SPINACH, ROASTED RED PEPPERS AND ARTICHOKE PENNE

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1 pound penne rigate (I used whole wheat)
1 cup chicken broth
8 oz cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat garden vegetable)
1 pound frozen chopped spinach, thawed
16 oz jar of roasted red peppers, drained and cut into strips*
1 can or jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped*
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese

*I don’t drain things too well so some of the juices get in the sauce!

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Cook pasta according to directions, drain and set aside.  In same pot bring chicken broth to boil and add dollops of cream cheese stirring to melt into a nice creamy sauce.  Add spinach, red pepper strips and artichokes and stir.  Return pasta to the pot and stir it all up.  Serve with cheeses on top and ENJOY!

I SERVED THIS WITH BBQ CHICKEN ON THE GRILL, CORN ON THE COB AND A BIG FRESH SALAD.

HOT CHICKEN SALAD

THIS IS BY NO MEANS A LOW FAT DISH BUT THERE ARE A FEW THINGS YOU CAN DO TO CUT FAT WHICH I HAVE NOTED.  ALSO JUST HAVE A SMALL PORTION AND LOAD UP ON A NICE VEGETABLE (I CHOSE STEAMED BROCCOLI) AND A BIG SALAD.  WE ALSO HAD STRAWBERRIES WITH LITE WHIPPED TOPPING FOR DESSERT!

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3 c cubed cooked chicken*
1 1/2 c chopped celery
2 Tbsp chopped onion
1 (10 3/4 oz) can Cream of Chicken soup (I used the lower fat variety)
8 oz sour cream (I used low fat)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp basil
2 hard cooked eggs, chopped
1/2 c crushed potato chips
1/3 c finely chopped almonds

*1 lb chicken will yield about 3 c cubed chicken

Preheat oven at 400 F.  Coat a 2 qt. baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Add the first 8 ingredients and mix well.  Top with potato chips and almonds.  Bake 30- 35 minutes until topping becomes golden brown.

 

RED SALAD

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Ingredients
  • For the salad: radicchio, red leaf lettuce, roasted beets, cherries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, nectarines, red plums, and peppercorns ground over the top.
  • For the Vinaigrette: I would use a prepared balsamic , raspberry or red wine vinaigrette but if you are more daring try below!
  • ½ cup fresh cherries, pitted and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle pepper puree (Gourmet Gardens makes a good one)
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons mustard (Dijon or whole grain will work!)
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme OR ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • Pinch salt & pepper
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
Instructions
  1. To make the salad: Assemble all ingredients on the plate, as you like!
  2. For the vinaigrette: Place all ingredients with the exception of the olive oil in a food processor or blender. Pulse until nearly smooth, and begin streaming the olive oil slowly through the feed. Continue to pulse until thoroughly combined. Drizzle the vinaigrette over your salad ingredients (Or under the ingredients if you prefer to prepare it first!). Enjoy!

Inspired by: http://jjbegonia.com/2015/05/27/inspired-idea-red-salad/

CHICKEN APPLE SALAD

chicken salad

4 leftover chicken breast halves, shredded or cubed

1 large apple, diced with peel on

2 celery stalks, thinly sliced

20-30 grapes (raisins could be used instead)

2 Tbsp. Honey Mustard

1/2 c.  Mayo (Substitute 1/4 c. with plain non-fat yogurt to cut fat)

2 Tbsp. Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing

2 Tbsp. dill pickle relish

In large bowl combine chicken, apple, celery and grapes.  In a small bowl combine mustard, mayo, raspberry vinaigrette and relish.  Add to chicken mixture and combine well.  Serve over a bed of spinach, mesclun mix or your favorite lettuce.

Adapted from: https://vickidelbrouck.wordpress.com/2015/05/26/summers-coming-chicken-apple-salad/

 

 

CRAB AND BROCCOLI LINGUINI

CRAB AND BROCCOLI LINGUINI (5)

13.5 oz box of whole wheat linguini
1 lb bag of frozen baby broccoli florettes
15 oz part skim ricotta cheese
1 c skim milk
2/3 c Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 Tbsp Italian herb seasoning (I used Good Seasons Salad Dressing mix)
12 oz flaked crab meat

Cook noodles as directed. Add broccoli during the last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain. Meanwhile, in a microwave-safe bowl (I used the dish I would store my leftovers in!) combine next 7 ingredients until smooth. heat until smooth, bubbly and slightly thickened. Combine with noodle and add crab meat.

Serve with a big fresh salad!

NEW TWIST ON TACOS

TACOS (7)

SO FAST AND EASY! THESE TACOS WILL SATISFY YOUR TASTE BUDS AND KEEP YOUR CHOLESTEROL AT BAY!

