Monday, October 18, 2010

Southwest Chicken, Broccoli

This is a little different than the other chicken with black beans and corn that I've made in the past. Depending on how hungry you are, this makes 2-4 servings.


1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
1 can (10 oz) diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 can (15 oz) black beans (I use Bush's Seasoned Black Beans, drained but not rinsed)
1 can (8.75 ounces) corn (drained) or frozen corn
Dash of cumin (optional)
Chopped cilantro (optional)

Pat chicken breasts dry. Spray with non-stick cooking spray and season with salt and pepper on both sides.

Over med-high heat, heat skillet. Spray with non-stick spray. Place chicken in pan and brown chicken on both sides, turning once.

Add tomatoes, beans, and corn to pan. Reduce heat and let simmer 15-20 minutes (turning once during cooking time) until chicken is cooked.

Remove chicken from pan. Add a few dashes of cumin and stir. Add chopped cilantro (as much as you like).

Broccoli: we're fans of broccolini which has a more "buttery" flavor. We steamed it with a little water in the microwave for about 5 minutes and seasoned it with salt and pepper.

Rating: It's a trifecta of cooking...Uber easy to make....Delicious....and Filling! Can you ask for anything more?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Steak with Chimichurri Sauce, baked yukon potato, okra and tomatoes

Since we're counting calories, we chose a very lean cut of steak (top round). The original recipe called for Flank Steak. You can really use any cut you like. Recipe serves 4.

Chimichurri Sauce:

In a bowl, mix together:
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp parsley, fresh, Italian, minced
2 Tbsp scallion(s), green parts only, minced
1 medium garlic clove(s), minced
Salt and pepper to taste


1 pound steak
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed with side of a knife
salt and pepper to taste

Rub both sides of steak with smashed garlic clove; discard garlic.
Season steak with salt and pepper.
Grill or Broil steak for 4 minutes (less if using thin-cut)
Flip and broil on second side 3 minutes more

Thinly slice steak against grain and serve with sauce on the side.

Yukon Gold Potato: poke holes in potato and microwave for about 4 minutes (for small potato), 5-6 min for a larger potato. Yukons have a delicious flavor!

Okra with Tomatoes: Found in the frozen food section! A low-calorie filler! Just heat up and season with salt and pepper.

Rating: Well, we licked the sauce bowl clean if that tells you anything :) Add it to our list of favorites!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Moroccan Chicken with Apricots and Squash

Choose a sauce pan that has a lid and can be transfered to the oven. Alternatively, you can make the entire thing in a slow cooker. This will make 4 servings.

1 pound chicken boneless skinless chicken breasts (four 4-0z pieces)
Salt and pepper chicken to taste.

Coat cooking pan with non-stick cooking spray + 2 tsp olive oil. Heat over medium heat.

1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Cook spices 30 seconds-1 minute stirring often.

Add chicken to pan. Cook 2 minutes per side. Remove chicken from pan and set aside on a plate.

To the pan, add:
1 large Vidalia onion(s), chopped
2 cup(s) butternut squash, peeled and cut into1/2-inch cubes (about 3/4 lb)

Stir and scrape the pan to incorporate the brown bits and pan drippings as the onion and squash cooks. Cook about 10 minutes on med-low heat until onion is translucent and squash has softened.

Stir into the squash mix:
3/4 cup uncooked jasmine rice, or basmati rice
3/4 cup dried apricot halves , roughly chopped

Place Chicken on top

Pour in 1-1/2 cups canned chicken broth

Bring to a boil for one minute.

Cover the pot and place in a 400 degree oven to cook for 25 minutes. Add more chicken broth 1/2 way through if the rice needs more moisture.

