Tag Archives: Recipes

Chicken Chili

This recipe was given to me by my mother, who won her church chili cook-off with it.  I have made some modifications to lighten it up but my family didn’t notice.  Next year I will double this which will allow me to freeze 3 meals worth to spread over the winter. 

1 2 pound rotisserie chicken, diced (or 3 cups diced, cooked chicken)
1 T olive oil
2 Medium Onions, chopped
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
8 Oz Can chopped green chilies
1 ½ tsp EACH : cumin, oregano
¼ tsp EACH: ground cloves, crushed red pepper flakes
2  15 Oz cans white northern beans, rinsed and drained
6 Cups chicken broth
1 Cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 Cup 2% reduced fat cheddar cheese
1 Cup Salsa

1.       Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. 

2.       Add onions and sauté until translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, chilies, cumin, oregano, cloves and crushed red pepper, and sauté 2 minutes. Add beans and broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer a few minutes. 

3.       Add chicken and 1 cup of Jack cheese and stir until cheese melts.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4.       Serve with salsa and remaining cheese.

Nutrition:  Makes 8 servings. 270 calories per serving; 11 g fat, 35 g protein, 13.5 g Carbs, 6.5 g fiber.  You can reduce the calories and fat a little by using cooked skinless, boneless chicken breast meat, but I’m not sure its worth the tradeoff in time.

So, why?                                   

  •         Makes a filling, satisfying main meal.
  •         The chicken and beans are both good sources of lean protein
  •         The beans also add a good portion of fiber and resistant starch which is good for weight loss

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Filed under Chicken, Entrees

Bolognese Meatloaf Cupcakes

½ Cup Quinoa, rinsed
1 T Olive oil
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 Rib Celery, finely chopped
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1.5 Lbs Lean ground beef
2 Large Eggs, lightly beaten
½ Cup Fresh parsley, chopped
2 T Worcestershire sauce
½ t Salt
½ t Fresh ground pepper
6 T Ketchup


  1. Cook quinoa per package directions.  Drain if necessary and transfer to a large bowl to cool.
  2. Saute onion, carrots and celery and Italian seasoning in oil on medium heat until tender, about 7 minutes.  Add to quinoa to cool.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, except ketchup.  Mix together until just combined.
  4. Push into greased cupcake pan to form 12 cupcakes.  Top each with ketchup.  Cook at 375 for 12 – 25 minutes (until instant read thermometer reads 160F).

Alternately, you can form into 2 mini loaves (20-35 minutes) or 1 large loaf (45-55 minutes).

Nutrition: (per serving; 1/6 of recipe) 360 cal, 27 g pro, 20 g carb, 2 g fiber, 19.5 g fat, 7 g sat fat, 564 mg sodium

So, why?                                   

  • Great alternative to old fashioned meatloaf with high protein quinoa
  • The cupcakes option makes cooking meatloaf fast.

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Filed under Entrees, Red Meat

Easy Mexican Chicken Tortillas

3 Cups Chicken breast meat, cooked, cubed
½   White onion, chopped
2 Cups 2% shredded Mexican cheese
1 Cup Picante sauce or salsa
1 Cup Red enchilada sauce
    Light sour cream
¼ Cup Fresh cilantro, chopped
6   Multigrain tortillas


1.       Sauté onion in pan prepped with cooking spray until soft

 2.       Add chicken and salsa and chiles, heat through.  Add 1cup cheese.  Can prep to this point and refrigerate or freeze.

 3.       Preheat oven to 400

 4.       Microwave tortillas in a stack between 2 moist paper towels to soften – about 30 seconds

 5.       Spoon chicken mixture into tortillas and roll up (bottom and tops, then sides.  Place seam side down on baking sheet coated with spray.  Spray tops lightly with canola spray.

 6.       Bake 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile heat enchilada sauce.  When enchiladas are lightly brown, remove and plate. Top with sauce and remaining cheese, cilantro and sour cream to taste. 


Makes 6 servings.  365 calories per serving,  10 g fat (25% of calories), 36 g protein, 4 g fiber (without the sour cream)

So, why?                                   

  • Great way to use left over chicken from a roasted chicken
  • Healthy way to get your Mexican fix, you can round this out with some fat free refried beans on the side and\or a side salad

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Filed under Chicken, Entrees

Mexican Baked Crunchy Cod

1 Pound Cod fillets
1.5 Cup Salsa
1 Cup Reduced fat cheddar cheese, grated
½ Cup Corn chips, crushed (baked scoops work well)
1   Avocado, peeled and sliced
¼ Cup Reduced fat sour cream
    Cilantro, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 8 by 12 baking dish.
  2. Rinse fillets under cold water and pat dry. Lay fillets side by side in prepared baking dish. Pour salsa over the top and sprinkle evenly with the shredded cheese. Top with crushed corn chips.
  3. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until fish is opaque. Serve topped with avocado and sour cream.

