Friday, August 31, 2007

Phyllo Triangles With Onion Jam.....and lots of wine...

Normally, working with phyllo dough sucks. I work fast, careful not to tear the paper-thin dough, while worrying if the remaining dough is properly covered.

Tonight my phyllo precautions are lost in my ineberation. I cut the first sheet of phyllo dough in haste, neglecting to cut lengthwise. Sheet after sheet, I cut incorrectly. Yet, the dough folds up into neat triangles. I amaze myself. The final result: sweet jam mixed with tangy blue cheese, encased in a light and flakey phyllo pocket.

All I know about wine is the color and my preference for bubbly. After much contemplation at the local Bev-Mo, I selected Fontana Candida Frascati '05. Their description of its distinct taste of almonds and sweet apples was the deciding factor. I felt that this wine went well with the dish and tasted good.

The recipe is from my stand-by: Cooking Light. The Nutrional Information is in the 2007 Annual Recipes cookbook. (NI for 2 triangles: 98 calories, 3.7g fat, 1 fiber)

Phyllo Triangles with Onion Jam

2 teaspoons butter
4 cups vertically sliced onion
1 cup thinly sliced shallots
1 tablespoon sugar
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) blue cheese (such as Maytag)
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
Dash of salt

Remaining ingredients:
6 (18 x 14-inch) sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
Cooking spray
4 teaspoons butter, melted

To prepare jam, heat 2 teaspoons butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, shallots, and sugar; sauté 8 minutes or until onion is lightly browned. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in wine and broth; cook for 5 minutes or until liquid evaporates. Remove from heat, and stir in cheese, chives, thyme, and salt.
Preheat oven to 400°.

Place 1 phyllo sheet on a large cutting board or work surface (cover remaining phyllo to prevent drying). Cut sheet in quarters lengthwise; lightly coat with cooking spray. Spoon 1 level tablespoon onion mixture onto 1 short end of each strip, leaving a 1-inch border. Fold 1 corner of edge with 1-inch border over mixture, forming a triangle; continue folding back and forth into a triangle to end of strip. Repeat procedure with remaining phyllo, cooking spray, and onion mixture. Place triangles, seam side down, on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Brush tops of triangles evenly with 4 teaspoons melted butter. Lightly coat tops with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 11 minutes or until golden.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Aimee's Meatloaf Muffins

This week I revisited one of my favorite recipes! These "muffins" are great tasting and a good portion size. I usually serve these with steamed veggies. They are also good with mashed cauliflower (prepare frozen cauliflower, then mash with laughing cow cheese).

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

New Snack: Jicama

My new favorite snack: Jicama! Specifically, I am eating Jicama with freshly squeezed lemon juice, salt, and chili powder.

One 1/2 cup serving has only 23 calories and 3 grams of fiber.

And if my heart desires, a whole jicama is 0-points. Can't beat that!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Pickled Green Beans

Surprisingly, green beans can taste just like pickles!

We now have four 12-ounce jars of pickled green beans sitting in our fridge. My first attempt at canning went well. The recipe was easy to follow and went fairly quickly. (I adjusted the salt to 3/4 a teaspoon per 12-ounce jar.)

Thanks for sharing the recipe Kari!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Chicken Lime Soup

Chicken Lime Soup

Olive Oil Cooking Spray
3 half chicken breasts, boneless & skinless
4 limes
1.5 quarts chicken broth
1 cup diced red bell pepper
2 garlic cloves
.5 cup diced celery
1 cup diced zucchini
1 cup diced skinned and seeded tomato

Spray Olive Oil over the chicken breasts. Then squeeze the juice of a lime over the chicken. Grill the chicken over medium heat for 5 minutes per side. Cool and then dice. (Next time I am going to shred the chicken.)

Bring the chicken broth to a simmer. Add bell pepper, garlic, celery and carrot. cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Stir in the zucchini and cook for 5 minutes. Add the chicken, the juice from the remaining limes and tomato. Simmer until heated. Optional Garnish: Cilantro and salsa.

*Recipe from The San Francisco Chronicle Cookbook

This soup is low-fat and super delicious. The limes give the soup an interesting tang without over-powering the other flavors of the soup.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Tuna Tacos

We had tuna tacos for dinner. The portion size was perfect. I must mention that we also served this with a side of fat-free refried beans. And if you were curious, we bought our tuna in the freezer section of Trader Joe's.

