Sunday, January 29, 2012

Stuffed Crepes with Ground Pork and Parmesan

These crepes would be perfect for a luncheon or light dinner. Serve with a green salad for a complete meal.

Makes 8 ( 6 points +)

  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1-¼ or 1-½ c. skim milk
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 oz. fresh sliced mushrooms
  • ¾ lb. ground pork
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 14.5 oz. crushed tomatoes
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
  • 2 sliced Roma tomatoes
  • ¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese
To prepare batter for crepes, whisk together flour, egg and 1-¼ c. milk. ( add more milk if needed)
Let stand for 10-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, saute onions and mushrooms until soft. Add ground pork and cook until meat is no longer pink. Stir in crushed tomatoes, garlic powder, salt, pepper and cut sage leaves. Cook for 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

To prepare crepes, spray a nonstick frying pan. Add just enough batter to cover the bottom thinly. Cook for 1 minute or until golden brown, turn and cook other side. Transfer crepe to a plate and keep warm while cooking the remaining seven.

place the crepes on a flat surface. Divide meat mixture evenly down the center of each crepe. Roll crepes and place seam-side down on a baking dish coated lightly with spray. Top with sliced tomatoes and Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Carrot Raisin Cookies

My son, Nick, calls these "Health Nut Cookies". While they do have some healthy ingredients, including nuts, I would not call them "health nut cookies". I would call them delicious, though!

Makes 42 ( 2 points + )

  • ½ c. butter, softened
  • 1 c. packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 c. white-whole wheat flour ( such as King Arthur's brand)
  • 1 c. grated carrot
  • ½ c. golden raisins
  • ½ c. finely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar. Add baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Add egg, applesauce and vanilla. Beat well. Add flour and mix in as much as possible. Now add the carrots, raising and nuts and mix until combined.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Slightly flatten tops of cookies.
Bake for 8-9 minutes. Remove from baking sheets and cool on a wire rack.

adapted from "Eat Well, Lose Weight" magazine by Better Homes and Gardens

Italian Penne

This recipe is fairly easy. I served it as a side dish, but you can serve it as a main dish. For a main dish serving ( 8 servings = 7 points + ) for a side dish ( 12 servings = 5 points + )
I served this along with Parmesan Chicken Tenders.

serves 12 ( 5 points + )

  • 1 box ( 13.5 oz) whole wheat pasta
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • oregano to taste
  • basil to taste
  • 8 oz. small fresh mozzarella balls, drained
  • 2 cans ( 14.5 oz. each) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 c. chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1 can ( 14 oz. ) artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped
Boil pasta until cooked al dente. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet coated with spray, cook onions until tender. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add diced tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, artichoke hearts and remaining spices. Cook 10 minutes.
Drain pasta, toss with tomato mixture. Add cheese balls right before serving.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cream Cheese Strawberry Coffee Cake

Have you ever tried cooking with light butter? I have found it to work well with cake-like items such as muffins and coffee cakes. If you are looking for a way to cut fat and calories, you may want to consider a light butter. My favorite brand is Land O' Lakes. This coffee cake was very good as a dessert, but would also be nice to accompany a light breakfast.

serves 24 ( 3 points + )

  • 8 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1 c. sugar
  • ½ c. light stick butter, softened
  • 1-¾ c. flour, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ c. skim milk
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ c. strawberry jam.
  • powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 13 x 9" pan with nonstick spray.
In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, and sugar until smooth. Add ¾ c. flour, eggs, milk, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla and salt. Beat until combined. Add remaining 1 c. flour and beat until just mixed. Spread evenly in prepared pan.
Stir strawberry jam until nearly smooth. Spoon 8-10 mounds on top of the batter. With a sharp knife, swirl jam into batter.
Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake part comes out clean. Cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.

adapted from "Eat Well, Lose Weight"

Pork Loin with White Wine and Sage Pesto

This recipe comes from another cookbook that I picked up from the library. It is called, "Italian Diet", by Gino D'acampo. I have slightly modified this recipe to make it even more points friendly.

serves 8 ( 5 points + )

  • 25 sage leaves
  • ¼ c. peeled almonds
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ c. grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 3 T. olive oil, divided
  • 24 oz. pork tenderloin, cut into 16 pieces about ¼ " thick
  • salt and pepper
  • ⅓ c. white wine

