Thursday, December 18, 2008

Eggplant Parmesan

This might be my favorite Weight Watchers recipe. I ate all the leftovers myself for lunch over the next couple days. The serving size is huge for a very tiny points value. It serves 4 and is only 3 points per serving. I served it over pasta the first time and then ate the leftovers alone. Both ways are delicious!!

1/3 c. seasoned bread crumbs - Italian style
1 TBSP. grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp. italian season - I used basil and oregano and just threw a bunch in
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 med. raw eggplant
2 large egg whites - lightly beaten
1 1/2 c. canned tomato sauce
1/3 c. part skim mozzarella cheese - shredded

1. Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. (Picture in your mind how big of a portion 1/4 of a 9x13 baking dish is and realize how much food you can eat!)

2. Combine bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, italian seasoning and garlic powder into bowl. Remove skin from eggplant and trim off ends. Slice into 1/2 inch thick slices.

3. Dip eggplant into egg whites and then into bread crumb mixture. Bake eggplant on a nonstick cookie sheet until lightly browned - about 20-25 min. Flip once, halfway through.

4. Place a layer of eggplant on bottom of prepared baking dish. Add 1/3 of tomato sauce and 1/3 of mozz. Repeat with 2 more layers in the same order. Bake until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling - about 10 min. Slice into pieces and serve.

Chicken Teriyaki with Broccoli

Another Weight Watchers recipe. They have you steam the broccoli separate but I wanted it to take on the flavor of the sauce so I threw it in with the chicken when you are just simmering the sauce. I served it over brown rice.

2 garlic cloves - minced
1 lb - chicken breasts - cubed
4 med. scallions - chopped
1/2 c. chicken broth
2 TBSP teriyaki sauce
4 c. broccoli

1. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set over med/high heat. Once heated, add garlic and cook, stirring often about 1 minute. Add chicken and cook until golden brown on all sides - stir often - about 5 min.

2. Add scallions - cook until soft - stirring - about 2 min. Add broth and teriyaki sauce - simmer until chicken is cooked through and sauce reduces slightly - about 5 min (this is where I added the broccoli) Serve over rice.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Chicken Fajita Skillet with Avocado Salsa

Another weight watchers recipe. The good news is Nick didn't believe me, which means not only is it not bad for you but it tastes good too! I ate the leftover salsa for lunch the next day and just added black beans to it. Excuse the steam in the picture.

1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes - quartered
1 med. avocado - peeled and cubed
2 TBSP. fresh cilantro - chopped
1 TBSP lime juice
1 lb. chicken breasts - cut into strips
1 onion - sliced
1 red pepper - sliced
1 green pepper - sliced
1 tsp mexican seasoning - I used taco seasoning from the package
2 TBSP reduced sodium soy sauce

1. Combine tomatoes, avocado, cilantro and line juice in bowl.
2. Heat oil in skillet over med/high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate.
3. Heat oil in the same skillet over med/high heat. Add onion and peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are very soft - about 5 min. Add the chicken and seasoning. Cook, stirring frequently - about 1 min. Stir in the soy sauce and cook until liquid almost evaporates - about 30 seconds. Serve with the salsa.

Ben's 6th Birthday Cake

My attempt at making an Indiana Jones birthday cake for Ben. I thought it turned out pretty cute and it tasted good too! I got the recipe from another's the link -
I didn't use the cake recipe she did. I just used a cake mix and baked according the box directions.

1 plastic palm tree
1 plastic bush
1 Indiana Jones action figure
1 dark chocolate cake mix
1 tub premade chocolate frosting
1 small box shortbread cookies

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray all three pans with non-stick cooking spray. You need a square cake pan, a loaf pan and a mini loaf pan. Prepare cake mix according to package instructions. Pour cakes into all three pans. Bake for 20-35 minutes, keep checking for doneness. Cool cakes completely.
2. Place square cake on serving platter and frost top. Cut off about 1 inch from the end of the loaf cake to make it the same size as the square cake. Place smaller piece in front of square cake for a "step." Place loaf cake on top of square cake near the back edge. Frost the top. Place mini loaf atop the regular loaf. Frost the entire thing.
3. Place the cookies in a plastic bag. Seal bag and crush cookies with rolling pin. Sprinkle cookie crumbs all over surface of cakes. Place palm tree, bush, and action figure.

Apple Tart

The cream cheese added that extra something that made it much better. This is another Food & Family recipe. Forewarning - leftovers aren't that tasty so definitely finish it the first time you make it!!

