Friday, August 31, 2012

Thai Beef Salad Wraps

Serves 6 ( 5 points +)

  • 1 lb. flank steak
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 c. peeled , cubed cucumber
  • ½ c. chopped cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ c. thinly sliced onion
  • 2 T. chopped, fresh basil
  • 3 T. chopped, fresh cilantro
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 3 T. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 T. lime juice
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 6 Flat-Out Light Tomato Wraps
  • lettuce leaves

Sprinkle steak with salt and pepper and grill to desired doneness. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing across the grain into thin slices.
Combine steak, cucumber and next 4 ingredients ( through cilantro) in a large bowl. Combine sugar, soy sauce, lime juice and red pepper flakes. Drizzle over steak mixture; toss well to coat. Arrange lettuce leaves on each wrap. Spoon steak mixture evenly over each wrap. Roll and slice in half.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mini Eggplant Parmesan Sandwiches

Eggplant is ripening in my garden right now, so I thought I would try this recipe tonight. It was very good. I bought the "Take and Bake" ciabatta rolls for this recipe. When heated, they are nice and crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. They are also only 3 points each.

serves 8 ( 6 points +)

  • 1 eggplant, sliced into 8 slices about ½ inch thick
  • 2 egg whites
  • ⅔ c. breadcrumbs
  • garlic powder, oregano, pepper
  • 2 T. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1-½ c. tomato sauce, seasoned to your liking
  • 1 c. part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 8 small ciabatta rolls ( 3 points each), such as "Take and Bake", heated until hot and crusty 

Preheat oven to 423 and spray a baking pan with nonstick spray. Place egg whites in a shallow dish and whisk until frothy. Combine bread crumbs, seasonings and Parmesan cheese in another shallow bowl. Dip eggplant in egg whites, then coat in bread crumb mixture. Place on baking sheet and spray the tops with nonstick spray. Bake for 15 minutes or until browned and crisp on the bottom. Turn and bake until browned and crisp on the other side. Top with seasoned tomato sauce and 2 T. mozzarella cheese on each eggplant slice. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Place spinach leaves on hot ciabatta rolls. Top with eggplant.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Orange Chicken and Barley Stew

This hearty and healthy stew with a hint of orange flavor is perfect for a cool summer night!

serves 8 ( 12 points +)

  • ½ c. flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 chicken thighs, skins removed
  • 4 tsp. canola oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced
  • 3 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 3 c. orange juice
  • 1-½ c. pearl barley
  • 2 bay leaves

In a large ziplock bag, combine flour, salt and pepper. Add half of the chicken pieces and shake to coat. Repeat with remaining chicken.
Heat 2 tsp. oil in a Dutch oven or large sauce pot. Brown half of chicken. Remove from pan. Repeat with remaining 2 tsp. oil and remaining chicken. Remove chicken from pan.
Spray pan with nonstick spray. Add onion and carrots. Stir, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook until onion begins to soften. Add broth, orange juice, barley, salt and pepper to taste and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Return chicken to pan, cover and reduce heat; Cook for 45-50 minutes or until barley is tender. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Toasted Pita Salad

This Mediterranean salad highlights the summer produce from your garden! It is light and refreshing. This pairs well with any grilled entree.

serves 6 ( 3 points +)

  • 2 ( 6 inch) pitas, split in half horizontally
  • 3 c. chopped tomato
  • 1-½ c. chopped cucumber
  • ¼ c. finely chopped red onion
  • 1 T. dried oregano
  • 2 T. chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 2 T. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 4 tsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Place pitas on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until crisp. Cool completely; break into small pieces.
Combine tomatoes and next 4 ingredients ( through parsley) in a large bowl. Combine lime juice and remaining ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Pour juice mixture over tomato mixture; toss gently. Add pita pieces to the bowl and toss gently.

"Cooking Light"

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Maple Soy Chicken Thighs

serves 4 (2 thighs =  9 points +)

  • 1/2 c. maple syrup
  • 1/4 c. fresh orange juice
  • 2 T. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 T. grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp. dark sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 bone0in chicken thighs, skinned
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Combine first 7 ingredients in a small bowl.
Place maple mixture in a large ziplock bag. Add chicken, seal and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375 and line a baking pan with foil. Remove chicken from marinate and place on pan. Place remaining marinade from the bag into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced to about 1/4 c. Baste chicken with reduced maple mixture. Cook for 20 minutes, turn and cook an additional 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

"Cooking Light"

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mexican Chocolate Cake

This cake is not too sweet, but is very moist and rich. If you love chocolate, you will love this cake.
Since the cake is dusted with powdered sugar, I thought I have a little fun with some simple decorating!

serves 12 ( 5 points +)

  • 1 c. flour
  • ⅓ c. baking cocoa
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 c. packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ c. butter, softened
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 c. fat-free vanilla yogurt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T. skim milk
  • 1 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 T. powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Spray an 8 inch round pan with nonstick spray. Line the bottom of the pan with wax paper and spray the wax paper with nonstick spray.

