Tag Archives: recipe

Summer Salad with Vinaigrette

This salad…is amazing!  I had a version of it while on vacation in Indy earlier this month.  Artisan lettuce (no iceberg) with fresh strawberries, mandarin oranges, pecans, crumbled/cubed cheese, and grilled chicken.  Delicious!

Salads are wonderful for a variety of things…you can get seriously creative with them.  Fruits, nuts, cheeses, meats, etc.  Nothing is really “wrong” on a salad…with the exception of dressing.  Some people go crazy with dressing, and drown the flavor (and health value) out of a perfectly good salad.

I have been experimenting with creating everyday food items from scratch.  First up…vinaigrette.  Specifically the vinaigrette that accompanied this salad in Indy.  A poppyseed vinaigrette.  The waitress was nice enough to tell me it had these things included:

-poppyseeds (of course)
-wine vinegar
-red onion

She followed it up with, “It’s really quite simple to mix up.”  So, I did.  I did; however, switch up the sugar for honey (as noted by the *).  I used two different kinds of oil, olive and canola.  The dressing had a pink hue to it, so I figured she probably meant red wine vinegar.  Putting this dressing together took me all of five minutes…and it is delicious!  Best of all, I know *exactly* what is in it, and I know it is fresh!

What kinds of salads do you enjoy?  Have you ever made your own dressing?


Seafood and Mushroom Pasta

This is another recipe from my Facebook friend, Amy…and another I want to try.  Although I am not a big fan of clams, so I would probably substitute chicken instead.  I think it would still be equally delicious with chicken anyway.




1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tin (10 ounces) baby clams, with juice
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 large tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh dill
ground black pepper
8 ounces whole wheat linguine
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

If you blanch your tomatoes, their skins will slip off easily. Begin by coring the tomatoes with a paring knife, removing the stems and white middles. Then cut an X in the bottom of each tomato, cutting only the skin. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the tomatoes to the water. Boil for about 30 seconds. Remove the tomatoes from the pot and immediately plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking process. when the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, use the edge of the knife to slip off the skin.

1. Warm the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the clams, shrimp, and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until the shrimp are pink and the mushrooms are soft. Add the tomatoes, garlic, and dill. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the juice from the tomatoes evaporates a bit. Season to taste with the salt and pepper. 2. Meanwhile, in a large pot, cook the linguine according to package directions. Drain the pasta and place it in a large bowl. Add the shellfish mixture and toss gently to combine. Sprinkle with the cheese and additional dill, if using, and serve. 

Here’s the dirt: 
489.5 calories
11.7 fat (3.8 saturated)
239 mg cholesterol 
757 mg sodium 
53 g carbs 
6 g fiber 
49 g protein


Black Bean Salad

I came across this recipe today looking over a friend’s Facebook page…and it looks *amazing* to me!  I want to try this out sometime in the upcoming week.  I *love* fresh cilantro (so much, in fact, I grow it in my garden).


1/4 c smoked tomato vinaigrette (such as Drew’s)
1 can (15 oz) no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp ground cumin
2 c fresh corn kernels (about 2 large ears)
2 oz smoked mozzarella, diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
3/4 c coarsely chopped avocado
1/2 c finely chopped red onion
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro

1. In a large bowl, combine vinaigrette, beans, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste; set aside.
2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn and pan-roast, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Stir corn and remaining ingredients into black bean mixture and toss together.
3. Chill until ready to serve. Divide evenly into four salad bowls.

Serves 4
Here’s the dirt:
324 calories
9 g fat (2.7 g saturated)
554 mg sodium
42 g carbs
11 g fiber
13 g protein

TIP: If you use frozen corn kernels, make sure they’re thawed and dry so they don’t stick to the pan.


Tuna Artichoke Melts


1 can (6 oz) light water-packed tuna, drained and flaked
1/3 c. coarsely chopped water-packed artichoke hearts
2 Tbsp fat-free mayo
1/2 c. shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend, divided
1/4 tsp salt-free lemon-pepper seasoning
1/8 tsp dried oregano
2 English muffins, split and toasted

1. In a small bowl, combine tuna, artichokes, mayo, 1/4 c. cheese, lemon-pepper and oregano.  Spread over English muffin halves.

