Sunday, January 25, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie

This lighter version of chicken pot pie caught my eye in this months Real Simple magazine. Amy, I think you saw it too! No butter, no cream, it's just what I need to make an old favorite healthier than the original. I love a lot of veggies in my pot pie so I did make some changes to the original recipe. Here is my version. By the way, my husband said this is the best chicken pot pie he's ever had.

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced and cooked (I flavored mine with a garlic/rosemary spice mixture
1 TBSP olive oil
3 shallots, diced
2 carrots, sliced thinly
1 small head of broccoli, chopped
4-5 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 package (10 oz.) frozen peas
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 cups of 1% milk
3 TBSP flour
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 9-inch store bought pie crust (I used Pillsbury, the store brand never seems to stay together for me)
1 egg, beaten

Heat the olive oil in a large pan and when hot, saute the shallots, carrots, broccoli and mushrooms until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the broth and cook until it is absorbed. Add in the milk and simmer until it thickens. Once it has thickened, stir in the peas and chicken and salt and pepper to taste. Pour the mixture into a shallow 2 quart baking dish (I used a pie dish). Sprinkle the cheese onto the mixture. Lay the pie crust on top, pressing to seal. Cut about 6 vent holes into the top. Brush the beaten egg over the crust to achieve a nice brown crust. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Meat Loaf and Scalloped Potatoes

Tonight's dinner is courtesy of my friend at A Taste of Home Cooking. I have wanted to make my own scalloped potatoes and the recipe she gave me was highly recommended. When I went to her blog, I also saw a delicious meat loaf she made that came from Ina Garten. I did make a few changes to the meat loaf: I used 1.2 lbs of ground beef and adjusted the ingredients to suit the smaller amount and one minor change to the potatoes by adding about 3/4 cup of cheddar cheese to them but Sarah was right. These are so damn good, I could barely contain myself. In fact, I heard a lot of "this is the best meat loaf ever" and "these potatoes are incredible." A successful dinner and I will definitely be making these two things again.

Seriously, make these if you need to impress someone, it will work.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Garden Vegetable Lasagna

Garden Veggie Lasagna may be one of my favorite meals ever. It's delicious, loaded with veggies and so comforting on a cold day. I don't make it often because it really is a lot of work and makes a lot of dishes. The trick is to prep all the veggies before you start cooking because once you start, it's a lot of moving around. My hats off to Cooking Light on this one. It's always a hit and making it always puts a smile on my face. I did use whole wheat lasagna noodles to try and add some more whole grains to it. I would definitely recommend this meal if you are having guests over. We served it with some garlic bread and a lovely glass of wine.

Black Bean Soup

It was -1 when I woke up this morning. I haven't seen it that cold in a LONG time. My weather station has now reached a new lowest charted temp ever since I got it 3 years ago. That makes today a good day to make soup. I did some searching around and got some ideas, mostly from A Year in the Kitchen as this most closely resembled what I wanted. I made a few changes and came up with this recipe for black bean soup. I must say myself, it's pretty darn good. Thanks Ashlee!

2 shallots, diced
2 carrots, grated
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 yellow pepper, diced
1 can (15 oz.) black beans
1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes (low sodium if you can)
2-1/2 cups chicken broth
1 TBSP chili powder
1 TBSP paprika
1 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper

Throw all the vegetables into a stock pot and cook for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile mash about 3/4 the black beans and leave the other 1/4 whole.
When the veggies are cooked, add in the broth, beans and tomatoes. Stir in all the spices and salt & pepper. Cook on low for 30 minutes.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Crockpot Chicken Divan

I had a recipe for chicken divan sitting on my counter over the past few days and yesterday it dawned on me, what about crockpot chicken divan. It has to be possible. So I googled it and found a few recipes but all had different ingredients and ways to do it so going off of that and knowing what I had at home, I made my own up. I actually went home and assembled this on my lunch hour and when I got home from the gym at 6:30, dinner was ready. All we had to do was make the stuffing (instant) for the top. I truly do love my crockpot. I wish I used it more. I did make this pretty WW-friendly as well. For 4 servings, which is definitely plenty, it is 7 points


12 oz, skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
1 can Healthy Request Cream of Chicken soup
1 can 98% fat free broccoli cheese soup
2 TBSP light mayonnaise
1/4 cup of low sodium chicken broth
1 box (10 oz) frozen chopped broccoli, slightly defrosted
6 oz. baby bella mushrooms
1 carrot, sliced
Salt & pepper to taste
1 cup chicken flavored stuffing, prepared according to the box

Combine the soups and mayo into a bowl. Place the chicken on the bottom of the crockpot. Then layer the broccoli, mushrooms and carrots on top. Pour the chicken broth over it and then top with the soup mixture. Cook on low for 6 hours. Top with the prepared stuffing.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


It must be these frigid temperatures because all I want lately is comfort food. I'm back on Weight Watcher though so my meals must all be friendly. This one definitely passed the test. It's easy and filling too.

