Monday, February 28, 2011

Italian Wedding Soup

1 lb ground turkey or beef
1/2 c bread crumbs (or 1 slice stale bread chopped )
1/4 c grated Parmesan
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
4 c chicken stock
4 c water
1 TBSP olive oil
2 large carrots, shredded
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 bunch escarole, washed well and chopped
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper, to taste

Mix the first 5 ingredients together. Form into 1/2" meatballs and set aside.

In a soup pot or dutch oven, heat oil and add carrots, onions, garlic and bay leaf. Saute until softened.  Add stock and water and bring to a boil. 

Add meatballs, one at a time to stock. Stir frequently when you initially drop meatballs to prevent them from sticking together. Cook 10-15 minutes and add escarole. Reduce heat to low and simmer another 15 minutes.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Spinach Stuffed Chicken

4 chicken breast halves
1 TBSP olive oil
MDP's seasoning
4 c fresh spinach
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
4 slices ham
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 plum (roma) tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 c milk

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8x8 glass casserole dish with cooking spray.

Pound chicken to 1/4" thickness. Drizzle both sides with olive oil and sprinkle both sides with MDP's seasoning.

Layer 1 slice of ham, 1/2 c spinach, and 1/4 c cheese on each breast leaving the last 1" untopped. Roll tightly and secure the end with a toothpick.

Top chicken with tomato slices. Place chicken breast in baking dish and cook for 30 minutes, uncovered. Combine milk, soup, and last 2 cups of spinach, finely chopped. Pour over the chicken and bake another 30 minutes.

Serve over rice, pasta, or noodles.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Pumpkin Ancho Chili

Dried Ancho Pepper
2 c chopped onions
1 c celery
3 garlic cloves
1 lb ground beef, turkey, chicken or thinly sliced chicken breast
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
3 c kidney beans
3 c black beans
1 c pureed pumpkin
2 TBSP agave nectar or turbinado sugar
3 bay leaves
3 whole allspice
1 TBSP chili powder
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
pinch nutmeg or generous grating of fresh
1 dried ancho chili pepper

Brown meat in a skillet sprayed with cooking spray. Pull core from ancho pepper and put in a small saucepan. Cover with water, and simmer over low/medium heat.
Add meat and remaining ingredients to crockpot. Once pepper softens, puree in a blender or food processor and add to crockpot.

Cook on low setting in the crock pot for 6 hours, or low heat in a stock pot for 2 hours.

STATS (makes 12 servings)
227 calories, 34g carbs, 3g fat, 17g protein, 10g fiber,  327 g sodium

Thursday, February 17, 2011

One Great Steak (or however many you make)...

2 cloves garlic
1 tsp MDP's seasoning
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP worcestershire
1 TBSP red wine vinegar
1 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP dijon mustard

In a ziploc bag, grate garlic cloves. Add remaining ingredients and squish ingredients around. Add 2 pounds of your choice of steak, and marinade at least overnight up to 24 hours.

Heat grill until screaming hot. Add steaks, and lower to medium/high heat. Cook to desired temperature.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Shrimp Stir Fry

1/2 box (8 oz) angel hair pasta
2 c broccoli florets
1 lb asparagus spears, cut in half
1 bell pepper (red, orange, or yellow), sliced
1 bunch green onions cut into thirds
1/2 head cabbage, shredded
1 medium zucchini, cut into thin strips w/ vegetable peeler
1 large carrot, cut into thin strips w/ vegetable peeler
1 lb raw shrimp peeled w/ tails removed
1 dried ancho pepper
2 TBSP peanut butter
1/2 c apple juice
1/4 c reduced sodium soy sauce
5 cloves garlic
1" piece of ginger, grated
1/4 tsp curry powder
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 TBSP olive oil
MDP's Seasoning

Tear top out of pepper and remove seeds. Place in a small saucepan, and cover with 1" water over medium heat.

Sprinkle shrimp with MDP's seasoning and set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside in pasta pot.

Heat 1 TBSP of olive oil in a large skillet or Wok on high heat. Saute broccoli, carrot, asparagus, peppers and bottom third (whites) of the scallions about 5 minutes, only turning once halfway through. Put vegetables over pasta.

Heat 1 TBSP of olive oil in skillet. Saute cabbage, zucchini, and remaining scallions (greens) about 3 minutes until wilted, turning once halfway through. Add vegetables to pasta.

Sear shrimp in skillet until golden on both sides.

In a food processor, combine ancho and liquid, peanut butter, apple juice, soy sauce, curry, peppers, garlic and ginger until smooth. Pour sauce into skillet with shrimp and stir to release the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Cook 1-2 minutes longer and pour sauce and shrimp over pasta and vegetables. Toss well to combine.