I added the recipe below:


4 servings (serving size: 2 filled tacos and 1 lime wedge)


  • 3/4  teaspoon  chili powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1/2  teaspoon  sugar
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/8  teaspoon  chipotle chile powder or chile powder
  • 1  pound  Yellowfin tuna fillet (about 3/4 inch thick)
  • Cooking spray
  • 8  (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 1  cup  sliced peeled avocado (about 1 medium)
  • 1/2  cup  vertically sliced onion
  • 1/4  cup  fresh cilantro leaves
  • 24  pickled jalapeño slices
  • 8  teaspoons  reduced-fat sour cream
  • 4  lime wedges


Combine the first 5 ingredients in a small bowl; sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over both sides of tuna.

Heat a grill pan over high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add tuna; cook 2 minutes on each side or until medium-rare or until desired degree of doneness. Cut tuna into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

Warm tortillas according to package directions. Divide tuna evenly among tortillas; top each with 2 tablespoons avocado, 1 tablespoon onion, 1 1/2 teaspoons cilantro, and 3 jalapeño slices. Top each with 1 teaspoon sour cream. Serve tacos with lime wedges.

Nutritional Information

331 (24% from fat)
9g (sat 2g,mono 4.1g,poly 1.7g)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Yogurt for Yogurt-Haters

I confess. I am a yogurt hater. I have tried them all. But this is delicious! I made this for breakfast. That's right. I am made dessert for breakfast and it wasn't the first time either. This recipe disguises the fact that I am eating yogurt. I cut the recipe in half and it makes enough for 2 days of good eats. I hope that the next time I make it, I can cut back on the sugar and not be offended by the yogurt flavor, or maybe, I will enjoy the sugary goodness of my breakfast. Super simple. Also, I liked the yogurt mixed with the brown sugar only.

Please note: I enjoyed this after lunch. It was a yummy dessert. But I still think it could be doable for a sweet breakfast.

Strawberry Fool

A fool is an old-fashioned English dessert made by folding puréed fruit into whipped cream. This lighter version uses yogurt.

3 cups sliced strawberries
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 (8-ounce) cartons vanilla low-fat yogurt

  • Combine strawberries and granulated sugar in a large bowl. Cover and chill 2 hours.

  • Combine brown sugar and yogurt in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Cover and chill 2 hours.

  • Gently fold the strawberry mixture into the yogurt mixture until swirled.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3/4 cup)

NUTRITION PER SERVINGCALORIES 219(7% from fat); FAT 1.8g (sat 0.9g,mono 0.4g,poly 0.3g); PROTEIN 6.3g; CHOLESTEROL 6mg; CALCIUM 222mg; SODIUM 81mg; FIBER 2.6g; IRON 0.8mg; CARBOHYDRATE 46.4g

Recipe can be found in 2000's Best of Cooking Light or at

Broccoli, Cherry Tomato, and Pasta Salad

I was feeling ambitious tonight. However, I did not make all of the dishes that I planned to make, partially because this pasta salad took longer than planned. It is possible that it was because I was chatting away on the phone while I was preparing it.
I would recommend this recipe to anyone with an herb garden. The salad was slightly expensive to make since the only things that I had available in my garden were the mint and lemon. The dressing is unique and creamy, which is a nice change from the standard Italian dressing or oil and vinegar.

Broccoli, Cherry Tomato, and Pasta Salad

Herb mixture:
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
12 mint leaves
1 garlic clove, peeled

2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/3 cup 2% low-fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Dash of black pepper
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

7 cups small broccoli florets
2 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups cooked medium seashell (about 4 ounces uncooked pasta)
1/2 cup minced shallots
2 tablespoons capers
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and halved

To prepare herb mixture, combine first 6 ingredients on a cutting board; finely chop, and reserve 3 tablespoons. Set remaining herb mixture aside.
To prepare the dressing, place the reserved 3 tablespoons herb mixture in a food processor. Drop 2 garlic cloves through the food chute with food processor on; process until minced. Add cottage cheese and next 6 ingredients (cottage cheese through dash of pepper) to food processor; process until smooth. Stir in feta.

To prepare salad, steam broccoli, covered, 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Cool. Combine remaining herb mixture, broccoli, mushrooms, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Pour dressing over salad; toss well.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 1/2 cups)

CALORIES 327(24% from fat); FAT 8.8g (sat 3g,mono 3.4g,poly 0.9g); PROTEIN 18.4g; CHOLESTEROL 14mg; CALCIUM 248mg; SODIUM 768mg; FIBER 7g; IRON 4.3mg; CARBOHYDRATE 50g

Recipe can be found in 2000's Best of Cooking Light or

Monday, February 19, 2007

Creamy Tomato-Balsamic Soup

This soup will certainly be added to my comfort food repertoire. At the high cooking temperature, the vegetables release their sugars and become caramelized. The caramelization combined with the balsamic fragrance makes the whole house smell fabulous. Also, the tomato soup is very economical to make. It can also be made using a vegetable broth instead of beef broth. I blended the ingredients until they were "liquefied", however I decided not to put the soup through a sieve. The soup still had a great texture and was hearty too. Pictured below is the baking dish full of garlic cloves, drained whole tomatoes, and chopped onions.

