Baked Pears with Chocolate and Raspberry Sauce

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Ingredients

  • 3 medium pear(s), ripe but firm, halved and cored
  • 1/2 tsp salted butter, melted
  • 1 cup(s) unsweetened frozen raspberries
  • 1 Tbsp sugar, granulated
  • 1 Tbsp semisweet chocolate chips, chopped (or use mini chips)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Arrange pears, cut sides-up, in a shallow baking dish; brush with melted butter. Bake until tender, 30-35 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make raspberry sauce, put raspberries and sugar in a small saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, mashing berries with a wooden spoon against bottom and sides of pan. Reduce heat to low; simmer until raspberries are very soft, 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and strain sauce through a sieve, pressing on mixture to extract as much liquid as possible; set aside.

When pears are finished baking, turn off oven. Fill each pear cavity with 1/2 teaspoon chocolate chips; return to oven so chocolate can start to melt, 5 minutes.

Remove pears from oven; let stand 1 minute. Drizzle with raspberry sauce (or spoon sauce on a plate and place pear on top); serve.

Serving size: 1 pear half and 2 teaspoons raspberry sauce

 

 

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Southern-Style Oven-Fried Chicken

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Ingredients

  • 3 spray(s) cooking spray
  • 1 pound(s) uncooked boneless skinless chicken breast(s), four 4-oz pieces
  • 1/2 tsp table salt, divided, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, divided, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 3 oz low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup(s) cornflake crumbs

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Lightly coat an 13- X 8- X 2-inch baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.

Season chicken with salt and cayenne pepper to taste; set aside.

Combine flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper together in a medium-size bowl. Place buttermilk and cornflakes crumbs in 2 separate shallow bowls.

Dredge chicken in flour mixture and evenly coat both sides. Next, dip chicken into buttermilk and turn to coat both sides. Last, dredge chicken in cornflake crumbs and turn to coat both sides.

Place coated chicken breasts in prepared baking dish. Bake until chicken is tender and no longer pink in center, about 25 to 30 minutes (there is no need to flip the chicken during baking). Yields 1 chicken breast per serving.

 

 

Italian Meatballs

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tsp regular butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large uncooked onion(s), minced
  • 1 pound(s) uncooked lean ground beef
  • 1 large egg(s), beaten
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely minced (or 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning)
  • 3/4 tsp table salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup(s) canned beef broth, or chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup(s) white wine

Instructions

In a large skillet, melt butter and oil over medium heat. Add onions; cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to caramelize, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove onions to a large mixing bowl and add beef, egg, parsley (or Italian seasoning), salt and red pepper flakes; mix well to combine. With damp hands, roll forty-eight 1/2-inch meatballs.

Place same skillet over medium-low heat. Add meatballs, broth and wine; simmer until cooked through, gently turning meatballs once during cooking, about 20 minutes. Yields 4 meatballs per serving.

Note: Serve with favorite pasta or spaghetti (1 cup serving)

 

 

Cheeseburgers with Grilled Onions

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound(s) uncooked 93% lean ground beef
  • 1 clove(s), medium garlic clove(s), minced
  • 1/4 tsp table salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup(s) low fat shredded cheddar cheese, sharp-variety
  • 1/2 small uncooked red onion(s), cut into 4 thin slices
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 item(s) reduced calorie hamburger roll(s)
  • 1 small fresh tomato(es), cut into 8 thin slices

Instructions

Preheat grill to medium-hot heat.**

In a medium bowl, gently combine beef, garlic, salt and pepper; form into four 1/2-inch-thick patties. Place on grill and cook 4 to 5 minutes on one side; flip and continue cooking until desired degree of doneness, about 3 to 4 minutes more. Sprinkle each burger with 1 tablespoon of cheese; cook until cheese melts, about 1 minute.

Meanwhile, brush both sides of onion with oil. Grill until bottom is lightly browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. Flip onion and sprinkle with oregano; grill for 2 to 3 minutes more.

Lightly toast open-faced buns on grill. Place burgers on buns and top each with 1 slice onion (separated into rings) and 2 tomato slices. Yields 1 cheeseburger per serving.

 

 

Chicken Sausage, Mushroom and Pasta Casserole

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Ingredients

  • 2 spray(s) cooking spray
  • 12 oz uncooked whole wheat pasta, rotini suggested (about 3 cups)
  • 1 tsp olive oil, extra-virgin
  • 1/2 cup(s) panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano suggested
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 8 oz cooked chicken sausage(s), Italian-variety, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium yellow pepper(s), thinly sliced
  • 1 medium uncooked onion(s), chopped
  • 1 pound(s) fresh mushroom(s), sliced
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 4 cup(s) marinara sauce
  • 1 cup(s) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9- X 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain pasta and return to pot.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring often, until toasted, about 4 minutes. Remove breadcrumbs to a small bowl; stir in Parmesan and oregano and set aside.

In same skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until browned, about 5 minutes; remove to a plate and drain any fat from skillet.

Add pepper and onion to skillet; cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until vegetables start to brown and soften, about 5 minutes.

Add mushrooms and water to skillet; cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes.

