Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Feta Turkey Burgers

I found a recipe in a magazine and changed the ingredients to use what I had on hand. I changed everything but the turkey, so this recipe is truly an original. This burger is packed with flavor and even my beef eating husband gave it two thumbs up.

Feta Turkey Burgers

1 Tbl. unsalted butter
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 package (20.8 oz.) lean ground turkey
1 pkg. (3.5 oz.) reduced fat crumbled feta cheese
1.5 Tbl. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbl. light mayonnaise
5 whole-grain hamburger buns
fresh spinach leaves

Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook for 8 minutes or until well browned; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine turkey, 2/3 of the pkg. of feta cheese, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and pepper. Stir until well combined. Form into 5 equal-size patties and flatten.

Spray large skillet and heat to medium heat. Cook burgers about 5-7 minutes per side or until nice and brown.

While burgers are cooking, stir together remaining feta and mayonnaise in a small bowl. Place burgers on buns and top each with some of the onions, cheese and mayo sauce, and spinach leaves. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Turkey Cranberry Sandwich

The perfect sandwich for the day after the feast.

Turkey Cranberry Sandwich

Whole wheat roll (I made Rhodes frozen wheat rolls yesterday)
Fresh spinach leaves
Cranberry sauce
Roasted turkey

Assemble spinach, cranberry sauce, and turkey into a sandwich on the wheat roll. Use a paper plate.

Enjoy a peaceful and relaxing day with no cooking!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


My husband needed a dish to pass for a potluck at work. He signed up for chili.

I don't think I've ever made the same recipe for chili twice. I have my basic ingredients and go from there.

This recipe is really simple. Most of the work involves opening all these cans.


2 (16 oz.) cans kidney beans
2 (16 oz.) cans pinto beans
2 (16 oz.) cans black beans
1 small chopped onion
1.5 lbs. lean ground turkey or beef
1 small chopped red pepper
6-ounce can tomato paste
28-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 Tbl. chili powder (more or less to taste)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. brown sugar

In a large pan combine beef/turkey, onion, red pepper and chili powder. Cook until meat is browned. Drain grease. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer on low heat for 1/2 hour or in crockpot on low for 5 hours. Serve with grated cheese and sour cream, if desired.

Monday, December 21, 2009

My Grandma's Banana Bread

At this time of year we'll take a break from healthy cooking, which for me means actually buying and using white flour and sugar. Yes, I only buy about one bag each per year and this year I actually shared the bags with my mother. And I do a lot of baking throughout the year, just not with white flour and sugar.

I actually prefer the taste of baked goods made with whole grain flour and other healthy ingredients, but in some cases I like to stick with the original recipe. And family holiday recipes fit this profile.

This Christmas has me craving nostalgic recipes. Thanks to my cousin Kathy for providing today's recipe:

Grandma's Banana Bread

2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup soft shortening
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 cup mashed banana (about 2)
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix together and set aside flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Mix together and set aside milk and white vinegar.

Mix together sugar, soft shortening, and eggs. To the shortening mixture add the milk and vinegar. Then stir in the mashed banana. To this mixture add the dry ingredients. Pour into a well-greased 9x5x3: loaf pan.

Let stand for 20 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


This looks like a mess but it is delicious and super fast and easy for a week-night supper. You can add or substitute ingredients if you like, you really can't do it wrong. Enjoy!


Baked Tostitos Scoops
One pound browned and crumbled ground beef or ground turkey
One packet taco seasoning mix
Shredded cheese, options: cojack, cheddar, Mexican-style cheddar-mozzarella
Low-fat sour cream
Sliced green onions

Prepare ground meat and taco seasoning as directed on seasoning packet. Place Scoops on individual plates, placing them all bowl-side up. Spoon prepared taco meat over top. Sprinkle cheese over and microwave for about 30-40 seconds. Top with salsa, sour cream, and green onions.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Banana Bread

I love my big stainless steel mixing bowl. I probably use it 3 or 4 times a week.

The recipe, as written, makes one loaf. I doubled it today and made two loaves of bread.

These loaves won't last long in this house. I hope you enjoy it!

