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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Chicken 'n Dumplings

This is a very basic recipe that can be altered to your liking. It's great to make a big crockpot of it and freeze half into individual portions. This will make your house smells so delicious all day as it's cooking too!

1 lb chicken thighs (you can use breasts if you don't want to deal with the bones but thighs make a much more flavorful broth and the meat falls right off of the bones for easy removal)
1 large yellow onion diced
4 stalks of celery diced
1 lg bag of baby carrots
salt & pepper to taste
1 box of HeartSmart Bisquick
Throw all of the ingredients into a large crockpot. Cover with water, set on high and cook for 8 hours. (remove bones and skin if you use thighs) Transfer everything to a large pot and bring to a boil on the stove. Prepare dumplings as directed on the side of Bisquick box and enjoy!
*Adding frozen peas at the end before the dumplings is also an excellent addition.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Whole Wheat Pizza

This dough is really simple and can be altered to your liking. I often add different spices to change the flavor. I use 3 cups for a LARGE pizza pan. If you pans are smaller you will want to decrease the amount or make 2 pizzas. Make sure to spread the dough thin because it does rise a lot when baking.

3 cups of whole wheat flour
1 cup of warm water + more (about 1/2 cup)
1 packet of dry active yeast
1 tsp of garlic powder
1/2 tbsp of italian seasoning
1 to 2 tsp of EVOO

Pizza Sauce
Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese
Favorite pizza toppings
Preheat oven to 425. Dissolve yeast in warm water for 10 minutes add EVOO. Slowly add the flour, garlic powder and italian seasoning mixture. Knead dough in bowl gradually adding more water until well blended and soft. Place dough in a well oiled bowl. Cover and let the dough rise for about 20 minutes. Spread onto a well greased pizza pan. Spread pizza sauce and top with cheese and favorite toppings. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until cheese is bubbly and edges of crust are brown and crispy.

Calzones with Homemade Marinara Sauce

This isn't a recipe I would recommend making after a long day of work. There are a good bit of steps and the dough has to proof for atleast 40 minutes before it's ready to be baked. It's totally worth the steps though and I'll be making these a lot!


1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast

1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon white sugar

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour(substitute with whole wheat flour for healthy version), divided

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup low fat ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup diced turkey pepperoni or your favorite calzone filler
1 cup chopped spinach
1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
1 egg, beaten

To Make Dough: In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water for 10 minutes. Add the oil, sugar, garlic powder and salt. Mix in 1 cup of the flour until smooth. Gradually stir in the rest of the flour, until dough is smooth and workable. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes, or until it is elastic. Lay dough in a bowl containing 1 teaspoon olive oil, then flip the dough, cover and let rise for 40 minutes, or until almost doubled.

To Make Filling: While dough is rising, combine the ricotta cheese, mozarella cheese, pepperoni, spinach and basil leaves in a large bowl. Mix well, cover bowl and refrigerate to chill.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). When dough is ready, punch it down and separate it into 8 equal parts (they will still be quite a bit larger than a hot pocket at this size). Roll parts out into thin circles on a lightly floured surface.
Fill each circle with 1/8 of the cheese/meat filling and fold over, securing edges by folding in and pressing with a fork. Brush the top of each calzone with egg and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Marina Sauce:

1/2 can of tomato paste (a larger can, not the tiny ones)
1 can of tomato sauce
1 tablespoon or so of dried basil
1 tablespoon or so of olive oil
1 tsp of garlic
1 tsp of minced onion
a dash or so of sugar
a dash or two of salt

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Salsa Cheese Roll-Ups (appetizer)

4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) Neufchatel Cheese, softened
3 Tbsp. Thick 'N Chunky Salsa
4 flour tortillas
1/2 cup finely shredded Mexican Cheese (or something with a little kick - four cheese works also)
1/2 - 1 Tsp. taco seasoning (depending on how much kick you like, can add more to your liking. I usually do!)

MIX Neufchatel cheese, salsa & taco seasoning; spread lightly onto tortillas. Top with cheese. Roll up tight, and cut thin. Slice crosswise. (Can be pre-made... just leave tortillas whole until ready to serve, then slice.)

Chicken Salad Panini

This is different than traditional chicken salad... We prefer it this way. It has a lot more flavor and doesn't have that mayonnaise taste that we hate about some salads. Also, 420 calories and 16g fat, not too terribly bad! Great lunch or dinner! Kraft recipe tweaked.

2-1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (We usually add Italian seasoning to the chicken while it is cooking - We pretty much use Italian seasoning on everything! It gives the chicken a lot more flavor!)
1/4 cup KRAFT Light Mayo Reduced Fat Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. REAL Bacon Bits (Oscar Meyer is great)
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. KRAFT Light Ranch Dressing
8 slices multi-grain bread
1 large tomato, cut into 8 thin slices
4 2% Milk Cheddar Cheese Slices

chicken, mayo, bacon, onions and dressing. Spread onto the bread. Top with tomatoes and cheese. Add the other slice of bread to each.

COOK in preheated grill pan or skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium heat 3 min. on each side or until golden brown on both sides.

