Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Individual Blueberry Upside-Down Cakes

This is another great dessert idea for the 4th of July or any summertime event. I originally tried this with cherry upside- down cakes and it was also very good. The blueberry cakes are a bit easier since you do not have to prep the berries.

Blueberry Upside- Down Cakes: makes 4 (6 points+)

  • 3 T. packed light brown sugar
  • 2 c. blueberries
  • 2/3 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 2 T. light stick butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/3 c. lowfat buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 4 ramekins with cooking spray.
Sprinkle about 2-1/4 tsp. of brown sugar into each ramekin. Top each cup with equal amounts of blueberries.
Combine the remaining ingredients until mixed. Spoon evenly into ramekins. Place ramekins on a baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes. Loosen edge of each cake with a small knife and invert onto serving plates. Serve with lowfat vanilla ice-cream if desired.

Breakfast On-The-Go

This idea comes from my friend, Tina. I made a dozen of these and froze them so that anyone could grab one on the way out the door. Just microwave for 1 minute and you are set!

Serves 12 ( 7 points+)

  • 12 Light ( 100 calorie) English Muffins
  • 12 oz. Jimmy Dean reduced-fat pork sausage, cut into 12 patties
  • 12 eggs
  • 6 slices 2% American cheese, halved

Preheat oven to 350. Split muffins open and lay on 2 baking sheets. Bake until toasted
Cook sausage until no longer pink. You can either do this in a large frying pan or on a rimmed baking sheet in the oven once the muffins are done.
Whisk together the eggs in a bowl. Ladle by 1/4 cupfuls into muffin tins coated with nonstick spray. Bake about 10-15 minutes or until eggs are done.

Place one egg on each muffin bottom, top with sausage and 1/2 slice cheese. Top with muffin top. Wrap individually in wax paper and then place in large ziplock freezer bags.

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Easy -Peasy and pretty delicious!

Makes 24 ( 1 cookie = 2 points +)

  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1 c. chunky reduced-fat peanut butter
  • 1/4 c. mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 275 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl, beat egg white and salt until frothy. Add sugars and beat. Add peanut butter and beat until combined. Stir in chips.
Roll into 24 balls the size of a walnut. Place on baking sheet. Press with the tines of a fork. Turn fork and press again to make a criss-cross pattern.

Bake 10 minutes or until golden. Cool.

"Cooking Light"

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Flaky Cherry Turnovers

I love looking for new cookbooks when I go to the library. Recently I came across a book called "Breakfast Comforts" from Williams Sonoma. This cherry turnover recipe was in the book and I knew I wanted to try it. This is quite a treat and should be saved for special occasions, since it is 9 points +. I think it would be fun to try for the 4th of July! What is more festive or American than a cherry pie-like dessert?

Serves 9 ( 9 points +)

  • 1 box ( 1.1 lb) Pillsbury Puff Pastry, thawed
  • 2-1/2 c. Bing cherries, halved and pitted
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • flour for rolling dough
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 T. turbinado sugar

Have a large bowl of ice-water ready.
In a heavy medium saucepan, combine cherries, 1/4 c. sugar and lemon juice. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until cherries give off juices and are tender. ( about 5-7 minutes)
In a small bowl, sprinkle cornstarch over 1 T. water and stir to dissolve. Stir into th esimmering cherry mixture and cook until thickened, about 30 seconds. Transfer the pot to the bowl of ice water and let cool about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Lay out sheets of pastry and roll on a lightly floured surface until you have a square that measures 15" x 15". Cut into 9 equal squares ( 5"x5" )
Place about 2 T. cherry filling in the center of each. square. Fold the square in half diagonally so two points meet and enclose filling. Using a fork, press and seal edges closed. Place on baking sheet. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375. Brush tops of pastries with some of the beaten egg. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake until the turnovers are puffed and golden brown with no sign of uncooked dough ( 20-25 minutes) Let col on baking sheet 10-15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Lemon-Almond Souffles

Serves 6 ( 6 points +)

  • 1/2 c. + 2 T. sugar, divided
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3/4 c. low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 T. grated lemon rind
  • 1/3 c. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 T. butter, melted
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/4 c. sliced almonds

Place a baking sheet in the oven. Preheat oven to 425.
Lightly coat 6 ( 8 oz.) ramekins with cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with 2 T. sugar, tilting dishes to coat sided completely.

