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Orecchiette with Bacon Meatballs

Orecchiette with Bacon Meatballs

Orecchiette with Bacon Meatballs

12 ounces ground pork

4 slices bacon or uncured smoked bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces*

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper, divided

2 – 3 T. olive oil

8 ounces dried orecchiette pasta

2 small shallots, thinly sliced

3 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped (2 C.)

4 C. kale or spinach, coarsely chopped

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 C. shaved Parmesan (optional)

 

In a medium bowl combine pork, bacon, garlic and 1/4 tsp. of the pepper until well mixed. Using a tsp., scoop the mixture into the palm of your hand and shape into 1-inch meatballs. Pieces of the bacon should be visible. In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add half the meatballs. Cook and stir until meatballs are browned on all sides and the bacon is crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer meatballs to paper towel; drain. Repeat with remaining meatballs. Reserving 1 T. bacon drippings in the skillet; set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions in lightly salted water; drain. Reserving about 1/4 C. of cooking liquid. Cook shallot in reserved bacon dripping, over medium-high heat, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan with wooden spoon to release the brown bits. Return meatballs to the skillet. Add tomatoes; cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add pasta and kale; toss to combine, adding pasta liquid as needed to moisten the pasta. Season with salt and remaining 1/4 tsp. pepper. Top with Parmesan before serving.   Extra thick bacon does not work with this recipe. It’s too big for the mini meatballs and doesn’t stay incorporated into the meatballs when cooking.

 

Yield: 4 servings

Calories: 673

Fat: 37g

Fiber: 5g

Buttermilk Scallion Dressing

Buttermilk Scallion Dressing

Buttermilk Scallion Dressing

 

1/3 C. low-fat Buttermilk

2 R. Light Mayonnaise

2 T. nonfat plain Greek Yogurt

1 T. Cider Vinegar

Salt & Pepper

1 Scallion, minced

 

In small bowl, whisk together all ingredients, except green onion, until smooth. Add green onion and whisk just to incorporate.  Add 1 tsp. sugar to become a coleslaw dressing.  Add horseradish for a steak salad dressing.

 

Serving Size: 2 T.

Calories: 30

Fat: 2g

Fiber: 0g

Chicken Thighs with Caramelized Onion and Bacon Dressing

Chicken Thighs with Caramelized Onion and Bacon Dressing

Chicken Thighs with Caramelized Onion and Bacon Dressing

3 slices lower sodium less fat bacon

3 large onions, halved and sliced (3 C.)

2 C. multigrain ciabatta rolls cut into 1/2-inch cubes and dried* (2 1/2 ounces)

1/2 C. reduced-sodium chicken broth

1/4 C. refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed, or 1 egg, lightly beaten

2 T. snipped fresh parsley

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

4 large skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 1 pound)

1 T. olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the bacon in hot skillet about 10 minutes or until brown and crispy, turning once. Remove and drain bacon on paper towels. Reserve 1 T. of the bacon drippings in skillet. Add onions. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, covered, for 13 to 15 minutes or until onions are tender, stirring occasionally. Uncover; cook and stir over medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden. Remove from heat. Chop the bacon. In a medium bowl combine the bacon, caramelized onions, bread cubes, broth, egg product, 2 T. parsley, and the pepper. Stir gently to combine. Divide dressing mixture among four individual 12- to 14-ounce casserole dishes; set aside. In the same skillet cook the chicken in hot oil over medium heat about 5 minutes or until browned, turning once. Place one chicken thigh on dressing mixture in each casserole. Bake, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in stuffing registers 165 degrees F. Before serving, sprinkle with additional parsley. *Tip: To dry bread cubes, spread them in an even layer in a 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan. Bake in a 300 degrees F oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until cubes are dry, stirring twice; cool. (Cubes will continue to dry and crisp as they cool.) Or let bread cubes stand loosely covered at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours.

 

Yield: 4 servings

Calories: 288

Fat: 9g

Fiber: 3g

Quick and Healthy Taco Salad

Quick and Healthy Taco Salad

Quick and Healthy Taco Salad

1⁄3 C. light sour cream
1⁄3 C. low-fat yogurt
½ C. chopped cilantro, loosely packed
2 T. lime juice (about 1 lime)
1⁄8 tsp. garlic salt

1 medium red bell pepper, diced
3⁄4 pound lean ground beef
1/2 tsp. chili powder
3⁄4 C. salsa
6 C. chopped romaine lettuce
2 green onions, sliced
3⁄4 C. low-fat Mexican blend cheese
2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
Reduced fat tortilla strips, optional

For the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. For the salad, spray a large non-stick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Add diced pepper and sauté 3 to 4 minutes or until slightly softened. Add the beef and chili powder to the pan and sauté 5 to 6 minutes or until meat is well browned. Stir in the salsa and cook for one minute to combine. Remove from heat. To assemble, place 1½ C. chopped lettuce on each of four plates. Top each salad with 3/4 C. of the meat mixture. Sprinkle on ¼ of the green onions, 3 T. cheese, and 3 T. of dressing. Garnish with tomato wedges and optional tortilla strips, if desired.

 

Yield: 4 servings

Calories: 280

Fat: 14g

Fiber: 3g

Stuffing Crusted Turkey Sheet Pan Supper

Stuffing Crusted Turkey Sheet Pan Supper

Stuffing Crusted Turkey Sheet Pan Supper

1 pound fresh green beans
1 tsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. garlic salt with parsley
1 box reduced-sodium chicken stuffing
1 T. margarine or butter
1 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed

1/4 tsp. black pepper

3 T. low-sugar raspberry jam
2 T. Dijon mustard

4 turkey cutlets, about 1/4 inch thick (about 1 pound)

 

Preheat the oven to 425°F, and place 2 racks in the oven, evenly spaced. Line 2 sheet pans with foil and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the green beans with olive oil and salt, and toss to coat. Transfer beans to one of the sheet pans. In a large bowl, combine the stuffing mix, margarine, fennel seeds, and black pepper. Boil 1 2/3 C. water, pour it over the stuffing mix, and stir lightly to combine. Let stuffing sit for 5 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the jam and mustard. Place the turkey on one of the sheet pans, spread each piece with the jam mixture, and top each tenderloin with 3A C. stuffing mix. Spray tenderloins with cooking spray and transfer pan to the top oven rack. Place the green beans on the lower rack. Bake for 17 minutes, or until stuffing is browned and turkey and green beans are cooked.

