Monday, December 2, 2013

Pork Tenderloin Agrodolce

I love pork at this time of year and I also love anything Italian, so this dish was perfect. Agrodolce is the Italian word for sweet and sour. 

Serves 8 (3 oz. met + 1/3 c. sauce = 5 points +)

  • 3/4 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 c. green olives
  • 1/2 c. dried, sweet cherries
  • 1/4 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 2T . sugar
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 pound cipollini onions, peeled
  • 1 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 2 ( 1 lb) pork tenderloins
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven to 500 degrees
Combine first 8 ingredients in a medium saucepan; stir in 1.2 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 45 minutes or until onions are almost tender, stirring occasionally. Uncover, increase heat and cook 4-7 minutes or until thick.

Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. SPrinkle pork with remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and pepper. Add pork to pan and brown on one side. Turn pork over. Place pan in oven; bake for 12-15 minutes or until thermometer registers 155 degrees. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with sauce.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Monday, November 18, 2013

Cranberry Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh is an Arab salad made with cracked wheat and usually combined with finely chopped ingredients. This cranberry tabbouleh was the perfect accompaniment to the orange glazed pork that I made for dinner tonight.

serves 6 ( 1/2 c. = 3 points +)

  • 1-1/4 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 1/4 c. dried cranberries
  • 1/4 tsp. five-spice powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 c . bulgur ( cracked wheat)

Bring broth and next 3 ingredients to a boil in a saucepan; stir in bulgur. Remove from heat, cover and let stand 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Orange-Glazed Pork Tenderloin

This pork recipe is juicy and full of flavor. It is so easy to make that it would be perfect for an everyday weeknight meal.

serves 8 ( 5 points +)

  • 1/3 c. orange marmalade
  • 2 T. rice vinegar
  • 1 T. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 T. canola oil
  • 1-1/2 lbs. pork tenderloin

Preheat oven to 350. 
Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk.
Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add oila nd swirl to coat. Add pork; cook 6 minutes, browning on all sides. Brush pork with half of marmalade mixture.
Place pan in oven; bake 18-25 minutes, turning after 10 minutes and basting with remaining sauce. Cook until thermometer registers 145 degrees. Let pork stand 5 minutes before slicing. Top with any remaining sauce in the pan.

"Cooking Light"

English Cottage Pie

A homey, comfort food type of meal that makes great use of leftover mashed potatoes. Keep this one in mind after Thanksgiving!

serves 6 ( 8 points +)

  • 1 T. flour
  • 1 T. butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1/2 c. chopped
  • carrot
  • 1 ( 8 oz) package fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef ( 90-93% lean)
  • 2 T. tomato paste
  • 1 c. fat-free beef broth
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 c. chopped, fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 T. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 c. leftover mashed potatoes
  • 3/4 c. reduced fat cheddar cheese, divided
  • paprika

Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 2 quart glass baking dish with nonstick spray.

Combine flour and butter; stir well. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking psray. Add onion and carrot; saute 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes or until browned. Remove vegetables from skillet. Add beef to pan and cook until broned, stirring to crumble. Stir in tomato past and cook 3 minutes. Stir in broth and pepper. Return bevetables to pan and bring to a simmer. Stir in parsley, theym and salt. Add flour mixture and stir until thickened. ( about 1 minute)
Spoon meat mixture into baking dish. Spread evening. Combine potatoes and half of the cheese. Spread potato mixture over meat mixture. Top with remaining cheese. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake 20 minutes or until bubbly.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Sweet Potato Soup

Easy, quick, creamy and delicious. You will love this autumn soup!

serves 6 ( 1-1/2 c. = 5 points +)

  • 2 lbs. sweet potatoes, halved lengthwise ( about 2 large)
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 6 slices fully cooked bacon ( such as Oscar Mayer), cooked and crumbled
  • 1 oz. ( about 1/4 c.) fresh shaved Parmesan cheese
  • flat-leaf parsley

Place potatoes, cut sides down in an 11 x 7 inch baking dish. Add water, cover with plastic wrap and microwave 10-15 minutes or until tender. Cool slightly and discard potato skins.
Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add oil and swirl to coat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add cumin, red pepper flakes and chicken broth. Bring to a boil.

