Monday, October 3, 2011

Sweet & Sour Shrimp Stir-Fry

Recipe Adapted From:
Pampered Chef Casual Cooking Cookbook


1/3 cup ketchup
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
1 tbsp white vinegar
4 tsp cornstarch
1 20oz can pineapple chunks in juice, un-drained
8oz fresh snow pea pods, trimmed, cut diagonally in half (2 cups)
3 plum tomatoes, cut into wedges
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 lb frozen, cooked medium shrimp, thawed, rinsed and tails removed
4 cups cooked rice


Combine ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar and cornstarch; whisk until blended.

Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Measure ½ cup reserved pineapple juice; add to ketchup mixture and set aside. (Discard any remaining juice.)

Trim pea pods and cut diagonally in half. Cut tomatoes into wedges.

Heat oil in a stir-fry skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add pea pods and garlic; stir-fry 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium, stir ketchup mixture and add to skillet. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir 1 minute until thickened. Add pineapple and shrimp, toss to heat thoroughly. Removed from heat; gently stir in tomatoes.

Serve over rice.

Notes & Tips:
I substituted rice vinegar for the white vinegar and sesame oil for the vegetable oil. If you really enjoy Asian food, you really should get the rice vinegar and sesame oil, it makes it tastes so much more "authentic".

Nutrition Facts:
Serves 4
Calories 520, Fat 5g, Carbs 87g, Protein 30g, Fiber 4g

Friday, September 30, 2011

Mexican Mac and Cheese

Recipe Adapted From:
Better Homes & Gardens Magazine
March 2011


12 oz. dried mostaccioli or rigatoni pasta (3 cups)
1 lb. bulk pork sausage
1 cup chopped onion
1 16-oz. jar green medium-hot salsa
2 8-oz. pkg. shredded Monterey Jack cheese (4 cups)
Tomato wedges, sliced jalapeño peppers, and chopped fresh cilantro
Salsa (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 3-quart rectangular baking dish; set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in large skillet cook sausage and onion until meat is browned and onion is tender. Drain fat, Return sausage and onion to skillet. Stir in green salsa.

3. Bake, uncovered, for 35 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes. Top with tomato, jalapeño, and cilantro. If desired, serve with additional salsa. Makes 12 servings.

Notes & Tips:
This was so yummy! Very easy to make. I found rigatoni at the store so that was exciting! You could def. use any kind of noodle that you have. I topped this with tomatoes, cilantro and some mild peppers. The only issue I have with this recipe is that it says it serves 12.... ummm not in this house! More like 6.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 378
Total Fat (g)22
Carbohydrate (g)25,
Total Sugar (g)4,
Fiber (g)1,
Protein (g)19,

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lemon Chicken with Cucumber Salsa

Recipe Adapted From:
The Pampered Chef Casual Cooking Cookbook


Chicken and Marinade
1 broiler-fryer chicken (4 pounds), cut into quarters
2 lemons
3 garlic cloves, pressed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Cucumber Salsa
1/2 medium unpeeled cucumber, seeded and coarsley chopped (1 cup)
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped red onion
1/3 cup pitted ripe olives, sliced
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper

1. For chicken and marinade, rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Trim any excess fat from chicken. Zest lemons to measure 1 tablespoon zest. Juice lemons to measure 1/2 cup juice. Place zest and juice in Mixing Bowl. Press garlic into batter bowl. Add oil, oregano, paprika, salt and black pepper; whisk. Remove 2 tablespoons of the marinade and reserve for the salsa.
2. Add chicken to marinade in mixing bowl; turn to coat. Cover; marinate in refrigerator 2-4 hours, turning chicken occasionally.
3. Meanwhile, for salsa, coarsely chop cucumber and onion. Slice olives; dice bell pepper. Place vegetables in small bowl; add reserved 2 tablespoons marinade and mix gently. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
4. Prepare grill for indirect cooking over medium coals. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Place chicken, skin side up, on grid of grill. Grill, covered, 45-50 minutes or until chicken registers 180°F in thickest part of thigh portion and juices run clear. Serve salsa with chicken.

Notes & Tips:
I didn't have any fryer chickens so I just used 3 large chicken breasts. It worked out better because it only took 25-30 to cook through. Also, I didn't any paprika so I subbed in cayenne pepper. Which I loved, the spice was very nice. I served this with couscous.

Nutrition Facts:
Serves 4. Calories 470, Total Fat 27 g, Saturated Fat 6 g, Cholesterol 150 mg, Carbohydrate 7 g, Protein 50 g, Sodium 520 mg, Fiber 2 g

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pioneer Woman's Meatloaf

Recipe taken from:
Pioneer Woman Cooks Cookbook


1 cup Whole Milk
6 slices White Bread
2 pounds Ground Beef
1 cup (heaping) Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 teaspoon Seasoned Salt
3/4 teaspoons Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1/3 cup Minced Flat-leaf Parsley
4 whole Eggs Beaten
10 slices Thin/regular Bacon
1-1/2 cup Ketchup
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
Tabasco To Taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour milk over the bread slices. Allow it to soak in for several minutes.

Place the ground beef, milk-soaked bread, Parmesan, seasoned salt, salt, black pepper, and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Pour in beaten eggs.

With clean hands, mix the ingredients until well combined. Form the mixture into a loaf shape on a broiler pan, which will allow the fat to drain. (Line the bottom of the pan with foil to avoid a big mess!)

Lay bacon slices over the top, tucking them underneath the meatloaf.

Make the sauce: add ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, and hot sauce in a mixing bowl. Stir together. Pour 1/3 of the mixture over the top of the bacon. Spread with a spoon.

Bake for 45 minutes, then pour another 1/3 of the sauce over the top. Bake for another 15 minutes. Slice and serve with remaining sauce.

Serve with mashed potatoes. Yummy!

Notes & Tips:
Please don't be like me... please use a broiler pan. I don't own one so I "make-shifted" with a cookie pan and my metal cooling racks. The spaces in the cooling rack were WAY too big and my meatloaf fell down and cooked with a metal cooling rack inside. BUT other than all that the meatloaf was incredible! Who wraps bacon over meatloaf?!?! Man it's good.

Nutrition Facts:
No thanks!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Pork Chops with Cherry Sauce

Recipe Adapted From:
Healthy Cooking, Aug-Sept. 2011


1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup fresh or frozen pitted dark sweet cherries, halved
1/3 cup ruby port wine
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
3/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 bone-in pork loin chops (7 ounces each)
2 teaspoons olive oil


In a small saucepan, saute shallot in oil until tender. Stir in the cherries, wine, vinegar and salt. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the coriander, mustard, salt and pepper; rub over chops. In a large skillet, cook chops in oil over medium heat for 4-6 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 160°. Serve with sauce. Yield: 2 servings.

Notes & Tips:
This was really good. It tastes like a special occasion recipe, but it was really easy. My chops took a little longer to cook, but I bought really thick cuts. Also, I did not have any port wine, so I just used cooking sherry. This was the perfect recipe to use some of the bing cherries I froze earlier this summer.

