Friday, December 28, 2012

Red Pepper-Potato Frittata

Perfect for breakfast with some fruit and toast or perfect for dinner with a larger sized piece and a salad!

serves 8 ( 4 points +) or serves 6 ( larger piece 1/6 of frittata = 5 points+)

  • ½ c. thinly sliced onion
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced thinly
  • 1 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 T. olive oil, divided
  • 8 eggs, beaten
  • ½ c. reduced-fat shredded cheddar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat an ovenproof cast iron skillet over medium heat. Spray pan with nonstick spray. Add 1 tsp. oil and swirl to coat. Add onions and peppers and cook until onions are tender. Remove onion mixture and place in a bowl. Add remaining 2 tsp. oil to the pan. Add potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook until potatoes are browned and tender, stirring often. Remove potatoes from pan and combine with onion mixture. Return potato mixture to pan and press down.
Season eggs with salt and pepper and pour over potato mixture. Sprinkle with Swiss cheese.
Place pan in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until set in the center. Cut into wedges.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Egg and Hash Brown Casserole

Here's another casserole that I tried for our Christmas morning breakfast. It was gone in a flash! This dish will need to be refrigerated overnight, so plan ahead.

serves 6 ( 6 points +)

  • 8 center cut bacon slices
  • 2 c. chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 c. shredded hash brown potatoes
  • 1/4 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 5 c. fresh baby spinach
  • basil to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 oz. reduced fat Swiss cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 c. skim milk
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten

Cook bacon in a large cast iron or nonstick skillet until crisp, Remove bacon from pan and crumble.
Increase heat to medium-high. Add onion to the pan and saute for 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add potatoes and broth; cook 6 minutes, stirring frequently.Add spinach, basil, salt and pepper. Cook until spinach wilts. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes. Stir in crumbled bacon and cheese. Place mixture in an 11 x 7 inch pan coated with nonstick spray. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven and uncover dish. Top eggs and milk with salt and pepper to taste. Pour egg mixture over mixture in baking dish. Bake at 350 for 28 minutes. Remove pan and preheat broiler to high; Broil 3 minutes or until top is browned and eggs are just set. Let stand 5 minutes.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Streusel Topped French Toast Casserole with Fruit Compote

Christmas is such a special time of the year. It is my favorite holiday and so I always look for special foods to make. I make traditional things, but also like to try new recipes, especially for Christmas breakfast. This one was easy to assemble, but had to be refrigerated overnight. The flavor was amazing. I think you will really like it. Try topping with a tablespoon of sugar free maple syrup too! Maybe you can try it for New Year's breakfast!

serves 8 ( 10 points +)

  • 1 c. unfiltered apple cider
  • 1/3 c. dried cranberries
  • 1/4 c. golden raisins
  • 1 c. skim milk
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 T. vanilla
  • 1-1/4 tsp. cinnamon, divided
  • 3/4 tsp. salt, divided
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 8 ( 1-1/2 oz. slices sourdough bread, crusts removed
  • 6 T. flour
  • 1/3 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 c. walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 3 T. chilled butter, cut into small pieces

Bring cider to a boil in a small saucepan. Cook until reduced to about 2/3 c. ( about 4 minutes) Add cranberries and raisins; let stand 10 minutes.

Combine milk, sugar, vanilla, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. salt and eggs, stirring with a whisk,

Coat a 9 inch deep-dish pie plate with cooking spray. Line the bottom of dish with half of bread in a single layer. Pour half of egg mixture over bread; let stand 1 minute. Spread cranberry mixture over bread. top with remaining bread pour remaining egg mixture over bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Combine remaining 3/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. salt, flour, pates, walnuts and brown sugar in a bowl. Ct in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Preheat oven to 350. Uncover bread mixture and top with flour mixture. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting.

from: "Cooking Light"

Pineapple and Orange Salad with Toasted Coconut

This salad is so refreshing in the winter months.  I made this for a Christmas dinner gathering, but it would also be great as part of a breakfast.

serves 8 ( about 3/4 c. = 4 points +)

  • 2 c. seedless orange sections
  • 1/2 c. pomegranate arils
  • 4 sliced peeled kiwi
  • 1 ( 4 lb) pineapple, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 tsp. grated lime rind
  • 1 T. lime juice
  • 1 T. orange juice
  • 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
  • 1/2 c. flaked, sweetened coconut, toasted and divided

Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Combine rind and next 3 ingredients in a small bowl. Gently stir lime mixture into fruit mixture; cover and chill.
Just before serving, stir in 1/4 c. toasted coconut. Sprinkle with remaining coconut.

from: "Cooking Light"

Roasted Tomato and Mozzarella Panini with Balsamic Syrup

This grown-up grilled cheese is sure to please! The tomatoes will take a bit of time to roast, so plan ahead. This recipe is wonderful with tomato soup!

