Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Slow Cooker Cinnamon Almonds

It's a tradition to have some sort of sweet almonds or pecans at Christmas in my family.  I stumbled upon this recipe which is reasonably healthy AND low calorie and I thought it would be ideal.

Recipe from Prevention RD.
Yields 16 servings.
222 calories per serving.

1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 c almonds
1 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
3 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp water

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites and vanilla extract until foamy.
Stir in the almonds and mix until well coated.
Transfer to slow cooker.

In a medium bowl, combine sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, & salt; mix well.
Pour the sugar mixture over the almonds & coat well.

Cook the almonds 3 - 4 hours, stirring every half hour.
During the last 30 minutes, add water.

Spread the almonds out on wax paper & let cool.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Southwest Pasta Salad

I needed something fast and inexpensive to make this week as Im making Christmas dinner and Ill be doing so much cooking that I didnt want my daily intake to be complicated and overwhelming.  This seemed like an ideal choice.

Recipe from RoTel
Yields 6 servings
293 calories per serving

8 oz whole wheat rotelle
1 can black beans
1 can diced tomatoes and chilies
1 c lowfat sour cream
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 c lowfat cheddar cheese, shredded

Cook pasta according to box directions.
Drain & place in a large bowl.
Add black beans, tomatoes, sour cream, pepper, chili powder, & cheese.
Toss to combine.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Pierogie Casserole

My roommate constantly makes fun of my Polish heritage -- in the best of ways!  In these varying conversations she had mentioned that she'd never tasted a pierogie before &, in my mind at least, that is blasphemous!  A few days later, Id stumbled upon this recipe and decided that I had to go for it to make for our lunch this week.

Recipe from
Yields 10 servings.
228 calories per serving.

1 package of refrigerated mashed potatoes, heated
1 stick margarine
3 small onions, chopped
1 c low fat shredded cheddar cheese
8 lasagna noodles, cooked
Black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375.
Spray a 9x13 casserole dish with cooking spray.

Line the bottom of the pan with 4 lasagna noodles.
Cover with mashed potatoes & spread onions on top.
Place remaining lasagna noodles on top of onions.
Sprinkle with cheese & pepper.

Cover with foil & bake for 45 minutes.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Turkey Noodle Casserole

Like any other American post-Thanksgiving, I wanted to find something to make that would use up at least some of our turkey leftovers and, in hindsight, I probably couldve used a little more turkey.  While turkey is a lean meat, it still can be excess calories in terms of balance in a casserole.  When my roommate asked me what Id made for us this week for lunch (she was out of town), the best description I could think of was "turkey noodle soup in casserole form".  The only thing it's missing is a couple of veggies mixed in there which I may add next time I make this.  Regardless, it was delicious & VERY filling!

Recipe adapted from Better Recipes.
Yields 12 servings.
342 calories per serving.

2lb leftover turkey, cut into bite size pieces
2 onions, chopped
2 tbsp margarine
2 cans reduced fat cream of chicken soup, condensed
16 oz fat free half & half
16 oz whole wheat egg noodles
Salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 325.
Spray a baking dish with cooking spray & set aside.

Cook noodles according to package directions.
Drain & place in casserole dish.

Meanwhile, in a large pan melt margarine over medium heat.
Add onions & saute until softened.
Add turkey & stir to combine.
Remove from heat & sprinkle with salt & pepper.

In a bowl whisk together half & half and soup together.
Pour over pasta.
Add turkey mixture & stir until mixed.

Cover with aluminum foil & bake for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Skinny Crustless Quiche

I saw this recipe on The Skinny Fork yesterday morning & realized that that we had everything to make it.  I emailed it to my roommate & we decided to make it for dinner last night.  We added a chicken breast to it and HOLY CRAP -- delicious!  It might be an unpopular choice to make quiche without crust but, for me at least, it's not worth negating all of the effort Ive put forth for 10 minutes of satisfaction.  And hell, there was absolutely NO sacrifice here.  It was even more delicious second day.

Recipe slightly adapted from The Skinny Fork
Yields 8 servings
100.8 calories per serving

10 oz frozen spinach, thawed
8 oz sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c reduced fat feta cheese, crumbled
2 large eggs
4 large egg whites
1 c skim milk
3/4 c reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
1 chicken breast, grilled & diced
Salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350.
Spray a 9 inch pie pan with cooking spray & set aside.