 

Yield: 4 servings

Calories: 350

Fat: 5g

Fiber: 5g

Mixed Greens with Tomato Balsamic Vinaigrette

Mixed Greens with Tomato Balsamic Vinaigrette

Mixed Greens with Tomato Balsamic Vinaigrette

 

1 Tomato

3 T. Balsamic Vinegar

2 T. minced Shallot

1 ½ T. EVOO

¼ tsp. Salt

¼ tsp. Pepper

 

5 C. Mixed Greens

¾ C. Garbanzo Beans, drained and rinsed

2 Tomatoes, sliced

1 small Cucumber, seeded, and sliced

½ C. thinly sliced Red Onions

 

Seed and chop a tomato; you should have about ¾ C.. Add remaining dressing ingredients along with tomato to blender and puree until smooth. Toss salad ingredients, divide among 4 plates and drizzle each with ¼ dressing.

 

Yield: 4 servings

Calories: 135

Fat: 6g

Fiber: 5g

Korean-Style BBQ Tacos

Korean-Style BBQ Tacos

Korean-Style BBQ Tacos

3 T. reduced sodium Soy Sauce

2 tsp. Sesame Oil

1 tsp. minced Garlic

1 tsp. minced fresh Ginger

1/8 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes

3 T. Rice Vinegar, divided

1 ½ T. plus 2 tsp. Brown Sugar, divided

12 oz. Pork Tenderloin, chopped

2 C. bagged Coleslaw Mix

2 Scallions, thinly sliced

2 T. chopped Cilantro

8 (6”) Corn Tortillas (or flour)

 

To chop tenderloin, cut in half inch thick slices. Place on cutting board and pound lightly to flatten. With sharp knife, cop into bite sized pieces. In a medium bowl, whisk together the first 5 ingredients (soy sauce through pepper flakes) with 1 T. rice vinegar and 1 ½ T. brown sugar. Add the pork, stir, and let marinate for 10 to 15 minutes. In another medium bowl, combine the coleslaw mix, green onions, cilantro, remaining 2 T. vinegar, and remaining 2 tsp. brown sugar. Set aside. Place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add half the pork (not crowding it in the pan browns it much better), and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until nicely browned, stirring occasionally. Set aside and repeat with remaining pork. Lightly wet the tortillas and wrap them in a dishtowel or paper towel and microwave for 1 minute, or until warm. Spoon about 1/4 C. pork into each tortilla and top with 1/4 C. slaw.

 

Yield: 4 servings

Calories: 265

Fat: 7g

Fiber: 3g

Cabbage Roll Soup

Cabbage Roll Soup

Cabbage Roll Soup

 

1 tsp. canola oil

1 C. onion, chopped

2 tsp. garlic, minced
1/2 pound lean ground beef (96% lean)

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

1 (14-ounce) can reduced-sodium beef broth

2 T. red wine vinegar

1 T. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt

3 C. bag shredded coleslaw mix
1/4 C. instant brown rice

 

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, cover, and cook for 3 minutes, or until the onion begins to soften, stirring occasionally. Push the onions to one side of the pot, add beef to the empty side, and cook until it begins to brown, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Stir the beef into the onions and cook another 3 minutes, or until the pink color is gone. Add the next 6 ingredients to the pot (tomatoes through salt). Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Stir in the coleslaw mix, reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover the pot, and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Stir in the brown rice, cover, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

 

Yield: 4 servings

Calories: 190

Fat: 4g

Fiber: 4g

Provolone and Broccoli Rabe Beef Sliders

Provolone and Broccoli Rabe Beef Sliders

Provolone and Broccoli Rabe Beef Sliders

Cooking spray

7 ounces broccoli rabe, trimmed

1 1/2 T. red wine vinegar

1 T. extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp. sugar

1 pound 93% lean ground sirloin

1 tsp. smoked paprika

1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

3 (1-oz.) slices reduced-fat provolone cheese, torn into small pieces

8 (1-oz.) whole-wheat slider buns

8 heirloom tomato slices

 

Heat a grill pan over medium-high. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add broccoli rabe; cook 5 minutes, turning occasionally. Coarsely chop. Combine vinegar, oil, and sugar in a small bowl. Add broccoli rabe; toss. Combine beef, paprika, Worcestershire, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Shape into 8 (3-inch-wide) patties. Return pan to medium-high. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add patties to pan; cook 2 to 3 minutes. Turn; cook 1 to 2 minutes. Top patties with cheese; cover and cook 1 minute or until cheese melts. Place 1 patty on bottom half of each bun; top with tomato, broccoli rabe mixture, and top halves of buns

 

Yield: 4 servings

Calories: 404

Fat: 15.9g

Fiber: 2g

Chicken and Asparagus Skillet Supper

Chicken and Asparagus Skillet Supper

Chicken and Asparagus Skillet Supper

1 pound asparagus spears, trimmed

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

4slices bacon, coarsely chopped

Salt and Pepper

14.5 oz. can chicken broth (or use 1 C. Chicken Broth and ½ C. White Wine)

1 small yellow summer squash, halved crosswise and cut in 1/2-inch strips

2 T. Flour

½ tsp. Lemon Zest

 

In a large saucepan cook asparagus in boiling water about 3 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Immediately plunge into ice water to stop cooking; set aside. In a very large skillet cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove from skillet with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Drain all but 1 T. bacon drippings from skillet. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cook chicken in hot drippings over medium-high heat about 12 minutes or until browned, turning once halfway through cooking time. Remove chicken from skillet; keep warm. Add squash to skillet; cook for 3 minutes. In a medium bowl whisk together broth, flour, and lemon peel. Add to skillet. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Return chicken and asparagus to skillet. Cook about 6 minutes more or until chicken is no longer pink (170 degrees F). Sprinkle with bacon.

