Monday, September 22, 2008


As most of you know, I've been going to bootcamp a few times a week and have already noticed amazing results. I know that if I improved my diet, I will feel better and look better too. So, with that in mind, I've been inspired to find more healthy and inventive recipes that look good and taste good. Part of this inspiration has also come from my girlfriends - Katy, Cindy, and Paige - who have been doing their part to get healthy too!

Paige and I made this salad over a month ago, and Matt requested that we make it into the regular rotation. It's really tasty, and I honestly would have never thought to combine whole grain mustard and white vinegar together for a dressing. Beyond that, I never thought it would taste so good! The next time I serve it, I think I'll add a side of homemade cornbread. But it's perfect on its own.

CKS note: I used just 2 bunches of spinach and about 5 tomatoes.

Warm Spinach Salad with Grilled Sausage
From Real Simple, August 2008

4 Italian sausages (about 1 pound)
8 plum tomatoes, cut in half crosswise
1 onion, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rings
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
3 bunches spinach, thick stems removed (about 8 cups)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

Heat grill to medium-high. With a fork, prick the sausages in several places. Grill, turning occasionally, until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.Meanwhile, brush the tomatoes and onion with 1 tablespoon of the oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Grill until tender, 5 to 6 minutes per side for the onion and 2 to 3 minutes per side for the tomatoes. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl as they are done, add the spinach, and toss.In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, the remaining 3 tablespoons of the oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Slice the sausages and serve with the vegetables and dressing.

Tip: Tossing the spinach with warm vegetables wilts the leaves slightly and makes them more tender. Delicious on its own, this salad is also great mixed into pasta.

Yield: Makes 4 servingsCALORIES 506 (67% from fat); FAT 38g (sat 10g); CHOLESTEROL 60mg; CARBOHYDRATE 22g; SODIUM 1789mg; PROTEIN 25g; FIBER 8g; SUGAR 6g

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cooking Light Night #6

This one was delicious! A nice easy weeknight low carb meal with lots of flavor. Don declared, "I love Hoisin Sauce." Jeremy asked for the recipe so that he can make it again and again. There's nothing else to say. Try it.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Sweet and Spicy Sauce

You can serve these casual wraps buffet style. Arrange the lettuce leaves on a large platter, spoon the chicken salad in a bowl, and place the sauce in a small bowl on the side. Let people assemble their own wraps since this is one less step for the cook.

3 tablespoons unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon bottled ground fresh ginger (such as Spice World)
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
2 cups packaged cabbage-and-carrot coleslaw
1 cup canned sliced water chestnuts, drained
8 ounces grilled chicken breast strips (such as Louis Rich)
12 Bibb lettuce leaves

Place peanuts in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; cook 3 minutes or until lightly browned, shaking pan frequently. Remove pan from heat; set aside.

Combine hoisin, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, oil, pepper, and garlic in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

Combine peanuts, coleslaw, water chestnuts, and chicken in a medium bowl; toss well.

Spoon about 1/3 cup chicken salad in the center of each lettuce leaf; top each with 2 teaspoons sauce. Roll up; secure with a wooden pick.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 wraps)

CALORIES 197 (34% from fat); FAT 7.4g (sat 1.4g,mono 2.9g,poly 2.1g); IRON 1.9mg; CHOLESTEROL 37mg; CALCIUM 40mg; CARBOHYDRATE 18.2g; SODIUM 825mg; PROTEIN 16.5g; FIBER 3.4g

Cooking Light, JUNE 2006

Solvang in my Kitchen

Several months ago, we took a trip with friends to Solvang, a lovely touristy Danish town known for it's ableskivers and wine tasting. We were definitely won over by the wine tasting. After breakfast one day at our favorite breakfast nook, Jeremy and Katy decided to buy an ableskiver pan, and Don and I picked up a jar of their amazing raspberry preserves. This morning I woke up with a craving and we finally decided to try it out. Don found the perfect recipe on the internet, and we had an amazing danish breakfast, right in my own kitchen. This recipe takes some special equipment, but it was unanimously decided that the investment in the ableskiver pan was definitely worth it!


Makes about 3 dozens Tip: Powdered sugar is wonderful sprinkled on cookies, cakes and Aebleskivers, but without the proper cook's tool, you end up with clumps or a cloud of white dust. Use a fine mesh shaker to sprinkle the sugar evenly over the aebleskivers. The shaker is also great for sprinkling spices on food or for sifting flour.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups buttermilk
Unsalted butter (for frying)
Powdered sugar
Raspberry preserves
Preheat cast-iron aebleskiver pan over medium-low heat. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom and salt into medium bowl to blend. Using electric hand-held mixer, beat sugar, egg yolks and vanilla in large bowl until light. Mix in dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.

