Greek Orzo

Orzo is one of my favorite pastas – I have to be careful because when it’s around, I have a hard time keeping to my serving size ! This recipe is especially good and incorporates 2 strong flavors that go well together, sun dried tomatoes and feta cheese. Next time I might add some fresh basil just before serving.

Greek Orzo
Greek Orzo

2 servings
293 calories per serving

1 ½ c chicken broth
½ c orzo
2 T minced sun dried tomatoes
2 T crumbled feta cheese
1/8 t kosher salt
1/8 t pepper

Bring broth to a boil and stir in orzo and cook until liquid is absorbed, about 9 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in tomatoes and feta. Stir until feta melts a bit. Season with salt and pepper.

Sweet Muffins

A sweet alternative to cinnamon toast – this one is quick to make and wonderful tasting.

Sweet Muffins
Sweet Muffins

1 serving
146 calories per serving

1 100 calories whole wheat light English muffin
2 t lite buttery spread
10 sprays I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter
3/4 t Splenda
1/2 t cinnamon

Combine Splenda and cinnamon. Spread muffin halves with butter and sprinkle with the sugar mix then spray each half with the butter spray and place in a toaster oven until warm and sugar is melted.

Apple Cinnamon Bake

This one gets prepped and then put in the refrigerator for a couple hours and then baked for about an hour. I find it makes an equally good breakfast as it does a dessert ! This one even had my non-breakfast eating daughter asking, “can I have some of that?” The aroma of cinnamon and apples gets ya every time !

Apple Cinnamon Bake
Apple Cinnamon Bake

8 servings
150 calories per serving

1/3 c Splenda
1 c Egg beaters
2/3 c skim milk
3/4 t maple flavor (like vanilla extract, but maple flavored instead)
8 slices cinnamon raisin bread
2 c apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 c low fat cream cheese
1 T Splenda
2 T cinnamon

Spray an 8×8 pan with Pam. Blend 1/3 c Splenda, eggs, milk and maple in a bowl. Tear the bread into 2 inch pieces and mix with apples and then stir into the egg mix being sure all the bread soaks up some of the liquid then turn it all into the prepared pan. Cut cream cheese into 10 pieces and place on top of bread and apples. Blend 1 T Splenda and cinnamon and sprinkle over the top the cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake 50-60 minutes or until browned.

Turkey Paninis

Turning a regular sandwich into a Panini makes it much more special – and all you are doing is grilling it up and pressing it a bit to melt down all the contents really well. A have a Panini pan that goes right on the stovetop – I also have a George Foreman type grill, but I like doing it stovetop better.

Turkey Paninis
Turkey Paninis

4 servings
257 calories per serving

2 T fat free mayo
4 t pesto (get the prepared version from the refrigerator section of your grocer)
8 1 oz. slices sourdough bread
8 oz. deli turkey (low fat Sara Lee or Hormel prepackaged works great here)
2 oz. thinly sliced provolone cheese
8 slices tomato
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Spray

Combine mayo and pesto and spread 1 T on each of 4 slices of bread. Top each slice with turkey, 1.2 oz. cheese, 2 tomato slices and the rest of the bread. Preheat grill pan and spray with Pam. Spray each sandwich with a few spritzes of the ICBINB Spray and add sandwiches and cook 3 minutes per side.

VIDEO: How to Use an Avocado Slicer

Whether you’re slicing avocados for sandwiches, salads or snacks, it’s nice to have pretty slices rather than gouged out chunks. Avocados are not the easiest things to work with – but they are well worth the work! Nothing tastes quite like an avocado. And there is now a kitchen tool out there that takes all the hard work out of it. Just slice your avocado in half, remove the pit, and then use the tool to do the rest. I made a quick video so you can see how they work.

And here is a link to buy one on Amazon !

Zucchini and Tomato Salad

Most don’t think to use zucchini in its raw state – but it is marvelously crunchy and mellow and a great addition to salads. This salad is mainly zucchini and it’s really tasty.

Zucchini and Tomato Salad
Zucchini and Tomato Salad

5 servings
117 calories per serving

1 garlic clove, minced
2 T red vinegar
1 T fresh chopped parsley
1/4 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
1/4 c oil
2 1/4 c thinly sliced zucchini
1 1/2 c grape tomatoes, halved
1 T fresh chopped basil

Combine garlic, vinegar, parsley, salt and pepper. Add oil and whisk well. Add zucchini and tomatoes and toss gently. Sprinkle with basil just before serving.

Portobello Mushroom Caps

Mushrooms are so low cal – and so delicious ! When you have an extra 50 calories left over in a meal and you want to fill it up with something savory, why not pan fry some Portobello mushroom caps ! It is simple to do and you can easily change up the flavor by substituting different dry and fresh herbs and spices.

Portobello Mushroom Caps
Portobello Mushroom Caps

4 servings
36 calories per serving

4 Portobello mushroom caps (4-5 oz. each)
Salt and pepper to taste
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Worcestershire sauce
Fresh parsley chopped (for garnish)

Heat a skillet to medium high heat and spray with Pam. Place mushroom caps in pan underside facing down. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder and ½ t of Worcestershire. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Flip and re-season the same way and continue cooking another 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Mushroom and Pepper Pizza

Lotsa different toppings can go on here to change it up. Anything that goes on a real pizza tastes good here. Extra veggies really don’t push up the calorie count much…mushrooms, peppers, onions, broccoli, etc.

Mushroom and Pepper Pizza
Mushroom and Pepper Pizza

4 servings
235 calories per serving

4 6-inch whole wheat pitas (Arnold’s Sahara are a good low cal choice)
3/4 cup marinara sauce
1/4 t crushed red pepper
1/4 t garlic powder
1/2 t oregano flakes
1 c shredded low fat mozzarella cheese
½ green bell pepper in thin slices
½ c mushroom slices
1/2 T olive oil mixed with 1 t water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush oil on the pitas. Spread with sauce and sprinkle with oregano, pepper and garlic powder. Sprinkle cheese over the tops. Add mushrooms and peppers. Cook for 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.

I like it extra spicy, so I also add some red pepper flakes right on top of the sauce.

Chocolate and Toffee Bars

Toffee and chocolate together – a combination you just can’t beat ! These bars are very rich and a great party treat.

Chocolate and Toffee Bars
Chocolate and Toffee Bars

30 servings
160 calories per serving

1/4 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 c Splenda brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 c flour
1/4 t salt

1/4 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 c Splenda brown sugar
1/2 c light corn syrup
1/2 c evaporated milk
1 1/2 t vanilla


3 1 oz. square unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 T Splenda brown sugar
1 c chopped pecans, toasted (to toast just heat for 5-7 minutes in a dry skillet on medium high heat)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13×9 pan with Pam.

For the crust, beat butter and brown sugar at medium speed until blended and then add egg yolk and beat until combined, Add flour and salt and beat on low until blended. The mix will be very dry and look like fine bread crumbs. Firmly press the mix into the bottom of the pan to make a buttery crust. Bake 16 – 18 minutes or until golden. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.

For the toffee, combine butter, brown sugar, syrup, milk and vanilla in a saucepan on low heat stirring constantly until the sugar all dissolves. Then bring it to boil over medium heat and cook about 10 minutes. Pour over the crust and spread and then bake another 10 minutes. Cool on a rack 5 minutes.

For topping, mix chocolate and sugar in the top of a double boiler until mixture is melted. Alternately, you can melt this in the microwave 10 seconds at a time stirring in between each cooking – be sure not to overcook. Drizzle this over the toffee and sprinkle with nuts. Cool completely on a rack and when firm, cut into bars.

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