Monday, December 20, 2010

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Don't that look YUMMY?  Can't you just smell it!!  I love homemade bread and have discovered that I love homemade cinnamon raisin bread too!!  YUM!!

I thought I would share the recipe!  I take my basic recipe I have for no-knead bread and add a few steps :-)

No-Knead Cinnamon Raisin Bread

3 pkg dry yeast (about 6 3/4 tsp)
3 3/4 cups warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
10 cups all-purpose flour
6 tbsp sugar
6 tbsp stick margarine, melted
1 tbsp salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
cooking spray
6 tbsp melted butter, divided
1 cup sugar, divided
6 tbsp cinnamon, divided

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes.  Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.
2. Add flour and next 4 ingredients to yeast mixture, stirring until well blended.  Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 30 minutes or until double in size.  (Press two fingers into dough, if indention remains, the dough has risen enough.)  
3.Divide dough roughly into 3 equal pieces.  If the dough is a bit sticky you may have to add flour to it and knead a few times.
4. For each piece of dough, roll out dough into a rectangle with the short width no wider than the (long) width of your loaf pan.  Melt 2 tbsp of butter and spread out over dough.  Mix 1/3 cup of sugar with 2 tbsp of cinnamon and spread all over the dough. Spinkle some raisins, if desired, over the do.  Then roll up the dough tightly and press seam.  Place in a prepared loaf pan.
5. Repeat the process for the other two pieces of dough.  Then set the three loaves in a warm place and let rice for an additional 20 to 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped. 


Monday, October 11, 2010

Apple Crisp

I know I has been WAY TOO LONG since I have posted on here and I am so sorry!!  Life has been busy busy!  I am proud to announce though that I have continued to keep off the 50 lbs that I lost!  I think the key to maintaining this weight has been the fact that I never saw it like I was on a diet!  I seriously made a lifestyle change and I have stuck to the lifestyle change!  I have gotten a bit more laxed since I lost the weight and got to a "happy weight" but I keep good tabs on it and if I see a few pounds coming on then I get serious and get it quickly back down!  This has been the best thing I have done for myself ever!

Now to a recipe :-)  I am making apple crisp tonight!  I am just taking a regular simple recipe for apple crisp and just replacing the brown sugar for the Splenda brown sugar blend.  I can't tell you points because I really don't keep up with points anymore... I just know removing the sugar for the Splenda brings the calories way down so I can enjoy a dessert and not feel guilty!

Here's the recipe!  Enjoy!

Apple Mixture:
- 8 cups apples, peeled and sliced (a variety of sweet and tart is nice)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (I used 1/4 cup Splenda blend brown sugar)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg

- 1/2 cup oatmeal, old-fashioned type
- 1/2 cup granola (gives a little crunch; but you can use another 1/2 cup oatmeal if you don't have granola...I used all oatmeal)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (I used 1/2 cup Splenda brown sugar blend)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 cup flour
- 6 tbsp cold butter, chopped

You can either do this in crock pot or oven:

For oven:
Toss apples with lemon juice. Then combine all dry ingredients of apple mixture and toss with apples and then place in baking dish.  Then combine dry ingredients for topping and then cut butter into topping mixture.  Sprinkle topping over apple mixture.  Then sprinkle chopped butter on top.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes.

For crock pot:
Lightly oil sides of crock pot to prevent sticking (or use one of those wonderful liners!)

Toss apples with lemon juice.

Combine dry ingredients in apple mixture and then add to apples.  Place apple mixture in slow cooker.

Combine dry ingredients for topping and then cut butter into topping mixture.  Sprinkle topping over apples in slow cooker.

Cover dish and cook on low setting 4 to 6 hours.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tomato Basil Chicken

(sorry – I forgot to get a picture)

I have been saying that I was going to try this Hungry Girl recipe for quite some time now…and just keep forgetting about it.  Well I finally tried it this week and LOVED it!!  I can’t believe it took me so long to try it because it is so incredibly easy!  It will probably be a new family favorite around our house!

Each serving is only 175 calories, 1.5 grams of fat and 2 grams of fiber – which calculates to be 3 ww points!!  Serve it up with some steamed green beans and my garlic toast recipe for a nice low point meal!

