Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Double-Chocolate Biscotti

Double-Chocolate Biscotti from Cooking Light

Vanilla extract enhances the dusky mix of cocoa and minichips in these twice-baked slice cookies, which deliver deep chocolate taste.


3 dozen (serving size: 2 biscotti)


  • 6.75 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate minichips
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg white
  • Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 6 ingredients (through salt) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine vanilla, eggs, and egg white in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture to egg mixture; stir until well blended. Divide dough in half. Turn dough out onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. With floured hands, shape each dough half into a 12-inch-long roll; pat to 1/2-inch thickness.

3. Bake at 350° for 22 minutes. Remove rolls from baking sheet; cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Cut each roll diagonally into 18 (1/2-inch) slices. (Only got 11-13 slices, so I maybe should've flattened it a bit more?) Carefully stand slices upright on baking sheet. Bake biscotti an additional 15 minutes or until almost firm (biscotti will be slightly soft in center but will harden as they cool). Remove biscotti from baking sheet; cool completely on wire rack.

Nutritional Information

Calories:117 (17% from fat)
Fat:2.2g (sat 1g,mono 0.7g,poly 0.1g)
**Very easy, doesn't taste "light" at all! I love it and will certainly make again.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pizza Burgers

1 lb 96% lean ground beef
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 salt
3 oz low fat Mozzarella cheese thinly sliced (I used shredded)
1/2 cup Main Event Marinara (pg 162) - or other low fat, low sodium, low sugar marinara sauce
4 whole wheat or whole grain hamburger buns

Preheat grill to high heat

In a large bowl mix beef, oregano, garlic powder, pepper flakes and salt until well combined. Divide into 4 equal portions and shaping them into balls, packing tightly as you do. Press each into a patty that is about 1/2 inch larger in diameter than the buns.

Grill the burgers for 2 about 2 minutes per side for medium rare or until desired doneness. Do not smash the burgers with a spatula! About 1 minute before the burgers are done divide the cheese slices between the burgers and melt it on top.

Meanwhile, warm the sauce in the microwave for 30-60 seconds and toast the buns.

Spread 2 tablespoons sauce on the inside of each bun top and put the burger on the bun bottom.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 304
Protein 32g
Carb 27g
Fat 9g
Sat Fat 3g
Chol 68mg
Fiber 5g
Sodium 605mg

**We loved these burgers; a great way to use the leftover marinara and mozzarella from the Grilled Chicken Parmesan that we made on Sunday. The burgers were very tasty...I would season them this way again, even without the marinara and mozzarella.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Grilled Chicken Parmesan

4 (4-ounce) trimmed boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Olive oil in a sprayer (not store-bought spray that contains propellant-I use a MISTO)
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup Main Event Marinara
6 tablespoons finely shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
2 teaspoons grated reduced-fat Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly Mist both sides of the chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken, turning once, for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until it is no longer pink inside and juices run clear. Transfer to a baking dish.

Heat the sauce on low in the microwave until warm. Top each breast with 2 tablespoons marinara sauce, followed by 1 1/2 tablespoons mozzarella, and 1/2 teaspoon Parmesan. Bake the chicken for 3 to 5 minutes, or just until the cheese is melted.

Nutrition Facts
169 calories, 29 g protein, 5 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat (less than 1 g saturated), 70 mg cholesterol 1 g fiber, 210 mg sodium

**I was really impressed how just a little salt and pepper can really season the chicken breast. I honestly didn't miss the breading much at all with this version of Chicken Parmesan! The sauce is great and we served with Angel Hair Pasta.

Main Event Marinara Sauce


Olive Oil Spray
1 Cup minced yellow or white onion
2 Tablespoon freshly minced garlic
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/4 Cup Water
2 Tablespoon No-Salt-Added tomato paste
2 Teaspoon Honey
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
2 Teaspoon dried basil
1/2 Teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Salt to taste

Spray a medium nonstick saucepan with the olive oil spray and place over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until just becoming tender (they should not brown), 4 to 6 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and with a wooden spoon stir in the tomatoes, water, tomato paste, honey, oregano, basil, and pepper flakes until well combined. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for at least 1 hour. Season with salt, if needed.

Calories: 63
Fat: 1 g
Protein: 3 g
Carbohydrates: 15 g
Sodium: 156 mg
Fiber: 3 g

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Wild West Frittata

Olive oil spray
3/4 c. chopped sweet onion
1/2 c. chopped green bell pepper
4 ounces 97-98% lean ham steak, cut into 1/4" cubes
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
2 c. egg substitute
2 oz. (1 cup) finely shredded light Swiss cheese

Preheat broiler.

