Thursday, October 9, 2014

Cherry-Port Glazed Pork Tenderloin



I love pork in the fall. This roast was especially easy to make and full of flavor.

Serves 12 ( 3 oz. pork = 5 points +)


  • 3/4 c. ruby port ( or any red wine)
  • 1/2 c. cherry preserves
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1-1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 ( 3 lb.) boneless pork loin
  • 1 T. olive oil


Preheat oven to 425.
Bring port to a boil and cook until reduced to 2 T. ( about 10 minutes). Stir in cherry preserves; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in thyme.

Combine garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Rub over pork.
Heat oil in a cast iron ( or nonstick ) pan. Brown pork on all sides. Place cast iron pan in the oven (if you don't have a cast iron pan, transfer pork to a jelly roll pan ). Cook for 20-30 minutes or until thermometer registers 135 degrees. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

"Cooking Light"

Friday, October 3, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes



You are going to LOVE these little treats! I first saw this recipe on the "Krazycouponlady" and thought I would give them a try. I tweaked them ever so slightly... just to make them even more points friendly. I also got 16 cupcakes out of one recipe.

Makes 16 ( 1 cupcake with 1 T. Cool Whip Free = 2 points +)


  • 1 ( 15 oz) can pumpkin 
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. egg beaters
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 c. ( 2%) evaporated milk
  • 2/3 c. flour
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 16 T. Cool Whip Free


Preheat oven to 350 and line with silicone liners or foil liners sprayed with nonstick spray. If you are not using liners, spray your pan with nonstick spray.

Mix the pumpkin with the next 5 ingredients ( through evap. milk).
Combine flour with next 4 ingredients ( through baking soda). Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix until blended and smooth.

Fill each muffin cup 2/3  full. Bake 20 minutes and let cool 20 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Top with Cool Whip Free.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Banana Bread with Chocolate Glaze




This banana bread tastes just like grandma's old-fashioned recipe, but with the added bonus of chocolate glaze! We all loved it!

Serves 16 ( 5 points +)


  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. butter, softened
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 c. skim milk
  • 1/4 c. reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2-1/2 T. half and half
  • 2 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped ( I used mini chocolate chips)

  • Preheat oven to 350 and spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray


Combine sugar and butter in a mixing bowl and beat until blended well. Add bananas, milk, sour cream, and egg whites.

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Add flour mixture to banana mixture; beat until just blended. ( do not overbeat). Spoon batter into loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cook in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.

Place half and half and chocolate in a microwave -safe dish. Microwave on high for 1 minute or until chocolate melts, stirring every 20 seconds. Cool slightly. Spread over bread.

"Cooking Light"

Caprese Chicken Pasta


You will love this comfort food "Mac and Cheese" with a twist! 

Serves 10 ( 1 c. = 9 points +)

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 4 c. grape tomatoes
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 12 oz. uncooked penne pasta
  • 1 T. crushed garlic
  • 10 tsp. flour
  • 3-1/2 c. skim milk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1-1/2 c. part-skim shredded mozzarella
  • 2/3 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 c. torn basil leaves
  • 1/4 c. Panko Japanese bread crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes


Preheat broiler to high. Combine tomatoes with 1 T. oil on a jelly roll pan. Broil 3 minutes or until tomatoes begin to break down.

Cook pasta; Drain. Return pasta to pan.
Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 T. oil. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in flour. Add milk, salt, pepper, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a simmer; cook until thickened. Remove pan from heat; stir in cheeses. Add cheese mixture to pasta; toss.Stir in chicken. Stir in tomato mixture and basil. Spoon into a 13 x 9 pan coated with nonstick spray. Sprinkle with Panko and red pepper flakes. Broil 2-4 minutes or until Panko is browned.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Couscous with Spiced Zucchini


Here's an easy recipe that is full of wonderful middle-eastern flavor and is low in points!

