Posted in Bake, Casserole, Side Dishes

Chicken Apple Sausage Stuffing

Chicken Apple Sausage Stuffing

Serves 18

Preheat oven 375o

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Estimated values per serving:

Calories = 160                         Fat = 4 grams                         Points: 4

Chicken Apple Sausage Stuffing


1 onion – chopped

3 celery ribs – chopped

1 apple – chopped

1 package (12 ounces) chicken sausage links

1 5.2 ounce bag of chestnuts – chopped

4 cups vegetable broth

1 teaspoon dried parsley

½ teaspoon poultry seasoning

1 bag (14 ounces) herbed seasoned stuffing cubes

2 tablespoons butter spread


  1. Heat a large sauce pot or skillet on medium heat and coat with cooking spray.  Add onion and celery and sauté for 5 minutes until soft and browned.  Add apple and cook another 3 – 4 minutes.
  2. Add sausage and sauté for 5 minutes until browned.
  3. Add chestnuts, broth, parsley and poultry seasoning and bring to a boil.
  4. Remove from heat and Stir in bread stuffing cubes.
  5. Coat a large baking dish with cooking spray and spoon in stuffing.  Spread butter spread on top.
  6. Bake 30 for minutes and serve hot.
Posted in Roasted, Salads, Side Dishes

Warm Roasted Potato and Caramelized Onion Salad with Goat Cheese Dressing

Warm Potato and Caramilized Onion Salad

Serves 10

Preheat oven 450o

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving

Calories: 210                        Fat: 4  grams                         Points: 3


4 pounds potatoes – cut into 1-inch pieces

1 teaspoon salt

1 ½ pounds sweet onions – cut into 1/4 –inch thick slices

  1. Line a large baking pan with foil then generously spray with cooking spray.  Add potatoes in a single layer and sprinkle with salt.
  2. Roast potatoes for about 40 minutes until tender and browned, stirring occasionally.  Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.
  3. Heat a large skillet on medium low heat, spray with cooking spray and add onions.  Cover and slow cook for about 20 – 25 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are soft and caramel colored.
  4. In a large serving bowl, combine potatoes and onions.  Prepare goat cheese dressing (recipe below).

Goat Cheese Dressing Ingredients:

¾ cup fat free sour cream

5 ounces crumbled goat cheese

2 teaspoons prepared horseradish

1 tablespoon low fat real bacon bits


  1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.
  2. Add pepper to taste.
  3. Pour on potatoes salad and gently toss.
Posted in Salads, Vegetables

Broccoli-Bacon Salad

Broccoli Bacon salad

Serves 8

Prep time: 10minutes

Refrigeration time: 3 hours or overnight

Estimated Values per Serving

Calories: 111                        Fat:  4 grams                         Points: 2


6 cups small broccoli florets – coarsely chopped

½ cup raisins – coarsely chopped

4 slices turkey bacon – cooked and crumbled

3 scallions – sliced

2/3 cup low calorie mayonnaise

¼ cup honey


  1. In a serving bowl, combine broccoli, raisins, bacon and scallions.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise and honey.
  3. Add mayonnaise mixture to broccoli mixture and toss together. 
  4. Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight and serve cold.
Posted in Casserole, Side Dishes, Vegetables

Getting Back…

It’s been a while but we are finally home from traveling and have completed our holiday entertaining.  When we returned home from our travels, we saw that the green beans in our garden had overgrown.  To make them tender, I stewed the green beans in tomatoes.  Otherwise, they are too chewy.  Here is the recipe:

Italian Style Green Beans

Serves 6

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time 45 minutes

Preheat oven 325o

Estimated Values per serving:

Calories: 70                           Fat: trace                                Points: 1


2 pounds green beans – ends removed

2 cloves garlic – minced

1 onion – chopped

¼ cup white wine

1 can diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil


  1. Cut green beans into 1-inch pieces and set aside in a bowl.
  2. Heat a skillet on medium heat and spray with cooking spray.  Add onions and sauté for about 5 minutes until slightly browned and softened.  Add garlic and sauté an additional minute.  Transfer onions and garlic into a Dutch oven.  Stir in white wine, tomatoes, green beans, oregano and basil.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes until green beans are tender.
  4. Serve hot.
Posted in Salads, Side Dishes, Vegetables

A perfect compliment with BBQ…

Smoky Corn Salad

This is a great side dish that goes with any BBQ you are cooking up for family or friends.  The bacon and Tabasco sauce offers a nice contrast to the sweetness of the corn and the beans offer a lot of fiber to make it healthy as well.  If you’re planning a crowd, just double up on the ingredients, it’s easy enough to make.