Banana Bread

Preheat your oven -- 325 degrees for a glass baking dish; 350 degrees for a metal pan

1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup sugar or splenda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda (increase to 1 tsp. if you use splenda)
1/2 cup butter or transfat free butter substitute (I used Smart Balance)
3 mashed bananas
2 eggs - slightly beaten

Spray loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Mix first 5 ingredients with fork. Cut in butter with pastry blender. With fork, stir in bananas and eggs.

Bake 55 minutes - 1 hour. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pan.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Oven Apple Pancake

This dish was a good choice for a light breakfast on Thanksgiving. It would also work well for Christmas.

It is simple to prepare, and makes up into something a little special for a holiday breakfast.

Serve with just a little drizzle of real maple syrup.

Oven Apple Pancake

2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3 cooking apples, peeled and diced (I used Macintosh)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar or splenda

Spray sides and bottom or a 9 or 10-inch pie plate with nonstick spray. In a bowl, beat eggs, milk, salt, and flour until smooth. Let batter rest for a few minutes.

Peel and dice the apples. Mix the apples together with the sugar and cinnamon right in the pie plate and distribute evenly.

Pour the batter over the apples and bake in 375 degree oven for 30-40 minutes.

Serve with maple syrup.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Baked Beans

These dressed up baked beans taste very close to homemade. A very simple recipe produces a delicious side dish. I hope you enjoy this mouth-watering recipe!

Baked Beans

5 slices pre-cooked bacon, prepared in microwave according to directions on package
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 21-oz. can vegetarian baked beans, drained slightly (just use can lid to drain most of the liquid off)
1 15 to 16-oz. butter beans, pinto beans, or mixed beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbl. packed brown sugar
2 tsp. prepared yellow mustard
1 Tbl. Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Crumble cooked bacon, set aside.

Saute onion in nonstick pan about 5 minutes or until tender.

In a 1.5 quart casserole combine beans, bacon, and onion. In a small bowl combine the remaining ingredients. Pour sauce over bean mixture and stir gently to coat.

Bake, uncovered, for 50 to 60 minutes or until heated through and bubbly at the edges.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I found this recipe in the March 2009 issue of Prevention magazine. They turned out to be absolutely delicious!

There are some healthy tweaks from a traditional chocolate chip cookie, but I have to say that I think they actually taste better. The taste reminds me of the cookies you can buy at the mall or at a bakery.

You won't feel deprived when you eat this cookie, I can tell you that. Just be careful, if made according to directions this is a big cookie and it would be easy to eat a handful and negate any healthy benefits.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup canola oil
2/3 cup granulated sugar (I substituted Splenda)
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large egg whites (I substituted one whole egg)
1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (4 oz.)

1. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in medium bowl. Whisk together oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in large bowl. Whisk in egg whites and vanilla until smooth. Stir in dry ingredients until blended. Fold in oats and then chocolate.

2. Cover and chill dough at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

3. Shape dough into 16 balls (1/4 scant cup each) with hands, using a little pressure. Place 8 balls on each prepared sheet. With fingers, press each into a patty about 3" in diameter, allowing about 2" between patties for slight spreading.

4. Bake 7 to 10 minutes or until desired brownness (do not overbake), switching position of sheets halfway through. Let cool a few minutes before moving to rack to cool completely.

Note: First, I did not chill the dough and still had great results. Second, I made the recipe into 15 cookies, and placed them 3 x 5 on one baking sheet. They were crowded right up to each other but turned out fine. Also, I sprayed the baking sheet and did not use parchment paper.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Party Press Cookies

Here is the recipe that I talked about over on my other blog. I think the secret is using real butter and the almond extract. My mom has always added food coloring to make the cookies more festive looking. Enjoy!

Party Press Cookies

Developed by Ann Pillsbury

Sift together:
1 2/3 cups sifted enriched flour
1/2 tsp. salt

In separate bowl, cream:
1/2 cup butter, gradually add
1/2 cup sugar, creaming well

Blend in:
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract. Beat well.

