Thursday, December 29, 2011

Arugula BLT Pizzas

This is an easy and satisfying lunch. You can also just have one pizza for a nice snack.

serves 2 ( 2 pizzas = 6 points+)

  • 2 Thomas's 100 calorie English muffins, split
  • ½ c. marinara sauce ( fat-free)
  • ½ c. diced, seeded tomato
  • 2 slices fully cooked bacon, cooked crisp
  • ½ c. low-fat shredded mozzarella
  • arugula lettuce
Preheat broiler. Place muffin halves on a baking sheet. Top with marinara, arugula, tomato, bacon and cheese. Broil 2-4 minutes or until cheese is browned a little and melted.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Italian Beef Stew

Full of flavor, this stew is perfect for a cold wintry night! I am serving this with some homemade French bread and a salad.

serves 8 ( 1 c. = 8 points +)

  • 7 tsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1-½ c. chopped onion
  • ½ c. chopped carrot
  • 1 T. minced garlic
  • ¼ c. flour
  • 2 lbs. boneless beef chuck roast, cut into cubes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 c. dry red wine
  • 3-¾ c. seeded, chopped Roma tomatoes
  • 1-½ c. fat- free beef broth
  • ½ c. water
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 ( 8 oz) package fresh sliced mushrooms
  • ¾ c. sliced carrot
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1tsp. dried parsley

Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 1 tsp. oil. Cook onion and ½ c. carrot for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Remove from pan.
Place flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Heat 1 T. oil in pan. Dredge half of the beef in the flour mixture and cook until browned on all sides. Remove from pan and repeat with remaining oil and beef.

Add wine to pan and cook 5 minutes or until reduced to about ⅓ c. Return meat and onion mixture to pan. Add tomato and next 6 ingredients; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and stir in remaining ¾ c. sliced carrot. Cook uncovered for 1 hour or until meat is tender. Discard bay leaf. Stir in basil and parsley. If more salt or pepper is needed, season to taste.

Pumpkin Breakfast Bread Pudding

This recipe was awesome! It was easy to make ( although it took about 30 minutes), tasted great and was healthy. The bonus…it is only 4 points +. I found this recipe in a magazine from Better Homes and Gardens.

serves 6 ( 4 points +)

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 egg
  • ½ c. canned pumpkin
  • ½ c. skim milk
  • 4 T. sugar free Log Cabin syrup, divided
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp. nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • dash of ground cloves
  • 6 slices high-fiber whole wheat bread, cut into 1 inch pieces ( about 6 cups)
  • ¼ c. chopped pecans
  • 2 tsp. light tub butter (such as Country Crock light)

Preheat oven to 375 and spray 6 ramekins with nonstick spray. Set ramekins in a 13 x 9" baking dish.

In a large bowl, whisk together egg whites, egg, pumpkin, milk, 2 T. syrup, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cloves. Stir in bread and pecans. Divide evenly among ramekins. Bake for 25 minutes.
Remove from oven and top with butter and remaining syrup.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Chip Crusted Fish

This easy recipe was very flavorful. My husband loved it!

serves 4 ( 4 points + )

  • 4 ( 4 oz) cod filets
  • 2 tsp. light mayo
  • 2 oz. salt and vinegar Kettle chips, crushed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread ½ tsp mayo on the top of each fish filet. Press crushed chips onto the top of the mayo. Place fish in a baking dish and bake for 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Pork Chops and Vegetables

This meal is great served with mashed potatoes, a salad and green beans! Use the leftover gravy on your potatoes, if you like.

serves 8 ( 6 points + )

  • 8 boneless pork chops ( 6 oz. each)
  • 1 can Campbell's French onion soup ( undiluted)
  • 2 T. flour
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 2 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • garlic powder to taste

Spray a large nonstick skillet with spray. Brown pork chops. Remove from pan. Respray and saute peppers. Remove from pan.
Add flour, Worcestershire sauce, soup and garlic powder to pan. Return pork chops to pan. Turn to coat. Cover and simmer for 1 hour or until tender. Return peppers to pan and add tomatoes. Cook an additional 5 minutes.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ethiopian Samosas with Plum Jelly Sauce

The perfect blend of spicy and sweet with a nice aromatic scent. These would be a perfect party appetizer!

