Thursday, December 9, 2010

Super Salmon

I love this salmon recipe. This is one of my picky first grader's favorite dishes.

The quote from hubby: "Are you sure this is healthy? This tastes way too good to be healthy."

One large salmon filet (Costco's are delicious)
"I can't believe it's not butter" spray
Lemon pepper

Cover a cookie sheet (or something similar to it) in tin foil. Lay salmon flat on top. Spray with "I can't believe it's not butter" all over the top, season liberally with the lemon pepper. Broil uncovered on low for 25-35 minutes in the oven until delightfully crispy on top, but flaky, moist, and tender inside.

Olive Garden Salad

My friend Allison has salad dressing running through her veins. I know I can always count on her for a yummy salad recipe. She gave me this awesome recipe that was originally from It turned out just like the Olive Garden! Yummy!
(Using fat-free mayo and light corn syrup, this dressing is only 34 calories for 2 tbs of dressing!)
Olive Garden Salad Dressing:
½ c. mayonnaise
1/3 c. white vinegar
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 Tb. corn syrup
2 Tb. Parmesan cheese
2 Tb. Romano cheese
¼ tsp garlic salt – or one clove garlic, minced
½ tsp Italian seasoning
½ tsp parsley flakes
1 Tb. lemon juice
1 tsp white sugar

1 large head romaine lettuce
slices red onion
black olives
2-4 banana peppers
2 small tomatoes, quartered (I actually used grape tomatoes, cut in half)
½ c. croutons
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

For homemade croutons:
4 slices sandwich bread
1 clove garlic, minced
3 Tb. butter
salt and pepper
dried parsley flakes

Mix all dressing ingredients in a blender until well mixed. If this is a little too tart for your own personal tastes, add a little extra sugar, but don't overdo it!

Chill one salad bowl in freezer for at least 30 minutes. Put lettuce in bowl. Place on top of lettuce red onions, black olives, banana peppers, tomatoes, and croutons. Add some freshly grated Parmesan cheese if you like, and add plenty of Olive Garden Salad Dressing on top.

For the homemade croutons:
Cut off crusts of sandwich bread, and cut bread into cubes. Melt butter in small saucepan and add minced garlic. Toss sandwich cubes in the butter and spread out in a pan. Sprinkle salt and pepper and parsley flakes to taste. Bake for 15 minutes at 350°, turning half way through baking.

I did not make the croutons, but I think I will try it next time!! And I will use an electric knife to cut them!

Cottage Cheese Pancakes With Orange Butter Sauce

I fell in love with this dish from my friend Hilary C. at a breakfast recipe exchange several years ago. It is delicious and hearty. I get easily overwhelmed by traditional pancakes and usually start looking for the bacon and eggs after a few bites to counteract my sugar-headache; I can eat a dozen of these without feeling sugared out. The high-protein content of these pancakes combines very well with the sweetness of the orange sauce, or any syrup really. The pancakes have a beautiful texture and they do not taste "eggy".
6 eggs
2 cups of cottage cheese
1 or 1 and 1/2 cups flour

Mix together in a blender until smooth. You might have to stir a few times with the power off to make sure it is blending thoroughly. *Update: I now blend the eggs and cottage cheese in a blender -- without the flour. Then pour the mixture into a bowl. Add flour and use a handmixer to beat until smooth. Use a 1/4 cup scoop to make 15 pancakes. Drop onto the griddle and spread it out a little with a spoon. Makes 15 pancakes at 98 calories each.

Pour on griddle and cook on medium heat. These take a litte longer than normal pancakes. Cook till golden brown. Makes approximately 16 4-inch pancake medallions. They reheat just fine in the microwave! A nice make-ahead breakfast.

Orange Sauce*
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup orange juice (Simply Orange is kinda pricey, but it really does have the orangey-est result. I use any kind of oj and it tastes delicious!)
4 T grated orange peel (optional: I have never done this because I never have spare oranges on hand --and I'm lazy-- but it may add even more to the yummy orangeness and I plan to do it some day)

Melt butter and sugar in saucepan, being careful not to let it burn. Add orange juice and set mixture aside to cool for 5+ minutes. Add eggs. Bring to little bubbly boil and boil for one minute stirring constantly. Remove from heat, pour sauce through a strainer to catch any eggs you accidentally scrambled. I would add the orange peel here (if you are going to use it), since it will get strained out if you do it earlier. Then warm the sauce again for another minute or so. Serve over cottage cheese pancakes.

*Sauce can be frozen and scooped out of freezer bag in desired serving increments if you make this in large enough quantities that you want to save it for a later date. Just reheat on stove or in microwave.

