Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Penne with Asparagus, Spinach, and Bacon

Another bland dish. D even added some salt and garlic. The asparagus made it seemed Asian while the Bacon wanted to make it good. We just weren't impressed.

Penne with Asparagus, Spinach, and Bacon

This pasta toss comes together in a snap on busy weeknights. Complement it with a glass of white wine, such as sauvignon blanc, and garlic-Parmesan breadsticks.

8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
2 bacon slices
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
2 1/2 cups (1-inch) slices asparagus (about 1 pound)
1 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
4 cups bagged baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup (2 ounces) preshredded Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain; keep warm.

Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble. Add onion to drippings in pan; sauté 1 minute. Add asparagus and broth to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender. Add pasta, spinach, 1/4 cup cheese, and pepper to pan; toss well. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and bacon.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups pasta mixture and 1 tablespoon cheese)

CALORIES 363 (25% from fat); FAT 10.2g (sat 4.2g,mono 3.6g,poly 0.8g); IRON 4.3mg; CHOLESTEROL 18mg; CALCIUM 239mg; CARBOHYDRATE 49.1g; SODIUM 501mg; PROTEIN 17.8g; FIBER 4.6g

Cooking Light, JUNE 2007

Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Maple-Chipotle Sauce

WAY TOO SWEET. D made these. The pork was fine, but the sauce was not good. I'm not a huge fan of sweet pork, so perhaps that was it. He even put a chipotle in the sauce.

Another not having again.

Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Maple-Chipotle Sauce

The smokiness of adobo sauce calls for a robust Grade A Dark or Grade B maple syrup.


1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
2 (1-pound) pork tenderloins, trimmed
2 teaspoons olive oil

1 (7-ounce) can chipotle chiles, canned in adobo sauce
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1. To prepare pork, combine first 6 ingredients; sprinkle evenly over pork. Place in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal and refrigerate 3 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 375°.

3. Remove pork from bag. Place pork in a roasting pan; drizzle with oil. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in center of pork registers 155°. Remove pork from pan; cover and let stand 10 minutes.

4. To prepare sauce, remove 2 teaspoons adobo sauce from can of chiles; reserve remaining chiles and sauce for another use. Add 2 teaspoons adobo sauce, syrup, broth, and vinegar to roasting pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Place pork in pan, turning to coat. Remove pork from pan, reserving sauce in pan. Cut pork into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Strain sauce through a fine sieve into a bowl; serve with pork.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 3 ounces pork and about 1 tablespoon sauce)

CALORIES 201 (23% from fat); FAT 5.1g (sat 1.5g,mono 2.6g,poly 0.6g); IRON 1.8mg; CHOLESTEROL 74mg; CALCIUM 23mg; CARBOHYDRATE 13.8g; SODIUM 229mg; PROTEIN 23.9g; FIBER 0.3g

Cooking Light, MARCH 2008

Southwestern-Style Mashed Potato Cakes

D and I both thought these bland. I was rather shocked when he said that he would make them. But thought they sounded good. He said that there was no way he could have made 8 servings. He made 4. They were substantial, but they needed some spice.

Not having again.

Southwestern-Style Mashed Potato Cakes

These cheese, corn, and chile–stuffed cakes are a welcome accompaniment to seared steak or chicken. Or you can serve two cakes per person for a main dish. As you form the patties, it may seem as if there is too much filling, but the mashed potatoes mold around the filling to seal it in.

2 medium baking potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and diced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup (2 ounces) finely diced reduced-fat extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
1 tablespoon chopped pickled jalapeño peppers
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2 tablespoons butter

1. Place potatoes in a medium saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes or until just tender; drain well. Cool to room temperature in colander.

2. Place potatoes in a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons flour, salt, and garlic; mash with a fork or potato masher until smooth. Cover and chill 20 minutes.

3. Combine cheese, corn, and jalapeños.

4. Place 1/2 cup flour in a shallow dish.

5. Divide potato mixture into 16 equal portions. Flatten each portion into a 2-inch round patty. Working with one potato patty at a time, top with about 1 1/2 tablespoons cheese mixture. Top with 1 potato patty; press gently to seal edges. Carefully dredge in 1/2 cup flour, brushing off excess. Place potato cake on a plate. Repeat procedure with remaining potato patties, cheese mixture, and flour to form 8 potato cakes.

