Friday, March 26, 2010

Ham, Spinach, & Rice Casserole

Corey really liked this Martha Stewart Everyday Food casserole that we tried out of the latest issue. It makes four GIANT servings and it makes you feel virtuous because of all the spinach and lean ham!


Recipe Notes

I had the deli counter slice me 1/2 lb. of honey ham. That way, I just had to make the slices into little cubes and I was ready to go.

Nutritional Information (per serving - serves 4)

441 calories - 18.8 g. fat - 29.4 g. protein - 5.2 g. fiber


  • Two 10-oz. packages frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 2 cups cooked white rice (I made mine in the rice cooker with chicken broth instead of water)
  • 2/3 c. whole milk (I used skim and it turned out great)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. grated Gruyere cheese
  • Coarse salt & pepper
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 c. dry white wine
  • 1/2 lb. ham, chopped


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, combine spinach, rice, milk, eggs, 3/4 c. cheese, 1-1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper.

3. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and beginning to brown (about 10 minutes).

4. Add wine and cook until evaporated, approximately 3 minutes.

5. Add ham and cook until warmed through, approximately 2 minutes.

6. Add ham mixture to spinach and rice mixture and stir to combine. Transfer to an 8-inch square baking dish and top with remaining 1/4 c. cheese.

7. Bake until warmed through and golden brown on top, approximately 25-30 minutes.

Enjoy! Happy Friday everyone!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mango Parfaits

This Martha Stewart Everyday Food recipe would be much prettier in a tall glass, but I wanted to have one for breakfast and what I had on hand was a tea cup, so here we are. Each mango parfait has just 124 calories!

Before you can make a parfait, you will have to make some mango puree: add two ripe mangoes (peeled and cubed), 1/3 c. sugar, and 2 tbsp. water to a blender. Pulse until well-blended. (The mixture will vaguely remind you of baby food.)



  • 1/2 c. fat-free Fage Greek yogurt
  • 4 tbsp. mango puree (from above)
  • 1 tsp. sweetened coconut flakes or toasted coconut flakes


1. Layer 1/4 c. Fage yogurt in the bottom of a glass. Add 2 tbsp. mango puree.

2. Repeat layers, topping with coconut flakes.

Lemon Tarragon Grilled Pork Chops

Corey grilled these for me last night and they were terrific. This Cooking Light recipe had great flavor, and by brining the pork chops before grilling, they really did stay quite moist and had a great lemony flavor. We served these with grilled corn on the cob, spinach salad, and Tomatoes Provencal.


Recipe Notes

Brining time is recommended for 2 hours - I would recommend brining for the recommended time or longer. I used boneless pork loin that was on sale in the meat case (instead of bone-in) and the flavor was great. I typically like to use boneless instead of bone-in, but that's just a personal preference.

Nutritional Information

174 calories - 6.8 g. fat - 25.5 g. protein - 0.1 g. fiber


  • 3/4 c. water
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tbsp. grated lemon rind
  • 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
  • 4 six-oz., bone-in, center cut pork chops
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper


1. Combine first three ingredients in a bowl, stirring with a whisk until salt and sugar dissolve. Pour into a zip-top plastic bag.

2. Add tarragon, lemon rind, lemon juice, and pork chops to bag. Seal and marinate for two hours, turning bag occasionally.

3. Remove pork from bag and discard marinade. Sprinkle pork evenly with pepper. Grill until desired degree of doneness.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Quick Crab Cakes

This is an old recipe from the "Fake It, Don't Make It" collection of Real Simple Magazine. Corey really likes them, and prep and cook time is less than 15 minutes start to finish. We had these this week with a big green salad and some leftover Cooking Light Corn Casserole.


Recipe Notes

The original recipe says to broil 1-2 minutes until browned. I was nervous about forgetting my crab cakes and burning them, so I used the LOW broiler setting and it took longer than suggested. Just make sure that you cook them until browned.

Nutritional Information (per crab cake - makes 6 crab cakes)

196 calories - 13 g. fat - 13 g. protein - 1 g. fiber


  • 2-1/2 c. crushed potato chips (I like Cape Cod Reduced Fat)
  • 1 lb. lump crabmeat, picked through to remove any shells
  • 1/3 c. tartar sauce
  • 1-1/2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. butter, thinly sliced into six pieces
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges for serving


1. Preheat broiler.

2. Mix crushed potato chips, crabmeat, tartar sauce, mustard, and pepper in a medium-sized bowl until well-combined.

3. Form crab mixture into six patties and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.

4. Top each with a pat of butter and broil until browned, approximately 1-2 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Crisp Baked Lemon Cod

Tastes better than it looks....I will never be a food stylist! Very healthy with lots of protein.


Recipe Notes

This Martha Stewart recipe uses Rice Chex (or the generic equivalent) to give the fish crunch without a lot of calories. I crushed my Rice Chex in a sandwich-sized plastic baggie. That way, there is no mess.

