Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Caramelized Squash Salad with Pecans and Goat Cheese

I do not know what to say about this salad other than "AMAZING"! 
I first saw a similar recipe in the "Better Homes and Gardens" magazine, but decided to come up with my own version to cut points values. I think you will really liked this! This recipe involves marinating the squash for 1-4 hours, so leave yourself time to do this. You will also have to roast the squash in the oven, so additional time will be needed. Trust me, it is worth it!

serves 8 ( 4 points +)

  • 1 c. Tropicana Light orange juice ( Trop 50)
  • 3 T. Log Cabin sugar-free syrup
  • 1-1/2 T. Dijon mustard
  • 1 T. grated, fresh ginger
  • 1-1/2 lbs. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2 inch wide wedges
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 T. olive oil
  • 8 c. red leaf lettuce, torn
  • 1/4 c. chopped pecans
  • 1 oz. soft goat cheese, crumbled

For marinade, in a large bowl, combine orange juice, syrup, Dijon and ginger. Set aside 1/2 c. for the dressing later. Place remaining marinade in a large ziplock bag, along with squash pieces. Seal and turn to coat. Place in the refrigerator for 1-4 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Place squash pieces on baking sheet and discard marinade. Bake for 30 minutes or until browned and tender, turning once halfway through cooking time. Remove from oven and set aside.

For dressing, whisk together reserved marinade with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Toss squash with 3 T. dressing mixture.

Place lettuce on a large platter. Top with squash pieces. Sprinkle with pecans and goat cheese. Drizzle remaining dressing over salad.

Filet Bourguignonne with Mashed Potatoes

This amazingly aromatic and flavorful meal can be made in less than an hour! Our entire family loved this!

serves 4 (  1/2 c. potatoes and about 3/4 c. stew = 9 points +)

  • 1 pound baking potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 c. frozen pearl onions
  • 1 lb. beef tenderloin, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 5 tsp. butter, divided
  • 1 bacon slice, finely chopped
  • 1 ( 8 oz) package sliced mushrooms
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 c. red wine
  • 1 c. fat free beef broth
  • 2 T. water
  • 2 T. flour
  • 3 T. milk

Place potatoes in a saucepan; cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook until very tender. Drain. Return to pan and keep warm.

While potato cooks, place onions in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 4 minutes.
Finely chop 1 ( 2 inch) cube of tenderloin and set aside.

Pat dry the remaining beef cubes with a paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Melt 1 T. butter in pan.
Add seasoned beef cubes and saute 3 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove beef from pan and keep warm.
Add finely chopped beef and bacon to the pan and saute 3 minutes.
Add mushrooms and saute until brown ( about 5 minutes).
Add garlic, thyme and sugar. Saute 1 minute. Add wine, and tomato paste and bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook until liquid is reduced by half.
Add onions and broth; bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute. Combine flour with water, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture to pan and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Return browned beef cubes to pan and cook until heated through.

Add 2 tsp. butter, milk and salt and pepper to taste to the potatoes in the pan. Mash with a potato mashed until desired consistency.
Serve beef and sauce over potatoes.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Italian Roasted Broccoli

Simple, healthy and delicious!

serves 4 ( 2 points +)

  • 4 c. fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 T. Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Toss broccoli with olive oil and spread on baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and toss with Parmesan cheese.
Serve hot.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Italian Wedding Soup

This soup was so easy to make. It took about 30 minutes from start to finish. Even though this soup is light and healthy, it is very satisfying!

serves 8 ( 5 points +)

  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 8 c, fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1/2 c. Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 bag ( 5 oz) fresh, baby spinach

Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add onions and carrots and cook until onion is translucent. Add broth and bring to a boil over high heat.
Meanwhile, mix turkey with bread crumbs,  Parmesan cheese, eggs, salt and pepper. Form into 48 small meatballs. Transfer the meatballs to a baking sheet.

Reduce heat under broth to medium. Drop meatballs, one at a time, into the broth. Let the soup simmer until meatballs are cooked through, about 20 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook about 3 minutes more.

