Monthly Archives: March 2010

Pork with Lemon Caper Sauce

Here is one delicious quick and easy recipe that is a sure-fire crowd pleaser – especially if you love pork chops.  This has a light but flavorful breading – crisp on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside.  You cannot go wrong with this :)

1/3 c flour

1/8 tsp salt

3 tbsp Italian-seasoned bread crumbs

3 tbsp preshredded fresh Parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 large egg white, lightly beaten

4 – 4 oz boneless center cut pork chops (about 1/2 thick)

2 tsp olive oil

1/2 c fat free less sodium chicken broth

1 tbsp dry white wine

1/4 tsp grated lemon rind

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 tsp capers, rinsed and drained

1. Combine flour and salt in a shallow dish.  Place breadcrumbs, cheese, and pepper in a shallow dish; place egg white in another shallow dish.  Dredge pork in flour mixture, dip in egg white, and dredge in breadcrumb mixture.  Coat pork with cooking spray.

2. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat.  Add pork to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until done.  Remove from pan; keep warm.  Add broth and remaining ingredients to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.  Cook 2 minutes or until reduced to 1/4 cup (about 2 mins).  Serve with pork.  Yields 4 servings.

I know the pork appears a little burnt but it certainly didn’t taste that way.  The recipe didn’t have a picture so I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to look but the taste was amazing!  I served it with orzo (splashed with some fresh lemon juice, salt, and parsley) and garlic-red pepper broccoli.  I had my son help me make this dinner so I *think* that’s why he enjoyed every bite of it – even the broccoli :)

Nutritional Information (pork only):

Calories: 256

Fat: 10.1 g

Protein: 28.2 g

Carbohydrate: 11.5 g

Fiber: 0.7 g

Cholesterol: 68 mg

Sodium: 419 mg

Chocolate Mint Bars

So here we are. . .dessert time again.  I needed something to bring in to work yesterday and wanted to use ingredients I had on hand.  Needless to say, chocolate and mint is another favorite pair of mine.  So decadent and good – you’d never know these were low-cal!

Bottom layer:

1 c flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 c granulated sugar

1/2 c egg substitute

1/4 c butter, melted

2 tbsp water

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 (16 oz) can chocolate syrup (about 1 1/3 c)

Mint layer:

2 c powdered sugar

1/4 c butter, melted

2 tbsp fat free milk

1/2 tsp peppermint extract

2 drops green food coloring


3/4 c semisweet chocolate chips

3 tbsp butter

1. Preheat oven to 35o.

2. Combine flour and salt; stir with a whisk.  Combine granulated sugar and next 6 ingredients in a medium bowl; stir until smooth.  Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture, stirring until blended.  Pour batter into a prepped 13 x 9 baking pan.  Bake for 28 mins.  Cool completely in a pan with a wire rack.

3. Combine powdered sugar and next 4 ingredients in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer until smooth.  Spread mint mixture over cooled cake.

wow. . .this was super green. . .like Shrek.

4. Combine chocolate chips and 3 tbsp butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave on high for 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. Let stand 2 minutes.  Spread chocolate mixture evenly over mint layer.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Cut into 20 pieces.

The bottom layer was a bit moister than I expected but still very good.  I wonder if it may needed to have been in the oven a few minutes longer.  Other than that I had NO complaints whatsoever – delicious!

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 264

Fat: 8.7 g

Protein: 2.8 g

Carbohydrate: 45 g

Fiber: 0.5 g

Cholesterol: 38 mg

Sodium: 139 mg

Chicken and Wild Mushroom Hash Cakes with Garlic and Red Pepper Broccoli

With all the previous potato talk – here’s another way to enjoy our favorite starch!  I came across this recipe and knew I had to try this.  Just think. . .you can take your poultry or mashed potato leftovers and turn them into some fried goodness :)  I think I’m salivating again. . .

Hash Cakes:

2 c chopped shiitake mushroom caps

1 garlic clove, minced

2 c chopped cooked chicken/turkey

2 c mashed cooked baking potatoes

3/4 c panko bread crumbs

1/2 c shredded Cheddar cheese

1/3 c thinly sliced green onions

1.5 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black peppper

1 tbsp canola oil

1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add mushrooms and garlic to pan; saute 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.  Combine mushroom mixture, chicken, potatoes, 1/4 c panko, and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl.  Divide mixture into 8 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2 in thick patty.  Refrigerate 10 minutes.  Dredge patties in remaining 1/2 c panko.

