Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Three Bean Salad with Corn and Avocado

With temperatures soaring near 90 degrees, this cold salad was the perfect accompaniment to Chicken with Watermelon Salsa!

serves 12 ( about ⅔ c. = 4 points +)

  • 1 c. grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 c. frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • ⅓ c. chopped, fresh cilantro
  • ⅓ c. fresh lime juice
  • 1 ( 15 oz) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 ( 15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 diced peeled avocados

Place tomatoes in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt. LEt stand 10 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients and toss to coat.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Strawberry and Ham Wraps

With strawberry season upon us in the midwest, I thought it would be fun to do a "different" recipe using strawberries. This recipe would be great as a light lunch or even as a snack. The combination of the strawberries and ham may sound strange, but it is actually light and fresh tasting!

serves 1 ( 3 points +)

  • 1 ( 6 inch) La Tortilla Factory whole wheat tortilla ( or any other 1 point tortilla)
  • 1 T. reduced-fat garden vegetable cream cheese
  • 1 oz. thinly sliced deli ham
  • 2 large strawberries, sliced
  • Romaine lettuce, shredded

Spread cream cheese over the tortilla. Top with ham, then berries and lettuce. Roll and cut in half cross-wise.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Raspberry- Chocolate Shortbread Bars

serves 30 ( 5 points +)

  • 2 c. low-fat buttermilk baking mix ( such as Bisquick)
  • ⅓ c. packed brown sugar
  • 2 T. butter, melted
  • 4 T. skim milk
  • 1 ( 14 oz) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
  • 1-¼ c. chocolate chips, divided
  • 3 T. chopped walnuts
  • ⅓ c. seedless raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 13 x 9 pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray.

Whisk baking mix, brown sugar and butter in a bowl. Transfer ¼ c. to a small bowl to be used for topping.
Add milk to remaining mixture and stir until moist. Press into the bottom of the pan. Bake 15 minutes.

For filling, microwave condensed milk with 1 c. chocolate chips for 1 minute. Stir until chips are melted. Microwave longer if needed. Spread filling over crust.

Combine reserved topping mixture with walnuts. Sprinkle over filling.

Add jam by ½ teaspoonfuls over topping, spacing 2 inches apart. Sprinkle topping with remaining ¼ c. chocolate chips. Bake until filling is set (25 minutes). Cool. Lift from pan using foil. Cut into 30 bars.

from "Weight Watcher's Magazine"

Root Beer Float Pie

This easy-to-make pie was a perfect dessert for an All-American holiday, Memorial Day!
This dessert does need to be refrigerated for several hours and can even be made the day before. The root beer flavor is very subtle and not over-powering. I think you will really like it.

serves 8 ( 5 points +)

  • 1 carton ( 8 oz) Cool Whip Free
  • ¾ c. cold root beer
  • ½ c. skim milk
  • 1 pkg. sugar -free instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 graham cracker pie crust ( 9")
  • maraschino cherries ( optional)
Whisk together the root beer, pudding and milk until set. Let stand 2 minutes. Fold in half of the Cool Whip and transfer to the pie crust. Top with remaining Cool Whip. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Top each piece with a cherry right before serving, if desired.

adapted from "Healthy Cooking"

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Banana Breakfast Cake

What a perfect addition to a light breakfast! This recipe was originally from my grandmother, but I have lightened it considerably. It still has a great taste and is very satisfying. You can use regular sugar and you can also substitute ¼ c. butter for ¼ c. of the applesauce if you like, but the points value will increase.

serves 24 ( 2 points +)

  • 2 c. white whole wheat flour
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 c. Xylitol ( sugar substitute- brand name Ideal)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 medium bananas
  • ¾ c. fat-free sour milk ( ¾ c. milk with ¾ tsp. white vinegar-let stand for a few minutes)
Beat applesauce with Xylitol. Add eggs, bananas and sour milk. Mix well.

Sift together flours with baking soda. Add to banana mixture and beat for 2 minutes.

Transfer to a 13 x 9 baking dish coated with nonstick spray. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until done. Do not overbake.

Chicken Joes

These sandwiches are full of healthy ingredients and are very low in points. They are 2 points +, but you must add additional points for the bun.
This recipe was adapted from the cookbook "The Diabetes Comfort Food Cookbook".

serves 8-10 ( 2 points +) add additional points for bun

  • 1 lb. ground chicken ( white meat only)
  • ½ c. onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 red or green pepper, chopped
  • ¾ c. diced zucchini
  • 1 ( 14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • ½ c. bottled bbq sauce ( look for a brand with low sugar)

In a large skillet, cook the ground chicken, onion, garlic, chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper until meat is browned.
Add green or red pepper and zucchini. Cook until tender. Add diced tomatoes and bbq sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Almond Stuffed Chicken

Almond Stuffed Chicken: serves 4 ( 7 points)

  • 1/3 c. light garden vegetable spreadable cheese
  • 1/4 c. slivered almonds, coarsely chopped and toasted, divided
  • 3 T. chopped fresh parsley or 1 tsp. dried
  • 4 ( 6 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 T. butter

Combine the spreadable cheese, 3 T. almonds and 2 T. chopped fresh parsley or 1/2 tsp. dried. Set aside.