Add vegetables, sausage and marinara sauce to pot with drained pasta; toss to coat. Spoon into prepared baking dish and sprinkle with mozzarella and reserved breadcrumbs. Bake until heated through and cheese melts, about 25 minutes. Slice into 8 pieces and serve. Yields 1 piece per serving (about 1 1/2 cups).

 

 

BBQ Chicken Salad

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup(s) canned tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp honey mustard
  • 1 Tbsp spiced seasoning mix, BBQ variety
  • 2 tsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pound(s) uncooked boneless skinless chicken breast(s), pounded 1/4-inch thick
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, or to taste
  • 6 cup(s) chopped romaine lettuce
  • 2 cup(s) grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper(s), chopped
  • 1/2 cup(s) canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup(s) canned yellow corn
  • 1/4 cup(s) reduced fat ranch dressing
  • 1/4 cup(s) semisoft goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup(s) uncooked scallion(s), chopped

Instructions

Preheat a grill or grill pan to high heat.

In a medium bowl, combine tomato sauce, mustard, BBQ seasoning, sugar, onion powder and Worcestershire sauce; set aside.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cook chicken, flipping once, until almost done, about 2 minutes per side. Next, baste chicken with reserved sauce a few times, flipping on grill while coating both sides with sauce, and cook until done, about 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove chicken to a cutting board and let rest for a few minutes before slicing.

In a large serving bowl, combine lettuce, tomatoes, pepper, beans, corn and dressing; toss to coat. Top salad with chicken; garnish with cheese and scallions. Yields about 2 1/2 cups salad, 3 ounces chicken, 1 tablespoon cheese and 1 tablespoon scallions per serving.

Notes: The BBQ sauce can be made up to 5 days ahead – feel free to play with other types of mustard or seasonings. The chicken can be grilled, sliced and chilled until ready to serve

 

 

Pan-Fried Fish Sandwich

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup(s) yellow cornmeal
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme, fresh, finely minced (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
  • 1/2 tsp table salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground, or to taste
  • 1 pound(s) uncooked flounder fillet(s), four 4 oz pieces, washed and patted dry
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 large egg white(s), whipped until stiff
  • 1 spray(s) olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tsp tartar sauce
  • 4 item(s) light hamburger roll(s) or bun(s)
  • 1/2 medium lemon(s), cut into 4 wedges
  • 4 leaf/leaves, large lettuce
  • 8 slice(s) fresh tomato(es)

Instructions

In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, Parmesan cheese, thyme, salt and pepper; set aside. Set fish on a plate and spread both sides with mustard. Next, dip fish into egg whites, turning to coat both sides. Lastly, dip fish into cornmeal-mixture, turning to coat both sides.

Coat a large oven-proof skillet with cooking spray and set over medium to medium-high heat; heat oil until shimmering. Add fish to skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on one side; flip fish and cook until done on other side, about 2 to 3 minutes more.

Spread 1 teaspoon of tartar sauce on bottom half of each roll; top with a fish fillet and squeeze some lemon juice over top. Place a piece of lettuce and 2 pieces of tomato on fillet; top with roll. Yields 1 sandwich per serving.

 

 

Smoked Turkey Sandwiches with Chipotle Mayo

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Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 1 item(s) canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced (or less to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp table salt
  • 4 slice(s) reduced-calorie rye bread, toasted if desired
  • 4 oz deli sliced turkey, smoked-variety (4 slices)
  • 1 medium plum tomato(es), cut into eight slices
  • 1/2 item(s), medium avocado, Hass, mashed

Instructions

In a small cup, mix together mayonnaise, chipotle pepper and salt until blended.

Spread 1 tablespoon mayonnaise mixture on two slices of bread; top each with 2 slices turkey and 4 slices tomato.

Spread mashed avocado on remaining two slices of bread; place on top of tomatoes. Yields 1 sandwich per serving.

 

 

Lemon-Pepper Tuna Sandwiches

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Ingredients

  • 6 oz water-packed tuna fish drained
  • 1/2 small uncooked carrot(s), grated
  • 2 Tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 medium uncooked shallot(s), minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest, or more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 4 slice(s) reduced calorie wheat bread, toasted
  • 1/2 cup(s) arugula, baby variety

Instructions

Combine all ingredients, except bread and arugula, in a small bowl; mix well.

Layer 2 slices toast with 1/4 cup arugula and about 1/2 cup tuna salad; top with remaining slices toast and serve.

Serving size: 1 sandwich

 

 

Fluffy Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 1 cup(s) low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 large egg(s), yolks and whites separated
  • 2 Tbsp sugar, granulated
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest, or increase to taste
  • 1/2 cup(s) part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 3 spray(s) cooking spray

Instructions

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, beat together buttermilk, egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest and ricotta cheese by hand.

In a clean bowl, using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.

Add dry ingredients to buttermilk mixture until just combined; gently fold in egg whites until they are just incorporated.

Coat a large nonstick griddle or pan with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Spoon batter into pan in batches using a 1/4-cup batter for each pancake; cook until lightly browned, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove pancakes to a tray in a warm oven and repeat with remaining ingredients (being careful not to spray cooking spray into open flame).

Serving size: 2 pancakes