Thursday, April 11, 2013

Fruit Salsa & Baked Cinnamon Chips

My family has made this recipe for as long as I can remember. It's an impressive snack to serve at a party and easy to customize to your taste. The "recipe" is just a guideline, so feel free to use fruit that's in season or whatever sounds good to you:) I'd recommend making the Cinnamon Chips a few hours ahead of time so they get nice and crisp.  

Baked Cinnamon Chips:
Flour tortillas (I think thick, store-bought tortillas work best)
softened butter or butter spread
cinnamon & sugar, mixed

Line 2 baking sheets with tin foil and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread each tortilla with butter using a rubber spatula and sprinkle generously with cinnamon & sugar. Cut into 2 inch strips using a pizza cutter. I cut either end into a long strip, then cut each strip in half. Then, I cut the remaining piece into strips and then into thirds (SEE PHOTO BELOW). 
Arrange on prepared baking sheet in single layer and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until just beginning to brown. Here's the slightly TRICKY part: These are best when they are crisp, but they are not good when they burn! Keep a close eye on them so they don't get too brown. 

While one pan of tortilla strips is baking, get the next pan ready to go.

When baked, remove tortilla strips from the oven and cool on the pan or remove to a baking sheet. As I mentioned, these are great if they sit out for a few hours before serving so they get a little crisp. 
Fruit Salsa:

strawberries, hulled and chopped
blackberries, coarsely chopped
apples, diced (I use a combination of green and red apples and I leave the skin on)
fresh oranges, peeled, sectioned and coarsely chopped
kiwi, peeled and diced
pineapple (fresh: peeled and chopped) or (canned: tidbits, well-drained)
mango, peeled and chopped

Drain fruit well and combine. I usually add a little brown sugar or powdered sugar. Serve as soon as possible or refrigerate until serving.

Skinny Baked Zucchini Sticks

This is a yummy snack or appetizer that we can't get enough of! These zucchini sticks are baked instead of fried and they are a fun way to eat your vegetables. Recipe from

3 medium zucchini sliced into 3" x 1/2" sticks
1 large egg white
1/3 cup seasoned whole wheat bread crumbs
2 tbsp grated Pecorino Romano cheese
cooking spray
1/4 tsp garlic powder
fresh pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a small bowl, beat egg whites and season with salt and pepper. In a ziplock bag, place breadcrumbs, garlic powder and cheese and shake well. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray and set aside.

Dip zucchini sticks into eggs then into bread crumb and cheese mixture, a few at a time and shake to coat. Place the breaded zucchini in a single layer and spray more cooking spray on top. Bake at 425° for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with 1/2 cup marinara sauce for dipping.

Servings: 3 • Size: 1 zucchini (sauce extra) • Points+: 3 pts • Calories: 121.9 • Fat: 2.4 • Carbs: 21.0 g • Fiber: 6.0 • Protein: 6.7 g

Amish Baked Oatmeal

This is another version of baked oatmeal from my friend Kaly Batson. 
We love the baked apples on top! Serves 9.

3 cups oats (I used instant)
3/4 cup white sugar
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a glass 9" casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. Combine all ingredients and pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until set in the center. Top with milk & sugar, berries or Baked Apples Topping.

Baked Apples Topping:

3-4 apples, peeled and sliced
Dab of butter or spray butter
cinnamon & sugar

Place apples in a glass dish and top with butter  and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for about 2 minutes. 

Nutritional info (9 servings, without apples):
・494 calories ・16 g fat ・113 mg cholesterol ・619 mg sodium ・77 gms carbohydrate ・5.3 g dietary fiber ・14 g protein

Baked Oatmeal

My sister-in-law Kari gave me this recipe for a yummy, healthy, hot breakfast. It is apparently a Weight Watchers recipe, though I couldn't find the exact recipe online to include the link. Serves 9. 

2 3/4 cup Old-Fashioned oats (or 2 1/14 cup Quick oats), uncooked
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cups raisins or any combo of dried fruit
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/3 cups skim milk
4 egg whites, lightly beaten or 1/2 cup egg substitute
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9" glass pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

In large bowl, combine first 5 ingredients (oats through salt) and mix well. In medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients (milk through vanilla). Mix both combinations together and pour into prepared pan. Bake 40-50 minutes or until center is set and firm to touch. Cool. Top with milk or yogurt or eat alone. (We ate ours HOT). Store leftovers in fridge.

Makes 9 squares @ 2 WW Points+ each.
Nutritional info: ・213 calories3.5 g fat ・1.9 mg cholesterol ・334 mg sodium ・43 g carbohydrate ・3 g dietary fiber ・8 g protein

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

This is a delicious, filling casserole that's low in carbs and high in fiber. My whole family really liked it! I found this recipe at (originally adapted from Kalyn's Kitchen). Makes 10 servings.

2 cups cooked brown rice 
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 pound 95% lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 Tablespoon finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian Paprika
salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 heads green cabbage, coarsely chopped
1 can (14.5 oz.) petite dice tomatoes with juice
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
2 cups low-fat mozzarella cheese (such as Sargento)

Cook brown rice and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Heat a large frying pan on medium heat; add ground beef and cook until it's browned and cooked through, breaking it apart as it cooks. Remove ground beef and set aside.

In the same pan, add 1 tsp. olive oil, chopped onion and cook over medium heat until the onion is translucent and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic, dried thyme, and paprika and cook about 2 minutes more. Then add the diced tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, and ground beef. Add water to the pan. Simmer until it's hot and slightly thickened, about 15-20 minutes.

While it simmers, cut cabbage in half, cut out the core, and remove any wilted outer leaves; chop the cabbage coarsely into 1 inch pieces.

Heat remaining olive oil in a large frying pan or dutch oven; add the cabbage and cook over medium-high heat until the cabbage is wilted and about half cooked, turning it over several times so it all wilts and cooks. Season with salt and fresh-ground black pepper.

When the meat and tomato sauce mixture has cooked and thickened a bit, stir in the 2 cups of cooked rice and gently combine.

Spray a 10 x 13" glass casserole dish with non-stick spray and the layer half the cabbage, half the meat mixture, remaining cabbage, and remaining meat mixture. Cover tightly with foil and bake 40 minutes, or until the mixture is just starting to bubble on the edges.

Remove foil and sprinkle on cheese. Bake uncovered an additional 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and starting to slightly brown. Serve hot.

Freezer friendly if you have leftovers. To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then either microwave until hot or heat in the oven in a glass dish covered with foil.

Servings: 10 • Serving Size: 1/10th  • Weight Watchers Points+: 7 pts Calories: 250.9 • Fat: 11.3 g • Protein: 16.9 g • Carb: 23.8 g • Fiber: 5.5 g • Sugar: 2 g  • Sodium: 459 mg (without salt)  
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