Serves 8 ( 8 points +)

  • 2 ( 10 oz) loaves French bread baguette
  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • basil and oregano to taste
  • 2 T. olive oil, divided
  • 6- 8 Roma tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar

Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray. Preheat oven to 350. Place tomatoes in a single layer on baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 T. olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast 50-60 minutes or until softened.

Bring vinegar to boil in a small pot. Reduce heat and simmer until liquid is reduced to about half.

Meanwhile, cut each baguette into 4 pieces and slice open. Brush one side of each bread piece with remaining 1 T. olive oil. Place cheese on the other side of the bread. Top cheese with roasted tomatoes.
Grill sandwiches on a grill pan or panini pan. Drizzle each panini with balsamic syrup.

Tomato and Cheese Tortellini Soup

This "doctored up" tomato soup is perfect for those hurried evenings when you want something hot, but do not have lots of time to cook. I have made this for years and my kids love it. This is great served with grilled cheese.

serves 16 ( 1 c. = 4 points +)

  • 1 large can ( 50 oz) Campbell's condensed tomato soup
  • 50 oz. water
  • 1 can ( 15 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 12 oz. frozen cheese tortellini
  • 2 T. oregano
  • 1 T. basil
  • 4 T. Parmesan cheese, grated

Mix soup and diced tomatoes with 50 oz. water in a large pot. Add oregano and basil; bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer.
Meanwhile, bring another pot of water to boil. Add tortellini and cook until pasta rises to the top of the water. Drain.
Add tortellini to tomato soup. Stir to heat through. Top each serving with 1 tsp. Parmesan cheese.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Pecan Date Bars

A nice little holiday treat!

serves 24 ( 3 points +)

  • 1 c. four
  • 1/3 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. chilled butter, cut into small pieces


  • 3/4 c. dark corn syrup
  • 1/3 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. egg beaters
  • 2 T. flour
  • 1 T. bourbon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. chopped pitted dates
  • 1/3 c. chopped pecans, toasted
  • 2 T. mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
For crust, combine dry ingredients and cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Press into an 11 x 7 pan coated with nonstick spray. Bake 12 minutes. Cool completely

Reduce oven temperature to 350

For filling, whisk all ingredients together and pour over crust. Bake 30 minutes or until set. Cool completely and cut into 24 bars. Chill until serving.

from "Cooking Light"

Cavatappi with Pesto, Potatoes and Green Beans

Another great meatless meal that is easy to prepare!

serves 8 ( 1 generous c. = 6 points+)

  • 8 oz. uncooked cavatappi
  • 1 lb. yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 can ( 15 oz.) green beans, drained
  • 1/2 c. refrigerated, store-bought pesto sauce
  • 2 T. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place potatoes in a large pot of water. Bring to a boil; add cavatappi and bring to a boil again. Cook until noodles and potatoes are tender. Add green beans during the last minute of cooking to heat through. Drain entire mixture.
Place pasta mixture in a large bowl. Toss with pesto and Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Roast Chicken with Balsamic Bell Peppers

Fast, easy, moist and juicy...this dish is sure to please!

serves 4 (1 breast half and about 1/2 c. pepper mixture = 7 points +)

  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano
  • 4 ( 6 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
  • 2 T. olive oil, divided
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 c. thinly sliced, onion
  • 1 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 T. balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 450.
Heat a large cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat,
Combine salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano in a dish.
Brush chicken with 1-1/2 tsp. olive oil ( both sides). Sprinkle with salt mixture.
Add 1-1/2 tsp. oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add chicken; cook for 3 minutes on one side. Turn and cook for 1 more minute.
Remove chicken and place in a baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Cook in the oven for 10 minutes or until cooked through.

Meanwhile add remaining 1 T. oil to the skillet. Cook peppers and onions about 3-4 minutes. Add chicken broth to pan, scraping any browned bits. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 3 minutes.
Serve pepper mixture over chicken.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Empanadas

This recipe would be perfect for a hearty hors de ouvres party. I would even serve these as a main dish as they are quite hearty. There is a little work involved, so give yourself time! You will love these!

