Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Chicken Cacciatore

Even though this recipe calls for bone-in thighs, I often use boneless, skinless thighs. Feel free to try it!

serves 8 ( 1 chicken thigh with ½ c. sauce = 5 points + )

3 lbs. bone-in chicken thighs, skinned ( 8 thighs)
salt and pepper
1 T. olive oil, divided
1 onion , chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 assorted colored peppers, chopped
8 oz. fresh mushrooms
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 pint spaghetti sauce

Heat 2 tsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet. Brown chicken for 2-3 minutes per side. Remove and set aside. Add remaining teaspoon of oil to the pan. Cook onion and garlic for 2 minutes. Add peppers and mushrooms and cook until veggies are almost tender. Return chicken to pan. Add sauce and stir to coat. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer until chicken is cooked through ( about 20-25 minutes)d

adapted from "Weight Watcher's"

Italian Roasted Potatoes

serves 8 ( 4 points + )

2 lbs. red potatoes, cubed
2 garlic cloves, crushed
salt and pepper to taste
½ c. red onion , chopped
¼ c. olive oil
¼ c. parmesan cheese

Toss potatoes with garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Place in a baking dish and bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes or until almost tender. Add parmesan cheese and toss to coat. Bake an additional 10 minutes.

Italian Bread Salad

Being Italian, I love bread!! That means I have to look for ways to lighten some favorite recipes. I hope you like this lightened version as much as I did!

serves 8 ( 1 c. = 3 points + )

  • 5 oz. French bread baguette, cubed into 1 inch pieces
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 c. chopped red onion
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 2 T. red wine vinegar
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • fresh basil

Place bread cubes on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Toss with garlic and salt.  Bake at 450 for 10-15 minutes or until crisp. Set aside.
Mix onion with vinegar and let stand for 10 minutes. Stir in green pepper, tomatoes and olive oil.
Fifteen minutes before serving, stir in bread cubes and basil.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Choco-Java Rubbed Sirloin

from "Weight Watcher's Magazine"

shown without sauce

serves 6 ( 5 points + )

  • 1-½ T. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1-½ T. chili powder
  • 1-½ T. instant coffee
  • 1-½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 1 ( 1-¾ lb)  boneless sirloin steak 
  • 14.5 oz. can fat free beef broth

Preheat oven to 400. Combine, cocoa, chili powder, cumin and ½ tsp. salt. Set aside 2-½ T. for the gravy. Coat both sides of meat with remaining mixture.
Heat a large cast iron pan with cooking spray. When hot, add the steak and brown on both sides. Place pan in the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Remove steak from pan to a cutting board. Cover loosely with foil and let stand for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, to make gravy, add reserved cocoa mixture to skillet, along with beef broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook until mixture reduces to about 1 c. Slice beef into 18 slices. Serve with gravy.

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Scones

serves 12 ( 5 points + )
  • ½ c. dried cranberries
  • 3 c. low fat Bisquick baking mix
  • 5 T. sugar, divided
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 T. light stick butter, cut into small pieces
  • ⅔ c. fat-free half and half
  • 2 T. semi-sweet miniature chocolate chips
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • 1 T. fat-free half and half
  • ½ c. powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 1-2 T. skim milk

Preheat oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with foil.

Combine bisquick,¼ c. sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in ⅔ c. half and half, egg white. cranberries and chocolate chips. Drop dough by ¼ cup-fulls onto baking sheet. Mix egg yolk with 1 T. half and half. Brush scones. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden. Cool. Combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Drizzle over scones

Ricotta Nut Torte

This is my very soon-to-be son, Joey. I let him decorate this cake :)

Here is the cake:

serves 16 ( 10 ponts + )

2 cartons reduced fat ricotta cheese
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
⅓ c. chopped pecans, toasted
3 milk chocolate candy bars, grated ( 1.55 oz. each)

¼ c. shortening
1-¼ c. sugar
2 eggs
½ c. unsweetened applesauce
1-½ tsp. vanilla
2-½ c. flour
2-½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1-¼ c. skim milk
1 carton ( 8 oz) reduced fat Cool Whip
whole hazelnuts and shaved chocolate (optional)

