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!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Chicken and Mushrooms in Garlic White Wine Sauce

So I must apologize.  I quoted this on the 'upcoming menu items' as  a 'cream' sauce. This is not a cream sauce.  It  is another great solid recipe like the last post about five-spice pork lo mein, but from a different culture.  It calls for egg noodles, which I also really like.  You don't feel as heavy with egg noodles compared to regular noodles. Plus this recipe gives us an excuse (as if we needed one) to open a bottle of wine.  The difficult part is choosing which of our beloved wines to 'throw' into a recipe.

The last couple of recipes have been light on the ratings. This one is not.  As of today's post, 73 (YES SEVENTY-THREE) people gave this an average rating of 4 out of 5.  We've made it several times in our house, which should tell you that it's at least worth trying.

Recipe by David Bonom, Cooking Light, November 2006

Yield: 4 servings


  • 4  ounces  uncooked medium egg noodles
  • 1  pound  skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 2  tablespoons  all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt, divided
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper, divided
  • 2  tablespoons  olive oil, divided
  • 1  tablespoon  bottled minced garlic
  • 1/2  teaspoon  dried tarragon
  • 1  (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
  • 1/2  cup  dry white wine
  • 1/2  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4  cup  grated Parmesan cheese


Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and keep warm.
Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces. Place chicken breast halves in a shallow dish. Combine 1 tablespoon flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, stirring well with a whisk. Sprinkle flour mixture over chicken; toss to coat.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until browned. Remove chicken from pan. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan. Add garlic, tarragon, and mushrooms to pan; sauté for 3 minutes or until liquid evaporates and mushrooms darken. Add white wine to pan; cook 1 minute. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in broth, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper; cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring frequently.
Return chicken to the pan. Cover and simmer 2 minutes. Uncover; cook 1 minute or until chicken is done. Stir in noodles; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Place about 1 1/2 cups chicken mixture on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 1 tablespoon cheese.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 350 (29% from fat)
Fat: 11.1g (sat 2.6g,mono 6.2g,poly 1.4g)
Protein: 34.3g
Carbohydrate: 26.5g
Fiber: 1.2g
Cholesterol: 99mg
Iron: 2.5mg
Sodium: 502mg
Calcium: 91mg

Five-Spice Pork Lo Mein

If you read the ricotta broccoli Alfredo post here, you're probably remembering that awful looking stuff.  Look how appetizing this is in comparison!  This was a super easy and quick meal that we made using soba.  Soba noodles are made from buckwheat, and while I don't know a lot about the differences in pasta, I know that they are tasty. You can find them in the International/Asian section of your grocery store.

We didn't make any changes to the recipe.  We thought the recipe was a good, solid recipe.  It's not among the best we've ever made, but it was really tasty, easy and a great way to get a sampling of that Asian cuisine without all of the bad stuff.  We will make it again, but will add water chestnuts and possibly snap peas for color and crunch.  It was great to have this warm comforting meal on a cold winter's night.

As of today's post, 17 people gave this an average rating of 3 out of 5. Some of the reviewers threw in some additional ingredients, so check them out depending on which add-ins you like.

Recipe by Lorrie Covin, Cooking Light, July 2005

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


  • 8  ounces  uncooked Chinese-style noodles
  • 1  tablespoon  grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 2  teaspoons  five-spice powder
  • 1  (3/4-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into thin strips
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt, divided
  • 2  tablespoons  toasted peanut oil
  • 1/4  cup  water
  • 1/4  cup  hoisin sauce
  • 1/2  cup  chopped green onions


Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. Place in a large bowl. Snip noodles several times with kitchen scissors.
Combine ginger, five-spice powder, and pork in a medium bowl; add 1/4 teaspoon salt, tossing to coat. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork mixture; sauté 2 minutes or until browned. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, water, and hoisin sauce; cook 2 minutes or until pork is done. Add pork mixture and green onions to noodles; toss well to combine.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 273 (29% from fat)
Fat: 8.9g (sat 1.9g,mono 3.6g,poly 2g)
Protein: 16.3g
Carbohydrate: 34.8g
Fiber: 5.7g
Cholesterol: 38mg
Sodium: 399mg
Calcium: 31mg

Sauteed Chicken with Sage Brown Butter AND GARLIC KNOTS

So I know the sauce looks kind of gross in this but it is DELICIOUSDELICIOUSDELICIOUSDELICIOUS.

