Monday, June 24, 2013

Lemon Dill Chicken

I was in the mood for some Greek tasting food and decided to try this recipe, which I adapted from a site called "Eating Well". I made this along with Greek Lemon Potatoes and a lovely salad with feta cheese.

Serves 6 ( 4 points +)

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves ( 4 oz. each)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 c. finely chopped onion
  • 1 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 2 tsp. flour
  • 2 T. chopped fresh dill, divided
  • 1 T. lemon juice

Heat a large skillet ( cast iron if you have one) and add 1-1/2 tsp. oil. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Sear until well browned on both sides. Remove and set aside.

Add remaining oil to pan. Add onions and garlic. Cook 1 minute.

Whisk together broth, flour, 1 T. dill and lemon juice. Add to onion mixture in the pan and cook until thickened. ( about 1 minute). Return chicken to pan with any juices that have accumulated. Cook until heated through ( 3-4 minutes). 

Place chicken on a platter. Pour sauce over the top and garnish with remaining 1 T. chopped dill.

Chocolate Filled Strawberries

Another great party treat! These were made for a graduation party and disappeared in about 30 seconds flat! That are much easier ( less messy) to make than dipping the berries. I have a feeling I will be making these for many more parties this summer!

Makes at least 32 berries ( 1 filled berry = 1 point +)

  • 2 quarts fresh strawberries
  • 6 oz. chocolate almond bark or candy coating

Slice a small piece off of the bottom of each berry ( horizontally) so that they stand upright. Core and hollow out the center of each berry, but make sure there are no holes in the bottom for your chocolate to leak out.
Melt almond bark in microwave until smooth ( about 2 minutes , stirring after each minute). Fill each berry. Let chocolate harden. Place in mini muffin liners on a tray and refrigerate until serving.

Watermelon- Mint Skewers in a Balsamic Syrup

What a fun party treat! I made these for a bridal shower this weekend and then made another batch for my niece's graduation party. I will be making them again for my granddaughter's first birthday party in a couple of weeks. This recipe makes a lot, so plan to make them for a party, or make in smaller amounts. You will love this little treat because it is 1 points +

Makes 100 ( 2 skewers = 1 points +)

  • 1 seedless watermelon
  • 1 package fresh mint
  •  salt and pepper
  • 1/2 c.balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • toothpicks

Cut watermelon into small cubes. Place 2 cubes onto each toothpick. Top with a small piece of torn mint. Combine balsamic with sugar. Bring to a boil and cook until sugar dissolves ( 1-2 minutes). Remove from heat. Stir in olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Place skewers in a large dish with sides. Drizzle with balsamic syrup. Refrigerate until serving.

Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Makes 32 ( 4 points +)

  • 1 c. + 1 T.  flour, divided
  • 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 c. light stick butter
  • 6 eggs, divided
  • 2-1/2 c. sugar, divided
  • 1 T. lemon zest
  • 1/2 c. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 ( 8 oz. ) packages reduced fat cream cheese

Preheat oven to 350 and coat a 9 x 13 pan with nonstick spray.

Whisk together 1 c. flour and powdered sugar in a large bowl. Cut in cold butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press into the bottom of the baking dish. Bake 15 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and set aside.

Whisk together 4 eggs, 1-12/ c. sugar, 1 T. flour, lemon zest and lemon juice in a bowl. Pour over crust.

Mix cream cheese and 1 c. sugar in a mixing bowl until blended. Whisk in 2 eggs and carefully spread over lemon mixture.  

Bake about 30 minutes or until the center is nearly set. Remove and let cool Chill and cut into bars.

While browsing Pinterest last week, I came across a similar picture to this one. The recipe originally came from a site called "Our Life in Food". I decided to come up with my own measurements to make this salad points friendly. It is full of antioxidants, protein, healthy fat and iron. I hope you like it!

serves 2 ( 6 points +)

  • 4 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 c. fresh blueberries
  • 4 c. fresh, baby spinach
  • 1/2 c. diced avocado
  • 1 oz. diced Colby or cheddar cheese
  • balsamic vinegar

Heat a nonstick skillet. Add oil. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add to the pan and cook until no longer pink. ( 3-4 minutes per side). Remove and let stand 5 minutes before cutting into cubes.

