Tag Archives: tomatoes

Big Pot o’ Chili

Savory, hot chili – make it as spicy or as mild as you like. This one bulks up the veggies and uses turkey and very lean ground beef so it comes in at a low calorie count for a good sized portion. For 400 calories you can have a huge portion ! Try making this the next time you have a football party.

All the different tomato products used in this recipe have their own unique flavor and the combination of them is just perfect. But if you don’t particularly like one or another, feel free to substitute.

Cook this stovetop for hours to get that deep, rich, long simmer flavor – or you can cook this in the crock pot all day long while you are at work. Chili also does well in a pressure cooker. If you need instructions, just write to me and I’ll be happy to send you info.

Big Pot o' Chili
Big Pot o' Chili

20 servings
210 calories per serving

2 T oil
1 onion, chopped
20 oz. lean ground turkey
16 oz. very lean ground beef
5 ribs of celery, sliced
1 green pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
4 t minced garlic
10 oz. mushrooms, chopped
15.5 oz. can chick peas, rinsed and drained
15.5 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
15.5 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 15.75 oz. cans Campbells Pork and Beans (this addition really mellows out the tomato base)
28 oz. petite diced tomatoes
14.5 oz. fired roasted diced tomatoes
14.5 oz. stewed tomatoes
3 oz. chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped (if you don’t like heat, remove this ingredient. If you like it very spicy, add more of this ingredient)
29 oz. tomato sauce
1 T salt
1 T pepper
2 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
5 T chili powder
3 t cumin
2 t basil flakes
2 t parsley flakes
3 t oregano flakes

Heat the oil in the bottom of a large dutch oven or soup pot. Saute onions, celery and green pepper and yellow pepper 15 minutes. Add the turkey and beef and continue cooking until meat is done. Be sure to break up meat into little pieces as it cooks. (if cooking in a crock pot, do this first step stove top in a skillet and then turn it all into a heated crock) Add garlic and mushrooms and stir. Add all spices and mix well. Bring to a boil them lower and simmer for 2-3 hours on a low heat. Stir occasionally and adjust spice during the last half hour of cooking. (if cooking in a crock pot, cook on low 8-10 hours or high 5-6 hours)

The leftovers freeze well – so don’t be afraid of the huge serving size. You can also cut this in half and make 10 servings – just halve everything. Serve with low fat sour cream and low fat shredded cheddar as a garnish / topping.

Hamburger Soup (Crock Pot)

This is so tasty – it’s something I have made many times and everyone who eats it is always delighted with the great heartiness and warmth. Beings this is a crock pot recipe, you can start this one before work, come home, drop in the noodles and in 20 minutes you’ll have a healthy soup ready to go. Serve with some low fat biscuits or some Cheesy Spirals.

Hamburger Soup (Crock Pot)
Hamburger Soup (Crock Pot)

6 servings
260 calories per serving

1 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped coarsely
1 stalk celery in slices
1 package Lipton dry Beef Mushroom soup mix
14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes
6 c water
½ t salt
¼ t pepper
1 t onion powder
1/2 t garlic powder
2 c frozen mixed vegetables, thawed and drained
1 c uncooked fine egg noodles

Brown ground beef and drain thoroughly. Combine all ingredients except the noodles and frozen veggies in the crock pot, cover and cook on low 6-8 hours. 20 minutes before serving add thawed veggies and noodles and mix well. Increase heat to high, recover and cook another 20 minutes.

Seafood Stew (Crock Pot)

This is a great seafood stew full of flavor and body. If you have leftover bits of cooked fish. you only need to put them in the crock for 15 minutes or so to heat up. If you like it a bit spicier, add some hot sauce and you get a jambalaya tasting dish.

Seafood Stew (Crock Pot)
Seafood Stew (Crock Pot)

8 servings
215 calories per serving

2 c chopped onions
2 stalks celery finely chopped (about 1 c)
5 garlic cloves, minced
28 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
8 oz. clam juice
6 oz. tomato paste
½ c white wine or water
1 T red vinegar
1 T oil
½ t basil flakes
½ t parsley flakes
½ t onion powder
½ t garlic powder
½ t oregano flakes
¼ t sugar
¼ t red pepper flakes
1/2 t dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 lb. firm white fish in 1 inch pieces
¾ lb shelled, cleaned shrimp, tailed removed
6.5 oz. can chopped clams and their juice
6 oz. can crabmeat (or fresh)
¼ c parsley, chopped

Combine onions, celery, garlic, tomatoes, clam juice, tomato paste, vinegar, spices, sugar, thyme, pepper flakes and bay leaf and mix well. Cover and cook on high 4 hours. Stir in fish, shrimp, clams and crab and reduce heat to low and cook 45- 1 hour minutes or until fish is done. Remove bay leaf before serving. Stir in parsley.

Kidney Bean Salad

Very refreshing – very summery…it’s the perfect side to any grilled meat.

Kidney Bean Salad
Kidney Bean Salad

8 servings
150 calories per serving

2 15 oz. cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed (1 can red and one can white makes a nice salad)
10 oz. grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 ½ small cans mandarin oranges, drained and rinsed well
1 medium green pepper, chopped
6 green onions, sliced
½ c light zesty Italian dressing
¼ c sliced almonds

Mix beans, tomatoes, oranges, peppers and onions. Add dressing and mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Sprinkle with almonds before serving.

Greek Pasta Salad

You’d think this one would be bland with just the balsamic as the dressing – but that is definitely not the case. All the flavors from the peppers, cheese, olives, prosciutto and basil mix in with the vinegar to create a divinely simple and delicious to prepare lunch salad. And this filling salad is only 301 calories !

