Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pear and Gruyere Strata

This recipe needs to be put together several hours ahead of time. You might even consider putting it together the night before.

serves 12 ( 6 points + )

  • 4 c. sliced, peeled pear
  • 2 tsp. butter, melted
  • 6 T. sugar, divided
  • 12 ( 1 oz) slices Pepperidge Farm cinnamon swirl bread, cut in half diagonally
  • 1 c. ( 4 oz) Gruyere cheese
  • 1-½ c. skim milk
  • 1 c. egg beaters
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 T. turbinado sugar
  • ¾ c. sugar-free maple syrup ( Log Cabin)
Combine pear, melted butter and 1 T. sugar in a large bowl.

Arrange half of the bread in an 11 x 7 pan coated with nonstick spray. Spoon pear mixture evenly over bread. Top with cheese. Arrange remaining bread over cheese.

Combine the remaining 5 T. sugar, milk, egg beaters and cinnamon. Pour over bread, making sure everything is covered with egg mixture. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Uncover and bake at 350 for 1 hour or until knife inserted near center comes out clean ( I baked mine longer than 1 hour). Let stand 10 minutes before cutting. Serve with syrup.

adapted from Cooking Light

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Beef Tenderloin with Cherry-Black Pepper Sauce


serves 12 ( 6 points+)

  • 3 lbs. beef tenderloin, trimmed ( I used three 1 pound tenderloins)
  • 3 T. butter, divided
  • ¼ c. chopped shallots
  • ½ c. balsamic vinegar
  • ½ c. cherry preserves
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
Melt 1 T. butter in a large skillet. Sprinkle tenderloin with salt and pepper. Brown in butter. Remove beef from skillet and place on a jelly-roll pan. Bake at 425 for 25 minutes or until desired doneness. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.
Meanwhile, place shallots in the same skillet and cook until translucent. Add 1 tsp. pepper, balsamic vinegar and cherry preserves. Cook until thickened ( about 6 minutes). Stir in remaining 2 T. butter.

Serve beef with sauce.

adapted from Cooking Light

Antipasto Kabobs

This is a fun twist on traditional antipasto salad. These would be great to serve as a holiday party appetizer too!

serves 16 ( 2 points+)

  • 9 oz. refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • ½ c. balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp. dried basil
  • 2 T. Dijon mustard
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 1 can (14 oz. ) artichoke hearts packed in water, quartered
  • grape tomatoes
  • ½ green pepper, cut into 1" pieces
  • ½ red bell pepper, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 can pitted black olives, drained
  • ¼ lb. thinly sliced deli ham, cut into strips
  • 8 slices hard salami, halved
In a large pot, boil tortellini until pasta rises to the top of the water. Drain and rinse in cold water.

In a large gallon sized ziplock bag, combine the next 7 ingredients ( through pepper). Add tortellini, artichokes, tomatoes, peppers, olives and ham. Do not marinate the salami. Seal and turn to coat. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Thread each kabob with artichokes, tomatoes, peppers, olives, ham, tortellini, and salami.
Discard any remaining marinade.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Cranberry-Chipotle Dressing

What a fun way to serve sweet potatoes…and so healthy for you too!

serves 8 ( 5 points + )

  • 2-½ lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2" pieces
  • 3 T. olive oil, divided
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp.pepper
  • ¾ c. fresh cranberries
  • ¼ c. water
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1-2 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • ½ c. sunflower seeds
  • ¾ c. green onions
  • ¼ c. fresh cilantro leaves

Preheat oven to 450. Place sweet potatoes on a large jelly-roll pan. Drizzle with 2 T. olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes or until tender, turning half-way through.

Place remaining 1 T. oil, cranberries, water and honey in a saucepan.  Add chopped chipotle and 1 tsp. adobo sauce to pan. Cook over medium-low heat; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes or until cranberries pop, stirring occasionally. Mash until chunky.

Place sunflower seeds in a skillet and cook until lightly browned.