Using clean dry beater, beat egg whites in clean medium bowl until firm peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter. Working in batches, melt small amount of butter in each pan indentation. Using 2 tablespoons batter for each, fill pan indentations. Cook until sides are set and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using wooden skewer, carefully turn aebleskivers over. Bake until bottom is golden brown, about 2 minutes.

Transfer aebleskivers to platter. Sprinkle generously with powdered sugar, and serve with raspberry preserves.

Recipe created exclusively for by Rochelle Palermo, Food Editor at

Serving size = 1 piece

Recipe reprinted by permission of . All rights reserved.
Nutrition Information
Makes about 3 dozens - Facts Per Serving:
Calories:61 Fat. Total:2g Carbohydrates, Total:10g
Cholesterol:21mg Sodium:94mg Protein:2g
Fiber:0g % Cal. from Fat:30% Fat, Saturated:0g


Friday, September 19, 2008

Cooking Light Night #5

After much debating about whether to cook or go out tonight, we finally decided to go with the recipe I had already assigned for tonight. I'm not a huge pasta person so this was definitely out of the norm from my regular repitoire but I really enjoyed it and would definitely make again. The sauce never really thickened up but it was subtle and clean, and a nice healthy switch from the standard tomato or cream sauces that usually go with pasta. We steamed some broccoli and baby carrots which we ended up tossing into the pasta at the end rather than eating on the side. So healthy and colorful. I'm looking forward to the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

Linguine with Sautèed Shrimp and Coconut-Lime Sauce

8 ounces linguine
2 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed
1 1/2 cups red bell pepper strips
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon peeled grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound peeled deveined large shrimp
1/2 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup light coconut milk, well-stirred
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon grated lime rind (bright green part only)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 cup (1-inch) diagonally cut scallions

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Place peas and red bell pepper in a colander. Drain pasta over pea mixture.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger, garlic, and shrimp; sauté 3 minutes or until shrimp is bright pink. Remove shrimp from pan. Add broth to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add coconut milk, soy sauce, rind, and juice; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes or until slightly thick. Add pasta mixture and shrimp mixture; toss to coat. Top each serving with scallions.

Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 2 cups)

CALORIES 467 (22% from fat); FAT 11g (sat 4g,mono 2g,poly 3g); IRON 5mg; CHOLESTEROL 173mg; CALCIUM 120mg; CARBOHYDRATE 55g; SODIUM 862mg; PROTEIN 35g; FIBER 5g

Health, JULY 2002

Cooking Light Night #4

Believe it or not, this makes even better leftovers. The homemade pizza sauce is amazing! To be honest, I wasn't that crazy about the salad but it was very light and fresh. Other's might like it and the dressing keeps overnight and doesn't wilt the salad. I'm not a huge fan of Garbanzo beans so if I make again, I might leave those out and substitute in some olives.

1 large garlic clove peeled
1 cup basil leaves
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 (5.2-ounce) bottle roasted red bell peppers, drained
1 (1-pound) Italian cheese-flavored pizza crust (such as Boboli)
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
3 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced (about 6 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Preheat oven to 450°.
Drop garlic through food chute with food processor on; process until minced. Add basil and next 6 ingredients (basil through bell peppers), and process until smooth, scraping sides of bowl once.
Place pizza crust on a baking sheet. Spread pepper mixture over pizza crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border; sprinkle with mozzarella. Arrange the tomato slices in a single layer on top of the cheese. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes. Sprinkle pizza with oregano.Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

CALORIES 285 (28% from fat); FAT 8.7g (sat 3.9g,mono 3.4g,poly 0.9g); IRON 2.7mg; CHOLESTEROL 12mg; CALCIUM 376mg; CARBOHYDRATE 37.2g; SODIUM 611mg; PROTEIN 14.2g; FIBER 1g
Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2000

This main-dish salad works well with many variations - change the fresh herbs, beans, and cheese to use what you have on hand.

1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried oregano
6 cups shredded Romaine lettuce
3 cups diced tomato
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon capers
1 cucumber, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and thinly sliced
1 (19-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
6 (6-inch) whole wheat pitas, each cut into 8 wedges
Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Add lettuce and the next 6 ingredients (lettuce through chickpeas); toss well. Serve with pita wedges.Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 2 cups salad and 8 pita wedges)

CALORIES 388 (29% from fat); FAT 14.8g (sat 3.8g,mono 4.8g,poly 1.4g); IRON 4.8mg; CHOLESTEROL 17mg; CALCIUM 173mg; CARBOHYDRATE 64.9g; SODIUM 779mg; PROTEIN 15.7g; FIBER 11.4g

Cooking Light, JULY 2003

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cooking Light Night #3

So....effin.....good! I can get used to this new healthy eating. Made this for gaming group tonight. Excellent reviews all the way around. We made a couple of substitutions: multigrain seeded baguette for the french bread, dijon mustard for the regular mustard, Arugula for the watercress, and fresh fuji apples from the Farmer's Market for the Granny Smith. There are countless possible variations for this recipe but the base idea of it is phenomal.