Combine 1/4 c. sugar and egg yolks in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until thick and pale ( about 2 minutes). Add 3/4 c. buttermilk and next 4 ingredients ( through flour); beat at medium speed until just blended.

Combine egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Beat with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1.4 c. sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time until medium peaks form.

Gently stir 1/4 of egg whites into lemon mixture; gently fold in remaining egg whites.
Gently spoon into ramekins. Sharply tap dishes 2-3 times on counter to level. Sprinkle evenly with almonds.

Place dishes on preheated baking sheet and return to oven. Immediately reduced oven temperature to 350. Bake for 20 minutes or until puffy and lightly browned. Serve immediately.

"Cooking Light"

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tomato- Avocado Salad

Serves 4 ( about 1 c. =  4 points +)

  • 2 T. lime juice
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. thinly sliced onion
  • 2 medium Roma tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1/4 c. chopped, fresh basil
  • salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

"Cooking Light"

Black Bean- Cilantro Rice

serves 4 ( 1/2 c. rice and 2/3 c. bean mixture = 5 points +)

  • 2 c. cooked rice
  • 3/4 c. chopped onion
  • 1 T. crushed garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin, 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp. salt1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
  • 2 T. queso fresco, crumbled

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, jalapeno,  garlic,  and cumin. Cook until onion softens. Add beans and chicken broth. Cook 6 minutes. Lightly mash with a fork. Top rice with bean mixture. Sprinkle with cilantro and queso fresco.

"Cooking Light"

Tilapia with Pineapple Salsa

serves 4 ( 1 filet with 1/4 c. salsa = 4 points +)


  • 1 c. chopped, fresh pineapple
  • 2 T. finely chopped onion
  • 2 T. chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 T. lime juice
  • salt to taste


  • 4 ( 4 oz) tilapia filets
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • salt to taste

For salsa, combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.
For fish, season with salt, cumin and chili powder. Heat a nonstick skillet coated with spray. Add oil and swirl to coat. Add fish and cook 3 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Grilled Flank Steak with Grilled Tomato Bruschetta

Love this entire recipe made on the grill!

Serves 6 ( 7 points +)


  • 1-1/2 lbs. flank steak
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp.pepper


  • 6 oz. French bread baguette
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 2 T. chopped, fresh basil

Heat grill to medium-high heat
For steak, combine olive oil with spices and rub over both sides of steak. Grill until desired doneness. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing thinly against the grain.

For bruschetta, string tomatoes on skewers. Grill about 3 minutes per side or until lightly charred and soft.
Slice bread into 12 ( 1/2 oz.) pieces. Spray one side of bread with nonstick spray and place with the sprayed side down on the grill. Grill until golden and crisp. Watch carefully, because this will only take a couple of minutes.

Place olive oil, balsamic, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl; whisk to combine. Add tomatoes and smash lightly with a potato masher. Stir to combine. Sprinkle with basil and stir gently.

Place tomato mixture on grilled bread slices.


Friday, June 13, 2014

Peach Studded Bulger

This side dish was so good and was the perfect accompaniment to peach glazed chicken! Any leftovers would be great for lunch the next day. A 1 c. serving size = 5 points +

serves 8 ( 1/2 c. = 3 points +)

  • 1-1/3 c. water
  • 3/4 c. bulger
  • 1 T. canola oil
  • 1-1/2 T. white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. chopped, fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp. crushed ginger
  • 2 c. chopped, fresh peaches
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 oz. ( 1/4 c. ) soft goat cheese, crumbled

Combine water and bulgur in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 12 minutes; drain. Rinse in cold water.
Combine oil, vinegar, thyme and ginger in a large bowl. Add bulgur, peaches, salt, pepper, and goat cheese. Toss to combine.

"Cooking Light"

Peach Glazed Chicken

Serves 4 ( 5 points +)

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves ( 4 oz. each)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 T. canola oil
  • 1/2 c.  fat-free chicken broth
  • 1/4 c. peach preserves
  • 1 T. white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard

Heat a large nonstick skillet. Add oil and swirl to coat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add to the pan and cook about 4 minutes per side or until done. Remove from pan and keep warm.

