Sunday, September 11, 2011

Spaghetti with Quick Meat Sauce

I think this collection of recipes from Eating Well is my most favorite. Low calorie Pasta recipes! What could be better? Foodwise, I'm honestly not sure. Here's a basic recipe for Spaghetti with Meat Sauce.

Spaghetti with Quick Meat Sauce

Instead of opening a jar of sauce, try this easy spaghetti with meat sauce on a weeknight. Serve with steamed broccoli and garlic bread. The recipe makes enough for 8 servings. If you’re serving only four for dinner, cook 8 ounces of spaghetti and freeze the leftover sauce.

8 servings, 1 cup pasta & generous 3/4 cup sauce each

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

1 pound whole-wheat spaghetti
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 pound lean (90% or leaner) ground beef
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is beginning to brown, 5 to 8 minutes.
Stir in garlic and Italian seasoning; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add beef and cook, stirring and breaking up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Increase heat to high. Stir in tomatoes and cook until thickened, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in parsley and salt.
Serve the sauce over the pasta, sprinkled with cheese.

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Per serving: 384 calories; 9 g fat ( 3 g sat , 3 g mono ); 48 mg cholesterol; 52 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 28 g protein; 10 g fiber; 416 mg sodium; 655 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (49% daily value), Zinc (34% dv), Iron (26% dv), Vitamin C (23% dv), Magnesium (21% dv), Potassium (19% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 3

Exchanges: 3 starch, 1 1/2 vegetable, 2 lean meat

Friday, September 9, 2011

Coal Fired Pico De Gallo

I found this recipe from one of Martha Stewart's collections. I love Pico De Gallo, it's spicy flavor is perfectly balanced with a great chicken or beef fajita and the crunch of tortilla chips.

[Chris Lilly]
Everything is better on the charcoal grill. The added smoky flavor plus the hint of lime juice and cilantro takes this sweet and spicy salsa to a new level. I like to let the Pico de gallo sit for 30 minutes so the flavors meld together, but it rarely lasts that long in my backyard.

Makes 2 cups
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes


1 medium white onion
2 jalapeño peppers
1 banana pepper
6 plum tomatoes
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 lime, juiced

1. build a charcoal fire for direct grilling with kingsford® charcoal. While the grill is heating cut the onion into round slices, each 1/2-inch thick. cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds and veins. Place the prepared vegetables and whole tomatoes directly over the hot coals (approximately 500 degrees) and cook for 5 minutes, turning once or until they char and start to soften.

2. remove the vegetables from the grill and dice. combine the diced vegetables, cilantro, garlic, salt, sugar and lime juice in a small bowl. let the Pico De gallo sit for 30 minutes so the flavors will meld together. serve immediately or refrigerate and serve chilled.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hungry Girl's Dreamsicle Shiver

Lisa Lillien and Hungry Girl are pretty much my food rock star idols. If you haven't checked out Hungry Girl, you really really need to, like..yesterday. Anyway, here is a sweet, creamy, and delicious recipe for Hungry Girl's Dreamsicle Shiver.

HG's Dreamsicle Shiver

Feelin' Shakie!
Knock, knock! Who's there? Orange. Orange who? Orange you craving a creamy new concoction that combines orange and vanilla? This new sipper is AMAZING! Grab a straw, people.

2 tsp. fat-free nondairy powdered creamer (like the kind by Coffee-mate)
1 no-calorie sweetener packet (like Splenda or Truvia)
1 cup Trop50 No Pulp orange juice beverage
1/2 cup fat-free vanilla ice cream
1 1/2 cups crushed ice or 8 - 12 ice cubes

In a tall glass, combine powdered creamer and sweetener with 2 tbsp. very hot water; stir to dissolve. Add Trop50 and mix well.

Transfer contents of the glass to a blender. Add all remaining ingredients and blend at high speed until thoroughly mixed. If needed, remove blender from the base, stir mixture, and blend again.

Pour into the glass, stick a straw in it, and slurp away!


Serving Size: entire recipe (about 16 oz.)
Calories: 164
Fat: <0.5g
Sodium: 65mg
Carbs: 38g
Fiber: 1g
Sugars: 20g
Protein: 3g

PointsPlus® value 4*

Monday, September 5, 2011

Chicken and White Bean Salad

Sometimes, it's great to have a big, fresh salad for lunch instead of that normal sandwich, bag of chips, elementary school lunch. I know it's easy to make those lunches (i'm guilty of it too) but I have recently started adding a salad to my lunch to switch it up and I have felt a little more refreshed and have had a different kind of energy to round out the rest of my work day. Sometimes, I'll make a salad for dinner and use the left overs for various lunches and dinners through out the rest of the week. From Eating Well, here's a collection of lunch salad recipes.

