Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Susan's Zucchini Tomato Saute

This is the fourth entry for the Chefery Challenge #2! Fast and simple, make it today!

The nutrition facts can be found at Calorie Count!

Zucchini Tomato Saute

Ingredients:

1 onion
2 garlic cloves
1 T olive oil
1 large tomato peeled and deseeded
1 small can of corn, drained
2 medium zucchini
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Saute one chopped onion and 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil, while cooking add the meat of one fresh tomato, about 5 minutes. Add one drained can of corn and 2 chopped medium zucchini cook an additional 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

This sounds too simple to be a recipe, but it was really good!

Susan's Boat Lasagna

This luscious pasta-free lasagna is the third entry in zucchini/tomato Chefery Challenge! Enjoy. The nutrition facts are at Calorie Count!
Boat Lasagna

Ingredients:

1 very large zucchini
a drizzle (maybe a tablespoon) of olive oil
garlic bread sprinkle or garlic salt
black pepper
1 pound of lean ground turkey
1 tablespoon of olive oil
salt, pepper, italian seasonings mix
1 jar prego extra chunky pasta sauce
1/2 cup parmesan shredded
1 cup mozzarella shredded
1/2 cup ricotta

Directions:

Slice a large zucchini lengthwise and hollow out the seeds etc. Brush with the olive oil, and sprinkle with the garlic bread sprinkle or the garlic salt and black pepper.
place in 350 degree oven for about 30 or 40 minutes or until the zucchini has lost it's boat shape.

In a pan, brown the seasoned turkey in the oil and drain off some of the liquid. Add the Prego and let it simmer well to meld the flavors. Turn off the heat and let it sit until the zucchini boats are done.

Take the "boats" out of the oven and spoon the meat mixture onto them. coat with thin layers of riccota and cover with a mixture of the cheeses. Put back in the oven until the cheese is melty and bubbly.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hollie's Tomato Zucchini Souffle

This recipe, the result of The CC Palate's Chefery Challenge #2, was a delicious success! Excellent combination of ready to prepare (the ready to bake rolls) with freshly prepared vegetables make this dish a terrific choice for a busy weeknight.

The nutrition facts are on Calorie Count!

Tomato Zucchini Souffle

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 can ready-to-bake crescent rolls (8 count)
1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise and then into 1/4 inch slices
3 campari tomatoes, cut into 1/8 inch slices
1 hot hatch chili, finely chopped with seeds removed
5 eggs
1/4 cup low fat milk
4 heaping Tablespoons fresh mozzarella pearls (the smallest size, 1/4-1/2 inch pearls)
Seasonings: a few dashes of each of the following spices, to taste: sea salt, fresh ground pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, and cumin - let your nose be your guide. When it smells just right, it probably is.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Generously spray a non-stick pie pan with cooking spray (try not to use an olive oil based spray, because this will burn easier in the oven).

Pull apart the crescent rolls, and line the pan, with the wide side in the center and the pointed ends draped over the sides of the pan. Gently press together any overlapped layers of dough to make a relatively flat surface.

In a medium bowl, lightly beat eggs with milk. Stir in chopped hatch chili and desired quantities of spices. Set aside.

On top of the dough, place the zucchini and tomatoes in a flat layer.
Slowly pour the egg mixture over the veggies, then evenly scatter the mozzarella pearls over the mixture.

Fold the ends of the crescent rolls in to the center. Some of the egg will spill around the edges of the pan, but this will not effect the baking or end presentation.

Place in preheated oven and bake about 30 minutes undisturbed. Pull out and check the center by inserting a knife. If it comes out clean, it's ready to eat! If there is any egg residue, pop back in the oven for about 3 minutes and check it again.
A perfectly baked Tomato zucchini Souffle

Friday, August 26, 2011

Pasta Sauce Made With Water

yup, from water...ok, there are other things. Using pasta water allows you to cut the amount of fat you would otherwise use in an olive oil or butter tossed pasta dish which will save you a lot of calories! You may want to add more spices, the amounts listed below are "starter" amounts. Be creative with the other ingredients. If you are not vegetarian or have room for the calories, a bit of meaty bacon or prosciutto is fantastic in this sauce.

The nutrition facts are at Calorie Count!

Ingredients:

1/2 onion diced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 T pure olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 t Rosemary
1/2 t fresh cracked black pepper
2 cups water taken from the boiling pot of pasta after about 4-5 minutes of boiling.

Directions:

shrooms starting to caramelize!
Heat a tablespoon or so of fat in a pan (butter or pure olive oil works well), saute onions until they start to brown, then  add slices of mushrooms and saute until they start to brown and caramelize. Stir in chopped garlic and saute another couple of minutes. Add a teaspoon or so of Rosemary and some fresh cracked pepper. Add about 1 1/2 cups of the reserved pasta water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a strong simmer until the liquid reduces a bit and the flavors blend. Toss with pasta and if you have room for the calories, some fresh grated Pecorino Romano cheese. If the mixture seems dry, add some of the remaining pasta water.

Buggy's Green & Yellos Zucchini Ribbons

This is the first entry in the Chefery Challenge #2! Beautiful dish that earned the Special Kudos due not only to the number of ingredients but due to the fact that the zucchini came from her own garden!