Garnish with minced cilantro

Rating: YUM-DILLY-ICIOUS! The fragrance while cooking will have you salivating until this dish is ready!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Thai-inspired chicken

2 chicken breasts, cut up in chunks
3/4 cup chicken broth/stock
2 tsp bangkok blend or other thai seasoning mix
1/3 cup of diced red onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
Combine all of the above ingredients into a sauce pan on the stove. Bring to a low simmer, cover and simmer for about 5-10 minutes until chicken is done.
Dissolve 1 tbsp of cornstarch into 2-3 tbsp of water. Increase heat on stove and add dissolved cornstarch to pan. Immediately stir and then let simmer for about 1-2 minutes, stirring occaissionally.
Add 3-4 tbsp thai sweet chili sauce to pan and stir.
1 bag of bird's eye stir fry veges, steamed in microwave...add to pan and stir everything together.
1/2 cucumber, peeled and diced
1/2 cup of diced pineapple
handful of cilantro, finely chopped (omit if you don't like cilantro).
Combine these together and put it on top of rice and/or the chicken/vege mix. We did both :)
Basmati rice. It's the only way to go :) I made enough so we'd each have 1/2 cup.
NOTE: for the pinapple, I found the coolest product-Chiquita Pineapple Bites. It's pineapple soaked in coconut milk. It tasted yummy. It also saved me the trouble of buying a whole pineapple when I only planned on using a little bit.
RATING: Not bad for a quick throw-together kind of a meal. Plus the whole thing (rice included) was only 450 calories which made us very happy because it was ultra filling!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Spicy Honey Chicken, Stuffed Zucchini, Baked Potato

We had left-over chicken from the previous night, so we reheated that up for tonight.

8 skinless chicken thighs
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paptrika
1/2 tsp ground red pepper (less to reduce spiciness)
Place chicken in a bowl and sprinkle spice rub over chicken. Toss and mix well.
Coat roasting pan with cooking spray. Place chicken in pan. Roast in 400 degree oven for 40 minutes.
Mix together: 6 TBSP honey + 2 tsp cider vinegar. After the chicken has cooked for 20 min, brush one side with honey mix. Cook for 10 minutes. Turn chicken over, brush with honey and roast for the final 10 minutes (total roasting time is 40 minutes).


2 large baby zucchini halved lengthwise
2 oz reduced fat shredded cheese (I used a 4 cheese mexican blend)
1/4 medium red or yellow bell pepper
1/4 medium red or sweet variety onion
1 clove garlic
1 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp sweet pepper relish (you can omit if you don't own this)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Hollow out centers of zucchini halves and reserve.

Using small food chopper, finely chop zucchini guts, bell pepper, onion and garlic .
Add the chili powder, parsley, salt and pepper and any other seasoning you might like to the chopped veggie mix.
Add one half the cheese to the mixture and combine well.
Spoon into zucchini halves and spread rest of cheese on top.

Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 30 minutes - cheese should be golden brown. Makes 2 servings - two halves per person. 100 calories for 2 halves :) For easy clean up, cook them on parchment paper.


I took 2 small yukon gold potatoes, nuked them in the microwave and then tossed them into the oven (while the zucchini was cooking) for another 5 or 10 minutes. Yukons are so good, you can just cut them up, put salt and pepper on them and eat away. You don't even need butter!!

Rating: We really LOVED the stuffed zucchini! It was a great side dish to have with our left overs!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Spicy Honey Chicken, sweet potato, broccoli

I made these with skinless, bone-in thighs. You can use boneless but I like the richer flavor of bone-in meat. You could also make this using wings, breasts, etc. It'd be great grilled on the BBQ pit too!
8 skinless chicken thighs
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paptrika
1/2 tsp ground red pepper (less to reduce spiciness)
Place chicken in a bowl and sprinkle spice rub over chicken. Toss and mix well.
Coat roasting pan with cooking spray. Place chicken in pan. Roast in 400 degree oven for 40 minutes.
Mix together: 6 TBSP honey + 2 tsp cider vinegar. After the chicken has cooked for 20 min, brush one side with honey mix. Cook for 10 minutes. Turn chicken over, brush with honey and roast for the final 10 minutes (total roasting time is 40 minutes).
1 large sweet potato-peeled and diced
Boil in salt water for about 4 minutes (fork should pierce through easily, but not too mushy)
Drain potatoes. Spray with spray butter and season with salt and pepper.
Steam broccoli in microwave. Spray with spray butter. Season with salt and pepper.
Rating: Another success thanks to cooking light! The chicken was really flavorful and spicy. I can't wait to try this on the grill also!
2 thights + 1/2 the sweet potato + 2 cups broccoli = 356 calories.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Creamy pesto Chicken Kebabs, tortellini, spinach salad

We served this "layered" style...I placed the spinach salad down on the plate first, surrounded it by the tortellini and then topped it with the kebabs. Yummy! I think I might call this meal "Green with Envy"


2 large chicken breasts (about 5 oz each) cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 yellow or red bell pepper cut up into chunks
1/3 red onion cut into chunks

Mix together:
2 cloves or garlic pressed (or tsp bottled minced)
2 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper
grated rind of a small lemon

2 tsp lemon juice

Take the garlic mixture above and toss in the chicken and vegetables, coating them well.