Serves 12 ( 4 points + )


  • ½ c. plum jelly


  • ½ c. thinly sliced onion
  • 3 c. red potatoes, cubed small
  • 1 T. chili garlic paste
  • 1 c. water
  • ⅓ c. skim milk
  • 2 tsp. lime juice
  • salt to taste


  • 1 tsp. ground tumeric
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1-½ c. flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ c. hot water
  • 6 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 7 tsp. canola oil, divided
To prepare filling, heat a large nonstick skillet. COat pan with cooking psray. ADd onion and potatoes and cook until onion is tender ( about 5 minutes). Add chili garlic paste, water and milk. Simmer until most of the liquid is dissolved and potatoes are tender. Add lime juice and salt. Partially mash potato mixture with a fork.

For dough, combine tumeric, ginger and cinnamon in a skillet over medium heat. Cook for 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
Mix flour, toasted spices, salt and baking soda in a food processor. Combine ¼ c. hot water, lemon juice and 1 T. oil in a bowl. Add the water mixture through the food chute with the food processor on, and process until dough forms a ball. Place dough in a bowl coated with cooking spray. Turn to coat. Cover with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll ( one at a time, while keeping the rest covered) into a 4 " circle. Place 2 T. filling in the center of circle. Moisten edges with water. Fold over to seal and crimp with a fork. Repeat for remaining samosas.
Heat 2 tsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add 6 samosas to the skillet. Cook for 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Repeat with 2 more tsp oil and remaining 6 samosas. Drain on paper towels.

For topping, heat plum jelly in a saucepan until liquid. Place in a serving bowl and let cool for 5 minutes. Serve with samosas.

adapted from Cooking Light

Chocolate Chip-Cranberry- Pistachio Scones

A nice breakfast or afternoon coffee treat!
serves 12 ( 6 points + )

  • 2 c. flour
  • 2-½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 5 T. chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • ⅓ c. low-fat buttermilk
  • ½ c. sugar
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon rind
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼ c. miniature chocolate chips
  • ¼ c. dried cranberries
  • ¼ c. chopped pistachios
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1 T. Turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 400 and spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, combine the first three ingredients. Cut in butter until coarse crumbs are formed.
In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sugar, lemon rind and egg. Add this to the flour mixture and stir until just blended. Knead in the bowl with your hands until mixture holds together. Press into an 8" circle on the baking sheet. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with Turbinado sugar. Cut to, but not all the way through, into 12 wedges.  Bake for 13 minutes or until golden. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Chicken Orzo Skillet

Fairly quick and easy to make, this is sure to please. If you have never used Orzo, it is a pasta that almost looks like a large grain of rice.

serves 8 ( 8 points + )

  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced thin
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 can ( 28 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 pkg. ( 10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 2 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 1-½ c. uncooked orzo pasta
  • seasonings to taste
  • ¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese

Sprinkle chicken with garlic, salt and pepper. Heat a nonstick skillet with the olive oil. Add chicken and onion and cook until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in tomatoes, spinach, chicken broth and orzo. Season to taste. Simmer until pasta is tender and liquid is absorbed. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

serves 4 ( 6 points + )

  • 1lb. sirloin steak, sliced thinly against the grain
  • 2-½ T. cornstarch, divided
  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 1 c. fat-free beef broth
  • 3 c. broccoli florets
  • 2 tsp. crushed ginger
  • 2 tsp. crushed garlic
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • ¼ c. low-sodium soy sauce
  • ½ c. water
Place beef in a bowl with 2 T. cornstarch. Toss to coat and let stand for 10 minutes.
Heat oil in a wok or nonstick skillet. Cook beef until no longer pink. Remove from pan.
Add broccoli to the pan and cook until crisp tender. Add ginger and garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
Meanwhile, whisk together broth, water, soy sauce and ½ T. cornstarch. 
Return beef to pan along with the soy sauce mixture. Cook until heated through and thickened. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes.
Serve with rice if desired ( optional)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Broccoli Cheese Soup

This soup is my favorite broccoli cheese soup recipe. I have worked to make it low-fat, but still filling and very delicious. This soup can definitely be eaten as a meal, especially if you include a salad and some nice bread. Enjoy!