Remember for all recipes by Buggy, use the handy dandy link to the Calorie Count Conversion Tool to the right hand side of this page! Click here for the most excellent nutrition facts found at Calorie Count!

Green & Yellow Zucchini Ribbons

Ingredients:

800 grams  zucchini, 4 medium
250 grams  onion, 1 large
450 grams  tomato, 3 large
500 grams  mushrooms, 6 large
3 tbsp  Becel margarine*
1 tbsp  chili oil
454 grams  ground beef, extra lean

Directions:

Mix the ground beef with 50 grams of minced onion. Form in to 24 small meatballs. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes.

the ingredients!
Cut the ends off zucchini. Cut zucchini in half. Use a melon ball tool to scoop out the seeds. Discard seeds. Use a vegetable peeler to cut the zucchini in to long strips.

Heat chili oil in a large stir-fry pan. Add remaining 200 grams of sliced onions. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add zucchini and stir. Cook for 15-20 minutes.

Clean and slice mushrooms in 1/4 thick pieces. In a separate frying pan with Becel margarine, cook mushrooms in batches.

Cut tomato in to wedges. Add tomato to zucchini.

Plate up zucchini ribbons, mushrooms and meatballs.

Notes:

Buggy said that she used Becel Margarine because she was out of butter. It should rock both ways so use what you prefer!

If you are a vegetarian or have gluten allergies, consider omitting the meatballs and treating this dish as a pasta replacement!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lighter Pesto

Did you know you can search recipes at Calorie Count? That's where I found this fantastic light pesto with a lot less oil and a whole lot of flavor!

The nutrition facts can be found at Calorie Count!
Lighter Pesto

Ingredient:

Serves 4

3 cups  basil leaves
3 tbsp.  grated Parmesan cheese
2  garlic cloves, peeled
1 tbsp.  lemon juice
3 tbsp.  extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

In a food processor, combine basil, Parmesan, garlic, lemon juice, and 3 tbsp. water; season with salt and pepper. Puree until a paste forms.

Stream in oil while motor is running. Process until smooth - about 1 minute.

Suggestions for variations include:

more garlic (is there such a thing as too much garlic?), substitute lime juice for the lemon juice, add a dash of cayenne, or a few toasted hazelnuts!

Freeze in Pam sprayed ice cube trays, then pop out and put in a freezer bag. Then all you have to do is pull out as many lumps as you like!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Janice's Broccoli and Carrot Alfredo

This light version of Alfredo is great on anything, but I particularly love it on pasta or baked potato!

The nutrition facts can be found at Calorie Count!

whenever possible, use organic vegetables
Broccoli and Carrot Alfredo

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 Cups fresh broccoli florets
2 Cups carrots, slice thinly
2 T butter
1/2 Cup onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3 T flour
2 tsp low sodium instant bouillon
pinch pepper
2 Cups fat free milk
6-8 oz 0% fat Plain Greek Yogurt (calories based on 8 oz)
1/2 Cup grated Parmesan

Directions:

Steam, microwave, or boil broccoli and carrots until crisp tender (about 6 minutes), drain and set aside to keep warm.

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat and add onion. Saute til soft (several minutes). Add garlic and saute 2 minutes.

Stir in flour, bouillon, salt and pepper til there are no lumps. then gradually stir in milk.

Cook on medium until the mix boils and thickens - stir constantly.

Stir in the cooked broccoli and carrots, yogurt and Parmesan

Toss with pasta or serve over baked potato.

Notes:

Get creative with vegetables and add whatever is seasonal to the sauce. Pearl onions rock. Peas too.  Mushrooms are superb.

Jam it full of veggies and treat it as a saucy veggie side dish!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Using the New Print Button!

Have you noticed the new print button at the bottom of each post? I love it!

There is a trick to using it though -

You need to click on the title of the recipe you want so that it opens in its own page. Then click the print button. I chose this button because you can decide exactly what to do with the page - print as is, eliminate the picture, only print the ingredients or whatever part you want, enlarge or shrink the font, and you can even save it as a pdf!

Enjoy!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Chefery Challenge #2!

Challenge #2. Create a recipe using the following two ingredients and no more than 10 other ingredients - yes, count the seasonings. I will give you a free dosing of salt and pepper, but count the rest. Special kudos to anyone that makes a recipe using 9 ingredients or less that include the Main Ingredients! You can post your completed and tested recipe in the comments below or see the Chefery Challenge Page for how to send it and a pic to me via email. And now, I present to you, your Main Ingredients. Let the creating begin:












Buggy's Cauliflower and Potato Soup

A wonderful summertime soup! Buggy's recipe is the perfect opportunity for those of you that think in ounces and pounds to check out Calorie Count's Converter Tool at the right of this page. The nutrition facts are at Calorie Count!

Cauliflower and Potato Soup

Ingredients:

1200 grams  water
400 grams  potatoes, with skin, chopped
500 grams  cauliflower, chopped
¼ teaspoon  black pepper, freshly ground
¼ teaspoon  garlic powder
½ teaspoon  mustard powder
1/8 teaspoon  onion powder
100 grams  cheddar cheese, grated
1 tablespoon  flour

Directions:

Scrub potatoes.

