Posted in Bake, Casserole, Easy, Poultry, Vegetables

Savory Chicken Cobbler


I love this time of year for a lot of reasonsincluding all the delicious comfort food recipes.  Here’s a great low calorie/low fat take on the traditional Chicken Pot Pie.  Sorry I didn’t have the time to caculate the estimated values but will update it soon.

NOTE: I rarely use brand names but “Best Life Buttery Spread” works really well for the cobbler because it needs to be firm.

In the meantime…Enjoy!

Savory Chicken Cobbler

Preheat oven to 400o

Savory Chicken Cobbler

Serves 8

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 325                                                            Fat: 3 grams

Chicken filling Ingredients:

1 onion – chopped

8 ounces sliced mushrooms

¼ cup sherry

2 cups chicken broth

¼ cup flour

1 package (12 ounces) frozen mixed vegetables – thawed

1 teaspoon thyme

1 pound bones/skinless cooked chicken breast – cubed

Salt & pepper

Cobbler Ingredients:

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon thyme

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

3 tablespoons low fat butter spread

¼ cup egg substitute

3 tablespoons skim milk

Directions:

Make the chicken filling:

  1. Heat a large skillet on medium low and coat with cooking spray.  Add the mushrooms and sauté for about 10 – 12
    minutes, turning occasionally, until browned.
  2. Add onion, cover and sauté for about 5 – 7 minutes until the onions are soft and slightly browned.
  3. Increase heat to medium high and add sherry.  Cook until all the liquid has absorbed.  In a
    small bowl, combine the chicken stock and flour then pour into the skillet and
    stir until slightly thickened.
  4. Add the vegetables, chicken and season with thyme, salt and pepper.
  5. Lower heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Make the cobbler:

  1. Whisk
    together the flour, baking powder, thyme, salt and pepper.  With a pastry knife, cut the butter spread
    into the flour mixture until it resembles small peas.
  2. Mix in the egg substitute and milk until moistened.

Assembly:

  1. Coat a large oven safe baking dish with cooking spray.  Spoon chicken filling into the bottom and
    then spoon cobbler on top, making mounds with the dough.
  2. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until the cobbler is slightly browned and cooked through.
  3. Serve hot.
Posted in Side Dishes

Bacon Cheddar Biscuits


It’s been way too long since I have posted a recipe and I aplogize.  I hope to be back on track and giving you more fun, delicious and light recipes to try.  Here is a light take on a comfort food side dish I made last week that the family enjoyed.

Bacon
Cheese Biscuits

Serves 12

Preheat oven 425o

Estimated Values Per Serving:

Calories:  130                                             Fat: 5 grams

Ingredients:

4 slices turkey bacon

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon chives

6 tablespoons low fat butter spread

1 cup low fat cheddar cheese

1 cup skim milk

¾ teaspoons cream of tartar

Directions:

  1.  Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp.  Drain bacon on paper towels and finely chop the bacon.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add chopped bacon and chives and whisk together with flour mixture.
  3. Add the butter spread and using a pastry knife, cut the butter spread into the
    flour mixture until it is in pea-sized pieces.  Stir in the cheese with a wooden spoon.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the skim milk and cream of tarter then mix into the
    flour/cheese mixture with a spoon until moist.
  5. Drop biscuit dough onto an ungreased baking sheet into 12 large or 24 small biscuits.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
    Serve warm.
Posted in Appetizers, Bake, Grilling

Bingo Fiesta


Friday night I had some friends over for a fun bingo night out with the girls.  To make things easy, I bought some frozen appetizers and limited my cooking to a few additions.  Here are 3 recipes from that night:

Black bean Quesadillas

Serves 10

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 7 – 10 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 145                        Fat: 4 grams

Ingredients:

1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans – drained and rinsed

4 ounces fat free cream cheese – softened

4 ounces low fat cream cheese – softened

1 packet cheese flavored taco seasoning

1 clove garlic – minced

1 cup low fat Mexican grated cheese blend

8 medium soft flour tortillas

Salsa for serving

Directions:

