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!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Spinach, green onion and smoked gouda quiche

I really wanted to try this recipe but I knew that my other half doesn't like wilted spinach. Spinach salads are ok but cooked greens, no way. So I reluctantly asked him if he would try it, and surprisingly, he agreed!  Let me just say that I'm glad he did, this is sooooooooooo amazingly good.

I admit, I am a lover of quiche. I was a little worried about this being a CL recipe; would it have the same tasty goodness of a regular quiche? You can see this quiche has a crust, so it's not as healthy as a crustless quiche, but it calls for reduced fat milk.  CL has downsized the portion size, which is not filling enough for a meal. I think instead of the 10 servings this quoted, we ended up making it 6 (341 cals per serving).  Perhaps you could make it 10 servings if you served this with a salad.  I also can't remember if we used 1% as the recipe calls for, or if we used skim (we usually have skim).  If I were you, I'd just try it with 1% instead of experimenting with skim.  I'll just have to make this again using skim and report back right? :)  I also used store-bought crust since I already had it.

So I tagged this with a 'vegetarian' label which the original recipe is, but we made a few non-veg friendly modifications. First of all, we used the Yancey's Fancy Smoked Gouda with Bacon.  It was creamy and delicious and it was the only one we could find at our grocery store.  Secondly, we added in leftover rotisserie chicken (maybe 1/2 C to 1C) to give this even more protein.

This is definitely going in the book. I want to make this again...soon.

As of today's post, 10 people agreed that it's a 5 out of 5!

Recipe by Joanne Wier, Cooking Light, August 2010

Yield: 10 servings (serving size: 1 wedge)


  • Crust:
  • 6  tablespoons  butter, softened
  • 2  tablespoons  1% low-fat milk
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1  large egg yolk
  • 5.6  ounces  all-purpose flour (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • Filling:
  • 1  tablespoon  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2  cup  thinly sliced green onions
  • 3  cups  fresh baby spinach
  • 1  cup  1% low-fat milk
  • 3/4  cup  (3 ounces) grated smoked Gouda cheese
  • 3/4  teaspoon  salt
  • Dash of grated nutmeg
  • 3  large eggs


1. To prepare crust, place butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Combine milk, salt, and egg yolk in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add milk mixture to butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour; beat just until combined. Press mixture into a 4-inch circle on plastic wrap; cover. Chill for 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 350°.
3. Unwrap and place chilled dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll dough into a 10-inch circle. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate. Freeze 15 minutes. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool.
4. To prepare filling, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add spinach; sauté 2 minutes.
5. Combine 1 cup milk and remaining ingredients in a bowl; stir well with a whisk. Stir in spinach mixture. Pour filling into crust. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes. Cut into 10 wedges.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 205
Fat: 12.9g (sat 6.8g,mono 4.3g,poly 0.8g)
Protein: 7.3g
Carbohydrate: 15.4g
Fiber: 1.1g
Cholesterol: 113mg
Iron: 1.5mg
Sodium: 405mg
Calcium: 120mg


Did you have a white Christmas?? We did, but not because of the snow! We enjoyed this homemade eggnog courtesy of the November issue of CL.  Eggnog is a tasty part of our holiday season but if we can find a way to have a healthier version, we will definitely do so. 

The results? As a scientist, we experimented with this recipe twice. The first time we made the eggnog, we only had skim milk.  I enjoyed the resulting product but the hubs did not. The second time we used 1% and it was enjoyed by all.  It could have been the alcohol used in each iteration of this experiment. The first time we used scotch and brandy and the second time we used rum and brandy.  We both prefer rum over scotch to drink anyway so that may have been the culprit. Either way, this recipe is definitely going in the book!

The serving size is small, we got about 4 servings out of one batch (the recipe says 8).

Recipe by Ruth Cousineau, Cooking Light, November 2010

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup)


  • 3 1/2  cups  1% low-fat milk
  • 1/2  cup  fat-free sweetened condensed milk
  • 1  tablespoon  all-purpose flour
  • 1/4  teaspoon  grated whole nutmeg
  • 1/8  teaspoon  salt
  • 2  large egg yolks
  • 1/4  cup  bourbon
  • 2  tablespoons  brandy
  • 1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • Additional grated whole nutmeg (optional)


1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk. Place egg yolks in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk one-third of hot milk mixture into egg yolks. Add yolk mixture to remaining hot milk mixture, stirring with a whisk. Cook over medium heat 1 minute or until slightly thickened. Pour into a pitcher; stir in bourbon, brandy, and vanilla.
2. Cover surface of eggnog with wax paper; refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with additional nutmeg, if desired.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 147
Fat: 2.3g (sat 1.1g,mono 0.8g,poly 0.2g)
Protein: 5.8g
Carbohydrate: 18.1g
Fiber: 0.0g
Cholesterol: 58mg
Iron: 0.2mg
Sodium: 113mg
Calcium: 187mg

Spicy Coconut Shrimp Soup

This is another recipe that I have wanted to make for a while now.  Most of the ingredients we have on hand, so it was just a matter of getting the mushrooms and shrimp. 

We didn't make any changes to this recipe.  It turned out fantastic; sweet enough with the coconut milk but with a good mix between creamy and broth-y.  We used raw shrimp and added them in until they turned pink, but you could probably use pre-cooked shrimp.  In the future, I think we'll add a bit more red curry paste, since we like it spicy.  This lasted a few days in the fridge--just stir it up because the coconut milk can settle. 

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

Recipe by David Bonom, Cooking Light, March 2008

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)


  • 3 1/2  cups  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1  cup  sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4  cup  finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1  tablespoon  light brown sugar
  • 1  tablespoon  fish sauce
  • 1/2  teaspoon  grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/4  teaspoon  red curry paste
  • 1  cup  light coconut milk
  • 1  pound  large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4  cup  thinly sliced green onions
  • 2  tablespoons  thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 2  tablespoons  fresh lime juice


1. Combine first 7 ingredients in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in coconut milk; cook 2 minutes or until hot. Add shrimp to pan; cook 3 minutes or until shrimp are done. Remove pan from heat; stir in onions, basil, and juice.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 194 (25% from fat)
Fat: 5.3g (sat 3.3g,mono 0.4g,poly 0.9g)
Protein: 26.9g
Carbohydrate: 9.9g
Fiber: 1.4g
Cholesterol: 172mg
Iron: 3.8mg
Sodium: 878mg
Calcium: 85mg

Chicken Salad with Roasted Peppers, or the most random combination of ingredients EVER

As a fan of fancy chicken salad, I was intrigued to try this recipe. However, I should have looked more closely at the ingredients. Talk about the most random mix of items EVER. Craisins with roasted red peppers and soy sauce? Luckily I had most of the ingredients in-house, so it was just a matter of putting it all together.  The end result was sweet and tangy, and a bit odd.  I can't confirm or deny that I liked this, I just know there are better chicken salad recipes out there.  But it was interesting to give it a shot.  If you're feeling adventurous, give it a go!