Drain liquid from the spinach & place at the bottom of the pie dish.

Over medium heat, cook saute the mushrooms & garlic until the mushrooms are cooked through.
Spread mushrooms on top of the spinach.
Sprinkle the feta over the mushrooms.

In a bowl, combine the eggs, egg whites, milk, salt, & pepper & 1/2 c of the cheddar.
Whisk together until well blended & pour over top of all ingredients in the dish.

Sprinkle the chicken & then the remaining cheese on top.

Bake for 50 - 60 minutes.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Green Bean & Mushroom Casserole

I slightly adapted this from Budget Bytes.  It was just a couple of substitutions to make it just a little more healthy.  My roommate, Katie, described this all "mushroom stuffing deliciousness" although she was a little wary of the texture before actually tasting it.  Ill take that as a seal of mouth watering approval.

Yields 6 servings.
141 calories per serving.

2 cans green beans
4 tbsp margarine, divided
1 small onion
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1/4 tsp thyme
1/8 tsp salt
2 tbsp flour
1 c vegetable broth
2 tbsp parmesan cheese, shredded
1 c panko

Preheat the oven to 375.
Spray a 9x9 cooking pan with cooking spray.

Dice the onion & cook over medium heat in a large pan with 2 tbsp of margarine until they are tender.
Add the mushrooms to the skillet & add salt & thyme.
Cook until the moisture from the mushrooms has mostly evaporated.
Add flour to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the veggie broth and stir until flour has dissolved.

Allow mixture to simmer and whisk in 1 tbsp of parmesan.
Add the green beans, stir to combine & remove from heat.

Meanwhile, melt the other 2 tbsp of margarine in a bowl.
Add panko and parmesan & stir to combine.

Add the mushroom mixture to the baking pan.
Top with panko mixture.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Mexican Mac & Cheese

Hey guys!  Hope you're as stoked as I am about the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.  It's my one cheat day this month.  It's especially exciting because I get to break out my family recipes that I only make on Thanksgiving and Christmas.  My family is SUPER Polish so we eat kielbasa at all holidays and man, it's delicious!

Anyways, that has nothing to do with this recipe.  This is another recipe Ive adapted to be healthier than the original.  It was a lot of simple swaps to ensure the calorie count is low enough for my intake levels.

Recipe adapted from Better Homes & Gardens
Yields 12 servings
287 calories per serving

1 box whole wheat penne
1 lb turkey sausage, casings removed
1 onion, chopped
16 oz salsa
16 oz reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350.
Grease a baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
Cook pasta according to box directions, drain, & set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook sausage & onion until meat is browned & onion is tender.
Stir in salsa.

Layer half of pasta, half of sausage mixture, & half of cheese in baking dish.
Repeat layers & bake for 35 minutes.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

Ive been big on pasta for lunch the past couple of weeks.  I find that carbs are energizing in the middle of the day.  This looked delicious and I love all things Cajun -- almost as much as I love Mexican food.

Recipe from Eating Well
Yields 6 servings
329 calories per serving

8 oz whole wheat rotini
1 tbsp canola oil
2 slices turkey bacon, chopped
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into one inch pieces
1 green bell pepper, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
28 oz diced tomatoes
1/3 c lowfat sour cream
1/2 c scallions, sliced

Bring a large pot of water to boil.
Cook pasta until tender, according to package directions.
Drain & set aside.

Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat.
Add bacon and onion & cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes until starting to brown.
Add chicken, bell pepper, cumin, and black pepper.
Cook, stirring, until the onion and bell pepper start to soften, about 4 minutes.

Add flour and stir to coat.
Add tomatoes, undrained, & bring to a simmer.
Cook, while stirring, until the sauce is bubbled and thickened and chicken is cooked through.
Remove from heat and stir in sour cream.

Stir pasta into sauce and sprinkle with scallions.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Turkey Spinach Pasta Bake

I swiped this from Budget Bytes.  I cant say how much I love this blog!  Ive said before that her recipes are great and cheap but not always healthy.  This recipe I did not adapt, though.