Place chicken and veges onto 4 skewers and grill over hot heat turning once (about 10 min in a broiler, about 8 minutes on a hot grill).


2 TBSP low-fat yogurt
2 TBSP reduced fat sour cream
1 TBSP pesto
1 tsp lemon juice

Mix the above ingredients together and brush on the kebabs after they are done cooking.


I purchased a box of dried spinach tortellini that had a parmesan filling. After cooking, I sprinkled the pasta lightly with salt and placed it around the spinach salad.


A handful of baby spinach leaves
Fresh tomatoes from Joel's garden (yummy!) chopped up
1/2 cup of peas
Salt and pepper
Sprinkle of Parmesean cheese
*Sweet pepper relish-I meant to add this to the salad but forgot :(

The whole meal came out be about 510 calories per plate (2 kabobs each and lightly brushing the kabobs with the sauce, we didn't use even 1/2 of it).

Rating: Tripple Yummy! Thank you cooking light for the creamy pesto recipe! This will no doubt make it into our regular rotation!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tuscan Roasted Chicken, Broccoli, Potato

4 split chicken breasts OR 5-6 chicken thighs. Or a mix of both!
Take the skin off the chicken and trim away any fat (to save calories)

Take 2-3 zucchini squash, discard ends. Cut into large sticks (like 12 sticks per zucchini)
6 roma tomatoes--quarter lengthwise and scoop out seeds.
Red onion-take a couple of big slices and chunk it up
Fennel: The original recipe called for fresh fennel sliced up. I couldn't find any so I omitted it.
Toss these veges in about 1 tbsp of oil and then salt to taste. Lay them out in a large baking dish.
Place the chicken on top of the veges.

Mix together: 4 garlic cloves finely diced/pressed + 1 tsp lemon zest + 1 tbsp lemon juice + 1 tsp salt + 1 tbsp oil. Slather this over the chicken in the pan. Season the pan with a few dashes of pepper.

375 oven: roast for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, stir the veges. Then add to the pan 1 tbsp of chopped fresh rosemary (you can use dried but then only use about 1/2 tsp - 1 tsp). Continue to roast for 20 more minutes or until chicken is done.


We cut the stalks into long pieces, put about 1/2 inch of water in a saute pan with some Mrs Dash original table blend. We steamed the broccoli in this for about 5 minutes and finished it with about 1 tsp of butter.


2 small yukon gold potatoes microwaved for 5 minutes. Yukons are awesome because you can just season them with salt and pepper and eat them like that! You don't need butter!

RATING: OMG, we both LOVED this dish. It was the first time we've made it. It's definitely going on the regular rotation since it was a breeze to make. Thanks Lindsey for getting us the Ellie Krieger recipe book from which we got this recipe!

We had this with a white wine called "Menage A Trois". Yummy. We felt like making it a "vacation" night, so we lit the candles, put on some relaxing music and brought out the good china. It was awesomely romantic and turned a stressful Monday completely around. We topped the evening off watching "Undertaking Betty" which was a hilarious movie.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Grilled Chicken, Broccoli Salad, Baked Sweet Potato

CHICKEN (200 calories per breast)

2 six oz chicken breasts-we got a packet of knorr pesto mix and brushed some of the prepared pesto onto the chicken. Grill on the BBQ for 4 minutes per side. It was delicious!

BROCCOLI SALAD (about 120 calories per serving):
(this makes enough for 2 servings)

3 cups of chopped broccoli (raw)
2 Tbsp diced red onion (more if you like more)
8 grape tomatoes cut in half each
1.5 TBSP dry roasted sunflower seeds
3 TBPS Kraft Miracle Whip Light dressing

Mix all the above ingredients and serve cold. This is a nice summery salad to have and really healthy for you. The original version of this had bacon which adds a nice flavor but I omitted it to save calories.