This is a recipe out of the latest issue of CL and it is soooooooooooooo worth making.  Chicken pounded out into thin cutlets cook so easy, and the sauce was a piece of cake.  CL also provided instructions for how to make browned butter without ruining it, so check out this month's issue if you're interested.  Ahh butter.  I'm a little sad just thinking about this because it was so good.

We didn't make any changes to the recipe.  We served it with garlic knots, another CL recipe and a carrot puree from southern living. 

Now for a little on the garlic knots.  This was our first attempt at knots, so we struggled a little with the shape of them. We made several different 'designs' to see which we liked the best.  Pictured above is the knot, but we found them to be the tastiest when rolled into a pinwheel.  The recipe has you saute garlic, brush the bread with the garlic and sprinkle with chives and Parmesan. However, using the pinwheel shape allows you to tuck in all of the chive and Parmesan goodness.  If you use the knot design, sometimes these pieces can fall out.  They were definitely worth making, but next time we'll be sure to make all of them in a pinwheel design.

As of today's post 11 people gave the chicken an average rating of 4 out of 5.  I would give it a 5, it's so easy and tasty.

Sauteed Chicken with Sage Brown Butter

Recipe by Julianna Grimes, Cooking Light, January 2011

Total: 25 minutes
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 breast half and 1 tablespoon sauce)


  • 4  (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 3  tablespoons  butter
  • 2  sage sprigs
  • 1  tablespoon  minced shallots
  • 1  teaspoon  chopped fresh thyme
  • 2  tablespoons  lemon juice
  • Fresh sage leaves (optional)


1. Place each breast half between 2 sheets of plastic wrap; pound to 1/4-inch thickness. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; coat with cooking spray. Place flour in a shallow dish; dredge chicken in flour. Add chicken to pan; sauté for 4 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan.
2. Add butter and sage sprigs to pan; cook over medium heat until butter browns. Discard sage. Add shallots and thyme; cook for 30 seconds. Add lemon juice; cook for 30 seconds. Serve with chicken. Garnish with sage leaves, if desired.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 326
Fat: 11.1g (sat 6.1g,mono 2.8g,poly 0.9g)
Protein: 41.1g
Carbohydrate: 13.1g
Fiber: 0.5g
Cholesterol: 122mg
Iron: 2mg
Sodium: 320mg
Calcium: 26mg
As of today's post, 5 people gave this an average rating of 4 out of 5.
Recipe by Marge Perry, Cooking Light, May 2000

Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1 roll)


  • 1 1/2  tablespoons  butter or stick margarine
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2  teaspoon  garlic powder
  • 1  (11-ounce) can refrigerated French bread dough
  • 2  tablespoons  chopped fresh chives or green onions
  • 2  tablespoons  grated Parmesan cheese
  • Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350°.
Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic; sauté 30 seconds or until lightly browned. Remove from heat; stir in garlic powder.
Unroll the French bread dough onto a lightly floured surface; brush dough with garlic mixture. Sprinkle the dough with chives and cheese. Cut the dough crosswise into 12 strips. Shape each strip into a knot. Place the knots onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 17 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 81 (29% from fat)
Fat: 2.6g (sat 1.3g,mono 0.8g,poly 0.4g)
Protein: 2.5g
Carbohydrate: 11.6g
Fiber: 0.0g
Cholesterol: 5mg
Iron: 0.6mg
Sodium: 185mg
Calcium: 13mg

Ricotta Fettuccine Alfredo with Broccoli

Look at this picture. It could be my amateur photography skills but does this look appetizing to you? The answer is probably no.  I wish it was a case of 'don't judge a book by it's cover' but unfortunately the story ends in disappointment.  This was T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E.  Now we're not ones to waste food, so we ate the leftovers, but it is a 'never make ever ever again'.  We even added in bacon for a little more protein and I added a little truffle oil and it could not save this recipe. 

We started out hopeful; I needed a recipe to use the rest of my ricotta cheese.  I thought this would be a great low-cal version of Alfredo plus a sneaky way for some veg.  I would have rather eaten plain beans than this meal.  We even used 1% milk instead of skim which should have made it creamier, but it didn't.  Please, do yourself a favor. If you see this recipe, please avoid making it. 