Serves 12 ( 6 points +)

  • 2 T. light stick butter ( Land O' Lakes)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ½ c. flour
  • 6 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 8 oz. bow-tie pasta
  • pepper to taste
  • 16 oz. frozen chopped broccoli
  • 6 c. skim milk
  • 1 lb. reduced fat Velveeta
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • 3-4 T. water

Melt butter in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add onion and cook until tender. Stir in flour. Gradually add chicken broth, whisking until smooth. Bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook 4-5 minutes or until pasta begins to soften. Add pepper to taste. Add broccoli and cook 4-5 minutes. Add milk and cheese. Cook until cheese melts, stirring often. Heat until thickened. Mix cornstarch with water. Stir into soup to thicken a bit more. Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Low-Fat Gingerbread

Moist, delicious and full of seasonal flavor, this cake is sure to be a treat at the holidays!

serves 9 ( 4 points + )

  • 1-½ c. flour
  • ¾ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ c. unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ c. molasses ( mild tasting, not black strap)
  • ½ c. water
  • 9 T. Cool Whip Free

Coat a 9" square pan with nonstick spray. Preheat oven to 350.

Sift together the first 5 ingredients. Set aside.
Beat applesauce, brown sugar, egg and molasses until smooth and well blended. Gradually add flour mixture, alternately with water. Mix until combined. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack. Serve with Cool Whip. This cake is also good served warm.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Chicken Saltimboca

Saltimboca means "jump in the mouth" in Italian. You will want these little beauties to do just that!

serves 6 ( 6 points +)

  • 6 ( 4 oz) chicken cutlets
  • dried sage
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 thin slices prosciutto ( about 2 oz.)
  • 4 oz. sharp provolone cheese, cut into 6 thin slices
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • ⅓ c. Marsala wine

Pound cutlets between two sheets of plastic wrap until thin. Sprinkle with sage, salt and pepper. Place a piece of prosciutto and cheese down the center of each chicken cutlet. Roll, jelly-roll fashion and secure with toothpicks.
Heat oil and butter in a large nonstick skillet. Brown chicken on all sides. Remove from pan. Add onion and cook until tender. Add Marsala and browned chicken back into the pan. Cover and simmer on medium- low for about 8 minutes or until cooked through.

from "Weight Watcher's"

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Flank Steak with Romesco Sauce

This recipe is easy and full of flavor. Serve this with steak fries and a salad for a well-rounded meal.  We had left-over Romesco sauce and used it on sandwiches today. I bet it would also be good with grilled chicken or as a veggie dip!

serves 8 ( 6 points + )

  • 2 T. sliced almonds
  • 2 ( ¾ oz) whole grain bread, toasted
  • 4 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. chopped minced garlic
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • 1 T. sherry vinegar
  • 1 ( 7 oz) bottle of roasted red peppers, drained
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 ( 2 lb) flank steak

Combine almonds and toasted bread in a food processor until blended.  Heat olive oil with garlic and paprika in a nonstick skillet. Cook until garlic starts to brown ( about 1 minute). Add garlic mixture, sherry vinegar, red peppers and salt to taste to the bread mixture. Process until blended. Set aside.

Sprinkle steak with salt and pepper. Grill or broil until desired doneness. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing thinly. Serve with Romesco sauce.

adapted from Cooking Light

Bean Dip

Another great recipe for a party! This can also be made using Hormel turkey chili for a version with meat.

serves 8 ( 3 points + )
  • 1 ( 8 oz) block low-fat cream cheese
  • 1 can ( 15 oz) fat-free refried beans
  • 1 c. reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese
Spread cream cheese in the bottom of an 11 x 7 " pan. Top with beans and then cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or microwave for 5 minutes. Serve with chips.

Beef and Bean Tacos

This is a great way to make your dinner stretch… it is filling and healthy too!

Makes 24 tacos ( 2 tacos = 5 points + ) ( add additional points for toppings)
  • 2 lbs. lean ground beef or ground round ( 93% lean)
  • 1 can ( 15 oz) fat-free refried beans
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • ½ c. water
  • La Tortilla Factory High Fiber Tortillas
  • Toppings of your choice ( optional)
Brown beef; drain. Stir in beans, taco seasoning and water. Cook until heated through. Serve on La Tortilla Factory whole wheat tortillas.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Stuffed Chicken Rolls with Cranberry Glaze

serves 6 ( 2 chicken rolls = 7 points + )

  • 1 T. butter
  • ½ c. chopped, peeled apple
  • ⅓ c. chopped onion
  • ¾ c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 c. Stove Top chicken flavored stuffing mix
  • 12 ( 2 oz) chicken cutlets
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 c. whole cranberry sauce
  • ¼ c. orange juice

Heat butter in a large nonstick skillet. Add apple and onion and cook until tender. Add broth and stuffing to pan; stir. Remove stuffing from pan and keep warm.
Spray pan with nonstick spray.

