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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Taco Salad

I am a sucker for taco salad and this one has DORITOS in it. It was absolutely mouth watering and really hard not to eat 10 servings. Don't say I didn't warn you...

1lb ground beef or turkey
1 taco seasoning packet
1 bag of shredded lettuce
1-2 tomato cut into small pieces
1 green pepper cut into small pieces
1/4-1/2 onion cut into pieces
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 lb DORITOS - original flavor (oh my goshhhh yum!)
French dressing

Brown the meat with the taco seasoning.
Toss the lettuce, tomato, green pepper, onion and cheese with the ground meat. Add French dressing to desired taste and consistency. Add doritos right before serving so they don't get soggy.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Chicken Bolognese - 410 Calories

This was an amazing pasta dish. It has great flavor, loaded with veggies (that the kids won't even know are in there) and is light on the waist! I will definitely make this again and substitute fresh summer veggies when they are in season.

Serves 6

12 oz whole grain linguine
4 tsp olive oil
1 lb ground chicken breast
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 medium stalks celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 can (28oz) crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup reduced fat 2% milk
1/3 cup freshly grated Parm cheese
1/4 cup parsley leaves, chopped

Heat large covered sauce pot of salted water to boiling on high. Add pasta and cook as label directs.

Meanwhile, in 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 2 tsp olive oil on medium 1 minute. Add chicken to skillet; sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt. Cook chicken 8 to 9 minutes, or until no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Transfer to medium bowl.

To same skillet, add remaining 2 tsp oil with carrots, celery, onion, and garlic; cook 10 to 12 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cooked chicken and milk; heat through.

Reserve 1/4 cup pasta cooking water. Drain pasta and return to sauce pot; stir in sauce from skillet, Parmesan, parsley, and reserved cooking water, and toss to coat.

Out-n-In California Burger ( only 389 calories!)

This recipe comes from a Cooking Light magazine. They took the popular In-n-Out Burger and made a healthy version. It was soooooooooo good! The dressing & the avocado made the flavor very unique. Hard to believe that one of these burgers is only 389 calories and that is with sauce & cheese! (makes 4 burgers)

3 TBS Ketchup
2 TBS Canola Mayo
2 Tsp sweet pickle relish
1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
1 lb ground sirloin
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Cooking Spray
4 slices of reduced fat Swiss Cheese
4 lettuce leaves
4 hamburger buns (we used whole wheat & toasted them in the oven)
1/4 red onion, sliced
4 (1/4") slices tomato
1/2 ripe peeled avocado, cut ino 1/8" thick slices
8 bread & butter pickle chips (optional)

Combine the first four ingredients in a small bowl. This is your sauce.

Divide the beef into 4 equal patties. Sprinkle them with even amounts of salt & pepper. Heat a large skillet or grill pan over medium high heat. Coat the pan with cooking spray. Add patties to pan, cook 3 minutes on each side. Top each patty with 1 cheese slice. Cook 2 more minutes or until the cheese is melted and the patties are done to your liking.

Place one lettuce leaf on the bottom of your roll. Add a patty, onion slices, a tomato slice, about 2 avocado slices, 2 pickle chips (optional). Add 1 1/2 TBS sauce to top of roll. Enjoy!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Buffalo Turkey (or Chicken) Burgers

Want the taste of buffalo wings without all of the fat? Look no further! These burgers were so tasty and very satisfying!


* 1 pound Turkey Ground (or chicken)

* ½ teaspoons Pepper
* 1 Tablespoon egg substitute
* ½ Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
* ¼ cups Parmesan Cheese
* 2 Tablespoon Panko Bread Crumbs
* dash of garlic powder
* ¼ cups Buffalo Wing Sauce (I use Frank's Red Hot) Plus More For Drizzling
* 2 ounces, weight Sharp Cheddar Cheese (i used fat free)
* 4 whole Wheat Buns
* ¼ cups Ranch Dressing For Drizzling (or Blue Cheese)


Preheat grill or skillet.

In a large bowl combine ground turkey, pepper, egg substitute, bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, Parmesan, 1oz of cheddar cheese, and buffalo wing sauce. Mix until just combined. Form into 4  patties.

Grill or pan-fry patties until brown on both sides and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Brush on buffalo sauce while cooking. In the last 2 minutes, place 1/2 ounce of cheddar cheese on each burger. Place burgers on whole wheat buns and top with a drizzle of ranch.

