Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!

May your table be full of good food, good company, and wonderful memories!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

(109) Stacey's Sausage Stuffing

This comes from Stacey who was kind enough to share the recipe with me! She told me that it is "so good and so easy" and that she was excited for Thanksgiving to get here so she could hog on it :) After having made it, I can't say that I blame her!! She gave me her roundabout way of making it, but I'm going to try to write out exactly how I did it! I tested it today because I hated the idea of making a totally new recipe with an audience of 25 people! eek!

This makes a full 13x9" pan. I used only 8 oz of mushrooms, but I think for Thanksgiving, I'm going to use 16oz because the mushrooms are SO GOOD in this!

1/2 lb mild sausage (bulk - the kind in the tube)
1/2 lb hot sausage (again, bulk - the breakfast kind!)
1 large onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3-4 Tbsp unsalted butter
16 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms
14 oz bag of cubed herb stuffing (Pepperidge Farms)
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
handful of chopped sage (I used about 5 or 6 leaves)
handful of chopped fresh parsley (I used a few pinches of dried)
cracked black pepper - to your personal liking (I forgot this step! oops! I will probably use about 1/4 tsp next time I make it)

1) Cook the sausages in a skillet over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Chop up with your spatula so you don't have too many big hunks of sausage. [Stacey says she runs hers through the food processor!] Remove from skillet with a slotted spoon & place in a bowl. Wipe grease from skillet.

2) Melt 3-4 Tbsp of butter in skillet. Saute onions and celery until translucent and tender. Add mushrooms and saute until softened.

3) Place stuffing cubes in a large bowl. Soften the cubes with 1c water and 1c chicken broth. Add the onion/celery/mushroom mix and sausage to the stuffing cubes. Add the sage, parsley, and black pepper. Stir with a big spoon or use your hands to combine. Gradually add the remaining 1c of broth  until the stuffing is wet. (you can use even more water after this if you think you need it. I only needed the 3c liquid)

4) Spoon stuffing into a 13x9" pan sprayed with Pam. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes (until browned and crispy on top). Enjoy!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

(108) Bacon and Brown Sugar-Braised Collard Greens

I might live in Florida, but I was raised in Virginia - Southern Virginia, to be exact. I grew up eating collards and Smithfield ham and biscuits and corn pudding and all those other yummy southern dishes *drool*. I don't normally make collards following a recipe, but I had pulled this one out to try.

I made a few changes - I added 3 cups of water when the collards started cooking. I also added 2 more cups of water at the 1 hour mark. I cooked them 2 hours on a really low simmer. They were fine at 1 hr, but in my opinion, collards are one of those things you can't cook too much!!

PS: They were spicy, so if you dont like the heat, cut the red pepper down to 1/4 tsp or less!

Bacon and Brown Sugar-Braised Collard Greens

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup)
Source: Cooking Light, JUNE 2007

Cooking collard greens in a lightly sweetened braising liquid curbs their bitter bite. This Southern-inspired side dish is great with grilled pork chops and corn bread.

2 bacon slices
1 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups water
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (16-ounce) package prewashed torn collard greens

Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings in pan. Crumble bacon; set aside. Add onion and garlic to drippings in pan; cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in crumbled bacon, 2 cups water, and next 4 ingredients (through pepper). Gradually add greens. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until tender.

Calories 60 (42% from fat); Fat 2.8g (sat 0.9g,mono 1.2g,poly 0.4g); Iron 0.2mg; Cholesterol 4mg; Calcium 90mg; Carbohydrate 7.2g; Sodium 208mg; Protein 2.3g; Fiber 2.4g

(107) Buttermilk-Brined Pork Chops

This is a new method/concept for me, but I'm totally sold!! The pork was moist and tender, flavorful from the herbs, and a touch salty. Perfect!

Buttermilk-Brined Pork Chops

Source: Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2004
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 chop)

Though these pork chops require overnight brining, they make dinner the next night a breeze. Brine these chops up to two days beforehand. Just remove from brine after an overnight soak, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to cook.