I am the only one on myrecipes.com to rate this as of this post, and I gave it 3 out of 5.
 I think it has potential but would be better as a chicken salad with roasted red peppers, tomato, and homemade pesto, rather than this hodgepodge of ingredients.

Recipe from Cooking Light, Fresh Food Fast, Oxmoor House April 2009

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup)


  • 2  cups  chopped cooked chicken breast (about 3/4 pound)
  • 1/2  cup  refrigerated prechopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2  cup  refrigerated prediced celery
  • 1/2  cup  dried cranberries
  • 1/2  cup  chopped bottled roasted red bell peppers
  • 1/4  cup  refrigerated prechopped red onion
  • 1/4  cup  chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1/4  cup  light mayonnaise
  • 2  teaspoons  low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4  teaspoon  crushed red pepper


1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl; toss well. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 280 (43% from fat)
Fat: 13g (sat 2.2g,mono 4.1g,poly 2.4g)
Protein: 23g
Carbohydrate: 17.5g
Fiber: 2.3g
Cholesterol: 65mg
Iron: 1.1mg
Sodium: 333mg
Calcium: 26mg

Saturday, December 18, 2010

French Onion Soup

It is a historic day for the SWTSIH blog, we finally found a good SOUP!  The french onion soup from cooking light is divine--so close to the original (trust me, we've had it in Paris)!  The recipe is very easy to follow but takes a few hours, so plan accordingly.  I made this when the hubs was sick with a nasty cold, and he sure felt better afterward! Its a soup that warms the soul on cold winter nights. I really don't see any reason why you shouldn't make this right now.

This recipe is so easy you can even screw it up as horribly as I did and it still turns out fantastic. I miscalculated the amount of beef broth needed and had to supplement with chicken broth.  So really I used half beef broth and half chicken broth and added 2 beef bullion cubes.  If you can screw it up that much and it's delicious, then it's a keeper. I may have added a little more onion but it was difficult to measure them into cups.

For servings, we used 2x the soup but only 1x the bread and cheese.

As of today's post 53 people gave this an average rating of 4 out of 5.

Recipe by Cooking Light, January 2005

Yield: 8 servings


  • 2  teaspoons  olive oil
  • 4  cups  thinly vertically sliced Walla Walla or other sweet onion
  • 4  cups  thinly vertically sliced red onion
  • 1/2  teaspoon  sugar
  • 1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  cup  dry white wine
  • 8  cups  less-sodium beef broth
  • 1/4  teaspoon  chopped fresh thyme
  • 8  (1-ounce) slices French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 8  (1-ounce) slices reduced-fat, reduced-sodium Swiss cheese (such as Alpine Lace)


Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions to pan; sauté for 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in sugar, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Reduce heat to medium; cook 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Increase heat to medium-high, and sauté for 5 minutes or until onion is golden brown. Stir in wine, and cook for 1 minute. Add broth and thyme; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2 hours.
Preheat broiler.
Place bread in a single layer on a baking sheet; broil 2 minutes or until toasted, turning after 1 minute.
Place 8 ovenproof bowls on a jelly-roll pan. Ladle 1 cup soup into each bowl. Divide bread evenly among bowls; top each serving with 1 cheese slice. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese begins to brown.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 290 (30% from fat)
Fat: 9.6g (sat 4.8g,mono 1.9g,poly 0.7g)
Protein: 16.8g
Carbohydrate: 33.4g
Fiber: 3.1g
Cholesterol: 20mg
Iron: 1.6mg
Sodium: 359mg
Calcium: 317mg

Brown Sugar Cheesecake with Cherry Compote

This looks delish right?? It's soooooo delicious!!!  I've been dying to make this ever since I saw it in my CL and I finally had a chance! We hosted a dinner party around the holidays and this was the perfect opportunity to make this cheesecake.  The gingersnap crust is so tasty and it was great to use up the leftover gingersnaps I had from the apple crisp.

We didn't make any changes to this recipe but you should know--it's tough to make 16 servings, so we had about 10.

The compote made a lot more than you need for the cheesecake. I would suggest using the leftovers on meat (save it for your turkey perhaps??), or put it atop of ice cream (this gal would recommend the oatmeal raisin homemade ice cream a la David Lebovitz).  

As of today's post, 4 people gave this an average rating of 5 out of 5.  I would give it a 5 as well.

Definitely going in the recipe book!

Recipe by Bruce Weinstein, Cooking Light, December 2009

Yield: 16 servings (serving size: 1 slice cheesecake and about 2 tablespoons compote)


  • Cheesecake:
  • 1 3/4  cups  gingersnap crumbs (about 30 cookies, finely crushed)
  • 2  tablespoons  butter, melted
  • 1  tablespoon  fat-free milk
  • Cooking spray
  • 2  cups  (1 pound) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 1  cup  (8 ounces) fat-free cream cheese
  • 1/2  cup  packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4  cup  granulated sugar
  • 1.3  ounces  cake flour (about 1/3 cup)
  • 2  large eggs
  • 1/2  cup  reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2  tablespoons  maple syrup
  • 1  tablespoon  vanilla extract
  • Compote:
  • 2  cups  fresh cranberries (about 8 ounces)
  • 1  cup  shredded peeled ripe pear (1 medium)
  • 1/2  cup  packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4  cup  fresh orange juice (about 3 oranges)
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. To prepare cheesecake, combine gingersnap crumbs, butter, and milk in a medium bowl; stir with a fork. Firmly press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 3 minutes; cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325°.
3. Place cheeses in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until smooth. Add sugars, beating until well combined. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Add flour to cheese mixture; beat well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sour cream, syrup, and vanilla; beat well. Pour cheese mixture into crust. Bake at 325° for 40 minutes or until cheesecake center barely moves when pan is touched. Turn oven off. Remove cheesecake; run a knife around outside edge. Return cheesecake to oven, and partially open oven door. Cool cheesecake 1 hour in oven. Remove from oven; cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill at least 8 hours.
4. To prepare compote, combine cranberries and remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until the cranberries pop, stirring frequently. Cool to room temperature, and serve over cheesecake.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 272
Fat:10.6g (sat 6.2g,mono 3.1g,poly 0.5g)
Protein: 7.4g
Fiber: 1.4g
Cholesterol: 55mg
Iron: 1.5mg
Sodium: 320mg
Calcium: 92mg

Triple feature: ham, mac n' cheese and veggies

So we had a dinner party with some friends to celebrate the holiday season and as part of our dinner party circuit and made this triple feature.  Fire and spice ham, smoked gouda macaroni and cheese and braised zucchini and leeks. 

If you have two people, these were easy to make all at once.  The ham just needed basting while we prepared the mac n' cheese. The zucchini and leeks only needed 20 minutes to braise.