Line 3 ( 9") round baking pans with wax paper. Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with a small amount of flour.
For filling, in a small bowl, beat ricotta and sugar until smooth; beat in vanilla. Fold in pecans and grated chocolate. Cover and chill.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat shortening and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well. Add applesauce and vanilla until well blended. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well. Pour into prepared pans and bake at 350 for 15-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely on wire racks.
Place bottom layer on a serving plate, top with ½ of filling. Repeat with next layer. Place third layer on top. Frost with Cool Whip and decorate with shaved chocolate and hazelnuts if desired. Chill until serving.

adapted from "Healthy Cooking"

Chicken Kiev and Roasted Potato Wedges

shown without potato wedges

from  " Cooking Light"

serves 4 ( 1 chicken breast half and about 1 c. potatoes = 13 points + )
3-½ T. butter, softened and divided
¼ tsp. dill weed
¾ tsp. salt, divided
¼ tsp. pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
4 ( 6 oz. ) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 T. water
2 large egg whites
1 c. Panko bread crumbs
1-½ lbs. baking potatoes, cut into ¼" thick wedges

Combine 2 T. butter, dill, ⅛ tsp. salt, pepper and garlic in a bowl. Refrigerate 1 hour.
Slice chicken breasts lengthwise, cutting to, but not through the other side. Open halves laying chicken flat. Place chicken between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Pound to ¼ " thickness.
Place about 1-½ tsp. butter mixture in the center of each chicken breast. Roll up jelly roll fashion. Tuck in sides and secure with toothpicks.
Mix egg whites with water. Dip chicken in egg whites, then coat in Panko bread crumbs. Place chicken on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425 for 35 minutes or until chicken is done.
Place potatoes on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle potatoes with remainign salt; toss. Bake at 425 for 40 minutes or until tender, turning once. Place potatoes in a bowl. Toss with remaining butter. Serve with chicken.

Texas Pork Chops

adapted from "Taste of Home's Light Meals"

serves 6 ( 7 points + )
¾ c.  bread crumbs
1-2 T. chili powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. garlic powder
1 egg
¼ c. skim milk
6 boneless pork chops ( about 4 oz each)

In a shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs and spices. In another bowl, combine the egg and milk. Dip chops in egg mixture, then coat in bread crumb mixture. Transfer to a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until meat is cooked through.

Fried Chicken with Cream Gravy

I did not remember to get a picture of this until almost the end… there was only one bite left. It was good!

serves 6 ( 5 points + )
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
¼ c. flour
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. paprika
¼ tsp. pepper
2 T. canola oil
½ c. evaporated fat-free milk
½ c. fat-free chicken broth

Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels.
In a large ziplock bag, combine flour and seasonings. Add chicken to bag. Shake to coat. Reserve remaining flour mixture.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil. Cook chicken, uncovered over medium heat until browned on both sides. Cover, reduce heat and cook until chicken is no longer pink. Remove chicken from pan and keep warm.
For gravy, in a small bowl, combine the milk, broth and reserved flour mixture. Add to the skillet. Cook until thickened and bubbly.

Jalepeno Sausage Braid

I made this using what I had around the house.

serves 6 ( 8 points + )

  • 2 cans ( 6 oz. each) refrigerated buttermilk biscuit dough
  • 2 spicy jalepeno chicken sausages ( such as Amy Lu)
  • 6 eggs
  • ¼ c. skim milk
  • ½ c. reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese

Roll biscuit dough into a large rectangle and place on a baking sheet.
Mix eggs with milk, cut sausage in small pieces and stir in with eggs. Heat a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray and add egg/sausage mixture. Cook until eggs are set. Place egg mixture down the center of the biscuit dough rectangle. Sprinkle with cheese. Make slits about 2" wide on each side of the long side of the rectangle. Fold over and twist. Fold ends up on the short side. Bake at 375 until golden. ( about 15 minutes)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Oatmeal Knots

Makes 24 rolls ( each roll = 4 points + )

  • 1 c/ regular oats
  • ½ c. honey
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1-½ tsp. salt
  • 2 c. boiling water
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • ⅓ c. warm water
  • ¼ c. flaxseed meal
  • 3 c. whole wheat flour  ( King Arthur's White Whole Wheat works well )
  • 1-½ c. all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 tsp. water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T. rolled oats
  • 1 T. poppy seeds

