Monday, December 11, 2017

Pot Sticker Pad Thai

I was in charge of dinner one night, so "I made this."
It was stupid easy, especially because I made it even easier than the original directions.

D bought the peanuts at the gas station, because I forgot to buy them, but including going to the grocery store, it took 30 minutes to mak

Pot Sticker Pad Thai

Photo by ALB

Hands-On Time 15 Mins Total Time 15 Mins
Yield Serves 4
Adapted from Real Simple

1 16-ounce bag frozen pot stickers (used 20 Ling Ling Potstickers, Chicken  and Vegetable Dumplings)
1/3 tablespoon olive oil
14 oz bag of coleslaw mix
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup salted peanuts
1 Cup edamame

Cook the pot stickers according to the package directions; drain.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the coleslaw mix and edamame and toss to coat. Add the soy sauce and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer the vegetables to plates, top with the pot stickers, and sprinkle with the peanuts.

9 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 4 servings )

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Grilled Skirt Steak Salad with Arugula, Balsamic-Glazed Onions, Tomatoes, and Feta

Salads are pretty easy to make, in general, and I think D really likes them.  He throws one into the menu, at least every 2 weeks.  This one was really good. 

The bite of the arugula with the sweetness of the onions.  Would definitely have again.

Grilled Skirt Steak Salad with Arugula, Balsamic-Glazed Onions, Tomatoes, and Feta

Photo by ALB

Adapted from

Steak is great, but you'll really kill dinner by serving it with this umami-packed salad.

PREP: 0:15

Cooking Spray
4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 red onion, thinly sliced into half moons
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. brown sugar
kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. skirt steak
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 5 oz. container of baby arugula
1 pt. red grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
2 oz. Feta, crumbled

In a large skillet over medium-high heat sprayed with cooking spray, heat. Add onion and cook until soft, 5 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar and brown sugar, and continue to cook for another 2 minutes, until very soft. Season with salt and pepper, then remove to bowl and let cool.

Rub grill pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat over high heat (didn't do, since used grill). Season skirt steak generously with salt and pepper, and grill steak for 3 minutes per side for medium rare. Remove steak to cutting board and let sit for 5 minutes. In large bowl, whisk together red wine vinegar with remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Add arugula and tomatoes to vinaigrette and toss gently to combine.

Thinly slice steak diagonally across the grain.

Divide salad mixture among 3 plates. Top each with caramelized onions, steak, and crumbled feta, and serve immediately.

14 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 3 servings)


This rice needs to go into the regular rotation.  It had so much flavor.  D and I both think we have had something similar.  We both thought it would be good as a casserole with chicken and Parmesan.

Any way we will have again.  We had with Spicy Honey Brushed Chicken.


Photo by ALB

Recipe By DailyInspiration

This recipe sounds like a great side dish to steak or chicken. The dish comes from the "Joy of Eating" cookbook.

READY IN: 45 mins

1 cup rice, long grain
1 (10 1/2ounce) can beef broth
3⁄4 cup water
salt and pepper, to taste
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 shallots, minced
1 tablespoon butter
1⁄4 lb mushroom, sliced

In a saucepan, stir together the rice, broth, water, salt and pepper. Cover pan and simmer until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Meanwhile, in a skillet, saute onion and shallots in butter until onions are soft. Add mushrooms and continue cooking until mushrooms are tender. Stir mushroom mixture into rice and heat through.

4 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 6 servings)

Cabbage Okonomiyaki (Pancakes)

I wasn't sure about this recipe because I wasn't sure if I would find Togarashi.  I had to go to Kroger in the middle of the week and say that they had it, so this recipe went on the list.  D and I went back and forth on what to have for a side.  We never decided.

After he made it, we thought splitting some sushi would have worked.  In reality, it was heartier than I thought it would be.

It tasted like an Egg Roll Pancake.  I liked the sauce (of course).    We would have again.

Cabbage Okonomiyaki (Pancakes)

Photo by ALB

Active Time: 15 Mins
Total Time: 30 Mins
Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 1 pancake and about 1 tbsp. mayonnaise mixture)

This savory, Japanese-style pancake is traditionally loaded with cabbage. Louis’ version uses quickly brined cabbage and a thin batter for maximum crispiness. Togarashi (also called Japanese Seven Spice) is available at Asian markets and some supermarkets. The mixture includes dried ground chile, ginger, orange rind, seaweed, and sesame seeds for a savory, spicy, briny blend. Try it on roasted butternut squash or seared steak. You can also make one larger pancake in a 10-inch skillet, increasing the cook time to 10 to 15 minutes and cutting into wedges before serving.

1 pound green cabbage, finely shredded (about 5 cups)
4 teaspoons shichimi togarashi (Japanese spice blend), divided (used McCormick Japanese Seven Spice)
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions, divided
5 large eggs, lightly beaten (used 4 Extra-Large Eggs)
4 center-cut bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
2.9 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2/3 cup) (used 2 oz)
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1/4 cup canola mayonnaise (used Hellman's Light)
1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 200°F.

Combine cabbage, 1 tablespoon togarashi, sugar, and salt in a bowl; let stand 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 3 tablespoons green onions, eggs, and bacon. Fold in flour.

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add 1 cup cabbage mixture; flatten with a spatula. Cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Place pancake on a baking sheet; keep warm in 200°F oven. Repeat procedure 3 times with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil and cabbage mixture.

Combine remaining 1 teaspoon togarashi, mayonnaise, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon water in a bowl; drizzle over each pancake. Top with remaining green onions.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 346; Fat: 20g; Satfat: 4g; Unsatfat: 16g; Protein: 15g; Carbohydrate: 26g; Fiber: 4g; Sodium: 602mg; Calcium: 10% DV; Potassium: 11% DV; Sugars: 6g; Added sugars: 2g

Cooking Light, November 2017

8 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 4 servings)

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Nashville Unfried Hot Chicken

So Nashville Chicken is the new trendy dish.  I've had a few good versions and a few awful version.
I saw the original recipe, and asked D if we could have it.  He said ok. The only problem is that it was for Whole 30/Paleo Diets, and since we don't follow Whole 30/Paleo, we weren't going out of the way to follow.  So we changed some of the ingredients.

It is spicy, with flavor. It isn't just a bunch of chili powder dumped on chicken (yes, I've had that "version").

We've had it twice.  Both time with Pre-made Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Cauliflower.

Nashville Unfried Hot Chicken

Photo by ALB

Prep Time:10 Min
Cook Time:30 Min
Total Time:40 Min

Serves 4
Recipe adapted from The Defined Dish

2 tbsp. Tabasco
1 tsp. white vinegar
2 tbsp. butter
6 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
8 bone-in skin on chicken thighs (may use less, depends on the size...sometimes thighs are the size of your head).
kosher salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp. vegetable oil

1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

2. Pat dry chicken thighs. Season them all over generously with kosher salt and pepper.

3. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. When pan is hot (but not smoking), place chicken, skin side down, and sear, occasionally rearranging chicken thighs and rotating pan to evenly distribute heat, until fat renders and skin is golden brown, about 8 minutes.

4. Transfer skillet to oven (chicken should still be skin side down) and cook 10 more minutes.

5. Flip chicken; continue cooking until skin crisps and meat is cooked through, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate; let rest 5 minutes before serving.

