Southwest Chicken Quinoa

Posted 4/12/13


2 1/2 c  Low sodium chicken broth, divided
3/4 c dry quinoa
2 tbsp  olive oil
1 c diced onion
1 c diced carrot
1 c diced red bell pepper
1/2 c diced celery
1 (4 oz)  diced chilies, drained ( I like to dice up a fresh jalepeno’s or two versus using canned chilies but you can do either)
**1/2 tsp black pepper
**1 tbsp  chili powder
**2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
**2 tbsp minced garlic
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained
2 c diced cooked chicken (*Add more chicken if you want a little more protein punch.  If you do this you might want to ad a little more chicken broth as well*)
1 c finely shredded low fat mozzarella (*you can substitute low fat cottage cheese here  as well*)

**You can add more of these items if you want a little more taste and I also add a little crushed red pepper for a little more heat
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bring 1-1/2 cups chicken broth to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan. Add quinoa; return to a boil, cover and cook over medium heat 12 minutes or until quinoa has absorbed all the broth. Remove from heat, fluff, cover and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, red bell pepper, celery and diced chilies; sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Add black pepper, chili powder, cumin and coriander and sauté 2 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add remaining 1 cup chicken broth, diced tomatoes, chicken and prepared quinoa. Stir to combine.
Pour mixture into a greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Top with cheese. Bake 30 minutes or until heated through.

Fun Topping for Pork

Posted 4/12/13

1 apple(I like a Granny Smith apple best for this little recipe but I have used a Braeburn and Honey Crisp and it was good too)



Red onion

Gouda cheese(this is optional…you don’t have to add this and if you do it takes very little)

If you like garlic and want to add a clove of garlic ( again.. optional)

A splash of white wine


Basically you core the apple and then cut it up in small pieces(it s topping so you don’t want big chucks)

I usually use about a half of a red onion(medium size) to one apple (but this will really depend on your taste) and I cut this up into small pieces.

I grate just a little bit of gouda on a small plate and set it aside for the end

In a pan …just a little bit of evoo on the bottom of pan…turn heat to medium or so and throw your onions in the oil…cook for a few minutes..then add the apples…and cook a few more minutes….while this is cooking add rosemary to taste and add garlic if you are going to use it…if not…skip it.  Keep stirring.  Add cinnamon …I like to give everything a good coat….and then a splash of white wine(just a splash or it will get too runny)…stir it all up until the wine/moisture almost gets carmely(is that a word?? Smile).  Take it off the heat and then add the little bit of gouda on top to melt and then add then topping on the meat that you have cooked up for the meal.

Marinate pork (for example….  in Dijon mustard, crushed red pepper and black pepper.)  Grill and/or smok the pork.  Once it is grilled slice it up and serve with this topping and a veggie salad.    You really need to try is great!!



Fish Stew

Posted 9/18/12



3 tsp olive oil; divided

1 lbs shrimp(24 to 30 shrimp)

2 ½ c Low sodium chicken broth

2 shallots, minced

1 ½ tbsp brown rice flour or wheat flour

Pinch each cayenne pepper, sea salt, ground black pepper

2 to 3 sweet potatoes or yam, cubed

1 12oz boneless, skinless cod fillet, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 cup low fat milk

2 plum tomatoes

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley


1)      In a small sauce pan, heat ½ tsp oil on medium.  Add shrimp shells (or tails if that is all you have) and saute, stirring occasionally for approx 2 minutes.  Add broth and bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 5 minutes.  Drain over the top of a large bowl, reserving broth; discard shells/tails.

2)      In a large sauté pan with a tight fitting lid, heat remaining 2 ½ tsp oil on medium-high.  Add shallots and sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes.  Stir in flour, cayenne, salt and pepper, cook for 2 minutes.  Gradually add reserved broth, whisking constantly.  Add potatoes and bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 4 minutes.  Add cod, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add shrimp, cover and simmer until cod is opaque, 5 to 6 minutes.  Add milk and cook until heated through, about 2 to 3 minutes; add tomatoes.  Spoon into serving bowls and garnish with parsley.

1 cup = 225 cal


Creamy Roasted Tomato and White Bean Soup

Posted 9/18/12



Olive oil cooking spray

1 yellow onion; peeled and quartered

1 ½ lbs plum tomatoes; sliced in half lengthwise

1/8 tsp each sea salt and ground black pepper

4 cloves garlic; skin on

1 can cannellini beans; rinsed and drained

2 cups low sodium chicken broth; divided

¼ tsp red pepper flakes


1)      Preheat oven to 400.  Line medium rimmed baking sheet with foil and mist with cooking spray.  Spread onion and tomatoes, cut side up, in a single layer on sheet.  Lightly mist tops with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt and black peeper; set aside

2)      Cut a 6 inch square of foil and mist with cooking spray.  Wrap garlic in foil and add to sheet.  Roast for 1 hr; set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

3)      In a food processor, add onion, tomatoes and any accompanying juices.  Carefully open garlic packet and squeeze garlic from skins into the food processor; discard the skins.  Process on high until smooth.  Transfer mixture to a medium sauce pan.

