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

Italian Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms


YouTube Video – https://youtu.be/Is5dU0bj75I

Serves: 8

Estimated Calories per serving: 143

Fat grams: 9

Preheat oven:  400o OR heat grill

Ingredients:

4 ounces low fat/light cream cheese, softened

4 ounces reduced fat Italian blend grated cheese

6 ounces baby spinach, coarsely chopped

Handful fresh basil, chopped

8 large portobello mushrooms

2 Tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

Directions:

  1. To prepare mushrooms, wipe off any dirt with damp cloth and remove any stem.  Heat pan on medium heat.
  2.  Combine olive oil, salt and pepper and, using a brush, coat the mushrooms with the olive oil mixture.  Heat sauté pan and spray with cooking spray.  Sauté mushrooms on each side for about 3 – 4 minutes, covered until most of the liquid is absorbed. TIP: you may have to work in batches, do not overcrowd the mushrooms.
  3. Remove mushrooms and set aside.
  4. To prepare filling: cook spinach in a microwave safe bowl and cook on high for 2 – 3 minutes.  Let cool then squeeze out any excess liquid.
  5. Combine spinach with cream cheese, Italian blend grated cheese, and basil.
  6. If baking, place mushrooms on a baking sheet, spoon cheese mixture on top of each and bake for 8 – 10 minutes until cheese is melted and slightly browned.
  7. If grilling, place mushrooms on grill for about 5 minutes until cheese is melted and slight browned.
  8. Serve warm

Correction: In the video I had called for ¼ cup olive oil but it should be 2 tablespoons.

Posted in Appetizers, Bake, Grilling

Bingo Fiesta


Friday night I had some friends over for a fun bingo night out with the girls.  To make things easy, I bought some frozen appetizers and limited my cooking to a few additions.  Here are 3 recipes from that night:

Black bean Quesadillas

Serves 10

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 7 – 10 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 145                        Fat: 4 grams

Ingredients:

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

4 ounces fat free cream cheese – softened

4 ounces low fat cream cheese – softened

1 packet cheese flavored taco seasoning

1 clove garlic – minced

1 cup low fat Mexican grated cheese blend

8 medium soft flour tortillas

Salsa for serving

Directions:

  1. Place black beans in a food processor with the cream cheeses, taco seasoning and garlic.  Puree until the ingredients are smooth.
  2. Spoon into a bowl and mix in grated cheese.
  3. Spread the black bean mixture onto 4 tortillas then place the remaining 4 tortillas on top.
  4. Grill tortillas for 3 – 5 minutes on each side until the tortilla has browned and the cheese has melted inside.
  5. Cut each into 4 triangles per tortilla.
  6. Serve warm with salsa.

Cheese Quesadillas

Serves 10

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 7 – 10 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 115                        Fat: 4 grams

Ingredients:

4 ounces fat free cream cheese – softened

4 ounces low fat cream cheese – softened

1 packet cheese flavored taco seasoning

1 cup low fat Mexican grated cheese blend

8 medium soft flour tortillas

Salsa for serving

Directions:

  1. In a mixer, beat the cream cheeses and taco seasoning mix on high speed.
  2. Mix in grated cheese.
  3. Spread the cheese mixture onto 4 tortillas then place the remaining 4 tortillas on top.
  4. Grill tortillas for 3 – 5 minutes on each side until the tortilla has browned and the cheese has melted inside.
  5. Cut each into 4 triangles per tortilla.
  6. Serve warm with salsa.

Tortilla Crisps

Serves 20

Preheat oven 425o

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Bake Time: 8 – 10 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 110                        Fat: 1 grams

Ingredients:

½ cup sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

10 large soft flour tortillas

¼ cup melted low fat butter spread

Directions:

  1. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Cut tortillas into triangles
  3. Wrap a large baking sheet with foil then coat with cooking spray.
  4. Spread tortilla triangles on the baking sheet on 1 layer (you may need to use more than 1 baking pan).  Brush melted butter on the tortillas then sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixture on top.
  5. Bake 8 – 10 minutes until the tortillas are crisp.
  6. Cool to room temperature and serve.
Posted in Grilling, Main Courses, Pork, Poultry, Spices, Tips/Hints, Vegetables

Mixed Grill


This is such a great summer recipe and the best part is that you can get creative with it.  If you don’t like eating pork, simply substitute it with beef instead.  If you also don’t like some of the vegetable suggestions in the recipe, you can substitute others, some other suggestions might be escarole, eggplant,endive leaves or cauliflower .

The important thing is to have fun with it.

Enjoy…

Mixed Grill

Serves 8

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Grill Time: 20 – 25 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 250                        Fat: 7 grams

Mixed Grill

Ingredients:

Seasoning:

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon pepper

      Vegetables:

10 ounce package button mushrooms – cut in half

2 zucchini – cut into 1” pieces

2 red bell peppers – cut into large pieces

2 medium onions – quartered

2 large potatoes  – cut or sliced

      Meat:

1 pound boneless pork loin

1 pound boneless/skinless chicken breasts

Directions:

  1. Heat an outdoor or indoor grill to 400o.
  2. Combine all spices in a small bowl.
  3. Season meats with half of the seasoning and set aside until ready to grill.
  4. Combine the zucchini and mushrooms in a bowl, coat with cooking spray and fold in half of the remaining seasoning.
  5. Combine peppers and onions in another bowl, coat with cooking spray and fold in the remaining seasoning.
  6. If you are using an outdoor grill, coat a vegetable basket with cooking spray and add the zucchini and mushrooms to the basket.  Use an additional vegetable basket for the onions and peppers.  If you only have 1 vegetable basket, you can grill the vegetables in batches.
  7. If the potatoes are large enough, add them directly on the grill (coating them with cooking spray first), if not, use a vegetable basket to grill them as well.
  8. Grill the vegetables and potatoes for 10 – 15 minutes until browned and softened.
  9. If you have a large grill, add the pork loin while the vegetables and potatoes are grilling.  Grill the pork for about 7 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature reaches 165o.  Remove from the grill, cover and rest the pork until ready to carve.