 

Serve with baby kale, sliced red onion, halved grape tomatoes, sprinkling of sunflower kernels and light Caesar dressing and serve on side (not included in calorie count)

 

Yield: 4 servings

Calories: 238

Fat: 9g

Fiber: 2g

Korean-Style Beef Tacos

Korean-Style Beef Tacos

Korean-Style Beef Tacos

1/3 C. sugar

5 T. lower-sodium soy sauce

1 1/2 T. chile paste (such as sambal oelek)

1 T. fresh lime juice

1 T. dark sesame oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

12 ounces flank steak, sliced against the grain into thin strips

1/8 tsp. salt

Cooking spray

8 (6-inch) corn tortillas

Quick Pickled Cabbage

3 T. sliced green onions

 

Combine first 6 ingredients in a shallow dish. Add steak to dish; cover. Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour, turning after 30 minutes. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Remove steak from marinade, and discard marinade. Thread steak onto 8 (8-inch) skewers; sprinkle with salt. Place skewers on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill 2 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Grill tortillas 30 seconds on each side or until lightly charred; keep warm. Place 2 tortillas on each of 4 plates, and divide steak evenly among tortillas. Divide the Quick Pickled Cabbage evenly among tacos; sprinkle with onions

 

Yield: 4 servings

Calories: 270

Fat: 6.3g

Fiber: 3g

Easy Breakfast Soufflé

Easy Breakfast Soufflé

Easy Breakfast Soufflé

3 Large Eggs

1 T. Granulated Sugar

1/3 C. lowfat Milk

2 T. Flour

1 tsp. Lemon Zest

1 tsp. butter

2 T. low sugar Strawberry Jam

2 tsp. Powdered Sugar

 

Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a medium bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on high until foamy. Add sugar and continue to beat until soft peaks form. Set aside. In a separate bowl, place the egg yolks, milk, flour, and lemon zest. Beat on medium speed until smooth. With a rubber spatula, mix 1/3 of the whipped egg whites into yolk mixture. Gently fold in remaining whites. Melt butter in an 8- or 9-inch nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Pour egg mixture into the pan and cook for 1 minute, or until the edges and bottom are lightly browned. Transfer to oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until soufflé is puffed and golden. While soufflé is baking, in a small microwave- safe bowl, heat the jam and 1 T. water on high for 20 seconds, and stir. Remove soufflé from oven, dust with powdered sugar, and drizzle with jam. Marlene Says: For the fluffiest soufflé, use room-temperature eggs or run warm water over cold eggs to warm the whites before separating them. Be sure there is no trace of egg yolk in the whites before beating them, and do not overbeat. Egg whites should lift, then quickly curl down, when whites are lifted with beaters.

 

Yield: 2 servings

Calories: 215

Fat: 9g
Fiber: 0g

Balsamic Tomato and Asparagus Salad

Balsamic Tomato and Asparagus Salad

Balsamic Tomato and Asparagus Salad

1 pound asparagus, tough ends removed, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon orange juice

2 tablespoons minced red onion

Black pepper to taste

5 ounces mixed baby greens

3 tablespoons pine nuts, half chopped and half left whole

 

Steam asparagus until just tender, about 12 minutes. Rinse with cold water to stop cooking, then drain. Mix with tomatoes. Combine vinegar, orange juice, red onion, and black pepper. Add to asparagus and tomatoes and toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes so flavors can blend. Serve on a bed of baby greens. Sprinkle with pine nuts before serving.

 

Yield: 4 servings

Calories: 90

Fat: 4.7g

Fiber: 4.1g

Hand Tossed Pizza Salad

Hand Tossed Pizza Salad

Hand Tossed Pizza Salad

1 T. tomato paste
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. olive oil
½ tsp. each, garlic powder, dried oregano, and sugar
1/8 tsp. each, salt and pepper

4 generous C. chopped romaine lettuce
1 ounce (16 slices) turkey pepperoni (like Hormel)
1/3 C. shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
3/4 C. halved cherry (or fresh chopped) tomatoes
2 T. fresh chopped basil (optional)
¼ C. croutons (cheese and garlic flavored work well)
2 T. fresh grated Parmesan

In a small bowl whisk the tomato paste with 2 T. water until smooth. Whisk in the vinegar and oil, and then the spices, sugar, salt and pepper. Whisk well adding 1 tsp. more water. Set aside. Place the chopped romaine in a large bowl. Cut 10 of the pepperoni slices in half and add to the bowl. Sprinkle in the mozzarella, tomatoes, and fresh basil, if desired. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss lightly until coated. Place ½ of salad mixture onto each of two plates. Divide croutons among salads and garnish with remaining pepperoni (3 slices each). Sprinkle 1 T. Parmesan on top of each salad and serve.

 

Yield: 2 servings

Calories: 250

Fat:14g

Fiber:3g

Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup

Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup

Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup

2 tsp. olive oil
½ C. chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium carrot, finely grated
2/3 C. roasted red peppers, chopped
1 (14-ounce) can no-salt diced tomatoes
1 (14-ounce) reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp. dried basil
¼ tsp. black pepper
¾ tsp. cornstarch
1 C. fresh spinach leaves, cut into ½ inch ribbons
¼ C. crumbled reduced fat feta cheese

Heat the oil in a medium soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté 3 to 4 minutes, or until slightly softened and translucent. Add the garlic and carrot, sauté another 2 minutes, and then add the red peppers, tomatoes, broth, basil, and black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer the hot soup to a blender, or use an immersion blender, and blend until smooth. Mix the cornstarch with one 1 T. of water, return the pureed soup to the pot if using a blender, and stir in the cornstarch mixture. Bring the bisque to a low simmer for 1 to 2 minutes until thickened and warm. Stir in the spinach and simmer one additional minute to wilt spinach.

Crumble feta on top of soup just before serving. Jars of roasted red peppers come in many sizes. An 8-ounce jar, drained, yields about 2/3 C.. Leftover peppers can be used in salads or layered on sandwiches for extra flavor!

 

Yield: 4 servings

Calories: 90

Fat: 3.5g

Fiber: 3g

Dinner Plan Shrimp Scampi

Dinner Plan Shrimp Scampi

Dinner Plan Shrimp Scampi

 

Many scampi recipes involve cooking the shrimp with the other ingredients. You can do that here, too, but the benefit of cooking the shrimp separately is twofold: it’s easier not to overcook them, and you can whisk in the butter to create a smooth, emulsified sauce. Serve as an appetizer or as a main course with rice, orzo or your favorite grain, spooning the garlicky sauce over everything. It’s also great with crusty bread.

