Posts Tagged ‘light’


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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The first time I made zucchini bread was in high school, in my Food & Nutrition class. When the teacher gave us the recipe, I remember thinking that it was going to be the most disgusting bread ever. I mean, how could anyone possibly incorporate zucchini into a sweet and tasty bread?!

One taste of the finished product and I was convinced; I loved it! But I never made it again…. until last week…

This time, Stas was the skeptical one (and I don’t blame him… he doesn’t even like zucchini much). But he liked it too – and even took some to work. (or maybe I made him take some to work :))

The zucchini doesn’t add any strong taste to the bread. I think it serves mostly for moisture and a nice, chewy texture. Whatever purpose it serves, it does it well!

the finished loaf

the finished loaf

Zucchini Bread
from Cooking Light

2 cups coarsely shredded zucchini
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup egg substitute
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Place shredded zucchini on several layers of paper towels, and cover with additional paper towel. Let stand 5 minutes, pressing down occasionally. Set aside.

3. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder in a large bowl and stir well; make a well in center of mixture. Combine zucchini, applesauce, egg substitute, oil, and vanilla; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.

4. Divide batter evenly between 1 large 9 inch loaf pan (or 2 smaller 7 1/2 x 3-inch loaf pans) coated with cooking spray.

before going into the oven

before going into the oven

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool in pan(s) for 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan(s), and let cool completely on wire rack.

straight from the oven

straight from the oven

Serves 28

1 serving = 3 Weight Watchers points

I used 1 large loaf pan for my bread. I think this way, the center of the bread stays more moist- and you get that yummy section of almost-but-not-quite-fully-cooked part… the part that’s extra moist and chewy… the best part!

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As soon as I laid eyes on that massive zucchini, I started Gooling zucchini recipes. This was one of the first ones I found, and I knew right away that I’d love it. This is a great healthy alternative to mozarella sticks. I didn’t have any marinara sauce on hand to dip them in, but I plan on buying some and making these again!

I loved these – but Stas hated them… I ended up eating all of mine, PLUS his.

But in all fairness, he doesn’t care much for zucchini to begin with.

Baked Zucchini Sticks

  • equivalent of 3 medium zucchini, sliced into 3″ x 1/2″ sticks
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (or whatever cheese you have on hand)
  • cooking spray (or parchment paper)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • salt
  • fresh pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. In a small bowl, beat egg whites and season with salt and pepper. In a ziplock bag, place breadcrumbs, garlic powder, and cheese; shake well. Cove cookie sheet with parchment paper (or spray cookie sheet with cooking spray) and set aside.


zucchini slices


breadcrumbs and egg white

3. Dip zucchini sticks into eggs then into bread crumb and cheese mixture, a few at a time and shake to coat. Place the breaded zucchini in a single layer on parchment paper (optional: spray cooking spray on top).

zucchini sticks pre-baking

zucchini sticks pre-baking

4. Bake at 425 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.


baked zucchini sticks, plated

Serves 3

Here is the breakdown of Weight Watchers points:
zucchini = 0
1 egg white = 0
1/3 cup bread crumbs = 2
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese = 2

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I’ve been up since 5am – way too excited for my bridal shower today…

What a perfect time to (finally!) update my blog!

I actually made this dish a few weeks ago, but never posted about it. It’s amazing how quickly the days fly by when you’re trying to plan a wedding! It’s less than 2 months away now – I’m beyond excited, but a little stressed out by my list of still-to-do’s.

Stas didn’t like this dish. I’ve mentioned before that he generally doesn’t like sauces, and this time was no exception. He ended up scraping it all off, much to my dismay!

I loved it, though! It was filling, yet light. Since the sauce is bread-thickened, it tastes and feels a lot more fattening than it really is  (it tastes cream-thickened).

deliciously thick (and light!) sauce

deliciously thick (and light!) sauce

You could also use this sauce as a pasta sauce, to change this into a vegetarian dish!



Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Creamy Walnut Sauce
from Cooking Light, May 2006

  • 2 (1 1/2 ounce) slices day-old white bread
  • 1 cup fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 /3 cup walnuts, toasted (the toasting is optional)
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 6 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • parsley, to garnish

1. Remove crusts from bread. Chop bread and combine it with the broth in a small bowl; let stand for 10 minutes.

Combine bread mixture, walnuts, parsley leaves, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, red pepper, and garlic in a food processor; process until smooth.


walnut sauce

2. Sprinkle chicken with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

3. Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 7 minutes on each side, or until done. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.


browned chicken

4. Add chicken broth mixture to pan; cook until hot and slightly thickened, scraping pan with a wooden spoon (don’t use metal – you’ll ruin the pan!) to loosen browned bits.