Enjoy, eat well and feel good about it too.

Smoky Corn and Bean Salad

Serves 6

Prep time: 10 minutes

Refrigeration time: overnight

Estimated Values per serving:

Calories = 110                                              Fat =  2 grams


2 cups corn kernels

2 slices turkey bacon – chopped

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons lime juice

3 – 4 dashes Chipotle Tabasco sauce

1 cup red bell pepper – chopped

1 cup canned black beans – rinsed and drained

Salt to taste (optional)


  1. Heat skillet on medium high heat and spray with cooking spray.  Add corn and sugar and sauté for 5 – 7 minutes until browned.
  2. Transfer corn to a bowl and cool. 
  3. Cook turkey bacon in skillet until browned.  Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  4. Add lime juice, Tabasco sauce, red pepper, black beans,  corn and bacon to a bowl and season with salt.
  5. Refrigerate overnight and serve cold.
Posted in Cooking Styles/Techniques, Roasted, Side Dishes, Vegetables

A twist on a familiar side dish…

I have been cooking roasted cauliflower for a while and when we ate at a Tapas restaurant in Washington, I was delighted to see it on the menu and immediately ordered it.  It was served very differently than how I ever prepared it and I really liked the differences.  The restaurant had a few raisins tossed with roasted cauliflower which gave it a nice pleasantly sweet flavor.

I did a little searching to see if I could find what else may have been different and found a lot of variations on roasted cauliflower.  So I took ideas from several recipes to incorporate the spices and level of sweetness that I think I’d like.  It came out pretty good except I would put a little less thyme in it and have reflected this in the recipe below.

Happy roasting!

Check it out…

Roasted Cauliflower with Raisins

Roasted Cauliflower with Raisins

 Serves 6

Pre-heat the oven 430ºF

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

Estimated Values per serving:

Calories = 54                                                Fat = 2 grams


 ½ cup raisins

1 head of cauliflower – cut into small florets
½ teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper

¼ cup Panko (Japanese) bread crumbs

1 tablespoon olive oil


Soak raisins in boiling water for 1 hour.  Drain, chop and set aside.

  1. Combine cauliflower with thyme, sugar, salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss.
  2. Spray a large roasting pan with cooking spray and spread cauliflower in a single layer. 
  3. Roast, stirring occasionally, for 30 – 35 minutes or until lightly browned.  Sprinkle bread crumbs on top and roast another 5 minutes until bread crumbs are browned.
  4. Transfer to a serving dish and stir in chopped raisins and olive oil.

 NOTE: It is important that the cauliflower roasts in a single layer so that all of the pieces can brown evenly.

Posted in Salads, Side Dishes

New Great experiences in DC

We are visiting Dean’s cousin in Washington DC this weekend, and had the pleasure of cooking dinner tonight using quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah), a grain-like food that I have never tried or cooked with before.  It’s gluten free and high in protein and fiber.  Basically, this is healthy stuff that makes a great side dish.  Dean described it as almost having barley like qualities and could be substituted for recipes that normally call for barley.  Quinoa also cooks for only 15 minutes (instead of 45 for brown rice) which helps you save time in preparing dinner.  So go ahead, try it out, you may find a new side dish that is delicious, light and very healthy…

Unfortunately, I do not have all of my resources with me so I am unable to provide you with estimated values, but here is how we cooked quinoa this evening.

