Posts Tagged ‘Cooking Light’

I’ve never had Hot and Sour Soup at a Chinese restaurant, so I don’t even know if I normally like it. But I did not like this recipe! The combination of flavors was way too much for me, and it was a little too spicy for my taste.

But it did get very good reviews on MyRecipes.com, so if you normally like Hot and Sour Soup from a Chinese restaurant, then I suggest trying this (and please let me know how it turned out!)

(Want to try a Chinese soup recipe that I really liked? Try my Egg Drop Soup!)

Hot and Sour Soup with Shrimp
adapted from Cooking Light, October 2006

1 1/2 cups  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 – 1/2  cup  pre-sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 teaspoons  low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 of an 8-ounce can sliced bamboo shoots, drained
1  tablespoon  fresh lemon juice
1/2  teaspoon  white pepper
3/4  pounds  medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
4  ounces  reduced-fat firm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2  teaspoons cornstarch
1  tablespoons  water
1  large egg white, beaten
1/8  teaspoon  chili oil
1 tablespoons  chopped green onions

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.

Add juice, pepper, shrimp, and tofu to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes or until shrimp are almost done.

Combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl, stirring until smooth. Add cornstarch mixture to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk. Slowly drizzle egg white into pan, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in chili oil and onions.

serves 2

1 serving = 5 Weight Watchers Points

Calories: 233
Fat: 4.7g
Protein: 38g
Carbohydrate: 9.4g
Fiber: 2.3g

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I was way too anxious for Christmas last night, so Stas and I exchanged gifts 1 day early (we usually exchange them on Christmas Eve, before we head over to my parents’ house). I have him 2 casual button-down shirts, flannel pajama pants to match mine (I want to have matching pajamas on Christmas morning!), some small things for his trip to Everest, a big warm coat for Everest, and 2 t-shirts. Believe it or not, the t-shirts were my big special surprise gift to him...

During our honeymoon in New Zealand, Stas forgot some clothes at a hotel in Queenstown. One of the items was his Icarus Canopies t-shirt, given to him by the company when he bought his canopy (his “skydiving parachute”). Although he retired from skydiving earlier this year, I knew the shirt had special meaning to him. As soon as we got back to the States, I contacted the company via Facebook, told them about the lost t-shirt, and they sent me 2 new ones! Stas was very happily surprised when he opened them 🙂

My gifts were gift certificates (1 hour massage, Nordstrom, sushi, and a voucher for 1 week of not having to take care of the bunny), an infinity scarf from The Limited, a “Cute Overload” page-a-day calendar, and he paid to have my car serviced earlier this week 🙂

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, we spend each Christmas Eve with my mom’s side of the family. This year, my mom wasked me to bring 2 appetizers – the first was the butternut wontons, and the second is this salad.

This was my first time buying and cutting mangoes… and I didn’t do a great job at either. One of the mangoes was perfectly ripe, but I think the other 3 were a bit under-ripe (I’m hoping that with the cheese and prosciutto, no one will notice). To cut the mangoes, I used this site as a guide – but it was still tricky as hell!

Aside from that, the recipe was easy – only 4 ingredients and 1 step.

I haven’t tasted it yet, but it got great reviews on the Cooking Light site.

Prosciutto, Mango, and Parmesan Salad
from Cooking Light, December 1998

4  cups  coarsely chopped peeled mango (about 4 mangoes)
4  ounces  thinly sliced prosciutto, coarsely chopped
3  ounces  shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4  to 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and toss gently.

Serves 15

ready to serve

1 serving = 1 Weight Watchers point

Calories: 64
Fat: 2.3g (1.2g sat.)
Protein: 4g
Carbohydrate: 7.7g
Fiber: 0.7g

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Christmas Eve is tomorrow… can you believe it?! The holiday really crept up on me this year – especially since we spent the end of November/beginning of December in New Zealand.

This year, my mom has asked me to bring 2 appetizers to the family get-together. Unfortunately, I have to work the first half of the day tomorrow, so today I pre-made 1 of them – the crispy butternut wontons.

