Category Archives: Dinner

Big Pot o’ Chili

Savory, hot chili – make it as spicy or as mild as you like. This one bulks up the veggies and uses turkey and very lean ground beef so it comes in at a low calorie count for a good sized portion. For 400 calories you can have a huge portion ! Try making this the next time you have a football party.

All the different tomato products used in this recipe have their own unique flavor and the combination of them is just perfect. But if you don’t particularly like one or another, feel free to substitute.

Cook this stovetop for hours to get that deep, rich, long simmer flavor – or you can cook this in the crock pot all day long while you are at work. Chili also does well in a pressure cooker. If you need instructions, just write to me and I’ll be happy to send you info.

Big Pot o' Chili
Big Pot o' Chili

20 servings
210 calories per serving

2 T oil
1 onion, chopped
20 oz. lean ground turkey
16 oz. very lean ground beef
5 ribs of celery, sliced
1 green pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
4 t minced garlic
10 oz. mushrooms, chopped
15.5 oz. can chick peas, rinsed and drained
15.5 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
15.5 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 15.75 oz. cans Campbells Pork and Beans (this addition really mellows out the tomato base)
28 oz. petite diced tomatoes
14.5 oz. fired roasted diced tomatoes
14.5 oz. stewed tomatoes
3 oz. chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped (if you don’t like heat, remove this ingredient. If you like it very spicy, add more of this ingredient)
29 oz. tomato sauce
1 T salt
1 T pepper
2 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
5 T chili powder
3 t cumin
2 t basil flakes
2 t parsley flakes
3 t oregano flakes

Heat the oil in the bottom of a large dutch oven or soup pot. Saute onions, celery and green pepper and yellow pepper 15 minutes. Add the turkey and beef and continue cooking until meat is done. Be sure to break up meat into little pieces as it cooks. (if cooking in a crock pot, do this first step stove top in a skillet and then turn it all into a heated crock) Add garlic and mushrooms and stir. Add all spices and mix well. Bring to a boil them lower and simmer for 2-3 hours on a low heat. Stir occasionally and adjust spice during the last half hour of cooking. (if cooking in a crock pot, cook on low 8-10 hours or high 5-6 hours)

The leftovers freeze well – so don’t be afraid of the huge serving size. You can also cut this in half and make 10 servings – just halve everything. Serve with low fat sour cream and low fat shredded cheddar as a garnish / topping.

Hamburger Soup (Crock Pot)

This is so tasty – it’s something I have made many times and everyone who eats it is always delighted with the great heartiness and warmth. Beings this is a crock pot recipe, you can start this one before work, come home, drop in the noodles and in 20 minutes you’ll have a healthy soup ready to go. Serve with some low fat biscuits or some Cheesy Spirals.

Hamburger Soup (Crock Pot)
Hamburger Soup (Crock Pot)

6 servings
260 calories per serving

1 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped coarsely
1 stalk celery in slices
1 package Lipton dry Beef Mushroom soup mix
14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes
6 c water
½ t salt
¼ t pepper
1 t onion powder
1/2 t garlic powder
2 c frozen mixed vegetables, thawed and drained
1 c uncooked fine egg noodles

Brown ground beef and drain thoroughly. Combine all ingredients except the noodles and frozen veggies in the crock pot, cover and cook on low 6-8 hours. 20 minutes before serving add thawed veggies and noodles and mix well. Increase heat to high, recover and cook another 20 minutes.

Balsamic Pork Medallions

The simplest recipes often turn out the biggest flavors and this is no exception. A great sear, lemon pepper and a balsamic glaze make this the perfect pork dish.

Balsamic Pork Medallions
Balsamic Pork Medallions


4 servings
210 calories per serving

4 4 oz. boneless pork chops
2 t lemon pepper
Pam
1/2 c balsamic vinegar
1/3 c fat free vegetable broth

Sprinkle meat with seasoning. Spray a nonstick skillet with Pam and place over medium high heat. Add meat and cook 4 minutes each side or until lightly browned. Remove from skillet and keep warm.

Wipe pan clean and then add vinegar and broth. Cook 6-7 minutes or until sauce has reduced and thickened. Spoon over chops and serve immediately.