The ham had a sweet and spicy flavor to it.  It was great to have a switch up from the regular chicken or pork. 

The macaroni and cheese called for a surprising 5 cups of spinach!  Based on the reviews, we decided to cut back to 3 cups of spinach.  This was good, it was an easy way to get a little spinach in your diet while still enjoying the guilty pleasures.

The zucchini and leeks were so simple to make. I would highly recommend this side dish for any meal.  If you like zucchini then you'll probably like it as it is.  If you like zucchini but don't love it, I think this would be great with a little addition. Perhaps some red pepper flakes, or additional herbs like oregano and thyme. 

Fire and Spice Ham

Recipe by Cooking Light, 2002

Yield: 18 servings (serving size: about 3 ounces)


  • 1  (5 1/2- to 6-pound) 33%-less-sodium smoked, fully cooked ham half
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2  cup  red pepper jelly
  • 1/2  cup  pineapple preserves
  • 1/4  cup  packed brown sugar
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground cloves


Preheat oven to 425°.
Trim fat and rind from ham half. Score outside of ham in a diamond pattern. Place ham on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Combine jelly and remaining ingredients, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Brush about one-third of jelly mixture over ham.
Bake at 425° for 5 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325° (do not remove ham from oven); bake an additional 45 minutes, basting ham with jelly mixture every 15 minutes. Transfer ham to a serving platter; let stand 15 minutes before slicing.

Nutritional Information

Calories:188 (23% from fat)
Fat: 4.9g (sat 1.6g,mono 2.3g,poly 0.5g)
Protein: 18.4g
Carbohydrate: 16.8g
Fiber 0.0g
Cholesterol: 47mg
Iron: 1.4mg
Sodium: 865mg
Calcium: 10mg
Smoked Gouda Macaroni and Cheese
Cooking Light, March 2003

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)


  • 1  (1-ounce) slice whole wheat bread
  • 1  tablespoon  butter
  • 1/4  cup  thinly sliced green onions
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 2  tablespoons  all-purpose flour
  • 2  cups  fat-free milk
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1/2  cup  (2 ounces) shredded smoked Gouda cheese
  • 1/3  cup  (about 1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 5  cups  coarsely chopped fresh spinach
  • 4  cups  hot cooked elbow macaroni (about 2 cups uncooked)
  • Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350°.
Place bread in a food processor, and pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1/2 cup.
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic; cook 1 minute. Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk, salt, and pepper, stirring constantly with a whisk until blended. Bring to a boil; cook until thick (about 2 minutes). Add cheeses; stir until melted.
Add spinach and macaroni to cheese sauce, stirring until well blended. Spoon mixture into a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until bubbly.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 399 (25% from fat)
Fat: 10.9g (sat 6.2g,mono 3g,poly 0.8g)
Protein: 20.1g
Carbohydrate: 54.9g
Fiber: 3.7g
Cholesterol: 33mg
Iron: 3.6mg
Sodium: 725mg
Calcium: 421mg
Braised Zucchini and Leeks
Recipe by Lorrie Hulston Corvin, Cooking Light September 2001

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 2/3 cup)


  • 1  tablespoon  butter
  • 2  cups  finely chopped leek (about 2 large)
  • 6  cups  finely chopped zucchini (about 5 small)
  • 1  teaspoon  salt
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced


Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add leek; sauté for 2 minutes. Add zucchini, salt, and garlic. Cover; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook over medium-high heat 10 minutes or until most of liquid evaporates. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information

Calories:52 (26% from fat)
Fat: 1.5g (sat 0.9g,mono 0.4g,poly 0.1g)
Protein: 1.7g
Carbohydrate: 8.4g
Fiber: 2.9g
Cholesterol: 4mg
Iron: 0.9mg
Sodium: 313mg
Calcium: 40mg

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Jack Quesadillas with Cranberry Salsa

After 3 days of turkey sandwiches and Thanksgiving dinner x3, it's time for something a little different.  This is such a great recipe for that leftover turkey, you just have to try it.  The flavors are completely different with jalapenos and cilantro and lime juice.  This recipe takes care of your turkey and cranberry sauce. 

So as you can tell from the picture, our cranberry salsa is a little less pink than it should be. This is because we devoured the cranberry sauce and didn't have as much as the recipe called for.  I think we may have had about 1/4 cup left and you need about 1 cup.  Anyway, if you have enough pear and lime juice to cut the spice, then it's all good. 

Otherwise we didn't make any changes to the recipe except to include the seeds from the jalapeno. 

As of today's post, 17 people gave this an average rating of 5 out of 5! GOOOOOOOOOOOOO Leftovers!

Recipe by Elizabeth Taliaferro, Cooking Light, November 2004

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 3 wedges, about 1/4 cup salsa, and 1 tablespoon sour cream)


  • Salsa:
  • 1  cup  whole-berry cranberry sauce
  • 1/4  cup  chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2  tablespoons  chopped green onions
  • 1  tablespoon  fresh lime juice
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1  Anjou pear, cored and finely diced
  • 1  jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • Quesadillas:
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4  cup  (2-inch-thick) slices green onions
  • 1  cup  (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeño peppers
  • 8  (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • 2  cups  chopped cooked turkey
  • 1/2  cup  fat-free sour cream


To prepare salsa, combine first 7 ingredients. Cover and chill.
To prepare quesadillas, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add 1/4 cup sliced onions to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Remove onions from pan; reduce heat to medium. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese over each of 4 tortillas. Top each cheese-covered tortilla with one-fourth of onions, 1/2 cup turkey, 2 tablespoons cheese, and 1 tortilla.
Recoat pan with cooking spray. Add 1 quesadilla to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned and cheese melts. Repeat with remaining quesadillas. Cut each quesadilla into 6 wedges. Serve with cranberry salsa and sour cream.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 356 (25% from fat)
Fat: 9.7g (sat 4.2g,mono 3.5g,poly 1.2g)
Protein: 19.4g
Iron: 2.7mg
Sodium: 372mg
Calcium: 218mg

Cranberry Sauce with Apple Cider

Ok, so the picture isn't great.  This is another one of those recipes that was so good we devoured it quickly.  I can show you a picture of the victim.

This was our first time making thanksgiving. My family came up from Atlanta to show us the special way to cook the turkey and stuff it with the stuffing to get it just right.  We also made the butternut squash and blue cheese gratin for Thanksgiving (so good).  It was of course, a hit.  But this is about the cranberry sauce. 

We happen to love apple cider in this house. Every week we go through a gallon of apple cider (mostly Brian, but I enjoy it too).  We get apple cider from August-ish through late Spring.  When our farm store closes for the season, we defer to Wegman's cider, which is not as good as the farm kind but the best grocery store brand.  So once I saw this recipe for cranberry sauce using apple cider, I knew it would be a winner for us.  This was my first time making cranberry sauce and it was super easy!  We made it the day before so that it could sit overnight. 

