Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Make Your Own: Turkey Stock

Sunday night a friend invited us over for a big turkey dinner.  It was delicious-and I got to take home the turkey carcass!

I love making my own stock, because it makes me feel very, very thrifty and the flavor that it adds to dishes is really incomparable.  This recipe is my own-and you can individualize it even further to suit your family's tastes or to coincide with what you had on hand.  For this recipe, you will need a very large stockpot.

Start by giving a rough chop to the veggies you'll use to flavor your stock.  I used carrots, celery, potatoes, and a large quartered onion.  The larger you make the pieces, the easier they will be to separate out later.

Put all your turkey scraps into a stockpot along with the veggies.  Sprinkle generously with salt & pepper, and 3/4 teaspoon each dried ground sage and dried thyme.  Add 3 quarts (12 cups) water.

Bring this to a full boil and boil for 10 minutes.  Turn down the heat to medium-low, and continue to simmer for 3 hours.  This is what mine looked like after 3 hours:

Taste for flavor after 3 hours, adding more seasoning as necessary.  Continue to simmer until the stock reaches your desired level of concentration.  I prefer my stock very strong, so that when I cook with it I have to add water.  I feel like this allows me to control the flavor more-a stronger and weaker turkey flavor depending on the dish.

After stock has reached the desired strength, let cool to room temperature.  Strain to remove large pieces of vegetables and turkey scraps.  Refrigerate overnight, and then skim the top layer of fat off the next day.  Because I rarely use the stock within the next few days, I freeze it in jumbo muffin tins:

After the stock freezes, I pop the individual pieces into a large ziploc bag, and defrost as needed.  Enjoy!!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tuna Noodle Casserole

This is sheer comfort food.

I know some of you may wrinkle your nose at just the words "Tuna Noodle Casserole" but I promise this recipe will change your mind about this age-old, classic dish.  Even the most picky eaters will love!  This is adapted from a Cooking Light recipe.

Tuna Noodle Casserole
(8 servings at 9 PointsPlus each)

-12 oz whole wheat egg noodles
-1 T olive oil
-1/2 yellow onion, chopped
-6 carrots, peeled and chopped
-2 T all purpose flour
-2 3/4 cups skim milk
-1/2 cup (4 oz) 1/3 less-fat cream cheese, softened
-2 T Dijon mustard
-salt & pepper to taste
-1 cup frozen peas, thawed
-1/2 cup grated Parmigiano cheese, divided
-1/4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
-2 (5 ounce) cans albacore tuna in water, drained and flaked
-cooking spray

1.  Preheat broiler & then cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt & fat.  Drain.
2.  Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add onion & carrot; cook 6 minutes or until carrot is almost tender, stirring occasionally.  Sprinkle with flour & cook one minutes, stirring constantly.
3.  Gradually stir in milk; cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk until slightly thick.  Stir in cream cheese, mustard, salt and pepper.  Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
4.  Remove pan from heat.  Stir in noodles, peas, 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and tuna.  Spoon mixture into a shallow broiler-safe 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Top with remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and breadcrumbs.  Broil 3 minutes or until golden.  Let stand 5 mintues before serving.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chicken & Tortellini Soup

Call this a come-back post.  It's been months since I've updated this blog, and after popular demand (or by request of Laurie & Lisa, you choose) I've decided to stop being lazy and start blogging my recipes again.  Only this time, everything is going to be bigger and badder.  I'm putting a little more effort into how I present recipes on my blog, and cleaning it all up a bit.  I originally found this recipe on the Becoming Betty blog, via Pinterest.  Her recipe seemed perfect as written, but I modified it according to what I had on hand and the effort I was willing to put in with measuring out amounts of veggies.  The result was a hearty soup that made SO much that I'm freezing over 5 servings.  A small family could easily halve this recipe.

