Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pork and Tomato Skillet Saute

serves 4 ( 7 points +)

  • 4 tsp. olive oil, divided
  • 4 ( 6 oz) bone-in center- cut pork chops
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 2 c. grape tomatoes
  • 3 T. chopped, fresh basil

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tsp. oil and swirl to coat. Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper. Add pork to pan; cook 3 minutes per side or until done.
Remove pork from pan. Add remaining 1 T. oil, vinegar and garlic to pan; saute 1 minute, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Combine tomatoes with ¼ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper in a medium bowl; toss to coat. Add tomato mixture to pan; cook until tomatoes begin to soften. Sprinkle with basil. Serve tomato mixture with pork.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Monday, July 30, 2012

Chicken Tacos with Avocado Black Bean Salsa

Anyone who enjoys Mexican food is sure to love this recipe! You will most likely have some of the salsa left over to use with chips if you like.

serves 12  (7 points+)

  • 3 T. fresh lime juice
  • 3 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ c. onion, chopped
  • ½ c. chopped, fresh cilantro
  • 1 c. diced avocado
  • salt to taste
  • 12 ( 6 inch) flour tortillas
  • 4 c. shredded rotisserie chicken
  • shredded Romaine lettuce
  • ¾ c. crumbled queso fresco

Combine the first 7 ingredients in a bowl ( through salt)
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat with nonstick spray. Fry tortillas on each side until lightly browned.
Layer each tortilla with lettuce, salsa, chicken and queso fresco.

Lemon Squares

A refreshing summer treat!

serves 16 ( 3 points +)

  • ¾ c. flour
  • ¼ c. powdered sugar
  • 3 T. chopped pecans
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • 2 T. butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 T. canola oil
  • ¾ c. sugar
  • 2 T. flour
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon rind
  • ½ c. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 T. powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 and spray an 8 inch square pan with nonstick spray.
Combine the first four ingredients in a food processor and pulse until mixed. Add the butter and canola oil and process until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press into the bottom of the 8 inch pan and bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Reduce oven temperature to 325.

Combine sugar and next 5 ingredients ( through egg white) in a medium bowl until smooth. Pour over crust and bake for 20 minutes or until set. Remove from oven and cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours. Sprinkle squares evenly with 2 T. powdered sugar.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Summer Squash Casserole

Another great way to use up your summer produce!

serves 8 ( 4 points +)

  • 2 medium yellow summer squash
  • 2 hot Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 can ( 15 oz) cream style corn
  • 2 c. low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 oz. can diced green chilies

Brown sausage in a skillet with squash and onions. Stir in corn, cheese and chilies. Transfer mixture to an 11 x 7 pan coated with nonstick spray.
Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until golden.

Chicken Teriyaki Kabobs

Easy and delicious… low points too!

Makes 18 kabobs ( each kabob = 2 points +)

  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 fresh pineapple, cubed
  • 1 red onion, cut into chunks
  • 2 bell peppers, cut into chunks
  • ¾ c. Lawry's teriyaki with pineapple marinade

Place chicken, pineapple and veggies on skewers. Place in a large baking dish. Pour marinade over kabobs and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Grill kabobs, basting with any remaining marinade from the baking dish. Cook until chicken is no longer pink.

Cherry Galette

This cherry galette was a "different" kind of birthday treat for my mom. I knew we would be having cake at a later date for her official birthday party, so I wanted to make something different. This is a perfect July dessert. It was easy to make using pre-made crust, but it was pretty too… now if I just owned a cherry pitter, I could make this recipe in a snap! This recipe is complemented nicely with a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt!

serves 6 ( 6 points +)