Add chicken broth, preserves, vinegar, and mustard to the pan, scraping to loosen browned bits. Cook until liquid reduces and thickens to form a glaze. Spoon glaze over chicken.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Watermelon- Cucumber Salad

Light, refreshing, and easy to make!

Serves 6 ( 1-1/2 c. = 3 points +)

  • 6 c. watermelon, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 c. coarsely chopped watercress
  • 3/4 c. thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced thinly
  • 2 T. chopped fresh mint
  • 2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 T. fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 oz. reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled ( about 1/2 c. )

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine mint and next 3 ingredients in a small bowl ( through oil). Add juice mixture and salt to watermelon mixture; toss gently to combine. Sprinkle with feta.

"Cooking Light"

Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Cherries and Shallots

We had company for dinner last night and I wanted to make sure there was enough, so I quadrupled this recipe, but only doubled the cherry mixture. We had plenty! This pork was very moist and juicy and the cherry topping is perfect for this time of year.

Serves 4 ( 3 oz. pork and about 2/3 c. sauce = 5 points +)

1 T. canola oil
3/4 tsp. salt, divided
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1 ( 1 lb) pork tenderloin
3 shallots, quartered
8 oz. fresh cherries, pitted and halved
1/4 c. fat-free chicken broth
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. brown sugar

Preheat oven to 425. Heat a large cast iron skillet ( or oven-proof skillet) over medium-high heat. Add 1 T. oil Swirl to coat. 
Combine 1/2 tsp. salt with the remaining spices. Rub pork evenly with spice mixture. Add pork to pan; cook 4 minutes. Turn pork over and place pan in oven for 15 minutes or until a thermometer registers 140-145 degrees. Remove pork from pan; place on a cutting board. Let pork stand 10 minutes. Cut into thin slices.

Add shallots and cherries to pan and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt. Add broth, vinegar and brown sugar to pan. Place pan back in the oven and cook 15 minutes or liquid is syrupy.

Serve cherry mixture over pork. 

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Blueberry Coffeecake with Almond Streusel

This coffee cake is really good served warm. It was still good the next day served at room temperature, too!
Serves 12 ( 7 points +)

  • 2 c. flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 c. fresh blueberries
  • 1/3 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 T. sliced almonds
  • 1 T. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 T. butter, melted
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. butter, softened
  • 2 T. canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon rind
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375 and spray a 9 inch square pan with nonstick spray.

Combine flour with next 3 ingredients ( through salt), stirring with a whisk. Remove 2 T. fluor mixture; sprinkle over blueberries, tossing to coat.

Combine brown sugar and next 4 ingredients ( through cinnamon) in a medium bowl. Drizzle with 2 T. melted butter; toss to combine.

Place sugar, 1/4 c. butter and oil in a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer until blender. Add egg; beat well. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Stir in rind and juice.

Spoon half of the batter into the baking pan. Sprinkle evenly with half of the blueberry mixture. Spoon remaining batter over blueberries. Sprinkle evenly with remaining blueberry mixture. Sprinkle with brown sugar mixture.
Bake 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

"Cooking Light"

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Lemon Rosemary Chicken Breasts

Nice and summery and low in points!

Serves 8 ( 3 oz. chicken with sauce = 3 points +)

  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves ( 4 oz. each)
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-1/2 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 1/3 c. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 rosemary sprig

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray. Add olive oil. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Brown on both sides. 
Place chicken in a large baking dish and bake 20-25 minutes or until cooked through. Cover and let stand 5 minutes.
In the same skillet, add rosemary, broth and lemon juice. Cook until reduced to about 1/3 c. Drizzle over cooked chicken.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Pork Tenderloin With Mango Salsa

Easy and delicious!

Serves 8 ( 3 oz. cooked pork with mango salsa = 5 points +)

  • 2 ( 1 lb each) pork tenderloins
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 mangoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 c. chopped red onion
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 T. cider vinegar
  • 1/4 c. chopped, fresh cilantro

Season pork with salt and pepper. Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray. Add pork. Brown on all sides and cook until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Let stand 5 minutes before thinly slicing.

Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Season with a dash of salt. Serve with pork.

Parsley Orzo

serves 4 ( 1/2 c. = 4 points +)

  • 1 c. uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta; drain. Combine pasta with olive oil, parsley, salt and pepper.


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