Thursday, January 29, 2009

Light Scalloped Potatoes

For those of you that love scalloped potatoes, but don't want all the calories, this recipe is great! No one can tell a difference!

1 onion, diced
1 t. canola oil
1/2 t. salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1 t. fresh thyme
1/4 t. pepper
2 1/2 lbs. potatoes (5 medium),
peeled & sliced 1/8 inch thick
2 c. low-fat milk
2 bay leaves
2 t. cornstarch
1 T. water
3 T. light cream cheese
2 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (1 cup)

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Saute onion in oil with salt. Cover & cook until the onion is softened.
2. Stir in garlic, thyme & pepper and cook about 30 seconds. Add the potatoes, milk & bay leaves. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat, cover & cook about 10 minutes (until the potatoes are almost tender), stirring occasionally.
3. Discard bay leaves. Whisk cornstarch & water together. Add to potatoes & return to a simmer. Off the heat, add the cream cheese & 2 T. of Parmesan. Be careful not to break up the potatoes.
4. Transfer to an 8-inch-square baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Bake 15-20 minutes

Serves 8. Cal 210; Fat 5g; Protein 8g; Fiber 3g

**This is another recipe from The America's Test Kitchen "Family Cookbook"**

Monday, January 26, 2009

Brown Rice and Edamame Salad with Ginger-Lime Dressing

This made a great side dish with our baked chicken last night (salad and rice all rolled into one!), or it would make a great light lunch all by itself. I'm always looking for something different to add to a main dish (other than your standard rice and broccoli or green salad) and found this in my favorite Weight Watchers cookbook.

Brown Rice and Edamame Salad with Ginger-Lime Dressing

1/2 cup quick-cooking brown rice (you could really use a cup of any leftover rice here)
1 1/2 cups frozen shelled edamame
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 carrot, shredded
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced (I used green because I had it and it worked great)
1/2 small red onion, diced

1. Cook the rice according to package directions, omitting any butter or oil. Transfer the rice to a plate to cool.

2. Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add the edamame and cook 5 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, and drain again. Set aside.

3. Whisk together the zest, lime juice, soy sauce, oil, ginger, and salt in a large bowl. Add the rice, edamame, carrot, bell pepper, and onion and toss to combine.

Per serving (1 1/2 cups): 169 Cal, 6 g Fat, 5 g Fiber, 9 g Protein (3 WW points)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Carpet Cleaner

So I know that this isn't a food recipe, but since there have been the "throw-ups" going around, I thought people might need this. If your kid pukes on the carpet, and you just can't get the smell out, use this formula.

1 c. hydrogen peroxide
1 T. baking soda
1 t. dish soap

Mix it up & pour it on your carpet. The amount may need to be doubled (or tripled), depending on the size of the area. Let it dry overnight & vacuum. All smells will be eliminated, guaranteed!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Easy Kabobs

So I wanted to post a super easy, no hassle, kid friendly recipe. I made this for my sis-in-law & her family (4 kids) & they all loved it. Here's what I do:

6 Chicken Breasts, cubed
1/4 bottle A1 Marinade (New Orleans Cajun)
2 Small Zucchini
1 Onion
2 Red Bell Peppers
1 Carton of Mushrooms
1/4. c. Zesty Italian Dressing (Fat Free)

Clean & cube all the veggies & marinade them in Zesty Italian Dressing. Cube up the chicken & marinade in A1 Marinade. Let everything marinade for at least 30 min. Skewer everything onto kabobs, alternating chicken with a few veggies & grill them up.

**This makes 12 HUGE kabobs. It fed 4 adults & 5 kids, so you can half the recipe if your family isn't quite that big.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Zesty Wheat Berry & Black Bean Chili

My mother-in-law made this the other night & it is wonderful!

2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 t. chili powder
1 1/2 t. ground cumin
1 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
2 15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed
2 14 oz.cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can diced chiles
2 c. vegetable broth
2 t. light brown sugar
2 c. cooked wheat berries (simmer for 2 hrs)
Juice of 1 lime
1 avocado, diced
1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro

Saute onion, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper, in olive oil until tender, about 5 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes, chiles, broth and brown sugar. Bring to a boil , reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes.

Stir in cooked wheat berries and heat through, about 5 minutes more. Remove from the heat. Stir in lime juice. Garnish with avocado and cilantro.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I don't have a cute picture to go with this. To be honest, it looks kind of disgusting, but tastes good and (hurray!) is pretty inexpensive to make. But you do have to plan ahead and start it the night before.

This recipe comes from Carol Johnson (my freshman roommate's mom).

