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.

Zucchini and Potatoes

Another great recipe making use of fresh, summer produce!

serves 6 ( 3 points +)

  • 2 T. olive oil, divided
  • 1-1/2 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes, cut into cubes
  • 1 T. crushed garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 T. fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1-1/2 lbs. zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Heat 1 T. oil in a large nonstick skillet. Combine potatoes and garlic in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add potato mixture to skillet. Without stirring, cook potatoes until light golden brown on one side. Using a spatula, toss potatoes and cook until golden brown on all sides and tender 
Add thyme and toss to coat. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl and set aside.
Add remaining 1 T. oil to skillet. Add zucchini and season with salt and pepper. Cool until golden brown and tender, but not mushy. Add to bowl with potatoes and toss to coat.

adapted from "Bon Appetit"

Cranberry Oat Scone

This healthy scone is a satisfying snack or accompaniment to a light breakfast. These scones are best served warm.

Makes 8 ( 5 points +)

  • 3/4 c. old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1-1/4 c. white whole wheat flour ( such as King Arthur brand)
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 c. dried cranberries
  • 2/3 c. low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 c. light stick butter, cubed
  • 2 tsp. banilla
  • 1 T. buttermilk
  • 1 T. turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 450. Mix together dry ingredients. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add cranberries.
In a separate bowl, mix buttermilk and vanilla. Gradually add the wet mixture to the flour mixture and combine until a soft sticky dough is formed.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead 2-3 times. Roll dough into an 8 inch circle and cut into 8 pie-shaped slices. Transfer to a baking sheet.
Brush the tops of scones with 1 T. buttermilk and sprinkle with 1 T. turbinado sugar.
Bake 12-15 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

adapted from "Weight Watchers"

Monday, August 19, 2013

Chicken Apricot Skewers

This Thai inspired marinade using peanut butter and coconut milk gives this dish a symphony of flavor. Marinate for at least 3 hours for maximum flavor. You can marinate overnight as well. I suggest using 2 small ( 6 inch) skewers for each kabob as they tend to hold the apricots on better. This recipe is perfect for a light lunch or as a party appetizer.

Makes 18 skewers ( 2 points + each)

  • 3/4 c. light coconut milk
  • 1/2 c. plain, low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 c. reduced fat, creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 c. fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. crushed garlic
  • salt
  • 1/4 c. chopped, fresh cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped ( leave seeds in for more heat)
  • 1-1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 36 1 inch chunks
  • 18 firm ripe small apricots, halved and pitted
  • 1/4 c. chopped dry roasted peanuts
  • lime wedges

Puree first 6 ingredients with 3/4 tsp. salt in a blender until smooth. Add cilantro and jalapeno. Blend to combine. Transfer 1/2 c. marinade to a small bowl; cover and chill for serving. ( return to room temperature before using).

Place remaining marinade in a large ziplock bag. Add chicken, seal and turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Holding two skewers parallel to each other, thread one piece of chicken onto skewers, followed by one apricot half. Repeat with another piece of chicken and another apricot half. 
Repeat with remaining chicken and apricots for a total of 18 skewers. Season with salt and pepper. Discard remaining marinade.

Preheat grill to medium heat. Grill skewers on one side until chicken is well browned ( 3-4 minutes). Turn and grill until other side is browned and chicken is no longer pink.

Transfer to a serving platter; sprinkle with more cilantro sprigs and peanuts. Drizzle with reserved marinade. Serve with lime wedges.

adapted from "Bon Appetit"

Creamed Corn with Garam Masala Butter

Our farmer's market has the best corn. It is called Mirai and cooks up in just a couple of minutes. It is tasty and sweet and wonderful in these late summer months! I knew I wanted to try this recipe ( adapted from Bon Appetit) using this corn.  Garam Masala is an Indian spice. It is flavorful and fragrant. I think you will really love it! Look for this spice in an Indian store or if you are fortunate enough to have a local grocery store that carries ethnic items, check there!

serves 12 ( about 2/3 c. = 3 points +)

  • 1-1/2 T. Garam Masala
  • 10 ears of corn, husked
  • 6 T. light stick butter ( Land O'Lakes)
  • 1/2 c. finely chopped onion
  • 1 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp. salt

Cut kernels from cobs into a large bowl ( you should have about 8 cups). Scrape cobs with the back of a spoon or knife to release juices into the bowl. Combine half of the kernels with juices ( about 4 cups) with 1/2 c. water in a blender and blend until smooth.