2 cups fat-free buttermilk
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
4 (6-ounce) bone-in center-cut pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick)
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; shake well to dissolve salt and sugar. Add pork; seal and refrigerate overnight, turning bag occasionally. Remove pork from bag; discard brine. Pat pork dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle pork with pepper.

Heat a large nonstick grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat the pan with cooking spray. Add pork; cook 3 1/2 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.

Calories 183 (35% from fat); Fat 7.2g (sat 2.5g,mono 3.2g,poly 0.6g); Iron 0.8mg; Cholesterol 69mg; Calcium 43mg; Carbohydrate 2g; Sodium 345mg; Protein 26g; Fiber 0.3g

(106) Oven-Roasted Squash with Garlic & Parsley

I don't make nearly enough squash, so this was a nice change for a side dish. Let me tell you, though, PLEASE just be safe and go with butternut squash. I thought I would be adventurous and bought 1 butternut and 1 buttercup squash. WOW. What a total pain in the rear! It took me nearly 30 minutes to figure out how to cut it and my hands HURT at the end. The 'skin' was totally thick. Sooooo, learn from my misfortune and go easy!! (butternut squash is pretty easy to cut!)

Watch the squash - I overdid it and mine was a bit too soft. I LOVED the garlic/oil at the end. I thought it would give me dragon breath, but nope, just YUMMY! This makes a ton, too, so you could easily half the recipe and have plenty.

Oven-Roasted Squash with Garlic & Parsley

Source: EatingWell Magazine, November/December 2009
Yield: 10 servings, about 3/4 cup each

Winter squash becomes tender and sweeter when roasted—a delicious side for a holiday dinner. Look for interesting squash like kabocha or hubbard at your farmers’ market and try them in this recipe. (Recipe adapted from Alice Waters.)

5 pounds winter squash (such as butternut, buttercup, kabocha or hubbard), peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks (see Tip)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Toss squash with 4 teaspoons oil, salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread evenly on a large baking sheet. Roast, stirring occasionally, until tender throughout and lightly browned, 30 to 45 minutes (depending on the variety of squash).
3. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not brown, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Toss the roasted squash with the garlic and parsley. Taste, adjust the seasoning and serve.

104 Calories; 3 g Fat; 0 g Sat; 2 g Mono; 0 mg Cholesterol; 21 g Carbohydrates; 2 g Protein; 6 g Fiber; 357 mg Sodium; 555 mg Potassium; 1 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving; Exchanges: 1 starch, 1/2 fat

Nutrition Note: Vitamin A (430% daily value), Vitamin C (50% dv), Potassium (16% dv).

Make Ahead Tip: Cut squash up to 1 day ahead; store airtight in the refrigerator.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

(105) Sesame-Orange Shrimp

I am beyond impressed at how easy and delish this dinner was!! I loved the batter - kind of like the batter on sweet & sour chicken we get from the local Chinese joint! REALLY easy to put together. I served it over rice and with some sugar snap peas. This is a repeater for sure!

*image is from

Sesame-Orange Shrimp

These shrimp are super-easy to make—just coat them in a simple batter, cook them in a little oil and toss with a tangy sesame-orange sauce. The staff at EatingWell simply could not get enough of these delicious shrimp while we were developing this recipe. Serve with: Brown basmati rice and steamed snow peas tossed with a little toasted sesame oil.

Yield: 4 servings
Source: Eating Well Magazine - November/December 2009

3 tablespoons sesame seeds (white, black or a mix)
2 large egg whites
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 pound peeled and deveined raw shrimp (21-25 per pound)
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup dry sherry (see Note)
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 scallion, thinly sliced

1. Whisk sesame seeds, egg whites, cornstarch, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add shrimp and toss to coat.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add half the shrimp and cook until golden, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the rest of the shrimp.

3. Add orange juice, sherry, soy sauce and sugar to the pan. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and reduced by half, 4 to 6 minutes. Return the shrimp to the pan and stir to coat with the sauce. Serve immediately, with scallion sprinkled on top.