Place each chicken cutlet between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Pound to ¼ " thickness. Spread stuffing mixture down the center of each cutlet. Roll, jelly-roll fashion and secure with toothpicks.
Season with salt and pepper.

Heat the skillet. Add chicken rolls to the pan. Saute 3 minutes per side. Cover and simmer 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Combine cranberry sauce and orange juice in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Serve with chicken rolls.

Chocolate-Cranberry Parfaits

The sugared cranberries for this recipe take some time to make, so plan ahead… make them early in the day or even the day before.

serves 6 ( 7 points + )

  • 1-⅓ c. sugar, divided
  • 1c. water
  • ½ c. fresh cranberries
  • 2 T. turbinado sugar
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2-½ c. skim milk, divided
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 c. Cool Whip Free
Combine 1 c. sugar with 1 c. water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in cranberries. Cover and chill for 3-4 hours.

Drain cranberries. Place turbinado sugar in a shallow bowl. Add cranberries and roll to coat. Lay cranberries in a single layer on a baking sheet for 1 hour or until dried.

Combine remaining ⅓ c. sugar, cornstarch and salt in a large bowl, stirring well.
Combine ½ c. milk and egg yolks in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Heat remaining 2 c. milk in a heavy saucepan until tiny bubbles form around the edge ( do not boil). Stir egg yolk mixture into cornstarch mixture. Gradually add half of the hot milk to this mixture, stirring with a whisk. Add egg yolk mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate and vanilla until chocolate melts. Spoon pudding into a bowl; place bowl in a large ice-filled bowl and cool for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover surface of pudding with plastic wrap; chill 20 minutes or until ready to serve.

adapted from Cooking Light
Spoon pudding evenly into 6 cups. Top with Cool Whip and sugared berries.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Maple Sage Pork Tenderloin

This recipe is super easy, fairly quick and very tasty!

serves 4 ( 3 points + )

  • 1 T. sugar-free maple syrup
  • 1 T. fresh chopped sage
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 1 lb. pork tenderloin

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large ziplock bag. Add pork tenderloin, seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place pork on a rack in a roasting pan or on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 150-165 degrees. Cover and let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

adapted from Cooking Light

Frosted Pumpkin Cake

serves 24 ( 4 points + )


  • 2-¼ c. flour
  • 2-½ tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 c. packed brown sugar
  • ¼ c. butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ( 15 oz) can pumpkin


  • 2 T. butter, softened
  • 3 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 2-3 T. skim milk

Preheat oven to 350 and coat a 13 x 9 pan with nonstick spray.
Mix flour with next three ingredients in a medium bowl.
In a mixing bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, vanilla and eggs. Add pumpkin and mix well. Add flour mixture and mix until combined. Spread in baking pan.
Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely.

For frosting, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla, then powdered sugar. Add milk as needed to achieve spreading consistency. Spread over cooled cake.

adapted from Cooking Light

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Chicken and Black Bean Stuffed Burritos

Easy and yummy!

serves 4 ( 8 points + )

  • ¼ c. water
  • 2 T. lime juice
  • ½ tsp. chili powder
  • ¼ tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • ⅛ tsp. ground red pepper
  • 2 c. shredded rotisserie chicken breast
  • ¾ c. canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ c. salsa
  • 4 ( 8 inch) flour tortillas
  • ½ c. shredded reduced fat cheddar

Bring first 6 ingredients to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in shredded chicken, beans and salsa.
Spoon mixture down the center of 4 tortillas. Sprinkle with cheese. Roll up.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add burritos. Place a heavy cast-iron skillet on top of burritos and cook for 3 minutes on each side.

adapted from Cooking Light

Monday, December 5, 2011

Shrimp, Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

serves 8 ( 4 points +) or serve as a main dish for four ( 4 servings= 8 points+)

