Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cheesy Chicken & Rice Bake

This is an easy casserole to throw together at the end of the day, especially if you use Uncle Ben's Ready Rice and keep chopped, cooked chicken in the freezer. Two pouches is about 4 cups. You will want to cook them in the microwave first. I bake and chop chicken breasts ahead of time and keep it in the freezer for dishes like this.

Cheesy Chicken & Rice Bake

2 plain baked chicken breasts, chopped (4-5 oz each)
4 cups cooked brown rice
3/4 cups frozen corn
15 oz can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt
4 oz can chopped green chiles
1/2 cup fat free salsa
1 3/4 cups fat free cheddar cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except 3/4 cup of cheese. Mix thoroughly, making sure yogurt and cheese are distributed throughout the bowl. Transfer to a 9x13" casserole dish and top with remaining cheese. Using an oil mister, spray the top layer of cheese to aid in melting. (I used a 10-pump spray in my WW oil sprayer.) Bake for 20-25 minutes, until heated through.

Allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting into 6 slices.

Monday, October 17, 2011

New Potato & Turkey Skillet

I recently purchased a couple of new cookbooks produced by Clean Eating magazine, and I'm excited to try the recipes in them. This one looked relatively easy and gave me an opportunity to try something I hadn't before -- swiss chard. It was easily made completely SFT by substituting fat free feta for the regular feta called for in the recipe. Also, I prepared this in a dutch oven instead of a skillet, because my skillet is only ovenproof to 350 degrees and the recipe needed to cook at 425.

New Potato & Turkey Skillet
Adapted from The Best of Clean Eating 2

1 lb ground turkey breast
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 lb new potatoes, scrubbed & diced into 1" cubes
Pinch dried thyme
3/4 cup low sodium, fat free chicken broth
1 lb swiss chard, thick stems removed and leaves chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary (I used a sprinkle of dried rosemary)
Pinch red chile flakes (optional)
Juice 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup fat free feta cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 425. Heat a 12" ovenproof skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat on stove. Add ground turkey breast to skillet, season with salt & pepper, and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until no longer pink. Remove ground turkey to a bowl and set aside. Turn off stove, add potatoes and thyme to skillet, and place skillet in preheated oven. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring once about halfway through. Carefully remove from oven and place back on stove over medium-high heat. Leave oven on. Add broth and bring to a simmer. Add chard and stir just until wilted. Add tomatoes, rosemary, chile flakes, and lemon juice. Return broth to a simmer, turn off stove, and carefully place back in oven. Cook for 10 more minutes, stirring halfway through, until tomato skins burst. Divide among 4 serving bowls and top each bowl with 2 tbsp fat free feta. Serve with lemon wedges if desired.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Creamy White Chili

A friend of mine shared this recipe on Facebook and said it was great. When I saw how easily it could be made healthier, I knew I had to give it a try. She was right; it is delicious!

Creamy White Chili
Adapted from Taste of Home

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp canola oil
2 cans (15.5 oz) great northern beans, rinsed & drained
14.5 oz chicken broth
2 cans (4 oz each) diced green chiles
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup fat free sour cream
1/2 cup fat free half & half

In a large saucepan, saute the onion, chicken, and garlic powder in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add beans, broth, chiles, and seasonings. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and half & half.

Note: I left out the second can of green chiles and cayenne pepper to calm down the heat for my personal tastes.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Classic Lasagna

This filling dish is easy enough for a weeknight, but good enough to serve for a special occasion. The no-cook lasagna noodles take away a lot of the extra work associated with making lasagna, and truly make it easy. You'll end up with lots of leftovers -- this recipe makes 8 servings -- so if you don't want that many, cut the recipe in half and use a smaller casserole dish.

Classic Lasagna

2 cups fat free cottage cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp dried parsley
1 lb 93% lean (or leaner) ground beef
1 tsp minced garlic
1 small onion, chopped
26 oz Whole Foods Everyday 365 Fat Free Pasta Sauce, divided
14.5 oz can Italian-style diced tomatoes
3 oz tomato paste
8 sheets DeLallo no-boil whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 3/4 cups fat free mozzarella cheese, divided

In a medium bowl, beat egg and then add cottage cheese and parsley. Stir until combined and refrigerate until needed. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta sauce and set aside. In a skillet, brown ground beef with garlic and onion; drain fat. Stir in remaining pasta sauce (about 2 3/4 cups), diced tomatoes, and tomato paste. Warm through and remove from heat.

Assemble lasagna as follows in 13x9" casserole dish lightly misted with olive oil:

Reserved 1/2 cup sauce
4 sheets lasagna noodles, overlapping slightly to fit
Half of cottage cheese mixture
Half of meat sauce
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
4 sheets lasagna noodles
Remaining cottage cheese mixture
Remaining meat sauce
1 cup cheese

Cover and bake at 375 for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake 5-10 more minutes to melt and crisp cheese on top.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Vegetarian Lasagna

I love this lasagna recipe because it's so tasty and very versatile. You can substitute any veggies you want and it should come out just fine. It was also very easy to make SFT-friendly by using fat free cottage cheese and mozzarella cheese in place of the full-fat versions. I think my mom cut it out of the newspaper when I was in high school, so we've been making it for a while. The version I'm posting is half of the original recipe, perfect for 4 people and made in an 8x8" baking dish. If you are serving more or want lots of leftovers, make it in a 13x9" pan and double it.

Vegetarian Lasagna

4 sheets DeLallo whole wheat no-boil lasagna
3/4 cup fat free cottage cheese
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese*
1 egg white, slightly beaten
2 tsp dried parsley
1 small zucchini, quartered and sliced
1 small yellow summer squash, quartered and sliced
3/4 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
14.5 oz can Italian-style diced tomatoes
1 tsp minced garlic
4 tsp olive oil
1 3/4 cups Kraft fat free shredded mozzarella cheese
2 1/4 cups Whole Foods 365 Fat Free Pasta Sauce
3 oz tomato paste

In a small bowl, stir together the cottage cheese, egg, parsley, and grated Parmesan. Refrigerate until needed. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and saute zucchini, squash, mushrooms, and tomatoes (slightly drained) until tender. Stir together marinara sauce and tomato paste in small bowl.

Assemble lasagna as follows in 8x8" baking dish:

Layer of marinara sauce mixture (about 1/3 of it)
2 sheets lasagna
Half of cottage cheese mixture
Half of vegetables
2/3 cup mozzarella
Layer of marinara sauce mixture (about 1/3 of it)
2 sheets lasagna
Remainder of cottage cheese mixture
Remainder of vegetables
2/3 cup mozzarella
Remainder of marinara sauce mixture
Remainder of mozzarella

Using a misting oil sprayer or olive oil cooking spray, lightly mist the top layer of cheese to aid in melting and browning. I used a 10-pump spray in my Weight Watchers oil sprayer.

Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting and serving. Makes 4 servings.