Chicken Tortellini Soup
(10 servings of 1 & 3/4 cup; 8 PointsPlus/serving)

-2 T light-tasting olive oil
-2 medium onions chopped in your food processor
-3 cloves of garlic, minced
-7 stalks of celery, chopped in your food processor
-7 carrots, peeled and sliced into small rounds
-1 T italian seasoning
-1 dried bay leaf
-3 quarts (12 cups) fat free chicken broth
-20 oz package Buitoni mixed cheese fresh tortellini
-3 large chicken breasts, cooked & diced to bite sized pieces (I cooked mine for 20 min in boiling water)
-2 chicken bullion cubes
-salt & pepper, parmesan cheese to taste

1.  Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.  Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, Italian seasoning, and bay leaf.  Cook and stir constantly for 10 minutes, until vegetables are softened slightly.  If you cut your carrots thicker, like me, then this will take a little longer.
2.  Pour in the chicken broth and add the bullion.  Bring the liquid to a boil.
3.  Add the tortellini and simmer for 5 minutes until al dente.  Fold in the cooked chicken and simmer for 2 more minutes.
4.  Season with salt & pepper; serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Chickpea Cakes with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce

This is an amazing vegetarian meal from my favorite cookbook: America's Test Kitchen, Best Simple Recipes.

Chickpea Cakes with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce

2 slices hearty white sandwich bread, torn into pieces
1 cucumber, peeled, halved, lengthwise, seeded, and shredded
salt & pepper
1 1/4 c 2 percent Greek yogurt
6 scallions, sliced thin
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
2 large eggs
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garam masala
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 (16 ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed & drained
1 medium shallot, minced
1 lime, cut into wedges

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Process bread in food processor to coarse crumbs. Spread crumbs on rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and dry, 10 to 12 minutes. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, toss cucumber and 1/2 tsp salt together in colander and let drain for 15 minutes. Stir drained cucumbers, 3/4 c yogurt, 2 tbsp scallions, and 1 tbsp cilantro together in bowl. Season with salt & pepper and set aside.

2. Whisk eggs, 2 tbsp oil, garam masala, cayenne, and 1/4 tsp salt together in bowl. Place beans in large bowl and mash with potato masher until mostly smooth. Stir in bread crumbs, egg mixture, shallot, and remaining yogurt, scallions, and cilantro. Form bean mixture into six 1-inch-thick patties.

3. Heat addition 1 tbsp oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add half o the patties and cook until well browned, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to plate and tent loosely with foil. Repeat with remaining oil and patties. Serve with cucumber-yogurt sauce and lime wedges.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Penne with Imitation Crab and Sherry Cream Sauce

I don't know that many people love imitation crabmeat, but in this house, we prefer it!  This recipe is an original.

2 TBSP unsalted butter
1/2 C minced onion
2 TBSP tomato paste
1/4 TSP red pepper flakes
1/2 C dry sherry
1 C skim milk
1 TBSP cornstarch (or flour)
2 TSP grated lemon zest
1 TBSP lemon juice from one lemon
1 box Ronzoni SmartTaste penne (14.5 oz)
1 LB imitation crabmeat, flaked
1/4 C finely chopped chives

Bring 4 quarts water to boil in a large pot.  Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over med-high heat.  Add onions and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.  Add tomato paste and pepper flakes and cook until slighly darkened, about 2 minutes.  Stir in sherry and simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes.  In bowl, whisk together milk and cornstarch until smooth, then add to skillet with sherry.  Cook until thickened, about 3 minutes.  Off heat, add lemon juice and season with salt & pepper.

Add 1 TBSP salt and penne to boiling water and cook until al dente.  Reserve 1/2 C cooking water, drain pasta, and return to pot.  Add sauce, crabmeat, lemon zest, and chives and toss to combine, adding reserved pasta water as needed.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cajun Stuffed Peppers

Tonight's recipe is Cajun Stuffed Peppers.  It's the second time I'm making them, and I can assure you that they're fantastic.  I hated stuffed peppers growing up, but these have so much flavor that it's impossible not to fall in love with them.  This is another recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen, Best Simple Recipes.  From their original recipe, I have modified it to lessen the fat content..

