Friday, February 19, 2010

Spaghetti Sauce

Over-used Recipes Swap

This is almost as simple as opening a can or jar of spaghetti sauce but is so much more fresh and flavorful. Give it a try!

Spaghetti Sauce

1 lb. lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
1 Tbl. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. dried marjoram

Cook ground meat, onions, and garlic together in a large saucepan or skillet, chopping and stirring until meat is browned. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Parmesan Peppercorn Salad Dressing

The Liberty Inn in Beloit has the best house dressing. I have tried to replicate it here and Randy gave it a thumbs up. I don't know if I agree that it is quite as good as the restaurant's, but maybe that has more to do with the fact that I am being served a salad with the dressing, as opposed to having to whip it up myself. Food always tastes better if someone else does the cooking, right?

Parmesan Peppercorn Salad Dressing

1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
3 Tbl. low fat mayo
3 Tbl. grated parmesan cheese 
3/4 tsp. dried parsley
3/4 tsp. dried chives
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients and whisk well, or combine in a shaker container and blend by shaking it. Serve with additional freshly ground pepper over the top. Keep refrigerated and shake to blend well before serving. Best if used within 3-4 days.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Bean with Bacon Soup

My husband absolutely loves Campbell's Bean with Bacon Soup. Yes, the old fashioned type that requires that you add a soup can of water. 

I like to encourage healthy eating and thought that this flavor of soup would lend itself to a nutritious remake. I looked up several recipes online and found the basic ingredients and preparation method. The problem was that most of the recipes used dried beans and I wanted to stick with the quick cooking method associated with canned soup. So, I used canned beans with very good results. 

Give this soup a try, I think you will be impressed.

Bean with Bacon Soup

2 Tbl. butter or canola or olive oil (I used butter)
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
6 strips of already cooked bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cups water
1 tsp. chicken bouillon powder
2 cans light colored beans, one drained and one undrained (see photo below for types of beans I used)
1/2 tsp. marjoram
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Put butter or oil into a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add carrots and onions and stir and cook for about 10 minutes, until very tender. Add bacon to pan for the last 2 minutes of cooking time. Combine water and bouillon powder and add to pan. Stir in beans, marjoram, thyme, and garlic powder. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until heated through and bubbly. Using a potato masher, mash through the soup a bit to thicken.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

I made some Brownies. I left out the walnuts.

I frosted them with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting. These dessert bars are very rich so you only need a small portion.  Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

4 ounces low fat cream cheese (neufchatel)
2 Tbl. creamy peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbl. fat free milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine cream cheese and peanut butter in a large mixing bowl. Using a mixer, beat at medium speed until smooth. Add powdered sugar, milk and vanilla; beat until smooth. (If frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar; if it is too thick, add more milk.) Spread frosting over top of cooled brownies. Store in the refrigerator. This makes enough to frost an 8x8 or 9x9 inch baking pan of brownies or cake. The recipe can be doubled for a 13x9 inch pan.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


If you have one of these, you have a panini maker. No need to buy a special appliance when you can use your George Foreman. The ingredient list really is as simple as it looks. Enjoy your quick and easy meal!


Deli meat
Sliced cheese
Any kind of bread or bun
Any other sandwich filler (lettuce, pickles, tomato, roasted red peppers, sauerkraut, caramelized onions, etc.)
Condiments (mustard, mayo, etc.)

Make a sandwich out of your chosen ingredients. Place it on a preheated George Foreman grill. No need for spray, they won't stick. Close the lid. Keep an eye on them, they cook quickly. Don't worry about opening the grill and checking on them, you can't ruin them (unlike checking on waffles baking in a waffle iron!). 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Honey-Mustard Chicken and Sweet Potato Fries

So much flavor in one meal. Yum! I have made the sweet potato fries a few times now, and they have earned their way into our regular rotation. The spice I use makes them taste like barbecue flavored potato chips! I think you'll love them, too.

Honey-Mustard Chicken

6-8 boneless skinless chicken breast pieces
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp. dried thyme

Combine mustard, honey, and thyme in medium bowl. Coat chicken with the mixture. Place chicken on a baking pan that has been sprayed with non-stick coating. Bake at 375 degrees for about 50 minutes.

Sweet Potato Fries

4-6 peeled sweet potatoes
Olive oil or canola oil
McCormick's Grill Mates Barbecue Spice

Cut sweet potatoes into wedges. Drizzle about 2 Tbl. olive or canola oil over potatoes in a large bowl. Toss to coat well. Dust liberally with barbecue seasoning. Line baking pan with foil and spray with non-stick coating. Spread potatoes evenly on pan. Bake at 375 degrees for about 50 minutes.

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