Chicken & White Bean Salad

Zucchini and celery give this chicken-and-bean salad a nice crunch. We like serving it over a bed of slightly bitter escarole and radicchio, but any type of salad greens will work. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.

4 servings, about 2 cups each

Active Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes


1 medium clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons fresh orange juice, plus more to taste
1/4 cup white-wine vinegar or red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 15-ounce can cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained
2 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken breast (see Tip)
2 cups diced zucchini and/or summer squash (about 2 small)
1 1/2 cups diced celery
1/4 cup finely diced ricotta salata, halloumi (see Shopping Tip, above) or feta cheese
1/3 cup chopped, well-drained, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil, plus whole basil leaves for garnish
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste (optional)
2 cups torn escarole or romaine lettuce
2 cups torn radicchio leaves

To prepare vinaigrette: Peel the garlic and smash with the side of a chef’s knife. Using a fork, mash the garlic with 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl to form a coarse paste. Whisk in 5 tablespoons oil. Add 6 tablespoons orange juice, vinegar and mustard; whisk until well blended. Taste and whisk in up to 4 tablespoons more juice to mellow the flavor; season with more salt, if desired. Set aside at room temperature.
To prepare salad: Combine beans, chicken, zucchini (and/or summer squash), celery, cheese and sun-dried tomatoes (if using) in a large bowl until well blended. Add chopped basil and 3/4 cup vinaigrette; toss until combined. Taste and season with salt and/or pepper, if desired.
Toss the remaining vinaigrette with escarole (or romaine) and radicchio in a medium bowl. Serve the salad on the greens, garnished with fresh basil leaves.

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 2 (omitting basil), cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Stir in chopped basil just before serving.
Tip: To poach chicken breasts, place about 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a medium skillet or saucepan. Add lightly salted water to cover and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer gently until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 10 to 15 minutes.
Ricotta salata and halloumi are both firm, salted cheeses that can be found at large supermarkets and cheese shops.

Per serving: 428 calories; 23 g fat ( 5 g sat , 15 g mono ); 79 mg cholesterol; 24 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 34 g protein;
8 g fiber; 667 mg sodium; 648 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (47% daily value), Vitamin A (30% dv), Folate (21% dv), Potassium (18% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Exchanges: 1 starch, 2 vegetable, 4 lean meat, 3 fat

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Chinese Chicken Noodle Salad

From Eating Well, here is another Asian style chicken noodle salad for us to try; a little different than the Vietnamese version but still delicious and easy to make.

Chinese Chicken & Noodle Salad

This delicious Chinese-inspired salad is crisp, crunchy and cool with shredded cabbage, carrots and chicken breast tossed with toasted ramen noodles and slivered almonds. The dressing is an addictive orange, sesame, ginger and soy combination—you may want to double the dressing and save some for a salad the next day.

4 servings

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

1 3-ounce package low-fat ramen-noodle soup mix , (see Note)
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
3 1/4-inch-thick slices fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons orange juice
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
5 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
5 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 cups shredded green cabbage
1 medium carrot, shredded
3 scallions, chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Crumble ramen noodles onto a large rimmed baking sheet (discard seasoning packet). Add almonds, sesame seeds and canola oil; toss to coat. Bake for 10 minutes. Stir, then bake until the noodles are golden brown, about 5 minutes more. Let cool on the pan on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, place chicken in a medium skillet or saucepan with water to cover. Add ginger and salt; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer gently until no longer pink in the center and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 165°F, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board to cool. Using forks, shred into bite-size pieces. (Discard the poaching liquid.)
Meanwhile, combine orange juice, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil in a small bowl or jar with a tight-fitting lid. Whisk or shake until the sugar has dissolved.
Just before serving, combine the shredded chicken, cabbage, carrot and scallions in a large bowl. Add the toasted noodle mixture and the dressing; mix well.

Make Ahead Tip: Refrigerate the vegetables, toasted noodle mixture, chicken and dressing in separate containers for up to 1 day. Toss together just before serving.

Tip: Ramen noodles, usually packaged with a seasoning mix to make instant soup, are a convenient—and seemingly healthful—product. But what you may not realize is that the noodles have been deep-fried. A serving of the soup contains 8 grams of fat. Look for baked ramen, with only 1 gram of fat per serving. Be sure to check the label so you know what you're buying.

Per serving: 399 calories; 12 g fat ( 2 g sat , 5 g mono ); 96 mg cholesterol; 30 g carbohydrates; 41 g protein; 4 g fiber; 558 mg sodium; 581 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (50% daily value), Vitamin C (35% dv), Folate (26% dv), Magnesium (21% dv), Potassium (17% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 2

Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 4 lean meat, 1 1/2 fat