To this recipe, I added a bit of orange zest and orange juice and used only 3/4 C of sugar. It took a bit longer than 10 minutes, so just make sure that the cranberries are all mushy. 

Fifteen people gave this an average rating of 5 out of 5.  Since Thanksgiving has passed, if you've already eaten up all those leftovers, then just plan to make this next year. :)

Recipe by Cooking Light, November 2002

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1/4 cup)


  • 1  cup  sugar
  • 1  cup  apple cider or apple juice
  • 1  (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries


Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes or until cranberries pop, stirring occasionally. Chill.

Nutritional Information

Calories:135 (0.0% from fat)
Fat: 0.0g (sat 0.0g,mono 0.0g,poly 0.0g)
Protein: 0.3g
Carbohydrate: 35g
Fiber: 1.8g
Cholesterol: 0.0mg
Iron: 0.1mg
Sodium: 1mg
Calcium: 3mg

Spicy Autumn Crisp

I was looking through myrecipes at their 5 star recipe section and found this recipe during the month of October.  The ingredients sounded interesting--pear, granny smith apples, pitted dates and molasses.

Let me tell you this is GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD. I would make it every week if I had a rabbit metabolism. It is just that good.

I didn't make any changes to this recipe, oh wait I did. I used allspice instead of ground cloves because I didn't have any ground cloves.

Only 5 people gave this an average rating of 5 out of 5 but if you try it, trust me, you'll like it.

The only issue is that I had to buy a whole box of gingersnaps to make this. However, to remedy this, we're having friends over for dinner this week and I'm making brown sugar cheesecake with cranberry compote.

YUUUUM, I wish I had more right now.

Recipe by Cooking Light, October 2000

Yield: 9 servings


  • Topping:
  • 9  gingersnap cookies (such as Nabisco)
  • 1/4  cup  granulated sugar
  • 1/4  cup  packed light brown sugar
  • 2  tablespoons  all-purpose flour
  • 1/4  cup  chilled butter or stick margarine, cut into small pieces
  • Filling:
  • 3 1/2  cups  chopped peeled Granny Smith apple (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 3 1/2  cups  coarsely chopped peeled Bartlett pear (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/2  cup  chopped pitted dates or golden raisins
  • 1/4  cup  molasses
  • 3/4  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground ginger
  • 1/8  teaspoon  ground nutmeg
  • 1/8  teaspoon  ground cloves


Preheat oven to 375°.
To prepare topping, place cookies in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs form to measure 1/2 cup. Combine cookie crumbs, sugars, and flour in a medium bowl; cut in the butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture is crumbly.
To prepare filling, combine apple and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; toss well. Spoon apple mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish or a 1 1/2-quart casserole. Sprinkle with topping. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes or until bubbly.

Nutritional Information

Calories:246 (25% from fat)
Fat: 6.9g (sat 3.6g,mono 2.1g,poly 0.6g)
Protein: 1.3g
Fiber: 2.7g
Cholesterol: 17mg
Iron: 1.4mg
Sodium: 69mg
Calcium: 54mg

Bacon, ranch and chicken mac n' cheese

yummy comfort food? Yes please!  Ever since I saw this recipe I knew that the hubs was going to make it. In fact, I told him about it and he was like 'we're making it next week'. Unfortunately, given the wedding and all we didn't end up making it until two weeks ago.

If you have your hopes up for a traditional macaroni and cheese, you will be disappointed.  This one is creamy in the middle due to the can of cream of mushroom and a bit crispy on the top from the additional cheese.  It came together so quickly, I can't even tell you.

I think the only change we made was to use dried dill instead of fresh (they were all out at Wegmans; it happens sometimes when you go at night during the week). 

Clearly we're not the only ones who liked it. As of today's post, 27 people gave it an average rating of 4 out of 5.  I also felt like this portion size was adequate.

Recipe by SaBrina Bone, Cooking Light, March 2010

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 2 cups)


  • 8  ounces  uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1  slice applewood-smoked bacon
  • 8  ounces  skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1  tablespoon  butter
  • 1  tablespoon  all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2  cups  fat-free milk
  • 1/3  cup  condensed 45% reduced-sodium 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 3/4  cup  (3 ounces) shredded six-cheese Italian blend (such as Sargento)
  • 1/2  teaspoon  onion powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  garlic powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2  cup  (2 ounces) shredded colby-Jack cheese


1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.
2. Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings in pan. Finely chop bacon; set aside. Increase heat to medium-high. Add chicken to drippings in pan; sauté 6 minutes or until done.
3. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; sprinkle flour evenly into pan. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Combine milk and soup, stirring with a whisk; gradually add milk mixture to saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat; let stand 4 minutes or until sauce cools to 155°. Add Italian cheese blend, onion powder, garlic powder, dill, and salt, stirring until cheese melts. Stir in pasta and chicken.
4. Preheat broiler.
5. Spoon mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with reserved bacon and colby-Jack cheese. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese melts.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 497
Fat: 17g (sat 9.2g,mono 4.7g,poly 1.4g)
Protein: 33.3g
Fiber: 2g
Iron: 2.4mg

Pumpkin-Cinnamon Streusel Buns

What the?????? Where are the pumpkin cinnamon buns?!?!?!?! Unfortunately, they went so fast that I didn't have an opportunity to take a picture of them. So you get a nice picture of my Christmas kitties instead (an elf and a very disgruntled Mrs. Claus).

I can tell you that they were gooey and delicious.  The pumpkin gave them a bit of a yellow-y color but it wasn't off putting.  To be honest, I didn't taste a lot of pumpkin, but let's face it, any kind of cinnamon bun coated in glaze is going to be delicious.  Next time (and there will be a next time), I will probably throw a little pumpkin pie spice into the dough to make it more pumpkin-y.  This was my first time making cinnamon buns and I must say it was pretty easy. You have to make sure to roll the dough tightly; if you don't then then when you slice it into rolls the middle will spill out.

As the recipe suggests, I used canned pumpkin and added the extra cup of flour. Instead of mixing by hand and kneading, I let the dough hook on my kitchen aid mixer do this all for me. :)

OH! I also made these the night before and baked them in the morning (well, I should say the hubs baked and glazed them while I was at the gym).  They turned out fine. I gave them about 30 minutes to sit on the counter top to warm to room temperature.

As of today's post, 17 people gave it an average rating of 5 out of 5!