4 red bell peppers, halved (stem left intact), cored, and seeded
4 tsp olive oil
8 ounces extra lean ground beef
4 ounes Andouille sausage, chopped fine
1 onion, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 8.8 ounce package Uncle Ben's Original Long Grain Ready Rice
1 tbsp hot sauce
4 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Salt & pepper

Adjust oven race to upper-middle position, place rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat broiler. Microwave peppers until just tender, 3 to 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp oil in large skillet on medium-high heat until just smoking. Add beef, sausage, and onion and cook until beef is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in rice and hot sauce and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Off heat, stir in half the cheese and season with salt & pepper.

Pat peppers dry with paper towes and season with salt and pepper. Carefully brush preheated baking sheet with remaining oil. Place peppers, cut side down, on baking sheet and broil until spotty brown, about 3 minutes. Flip peppers and fill with beef mixture. Top with remaining cheese. Broil until cheese is spotty brown, about 5 minutes. Serve.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Super-Easy Curry

My friend Lisa LOVES curry, and talking about curries with her the other day made my tastebuds demand a curry for dinner-soon!  So tonight, I took the base of a WholeFoodsMarket recipe, and I'm making it my own.  I'm using pork because it's what I have on hand, but the pork can easily be substituted for chicken breasts, chicken thighs, or even thinly sliced sirloin steak. 

Key Ingredients:

1 pork tenderloin, approximately 1 lb
1-2 TBSP curry powder
2 TBSP canola oil
2/3 C light coconut milk
1 C chicken broth
3 C assorted fresh veggies (I used the asian mix from Trader Joe's)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Rub tenderloin with 1/2 TBSP of curry powder mixed with 1 TBSP of oil.  Heat remaining TBSP of oil in an ovenproof skillet over high heat.  Add pork and brown on all sides, about 4 minutes.  Transfer skillet to oven and bake under thermometer inserted into pork registers 155 degrees, about 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and let pork rest 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan coated with cooking spray, sautee veggies until crisp-tender.  Add desired amount of curry powder to vegetables with a small amount of coconut milk until smooth.  Add remaining coconut milk and broth.  Simmer about 5 minutes until slightly thickened.  Pour warm sauce with veggies over thin slices of pork on each plate and serve.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Eggs in Purgatory

This is one of my all-time favorite breakfast recipes-I could eat it for lunch & dinner too!  We generally have ours over toasted english muffins or Ezekiel bread instead of tortillas, and omit the avocado.  I also scale back the cilantrao a little bit.  This comes from WholeFoodsMarket.

1 tablespoon canola oil
3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped jalapeño pepper
1 Anaheim or small green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 (28-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
Red chile powder to taste
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 to 1 cup chicken broth
4 to 6 cage-free eggs
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 lime, cut into wedges
Hot sauce to taste
4 corn tortillas, warmed

Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add oil, garlic, peppers and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, salt, chile powder, garlic powder and cilantro; simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in lime juice and vinegar.

Carefully purée sauce in blender, in batches if necessary, then return to pan. Add enough broth to thin out the sauce, then bring to a simmer. Crack eggs into sauce, leaving space between each egg. Cover and poach eggs until egg whites are opaque and yolks are light yellow, about 10 minutes.

Transfer to plates and serve topped with avocado and cheese. Garnish with cilantro and lime wedges and serve with hot sauce and tortillas on the side.

Friday, March 4, 2011


This recipe is straight out of the new Weight Watchers Points Plus cookbook-but you'd NEVER know it.  My favorite way to serve this is alongside a plate of cut-up fruit, so that the man & I can pick and choose how to eat them.  He likes bananas, I like strawberries.  These are so easy, and be prepared so many different ways.  Sorry I have no original picture; we ate these too fast!


1/2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 TSP ground nutmeg
1/4 TSP salt
1 C fat-free milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1.  Whisk together flour, nutmeg, and salt in medium bowl.  Beat together milk and eggs in small bowl.  Whisk milk mixture into flour mixture until smooth.  Let stand 15 minutes.

2.  Spray 8-inch nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium heat until drop of water sizzles in pan.  Re-stir batter; pour scant 1/4 cupful of batter into skillet, tilting pan to coat bottom completely.  Cook until top is set and underside is golden brown, about 1& 1/2 minutes.

