Posted in Appetizers, Easy, Saute`, Side dish, Side Dishes, Vegetables

Sauteed String Beans with Fried Onions


This is a super simple recipe but a real family favorite I cook all year long. It will be great for your Thanksgiving dinner as it does not require oven space and is all done on the stove. I am sure you’ll love just as much as my family does.

Enjoy!!!

Serves 4

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Estimated values per serving:

Calories = 50                                                Fat = 2

Ingredients:

1 pound (16 ounces) string beans – ends cut off

¼ cup fat free chicken broth

1 tablespoon low calorie butter spread – melted

1 teaspoon onion powder

Salt & pepper to taste

2 tablespoons packaged fried onions (store bought) – finely chopped

Directions:

  1. Heat a large sauté pan on medium high, spray with cooking spray and add string beans and chicken broth.  Steam 3 – 5 minutes until string beans are tender. 
  2. Add butter spread, onion powder and season with salt and pepper.  Cook, uncovered for 3 – 5 minutes longer.
  3. Remove beans from heat, transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle fried onions on top.
Posted in Appetizers, Easy, Roasted, Side dish, Side Dishes, Soup, Spices, Vegetables

Butternut Squash, Acorn Squash and Sweet Potato Soup


Serves: 6

Preheat Oven 400o

Estimated Calories per serving: 230

Fat grams: 2 grams

Ingredients:

1 medium butternut squash

2 sweet potatoes

1 acorn squash

1 onion, chopped

5 cups chicken stock

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

¼ teaspoon cardamom

¼ – ½ teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:

  1. Spray a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil with cooking spray.  Cut butternut, acorn squash and potatoes in half and place on baking sheet cut side down on baking sheet.
  2. Roast until they are soft (potatoes may have to come out earlier).  Set aside and let cool.
  3. Heat a 5 – 6 quart pot on medium heat and spray with cooking spray.  Sauté onion until soft.  Add chicken stock and bring to boil.
  4. Scoop out the insides of the butternut, acorn squash and potatoes and add to the pot.
  5. Season with cayenne, cardamom and nutmeg and allow to simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes.
  6. Using a handheld immersion blender (or standard blender in batches), puree the soup.
  7. Serve hot with sour cream, if desired.
Posted in Appetizers, Easy, Roasted, Side Dishes, Vegetables

Apple Glazed Brussel Sprouts


Serves 6

Preheat oven 425o

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Estimated values per serving:

Calories = 75                        Fat = .5 grams

Ingredients:

2 pounds Brussel sprouts – cleaned of outer leaves and cut in half

2 tablespoons apple jelly

2 tablespoons maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Spray baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.  Cut off the bottoms of brussel sprouts and then cut in half.  Place on baking sheet, spray with cooking spray and season with salt.
  2. Roast Brussels sprouts in the oven and set aside.
  3. Remove Brussels sprouts from the oven and add to ham.
  4. In a small bowl, combine apple jelly and maple syrup and microwave for about 30 seconds until apple jelly has melted.  Add to brussel sprouts and toss.

Posted in Appetizers, Bake, Easy, Side Dishes, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Roasted Eggplant Spread


This is another great appetizer/spread for your family or guests. It is super easy to make and is full of flavor. The best way to serve is with some slices of toasted Italian bread ans some wine! Enjoy!!!

Roasted Eggplant Dip

Preheat oven 400o

Serves: 8

Estimated calories per serving: 20

Fat grams: 1

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped

¼ cup parmesan cheese

1 can petite diced tomatoes, strained

Directions:

  1. Cut top of eggplant and then cut down the length of eggplant.  Place cut side down onto a baking sheet and roast 30 – 40 minutes until eggplant is soft to the touch.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. Once eggplant is cool, scrape eggplant out of the skin and shred the eggplant meat into a food processor.  Add salt and pepper, garlic, basil and Parmesan cheese and pulse until everything is chopped but note pureed.  Spoon into bowl and mix in diced tomatoes.
  3. Serve warm with pita chips, bread or crackers.
Posted in Appetizers, Bake, Easy, Side Dishes, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Hot – Artichoke and White Bean Spread


Hot Artichoke and White Bean Spread

This is a great spread for company. Serves some hot Italian bread on the side and you are sure to have a hit on your hands!