Surprisingly, nine people gave this an average rating of 4 out of 5.  Nine isn't a large number--seems low enough that these people may all have a rare genetic condition where they do not have any taste buds.  

So make at your own risk, but don't say I didn't warn you.....

Recipe by Cooking Light, March 1999

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


  • 2  cups  small broccoli florets
  • 2  tablespoons  butter or stick margarine
  • 2  tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2  cups  fat-free milk
  • 2/3  cup  (2 1/2 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2  cup  grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  coarsely ground black pepper
  • 4  cups  hot cooked fettuccine (about 8 ounces uncooked pasta)
  • 2  tablespoons  minced fresh parsley


Steam broccoli, covered, 3 minutes or until crisp-tender.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook 15 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Stir in cheeses, salt, and pepper, and cook 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Stir in broccoli and pasta. Sprinkle with parsley.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 421 (28% from fat)
Fat: 13.3g (sat 5.3g,mono 4.5g,poly 2.4g)
Protein: 21.5g
Carbohydrate: 53.6g
Fiber: 3.8g
Cholesterol: 23mg
Iron: 3mg
Sodium: 529mg
Calcium: 437mg

Monday, January 10, 2011

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Yes, I am a freak of nature.  I am the person who makes ice cream during winter. I am that person you see outside wearing flip flops when it's 20 degree out, making you think, 'does that idiot realize she is wearing flip flops?!'  I've accepted it.

And it's totally worth it when you have this salted caramel ice cream.  On the last night of our honeymoon, the Paris leg, we searched for a restaurant that had french onion soup and creme brulee (how touristy is that).  Our concierge called a few places and found one close by that had both!  So we walked to the restaurant and saw that their menu did not have french onion soup. The waiters were outside ushering people in and asked us to come in. We asked (in English) 'do you have french onion soup?' And they replied, 'Oh you must be the people from the Victoria Palace hotel.' Silly American tourists.  This story has a point, and I'm getting there...eventually. Anyway, we went in and ate a delicious dinner, including french onion soup.  My husband was there for the creme brulee but as soon as I laid my eyes on a certain dessert, I knew it would be mine.  The dessert was a chocolate ganache cake with SALTED CARAMEL ICE CREAM!  I had heard about salted caramel ice cream from a famous foodie and world-renown dessert expert who I follow on twitter, David Lebovitz.  This guy is a genius.  So I tried the salted caramel ice cream in Paris and it was divine! I could not wait to have more.  So I gave this recipe a shot.

If you're one of those people who likes the salty and sweet combined, this ice cream is for you. It tastes a bit like caramel corn without the popcorn.  I made this up in a jif using my awesome Kitchen Aid ice cream maker! 

I have to be honest about one thing that made me a little sad.  This ice cream did not freeze completely.  We're talking like a more solid version of soft-serve.  I don't know enough about the chemistry of ice cream (surprising, I know), to know whether the salt influences this or the production of caramel in the custard phase affects the freezing point. Who knows.  All I know is that it is delicious.  I didn't serve it with chocolate, like my experience in Paris.  I must say that was a stupid thing to do.  It has to be a dark chocolate, with a thick consistency, to stand up to the flavor of this ice cream.  Ah well, can't win 'em all.

Five people rated this a five, and it's definitely a five.

Recipe by Julianna Grimes, Cooking Light, May 2010

Yield: 10 servings


  • 3 1/2  cups  2% reduced-fat milk
  • 3  large egg yolks
  • 1 1/4  cups  packed brown sugar
  • 1/4  cup  heavy cream
  • 1  tablespoon  butter
  • 1/2  teaspoon  sea salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  flake salt


