Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

Low-Fat Pasta Dish

Dear Readers,

Came across this dish when sorting through my collecion of recipes.  It looked interesting so I decided to prepare it.  Can’t give anyone credit for it because I copied it onto a scrap of paper with no title but with the note that it contained 231 calories and 4 grams of fat in each serving.  Had it for dinner last night and even though the ingredients are simple, it was quite tasty.  I’d like to share it with you.

Low-Fat Pasta Dish

8 ounces linguine

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced

2 large tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese

1.  Cook linguine and drain.

2.  In large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat oil.  Saute onion and garlic about 3 minutes.

3.  Stir in tomatoes, zucchini, vinegar and salt; cook, stirring as needed, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.  Stir in linguine; cook, tossing constantly until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.  Top with cheese.  Makes 4 servings.

Enjoy and

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

I found this cookie recipe in a recent “Costco Connection” magazine.  My husband declared it one of the best cookies I’ve ever baked.  I must admit I agreed.  The combination of chocolate chips and dried cherries is a winning one.

Chewy Chocolate-Cherry Cookies

4.5 ounces (about1 cup) flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1  large egg

2/3 cup dried tart cherries

3 tablespoons Kirkland’s semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cooking spray

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife.  Combine flour and next 4 ingredients, stirring with a whisk.  Place sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until well blended.  Add vanilla and egg; beat well.  With mixer at low speed, gradually add flour mixture; beat just until combined.  Stir in cherries and chocolate chips.

2.  Drop by tablespoonsful 2 inches apart onto baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Bake for 12 minutes or just until set.  Remove from oven; cool on pans 5 minutes.  Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

Makes about 30 cookies.  Each cookie contains 80 calories and 2.7 grams of fat.

Note: The next time I bake these cookies, I will add two extra tablespoons of chocolate chips.  I used Trader Joe’s Dried Pitted Tart Montmorency Cherries that come in an eight ounce package.  Instead of coating the baking sheets with cooking spray, I lined them with aluminum foil.  It makes cleaning up a lot easier.

Enjoy and

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

Fall is the perfect time for homemade soup; especially vegetable soup.  I’ve been making this soup for years but one day I decided to measure precisely all the ingredients and commit the recipe to paper.  It was my Dad’s idea to add hard-boiled eggs and lemon juice and I think it is a good one.

Hope you like it!

Mimi’s Vegetable Soup

1-1/2 lbs. soup bones

1/1/2 lbs. stewing beef, cut into cubes

64 oz. V-8 vegetable juice

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced

2 medium potatoes, diced

2 medium turnips, peeled and diced

1-16 oz. pkg. frozen mixed vegetables

(peas, carrots, corn, green beans and lima beans)

3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced

1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley

2 tablespoons lemon juice

In medium saucepan, cover bones with water; bring to boil and then simmer for 1 hour.  Let cool and cut any meat off bones.  Discard bones and strain broth of impurities.  Have broth and meat ready to mix into soup pot.  (This can be done day before or can be skipped altogether; but the bone broth adds more flavor to the soup than water.)

Brown cubed stewing beef and onions in two tablespoons vegetable oil in large, deep soup pot over medium-high heat for about 4 to 5 minutes.  Add V-8 juice, frozen mixed vegetables, potatoes, turnip and sweet potato along with 2 cups of the bone broth.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for 1 to 2 hours.  Be sure potatoes and turnips are cooked through.  Turn off soup.  Add lemon juice, sliced eggs and chopped parsley.  Mix well.  Soup can be served immediately or let cool for 30 minutes; then refrigerate and heat up the next day.  If soup is not served immediately, wait to add eggs until right before serving.

This makes a lot of soup.  It can be frozen.  Omit hard-boiled eggs and leave 1 inch head space in freezer container; and cool completely in fridge before freezing.

Enjoy and

Keep smilin’!

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Summer Orzo Salad

Dear Readers,

My daughter-in-law gave me this recipe which she copied from the internet.  I don’t know what site it was published on.  I tried it and enjoyed it very much.  The salad is light and refreshing; the perfect side dish for summer meals.  I think it might be the lemon juice that gives it such a fresh taste.  This recipe makes a large salad but it keeps well in the fridge.

Summer Orzo Salad


2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cloves garlic, crushed


1 cup uncooked orzo

2 cups chopped tomato

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

2 cups fresh yellow corn kernels

1/2 cup vertically sliced red onion

Combine dressing ingredients and put in empty jar; cover and shake.  Cook and drain orzo according to package directions.  Pour 1/2 of the dressing onto warm orzo.  Let cool; then add remaining dressing and tomato, basil, corn and red onion.  Let stand at least 30 minutes before serving.

Enjoy and

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

Yes, cottage cheese, a bland white dairy product can be exciting but it needs a little help.  Ketchup was a favorite ingredient that my Dad added to it.  I went for a little more zip and flavored my c.c. with seafood cocktail sauce.  This was the beginning of my experimentation with this dairy product.  After all it is a dieter’s friend because a half-cup of low-fat cottage cheese contains only 90 calories and one gram of fat.  Add some of the combos listed below and you have a very tasty luncheon entree.

