BBQ Burritos (Pressure Cooker)

Using a pressure cooker to cook the meat means you get a super, super tender shredded meat which is just perfect for a steak burrito. This is an exceptionally good meal. Serve with some avocado slices, no fat sour cream and salsa for even more flavor.

BBQ Burritos
BBQ Burritos

6 servings
350 calories per serving

1 lb. London broil or other lean sirloin steak
6 flour tortillas (80 calorie Smart and Delicious)
1 c shredded low fat cheddar cheese
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 medium avocado, chopped
¾ c barbecue sauce
Pam

Marinade – mix together
1 5.5 oz. can spicy V-8 juice
2 T lime juice
1 T oil
½ t salt
¼ t black pepper
½ t ground cumin
½ t chili powder

Pierce beef with a fork several times. Mix marinade and place in a zip loc – add the beef and coat well and then refrigerate 8-24 hours. Pressure cook mat for 1 hours. (you can also crock pot this for 8-10 hours). Let rest 5 minutes and then using 2 forks, shred the meat. Mix in a bit of the left over juices. Preheat oven to 450 degrees (don’t mistakenly set it on BROIL like I did and then burn the holy heck out of your first batch! Thanks for help with the recon mission, Lisa ! LOL) Microwave tortillas 30 seconds or so to warm them slightly. Place beef, cheese, onion, and tomato in each wrap and fold all four sides. Place folded side down in a baking pan sprayed with Pam. Brush with barbecue sauce and bake 4-6 minutes. Serve with a slice of avocado on the top. Optionally add sour cream and salsa for even more flavor.

Greek Cucumber Toasts

This is a terrific, easy to make appetizer with the wonderful flavors of Greece just shining bright. The feta cheese, lemon, cucumbers and olives are a perfect topping to the toast triangles. Fancy tasting without a ton of work !

Greek Cucumber Toasts
Greek Cucumber Toasts

4 servings
158 calories per serving

4 slices light whole wheat bread, crusts removed and cut diagonally into triangles
4 t olive oil
3 oz. low fat feta cheese
1/2 t lemon juice + a few squirts extra
Kosher salt
Coarse pepper
1 small English cucumber, halved and then thinly sliced crosswise on the diagonal into 8 slices
4 pitted kalamata olives, sliced

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 450 degrees. Brush the bread pieces with the oil and bake until they are golden, about 5 minutes. Mash up the feta and mix with oil and ½ t lemon then add salt and pepper to taste. Spread the mix over the toast points and to with a slice of cucumber. Garnish with olives and then spritz with lemon juice and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.

Grilled Cajun Chicken Sandwiches

This is a sandwich that makes your mouth happy :) The combination of the Cajun flavoring on the chicken along with the roasted red pepper and pepperoncini is just perfect. This one is a sure crowd pleaser and cut into strips, would make a great appetizer.

Grilled Cajun Chicken Sandwiches
Grilled Cajun Chicken Sandwiches

1 serving
330 calories per serving

2 slices Italian bread
1 ½ t light mayonnaise
6 slices Cajun spiced deli chicken breast (if unavailable, sprinkle roasted deli chicken with some Cajun seasoning)
3 strips jarred roasted red peppers
1 small pepperoncini pepper sliced
1 no fat cheese slice (Kraft Singles are nice and creamy!)
2 t lite Italian dressing

Brush the outside of the sandwich with the dressing and cook in a skillet 3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Spread mayo on bread and then add all the ingredients.

Pork Chop Suey

Authentic and delicious. This Asian meal is memorable, brilliant and I want more NOW ! :)

Pork Chop Suey
Pork Chop Suey

4 servings
280 calories per serving

1 c chicken broth
3 T soy sauce
2 T molasses
1/4 t pepper
5 ts cornstarch
2 T oil, divided
1 lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed, halved lengthwise and cut into strips
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
1 medium red or green bell pepper, sliced thinly
3 c bean sprouts (fresh or canned from the asian section of your market)
1 T minced fresh ginger

Mix broth, soy, molasses and pepper. Take 2 T of the mix and stir in cornstarch and set aside. Heat 1 T oil in a non stick skillet and cook pork. Cook 5 minutes to brown it and then place in a bowl and set aside. Add 1 T oil to the skillet and cook onion 3 minutes then add the pepper and cook another 3 minutes. Add bean sprouts and ginger and cook another 3 minutes then add the broth and bring to a boil. Cook 4 minutes and then add cornstarch mix and pork and cook 2-3 minutes to thicken sauce and finish up the pork.

For just 130 calories, add ½ c of chow mein noodles to the side.

Lemony Orzo and Tuna

This is one of the pasta salads you will make again and again. The added protein from the tuna makes this a great complete meal, or you can serve as a side to any salad for a great lunch or light dinner.

Lemony Orzo and Tuna
Lemony Orzo and Tuna

6 servings
256 calories per serving

3/4 c orzo
1/2 t grated lemon zest
3 T lemon juice
1 T oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 t minced garlic
½ t red pepper flakes
1 c drained and flaked tuna fish
1/2 c diced English cucumber
1/2 c chopped red bell pepper
1/3 c scallions, sliced into thin rings
1 T sliced basil
1/2 c crumbled goat cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. When done, drain, rinse to stop the cooking process and place in a bowl. Mix lemon zest, oil, garlic, pepper flakes, salt, pepper and mix with the pasta. Add fish, cucumber, pepper and scallions and mix well. Place and sprinkle with cheese and basil.

