Monday, October 26, 2009

Blue Cheese and Pecan Stuffed Chicken

Original Recipe:

My Version:

  • 2 large pieces boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 oz blue cheese crumbles
  • 4 oz light cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup fat free half-and-half or cream
  • 2 tablespoons grainy mustard
  • Special equipment: toothpicks

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2.  Pre-cook the bacon until it's still floppy and can easily wrap around the chicken.
3. Slice each chicken breast in 1/2.  Then cut a small pocket in each breast for the cheese mixture.
4. Season the meat with salt and pepper.
5. In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese, blue cheese and pecans.
6. Stuff the seasoned chicken pockets with cheese/pecan mixture in equal amounts.  Wrap each piece with bacon and secure with toothpicks. 
7. Heat the olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken evenly all over, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a small baking dish, place in the oven and cook 10 minutes more or until done.
8. While the chicken finishes, melt the butter in the same skillet pan the chicken was seared in over medium heat. Whisk in flour, cook 1 minute then whisk in stock. Let thicken a minute then whisk in the half-and-half and grain mustard, season with salt and pepper, reduce heat to low.
9.Serve chicken over rice or cauliflower mashed potatoes (

Makes 4 servings.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bruschetta Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Original Recipe:

My Version:

  • 2/3 cup chopped plum tomato
  • 1/8 cup (1/2 ounce) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh or 1/8 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 (5-inch) portobello mushroom caps
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1. Combine the tomato, parmesan cheese, 1/2 teaspoon oil, basil, pepper, and garlic in a small bowl.

2. Remove brown gills from the undersides of mushroom caps using a spoon, and discard gills. Remove stems; discard.

3. Combine 1/2 teaspoon oil, juice, and soy sauce in a small bowl; brush over both sides of mushroom caps. Place the mushroom caps, stem sides down, in skillet coated with cooking spray, and cook for 5 minutes on medium high heat on each side or until soft.

4. Drain mushrooms if they produce a lot of liquid.

5. Spoon 1/4 cup tomato mixture into each mushroom cap. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp mozzarella on top of each mushroom cap.

6. Cover and cook 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Makes 4 servings - 1 mushroom per serving

Nutritional Info per Serving:
Calories: 83
Fat: 3.5
Fiber: 2.5

Blue Cheese Stuffed Tenderloin

Follow this recipe exactly:

  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds Beef Tenderloin with as little fat as possible.
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 2-3 ounces blue cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

2. Slice roast open lengthwise in middle to create a pocket, being careful to not slice all the way through.

3. Salt and pepper the meat on all sides.

4. Heat a grill pan over high heat and brush roast with olive oil. Sear the roast on all sides.

5. Remove from the heat, tent with foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

6. After the meat has rested, stuff pocket with the blue cheese. Tie the whole thing together with kitchen string.

7. Return the tied meat to the grill pan, place into the oven and cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 125 degrees F, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.

8. Remove from the oven, wrap in aluminum foil and allow to rest 15 minutes before serving.

4 Servings

Nutritional Info per Serving (used 2oz blue cheese):
Calories: 338
Fat: 19.13
Fiber: 0

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Creamy Potato Soup

1 30-32 oz bag frozen cubed (Southern Style) Hashbrowns
3 cans condensed cream of potato soup
4 cups fat free chicken broth
3 carrots, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1/2-1 cup diced onion
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 packet fat free ranch dressing mix
8oz reduced fat cream cheese, cubed

1. Dump the potatoes, carrots, onion, celery, and garlic in the crock pot.
2. Mix the soup, chicken broth, and ranch packet together in large bowl then pour on top of potatoes.
3. Cook on low 7-8 hours.
4. 1/2 hour before serving, add the cubed cream cheese and cook on low for 30 minutes until cream cheese is melted.

** Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon for a loaded baked potato taste. Not included in the nutritional info.

