Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Fruit pizza (healthified)

Review by Lyndee

Sugar cookie roll
8 oz light cream cheese (softened)
8 oz Fat free cool whip
Various fruits, washed and sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Press cookie dough into pizza pan.  This is easiest if it’s been out of the fridge for a few minutes.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.  While baking, beat together whipped cream and cream cheese until smooth.  Let cookie cool for at least 10 minutes when it comes out of the oven.  Once cool, spread your cool whip/cream cheese over the cookie.  Top with any fruit of your choice. I used blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and kiwi.  Let chill in the fridge until ready to serve. 

This was super easy to make and tasted delicious! We took it to our friends Memorial Day barbeque and it was a super hit with kids and adults, alike.  No one could tell I had used reduced fat ingredients! A great dessert for summertime.  

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Double decker chocolate chip cookie brownies

Review by Lyndee:

I pkg chocolate chip cookie dough
1 box brownie mix plus ingredients to make it

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix brownie ingredients in a large bowl.  Press cookie dough into bottom of brownie pan (you could use a muffin tin or a 9x13 pan too).  Scoop in brownie mix.  Bake for 20 minutes. 

I’ve also seen where you can add candy bars, oreo cookies, reese’s peanut butter cups in a layer between the cookie dough and brownies if you are feeling crazy.  These are delicious but very rich!!! Easy to make and yummy!  Mitchell (my chocolate lover) devoured them! 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Skinny Arroz con Pollo

Review by Lyndee

4 Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into strips
1 Onion, diced
1 Green Pepper, diced
6 Garlic Cloves, diced
4 Cups Chicken Broth
2 Cups Water
1 Cup Light Beer or 1/2 Cup Dry Sherry + 1/2 Cup Water
3 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 Bag Frozen Mixed Vegetables (I use carrots, broccoli & cauliflower with red peppers)
1 Bag Frozen Peas
1/4-1/2 Cup Green Pimento Olives (or to taste)
3 Tablespoons Goya Adobo Seasoning (lemon pepper, cumin, garlic powder, salt oregano, parsley)
1 Cup Cilantro (or to taste), chopped
1 Cup Ketchup
3 Cups Instant Rice

In a large pot, add all of the ingredients except the rice and half of the cilantro.  Bring the mixture to a boil and cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in the rice and cover the pot with a lid.  Bring the mixture back up to a boil, then turn off the heat.  Allow the mixture sit, covered for 30 minutes.  Resist the temptation to open the lid and stir during this time!  The rice will soak up all of those delicious flavors while it sits!  When you're ready to serve, gently stir in the other half of the cilantro.  Serves 12 People.

I made a couple of modifications here.  I didn’t use the peas or the olives.  I went with sherry cooking wine over light beer.  This was pretty good.  Easy and cheap to make.  This makes a huge batch though so if you’re not expecting company or planning to eat leftovers for days, I would recommend freezing some.  This can be easily frozen in freezer bags and pulled out for a meal down the road, according to the blogger.  

5 weight watchers points. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Healthified Brunch Squares

Review by Lyndee:

So Molly gave me the Pampered Chef brownie pan I’ve been dreaming of getting for an early birthday present this weekend.  And they give you some recipes to try with it.  This thing isn’t just for brownies.  You can do lasagna, muffins, cheesecakes, egg bakes, etc. and the beautiful thing is, it’s portion controlled!  I decided I would use it to make my breakfast for the week. Then I got really crazy and decided to use their recipe for Brunch Squares.  I made some substitutions to healthify it and it is excellent! 

36 tater tots (You could use hashbrowns if you don’t have tater tots)
½ package cream cheese (I used reduced fat)
8 eggs (I used 2 cups of egg beaters)
3 green onions
Diced ham or sausage (I used 1 pound of turkey breakfast sausage)
Shredded Cheddar cheese (I used 2%)

Place 3 tater tots in each well. Mix cream cheese and eggs in batter bowl. Salt and pepper to taste. Add meat and green onions to egg mixture. Use large scoop and place 1 scoop of mixture into each well. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Test with a knife to make sure eggs are set.

These are yummy and easy! I brought two for breakfast and popped them in the microwave to warm up for 2 minutes.  Delicious! I can’t wait to make them again next week. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Super easy triple chocolate peanut butter fudge

Review by Lyndee

1 container frosting
1 16 oz jar creamy peanut butter

Melt frosting in a microwave safe dish for 1 minute.  Stir in peanut butter.  Spread into a 9x13 pan lined with foil.  Refrigerate and enjoy.

