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Starred Recipes

3 Stars - A Family Favorite
2 Stars - Really Good, Will Make Again
1 Star - Good Recipe, Probably Won't Make Again

January 29, 2012

Time-Crunched Tilapia Piccata

Biggest Loser
Time-Crunched Tilapia Piccata

Everyone in my family loves tilapia. 
I always keep a bag of frozen tilapia single-servings in the freezer.

I saw this recipe (again) in the Biggest Loser cookbook I've been cooking from lately and tested it on the family yesterday for lunch.

It was a great lunch that everyone really enjoyed.

I took thawed and patted dry tilapia fillets and placed them in a large skillet.
I seasoned them with a touch of salt & pepper and cooked them for 4 minutes on each side on medium-high heat. 

If you want your fish to stay in-tact and look better than mine, then only flipped them once.
I flipped them repeatedly until I had a golden brown outside on both sides. 
Of course - they started falling apart on me, but they tasted great!

While they were cooking I melted 1 Tbsp margarine (the cookbook recommends a buttery spread but I didn't have it). 
I added minced garlic and lemon juice to the margarine.

I then transferred the fish to a serving dish and drizzled the garlic-lemon mixture on top and topped with capers.

Everyone really loved this recipe, and it was so easy.

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Eat More Fish!

Parm-Garlic Roasted Green Beans

Biggest Loser
Parm-Garlic Roasted Green Beans

I make a lot of steamed broccoli and cauliflower for side dishes apparently.
The other day David asked me to make something different.  I think he is growing tired of broccoli.

I saw this recipe for Green Beans in the Biggest Loser cookbook I'm making my way through and I knew it would be a hit.

I have shared a couple of other green bean recipes that you can find here.

In a large bowl I tossed 1 1/2 lbs of snapped green beans with olive oil, garlic powder, grated Parmesan and salt & pepper.

Then I roasted them for 10 minutes, stirring them arrive a little with a wooden spoon about half-way through.

A great side dish!

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Mushroom Artichoke Couscous

Biggest Loser
Mushroom Artichoke Couscous

My family really likes couscous as a side dish. 
I make it most often with chicken broth and serve it plain with a meat and vegetable. 
I saw this recipe and decided to try it as a nice alternative to the traditional.

Brennan was thrilled.
Not only does he love couscous and mushrooms, but he had been wanting to try artichokes.
David really liked this recipe a lot.


I use this couscous from any grocery store (it's by the rice).

I sprayed Pam in my skillet and cooked the mushrooms for several minutes.
Then I coarsely chopped the artichokes and added them for another few minutes until they were heated through.

I boiled my broth on another eye and added the box of couscous and the broth to the vegetables, covered, and let it stand off the heat for several minutes while the couscous absorbed the liquid.

I fluffed the couscous with a spoon and added salt & pepper, lemon juice, olive oil, grated Parmesan and chopped parsley. 

Delicious!  And apparently great re-heated the next day.

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January 28, 2012

Brownie Cookies

Brownie Cookies

Thomas went to the gym with David a few weeks ago and came home with this recipe.
Only my son could spot a cookie recipe - even at the gym.

The gym has several recipes laying out each week - I notice Thomas didn't pick up the gazpacho or stewed tomatoes recipes.

He's been asking me to make these for awhile and I decided to for a get-together we're going to tonight.

If made with reduced-fat margarine and egg substitute, then each cookie is 69 calories.
I used the real stuff so there's no telling how many calories are in ours.  Oh well.

You start by creaming margarine and white and brown sugars together in a mixer. 
Then add your eggs or egg substitute and beat well.

In a separate bowl you combine your dry ingredients and then add it to the margarine/sugar/egg mixture, combining well.  Stir in the mini chocolate chips and you're ready.

The dough is thick and rich and smells delicious.

Then place tablespoons full of dough on an ungreased baking sheet and cook at 375* for 6 minutes.
Press the dough down slightly with your fingertips.
The cookies don't spread much at all so you can cook lots at once.

The cookies are rich and very soft.  Delicious!

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January 27, 2012

Strawberry Soup/Smoothie

Biggest Loser
Strawberry Soup/Smoothie

Yes, another recipe from my latest cookbook!
I was intrigued by this recipe - Strawberry Soup - and Thomas asked me to try it so I did yesterday for our afternoon snack.

In a blender you simply puree thawed frozen strawberries, lime juice, Greek yogurt and honey.

And while the boys enjoyed it as a "soup" - 

 - we all agreed it would be perfect as a smoothie.

It is rich like a strawberry shake and filling!

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January 26, 2012

Mexican Tabbouleh

Biggest Loser
Mexican Tabbouleh

I'm working my way through the Biggest Loser cookbook that I received for Christmas, sharing the recipes that we liked.

Bear with me as I continue making my way through the book!

Last night I made Mexican Tabbouleh (also spelled Tabbouli or Taboule).
It sounded like a variation we would really like.

Tabbouleh is bulgur wheat that is usually mixed with parsley and tomatoes - it's originally Middle Eastern.

You start by cooking Tabbouleh on the stove top and then putting the pot in the refrigerator to cool the grains to room temperature.

I did not see plain bulgur wheat in the store so I opted for two boxes of Taboule Mix and used 1 of the 2 spice packets.  It worked perfectly.

While it was cooling I chopped cilantro and garlic and put them in my serving dish.

Then added black beans, lime juice, salsa, and the cooled Tabbouleh.

