I'm all about Cooking Light recipes all the time. Hopefully you will find something that peaks your interest and inspires you to use Cooking Light everyday!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Chicken and Black Bean-Stuffed Burritos

Talk about a super easy weeknight meal!  This came together so quickly and all we needed was fresh salsa, rotisserie chicken and tortillas!

Burritos are typically made with rice. This version is lightened by removing the rice and using only chicken, beans, salsa and cheese.

I don't have much to say about this--it's that easy.  I might also be stuck on the deliciousness that were the browned banana bars. They were that good.

We didn't make any changes to the recipe.  

You could keep all of the items in this recipe stocked in your house (thawing frozen chicken and cooking it over the weekend) to really make this a pantry-ingredient meal.

As of today's post, seventeen people gave this an average rating of four out of five.

SaBrina Bone, Cooking Light, December 2010

  • YIELD: 4 servings (serving size: 1 burrito)
  • COURSE: Main Dishes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 3/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup refrigerated fresh salsa
  • 4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Cooking spray
  • 1. Bring first 6 ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in shredded chicken and green onions.
  • 2. Combine beans and salsa. Spoon 1/4 cup bean mixture and 1/2 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cheese. Roll up.
  • 3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add 2 burritos. Place a cast-iron or other heavy skillet on top of burritos, and cook for 3 minutes on each side. Remove from pan, and repeat procedure with the remaining 2 burritos.
Nutritional Information

  • Amount per serving
  • Calories: 353
  • Fat: 9.8g
  • Saturated fat: 4.1g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 3.6g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.3g
  • Protein: 30.9g
  • Carbohydrate: 33.1g
  • Fiber: 2.4g
  • Cholesterol: 72mg
  • Iron: 1.6mg
  • Sodium: 595mg
  • Calcium: 137mg

Roasted Banana Bars with Browned Butter Frosting

See those fluffy clouds? This is what heaven looks like.  I know you're thinking, "If this is heaven, what are those nuts on the clouds?" I don't have an answer for that.  All I know is that this has easily become one of my top five dessert recipes. In the word of Barney Stinson, it's Legend wait for it.....

DARY! (Legendary for those who do not watch How I Met Your Mother).

 Your next question is probably "why did you take this picture?" and "where's the inside?".  The sad truth is that I underbaked these. So much so that they were nearly raw in the middle.  I checked it (using the tooth pick method), and they looked baked to me, but sadly, they were not. I had already frosted them before I realized they were underbaked.  So what did we do? We ate every last bite of the baked parts, and some of the unbaked parts.  It was that delicious.  I seriously cannot wait until I have another opportunity to make these, they were that good. If you're a fan of browned butter, you will notice it in the frosting.  I would use this frosting on anything and everything. 

As of today's post forty-two people gave this a five out of five!!!!!!

All I know is that my friends better have some good summer parties lined up so I can bring these.

Recipe by Lindsay Weiss, Overland Park, KS, Cooking Light, January 2009

  • YIELD: 2 dozen (serving size: 1 bar)
  • COURSE: Desserts, Cookies
  • Bars:
  • 2 cups sliced ripe banana (about 3 medium)
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 9 ounces cake flour (about 2 1/4 cups)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup nonfat buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • Baking spray with flour
  • Frosting:
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup (3 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  • 2. To prepare bars, combine banana, brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon butter in an 8-inch square baking dish. Bake at 400° for 35 minutes, stirring after 17 minutes. Cool slightly.
  • 3. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°.
  • 4. Weigh or lightly spoon cake flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 9 ounces (about 2 1/4 cups) flour, soda, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Combine banana mixture, buttermilk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in another medium bowl. Place 1/2 cup butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs to granulated sugar mixture; mix well. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternating with banana mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  • 5. Pour batter into a 13 x 9–inch baking pan coated with baking spray. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
  • 6. To prepare frosting, melt 1/4 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly. Combine browned butter, powdered sugar, cream cheese, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer until smooth. Spread frosting over cooled bars. Sprinkle with pecans.
Nutritional Information

  • Amount per serving
  • Calories: 221
  • Calories from fat: 0.0%
  • Fat: 8.4g
  • Saturated fat: 4.7g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 2.3g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.6g
  • Protein: 2.3g
  • Carbohydrate: 35.1g
  • Fiber: 0.6g
  • Cholesterol: 39mg
  • Iron: 1mg
  • Sodium: 117mg
  • Calcium: 23mg

Banana-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I bought a bunch of bananas with the goal of making two different banana recipes this week. I couldn't decide which one I wanted to make and had enough bananas to make both. In Greece, they would say this is my destiny.  