4)      To food processor, add beans and 1 cup of chicken broth, process on high until smooth.  Transfer mixture to saucepan along with remaining 1 cup broth and red pepper flakes.  Bring them to a boil, then reduce heat to low.  Cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes, until slightly thickened.

1 cup = 148 calories, total fat 2g (0 sat fats), carbs 26g, fiber 7g, sugar 7g, protein 9g, sodium 137mg

This soup is yummy but a little low in protein on its own so you could add meat (of your choice) to the soup or have a protein on the side..whichever you preferJ


Couscous Salad

Posted 9/18/12


3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 ½ tbsp of lemon juice

¾ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

¾ c  extra virgin olive oil

1 ½ c of low sodium chicken broth

1 ½ c of couscous

4 cups of fresh veggies ( bell peppers, zucchini, squash, broccoli, etc)

¾ c chopped basil***

½ c chopped Italian parsley***

***can substitute with cilantro for a different flavor

1)      Whisk vinegar, garlic, lemon juice, salt and  pepper in a medium bowl.  Slowly whisk in oil until blended.  Let stand 15 minutes(can be made 8 hrs in advance but cover and refrigerate, then bring to room temp before using)

2)      Bring broth to a boil in medium sauce pan.  Stir in couscous, cover and remove from heat.  Let stand 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.   Fluff with a fork and place in a large bowl.  Stir in all remaining ingredients.  Stir in vinegarette; toss to coat.

3)      Let stand 15 minutes (can be made 3 hrs in advance, cover and refrigerate and then bring to room temp before serving)  Toss salad with a fork to fluff before serving.

8 generous 1 cup servings…  Enjoy!!

Spicy Raspberry-Balsamic Chicken with orange-broccoli bulgur

Posted 8/15/12



1/2c bulgur,  1 cup small broccoli florets,  1.5 tsp orange zest, 1/8 tsp sea salt, 4 4oz boneless skinless chicken breasts,  ½ tsp ground black pepper, ½ tsp onion powder, 1tbsp of safflower oil, 1 cup diced shallots, 2 tbsp white balsamic or white wine vinegar, 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce, 1.5 tbsp raw honey, 1/8tsp crushed red pepper flakes, ¾ c fresh raspberries


One:  Cook bulgur according to package and add broccoli during final 2 minutes of cooking.  Remove from heat and stir in zest and salt and set aside.

Two:  Meanwhile, season chicken on all sides with black pepper and onion powder.  In a large non stick skillet, heat oil on medium-high.  Add chicken and cook for 5 minutes.  Turn chicken and add shallots.  Cook, stirring shallots occasionally, for 5 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.  Transfer chicken to a large plate and cover to keep warm;  keep shallots on medium high heat.

Three:    To shallots, add vinegar, soy sauce, honey and pepper flakes.  Stir to combine and cook until slightly thickened, about 30 seconds.  Stir in raspberries and cook for 30 more seconds, until berries soften slightly.  On a plate, dish out a serving of bulgur/broccoli mix and place chicken breast on top.  Then spoon berry mixture over the chicken

1 chicken breast with berry sauce and 2/3 cup bulgur mixture is approximately 300 cal,

***You can tweak this recipe however you want ..if you like more heat..add more pepper flakes and ground pepper, if you don’t have safflower oil use olive oil, if you want to skip the salt ..skip it, if you don’t have honey but you do have agave..use that instead, if you want to lean it a little heavier toward the soy sauce taste add a little more just know you are adding sodium if you do this.  If you don’t have bulgur you can substitute with cous cous ,  brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, etc etc.  If you want to add some fresh garlic to the mix…do it J  Have fun…this was really good!!!


Black Bean Dip

Posted 7/25/12



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

Pinch of salt to taste

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

Mix the black beans in a food processor until smooth.  Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl, and serve at room temperature.


Tuna Bites

Posted 7/25/12



1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp Mrs Dash

2 tsp Olive Oil

1 egg

2 cans or pouches tuna

1/2 C 1% fat cottage cheese

3 Tbsp chopped onion

1/2 C chopped spinach


-Saute the onion in the olive oil with a little bit of the spices; set aside

-In a bowl, mix all remaining ingredients with the rest of the spices. Add onions and mix well.