The recipe said this was the simplest fudge ever and I can’t deny that.  It called for vanilla frosting to make peanut butter fudge.  I opted to make a chocolate peanut butter fudge because they are my favorite pair and I had a triple chocolate fudge frosting on hand.  This was super easy and it tastes rich and delicious.  My only compliant would be that it was still a little soft even after being in the fridge overnight. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Easy Eggplant Parmigiana

Review by Jami:

This recipe is just like lasagna, only I’m replacing the pasta with eggplant. A lot of recipes recommend frying the eggplant, but as vegetarian who is also health conscious, I refuse to fry anything. Instead I’ve chosen to bake the eggplant, a delicious alternative, and even eliminated the flour coating for less carbs.

You can use jar marinara sauce or make your own, whatever you prefer. Add meat substitute for more protein and texture, but the recipe is just as good without.

2 medium eggplants
1 egg, beaten
½ cup breadcrumbs
Marinara sauce (jar, can or homemade)
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Parmesan cheese

Slice eggplants about ½ inch. Dip each slice into egg, then breadcrumbs and place on baking sheet. Line sheet and bake slices until golden, about 30 minutes at 350. Meanwhile, heat sauce and add additional spices as desired. If you’re using meat substitute add it to the sauce and heat to combine flavors.

In a lasagna pan, cover the bottom with a small amount of sauce and cover with baked eggplant slices in a single layer. Cover with sauce, then mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers, ending with cheese. Top with grated parmesan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. There is no need to cover as 30 minutes is just enough time to make the cheesy melty and golden. Let the dish set 5-10 minutes for easier slicing. Serve and enjoy!

Fiesta chicken

Review by Lyndee:

2 cups grilled chicken breast (or 2 cans of chicken breast chunks)
2 cups medium shell pasta (cooked)
2 cups cheddar/jack shredded cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can Rotel
½ cup milk
1 can diced chilies (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix all ingredients except cheese.  Pour into a 9x13 pan, cover with cheese and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. 

My oven was full of other things when I was making this so I decided to just do it as a stove top recipe.  I halved the shredded cheese and used some velveeta to make it creamy.  I opted not to use the diced chilies and I’m glad I did.  This has some good kick to it with just the rotel.  Mine was a bit soupy but it was really good.  This is super easy to make via skillet or baking, I’m sure.  Kid and husband friendly quick recipe for dinner.  

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Triple chocolate fudge cake mix cookies

Review by Lyndee

1 box triple chocolate fudge cake mix
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
2 eggs
Chocolate or peanut butter chips  or nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix butter (I melted mine), eggs and cake mix together. I didn’t add any extra chips since this was a triple chocolate cake mix, but if you’re doing a regular one you could add whatever you wanted.  Mix together well and drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  You can add frosting if you want but they are good as is. 

This is a very easy option to cookie baking and you could use any flavor of cake mix.  These are chewy and fun.  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sriracha mayo dip

Review by Lyndee

I’ve seen this recipe online a few times so I decided to give it a whirl last night with my Biggest Loser sweet potato fries!   

1/2 cup mayonnaise (I used fat free)
1/4 tsp cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Sriracha Sauce
1 dash of garlic powder

This took about 30 seconds to make.  It doesn’t get much easier than that.  I used fat free mayo, sriracha and cayenne.  I decided to add a dash of garlic powder even though it wasn’t on the original recipe and I think it really added a great flavor. I ate this as a dip for my sweet potatoes but I think it would be great on many things like burgers, chicken or potato skins as well.  

Reese’s Squares

Review by Rachael:

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
1 lb confectioner’s sugar (3-3 ½ cups)
1 ½ cups peanut butter
1 cup butter, melted
1 (12 ounce) bag milk chocolate chips

 Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar & peanut butter. mix well.  Blend in butter until well combined.  Press mixture evenly into a 9 x 13 pan.   Melt chocolate chips in microwave or double boiler.  Spread over peanut butter mixture.  Chill until just set and cut into bars.

Step one took awhile, it was difficult to get those three ingredients to mix together. But finally I added the butter & got it to look like some form of a layer I could use. The directions didn’t say if you should spray the pan or not, but I did. I figured between peanut butter & chocolate it would probably stick. I made the mistake of letting these chill all night before trying to cut them. Once they are set all the way it’s very difficult to get them cut. They top layer of chocolate was chipping off & they didn’t look very pretty. They tasted okay, not exactly what I wanted from this recipe. I LOVE Reese’s and to me they were nothing like them. Maybe this would be good crumbled over ice cream?! 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Payday Bars

Review by Rachael:

1 (16 oz) jar – dry roasted peanuts
3 tablespoons margarine
1 bag peanut butter chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups miniature marshmallows

 Grease 9 x 13 pan.  Pour ½ of the peanuts on bottom of pan.  Melt margarine and chips. Add milk and then marshmallows (do not melt marshmallows). Pour over peanuts, pat down. Put on rest of peanuts, pat down. Chill

These bars were so easy to make!! Only 5 ingredients, no baking and took me a total of 5 minutes to put it all together. I am not a fan of marshmallows, so I didn’t try one but I was told they were good. I will definitely make these again!! (maybe minus the marshmallows!)

