Monday, November 24, 2008

Mediterranean Chicken and Pasta

Prep Time: 35 Minutes
Start to Finish: 35 minutes
4 Servings (about 2 cups each)

2 cups uncooked multigrain or whole wheat penne pasta (6 oz)

2 cups fresh broccoli florets

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 package (8 oz) sliced fresh mushrooms (3 cups)

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 cup grape tomato, halved

2 medium green onions, sliced (2 tablespoons)

1/4 cup chopped fresh or 2 teaspoons dried basil leaves

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

4 teaspoons cornstarch

1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (2 oz)

1. Cook pasta without salt as directed on package, adding broccoli during last 3 minutes of cooking; drain

2. Meanwhile, in 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken; cook 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until chicken is no longer pink in center. Remove from skillet.

3. Increase heat to medium-high. In same skillet, cook and stir mushrooms and garlic 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, onions, basil and pepper flakes; cook and stir 1 minute longer.

4. In 2-cup glass measuring cup, mix cornstarch and broth until smooth. Add to vegetable mixture in skillet. Cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes or until sauce is thickened and bubbly. Stir in pasta mixture and chicken; cook and stir until thorougly heated. Dish out in serving plates and sprinkle with cheese.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Banana-Oat Cookies

Instead of butter and eggs, these chewy drops contain peanut butter and banana.

Prep: 20 min.
Bake: 10 min. per batch

Makes 20 servings

Nonstick cooking spray

1 large banana, mashed (1/2 cup)

1/2 cup chunky peanut butter

1/2 cup honey

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup nonfat dairy milk powder

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. baking soda

2/3 cup dried cranberries or raisins

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly coat large cookie sheet with cooking spray; set aside.

2. In large bowl, combine banana, peanut butter, honey, and vanilla. In small bowl, combine oats, flour, milk powder, cinnamon, and baking soda. Add oat mixture to banana mixture, stir until combined. Stir in dried cranberries.

3. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons 2 inches apart onto prepared cookie sheet. Flatten dough mounds slightly. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to wire rack; cool.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mango Peach Smoothie

Makes 4 servings

1 cup sliced fresh mango

1 cup sliced peaches

1 6-oz container fat free peach yogurt

1 cup fat free milk

1 cup small ice cubes or crushed ice

1. In blender, combine mango, peaches, milk and yogurt. Cover and blend till smooth.

2. Slowly add ice through hole, blending until nearly smooth.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Creamy fruit salad

This is one fruit salad I can eat every other day!

Prep time: 20 minutes
4 servings (1 cup each)


1 container (6 oz) fat free lemon or vanilla yogurt

1 tablespoon light mayonnaise

1/4 teaspoon grated orange peel

2 tablespoons orange juice


2 large unpeeled red apples, cubed (about 3 cups)

1 medium orange, peeled cut into bite-size pieces

2 tablespoons golden raisins

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped walnuts

1. In small bowl, mix dressing ingredients until well blended.

2. In medium bowl, mix all salad ingredients and walnuts. Pour dressing over salad; toss gently to coat.

3. Spoon salad into four plates and sprinkle with walnuts.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

It's that time of year where strawberries are plentiful. What better way to use up your strawberries by making a smoothie?

Total prep time: 10 minutes

Makes 3 servings

1 cup sliced strawberries

1 cup sliced banana

1 cup fat-free milk

1 6-oz carton strawberry or vanilla fat-free yogurt with no calorie sweetener

1 cup small ice cubes or crushed ice

1. In blender combine strawberries, banana, milk, and yogurt. Cover and blend until smooth.

2. Slowly add ice through hole in lid, blending until nearly smooth. If desired, garnish each serving with fresh fruit.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Salad with grilled shrimp

I had shrimp in my scrambled egg for lunch, and for dinner it is salad with grilled shrimp. I LOVE shrimp! wink I love it any way it comes!

Time: 54 minutes
Servings: 2

1/4 cup lemon juice, divided

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, divided

1/4 teaspoon salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon red-flakes, divided

1 cup large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 bag (about 2.5 cups) Field Greens salad or other mixed baby greens

1/2 cup cilantro leaves

1/2 cup sliced black olives

1/2 cup grape tomatoes

2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1. In medium bowl, whisk 2 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and pinch of pepper flakes. Stir in the shrimp. Let stand to marinate at room temperature, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in serving bowl, combine salad greens, cilantro, olives, and grape tomatoes. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

3. In small bowl, whisk together olive oil and remaining 2 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and pepper flakes.

4. Lightly oil grill pan and preheat over medium heat. Grill shrimp for about 2 minutes on each side, or until bright pink and just opaque throughout. Toss shrimp with greens and dressing.

Exchanges: 1 veg, 3 meat, 1 1/2 fat

Shrimp and green onion egg scramble

I was browsing some food blogs last night and came across a shrimp and green onion egg scramble. I can't remember the name of the blog otherwise I would link it here.

