Sunday, October 30, 2011

Skinny White Bean Tuna Melt

Skinny White Bean Tuna Melt
adapted from
makes 4 sandwiches

1 Can Tuna (Packed In Water), Drained
1 (15 Oz.) Can White Kidney Beans, Drained and Rinsed
1 Shallot, Minced
1 Clove of Garlic, Minced
1 Celery Stalk, Chopped
1/4 Cup Mayo
Salt and Pepper, To Taste
Olive Oil
8 Slices of Sandwich Bread

In a medium bowl, stir together tuna, beans, shallot, garlic and celery.  Stir in the mayo and salt and pepper.  Set aside.  Drizzle a little bit of olive oil in a pan and heat to medium-low.  To assemble, spread tuna mixture onto one slice of bread, top with a handful of spinach and place in the skillet.  Cook for a few minutes per side until bread is golden brown.

Ok, well technically this isn't a melt because there is no cheese involved.  But if that is the only crime committed, then lock me up.  M and I are hopefully taking a cruise in the near future so I thought I would take the next couple of weeks and work on my beach bod by eating healthier than I usually do.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pumpkin Stuffed French Toast

Pumpkin Stuffed French Toast
adapted from  Cookin' Canuck
serves 1

2-3 Tablespoons Cream Cheese, Softened
1 Big Spoonful Pumpkin Puree
1/2 Spoonful Sugar
Dash of Pumpkin Pie Spice
Splash of Vanilla Extract
2 Slices White Sandwich Bread
1 Egg
Splash of Milk
Dash of Cinnamon

In a small bowl, mix cream cheese, pumpkin puree, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla extract.  Spread mixture onto one slice of bread and top with the other slice.  In a shallow bowl, whisk egg, milk and cinnamon together.  Soak the bread in the egg mixture, turn bread and get the other side soaked, about 1 minute per side.  Meanwhile, spray a skillet with non-stick spray and heat over medium heat.  Transfer the sandwich to the skillet and cook until the bread is golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.  Serve with butter and maple syrup.

This french toast has my name all over it.  I love regular french toast to already, then you add cream cheese and pumpkin and I am a slave to the french toast.  Yup, pumpkin stuffed french toast I'm a slave 4 u.... Yes, I did just make a Britney Spears reference.  No, I will not do it again.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Penne With Chicken Thighs

Penne With Chicken Thighs
serves 4

1 Pound Chicken Thighs, Bone-In, Skin On
Salt and Pepper
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Small Onion, Diced
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 (24 Oz.) Jar Marinara Sauce
8 Oz. Penne

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Sprinkle thighs with salt and pepper.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Brown chicken on both sides until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.  Remove to a separate plate.  Add onions and garlic to pan and stir around to cook, about 2 - 3 minutes.  Pour in marinara sauce to heat.  Add chicken thighs back into sauce.  Cover and place into the oven for 1 1/2 hours or simmer on the stovetop on the lowest heat setting.  Cook pasta according to package directions.  Serve one chicken thigh with sauce over pasta.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

This is another one of those recipes that will be in my busy soccer mom recipe rotation. I could see children really enjoying this dish and it is a great substitute for boring spaghetti and meatballs. This recipe is very simple and easy to put together.  Even though it takes a while to cook, the end result is definitely worth the wait!  The chicken is so tender it practically falls off the bone.  For some extra veg, I think this would be really good with some zucchini and red bell peppers!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

White Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cookies

White Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cookies
makes 36 small or 18 large cookies

2 1/4 Cups Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
2 Teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Butter, Softened
1 Cup White Sugar
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Pumpkin Puree
1 Egg
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 Cups White Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, and salt in a medium bowl.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, cream butter and white and brown sugars together.  Add the pumpkin, egg and vanilla and combine thoroughly.  Add the dry ingredients in 3 or 4 batches.  Stir in the white chocolate chips.  Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Cool for a couple of minutes on the cookie sheet then transfer to a wire cooling rack.