Place a medium broiler-safe skillet over medium heat. Lightly mist with oilive oil spray. Add onion, bell pepper and ham and cook 5-7 minutes, or until the onion and pepper are softened but not browned. Season with salt and pepper, but keep in mind that you will be adding ham and cheese, so you won't need much salt. (I didn't use salt or pepper while cooking, add as desired before eating)

Turn the heat to medium-high and pour egg substitute into the pan. Stir the veggies and ham in the eggs until they are evenly distributed and the eggs are slightly scrambled, 1-2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium. Continue to cook, continuously sliding a spatula all around the sides of the frittata as far into the bottom as possible to loosen and gently lift the eggs slightly from the pan to prevent sticking, until the frittata is almost set but still runny on top, 4-6 minutes.

Remove the pan from heat and sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top. Transfer skillet to oven and broil for 1-3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and egg is completely set. Cut into 4 equal wedges and serv.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 142
Protein 22g
Carb 7g
Fat 2g
Saturated fat 2g
Chol 13mg
Sodium 621mg

**This is a great recipe and I am shocked at how few calories are in this frittata!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Grahamwiches

4 whole chocolate graham cracker sheets
4 teaspoons reduced-fat peanut butter
1/2 c. frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed.

Break each graham cracker in half. Spread 1 tsp. peanut butter evenly over the inside of each of 4 halves. Spread 2 tbsp. whipped topping evenly among the insides of other 4 halves. Sandwich the crackers together to form 4 sandwiches, each with a layer of peanut butter and a layer of whipped topping. Transfer to an airtight plastic container and place in freezer. Freeze for about 2 hours or up to 1 month. Serve frozen.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 112
Protein 2g
Carbs 18g
Fat 4g
Saturated Fat<1g>g

**This was SO easy! A great alternative to ice cream sandwiches; it was way less messy to eat, cheaper and healthier. And, I won Parker's vote! Oh, but the only peanut butter I like is the "real" stuff...Jif Creamy.

BLT Burgers

4 strips extra-lean turkey bacon, each cut in half
1 pound 96% lean ground beef
4 whole grain or whole wheat hamburger buns, split
1 cup chopped spinach leaves
4 large or 8-12 small thin tomato slices
4 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise

Preheat grill to high heat.

Place a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the bacon strips. (no need to grease pan or use oil) Cook for 2-3 minutes per side or until crispy. Remove from pan and cover to keep warm.

Divide the beef into 4 equal portions and shape into balls, packing them tightly as you do. Press each into a patty that is about 1/2" larger than the diameter of the buns.

Grill the burgers until desired doneness. Place the bun halves, (no need to butter first) cut side down, on the upper grill rack or away from direct flame until toasted, about 20 seconds.

Place each toasted bun bottom on plate. Top with spinach, tomato, patties and bacon. Spread 1 tbsp mayo on each bun top, flip atop the patties, and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition facts:
Calories 295
Protein 29g
Carbohydrates 25g
Fat 9g
Saturated fat 2g
Cholesterol 70mg
Fiber 4g
Sodium 547mg

**This was taken from The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook, and I only changed one thing; we substituted ketchup for mayo, which lowered the fat content but raised the sodium a bit. I am surprised how tasty this cheese-less burger was since the meat isn't seasoned at all. Oh, and I will definitely use the turkey bacon again, too!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies from Cooking Light

This simple mix-and-drop dough comes together in minutes and may not even require a shopping trip, thanks to its pantry-friendly ingredients.

3 dozen (serving size: 1 cookie)


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 large egg
  • 12 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 2/3 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate minichips


1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth.

3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Add flour mixture to peanut butter mixture, stirring just until combined. Stir in minichips. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on 2 baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Nutritional Information

Calories:128 (32% from fat)
Fat:4.5g (sat 1.1g,mono 2.2g,poly 1g)
**Taken from Cooking Light, this is one of our new favorite cookie recipes! I have made them a couple of times, and they just get better!

Carron' s "Killer" Cookies

I want to write a disclaimer; all of my recipes aren't healthiest...
Carron' s
Makes: 4-1/2 dozen cookies Prep: 15 minutes
Bake: 10 minutes

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening (Used 1 cup butter instead)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light-brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups old-fashion oats
  • 2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1 cup sweetened flake coconut
  • 1 bag (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips


1. Heat oven to 350°.

2. In small bowl, blend flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt with a whisk; set aside.

3. In large bowl, beat shortening and both sugars on medium-high speed about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

4. On low speed, gradually add flour mixture and beat until just combined. Stir in oats, Rice Krispies, coconut and chocolate chips.

5. Form balls with 2 tablespoons of dough and place 2 inches apart on prepared sheets. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes. Cool on sheets for 5 minutes then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.

**I found this recipe in the Family Circle magazine. These were very easy and tasted great, although they were a little flat. I'm assuming it has to do with using butter instead of shortening.

Texas Caviar

1 (15 oz) can 50% less-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz) can 50% less-sodium whole kernel corn, rinsed and drained (I used no-salt added)
3/4 c. fresh salsa or pico de gallo (refrigerated, not jarred)
2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro
1 1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. cumin
Hot sauce, to taste (I used 4-5 drops Chipotle Tabasco sauce)
Salt, to taste (didn't use)
Pepper, to taste (didn't use)

In a large glass or plastic mixing bowl or a large resealable plastic container, combine the beans, corn, salsa or pico, cilantro, vinegar and cumin. Season with next three ingredients if desired. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight before serving.