232 Calories; 10 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 5 g Mono; 168 mg Cholesterol; 12 g Carbohydrates; 21 g Protein; 1 g Fiber; 488 mg Sodium; 327 mg Potassium

1 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1 starch, 2 1/2 lean meat
Nutrition Note: Vitamin C (43% daily value), Iron (20% dv).

Tips & Notes
* Note: Sherry is a type of fortified wine originally from southern Spain. Don’t use the “cooking sherry” sold in many supermarkets—it can be surprisingly high in sodium. Instead, get dry sherry that’s sold with other fortified wines at your wine or liquor store.

(104) Banana Bread

I put this together in literately 10 minutes or less. It came out BEAUTIFULLY and the taste! OH YEAH! I love this cookbook because it's all basic, good, homey food. This is just like mom's banana bread! YUM!

Banana Bread

Yield: one 9-inch loaf
Source: America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

The key to great banana bread is ripe bananas. Be sure to use a 9x5" loaf pan that is at least 3" deep.

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 very ripe bananas, mashed well (1 1/2 cups)
6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups walnuts, toasted and chopped (optional)

1) Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously coat a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with vegetable oil spray.

2) Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk the mashed bananas, melted butter, eggs, yogurt, and vanilla together in a separate bowl. Gently fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture with a rubber spatula until just combined. Fold in the nuts (if using). Do not overmix; the batter will look thick and chunky.

3) Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached, about 55 minutes.

4) Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes before unmolding onto a wire rack to cool for 1 hour.

(103) Warm Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Red Onions

If you like Brussels sprouts, this is a recipe for you! Quite tasty and easy to make once you've got everything chopped!! I didn't buy applewood bacon because I'm cheap! Regular bacon worked fine.

Warm Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Red Onions

Source: Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2007
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup)

Slice the Brussels sprouts to help them cook quickly, then splash them with a warm bacon vinaigrette. Use the best bacon you can find for this recipe.

2 slices applewood-smoked bacon
2 cups diced peeled Granny Smith apple
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 cups thinly sliced Brussels sprouts (about 1 pound)
1 teaspoon stone-ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble. Add apple, onion, and garlic to drippings in pan; sauté for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add 2 tablespoons water and vinegar to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add Brussels sprouts; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in mustard, salt, and pepper. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with bacon. Serve immediately.

Calories 54 (25% from fat); Fat 1.5g (sat 0.5g,mono 0.6g,poly 0.2g); Iron 0.9mg; Cholesterol 3mg; Calcium 28mg; Carbohydrate 8.4g; Sodium 228mg; Protein 3g; Fiber 2.6g

(102) Sirloin Steak with Dijon-Port Sauce

This was an easy, delicious weeknight meal!! I think next time I would double the sauce as mine reduced down really quickly and a bit too much for me! I also think the sauce needed a little salt, but do so at your own taste!!

Sirloin Steak with Dijon-Port Sauce

Source: Cooking Light, October 2004
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 3 ounces steak, 2 tablespoons sauce, and 1 cup noodles)

The port and mustard create a rich, sweet, and spicy sauce. Serve the steak and sauce over noodles to soak up every last drop.

3 cups uncooked medium egg noodles
1 pound trimmed sirloin (about 1 inch thick)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Cooking spray
1/2 cup port or other sweet red wine
1/4 cup minced shallots
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
1/2 cup less-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain; keep warm.

While noodles cook, heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle both sides of steak with salt and pepper. Lightly coat steak with cooking spray. Add steak to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Transfer meat to a platter; keep warm.

Add port to pan, scraping to loosen browned bits. Stir in shallots and garlic; cook 45 seconds, stirring frequently. Add beef broth; bring to a boil. Cook 20 seconds; remove from heat. Add mustard and thyme, stirring with a whisk.

Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices. Serve steak and sauce with the pasta.