Sift flour and the next 5 ingredients ( through salt) into a bowl. Place sugar and butter in a large bowl and beat at medium speed until well blended. Add egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add yogurt, vanilla, and egg, beating until blended. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until combined, Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 35 minutes or nutil a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes in pan before inverting onto a serving plate. Carefully peel off wax paper. 
Combine semisweet chocolate and 1 T. milk in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave 30 seconds or intil chocolate melts; stir until smooth. Cool slightly; spread over the top of the cake. Let glaze set; sprinkle with powdered sugar.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Stuffed Cuban Pork Tenderloin

I love the versatility of pork tenderloin. It can be grilled, roasted, stuffed, marinated, etc. and it turns out wonderfully each time!

serves 4 ( 5 points +)

  • 1 ( 1 lb.) pork tenderloin
  • 2 T. Dijon mustard
  • ⅓ c. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 thin slices Swiss cheese, halved
  • ⅓ c. chopped bread and butter pickles
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut a slit lengthwise down the center of the tenderloin two-thirds of the way through the meat. Open up the halves and place between 2 sheets of plastic wrap; pound to ½ inch thickness.
Spread mustard evenly over pork. Top with cilantro, cheese and pickles. Roll up, starting with long side and secure with toothpicks or kitchen twine. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place on a sprayed rack in a roasting pan, covered,  and bake for 35-45 minutes or until done.
Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.

"Cooking Light"

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Steak Sandwiches with Pickled Onion and Herb Aioli

I am always on the lookout for a good steak sandwich recipe, so when I came across this recipe from "Cooking Light", I knew I had to try it. I did not have the exact ingredients on hand, so I substituted with what I did have. It turned out great!

Serves 4 ( 10 points +)

  • ¼ c. water
  • ¼ c. cider vinegar
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 1 c. thinly sliced red onion
  • ¼ c. canola mayonnaise
  • 1 T. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 T. chopped fresh basil
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 lb. flank steak, trimmed
  • 1-½ tsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 ( 12 oz) French bread baguette, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 c. fresh baby spinach leaves

Combine first 3 ingredients in a microwave saft bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes on high or until boiling. Stir in onion and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
Combine mayo with the next 4 ingredients ( through garlic) and set aside.
Rub steak evenly with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until desired doneness.
Let steak stand for 10 minutes. Slice thinly across the grain.
Hollow out each baguette piece on top and bottom. Place baguettes, cut side down on grill rack and cook for 1-2 minutes or until toasted.
Drain onion mixture and discard liquid.
Place steak on bottom halves of baguette. Top with onion and spinach. Spread mayo mixture over top halves of baguette; place on sandwiches.

Summer Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

I love making recipes with ingredients that are in season. Summer in the perfect time to make lots of recipes with fruit. Everything tastes so fresh and sweet at this time of year!

serves 6 ( 3 points +)


  • 5 oz. mixed salad greens
  • 1 c. cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1 c. fresh blueberries
  • 1 peach, chopped
  • 1 medium avocado, peeled and chopped
  • 1 oz. soft goat cheese crumbled


  • 1 T. seedless raspberry preserves
  • 2 T. raspberry balsamic vinaigrette
  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place mixed greens on a large platter. Top with fruit, avocado and goat cheese.
For dressing, whisk all ingredients in a bowl. Drizzle over salad.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Grilled Raspberry Thyme Chicken

The marinade for this recipe is very different. Your chicken may look a little pink and after grilling, may even look like pork! The chicken will turn out moist and tender. Everyone in my house loved it!

serves 4 ( 4 points +)

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves ( 4 oz. each)
  • 2 T. seedless raspberry preserves
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme

Place chicken in a large ziplock bag. In a small bowl, combine the preserves with the remaining ingredients. Pour over chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Remove chicken from marinade. Grill until chicken is cooked through, basting with left over marinade. 

