Posted in Uncategorized

Heading to Hawaii…

We are heading to Hawaii and will be back after the holiday.  The recipes will resume at that time.  In the meantime, have a great holiday!

Posted in Side Dishes, Vegetables

Tonight’s Vegetable Dish…

Layered Roast Vegetables

I may be overstating the servings on tonight’s side dish, the three of us had a slice and came back for a second serving.  So if you like it as much as we did, this may only serve 3.  Check it out…

Layered Roast Vegetables

Preheat oven 425o

Pre p Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour total

Estimates Values per serving:

Calories = 100                                              Fat = 1.5 grams

Serves 6


2 medium zucchini

1 onion

1 red bell pepper

½ teaspoon onion powder

¼ – ½ teaspoon salt

6 slices reduced calorie bread

¾ cup egg substitute

½ cup grated parmesan cheese


  1. Slice zucchini into long strips about ½ inches thick.  Slice pepper into long strips about the same width as the zucchini.   Cut onion into slices.
  2. Spray a roasting pan with cooking spray and add vegetables in a single layer then spray top of vegetables with cooking spray.  Sprinkle vegetables lightly with salt. 
  3. Sprinkle onion powder on zucchini and pepper strips.
  4. Roast vegetables for about 15 minutes until browned.  Remove from oven and reduce oven heat to 375o.
  5. Spray a bread pan with cooking spray.  Add a layer of vegetables on the bottom, sprinkle a little cheese on top, add 2 slices of bread then pour about ¼ cup of egg substitute on top.  Continue to layer the vegetables, cheese, bread and egg substitute 2 more times, ending with vegetables (they will be added 3 additional times).
  6. Cover dish with foil and add a heavy weight on top (I use a brick covered in foil).  Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until set.
  7. Remove from oven, cool for about 15 minutes then loosen the sides and invert onto a serving platter.
  8. Serve warm.
Posted in Pasta dish, Salads, Side Dishes, Vegetables

Ranch Pasta Salad

Ranch Pasta SaladWe had a bunch of leftover food from when we had company last week so we just cooked them up and added this pasta salad as a side.  It’s super easy to make a full of flavor.

Of course, I didn’t have the time to refrigerate it overnight and it was still really good.  I am looking forward to the rest tomorrow.


Ranch Pasta Salad

Pre p Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 7-9 minutes

Refrigeration time: overnight

Estimates Values per serving:

Calories = 215                                              Fat = 2 grams

Serves 6


2 cups (8 ounces) pasta

1 tomato – seeded and chopped

½ red bell pepper – chopped

½ European cucumber – chopped (or 1 cucumber, seeded and chopped)

2 scallions – chopped

½ cup fat free sour cream

1 clove garlic – minced

½ cup low fat shredded mozzarella cheese

1 tablespoon dry ranch dressing mix


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add pasta.  Cook according to package directions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, combine tomato, bell pepper, cucumber and scallions in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream, garlic, cheese and ranch dressing mix.  Add to vegetables.
  4. Drain and rinse pasta when fully cooked then add to vegetable/sour cream mixture.  Gently toss.
  5. Refrigerate overnight and serve cold.
Posted in Appetizers, Grilling, Poultry, Vegetables

An Appetizer idea…

The other night we had some friends over to celebrate a birthday and I served Chicken Skewers with Cucumber Dip.  This is a good first course that is easy to eat because it does not require using a fork or plate. 

I always find it so awkward at wedding and parties when you have a drink in one hand and have to use a fork and plate for the hors d’ oeuvres.  Finger food is the way to make life easy for everyone.

Enjoy your easy nibbling cuisine!

Marinated Chicken skewers with Cucumber Yogurt Dip

Serves 8


6 boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets

Juice of 1 lemon

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper



  1. Cut chicken breasts into 2” cubes and put into bowl to marinate. 
  2. Add lemon juice, garlic, oregano, basil, salt and pepper.  Mix well and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  3. Skewer chicken breast pieces.
  4. Grill Chicken skewers for 7 minutes on each side until browned and cooked.