Combine potatoes, sunflower seeds, onions and cilantro in a large bowl. Add cranberry mixture and toss to coat.

adapted from Cooking Light

Beer Braised Beef With Fall Vegetables

Juicy and full of flavor!

serves 8 ( 8 points + )

  • 2.5 lb. boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed
  • 1-½ T. canola oil
  • 3 T. flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 c. fat-free beef broth
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 ( 12 oz) dark beer
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large onion, cut into wedges
  • 2 medium turnips ( about 14 oz. total), peeled and cut into wedges

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Place flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper and then dredge in flour.
Heat oil in a Dutch oven. Add beef and cook until browned on all sides. Add broth and next 3 ingredients (through bay leaf), scraping pan to remove browned bits. Bring to a boil. Cover and bake for 1-½ hours. Add carrots, turnips and onion. Cover and cook an additional 1 hour- 1-½ hours or until meat and vegetables are tender. Remove beef and vegetables from the pan. Discard bay leaf.
Let cooking liquid stand for 10 minutes. Skim off any grease. Serve beef and vegetables with cooking liquid if desired.

from Cooking Light

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Chili Pot-Pies

I thought these were cute and a nice way to have portion control. My boys, on the other hand, thought it was ridiculous to serve chili in little ramekins instead of nice, big, bowls :)

Place chili in ramekins and top with 1 T. cheese

cover with crust and make slits in the top to vent

serves 10 ( 6 points + )

  • 1-½ lbs. extra lean ground beef ( 95% lean)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 can ( 14 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can Bush's chili beans
  • 2-3 T. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 10 T. reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 crust from Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large pot or Dutch oven, brown beef and onion until meat is no longer pink. Drain.
Return beef mixture to pot and add diced tomatoes, chili beans and spices. Heat through. 

Spoon chili evenly into ramekins coated with cooking spray. top each with 1 T. reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese.

Unroll pie crust and pat to flatten a little. Using a ramekin like a cookie cutter, cut out 10 circles. ( you may have to re-piece the last two sections of dough). Place dough on top of chili mixture. Cut slits in the top to vent.

Place ramekins on a baking sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes or until crust is golden. Chili will be VERY hot, so you may want to let it stand for 10 minutes before eating.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Noodles with Roast Pork and Almond Sauce

serves 8 ( 8 points +)

  • ½ tsp. canola oil
  • 1 lb. pork tenderloin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 16 oz. uncooked fettuccini noodles
  • ¼ c. almond butter
  • 5 T. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 4T. rice vinegar
  • 2 T. minced fresh peeled ginger
  • 1 T. chili garlic sauce
  • 1c. thinly sliced green onions

Preheat oven to 425. Drizzle oven proof skillet with nonstick spray. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes, turn and bake an additional 10 minutes or until juices run clear. Place pork on a cutting board and let stand for 10 minutes. Shred with 2 forks.
Meanwhile, boil noodles; drain, reserving 2 T. pasta water.
Combine almond butter, 2 T. pasta water, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger and chili garlic sauce. Place pasta in a large bowl. Top with sauce and toss to coat. Sprinkle with green onions.

adapted from Cooking Light

Tortilla Meatball Soup

serves 6 ( 1-½ c. = 8 points + )

  • 2 jalepeno peppers
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 c. frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 4 ( 6") corn tortillas, cut into ½ " strips
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • ⅓ c. Panko Japanese bread crumbs
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef ( at least 93% lean)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce, minced
  • 2 c. chopped onion
  • 2 c. cubed red potatoes
  • 1 c. sliced carrot
  • 3 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 2 c. water
  • ¾ c. reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ c. chopped, fresh cilantro

Preheat broiler. Cut jalepenos and bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin side up, on a foil lined baking sheet. Arrange corn on a baking sheet with peppers. Broil 4-6 minutes or until blackened, turning corn once. Place peppers in a paper bag; fold to seal. Let stand 15 minutes; peel. Mince jalepenos and coarsely chop bell pepper. Set aside.

Place tortilla strips in a single layer on a baking sheet; lightly spray with cooking spray. Broil for 3 minutes or until golden brown, turning after 2 minutes. Set aside.