( You can also make these rolls using a Kitchen Aid mixer with a dough hook)

Combine first four ingredients in a large bowl, and add 2 c. boiling water, stirring until well blended.
Cool to room temperature.
Dissolve yeast in ⅓ c. warm water. Let stand 5 minutes. Add yeast mixture to oat mixture; stir well. Stir in flaxseed.
Gradually add 3 c. whole wheat flour and 1 c. all-purpose flour to oasts mixture; stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic ( 6-8 minutes) adding remaining flour as needed to prevent dough from sticking.
Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray. Turn to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled ( about 1 hour)
Punch dough down. Cut into 24 pieces. Roll each piece into an 8" rope ( Work with one roll at a time, keeping remaining dough covered so as to prevent drying out.) Tie each rope into a single knot and place on a cookie sheet coated with spray. Repeat with remaining rolls. Cover and let rise until doubled ( about 30 minutes)
Combine 1 tsp. water with egg. Brush over each roll. Sprinkle with oats and poppy seeds. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden.

from "Cooking Light"

Chocolate Cherry Cookies

from "Cooking Light"
Heart-healthy and delicious!

Makes 30 cookies ( each cookie = 3 points + )

⅓ c. all-purpose flour
⅓ c. whole wheat flour ( I use King Arthur's white whole wheat)
1-½ c. old-fashioned rolled oats
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
6 T. butter
¾ c. brown sugar, packed
1 c. dried cherries, chopped
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 and spray baking sheets with cooking spray.
Combine flours with next three ingredients ( through salt) in a large mixing bowl.
Melt butter in a saucepan. Remove from heat and add brown sugar, stirring until smooth. Add sugar mixture to flour mixture; beat until blended. Add cherries, vanilla and egg; beat until combined. Fold in chocolate. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets. Bake for 12 minutes. Cool on pans 3 minutes or until almost firm. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Cauliflower Augratin

serves 12 ( 4 points + )

3 pkgs. ( 16 oz each ) frozen cauliflower
1 large onion, chopped
⅓ c. butter, cubed
⅓ c. flour
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground mustard
¼ tsp. pepper
2 c. skim milk
½ c. grated Parmesan cheese

½ c. whole wheat soft bread crumbs
2 T. butter, melted
¼ tsp. paprika

Cook cauliflower in a Dutch oven with a little water; drain.
Place cauliflower in the bottom of a 13 x 9 dish coated with cooking spray.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt butter. Add onions and cook until tender. Stir in flour, mustard, salt and pepper. Gradually add milk, stirring and cooking until thickened. Remove from heat; add Parmesan cheese. Stir until blended.
Spread cheese mixture over cauliflower.
Mix bread crumbs with butter and paprika. Sprinkle over cheese mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

from "Healthy Cooking"

Potato Smashers

serves 2 ( 5 points + )

6 small red potatoes ( about ¾ lb. )
2 slices Oscar Mayer fully cooked bacon ( microwaved )
2 T. fat-free Italian dressing
¼ c. reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese

Microwave potatoes until tender.
With the bottom of a glass, flatten the potatoes. Heat a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray. Add the dressing. Cook potatoes in dressing for 2-3 minutes. Turn potatoes, sprinkle with cheese and bacon. Cover and cook until cheese melts.

adapted from "Healthy Cooking"

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Pork and Broccoli Teriyaki Stir-Fry

I experimented with making teriyaki sauce today. It turned out great! Feel free to substitute whatever vegetables you like.

Serves 4 ( ½ c rice + ¼ of pork mixture = 10 points + )

  • 1 lb. pork tenderloin, cut into thin strips
  • 1 bunch fresh broccoli ( 2-3 c. )
  • 1 can ( 15 oz) bean sprouts, drained
  • 1 can ( 8 oz) water chestnuts, drained
  • 1 can ( 8 oz) baby corn, drained
  • 1 T. canola oil

Teriyaki Sauce:

  • ½ c. low sodium soy sauce
  • ½ c. water
  • ½ c. packed brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 T. cornstarch

For sauce, whisk together all ingredients in a saucepan. Cook, stirring frequently until mixture thickens
( about 10 minutes) . Let sauce stand until it comes to room temperature.