Quinoa with Vegetables and Beans

Serves 6

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 15 – 20 minutes


1 ½ cups quinoa

3 cups fat free chicken broth

1 cup corn kernels (defrosted if frozen)

½ cup grape tomatoes – cut in a half

1 cup canned black beans – rinsed and drained

1 teaspoon original “Mrs. Dash” salt free seasoning

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Place quinoa in a bowl and cover with water.  Rinse and drain water, then repeat several times until the water no longer has bubbles in it while rinsing.  Must rinse because the grain has a bitter coating that needs to be washed off.
  2. In a medium saucepot, bring chicken broth to a boil on high heat.  Add drained quinoa, reduce heat to medium low and allow it to simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes or until liquid is completely absorbed.
  3. While quinoa is simmering, cook corn on the stovetop or microwave with ¼ cup water for about 2 minutes until cooked.  Drain and place in a serving bowl.  Add tomatoes and black beans to corn and set aside.
  4. When quinoa is cooked, stir in seasoning, lemon juice and olive oil and then combine with vegetables and bean mixture and serve.
Posted in Vegetables

A taste of something familiar with a twist…

Spaghetti squash is one of those vegetables that a lot of people say “what can I possibly do with this weird thing?”  Let me change your mind on this one.  Dean, my husband, was on the South Beach diet years ago when we stumbled on this recipe as part of his diet plan.  I’ve made some modifications to the original to suit our taste but the basic idea is there. Spaghetti squash has such little flavor that when you cook this dish, it really tastes like you are eating pizza flavor without the crust. This recipe also tends to be kid friendly because of the flavor it offers.  Best of all, it’s a vegetable which means it’s good for you too.

Check it out…and happy vegging!

“Pizza” Spaghetti Squash

Serves 4


1 Spaghetti squash

2 – 3 cups vegetable broth

2 cloves garlic – minced

1 cup crushed tomatoes – from a can

½ teaspoon Italian seasoning

2 tablespoons parmesan cheese

Prep & cook time: 30 minutes


  1. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise.  Place cut sides down in a large skillet.  Pour enough vegetable broth into skillet so that it comes up by about 1 inch from the bottom.  Cover skillet and set stovetop to high until broth comes to a boil.  Reduce heat and allow squash to simmer for 15 – 20 minutes or until the squash is soft when you press down on the skin.
  2. Remove squash from skillet and set aside to cool.  Discard vegetable broth.
  3. Heat skillet on medium heat and spray with cooking spray.  Add garlic to skillet and sauté for about 1 minute.  Add crushed tomatoes and Italian seasoning, reduce heat and simmer for about 5 – 10 minutes (just to let the seasonings cook into the tomatoes).
  4. When spaghetti squash is cool enough to handles, pick up one side and scrape the inside with a fork into the tomato mixture.  The spaghetti squash shreds like spaghetti (thus the name).  Continue shredding until you are just left with the skin; discard the skin.  Continue with the other half of the squash.
  5. Heat for another 5 minutes to warm the dish.
  6. Remove from heat, stir in parmesan cheese and serve.

Per Serving (estimated):

Calories = 71                                                Fat = 1

Posted in Cooking Styles/Techniques, Creamed, Side Dishes, Vegetables

An old Comfort Food Side reborn

I think creamed spinach gets a bad wrap because we remember all too well the mushy stuff that was served out of the freezer and heated in the microwave or stovetop.  However, when made with fresh spinach and a homemade sauce, it goes from gloppy to glorious.  Try it out; it’s an easy recipe that is worth revisiting again.  And since it’s low fat, it comes guilt free too.

PS: Spinach is really good for you too.

Creamed Spinach

Serves 4


Cooking spray

1 (10-ounce) bag of baby spinach

½ onion – chopped

½ cup skim milk

½ tablespoon cornstarch

¼ teaspoon salt

Pinch of nutmeg

¼ cup (2 ounces) fat free cream cheese in the tub


  1. Heat non-stick sauté pan on medium heat and spray with cooking spray.  Sauté spinach for about 5 minutes until wilted.  Remove spinach and set over a colander to drain any excess water.
  2. Keeping the heat on medium, add onion and sauté for 5 minutes until onion is soft.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, mix milk and cornstarch and add to onion mixture along with salt, nutmeg and cream cheese.  Stir until cream cheese is melted and milk mixture is thickened.  Add spinach and serve.