Creamy Tomato-Balsamic Soup

1 cup less-sodium beef broth, divided
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
5 garlic cloves
2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, drained
3/4 cup half-and-half

Preheat oven to 500°.

Combine 1/2 cup of broth, sugar, vinegar, and soy sauce in a small bowl. Place onion, garlic, and tomatoes in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Pour broth mixture over tomato mixture. Bake at 500° for 50 minutes or until vegetables are lightly browned.

Place tomato mixture in a blender. Add remaining 1/2 cup broth and half-and-half, and process until smooth. Strain mixture through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Garnish with cracked black pepper, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 1/2 cup)
NUTRITION PER SERVING: CALORIES 120(35% from fat); FAT 4.7g (sat 3g,mono 1.5g,poly 0.1g); PROTEIN 3.8g; CHOLESTEROL 23mg; CALCIUM 120mg; SODIUM 452mg; FIBER 1.7g; IRON 1.7mg; CARBOHYDRATE 14.9g
Julie Grimes
Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2005

Monday, January 15, 2007

Buttermilk Apple Coffee Cake

This truly is a beautiful coffee cake. The cake moist and sweet, but not overly so. When making the glaze, I had to use extra buttermilk to make the glaze a thinner consistency. Additionally, I substituted almond extract for the vanilla to give the cake more of an almond flavor.

Buttermilk-Apple Coffee Cake

1 1/2 cups thinly sliced peeled Granny Smith apple
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons sliced almonds

1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon low-fat buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare the cake, combine the first 4 ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook 5 minutes or until syrupy, stirring frequently; cool.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Combine granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well-blended; add egg and extracts, beating well. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat well after each addition.

Spoon the batter into an 8-inch round cake pan coated with cooking spray. Arrange apple mixture over cake. Sprinkle with almonds. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until cake begins to pull away from sides of pan. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon buttermilk, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Drizzle glaze over cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 wedge)

CALORIES 185(24% from fat); FAT 5g (sat 2.3g,mono 1.7g,poly 0.6g); PROTEIN 3.4g; CHOLESTEROL 35mg; CALCIUM 36mg; SODIUM 162mg; FIBER 1g; IRON 1mg; CARBOHYDRATE 31.8g

Cooking Light, APRIL 2001

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Spinach Lentil Soup

Racking in at 20 grams of fiber per serving, this tasty soup is fiberlicious! I made a whole pot of spinach lentil soup with very little prep time. I used pre-diced onions ($.99 a bag at TJ's and the recipe used 1/2 the bag) and pre-shredded carrots. The recipe does not specify what type of lentils to use. I chose tiny black lentils and I think this reduced the cooking time. I will definatly make this dish again and it beats all canned lentil soups hands-down. It's even vegan.

Spinach Lentil Soup
1 cup shredded carrots
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 cups water
1 (16 ounce) jar salsa
1 1/4 cups dried lentils
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 (10 ounce) package fresh spinach, torn
In a large pot, saute carrots and onion in oil until tender. Add the water, salsa, lentils and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the lentils are tender (50-60 minutes, but it took mine about 30 minutes). Stir in the spinach and simmer until the wilted (about 5-10 minutes).

6 (1 1/2 cup) Servings: 208 calories, 3 grams fat, 686 mg sodium, 36 g carbs, 20 g fiber, 18 g protein. Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 1 starch, 1 very lean meat, 1/2 fat.

Fruit Shish-Ka-Bobs

I put together these fruit shish-ka-bobs for a staff meeting. The middle skewers are balls of watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew. The outer skewers are fresh strawberries and pineapple. I used a flower cookie cutter to cut out the pineapple pieces.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Ricotta Ranch Dip

My newest discovery is mixing 1/4 cup low-fat ricotta cheese with 1 teaspoon of Hidden Valley Ranch dry mix.

The cheese that I use has 50 calories and 2 grams of fat per 1/4 cup serving. The ranch mix is only 5 calories for 2 tablespoons.

Today, I used this fabulous mixture as a dip for baby carrots and celery. Tomorrow, I plan to use it as a baked potato topping (with salsa).