Seafood Stew (Crock Pot)

This is a great seafood stew full of flavor and body. If you have leftover bits of cooked fish. you only need to put them in the crock for 15 minutes or so to heat up. If you like it a bit spicier, add some hot sauce and you get a jambalaya tasting dish.

Seafood Stew (Crock Pot)
Seafood Stew (Crock Pot)

8 servings
215 calories per serving

2 c chopped onions
2 stalks celery finely chopped (about 1 c)
5 garlic cloves, minced
28 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
8 oz. clam juice
6 oz. tomato paste
½ c white wine or water
1 T red vinegar
1 T oil
½ t basil flakes
½ t parsley flakes
½ t onion powder
½ t garlic powder
½ t oregano flakes
¼ t sugar
¼ t red pepper flakes
1/2 t dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 lb. firm white fish in 1 inch pieces
¾ lb shelled, cleaned shrimp, tailed removed
6.5 oz. can chopped clams and their juice
6 oz. can crabmeat (or fresh)
¼ c parsley, chopped

Combine onions, celery, garlic, tomatoes, clam juice, tomato paste, vinegar, spices, sugar, thyme, pepper flakes and bay leaf and mix well. Cover and cook on high 4 hours. Stir in fish, shrimp, clams and crab and reduce heat to low and cook 45- 1 hour minutes or until fish is done. Remove bay leaf before serving. Stir in parsley.

Curried Cauliflower

This dish has a subtle yet delicious curry flavoring – it’s perfect next to chicken and fish dinners. If you haven’t tried curry before, but you like cauliflower, this is a great dish to try. It’ll get you hooked on curry, I bet :)

Curried Cauliflower
Curried Cauliflower

8 servings
100 calories per serving

1/4 c olive oil
2 t curry powder
2 t sugar
1 t lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
4 c cauliflower florets
1/3 c slivered or sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix oil, curry, sugar, lemon, salt and pepper than mix in cauliflower. Pour all into a 13×9 baking dish and cover. Bake 15 minutes then stir and add almonds and cook another 10-15 minutes uncovered.

Chicken Milanese with Salad

Milanese style just means a breaded cutlet – – This is easy to throw together and the cutlets rival my old standby recipe – it’s the parmesan cheese in them that make these really special. Change up the salad by adding different veggies; tonight I had some left over zucchini and radishes that I threw in.

Chicken Milanese with Salad
Chicken Milanese with Salad

4 servings
197 calories per serving

4 3 oz boneless chicken breasts
1/4 t black pepper
¼ t salt
1/4 c seasoned bread crumbs
2 T grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2 t oil
3 c baby salad greens or field greens
1 c grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 c matchstick cut carrots (pre-packaged)
3 T low fat balsamic dressing
Pam

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Rinse chicken in water. Combine bread crumbs and parmesan in a bowl and press chicken cutlets in to coat well. Spray a skillet with Pam and heat over medium heat and add the chicken and cook about 4-5 minutes per side or until browned. Mix the salad greens, carrots, tomatoes and dressing and serve salad alongside chicken cutlet.

Beef Chow Fun

This dish is a FAVORITE of mine when I go to Asian restaurants. Now I’ve recreated it at home ! I’ve added some more veggies that you usually get in the restaurant dish and it makes it a nice complete meal. This tastes so authentic and so delicious !

Beef Chow Fun
Beef Chow Fun

4 servings
385 calories per serving

8 oz. rice noodles (pad thai work great – the wider the better, but whatever you can find !)
1/2 c beef broth
4 teaspoons black bean garlic sauce (available in the Asian section of your market)
1 T soy sauce
2 t brown sugar
2 t cornstarch
4 t peanut oil
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 small onion, thinly sliced
5 ½ c sliced and cut stir fry veggies (snow pea pods, carrots, broccoli, celery) (if using frozen, thaw them)
1/2 c water, divided
8 ounces sirloin steak, cut into thin slices
¼ c douchi (fermented black beans available at your local Asian market)

Prepare noodles according to package instructions then rinse in cold water and drain and set aside. Mix Sherry, sauces, sugar and cornstarch and set aside. Heat 2 t oil in a non stick skillet and cook ginger 30 seconds. Add onion and cook 5 minutes or until softened up a bit then add the rest of the veggies plus ¼ c water. Cover and cook 5 minutes or until the veggies are softened a bit. Add the veggies to the noodles and wipe out your pan. Add 2 t oil to the pan and cook steak 3-4 minutes to brown it then add in the cornstarch and cook 2 minutes to thicken the sauce. Now add the veggies and noodles to the pan with ¼ c water and the fermented black beans. Heat through for about 2-3 minutes and serve immediately.

