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.

Skinny Orange Julius

You know, I never grew up enjoying Orange Julius'.  I always wanted to try one but just never did.  I stumbled across this recipe and had to give it a try.  I am now hooked.

Recipe from Skinny Kitchen dot com.
Yields 1 serving.
270 calories

2/3 c orange juice
1/3 c skim milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp sugar
1.5 c ice cubes

Add all ingredients to a blender.
Blend on high for about 1 minute or until ice has been crushed & liquid is frothy.

This was the perfect amount of sweet and fast enough for an afternoon snack.  Yum!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Tuna and White Bean Salad

I wanted something fast and easy to make this week for lunch.  I just wasnt in the mood for something super complicated.  There isnt really much to it but, it sounded tasty.  This originally called for scallions but, I forgot to add those to my grocery list like a genius so, I substituted garlic powder instead to get a similar taste.  This is another one from the fantastic Budget Bytes.

Recipe from Budget Bytes.
Yields 6 servings.
190.5 calories per serving.

2 cans tuna
2 cans white beans
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp garlic powder
Black pepper, to taste

Mix all ingredients together and stir to combine.

See?  Fast and easy.