Place sage leaves, almonds, Parmesan, garlic and 2 T. olive oil in a food processor. Process for 20-30 seconds or until smooth.
Use a sharp knife to make small cuts on the edges of the pork slices to prevent them from curling when cooking them. Pound pork to about ⅛ " thickness. Sprinkle pork slices with salt and pepper. Spread sage pesto on 8 slices of pork and cover with remaining 8 slices making a sandwich effect.
Heat remaining 1 T. oil in a large nonstick skillet or cast iron pan coated with cooking spray.
Cook the pork for 2-3 minutes per side. Add the wine and cook an additional 4 minutes, turning once.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Philly Steak and Cheese Stromboli

This recipe has a whole lot of cheesy goodness! It is definitely a comfort food recipe!

serves 8 ( 7 points + )

  • 2 bell peppers, julienned ( colors of your choice)
  • 1 onion, halved and sliced
  • 4 oz. fresh mushrooms
  • garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 loaf ( 1 lb) frozen bread dough, thawed
  • 12 oz. reduced-fat Velveeta cheese, sliced
  • ½ lb. deli roast beef, chopped ( I did buy a good quality Angus roast beef)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp. water
  • 1//4 c. shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, saute the peppers, onions and mushrooms until tender. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Roll bread dough out to a 15 x 10 inch rectangle. Place half of the Velveeta down the center of the bread dough. Top with all of the beef, then all of the pepper mixture. Top with remaining Velveeta. Fold dough over filling, pinch seams to seal and tuck ends under. Place seam-side down. 
Mix egg white with water and brush over loaf. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle with mozzarella and bake and additional 5 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting. Make sure you let stand or you will have cheese oozing out all over the place!

adapted from "Healthy Cooking"

Green Bean, Prosciutto and Parmesan Salad

I found this recipe in a book I picked up at the library entitled, "Eat Greens" by Barbara Scott Goodman and Liz Travato. It is packed full of all sorts of yummy ideas for salads and green veggies. This recipe has an excellent combination of colors, textures and tastes!

serves 6 ( 6 points + )

  • 1-½ lbs. fresh green beans, rinsed and trimmed
  • 1 T. Dijon mustard
  • ½ T. sherry vinegar
  • ¼ c. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 c. torn radicchio leaves
  • 4 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto ( about 6 slices)
  • 1 oz. fresh shaved Parmesan cheese

In a saucepan of boiling, salted water, cook the green beans for 6-8 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and rinse in cold water. Place green beans in a large bowl.
Combine Dijon, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour over green beans and toss to coat.
Place radicchio leaves on a large platter. Top radicchio with green beans.
Cut prosciutto into strips and arrange over beans. Top with shaved Parmesan.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Cream Cheese Frosted Banana Bars

These bars are a delightful treat! They are so good, you will even want to eat them for breakfast! One bar is 4 points plus, but since you may have trouble stopping at one, two bars are 7 points plus. I suggest making these when you are having friends over or I suggest sharing them with your neighbors!

Makes 36 ( 4 points +)

  • 3 T. butter, softened
  • 1-½ c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 medium bananas, mashed
  • ¼ c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • dash of salt


  • 3 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 3 T. butter, softened
  • 3 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • dash of salt
  • 2 - 4 T. skim milk
Preheat oven to 350 and coat a 15 x 10 x 1" jelly roll pan with nonstick spray.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until crumbly. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the bananas, applesauce and vanilla, mixing well. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to banana mixture. Mix until combined. Spread in prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until done. Cool completely before frosting.

For frosting, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add vanilla, salt and powdered sugar. Add milk as needed to achieve spreading consistency. Frost bars and cut into 36 equal pieces.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Italian Chicken with Lemon Butter Sauce

This recipe is the ultimate Italian way to serve chicken. It is reminiscent of a chicken piccata, and yes, you heard me right… it does have a lemon butter sauce.