Nutrition Facts:
1 pork chop with 1/3 cup sauce equals 356 calories, 16 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 86 mg cholesterol, 509 mg sodium, 16 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 32 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 4 lean meat, 1-1/2 fat, 1 fruit.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Chicken and Tortilla Soup

Recipe Adapted From:
Better Homes & Gardens May 2011


6 cups water
1 3 1/2-lb. whole roasting chicken, cut in 8 pieces
1 large yellow onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped (1/2 cup)
1 stalk celery, chopped (1/2 cup)
8 sprigs cilantro
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground ancho chile pepper
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 bay leaves
Corn oil
8 6-inch corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch strips
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 32-oz. box reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut in 1/4-inch slices
2 cups sugar snap peas, sliced diagonally
2 small zucchini, cut in 1/4-inch slices (2 cups)
1 cup chopped fresh or canned tomato
1/2 a jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded
Cilantro leaves

1. In a 6-quart Dutch oven combine water, chicken, onion, 1/2 cup chopped carrot, the celery, 8 cilantro sprigs, the cumin, chili powder, ancho chile pepper, oregano, and bay leaves. Bring to a boiling, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until the chicken is very tender, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

2. Meanwhile, heat 1/2 inch of corn oil in a large heavy saucepan to 375 degrees F. Add tortilla strips, about one-fourth at a time, and cook until crispy and light golden, 30 to 60 seconds. Remove from saucepan with a slotted spoon. Drain strips on paper towels. Season with salt.

3. Using tongs, remove chicken from liquid; cool chicken. Strain remaining liquid, and discard solids. Return to Dutch oven along with chicken broth. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.

4. Remove meat from bones and discard bones. Tear chicken in 1-inch pieces. Add to broth along with the 2 sliced carrots. Simmer for 3 minutes. Add the sugar snap peas, zucchini, tomato, and jalapeño. Simmer 3 minutes or until tender. Taste and season with salt and black pepper.

5. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with cheddar cheese, tortilla strips, and cilantro. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Notes & Tips:
This soup took a pretty long time to make. The recipe said a little over an hour but it's more like 1 1/2 hours. The timing at the end is off... it takes way more than 3 minutes to cook zucchini. Our favorite part of this was the "chips" SO easy and so yummy. I will def. make the tortilla strips more often. I thought the zucchini and peas were a little odd in a "Mexican" soup, but it actually tasted pretty good.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories 375
Total Fat (g)14
Saturated Fat (g)2,
Monounsaturated Fat (g)4,
Polyunsaturated Fat (g)7,
Cholesterol (mg)89,
Sodium (mg)618,
Carbohydrate (g)29,
Total Sugar (g)6,
Fiber (g)6,
Protein (g)34,
Vitamin C (DV%)43,
Calcium (DV%)11,
Iron (DV%)14,
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Butterscotch Chocolate Cake

Recipe Adapted From:
Taste of Home Cookbook 2010


1 package (18-1/4 ounces) chocolate cake mix
1 jar (17 ounces) butterscotch ice cream topping
1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
3 Butterfinger candy bars (2.1 ounces each), coarsely crushed

Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, using a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
Using the end of a wooden spoon handle, poke 12 holes in warm cake. Pour butterscotch topping over cake; cool completely.
Spread with whipped topping; sprinkle with candy. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 12-16 servings.

Notes & Tips:
I didn't have a box of chocolate cake mix, so I made my own. I used a yellow cake mix plus 1/4 cup cocoa powder. This cake was a huge hit!

Broiled Parmesan Tilapia

Recipe Adapted From:
Healthy Cooking Magazine:
August-September 2011


6 tilapia fillets (6oz. each)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon seafood seasoning (such as, Old Bay)


Preheat your oven's broiler. Grease a broiling pan or line pan with aluminum foil.
In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Season with dried basil, pepper, and salt. Mix well.
Broil 3-4 from the heat for 10-12 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Notes & Tips:
I thought this tasted great! I served this with a salad. I will say I think it could use a little more seasoning.

Nutrition Facts:
Serves 6
Calories: 225 | Total Fat: 12.8g | Cholesterol: 63mg

Friday, September 16, 2011

Tomato Bisque

Recipe Adapted From:

2 pounds tomatoes
2 cubes beef bouillon, crumbled
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 quart milk


1. Run the tomatoes through a food mill to remove the seeds and skins, and place in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the bouillon, sugar, salt, bay leaf, basil and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. (If you're going to can this mixture, process it now.)
2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour all at once to form a roux, cook 1 minute. Whisk in milk, a little at a time, cooking and stirring constantly until thickened. Stir into tomato mixture and heat through.

Notes & Tips:

I don't have a food mill, so I just used a blender. I didn't worry about the seeds or the peel, because I used a mix of canned tomatoes and fresh. I used 3 good sized fresh tomatoes and 1 regular sized can of diced tomatoes with celery and onion. I blended them all together until smooth. If you'd like a super creamy smooth bisque, you can de-seed and peel the tomatoes before you blend them. The color of the soup after I added the milk seemed light, but the flavor was wonderful. I used a mixture of whole milk and 1/2 and 1/2, since I had a little 1/2 and 1/2 left over from earlier this week. (Oh and by the way, so you don't have to look it up 1 quart eqals 4 cus) I served this with grilled cheese sandwiches.
Also, the orginal recipe mentioned that you can stop after simmering the tomato mixture and can base, which sounded like a good idea if you were making a mega batch of this.

Nutrition Facts:
Serves 4
Calories: 420 | Total Fat: 28.5g | Cholesterol: 81mg

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Corn and Bean Fritters with Tomatoes

Recipe Adapted From:
Better Homes & Gardens, August 2011


4 ears fresh sweet corn or 2 cups frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
1 lb. grape or cherry tomatoes
1 Tbsp. vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1 15.5-oz. can butter beans, rinsed and drained
1 6-oz. pkg. Southern-style corn bread mix
1 egg
1 tsp. ground ancho chili or chili powder
Olive oil
Fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley or cilantro leaves (optional)


1. If using fresh corn, cut kernels from cobs; set aside.

2. Meanwhile, coarsely chop, halve, and/or slice tomatoes. In small saucepan combine tomatoes, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 cup water. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. For fritter batter, in large bowl, mash beans with a fork. Add corn, corn bread mix, egg, ground chili, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup water; stir to combine.

3. Heat a large griddle or 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil. Drop four 1/2-cup scoops of batter on griddle at a time. Cook 4 minutes per side. Serve fritters with warm tomatoes and parsley and/or cilantro. Makes 4 servings.

Notes & Tips:
These were really good! They would make an excellent side dish or you could eat them as a meatless dinner (which is what we did). The tomato reduction was the best part, I wish I had doubled or tripled this part of the recipe. I served this with the leftover pineapple coleslaw from the other night.

Nutrition facts:

Calories 384
Total Fat (g)11
Saturated Fat (g)2,
Sodium (mg)1574,
Carbohydrate (g)65,
Total Sugar (g)11,
Fiber (g)10,
Protein (g)14,

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Recipe Adapted From:
101 Cookbooks

■ 2 cups all purpose flour
■ 1 cup cocoa, sifted
■ 1/2 teaspoon salt
■ 2 teaspoon baking soda
■ 1 teaspoon allspice
■ 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
■ 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
■ 1/4 cup melted butter
■ 3/4 cup vegetable oil
■ 3 eggs
■ 1 teaspoon vanilla
■ 1/2 cup buttermilk
■ 2 cups zucchini, washed and dried, ends and stems removed, cut in half lengthwise and seeded, and grated
■ 1 cup dark chocolate chips (you can also use semi-sweet if you prefer)

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 20 muffin cups with muffin liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
2.In a large bowl whisk together flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, allspice and cinnamon; set aside.
3.In a medium bowl whisk together the sugar, butter and oil. Beat in eggs, one at a time until combined. Stir in vanilla, buttermilk, zucchini and chocolate chips. Gently stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined.
4.Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups. Bake until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and muffin tops are springy to the touch, 20 to 24 minutes; rotating halfway through baking time. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 5 minutes before serving.

