Sunday, October 28, 2012

Low-Point Cream Cheese Sundaes

Perfect! Sundaes you can eat not only during the heat of the summer, but enjoy throughout the winter months as well! At one point per sundae, choose strawberry or caramel and indulge in this delightful dessert.

Low-Point Cream Cheese Sundaes

Ingredients:
 - 30 Mini Fillo Shells
- 1, 8 oz. package 1/3 less fat Philadelphia cream cheese
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp. Smucker's fat-free caramel sundae syrup (on each fillo shell) 
or 
1/4 tsp. Smucker's "Simply Fruit" Strawberry spreadable fruit (on each fillo shell)

Combine cream cheese and powdered sugar. Fill 30 mini fillo shells with cream cheese mixture and top with 1/4 tsp. caramel syrup or strawberry spreadable fruit. If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 30 
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 1

"Life always offers you a second chance. It's called tomorrow." 
- Anonymous

Monday, October 15, 2012

Enjoying Your Garden Basil All Winter Long


 I love basil! So much so that just tonight I told my husband if Yankee Candle came out with a basil-scented candle, I'd buy it. To me, there's nothing like the smell of fresh basil. 

Knowing that colder temperatures will soon be upon us, the thought of my healthy and bountiful basil dying outside makes me almost as sad as hearing we're out of coffee! I definitely wanted to find a way to preserve my basil so I can use it all throughout the winter months in soups, stews, sautés, and my favorite, "pesto"!  I didn't harvest all of the basil just yet, because I still love using the fresh leaves in a lot of my recipes; so soon, I will be moving my basil indoors. 

Tonight I harvested and preserved about 8 cups of fresh basil leaves, and it's one of the easiest things I've ever done. It would have been about 10 cups of fresh basil but I couldn't do anything without first making up a batch of one of my favorite appetizers ever... BRUSCHETTA! It's really more of an entree for me since I eat so much of it.


Getting back to preserving basil, there are several ways to accomplish this. The method I used was adding the 8 cups of leaves (stems removed) into a food processor and pulsing the basil while drizzling about 1 1/2 to 2 Tablespoons of olive oil into the mixture. Without the olive oil, the basil leaves will blacken in the freezer. After pulsing the leaves until all the oil is combined throughout, place the mixture into a gallon-sized freezer bag, sealing the bag while pushing out as much of the air as you can. Flatten the mixture to fit about 1/3 of the bag -- into a rectangular shape.


The best part about preserving the basil leaves this way is once the mixture is frozen, you can break or cut off any amount you desire to be added to your favorite recipes. The basil will last up to 6 months in the freezer. 


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Low-Point Mac and Cheese with Bacon and Broccoli

Now we're talkin'! Macaroni and cheese with bacon even makes the broccoli taste wonderful in this amazing entree. A great way to add some veggies to your child's favorite meal. :)

Low-Point Mac and Cheese with Bacon and Broccoli

Ingredients:
- 3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 12 oz. bag Green Giant fresh broccoli florets (steam right in bag)
- 8 oz. uncooked rigatoni
- 1 Tbs butter
- 1 1/4 cups 1% milk
- 1 1/2 Tbs all-purpose flour
- 3 slices 2% American Cheese
- 1/4 cup diced green onions
- 1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup reduced-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Cook bacon until crisp; cool, crumble, and set aside. Steam broccoli 4 to 5 minutes or until crisp-tender, drain if needed, and set aside. Cook pasta in boiling water in a large saucepan over medium high heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain and keep warm in a separate dish. Return pan to heat and melt butter in the pan, add milk, and sprinkle in flour whisking until slightly thick (about one minute). Remove from heat and add cheese slices; stirring until smooth. Stir in diced green onions, salt, pepper, and cheddar cheese. Add broccoli, pasta, and bacon to pan and combine thoroughly, serve immediately, and enjoy fully! :) If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 9 cups
Serving size - 1 cup
Points per serving - 3.5


"Sometimes you'll never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory." - Anonymous

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Low-Point Beer-Braised Kielbasa with Seasoned Kale

A wholesome and healthy meal with very few points! Made with turkey kielbasa, this low-point entrée also includes chia seeds, which have an extraordinary range of health benefits. Containing 6 times more calcium than milk, 6 times more iron than spinach, and a plethora of other vital healthy benefits, chia seeds are a great addition to almost any meal, drink, and even dessert!

Low-Point Beer-Braised Kielbasa with Seasoned Kale
Ingredients:
- 7 oz. Jennie-O Hardwood Smoked Turkey Kielbasa, sliced
- 1/3 cup diced onions
- 1/2 Tbs minced garlic
- 3 oz. of good pilsner beer
- Approximately 1/2 pound kale (trimmed so the large ribs are removed)
- 1 Tbs White Chia Seeds, optional
- Pam cooking spray with olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste

Spray a large skillet with a generous amount of Pam cooking spray with olive oil over medium-high heat. Add kielbasa slices when skillet is good and hot. Let the kielbasa brown on one side (about 3 to 4 minutes) and turn over. Add onions and garlic and let brown on the other side. Reduce heat and add beer, kale, and chia seeds. You may need to spray more Pam cooking spray on kale. Cover and let cook 6 to 8 minutes or until kale is tender, stirring several times. Turn off heat and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 3 (a little over a cup full)
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 3 (2.5 without the chia seeds)

"Positive thinking is not about expecting the best to happen every time, but accepting whatever happens is the best for this moment." 
- Anonymous