Serves 6 ( a generous 1/2 c = 2 points +)


  • 3/4 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 1/2 c. couscous
  • salt
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 2 c. cubed zucchini
  • 1 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 c. chopped, fresh mint
  • 1 T. lemon juice


Bring broth to a boil. Pour over couscous in a bowl, cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet. Saute onion with salt to taste until onion is tender. Add zucchini and a bit more salt and cook until tender. Stir in garlic and spices ( through pepper). Cook 2 minutes. 
Carefully stir zucchini mixture into couscous. Let cool to room temperature. Just before serving, stir in lemon juice and mint.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cherry, Chicken, Pecan Barley Salad



This salad will make your taste buds sing! It is hearty and full of wonderful, healthy ingredients! Try using different grains. I had barley on hand, so that is what I used. I think this would be great with farro or wheat berries too.

Serves 4 ( 1-1/4 c. = 10 points +)

  • 3 T. olive oil, divided
  • 2 T. cider vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 1-1/2 c. cooked barley
  • 1/4 c. chopped pecans, toasted
  • 8 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and shredded
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1 T. chopped, fresh thyme
  • 1/4 c. dried cherries
  • 1 oz. baby arugula
  • 2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled


Combine 2-1/2 T. oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar in a large bowl. Add barley, nuts, and chicken.
Place cherries in a small bowl. Cover with 1/2 c. boiling water. Let stand 10 minutes; drain and chop.
Heat remaining 1-1/2 tsp. oil in a nonstick skillet. Add onion and thyme and cook until onion is tender. Stir onions and cherries into barley mixture. Stir in arugula. Sprinkle with goat cheese.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Chicken Schnitzel with Mustard Mashed Potatoes


The only thing I can say about this recipe is YUM! My family devoured it! We have had traditional schnitzel in Germany made with real veal, but this chicken recipe is a very close second and is way cheaper!

Serves 8 ( 1 chicken cutlet with 1/2 c. potatoes = 8 points +)

Potatoes:

  • 2 lbs. red potatoes, cut into quarters
  • 2/3 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 2 T. Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 c. sliced green onions


Chicken:

  • 8 ( 4 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/4 inch thickness
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 T. flour
  • 1/4 c. skim milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 c. dried plain bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 T. olive oil, divided
  • lemon wedges



Place potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with water and boil until tender. Drain and mash with broth, mustard, salt, and pepper. Stir in green onions.

For chicken, place egg and milk in a shallow dish and whisk until combined.
In another shallow dish, place flour.
In a third shallow dish, place bread crumbs and garlic powder.

Sprinkle chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour, then dip in egg mixture, then coat in bread crumb mixture.

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray. Add 1 T. oil and swirl to coat. Add four pieces of chicken. Cook for about 3 minutes per side or until golden and cooked through. Repeat with remaining 1 T. oil and remaining chicken. Let chicken stand 5 minutes before serving. Serve with lemon wedges.


adapted from "Cooking Light"

Berries and Cream Tart



This is a fresh and light-tasting summer dessert packed with produce of the season. The crust is easy to make, but will require chilling time before baking. The crust is like a shortbread or cookie crust.

Serves 8 ( 6 points +)

Crust:
  • 1/2 c. butter ( 1 stick), softened
  • 1 c. flour
  • 2 T. powdered sugar


Filling:
  • 1 box sugar-free instant vanilla pudding
  • 1-1/2 c. skim milk
  • 1 c. Cool Whip Free


Topping:
  • 2 c. blueberries
  • halved strawberries


In a mixing bowl, combine flour, butter and powdered sugar until well mixed and formed into a dough. Form into a disc and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375. Press dough into the bottom and up sides of a tart or pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely.

Mix pudding with milk until thickened. Fold in Cool Whip. Spread filling in cooled crust.

Line halved strawberries around the outside edge of filling and place blueberries in the center. Use a few remaining berries in the center if desired.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tomato-Ricotta Tart


I love this time of year when garden tomatoes are fresh and so delicious! This recipe was not hard to make, but you will need about an hour or so. This is a great recipe for a meatless meal. I served it with a salad and corn on the cob.