Spinach Pasta Salad

I originally got this yummy recipe from my sister, Heather. I love it and make it all the time. I have been working on it for a few years, tweaking to maximize taste and texture while minimizing caloric content. I'm there!*

1/2 lb. rotini pasta, cooked al dente, drain, rinse in cold water
1.5 C cooked chopped chicken
4 cups fresh spinach, shredded/torn
1/2 C black olives, chopped in 1/4’s
2 oz. Feta cheese, crumbled
1.5 cups diced tomtatoes (grape tomatoes, YUM!)
1/2 C monterrey jack cheese, shredded

1 Tbs Dijon mustard
4 Tbs olive oil**
5 Tbs vinegar
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 Tbs honey
1 clove garlic, minced

Blend dressing ingredients. Pour over mixed salad. Refrigerate 20-30 minutes before serving. Salt to taste at table.

*This makes 12 delicious 1-cup servings, 178 calories each. Not bad for all that pasta and cheese!

**If the dressing is too tart, add another Tbs of olive oil.

No-Cream Creamy Potato Soup

I make this super-delicious soup all winter long. I have tweaked this and tweaked this to (what I consider) perfection. It's very flavorful. NO butter and NO cream!! (And no "floury" taste!) This recipe makes 9 generous 2-cup servings, only 242 calories each! 242 calories for 2 cups of creamy soup?? Can't beat that! Don't let the nutrition fool you: it's powerfully delicious and gets gushing reviews whenever I serve it.
6 cups peeled and cubed potatoes*
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups diced carrots
5 cube chicken bouillon
4 cups water
1 tbs dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt**
2 pinch ground black pepper
2 Tbs all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
2 cups chopped ham (or hamburger)

In a large pot, add potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, chicken bouillon, water, parsley flakes, salt, and pepper and simmer covered until vegetables become tender (approx 45-60 minutes. Carrots take the longest.) Stir occasionally.

When veggies are tender, in a separate bowl (or food processor) mix flour and milk. Once it is well blended, add to soup mixture and cook until soup becomes thick (approx 5-7 minutes).

Take a potato masher and gently smash around the pot, just enough to squash some of the potato chunks, but not all. It makes the soup creamier!

Stir in cheese, cooked ham or hamburger and simmer until cheese is melted (approx 1-3 minutes). Serve! Yummy!

*Try not to make any changes until you have tried it this way first! Adding more potatoes, water, or milk totally changes the end result. When you are boiling the veggies, it may look like there is not enough water. Trust in the process!!

**Add more salt if needed, but remember that with leftovers, the salt will have had a chance to leak out of the ham, so be careful you don't overdo it!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Citrus Chicken

I made this last night and it was SO good (and super easy)! I let it marinate a little longer than the recipe called for (I forgot about it in the fridge...) and it was still great. Instead of putting the chicken on top of spinach I put it on steamed green beans. The marinade makes enough for about 4 chicken breasts. (From Cooking Light)

· 1/4 cup orange juice
· 1/2 teaspoon grated lime rind
· 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
· 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
· 2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
· 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
· 1/4 teaspoon salt
· 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
· 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast cutlets
· 1 tablespoon olive oil
· Cooking spray
· 6 cups bagged prewashed baby spinach
Combine first 8 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Pour 1/4 cup juice mixture into a large zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken to bag. Seal; let stand 5 minutes. Add oil to remaining juice mixture; stir well with a whisk.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until done. Place 1 1/2 cups spinach on each of 4 plates. Divide chicken evenly among servings; top each serving with 1 tablespoon juice mixture.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Ritz Chicken

The whole family loves this chicken! And it's so easy!

Ritz Chicken

6 large chicken breasts
2 tubes Ritz crackers
1 to 2 cups fat-free sour cream or fat-free plain yogurt


Put Ritz crackers in a gallon Ziploc bag and smash with rolling pin until crushed into crumbs. Coat chicken with sour cream or yogurt, then roll chicken in Ritz cracker mixture and place in a suitable baking dish (9x13). Bake uncovered in oven for 60-90 minutes at 350 or until chicken is cooked through.

Pasta Perfect

This was originally in one of the free Kraft magazines.

3 cups farfalle (bow-tie pasta), uncooked
4 cups broccoli florets (chopped)
3 tbs Kraft roasted red pepper Italian with parmesan dressing (optional, I really think with only 3 tbs, you can live without it, maybe substitute a splash of fat-free italian dressing)
6 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 ½ pounds)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups tomato-basil spaghetti sauce
4 ounces cubed cream cheese (**I used fat-free)
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Cook pasta as directed on package, adding broccoli to the cooking water for the last 3 minutes of the pasta cooking time. (or steam broccoli separately). Meanwhile, heat dressing in large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add chicken and garlic. Cook 5 minutes, turn chicken over; continue cooking 4-5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Drain pasta, return pasta to pan and set aside. Add pasta sauce and cream cheese to chicken in skillet; cook on medium-low heat 2-3 minutes, or until cream cheese is completely melted, mixture is well blended and chicken is coated with sauce, stirring occasionally. Remove chicken from skillet and keep warm. Add sauce mixture to pasta mixture; mix well. Transfer to 6 serving bowls.