2. Place on a baking sheet.  Broil 4-6 inches from heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until heated through.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese; broil 1 to 2 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

****I would decrease the lemon-pepper seasoning if I made this again.  It was a little too much for my taste.  Other than that, this was fantastic.  Also I used 100% whole grain bagels instead of English muffins and it was just as yummy.

Here’s the dirt:
2 servings (a serving equals 2 open-faced sandwiches)

335 calories
8 g fat (4 g saturated)
47 mg cholesterol
989 mg sodium
31 g carbs
2 g fiber
34 g protein


Fruit-Filled Puff Pancake


1 Tbsp butter
1/3 c. all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp sugar, divided
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 c. milk
1-1/2 c. fresh or frozen blueberries
1 medium ripe banana, sliced
1/4 tsp cinnamon

1. Place butter in a 9-in pie or cake pan.  Bake at 400 F for 4-5 minutes or until melted.  Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the flour, 1 Tbsp sugar and salt.  Add eggs and milk; whisk until smooth.

2. Pour into hot pan.  Bake at 400 F for 10-12 minutes or until edges are puffed and golden brown.  Meanwhile, combine blueberries and banana.

3. In a small bowl, combine cinnamon and remaining sugar.  Spoon the fruit mixture onto pancake; sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar.  Cut into wedges.

***You can use any fruit you’d like (we used blueberries, strawberries, and bananas).  Also I did not use even half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture.  I could not imagine piling on *that* much sugar…but you can if you want.

Here’s the dirt:
4 servings

232 calories
8 g fat (4 g saturated)
171 mg cholesterol
240 mg sodium
34 g carbs
2 g fiber
8 g protein


Thursday Dinner

After a successful dinner on Wednesday, I was certainly up for another batch of new recipes on Thursday.  My family was excited.

We had mushroom cheese chicken, veggie cheese casserole, and oven roasted corn on the cob.  It was all absolutely delicious!

The chicken was tender and moist.  The cheesy filling was fabulous.

The veggie cheese casserole was quite different than any way I have ever prepared broccoli before.  My husband and chicklets loved it, though!  This shot was taken before I put it in the oven.

As it baked, it had the best aroma.  Mixed with the smell of the chicken baking, my house smelled wonderful.  When the casserole came out of the oven it looked amazing.  The parmesan cheese had melted and the top was a light golden brown.  My chicklets called it broccoli cake.

We had quite a bit of the casserole left over (as you can see), so I would probably cut this recipe in half next time to avoid having to store so much of it.

Unfortunately, I never remembered to take any pictures of the corn (before or after baking).  That is a shame, I will say, because it was beautiful.  The green of the cilantro against the bright yellow and white looked incredible – and it was so yummy.


4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (5 ounces each)
1/2 tsp salt
dash pepper
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 c reduced-fat plain yogurt
1/2 c shredded aprt-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 c canned mushroom stems and pieces
1 Tbsp diced pimientos
1 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 Tbsp minced chives

1 Tbsp reduced-fat plain yogurt
1 Tbsp dry bread crumbs
1/8 tsp paprika

Flatten chicken to 1/8-inch thickness; sprinkle with salt and pepper.  In a small bowl, combine the flour and yogurt until smooth.  Stir in the cheese, mushrooms, pimientos, parsley, and chives.  Spread down the center of each piece of chicken.  Roll up and tuck in ends; secure with toothpicks.  Place seam side down in an 11 X 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Brush yogurt over chicken.  Combine bread crumbs and paprika; sprinkle over the top.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 F for 20 to 25 minutes or until chicken juices run clear.  Discard toothpicks before serving.