Brown Rice and Zucchini Pilaf

Try this healthy recipe for a filling and healthy side dish.

serves 8 ( a generous ½ c. = 3 points +)

  • 2 c. uncooked brown Minute rice
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 can Campbell's Healthy Request Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ¼ c. slivered almonds

Cook rice in water according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook vegetables until crisp tender. Stir vegetables into cooked rice. Stir in mushroom soup. Finally, stir in almonds.

Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Banana Parfaits

Every so often, I like to make a treat for my dad who is a diabetic. For this recipe, I used Xylitol, which is a natural sweetener. I buy it under the name "Ideal".

serves 6 ( 4 points +)

  • 6 T. Ideal brand Xylitol ( or use regular sugar if you like)
  • ¼ c. baking cocoa
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • dash of salt
  • 1-½ c. skim milk
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 6 Nutter Butter Sandwich Cookies, crushed
  • 2 large bananas, sliced
  • 12 T. light whipped cream

In a heavy saucepan, combien the first four ingredients. Gradually whisk in milk. Cook on medium high, whisking constantly until mixture thickens. Place mixture in a bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until cooled.
Layer parfait cups with pudding, bananas and crushed cookies. Repeat. Top each parfait with 2 T. light whipped cream.

Roasted Fig, Prosciutto and Spinach Salad

Figs were another great purchase from the local Italian store the other day. I have normally used the dark, black Mission Figs, but this time the store had these lime green colored figs, so I thought I would try them. They were very sweet and a great complement to the salty prosciutto and tangy goat cheese. 

serves 6 ( 3 points +)

  • ⅓ c. cider vinegar
  • 1 T. molasses
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 6 medium-large figs, skinned and halved
  • 5 oz. fresh baby spinach
  • 2 oz. prosciutto, sliced thinly
  • ¼ c. crumbled, soft goat cheese
  • ⅛ tsp. pepper

Preheat oven to 425. Combine the first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add figs, toss to coat. Remove figs with a slotted spoon, reserving vinegar mixture.
Place figs in a heavy cast iron skillet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425 for 8-10 minutes. Remove figs from pan and place on a plate. Immediately add reserved vinegar mixture to the hot pan, scraping pan to loosen any browned bits. Pour into a small bowl; let figs and vinaigrette cool to room temperature.
Spread spinach on a large platter. Top with prosciutto, figs and goat cheese. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Sprinkle with pepper.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

PLT with Pesto Sandwich

What is a PLT you wonder? It is a Pancetta, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich.
Yesterday, I stopped by our local Italian store to buy some pancetta. Pancetta is the Italian version of bacon. It is in a circular form. Get it sliced thin and it fries up in no time!

serves 6 ( 7 points +)

  • 6 small ciabatta rolls ( I used Take and Bake rolls)
  • ¼ lb. thinly sliced pancetta
  • 1 large beefsteak tomato, sliced
  • Romaine lettuce leaves
  • 6 T. reduced-fat pesto sauce

Fry pancetta in a pan until slightly crisp. Drain on paper towels.
Slice rolls, spread one side with 1 T. pesto sauce. Top with cooked pancetta, lettuce, tomato.

Summer Squash Soup with Pasta and Parmesan

A fresh-tasting soup that is perfect for summer!

serves 8 (1 c. =  3 points +)

  • 6 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 3 c. water
  • 2-¼ c. uncooked farfalle ( bow tie) pasta ( about 6 oz.)
  • 2 c. finely chopped yellow squash
  • 2 c. finely chopped zucchini
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 T. chopped fresh basil
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ c. Parmesan cheese, grated

Bring broth and water to a boil in a Dutch oven or large pot. Add pasta and cook 8 minutes. Add remaining ingredients except for Parmesan cheese. Reduce heat and cook for 4 minutes or until pasta is done and vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Roasted Potatoes with Dijon

serves 8 ( 3 points +)

  • 2-½ lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes,  cubed
  • 2 T. olive oil, divided
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 425 and spray an 11 x 7 baking dish with nonstick spray. Combine potatoes with 1 T. olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until golden and tender. Cool slightly.
Place remaining 1 T. olive oil and 2 tsp. Dijon in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Add potatoes and toss to coat.

