Posted in Bake, Dessert, Fruits, Sauces, Tips/Hints

Healthy desserts…


Most desserts get a bad reputation because they are made of a lot of butter, sugar and other stuff that is usually a “no no” when we are trying to watch what we eat.  But let’s face it, if you’re like me where dessert is the favorite course of a meal, it’s hard to just say no every day.  Here is something that I made today that at least includes fruit and oatmeal and is “Delicious & Light”.

Happy Baking!!

Dark Cherry Bars

Serves 12

Preheat oven 350o

Filling Ingredients:

1 – 16 ounce bag of frozen dark pitted cherries – defrosted

¼ cup Chambord (raspberry liquor)

¼ cup cornstarch

¼ cup sugar

Topping and Crust:

1 cup flour

1 cup oatmeal

2/3 cup brown sugar

½ cup low calorie butter spread

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon baking soda

Filling Directions:

  1. Place pitted cherries into a food processor and puree until chunky.
  2. In a saucepot, stir in Chambord with cornstarch.  Add cherries and sugar and cook until thick and bubbly (about 10 minutes).  Mixture should be about as thick as a fruit preserve.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. Prepare crust and topping: In a mixing bowl, combine flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, cinnamon and baking soda and stir until combined.
  4. Add melted butter spread and stir until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  5. Spray a 9 X 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.  Press half of the oatmeal mixture into the bottom of the baking pan, Spoon the filling on top then add the remaining oatmeal mixture on top.
  6. Bake for about 35 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool then cut into 12 squares and serve.
Posted in Air Fry, Appetizers, Bake, Beef, Sauces

Asian Style Cocktail Meatballs


 

The Lonely Meatball

Some of my favorite moments in life include having friends over enjoying something that I have cooked.  Saturday was one of those moments.  I made these meatballs as a result of just having all the ingredients in the house.  Everyone really enjoyed them and I promised that the recipe would be in the blog within the next few days.  When the gathering was over and we were cleaning up, I said to Dean, “Oh, look at that very lonely meatball.”  Dean took a quick snap of the one meatball left.  The picture isn’t very pretty but it definitely shows the happiness I felt that they were almost gone (because we all know that no-one wants to take the last one).

I hope you try these for your friends and they enjoy them as much as we did.

Enjoy…

Asian Style Cocktail Meatballs

Preheat oven 375o

Serves 8

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 200                        Fat: 2 grams

Asian Style Cocktail Meatballs

Ingredients:

Sauce:

1 ½ cups Chili Sauce

¾ cup apricot or apple jelly

1 tablespoon Asian chili/garlic sauce

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

3 tablespoons soy sauce

 

Meatballs:

½ pound ground turkey breast

½ pound ground sirloin

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon Asian chili/garlic sauce

½ cup egg substitute

¾ cup plain bread crumbs

Directions:

  1. In a medium sauce pot, combine all sauce ingredients and heat on low until the jelly is melted and the sauce is warmed.
  2. Make the meatballs: In a large mixing bowl, combine ground meats, ginger, soy sauce, chili/garlic sauce, egg substitute and bread crumbs.  Mix all the ingredients well with your hands.
  3. Coat a large baking pan with cooking spray.  Roll meatballs into small balls and add to the baking pan.
  4. Bake 20 – 25 minutes until meatballs are cooked and browned.
  5. Add meatballs to a serving platter and pour sauce on top.  Gently stir so that all the meatballs are coated with sauce and serve.
Posted in Beef, Braised, Main Courses, Sauces, Vegetables

Braised Beef and Mushrooms


Braised Beef with Mushrooms

Serves 4 – 6

Estimated Calories per serving: 530

Fat grams: 10

Ingredients:

1 – 1 ½ pounds sirloin steak

Salt

Pepper

½ cup flour

1 Tablespoon canola oil

16 ounces mushrooms, sliced

1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

¾ cup red wine

28 ounces chopped tomatoes

1 Tablespoon fresh thyme

1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar

Directions:

  1. Cut beef into 1 ½ inch steaks.  Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper then dredge in flour, shaking off excess.
  2. In a 12-inch cast iron skillet, heat oil and add steaks.  Cook until browned, 3 – 4 minutes on each side.  Remove from skillet and set aside.
  3. Add mushrooms to skillet and cook until the liquid evaporates, about 8 minutes.  Add onion and cook until soften, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute then add wine, tomatoes, thyme and any additional salt and pepper for flavor.  Bring to a boil and then add steaks.
  5. *Allow to simmer for a minimum of 20 minutes (see note below).  Stir in vinegar and serve

*Note: Simmering longer will make the beef tender.

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.

Enjoy!!