Cut a horizontal slit through the thickest portion of each breast to form a pocket. Stuff with cheese mixture ( about 1-1/2 T. in each piece of chicken) Secure each pocket with wooden toothpicks. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.

Heat butter in a large nonstick skillet coated with Pam. Add chicken and cook 6 minutes on each side or until juices run clear. Remove chicken from pan. Cover and let stand 2 minutes. Top chicken with remaining 1 T. almonds and remaining parsley.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bacon and Cheese Custards

serves 6 ( 4 points +)

  • 4 Oscar Mayer thick sliced fully cooked bacon
  • ⅓ c. finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • ½ c. finely chopped red onion
  • ⅓ c. reduced-fat shredded Swiss cheese
  • 2 c. (2%) milk
  • ¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • ⅛ tsp. ground red pepper
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350 and spray 6 individual ramekins with nonstick spray.
Cook bacon in a skillet until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. With remaining bacon grease, cook peppers, onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes. Return bacon to pan. Remove from heat and stir in Swiss cheese. Spoon mixture evenly into ramekins.

Heat milk in a saucepan until tiny bubbles appear around the edges.

In a large bowl, whisk together milk with remaining ingredients. Spoon evenly over bacon mixture.

Place ramekins in a large baking dish and add hot water to the pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake for 32 minutes or until the center barely moves. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Grilled Caribbean Lime Chicken with Pineapple Salsa

from Taste of Home's "Healthy Cooking" magazine
serves 8 (6 points +)

  • 1/2 c. lime juice
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves ( 6 oz. each)

  • 2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 c. diced fresh pineapple
  • 2/3 c. cubed avocado
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 T. lime juice
  • 1T. cider vinegar
  • ¼ c. chopped, fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
In a large ziplock bag, combine the first 5 ingredients. Add chicken, seal and turn to coat. Refrigerate 2 hours.
Coat grill with cooking spray. Cook chicken until juices run clear.
Combine salsa ingredients, cover and refrigerate until serving.

Maple-Mustard Chicken Thighs

serves 4-8 ( 1 thigh = 4 points+ or 2 thighs = 7 points+)

  • 1/3 c. Dijon mustard
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 3 T. maple syrup
  • 2 T. yellow mustard
  • 1 T. cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
  • salt

Combine first 8 ingredients in a bowl. Place half of the mixture into a large ziplock bag; reserve remaining mixture. Add chicken to bag; seal. Chill 2 hours.
Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Remove chicken from bag and sprinkle with salt. Place chicken on grill and cook for 7-8 minutes per side or until done. Serve with reserved mustard mixture.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Peas Parma

serves 6 ( 3 points+)

  • 1 pkg. ( 16 oz) frozen peas
  • 6 slices Oscar Mayer fully cooked thick cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place peas in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook bacon in oil and butter until crisp. Add tomato, salt and pepper; heat through. Stir in peas and heat through.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Pistachio Chai Muffins

Today, I am hosting a Mother's Day brunch. One of the items served will be these Pistachio Chai Muffins from "Cooking Light". Of course, I had to sample them first to make sure they were good enough to serve to guests! They are outstanding. I think you will really enjoy them. Make some for your mom, and she will be sure to appreciate you!

serves 12 ( 5 points+)

  • 1-¾ c. flour
  • ½ c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 chai tea bags, opened ( I used vanilla chai)
  • 1 c. low-fat buttermilk
  • ¼ c. butter, melted
  • 1-½ tsp. vanilla, divided
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ c. shelled, dry-roasted pistachios, chopped
  • ½ c. powered sugar
  • 1 T. water

Preheat oven to 375 and line a muffin tin with paper liners or spray with nonstick spray.
Combine flour and next four ingredients in a large bowl, whisking to stir. Stir in chai tea. Make a well in the center.
In a small bowl, combine butter, buttermilk, 1 tsp. vanilla and egg. Pour into the center of the dry ingredients. Stir until just blended.
Spoon mixture evenly into 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle with pistachios.
Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
Combine remaining ½ tsp. vanilla, powdered sugar and water. Drizzle over muffins.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Swedish Meatballs

These meatballs are delectable. Even if you do not like meatballs, you WILL like these!
I served these over whole wheat egg noodles. ⅛ of a 12 oz. package of whole wheat egg noodles would add 4 points+ to this recipe. Give yourself about 1-½ hours to make these as the meatballs have to simmer in the sauce for 1 hour.

serves 8 ( 7 meatballs = 8 points+) 

  • ⅓ c. onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef ( at least 93% lean)
  • ½ lb. ground pork
  • 1-½ c. bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 T. sugar
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¾ c. skim milk
  • 6 beef bouillon cubes
  • 6 c. water
  • 10 T. flour
  • 3 T. lemon juice
  • 6 bay leaves

In a large nonstick skillet coated with spray, saute onions.
In a large bowl, combine onions with the next 9 ingredients ( through milk). 
Spray skillet again and brown meatballs. ( I had to use 2 pans). Remove browned meatballs from pan.
Dissolve bouillon cubes in water ( I heated my water and cubes in the microwave for 3 minutes).