Makes 14 Servings, 1 cup each

Nutritional Info per Serving:
Calories: 137
Fat: 4.19
Fiber: 2.2

Monday, October 19, 2009

Apple Pecan Pork Chops

Original Recipe:

My Version:

4 large boneless pork chops
1/2 cup diced apple
1/4 cup chopped pecans
2 Tbsp honey dijon mustard
2 Tbsp honey
10 Reduced Fat Ritz Crackers coarsely crushed
salt and pepper to taste

1. Mix together the apple, pecan, crackers, 1Tbsp honey and 1Tbsp mustard and set aside.
2. Mix together the remaining mustard and honey.
3. Coat the pork with salt and pepper on each side.
4. Brush one side of the pork with the honey mustard from step 2 and place glazed side down in a skillet over medium high heat.
5. While the first side is cooking, coat the chops with the remaining honey mustard mixture.
6. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.
7. Spoon equal amounts of the apple pecan mixture on top of each pork chop.
8. Cover and reduce heat to medium.
9. Cook for 10 minutes or until pork chops are cooked through and the apples are steamed.

Makes 4 Servings

Nutritional Info per Serving:
Calories: 280
Fat: 15.18
Fiber: 1

**Note: if the pork chops are thick enough, more than 1 1/2 inches thick, then they may be stuffed with the apple pecan mixture. Follow the directions in the Kraft recipe posted above.

Breakfast Casserole

8 eggs or 2 cups Eggbeaters
2 cups skim milk
6-8 slices bread
3/4 pound sausage
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1 cup 2% milk shredded cheese
1 Tbsp ground dry mustard
Fresh black pepper

1. Grease a 9x13 glass baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Either layer the bread or tear into chunks and cover the bottom of the dish.
3. Sprinkle meat, peppers, and cheese on top.
4. Mix eggs, milk, mustard, and pepper.
5. Pour egg mixture on top of bread and meat.
6. Cover and place in the fridge for minimum 8 hours or over night.
7. Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes or until set.

Makes 8 servings

Nutritional Info per Serving:
Calories: 264
Fat: 11.21
Fiber: 1.1

**Note: any breakfast meat may be subbed for the sausage. Nutritional info should be adjusted accordingly.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Italian New Potato Bake

Original Recipe:

My Version:

1/4 cup Kraft Free and Zest Italian Dressing
2lbs red potatoes sliced into bite size chunks
2 cloves of garlic minced
Italian Seasoning
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1. Pre-heat oven to 400.
2. Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl.
3. Spread potatoes evenly on a large 15x10 baking sheet greased with cooking spray.
4. Bake for 45 minutes until potatoes are cooked through, stirring once after about 30-35 minutes.

Makes 8 Servings

Nutritional info per Serving:
Calories: 95
Fat: 0.87
Fiber: 1.9

Friday, October 16, 2009

Velveeta Stuffed Peppers

6 large bell peppers (red, yellow, and orange) **green work but don't taste as good.
1lb lean ground turkey (93/7) or ground beef
1 steamer bag of brown rice (Bird's Eye)
6oz Velveeta 2% milk sliced
12 Tbsp Salsa Con Queso
1 egg slightly beaten
1/2-1 cup diced onion

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Slice peppers vertically and scoop out the seeds. Place face up in a greased 9x13 glass pan.
3. Brown ground turkey and onion in a large skillet.
4. Steam the rice according to the directions on the steamer bag.
5. Mix in the rice and 1 egg and turn off the heat.
6. Place 1/2 slice of velveeta in the bottom of each pepper half.
7. Fill the peppers with the turkey rice mixture.
8. Top each pepper half with 1Tbsp salsa con queso.
9. Bake for 30-45 minutes until peppers are soft.

Makes 6 servings - 2 pepper halves per serving

Nutritional Info per Serving:
Calories: 302
Fat: 12.27
Fiber: 4.5

Cheesy Shepherd's Pie

1lb lean (93/7) ground turkey (or ground beef)
1 can 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup
8oz Velveeta 2% milk, cubed
1 steamer bag of mixed veggies
1 batch of cauliflower mashed potatoes
1/2-1 cup diced onion
fresh ground black pepper

1. Pre-heat oven to 375.
2. Brown ground turkey and onion in a large skillet. Season with pepper.
3. While the turkey is browning cook veggies according to steamer bag directions.
4. Add veggies, cream of mushroom soup, and velveeta to the turkey. Stir until slightly mixed. No need to melt the Velveeta all the way.
5. Spread into a greased 9x13 glass baking dish.
6. Top with caulflower mashed potatoes.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until heated through.

