Baked Spaghetti and Mozzarella

This dish was missing something. Ben thinks it was meat and I thought it needed more spice. The crusty cheese on the top was my favorite part.  I know all pasta tastes the same, but I want to try it again with spaghetti noodles and try adding some more spices to it. Use a jar of store bought marinara sauce to make life so much easier. I wonder if the noodles could bake in the oven with the pasta sauce instead of boiling them in the water for a little while????

Nutrition Info: Calories 328 | Fat 10.87g | Carbohydrate 43.44g | Fiber 7.3g | Protein 17.03g

Points Plus: 8

Servings: 8 (If using regular pasta, the points plus value is 10 per serving)

Using Whole Wheat Pasta

Ingredients from Kitchen Corners
  • 2 cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves smashed and peeled
  • 3/4 pound spagetti
  • 2 cups diced mozzarella
  • Italian seasoning
  • salt
  1. Preheat oven to 400*
  2. Set a large pot of salted water to boil.
  3. In a food processor, pulse tomatoes until chopped.
  4. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high and add garlic and cook until fragrant.
  5. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil.
  6. Add Italian seasoning and salt to taste.
  7. Cook until sauces starts to thicken
  8. Meanwhile, cook pasta for 5 minutes. Drain pasta and return to pot.
  9. Add tomato sauce and half of the mozzarella and toss to combine.
  10. Transfer mixture to a 3-quart baking dish and top with remaining cheese.
  11. bake until cheese is golden. About 20-25 minutes.

Apple Chips

The first batch of apple chips I tried making  didn’t get crisp at all because I had sliced them too thick with the mandolin. I tried making them again and slicing them thinner, and they turned out much better. This is a great and healthy treat to make, especially if you have kids. They’re also very addicting and would probably be good with a little salt on them.

These almost made me wish it was Fall again. I can’t wait to make these on a cool day, when we actually have some apples growing on our tree. The neighbors are starting to get some on there’s but we aren’t yet. We do have some tomatoes starting to come up, which I’m excited for.

To make these apple chips slice an apple really thin. I used a mandolin for mine. If you don’t have one of those yet, go and get one. I love mine. Place them on a lined baking sheet with parchment paper and bake at 250 for up to 3 hours or until crisp.

Using one apple for a serving would  be 1 points plus for the whole entire serving. I sprinkled mine with just a little bit of sugar and cinnamon. You don’t really even need the sugar or the cinnamon and they will still taste good.

Mexican Tortilla Pizzas

If I could, I’d eat Mexican 5 nights a week.  I love nachos, mexican pizza, chalupas, quesadillas, etc… Tuesday’s are deemed Taco Tuesday for us, because we go to Taco John’s every Tuesday for dinner. Tacos are just $.89! If you’ve never been to a Taco John’s before, I’d suggest you go. It’s like a Taco Bell, but  they have these potato oles that are to die for and I just love the seasoning on them. They’re really good with nacho cheese.

If you’re trying to cut back on meat these Mexican pizzas are my favorite. I’m not trying to, but if I ever did, I’d eat these pizzas every day a week.  I didn’t have high fiber tortillas or fat free re-fried beans, but I’m going to go to the store and stock up on that stuff. You could serve these with a side of rice.

Ingredients adapted from Honey, What’s Cooking?

4 whole wheat flour tortillas
Cooking Spray
1 can of fat free refried beans
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon of taco seasoning
Oretaga Taco Sauce
2 cups of %2 Mexican Cheese
2 roma tomatoes
3 scallions

1 Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray the tortillas with cooking spray
and line a cookie sheet pan with tin foil. Place tortillas on baking sheet
for 10 minutes. Every 5 minutes flip the tortilla so that they get crisp.

2. Place about 1/4 cup of beans on 2 tortillas and add about a tablespoon of hot
sauce. Layer the other tortilla on top of the sauce. Add some sauce, cheese,
tomatoes, and scallions and melt the cheese in the oven. About 5 minutes. Make sure
to keep the oven on to melt the cheese.