6. While chicken is resting, heat the butter, tabasco, vinegar, minced garlic, cayenne, paprika, and chili powder over medium heat. Let simmer for 3-5 minutes, you may need to reduce the heat a bit, until it is fragrant and flavors have combined.

7. Place the chicken thighs in a large bowl. Pour sauce over the top and toss to coat.

8. Serve immediately!

9 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 4 servings)

Grilled Lemon Herb Mediterranean Chicken Salad

I'm really not sure why I didn't like this salad. We've had it twice. D liked it.  I thought it was ok, but really, I could go to Wendy's and get a salad, and be just as satisfied.  Basically it comes down to the fact that this is just kind of boring compared to the 10's of other salads D makes.

Grilled Lemon Herb Mediterranean Chicken Salad

Grilled Lemon Herb Mediterranean Chicken Salad that is full of Mediterranean flavours with a dressing that doubles as a marinade!

From Give Recipes

2 tablespoons olive oil
juice of 1 lemon (1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice)
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
cracked pepper, to taste (1/8 tsp)
(1 pound | 500 g) 4 skinless, boneless chicken thigh fillets (or chicken breasts) (used 14 oz)
4 cups Romaine (or Cos) lettuce leaves, washed and dried (used 3 heads)
1 large cucumber, diced
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 red onion, sliced
1 avocado, sliced
⅓ cup pitted Kalamata olives (or black olives), sliced (didn't use)
Lemon wedges, to serve

Whisk together all of the marinade/dressing ingredients in a large jug. Pour out half of the marinade into a large, shallow dish. Refrigerate the remaining marinade to use as the dressing later.

Add the chicken to the marinade in the bowl; marinade chicken for 15-30 minutes (or up to two hours in the refrigerator if time allows). While waiting for the chicken, prepare all of the salad ingredients and mix in a large salad bowl.

Once chicken is ready, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a grill pan or a grill plate over medium-high heat. Grill chicken on both sides until browned and completely cooked through.

Allow chicken to rest for 5 minutes; slice and arrange over salad. Drizzle salad with the remaining dressing. Serve with lemon wedges.

9 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 3 servings)

Friday, September 15, 2017

Creamy Chicken-and-Wild Rice Casserole

This is one of those recipes where I waited too long to review it.  I remembered I liked it but I can't remember why.  Oh well.

Would have again though.

Creamy Chicken-and-Wild Rice Casserole

Photo by ALB

Active Time: 35 Mins
Total Time: 1 Hour 10 Mins
Serves 8 (serving size: about 1 1/4 cups)--4 now, 4 later

Wild rice is wonderfully fragrant; it’s the perfect counter to the creamy, earthy mushroom mixture and has enough texture that the grains won’t bloat or fall apart in the casserole. Simmer 11/2 cups rice in 6 cups water for 45 minutes and drain. You can also use 1 (13-ounce) package frozen cooked wild rice, such as Engine 2, which is sold at Whole Foods. Cook the mushroom mixture on the stove while the chicken finishes in the oven (use the same casserole dishes to avoid extra clean up). Serve with simply sautéed green beans or a mixed greens salad.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
Cooking spray
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
5 cups 2% reduced-fat milk, divided
1 1/2 cups sliced leeks
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2 (8-oz.) pkg. presliced cremini mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 ounce 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
3 cups hot cooked wild rice
3 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Sprinkle chicken with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side. Divide chicken between 2 square (8-inch) baking dishes coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes or until done. Cool and chop.

Return skillet to medium-high. Combine flour and 1/2 cup milk in a bowl. Add leeks and next 4 ingredients (through mushrooms) to pan; cook 13 minutes or until browned and tender. Stir in flour mixture, remaining 4 1/2 cups milk, and parsley; cook 3 minutes. Stir in cream cheese until smooth; cook 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Combine chicken, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper, mushroom mixture, rice, and green onions in a bowl. Coat baking dishes with cooking spray. Divide chicken mixture between dishes; top with almonds. Follow freezing directions, or bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until browned and bubbly.

To FREEZE: Cool mixture completely. Cover with heavy-duty foil or airtight lids. Freeze up to 2 months.THAW: Uncover and microwave at MEDIUM (50% power) 15 minutes or until thawed.REHEAT: Cover and bake at 450 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 335; Fat: 10.9g; Sat fat: 3.5g; Monofat: 4.6g; Polyfat: 1.7g; Protein: 29g; Carbohydrate: 32g; Fiber: 4g; Cholesterol: 62mg; Iron: 2mg; Sodium: 633mg; Calcium: 240mg; Sugars: 2g; Est. added sugars: 0g

Cooking Light, March 2017

8 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 8 servings)

Greek Tortellini Pasta Salad

I made this, so you know it was pretty easy to make.  I made some changes from the original recipe because I hate olives.  And I put in the whole artichoke can because what am I going to do with a partial can of artichokes?

D and I both liked it.  Of course, I can eat my weight in Tortellini.  But for a quick filling meal, this is a good one.

Greek Tortellini Pasta Salad

Photo by ALB

Greek Tortellini Pasta Salad with zesty Greek lemon dressing, fresh veggies, and hearty tortellini pasta will be your go-to potluck and dinner side dish!

adapted from
Prep time: 15 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Serves: 6 2 Cup servings

1 pound cheese tortellini pasta (either fresh, or dried - cooked according to package's instructions) (used 20 oz Buitoni)
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 red onion, diced
1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 14oz can artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
11 oz chicken breast, sauteed with salt and pepper (eyeballed that)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves, finely chopped (that whole tub that you get from Kroger)

Greek Dressing
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
6 cloves of garlic garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
black pepper, to taste
juice of 1/2 lemon

Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar, cover and shake well.

In a large bowl combine tortellini, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, artichoke hearts, olives, feta cheese, and basil. Pour dressing over the top, then toss to combine.

Serve immediately OR cover and refrigerate up to 6 hours before serving.

15 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 6 servings)

Monday, July 24, 2017

Steak, Feta, and Olive Quesadillas

D made these the other night.  Of course, he took out the olives.

He thought the spinach was over-powering.  I thought it was fine.  Again, we agreed we need a higher quality feta than Kroger brand. Overall we would both have again.  We had with a spinach/egg salad.

Steak, Feta, and Olive Quesadillas

Photo by ALB

Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 4 wedges and 1 tbsp. yogurt)
Time: 25 minutes
Veg Out: Substitute sliced cremini mushrooms for the steak and add an extra cup of spinach to the filling for a vegetarian main.

We first tried a Mexican-Italian quesadilla mash-up with pizzadillas—quesadillas with melty mozzarella and a marinara dipping sauce. Now we head to the Mediterranean with a steak, feta, and olive quesadilla filling and a dollop of cool Greek yogurt on top. Instead of layering meat, vegetables, and cheese inside the tortilla, we make one filling of steak and vegetables to save time. Be careful not to overstuff the tortillas or they may fall apart in the pan. This recipe is also great for entertaining: Serve the wedges on a platter with a side of yogurt and a “salsa” of chopped cucumber, tomato, red onion, and parsley.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided (used 1 TBSP)
12 ounces sirloin steak, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped fresh spinach (about 1 1/2 oz.)
1 1/2 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)
12 Castelvetrano olives, chopped (didn't use)
4 (8-in.) whole-wheat tortillas (used OLE Xtreme Wellness Tortillas)
1/4 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt (used Opadipity Greek Cucumber Greek Dill Dip)

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add steak; cook 5 minutes or until browned. Add spinach, cream cheese, feta, and olives; cook 2 minutes. Remove steak mixture from pan.

