Posts Tagged ‘food’


Dear Readers,

I’ve been counting calories since the first of the year and wanted to make something that was low in fat and calories.  Found this recipe that I had cut out of a magazine years ago in an old folder.  Tried it and found it very tasty.  Maybe you will want to try it too!

White Bean and Sausage Rigatoni

8 oz. rigatoni pasta (5 cups)

8 oz. fully cooked turkey kielbasa

1/2 of a 10 oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed

2-15 oz. cans low-sodium stewed tomatoes

1-15 oz. can great northern beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 of a 6-oz. can tomato paste

1/4 cup dry red wine or reduced sodium chicken broth

1-1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning, crushed

1/4 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan prepare pasta according to package directions, drain and return to pan.  Bias-slice kielbasa.  Drain thawed spinach well.  Add kielbasa, spinach, tomatoes, beans, tomato paste, wine or broth, and Italian seasoning to the cooked pasta.  Stir to mix.  Spoon mixture into a 2-quart casserole.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake, uncovered, in a 375 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes.  Makes 4 servings.  Each serving contains 498 calories and 7 grams total fat.

Enjoy and remember to

Keep smilin’!


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Barbecued Lentil Chili

Dear Readers,

I love chili and enjoy collecting various recipes for it.  I couldn’t imagine what “Barbecued Lentil Chili” would taste like;  so I tried it and was very pleasantly surprised.  It is easy to prepare, low in fat and calories but is a very hearty soup just perfect for a cold winter day. 

Barbecued Lentil Chili

5 cups vegetable or chicken broth

12 ounces to 16 ounces brown lentils (see notes)

1 – 14 oz. can reduced-sodium diced tomatoes

1 cup chopped onion

2 cups chopped green bell pepper

4 cloves fresh garlic, minced

1 cup prepared barbecue sauce of choice (see notes)

Bring the broth to a boil in a 4-1/2 quart Dutch oven or soup pot.  Meanwhile, pick through the lentils,checking for stones or debris.  Rinse and drain the lentils.  When the broth boils, add the lentils and bring back to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, and cook at a very slow boil, covered(crack the lid to vent if the pot threatens to boil over), for 20 minutes.

Add the tomatoes with their juice to the pot.  Add the onion, green pepper, garlic and barbecue sauce.  Simmer 15 minutes, covered, stirring frequently.  Add a little more water or vegetable stock if all of the moisture evaporates.

Remove the pot from the heat.  Add hot pepper sauce if you like.

Notes:  Some lentil packages are 12 ounces and some are 16, but both work equally well in this recipe.  Any barbecue sauce that you enjoy will work.

Makes 6 generous servings.

Each serving contains 289 calories, 2 grams of fat and 17 grams of protein.

Enjoy and

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

Saw this recipe in the Costco Connection Magazine that was submitted by a Costco customer.  Tried it and really like it – so did “hubby”.  In fact he remarked that it was perfect with a cold beer!

Quick Black Bean Soup

2 cans organic black beans

1 cup low-sodium salsa

1 cup chicken broth

1 to 2 teaspoons taco seasoning (recipe follows)

Chopped cilantro

Tortilla strips

Add two cans of organic black beans to your blender.  Then add 1 cup salsa and blend until it is at the desired consistency.  Add about 1 cup chicken broth to thin out soup.  Stir in taco seasoning and transfer to saucepan and heat.  Garnish with chopped cilantro and crispy tortilla strips.

Makes 2 hearty servings.

Taco Seasoning:

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1-1/2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Mix together and store in air-tight container.

Hope you enjoy the soup and remember to

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

A number of years ago my husband gave me an interesting cookbook for Christmas entitled “Recipes 1-2-3” by Rozanne Gold.  Ms. Gold contends that one can prepare “fabulous food using only three ingredients”.  She does not count water, salt or pepper as ingredients.  I decided to see if her premise was true by making the Cannoli Custard recipe.  The result was delicious and I want to share the recipe with you.  I will quote from her informative and interesting cookbook.

“Cannoli” Custard

(Clemenza, in the movie The Godfather, says “Leave the gun.  Take the cannolis.”  I say, keep the custard.  Who needs the shells?”)

2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese

9 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

3/4 teaspoon rum extract

Gently whip the ricotta, sugar, and rum extract in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Do not overblend.  Divide equally among 3 or 4 martini glasses.  Chill well.  Sprinkle additional confectioners’ sugar, through a coarse sieve, over the top of custard just before serving.  Serves 4.

Ms. Gold suggests some add-ons:  Fold in 1/3 cup miniature chocolate chips or white raisins plumped in rum.  Sprinkle crushed amaretti cookies or grated chocolate on top.

Enjoy and remember to always

Keep smilin’!

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Popeye Would Love This Dish!

Dear Readers,

Recently readers of the Raleigh News and Observer were asked to submit recipes of dishes that were made as comfort food when they were children.  Amy Jackson of Chocowinity, N.C. entered this recipe.  It sounded good, so I tried it and my husband and I enjoyed it very much.  The following is a direct quote from the newspaper:

“My mother made a dinner dish that I loved.  She calls it “fried spinach”.  It is really good!  You brown a pound of hamburger with lots of garlic.  Drain the fat and add in a box of thawed chopped spinach.  Cover the pan for a few minutes to let it warm up.  Then add four eggs that have been beaten with some black pepper.  Stir until the eggs cook.  Top with Parmesan cheese.  It’s not really fried and has a similar taste to Italian wedding soup.”

