Thursday, January 22, 2009

(10) Light Italian Wedding Soup

This comes from one of those small supermarket checkout magazines. It's Martha Stewart, so I figured it would be pretty good. It was not AWESOME, but for 250 calories, it was super filling. Next time I think I'd sautee a little garlic in after the onions are softened. I also feel like it needed a little kick (some red pepper flakes or a few shots of tabasco?). It was a little milder than I like. My husband also told me that he'd like it even better if there was some small pasta or rice in it. I agree! In another note, this was the first time I'd cooked escarole! Go figure!

Light Italian Wedding Soup

Source: Everyday Food, January/February 2009
Yield: 6 servings (really, it could be 8)

EF Comments: This healthier take on a classic soup includes lots of greens and turkey meatballs.

1 lbs ground dark-meat turkey (93% lean)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
Course salt and ground pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 cans (14.5 oz each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes in juice
2 heads escarole (2 lbs total), cored, trimmed, and coarsely chopped

1) In a bowl, combine turkey, garlic, egg, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Using 1 tablespoon for each, roll mixture into balls.

2) In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion, stirring occasionally until softened, 3-4 minutes. Add broth and tomatoes (with juice); bring to a boil and simmer. Add meatballs; cook, without stirring, until meatballs float to the surface (about 5 minutes).

3) Add as much escarole to the pot as will fit. Cook, gradually adding remaining escarole, until wilted and meatballs are cooked through (about 5 minutes more). Thin soup with water if desired [I ended up adding almost 3 cups of water]. Season with salt and pepper. Serve soup sprinkled with more Parmesan.

Per serving:
250 calories, 9.8g fat (3g sat), 23.6g protein, 19.3g carb, 4.8g fiber

Thursday, January 15, 2009

(9) Country Captain Chicken

I made this for dinner tonight. It was easy and good! My stupid Publix didn't have any diced tomatoes w/jalapenos, so I used a can of diced tomatoes and then chopped up a few pickled jalapenos. I may have put a few more in there than the can would have had, so my dish had a kick (which is great with us!). In any case, very flavorful. I served over basmati. Will definitely make this one again!

Oh and I misread and bought slivered almonds not sliced almonds, but I really liked the crunch the slivers provided!

Country Captain Chicken

CL Comments: Both South Carolina and Georgia lay claim to this Southern classic, which may have been brought to America by a ship's captain ferrying spices from the Far East. Rice is a traditional side dish. To make it fast, cook 1 (3 1/2-ounce) bag boil-in-bag rice, omitting salt and fat. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon bottled mango chutney.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups chicken mixture and 1 tablespoon almonds)
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, Jan/Feb 2009

1 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 cups vertically sliced onion (about 2 medium)
3/4 cup thinly sliced green bell pepper (about 1 medium)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup dried currants
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with jalapeño, undrained
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1. Combine curry powder, salt, and black pepper. Sprinkle chicken with curry mixture.

2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken mixture to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic; sauté 3 minutes. Add broth, currants, 1 tablespoon thyme, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon thyme; cook 1 minute. Sprinkle with almonds.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 314, Fat: 11.2g (sat 1.4g,mono 7g,poly 1.9g), Protein: 30.5g, Carbohydrate: 23.2g, Fiber: 4.6g, Cholesterol: 66mg, Iron: 2.6mg, Sodium: 683mg, Calcium: 86mg

(8) Greek Bulgur (or couscous!) Salad

Greek Bulgur (or couscous!) Salad

This recipe was one of those 'suggested sides' recipes along with the Pork Chops Oreganata. They suggested you use hot cooked bulgur but I didn't have that on hand, so I used couscous. Because couscous isn't very moist on it's own and doesn't retain heat well, I had to microwave the couscous + spinach to get it to wilt.

3 cups hot cooked bulgur
5 ounces baby spinach
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled feta

Combine hot bulgur and spinach. Cover and let stand 15 minutes or until spinach wilts. Stir in cherry tomatoes, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese.

(7) Pork Chops Oreganata

I made these earlier in the week and they were tasty and fast! I liked how light the flavors were on the pork (lemony, but not overly). They took a little while longer to broil than the recipe stated. I served with the recommended salad, but I used couscous instead of bulgur. I'd make these again!

Pork Chops Oreganata

CL Comments: While the pork marinates, prepare a warm bulgur salad. Combine 3 cups hot cooked bulgur and 5 ounces baby spinach; cover and let stand 15 minutes or until spinach wilts. Stir in 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes, 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled feta cheese.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 chop)
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, Jan/Feb 2009

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 (4-ounce) boneless pork chops
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray

1. Combine first 5 ingredients in an 11 x 7–inch baking dish. Add pork, turning to coat. Let stand 30 minutes, turning pork occasionally.