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra, if needed

1½ pounds (680 g) large shrimp, peeled, deveined and patted dry

Salt and pepper to taste ( â…› tsp. each)

3 garlic cloves, minced

Large pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

½ cup (120 ml) dry white wine

4 tablespoons (55 g) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

1 lemon, zested and halved lengthwise, one half cut into wedges

Large handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped (optional)

 

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, then put them in the skillet in a single layer. Cook, undisturbed, until the bottoms of the shrimp begin to turn pink, about 1 minute. Flip the shrimp over and cook until almost cooked through, about 1 minute more. Transfer the shrimp to a plate and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium, add the garlic, pepper flakes and a little more oil if the pan seems dry; cook, stirring often, until the garlic just starts to turn golden, about 1 minute. Add the wine, scraping up any caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan, and simmer until most of the wine has evaporated. Whisk in the butter one piece at a time, then season the sauce with salt and lemon juice from one lemon half. Add the cooked shrimp, any juices accumulated on the plate, the lemon zest and parsley (if using) and toss together until the shrimp are warmed through, about 1 minute. Serve with lemon wedges, if you like.

 

Yield: 4 servings

Serving size: ¼ recipe

Calories: 316

Fat: 20 g

Fiber: 0g

Spicy Baked Chickpeas

Spicy Baked Chickpeas

Spicy Baked Chickpeas

2 cans, or 3 C., chickpeas
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. dried onion
1 dash paprika
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 ° F. Drain and rinse chickpeas in colander. Rub dry on paper towels, removing skins from chickpeas. In a medium-sized bowl, stir chickpeas and remaining ingredients until well blended. Place chickpeas on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool and then bake for an additional 10-20 minutes.

 

Yield: 12 servings

Calories: 203

Fat: 5.4g

Fiber:8.8g

Pumpkin Pie French Toast

Pumpkin Pie French Toast

Pumpkin Pie French Toast

1 Egg, beaten

¼ C. Low Fat Milk

¼ C. canned Pumpkin

1 T. Brown Sugar

¼ tsp. Vanilla

4 slices French Bread

In medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients except bread. 2. Spray a nonstick skillet or griddle with cooking spray, and place over medium heat. Gently dip French bread in the egg mixture, making sure to let excess liquid drip off and place in the hot skillet. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom. Flip and cook another 2 minutes. Repeat if needed with remaining slices of bread.

Yield: 2 servings

Calories: 170

Fat: 4g

Fiber: 1g

Crispy Baked Chicken Tacos

Crispy Baked Chicken Tacos

Crispy Baked Chicken Tacos

1/2 C. chopped onion
1 T. homemade taco seasoning (or 1/2 store-bought packet)
1 C. cooked shredded chicken breast
1/2 16-oz can fat-free refried black beans
1/4 C. salsa
1/4 C. light sour cream
1/4 C. fresh cilantro, finely chopped
20 thin corn tortillas
10 T. reduced-fat cheese (Mexican Blend or Jalapeno Jack)
Shredded iceberg lettuce
Hot sauce, salsa, or guacamole (optional)

 

Preheat oven to 400° degrees. Set out a cookie sheet. Spray a non-stick pan with cooking spray, add the onion and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until it starts to soften. Add the taco seasoning and cook one more minute. Gently mix in chicken, coating with seasoned onions. Push to one side of the pan and add the refried beans and salsa to the other side. When warm and softened, fold into the chicken. Gently stir in the sour cream and cilantro and heat until warm. Set aside. Lightly spray the cooking sheet with baking spray. Slightly wet 3 or 4 tortillas at a time and place in the microwave. Heat on high for 20 to 30 seconds or until softened. Place about 3 T. of filling on one side of the tortilla, fold in half, and place on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas and chicken/bean filling. Lightly spray the top of tacos with cooking spray. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges are crisp of the tortillas are crisp, the middle starting to crisp, and the filling is hot. Serve stuffed or topped with cheese (1 T. each), lettuce and sauce.

 

Yield: 10 tacos

Serving Size: 2 Tacos

Calories: 220

Fat: 4g

Fiber: 4g

Fast-Fix French Onion Soup

Fast-Fix French Onion Soup

Fast-Fix French Onion Soup

6 C. thinly sliced onions, about 2 large

Pinch Salt

½ tsp. dried Thyme

1 tsp. Brown Sugar

1 14.5oz. can Beef Broth, reduced sodium

1 14.5oz. can Chicken Broth, reduced sodium

2 tsp. Worcestershire

3 T. Sherry

2 thin slices Swiss Cheese

2 slices Sourdough Bread

 

Place the onions in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Cook on high for 5 minutes. Spray a medium soup pot with cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. Add onions and salt, cover, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add thyme, brown sugar, and 2 T. broth, and stir well. Cook for 10 more minutes, or until onions are soft and well caramelized, stirring occasionally, and adding an additional T. or two of broth, if needed, to keep the onions from sticking. Add remaining broth, Worcestershire and sherry, cover, and simmer on low for 15 minutes. To serve, cut slices of bread and cheese in half. Turn on the broiler, place bread on a baking sheet, and lightly toast both sides. Top each piece with a slice of cheese and broil until cheese is melted. Ladle 1 generous C. of soup each into 4 bowls or crocks, and top with a piece of cheese toast.

 

Yield: 4 servings

Calories: 150

Fat: 3g

Fiber: 3g

Cheesy Bacon Chicken with Honey Mustard Drizzle

Cheesy Bacon Chicken with Honey Mustard Drizzle

Cheesy Bacon Chicken with Honey Mustard Drizzle

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 T. light mayonnaise

1 T. honey

2 tsp. vinegar
2 tsp. butter

1 (8-ounce) package sliced mushrooms

Black pepper, to taste

3/4 C. shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
8 tsp. real bacon bits
1/4 C. sliced green onions tops

 

Cover the chicken breasts in plastic wrap and gently pound to 1/4-inch thickness. For the honey mustard, in a small bowl, whisk together next 4 ingredients (mustard through vinegar). Set aside. Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; add the mushrooms and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or until they are tender and browned. Remove from pan and set aside. Coat the skillet with nonstick cooking spray and turn heat to medium-high. Add chicken to the pan and cook for 3 minutes, or until underside is golden brown. Turn, and top each breast with 1/4 C. mushrooms. Add black pepper to taste, and sprinkle each breast with 3 T. cheese and 2 tsp. bacon. Add 2 T. of water to the pan and immediately cover. Cook for 2 minutes, or until cheese is melted and chicken is cooked through. To serve, top each breast with 1 T. green onions, and drizzle with a scant T. of the honey mustard sauce.