1.  Chopped carrots, celery and lemon-pepper seasoning

2.  Cocktail sauce with sunflower seeds and freshly ground black pepper

3.  Black beans, chopped tomato, shredded cheddar cheese and a sprinkle of chili powder

4.  Chopped carrots, corn, green pepper and 1 tablespoon Trader Joe’s reduced-fat cilantro salad dressing

5.  Sliced radishes, chopped broccoli and black pepper

6.  Chopped dill pickle or pickle relish with a little Dijon mustard and black pepper

7.  Thawed frozen peas, shredded cheddar cheese, sunflower seeds and 1 tablespoon low-fat Italian salad dressing

8.  Blueberries, strawberries or raspberries with a sprinkle of cinnamon

9.  Chunks of pineapple, shredded cheddar cheese and 1 teaspoon of low-fat mayo

10.  Fresh sliced peaches or nectarines with a cinnamon sprinkle

So the next time you eat cottage cheese, don’t settle for a plain ole boring taste.  Excite your taste buds with Mimi’s cottage cheese combos!  And remember to

Keep smilin’!

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Shrimp Cocktail Dip

Dear Readers,

A friend gave me this simple recipe about 30 years ago and it is one of my favorite appetizers.  I’d like to share it with you.

Shrimp Cocktail Dip

8 ounces Philadelphia cream cheese, softened

4 ounce can shrimp

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

1 tablespoon chopped onion

Mix ingredients together and form into a ball.  Refrigerate overnight.  Frost cheese ball with cocktail sauce and serve with fancy crackers.

How easy can it get?  Enjoy and remember to

Keep smilin’!


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Mimi’s Costco Bean Soup

Dear Readers,

While on a recent shopping trip to Costco, I discovered and purchased a 5.5 pound container of “Gourmet Bean Blend” distributed by Epicurean Specialty, which is “a colorful variety of beans, peans and lentils”.  There’s a recipe for a Vegetarian Gourmet Bean Blend Chili printed on the package, but I was in the mood for bean soup and here is what I concocted.

Mimi’s Costco Bean Soup

3 cups Epicurean Specialty Gourmet Bean Blend

2 – 32 oz. containers Kirkland Signature chicken stock

2 or 3 cups cubed ham

1 – 6 oz. can tomato paste

1 cup chopped celery

Soak 3 cups of beans overnight in cold water as directed on the package.  Next day, drain and rinse beans and put in a large soup pot.  Add remaining ingredients along with salt and pepper to taste.  Bring mixture to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer.  Cover soup pot and continued to cook for two hours or until beans are tender.

This soup just begs to be served with warm, buttered cornbread.  Any mix will do but Trader Joe’s has a really good cornbread mix that easy to prepare.

My husband loved the soup and so did I.

Enjoy and

Keep smilin’!

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A Lenten Main Dish

Dear Readers,

The season of Lent begins today, which is Ash Wednesday, and for Catholics that means meatless meals today and for the next six Fridays.  It really isn’t much of a sacrifice because there are so many delicious meatless dishes.  Here’s one I copied from a carton of Kraft’s cottage cheese.  My husband and I really enjoyed it.

Italian Spinach Pie

2 cups cottage cheese

1 – 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and well drained

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

4 eggs, lightly beaten

1 – 7 oz. jar roasted red peppers, well drained, chopped

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all ingredients until well blended.  Pour into greased 9-inch pie plate.  Bake 40 minutes or until center is set.

Enjoy and don’t forget to

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

I know this is a wild name for macaroni and cheese but throw caution to the wind and give this dish a try!  The recipe for “Cheese Thing” originated with Wendy A. Parker and was published in Sue Rappaport’s column in the Desert Sun newspaper.  Prepared this casserole for both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve and everyone loved it.

Cheese Thing

1 pound penne rigate or similar tubular pasta

1/2 pound EACH:  sharp cheddar cheese, mild cheddar cheese

1 can (28 ounces) whole, peeled tomatoes with juice

1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

Instructions:  Heat a large pot of salted water (at least 5 quarts) to boil.  Add penne and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes.  Don’t worry if the pasta is a little undercooked, it will be finished in the oven.  Meanwhile cut the cheeses into 1/2 inch cubes.  Leave tomatoes in their juice and cut them into bite size pieces with with a knife or for fun, squeeze them with your hands.

When the pasta is done, drain and return to pot.  Add butter and stir until almost melted.  Add cheese, tomatoes, sugar and salt; stir well.  Pour mixture into 2 quart or 9 x 13-inch baking dish – glass or ceramic is best.  For optimal results, the Cheese Thing should sit for 12 to 24 hours, covered and refrigerated before baking, although it can be baked right away.  It can be frozen at this point for up to a month.

When ready to bake, heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Set the Cheese Thing on a rack in the middle of oven; bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until bubbly and noodles poking out of the top have browned considerably.  Serve hot as an entree with a salad or as a side dish for meat or serve cold for breakfast the next morning.

Enjoy and remember to

Keep smilin’!

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Gingered Chicken and Rice Soup

Dear Readers,

I clipped this recipe from the News and Observer newspaper in Raleigh, NC.  It is low in fat and calories and the ginger adds a little zing to the typical chicken and rice soup.

Gingered Chicken and Rice Soup

1 boneless skinless chicken breast, 6 to 8 ozs.

1 cup chopped carrots

1 cup chopped onions

6 cups water

1/2 cup long-grain rice

3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 egg

2 tablespoons 1% milk

Place the chicken breast, carrots, onions and water in a 4-1/2 quart or larger soup pot.  Cover and heat to a boil over high heat, and cook for 5 minutes or until the chicken is almost cooked through.

Reduce heat to medium, remove the chicken breast to a plate, and then add the rice, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper.  Dice the chicken and return to the pot.  Bring to a boil again, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot and cook for 15 more minutes or until the rice is tender.

Stir together the egg and milk until well blended.  Uncover the soup and drizzle the egg mixture evenly over soup.  Stir well to blend and thicken soup, and serve.

Makes 4 servings.  Each serving contains 190 calories and 3 grams of fat.

Enjoy and

Keep smilin’!


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