Dip Ingredients:

½ European cucumber – seeded and grated

4 ounces low fat cream cheese – softened

½ cup fat free Greek yogurt

2 cloves garlic – minced

Salt to taste

  1. Remove excess water from cucumber by placing it in a double paper towel.  Twist the ends of the paper towel over the sink to allow the cucumber water to drain from the cucumber. 
  2. In a bowl, fold in the cucumber, cream cheese, yogurt, garlic and salt. 
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or overnight).
Posted in Salads, Vegetables

Company tonight…

Friends from Texas and Ohio were over for dinner tonight.  We ordered pizza because they don’t get to enjoy the same type of pizza that is made in the Northeast.  I thought a Caesars salad would be a nice complement to the pizza and have that recipe for you below.

The comments I received were that there was a little too much Dijon mustard in it so I reduced that by half in the recipe below.  The second one was that there was too much dressing for the amount of salad so my suggestion would be to make the dressing, put in about half, taste it and decide if you would like to add more.  Any extra dressing can be refrigerated for about 5 days.

With all the craziness I lost my camera so I apologize that there is no picture again tonight.

Enjoy the Caesars salad without the all the fat!

Caesars Salad

Pre p Time: 15 minutes

Estimates Values per serving:

Calories = 52                                                Fat = 4 grams

Serves 8


2 heads of Romaine lettuce

1/3 cup low fat mayonnaise

1 hard boiled egg yolk

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon anchovy paste

1 tablespoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 cloves garlic – minced

2 tablespoons water

1/3 cup parmesan cheese

Fresh ground pepper to taste


  1. Wash and cut lettuce into bite sized pieces, set into a salad bowl and keep in the refrigerator to keep cold.
  2. Make dressing: Smash egg yolk on the side of a mixing bowl.  Add mayonnaise, olive oil, anchovy paste, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic and water and whisk until well combined.
  3. Add parmesan cheese to lettuce and toss.  Pour dressing on salad, ground pepper, toss and serve cold.
Posted in Beef, Grilling, Pork, Poultry, Rub, Slow Cook

A great rub for Barbecuing

to marinate and cook with.  The meat came out very tasty.  This rub recipe is for 5 pounds of meat but if you are cooking with a smaller amount, use some of it and the rest can be stored in an airtight container.

Rub for Meat


2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons ground coffee

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon smoke salt

1 teaspoon coriander seed

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon oregano

2 teaspoons garlic powder


  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and rub on top of 5 pounds of pork, beef or chicken. 
  2. Marinate for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator. 
  3. Cook on grill until done.
Posted in Tips/Hints

Our Pt. Pleasant visit…

We visited to Pt. Pleasant yesterday, enjoying the rides, attractions and of course, the food.  Having fun at the Jersey Boardwalk doesn’t have to ruin your weight management goals.  Although most of the food can be high in calories and fat, some shore cuisine choices can be good. 

Some alternative low fat food choices include:

–          steamed clams or shrimp (or raw bar selections),

–          salads (just be careful of dressing and cheeses), and

–          grilled chicken breast sandwich,

For those of you who would like something sweet after your meal, there are low fat choices as well and can include:

–          Cotton candy

–          Taffy (a boardwalk tradition),

–          Italian ices,

–          Gummy candies (many varieties),

–          Watermelon slices (my personal favorite), and

–          Fat free ice cream

I am sure there are even more choices that I may not noticed on the menu yesterday.  When in doubt, just look at a calorie counter website and type in a food that you like and check it out.  So don’t avoid all the fun that the Jersey beach has to offer, just make informed decisions.

Enjoy the beach fun!!

Posted in Appetizers, Grilling, Poultry, Sauces

Visiting Friends…

We are going to a friend’s house tonight for dinner and I am bringing an appetizer.   I made this a few times last summer and friends really enjoyed it.  Also, kids like this because it’s “food on a stick” which is always a hit.