 

Yield: 4 servings

Calories: 265

Fat: 10g

Fiber: 1g

Bacon, Blue Cheese, and Pear Tart

Bacon, Blue Cheese, and Pear Tart

Bacon, Blue Cheese, and Pear Tart

4 slices bacon

1 8 1/2 ounce package corn muffin mix

1/2 C. all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons snipped fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried thyme, crushed

1 Egg, lightly beaten

1/4 C. milk

1 large pear or apple, cored and thinly sliced

1/3 C. crumbled Blue Cheese or shredded Cheddar Cheese

1/4 C. chopped Toasted Walnuts (optional)

Snipped fresh thyme (optional)

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with parchment paper; set aside. In a large skillet cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon and drain on paper towels, reserving 2 T. of the drippings. Crumble bacon; set aside. Meanwhile, for crust, in a large bowl stir together muffin mix, flour, and the 2 tsp. snipped or 1 tsp. dried thyme. Using a fork, stir in egg and milk. Gather mixture into a ball, kneading gently until it holds together. Using floured hands, press dough into a 12×8-inch rectangle in the prepared baking pan. Arrange pear slices on top of crust. Brush pear slices and crust with 1 to 2 T. of the reserved bacon drippings.  Bake for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with blue cheese and crumbled bacon. Bake about 5 minutes more or until edges of crust are golden and center is set. If desired, sprinkle with walnuts and additional fresh thyme. Cut into rectangles.

 

Yield: 4 servings

Calories: 422 (with walnuts) 357 (without walnuts)

Fat: 12g

Fiber: 2g

Root Beer Barbequed Chicken

Root Beer Barbequed Chicken

Root Beer Barbequed Chicken

1 (12-ounce) can sugar-free root beer (sweetened with Sucralose, Like Hansen’s)
1 C. reduced-sugar ketchup
2 T. apple cider vinegar
2 T. molasses
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. liquid smoke
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. paprika

 

21/2 to 3 pounds skinless chicken breasts and thighs

 

To make the sauce, whisk together all the sauce ingredients (through the paprika) in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Brown the chicken pieces in a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Transfer the chicken to a baking dish and coat with 3/4 C. of the barbeque sauce. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes at 350°F, or until the chicken is completely cooked through. Add additional sauce to taste!

 

Yield: 6 servings

Calories: 200

Fat: 7g

Fiber: 0g

Cajun Jambalaya Pasta

Cajun Jambalaya Pasta

Cajun Jambalaya Pasta

6 ounces linguine
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
5 tsp. Cajun spice blend, divided
2 tsp. olive oil
2 medium red or yellow bell peppers, sliced into strips
1/2 medium red onion, sliced into strips
8 ounces large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
1 C. canned diced tomatoes, with juice
¼ C. reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tsp. butter
2 T. fresh chopped parsley

 

Cook the pasta according to the package directions and set aside. Place the chicken pieces into a medium bowl and toss with 1 T. Cajun spice. Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until cooked about halfway through. Add the peppers, onion and shrimp and sauté another 1 to 2 minutes or until the shrimp are pink. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic, black pepper, remaining 2 tsp. Cajun spice, tomatoes, and chicken broth to the skillet and gently stir. Cook for 5 more minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked and vegetables tender. Swirl the butter into the sauce. Place the pasta in a large bowl, toss with the sauce, and garnish with chopped parsley.

 

Yield: 4 servings

Calories: 325

Fat: 6g

Fiber: 6g

Easy Skinny Turkey Taco Soup

Easy Skinny Turkey Taco Soup

Easy Skinny Turkey Taco Soup

1 tsp. canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 pound lean ground turkey
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (14.5-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5-ounce) can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 (1.5-ounce) package reduced-sodium taco seasoning mix
1 C. frozen corn

 

SLOW COOKER INSTRUCTIONS 1. Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and celery and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the turkey, and cook, breaking up the meat, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the pink is gone. 2. Transfer to a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, and add 1 C. water and remaining ingredients . Cook for 3 to 4 hours on high or 5 to 6 hours on low.

 

STOVETOP INSTRUCTIONS 1. Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the celery and cook the onion and cook for 5 minutes or until translucent and starting to soften. Add the turkey, and cook, breaking up the meat, until it is most browned. 2. Add 1 C. of water and remaining ingredients. Stir and simmer on low for 30 minutes.

 

Yield: 6 servings (1 ½ C. each)

Calories: 235

Fat: 5g

Fiber: 6g

Super Simple Chicken Pizzaiolo

Super Simple Chicken Pizzaiolo

Super Simple Chicken Pizzaiolo

 

1 (14-ounce) jar marinara sauce (or 1½ C.)

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)

½ tsp. black pepper

½ C. grated Parmesan cheese

½ C. shredded reduced-fat Italian blend cheese

16 slices turkey pepperoni and/or 2 C. sliced mushrooms*

½ tsp. dried oregano

 

Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Spread the marinara sauce in a 10-inch pie plate or 9 x 9-inch ceramic or glass baking dish. Crumble the dried oregano and sprinkle it over the sauce. Cover the chicken breasts in plastic wrap and gently pound to ½-inch thickness. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with the black pepper. Spread the Parmesan in a shallow dish. Roll the chicken in the Parmesan and lay the breasts on top of the marinara. Bake for 13 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven, sprinkle with the Italian blend cheese and oregano, top with pepperoni slices (and/or prepped mushrooms) and bake another 5 to 7 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. * To prepare mushrooms before adding to the dish, place a paper towel on top of a flat plate and microwave for 45 seconds.