Add the dry ingredients gradually; mix thoroughly.
Chill dough in refrigerator, at least one hour.
Press dough through a cookie press onto ungreased cookie sheets. (Pack dough firmly into cylinder to eliminate air pockets.) If desired, cookies may be decorated with red or green crystal sugar.
Bake in moderately hot oven (400 degrees) 8 to 10 minutes until delicately browned.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bubble Pizza

Over-used Recipes Swap

This is an old family favorite dating back to when the kids were little. The original recipe came from an issue of Taste of Home magazine. I have modified it to make it healthier.

Bubble Pizza

Rhodes 100% Whole Wheat Texas Rolls (frozen)
1 pound lean ground turkey or ground beef, browned and drained
One 15-oz can pizza sauce OR equal amount of canned or jarred spaghetti sauce
2 cups shredded low fat mozzarella cheese

Place 11 frozen rolls in a non-stick sprayed pan and let rise according to directions. (I start them in the morning and they are ready to use at suppertime.)

Press risen rolls down into pan. They don't have to be pressed perfectly. That's where the "bubbles" come from.

Mix browned turkey or beef with the pizza sauce and spread this mixture over the rolls. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle shredded cheese over the top. Return to oven for 5 minutes, or until cheese melts.

Monday, November 16, 2009


After a conversation with my cousin Kathy, I decided to tweak my favorite brownie recipe. You can see it in the photo to the left, typed on a recipe card. Yes, I used a typewriter to do that, a long time ago.

Below is the original recipe, with healthy ingredient substitutions in brackets.

We all need a treat once in a while, and these turned out to be pretty tasty. I hope you like them!


1/2 cup butter [1/4 cup butter and 1 single serving no-sugar-added applesauce]
6 Tbl. unsweetened baking cocoa powder
1 cup sugar [1/2 cup honey]
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup flour [whole wheat flour]
dash salt
1 cup walnuts

Melt butter in large glass mixing bowl in microwave (about 40 seconds). Stir in cocoa and honey. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add flour and salt. Stir in walnuts. Spread in 8 inch square baking pan that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Chicken and Rice Soup

This soup is very mild flavored. If you'd like, you may add a bit more salt to taste but we prefer it the way it is -- not too salty.

The original recipe called for mushrooms, but I substituted carrots since Randy doesn't care for mushrooms.

Be sure to use bone-in chicken breasts. They add more flavor to the soup than boneless chicken does. Plus, they are less expensive.

Chicken and Rice Soup

Yield: 8 cups

2 skinless bone-in chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)
7 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups thinly sliced or chopped peeled carrots
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced celery (include the leaves)
3/4 cup brown rice (not "minute rice")
2 tsp. crushed garlic
3/4 tsp. dried thyme
3/4 tsp. dried rosemary
1/8 tsp. ground white pepper

Coat a 4-5 quart pot with nonstick cooking spray and preheat over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook for a couple of minutes on each side or until the chicken is nicely browned.

Add all the remaining ingredients to the pot, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes or until the chicken is tender and thoroughly cooked. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside to cool enough for handling. Cook the soup for an additional 30 minutes or until the rice and vegetables are tender.

Pull the chicken meat from the bones, and tear it into bite-sized pieces. Add the chicken to the soup, and simmer for an additional minute or two. Serve hot.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Mmmm, this is baking as I write this and it smells heavenly!

This recipe is the result of surfing the web and combining the ingredients that appeal to me from the myriad of granola recipes available. Well, I can't really say all because I'm sure there are many many more out there.

Feel free to add and subtract ingredients to your liking and personalize your own granola recipe.

What do you like in your granola?

Granola Recipe

2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ or ground flax seeds
1/2 - 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup dried fruit (ideas: raisins, dried apricots, craisins and dried apple)
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup honey

Mix the dry ingredients, except the dried fruit, in a large bowl.
Measure oil into the measuring cup and swirl it around before pouring into bowl.
Then measure out the honey in the same, unwashed cup. The oil will help the honey exit the cup.
Toss everything together until evenly coated and then spread out evenly in a baking pan.
Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes, turning and stirring it with a spatula every ten minutes or so until it is an even golden brown.
After it is finished cooking, return the baked granola to the mixing bowl, add the dried fruit and stir to combine. Let cool at room temperature. Store in a tightly sealed container.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Taco Pie

Tonight's feature is a good one. This recipe was created by my friend, Dianna. It is full of familiar Mexican food flavors, but they are presented in a unique way. It makes a great potluck offering, as well as a family-pleasing favorite.

