dip a tortilla into the creamy green chili sauce and put it on a cutting board. Put a big scoop of the chicken mixture in the center, sprinkle with a little of the cheese, and roll up the tortilla to enclose the filling. Place the enchilada in the baking dish. Continue to fill all of the tortillas and put them in the baking dish. Pour the remaining creamy green chili sauce over the top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
Bake uncovered for about 20 - 25 minutes until bubbly and the cheese is melted. Serve hot with sour cream.

Pumpkin Puppers

I always keep an eye out for new yummy doggie treats. I have found that it is so much easier, healthier and cheaper to make my own treats. These were a hit with both of my four legged kids! It made alot so some of their friends got to take some home too.

Pumpkin Puppers

-4 Cups (500g) whole wheat flour
-2 Cups (200g) wheat germ
-1 15 Ounce can of pumpkin
-1 Cup water
-2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
-4 Tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
-2 Tablespoons Honey

Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly to combine.

Roll out dough on a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick and cut into desired shapes.

Place cookies on an ungreased foil-lined baking sheet and bake in a pre-heated oven 325 degrees, for 30 to 35 minutes.

Makes about 5 dozen cookies.