Place 2 c. spinach on each plate. Top with blueberries, cheese, avocado and chicken. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

No- Bake Cheesecake

This is the easiest cheesecake recipe ever. It can be made in no time and with just four ingredients in the filling, you will find yourself making this over and over...especially on hot summer days when you do not want to turn on your oven. Our dinner guests devoured this pie in no time flat!

serves 10 ( 7 points +)

  • 1 pre- made Oreo or graham cracker pie crust
  • 1 can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 ( 8 oz) block light cream cheese
  • 1 ( 8 oz) tub Cool Whip Free
  • 1/3 c. fresh lemon juice

The secret to this creamy pie is letting your cream cheese come to room temperature so that it is easily spreadable. Let the cream cheese stand out for 1-2 hours before making this cheesecake.

Place cream cheese in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Add sweetened condensed milk and beat until combined. Add Cool Whip and beat until combined. Finally add lemon juice . The juice will immediately start to firm up your mixture and this is why you add it last. Beat until all ingredients are combined. Scrape into your crust. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or until serving.

Grilled Chicken with Tomato-Avocado Salad

A nice, light and flavorful summertime dish!

serves 4 ( 8 points +)


  • 1/4 c. low-fat buttermilk
  • 3 T. light mayonnaise
  • 2 T. chopped, fresh, flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tsp. chopped, fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp. cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed garlic


  • 4 ( 4 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. dried, minced onion
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. chili powder


  • 1 c. frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1/2 c. sliced red onion
  • 1c. red grape tomatoes
  • 1 c. yellow grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 sliced, peeled avocado

Preheat grill.

Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate until serving.

In another small bowl, combine olive oil, minced onion, cumin, salt and chili powder Rub over chicken. Grill chicken until no longer pink. Let stand 5 minutes, slice into thin slices.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Coat with nonstick spray. Add corn and onion and cook until onion is tender. Add tomatoes and cook 1-2 minutes. 

Place one sliced chicken breast on each plate. Place corn mixture next to chicken. top with avocado slices and drizzle corn mixture with dressing.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Sun- Dried Tomato Rosemary Focaccia Bread

We have a little coffee shop in town that has amazing focaccia bread sandwiches. My favorite bread is the tomato herb focaccia. One day, I hope to replicate that recipe, but for today, I have made this focaccia bread and it was very good. I love this bread served warm. This recipe will make two loaves, so plan to either give one away, have lots of people over to share or try freezing one.

Makes 2 loaves with 8 wedges each ( 1 wedge = 4 points +)

  • 1-1/2 c. warm water
  • 1 packet quick rise yeast
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 c. flour
  • 3 T. olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 c. sun-dried tomatoes, cut into julienned strips
  • fresh rosemary
  • coarse sea salt

Dissolve yeast in a mixing bowl with warm water. Add sugar and 1 tsp. salt. Stir in 2 T. olive oil. Add 3 c. flour and mix. Add more flour, a little at a time until mixture starts to pull away from the bowl. If you have a stand mixer, such as a Kitchen -Aid, with the dough hook, you can continue mixing for about 5 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. If not, you will have to knead your dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic ( 6-8 minutes)

Place dough in a large bowl coated with nonstick spray. Turn dough to coat. Cover and keep in a warm place until dough doubles in size. ( I keep mine on top of my stove with my oven pre-heated). The dough will take 30-60 minutes to rise.

Heat 1 c. water to boiling. Add sun-dried tomato pieces. Let stand 30 minutes; drain.

Preheat oven to 425. Coat two 9 inch round cake pans with nonstick spray. Punch dough down; Divide dough into two equal portions and place in cake pans. Press dough with fingertips to form indentations. Brush with remaining 1 T. oil. Top with sun-dried tomato pieces, rosemary and coarse sea salt. Bake 16-17 minutes or until bread is golden. Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Baby Potatoes with Tomato Corn Saute

This easy recipe only took about 15 minutes to make! It was delicious!

serves 4 ( about 3/4 c. = 4 points +)

  • 12 oz. small baby potatoes, quartered
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 c. frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 c. halved grape tomatoes
  • 1/3 c. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 oz. ( about 1/4 c. ) shaved Parmesan cheese

Place potatoes in a medium saucepan. Cover with water. Bring to a boil. Boil 10 minutes or until tender; drain.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil. Add corn and next three ingredients, through crushed pepper flakes. Saute 2 minutes. Add potatoes and tomatoes to pan. Cook 1 minutes. Top with cilantro and cheese.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Monday, June 10, 2013

Herbed Ricotta Tart

Savory and a good source of protein, this makes a nice meatless meal choice!

serves 6 ( 7 points +)

  • 1 ( 11 oz.) can refrigerated pizza crust dough
  • 1-1/3 c. low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 T. chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 T. chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat tart dish or large pie pan with nonstick spray. Press pizza crust into bottom and up sides of pan.
Lightly beat eggs and egg whites together in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir to mix. Pour into crust. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until center is set. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut into 6 wedges.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Beef Tenderloin with Mustard and Herbs