  1. Place black beans in a food processor with the cream cheeses, taco seasoning and garlic.  Puree until the ingredients are smooth.
  2. Spoon into a bowl and mix in grated cheese.
  3. Spread the black bean mixture onto 4 tortillas then place the remaining 4 tortillas on top.
  4. Grill tortillas for 3 – 5 minutes on each side until the tortilla has browned and the cheese has melted inside.
  5. Cut each into 4 triangles per tortilla.
  6. Serve warm with salsa.

Cheese Quesadillas

Serves 10

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 7 – 10 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 115                        Fat: 4 grams

Ingredients:

4 ounces fat free cream cheese – softened

4 ounces low fat cream cheese – softened

1 packet cheese flavored taco seasoning

1 cup low fat Mexican grated cheese blend

8 medium soft flour tortillas

Salsa for serving

Directions:

  1. In a mixer, beat the cream cheeses and taco seasoning mix on high speed.
  2. Mix in grated cheese.
  3. Spread the cheese mixture onto 4 tortillas then place the remaining 4 tortillas on top.
  4. Grill tortillas for 3 – 5 minutes on each side until the tortilla has browned and the cheese has melted inside.
  5. Cut each into 4 triangles per tortilla.
  6. Serve warm with salsa.

Tortilla Crisps

Serves 20

Preheat oven 425o

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Bake Time: 8 – 10 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 110                        Fat: 1 grams

Ingredients:

½ cup sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

10 large soft flour tortillas

¼ cup melted low fat butter spread

Directions:

  1. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Cut tortillas into triangles
  3. Wrap a large baking sheet with foil then coat with cooking spray.
  4. Spread tortilla triangles on the baking sheet on 1 layer (you may need to use more than 1 baking pan).  Brush melted butter on the tortillas then sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixture on top.
  5. Bake 8 – 10 minutes until the tortillas are crisp.
  6. Cool to room temperature and serve.
Posted in Bake, Dessert

Mexican Style Ice Cream Sandwiches


A friend of mine was telling me how she really enjoyed these sweet tortilla crisps at her sister’s BBQ.  The originals are coated in butter then sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and baked.  I was thinking about how I could make these without the butter while also enhancing it a little and here is what I came up with.  I had my friend try these to make sure they passed the “delicious” test and she said they made the grade.  If you prefer, you can omit the ice cream and simply cut the tortillas, coat with cooking spray, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake too.

Enjoy…

Mexican Style Ice Cream Sandwiches

Preheat oven 425o

Serves 10

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 200                        Fat: 5 grams

Mexican Style Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ingredients:

10 medium flour soft tortillas

Cooking spray

1/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 ½ cups low fat ice cream

Directions:

  1. Cut 2 circles in each tortilla (about the size of a large biscuit).
  2. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
  3. Coat one side of each tortilla with cooking spray and sprinkle a little cinnamon sugar on top.
  4. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
  5. Place the uncoated (non-sugared) side of each tortilla on the baking sheet and cook for 10 – 15 minutes until crisp.
  6. Remove tortilla crisps and cool on a wire rack.
  7. Scoop about ¼ cup ice cream onto one of the tortilla crisps then add another tortilla crisp so that the ice cream is “sandwiched” between two crisps.  Continue until you have 10 total ice cream sandwiches.
  8. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 1 hour before serving.
Posted in Pork, Rub, Salads, Sauces, Season, Slow Cook, Spices, Vegetables

Pulled Pork with Amercian Style Coleslaw


Every year this weekend kicks off the holiday BBQ season.  To get ready, I am experimenting with some classic menus that won’t make you feel guilty.  Tonight we had pulled pork and coleslaw sandwiches.