Notes:  I used a 20 oz. package of seasoned Italian ground turkey and added an additional egg to the mixture.  A thawed 10 oz, box of frozen chopped spinach is just the right amount.  I also used 3 cloves of crushed garlic.

Hope you enjoy it and remember to

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

I had some russet baking potatoes left from a ten pound bag I had purchased and decided to see if they could be used in a potato salad.  Here is what I came up with:

Mimi’s Chunky Baked Potato Salad

5 med. russet potatoes, baked and cut into 1-inch cubes with skin on

4 hard boiled eggs, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup dill pickle, cubed


celery salt and pepper to taste

Coat scrubbed potatoes in olive oil and pierce all over with a fork.  Generously salt and pepper them.  Lay them directly on oven shelf and bake for 45 to 60 minutes until done.  Let them cool thoroughly and then cut in 1″ cubes with skin on.  Add eggs, dill pickle, celery salt and pepper.  Using a spatula, mix in enough mayonnaise to moisten salad.  Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.  Makes a large bowl of potato salad.

Enjoy and remember to

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

I made this salad recently as part of a ladies luncheon and everyone seemed to enjoy it.  It is healthy and so easy to prepare; especially if you use canned, rinsed black beans.  It would be good added to a tossed salad or used as a filling along with chopped tomatoes and lettuce in a wrap.  Try it – you will like it!  I cut this recipe out of the Raleigh News and Observer.

Black Bean Salad with Feta Cheese and Cilantro

2 cups dry black beans (or 4 cups cooked beans)

1 small red onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)

1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

2 ounces pasteurized feta cheese, crumbled

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Wash the beans and soak them in cold water to cover overnight.  The next day, drain the beans and place them in a pot with cold water to cover.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until tender.

Combine the beans, onion, cilantro and most of the cheese in a bowl.  Add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and mix well.  Let the beans marinate for 10 minutes and toss again.  Correct the seasoning before serving, adding salt and lemon juice to taste.  Garnish with remaining cheese.

Makes 4 servings.  Each serving contains 335 calories, 11 grams of fat, 44 grams of carbohydrates and 17 grams of protein.

Enjoy and remember to always

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

We’re having our annual Super Bowl party and the main dish will be the “Super Bowl Chili Dogs”.  Take bun length all beef hot dogs and cover them with “Carolina Hot Dog Chili”, some chopped onion and shredded cheddar cheese.  Fill a fresh hot dog bun with these ingredients and you’re ready to eat a “Super Bowl Chili Dog”.  The recipe for the hot dog chili was adapted from “Desperation Entertaining” by Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross and was printed in the Raleigh, NC News and Observer.  This chili is very tasty and can be made two days in advance.  Mimi guarantees that this chili dog will be the best you have ever eaten!  Have fun watching the Super Bowl.  Yeah Ravens!!!

Carolina Hot Dog Chili

1-1/4 pounds ground beef

1 cup chopped onion

1 – 6 oz. can tomato paste

1/2 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon cider or white vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper (optional)

Place the beef, onion and 2 cups water in a Dutch oven or soup pot over high heat.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and stir to begin breaking up the meat.

Add the tomato paste, ketchup, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, salt and pepper, if using.  Stir well until the tomato paste and ketchup are dissolved and the meat is mostly broken up.

Continue to cook at a simmer, stirring about every 5 minutes for a total of about 30 minutes.  As the chili thickens, you may need to reduce the heat to medium-low or low so it doesn’t stick.  Refrigerate, covered, up to 2 days, or freeze in small freezer bags for up to 6 months.  Thaw or reheat in a microwave stirring often.

Yields about 1 quart.  There are 55 calories and 4 grams of fat per each 2-tablespoon serving.

Enjoy and remember to

Keep smilin’!

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Easy Salsa Meatloaf

Dear Readers,

This is my last posting of 2012 and I decided a recipe was a good way to end the year.  We enjoyed this meatloaf a few weeks ago.  It is quick, delicious and easy to prepare.  What else could a cook ask for?  Tinkerbell 15 submitted the recipe to allrecipes.com and I’m glad she did.

Easy Salsa Meatloaf

1 pound ground beef sirloin

1/2 cup salsa

1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1 egg, lightly beaten

3 cloves garlic, minced

dried parsley to taste

salt and pepper to taste

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.  In a large bowl, mix the ground sirloin, salsa, breadcrumbs, cheese, egg and garlic.  Season with parsley, salt and pepper.  Transfer to a 9×5-inch loaf pan.

3.  Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or to a minimum internal temperature of 160 degrees F.

Note:  I used “Newman’s Own” mild chunky salsa.  It is flavorful and all profits go to charity.

Enjoy and remember to always

Keep smilin’.

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Fast and Easy Broccoli Slaw

Dear Reader’s

As a change from the usual tossed salad for dinner, I decided to prepare broccoli slaw.  Bought a 12 ounce bag of Marketside Broccoli Slaw from Wal-Mart and proceeded to “doctor it up” with a few extra ingredients.  Used  a recipe for Coleslaw Dressing I found on Epicurious.com.  Here are the results.  (My husband really enjoyed it!)

Fast and Easy Broccoli Slaw

1 – 12 oz. pkg. Marketside Broccoli Slaw

3 tablespoons sunflower seeds

4 tablespoons dried cranberries


1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon honey

2 teaspoons apple-cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

In small bowl combine dressing ingredients.  Combine dressing with broccoli slaw, sunflower seeds and dried cranberries.  Mix thoroughly and refrigerate a couple of hours before serving.

Enjoy and

Keep smilin’!

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