Thursday, December 10, 2009

brunch bake

Sorry it's been a while since I've posted a recipe! Life has been crazy, what with birthdays, Christmas celebrations, and preparing for travel. Every time I do sit down, I write Christmas cards instead of playing with my blog. But, I'm least for now.

This recipe is a great, easy recipe for a weekend breakfast or brunch. It's pretty, incredibly filling, and a quick fix. It's also low fat!

First, arrange 8 oz. of refrigerated biscuits in a baking dish that's been sprayed with cooking spray. I used Grand's Reduced Fat Buttermilk Biscuits.

Then, mix together the following ingredients: 24 oz. egg substitute, chopped cooked turkey bacon (the recipe calls for about 7 oz., but I used much, much more), 1 cup of shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, 1 cup of shredded reduced-fat  mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup of chopped fresh mushrooms, 1/2 cup of finely chopped onion, and 1/4 t. pepper.

Pour the mixture over the top of the biscuits.

Colorful, isn't it! Then, just bake it, uncovered, at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. It's beautiful and delectably delicious!!!

Brunch Bake
8 oz. refrigerated or homemade biscuits
24 oz. egg substitute
7 oz. cooked turkey bacon, chopped
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded reduced-fat (or soy) cheddar cheese
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded reduced-fat (or soy) mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 t. pepper

Arrange biscuits in a 13"x9"x2" baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. In a bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; pour over biscuits. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Serves 12.

Nutrition (see note below): 212 cal, 11g fat, 4g saturated fat, 1g trans fat, 24mg cholesterol, 781mg sodium, 10g carbs, 0g fiber, 2g sugar, 18g protein, 5% vit A, 1% vit C, 15% calcium, 12% iron.

Note on nutrition - these numbers were calculated using regular refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (not reduced fat) and reduced-fat mozzarella and cheddar cheeses.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

turkey thyme risotto

Are you drowning in leftover turkey? Then, this recipe is for you! This recipe is from Taste of Home's Light and Tasty Annual Recipes 2008, and it's phenomenal. It is the perfect way to eat up leftover turkey.

First, heat up about 3 1/2 cups of reduced-sodium chicken broth (I just heated up an entire 4 cup carton of broth - I ended up using it all anyway!). Keep this broth on the stove at low heat while you cook everything else.

In a nonstick skillet, saute 2 cups of sliced mushrooms (fresh!), a small onion, one clove of minced garlic, and one tablespoon olive oil. Stir until they are tender. One note on this step - you can modify anything above. I used two cloves of garlic, and I think it would taste excellent if the mushrooms were replaced with peas or broccoli. So be creative - use your favorite veggies.

Add 1 cup arborio (short grain) rice and 1/4 t. thyme to the skillet. Cook and stir for about 2-3 minutes. Then add 1/2 cup of white wine (or additional chicken broth) and cook and stir until the liquid is absorbed.

Start adding your heated broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly. You'll want to make sure that all of the liquid has absorbed between additions. Cook just until risotto is creamy and rice is desired tenderness. (Technically, risotto rice should be a bit al dente, but I find that harder to digest. When I made this recipe, I continued to add broth until the rice was tender enough for me. Once I ran out of broth, I added water. I don't think it hurt the flavor one bit.) Total cooking time here is about 20-25 minutes.

Add about 1 1/2 cup of chopped up turkey and about 1/4 teaspoons each of salt and pepper. If you can handle cheese, put in 2 tablespoons of grated Romano. Otherwise, leave it out - still tastes great!

Stir these items in until cooked through and serve immediately! It's amazing (my pictures don't do it justice).

Turkey Thyme Risotto

2 3/4 to 3 1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 T. olive oil
1 cup uncooked arborio rice
1 t. minced fresh thyme or 1/4 t. dried thyme
1/2 cup white wine or additional reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups cubed cooked turkey breast
2 T. grated Romano cheese (optional)
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper

In a small saucepan, heat broth and keep warm. In a large nonstick skillet, saute the mushrooms, onion, and garlic in oil until tender, about 3 minutes. Add rice and thyme; cook and stir for 2-3 minutes. Stir in wine or additional broth. Cook and stir until all of the liquid is absorbed.

Add heated broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly. Allow liquid to absorb between additions. Cook just until risotto is creamy and rice is almost tender (or as tender as you want). Continue to add water if you run out of broth. Add the turkey, Romano cheese, salt and pepper; cook and stir until heated through. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings (one cup each).

Nutrition (1 cup): 334 cal, 6g fat (1g saturated fat), 49mg cholesterol, 698mg sodium, 44g carbs, 1g fiber, 24g protein.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

calico couscous

This dish is so good, especially served alongside grilled chicken or fish. My husband even loved it (and he's wary of all things with fruit). He went back for seconds before he had finished the rest of his meal. He gave me a look and said, "Don't think I don't know what you are doing...sneaking fruit into my dinner..." - and then he scarfed it down! 

NOTE: If you've never had couscous before, you can find it near the rice in your grocery store.

In a small saucepan, bring a cup of water to boil. Once it's boiling, stir in 3/4 cup couscous.  Immediately, cover the pan and remove it from the heat.  Keep that cover on for a good five minutes.  Then, fluff the couscous with a fork...easy! 

While your couscous is doing its thing, prepare the veggies to go in the dish.  I use 1 carrot, 1 celery stalk, 1/2 cup of peppers (I used pre-frozen since I didn't have any fresh ones at the moment), and 1 green onion.

Dice your veggies, and put the carrot, celery, and peppers in a microwavable dish with about a half cup water.  Cover it and cook in the microwave for about 6-8 minutes (or until they get as tender as you want).