Cut chicken crosswise into thick slices. Fan out chicken over pasta mixture in each bowl. Sprinkle evenly with parmesan cheese.

Makes 6 servings, about 1 ½ cups each.

**I cooked two regular breasts of chicken. When it was cooked through, I cut it into bite-sized pieces, smaller would have also worked. I only then added it to the pan and began to cook it up with the dressing and garlic. Also, to serve, I mixed the entire mixture together instead of removing the chicken and fanning it out pretty on top, which would have also been nice.

Summer Kabobs

I'm kind of on the fence on the healthy nature of these, considering the marinade has sugar and soy sauce, but so much of the sugar drains off and it goes a long way with only 1/4 cup for the entire meal, so...

It is officially summertime! I found (and slightly modified) this recipe that I found online. It was awesome and we're doing it again super soon! If you smell somone grillin' it's probably us!!

3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces
1-2 red, orange, or yellow peppers, cut into 1-2 inch pieces.
1 fresh pineapple cut into 1-2 inch pieces
1 onion, cut into 1-2 inch pieces

Mix first five ingredients. Pour half of mixture over onions, peppers, and pineapple. Stir very well. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, stir well again. Drain/strain marinade back into original container. Pour almost all of remaining marinade (remember to keep some out for basting later!!!) into a bowl with the chicken. (If you don't do this, the pineapple will soak up too much of the marinade). Stir well, refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Start soaking skewers in water.

When ready to grill, thread veggies and pineapple on separate skewers from meat. Cook chicken kabobs 10 minutes on one side; turn, baste with additional sauce and cook for additional 10-15 minutes, turning and basting occasionally until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Grill vegetables 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally until peppers look soft. Onions may get crispy edges, but they don't seem to soften on the grill much, so they aren't a great indicator.

Grain and Vegetable Casserole

I usually stay as far away as possible from casseroles but... sans cream of ______(fill in the blank) soup the word caserrole takes on a whole new meaning!

This is super easy and with barley, bulgur, and veggies has to qualify for this blog. (I've been replacing the shrooms with brocolli and chopped spinach to add more green).

Grain and Vegetable Casserole

2 medium carrots, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
1 can (14.5 oz) diced or stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained, rinsed
1cup frozen whole kernel corn
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup uncooked pearl barley
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup uncooked bulgur
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired
Sliced green onions

Heat oven to 350ºF. In ungreased 2-quart casserole or 13x9-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish, mix all ingredients except cheese and green onions.

Cover with foil; bake 30 minutes. Stir. Cover and bake 30 to 35 minutes longer or until barley and bulgur are tender and liquid is absorbed.

To serve, sprinkle with cheese and green onions. From eatbetteramerica. com

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Less-Oily Zucchini Bread

We went to this great outdoor market near Boston Common where I got a huge bag of zucchini for $1.00. The only problem then was how to use it before it went bad. Solution? Zucchini bread that smells divine while baking. (This recipe is great because it substitutes applesauce for oil- but I added walnuts and nutmeg (it compliments the cinnamon), and used 2 real eggs instead of egg-substitute because I pretty much never have that on hand. This may be a little dry right out of the oven, but if you seal it in a Ziploc overnight it moistens).

Zucchini Bread
Yield 2 loaves, 28 servings (serving size: 1 slice)
· 2 cups coarsely shredded zucchini
· 3 cups all-purpose flour
· 1 3/4 cups sugar
· 1 teaspoon baking soda
· 1 teaspoon salt
· 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
· 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
· 3/4 cup applesauce
· 1/2 cup egg substitute
· 1/3 cup vegetable oil
· 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
· Vegetable cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350°.
Place zucchini on several layers of paper towels, and cover with additional paper towel. Let stand 5 minutes, pressing down occasionally. Set aside.
Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (flour through baking powder) in a large bowl, and stir well; make a well in center of mixture. Combine zucchini, applesauce, egg substitute, oil, and vanilla; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Divide batter evenly between 2 (7 1/2 x 3-inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire rack.
Nutritional Information
Calories: 128 (20% from fat) Fat: 2.8g (sat 0.5g,mono 0.8g,poly 1.3g) Protein: 1.9g Carbohydrate: 23.9g Fiber: 0.5g Cholesterol: 0.0mg Iron: 0.8mg Sodium: 136mg Calcium: 9mg

Black Bean Dip

This is a really flavorful, low fat, low calorie dip-- it even has carrots in it (and I secretly add finely chopped spinach... wahahahah).