Chop potatoes & cauliflower into bite sized pieces.

Add water, potatoes, cauliflower, & seasonings to stock pot.

Bring to a boil, then lower temperature. Simmer vegetables until tender.

Mash until fine or use a blender.

Whisk in flour & cheese. Cook on low for 3 minutes until cheese is melted.

Serve.

Sharpshootinstar's Avocado Three Way Soup, V. 3 with Green Tomatoes

Sharpshootinstar proclaims this soup "da bom!" Next time she's going to try adding chipotle peppers and/or adobo sauce. What would you add or change?

The nutrition analysis is at Calorie Count!

I would like to invite all of you to come up with your own soup - the starter recipe can be found at the end of this post and on the Chefery Challenge Page (located on the left hand side of the blog). The new recipes will be listed there as well as in the category of Chefery Challenge (located on the right hand side of the blog). Join in the fun and Chef it up with us!

Avocado Green Tomato Soup

Ingredients:

2 ripe avocados
1 large green beefsteak tomato
2 green onions
2 T cilantro
3/4 cup low fat plain yogurt
2 cups vegetable stock
1 T fresh lemon juice
pepper and salt to taste

Directions:

Peel and cube the avocado, chop the green tomato, green onion, and cilantro. Place in a blender with the yogurt and blend til smooth. Add juiced lemon and enough stock to get the consistency you prefer. Add pepper and taste.

The following is the list of ingredients the Avocado Soup Challenge Chefs began with - why not join in the fun and come up with your own! Make one that rocks your socks and submit it for consideration as a formal entry in the Many Incarnations of Avocado Soup! See the Chefery Challenge Page for directions.

2 ripe avocados
1 cucumber
3/4 cup low fat soy milk
2 T cilantro
2 green onions
2 cups veggie broth
salt & pepper to taste
1 T lemon juice

Hollie's Avocado Three Way Soup, V. 2 with Cucumber

This is the second entry in the Many Ways of Avocado Soup challenge. Hollie said it was awesome served with taco chips for a satisfying crunch! The nutrition analysis will be forthcoming!

I would like to invite all of you to come up with your own soup - the starter recipe can be found at the end of this post and on the Chefery Challenge Page (located on the left hand side of the blog). The new recipes will be listed there as well as in the category of Chefery Challenge (located on the right hand side of the blog). Join in the fun and Chef it up with us!

Avocado Cucumber Soup 

The nutrition analysis can be found at Calorie Count!

Ingredients:

2 ripe avocados
1 cucumber
2 green onions
1/4 cup cilantro
1/2 cup light sour cream
2 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 T fresh lemon juice
pepper and salt to taste
cilantro and green onion for garnish
Directions:

Peel and cube the avocado, chop the cucumber, green onion, and cilantro. Place in a blender with the sour cream and blend til smooth. Add juiced lemon and enough stock to get the consistency you prefer. Add pepper and taste. Adjust flavors with salt and pepper as needed. Serve with a garnish of cilantro and green onion.

The following is the list of ingredients the Avocado Soup Challenge Chefs began with - why not join in the fun and come up with your own! Make one that rocks your socks and submit it for consideration as a formal entry in the Many Incarnations of Avocado Soup!

2 ripe avocados
1 cucumber
3/4 cup low fat soy milk
2 T cilantro
2 green onions
2 cups veggie broth
salt & pepper to taste
1 T lemon juice

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Janice's Avocado Three Way Soup, V. 1 with Roasted Tomatillo & Hatch Chile

There are tons of recipes in the interwebz with minor variations on the basic idea of chilled avocado soup. Some sounded good, some did not. Taking ideas from several, I put together what would likely stand as a basic "starter" recipe (see below), set the goal of creating better versions of the soup, and asked some chef friends to join me. My concoction is below. Hollie and Sharpshootinstar have also agreed to create a new chilled avocado soup, so watch for their recipes!

I would like to invite all of you to come up with your own soup - the starter recipe can be found at the end of this post and on the Chefery Challenge Page (located on the left hand side of the blog). The new recipes will be listed there as well as in the category of Chefery Challenge (located on the right hand side of the blog). Join in the fun and Chef it up with us!

Avocado Roasted Tomatillo & Hatch Chile Soup

The nutrition facts can be found as always at the best place on the interwebz to count your calories, Calorie Count!

Ingredients:

2 medium or one large ripe avocados
2 tomatillos, roasted
2 fresh roasted Hatch Chiles, either mild or spicy as you prefer (you could in a pinch sub in canned chiles but they are not as tasty)
1/4 cup onion
1/4 cup cilantro
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 lemon, juiced
pepper and salt to taste
finely chopped tomato and/or jalapeno for garnish

tomatillos are sold in husks
Directions:

Remove the husks and chop the tomatillos and place in a pan sprayed with pam or olive oil, spray olive oil over the top and roast in toaster oven at 375 til charred a bit (approximately 10 minutes), set aside to cool. Peel and de-seed the avocado, cut into chunks. Finely chop the onion and cilantro. Place all in a large bowl with the evaporated milk and use an immersion blender to blend til smooth. Add juiced lemon and enough stock to get the consistency you prefer. Add pepper and taste. Adjust flavors with salt and pepper as needed.