Taco Pie

One pound very lean ground beef or turkey, crumbled and cooked, with grease drained away.
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
water called for on the seasoning mix packet
1/2 of a 16-oz. jar salsa, drained
5 tortillas (I use LaTortilla Factory low carb/high fiber)
1 can nonfat refried beans
1 can Mexicorn
6 oz. shredded cheese (cheddar or co-jack)

Cook beef, drain well, place back in pan and add taco seasoning and water and cook until water is absorbed or evaporated.

Spray 10" deep-dish pie plate with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange 4 tortillas to cover bottom and sides of pie plate.

Over the tortillas, layer as follows:
1/2 can of refried beans
1/2 beef
All of the salsa
1/2 Mexicorn
1/2 cheese
Last tortilla centered
Remaining refried beans
Remaining beef
Remaining corn
Cover with the rest of the cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until nicely browned. Serve with lowfat sour cream and salsa. Optional toppings: sliced green onions, sliced black olives.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Shrimp and Grits

This dish was prepared for us while we were visiting Dylan and Lauren in South Carolina. It comes from "America's Test Kitchen: Cooking for Two 2009."

The recipe as written serves two, but it can be easily doubled.

Shrimp and Grits

Do not substitute instant grits or old-fashioned grits for the quick-cooking grits in this recipe, as they require different amounts of liquid for cooking. To make this dish easier to eat, we suggest peeling the shrimp completely, including the tail shells.

8 ounces large shrimp (31 to 40 per pound), peeled and deveined
1 Tbl. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
Pinch cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
1 Tbl. unsalted butter
1 small onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
1.5 cups water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp. hot sauce
1/2 cup quick grits
4 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
1 scallion, sliced thin

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Toss the shrimp with the oil, garlic, and cayenne and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate while preparing the grits.

2. Melt the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the water, cream, hot sauce, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper and bring to a boil. Slowly whisk in the grits, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring often, until the grits are thick and creamy, 5 to 7 minutes.

3. Off the heat, whisk in the cheddar until combined. Lay the shrimp on their sides in a pinwheel formation over the grits, then press on them lightly to submerge about halfway. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the shrimp are cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Sprinkle with the scallion before serving.

Normandy-Style Chicken with Apples

Another of Dylan and Lauren's favorites that they prepared for our visit. Recipe courtesy of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cooking for Two."

Normandy-Style Chicken with Apples

The cuisine of Normandy usually involves cream, apples, and the region's famed Calvados apple brandy, and you'll find them all in this dish.

2 (6-oz.) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 Granny Smith apple
2 leeks, white part only
3 Tbl. unsalted butter
1 Tbl. sugar
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 tsp. fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried
2 Tbl. Calvados or brandy
1 (5.5-oz.) can apple juice
1/2 cup heavy cream

1. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Trim all visible fat, and pound between two sheets of plastic wrap to an even thickness of 1/2-inch. Rinse and core apple. Cut apple into slices 1/2-inch thick. Slice leeks in half lengthwise and then thinly slice each half. Place leek slices into a colander and rinse well under cold running water. Set aside.

2. Heat 1.5 Tbl. butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add apple slices and cook for 3 minutes. Turn apple slices gently with a spatula, sprinkle with sugar, and cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until apple is tender. Remove apple slices with a spatula and keep warm.

3. Heat remaining 1.5 Tbl. butter in the skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and add to the skillet. Cook for 2 minutes per side, turning chicken gently with tongs. Add leeks, thyme, Calvados, apple juice, and cream. Bring to a boil, cover the skillet, and cook over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink.

4. Remove chicken with a slotted spatula and keep warm. Reduce sauce over medium heat for 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, place chicken on plates with apple slices and spoon sauce on top of chicken. Serve immediately.