10 oz. 93% lean ground turkey
1 clove of garlic, diced finely
2 cans (8 oz. each) of low sodium tomato sauce
7 oz. Ronzoni Smart Taste elbows
1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

Cook the pasta according to the box directions. Meanwhile, saute the garlic about 1 minute in a pan coated with cooking spray. Add in the ground turkey and cook until meat is browned. Add in the tomato sauce, still well and remove from the heat. Place the cooked noodles into an 8x8 pan spray with cooking spray. Mix in the turkey and sauce. Top with the cheese. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes.

Serves 4.
8 WW points per serving

Told you it was easy!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Tortellini with Chicken and Artichokes

My inspiration for last night's dinner came from the blog Delicious Melicious. I'm on an artichoke kick lately so anything with that grabs me. Plus I needed something quick and easy for dinner last night so I took Melissa's recipe and made a few changes to quicken the process and voila. Yummy and healthy dinner!

1-2 chicken breasts, diced and cooked with italian seasoning
1 cup of frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 clove of garlic, minced
Parmesan cheese for topping
Homemade pesto, thawed
1 package tricolor cheese tortellini, prepared per instructions

Cook the tortellini per instructions. In a pan coated with cooking spray or 1 TBSP of olive oil, cook the chicken until no longer pink. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and cook about 5 minutes. Pour in the chicken broth and cook another 3 minutes. Add the artichoke hearts, and heat through. Serve the tortellini with the chicken and artichoke mixture and top with a few tablespoons of pesto and the parmesan cheese. Makes 3-4 servings.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Taco Pasta Bake

I saw this recipe on my friend Brooke's blog, who got it from our other friend Colleen. It is quick, simple and delicious. I subbed ground beef with ground turkey added some diced onions and red pepper to it. There are plenty of leftovers for lunch and another dinner this week. My stepdaughter even asked if we could put this into our regular rotation. Thanks ladies!

1 lb ground turkey
1 shallot, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 packet of taco seasoning
8 ounces farfalle
8 ounce package light cream cheese, softened
1 cup light sour cream
8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Saute the onions and red pepper until the onion is translucent. Add the ground turkey, brown and drain. Add taco seasoning and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil and then simmer for a few minutes.
In the meantime, cook pasta according to directions.
Mix softened cream cheese and sour cream in separate bowl.
Spray bottom of 9x13 pan. Put pasta in bottom of pan. Spread cream cheese mixture over pasta. Spoon ground meat mixture over this. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top.Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Chicken Florentine Pasta Bake

I can't believe the holidays are over and it's 2009 already. Back to my regularly scheduled program of trying new dishes on the weekends. I starred this recipe in my google reader from Crista's Kitchen Creations last month and I'm happy I finally got to make it. I'm a big fan of the one-dish meal and this had everything I love in it--spinach, pasta, artichokes, chicken, cheese... how can you not love that. Well, it was delicious and the family loved it and there are plenty of leftovers for lunch this week. The only changed I make was I added about 6 sliced baby bella mushrooms to the mix because I really love mushrooms too. Great find Crista, thanks!

Here's the original recipe with my changes in red.

Chicken Florentine Artichoke Bake

8 oz. dried bow tie pasta (I used 12 oz.)
1 small onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. butter (used 1 TBSP olive oil)
2 eggs
1-1/4 cups milk
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning (mixed in with the cooked chicken)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (8 oz.)
14-oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1 10-oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1/2 cup oil-packed dried tomatoes, drained and chopped (omitted)
6-8 sliced baby bella mushrooms
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs (Panko)
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. In medium skillet cook the chicken and onion in the olive oil along with the italian seasoning over medium heat. Add in the mushrooms toward the end when the chicken is almost cooked through. Remove from heat; set aside.
In bowl whisk together eggs, milk, seasoning, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Stir in chicken, Monterey Jack cheese, artichokes, spinach, mushrooms, half of the Parmesan, cooked pasta, and onion. Transfer to 3-quart rectangular baking dish.
Bake, covered, 20 minutes. In small bowl combine remaining Parmesan, bread crumbs, paprika, and melted butter. Sprinkle mixture over pasta. Bake, uncovered, 10 minutes more or until golden. Makes 6 to 8 servings.