Yields 9 servings
350 calories per serving

1 box whole wheat penne
1 pkg frozen spinach, thawed
12 oz Italian turkey sausage
2 c part skim mozzarella
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried basil
pinch red pepper flakes
cracked black pepper
24 oz marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 350.
Cook pasta according to box directions.
Drain pasta, return to pot & stir in marinara sauce.

Meanwhile, cook sausage over medium heat.
Cut into pieces and set aside.

Place spinach, cheese, garlic powder, basil, red pepper flakes, & black pepper into a bowl.
Add sausage to bowl & stir well.

Coat a 9x9 pan with cooking spray.
Pour half of the pasta mixture on the bottom of the pan.
Layer half of the spinach mixture on top.
Repeat layers once.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Skinny Chimichangas

Another nod to white girl Mexican food.  Hah!  This I found on Recipe Girl.  Ive never actually made my own chimichangas before and this seemed like the time to try it out.  My only real complaint is that you have to wait forever for them to cool down.  Maybe it's just because we were starving.  When we could eat them, they were delicious.

Yields 4 servings
172 calories per serving

1/2 lb ground turkey 
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
8 oz tomato sauce
2 tbsp mild green chilies
1/3 c reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
4 flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 400.
Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Spray a large skillet with cooking spray & heat over medium high heat.
Add turkey, onion, garlic, chili powder, oregano, & cumin.
Cook until turkey is browned, 6 minutes.
Stir in tomato sauce and chilies; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat & stir in cheddar.

Meanwhile, wrap tortillas in aluminum foil and place in the oven for 10 minutes to warm.

Spoon about 1/2 c of the filling into the center of each tortilla.
Wrap and place seam-side down on baking sheet.
Lightly spray with cooking spray and bake for 20 minutes.

Skinny Beef Enchilada Dip

I found this recipe on Emily Bites.  My roommate and I made it for dinner earlier this week and as part of dinner last night; a night we fondly refer to as white girl Mexican night.  It was delicious and almost addictive.  Hats off, Miss Emily!

Yields 12 servings
129 calories per serving

1.5 lbs lean ground beef
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 c enchilada sauce
6 oz lowfat monteray jack cheese

Heat the beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it browns.
Drain, put back into skillet, add diced onion & garlic and stir to combine.
Cook for an additional 4 minutes until onions are softened.

Add the enchilada sauce and stir to coat.
Reduce the heat to simmer and sprinkle cheese on top.
Cover the pan and let simmer 3 - 4 minutes, until cheese is melted and dip is heated through.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Mexican Mac & Cheese

This is another adaptation for a lunch dish this week.  And some more white girl Mexican food.  I may not make authentic Mexican food but, it's still pretty damned good.

Yields 12 servings.
215.4 calories per serving.
Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens

12 oz whole wheat penne
1 lb ground turkey
1 c onion, chopped
16 oz salsa
16 oz lowfat Mexican style cheese
1 tsp ground cumin

Preheat oven to 350.
Grease a baking dish with cooking spray.
Cook pasta according to box directions; al dente.
Drain & set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook turkey & onion until meat is browned & onion is soft.
Drain fat, return sausage & onion to skillet & stir in salsa.
Add pasta & mix together.

Pour into baking dish, top with cheese, & bake for 30 minutes.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Mexicali Hamburger Casserole

Ive decided to try something new here on my blog.  Ive been doing the weight loss/eating healthy thing for a little while now.  While Im no nutritionist, I feel like I have enough knowledge to be able to challenge myself to make dishes that have too many calories and bring them down to a healthier level.

The original calorie count for this recipe was 506 calories.  With a couple of easy swaps, I managed to bring it down to 346 calories per serving.

The only thing I wouldve done differently is add some cumin.  This was tasty but a little bland.

Recipe originally from Better Homes & Gardens.
Yields 6 servings
346 calories per serving

1.5 lb lean ground turkey
15 oz can diced tomatoes
12 oz can corn, drained
1/2 c plus 2 tbsp lowfat Mexican cheese
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c cornmeal
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
2/3 c skim milk
2 tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large skillet cook & brown turkey; drain off fat.
Stir in tomatoes & corn and heat through.
Transfer to a baking dish & sprinkle with 1/2 c cheese.

For corn bread topping, in a medium bowl combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Stir in egg, milk, & oil.
Evenly spread on beef mixture and top with 2 tbsp cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Recipe Girl's Brown Butter Rice

This is what I served along side of the turkey meatloaf I made tonight.  Oh my god, it's the best rice Ive EVER eaten.  And at only 83 calories per serving, Ill be making this OFTEN.

