Sunday, August 29, 2010

Chicken and White Bean Stuffed Peppers

Despite all the chopping, this is incredibly easy. This dish is absolutely guilt free too, which is always a plus in my book! Wes, my loyal taste tester, and I were thinking this would be great next time with some diced jalapenos added to filling. -Allison Y.

Chicken & White Bean Stuffed Peppers
Adapted from
Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 yellow onion (chopped), 4 cloves garlic (chopped), 1 small red bell pepper (chopped). 1/4 cup parsley (chopped), 5 bell peppers, green or red, 3 cups cooked shredded chicken, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 can white kidney beans (drained), 1/2 cup shredded cheddar

Directions: Heat oil on medium heat in a medium-sized pan. Add chopped onions, garlic, parsley and red pepper. Saute for 1 to 2 minutes, until tender. Add chicken and season with salt and cumin. You may adjust these spices to your taste. Add beans and 1 cup of water. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until the liquid reduces.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut tops off peppers in half. Remove seeds and stem creating several "bowls." Place peppers in an medium-sized baking dish. Fill each pepper with chicken and bean mixture. Pour about 1/3 cup water or chicken broth on the bottom of the dish. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake 30 minutes at 350°. Remove foil, top with cheese, and bake uncovered another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

If you're looking for other healthy options, you may want to try Stuffed Chicken Cordon Bleu, Sassy Tortilla Stew, or Gorgonzola Burgers with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Grilled Peaches with Warm Goat Cheese and Blackberries

This is a simple, yet impressive summer grilling recipe that's perfect for entertaining or any weeknight meal!  It works as a side dish or even a dessert.  Give it a try before peaches go out of season!  
Thanks to Louann for this fun, new recipe!
Alison J.

Fresh, ripe peaches
Goat Cheese

Preheat your grill to a medium heat.  Rinse and slice peaches in half.  Using a spoon, scoop out the seed, scrape out most of the reddish center and toss the seed.  Assemble peaches on a platter, and drizzle them with honey.  Using tongs, place the peach halves face-down directly on the grill.  Let them cook for approximately 5 minutes, or until you see grill marks on the peaches.  Remove from the grill and spoon about 1/2 tablespoon of goat cheese in the center of each peach.  If you love goat cheese like me, feel free to use more!  Cover lightly with aluminum foil to slightly melt the goat cheese.  Top with a few blackberries and serve it up!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

S'more Brownies

A big thank you goes out to Christina for sending us her S'more Brownie Recipe she got from the Food Network website.  I had some friends over for a cookout and Christina brought this amazing brownies over!  Everyone was talking about how amazing these brownies were all night!  I even had one for breakfast this morning.  Definitely sinfully delicious!  :)


S’more Brownies

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch fine salt

Brownie :
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate , chopped
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
4 large cold eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour

½ bag of mini marshmallows

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8 by-8-inch square baking pan with foil so it hangs over the edges by about 1 inch. (I used a 7 by 11-inch baking dish)

For the crust: Lightly butter the foil with some of the melted butter. Stir the rest of the butter together with the crumbs, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Press the crumb mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the brownie. Put the butter and chocolate in a medium microwave safe bowl. Melt in the microwave on 75 percent power for 2 minutes. Stir, and microwave again until completely melted, about 2 minutes more. Alternatively, put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with 1 inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl on the pan without touching the water. Stir occasionally until melted. Stir the light brown and white sugars, vanilla and salt into the melted chocolate. Add the eggs and beat vigorously to make a thick and glossy batter. Add the flour and stir until just incorporated.

Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the top is crispy and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean, with a few crumbs, about 40 to 45 minutes.

Remove from the oven and carefully position a rack about 6 inches from the broiler and preheat on low. Layer marshmallows across the top and toast under the broiler until golden, (keep an eye on it, it can go quick), about 2 minutes. Cool on a rack, gently removing the brownies from the pan using the aluminum flaps. Carefully separate any marshmallow from the foil and fold away. Cut into 12 (2-inch) squares

Recipe from Food Network

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Penne with Light & Easy Sauce

This recipe is dedicate to those of you who love pasta as much as I do,  but try to avoid the heavy sauces that weigh you down.  This recipe goes very well when you make the Cheesy Twisted Breadsticks recipe with it.


Penne with Light & Easy Sauce

1 tablespoon EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 lb ground turkey
1 red onions diced
2 tablespoons butter
2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup vodka
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup spinach, chopped
1 cup plain yogurt
1 box penne rigate (whole wheat)
1 c Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

Place a large pot of water over high heat for the pasta.

Heat a deep saucepan or skillet over medium heat with EVOO and butter. Add onions and garlic to skillet, season with salt and pepper. Add vodka and reduce a minute or 2. Add tomatoes and spinach, then stir. Heat through then add yogurt and let reduce at a low, bubbling simmer while pasta cooks.

Cook pasta in boiling, salted water to al dente and drain.

Add herbs to pasta sauce and stir to heat through, 1-2 minutes. Add pasta to sauce and toss 1 minute to combine. Serve pasta with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese at the table.

Cheesy Twisted Breadsticks

This would make a great snack or add to any pasta dish.  I served this with the Penne with Light & Easy Sauce recipe.  Don't worry I will post that recipe as well.  It was a huge hit and I must admit I might have defeated the healthy meal by eatting a few breadsticks.