Place half of sweet potato and half of broth mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid to allow steak to escape. Place blender lid on blender and cover with a clean towel to avoid splatters. Blend until smooth. 
Pour pureed soup into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining sweet potato and broth mixture. Stir in salt. Divide soup among 6 bowl. Top with bacon, shaved Parmesan and parsley.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Turkey Burgers with Cranberry-Apple Relish

This is definitely one of the best turkey burgers I've had. The flavors are reminiscent of Thanksgiving! The burger is juicy and moist and the topping add just the right contrast in flavors!

serves 4 ( 8 points +)

  • 1/2 c. fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 c. chopped apple
  • 1tsp. grated orange rind
  • 2 T. fresh orange juice
  • 3/8 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1/2 c. finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 c. plain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c. fresh, flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. dried sage
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 4 slices Sargento reduced-fat Provolone cheese
  • 4 low-calorie hamburger buns ( such as Healthy Life)
  • baby spinach leaves

Place first 5 ingredients in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.
Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Add onions and cook 3 minutes or until tender. Cool slightly.
Place onions in a medium bowl with bread crumbs and the next 4 ingredients. ( through turkey). Form into 4 patties.
Spray the skillet again. Cook burgers until juices run clear, turning once. Add cheese and cook until melted. Place spinach leaves on the bottom bun. Top with burger and relish. 

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Monday, November 4, 2013

Chicken and Butternut Tagine with Pistachio Couscous

This Moroccan inspired dish is full of healthy ingredients and wonderfully healthy spices. The flavor combination is amazing! 

Tagine: serves 4 ( 1-1/4 c. = 8 points +)

  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 2 c. chopped onion
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 2 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 8 oz. peeled, cubed butternut squash
  • 1/3 c. halved, pitted picholine olives
  • 8 pitted, dried plums, chopped

Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large pot. Add onion and cook until golden. Stir in cumin and next 7 ingredients ( through chicken); cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in broth, squash, olives and dried plums; bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook 15-20 minutes or until squash is tender. Serve with couscous.

Pistachio Couscous: serves 4 ( 4 points +)

  • 3/4 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 3/4 c. couscous
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon rind
  • 1/4 c. chopped pistachios

Bring broth to a boil in a small saucepan. Add couscous and stir. Cover and remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork. Stir in lemon rind and pistachios

"Cooking Light"

Friday, November 1, 2013

Apple Kuchen

Kuchen is the German word for cake. This kuchen is slightly dense with cream cheese and buttermilk in the batter. It is a moist and tender cake topped with sliced apples and an apricot glaze. This is perfect as a breakfast item or for dessert. 

serves 15 ( 6 points +)

  • 3 medium apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 2 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 c. sugar, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1-1/2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 c. butter, softened, divided
  • 3 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2/3 c. low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 c. chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1/4 c. apricot preserves
  • 2 tsp. orange juice

Preheat oven to 350 and spray a metal 13 x 9 inch pan with nonstick spray.
Combine apples and lemon juice; toss. Add 1/4 c. sugar, cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Toss to combine.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, 1/4 tsp. salt and baking powder.
Place remaining 3/4 c. sugar, 6 T. butter and cream cheese in a bowl. Beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs, beating well. Add vanilla.
Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat until just combined. Stir in walnuts.
Spread batter into prepared pan. Top with apples. Melt remaining 2 T. butter; brush over apples. Bake 35-45 minutes or until set.
Combine preserves and orange juice; microwave 30 seconds or until melted. Brush over apples; cool. Cut into 15 squares.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Hungarian Goulash

I have not made a Hungarian Goulash recipe in years, but after being in Europe last year and tasting the authentic thing, I wanted to try to duplicate it. I tested this out on my German father, whose grandmother was a chef in Europe. He loved it. I hope you do too!

serves 8 ( 6 points +) add extra points for noodles

  • 2 T. canola oil, divided
  • 2 c. sliced onion
  • 2-1/4 lb. lean sirloin, cubed
  • 2 T. Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1 ( 28 oz) can whole tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 c. red wine
  • 8 T. fat-free sour cream
  • egg noodles ( optional)

