Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Banana Pudding Cake

I saw this recipe on Pinterest and decided to adapt it to make it points friendly. This moist, flavorful cake will be sure to please. Try it with different flavors. It is very versatile!

serves 24 ( 5 points +)

  • 1 box yellow cake mix ( 15 oz. I used Duncan Hines), mixed according to package directions
  • 2 packages instant, sugar-free, fat-free, banana pudding
  • 4 c. skim milk
  • 1 ( 8 oz.) Cool Whip Free
  • 20 reduced-fat vanilla wafers, crushed

Preheat oven to temperature specified on cake mix. Mix cake mix according to package directions ( eggs, oil, water). Pour cake mix into a 13 x 9 baking dish coated with nonstick spray. Bake according to package directions. Let cool for 5 minutes. Poke holes in the top of the cake with a spoon handle or whatever you can find to make a round hole.
Meanwhile, mix pudding with milk for 2 minutes. Let stand to slightly thicken. Pour pudding mix over cake, pushing as much into the holes as possible. 
Place cake in the refrigerator and cool completely. When cake is cooled, spread Cool Whip over pudding. Top with crushed vanilla wafers. Garnish with banana slices and a whole cookie if desired.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Zucchini, Yellow Squash and Tomato Tian

Super easy, super healthy, super delicious!

serves 6 ( 2 points +)

  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 T. Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350
Place onion in the bottom of a large deep-dish pie pan or large round baking dish. Arrange zucchini, squash and tomatoes in spiral fashion over onions. Drizzle with 1 T. olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with Parmesan and bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until browned.

Sirloin in Red Wine Sauce

While looking for a recipe for a special dinner for my parents' anniversary, I came across this one in a "Cooking Light" magazine. I adapted it slightly for the amount of people I was serving. It was a real treat and at 4 points +, it was thoroughly enjoyed!

Serves 8 ( 4 points +)

  • 1 T. canola oil, Divided
  • 2 ( 1 lb. sirloin steaks)
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 T. finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 c. red wine
  • 1/2 c. fat-free beef broth
  • 1-1/2 tsp. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

In a large nonstick skillet or cast iron pan, heat oil.  Season steaks with salt and pepper. Add steaks to pan and cook 3-4 minutes per side or until desired doneness. Remove and let stand 5 minutes. Slice thinly against the grain.
Meanwhile, add onion and thyme to pan and cook until tender. Stir in red wine; cook until liquid almost evaporates ( 2-3 minutes). Add broth to pan and cook 3 minutes or until mixture is reduced by half. Remove from heat. Stir in butter, mustard and salt and pepper to taste. Pour red wine sauce over steak.

Curried Rice Pilaf

This recipe was sent to my by my neighbor, Danielle. I adjusted it to make it a little more points friendly. It was outstanding. I think this dish would accompany beef, chicken or pork quite well.

serves 8 ( 1/2 generous cup = 5 points +)

  • 1/2 c. chopped green onion, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 c. uncooked rice( I used Jasmine Rice)
  • 3 c.  fat-free chicken broth
  • 3/4 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. golden raisins
  • 1/2 c. sliced almonds, toasted

Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Add 1/4 c. green onions and garlic. Cook until tender. Stir in rice and cook 2-3 minutes. Add broth, curry powder and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer very low until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. ( 15-20 minutes) Stir in raisins, remaining green onions and almonds.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Creamy Spring Pasta

This is an Alfredo-like dish with a taste of spring! I think you will love the creamy, rich flavor!

serves 4 ( 10 points +)

  • 1 oz. white bread
  • 1/2 T. butter
  • 4 tsp. crushed garlic, divided
  • 1-1/2 c. diagonally cut ( 2 inch pieces) asparagus
  • 1 c. frozen peas
  • 9 oz. refrigerated fettuccine
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. finely chopped onion
  • 1 T. flour
  • 1/4 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 c. skim milk
  • 3 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper

Place bread in a food processor and process until fine crumbs form. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet. Add 1 tsp. garlic and bread crumbs. Cook until browned and crisp. stirring often. Remove from pan and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat a large pot of water to a boil. Add asparagus and peas. Cook 3-5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add fettuccine to pot and cook until al dente ( about 2 minutes with fresh pasta); drain.
Heat oil in skillet. Add 1 T. garlic and onions. Cook 3 minutes or until tender. In a small bowl, combine flour with broth. Add broth mixture and milk to pan and cook 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in cream cheese and Parmesan cheese until melted. Stir in salt and pepper. Add vegetables and pasta to pan. Toss to coat. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Serve immediately.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Monday, April 8, 2013

Spinach-Radish Salad

A fun, colorful, fresh-tasting, spring-time salad!

serves 6 ( 2 points +)

  • 6 T. white wine vinegar
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 oz. fresh, baby spinach
  • 2 c. sliced radishes
  • 2 oz. soft goat cheese, crumbled

Combine first 4 ingredients for dressing. Set aside.
Place spinach on a large platter. Top with radishes and goat cheese. Drizzle with dressing.