Chill well. Garnish with the jalapeno and tomato.

Notes:

For a bit of a kick, add a few shakes of Tabasco sauce.

Depending on where you live, you may be lucky enough to just head on down to the store and pick up a bag of freshly roasted Hatch chiles. They are the most awesome thing in the world, so get several bags but freeze them individually between wax paper as they do go bad in a few days.

This soup is awesome as a dip for chips! Just eliminate the stock.

The following is the list of ingredients the Avocado Soup Challenge Chefs began with - why not join in the fun and come up with your own! Make one that rocks your socks and submit it for consideration as a formal entry in the Many Incarnations of Avocado Soup! See the Chefery Challenge Page for directions.

2 ripe avocados
1 cucumber
3/4 cup low fat soy milk
2 T cilantro
2 green onions
2 cups veggie broth
salt & pepper to taste
1 T lemon juice

Janice's Potato Carrot Soup

The following soup is one of my favorites – soothing, delicious, is very low cal, and nicely high in vitamins. I think I'll pair it tonight with a toasted tomato, basil, provolone cheese sandwich made with wheat berry bread.

Potato Carrot Soup

For those that are interested in such things as nutrition facts, they have been analyzed at Calorie Count!

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 1/2 c red potato, diced (peeling is optional)
1 c onion, diced
1 c celery, sliced (include some of the leaves)
1 ½ c carrot, sliced
3 teaspoons garlic, chopped
1 ½ teaspoon thyme
1 t paprika
4 c Vegetable Stock
2 tablespoon parsley, chopped, or 1 tsp dried
½ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

Directions:

In a large pot, saute the onion, celery and carrot in olive oil til veggies are softened a bit. Add garlic, thyme, and paprika and saute a minute or two.

Add potato, veggie stock (enough to cover the veggies) - preferably low sodium, and the rest of the seasonings.

 Bring to a boil and then simmer covered (tilt the lid to vent a bit) til veggies are cooked (approx 30-45 minutes), stir every now and then. You can add more stock if it reduces too much or if it does not look like the veggies are covered.

Adjust seasonings to your taste. Let aroma and your own taste buds be the judge of what is right for you.

Before serving, mash a few of the potatoes with a fork as this gives the soup a nice thickness yet still retains its rustic chunky character.

If you really want it really thick, either increase the amount of potatoes and mash up more of them, or make a roux and add some of that during the last five minutes of the simmer.

Notes:

Chop and saute 1 sweet red bell pepper with the other veggies - adds pretty color and awesome vitamins!
Add 12 oz can of evaporated milk near the end of cooking time for extra creaminess, but count the calories.
Top with shredded cheese (count calories).

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hollie's Tomato Basil Soup

Serve this awesome and simple soup cold or heated. The nutrition facts are at Calorie Count!

serving suggestion
Tomato Basil Soup

Ingredients:

2 lbs tomatoes, quartered
2 cups vegetable stock
8 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
3 Tbl olive oil, divided
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375

Place garlic and tomatoes, skin side up, in a large baking dish coated with 1 Tbl olive oil.
Mix salt and pepper in 2 Tbl olive oil and brush over tomatoes and garlic to lightly coat. Roast tomatoes in the oven 1 hour.

Remove tomatoes from oven and cool about 10 minutes.

Place tomatoes, garlic, stock, and basil in blender or food processor and blend until smooth

Notes:

The type of tomatoes you use will affect the flavor. I buy the vine ripened tomatoes personally, but your favorite type should work just fine.

Try using chicken stock for an interesting flavor combination - unless you are a tomato soup purist.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Janice's Gnocchi in Cacciatori Sauce

these filling delicious puffy little bundles of potato and flour are wonderfully versatile and an excellent candidate for one of my favorite "comfort foods" so it's a good thing each serving is so low in calorie. Look for white or wheat gnocchi in boxes or tightly sealed plastic containers in the dried pasta section of your store.

The nutrition facts can be found at Calorie Count!

gnocchi
Gnocchi in Cacciatori Sauce

Serves 4 for dinner or 6-8 as a side dish

Ingredients:

1 T pure olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped (or more)
4 garlic cloves, chopped or crushed
30 oz tomatoes*, crushed with your hands cuz it's fun
1/4 C parsley, fresh, torn or chopped
1/4 C basil, fresh, torn
1/8 cup red wine**
1/2 t oregano
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 T pure olive oil
16 oz gnocchi, white or wheat

Ingredient Notes:

*If using canned tomatoes, dump them into a bowl and crush them with your fingers. Do not strain the juices. If you don't have enough canned, just make a mix of fresh and canned tomatoes. You can peel the fresh ones if you like. I don't as I love the peel!

**use up to 1/3 cup of wine. The nutrition facts were set for 1/8 of a cup. Always cook with wine good enough to drink. Use your favorite most flavorful variety.

