Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Low-Point Chicken and Green Bean Casserole

No need to make any side dishes for this entrée. With your protein, vegetables, and starch all combined into one amazing casserole, you can enjoy a flavorful meal that's very easy to make.

Low-Point Chicken and Green Bean Casserole
- 3 Tbs Land O Lakes light butter, divided
- 1/2, 6 oz. package Stove Top stuffing, chicken flavor
- 3/4 cup water
- 4, 4 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cubed
- salt and pepper
- 6 to 7 oz. fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 to 1 1/2-inch lengths
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 3 Tbs onion, minced
- 1 Tbs garlic, minced
- 2 Tbs flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 3 oz., 1/3 less-fat cream cheese
- Pam cooking spray
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a microwavable bowl, pour in half of the packaged Stove Top stuffing mix. Add the water and one tablespoon of butter. Microwave for about 4 minutes. Set aside. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. Add the chicken cubes and sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook chicken for about 7 minutes, stirring frequently until chicken is done. Transfer chicken to a casserole baking dish sprayed with Pam cooking spray. Using the same skillet, add remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and toss in green beans, carrots, onions, and garlic. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes until green beans are crisp-tender. Sprinkle with flour, stir, and then add chicken broth. Lower heat to simmer and cook for 3 minutes or until thickened. Add cream cheese and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until melted and well combined. Spoon green bean mixture evenly over chicken and top with stuffing. Bake, uncovered, at 400 for approximately 20 minutes. If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.
Total servings - 6 cups
Serving size - 1 cup
Points per serving - 5

"Never give up on something that you can't go a day without thinking about." - Anonymous

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Low-Point Lenten Meal Ideas


Last year I created a list of wonderful Lenten meal ideas for you to enjoy throughout the Lenten season. Click Here to view those wonderful recipes. This year I have compiled more low-point and delicious appetizers, entrées, and desserts for you and your family to delight in over the Lenten season. Below are links to some great recipes you'll not only enjoy during Lent, but throughout the entire year as well!

Low-Point Spinach and Artichoke Cups:

Low-Point Poached Eggs with Chickpeas and Feta:

Low-Point Cherry Chocolate Cookies:

Low-Point Butter Poached Haddock:

Low-Point Barramundi with Red Pepper Corn Relish:

Low-Point Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes:

Low-Point Walnut and Blue Cheese Grape Bites:

Low-Point Ice Cream with Carmeled Bananas:

Low-Point Swordfish with Fresh Tomato Tapenade:

Low-Point Lemon Crusted Cod:

Low-Point Mozzarella Skewers:

Low-Point Steamed Mussels with White Wine Tomatoes:

Low-Point Creamy Cannoli Parfait:

Low-Point Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Soup:

Low-Point Eggplant Basil Spread:

Low-Point Spice Butterscotch Cake:

Low-Point Pecan Coated Orange Roughy:

Low-Point Cherry Oatmeal Bars:

Low-Point Tomato-Fennel Pizza:

Low-Point Pan-Fried Swai Sliders:

"I get a little behind during Lent, but it all comes out even at Christmas." 
- Frank Butler

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Broccoli and Cheese Turkey Meatballs


With just THREE ingredients, you can have enjoy some pretty delicious meatballs!  Made with ground turkey instead of beef, these healthy meatballs pack such a great taste in every bite! Bonus: A guaranteed way of getting your children to eat their vegetables. 


- 10 oz. frozen package Green Giant Broccoli & Cheese Sauce, thawed and finely chopped
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1/2 cup Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
* You can add onions, garlic, seasonings, etc. Whatever suits your fancy! :) 

Homemade Meatball Sauce:

- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1 1/2 tsp. teriyaki sauce
- 1 1/2 tsp. soy sauce
- 2 Tbs sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a muffin pan with Pam cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine chopped broccoli and cheese, ground turkey, and Panko. Form balls with turkey mixture and place in muffin pan. In a separate small bowl, mix water, vinegar, ketchup, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, and sugar. Spoon sauce over meatballs and place in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes (or until meatballs are cooked through.) Enjoy! 

"Every important choice we make is being guided by one of two places; either it is an act of faith or an act of fear. 
Faith opens the door to a new  future." Debbie Ford

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Low-Point Spinach and Artichoke Cups

Splendid and tasty hors d'oeuvres! Perfect for a party or family get-together, these delicious spinach and artichoke cups have a big taste for less than one point each!

Low-Point Spinach and Artichoke Cups
- 2 boxes frozen Mini Fillo Shells, 15 per box, thawed
- 1, 10 oz. pkg. frozen spinach, thawed and drained well
- 1, 14 oz. can or jar artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped
- 1/3 cup fat-free mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup reduced-fat shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup red pepper, finely chopped
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place fillo shells on a cookie sheet and place in oven for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix all other ingredients together. Remove shells and spoon artichoke mixture into each cup. (You might have a little leftover artichoke mixture; enjoy as a dip with pita chips). Place filled shells back in the oven for 12 minutes or until heated through. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.
Total servings - 30
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - .5

"You gotta stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone outta be." 
- Elizabeth Gilbert

Monday, February 13, 2012

Chicken and Sausage Pizza


A M A Z I N G! This chicken and sweet Italian sausage pizza is simply magnifico! Great taste and very filling! A definite must try recipe!


- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 4 oz. sweet Italian Sausage links (casing removed), chopped
- 2, 4 oz. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
- 2 Tbs onion, diced
- 1 Tbs garlic, minced
- 1, 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 2 Tbs black olives, diced
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 4 oz. Fontina cheese, shredded
- 1 package, 11 oz. Pillsbury pizza dough (thin crust)
- 1 1/2 cups Classico Traditional Tomato/Basil pasta sauce
- 2 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped small
- Pam cooking spray

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add chopped sausage and chicken. Cook for about 10 minutes until done, stirring frequently. Remove from skillet and set aside. Add onions and garlic to the skillet and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, black olives, salt and pepper. Heat thoroughly. Roll out pizza dough on a baking sheet sprayed with Pam cooking spray to form a large rectangle. Spread pasta sauce over dough and add diced tomato mixture. Spread chicken and sausage evenly over dough and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Place in oven for 16 to 20 minutes or until golden (ovens may vary). Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

"What is the secret of success? Right decisions. How do you make right decisions? Experience. How do you get experience? Wrong decisions." 
- Anonymous 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Poached Eggs with Chickpeas and Feta


Serving up breakfast, lunch, or dinner, this savory dish is easy to make, healthy, and delicious -- and that's what it's all about! Another recipe worth repeating! Enjoy!


- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped fine
- 3 tsp. garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1, 15.5 oz. can chickpeas, drained
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1, 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed or pulled apart by hand, undrained
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. fresh pepper
- 1 Tbs. flour
- 1 cup crumbled fat-free feta cheese
- 6 large eggs
- 2 Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp. basil leaves

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large oven-proof skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes. Saute' for several minutes, until onions are soft. Add chickpeas, paprika, and cumin. Heat thoroughly. Add tomatoes, salt, and pepper and stir until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, add flour and stir until sauce starts to thicken slightly. Sprinkle feta cheese on top. Crack the eggs and place evenly apart in sauce. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until egg whites are set, about 6 to 8 minutes. Garnish with parsley and basil leaves and serve. Enjoy with pita bread or buttered toast! Yum! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

"The most delightful surprise in life is to suddenly 
recognize your own worth." - Maxwell Maltz

Monday, February 6, 2012

"Life's Journey" - My Hospice Journal

"Compassion is not a religious business; it is human business. It's not a luxury; it is essential for our own peace and mental stability. It is essential for human survival." - Dalai Lama

I was very happy to see how talkative my hospice patient was at our last visit. I woke him up from a nap, wondering if he would be too tired for a visit. He woke up smiling and was ready to discuss things that I can only assume were from his past. Like the fact that they've had to buy five different washers because they moved into five different houses, and that he and his wife decided a lonnnng time ago that they were sick and tired of doing laundry. This was a topic I could totally relate to. He would talk about his five houses and five washers, until he noticed, lounging back in his recliner with his feet up, that he was wearing bright red socks. Then his focus shifted to the first time he had to wear such warm socks was when he lived in New York. Watching him lean down slowly, trying to touch them to show me what he was talking about was just too cute. Or maybe he wanted to pull them up since they were half-way off his feet.... a gesture I was only too happy to help with. Then it was back to washers. And now dryers.
After leaving my patient, I sat in the parking lot reflecting on the blessing he is to me and to everyone around him. I decided to call his wife to tell her how blessed I am to be able to visit with her husband and listen to his stories. Even though I couldn't see her, I could tell right through the phone that she was beaming, very proud of her husband and kept mentioning how she was looking forward to the warmer weather so she could take him for a stroll outside since he loved the outdoors. I, on the other hand, was just looking forward to the following week's visit to see what kind of stories he was going to share with me. The following week came. With work, busy schedules, errands, etc., I didn't find the time to go visit my patient. But that was ok but I have tomorrow marked on my calendar and looking very forward to his visit.
I was informed today that my patient passed away. Peacefully. I don't know why it is but your mind instantly flashes back to the week you didn't make it there. All the errands I ran. The things in life that kept me busy, unable to visit. Immediate remorse ensues. Tears flow. Guilt sets in and for a few minutes you totally lose sight of what is important. This wonderful kind-hearted man is at peace. Every little piece of his life that escaped his memory, has found its way back. He remembers everything. He no longer has to suffer and I know he forgives me for not getting there last week. He may not have realized it before, but now I'm sure he knows just how much I love him. 


Friday, February 3, 2012

Low-Point Spaghetti-Threaded Hot Dogs

This is a fun and easy way to get the kids involved in cooking. You and your kids will love eating this simple entre' and will have even more fun making it. Just give them some spaghetti and hot dogs and let them thread away! :)

Low-Point Spaghetti-Threaded Hot Dogs
- 1/2, 13.25 oz. box of whole grain thin spaghetti
- 10 turkey franks (I bought Jennie-O turkey franks)
Cut the ends off the hot dogs and cut them into thirds. Take two to three spaghetti strands and thread through each hot dog. Bring a large sauce pan of water to a boil. Place spaghetti-threaded hot dogs into boiling water, along with the rest of the left-over spaghetti. Boil until spaghetti is tender, strain and enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.
Total servings - 4
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 8
(9 points with 1/2 cup Classico Traditions Tomato/Basil pasta sauce) or any pasta sauce that has 50 calories, 1 fat gram, and 1 gram fiber for 1/2 cup.

"Faith... it does not make things easy; it makes things possible." - Luke 1:37