2. Preheat broiler.

3. Remove pork from baking dish; discard marinade. Sprinkle pork evenly with salt and pepper. Place pork on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil 4 minutes on each side or until done.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 168, Fat: 6g (sat 1.9g,mono 2.7g,poly 0.5g), Protein: 26.5g, Carbohydrate: 0.2g, Fiber: 0.0g, Cholesterol: 78mg, Iron: 1.1mg, Sodium: 283mg, Calcium: 16mg

Sunday, January 11, 2009

(6) Triple Red Pork Stew (Ragout Pebronata)

This recipe is a Sunday afternoon kind of recipe. It was quite labor intensive and oh my word, LOTS of dirty dishes. The serving was very hearty and the pork melts in your mouth!vThe flavor was great, but I'm not sure it's one I'd repeat just because of the time it took. I served it with pasta as suggested, but I think it would be better over polenta, mashed potatoes or egg noodles.

Triple Red Pork Stew (Ragout Pebronata)

CL Comments: Red wine, red peppers, and tomatoes join in this glorious Mediterranean mélange. Pasta or polenta would be welcome accompaniments. Prepare this stew up to three days ahead, refrigerate, and reheat to serve. You can also freeze it for up to a month.

Source: Cooking Light Magazine, January/February 2009
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup pasta and about 3/4 cup pork mixture)


3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
2 pounds boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), trimmed and cut into (2-inch) cubes
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups shiraz or other hearty red wine, divided
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3 pounds tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cut in strips (about 4 1/2 cups)
3 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 red bell peppers, cut in thin strips
4 cups hot cooked rigatoni pasta


1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Combine 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper; sprinkle evenly over pork. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Add half of pork to pan; sauté 4 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove pork from pan; keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil and pork. Reduce heat to medium. Add flour to pan; sauté 1 minute or until flour browns, stirring constantly. Add 2 cups wine to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Return pork to pan. Stir in broth; bring to a boil.

3. Cover and bake at 350° for 1 1/2 hours or until pork crushes easily between your finger and thumb, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly. Remove pork from broth mixture using a slotted spoon. Bring broth mixture to a boil over high heat; cook until reduced to 1 1/2 cups (about 15 minutes). Return pork to broth mixture, and cook for 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

4. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until starting to brown, stirring frequently. Stir in garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, tomatoes, parsley sprigs, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf; bring to a simmer. Cook 30 minutes or until the mixture is thick, stirring occasionally.

5. Heat remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add bell peppers to pan; sauté 10 minutes or until wilted, stirring frequently. Increase heat to high. Add remaining 1 cup wine, and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by half (about 7 minutes). Add tomato mixture to bell pepper mixture. Reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally. Discard parsley, thyme, and bay leaf. Stir sauce into pork mixture, and simmer an additional 10 minutes so flavors blend. Taste and adjust seasoning, if desired. Serve over pasta.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 543, Fat: 21.9g (sat 4.8g,mono 12g,poly 3.4g), Protein: 39.1g, Carbohydrate: 48.3g, Fiber: 5.9g, Cholesterol: 98mg, Iron: 4.7mg, Sodium: 567mg, Calcium: 65mg

Saturday, January 10, 2009

(5) Gnocchi with Turkey, Peas, and Mushrooms

This was a quick, flavorful, and very filling dinner! It had zip but was not overly spicy. My turkey came from the freezer so it was a little dry, but even still, the meal was great. Next time I make this, I'll double the mushrooms (I love mushrooms!).

Gnocchi with Turkey, Peas, and Mushrooms

Source: Cooking Light Magazine, December 2007
Yield: 4 servings (about 1 1/2 cups each)

CL Comments: "I like the convenience of packaged gnocchi. You could also substitute a small pasta, like farfalle or orecchiete, in a pinch." - Caitlyn Hurley, Morristown, Tennessee

Cooking Spray
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground turkey breast
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
3/4 tsp salt, divided
1 (8-ounce) package sliced cremini mushrooms
1 (10-ounce) package frozen petite green peas, slightly thawed
1 (16-ounce) package vacuum-packed gnocchi (such as Vigo)
1/4 cup (1 oz) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil


1) Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add garlic and turkey to the pan; cook 5 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink, stirring to crumble. Add crushed red and ground red peppers; cook 1 minute. Spoon turkey mixture into a bowl.