2. Heat 1.5 tsp oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the patties and cook  2 minutes on each side – you might need to do this in batches.  Yields 4 servings (2 patties each).

***I served this with a side of broccoli (2 cloves minced garlic and 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper – sauteed with broccoli — you can also use broccolini – and simmered with 1/2 c water, covered, for about 6-7  minutes) and cranberry sauce.

This was so delicious!  That’s all I have to say about this.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 263

Fat: 10 g

Protein: 25.1 g

Carbohydrate: 18.2 g

Fiber: 2.2 g

Cholesterol: 68 g

Sodium: 556 mg

Bullseye Onion Burger

This looked intriguing and since I had been turned on to the use of kale in various recipes I decided to give this a shot.  I love onion – it doesn’t matter what kind – because I think it does so much for flavor and so the sweet onion here turned out to be a great flavor combination with the kale and swiss cheese.

What you’ll need:

1 large sweet onion

1 lb very lean ground beef (the leaner the better)

1. 5 tsp garlic powder

4 slices low fat swiss cheese

8 red or green kale leaves, stems removed

2 tsp olive oil

4 – texas toast, toasted

1.  Peel and cut onion into 4 – 1/4 in thick slices.  Shape meat loosely into 4 1/2 thick patties; sprinkle with garlic powder, 1/3 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Press one onion slice into the center of each patty and shape meat around onion until top of onion is flush with the surface of the meat patty (this was really tricky for me).

2. Place meat, onion side up on the rack of an uncovered grill and cook to desired doneness, turning once halfway through.  Brush kale leaves lightly with oil and add to grill the last minute or so of grilling.

3. To serve, place two kale leaves and slice of cheese atop each bread slice.  Top with a burger, onion side up and serve with choice of side (I did sweet potato fries).  Makes 4 servings.

1. I could have melted the cheese on the kale in the oven for a minute or two.

2. The onion didn’t completely grill the way I would have liked.

But overall, the taste was a success.  Just keep in mind that this is definitely a fork and knife type burger :)

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 321

Total fat: 10 g

Cholesterol: 78 mg

Sodium: 387 mg

Carbohydrate: 22 g

Fiber: 2 g

Protein: 34 g

Three Cheese Baked Penne

I needed something quick and easy before I started work and so I came across this recipe.  Sometimes pastas can come out a bit bland or the sauce too “tomato-ey” or overpowering.  Between the sweet Italian sausage, the three cheeses, and the additional herbs – even my young  son (who has turned out to be my worst critic, go figure) can’t get enough!

Your supplies:

2.5 c uncooked whole wheat penne

2 (4 oz) links sweet turkey Italian sausage

1 c finely chopped green bell pepper

1.5 tsp dried Italian seasoning

1 tsp crushed red pepper

1/8 tsp black pepper

dash of salt

10 grape/cherry tomatoes, halved

1 garlic clove, minced

1 (8-0z) can garlic and herb tomato sauce

3/4 c shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

1/2 c crumbled goat cheese

1/4 c grated Parmesan

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain and keep warm.

3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Coat pan with spray.  Remove casings from sausage.  Add sausage and cook 2 minutes, stirring to crumble.  Add bell pepper and next 6 ingredients; saute for 6 minutes or until pepper is tender.  Stir in tomato sauce.  Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.  Add pasta to pan, tossing to coat.

4. Spoon mixture into a prepped 8 in square baking dish.  Stir in mozzarella and goat cheeses; sprinkle with Parmesan.  Bake for 7 minutes or until bubbly and top is browned. Makes 6 (1. 25 c) servings.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 326

Fat: 10.9 g

Protein: 20.8 g

Carbohydrate: 38.9 g

Fiber: 4.9 g

Cholesterol: 47 mg

Sodium: 641 mg

Coffee Nut Scones

Let’s hear it for the scones, again!  Okay, I’m just going to tell you now – this is a very traditional scone in that it is a bit more on the ‘bitter’ side.  Most scones you see now are sweetened by what’s added into or on top of them (IE. chocolate, fruit, icing, etc.).  So I don’t want you to be surprised.  Despite that, I still really liked the coffee and nut flavor and they are perfect paired with your daily coffee or espresso (I have a great connection with this – my friend makes and sells his own). If you’re up to it – here you are!