BAKED SWEET POTATO (about 80 calories per 1/2 potato)

1 sweet potato (I got the kind wrapped in plastic and ready to go in the microwave). Microwave for 7 minutes. Kristi and I split one potato between the two of us. Added a tiny bit of butter and salt and it was good to go!


Rating: This was an awesome healthy meal that we decided we would have OFTEN! We really liked the tastiness of othe chicken, the freshness of the broccoli salad, and the sily sweetness of the potato!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Salisbury steaks, Mashed potato with winter squash, Green beans

*picture coming soon*


In a bowl, mix together:
1 lb lean ground beef (10% fat)
1/4 cup ketchup
3 tbsp onion soup mix
1 tsp mrs. dash original table blend

Shape into 4 oval patties. Sprinkle both sides of patties with pepper. Brown patties on stove top for about 1 minute each side and then transfer to a 9X13 baking dish.

Mix together:
1 jar of beef gravy (I used heinz fat free beef gravy)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (I used healthy choice, low fat)

Pour soup/gravy combo over the beef patties. Optional: top with onion slices if you like.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Calorie count: 230 per salisbury steak patty, 65 calories per 1/2 cup gravy (the amount usually clinging to the green beans and patty)

1 package frozen green beans
I put the green beans directly into the pan with the patties and then pour the gravy over them. They come out yummy baking with the beef!

Calorie count: 40 calories per 1/3 bag

*Mashing the squash in with the potato helps save calories!!
1 Large baking potato
1/2 package (5 oz) of cooked frozen winter squash
1/4 cup skim milk
1 clove garlic, pressed
Salt and Pepper to taste

Bake potato microwave 8 minutes until soft. Peel skin away and discard.
Microwave squash about 3 minutes until heated through.
In a bowl, combine potato, squash, milk, garlic, and salt and pepper and mash with fork or masher. Reheat in microwave if needed before serving. Makes 2 servings.

Calorie count: 142 calories per serving

Rating: This is ultra comfort food at reasonable calories! Totally yummy!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Roast Chicken with Balsamic Peppers, Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Brush lightly with olive oil and Season with:
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried oregano

In a skillet on medium-high heat, sear chicken on 1 side for 3 minutes. Turn and cook on other side for 1 minute. Transfer to a 9X13 baking dish, sprayed with non-stick spray, bake at 450 for 10 minutes.

(while chicken is cooking in oven)
1.5 Red Bell Peppers (or yellow or orange), thinly sliced in strips
1 large shallot, sliced thinly
1.5 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Heat a Tbsp Olive oil in skillet chicken was in. Add peppers, onions, and rosemary and saute for 3 minutes over medium-high heat.
Add chicken broth and reduce heat. Simmer 5 minutes until broth is reduced.
Stir in vinegar and increase heat to medium high. Cook 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

1.5 pounds yukon gold potatoes
1/3 cup milk
3 tbsp marscapone cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Peel and cube potatoes. Place in boiling water, cover, reduce heat to simmer and simmer for 15 minutes until tender.

Drain potatoes. Add remaining ingredients and mash potatoes to desired consistency.

1/2 package of frozen broccoli (1 bunch fresh)
Place in microwaveable dish, and 2 tbsp water
Cover and microwave 3 minutes until steamed.
Drain. Add 1 tsp butter. Salt and pepper to taste.

Rating: DELICIOUS!! We can not wait to have this again! The peppers and chicken both turned out sooo yummy. We can't wait to make these peppers and put them on a pizza!

Saturday, February 27, 2010


This recipe comes from my friend Ann. Yummy!

4 small to medium boneless skinless chicken breasts (or 3 really large ones)
1 small onion, diced
1 big jar of Pace Picante Sauce
4 oz cream cheese
3/4 pound (about 3 cups shredded) monterey jack cheese
10 corn tortilla shells (soft ones)

Cut chicken into large chunks (each breast can be cut into 4 pieces)
Place chicken in pot and cover with water. Bring water to boil, reduce heat, simmer about 5 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

Drain chicken and cool. Shred chicken (pulse on food processor or use a chopper). If you don't have either of those, cut the chicken into a fine dice.

