February 27, 2014

Zucchini "Noodle" Lasagna

I love Italian food and have been cooking it a little bit more lately because of the excitement that I have fora trip that I have booked for Italy.  I'm not going to Italy until the early fall, so in the meantime, I'll continue to cook up new and interesting takes on Italian cuisine.

Zucchini "Noodle" Lasagna
Serves 4
Calories per Serving: 231
Fat: 4.4g - Carbs: 15.5g Fiber: 3g - Protein: 33.9g

  • 2 medium zucchinis; sliced into long/thin strips
  • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 10 ounces extra lean ground turkey
  • 1 1/2 cups homemade pasta sauce (or favorite brand); divided
  • 3 oz. fat free shredded cheese
  • 1 T Mrs. Dash Italian seasoning plus more for sprinkling
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray it with cooking spray
  3. Arrange the zucchini strips on the baking sheet and sprinkle with Mrs. Dash
  4. Bake the zucchini strips for about 10 minutes or until tender and lightly browned
  5. While the zucchini is baking, heat a medium sized skillet over medium/high heat
  6. Cook the turkey in the skillet until almost fully cooked
  7. Add in 1/2 cup of pasta sauce and continue cooking until cooked through
  8. In a medium sized bowl, add the cottage cheese and 1 T Mrs. Dash seasoning
  9. Blend the cottage cheese and seasoning until smooth and creamy
  10. To assemble the lasagna, spread a small amount of pasta sauce on the bottom of an 8x8 inch baking dish
  11. Add a layer of zucchini strips
  12. Add 1/2 of the turkey and 1/2 of the cottage cheese and 1/3 of the shredded cheese
  13. Add a second layer of zucchini strips
  14. Add the remaining 1/2 of the turkey and 1/2 of the cottage cheese and 1/3 of the shredded cheese
  15. Add a third layer of zucchini strips
  16. Add the remaining 1/3 of the shredded cheese
  17. Transfer the lasagna to the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the top begins to turn light brown
  18. Remove the lasagna from the oven and allow to cool for several minutes before cutting into it 
Note: This dish can be a meatless option by omitting the ground turkey.

February 18, 2014

Homemade Turkey Nacho Platter for 1

Chips aren't something that I keep stocked in my cabinets because I could eat the whole bag in 1 sitting!  Therefore, I've found an alternative solution for when I'm craving crispy, salty chips.  The fun thing about making your own, is that you can get creative with the seasonings.  Try adding some chili powder for a spicy kick or cinnamon for a dessert treat!

Homemade Nacho Platter
Serves 1
  • 1 low carb tortilla (I use La-Tortilla Factory low carb/high fiber wraps)
  • 4 oz. extra lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 t taco seasoning
  • 2 T salsa
  • 1 T plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 avocado; diced
  • 1/2 cup lettuce
  • 1 T cilantro
  • 2 T fat free shredded cheese
  • Cooking spray
  • Salt
  1. Place the tortilla on a baking sheet and lightly spray each side with cooking spray, sprinkle lightly with salt, and cut up into "chip" size pieces
  2. Broil the tortilla chips on high for 12-15 minutes; until lightly browned
  3. While the chips are browning, heat a small skillet over medium/high heat
  4. Cook the turkey with the taco seasoning until cooked through
  5. Once the chips are crispy and the turkey is cooked, assemble the nachos and dig in

February 17, 2014

Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats

 Here's a simple recipe that you can get even the pickiest of vegetable eaters to enjoy zucchini!  Sever these with a sides of Mexican Fiesta brown rice for a complete meal.

Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats
Serves 2
  • 3 medium zucchinis
  • 8 oz. cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1/2 cup enchilada sauce; divided
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat shredded Mexican blended cheese
  • Garnish: avocado, cilantro, Greek yogurt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Slice each zucchini in half lengthwise and use a spoon or melon baller to remove the flesh; leaving 1/4 inch thick "boat"
  3. Spread 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce into a baking dish and place the zucchini halves cut set up into the dish
  4. Combine the remaining enchilada sauce with cooked chicken
  5. Evenly scoop the chicken mixture into the zucchini boats
  6. Bake for 30 minutes until the zucchini is tender
  7. Sprinkle the cheese over the zucchini boats and return to the oven to bake for an additional 3-5 minutes; until the cheese is melted
  8. Remove the boats from the oven and garnish with desired toppings

February 14, 2014

Apricot Lemon Baked Chicken

If you like the taste of apricots as much as I do, here's a flavorful dish that you can enjoy even when apricots aren't in season.  You can also substitute the apricot preserve for your favorite flavor.  Raspberry would be delicious!