2) Recoat pan with cooking spray; return pan to medium-high heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and mushrooms to pan; saute 5 minutes. Stir in peas; cook 1 minute. Stir in turkey mixture; cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Cover and set aside.

3) Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add gnocchi to pan; cook just until gnocchi begin to float. Drain gnocchi, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Combine turkey mixture, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup cooking liquid, and gnocchi in a large bowl; toss well. Sprinkle with cheese and basil. Serve warm.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 383 (28% from fat), Fat: 11.8g (sat 6.4g, mono 3.2g, poly .3g), Protein: 37.4g, Carbohydrate: 32.g, Fiber: 4.5g, Cholesterol: 72mg, Iron: 3mg, Sodium: 817mg

Monday, January 5, 2009

(4) Dijon Vegetable Roast

Simple dinner tonight - roasted chicken and this vegetable roast. I was excited to get the chance to use some of the mustard we bought in Paris!! Different way to make roasted veggies, but very tasty. I skipped the breadcrumb step because I had the food processor tied up making baby food. I honestly don't think the breadcrumbs were necessary.

Dijon Vegetable Roast

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup)
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, March 2008

CL Comments: Dijon mustard and olives bring bold flavor to this side. Serve with lightly seasoned roast chicken, beef tenderloin, salmon, or tuna steaks

1 (1-ounce) slice white bread
5 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
5 teaspoons country-style Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes, quartered
1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges (about 8 ounces)
Cooking spray
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
12 pitted ripe olives, drained and halved (about 1/3 cup)

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1/2 cup. Spread crumbs on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 5 minutes or until golden.
3. Increase oven temperature to 450°.
4. Combine 4 teaspoons oil, mustard, salt, pepper, and rind in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk.
5. Combine potatoes, onion, and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large bowl; toss well to coat. Place potato mixture on a foil-lined jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 20 minutes. Add tomatoes and olives to pan. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add potato mixture to mustard mixture; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.

CALORIES 175 (28% from fat); FAT 5.4g (sat 0.8g,mono 3.8g,poly 0.7g); IRON 1.7mg; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 22mg; CARBOHYDRATE 27.9g; SODIUM 319mg; PROTEIN 3.7g; FIBER 2.6g

Sunday, January 4, 2009

(3) Spinach with Pine Nuts and Golden Raisins

Looking for a simple, but somewhat different side recipe, I ran across this one. It's not rocket science, but it was a nice twist on the traditional garlicky sauteed spinach. The golden raisins gave a nice sweet bite in with the stronger flavors. I'll definitely repeat this one!

Spinach with Pine Nuts and Golden Raisins

Source: Cooking Light Magazine, August 2006
Yield: 4 servings (1/2 cup each)

CL Comments: This Spanish-inspired side dish is a sweet-savory combination of garlicky wilted spinach, buttery pine nuts, and golden raisins. One serving is a tasty way to pack in 114 milligrams of magnesium--about 25 percent of your daily needs.


1/2 cup boiling water
1/3 cup golden raisins
2 (9-oz) bags baby spinach
2 Tbsp water
1 tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
4 tsp pine nuts, toasted


1) Combine 1/2 cup boiling water and raisins; let stand 15 minutes or until raisins are plump. Drain.

2) Combine spinach and 2 Tablespoons water in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook 3 minutes or until spinach wilts, stirring frequently. Remove from pan. Wipe pan with a paper towel.

3) Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Add spinach, raisins, salt, and pepper; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Stir in pine nuts.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 121 (23% from fat), Fat: 3.1g (sat 0.3g, mono 1.4, poly 1.1g), Protein: 3.9g, Carbohydrate 24.1g, Fiber: 6.7g, Cholesterol 0.0mg, Iron 4.5mg, Sodium 352mg, Calcium 100mg

I hate Blogger!!

If you read this blog through a service (google reader, etc), my sincerest apologies for the wacky posts you get. I have my main blog on WordPress and I have to say, I much prefer that. I don't know what drugs Blogger is on. Really. I say "make this text bold and LARGE" and it makes it extra large and takes the rest of the post with it. I don't get it, I really dont. I try to proof it the best I can but it seems like every time I hit publish, the Blogger ghouls change something else! DRIVES ME CRAZY!

So my apologies. I'm not a moron, but I am new at using Blogger. I will beat the little internet ghosts eventually!!

