Chicken and Pasta Salad

I love orzo and it is great in cold pasta salads. The goat cheese really melts in from all the lemon and it gives the whole dish a great flavor. Very satisfying !!

Chicken and Pasta Salad
Chicken and Pasta Salad

4 servings
275 calories per serving

¾ c orzo
¼ t grated lemon zest
3 T lemon juice
1 T oil
½ t Kosher salt
1 t minced garlic clove
¼ t pepper
1 c shredded grilled boneless skinless chicken breast (Perdue Shortcuts work great here !)
½ c cubed English cucumber
½ c chopped red bell pepper
½ c sliced scallions
½ c crumbled goat cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions, then drain and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process and cool it down. Mix lemon zest, juice, oil, salt, garlic and pepper and mix with the orzo. Add chicken, cucumber, peppers, and onions. Garnish with goat cheese and serve.

Corn and Broccoli

The natural ‘sugariness’ of the corn and the addition of a little bit of sugar make this a very sweet dish. It was just great served next to a mild flavored broiled pork chop. If you prefer less sweet, just leave out the sugar and this will still turn out a great side dish !

Corn and Broccoli
Corn and Broccoli

6 servings
133 calories per serving

15 oz. can creamed corn
½ c Egg Beaters
2 t sugar
2 T flour
1 t salt
½ c shredded low fat cheddar cheese
10 oz. package frozen broccoli, thawed and drained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine corn, eggs, sugar, flour and salt and then fold in cheese and broccoli and place in a baking dish and bake 1 hour.

Mint Chip Pops

Even though I make these pops in a Zoku maker, you can make any of these recipes in traditional pop makers – each pop here is 2 oz. so adjust accordingly. And if you love pops like me, then do yourself a favor and get a Zoku :) Their recipes turn out fantastic pops – I often skinny them up a bit, but I mostly use their measurements and basic recipe and am always pleased with the results. Though the original recipe does not call for it, I always add a couple of drops of green food coloring – it just tastes more minty if it’s green – hehehe

Mint Chip Pops
Mint Chip Pops

6 servings
159 calories per serving

1 ½ c skim milk
3 T simple syrup (heat equal amounts sugar and water until sugar is all dissolved – cool)
1 t peppermint extract
½ t vanilla extract
Pinch salt
¼ c semi sweet chocolate chips
6 T magic shell (available in the ice cream section of your market)
A few drops of green food coloring (optional)

Whisk together the first 5 ingredients. If you want to chocolate chips in the pops (this method only pertains to pops made in a Zoku) dip the chips in the mint base then using tweezers, place the walls of the mold. Then pour in the mint base and freeze completely (7-9 minutes in the Zoku, 6 hours in the freezer). If desired, add the quick shell by brushing on or watering down a bit and then dipping the pops into the shell – I usually leave mine bare :)

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Cucumber Tomato Salad

Always a great side – such a nice change from a regular green salad !

Cucumber Tomato Salad
Cucumber Tomato Salad

4 servings
70 calories per serving

4 small tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 small cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced (optional)
½ c lite Zesty Italian dressing

Arrange all veggies on a plate and drizzle with the dressing.

Chocolate Drizzle Cookies

At 118 calories per cookie, these are a bit high cal, but they are so rich and so delicious that 2 definitely satisfy your sweets craving. A large portion of the calories is due to the walnuts in the recipe, but these are GREAT calories full of MUFA. So don’t feel too bad ;) Serve with a nice Low Fat Latte for a great dessert.

Chocolate Drizzle Cookies
Chocolate Drizzle Cookies

30 servings
118 calories per serving

5 T unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c sugar
1 large egg
1 t vanilla
1 oz. bittersweet baking chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
1 1/3 c flour
1/3 c walnuts, finely chopped
30 walnut halves
Chocolate Glaze (see below)

Beat butter on high 2 minutes or until smooth. Add sugar and beat until creamy. Add egg and vanilla and then stir in melted chocolate. Finally stir in flour and chopped nuts then cover and chill 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and shape dough into 30 balls about 1 inch big and place on cookie sheets. Press a walnut half into each and bake 10-12 minutes and then cool completely. When cool, drizzle chocolate glaze on cookies and let sit until glaze is set.

Glaze:
Melt 1 oz. sweet baking chocolate and 1 T butter then add ¼ t vanilla, 1 c powdered sugar and 2 T skim milk.