Chili Espresso Rubbed Steaks with Warm Tomato Sauce

Another great way to use up the abundance of tomatoes from your garden! I used a combination of cherry tomatoes and little yellow pear tomatoes. This is a quick grilling recipe that is sure to please!

serves 8 ( 5 points +)

  • 4 tsp. espresso powder
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 ( 1 lb. each) flank steaks
  • 2 c. cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. tarragon vinegar
  • ½ tsp. salt

Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl. Rub over both sides of steak. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Grill until desired doneness. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.
Meanwhile, place tomatoes in a food processor with olive oil, parsley, vinegar and salt. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Place tomato mixture in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Serve over steak.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Monday, August 6, 2012

Italian Zucchini Meatloaf

Tonight's main course recipe was my attempt at creatively using more of that zucchini from the garden. This turned out great! I hope you like it! The serving size is quite hefty, so if you have a smaller appetite, just cut your piece and your points in half!

serves 8 ( 6 points +)

  • 2 lbs. lean ground beef ( 93% lean)
  • 1 c. quick cooking rolled oats
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 2 c. grated zucchini
  • 1 medium carrot, grated


  • 1 c. tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • ½ tsp. dried basil


  • ¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese

Combine meatloaf ingredients in a large bowl. Place in an 11 x 7 baking dish and form into a loaf shape.
Combine sauce with spices and pour over loaf. Bake at 375 for 1 hour or until desired doneness. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Tomato, Squash and Red Pepper Gratin

Tomatoes and yellow summer squash are in abundance in my garden right now. This recipe makes great use of them!

serves 8 ( 4 points +)

  • 3 tsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 c. chopped red onion
  • 1-½ c. chopped red bell pepper
  • 3-½ c. sliced yellow summer squash
  • 1 T. crushed garlic
  • ½ c. brown Minute Rice, cooked
  • ¼ c. chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • ¾ tsp. salt, divided
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • ½ c. ( 2 % ) milk
  • ¾ c. shredded Swiss cheese
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1-½ oz. bread, torn
  • 1 ( 12 oz) beefsteak tomato, sliced

Preheat oven to 375 and spray an 11 x 7 baking dish with nonstick spray.
In a large nonstick skillet coated with spray, heat 2 tsp. oil. Add onions and cook for 3 minutes. Add bell pepper and cook another 3 minutes. Add yellow squash and garlic and cook for 4 minutes. Place vegetable mixture in a large bowl. Stir in cooked brown rice, basil, thyme, ½ tsp. salt and pepper.
In another bowl, combine eggs, milk and Swiss cheese. Stir egg mixture into vegetable mixture. Transfer to the 11 x 7 pan.
Place bread in a food processor and pulse until crumbs form. Stir in remaining 1 tsp. olive oil. 
Slice tomato and place on top of casserole. Sprinkle with bread crumb mixture. Bake 35-40 minutes or until topping is browned.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake

Delicious and very moist!

serves 16 ( 6 points +)

  • ½ c. Dannon Light and Fit vanilla yogurt
  • ½ c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1-¾ c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T. vanilla
  • ½ c. low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 c. grated zucchini
  • 2-½ c. flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ c. baking cocoa
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 c. chocolate chips
  • 1 T. powdered sugar

Mix all ingredients except for chocolate chips and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Add chocolate chips and stir until combined. Pour into a bundt pan coated with nonstick spray. Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes or until a knife when inserted, comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pan before inverting onto a serving platter. Cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Southwest Crispy Chicken Sliders

These little sandwiches were amazing! They were not too hard to make and any effort was worth it!

Makes 12 ( 5 points + each)


  • ⅔ c. flour
  • ⅔ c. yellow cornmeal
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¾ c. low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 T. light butter, melted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ⅓ c. reduced-fat shredded cheddar
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped


  • ⅔ c. Panko Japanese breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg 
  • ¼ c. skim milk
  • 3 ( 6 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 2 T. canola oil

Additional Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe, pitted avocado
  • 2 tsp. lime juice
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 12 thin slices Roma tomato
  • salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350 and spray a muffin pan with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, combine flour with the next 4 ingredients.
In a small bowl, combine buttermilk, egg and butter. Stir buttermilk mixture into flour mixture until just blended. Stir in cheese and jalapeno. Spoon into muffin tins and bake 14-17 minutes or until done.
Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before removing muffins to cool completely. Split muffins crosswise.

For chicken, combine egg and milk in a shallow dish. Place Panko in another shallow dish.
Split chicken breast in half lengthwise to form 2 cutlets; cut each piece in half, crosswise, to form 12 pieces.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 T. oil. Dip chicken in egg mixture, then coat in Panko. Cook 6 cutlets at a time for 3 minutes per side or until browned and cooked through. Repeat with remaining 1 T. oil and chicken.

To prepare additional ingredients, mash avocado in a bowl with lime juice and salt. Stir in bacon.

Spread avocado mixture over the bottoms of muffins. Top with chicken and a tomato slice. Top with muffin tops.

adapted from "Cooking Light"


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