Notes & Tips:
If you use 1/4 cup scoop to measure out batter, you will end up with more than 20 muffins...oh darn! This is a great way to use up some of that surplus zucchini you have from the summer crops.

Nutrition Facts:
Just be happy you're adding a vegetable into a treat!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Chicken and Vegetable Spaghetti

Recipe Adapted From:
Better Homes & Gardens Magazine, August 2011


2 cups frozen, peeled pearl onions
12 oz. dried spaghetti
1 Tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size pieces
8 oz. broccolini, trimmed, or broccoli, cut in pieces
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes (optional)
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
Crushed red pepper (optional)
1- 1/4 cups yellow or red cherry tomatoes (8 oz.)
1 cup chicken broth

1. In large pot of water, cook onions for 3 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon; set aside. In same water cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup cooking water. Drain pasta; set aside.

2. While pasta cooks, in 12-inch skillet cook chicken in hot oil over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broccolini and onions. Sprinkle parsley, salt, and red pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, broth, reserved water, and spaghetti. Cover; simmer about 5 minutes or until broth is slightly reduced and vegetables are tender. Makes 4 servings.

Notes & Tips:
I had to change this recipe a little bit to fit the Porter Household tastes...mainly my pregnancy food aversions, haha. #1, I did not use any of the pearl onions, I substituted mushrooms. And #2, If someone could please tell me where in Kansas I can find "broccolini" I'd LOVE to I just used plain old American broccoli. We did use red cherry tomatoes because again, we don't get that fancy food here, only red tomatoes for us.

Nutrition facts:

Calories 453
Total Fat (g)6
Saturated Fat (g)1,
Sodium (mg)318,
Carbohydrate (g)71,
Total Sugar (g)5,
Fiber (g)5,
Protein (g)27,

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pineapple Coleslaw

Recipe Adapted From:

5 cups cabbage, shredded
1 (20 ounce) can pineapple, drained and cut into small pieces (drain all juice from pineapple. DO NOT used crushed.)
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons vinegar
salt and pepper


1. Mix cabbage and pineapple.
2. Mix cream, mayo, sugar, spices and vinegar.
3. Add cream dressing to cabbage and pineapple.
4. Salt and pepper to taste.
5. Store covered in refrigerator 1-2 hours before serving.

Notes & Tips:

I think this tasted great! I used it on top of my pork burgers (see recipe below). I did add celery seed, maybe about a teaspoon, and instead of regular black pepper, I used white pepper, which I think has a slightly tangier taste to it.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 205.7
Total Fat 11.6 g
Saturated Fat 2.5 g
Cholesterol 13.2 mg
Sodium 223.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 25.7 g
Dietary Fiber 2.0 g
Sugars 16.5 g
Protein 1.6 g

Quick and Easy Pork Burgers

Recipe Taken From:

1 lb ground pork (or ground beef if you like)
5 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 tablespoon Season-All salt (or other favorite seasoning, like Lawry's)
0.25 (1 1/4 ounce) package dry onion soup mix (optional)


1. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.
2. Let the mix refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
3. Then press the mixture into patties (I make 4 of them).
4. You have many choices on how to cook these!
5. You could also cook them on the outdoor grill for 5-10 minutes each, or until they are cooked throughly. (you could also do this on a stove top or indoor grill)
8. Serve on a bun, or by itself.

Notes & Tips:
I didn't have any basil today, so I used McCormick's Carribean Seasoning. Also, I didn't have any of the onion soup mix, so I subbed in a little bit of ranch dip mix. I felt like before the burgers were cooked they are super super wet. I would probably cut back on the W-Sauce next time. I served this topped with homemade pineapple slaw.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 325.0
Total Fat 24.1 g
Saturated Fat 8.9 g
Cholesterol 81.7 mg
Sodium 272.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 6.3 g
Dietary Fiber 0.4 g
Sugars 2.9 g
Protein 19.5 g

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Firecracker Grilled Salmon

Recipe Taken From:
Taste of Home Healthy Cooking Magazine
February/March 2011


2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 salmon fillets (6 ounces each)


In a small bowl, combine the first ten ingredients. Pour 1/4 cup marinade into a large resealable plastic bag. Add the salmon; seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for up to 30 minutes. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade. Drain and discard marinade.
Using long-handled tongs, moisten a paper towel with cooking oil and lightly coat the grill rack. Place salmon skin side down on grill rack. Grill, covered, over high heat or broil 3-4 in. from the heat for 5-10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork, basting occasionally with remaining marinade. Yield: 4 servings.

Notes & Tips:

I served this with a salad and Naan Bread (which is my favorite). The marinade definitely has some kick to it, if you wanted to limit that spice you can cut back on the red pepper flakes.

Nutrition Facts:

1 fillet equals 306 calories, 18 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 85 mg cholesterol, 367 mg sodium, 4 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 29 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 5 lean meat, 1 fat.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Turkey Chili Pot Pie

Recipe Taken From:
Good Housekeeping Magazine
January 2011


1 package (8 1/2-ounce) cornbread or corn muffin mix
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large (1-pound) onion, finely chopped
1 pound lean ground turkey
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped pickled jalapeños
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cans no-salt-added fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
1 can no-salt-added rinsed black beans, drained
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In medium bowl, prepare cornbread mix as label directs, but use only half of liquid specified. Fold corn into batter; set batter aside.
Place sweet potatoes and water in microwave-safe medium bowl. Cover with vented plastic wrap and microwave on High 5 minutes or until tender.
In deep 12-inch enamel-coated or well-seasoned plain cast-iron skillet, heat oil on medium-high. Add onion and cook 5 to 7 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Add turkey, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Cook 3 minutes or until lightly browned, breaking up meat into small pieces. Add garlic, jalapeños, chili powder, cumin, and sweet potatoes with their liquid. Cook 1 minute, stirring.
Add tomatoes, beans, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Heat until bubbling, stirring occa­sionally. Dollop cornbread mixture over top, leaving 1-inch rim around edge. With spatula, spread mixture to cover most of surface.
Place skillet on foil-lined jelly-roll pan to catch any drips. Bake 22 minutes or until golden brown on top and bubbling. Garnish with cilantro.

Notes & Tips:

If your skillet isn't large enough to hold the chili and topping, transfer chili to a 3-quart shallow baking dish before topping with cornbread batter. Instead of ground turkey, I used ground venison, it is also very lean, but has a heartier taste. I liked this recipe, but I def. fell into the category of having a "too small skillet". Also, I omited the cilantro, because I didn't have any.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 465
Total Fat 13g
Saturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 82mg
Sodium 765mg
Total Carbohydrate 66g
Dietary Fiber 8g
Protein 25g

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Black Bean Taco Pizza

Recipe Taken From:
Taste of Home Healthy Cooking Cookbook 2010


1 tablespoon cornmeal
1 package (6-1/2 ounces) pizza crust mix
1 bottle (8 ounces) taco sauce
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3/4 cup canned black beans
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
2 green onions, chopped
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Colby-Monterey Jack cheese
Reduced-fat sour cream, optional


Coat a 12-in. pizza pan with cooking spray; sprinkle with cornmeal. Prepare pizza dough according to package directions. With floured hands, press dough onto prepared pan. Bake at 450° for 7-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Spread taco sauce over crust to within 1 in. of edges. Top with tomatoes, beans, corn, chilies, onions and cheese.
Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown. Serve with sour cream if desired. Yield: 6 servings.