Cheesy Twisted Breadsticks

1 can of refrigerated thin pizza crust
Drizzle of EVOO
4 TB parsley
½ c Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
1 egg
Dash of Salt
Dash of Pepper

Preheat oven to 400.

Roll out refrigerated pizza crust and then evenly drizzle with EVOO. Sprinkle 2TB of parsley evenly over the entire pizza crust, evenly spread garlic, and ¼ c of parmigiano-reggiano. Using a pizza cutter, cut 1 inch strips in the pizza crust (cutting parallel with the short end of the crust). Fold each 1 inch strip in half and twist. Beat egg and brush on top of the twisted breadsticks, sprinkle remaining parsley, cheese, salt, and pepper.

Bake in the oven for 5-8 minutes until golden brown on top.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Gorgonzola Burgers with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce

While I can certainly appreciate a calorie-laden meal, I mostly try to search for recipes that allow me to indulge without all the guilt. Shape Magazine is a great resource for healthy cooking, and a lot of the recipes are also found free online. These Gorgonzola burgers have a lot of flavor, and the dill sauce is so good! I had a lot of dill sauce leftover, so I used it as a veggie dip throughout the week. Enjoy! - Allison Y.

Gorgonzola Burgers with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce
Adapted from Shape Magazine

Cooking spray
1 pound extra-lean ground beef
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
¼ cup shredded cucumber
2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder
4 whole-wheat rolls

Spritz a large grill pan with cooking spray; set over medium heat. In a large bowl, combine beef, salt, and pepper. Shape mixture into 4 equal balls. Use your thumb to make a shallow depression in the center of each ball. Press about one tablespoon of Gorgonzola into the center of each, covering cheese completely with meat. Shape balls into patties, each about 1 inch thick. Place burgers on hot pan and cook for 5 to 6 minutes per side until cooked through. Meanwhile, mix next 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Place burgers on rolls and top each with 2 tablespoons yogurt sauce.

I served these burgers with Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes and a side salad. You might also want to try them with Broccoli Salad or Twice Baked Potatoes.

Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes

I don't know about the rest of you, but I get pretty bored with the same side veggies day in and day out. The sweet potato has great nutritional value, and it's relatively unique as a side dish. We've all become so used to eating sweet potatoes with brown sugar, butter, and marshmallows that we've forgotten that there's any other way. Ellie Krieger, one of my favorite Food Network chefs, created a great recipe for roasted sweet potatoes, and it's much kinder to the waist line. Don't worry - she uses honey, so the taters still have that yummy mix of sweet and salty tastes. The hardest part is peeling the sweet potatoes! Enjoy! - Allison Y.

Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Adapted from Ellie Krieger on Food Network

2 pounds sweet potatoes (peeled and chopped into bite-size pieces)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
Sea Salt (to taste)

Preheat the oven to 350. Lay sweet potato pieces in a single layer in either a roasting pan or a large baking dish. Whisk together honey, olive oil, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Pour mixture over the sweet potatoes and toss to coat. Sprinkle potatoes with salt. Bake for one hour, stirring occasionally. The potatoes should be tender when done.

*I sprinkled sea salt on the top of each serving. I like the large grain salt crystals - but be careful not to add too much! Remember that salt is a part of the original recipe.

*I served the sweet potatoes with Gorgonzola Stuffed Burgers, but they'd also be yummy alongside the Inside Out Steak Salad.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Beef Pad Thai

I try to cook various styles and types of food on a regular basis. This was just as tasty as my visits to the Thai restaurants around town. The only thing that takes time in this recipe is soaking the noodles. Everything else takes no time at all.


Beef Pad Thai

1 16oz box Rice Noodles
1 lb ground beef tips, chopped into 1 inch pieces
2 green onions, chopped
1 small red onion, diced
2 c cooked broccoli
½ tsp ginger
2 TBSP soy sauce
2 TBSP fish sauce
2 TBSP brown sugar
2 eggs
¼ c chopped peanuts

For the best taste: Soak the rice noodles in a bowl of boiling water for 25-30 minutes

In a wok, add 2 TB EVOO, beef tips and red onions until meat is cooked to your liking. Add broccoli, ginger, soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, and 2 beaten eggs. Drain the rice noodles and add them to the wok. Mix well, top with green onions and chopped peanuts.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Bourbon London Broil Kebabs

This recipe is for those of you who do not have a lot of time to throw together a nutritious meal. I love vegetables and well my guy loves his red meat. This combines the two and creates a tasty meal.

Bourbon London Broil Kebabs

1 lb chopped London Broil
1 Zucchini
1 Yellow Squash
1 Red Onion
1 Green Pepper
1 Red Pepper

Bourbon Marinade
1/3 c bourbon
1/4 c soy sauce
1/4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp brown mustard
1 tbsp Crazy Jane’s Salt
1 tbsp Ground black pepper

For the best taste: Mix the London Broil pieces with the marinade and allow it to marinade in the refrigerator over night.

Chop zucchini, yellow squash, red onion, green pepper, and red pepper into two inch pieces.

Alternate the meat with a vegetable until the skewer only has 1 inch on each side remaining. Do this until you use all of the meat and vegetables.

Broil in the oven for 2-3 minutes per side until cooked to your liking.