-with a spoon, place the mixture in 12 even parts on a preheated skillet (season with olive oil lightly to prevent sticking)

-cook 10 mins on each side or until nicely browned


Chicken Minestrone Soup

Posted 7/25/12



2 Tbsp EVOO

2 slices Canadian Bacon (Frick’s low fat, low sodium), chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1 medium zucchini, diced

1 bay leaf

1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (15 oz) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

6 cups fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth

2 cups water

6 portions chicken breast, cut into ½ inch chunks (about 1 ½ lbs)

¾ cup Ditalini pasta (these are the small circles) I haven’t found them in whole wheat, but it’s not a ton of pasta, so I don’t worry about it.

1 box (10oz) frozen green beans

1 bag (5oz) baby spinach

3 Tbsp fresh basil, sliced


In large stock pot over medium high heat, add oil and heat 1 minute. Add Canadian bacon and sauté for 4 minutes. Add onions, celery, garlic, zucchini and bay leaf, sauté for another 5 minutes.

Add cannellini beans, kidney beans, broth and water to the pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Then add chicken and cook for 10 more minutes.

Reduce heat to medium high; add pasta and green beans. Cook until pasta is tender, about 8 minutes.

Remove bay leaf from soup with tongs or a spoon. Stir in spinach and cook until slightly wilted, about 1 minute.

Ladle a portion (about 2 cups=lunch or dinner, 1 cup=snack size) of minestrone into each bowl. Top with fresh basil.


Salmon with Chickpea Ragu

Posted 7/25/12


***(if you do not like salmon you can use a different fish…mahi mahi, tilapia, shrimp, etc)



1 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

1 large zucchini , sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp tomato paste

4 cups low sodium low fat chicken broth

1 can chick peas (15oz), drained and rinsed

1 cup basil leaves, sliced into ribbons

1 tsp Cracked black pepper

Four 6 oz salmon fillets (or other fish options)


Heat the oil in large skillet on medium high heat, add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, approx 3 minutes.

Add carrot, zucchini, and garlic and cook, stirring , until carrots are firm-tender…approx 4 to 5 minutes.

Add tomato paste, stirring to incorporate completely.

Add the chicken broth and chickpeas and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, until the liquid thickens slightly…approx 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat, add basil and cracked pepper and stir to incorporate.  Cover to keep warm while you cook the salmon.

You can broil, bake or grill the salmon and season to taste.  I baked the salmon and seasoned it with lemon juice, garlic powder and rosemary.

To serve, spoon the chickpea ragu into a shallow bowl or rimmed plate.  Top the ragu with a fillet of salmon.

I have made this with salmon and mahi mahi and liked it both ways.   I tweak the recipe slightly….I cut up more carrots, zucchini than it calls for(probably about 3 or 4 carrots and 2 small to medium zucchini’s) and I use more  garlic.  But obviously you need to flavor to your tasteJ  Let me know if you like this recipe…I thought it had great flavor and it was easy!!


Aromatic Beef Stew with Butternut Squash

Posted 7/25/12



2 tsp of olive oil

1 lbs stew beef (round or chuck), cut into chunks

1 large onion, chopped

1 tbsp minced fresh ginger

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 lbs of peeled cubed butternut squash, cut into approx 1 inch cubes (approx 2 to 2.5 cups)

1 can of no salt added diced tomatoes(14.5 oz )

1 can no salt added tomato sauce(8oz)

1.5 cups low-sodium low fat beef broth

1.5 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

3 cups cooked whole wheat couscous

¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted in a dry skillet over medium to high heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown and fragrant, approx 2 minutes

4 tsp minced fresh parsley


Heat the oil in a 4 quart sauce pan over med-high heat.  Add the beef and cook until browned on all sides. (Don’t over-cook because it will cook in the stew).

Transfer the meat to a plate, leaving the juices in the pan.

Add the onion and cook, stirring until softened and translucent..approx 6 minutes.

Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 additional minute.

Return the beef to the pan and stir in the squash, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, cumin, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes.

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.

Cover and cook until the beef is tender, 30 to 35 minutes.

Spoon the stew over the couscous and sprinkle each serving with the toasted almonds and parsley


I tweaked this recipe a little…

I can’t tell you exactly because I didn’t measure anything… but I always tend do more with spices/herbs than what most recipes call for…so I added more cumin, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, crushed red pepper flakes……and I added cracked black pepper as well.  (If you want to tweak the recipe…just do it to your taste)

Also…just an FYI…next time I make this recipe… I will wait to add the meat back into the stew a little later because I thought it was a little over cooked for my taste.  And I might even go with a sirloin or filet versus chuck…but the chuck tenders I bought were pretty lean and also tasty…just a little over done by the time the stew was done.

I gotta tell you though…I really loved the combination of the spices/herbs in this stew…I will use it on some other things I cook as well.  The mix of cumin, cinnamon, fresh garlic, red pepper flakes and ginger(definitely use fresh ginger root …you will get soo much more flavor)  is awesome!  The house smelled great!