The ingredients were on hand and it was one of those dishes that is easy to prepare. All I needed were 2 eggs, a stalk of green onion, about 5 shrimps, a pinch of salt, a sprinkle of pepper and a little oil.

And that was what I whipped up for my lunch today. Nice and light.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Herb roasted pork chops and vegetables

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Start to finish: 55 minutes

3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

8 small new red potatoes, unpeeled, quartered (about 1 lb)

2 cups ready-to-eat baby-cut carrots

1 medium onion, cut into 8 wedges

1 large clove garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 boneless pork loin chops (4 oz each), trimmed of fat

1. Heat oven to 450 °F. Spray 15x10x1-inch pan with cooking spray. In small bowl, mix Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.

2. In large bowl, mix potatoes, carrots, onion and garlic. Sprinkle with oil and half of herb mixture; toss to coat evenly. Place in center of pan.

3. Bake 20 minutes; stir vegetables. Sprinkle remaining herb mixture over pork chops. Place pork chops around vegetables. Bake 15 - 20 minutes or until pork is no longer pink and meat thermometer inserted in center reads 160°F, and vegetables are tender.

Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 1/2 fat
Carbohydrates choices: 2

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Turkey bacon wrapped corn

Fire up the grill, and barbecue some corn!

Turkey bacon does not have as much fat as real bacon to keep the corn moist but if you don't barbecue the corn too long, the corn will still remain moist and sweet.

Yummy, and very satisfying!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Salmon with Mediterranean Vegetables

I love salmon and am always looking for new ways to prepare it. I found the recipe for this dish from a little booklet called Recipes Inspired by The Best Life Diet. It's a really great tasting dish and easy to prepare.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Start to finish: 45 minutes
Servings: 2

2 nice-sized salmon fillet (about 1 lb)

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons finely chopped lemon peel

1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 small onion, sliced and separated into rings

1 medium zucchini , sliced

1/4 cup roasted red bell peppers (from a jar), drained, cut into thin strips

2 tablespoons sliced pitted olives

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

Heat oven to 375 °F. In shallow baking pan, place salmon, skin side down; brush with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the lemon peel and the pepper. Bake uncovered 15 to 25 minutes or until salmon flakes with fork.

Meanwhile, in 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat remaining oil over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and zucchini; cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add red peppers, olives, oregano and remaining 1 teaspoon lemon peel; cook 2 to 3 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender.

Serve salmon with vegetables.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bitter Melon with Shrimp and Black Beans Stir Fry

Bitter melon, also known as bitter gourd (Momordica charantia), is well known for its sugar lowering properties. Bitter melon is also found in food supplement form and as teas.

Shrimp is low in carbohydrates and therefore suitable for those watching the carbs in their diet.

This dish is usually eaten together with rice. Bitter melon, as the name implies, is slightly bitter and it is an acquired taste. However, there is a variety of bitter melon that is not as bitter as other varieties.

Choose the bitter melon that has the grooves running along the length of the gourd, that are farther apart from each other. Adding salt to the sliced bitter melons takes away a little of the bitterness.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes

  • 1 medium-sized bitter melon
  • 20 medium-sized shrimp, shelled and de-veined
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons oil for stir-frying
  • 1 tablespoon salted black beans (fermented soy beans, available in Asian stores)


To prepare the bitter melon, cut in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and cut on the diagonal into thin slices.

Heat wok over medium high heat and add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the minced garlic. Stir-fry briefly until aromatic (about 30 seconds).

Add shrimp and stir-fry till almost cooked (about 2 minutes)

Add the bitter melon. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes, then add in salted black beans. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, until the bitter melon is browning and beginning to soften. Serve hot.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Herb-Bran Muffins

Nonstick cooking spray

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup whole bran cereal

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon snipped fresh basil, dill, rosemary, thyme, sage, or chives

1/4 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed, or 1 egg

1 cup buttermilk or sour milk*

1/4 cup cooking oil

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat twelve 2 1/2-inch muffin cups with cook spray; set aside. In a large bowl stir together flour, cereal, Parmesan cheese, sugar, baking powder, soda, and desired herb. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.

2. In a small bowl beat egg product with a whisk; stir in buttermilk or sour milk and cooking oil. Add buttermilk mixture all at once to flour mixture. Using a fork, stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy).

3. Divide batter among muffin cups. Bake 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from muffin cups; serve warm. Make 12 muffins.

*Test Kitchen Tip: To make 1 cup sour milk, place 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar in a glas measuring cup. Add enough milk to make 1 cup total liquid; stir. Let mixture stand 5 minutes before using.