Here’s the dirt:
4 servings

222 calories
5 g fat (2 g saturated fat)
92 mg cholesterol
544 mg sodium
4 g carbs
trace fiber
39 g protein



3 c frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
1/2 c  reduced-fat biscuit/baking mix
1 c reduced-fat sour cream
1 c reduced-fat cottage cheese
2 eggs
1/4 c butter, melted
1/4 tsp salt
1 large tomato, thinly sliced and halved
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese

Arrange the broccoli in a greased 8-inch square baking pan; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the biscuit mix, sour cream, cottage cheese, eggs, butter, and salt; pour over the broccoli.  Arrange tomato slices over the top; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 F for 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

Here’s the dirt:
9 servings

158 calories
9 g fat (6 g saturated fat)
72 mg cholesterol
354 mg sodium
10 g carbs
1 g fiber
8 g protein



2 Tbsp finey chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp water
4 ears of corn, shucked

Preheat the oven to 450 F.  Tear off 4 (12-inch square) sheets of heavy-duty foil.

In a shallow bowl, combine the cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, and water.  Roll the corn in the cilantro oil, then place on the foil; brush with any remaining cilantro oil.  Wrap the foil around the corn securely, then place directly on an oven rack.  Bake, turning occasionally, until tender (about 25 minutes).

Here’s the dirt:
4 servings

109 calories
4 g fat (1 g saturated fat, 0 g Trans fat)
0 mg cholesterol
14 mg sodium
18 g carbs
3 g fiber
3 g protein
3 mg calcium


Wednesday Dinner

Remember my little goal this week to try new recipes and post pictures of my adventures?  Well, here they come…

Wednesday night we had braised pork chops, zucchini tomato toss, and corn potato pancakes (well, almost).  The dinner was fabulous, if I do say so myself (and my husband agreed).  Eating healthy certainly has its benefits.  The entire meal was only 400 calories, and we all left the table satisfied (but not over-stuffed).

Here are the ingredients for the zucchini tomato toss.  They look amazing, don’t they?  I love the bright greens and purple against the red.  Beautiful.

The aroma of this cooking was phenomenal, honestly.  Everyone started flocking to the kitchen to see what I was whipping up.  There was none of this left after dinner either.

Here is the beginning of the corn potato pancakes.  I made my own mashed potatoes from scratch – yummy.

The next step was to add the rest of the ingredients for the pancakes.  Fresh parsley, cream style corn, flour, egg, onion…it all smelled so good.

Well, here they are in the skillet.  Unfortunately, they never made it out of the skillet (not in the proper form anyway).  I could not get the pancakes to stay in pancake form.  Every time I went to flip them they just fell apart and behaved, well, like mashed potatoes.  So, instead of throwing away all the “batter” I ended up throwing it all in the pan and cooking it that way.  When they changed in consistency (a little thicker, and less wet) I scooped them up and served them as mashed potatoes.  Apparently, I went wrong somewhere.  If anyone has tried this recipe, or any other potato pancake recipe please share your words of wisdom.

Here are the braised pork chops sizzling away in the skillet.  The flavor was amazing, but I will admit they were a little dry for my taste (and my husband’s).  The next time I prepare these I will tweak it a little to make the meat a little more moist.

Overall, though, we had an amazing dinner.  Even my chicklets loved everything.

Here are the recipes:


1/4 c. chopped green pepper
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices (I doubled this)
1 small onion, thinly sliced and separated
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. olive oil
2 small plum tomatoes, peeled and cut into wedges (I cut 3 tomatoes)
1/2 tsp. salt
dash pepper
1 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley

In a nonstick skillet, saute green pepper, zucchini, onion, and garlic in oil for 3 to 4 minutes or until crisp-tender.  Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper.  Reduce heat to low; cover and cook until heated through.  Sprinkle with parsley.

Here’s the dirt:
2 servings (more if you add extra zucchini and tomato)

59 calories
3 g fat (trace saturated fat)
0 g cholesterol
597 mg sodium
9 g carbs
3 g fiber
2 g protein



1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
1/8 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. pepper
4 bone-in pork loin chops (6 ounces each)
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 c. water
2 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 c. reduced-sodium chicken broth

Combine seasonings; sprinkle over chops.  In a nonstick skillet, cook chops in oil until browned on both sides.  Add water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes or until tender.  Remove meat and keep warm.  Combine cornstarch and broth until smooth; stir into cooking juices.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Serve over chops.