Sauce Directions:

Heat 1 T pure olive oil in a medium pan. When it is hot and shimmering and add the onions, saute til soft. Add the garlic and saute another minute or so. Add all the ingredients except the gnocchi and the second 1 T olive oil.

Heat to a simmer, partially cover, and stir every now and then. Taste after 10 minutes or so and adjust seasonings. You will notice that I do not add salt. I'm used to that. But you may not be, so add salt if you need to. Also, depending on the tomatoes you use, you may need to add a tablespoon or so of brown sugar to counter the acidity. If the sauce is thin (some tomatoes are super juicy!) add a squish of tomato paste... but not too much.

Once you have the flavors as you prefer, just keep it going on low heat until the gnocchi are done.

Gnocchi Directions:

To make the gnocchi, heat 1 T pure olive oil in a large skillet until shimmering. Add the gnocchi and toss or stir every now and then allowing the little puffy pillows of deliciousness to soften and turn a beautiful brown. Should take about 10 minutes or so depending on your stove. Let them sit every now and then for a minute or two as this encourages browning. Constant stirring prevents browning.

Serving:

Either serve in separate bowls for people to fix on their plates, or arrange the gnocchi on a serving platter and top with sauce. Fresh grated parmigiana is perfect on this. Great with a salad, or make a nice antipasto plate.

Notes:

To turn this into a casserole dish, combine the sauce and gnocchi, place in a pam sprayed casserole, top with a bit of parmigiana or mozzarella and heat in the oven til the cheese browns.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Trancendenz's Vegan Gyros

The same mix can be used to make Vegan "Chicken" Patties! The nutrition facts can be found at Calorie Count!

Vegan Gryos

Serves four

Ingredients:

1 package (8 oz) Grated Tempeh (use a cheese grater)
1 Grated onion
1/3 cup panko (or the "binder" of your choice such as vital wheat gluten, bread crumbs, or flour)
1/4 cup Parsley, fresh (use as much as you want, but I use what I can rip with one hand)
1 tsp Dill (or use 1 or two fresh sprigs)
Juice of one lemon or lime
1/8 t Salt
1/8 t pepper
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/8 t Sage (a small pinch)
1/8 t Basil (a pinch)

Directions:

Chop parsley and dill. Mix with grated tempeh and onion, lemon juice, seasoning, and garlic. Once well combined mix in the binder. Form patties and fry for 5 minutes a side in 1 tbsp olive oil on lower heat.

Pile onto flat bread with onions and other wonderful gyros toppings!

Or you can bake them in an oven like a "chicken" patty.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Janice's Guacamole

Guacamole should be pure and simple and mostly just mooshed up avocados. It should never contain mayo or sour cream or any ingredient such as that. If it does, you can't call it guacamole. You could call it "avocado dip" or something like that, but not guacamole. In the Notes section is a list of extras that you can add to your guac and not embarrass your friends in Texas or New Mexico!

The nutrition facts for basic guacamole are at Calorie Count!

Basic Guacamole

Ingredients:

3 Hass Avocados
1 lime (even this is optional)
a pinch of garlic powder
a pinch of salt (a great sub here is celery salt)

Directions:

Get a sharp knife and a spoon and a paper towel. Slice the avocados in half and pull apart so that the seed is on one side. Use the spoon to scoop out the seed and discard. Use the same spoon to scoop the avocado out of the shells and into a medium sized bowl.

Slice the lime in half and juice. Add the juice to the avocado pulp and mash about with the tines of a fork. Do not mash it til it is smooth as paste. Leave it a tad lumpy.

Sprinkle with the garlic and salt (or celery salt) and mix.

That's all that's necessary, but there are some great traditional ingredients as well!

Notes:

Once the basic guacamole is made, you can add finely chopped jalapenos, Poblano or Serrano peppers, finely diced tomatoes, or a small bit of chopped onion. I usually add the peppers and tomatoes but rarely add onion. I do not ever pour in salsa because all that does is ruin the pretty bright green color that is the lovely avocado.

Mrs. Hass of Hass Avocado fame uses lemon juice instead of lime in her guacamole, so try that sometime and see if you like it better!

If you just gotta have avocado dip instead of guacamole, check out this recipe for Avocado Roasted Tomatillo Soup. All you have to do is eliminate the veggie stock and you have awesome green dip!

Tony's Zesty Pinot Grigio

a pretty party wine cocktail that is light on alcohol, tart, refreshing on a hot day, and best served icy cold! The nutrition facts are on Calorie Count. Enjoy in moderation with good friends.

Zesty Pinot Grigio

Ingredients:

1 bottle very cold Pinot Grigio
1 bottle very cold Club Soda
the finely grated zest of one lemon

Directions:

Early in the day, put water in ice cube trays and add zest (you can also mix the two together and pour into the trays). Freeze.

Shortly before serving, combine the wine and club soda n a pitcher.

Put the frozen zest cubes in clear glasses and pour in the liquid. Serve with a stir straw so that the zest can be mixed in and consumed as the cubes melt.


Notes:

try it with lemon and orange zest as well! If you would like.

Or try juicing the lemon and adding that to the wine and club soda for more citrus flavor.