Chicken & Broccoli Casserole

Serve 6

Preheat oven 375o

Estimated Values per serving:

Calories = 300                                              Fat = 8 grams

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

  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 Braised, Main Courses, Poultry, Sauces, Slow Cook, Spices, Tips/Hints

Chicken Paprika


YouTube: https://youtu.be/e8ZyJpqvUMA

Serves 6

Estimated Values per serving:

Calories = 480                                              Fat = 4 grams

Ingredients:

Cooking Spray

1 T. olive oil

6 skinless/boneless chicken breasts

¼ cup flour

4 cups onions – thinly sliced

4 cloves minced garlic

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 cup dry white wine

2 cups fat free chicken broth

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup chopped tomato

2 tablespoons paprika

1 teaspoon minced thyme leaves

1 bay leaf

1/4 cup fat free half and half

1 Tablespoon corn starch

1 package of yolk free noodles

Directions:

  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper and lightly coat with flour.
  2. Heat a sauté pan on medium high heat and spray with cooking spray. Sear chicken pieces until brown on all sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and place in a tray.
  3. Add onions to the pan and sauté, covered, for 15 minutes on medium heat until golden brown, stirring often.
  4. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute.
  5. Add the vinegar and wine and scrape any pieces from bottom of skillet. Add chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.
  6. Add the tomato paste, tomato, and paprika. Stir until well blended. Add the thyme and bay leaf.
  7. Add the reserved chicken pieces and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  8. Whisk half and half and corn starch in a small bowl and then add to pan.  Continue to simmer another 10 minutes or until the chicken is tender.
  9. While simmering, cook egg noodles according to package directions.  Drain, rinse and transfer to a serving platter
  10. Transfer chicken to the serving platter.
  11. Pour sauce over chicken.
Posted in Pork, Rub, Salads, Sauces, Season, Slow Cook, Spices, Vegetables

Pulled Pork with Amercian Style Coleslaw


Every year this weekend kicks off the holiday BBQ season.  To get ready, I am experimenting with some classic menus that won’t make you feel guilty.  Tonight we had pulled pork and coleslaw sandwiches.

One of the reasons I love serving this to company is because it is better if made a day or two before the BBQ.  The coleslaw should be made at least 24 hour in advance and kept cold until ready to serve.  The longer it sits in the refrigerator, the better it gets.  The pulled pork can definitely be made the day before and heated up and served in a crock pot.  So if you are looking for hassle free cooking the day of your party, this is a great menu.

The family loved it (even if it was 60 degrees and cloudy) and was asking for seconds.

Enjoy!

American Style Coleslaw

Pulled Pork with Amercian Style Coleslaw

Serves 8

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Refrigerate overnight

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 55                           Fat: 2 grams

Ingredients:

½ cup low fat mayonnaise

¼ cup skim milk

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons white vinegar

½ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon celery seed

¼ teaspoon salt

1 scallion – chopped

4 cups shredded cabbage

1 cup shredded carrot

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, milk, sugar, vinegar, pepper, onion powder, celery seed, and salt.
  2. Add shredded cabbage, carrot and scallion and toss.
  3. Refrigerate overnight or for several days and serve cold.

Pulled Pork

Serves 8

Pre heat oven 250o

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Bake Time: 4 – 5 hours

Cook time: 30 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 200                        Fat: 5 grams

Pork Loin Rub Ingredients:

2 pounds boneless pork loin

1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

2 teaspoons ground oregano

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon thyme

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Trim any excess fat from pork and set aside.
  2. To make the rub, combine all the ingredients. Rub over the surface of the pork loin to coat.
  3. Place pork in baking pan and cover with aluminum foil.  Cook pork for about 4 – 5 hours.
  4. Cool pork until you are able to handle it then shred the meat.

BBQ Sauce Ingredients:

1 cup strong coffee

1 jar (12 ounces) chili sauce

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons molasses

½ teaspoon liquid smoke

¼ cup white vinegar

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 – 3 dashes pepper sauce (optional)

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in large saucepan and bring to a simmer on medium low heat.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Add sauce to shredded pork and mix well.  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.

Enjoy…

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

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

  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 Appetizers, Sauces

Greek Style Meatballs with Tzaziki Sauce


Greek Style Meatballs with Tzaziki Sauce

Serves 6

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 – 25 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 315                        Fat: 9 grams

Greek Style Meatballs with Tzaziki Sauce

Tzaziki Sauce

Ingredients:

½ European cucumber – seeded and grated

4 ounces low fat cream cheese – softened

½ cup fat free Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon fresh dill (or 1 teaspoon dried)

2 cloves garlic – minced

Salt to taste

Directions:

1.    Put the grated cucumber in a double paper towel and twist the ends over the sink to allow the excess cucumber water to drain.

2.    In a bowl, fold in the grated cucumber, cream cheese, yogurt, dill, garlic and salt.

3.    Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or overnight).

 

Meatballs:

Ingredients:

½ pound ground lamb meat

½ pound ground sirloin

½ pound ground turkey breast meat

¼ cup egg substitute

1 teaspoon oregano

1 tablespoon fresh (or 1 teaspoon dried) parsley

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

½ cup fat free feta cheese – crumbled

2 slices bread with crusts removed

Directions:

1.    In a large bowl, mix together the ground meats, egg substitute, oregano, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder and feta cheese.  Soak the bread in water, squeeze out any excess water then add to the meat mixture.

