Posted in Easy, Salads, Vegetables

Southwest Corn Salad

Original Post 2011: Here’s a great summer BBQ side to try this holiday weekend.  It’s easy, quick & delicious.

Southwest Corn Salad

Serves 10

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time:  5 – 10 minutes

Refrigerate: 1 to 2 hours or overnight

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 130                        Fat: 4 grams


6 slices turkey or center cut (low fat) bacon

3 cups corn kernels

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

½ cup minced red onion

½ cup red or green bell peppers

1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chili peppers

¼ cup fresh cilantro – finely chopped

¼ cup canola oil

2 tablespoons lime juice

Few drops of Tabasco (optional)


  1. Heat a skillet on medium high heat, coat with cooking spray and fry bacon for 5 – 7 minutes until browned.  Remove from heat and cool on paper towels.
  2. Crumble cooled bacon.
  3. In a small pot, boil ¼ cup water and add corn.  Cook until tender for about 5 minutes.  Rinse, drain and cool.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine corn, black beans, onions, bell peppers, chili peppers, cilantro  and bacon.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lime juice and Tabasco.  Pour on top of corn mixture and toss well.
  6. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
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.


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


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


  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 Casserole, Dessert, Season

Eggnog Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce

Eggnog Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce

Serves 8

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Bake Time: 1 hour

Preheat oven 325o

Estimated values per serving:

Calories = 400                      Fat = 6 grams                        Points: 6

Eggnog Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce

Bread Pudding Ingredients:

6 cups of cubed sweet bread (Challah)

4 cups low fat eggnog

¾ cups egg substitute

½ cups sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon rum extract

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Bread Pudding Directions:

  1. Toast cubed bread in the broiler until slightly browned (about 1 minute), turn bread over and broil on the other side until lightly browned (about 1 more minute).  Place toasted bread in a bowl and pour eggnog on top.  Allow the bread to soak in the eggnog for 1 hour.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg substitute, sugar, vanilla and rum extract and nutmeg.  Pour on top of bread mixture and gently fold in.
  3. Coat an 8 X 12 baking pan with cooking spray.  Spoon bread pudding into baking dish.  Bake 1 hour.  Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.

Rum Sauce Ingredients:

1 tablespoon butter

½ cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons rum

Rum Sauce Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a small skillet.  Add brown sugar and stir until sugar is moistened.
  2. Add rum and ignite.  Cook rum sauce until the flames have disappeared and the sugar is dissolved (about 2 minutes).
  3. Pour sauce over cooled bread pudding and serve at room temperature.


Posted in Bake, Cheesecake, Dessert

Holiday Dessert Idea

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Serves 8

Preheat oven 350o

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: About 1 hour

Retreater time: 3 hours or overnight

Estimated values per serving:

Calories = 300                      Fat = 8 grams                        Points: 6


1 cup graham cracker crumbs

3 tablespoons low calorie butter spread – melted

1 8-ounce package fat free cream cheese – softened

1 8-ounce package low fat cream cheese – softened

¼ cup fat free sour cream

1 cup sugar

1 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree

¾ cup egg substitute

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ cup flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground allspice


  1. Prepare baking dish: Line the sides of an 8-inch-square baking dish with foil so that the sides hangs over.  Spray the foil with cooking spray.
  2. Make crust: Stir graham cracker crumbs into butter spread and press on the bottom of the baking pan.  Bake crust for 12 minutes and remove from oven.
  3. Prepare filling: Place cream cheese, sour cream and sugar in a mixing bowl.  Beat mixture on medium speed for about 5 minutes until smooth.
  4. Beat in pumpkin and then slowly add egg substitute and vanilla while mixer is on medium speed.
  5. Reduce mixer speed to low and add flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.  Once all the flour and spices are in, beat on medium until well combined.
  6. Pour mixture into baking dish.
  7. Place baking dish in a larger baking pan and pour hot water in the pan.
  8. Bake cheesecake for 45 minutes until it is set around the edges.
  9. Shut off oven heat but leave cheesecake in the oven with the door slightly open for 30 minutes.

10. Remove cheesecake from the large baking pan and cool on a rack.  Cover cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Posted in Bake, Dessert

Happy Halloween

Meringue Ghosts

Serves 8

Preheat oven 300o

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes plus 1 hour with oven off

Estimated values per serving:

Calories = 100                      Fat = 0 grams                        Points: 2

Meringue Ghosts


3 egg whites at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon cream of tarter

Dash of salt

1 cup sugar

15 – 20 mini chocolate chips


  1. Place a sheet of parchment paper over a baking pan and set aside
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine egg whites, vanilla cream of tarter and salt.  Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (the tips will curl when lifting  the beater).
  3. Add sugar, one tablespoon at a time, white beating on high speed until very stiff peaks form (the tips stand straight up when beater is lifted) and sugar is dissolved.
  4. Spoon meringue into a pastry bag or plastic bag and cut the tip.
  5. Pipe meringue onto the baking pan into the shape of a ghostly figure.  Add mini chocolate chips for eyes.
  6. Bake 35 minutes then turn off oven but keep meringues in the oven for an additional hour to harden.
  7. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.