Ravioli Stew

This was just a fabulous way to get all the flavor of ravioli without sitting down to a bowl of JUST ravioli and breaking the scales. The eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes were a great complement and this sure was one filling meal !

Ravioli Stew
Ravioli Stew

4 servings
335 calories per serving

3 T oil
2 c eggplant, cubed
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes undrained
½ t basil flakes
1 c water
1 medium zucchini cut into half moons
9 oz. refrigerated cheese ravioli
1 c shredded parmesan cheese
Pepper to taste

Heat oil and cook eggplant 5 minutes then mix in tomatoes and basil and heat to boiling. Then lower heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in water, zucchini and ravioli and heat to boiling. Reduce heat and cover and simmer 10 minutes stirring once or twice then sprinkle with cheese and pepper, cover and heat 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Key Lime Cheesecake Bars

The good folks at PlentifulPantry sent me a couple of their dessert mixes to try and here is the first installment….Chidester Farms Key Lime Cheesecake Bars.

Key Lime Cheesecake Bars
Key Lime Cheesecake Bars

The big box comes with enough ingredients to make 2 batches – 2 batches would fit in a 9×13 baking dish while 1 fits nicely in an 8×8 baking dish. These are amazingly easy to put together and the results are outstanding – the bars definitely taste completely homemade. I had doubts about a chocolate crust with a citrus dessert, but it was a perfect accompaniment.

As well as the mix, you will need a few ingredients:
1 c hot water
2 8 oz. blocks of cream cheese
6 T butter

1 batch yields 16 servings
120 calories per serving

Just follow the package instructions and in an hour you will have delightfully rich cheesecake bars with just the right amount of lime flavoring.

Be sure to visit PlentifulPantry and check out their products – they have a whole bunch of ‘partially prepped’ products that get you out of the kitchen faster without skimping on quality.

Frozen Grasshoppers

Always a hit – Always enjoyed – and so very simple to make ! After I cut them up, I wrap them individually in plastic wrap and freeze in single portions.

Frozen Grasshoppers
Frozen Grasshoppers

16 servings
260 calories per serving

28 Oreo cookies
1 ½ qt. mint chocolate chip ice cream, softened
8 oz. Cool Whip, thawed
1 square grated semi sweet chocolate

Line a 13×9 pan with foil extending the foul over the sides of the pan. Crush 20 cookies (I put them in a zip loc bag and pound with the bottom of a mug – but using a food processor or blender works well too) and sprinkle crumbs into the pan. Spread ice cream over crumbs and then top with cool whip and chocolate then freeze 3 hours. Before serving, let sit out 15 minutes to soften a bit. Serve each piece with ½ a cookie on top.

Watermelon Water

This is a great refreshing drink on a hot summer day – prepare it ahead of time and chill well. It also makes a great mixer with vodka or rum. If you don’t have the basil, this whips up fine without it 🙂

Watermelon Water
Watermelon Water

6 servings
68 calories per serving

8 c watermelon chunks
6 large basil leaves
Pinch of sea salt
¼ t white vinegar
1 qt. chilled water

Place the watermelon in a food processor and puree. Bruise the basil leaves and place in the puree with salt and vinegar. Strain through a colander into a pitcher. Stir in water and serve.

You can also not strain it and end up with a more pulpy version.

Save a few chunks for garnishes !

Cheesy Bagel

I can’t have JUST soup or JUST salad and feel satisfied – I just have to have some carbs with my meal. And a small 100 calorie bagel is the perfect way to go. And to make it feel much more special, I take 2 minutes and toast it up with some garlic and cheese – yummmmmmy !

Cheesy Bagel
Cheesy Bagel

2 servings
127 calories per serving

2 100 calories bagels
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Spray
½ t garlic powder
½ t oregano flakes
2 T grated parmesan cheese

Spray each bagel with a few spritzes of ICBIB Spray. Sprinkle with garlic powder, oregano and cheese and toast until done.

Ham and Cheese Calzone

This makes a splendid calzone – and at a fraction of the calories of a pizza shop one ! The cheese melts beautifully and the portion size was just perfect. If you’ve never had a calzone before, it’s just pizza dough wrapped around cheese and other goodies – this one has ham, but some people prefer just cheese.

