Thursday, June 25, 2009

Vanilla Berry Almond Cake

1 box vanilla cake mix, mixed as directed on box
3 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. almond extract
1 pint raspberries, rinsed
8 oz. fat free cream cheese
4 C. milk, divided, 1% or fatfree
2 pkgs. instant vanilla pudding mix
12 oz. whipped topping, light
2 C. sweetened, flaked coconut
1 1/2 C. almonds, sliced

Heat oven to temperature called for on cake mix box.

To cake mix batter, add extracts, mix well.

Grease the bottom of 2 13x9" baking dishes. Pour half of the cake batter into each pan and bake as directed, cake is done when it's golden on top.

Cool completely. Top each cake evenly with raspberries.

Mix until smooth cream cheese and 1 C. milk. Add remaining milk and pudding, beat well.
Pour over cakes, Top with whipped topping and sliced almonds.

Refrigerate immediately.

Serves: 30-36
Serve within 72 hours.

Pork Medallions and Grilled Mango

I'm looking for something a little fancy and fun for my summer BBQing - to me, it's all about the flavors, and nothing says summer quite like grilled fruit, and no meat pairs better with summer fruits than pork.

Here's what I'm grillin' this weekend!

1-2 lbs. pork tenderloin, sliced into 1/2" thick medallions
2-3 large mangoes, peeled and sliced 1/2" thick
2-3 T. lemon juice
1 clove garlic
1 tsp. salt
1 T. black pepper

Rub meat with garlic and pepper, sprinkle lemon juice over pork and mango, sprinkle all with salt.
On a grill, over a medium high heat, grilled pork, once you flip to grill the other side, place mango on grill - away from direct flame. Mango is done when it has the pretty grill marks. Pork is done when no longer pink.
Serve over rice with garden salad.

Yield = 4-5 servings.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Classic Party Salad

1/2 head of Iceberg lettuce
1 heart of Romaine
1/4 medium red or orange bell pepper
1 C. shredded carrot
1/3 C. almonds
1/2 C. shredded parmesan
1/4 C. shredded colby jack cheese
2 T. basil (dried)

Toss together, serve with dressing. Top with croutons if desired.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hamburger Gravy

2 envelopes of gravy mix
1 lb. ground beef, chicken, or turkey
2 cloves garlic
1/4 small onion, chopped fine or 1 1/2 T. dry minced onion
salt & pepper

Prepare gravy according to package directions. Brown meat in separate skillet, adding in onion and garlic. Combine, season to taste, and serve over rice, mashed potatoes, or egg noodles.

Yield = 4-5 servings.

Homestyle Hash

1 lb. cooked pork, turkey, beef, or chicken - cubed
8 medium potatoes, boil/baked, peeled and cubed
4 oz. mushrooms, quartered (optional)
1/4 medium white onion, chopped fine or 2 T. dry minced onion
1 envelope of gravy
salt & pepper.

Lightly sautee mushrooms in 1 tsp. oil.
Meanwhile prepare gravy according to package directions. Once it reaches the desired thickness, stir in potatoes, mushrooms, onion, and meat. Season to taste.

Servings = 4-5

Serve with toast and fruit/salad.

Chicago Omelet

12 eggs, 4 yolks removed
2-3 T. cold water
1/2 C. shredded Mexican blend cheeses (or cheddar, any variety)
4 oz. mushrooms, sliced very thin
1/2 medium red bell pepper, finely diced
6 sausage links, chopped (optional)
2 tsp. parlsey
salt & pepper

In a small skillet, lightly sauteed the mushrooms in cooking spray for 5-7 minutes, til almost tender.

Meanwhile mix well egg and water. Stir in cheese, mushrooms, bell pepper, sausage, and parsley. Season to taste.

Cook in a wide, shallow skillet, turning over once the bottom of the egg mixture is firm and lightly golden.

Serve with toast, hashbrowns, and juice.
Yield = 3-4 servings

Monday, June 8, 2009

Mediterranean Chicken Pasta

Those this sounds fancy, it's a great way to re-invent some leftovers - leftover Italian Chicken, that is. Though it isn't my original recipe - I can't help but brag about how yummy this is! It's a light, refreshing take on chicken, absolutely perfect for summer. The best part - it still packs a powerful wallop of flavor, great for pairing with rice and pasta dishes. What can't be beat? It leaves your wallet full, your taste buds tingling, and doesn't take much time or effort.

2 C. Italian pulled chicken
1 lb. angel hair pasta, cooked according to package directions
1/4 lb. cremini mushrooms, sliced thin
1/2 medium red bell pepper, sliced very thin
4 T. margarine
1 T. minced garlic (more if you prefer - I do!)
salt & pepper

Lightly sauteed the mushrooms in a wide, shallow skillet with 1 T. margarine, salt & pepper to taste, add in sliced bell pepper, cook for addditional 3-5 minutes. Melt remaining margarine, stir in garlic. Stir in remaining ingredients, toss to coat.

Yield = 6-8 servings.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Italian-style salad

1 head green or red leaf lettuce (or half of each)
3 T. each oregano and basil or 2 palmfuls of Italian seasoning
1/2 lb. cooked Italian style sausage
1 C. crumbled mozzarella
1/4 red onion - finely diced
1 medium bell pepper (red, orange, or yellow work fine) - thinly sliced
2 plum tomatoes, cut in half and sliced very thin

Toss together all ingredients, serve with lowfat Italian dressing or garlic Caesar dressing and garlic bread.