Serves 6 ( 7 points +)

Crust:

  • 1-14 c. flour
  • 2 T. pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 3-4 T. cold water


Filling:

  • 3/4 c. part-skim ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 T. dried basil
  • 6 T. part-skim mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 lb. heirloom tomatoes, sliced


Preheat oven to 450.
Place flour and next 4 ingredients ( through pepper) in a food processor and process until combined. Combine oil and 3 T. water. With the processor running, add oil mixture slowly through chute and process until dough is crumbly. Add 1 T. extra water if needed.

Sprinkle dough into a 9 inch glass or ceramic pie plate coated with nonstick spray. Press dough onto the bottom and up sides of dish. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven.

Whisk together ricotta, egg, garlic, basil and 4 T. mozzarella. Spread over crust. Arrange tomatoes in a circular pattern over ricotta mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 2 T. mozzarella. Bake for 25 minutes or until filling is set. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing and serving. 

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Monday, August 25, 2014

Zucchini- Carrot Muffins


This recipe slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour is delectable! I made this recipe twice in two days because these muffins disappeared that quickly! I opted to use dried cranberries, but you can use any dried fruit you like. 

Makes 8 ( 5 points +)


  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 T. canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. grated zucchini
  • 1 c. grated carrot
  • 1/4 c. dried fruit
  • 1/4 c. ground flax seed
  • 3/4 c. white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, egg and salt. Stir in zucchini, carrot, and dried fruit. 
Add flax seed, flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Stir until just combined. 

Spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray or use paper liners. Spoon batter into muffin tins to fill 8 cups. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Do not overbake! 

Remove from oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

No-Bake Peach Pie



Ahh! The lazy, warm days of August~ a perfect time for a no-bake pie,  and what better pie to make this month than peach? This pie is a snap to put together, but does require a few hours of chilling time.

Serves 10 ( 5 points +)


  • 3/4 c. graham cracker crumbs ( about 5 sheets)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt. divided
  • 1 T. butter
  • 3-1/2 oz. white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 5 oz reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/3 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 c. frozen Cool Whip Free, thawed
  • 2 T. peach preserves
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 medium peaches, pitted and cut into wedges


Combine crumbs, 1/8 tsp. salt in a food processor; process until combined. Place butter and chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds, stirring until chocolate is smooth. Add to the processor; pulse until combined. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9 inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Freeze 20 minutes or until set.

Place cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer until smooth. Gently fold in Cool Whip.
Carefully spread filling over bottom of crust.
Place preserves in a large microwave safe bowl; microwave 30 seconds or until bubbly. Stir in remaining 1/8 tsp. salt and lemon juice. Add peaches and toss to combine.
Arrange peach wedges over pie. Chill for 3 hours before serving.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Greek Chicken Wraps



Serves 6 ( 7 points +)


  • 1 c. grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3 T. chopped, pitted Kalamata olives
  • 6 T. reduced-fat feta, crumbled
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 c. cooked shredded boneless, skinless chicken breast ( you can use rotisserie chicken if you like)
  • 1 c. chopped cucumber
  • 6 T. roasted red pepper hummus
  • 6 ( 8 inch) La Tortilla Factory whole wheat tortillas


Place tomatoes, olives, feta, lemon juice, oregano, olive oil, cucumber, and chicken in a bowl. Toss to coat. 
Spread 1 T. hummus on each tortilla. Top with chicken mixture. Roll wraps and cut in half.


adapted from "Cooking Light"

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Double Chocolate Banana Bread


Bananas are either eaten quickly in our house or they are left to sit and become over-ripe. This week, I had some over-ripe bananas and decided to look for a new recipe. I came across this  this double chocolate banana bread , which I have adapted to make a bit more points friendly. I plan to bring it to a book discussion group that I attend. Since some of the ladies are trying to eat very little sugar, I decided to try this recipe using Xylitol, which is a natural sweetener and is very low-calorie. You can use regular sugar and just add 1 point per serving. They key with breads and muffins is not to over mix or over bake. I like to cut breads into 16 pieces by cutting in 8 pieces on the long side of the bread and then cutting those pieces in half. This makes for a thicker, although smaller, slice. Enjoy!

Serves 16 ( 4 points + or if using sugar 5 points +)


  • 1 c. Xylitol ( or sugar)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 c. canola oil
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1-1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. mini chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 and spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray.