Rice and Veggies – Very Cheesy !

Another great dish where your veggies and your starch are all together in one place. This whips up quickly and is a great side to chicken and fish dishes.

6 servings
226 calories per serving

2 c hot cooked rice
¾ c shredded low fat cheddar cheese
½ c egg beaters
¾ t garlic salt

10 oz. package frozen broccoli florets, thawed
4 oz. chopped mushrooms
½ c chopped green bell pepper
½ medium onion, chopped
1 c egg beaters
½ c skim milk
½ t onion salt
½ t pepper
½ t salt
4 oz. shredded low fat cheddar cheese
Pam

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine the first 4 ingredients and press into the bottom of a 2 quart baking dish sprayed with Pam. Steam the broccoli, mushrooms, bell pepper and onion for 5 minutes. Mix egg, milk, onion salt and pepper and stir into the veggies and pour it all over the rice crust. Sprinkle with cheese and bake 25-30 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.

Baked Pierogi

Take regular old store bought pierogi and turn them into a meal fit for a king ! The cheese sauce on top of these is out of this world good when mixed with the potato and cheese pierogi filling.

Baked Pierogi
Baked Pierogi

4 servings
281 calories per serving

1 16 oz. package or frozen pierogies
Pam
2 lean bacon slices, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 oz. low fat cream cheese
½ c chicken broth
½ c shredded low fat cheddar cheese
¼ c sliced scallions
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place pierogies in a bowl and cover with hot water to defrost. Drain well. Spray 9×13 pan with Pam and add pierogies. Heat a skillet and cook the bacon the remove and set aside (crumble it when it is cool enough). Add garlic to pan and sauté 30 seconds then add cream cheese and cook 1 minute. Whisk in broth and then pour over the pierogies. Add the cheese on top and bake 20 minutes or until heated. When done, sprinkle with bacon, scallions, salt and pepper.

Combo Sandwich with Chokes

This sandwich has so much flavor going on ! Artichokes, roasted peppers, ham, turkey – oh my !

Combo Sandwich with Chokes
Combo Sandwich with Chokes

1 serving
249 calories per serving

1 Arnold Select Thin rolls (100 calories)
4 thin slices deli ham (Oscar Mayer pre-packaged meats are great)
4 thin slices deli turkey (Oscar Mayer pre-packaged meats are great)
1 slice Kraft fat free cheese
2 T chopped marinated artichokes
2 T chopped marinated Italian peppers
¼ c baby arugula leaves
1 T low fat mayo

Toast bread (if desired) then spread on the mayo. Top with meats and cheese, then the artichokes, peppers and arugula.

Veggie Squares

How come the ‘Veggie Tales’ song is stuck in my head now? LOL This one seems a little weird, but the final product is great. The ranch flavor comes through proud and strong and mixes so well with the veggies. Serve as a healthy appetizer or as a side next to a dinner portion of meat or fish.

Veggie Squares
Veggie Squares

12 servings
104 calories per serving (1 serving = 2 pieces
)

8 oz. tube crescent rolls
3 oz. fat free cream cheese, softened
½ c low fat buttermilk ranch dressing
4 c raw veggies (cauliflower, bell peppers, carrots, broccoli)
Pam

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unroll crescent rolls. Spray a cookie sheet with Pam and press crescent roll dough into pan to form a crust. Bake 10 minutes or until golden. Let cool 15 minutes. Combine cheese and dressing and spread over crust. Place the veggies over the top, cut into 24 squares and serve immediately.

Farmer’s Market Fans Rejoice !

Second to cooking, my favorite thing is geeking out with my iOS apps. If you have an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, you have to check out a great app that brings the 2 together – – Farmers Market Finder. In the free version you get all the listings for California markets. In the paid version, called USA Farm Fresh, you get listings in all states. Just visit the iTunes store or head on over to the developer’s site to download it now.

This is a great way to find some new markets and to get all the details you need on markets you may already know (directions, contact information, etc.). Just let the app use its locator to find you and then it will list all the close by markets. Each listing includes contact information and a visual representation of what you will find at the market (fruit, veggies, poultry, bakery goods, plants, flowers, etc.)

You can browse listings, search, locate markets on a map and you can save all your favorites. I love that I can be on the road anywhere and do a quick search and find great new markets that I may not have even known about. There’s no better way to find the freshest foods available than to head out to your local farmer’s markets. See you there ! :)

Get the app on iTunes or at the developer site.

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