1 premade refrigerated pie crust
4 oz. cream creese
3 apples - thinly sliced - definitely use smaller apples, mine were too big
1/4 c. sugar
2 TBSP. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon sugar
1 c. cool whip - thawed

1. Heat oven to 450. Line 9 inch pie plate with crust. Spread cream cheese around the center.
2. Toss apples with sugar and flour. Spoon over cream creese.
3. Fold crust partially over apples. (I couldn't do this part since my apples were too big) Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake 25 min. Cover loosely with foil for last 5 min. Cool. Serve with cool whip.

Chicken Stuffing Bake

This recipe came from the Food & Family magazine put out by Kraft. It's a free magazine and I love just about every recipe in it. I would definitely recommend it!

1 pkg stuffing mix for chicken
1.5 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts - cut into bite size pieces
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1/3 c. sour cream
16 oz. package frozen mixed veggies - thawed and drained

1. Heat oven to 400. Prepare stuffing mix as directed. Mix chicken, soup, sour cream and veggies in 13x9 inch baking dish. Top with stuffing.
2. Bake 30 min or until chicken is cooked through.

Super Easy!!!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

There are about 5 million recipes out there for chicken tortilla but I figured I'd add mine to the mix. It's super easy to make and tastes awesome.

1 onion - chopped
1 red pepper - chopped
2 garlic cloves - minced
3 c. chicken broth
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes with chilis
10 oz package frozen corn - thawed
1 tsp. chili seasoning or any of the taco/fajita seasoning packets
1.5 c. cooked chicken breast - chopped - I use the precooked whole chickens and shred them
1/4 c. fresh cilantro - chopped
tortilla chips

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over med/high heat. Add onion, pepper and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently until softened and lightly browned - about 5 min.
2. Add the broth, tomatoes, corn and seasoning mix. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the chicken and cilantro. Reduce heat and simmer until heated through. Serve with crushed tortilla chips on top. Of course - always can be topped with cheese!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Spinach Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

I'm beginning to notice a lot of the food I post looks the same. It seems to have the red, white and green theme going. I promise they all taste very different. This had a really good flavor because of the dressing. I am always amazed at how much spinach shrinks down when you cook it. I would definitely serve it with a carb since the mushroom is stuffed with only veggies. Nick and I had it as a side on a leftover day.

4 large portobello mushrooms
1/4 c. italian dressing - divided
1/4 c. red pepper - chopped
2 cloves garlic - minced
20 oz. fresh spinach
1/4 c. parmesan cheese - I used the shredded, not the grated but either would work

1. Preheat oven to 375. Cut off stems from mushrooms. Chop and set aside. Scrape out gills from mushroom caps and discard gills. Brush 1 TBSP of dressing onto rounded sides of caps. Place, rounded sides down, on foil lined baking sheet.
2. Heat remaining dressing on med high heat. Add mushroom stems, red pepper and garlic. Cook and stir for 2 min. Add spinach. Reduce heat to med low. Cover and simmer until spinach is wilted - about 4 min. Stir after 2 min though. Spoon evenly over mushroom caps and sprinkle with cheese.
3. Bake 18-20 min or until mushrooms are tender.

Steak and Potatoes (w/ a side of Green Beans)

The steak is an Emeril recipe and the green beans are weight watchers. I did the baked potato all on my own :) The steak is with a garlic butter sauce which was very yummy. We modified the recipe (I included the original below) since we weren't going to eat as much meat at it called for. We ended up splitting one steak. The green beans were with carmelized shallots. I like using shallots because they taste similar to onion but Nick who doesn't really like onions, likes shallots.

Ingredients - Steak
4 ribeye steaks - each about 1 1/2 inches thick
1 TBSP salt
2 TBSP olive oil
4 TBSP unsalted butter, divided
4 TBSP minced garlic, divided

Instructions - Steak
1. Season the steaks evenly on all sides with the salt and let come to room temp for at least 20 min.
2. Heat a large saute pan over med high heat and add olive oil. When oil is almost smoking, add 1 TBSP plus 1 tsp of the butter. Add the steaks and cook, undisturbed for 6 min - or until well browned on the first side.
3. Turn the steaks over and top each steak with 1 TBSP of garlic and 2 tsps of the remaining butter. Continue to cook the steaks on the second side for 5 min for med rare.
4. Remove the pan from heat, tilt pan slightly to remove some excess rendered fat from the pan. Turn steaks so that garlic and butter are in the pan. Allow steaks to sit for 15 seconds. Transfer steaks to a platter and pour the garlic butter drippings over the steaks. Allow steaks to rest for 5 min before serving.