 

Yield: 4 servings

Calories: 275

Fat: 11g

Fiber: 0g

Easy 100-Calorie Apple Pie Pastry Squares

Easy 100-Calorie Apple Pie Pastry Squares

Easy 100-Calorie Apple Pie Pastry Squares

 

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed (like Pepperidge Farms)
1 T. all-purpose flour
3 medium apples, about 1 pound
1/2 medium lemon, juiced
2 T. granulated sugar, divided
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 T. reduced sugar apricot jam

 

Position the oven rack in the lower third of the oven, and preheat oven to 400°F. Sprinkle the flour on a flat surface and lay the pastry sheet on it. Roll out the pastry lightly to make a 14” x 10” rectangle. Transfer pastry to a baking sheet, and refrigerate while preparing the apples. Peel, core, thinly slice the apples (1/8” thick), and place in a medium bowl. Add the lemon juice and gently toss to coat the apples. Sprinkle the chilled pastry evenly with 1 T. sugar. Arrange the apples over the pastry in rows, slightly overlapping the slices and leaving a 1/2” pastry border around the outer edge. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and remaining sugar, and sprinkle over the apples. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven. In a small microwave-safe bowl, stir the jam with 1 tsp. of water and heat on high for 15 seconds. Brush over the apples and crust. Cut into 12 squares and serve immediately, or set aside and serve at room temperature.

 

Yield: 12 servings (3” squares)

Calories: 100

Fat: 5g

Fiber: 1g

Berry Salad with Almond-Cranberry Crusted Goat Cheese

Berry Salad with Almond-Cranberry Crusted Goat Cheese

Berry Salad with Almond-Cranberry Crusted Goat Cheese
3 T. chopped almonds

3 T. chopped craisins

4 oz. soft goat cheese log, cold

 

1 T. red wine vinegar

1 -1/2 T. cider vinegar

2- 1/2 T. olive oil

1 tsp. minced shallots

1 T. honey

 

5 oz. (8 C.) mixed baby greens

1- 1/2 C. sliced strawberries

 

Roll the cheese into 12 small balls with your hands, 1/3 oz each. In a small bowl combine the nuts and craisins. Roll the cheese in the nut mix and refrigerate until ready to eat. Place all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk. Combine the salad ingredients in a big salad bowl and toss with dressing or you can divide the ingredients equally between four plates.

 

Yield: 4 Servings

Serving Size: 2 C. salad, 3 balls

Calories: 239

Fat: 17g

Fiber: 3g

Muffin Tin Crab Cakes

Muffin Tin Crab Cakes

Muffin Tin Crab Cakes

 

1 pound crabmeat

2 C. fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs,

½ red bell pepper, minced

3 scallions, sliced

¼ C. mayonnaise / Light Mayonnaise / Low-Fat Mayonnaise

2 large eggs

1 large egg white

10 dashes hot sauce, such as Tabasco

½ tsp. celery salt

¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper

¼ tsp. Old Bay Seasoning, optional

6 lemon wedges, for garnish

 

Preheat oven to 450°F. Generously coat a 12-cup. nonstick muffin pan with cooking spray. Mix crab, breadcrumbs, bell pepper, scallions, mayonnaise, eggs, egg white, hot sauce, celery salt and pepper in a large bowl until well combined. Divide mixture evenly among muffin cup. Bake until crispy and cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges. Tip: To make fresh breadcrumbs: Trim crusts from firm sandwich bread. Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor until a coarse crumb forms. One slice of bread makes about ⅓ C. crumbs.

 

I personally would rather have more fat and calories and eat real mayonnaise with 6-8 natural ingredients (less if you make your own!), rather than a processed version (it’s called mayonnaise DRESSSING then) with 13-17 ingredients. I looked at the olive oil mayo, and it’s no better than the others. It still contains soybean oil, and other “non natural” ingredients and is only 10 calories less than Real Mayo.

 

Yield: 6 servings

Calories: 255 / 212 / 199

Fat: 12g / 7g / 5g

Fiber: 4g / 4g / 4g

 

Calories per T.

 

Low-Fat Mayo: 15

Canola Cholesterol Free: 40

Light Mayo: 35

Olive Oil: 60

Mayo: 70

Not Everyday Beef Tenderloin with Gorgonzola Sauce

Not Everyday Beef Tenderloin with Gorgonzola Sauce

Not Everyday Beef Tenderloin with Gorgonzola Sauce

 

4 (6-ounce) filet mignon (11/2 to 2 inches thick)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 T. butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp. finely minced fresh rosemary
1 T. flour
1/3 C. low-fat milk
1/3 C. nonfat half-and-half
2 T. crumbled Gorgonzola (or other blue) cheese
Freshly cracked black pepper (optional) to taste

 

Preheat the grill (or broiler). Pat the filets dry and season with the salt and pepper. Grill or broil each side for 6 minutes for medium rare. Add 1 to 2 minutes per side to cook to medium (or 145°F for medium rare and 155°F for medium). Set filets aside to rest for 5 minutes. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the garlic and rosemary and cook for 1 minute. Sprinkle in the flour and stir to make a paste. Whisk in the milk and half-and-half. Stir and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until thick. Add the Gorgonzola and stir until smooth. Season with pepper if desired. To serve, drizzle the steak with 3 T. of sauce.

 

Yield: 4 servings

Calories: 340

Fat: 15g

Fiber: 0g

Creamy Ranch Slaw

Creamy Ranch Slaw

Creamy Ranch Slaw

 

1/2 C. light mayonnaise
1/3 C. plain Greek or low-fat yogurt
1/3 C. low-fat milk
1 T. cider vinegar
3/4 tsp. onion powder
3/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

SALAD

6 C. shredded green cabbage
3 stalks celery, chopped (about 1½ C.)
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
3 T. minced fresh parsley

For the dressing, whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. For the slaw, in a large bowl, combine the cabbage, celery, and carrots. Pour dressing over the salad and toss. Add parsley and toss lightly once more. Tip: The creamy, crunchy texture of this salad is best when freshly dressed. The salad mix can be made up to one day in advance and held in the refrigerator. The dressing can be made up to 3 hours before serving. Once you toss the salad with the dressing, it’s best to serve it within 2 to 3 hours.