Smoked Turkey, Brie, Green Apple, and Watercress Sandwich

This baguette sandwich is a meal in itself. Serve it with a glass of crisp Chardonnay.

1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons mustard
1 (8-ounce) French bread baguette
6 ounces thinly sliced smoked turkey breast
1/4 pound Brie cheese, thinly sliced
1 cup trimmed watercress
1 cup thinly sliced peeled Granny Smith apple
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine honey and mustard in a small bowl. Cut bread in half lengthwise; place on a baking sheet. Spread honey mixture on bottom half of loaf; top with turkey and cheese. Bake at 350° for 5 minutes or until cheese begins to melt.

Arrange watercress and apple slices onto melted cheese; sprinkle with pepper. Cover with top half of loaf, and cut into 4 portions.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 portion)

CALORIES 337 (29% from fat); FAT 10.7g (sat 5.3g,mono 3.1g,poly 0.7g); IRON 3.5mg; CHOLESTEROL 45mg; CALCIUM 114mg; CARBOHYDRATE 40.8g; SODIUM 926mg; PROTEIN 19.4g; FIBER 2.5g

Cooking Light, AUGUST 2003

Strawberry-Kiwi Salad with Basil

Here we provide the exception to our picnic rule #1--the soupy sauce on this salad is irresistible, especially with angel-food cake "dunkers."

1/4 cup half-and-half
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 peeled kiwifruit, each cut into 6 wedges
2 cups quartered strawberries (about 1 pint)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil

Combine first 4 ingredients in a bowl. Add kiwifruit and strawberries; toss well. Cover and chill for 1 hour. Stir in basil just before serving.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3/4 cup)

CALORIES 90 (23% from fat); FAT 2.3g (sat 1.1g,mono 0.6g,poly 0.4g); IRON 0.7mg; CHOLESTEROL 6mg; CALCIUM 46mg; CARBOHYDRATE 17.8g; SODIUM 157mg; PROTEIN 1.6g; FIBER 3.8g

Cooking Light, APRIL 2001

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cooking Light Night #2

Welcome home Matt & Camille. I picked them up at the Burbank airport tonight on their return trip from Spokane. It was great to see them but did make for a bit of a long day. Between baggage mishaps, arrival times, and traffic, I didn't make it home until 7:30 p.m. And you know what, it was ALL WORTH IT. Because Don had dinner ready and waiting for me when I got home. Tonights Halibut recipe was a nice change from our regular chicken, beef, and salmon rotation. We just used frozen Halibut from Trader Joes and it turned out quite tasty. The whole steaming in Parchment thing is kind of fun and makes clean up pretty easy. But Halibut aside, the highlight of the meal had to be the dressing on the bean salad. It's absolutely unbelievable. You must try this recipe! We used fresh cut green beans instead of wax beans. Either way it's still delicious. Thank you, Babe, for an AMAZING dinner!

Parchment-Baked Halibut With Pesto, Zucchini, and Carrots

Prep: 20 minutes; Cook: 15 minutes. In place of halibut, you can use other small, flat, white fish fillets, such as red snapper, sea bass, pompano, striped bass, or cod.

4 (12- x 18-inch) sheets parchment paper
Cooking spray
4 (6-ounce) halibut fillets
1/4 cup commercial pesto
1 cup shredded carrots (2 medium)
1 cup shredded zucchini (1 small)
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
4 teaspoons olive oil
4 teaspoons dry white wine

1. Preheat oven to 450°. Follow directions for heart-shaped parchment package below.

2. Unfold parchment heart, and coat lightly with cooking spray, leaving a 2-inch border ungreased at edge.

3. Place fillet on one side so that it touches the fold, but not the ungreased border. Spread 1 tablespoon pesto over fillet; top with 1/4 cup carrot and 1/4 cup zucchini. Sprinkle with one-fourth of salt and pepper. Drizzle fillet with 1 teaspoon oil and 1 teaspoon wine.

4. Fold paper; seal edges with narrow folds. Repeat with the remaining parchment paper, fish, and vegetables.

5. Place packets on baking sheets. Bake at 450° for 15 minutes or until puffy and lightly browned. To serve, open packets and transfer the fillets with their vegetable topping to plates; pour juices over top. Or serve right in packets; carefully transfer to plates and pierce each to allow steam to escape.