Fruit Parfaits

These whip up in no time and are so versatile – you can use any flavor jello and any flavor fruit – – just make sure it’s frozen fruit. The frozen fruit is what makes the jello firm up in no time flat. I did this with raspberries and the dessert was just amazing tasting !

Fruit Parfaits
Fruit Parfaits

4 servings
85 calories per serving

3/4 c boiling water
1 c Cool Whip, thawed
.3 oz. package flavored sugar free jello, raspberry or strawberry flavor
2 c frozen raspberries or strawberries

Add water to jello and stir 2 minutes to dissolve then stir in 2 c frozen fruit until jello starts to thicken. Add ½ c of the mix to the Cool Whip and whisk to blend then spoon into dessert cups and cover with the rest of the jello mix. Refrigerate 15 minutes.

Spinach, Ham and Rice Casserole

A whole quarter of this casserole is yours for under 400 calories ! And it is so very flavorful. I used to do a version of this with a can of cream soup as well, but let me tell you, you don’t even miss it and without the extra calories, there’s a big old portion with my name on it :)

Trim the serving size by ½ and you have a great side dish or appetizer for just 195 calories.

Spinach, Ham and Rice Casserole
Spinach, Ham and Rice Casserole

4 servings
390 calories per serving

2 10 oz. packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 c cooked brown or white rice
2/3 c skim milk
½ c Egg Beaters
1 c grated low fat cheddar cheese (or parmesan, or gruyere, or swiss – whatever low fat cheese you like)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 T oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ c fat free chicken broth
½ pound lean ham, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix spinach, rice, milk, eggs, ¾ c cheese, salt and pepper. Heat oil in a skillet and cook onion with salt and pepper until onion begins to brown, about 8-10 minutes. During the last 2 minutes, add the garlic, then add broth and cook 4-5 minutes or so then add ham and cook until warm. Combine the 2 mixes and place in a baking dish and top with the remaining cheese and bake uncovered ½ hour.

Planning Easter Dinner

Having guests over for Easter? Attending a potluck or an event where you need to bring a dish? Then take a look at some of the perfect Easter dishes from 400 Calories or Less !

I typically make holidays my ‘Cheat Day’ for the week, but I don’t go wild – I just don’t watch quite as close as I normally do. With my low cal dishes, you can have an appetizer, soup, your meal and dessert for less than some single slices of cake (think Cheesecake Factory). So put your apron and get makin’ some Easter goodies :)

My Easter Meal Recommendation:

Appetizers:
Stuffed Mushrooms
Zucchini Pizzas
Spinach Tarts

Soup:
Lemon Soup

Dinner:
Baked Ham
Steamed Potatoes with Garlic Sauce
Lemony Green Beans

Dessert:
Chocolate Bark
Banana Cake

The mushrooms can be prepped ahead of time and cooked when the guest arrive. Same with the zucchini pizzas. The spinach tarts can be prepared AND cooked the day ahead – they reheat great in the microwave or oven.

The soup can be prepared ahead and kept warm in a crock pot set to the ‘warm’ setting.

The ham can go in the oven early, taken out while you cook the appetizers and placed back in to finish up the cooking. And the potatoes can be done ahead and you keep them warm in a crock or reheat at the last minute. Keep the steamer out and reuse it to do the beans. The beans should be done at the last minute – but it is just a steaming and quick mix with the other ingredients before you bring them to the table.

The 2 desserts can be prepared the day before.

Happy Easter and Happy Cooking !

Skinny Surf and Turf

Surf and term usually includes a large portion of meat and a lobster tail dripping in butter. If you’re looking for a healthier alternative, try a Skinny Surf and Turf with a lean piece of filet mignon and some Lemon Shrimp. Just as good, much lower fat, and a perfect celebration meal.

Skinny Surf and Turf
Skinny Surf and Turf

2 servings
346 calories per serving

2 4 oz. filet mignons
Garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter Spray

Add 2 servings of LEMON SHRIMP for the perfect ‘surf’ !

Preheat grill. Sprinkle meat with garlic, salt and pepper. Grill a couple of minutes each side or until desired temperature. When done, spritz with ICBINB Spray.

Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Decadent, Delicious, Moist, and just the right amount of peanut butter. These just could not have been any better !!

Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Peanut Butter Cupcakes

30 cupcakes
235 calories per serving

1 package super moist yellow cake mix
1 ½ c water
¼ c vegetable oil
3 eggs
¾ c creamy peanut butter
1 tub ready to spread chocolate frosting
¼ c creamy peanut butter
1/3 c chopped peanuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees . Line muffin cups with paper liners. Beat cake mix, water, oil, eggs and ¾ c peanut butter on low 30 seconds and then on medium 2 minutes. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter and bake 20-25 minutes. Cool completely. Stir together frosting and ¼ c peanut butter and frost cupcakes. Sprinkle with peanuts.

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