I also came to the realization that homemade cookies are way better than store-bought cookies.  OK with the caveat that Oreos are the exception because let's be honest with ourselves, they are the end-all be-all of cookies.  We had the Keebler rainbow M&M's cookies (the ones with exactly 3 M&M's per cookie) and they tasted like cardboard.  That's when I realized I wanted to make these cookies and put the calories toward something much more delicious (and probably nutritious).  

Enter super ripe bananas. This recipe came together so quickly--mix all together and bake.  I didn't make any  modifications to this recipe except to underbake the second and third batches in the oven. I like my cookies a little underbaked and soft.  

They were delicious. Chewy, soft and flavorful--everything I had hoped for.  The good news is that these also freeze well, so you can pull one out of the freezer as you want it.  It's the self control that is the difficult part. :)

As of today's post, 37 people gave this an average rating of four out of five stars.  

Recipe by Cathy Brixen, Phoenix, Arizona, Cooking Light, July 2009
  • YIELD: 2 dozen (serving size: 1 cookie)

  • 1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 medium)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 5 3/5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Cooking spray
  • 1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  • 2. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add egg; beat well.
  • 3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture to banana mixture in bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips.
  • 4. Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 18 minutes or until golden. Cool on pans 2 minutes. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
Nutritional Information

  • Amount per serving
  • Calories: 115
  • Fat: 3.6g
  • Saturated fat: 2g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 1.1g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.3g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Carbohydrate: 19.1g
  • Fiber: 1.2g
  • Cholesterol: 14mg
  • Iron: 0.9mg
  • Sodium: 121mg
  • Calcium: 10mg

Shepherd's Pie Peppers

And now, an homage to my roots.  Shepherd's Pie is traditionally made in a pie crust with a layer of meat and vegetables, topped with delicious mashed potatoes.  The problem is that if we ate Shepherd's Pie once a month, we would probably have high blood pressure and cholesterol.  We barely even have the real thing once a year--I requested it as my special birthday dish this year. The hubs made the family recipe and it was delicious!  So having that fairly recent memory in my head, how did this light version measure up??

First, if you look at the recipe you'll notice that we have the peas and carrots on the side when they should be in the peppers. Oops. It was a Top Chef improv moment, and it turned out ok.  

I thought this was delicious!  I made sure to cook the peppers to near exhaustion, so that they would be sure to fall apart with the light touch of the fork. :)  It was a great way to have a taste of Shepherd's Pie.  The best part? Only two servings. That way you're not stuck with a weeks' worth of fatty, salty, delicious, unhealthy leftovers.  

As for the alterations, we clearly left out the peas and carrots but cooked them as a side dish.  Additionally, we used ground beef instead of lamb or sirloin.  Based on comments from other reviewer, we also swapped refrigerated mashed potatoes for the frozen ones.

I would make it again but when asking the other half of this duo, he replied 'I like the regular version better'. Duh cause it's laden with a heavy (but delicious) pie crust.  If you're looking for a quick fix, this will get it done.

As of today's post, two people rated this a four out of five. I would agree.

Recipe by Angie Sinclair, Cooking Light, June 2003

  • YIELD: 2 servings (serving size: one stuffed pepper)
  • COURSE: Main Dishes
  • 2 large green bell peppers (about 1 pound)
  • Cooking spray
  • 6 ounces lean boneless leg of lamb or lean boneless sirloin steak, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 3/4 cup fat-free beef broth
  • 2/3 cup frozen peas and carrots
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup frozen mashed potatoes
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • Dash of paprika