Chicken Lo Mein (updated)

This is not the traditional "Lo Mein" that you would get at a Chinese take-out place..... this is better! And trust me, I should know because Lo Mein is one of my biggest guilty pleasures! It has a very peanut buttery flavor to it but it's still light tasting. My kids beg for this dish! Adding a dash of red pepper flakes at the table on the adult dishes makes it even better!

1/2 lb. spaghetti, uncooked (we use whole grain spaghetti)
1/2 cup LIGHT Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing (made by Kraft) or something similiar
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 TBSP Italian Seasoning
1 TBSP EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red onion, cut into thin strips
1 pepper (any color), cut into strips - We usually do 1/2 green pepper and 1/2 of either a red or yellow pepper, because we like colorful food!
1/2 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
1/4 cup lite or low sodium soy sauce
Optional: red pepper flakes (to your liking)
Optional: sesame seeds (recommended!)

First, heat EVOO in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken, (sprinkle the Italian seasoning over the chicken as it cooks). Cook until chicken is no longer pink. Set chicken aside. After 2 -3 minutes of cooling, cut chicken into slices or bite size pieces (whatever you choose). Clean the skillet and put back on medium heat.
Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in large saucepan as directed on package.
Add the dressing, garlic, peppers, onions to the clean skillet. Stir occasionally. Add the low sodium chicken broth. Cook on low-medium heat (stirring occasionally) until veggies are tender crisp. The sauce should be slightly thicker. Add peanut butter to the middle of the pan. Let it melt down, stir all together until everything is mixed together well. Let simmer on low for 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Add the chicken pieces, stir well. Let simmer on low for 3-5 minutes.

DRAIN spaghetti well; return to pan or a serving dish. Add chicken mixture. Add the soy sauce; mix well. Optional: Add red pepper flakes if you like a little spice (definitely recommended for adults!) . And/or add sesame seeds before serving.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Perfect Potato Side

This is a great side for a summer bbq. Or you can make it in the oven and it's just as good!

1 bag of small red potatoes ( we get the ones you can steam right in the bag in your microwave.. saves a step!)
1/3 cup olive oil
4 TBS italian seasoning
salt & pepper
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (1/2 of large onion)

DIRECTIONS: Steam or boil the potatoes until they start to get soft. Don't let them cook the whole way. We usually do the steam bags and take them out about 1-2 minutes before the time is up.
Cut the potatoes in half.
Put them in a square baking pan ( We use disposable aluminum pans...perfect to bring to someone else's house... no worry of forgetting your dish). The size of the dish doesn't matter, as long as the potatoes can be arranged on the bottom without them piling on top of each other. Pour the olive oil over them, stir gently. Add the italian seasoning and the onion. Stir gently again. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Bake in the oven, covered with aluminum foil, on 350 on middle shelf until potatoes are very tender, usually about 10-15 minutes. OR put on outside grill, top shelf, covered in aluminum foil until the potatoes are tender, usually about 7-10 min. Check the tenderness before serving.
Stir gently before serving.

Ginger Glazed Carrots

This jazzed up version of carrots will definitely fool your kids into gobbling them up. They are so tasty and super easy to throw together.

1 sm bag of baby carrots (boiled to tender)
2 tbsp of butter (margarine or whatever you like)
1 tbsp of brown sugar
1 tsp of ginger
Drain carrots and add the rest of the ingredients to the pot. Mix.

Bourbon "Crack" Chicken - Crockpot Style

The original recipe comes from Busy Mom's Cookbook but we turned it into a crockpot version.


2 lbs boneless chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (evoo)
1 garlic clove crushed
1/4 teaspoon ginger
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup light apple juice
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons organic ketchup or chili sauce (depending on how hot you like stuff)
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce

Whisk all ingredients into crockpot and add chicken. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4.

Serve over rice with a side of ginger glazed carrots.

Weight Watchers Turkey Burgers

This came from


3/4 lb ground turkey
1/3 cup Monterey Jack cheese
2 scallions or green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients (except the cheese).
2. Blend in the cheese.
3. Form into 4 patties.
4. Spray a frying pan with cooking spray.
5. Cook the patties until done.
6. Serve on hamburger buns with lettuce and tomatoes.

WW POINTS per serving: 4
Nutritional information per serving: 171 calories, 9.9g fat, 0.3g fiber

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Japanese Mum's Chicken

This recipe is full of rich flavors but not heavy on the waist. I liked to serve it over a bed of brown rice with a side of broccoli. It totally satisfies the craving for Asian cuisine.

4 Boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces.

1 cup water

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 1/2 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp crushed garlic

1 tsp red pepper flakes (add at the table if you want)
2 tsp cornstarch (dissolved into the liquid)

Directions: Place all the ingredients in a saucepan over a high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes. Increase the heat, turning the chicken frequently in the sauce, and cook until the liquid has reduced to a sticky glaze. Be careful, once it reduces down it gets thick fast and will burn if you don't keep an eye on it.
Arrange the chicken on top of a bed of brown rice, and spoon the glaze over.

*NOTE It's a glaze rather than a sauce, so there's not a whole lot of it.

*courtesy of   Busy Mom's Cookbook