Recipe from Recipe Girl
Yields 8 servings
83 calories per serving

4 c low-sodium chicken broth
2 c brown rice
1/2 c margarine
Black pepper, to taste

Place chicken broth & rice in a large pot.
Bring to a boil, reduce to low heat, cover & simmer for 15 minutes.
Add margarine & black pepper to rice & let simmer for 5 more minutes.

Recipe Girl's Turkey Meatloaf

Ive just recently discovered Recipe Girl.  Not all of her recipes that she blogs about are healthy or low calorie but there's a few benefits to this.  Firstly, Ive been able to use my knowledge of nutrition & substitution to alter these recipes to make them a little more healthful.  Secondly, it lets me get a little creative with things.  It's almost like a game.

Anyways, my brother came over for a late dinner this evening & I thought that meatloaf would be ideal.  He's very much a meat & potatoes kind of guy.  I served this with steamed broccoli over another Recipe Girl dish -- brown buttered rice.  Such a delicious combination!

Recipe from Recipe Girl dot com.
Yields 6 servings
246 calories per serving

1 onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp minced garlic
3/4 lb mushrooms, trimmed & finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1.5 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/4 c parsley
1/4 c barbeque sauce
1 c breadcrumbs
1/3 c skim milk
1 large egg
1 1/4 lbs learn ground turkey

Preheat oven to 400.

Cook onion and garlic in a large pan over medium heat.
Stir regularly until onion is softened -- about 2 minutes.
Add mushrooms, salt, & black pepper.
Stir occasionally & cook until the very tender, about 10 or 15 minutes.
Stir in worcestershire sauce, parsley, & barbeque sauce.
Transfer veggies to a large bowl to cool.

Stir breadcrumbs and milk in a bowl and let stand for 5 minutes.
Stir in egg & add to the veggies.
Add turkey & mix well with your hands.

Form a loaf onto a baking sheet & bake for an hour.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Roasted Garlic Twice Baked Potatoes

Ive made about a thousand variations of twice-baked potatoes.  I stumbled across this one and while it's not super original, it sounded delicious.  Although, it was a bit time consuming.  I wouldnt make this on a weeknight because of that but, the outcome seemed totally worth it.

Recipe from Velveeta
Yields 8 servings
300 calories per serving

1 head garlic
1 tsp olive oil
4 large baking potatoes
8 oz part skim Velveeta
1/4 c parmesan cheese, shredded
4 slices turkey bacon

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the top off the head of garlic.
Place garlic on a sheet of foil & drizzle olive oil on top.
Roast garlic for 1 hour.

Poke potatoes with a fork and place in the microwave, two at a time, in the microwave on the potato setting.
When cool enough to handle slice potatoes horizontally.
Scoop out the center, leaving a 1/8 inch edge, & place guts in a large bowl; mash.
Add sour cream, Velveeta, parmesan, bacon, & squeeze in garlic.
Mix well & scoop into each of the shells.
Place shells on a baking sheet & bake for 30 minutes.

Garlic Parmesan Kale Pasta

Ive broken the Mexican food obsession (for lunch, at least).  This was simple and inexpensive to make and from one of my favorite food blogs, Budget Bytes.  Her recipes arent always the most healthy but, they always look delicious.  The ones that have fit in with my calorie limits are so freakin' tasty.

Recipe from Budget Bytes.
Yields 4 servings.
195 calories per serving.

1 large bunch of kale
8 oz whole wheat spaghetti
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp margarine
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt & black pepper
1/4 c grated parmesan

Tear kale from stems & chop.

Bring a large pot of water to boil, break the pasta in half, add to the water, & cook for 6 minutes.
Drain and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking add oil, margarine, & minced garlic to a large pan.
Cook over medium heat until margarine has melted & garlic is fragrant.
Add kale and continue cooking until kale is wilted & dark green.
Turn off the heat.

Add pasta to kale & toss together.
Season with salt & pepper & top off with parmesan.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sausage, Mushroom, & Spinach Lasagna

I wanted to make something a little different for my roommate and I's lunch this week.  I realized that Id never made lasagna from scratch before so I figured Id make the attempt (hungover or not -- haha!).  This was a bit time consuming but the end result was so worth it.