Ham and Cheese Calzone
Ham and Cheese Calzone

4 servings
277 calories per serving

1/3 c fat free ricotta cheese
½ t oregano flakes
½ t parsley flakes
½ t pepper
¼ t garlic powder
¼ t onion powder
¾ c shredded low fat mozzarella cheese
¼ c shredded parmesan cheese
¼ c finely chopped ham
1 10 oz. tube pizza dough

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and spray a baking sheet with Pam. Mix ricotta, spices, parmesan. Mozzarella and ham. Unroll the dough and press it into a 10 inch circle or 10×12 rectangle. Spoon the mix onto one half leaving a 1 inch border and then fold the other side over and seal the edges by pinching the dough to secure. Bake 8 minutes then turn over and bake another 6 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool – then cut into 4 servings. Optionally serve with some low fat marinara sauce for dipping.

Vanilla – Worlds of Difference

When it comes to vanilla flavor in your cooking and baking, the type you use can make all the difference in the world.

Vanilla Bean
Vanilla Bean

When choosing your flavoring you have several options – – Imitation vanilla flavoring, pure vanilla extract (bargain basement), pure vanilla extract (good quality), and vanilla bean paste such as Madagascar Vanilla by Nielsen-Massey. I pretty much try and stick to good quality pure vanilla extract and vanilla bean paste – if you use the others, you really end up with a inferior product at the end. It costs more, but the results are really worth it !

Here are some of my favorite vanilla flavored and vanilla added treats…
they are recipes where the vanilla flavor really comes out strong 🙂

Banana Cake
Vanilla Ice Cream (no ice cream maker needed)

To find out more about vanilla, check out today’s Food Buzz Daily Special !

Honey Mustard Chicken Sandwich

Using the mustard mix as a basting sauce while cooking makes this so much better than just putting the mustard on the bread. The flavor gets really intensified and this ends up being a really great lunch sandwich.

Honey Mustard Chicken Sandwich
Honey Mustard Chicken Sandwich

4 servings
240 calories per serving

¼ c Dijon mustard
2 T honey
1 t oregano flakes
¼ t salt
¼ t cayenne pepper
4 5 oz. boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 whole grain sandwich buns (100 calories each)
4 slices tomato
4 lettuce leaves

Mix mustard, honey, oregano, salt and cayenne and brush on chicken. Grill 15-20 minutes or pan fry in a skillet sprayed with Pam for 6-8 minutes or until done. Brush with extra sauce throughout the cooking. Serve on buns with lettuce and tomato.

Greek Orzo Salad

This makes a great balanced and filling lunch portion for 370 calories. You can easily cut the serving in half and serve as a side in a dinner plate, too. But I like it as a lunch – you can make it a day ahead, it is portable, it takes even better the following day … and it is packed with healthy ingredients. Oh, and it has orzo (my fav!) 🙂

Greek Orzo Salad
Greek Orzo Salad

5 servings
370 calories per serving

1 ¼ c uncooked orzo (8 oz)
2 c thinly sliced English cucumber
½ c low fat zesty Italian dressing
1 medium tomato, chopped
15 oz. can chick peas, drained and rinsed
1 4 oz. can sliced black olives
½ c crumbed low fat feta cheese

Cook pasta according to package instructions and rinse in cold water. Mix pasta with the rest of the ingredients except the feta, cover and refrigerate at least one hour so flavors mix. Just before serving, sprinkle with cheese.

Tomato Fettucine with Spinach Sauce

The sauce in this recipe is much like a mild, creamy spinach pesto and that made it just wonderful in my book 🙂 This was such a rich and satisfying dinner or you could have a smaller portion and have it as a side to a chicken or fish dinner. The sauce would be just as good on unflavored fettucine but the tomato element really was a nice flavor combination.

Tomato Fettucine with Spinach Sauce
Tomato Fettucine with Spinach Sauce

8 servings
255 calories per serving

10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and drained well (place in a colander and press down with your hand)
1 c shredded parmesan cheese
¾ c 2% cottage cheese
½ c skim milk
1 T oil
1 clove garlic, minced
¾ t oregano flakes
½ t pepper
¼ t salt
¼ t red pepper flakes
2 10 oz. packages FiberGourmet tomato flavored fettucine (without FiberGourmet pasta, you have to add another 120 calories per serving to this)

In a food processor, process spinach, parmesan, cottage cheese, milk, oil, garlic, oregano, pepper, salt and red pepper until smooth and evenly green. Pour into a pan and heat on medium. Cook pasta according to directions and serve with the sauce.

Related Posts with Thumbnails