Here’s the recipe:

1 lb. raw boneless skinless lean chicken breast tenders
Half a 28-oz. can (about 1 1/2 cups) crushed tomatoes with basil
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While you wait for the oven to preheat, cook onions over high heat in a pan sprayed with nonstick spray, just until they begin to brown (about 3 minutes). Pour half of the tomatoes (1/4th of the can) into a medium baking pan. Lay chicken in the pan, and then top with onions. Pour the rest of the tomatoes (another quarter of the can) evenly over the chicken and onions. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes (until chicken is cooked through). Allow chicken to cool and sauce to thicken slightly before serving. Tada!

Pulled Chicken BBQ

Well – I tried another Hungry Girl recipe tonight and fell in love with it, as usual!!  This was for a pulled chicken bbq that is very very tasty!!!  It is done in the crock pot and is super easy!  And the best part is the nutritionals – each 1/2 cup serving is only 149 calories and 1 gram of fat.  That comes out to only 3 WW points!  YUMMY!!  Serve it on those yummy Orowheat sandwich thins for a low point bbq sandwich!!

Here’s the recipe:

1 1/2 lb. raw boneless skinless lean chicken breasts, halved
1 cup canned tomato sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. brown sugar (not packed)
2 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. cider vinegar
2 tsp. garlic powder
Optional: red pepper flakes, to taste

Place all ingredients except the chicken in the crock pot. Stir until mixed. Add chicken and coat well with the sauce.
Cover and cook on high for 3 - 4 hours OR on low for 7 - 8 hours, until chicken is fully cooked.
Remove all the chicken and place it in a bowl. Shred each piece using two forks -- one to hold the chicken in place and the other to scrape across the meat and shred it. Return the shredded chicken to the crock pot, and mix well with the sauce.
If you're serving a group, keep the crock pot on its lowest setting, so the chicken stays warm. If you like, season to taste with red pepper flakes. Eat up!

Blissful Brownies


There is a God and he does love me!!  HA!!  I found a low calorie, low point brownie recipe that is very very good!!  Of course – it came from that Light & Delish magazine that I have been talking so much about!!  NOTE - even though it has coffee in the ingredients, non-coffee lovers will love it as well. It does not have a coffee taste. As you will notice in the instructions they dissolve the instant coffee in the vanilla. I think this is the secret to the very rich flavor!.  And are you ready for the nutritional information…make sure you are sitting down for this…per serving these little delights are 95 calories, 3 grams fat and 1 gram fiber!!  That is 2 ww points people!!!  WOW!

Here’s the recipe – it actually comes from Good Housekeeping


  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder or granules
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup trans-fat free vegetable oil spread (60% to 70% oil)
  • 3 large egg whites


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease  8" by 8" metal baking pan. In cup, dissolve coffee in vanilla extract.
  2. On waxed paper, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In medium bowl, whisk sugar, vegetable oil spread, egg whites, and coffee mixture until well mixed; then blend in flour mixture. Spread in prepared pan.
  4. Bake 22 to 24 minutes or until toothpick inserted in brownies 2 inches from edge comes out almost clean. Cool in pan on wire rack, about 2 hours.
  5. When cool, cut brownies into 4 strips, then cut each strip crosswise into 4 squares. If brownies are difficult to cut, dip knife in hot water; wipe dry, and cut. Repeat dipping and drying as necessary.

Homemade Pizza

I am still loving my Light & Delish magazine and made a homemade pizza last night!!  One slice of this homemade pizza is approximately 180 calories, 4.25 grams of fat and 1.9 grams of fiber (that 3.5 ww points people!!!)  The whole family loved this pizza!  We will definitely be making it again!  In fact they dough recipe makes enough dough for 2 crusts so I will be making it again real soon so that I can use my other crust.

The recipe for the dough is actually from Country Living!  Below I have the recipe I made with all the toppings I used (which is what is calculated in the nutritional information above).


  • 1 teaspoon(s) active dry yeast
  • 3/4 teaspoon(s) sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup(s) flour
  • 1/4 cup(s) whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon(s) sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon(s) olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • cornmeal for dusting
  • garlic salt (optional)
  • approx 25 turkey pepperonis
  • approx 25 slices of mushroom
  • 1/2 cup chopped or sliced olives
  • 1 cup fat free mozzerella cheese
  • 1/2 cup fat free cheddar cheese


