Sunday, August 12, 2012

Chicken, Spinach, Goat Cheese Quesadillas with an Avocado Sour Cream

I've made this quite a few times, and it never gets old. So good!


Chicken, Spinach, Goat Cheese Quesadilla 

Flour Tortillas (whole wheat would work fine too)
Chicken (cooked and sliced)
Garlic (1 tsp., minced)
Baby Spinach (1 pre packaged bag)
Salt, Pepper, & Cayenne Pepper to taste
Goat Cheese (4 oz, crumbled)
Reduced Fat Shredded Monterey Jack
Non-Stick cooking spray or olive oil


  1. Heat the spinach with the garlic, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper over medium-low heat in a pan until just wilted. Remove from heath and set aside.
  2. Heat the grill pan (or regular pan) over medium-high heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray or drizzle with olive oil. Toast the inside of the tortilla for about 30 seconds.
  3. Take the tortilla off the grill pan and assemble as follows. Over half the quessadilla sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of monterey jack cheese, following by a few slices of chicken, then the spinach, then the crumbled goat cheese.
  4. Add to the grill pan and cook for about 1 - 2 minutes. Carefully use a spatula to flip the empty half of the tortilla onto the loaded half. At this point I like to let the quesadilla cook for about 30 more seconds, then flip it over. Give it another 1 -2 minutes, then remove from the pan and enjoy!

Avocado Sour Cream

1 Avocado, chopped
1/3 c. sour cream
1 T mayonnaise
1 lime juice
1/4 t onion powder
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Use a fork to mash the avocado as much as you can. (You can put it in the food processor if you want a smoother dip, but I just use a fork and a spoon).
  2. Combine it with all other ingredients and stir together.
Note: If you want a thinner dip, stir in a few tablespoons of buttermilk. If you want a smoother dip, throw everything in the food processor.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Sweet Potato Crusted Fish with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette (Yields: 1/2 cup):
1 cup cilantro - packed
1 medium clove garlic
2 limes- juiced (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup light olive oil
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
pinch of sugar (1/2 tsp)
1 pound mild flaky fish (Dolphin, Tilapia, Grouper, Snapper, Halibut etc)
2 medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled and shredded
1 egg plus 2 egg whites
1/2 cup flour - seasoned with a little salt & pepper
2 TBS canola oil (or any light oil)
2 TBS butter
Mixed Greens
2-4 oz Goat Cheese
1 cup fresh green beans, blanched
Handfull of Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
Black beans, drained and rinsed
Combine vinaigrette ingredients into a food processor, mini chopper, or blender and pulse until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
If serving over salad, prepare salad now so it is ready to go.
Add flour to a pie plate (or any dish with sides) and season with salt and pepper. In another one, whisk together 1 egg plus 2 egg whites.
Preheat oven to 375°. Heat a large oven-safe skillet over medium to medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter plus 1 tablespoon oil (you may need extra if it’s a large skillet – you want the entire bottom coated). Allow this to heat up.
Eyeball the size / shape of the pieces of fish and then, add a thin layer of shredded sweet potatoes about the same size & shape (one for each piece of fish).
Quickly dredge the fish into flour mixture, then egg wash, and set on top of the sweet potatoes in the pan. Repeat with each piece of fish. Cook for about 4 minutes (the fish should have a nice golden crust), lift fish out of pan with a spatula.
While holding fish with the spatula, add another thin layer of the shredded sweet potatoes to the pan (again matching the size of your fish filet). Carefully flip the fish onto the new “bed” of shedded sweet potatoes. Place entire skillet into the oven and allow to finish cooking (about 4-7 minutes depending on fish size).
The fish doesn’t dry out due to the natural moisture in the potatoes! When fish is fully cooked (opaque in color), remove from oven and immediately serve over mixed salad. Top with cilantro lime vinaigrette.

Fruit Salad

 1 (29 ounce) can peach slices, undrained 
1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks, undrained 
1 (3 1/8 ounce) box dry vanilla instant pudding mix 
1 lb strawberry, stemmed and quartered 
1 banana, sliced
 1/2 pint blueberries 
1 bunch grapes (I use the red ones)
 1 -2 tablespoon sugar (optional) 

Directions: In a large bowl, combine peaches, pineapples, and vanilla pudding mix (This includes the juices from the cans). Mix well until pudding is dissolved. Stir in strawberries, banana, blueberries, grapes, and sugar if desired. Serve chilled.

