Chicken Sausage, Mushroom and Pasta Casserole



  • 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


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



  • 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


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



  • 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)


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



  • 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


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



  • 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


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



  • 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


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




Yogurt Parfait



  • 1 Tbsp sliced almonds
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 Tbsp plus 1 1/2 tsp Truvia® natural sweetener spoonable*, separated
  • 1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1/8 tsp almond extract


  1. Place almonds in a small sauté pan and toast on medium heat, stirring often, until golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Spoon almonds onto a plate to cool.
  2. Combine berries and 1 1/2 teaspoon Truvia® natural sweetener spoonable, or 2 packets of Truvia® natural sweetener, in a bowl and mix well.
  3. Place yogurt, 1 tablespoon of Truvia® natural sweetener spoonable or 3 packets of Truvia® natural sweetener and almond extract in medium bowl and mix until combined and yogurt is smooth.
  4. Assemble 2 parfait or water glasses. Place 3 tablespoons fruit into the bottom of each glass.
  5. Top fruit layer with 3 tablespoons of yogurt mixture.
  6. Repeat the layers and finish with a dollop of yogurt mixture on the top. Chill.
  7. Garnish with toasted nuts just before serving.

Oat Hot Cereal with Fruit



  • 7 cup(s) water, divided
  • 1/2 tsp table salt, divided
  • 1 cup(s) uncooked bulgur
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice, divided
  • 3 cup(s) uncooked old fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup(s) dried apricot halves, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup(s) dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup(s) packed brown sugar
  • 1 large pear(s), red-skinned, diced
  • 6 tsp maple syrup, warmed


Bring 2 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan; stir in bulgur and 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until bulgur is cooked, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 3 minutes; fluff with a fork.

Meanwhile, bring remaining 5 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in another medium saucepan; stir in oats and 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring frequently until cooked, about 10 minutes; remove from heat.

Add bulgur, apricots, cranberries and sugar to oats and stir to combine. Serve cereal topped with diced pear and a drizzle of syrup. Yields about 3/4 cup cereal, a scant tablespoon pear and 1/2 teaspoon syrup per serving.




French Toast with Strawberry Sauce



  • 2 cup(s) unsweetened frozen strawberries, very coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup(s) water
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 4 large egg(s)
  • 3/4 cup(s) fat free skim milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 8 slice(s) reduced-calorie whole wheat bread, or multi-grain
  • 2 spray(s) cooking spray



Put frozen strawberries and water in a small pot; set over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until berries thaw and mixture becomes saucy, about 2 minutes; remove from heat and stir in sugar until dissolved.

In a shallow bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon; dip bread into egg mixture, one slice at a time, flipping once, until evenly soaked.

Coat a very large non stick skillet with cooking spray; set over medium heat. Add soaked bread to skillet, a few pieces at a time; cook in a single layer until browned, flipping once, about 2 minutes per side. Cover French toast to keep warm and repeat with remaining pieces of bread. Serve French toast topped with strawberry sauce. Yields 2 slices French toast and about 1/4 cup sauce per serving.




Tomato and Cottage Cheese


1 ripe tomato
1/2 cup cottage cheese
salt and black pepper


Core tomato and slice into wedges top to bottom.

Sprinkle salt over the top.

Add cottage cheese to the center and finish with sprinkled black pepper.