Notes & Tips:
Instead of making a pizza crust I just used a pre-made one. It really sped up the time. One recommendation I might suggest would be to use the food processor to blend up the beans. This was a very messy pizza. All of the toppings slid right off the pizza.

Nutrition Facts:
1 slice (calculated without sour cream) equals 264 calories, 6 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 15 mg cholesterol, 783 mg sodium, 38 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 14 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2-1/2 starch, 1 medium-fat meat.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sesame Chicken Salad

Recipe Taken From:
Taste of Home Healthy Cooking Cookbook 2010


1/3 cup fat-free mayonnaise
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1-1/3 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
1/2 cup chopped fresh snow peas
1 small sweet red pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
4 lettuce leaves
1 tablespoon chopped cashews


In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, soy sauce and ginger. Stir in the chicken, peas, pepper and sesame seeds. Serve over lettuce leaves; sprinkle with cashews. Yield: 2 servings.

Notes & Tips:

Oh man the "dressing" for this salad was amazing! I don't know what else I'd like to put it on, other than everything. Super easy recipe, very fresh and light. I served this lettuce wrap style instead of salad style. This recipe serves 2 so you can always double for more.

Nutrition Facts:

1 cup salad with 1-1/2 teaspoons cashews equals 254 calories, 8 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 76 mg cholesterol, 736 mg sodium, 14 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 31 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 4 very lean meat, 1 vegetable, 1 fat, 1/2 starch.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Easy Chicken and Veggies

Recipe taken from:
Taste of Home Healthy Cooking Cookbook 2010

2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
3 teaspoons Crisco® Olive Oil, divided
3 cups fresh baby spinach
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced

Flatten chicken to 1/4-in. thickness; sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs, cheese and Italian seasoning. Coat chicken in bread crumb mixture.
In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook chicken in 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side or until no longer pink. Remove and keep warm.
Saute spinach in remaining oil just until wilted. Stir in tomatoes and garlic; cook 3 minutes longer. Serve with chicken. Yield: 2 servings.

Notes & Tips:
I liked that this recipe was for 2, a nice change from the usual larger meals. I thought the spinach mixture was really bland. I would make sure to put some seasoning in with them next time, the little bit of garlic was not enough, it needs seasoning. Overall a good meal. Super quick, since you pound the chicken flat it cooks in less than 15 mins. I served this with a baked potato.

Nutrition Facts:
1 chicken breast half with 1 cup vegetables equals 302 calories, 12 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 95 mg cholesterol, 484 mg sodium, 10 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 38 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 5 lean meat, 2 fat, 1 vegetable.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mediterranean Shrimp Couscous

Recipe adapted from:
Taste of Home Healthy Cooking Cookbook 2010

1-1/2 pounds uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon chopped shallot
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup chopped zucchini
1/2 cup white wine or reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
2 tablespoons capers, drained
3 cups fresh baby spinach
1-1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1-1/2 cups uncooked couscous
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a large skillet, saute the shrimp, shallot and garlic in 1 tablespoon oil until shrimp turn pink. Remove and keep warm.
In the same skillet, cook and stir the zucchini, wine, tomatoes and capers until zucchini is tender. Add spinach; cook just until wilted. Add broth and bring to a boil. Stir in couscous. Cover and remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork.
Whisk the lemon juice, vinegar and remaining oil; add to the pan. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese, the seasonings and reserved shrimp mixture; cook and stir over low heat until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Yield: 6 servings.

Notes & Tips:
This was really great. I didn't have any zucchini, so I used large chunks of mushrooms instead. I left out the sundried tomatoes, b/c for some reason I don't think they ever taste right when I use them at home. And lastly I didn't realize I didn't have enough couscous, so I just used less. I def. think it's important to have enough couscous, but oh well, it still got the thumbs up from Mat.

Nutrition Facts:
1 cup equals 385 calories, 11 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 143 mg cholesterol, 619 mg sodium, 41 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 28 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2-1/2 starch, 2 fat.

Tortellini Salad

Recipe adapted from:

1 (8 ounce) package frozen cheese tortellini
1/2 white onions or 1/2 red onion
1/2 green bell pepper
1 (4 1/4 ounce) can black olives
1 -2 cup crumbled feta or 1 -2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
salt & pepper

1. Start by defrosting/cooking the cheese tortellini in a pot of boiling water. The tortellini are ready when they float in the water and are heated through. Move them to a colander to drain, and set aside.
2. Drain and coarsely chop the black olives (you can use pre-chopped olives to save time). Peel the onion, de-seed the pepper, and coarsely chop them as well.
3. Place chopped vegetables and cheese tortellini in a large bowl. Sprinkle desired amount of cheese (feta or mozzarella) and the olive oil and red wine vinegar over the vegetables and tortellini, and then toss it all together. If you are using mozzarella cheese, it will probably melt a bit, which is fine.
4. Give the salad a taste, and add salt and pepper as desired.

Notes & Tips:
You may also want to add more olive oil or vinegar, depending on your preference. You can eat the salad right away, warm, or save it for later and eat it cold. The flavors will meld and (in my opinion) get better with time, so make sure you make enough for leftovers! I doubled the tortellini for a pot luck but didn't double the "dressing" part, it really didn't need it. Also, I chose to use a yellow bell pepper and an orange one instead of the green.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 230g
Total Fat 18g
Total Carbohydrate 25g
Dietary Fiber 1.2g
Sugars 2g
Protein 11g

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Chicken Artichoke Casserole

Recipe Taken From:
Virgina Fare Cookbook

8 chicken breast halves, cooked and cubed
1 stick of butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 cups marinated artichoke hearts, drained and sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken in a large shallow baking dish. Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add flour; mix well.
Whisk in milk. Season with salt and pepper. Heat mixture until thickened.
Add parmesan cheese and wine to cream sauce. Stir in enough chicken stock to make the sauce thick and creamy.
Gently fold in artichokes. Pour sauce over chicken. Cover and bake for 1 hour.

Notes & Tips:
Makes 8 servings. You can add chopped bell peppers and one jar sliced pimientos for a more colorful presentation. I used part whipping cream and part skim milk. Also, I made the mistake of putting raw chicken in, instead of cooked. It looked mine WAY longer to cook than it calls for I was at 1.5-2 hours instead...duh Danielle. Geez. You can also crumble Ritz cracker over the top and uncover for the last 5-10 minutes.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Country Dijon Chicken and Pasta

Recipe Taken From:
Virgina Fare Cookbook

2 tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 lb. skinned & boned chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 tbsp. butter
1 sm. onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/4 c. whipping cream
1/3 c. Dijon mustard
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
8 oz. fettuccine, cooked & drained
2 tbsp. parsley, chopped

In plastic bag, combine flour, pepper, and chicken; shake to coat. In large skillet, brown chicken in 2 tablespoons butter. Remove chicken to platter and keep warm. Add 1 tablespoon butter to skillet. Saute onion and garlic until soft. Stir in cream, mustard, and cheese. Add chicken, keep warm. Toss hot pasta with 2 tablespoons parsley. Place on serving platter; top with chicken. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon parsley over chicken. 4 to 6 servings.