Makes 10 ( 3 oz. chicken with lemon butter sauce = 4 points + )

  • 5 ( 6 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ c. flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 4 T. butter, divided
  • juice of one lemon
  • ⅓ c. fat-free chicken broth
  • ¼ c. flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
Place chicken breasts on a cutting board. Place your hand on top of the chicken and use a sharp knife to cut each piece in half horizontally, leaving you with 10 (3 oz) pieces of chicken.
Place chicken between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Pound until ¼ inch thick.
Place ½ flour on a large plate. Season with salt and pepper. ( you will not end up using all of the flour, but it makes it easier to coat the chicken this way).
Lightly coat chicken in flour mixture.
Heat a large cast iron or nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray. Add ½ T. olive oil and 1 T. butter. Cook until butter melts. Add 5 pieces of chicken to pan and cook 4-5 minutes per side or until browned and cooked through. Repeat with remaining olive oil, 1 T. butter and 5 more pieces of chicken.
Add remaining 2 T. butter, chicken broth and lemon juice to the pan, scraping any browned bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. Cook until butter melts and sauce looks creamy. Serve over chicken.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Italian Ham and Egg Cups

A great breakfast packed with protein. This is sure to satisfy your appetite!

serves 4 ( 3 points + )

  • 2 oz. thinly sliced lean deli ham ( 4 slices- ½ ounce each)
  • 1 can ( 14.75 oz. diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 T. shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • salt, pepper, basil to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Heat a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray. Add tomatoes and cook until liquid is dissolved (about 10 minutes). Season with salt, pepper and basil.
Place one slice of ham in the bottom of each ramekin. Top with ¼ cooked tomato mixture. Make an indentation in the center of the tomato mixture and carefully crack an egg into the center. Sprinkle with 1 T. mozzarella. Repeat with remaining ramekins. 
Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake 13 minutes or until eggs are set and not runny.
Cool for 5 minutes.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sweet Potato Latkes

While trying to think of what to make with cod cakes, I realized I had some sweet potatoes that needed to be used up. I came up with this idea. The sprinkling of turbinado sugar gives these latkes a little extra flavor and eliminates the need to top them with anything else.

serves 8 ( 2 latkes = 6 points + )

  • 6 c. grated sweet potato
  • 1 c. grated apple
  • 1-½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • ½ c. flour
  • 6 T. canola oil
  • 1-½ tsp. turbinado sugar
Combine grated sweet potato and apple in a large colander. Press out any liquid. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Add salt, pepper and flour.
Heat 1-½ T. in a nonstick skillet. Drop 4 latkes by ¼ cupfuls onto hot pan. Press to flatten. Cook 6 minutes on each side or until golden. Repeat procedure 3 more times with remaining oil and sweet potato mixture. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.

Greek Cod Cakes

serves 8 ( 2 cod cakes and 1 T. sauce = 7 points+)

  • 4 c. 2% milk
  • 2 lbs. cod filets, cut into 2" pieces
  • 1 c. Panko Japanese bread crumbs, divided
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 2 T. grated onion
  • 2-½ tsp. grated lemon rind
  • 1-½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ c. fresh lemon juice, divided
  • ¼ c. olive oil, divided


  • ½ c. light mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • ½ tsp. dried dill
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. pepper

Bring milk to a simmer over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add fish; cover and cook 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily. Drain well.
Combine fish, ½ c. Panko and next seven ingredients (through garlic). Stir in 2 T. juice.
Divide fish into 16 equal patties about ½ inch thick. Dredge in remaining ½ c. Panko.
Heat 1 T. olive oil in a nonstick skillet. Add 4 patties to the pan and cook for 4 minutes per side or until golden. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Repeat 3 more times with remaining olive oil and patties. Drizzle with remaining lemon juice.

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

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Hello Dollies

Special occasions deserve special treats. Today is my niece, Alyssa's 21st birthday. She loves these Hello Dollies and so I made them for her party. Cut them small and only have one! Give the rest away! You will not be able to have enough will power to resist them if you don't!

