Monday, December 31, 2012

Skinny Spaghetti Casserole

I made this for lunch for a few friends & I.  We were watching Casino & I felt that Italian food was the most fitting for that.

Recipe from Skinny Kitchen dot com
Yields 6 servings
211 calories per serving

4 oz whole wheat spaghetti
1 c onions, chopped
1 c zucchini, chopped
1 c mushrooms, sliced
1 c red pepper, chopped
1 1/4 fat-free cottage cheese
4 wedges Laughing Cow cheese, herb & garlic
14 oz pasta sauce
1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
1/3 c parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350.
Coat a baking dish with cooking spray & set aside.

Cook spaghetti noodles & drain.

In the meantime, in a large bowl, add onions, zucchini, mushrooms, & red pepper.
Cook in a microwave for 3 - 4 minutes until soft.
Drain any liquid.
Stir in pasta sauce, Italian seasoning, & black pepper.

In another bowl, combine cottage cheese & cheese wedges.
Mix well.

Spread a small amount of sauce (about 1/4 cup) on the bottom of the dish.
Spray half of the spaghetti on top.
Cover with cheese mixture & spread evenly over pasta.
Cover with 3/4 c pasta sauce.
Add remaining noodles & spreading remaining sauce over top.
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Hot German Potato Salad

I made this along side of the ham & beans dished I just posted about.  I felt that it was necessary & the perfect amount of hearty.  Ham & potatoes are always reasonably classic.

Recipe from Betty Crocker
Yields 8 servings
170 calories per serving

6 medium red potatoes
3 slices bacon
1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 c chopped onions
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp Truvia
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
3/4 c water
1/4 c cider vinegar
2 tsp dijon mustard

Place potatoes in a 4 qt saucepan.
Add water to just cover.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, & simmer for 25 minutes.
Drain &, after potatoes have cooled, cut into slices.

Meanwhile, in a non-stick skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp.
Drain on paper towels, let cool, & chop.

Rinse pan of bacon drippings.
Add oil & heat over medium heat.
Add onions & cook 3 - 4 minutes until tender.
Stir in flour, salt, pepper, & Truvia.
Gradually stir in water, vinegar, & mustard.
Cook for 2 - 3 minutes until thickened & bubbly.

Stir in potatoes & bacon.
Cook, stirring frequently, until thoroughly heated.

Ham & Beans

I know I made something similar to this about a month ago, but I wanted something reasonably easy considering I just moved over the weekend.  When I chose this, I didnt realize that it was going to take hours to make.  At the end of the day, it was totally worth it because it was so tasty.

Recipe from Midwest Living
Yields 8 servings
249 calories per serving

1 lb dry cannalli beans
8 oz cooked ham, cubed
1 c onion, chopped
1/2 c ketchup
1 tsp salt

Rinse beans.
In a large pot, combine beans & 8 cups cold water.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, & simmer for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat, cover, & let stand for an hour.
Drain & rinse beans.

In the same pot, combine all ingredients & 4 cups of fresh water,
Bring to a boil, cover, & simmer for 3 hours.
Add more water, if necessary.

Sunday, December 30, 2012


I apologize for the lack of updates this week, guys.  I spent my entire week preparing to move and finally moving yesterday.  Ill have more recipes up tonight or tomorrow.  Yay!  And happy new year!!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Crispy Potatoes with Spicy Tomato Sauce

Ive been in the mood for potatoes the past two weeks but, this is a diet-friendly way to enjoy them.  The dipping sauce was a little too spicy for my liking but, it wasnt bad.

Recipe from Eating Well
Yields 4 servings
150 calories per serving

1 tsp plus 2 tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
15 oz crushed tomatoes
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 lbs baby potatoes, cut into 1 in cubes
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

Heat 1 tsp oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
Add garlic & cook for 1 minute, stirring.
Add tomatoes, paprika, crushed red pepper, & 1/4 tsp salt.
Adjust heat so sauce is simmering. 
Cook for 15 - 20 minutes, until sauce thickens to the consistency of ketchup.