2.    Mix all ingredients very well.

3.    Roll meat mixture into small balls and set on a roasting pan.

4.    Bake 20 – 25 minutes until the meatballs are cooked to medium temperature (about 165o).

Posted in Fish, Sauces, Shrimp

Bouillabaisse


This is a great healthy recipe that is so easy to prepare.  I was rushing around last week and needed an idea for dinner.  I had frozen shrimp, scallops and sea bass and remembered my bouillabaisse recipe that never fails.  All I had to do was stop for the clams and I had a complete meal.  Because of my limited time, I cooked the sauce in advance then just heated it up 15 minutes before dinner and added the fish.  You can easily substitute any fish of your liking as well.

Sorry for not having a picture, I was really busy.

Enjoy…

Bouillabaisse

 

Serves 6

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 300                        Fat: 2.5 grams

Sauce ingredients:

Olive oil cooking Spray

1 leek, chopped

½ onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons flour

1 bottle of clam juice (8 ounces)

½ cup white wine

2 cups fat free chicken broth

1 cup diced tomatoes (can be canned)

½ teaspoon saffron

2 tablespoons fresh parsley

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:

1.    Heat deep sauté pan on medium low heat and spray with cooking spray.  Sauté onions and leeks until soft.  Add garlic and flour and sauté for an additional minute.

2.    Add clam juice and raise heat to medium.  Let come to a boil and add wine, chicken stock and tomatoes.  Cook until it comes back up to a boil.

3.    Lower heat to a simmer and add saffron, parsley, thyme and pepper.

4.    Simmer for 1 hour (covered).

Fish:

1 pound fillet fish (i.e. tilapia, cod, sole)

1 pound scallops

1 pound shrimp – deveined, shelled and tails off

1 dozen clams

Directions:

1.    Add fish fillet cook for 5 – 7 minutes, add shrimp, scallops and clams and cook until clams have opened, the shrimp have turned pink and scallops are firm, about 5 minutes.

Serve with rice.

 

Posted in Bake, Dessert, Eggs, Fruits, Meringue, Sauces

Valentine’s Pavlova


This is a beautiful sweet treat for your love this Valentine’s holiday.  It takes a little while to prepare but you can make all of the components in advance and assemble at the last minute.  Instead of buying something at a store, add a little romance to this holiday season and bake up some love instead.

Enjoy!!

Valentine’s Pavlova

Preheat oven 300o

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes + 45 minutes cool time in oven

Decorating Time: 10 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 375                        Fat: 6 grams

Valentine’s Pavlova

Meringue Shell:

Ingredients:

3 egg whites – at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon cream of tarter

Dash of salt

15 drops red food coloring (optional)

1 cup sugar

Directions:

  1. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw 6 hearts as a template for the shells.  Turn over parchment paper and set onto baking sheet.
  2. In a electric mixer, add egg whites, vanilla, cream of tarter, salt and food coloring.  Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form (the tips curl).  Slowly add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed until very stiff peaks form (tips stand straight up).
  3. Spoon meringue into a pastry bag fitted with a wide tip and pipe the meringue onto the parchment paper, using your heart drawing as a guide.  Build the sides of the hearts up so they form a shallow cup.  Save a little of the meringue to create 6 rosettes on the parchment paper between the hearts.
  4. Bake for 35 minutes then turn off the oven, keep the door closed, and let stand in the oven for at least 45 more minutes.
  5. Remove the meringues and cool.

Chocolate Ganache hearts:

Ingredients:

1 (6 ounce) bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 tablespoon Chambord liquor

2 tablespoons fat free half and half

Directions:

  1. Spray a silicon heart or chocolate heart mold with cooking spray and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Place chocolate chips in a small bowl and add Chambord.
  3. Heat  the half and half until steaming hot.  Pour the half and half into the chocolate mixture and mix until all the chocolate is melted.
  4. Pour chocolate mixture into the molds.  Refrigerate until form.

Raspberry Sauce

Ingredients:

1 bag ( ounces) frozen raspberries – defrosted

2 tablespoons Chambord liquor

2 tablespoons sugar

Directions:

  1. Combine raspberries, Chambord and sugar in a blender.
  2. Puree for about 30 seconds until mashed.

Valentine’s Pavlova

Decorating

Ingredients:

Fat free whipped cream (from a can or whipped topping)

Meringue hearts

Meringue rosettes

Chocolate ganache hearts

Raspberry sauce

Directions:

  1. Place a large heart on a dessert plate.  Spread whipped cream on one side with raspberry sauce on the other side.
  2. Place a rosette in the middle of the heart.
  3. Place a chocolate heart to one side.
  4. Serve and enjoy.