In a skillet, saute onion in a little bit of olive oil until onion is translucent (about 3 minutes).

To the skillet, add the chicken and 2/3rds of the jar of picante sauce. Turn heat to low and melt the cream cheese in.

Turn off the heat and fold in 3/4ths of the monterey jack cheese.

Heat corn tortillas in microwave (stack on plate, cover with saran wrap, 60 seconds)

Lay tortillas out on counter and spoon filling down center of tortilla. Roll tortillas, placing seam side down in a 9X13 pan. Place tortillas tightly next to each other.

Pour remainder of picante sauce over top of tortillas and spread with spoon. Top with remaining cheese.

Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Rating: You will be making these over and over again, guaranteed! They are awesome!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Greek Chicken, potatoes, Greek salad, pita, hummus

6 chicken thighs, skin removed (leave on if you don't mind the calories)
6 yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed.

Brine the chicken for 8 hours in: 4 cups of water + 1/2 cup kosher salt + 1.5 tbsp greek rub + 1/2 cup of vermouth (optional). Remember in brining to dissolve the salt fully before adding the chicken. Also, if you use table salt instead of kosher salt, you only need to use about 1/4 cup (it's denser and "saltier").

I use pampered chef's greek rub which can be found here:

If you don't have a greek rub, use 2 tsp dried oregano + 1.5 tsp onion powder + 1.5 tsp garlic powder + 1 tsp salt

Remove chicken from Brine and pat dry. Sprinkle a little more of the greek seasoning directly on chicken.

Place chicken in a large roasting pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.

Spray potatoes thoroughly with non-stick spray. Season with salt, pepper, and some of the greek rub. Spread the potatoes around the pan with the chicken.

Optional: drizzle lemon over everything.

Roast at 400 for 40 minutes, turning chicken every 10 minutes and stirring the potatoes.

Lettuce, spinach leaves (because we like the added nutrients), cucumbers, grape tomatoes, green pepper, red onion, feta cheese. Use the greek rub to make a simple oil and vinegar dressing if you like (or it's flavorful enough without dressing!).

We purchased our pita and hummus from the store. We heated the pita on our bread stone while the chicken was roasting (last 10 minutes of roasting time).

Rating: Pretty darn good. We'll definitely eat this again. During the summer, we'll opt to grill the chicken instead of doing it in the oven!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ravioli Toss and Spinach Salad

1 18-20 oz. package of ravioli (frozen or refrigerated; I used Louisa frozen beef)
1/2 pound of green beans
1/2 cup of thin sliced sun dried tomatoes, chopped up
1 lb (about 4) plum tomatoes, chopped up (since tomatoes are not in season, I used 1 can of diced tomatoes)
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
Parmesan Cheese

Cook ravioli according to package directions. Toss the green beans into the water during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

In a bowl, combine sun dried tomatoes, plum tomatoes, vinegar, and garlic.

Drain the ravioli and green beans and add them to the tomato mixture. Toss well. If you sun dried tomatoes were packed in water instead of oil, add about 2 tbsp olive oil. Otherwise, the oil from the tomatoes will do the job.

Top with Parmesan cheese as desired.

SPINACH SALAD: combine spinach leaves, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese for a nice side salad to this dish. Use a flavored vinegar to dress it (I use a blackberry vinegar) and you won't need any oil. Super healthy!

Rating: This tasted even better after the pasta sat in the tomato mixture for awhile. I'd almost suggest making it a day before! It was pretty tasty and a nice diversion from the usual red pasta sauce. We'll definitely make it again!

Rye Bread Pizzas

OK, we didn't have these for dinner, but I made them for a party recently!

2 lbs pork sausage (medium spice)
1 big block of Velveeta Cheese (I use roughly 3/4's of it)
1 tbsp steak sauce
1 tbsp ketchup
1 can pizza sauce (I use contadina)
Parmesan cheese
2 packages of party rye bread

Brown pork sausage on medium heat, breaking it up constantly as you cook it.
Reduce heat to low
Chunk up the velveeta cheese and melt it into the sausage
Add steak seasoning and ketchup
Turn off heat and let mix thicken slightly as it cools.