Chipotle Pulled Pork

This goes together in no time, but then you have to be around the house to tend to the meat every couple of hours as it SLOW cooks in the oven. But it is worth EVERY second. Just plan this one for a day you are inside anyhow.

The sauce is deep and rich and thick and very authentic – it rivals any you would find at a good BBQ Joint !

Chipotle Pulled Pork
Chipotle Pulled Pork

12 servings
281 calories per serving

1 T oil
2 yellow onions, diced
2 T chili powder
1 T ground cumin
2 t paprika
1 t cayenne pepper
12 oz. bottle of lager beer
¾ c ketchup
¾ c cider vinegar
½ c whole grain mustard
2 T tomato paste
1 T canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced (here is where you can really spice it up – the more chipotle pepper, the hotter it will be !)
1 T adobo sauce (from can above)
5 lb. bone in pork butt or pork shoulder

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Heat oil in a Dutch oven on medium low heat and cook onions about 20 minutes then increase heat to high and stir in chili powder, cumin, paprika and cayenne and cook 1 minute. Then stir in beer, ketchup, vinegar, mustard, tomato paste, minced pepper, adobo sauce and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium low and cook about 10 minutes. Trim all the fat from pork, remove pan from heat and add pork putting some of the sauce on top. Cover and move pan to the oven and bake 1 ½ hours then turn the pork over, cover with more sauce , cover the pan again and cook another 1 ½ hours. Then uncover and continue to cook until the meat pulls apart easily, another 1-2 hours. Place meat in a large bowl and cover with foil. Retain sauce in a cup or bowl and refrigerate 20 minutes or so – or until the fat separates from the sauce and then skim it off. Return sauce to pan and heat 4-5 minutes. Shred the pork and discard any bone. Mix the heated sauce into the shredded meat and stir well.

Veggie Mac and Cheese

I am betting you can smell this cooking from all the way over there ! The parmesan and cheddar cheeses blend to perfection and the pasta…well, it just feeds the soul. The portion size will be cut down dramatically to come in at 400 calories if it were not for the FiberGourmet pasta.

Veggie Mac and Cheese
Veggie Mac and Cheese

4 servings
399 calories per serving

10 oz. Fiber Gourmet Penne pasta
2 t oil
1 9 oz. yellow summer squash halved lengthwise and sliced thinly
1 9 oz. bag frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
4 scallions sliced thinly
1 bottled roasted red peppers, rinsed and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 T flour
2 ½ c skim milk
¾ t salt
1 c grated no fat cheddar cheese
¼ c parmesan cheese
Pam

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil in a skillet on medium high heat and add squash, scallion, artichokes, peppers and garlic. Cook 7 minutes. Add flour and stir well and then gradually add milk. Add salt and cook an additional 5 minutes. Add the hot veggies and sauce to the pasta along with the cheddar cheese and mix well and turn into an 11×7 baking pan that has been sprayed with Pam. Sprinkle with parmesan and bake ½ hour or until hot and crusty.

Pesto Stuffed Steaks

These steaks are just DELICIOUS! I had my doubts of how the pesto and parmesan flavors would go with steak, but this was just great. It was a mild yet super flavorful addition to the steak and added back a lot of moisture that grilling can deplete. Serve with a quick salad such as Tomato, Cucumber and Egg salad for a great BBQ meal.

Pesto Stuffed Steaks
Pesto Stuffed Steaks

6 servings
284 calories per serving

2 beef rib eye steaks, about 1 ½ inches thick (2 pounds)
¼ c pesto sauce
2 T shredded parmesan cheese
1 T oil

Heat the grill. Make a horizontal slit in each steak to form a pocket and stuff with pesto and cheese and then press closed. Drizzle with oil and then grill 7 minutes each side or to desired doneness. Cut into thin strips before serving.

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