Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Guacamole

Guacamole is one of my all time favorites! I just love this creamy dip and there are many variations to it. Chunky vs smooth, tomato or not, I could go on and on. I will share my favorite version with my Feasty Fans. So serve this as an appetizer or you could do like my Stud Muffin and I did. We had ours for lunch, yes that's right it was our lunch. Busted! We could not bare to not eat it once it was made. So poof!  We made all gone. Our tummies were full and we were fat & happy.

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • juice of 1 fresh lime, room temp
  • 1 Roma tomato, finely diced
  • 1/2 tsp. granulated garlic powder
  • 1/8 cup sweet onion, finely diced
  • a sprig or two of fresh cilantro, finely minced (optional)

You need a nice ripe avocado that is just soft to the touch and the outer skin is dark.
I like to cut the avocado in half and remove seeds. Just embed the knife blade into the seed enough so that you will be able to twist the embedded knife and the seed will pop  right out.                                                                     
Next  I like to cut the avocado meat while still in skin with a paring knife into a criss cross pattern, being careful not to slice through the skin, then scoop out with a large spoon into the bowl.
After you have prepared all 3 avocados add the lime juice and the garlic powder. It's important that the lime is room temp because it is easier to juice it that way. Cut lime in half and stick a fork in it, hold lime with one hand and twist the fork into the lime to release the juice into the bowl. The same thing works well for lemons except I place a small wire mesh strainer over the bowl to catch the seeds.                         
Mash the avocado well with a fork until fairly smooth, I like mine a little chunky but still smooth. If you want really smooth Guac then you can puree it in a food processor. Now add the onion, cilantro and tomato, mix well. Place in an air tight container but place plastic wrap over top of Guac and gently press down where ever air would touch the Guac, now seal on lid and chill. This will prevent it from turning brown on top. Serve after a few hours or so and serve with tortilla chips. Or you may be partners in crime with us and eat it right away. My hubby is a party pooper and would not let me add any Cilantro. So much for Freedom of the cook!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Italian Pepper & Egg Sandwich

I'll tell you that this sandwich brings back childhood memories. It's amazing how something so simple can taste so good. It's frugal and I also need to mention the quick and easy factor as well. My Mom always used green pepper but any color sweet bell pepper of your choice will do, pick your favorite or do a blend. Did you know that peppers are high in vitamin C and we all know we need that.

The only thing that I can not mimic here is the scrumptious Italian rolls that we used to get in Philly. They were delicious and made the best Hoagies ever, but here in Maryland they call them Submarines or Subs. I think everyone knows that Philly is famous for their Steak & Cheese Hoagies. My Dad swears during the war when he was a kid that they used horse meat instead of beef. If you came from Philly you will cringe here when eating one for the first time.....they put mayonnaise on it, yes that is what I said....mayonnaise. Every person in Philly knows you have to have fried onions, white cheese, hot peppers (optional but highly recommend), and ketchup on your Steak & Cheese Hoagie. That's it!  I may have talked myself into eating red meat again. I hope you enjoyed my blast from the past.

  • 3/4 cup egg Beaters or 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. granulated garlic powder
  • freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste
  • About 1 or 2 Tbsp. of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 2 slices of Sargento Red Fat Provolone cheese slices
  • Olive oil in spray can
  • 1 Italian long roll, partially cut through long ways, I used a whole wheat one
Use 12 inch non stick skillet over medium heat and spray bottom of pan with oil. Saute pepper for about 3 minutes. Meanwhile whisk together egg, Parmigiano Reggiano, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

After the 3 minutes have passed spray pan once more with olive oil and add the prepared egg mixture. Scramble eggs until just set then form eggs into the shape of the roll, top with provolone and split roll, turn off heat. You may add a lid at this point if you want your roll heated through more or if you don't want your roll steamed do not out lid on. Place into roll as soon as provolone is melted. Enjoy!



I made this recipe for one serving but just think how easy it would be to double or triple it.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Creamy Penne with Chicken and Sun Dried Tomatoes

Pasta, garlic, basil, what's not to love here? Get your creamy pasta fix here while cutting back on the fat and adding some fiber. I just love it when you can trick your fat cells into singing with delight. This is a dish for a crowd so cut the recipe into half if you don't want a large amount. Or you may make a big batch and have leftovers. Guess what, it even tastes better the next day once the flavors have melded. Mangia! Mangia!