5. To serve, plate the chicken breast and top each with about 2 1/2 tablespoons sauce. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

plated chicken

plated chicken

Serves 6

(1 serving = 6 Weight Watchers points)

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I love the summertime – when all of the yummy fruits hit the grocery stores. Melons, berries, stone fruits… yum! I eat way too much fruit in the summer – but it’s just so good that I can’t help myself! When Stas and I sit down with a bowl of cut-up cantaloupe or watermelon, one of us ends up having to take the bowl away because we cannot stop ourselves.

I bought a couple packages of blackberries for this recipe – and  Stas was very upset when I told him that he wasn’t allowed to eat them 🙂 But it was all for a good cause… this recipe came out great! We both loved it (even though he doesn’t usually like sauces).

This recipe would be great for a dinner party – or even an outdoor grilling/lunch party. To save time, make the sauce ahead of time (I’d say up to a day ahead of time).

We don’t own a grill (because we live in a loft… and have no yard), but I used my grill pan on the stovetop and it came out just fine…


Grilled Pork with Blackberry-Sage Sauce
from Cookling Light, June 2009

Cooking spray
2  tablespoons  minced shallots (I didn’t have any – oops!- so I used some white onion instead)
3  cups  fresh blackberries (about 1 pound)
1/2  teaspoon  chopped fresh sage
1  (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2  tablespoons  balsamic vinegar (Again, didn’t have any!! I used 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar + 1 tsp sugar)
1 1/2  teaspoons  sugar
1  tablespoon  butter
3/4  teaspoon  kosher salt, divided
1  teaspoon  black pepper
1  (1 1/2-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
Sage sprigs (optional)

(If using a grill, prepare grill to medium heat)

Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add shallots (or onions) to pan; cook 3 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add blackberries, sage, and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until blackberries break down. Press blackberry mixture through a fine sieve over a bowl; discard solids. Return liquid to pan. Stir in vinegar and sugar; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 3/4 cup (about 9 minutes); remove from heat. Stir in butter and 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring until butter melts. Keep warm.

Sprinkle remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper over pork. Place pork on grill rack (or grill pan on stovetop over medium heat) coated with cooking spray; cover and grill 20 minutes or until a thermometer registers 155° (slightly pink), turning pork occasionally. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.


right off the "grill"


so juicy!


waiting for the blackberry sauce

Serve with blackberry sauce; garnish with sage sprigs, if desired.


the finished dish

serves 6 (about 3 ounces pork and 2 tablespoons sauce)

And for all of you on Weight Watchers: 1 serving = 4 points

By the way, that bamboo cutting board was only $3 at a flea market! I’m sure I’ll find out why it was so cheap one of these days. But in the meantime, it’s awesome!

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I love fish… but I don’t make it too often. Instead, I usually get my “fish fix” in the form of sashimi (yum!). I found this recipe through a “Dinner Tonight” search on MyRecipes.com. I thought it would be a gym night, so I was looking for something quick but tasty. This recipe caught my eye because it used mayonnaise. I’m really not a mayonnaise person – I tend to stick to more natural, whole foods. But I have a lot of different kinds of mayo sitting in the back of my fridge – mostly unopened – from dip recipes or Russian salad recipes. For awhile, I kept buying new jars, thinking I was all out, only to get home and find I had plenty.

I planned on cooking this with haddock, but Stop & Stop had cod loins on sale and I just couldn’t resist! Any white fish will do – just adjust the cooking time based on the thickness.

Easy Baked Cod Loins
from Cooking Light, October 1999

1 1/2 pounds cod or other white fish fillets (grouper, haddock, etc)
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 1/2 tablespoons butter or stick margarine, melted
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley



Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place fish on an baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Combine lime juice, mayonnaise, onion powder, and pepper in a small bowl, and spread over fish.


fish with mayo mixture

Sprinkle with breadcrumbs; drizzle with butter (Actually, I just sprayed mine with some olive oil spray).


ready for the oven

Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Sprinkle with parsley.


right out of the oven


if it flakes easily, it's ready!


serves 4 (or 1 little Shushka + 1 hungry man)

I really enjoyed this recipe. It was quick, used up some of my mayonnaise, and very tasty. I loved the combination of flavors! Stas claimed to like it, but he scraped off all of his breadcrumb topping, so who really knows.




Stas, that's the best part!!!

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised; whenever he orders fish at a restaurant, he makes sure to get it “without the crumbs”.

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