These delicious fall cookies are much different then the pumpkin spice cookies I posted last fall.  They are more dense then the regular PSCs and the pumpkin is very subtle, it almost tastes like gingerbread cookies if you didn't know it was pumpkin.  White chocolate pumpkin spice cookies were fast and easy to make and they were scrumptious!  A fun fall substitute for classic chocolate chip cookies.  

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Soup Week: Chunky Veg Soup

Chunky Veg Soup
serves 4

1/2 Teaspoon Olive Oil
1 Small Onion, Chopped
1 Stalk Celery, Chopped
2 Carrots, Chopped
1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper, To Taste
1 Can Chopped Tomatoes
3 Cups Chicken Stock
1 Can White Beans, Drained and Rinsed
1/2 Cup Dried Pasta

In a large sauce pan over medium heat add oil, onion, carrots, celery, thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper and cook until just soft.  Add tomatoes, beans and stock and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add pasta and cook for an another 8-10 minutes.

This soup is very versatile.  You can add or subtract veggies and seasonings to taste.  I think it would be really good with tortellini and a handful of spinach thrown in at the end of cooking.  I expected it to have more tomato flavor based in the picture from the original recipe, so I think that a tablespoon of tomato paste added in would go a long way.  The leftovers absorbed a lot of the liquid, so keep some chicken stock handy to add to the soup.    

Friday, October 14, 2011

Soup Week: Stuffed Green Pepper Soup

Stuffed Green Pepper Soup
Sent To Me From My Aunt Sheila
Serves 4

1 Pound Ground Beef, Browned and Drained
1 10 3/4 Oz. Can Condensed Tomato Soup
14. 5 Can Diced Tomatoes, Undrained
1 Cup Green Pepper, Diced (About 1 Pepper)
1/2 Cup Onion, Diced (About 1/2 Small Onion)
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
Salt and Pepper, Garlic Powder, and Chipotle Powder, To Taste
3 Cups Beef Broth
1 Cup Cooked Rice

Add all ingredients except rice into a slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low setting for 4-6 hours or until pepper and onion are tender.  About 15 minutes before serving, stir in rice and heat through.

I did not follow directions carefully on this recipe... I forgot the tomatoes and cooked the soup on high instead of low!  Whoops!  The soup forgave me and it was delicious!  Next time I think I'll add some corn and a can of beans to stretch this dish a little farther.  This would also be a great recipe that you can prep ahead of time and freeze till you're ready to cook.  Brown the beef and chop the veggies and put it in the freezer.  Have the rest of the ingredients ready to go in your pantry and you've got a really easy meal for a busy day!  Thanks for the great recipe, Aunt Sheila!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Soup Week: Black Bean Soup

Black Bean Soup
serves 2
adapted from

1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1 Small Onion, Chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper, Chopped
1 Medium-Sized Carrot, Peeled and Thinly Sliced
1 15 oz.Can Black Beans, Rinsed and Drained
1 Cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth
1/4 Teaspoon Cumin
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper, To Taste
Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice, Optional
Sour Cream
Chives, Chopped

In a large pot heat vegetable oil over medium heat.  Add onion, red pepper, and carrot and cook for 5 minutes, until tender.  Mix in black beans and chicken broth.  Take off the heat and puree with an immersion blender or a stand blender until smooth.  Bring the soup back to the heat and turn up to high until it begins to boil.  Add spices and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.  Ladle soup into bowls and squeeze lime juice on top, if using.  Garnish with sour cream and chives.  Serve with nachos!

I've never had black bean soup before, so I was curious to try it.  I loved the flavor and felt good about eating healthy (except for the nachos... it balances out, right??)   It's not the prettiest soup out there, so garnishing is a must!  