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Cut tops off bell peppers; discard tops, seeds, and membranes. Cook peppers in boiling water 5 minutes; drain and set aside.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add lamb; cook 6 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Drain and pat dry with paper towels. Wipe drippings from skillet with a paper towel.
  • Return lamb to pan; add broth and the next 6 ingredients (broth through salt). Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Combine cornstarch and water, stirring well with a whisk. Add to lamb mixture; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Divide the lamb mixture evenly between peppers. Place stuffed peppers in an 8-inch square baking dish, and set aside.
  • Combine the potatoes and milk in a microwave-safe bowl, stirring well. Microwave at HIGH 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute. Let stand for 2 minutes. Spoon warm potato mixture evenly over tops of stuffed peppers, and lightly coat the potato mixture with cooking spray. Combine the cheese and paprika; sprinkle over potato mixture.
  • Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until potatoes are golden.
Nutritional Information

  • Amount per serving
  • Calories: 386
  • Calories from fat: 21%
  • Fat: 9g
  • Saturated fat: 3.3g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 3.4g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.1g
  • Protein: 30.1g
  • Carbohydrate: 43.3g
  • Fiber: 6.2g
  • Cholesterol: 66mg
  • Iron: 3.7mg
  • Sodium: 991mg
  • Calcium: 173mg

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Coconut-Crusted Chicken with Cashew-Curry Sauce

Now that's an alliteration if I've ever heard one.  Try to say that 10 times fast! 

I've been intrigued by this recipe ever since I saw it in my subscription to Cooking Light.  I'm not a big fan of coconut but I like coconut shrimp and thought this might be similar.  The recipe does have a lot of ingredients but most of them we have in our pantry. I think I only needed to buy chicken for this recipe.  You might not have as many ingredients in your pantry, and may be turned off by the number of ingredients, which I understand. 

I'll save you the trouble of buying the ingredients, this was another 'meh' recipe.  Now I will say that I like bold flavors, so if you like delicate flavors this may be your dish.  The chicken was delicious, I would make it again and serve it with another sauce.  And I probably would, if Cooking Light didn't have a bunch of other similar recipes that are panko-coated chicken tenders.  I expected way more flavor out of this sauce and was let down.

As of today's post, 18 people gave this an average rating of four out of 5. 

This is probably one of those 'decide for yourself' type of recipes. It's not awful but I can see how some people might like it.

Recipe by Jackie Mills, Cooking Light, May 2009

  • YIELD: 4 servings (serving size: 1 chicken breast half and 3 tablespoons sauce)
  • Chicken:
  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 3/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/2 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • Sauce:
  • 3/4 cup light coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon red curry paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped dry-roasted cashews
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 4 lime wedges (optional)
  • 4 cilantro sprigs (optional)
  • 1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  • 2. To prepare chicken, sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch and red pepper in a large zip-top plastic bag. Combine panko and flaked coconut in a shallow dish. Place egg white in another shallow dish. Add chicken to bag; seal and shake well to coat evenly. Remove from bag; discard remaining cornstarch mixture. Dip 1 chicken breast half in egg white; dredge in panko mixture. Repeat procedure with remaining 3 chicken breast halves, egg white, and panko mixture.
  • 3. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Place skillet in oven. Bake at 400° for 8 minutes or until done.
  • 4. To prepare sauce, combine coconut milk, sugar, curry paste, and 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch in a small bowl. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots, ginger, and garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add coconut milk mixture; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or just until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in cashews, juice, and fish sauce. Garnish each serving with 1 lime wedge and 1 cilantro sprig.
Nutritional Information

  • Amount per serving
  • Calories: 376
  • Fat: 15.4g
  • Saturated fat: 5.8g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 5.8g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 2.4g
  • Protein: 43.8g
  • Carbohydrate: 15.4g
  • Fiber: 1.1g
  • Cholesterol: 99mg
  • Iron: 2.4mg
  • Sodium: 772mg
  • Calcium: 34mg

Slow Cooker Meatloaf

Slow cooker meatloaf, sounds like a match made in heaven right?  This recipe calls for you to cook the loaf in the slow cooker for 5 hours on low.  Cooking anything that long will result in a very moist and tender piece of meat.  We served this with cider glazed carrots from Wegman's and 'my heaven'

The shiitake mushrooms in this are great.  As other reviewers noted, they add this earthiness to the meatloaf that makes it tasty.  Having said that, the rest of the recipe gets a big fat 'meh'.  The 'sauce' only coats the top layer of meatloaf, meaning that you only taste the sauce in every fourth bite.  The sauce itself is quite tangy, so I would suggest doubling it and stirring half into the meatloaf itself.