Beat Xylitol ( sugar), eggs, and oil to combine. Beat in bananas and vanilla.
Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and chocolate chips. Stir until just combined. Spoon into loaf pan. Bake 50-60 minutes or until top is cracked and bread springs back when you lightly touch the top. I like to check my bread at least 5 minutes early to make sure I am not overbaking.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summer Squash, Bacon, and Mozzarella Quiche


Summer squash is ripening in the garden, so I thought I would put it to use in this recipe!

Serves 8 ( 7 points +)

Crust:

  • 1-1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 T. chilled butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 T. shortening
  • 1/4 c. ice water


Filling:

  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 2 c. sliced yellow squash
  • 2 c. sliced zucchini
  • 1/4 c. chopped onion
  • 1T. fresh thyme
  • 1c. 2% milk
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 4 slices center-cut bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
  • 3 egg whites
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 c. shredded, part-skim mozzarella


For crust, combine flour 1/2 tsp. salt, butter and shortening in a food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually add water through food chute, processing just until the mixture is combined. Press into a 4 inch circle and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400.
Place dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Roll into a 12 inch circle. Press into a 9 inch deep-dish pie plate and flute edges. Pierce bottom and sides of dough with a fork. Bake 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Reduce oven temperature to 350.

For filling, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan. Add squash, zucchini, onions and thyme. Saute for 5 minutes or until squash and zucchini are tender. Cool slightly.

Combine 1 c. milk and next five ingredients ( through eggs) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Arrange squash mixture over crust and sprinkle with mozzarella. Pour egg mixture over cheese. Bake 45 minutes or until filling is set. Cool 15 minutes before slicing. 

"Cooking Light"

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Lemony Orzo- Veggie Salad with Chicken



YUMMMM!

Serves 4 ( about 1-1/4 c. = 7 points +)


  • 3/4 c. uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1/4 tsp. grated lemon rind
  • 3 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. honey
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1 c. shredded skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 1/2 c. diced English cucumber
  • 1/2 c. chopped orange bell pepper
  • 1/3 c. sliced green onions
  • 1 tsp. dried dill
  • 1/2 c. crumbled goat cheese


Cook orzo; drain and rinse with cold water. Place in a large bowl.

While orzo cooks, combine lemon rind and next 6 ingredients ( through pepper), stirring with a whisk. Drizzle juice mixture over orzo; toss to coat.
Add chicken and next 4 ingredients ( through dill), toss to combine. Sprinkle with goat cheese.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Cherry Crisp



Another great recipe from "Cooking Light" using in- season produce!

Serves 8 ( 9 points +)

Filling:

  • 6 c. halved and pitted sweet cherries
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. cornstarch
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/8 tsp. salt


Topping:

  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 c. light brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 6 T. chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/3 c. sliced almonds


Preheat oven to 375 and spray an 11 x 7 inch baking dish with nonstick spray.

For filling, combine cherries, sugar, cornstarch, juice, almond extract in a large bowl; toss gently. Transfer to prepared baking dish.

For topping, combine, flour, oats, brown sugar, and salt. Cut in chilled butter until mixture looks like coarse meal ( I used my fingers for this), Stir in sliced almond. Sprinkle oat mixture over cherry mixture. Bake 45 minutes or until filling is bubbly and topping is crisp. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve warm.


Honey Lemon Chia Seed Muffins



My niece recently returned from Spain and brought me a jar of the most delicious honey. I knew I wanted to try them out for this recipe! This recipe is a variation of the "Tuscan Lemon Muffins" on my blog. They are the ultimate summery muffin! The ricotta makes these muffins light and airy and full of flavor. I hope you like them. The adapted recipe came from a site called " Table forTwo ".

Makes 12 muffins ( 5 points +)


  • 1-3/4 c. flour
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. part-skim ricotta
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T. chia seeds
  • 2 T. honey, melted


Preheat oven to 375. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners or spray with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

In a medium bowl, mix together, ricotta, water, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and egg.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix with a wooden spoon. Add chia seeds and gently fold into batter.