  1. Stir the yeast, sugar, and 2/3 cup warm (110 degrees F) water together and set aside for 5 minutes.
  2. Pulse flour(s) and salt together in a food processor. Stream in the yeast mixture and oil through the feed tube while continuing to pulse until a shaggy dough is formed.
  3. Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until dough is elastic. Place the dough in a large, oiled bowl. Cover with a dampened towel. Let rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  4. Punch the dough down to deflate, cover, and let rise for 30 minutes more.
  5. Divide dough in half.  (each 1/2 will make a crust for a 12” pizza.  If you are only using one then put the other half in the fridge to make another pizza later.Place dough on floured surface. Punch down with knuckles. Flour dough, hands, and rolling pin. Roll dough in long, even strokes and roll out to about a 12” circle.
  6. Spray a pizza pan with cooking spray and dust with cornmeal and garlic salt (optional).  Transfer your dough to the pizza plate.
  7. Assemble your toppings on the pizza dough.
  8. Bake in a 500 degree oven for 15 minutes, until dough is crispy.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Jelly Filled Cupcakes

IMG_0575 (2)

We made these little delights a couple of weeks during our Valentine’s week!!  This is another Hungry Girl recipe that produced ultra moist cupcakes and with the jelly in the center you don’t even miss the frosting!  One cupcake is only 92 calories and 1.75 grams of fat (that’s 2 ww points people!!!)  (I added the candy hearts for valentine’s…they are not included in the recipe or in the nutritional values)

Here’s the recipe:


2 cups moist style yellow cake mix (1/2 of an 18.25 oz box)

1/3 cup no sugar added applesauce

1/4 cup sugar free strawberry preserves (or any kind of jelly you like!)

1/2 tsp baking powder


Preheat oven to 350

Mix cake mix and baking powder add in applesauce and 1 cup water then stir until blended

spray 12 ct muffin pan evenly distribute cake mix. Bake for 20-22 min until a toothpick comes out clean

Meanwhile place preserves in the bottom corner of a large plastic bag, snip corner then it will be ready to pipe into the cupcakes.

Remove cupcakes use a knife to cut aa small hole right in the middle of each cupcake. Use the baggie to squeeze the preserves evenly into the holes. allow to cool and enjoy!

Creme Brulee

Are you a lover of creme brulee but not a lover of the fat and calories that usually accompany it?  Then here is a solution for you!  This creme brulee is only 104 calories and 0.5 grams of fat per serving (2 ww points) but you could never tell by the taste!! 

I topped it with a couple of slices of strawberries and a drizzle of light chocolate syrup!  It was sooooo good!!

1/3 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Original Egg Beaters)
1/2 cup fat-free evaporated milk
1/2 cup fat-free half & half
3 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. brown sugar (not packed)
1 1/2 tsp. Coffee-mate Sugar Free French Vanilla powdered creamer
1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
4 tsp. granulated white sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium pot, combine milk, half & half, and brown sugar. Bring to medium heat on the stove. Stir and cook until the sugar has dissolved and mixture is hot. Stir in the powdered creamer, blending well. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, mix the egg substitute and vanilla extract together. Gradually whisk in the hot milk mixture. Set four 4-ounce baking ramekins or custard cups in a deep baking dish. Evenly distribute the custard mixture into the cups.
Carefully pour hot water into the baking dish, around the cups, being careful not to splash any water into the custard (or on yourself!). The water should come about halfway up the outsides of the custard cups. Carefully transfer pan to the oven, and bake for about 28 minutes, until custards are set.
Remove from the oven, allow to cool, and then refrigerate custard cups until completely chilled. Once ready to serve, top each custard cup with 1 tsp. white sugar. Using a hand-held butane kitchen torch, caramelize the sugar (in other words, blast with fire 'til browned). Enjoy!


Bean & Cheese Enchiladas

IMG_0552 (2)

This is yet another hungry girl recipe that is super yummy!!  I have made it twice now!!  It is so easy to prepare and is very good!  If you are craving mexican food but don’t want to blow a bunch of points to eat it then this is the choice for you!! A serving of 2 enchiladas is 374 calories, 4 grams of fat and 8 grams of fiber (that is 6 ww points!!)  You have to try these today!