Recipe from Eating Well.
Yields 10 servings.
333 calories per serving.

8 oz lasagna noodles
1 lb lean Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
10 oz sliced mushrooms
1/4 c water
1 lb frozen spinach, thawed
28 oz crushed tomatoes
1/4 tsp salt
1 dash black pepper
2 c part-skim ricotta cheese
2 c part-skim mozzarella, shredded

Preheat oven to 350.
Coat a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil & cook noodles until not quite tender -- 2 minutes less than package directions.
Drain, return noodles to the pot, cover with cool water, & set aside.

Coat a large non-stick pan with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat.
Add sausage & cook for 8 - 10 minutes, crumbling with a wooden spoon until browned.
Add mushrooms & water; cook for 8 - 10 minutes until mushrooms are tender & water has evaporated.
Squeeze spinach to remove excess water, stir into pan, & remove pan from heat.

Mix tomatoes, basil, salt, & pepper in a medium bowl.

To assemble lasagna:
Spread 1/2 c of tomatoes in the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
Arrange a layer of noodles on top; even dollop half of the ricotta on top.
Top with half of the sausage mixture, 1/3 of remaining tomatoes, & 1/3 of mozzarella.
Continue with another layer of noodles, remaining ricotta, remaining sausage,  half of the tomatoes, & half the remaining mozzarella.
Top with the rest of the noodles, tomatoes & cheese.

Cover with foil & bake for an hour and 10 minutes.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Chicken Taco Casserole

As you guys can see, Im still on my Mexican food kick.  My roommate and I wanted something reasonably easy to make and inexpensively before we watched the fights last night.  This seemed to fit so we went for it.  I have to say that this is one of the tastier things Ive made lately.  The mixture of onions & spinach was delicious.  It's not a typical combination for Mexican food but, Im finding that it's all in the spices.

Recipe from BHG dot com.
Yields 6 servings.
196 calories per serving.

12 oz chicken, cut into strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp canola oil
1 medium onion, halved & thinly sliced
3/4 c green pepper, chopped
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed & squeezed dry
1.5 c salsa
4 6 inch corn tortillas, torn coarsely
3 oz reduced fat Monteray Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 350.

Coat a large non-stick skillet with cooking spray.
Preheat skillet over medium-high heat.
In a medium bowl, toss together chicken, garlic, & chili powder.
Add to skillet and cook 4 to 6 minutes until chicken is no longer pink; stir frequently.
Remove from skillet and set aside.

Add canola oil to skillet.
Add onion & pepper and cook over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes.
Stir in spinach.

Coat a 2 quart baking pan with cooking spray.
Spread half of the salsa on the bottom of the pan.
Top with half of the tortilla pieces, half the chicken mixture, and half the veggies.
Repeat with salsa, chicken, and vegetables.
Top with half of the cheese, the rest of the tortillas and top with the remaining cheese.

Bake covered for 30 minutes.
Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

South of the Border Mac & Cheese

Hey guys. I know it's been a while since Ive updated you on my food adventures but, I have a good reason. I was getting ready to go see my fella in Arizona, then was out of town, & then had a really tough week last week.  BUT, I am back!  My vacation was fantastic and my man showed me a wonderful birthday.  Im lucky.  :]

Anyways, after having some amazing Mexican food out west, Ive been on a really hard Mexican food kick.  My cooking will NEVER match what I ate but, it's the same flavor family so we'll go with it.  Haha!

I actually altered this recipe to make it a little more diet friendly so the calorie count per serving may be less but, this is still pretty low cal so Im going to blog it as is.

Recipe from RoTel
Yields 10 servings.
308 calories per serving            

2 packages of 2% milk Velveeta Mac & Cheese
1 lb ground turkey
2 cans diced tomatoes & chilies

Prepare mac & cheese in a large saucepan as directed on box.

Meanwhile, cook and stir turkey in a large skillet over medium high heat until no longer pink.
Stir in undrained tomatoes.
Reduce heat to low & simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add beef mixture to pasta mixture & stir.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Chickpea Salad

Im not sure which blog I pulled this from so Im unable to give credit but, I can assure all of you that this recipe is not my original recipe.