Shrimp and Avocado Rolls

I was watching Diners Drive In’s and Dives and one of the chefs had made a shrimp roll. I watch that show and wonder how many calories Guy consumes in an episode with all that fattening  food that he eats? He has probably one of the best and easiest jobs in the World though . Who wouldn’t want to go to all these diners and try all those delicious looking dishes that he gets to eat? I would, but instead of flying or driving there, I’d be running a long side the car to burn all those calories before I ate all that food. :)

As much as that all sounds fantastic, I enjoy trying to come up with my own version of a dish that I must try, but as a lighter version. I kept a list of all the ingredients in my head for the shrimp rolls and for my first try it wasn’t so bad. I really loved these and would make  again. Maybe with a little more hot sauce.

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Calories 235 | Fat 8.58g | Carbohydrate 27.74g | Fiber 3.1g | Protein 12.99g

Servings: 4

Points Plus: 6

Ingredients

4 Hot Dog buns
20-25 peeled and deveined large shrimp
1/2 an avocado
3 tablespoons of light mayo
2 to 3 dashes of hot sauce
1 teaspoon of chopped fresh terragon
juice of half a lime
salt
pepper

1. Cook shrimp in boiling water until pink. Drain and chop into bite size pieces.
In a medium bowl combine Avocado with the rest of the ingredients and add in shrimp. Use salt and pepper to taste. This can be eaten warm or cold.

Red, White, and Blue Patriotic Trifle

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Here is the low calorie, 4th of July dessert that I promised from yesterday. Isn’t it pretty? Who needs red and blue food coloring for the 4th of July when you have berries to make a cake look patriotic? Not me! This is a trifle with angel food cake, blueberries, raspberries, cool whip, cream cheese and a little bit of sugar to sweeten it up.  They do have fat free cool whip and cream cheese but to me, those have no flavor, so I go for the light. By all means, if you want to use the fat free then go for it.

I got this recipe from a Martha Stewart magazine, and they displayed the cake on a cake platter and used sparklers for the decorating. How neat is that? I didn’t have any sparklers and haven’t been out to the fireworks store yet. Probably sometime this week, we’ll be making a trip out there. The original recipe from the Martha Stewart magazine had 533 calories and 33 grams of fat!

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Serves 10-12

Calories 264 | Fat 5.41g |  Carbohydrate 49.46g | Fiber 2.4g  | Protein 5.66g

Points Plus: 7

Ingredients from Martha Stewart

1 1/2 pounds raspberries
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
10 oz marscapone cheese (I used 1/3 less fat cream cheese)
1 1/4 cup of heavy cream (I used light Cool Whip)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
20-24 lady fingers (one box of Angel Food cake mix 16.5)
3/4 pound of blueberries

1. In a medium bowl, combine raspberries with 1/4 cup of confectioners sugar and orange juice. With the back of a fork, lightly mash berries to release their juices and let sit 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together mascarpone and 1/2 cup of confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Whisk in cream, vanilla, and pinch of salt and whisk until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes.

2. Cut one or two pieces parchment 1 inch taller than side of 8-inch springform pan and line insidie of pan. Place half the ladyfingers in a pan and top with half the raspberry mixture. With a small offset or rubber spatula, spread half the whipped cream over berries. Tap pan gently on counter to remove air bubbles. Repeat with remaining lady-fingers, raspeberry mixture, and whipped cream. Top with blueberries and refrigerate until whipped cream is stiff and cookies have softened, about 3 hours. To serve, unmold trifle and peel away parchment.

S’mores bars

Sorry, I would have posted this recipe earlier, but these bars were eaten up so fast before I could take a picture of them! Really, they’re that good. I found this recipe on pinterest and one of the things I’ve noticed is that people are obsessed with S’mores! I’m  also on pinterest and if you want to follow me my link is below.

http://pinterest.com/jgisvold01

I know these bars aren’t the greatest calorie wise, but hold on. I promise I’ll have a dessert coming up that’s  low in calories and very patriotic. :) Just in time for the 4th of July. If you’re wondering what to take to your 4th of July get together, you could  take these and only have a little bite or a small piece.