Heat a nonstick wok or large skillet coated with cooking spray. Add ½ T. oil and swirl. Add pork and cook   on med-high heat until meat is no longer pink. Transfer pork to a bowl. Add remaining ½ T. oil to pan. Add all vegetables and cook until broccoli looks like it is beginning to "sweat". Return pork to pan. Stir in teriyaki sauce and heat through.

Bacon, Tomato and Cheese Frittata

A very tasty breakfast!
serves 4 ( 5 points + )

  • 3 eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 c. skim milk
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 slices Oscar Mayer fully cooked bacon ( cooked in microwave for 1 minute, then crumbled)
  • 1 c. fat-free shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat broiler.
Heat a 10" oven-proof nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray.
Whisk together, eggs, pepper and milk. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into skillet and cook on medium heat until the bottom is set and firm.  ( 8-10 minutes). Place under broiler for 3 minutes or until top is set. Cut into 4 wedges.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Vegetable Pork Soup

Serves 4 ( 1-⅓ c. = 6 points + )

1 lb. pork tenderloin, cubed
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. canola oil
1 can ( 28 oz) diced tomatoes
4 medium carrots, chopped
2 medium potatoes, cubed
1 can ( 12 oz) light or non-alcoholic beer
¼ c. quick cooking tapioca
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. honey
1 tsp. dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste.

Brown pork in oil. Place pork along with remaining ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 5-6 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender.

adapted from " Healthy Cooking"

Spicy Orange Beef with Vegetables

I doubled this recipe for my family.

serves 4 ( 1 c  = 6 points + )
serve over rice if desired

  • ¾ lb. sirloin, trimmed and cut into thin strips
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. grated orange rind
  • ¼ c. fat free beef broth
  • ¼ c. orange juice
  • 2 T. reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1 T. chili garlic sauce or ¼- ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 tsp. canola oil
  • 1 T. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 can ( 15 oz. ) green beans, drained
  • 1 carrot, cut into thin strips

Combine beef, 1 T. cornstarch and orange rind in a bowl. Set aside.
Combine remaining 1 T. cornstarch, broth , orange juice, say sauce, sugar and chili garlic sauce or crushed red pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.

Heat a nonstick wok or large skillet. Swirl in 2 tsp. oil, then add beef. Stir fry until cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Add remaining oil and ginger. Stir fry for 1 minute. Add green beans and carrot and cook 3-4 minutes. Add broth mixture and cook, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Return beef to pan and heat through.

adapted from "Weight Watcher's"

Potato Latkes

serves 6 ( 2 latkes and 2 T. applesauce =  6 points + )

3-½ c. shredded peeled potato
1-¼ c. grated onion
6 T. flour
¼ tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1 large egg
¼ c. olive oil, divided
¾ c. unsweetened applesauce

Combine potato and onion in a colander. Drain 30 minutes, pressing with the back of a spoon until barely moist. Combine potato mixture, flour and next four ingredients in a large bowl.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 T. oil to pan and swirl to coat. Spoon ¼ c. potato mixture into pan and flatten slightly. Repeat 5 times to form 6 latkes. Cook 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Remove from pan and keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining oil and potato mixture to yield 12 latkes total.
Serve applesauce with latkes.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Steak and Carmelized Onion Sandwiches

serves 4 ( 10 points +)

  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 3 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • ¼ tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 1 lb. flank steak
  • 2 T. Dijon mustard or low fat mayo
  • 8 slices Italian bread or rye bread
  • 1 tomato, cut into 8 slices

Heat oil in a nonstick skillet. Add onions, sugar, and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally until onions are golden, about 10 minutes. Add vinegar, ¼ tsp. salt and ⅛ tsp. pepper. Cook, stirring constantly until vinegar is evaporated. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, spray broiler rack with cooking spray. Sprinkle steak with remaining salt and pepper.
Broil for 5 minutes per side or until desired doneness. Let stand for 5 minutes. Cut steak agains the grain.
Spread mustard or mayo on bread, then top with steak, onions and tomato.

adapted from " Weight Watcher's" 


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