This was my first time grilling a beef tenderloin. It was delicious and cooked fairly quickly! Keep an eye on it and turn about every 5 minutes.

serves 10 ( 5 points +)

  • 1 ( 2-1/2 lb. beef tenderloin)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/3 c. finely chopped parsley
  • 2 T. chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 T. Dijon mustard

Prepare grill. Lightly coat meat with nonstick spray. Season with salt and pepper. Place beef on grill over medium heat. Grill until a thermometer reads 140 degrees or until desired doneness. Let beef stand 10 minutes. 
Sprinkle parsley and time onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Brush mustard evenly over beef. Place beef in herb mixture on plastic wrap and roll to coat. Slice thinly.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Grilled Steak with Baby Arugula and Parmesan Salad

The lemon in this dressing, combined with the shaved Parmesan really make the arugula shine!

serves 4 ( 5 points +)

  • 1 lb. lean sirloin steak
  • 2 tsp. chopped, fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 5 oz. baby arugula
  • 1/4 c. ( 1 oz) shaved, fresh Parmesan cheese

Heat a cast iron skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Spray with nonstick spray. Rub thyme, salt and pepper over both sides of steak. Grill 4-5 minutes per side or until desired doneness. Remove and let stand 5 minutes before slicing thinly against the grain.

 For dressing, place lemon halves, cut side down on skillet. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove and squeeze juices into a small bowl. Add olive oil, Dijon and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk well. 

Place arugula in a large bowl. Drizzle dressing over the top and toss to coat. Divide arugula evenly among 4 plates. Top with steak and shaved Parmesan.

Banana, Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip Pancakes

This recipe will have your taste buds singing for joy! It is healthy, yet satisfies the chocolate craving!

serves 4 ( 2 pancakes = 7 points +)

  • 2 medium bananas ( ripe)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 T. canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 c. quick rolled oats
  • 1/4 c. white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 c. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Maple Syrup ( optional)

In a mixing bowl, mash bananas. Add baking powder, vanilla, oil, egg and buttermilk. Mix well. Add oats and flour. Mix to combine. Stir in chocolate chips.

Heat a griddle over medium-high heat. Spray with nonstick spray. Spoon batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto hot griddle. Grill until bottoms are browned. Flip and grill other side until browned.

Serve with syrup if desired.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Panko Crusted Cod with Tomato Basil Relish

Another quick and easy recipe that is full of fresh flavor. The serving size is generous, too. 

serves 4 ( 6 points +)

  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 c. Panko Japanese bread crumbs
  • 4 ( 6 oz) cod filets
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 T. canola oil
  • 1 c. grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 c. sliced red onion
  • 2 T. sliced fresh basil leaves
  • 2 T. fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 450. 

Place egg whites in a shallow dish. Place panko in another shallow dish. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a large oven-proof skillet. Dip fish in egg whites and then coat in panko mixture. Add fish to pan; cook 3-4 minutes or until browned and crispy. Turn fish over; place pan in oven. Bake for 7 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Combine tomatoes with remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve tomato relish over fish.

from "Cooking Light"

Double Berry Cake

This recipe is similar to my cobbler recipe and is a delicious summer-time treat, especially when served with Cool Whip or vanilla ice-cream. Adding 2 T. Cool Whip Free to each piece will not add any additional points.  In addition, if you decide to cut the pan into 12 pieces instead of 9, then the points value will decrease by 2. I made this recipe using Xylitol, a natural sweetener. If you opt to use all sugar, the points value will increase by 2. You can also substitute with any berries you like.

Serves 9 ( 5 points +)

  • 1 c. fresh raspberries
  • 1 c. fresh blackberries 
  • 1-1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 T. canola oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 c. Xylitol or sugar
  • 1 c. skim milk


  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 c. boiling water

Place berries in an 8 inch square baking dish coated with nonstick spray.
Mix flour with the next 7 ingredients ( through milk). Spread over berries.

In a small bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch and boiling water. Mix well. Pour over dough. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until browned on top.

Creamy Avocado Dressing

I love all things avocado. This dressing is full of delicious flavor and is healthy to boot! The recipe did make quite a bit, but it can be stored in the refrigerator or even used as a sandwich spread. Feel free to make just half of a recipe too. 

 Makes about 3-1/2 to 4 c. (2 T. = 1 point +)

  • 2 c. avocado
  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 T. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. crushed garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • water

Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend, adding water until you achieve desired consistency * I think I used at least 1/2 c. water. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


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