Melt 2 T. light butter in a large saucepan. Add onions and cook until translucent. Stir in garlic and 1 tsp. salt. Add pureed corn and remaining corn kernels. Cook, stirring constantly until corn is tender ( about 10 minutes). Transfer corn to a large bowl.

Melt remaining 4 T. butter in a small saucepan. Stir in garam masala and a pinch of salt. Drizzle over creamed corn.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Lemon-Ginger Fried Chicken

The taste of this chicken is amazing, but it is labor intensive. This would be a good one for a weekend meal.

serves 8 ( 8 points +)

  • 1 tsp. grated lemon rind
  • 1 c. fresh lemon juice ( about 4 lemons)
  • 2 tsp. crushed ginger ( from a jar)
  • 1-1/2 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
  • 1 c. flour
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 c. canola oil
  • 1/4 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 1 lemon, sliced

Place rind, juice and next 3 ingredients ( through chicken) in a large ziplock bag. Seal, turn to coat. Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour. 
Sift together flour and next three ingredients ( through cayenne). Place flour mixture in a large ziplock bag. Add chicken, one piece at a time. Seal bag and shake to coat. Place chicken on a wire rack; place rack in a jelly roll pan. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Reserve flour.

Preheat oven to 350. Return chicken to flour mixture and coat again. Discard any remaining flour mixture.

Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until golden ( about 3 minutes per side). Arrange chicken in a single layer in a shallow roasting pan. Combine broth with reserved marinade. Add to the roasting pan. Sprinkle chicken with brown sugar. Top with a lemon slice. Bake , uncovered, 45 minutes or until thermometer registers 165 degrees and juices run clear.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Creamy Corn Risotto

This dish would be great as a main course, meatless meal or as a side dish with a grilled meat. I brought this to a dinner at a friend's house. Everyone loved it.

Serves 6 ( about 1 c. = 8 points +) or serves 12 as a side dish ( 1/2 c. = 4 points +)

  • 1 large roasted red bell pepper, chopped ( from a jar, packed in water)
  • 4 c. frozen corn kernels
  • 1-3/4 c. skim milk
  • 2 T. butter, divided
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 2-1/2 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 2 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1 c. uncooked Arborio rice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 c. dry white wine

Combine corn, milk and 1 T. butter in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer; cook 10 minutes. Add chicken broth and keep warm over low heat.

Melt remaining 1 T. butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; Add onion and garlic to pan and saute 3 minutes. Stir in rice and cook 1 minute. Stir in wine; cook 30 seconds or until liquid almost evaporates, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Reduce heat to medium. Sir in 1-1/2 c. corn mixture; cook 3 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Reserve 1/2 c. corn mixture. Add remaining corn mixture, 1 cup at a time, stirring frequently until each portion of corn mixture is absorbed before adding the next ( 20-25 minutes total). Remove pan from heat; stir in 1/2 c. reserved corn mixture and bell pepper.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

BLT Panzanella Salad

This pretty summer-time salad could easily become one of my favorites! This is another great recipe using the abundance of fresh tomatoes available at this time of year. The butter used to toast the bread gives this an "over-the-top" delicious flavor!

serves 6 ( 4 points +)

  • 1 T. butter
  • 3 oz. French bread, cut into 1/4-1/2 inch cubes
  • 3/4 c. frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 4 c. tomatoes, chopped ( I used Roma and grape tomatoes)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 c. baby arugula
  • 3 T. light mayonnaise
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped green onions or chives
  • 1/4 c. basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Melt butter in a large skillet. Add bread; saute until bread is toasted ( about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in corn.