Chicken Braised in Wine and Rosemary

I made this dish for a Sunday afternoon dinner. Total time was about 40 minutes. I made extra chicken for guests, but did not increase the sauce. There was plenty! Everyone loved it. I hope you do too! If you do not want to use 9 points, then you can just have one piece of chicken for about 5 points+

serves 4 ( 1 drumstick, 1 thigh and 1/4 c. sauce = 9 points +)

  • 4 bone-in chicken drumsticks, skinned
  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. chopped shallots
  • 1 T. crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp. chopped, fresh rosemary
  • 1 c. red wine
  • 1 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 ( 14.5 oz.) can whole tomatoes, crushed and undrained
  • 1 bay leaf

Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 tsp. salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour.
Heat a large Dutch oven over high heat. Add oil to pan and swirl to coat. Add chicken to pana nd cook 5 minutes per side. Remove chicken from pan. Add shallots, garlic and rosemary to pan and cook 2 minutes or until tender. Add wine to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minutes, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and pepper, chicken broth, sugar, tomatoes and bay leaf. Bring to a boil; return chicken to pan. Reduce heat to medium; cook, covered for 15-20 minutes, turning once, or until chicken is done.

"Cooking Light"

Glazed Carrots

You will want to make this simple, tasty recipe again and again!

serves 4 ( 2 points +)
  • 12 oz. small, thin carrots ( or fresh baby carrots), peeled
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 2-1/2 T. brown sugar
  • 1 T. butter
  • salt and pepper

Combine water, vinegar and brown sugar in a medium skillet. Add carrots and cook over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 6-8 minutes or until carros are crisp-tender. Increase heat to medium-high, Cook until liquid is syrupy ( about 2 minutes). Stir in butter. Season with salt and pepper.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Braised Brisket

With just a few simple ingredients, you can make this delicious dish. The brisket will take about 4 hours to cook, so make sure you allot for time.

serves 8 ( 5 points + for about 3-1/2 oz. beef and 1/3 c. sauce)

  • 2-1/2 lbs. brisket
  • 1-1/2 c. chopped
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 c. chopped, pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 ( 14.5 oz. can) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • salt and pepper to taste

Sprinkle brisket with salt and pepper.
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan wit cooking spray. Add brisket and cook 10 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove brisket from pan. Add onion and oregano and saute 3 minutes. Return brisket to pan; add 1/2 c. water. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours. Add olives and tomatoes. Cover and cook 1 hour. Remove brisket from pan. Let stand 5 minutes, Cut brisket against the grain into thin slices. Return to pan and cook on low for an additional 30 minutes.

from: "Cooking Light"

Friday, April 5, 2013

Hamburger Steak with Onion Gravy

serves 6 ( 6 points +)

  • 1-1/2 lbs. ground sirloin
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 T. canola oil, divided
  • 2 c. onion, sliced vertically
  • 1 T. flour
  • 1 c. fat-free beef broth

Divide beef into 6 equal patties. Season with salt and pepper. 
Heat 2 tsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet. Cook beef patties for 3-4 minutes per side or until browned. Remove and keep warm.
Add remaining 1 tsp. oil to pan. Add onions and cook until browned and tender. Stir in 1 T. flour. Gradually add beef broth. Heat until thickened. Return beef to pan and heat through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

adapted from Cooking Light"

Roasted Red Pepper Dip with Homemade Pita Chips

Fast, easy, a wonderfully satisfying appetizer or side dish.

serves 8 ( 4 pita chips with about 3 T. red pepper dip = 2 points +)

  • 2 ( 6 inch) whole wheat tortillas, cut into 16 wedges each
  • salt
  • paprika
  • 1 c. bottled roasted red bell peppers
  • 1/4 c. almonds
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1-1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking pan with nonstick spray. Place pita wedges on baking pan, coat with spray, sprinkle with salt and paprika. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp.
Meanwhile, place red peppers, almonds and remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Add salt to taste.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Orange Scented Brazilian Black Bean Stew

Tonight's meal made good use of the left-over ham bone from Easter dinner. This meal was healthy, delicious and filling. I hope you like it.

serves 8 ( 1/2 c. rice and about 1 c. stew = 6 points +)

  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 ham bone with about 2 c. ham still on the bone
  • 4 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 1-1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 T. crushed garlic
  • 1 T. grated orange peel
  • 1/2 c. fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 c. sherry
  • 1/4 c. chopped, fresh cilantro
  • 4 c. hot, cooked Jasmine rice
Place all ingredients, except for cilantro and rice in a crock pot. Cover and cook on high 4 - 5 hours. Shred ham off the bone. Remove bone. Serve stew over rice garnished with cilantro.

Deviled Eggs with Pickled Onion

I made these eggs for Easter. Not only were they pretty, they were very tasty! At only 1 point plus each, you can enjoy them!

Makes 16 egg halves ( each egg half = 1 point +)

  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1/4 c. cider vinegar
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1/4 c. finely chopped red onion
  • 2 T. plain 2% Greek yogurt
  • 2 T. canola mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 T. finely chopped chives

Place eggs in a pot of water so that water covers the eggs. Bring to a boil. Turn off heat, cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Rinse eggs in cold water until cooled. Peel and halve.
Meanwhile combine water, vinegar and sugar in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir in onion and let stand for 15 minutes. Drain.

Combine yogurt, mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add 6 yolks from the hard boiled eggs to the mixture and mash until very smooth. Stir in 2 T. red onion. Spoon egg mixture into whites. Garnish with remaining red onion and chives.

adapted from "Cooking Light"


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