3.  With spatula, loosen edge of crepe and turn over.  Cook until second side is lightly browned, about 25 seconds.  Slide crepe onto plate.  Repeat with remaining batter, lightly spraying skillet before adding more batter, making a total of 8 crepes.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Crab & Broccoli Chowder

I have no idea where this recipe is from-I saved it onto my computer such a long time ago.

Here's how the recipe is written (you'll see my alterations at the end):

1 1/2 cups small broccoli florets (about 1 small head)
Cooking spray
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups cubed peeled red potato (about 3/4 pound)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Dash of hot sauce
3 (10 1/2-ounce) cans low-salt chicken broth
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
3/4 pound lump crabmeat, drained and shell pieces removed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon sherry

Steam broccoli, covered, 2 minutes or until tender.

Place a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium heat until hot. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes. Add potato and next 8 ingredients (potato through broth); bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes or until tender.

Place 3 cups potato mixture in a blender; process until smooth. Add puree back to potato mixture in pan; stir well.

Place flour in a bowl. Gradually add milk; stir with a whisk until blended. Add to potato mixture. Cook over medium heat until thick (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly. Stir in cheese. Add broccoli, crabmeat, lemon juice, and sherry; cook until thoroughly heated.

My notes: I had no broccoli, potatoes, or cheddar cheese on hand.  I did have lots of cauliflower, and monterey and pepper jack.  I steamed two large heads of cauliflower.  I didn't use a substitute for the potatoes, but at the end of the 30 minute simmer, I added the cauliflower into the dutch oven and pureed the entire mixture in my food processor.  I didn't have 2% milk, but I had heavy cream and skim milk, so I used 1/2 cup of the cream and 2 cups of the milk.  Lastly, I used monterey jack instead of the cheddar, and threw in a few teaspoons of a cajun seasoning.  My version is probably better, because it's absolutely delicious.

[show with Penzey's 4Special Seasoned Salt]

Cheesy Baked Grits

I made these for our family dinner on Sunday night (which was awesome!)  There isn't much leftover, so I think they were a success.  They are super unhealthy, but delicious.  If you don't think you even like grits-try cooking them this way.  My friend Zoe passed the recipe along to me, which is from 'The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook.'

Cheesy Baked Grits
-2 TBSP unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the dish
-1 onion, minced
-1 TSP salt
-4 1/2 C water
-1 1/2 C heavy cream
-3/4 TSP Tabasco
-1 1/2 C old-fashioned grits
-8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
-4 large eggs, lighly beaten
-1/4 TSP pepper

1.  Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with butter; set aside.  Melt 2 TBSP butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the water, cream, and Tabasco.  Bring to a boil.

2.  Pour the grits into the boiling liquid in a very slow stream while whisking constantly in a circular motion to prevent clumping.  Cover and reduce the heat to low.  Cook, stirring often and vigorously (make sure to scrape the corners of the pot), until the grits are thick and creamy, 10 to 15 minutes.

3.  Off the heat, whisk in 1 cup of the cheddar, the eggs, and pepper.  Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.  Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup cheddar over the top.  Bake until the top is browned and frits are hot, 35 to 40 minutes.  Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Couscous-Stuffed Chicken

My favorite part of the day is figuring out what's for dinner! This one was an awesome success.  They key to any dish like this, in my opinion, is a really high quality olive oil.  Another recipe where I can't credit the source and I apologize!

1/3  cup  fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1/4  cup  uncooked couscous
1/2  teaspoon  salt, divided
1/2  teaspoon  black pepper, divided
3  tablespoons  chopped plum tomato
2  tablespoons  kalamata olives, chopped
2  tablespoons  crumbled feta cheese
2  tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil
2  teaspoons  chopped fresh oregano
2  teaspoons  chopped fresh parsley
1  teaspoon  grated lemon rind
1  minced garlic clove
4  (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Cooking spray

Bring broth to a boil in a small saucepan; remove from heat.  Stir in couscous.  Cover and let stand 4 minutes.  Place couscous in a small bowl; fluff with fork.  Cool for 10 minutes.  Add 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and next 8 ingredients (through garlic); toss.