  • 2-½ T. olive oil, divided
  • 12 oz. peeled and deveined shrimp
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 5 oz. mixed greens
  • 1 peeled and sliced avocado

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add ½ T. oil and swirl to coat. Sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper Add shrimp to pan and cook until done, stirring frequently ( about 3 minutes). Remove and keep warm.
Peel and section grapefruit over a bowl. Reserve 3 T. grapefruit juice. Combine juice with remaining 2 T. olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and brown sugar. Pour over lettuce and toss to coat. Place equal amounts of lettuce on plates. Top with equal amounts of shrimp, avocado and grapefruit.

adapted from Cooking Light

Ritzy Chicken

An easy, but tasty recipe!

serves 8 ( 7 points + ) 
add additional points for rice (½ c. cooked rice = 3 points+)

  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
  • 2 cans Campbell's Healthy Request cream of chicken soup (undiluted)
  • 1 pint fat-free sour cream ( I like Breakstone's)
  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
Spray a 13 x 9 pan with nonstick spray. Line the bottom of the pan with the cooked, cubed chicken.
Mix the soup and sour cream together. Spread over the chicken. Top with crushed crackers and bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until heated through and bubbly. Serve over rice if desired.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Triple Chocolate Cake

Here is another recipe I tried for Thanksgiving. It is awesome. Although there are several steps, this cake is not that difficult to make and is definitely worth the effort!

serves 16 ( 8 points+)


  • 1 c. boiling water
  • ½ c. + 1 T. unsweetened cocoa, divided
  • 2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1-¾ c. sugar
  • 6 T. butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 egg whites
  • ½ c. fat-free sour cream
  • 2 c. cake flour
  • 1-½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt


  • ⅓ c. skim milk
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • 4 oz. milk chocolate chips
  • ¾ c. Cool Whip Free


  • ½ c. powdered sugar
  • ¼ c. unsweetened cocoa
  • 3 T. skim milk
  • 2 tsp. butter
  • ⅛ tsp. espresso granules
  • dash of salt
  • 1 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Coat two 9" round cake pans with nonstick spray. Line the bottom of each pan with wax paper, coat wax paper with spray and sprinkle with 1 T. cocoa.

For cake, combine 1 c. boiling water, ½ c. cocoa and 2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate. Stir until combined. Cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, place sugar, butter and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat until crumbly. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add sour cream and beat for 2 minutes.
Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl. Add to butter mixture alternately with chocolate mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Divide evenly into pans and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with moist crumbs. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes before removing cakes to cool completely. Remove wax paper.

For filling, combine ⅓ c. milk and then next three ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, Cook until thick, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in milk chocolate chips until smooth. Pour into a bowl, cover and refrigerate until cooled. Fold in Cool Whip.

For glaze, combine powdered sugar and remaining ingredients in a saucepan over low heat. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. 

Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread filling over cake leaving a ¼" border. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread glaze over the top of the cake.

adapted from Cooking Light

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Dessert

I thought I would try this recipe as a twist on traditional pumpkin pie. It is quite awesome!

serves 24 ( 5 points + )


  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • ½ c. butter, melted
  • 1 egg


  • 1 can ( 30 oz) pumpkin pie mix ( not solid pack pumpkin)
  • 5 oz. fat-free evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs


  • ¼ c. flour
  • ½ c. sugar
  • 1 T. cinnamon
  • ⅔ c. reserved crust mixture

In a large bowl, beat cake mix, butter and egg. Set aside ⅔ c. for topping. Press remaining mixture in the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan coated with nonstick spray.

For filling, whisk together pumpkin pie mix, milk and eggs until blended. Pour over crust.

For topping, combine ⅔ c. reserved crust mixture, flour, sugar and cinnamon, using your hands to mix until crumbly. Sprinkle over filling.

Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes or until top is golden brown and center is set. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Serve with Cool Whip if desired.

adapted from Taste of Home

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

This easy meal cooks in about 30 minutes and is full of flavor.

serves 4 ( 9 points + )

  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 6 oz. reduced fat smoked sausage, sliced
  • ½ c. chopped onion
  • ½ c. chopped celery
  • ½ c. chopped green pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 c. uncooked long-grain white rice
  • 1 c. water
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper ( or to taste)
  • salt to taste
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 can ( 14 oz)  fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 can ( 14 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 c. shredded boneless, skinless chicken breast ( you can use rotisserie chicken)

Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, celery and peppers. Cook until tender. Add sausage and garlic. Cook 2 minutes. Add rice and next 5 ingredients ( through broth). Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Add tomatoes and chicken and cook until heated through.

adapted from Cooking Light

Candied Walnut, Apple and Gruyere Salad

Perfect for fall, perfect for the holidays!

serves 8 ( 5 points + )

  • ⅓ c. sugar
  • ⅓ c. chopped walnuts, toasted
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • 2 T. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1-½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 med-large apple, thinly sliced
  • 2 oz. Gruyere cheese, cubed small
  • 12 c. mixed greens

For candied walnuts, place sugar in a small, heavy saucepan over med-high heat. Cook until sugar dissolves, stirring gently as needed to dissolve sugar evenly. Once the sugar starts to melt, do NOT stir. Let sugar melt completely until golden. Do not over-cook. Remove from heat and quickly stir in the walnuts.
Place walnuts on a baking sheet lined with wax paper, separating as much as possible. Sprinkle with sea salt. Cool completely and break into pieces.

For dressing, whisk together balsamic, olive oil, Dijon, honey, salt and pepper.

Place greens in a large bowl. Add chopped apples and Gruyere cheese. Sprinkle with walnuts, drizzle with dressing and toss to coat.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Nutella Sandwich Cookies

Have you ever tried Nutella? Do you love it? I do~ so when  I saw this recipe for Nutella Sandwich Cookies from the "Radically Simple" cookbook by Rozanne Gold, I knew I had to try them.
With only four ingredients, you cannot get a much simpler recipe. These would be cute on a Christmas cookie platter.

Makes 18 ( 4 points + )

  • 13 oz. jar of Nutella, divided
  • 2 T. butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1-¼ c. self-rising flour

Preheat oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray.

Beat ¾ c. Nutella, butter and egg until combined. Gradually add flour and mix until wet. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until combined. Roll dough into 18 equal sized balls. Place on baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes or until firm. Cool for 10 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut each cookie in half horizontally. Spread bottom half with about 1 tsp. Nutella. Replace tops, pressing lightly.

Beef Daube Provencal

This stew can be made in a Dutch oven or slow cooker. If making in the slow cooker, follow directions through step 2 and than transfer ingredients to slow cooker and cook on high for 5 hours.

serves 6 ( about ¾ c. stew and ½ c. noodles = 9 points + )

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 4-5 tsp. crushed garlic ( I buy crushed garlic in a jar)
  • 2 lb. boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 2" cubes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 c. red wine
  • 2 c. chopped carrot
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • ½ c. fat-free beef broth
  • ½ tsp. dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 ( 14 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 c. cooked egg noodles

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven. Add garlic and saute. Add beef and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Add wine to the pan and bring to a boil, scraping to loosen browned bits. Add remaining ingredients through bay leaf.

3. Cover and bake for 2-½ hours or until beef is tender. Discard bay leaf, Serve over egg noodles.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Frozen Orange Tortes with Cranberry Compote

I was intrigued by a recipe from Cooking Light and wanted to make it, but did not have all of the ingredients or all of the time called for, so I improvised and came up with this recipe. It was quite good. I think it would be great for a holiday party, perhaps Thanksgiving or Christmas!

serves 8 ( 7 points + )


  • 2 T. sugar
  • 2 T. baking cocoa
  • 16 Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers
  • 2 T. butter, melted


  • 4 c. Edy's double churned vanilla ice-cream ( or another brand that has 50% less fat)
  • 1 T. grated orange rind
  • ¼ c. fresh orange juice


  • 1 c. fresh cranberries
  • ½ c. sugar
  • 2 T. water
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 2 T. orange juice
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray 8 ramekins with nonstick spray.
Combine wafers, sugar, cocoa and butter in a food processor and process until combined. Spoon evenly into ramekins and press onto the bottom of each dish. Place ramekins on a jelly-roll pan and bake 8 minutes. Cool completely.

Meanwhile, soften ice-cream. Stir in orange rind and orange juice. Spoon evenly onto crust. Freeze for several hours or until firm.

About an hour before serving ( or earlier if you like), combine the cranberries, sugar, water, and lemon juice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in orange juice. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Using a butter knife, loosen edges of tortes. Unmold and place on plates. Top with compote.


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