I probably should have doubled the recipe, but there will be so much other food there, so I’m not too worried about it.

I’m pleased with how easy this recipe was, and the wontons certainly smelled good while in the oven. No taste-test until tomorrow!

The second appetizer is a simple prosciutto and mango salad, which I’ll have time to make tomorrow – and eventually blog about.

(The original recipe for these wontons also included a recipe for a spicy tomato sauce. To save time and money, I just bought some  tomato-basil sauce at the store!)

Crispy Butternut Wontons
from Cooking Light, November 2003

1  small butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/2  cup  water
1/2  cup part-skim ricotta cheese
3  tablespoons  grated Parmesan cheese
2  tablespoons  dry breadcrumbs
1/4  teaspoon  sea salt
1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
1/8  teaspoon  ground nutmeg
1  teaspoon  water
1  large egg, lightly beaten
24-30  wonton wrappers
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375°.

To prepare wontons, cut the squash in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membrane. Place the squash halves, cut sides down, in a 2-quart baking dish; add 1/2 cup water. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes or until squash is tender when pierced with a fork; cool. Scoop out pulp to measure 1 cup, and reserve the remaining pulp for another use. Combine 1 cup pulp, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, stirring until well combined.

Combine 1 teaspoon water and egg, stirring with a whisk. Working with 1 wonton wrapper at a time (cover remaining wrappers with a damp towel to prevent drying), spoon about 2 teaspoons squash mixture into center of each wrapper. Brush edges of dough with egg mixture; bring 2 opposite corners together. Press edges together to seal, forming a triangle. Repeat procedure with remaining wonton wrappers and squash mixture.

Place the wontons on a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray, and brush lightly with remaining egg mixture. Bake at 375° for 17 minutes or until golden and crisp. Serve with the sauce.

Serves 8

(Note: I actually forgot to brush my wontons with the egg mixture, so they didn’t come out as nice and shiny as the recipe’s picture)

(the following nutritional information comes from the original recipe, which called for whole ricotta and included the spicy tomato sauce)

1 serving = 3 Weight Watchers points

Calories: 157
Fat: 4.6g (2.1g sat.)
Protein: 6.8g
Carbohydrate: 22.3g
Fiber: 2g

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I made this dish for the first time about a month or two ago, and I was all set to blog about it – until I realized that the pictures had been deleted from the camera.

I made it again tonight and loved it just as much as the first time. And it’s surprisingly fast and simple to make! It does take a little planning ahead though, since you’ll have to make sure you have dried cherries and pomegranate juice on hand.

The pictures didn’t come out great – I was hungry and rushing to take them. But I hope you’ll try the recipe for yourself!

Stas and I returned from our honeymoon in New Zealand this past Saturday, so expect pictures and a full report at some point soon. And we finally got our professional wedding pictures back, so I’ll be posting some of those, too!

Pork Medallions with Pomegranate-Cherry Sauce
from Cooking Light, November 2009

1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat
black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1/3 cup dried sweet cherries
1/4 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon water
1 tablespoon butter

1. Cut pork crosswise into 12 1-inch thick pieces. Sprinkle both sides of pork with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add pork to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side, or until done. Remove pork from pan; keep warm.

browned pork

2. Add juice, cherries, wine, and vinegar to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook 2 minutes. Combine cornstarch and water in small bowl (this step is important – if you don’t combine the cornstarch and water separately, you will have lumps). Add cornstarch mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat. Add butter, stirring until butter melts.

don't be scared of a little butter!

3. At this point, you can return the pork to the pan and coat each piece in the sauce. OR, you can serve the pork and sauce separately (I serve it this way, so that people can choose to add as much or as little sauce as they like).

the finished dish

Serves 4 (serving size: 3 medallions and 2 tablespoons sauce)

1 serving = 6 Weight Watchers points

calories: 269
fat: 10.1g (3.6g saturated)
carb: 17.6g
fiber: 1.4g

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I had high hopes for this recipe – it sounded and looked so good in the magazine, and it received great reviews online.