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Ingredients: from The Girl Who Ate Everything

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 king-sized milk chocolate bars (e.g. Hershey’s)
  • 1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme/fluff (not melted marshmallows)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix at a low speed until combined.
  3. Divide dough in half and press half of dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan. Place chocolate bars over dough. 2 king-sized Hershey’s bars should fit perfectly side by side, but break the chocolate (if necessary) to get it to fit in a single layer no more than 1/4 inch thick. Spread chocolate with marshmallow creme or fluff. Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the fluff (most easily achieved by flattening the dough into small shingles and laying them together).
  4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Makes 16 cookie bars.

40 Clove Garlic Chicken

This dish was ok, just ok. I give a C+. I had high hopes for it, and in the end I just wasn’t satisfied. I will post the recipe on my blog still, because I think maybe there’s someone else out there that will actually like it. The house smelled really good and when I got home from work it reeked of garlic. My hands also reeked of garlic for a while too.

If I were to make this again, I’d brown the chicken in a pan first so that it looked purty. Even though it was still moist, I thought that it could have used a little brown for coloring. Brown food is good right? If you like keeping the vampires away, then make this. If you’re wondering how many garlic heads you should by, there’s about 10 in one, I ended up buying 4 of them.

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Nutrition Info: Calories 283 | Fat 11.15g | Carbohydrate 10.35g | Fiber 0.7g | Protein 34.55g

Serves 4

Points Plus: 7

Ingredients from Crepes of Wrath

3 1/2-4 pound fryer chicken (chicken cut into serving pieces)
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
40 cloves of garlic, peeled but still whole (about 3 bulbs of garlic)
3/4 cup white wine (optional, but highly recommended)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon butter

1. Spray the inside of your crock pot with non-stick spray. Rub the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Place in the crock pot.

2. Heat your olive oil in a small skillet and add the peeled, whole garlic (here’s a short video demonstrating how to peel garlic easily and quickly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=th1YOvG5VgQ). Cook for 5-8 minutes over medium heat until the garlic is golden, then add the white wine and stir until the liquid has mostly evaporated, another 3-5 minutes over medium heat.

3. Pour the garlic and white wine over the chicken in the crock pot, and sprinkle the thyme and rosemary over everything. Add in the bay leaf. Turn the crock pot to low and cook for 3-4 hours (I did mine for 3 1/2 hours). When ready, remove the chicken and place on a separate platter, then cover with foil to retain its heat. Set aside.

4. Pour the juices from the pot through a mesh sieve into a pot, then press the garlic through the sieve to form a paste. Cook the gravy with a tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat until slightly thickened, about 5-8 minutes. Serve over the chicken with potatoes, vegetables, or crusty bread and enjoy! Serves 3-4.

Weight Watcher’s Homemade pizza sauce

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I’d like to blog about a few good food finds first, that I’ve found for making homemade pizza. Pizza sauce is made from tomato paste and Hunt’s has their own version of No Salt added tomato paste, great for those of you who need to watch their sodium intake. I’m kind of a messy cook, and that’s why there’s some tomato paste on the side of the can. My friend was telling me how she’d like to learn how to make tomato paste from tomatoes, and that would be a great idea, I think. Anybody know how????

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Another food find is Boboli pizza crust. I saw it mentioned on the blog Emily Bites and she uses the Whole Wheat kind. I went looking for that and couldn’t find it (of course) and opted for the Original Italian version instead. What a great pizza crust and I liked how thick it was.

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To make pizza sauce is pretty easy. Just heat up all the ingredients in a sauce pan and stir. Can’t get any easier than that, the leftovers can be stored in an air tight container, for the next time you make pizza. I made a taco pizza with my sauce.

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Calories 81 | Fat 0.14 | Carbs 16.9 | Fiber 4.6g | Protein 2.7

Servings: 3 I used about 1/4 cup of the pizza to 1/2

Points Plus: 2

Ingredients: from Cooking for Seven

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup

1-2 tablespoons red cooking wine (optional but very good)

1/4 cup water

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan. Whisk together until well combined. Place over low heat and cook until heated through. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

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