5 cups (serving size: 2 tablespoons)
· 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
· 1 cup grated carrot
· 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
· 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
· 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
· 1 teaspoon minced garlic
· 1/4 teaspoon salt
· 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
Place beans in a food processor, and pulse until almost smooth. Combine the beans, carrot, and the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring until well blended. Let stand 30 minutes. Serve with baked tortilla chips.
Nutritional Information
Calories: 19 (5% from fat)Fat: 0.1g (sat 0.0g,mono 0.1g,poly 0.0g) Protein: 1.2g Carbohydrate: 3.9g Fiber: 1.3g Cholesterol: 0.0mg Iron: 0.3mg Sodium: 61mg Calcium: 8mg

Minestrone- Cooking Light Style

I think I have had this soup at least 3 times a week since I found this recipe- it is so good! I usually add a little more salt than the recipe calls for. Make this even lighter by omitting the oil and sauteing the vegetables with just plain cooking spray, and using barely or whole wheat pasta instead of ditalini. (I suppose you could also omit the cheese, but I think the few extra calories are worth it).

8 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups soup and 2 tablespoons cheese)
· 2 teaspoons olive oil
· 1 cup chopped onion
· 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
· 4 garlic cloves, minced
· 3 cups chopped yellow squash
· 3 cups chopped zucchini
· 1 cup chopped carrot
· 1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
· 4 cups chopped tomato, divided
· 3 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
· 1/2 cup uncooked ditalini pasta (very short tube-shaped macaroni)
· 1 (15.5-ounce) can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
· 1 (6-ounce) package fresh baby spinach
· 1 teaspoon salt
· 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
· 1 cup (4 ounces) grated Asiago cheese
· Coarsely ground black pepper (optional)
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until softened. Add oregano and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Stir in squash, zucchini, carrot, and corn; sauté 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat.
Place 3 cups tomato and 1 can broth in a blender; process until smooth. Add tomato mixture to pan; return pan to heat. Stir in remaining 1 cup tomato and remaining 2 cans broth; bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.
Add pasta and beans to pan; cook 10 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in spinach, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Ladle soup into individual bowls; top with cheese. Garnish with coarsely ground black pepper, if desired.
Nutritional Information
Calories: 217 (25% from fat) Fat: 6.1g (sat 2.7g,mono 2g,poly 0.6g) Protein: 12.6g Carbohydrate: 30.5g Fiber: 7.9g Cholesterol: 12mg Iron: 2.7mg Sodium: 812mg Calcium: 206mg

Monday, October 13, 2008

Salsa Fresca

Use up those last yummy garden tomatoes and make some fresh salsa. Mmmmmmm! I used a little less oil than this, otherwise it seems like it would be to liquidy. Warm your tortilla chips in the oven and it's like you're at your favorite Mexican restaurant (almost)!

This recipe is from Tyler Florence on the Food Network.

  • 4 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 8 cilantro sprigs, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients together. Toss thoroughly. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Layered Tortellini Pesto Chicken Salad

We have a new favorite recipe! Yummy!!I made this salad last night (also from the Pillsbury magazine, what a treasure!) and it went over very very well. Kinley didn't love it because there were peppers in it, but Tanner ate a huge bowl and asked for more and Justin told me six times that he really really liked this new dinner. He said it's the best new recipe I've made in a long time and he wants it repeated soon! The pic in the magazine shows it all layered and pretty before mixing it up, but I couldn't get that step quite right. So my picture shows it all mixed up and ready to eat :)

I've modified it slightly from the original:

Layered Tortellini Pesto Chicken Salad
3 uncooked cups cheese-filled tortellini
1 cup peas, cooked and cooled
5 cups torn romaine lettuce
2 cups chopped or shredded chicken
1 medium red or orange bell pepper, chopped small
1/2 cup low-fat or fat-free Miracle Whip or mayo (I used miracle)
1/2 cup basil pesto (from the spaghetti sauce aisle)
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk

In a small bowl or food processor, mix mayo, pesto and buttermilk. Chill in fridge at least 90 minutes.
Cook and shred/chop chicken. Chill in fridge at least 90 minutes.
Cook tortellini as directed on package. Drain, rinse with cold water, spray lightly with Pam spray to keep from sticking, chill in fridge for at least 90 minutes.
Prepare lettuce, pepper, and peas. Can be mixed and chilled ahead of time.
When ready to serve, mix all ingredients in a large bowl and serve immediately.

Healthy Pasta Primavera

I tried this recipe from the Pillsbury monthly magazine, of all things. It was calling to me from the shelf in the grocery line. It is lower-calorie and it was delicious! The kids inhaled it! I have slightly modified it. The picture doesn't show how delightfully creamy it was, and for some reason I neglected to capture the yummy mushrooms in the photo! But the entire pan is gone now so there will be no repeated attempts!

2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup cherry halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup diced, cooked chicken (optional)
2 cups halved fresh snow pea pods (optional, and did not use)
12 oz uncooked fettucini
1 1/2 cups fat-free (skim) milk
3 tbs cornstarch
1 tbs chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp dried basil leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 cup light ricotta cheese
1/4 cup shredded fresh parmesan cheese (not in the green can!!)
1/2 cup chicken broth
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1. Cook and drain fettucini as directed on package. Lightly spray with Pam and toss to keep from sticking together. Cook and chop chicken.