Place tomatoes in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let stand 5 minutes. Add vinegar and oil to the tomatoes. Toss to coat. Add bread and arugula; toss to coat.

Combine mayonnaise, lemon juice and green onions in a small bowl.

Arrange tomato mixture on a large platter. Drizzle with mayonnaise mixture; sprinkle evenly with basil and bacon.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Spaghetti with Parsley Pesto and Spicy Turkey Italian Sausage

The pesto in this pasta is fresh tasting and a brilliant green color.

serves 8 ( 9 points +)

  • 12 oz. uncooked spaghetti noodles
  • 5 links Jenny O hot turkey Italian sausage ( 19.5 oz. package)
  • 1 T. crushed garlic
  • 1/4 c. olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 4-5 c. fresh, flat leaf parsley ( about 1 large bunch)
  • salt

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 3/4 c. cooking liquid.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add turkey Italian sausage and cook until done, stirring to crumble. Remove sausage from pan. Add garlic to pan and saute 1 minute. Add 1/2 c. reserved cooking liquid and cook 1 minute. Stir in 2 T. olive oil, cook 30 seconds. Add pasta to pan;  cook 1 minute, tossing to combine. Remove from heat.

Combine 2 T. cheese and parsley in a food processor;  process until finely ground. Add 1/4 c. cooking liquid, and 2 T. olive oil. Process until smooth. Add parsley mixture to pasta mixture. Season with salt to taste. Toss to coat. Stir in Italian sausage. Top with remaining 2 T. Parmesan cheese.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Grilled Chicken Cobb Salad with Avocado Dressing

We were having a picnic at the lake and I decided to make something light, yet healthy to bring along. This was a nice satisfying, summer meal served with a small dinner roll and fresh watermelon slices. 

serves 4 ( 7 points +)

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 c. grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 4 slices Oscar Mayer fully cooked bacon ( microwaved according to instructions)
  • 1.5 oz. crumbled gorgonzola cheese
  • 8-12 c. Romaine lettuce, torn


  • 1/2 c. avocado
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. crushed garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 4-5 T. water

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Spray chicken with nonstick spray and then grill until chicken is no longer pink ( 5-7 minutes per side). Let chicken stand 5 minutes before slicing.

Place equal amounts of lettuce on four plates. Top with chicken and remaining ingredients.

For dressing, place avocado, oil garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor. Process until smooth. Add water, as needed to achieve desired consistency. Drizzle dressing over salad.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Ravioli with a Fresh tomato, Shallot Sauce

Quick, easy and yum, yum, yum! This meal can be made in about 15-20 minutes and is flavorful and fresh! 

serves 8 ( 10 points +)

  • 48 oz. frozen cheese ravioli
  • 2 pints fresh, grape tomatoes
  • 2 large shallots ( about 1 c. ) sliced
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 T. red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 c. fresh basil leaves, torn
  • parmesan cheese ( optional)

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil. Add shallots and tomatoes and cook until tomatoes pop easily when pressed with the back of a spoon. Pop all tomatoes. Remove from heat and add  vinegar, salt and pepper. 

While tomato mixture is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add ravioli and cook until pasta floats to the top ( about 5 minutes), drain. 

Place ravioli in a large bowl and toss with tomato mixture. Sprinkle with fresh basil.  Serve with grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

Grilled Raspberry-Thyme Chicken over Fruited Spinach Salad

A refreshing summer salad, perfect for a lunch or light supper.

serves 4 ( 7 points +)

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves ( 4 oz. each)
  • 3 T. raspberry preserves, divided
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce, divided
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon peel
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 8 c. fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1 small cantaloupe or about 3-4 c. cubed
  • 2 c. fresh strawberries, quartered
  • 2 T. rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. olive oil

Place 2 T. raspberry preserves, lemon juice, 1 tsp. soy sauce, lemon peel and thyme in a large ziplock bag. Add chicken, seal and turn to coat. Refrigerate 1-2 hours.