Variation: Substitute boneless pork chops for chicken. Cook pork for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Creamy Hot Cocoa

If you've never made cocoa from scratch, you're missing out on a treat. It was a liquid dessert. Yum!

We found this recipe at allrecipes.com

The original recipe calls for 3/4 cup sugar. We used just over 1/2 cup and it could be cut down even more with delicious results. Especially if you like dark chocolate, like we do.


Creamy Hot Cocoa

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 pinch salt
1/3 cup boiling water
3 1/2 cups milk
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup fat free half and half

Combine the cocoa, sugar and pinch of salt in a saucepan. Blend in the boiling water. Bring this mixture to an easy boil while you stir. Simmer and stir for about 2 minutes. Watch that it doesn't scorch. Stir in 3 1/2 cups of milk and heat until very hot, but do not boil! Remove from heat and add vanilla. Divide between 4 mugs. Add the half and half to the mugs of cocoa to cool it to drinking temperature.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Spinach and Feta Frittata

What's better than breakfast for supper? Breakfast-type foods are on our menu often. They are easy to prepare and healthy too.

This frittata is one of our favorites. The leftovers will be great for Sunday morning breakfast!

Spinach and Feta Frittata

1/2 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup green or red pepper, diced
14-16 oz. fresh spinach, chopped
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
8 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. dried oregano
4 ounces crumbled Feta cheese (I use reduced fat)
dash of fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat large saute pan with non-stick spray. Add onion and peppers and saute over medium high heat until onions are translucent. Add spinach and cook covered over low heat for another few minutes, until spinach is wilted. Spread this mixture over the bottom of a 9 or 10-inch glass pie plate, which has been coated with non-stick spray. Sprinkle mozzarella over top.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs together with the oregano and feta cheese. Pour this over the ingredients in the pie plate. Sprinkle top with ground black pepper. Bake in oven for 35 to 45 minutes until golden brown.

Let the frittata sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


A BLT using the last tomato from the farmers market. Sigh. No recipe needed.

One tip, though. Buy the already cooked bacon. Most of the fat has been cooked away already, plus it's super quick to make.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Salmon with Sweet and Spicy Rub

I debated putting this one up here because the salmon looks so dark in the picture, but it was really delicious. It really has a zip to it. This recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks Ellie Krieger: The Food You Crave. She shares my food philosophy that healthy food does not have to be bland and/or boring.

I divided the rub among 3 salmon filets with good results, so you could make anywhere from 3-6 with this recipe. I used an indoor grill pan. Be prepared for a little bit of smokiness and open a window or use your exhaust fan. It's worth it!

Salmon with Sweet and Spicy Rub

2 Tbl. packed light brown sugar
1 Tbl. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Six 5-ounce salmon fillets
1 Tbl. olive oil

Coat your grill or a grill pan with cooking spray and preheat over medium heat. While the grill is heating, combine the brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Brush each salmon fillet with 1/2 tsp. of the oil, then rub each fillet with about 1/2 Tbl. of the spice mixture.

Grill the salmon, flesh side down, until charred, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the salmon and cook another 5 to 6 minutes for medium doneness. For well-done fish, cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately.

No Sugar Added Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are a nice healthy treat, with no added sugar. Well, technically the chocolate chips have sugar so you have a little bit there. This recipe is a modification of this one Healthy Cookies Recipe from one of my favorite web sites: 101 Cookbooks.

No Sugar Added Chocolate Chip Cookies

3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup peanut butter
2 cups oats
2/3 cup almond meal
1/3 cup coconut
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
dash salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 of a 12 oz. package mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together. Drop 2 tsp. size spoonfuls on to lightly sprayed cookie sheet. These cookies do not spread so you can put them close together. Bake on oven rack at top position in your oven for about 10-12 minutes.

Substitution idea: exchange raisins or craisins for 1/2 or all of the chocolate chips.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

New Blog

Hey! Check out my new blog where I post about quilting, sewing, and other things that might come along.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chicken and Broccoli Stir-fry

Supper tonight. Yum!