Makes 10 ( 1 empanada = 6 points +)

  • 2 c. flour
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 c. canola oil
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1 T. cider vinegar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 poblano chile
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 c. mashed cooked sweet potatoes
  • 1 c. canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 c. chopped green onions
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp. ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten

Combine flour with 3/4 tsp. salt in a large bowl.
Combine canola oil, water, vinegar and eg in a medium bowl. Add oil mixture to flour mixture, stirring until moist. Knead lightly until smooth. Shape dough into a ball and wrap in plastic. Chill for 1 hour.

Preheat broiler. Place poblano on a foil lined baking sheet. Broil for 8 minutes or until blackened, turning once. Place poblano in a paper bag and let stand for 15 minutes. Peel chile, cut in half lengthwise and remove seeds and membranes. Finely chop chile.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine cumin, poblano, sweet potatoes and next 5 ingredients ( through salt) in a large bowl; mash until almost smooth. Divide dough into 10 equal portions and roll each into a 5 inch circle on a lightly floured surface.
Spoon poblano mixture into the center of each circle. Moisten edges of dough with egg white, fold over and crimp edges.
Place empanadas on a baking sheet coated with nonstick spray. Bake for 16 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve hot or at room temperature.

"Cooking Light"

Creamy Butternut, Blue Cheese and Walnut Cavatappi

This dish is a main dish, but could easily be a side dish too. A side dish serving of 1/2 c. would be 4 points +)

serves 6 ( 1 c. = 8 points +)

  • 4 c. ( 1/2 inch) cubed, peeled butternut squash
  • 2-1/2 tsp. olive oil, divided
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 oz. uncooked cavatappi
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • 1 T. crushed garlic
  • 1 c. (2%) milk, divided
  • 1 tsp. flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 c. blue cheese, crumbled
  • 3 T. chopped walnuts, toasted

Preheat oven to 425 and spray a jelly roll pan with cooking spray.
Combine squash with 1-1/2 tsp. oil, salt and pepper. Place on the jelly roll pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until tender, stirring once.
Cook pasta; drain and keep warm.
Heat a medium saucepan over med-high heat. Add 1 tsp. oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add onion and garlic an cook 3 minutes. Reduce heat. Stir in 1/2 c. milk, salt and pepper.
Combine remaining 1/2 c. milk with flour and egg yolks. Slowly add to mixture in saucepan, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook 5 minutes or until thickened.
Combine squash, pasta and milk mixture in a large bowl; toss to coat. Sprinkle with cheese and nuts.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Friday, December 14, 2012

Two-Potato Gratin

Loved this creamy gratin recipe from "Cooking Light". There was some prep work, but it can be done ahead of time and then baked later. This is a perfect accompaniment to chicken, beef or pork! I made this with Italian Chicken with Lemon Butter Sauce, Peas and a Green Salad. I have adapted the instructions for this recipe to make it  a little easier.
Hope you like it!

serves 8 ( 6 points +)

  • 2 medium baking potatoes, peeled and sliced about 1/4 inch thick ( about 3 cups)
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced about 1/4 inch thick ( about 4 cups)
  • 2 quarts fat-free chicken broth
  • 2 T. canola oil
  • 3 T. flour
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1-1/2 c. 2% milk
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 c. shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
  • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 2 quart baking dish with nonstick spray.
Place potatoes in a large stock pot with chicken broth. Bring to a boil; cook 4-5 minutes.
Remove potatoes with a slotted spoon and set aside. Reserve 1 c. broth.

Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add oil to pan. Sprinkle flour over oil; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add garlic and cook 1 minute.
Combine milk with 1 c. reserved broth (discard remaining broth)
Gradually pour milk and broth into flour mixture,, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add thyme. 
Bring to a boil and cook 4 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in salt, pepper and Gruyere or Swiss cheese.