Meanwhile toss potatoes, pepper, & remaining salt.
Heat the remaining 2 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Reduce heat to medium & add potatoes.
Cook for 15 - 20 minutes until the potatoes are crispy & tender.

Back Bean Cakes

I made this for Sunday dinner tonight & it was like eating bean dip in patty form.  It was so delicious!  I got a little impatient and tried to flip them before they were ready so, they fell apart a little bit.

Recipe is from Heart-Healthy Living
Yields 4 servings
178 calories per serving

2 slices whole wheat bread
3 tbsp cilantro
2 cloves garlic
15 oz black beans, rinsed & drained
1 jalapeno pepper, sliced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 egg

Place torn bread in food processor.
Cover & blend into coarse crumbs.
Transfer crumbs into a large bowl & set aside.

Place cilantro & garlic into food processor.
Cover & blend until finely chopped.
Add the beans, jalapeno, & cumin & blend until smooth.
Add bean mixture to bread crumbs & add egg.
Mix well & shape into 4 patterns.

Lightly grease a skillet & cook for 10 minutes, flipping every so often.

Chicken Stir-Fry

Nothing like a fast and delicious lunch dish.

Recipe is from Eating Well
Yields 4 servings
225 calories per serving

1/2 c reduced sodium chicken broth
3 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp canola oil
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 in pieces
10 oz mushrooms, halved or quartered
2 c snow peas
1 bunch scallions, white & green parts divided cut into 1 in pieces
1 tbsp garlic, chopped

Whisk together chicken broth, soy sauce, & cornstarch.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add chicken & cook, stirring occasionally for 4 - 5 minutes.
Set aside.

Add mushrooms & cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add snow peas, scallion whites, & garlic.
Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add brother mixture to the pan & stir until thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add scallion greens and chicken & cook for 1 to 2 minutes.

Creamy Ham & Penne Pasta

It's rare that you see 'creamy' & 'healthy' in the same recipe.  This was too good to pass up.

Recipe from Rotel.
Yields 4 servings.
244 calories per serving.

8 oz whole wheat penne
1/2 c frozen peas
10 can mild diced tomatoes & chillies, undrained
8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 c cooked lean ham, chopped

Cook pasta according to package directions omitting salt.
Add peas last 2 minutes of cooking time.
Drain & set aside.

In the pot used for pasta, combine all remaining ingredients.
Cook & stir over medium heat until cheese melts & mixture is bubbly.

Stir in pasta & peas.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Red Pepper & Artichoke Pizza

I love making pizza during the week because it's so fast & so low in calories when done correctly.

Recipe from Better Homes Test Kitchen
Yields 8 servings
203 calories per serving

1 refrigerated pizza crust
1 tsp basil
1/2 c pizza sauce
1 c cooked chicken, chopped
6 oz jarred artichokes, drained & coarsely chopped
1 c red pepper, chopped
1/2 c part-skim mozzarella

Preheat oven to 425.
Grease a large baking sheet.
Arrange crust on baking sheet & sprinkle with basil.
Spread pizza sauce over crust.
Top with chicken, artichokes, red pepper, & cheese.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Beef & Veggie Stew

When it's cold outside, it's always nice to have something in your system to keep you warm.  Stew (for me) has always been that particular kind of food.  Not to mention, it's easy to take to work with you.

Recipe from Betty Crocker
Yields 6 servings
175 calories per serving

1 lb lean stew beef
1 bag frozen veggies, thawed
15 oz herb & garlic tomato sauce
1 3/4 c beef broth

Spray a large skillet with cooking spray & heat over medium high.
Cook beef in skillet for about 10 minutes, until no longer pink.

Stir in remaining ingredients & bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover, & simmer for 5 minutes.

Bean & Veggies Wraps

I love how fast these were & that storing them takes practically no room in my already overcrowded fridge.  This is the ideal grab & go lunch.  No tupperware required.