6. Place egg whites in a shallow dish. Place panko in another shallow dish. Working with one potato cake at a time, dip potato cake in egg whites, allowing excess egg white to drip off. Coat potato cake completely with panko, pressing gently to adhere. Set aside. Repeat procedure with remaining potato cakes, egg whites, and panko.

7. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add butter to pan, swirling until butter melts. Add potato cakes to pan; reduce heat to medium, and cook 3 minutes. Carefully turn cakes over; cook 3 minutes or until browned.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 cake)

CALORIES 137 (30% from fat); FAT 4.6g (sat 2.8g,mono 0.8g,poly 0.2g); IRON 0.4mg; CHOLESTEROL 13mg; CALCIUM 56mg; CARBOHYDRATE 19.1g; SODIUM 197mg; PROTEIN 4.9g; FIBER 1.2g

Cooking Light, DECEMBER 2008

Monday, January 19, 2009

Chicken and Basil Calzones

Yum, these were so good.
D said they were pretty easy after the first one. He said the dough was a little hard to work with becauuse it was thin. We added mushrooms to the mix.

We served with spinach, mushroom, tomatoes and feta.

Chicken and Basil Calzones

Ground chicken breast is a lean alternative to beef. Substitute ground sirloin, if you prefer. Total time: 40 minutes.

Cooking spray
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground chicken breast (added mushrooms)
3/4 cup prepared pizza sauce (used classico marinara sauce)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 (13.8-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust dough
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 425°.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add garlic and chicken to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, stirring to crumble. Stir in pizza sauce and pepper. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in basil. Let stand 10 minutes.

3. Unroll dough onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; cut dough into quarters. Pat each portion into an 8 x 6–inch rectangle. Divide chicken mixture evenly among rectangles; top each serving with 2 tablespoons cheese. Working with one rectangle at a time, fold dough in half over filling, pinching edges to seal. Repeat procedure with remaining rectangles. Bake at 425° for 12 minutes or until golden.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 calzone)

CALORIES 459 (14% from fat); FAT 7.1g (sat 1.8g,mono 1g,poly 0.4g); IRON 3.7mg; CHOLESTEROL 74mg; CALCIUM 111mg; CARBOHYDRATE 56.4g; SODIUM 919mg; PROTEIN 39.1g; FIBER 3g

Cooking Light, DECEMBER 2008

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Chicken Baked in White Wine Marinade

I thought this dish was kind of bland. I made the marinade for the chicken. Had I read the directions, I might have used bone in , skin on chicken. But I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs. This turned out to be a good thing, because D and I ran the night we had this. We got back to the house at 8:30. So there was no baking of the chicken. It was thrown into a grill pan. The initial day it was all right. 2 days later, it tasted like plain chicken.

We had with rice and asparagus.

Chicken Baked in White Wine Marinade

Baking the chicken with the marinade infuses it with more flavor. Bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts stay moist and succulent; the skin is discarded after baking. For the prettiest presentation, remove meat from the bones, and slice thinly across the grain.

1 cup dry white wine
1 cup vertically sliced onion
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
4 (8-ounce) bone-in chicken breast halves
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator 4 hours or up to 24 hours, turning occasionally.

2. Preheat oven to 375°.

3. Place the chicken, skin side up, in an 11 x 7–inch baking dish. Pour marinade over chicken. Cover and bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 40 minutes or until done. Transfer chicken to a platter. Discard skin, bay leaf, and marinade. Sprinkle chicken evenly with salt and pepper.

Wine note: Chicken breasts such as these have a delicate flavor and work best with light wines. In summer, serve them with a cold pinot grigio, which is generally made without oak and is lighter and fresher than chardonnay. Try the snappy Tamás Estates Pinot Grigio from Monterey County, California and Livermore Valley. The 2006 is $12. —Karen MacNeil

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 breast half)

CALORIES 184 (19% from fat); FAT 3.8g (sat 1.1g,mono 1.3g,poly 0.8g); IRON 1.3mg; CHOLESTEROL 90mg; CALCIUM 24mg; CARBOHYDRATE 2.1g; SODIUM 377mg; PROTEIN 33.2g; FIBER 0.3g

Cooking Light, JULY 2008

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Cincinnati Chili

This recipe is courtesy of my co-worker. I plugged it into WeWa to see how "bad" it was. D and I usually get about 8 servings, but we have never sat down and made "serving" sizes. You serve this with spaghetti and shredded cheddar cheese for a 3-way and add raw onions for a 4-way.