Combine ¼ tsp. salt, 1 garlic clove, Panko and next 3 ingredients ( through chipotle) in a large bowl. With moist hands, shape into 24 meatballs.

Place a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Coat with cooking spray. Brown meatballs on all sides, Remove from pan ADd onion, potatoes, and carrot to pan. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasonally. Add remaining 5 garlic cloves, cook 1 minutes stirring constantly. Add peppers, broth and 2 c. water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are almost tender, stirring occasionally.

Return meatballs to pan. Add remaining ½ tsp. salt and corn; return to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes or until meatballs are done. Ladle 1-½ c. soup into each of 6 bowls; top each serving evenly with cheese, cilantro and tortilla strips.

adapted from Cooking Light

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Patty Melt

serves 4 ( 10 points + )

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef or sirloin ( at least 93% lean)
  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 T. Worcestershire sauce, divided
  • 1-½ tsp. flour
  • ¼ c. fat-free beef broth
  • 4 sliced reduced-fat Provolone cheese
  • 8 slices dark rye bread or pumpernickel ( such as Beefsteak brand)

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray. Cook mushrooms and onions until tender. Add salt and pepper and 1 T. Worcestershire sauce. Stir in flour and then add beef broth. Stir until slightly thickened, remove mushroom mixture from pan and keep warm. Re-coat the same skillet with nonstick spray. Mix the ground beef with 1 T. Worcestershire sauce. Form into 4 patties. Cook patties until done.
In another skillet or griddle coated with nonstick spray, place 4 pieces of bread. Top each with a patty, 1 slice of cheese and ¼ of the mushroom mixture. Top with remaining 4 pieces of bread. Cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fiesta Rice

My favorite rice is Jasmine rice. Since I had some on hand, I thought I would try a new rice recipe to go along  Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas.

serves 12 ( about ½ c. = 4 points + )

  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 10 oz. frozen corn kernels
  • ½ c. chopped red onion
  • 1-½ c. uncooked rice
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 2-3 c. fresh, seeded, diced tomatoes
  • 1 can ( 15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ c. cilantro, chopped
  • 2 T. lime juice
  • salt to taste

Cook rice according to package directions.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet. Cook onion until tender. Add corn, cumin, garlic, salt and black beans. Heat through. Add rice and lime juice to bean mixture. Heat through. Stir in cilantro.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Apple Upside-Down Cake

I think this cake is lovely served with some kind of caramel ice-cream and caramel ice-cream topping. I chose caramel praline crunch frozen yogurt.

serves 12 ( 5 points + )


  • ¾ c. sugar
  • 1/4c. water
  • 3 c. apples, peeled and sliced


  • 1-⅓ c. flour
  • 1-½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ⅔ c. sugar
  • 3 T. butter, softened
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ c. skim milk
  • 3 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350 and coat a 9" round cake pan with nonstick spray.
Tp prepare topping, combine sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved, then continue to cook until mixture is golden about 5 minutes). Do NOT stir during this time. Pour mixture into cake pan and tilt to cover bottom. Top with sliced apples in concentric circles. Layer apples until you have used all of them.
For cake, mix dry ingredients in a small bowl. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar. Add egg yolks and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients alternately with milk.
In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until still peaks form. Fold into cake batter. Spread batter over apples.  Bake for 35minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Loosen edges of cake with a knife and invert onto a serving plate.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Butternut Squash Risotto

Have you ever had trouble cutting a butternut squash? I learned a nifty little trick about a week ago. Pierce the squash with a fork and microwave for 5 minutes, turning half-way through. The squash should cut and seed a lot more easily.

serves 8 ( 6 points + )

  • 3 c. , ½ " cubed peeled butternut squash, divided
  • 3-½ c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 2 c. uncooked Arborio rice
  • salt to taste
  • 6 slices Oscar Mayer fully cooked bacon ( cooked crisp)
  • parsley