Heat 1 T. oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan. Add onion and cook until tender. Remove onion. 
Place beef in a bowl with salt, pepper and paprika. Toss to coat.
Add remaining 1 T. oil to pot. Add beef and brown. Stir in tomatoes, garlic and wine. Return onions to pot. Cover and simmer on low for 2- 2 1/2 hours or until meat is very tender and sauce has cooked down a bit. Serve over noodles if desired and top with 1 T. sour cream.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Fettuccine with Pumpkin Sauce

Being a lover of all things pumpkin, I knew I had to try this new recipe slightly adapted from "Cooking Light".
The recipe from start to finish took less than 20 minutes. The sauce was creamy and full of flavor. My 15 month old granddaughter even loved it! What a fun way to mix up a pasta recipe during this time of year!

serves 4 ( about 1 c. = 9 points +)

  • 8 oz. uncooked fettuccine
  • 2 applewood smoked bacon slices, chopped small ( I used thick sliced)
  • 2 T. finely chopped fresh sage, divided
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 3/4 c. canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. salt 
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 T. heavy cream
  • 2 T. chopped fresh, flat-leaf parsley

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain over a bowl reserving 3/4 c. cooking liquid.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon; cook 4 minutes or until almost crisp, stirring occasionally. Add 1 T. sage and garlic, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in pumpkin and Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Add reserved cooking liquid and heavy cream, stirring until smooth. Add pasta and toss to coat. Sprinkle with remaining 1 T. sage and parsley.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Black Bean Dip

This very yummy black bean dip is a perfect  party appetizer or a side dish to accompany any Mexican main course. Serve with tortilla chips.

serves 6 ( about 1/4 c. = 3 points + )

  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • 1 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 ( 15 oz) can black beans, undrained
  • 1/4 c. shredded, part-skim mozzarella
  • 2 T. crumbled queso fresco cheese
  • 1 can ( 10 oz) Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies, drain most of the liquid
  •  chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray. Add onion and cook until tender. Stir in garlic and cumin. Add black beans with liquid from the can. Bring to a boil. Mash with a potato masher. Cook until thickened ( 5-10 minutes)
Transfer bean mixture to an 8 inch square pan coated with nonstick spray. Top with mozzarella and queso fresco.
Bake for 12 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Top with Rotel tomatoes and cilantro.

Red Bean, Chicken, and Sweet Potato Stew

Here's a great crock pot meal. I even threw the chicken in frozen for extra ease in prep work. The flavor of this stew was amazing! I think you will like it!

serves 8 ( about 1-1/2 scant cups = 6 points +)

  • 2 ( 15 oz. cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 c. peeled, cubed sweet potato
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 ( 14.5 oz) cans fat-free chicken broth
  • 2 large green peppers, chopped
  • 1 ( 15 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 ( 4 oz.) cans diced green chilies
  • 1 T. Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1/4 c. reduced-fat, creamy peanut butter
  • chopped, fresh cilantro

Combine all ingredients in a crock pot, except peanut butter and cilantro. Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours or on high for 5-6 hours or until veggies are tender and chicken is easy to shred. Shred chicken. 
Remove 1 c. hot liquid from crock pot. Whisk in peanut butter. Return mixture to pot; stir.

Top each serving with cilantro.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Succotash is what I like to call the southern version of Asian stir-fry. It is a vegetable- lovers dream come true! This dish is hearty and quite satisfying. There is some prep work involved, but the overall dish comes together rather quickly if you cook the sweet potatoes and red potatoes ahead of time. I hope you like it!

serves 12 ( 1 generous cup = 7 points +)

  • 2 T. olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 2 sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled and cubed ( 4 c.)
  • 3 medium red potatoes, cooked, peeled and cubed
  • 4 c. snow peas
  • 1lb. carrots, sliced thinly
  • 1 can ( 15 oz.) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 can ( 15 oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 can ( 8 oz) unsweetened pineapple tidbits