Janice's Pan Sauteed Ravioli

This makes a fun side dish at a meal or a much talked about treat at a party. According to my son, they are  "Awesome! Like a warm stuffed chip!"

The nutrition facts are set for a decent sized party serving (assuming you are also filling up on all the wonderful fruits and veggies at the party this is more than enough to satisfy) and are at Calorie Count!

Pan Sauteed Ravioli

Serves 4 as a side dish

Ingredients:

12 oz fresh Four Cheese Ravioli (your favorite brand - you can use the big size or the small raviolis and stretch out your serving size!)
2 t olive oil (the calorie count is set at 1 t because only that much was absorbed)
1 cup your favorite thick marinara

Directions:

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat, add the oil. When the oil shimmers or the pan feels hot when you hold your hand over it, add the ravioli in a single layer. Do two batches rather than crowd. Each ravioli must remain flat. Saute a few minutes checking for browning. When one side is brown, flip each over and brown the other.

Remove to a plate with a paper towel and pat down to remove as much oil as was not absorbed.

Arrange on a pretty plate with a bowl of warmed marinara. Treat the ravioli as you would chips and dip!

Or serve as the pasta part of your meal and top with marinara. Fast, easy, and delicious!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Bonnie's Doughnut French Toast

The following is the full on just gotta do it right Doughnut French Toast. Just like a warm jelly doughnut fresh from the bakery...except that it's a lot less fatty. In the Notes section are suggestions for changes to make a light version for those days when you want flavor, but feel more virtuous.

The nutrition facts for both the full tilt deliciousness and the light version await you at Calorie Count!

serving suggestion: sliced mixed berries
Doughnut French Toast

Serves two

Ingredients:

4 thick slices of bread
2 eggs
4 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1 T butter
2 T sugar
1 pint strawberries
1 t lemon juice
4 T sugar, powdered or granulated

Directions:

Whip the eggs, vanilla, and milk together in a bowl. Soak the bread and use up every last little bit of the good stuff.

While the bread soaks, put the sugar, strawberries, and lemon juice in a blender and give it a good spin.

In a pan, melt the butter over medium heat and fry up the french toast till nice and brown, dredge each peace in a little sugar (or sprinkle with powdered sugar), and top with the strawberry mix..

Notes:

To make this much lighter, use egg substitute, fry up in a spray of oil or Pam, use the sugar substitute of your preference, or simply leave the strawberries unblended and ladle over the toast in slices.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Musicmissionary's Apple Juice Potatoes

You will notice there is no salt in this dish. The apple juice combines so beautifully with the other seasonings that there is no need which makes this dish perfect for those on a sodium restricted diet.

The nutrition facts can be found at the best place on the internet to count your calories - Calorie Count!

Apple Juice Potatoes 

Ingredients:

Serves 4

8 Red skin potatoes (2 small potatoes per person)--sliced thin, like potato chips
3 cups 100%, no sugar added natural apple juice
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 cup minced onion (or a t of powdered onion)
1/2 t ground basil
1/2 t ground oregano
1/2 t ground paprika
1/2 t ground cumin

Instructions:

Fill skillet to about half full with apple-juice. Put thin layer of each spice an top of the liquid.  Turn stove on to medium-high.  Bring apple juice to a medium boil.

Add potatoes to juice, add more juice if you need to in order to just cover the potatoes, and cook for 5-10 minutes or until thoroughly cooked, stirring occasionally.

Remove potatoes with a ladle, covering potatoes with the "sauce" that is leftover in the pan.  Sauce may be thickened a bit with a bit of cornstarch before pouring over the potatoes.

Serve and enjoy.

Notes:

The measurements above were mainly to get a nutrition fact for you to consider. Everything is all depending upon how many people you feed and how spiced you prefer a dish to be. Thus the amounts listed may be considered as as start. Taste after it cooks a bit and adjust as needed.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hollie's Mexican Rice

No Tex-Mex dinner is complete without a bit of that fantastic rice, but you don't have to go out to get it.  Mexican Rice is incredibly easy to make, and just as easy to change up and make it your own. The nutrition facts can be found at the best FREE website on the planet for counting your calories - Calorie Count.

Mexican Rice
about 6 side servings

Ingredients:

1 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 cup uncooked long grain rice
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup frozen corn
~1 1/2 cups water
1/2 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
Include ALL of the tomato juice from the can - juice and water should equal about 2 cups

Directions:

In a large sauce pan, saute onion in oil until translucent.
Pour in rice and stir to coat grains.
Stir in water, tomatoes and juice, corn, salt, cumin, turmeric, and chili powder.
Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low.
Allow to simmer 20-30 minutes, until rice is tender, stirring occasionally.

Notes:

This is my personal preference on Mexican rice, but a lot of Mexican chefs I know will add carrot medallions or green peas to theirs as well.

45 minutes prep/cook time

Hollie's Southwest Chicken Fried Rice

Fantastic and flavorful! The nutrition facts can be found at Calorie Count.