2/3 c low fat milk

2.5 tbsp instant coffee granules

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2.25 c flour

1/3 c sugar

2.5 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground cinammon

1/4 c chilled butter, cut into small pieces

3 tbsp finely chopped walnuts

2 tsp low fat milk

2 tsp sugar

1. Combine 3/4 c milk and coffee granules in a microwave safe bowl – heat on high for 1 minute.  Cover and chill completely.  Stir in egg and vanilla.

2. Preheat oven to 425.

3. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients into the bowl.  Cut butter in with a pastry blender.  Stir in walnuts.  Add milk mixture, stirring until moist (dough will be sticky).

4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly 4 times with floured hands.  Pat dough into an 8 in circle on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Cut dough into 10 wedges (do not cut all the way through the dough though so as to retain moisture).  Brush with remaining milk and sprinkle with 2 tsp sugar.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Makes 10 servings.

***Van, these would be the third scones I’ve made and I will tell you – each time the dough seems like a sticky mess but apparently they are supposed to be that way.  Adding more flour will make the scones too dry.  So if you care to try again don’t fret if the dough seems “off”.

Like I said, I really enjoyed these but because I’m a chocolate freak I will probably add some chips in there the next time :)

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 207

Fat: 7 g

Protein: 4.9 g

Carbohydrate: 31 g

Fiber: 1 g

Cholesterol: 35 mg

Turkey Meatballs in Mushroom Gravy

Meatballs – one of my all time fave comfort foods.  But, of course, I found a low-cal version which is very, very good!  Seasoned just right and with a mushroom gravy – definitely hit the spot for the day.  I hope you enjoy as well.

You’ll need:

1 lb lean ground turkey

1/2 c chopped onion

1/4 c plain bread crumbs

1/4 c fresh parsley, snipped

1/2 tsp dried basil, crumbled

1/2 tsp dried oregano, crumbled

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

8 oz fresh mushroooms sliced

1/2 tbsp dried thyme, crumbled

1 c fat free, no salt added beef broth

2 tsp cornstarch

1. In a large bowl, stir together the turkey, onion, bread crumbs, parsley, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper.  Shape into 16 meatballs.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Remove from heat and lightly spray with vegetable oil spray.  Cool the meatbals for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown on all sides, turning frequently.  Transfer to a plate.

3. In the same skillet cook the mushrooms and thyme for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

4. Return meatballs to skillet and pour on 3/4 c broth.  Reduce the heat to medium; cook, covered, for 6-8 minutes, or until meatballs are heated through.

5. Put the cornstarch in a small bowl and add the remaining broth and whisk.  Add to skillet and stir well.  Simmer for 1 minute until sauce thickens for a gravy consistency.  Yields  4 (4 meatball) servings.  Serve over your choice of side – Enjoy!

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 188

Total Fat: 1.5 g

Cholesterol: 77 mg

Sodium: 423 mg

Carbohydrate: 11 g

Fiber: 2 g

Protein: 31 g

Dolly Bars

Otherwise known as seven layer bars (but I counted in this recipe and I didn’t find seven – so I’m not sure what constitutes an actual “layer”) these are ooey, gooey, and absolutely delicious!  These are quite simple and since I have never made them before I just stuck with the original recipe I had on hand but the possibilities are endless here.  My friend who doesn’t even like coconut said she liked these.  You be the judge.

1.5 c graham cracker crumbs (about 9 cookie sheets)

2 tbsp butter, melted

1 tbsp water

1/3 c semisweet choco chips

1/3 c butterscotch chips

2/3 c flaked sweetened coconut

1/4 c chopped pecans, toasted

1 15-oz can fat-free sweetened condensed milk

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Line the bottom and sides of a 9 in square baking pan with parchment paper.

3. Place crumbs in a bowl and drizzle with butter and water.  Toss with a fork until moist.  Gently pat mixture into an even layer in the pan (do not press firmly because the milk needs to seep into the graham cracker crumbs).  Sprinkle with chips.  Top evenly with coconut and pecans.  Drizzle milk evenly over the top.  Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly.  Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.  Yields 24 small bars or 16 medium sized bars.

What was left 5 hours later. . .

The bottoms came out pretty moist, especially the center pieces.  I think I would leave them in the oven a bit longer so the crust is harder.  But other than that the taste is wonderful :)

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 123

Fat: 4.4 g

Protein: 2.1 g

Carbohydrate: 19.1 g

Cholesterol: 5 mg

Sodium: 64 mg

Fiber: 0.5 g

Nantucket Bay Scallops and Eastham Turnip-Potato Gratin

I really wanted seafood last night and I am so glad I came across these two recipes because I was NOT disappointed. I also had leftover Gruyere cheese and was longing to use it.  The sweetness of the bay scallops with the cheesy tenderness of the gratin was quite satisfying!  I had never had turnips before (or at least that I can remember) and now I’m turned on to the possibilities of actually incorporating turnips into a semi-regular ingredient for my meals.  Who knew!