Spray a large wok or skillet with nonstick spray. Add 1 T. olive oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cook until chicken is no longer pink. Remove chicken and set aside. Drain any juices in the pan. 
Add remaining 1 T. oil. Add carrots and cook until starting to soften. Add zucchini, onion and bell peppers. Cook until veggies are tender. Add sweet potatoes, red potatoes, chicken, cannellini beans and corn; heat through. Add pineapple tidbits with juice. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Barley Risotto with Eggplant and Tomatoes

Risotto in any form is a labor of love! While not rocket science, it does take some time and finesse to prepare. This healthy risotto uses barley in place of the traditional arborio rice. It has a nutty, chewy texture and is quite hearty and filling. Barley is a complex carbohydrate that digests slowly. It has fiber and antioxidants. When consumed regularly, it can boost digestive health and may cut heart disease and type 2 diabetes risks.
This recipe also has a Mediterranean taste with the eggplant, tomatoes and goat cheese. Feel free to substitute whichever vegetables you like.  I think this would be good with some roasted red peppers, too!

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

  • 6 c, diced eggplant
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 3 T. olive oil, divided
  • pepper
  • 5 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 2 c. water
  • 2 c. finely chopped onion
  • 1 c. uncooked pearl barley
  • 2 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1/2 c. dry white wine
  • salt
  • 1/2 c. ( 2 oz) crumbled soft goat cheese
  • 1/4 c. pine nuts, toasted

Preheat oven to 400. Combine eggplant, tomatoes 2 T. oil and 1/4 tsp. black pepper in a large bowl. Transfer to a jelly-roll pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until tomatoes begin to burst and eggplant is tender.

Meanwhile, combine broth and water in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer. Do not boil. Keep warm over low heat.

Heat remaining 1 T. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until tender. Stir in barley and garlic; cook 1 minute. Add wine and cook 1 minute or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring constantly. Add 1 cup broth mixture to pan; bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook until liquid is nearly absorbed. Add remaining broth mixture one cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth mixture is absorbed before adding the next ( about 40 minutes total). Gently stir in eggplant mixture, salt and pepper to taste, pine nuts and goat cheese.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Orange Buttermilk Pancakes

Makes for a nice, comforting breakfast on a cool fall morning!

Serves 6 ( 2 pancakes = 5 points +) Add additional points for syrup

  • 3/4 c. white whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1-1/2 c. low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 T. canola oil
  • 1/4 c. orange juice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 T. grated orange zest

Combine flours with next 4 ingredients ( through salt) in a medium bowl.
Combine buttermilk, orange juice, oil, orange zest and 1 egg in a small bowl. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture and stir until moist. Let stand 15 minutes.

Place egg white in a mixing bowl, beat until medium peaks form.  Fold into batter. 

Preheat griddle and coat pan with cooking spray. Spoon 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto griddle. Cook until edges begin to bubble and bottom is browned. Turn and cook until done. Serve with syrup if desired. 1/4 cup sugar free syrup per serving will add 1 point.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Cheesy Butternut Squash Cavatappi

You will love this dish and it's low points value! Another bonus is that your kids will not even know there is squash in this dish. It is a nice way to sneak in a healthy vegetable and makes the cheese sauce extra creamy!

Serves 8 ( 6 points +)

  • 3 c. peeled, cubed butternut squash
  • 8 oz. dried cavatappi 
  • 2 T. light butter, divided
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1 c. skim milk
  • 6 oz. reduced-fat Velveeta ( made with 2% milk), cubed
  • 4 slices fully cooked bacon ( Oscar Mayer), cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 c. Panko Japanese bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375. Lightly coat an 11 x 7 inch baking dish with nonstick spray.

Place squash in a large pot. Cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender; drain and mash. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add cavatappi and cook until al dente; drain.

In a large nonstick skillet coated with spray, melt 1 T. light butter. Add onion and cook until tender. Stir in milk and Velveeta. Cook until Velveeta is melted. Stir in squash. Carefully stir in cavatappi.

Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish. Top with cooked, crumbled bacon. Combine Panko with remaining 1 T. melted butter. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole. Bake until bubbly and top is lightly browned. ( about 15-20 minutes)

Celery-Apple Salad

This light, refreshing salad is perfect for fall and scores high on the "crunch" scale!

serves 8 ( about 1/2 c. = 1 point +)

  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 c. thinly sliced apple
  • 2 c. sliced celery
  • 1/3 c. thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 c. loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley

Combine first 4 ingredients in a bowl. Add apple and remaining ingredients. Toss to coat.

from "Cooking Light"

Friday, September 20, 2013

Grilled Chicken Florentine Alfredo

Yum! Yum! Your taste buds won't believe this is a light recipe!

serves 12 ( about 1 c. = 8 points +)

  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lb. linguini pasta
  • 4 c. fresh baby spinach
  • 8 oz. low-fat cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 c. skim milk
  • 1 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 2 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 3/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Spray with nonstick spray and grill  or pan fry until juices run clear. Let chicken stand for 5 minutes before cutting into cubes.

In a large saucepot, combine cream cheese, milk, garlic, chicken broth, Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, whisking until smooth. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes.

 Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions, omitting fat. Just before draining, add spinach so that it wilts. Drain pasta and spinach.

Add pasta mixture and chicken to the pot with the sauce. Stir to coat. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Harvest Apple Salad

We love this salad in the fall. The original recipe came from my friend at 
Cupcakes and Crablegs, but I have lightened it and changed a couple of the ingredients. I hope you like it!

serves 8 ( 4 points+)

  • mixed salad greens ( about 10 c.)
  • 1/4 c. chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1/4 c. dried cranberries
  • 1 apple, thinly sliced
  • 2 T. crumbled Gorgonzola cheese


  • 2 T. light mayonnaise
  • 2 T. sugar-free maple syrup
  • 1-1/2 T. tarragon vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • salt and pepper

For dressing, whisk together all ingredients until smooth.

For salad, place lettuce on a large platter. Top with remaining ingredients. Drizzle with dressing.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Italian Layer Bake

This recipe comes from "Mr. Food". I have adapted it to make it more points friendly. It was still fairly high in points, so I served it along with a nice spinach salad. It was very satisfying.

serves 6 ( 10 points +)

  • 1 ( 8 oz) can reduced-fat crescent roll dough
  • 4 oz. deli turkey
  • 4 oz. lean deli ham
  • 4 oz. hard salami
  • 4 oz. Sargento ultra thin sliced Provolone cheese
  • 1 jar ( 12 oz) roasted red peppers packed in water, drained
  • 1 c. egg beaters

Preheat oven to 350. Unroll crescent roll dough without separating triangles. Separate dough into 2 squares along center cut line.

Place 1 square of dough into an 8 inch square baking dish; using your fingertips, press dough to fit bottom of dish.

Layer with half the turkey, ham, salami, Provolone and roasted red peppers. Pour half of the egg beaters over peppers and repeat with remaining meats, cheese and peppers.

Place remaining dough over peppers. Pour remaining egg beaters over dough and cover lightly with foil.

Bake 20 minutes, remove foil and bake an additional 20 minutes or until golden and heated through. Let cool  15 - 20 minutes before cutting and serving.

Pumpkin Heath Caramel Cake

This original recipe comes from "". I have changed it a bit and calculated points to make this a treat worth having. It is perfect for fall!

serves 24 ( 5 points +)

  • 1 box spice cake mix
  • 1 can ( 14 oz) pumpkin ( not pie filling)
  • 1/2 c. egg beaters
  • 14 oz. can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
  • 8 oz. Cool Whip Free
  • 1/2 c. Heath Bits
  • 4 T. caramel sauce

Preheat oven to 350.
Beat cake mix with pumpkin and egg beaters ( nothing else). Spread in a 13 x 9 pan coated with nonstick spray.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean ( do not overbake)

Let cool. Poke holes in cake with a fork or wooden spoon handle. Pour sweetened condensed milk over the cake and spread evenly. Refrigerate until serving or at least 1 hour or until milk has soaked into cake. 
Spread Cool Whip over cake. Sprinkle with Heath bits and drizzle with caramel.