Notes & Tips:
This took about 40 mins. total to make. Pretty easy and def. yummy. Make sure to use real Parmesan cheese, not the Kraft kind in the canister. Sorry there are no nutrition facts in this cookbook, and honestly you wouldn't want to know with all the cream and butter in this one anyway.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Shrimp Fantastic

Recipe Taken From:
Virgina Fare Cookbook

3/4 cup butter, divided
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon tarragon
1/4 cup sherry
1 pound large fresh shrimp, peeled & deveined
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs (or croutons pulsed in a food processor)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt 1/2 cup butter in a large skillet. Add onions, garlic, tarragon, and sherry. Simmer 5 mins. over medium heat.
Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter in same skillet. Add shrimp, cooking over low heat. Season with salt and pepper.
Add bread crumbs when shrimp is almost done. Toss well.
Transfer to a large casserole dish. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake for 10 minutes.

Notes & Tips:
This is very similar to shrimp scampi. I think it would be best served with crusty bread to put the shrimp on. Make sure to generously season with salt if your bread crumbs don't have much. Overall I felt like this was good, but would be even better served like bruchetta. I served this with french bread and a salad.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Applesauce Pork Chops

Recipe Adapted From:

4 Boneless Pork Loin Chops
1 1/2 cups Applesauce
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Ginger

Slice the Loin into 7, 4 ounce pieces. Lay in shallow baking dish. Combine applesauce, brown sugar, cinnamon and ginger. Pour on top of pork. Bake in preheated oven at 350 for 40 minutes.

Notes & Tips:
Lame, lame, lame...this was so bland and tasted like I just threw applesauce on a baked pork chop...which is sort of all it was, but really not anything I'll make again. It needed something else, either to brown the chops before hand, add some chopped apples, something. If you try this and add something that works, comment and let me know!

Nutrition Facts:
Calories: 115.1
Total Fat: 3.8 g
Cholesterol: 34.1 mg
Sodium: 304.2 mg
Total Carbs: 5.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.6 g
Protein: 14.5 g

Photo Courtesy of: All's Fare Food Blog

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Black Bean Pasta

Recipe Taken From:
Taste of Home, Healthy Cooking
April-May 2010

9 ounces uncooked whole wheat fettuccine
1-3/4 cups sliced fresh baby portobello mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups fresh baby spinach

Cook fettuccine according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute mushrooms in oil until tender; add garlic, cook 2 minutes longer.
Stir in the black beans, tomatoes, rosemary and oregano. Cook and stir until heated through. Stir in spinach until wilted. Drain fettuccine. Serve with bean mixture.

Notes & Tips:
I didn't have any fettuccine so I used spiral pasta instead. Also I added the two vinegars because I'm on a huge vinegar kick and I think it was a great addition. I also didn't have any fresh spinach, so I used canned. It wasn't as wonderful as fresh spinach could have been but it's too hot to go out to the store. Great, low cooking, easy, vegetarian meal.

Nutrition Facts:
Serves 6:
2/3 cup bean mixture with 2/3 cup pasta equals 255 calories, 3 g fat (trace saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 230 mg sodium, 45 g carbohydrate, 9 g fiber, 12 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 starch, 1 lean meat, 1/2 fat.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Strawberry Lemonade Muffins


2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon zest
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 cups finely chopped fresh strawberries


Preheat oven to 375F. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in lemon zest, then blend in the eggs one at a time.

Stir in about 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix well, then add in vanilla extract and half of the lemon juice. Add another third of the flour, followed by the remaining juice and the remaining flour mix. Stir until just combined and no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Mix in finely chopped strawberries quickly, just to distribute them evenly into the batter.

Spoon batter out into prepared muffin cups. The muffin cups should be very full.

Bake for 17-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, or with only a few moist crumbs attached. Start at 17 mins and keep adding time in 3 min. increments until cooked through. Turn muffins out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 12 muffins.

Notes & Tips:
You'll need about 3 or 4 large lemons to get enough juice for the quantity needed. Please use fresh lemons and strawberries. It gives the muffins a fizzy pop. Also, the 1 1/2 cup chopped strawberries looks like alot but the amount is just about perfect. Fresh and delicious. The muffins don't rise very much so feel free to fill the cups to the top.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cranberry-Stuffed Turkey Burgers

Recipe Taken From:
Midwest Living Magazine
April 2011

1/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1-1/2 pounds uncooked ground chicken or turkey
1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1 Tbsp. snipped fresh marjoram or 1 teaspoon dried marjoram, crushed (or rosemary)
1/4 tsp. kosher salt or 1/8 teaspoon regular salt
1 to 2 oz. Parmesan cheese, shaved
4 thin slices fresh mozzarella cheese or 4 slices regular mozzarella cheese
4 Kaiser rolls or sesame hamburger buns, split and toasted
Lettuce leaves

1. In a small saucepan, bring orange juice to boiling. Remove from heat; stir in cranberries. Let stand for 5 minutes. Drain cranberries, discarding orange juice.

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine ground chicken/turkey, bread crumbs, marjoram/rosemary and salt. Shape chicken/turkey mixture into 8 1/2-inch-thick patties. (The mixture may be sticky. If necessary, wet hands to shape patties.)

3. Place one-fourth of the cranberries and one-fourth of the Parmesan cheese on the center of each of 4 patties. Top with the remaining patties; press edges to seal.

4. For a charcoal grill: Grill patties on the greased rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 14 to 18 minutes or until no longer pink (165 degrees F)*, turning once halfway through grilling. (For a gas grill: Preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place patties on greased grill rack over heat. Cover; grill as above.) Top each burger with a slice of mozzarella cheese. Grill, uncovered, about 3 minutes more or until cheese begins to melt. Serve burgers on toasted rolls with lettuce leaves. Makes 4 burgers.

Notes & Tips:
Well the orginal recipe was for chicken burgers, but I don't know about you but where in the world do you get ground chicken? So I subbed turkey. Also I didn't have any marjoram in my cabinet so I used rosemary. I think these turned out great. Since it was raining out I used my little indoor electric grill and they came out great. Mat even said he'd love to have them again. My one pice of advice is to make sure you have big enough buns...mine were tiny haha.