This makes a HUGE pot of food and feeds 8-10. Made exactly, 1/8th of the pot has 285 calories and 7g of fat. Not bad at all.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sweet Potato and Apple Casserole

4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/2" thickness
2 apples, peeled and cut into 8ths
1/2 c walnuts
1/2 c craisins
1 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP real maple syrup
juice of 2 lemons
salt and pepper
ground nutmeg or fresh grated

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a glass casserole dish with cooking spray.

Line bottom of the casserole with: sweet potatoes, apples, crasins, and walnuts. Squeeze lemons over dish, then drizzle maple syrup and olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste (I like to grate a lot of whole nutmeg down all over the dish).

Cover with foil and bake 1 hour, or until potatoes are soft.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Decadent Peanut Butter Cup Shake

1/4 gallon of chocolate ice cream, partially softened (half a box)
1 c nonfat vanilla yogurt
skim milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c smooth peanut butter

Scoop ice cream into blender. Add yogurt, vanilla, and peanut butter and cover with milk. Blend until smooth.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Crockpot Roast Beef

3-4 pound beef roast
2 large carrots
2 stalks celery w/ leafy tops
1 medium onion
5 cloves garlic
meat seasoning
1 packet dry onion soup mix
1 TBSP red wine vinegar
1 TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
2 TBSP cornstarch

Spray the inside of crockpot with cooking spray. Sprinkle meat seasoning over all sides of the roast. Slice onions, carrots, celery, and garlic and spread on the bottom of the crockpot, then add meat on top. Sprinkle onion soup mix over meat and rub in.

Mix vinegar, soy, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over the meat and vegetables.

Cook on low 8-10 hours. Remove meat from crock and cover with foil.  Mix cornstarch with cold water and add to the juices in the crockpot. Let thicken for 10-15 minutes. Slice meat and return to crockpot with vegetables and gravy.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Lemon Drop Cupcakes

1 box lemon cake mix
zest of 3 lemons
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon extract
1 stick softened butter
1 8 oz block of cream cheese, softened
5 c powdered sugar
24 lemon drop candies (Brach's)

Make cake mix according to directions, adding the lemon zest to ingredients before mixing. Pour into 24 lined cupcake tins and bake 18 minutes. Cool completely.

In a mixing bowl, whip butter, cream cheese, and extracts until smooth. Add 3 cups of the sugar and continue to whip until smooth. Add remaining sugar 1 cup at a time.

Put frosting in a pastry bag and pipe onto cupcakes. Top each with yellow sugar or yellow edible glitter and a lemon drop candy.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Faux Fried Catfish

This was so yummy even my non-seafood liking husband happily chowed down it!

4 catfish fillets
1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk
1/4 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c corn meal
1/4 c bread crumbs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
zest of 1 lemon

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Rinse fish and soak in the buttermilk for 15-20 minutes. Spray baking sheet well with cooking spray.

Mix remaining ingredients together, and dredge fillets one at a time before putting on baking sheet. Spray the tops of fillets with cooking spray.

Bake 15-20 minutes until fillets are deep golden brown.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Veggie Alfredo

1/2 box (7oz)whole wheat rotini (or other short cut pasta)
3 c fresh or frozen broccoli
2 c fresh frozen green beans
1 batch Lowfat Alfredo sauce
1 c frozen spinach
1 large carrot, finely chopped

Cook pasta according to directions. Add broccoli half way through cook time, and green beans for the last 3 minutes. Drain and return to hot pot.

Make sauce according to directions, adding spinach and carrots to the butter/flour/broth before bringing to a boil. Continue with directions for sauce.

Pour sauce over pasta and vegetables and mix well. Top with crushed red pepper flakes and shredded fresh parmesan to taste.

Makes 4 main dish or 8 side dish servings.

Low Fat Alfredo Sauce- REMIX

I dont think my original recipe was bad, but I just made it better!

2 TBSP butter
2 TBSP wheat flour
2 cup skim milk
1 cup low sodium, low fat chicken broth
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
dry grated nutmeg (I prefer grating a couple pinches of whole nutmeg) to taste
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, and cook while constantly whisking to form a roux. Whisk in milk, broth, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, constantly whisking.

Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add cheese and stir until smooth.

This is delicious in:
Veggie Alfredo

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Makes 6 servings
144 calories, 7g carbs, 9 g fat, 10g protein, 727 mg sodium

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Whole Wheat Pancakes

1/2 c white flour
1/2 c wheat flour
1 TBSP milled flax seed
1 TBSP Splenda
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 lowfat buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Heat a skillet or griddle on medium heat.

Mix first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl. Form a well in the center.

Dissolve baking soda in buttermilk in a small bowl. Add eggs and vanilla. Add liquid to dry ingredients.

Spray pan with cooking spray right before pouring pancakes. Pour by 1/2 c. onto pan. Cook until bubbly, flip and cook another 3-5 minutes until both sides are browned.