Recipe by Cooking Light, October 2001

To make these year-round, substitute canned pumpkin puree and add an extra cup of all-purpose flour.
Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1 bun)


  • Buns:
  • 1  package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1/4  cup  warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 2 3/4  cups  all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2  cup  Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/2  cup  1% low-fat milk
  • 1/4  cup  butter, melted
  • 1  tablespoon  granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4  teaspoons  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground nutmeg
  • Cooking spray
  • 3  tablespoons  granulated sugar
  • 3  tablespoons  brown sugar
  • 2  tablespoons  all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  ground cinnamon
  • 2  tablespoons  chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • Glaze:
  • 3/4  cup  sifted powdered sugar
  • 1  tablespoon  hot water
  • 1/4  teaspoon  vanilla extract


To prepare the buns, dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand for 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Add 2 cups flour, pumpkin, and next 5 ingredients (pumpkin through nutmeg); beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough of the remaining 3/4 cup flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).
Place the dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, for 45 minutes or until doubled in size. (Press two fingers into the dough. If an indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.)
Combine 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Punch dough down; cover and let rest for 5 minutes. Roll the dough into a 12 x 10-inch rectangle on a floured surface. Sprinkle with brown sugar mixture. Roll up the rectangle tightly, starting with a long edge, pressing firmly to eliminate air pockets; pinch seam and ends to seal. Cut roll into 12 (1-inch) slices. Place slices in a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 25 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 375°.
Bake the rolls at 375° for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 15 minutes in pan on a wire rack.
To prepare the glaze, combine the powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon water, and vanilla extract in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Drizzle glaze over buns. Serve warm.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 219 (25% from fat)
Fat: 6.2g (sat 3.7g,mono 1.8g,poly 0.3g)
Protein: 3.8g
Carbohydrate: 36.9g
Fiber: 1.2g
Cholesterol: 16mg
Iron: 1.6mg
Sodium: 311mg
Calcium: 24mg

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Caramelized Leeks with Roasted Salmon Fillets


As a way to get our fish in (and using our Wegman's club pack of salmon), we made caramelized leeks with roasted salmon fillets.  It seemed like an easy weeknight meal and I was right.  All you have to do is caramelize the leeks and then cook the salmon and it's a snap!

Washing the leeks thoroughly are a MUST MUST MUST. Leeks are dirty, especially in between the layers, so look at the video here to see how to clean and prepare leeks.  This recipe also uses very few ingredients, so if you're the type of person who won't look at a recipe with more than 10 ingredients, then this is for you.  

You probably can't tell but we served this with cabbage and noodles. Which is either a Polish thing or just a thing my husbands' family makes.  We had leftover cabbage from another non-CL recipe (gasp! I know), so we made this on the side to use it up.  

We cooked the salmon in the toaster oven, so this recipe is friendly for those living in a small space.

As of today's post 7 people rated this a 5 out of 5. 

Recipe by Laura Zapalowski, Cooking Light, March 2008

Yield: 4 servings


  • 2  leeks
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  butter
  • 1  teaspoon  light brown sugar
  • 1/2  teaspoon  kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2  teaspoon  fresh lemon juice
  • 4  (6-ounce) salmon fillets
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8  teaspoon  ground red pepper


1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Remove roots, outer leaves, and tops from leeks. Cut leeks in half lengthwise. Rinse thoroughly with cold water, and cut each half into 3-inch julienne strips.
3. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add leeks to pan; cook 4 minutes or until slightly wilted, stirring occasionally. Stir in brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook 20 minutes or until edges are browned, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in juice. Keep warm.
4. Place salmon on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; sprinkle salmon with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon red pepper. Bake salmon at 400° for 8 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Place 1 fillet on each of 4 plates; top with 2 tablespoons leek mixture.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 320 (39% from fat)
Fat: 13.9g (sat 2.8g,mono 4.5g,poly 5.1g)
Protein: 39.2g
Carbohydrate: 7.6g
Fiber: 0.9g
Cholesterol: 111mg
Iron: 2.5mg
Sodium: 339mg
Calcium: 51mg

Walnut and Rosemary Oven-fried Chicken

A third recipe I've been dying to make.  Another disappointment? Thankfully, NO! 

This recipe was so easy; I love those dishes where you just set up a dipping station and dunk it in the liquid, dunk it in the coating and you're done.  The crunchiness of the toasted panko and walnut was really tasty.  We didn't have a metal rack to put on our baking sheet, so the coating got a little mushy on the bottom (the air can't circulate underneath this way). We were totally cool with it, but if you aren't, you can always just coat one side, or buy a metal rack for your baking sheet.

We followed the recipe exactly to plan. I would say next time this needs a little bit more rosemary--1 to 1 1/2 tsp depending on how much you like rosemary.

As you can see, we served ours with baked potatoes and steamed green beans that I tossed with garlic, onion flakes and chili powder.

As of today's post, 44 people gave this an average rating of 5 out of 5!!

Recipe by Laraine Perri, Cooking Light, June 2010

Total: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cutlet)


  • 1/4  cup  low-fat buttermilk
  • 2  tablespoons  Dijon mustard
  • 4  (6-ounce) chicken cutlets
  • 1/3  cup  panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/3  cup  finely chopped walnuts
  • 2  tablespoons  grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3/4  teaspoon  minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/4  teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • Rosemary leaves (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. Combine buttermilk and mustard in a shallow dish, stirring with a whisk. Add chicken to buttermilk mixture, turning to coat.
3. Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add panko to pan; cook 3 minutes or until golden, stirring frequently. Combine panko, nuts, and next 4 ingredients (through pepper) in a shallow dish. Remove chicken from buttermilk mixture; discard buttermilk mixture. Dredge chicken in panko mixture.
4. Arrange a wire rack on a large baking sheet; coat rack with cooking spray. Arrange chicken on rack; coat chicken with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 13 minutes or until chicken is done. Garnish with rosemary leaves, if desired.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 287
Fat: 9.4g (sat 1.6g,mono 1.6g,poly 5.1g)
Protein: 42.7g
Carbohydrate: 6g
Fiber: 0.9g
Cholesterol: 101mg
Iron: 1.6mg
Sodium: 379mg
Calcium: 66mg

Pumpkin Pie Shake

Two disappointments in one week, can it be???


I've been dying to make this recipe ever since I saw it on myrecipes.com.  Unfortunately, it was another bomb. I felt like I was just eating canned pumpkin, which doesn't taste very good to me.  It's true that I do not have the cool whip on top like they recommend in the recipe but, I don't think that would save this recipe. I can't believe how people have raved about it in the reviews. 

This is another one that I feel like I could tweak, but who has time for that (certainly not this girl). I'd rather spend my time making the eggnog recipe in this month's magazine (which we will make in December)! 

I'll let you decide for yourself. Maybe you really like this and i'm the only weirdo out there who doesn't. To each their own, right?