2. Meanwhile, in a 2-quart saucepan, heat milk, cornstarch, basil, salt, and pepper to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with wire whisk. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 2-5 minutes, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens. Remove pan from heat.

3. In a blender or food processor, place 1/2 cup of the sauce, the ricotta cheese and the parmesan cheese. Cover; blend on medium-lo speed until smooth. Return mixture to remainint sauce in saucepan; stir well.

4. In a nonstick pot, heat broth to boiling over medium-hgh heat. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms, broccoli and onions; cover and cook 4 minutes. Add tomatoes (and pea pods, if used); cook 1 minute longer. Add sauce and cooked fettucine; heat until hot. Transfer to serving platter if desired, and sprinkle with additional fresh parmesan cheese.

*optional items: one option called for 1/2 cup more milk. I can agree with that. Also, asparagus can be substituted for the broccoli or peapods.

Spinach Pasta Salad

1 lb. Pasta, cooked al dente, drain, rinse in cold water
3 C cooked chopped chicken
5 C fresh spinach, shredded
1 C black olives, chopped in 1/4’s
4 oz. Feta cheese, crumbled
3 cups diced tomatoes (grape tomatoes, YUM!)
3/4 C monterrey jack cheese, shredded

2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 C olive oil
1/2 C vinegar
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp honey
1 clove garlic, minced

Blend dressing ingredients. Pour over mixed salad. Refrigerate 30-60 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


SLAW (making this for enrichment tonight reminded me how good it is...)

This recipe was given to me by the owner of the blue moose café in Boise. I was pregnant and had been in three times that week for it, sighing that I wished she could make it in Provo for me. She promptly gave me the recipe. It is always served with a thick slice of fresh toasted and buttered garlic bread. WHOA YUM.

½ head of green cabbage
½ head of red cabbage
sunflower seeds (toasted lightly)
sliced almonds (toasted lightly)
feta cheese crumbled
4 chopped cooked chicken breasts
1 bottle of poppyseed dressing (use to taste.. less is sometimes more)

Toss all ingredients together just before serving. Does not keep for very long because cabbage loses its crunch. To simplify I toast the seeds and almonds together in dry pan on stove top and buy the bags of cabbage already shredded. (although you lose out on the pretty purple color).

Friday, May 16, 2008


OK, I know you are thinking that chimi's should NOT be on a healthy recipe blog... but wait... baked not fried. EASY~~~ and, totally delish. This is quickly becoming a summer must have. I have to give Dionne the credit for this dish as she gave me the recipe years ago and we have loved it... thanks!!! 8.5 on the Sean scale. :)

Lightly butter the underside of wheat tortillas

Fill tortilla with shredded chicken,
top with salsa and a thin layer of sharp cheddar or
Colby jack cheese. Do not use mozzarella.

(I always cook my chicken and shred it and stir up the
salsa in it to make it moist and easier to just spoon into tortilla)

Roll up with butter on outside and place in cassarolle dish.

Cook on 400 for 15 minutes.

During the last five add a sprinkle of cheese to melt.

Take out and serve with black beans, fat free Sour Cream, fresh guacamole, olives, shredded lettuce and tomatoes… YUM!

Almond Crusted Chicken

This was off the "cooking light" webpage. It rated an "8" on the Sean scale (and he knows anything rated 7 or above will be served again.) I think you could cut a few more calories in the dipping department (buttermilk...) and use something a little lighter and more flavorful like non-fat yogurt or something. It was really yummy though and I felt like a fancy cook searing it on high and then finishing it off in the oven. The little girls were impressed with all the dipping I was doing, though I have to say it was much easier than it looked. (shhh.)

Almond-Crusted Chicken
Brown the chicken quickly over high heat, then finish it in the oven to give the chicken a golden crust without burning the almonds.

4 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

3/4 teaspoon salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk

2 tablespoons honey mustard

2/3 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs

Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 450°.
Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap;
pound to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin.

Sprinkle both sides of chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.
Place flour in a zip-top plastic bag. Working with one piece at a time, add chicken to bag; seal and shake to coat. Remove chicken from bag, shaking off excess flour. Repeat with remaining flour and chicken.

Combine buttermilk and honey mustard in a shallow bowl.

Combine almonds and breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl.

Dip chicken in buttermilk mixture; dredge in almond mixture.

Heat a large skillet coated with cooking spray over high heat.

Add chicken; cook 1 minute. Turn chicken over. Wrap handle of pan with foil. Place pan in oven; bake at 450° for 9 minutes or until chicken is done.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mexican Beef over polenta

I made this recipe this week, and it was really yummy. My only problem was my polenta not setting up enough, so next time I make it I think I'll serve the polenta separate from the beef and allow people to pour their own beef over polenta- I think it had a hard time setting because I poured the beef over it too soon. I omitted the olives and jalapenos and added a can of drained and rinsed black beans. This is a Weight Watchers Recipe.