10. Grill the chicken breasts for 5 – 7 minutes on each side.

11. Transfer the grilled vegetables to a large serving platter.  Carve the pork loin and transfer to the serving platter.  Remove the cooked chicken breasts from the grill and transfer to the serving platter.

12. Serve hot.

Posted in Grilling, Main Courses, Poultry, Sauces

Korean Chicken BBQ


Korean Chicken BBQ

Korean Chicken BBQ

Serves 4

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 195                        Fat: 5 grams                          Points: 4

Ingredients:

1 pound boneless/skinless chicken breasts

2 tablespoons sugar

4 tablespoons soy sauce

4 tablespoons minced green onions

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon minced ginger

Dash of pepper

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

1 tablespoon sake (or white wine)

1 tablespoon sesame oil

Directions:

  1. Cut chicken breasts half so that they are half the width.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, soy sauce, green onions, garlic, ginger, pepper, sesame seeds, sake and sesame oil.
  3. Pour marinade over chicken and let stand for 20 – 50 minutes.
  4. Heat a large grill pan on high heat and spray with cooking spray.  Add chicken breast meat and grill for 5 – 7 minutes on each side until cooked.
  5. Serve hot.
Posted in Fruits, Grilling, Main Courses, Pork, Rub

Island Grilled Pork with Pineapple Chutney


Island Grilled Pork with Pineapple Chutney

Island Grilled Pork with Pineapple Chutney

Serves 6

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories:  250                              Fat: 5 grams                            Points: 5

Ingredients:

2 pounds pork tenderloin

1 tablespoon jerk seasoning

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 cloves garlic – minced

1 pineapple – cut into slices

3 shallots – minced

1 jalapeno pepper – seeded and minced

1 tablespoon fresh parsley – minced

½ teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine jerk seasoning, brown sugar and garlic.  Rub seasoning mix on pork and let marinate until  ready to grill.
  2. Heat an indoor grill on high heat, spray with cooking spray  and add pineapple slices.  Grill for 3 – 5 minutes on each side.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3.  Heat a skillet on medium heat and spray with cooking spray.  Add shallots and sauté for about 5 minutes until tender.  Add jalapeno and sauté for another 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and add to a mixing bowl.
  4. Cut cooled pineapple into small bite sized pieces and add to shallot mixture.  Add parsley and salt and toss.  Let stand at room temperature until pork is cooked.
  5. Spray indoor grill again with cooking spray and heat on high.  Add pork and cook for 10 – 12 minutes on each side until cooked through (internal temperature reaches 165o).
  6. Remove pork from grill and let stand 5 minutes.  Slice pork into 12 slices and arrange on serving platter.  Spoon pineapple chutney around the pork and serve.
Posted in Appetizers, Grilling, Poultry, Vegetables

An Appetizer idea…


The other night we had some friends over to celebrate a birthday and I served Chicken Skewers with Cucumber Dip.  This is a good first course that is easy to eat because it does not require using a fork or plate. 

I always find it so awkward at wedding and parties when you have a drink in one hand and have to use a fork and plate for the hors d’ oeuvres.  Finger food is the way to make life easy for everyone.

Enjoy your easy nibbling cuisine!

Marinated Chicken skewers with Cucumber Yogurt Dip

Serves 8

Ingredients:

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets

Juice of 1 lemon

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

Skewers

Directions:

  1. Cut chicken breasts into 2” cubes and put into bowl to marinate. 
  2. Add lemon juice, garlic, oregano, basil, salt and pepper.  Mix well and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  3. Skewer chicken breast pieces.
  4. Grill Chicken skewers for 7 minutes on each side until browned and cooked.

Dip Ingredients:

½ European cucumber – seeded and grated

4 ounces low fat cream cheese – softened

½ cup fat free Greek yogurt

2 cloves garlic – minced

Salt to taste

  1. Remove excess water from cucumber by placing it in a double paper towel.  Twist the ends of the paper towel over the sink to allow the cucumber water to drain from the cucumber. 
  2. In a bowl, fold in the cucumber, cream cheese, yogurt, garlic and salt. 
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or overnight).
Posted in Beef, Grilling, Pork, Poultry, Rub, Slow Cook

A great rub for Barbecuing


to marinate and cook with.  The meat came out very tasty.  This rub recipe is for 5 pounds of meat but if you are cooking with a smaller amount, use some of it and the rest can be stored in an airtight container.

Rub for Meat

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons ground coffee

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon smoke salt

1 teaspoon coriander seed

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon oregano

2 teaspoons garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and rub on top of 5 pounds of pork, beef or chicken. 
  2. Marinate for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator. 
  3. Cook on grill until done.