Place party rye breads on cookie sheets (cover sheet w/ foil for easier clean up)
Top each rye bread with the sausage/cheese mixture.
(if mixture hardens too much while in the pan, turn the heat on low and let it loosen up again)
Take pizza sauce and spoon about 1-1/2tbsp on top of each pizza
Sprinkle each one with parmesan cheese

FREEZE the pizzas in the freezer before cooking them. This is *crucial* otherwise, your pizzas will run all over the place when they cook.

Bake at 500 for about 12-15 minutes (keep an eye on them)

Rating: Who doesn't love this classic St. Louis treat?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mapled Pork Chops, Winter Squash, Green Beans

Maple Pork Chops
4 pork chops (boneless or bone-in, I used boneless)
-season with salt and pepper, sear on medium heat for 4 minutes/side

Remove chops from pan and cover loosely with foil.
To pan, add:
2 tbsp finely chopped shallots + tbsp butter and saute until carmelized
1/2 cup chicken broth/stock
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp maple syrup
Let sauce reduce a little

Place chops back in pan and heat for about 1 minute on low heat

Maple Winter Squash
12 oz. package of cooked winter squash
1/4 cup of chicken stock/broth
Grate a little orange rind in (1/2 tsp?)
1/2 tbsp butter
dash of nutmeg
salt & pepper to taste
tsp of maple syrup
Cook on stove top on low heat until heated through

Green Beans
1 package of frozen petite green beans
2 tbsp finely chopped shallot
1/4 cup of chicken stock
1/3 can of stewed tomatoes, roughly chopped (minus juice)
Salt and Pepper

Saute shallot in a little butter/oil for a minute or 2. Add chicken stock, green beans, stewed tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes until green beans are at desired consistency.

Rating: We really liked the winter squash. The green beans are an old favorite french recipe. The sauce on the pork chops wasn't my favorite but it was alright and I'd probably have it every now and then for variety.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pizza! Rosemary, chicken, havarti, onions, tomatoes

We are starting an exciting excursion into making homemade pizza! My boss gave us a pizza stone and a book on breads. Our first adventure turned out delicious.

Crust: I'll have to come back and repost the crust recipe. You can also always use pre-made or frozen crust.

Roll crust out to 14 inches.

Top with:
1/3 cup pizza sauce (we used contadina and used very little b/c that's what we like)
Havarti cheese (can you ever have too much cheese?)
1 sprig of fresh rosemary: pull rosemary off and sprinkle over cheese
1.5 chicken breasts: season salt and pan seared first. diced up small.
Grape tomatoes: cut in halves
Red onion: diced up

Preheat oven to 500 with pizza stone
Remove pizza stone from oven, sprinkle cornmeal lightly on stone
Lay rolled out dough on stone. Spread toppings on stone.
Bake at 500+ oven for about 8 minutes.

Rating: Really delicious. We thought we should have added some fresh garlic. It was outstanding though and we can't wait to make more pizza variations!


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Penne Pasta with Sherry Cream Sauce, Parmesean Chicken, Broccolini

Prepare 6-8 oz penne pasta (about 1/2 box) according to directions
While that's cooking...

1 small-medium red onion diced medium
Saute in a small amount of olive oil (tbsp) on med-low heat until translucent

Deglaze pan with 1/2 cup of cooking sherry. Reduce heat to low.
Add about 2 cups of milk (skim to keep it healthy, cream if you want decadence)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
Few dashes of nutmeg and pepper

Bring mixture to a simmer on low heat.

1 tsp of cornstarch dissolved in about 2 tbsp cold water. Add this to sauce, stirring immediately. Let sauce simmer and thicken (takes about 1 minute).

When pasta is finished cooking, drain and add it to the sauce. Salt as needed. Turn off the heat.

Add a handful of fresh spinach (tear it up some if you want)
Add 1/2 package of grape tomatoes (cut tomatoes in half if you want)

2 small chicken breasts cut up into bite size chunks
pat dry
Spray chicken with non-stick cooking spray
Sprinkle Mrs. Dash regular table blend over chicken (prob 1/2 tbsp?) & stir
Sprinkle Parmesean cheese (1/2 cup?) over chicken and turn to coat.

Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in pan on high heat. When heated, add chicken to pan, keeping pieces separated as much as possible. Let sear on high heat. Sir after about 1 minute and continue to pan-sear until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve chicken on top of pasta.
6 stems broccolini, steamed in a little water in the microwave. Salt for flavor.

Rating: Kristi exclaimed this may be her new favorite!


Sunday, January 24, 2010


Everybody has their favorite chili concoction. This is mine...

Brown together:
1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion diced up
salt, pepper, chili powder (about 2 tsp)

1 can beef broth
1 small can tomato paste
2 cans bush's chili beans
2 cans stewed tomatoes (contadina original): rough chop the tomatoes. Add juice and all.
1 tsp of chili powder (more or less to your liking)
1/4 tsp of crushed red peppers (for heat)

Put a lid on it and simmer on low heat for as long as you like (as little as 20 minutes, as long as an hour). Or put it all in a slow cooker for the day.

Rating: We ate it all in 2 days, you tell me :) It's way better the 2nd day!


Monday, January 18, 2010

Garlic Tenderloin Steak, roasted sweet potatoes, broccolini, mixed peppers

2 beef tenderloin filets: Rub filets with oil, pressed garlic and let marinade for 3-6 hours. Let come to room temp and grill on a hot grill, done to your liking (5 min per side will give you a medium-rare depending on thickness of filet).

Roasted rosemary sweet potatoes: Cut potatoes into bite size chunks, spray with cooking spray, season with salt and rosemary, roast 15 minutes in a 500 degree oven, stirring often.

Mixed sweet peppers with onions: cut peppers and onions into strips. Saute over medium heat in butter. Season with salt.

Broccolini: Place a little water and butter in a saute pan. Add broccolini stalks, cover, and steam on medium heat for about 5 minutes.

Rating: *****Yummy! A great romantic meal :)


Thursday, January 14, 2010

San Francisco Pork Chops

For this dish, you will need a skillet with a tight-fitting lid!

4 bone-in thick pork chops (you can also use chicken), about 1.5 pounds--I used tenderloin and cut them into thick medallions and reduced the cooking time per side
1 clove of garlic, minced
4 TBSP cooking dry sherry
4 TBSP soy sauce
2 TBSP brown sugar
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tsp cold water

Season chops with salt and pepper. Brown in a little bit of oil in the skillet, each side (about 30 seconds-1 minute per side).

In a small bowl, mix together: garlic, sherry, soy sauce, sugar, and red pepper flakes. Pour over chops in skillet.

Reduce skillet heat to low (liquid should barely simmer) and cover. Cook 30 minutes (until chops are done) turning once. Keep an eye on the liquid level. If it starts to dry up too much, add a little water or broth.

Remove chops from skillet. Increase heat to medium and mix in dissolved cornstarch. Stir with spatula and let sauce get thick and bubbly. Pour sauce over pork chops.

This tastes really good served over buttered egg noodles (pour some of the sauce into the egg noodles). Green beans make a great vegetable side dish for it!

Rating: This is an old favorite of mine! It came on a recipe card in the mail eons ago and I've been making it ever since!


Monday, January 11, 2010

Black Bean Mexican Chicken

12 oz chicken breasts (2 boneless skinless breasts, 300 calories): season with mexican seasonings (I use pampered chef southwest seasoning or chipotle seasoning. You could use salt, pepper, chili powder, and garlic powder.
1 medium yellow onion (40 calories)-medium dice
1 can seasoned black beans (330 calories, I use Bush's)
1 can stewed tomatoes (123 calories, I use Del Monte original flavor)-rough chop the tomatoes
1 cup of frozen corn (130 calories)-I actually don't measure, I just toss some in
1 bunch of cilantro (about 1/2 cup chopped, depending on your love of cilantro)

Spray saute pan w/ non-stick cooking spray or a little bit of olive oil. Saute the chicken on med-high heat with onions until 2/3 of the way cooked.

Add black beans (liquid included), stewed tomatoes (liquid included), and corn to pan and reduce heat to med-low. Continue to cook for about 5-10 minutes.

Add cilantro and cook 1-2 minutes more.

Serve as is or over rice. You can also top with any of the following: chopped avocado, sour cream, cheese, or fresh tomatoes. It's also good just as is!

Rating: We love, love, love this dish. It's so quick and easy to make but really flavorful.

