Haddock Piccata Poached in Parmesan Broth

I had been struggling for ways to make fish more interesting. Calories vs Flavor. I went to dinner out, opted for a haddock piccata over linguini. I Told them omit the pasta, and I had a side of veg. A hearty sized bowl of Haddock poached in a lemon Parmesan broth swimming with capers and quartered mushrooms arrived at my table. It was better than terrific, it was perfect.  By taste alone I adapted in to my Weight Watcher regimen. It came out perfect!  The trick is, taste along the way. If the broth isn’t lemony enough. add more lemon, if too lemony add more broth.

Image result for fish in clear broth capersThe ingredients per serving

  • 4-6 ounces of Haddock, Cod or your favorite white fish
  • 1 tablespoon of capers, liquid can be included
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice fresh or bottled
  • 1 1/2 cups of Chicken, or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup of mushrooms quartered or sliced
  • 1/2 cup of cooked pasta, 1 cup gently cooked  zoodles, or spaghetti squash
  • options to add, to simmering broth, are garlic, onions, 1/4 cup of shredded carrots, 1/4 cup of broccoli slaw.

In a  1 quart pan, simmer, do not boil broth, add lemon juice and mushrooms until cooked, add capers, lemon juice.

Taste the broth if it is too lemony add more broth or add more lemon for a more lemon.

Add Fish to the simmering broth and cover for 3 minutes.  After 3 minutes If fish is firm and flaky it is ready to serve.  If not done, cover a minute at a time for your preferred texture. Gently lift haddock out of the pot into a bowl over pasta or cooked veggies, Stir Parmesan into broth until dissolved, pour your broth over fish and enjoy.  7 weight watcher points if served without pasta.

Turkey Crack Slaw, Weight Watcher Friendly

I recently went to my Weight Watcher meeting, and everyone was talking Crack Slaw. Yes! CRACK as in, I  CAN”T STOP EATING I!  And its delicious. The varieties made with ground turkey,  ground turkey breast, ground chicken or ground chicken breast are the lowest in calories. 4 servings per recipe.

Image result for turkey crack slaw

There is also no wrong way to make it, 1 lb of ground meat, Turkey, Beef, Chicken, Pork , Lamb, even Buffalo(Bison). 1 lb. of angel hair slaw or any other slaw including broccoli slaw. Spices, Ginger,  Vinegar, onion and Garlic. Cook in a Wok, a  saute pan or a crock pot. Also, the crack slaw once prepared can be used to make Asian egg rolls, use the Pad Thai Crack Slaw recipe listed second.

Basic low Calorie Turkey Crack Slaw

  • 1 lb of ground turkey breast
  • one medium onion diced fine
  • 1 -2 cloves of garlic minced, or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 bag of fine Angel hair coleslaw, standard coleslaw is acceptable
  • 2 tsp of grated fresh ginger or 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth, chicken broth or water as needed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • optional spices are hot pepper flakes, onion powder, garlic powder
  • Cooking spray, or 2 tsps of your favorite healthy oil

Pre-spray your wok or saute pan or heat oil of your choice. Use a medium heat setting as you saute,  not burn your next ingredients the diced onion and garlic, cook until softened, and ginger, saute about 1 minute

Add Ground turkey, brown and chop fine as sauteing. Once browned,  add the bag of slaw, spices and vinegar. Stir meat and coleslaw until the slaw is well wilted. You may add broth a small amount at a time to keep the contents of the pan not to burn.  If you add too much broth it will cook off. Serve while hot

***** sub any ground meat

Pad Thai Taste Crack Slaw extra low calorie

  • 1 lb of ground Chicken Breast
  • one large onion diced fine
  • 2 scallions, shopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced, or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2  bags of fine Angel hair coleslaw, standard coleslaw is acceptable
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots optional
  • 1 Tbs of grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp of Asian 5 spice powder
  • 2 tablespoon Rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy or teriyaki sauce, **Gluten free are availble
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth, chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • optional spices are hot pepper flakes, onion powder, garlic powder or Sirracha,
  • Chopped cilantro as a garnish optional
  • Cooking spray, or 2 tsps of your favorite healthy oil

Pre-spray your wok or saute pan or heat oil of your choice. Use a medium heat setting as you saute,  not burn your next ingredients the diced onion and garlic, cook until softened, and ginger, saute about 1 minute

Add Ground turkey, brown and chop fine as sauteing. Once browned,  add the bag of slaw, 5 Asian five spice powder and vinegar. Stir meat and coleslaw until the slaw is well wilted. You may add broth a small amount at a time to keep the contents of the pan not to burn.  If you add too much broth it will cook off. Finish by stirring in soy or Teriyaki and serve.

****For not so low call make with ground pork.

Either dish may be cooked in a crock pot, Saute meat, add to crock pot, add all ingredients  plus 1 cup of additional broth. Cook on low. 3 hours

 

 

 

Quickest Best Antipasto EVER! and Easy

Antipasto, Antipasti (plural), translated as “before the meal”.  In Italian cooking it means an appetizer typically consisting of olives, anchovies, cheeses, sliced sausage, peppers, artichoke hearts and various meats.  Many Americans also believed it was the course served before pasta.The most hearty and daring of guests may enjoy Peprocini, anchovies and roasted garlic cloves in their antipasto. For Allergies or dietary preference*****omit meats for vegetarian. *****check all ingredients for wheat/gluten free. A low calorie option, omit meats and add ingredients that are oil free, and fat free. Most items can be purchased water packed.antipasto2

Holidays tend to be complex.  Delicious Appetizers are a treat to give and to serve. Quick appetizers that relieve the load might even taste better. I have received more compliments on this easy recipe than any other.

Quick, Easy, One dish Antipasto, Great for traveling, 5-10 minutes prep time.

Ingredients to mix together in nonmetallic dish. You can assemble in minutes for a quick pull together take along or marinate a day ahead for melding of all the flavors. Preserve cheese if making ahead do not add until just before serving.

  • 1 large jar, 28 ounces of roasted peppers, sliced into strips
  • 1 can or container of olives; Black, Kalamata, green or mixed, pitted  may be prefered
  • 1 Jar marinated mushrooms
  • 1 can of Artichoke hearts cut to bite-size or two jars of marinated
  • Have the supermarket deli cut  a half pound each of provolone and Genoa salami,  into 1/2 inch slices , cube at home into 1/2″
  • 1 dozen cherry tomatoes halved, or 6 shredded and minced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tsp  dried oregano or basil, or both.
  • dress with premium olive oil. Omit to cut calories

There is no wrong ingredient, add these optional favorites to your audience’s taste, or serve as sides.

  • pepperocini
  • pepperoni
  • mortadella cubes
  • Italian Capicola, shredded or cubed.Various cheeses, Blue, Feta, shredded or flaked Parmesan
  • 1 Cup of your favorite pasta cooked and chilled before adding, penne, rottini, farfalle bows or Orecchietti, **** gluten free options are available
  • anchovies
  • red raw onion
  • roasted garlic
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • shredded prosciutto di parma, sliced and shredded thin
  • hot pepper flakes
  • roasted Asparagus, Zucchini or Eggplant
  • Capers for a salty bite

Serve with Crusty breads, or varried  lettuces to make quick salads

  • a crusty loaf of bread

 

 

Short Rib Chili – Winter Pleaser

This may be the most decadent chilli you will ever taste, Rich, Savory, and you can  make it as spicy as you would like. Great for a holiday party or football tailgating. Serves 6 or more. If you are calorie counting it isn’t for you.  Take multiple opportunities to remove fat, once after roasting, and once after the long cooking. The  rendered fat can be preserved in the freezer as a starting base instead of using oils and other fats. Just remember it will have a spicy kick.srib chili

To cook this delicious, satisfying chili you need  5-10 hours of cooking minimum, but it’s worth every bite.

  • 5 pounds of short ribs, meaty beef back ribs, or combination of 1lb marrow bones and  4 lbs. well marbleized chuck
  • 1 very large onion  sliced
  • 1 large carrot chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Spice mixture, Fajita spice, taco mix, prepacked Chili Spice or make your own blend  with Chili powder, garlic powder, Paprika, cumin
  • 2 whole jalapenos or pablano peppers  ** substitute with a small can of Goya brand chipoltes in sauce
  • 1 can 28oz  kitchen ready tomatoes,  sauce, puree, or 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoon fresh Cilantro optional
  • salt and pepper
  • 4-8 cups  stock, Beef chicken, or vegetable
  • 1 cup mixed green peppers  in 1 inch pieces
  • 2 cups of  cooked mixed beans, black, white,or red,  for an option to an all meat chilli

preheat oven to 350 degrees

in large roasting pan,  place onion, garlic cloves, carrots and whole jalapenos on the bottom,

evenly distribute and coat spice mixture on all sides of meat and bones,  place meat and bones In one layer on top of the  base of sliced onions and carrots.

roast in oven for 1 1/2 hours  turn frequently to brown,  the more the beef and onions are caramelized the richer the flavor.

Remove from oven until cool enough to work with.  Remove all gristle and cartilage. At this time you may want to keep the bones, to increase flavor.

Place all ingredients from the roaster into a large dutch oven/stock pot or crock-pot, except  whole jalapenos/pablanos.  Seed and preserve for final step.

Add crushed tomatoes, Cilantro, green,red and yellow peppers and enough broth to cover the meat. Skim fat before next step. Simmer on low for 1 hour on top of the stove.  If using crock pot 2 hours on high.

Remove from heat, remove all bones and excess fat. Meat should be at a point where it can be easily shred. If you want to have beans in your chili now is the time to add them. Finely chop the jalapeno or pablanos that had been seeded. Simmer an additional 2 hours to 4 hours on top of the stove or 8 hours  in crock pot on low. Add salt and pepper and spices to taste. If mixture is too dry add more broth to reach the consistency of chili, if mixture is too wet, allow to simmer with lid off until liquid is reduced. The longer you cook the better it tastes.  This may be a two day process. **** continue to add spice salt and pepper to taste.

Serve as an entree with Rice, creamy Polenta, taco shells, or crusty rolls, Gluten free eating?  Try Udi’s new line of hotdog and hamburger rolls, they are  the best find! How about Gluten-free Corn bread.

If you have additional time you can chill between steps and skim chilled fat. A pressure cooker can be used  to speed up the first simmering process. instead of 1 hour,  use pressure cooker 30 minutes with 3 cups of beef broth as the liquid.

Summer Harvest Time For Winter Squash

It’s that time of year again, Winter squashes are making their way to Farmer’s Markets, Farm Stands and supermarkets. Acorn, Butternut, Spaghetti, and Delicata. Great baked, boiled or Microwaved. When the weather gets chilly theirs nothing like a Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Summer Harvest Time For Winter Squash

Farmers Market Cornucopia

  • Best way to peel a smooth winter Squash.  prick with a fork on all sides, microwave for 2-3 minutes, remove, easier to peel easier to cut. From here you can
  • cut in half diagonally, and roast whole for 45-50 minutes @350 degrees , skin side down, or up, make sure you  use non stick spray either way
  • cube and roast @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes,  serve mashed or as savory soup see recipe
  • cut in large chunks, boil for 25 minutes, or until fork tender, drain, and mash, use your favorite herbs, and a hint of brown sugar optional if low calorie is not mandatory

Ribbed Small squashes like acorn and delicata, pierce  with fork,  microwave 2 minutes, cut in half and seed

  • microwave 12 minutes on high for 2 halves, face down, remove from microwave, serve 1/2 per person,  for  a  nice presentation,  fork fluff, add a topper of caramelized onions and apples, a  center filled with rice,  the  ideas are endless
  • Roast in oven the same way as above for 45 minutes at 375 to prepare for whole, cut off the stem and 1″ of squash to use as a lid, scoop out seeds. If you are baking a small whole squash per person, cut a little flat spot on the bottom, Serve as a whole baked,  maybe with a surprise under the top, such as rice,  cooked apples, caramelized onions
  • cut in 1″ wedges and oven roast like oven fries. Use cooking spray on top and bottom to brown to save calories or drizzle olive oil  to crisp, 25  minutes at 375.

Large Squashes, like pumpkin and spaghetti

  • A jumbo winter, like Hubbard or pumpkin,  prepare as other squashes above, roasting whole will be an hour or more, due to size. Cutting in half and seeding speeds cooking time. Squash is done when fork is able to penetrate easily
  • Spaghetti squash is an adventure, to microwave whole, pierce deeply all over microwave on high for 20 minutes, steam should be apparent, pierce  to see if tender,  cook another 4 minutes if necessary, let sit  for 10 minutes before cutting. Cut in half, remove seeds,  pull strands into a serving bowl, for a low cal pasta meal, serve  as a pasta replacement or a 50/50 swap. 1/2 seeded squash can be treated the same way,  for oven roasting cook 1 hour at 350. To with Parmesan for a quick side dish

pleas submit your favorite recipe, for Steffie to add!

Gluten Free Cornbread or Muffins

This recipe can  be made with regular flour if Gluten Free is not a necessity. Flours are available at most grocers, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Amazon.com and now Walmart  Online.  I tried this in a Silicone Muffin Pan

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Use nonstick spray on large muffin tins, or 8×10 metal, silicone or foil shallow baking pan.

To make Muffin/bread batter

  • 1 cup Gluten Free cornmeal, all corn meals are not created equal
  • 1 cup alternative Gluten Free Flour, Bob’s Redmill Pancake flour adds a lightness. Rice Flour, Amaranth, Quinoa flour, Chick Pea flour will do. A combo flour like Arrowhead Mills Gluten Free has a better than average outcome.
  • 1/2 cup sugar or alternative, Agave and Honey reduce to 1/3 cup
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder-gluten free
  • 1 cup liquid, Milk, soy, almond or apple juice/cider
  • 2 eggs fork beaten or 1/2 cup substitute of egg beaters or whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt optional
  • 1/4 cup melted butter or vegetable oil, avoid margarine
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • Options can include, Raisins, cinnamon,  dried fruit, pumpkin pie spice,  ginger.
  • Mix all dry ingredients well, for a grainier more hearty muffin  use a 1 1/3 cups corn meal to 2/3 gluten free flour
  • Whisk in wet ingredients, mixture should not be lumpy
  • Add optional spices and fruits

Fill muffin tin equally, or spread into non glass baking pan. Bake 22 minutes, makes 6 large muffins, or one small tray of 12 pieces of cornbread when divided. For small muffins reduce time to 18 minutes

Serve warm, or cool and store. Freezes well.

301 each calories based on using agave method and apple juice.46 carbs  11 fat, 5 protein

******This is a gluten free recipe, not diet friendly

 

 

What to do with Squash Blossoms?

All those huge beautiful male squash blossoms go to waste on the plant. Only the female blossoms that already have a squash started on the base will develop into a squash.  Summer or Winter,  both are tasty treats if you think outside of the box.

Pick them either at night before they open or first thing in the morning. Picking them at night prevents  surprise guests from your snack, like bees, spiders and other crawlies.

You can store unopened blossoms for several days if stored gently,  I wrap in paper towel in a sandwich bag or plastic container.

My favorite recipes includes

  • Goat cheese, sundried tomatoes & basil
  • Feta, mint & pine nuts or olives
  • Low fat spreadable herb cheese
  • Ricotta, Parmesan, basil and sundried tomato

Pre-mix the cheese with minced additives

Closed Squash blossoms can be gently blown open to fill, check for critters, some prefer to snip the stamen before filling

Fill each blossom with a tablespoon of cheese, and close by running fingers up from the base of flower. you may fix ahead and cook  later in the day

Preheat oven to 325, make a wash of egg or egg substitute , gently coat with  your favorite breadcrumbs, we use gluten free. Spray a baking dish with Pam, bake 15-20 minutes.

Serve on a bed of field greens as an appetizer, or  as the main ingredient of a salad

You can pan fry or deep fry. When calorie counting baking is best.

 

 

 

Chicken Piccata Meatballs-Gluten Free

I love Chicken Piccata,  Lemony, Salty with Capers, Yummy. With a side of pasta even better. This recipe is Wheat Free, served with my favorite Orecchiette gluten free pasta.

Packed with a double hit of Protein packed Quinoa. You don’t need to be Gluten free to  enjoy this. Quinoa is the binder instead of Breadcrumbs. You can sub breadcrumbs, gluten free or not. You favorite pasta will do too. Serves 4-8 depending upon portion control. Meatballs can be served as an appetizer.

  • 1 lb of ground Chicken, Turkey or Ground Turkey Breast can be substituted
  • 1 cup Quinoa, cooked with lemon and  broth
  • 4 Bullion cubes made with 4 cup water or 4 cups broth divided for Quinoa prep and sauce
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice, or Real lemon
  • 1/2 cup capers or chopped salty olives(kalamata type), divided
  • 1 shallot ir 2 cloves garlic
  • 1  fresh green or colored pepper, diced fine
  • 1 tsp Oregano or Italian seasoning
  • 1 egg well beaten optional, or 1/4 Eggbeaters
  • 2 tablespoons Corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons butter or oil optional
  • 1 lb of your favorite pasta prepared at serving time
  • Favorite grated cheese

Spray non-stick pan. Saute shallot, peppers with 1/4 cup of broth until tender. Set aside and cool. Remove veggies which will be mixed into the meat, retain liquid in the saute pan for the sauce.

Prepare 1 Cup quinoa, with 1 3/4 cup Broth, and 1/4 cup lemon, allow to cool. It can be used as you would couscous.  Makes 3 cups.  You can serve it with the meatballs, or save the other 2 cups at another time.

In mixing bowl,  break apart Chicken, add half the capers, cooled veggies and ONE cup of cooled quinoa. Add optional well beaten egg or 1/4 cup eggbeaters. Get down and dirty, mix thoroughly with your hands. Preheat oven to 350 degees. Spray a cookie sheet with gluten free spray. Form walnut sized  meatballs, and place on cookie sheet without touching.

Bake for 25 minutes, 1/2 way thru carefully turn with tongs.

While the meatballs are baking,  add 2 tablespoons of broth or butter into the saute pan on low that the peppers and shallot were cooked in. Sift the cornstarch in slowly while whisking on low heat. As mixture thickens, continually add broth to the desired consistency.

Finally add meatballs and remaining capers and simmer for an additional 20 minutes (very low). Some prefer this sauce to be a thinner broth for a more rustic style. Steffie prefers a clingy thicker sauce, that sticks to your pasta.

Prepare pasta, and serve, sprinkle with your favorite cheese.

Meatballs can be served as an appetizer,  put into soups, or even a meatball grinder.

Weight Watcher and Gluten-free friendly

 

 

Low Calorie-Meat Chili -Super Bowl Perfect

This is made for my gluten free, nitrate free, nearly vegetarian  best guy!!! It’s on the stove right now. Ground Turkey, Chicken or Buffalo can be used to maintain the lo-cal theme.

Ingredients for six servings

  • 1lb ground meat
  • 1 large pepper or 3/4 cup mixed peppers including hot pepper, diced small
  • 1 medium onion chopped fine
  • 1 clove  garlic or more to preferred taste, finely minced
  • 1 carrot chopped fine
  • 1 can  favorite beans, black, pinto, red kidney, you get the idea
  • 1 small can or 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock. 2 cubes bouillon and 2 cups water as a substitute
  • 1 cup kitchen ready crushed tomatoes or 1 cup finely diced fresh tomatoes
  • Chili, taco or fajita spice (watch for wheat ingredients if  need is glutenfree, or homemade spice mix
  • salt, pepper to taste

Saute in a non stick pan, onions, carrots and pepper until onions start to caramelize,   add ground meat. Chop into small bits as you saute,  thoroughly cook and brown, add clove garlic finely chopped, add a few tablespoons at a time of broth if mixture is too dry. Add spice mixture to taste.

Remove from heat.Allow to cool, enough to add to a food processor. I use my Magic Bullet Grinder for processing and do in small batches, add tomatoes and blend, to a rough smoothness. My last batch I did extra smooth.

Place mixture in a crockpot or  2 qt sauce pan, add your favorite beans. Add broth to desired thickness, simmer on low for 1 hour, or crockpot on low for two hours or more. Add more broth if  mixture becomes to thick. the broth will cook off and also be absorbed while cooking.

Serve as entree with rice, as tacos or in rolls. Gluten free eating?  Try Udi’s new line of hotdog and hamburger rolls, they are  the best find! How about Gluten-free Corn bread.

Weight Watcher points is 5 for Ground Chicken. 6 for Buffalo, the lowest is Ground 99% Turkey Breast a 4 points. Regular Ground Turkey  93% is 5 points.  If you are a beef lover and can’t go without it ranges from 4-8 depending on leanness of the meat. Weight Watcher recipe is 8 points posted on twitter  1/29

 

Super Bowl Event Dishes-Taco Bar

Lets make a Taco Bar. You can prepare and precook all the day before, Gluten Free options are included

Premade taco shells will save you time but you can use fresh toasted corn tortillas to be authentic and to save money. Provide soft flour tortillas for those  that would prefer less of a crunch. Use your favorite salsa, or make a fresh one. Left over shredded pork, chicken of beef or a combo or traditional ground taco meat. You can lighten with Turkey, Buffalo or Ground Chicken instead of Beef. All sorts of fun condiments will make it a hit.

This recipe is for 4 full servings, double for 8, triple for 12 and so on for more.

  • 12 taco shells, pre-made or fresh/toasted, or 6″ flour for soft tacos(non gluten free)
  • 1lb of ground meat, Turkey, Chicken, Beef, pork or Buffalo*** any shredded leftover meat or fish can be used for a refined touch
  • 1 envelope of Seasoning or homemade  seasoning to taste
  • Salsa of fresh made from ingredients below
  • 1lb ripe tomatoes, 1/4 inch dice
  • 1/2 cup red onion small 1/4″ dice
  • 1  seeded jalapeno optional, minced fine
  • 2  tablespoons fresh Cilantro or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1 lime or lime 2 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 1/2 head of your favorite lettuce, Iceberg, romaine or ‘field’ greens for a gourmet touch
  • Shredded Cheese, Mexican Blend, Mozzarella, Monterrey Jack, Cheddar,  or a real treat a Mexican Cheese suitable for crumbling, Ranchero® Queso Fresco, yummy
  • Condiments: sour cream, chopped black olives, jalapenos-fresh or canned, Guacamole or Avocado Slices

Day before, make the salsa. In large nonmetallic bowl, add all the following ingredients together

  • Core tomatoes, chop into a 1/4 inch dice, strain off  excess tomato liquid,  preserve liquid
  • add chopped red onion to bowl
  • seed jalapeno and minced/or chop into an extra fine dice, or use 1 table spoon canned chilies as a substitute, Jalapeno may be too hot for children and others and is optional
  • Finely mince cilantro removing tough stems, substitute  dry cilantro leaves, parsley can be substituted if cilantro is unavailable
  • squeeze entire lime into the mixture
  • *****for a different twist add fresh kernels of corn, a few table spoons of cooked,black beans, fresh crushed clove of garlic or finely minced cucumber, anything  different can make it your own unique recipe
  • Mix well and store in a glass or plastic bowl, refrigerate for at least 12 hours for best flavor

Saute meat in a nonstick pan, brown well, after draining fat, add preserved tomato water, add taco spice or homemade taco spice blend. For an extra kick, add minced garlic,  onions, shallots while browning.  If meat is cooked day before, reheat just before serving. See homemade spice instructions.

Time to Serve- assemble a counter space with Taco Fixins

Tacos, Warm Taco Meat, fish or shredded meats,  Various Cheeses, Lettuce, Condiments and Salsa,  there is no wrong way to assemble a taco-ENJOY

This recipe is Gluten Free friendlily when you omit flour tortillas and premade taco seasoning and make your own. See make your own

Pesto Extravaganza

I love Pesto, that basil,sweet, savory, clingy topping to pasta.  The Hungry Girl, just perked up my appetite with her new Guilt free option, Gluten-free as well. It’s easy to grow your own Basil in the garden or a kitchen herb planter box. Freeze pesto for quick meals. Pesto is a NO-COOK sauce, really convenient, the addition of warm pasta or spaghetti squash releases the yummy savory aroma.

Hungry Girl‘s savory concoction omits most of the oil with Fat free Ricotta Cheese Pesto recipe,  maybe i”ll  try it tonight.

Steffie’s Basic Pesto for Pasta, or Spaghetti squash

  • 2 cups fresh Green Sweet Basil, thoroughly washed, stems removed. towel dried or spun
  • 1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil, preferred
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, Parmigiano Reggiano, or Romano
  • nuts are optional 1/4 cup Pignola(pine), Walnuts or almonds, pulsed or chopped fine
  • 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice, or juice from fresh squeezed. To preserve color
  • 1/2 teaspoon  salt optional
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, optional for a twist use a shallot

In a food processor, process basil, garlic, salt and 2 teaspoons of juice into a paste. Add oil and thoroughly blend, it should be thick and smooth. Add nuts and blend, add cheese last, the cheese can heat and melt if it is over processed. For thinner sauce add extra oil.

To serve,  cook your favorite pasta, drain return to pot or serving dish,  stir in desired amount of pesto.  The heat of the pasta will release all the flavors and aroma in the pesto, serve immediately. Serve with Extra grated cheese on the side. For a decadent flair add  1/4 cup of cream to a lb. of hot pasta, before adding the pesto. Reduce cream amount for smaller portions.

Pesto freezes well, to freeze, drizzle lemon juice or oil on top to avoid darkening and freezer burn from exposure to the air. An Ice cube tray works great for single servings. Another great use, the cubes can be added to a pasta sauce, still frozen to give it great Basil flavor.

Options

  • Purple Basil pesto, sub. 1/2 cup of Purple Basil
  • Spicy kick, add spicy Thai basil and a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Sun-dried tomato pesto,  add 1/4 cup well chopped sun-dried tomatoes to the basil leaves when processing.
  • Mediterranean version, 2 cups  Fresh parsley instead of Basil, 2 tablespoons fresh  Mint and 1 teaspoon dried  oregano,  add 3 tablespoons of lime juice instead of lemon, Feta cheese instead of Grated Italian cheese. Add a few seedless black olives for a variation.

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Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets-adapted-lower calories

Betty Crocker has started developing a line of Gluten Free products,  The GF Chocolate chip cookies are one of the best.  but it’s still second best to my Steffie’s Version of  Bob’s Redmill Recipe made with their pancake mix, delicious, closest thing to Entenman’s.

This is a terrific recipe made with Corn Chex.Their recipe says 25 servings , they mean 25 nuggets@ 25 calories each. This is also great for a salad meal topper! This recipe should serve 4 or more. Rule of thumb 3-4 ounces of raw chicken is an adult serving. This recipe omits 300 calories of butter and 120 calories  from 1 cup of Chex® cereal . The addition of the yogurt is under 70 calories, but they are nonfat dairy,  protein loaded calories. Any WeightWatcher would love!

Steffie has adapted to reduce the calories and spice it up!

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, breasts or tenders, cut into 1×1-inch chunks
  • 2 Cups of Rice or Chex Corn Cereal® cereal
  • 1/2 single size container of Chobani Greek nonfat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese, optional,
  • 2 tsp of chili, cumin or paprika powders and other savory/spicy herbs of preference divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder or onion powder optional
  • pinch of salt and pepper each

In a nonmetallic bowl combine Chobani or other plain yogurt, 1 tablespoon of spice, salt and pepper.  Add cubes of chicken to marinate, coat well. Refrigerate at least one hour. You may marinate up to 24 hours, to enhance flavor and tenderize.  The active ingredients in the yogurt will tenderize the chicken.

Pulse or crush  the Chex® cereal, add grated cheese (optional) and the other teaspoon of spice or herbs. Mix well, store until Chicken has finished marinating.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pre-spray a shallow baking pan or cooking sheet with Nonstick Gluten free spray.

Place Chex® cereal crumb mixture on a plate, Dredge each marinated chunk in mixture, place on cooking tray.

Bake for approx  25 minutes, turn half way thru cooking time. I felt the 400 degree temp  for 17 minutes was a little too high & short in the Betty Crocker Recipe. Chicken should not be pink when cut. Ovens vary in correct readings, I would test at least one for doneness.

If you don’t like yogurt, you can sub two well fork beaten eggs or 1/2 cup egg substitute and go right to the cooking process. Chicken Breasts  halves or thighs can be done the same way for a heartier meal, increase the time to 35 minutes. The herb combinations are endless, add oregano for Italian, mint for Mediterranean, Rosemary for savory……

You can also create a dipping/ranch like sauce from another Chobani, with the same herbs and add dehydrated onion or vegetable flakes combined the day before. Even the  Hungry Girl‘ would approve!

Gluten Free book Giveaway

Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s Contest for her VIP GiveAway, this article is pasted from Cheap.com

Facebook entry for getting a chance for her VIP Giveaway
If you don’t win it you can buy it, The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide. The Cheap household is nearly 100% gluten free, this will be a great addition to avoid the Monotony of  limited commercial options. Free recipes with Gluten free options are available @ Cookmethis.com

This is the last week to enter to win an autographed copy of Elisabeth’s new gluten-free cookbook “Deliciously G-Free”. Visit the “Deliciously G-Free Giveaway” tab on our Facebook page to enter . Be sure to share this with your friends on Facebook and be entered to win a free box of NoGii No Gluten High Protein Bars!

Free is cheap!

Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad has endless possibilities

Serve on a Salad or Greens. How about a Sandwich of  Flat Bread,  Flour Tortilla or a Roll. As an appetizer on a cracker.

The Basic mix

  • 2 cups Boneless Chicken, simmered and chilled, or leftovers from a store bought Roasted Chicken, White or dark meat based on preference
  • 1/2 cup of  mayonnaise. Lowfat, reduced fat or fat free are best for the waistline
  • 1/4 cup chopped, celery strings removed
  • Optional, 1/2 cup fresh grape halves or dried fruit such as Dried Cranberries, Golden Raisins, Raisins, plums, cherries etc.
  • Optional, unsalted nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, almonds or pignoli (pine) finely chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste,  fresh or dried herbs to taste, such as Sage, or Tarragon

To assemble

  • Roasted chicken should have all skin and bone remove and chilled before mixing. Home cooked chicken should also be cold before adding mayonnaise. If chicken is simmered in broth do not add salt to salad.

In a nonmetallic bowl mix well

  • Chicken -can be coarsely chopped for a rustic look, diced to 1/4 inch or ground for a smooth spreadable texture.
  • celery, and options of grape halves,dried fruit, nuts
  • Mayonnaise, add less for drier, more for wetter,  conventional ratio is 4:1
  • Salt, pepper and add herbs
  • Refrigerate,  the longer it is chilled the better the flavors are incorporated
  • makes 10 1/2 cup servings

Makes enough for ten sandwiches or salad toppers, used as a cracker spread makes approx. 40 or more.

Sage  mixed with Cranberry gives it a thanksgiving flair. Tarragon has a very savory earthy effect, and is luscious.  The combination of bread  or greens can make it basic or elegant.

Turkey Pie

I just picked up a ‘Hotel Turkey Breast’, a Full breast with wings, no legs. Our family it’s the favorite part. I can even Stuff it, or bone and roll. But what to do with all the leftovers.

Turkey Pie:

  •  2 Frozen Pie Crusts, thawed or refrigerated ready to use.***See note for gluten free
  • 1 can of Cream of Chicken, Celery soup, or 1 cup of  leftover Gravy, made with cornstarch for Gluten Free
  • 2 cups of  rough chopped Turkey
  • 1 bag of defrosted Mixed Vegetables or leftover thanksgiving vegetables diced (potatoes, onions, squash etc.
  • In large bowl mix together all ingredients except Pie Crust
  • Fill bottom crust with mixture, top with second crust, pinch crusts together, make 2 inch knife slit in center top crust
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until golden brown
  • Let sit for 5 minutes
  • ****For Gluten Free- Omit crusts, Top with 4- cups of precooked mashed potatoes, sweet Potatoes or Squash as a top ‘Crust’
  • Go to Cheap.com for a full page of cheapskate Turkey dishes

Homemade Taco Seasoning-Gluten Free

For 1 lb of meat

  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce, 2 tablespoons GF Ketchup or 2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1Tbsp of chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp  dried onion, garlic, oregano, paprika, salt, cumin , pepper
  • 1/2 cup of Gluten free chicken or  beef broth to add as needed

Add Tomato and spices to cooked ground meat, simmer, add chicken broth if mixture is too dry. To thicken simmer longer. Store meat refrigerated until reheating just before serving.

Seasoning can also used as a wet rub for meat as a marinade, Steak, Chicken or Pork  before grilling or roasting.