I have altered the recipe to fix it for 4 servings (2 enchiladas per serving)

8 large corn tortillas (like Mission Super Size
4 slice fat-free cheddar cheese, cut in half
2 2/3 cup enchilada sauce
1 1/3 cup fat-free refried beans
1 cup shredded fat-free cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped onions 
4 tbsp. taco sauce
2 tsp. taco seasoning mix, dry
Optional toppings: fat-free sour cream, chopped scallions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a pan sprayed with nonstick spray, cook onions over medium heat until they begin to brown (about 2 minutes). In a small dish, combine the onions with the refried beans, taco sauce, and taco seasoning. Mix well. Spray a small baking dish with nonstick spray. Heat tortillas in the microwave until slightly warm. Lay the tortillas on a clean, dry surface, and then spread about 2 tbsp. of the enchilada sauce onto each one. Place one half of the cheese slice on each tortilla. Then, evenly distribute the bean mixture into the center of each tortilla. Wrap the tortillas up tightly, and place them in the baking dish seam side down. Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over the enchiladas. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes (until the enchiladas are hot). Remove dish from the oven, sprinkle shredded cheese over the enchiladas, and then return it to the oven for about 5 minutes (until the cheese is nice and melty). Plate those babies and, if you like, top with some of the optional ingredients. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sweet and Sour Chicken

This is a yummy recipe that I found at  It is very tasty and I pretty much stuck with their recipe…only a couple of minor changes.  The recipe below has the changes I made.  It makes 4 servings and each serving has approximately 375 calories, 4 grams of fat, and 4 grams of fiber (that would be 7 ww points!)

what you need

fat free cooking spray
1 lb.  boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
16 oz pkg frozen stir-fry vegetables
1 can  (8 oz.) pineapple chunks in juice, undrained
1/2 cup KRAFT Sweet 'N Sour Sauce
1 cup  water
2 cups instant brown rice, uncooked

Make It

HEAT large skillet on medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. Add chicken; cook and stir 4 minutes or until cooked through.
ADD vegetables, pineapple with juice and sweet and sour sauce; mix well. Stir in water. Bring to boil.
STIR in rice; cover. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes or until almost all of the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.

Yummy Garlic Toast


This is actually my very own recipe that I came up with for a yummy garlic toast that is not near the fat and calories of traditional garlic toast!  It is only about 100 calories, 1.5 grams of fat and 1.5 grams of fiber per serving (that’s 2 ww points).  But even though the fat and calories are much less the flavor sure isn’t!!

1/2 of whole wheat english muffin
I Can’t believe It’s Not Butter spray
garlic salt
1 tsp reduced fat parmesan style topping
optional: 1/8 cup fat free mozzarella cheese

Spray your english muffin half with the spray butter. Sprinkle some garlic salt on it.  Then add your parmesan topping and mozzarella cheese.  Place on a baking sheet and broil in oven for a few minutes, until browned and toasty.  Enjoy!  Makes 1 serving.

Quick Chocolate Cake

This recipe comes straight from Hungry Girl!  I am sorry I didn’t get a picture – I forgot.  But it was DELICIOUS!!  It will really satisfy the sweet tooth and the chocolate craving – WITHOUT YOU FEELING GUILTY about it!!!  Wow!  This cake is only 123 calories, 1 gram of fat and .75 grams of fiber (that’s only 2 ww points!!!)
Here is the recipe!  ENJOY!!
Mini Microwave Triple Chocolate Cake
PER SERVING (entire recipe): 123 calories, 1g fat, 201mg sodium, 28g carbs, 0.75g fiber, 12g sugars, 2g protein -- POINTS® value 2*
Ingredients:2 tbsp. Pillsbury Moist Supreme Reduced Sugar Cake Mix, Devil's Food
2 tbsp. Cool Whip Free, thawed
1 tbsp. fat-free vanilla yogurt
1 tbsp. Hershey's Lite chocolate syrup, divided

Directions: Stir together the whipped topping and half of the syrup, and then place mixture in the freezer to firm up while you prep the rest of your dessert. Next, in a very small microwave-safe dish (like a ramekin), combine cake mix and yogurt. (Don't worry if it seems like a small amount. Your cake will puff up -- we promise!) Stir until smooth and blended. Microwave for 1 minute, and then allow to cool for 5 minutes. Once cake has cooled, remove chocolate topping from freezer, and spoon it over your cake. Finally, drizzle the remaining chocolate syrup on top. Enjoy!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Southwestern Sloppy Joes

I combined a Weight Watchers recipe with tips from Rachel Ray on open faced sandwiches and burgers to create my own version of the Southwestern Sloppy Joes.  These were VERY tasty!!  This will be another meal that we will definitely do again in our family!  This is 9 points with the cheese sauce, but is a hearty serving.  You could omit the cheese sauce and save 3 points…or just serve with a side salad with lite dressing! :-)