Ladle into bowls and top with extra parmesan cheese if desired.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Italian Flank Steak with Onions and Tomatoes in a Red Wine Sauce

Still in the pan...just out of the oven

Trayed and ready to serve!
This dish was amazing! The steak turns out so tender and the flavor is marvelous! I think you will love it!

serves 6 ( 5 points +)

  • 1.5 lbs. flank steak
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 2 large onions, cut into about 16 wedges each
  • 1 can ( 15 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 1/2 c. red wine
  • salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet coated with nonstick spray. Sprinkle steak with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Brown steak on both sides. Remove from pan.
Spray pan with nonstick spray. Add onions and cook until starting to wilt, stirring constantly.
Add broth and wine. Cook until reduced by about half. Add tomatoes. Season with more salt, pepper and garlic powder. Return steak to pan and cover with onion mixture.
Place pan in the oven and cook for about 30-25 minutes. Remove steak from pan and let stand for 5 minutes before slicing thinly against the grain. Serve steak with onion mixture.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mini Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches

Perfect for a small party or for a family with boys! I made 12 of these tonight and only 3 were left! 

serves 12 ( 7 points +)

  • 1-1/2 lbs. lean sirloin steak
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 4 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-1/2 tsp. hot sauce
  • salt to taste
  • 3/4 c. part-skim shredded mozzarella
  • 12 ciabatta or French rolls ( 2 oz. each)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat a large cast iron or nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray.
Cook steak to desired doneness. Remove from pan and let stand 5 minutes before slicing thinly against the grain.

Meanwhile, add 2 tsp. oil to the pan. Add peppers and onions and cook until tender. Return sirloin to pan. Add Worcestershire sauce, salt and hot sauce. Heat through.

Place sirloin mixture on buns. Top each with 1 T. mozzarella. 

Bake for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Chicken Milanese

A quick and easy recipe with superb taste!

serves 8 ( 6 points +)

  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves ( 4 oz. each), pounded to 1/4 inch thickness
  • 6 T. flour
  • 1/2 c. egg beaters
  • 1/2 c. Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 c. Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 T. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3 T. olive oil, divided
  • 1 lemon, sliced

Pat chicken breasts dry. Place flour in a shallow dish. Place egg beaters in another shallow dish. Place Italian breadcrumbs, Panko and Parmesan cheese in a third shallow dish.
Dredge chicken in flour, then coat in egg beaters, then press in bread crumb mixture. 
Set chicken on a baking sheet and let stand for 5 minutes.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1-1/2 T. oil. Add four pieces of chicken and cook until browned on each side and until chicken is cooked through. ( about 3-5 minutes per side)
Repeat with remaining oil and chicken.

Serve chicken with lemon wedges.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Delicata Squash Rings

Never hearing of delicata squash before, I was intrigued when I saw a recipe in the Rachel Ray "Every Day" magazine. I decided to lighten the recipe to make it Weight Watcher friendly. This small squash is fairly easy to prepare because you do not have to peel it. You can eat the skin! This recipe is also a nice substitute for onion rings!

serves 6 ( 2 points +)

  • 1 slice whole wheat bread
  • 1/4 tsp. dried sage
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 T. + 1-1/2 tsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 delicata squash ( about 3/4 lb.)
  • 1 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Place bread in a food processor. Process until crumbs form. Toss bread with 1-1/2 tsp. olive oil and sage.
Cook bread crumbs in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray until crispy and browned (about 2 minutes). Season with salt and pepper; set aside.

In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, heat 1 T. oil. Add half of the squash and cook until golden and crisp around the edges ( about 5 minutes). Flip and cook until squash is tender when pierced with a fork ( about 3 minutes).
Repeat with remaining 1 T. oil and squash. Drain squash on paper towels.
Place squash in a serving dish. Sprinkle with bread crumb mixture and Parmesan cheese.

Banana Walnut Streusel Bread

A twist on traditional banana bread. I think you will like the autumn-like taste of this bread.

serves 16 ( 5 points +)


  • 1/3 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar
  • 1 T. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 T. butter, melted
  • 2 T. chopped walnuts


  • 2 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 T. butter, softened
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 3/4 c. egg beaters
  • 2 medium bananas
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 c. low-fat buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 and spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray.

Combine streusel toppings in a medium bowl and set aside.

For bread, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.

In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until crumbly. Add egg beaters, bananas and vanilla. Mix well. Add flour mixture, alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix until just combined.

Spread half of the batter in the loaf pan. Sprinkle with half of the streusel topping. Top with remaining batter and swirl. Sprinkle remaining streusel over the top of the bread. 

Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing bread to cool completely on a wire rack.

Apple Crostata

You will love this dessert that looks fancy, yet is simple and easy to make. The best part is that it is only 4 points + !

Serves 6 ( 4 points +)

  • 3 T. butter, melted
  • 2 medium  apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced and halved
  • 6 sheets phyllo dough, thawed
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 T. sugar

Preheat oven to 400 and spray a 9 inch glass pie pan with nonstick spray.

Lay one phyllo sheet in the pie pan and brush with butter. Overlap with a second sheet. Brush with butter. Leave edges overhanging the pie plate.
Repeat with the remaining four sheets of phyllo in the same fashion. 

Fan out the apple slices in a concentric circle with the largest slices at the outer rim and the smallest slices in the center. Brush apples with lemon juice and sprinkle with sugar.

Loosely roll the edges of phyllo up to make a 1 inch border around the top rim of the pie plate.
Brush the phyllo with butter and drizzle the remaining butter over the apple slices.

Bake until apples are tender and crust is golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Slide the crostata out of the pan onto a serving dish. Cut into wedges and serve warm.

from the cookbook "Fast and Fit" by Theresa Guidice

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Chicken with Bruschetta Topping

This quick and easy recipe full of fresh ingredients is sure to please.
If you would like to try another version with traditional, cold bruschetta ingredients click this link for Grilled Bruschetta Chicken.

serves 8 ( 5 points +)

  • 6 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium celery ribs, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 c. white wine
  • 2 T. chopped, fresh basil
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves ( 4 oz. each)
  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450.
Place chicken between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound to 1/4 inch thickness. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and place in a baking dish coated with nonstick spray.
Combine tomatoes, onion, celery, wine, basil and olive oil. Spoon over chicken.
Bake, uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Transfer chicken with it's topping to a dinner plate. Serve hot.

adapted from the cookbook "Fast and Fit" by Theresa Guidice

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Italian Chicken Stir-Fry

This low-carb dish is full of healthy veggies and full of flavor! 

serves 4 ( 1 hefty cupful= 6 points +)

  • 2 T. olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced thinly
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano to taste
  • 2 c. bite-sized broccoli florets
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced thinly
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1-1/2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 c. fat-free chicken broth

Heat 1 T. oil in a large skillet or walk. Add the chicken and cook until no longer pink. Remove chicken and drain any liquid in the pan. Add remaining 1 T. oil. Add veggies and cook 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Return chicken to pan. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano.
Stir cornstarch into broth. Add to pan and cook until slightly thickened.

adapted from the cookbook "Fast and Fit" by Theresa Guidice

Monday, October 15, 2012

Potato Gnocchi in a Pink Tomato Sauce

Gnocchi are little Italian dumplings made of potato or cheese and flour. While they are easy enough to make from scratch, I chose to use store bought this time for the sake of ease and time.This entire recipe can be made in about 20 minutes or less. Gnocchi cook very quickly. Just a few minutes in boiling water and they are done!  Complete this meal with a nice green salad. A homemade vinaigrette dressing with olive oil will add more healthy oil to your diet.

serves 6 ( 10 points +)

  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 ( 28 oz) can whole, peeled tomatoes in juice, chopped
  • ¼ c. tomato paste
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 c. low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 2 ( 17.5 oz) packages potato gnocchi
  • 6 T. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and cook until softened, stirring frequently. Stir in the garlic and cook about 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, tomato paste and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add the ricotta and whisk until smooth. Keep warm.

Add gnocchi to boiling water and cook until the float on the surface of the water. Drain. Transfer gnocchi to a serving bowl. Add sauce and stir to coat. Divide among 6 plates. Sprinkle each with 1 T. Parmesan cheese.

adapted from the cookbook "Fast and Fit" by Theresa Guidice 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Easy Skillet Apple Pie

This pie is a Thanksgiving worthy pie! It is not low points, but worth the splurge on a special holiday!

serves 12-16 ( 12 servings = 11 points +, 16 servings = 9 points +)

  • 4 lbs. apples ( I used a mixture of Braeburn and Mackintosh)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1 ( 14 oz) pkg. Pillsbury pie crusts
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 T. sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Peel and cut apples into slices no more than 1/2 inch thick. Toss apples with cinnamon and 3/4 c. sugar.
Melt butter in a large cast-iron skillet ( 10-14 inch skillet). Add brown sugar and cook stirring constantly for 1-2 minuts or until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Roll pie crust to fit your pan. Place one crust over brown sugar mixture. Spoon apple mixture over pie crust. top with remaining crust.
Brush top crust with egg white and sprinkle with 2 T. sugar. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
Cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.

