Posted in Bake, Casserole, Side dish, Side Dishes

Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole

Here is a great low fat version of a traditional favorite.  If you like the marshmallow topping instead; go for it, it will actually lower the fat by 2 grams per serving too!


Preheat oven 425o

Serves 8

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Estimated values per serving:

Calories = 230                      Fat = 5 grams                        Points: 5


Topping Ingredients:

2 cups gingersnap cookies – crushed

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

2 tablespoons butter spread

Casserole  Ingredients:

3 pounds sweet potatoes

¾ cup fat free half and half

½ cup apple cider

2 tablespoons butter spread

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons apple jelly

¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 cup egg substitute

¼ teaspoon salt

Topping Directions:

  1. Put cookies, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and butter spread in a food processor and pulse until mixture resembles coarse sand.  Remove and chill until ready to use.

Potato Directions:

  1. Spray a roasting pan with cooking spray.  Cut potatoes in half and place cut side down in roasting pan.  Roast for 45 minutes until potatoes are soft.  Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.
  2. Lower oven heat to 400o.
  3. Scoop out flesh from potatoes into a large mixing bowl.  Add half and half, apple cider, butter spread, brown sugar, apple jelly, pumpkin pie spice, egg substitute and salt and beat on high speed in mixer until smooth.
  4. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray and spoon potato mixture into pan.  Spread gingersnap crumb mixture on top.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes.
Posted in Casserole, Easy, Main Courses, Poultry, Sauces

Chicken & Broccoli Casserole

It’s been too long since I have given you a new exciting recipe to try.  I hope to be posting more often again.  Here is a very tasty dish from tonight that the family really enjoyed.  The best thing is that it is a complete meal with veggies already included.


Chicken & Broccoli Casserole

Serve 6

Preheat oven 375o

Estimated Values per serving:

Calories = 300                                              Fat = 8 grams


1 ½ broccoli

1 ½ pounds cooked skinless/boneless chicken breast – cut into bite sized pieces

1 tablespoon canola oil

¼ cup onion – chopped

2 cloves garlic

¼ cup sherry

3 – 4 dashes Worcestershire sauce

¼ cup flour

1 cup skim milk

6 ounces grated low fat cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup bread crumbs

¼ cup parmesan cheese


  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to boil.  Add broccoli and cook for about 3 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Add to a large bowl with cooked chicken and toss.
  2. Coat a 9-by-13 inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. Heat a skillet on medium heat, coat with cooking spray, add oil and chopped onion.  Cooke 3 – 5 minutes until tender.  Add garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute.  Add sherry, scraping any pieces from the pan an cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together milk, broth and flour then add to skillet.  Cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly until mixture is bubbly and has thickened.  Remove from heat and add Swiss cheese, stirring until all the cheese has melted.
  5. Pour cheese sauce into mixing bowl with chicken and broccoli, adding salt and pepper to taste and toss until well coated.
  6. Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish.
  7. Mix the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese together then sprinkle on top.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes or until browned on top.
Posted in Bake, Casserole, Easy, Main Courses, Poultry, Tips/Hints, Uncategorized

Southwest Chicken Casserole

I am always looking for light twists on typical dishes.  I will get inspiration from friends, cook books, magazines and TV shows and it is fun to take an otherwise fattening dish and make it light enough that I don’t feel bad about feeding it to my family.  The trick of course is to figure out a way to make it taste the same or better than the original dish.

Then there are those nights where I have nothing in mind and I jut start cooking with what I have.  Sometimes the dishes come out great and other times I am reluctant to feed it to my dog.  That is the fun and beauty of cooking….sometimes you never know what you are going to get!

Tonight’s dish was one of those dinners where I really didn’t have a plan, just some ingredients.  Looking back now I could have made this dish a little “lighter” but it was close enough and it was delicious.  I even had some Pillsbury Pizza dough which I formed and baked into little cups.  I then serve Nick and my portions in the cup.  Funny thing is they were gone so fast I didn’t take a picture!  Oh well next time.  Enjoy.