Servings: 6
Preparation Time: 18 min
Cooking Time: 12 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy

Seasoned ground beef and vegetables are spooned over homemade polenta. Then they're topped with traditional Mexican ingredients like cheese, salsa and fresh cilantro.

  • 1 pound uncooked lean ground beef (with 7% fat)
  • 1 small onion(s), chopped
  • 14 1/2 oz canned diced tomatoes, with chiles, drained, reserve 1 Tbsp of liquid
  • 1 cup canned yellow corn, drained, or frozen, thawed corn kernels
  • 10 items olive(s), Kalamata, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp canned jalapeno peppers, pickled, chopped (optional)
  • 3/4 tsp table salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 cup polenta, quick-cooking
  • 3 cup canned chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup salsa
  • 1/3 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican-style cheese
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro, or scallion, fresh, chopped (optional)
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook beef and onion, stirring frequently, until meat is fully cooked, about 5 to 7 minutes; drain off any liquid. Stir in tomatoes and reserved liquid, corn, olives, jalapenos (if using), 1/4 teaspoon of salt, cumin and pepper; simmer 5 minutes to allow flavors to blend.
  • Meanwhile, in a small pot, combine cornmeal, broth and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt; stir well. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until cornmeal is thick, about 5 minutes.
  • Spoon polenta onto a large serving plate and top with beef mixture. Top with salsa, cheese and cilantro (or scallion). Divide into 6 portions and serve.
  • The polenta will still be soft after cooking but will firm up if allowed to stand for a few minutes before serving.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

crock pot stir fry

so i am not too sure about this - but we LOVE this recipe and it seems to be pretty "healthy". or maybe i am just telling myself that. of course you can always make things more healthy, right?

so i am not a cook who measures...i go with a feeling i have, a little of this, a smidgen of i tired to pay attention tonight as i cooked this and of course failed to take a picture. but i figured it was only fair that i attempt to contribute to this great blog. thanks heath!

so here you have it:

you need-

angel hair pasta - whole wheat if you desire
1-2 frozen chicken breasts (1 is good for 2 adults)
1 1/2 cups of Honey BBQ sauce
1 cup of orange marmalade
1/2 cup of Lite Teriyaki Sauce
Frozen Stir Fry Veggies - our faves are "pepper stir fry" and "sugar snap peas" - nummy - at least 1/2 a bag.

Mix BBQ sauce, orange marmalade, teriyaki sauce together. Place your chicken in the crock pot and cover with sauce mixture. Cook the chicken for at least 4 hours...the longer the juicier and easier to shred into pieces. That's it! Let it cook. An hour before eating time, add your frozen veggies...the more the merrier. the water they bring in with them, helps the juice ratio stay fair.

Then about 15 minutes before the feast begins, start your pasta. Then voila - a scrumptous yummy dinner that is edible for all ages and enjoyed by all in the Reeder home.

There is really no wrong way to make a made up i hope someone is able to enjoy this easy stir fry.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

angel hair

I've been looking for whole wheat angel hair in every store. One of the drawbacks of going whole wheat is the dense heaviness of the pasta, so I thought since we always use angel hair anyway- maybe it would help. I couldn't find it anywhere. I finally found some online- but lets face it who wants to spend 30 bucks on a load of angel hair plus shipping? Not I,

but you wouldn't believe, I was wandering through walmart today and WHOA- there it was! I know I have looked there before, or maybe I just assumed that this place of so little choice would have this sought after ingredient... but there it was. and yes I picked up a few boxes. More on this later.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Wheat Pasta with Chicken and Spinach Sauce

This is Heather...

Tonight I recreated a dish I actually made up a little while ago, but in the spirit of this blog, I made it healthier. Try it at your house and see if it is as big a hit as it was at ours:)

1 box whole wheat bow tie or penne pasta
1/4 c butter
3 huge handfulls of fresh baby spinach
1 tea minced garlic
3/4 c grated parmesean
5-6 froz chicken tenders
1 tea lemon juice

Start the pot of water boiling for the pasta. To cook wheat pasta you need to make sure you have plenty of water so it helps to start it first.

Put the froz tenders in a skillet with 2 tea of oil to coat bottom of pan. When hot add 2/3 c of water and put the lid on. Shortly after, season well with garlic salt.

When chicken is finshed cooking through (about 2-3 min on each side) and browned take chicken out and to the drippings add butter and minced garlic. Saute untill the garlic is soft and add the spinach. Cook the spinach down and add a the lemon juice. When the spinach is soggy, pour the whole mixture into the food processor and blend untill smooth. Toss on top of the now cooked noodles and stir untill evenly coated. Now dump in the parmesean and chunked chicken... Serve hot!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Carrot Delight

My kids looooove this drink. I also served this to the YM and YW a few weeks ago and they went wild, couldn't get enough. Ingredients:
1 large orange (or 2 mandarin oranges)
1 banana
1/2 cup water
15 baby carrots
1/4 cup ice
supplement of choice (optional, and I choose Benefiber usually)

In a blender, blend the orange, water until smooth. Add banana and supplement (if using one) and blend thoroughly. Add carrots and ice last and blend on high until smooooooth. Don't skimp on the blending now, you want those carrots completely pulverized to liquid!

