Monday, February 28, 2011

Sensational Slush

This is a great punch to make for parties.

* 20 Servings
* Prep: 25 min. + freezing


* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1 package (3 ounces) strawberry gelatin
* 2 cups boiling water
* 1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
* 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
* 1 can (12 ounces) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
* 1 can (12 ounces) frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
* 2 cups cold water
* 2 liters lemon-lime soda, chilled


* In a large bowl, dissolve sugar and gelatin in boiling water. In a blender combine pineapple juice and strawberries; cover and process until blended. Add to gelatin mixture. Stir in concentrates and cold water. Cover and freeze for 8 hours or overnight.
* Remove from the freezer 45 minutes before serving. For each serving, combine 1/2 cup slush mixture with 1/2 cup lemon-lime soda; stir well. Yield: 20 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 cup) equals 151 calories, trace fat (trace saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 22 mg sodium, 39 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Enchilada Casserole from Taste of Home

I just tried this recipe and we really liked it. I used non-fat sour cream instead of reduced fat. The recipe calls for just setting the tortillas in the dish. It was a little hard to serve with the whole tortillas in there. Next time I would tear up the tortillas in pieces so it would be easier to serve. Also I would add the lettuce, cilantro and tomatoes to each individual serving instead of the whole casserole. Lettuce and cilantro don't taste very good reheated with the leftovers.

* 8 Servings
* Prep: 25 min. Bake: 30 min.


* 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 2 cups salsa
* 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
* 1/4 cup reduced-fat Italian salad dressing
* 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium taco seasoning
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
* 6 flour tortillas (8 inches)
* 3/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
* 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend
* 1 cup shredded lettuce
* 1 medium tomato, chopped
* 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro


* In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the salsa, beans, dressing, taco seasoning and cumin. Place three tortillas in a 2-qt. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer with half of the meat mixture, sour cream and cheese. Repeat layers.
* Cover and bake at 400° for 25 minutes. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until heated through. Let stand for 5 minutes before topping with lettuce, tomato and cilantro. Yield: 8 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 piece equals 357 calories, 12 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 45 mg cholesterol, 864 mg sodium, 37 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 23 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 fat.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Southwest Pasta Salad from Our Best Bites

Southwest Pasta Salad
Recipe by Our Best Bites

1/2 lb bowtie pasta (I subbed in whole wheat penne)
1 14oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 roma tomatoes, diced or about 3/4 C or halved cherry tomatoes
1 large red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, diced
1/2 C sliced green onions
1/2 C frozen fresh corn
zest from 2 limes
optional: 8 oz diced cooked chicken (this is fantastic)
1/2 C Queso Fresco or Cotija Cheese (or you could sub grated jack, cheddar or pepperjack)

6 Tbs fresh lime juice (about 3 juicy limes)
1/4 C rice vinegar
4-5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
2 tsp sugar (add a touch more if your limes are extra sour/bitter)
3/4 C canola oil
1/2 C roughly chopped cilantro

To prepare dressing place Boil pasta in salted water until cooked. While it's cooking, prepare dressing.

First zest your limes and place the zest in a large salad bowl.

Place the lime juice, vinegar, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and sugar in a blender. (Basically everything except the cilantro and oil) Process until smooth. With the motor running slowly, add the oil in a steady stream until incorporated. Add the cilantro and pulse so it gets broken up, but some pieces still remain in tact.

When pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse immediately with cold water to cool. Place the pasta in the large salad bowl with the lime zest. Add black beans, tomatoes, diced pepper, green onions, corn (no need to thaw the corn), and chicken if desired. Toss with dressing. Taste, and add additional salt and pepper to taste. For best results, chill for 1 hour before serving. Right before serving, sprinkle cheese on top. Serve with extra lime wedges if desired.

Makes about 4-6 dinner sized servings or 10-12 side servings

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Bread Machine Dinner Rolls

This takes about 3 hours

I put the following ingredients into my bread maker in the following order:

3/4 c water (about 110 degrees)
1 egg
3 cups flour (either all white flour or 1 cup whole wheat flour and 2 cups white)
1 tsp salt
3 T. sugar
6 T. butter (temperature I like is somewhere between straight from the fridge and room temp)
3 T. instant fat-free milk
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast (there is a difference between active yeast-the kind you proof in warm water & sugar- and instant or bread machine yeast)

On my machine I select the dough option and it takes 1 hr and 40 minutes. After that cycle is done, take the dough out and let it rest, covered with a wet dish towel that has been wrung out for 20 min. Then you can shape the rolls how you like. I don't make very pretty round rolls so I either make knots (roll out "ropes" and tie in knots) or crescent roll shape (roll out in big circle and using a pizza cutter keep dividing the dough in half til you get 16 wedges, then roll up to form a crescent roll) Place on greased baking sheet and let rise til doubled in size- about an hour. Then bake in 350 degree oven for about 10-12 min. My oven browns them faster in the back so I like to take them out part way through baking and turn the sheet around.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Blueberry Oat Pancakes

I just made this recipe from Taste of Home and we really liked it.

* 5 Servings
* Prep: 20 min. Cook: 5 min./ batch


* 3/4 cup quick-cooking oats, divided
* 3 tablespoons orange juice
* 1 egg, lightly beaten
* 2/3 cup fat-free evaporated milk
* 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
* 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 3 tablespoons brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 cup fresh or frozen unsweetened blueberries


* In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup oats and orange juice; let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the egg, milk, sour cream, applesauce and vanilla; set aside.
* Place remaining oats in a small food processor; cover and process until ground. Transfer to a large bowl; add the flours, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Stir in the wet ingredients just until moistened.
* Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a hot griddle coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with blueberries. Turn when bubbles form on top; cook until second side is golden brown. Yield: 10 pancakes.

Kitchen Tools

My microplane zester is one of my favorite kitchen tools. It's great for garlic. I feel like I'm using all of the garlic clove with a zester versus my garlic press where a lot of the clove gets left behind. The zester is also wonderful for zesting citrus for recipes. I never end up with any of the bitter pith underneath the peel.