Thursday, November 29, 2012

DRESSED-UP SUCCOTASH

5 slices bacon, cut-up into chunks
2 green onions, chopped
4 cups frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
3 1/2 cups frozen baby lima beans, thawed
3/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
2 tsp chopped fresh basil or 3/4 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crisp; remove from skillet and drain on paper towels.  Reserve 3 tablespoons drippings in the skillet.

Saute the onions in the drippings for 2 minutes.  Stir in the corn, beans, and broth.  Cook, uncovered, 15 minutes or until the lima beans are just tender and ost of the broth has evaporated, stirring frequently.  Stir in the bacon, tomatoes, basil, salt, and pepper.  Cook another couple of minutes to heat through.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

EASY CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

2 cans (10 1/2-oz each) condensed chicken broth
2 cans water
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped carrot
1 tbsp finely chopped onion
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/8 tsp poultry seasoning
1/8 tsp thyme
2 cups diced cooked chicken (or turkey)
1 cup (dry) noodles, cooked

In a 3-quart saucepan combine the broth, water, celery, carrot, onion, and seasonings.  Heat to boiling over medium heat.  Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 20 minutes or until the veggies are tender. Add the chicken and noodles and heat through.
Yield: 4 servings

Monday, November 26, 2012

EASY CRANBERRY PARFAITS

1 1/4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp grated orange rind
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
cranberries, halved for garnish

Process the cranberries and corn syrup in a food processor until finely chopped.  Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the orange rind.

Beat the whipping cream until foamy then gradually add the powdered sugar, beating until stiff peaks form.

Stir the sour cream and vanilla together in a medium mixing bowl; fold in half the whipped cream then fold in the remaining half.

Spoon approximately 1 tablespoon of the cranberry syrup into each of 6 parfait glasses or dessert dishes; top with about a third of the sour cream mixture.  Repeat layers once and garnish with the halved cranberries.
Yield: 6 servings

Note: This is a recipe from Southern Living in 2007.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

COUSCOUS SALAD WITH CRANBERRIES

1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 cup uncooked couscous
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 cup sliced toasted almonds
1/3 cup sliced green onions
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Red leaf lettuce leaves for serving

In a medium saucepan combine the chicken broth, cranberries, cinnamon, and cumin; bring to a boil.  Remove pan from the heat and stir in the couscous.  Cover and let stand 5 minutes.

Fluff couscous with a fork, leave cover off and allow to cool.

Whisk the oil and vinegar together and pour over the cooled couscous.  Add the almonds, green onions, and parsley; toss well.

To serve: Serve at room temperature on individual salad plates over red lettuce leaves.

Yield: 6 servings

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

ROSEMARY BISCUITS

This biscuits are not as quick as the premade ones but oh so much better!

3 cups self-rising flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup shortening, chilled
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 tbsp chopped rosemary

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Set out a baking sheet or sheets to hold 20 biscuits.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt together well. Cut the shortening into the mixture until it resembles coarse meal.  Add the buttermilk, whipping cream, and rosemary; stir with a fork until moistened.

Turn dough out on a floured surface and knead 3 or 4 times.  Roll dough to a 1-inch thickness, cut with a floured  2-inch biscuit cutter or glass.  Place the biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Note:  These biscuits are great for making sausage sandwiches.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cheddar and Green Onion Muffins

This is a recipe I got a few years ago from a Southern Living book.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1 cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
1/3 cup finely chopped green onions
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Lightly grease 12 muffin cups; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, garlic powder, and red pepper; stir well.  Stir in the cheese and the green onions.  Make a well in the center of the mixture.

Whisk together the egg, milk, and butter; pour into the well of the flour mixture.  Stir just until all the flour mixture is moistened.  spoon into the prepared muffin tins, filling 3/4s full.

Bake muffins at 375 degrees for 22 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean.  Immediately remove from the pans.  Serve while warm.

Yield: 12 muffins

Monday, November 19, 2012

EASY GINGERED CARROTS

1 onion, chopped
2 tsp canola oil
1 tsp fresh minced gingerroot
6 large carrots, cleaned & sliced
2/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 tbsp butter
2 tsp honey
1 tsp grated oranze peel
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted
1 tbsp minced fresh parsley for garnish, if desired

Heat the canola oil in a large nonstick skillet, saute the onion until tender.  Add the ginger and cook for 1 or 2 minutes.  Stir in the carrots, orange juice, butter, honey, orange peel, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook about 15 minutes or until the carrots are tender.  Stir in the walnuts; sprinkle with the parsley before serving, if desired.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

HERB-STUFFING TOPPED BROILED TOMATOES

4 large ripe tomatoes, halved crosswise
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp + 2 tsp butter
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp seasoned bread crumbs
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp minced fresh parsley

In a small skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter; add the onion and garlic and saute until tender.