Southwestern Sloppy Joes
adapted from the Best of Weight Watchers Magazines, Vol. 1 Cookbook

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 (11 oz) can mexican-style corn, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups chunky salsa (the heat level you prefer)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Splenda brown sugar
  • Orowheat Sandwich Thins (4 buns)
  • 1/2 lb 2% velveeta, cubed
  • 1 can rotel diced tomatoes with green chiles

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Heat the oil and add the onion, garlic, and jalapeno. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the chili powder and oregano and cook one minute more. Add the turkey and corn and cook until meat is cooked through and no longer pink. Stir in the salsa and sugar and cook, stirring occasionally until slightly thickened.

While the meat is cooking put the diced velveeta and rotel in a microwave safe bowl and heat in the microwave until cheese is melted (stirring about halfway through).

Spoon sloppy joe mixture over the open sandwich and then spoon cheese on top of that and serve.  Makes 4 servings.

I’m still here

I promise I am still here and I have a bunch of recipes that I want to get up on the blog!  I am going to try my best to find time this week to get some up!  Just bear with me please!


Monday, January 25, 2010


My mom was up for the weekend and we decided to make tostadas for dinner on Saturday night!!  These were super super yummy!!  Two tostadas were VERY filling and only 7 points!!!  WHOO HOO!!

You have got to give these a try!


10 whole wheat tortillas (we used Mission Carb Balance Whole Wheat Tortillas)

1 can fat free refried beans

shredded lettuce

2 tomatoes, diced

3 avocados, diced

fat free sour cream

fat free cheese, shredded

1 lb ground turkey

1 pkg taco seasoning


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.  Spray both sides of each tortilla with cooking spray and place on the baking sheet.  Bake for 5 minutes.  Flip the tortillas and bake for another 5 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Tortillas will continue to crisp as they cool.  While they are still warm spray with I can’t believe it’s not butter spray and sprinkle some salt on them.

Brown your ground turkey and then prepare with the taco seasoning, according to package directions.

Put your refried beans in a microwave safe bowl and mircowave for approx 2 minutes, or until beans are warmed well.

Build your tostadas with beans, meat, lettuce, tomatoes, a spoonful of avocado chunks, a handful of cheese, and a spoonful of sour cream. You can even add some salsa for no extra points.

Each serving includes 2 prepared tostadas!


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Zesty Cheeseburger Mac Casserole

I found this YUMMY recipe from  Of course, as usual, I had to make some adjustments to it :-).  Of course all of the adjustments was to make it healthier but you couldn’t tell it from the taste!!  In fact my boys had 2 helpings!  This was a winner!  And one huge 1 1/2 cup serving was approximately 430 calories, 7.6 grams of fat, and 3.6 grams of fiber (that is 8.5 ww points!!)

Here is the recipe with the changes that I made!


  • 1 pkg. (16 oz.) frozen vegetable blend with broccoli, carrots, cauliflower (3 cups)
  • 1 pkg.  (14 oz.) KRAFT Deluxe Macaroni & Cheese Dinner Made With 2% Milk Cheese
  • 3/4 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/4 cup  KRAFT FREE Zesty Italian Dressing
  • 1 lb. extra-lean ground beef, cooked, drained
  • 1 cup  KRAFT Fat Free Shredded Cheddar Cheese, divided


  1. HEAT oven to 375°F.
  2. PLACE frozen vegetables in colander in sink. Cook Macaroni as directed on package. Pour cooked macaroni over vegetables in colander to drain and quickly thaw vegetables.
  3. RETURN macaroni and vegetables to same saucepan. Add Cheese Sauce, milk and dressing; mix well. Add cooked meat and 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese; mix well. Spoon into 2-qt. round casserole dish; cover.
  4. BAKE 35 min. or until heated through. Uncover; top with remaining Cheddar cheese. Bake 3 to 4 min. or until cheese is melted.

Make Ahead

Prepare as directed except for baking; cover. Refrigerate up to 24 hours. When ready to serve, bake, covered, at 375°F for 40 to 45 min. or until heated through. Remove from oven; uncover. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Let stand 5 min. or until cheese is melted.

Pasta Shells Casserole

I saw Rachel Ray do this recipe on her show!  I, like her, am a lover of stuffed pasta shells but hate stuffing the shells!!  She came up with a brilliant way of getting all of the stuffed shells taste without the fuss of stuffing the shells!!  And it is DELICIOUS!!

I also made a couple of changes to help it to be healthier and drop those ww points a bit more!

I have my alterations in the recipe below.  Following this recipe below will yield you about 10 ww points a serving (which for a pasta dish – that ain’t bad!!)  (per serving is approx 562 calories, 17.5 grams of fat and 10 grams of fiber)

  • 5 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped, divided
  • 1 large or 2 small to medium onions, finely chopped, divided
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped or grated
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano or marjoram, half a palmful
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, 1/3 palmful
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed by pressing under flat of your knife
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, 5 to 6 sprigs
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white or red wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 28-ounce cans Italian crushed tomatoes
  • 1 pound medium or large shell pasta (not extra-large stuffing shells)   (I used whole wheat pasta shells…my nutritional information above was figured using this)
  • about 20 oz frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and wrung dry in clean towel
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, about 1/4 teaspoon
  • 2 cups part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat grated parmesan cheese, plus some to pass at table
  • 1/2 cup egg beaters
  • Yields: Serves 7-8 servings


In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons EVOO, 3 turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add 4 cloves of chopped garlic, 3/4 of finely chopped onion and the carrot. Season with salt, pepper, oregano or marjoram, red pepper flakes, fennel seeds and thyme, and gently sauté 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add in parsley, stir, then add wine and reduce a minute. Add stock and tomatoes, bring sauce up to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer sauce 45 minutes.

After sauce has been simmering for 30 minutes, preheat oven to 375˚F.

Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt water and cook pasta 5 minutes.

While pasta water comes to a boil, heat remaining 2 tablespoons EVOO in a small skillet over medium heat. Add remaining garlic and onion and sauté to soften, 5 minutes. Add spinach, pulling it apart and separating it as you add it to pan. Stir to combine well and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Turn off heat.

Drain undercooked pasta and return it to the hot pot. Add spinach mixture to pot along with ricotta and grated Parm. Stir to combine, adjust salt and pepper then add eggs and stir.

Pour a thin layer of marinara sauce into the bottom of a casserole dish. Fill dish with pasta then top with another thin layer of red sauce. Save remaining sauce to pass at table. Bake 30 minutes until bubbly.

Serve casserole directly from casserole dish, passing extra sauce and cheese at the table.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

It’s COLD Outside!

It is COLD outside!  An artic front has hit and it is suppose to get down to 15 degrees tonight (with windchill around 0).  For Texas this is COLD!!!!

What’s better for a cold night than a good ol bowl of chili to warm you up!!  And my new friend Hungry Girl (btw – I got 2 of her cookbooks for Christmas) has a wonderful chili recipe!

This is a wonderful vegetable chili.  The best part about this chili is the fact that 1 serving is 120 calories, 1 gram of fat and 6 grams of fiber (that’s 1 ww point people!) It takes about 2 hours to cook so if you are one who works you might want to do this on a Saturday.  But hey – one batch makes 10 servings so you could freeze part of it for a easy meal later!! 

Here’s the recipe:


  • 4 1/4 cups canned tomato sauce
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 3/4 cut canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup jalapeno slices, chopped
  • 1 cup canned sweet corn kernels, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 3/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped portabello mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp worscestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • optional: salt


  1. Place the tomato sauce, tomatoes, jalepenos, chili powder, and cumin in a large pot.  Stir over low heat.  Once mixture is heated, stir in the garlic and continue to cook for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add carrots and continue to cook over low heat.  Meanwhile, over medium heat, cook onions, peppers, and mushrooms for 3 to 5 minutes in a large pan with juat 1/2 cup of water (and some salt, if desired).  THe onions and peppers should still be a little crunchy.  Using a slotted spoon to drain any excess water, add the veggies to the chili pot.
  3. Add beans, corn, and worcestershire sauce to the pot.  Mix well.  Everything should now be in the pot.
  4. Cook over low heat for about 2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes or so.  Chili is done when carrots have lost their crunch.
  5. Makes 10 servings

I served this with Hungry Girl’s Cheesy Good Cornbread Muffins and brown rice.  The entire meal (which includes 2 muffins) is only 8 ww points!!!   You can’t beat that!!!


And, if you are looking at loosing some weight and need some encouragement and motivation please feel free to check out my new blog Let’s Lose Weight Together.