Southwest Chicken Casserole

Preheat oven 375o

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Estimated values per serving:

Calories =   257                           Fat = 7 grams

Serves 6


4 ounces low fat cream cheese – softened

1 tablespoon taco seasoning

1 ½ cups salsa

1 cup diced tomatoes from a can – drained

2 pounds boneless cooked chicken breast – cut into ½ inch pieces

1 cup low fat grated Mexican cheese mix

1 15-ounce can black beans – drained and rinsed


1.    Beat cream cheese and taco seasoning on high speed until whipped.

2.    Fold in salsa, tomatoes, chicken, cheese and black beans.

3.    Coat a 12 by 8 inch casserole baking pan with cooking spray.  Spoon chicken mixture into casserole pan.

4.    Bake, covered, for 30 minutes then uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

5.    Serve hot.

Posted in Bake, Casserole, Main Courses, Poultry

Chicken Cordon Bleu


A cordon bleu or schnitzel cordon bleu is a dish of meat wrapped around cheese, then breaded and pan-fried or deep-fried. Chicken, Veal or pork cordon bleu is made of veal or pork pounded thin and wrapped around a slice of ham and a slice of cheese, breaded, and then pan fried and baked. This recipe is made with a simple to make cheese sauce, which really compliments the chicken. Enjoy!!!

Serves 4

Preheat oven 375o

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 30 – 45 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 490                        Fat: 10 grams                   

Sauce Ingredients:

3 tablespoons flour

2 cups skim milk

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

2 ounces thinly sliced reduced fat Swiss cheese

¼ teaspoon white pepper

Sauce Directions:

  1. Whisk four and milk in a saucepan on medium heat for 5 – 7 minutes until thick and bubbly.
  2. Remove from heat, add cheeses and pepper and stir until cheese is melted.  Cover and set aside.

Chicken Ingredients:

4 chicken cutlets (total of 1 ½ pounds or 24 ounces)

1 cup Italian bread crumbs

1 cup egg substitute

8 thinly sliced reduced fat Swiss cheese (3 ounces)

8 thinly sliced deli ham slices (6 ounces)


  1. Make sauce and cover to keep warm.
  2. Pound each chicken cutlet until it is about ¼ inch thin (thinner is easier to roll).  Cut each in half for a total of 8 cutlets.
  3. Cut deli ham meat into 8 slices and Swiss cheese into 8 slices.
  4. Place a ham slice inside the chicken cutlet and then a slice of cheese.  Roll up each breast tightly.  Continue until all chicken cutlets are rolled with the cheese and ham inside.
  5. Dip each in egg then roll in bread crumbs.
  6. Heat a large non-stick skillet on medium high heat and spray with cooking spray.  Cook the rolled chicken cutlets for about 5 minutes on each side until browned.
  7. Pour 2/3 sauce into an oven safe baking dish.  Place cutlets in a single layer on top of sauce then spoon remaining sauce on top.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes covered then 5 – 10 minutes uncovered until bubbly and browned.
  9. Serve hot.


  1. You can use plastic wrap on the outside of the chicken cutlets when rolling to get a tight roll.  This will help from the chicken falling away from the ham and cheese center.
  2. You can secure with toothpicks and remove after cooking in the skillet.
Posted in Bake, Casserole, Easy, Poultry, Vegetables

Savory Chicken Cobbler

I love this time of year for a lot of reasonsincluding all the delicious comfort food recipes.  Here’s a great low calorie/low fat take on the traditional Chicken Pot Pie.  Sorry I didn’t have the time to caculate the estimated values but will update it soon.

NOTE: I rarely use brand names but “Best Life Buttery Spread” works really well for the cobbler because it needs to be firm.

In the meantime…Enjoy!

Savory Chicken Cobbler

Preheat oven to 400o

Savory Chicken Cobbler

Serves 8

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 325                                                            Fat: 3 grams

Chicken filling Ingredients:

1 onion – chopped

8 ounces sliced mushrooms

¼ cup sherry

2 cups chicken broth

¼ cup flour

1 package (12 ounces) frozen mixed vegetables – thawed

1 teaspoon thyme

1 pound bones/skinless cooked chicken breast – cubed

Salt & pepper

Cobbler Ingredients:

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon thyme

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

3 tablespoons low fat butter spread

¼ cup egg substitute

3 tablespoons skim milk


Make the chicken filling:

  1. Heat a large skillet on medium low and coat with cooking spray.  Add the mushrooms and sauté for about 10 – 12
    minutes, turning occasionally, until browned.
  2. Add onion, cover and sauté for about 5 – 7 minutes until the onions are soft and slightly browned.
  3. Increase heat to medium high and add sherry.  Cook until all the liquid has absorbed.  In a
    small bowl, combine the chicken stock and flour then pour into the skillet and
    stir until slightly thickened.
  4. Add the vegetables, chicken and season with thyme, salt and pepper.
  5. Lower heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Make the cobbler:

  1. Whisk
    together the flour, baking powder, thyme, salt and pepper.  With a pastry knife, cut the butter spread
    into the flour mixture until it resembles small peas.
  2. Mix in the egg substitute and milk until moistened.