Calories 344 (29% from fat); Fat 11g (sat 4.1g,mono 4.6g,poly 0.8g); Iron 4.3mg; Cholesterol 97mg; Calcium 36mg; Carbohydrate 23.6g; Sodium 501mg; Protein 28.5g; Fiber 1g

Sunday, November 15, 2009

(101) Apple Brown Betty

I had never had this dish before, so I was curious to try it. I must say, it was quite tasty! I like that this recipe only makes 6 servings. So many times, desserts serve a TON of people and I always end up picking at the leftovers (hello, hips!) or throwing them out. I love the topping on this one, too! Will make this again!

Apple Brown Betty

In this variation of the humble dessert, two types of apples are used so it's not too sweet or tart.

Yield: 6 servings
Source: Cooking Light, January 2005

2 cups sliced peeled Granny Smith apple (about 3/4 pound)
2 cups sliced peeled Rome apple (about 3/4 pound)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup 1% low-fat milk
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ounces day-old Italian or French bread, torn into 1/2-inch pieces
Cooking spray
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Sprinkle apple mixture with granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg; toss well. Combine milk, molasses, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Add bread to milk mixture; toss to combine. Add bread mixture to apple mixture; toss to combine. Spoon bread mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and brown sugar; cut in chilled butter using a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles small pebbles. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over apple mixture. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Serve warm.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 256 (30% from fat), Fat: 8.4g (sat 4.9g,mono 2.3g,poly 0.5g), Protein: 2.4g, Carbohydrate: 44.1g, Fiber: 2g, Cholesterol: 21mg, Iron: 1.2mg, Sodium: 139mg, Calcium: 47mg

Thursday, November 5, 2009

(100) Skillet Stuffed Peppers

This is a super yummy recipe and way too easy! I added a mini-can of corn to the meat mixture and dashed some salt & pepper on top of the potatoes. I put them in the oven for about 10-15 minutes (at 350 degrees) to keep them warm while I was making salads. I recommend that, just to meld flavors a little more! The entire family gave this 2 thumbs up!!

Image from

Skillet Stuffed Peppers

Shepherd's pie meets the classic stuffed pepper. This recipe can also be made with red, yellow, or orange bell peppers.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 stuffed pepper half)
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, May 2004

2 large green bell peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded
Cooking spray
3/4 pound ground round
1/2 cup water
1 (1.25-ounce) package taco seasoning
1 (20-ounce) package refrigerated mashed potatoes (such as Simply Potatoes)
1/4 cup (1 ounce) reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese
Cracked black pepper (optional)

Place the bell pepper halves, cut sides down, on a microwave-safe dish; cover with plastic wrap. Microwave at HIGH 3 minutes and 30 seconds or until pepper halves are crisp-tender. Let stand, covered, 3 minutes (peppers will soften).

While the peppers cook, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add beef to pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring to crumble. Add water and seasoning, and stir to combine. Cover, reduce heat, and cook 5 minutes or until done.

While beef cooks and peppers stand, cook the potatoes in microwave according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.

Spoon 1/2 cup beef mixture into each pepper half; top each with 2/3 cup potatoes. Sprinkle each pepper half with 1 tablespoon cheese. Garnish with black pepper, if desired.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 338 (36% from fat), Fat: 13.4g (sat 5.3g,mono 5.7g,poly 0.4g), Protein: 20.1g, Carbohydrate: 29.3g, Fiber: 5.1g, Cholesterol: 59mg, Iron: 2.4mg, Sodium: 663mg, Calcium: 48mg

(99) Italian White Bean and Spinach Soup

This was an easy soup to put together. I love how hearty it was, even without meat! And the calorie count can't be beat! It for sure needed some salt and a hit of hot pepper flakes. I will make this soup again!

PS: I did not chop the spinach, rather I tore it with my hands as I threw it in the pot. I used about half a bag of spinach and also needed to add a touch of water to make sure the soup didn't get too thick.

Italian White Bean and Spinach Soup

Dried shiitake mushrooms lend this appetizer soup rich intensity. It's delightful with a grilled cheese sandwich for a light supper.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup)
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, November 2007

1 (1-ounce) package dried shiitake mushrooms
2 cups boiling water
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (16-ounce) can cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14-ounce) can organic vegetable broth (such as Swanson Certified Organic)
Fresh thyme (optional)
Crushed red pepper (optional)

Combine mushrooms and 2 cups boiling water in a bowl; cover and let stand 15 minutes. Drain mushrooms in a colander over a bowl, reserving liquid. Chop mushrooms; set aside.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and mushrooms to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add the reserved mushroom liquid, spinach, and next 5 ingredients (through broth); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Garnish with thyme and red pepper, if desired.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 78 (22% from fat), Fat: 1.9g (sat 0.3g,mono 1.1g,poly 0.4g), Protein: 2.8g, Carbohydrate: 13.5g, Fiber: 2.9g, Cholesterol: 0.0mg, Iron: 1.3mg, Sodium: 261mg, Calcium: 42mg

Monday, November 2, 2009

(98) Chicken Tamale Casserole

In an effort to have dinner on a busy weeknight, I decided to try this recipe. I made the cornbread the night before and put the dish in the fridge. I let it get to room temp while the oven was heating. With pre-shredded chicken (also done the night before) and pre-shredded cheese, this was a snap!

I'm still in stopped up nose territory, but what I could taste was yummy! My husband packed 2 servings for lunch tomorrow, so I'll take that as a good sign! Please try this and let me know what you think!

Chicken Tamale Casserole

"I came up with this dish to satisfy my cravings for the tamales I had at Mexican restaurants when I was growing up in Houston. Homemade tamales are too time-consuming to prepare for weeknight meals, but I discovered a corn bread mix approximates the flavor." —Risë Minton, Smyrna, GA

Yield: 8 servings
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, November 2008

1 cup (4 ounces) preshredded 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese, divided
1/3 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup egg substitute
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn
1 (8.5-ounce) box corn muffin mix (such as Martha White) *I used Jiffy!!
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
Cooking spray
1 (10-ounce) can red enchilada sauce (such as Old El Paso)
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Combine 1/4 cup cheese and next 7 ingredients (through chiles) in a large bowl, stirring just until moist. Pour mixture into a 13 x 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

3. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until set. Pierce entire surface liberally with a fork; pour enchilada sauce over top. Top with chicken; sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Cut into 8 pieces; top each serving with 1 tablespoon sour cream.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 354 (36% from fat), Fat: 14.1g (sat 7.1g,mono 3.3g,poly 1.2g), Protein: 18.9g, Carbohydrate: 36.3g, Fiber: 2.5g, Cholesterol: 58mg, Iron: 1.7mg, Sodium: 620mg, Calcium: 179mg

Sunday, November 1, 2009

(97) Thyme-Garlic Roasted Asparagus

I love oven roasted asparagus and really liked the idea of putting minced garlic underneath. It gave the asparagus a garlicky flavor but you don't feel like you could breathe fire from it! I have 8.6 million spices in my cabinet, but for some reason, I was out of thyme! I used dried basil with no issues. Will repeat this one.

Thyme-Garlic Roasted Asparagus

Yield: 4 servings
Source: Lynda Bennett, Belvedere, California, Cooking Light, JUNE 2007

3 garlic cloves, minced
Cooking spray
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400°.

Spread garlic in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange asparagus in an even layer over garlic; drizzle with oil. Combine thyme and salt; sprinkle evenly over asparagus. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender, turning once.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 45 (24% from fat), Fat: 1.2g (sat 0.2g,mono 0.9g,poly 0.1g), Protein: 2.6g, Carbohydrate: 5.8g, Fiber: 2.6g, Cholesterol: 0.0mg, Iron: 0.6mg, Sodium: 146mg, Calcium: 31mg

(96) Stove-Top Macaroni and Cheese with Roasted Tomatoes

We had this with ham and asparagus for dinner. I'll be really honest with you, my nose is TOTALLY stuffy, so I couldn't taste a lot, but my husband is my taste gauge. If he oohs and ahhhs, it means he really likes something. This dish got those raves, so you'll have to take his word on this one!

I will say that I think the breadcrumbs could be skipped. I like breadcrumbs on my macaroni, but they were a little time consuming and messed a lot of dishes, all for not a lot of bread.

Stove-Top Macaroni and Cheese with Roasted Tomatoes

In Step 4, the macaroni mixture is cooked over medium-low heat so the cheese won't become stringy and the sauce, grainy.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 cup)
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, January 2005

3 cups halved cherry tomatoes
Cooking spray
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 ounces sourdough bread, torn into pieces
1 teaspoon butter, melted
12 ounces large elbow macaroni
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded extrasharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup egg substitute
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated low-fat milk

Preheat oven to 375°.

Place tomatoes in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with black pepper. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally.

While tomatoes cook, place bread in a food processor; pulse 2 times or until crumbly. Toss crumbs with melted butter. Sprinkle the crumbs on a baking sheet, and bake at 375° for 12 minutes or until golden, stirring frequently.

Cook macaroni in boiling water 7 minutes; drain. Return macaroni to pan; place over medium-low heat. Add cheese and remaining ingredients; cook 4 minutes or until cheese melts, stirring constantly. Stir in tomatoes. Sprinkle each serving with about 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 357 (29% from fat), Fat: 11.4g (sat 6.6g,mono 3.1g,poly 0.8g), Protein: 18.1g, Carbohydrate: 45.2g, Fiber: 2g, Cholesterol: 33mg, Iron: 2.7mg, Sodium: 669mg, Calcium: 350mg

11/1/09 - This week's menu

It's been a while since I had myself together enough to have a menu and actually cook!! This week is going to be crazy. I have concerts on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. That means there are rehearsals Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights! RIGHT. So that means EVERY NIGHT this week I have to be somewhere. If I don't eat well, I'll really feel junky, so I am going to attempt to do a little bit of cooking ahead today and then make easy stuff the rest of the week!

Stove-Top Macaroni and Cheese with Roasted Tomatoes
Thyme-Garlic Roasted Asparagus

Chicken Tamale Casserole
Green salad

Italian White Bean and Spinach Soup

Grilled Cheese

Skillet Stuffed Peppers
Green Salad

Grilled Steaks
Baked Potatoes
Warm Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Red Onions

Pizza or some other form of takeout!

(95) Amy's Big Batch Chili

I recently made chili for our annual pumpkin carving gathering. I adapted this recipe from one from Cooking Light. I made my own tweaks on it and quadrupled the recipe. It was nicely spicy and very filling!

Yield: 24 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups chili and 1 tablespoon cheese)
Source: Amy's adaptation of a Cooking Light recipe

4 pounds ground round
4 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped green bell pepper
2 cups dry red wine or water
4 tablespoons chili powder
4 teaspoons sugar
4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, undrained
4 (14.5-ounce) cans stewed tomatoes, crushed with your hands
1 can original Rotel (diced tomatoes with chiles)
1/4 cup diced pickled jalapenos
6 oz shredded reduced-fat extra-sharp cheddar cheese

1. Cook the ground round in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until brown, stirring to crumble.

2. Add chopped onion and the next 7 ingredients (onion through garlic), and cook for 7 minutes or until onion is tender.

3. Place meat mixture in an electric slow cooker, and stir in beans and tomatoes. Cover with lid, and cook on low-heat setting for 4 hours. Spoon into bowls; sprinkle with cheese.

4. Note: The chili can be made on the stovetop if you don't have a slow cooker. After adding the beans and the tomatoes, bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, partially covered, 1 1/2 hours.

CALORIES 243(21% from fat); FAT 5.6g (sat 2.3g,mono 1.8g,poly 0.5g); PROTEIN 25.5g; CHOLESTEROL 49mg; CALCIUM 154mg; SODIUM 637mg; FIBER 3.1g; IRON 4.1mg; CARBOHYDRATE 22.9g