As of today's post, thirteen people gave this an average rating of 5 out of 5.  For some reason my 3 stars must not be factored into this rating. :)

Recipe by Vivian Levine, Cooking Light, January 2006

Yield: 4 servings


  • 2  cups  vanilla reduced-fat ice cream (such as Healthy Choice), softened
  • 1  cup  fat-free milk
  • 2/3  cup  canned pumpkin
  • 1/4  cup  packed brown sugar
  • 3/4  teaspoon  pumpkin-pie spice
  • 3  tablespoons  frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed
  • Pumpkin-pie spice (optional)


Combine first 5 ingredients in a blender; process until smooth. Pour 3/4 cup ice cream mixture into each of 4 glasses. Top each with about 2 teaspoons whipped topping; sprinkle with the additional pumpkin-pie spice, if desired.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 198 (13% from fat)
Fat: 2.8g (sat 1.8g,mono 0.6g,poly 0.1g)
Protein: 6.1g
Carbohydrate: 38g
Fiber: 1.4g
Cholesterol: 18mg
Iron: 1.3mg
Sodium: 180mg
Calcium: 157mg

Bananas Foster Bread

Who likes bananas coated in rum??? I DO! Cooking Light had so many good looking bread recipes in their last issue, if only we had time to make them all!  I decided to make the bananas foster bread after I ended up with two uneaten, black bananas.  This recipe came together so quickly! I made the rum/banana/sugar mixture while we were making dinner (I think it was the same night as the Salmon and caramelized leek night).  After dinner I threw it all together and baked it in the toaster oven.  The bread tasted more like regular banana bread, but it did have a hint of that bananas foster flavor.  The glaze for this also calls for rum, and quite frankly, tastes like a shot of sugary icing when you mix it together. This is boozy! I will say though that after one day with the glaze you couldn't even taste the booze anymore.  Which I think for me set the taste back a bit. I liked the combination of fresh glaze and bread; for me it really tasted like bananas foster.

This recipe calls for flaxseed. I got mine at trader joe's whole and ground it in the mini prep food processor.

This recipe is probably not recommended if you have little humans running around, I don't think they are supposed to have alcohol. Translation: you can make this, just don't feed it to your kids. :)

As of today's post, 17 people gave it an average rating of 5 out of 5! 

Recipe by Maureen Callahan, Cooking Light, October 2010

Yield: 16 servings (serving size: 1 slice)


  • 1 1/2  cups  mashed ripe banana
  • 1  cup  packed brown sugar, divided
  • 6  tablespoons  butter, melted and divided
  • 1/4  cup  cognac or dark rum, divided
  • 1/3  cup  plain fat-free yogurt
  • 2  large eggs
  • 6.75  ounces  all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4  cup  ground flaxseed
  • 3/4  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1/8  teaspoon  ground allspice
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/3  cup  powdered sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Combine banana, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 5 tablespoons butter, and 3 tablespoons cognac in a nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat; cool. Place banana mixture in a large bowl. Add yogurt, remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, and eggs. Beat with a mixer at medium speed.
3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through allspice) in a small bowl. Add flour mixture to banana mixture; beat just until blended. Pour batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove bread from pan; place on wire rack.
4. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter, remaining 1 tablespoon cognac, and powdered sugar; stir until well blended. Drizzle over the warm bread.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 194
Fat: 5.8g (sat 3g,mono 1.5g,poly 0.9g)
Protein: 2.9g
Carbohydrate: 31.1g
Fiber: 1.5g
Cholesterol: 34mg
Iron: 1.1mg
Sodium: 181mg
Calcium: 32mg

Apple-parsnip Soup

It's the soup of the week! It certainly feels like we're making a lot of soup lately; unfortunately this was another disappointment.  This is the apple parsnip soup in last month's issue of Cooking Light.  It seems like every cooking light apple soup recipe calls for curry powder which I don't understand. So we decided to skip the curry powder and add more nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger to this.  This also had way too much cardamom--all I could taste was cardamom. It seems like any recipe that calls for cardamom needs at least 2 days to marinate so the cardamom blends in better.

So, sorry to say, we will not be making this again. I had such high hopes for this, but they were not met. The search for good soups continue.  If you're planning to make this, I would say creme fraiche (or in our case, sour cream) is definitely needed as a garnish.

As of today's post, 6 people gave this an average rating of four out of 5.  I would give it a 2.  It could probably be better with some work, but I'd rather find a good soup recipe that doesn't need me to put my hard work into it.  I'm sure you could sub vegetable broth for chicken broth if you're a concerned vegetarian/vegan. 

Recipe by Kathy Ferrell-Kingsley, Cooking Light, October 2010

Yield: 8 servings


  • 2  tablespoons  olive oil
  • 1  cup  chopped onion
  • 2 1/2  cups  chopped peeled Pink Lady apple (about 1 pound)
  • 1  tablespoon  curry powder
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1  teaspoon  ground cardamom
  • 1  garlic clove, chopped
  • 3 1/2  cups  chopped peeled parsnip (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 4  cups  fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1  cup  apple cider
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/8  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 8  teaspoons  crème fraîche


1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add apple and the next 4 ingredients (through garlic); cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add parsnip, chicken broth, and apple cider; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until parsnip is tender.
2. Place half of parsnip mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat the procedure with remaining parsnip mixture. Stir in salt and pepper. Ladle about 3/4 cup soup into each of 8 bowls; top each serving with 1 teaspoon crème fraîche.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 136
Fat: 5.6g (sat 1.6g,mono 2.6g,poly 0.6g)
Protein: 1.8g
Carbohydrate: 21.2g
Fiber: 4.2g
Cholesterol: 5mg
Iron: 0.7mg
Sodium: 381mg
Calcium: 30mg

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Apricot Pork Chops AND Butternut Squash Gratin with Blue Cheese and Sage

This is one of the easiest recipes you will ever make (and maybe one of the cheapest too)!  All we have to do for this recipe is buy pork chops and (depending on our fridge stock) some green onions.  Great for those who need weeknight meals fast, this is super easy and super delicious.  Now I would be remiss if I didn't mention the fact that this makes a MESS in your pan and it's not too pretty in the picture (who wants to eat that black looking pork thing) but the pan comes clean and that's just the soy sauce making it tasty. :)

While this is probably better with steamed veggies and rice (it has an Asian influence), we tend to make this at the same time we make Butternut Squash, Blue cheese and sage gratin. It's not planned and I don't know why, but we always plan to make these together. 

For the pork chops, 17 people gave this an average rating of 4 out of 5. It's definitely a 5 people.

Now as far as the Butternut Squash gratin goes, I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE this recipe. It's such a great way to get some of those fall veggies in and the flavor combination is so awesome.  I would eat this everyday if I could. Talk about healthy comfort food.

We do make some changes to this recipe.  Adding more onions and sage is a must.  I would also recommend you steam the squash until it's really really (read: fall apart on the fork) tender. It just makes everything taste better.

For the gratin, 31 people gave it an average rating of 4 out of 5.

Apricot Pork Chops
Recipe by Michele Powers, Cooking Light, July 2005

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 pork chop and 1 tablespoon sauce)


  • Cooking spray
  • 4  (4-ounce) boneless loin pork chops
  • 1/4  cup  prechopped onion
  • 1/4  cup  apricot preserves
  • 1  tablespoon  low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2  teaspoons  bottled minced garlic
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  cup  sliced green onions


Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork to pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan; keep warm.
Add prechopped onion to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in preserves, soy sauce, garlic, and salt; cook 3 minutes or until thickened. Add pork to pan, turning to coat. Sprinkle with green onions.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 231 (32% from fat)
Fat: 8.3g (sat 2.5g,mono 3.6g,poly 1.2g)
Protein: 23.9g
Carbohydrate: 15.2g
Fiber: 0.5g
Cholesterol: 73mg
Iron: 1.2mg
Sodium: 345mg
Calcium: 24mg
Butternut Squash Gratin with Blue Cheese and Sage
Recipe by Jackie Mills, Cooking Light, December 2008

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 1 cup)


  • 5  cups  (3/4-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 2 pounds)
  • 1  (1 1/2-ounce) slice white bread
  • 4  teaspoons  olive oil, divided
  • 2  cups  thinly sliced onion
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2  cup  (2 ounces) crumbled blue cheese


1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Steam butternut squash, covered, 10 minutes or until tender.
3. Place bread in a food processor, and pulse 12 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1/2 cup. Transfer to a small bowl; add 2 teaspoons oil, and toss with a fork to combine.
4. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced onion to pan; saute 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Transfer the onion mixture to a large bowl. Add butternut squash, chopped sage, salt, and black pepper to bowl, and toss gently to combine. Spoon squash mixture into an 11 x 7–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes. Sprinkle crumbled blue cheese evenly over squash mixture, and sprinkle evenly with breadcrumb mixture. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and crumbs are golden brown.

Nutritional Information

Calories:186 (31% from fat)
Fat: 6.4g (sat 2.4g,mono 2.9g,poly 0.5g)
Protein: 5.1g
Carbohydrate: 30.9g
Fiber: 4.8g
Cholesterol:  7mg
Sodium: 379mg
Calcium: 173mg

Thyme-Scented White Bean Cassoulet

Ever since I bought my cooking light cookbook, this is one recipe I've wanted to make. I love white beans and thyme, so I thought the flavors in this would be good. I was right! I served this one night while we were watching hockey and had another friend over (note: a GUY) and the two of them ate this right up! The hubs even said, 'what is this white thing in here?' (they were the parsnips).  He loved them! Oh an neither of them really cared that it was vegetarian sausage!  I would say if you are a carnivore, this would be even better with real sausage. I could definitely tell that it was veggie sausage.  But in our efforts to strive for good health, eating meatless dishes every other week are good for ya.

All of the chunky vegetables and beans make this a hearty, heart-warming dish.  And since it makes use of your slow cooker, comes together so easily!  I sauteed the veggies in the morning, threw it all in the slow cooker and set it on high. 

I am disappointed that mine looks like sludge and not at all like the picture on myrecipes.com. However I will say that the recipe posted on myrecipes is different from the one in my cookbook.

Make it easy on yourself and just do it.

As of today's post, 9 people gave this an average rating of four out of five.

Recipe by Robin Robertson, Cooking Light, October 2004

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups)


  • 1  tablespoon  olive oil
  • 1 1/2  cups  chopped onion
  • 1 1/2  cups  (1/2-inch-thick) slices diagonally cut carrot
  • 1  cup  (1/2-inch-thick) slices diagonally cut parsnip
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 3  cups  cooked Great Northern beans
  • 3/4  cup  vegetable broth
  • 1/2  teaspoon  dried thyme
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1  (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1  bay leaf
  • 1/4  cup  dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/4  cup  (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 2  tablespoons  butter, melted
  • 2  links meatless Italian sausage (such as Boca), thawed and chopped
  • 2  tablespoons  chopped fresh parsley


Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, parsnip, and garlic; cover and cook 5 minutes or until tender.
Place in a 5-quart electric slow cooker. Add beans and next 6 ingredients (through bay leaf). Cover and cook on low 8 hours or until vegetables are tender.
Combine breadcrumbs, cheese, and butter in a small bowl; toss with a fork until moist. Stir breadcrumb mixture and sausage into bean mixture; sprinkle with parsley.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 314 (29% from fat)
Fat: 10.2g (sat 3.7g,mono 3.7g,poly 1.7g)
Protein: 16.4g
Carbohydrate: 41.9g
Fiber: 11.6g
Cholesterol: 13mg
Iron: 3.6mg
Sodium: 777mg
Calcium: 177mg

Lentil-and-Sausage Stuffed Peppers

We've had dried lentils sitting around since we made the samosas recipe (see here SAMOSAS).  So I decided that it would be good if we could find a recipe that would help us use up some of these lentils. Also, I think after making the samosas I realized how delicious lentils are.  So I stumbled on this stuffed pepper recipe and thought it looked fantastic.  We also had most of the ingredients at home so it was easy to pick up some peppers, rice and shredded cheese.

I have to be honest as an unbiased source for all your cooking needs (lol nerd alert)!  We didn't see the point of stuffing this in the peppers.  The flavor of the stuffing was AWESOME. We'd totally make it again, but stuffing it in the pepper didn't enhance the flavor at all. I think it would be much better as a salad similar to the chicken and wild rice one (see here for DELICIOUSNESS).

I know you're probably looking at the ingredient list and thinking basil, balsamic, capers and....RAISINS?  But the raisins gave it just a hint of sweetness and a flavor you don't expect.  We also used a jalapeno sausage because the one listed in the ingredient list wasn't available. Other reviewers mentioned they used the jalapeno sausage with good results so I figured it was a safe bet.

So after taking all of this into account, we'll be making it again but instead calling it lentil, rice and chicken salad and 86-ing the peppers (or chopping them up and adding them in).