Chicken Frittata with Cantaloupe-Tomato Salsa

Perfect for a light supper!

serves 6 ( 5 points +)

  • 1 c. chopped grape tomatoes
  • 1 c. chopped cantaloupe
  • 1/4 c. chopped, fresh cilantro
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 c. skim milk
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 oz. diced green chilies
  • 1 c. shredded, cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2/3 c. kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 oz. ( 1/2 c.) shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat broiler.
For salsa, in a medium bowl combine tomatoes, cantaloupe and cilantro. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and salt.

Spray a 12 inch cast iron or oven-proof skillet, add chilies and cook for 3 minutes. Spread chicken and beans evenly in skillet. Pour egg mixture over chicken and beans. Cook over medium heat. As mixture sets, run a spatula around edge of skillet, lifting egg mixture, so uncooked mixture flows underneath. Continue cooking until egg mixture is almost set. 

Sprinkle with cheese. Place skillet under broiler for 1-2 minutes or until top is just set and cheese melts. Top with salsa.

adapted from "Better Homes and Gardens"

Buttermilk Cake

The first time I had this recipe, it was made by my friend, Wendy. She is an awesome cook. This recipe, which was on "Smitten Kitchen" and originally comes from "Gourmet"magazine is delicious. It is perfect for breakfast or dessert. It is a perfect, every-day cake. Try this recipe with different fruits. We seem to like strawberry the best so far. This photo had blackberries.

serves 8 ( 5 points+)

  • 1 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 T. butter
  • 2/3 c. + 1 T. sugar, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 c. fresh berries ( if using strawberries, slice)

Preheat oven to 400 and spray a 9 inch round cake pan.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and 2/3 c. sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and zest. Add egg and beat well.

Mix in flour in three batches, alternating with buttermilk and beginning and ending with flour. 

Spoon into cake pan and smooth the top. Scatter berries over the top and sprinkle with remaining 1 T. sugar. 

Bake until cake is golden and toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. ( about 20 minutes). Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a serving plate to cool. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Hummus Cups

This quick and easy recipe was on Pinterest from the site "". They were quick and easy and everyone seemed to love them. They were devoured pretty quickly! How cute and fun these are for a party! I adapted them slightly by using reduced fat crescent roll dough and by omitting the salt. They are delicious!

Makes 24 ( 1 point +)

  • 1 package reduced fat crescent roll dough
  • about 1/2 c. store bought hummus
  • English cucumber
  • 12 grape tomatoes, halved

Preheat oven to 375. Roll out crescent roll dough so that seams are sealed. Using a 2 or 2-1/4 inch biscuit cutter, cut out 24 circles. Press circles into the bottom and up sides of mini muffin cups. Use remaining dough to fill in where dough seems thin. Prick dough with a fork on bottom and sides.

 Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven. Crescent dough will be puffy, so while still hot, press a spoon against the sides to make a mini bowl. Cool completely.

Slice 12 thin rounds of cucumber and then slice those in half. Slice tomatoes in half.

Once cooled, remove dough and set on a tray. Fill each with about 1 tsp. hummus. Top with one cucumber slice and one tomato half. Refrigerate until serving.

The Mother Of All Brownies

Here you go... the mother of all brownies! This recipe comes from my friend, Heather, and is absolutely delicious. It is quick and easy to make and it is a chocolate lovers dream-come-true! I cut these in 24 pieces and they are 6 points + each, but they are worth every point. If you do not want to use that many points, cut them into 48. Make sure you are feeding a crowd with these, because you will want to eat more than one! These would be great for a potluck, bake sale, Christmas gift...

Makes 24 ( 6 points +)

  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 3 c. chocolate chips, divided
  • 1-1/2 c. sugar
  • 1-1/3 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Spray a 13 x 9 pan with nonstick spray. Preheat oven to 350. 
In a medium pot, melt butter with 2 c. chocolate chips ( that's one 12 oz. bag) over low heat. Remove from heat and add flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, eggs and vanilla. When smooth, stir in the remaining 1 c. chocolate chips. Spread in prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until edges start to crackle a bit. Don't over bake or they will get dry- and no one likes a dry brownie!. Let cool before attempting to cut. 