Divide batter evenly into muffin tins. Bake for 16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Let cool for 5 minutes then brush with melted honey. Cool completely.

Parmesan Roasted Potatoes


This recipe comes from a site called "Whats gaby cooking". They were delicious.

Serves 6 ( about 2/3 c. potatoes = 4 points +)


  • 4 c. cubed yukon gold potatoes
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 4 T. grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place potatoes on a baking pan coated with nonstick spray. Add olive oil and spices. Using your fingers, toss to coat.
Bake for 20 minutes, turn and cook an additional 10-20 minutes or until golden and crispy.

Pancetta- Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Cantaloupe- Red Pepper Salsa



Yummy and easy to make on the grill!

Serves 4 ( 3-1/2 oz. pork and 1/3 c. salsa = 4 points +)


  • 1 lb. pork tenderloin
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 oz. thinly sliced pancetta ( Italian bacon)


Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Pat pork dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
Wrap pork in pancetta, with slices slightly overlapping,

Place pork on grill coated with cooking spray; grill 18 minutes or until thermometer reads 145 degrees, turning occasionally to brown on all sides. Let pork stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Salsa:

  • 1 c. finely chopped cantaloupe
  • 1/2 c. finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 c. finely chopped red onion
  • 3 T. chopped, fresh mint
  • 1 T. chopped jalapeno pepper
  • 1 T. lime juice
  • salt to taste


Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and chill 1 hour.

from "Cooking Light"

Deep Dish Strawberry Frozen Pie


A great summertime dessert!

Serves 10 ( 7 points +)


  • 30 Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers
  • 5 tsp. butter, melted
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • dash of salt
  • 1 lb. fresh strawberries, divided
  • 1/4 c. strawberry jam, divided
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2/3 c. fat-free sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 c. Cool Whip Free


Preheat oven to 350. 

Finely grind wafers in a food processor, Add butter, egg white and salt; process until well combined. 
Gently press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9.5 inch deep dish pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Freeze 30 minutes or until well chilled.

Slice 1 c. strawberries; place in a large bowl. Add 1 T. strawberry jam and lemon juice; stir in sweetened condensed milk. Gently fold in Cool Whip. 
Spoon mixture into crust. Freeze 4 hours or overnight.
Quarter remaining berries. Combine with remaining 3 T. jam. Arrange mixture over pie and serve immediately.


adapted from "Cooking Light"

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Sweet and Sour Chicken



I have tried many a sweet and sour chicken recipe in my lifetime. This one has topped them all! I saw the original recipe on a site called "carlsbadcravings.com" and I have adapted it slightly to make it just a little more points friendly. Never-the-less, it is still fairly high in points and should be saved for a real treat.

serves 8 ( 1/2 c. cooked rice + 1/8 chicken mixture = 13 points +)

Chicken:

  • 1-1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 T. water
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 2/3 c. cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 T. coconut oil or oil of your choosing


Sweet and Sour Sauce:

  • 1/2 c. pineapple juice ( from a 20 oz. can of pineapple tidbits)
  • 1 c. red wine vinegar
  • 1-1/2 c. sugar
  • 6 T. ketchup
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 T. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 T. crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. crushed ginger


Vegetables/ Pineapple

  • 1 ( 20 oz) can pineapple tidbits ( drain and use juice in sauce)
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 c. very thinly sliced carrots

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Add sweet and sour sauce ingredients to a medium or large pot. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat 1 egg and add 1 T. water. Place flour in a gallon sized ziplock bag. In another gallon sized bag, combine cornstarch, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and ground ginger.

Dip chicken pieces in egg and then place in bag with flour. Shake to coat. Remove chicken from bag and place in bag with cornstarch mixture. Shake to thoroughly coat.

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray. Add oil and swirl to coat. Add chicken and cook 2 minutes per side or until just browned, but not cooked through. Transfer chicken to a 13 x 9 inch baking dish coated with nonstick spray.

Add the vegetables and pineapple to the sweet and sour sauce. Stir. Pour over chicken and stir to combine.

Bake at 375 for 30-45 minutes or until sauce is thickened. Stir occasionally. Serve over rice. 

