Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Santa Fe Soup

Just had a friend ask me for this recipe so I figured I would share! It makes a full crockpot of soup (I usually make it there rather than the stovetop) and can feed a crowd. Or, it freezes really well and is nice to have on hand for a quick meal down the road. So make the full batch and save some for later. It is low fat and  you can add as much or little garnish as you like. I don't typically use this much pre-packed/canned foods but it is nice that you can buy the ingredients ahead of time or just keep them on hand in your pantry. If you rinse the beans it will reduce quite a bit of the sodium and you can look for reduced-sodium tomatoes if you like. 

From: The Good to Give Cookbook

1 lb. ground beef or turkey
2 cans shoepeg corn (or sweet corn)
1 can pinto beans
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can milder rotel tomatoes (tomatoes with green chiles)
1 can diced toatoes
2 pkg. dry ranch dressing
2 pkg. taco seasoning
2 cups water
tortilla chips
shredded cheddar cheese
low-fat sour cream

Brown meat and drain fat. Put all ingredients in a large pot, bring to a boil and then simmer on low for at least an hour and a half. You can also put in the crockpot in the morning and simmer on low all day if you prefer. Serve with broken up tortilla chips, cheese and sour cream.
*This soup freezes really well! It makes a lot so I usually freeze half in a gallon ziploc bag. I put the ziploc bag into an 8x8 pan and pop it in the freezer. When it is mostly frozen (or fully frozen) I run a little water on the bottom of the pan to warm it and pop out the soup. Then it is frozen in a little square and stacks nicely in the freezer. Then, when I want to re-heat, I put the bag in a large bowl of lukewarm water and let it defrost until it slides out of the bag. Then re-heat the soup in a pan on the stove.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Spaghetti Squash and Turkey Spinach Meatballs

Turkey and Spinach Meatballs
Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Spinach Meatballs
A delicious and interesting meal! If you are cooking the spaghetti squash in the oven you can get it started while you are pulling the meatballs together. This is a quick dinner and a great way to add in some more veggies. Next time I make this I will mix some spinach into the pasta sauce as well to give it even more nutritional value. 

From: aggieskitchen.com 

Spaghetti Squash

Heat whole squash in the microwave for 3-4 minutes to soften prior to cutting in half. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds.
To cook in oven: Place squash cut side down in a 9x13 pan. Cook 45 minutes at 350 or until done.
To cook in microwave: Place squash cut side down in a pan with 1/4 in. of water. Cook 8-10 minutes on high until done.

Turkey and Spinach Meatballs

1 lb. lean ground turkey (or lean ground beef if you prefer)
2 tsp. garlic powder
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 cup chopped fresh spinach leaves
1 small onion grated
1 egg
1/4 cup bread crumbs (whole wheat if you want)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
splash of milk
non stick spray

In a large bowl mix together onion, egg, bread crumbs, Parmesan, and milk. Mix until it turns to a loose paste.  Add in ground turkey, spinach, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Gently combine ingredients. Roll meat mixture into small meatballs, about 1-2 inches round. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Before placing in oven, spray each meatball with non stick spray.

Cook 20-25 minutes until browned at 375 degrees.

When spaghetti squash is done, use a fork to scrape out squash lengthwise. Place squash on plate and cover with spaghetti sauce of choice (I love all Newmann's Own products since they use all natural ingredients and everything tastes great!), and top with meatballs. If meatballs have cooled prior to serving, drop them in the saucepan with spaghetti sauce and cook until heated through. We sprinkled with just a bit of Parmesan cheese before serving.

* Make a double batch of these meatballs to freeze for later!

Almond Cheesecake Brownies

No photo of these brownies...by the time I thought to take a picture the leftovers were demolished by my husband! These brownies are one of my favorite treats. They are a little extra work but you can taste the richness from the melted butter/chocolate base. Pop them in the microwave for 8-10 seconds and they taste like they are fresh from the oven. These are so rich you really only need a small piece. 

From the Good Housekeeping cookbook

Serves: 24

1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter/margarine
4 squares (4 oz.) unsweetened chocolate
4 squares (4 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate
2 c. sugar
5 large eggs
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 pkg. cold cream cheese (I use 1/3 less fat cream cheese)
3/4 tsp. almond extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
2. In a heavy 4 quart saucepan, melt butter and unsweetened and semi-sweet chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from heat. With wooden spoon, beat in 1 1/2 c. sugar. Add 4 eggs and 2 tsp. vanilla; beat until well blended. Stir in flour mixture until just blended.
3. In a small bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat cream cheese until smooth; gradually beat in remaining 1/2 c. sugar. Beat in remaining 1 egg, almond extract, and remaining 1/2 tsp. vanilla until blended.
4. Spread 1 to 1 1/2 cup chocolate batter in prepared pan. Spoon cream cheese mixture in 6 large dollops on top of chocolate mixture. Cream cheese will spread and cover most of the chocolate batter. Spoon remaining chocolate batter over and between cream cheese in several large dollops. With tip of knife, cut and twist through mixtures to create a marbled effect.
5. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean (30-35 min). Cool completely in pan on wire rack before cutting.

Nutrition info: 238 calories, 14g fat

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Chicken Tetrazzini

I have been wanting to try this recipe for awhile so I whipped it together for dinner this week. It was extremely simple and requires very few items that I don't typically have on hand (pretty much all I had to pick up was mushrooms). It's a very forgiving recipe that you can make a lot of substitutions to with whatever you have in the pantry. The book also mentioned you could use leftover turkey instead of chicken...this will definitely be one of our staple "after Thanksgiving" meals to use up the extra turkey. This was absolutely delicious and just as good the next day! 

Serves: 6

6 oz. whole wheat fettuccine (I used the Dreamfields angel hair pasta we had on hand)
2 tsp. canola oil
3 leeks, white parts only, washed and finely chopped (I substituted diced yellow onions)
6 oz. button mushrooms, quartered
1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary, divided (or dried)
3 T. all-purpose flour
3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup low fat milk
2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon (I didn't have a lemon on hand so I used lemon juice and lemon pepper seasoning)
1/4 tsp. salt, divided
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
1 T. finely chopped fresh parsley

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a 3-quart (9x13) baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Cook pasta in boiling water until just tender (may want to under cook slightly since it will be baked later), 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and refresh under cold running water. Drain and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 6-8 minutes. Add mushrooms and rosemary; cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute. add broth and milk; bring to a boil, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 4 minutes or more (mine took much longer). Remove from heat and stir in chicken. Season with lemon juice, 1/8 tsp salt, and pepper. Gently mix in the pasta. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Combine lemon zest (this is where I used a bit of lemon pepper seasoning), Parmesan, breadcrumbs, parsley, the remaining 1/2 tsp. rosemary, and the remaining salt and pepper (Since I didn't have fresh rosemary or parsley on hand, I used a dried Italian herb mixture to season the topping. You could also use Italian seasoned breadcrumbs.). Sprinkle the mixture over the casserole.
4. Bake the casserole until bubbling, 20-30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Info: 290 calories; 6g fat; 2g sat fat; 45mg chol; 25g protein; 5g fiber; 533mg sodium