Wipe pan clean with paper towels. Spoon about 1/3 cup steak mixture evenly over half of each tortilla. Fold tortillas in half over filling. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan. Place 2 quesadillas in pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and remaining 2 quesadillas. Cut each quesadilla into 4 wedges. Serve with yogurt.

Nutritional Information as written
Calories 346; Fat: 18.2g; Satfat: 5.4g; Monofat: 10.2g; Polyfat: 1.3g; Protein: 23g; Carbohydrate: 20g; Fiber: 1g; Cholesterol: 59mg; Iron: 2mg; Sodium: 672mg; Calcium: 118mg; Sugars: 1g; Est. added sugars: 0 g

Cooking Light, August 2017

8 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 4 servings)

Cobb Pizza (or Shit on Bread)

It's no secret that I call pizza without red sauce, shit on bread.  So this would fall into the category of good shit on bread.

It lacked a little flavor, but I think that was with the substitutions I made.  Kroger didn't have arugula when we went to the store on Sunday, and neither of us felt like hitting the store on Thursday to go see if a ship had come in with it. So we used the spinach we had.

After this recipe, I asked D if we could use better (more expensive) feta.  He had bought some before and when we went back to Kroger brand, it was kind of tasteless.  He agreed.

So anyway, we both liked this, and think if made properly, it will be excellent shit on bread.

Cobb Pizza

Photo by ALB

Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 2 slices)

10 ounce refrigerated fresh whole-wheat pizza dough (used Pillsbury Classic)
1/4 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt (used 0%)
2 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons canola mayonnaise (used RF Hellman's)
1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes (used grape tomatoes)
1/4 cup vertically sliced red onion
3 ounces skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast, shredded (about 3/4 cup)
1 1/2 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1/3 cup)
1/2 cup packed arugula (used spinach, but next time will use arugula)
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 ounce blue cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup) (used blue cheese on half and feta on the other half)
2 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
1 medium-size ripe avocado, chopped
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 500°F. Place a pizza stone or heavy baking sheet in oven (keep pan in oven as it preheats).

Place dough in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH 30 seconds or until room temperature. Roll dough into a 14- x 10-inch rectangle on a large piece of lightly floured parchment paper; pierce dough liberally with a fork. Carefully place parchment paper and dough on preheated pizza stone or baking sheet; bake at 500°F for 5 minutes or until crust is lightly browned.

Combine yogurt, buttermilk, and mayonnaise in a bowl; spread over crust, leaving a 1-inch border. Top evenly with tomatoes, onion, chicken, and mozzarella; bake at 500°F for 5 minutes. Place arugula and oil in a bowl; toss to coat. Sprinkle arugula mixture, blue cheese, bacon, avocado, and pepper over pizza. Cut into 8 slices.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 394; Fat: 21.2g; Satfat: 4.6g; Monofat: 9.8g; Polyfat: 3g; Protein: 19g; Carbohydrate: 36g; Fiber: 5g; Cholesterol: 39mg; Iron: 1mg; Sodium: 658mg; Calcium: 147mg; Sugars: 2g; Est. added sugars: 0 g

Cooking Light, July 2017

12 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 4 servings)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Black Pepper-Curry Chicken Sauté

This was pretty good.  As usual, it wasn't spicy enough, but chile garlic sauce fixed that right up.

Overall it had the same issues that homemade curry always has in our house.  It isn't as creamy as either of us wants.  Still it was pretty good.

Black Pepper-Curry Chicken Sauté

Photo by ALB

Active Time: 25 Mins
Total Time: 25 Mins
Yield Serves 4 (serving size: 1/2 cup rice and 3/4 cup chicken mixture)

Adding a subtle spiciness to this aromatic dish, black pepper is thought to enhance the absorption of turmeric in the curry. For the boldest flavor, go for 1 teaspoon peppercorns; crush with a mortar and pestle, or place in a small ziplock plastic bag and pound with a skillet. Other anti-inflammatory ingredients include ginger, garlic, onion, canola oil, and brown rice. Get an extra boost against inflammation by serving with a side of roasted cauliflower or broccoli.

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-in. pieces
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil, divided (didn't use)
1 1/2 cups vertically sliced onion
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 cup canned light coconut milk
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/2 to 1 tsp. peppercorns, crushed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or basil (used 1 TBSP of each)
2 cups hot cooked brown rice (used white rice)

Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add chicken to pan; cook, stirring frequently, 5 to 6 minutes or until chicken is lightly browned and almost cooked through. Remove chicken from pan.

Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; cook 4 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add ginger and garlic; cook until softened, about 1 minute. Add curry powder; cook 15 to 30 seconds or until fragrant, stirring constantly. Stir in coconut milk, lime juice, crushed peppercorns, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Return chicken to pan. Cover, and cook over medium-low until sauce is slightly thickened and chicken is done, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro or basil. Serve over rice.

Nutritional Information (original recipe)
Calories: 336; Fat: 10.6g; Sat fat: 4g; Mono fat: 3.4g; Poly fat: 1.8g; Protein: 30g; Carbohydrate: 31g; Fiber: 3g; Cholesterol: 83mg; Iron: 1mg; Sodium: 434mg; Calcium: 37mg; Sugars: 2g: Est. added sugars: 0g

Cooking Light, August 2017

7 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 4 servings)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Skillet Nacho Dip

Any time Nacho and Dip are in the same sentence, you know I have to have it.

I showed D and he said we should have it for lunch this past Sunday, considering we had no leftovers. So he made it.  It is great with a pale ale.  We both had to stop ourselves from eating more than 1/4 of the dip.

The hamburger it called for...D bought 90/10 ground beef and threw that in, instead.

We would have again.

Skillet Nacho Dip

Photo by ALB

ACTIVE TIME: 20 mins
TOTAL TIME: 20 mins
YIELD: Serves 4 (serving size: 1/2 cup dip and about 2/3 cup chips)

We took our favorite elements of cheesy queso dip and loaded beef nachos and combined the two into one epic skillet nacho dip, a one-pan main that couldn’t be more fun to eat. It starts with a base of onion and jalapeño, followed by crumbled cooked beef patties, pinto beans, and two kinds of cheeses for a maximum melty factor. Top with red onion, tomato, and avocado or other fresh toppers like sliced jalapeños, scallions, and cilantro (just be sure your chips are sturdy enough for dipping). The dip would also be delicious with leftover shredded barbecue pork or rotisserie chicken.

1 teaspoon olive oil
3/4 cup chopped red onion, divided
2 tablespoons seeded minced jalapeño
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
2/3 cup unsalted beef stock
2 cooked ground beef patties (from Smoky Caramelized Onion Burgers), finely crumbled (used 1lb of 90/10)
1 cup drained unsalted canned pinto beans (used black beans, bc Aldi didn't have pinto.)
2 ounces preshredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 1/2 cup)
2 ounces preshredded 2% reduced-fat Mexican-blend cheese (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup chopped avocado
2 1/2 cups baked tortilla chips

Preheat broiler with oven rack in upper middle position.

Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add 1/2 cup onion and jalapeño to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add flour, cumin, and chili powder; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add stock; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and stir in crumbled beef patties and beans; cook 2 minutes. Stir in mozzarella; cook 1 minute or until cheese is melted. Remove pan from heat.

Sprinkle Mexican-blend cheese over pan; broil 1 minute or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup red onion, tomato, and avocado over pan. Serve with chips.

Calories: 385; Fat: 18.2 g; Sat Fat: 6.5 g; Mono Fat: 8 g; Poly Fat: 1.7 g; Protein: 25 g; Carbohydrate 31 g; Fiber 7 g; Cholesterol: 54 mg; Iron: 3 mg; Sodium: 561 mg; Calcium: 327 mg; Sugars: 3 g; Est. Added Sugars: 0 g

Cooking Light, AUGUST 2017

14 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 4 servings)

Creole Shrimp and Creamed Corn

I was very unsure of showing this recipe to D.  We both are not big shrimp and grits fan.  In fact, if there's a way to ruin shrimp, it would be to serve with grits.  But this seemed to have a lot of seasoning, and one bad meal every so often can't be that bad.

So D made it.  It was a lot of corn.  Because we don't have salt free Creole Seasoning, D played with the salt a little.  The Creamed Corn definitely needed a bit.  At first it was a bit too bland (the next day, the sweetness really came out).

The shrimp was very good.  Maybe a little more Creole on it.  But overall we both liked it enough to have again and play with the seasoning.

Creole Shrimp and Creamed Corn

Photo by ALB

ACTIVE TIME: 30 mins
TOTAL TIME: 30 mins
YIELD: Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 cup corn mixture and 1/2 cup shrimp mixture)- we got 3/4 shrimp mixture

In this fun twist on shrimp and grits, buttery creamed corn stands in for grits—a sweet and tasty surprise. The shrimp mixture takes on bold flavors from Creole seasoning, smoked paprika, thyme, and garlic—making for a robust mixture that’s complemented by the sweetness of the creamed corn. Aim for large shrimp here so the dish feels a little more special; we suggest 16/20 count shrimp or 10/15 count if you want them even bigger.

7 ears fresh shucked corn (so much left-over corn, really only needed 6 ears)
1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk (used 2%)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons butter, divided
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 pound raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon salt-free Creole seasoning (such as Tony Chachere's)(used regular)
3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil (used 1 TBSP)
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup dry white wine or chicken stock

Cut kernels from corn to equal 3 1/2 cups; reserve cobs. Set aside 1/2 cup kernels. Pulse remaining 3 cups kernels in a food processor until almost creamy, 5 or 6 times. Using dull side of a knife, scrape milk and pulp from cobs into a medium saucepan; discard cobs. Add processed kernels, milk, and cornstarch to pan. Bring to a simmer over medium, stirring often. Reduce heat to low; simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons butter and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Remove from heat; cover and keep warm.

Combine shrimp, Creole seasoning, paprika, and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Add oil and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons butter to skillet; cook until butter melts. Add shrimp; cook, without stirring, 1 minute. Add tomatoes, thyme, garlic, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Add onions and reserved 1/2 cup corn; cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are done, 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine; cook, stirring and scraping pan to loosen browned bits, 30 seconds. Serve shrimp mixture over creamed corn.

Calories: 430; Fat: 17.1 g; Sat Fat: 5.9 g; Mono Fat: 7.5 g; Poly Fat: 2 g; Protein: 25 g; Carbohydrate: 47 g; Fiber: 5 g; Cholesterol: 163 mg; Iron: 2 mg; Sodium: 649 mg; Calcium: 209 mg; Sugars: 17 g; Est. Added Sugars: 0 g

Cooking Light, AUGUST 2017

11 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 4 servings)

Steak and Veggies with Zesty Chimichurri

Cooking Light has a ton of recipes for the August 2017 issue. This was the third one we've had. I figured I wouldn't have a hard time getting D to make this. I was right.

He halved the recipe though (well besides the steak) because none of it really tastes good left over, if you think about it.

Would totally have again. But it had chimichurri. It's hard to go wrong with that.

Steak and Veggies with Zesty Chimichurri

Photo by ALB

ACTIVE TIME: 10 mins
TOTAL TIME: 20 mins
YIELD Serves 2 (serving size: 1 fillet, about 1/2 cup potatoes, 1/2 cup squash, and 2 tbsp. cilantro mixture)

Beef tenderloin fillets make this summer dish an incredibly quick standout. You can also use 2 (8-ounce) sirloin steaks, grilled for 4 minutes on each side or until your desired degree of doneness. We simplify the chimichurri formula by leaning on garlic, cilantro, and olive oil. You could also add a pinch of crushed red pepper, ground cumin, and about a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice if you have these ingredients on hand. Parcooked potatoes cook more quickly and evenly on the grill. Instead of microwaving, you could boil the potatoes whole, cool, slice, and refrigerate for later.

2/3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into wedges
Cooking spray
2 (8-oz.) beef tenderloin fillets
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1/2 pound yellow squash, cut diagonally into (1/4-in.-thick) slices (about 3 cups)
1 1/4 cups loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
5 cloves chopped garlic
2 TBSP cup olive oil
(add a jalapeno, seeded)

Preheat grill to medium (350°F to 400°F).

Place potatoes in a microwave-safe dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap. Cut a 1/2-inch slit in plastic. Microwave at HIGH 6 minutes or until almost tender. Coat grill grate with cooking spray. Add potatoes to grill (skewer if necessary); cook 5 minutes or until tender and well marked, turning after 3 minutes.

Coat fillets with cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add fillets to grill; cook 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove fillets from pan; cover, and keep warm.

Coat squash with cooking spray; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add squash to grill; cook 3 minutes or until tender and lightly charred.

Place remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper, cilantro, and garlic (and jalapeno) in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Add oil; process 30 seconds or until smooth. Serve cilantro mixture with potatoes, fillets, and squash.

Adapted from Cooking Light, AUGUST 2017

14 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 2 servings)

Friday, June 30, 2017

Skillet Lemon Chicken with Artichokes

Once again, I'm not sure how 6 pieces of chicken yields 4 servings, but besides that, this was a good dish.

D made it, and I really enjoyed the tang of the artichokes with the brightness of the lemon.  He thought we should have had a side with it. I was fine with just the rice.

Would have again.

Skillet Lemon Chicken with Artichokes

By The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen
Lemony artichokes pair perfectly with crispy golden chicken thighs.

PREP: 0:10 LEVEL: Easy
YIELD: 4 servings

1 tsp. olive oil
6 small chicken thighs (about 2 lbs.) (from the original picture, it looks bone-in with skin)
1 medium onion
2/3 c. dry white wine
1 tbsp. butter
1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, quartered, rinsed and drained
1 medium lemon, thinly sliced and seeded.
Parsley, chopped, for garnish
Steamed rice

In 12-inch skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil on medium-high. Season small chicken thighs with 1⁄2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Place skin side down; cook 5 to 8 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer chicken, skin side up, to rimmed foil-lined baking sheet and roast at 425°F 15 minutes or until cooked (165°F).