One of the reasons I love serving this to company is because it is better if made a day or two before the BBQ.  The coleslaw should be made at least 24 hour in advance and kept cold until ready to serve.  The longer it sits in the refrigerator, the better it gets.  The pulled pork can definitely be made the day before and heated up and served in a crock pot.  So if you are looking for hassle free cooking the day of your party, this is a great menu.

The family loved it (even if it was 60 degrees and cloudy) and was asking for seconds.

Enjoy!

American Style Coleslaw

Pulled Pork with Amercian Style Coleslaw

Serves 8

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Refrigerate overnight

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 55                           Fat: 2 grams

Ingredients:

½ cup low fat mayonnaise

¼ cup skim milk

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons white vinegar

½ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon celery seed

¼ teaspoon salt

1 scallion – chopped

4 cups shredded cabbage

1 cup shredded carrot

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, milk, sugar, vinegar, pepper, onion powder, celery seed, and salt.
  2. Add shredded cabbage, carrot and scallion and toss.
  3. Refrigerate overnight or for several days and serve cold.

Pulled Pork

Serves 8

Pre heat oven 250o

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Bake Time: 4 – 5 hours

Cook time: 30 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 200                        Fat: 5 grams

Pork Loin Rub Ingredients:

2 pounds boneless pork loin

1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

2 teaspoons ground oregano

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon thyme

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Trim any excess fat from pork and set aside.
  2. To make the rub, combine all the ingredients. Rub over the surface of the pork loin to coat.
  3. Place pork in baking pan and cover with aluminum foil.  Cook pork for about 4 – 5 hours.
  4. Cool pork until you are able to handle it then shred the meat.

BBQ Sauce Ingredients:

1 cup strong coffee

1 jar (12 ounces) chili sauce

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons molasses

½ teaspoon liquid smoke

¼ cup white vinegar

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 – 3 dashes pepper sauce (optional)

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in large saucepan and bring to a simmer on medium low heat.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Add sauce to shredded pork and mix well.  Serve hot.
Posted in Bake, Beef, Casserole, Main Courses, Pasta dish, Poultry, Sauces

Pastitsio – Greek Style Baked ziti with meat


Most families have traditional holiday meals that usually stem from their ethnic background and my family is no exception. Coming from a Greek American background, our Easter dinner usually consists of roasted lamb with orzo, Greek salad, spinach pie, pastsio and rice pudding for dessert.  Here is a recipe I’d like to share with you that lightens up a traditionally very heavy dish.

Enjoy…

Pastitsio – Greek Style Baked ziti with meat

Preheat Oven 350o

Serves 6

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook & Bake Time: 50 – 60 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 420                        Fat: 7 grams

Ingredients:

½ pound ziti pasta

1 onion – chopped

1 clove garlic – minced

½ pound ground sirloin

½ pound ground turkey breast meat

Salt and pepper

½ cup white wine

1 cup tomato sauce

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

½ cup egg substitute

Cream Sauce:

1 cup fat free half and half

2 cups skim milk

½ cup flour

¾ cup egg substitute

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add ziti, cook for 5 minutes until al dente (firm).  Drain ziti and rinse with cold water.  Spoon into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Make the meat filling:  Heat a large skillet on medium low heat, coat with cooking spray and add onion.  Cook for about 5 minutes until softened and browned.  Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
  3. Increase the stovetop burner heat to medium high and add ground beef and turkey and sauté for about 7 minutes until the meat is cooked and browned.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add white wine and cook until all the liquid has absorbed.  Add tomato sauce and heat for about 2 minutes.  Spoon meat filling into the bowl with ziti and cool while preparing the cream sauce.
  5. Make cream sauce: In a large pot, whisk together half and half, milk, flour, egg substitute and nutmeg.  Heat the stovetop burner on medium low, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly and thick.  Remove from heat and stir in 1/3 cup parmesan cheese.  Set aside.
  6. Once the meat mixture is cooled, add the ¼ cup parmesan cheese and ½ cup egg substitute.
  7. To assemble: Coat an 8 X 12 inch baking pan with cooking spray.  Spoon meat and ziti mixture on the bottom.  Spread the cream sauce on top.
  8. Cover and bake for 45 minutes.  Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving.
Posted in Bake, Beef, Casserole, Main Courses, Poultry