BBQ Chicken Texas Toast

Review by Rachael

Who knew they made BBQ flavored Texas toast?! Not me! When getting the Texas toast I didn’t pay attention to the BBQ on the label & was going to use it for a meal with pasta. Once I actually read the label I changed my mind. So I put these 4 items together & made a meal!

Mozzarella cheese
BBQ Texas toast
Hickory smoked bbq sauce

I had some already cooked chicken in the freezer so I put that in a large casserole with hickory smoked barbeque sauce & a little water so it didn’t burn. I put this in the oven on 350 until warm. 

I then placed 8 pieces of toast on a baking sheet. Layering chicken on each one and then topping with mozzarella cheese. 5 minutes in the broiler and they were good to go. I had no complaints from this meal!! I wanted a little more bbq flavor so I dipped mine in more sauce. Very good and as always with my recipes – easy to make! 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Lasagna roll-ups

Review by Lyndee

8 lasagna noodles
1/2 pound lean ground turkey or beef
1 T olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/2 onion
1 can crushed tomatoes (I used diced)
1/2 cup cottage cheese (or Ricotta)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2 T fresh basil, chopped
1 1/2 T fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (I used 2% Italian blend)
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat a large pot of water to boiling over high heat.  When it reaches a boil, salt liberally and drop noodles.  Stir occasionally and cook to just al dente.  You want to leave them slightly more firm since you'll be baking the pasta.  Drain noodles and set aside.

Meanwhile in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and onion and saute for 2-3 minutes.  Add meat and brown.  When almost cooked through, add tomatoes and reduce heat to medium low.  Simmer for about 15 minutes.  Add 1/2 the basil, oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes and stir to combine.

In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup mozzarella, cottage cheese, Parmesan and remaining basil and oregano and stir together.  Spray pan lightly with cooking spray.  Add enough sauce to lightly cover the bottom of the pan.  To assemble, on a drained noodle, add a spoonful of cheese mixture.  Top with a spoonful of meat sauce and roll up.  Place seam side down in pan.  Continue until you've used all the noodles.  Top each with a little more meat sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella and remaining crushed red pepper flakes.  Bake approximately 20 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.

This was my first time doing roll-ups and they were trickier than I thought they would be.  Not hard or impossible, but not as easy as layering noodles in a pan.  I like the portioned servings though.  That was fun.  And the flavor was pretty good.  I will probably make these again and try it with chicken and spinach.  

Apple Dump Cake

Review by Lyndee

I had never had apple dump cake but it looked easy enough. With the freak winter storm that hit Iowa last night, I was in the mood to bake.  I wish I could find the person that invented this cake and shake their hand.  They are brilliant and my hero.  This is amazing!

2 can apple pie filling
1 yellow cake mix
2 sticks butter melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9x13 pan.  Dump in the cans of apple pie filling.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.  Cover with the cake mix.  Pour on the melted butter.  Bake for 45 minutes or until the top turns golden brown.  Mine only took about 40 minutes to bake.  Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Warning, your eyes may roll into the back of your head when you take your first bite.  It is so dang good.  And it makes the house smell awesome.  Winner, winner! 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Crab Rangoon Flatbread (healthified)

Crab Rangoon Flatbread

Review by Lyndee
There’s a restaurant in town that makes a crab rangoon flatbread that is to die for.  I wanted to make my own healthified version at home and this is what I came up with. 

1 flatbread (I used Flatout Light Italian Herb)
Italian shredded cheese (I used 2%)
2 wonton papers cut in small strips
Sweet chili sauce
1 green onion

1 six ounce cans crab meat
1 eight ounce cream cheese softened (I used reduced fat
2 green onions chopped
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp powdered sugar
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp lemon juice

Spread a layer of the crab rangoon mixture on top of the flatout bread.  Sprinkle with Italian cheese and green onions.  Put on the pizazz or in the oven at 350 for 15 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.  Spray butter or olive oil on to wonton strips.  Bake for 5-10 minutes or until golden brown and crunchy.  When flatbread is done, sprinkle wontons on top. Drizzle with sweet chili sauce. 

This turned out amazing! I will definitely be making this again! The crab rangoon mixture makes enough for 3-4 flatbreads so you can keep it on hand if you’re only making a single serving or throw it in the fridge for next time.