1. Place milk in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Heat to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge of pan (do not boil). Place egg yolks in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Gradually add half of hot milk to yolks, stirring constantly. Return yolk mixture to pan.
2. Combine sugar, cream, and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil, stirring until sugar melts. Cook 3 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat; stir in sea salt. Gradually add caramel mixture to yolk mixture, stirring constantly. Return pan to low heat; cook until a thermometer registers 160°. Place pan in a large ice-filled bowl until completely cooled, stirring occasionally. Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer; freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Drain ice water from freezer bucket; repack with salt and ice. Cover with kitchen towels, and let stand 1 hour or until firm. Scoop about 1/2 cup ice cream into each of 10 dishes; sprinkle evenly with flake salt.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 241
Fat: 7.9g (sat 4.5g,mono 2.5g,poly 0.5g)
Protein: 4.7g
Carbohydrate: 39g
Fiber: 0.0g
Cholesterol: 99mg
Iron: 0.9mg
Sodium: 370mg
Calcium: 173mg

Soft pretzels mmmmmmmmmmm

So I promised my friend Merle that I would update the blog tonight.  Well 12:17, I guess it's Tuesday by now.  If you're a fan of soft pretzels and you don't mind making the dough from scratch this is a MUST MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKE!  I love soft pretzels and I've wanted to make this recipe ever since I bought the best of 2006 cooking light (at least I think that was the year).  Alas, I did not have a non-aluminum dutch oven to make these.  Enter WEDDING! I now have a non-aluminum dutch oven, which I may have put on the registry with the sole desire to make these.  Luckily the dutch oven has so many other wonderful uses.  As you can see, they turned out awesome!!!  We had them with Wegman's dijon mustard and must have had a bad batch because this mustard is hotter than suicide wings. Holy cow. We're used to hot sauce and horseradish, but this is HOT. Their mustard has never been this hot. So instead of trying to return it, my husband wants to be tough and finish it all.  Anyway back to the pretzel.  Super easy to make, but time consuming since you have to let it rise. The most difficult part for me was shaping the pretzels.  I was so impatient but in the end I think they turned out quite pretty. :)

I wrapped the leftovers in saran wrap and in the morning they were a bit soggy. And where was the salt? Is that mold? I guess leaving them out on the counter was a bad idea because the humidity in the house dissolved the salt.  So next time I think I'll put the leftovers in the fridge.  I microwaved them a bit to soften them up, but it just wasn't the same. Moral of the story? Starve yourself all day so that you can just eat the whole batch of these guys.  Unless the refrigeration method actually works, then you don't need to. Hmm I guess I just have to make these again and report back!

As of today's post, 18 people gave this recipe an average rating of 5 out of 5! I'm pretty sure you should make sure you have the ingredients to make this over the holiday weekend. :)

Recipe by Kathryn Conrad, Cooking Light, October 2005

Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1 pretzel)


  • 1  package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  sugar
  • 1  cup  warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 3 1/4  cups  all-purpose flour, divided (about 14 1/2 ounces)
  • 1  teaspoon  salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 6  cups  water
  • 2  tablespoons  baking soda
  • 1  teaspoon  cornmeal
  • 1  teaspoon  water
  • 1  large egg
  • 2  teaspoons  kosher salt


Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water in a large bowl, and let stand for 5 minutes.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 3 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt to yeast mixture; stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes). Add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel slightly sticky).
Place 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, 40 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425°.
Divide dough into 12 equal portions. Working with one portion at a time (cover remaining dough to prevent drying), roll each portion into an 18-inch-long rope with tapered ends. Cross one end of rope over the other to form a circle, leaving about 4 inches at end of each rope. Twist the rope at the base of the circle. Fold the ends over the circle and into a traditional pretzel shape, pinching gently to seal. Place pretzels on a baking sheet lightly coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 10 minutes (pretzels will rise only slightly).
Combine 6 cups water and baking soda in a nonaluminum Dutch oven. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer. Gently lower 1 pretzel into simmering water mixture; cook 15 seconds. Turn pretzel with a slotted spatula; cook an additional 15 seconds. Transfer pretzel to a wire rack coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining pretzels.
Place pretzels on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Combine 1 teaspoon water and egg in a small bowl, stirring with a fork until smooth. Brush a thin layer of egg mixture over pretzels; sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake at 425° for 12 minutes or until pretzels are deep golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 141 (12% from fat)
Fat: 1.9g (sat 0.2g,mono 0.6g,poly 0.6g)
Protein: 4.3g
Carbohydrate: 26.8g
Fiber: 1.1g
Cholesterol: 18mg
Iron: 1.8mg
Sodium: 541mg
Calcium: 8mg

Saturday, January 1, 2011


So I wanted to give you a summary of the best dishes we've made this year.  However, when I picked out the list of my favorites, we had over 30 recipes.  We've made a lot of really delicious food this year and the majority of the recipes will go into the book.  But it would be pointless to give you a list of 90% of the things we've made, so I forced myself (and B.) to come up with the best of the best.