Ingredients - Green Beans
1 1/2 lbs fresh green beans - trimmed
2 tsp olive oil
6 med shallots - peeled and thinly sliced
2 TBSP fresh parsley - chopped
2 1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp minced garlic
salt and pepper

Instructions - Green Beans
1. Heat a large pot of water to a simmer. Steam green beans until tender - about 5 min. Run steamed beans under cold water for 30 seconds to stop cooking and set aside
2. Heat oil in large skillet. Add shallots and cook, stirring often (add a little water if they start to stick), until golden and tender - about 5 min.
3. Add green beans to skillet and toss over med heat until heated through. Season with salt and pepper, toss to mix and coat.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Waist Line Friendly Chicken Pot Pie

There isn't much of a crust on this but it still tasted good. You could always add more of the crescent rolls to it and make more crust. I just made the rest of the crescent rolls and served them as a side. Zero leftovers - Nick at it all!

cooking spray
1 tsp butter
1 onion - chopped
2 c. mushrooms - sliced
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper
2 c. frozen mixed veggies
1 c. chicken broth
3 c. cooked chicken breast chopped - I bought a rotissere chicken already cooked and shredded it
2 TBSP flour
1/2 c. evaporated milk - divided - I used fat free
4 rolls - reduced fat crescent roll dough

1. Preheat oven to 375. Coat daking dish with cooking spray.
2. Coat large pot with cooking spray. Add butter and melt over medium heat. Add onion and mushrooms. Cook until tender - stirring frequently - about 5 min. Stir in seasonings. Add veggies, broth and chicken. Cover and simmer - 15 min.
3. In a small cup, combine flour and 1/4 c. of evaporated milk. Stir into chicken mixture. Cook over medium heat until thickened - stirring constantly - about 2 min. Stir in remaining evaporated milk. Cook until slightly thickened - about 2-3 min more.
4. Spoon mixture into baking dish. Unroll crescent rolls and arrange dough around the dish. Bake until rolls are golden brown and filling is bubbly - about 15 min.

Scary Pudding Cups

I thought these would be fun for Ben so I gave them a try. I had to improvise because I didn't have the semi sweet melting chocolate. Instead I used black icing I had bought to decorate Halloween cookies. It worked well at first but after the pudding sat in the cups for a bit, it started to drip down the inside of the cups. Also, it appears that it should be minty since it's green but it's not. Although, mint would be pretty tasty.

1 square semi sweet baking chocolate
2 c cold milk
6 drops green food coloring
1 pkg instant vanilla pudding - the smaller package
8 oreo cookies - crushed - I scraped the creme off the cookies to make crushing them easier

1. Melt chocolate in micowave as directed by package. Use a small paint brush to paint a monster face on the inside of cups. Refrigerate until ready to use.
2. Add milk and food coloring to dry pudding mix. Beat with wire whisk 2 min - or until well blended. Pour into prepared cups.
3. Top with cookie crumbs. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Shrimp, Tortellini, Spinach

This is a quick dish to make and tastes great. The best part is the minimal amount of prep work.

1 pkg refrigerated tortellini
1/4 c Italian dressing
garlic - minced
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes - undrained
3/4 lb cooked cleaned shrimp - I used the frozen kind, size small
6 oz spinach leaves
1/4 c fresh basil - chopped
parmesan cheese

1. Cook tortellini according to package instructions.
2. Heat dressing over medium/high heat. Add garlic - cook 1 min. Add tomatoes and shrimp. Bring just to a boil. Stir in spinach and cover - simmer 1-2 min. Stir occasionally.
3. Stir in tortellini and basil - simmer uncovered 3-4 min. Stir occasionally until sauce thickens.
4. Serve topped with parmesan cheese.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Beef Stew

Nick and I were both working late tonight so I decided to go with a crock pot meal. This cooked for about 9 hours and I could smell it cooking as I walked up to the door! I served it over pasta but it would be fine by itself.

1 lb lean beef round - cut into 1 inch cubes
cooking spray
1 onion - chopped
2 c mushrooms - sliced
2 garlic cloves - minced
2 carrots - sliced
15oz can pinto beans - drained and rinsed
1 1/2 c canned beef broth
15oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp thyme
salt and pepper

1. Place beef in crock pot
2. Coat skillet with cooking spray. Add onion, mushrooms and garlic - saute over med/high heat for 5 minutes. Add to crock pot. Add carrots to crock pot. Put half of the beans into crock pot.
3. Put remaining beans in blender. Add 1/2 cup of the broth and puree. Add mixture to crock pot. Add remaining broth, tomatoes and spices.
4. Cook on high setting for 6-7 hours.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Taco Pizza

Definitely kid friendly. Ben loved it. There are a ton of variations to this recipe. You can pretty much add anything you like on a taco. Add sour cream and black olives. Add some jalapenos for spice. Super easy to make and a hit with everyone.