Cincinnati Chili

POINTS® Value: 7
Servings: 8

Photo by ALB

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Course: main meals


2 1/2 pound(s) 90% lean/10% fat raw ground beef

42 oz Swanson Clear Beef Broth

6 oz canned tomato paste

8 oz canned tomato sauce

1/2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate square(s)

1 tbsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground allspice

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp unpacked brown sugar

1 tsp McCormick Ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1 1/2 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tbsp black pepper

4 tbsp Heinz Apple Cider Vinegar

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp garlic powder

2 leaf bay leaf

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground coriander

1/4 tsp McCormick Ground mustard

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1. Gather all the spices, sauces, etc. in one container before starting --makes it easier.
2. Place broth over medium-low heat and add groung beef. Stir the ground beef into the broth. Continue to stir as the broth is heated. The ground beef with nearly dissolve into the liquid into almost a meat paste (MMMM Meat Paste!). Once dissolved, increase heat to high.
3. Add the other ingredients and continue to stir until the chili comes to a strong boil. Turn down the heat and maintain a simmer. Let simmer for 4-12 hours. The closer to 12 hours, the better.
4. Once done, removed the bay leaves, if you can find them.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Indian-Spiced Chicken Burgers

Again 5 stars from CL, and 0 from me. D made these for NYE and none of us (M, D or me) finished our burger. We all ended up eating Kraft Mac and Cheese. They smelled awesome. The first bite was terrific. Then the overpowering came in. D checked twice on the amount of garam masala, but it says 2 tsps. The gm and the ginger was over powering. We didn't have the sauce that was listed. We used the sauce from Chicken Schwarma.
Definitely not making again.

Indian-Spiced Chicken Burgers

Garam masala is a blend of ground spices including cinnamon, cumin, dried chiles, and coriander. Wear plastic gloves to keep the chicken mixture from sticking to your hands. Serve with cucumber spears.

1/4 cup presliced green onions
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon bottled ground fresh ginger (such as Spice World)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 pound ground chicken
Cooking spray

Remaining ingredients:
1/4 cup 2% low-fat Greek yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup hot mango chutney
4 (1 1/2-ounce) hamburger buns
1 cup fresh spinach leaves

1. To prepare patties, combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Divide mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add patties to pan; cook 7 minutes on each side or until done.

2. Combine yogurt, mint, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Spread 1 tablespoon chutney on bottom halves of 4 buns; top each with 1 patty, 1 tablespoon yogurt mixture, 1/4 cup spinach, and a bun top.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 burger)

CALORIES 364 (36% from fat); FAT 14.5g (sat 4.8g,mono 4g,poly 3.8g); IRON 3.3mg; CHOLESTEROL 137mg; CALCIUM 130mg; CARBOHYDRATE 34.4g; SODIUM 766mg; PROTEIN 25g; FIBER 1.6g

Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2008

This is the Sauce we used.
  • Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt (such as Fage)
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Peanut Butter Quickies

Apparently, you either like this cookie or you don't. Me, I love them. They are so easy to make, you can eat the batter, and they have peanut butter and chocolate chips. Yum!

Peanut Butter Quickies

1 14 oz Can sweeetened condensed milk
1/2 C Peanut Butter, smooth or crunchy
2 C of graham cracker crumbs (I have never measured...I use 2 sleeves of Nabisco GC and pulverize in the food processor. If I double the recipe, I use the whole box)
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven at 350.
Add milk and peanut butter and mix until smooth.
Add chocolate chips and graham cracker crumbs to mix and mix.

Spoon out and put on greased cookie sheets. You can either just spoon out and make them look messy or roll them and smush them out to make them look smooth. Either way they don't spread on the sheet, so you can pack them on a sheet.

Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Makes about 3 dozen.