French Dip Sandwich


For the Onion Spread:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
Kosher salt
6 medium shallots, thinly sliced
2 bunches scallions, chopped (white and greens parts separated)
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
For the Sandwiches:
6 cloves garlic
Kosher salt
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Freshly ground black pepper
1 3-to-4-pound beef eye round roast
4 cups low-sodium beef broth
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 small onion, roughly chopped
3 sprigs parsley
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons dry sherry
6 6-inch Italian rolls, split and lightly toasted
Make the onion spread: Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt; cover and cook, stirring, until golden, about 35 minutes. Add the shallots and scallion whites; cover and cook, stirring, until browned, about 25 more minutes. Stir in the scallion greens, then remove from the heat and let cool.
Chop the onion mixture and transfer to a bowl. Add the sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.
Make the beef for the sandwiches: Mince the garlic, then sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and mash into a paste with the flat side of a large knife. Transfer to a bowl; add the olive oil, celery salt, cayenne and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cut small slits all over the beef with a knife, then use your fingers to push the garlic paste into the slits. Cover; refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bring the beef to room temperature. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Place on a rack in a roasting pan; add 1 cup broth, 3/4 cup water, the celery, onion and parsley to the pan. Roast 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and roast until a thermometer inserted into the center of the beef registers 115 degrees F, about 45 more minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; let rest 20 minutes. Strain the pan juices; reserve.
Meanwhile, make the jus: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Whisk in the reserved pan juices and the remaining 3 cups broth and bring to a boil, whisking. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sherry.
Brush the rolls with some of the onion spread. Thinly slice the beef against the grain. Dunk the slices in the jus, then layer on the rolls. Serve the remaining jus in small bowls for dipping.

Blue Plate Beef Patties

1 egg
2 green onions with tops, sliced
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1-1/2 pounds ground beef
1 jar (12 ounces) beef gravy
1/2 cup water
2-3 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
In a bowl, beat the egg; stir in onions, bread crumbs and mustard. Add beef and mix well. Shape into four 1/2-in.-thick
In an ungreased skillet, cook patties for 4-5 minutes on each side or until meat is no longer pink; drain.
In a small bowl, combine gravy, water and horseradish; add mushrooms. Pour over patties. Cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and heated through. Yield: 4 servings.

Asian Green Bean Salad

Courtesy of:

  • Ingredients
  • Salad:
  • 3 ounces uncooked linguine
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 2 cups diagonally sliced celery
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup (1/2-inch) slices green onions
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red jalapeƱo pepper, seeded and finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)


1. To prepare salad, break linguine in half. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; add beans during last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain. Place mixture in a large bowl. Stir in celery, bell pepper, onions, and cilantro.
2. To prepare dressing, combine vinegar and remaining ingredients in a small bowl; stir with a whisk until blended. Add to salad; toss well. Cover and chill.

Broccoli and Cheddar Skinny Potato Skins

Courtesy of:

The skin of the potato contains all the fiber, therefore my skinny potato skins are not only tasty appetizers, they are also good for you! These make great appetizers or you can serve them as a side dish.

I like to start these in the microwave and finish them in the oven or grill to shorten the cooking time and avoid heating up my kitchen now that the weather is getting warm. You can easily double or triple this recipe. A great way to use up any leftover broccoli. 

Broccoli and Cheddar Skinny Potato Skins
Servings: 2 • Serving Size: 2 halves  Old Points: 3 pts  Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 192.7 • Fat: 2.9 g  Protein: 13.1 g  Carb: 30.0 g  Fiber: 4.3 g  
  • 2 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed clean and dry
  • Spray oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 oz Cabot's 75% Light Vermont Cheddar, shredded 
  • 1 cup cooked broccoli florets, chopped
Pierce potato with a fork a few times all around. Place in microwave and cook about 5 minutes per potato. When finished, allow to cool enough to handle. Cut potatoes in half horizontally. Scoop out potatoes leaving about 1/4 inch thick wall. Save scooped out potatoes for tomorrow's skinny mashed potatoes.

To Make On the Grill: 
Preheat grill on medium flame to 450°. Lightly spray potato skins on both sides with oil. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Grill flesh side down about 4 minutes.Turn and fill with cheese and broccoli and grill an additional 4-5 minutes. 

To Make In the Oven: 
Heat oven to 450°. Lightly spray potato skins on both sides with oil. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Fill with cheese and broccoli, place on a broiler pan andbake 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.