Makes 32 bars ( 5 points+)

  • 1 stick light butter
  • 9 graham crackers ( rectangles), crushed to crumbs
  • 12 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 c. flaked coconut
  • 1 c. chopped walnuts
  • 1 can ( 14 oz) fat-free sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter in the oven in a 13 x 9" pan. Remove from oven and stir in graham cracker crumbs. Press into the bottom of the pan to form a crust. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, then coconut, then walnuts. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely. Cut into bars.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Eggplant Parmesan with Ricotta

Today, I thought I would try a variation on eggplant parmesan. This version also includes ricotta cheese. It is very good and quite filling. For my regular recipe, click on this link. Eggplant Parmesan

serves 8 ( 7 points + )

  • 3 egg whites, beaten
  • 1-½ c. Panko Japanese bread crumbs
  • ¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 ( 1 lb) eggplant, peeled and sliced into 16 slices total
  • 1-½ c. part-skim ricotta
  • 2 tsp. dried basil
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 c. part skim mozzarella, shredded
  • 3 c. marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray.
Place egg whites in one bowl and Panko mixed with Parmesan cheese in another bowl.
Dip eggplant in egg whites, then coat in Panko mixture, pressing crumbs to adhere.
Place eggplant on baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes, turning half-way through.
Place one cup marinara in the bottom of a large baking dish. Lay 8 slices of eggplant on top of marinara.

In another bowl, combine ricotta with basil and pepper. Spoon ricotta over eggplant. Top with ½ c. shredded mozzarella and 1 c. marinara. Top with remaining eggplant slices and 1 c. marinara.
Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and top with remaining ½ c. mozzarella. Cook 5 minutes longer.

I thought it would also be fun to include a picture of what my dog, Kobe, does while I am cooking.

Kobe does this almost every day when I am cooking.

Coffee and Paprika Rubbed Steak with Buttermilk Dressing

serves 4 ( 5 points + )

  • 1 ( 1 pound) beef flank steak
  • 1 T. brown sugar
  • 1-½ tsp. instant espresso coffee powder
  • ¾ tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ⅛ tsp. pepper
  • 2 T. low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 T. light mayonnaise
  • 1T. green onions or chives
  • 1 tsp. cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • ¼ tsp. sugar
  • garlic powder salt and pepper to taste
Mix brown sugar, coffee and spices in a small bowl. Rub over both sides of steak. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
Preheat broiler. Place steak on a broiler pan. Broil 3-4 inches from heat for 17 minutes, turning once.
Transfer steak to a cutting board. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.

For the dressing, whisk all ingredients together. Refrigerate until using. Serving size is 3 oz. cooked meat and 1 T. dressing.

from "Eat Well, Lose Weight Magazine"

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mocha Chip Muffins

These are a fun little morning treat or afternoon snack. They are perfect to serve to a friend who comes over for coffee. Is there anyone who does not like the combination of coffee and chocolate?
Make sure that you do not over-cook these. Check them early.

Serves 12 ( 5 points + )

  • ⅔ c. skim milk
  • 5 T. light stick butter, melted
  • 3 T. instant coffee granules
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 c. flour
  • ⅔ c. sugar
  • ½ c. mini chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a muffin pan with nonstick spray.

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a bowl. In another large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Make a well in the center. Pour in the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups. Bake 15-18 minutes or until done. Remove muffins from pan immediately; cool on a wire rack.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Apple Dumplings with Orange Sauce

Shown without Cool Whip

A perfect little dessert in a cute little package!

serves 8 ( 5 points + )

  • 1 tsp. grated orange peel
  • 1 c. orange juice
  • 3 T. butter
  • 2 T. sugar
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 (8 oz) package reduced-fat crescent roll dough
  • 2 tart apples, peeled, cored and quartered
  • ½ c. Cool Whip Free
Preheat oven to 350 and spray an 11 x 7 rectangular pan with nonstick spray.
Combine first 5 ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Transfer orange mixture to prepared pan.
Unroll crescent roll dough. Place ¼ apple on each crescent and roll up. Place rolls in pan and spoon orange mixture over rolls. Bake 35 minutes or until browned, spooning orange mixture over the top half-way through cooking.

from "Eat Well, Lose Weight"

Szechuan Chicken Stir-Fry

serves 4 ( 11 points + )