  1. Coat a large oven safe baking dish with cooking spray.  Spoon chicken filling into the bottom and
    then spoon cobbler on top, making mounds with the dough.
  2. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until the cobbler is slightly browned and cooked through.
  3. Serve hot.
Posted in Bake, Beef, Casserole, Main Courses, Pasta dish, Poultry, Sauces

Pastitsio – Greek Style Baked ziti with meat

Most families have traditional holiday meals that usually stem from their ethnic background and my family is no exception. Coming from a Greek American background, our Easter dinner usually consists of roasted lamb with orzo, Greek salad, spinach pie, pastsio and rice pudding for dessert.  Here is a recipe I’d like to share with you that lightens up a traditionally very heavy dish.


Pastitsio – Greek Style Baked ziti with meat

Preheat Oven 350o

Serves 6

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook & Bake Time: 50 – 60 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 420                        Fat: 7 grams


½ pound ziti pasta

1 onion – chopped

1 clove garlic – minced

½ pound ground sirloin

½ pound ground turkey breast meat

Salt and pepper

½ cup white wine

1 cup tomato sauce

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

½ cup egg substitute

Cream Sauce:

1 cup fat free half and half

2 cups skim milk

½ cup flour

¾ cup egg substitute

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add ziti, cook for 5 minutes until al dente (firm).  Drain ziti and rinse with cold water.  Spoon into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Make the meat filling:  Heat a large skillet on medium low heat, coat with cooking spray and add onion.  Cook for about 5 minutes until softened and browned.  Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
  3. Increase the stovetop burner heat to medium high and add ground beef and turkey and sauté for about 7 minutes until the meat is cooked and browned.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add white wine and cook until all the liquid has absorbed.  Add tomato sauce and heat for about 2 minutes.  Spoon meat filling into the bowl with ziti and cool while preparing the cream sauce.
  5. Make cream sauce: In a large pot, whisk together half and half, milk, flour, egg substitute and nutmeg.  Heat the stovetop burner on medium low, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly and thick.  Remove from heat and stir in 1/3 cup parmesan cheese.  Set aside.
  6. Once the meat mixture is cooled, add the ¼ cup parmesan cheese and ½ cup egg substitute.
  7. To assemble: Coat an 8 X 12 inch baking pan with cooking spray.  Spoon meat and ziti mixture on the bottom.  Spread the cream sauce on top.
  8. Cover and bake for 45 minutes.  Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving.
Posted in Bake, Beef, Casserole, Vegetables

Stuffed Cabbage

This recipe is a little bit more work than what I usually post but is well worth the effort.  If you are having company or a nice weekend meal for your family, this comfort classic is sure to please.  Although my son peeled off the cabbage and ate the filling, he really enjoyed the flavors of the sauce and meat.  The best part is that you, your frineds and family can enjoy a hearty delicious but light meal.


Stuffed Cabbage

Preheat oven 350o

Serves 8

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 250                        Fat: 5 grams

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Bake Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Stuffed Cabbage


Stuffed Cabbage:

1 – 3 ½ pound cabbage

¾ pound ground turkey breast meat

¾ pound ground sirloin

½ cup egg substitute

1 cup bread crumbs

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon dill

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon garlic powder


1 onion

1 cup white wine

1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes

1 cup unsweetened apple sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon white vinegar

¼ teaspoon salt


  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to boil.  Remove any damaged leaves from the cabbage.  With a sharp knife, core the cabbage, cutting a hole in at least 1 inch wide and deep.
  2. Place the cabbage in the saucepan, cored end down, and boil for 10 – 12 minutes.
  3. Transfer the cabbage to a large bowl and carefully peel off as many softened leaves as you can.  Return the remaining cabbage to the saucepan and repeat until you have 16 whole leaves.
  4. Quarter the remaining cabbage and transfer to a food processor and chop.  Measure 2 cups of the chopped cabbage and store or discard any remaining cabbage.
  5. For the filling: In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground turkey, ground beef, egg substitute, bread crumbs, paprika, dill, salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Mix well until completely incorporated.
  6. For the Sauce: Heat a large skillet on medium heat and coat with cooking spray.  Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes until browned.  Add wine and reduce to half (about 5 minutes).  Add crushed tomatoes, apple sauce, sugar, vinegar, salt and the 2 cups of reserved chopped cabbage.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes.
  7. While the sauce is simmering, spread the cabbage leaves out and fill each with about ¼ cup of the meat stuffing.  Fold the rib end of each leaf up over the stuffing then fold the side in.  Complete the roll by folding the top leaf down over it.
  8. In a large oven safe casserole pan, add about 2/3 of the sauce on the bottom.  Carefully arrange the cabbage rolls on top of the sauce then pour the remaining sauce over the cabbage rolls.  Cover the casserole and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes.