January 30, 2009

Strawberry Banana Bread

I've got another variation on banana bread to share today. Not because I was planning to make a new one, but because now My Oldest has decided that each time we have to try something new. Yes, I have created a monster! A cute one, but now he's starting to challenge my creativity!

So, when we were gathering ingredients to make banana bread, I suggested we make the Banana Blueberry Bread again. He said we did that one already, so I took a peek into the freezer to see what other fruit I might have that would work. A bag of frozen strawberries looked like our best option. He's not crazy about strawberries as a rule - that's his brother's favorite thing to munch on these days. Being the adventurous eater that he is, he said that we should definitely add them to the bread.
From Family, Friends and Food

I played around with some ingredient changes - swapped out applesauce for the melted butter and egg substitute for the egg. The bread came out so nice and moist. Each slice had bits of strawberry in it that added just the right amount of color and burst of berry goodness.

Check out these muffins, I just have to convince My Oldest that muffins are just as good (if not better) than a slice of bread.
Cooking with Christine - Orange Honey Muffins
Sophistimom - Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins
No Fear Entertaining -Chocolate Banana Muffins


Strawberry Banana Bread
Source: Patsyk

Ingredients

  • 3 over-ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat white flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries, chopped


Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 3 6-inch loaf pans by spraying with cooking spray.
  2. Combine bananas through egg substitute in a bowl. Combine thoroughly.
  3. Combine all-purpose flour through cinnamon in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the banana mixture, then stir until just combined. Add strawberries and stir to ensure they are all coated with the flour mixture. Next, pour in the banana mixture and stir until just combined.
  4. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 40-45 minutes - or until the top is golden brown and springs back when lightly touched. Allow to cool on wire rack for 10 minutes before removing.

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January 29, 2009

Rosemary and Onion Foccacia

Last weekend, we made some impromptu plans to have some friends over that we haven't seen in quite awhile. I always enjoy these type of get-togethers so much because they are casual, and not over-planned. Without fail, they always come together so easily, and it helps that our friends enjoy good food as much as we do. We really must do it more often!

Initially, we were going to bring in pizzas and keep it extremely simple by only making appetizers and dessert. Well, after My Husband had pizza at poker the night before that simple idea was traded in for a different dinner plan. To keep things simple, we decided that making Chicken Cacciatore as the main dish would still be a simple and delicious way to go. Next, I was thinking that the Olive Oil Pizza Dough I had in the fridge (from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day) would give me a chance to try making focaccia to go with our meal.

I've made the Olive Oil Pizza Dough a couple of times now. The first time, I used it to make the Pizza Bubble Ring, which has quickly become a favorite with My Boys. The dough is pretty easy to work with and lends itself to several variations. For our dinner, I wanted to try the Rosemary and Onion Foccacia.

January 28, 2009

Shrimp & Broccoli Fried Rice with Toasted Almonds

Since the start of the new year, I've been focusing on healthier recipes. So, when I received the January/February issue of Cooking Light I was excited to have even more recipes to choose from for my meal planning. Since Chinese New Year was on January 26th, the magazine is filled with recipes to help you celebrate the new year.

I decided to go for something simple, but filled with vegetables, Shrimp and Broccoli Fried Rice with Toasted Almonds (for the recipe, click HERE). As with any dish like this, you need to prep your ingredients ahead of time. It also helps if you remember to purchase everything on your list. Why? Well, I didn't realize until I was prepping my ingredients that I forgot to purchase fresh ginger. So, I had to skip that ingredient. I tasted the sauce after I added it to the skillet and decided to add a little less than a teaspoon of Chinese 5 Spice Powder to add a bit of flavor.

From Family, Friends and Food
I loved the bright colors of this dish and the simplicity of the process. As long as you are prepped and ready to go, it will be ready in under 20 minutes. I did make the rice the day before since I knew it needed to chill and I wouldn't want to bother waiting for it when I was trying to get dinner on the table.

Overall, this was enjoyed by everyone in my family. My Oldest has suddenly decided he doesn't like shrimp, so next time I will use sliced chicken breast instead of the shrimp. This is one of those recipes that lends itself well to variation. Use whatever vegetables are looking great when you go grocery shopping.

Here are some more healthy weeknight meal ideas:
You can still enjoy fried chicken while you are counting calories... IF you try the Oven Fried Chicken at Dinners for a Year and Beyond.
HoneyB made Grumpy some Sliders that were better than what you can by when you hit the fast food places... you could even use ground turkey and feel like you are treating yourself!
Head over to For the Love of Cooking, and you'll find a nice, light Tilapia with Lemon and Dill .
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January 27, 2009

Gooey Double Chocolate Cookies

First, I'd like to welcome any new visitors that are here as a result of the article in the Daily Record on Monday. I had the pleasure of being interviewed as a result of participating in the Blogging out Hunger Campaign I participated in back in December. That one day campaign resulted in about $7000 in on-line donations! Thanks, to everyone's generosity for such a worthy cause. You may have noticed I still have a badge for it in the left sidebar. If you click on it, you will be taken directly to the Food Bank of NJ website where you can donate directly. The need continues well beyond the holidays, so your donations are appreciated all year long.

Now, on to a new recipe! A few days ago, My Husband had a brilliant idea for a cookie. He said I should come up with something that included chocolate and marshmallows. While I'm sure there are other cookies out there with this flavor combination, I decided to play around and come up with a variation on another cookie that I've made before. By the time I was done, the changes resulted in a new recipe!

The cookies were gooey - even a day later, and full of deep, dark chocolate flavor. They stayed soft and didn't get hard as some cookies tend to do after a couple of days. They were well-loved not only by My Boys, but by their friends as well.
I had to bake some cookies to keep the men in the house happy. It's funny, but when I don't have some homemade baked good available they are very disappointed. So, while I am still focusing on lots of light and healthy recipes you'll still find some treats around here.

If you are looking for a treat check out these recipes:

Jenny @ Picky Palate made Sugar Dusted French Toast Doughnuts for her boys, and let's just say she got the best review ever. You'll also want to congratulate her for winning the Best Family/Kids category of the 2008 Food Blog Awards! Way to go, Jenny!
Over at Simply Tasty, her post titled "Want to Wreck Your Diet?" is an appropriate lead-in to her Caramel-Pecan Snappers.
Just before Lori at Recipegirl began her healthier lifestyle, she was able to indulge in Peanut Butter Cup Brownies, that look TO DIE FOR! Definitely worthy of a special treat ... as long as you can stop at one!
Now, here's my creation:



Gooey Double Chocolate Cookies
Source: Patsyk

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup Butter flavor Crisco shortening
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows


Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine brown sugar through vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Beat a medium speed on a mixer until creamy. Add egg, and blend well.
  3. Combine flour through cocoa powder, then add to the shortening mixture. Beat at a low speed just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips and marshmallows.
  4. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper or a silpat mat. Allow about 1-2 inches between each cookie, they don't spread too much.
  5. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Allow to cool on pan for about 4-5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for 5 days, if they last that long.


Makes about 3-4 dozen cookies.


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January 26, 2009

Amazing Taste Panko Chicken

When I hit a home run with dinner, I really hit it out of the park! Ok, I do realize that it's a few months from baseball season and everyone is gearing up for the Super Bowl, but this dinner was a home run there's just no other way to put it.

I've been loving Panko Bread crumbs for awhile now, and from what I can tell from my statcounter I'm still getting visits from my original posts on it. This time, I decided to try the Amazing Taste seasoning for poultry mixed in with the Panko bread crumbs. The seasoning did not disappoint. It added the right combination of seasonings, and nothing overly spicy. Which for my family = KID FRIENDLY.

I had my two Assistant Chefs help prepare the chicken. I cut it into strips, then I had them dip in an egg and milk mixture before coating with the panko and poultry seasoning mixture.

From Family, Friends and Food


In spite of the mess I have to clean up, it's such fun having them help in the kitchen. They work pretty well together, and I love that they both always want to learn more about cooking with me. For anyone who is hesitant to get the kid's into the kitchen, I say just jump in and don't worry about the mess! The memories being built from sharing time together are worth the time to clean-up afterward. Also, you just might be able to get them to eat something new because they helped make it.

From Family, Friends and Food



As you can see, these chicken strips turned out beautifully! They were loved by everyone in the family and the best part is that they were simple to make. My Assistant Chefs gave this a huge thumb's up and My Husband even said that the chicken was delicious. It was moist and crunchy, and so much better than the prepared chicken nuggets or strips you would buy in the store.

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January 23, 2009

Marbled Chocolate Banana Bread

I imagine you must think I have an obsession with Banana Bread at this point. I keep trying different versions and I also keep making changes to my recipe as I go along. The thing is, last week, I walked into the cafeteria at work and they had a marbled chocolate and vanilla quick bread as part of the breakfast offerings. It looked really good, a nice combination of dark and light color and dense and moist texture. I figured I could come up with something healthier and make it at home. The bonus being I wouldn't have to waste money, they charge $1.50 per slice, and it would be healthier than what they are serving.

So, the search began. I found a couple of different recipes and opted to make the one from Cooking Light first. I needed to see how the lightened version tasted before I could make changes to a "not so light" version. This one uses plain low-fat yogurt (I used vanilla flavored as I figured I could eat the leftovers without any guilt) and egg substitute. I have no problem with either of these ingredients, however I think they may be the cause of the bread not being as moist as I was hoping for... or maybe my bananas were not as ripe and mushy as they should have been. Not sure, but the bread was tasty and I can now use this as a guide for improving on another recipe I found that needs to be lightened.
This recipe can be found at Cooking Light (HERE). I am thinking of using applesauce as a substitute for the oil in the other recipe I want to make. This seems like a good way of adding some moisture without adding calories. Anyone have additional suggestions?

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January 22, 2009

A New Chocolate from Amano!

From Family, Friends and Food

When I found out that Blake Makes was offering up a giveaway of a new Amano Artisan Chocolate, I signed up immediately! I was lucky enough to sample some of their earlier offerings last year, and couldn't wait to see what their new bar would be like.

One of the things I love about Amano's chocolates is the packaging. It's so creative and really catches my eye. Yes, I can be swayed by a pretty package... that's how I have found some amazing wines as well.

The main thing I love about their chocolates is the flavor. If you are a true chocolate lover, then you will understand that the way they make their chocolate in small batches produces something truly beyond what you'll find elsewhere. Each bar has the unique flavor of the cacao beans that are shipped directly from the source. Their latest bar is called Jembrana which is 70% Dark Chocolate. In the case of the cacao beans used in this chocolate they are imported directly from Bali rather than sent to Java where they are typically blended with Javanese beans. Amano has already received high praise for this new chocolate as one European critic noted "that this is best chocolate yet." I imagine this is only be beginning.

From Family, Friends and Food

Just look at the richness of this bar. It's flavor has hints of coffee and a bit of nuttiness. It's something you'll want to allow to melt on your tongue to truly appreciate the depth of flavor. Please take a moment and check out the Amano website, you'll find greater detail on their chocolate making process and what makes their product so special. You'll also be able to order bars directly from them for your own enjoyment.

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January 21, 2009

Top Chef New York


Anyone else watching the latest season of Top Chef in New York? If you are, head on over to Edible TV for my latest round-up... and let's dish! Did anyone else feel that someone else should have gone home?

Don't forget while you are at the Well Fed site, to vote for your favorite blogs... see my earlier post below...





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2008 Food Blog Awards - Voting is Now Open!

Head on over to Well Fed to cast your vote for your favorite food blogs of 2008!

Thank you to those who nominated me, however I did not make the cut this year. However, some truly amazing blogs did make the final cut, and I hope you'll join me in casting your vote for them!

Voting will be open until Saturday, January 24th @ 8 p.m.



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January 20, 2009

An Extraordinary Chocolate Chip Cookie?

I'm taking a slight detour from the light recipes today. Why? Well, because the other day I was browsing through the collection of cookie recipes that Anna at Cookie Madness has amassed. I love browsing her recipes and checking out the new ingredients she's tried - recently she tried using agave nectar as a sweetener. She's even won some cooking contests with her original recipes.

So, as I was browsing her categories, and when I saw that she had made 73 different chocolate chip cookies I was drawn in to reading as many posts as I could. The one that caught my attention was her post on Gold Medal's Extraordinary Chocolate Chip Cookies. She found the recipe on the back of the package of flour, but you can also find it HERE.

The recipe was simple enough, and really nothing all that unusual about it. My usual recipe uses primarily brown sugar, while this one also uses granulated white sugar. As with Anna's cookies, mine also turned out a bit flatter. In spite of that, they were quite tasty and got a thumb's up from everyone in my house. We liked the crisp edges and soft centers, but I'm not sure that they will replace Martha Stewart's version that I made last year. These cookies held up well in an air-tight container for several days... but, I did freeze a majority of them so that I would keep nibbling each time I walked by!

If you haven't visited Anna's blog, please take some time and go visit. She shares some incredible baking recipes as well as useful baking tips.





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January 18, 2009

A Lighter Dessert for Bunko (Easy Chocolate-Caramel Brownies)

Last time, I shared the appetizer I made for Bunko. This time, it's all about the sweet ending. I made Easy Chocolate-Caramel Brownies (click HERE for the recipe). I found the recipe in The Complete Cooking Light Cookbook. I have had a lot of good luck with this cookbook and that's why I keep going back to it.
caramel brownie 2a
I have to say that it's taken me some time to master brownies in general. This recipe is fool-proof since you start with a cake mix. You really can't mess these up. You will want to make sure to wait until they cool completely before cutting into them, otherwise you won't have these nice clean cuts to show off the layer of caramel in each brownie.
caramel brownie 1a
These decadent little bites clock in at 122 calories! And, they don't taste like they are light at all. With the combination of chocolate and caramel, your sweet tooth will be sufficiently satisfied. Although, there were a couple of people at Bunko who went back for more... can't say I blame them, as they were THAT good!
This is a treat you can indulge in without all the guilt. Of course, that is if you can resist going back for 3 or 4 or 5 of them. In that case, these brownies are just as guilt-ridden as the traditional brownies.
Here are some other treats that look like they are worth the calories:
Recipegirl made S'mores Bars and I'm thinking I will be making these sooner rather than later. They would make a nice afterschool snack for My Boys.
With a dessert that includes oats and apples, Sass and Varacity's Maple Oat Apple Crisp sure sounds like it's a healthy option, right?
Finally, if you subscribe to the "everything in moderation" way of eating (and can stick to it!), check out the Fudgey Toffee Brownies that Deborah at Taste and Tell made recently. Truly decadent!
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January 16, 2009

A Challenge for the Bunko Babes in January (Crisp & Spicy Cheese Twists)

Last week, I hosted our monthly Bunko game. As hostess, I had the privilege of coming up with a theme and asking each person to bring something to go along with it. Since I was coming off of a month of nibbling on treats and cookies, I thought I would “challenge” everyone to bring an appetizer or dessert that tastes great, but is in lower in calories. Luckily, everyone was up for the challenge!

I made two different things, as hostess I often like to do a little “extra” to ensure we have plenty of options. I found both recipes in The Complete Cooking Light cookbook. Yes, you are seeing a trend here lately; with my need to cut calories and eat healthier I have to refer to my trusted source: Cooking Light.

When I saw the recipe for Crisp and Spicy Breadsticks , I loved a couple of things about it. First, I loved that it looked easy enough that I could make it in a matter of minutes on a weeknight. Second, that it would be savory and have a bit of spice to it. When trying to cut calories, I have noticed that if something has a ton of flavor in it, then I can be satisfied more easily with a smaller amount.

spicy crispy bread sticks 1


I used the Half-Sharp Paprika I picked up from Penzey’s last year. There is just so much more flavor in their version than the paprika I’ve purchased at the grocery store. Even after 6 months, the scent is still strong at the moment you open up the container. I followed the recipe and added the full amount of ground cayenne pepper. Most of the time, I will cut the amount as some people don’t like spice. I chose to add the full amount this time because I knew we would have enough things to nibble on that wouldn’t have any heat to them at all. This would be a nice contrast to those appy’s.

Of course, once I tasted one of these breadsticks I was struck by the heat in them. Just a tad hot for me, but everyone else loved them. I did end up serving with a small bowl of marinara sauce in order to offset the heat for anyone (me) who needed it. Also, it seems that there is nearly an exact recipe for these from Weight Watchers as well. You can't beat 68 calories for one breadstick and all that flavor! I'll be making these again.

I'll share the other recipe I made next time... it's something for your sweet tooth, but won't break the calorie bank! In the meantime, here are some other appetizer recipes that look like great nibbles.

Not only does Jaden of Steamy Kitchen take amazing photos and write such fun posts, she shares recipes that you just know you won't be able to resist like Trump's Cannellini Spread. I'm thinking this might be a great appy for Bunko next month.

Now, if I came across the Warm Pear Salad with Walnuts and Parmesan Cheese that was made over at Dragon's Kitchen... I'm thinking I wouldn't need to go further. Great flavor combinations and textures... it has it all!


Crisp-and-Spicy Cheese Twists
Source: The Complete Cooking Light Cookbook

Ingredients1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
10 oz. can refrigerated pizza crust
cooking spray

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Combine cheese, paprika and pepper in a small bowl; set aside.

Unroll dough; roll into a 12 x 8-inch rectangle. Lightly coat surface of dough with cooking spray, and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of cheese mixture. Fold dough in half to form an 8x6 rectangle. Roll into a 12x8 inch rectangle. Lightly coat surface with cooking spray and sprinkle dough with remaining cheese mixture. Using fingertips, press cheese mixture into dough.

Cut dough into 16 (8-inch long) strips. Gently pick up both ends of each strip; twist dough. Place twists 1/2 inch apart on a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425 degrees for 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pan; cool on wire racks.




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January 14, 2009

Sage Rubbed Pork Chops with Warm Apple Slaw

I bought Ellie Krieger's The Food You Crave almost a year ago, and have been thrilled with every recipe I've tried. They have been quick, simple and healthy. Something I try to incorporate on a regular basis (holidays are the main exception). When I first read through the cookbook, I went through and marked all the recipes that sounded interesting. One that I had marked was the Sage Rubbed Pork Chops with Warm Apple Slaw (click HERE for the recipe).

The recipe sounded like a nice change from the usual baked pork chops that I frequently make. I also liked that it incorporated a side vegetable as a part of the dish. The recipe called for shredded Granny Smith apple, but I opted to do a fine julienne cut with my mandoline as it was faster for me to do it that way. I also cut back on the slaw portion since I wasn't sure how well it would go over and didn't want to end up throwing out a ton of perfectly good veggies.

sage pork chops1

Obviously, my food "styling" (if you can call it that) on this dish is lacking. The pork chops were moist and had a bit of flavor from the prolonged time they sat with the sage mixture on them - got caught on the phone and they sat for at least 20 minutes rather than the 10 minutes suggested in the recipe. I would suggest doubling the mixture as I barely had enough to cover the 4 pork chops I had. I think the additional "marinating" time was a good way to go on this one. Otherwise you may end up with the flavors not really having time to marry together on the pork chops.

The slaw was just ok, nothing I could get excited about. This was disappointing to me as I am trying to add a bigger variety of veggie side dishes and this one just didn't cut it. The flavors were ok, but the apple got a bit mushy from being cooked so long. I think that adding it after the cabbage and carrots would be a better option so that it could maintain a slight crunch. That would be more appealing to me. I think I'll just search for another side option if I make this one again.

My Husband liked the pork chops, but passed on the slaw (as I expected he would). My Boys ate the pork chops as well, but no rave reviews by any means.

If you like pork chops, here are a couple of recipes I found interesting and have bookmarked to try soon:

Soy and Pepper made Dijon-Honey Pork Chops for their New Year's Eve dinner. Simple and deliciuos.

Grumpy's Honeybunch was able to please him with Pork Chops cooked in Beer and Barbeque Sauce... sounds like a winning combination.

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January 12, 2009

Everyday Food: Sauteed Chicken with Tomato Relish

A couple of months back, a neighbor of ours who is in Girl Scouts was doing a fundraiser where they were selling magazine subscriptions. After looking at the list - just love how they do it all on-line now - I decided to subscribe to Everyday Food. It's that little magazine from the Martha Stewart line of magazines. She really does have quite the media empire!

The first one I received was the January issue and the cover stated that there were "41 easy, healthy recipes" inside. With the gluttony of the holidays behind us, in more ways than one if you know what I mean, this appealed to me right away. The first recipe that caught my eye, and I do love an appetizing picture, was the Sauteed Chicken with Tomato Relish and Spinach (click HERE for the recipe). The colors were bright and the ingredients were healthy and light.

chicken with tomato relish 1a

This was very simple to pull together with ingredients I already had on hand. The chicken was a simple saute - nothing special on it's own (My Boys were thrilled with it just plain), but once you added the tomato relish it was taken up a notch. The tomato relish had just the right combination of sweetness from the tomatoes and acidity from the lemon juice and capers. Not over-powering at all. All this for only 343 calories per serving, not too bad for a meal that is satisfying and healthy.