Melt the remaining 2 teaspoons of butter in a small microwave-safe bowl.  Add the onion mixture, bread crumbs, and Parmesan cheese; stir to combine well.

Place the tomatoes, cut side up on a baking sheet and top each half with 2 tablespoons of the bread mixture.

Broil tomatoes 8-inches from the heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned.  Sprinkle with the basil and parsley.  Serve right away.
Yield: 4 servings of two halves

Note: This recipe is one I got from a Reiman Publication a few years ago.  Love it!

Friday, November 16, 2012

RANCH TURKEY BURGERS

1/2 cup soft whole-wheat bread crumbs
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 small green bell pepper, chopped fine
1 to 2 (depending on your taste) jalapeno peppers, seeded & chopped fine
1/4 cup egg substitute or 1 egg
1 1/4 tsp dry ranch dressing mix
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp hot sauce
1 lb lean (read the label; no skin!) ground turkey
4 whole-grain buns
4 lettuce leaves
4 tomato slices
4 onion slices

Sauce:
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1 tsp dry ranch salad dressing mix

Combine all the ingredients through the hot sauce in a large mixing bowl; crumble the ground turkey over the mixture.  Mix together well and shape into 4 equal-sized patties.

Coat a large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium heat.  Add the patties to the hot skillet and cook about 8 minutes per side or until the juices run clear.  Be sure a meat thermometer reads at least 165 degrees!

Combine the sauce ingredients together until the dry dressing mix is completely absorbed into the sour cream.

To assemble sandwiches, place a lettuce leaf on the bottom portion of each bun.  Top each with a tomato slice and an onion slice.  Add the burgers and spread with the sauce.  Top with the top of the buns and serve.

Yield: 4 burgers of approximately 373 calories each.

Note: I got the original idea for this burger from an old TOH healthy cooking, however, I have made a few changes to make it healthier.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

SEASHELL TUNA SALAD

2 cups small seashell pasta, uncooked
1 can (7-oz) tuna, drained and flaked
1 large tomato, sliced lengthwise into medium-thin wedges
1 medium cucumber, sliced thin
1/2 cup sliced ripe olives
1/2 small green bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup red onion, sliced then large diced
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 cup viniagrette of your choice

Prepare the pasta according to package directions; drain.

In a large mixing bowl, add the tuna, cucumber, olives, bell pepper, onion, seasoning, and viniagrette to drained pasta; toss to coat pasta.  Top with the tomato wedges.  Refrigerate until serving time.  Toss gently before serving if refrigerated very long.


Yield: approximately 6 to 8 servings

Variation:  Tuna may be replaced with canned or leftover chicken.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

EASY LOW-FAT APPLE-SPICE SNACK CAKE

This cake goes together in 10 minutes but it has to bake 45 minutes.

1 1/4 cups unsweetened chunky applesauce
1 cup light (mild) molasses
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/3 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Grease and flour a 9 x 9-inch baking pan; set aside.

In a large bowl, using a large spoon, mix applesauce, molasses, oil, and egg until blended.  Stir in the flours, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt until batter is evenly mixed.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes or until the center of the cake springs back when lightly touched with a couple of fingers. 

Allow cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack.

Yield: 12 servings

SUCCESS TEX MEX BAKE

This is a recipe I picked up years ago from Success Rice.  It is quick, easy, and tasty.

1 bag Success White Rice
non-stick cooking spray
1 can (10-oz) Ro-tel Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, undrained
1 lb browned and drained ground beef
4 cups crushed tortilla chips
1 can (15-oz) chili beans
1 lb pasteurized prepared cheese product (ie Velveeta), cut into cubes, divided
sliced green onions for garnish, optional
sour cream for garnish/serving, optional

Prepare rice according to the package directions; set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the rice, Ro-tel, and prepared ground beef; set aside.

Cover the bottom of the baking pan/dish with the crushed tortilla chips.  Layer half the cheese over the chips.  Spread the beans over the cheese and top with the rice/beef mixture.  Finish off by topping with the other half of the cheese.

Bake casserole at 350 degrees, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and dish is heated through.

To serve, garnish with the green onions and add a dollop of sour cream to each serving, if desired.
Yield: 8 servings

Note: Cooked, diced or shredded chicken may be used instead of the ground beef if you prefer.

Monday, November 12, 2012

GREEN BEANS WITH AN ASIAN FLAIR

1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed
1 medium sweet red pepper, julienned
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
nonstick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Spray a 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Arrange the green beans and pepper strips in the bottom of the prepared baking pan.

In a small bowl combine the sesame seeds, rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, salt, and pepper;  Drizzle over the vegetables and gently stir to coat.