You'll probably be able to tell which ones were at the very top of his list and which ones were at the top of mine. I think we can agree that this list is not comprehensive and that we both (at the very least) liked what each other chose.  I realize that some family and friends may call me out for a lot of these, since there are some recipes we've made for YEARS (ahem, tuna London broil since we met three years ago...)

In no particular order:

Spinach, green onion, and smoked gouda quiche

Crab Cakes

Chicken and wild rice salad with almonds

Chicken Chilaquiles

Candied-walnut, pear and leafy green salad

Peppercorn-crusted pork tenderloin

Tuna "London broil" with wasabi cream

Curried vegetable samosas with cilantro-mint chutney

Avocado-buttermilk crab salad

Spicy Shrimp tacos with grilled tomatillo salsa

Chicken and basil calzones

Deep dish Pepperoni pizza

Blue cheese-stuffed chicken with Buffalo sauce

French Onion soup

Butternut squash gratin with sage and blue cheese

Best Desserts:

Butter crunch lemon-cheese bars

Spicy autumn crisp

Best Breads:

Ham and cheese scones

sour cream, green onion, cheddar drop biscuits

Fancy New Year's Eve Dinner (Crabcakes and Brussels Sprouts)

After a very hectic and stressful year (what did you think wedding planning was easy!?), we wanted to take NYE easy this year.  We had a bunch of wonderful friends who were doing fun and fancy things, but in the end we just wanted something low key where we could wear sweats.  So we decided that instead of the money spent on a night out, that we would spend our money preparing a great NYE dish.  Crab cakes topped the list and we had the perfect recipe for them.  We've made this crab cakes recipe back in 2008 when it first came out, but haven't made it since (crab is expensive, even in DC).  So we had it in our recipe book and decided to make it again.

I paired it with another recipe we've made before: Roasted Brussels sprouts and apples.  Brussels sprouts have gotten a bad rep over the years, and if they're roasted, are quite tasty.  It's amazing to see what you might like if you try it.  You just never know. 

Back to the crab cakes.  O-M-G. I thought to myself, I remember liking this recipe but it's just crab cakes, they're all made the same right? WRONG. I completely forgot how freaking incredible this recipe is.  The red onion, panko and Worcestershire, mmmmmmmm.  The tangy butter sauce is great as well--white wine vinegar with shallots was really great. 

We didn't make any changes to the crab cake recipe, except we cut it in half.  The hubby was in charge of getting crab meat and bought a pound of crab when we only needed 8 oz for the two of us. So instead of leftover crab cakes, we're going to make the Buttermilk Avocado soup with Crab topping again, double mmmmm.

The Brussels sprouts were a nice compliment to the crab cakes for a light meal.  We added in an extra 1/2 C of apples, because I remembered that it needed more apples from the last time we made this. We also had to roast the Brussels sprouts about twice as long.  I don't like Brussels sprouts crunchy so I'd rather take the time to roast them longer. You may decide you like them a bit crunchy. To each their own. 

We served this with one of our white wines from Greece. It was AAAAAAAAAAAMAZING. It was also a bit sad.  With each bottle we drink, we have one fewer.  Since white wines don't age as well as reds, we have to drink the remainder of our Greek wines relatively soon.  But we will always have the memory.

As of this post, six people gave the Brussels sprouts and apples an average rating of 4 out of 5 and thirty-five people gave the crab cakes an average rating of 4 out of 5.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2011!