But both Stas and I hated this meat loaf! It was spicy, but not in a yummy kind of way – I think it lacked seasoning. And the ketchup topping was such a bad match with that spiciness – it was too sweet and… well.. nasty. (In all fairness, I did use reduced carb ketchup instead of regular. Maybe regular would have been better).

It was painful finishing these leftovers, but we did it. And I will *not* be making this agian. Instead, I’m sticking with my tried-and-true meatloaf recipe.

… which reminds me: I haven’t blogged about my favorite meat loaf recipe yet!

Spicy Turkey Meat Loaf with Ketchup Topping
from Cooking Light, October 2009

1 tablespoon butter
2 cups chopped onion
1 (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon Sriracha (hot chile sauce, such as Huy Fong)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey breast
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Cooking spray
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, mushrooms, and garlic to pan; cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cool 5 minutes.


cooking the mushrooms and onion

Combine mushroom mixture, panko, and next 8 ingredients (through egg) in a large bowl; stir well to combine.


meat mixture

Shape turkey mixture into a 9 x 5–inch rectangle on a pan coated with cooking spray. Combine ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, and nutmeg in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Spread ketchup mixture evenly over top of meat loaf.


after shaping the loaf and spreading the sauce on

Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160°. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.


cooked & ready to serve

Serves 8

(note: the information below is based on using regular ketchup. When I made it, I used low-carb ketchup)

1 serving = 4 Weight Watchers points

Calories: 184
Fat: 3.7g
Protein: 23.2g
Carbohydrate: 15g
Fiber: 1.2g

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The original recipe calls for trout, but the grocery store didn’t have any, so I used tilapia. I’m not sure it was the best choice for a substitute… Cooking Light suggests cod, halibut, or catfish. (Hey, tilapia was on sale!)

If you don’t like pecans, you could use another type of nut – like almonds or walnuts!

Pecan-Crusted Tilapia
adapted from Cooking Light, October 2009

1/4 cup pecan halves
1/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper



1. Place pecans in a mini chopper or food processor; pulse until pecans are finely ground. Combine pecans and panko in a shallow dish.

2. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle fish evenly with salt and pepper. Dredge fish in nut mixture, pressing gently to adhere.


dredging the fish

Place 2 fillets in pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned. Turn fish over; cook 4 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Remove fish from pan; cover and keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and remaining fish.

cooking a fillet

cooking a fillet

the plated fish

Stas' dish

Serves 4

1 serving = 6 Weight Watchers points

note: this is the nutritional information for the trout version:
Calories: 267
Fat: 15.3g
Protein: 27.8g
Carbohydrate: 3.5g
Fiber: 0.8g

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I love that Cooking Light has so many 20 and 30 minute meals in their magazines; they make weeknight dinners a breeze!

Tonight, I made Chicken Cacciatore. It was good, although a little bland. If I make it again, I’ll add more salt – both to season the chicken and to the sauce. I think it may have been lacking because of the pasta sauce I used (I think it was “too healthy”). I may also add some bread crumbs to the sauce to thicken it a bit.

Chicken Cacciatore
from Cooking Light, October 2009

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
olive oil
2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 1/2 cups tomato-basil pasta sauce (I used Ragu No Sugar Added Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce)
1/4 cup dry red wine
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (optional)
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil (tip: slice it length-wise so that it doesn’t brown!)

1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken evenly with oregano, basil, and red pepper. Place a small amount of olive oil in the pan. Add chicken to pan; saute 2 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently.


browning the chicken

Add mushrooms and bell pepper to pain; saute 5 minutes.

add the mushrooms and peppers

add the mushrooms and peppers

Stir in pasta sauce and wine; bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.

add the wine and sauce

add the wine and sauce

Stir in the salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with cheese (optional) and basil.

Serves 4
(1 serving = 1 cup chicken mixture, 2 tablespoons cheese, and 1 1/2 teaspoons basil)


the plated dish

1 serving = 5 Weight Watchers Points (probably less if you omit the cheese!)

calories – 239
fat – 6g
carbs – 11.1g
fiber – 2.6g

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