Southwest Chicken Fried Rice

8 meal sized servings

Ingredients:

1 cups brown rice
2 cups water
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 Tbl olive oil
1 chicken breast, precooked and diced
2 small tomatoes, diced
1 8 oz can corn, drained
1 14 oz can black beans, NOT drained
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 Tbl cumin
1/2 Tbl turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder

Directions:

Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Stir in rice, reduce heat to low, and cover. Simmer about 45 minutes.

When rice has about 10 minutes left, begin cooking remaining items.

In a large wok, heat olive oil and saute onion and bell pepper over medium heat, until tender. Stir in chicken, corn, beans with juice, tomatoes, and dry seasonings.

When rice is finished cooking, stir into wok along with cilantro.

Allow to sit cooking for about 15 minutes, flipping entire mixture every few minutes, until any excess liquid has evaporated.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Aea's Simply Peas

So easy and aromatic. Give this dish a try soon. The nutrition facts can be found at Calorie Count.

Simply Peas

Makes two main dishes or four side servings

Ingredients:

2 cups frozen and rinsed peas
2 tsp. fresh mint leaves finely chopped or 2 pinches of dry rubbed mint
1/2 cup thin sliced celery (make sure you include some of the tender leaves)

Directions:

Steam saute in a splash of water for only few minutes until peas are warm and the celery/mint starts to smell great!

Notes:

Serve over brown or white steamed rice.  Aea likes the proportion of 1cup of peas to 1 cup of rice for a delicious meal.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Marie's Cauliflower Soup

The nutrition facts for this beautiful and low calorie soup can be found at Calorie Count!

Cauliflower Soup

10 servings each 
with only 97 calories

Ingredients:

1 head cauliflower
2 potatoes, cubed
4 mushrooms, sliced
5 baby carrots, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 c milk
2 c vanilla soy milk
1 T chicken bouillon

Directions:

Boil potatoes, carrots, and cauliflower until slightly tender. Drain. Put back in kettle and add milk and soy milk. Bring to a boil. Add mushrooms and onions. 

Simmer. 

Enjoy.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Janice's Potato Leek Soup

I make this a la Julia Child, with minor variations! It's very elegant yet quick to make. The nutrition facts are at Calorie Count!

with creme fraiche and chives
Potato Leek Soup

Ingredients:

5 c potatoes, peel and chopped
3 c leeks, slice thinly
8 c water
1 T salt (I start with about half and add more if needed, but I eat reduced sodium and am accustomed to less salty flavors)
½ c cream (or butter)
watercress

Optional Garnishes (set out at the table and let your guests choose their favorite):

1 tiny sliver of butter (my fave, love it with the peppery watercress flavor)
1 t creme fraiche (from Julia's books)
1 t chives, snipped (I am not a chive fan, but Julia loved to add them)

Directions:

Peel, rinse and dice the potatoes.

Thinly slice the white and very light green part of the leeks. Soak in water, refreshing the water a few times to remove grit - and leeks just love to contain grit, so don't skip this part. Drain well.

Simmer veggies with water and salt for about an hour or til very tender.

If you want it smooth like Julia makes it, use a blender stick to puree (Julia did not approve of food processors). If you don't have a blender stick or just want it a bit chunkier (my preference), plunge an old style potato masher in it a few times to smash some of the potatoes a bit. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

Add the watercress to make it beautiful and more peppery in flavor and simmer a minute - add as much as you like, it's good for you as well as tasty!

The soup can be refrigerated at this point if not serving immediately.

If you are serving the soup right away, after it is pureed stir in either the cream or butter – a creamy or buttery soup is your choice. If you love the flavors before the fat is added, do stop here and save yourself a few calories.

For an exquisite presentation more like Julia Child's famous soup, skip the watercress and add to each serving a dollop of creme fraiche and an artistic sprinkle of chives.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hollie's Salsa Verde

When I go out for a delicious Tex-Mex dinner, I particularly enjoy the Salsa Verde. Now that I have Hollie's simple recipe, I don't have to wait for dinner out to enjoy this delightful sauce. Dip a few chips in some this weekend!

The nutrition facts can be found at Calorie Count.

tomatillos!
Salsa Verde

Ingredients:

3 tomatillos, pealed, cores removed, left whole to retain the juices
1 white onion, halved and skinned
2 serano peppers, halved
5 cloves garlic, skinned
1 avocado, peeled and diced
3 tbs lemon or lime juice
olive oil to drizzle
1/2 tsp sea salt

Directions:

Preheat broiler.

Place tomatillos, onion, seranos, and garlic in baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt.

Broil about 15-20 minutes until charred on top. Allow to cool about 10 minutes.

In a glass blender, puree roasted veggies until smooth.

Add avocado and lemon/lime juice and blend to desired consistency.

Place in airtight container and chill before serving.

Lasts about 2 weeks in fridge. If color begins to brown, add a splash of lemon juice and stir.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Janice's Brioche

Easy single rise rolls. Kids love them because of the little "hats" you eat first! The nutrition facts can be found at Calorie Count.
Brioche

Ingredients:

5 ¾ c  flour
1/3 c  sugar
1 t  salt
2 packages  active dry yeast
1 ¼ c  milk
½ c  butter
2 eggs

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

In large mixer bowl, combine 3 C flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. In saucepan, heat milk and butter until milk is warm (butter doesn't need to melt). Add eggs and warm milk to the flour mixture. Blend at lowest speed til moistened. Then beat at medium speed 3 minutes. By hand stir in remaining flour to form stiff dough. Knead on floured surface til smooth - approx 2-3 minutes or so.