For recipe, click here: Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry

(Don't waste the broccoli stems. Peel them and chop them up and use them in the stir-fry.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Turkey Meatloaf

Over-used Recipes Swap

Meatloaf, "Yukon Gold" potatoes (with a little low-fat sour cream), and peas. Yum! This meatloaf is moist and delicious. The secret is the first step: bread soaked with milk. I keep the heel ends of the bread loaves in the freezer ready for recipes like this one.

Turkey Meatloaf

2 slices day-old (or older) wheat bread
2/3 cup skim milk
20 oz. pkg. Jennie-O ground turkey - 93/7 fat content
1 egg
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix (I use Mrs. Grass brand, it's less expensive than Lipton)
1/2 cup oat bran or oatmeal

Tear bread into pieces into large bowl. Pour milk over bread and allow to sit until bread has soaked up the milk. Use fork to combine bread and milk completely. Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Line a shallow baking pan with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Form meat mixture into a loaf and place on foil. I make a thin loaf (about 1.5 inches thick) so that it cooks through in less time. Bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Tuna Melts

Why have regular old tuna melts when you can flavor them up a bit? If you don't like pepper-jack cheese, you can substitute cheddar or co-jack. We just discovered these whole wheat thin buns (pictured above), but you can use whole wheat bread or buns or english muffins, if you wish. After many years, I've finally wised up and put the cheese under the tuna to avoid burning the roof of your mouth with hot cheese!

Tuna Melts

1 can (5 oz) water-packed tuna
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
2 heaping Tbl. low-fat mayo
1 heaping Tbl. dill pickle relish
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dijon mustard (any mustard would work here)

Mix these ingredients well. Place one slice reduced-fat pepper-jack cheese on each of 4 slices bread, or 2 split buns or english muffins. Divide mixture and spread over cheese. Broil in oven or toaster oven until bread is toasted and tops are lightly browned.


This is a family favorite that has been tweaked to make it a bit healthier. It still isn't at the top of the list of healthy foods, but by modifying the ingredients we can enjoy this comfort food once in a while. This recipe serves 4-6 as a side dish, but can easily be doubled or even tripled.


1 egg
1 cup low-fat sour cream or plain yogurt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or trans-fat free margarine, melted
1 can whole kernel corn, undrained
1 can cream style corn
1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix

Beat egg; add sour cream (yogurt) and blend. Add margarine, corn, and muffin mix. Bake in casserole dish for 60-70 minutes at 350 degrees, until nicely browned on top.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Oat Bran Muffins

This muffin recipe is on the back of the Quaker Oat Bran Hot Cereal box.

Oat Bran Muffins

2 cups Quaker Oat Bran, uncooked
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt (optional) (I used just a pinch or so)
1 cup skim milk
2 egg whites, slightly beaten
1/4 cup honey or molasses
2 Tbl. vegetable oil

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line 12 medium muffin cups with paper baking cups or spray bottoms only with no-stick cooking spray. Combine dry ingredients; mix well. Add combined milk, egg whites, honey and oil; mix just until dry ingredients are moistened. *Fill prepared muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake 15 to 17 minutes or until golden brown.

*Variations: Stir into batter 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries or 1/2 cup (1 medium) mashed, ripe banana.

Broccoli Salad

I have made this recipe many times and almost always use a different combination of ingredients. You can make it with just broccoli, or a broccoli and cauliflower combination. You can use sunflower seeds or chopped cashews. I've never tried walnuts or pecans, but those would probably work well too. Then, you have to decide: raisins or dried cranberries? Any way you make it, it's very tasty and healthy. The original recipe had twice as much dressing so I cut it in 1/2 with good results. I don't think anyone needs that much mayo. It also called for bacon, but I left that out, too. Enjoy!