  • ¾ cup sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, cut into thin strips with kitchen scissors,
  •    set aside about 2 Tbsp oil from tomatoes for cooking chicken in
  • 2 lbs. chicken breast tenders
  • 2 boxes of Ronzoni Smart Taste penne pasta, but only using 1 full box and 1/2 of the second box, 16 oz. total
  • 1 whole bulb of garlic, separate cloves, peel and press into garlic press
  • fresh Basil, 3/4 cup cut thin with kitchen scissors
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 pkg., 8 oz. reduced fat Sargento 4 cheese Italian
  • ¼ to ½ tsp. crushed red pepper
  • Paprika
  • Salt
  • set aside 1 cup of pasta water before draining pasta
  • Asiago cheese, grated


In a large pot bring salted water to boil for pasta. Meanwhile in a 12 inch nonstick skillet cook chicken tenderloins in oil from sun dried tomatoes on a medium heat lightly coating both sides of chicken with paprika and salt. You will need to cook this in two separate batches only cooking 1 lb at a time.

Now that chicken is cooking as soon as the water comes to a boil add the pasta and stir well. Once it comes to a boil again cook it for 15 minutes. This is longer than the directions recommend but trust me it works well for this recipe. This is a perfect time to prepare the sun dried tomatoes, garlic and basil while you cook the pasta and chicken.

Remove cooked chicken from heat and place chicken on platter (make sure it is not pink inside and it's fully cooked), then set aside.

Drain pasta when cooked but make sure you scoop out 1 cup of the water and set it aside before draining pasta.

Once chicken has been cooked you need to add the minced garlic to the skillet. Saute garlic in oil and pan juices for about 3 minutes, adding basil for the last minute. Add the 1 cup of pasta water that you saved to the skillet and deglaze pan by using a soft spatula gently scraping bits from bottom of the skillet to release the flavors from the pan. Turn off heat and set aside.

In a large saucepan add the milk and cheese and heat over medium heat stirring until cheese is melted. Once sauce is heated and smooth add the deglazed skillet mixture to saucepan. Simmer sauce for 5 min stirring occasionally.

In a very large bowl add pasta and sauce then toss it together well, add chicken and mix well. Serve immediately with grated Asiago Cheese.

Sun dried tomatoes are very expensive in the grocery store but I buy them in bulk at the wholesale
food clubs for a big savings.

Prep tips;
I like to separate garlic cloves and press down on each one with a flat metal sandwich spreader until you hear a pop, then the skin will peel right off. Also I recommend that you treat yourself to a garlic press, don't buy a cheap one because they never last long.

Separate basil leaves and stack them on top of one another holding between your fingers, then cut into thin strips with kitchen scissors. I also cut the sun dried tomatoes into strips with scissors as well.








Tuesday, February 3, 2015

White Chili

How many recipes are there for Chili? There seems to be a never ending supply of variations on this
great hearty meal. So how about some White Chicken Chili for a change? I must say that it is different, but it's really yummy. So don't be a scaredy cat to try something different. It's not too spicy but it's seasoned well and the garnishes on this one really enhance the flavors. Get your chili fix on the White Chili way and warm up you chilly bones from the inside out. This is a lean soup too in case you are watching your waistline, but it's so good you'll want to try it even if you're not.


  • 2 cups leftover chicken cut into bite sized pieces, I prefer white meat or a mix
  • 2 cups finely chopped sweet onion
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 4.5 oz cans chopped green chiles
  • 2 15.5 oz cans cannellini beans (white kidney beans), drained & rinsed
  • 2 cups chicken broth or 2 cups hot water with 2 tsp chicken base mixed well
  • ½ tsp hot sauce, you pick your favorite
  • 1 bag Utz Baked Tortillas
  • Garnishes; low fat shredded cheese, fresh chopped cilantro, & chopped spring onions.

I like to crush some low fat baked tortillas in there first and add the garnishes. It gives it a nice corn taste without the added fat of regular chips.

Add first 9 ingredients and bring to a boil, then simmer covered over a low heat for 45 minutes. Ta da!!! Now it does not get any easier than that. Now prep your garnishes just before serving, no sooner no later (just kidding). Ladle chili into bowl and place some crushed chips on top, then add the garnishes. Now it's chow time!

This is not a large batch of chili so it's perfect if you don't want a lot made. Double it up if you want more.




Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Banana Oatmeal Bread

I'll tell you a secret, I do not like bananas. But if you put them in a bread, pie, cake or muffin you will have my fat cells perky and my full attention. My Dad always likes to spread his with cream cheese or butter but I prefer mine naked. I can't tell you how many times I've made this bread and it's a favorite in my house. My grandson James loves his Nonna's nanner bread. Our little guy so handsome and he's a genius too. Nonna knows.

This is a great tasting recipe that is healthier than most, less sugar, flour and it also has oatmeal in it. I just love it when that happens. Get rid of those rotten bananas with dignity!

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¾ cups oatmeal
  • 3 overly ripe bananas, peeled & mashed
  • 1/3 cup fat free buttermilk
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a very large bowl mix together all of the dry ingredients until well blended.

Combine mashed banana with the next 4 remaining ingredients, stir into the flour mixture until just mixed.

Spray a 8x4 inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Add batter to pan and cook for 55 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes then invert on rack to cool. Wrap well and refrigerate until ready to eat.



This recipe is from the 2005 Cooking Light cookbook.



Monday, January 12, 2015

Burrito Casserole



We just love Mexican style food and this is a perfect way to get your fix right at home. Whether it's the nasty weather, tight budget, or trying to eat healthier this one is sure to please.  

Excuse the pic of it already cut into but in someone's excitement it was eaten before I could take a pic. I plead the 5th! My Stud Muffin and I both hit the jackpot on this spicy lower fat dish. 

This is not for spice wimps,  so only put in 1/2 tsp. of the chipotle if you are a cry baby about spice. My heart goes out to you if can not tolerate spices so I'll take care of you in another post. Don't you know spice makes the world go round. Enjoy!
  • 1 lb 99% lean ground turkey or lean ground beef
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ -1 tsp ground chipolte powder
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 can fat free refried beans, 16 oz.
  • 6 large flour tortilla's, I like the high fiber ones
  • 2 cups Sargento reduced fat grated cheddar cheese, 8 oz pkg.
  • 1 can Campbell's Healthy Request cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup fat free sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile brown the ground meat and onion in a large nonstick skillet stirring and breaking up pieces until meat is no longer pink. Then add the paprika, garlic, chipolte, cumin, salt and beans along with the water and ketchup, stir to mix well then cook on low while preparing next step.

In a large bowl whisk together soup and sour cream and set aside.
Spray a 9 x 13 Pyrex dish with cooking spray.
Spread 1/2 of the soup mixture evenly onto the bottom of the Pyrex dish.  
Tear up 3 tortilla's and spread evenly over top of soup mixture.
Spread out  half of the meat/bean mixture over top.
Now add half of the cheese.
Repeat again, you know just like a good old rerun on TV.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, let set for 5 minutes before cutting servings. If you are like me you will not be able to wait the 5 minutes.

My favorite brand ground turkey is Shady Brook Farms, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Spinach & Asiago Stuffed Mushrooms

I have been a mushroom lover for years and I must confess that these babies are the bomb. You can eat them as an appetizer or a nice side to a dinner of your choice. The flavors of this dish will trick your fat cells into singing with delight. I love Green Giant creamed spinach because it is all about flavor while being low in fat. The Asiago cheese is a perfect flavor meld and the crunch of the the Panko make this schroom de bomb. Mushroom lovers unite!
  • 12 Baby Bella Mushrooms, about 3 inches in size
  • 2 10 oz. boxes of frozen Green Giant Creamed Spinach
  • 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese and some extra for topping
  • 2 Tbsp. minced garlic in jar
  • 4 Tbsp. butter or Smart Balance original margarine
  • Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup white wine, the drinkable kind

Cook creamed spinach according to package directions and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile remove stems from mushroom while gripping the stem and using a twisting action, trying not to damage the mushroom shell. Wipe mushrooms with a damp paper towel if need be to clean off. Add 2 Tbsp. of the butter to a 10 x 13 pyrex baking dish along with the white wine

In a medium size mixing bowl mix together cooked spinach, Asigo, and garlic, mix together well. Place mushrooms in dish and stuff with the spinach mixture. Now add a sprinkling of Asiago and Panko to the tops of the mushrooms, then melt the remaining 2 Tbsp. of butter and drizzle on top of the mushrooms. Bake at 350 degrees uncovered for 45 minutes.
You see the deliciousness of the juices in the bottom of the baking dish. Get yourself some nice hearty bread to sop it up and eat it cave man style. Yum!