We also topped ours with lettuce - you could finely chop celery and put that on top as well.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Stuffed Green Peppers - the healthy way

My mother in law makes the best stuffed green peppers ever but lets just say that they aren't exactly figure friendly. So I've been trying to find a recipe that has the same great flavor without all the fat & grease. After last night's dinner, we have a winner!

4 med -large green peppers
1 lb lean ground turkey
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 TBS kosher salt
2 TBS black pepper
2 TBS Italian seasoning
1 TSP Mrs. Dash Table Seasoning
2 cups brown rice (cooked acc to directions)
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup of your favorite spaghetti sauce (more if you like the mixture creamier)
2 TBS low fat sour cream
2 TBS water

How to Make:
Once your rice is done cooking according to the package directions, let it cool for a few minutes. Combine all remaining ingredients (EXCEPT THE WATER) in a large bowl. Mix in the 2 cups of cooked brown rice.

Wash & cut off the tops of the peppers. Clean out the inside. Fill each pepper with the turkey rice mixture until full. I usually sprinkle a tiny bit more of cheese on the top of the peppers but no necessary, just looks prettier.

Put the 2 TBS of water in the crockpot. Place the peppers standing up in crockpot on low for 7-8 hours. If there is any turkey/rice mixture left over, don't throw it away. You can cook it on the stove top the next day and put it inside a whole wheat tortilla for lunch.... yum! Enjoy!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Spicy Sour Cream

For anyone who likes sour cream on things like fajitas and likes a lot of kick, this is the perfect recipe for you. I'm not a big sour cream fan so I skipped trying it but my husband thought this was the perfect addition to the Funky Fusion Fajitas.

1/2 cup sour cream (reduced fat works fine)
2 TBS hot sauce (we used Frank's)
1/2 TSP kosher salt
1/2 TSP fresh ground black pepper
1 TSP garlic powder

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Cover & refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Funky Fusion Steak Fajitas

This recipe comes from a Bobby Flay 's Throwdown Cookbook (my new favorite cookbook). These were the best fajitas I have ever had and that is saying alot considering I eat fajitas at every restaurant that I go to. So tender and the flavor was incredible. You are supposed to marinate the meat for 2-4 hours and then let it stand about 30 minutes before grilling so allow yourself some extra time. (serves 6)

1/4 cup white cooking wine
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup plus 2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS ketchup
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBS ground ginger
kosher salt & fresh black pepper
1 TSP red pepper flakes
1 TSP garlic powder
1 (1 1/4 lb) flank steak (we couldn't find a flank steak, so we used rib eye)
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
1 yellow pepper, sliced
4 green onions (white & green parts), sliced into 1/4" pieces
12 (8") tortillas (we used whole wheat)

1. Combine the wine, soy sauce, vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, ketchup, brown sugar, 2 of the garlic cloves, the ginger, 2 TSP salt, 1 TSP pepper, the red pepper flakes, and the garlic powder in a large bowl. Whisk until well blended. Remove about 1/2 cup and set aside.

2. Tenderize the steak by piercing all over with a fork. Place steak in a resealable bag and pour the marinade in the bag. Seal and refrigerate for 2-4 hours. Remove steak from fridge, let sit for about 30 minutes before grilling.

3. Heat grill to med-high. Remove steak from marinade, and season with salt & pepper. Grill until done to your liking. Let the meat rest for about 10 minutes while you cook the veggies.

4. Heat the remaining 2 TBS olive oil in large saute pan over med - high heat. Add the onion, peppers, green onions, remaining 1 clove garlic, a TBS or so of the reserved marinade and salt & pepper to taste. Cook, tossing occasionally until the veggies are tender- crisp.

5. Slice the steak into thin pieces across the grain. Fill warmed tortillas with steak and veggies. Top with the reserved marinade sauce.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas

I made these tonight and they were AMAZING. I felt like we were eating at an authentic Mexican restaurant and they don't kill you in calories which is a huge plus!


2 (6oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper thinly sliced
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
1/4 cup lowfat sour cream (i used fat free)
8oz Jack cheese shredded (1 cup)
1 cup mild salsa verde (green salsa) I used this:
8 (6 inch) corn tortillas, microwaved on high until pliable - I used whole wheat tortillas


Heat oven to 450. Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water. Bring to a boil, add 1 tsp salt. Add the chicken, reduce heat and simmer until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool; shred.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the corn and sour cream. Fold in the chicken, and 1/2 cup of the cheese.

