September 20, 2010

What's cookin' this week? September 20, 2010

Hello healthy eaters! Fall hasn’t quite decided to arrive yet in Ohio, but my body is ready for it to be here. I’m doing a little “fall dance” and having a fall comfort food week. Maybe the soups and pastas will inspire some cooler weather, turning leaves and all the fun of fall! I am looking forward to baking some pumpkin, apple and other yummy fall treats in the upcoming weeks. I’ll be sure to post some recipes. What are some of your favorite fall dessert recipes? My co-workers LOVE when I get the baking itch because they typically benefit.

So, this week is not only comfort food, but it’s also reader recipe week. Thanks ladies for sending these recipes in! I am looking forward to trying them out. We'll enjoy them for lunches all week too!

Chicken Tortilla Soup (I had a package of the veggies and seasoning for this, but I'm sure you can find plenty of recipes for this fabulous fall favorite)

Smart Taste Pasta
Garlic Bread

Mexican Chicken Corn Chowder
Crispy bread

Mac and Cheddar Cheese with Chicken and Broccoli

Leftovers and relaxing

Smart Taste Pasta
From Micheline Ricker

Rotini or Spirals (try wheat)

1 onion
1 green pepper
1 lb of ground turkey
Choice of tomato sauce
Choice of shredded cheese – try Italian blend

Preheat oven 350 degrees.

Boil pasta per box directions
Saute onion and green pepper and turkey
Once turkey is done, add mixture to sauce and then add sauce mixture to your noodles in a 9x13 pan. Top with cheese and bake 20 min.

Mexican Chicken Corn Chowder

From Anne MacFarland


1 can diced green chilis (little tiny can)
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2c diced green onion (can use more or less if you want)
1 can cream of potato soup
1 package taco seasoning
1 package Steamfresh corn (already microwaved for 3min)
Chicken broth (I use about 3c, but you can use less or more depending on how thick you want the soup)
1 roasted chicken (the kind you buy cooked from the grocery store)
1c sour cream (I use lite)
1-2c shredded cheese (any kind...I like the Mexican mix)

Shred chicken. Saute onions in soup pot for a few minutes in a little bit of olive oil. Then add to soup pot: tomatoes, chilis, potato soup, taco seasoning, corn, and chicken broth. Bring to boil. Turn down heat to med-low and add chicken. Stir in sour cream and cheese. Serve. (I like to serve this with a salad or just with crusty bread depending on how hungry we are).

Mac and Cheddar Cheese with Chicken and Broccoli
From Mari Jo Sellers and Rachael Ray

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 25 min
Level: Easy
Serves: Yield: 6 servings

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan

1 pound chicken breast tenders, chopped
Salt and pepper
1 small onion, chopped
1 pound macaroni elbows or cavatapi corkscrew shaped pasta twists
2 1/2 cups raw broccoli florets, available packaged in produce department
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
3 cups whole milk
1 cup chicken stock
3 cups yellow sharp Cheddar
1 tablespoon prepared Dijon mustard

Place a pot of water on to boil for macaroni. Heat a medium pan over medium to medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil and chicken and season with salt and pepper. Saute a couple of minutes then add onion and cook another 5 to 7 minutes until onions are tender and chicken is cooked through. Turn off heat and reserve. To boiling pasta water, add pasta and salt to season the cooking water. Cook 5 minutes, then add broccoli and cook 3 minutes more or until pasta is cooked to al dente and florets are just tender. While pasta cooks, heat a medium sauce pot over medium heat. Add butter and melt, then add flour, cayenne and paprika and whisk together over heat until roux bubbles then cook a minute more. Whisk in milk and stock and raise heat a little to bring sauce to a quick boil. Simmer sauce to thicken about 5 minutes. Drain macaroni or pasta and broccoli florets. Add back to pot and add chicken to the pasta and broccoli. Add cheese to milk sauce and stir to melt it in, about a minute or so. Stir in mustard and season sauce with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken and broccoli and cooked pasta and stir to combine. Adjust seasonings, transfer to a large serving platter and serve.

September 12, 2010

What's cookin' this week? Sept. 13, 2010

Fall usually means crazy schedules and lots of traveling for us. This year doesn’t seem to be any different. Last week we had something going on every night so we were able to use up some frozen leftovers from previous weeks and grab some healthy meals to go. But, this week looks a little calmer and I’m eager to get back in the kitchen.

In a few weeks, I’m having a Thirty-One party and Tastefully Simple party. This week, I’m using up some of my Tastefully Simple stuff so I can order more next week! If you haven’t checked out Tastefully Simple items before, check out their web site at If you don’t have these items, you can always substitute something similar. I always try to use up what I have at home and I have quite a bit of this stuff. These recipes are also pretty simple so I only have a dozen items on my grocery list. Woo hoo!

Also, remember an easy way to make any meal healthier is choosing better or healthier ingredients like low fat or fat free products or substitute ground turkey for ground beef. Try it before you turn your nose up. They aren’t that bad.

YOUR TASK THIS WEEK: send your favorite healthy recipes. Next week is going to be reader’s favorite recipes week. I already have a few that I’m excited to try, but need some more so send them my way!

So here is this week’s menu based on some yummy Tastefully Simple recipes.

Bountiful Greek Pizza
Fruit salad

Pesto Chicken (my hubby’s favorite!)
Green beans

Creamy spinach and herb penne
Beer bread

EZ Meatloaf
Leftover beer bread


Bountiful Greek Pizza

Bountiful Beer Bread Mix®
12 oz. beer
2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. ground pork sausage
1 Tbsp. Greek oregano
2 Tbsp. Onion Onion™
1 Tbsp.
Garlic Garlic™
Water as needed
4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
6 oz. can black olives
Grated mozzarella cheese or Italian cheese blend (optional)

Prepare bread as directed on package with beer, Italian seasoning and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Spread in greased 9 x 13 baking pan; drizzle with olive oil. Brown sausage with oregano, Onion Onion™, Garlic Garlic™ and water if needed. Spread sausage mixture evenly over uncooked bread batter. Top with remaining Parmesan cheese, feta cheese, olives and optional cheeses, if desired. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes. Makes 10-12 servings.

Pesto Chicken

3 Tbsp.
Dried Tomato & Garlic Pesto Mix
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. water
8 oz. softened cream cheese
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 egg
Crushed crackers or breadcrumbs (Ritz work well)

Prepare Dried Tomato & Garlic Pesto Mix as directed on jar with olive oil and water; mix with cream cheese. Pound chicken breasts flat; spread mixture on top. Roll up chicken, dip in egg, and roll in crackers or breadcrumbs. Place on greased baking sheet; bake at 425° for 35 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Creamy Spinach & Herb Penne

2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
2 cups milk
4 Tbsp.
Spinach & Herb Dip Mix
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups Penne pasta, uncooked

Melt butter in skillet, add flour and whisk on low until mixture turns a golden color. Slowly add milk and continue to whisk. Cook on medium heat for about 3 minutes; stirring continuously. Add all other ingredients. Turn heat to low, and cook until pasta is soft and sauce has thickened; about 8-10 minutes. If sauce is too thick, add a little milk. Makes 2 servings.

EZ Meatloaf

2 Tbsp.
Garlic Garlic™
2 Tbsp. Onion Onion™
1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1/2-3/4 cup buttery snack cracker crumbs
1 egg, beaten
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
4 Tbsp. ketchup

Combine all ingredients except for the ketchup. Place in a greased 9 x 5 loaf pan. Spread the ketchup on top. Bake at 375° for 20-30 minutes. Makes 4-6 servings.