Here’s the dirt:
4 servings (1 chop with 2 Tbsp of gravy)

180 calories
9 g fat (3 g saturated fat)
67 mg cholesterol
83 mg sodium
1 g carbs
trace fiber
23 g protein


Spicy French Dip

This is a recipe you can leave unattended while you do other daily chores.


1 boneless beef sirloin tip roast (about 3 pounds, cut in half)
1/2 c. water
1 can (4 ounces) diced jalapeno peppers, drained
1 envelope Italian dressing mix
12 crusty rolls (5 inches)

1. Place beef in a 5-qt slow cooker.  In a small bowl, combine the water, jalapenos, and dressing mix; pour over beef.  Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or until meat is tender.  Remove beef and shred using two forks.  Skim fat from cooking juices.  Serve beef on buns with juice.

Here’s the dirt:
12 servings (1 sandwich with 3 Tbsp of juice)

357 calories
9 g fat (4 g saturated fat)
68 mg cholesterol
877 mg sodium
37 g carbs
2 g fiber
31 g protein


Confetti Scrambled Egg Pockets

An interesting take on breakfast.  Considering they are in a pita, this would probably be a great “on the go” breakfast, too.


1 c. fresh or frozen corn
1/4 c. chopped green pepper
2 Tbsp chopped onion
1 jar (2 ounces) diced pimientos, drained
1 Tbsp butter
1-1/4 c. egg substitute
3 eggs
1/4 c. fat-free evaporated milk
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
1 green onion, sliced
3 whole wheat pita breads (6 inches), halved

1. In a large nonstick skillet, saute the corn, green pepper, onion and pimientos in butter for 5 to 7 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

2. In a large bowl, combine the egg substitute, eggs, milk, and salt; pour into skillet.  Cook and stir over medium heat until the eggs are completely set.  Stir in the tomato and green onion.  Spoon about 2/3 c. into each pita half.

Here’s the dirt:
6 servings

207 calories
6 g fat (2 g saturated fat)
112 mg cholesterol
538 mg sodium
28 g carbs
4 g fiber
13 g protein


Classic Sticky Buns

Here is another recipe I am dying to try – soon.


1 envelope active dry yeast
2 Tbsp lukewarm (105 – 115 F) water
1/2 c. lukewarm (105 – 115 F) fat-free milk
1 large egg
2 tsp unsalted butter, melted
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1-1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c. dark raisins
2 tsp. fat-free milk
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/2 tsp warm water

1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the water.  Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

2. In a small bowl, combine the lukewarm milk, egg, and butter.  In a food processor, combine the flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt.  With the machine running, scrape the yeast mixture and milk mixture through the feed tube until the dough forms a ball.  Knead the dough by pulsing until smooth and no longer sticky, about 30 times.

3. Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray; place the dough in the bowl.  Cover loosely with platic wrap or a damp towel and let the dough rise in a warm, drat-free place until it doubles in volume, 30 to 45 minutes.

4. Spray an 8-inch cake pan with nonstick spray.  Punch down the dough; lightly sprinkle a work surface with flour.

5. Turn out dough; knead in the raisins and divide the dough into 8 pieces.  Roll each piece of dough into an 8-inch rope, then coil the ropes into buns.  Place the buns in the pan; cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let them rise until doubled in volume, 35 to 40 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 375 F.  Brush the tops of the buns with the milk.  Bake on the center rack until lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes.

7. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, vanilla, and warm water.  Spread over the buns as soon as you remove them from the oven.  Serve warm.

Here’s the dirt:
8 servings

204 calories
2 g fat (0 g saturated fat, 0 g Trans fat)
27 mg cholesterol
163 mg sodium
42 g carbs
2 g fiber
5 g protein
40 mg calcium