Nutrition Facts:
552 Calories
22g Fat
47g Carbs
3g Fiber
42g Protein

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Salmon Noodle Bake

Recipe Taken From:
Good Housekeeping Magazine
January 2011


1 1/2 cup(s) low-fat (1 percent) milk
1 large (1-pound) leek
10 ounce(s) sliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon(s) lower-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoon(s) olive oil
1 teaspoon(s) olive oil
2 stalk(s) (large) celery, finely chopped
2 teaspoon(s) chopped fresh thyme leaves
3 tablespoon(s) all-purpose flour
1 can(s) (1 3/4 cups) lower-sodium chicken broth
8 ounce(s) curly egg noodles
12 ounce(s) skinless salmon fillet, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 cup(s) frozen peas
1/3 cup(s) panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
1 tablespoon(s) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, for garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 3-quart shallow baking dish. Heat large covered saucepot of water to boiling on high. In glass measuring cup, microwave milk on High 2 minutes or until warm.
Meanwhile, trim and discard root and dark green top from leek. Discard any tough outer leaves. Cut leek lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide slices. Place leek in large bowl of cold water; with hand, swish to remove any sand. Remove leek to colander. Repeat process with fresh water, changing water several times until sand is removed. Drain leek well and set aside.
In 12-inch skillet, combine mushrooms and soy sauce. Cook 5 to 6 minutes on medium-high until mushrooms are tender and sauce evaporates, stirring occa­sionally. Transfer to large bowl.
In same skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil on medium-high. Add leek, celery, and half of thyme. Cook 2 minutes or until golden and just tender, stirring occasionally. Add flour and cook 1 minute, stirring. Continue stirring and add broth, then milk, in steady stream. Heat to boiling while stirring, then cook 2 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly. Transfer to bowl with mushrooms.
While sauce cooks, add noodles to boiling water; cook 1 minute. Drain well.
To bowl with mushroom mixture, add noodles, salmon, peas, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Gently stir to combine. Spread mixture in prepared dish.
In small bowl, combine panko, remaining thyme, and remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle evenly over top of noodle mixture. Bake 17 to 18 minutes or until topping turns golden brown. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Notes & Tips:
I thought this was a little odd, I loved the noodles/casserole part and I loved the salmon part, but I'm not sure how much I liked them together. I also thought that there was a bit too many peas, I'd probably cut it back to 1/2 cup.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 370
Total Fat 12g
Saturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 61mg
Sodium 570mg
Total Carbohydrate 43g
Dietary Fiber 4g
Protein 22g

Monday, April 25, 2011

King Ranch Chicken

Recipe Adapted From:
Good Housekeeping January 2011


2 cup(s) low-fat (1 percent) milk
2 tablespoon(s) vegetable oil
1 small (4- to 6- ounce) onion, finely chopped
1 large (8- to 10-ounce) red pepper, finely chopped
1 large (4- to 6-ounce) poblano chile, seeds discarded, finely chopped
1 jalapeño chile, seeds discarded, finely chopped
2 clove(s) garlic, crushed with press
3 tablespoon(s) all-purpose flour
1 cup(s) lower-sodium chicken broth
1 can(s) (14.5-ounce) no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
3 1/2 ounce(s) baked tortilla chips, crushed (1 1/2 cups)
2 cup(s) cooked shredded chicken breast meat
4 ounce(s) pepper Jack or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (2 cups)
1 green onion, thinly sliced, for garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease shallow 3-quart baking dish. Microwave milk on High 2 minutes or until warm.
Meanwhile, in 12-inch skillet, heat oil on medium-high. Add onion, red pepper, and poblano and jalapeño chiles. Cook 4 minutes or until vegetables are just tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring.
Add flour and cook 1 minute, stirring. Continue stirring and add broth, then milk, in steady stream. Heat to boiling while stirring, then cook 3 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in tomatoes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
Spread thin, even layer of sauce on bottom of prepared dish. Top with half of chips, sauce, chicken, and cheese. Repeat layering once.
Bake 30 minutes or until bubbling. Garnish with green onions.

Notes & Tips:
Ok so when I went to make this (a week after I had planned), I didn't have some of the ingredients anymore, so I had to improvise. I subbed fresh snow peas for the pepper, I subbed spinach for the peppers (which seemed a little spicy for my taste anyways). Also, I used the Lime flavored tortilla chips. I was pleasantly surprised at how good this turned out. It might be a good idea to use the 1% milk the call for, skim has a hard time thickening up.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 365
Total Fat 18g
Saturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 60mg
Sodium 535mg
Total Carbohydrate 30g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Protein 22g

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Spinach and Bacon Quiche

Recipe Taken From:


3/4 pound sliced bacon
1 (9 inch) single refrigerated pie crust
6 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
5 dashes hot pepper sauce, or to taste
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach - thawed, drained and squeezed dry
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate. Chop when cool.

Fit the pie crust into a 9-inch pie dish, and set aside.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, salt, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and hot pepper sauce. Spread the spinach into the bottom of the pie crust; top with bacon, Cheddar cheese, and green onion. Pour the egg mixture over the filling, and sprinkle the quiche with Parmesan cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven until the top is lightly puffed and browned, and a knife inserted into the center of the quiche comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes.

Notes & Tips:
You won't use all of the egg mixture if you use all of the spinach, bacon and cheese. Just adjust as you see fit, either use less filling or less egg mix (I used less egg mix). Also, you will want to put a sheet pan under quiche pan, just in case of spillage as it bakes. I baked this for about 40 minutes. It came out beautiful, nice and firm. Also, I browned the bacon, sliced the onion and thawed/dried the spinach the night before so it was super quick for this Easter morning.

Nutrition Facts:
Amount Per Serving:
Serves 8
Calories: 506 | Total Fat: 41.5g | Cholesterol: 260mg

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Stuffed Portobellos

Recipe Taken From:
Good Housekeeping Magazine January 2011


1/2 cup(s) quinoa, rinsed
1 1/4 pound(s) brussels sprouts
4 teaspoon(s) extra virgin olive oil
4 large portobello mushroom caps
1 teaspoon(s) fresh thyme leaves
2/3 cup(s) frozen corn
3 ounce(s) feta cheese, crumbled (3/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon(s) ground cumin


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In 2-quart saucepan, combine quinoa and 3/4 cup water. Heat to boiling on high; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
Meanwhile, trim and halve sprouts. In an 18-inch by 12-inch jelly-roll pan, toss sprouts, 2 teaspoons oil, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper to evenly coat. Roast 10 minutes.
While sprouts cook, brush mushrooms with remaining 2 teaspoons oil and sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Finely chop thyme and add to medium bowl along with corn, feta, cumin, and cooked quinoa.
When sprouts have roasted 10 minutes, push to one side of pan and arrange mushrooms, gill side up, on other side. Divide quinoa mixture among mushrooms; roast 10 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.

Notes & Tips:
I loved the roasted fresh brussel sprouts. I'd never tried them before and I'm a HUGE fan now. I didn't have any feta so I subbed in Gorgonzola, it was still good though. Make sure you salt the mushrooms or else they'll be pretty bland.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 290
Total Fat 11g
Sodium 500mg
Total Carbohydrate 38g
Dietary Fiber 9g
Protein 14g

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Swiss Steak

Recipe Taken From:
Kris Collier

  • 3-4 Cube Steaks or Tenderized Round Steak
  • 2 Tablespoons of Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 Cup Chopped Onion
  • 3/4 Cup Green Pepper Chopped
  • 2 or 3 Ribs of Celery
  • 1 14oz Can Diced Tomato, juice & all
  • 3/4 cup Beef Broth
  • 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
In a large skillet over medium heat, brown steak in oil on both sides. Remove steaks and set aside.
In the same skillet, saute onion, celery and green pepper until they begin to get soft. Sprinkle in pepper , garlic & onion powder. Add broth, soy sauce and tomatoes. Add steak, cover and simmer for 1 hour or until meat is tender. Enjoy!