Nutritional Information

271 calories - 15 g. fat - 19 g. protein - 2 g. fiber


  • 2 c. toasted rice cereal (such as Rice Chex), crushed
  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c. chopping fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tsp. finely-grated lemon zest (from approximately 2 lemons)
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse salt
  • 4 cod fillets, skinned


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Combine rice cereal, olive oil, parsley, lemon zest, and salt in a small bowl.

3. Set a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Press fish in crumb mixtrue, turning to coat.

4. Transfer to a wire rack. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, approximately 14-16 minutes.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Barbecued Pork Chops

My mom used to make this recipe for us when I was growing up, so I have no idea where it came from. It's really easy but requires a fairly long cooking time (just keep that in mind if you are looking for a really fast dinner). I served this last night with a big green salad and Fresh Lemon Rice from Cooking Light.


Recipe Notes

I had the butcher butterfly a couple of pork loin chops for me so that they would be thin and cook faster.


  • Four pork loin chops
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1/2 c. ketchup
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 lemon, cut into thin slices


1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

2. Sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper. Brown both sides in a skillet coated with cooking spray for approximately 5 minutes.

3. Arrange pork chops in a glass baking dish. Top with lemon slices.

4. Mix ketchup, water, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Pour mixture over the top of the pork chops.

5. Bake at 300 degrees for two hours for moist, fork-tender pork. Alternatively, bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Asparagus with Prosciutto Chips

This Real Simple recipe is an easy, tasty side with chicken, beef, or fish!


Recipe Notes

I take the time to get the prosciutto thinly-sliced by the butcher. That way, I only buy what I need, and it saves a bunch of money compared with buying prepackaged prosciutto.


  • 3 oz. thinly-sliced prosciutto
  • 2 small bunches asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the prosciutto on a baking sheet lined with foil in a single layer. Bake until crisp, approximately 10 minutes. Remove and let cool.

2. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add asparagus and cook until tender. Drain and return to saucepan.

3. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Break the prosciutto into pieces and sprinkle over asparagus.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Green Beans with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

This recipe calls for haricot verts (French green beans). I used regular green beans, no problem.

Recipe Notes
Instead of following step 1, I put the green beans in the steamer basket of my rice cooker while my basmati rice cooked underneath it. This was a good, efficient way to do things to avoid dirtying an extra pot. Also, I didn't have either walnut oil or champagne vinegar, so I substituted 1-1/2 tbsp. Girard's Light Champagne Vinaigrette for both ingredients and it worked just great.

Nutritional Information
108 calories - 6.2 g. fat - 4.2 g. protein - 4.2 g. fiber

  • 2 lb. haricot verts, trimmed
  • 3 slices bacon (I used center-cut), chopped
  • 3/4 c. thinly-sliced shallots (about 2 medium)
  • 1-1/2 tbsp. walnut oil
  • 2 tsp. champagne vinegar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp. chopped walnuts
  • 1 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley


1. Cook beans in boiling water or until crisp-tender. Drain and plunge beans in ice water. Drain and set aside.

2. Cook bacon in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon.

3. Add shallots to drippings in pan. Cook 5 minutes or until tender. Remove shallots and rest with bacon.

4. Add green beans to pan. Cook three minutes or until thoroughly heated. Combine beans, salt, oil & vinegar (or champagne vinaigrette), and bacon mixture.

5. Toss to combine. Top with walnuts and shallots. Serve warm.

Easy Chicken Marinade

This is a great, easy chicken marinade. Just throw all of the ingredients in a gallon-sized Ziplock bag for at least an hour and then let the grill cook go to work! Many thanks to Corey for providing such a lovely finished product.


  • Skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
  • Italian dressing (I recommend Ken's Light Northern Italian)
  • Worchestershire sauce (a few shakes)
  • Kosher salt & freshly-ground pepper
  • Squeeze of lemon juice


Combine all ingredients in a zip-top plastic bag for at least one hour. Grill to desired level of doneness. Save leftovers and toss with salad greens, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, avocado, blue cheese, and your favorite dressing for a great "second round" dinner the next night!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Red & Yellow Pepper Gratin

This was a really delicious (and very healthy) side dish. It takes a lot of chopping and a long time cooking, but it's worth it. Corey and I both loved this Cooking Light recipe from 2007.


Recipe Notes
If you don't have sourdough bread, use any type of bread. I personally used a leftover hamburger bun!

Nutritional Information (per serving - serves 6)
94 calories - 3.5 g. fat - 3.4 g. protein - 1.6 g. fiber

  • 1/4 c. sun-dried tomatoes, reconstituted and cut into thin strips
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 large red bell peppers, cut into thin strips
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 small yellow squash, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion (peeled), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1-1/2 oz. sourdough bread
  • 2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Combine tomatoes and next nine ingredients (through onion) in a large bowl. Drizzle with 1 tsp. oil and toss gently.

3. Spoon into a 3 qt. casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven.

4. Pulse bread in food processor and add 1 tsp. oil and Parmesan cheese. Pulse to combine.

5. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over vegetables and return to the oven. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 more minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden brown.