Southwest Pork Soup

Tender pork, spicy broth – the flavor is just fantastic ! If you don’t enjoy spice, just remove the jalapeno and you will still end up with a great tasting pork soup.

Southwest Pork Soup
Southwest Pork Soup

4 servings
325 calories per serving

Pam
1 c onion, chopped
2/3 c green bell pepper, chopped
1 c chopped mushrooms
1 T minced garlic
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1 lb. pork tenderloin in bite sized pieces
2 c chicken broth
2 c beef broth
1 c water
2 t chili powder
1 t ground cumin
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
15 oz. kidney beans, rinsed and drained
14 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 T cilantro, chopped
1 c avocado, diced

Heat a non stick soup pot then spray with Pam. Add onion and cook 5-6 minutes adding a bit of hot water if necessary to keep onions moist. Add pepper, mushrooms, garlic and jalapenos and cook another 3 minutes then add pork and cook another 10 minutes. Add broth, water, spices, beans and tomatoes and bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in cilantro just before serving. Spoon into bowls and top with avocado pieces.

Greek Chicken Pitas

Greek food is so flavorful and fresh tasting. And many of the dishes are surprisingly simple to make. Using store bought tzatziki here is a time saver, but if you want to make it from scratch, it’s pretty easy. It’s just a mixture of plain Greek yogurt, garlic and cucumber pieces. You can skip the tzatziki if you don’t like it, then just substitute some hummus to add in more moisture.

Greek Chicken Pitas
Greek Chicken Pitas

4 servings
310 calories per serving

1 lb. chicken tenders
1 t Greek seasoning (mix of oregano, salt, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika)
1/2 c tzatkizi
4 8 inch pita breads
2 c romaine lettuce, chopped
2 plum tomatoes, sliced
1 cucumber, seeded and cut into strips
1/4 c crumbled feta cheese
Pam

Spray a large skillet with Pam. Heat on medium high and add chicken. Sprinkle with the seasoning and cook 6-8 minutes or until lightly browned and done throughout.

Slice pitas so you will be able to fill the pocket. Add chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta and tzatziki. I often slice the chicken up first so it gets more distributed throughout the sandwich.

Chicken Cacciatore in a Snap

For years I used MY standard chicken cacciatore recipe and I was very wary of trying a new one. Let me tell you, this one really fits the bill for a tasty, flavor packed, nutritious version that will quickly become one of your favorites.

Chicken Cacciatore in a Snap
Chicken Cacciatore in a Snap

4 servings
297 calories per serving

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
1 t oregano flakes
1/2 t basil flakes
1/4 t red pepper flakes
Pam
2 c sliced mushrooms
3/4 c chopped bell pepper
1 1/2 c fat free marinara sauce
1/4 c water
½ t garlic powder
½ t onion powder
1/4 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
1/2 c shredded Parmesan cheese
2 T sliced fresh basil

Heat a large skillet on medium high and spray with Pam. Add chicken to pan with oregano, basil and red pepper. Saute until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and pepper and cook 5 minutes. Stir in sauce, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and water and bring to a simmer. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat, sprinkle with cheese and fresh basil. Serve immediately.

Broccoli Cheddar Dip

So easy to make – this takes just a few minutes. And the results are SUPER ! There will be lots of yummy noises as your group eats this one up. Serve with low cal crackers.

Broccoli Cheddar Dip
Broccoli Cheddar Dip

18 servings
72 calories per serving

10 oz. package frozen broccoli
8 oz. Cabot low fat sharp cheddar, grated
4 oz. cream cheese
2 T milk
1 t Tabasco sauce
1/2 t pepper

Microwave broccoli in a partially covered dish 8-10 minutes. Add cheddar, cream cheese, tabasco and pepper. Recover and microwave 1-2 minutes or until cheeses are melted. Stir until smooth. Serve immediately with crackers.

Grilled Onion Burgers

So savory and sooooo tasty ! Cooking the onion right in the burgers is a nice touch and there is sooooo much flavor from the grilled onion.

Grilled Onion Burgers
Grilled Onion Burgers

4 servings
320 calories per serving

1 large onion
1 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 ½ t garlic powder
4 slices low fat Swiss cheese
2 t oil
4 slices thick, hearty bread, toasted
Salt and pepper to taste

Peel onion and cut off 4 ¼ inch thick slices. Shape meat into patties and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder and then press one onion slice into each burger and shape meat around the onion so it is even with the meat. Place burger onion side down on a hot grill and cook 5 minutes. Flip burger and cook another 5 minutes. Top with cheese during the last minute of grilling.

Turkey Cobb

Cobb salads are a perfect lunch. They are packed with protein and give you the energy to get through the afternoon without any ‘3 o’clock sleepies’.

Turkey Cobb
Turkey Cobb

8 servings
200 calories per serving

12 c mixed salad greens
6 oz. thin deli sliced roasted turkey breast, cut into strips
1 chopped avocado
1 ½ c grape tomatoes, halved
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 hard boiled eggs cut into wedges
1 c low fat shredded cheddar cheese
8 oz. light balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Place greens on a platter and then lay other ingredients in strips across the top. Place dressing on top of individual portions.

Stuffed Artichokes (Pressure Cooker)

Stuffed artichokes cooked in a pressure cooker are delectable ! They soften up beautifully and the garlic seems to just be infused into the artichoke leaves. This is a great recipe – so flavorful, so classic.

Stuffed Artichokes (Pressure Cooker)
Stuffed Artichokes (Pressure Cooker)

8 servings
105 calories per serving

8 large artichokes, trimmed
½ c bread crumbs
½ c grated parmesan cheese
½ c minced garlic
1 c chicken or vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lemon

Everyone trims an artichoke differently – I cut off the stem and then ½ inch from the top. Then I trim all the leaves by nipping off the end. To get the leaves to open up enough to stuff them, I bang the leave side down on the counter a couple of times – then you can use your fingers to pry open the leaves some. Yes, all this work is definitely worth it :)

Separate leaves slightly so you can drop in the ingredients – each should get bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and garlic.

Place artichokes in pressure cooker (you can double decker them) and pour over broth. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then squirt with the juice of 1 lemon. Close pressure cooker and bring to pressure and cook 60 minutes. Quick release pressure.

If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can cook these stovetop in a dutch oven – simmer for 2 hours or until tender.

You can make these ahead of time and just reheat in the microwave prior to serving – I actually prefer to do it this way. They just seem to be more flavorful with the second heating.

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.

Spinach Tarts

These little crustless tarts make a great side dish to lunch or dinner. Very cheesy, very chic :)

Spinach Tart
Spinach Tart

8 servings
124 calories per serving (serving=2 tarts)

16 oz. frozen spinach
3 egg whites
12 oz. 2 % cottage cheese
1 c shredded part skim mozzarella
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese
1/4 t black pepper
Pam

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put spinach in a colander and rinse with hot water until thawed. Using your hand or the back of a spoon, press it down firmly to drain all the water out of it. Mix egg whites, cottage cheese and mozzarella cheese and then add spinach and mix well. Spoon mixture into 16 muffin / cupcake cups sprayed with Pam. Bake 35 minutes.

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