Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Chicken Curry

A tasty dish with just a little bit of a "bite".

serves 4 ( 9 points + for about ¾ c. chicken mixture and ½ c. rice)

  • 1 T. canola oil
  • 3 ( 6 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • salt
  • 2 c. bell pepper strips
  • 2 T. lime juice
  • 2 T. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 T. red curry paste
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 ( 14 oz) can light coconut milk
  • 2 c. hot, cooked instant brown rice

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken with salt. Add to the pan and cook until no longer pink. Add bell peppers to pan and cook for 4 minutes. Remove chicken and peppers; keep warm.
In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, soy sauce, curry paste and sugar. Add to the skillet, along with coconut milk. Cook for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally until mixture thickens. Return chicken and peppers to pan and heat through. Serve over rice.

from "Cooking Light"

Monday, February 27, 2012

Broiled Tenderloin Steaks with Ginger Hoisin Glaze

These steaks were juicy, tender and delicious! I made them in honor of finding out the gender of my first grandchild! She is a girl and is due on July 9th! I can't wait to start shopping!

serves 4 ( 5 points + )

  • 1-½ T. hoisin sauce
  • 1-½ tsp. crushed ginger
  • 1-½ tsp. honey
  • 1-½ tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • ½ tsp. chili garlic paste
  • 4 ( 4 oz) beef tenderloin steaks
  • salt

Preheat broiler to high. 
Combine hoisin sauce, ginger, honey, soy sauce and chili garlic sauce in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.
Place steaks on a broiler pan lined with foil or coated with nonstick spray. Sprinkle steaks with salt.
Broil for 2 minutes, flip and broil 2 more minutes. Flip and brush glaze mixture over steak. Broil 1 minute. Flip and brush glaze on the other side of steak. Broil 1 minute or until desired doneness.

from "Cooking Light"

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ham and Potato Chowder

This creamy soup is perfect for a February afternoon!

serves 12 ( 1-¼ c. = 4 points + )

  • 4 T. light stick butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • ½ c. flour
  • 4 c. cooked cubed Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 4 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 3 c. skim milk
  • 2 c. cooked cubed lean ham
  • 1 c. fat-free sour cream ( I like Breakstone's)
  • ¼ c. chopped green onion
  • salt, pepper and dried thyme to taste
  • 1-½ c. low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
In a Dutch oven or large pot, melt butter. Add onion and celery and cook until onion is tender. Whisk in flour. Gradually add chicken broth, whisking to make mixture smooth. Gradually add milk, continuing to whisk. Cook until mixture begins to thicken. Add potatoes, cooking until mixture thickens more. Add ham and heat through. Add sour cream, stirring until blended. Add green onions, salt, pepper and thyme.
Ladle soup into bowls and top each serving with 2 T. shredded cheddar cheese.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Warm Coconut Rice Pudding

Have any of you ever tried Xylitol as a sweetener? I recently discovered this and love it! Xylitol is a substance produced by your body every day and is also found in fruits and vegetables. It is a natural sugar substitute that is safe for diabetics and has no funny after-taste. With my dad being a diabetic, I like to try to find some dessert recipes that he can have. Tonight I tried this one. If you would like to make this with regular sugar, then the points value would be 6 points +. If you use the Xylitol, the points value is 4 points +. Xylitol can be found under the brand name "Ideal".
This dessert was amazing. My dad said he would love to eat this every day!

serves 6 ( 4 points + with Xylitol or 6 points + with sugar)

  • 1 c. water
  • 1 c. instant brown rice
  • ½ c. Xylitol ( or sugar)
  • 3 T. cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1-½ c. skim milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 c. light coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. cardamom
  • ¼ c. toasted coconut

Bring 1 c. water to a boil in a saucepan. Add rice. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until water is absorbed ( about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the sugar and cornstarch.
In a small bowl, combine ¼ c. milk with egg yolks. Add the milk mixture to the sugar mixture, whisking to combine.
Combine remaining 1-¼ c. milk with 1 c. coconut milk in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Slowly pour coconut milk mixture into the bowl with the egg mixture. Whisk to combine. Return this mixture to the pot. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until thickened ( about 1-2 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, cinnamon and cardamom. Stir rice into the pudding mixture. Spoon evenly into 6 cups ( about ½ c. each). Cool at room temperature for 10 minutes. Top with toasted coconut.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Brown Soda Bread

With St. Patrick's Day right around the corner, I thought I would try this brown soda bread. This bread is easy to make and pretty much irresistible to eat!