I would suggest that if you pick up fresh spinach it would be much better than frozen as the side to this dish. The frozen was just not impressive at all. Also, a nice salad would be a great accompaniment to this dish. I tossed the leftover tomato relish with some pasta, and that made a great lunch to take to work the next day.

Here are some other weeknight meal ideas for you:

Kate in the Kitchen lightened up Sloppy Joes so, now you can enjoy that childhood favorite without buying that stuff in the can with ingredients you can't pronounce! Yum!

Confections of a Foodie Bride made a mouth-watering Baked Shrimp Scampi that you won't want to miss!

Sugarlaws made a Garlic Roasted Chicken that can be on the table in under an hour on a weeknight.

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January 11, 2009

Chili for a Cold Snowy Day

When it gets cold and snowy outside, it's time to restock the freezer! So, when the forecast was for snow all day on Saturday I made a plan to get some cooking done. First up was making another batch of My Husband's favorite Vegetable Soup. It's a very simple soup, and can sit and do it's thing for a few hours without much attention. While that was going, I made another batch of Chicken Broth, followed by my Chili.

I shared my Chili recipe last year, but this time I tried something a little different. I was contacted by the people at Amazing Taste a few weeks back and they offered to send me an assortment of their seasoning packets. Always looking for something new and tasty, I said I'd be happy to try them out. Usually, I pick up a packet of chili seasoning from the grocery store. I never really paid much attention to the ingredients until I was comparing what was in the Amazing Taste Chili Seasoning. The Amazing Taste packet has no ingredients that I can't pronounce in it, which is a great way to begin! The packet I usually purchase has similar basic ingredients, but also had some "extra" ingredients that I couldn't tell you what their purpose is in the seasoning.

Chili

This is the picture from my original post. Didn't manage to remember to take one yesterday! I'd like to think my food photos have improved since last year.

What did we think of the substitute? Well, for a $0.99 packet of seasoning, I'll be heading to my local store that carries it instead of my old seasoning. When opening the packet, the seasonings smelled fresh and exactly as I expected for my Chili. This seasoning is not overly spicy (hot), which is my preference as I tend to add a bit of extra chili powder to my chili anyway. I wouldn't want to overdo it.

I've got a few other packets to try, and I'll be sure to let you know what we think as we sample them. They make quite a variety of seasonings, and if your local grocery doesn't carry them you can still purchase them on-line.

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January 10, 2009

Healthy Tortellini Soup

With the new year, I'm with many of you on eating lighter. While I enjoy a nice salad as much as anyone else, this time of year soups sound so much more appealing. You can add a few more vegetables to any soup and make it heartier and healthier so easily.

After a trip to the produce market, I have a fully stocked kitchen with wonderful fruits and vegetables. Next, I wanted to find a soup that I could make on a Sunday and then take in my lunch each day. After going through a couple of cookbooks, I ended up revisiting my Cooking Light 5 Star Recipes cookbook. Everything I have made from this cookbook has been delicious and a bonus is that CL shares the calorie and nutrition information with each recipe.

I settled on making the Sun-Dried Tomato-Tortellini Soup (click HERE for the original recipe at Cooking Light). This soup was all for me, as My Husband has decided he's not crazy about tortellini (can't figure that one out for the life of me), and no one else in my family seems to like sun-dried tomatoes. That's ok, I will happily eat this soup all by myself!


tortellini soup1

The soup turned out so satisfying and hearty. With all the nutrient filled veggies in this soup, I know I won't be going away hungry after enjoying a bowl. Each 1 and a half cup serving has 256 calories which is a reasonable amount for a lunch portion. You could substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth very easily.

I'm submitting this to a blogging event called Heart of the Matter. This month's theme is Slimmer Recipes. This site is dedicated to heart healthy eating, and with the addition of this month's theme you might just find some inspiration on lightening up your other recipes. I know I'll be checking back around January 28th to see what everyone else made!




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