Greek Pasta Salad
Greek Pasta Salad

3 servings
301 calories per serving

9 oz. package of fresh tortellini
1 quart boiling water
1/3 c jarred roasted red peppers cut into 1 inch strips
1 oz pepper jack cheese cut into 1/4 inch cubes (about 1/4 cup)
8 grape tomatoes
8 pitted kalamata olives
6 canned artichoke hearts
2 thin slices prosciutto cut into strips
1 T chopped fresh basil
3 T balsamic vinegar

Cook pasta 7 minutes in boiling water. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool down. Drain. Combine pepper and the rest of the ingredients other than the tortellini. Mix well. Then add tortellini and toss gently.

Corn and Avocado Salad

Using just citrus means the dressing on this salad is nice and light. So even though you have higher cal avocados and corn, the salad is still a good side dish coming in at just 133 calories per serving. The avocado is what really makes this special – the creaminess blends so nicely with the corn and tomato !

Corn and Avocado Salad
Corn and Avocado Salad

4 servings
133 calories per serving

1 small 8.5 ounce can corn
2 pints grape tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, diced
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 T fresh lime juice
1 T oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients. Serve alongside many different dishes to bring a little spark and flavor – This is great next to chicken, fish, sandwiches, etc.

Curry Lime Chicken Kabobs

You know the drill – toss the skewers and throw this in a grill basket ! But I still call it a “Kabob” recipe so you can visualize it :) The yogurt sauce is JUST PERFECT in this recipe. Serve with some cous cous on the side.

Curry Lime Chicken Kabobs
Curry Lime Chicken Kabobs

4 servings
261 calories per serving

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
½ c plain yogurt
¼ c chopped cilantro
1 t grated lime zest
2 T lime juice
2 T oil
1 T honey
1 T Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ t curry powder
¼ t salt
¼ t pepper
2 green bell peppers cut into 1 inch pieces
1 zucchini in ½ inch slices
10 grape tomatoes
Pam

For the marinade, mix yogurt, cilantro, lime peel and juice, oil, honey, mustard, garlic, curry, salt and pepper. Place chicken in a zip loc and pour in the marinade and refrigerate 4-24 hours. Heat grill and spray a grill basket with Pam. Cook 15 minutes or until chicken is done, stirring occasionally so that all sides of the meat and veggies get browned.

Basil Garlic Marinara Sauce (Crock Pot)

I am very passionate about my sauce ! My Italian Grandma and Mom taught me well :) I have been making my own since I was 16 and over the years developed a recipe that is LOVED and CRAVED by many. That recipe included cooking sausage and meatballs in the sauce – and that gives it a very rich flavor. But it also adds calories. So in my quest to keep things lower cal, I’ve been trying a few batches of sauce without meat and this one is really, really good. It comes quite close to my regular recipe !

I’ve added beef bouillon to make up for some of the lost flavor from the meat, I’ve added roasted garlic which gives a great depth of flavor (much different than dropping in raw or sautéed garlic) and I make sure to use tomato paste. Tomato paste is to tomatoes what lemonade concentrate is to lemonade – – it is highly concentrated and adds a different flavor than any other tomato product out there. And finally I add 2 secret ingredients – shhhhhhh ! Fennel and anise seeds add the flavor you would get if you cooked sausage in the sauce. It is the finishing touch that so many sauces are missing. You only get the slightest hint of taste of the seeds in the finished product. But let me tell you, without them, the sauce is just not the same.

If you’ve never tried sauce before – try !! This one starts from canned products, not raw tomatoes – so it is NOT labor intensive. And even a bad batch of homemade is better than a jar of Ragu ;) It’s what makes a pasta meal special, so do it up !

Basil Garlic Marinara Sauce
Basil Garlic Marinara Sauce

12 servings
58 calories per serving

8 cloves roasted garlic, minced
2 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
¾ c water
1 T oil
2 t basil flakes
6 basil leaves, torn into small pieces
1 t oregano flakes
½ t red pepper flakes
½ t garlic powder
½ t onion powder
½ t whole anise seeds
1 t whole fennel seeds
2 packets or 2 cubes beef bouillon
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ c parmesan cheese

Mix all ingredients in a crock pot, cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or high 4-5 hours.

You can also put this in a pressure cooker for 20 minutes or simmer stove top for 2-3 hours.

The length of time does make a different – the sauce tastes much richer when simmered for hours than a quick sauce (which have their place in some recipes, but don’t equal a traditional slowly simmered sauce).


Freeze your extra portions and next time it’s pasta night, just defrost in the frig over night and quickly reheat in a sauce pan.

Let me know how you like it ! :)

Sausage Soup

Minestrone meets Stracciatella in this soup full of beans, spinach, cheese and yummy sausage ! To make this a dinner serving instead, just add some pasta or rice to bring it up to 400 calories.

Sausage Soup
Sausage Soup

4 servings
264 calories per serving

10 oz. sweet sausage
Pam
1 c chopped shallot (onion will do if you do not have shallots)
2 t minced garlic
½ c water
15 oz. cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
24 oz. can fat free chicken broth
2 c baby spinach
1 T fresh basil or parsley, chopped
2 T grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Remove casing from sausage (or buy it without the casing). Spray pan with Pam and cook sausage on high heat until brown stirring to break up the pieces well. Add shallot and garlic and cook 2 more minutes. Stir in water, beans, tomatoes, broth, salt and pepper and cover and bring to a boil. Uncover and cook 4 minutes or until it has thickened up a little bit. Remove from heat and stir in spinach and basil and then place in bowls and sprinkle with cheese.

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.

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