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Soup Week: Pumpkin Soup with Sage and Ham

Pumpkin Soup with Sage and Ham
serves 4

3 Tablespoons Butter
1 Onion, Chopped
1 Carrot, Chopped
1 Rib Celery, Chopped
1/2 Tart Apple (Such As Granny Smith) Peeled, Cored, and Cut into 1/2-Inch Dice
2 Cups Canned Pumpkin Puree
1/3 Cup Dry White Wine
1 Tablespoon Dried Sage
1 Bay Leaf
3 1/2 Cups Water
2 1/2 Cups Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
1 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Pepper
1 1/2 Pound Piece of Ham, Cut into 1/4-Inch Dice

In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrot, celery, and apple, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent.  Stir in the pumpkin puree, wine, sage and bay leaf.    Add the water, chicken broth, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer.  Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes.  Add the ham and simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes longer.  Remove the bay leaf and serve.

When I was shopping for the ingredients, Target was out of regular pumpkin so I substituted pumpkin pie puree.  So what was suppose to be a very savory soup turned out sweet!  I still really enjoyed it though.  It might be my favorite soup so far this week!  And I didn't crave dessert afterwards since my sweet tooth was already satisfied.  I will have to try it next time with regular pumpkin, I'm sure it will be just as good!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Soup Week: Tomato Basil Soup

Tomato Basil Soup
serves 6
adapted from

1 28 oz. Can Crushed Tomatoes
1 11.5 oz. Can Vegetable-Juice Cocktail
1 14.5 oz. Can Chicken Broth
1/2 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
20 Fresh Basil Leaves
1 Cup Half-And-Half
1/4 Cup Butter or Margarine
Salt and Pepper, To Taste

In a large saucepan, combine tomatoes, vegetable juice, chicken broth and Italian seasoning.  Bring to a boil, cook for 30 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Stir in the basil and using an immersion blender or a blender carefully blend the basil leaves to desired consistency.  Add the cream and butter; return to medium-low heat and stir until butter is melted.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately with grilled ham and cheese sandwiches.

This is a stepped up version of regular tomato soup, which I am already a huge fan of.  Add basil and cream and I am a happy little clam.  :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Soup Week: Baked Potato Soup

Baked Potato Soup
serves 5

2 Russet Potatoes, Washed and Dried
2 Cups Cauliflower, Stems Removed and Cut into Florets, Fresh or Frozen
1 1/2 Cups Low-Sodium Fat-Free Chicken Broth
1 1/2 Cups Skim Milk
Salt and Pepper
1/2 Cup Light Sour Cream
6 Tablespoons Chopped Chives, Divided
10 Tablespoons Reduced-Fat Shredded Cheddar Cheese, Divided
3 Slices of Bacon, Cooked and Crumbled

Pierce potatoes with a fork.  Microwave potatoes on high for 5 minutes turn over then microwave an additional 3-5 minutes until potatoes are tender.  Let potatoes cool and peel (if desired).  Meanwhile, steam cauliflower with water in a large covered pot until tender if using fresh.  If using frozen, cook according to package directions.  Once the cauliflower is tender, place in a large pot with potatoes, chicken broth and milk.  Puree until smooth using an immersion blender or a stand blender.  Add sour cream, half the chives, salt and pepper, and cook on medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  To serve, ladle into bowls and top with cheese, bacon and remaining chives.

Growing up, my mom would occasionally make us loaded baked potatoes for dinner with bacon, cheese sauce, steamed broccoli, butter and sour cream.  That was definitely one of my favorite meals, although sometimes I piled my potato so high with toppings that I wasn't able to finish it all.  I was eager to try this recipe because it tastes just like a baked potato but you can better control the portions.  And it's 'skinny'!
On a side note, I served this as a main course and only got a little more than 3 servings out of the recipe, even though it says 5 servings!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Soup Week

Fall is here.  Time to curl up with a bowl of steaming hot soup to warm your soul.  This week BD will be featuring all soup recipes!  Click here to see all of my soup recipes.

P.S.  I purchased an immersion blender in preparation for soup week. :)