(2) Shrimp & Grits Casserole

Being the good southern girl that I am, I love shrimp & grits! I have even managed to win over my Pittsburgh native husband! This casserole took a little bit of work to put together. It wasn't hard, but it did use a lot of dishes (which I hate! Oh well!). I was gonna be MAD if it wasn't good, but I'm happy to report it was EXCELLENT!

We made dinner out of this and turned it into 6 servings instead of 12. I also used quick cooking grits (accidentally!) and they didn't take but a few minutes to firm up. I don't know why you're supposed to use the yellow grits... the white quick ones were fine! I was also a little heavy handed with the cheese (maybe 1 cup or a little more?). Anyway, we served it with sauteed spinach (recipe is next!) and it was a hit!

Shrimp and Grits Casserole

Source: Cooking Light Magazine, December 2007
Yield: 12 servings (3/4 cup each)

CL Comments: This dish is best prepared just before serving. But you can save time by shredding the cheese and slicing the onions, bell pepper, and shrimp the night before.

4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup uncooked yellow stone-ground grits
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp, each cut into 3 pieces
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
3 large egg whites
Cooking spray


1) Bring chicken broth and salt to a boil in a large saucepan; add grits, stirring with a whisk. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, stirring until cheese melts.

2) Preheat oven to 375°.

3) Heat oil and butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, bell pepper, garlic, and mushrooms to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Sprinkle shrimp with black pepper, and add to pan; cook 1 minute. Stir in rind, juice, Worcestershire, and hot pepper sauce; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Place grits and shrimp mixture in a large bowl; stir gently. Beat egg whites with a mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into shrimp mixture. Spoon mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until puffed and lightly browned. Let stand 20 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 139 (27% from fat), Fat: 4.1g (sat 1.7g,mono 1.3g,poly 0.5g), Protein: 12.6g, Carbohydrate: 12.8g, Fiber: 0.5g, Cholesterol: 64mg, Iron: 1.6mg, Sodium: 372mg, Calcium: 77mg

Saturday, January 3, 2009

(1) Mexican Black Bean Sausage Chili

Well, we're starting the new year off with a bang! Before Christmas, I had intentions to make this recipe but I just ran out of time. So instead of let the meat go to waste, I made the sausage and then put it in the freezer. That step was very handy when I decided to make this today!!

This soup had quite a kick!! If you don't love spicy spicy stuff, cut the chipotles down to 2 instead of 3. The recipe says that it makes 6 servings at 1 3/4 cup each. I ended up with 8 servings at 2 cups each! Score! That cuts the nutritional information down to 296 cal, 8g fat, 26g protein, 30 carb, 10.5g fiber, 22mg chol, and 749mg of sodium! Much more manageable!

I served the soup with cornbread. Will definitely make this recipe again!

Mexican Black Bean Sausage Chili

Yield: 6 servings (1 3/4 cup each) -- I got 8 servings @ 2 cups each
Source: Cooking Light Magazine - January 2006


1 1/2 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons dry red wine
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Dash of kosher salt
3/4 pound lean ground pork
3/4 pound ground turkey breast

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups diced onion (about 2 medium)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
2 teaspoons dried oregano
3 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced
4 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained, divided
3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
3 cups water
2 (14.5-ounce) cans no salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup very finely chopped cilantro, divided
Low-fat sour cream (optional)
Sliced green onions (optional)


1) To prepare sausage, combine first 12 ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

2) To prepare chili, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sausage mixture; cook 7 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add onion, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 tablespoon garlic, 2 teaspoons oregano, and chiles; cook 4 minutes or until onion is tender.

3) Place 1 1/2 cups black beans and 1 cup broth in a food processor; process until smooth. Add puréed beans, remaining beans, remaining 2 cups broth, water, and tomatoes to pan; bring to a boil.

4) Reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, 45 minutes or until slightly thick. Stir in juice and cilantro. Ladle about 1 3/4 cups chili into each of 6 bowls. Garnish each serving with sour cream and sliced green onions, if desired.

Nutritional Information

Calories:395 (27% from fat), Fat: 11g (sat 2.9g,mono 6g,poly 2.1g), Protein: 35.3g, Carbohydrate: 40.4g, Fiber: 13.7g, Cholesterol: 78mg, Iron: 6mg, Sodium: 989mg, Calcium: 128mg

209 in 2009!!

The adventure begins! My goal for 2009 is to make 209 new recipes. I'm not sure if this is crazy ambitious or if I'll hit this goal in no time flat. Guess we'll find out! Anyway, I'll be numbering my recipes in the title so I can keep track of how many I've made! Hope you enjoy the adventure too and will try some new recipes of your own :)