Makes 6 generous servings

Nutritional Info per Serving:
Calories: 351
Fat: 12.22
Fiber: 5.6

Monday, October 12, 2009

Calico Beans

1 large and 1 small can Bush's Maple baked beans
1 can red kidney beans drained
1 can baby butter beans drained
1 lb lean (93/7) ground turkey (or ground beef)
1 cup chopped onion
8 slices center cut bacon
1/2 cup brown sugar packed
1/2 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp ground mustard
1 Tbsp vineagar

1. Brown onions and turkey, drain off the fat.
2. Cook the bacon until crisp and chop in to pieces.
3. Combine everything in the crock pot.
4. Cook on low 4-5 hours

Makes 20 - 1/2 cup servings

Nutritional Info per Serving
Calories: 153
Fat: 3.1
Fiber: 3.4

Crock Pot Cheesy Hash Browns

1 bag shredded Hash Browns 30-32 oz (frozen)
1 can 98% fat free cream of celery soup
1 can cheddar cheese soup (or 1 cup salsa con queso)
8oz fat free sour cream

1. Dump everything in the crock pot and mix well.
2. Cook on high 3-4 hours or on low 6-8 hours.

Makes 12 - 1 cup servings.

Nutritional Info per Serving
Calories: 96
Fat: 1.98
Fiber: 1.5

Glazed Fruit Salad

1 can pineapple chunks drained (save the juice)
1 large can mandarin oranges drained (save the juice)
2 small jars marachino cherries drained
1 can pears drained
1 can peaches drained
2 bananas sliced
1 small box cook and serve vanilla pudding

1. Combine pineapple juice and mandarin orange juice until you get 1 cup.
2. In a saucepan combine the pudding mix and juice and heat on medium until a glaze forms.
3. Meanwhile combine all fruit in one large bowl.
4. After glaze has formed, pour on fruit.
5. Mix well and refrigerate until chilled.

Makes approximately 20, 1/2 cup servings.

Nutrition Info per serving:
Calories: 83
Fat: 0.2
Fiber: 1.7

Friday, October 9, 2009

Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole

1.5 pounds boneless/skinless chicken breast
1 can 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup
1 small (8oz) jar of Cheez Whiz
1 steamer bag of chopped broccoli
1 steamer bag of Bird's Eye brown rice

1. Place chicken in the bottom of the crock pot.
2. Mix together soup and cheese and pour on top of chicken.
3. Cook on low for 6-7 hours and shred chicken when done cooking.
4. About 30 minutes before serving, cook steamer bags in microwave according to directions and mix in to chicken.
5. Cook on low for another 15 minutes.

Makes 6 servings

Nutrition Info per Serving:
Calories: 336
Fat: 16.2

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas

1 can black beans drained and rinsed
1 cup canned corn (no salt added)
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
5 servings four cheese mexican blend
5 burrito size flour tortillas
olive oil
taco seasoning (optional)

1. Place a skillet over medium-high heat and pour in the corn. Heat until toasted and set aside.
2. Saute the onion and pepper in a very small amount of olive oil, then add the corn and black beans back in (if adding taco seasoning, add here). Heat through, mashing the beans slightly.
3. Set aside corn and bean mixture.

Perform the following steps for each tortilla:
4. Heat in a skillet over medium heat until warm and soft.
5. Brush one side with olive oil and sprinkle liberally with salt.
6. Flip over and fill with 1/5 of the black bean and corn mixture on one 1/2 of the tortilla.
7. Sprinkle 1 serving of cheese on top of that and fold over.
8. Grill both sides in a non stick skillet until brown on each side and the cheese has melted.

Makes 5 servings - 1 Quesadilla per serving

Nutrition Info per Serving:
Calories: 336
Fat: 12.6
Fiber: 6.9

Easy Pleasing Meatloaf

Original Recipe:

My Variation:

1 lb lean ground turkey or lean ground beef
1 lb light pork sausage (Jimmy Dean's reduced fat is good)
1 box reduced sodium Stove Top stuffing
2 eggs
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce

1. Pre-heat oven to 375
2. Set aside 1/4 cup of the BBQ sauce.
3. Mix remaining ingredients together.
4. Shape into a loaf and place in the center of a cookie sheet.
5. Brush the top of the meatloaf with the BBQ sauce from step #2
6. Bake for 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.