Divide dough in to 24 equal parts. Remove about 1/5 of each ball of dough. Shape all 48 pieces into smooth rounds (24 big ones and 24 little ones). 

Grease or spray muffin tins with Pam and place the large balls in the bottom. Using your thumb, make a deep indentation in the large balls and place the smaller balls in the indents.

Cover, let rise til doubled in size in a warm place - approx 45 minutes to an hour. Brush tops with milk. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or til golden brown.
Serve hot.

This recipe is from my stained pages stuck together 1968 Pillsbury Bake-Off Breads Cookbook. If you can find this cookery book at a garage sale or ebay or amazon or wherever, it is worth every single penny you pay.

Janice's Brown and Serve Pull-Apart Rolls

I make these delicious rolls every Thanksgiving. They are Thanksgiving Day easy when you make them ahead of time to brown-and-serve and then just finish them on the busy day! The nutrition facts can be found at Calorie Count!

Brown and Serve Pull-Apart Rolls

Ingredients:

5 c or more all purpose  flour
1/3 c  sugar
2 t  salt
1/2 t  baking soda
2 packages  dry yeast
1 1/2 c  buttermilk
1/2 c  butter, salted
4 T  butter

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 300 to bake to brown and serve state of being firm, but not browned. Then either freeze or refrigerate until need. Thaw before baking.

Or preheat the oven to 400 to bake and serve the same day.

In a large bowl, combine 2 C flour, sugar, salt, soda, and dry yeast.

In saucepan, heat buttermilk and 1/2 C butter until buttermilk is warm not hot (butter does not need to melt).

Add buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and blend at lowest speed until moistened. Beat 2 minutes at medium.

By hand, stir in remaining flour to form a stiff dough.

Cover; let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size - about an hour.

Punch down the dough. Roll out on floured surface to a 15" square.

Melt the 4 T of butter and brush the dough, covering it in butter.

Cut into 10 long strips about 1 1/2 inches wide. Make two stacks composed of five lengths each.

Use a sharp knife and make small indents, about 1 1/2 inches apart, to mark the places to cut for each roll.

Cut into 18 pieces.

Place inside cooking sprayed muffin tins cut side down. Fan out the tops just a little bit. Cover and let rise until doubled in size - about 40 minutes.

Bake for 15 -20 minutes until golden brown and serve warm.

Make your own homemade brown and serve rolls by baking in a 300 oven until they puff up and set, but are not yet browned. Cool and store in the fridge a couple days or keep longer in the freezer.

To brown, thaw and bake at 375 for about 15 minutes.


One of the most awesome things you can do with these rolls is to make little tiny sandwiches with the left-over meat from your meal. I am required by family and friends to make three times the necessary number of rolls at Thanksgiving so that there is enough for dozens of tiny turkey sandwiches!

The original recipe is from my stained pages stuck together 1968 Pillsbury Bake-Off Breads Cookbook. If you can find this cookery book at a garage sale or ebay or amazon or wherever, it is worth every single penny you pay.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Janice's Salad Pizza

The nutrition facts for this fast to fix combination of bread and salad can be found at Calorie Count!

Janice's Artichoke Salad Pizza

makes 6 generous servings
Ingredients:
4-6 oz. container semi-soft cheese such as Neufchatel in your choice of herb or garlic (calories assumes 4 oz)
12 inch (16 oz.) pre-baked pizza shell
6 oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts
3 cup shredded mixed greens (do not pack when you measure)
1/2 cup quartered or halved cherry tomatoes
2 slices bacon*, crisp cooked and crumbled 



Ingredient Note:


Make it vegetarian and lower the calories by skipping the bacon.

Directions:
Spread the semi-soft cheese over Italian bread shell. Drain and quarter the artichoke hearts over a small bowl, reserving the marinade.
Combine artichoke hearts, shredded greens, cherry tomatoes, and add as much of the reserved artichoke marinade (likely about 2 T) as you like in a large mixing bowl, toss lightly. Spread the salad onto the pizza shell.

Sprinkle with crumbled bacon. Cut into wedges to serve. 

Alternatives:

Toss just the lettuces with the marinade (about 2 T) and lay that down first, then a layer of artichoke hearts, then a layer of tomatoes, and finally the bacon - makes a more precise appearance.

Have room in your day for more calories or have people in the house that insist on a more visible presence of meat? Add a couple more slices of bacon and fool them all. You'll only add 65 calories to the entire meal, but it sure looks like there's more meat - that's what I did in the photo in this article.

Skip the artichoke hearts and make a BLT Pizza! Dressing is not at all required and double or triple the bacon.

Note: 

I've made this Salad Pizza for a very long time, since my adult children were very small. I thought I had it from the Boboli pre-made shell people, and visited their website in case they needed to be credited for it. While I did not find this recipe at their website, they do have a number of pretty great sounding easy pizza recipes, so you may want to check them out here!