1 lb lean ground beef
12 taco shells or equivalent of tortilla chips
1 package taco seasoning
1 prepared pizza crust
1 c shredded cheese - mexican style
1 c shredded lettuce
1 tomato - chopped

1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Cook meat with taco seasoning mix.
3. Place pizza crust on cookie sheet and top with cooked meat. sprinkle with cheese
4. Bake 8-10 minutes, until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted
5. Top with lettuce and tomatoes (and any other toppings). Crush taco shells and sprinkle on top. Drizzle with salsa if desired.

Hearty Turkey Chili

This is another weight watchers recipe and it was so full of flavor I had to pass it along. The leftovers only lasted until the next day and Nick finished it off. I served it with homemade cornbread and Nick added Velveeta cheese to his.

cooking spray
1 tsp canola oil - I forgot to use this and didn't notice a difference
1 large onion - chopped
2 garlic cloves - minced
2 carrots - thinly sliced into rounds
1 lb lean ground turkey - I use Jennie-O extra lean and it wasn't too dry
2 TBSP chili powder
1 TBSP paprika
1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tomatoes - chopped
1 c. canned tomato sauce - I used an entire 14.5 oz can
1 c. canned chicken broth - I used an entire 14.5 oz can
1 1/2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
15 oz can kidney beans - rinsed and drained
1 green pepper - chopped
salt, pepper

1. Coat a large pot with cooking spray and place over medium heat
2. Add oil and onion - saute onion until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and carrots. Cook until garlic is softened, about 1 minute. Add turkey - brown meat.
3. Add all remaining ingredients except salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil.
4. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until meat and veggies are tender - about 30-45 minutes.
5. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

I am working on losing about 20 pounds before the wedding so there are going to be a lot of "healthy" recipes on here for awhile. This is another weight watchers recipe that turned out well. There is no marinara sauce, pureed veggies are used instead. Most whole wheat pastas have a weird taste to me but the whole wheat lasagna noodles worked fine.

Grocery store find: Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta - saves 30 calories per serving and ups the fiber by 4 grams. Also, tastes exactly the same as other white pastas.

3 medium raw eggplant - cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 medium red peppers - chopped - I used 4
4 small tomatoes - seeded and chopped
4 medium garlic cloves - peeled and chopped
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp salt or to taste
1/4 tsp pepper or to taste
9 lasagna noodles - cooked and drained - tip: place noodles separately on foil to prevent sticking while cooling
1/4 c parmesan cheese - can always add more
3/4 c mozzarella cheese - again, add more for any other cheese fanatics out there

1. Preheat oven to 425F
2. In roasting pan, combine veggies, garlic and oil. Bake until veggies are tender, stir occasionally - approx 25min
3. Place 1/2 of veggies, salt, pepper and 1/2 c of water into food processor and process until smooth - I added crushed red pepper for more spice
4. Spoon 1/2 c of veggie puree into bottom of 9x13 baking dish. Place 3 noodles over puree
top with 1/2 c puree, 1/2 of remaining veggies, parm cheese and mozz. Repeat layers and top with remaining noodles, puree and cheeses
5. Bake until bubbly - approx 40 min

Greek Shrimp with Orzo

I found this recipe on and it looked tasty so I thought I'd give a try. It makes a ton so be prepared to have leftovers. Nick and I didn't really make a dent in it. We paired it with a side salad and some sauteed zucchini and squash. And of course, a glass of wine.

12oz uncooked orzo
2tsp olive oil
1/2 c onion, chopped
1 med green pepper, chopped
2 med garlic cloves, minced - I buy the minced garlic in the jar and used a TBSP or so, but we love garlic
28oz can diced tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano - I used more than this to add more flavor
1lb shrimp, med sized, peeled and deveined - I used the frozen shrimp and just pulled the tails off
1/4 c basil, fresh, chopped
2 TBSP crumbled feta cheese - or more if you love cheese


1. Cook orzo in salted water according to package directions
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in saucepan on medium heat Add onion, pepper and garlic - cook until soft, stirring occasionally, approx 3 min. Add tomatoes and oregano - bring to a simmer. Add shrimp - cook until shrimp are warmed through, approx 5 min
3. Spoon cooked orzo into shrimp mixture - stir to combine
4. Remove from heat and stir in basil
5. Spoon into individual bowls and top with feta