Spread 1/2 c. sauce in the bottom of baking dish.
Arrange potatoes over sauce. Sprinkle potatoes with salt and pepper. Spoon remaining sauce over potatoes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Bake for 1 hour or until potatoes are tender.
Remove gratin from oven. Preheat broiler. Broil gratin for 3 minutes or until browned.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Skirt Steak with Gorgonzola Polenta

This is a super fast recipe, perfect for a weeknight meal. Serve with a mixed greens salad or green beans.
Polenta is an Italian cornmeal similar to the grits of our southern states. It is a nice change up from potatoes and is quick and easy to make.

serves 4 ( 8 points + for 1/2 c. polenta with 3 oz. steak)

  • 2 c. + 1 T. fat-free chicken broth, divided
  • 1 c. 2% milk
  • 2/3 c. quick cooking polenta
  • 1/4 c. crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb. skirt steak, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • 1 T. finely chopped shallot or onion
  • 1/2 c. dry red wine
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1-1/2 tsp. honey
  • 1/4 tsp. cornstarch

Combine 2 c. broth with milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, Gradually whisk in polenta, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese, salt and pepper. Cover and let stand 5 minutes.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with nonstick spray. Sprinkle steak with salt and pepper. Cook 3 minutes per side or until desired doneness. Transfer meat to a cutting board and cover with foil.
Melt butter in skillet and cook onion. Add wine, thyme and honey. Cook until reduced by half. Combine remaining 1 T. broth with 1/4 tsp. cornstarch. Stir into sauce.

Cut steak, diagonally across grain into thin slices.
Spoon sauce evenly onto plates and top with polenta and steak.

from "Cooking Light"

Roast Stuffed Pork Loin with Port Sauce

This recipe requires a bit more prep work, but it is very nice for a special dinner. You may even consider this for Christmas Eve!

serves 12 ( 1 slice pork with 1-1/2 T. sauce = 6 points+)

  • 1 c. port or other red wine of your choosing
  • 1/2 c. dried cherries, coarsely chopped
  • 2 T. canola oil, divided
  • 1 c. finely chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 c. fresh bread crumbs, toasted ( about 2 slices of bread processed in a food processor) 
  • 2 T. butter, divided
  • 2-1/2 c. fat-free chicken broth, divided
  • 1 T. chopped, fresh sage, divided ( or 1 tsp. dried)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 ( 3 lb) boneless pork loin
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. dried sage
  • 2 T. finely chopped onion or shallot
  • 1 T. flour
  • 2 T. water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine wine and cherries in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. reduce heat and simmer for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Drain cherries in a sieve over a bowl, reserving wine for later.
Heat a large cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 T. oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add onion and cook until tender. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Combine onion, cherries and bread crumbs in a large bowl. Melt 1 T. butter and drizzle over bread mixture. Add 1/4 c. chicken broth and toss. Stir in sage, thyme, salt and pepper.

Cut horizontally through center of pork, cutting to, but not through the other side. Open pork to lay flat. Place between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound to 1/2 inch thickness. Brush 1-1/2 tsp. oil over inside of pork. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread stuffing down center of pork, leaving a 1/2 inch border around all outside edges.
Roll pork, jelly roll fashion securing with twine or toothpicks.
Brush outside of pork with 1-1/2 tsp oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Heat the large skillet over medium heat. Add pork and brown on all sides.

Place pork on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Pour remaining 2-1/4 c. chicken broth into the bottom of the pan.
Bake for 45 minutes-1 hour or until pork is cooked through. Let stand 15 minutes before slicing into 12 slices.

Place the roasting pan over medium high heat. Add reserved wine. Season with 1/4 tsp. thyme and sage. Add shallot or onion. Cook until liquid is reduced to about 1 c.
Combine flour with water and stir into sauce. Cook until thickened. Stir in 1 T. butter and salt and pepper to taste. Serve sauce with pork.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Friday, December 7, 2012

Peppercorn Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Gremolata

This steak was packed full of flavor! It turned out juicy and tender and the topping had a bit of a kick to it! I served this for my dad's birthday. This was served with roasted potatoes, peas and a mixed greens citrus salad and a cranberry upside-down cake for dessert.  Everyone loved it!

Serves 4 ( 6 points +)

  • 4 ( 4 oz) beef tenderloin steaks ( about 1 inch thick)
  • 2 tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 4 tsp. canola oil, divided
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 T. chopped, fresh cilantro
  • 1-1/2 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Coat a nonstick cast-iron skillet with spray; Sprinkle steak evenly with about 1/4 tsp. salt and cracked pepper. Add 1 tsp. oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add steak to pan and cook for 2-3 minutes per side on medium-high heat. Place pan in an oven heated to 425 degrees and cook an additional 5-7 minutes or until desired doneness. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine remaining 1 T. oil, remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl to make the gremolata. Serve steak with gremolata topping.

from "Cooking Light"


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