1 lb 96% lean ground beef
1 (15 oz) can lentils, drained slightly
1 pkt taco seasoning
1 jar of your favorite salsa
lettuce, chopped
grape tomatoes, chopped
red onion, chopped
baby peppers, chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar or taco cheese
8 large Azteca soft tortilla shells (I would use whole wheat if on hand)
8 oz low fat sour cream, optional
tortilla chips, optional

In a large skillet over medium high heat brown ground beef and add lentils, taco seasoning, 1/4 c water and 1/4 cup salsa.

TACOS (1)

Chop up your lettuce, tomato, onion and peppers.

TACOS (8)

Create your taco!  I like mine open like a taco salad but my husband likes to wrap his.

THESE ARE DELICIOUS AND NO ONE KNOWS THERE ARE LENTILS IN THERE.  THE LENTILS HELP DECREASE TOTAL FAT AND ADD FIBER.  USING 96% LEAN GROUND BEEF AND LOW FAT SOUR CREAM ALSO KEEP THE MEAL HEALTHY – THEN I DON’T FEEL GUILTY ABOUT HAVING A FEW TORTILLA CHIPS WITH IT!

PARMESAN RANCH SHRIMP KEBOBS

Parmesan Ranch Shrimp Kebabs | Cooking with a Wallflower

Ingredients
  • 2 dozen shrimp 
  • Assorted vegetables (cherry tomatoes, sliced zucchini and yellow squash, assorted colored peppers, red onion)
  • 1 packet ranch seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or  lite Italian salad dressing
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped parsley
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.* Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly grease the surface with olive oil or nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Soak wooden skewers in water for a few minutes.
  3. Thread the shrimp and vegetables through the skewers.
  4. Sprinkle ranch seasoning, Parmesan cheese over the shrimp on both sides. Drizzle olive oil evenly over the shrimp.
  5. Bake the shrimp in the oven for about 6-8 minutes.
  6. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley.
  7. Serve the skewers warm.

*THESE WOULD ALSO BE GREAT COOKED ON THE GRILL!

Adapted from: http://cookingwithawallflower.com/2015/05/27/parmesan-ranch-shrimp-kebabs/

Andrea served just the shrimp on kebobs as an appetizer – I thought the addition of veggies would be a good twist.

PIZZA POT PIE

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Have you ever seen anyone eat their Pizza with a fork?  If you’re one of those people, now you can use that fork with pride…you will need it with this Pizza for sure!

INGREDIENTS:

1 box of Pillsbury Pie Crust (the 2 pack)

9″ round cake pan

2 cups Shredded Mozzarella

1-lb. mostly cooked Sausage

8 oz. Cream Cheese

1 cup Cherry Tomatoes..sliced in half

A handful of sliced Pepperoni to cover the top

Oregano

*YOU CAN ADD OTHER OPTIONS LIKE OLIVES, PEPPERS, ONION IF YOU LIKE!

Blend together cream cheese, shredded cheese and oregano until smooth.

Brown up the Sausage until it’s either fully cooked, or almost done cooking through.

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Add the Cheese mixture in with the hot Sausage mixture, the heat from the Sausage will melt the Cheese a bit and help it to mix up!  Fold in the Tomatoes until it’s all combined…

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Place one of the Pie Crusts evenly into the bottom of the pan and fill it with the filling

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Top it with the other Pie Crust and crimp the edges to seal it.

Slice an “X” into the center for steam release.

Now brush the top with some egg wash…

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Sprinkle it with Oregano and top it with as much pepperoni as you’d like.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes until golden and hot. Cool before cutting into slices.

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SPINACH AND BEAN GREEK PASTA

Spinach and Bean Greek Pasta (3)

SUCH AN EASY SUMMER MEAL WITH ONLY 8 INGREDIENTS!

Spinach and Bean Greek Pasta (1)

12 oz bowties cooked according to directions
15 oz can Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed well
6 oz baby spinach (I didn’t have fresh so I used 16 oz bag of of frozen, thawed)
1/2 c sundried tomatoes, snipped
1/2 c onion, chopped
2 tbsp minced garlic
4 oz crumbled feta cheese
Italian or Greek with Feta salad dressing to taste

Cook the noodles and add beans, spinach, tomatoes, onion and garlic.  Toss well.  Serve topped with Feta Crumbles and salad dressing.  Can be served warm or cold.  I served with corn on the cob and a big fresh salad.

Spinach and Bean Greek Pasta (4)

I ALSO ADDED KALAMATA OLIVES TO MINE BUT HUBBY DOES NOT CARE FOR THEM!