makes 16 slices ( 3 points+)

  • 2-½ c. white whole wheat flour
  • ½ c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ c. old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 1 T. wheat germ
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 c. low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 325 and spray a 9x5 inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.
Combine the first 8 ingredients in a large bowl ( through salt).
Combine buttermilk with egg. Stir into dry mixture until just blended. Spoon into prepared pan. 
Bake for 60-65 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Invert bread onto a wire rack and cool completely.

from "Cooking Light"

West African Chicken Stew

My dad was in Africa for three months last summer. I thought I would make him this dish as a reminder of his time there. The flavor combination in this dish is outstanding!

serves 8 ( about 1-¼ c. = 6 points +)

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tsp. canola oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 T. crushed garlic
  • 1 T. crushed ginger
  • 2 cans ( 15 oz. each) black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can ( 28 oz.) crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • ¼ c. reduced-fat creamy peanut butter
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tsp. oil in a Dutch oven or large pot. Cook chicken until no longer pink. Remove chicken from pot and keep warm.
Add remaining teaspoon of oil to pot. Cook onion until tender. Add ginger and garlic. Cook 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until sweet potato is tender ( 20-30 minutes) Return chicken to pot and heat through.

from "Healthy Cooking"

Lemon Blueberry Poppy Seed Bread

This is probably one of my all-time favorite quick bread recipes. This recipe comes from my friend, Twyla. You can lower this recipe by 2 points by using applesauce in place of the canola oil. I will list the ingredients with canola oil, but try substituting with applesauce some time and see what you think!
I also like my bread thickly sliced, so I will slice the loaf into 8 and then slice each piece in half. The topping will make enough for 4 loaves. Use ¼ for this recipe and refrigerate the rest for another use.

Serves 16 ( 6 points + or 4 points+ if using applesauce)


  • 1 package Betty Crocker Lemon-Poppyseed muffin mix ( do not use the lemon glaze packet)
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ c. skim milk
  • ⅓ c. canola oil ( or unsweetened applesauce)
  • 1 c. blueberries


  • ⅓ c. butter
  • ½ c. sugar
  • ¾ c. flour


  • ½ c. powdered sugar
  • 1 T. lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 and coat a loaf pan with nonstick spray.
Rinse blueberries in cold water and drain.

For bread, combine muffin mix with eggs, milk and oil ( or applesauce). Fold in blueberries. Transfer to the prepared loaf pan.
For topping, slightly soften butter and combine with flour and sugar until crumbly. Sprinkle ¼ of this mixture over the batter. ( refrigerate remaining topping for another use)

Bake for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For glaze, whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle over cooled loaf.

Chickpeas with Broccoli and Bacon

serves 8 ( 3 points+)

  • 1 lb. broccoli ( fresh or frozen) chopped
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 6 slices, center-cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • ½ tsp. oregano
  • ⅛ tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 2 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1 ( 15 oz) can chickpeas (Garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 oz. Romano cheese, shaved

Cook broccoli in a large pot of boiling water for 5 minutes or until crisp tender. Drain.

Heat oil in a medium skillet. Add bacon and cook until starting to crisp. Add onion and cook until onion softens. Stir in garlic, oregano and crushed red pepper. Add chickpeas and cook for 1 minute. Return broccoli to the pan, season with salt and pepper and heat through.

Transfer mixture to a serving bowl and top with shaved Romano cheese.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bacon Maple Waffles

With maple syrup season upon us, I thought it would be fun to try this delicious breakfast treat. The bacon in each waffle is an added little surprise!

Makes 6 ( 7 points + )

  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1-½ c. buttermilk
  • 3 T. sugar-free maple syrup
  • 4 center cut bacon slices, cooked crisp and crumbled
  • 3 large eggs

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry and whisk until blended. Spray your waffle iron with nonstick spray and add about ½ c. batter to the iron. Cook according to directions.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Chocolate Mint Bars

These bars are a must for chocolate mint lovers. They would be a nice treat for St. Patrick's Day! These bars are very similar to another recipe that I posted last year "Chocolate Mint Layer Brownies". The main difference is that this recipe uses chocolate syrup and the Chocolate Mint Layer Brownies use cocoa. You can try both and decide which one you like best! They are very rich, so you might consider cutting them in half for only 3 points + each.

serves 24 ( 6 points +)

Bottom Layer:

  • 1 c. flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 c. sugar
  • ½ c. egg beaters
  • ¼ c. light stick butter, melted
  • 2 T. water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ( 16 oz.) can Hershey's chocolate syrup

Mint Layer:

  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • ¼ c. regular butter, melted
  • 2 T. skim milk
  • ½ tsp. peppermint extract
  • 2 drops green food coloring


  • ¾ c. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 T. regular butter

Preheat oven to 350. 
To prepare bottom layer, combine flour and salt in a small bowl. 
In a large mixing bowl, beat remaining ingredients for bottom layer until smooth. Add flour mixture and beat until combine. Pour into a 13 x 9 pan coated with nonstick spray. Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out almost clean. Cool completely.