That said, this is delicious.  I made something similar to this about a year ago & loved it.  When I found this variation I thought that Id like just as much.

Yields 6 servings
222 calories per serving

2 15 oz cans chickpeas
4 tbsp onions, diced
6 tbsp dill pickles, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp mustard
4 tbsp lemon juice

Stir all ingredients together.

Fast, simple, & delicious!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Portobello Cheese 'Steaks'

So there isnt any meat in this recipe but, all the veggies and flavoring doesnt really require it.  Ive made something similar to this before and I remember it being incredibly delicious.

Recipe from Eating Well
Yields 6 servings
268 calories per serving

2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
4 large portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
2 tbsp oregano
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 c vegetable broth
1 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
3 oz provolone cheese

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
Add onion & cook until soft and beginning to brown.
Add mushrooms, bell pepper, oregano, and pepper and cook utnil the veggies are wilted and soft.

Reduce heat to low.
Stir in broth and soy sauce and bring to a simmer.
Remove from heat, lay cheese slices on top.
Cover and let sit until melted.

Red Velvet Pancakes with Cream Cheese Topping

So, my roommate starts her new job tomorrow and, to celebrate, we've been cooking together most of the weekend.  On Friday night we made the most amazing mac & cheese (which I will post about as soon as she sends me the photos & the link to the recipe).  But, on Friday we decided to make some sort of fun breakfast on Sunday morning.  I came across this one when I was doing my meal planning yesterday morning.

These are as delicious as they sound!  However, the cream cheese topping was a little too sweet for our liking.  We're thinking that it was the honey.  We suggest trying it without it if you decide to make this.

Recipe from Skinny Taste
Yields 5 servings
231 calories per serving

Cream Cheese Topping
2 oz lowfat cream cheese
3 tbsp plain fat free yogurt
3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp skim milk

1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c all purpose flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c sugar
1 egg
1 c + 2 tbsp skim milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp red food coloring
Cooking spray

Combine the cream cheese topping ingredients & set aside.

Mix the flours, baking powder, cocoa powder, sugar, & salt in a large bowl.

In another bowl mix the milk & food coloring.
Whisk in the egg and vanilla.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients & whisk until smooth.

Heat a large pan over medium-low heat & pour 1/4 c of the batter into the pan.
When pancake starts to bubble, flip over.
Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Serve with cream cheese topping.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Macaroni & Tomaotes

Another fast & delicious but healthy lunch.  This was from this past week.

Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens
Yields 6 servings
194 calories per serving

8 oz whole wheat pasta
16 oz stewed tomatoes
2 c sliced mushrooms
1/2 tsp oregano
Black pepper
1/2 c low fat shredded cheddar cheese

In a large pot, cook pasta for 7 minutes.
Drain & return to pot.

In a large pan add tomatoes, mushrooms, oregano & pepper.
Add pasta, cover, & simmer for 5 minutes over medium high heat.

Sprinkle cheese on top.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Oven Fries

My biggest downfall besides cheesecake is probably french fries.  And honestly, Ive done the sliced potatoes in the oven with spices and it's pretty tasty but, this is probably the BEST version of oven fries Ive ever tried.  I suggest that you try these immediately.

Recipe from Emily Bites
Yields 4 servings
170 calories per serving

3 medium russet potatoes, cut into slices
1.5 tbsp canola oil
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 475.
Mist a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Place potatoes in a large mixing bowl and fill with hot water.
Let the potatoes soak for 15 minutes.
Dry the water and pat potatoes dry.

Transfer the potatoes to a Ziploc bag and drizzle with the oil.
Seal the bag and shake to cover the potatoes with the oil.
Open the bag and add the salt; shake to cover.

Spread the potatoes in an even layer across the baking sheet & cover with aluminum foil.
Bake for 5 minutes, remove the foil, & bake for 15 more minutes.
Remove pan from the oven, flip the potatoes over, & bake for 15 more minutes.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Skinny Mexican Mac & Cheese

Being a native east coaster for my entire life has made me love and adore Mexican food more than most people.  Not only is it tasty, it's rare to find an authentic eatery on this side of the country.  So, to compensate for the lack of authentic food, I figured Id make something that is as close as it'll get until Im on the west coast permanently.