Remove chicken from marinade, Grill chicken until no longer pink ( about 4-6 minutes per side). Let chicken stand 5 minutes, slice thinly.

Arrange 2 c. spinach on each plate. Top with equal amounts of cantaloupe, strawberries and grilled chicken.

For dressing, combine vinegar, remaining 1 T. raspberry preserves, 1 tsp. soy sauce and olive oil. Drizzle over salads.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

It's that time of year again.... zucchini is growing in the garden and I am thinking of creative ways to use it up! This delightful bread will satisfy the chocolate craving without doing damage to the waistline! This is perfect for a light summer dessert, snack or breakfast!

Makes 2 loaves ( 24 slices total- 12 slices per loaf) ( 1 piece = 3 points +)

  • 1-1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. white- whole wheat flour ( I use King Arthur brand)
  • 1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. egg beaters
  • 1-1/2 c. sugar
  • 3/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 c. nonfat Greek yogurt ( I used Dannon Light and Fit Vanilla Greek Yogurt)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted
  • 2 c. grated zucchini
  • 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 and spray two 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 inch bread pans with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the first six ingredients ( through salt). 
In another bowl, whisk together sugar with the next 4 ingredients ( through melted chocolate). 
Add the wet ingredients to the dry, stirring until just combined. Fold in zucchini.
Spoon batter into prepared pans. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.

Bake at 325 for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center come out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Coconut-Ginger Jasmine Rice

A perfect side dish to accompany almost any grilled main course.

serves 4 ( about 1/2 c. = 4 points +)

  • 1 c. water
  • 1/4 tsp. minced, fresh ginger
  • 1 c. Jasmine rice
  • 1/4 tsp.  salt
  • 1/4 c. light coconut milk
  • 1/4 c. chopped cilantro
Bring water, ginger and salt to a boil. Add rice and coconut milk. Cover and reduce heat to a low simmer until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. ( about 15 minutes). fluff with a fork and stir in cilantro.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Grilled Sirloin with Mango Salsa

I was in the mood for a tropical type meal tonight and this sirloin with fresh mango salsa fit the bill. I served this along with a coconut-ginger Jasmine rice, corn on the cob and a green salad. Yum!

serves 4 ( 4 points +)

  • 1 mango, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 T. red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 c. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 T. lime juice
  • 1 lb. lean sirloin
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine mango with next 4 ingredients ( through lime juice). Add salt to taste. Set aside.

Sprinkle sirloin with salt and pepper and grill to desired doneness. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing thinly against the grain.

Serve salsa over sirloin.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Almond Joy Cookies

For those of you who do not know me, I am an extreme chocoholic! This is a trait that is inherited on my maternal side and the gene is dominant and runs quite strongly in our family! All of the females have inherited it and occasionally there has been a male known to love chocolate as much as we do!

One of my favorite candy bars is Almond Joy. I love the flavor combination of coconut and chocolate. In fact, last year when I visited Italy, my favorite gelato flavors were ciocolata and coconut! I saw a similar recipe on Pinterest, but decided to try cutting some of the amounts of ingredients to cut points value.

These cookies are somewhat similar to a chocolate chip cookie recipe, but use all white sugar instead of using half brown sugar. This recipe made 52 large cookies. You could make them half the size and cut the points by half as well, but then you may have more cookies than you know what to do with and you may be dealing with quite a bit of irresistible temptation. I suggest when making these cookies to have a party, pass them out to neighbors, give them as gifts, etc. They are delicious!

Makes 48-52 cookies ( 4 points + each)

  • 1 c. butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2-1/4 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 c. flaked, sweetened coconut
  • 1 c. peeled, slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350.
Beat butter and sugar until combined. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat well. 
Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add to butter mixture. Add chocolate chips, coconut and almonds, mixing until a thick dough forms. ( do not overmix)

Using a cookie scoop ( about 2 T.) drop dough onto cookie sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden. These cookies will firm upon standing, so do not overbake. 


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