Farro, Cherry, and Pecan Salad


I made this hearty, healthy salad for the 4th of July. I really enjoyed it! If you cannot find farro at your grocery store, you can substitute wheat berries or barley. Cook according to package directions.

serves 8 ( 2/3 c. = 6 points +)


  • 5 c .water
  • 1-1/2 c. uncooked farro
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 2 c. cherries, halved and pitted
  • 1 c. sliced celery
  • 1/2 c. chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1/4 c. fresh, flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 T. Dijon mustard
  • 1 T. honey
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 3 T. olive oil


Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add farro and 1/4 tsp. salt and cook 15 minutes or until al dente; drain and cool at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Combine farro, cherries, celery, pecans, and parsley in a large bowl.
Combine lemon juice, mustard, honey, pepper, remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and olive oil in another bowl. Pour over farro mixture and toss to coat.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Individual Blueberry Upside-Down Cakes



This is another great dessert idea for the 4th of July or any summertime event. I originally tried this with cherry upside- down cakes and it was also very good. The blueberry cakes are a bit easier since you do not have to prep the berries.


Blueberry Upside- Down Cakes: makes 4 (6 points+)


  • 3 T. packed light brown sugar
  • 2 c. blueberries
  • 2/3 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 2 T. light stick butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/3 c. lowfat buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 4 ramekins with cooking spray.
Sprinkle about 2-1/4 tsp. of brown sugar into each ramekin. Top each cup with equal amounts of blueberries.
Combine the remaining ingredients until mixed. Spoon evenly into ramekins. Place ramekins on a baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes. Loosen edge of each cake with a small knife and invert onto serving plates. Serve with lowfat vanilla ice-cream if desired.

Breakfast On-The-Go


This idea comes from my friend, Tina. I made a dozen of these and froze them so that anyone could grab one on the way out the door. Just microwave for 1 minute and you are set!

Serves 12 ( 7 points+)


  • 12 Light ( 100 calorie) English Muffins
  • 12 oz. Jimmy Dean reduced-fat pork sausage, cut into 12 patties
  • 12 eggs
  • 6 slices 2% American cheese, halved


Preheat oven to 350. Split muffins open and lay on 2 baking sheets. Bake until toasted
Cook sausage until no longer pink. You can either do this in a large frying pan or on a rimmed baking sheet in the oven once the muffins are done.
Whisk together the eggs in a bowl. Ladle by 1/4 cupfuls into muffin tins coated with nonstick spray. Bake about 10-15 minutes or until eggs are done.

Place one egg on each muffin bottom, top with sausage and 1/2 slice cheese. Top with muffin top. Wrap individually in wax paper and then place in large ziplock freezer bags.

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies


Easy -Peasy and pretty delicious!

Makes 24 ( 1 cookie = 2 points +)


  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1 c. chunky reduced-fat peanut butter
  • 1/4 c. mini chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 275 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl, beat egg white and salt until frothy. Add sugars and beat. Add peanut butter and beat until combined. Stir in chips.
Roll into 24 balls the size of a walnut. Place on baking sheet. Press with the tines of a fork. Turn fork and press again to make a criss-cross pattern.

Bake 10 minutes or until golden. Cool.

"Cooking Light"

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Flaky Cherry Turnovers


I love looking for new cookbooks when I go to the library. Recently I came across a book called "Breakfast Comforts" from Williams Sonoma. This cherry turnover recipe was in the book and I knew I wanted to try it. This is quite a treat and should be saved for special occasions, since it is 9 points +. I think it would be fun to try for the 4th of July! What is more festive or American than a cherry pie-like dessert?