*Can be served as a snack with baked chips or as a side dish to a meal.

**This recipe is adapted from The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook; it took about 10 minutes to make and is really tasty!

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 102
Protein 5g
Carbohydrates 25g
Chol 0mg
Fiber 4g
Sodium 269

Monday, April 20, 2009

Chicken Noodle Casserole

1-2 lb chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1 Tbsp EVOO
16 oz. egg noodles, cooked
1 can cream of chicken soup (reduced sodium)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (reduced fat)
1 c. sour cream (fat-free)
salt and pepper
1 c. crumbled Ritz crackers (reduced fat)
1/2 c. butter or less, melted (I used 6 Tbsp, but still could've been less)

Heat EVOO in skillet, cook chicken until done. Mix with cooked noodles. Mix together soups, sour cream, and salt and pepper. Stir soup mixture into chicken and noodles. Place into a 9x13 or 2 qt baking dish. Melt butter, mix with crumbled crackers and top casserole. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Serves 6-8.

*We all liked this recipe a lot. It was very easy, quick and tasty. It worked well to make ahead of time and put in oven when convenient.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sausage-Stuffed Manicotti

Sausage-Stuffed Manicotti from Cooking Light

  • 10 uncooked manicotti
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 pound sweet turkey Italian sausage (I couldn't find this, so mine wasn't as healthy as this!)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups fat-free milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups tomato-basil pasta sauce (such as Newman's Own)
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese


1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Remove casings from sausage. Add sausage to pan; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add onion and bell pepper to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until tender.

3. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat; gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk. Return pan to heat; bring to a boil. Cook 6 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat; stir in black pepper. Add 1/2 cup milk mixture to sausage mixture; stir well.

4. Preheat oven to 350°.

5. Spoon about 1/3 cup sausage mixture into each manicotti; arrange manicotti in a single layer in a 13 x 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle mozzarella over manicotti; spread remaining milk mixture evenly over mozzarella. Top milk mixture with pasta sauce, spreading to cover. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until bubbly.

Nutritional Information


Fat:11.5g (sat 4.9g,mono 3.5g,poly 1.8g)
**This was a little more work, or just took a little more time, than some of my recipes, but it was worth it! The recipe is missing a step, though. It doesn't tell you what to do with the remaining milk mixture. I just added it to the top after the pasta sauce, and I think it worked well.
*Taken from Cooking Light

Crazy Pizza

1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 c. chopped green pepper
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. sliced mushrooms
1/3 c. sliced black olives
15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1 T. sugar
1/3 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 can refrigerated buttermilk biscuits.

Preheat oven to 350. Spray an 8"x8" baking dish with cooking spray. In a large skillet, brown meat. Add mushrooms, green peppers, onions and olives Mix well to combine. Stir in tomato sauce, sugar and Italian seasoning. Remove skillet from heat. Separate biscuits and cut each biscuit into 4 pieces. Gently stir biscuit pieces into meat mixture. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Bake 20 minutes. Sprinkle with cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. Continue baking until cheese melts, about 10 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes. Yield: 6 servings

*This is a really easy, tasty meal. Even though you don't need a whole green pepper or onion, as a time saver chop it all, store in a covered container and use for another meal.

Fruit Dip

2 pkgs 1/3 less fat cream cheese
8 oz. fat free sour cream
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar

Mix all ingredients together and serve with fresh fruit. Apples, bananas, grapes, cantaloupe, kiwi, and strawberries are just some of our favorites!

*We love this dip; it's been a hit at parties, play group, and at home. This makes a huge batch, but does keep covered in the refrigerator for a few days.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Smarter Fettuccine Alfredo

8 oz. fettuccine, uncooked
1 1/4 c. fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
4 tsp. flour
1/3 c. 1/3 less fat cream cheese
3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Cook pasta as directed.
Meanwhile, combine broth and flour in medium saucepan. Stir in cream cheese, cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly until moisture boils and thickens.
Toss pasta with sauce, 2 Tbsp. of the Parmesan cheese and nutmeg. Sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese and the parsley. Season to taste with black pepper.

*Instead of using butter and cream, the broth, flour and cream cheese mixture saves you 300 calories and 34g fat!


**I doubled the recipe, to ensure leftovers...a great time saver! This is a really good alternative to traditional Alfredo; we really liked it. Next time I might add some grilled chicken or steamed veggies.


Here is my new food blog! I will be posting our favorite, easy and healthy recipes and pictures, and welcoming others recipes and comments. I will keep it public, so feel free to share the address with anyone that may enjoy reading it.
The meals that I make are all "Parker and almost-Owen-friendly," so don't be afraid to serve them to your kids, too! I will make notes of what the original recipe calls for and any changes or suggestions that I have.
Happy cooking!