For mint layer, combine all ingredients and beat until smooth. Spread over cooled cake.

For glaze, melt chocolate chips and butter in a microwave safe dish for 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Let stand 2 minutes. Spread over mint layer. Cover and refrigerate until glaze hardens. Cut into bars.

adapted from "Cooking Light:

Ravioli and Green Bean Salad

If you would like to serve this as a main dish then the points value is 9+ ( for 1/6 of the salad) I made this as a side dish with Maple and Soy Glazed Flank Steak.

serves 12 ( about ⅔ c. = 4 points+)

  • 20 oz. package refrigerated cheese ravioli
  • 2 c. fresh cut green beans
  • ½ c. julienned sun-dried tomatoes ( not packed in oil)
  • 1 lb. Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 T. red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ¼ c. ( 1 oz) shaved Romano cheese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add green beans and cook for 5 minutes. Add ravioli and cook until ravioli rises to the surface of the water. Drain green beans and ravioli.
Place ravioli mixture in a large bowl. Add sun-dried tomatoes and Roma tomatoes.
In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, garlic salt and pepper. Drizzle over ravioli mixture and toss to coat. Top with shaved Romano cheese.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Maple and Soy Glazed Flank Steak

Serves 8 ( 5 points + )

  • 2 lbs. flank steak
  • ¼ c. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 T. maple syrup ( I used sugar-free)
  • 2 T. cooking sherry
  • 2 tsp. dark sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. chili garlic paste
  • ⅛ tsp. black pepper

Preheat broiler.
Pierce steak with a for on both sides. Combine the next 6 ingredients in a shallow dish. Place steak in the dish, turn to coat. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Remove steak from marinade, reserving marinade.
Place steak on a broiler pan coated with nonstick spray. 

Place reserved marinade in a small saucepan. Cook until mixture thickens to a syrup consistency ( about 3 minutes). Baste steak with mixture on one side. Broil for 7 minutes. Turn steak and baste the other side with remaining marinade. Broil 7-8 minutes longer. Let steak stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

This recipe comes from my friends, Paul and Susan. They are chocolate aficionados! 

Serves 9 (8 points +) Serve with light whipped cream if desired ( additional points)

  • 1-¼ c. sugar, divided
  • 1 c. flour
  • ½ c. cocoa, divided
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ c. skim milk
  • ⅓ c. butter, melted
  • 1-½ tsp. vanilla
  • ½ c. brown sugar
  • 1-¼ c. boiling water

Heat oven to 350. Combine ¾ c. sugar, ¼ c. cocoa, flour, baking powder and salt. Add milk, butter and vanilla; beat until smooth. Pour into an ungreased 9 inch square pan.

Stir together ½ c. sugar, ½ c. brown sugar, ¼ c. cocoa; sprinkle over batter. 
Pour boiling water over the top and bake 35-40 minutes or until center is almost set ( do not over bake) Let stand 15 minutes.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Carrot Mandarin Cake with Cream Cheese Coconut Frosting

Unlike traditional carrot cake, which tends to be heavy and dense ( and sometimes dry), this cake is moist and light and full of yummy flavor!

Serves 24 ( 6 points + )

  • ¾ c. sugar
  • ¾ c. brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ c. canola oil
  • ¾ c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1-½ c. flour
  • ½ c. white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • 2 c. grated carrot
  • ½ c. chopped pecans
  • 1 c. mandarin oranges


  • 3 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1-2 T. skim milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • dash of salt
  • 2-½ c. powdered sugar
  • ¼ c. toasted coconut
In a large mixing bowl, beat sugars with eggs, oil, applesauce and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and add to mixture. Mix well. Add carrots, mandarin oranges and pecans. Mix until blended. Pour into a 13 x 9 pan coated with nonstick spray. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes or until done. Cool completely.

