Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Fettuccine with Pumpkin Sauce

Being a lover of all things pumpkin, I knew I had to try this new recipe slightly adapted from "Cooking Light".
The recipe from start to finish took less than 20 minutes. The sauce was creamy and full of flavor. My 15 month old granddaughter even loved it! What a fun way to mix up a pasta recipe during this time of year!

serves 4 ( about 1 c. = 9 points +)

  • 8 oz. uncooked fettuccine
  • 2 applewood smoked bacon slices, chopped small ( I used thick sliced)
  • 2 T. finely chopped fresh sage, divided
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 3/4 c. canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. salt 
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 T. heavy cream
  • 2 T. chopped fresh, flat-leaf parsley

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain over a bowl reserving 3/4 c. cooking liquid.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon; cook 4 minutes or until almost crisp, stirring occasionally. Add 1 T. sage and garlic, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in pumpkin and Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Add reserved cooking liquid and heavy cream, stirring until smooth. Add pasta and toss to coat. Sprinkle with remaining 1 T. sage and parsley.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Black Bean Dip

This very yummy black bean dip is a perfect  party appetizer or a side dish to accompany any Mexican main course. Serve with tortilla chips.

serves 6 ( about 1/4 c. = 3 points + )

  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • 1 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 ( 15 oz) can black beans, undrained
  • 1/4 c. shredded, part-skim mozzarella
  • 2 T. crumbled queso fresco cheese
  • 1 can ( 10 oz) Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies, drain most of the liquid
  •  chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray. Add onion and cook until tender. Stir in garlic and cumin. Add black beans with liquid from the can. Bring to a boil. Mash with a potato masher. Cook until thickened ( 5-10 minutes)
Transfer bean mixture to an 8 inch square pan coated with nonstick spray. Top with mozzarella and queso fresco.
Bake for 12 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Top with Rotel tomatoes and cilantro.

Red Bean, Chicken, and Sweet Potato Stew

Here's a great crock pot meal. I even threw the chicken in frozen for extra ease in prep work. The flavor of this stew was amazing! I think you will like it!

serves 8 ( about 1-1/2 scant cups = 6 points +)

  • 2 ( 15 oz. cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 c. peeled, cubed sweet potato
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 ( 14.5 oz) cans fat-free chicken broth
  • 2 large green peppers, chopped
  • 1 ( 15 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 ( 4 oz.) cans diced green chilies
  • 1 T. Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1/4 c. reduced-fat, creamy peanut butter
  • chopped, fresh cilantro

Combine all ingredients in a crock pot, except peanut butter and cilantro. Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours or on high for 5-6 hours or until veggies are tender and chicken is easy to shred. Shred chicken. 
Remove 1 c. hot liquid from crock pot. Whisk in peanut butter. Return mixture to pot; stir.

Top each serving with cilantro.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Succotash is what I like to call the southern version of Asian stir-fry. It is a vegetable- lovers dream come true! This dish is hearty and quite satisfying. There is some prep work involved, but the overall dish comes together rather quickly if you cook the sweet potatoes and red potatoes ahead of time. I hope you like it!

serves 12 ( 1 generous cup = 7 points +)

  • 2 T. olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 2 sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled and cubed ( 4 c.)
  • 3 medium red potatoes, cooked, peeled and cubed
  • 4 c. snow peas
  • 1lb. carrots, sliced thinly
  • 1 can ( 15 oz.) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 can ( 15 oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 can ( 8 oz) unsweetened pineapple tidbits

Spray a large wok or skillet with nonstick spray. Add 1 T. olive oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cook until chicken is no longer pink. Remove chicken and set aside. Drain any juices in the pan. 
Add remaining 1 T. oil. Add carrots and cook until starting to soften. Add zucchini, onion and bell peppers. Cook until veggies are tender. Add sweet potatoes, red potatoes, chicken, cannellini beans and corn; heat through. Add pineapple tidbits with juice. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Barley Risotto with Eggplant and Tomatoes

Risotto in any form is a labor of love! While not rocket science, it does take some time and finesse to prepare. This healthy risotto uses barley in place of the traditional arborio rice. It has a nutty, chewy texture and is quite hearty and filling. Barley is a complex carbohydrate that digests slowly. It has fiber and antioxidants. When consumed regularly, it can boost digestive health and may cut heart disease and type 2 diabetes risks.
This recipe also has a Mediterranean taste with the eggplant, tomatoes and goat cheese. Feel free to substitute whichever vegetables you like.  I think this would be good with some roasted red peppers, too!

serves 6 ( about 1 c. = 8 points +)

  • 6 c, diced eggplant
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 3 T. olive oil, divided
  • pepper
  • 5 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 2 c. water
  • 2 c. finely chopped onion
  • 1 c. uncooked pearl barley
  • 2 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1/2 c. dry white wine
  • salt
  • 1/2 c. ( 2 oz) crumbled soft goat cheese
  • 1/4 c. pine nuts, toasted

Preheat oven to 400. Combine eggplant, tomatoes 2 T. oil and 1/4 tsp. black pepper in a large bowl. Transfer to a jelly-roll pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until tomatoes begin to burst and eggplant is tender.

Meanwhile, combine broth and water in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer. Do not boil. Keep warm over low heat.

Heat remaining 1 T. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until tender. Stir in barley and garlic; cook 1 minute. Add wine and cook 1 minute or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring constantly. Add 1 cup broth mixture to pan; bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook until liquid is nearly absorbed. Add remaining broth mixture one cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth mixture is absorbed before adding the next ( about 40 minutes total). Gently stir in eggplant mixture, salt and pepper to taste, pine nuts and goat cheese.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Orange Buttermilk Pancakes

Makes for a nice, comforting breakfast on a cool fall morning!

Serves 6 ( 2 pancakes = 5 points +) Add additional points for syrup

  • 3/4 c. white whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1-1/2 c. low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 T. canola oil
  • 1/4 c. orange juice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 T. grated orange zest

Combine flours with next 4 ingredients ( through salt) in a medium bowl.
Combine buttermilk, orange juice, oil, orange zest and 1 egg in a small bowl. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture and stir until moist. Let stand 15 minutes.

Place egg white in a mixing bowl, beat until medium peaks form.  Fold into batter. 

Preheat griddle and coat pan with cooking spray. Spoon 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto griddle. Cook until edges begin to bubble and bottom is browned. Turn and cook until done. Serve with syrup if desired. 1/4 cup sugar free syrup per serving will add 1 point.


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