  • 1 T. sesame oil, divided
  • ½ c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 2 T. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 T. rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. chili garlic sauce
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 T. canola oil, divided
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 yellow pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 red pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 c. snow peas
  • ½ c. sliced onion
  • 1 T. fresh ginger
  • 2 c. hot cooked rice
  • ¼ c. sliced green onions
  • ¼ c. chopped peanuts
Combine 2 tsp. sesame oil and the next 6 ingredients (through salt) in a bowl; set aside.
Heat wok over medium-high heat. Add 1 tsp. sesame oil and 1 T. canola oil. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink. Remove and set aside.
Add remaining 1 T. canola oil to wok. Add peppers, onions, peas, and ginger. Cook 1 minute. 
Add sauce and cook until thickened ( about 1 minute). Return chicken to pan and cook 3-4 minutes.
Serve over hot rice.

from "Cooking Light"

Chinese Chicken Salad

This recipe does require a bit of work as far as cooking time goes because the chicken is cooked in a crock pot. There are also several ingredients in the sauce, but if you cook Asian food, you should have these on hand. If you are interested in starting to cook some Asian food, these ingredients will stay good for quite a long time. This recipe was adapted from the magazine "Eat Well, Lose Weight" from Better Homes and Gardens. This salad could easily be a main dish for either lunch or dinner. In a word, it is delicious!

serves 6 ( 5 points + )

  • 2 lbs. bone in chicken thighs, skinned
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ c. hoisin sauce
  • 3 T. reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 T. fresh ginger
  • 1 T. dry sherry
  • 2 tsp. Asian chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tsp. dark sesame oil
  • 1 T. rice vinegar
  • 12 c. chopped Romaine lettuce
  • 1 c. shredded carrot
  • ¼ c. cashews, broken

Place chicken in a crock pot along with celery, onion. Combine the next 7 ingredients ( through sesame oil). Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 2-½ - 3 hours. 
Remove chicken from crock pot. Reserve ½ c. cooking liquid for dressing.
When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove from bones and shred using 2 forks or your hands.

For dressing, whisk together reserved liquid with 1 T. rice vinegar.
Arrange 2 c. lettuce on each plate. Top with equal amounts of carrots, chicken, and cashews. Drizzle each salad with 2 T. dressing.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Chilaquile Casserole

Every so often, I like to make a meatless meal. When I saw this recipe in a magazine called "Eat Well, Lose Weight" from Better Homes and Gardens, I knew I wanted to try it.
The recipe is low points, so I added a salad and some homemade guacamole with chips.  You can also afford to top this with salsa or sour cream as well.

serves 8 ( 5 points + )

  • 1 T. canola oil
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 ( 6 inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 c. ( 8 oz) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 2 ( 4 oz. ) cans diced green chilies, undrained
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 c. low-fat buttermilk
  • salt, pepper cumin and oregano to taste
  • diced tomato
Preheat oven to 375 and spray an 11 x 7 rectangular pan with nonstick spray.
Heat oil in a nonstick skillet. Add onion and garlic. Cook until onion is softened.
Place half of the cut tortillas in the bottom of the prepared dish. Top with half of the green chilies, half of the cheese and all of the onion mixture. Top this with the remaining tortillas, cheese and green chilies.
Whisk together eggs, buttermilk and spices. Pour over the casserole. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until center is set and edges start to brown. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting. Top with diced tomatoes.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Ricotta and Vanilla Tiramisu

Parmesan Potatoes

serves 8 ( 3 points +)

  • 3 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered with skins left on
  • ½ c. non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ c. skim milk
  • ½ c. Parmesan cheese
  • ½ c. green onions, sliced thinly
  • salt and pepper to taste
Boil potatoes until tender; drain and mash with yogurt and milk. Stir in Parmesan cheese, green onions and salt and pepper to taste.

Balsamic Green Beans

serves 8 ( 1 point + )

  • 1 T. butter, divided
  • 1 c. yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 c. red onion, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ c. fat-free beef broth
  • 4 c. green beans, trimmed
  • 2 T. balsamic vinegar
  • salt to taste

Melt 1 tsp. butter in a large nonstick pan. Add onion and saute 6 minutes. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds. Add beef broth and cook until onions are tender and broth is almost dissolved. Stir in green beans and balsamic. Cover and cook until beans are crisp-tender. Season with salt to desired taste.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Spinach, Bacon and Tomato Salad with Feta-Buttermilk Dressing

This salad is so full of fun flavors and textures. I hope you like it!

serves 6 ( 4 points + )


  • 5 slices bacon, cooked crisp
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 2 slices, sourdough bread ( 1 oz. each) cubed
  • 8 c. fresh spinach
  • ½ c. red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 c. grape tomatoes, halved


  • ¼ c. light mayonnaise
  • 1 T. white vinegar
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ c. low-fat buttermilk
  • 3 T. crumbled feta cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
For salad, heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add bread cubes and cook until toasted
Combine spinach, onion, tomatoes and crumbled bacon in a large bowl.