Would I make it again? nah.  I'll stick to our favorite, Italian Style Meatloaf instead. 

As of today's post 11 people gave this an average rating of 4 out of 5. 

So, give it a shot and let me know if you agree. If you really want to make meatloaf that's worth your while though, go with the Italian Style. I can't believe I haven't even blogged about that recipe yet. It is one of the best ones we have.

Recipe by Jess Cool, Cooking Light, October 2003

  • YIELD: 6 servings (serving size: 4 ounces)
  • 2 (1-ounce) slices whole wheat bread
  • 3/4 pound ground round
  • 3/4 pound ground turkey
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup grated fresh onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • Place bread in a food processor, and pulse 10 times or until crumbs measure 1 1/3 cups. Combine the crumbs, beef, and next 7 ingredients (beef through garlic) in a large bowl, and shape meat mixture into a 9 x 6-inch loaf. Place loaf in an electric slow cooker.
  • Combine ketchup, mustard, and pepper in a small bowl, stirring with a fork. Spread ketchup mixture evenly over top of loaf. Cover with lid; cook on LOW for 5 hours.
Nutritional Information

  • Amount per serving
  • Calories: 265
  • Calories from fat: 43%
  • Fat: 12.7g
  • Saturated fat: 4.2g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 5.1g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.7g
  • Protein: 25.2g
  • Carbohydrate: 12.7g
  • Fiber: 1.9g
  • Cholesterol: 152mg
  • Iron: 3mg
  • Sodium: 545mg
  • Calcium: 41mg

Artichoke-and-Red Pepper Pizza

Ah pizza, the American staple.  Well believe it or not this pizza is meat free.  Wait let me just double check that....yep no meat in this pizza.

Given that this pizza has 0% meat, I was fairly certain that this would be one of those meals that my husband ate just to appease me. For him, pizza with no meat is like breathing without air. 

I guess they say you never stop learning things about your partner.  He loved it!  I'll admit I loved it too, but I was in such shock that he loved it that I thought I might have been dreaming--or that he was just saying it was good to make me feel better.  But he had a genuine love for this pizza.  Normally Cooking Light cuts back on the cheese, which is one method they use to make things 'lighter'. However, I felt like this was a great amount of cheese to pizza ratio.  The recipe used up most of a bag of shredded mozzarella.

Like other reviewers, I bought fresh mushrooms and sauteed them with the red peppers.  See those green spots? I also added some homemade pesto, from another great CL recipe (seen here).  It really took the recipe to an awesome level.  How do I have fresh pesto in the winter when basil is not abundant? Simple silly, I freeze it and thaw some whenever I need it.
This recipe was designed as a party appetizer, with 16 servings total.  We split this into 8 servings instead, to make it more of a meal portion.  The only caveat I would mention with doing this is that the crust isn't tough enough to hold a 'slice'.  So next time we will up the time on the pre-bake of the crust to see if that works. And there will be a next time.

It appears as though www.myrecipes.com is doing a redesign of their website.  Because of this, I can't give you the rating of this recipe. I think it was a 5 star rated recipe with about 10-20 reviews. 

Recipe by Cooking Light, November 1995

  • YIELD: 16 appetizers (serving size: 1 appetizer)
  • 1 (10-ounce) can refrigerated pizza dough
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup julienne-cut red bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 1 (2.5-ounce) jar sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • Cracked pepper (optional)
  • Unroll pizza dough onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; pat dough into a 14 x 10-inch rectangle. Bake at 425° for 5 minutes; set aside.
  • Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add red bell pepper, basil, oregano, and garlic; saute 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in artichokes and mushrooms.
  • Sprinkle half of cheese over prepared pizza crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Spread the vegetable mixture evenly over cheese, and top with remaining cheese. Sprinkle with cracked pepper, if desired. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes or until crust is lightly browned
Nutritional Information

  • Amount per serving
  • Calories: 101
  • Calories from fat: 32%
  • Fat: 3.6g
  • Saturated fat: 1.3g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 1.5g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.6g
  • Protein: 4.8g
  • Carbohydrate: 12.7g
  • Fiber: 0.3g
  • Cholesterol: 6mg
  • Iron: 1.1mg
  • Sodium: 256mg
  • Calcium: 103mg