Yields - 4 servings

Raspberry Swirl Coffee Cake

1 pkg. white or vanilla cake mix
2 eggs, minus one yolk
1/3 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. each unsweetened applesauce and orange juice or water
1 tsp. almond extract
2 tsp. vanilla
6-10 oz. raspberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 C. white chocolate chips

1/2 C. brown sugar
2 T. cold margarine
1 C. oats
1 tsp. ginger
(In medium bowl, mix together til crumbly)

Preheat oven to 375.

Grease a 13x9" baking dish.

Mix well ingredients except chips. Stir in raspberries and white chocolate.

Spread evenly into prepared baking dish. Top with streusel topping.

Bake for 24-27 minutes.

Cool, dust with powdered sugar, and cut.

Semi-Homemade Pasta Sauce with roasted red peppers

1 jar, 28-33 oz. pasta sauce, any tomato-based variety
1/4 C. water
1/4 medium onion, chopped fine
2 red bell peppers - julienned
2 T. Italian seasoning blend (or 2 tsp. oregano and 2 T. basil)
2 T. minced garlic

Place julienned peppers on a baking sheet and roast at 450 for 10 minutes. Cool and chop.
Meanwhile, in a large pot, add medium onion with 1/2 tsp. olive oil and cut til tender. Add in all remaining ingredients, heat through.
Serve over cooked pasta

Yield = 4 servings.

All American Salad

1 head Iceberg lettuce
1/4 lb. deli sliced ham, cut into strips
4-6 slices American cheese, cut into strips
1/4 medium onion - cut into thin strips
2 plum tomatoes - cut into wedges

Toss together lettuce, onion, and tomato - top with ham and cheese.
Serve with salad dressing and bacon bits, if desired.

Yields = 4 servings

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Simple Steakhouse Burger

1 1/4 lb. ground chuck
1/4 lb. ground turkey
1/3 C. A-1 steak sauce
2 T. each dry minced onion and minced garlic (or 3 cloves, finely chopped)
2 tsp. each salt & pepper

Mix well, all ingredients. Form into 6 patties.
Cook over a medium-high heat on grill or in a nonstick skillet.
Turn over once, after 4-6 minutes, depending on desired doneness.

Serve on a bun, with lettuce, onion, and mayo. Top with additional A-1 if desired.

Yield = 6 servings

5 Ingredient Salad - A Salad A Day

I have been eating salad sporadically for the last month and have been able to drop 1/2 a pants size (always good), so my current initiative is to come up with a new salad recipe each day and not have the same salad twice in any given week - this will be the Salad A Day plan. Each day, a new salad - and another step to dropping those pesky extra pounds!

1 heart of Romaine ($.48), gently torn into bite-sized pieces
1 palmful of dried cranberries
2-3 T. chopped green onion
1/8 C. shredded colby jack cheese
Thousand Island Dressing

Toss 2 C. lettuce with remaining ingredients. Top with dressing. Enjoy!
Tune in tomorrow to see what salad I'm eating.
Yields - 1 large salad

Easy Cheesy Quesadillas

I love Mexican food - it's an all-time favorite for me, especially as many of the dishes adapt well to budget cooking and low-fat variations. What's not to love? Here's a quick recipe for some tasty quesadillas:

8 tortillas, corn (flour is okay, too)
1/4 C. shredded colby jack cheese
1/2 C. shredded sharp cheddar
2 tsp. finely chopped onion
1 tsp. finely chopped garlic
1 tsp. dried cilantro

Toss cheeses with spices. On a hot griddle pan, lay down 4 tortillas, toped with cheese mixture, top each with a tortilla. Grill til cheese is melted.

Serve with lettuce, salsa, and sour cream.

Yield = 4 quesadillas or 16 quesadilla wedges (appetizer-style)

Variations: add 1/4 C. shredded pork, chicken, or beef to cheese mixture.
Add 1 C. roasted or raw veggies to cheese mixture, I recommend bell pepper, julienned carrots, onion, mushrooms.

Sweet & Savory Roasted Pork Tenderloin

3.5-5 lb. pork tenderloin
1/2 C. brown sugar
2 tsp. rosemary
2 T. minced garlic
1-2 tsp. black pepper
1 C. apple juice
cooking spray

In small bowl, combine brown sugar and dry spices. Rub generously over meat.

In a large skillet, spray with cooking spray and cook the pork for 10-12 minutes over a high heat - browning the outside.

Place meat and apple juice into a pre-heated crockpot and cook for 6-8 hours on low.

Serve with salad and your favorite side dish.

Yields = 8-10 servings

Variation: replace rosemary with ginger (2-3 tsp.)
Slice meat thin and pile high for sammies

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Herbed Scrambled Eggs

12 eggs, minus 3-4 yolks, scrambled with 2-3 T. milk
1/4 medium red bell pepper, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. parsley
1 T. margarine
salt & pepper
*1/3 C. shredded cheddar cheese

In a large, non-stick skillet, melt margarine. Add all remaining ingredients and cook over a medium low heat for 7-9 minutes.
Serve with toast, English muffins, bagels, or biscuits.
Yield = 4 servings