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

2 c dry whole wheat penne
1.5 c fat free cottage cheese
1.5 c grape tomatoes, halved
1 1/4 c salsa
1 tbsp margarine
1 egg
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
Black pepper, to taste
1 c fat-free sour cream
1/2 c scallions, sliced
1/2 c reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Coat a 9x9 pan with cooking spray.

Cook pasta for 6 minutes.
Drain & rinse in cold water.  Drain again.

In a large bowl combine pasta, cottage cheese, tomatoes, salsa, & margarine.
Blend in egg, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, & pepper.
Mix well.

Transfer pasta mixture to baking pan.
Bake for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, in a small bowl, mix together sour cream & scallions.
After removing pan from oven, spread scallion mixture over top of the casserole.
Sprinkle cheese over top of that and put back in the oven for 6 minutes.

Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Biscotti

I had a cheat meal yesterday and I figured the best way to counter my feelings of regret (other than drinking massive amounts of water) was to bake something that is reasonably healthy and low in calories.  I actually had pulled this from my recipe stash to make last week but, I didnt get around to it.

Recipe from Skinny Kitchen dot com.
Yields 50 biscotti.
86 calories a biscotti.

4 egg whites
1 egg
1/2 c canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c sugar
3 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1/2 c sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.
Line a baking sheet with wax paper.

In a large bowl, blend together egg, egg whites, & oil.
Add vanilla and sugar and mix well.
Mix in the flour, chocolate chips, baking powder, & salt until the dough is combined.
Place dough in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm.

In a small bowl mix cinnamon and sugar for topping.

Divide the dough into 4 portions & place on baking sheet.
Sprinkle each loaf with cinnamon & sugar.

Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.
Remove from oven & transfer loaves to a cutting board.
Cut the loaves crosswise into 1/4 in slices.
Place the slices back onto the baking sheets & sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
Bake for 12 minutes, turn over the slices, sprinkle again, & bake for 12 more minutes.

These smelled amazing while baking & I imagine they'll taste equally as delicious.  I havent tried them yet but, I will tomorrow with my breakfast.  This recipe is a little time consuming but totally worth it.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Rice, Cheddar, & Spinach Pie

I wasnt in a mood to do anything super complicated this week so this seemed ideal.  Plus, anything combining spinach and cheese is always tasty.

Recipe from Eating Well
Yields 6 servings
340 calories per serving

3 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
10 oz frozen, chopped spinach, thawed
3 c brown rice, cooked
1 c reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1/4 c skim milk

Preheat oven to 425.
Generously coat a 9 inch pie pan with cooking spray.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add onion  & cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown.
Add garlic & spinach & cook for 1 minute.
Transfer to a large bowl & add rice, cheese, pepper, & salt and stir to combine.

Whisk eggs & milk in a separate bowl.
Stir into rice.
Transfer to pie plate & smooth top with a spatula.

Bake for 25 minutes.
Let cool for 5 minutes before cutting into slices.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

3 Cheese Mac & Cheese

Ive gotta be honest, this was pretty bland.  It wasnt terrible but, it was really lacking spice.  Im not talking about it having a 'spicy' or 'hot' element because Im actually not a fan of incredibly spicy or hot food.  This just lacked any sort of real seasoning.  If I do ever make it again, Ill be adding fresh garlic or basil or maybe even both.  It's sufficiently filling, though.  Ill give it that.  Maybe Ill do an updated version of this in a few months.

Recipe from Skinny Kitchen.
Yields 8 servings
283 calories per serving

2 boxes whole grain Kraft Mac & Cheese
1/2 c reduced fat cottage cheese
1/2 c skim milk
6 tbsp reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
1 tbsp margarine
2.5 c cherry tomatoes, halved
1 slice whole wheat bread
1 tsp margarine

Cook pasta according to package directions.
Set aside the cheese to add later.

To make the bread crumbs: Toast the bread.  Add to a blender & pulse to make crumbs.

While pasta is cooking, in a small pan, melt 1 tsp margarine & add bread crumbs to coat.
Set aside for later.

Drain pasta, add back to pot.
Mix in cheese from box, cottage cheese, milk, cheddar cheese, & 1 tbsp margarine.
Mix well, stir in tomatoes & remove from heat.

Coat a 9x9 pan with cooking spray & add pasta mixture.
Spread evenly & top with bread crumbs.
Broil for about 5 minutes.