Apricot Lemon Baked Chicken
Serves 2
  • 8 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 lemon; sliced 
  • 1-2 T sugar free apricot preserve
  • 1/2 t dried rosemary
  1. Marinate the chicken with the lemon slices and apricot preserve for 1-4 hours
  2. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F
  3. Remove the lemon slices and place then on a baking sheet
  4. Layer the chicken on top of the lemon slices
  5. Scoop out the apricot preserve and layer it onto the chicken
  6. Sprinkle the chicken with rosemary
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through

February 08, 2014

Homemade Heart Shaped Ravioli

Since I wasn't blogging last year, I feel now is the perfect time to finally share this special meal.  Valentines Day is approaching and I'm in need of a Special Meal to make my boyfriend.  It's going to be very difficult to top last year's Homemade Heart Shaped Ravioli, but I'm determined to figure out something.
Homemade Heart Shaped Ravioli
Serves 4
  • 1 package Nasoya's Won Ton wrappers
  • 2 cups part  skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 t sugar
  • 2 T Mrs. Dash Italian seasoning
  • 2 egg whites or 1 cup water
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 cups Homemade Pasta Sauce
  1. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, and Italian seasoning; set aside 
  2. Lay the wonton wrappers out onto a dry surface
  3. Using a hear shaped cookie cutter, cut the wonton wrappers into hear shapes 
  4. Then place 1-2 T of the cheese filling onto half of the wontons; adjust the amount depending on how large your hears are
  5. To seal the ravioli closed, get a small bowl of water or egg whites
  6. Using your finger or a small pastry brush, brush the edges of the ravioli with the liquid
  7. Place a non-filled wonton wrapper on top of the filled wrapper and gently run your fingers over the seam to seal it shut
  8. Repeat the process until all of the wrappers and filling have been used
  9. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season lightly with olive oil to reduce the ravioli from sticking together
  10. Once the water is boiling, reduce it to medium-low
  11. Working in batches of 7-10, place the ravioli into the water
  12. Allow it to cook until the ravioli begin to float to the surface
  13. Once cooked, transfer to individual places and garnish with sauce and additional cheese and parsley

February 06, 2014

Red Velvet Brownie Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Don't get me wrong I enjoy going out to eat, but I still like to always cook up a special meal for special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays.  Usually I make these meals as a surprise for people, but for Valentine's Day, I thought it would be fun to get my boyfriend to help out.  He was more than willing because he knew he'd get to be my taste tester!
This thick and chewy brownie cake is the perfect way to celebrate the romantic holiday.  We enjoyed our heart shaped cakes as a culmination to our heart shaped ravioli.

Thick & Chewy Red Velvet Brownie Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes 1 Medium Heart Cake & 2 Small Heart Cakes OR 1 8x8 

Brownie Cake Ingredients
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate (60%), chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, diced into 6 pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 T liquid red food coloring
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 t apple cider vinegar
  • 2 large eggs
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 t liquid red food coloring (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a medium heart shaped pan/2 small heart shaped pans or an 8 by 8-inch baking dish with buttered parchment paper (use parchment paper for an clean transfer after baking)
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside
  3. To a microwave safe bowl, add chopped chocolate and butter and heat mixture in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until melted and smooth
  4. Add sugar to melted chocolate mixture, and stir to combined
  5. Mix in red food coloring, vanilla and apple cider vinegar
  6. Stir in eggs
  7. Add flour mixture and mix just until combined
  8. Pour into prepared baking dish, spread into and even layer
  9. Bake for 35-40 minutes until toothpick comes out clean
  10. While the cake is baking, make the frosting by whipping the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy; about 4-5 minutes
  11. Add the liquid food coloring, vanilla, and powdered sugar and continue to whip until pale and fluffy
  12. Once baked, transfer the cake to wire rack to cool completely then frost with cream cheese frosting and decorate once cool

Adapted From Cooking Classy