Note: Nutritional analysis includes Sugars 0g.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 parchment packet)

CALORIES 253 ; FAT 10g (sat 2g,mono 6g,poly 2g); CHOLESTEROL 56mg; CALCIUM 112mg; CARBOHYDRATE 1g; SODIUM 337mg; PROTEIN 36g; FIBER 0.0g; IRON 2mg

Health, MARCH 2005

Wax Bean, Roasted Pepper, and Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese

A tart vinaigrette dresses this fresh combination of mild-tasting wax beans, sweet roasted red bell pepper, and juicy cherry tomatoes. Pungent goat cheese adds an extra dimension of flavor. To save time, you can use bottled roasted red bell peppers; just rinse them well to remove as much of the briny flavor as possible.

1 medium red bell pepper
2 quarts water
2 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 pound wax beans, trimmed and cut in half crosswise
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon extravirgin olive oil
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese

Preheat broiler.

Cut bell pepper in half lengthwise, and discard the seeds and membranes. Place bell pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil pepper halves 10 minutes or until blackened. Place in a zip-top plastic bag, and seal. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel and cut into strips.

Bring 2 quarts water and 2 teaspoons salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Add beans; cook 4 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender. Drain; place in a large bowl. Add bell pepper strips, tomatoes, onions, and parsley; toss to combine.

Combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, cider vinegar, and remaining ingredients except goat cheese, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over salad; toss gently to combine. Sprinkle with goat cheese.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: about 1 cup)

CALORIES 63 (36% from fat); FAT 2.5g (sat 1.2g,mono 0.9g,poly 0.3g); IRON 1.2mg; CHOLESTEROL 3mg; CALCIUM 40mg; CARBOHYDRATE 8.9g; SODIUM 289mg; PROTEIN 3g; FIBER 2.7g

Cooking Light, JULY 2005

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Cooking Light Night

Trying to eat better. Planned a bunch of evening meals from Cooking Light and I'll be reviewing them here. Don cooked this one up to perfection. It's hard to believe it's a light recipe it was so good. We ommitted the frozen mashed potatoes and substituded the roasted potato recipe below. The mushroom sauce on the steak was incredible. Even so, it was the chile, garlic, and parmesan flavoring of the potatoes that really stole the spotlight. Be sure to give enough roasting time to let the potatoes get nice and crispy and make sure you don't add the asparagus too soon or it will get mushy. Serve with a tall glass of ice cold milk.

Sirloin Steaks with Mushroom Sauce and Chive-Garlic Potatoes

Serve with sautéed haricots verts.

4 (4-ounce) boneless sirloin steaks, trimmed (about 1 inch thick)
3/8 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (8-ounce) package sliced cremini mushrooms
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 (24-ounce) package refrigerated mashed potatoes
1/3 cup chopped chives
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1. Sprinkle steaks evenly with 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Add steaks to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from pan; keep warm.

2. Add mushrooms to pan; cook 5 minutes or until tender and beginning to brown, stirring frequently. Combine wine, 1/2 cup water, flour, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt; stir well with a whisk. Add wine mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes or until thick; stir constantly. Remove from heat.

3. Prepare potatoes according to package directions. Stir in chives and garlic powder. Place 3/4 cup potatoes on each of 4 plates. Top each with 1 steak and about 1/4 cup mushroom sauce.

Yield: 4 servings

CALORIES 326 (29% from fat); FAT 10.4g (sat 3.4g,mono 4.9g,poly 0.7g); IRON 4.1mg; CHOLESTEROL 69mg; CALCIUM 46mg; CARBOHYDRATE 29.8g; SODIUM 682mg; PROTEIN 28.4g; FIBER 3.6g

Cooking Light, SEPTEMBER 2008

Spicy Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus

Move the potatoes to one side of the dish before you add the asparagus so the spears can cook in a single, even layer.

2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh or 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
6 small red potatoes (about 3/4 pound), quartered
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon minced garlic, divided
1/2 pound asparagus spears

Preheat oven to 450°.

Combine 1 teaspoon oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt, thyme, peppers, and potatoes in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450º for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cheese and 1/2 teaspoon garlic.

Snap off tough ends of asparagus. Combine 1 teaspoon oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon garlic, and asparagus. Add asparagus mixture to dish. Bake for 10 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender.

Yield: 2 servings

CALORIES 223 (27% from fat); FAT 6.8g (sat 1.9g,mono 3.9g,poly 0.6g); IRON 3.6mg; CHOLESTEROL 5mg; CALCIUM 136mg; CARBOHYDRATE 34.2g; SODIUM 419mg; PROTEIN 9.1g; FIBER 4.6g

Cooking Light, DECEMBER 2003