Exchanges per muffin: 1 starch, 1 fat
Carb choices: 1

Recipe Source: Better Homes and Gardens Diabetic Living Cookbook

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Beef Barley Soup

Makes 6 servings
Serving size is 3/4 cup

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 90 minutes

2-1/2 lb. chuck roast

2 cups tomato, or V8 juice

1 rib celery, finely chopped

2 carrots, diced


1 cup quick-cooking barley

1. Trim visible fat from chuck roast

2. In large saucepan, place meat, tomato juice, celery, and carrots. Add water to cover.

3. Cook until meat is soft and tender, approximately an hour.

4. Remove meat. Cut into small pieces and return to pot.

5. Add barley. Cook 15-30 minutes more, or until barley is tender.

Exchange List Values: Starch 2.5, Lean Meat 2.0

Recipe Source: Fix It and Enjoy It Diabetic Cookbook

Friday, January 25, 2008

Herbed potato-egg scramble

Prep Time: 20 minutes * Start to Finish: 20 minutes

4 Servings

2 teaspoon canola oil

1 medium red potato, unpeeled, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (3/4 to 1 cup)

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons water

1 1/2 cups fat-free egg products or 6 eggs

1/2 teaspoon dried or 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup sliced roasted red bell peppers (from a jar)

2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

1. In 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add potato; sprinkle with salt. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequency. Add water; cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 5 - 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potato is fork-tender.

2. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, beat egg product and basil with wire whisk until well blended. Stir in roasted peppers. Pour egg mixture over potato in skillet. Cook over medium-low heat 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until eggs are set but still moist. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Exchanges: 1/2 starch; 1 1/2 Very Lean Meat, 1/2 Fat
Carbohydrate Choices: 1/2

Recipe Source: The Best Life Diet

Monday, January 21, 2008

Banana-Cranberry Spice Muffins

Prep. Time: 15 minutes
Start to finish: 40 minutes

12 muffins

1 cup bran cereal

1 egg

3/4 cup fat-free milk

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (about 2 medium)

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1. Heat oven to 400 F. Spray bottoms only of 12 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray, or use paper baking cups. Place cereal in resealable bag; seal bag and crush with rolling pin or meat mallet (or crush in food processor).

2. In medium bowl, beat egg, milk and oil with fork or wire whisk until well mixed; beat in bananas. Stir in cereal; let stand 5 minutes.

3. Stir in remaining ingredients except cranberries until blended. Stir in cranberries. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.

4.Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until light golden brown. Immediately remove from pan to cooling rack. Serve warm.

Exchanges: 1 Starch, 1 Other Carbohydrate, 1 Fat
Carbohydrate Choices: 2

Recipe Source: Best Life Diet

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Chicken-Shrimp Jambalaya

I had to cook this dish the full 4 hours on the high setting in my crock pot because I used regular brown rice and I added the rice together with the ingredients that had to go into the pot at the beginning. My crock pot does not have a 2 hour high setting, so after 2 1/2 hours the pot was not even bubbling.

This is my first jambalaya and it is very tasty!

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 4 1/2 hour (low) or 2 1/4 hour (high) plus 20 minutes

Makes 8 servings

1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

2 cups thinly sliced celery

2 cups chopped onions

1 14 1/2-oz can no-salt-added diced tomatoes

1 14-oz can reduced-sodium chicken broth

1/2 of a 6-oz can no-salt added tomato paste

1 1/2 tsp. salt free Cajun seasoning

1 tsp. bottled minced garlic

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cups instant brown rice, kasha, or quick-cooking barley

1 medium green sweet pepper, chopped

8 oz. peeled and deveined cooked shrimp

2 Tbsp. snipped fresh parsley

1. Cut chicken into 3/4-inch pieces; set aside. In 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker, combine celery, onions, undrained tomatoes, broth, tomato paste, Cajun seasoning, garlic, and salt. Stir in chicken.

2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting fro 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 hours or on high-heat setting for 2 1/4 to 2 3/4 hours.
If using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting. Stir in brown rice and sweet pepper. Cover and cook fro 20 to 30 minutes more or until rice is tender. Stir in shrimp and parsley.

Exchanges: 1 Starch, 1.5 Vegetable, 2.5 Very Lean Meat,
Carb Choices:2

Recipe Source: Better Homes and Gardens Diabetic Living

Saturday, January 5, 2008

English Beef Stew

This recipe is slightly different from the beef stew recipe which I normally use. This does not require the use of a packet of beef stew seasoning. It is easy to prepare and the stewed tomatoes give the stew a strong tomato flavor. Different but tasty, though. Half the recipe if you want to cook a smaller amount. I only used one large carrot and half of a large onion.

2 lb lean beef for stew cut into large chunks

1 1/2 Tbsp flour

2 Tbsp canola oil

2 cups boiling water

2 tsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Dash salt and pepper

1 large yellow onion, quartered

4 large carrots, peeled, white or russert, cut into 1 inch cubes

1 cup canned stewed tomatoes

1. Roll the beef cubes in the flour. In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the canola oil. Add the beef and saute a few pieces of beef at a time. When all the beef has been browned, add the boiling water to the pan.

2. Add the garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Lower the heat, cover, and let simmer for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until the meat is very tender.

3. Add the onion, carrots, potatoes, and tomatoes. Let simmer about 30 minutes until all vegetables are just tender. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.

Recipe Source: The Quick& Hearty Diabetic Cookbook