Stir flour into skillet. Gradually add bouillon mixture and lemon juice, whisking until smooth. Cook until mixture begins to thicken. Add meatballs and bay leaves. Cover and simmer for 1 hour.

Serve over egg noodles if desired.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Roasted Potatoes with Arugula-Pistachio Pesto

This serving size for this recipe is 1 c. for 7 points +.  If you would like a smaller portion (½ c.) that would only be 3 points +. I served this side dish with Malibu Chicken Bundles, and peas.

serves 6 ( 7 points+)

  • 2 lbs. fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
  • ¼ c. olive oil, divided
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-½ c. packed arugula leaves
  • 3 T. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1-½ T. pistachios
  • 2 T. water
  • 1-½ tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove

Combine potatoes and 1 T. oil in a medium bowl; toss well. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on a jelly roll pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes; toss potatoes. Bake an additional 25 minutes or until tender, stirring every 10 minutes.

Combine remaining ingredients with more salt and pepper to taste in a food processor. Process until smooth. Place cooked potatoes in a medium bowl. Add arugula mixture and toss to coat.

from "Cooking Light"

Friday, May 4, 2012

Fiesta Burger

Shown without top bun so that you can see the toppings!

This fresh-tasting, full of flavor, burger is sure to please… this is perfect for grilling season!

serves 8 ( 6 points +)  ( add points for bun. I use Healthy Life Buns, which are only 2 points+ )

  • 2 lbs. lean ground beef (93% lean)
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 slices part-skim Mozzarella, halved
  • 1 c. fresh salsa
  • 1 medium avocado, sliced into 8 slices
  • 2 c. shredded Romaine

Combine beef, garlic powder, chili powder and salt. Form into 8 patties. Grill until desired doneness. Top each with ½ slice cheese. Add lettuce, salsa and avocados for toppings.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

No-Bake Fresh Strawberry Pie

This pie just says, "Summer"!

serves 8 ( 8 points +)

  • 25 Nabisco's Famous Chocolate Wafers
  • 3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 6 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
  • ⅓ c. powdered sugar
  • ¾ tsp. vanilla
  • 2 c. Cool Whip Free
  • 2 T. seedless strawberry or raspberry preserves
  • ½ tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 lb. small strawberries, hulled and cut in half

Place chocolate wafers in a food processor and process until finely ground. Place the chopped chocolate in a microwave safe dish and microwave 1 minute or until chocolate melts, stirring every 15 seconds. Add melted chocolate and canola oil to the food processor; process until well combined. 
Press chocolate mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9" pie pan. Freeze for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Fold in Cool Whip. Carefully spread over crust.

Place preserves in a large bowl. Microwave 10-15 seconds or until softened. Add lemon juice. Whisk until smooth. Add berries and toss to coat. Arrange berries over pie.

Chill 30 minutes or until ready to serve.

from "Cooking Light"

Cherry Wheat Germ Muffins

These muffins are packed full of flavor. They are great for breakfast or even to go along with a light dinner.

Serves 12 ( 5 points +)

  • 1-½ c. flour
  • ¾ c. dried cherries
  • ½ c. toasted wheat germ
  • ½ c. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground allspice
  • 1 c. low-fat buttermilk
  • ¼ c. canola oil
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400.
Combine flour and next 7 ingredients (through allspice) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.
Make a well in the center of mixture. Combine buttermilk, oil and egg in a bowl. Add too flour mixture, stirring until just moist.
Place 12 muffin cup liners in a muffin pan or spray with nonstick spray. Divide batter evenly among cups. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes on a wire rack.

from "Cooking Light"

Coconut Chicken with Vanilla Mandarin Dipping Sauce

Serves 8 ( 6 points +) with out dipping sauce (5 points+)
You can toast coconut by placing it in a pan in an oven heated to 350 degress. Turn coconut every 5 minutes until done. This should not take more than 10 minutes or so. Watch it closely so that it does not burn.

  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves ( 8 breast halves)
  • 1 c. toasted coconut
  • ½ c. breadcrumbs
  • ½ c. low-fat buttermilk
  • ½ c. Danon Light and Fit Vanilla yogurt
  • ⅓ c. mandarin oranges, drained and chopped

Heat oven to 400 and spray a large baking dish with nonstick spray.
In a shallow bowl, mix coconut with bread crumbs. In another shallow bowl, place buttermilk.
Dip chicken in buttermilk and then coat in coconut mixture. Place in the baking dish. Spray the top of chicken pieces with nonstick spray. Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through.

In a small bowl, combine yogurt and mandarin oranges for dipping sauce.


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