Crab cakes with tangy butter sauce

Recipe by David Bonom, Cooking Light, April 2008

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 crab cakes, about 1 cup vegetables, and about 1 1/2 tablespoons sauce)


  • Crab cakes:
  • 1/4  cup  finely chopped red onion
  • 2  tablespoons  chopped fresh parsley
  • 3  tablespoons  light mayonnaise
  • 2  teaspoons  Dijon mustard
  • 3/4  teaspoon  Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2  teaspoon  Worcestershire sauce
  • 2  egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1  pound  lump crabmeat, drained and shell pieces removed
  • 1 1/2  cups  panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), divided
  • 1  tablespoon  olive oil, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • Vegetables:
  • 21  baby carrots (about 12 ounces)
  • 5  small red potatoes, quartered (about 8 ounces)
  • 4  medium shallots, halved lengthwise
  • 1/8  teaspoon  salt
  • 8  ounces  haricots verts, trimmed
  • Sauce:
  • 2/3  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 3  tablespoons  chopped shallots
  • 2  tablespoons  white wine vinegar
  • 2 1/2  tablespoons  butter


1. To prepare crab cakes, combine first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl. Gently fold in crabmeat. Gently stir in 3/4 cup panko. Cover and chill 30 minutes.
2. Divide crab mixture into 8 equal portions (about 1/2 cup each); shape each into a 3/4-inch-thick patty. Place remaining 3/4 cup panko in a shallow dish. Working with 1 patty at a time, dredge in panko. Repeat procedure with the remaining patties and panko.
3. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat both sides of crab cakes with cooking spray. Add 4 crab cakes to pan; cook 7 minutes. Carefully turn cakes over; cook 7 minutes or until golden. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, cooking spray, and remaining 4 crab cakes.
4. Preheat oven to 450°.
5. To prepare vegetables, leave root and 1-inch stem on carrots; scrub with a brush. Combine carrots, potatoes, and shallots in a small roasting pan. Coat vegetables with cooking spray; sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Toss. Bake at 450° for 20 minutes, turning once. Coat haricots verts with cooking spray. Add haricots verts to vegetable mixture; toss. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
6. To prepare sauce, combine broth, shallots, and vinegar in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 1/4 cup (about 4 minutes); remove from heat. Stir in butter. Serve with crab cakes and vegetables.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 443 (34% from fat)
Fat: 16.7g (sat 5.6g,mono 5.2g,poly 2.9g)
Protein: 32.8g
Carbohydrate: 42g
Fiber: 7g
Cholesterol: 103mg
Iron: 2mg
Sodium: 969mg
Calcium: 163mg
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Apples
Cooking Light, November 2009
Yield: 2 servings (serving size: 3/4 cup)


  • 1/2  cup  diced apple
  • 8  ounces  Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • 2  tablespoons  apple cider
  • 2  teaspoons  olive oil
  • 1  teaspoon  minced fresh thyme
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/8  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Combine apple and Brussels sprouts in an 11 x 7–inch baking dish. Add apple cider, olive oil, minced fresh thyme, salt, and freshly ground black pepper; toss well. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until sprouts are tender.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 109
Fat: 4.9g (sat 0.7g,mono 3.3g,poly 0.7g)
Protein: 3.6g
Carbohydrate: 15.8g
Fiber: 4.7g
Cholesterol: 0.0mg
Iron: 1.6mg
Sodium: 321mg
Calcium: 47mg

Vanilla Buttermilk Pound Cakes with Kahlua Fudge Sauce

This is part of our New Year's Eve dinner.  Why am I posting it before the actual NYE dinner? Because we made it early and served it to our friend Kirsten, our faithful cat sitter.  Without Kirsten we would not be able to visit our families over the holidays or to have taken a two week honeymoon.  So we made her a delicious dinner of the previous two postings (fruit and walnut-stuffed pork loin with new potatoes and roasted garlic vinaigrette) and this for dessert, to thank her.

The pound cake is one of those recipes that I've wanted to make as long as I could remember.  I'm not usually a huge pound cake person, it's just a bit dense for me.  But this one spoke to me for some reason so I figured this was as good a time as any to make it.  We've made the Kahlua fudge sauce before (and I think we may have even served it with a store-bought pound cake) and it is delicious.

The result? AWESOME.  This is the best pound cake I've ever had.  The buttermilk makes it so moist and chewy that you will want more.  The best part is that this makes a lot, but you can freeze it for up to a few months if wrapped well.

As of this post, 15 people gave the pound cakes an average rating of 4 out of 5.  I think it's a five.  Two reviewers gave the Kahlua fudge sauce a 5 out of 5. 