Tip: Have it the same week you have moroccan chicken since they both use cilantro.

Pampered chef's southwest seasoning or chipotle rub can be purchased here:


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Moroccan Chicken

13 oz chicken, cut up in bite sized chunks. Spray with non-stick spray and season liberally with pampered chef's Moroccan Spice Rub. (325 calories)

Petite gourmet carrots (100grams)-steamed and cut into large dice (40 calories)
1/2 medium red onion-diced (60 calories)
1 red or yellow bell pepper-diced (60 calories)
2-4 cloves of garlic, pressed (15 calories)
1 yellow squash-chunk into bite size pieces (60 calories)

Grape tomatoes-cut in 1/2, about 1.5 cups (50 calories)
Cilantro-chopped up finely

Cook chicken, onion, and pepper on high heat in large saute pan (non-stick spray or lightly oiled). Add garlic, squash, and carrots when chicken mixture is 2/3rds finished cooking. Season with salt.

Serve with couscous (I use Near East) prepared to package directions. 3/4 cup cooked= 175 calories

Plate 3/4 cup of couscous (each plate), chicken and veges, and top with fresh tomatoes and cilantro.

Rating: We eat this as often as possible. It's seriously delicious and seriously healthy. Low in calories and incredibly filling and yummy.

Get pampered chef moroccan spice rub. You will not regret it!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

La Tropicana!

Yummy enchiladas, rice, and maduros from La Tropicana restaurant. It's truly a hidden delight in South St. Louis City.

Rating: One happy tummy!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Stir Fry

Kristi made us a delightfully healthy stir fry!

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut up. Poach chicken in chicken broth...250 calories

Diced up vege's: carrots (petite gourmet), celery, red pepper, yellow pepper, brocolini, onion. Pan fried in a spritz of olive oil and seasoned with Pampered Chef's Moroccan Spice Rub (incredible)...150 calories(?)

Angel Hair Pasta...400 calories

Rating: it's a favorite we have often!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Ravioli, salad, and brocolini

1 package of Louisa beef ravioli (800 calories total)
1 tub of Louisa ravioli sauce (400 calories total)

1 package of brocolini (50 calories?). Steamed in the microwave with salt.

1 salad (80 calories?): 1/2 ice berg lettuce, 1/2 spinach leaves, chopped carrots, celery, cucumber, grape tomatoes, 1 clementine diced up. Season w/ garlic salt, pepper. Sprinkle of Parm cheese. Drizzled with raspberry vinegar

Rating: Thumbs up!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Beer-Marinated Chicken Thighs, roasted sweet potatoes, brocolini

Marinade 6 chicken thighs 6 hrs/overnight (skin removed): 1-1/2 cups beer, 1/4 cup dijon mustard, 4 cloves of garlic (thinly sliced), small onion (thinly sliced), 1/2 tbsp paprika, 2 tsp kosher flake salt, tbsp of sweet chili sauce (or cayenne pepper, anything spicy to your liking)

Cook chicken: Oven bake at 400 for 40 minutes in dish, bone-side up OR grill on BBQ on indirect heat for 40 minutes turning every 10 minutes.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes: peel and chop potatoes into cubes. Spray potatoes liberally with Pam cooking spray. Season with chili powder, tsp of sugar, garlic salt, pepper. Toss well. Spread on cookie sheet/roasting pan. Roast at 500 for 15 minutes, turning frequently.

Brocolini: Steamed with salt and pepper in microwave.

Rating: Mucho thumbs up!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Brining guide

Brining is a must when cooking chicken, turkey, and most pork cuts. It makes the meat so incredibly juicy and tender.

Basic brine:
1 quart of water + 1/2 cup kosher (or 1/4 cup table) salt.
Optional: 1/2 cup sugar
Optional: add in other herbs and spices that match what you're cooking

Heat water to boiling and dissolve salt and sugar. Chill water until it's tepid/cool to the touch before placing meat in it. Meat should be fully submerged in brine. Brine for up to 8 hours (a minimum of 1 hour per pound of meat).

*I stray away from using table salt (which is denser and thus requires less salt to make the brine). The flavor isn't as good as kosher salt because of the added iodine and anti-flaking agents.