Recipe from Betty Crocker
Yields 4 wraps
280 calories per wrap

4 wheat tortillas (6 - 8 inch)
2 c sliced mushrooms, fresh
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
15 oz black beans, drained & rinsed
4 c fresh spinach
1/2 c shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

Spray 10 in skillet with cooking spray & heat over medium heat.
Cook mushrooms & onion in skillet for about 4 minutes.
Stir in beans & heat through.
Stir in spinach & remove from heat.

Divide bean mixture among tortillas & wrap.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Creamy Mushroom Chicken

Anytime I see anything described as creamy and it's low calorie, I know I have to try it.  This is veggies & chicken with a creamy coating.  It is so delicious and pretty quick for a weeknight dinner.

Also, a note, I went to pull my camera out to photograph the finished product only to find that my camera was dead so, unfortunately, I dont have a photo to share.  Sorry about that!

Recipe is from BHG.
Yields 4 servings.
232 calories per serving.

Nonstick cooking spray
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp olive oil
2 c sliced mushrooms, fresh
1 green pepper, cut into 3/4 in pieces
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 c fat-free sour cream
1 tbsp flour
1/8 tsp black pepper

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray & heat over medium heat.
Add chicken & cook for about 5 minutes (until browned) turning once.
Remove chicken from skillet.

Add oil to skillet.
Add mushrooms, green pepper, & garlic and cook until veggies are tender, stirring often.
Remove veggies & cover to keep warm.

Add broth to skillet & return chicken.
Sprinkle chicken lightly with pepper.
Bring to a boil & reduce heat.
Cover & simmer for 5 - 7 minutes.
Remove chicken; cover & keep warm.

For sauce:
In a small bowl combine sour cream, flour, & 1/8 tsp black pepper.
Add to skillet; cook & stir until thick & bubbly.
Return chicken & veggies & heat through.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sausage Skillet

I usually make something pretty complicated for Sunday dinner but, this Sunday I thought Id make it a little easier on myself this week especially since my move is coming up in a few weeks.  Okay fine, I was just being a little lazy.

Recipe from Better Homes Test Kitchen
Yields 2 servings
187 calories per serving

1 tsp canola oil
2 oz turkey sausage, cut into 1 in pieces
1/2 of a small zucchini, halved & cut into 1/2 in pieces
1/2 red pepper, seeded & chopped
1 wedge red onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 c salsa

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat.
Add sausage, zucchini, sweet pepper, onion, garlic, chili powder, & black pepper.
Cook 4 - 5 minutes until vegetables are tender.
Spoon salsa overtop & serve.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Kale Powered Pasta

I know that kale is kind of a trendy food right now.  God, that sounds so ridiculous to type but, it's true.  It falls into the organic cliche that's happening right now.  Long story short, I havent tried it before so I figured Id make a lunch with it.  There are few leafy greens that I dont like.  In fact, my green smoothie had kale in it tonight.

Recipe from Better Homes Test Kitchen.
Yields 6 servings.
221 calories per serving.

6 oz whole wheat penne
8 oz kale
2 green peppers, cut into bite sized strips
24 oz jar marinara sauce
1/4 c basil
1/4 c reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled

In a large pot, cook pasta accorfding to package directions omitting any salt.
Add kale & peppers for the last 3 minutes of cooking.
Drain & return to pot.

Stir in pasta sauce & basil and heat through.

Sprinkle with feta cheese & serve.

Tortellini with Spinach Pesto

It's no secret that Im wild about Italian food & this lunch dish is no exception.  It's nice to enjoy stuffed pastas without worrrying about the calorie content!

Recipe from BHG.
Yields 6 servings.
218 calories per serving.

9 oz refrigerated cheese toriellini
12 oz yellow squash, halved & cut into 1 in pieces
12 oz baby spinach
1/2 c basil
1/4 c bottled oil salad dressing
Part-skim mozzarella cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions.
Add squash the last 2 minutes of cooking & drain.

Meanwhile, for pesto, in blender combine spinach, basil, salad dressing, & 2 tbsp of water.
Process until smooth.

Toss ravoli with pesto & sprinkle with cheese.