Combine 2 c. squash and 2-½ c. water in a saucepan. Boil until squash is tender. Place mixture in a food processor and process until smooth. Return to saucepan and stir in broth. Bring to a simmer and reserve
¼ c. squash mixture.
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Coat with cooking spray. Add rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in remaining 1 c. cubed squash, 2-½ c. squash mixture and salt to taste. Cook 2 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Turn heat to low and add remaining squash mixture 1 cup at a time, stirring until each cup is absorbed before adding the next cup. Remove from heat; stir in reserved ¼ c. squash mixture. Top with parsley and bacon.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Chili Corn Chip Pie

serves 4 ( 8 points +)

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef ( 93% lean)
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • 2 T. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • 1 T. tomato paste
  • 1 c. fat-free beef broth
  • 1 ( 10 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 4 oz. Fritos corn chips
  • 8 T. reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ c. fat-free sour cream
  • ½ c. sliced green onions

In a large nonstick skillet, brown beef with onions. Drain. Return to pot and add next 7 ingredients ( through diced tomatoes). Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Place 1 ounce corn chips in each bowl. Top with about ⅔ c. chili, 2 T. cheese, 1 T. sour cream and 2 T. green onions.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Monday, October 3, 2011

Soy and Cola Braised Pork

This recipe comes from "Cooking Light". It was very good..tender, juicy and full of flavor.

serves 10 ( 8 points+ ) add additional points for bun

  • 1 T. dark sesame oil
  • 1 ( 3-½ lb. bone-in pork shoulder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 T. minced, peeled fresh ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 c. cola ( such as Coca-Cola)
  • ½ c. hoisin sauce
  • ¼ c. rice vinegar
  • ¼ c. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 c. diagonally sliced green onions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to the pan. Sprinkle pork with salt. Add pork to pan and saute for 8 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove pork. Add ginger and garlic. Saute for 1 minute. Stir in cola and next 3 ingredients. Bring to a boil. Return pork to pan, cover and bake for 2 hours or until tender, turning occasionally. Remove pork from pan and let stand for 10 minutes. Shred with 2 forks. Skim fat from cooking liquid, Place pan over medium-high heat; bring cooking liquid to a boil. Cook 15 minutes or until reduced to about 2 cups. Combine pork with ¾ c. sauce, tossing to coat. Top with green onions. Serve pork with remaining sauce.

Butternut Squash Soup

This soup is not only healthy and low points, it is also delicious!

serves 6 ( 1 c. = 1 point +)

  • 1 lb. butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 apple, peeled and chopped
  • ½ Vidalia onion
  • 4 c. fat-free chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp. nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
Place broth, squash, onion and apple in a large pot. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender. Puree in a blender. Return to pot and season.

adapted from "Weight Watchers"

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Italian Sausage, Tomato and Tortellini Soup

This is a full-bodied, very flavorful soup. I hope you like it!

serves 12 ( 7 points +)

  • 5 links Italian sausage
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 ( 28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 c. fat-free beef broth
  • ½ c. red wine
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 10 oz. frozen cheese tortellini
  • ¾ c. Parmesan cheese, grated

Remove casings from Italian sausage and brown in a large Dutch oven or pot. Drain. Add remaining ingredients, except for the tortellini and Parmesan cheese. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add tortellini and cook until tortellini are tender. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tsp. Parmesan cheese.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Apple Cider Floats

Here is a fun fall drink that you can serve with dinner or as a dessert.

serves 1 ( 6 points +)

  • ½ c. low-fat vanilla ice-cream ( such as Edy's double churned)
  • 1 c. apple cider
  • ¼ c. diet ginger ale

Place ice-cream in a tall glass, add cider and ginger ale.

Bruschetta Burgers

Serves 8 ( 5 points + ) ( additional points for bun)

  • 2 lbs. extra lean ground beef or sirloin ( 95%lean)
  • 2 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 slices mozzarella cheese, halved
  • 3 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • ½ c. finely chopped red onion
  • 5 basil leaves, torn
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1T. balsamic vinegar
  • 1T. olive oil
For bruschetta, combine tomatoes, onion, basil, garlic, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and oil. Let stand while preparing burgers.

For burgers, mix ground beef with Worcestershire sauce. Form into 8 patties. Grill until desired doneness. Top each burger with ½ slice of mozzarella and cook until cheese is melted. Top with bruschetta


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