 

Yield: 8 servings

Calories: 60

Fat: 4g

Fiber: 2g

15-Minute Pasta with Chicken and Fresh Pomodoro Sauce

15-Minute Pasta with Chicken and Fresh Pomodoro Sauce

15-Minute Pasta with Chicken and Fresh Pomodoro Sauce

 

6 ounces dry spaghetti
5 tsp. olive oil, divided
4 to 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced very thin
2 C. cherry tomatoes, halved
2 T. sweet vermouth (or chicken broth)
1 T. balsamic vinegar
¼ tsp. salt (or more to taste)
½ C. fresh basil, leaves stacked, rolled, and thinly sliced
¼ C. shredded Parmesan cheese
Fresh ground black pepper to taste

 

Cook the pasta according to the package directions (because the sauce goes so quickly, be sure to start the pasta first). Drain, place in serving bowl, and cover. (Tip: Use the hot pasta water to warm the bowl before adding the pasta to it.). While pasta is cooking, heat 2 tsp. oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté about 30 to 45 seconds, or until lightly browned. Add the chicken and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until browned on the underside. Turn the chicken, and cook 1 more minute, or until just cooked through. Stir in the tomatoes, vermouth, vinegar, and salt, and cook for 2 minutes. Pour the mixture over the pasta and toss. Add the basil, Parmesan, and remaining 1 T. of olive oil, and toss again lightly to evenly coat the pasta. Season with pepper to taste and serve immediately.

 

Yield: 4 servings

Calories: 320

Fat: 9g

Fiber: 6g

Key Lime Cheesecake “Cupcakes”

Key Lime Cheesecake “Cupcakes”

Key Lime Cheesecake “Cupcakes”

¾ C. graham cracker crumbs
2 T. margarine or butter, melted
2 T. plus ¾ C. no-calorie granulated sweetener, divided
1 1/2 C. low-fat cottage cheese
8 ounces light tub-style cream cheese
3 T. cornstarch
2 T. Key lime juice
Zest of 2 Key limes or 1 regular lime
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg white

 

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick baking spray. In a medium bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, margarine, and 2 T. of the sweetener until well combined. Sprinkle a heaping T. of crust mixture into each muffin cups. Press gently to form a crust on the bottom of each cup. Set aside. Using a food processor, blend the cottage cheese until very smooth and creamy. Spoon the cottage cheese into a large bowl. Add the cream cheese, the remaining ¾ C. sweetener, the cornstarch, lime juice, zest, and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the egg and the egg white and beat until just blended. Spoon ¾ C. of cheesecake filling into each muffin cup. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the cheesecakes are set, but centers jiggle slightly. Cool to room temperature. Chill in the refrigerator until firm, at least 2 hours.

 

Yield: 12 servings

Calories: 140

Fat: 7g

Fiber: 0g

Jalapeño Popper Stuffed

Jalapeño Popper Stuffed

Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Zucchini Boats

 

2 medium zucchini (about 3/4 pound)
6 T. reduced-fat shredded Cheddar cheese
2 T. light tub-style cream cheese
2 T. light sour cream
1 1/2 tsp. finely chopped jarred jalapeño peppers
4 T. panko breadcrumbs

 

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, carefully scoop out the seeds to form zucchini boats. Place on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high for 1 minute. Blot any moisture from the zucchini with a paper towel, and set aside. In a medium bowl, place Cheddar, cream cheese, sour cream, and jalapeños, and stir well with a fork until smooth. Spread about 2 T. cheese mixture in each of the zucchini boats. Place the stuffed zucchini on a baking sheet, sprinkle each boat evenly with 1 T. of the breadcrumbs, spray well with cooking spray, and bake for 25 minutes, or until the crumb topping is golden brown. Let cool slightly before digging in!

 

Yield: 4 servings

Calories: 80

Fat: 4g

Fiber: 1g

Smoky Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Smoky Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Smoky Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed

2 tsp. smoked paprika

3/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

2 T. canola oil, divided

2 large sweet potatoes (about 11 ounces each), peeled and cut into 8 wedges each

1/4 C. cider vinegar

3 T. honey

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

2 thyme sprigs

1 T. unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 450°. Sprinkle pork evenly with paprika, 1/4 tsp. salt, pepper, and cumin. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 T. oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add pork to pan; cook 8 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Place potatoes on a baking sheet; drizzle with remaining 1 T. oil. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes. Add pork to pan with potatoes; stir potatoes. Bake at 450° for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender and a thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the tenderloin registers 140°. Remove pan from oven. Sprinkle potatoes with 3/8 tsp. salt. Let pork stand 5 minutes before cutting into slices. Combine remaining 1/8 tsp. salt, vinegar, honey, mustard, and thyme in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 3 minutes or until thickened. Add butter, stirring with a whisk until melted. Remove thyme sprigs; discard. Drizzle mustard mixture over potatoes. Serve with pork.

 

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 3 ounces pork, 4 potato wedges, and about 1 T. sauce

Calories: 392

Fat: 12.6g

Fiber: 5g

BLT Corn Cakes with Buttermilk Dressing

BLT Corn Cakes with Buttermilk Dressing

BLT Corn Cakes with Buttermilk Dressing

1/2 C. yellow cornmeal

1/2 C. all-purpose flour

1 T. baking powder

3/4 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

2 eggs

1 C. whole milk

1 C. fresh sweet corn kernels or frozen whole kernel corn, thawed and drained

Nonstick cooking spray

2 large green or red tomatoes, sliced

8 slices thick sliced applewood smoked bacon

3 T. packed brown sugar

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

3 C. fresh mesclun mix

1 recipe Buttermilk Dressing

1 C. cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. For corn cakes, in a small bowl combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper. In a medium bowl, lightly whisk together eggs and milk. Add cornmeal mixture to egg mixture; mix well. Stir in corn. Evenly coat a griddle or skillet with nonstick cooking spray; heat on medium-high heat until hot. Pour about 1/3 C. batter for each cake onto the griddle, spread to about 4 inches in diameter. Cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Transfer to platter; cover and keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter. (Yields about 8 corn cakes) Meanwhile, for candied bacon, line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with foil. Arrange bacon strips about 1 1/2 inches apart. In a small bowl stir together brown sugar and cayenne pepper. Spoon mixtures evenly oven bacon. Bake 14 to 16 minutes until bacon is browned and crisp. Transfer to paper towel; cool. Halve slices. To assemble, place one corn cake on each of four plates. Layer half of bacon pieces, the tomato slices, some mesclun, and remaining corn cakes. Drizzle with Buttermilk Dressing, and top with remaining bacon, mesclun, and cherry tomatoes.