So, why?
• Lean protein, baked
• Salsa makes a great nonfat, healthy sauce
• This is simple and leaves the fish nice and moist.
• Wins approval from my non-fish loving husband.
• Avocados are a source of good fats


• With frozen cod fillets on hand, I usually have the makings for this at any time.


Filed under Entrees, Seafood, Uncategorized

Light Pita Chips

With dips like my Healthy 5 Layer Dip, I prefer to make pita chips rather than use tortilla chips. I like the 8 Grain Pocket Thins Flatbread from Arnold since it first ingredient is whole wheat flour and its high in fiber. It’s not so “whole wheat” like that the boys turn up their notes. In fact my 12 year old loves it.

1. Split the pita in half
2. Cut each into wedges (a pizza cutter works well)
3. Lightly spray with olive oil spray
4. Toast to desired crispness

light pita chips

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Filed under Snacks and Appetizers

Healthy 5 Layer Dip

1 14.5 oz can Pinto beans
3 Medium tomatoes
1 Small Vidalia onion, finely chopped
2 Jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
¾ Cup Cilantro, chopped
2 Limes
2 Ripe avocados
½ Cup Reduced fat cheddar cheese, grated
¼ Cup Fat free greek yogurt
¼ Cup Reduced fat sour cream
  1. Drain beans, reserving liquids.  Place beans in food processor and process until smooth, adding up to ¼ cup of the liquid.  Should be firm but smooth.  Spread evenly over the bottom of a 9 by 13 pyrex dish.
  2. Sprinkle grated cheese over the beans.
  3. Combine avocados with juice of 1 lime and ¼ cup cilantro.  Mash together, season to taste with salt and pepper.  Spread over cheese (tip: plop 2 spoonfuls over cheese and then spread gently with a rubber spatula).
  4. Combine sour cream and yogurt (you can use all sour cream, the addition of the yogurt makes it just a little lighter and adds some protein).  Spread over avocados.
  5. Combine tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, ½ cup cilantro and juice of 1 lime.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle tomato mixture over the top.
  6. Serve with tortilla chips or Light Pita Chips.

I have a pet peeve about dips that list servings based on 2 tablespoons per serving.  Who eats 2 tablespoons?

Yields:  6 servings, about 225 calories each, with about 50% of the calories from fat  (not including chips)

If you add a half a pocket thin from my Light Pita Chips recipe, total calories is around 325.

So, why?                                   

  • Not a low calorie dip but so much more healthy than traditional dips with loads of cheese
  • Beans are filling and high in fiber
  • Avocados are a source of good fats
  • Tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, limes all great sources of antioxidants and vitamins


  • Original recipe, from who knows where called for 1 C of light sour cream and 6 oz. of cheese, both of those have been reduced.  I recalculated the nutritional value.


Filed under Snacks and Appetizers

Spicy Roasted Vegetables

½ tsp   Ground cumin
½ tsp   Ground coriander
½ tsp   Ground ginger
½ tsp   Salt
¼ tsp   Ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp  Cayenne pepper
1 T         Honey
2 T        Olive oil
1 – 2     Small Onions, depending how much you like onions
2           Medium Red bell peppers, seeded and cut in ~1 inch squares
1.5 lbs   Sweet potatoes, peeled, cut in 1 inch cubes, about 3 Cups
5            Medium Carrots, halved lengthwise and cut in 1 inch pieces
1 T         Fresh thyme leaves

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. In a large bowl, whisk together 1st eight ingredients (cumin through olive oil)
3. Peel and cut onions into wedges (8 per onion) so (keep a bit of root intact so they hold together)
4. Place all veggies into bowl and toss with spice mixture to coat evenly
5. Put veggies on a baking sheet in a single layer and cook for 25 minutes.
6. Stir in thyme leaves and cook 25 more minutes.

Yields 4 servings, about 200 calories each, less than 30% total fat.

• Lots of veggies and spices with antioxidants
• Spicy flavor goes great with a plain meat entrée such as roasted chicken
• Can be prepped in advance


  • I underlined large bowl, because the first time I made it I didn’t go large enough – make the stirring a delicate process. Cover your baking sheet with foil to avoid messy clean up but don’t cover with a cooking spray, that will inhibit development of that awesome crunch
  • Original recipe by Ellie Krieger called for butternut squash instead of sweet potatoes. I find butternut squash a pain unless you can find the pre-prepped and I almost always have some sweet potatoes on hand. I also always have some red peppers in the freezer (buy on sale, wash and throw in freezer bag) which makes this a side dish I can almost always make with ingredients on hand.
  • if you don’t like hot spicy foods (or have little ones that don’t) reduce or eliminate the cayenne.  Those who like it can sprinkle some on theirs later.

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Filed under Side Dishes