For frosting, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla. Add milk as needed to make a spreading consistency. Frost cake. Top with toasted coconut. Store in the refrigerator.

Grape Jelly Meatballs

These little meatballs make a satisfying dinner when served with rice and a salad, but they would also be a great party appetizer. At approximately 1.5 points per meatball with sauce, they are a great way to control portion size.

Serves 12 ( 5 meatballs with sauce = 8 points + )

  • 1 bag frozen homestyle meatballs ( with roughly 60 meatballs per bag)
  • 1 jar ( 12 oz) chili sauce ( I usually find this in the ketchup aisle)
  • 1 jar ( 16 oz) grape jelly
  • rice (optional- ½ c. = 3 points + )

Place meatballs, chili sauce and rice in a crock pot. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 2-4 hours or until jelly is melted and meatballs are heated through.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Chicken Pot Stickers with Ginger and Green Onion Dipping Sauce

Thought I'd try a new Asian recipe today. I found this recipe in the magazine "Eat Well, Lose Weight" from Better Homes and Gardens.  They were awesome! These were not too difficult to make, but they must be frozen for at least 3 hours before cooking. You can also freeze these for up to 2 months. I think they would be a great hors de' ouvre for a party. I doubled this recipe and made 40 pot stickers for 8 people. If you double this recipe, you will still only need 1 egg white with 1 T. water to seal.

serves 4 ( 5 pot stickers with 3 T. sauce = 6 points +)

Pot Stickers:

  • 8 oz. uncooked ground chicken breast
  • ¼ c. canned water chestnuts, chopped
  • 2 T. finely chopped green onion
  • 2 T. fresh cilantro
  • 1 T. reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. crushed ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 T. water
  • 20 wonton wrappers
  • 1 T. canola oil, divided
  • ½ c. water

Ginger Dipping Sauce:

  • ¼ c. reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ c. rice vinegar
  • 3 T. chopped green onions
  • 2 tsp. crushed ginger
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • ¼ tsp. dark sesame oil

lightly flour a baking sheet and set aside.
For filling, in a large bowl, combine first 8 ingredients ( through crushed red pepper). 

In a small bowl, beat egg white with 1 T. water.

Spoon about 1 T. filling into the center of each wonton. Using your fingers, coat the edges with egg white mixture. Fold over and press to seal. 

Arrange pot stickers on prepared baking sheet. Cover loosely with foil. Freeze for 3 hours.
If you are not making these right away, but saving for later use, remove from baking sheet after 3 hours and store in a large ziplock bag for up to 2 months.

In a large nonstick skillet coated with spray, heat ½ T. oil. Add 10 pot stickers. Cook 3-4 minutes per side or until browned. Remove from pan and repeat with remaining oil and pot stickers. Return all pot stickers to pan, add ½ c. water. Cover, reduce heat and cook 3-5 minutes or until tender and filling is cooked through.

For sauce, combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Serve with pot stickers.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Mixed Greens with Strawberries and Chocolate Balsamic Dressing

Hope you like this fun salad! We made this for a little dinner party we were having last night. 

serves 6 ( 2 points +)

  • 8 c. mixed greens
  • 2 c. strawberries, sliced
  • 2 T. golden raisins
  • 2 T. slivered almonds


  • 1-½ T. olive oil
  • 1-½ T. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tsp. water
  • 1-½ tsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together dressing ingredients. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine greens, strawberries, raisins and almonds. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat.

Here was our dessert!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Chocolate Truffles

A perfect Valentine's Day treat! I also made these Linzer Tarts… hope you like them!

Makes 24 ( 3 points + )

  • ⅔ c. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 8 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
  • ⅔ c. + ¼ c. baking cocoa divided
  • 2-½  c. powdered sugar, divided

Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add melted chocolate, ⅔ c. cocoa. Gradually add up to 2-¼ c. powdered sugar.
Coat hands using remaining powdered sugar. Roll truffles into balls, then roll in remaining cocoa. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Sirloin and Tortellini Soup

serves 12 ( 6 points+)

  • 6 T. flour, divided
  • 1 lb. boneless sirloin steak, cubed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cans ( 14.5 oz. each) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 box ( 32 oz) fat-free beef broth
  • 2 c. water, divided
  • thyme, salt and pepper to taste
  • 16 oz. bag frozen cheese tortellini