Notes & Tips:
I thought this was great! The only thing I would change would be I think I would add red pepper flakes for a little kick. I served this with a salad. Next time I would serve it with rice or mashed potatoes.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Italian Spiced Shrimp

Recipe Taken From:
Good Housekeeping Magazine
January 2011


1 small (4- to 6-ounce) onion
1 tablespoon(s) fresh oregano leaves
1 cup(s) long-grain white rice
1 3/4 cup(s) hot water
1 tablespoon(s) olive oil
1/2 teaspoon(s) crushed red pepper, to taste
2 clove(s) garlic, crushed with press
1 cup(s) dry white wine
1 can(s) no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained well
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
1/2 teaspoon(s) freshly ground black pepper
1 pound(s) 16- to 20-count shrimp, shelled and deveined, with tail part of shell left on if you like
8 leaves basil, very thinly sliced, for garnish


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. While oven heats, finely chop onion and oregano. In 3-quart shallow baking dish, combine rice and water. Cover tightly with foil and bake 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in 5- to 6-quart saucepot, heat oil on medium. Add onion, oregano, and red pepper; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds or until golden, stirring. Add wine and heat to boiling; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 6 minutes or until wine is reduced by half, stirring occa­sionally. Stir in tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Remove from heat.

Arrange shrimp on top of rice in baking dish, in single layer. Pour tomato mixture evenly over shrimp; cover tightly with foil and bake 15 minutes or until shrimp turn opaque. Garnish with basil.

Notes & Tips:
I really enjoyed this recipe. It was very easy to make and I liked how tender the rice was when baked. I didn't have fresh oregano or basil, so I used dried oregano and Mrs. Dash Italian Blend as subs.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 245, Total Fat 4g, Sodium 300mg, Total Carbohydrate 35g, Dietary Fiber 2g, Protein 16g

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Orzo Pesto Salad

Recipe Adapted from:
Weight Watchers "Meals in Minutes" Cookbook


4 cups water
1 1/2 cups orzo pasta
3/4 cup basil leaves
2/3 cup arugula leaf
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon walnut pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup dry white wine
2 bay leaves
3/4 lb turkey breast cutlets
6 kalamata olives, pitted and slivered
1 head radicchio, quartered, cored, and sliced
16 cherry tomatoes, quartered
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon fresh coarse ground black pepper


1 Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the orzo, reduce the hear, and cook until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, and put the orzo in a large bowl.
2 To make the pesto, combine the basil, arugula, garlic, walnuts, and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a food processor or blender. Add the reserved hot cooking liquid and puree. Stir 2 Tablespoons of the pesto into the orzo.
3 Bring the wine and bay leaves to a boil in a medium skillet. Boil 1 minute, then reduce the heat to medium and add the turkey. Cover and poach until the turkey is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Drain, discarding the bay leaves.
4 Chop the turkey and add it to the orzo. Stir in the olives and radicchio. Fold in the remaining pesto and then the cherry tomatoes. Add the Parmesan, pepper, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt; toss to combine.

Notes & Tips:
This was so fresh and summery tasting. I was impressed with how fresh it tasted. I couldn't find any radicchio, so I subbed raw spinach. Also, I didn't have enough fresh basil, since apparently there is a basil shortage going around, so I had about a half cup and I just used a little more arugula.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 216.3
Total Fat 2.3 g
Sodium 522.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 26.7 g
Dietary Fiber 1.9 g
Sugars 1.8 g
Protein 16.0 g

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tilapia with Cucumber Relish

Recipe Taken From:
Taste of Home Cookbook


2/3 cup chopped seeded cucumber
1/2 cup chopped radishes
1 tablespoon tarragon vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon sugar
4 (4 ounce) tilapia fillets
1/8 teaspoon paprika powder
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter


Combine chopped cucumber with chopped radishes in a small bowl. In another bowl or shallow dish, whisk together tarragon vinegar, olive oil, salt, black pepper and sugar. Pour the vinegar mixture over cucumber and radishes and toss to coat evenly.

Mix paprika powder with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle over the fish fillets. Melt the butter in a skillet. Place the tilapia fillets in the skillet and cook until the fish can be easily flaked with a fork. This will normally take around 3-4 minutes per side. Place the tilapia fillets on serving plates and add the cucumber relish.

Notes & Tips:
The relish for this was great. Nice and tangy. I didn't have tarragon vinegar, so I just mixed Apple Cider Vinegar with some dried tarragon. I forgot the paprika, oops... so I just sprinkled a little on the fish as it was cooking.

Nutrition Facts:
One serving (1 fish fillet with 3 tablespoons relish) equals 181 calories, 6 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 90 mg cholesterol, 388 mg sodium, 1 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 32 protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 4 very lean meat, 1 fat.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Honey-Ginger Chicken with Orange Rice

Recipe Taken From:
Weight Watchers Cookbook


1 1/3 cups Water
2/3 cup Fresh Orange Juice
1 cup Natural Long Grain
1 tbsp Parsley
1 tsp Orange Zest
1/2 cup Pecan Halves
1/4 cup Cornmeal, Whole-grain, White
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1 tbsp Honey
1/2 tbsp Soy Sauce Light
1/2 tsp Fresh Ginger Root
4 (4 oz) Chicken Breasts (boneless,skinless)


In a medium saucepan, combine the water and orange juice; bring to a boil. Stir in the rice; reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork, then stir in the parsley and orange zest.

Meanwhile, spray a broiler rack with nonstick spray; preheat the broiler.

In a food processor, combine the pecans, cornmeal, and pepper until the nuts are finely ground. Transfer to a plate. In a shallow bowl, combine the honey, soy sauce, and ginger. Dip the chicken in the honey mixture, then roll it in the cornmeal mixture.

Broil the chicken 5 inches from the heat until crusty brown and cook through, about 4 minutes on each side. Serve with the rice.

Notes & Tips:

For a more even coating, after you've rolled the chicken breasts in the cornmeal mixture, spread the mixture with a knife. White cornmeal is a better choice than yellow when broiling; yellow is quicker to burn under direct heat, while white browns better. A small amount of nuts adds wonderful flavor and richness with only a little fat. If you prefer to avoid nuts, however, use wheat-and-barley cereal nuggets instead.

This was not my favorite recipe that I've ever made. Maybe it's just me but there wasn't enough salt (haha, which I'm sure weight watchers wouldn't appreciate) also, I added some spray butter to the rice, to me rice needs a fat when cooking (which again I'm sure weight watchers wouldn't appreciate). Meh, maybe if you try it it'll come out better.

Nutrition Facts:
Amount per Serving
Calories 363
Calories from Fat 111.0
Total Fat 12.33g
Saturated Fat 1.29g
Cholesterol 65mg
Sodium 183.41mg
Total Carbohydrate 38.75g
Dietary Fiber 2.1g
Sugars 8.14g
Protein 26.69g
7 points (if you're counting)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mozzarella Eggplant Bake

Recipe Inspired From:
Taste of Home Cookbook, pg 383


1 medium eggplant, peeled
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
5 teaspoons garlic salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 eggs
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 cans (14 1/2oz each) stewed tomatoes
1 package (6 ounces) sliced part-skim mozzarella cheese


Cut eggplant into 1/4-in-thick slices. Place in a colander over a plate; sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
In a shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs, garlic salt and pepper. In another shallow bowl, beat eggs. Dip eggplant slices into eggs, then coat with crumb mixture.
In a large skillet, cook eggplant in 2 tablespoons oil for 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Transfer to an ungreased 13-in x9-in x2-in baking dish.
In the same skillet, saute the green peppers, onion and mushrooms in remaining oil for 5 minutes or until pepper and onion are crisp-tender. Sprinkle over eggplant. Top with tomatoes.
Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Uncover, place cheese slices over the top. Bake 25-30 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Notes & Tips:
The original recipe called for about half less breading, it barely even covered half of the eggplant slices. I thought this was awesome! Mat and I have been doing one meatless meal a week for a while now. I really enjoy the challenge of finding hearty meatless meals that aren't totally carb. loaded. This one was a success!