  • 1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust
  • 2 T. sugar, divided
  • 1-½ tsp. cornstarch
  • 3-½ c. pitted cherries
  • ½ tsp. grated lemon rind
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1-½ T. low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 T. turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Unroll pie dough and roll into a 12-½  inch circle.
Combine 1 T. sugar with the cornstarch and sprinkle over the crust, leaving a 2 inch border.
Combine cherries, remaining 2 T. sugar, lemon rind and juice. Arrange cherry mixture over pie crust, leaving a 2 inch border. Fold dough over cherries, pressing to seal.
Brush edges of dough with buttermilk. Sprinkle turbinado sugar evenly over crust and cherries.
Bake for 25 minutes or until crust is browned and juices are bubbly. Cool for at least 20 minutes.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Lemon Balm Stuffed Chicken

before roasting

after roasting

Last week was my mom's birthday. She loves anything to do with lemon and since I had an abundance of lemon balm growing in my garden, I decided to try to make something with it. I cooked the chicken in my roaster at 300 degrees until done ( 2-3 hours depending on size of the chicken) You can also bake the chicken in the oven, covered, but uncover for the last 30 minutes for some added color. This chicken was moist and juicy. Everyone loved it. I made this along with Zucchini Stuffing, fruit and yogurt parfaits, a salad and Cherry Galette for dessert.

3 oz. cooked chicken without skin = 4 points +

  • 1 whole roasting chicken
  • a bunch of lemon balm
  • 1 lemon
  • thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste

Rinse chicken and pat dry. Stuff the cavity with lemon balm. Place slices of lemon under the skin. Sprinkle chicken with garlic powder, salt, pepper and thyme. Roast at 300 degrees until juices run clear.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fettuccini with Tomato Cream Sauce

This quick and easy recipe is full of fresh flavor! This is perfect for a meatless weeknight meal!

Serves 8 ( about 1-¼ c. = 9 points +)

  • 16 oz. fettuccini noodles, Cooked al dente
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 T. crushed garlic ( from a jar)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 T. dried oregano
  • 1 can ( 28 oz) whole tomatoes
  • 1 can ( 28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 5 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese, cubed
  • fresh basil leaves
  • 1 oz. shaved Parmesan

In a saucepan, heat olive oil. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add both cans of tomatoes, salt, pepper and oregano. Bring to a boil, crushing the tomatoes with a spoon. Stir in cream cheese and cook until melted. Stir in drained pasta. Transfer to a serving bowl. top with fresh basil and shaved Parmesan.

Bacon Cheddar Sliders

serves 8 ( 1 slider = 4 points+)

  • 3 T. finely chopped onion
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 12 oz. ground beef (93% lean)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ c. reduced-fat shredded cheddar
  • 8 slider buns ( 2 points each)
  • 3 T. low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 8 lettuce leaves
  • pickle slices
  • 4 slices, fully cooked bacon, quartered

Combine first 4 ingredients. Form into 8 patties. Grill until desired doneness. Top with cheese and let melt. Serve on buns with toppings.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Plum and Blackberry Cobbler

Plums and blackberries are two more fruits that are in season right now. I came up with this recipe using 2 different kinds of plums for added color and variety of taste.

serves 9 ( 4 points+)

  • 4 medium plums, sliced thinly
  • 1 c. blackberries
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 6 T. sugar, divided
  • ¾ c. flour + 1 T. flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 2 T. chilled butter, cubed
  • 3 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese, cubed
  • ¼ c. low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 T. turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 375 and spray an 8 or 9 inch square baking dish with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients. Stir in 2 T. sugar and 1T. flour. Transfer mixture to prepared pan.
Place remaining ¾ c. flour, ¼ c. sugar and baking powder in a food processor. Pulse until mixed ( about 3 times). Add butter and cream cheese and pulse until crumbs form. Add buttermilk and process until blended.
Carefully spread dough by spoonfuls on top of filling. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until top is golden and filling is bubbly.


Being a grandma is amazing! My daughter is an excellent photographer, and this baby is so beautiful! Here are a few of my favorite one week old pictures!

Tilapia topped with Pesto

Here is an easy recipe that is both quick and healthy! If you would like to try making a homemade pesto that is easy and low in fat, try this recipe. You can save the extra for a later use with pasta.

serves 4 ( 3 points +)

  • 4 ( 3 oz) tilapia filets
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 T. reduced-fat pesto sauce

Heat oil in a nonstick skillet coated with spray. Add filets, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until fish flakes ( just a couple of minutes per side). Remove to a serving platter and top each filet with 1 T. pesto sauce.