Recipe by Cooking Light, September 2000

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 2 pepper halves)


  • 3  red bell peppers
  • 3  yellow bell peppers
  • 3  cups  water, divided
  • 1/2  cup  dried brown lentils
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  cup  uncooked long-grain rice
  • 1  cup  diced onion
  • 8  ounces  basil, pine nut, and chicken sausage, chopped (such as Gerhard's)
  • 1  cup  (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4  cup  dried currants or raisins
  • 1/4  cup  chopped fresh parsley
  • 2  tablespoons  balsamic vinegar
  • 1  tablespoon  capers
  • 2  tablespoons  chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1/4  cup  (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese


Cut bell peppers in half, keeping stems intact. Discard seeds and membranes. Cook bell peppers in boiling water 5 minutes; drain and set aside.
Combine 2 cups water, lentils, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan; add rice and onion. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat. Set aside. Place sausage in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; saute until browned.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Combine lentils, rice mixture, sausage, mozzarella, and remaining ingredients except Parmesan in a large bowl. Divide lentil mixture evenly among bell peppers; sprinkle with Parmesan. Place stuffed peppers in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish; cover and bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 292 (30% from fat)
Fat: 9.7g (sat 4.2g,mono 2.4g,poly 2.7g)
Protein: 19.2g
Carbohydrate: 33.7g
Fiber: 4.3g
Cholesterol: 48mg
Iron: 4mg
Sodium: 541mg
Calcium: 211mg

Scallop Piccata with sauteed spinach

Sorry folks, no spinach on these plates.  The hubs hates wilted greens so we did not make that part of the dish.  But he does love piccata!  We've made several CL variations on the theme before, but have only used chicken. So this was our first experiment with scallop piccata and it was totally worth it!  Think fresh scallops are expensive? We used Trader Joe's frozen scallops (the whole bag), which I believe cost us maybe 5-7 dollars.  I'm sure fresh scallops would have been divine, but these were good enough for us to love it.

We tossed our scallops with some angel hair pasta, as recommended.

There's a reason why 17 reviewers gave this a 5 out of 5, um it's because this is delicious!

The only change we made to this recipe was to use sweet vermouth rather than dry. The recipe doesn't say  but I think dry vermouth is typically used in cooking dishes.  We only had sweet vermouth leftover from our wedding and decided to give it a shot. Otherwise we will just have vermouth lying around until it is covered in 5 layers of dust.  And you know what? It didn't matter, it was still delicious!

This dish really took me back to the honeymoon in Greece.  The combination of capers and lemon with the chewiness of the scallop reminded me of a dish they have called saganaki.  Saganaki is basically a fried cheese served with lemon and capers. Yum.

Recipe by Ivy Manning, Cooking Light, November 2009

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1/3 cup spinach, 3 scallops, and 1 1/2 tablespoons sauce)


  • 1 1/2  pounds  sea scallops (about 12)
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 5  teaspoons  canola oil, divided
  • 1  garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/2  cup  vermouth
  • 3  tablespoons  chopped fresh parsley
  • 2  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
  • 2  tablespoons  butter
  • 4  teaspoons  capers
  • 1  (10-ounce) package fresh baby spinach


1. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Pat scallops dry with paper towels. Sprinkle salt and freshly ground pepper over scallops. Add 1 tablespoon canola oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add scallops; cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned and done. Remove from pan; keep warm.
2. Reduce heat to medium. Add chopped garlic to pan; cook 10 seconds. Add vermouth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; cook 2 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Remove from heat. Add parsley, fresh lemon juice, butter, and capers, stirring until butter melts. Pour sauce in a bowl.
3. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add spinach; sauté 30 seconds or until spinach almost wilts. Drizzle sauce over scallops; serve with spinach.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 275
Fat: 13.1g (sat 4.2g,mono 5g,poly 2.5g)
Protein: 30.9g
Carbohydrate: 8.3g
Fiber: 1.8g
Cholesterol: 71mg
Iron: 2.8mg
Sodium: 607mg
Calcium: 122mg

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Chicken and Basil Calzones

Who doesn't like bread, melty cheese and great herbs?  Seriously, I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't. 

This is one of our favorite comfort food type recipes.  Using pre-made dough really speeds this along.  I have a feeling if you had kids this would be a fun recipe to make with them. We don't make any changes to this recipe, we love it just as it is!  The great thing for us is that we have 2 people in our household, so this makes enough for two meals!  Reheating is easy, toaster oven or microwave will do (toaster oven if you want the crust to remain crispy). 

As of today's post 12 people rated this a 5 out of 5, I think you will too.

Recipe by Karen Levin, Cooking Light, December 2008

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 calzone)


  • Cooking spray
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  pound  ground chicken breast
  • 3/4  cup  prepared pizza sauce
  • 1/4  teaspoon  crushed red pepper
  • 1/4  cup  chopped fresh basil
  • 1  (13.8-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust dough
  • 1/2  cup  (2 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese


1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add garlic and chicken to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, stirring to crumble. Stir in pizza sauce and pepper. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in basil. Let stand 10 minutes.
3. Unroll dough onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; cut dough into quarters. Pat each portion into an 8 x 6–inch rectangle. Divide chicken mixture evenly among rectangles; top each serving with 2 tablespoons cheese. Working with one rectangle at a time, fold dough in half over filling, pinching edges to seal. Repeat procedure with remaining rectangles. Bake at 425° for 12 minutes or until golden.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 459 (14% from fat)
Fat: 7.1g (sat 1.8g,mono 1g,poly 0.4g)
Protein: 39.1g
Carbohydrate: 56.4g
Fiber: 3g
Cholesterol: 74mg
Iron: 3.7mg
Sodium: 919mg
Calcium: 111mg

Swordfish kebabs with Orange Basil sauce

Swordfish is so tasty. I would eat it more often if fish weren't so expensive. But we were able to get the frozen fillets at Wegman's which were pretty good (skip the Sea bass frozen fillets, they weren't good). 

This recipe is part of the 5 ingredient Cooking Light series that they have in each issue.  All you need are 5 ingredients: swordfish, orange, basil, olive oil and garlic. Since we have olive oil and garlic in the house and basil on the porch, all we needed was an orange and the swordfish.  I love the recipes that are flavorful with only a few ingredients.

We also pulled this dish together quickly. I don't know anyone who would refuse a recipe that calls for few ingredients and a small amount of prep time.

We served it with some instant potatoes to make things easy on ourselves.  The sauce/pesto is delicious, but I love basil like there is no tomorrow so I expected that I would!

Only 2 people reviewed this recipe on myrecipes.com, and they rated it a 4 out of 5.  I would rate it between a 4 and a 4.5. It's definitely a keeper if the non-fish lover likes it!

Recipe by Marge Perry, Cooking Light, June 2010

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 skewer and 2 tablespoons sauce)


  • The 5 Ingredients
  • 1  orange
  • 2  cups  basil leaves
  • 2  tablespoons  olive oil
  • 2  garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 1/2  pounds  swordfish, cut into (1-inch) pieces


Directions: Prepare grill to medium-high heat. Squeeze orange to extract 1/4 cup juice. Combine orange juice, basil leaves, olive oil, and garlic cloves in a mini chopper; add 1/4 teaspoon salt. Process basil leaf mixture until finely chopped. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper evenly over fish; thread fish onto 4 (12-inch) skewers. Grill fish 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness, turning occasionally. Drizzle fish with sauce, or serve sauce separately. Garnish sauce with orange rind, if desired.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 280
Fat: 14g (sat 2.9g,mono 7.7g,poly 2.6g)
Protein: 34.3g
Carbohydrate: 2.8g
Fiber: 0.7g
Cholesterol: 66mg
Iron: 1.9mg
Sodium: 449mg
Calcium: 36mg