So delicious!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Quinoa, anyone?

A few months ago I decided I wanted to try quinoa, a supergrain I'd heard a lot about but had yet to try. I picked some up at the grocery store and searched for my first recipe. It can be cooked plain and served as a side instead of rice or potato or pasta, but I wanted a recipe to incorporate it into. This is from a Parents Magazine, and it was delicious! The quinoa is full of protein, and this dish was so so filling. Enjoy!

Quinoa, Black Bean, and Corn Salad

¾ cup quinoa
½ tsp salt
1 2/3 cups frozen corn
1 can (15 oz) black beans – rinsed, drained
¾ cup salsa
2 TBSP lime juice
2 TBSP cilantro - chopped

  • Rinse quinoa under cold running water. In a medium saucepan, combine ¾ cup quinoa with 1 ½ cups water. Heat to boiling over high heat. Stir in salt, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until liquid has been absorbed and white germ ring forms around quinoa. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine corn, beans, and salsa. Stir in quinoa, lime juice, and cilantro.
NOTE: I added cooked chicken cubes to this to make it a complete meal. I also served avocado with- full of good fat and my kids love it!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Thanks Meg!

Those recipes posted below look great! I am excited to give them a whirl... keep it coming!

By the way... we had a fabulous lunch this afternoon of whole-wheat bread and chicken salad sandwhiches, grapes and later watermelon for a snack... I love that summer produce is on its way!

BROWN Hawaiian Haystacks

Healthy Hawaiian Haystacks

Chicken Mix (2 cans fat –free cream of chicken soup, 1 can chicken broth, 2 cups chopped cooked chicken)

Toppings Suggestions
Chow mein noodles
Pineapple tidbits or chunks
Mandarin oranges
Chopped olives
Chopped celery
Chopped tomatoes
Chopped Green Peppers
Shredded cheese
Diced Green Onions (or any kind of onion)

Brown Rice Salad

My 2-year old, who traditionally does not eat anything green, won't leave me in peace to eat this salad. I have to share at least half with him.

Brown Rice Salad
Cooked brown rice (warm is the best!)
Chopped romaine lettuce (I just buy it in bags)
Parmesan cheese
Italian dressing

Combine ingredients to taste and voila!

*My sister recommends toasting the brown rice (after it's already been cooked) in the oven with the parmesan cheese. It is quite delicious that way, but easier to forego that step. It's really tasty either way, but the oven-toasted, cheesed-up rice is a special touch!

**I like to add shredded chicken or anything else that suits your fancy!

*** I should mention that I don't like brown rice and I don't like lettuce. So there you go. I LOVE THIS SALAD!!!

Sensational Salmon or Fabulous Fish

I love this salmon recipe, from my best friend. You might too.

The quote from Justin: "Are you sure this is healthy? This tastes way too good to be healthy." Kinley and Tanner ate several servings.

One large salmon filet (Costco's are delicious)
"I can't believe it's not butter" spray (or real butter, as you like)
Lemon pepper

Cover a cookie sheet (or something similar to it) in tin foil. Spray with cooking spray. Lay salmon flat on top. Spray with butter all over the top, season liberally with the lemon pepper. Broil uncovered on low for 25-30 minutes in the oven. Delightfully crispy on top, but flaky, moist, and tender inside.

Spinach Salad

1 lb. Pasta, cooked al dente, drain, rinse in cold water
3 C cooked chopped chicken
5 C fresh spinach, shredded
1 C black olives, chopped in 1/4’s
4 oz. Feta cheese, crumbled
3 cups diced tomatoes (grape tomatoes, YUM!)
3/4 C monterrey jack cheese, shredded

2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 C olive oil
1/2 C vinegar
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp honey
1 clove garlic, minced

Blend dressing ingredients. Pour over mixed salad. Refrigerate 30-60 minutes before serving.

the big crunch

I think we have all been there, the big crunch. It is a race between your stomach and the clock... or at our house- five stomachs, three sets of loud lungs, and the clock. What can you possibly put out on the table in 3.5 seconds that will work?
This week we have endulged in the power of apples slices and peanut butter...
They love to "frost" it them themselves and a thin apple slice can go a long way in dealing with that sweet tooth- not to mention the protien from the pb. (besides the fact that I can get them going on one and deal with the details as they frost...)
Please add your favorite healthy quick snacks... even moderately quick will do. Snack time is approaching fast :)

I did a little hunting online and this is a cute recipe I found to spice up my plain apple pb combo... It doesn't say what kind of yogurt to use... but I like the low sugar content-

Fruit Critters with Yogurt Peanut Butter Dip
Recipe courtesy Kathleen Daelemans
Cooking Thin
Mother & Daughter Health

1 1/2 cups lowfat yogurt
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

1 pint strawberries
1/2 cup raisins
3 apples
1 1/2 cups seedless grapes
3 bananas, peeled
Thin pretzel sticks
Sunflower seeds

In a food processor, combine yogurt, peanut butter and dark brown sugar and puree. Pour into a decorative bowl and chill in the refrigerator, about 20 minutes.