Banana Bread

Did you ever have a banana bread recipe that was so good, but that was so fattening that you avoided making it? Well, no more. This recipe was adapted from my all-time favorite recipe to make it lower in fat without losing any of the great taste. Try it and let me know how you like it!

serves 12 (5 points +)

  • ½ c. unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ c. butter softened
  • ½ c. sugar
  • 1 c. sugar substitute ( such as Ideal Xylitol)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 large bananas, mashed
  • 2 c. flour
  • 4 T. Dannon Light and Fit Vanilla Yogurt ( or any fat free vanilla yogurt)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Beat first 5 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add bananas and mix until just combined.
Combine flour and baking soda. Add to banana mixture alternately with yogurt. Add vanilla last.
Pour into a loaf pan coated with non-stick spray. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

New Addition

This is what has been occupying my time for the past week! Here is my first grandchild, Audriana Bella. Isn't she precious?

Cilantro Lime Chicken Sandwiches

Another great grilling recipe…perfect for summer!

serves 8 ( 10 points +)

  • ½ c. canola oil
  • ¼ c. lime juice
  • 4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves ( 4 oz. each)
  • 1 c. fat-free spreadable cream cheese
  • ⅓ c. chopped, fresh cilantro
  • ¼ c. chopped red onion
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 Healthy Life Buns ( 2 points each)
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, sliced

In a large ziplock bag, combine the first 3 ingredients. Add chicken, seal bag, turn to coat and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, cilantro, red onion, salt and pepper; chill until serving.

Drain and discard marinade. Grill chicken, covered, over medium heat until no longer pink.

Spread cream cheese mixture onto buns. Layer with avocado, tomatoes and chicken.

"Healthy Cooking"

Cherry Crisp

With cherries at their peak season, how could I resist trying this recipe! It was thoroughly enjoyed by all and was worth the effort of pitting the cherries!

serves 8 ( 7 points +)


  • 6 c. sweet cherries, pitted and halved
  • ⅓ c. sugar
  • ¼ c. cornstarch
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp. almond extract
  • ⅛ tsp. salt


  • ½ c. flour
  • ½ c. quick rolled oats
  • ½ c. packed brown sugar
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • 5 T. light stick butter
  • ⅓ c. sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 375.
In a large bowl, combine all filling ingredients, tossing gently to mix. Transfer to an 11 x 7 pan coated with nonstick spray.
For topping, combine first four ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in butter and mix with fingers until crumbly. Stir in almonds.
Sprinkle topping over filling and bake for 45 minutes or until filling is bubbly and topping is crisp. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve warm. ( great with vanilla ice-cream)

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Pork Chops with Creamy Gravy

I was in the mood for some comfort food yesterday and was looking for something I could make with ingredients I had on hand and that would also be relatively low in points. This is what I came up with. I hope you like it!

serves 8 ( 7 points +)

  • 1 egg
  • ½ c. skim milk
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1-¼ c. Panko Japanese bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 boneless pork chops ( 4 oz. each)
  • 3 T. light butter, divided
  • ¼ c. flour
  • ⅓ c. fat-free beef broth
  • 1-½ c. 2% milk

In a shallow bowl, whisk together egg and skim milk.
In another bowl, combine Panko, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper.

Heat a large nonstick skillet or cast iron pan. Add 2 T. butter and melt.
Dip pork chops in egg mixture, then coat in Panko mixture. Place in pan and cook for 4 minutes per side or until browned.

Transfer pork to a large baking pan coated with nonstick spray. Bake, uncovered, at 425 for 15-20 minutes or until no longer pink.

Meanwhile, melt remaining 1 T. butter in pan. Stir in flour. Gradually add beef broth and then milk. Bring to a boil, while continually whisking. Cook until thickened. Serve with pork chops.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Summer Squash and Ricotta Galette

A great way to use some of that summer produce! Give yourself about 1-½ hours to make this delicious meatless meal. You can also make the dough ahead of time and chill until ready to use. This recipe makes good use of olive oil, a healthy fat.

serves 6 ( 10 points +)

  • 1-⅔ c. flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ⅓ c. + 1 T. olive oil, divided
  • ¼ c. water

  • 1 large yellow summer squash, cut into ¼ inch slices
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1c. low-fat ricotta cheese
  • ½ c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp. grated lemon rind
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. water
  • 1 egg white
  • fresh basil leaves
For crust, combine flour, salt and baking powder in a food processor. Pulse a few times to mix. Combine ⅓ c. olive oil and water. Pour slowly through chute and process until dough is crumbly.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 1 minute. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until ready to use.

In a medium bowl, combine squash, 1 T. olive oil and garlic.

In another bowl, combine ricotta with next 5 ingredients ( through egg).

Unwrap dough and roll into a 14 inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Place dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Spread ricotta mixture over dough, leaving a 2 nch border. Arrange squash slices alternately, slightly overlapping, in a circular pattern over ricotta mixture. Sprinkle squash with salt. 

Fold edges of dough toward center, pressing gently to seal ( Dough will only partially cover filling).
In a small bowl, whisk together egg white and 1 tsp. water. Brush over dough edges. 
Bake at 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before cutting. Sprinkle with torn basil. Cut into 6 wedges.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Mediterranean Chicken Salad

This salad is light, filling and full of healthy ingredients. This is perfect for a summer lunch.

Serves 6 (a generous 1 c. =  7 points +)

  • 3 c. cooked, cubed boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 c. chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1 can ( 14 oz) artichoke hearts packed in water, drained and chopped
  • ½ c. crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
  • ⅓ c. pitted, chopped Kalamata olives
  • ¼ c. finely chopped red onion


  • ¼ c. olive oil
  • 2 T. tarragon vinegar
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 1-½ tsp. Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

On a large bowl combine the salad ingredients. In another bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Drizzle over salad and toss to coat.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Brownie Ice-Cream Sandwiches

Perfect for any occasion, but especially on the 4th of July! This recipe is fairly easy to make and can be made well in advance. You can freeze these treats for up to 1 month.

Makes 16 ( 5 points + )

  • 3 squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • ⅓ c. butter, cubed
  • 1 c. sugar
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla 
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ c. flour
  • 1.5 qt. low-fat vanilla ice-cream in a rectangular box ( such as Breyer's )

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a jelly roll pan with nonstick spray. Line pan with parchment paper or wax paper. Spray paper.

Place chocolate and butter in a saucepan over medium low heat. Stir until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat. Stir sugar, salt and vanilla into chocolate mixture. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, until blended. Stir in flour just until mixed. Scrap onto prepared sheet. Spread batter over parchment paper to create a smooth, even, very thin layer.

Bake in the center of oven until brownie appears shiny and is firm, but slightly undercooked, about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in pan, about 30 minutes. Run a knife along edges of pan. Cut brownie in half making two long rectangles.
Place pan in freezer for 5 minutes.
Remove from freezer and gently lift brownie and , using a schissors, cut the parchment separating the rectangles. Place 1 brownie, top-side down on a cutting board or counter. Peel off parchment. Open box of ice cream Slice off 5 even slices and arrange on top of brownie. Peel parchment from bottom of remaining brownie and place on top of ice cream, Pat down fimly. With a sharp knife, score top of brownie into 16 rectangular pieces ( cut 8 x 2 ). Freeze for at least 3 hours or until firm. Remove from freezer and using a serrated knife, cut into 16 sandwiches. Individually wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap.

from "Chatelaine"

Sweet and Sour Chicken

A light-tasting, low-sugar version of Sweet and Sour Chicken.

serves 4 ( 11 points +)

  • 1 T. + 2 tsp. reduced sodium soy sauce, divided
  • 1 T. sherry
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. minced ginger
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 can ( 20 oz) pineapple chunks in juice
  • 2 T. + ⅓ c. cornstarch. divided
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • ¼ c. cider vinegar
  • ¼ c. ketchup
  • 1 T. canola oil
  • 2 green onions, sliced thinly
  • 2 c. hot cooked rice

In a large ziplock bag, combine 1 T. soy sauce with the next 4 ingredients. Add chicken, seal bag, turn to coat. Let marinate for 30 minutes.
Remove chicken from bag and discard marinade.

Drain pineapple juice into a large bowl. Combine with 2 T. cornstarch and the next 3 ingredients ( through ketchup)

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok.  Place remaining ⅓ c. cornstarch in a large ziplock bag. Add chicken and toss to coat. Cook chicken in oil until no longer pink. Remove chicken from pan. Add pineapple juice mixture. Cook until thickened. Return chicken to pan. Add pineapple chunks and green onions. Heat through.
Serve over rice.


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