Sausage and Bean Stew (Crock Pot)

What a great appetizer or lunch. The sausage, beans and garlic make a perfect stew. Served with cheese toast, this makes a great dish to serve to guests. Even with the bread, this dish comes in under 400 calories !!

Sausage and Bean Stew (Crock Pot)
Sausage and Bean Stew (Crock Pot)

6 servings
350 calories per serving

2 t oil
3 t garlic, minced
4 2 oz. turkey sausages (any flavor you like, I used Italian hot) cut into chunks
1 c water
1 c chicken broth
2 19 oz. cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
4 c baby spinach
1/2 t black pepper
1/4 t crushed red pepper
1/8 t salt
½ t garlic powder
2 T lemon juice
6 T shredded provolone cheese
6 1 oz. slices French bread

Heat oil and cook sausage until almost done. Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Add water, broth to crock pot then add spinach. Add salt and pepper and garlic powder. Add beans and then add sausage and garlic and any pan drippings to the top. Cook on low 3 hours. Add the splash of lemon during the last 10 minutes of cooking. Serve with Cheese Toasts. To make toasts, sprinkle bread slices with cheese and broil 2 minutes to melt cheese.

If you don’t have a crock pot, you can do this stove top is a soup pot – after cooking the sausage and combining all the ingredients, simmer on very low for 1 hour.

Nilla Deluxe

I love desserts that are quick and easy – there’s nothing like opening a box, melting and drizzling, and ending up with a dessert that makes your mouth water for more ! These are a cross between a cookie and a candy and at only 87 calories per serving, I like them even better :)

Nilla Deluxe
Nilla Deluxe


18 servings
87 calories per serving (2 treats)

18 Nilla Wafers
8 caramel candies
1 square Baker’s semi sweet chocolate
18 pecan halves

Place cookies flat side up in a single layer. Microwave caramels to melt, stiffing frequently. Let stand 5 minutes. Melt chocolate. Spoon 1/2 t caramel on to each cookie then top with a nut and drizzle with chocolate.

Meatball and Escarole Soup

I just love meatball soup and when you use the frozen prepared meatballs, it takes all the hard work out of it. Just heat up some broth, add meatballs and some veggies and you have a great complete meal. Here is one of my favorite ways to serve.

Meatball and Escarole Soup
Meatball and Escarole Soup

4 servings
315 calories per serving

24 frozen cocktail meatballs
8 c chicken broth
1 6.5 oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained
4 c cleaned and torn escarole leaves
1 c shredded or julienned carrot
Salt and pepper to taste
1 t garlic powder
1 T dry minced onion
½ t oregano flakes
½ t parsley flakes

Mix all together and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 10 minutes.

Chicken Wontons in Broth

I love making wontons – you fill them with just about anything and drop in broth and they make a great meal. But this one goes far beyond – the flavors of the ginger, lemon and vegetables mingle so beautifully ! You’ll want to make this one again and again.

Chicken Wontons in Broth
Chicken Wontons in Broth

6 servings
395 calories per serving

7 cups fat free broth (chicken, beef or a mixture of both)
4 c water
3 T soy sauce
1 T lemon juice
24 wonton wrappers
1 large shallot, finely chopped
½ pound ground chicken
¾ c bok choy, finely chopped
½ c finely chopped mushrooms
Salt and pepper to taste
1 T soy sauce
1 t garlic powder
2 t minced fresh ginger
2 t grated lemon rind
1 t dark sesame oil
Dash of hot sauce

Prepare wontons (see below). Bring broth to a boil. Add 3 T soy, salt and pepper. Add wontons and cook 3 minutes or until done. Add lemon juice right at the end.

Wonton preparation:
Spray pan with Pam and cook shallot 3 minutes. Add water if it starts to get dry. Add ground meat and cook until done. Make sure you break it up into little pieces as it cooks. Let cool. Add in bok choy, mushrooms, soy sauce, salt, pepper, garlic powder, ginger, lemon zest, sesame oil, and hot sauce. Fill wontons (click below for a short video tutorial if you are not familiar with wonton preparation).

Southwest Ranch Salad

This is simple to make and you can even pack it up to go as it travels well. All the southwest flavors mingle nicely and it’s a refreshing lunch salad. If you don’t like Ranch dressing, substitute any other low fat or no fat dressing.

Southwest Ranch Salad
Southwest Ranch Salad

4 servings
380 calories per serving

4 c mixed salad greens
15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
10 oz. frozen corn, thawed and drained
1 large red pepper, chopped
4 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 c low fat shredded cheddar cheese
½ c low fat ranch dressing
2 T cilantro, chopped

Arrange greens on plates and top with beans, corn, peppers, tomatoes and cheese. Top with dressing and cilantro.

French Dip Sandwich

This is your classic French dip with a twist – you add some sauteed peppers and onions to make an already good sandwich just GREAT ! You will find yourself making this one again and again !

French Dip Sandwich
French Dip Sandwich

4 servings
278 calories per serving

1 jar au jus gravy
32 slices thin sliced deli roast beef (Oscar Mayer pre-packaged meats are great)
4 small Club rolls
1 small onion, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced
Pam

Saute onion and pepper in a pan sprayed with Pam. Add a tablespoon of water at a time if needed to keep moist. Cook until veggies are tender, about 7 minutes. In a skillet heat the gravy and add the roast beef to heat it through. Place meat on rolls and top with peppers and onions. Serve with dipping sauce.

Nilla Parfaits

I made 4, 3 of us ate one each and then fought over the 4th :) They are that good !! Make sure you use a nice creamy vanilla yogurt; one that tastes like ice cream. I love Turkey Hill brand. This is just one of those perfect desserts !

Nilla Parfait
Nilla Parfait

4 servings
270 calories per serving

2 cups vanilla frozen yogurt, softened (I like Turkey Hill brand)
8 Nilla Wafer cookies, crushed well
1 1/2 bananas, sliced
1/4 c chopped toasted pecans

In small dessert cups or parfait glasses or even in wine glasses, layer ingredients and then freeze at least half an hour. Here are the layers:

Yogurt
Banana
Nuts
Yogurt
Banana
Nilla crumbs
Nuts
1 slice of banana for garnish

Spinach Au Gratin

Creamy, cheesy, savory spinach – a perfect side dish to a light fish meal.

Spinach Au Gratin
Spinach Au Gratin

6 servings
200 calories per serving

1 medium onion, thinly sliced
6 slices pre-cooked bacon, finely chopped
15 oz. fresh baby spinach leaves
4 oz. low fat cream cheese, cubed
15 Ritz Crackers, coarsely crushed
2 T grated parmesan cheese
1 T butter, melted
Pam

Preheat broiler. Spray pan with Pam and add onion. Cook 5 minutes adding a couple of tablespoons of hot water along the way if needed to keep the onions moist. Add bacon and cook 3 minutes. Add spinach and cook 3 minutes to wilt the spinach then remove from heat and add cream cheese being sure to mix well. Turn into a casserole dish sprayed with Pam. Mix crackers, parmesan and butter and sprinkle over the casserole. Broil 2 minutes to brown the crackers.

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