Monday, September 29, 2008

Spicy Jalapeño Corn Bread


This was my first attempt at corn bread and it turned out excellent. It went perfectly with the chili. Yum ... you must try this!!!

Spicy Jalapeño Corn Bread - (Cooking Light)

Cooking spray
1 1/4 cups stone-ground cornmeal
1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup nonfat buttermilk
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons minced pickled jalapeño peppers
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Place a 9-inch cast-iron skillet coated with cooking spray in oven 5 minutes or until heated (I used a 9 inch pie plate).

3. Combine cornmeal, corn, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk; make a well in center of mixture. Combine buttermilk, cheese, jalapeños, butter, honey, oil, and eggs in a small bowl; add to cornmeal mixture. Stir just until combined. Spoon mixture into preheated pan. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack. Cut into 12 wedges.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 138 (33% from fat), Fat: 5.1g (sat 1.9g,mono 1.4g,poly 0.6g)
Protein: 4.7g, Carbohydrate: 19.5g, Fiber: 2.9g, Cholesterol: 43mg, Iron: 0.8mg, Sodium: 263mg, Calcium: 68mg,

Springfield Chilli


Per Cooking Light, the Illinois version of chili is typically spelled with an extra "l," so don't think I didn't use spell check!

This was so, so good. All the flavors went perfectly together. This has to be the best chili I have ever made!! I was very impressed!

Springfield Chilli - (Cooking Light)

1 bacon slice, finely chopped
2 1/4 cups finely chopped onion, divided (about 2 medium)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound coarsely ground turkey breast
1/2 pound coarsely ground sirloin
1 (12-ounce) can beer (such as Budweiser)
3 tablespoons chili powder (I used an extra 1/2 T)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (I doubled)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin (I doubled)
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained (I added an extra can of kidney beans)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese
Oyster crackers (optional)

1. Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat 5 minutes or until browned. Stir in 2 cups onion; cover and cook until onion is tender (about 5 minutes). Uncover and stir in garlic; cook for 1 minute.

2. Increase heat to medium-high; add turkey and sirloin to pan. Cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add beer; cook until liquid is reduced to 1/3 cup (about 7 minutes). Stir in chili powder and next 5 ingredients (through tomato sauce). Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until mixture thickens. Stir in beans; cook 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Ladle 1 cup chili into each of 6 bowls. Top each serving with 4 teaspoons cheese and 2 teaspoons onion. Serve with crackers, if desired.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 278 (25% from fat), Fat: 7.7g (sat 3.4g,mono 2.2g,poly 0.6g), Protein: 33.1g, Carbohydrate: 20.3g, Fiber: 4.5g, Cholesterol: 52mg, Iron: 3.2mg, Sodium: 623mg, Calcium: 123mg

(Nutritional information is for the recipe made as printed. It does not include my changes.)

Healthy Pumpkin Raisin Muffins


I love, love pumpkin and was so excited to see this recipe on Elly's blog. Not only are these muffins incredibly tasty, they are healthy too! I followed the recipe exactly and will definitely make these again!
Healthy Pumpkin Raisin Muffins - (Elly)

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ginger
1 egg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce (or vegetable/canola oil, if you're not calorie counting)
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup low fat buttermilk
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 400 and grease a 12-cup muffin tin. Sift together flours, baking powder and soda, salt and spices.

In a separate bowl, beat egg with brown sugar until well combined. Stir in vanilla, buttermilk, applesauce and pumpkin puree.

Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in nuts and raisins.
Pour mixture into muffin cups and bake approximately 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Nutrition Info, per muffin: Calories: 143 / Fat: 3g / Carbs: 27g / Dietary Fiber: 2.4g / Sugar: 2.2g / Protein: 3.8g

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Crispy Yogurt Chicken


I have seen so many people make this recipe lately, so I finally decided to do it. Matt loves breaded chicken and garlic so I knew this would be a hit! The chicken turned out super crispy and tasted fabulous! This dish is making its way into our regular rotation!

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
6 ounces plain, unflavored yogurt
5 garlic cloves, pressed
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried parsley
salt & pepper, to taste
2 cups of panko bread crumbs (approximately)
cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 365 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil (for easy clean up) and place a rack/cooling rack on top of it. Spray the rack with cooking spray.

In a large Ziploc bag, add the yogurt, pressed garlic, lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper. Seal the bag and shake/squeeze it to combine. Add the chicken breasts to the bag, re-seal and shake the bag to coat the chicken. Put the chicken in the fridge and let it marinate for 20-30 mins (you could also skip this step).

In a shallow dish, combine the panko, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to your tastes . Carefully dip the chicken breasts into the panko mixture to coat. Place the chicken on the rack and spray the top with cooking spray. Bake about 20-30 minutes or until done.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Roasted Garlic Zucchini


I'm always looking for tasty ways to get in our veggies. This is a recipe I use on my broccoli, but I decided to give it a try with zucchini. It turned out excellent.