For zee scallops:

2 tbsp butter

2 bay leaves

1.5 lbs bay scallops (remember these are sweeter that the bigger sea scallops)

1/2 tsp salt

1.5 tsp fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs

1 tsp grated lemon rind

chopped fresh chives

1. Place butter and bay leaves in a small saucepan over medium-low heat; cook until butter melts.  Remove from heat and let stand 30 minutes. Skim solids off the top and discard along with bay leaves.

2. Lightly coat scallops with cooking spray.  Heat a large, heavy skillet (I used my cast iron) over high heat.  Cook the scallops in 2 batches for about 1 minute each.  Place in a bowl.  Sprinkle scallops with salt.  Add juice and 1/2 the butter to scallops; toss to coat.

3. Combine panko and remaining butter.  Heat pan over medium-low heat.  Add panko mixture to pan and cook 2 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from pan.

4. Place 1/3 c scallops into a ramekin.  Sprinkle with panko, lemon rind, and chives.  Makes 8 servings.

These smell as delicious as they taste!

Your turnip-potato gratin:

1.25 lbs turnips, peeled, and cut into 1/8 in thick slices (I used a mandoline slicer)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

3/4 lb baking potato, peeled, and cut into 1/8 thick slices

3/4 c Gruyere grated, divided

3/4 c fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth

1. Place turnips in a medium saucepan; cover with water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove, drain, and pat dry.

2. Preheat oven to 350.

3. Arrange 1/3 turnips in a 2 qt prepped baking dish; sprinkle with 1/3 salt and pepper each.  Arrange half of potato over turnip.  Sprinkle 6 tbsp cheese evenly over the potato.  Arrnage 1/3 turnips and sprinkle again with 1/3 salt and pepper each.  Arrange remaining potato and then turnips last.  Sprinkle remaining salt and pepper and pour broth over the whole dish.  Cover with foil, pressing foil onto turnip slices.  Bake for 1 hr.

4. Preheat broiler.

5. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Broil for about 8 minutes.  Makes 8 servings.

Let me tell, ya – this meal was fabulous!  At first I was nervous when I dug into the gratin because the bottom was watery.  But it just needed time to sit and soak it all in.  I never really wait till my food cools down to try it so the first bite was excellent.  And don’t worry it is cheesy enough.  I was wondering how 3/4 c cheese would make this an actual “gratin” but the flavor was definitely there.  I know I encourage to make the dishes I post but if you enjoy scallops DO THIS ONE!

Nutritional Information:

Nantucket Bay Scallops:

Calories: 107

Fat: 3.6 g

Protein: 14.6 g

Carbohydrate: 3.4 g

Fiber: 0.1 g

Cholesterol: 36 mg

Sodium: 280 mg

Eastham Turnip-Potato Gratin:

Calories: 96

Fat: 3.4 g

Protein: 4.7 g

Carbohydrate: 12.4 g

Fiber: 1.9 g

Cholesterol: 11 mg

Sodium: 243 mg

Chocolate Chip and Cinnamon Cookies

So I went with this recipe because I wanted to use what I had on hand – and we ran out of the chocolate hazelnut drops.  Holy crap these were so good!  Definitely not your average chocolate chip cookie.  Add these to your gourmet cookie box collection – that’s my goal, you know!

Heaven’s ingredients:

1 c butter, softened

scant 3/4 c superfine sugar

1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

2 tsp orange extract

2.5 c flour

generous 1/2 c semisweet chocolate chips


1.5 tbsp each superfine sugar and ground cinammon

1. Preheat oven to 375 and line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. Beat your butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon until well combined then beat in egg yolk and extract.  Sift together your flour and pinch of salt into the mixture and add the chocolate chips.  Stir until thoroughly combined.  Keep in mind the batter may be somewhat crumbly.

3. For the coating, mix your tbsps of sugar and cinnmmon.  Scoop out dough by tablespoons and form into balls and roll them in the coating.  Place on your cookie sheets spaced well apart.

4. Bake for 12-15 mins and let cool on cookie sheets for 5-10.  Then transfer to wire racks with metal spatula. Makes 30.

Guaranteed to make your kitchen smell so delicious!

Enjoy these as much as I have =D