Vanilla Buttermilk Pound Cakes

Recipe by Marcia Whyte Smart, Cooking Light, November 2008

Yield: 5 loaves, 6 servings per loaf (serving size: 1 slice)


  • 13.5  ounces  all-purpose flour (about 3 cups)
  • 1  teaspoon  baking powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 2  cups  sugar
  • 3/4  cup  butter, softened
  • 1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 3  large eggs
  • 1 1/3  cups  low-fat buttermilk
  • Cooking spray


1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients (through salt); stir with a whisk. Place sugar, butter, and vanilla in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and buttermilk to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
3. Spoon batter into 5 (5 3/4 x 3 3/4–inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pans. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 144 (32% from fat)
Fat: 5.1g (sat 3.1g,mono 1.4g,poly 0.2g)
Protein: 2.2g
Carbohydrate: 22.3g
Fiber: 0.3g
Cholesterol: 34mg
Iron: 0.7mg
Sodium: 95mg
Calcium: 25mg
Kahlua Fudge Sauce
Recipe by Cooking Light, July 1999

Yield: 1 3/4 cups (serving size: 1 tablespoon)


  • 1  (14-ounce) can low-fat sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2  cup  boiling water
  • 6  tablespoons  unsweetened cocoa
  • 1  teaspoon  instant espresso or 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
  • 3  tablespoons  Kahlúa (coffee-flavored liqueur)


Place milk in a small saucepan; cook 5 minutes over low heat. Combine water, cocoa, and espresso in a small bowl, stirring until granules dissolve. Stir cocoa mixture into milk; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in liqueur; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat. Serve warm or chilled.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 52 (12% from fat)
Fat: 0.7g (sat 0.5g,mono 0.2g,poly 0.0g)
Protein: 1.4g
Carbohydrate: 9.7g
Fiber: 0.0g
Cholesterol: 2mg
Iron: 0.2mg
Sodium: 15mg
Calcium: 38mg

New potatoes with Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette

First of all, I'd like to thank my mom for giving us this great pasta bowl set, which is the backdrop for this picture. Thanks mom!

We made these potatoes with the previous post, Fruit and Walnut-stuffed pork loin.  It worked out well because both of these recipes called for an hour of cook time at the same temperature (400).  We didn't have new potatoes, so we just used regular red potatoes cut up smaller.  Otherwise, we didn't make any changes to this recipe.

In a word: delish.  The white wine vinegar in this is really great. 

As of this post, 18 people gave it a rating of 5 out of 5. Can't argue with that!

Recipe by Mark Scarbrough, Cooking Light, November 2008

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: about 3/4 cup)


  • 3  tablespoons  olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/4  teaspoons  kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 7  garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 3  pounds  small red potatoes, quartered
  • 3  tablespoons  minced chives
  • 2  tablespoons  white wine vinegar
  • 2  teaspoons  Dijon mustard


1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Combine 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, garlic, and potatoes in a roasting pan or jelly-roll pan; toss well to coat. Bake at 400° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until tender, stirring after 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes.
3. Squeeze garlic cloves to extract pulp. Discard skins. Combine garlic pulp, remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, chives, vinegar, and mustard in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add potatoes to bowl; toss well to coat.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 170 (28% from fat)
Fat: 5.3g (sat 0.8g,mono 3.7g,poly 0.6g)
Protein: 3.4g
Carbohydrate: 28.3g
Fiber: 3g
Cholesterol: 0.0mg
Iron: 1.3mg
Sodium: 335mg
Calcium: 23mg

Fruit and Walnut-stuffed Pork Loin

I love a roulade.  It's like a special surprise wrapped up in the middle.  This one calls for dried fruits, rehydrated in red wine and triple sec (um, YUM!).  Luckily, we found the perfect sized pork loin at Wegman's, so we were on our way.  I had dried cherries and apricots, so instead of the additional dried plums, just added in more of those two fruits.  For the wine, we used Red Diamond Cabernet Sauvignon, a wine you can easily find at your grocery store (if your state permits the sale of alcohol in grocery stores).  Since we had most of the ingredients on-hand, and tag-teamed this recipe, it came together quickly.