STATS (each-makes 5 large)
147 calories, 22 carbs, 3g fat ,8g protein, 2g fiber, 343mg sodium

Monday, February 7, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions
4 stalks celery w/ tops (innermost available)
2 large carrots
1 green bell pepper
3-4 cloves garlic
2 small jalapenos (seeded and ribbed to taste)
1 lb chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
1 can creamed corn
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes w/ green chile's (Rotel)
1 heaping TBSP tomato paste
6-8 cups chicken broth
1 TBSP each coriander and cumin

In a stockpot, heat 1/2 of the olive oil. Cook onions, garlic, celery, carrot, and peppers over medium heat about 5 minutes until tender. Make a well in the center and add remaining oil. Add chicken and cook to brown. Season with salt and pepper.

Add corn, beans, tomatoes and tomato paste. Cover with chicken brown + 1-2". Add cumin and coriander.

Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cook 30 minutes and serve with tortilla strips.

STATS(Makes 12 servings):
152 calories, 17g carbohydrates, 4g fat, 14g protein, 4g fiber, 399mg sodium

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Friday, February 4, 2011

Better for You Steel Cut Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is actually take 2.... I decided to make some cookies that were a little better for us and wanted to use up some steel cut oats. The first batch just were not right: too cakey, not sweet enough, too much cinnamon, and kind of just weird lumps of cooked oatmeal..... I added back a little of the good stuff, more sugar, and used chocolate for the mixin and they are delish! Just a warning they will bake just as you drop them, so don't be surprised when they dont spread/flatten like an all butter/sugar cookie.

1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c splenda
2 eggs
1/2 c applesauce
1/2 c butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups whole grain flour
1 c Steel cut Oats
1 c regular oats
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 c semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Mix butter, applesauce, eggs, vanilla and sugars together in bowl to dissolve sugar.

Add dry ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop by spoonfuls on cookie sheets and bake 10-12 minutes.

Makes 24 cookies
143 calories, 19g carbs, 6g fat, 2g protein, 1 g fiber, 96mg sodium

Pork Chops with Mushroom and Onion Gravy

1 pound thin sliced pork chops
MDP's seasoning mix
1 tsp + 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions
1/2 packet onion soup mix
1/2 c chicken broth
1 can reduced sodium/reduced fat cream of mushroom soup

Pound out the pork chops to 1/4" thickness. Rub with 1 tsp olive oil and sprinkle with meat seasoning.

Heat a skillet on medium-high heat. Spray lightly with cooking spray and immediately add chops. Cook 3-4 minutes per side until browned and remove to a 8"x12" baking dish.

Thinly slice onions with a mandolin or food processor. Add remaining oil to skillet and saute onions until soft.  Cover chops with onions. Pour stock into the skillet and use a whisk to deglaze the pan (loosen up the browned bits). Once stock begins to boil, add the mushroom soup and whisk until incorporated and smooth. Pour gravy over the chops and onions.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Teriyaki Drumsticks

16 chicken drumsticks, SKIN REMOVED
curry powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper
1/4 c soy sauce
1/4 c Worcestershire sauce
1 packet onion soup
1/4 cup honey
1 TBSP molasses
1 TBSP brown sugar
1 " fresh ginger grated or 1/2 tsp dried
1 orange


Spray the inside of a crockpot with cooking spray.

Put half of the drums into the pot and sprinkle with curry, garlic, pepper, and salt. Add the other half and sprinkle with seasonings.

Mix sauces, onion soup mix, honey, molasses, and sugar. Pour over chicken. Mix chicken around to coat. Add ginger, thinly sliced.

Slice orange into thin slices and lay across the top of the chicken.
Cook 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low, stirring occasionally if possible.

** Trust me on skin removal.... if not it will be slimey and gross **

STATS (each piece)
115 calories, 9g carbs, 3g fat, 13g protein, 1g fiber, 518g  sodium

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lentil Soup

4 cups chicken stock
4 cups water
1 1/2 cup lentils or mixed lentil/barely mix
1 large carrot, chopped
2 stalk celery, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes (try fire roasted)
4 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
3 bay leaves

Cook lentils in stock for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, saute vegetables until soft, add spices, and cook for 1 more minute.

Add sauteed vegetables and tomatoes to lentils and simmer for 60 minutes.

This is great with oven baked tortilla chips!

Stats (per 1/8th):
132 calories, 25 g carbs, 2 g fat, 11g protein, 10 g fiber, 420 g sodium

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Italian Faves: MDP's Chunky Marinara

1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 large carrot, shredded
3 bay leaves
1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 14 oz can whole peeled tomatoes or diced
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes ( I love fire roasted)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp oregano
crushed red pepper to taste

In a dutch oven or large pot, saute vegetables in the olive oil until translucent and browned, add bay leaves. Add canned tomatoes, salt, pepper and spices. Stir frequently until sauce begins to boil. If you like a smoother sauce, use an immersion blender (pulse on low) to smooth out large veggie chunks.

Simmer at least 30 minutes on medium heat. 60 minutes on low is even better.