While your veggies are in the microwave...and your couscous is doing its thing...quickly whip up the dressing.  Grab a small Tupperware dish with a tight fitting lid and dump in three tablespoons of red wine vinegar, one tablespoon olive oil, one tablespoon Dijon mustard (you can use regular mustard, but it really doesn't taste as good), a quarter teaspoon salt, and a quarter teaspoon pepper.  Plop the lid on...make sure it's good and tight...and shake away!  Voila!

Now it's time to put it all together.  Put your couscous in a large bowl.  Add your microwaved veggies (be sure to drain them first!).  Then toss in your green onion...and don't forget a half cup of dried cranberries (they make this dish)...and then the dressing.

Stir it up and enjoy!  This is a great make-ahead dish...the more time it sits, the more time the flavors have to marry each other.  Marriage is always a good thing...especially with these flavors.

Calico Couscous

1 cup water
3/4 cup uncooked couscous
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup red or yellow pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3 T. red wine vinegar
1 T. olive oil
1 T. Dijon mustard
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper

In a small saucepan, bring water to boil. Stir in couscous; cover and remove from the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork.

In the meantime, place celery, carrots, and pepper in a microwave bowl; pour water to cover the vegetables, cover, and microwave for 5 minutes or until tender. Drain well.

In a serving bowl, combine the couscous, cooked vegetables, onion, and cranberries. In a jar or Tupperware dish with tight-fitting lid, combine the dressing ingredients; shake well. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Serves 6.

Nutrition: 148 cal, 3g fat, og saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 143mg sodium, 28g carbs, 3g fiber, 8g sugars, 3g protein, 54% vit. A, 37% vit. C, 2% calcium, 4% iron.

Monday, November 2, 2009

smothered steak

I decided to experiment for dinner tonight, and the results were amazing! I used to love steak, and I still crave it (even though I'm trying to avoid red meat).  Tonight, I came the closest I have in a long time to enjoying the flavors I used to love - and my husband loved it, too!

In a bowl, mix together 1 1/4 pounds ground turkey, 1 T. brown sugar, 1 T. minced garlic, 1/2 t. black pepper, and 1/4 t. salt. Leave it to sit while working on the next step.

Cut 1/2 of a sweet onion into thin slices (or mince it if you don't do well with sliced onion). Saute with 1 t. olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Lower heat and continue to saute until golden and tender.

Add 1 1/2 cups of slice mushroom. Cook and stir until tender.

Add 2 T. balsamic vinegar, 1 1/2 t. sugar, 1/8 t. salt, and 1/8 t. pepper. Cook and stir until liquid is slightly reduced. Remove from skillet and keep warm.

Shape turkey mixture into five patties. Place patties in skillet (no need to clean out any balsamic vinegar remains) and sprinkle liberally with garlic salt and pepper. Cook on each side until done.

Top cooked meat patty with onion and mushroom mixture. And you are done! We had ours with leftover squash casserole and hominy. My mouth is still watering!

Smothered Steak

1 1/4 lb. ground turkey
1 T. brown sugar
1 T. garlic, minced
1/2 t. pepper
1/4 t. salt

1 t. olive oil
1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 t. sugar
1/8 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper

Mix turkey, brown sugar, garlic, 1/2 t. pepper, and 1/4 t. salt. Set aside.

Saute onion in olive oil for 5 minutes on medium heat. Lower heat; continue to cook and stir until golden and tender. Add mushrooms; cook and stir until tender. Add balsamic vinegar, sugar, 1/8 t. salt, and 1/8 t. pepper. Cook and stir until liquid is reduced. Remove and keep warm.

Form turkey mixture into patties and place on skillet. Cook over medium heat on each side until done. Top with onion and mushroom mixture. Makes 5 servings.

Nutrition (1 patty with onion and mushroom topping): 218 cal, 10g fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 90mg cholesterol, 346mg sodium, 9g carbs, 1g dietary fiber, 7g sugars, 21g protein, 0% vit. A, 3% calcium, 4% vit. C, 10% iron.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

hot chocolate

Hot chocolate has to be one of the best things in the world. In my opinion, nothing tastes better on a cold night than a nice steaming mug of hot chocolate - the richer, the better.

I used to use the packaged hot chocolate mixes, but with this recipe, who needs them? This recipe makes an individual serving of hot chocolate in just two minutes that tastes far richer and creamier than anything that has ever come out of a package. And the best can use whatever kind of milk you want - soy, skim, whatever!

First, heat one cup of milk in the microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes. I recommend heating it in a microwave-safe glass measuring cup (easier to measure and pour).

While that's heating up, measure 2 tablespoons each of sugar and cocoa powder. Any type of cocoa powder will do, but my favorite is Ghirardelli's Sweet Ground Chocolate and Cocoa. It adds that extra kick of sweetness that makes chocolate so wonderful.

Stir the sugar and cocoa powder together until mixed, and then slowly add the hot milk (stirring as you go).

Finally, add a teaspoon of vanilla and stir.

Note - if you don't like your hot chocolate as rich as I do, you can always use less cocoa and sugar - just make sure that you use equal amounts of both.

Hot Chocolate

1 cup milk
2 T. cocoa powder
2 T. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Heat 1 cup milk in microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes. In mug, mix together cocoa powder and sugar. Add hot milk; stir. Add vanilla; stir.

Nutritional facts (using soy milk and Ghirardelli sweet cocoa powder): Cal. 221, Fat 4g, Sat. Fat 1 g., Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Carbohydrates 37g, Fiber 1g, Sugars 34g, Protein 7g, Vit. A 10%, Vit. C 0%, Calcium 30%, Iron 7%
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