Chicken Skewers with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Serves 8

Prep time: 15 minutes

Marinating time: overnight

Cook time: 15 minutes

Estimates Values per serving:

Calories = 200                                              Fat = 5 grams

Marinade Ingredients:

2 cloves garlic – minced

2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

½ cup rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 teaspoon fresh ginger – minced

½ cup fresh cilantro – finely chopped

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts – cut lengthwise into 1-inch wide strips

Skewers (about 20 – 25)

1 recipe spicy peanut sauce (recipe below)

Chicken Directions:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together garlic, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, chili sauce, lime juice, ginger and cilantro.  Add chicken to bowl, cover and let marinate overnight. 
  2. Remove chicken strips from marinade and  skewer
  3. Working in batches, grill chicken skewers for about 5 – 7 minutes or until completely cooked. 

Spicy Peanut Sauce Ingredients:

½ package (4 ounces) low fat cream cheese – cubed

½ package (4 ounces) fat free cream cheese – cubed

½ cup skim milk

3 tablespoons peanut butter

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Combine all ingredients in small saucepan.
  2. Heat on low, stirring, until all ingredients are melted and mixture is smooth.
Posted in Side Dishes, Vegetables

Broccoli Salad…

Broccoli Salad

Someone brought broccoli salad to my friend’s birthday party Friday night and I really enjoyed it.  So I thought about how I could duplicate the flavors but cut down on some of the fat and calories.  I also like my broccoli a little softer than raw broccoli and came up with the idea of marinating it for a few minutes.  I served this broccoli salad with dinner tonight and it was well received. 

Enjoy your veggies!

Broccoli Salad

Serves 8

Pre p Time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 5 – 10 minutes

Refrigeration time: at least 1 hour

Estimates Values per serving:

Calories = 80                                                Fat = 3 grams


2 cups water

¼ cup + 1 tablespoon sugar – separated

1 large head of broccoli

4 slices turkey bacon – chopped

½ cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon white vinegar

¼ cup raisins – chopped

½ small red onion – chopped

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cut tops of broccoli and discard stems.  Place broccoli florets in a large bowl.
  2. Bring water to a boil and stir in ¼ cup sugar until dissolved.  Pour sugar water over broccoli and let sit for 15 minutes.
  3. While broccoli is marinating, cook bacon until crispy.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon sugar, vinegar, raisins and red onion.  Add bacon when cooled.
  5. Drain water from broccoli and add to mayonnaise mixture and toss.  Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and serve cold.
Posted in Pasta dish, Vegetables

Company for the week…

Italian Pasta and Bean Salad

Our friends from Texas are visiting us for the week and should be arriving soon.  I planned a simple dinner for them since I know they will probably be tired from traveling all day.  So tonight, I am making pork loin cooked on the BBQ, Caesar’s salad and Italian pasta salad. 

Enjoy summer with friends.

Italian Pasta and Bean Salad

Serves 12

Pre p Time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 8 minutes

Estimates Values per serving:

Calories = 220                                              Fat = 3 grams


1 (12-ounce) box of pasta

½ cup low fat mayonnaise

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon anchovy paste

2 cloves garlic – minced

½ teaspoon paprika

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 (14-ounce) can of artichoke hearts – rinsed, drained and coarsely chopped

1 (15.5-ounce) can of chick peas – rinsed and drained

1 (15.5-ounce) can of red kidney beans– rinsed and drained

½ cup low fat shredded mozzarella cheese

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

8 ounces cherry tomatoes – cut in half

Pepper to season


  1. Boil a large pot of water and add macaroni.  Cook about 8 minutes until done and drain water.
  2. While pasta is cooking, whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, sugar, anchovy paste, garlic, paprika and red pepper flakes in a large bowl. 
  3. Add pasta, artichoke hearts, chick peas, kidney beans, cheeses and tomatoes and gently toss together.  Add pepper to season.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and serve cold.