Broccoli Salad

1 bunch broccoli, cut in bite size pieces
1 red onion, chopped fine
1/2 cup raisins or craisins
1 cup cashew pieces
1/2 cup low-fat mayo
1/4 cup sugar (I used splenda)
1 tsp. vinegar

Mix first 4 ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix mayo, sugar, and vinegar in small bowl. Pour mayo mixture over the veggie mixture and mix well.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pumpkin Bars

Not sure if you've noticed, but there seems to be a canned pumpkin shortage at our local supermarkets. No worries. I used cooked butternut squash as a substitute in this recipe and it turned out wonderfully. Just quarter the squash, slicing carefully lengthwise and across the middle. Scoop out the seeds. Place in a microwave-safe baking dish with a few tablespoons water, cover with saran wrap, and bake. Start out microwaving about 9 minutes on high and add a few minutes at a time until a knife pierces the squash very easily. Spoon out the squash flesh and discard the skin. Yum!

This recipe was given to me by my cousin, Kathy. I divided it in half and used a 9x9 pan with perfect results. The recipe below is the original, made for a jelly roll pan.

Pumpkin Bars

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin
1.5 sticks butter
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Mix eggs, sugar, pumpkin and butter thoroughly. Sift flour, baking powder, soda and cinnamon -- add to batter. Pour into a greased jelly roll pan. Bake 25-30 minutes.


One 3 ounce package cream cheese, softened
6 Tbl. softened butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbl. milk or cream
3 cups powdered sugar

Mix -- beat and frost cooled bars.

Apple Crisp

Another fall recipe: apple crisp! This recipe bakes up into a caramel sauce in the apple layer and a yummy crunchy layer over the top. This is the best apple crisp you've ever had. Serve it warm with a little ice cream. A comfy chair by the wood stove makes it taste even better.

Apple Crisp

1/2 cup brown sugar, not packed
1 Tbl. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
dash salt
5 apples - cored, peeled, and sliced
1/2 cup oatmeal (regular, not quick)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup ground pecans
1/4 cup brown sugar, not packed
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted (I use Smart Balance)

Mix together the 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 T ww flour, cinnamon, and salt. Gently combine with apple slices. Spoon into greased 8x12 pan.

Mix oatmeal, 1/2 cup ww flour, ground pecans, 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking soda and powder. Stir in melted butter. Crumble over apple mixture.

Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Chicken Florentine

I do not use cream of . . . soup in cooking. Once you have tried recipes like this one, you will give it up too.

I have substituted cooked chopped broccoli for the spinach in this recipe with good results.

Chicken Florentine

10 oz. package chopped spinach, thawed and drained
3 cups shredded or chopped cooked chicken
2 cups cooked brown rice (I use Steam Fresh frozen cooked rice)
1 cup shredded cheddar or co-jack cheese
1/2 cup mayo (I choose mayo made with canola or olive oil)
1/2 cup low fat sour cream
1 Tbl. lemon juice
1 tsp. curry powder
1/4 cup parmesan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix mayo, sour cream, lemon juice, and curry powder in a small bowl. Mix spinach, chicken, rice, and cheese in large bowl. Pour mayo mixture over ingredients in large bowl and mix well. Spread mixture into a sprayed 9x13 pan or baking dish. Shake parmesan cheese over the top. Bake for 30 minutes, uncovered.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Chicken Parmesan

This is a super easy recipe. The chicken always turns out moist and tender. This recipe is originally from Kraft.

Chicken Parmesan

6 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1 jar or can (26 oz) of prepared spaghetti sauce
parmesan cheese
1.5 cups grated mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pour 1 cup of spaghetti sauce into 9x13 pan and spread evenly over bottom of pan.
Place chicken in pan. Pour remaining spaghetti sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 40 - 60 minutes. Check for doneness by slicing into the middle of the largest piece of chicken. There should be no pink remaining. Remove cover and sprinkle with mozzarella. Place pan back in the oven (uncovered) until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins

This is a very dense moist muffin. Even though you can buy pumpkin in a can all year long, pumpkin recipes seem like fall.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1.5 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
One 6 oz. container vanilla yogurt
1/3 cup milk
2 Tbl. canola oil
1 small can (15 oz.) solid pack pumpkin
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 350. Combine dry ingredients. Add yogurt, milk, oil, and pumpkin. Add nuts. Stir until well blended but do not over beat. Spoon into 12 greased or paper-lined muffin tins. Tins will be very full. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

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