Place chicken between 2 sheets of plastic wrap; pound to 1/4-inch thickness. Divide couscous mixture evenly among breast halves; roll up jelly-roll fashion. Secure with wooden picks. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Preheat oven to 400°.

Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; cook for 6 minutes or until browned; turn chicken over. Bake at 400° for 5 minutes or until chicken is done.

Final verdict-this was GOOD.  Really, really good.  And I skipped the olives.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Things You Should Have on Hand

Let's face it-there's nothing worse than when you have to make MULTIPLE trips to the grocery store each week.  I love to cook, but this would be my least favorite part of the whole process.  To make things easier on myself (and my wallet), I buy staples in bulk when they're on sale.  This is the bare minimum of what I (should) have in my fridge/freezer/pantry:

skim milk (at least one cup, always)
a pint of heavy cream
container of plain, fat free yogurt
light sour cream
several different block cheeses-at least mozzarella, monteray jack, and cheddar (don't waste the money on shredded cheese-burn extra cals by grating your own)
grated parmesean cheese
block cream cheese
Laughing Cow cheese wedges
low-fat mayo
soy sauce
a few stalks of celery
a few loose carrots
3-5 onions
several shallots
red bell peppers
green bell peppers
jalepeno peppers
garlic bulbs (or bottled minced garlic)
diced tomatoes (at least 4 cans)
chicken broth (at least 10 cups worth)
a few cans each beef & vegetable broth
a few cans each cream of chicken & cream of celery soup
water crackers
whole wheat pasta
several variaties of rice-we currently have basmati, jasmine, and brown minute rice
rice noodles
corn tortillas
several cans pumpkin puree
several cans applesauce
several cans pineapple chunks
several jars medium salsa
several jars plain marinara sauce
hot sauce
brown sugar
white sugar
white flour
white whole wheat flour
baking soda
baking powder
confectioner's sugar
unsweetened cocoa powder
olive oil
vegetable oil
sesame oil
fish sauce
balsamic vinegar
rice vinegar
red wine vinegar
cider vinegar
marsala wine
cooking sherry

In your freezer...
assorted veggies (tip: if your fresh veggies are about to go bad and you need to use them up-just saute them until slightly softened, throw in a zip loc baggie, and freeze!)
ground beef
ground turkey
b/l, s/l chicken breast
split chicken breast (bone in)
pork tenderloin
fish fillets (tuna & flounder are my favorites)
french fries (for the kids!)
boneless buffalo chicken bites (for the lazy days when you just want a buffalo chicken salad)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

On a budget? Try chicken thighs!

Chicken thighs are relatively cheap in your grocery store compared to a lot of other meat.  I buy them at Big Y when they're 'Buy 1, get 2 free' and have a long list of standing recipes that our family loves.  Here's our favorite:

Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs

-2 TSP garlic powder
-2 TSP chili powder
-1 TSP salt
-1 TSP ground cumin
-1 TSP paprika
-1/2 TSP ground red pepper
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (If you do get skin-on, it's very easy to remove.  And the bones are fine too)
Cooking spray
6 TBSP honey
2 TSP cider vinegar

Preheat broiler.

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl.  Add chicken to bowl; toss to coat.  Place chicken on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray.  Broil chicken 5 minutes on each side.

Combine honey and vinegar in a small bowl, stirring well.  Remove chicken from oven; brush 1/4 cup honey mixture on chicken.  Broil one minutes.  Remove chicken from oven and turn over.  Brush chicken with remaining honey mixture.  Broil 1 additional minute or until chicken is done.

Homemade French Onion Dip

This is a recipe from my friend Zoe-and it is AMAZING.  Next time you need to bring an appetizer to a party, make this yours!  These notes are hers-'This says slice onions but I dice/chop them before cooking to safe a step.  I also substitute 1 cup plain yogurt for half of the sour cream, and use a mix of red and vidalia onions'.  I've followed her modifications every time I make it.