Instead of cutting the pork into the recommended 16 slices, we decided to cut into 8 larger slices instead.  Our pork looks pink in the picture but I can assure you as an infectious disease aficionado, we cooked our pork to the appropriate 155 degree temperature.  We served a mint pea puree (not Cooking Light but Claire Robinson from Food Network) and Roasted potatoes with a roasted garlic vinaigrette (recipe in the next post).

In the end, this was delicious.  The combination of fruits and nuts and pork with a crunchy outside was a great combination.  I think we liked it and would definitely make it again.

As of this post, 13 people gave this an average rating of four out of 5.

Recipe by Julianna Grimes, Cooking Light, September 2008

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 2 slices)


  • 1/2  cup  dry red wine
  • 1/4  cup  dried sour cherries
  • 1/4  cup  chopped dried apricots
  • 1/4  cup  chopped dried plums
  • 2  tablespoons  Triple Sec (orange-flavored liqueur)
  • 1/3  cup  finely chopped walnuts
  • 2  tablespoons  chopped shallots
  • 1 1/4  teaspoons  salt, divided
  • 1/2  teaspoon  grated lemon rind
  • 2  (1-ounce) slices French bread
  • 1  teaspoon  chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  (2 1/2-pound) boneless center-cut pork loin roast, trimmed
  • 2  tablespoons  Dijon mustard
  • Cooking spray
  • Parsley sprigs (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH 2 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes or until fruit is plump. Drain mixture through a sieve, reserving fruit mixture. Combine fruit mixture, walnuts, shallots, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and rind.
3. Combine 3/4 teaspoon salt, French bread, and next 3 ingredients (through garlic) in a food processor; process until fine crumbs form.
4. Cut pork in half lengthwise, cutting to, but not through, other side; open halves, laying the pork flat. Starting from center, cut each half lengthwise, cutting to, but not through, other side; open halves, laying pork flat. Cover with plastic wrap; pound to an even thickness. Discard plastic wrap. Spread fruit mixture over pork, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Roll up pork, jelly-roll fashion, starting with one long side. Secure with wooden picks. Sprinkle outside of pork evenly with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; brush evenly with mustard. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over pork; press gently to adhere. Place pork on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 55 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 155°. Let pork stand 10 minutes. Remove wooden picks. Cut into 16 (1/2-inch-thick) slices. Garnish with parsley sprigs, if desired.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 323 (35% from fat)
Fat: 12.4g (sat 3.7g,mono 4.5g,poly 3.1g)
Protein: 29.7g
Carbohydrate: 18.9g
Fiber: 1.4g
Cholesterol: 79mg
Iron: 1.9mg
Sodium: 573mg
Calcium: 41mg

Beer-braised Beef

I love a good slow cooker meal.  I was searching for a recipe that would use the top round beef I bought on sale a few months ago.  Enter: beer-braised beef.  This recipe calls for light beer, I think we used miller lite.  I honestly think that it would be better with a darker beer, more like a lager for more flavor. 

This was OK. We ate it the first night begrudgingly and then added so much hot sauce the second night that you could really only taste hot sauce.  It just didn't have enough of a flavor punch for us.  Instead of serving this over potatoes, as suggested in the recipe, we served it over brown rice.  It just seemed to make better sense (and other reviewers seem to agree).  It is a very easy recipe though and just because we didn't like it doesn't mean that you won't. 

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

Prep Time: 4 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours, 7 minutes
Stand: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup)


  • 1  cup  refrigerated prechopped onion
  • Cooking spray
  • 1  pound  boneless top round steak, trimmed
  • 1  (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano, undrained
  • 1/2  cup  light beer
  • 2  tablespoons  molasses
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt


1. Place onion in a 3- to 3 1/2-quart electric slow cooker coated with cooking spray.
2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; coat pan with cooking spray. Add steak; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Place steak over onion in cooker; pour tomatoes and beer over steak. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or until steak is very tender.
3. Shred steak with 2 forks in slow cooker; stir in molasses and salt. Let steak stand 10 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 265 (28% from fat)
Fat: 8g (sat 3.1g,mono 3.4g,poly 0.3g)
Protein: 25.5g
Carbohydrate: 20.4g
Fiber: 1.5g
Cholesterol: 64mg
Iron: 3.7mg
Sodium: 514mg
Calcium: 64mg