I served it with spicy roasted shrimp and a little extra salsa on the top.

Brennan said it was better than Chipotle's black beans and rice - high praise!
A side note on salsa:  I don't like raw onions and my boys don't like raw tomatoes. 
Just about every packaged salsa has chunks of both. 
So for this recipe I popped the fresh salsa in the blender for a few seconds and it was perfect. 
I think I'll do this going forward!

The Biggest Loser cookbook recommends using fresh refrigerated salsa instead of jarred because it has a fresher taste and it uses many fewer preservatives. 
This is what I picked up (only the Medium version).

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I don't know whether to say:

بالهنا والشفا


Buen Provecho!

Either way -

January 25, 2012

Quinoa with Blueberries

Biggest Loser
Quinoa with Blueberries

Another Biggest Loser cookbook recipe. 
I like trying out new healthy recipes for the family, but this one I made just for myself because I didn't think they would want this for breakfast. 

I was right.

I liked the idea of trying out quinoa (pronounced "keen-wa") for breakfast. 
It's usually served as a side dish grain, but thought it sounded like it might work for breakfast as an alternative to oatmeal.

I cooked the quinoa the night before and just heated a portion in the microwave for breakfast.

Start by thawing (if necessary) a cup of blueberries and smashing them up a little to release the juices.

Then adding them to the quinoa with a little honey and walnuts (the cookbook recommends almonds but I chose walnuts this time).

Then stir together and enjoy.

I wasn't a fan at first, but then I heated it up again in the microwave and it was good. 
It'll be a nice protein-rich change of pace from oatmeal some mornings!

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January 24, 2012

Sesame Asparagus

Biggest Loser
Sesame Asparagus

I made this dish last night to go along with the Sassy Chicken
We apparently really like asparagus because I've already shared two other recipes using it. 

I liked this version because it was quick, different, and really tasty.

Start by trimming the ends off two bunches of asparagus and then tossing it with soy sauce and sesame oil. 
I always have this brand on hand.  You keep it in the fridge.

Then line up the asparagus on a baking sheet and cook at 400* for 15 minutes.

Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

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Sassy Chicken

Biggest Loser's
Sassy Chicken

I really love a recipe that is healthy, uses only a few ingredients, and can be made up ahead of time. 
This is one of those recipes!

I found this recipe in the Biggest Loser cookbook that I received for Christmas from a friend.
Ironically it's on the page with a photo and diet tip from our local former Biggest Loser participant, Allen Smith (go green team!)

You start by pouring a jar of marinara (I used Newman's Own) in a 9x13 baking dish and then lying your trimmed chicken breasts on top.  Turn them once so both sides are coated.

Then place 2 Tbsp of a light herbed cheese on each breast.
I used Alouette's garlic and herb (as recommended in the cookbook) and it was great.

Cover with foil and bake at 350* for 40 minutes.
The chicken was really tender and the flavors worked really well together.
I'll certainly make this again.

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January 22, 2012

Eat the Rainbow Black Bean Soup

Eat the Rainbow Black Bean Soup

My newly vegan, great chef friend Mary shared this recipe with me and I made it for the family this weekend. 
It's a fantastically healthy and flexible recipe.
What I like about it is that you can freeze the leftovers, which I did. 
It'll be nice to pull out 1 c servings to have with lunch or dinner.

Here is our modified version of this soup.

I started by sweating carrots, celery, and red pepper.  I added a dash of oil but it isn't necessary.  I cooked the vegetables for about 5 minutes.

Then I added the remaining vegetables, spices, broth, and tomato sauce and brought it to a boil.
Then I reduced it to simmer, covered it, and let it cook for 30 minutes.

Right before serving I added the chopped chard and then ladeled into it bowls and served it with multi-grain bread.

A few notes:
**I will add a 3rd can of black beans to the soup next time
**I will chop the chard and cabbage more finely next time.
**You can add or delete any vegetable to this recipe.  I used celery that I had on hand and I omitted the onion.
**I thought my cabbage was "small" but it was too much.  I'll just use half a cabbage next time.
**If you like a soupy soup, add more broth.

Delicious and super healthy!

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Eat Your Veggies!

Luau Chicken

Biggest Loser's
Luau Chicken

I received a Biggest Loser cookbook from a friend for Christmas and wanted to try out some of the recipes that I thought we'd all like.  I made this recipe at lunch today and everyone liked it.

You start by cooking chicken breasts in a skillet.
I sprayed the pan with Pam and seasoned both sides of the breasts with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
I cooked them for 4 minutes on each side.

Next you top each breast with barbecue sauce, a pineapple ring, and goat cheese.
I had feta on hand that I wanted to use up so I substituted it.

Then I popped the skillet in the oven for 10 minutes until the chicken was completely cooked through.
I was really surprised the feta didn't melt but it was nice and soft.

I served with remaining pineapple and steamed broccoli.
According to the recipe, each serving is approximately 218 calories.

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January 21, 2012


Real Simple's

I found this recipe in Real Simple magazine this past month and made this for breakfast.
They were certainly very easy and are a great substitute for sugary muffins.
We ate them plain and with a little orange-cranberry marmalade that we received as part of a gift basket when we hosted a party recently.

I whisked the batter together and then poured it in a 12 muffin tin.

Then cook them for 30 minutes, without opening the oven until they are done.

They are light and fluffy and have a deep scoop in the bottom making them kind of hollow and soft in the middle.

My sleepy models...

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