While the dip is chilling, make fruit "critters" using the fruits for bodies, pretzel sticks for legs, and raisins for eyes. Here are some suggestions, but use your imagination!

Quarter and core an apple. Place the flesh side down so the peel is facing up. This will be the shell for a "beetle". Cut 1 raisin in 1/2, place the inside down towards 1 end of the apple to make "eyes" for your beetle. Break 4 pretzel sticks in half and insert into the bottom for legs.

Carefully thread grapes onto a pretzel stick to make a caterpillar. Stick 2 sunflower seeds into one of the end grapes to make eyes. You can also use 2 kinds of grapes to make a multi colored caterpillar.

For a fly or bee: Cut off the last 2 inches of a banana, so you have a piece with a slight curve and a tapered end. This will be the body. Carefully stick a pretzel stick into the cut surface so half is in the banana and half is sticking out. Core a strawberry and carefully stick in onto the other half of the pretzel stick to attach the "head". Cut a raisin in 1/2 and stick the cut side onto either side of the strawberry to make "eyes". Cut 2 slices of apple and carefully stick into the banana to make wings.

Dip the critters in the dip and enjoy!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Zucchini Cassarole

I'm tired of the terrible assumption that mormon women would die without the use of creamed soups and frozen preservatives. I hate the idea of serving bland meals soley made up of caloric non-texturized items. I feel a responsibility here to prove to myself and all those interested that we can break this stereotype by finding and sharing healthy, flavorfull dishes. And, in the process convince the next generation that it is a pleasure to eat healthy... that produce is the best source to cure the sweet tooth and the munchies. So I started my quest tonight. I have a handfull of great, healthy meals, but we seem to exhaust them so quickly and get bored of the same thing over and over. I don't care if it is soup, salad, or entree, I want to know about it.
And no more of this artificial sweetener... all that chlorine just can't be any better than the real thing.
I'm kicking this off with a recipe I have loved for a long time...
Please share your favs!

Zucchini Casserole

This is an absolutely beautiful dish and very easy. Always layer in a clear glass dish as this is so pretty. Lots of flavor and relatively cheap when zucchini is taking over the garden J

Layers: Sauce:
4 Zucchini - cut in rounds (about ¼ in thick) 1 8oz can tomato sauce
Ground Hamburger- browned with onion 4 shakes of Tabasco
5 Tomatoes- cut in rounds (about ¼ in thick)
Grated cheddar cheese (go very light on this and use sharp for strong flavor-less cheese)

Layer four items in order listed in lightly greased 9x13 pan, salt and pepper each layer. Do this twice. Mix sauce and pour over top. Sprinkle generously with grated parmesan cheese. If you like your veggies a little crunchy cook for 20 min covered, 20 minutes uncovered. If you don’t go with the regular method of 30 min covered, 30 minutes uncovered. 350 degrees.
(I always make two at once and freeze one (raw) for later. It freezes really well. Take out of freezer 12-15 hours before cooking and set on counter top. Cook as directed above.)

From our friends at

I love Salmon, especially the already-skinned-and-fille`d-stuff from costco- It can be so flavorfull with nothing but a sprinkle of garlic salt and a 6 min broil... I think it is one of the best lean meats so here I am posting the benefits of using it... if you have a great salmon recipe- share it here!!

"All fish are great sources of protein and low in saturated fat. But cold-water fish, like salmon, mackerel and herring, are premiere sources of omega-3 essential fatty acids. These are fats our bodies can’t produce, so it’s essential we include them in our diet. Omega-3s offer many benefits.
They reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
They minimize the symptoms of arthritis and inflammatory diseases.
They contribute to healthy skin and hair.
They may help with depression.
Don’t love fish? You can get your omega-3s from flaxseed, walnuts, almonds and grass-fed beef, although the oils are of a lesser nutritional quality than the those found in seafood.Salmon is an easy fish to obtain. Most grocery stores and many restaurants carry it. It's also easy to cook. The high fat level makes salmon perfect for grilling, roasting or sautéing without sticking or drying out. Although wild salmon can be pricey, it has an amazing flavor and higher levels of omega-3s than farm-raised fish. Look for fresh wild salmon in spring and summer, and farm-raised salmon year-round."
(Cheryl Forberg RD is a chef and nutritionist in Napa, California. She is an expert in weight loss and antiaging nutrition.)