To same skillet on medium, add onion, chopped, and 1⁄4 teaspoon salt. Cook 3 minutes, stirring. Add dry white wine and simmer 2 minutes, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in butter until melted, then artichoke hearts and lemon.

To serve, spoon sauce over chicken; garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with steamed rice.

Nutritional information (per serving):
About 510 cals, 34 g protein, 10 g carbs, 36 g fat (11 g sat), 1 g fiber, 790 mg sodium.

Mediterranean Meatballs

In the blurb from the site I got this from it said this could easily be made on a weeknight.  D said, "Never are we to have this again on a weeknight."  It did take awhile, or so it seemed, so I'll take him up on that.

After eating it he did say we could have again.  We both like the rich flavors.  He said it is a good Sunday Dinner.

Mediterranean Meatballs

Photo by ALB

Adapted from Irvin Lin which was
Adapted from David Tanis’ One Good Dish

2 cups fresh cubed crusty whole wheat bread (Used Pepperidge Farm Italian Bread)
1 cup milk (2% is fine)
1 lb ground lamb (or ground beef if you aren’t a fan of lamb)
1/2 lb ground beef (used Laura's 93/7)
1 large egg
6 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
4 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley, divided
4 tablespoons chopped cilantro, divided
4 tablespoons chopped scallions (green onions), divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup olive oil (used 3 TBSP)

3 tablespoons olive oil (didn't use)
2 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped
6 medium garlic cloves, minced
6 oz tomato paste
2 1-inch cinnamon sticks
pinch of saffron, crumbled in your fingers
4 1/2 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste

2 cups Israel couscous
1/2 cup golden raisins (didn't use)
2 tablespoon olive oil (didn't use)
Add any left over parsley and cilantro to this
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Place the cubed bread onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the bread has dried out but not browned. While the bread is toasting make the sauce.

2. Place the oil (use PAM) in a large wide skillet or pot and heat until shimmering. Reduce heat to medium and add the onions and cook until the onions start to soften, about 5 minutes. Once they start to soften, add the garlic, tomato paste, cinnamon sticks and saffron. Stir and cook for about a minute, then season generously with salt and pepper. Add the broth, stir to incorporate, cook on medium high heat until boiling. The sauce will look thin. Lower heat to a simmer and then cover while you make the meatballs, stirring occasionally.

3. Once the bread is toasted, remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Move bread to a large bowl and drizzle milk over bread, tossing and mixing until the milk is absorbed. Add both meats, egg, garlic, salt and pepper and spices to bread. Add 3 tablespoons of the parsley, cilantro and scallions, reserving the 1 tablespoon each for garnish at tend. Using your hands mix and massage the mixture until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Roll the mixture into golf ball size meatballs then toss half the balls in the flour to coat. In a large pan, add the oil and heat until shimmering then pan fry half the meatballs, turning until they are brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. They don’t need to be completely cooked through, just brown. Move the browned meatballs to the simmering sauce, and repeat with the remaining meat, first forming the balls, then coating in flour and frying, then moving to the sauce. Increase the heat to medium and simmer the balls for 20-25 minutes or until the meatballs are tender and cooked through. Taste the sauce and adjust the salt, pepper and cayenne for heat if you want.

4. While the meatballs are simmering, make the couscous as directed by the package. While the couscous and meatballs are cooking, pour boiling water over the raisins and let soak to plump up (don't add raisins). Once the cous cous is done, drizzle the olive oil  over it (don't do) and then drain the raisins and add them as well. Stir together and season with salt and pepper to taste. Once the meatballs are done, spoon the couscous into bowls and cover with meatballs and sauce. Sprinkle parsley, cilantro and scallions over the top and serve immediately.

Makes enough for 4-6 servings.

21 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 5 servings (4 meatballs, 2/3C of sauce, 2/3C of couscous))

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Homemade Bean and Bacon Soup

When I was little, Bean and Bacon Soup was my favorite.  My brother and I used to have it a lot (from the can).  For some reason, I thought of it recently and found a recipe.  Then on Sunday, I fell under the weather, and REALLY wanted this soup.  D made it for me.

It was on the salty side, but it was really good.  We both enjoyed it.

Homemade Bean and Bacon Soup

Photo by ALB

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 1 hour 15 mins
Total time: 1 hour 30 mins

Author: Deborah (adapted from her recipe)
Serves: 4 servings (2 C each)

8 oz. center cut bacon, diced
1 cup diced yellow onions
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups chicken broth
3 cans (15 oz each) Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce

Cook the bacon in a soup pot or Dutch oven until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Discard all but about 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease. (or just leave it in there and don't worry about it).

To the hot bacon grease, add the onions, carrots and celery. Cook over medium heat until they start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute. Stir in the chicken broth and beans. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a bubble then reduce the heat to low and let the soup simmer for 1 hour.

Remove half of the soup to a blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Return the puree to the soup pot and stir into the remaining soup. Add the tomato sauce and ¾ of the reserved bacon and stir to combine. Taste and season to taste with salt and pepper. Let the soup simmer until it is heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve topped with the remaining bacon.

12 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 4 servings)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Chicken in Coconut Milk with Lemongrass

D and I saw a recipe about Chicken in Milk. It looked odd, but then this recipe came up on my Pinterest page.  Twice with the milk!  We are always willing to try new things, so we put it on the food list.

It was really good.  The coconut milk cooks down, so there wasn't a lot of sauce but in the spinach it was good.  Also the lemon broke down so there was a puckerish taste which also went well.

Would have again.

Chicken in Coconut Milk with Lemongrass

Photo by ALB

From The Kitchn
Serves 4 to 6 (We got 6)

1 whole roasting chicken (3 to 4 pounds)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole star anise (didn't use because we didn't have any, and I don't like it)
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro stems
1 large lemon, cut into eighths
1 stalk lemongrass, 5 inches of white part only, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
6 to 8 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 (14- to 16-ounce) can coconut milk
3 cups torn greens (spinach, kale, chard, mizuna, etc.) (used spinach)
2 green onions, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
Chopped cilantro, to garnish
Cooked rice, to serve (2 cups)

Pat the chicken dry and sprinkle it liberally with salt and pepper. Put the chicken, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, or if you're going to cook it right away, set it aside while you prepare remaining ingredients.

When ready to bake the chicken, preheat the oven to 375°F.

Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, then add the oil. Put in the chicken, breast-side up, and let it sizzle for about 30 seconds. Carefully flip the bird and crisp the other side for another 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat, put the chicken on a plate, and pour off the fat in the pot.

Transfer the chicken back into the pot, breast-side up, and add the cinnamon stick, star anise, chopped cilantro stems, lemon, lemongrass, garlic, and coconut milk. Cook, uncovered, in the preheated oven for 60 to 90 minutes (depending on size). Spoon the sauce over the top of the bird to baste every 20 minutes or so. The chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh reads 165°F.

Remove chicken from the pot and put it on a plate. Pull out and discard the cinnamon stick and star anise. Put the pot with the sauce back on the stovetop over medium heat, add the spinach and stir until just wilted, about 10 seconds.