Bake green beans uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes at 425 degrees or until the beans are tender.

Yield: 6 servings

Saturday, November 10, 2012

BROCCOLI FRITTERS

1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets
2 lightly beaten eggs
2 lightly beaten egg whites
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp canola oil
salsa for serving, optional
sour cream for serving, optional

Steam broccoli 3 to 4 minutes in a steamer basket until tender; coarsely chop and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, egg whites, Parmesan cheese, flour, salt, garlic powder and pepper.  Once combine, stir in the broccoli.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Drop the broccoli batter by 2 heaping tablespoonfuls into the hot oil and press to flatten.  Cook, in batches, for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until fritters are a golden brown; add remaining oil as needed.  Drain the fritters on paper towels.

Serve as a side dish with meats or serve as appetizer/snacks with salsa and/or sour cream.


Yield: 6 servings of 2 fritters
Per serving (without salsa or sour cream): 129 calories, 8 g (2 g sat) fat, 8 g carbs, 8 g protein making these very diabetic-friendly, too.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

QUICK & EASY SPICY TOMATO-MACARONI SOUP

1/2 lb ground beef, crumbled, cooked, and well drained
1 can (10 3/4-oz) Campbell's condensed tomato soup
1 soup can of water
1/4 cup spiral macaroni
2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp dried onion flakes

In a 1 1/2 or 2-quart saucepan combine the soup and the water, stirring until smooth.  Cook over medium heat until mixture starts to bubble around the edges.  Add the cooked and drained beef, macaroni, chili powder and onion flakes.  Lower heat and simmer 15 minutes or until the macaroni is tender.

Serve with a crusty whole-grain bread, if desired.

Yield: 2 servings

Note: I find that the name brand soup is better in this recipe.  However, other brands are okay.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

PAN-FRIED PARMESAN FISH FILLETS

2 to 2 1/4 lb firm fresh fish fillets (cod, sunfish, etc)
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 cup butter-flavored cracker crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Canola or Peanut oil for frying

Combine the milk and egg in a medium-size mixing bowl.

In a pie plate, combine the cracker crumbs and the Parmesan cheese.

Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat.

Dip the fish fillets first in the milk/egg mixture then in the crumb mixture to coat completely with a thin coating.

Add the fish to the hot oil and fry for 4 to 6 minutes (per 2 to 3-oz fillet) or until golden brown, turning once to cook both sides.  Remove from the skillet and drain on a double thickness of paper towels before serving.

Yield: Approximately 6 servomgs/

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

GERMAN CHOCOLATE CARAMEL SQUARES

1 box German chocolate cake mix
1 can (5-oz) evaporated milk
1 bag (14-oz) vanilla caramels
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Set aside two tablespoons of the evaporated milk; pour the remaining into a medium saucepan along with the caramels.  Cook the mixture over low heat while stirring constantly until the caramels melt.  Stir to blend well and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, pecans, butter, and the other two tablespoons of the evaporated milk; mix together well.  Press half the mixture onto the bottom of an ungreased 9 x 13-inch baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.

Remove from oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips over the hot crust.  Gently spread the caramel mixture over all.  Crumble the remaining cake mix mixture over the caramel.  Return to the 350 degree oven and bake an additional 15 to 18 minutes until the filling is set.

Remove from oven and set pan on a wire rack to cool.  Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.

Yield: 36 squares

Friday, November 2, 2012

ROSEMARY-ORANGE CHICKEN

This is a recipe from Easy Everyday Cooking.

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (4-oz each)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons grated orange peel or 1/4 cup orange-flavored liqueur
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons chicken broth
2 cups hot cooked pasta
4 fresh rosemary sprigs (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Place the chicken in a bowl and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.  Sprinkle with the rosemary, salt and pepper.

Heat the remaining oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat; add chicken.  Cook until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes.  Reduce heat to low.  Cook, covered, for 10 minutes or until cooked through.

Combine mandarin oranges, orange juice, orange peel, butter and broth in a small saucepan.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 2 minutes.

Place chicken and sauce in a small baking dish.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Divide hot pasta among serving plates.  Place chicken and sauce on top.  Garnish with the rosemary sprigs, if desired.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

MEXI-STYLE SIRLOIN

3 tsp canola oil, divided
1 lb (approx. 3/4-in thick) boneless beef sirloin
1 medium onion, sliced thin
1 cup your favorite picante sauce

Cut the steak into 4 serving pieces.

Heat half the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the steak pieces and cook until well-browned on both sides.  Remove from the skillet and pour fat out of skillet.

Add the remaining oil to the skillet and add the onion; saute' until tender.  Stir in the picante sauce.  Add the steak back into the skillet, reduce heat to medium and cook a few more minutes until done to your taste.
Yield: 4 servings