1 lb. dry pinto beans
1 onion, chopped
1 pork roast
2 tsp. cumin
1 Tbs. salt
1 4 oz. can diced green chiles
pepper (to your taste)
garlic salt (to your taste)

Sort and wash pinto beans. Soak overnight in crockpot with 6-8 cups of cold water. (Or, if you get up early enough in the morning, you can quick soak them on the stove by boiling for 3 minutes and steaming for one hour.)

In crockpot combine drained and rinsed beans, pork roast, onion, and add enough water to "almost fill crockpot." (Sorry for these directions. My crockpot is 3.5 quarts, and I can usually squeeze around 5 cups of water in there. You want the water to about cover the beans, but too much water can make it soupy.)

Cook all day (6-8 hours) on high. Just before serving, add cumin, salt, green chiles, pepper, and garlic salt. (We usually add 2-4 cloves of garlic instead. You can never have too much garlic!) Stir to shred the pork and mix ingredients together.

We like to eat this on tortillas with taco ingredients: lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, cheese, salsa, hot sauce, etc. You could also try it over rice. It makes TONS of food, so invite a crowd over or plan on freezing half for another night.

Peanut Butter & Banana Muffins

This recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks, "Deceptively Delicious." For those that aren't familiar with the book, it's all about hiding veggies in your kids food. It can take a lot of time to steam & puree all the veggies, so for some of them, I just use baby food. Tyler "helped" me make these & he was so excited to eat the food that he cooked!

1 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. natural peanut butter
1/2 c. carrot or cauliflower puree (I used sweet potato)
1 large egg white
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix together 1/2 c. brown sugar, pb, veggie puree & egg white. In another bowl mix the dry ingredients. Combine, but don't over mix, it will be a little lumpy. Add the other 1/2 c. brown sugar & mix once or twice. Put the batter in greased or paper lined muffin cups & bake 15-20 min. (until a toothpick comes out clean). Cool muffins on a rack.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Lentil and Sweet Italian Sausage Soup

This is a soup that I tried for the first time last week and loved it! I've already passed it on to my mom and it was a success there too. It's an easy soup for a cold day -- and who knew lentils could taste so good. (Shh . . don't tell . . . it's from my favorite Weight Watchers cookbook -- but with sausage, they'll never know!)

6 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (I used Sunflower Market's chicken sausage and it was awesome)
1 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 cup brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
4 cups fat-free lower-sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Spray a 6-quart saucepan with nonstick spray and set over medium0high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned, 4-5 minutes. Stir in the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until the ionion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer 10 minutes.

Stir in the lentils, broth and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the lentils are tender, 30-40 minutes.

Per serving: 308 Calories, 9 g Fat (less with chicken sausage!)

Quick & Easy Cream Biscuits

This recipe is from the America's Test Kitchen. I find that most biscuits are a little dry, and taste of baking soda. But these biscuits are extremely moist & flaky. Just what a biscuit should be. Unfortunately, they aren't so great for that New Year's Resolution that most of us made.

2 c. all purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
2 t. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1 1/4 c. heavy cream (plus or minus)

Preheat oven to 425. Mix together dry ingredients. Add cream until it just comes together. Roll out on floured surface & cut into biscuits. Bake for 12-15 min.

**The key to tender biscuits is NOT to over work them. The less you can work the dough, the fluffier it will be.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Chicken Sate with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce

This is one of our new favorite recipes. I make this at least every other week. We like to eat it like lettuce wraps with brown rice, fresh bean sprouts, sliced scallions & julienned cucumbers, & wedges of lime. And the best part is that we get to eat "exotic" food made with traditional ingredients that come from the pantry!

2 lbs. chicken tenders
1/4 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. canola oil
1/4 c. brown sugar
3 T. ketchup
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 t. Tabasco
4 scallions, sliced thin

Mix all the ingredients above & marinade the chicken for 30 min. Then you can broil them for 8 min. (flipping once), or grill them. Serve with peanut sauce.

Spicy Peanut Sauce:
1/2 c. peanut butter, creamy or chunky
1/4 c. hot water
3 T. lime juice
2 T. ketchup
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. brown sugar
1 T. cilantro, minced
2 scallions, sliced thin
1 1/2 t. Tabasco
1 garlic clove, minced
**If you don't like spicy food, just reduce (or omit) the Tabasco.


So my sis-in-law Heidi gave me the idea to start up a recipe sharing site.  I want this to be a place that all us Moms can share recipes and ideas.  That way, when it's 4:00 and you don't know what you're going to make for dinner, you can come here for a little inspiration.  I've invited a bunch of people, and please feel free to invite more people to the group.  The more people we have contribute, the more recipes we'll have to draw from.  Just add a yummy recipe when you come across one!  Hope you all enjoy it!