Carve the chicken and serve each piece over rice with sauce spooned over the top. Garnish with chopped scallions and cilantro leaves.

16 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 6 servings)

Greek Spinach-Pasta Salad with Feta and Beans

I love Feta Cheese, so when I saw this recipe, I wanted it.  Except I thought we should add chicken. So we did.  It was really good, and for the first day of Summer, really hit the spot.

I would have again. Definitely a good twist on the traditional mayo-laden pasta salad (not that there's anything wrong with that).

Greek Spinach-Pasta Salad with Feta and Beans

Photo by ALB

Canned beans help transform pasta salads into easy lunch recipes. If you plan to transport the salad to work for a quick lunch, keep the spinach separate and stir it in just before serving.


MAKES: 6 SERVINGS (we got 5)

Add 1 lb raw chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces and sauteed
1 5 ounce fresh baby spinach
1 15 ounce can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup dried tomatoes (not oil-packed), snipped
2 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon snipped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon snipped fresh lemon thyme or thyme
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces dried cavatappi or farfalle pasta
Shaved Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese

In a large serving bowl combine (sauteed chicken), spinach, beans, cheese, tomatoes, green onions, garlic, lemon peel and juice, oil, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cover; let stand at room temperature while preparing pasta or up to 2 hours; stirring occasionally.

Shortly before serving, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Toss cooked pasta and pasta water with spinach salad mixture. Serve warm or at room temperature. Top with shaved Parmesan cheese. Makes 6 (2-cup) main-dish servings.

Nutrition Facts (Greek Spinach-Pasta Salad with Feta and Beans)
Per serving: 408 kcal cal., 10 g fat (4 g sat. fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat, 4 g monounsatured fat), 19 mg chol., 487 mg sodium, 62 g carb., 6 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 17 g pro. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

15 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 5 servings)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Crispy Smoked Paprika Chicken Recipe

D made this and it was really good. It tasted like Honey Brushed Chicken thighs without the honey.  We both really enjoyed it.  We had with rice and cauliflower.

Crispy Smoked Paprika Chicken Recipe

Photo by ALB

Juicy chicken thighs get a crispy skin thanks to a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkling of paprika spiced salt that takes just 5 minutes to prepare.

From Foodie Crush


8-10 small bone-in chicken thighs (about 3 pounds)
1½ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack over it. Place the chicken skin side down on the rack. Stir the spices together in a small bowl and then sprinkle half of the spices over the chicken. Turn the chicken over, skin side up, and drizzle with the oil and sprinkle the skin with the remaining spices.

Place the chicken in the center of the oven and roast for about 50 minutes or until the skin is crisp and golden and the chicken is cooked through. Allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Tahini-Marinated Chicken Thighs with Cucumber-and-Tomato Salad

We had this awhile ago.

I'll admit I don't remember much except that I liked it.  Because I was really excited about it for lunch the next day. Somehow I remember that. So we'll have again.

Tahini-Marinated Chicken Thighs with Cucumber-and-Tomato Salad

ACTIVE TIME: 20 mins
TOTAL TIME: 8 hrs, 20 mins
YIELD Serves 4 (serving size: 2 chicken thighs, 1/2 cup salad, and 1/2 cup rice)

If you thought tahini functioned mainly as a condiment, you’ll love it in a marinade—it makes the chicken buttery tender without an overwhelming amount of sesame flavor in the finished dish. It also helps the chicken char nicely on the grill. The chopped salad is inspired by the Israeli original, usually stuffed into pita pockets with shawarma (slow-grilled meat) and drizzled with tahini sauce. We reserve some of the tahini mixture from the marinade for topping the finished dish. You can also substitute couscous, cooked bulgur, or toasted whole-wheat pita wedges for the rice. V

1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste), well stirred
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1 small shallot, finely grated
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 lb.)
Cooking spray
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 cups chopped cucumber
1 1/2 cups chopped tomato
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups hot cooked brown rice (used white)

To prepare chicken, combine first 10 ingredients in a bowl. Place 1/4 cup tahini mixture in a small bowl; reserve. Place remaining tahini mixture and chicken in a large ziplock plastic bag; seal, turning to coat chicken. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat grill to medium (350°F to 450°F). Coat grill grate with cooking spray. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken with salt. Arrange chicken on grill grate; cover and cook 4 minutes on each side or until done. Arrange chicken on a platter; drizzle with reserved 1/4 cup tahini mixture.

To prepare the salad, combine cucumber and next 6 ingredients (through 1/4 teaspoon salt) in a bowl; toss gently to combine. Serve cucumber salad with chicken and rice.

Calories: 448; Fat: 18.6 g; Satfat: 3.5 g; Monofat: 9 g; Polyfat: 31 g; Protein: 39 g; Carbohydrate: 31 g; Fiber: 4 g; Cholesterol: 160 mg; Iron: 4 mg; Sodium: 544 mg; Calcium: 76 mg; Sugars: 3 g; Est. Added Sugars: 0 g

Cooking Light, MAY 2017

13 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 5 servings)


So I really didn't like this recipe, but I'm still going to blog about it because D did.
This way if I'm ever not home for dinner he can have it.

What was wrong with it? The ketchup.  I like ketchup...a lot.  It's usually "have some fries with my ketchup."  I put it on all things potatoes (except baked).  I love sambal and sriracha.   But ketchup on ramen?  That is just gross and that's basically what it was to me...with some broccoli and cabbage thrown in.  Even the sriracha couldn't save it.

So I won't be having this again, but D might.


Photo by ALB

Adapted from BudgetByte$
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 30 mins

Serves: 5

½ head green cabbage
1 medium yellow onion
2 medium carrots
1 small crown broccoli
1 inch fresh ginger
1 large chicken breast
2 Tbsp vegetable oil (used 1 TBSP)
2 (3 oz.) packages ramen noodles (used Marachun Yakisoba noodles (2 pks)) seasoning packets discarded
1 tsp sesame oil
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp ketchup
(up to) 1 Tbsp sriracha hot sauce
1 Tbsp sugar

Before you begin, prepare the meat and vegetables for stir frying. Peel the ginger with either a vegetable peeler or the side of a spoon and then grate it with a cheese grater. Peel and grate the carrots with a large holed cheese grater. Remove the core from the cabbage and cut into thin strips. Slice the onion into thin strips. Cut the broccoli into bite-sized pieces. Slice the chicken into thin strips.

Begin boiling a medium pot full of water for the noodles. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the grated ginger, saute for about 30 seconds to one minute (its okay if it sticks to the pan but don’t let it burn). Add the chicken strips and cook until they are no longer pink (about five minutes).

Once the chicken is cooked through, add all of the vegetables. Stir and cook until wilted (about 5-10 minutes). Meanwhile, once the water boils, add the noodles and cook just until tender (2-3 minutes). Drain, return to the pot (with the heat turned off) and toss with the sesame oil to keep from sticking. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, ketchup, sriracha, and sugar. Use only ½ tsp of sriracha if you don’t want it spicy, use up to 1 Tbsp if you like it hot. Stir until the ketchup and sugar are dissolved. Pour the sauce into the skillet with the chicken and vegetables with the heat still on medium high. Add the noodles, stir to coat everything in the sauce, and heat through (just a few minutes).