Mexican Style Lasagna


Preheat oven 375o

Serves 6

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 350                        Fat: 8 grams

Mexican Style Lasagna

Ingredients:

½ pound ground turkey breast meat

½ pound ground sirloin steak

1 clove garlic – crushed

1 cup chili sauce

½ cup water

Tabasco sauce (optional)

1 packet taco seasoning

6 small round soft tortillas

1 cup low fat grated Mexican blend cheese – separated

1 cup salsa

Directions:

  1. Heat a large skillet on medium high heat and coat with cooking spray.  Add ground turkey and beef and sauté for 5 – 7 minutes until browned.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute.
  2. Add chili sauce, water, Tabasco sauce (if using) and taco seasoning.  Heat on medium low for 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Heat a non-stick skillet on medium high.  Heat tortillas until slightly browned.
  4. To Assemble: Coat an 8 X 12 inch baking dish with cooking spray.  Layer 3 tortillas on the bottom (you may have to cut the tortillas so that they cover the bottom).  Add the ground meat mixture and top with half the cheese.  Layer the meat and cheese mixture with the remaining tortillas.  Spoon salsa on top and finally, top with the remaining cheese.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.

 

Posted in Bake, Breakfast, Casserole

Baked Apple French Toast


Baked Apple French Toast

Serves 8

Preheat oven 375o

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Estimated values per serving:

Calories = 215                      Fat = 2 grams                        Points: 3

Ingredients:

6 cups Challah bread – cut into 1-inch pieces

2 large cooking apples – cored, peeled and chopped

¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ cup raisins – chopped

1 ¼ cup egg substitute

½ cup skim milk

¼ cup maple syrup

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground allspice

Directions:

  1. Coat a 9X12-inch baking pan with cooking spray.  Add bread and toast in the oven for about 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.
  2. Heat a large non-stick skillet with cooking spray, coat with cooking spray and add apples, sugar and cinnamon.  Sauté apples until soft for about 7 – 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and toss with toasted bread and raisins.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together egg substitute, milk, maple syrup, nutmeg and all spice.  Pour on top of apple/bread mixture.  Press down on bread until it is completely moistened.
  4. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until set.

    Baked Apple French Toast
Posted in Dessert, Tips/Hints

A snowy day treat…


It’s a cold snowy day here and Nick has no school.  This “Island Spiced Baked Apples” recipe can warm up the day.  It’s a great fat free, healthy and filling snack that is easy to make too.  I call it Island Spiced beacuse I bought the dark rum from Barbados when we were on vacation one year but any dark rum will do just fine.  If you don’t have dark rum, you can use regular light rum instead.

Enjoy & Happy Baking!!

Island Spiced Baked Apples

Preheat oven 375o

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 large baking apples

1/3 cup raisins

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ cup allspice

1 tablespoon dark island rum (from Barbados or other high quality island rum)

¼ – 1/3 cup water

Directions:

  1. Core apples with a round apple core tool ¾ of the way down.  To do this, continuously twist the apple core tool around the center of the apple gently adding pressure to the inside of the apple and pull toward you to remove the center.
  2. In mini processor, combine raisins, brown sugar, cinnamon and allspice and pulse until raisins are chopped and mixture is combined.  Add mixture to a small bowl and stir in rum.
  3. Fill each apple with sugar rum mixture, pressing into the apple to pack it down.
  4. Arrange apples in a baking dish and add water to the bottom of the pan (should just fill the bottom only by about ½ inch.
  5. Cover baking dish and bake 40 – 45 minutes (baking time will be dependent on the size and firmness of the apples) or until the apples just begin to crack and are soft to the touch.
  6. Serve hot.