Place 3 T. flour in a large ziplock bag. Add sirloin cubes and turn to coat.
Spray a large nonstick skillet with spray. Brown beef; remove from pan.
Respray pan and saute carrots, onion, celery and garlic until tender. Stir in tomatoes, beef broth, 1-½ c. water, thyme salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Add tortellini and cook until tender ( about 5 minutes). Stir together 3 T. flour and ½ c. water until smooth. Add to soup. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until slightly thickened.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Roasted Red Pepper Quinoa with Chicken

This recipe is healthy and packed with protein!

serves 8 ( 6 points + )

  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken tenders
  • garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1-½ c. uncooked Quinoa
  • 3 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 1-½ c. thinly sliced carrots
  • 2 roasted red peppers, chopped
  • ¼ c. Kalamata olives, chopped
  • ¼ c. sliced green onion

Preheat oven to 375. Heat oil in 2 oven-proof nonstick pans ( such as cast iron). If you do not have oven-proof pans, you can cook the chicken completely in a pan on top of the stove.

Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, oregano and garlic. Cook 3 minutes on one side or until browned. Turn. Place pans in oven and cook until no longer pink ( about 10 minutes)

Meanwhile, place quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and rinse with cold water. Drain and place in a pot with chicken broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until liquid is almost absorbed ( about 15 minutes) Add carrots and cook an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in roasted red peppers, olives and green onions. 

Serve chicken with quinoa.

Pizza Hummus

Here's a nice healthy snack that is low in points. I think you will really like it. Serve it with baked whole wheat pita chips( additional points)  or with fresh veggies for no additional points.

The serving size is 2 T. for 2 points+, but 4 T. is only 3 points +

serves 12 ( 2 T. = 2 points+)

  • 1 can garbanzo beans ( chick peas) drained
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 6 T. pizza sauce
  • 1 T. grated Parmesan cheese
Place all ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Italian Burgers with Sun-dried Tomatoes

These are not your ordinary, every-day burger. They are moist and full of flavors reminiscent of Italy.

serves 8 ( 6 points +)  add additional points for bun of your choice

  • 2 lbs. extra lean ground beef or ground round ( 93% lean)
  • ½ c. dried bread crumbs
  • ½ c. sun-dried tomatoes ( not packed in oil)
  • ½ c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • garlic powder to taste
  • 4 slices part-skim mozzarella cheese ( such as Sargento)

Place sun-dried tomatoes in a bowl Cover with boiling water and let stand for 10 minutes. Drain.
In a large bowl, combine ground beef with bread crumbs, sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan, egg and garlic powder. Form into 8 patties.
Cook burgers in a large nonstick skillet coated with spray or cook burgers on a grill to desired doneness. Top each burger with ½ slice of mozzarella cheese and let melt.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Thai Coconut Chicken

serves 8 ( 4 points +)

  • 1 c. light coconut milk
  • ¼ c. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 T. lime juice
  • 1 T. fresh peeled ginger
  • 2 tsp. Thai chili garlic paste
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • 8 ( 4 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • ¼ c. thinly sliced green onions
Combine first 6 ingredients. Reserve ½ c. marinade for later. Place remaining mixture, along with chicken in a large ziplock bag. Seal and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken with salt to taste. Cook chicken for 7 minutes per side or until done. Serve with remaining sauce and green onions.

from "Cooking Light"

Monday, February 6, 2012

Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce

This recipe is yum, yum, double YUM! 

serves 8 ( 7 points + )

Bread Pudding:

  • 5 c. cubed French bread ( about 8 oz)
  • 1 c. fat-free evaporated milk
  • ¾ c. skim or 1% milk
  • 2 T. bourbon
  • 1 T. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs


  • ¾ c. packed light brown sugar
  • 3 T. bourbon
  • 1 T. butter
  • 6 T. half and half, divided
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ⅛ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350.
To prepare bread pudding, arrange bread in a single layer on a baking sheet Bake at 350 for 8 minutes or until lightly toasted.
Combine evaporated milk and the next 7 ingredients ( through eggs) in a large bowl; stir with a whisk, Add bread cubed and let stand 20 minutes, occasionally pressing on bread to soak up milk.

To prepare sauce, combine brown sugar, 3 T. bourbon and butter in a small saucepan over med-high heat; bring to a boil. Simmer 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Stir in 5 T. half and half; simmer 10 minutes or until reduced to about 1 cup. Remove pan from heat. Stir in remaining 1 T. half and half, 1 tsp. vanilla and ⅛ tsp. salt. Keep warm.