11 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 5 servings)

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Creamy Garlic Parmesan Mushroom Chicken and Bacon

Chicken, Bacon, Mushrooms and Cheese.  What's not to love?  It was very good, especially over Penne.  Any reason to have creamy pasta is a good reason, and this was no exception.

Would have again.

Creamy Garlic Parmesan Mushroom Chicken and Bacon

Photo by ALB

Creamy Garlic Parmesan Mushroom Chicken and Bacon is packed full of flavour for an easy, weeknight dinner the whole family will love!

Adapted from Author: Karina - Cafe Delites 
Serves: 6

6 bone-in, skin-on or off chicken thighs
1 tablespoon olive oil (didn't use)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

4 cloves garlic, crushed
7 ounces | 200 grams diced bacon (used 3.5 oz Center Cut)
14 ounces | 400 grams sliced brown mushrooms (cremini) (used 1 lb)
1 cup cream OR milk* (used fat-free half-half)
(used 1/2 tsp AP flour)
½ cup chicken broth
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Salt, only if needed to your taste
Extra chopped fresh parsley, to garnish
Fresh shaved or grated parmesan, to garnish

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Arrange chicken on a plate. Combine together the olive oil, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper in a jug. Rub the oil mixture over the chicken to completely coat. (if you mash garlic, it gets a paste-y consistency that you can rub with everything else).

Heat a large, oven proof pan or skillet over medium high heat. Sear the chicken, skin-side down first, until skin is crisp and golden brown. Rotate and sear the other side (about 2-3 minutes per side). Transfer to oven and roast until completely cooked through, about 25-30 minutes. Once chicken is done, remove from skillet; set aside. Pour out HALF of the chicken juices left in the pan.

Using the same skillet the chicken was in, fry the garlic in the reserved chicken juices over medium heat, stirring frequently until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the bacon and fry until just beginning to crisp. Add in the mushrooms and cook until mushrooms begin to soften.

Pour in the cream OR milk (and flour, see notes), chicken broth and Parmesan; allow to simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. SEE NOTES if using milk INSTEAD of cream option)

Season with pepper. Taste first before adding in any extra salt, as the bacon will add the salt.

Add the chicken back into the pan; allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes in the cream to take on the flavours. Garnish with parsley and shaved or grated parmesan, if desired. Serve over rice, pasta, or steamed/grilled vegetables.

*If using cream, half and half, thickened cream, heavy cream, or light or reduced fat cooking cream are all fine to use. If you prefer a thicker sauce, whisk together 1 level teaspoon cornstarch with 1 tablespoon milk until lump free and well blended. Add the mixture into the cream sauce, while stirring continuously, until thickened.

*If using milk, skim, low fat, full fat, almond, or cashew, etc are fine to use, to reduce calories. Add in the milk; bring to a simmer; whisk 2 teaspoons of cornstarch into 1-2 tablespoons of *extra* milk; pour cornstarch mixture into the centre of the pan; stir continuously until the milk thickens and becomes a 'cream'.

10 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 6 servings-no pasta)

Crusty Baked Shells and Cauliflower

My friends O and T have been busting each other's chops about cauliflower lately. T thinks it is the most vile food on the planet, and O makes rice out of it (just stop!).

So I guess because it comes up a lot on Facebook, it was a keyword for pinterest. Or maybe because I eat it 2-4 times a week.  But seriously a recipe that is pretty much Mac and Cheese with added Cauliflower?  Yes please.  After looking at it, I knew it should have chicken because the only time I have ever liked capers was when chicken was involved.  I told D about this with the added chicken and he said ok.

It was a little on the dry side but still good.  Pretty much a really good casserole.  D, of course, added more capers to his portion.  And he added butter to the bread crumbs because bread crumbs on top a casserole need butter.  It wasn't really Weight Watcher friendly, but that's why they have those extra points that you can eat.

D said next time to get fresh ricotta instead of the stuff from the milk aisle.  OK.

We didn't have a side.

Crusty Baked Shells and Cauliflower

Photo by ALB

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten
Total:1 hr
Active: 30 min
Yield: 6 to 8 servings (we got 6)
Level: Easy

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 pound medium shells
Good olive oil (didn't use)
2 1/2 pounds cauliflower, cut into small florets (1 large head)
3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh sage leaves
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups freshly grated Italian Fontina Val d'Aosta cheese, lightly packed (10 ounces with rind)
1 cup (8 ounces) fresh ricotta
1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread flakes)
6 tablespoons freshly grated Italian Pecorino cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
(added 1 TBSP of butter, melted)
(added 1 pound of 1-inch cut up chicken breast, cooked).

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Fill a large pot with water, add 2 tablespoons salt, and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook al dente, according to the instructions on the package. Since it will be baked later, don't overcook it! Drain and pour into a very large bowl.

Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large (12-inch) saute pan over medium-high heat, add half the cauliflower in one layer, and saute for 5 to 6 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the florets are lightly browned and tender. Pour the cauliflower, including the small bits, into the bowl with the pasta. Add 3 more tablespoons of oil to the saute pan, add the remaining cauliflower, cook until browned and tender, and add to the bowl.

Add the sage, capers, garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper (and chicken) to the bowl and stir carefully. Stir in the Fontina. Transfer half of the mixture to a 10 x 13 x 2-inch rectangular baking dish. Spoon rounded tablespoons of ricotta on the pasta and spoon the remaining pasta mixture on top. Combine the panko, Pecorino, parsley, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil (used melted butter) in a small bowl and sprinkle it evenly on top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until browned and crusty on top. Serve hot.

18 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 6 servings)

Thursday, May 11, 2017

French Fries with Bulgogi and Caramelized Kimchi

This is probably a one and done recipe.  It was good, but it was spicy.  And for that many calories I'd rather have the Asian Pork Nachos.  I don't really have much else to say about it.
I just like the nachos better.

French Fries with Bulgogi and Caramelized Kimchi

Photo by ALB

YIELD: 2 servings

1 (small) onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 pound boneless rib eye steak, cut into very thin, 3-inch slices
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons Korean chile paste (gochujang)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 cup kimchi
1/2 cup mayonnaise (used 1/4 C Hellman's Light)
3 tablespoons Sriracha, plus more for serving (used 1 1/2 TBSP)
1 pound hot french fries
1/2 C Shredded cheddar (used Reduced Fat),for serving

In a resealable plastic bag, combine the onion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar and sesame oil. Add the rib eye and toss to coat. Seal the bag and refrigerate overnight.

Drain the meat, pick off the solids and pat dry. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil until smoking. Add the meat and cook over high heat, turning once, until lightly browned, 4 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate and keep warm. Rinse out the skillet and wipe dry.

In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, vinegar, chile paste and soy sauce. Add the kimchi and toss to coat. Heat the skillet until very hot. Add the kimchi and cook over high heat until the liquid is thickened and glossy and the kimchi is browned in spots, about 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the 3 tablespoons of Sriracha.

Scatter the french fries on a platter and top with the bulgogi and kimchi. Drizzle with some of the Sriracha mayonnaise and sprinkle with cheddar, onion, sesame seeds and cilantro. Serve with additional Sriracha.