2 large zucchini
lots of sliced garlic (I use 5-8 cloves, depending on their size)
lemon pepper, to taste
salt, to taste
crushed red pepper, to taste (optional)
a couple swirls of olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Clean the zucchini. Chop off the ends and discard them. Chop the zucchini into thin slices. Slice the garlic. Place the sliced garlic and zucchini on a baking sheet and add the remaining ingredients. Toss to coat.

Roast in the oven for approximately 15 mins, or until cooked through.

Slow Cooker Char Siu Pork Roast


I had a great WI at Weight Watchers. I hit 20.5 pounds this weekend. Everything is going so well! Therefore, I will continue to make these fabulous Cooking Light recipes to keep me on track.

This was a perfect meal to make today. I woke up with a headache and didn't feel like doing much. So, I threw this together and popped it in the slow cooker. It was so, so good.

I served the sauce on the side. I didn't add much to my serving, but you can definitely add more, or even toss the pork in the sauce at the end. I served this with rice and roasted zucchini. YUM!


1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce (I didn't have hoisin on hand, so I used chili garlic sauce instead.)
3 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
2 pounds boneless Boston butt pork roast, trimmed (I used a pork loin roast. It was leaner.)
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

Combine first 8 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Place in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add pork to bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator at least 2 hours, turning occasionally.
Place pork and marinade in an electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours (I only cooked mine for 4 hours and 45 mins on low and it was perfect!).

Remove pork from slow cooker using a slotted spoon; place on a cutting board or work surface. Cover with aluminum foil; keep warm.

Add broth to sauce in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes or until sauce thickens. Shred pork with 2 forks; serve with sauce.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 227 (38% from fat), Fat: 9.5g (sat 3.1g,mono 3.9g,poly 1.1g), Protein: 21.6g, Carbohydrate: 12.7g, Fiber: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 73mg, Iron: 1.7mg, Sodium: 561mg, Calcium:

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Turkey Meatballs


I decided to make some of Cooking Light's turkey meatballs and serve them along with a jar of Kroger brand Extra Tomato Spaghetti Sauce (the best eva). This was a super good dinner. Definitely low calorie and something we will be making again. The best part about the meatball (outside of the deliciousness) was how perfectly round they were. I've never made meatballs like that! It was odd to me that this recipe didn't call for onions, but it packed plenty of flavor. Yum!


1 1/2 pounds ground round (I used ground turkey)
1/4 cup finely shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
3/4 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400°.

Combine all ingredients except cooking spray in a bowl; stir well. Shape mixture into 30 (1 1/2-inch) meatballs. Place on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until done.

30 meatballs (serving size: 5 meatballs)

Nutritional Information
Calories: 228 (35% from fat), Fat: 8.8g (sat 3.4g,mono 3.5g,poly 0.5g), Protein:
27.4g, Carbohydrate: 8.2g, Fiber: 0.8g, Cholesterol: 73mg, Iron: 3.4mg, Sodium: 70mg, Calcium: 95mg

(The nutritional information is based on the original recipe without my change of ground turkey)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Chicken Stew with White Beans and Spinach


This is my most favorite, favorite stew. I have already made it so many times. I have no idea why I haven't blogged about it yet. I mean, it's one of my favorite weeknight dishes.

Anyway, credit goes to Elly for this recipe. It's one of her many recipes that have gotten rave reviews in my house. This recipe was so good that Matt was mad that I didn't double it. Be sure to check out Elly's blog for more fabulous dishes. She's got tons of them!!!

I follow this recipe exactly most of the time. However, sometimes I can't find chicken thighs in the grocery store, so I use boneless skinless chicken breasts instead. Either work great. I usually cut the chicken up in chunks too.

(Elly - Elly Says Opa)

2-3 slices bacon, chopped
4 chicken thighs, bone-in and skinless
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. oregano
1 can cannellini or other white beans, drained
2 cups fresh spinach
salt and pepper, to taste

In a large saute pan with lid, cook the bacon until it has rendered its fat. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Pour off the bacon fat until about 1 Tbsp. remains in the pan.

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and sear it in the bacon fat, to brown, on both sides. Remove from pan.

Add the onions and cook until tender. Stir in the garlic and once the garlic becomes fragrant, stir in the tomato paste. Cook approximately one minute.

Add the wine to the pan to deglaze. Cook for about 2 minutes, scraping up the browned bits. Add the chicken broth, bay leaf, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, and bring to a boil. Add the chicken back in the pan. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, mash about 1/3 of the can of beans with a fork or the back of a wooden spoon--not into a paste, but just breaking up some of the beans (this will make the texture of the final product better). After the chicken has simmered 15 minutes, add the whole beans and the mashed beans into the pan. Cover, simmering an additional 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Add back in the bacon and the spinach. Cook just until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes.

Nutritional Information per serving (for 2 servings; based on Calories: 490 / Fat: 10.9g / Saturated Fat: 3.2g / Carbs: 44.7g / Dietary Fiber: 10.1g / Protein: 44.5g

(We can usually get 3-4 servings out of this, so adjust the nutritional information accordingly)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Low-Fat Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies


Okay, so this is my 10th week on Weight Watchers. I weighed in yesterday and I'm down 17.25 pounds so far! I'm so excited. Then, to top that, I ran my first 5K today. I've ran the distance a few times on the treadmill and was running it in 38:00. Then I practiced outside with my friend, Jenny, and we were running a 5K in about 34:00-35:00. Well, today at our first official race, I ran my 5K in 29:52 and Jenny ran hers in 29:51! WOW! I can't believe I came in under 30:00. I never saw that coming!

Now, on to the recipe! I had a major sweet tooth today and picked up some canned pumpkin at the store. I searched online and came across this recipe. It turned out really good and hit the spot. The cookies are really dense, so they are filling. They aren't super sweet, but they have great flavor and for a low-fat sweet treat, these are perfect. Best part is, the cookies are only 1 WW point each! Can't beat that!


1 c. pumpkin
2 egg whites, whipped
1 c. brown sugar, packed (I used half brown and half granulated)
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cloves
3 c. rolled oats
1 c. raisins (I omitted)

Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. In a large bowl combine pumpkin and egg whites. In a separate bowl combine sugar, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, oats, and raisins (batter will be very dry at first). Mix ingredients together just until moistened.

Drop cookies by tablespoonfuls onto a prepared baking sheet, 2" apart. You can leave the cookies in the shape of a ball (the baked cookie will still be a ball) or flatten them out with the bottom of a glass before baking. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Makes 30 cookies

Nutritional Information Per Cookie: Calories 81.8 / Fat 0.6 / Fiber 1.5

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Italian-Style Meatloaf


First off, it's really, really hard to take a nice picture of meatloaf. So, sorry for the picture! Now, lets talk about this recipe. Another fabulous Cooking Light recipe. YUM! I don't like meatloaf. Well, I *thought* I didn't like meatloaf! This recipe totally changed my mind. This was packed with flavor and was so easy to put together. This will make great sandwiches too!


1 1/2 pounds 92% lean ground beef (I used ground turkey)
1 cup fat-free tomato-basil pasta sauce, divided
1/2 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup (2 ounces) preshredded fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 large egg whites
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine beef, 1/2 cup pasta sauce, and remaining ingredients except cooking spray in a large bowl. Shape beef mixture into an 8 x 4-inch loaf on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray (I put mine in a loaf pan). Brush remaining 1/2 cup pasta sauce over top of meat loaf. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160°. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut loaf into 12 slices.

6 servings (serving size: 2 slices)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 263(42% from fat); FAT 12.1g (sat 5.7g,mono 4.7g,poly 0.6g); IRON 3.3mg; CHOLESTEROL 67mg; CALCIUM 175mg; CARBOHYDRATE 11.9g; SODIUM 859mg; PROTEIN 27.8g; FIBER 1.4g

**This nutritional information is for the original recipe. It does not reflect my substitution of ground turkey.**

Monday, September 1, 2008

Chicken Shawarma


This is BY FAR the BEST Cooking Light recipe I have made and it's finally making its way to my blog. I've made this 3 different times. It's so good that we eat it so fast and I forget to take pictures!! The flavor is so, so good. If you love garlic, you'll love this. This is a must make. You won't be sorry ... and it's WW friendly!

CHICKEN SHAWARMA - (Cooking Light)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3 garlic cloves, minced (I used a couple extra)
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 16 (3-inch) strips

1/2 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt (such as Fage)
2 tablespoons tahini
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced (I used a couple extra)

Remaining ingredients:
Cooking spray
4 (6-inch) pitas
1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
8 (1/4-inch-thick) tomato slices
Sliced onions (optional)

1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

2. To prepare chicken, combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add chicken to bowl; toss well to coat. Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes.

3. To prepare sauce, combine yogurt and next 4 ingredients (through 1 garlic clove), stirring with a whisk.

4. Thread 2 chicken strips onto each of 8 (12-inch) skewers. Place kebabs on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes on each side or until done. (I broiled my chicken for about 15 mins)

5. Place pitas on grill rack; grill 1 minute on each side or until lightly toasted (I put the pitas in the toaster oven for a few mins). Place 1 pita on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 1/4 cup lettuce and 2 tomato slices. Top each serving with 4 chicken pieces; drizzle each serving with 2 tablespoons sauce.

4 servings

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 384(23% from fat); FAT 9.8g (sat 2.1g,mono 4.1g,poly 2.7g); IRON 4.3mg; CHOLESTEROL 64mg; CALCIUM 106mg; CARBOHYDRATE 40g; SODIUM 821mg; PROTEIN 34.4g; FIBER 2.5g