Makes 8 servings

Nutritional Info per Serving:
Calories: 294
Fat: 13.59
Fiber: 0.7

Taco Dip Stuffed Chicken

This is my variation on this original recipe:

4 med-large chicken breasts (about 1.5 pounds)
1 oz baked Tostitos
4 oz light cream cheese
1 packet reduced sodium taco seasoning
1 cup 2% mexican cheese blend
4 tbsp chopped black olives
1 egg beaten

1. Pound chicken breasts between 2 pieces of saran wrap until they are about 1/4" thick.
2. Mix together cream cheese, taco seasoning, olives, and mexican cheese.
3. Spread 1/4 of the cheese mixture in the center of each chicken breast and roll up tightly.
4. Crush the tostitos with a rolling pin until you get fine crumbs.
5. Dip each chicken breast in the egg, then in the tositos and place in a greased 9x13 glass baking dish.
6. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Makes 4 servings. One bundle per serving.

Nutrition Info per Serving:
Calories: 251.1
Fat: 9.8
Fiber: 0.5

Sesame Chicken

1-1.5 pounds chicken breast
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup splenda
3/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1Tbsp sesame oil
4 servings rice noodles
fresh ground pepper

1. Cut chicken breast into bite size pieces.
2. Mix pepper and flour in a sealable container.
3. Add chicken to flour mixture and shake until fully coated.
4. Spray nonstick pan with cooking spray, add chicken and spray chicken with more cooking spray.
5. Cook on medium high heat until fully cooked through.
6. Remove chicken from pan and place on plate in the microwave to keep warm.
7. To the same pan add soy sauce, sugar, splenda, and sesame oil.
8. Stir until all sugar is dissolved and add chicken back in.
9. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
10. Meanwhile cook rice noodles according to package instructions.
11. Serve chicken over noodles.
Makes 4 servings

Optional: Add freshly steamed broccoli to chicken before serving.

Nutritional Info per Serving:
Calories: 509.9
Fat: 4.9
Fiber: 1.2

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

1lb package frozen cauliflower
1lb red potatoes quartered
2oz light cream cheese
1 packet fat free dry ranch packet

1. Add cauliflower and potatoes to stock pot and fill with water until they are just covered.
2. Bring to a boil and boil for 10-20 minutes until potatoes are fork tender.
3. Drain off liquid and add cream cheese and ranch packet.
4. Beat until creamy.

Makes 4-8oz servings.

Nutrition Info per Serving:
Calories: 141
Fat: 2.96
Fiber: 4.6

Italian Bread Bowls

Original Recipe:

My Version:

2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 Tbsp sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
7 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add salt, oil and 4 cups flour to the yeast mixture; beat well. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well with an electric mixer at medium speed after each addition.
  3. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.
  4. Punch dough down, and divide into 6 equal portions. Shape each portion into a 4 inch round loaf. Place loaves on lightly greased baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 35 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). In a small bowl, beat together egg white and 1 tablespoon water; lightly brush the loaves with half of this egg wash.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Brush with remaining egg mixture, and bake 10 to 15 more minutes or until golden. Cool on wire racks.
  7. To make bowls: Cut a 1/2 inch thick slice from top of each loaf; scoop out centers, leaving 3/4-inch-thick shells. Fill bread bowls with hot soup and serve immediately.
  8. Makes 6 individual bread bowls.

Nutrition Info per bowl:
Calories: 578
Fat: 6.07
Fiber: 4.4

Taco Soup

1 bag Morningstar Farms Veggie Crumbles
2 packets Old Elpaso Taco Seasoning
2 packets Hidden Valley Farms Fat Free ranch mix
1 large can tomato sauce (3.25 cups)
1 large can Busch's mild chili beans (3 cups)
2 cans stewed tomatoes (3 cups)
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can corn
1 can diced tomatoes (Ro-Tel or similar)

1. Pour all the cans in a large pot.
2. Add the veggie crumbles and seasoning packets
3. Simmer on the stove for 3-5 hours or until ready to eat.
4. Add cheese and/or sour cream on top if you wish.

Makes approx. 18 1-cup servings.

Nutritional Info per serving:
Calories: 161.6
Fat: 1.8
Fiber: 7.8

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery
3 cans RF cream of chicken soup
4 cups FF chicken broth
1 boxes long grain & wild rice mix with seasoning

Place chicken on bottom of crock pot. Add veggies, rice and seasoning packet from rice. Pour liquids over the top, cook on low 6-8 hours. Shred the chicken and stir well. Makes 12 cups.

Nutrition Info per serving:
Calories: 144
Fat: 3.14
Fiber: 0.9