2-3 TBSP unsalted butter
2 Vidalia onions, sliced into rings
2 large shallots, sliced into rings
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 TSP celery salt
1 TSP Worcestershire sauce
kosher salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

In a large saute pan over medium high heat, add butter.  When butter is melted, add onions and saute stirring occasionally until golden brown and caramelized, about 35 minutes.  Add shallots and saute for 15 minutes more until onions and shallots are dark brown.  Add garlic and saute for another 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool for 5 to 6 minutes, then chop into 1/4 inch pieces.  Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, celery salt, Worcestershire, salt and pepper.  Fold in onion mixture.  Chill at least 1 hour of overnight (preferably), prior to serving.  Garnish with fresh chopped chives if desired.

Mexican Chicken Casserole with Charred Tomato Salsa

This is another Cooking Light recipe.  I prepared the salsa yesterday, and poached three chicken breasts in chicken broth and shredded them.  It should be much easier to put together for dinner tonight, as those are the most time consuming steps.  My only notes thus far is that I may have added a bit too much cilantro to the salsa (and may cut it with half a can of diced tomatos), and that I'm not sure I will use the feta cheese. This casserole will make 8 servings at 9 PP per serving.


  • Salsa:
  • 8  plum tomatoes, halved and seeded
  • 3  garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1  small onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1  seeded jalapeño pepper, quartered
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/3  cup  chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3  tablespoons  fresh lime juice
  • 1/8  teaspoon  black pepper
  • Casserole:
  • 1  cup  chopped onion
  • 1  cup  fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1  cup  diced zucchini
  • 1  cup  chopped red bell pepper
  • 3  cups  shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 1  tablespoon  minced garlic
  • 2  teaspoons  chili powder
  • 1  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1  (10-ounce) can green chile enchilada sauce
  • 1  (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles
  • 12  (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 1  cup  (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1  cup  (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese


1. Preheat broiler.
2. To prepare salsa, combine first 4 ingredients on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Broil 20 minutes or until charred, stirring once. Remove from oven; cool slightly. Place tomato mixture in a food processor; add cilantro, lime juice, and pepper. Process until smooth. Set aside.
3. Preheat oven to 350°.
4. To prepare casserole, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly coat pan with cooking spray. Add 1 cup onion, corn, zucchini, and bell pepper; sauté 6 minutes or until tender. Add chicken and next 5 ingredients (through green chiles); sauté 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat.
5. Spread 1/2 cup salsa over the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange half of tortillas over salsa. Spoon 2 cups chicken mixture evenly over tortillas. Top with 3/4 cup salsa. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of each cheese. Repeat layers, starting with remaining tortillas and ending with remaining cheeses. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes until bubbly.

Final Verdict: LOVE this!!  Super filling.

Crab Cakes

This recipe is from the January 2011 edition of Cooking Light.  These are fantastic!  Sorry my pictures do not do the final product any justice.

3 slices white bread (this is a good way to use those end pieces that nobody likes)
1/4 cup chopped scallions
2 TBSP reduced fat mayonnaise
1 & 1/2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 & 1/2 TSP dijon mustard (I only had plain yellow and it worked out fine)
1 & 1/2 TSP Worcestershire sauce
1/2 TSP black pepper
1/4 TSP hot sauce (I used a full tablespoon)
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 pound lump crabmeat, drained and shell pieces removed (Shhh...I used imitation crabmeat.  I used a full pound and just flaked the pieces)
1 TSP olive oil
Lemon wedges (for serving)
1.  Place the bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1 1/2 cups.  Combine breadcrumbs and next 9 ingredients (through crabmeat) in a large bowl.  Divide mixture into 8 equal portions; shape each into a 1/2 inch thick patty.
2.  Heat oil over medicum-high heat in a large skillet.  Add patties; cook four minutes on each side or until golden brown.  Serve with lemon wedges.  Serving size equals 2 cake-5 points plus.
My tips-make sure you wait the full four minutes before flipping.  If the cakes aren't browned on the bottom, they will probably fall apart.  Also, be careful when flipping because they will try to fall apart.  Gently slide the spatula under the cake and flip as quickly as possible.