Serves: 8

Estimated calories per serving: 100

Fat grams: 3

Preheat oven to 375o

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 (15 – 16 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese

1 cup baby spinach

1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained

/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped

¼ cup parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat skillet on medium low heat and spray skillet with cooking spray and oil.  Add onions and sauté until the onions are golden and about to brown. Add garlic and sauté for another minute or less.
  2. Transfer onion mixture to a food process and add beans and ricotta cheese.  Process until smooth.
  3. Add the artichoke hearts, beans, basil, salt and pepper and process until the mixture is a smooth paste.  Add Parmesan cheese and spinach and pulse, on and off, until mixed evenly.
  4. Spray oven safe bowl with cooking spray and scoop dip mix into bowl.  Sprinkle with a little additional Parmesan cheese on top (optional).
  5. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until the cheese is melted and the top is golden.
Posted in Appetizers, Easy, Side Dishes, Vegetables

Hot – Beer and Cheese Dip


Hot – Beer & Cheese Dip

Serves 8

Preheat oven 375o

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving (dip only):

Calories: 72                           Fat: 4 grams                         

Ingredients:

4 ounces low fat cream cheese – room temperature

4 ounces fat free cream cheese – room temperature

¼ cup fat free sour cream

1/3 cup stout beer

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

¼ cup low fat grated cheddar cheese

1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix

Carrot sticks, celery sticks and/or pretzels

Directions:

  1. Beat together cream cheeses, sour cream, beer, Worcestershire sauce, cheddar cheese and ranch mix at medium speed. 
  2. Spray oven safe bowl with cooking spray and scoop dip into bowl.
  3. Bake 15 – 20 minutes until melted and bubby.
  4. Serve warm.
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 Appetizers, Bake, Poultry, Vegetables

Stuffed Breads


Hey Everyone! It has been one of those weeks and although I have been making dinner every night, I just have not had the chance to do any filming. I will get a few videos done this weekend and we will get back on track.

In the mean time, we are going to a friends house this weekend to watch football for a game day. With that theme in mind we are all cooking some kind of Game. We will have venison, wild turkey, doves and probably a few other surprises. It should be fun!

Now you may not have access to any Game for game day so I am re-posting this classic from 2011. I do not have a video for it but if you are going to a party this weekend and bringing something, this one is a winner!

Enjoy!!!

Roasted Red Pepper and Cheese Stuffed Bread

Preheat oven 400o

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Bake Time: 20 – 25 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 240                        Fat: 7 grams

Ingredients:

½ cup fat free ricotta cheese

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

½ cup grated low fat mozzarella cheese

½ teaspoon granulated onion powder

½ teaspoon granulated garlic powder

½ teaspoon dried basil

1 package refrigerated thin crust pizza dough

1 jar (12.3 ounces) roasted red peppers

Directions:

  1. Coat a baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl mix together ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella,  onion, powder, garlic powder and basil.
  3. Rinse and dry roasted peppers with paper towels.
  4. Roll out pizza dough and place half of the peppers in the middle of the pizza dough making sure you leave about a 1” border on the edges.
  5. Spoon cheese mixture on top of the peppers and spread over the peppers.  Top with the remaining peppers.
  6. Roll pizza dough once toward the middle then fold both sides toward the middle.  Roll the remaining dough until you have one large roll.  Place the dough, seam side down onto a baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven, let stand for at least 5 minutes.  Slice and serve.