Chicken and Rice Salad with Orange-Pistachio Vinaigrette

 Trying not to heat up the kitchen too much yesterday, because of the record-breaking heat we were having, I decided to try this refreshing recipe. I served this along with a green salad and chilled watermelon cubes. YUM!

serves 4 ( 11 points +)

  • 1 box ( 4.3 oz) Rice-A-Roni wild rice blend, made according to package directions,  omitting butter or fat
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 T. white wine vinegar
  • 1 T. fresh orange juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 c. shredded chicken ( either rotisserie, grilled or pan fried)
  • 1/2 c. fresh basil
  • 1/4 c. pistachios
  • 4 oz. fresh mozzarella, cubed
  • 2 medium tomatoes, each cut into six wedges

Combine oil, vinegar, orange juice, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add chicken, basil, pistachios and cheese; toss to coat. Place about 1/2 c. rice on each of four plates. Top with chicken mixture and 3 tomato wedges.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Monday, September 9, 2013

Chicken and Pierogies

Serves 4 ( about 1-1/4 c. = 7 points +)

  • 3/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 c. diced onion
  • 1/2 c. chopped celery
  • 1/2 c. chopped carrot
  • 1 T. fresh thyme
  • 2 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 c. ( 2%) milk
  • 5 T. flour
  • 20 frozen mini cheddar pierogies ( such as Mrs. T's)

Heat a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Spray the pan, add the chicken and cook 4 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove chicken and drain any juice.

Spray pan, add celery, onion, carrot and thyme. Cook until vegetables are tender and lightly browned.

Combine broth, milk and flour in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add broth mixture to pan, stirring constantly; bring to a boil, cook 2 minutes or until thickened. Return chicken to pan and add pierogies. Cook until chicken is done and pierogies are warm. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

"Cooking Light"

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Blueberry Banana Bran Muffins

While visiting a friend this summer, she served us these delicious and oh-so-healthy muffins! They were so good that even my 1 year old granddaughter loved them! My friend was kind enough to share this recipe with me, which came from this site . I have adapted it ever so slightly.
I made these last night as a treat for my dad, who is diabetic. He was very skeptical at first, being one to avoid most things considered "healthy", but after eating FOUR of these and taking four home, I think he was convinced that they were good.
This recipe is versatile in the fact that you can add whichever fruit you like or leave it out. I plan to try these again this fall, using pumpkin in place of the banana.
This recipe also makes a good amount, so store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They would make a great snack, on-the-go breakfast, or dessert. Share them with neighbors and friends too. They will thank you!

Makes 27 muffins ( 3 points +)

  • 2 c. organic wheat bran ( I used Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1 c. organic oat bran ( Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1 c. white whole wheat flour ( I used King Arthur)
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 c. skim milk
  • 2/3 c. low-fat, plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 c. canola oil
  • 1/3 c. sweet molasses ( not black strap)
  • 1/3 c. honey
  • 1 large mashed banana
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 c. fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 and spray or line muffin cups with paper liners. 

Combine first seven ingredients in a large bowl (through salt). 

In a medium bowl, whisk milk together with the next eight ingredients ( through vanilla). 

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just moist. Fold in blueberries.

 Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Do not overbake. Cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes.

* I did try these with 1 cup pumpkin puree in place of the banana. They are very good, although a little less sweet.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Tomato-Basil Soup

This easy soup recipe can be made in about 15 -20 minutes. I served this along with 
Prosciutto and Gruyere Stromboli. Enjoy!

Serves 4 ( 2 points +)

  • 1T. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1 ( 28 oz) can whole tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/4 c. fresh basil leaves
  • 2 T. fat-free sour cream
  • salt to taste

Heat 2 tsp. oil in a sauce pot. Add onion and cook until tender. Add tomatoes and water. Simmer for 10 minutes. Place tomato mixture in a blender, along with basil and sour cream. Blend until smooth. ( or use an immersion blender). Season with salt to taste.

Black Forest Parfaits

serves 4 ( 6 points +)

  • 2 c. frozen, pitted, unsweetened cherries
  • 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 2 c. Edy's slow churned vanilla ice-cream
  • 14 Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers, crushed

Place cherries in a large bowl and mix with cornstarch. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Mash to desired consistency.
Place half of the wafer crumbs in the bottom of parfait glasses. Top with half of the cherry mixture, then 1/2 c. vanilla ice-cream. Top with remaining cherries and wafer crumbs.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Italian Meatballs

My grandmother was the BEST cook in the world and ever since she passed away, I have not been a fan of meatballs. No matter which recipe I tried or no matter who made them, they could not come close to grandma's.... until now. This recipe was surprisingly easy, since you do not have to brown them.  The meatballs do have to simmer on low in a pot of sauce for 3 hours, so allot plenty of time.  This recipe made 26-28 meatballs and they were devoured in about 5 minutes... not a trace left! Try them out and let me know what you think!

Makes 26-28 meatballs ( each meatball = 2 points+)

  • 2 lbs. lean ground beef ( 93% lean)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. skim milk
  • 1 c. seasoned Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl by hand. Roll meatballs about 2- 2-1/2 inch in diameter to make 26-28 meatballs.
Drop meatballs into a large sauce pot of heated marinara sauce. Simmer for about 3 hours. Stir the bottom of the pot about every half hour.

adapted from ""

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Grilled Pancetta Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Plum Chutney

Hands down, this will be one of my all-time favorite pork recipes! I plan to make this again in the fall. Everyone loved it! Hope you do too! Since this is a higher points dish, you may want to save it for a special occasion or serve it with very low point sides like sauteed veggies or a salad. You will only use about half of the chutney recipe. You can save the rest to use with another dish or you can make half of the chutney recipe. The best way to remove the skins from the plums is to cut an X into the bottom of each plum. Drop the plums into a pot of boiling water for 30-60 seconds or until the skin starts to peel back. Remove plums with a slotted spoon. Skins should slide right off. The chutney can be made in advance and reheated if desired.

serves 8 ( 9 points +)


  • 2 ( 1 lb.) pork tenderloins
  • 1/2 lb. thinly sliced pancetta ( Italian bacon)
  • 2 T. fresh, chopped Rosemary
  • 1 T. herbs de Provence
  • 1 T. olive oil


  • 4 black or red plums, skins removed, halved, pitted and sliced into 1/2 inch wedges
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T. crushed garlic
  • 1 T. mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp. crushed, fresh ginger ( from a jar)
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 c. water. 
  • salt to taste

For chutney, heat oil in a medium saucepan. Add shallot and cook until shallot begins to soften. Add brown sugar and next six ingredients, and 1/4 c. water. Cook until mixture is fragrant ( about 2 minutes). Stir in plums. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 8 minutes. UNcover and if fruit is softened and juices have thickened, it is done. If not, continue cooking, uncovered until fruit softens and juices thicken. Season with salt to taste.  Set aside.

For pork, combine 1 T. olive oil, herbs de provence and 2 T. fresh rosemary in a small bowl. Rub over pork. Season pork with salt and pepper. Wrap pork in pancetta and tie with kitchen twine every 2 inches to secure.

Heat all but one burner of a gas grill on high heat. Grill tenderloins over hot part of grill until a nice crust forms on all sides, turning frequently. ( 8- 10 minutes). Move tenderloins to cooler part of grill and cook through. Cover and cook until a thermometer inserted in the middle of each loin registers 145 degrees ( 15-20 minutes longer). Transfer tenderloins to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice thinly and serve with plum chutney.

adapted from "Bon Appetit"

Tomato and Rosemary Frittata

Frittata, which is an Italian style omelet,  is such an easy dish to make and makes for a light, satisfying breakfast. I loved using tomatoes from the garden for this recipe!

Serves 6 ( 3 points +)

  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 T. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp. crushed garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, sliced thinly
  • 2 T. chopped, fresh rosemary

Preheat broiler.
Heat oil in a 6 - 8 inch cast- iron or oven proof skillet. Beat eggs in a medium bowl and stir in cheese, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture into pan and cook until nearly set, but still jiggly in the center. Top with sliced tomatoes and rosemary. Place in broiler for 3-4 minutes, watching closely, until eggs are set and top is lightly browned.


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