Spoon half of bread mixture into a 9 x 5 loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Drizzle 3 T. sauce over bread mixture. Spoon remaining bread mixture over the top and bake for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve warm sauce with bread pudding. ( You may have to reheat sauce on the stove for about 1 minute)

from " Cooking Light"

Prosciutto Wrapped Roasted Tomatoes

This was an hors de' ouvre that I made for the Super Bowl. It was adapted from a cookbook called "Italian Diet".

serves 12 ( 3 points + )

  • 6 Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • black pepper
  • 7 oz. fat-free cream cheese
  • ¼ c. thinly sliced green onion
  • 12 slices prosciutto ( about 12 oz)
  • 1 T. honey

Place cut tomatoes, skin side down on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with pepper. Broil for 10 minutes. Cool.
Meanwhile, beat cream cheese until smooth. Stir in green onions. Top tomatoes evenly with cream cheese mixture. Roll in prosciutto and drizzle with honey.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Rosemary-Chicken Panini with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

before going on the grill pan

After grilling

These sandwiches are a bit of work, but well worth the effort. I would give myself an hour to make these from start to finish, including marinating time.

serves 4 ( 10 points +)

  • 2 T. olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 4 ( 4 oz) chicken breast halves ( boneless, skinless)
  • ¼ c. chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • ⅛ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 ( 6 oz.) package fresh baby spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ( 1 oz) slices Italian bread
  • ½ c. shredded mozzarella

Combine 2 tsp. olive oil, rosemary and chicken in a large ziplock bag. Marinate for 30 minutes.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add remaining 4 tsp. oil to the pan. Add sun-dried tomatoes, crushed red pepper and garlic. Saute 1 minute. Add spinach; cook until spinach barely wilts. Season with salt; set aside.

Heat a grill ( I used a George Foreman) pan over medium high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Grill until meat is no longer pink. Slice chicken.

Top each of 4 bread slices with chicken, then spinach mixture, then 2 T. mozzarella. Top with remaining bread slices.

Recoat grill pan or panini pan with nonstick spray. Arrange 2 sandwiches on pan. Place a cast iron skillet on top of sandwiches. Press gently to flatten. Cook until browned on each side. Repeat with remaining 2 sandwiches.

from: Cooking Light

Spinach, Romaine and Tangerine Salad

I saw this recipe in a "Cooking Light" magazine and knew I wanted to try it. I did not have all of the ingredients necessary, so I substituted with what I did have. Citrus is a perfect fruit for the winter season and is so refreshing in this salad.

serves 6 ( 3 points +)

  • 2 T. torn mint leaves
  • 1-½ tsp. grated tangerine rind
  • 2 T. fresh tangerine juice
  • 2 tsp. thinly sliced green onion
  • ½ tsp. vinegar ( I used Tarragon vinegar)
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 4 c. baby spinach leaves
  • 4 c. Romaine, chopped
  • 2 peeled and sliced tangerines
  • ⅓ c. walnuts, toasted
  • ¼ tsp. pepper

Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Gradually add oil, stirring with a whisk.
Combine spinach, tangerine slices and Romaine in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. Sprinkle evenly with walnuts and pepper.

Sausage and Spinach Risotto

This is my favorite Risotto recipe thus far. Risotto is a bit time consuming, but it is so good. I like to serve it as a side dish, but this could easily be a main dish. If you would like a main dish serving ( ¼ of the recipe) the points value would be 9+. If you would like it as a side dish ( ⅛ of the recipe) the points value would be 5+

serves 8 ( 5 points + )

  • 3 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • 8 oz. fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 5 oz. sweet Italian sausage links, casings removed ( about 2 links)
  • ½ c. chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 c. uncooked Arborio rice
  • ⅓ c. dry white wine
  • 1 ( 6 oz) package baby spinach
  • 1 oz ( ¼ c. ) shaved Romano cheese

Bring broth and 1 c. water to a simmer. Keep warm over low heat.
Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil. Add mushrooms and salt. Cook until browned. Remove mushrooms from pan and set aside.
Add sausage to pan and cook until browned, stirring to crumble. Add onion and garlic. Cook 1 minute. Add rice; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Stir in wine and cook until liquid is absorbed. Stir in 1 c. broth mixture cook until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add remaining broth mixture, ½ c. at a time, stirring until each portion of broth mixture is absorbed before adding the next. ( about 30 minutes total). Remove pan from heat. Add mushrooms and spinach; stir until spinach wilts. Top evenly with cheese.

from "Cooking Light"


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