Serves 9 ( 9 points +)


  • 1 box ( 1.1 lb) Pillsbury Puff Pastry, thawed
  • 2-1/2 c. Bing cherries, halved and pitted
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • flour for rolling dough
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 T. turbinado sugar


Have a large bowl of ice-water ready.
In a heavy medium saucepan, combine cherries, 1/4 c. sugar and lemon juice. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until cherries give off juices and are tender. ( about 5-7 minutes)
In a small bowl, sprinkle cornstarch over 1 T. water and stir to dissolve. Stir into th esimmering cherry mixture and cook until thickened, about 30 seconds. Transfer the pot to the bowl of ice water and let cool about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Lay out sheets of pastry and roll on a lightly floured surface until you have a square that measures 15" x 15". Cut into 9 equal squares ( 5"x5" )
Place about 2 T. cherry filling in the center of each. square. Fold the square in half diagonally so two points meet and enclose filling. Using a fork, press and seal edges closed. Place on baking sheet. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375. Brush tops of pastries with some of the beaten egg. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake until the turnovers are puffed and golden brown with no sign of uncooked dough ( 20-25 minutes) Let col on baking sheet 10-15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Lemon-Almond Souffles



Serves 6 ( 6 points +)


  • 1/2 c. + 2 T. sugar, divided
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3/4 c. low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 T. grated lemon rind
  • 1/3 c. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 T. butter, melted
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/4 c. sliced almonds


Place a baking sheet in the oven. Preheat oven to 425.
Lightly coat 6 ( 8 oz.) ramekins with cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with 2 T. sugar, tilting dishes to coat sided completely.

Combine 1/4 c. sugar and egg yolks in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until thick and pale ( about 2 minutes). Add 3/4 c. buttermilk and next 4 ingredients ( through flour); beat at medium speed until just blended.

Combine egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Beat with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1.4 c. sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time until medium peaks form.

Gently stir 1/4 of egg whites into lemon mixture; gently fold in remaining egg whites.
Gently spoon into ramekins. Sharply tap dishes 2-3 times on counter to level. Sprinkle evenly with almonds.

Place dishes on preheated baking sheet and return to oven. Immediately reduced oven temperature to 350. Bake for 20 minutes or until puffy and lightly browned. Serve immediately.

"Cooking Light"

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tomato- Avocado Salad



Serves 4 ( about 1 c. =  4 points +)

  • 2 T. lime juice
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. thinly sliced onion
  • 2 medium Roma tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1/4 c. chopped, fresh basil
  • salt to taste


Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

"Cooking Light"

Black Bean- Cilantro Rice


serves 4 ( 1/2 c. rice and 2/3 c. bean mixture = 5 points +)


  • 2 c. cooked rice
  • 3/4 c. chopped onion
  • 1 T. crushed garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin, 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp. salt1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
  • 2 T. queso fresco, crumbled


Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, jalapeno,  garlic,  and cumin. Cook until onion softens. Add beans and chicken broth. Cook 6 minutes. Lightly mash with a fork. Top rice with bean mixture. Sprinkle with cilantro and queso fresco.

"Cooking Light"

Tilapia with Pineapple Salsa


serves 4 ( 1 filet with 1/4 c. salsa = 4 points +)

Salsa:

  • 1 c. chopped, fresh pineapple
  • 2 T. finely chopped onion
  • 2 T. chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 T. lime juice
  • salt to taste


Fish:

  • 4 ( 4 oz) tilapia filets
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • salt to taste


For salsa, combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.
For fish, season with salt, cumin and chili powder. Heat a nonstick skillet coated with spray. Add oil and swirl to coat. Add fish and cook 3 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Grilled Flank Steak with Grilled Tomato Bruschetta


Love this entire recipe made on the grill!

Serves 6 ( 7 points +)

Steak:

  • 1-1/2 lbs. flank steak
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp.pepper


Bruschetta:

  • 6 oz. French bread baguette
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 2 T. chopped, fresh basil


Heat grill to medium-high heat
For steak, combine olive oil with spices and rub over both sides of steak. Grill until desired doneness. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing thinly against the grain.

For bruschetta, string tomatoes on skewers. Grill about 3 minutes per side or until lightly charred and soft.
Slice bread into 12 ( 1/2 oz.) pieces. Spray one side of bread with nonstick spray and place with the sprayed side down on the grill. Grill until golden and crisp. Watch carefully, because this will only take a couple of minutes.

Place olive oil, balsamic, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl; whisk to combine. Add tomatoes and smash lightly with a potato masher. Stir to combine. Sprinkle with basil and stir gently.

Place tomato mixture on grilled bread slices.

Enjoy!

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