Ham & Cheese Stuffed Bread

Preheat oven 400o

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Bake Time: 20 -25 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 260                        Fat: 8 grams

Ingredients:

½ cup fat free ricotta cheese

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

½ cup grated low fat mozzarella cheese

½ teaspoon granulated onion powder

½ teaspoon granulated garlic powder

½ teaspoon dried basil

1 package refrigerated thin crust pizza dough

6 slices Italian deli meat ham

Directions:

  1. Coat a baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl mix together ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella, onion, powder, garlic powder and basil.
  3. Roll out pizza dough and place 3 slices of ham in the middle of the pizza dough making sure you leave about a 1” border on the edges.
  4. Spoon cheese mixture on top of the ham and spread over the ham.  Top with the last 3 slices of ham.
  5. Roll pizza dough once toward the middle then fold both sides toward the middle.  Roll the remaining dough until you have one large roll.  Place the dough, seam side down onto a baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven, let stand for at least 5 minutes.  Slice and serve.

Sausage Stuffed Bread

Preheat oven 400o

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Bake Time: 20 – 25 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 250                        Fat: 8 grams

Ingredients:

2 Italian style chicken sausages

2 cloves garlic – crushed

1/3 cup fat free ricotta cheese

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

¼ cup mozzarella cheese

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 refrigerated pizza dough

Directions:

  1. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Remove casings from sausages and chop.  Heat a skillet on medium high heat and coat with cooking spray.  Sauté sausage for 3 – 5 minutes until browned.  Add crushed garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Spoon sausage mixture into a small mixing bowl.  Stir in ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella cheeses and basil.
  4. Roll out pizza dough and spread the sausage mixture in the middle of the pizza dough making sure you leave about a 1” border on the edges.
  5. Roll pizza dough once toward the middle then fold both sides toward the middle.  Roll the remaining dough until you have one large roll.  Place the dough, seam side down onto a baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven, let stand for at least 5 minutes.  Slice and serve.
Posted in Easy, Salads, Vegetables

Southwest Corn Salad


Original Post 2011: Here’s a great summer BBQ side to try this holiday weekend.  It’s easy, quick & delicious.

Southwest Corn Salad

Serves 10

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time:  5 – 10 minutes

Refrigerate: 1 to 2 hours or overnight

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 130                        Fat: 4 grams

Ingredients:

6 slices turkey or center cut (low fat) bacon

3 cups corn kernels

1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans – rinsed and drained

½ cup minced red onion

½ cup red or green bell peppers

1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chili peppers

¼ cup fresh cilantro – finely chopped

¼ cup canola oil

2 tablespoons lime juice

Few drops of Tabasco (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat a skillet on medium high heat, coat with cooking spray and fry bacon for 5 – 7 minutes until browned.  Remove from heat and cool on paper towels.
  2. Crumble cooled bacon.
  3. In a small pot, boil ¼ cup water and add corn.  Cook until tender for about 5 minutes.  Rinse, drain and cool.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine corn, black beans, onions, bell peppers, chili peppers, cilantro  and bacon.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lime juice and Tabasco.  Pour on top of corn mixture and toss well.
  6. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
Posted in Easy, Salads, Vegetables

Easy Italian Pasta Salad


Original Post September 2010: We had a family BBQ over the weekend and with our crazy schedule, I had to make a menu that takes minimal effort.  The night before I threw this together and it worked out really well.  Instead of trying to come up with a homemade salad dressing, I figured it’s easier to buy the salad dressing and just “jazz” it up a little with fresh basil & garlic.

If there are some ingredients that do not appeal to you, feel free to substitute.  Here are some ideas:

– grated parmesan instead of mozzerella

– Minced onion instead of garlic

– Chopped celery

– chopped tomatoes

Have fun with it because that’s what it’s all about…

Easy Italian Pasta Salad

Serves 16

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Refrigerator: 2 hours

Ingredients:

8 ounces pasta

8 ounces Italian ham

1 can artichoke hearts – rinsed and drained

8 ounces roasted red peppers – drained and rinsed

¼ cup pitted calamata olives

1 cup low fat Italian salad dressing

2 cloves garlic – minced

½ cup low fat grated mozzarella cheese

¼ cup fresh basil – chopped

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water up to a boil and add pasta.  Cook according to package directions then drain and rinse under cold water until the pasta is cool to the touch.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, chop the ham, artichoke hearts, red peppers and olives and spoon into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add pasta, salad dressing, garlic and cheese.  Toss all ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  4. Right before serving, chop fresh basil and toss.