For dressing, whisk together all ingredients. Pour half of the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Top salad with croutons and drizzle with remaining dressing.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Mediterranean Breakfast Sandwich

Quick to make, healthy and great tasting!

serves 1 ( 5 points + )

  • 1 multi-grain sandwich thin
  • ½ c. fresh spinach leaves
  • sliced tomato
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T. reduced-fat feta cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
Toast sandwich thin. Place spinach leaves on bottom half of sandwich thin. top with tomato slices.
Cook egg over-well in a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray. Place cooked egg on top of tomato slices, then top with feta and top of sandwich thin.

Choco-Nana Smoothie

serves 1 ( 5 points+ )

  • 1 small banana
  • 4 oz. non-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 2 T. Hershey's chocolate syrup
  • ½ c. skim milk
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla
  • 3-4 ice cubes
Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth and thickened, then get your straw!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Chicken Club Sandwiches

shown with only one slice of bread. You can deduct 2 points if you use only one slice of bread.

This sandwich is sure to satisfy your appetite!

serves 4 ( 12 points + )

  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 4 ( 4 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp. lime juice
  • 1 medium avocado, peeled and mashed
  • 8 ( 1 oz) slices sourdough bread, toasted
  • 4 green leaf lettuce leaves
  • tomato, sliced
  • 4 slices reduced fat bacon, cooked crisp
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle chicken with garlic, salt and pepper. Add to pan and cook until chicken is no longer pink; slice.
Combine avocado with lime juice and a little salt.
Spread avocado mixture on one slice of bread. Top with lettuce, tomato, chicken and bacon. Top with remaining slice of bread.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Turkey Noodle Soup

Last week, I made a turkey breast and then froze the carcass with a little of the meat still left on it, hoping to make this soup this week. The recipe comes from my friend, Susan, over at Cupcakes and Crablegs
It warms the soul on a cold wintry night and tastes great with a crusty French bread or a nice sandwich.

serves 6 ( 4 points+)

  • leftover meat and bones from a cooked turkey or turkey breast
  • 1 medium-large onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 6 oz. uncooked egg noodles
  • 10 c. water
  • salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450. Place the turkey carcass in a roasting pan coated with nonstick spray. Bake for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add vegetables and cook for another 30 minutes.
Remove roasting pan from the oven and place over two burners on the stove top. Add 10 c. water. When water boils, turn heat down to simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any bits of meat for about 30 minutes more. Remove meat from bones, add egg noodles and cook until noodles are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Black Bean Soup

Serves 4 ( 1 c. soup with 1 T. ham, 1T. cheese and 1T. sour cream = 5 points+ )

  • ¼ c. chopped red onion
  • ½ c. water
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 ( 14 oz) can fat-free chicken broth
  • 2 ( 15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 T. lime juice
  • 2 oz. lean deli ham
  • 4 T. reduced-fat cheddar, shredded
  • 4 T. fat-free sour cream

Place first 5 ingredients in a large sauce pot. Add 1-½ cans of beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Place bean mixture in a blender, removing center piece of blender lid to let steam escape. Cover opening with a towel. Blend until smooth. Return soup to pot. Add remaining beans and heat through. Stir in lime juice.
Heat a small frying pan coated with nonstick spray. Cook ham until lightly browned. Top soup with ham, cheese and sour cream.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Cranberry-Strawberry Trifle

The perfect blend of sweet and tart!

serves 16 ( 7 points+)

  • 1 pkg. ( 16 oz. ) frozen, unsweetened strawberries, thawed
  • 1 pkg. ( 12 oz. ) fresh cranberries
  • 1 c. sugar
  • ½ c. water
  • 4 tsp. grated orange peel
  • 1 pkg. ( 8 oz.) reduced-fat cream cheese
  • ¼ c. packed brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 1 carton ( 8 oz. ) Cool Whip Free
  • 2 loaves ( 10.75 oz. each) frozen pound cake, thawed and cubed

In a large saucepan, combine the first 4 ingredients. Cook over medium heat until cranberries pop ( about 15 minutes), stirring occasionally. Cool completely.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, brown sugar and vanilla until smooth. Fold in Cool Whip.

Place ⅓ of poundcake cubes in a trifle dish or large glass bowl. Top with ⅓ cranberry mixture, the ⅓ cream cheese mixture. Repeat twice.

Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until serving.

adapted from "Healthy Cooking"

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Almond Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Moist, delicious and almost brownie-like, you will love these heart-healthy cookies!

Makes 32 cookies ( 3 points +)


  • 6T. butter, softened
  • ¾ c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted
  • 1-⅓ c. flour
  • ⅓ c. dried cherries
  • ⅓ c. sliced almonds
In a medium bowl, beat butter, sugar, egg, egg yolk until smooth. Stir in melted chocolate. Stir in flour, then fold in cherries and almonds. Cover and chill for 1 hour.
Preheat oven for 350. Spray 2 baking sheets with nonstick spray. Form dough into 1 inch balls and place on baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes. Cool; drizzle with chocolate almond glaze.

Chocolate Almond Glaze:
In a small saucepan, combine 1 oz. bittersweet chocolate and 1 T. butter. Heat and stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in 1 c. powdered sugar, 2 T. fat-free milk and ⅛ tsp. almond extract. Stir until smooth. Drizzle over cookies.

from Better Homes and Gardens

Grilled Lime Chicken with Kiwi Avocado Salsa

serves 8 ( 5 points +)


  • 8 ( 3 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets, pounded to ¼"
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1T. lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 2 medium avocadoes, diced
  • 3 T. lime juice
  • 2 kiwis, peeled and cubed
  • ¼ c. red onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ c. cilantro, chopped
  • salt to taste
Mix olive oil with lime juice. Brush chicken with olive oil mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Spray a grill rack with nonstick spray. Grill chicken until no longer pink.

For salsa, place cubed avocado in a bowl. Add lime juice and stir to coat. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Israeli Cauliflower with Panko

My dad, who admittedly hates almost all vegetables, ate this. It is delicious and healthy!

serves 8 ( about ⅔ c. = 2 points + )

  • 6 c. cauliflower florets
  • 2 T. water
  • 3 T. olive oil, divided
  • ½ c. Panko Japanese bread crumbs
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine cauliflower and 2 T. water in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave 6-8 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain.
Meanwhile, heat 1-½ T. oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add Panko and cook 3 minutes or until toasted, stirring constantly. Remove Panko from pan.
Heat remaining 1-½ T. oil and garlic in pan. Add cauliflower and saute for 5 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally.
Add Panko, parsley, salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

from "Cooking Light"

Best Ever Buttermilk Pancakes

While looking for a new pancake recipe, I ran across this one at With a name like "Best Ever Buttermilk Pancakes", I knew I had to try them! These pancakes are not your normal instant or made from a box pancakes. They are a bit more time consuming, but taste just like my grandma used to make. They are well worth a little extra effort. This recipe makes 20 pancakes.  The serving size is 2 pancakes for 4 points +, but I do not know too many people who can eat just two pancakes. Four pancakes = 7 points +.  I hope you like them!

Serves 10 ( 2 pancakes = 4 points+ ) add additional points for syrup

  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1-⅔ c. low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1-½ c. flour
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 3 T. butter, melted

Beat the egg yolks until pale and smooth. Beat in the buttermilk and then the baking soda. Mix well.
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add to buttermilk mixture and mix until smooth.
Stir in melted butter.
Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into the batter until no egg whites are visible. Let batter stand for 20 minutes before making pancakes.
Heat your griddle or frying pan until very hot. Spray with nonstick spray. Spoon batter by ¼ cupfuls onto hot griddle. Turn when bubbles form across the cakes and allow to lightly brown on the second side. Repeat with remaining batter.
Serve with warm maple syrup if desired. We used Log Cabin sugar-free syrup.


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