Nutrition Facts:
1 serving (1 piece) equals 318 calories, 16 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 128 mg cholesterol, 1,609 mg sodium, 32 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 14 g protein.

Pioneer Woman's Enchiladas

Recipe Taken From:
Pioneer Woman's Cookbook


1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
1 Tablespoon All-purpose Flour
1 can (28 Ounce) Enchilada Or Red Sauce
2 cups Chicken Broth
½ teaspoons Salt
½ teaspoons Ground Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons Chopped Cilantro
1-½ pound Ground Beef
1 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
2 cans (4 Ounce) Diced Green Chilies
½ teaspoons Salt
10 whole (to 14) Corn Tortillas
½ cups Canola Oil
3 cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
½ cups Chopped Black Olives
1 cup Chopped Green Onions
½ cups Chopped Cilantro


Step #1 – The Sauce
In a large saucepan over medium heat, add oil and flour and whisk together to make a paste, cooking for one minute. Pour in the red sauce, chicken broth, cilantro, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30-45 minutes.

Step #2 – The Meat
Brown the meat with onions in a skillet. Drain off fat. Stir in 2 cans diced green chilies and seasoned salt. Set aside.

Step #3 – Tortillas
Heat canola oil in a small skillet over medium heat. One by one, using tongs, fry tortillas in oil until soft, not crisp – about 30 seconds per side. Remove to a paper—towel lined plate. Repeat until all tortillas have been fried.

Step #4 – Assembly
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour ½ cup red sauce in bottom of baking pan. Spread to even out. Dip each tortilla into red sauce, then remove to work surface. Spoon meat, a little grated cheese, a little black olives, and green onions in the center of tortilla. Roll up and place, seam down, in baking pan. Repeat until pan is filled. Pour extra red sauce over enchiladas. Top with remaining cheddar cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle cilantro over enchiladas before serving.

Notes & Tips:
This recipe is def. on the "moderate" end of the cooking scale. Lots of ingredients, lots of pots and pans used. BUT...def. worth it! They are delicious! Make sure you use the thicker tortilla's if you use the thinner ones you will end up with more of a enchilada casserole. I served this with Spanish rice.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Warm Fajita Salad

Recipe Taken From:
Taste of Home Cookbook, pg 171


1 cup lime juice
1/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke, optional
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 pound boneless pork loin, trimmed and cut into thin strips
1 large onion, sliced
1 medium green pepper, cut into strips
1 medium sweet yellow pepper, cut into strips
1 tablespoon lemon juice
6 cups torn romaine
12 cherry tomatoes, quartered


In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the lime juice, broth, soy sauce, garlic, oil, sugar and seasonings. Set aside 2 tablespoons; cover and refrigerate. Add pork to remaining marinade; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 3 hours, turning occasionally.
Drain pork, discarding marinade. Heat reserved marinade in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork, onion and peppers; stir-fry for 3-4 minutes or until pork is no longer pink. Drizzle with lemon juice. Remove from the heat.
Arrange lettuce on four individual plates; top with meat mixture and tomatoes. Yield: 4 servings.

Notes & Tips:
I know this seems like alot of ingredients, but the marinade is so good! After the marinading time it's really easy to cook the meat, onions and peppers then make a salad. I suggest serving some cut up tortilla strips with it.

Nutrition Facts:
1 serving equals 280 calories, 11 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 67 mg cholesterol, 707 mg sodium, 21 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 27 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2 vegetable, 1 fat, 1/2 starch.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Shrimp Pasta in Foil Packet

Recipe Taken From:


½ cups Olive Oil
4 cloves Garlic, Minced
3 whole 14.5 Ounce Cans Diced (or Whole) Tomatoes
½ cups White Wine
2 pounds Jumbo Or Large Shrimp, Peeled And Deveined
Salt And Pepper, to taste
Fresh Parsley, Minced
1 pound Linguine, Uncooked
Red Pepper Flakes, to taste


Cook pasta for 1/2 the recommended cooking time. Pasta should still be very firm.

In a large skillet or pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for a minute. Dump in the tomatoes and wine. Stir the mixture together, season with salt and pepper, and allow to cook for ten minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare a large parcel of heavy duty aluminum foil. It should be large enough to hold the entire pasta dish.

Throw the shrimp on the top of the pasta sauce. Throw the drained pasta over the top, then pour the whole dish onto the foil. Tightly wrap the foil into a parcel.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and keep warm until serving.

Open the foil parcel right before serving. Drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil over the top. Squeeze on lemon juice, if desired.

Notes & Tips:
This is the second time I've made this pasta. It's so yummy and easy. I didn't use even close to the 1/2 cup of oil it calls for. I know your supposed to, so it coats the pasta, but seriously I can't bring myself to use even a 1/4 cup of oil. So I just coat the pan so that the garlic doesn't burn, maybe 2 or 3 Tbsp. And I still think it tastes great. You can also half this recipe and it turns out just as great, that's what we did since there's only 2 of us.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Brown Sugar & Mustard Pork Chops

Recipe Taken From:


* 6 boneless pork loin chops
* 1/3 cup yellow mustard
* 1/2 cup brown sugar

Mix mustard and sugar. Pour over pork chops. Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes depending on thickness.

Notes & Tips:
This is the simplest recipe I've ever made. This time I tried mixing regular yellow mustard and spicy Dijon mustard. You'll be surprised how tasty this simple recipe is. I served this with a salad, peas, and a roll.

Nutrition Facts:
* Calories: 228.0
* Total Fat: 7.8 g
* Cholesterol: 51.1 mg
* Sodium: 204.4 mg
* Total Carbs: 18.3 g
* Dietary Fiber: 0.5 g
* Protein: 20.7 g

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Recipe Taken From:

* 3 pounds potatoes, scrubbed
* 2 sticks butter
* 1 1/4 cups hot milk
* Freshly ground black pepper
* 1 head cabbage, cored and finely shredded
* 1 (1-pound) piece ham or bacon, cooked the day before
* 4 scallions, finely chopped
* Chopped parsley leaves, for garnish

Steam the potatoes in their skins for 30 minutes. Peel them using a knife and fork. Chop with a knife before mashing. Mash thoroughly to remove all the lumps. Add 1 stick of butter in pieces. Gradually add hot milk, stirring all the time. Season with a few grinds of black pepper.

Boil the cabbage in unsalted water until it turns a darker color. Add 2 tablespoons butter to tenderize it. Cover with lid for 2 minutes. Drain thoroughly before returning it to the pan. Chop into small pieces.

Put the ham in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes until tender. Drain. Remove any fat and chop into small pieces.

Add cabbage, scallions, and ham to mashed potatoes, stirring them in gently.

Serve in individual soup plates. Make an indentation on the top by swirling a wooden spoon. Put 1 tablespoon of butter into each indentation. Sprinkle with parsley.

Notes & Tips:
This is a traditional Irish side dish, many times served on the side of corned beef. I used a ham hock that I had in the freezer. I like the smokey flavor that the ham hock brings to the dish.Also, I didn't have any scallions so I omitted those, and I had already boiled my potatoes before I realized I was supposed to steam them. Mat grilled a 3.5lb corned beef. I cut back on the amount of hot milk, it was starting to look soupy. I did cut WAYY WAYY back on the butter, to only about 1 stick!

Nutrition Facts:
Let's not even go there...there are 2 sticks of butter in this recipe!