Spread 1/2 cup of the salsa in a 13x9in baking dish. Roll the chicken mixture in tortillas (about 1/2 cup per tortilla) and place seam-side down in the dish. top with the remaining salsa and cheese. Bake until beginning to brown, 8 to 10 minutes.

Per Serving (2 tortillas) - 441 cal

Friday, February 4, 2011

Black Bean Burgers - 370 Calories

A great, healthy, alternative to your regular burger!

1/4 C dried bread crumbs (I used Panko)
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp chili powder (if you want to add spice - optional)
2 garlic cloves
2 cans (15oz each) black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp light mayo
2 large stalks celery, finely chopped
4 lettuce leaves
4 whole wheat hamburger buns, toasted
4 slices ripe tomato

In food processor pulse bread crumbs, cumin, coriander, chili powder, garlic cloves, two-thirds of beans, 2 tablespoons mayo, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper until well blended. Transfer to large bowl. Stir in celery and remaining whole beans until well combined. Divide into 4 portions and shape into patties.

Lightly coat 12-inch nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat on medium 1 minute, then add patties. Cook 10 to 12 minutes or until browned on both sides, carefully turning once.

Great with Spicy Sour Cream

Creamy Grilled Strawberry Sandwiches

Um hello yummy breakfast!! This would make a good snack too!


1 sm whole wheat pita bread (or you can use sandwich thins)
3 TBSP low-fat cream cheese, softened
1 C frozen strawberries, thawed, thoroughly patted dry


Cut pita in half and gently open pockets
Combine cream cheese with strawberries, mashing as you mix. Divide mixture between pita halves.
Warm a cast iron pan or skillet over medium heat; mist with cooking spray. Grill sandwiches until golden, turning once, about 5 minutes total.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Zucchini "Fries"

This is a Kraft recipe. The "fries" were super delicious and a  browned up nicely.  Kraft's recipe calls for a dipping sauce but I omitted that. If you want to make it go to their site for ingredients.

3 zucchini (1 lb.)
1/4 cup KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 pkt. SHAKE 'N BAKE Chicken Coating Mix
1 egg

HEAT oven to 450ºF.

TRIM zucchini. Cut crosswise in half, then cut each piece into 1/4-inch matchlike sticks. Add cheese to coating mix in shaker bag; shake gently to combine. Whisk egg in medium bowl. Add zucchini; toss to coat. Use tongs to place 1/4 of the zucchini in shaker bag; close bag and shake to evenly coat. Spread onto baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Repeat with remaining zucchini.

BAKE 12 to 13 min. or until golden brown, turning after 7 min. Meanwhile, mix remaining ingredients.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dijon Balsamic Glaze

I made this sauce for Holly's Apple Cheddar Turkey Meatballs and it was wonderful. We used it as a dipping sauce, rather than a glaze but either way, it was a hit.

½ cup dijon mustard
¼ cup tomato sauce
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup balsamic vinegar

Combine the ingredients in a bowl until well blended. Serve over meatballs or whatever else you like!

Tortelloni Wreath with Pesto Dip

Great crowd pleaser. Plus it looks very fancy, despite how fast it is to make.

2 packages (about 9oz each) of fresh or frozen tortelloni (I used fresh tri color cheese tortelloni)
1 tub (8 oz.) Cream Cheese Spread (I used reduced fat)
1 pkg. (7 oz.) pesto
1 tsp. lemon juice

How to make:
Make tortelloni according to directions. Be careful not to overcook them. You don't want them to get mushy. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again.

Mix all the remaining ingredients in a small bowl until very well blended. Place the bowl in the center of a large serving dish. Arrange the tortelloni around the center bowl. Garnish with a few strips of red & green pepper sliced and black olives.

*Recipe courtesy of Taste of Home Magazine

Parmesan Crusted Chicken

My son is a huge fan of Noodles & Co Parmesan Crusted Chicken so I was determined to make a healthy version at home that he would love just as much and I did! The original recipe comes from Kraft but I've added to it. We served it with a side salad.

1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 envelope Italian Dressing Mix (I used Ms. Dash but I know Good Seasons makes one too)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. ms dash table seasoning blend
6 chicken breasts, split in two or a package of breast tenderloins

How to make:
Heat oven to 400.
Put all the ingredients in a large freezer bag or a shaker bag. Moisten chicken with water and put in bag. Shake until the chicken is well coated.

Place the chicken in a shallow baking dish and bake 20 minutes or until chicken reaches internal temp of 165.