18 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 4 servings)

Savory Vietnamese Beef Meatballs with a Sweet and Spicy Hoisin Dipping Sauce

So one of the things about meatballs...they need a bit of fat in them to keep them moist.  Lesson learned.  However, these weren't bad. Just a tad dry. They were very spicy due to the serrano peppers.  I think it was a first...I did not add any type of hot chile garlic sauce to an Asian-inspired dish.

Both D and I were hungry so we made this 3 servings.  We had with rice.

Savory Vietnamese Beef Meatballs with a Sweet and Spicy Hoisin Dipping Sauce

Photo by ALB

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 people

For the meatballs:
1 pound lean ground beef (used time use 90-10)
1 cup red onion finely chopped
1/3 cup cilantro roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 tablespoon ginger peeled and finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
1/2 tablespoon honey
1 Thai chili finely chopped (optional)
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

For the dipping sauce:
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
1 Thai chili finely chopped (optional)

Put all the ingredients for the meatballs in a food processor and blend until everything is mixed and minced. Transfer to a bowl.

Put a little oil in your hands, just enough to lightly coat fingers and palms and use a tablespoon to scoop up the beef mixture so the meatballs are the same size. Repeat process until all the beef mixture is used.

In a deep pan over medium high heat, add oil and the meatballs. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Turn the meatballs over, cover and cook for another 5 or until meatballs are golden brown.

Mix all the ingredients for the dipping sauce in a bowl and serve together with beef meatballs. Pour over or use as a dipping sauce.

Serve with rice, tomatoes and a few cilantro leaves.

8 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 3 servings)

Monte Cristo Flatout Sandwich

My SIL liked or shared this recipe on Facebook, and I saw it. It looked simple, and like a good quick lunch, so I decided to try it.  I should say that I have no idea what a Monte Cristo Sandwich should taste like, so I'm not sure if this is one, but it was good.

It is pretty simple and if you mix the egg wash in a plastic container, you can put it back in the fridge when you want to make the second sandwich...  I had 4 sandwiches over the course of a weekend.

So I would make again.  My points came out differently, than the writer's though.

Monte Cristo Flatout Sandwich

Photo by ALB

Adapted from: Drizzle 
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Serves: 2 6sp/6pp each (I got 9sp, maybe it was the bread I used)

2 Everything Flatout fold-it breads (I used some Ancient Grains Flatout Fold-It Bread)
1 egg
1 egg white (I use 2TBSP liquid egg)
1 Tbsp milk (I used FF half and half, it's what I had)
Dash of salt and pepper
Pinch of paprika
1 Tbsp ranch dressing
4 oz deli ham
4 Tbsp shredded asiago cheese (I used 5-Cheese Italian Blend)

In a bowl (big enough to dip your folded flatout) whisk together your egg, liquid egg, milk, salt and pepper and pinch of paprika.

Spray a medium size frying pan with some non stick spray and heat on stove top over medium.

Lay out your fold it breads and spread ½ Tbsp of your ranch dressing over each fold it.

Place 2 oz of deli ham on each and top with 2 Tbsp of your cheese, fold sandwich over and dip thoroughly in your egg mixture.

Cook in pan, flipping over after 5 minutes, be sure to get around your edges as well.

Serve immediately

9 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 2 servings)

One-Skillet Chicken With Buttery (or no Butter) Orzo

For once, Kroger had all the ingredients at the same time!!!  We lucked out.

OK, this recipe made me laugh.  Not so much looking at it.  But when D said it was ready, he said, "I didn't put any butter in it."  I said, "Didn't it have butter in the title?"  He said, "Yeah, but I thought it would be too much.

He said with the skin on the chicken, it provided enough drippings to cook everything else.  So that's what he did.

I liked it a lot.  He thought the fennel was a little overpowering.  I can't remember if he said it was easy or not, so I hope we have it again.  We had with green beans.

One-Skillet Chicken With Buttery (or no Butter) Orzo

Photo by ALB

4 SERVINGS (we got 6 servings, because we aren't sure how to divide 6 pcs of chicken into 4 servings)
Adapted from Bon Appetit

Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 pounds total), patted dry
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 fennel bulb, chopped, plus fronds, chopped
1 leek, white and pale green parts only, chopped
8 ounces orzo
⅓ cup dry white wine
2½ cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Preheat oven to 400°. Rain salt and then some pepper all over chicken. Heat 2 Tbsp. butter in a medium cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Nestle chicken, skin side down, in skillet in a single layer with no gaps (if you can’t quite fit them all, wait until chicken shrinks slightly, then puzzle in the remaining pieces). Cook until meat is opaque around the edges and skin is deep golden brown, 6–8 minutes. Turn chicken skin side up and transfer skillet to oven; bake, uncovered, until chicken is cooked through, 10–15 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.

Set same skillet over medium; combine fennel bulb and leek in skillet and sprinkle in some salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until leek is looking golden around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add orzo and cook until pasta is darkened (it will take on a brown hue) to a nice nutty brown in spots and toasty smelling, about 3 minutes. Pour in wine and cook, stirring, until liquid is evaporated, about 1 minute. Add broth ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting broth absorb before adding more, until orzo is tender and broth is mostly absorbed but pan is not dry, 10–15 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat, Taste and add more salt and pepper to your liking; mix in lemon juice and remaining 1 Tbsp. butter, then chopped fennel fronds. Pile chicken on top and finish with lemon zest.

Nutritional Content (at 4 Servings)
Calories (kcal): 810; Fat (g): 39; Saturated Fat (g): 14; Cholesterol (mg): 290; Carbohydrates (g): 51; Dietary Fiber (g): 4; Total Sugars (g): 6; Protein (g): 57; Sodium (mg): 290

10 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 6 servings)

Friday, April 28, 2017

Crack Broccoli

So this was good.  I'm not sure it was "crack-worthy" as I've never done crack.  Also D forgot the cheese.  But Broccoli with's very good.  He was eh about it, but I think he is tired of broccoli.  Me, I liked it a lot.

We had with Chicken and Mushrooms.  We would have again.

Crack Broccoli

Photo by ALB


1 and ½ pounds broccoli crowns (roughly 2 heads)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (used 1 1/4 TBSP)
4 garlic cloves, pressed
large pinch of dried red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons raw, sliced almonds (with or without skin)
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 – 3 tablespoons freshly grated aged pecorino cheese (didn't use)
zest of half a lemon

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Trim any dry, tough ends of the broccoli crowns, leaving roughly 2-inches of stalk attached. Slice the broccoli into ½-inch-thick steaks, starting in the center of each broccoli crown and working out to the edges, reserving any small or medium florets that fall off for roasting. Slice any large remaining florets in half lengthwise.

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, pressed garlic, and red pepper flakes. Add the broccoli steaks and toss gently until evenly coated. Arrange the broccoli, cut-side down, on the lined sheet pan, setting them apart slightly. Sprinkle with salt.

Roast the broccoli for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, flip the broccoli, and sprinkle the almond slices evenly across the sheet pan. Roast for an additional 8 to 10 minutes, or until the broccoli is caramelized and tender, and the almond slices are toasted and golden.

Transfer the broccoli to a platter, toss gently with the lemon juice and top with the grated cheese. Garnish with fresh lemon zest. Serve hot or at room temperature.

2 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 4 servings)