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

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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 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 Bake, Beef, Casserole, Main Courses, Poultry

Mexican Style Lasagna


Preheat oven 375o

Serves 6

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 350                        Fat: 8 grams

Mexican Style Lasagna

Ingredients:

½ pound ground turkey breast meat

½ pound ground sirloin steak

1 clove garlic – crushed

1 cup chili sauce

½ cup water

Tabasco sauce (optional)

1 packet taco seasoning

6 small round soft tortillas

1 cup low fat grated Mexican blend cheese – separated

1 cup salsa

Directions:

  1. Heat a large skillet on medium high heat and coat with cooking spray.  Add ground turkey and beef and sauté for 5 – 7 minutes until browned.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute.
  2. Add chili sauce, water, Tabasco sauce (if using) and taco seasoning.  Heat on medium low for 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Heat a non-stick skillet on medium high.  Heat tortillas until slightly browned.
  4. To Assemble: Coat an 8 X 12 inch baking dish with cooking spray.  Layer 3 tortillas on the bottom (you may have to cut the tortillas so that they cover the bottom).  Add the ground meat mixture and top with half the cheese.  Layer the meat and cheese mixture with the remaining tortillas.  Spoon salsa on top and finally, top with the remaining cheese.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.