"Southern Living Magazine"

Friday, October 5, 2012

Banana Nutella Bread

serves 16 ( 5 points +)

  • 5 T. Nutella ( chocolate hazelnut spread)
  • 3 T. + 1 tsp. canola oil, divided
  • 3 T. butter, softened
  • ½ c. packed brown sugar
  • 2 medium bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-½ c. flour
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ⅔ c. low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 oz. chopped semisweet chocolate
  • 1 T. skim milk

Preheat oven to 350 and spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray.
Combine Nutella with 1 tsp. oil. Microwave for 30 seconds or until melted; stir.

Combine 3 T. oil, butter and brown sugar. Beat until blended. Add bananas and eggs, one at a time, mixing until blended.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add to banana mixture alternately with buttermilk.

Pour half of the batter into the prepared bread pan. Top with Nutella mixture. Add remaining batter and swirl with a toothpick. Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs.

Cool 10 minutes in pan, then transfer to a wire rack. Cool.

Microwave semisweet chocolate and milk until melted; stir well. Spread over bread and let set.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Chicken and Dumpling Platter

Comfort food at its finest and at this low points value, you can enjoy it!

serves 6 ( 8 points +)

  • 2-1/2 - 3 lbs. meaty chicken pieces, skins removed
  • 1 medium onion, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 tsp. dried sage
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 3 c. water
  • 1 c. celery, thinly sliced
  • 3 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. water


  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 T. shortening
  • 1/2 c. low-fat buttermilk
Place chicken, onion, sage, salt, pepper and 3 c. water in a Dutch oven. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered for 25 minutes. Add celery and carrots and cook about 10 minute or until vegetables are tender and chicken is no longer pink.

For dumplings, combine flour baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in buttermilk. Spoon dumpling batter into 6 mounds on top of chicken. Cover and cook for 12 - 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Do not remove lid while cooking dumplings.

With a slotted spoon, transfer dumplings, chicken and vegetables to a serving platter; keep warm.

For gravy, remove 2 cups cooking liquid from pot. Discard any remaining liquid. Skim fat from 2 c. liquid and return to Dutch oven. Whisk together 1/4 c. flour and 1/2 c. water. Whisk into liquid mixture, stirring until bubbling and thickened. Serve with chicken and dumplings.

"Better Homes and Gardens"

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Chicken with Hawaiian Stuffing

This is a recipe I used to make a long time ago. One of my sons requested it for dinner tonight. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it was only 7 points +. Add some other zero point vegetables for a nice, filling meal. There may be some liquid in the bottom of the baking dish, so make sure to remove the chicken with a slotted spoon or spatula. This is also a very moist stuffing, so do not expect it to be crispy.

serves 8 ( 7 points +)

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts ( 8 oz. each), sliced in half horizontally
  • 8 slices cottage white bread, cubed ( or any 2 point per slice bread of your choosing)
  • 2 small celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 1 small red or green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 can ( 15 oz) pineapple tidbits in juice
  • 2 T. light stick butter, melted
  • ¼ tsp. dried sage
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish and place chicken halves in a single layer in the bottom of a dish; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, combine bread, onion, celery, bell pepper, butter and pineapples in juice. Season with sage, salt and pepper Mix well. Place stuffing on top of chicken and bake, uncovered for 30-40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Beef Stroganoff

Easy, quick and satisfying!

serves 6 ( 7 points +)

  • 6 oz. uncooked whole wheat egg noodles
  • 1-¼ lb. sirloin, trimmed and sliced thinly
  • 8 oz. fresh, sliced mushrooms
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 c. fat-free sour cream (Breakstone's)
  • 2 tsp. beef bouillon granules
  • ½ c. water
  • 2 T. flour
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook egg noodles according to package.
Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick skillet coated with cooking spray. Add beef, mushrooms and onion. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender and meat is no longer pink.

In a medium bowl, whisk together sour cream, beef bouillon granules, flour and water. Add to beef mixture. Heat until bubbling ( 1-2 minutes). Serve beef over noodles.


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