 

Buttermilk Dressing: Combine 1/3 C. buttermilk, ¼ C. fat free Greek Yogurt, 2 tsp. snipped dill, 1 tsp. Lemon Juice and a bit of pepper to a mason jar and shake until well combined.

 

Yield: 4 servings

Calories: 442

Fat: 16g

Fiber: 4g

Baked Brie Strata

Baked Brie Strata

Baked Brie Strata

2 small Zucchini, cut crosswise into ¼” thick slices, about 2 C.

Salt & Pepper

Olive Oil Pam

6 slices Whole Wheat Bread, dried, and torn into bite sized pieces

4.4oz. pkg. Brie, cut into ½” cubes

1 C. halved Cherry Tomatoes

4 Eggs

2/3 C. evaporated Fat-Free Milk

1/3 C. Scallions, sliced

3 T. chopped fresh Dill

Salt and Pepper

 

In covered medium saucepan, cook zucchini in a small amount of boiling water for 2-3 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and transfer to medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Meanwhile, coat a 2 quart rectangular baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange 4 C. of the bread in the baking dish. Arrange zucchini and tomatoes on top. Cover with remaining 2 C. of bread pieces. In medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, green onions, dill, salt and pepper. Pour evenly over bread mixture in baking dish. Lightly press down layers with the back of a spoon. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 4 to 24 hours. Preheat oven to 325. Remove plastic wrap and cover baking dish with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and then back an additional 25-30 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

 

Yield: 6 servings

Calories: 216

Fat: 10g

Fiber: 3g

Skillet-Seared Beef Tenderloin with Blue Cheese Butter

Skillet-Seared Beef Tenderloin with Blue Cheese Butter

Skillet-Seared Beef Tenderloin with Blue Cheese Butter

1/2 oz blue cheese, crumbled

1 1/2 T. organic, unsalted butter

1 T. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

2 tsp. minced shallot

2 T. olive oil, divided

2 yellow-fleshed potatoes (such as Yukon Gold), thinly sliced

4 4-oz beef tenderloin steaks

1/4 tsp. each sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

2 C. thinly sliced tri-color carrots

 

Prepare blue cheese butter: In a small bowl, combine cheese, butter, parsley and shallot. Set aside.

In a large skillet on medium-high, heat 1 tbsp oil. Working in batches if necessary, arrange potatoes in a single layer in skillet and cook until golden and tender, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate and cover to keep warm.  In same skillet on medium-high, heat remaining 1 tbsp oil. Season steaks with salt and pepper. Add to skillet and cook, turning once, until browned and cooked to desired doneness, 7 to 9 minutes for medium-rare or 9 to 11 minutes for medium. Transfer to serving plates; cover to keep warm.  To skillet, still on medium-high, add carrots with 1/4 C. water and cook, stirring frequently, until just tender, about 2 minutes. To serve, divide potatoes evenly among plates with steaks; add carrots and top each steak with 1 tsp blue cheese butter.

 

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1 beef tenderloin steak and 1/4 of potatoes and carrots

Calories: 369

Fat: 20g

Fiber: 3g

Barbecued Chicken Pasta

Barbecued Chicken Pasta

Barbecued Chicken Pasta

 

16 ounces Rigatoni, Mostaccioli or other medium pasta shape — uncooked

1 T. olive oil

3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves — cut into 1/2-inch cubes

¼ C. green bell pepper, sliced thin

¼ C. red onion, sliced thin

2 cloves garlic — pressed

½ C. spaghetti sauce (your favorite)

¼ C. barbecue sauce

1 C. grated Provolone cheese

3 green onions — chopped

¼ C. cilantro — chopped

 

Prepare pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and sauté, stirring occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 3 minutes.  Add bell pepper, onion and garlic and cook until pepper turns bright green, about 1 minute. Add your favorite spaghetti sauce and barbecue sauce and heat just to a simmer. Remove from heat.  Drain pasta, reserving 1/4 C. of water and return pasta to the pot. Add chicken mixture and cheese to the pot. Stir over a low heat until pasta is coated with sauce. Add enough of the reserved cooking water, if needed, to make the sauce lightly coat the pasta (you don’t want it too thin, however). Serve up the pasta in bowls and top with green onions and chopped cilantro.

 

Yield: 6 servings

Calories: 530

Fat: 11g

Fiber:   3g

Soy-Glazed Flank Steak with Blistered Green Beans

Soy-Glazed Flank Steak with Blistered Green Beans

Soy-Glazed Flank Steak with Blistered Green Beans

1 pound fresh green beans
1 pound beef flank steak
6 cloves garlic, minced (1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
2-3 tablespoons peanut oil
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes (optional)
4 green onions or scallions, white parts only, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sweet rice wine (mirin)
1 teaspoon red chile paste (sambal oelek)
Sesame seeds, toasted (optional)
Hot cooked jasmine rice (optional)

Trim and halve the green beans on the diagonal; set aside. Cut the flank steak across the grain into thin slices; set aside. In a small bowl, combine the garlic and ginger; set aside. In another small bowl, combine the soy sauce and brown sugar; set aside. In a very large skillet or work, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add the green beans; cook and stir for 7 to 8 minutes or until beans are blistered and brown in spots. Add the cherry tomatoes, if using. Cook and stir until wilted and slightly softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer bean mixture to paper towels to drain. If necessary, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet. Add the garlic-ginger mixture to the skillet; cook and stir for 30 seconds. Add half the beef strips to the skillet; cook and stir about 3 minutes, or until the beef is browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the browned beef to a bowl; repeat with the remaining beef. Return all the beef to the skillet. Stir in the green onions, rice wine, chile paste, and the soy sauce-sugar mixture. Cook and stir for 1 minute; add the green beans. Cook and stir until the beans are heated through, about 2 minutes more. If desired, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve with hot cooked rice.

If desired, marinate the sliced steak in a mixture of the following for a couple hours in the fridge: 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1 tablespoon minced ginger, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon packed brown sugar, 2 tablespoons sesame oil, 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, and 1 teaspoon red chile paste. Then proceed with the rest of the recipe.

Yield: 4 servings
Calories: 312
Fat: 16g
Fiber: 4g