Monday, February 28, 2011

Italian Sausage, Tomato, Mushroom, Spinach and Red Pepper Lasagna

This is a variation of a recipe I saw on I added the turkey sausage, spinach, and the canned mushrooms.  I encourage people to think outside the box when it comes to recipes. If you see something that looks good but has an ingredient you don't like then swap it out for something you do like. Also you can always pack in the veggies, even if the recipe doesn't call for them. When you make a recipe to your specifications you will always enjoy it more! Hope you guys enjoy this one as much as we did.

  • 1lb turkey sausage 
  • 8 oz canned mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 24 oz marinara sauce, store-bought 
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes. fire roasted, drained
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese.
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute, such as egg beaters
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 9 items oven ready lasagna noodles (I had whole wheat on hand so I just boiled them till they were al dente.)
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, packed in water (I used a fresh red bell pepper and sauteed it with the turkey sausage and mushrooms.)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2.  In a small pot, combine marinara sauce, garlic, and tomatoes; set over low heat and simmer for 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend.
  3.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses; stir to combine. Stir in egg substitute, salt, pepper and oregano.
  4. In a saute pan brown turkey sausage and diced red bell pepper. Add canned mushrooms and spinach. Stir till spinach is wilted and warmed through.
  5. Spoon 1 cup of sauce in bottom of an 11- X 7-inch glass baking dish. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles over sauce, down center of dish. Spread half of cheese mixture (about 1 cup) over noodles; top with 1/2 of the turkey sausage mixture. Place 3 more noodles on top; spread with remaining cheese mixture and turkey sausage mixture. Top with 1 cup of marinara sauce; place remaining 3 lasagna noodles on top. Spoon remaining sauce over top and gently press down on lasagna.
  6.  Cover dish loosely with aluminum foil; bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil; bake until sauce is lightly browned and noodles are tender when tested with a knife, about 10 to 15 minutes more. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes to firm up slightly.

Nutrition Information: 
Slice into 8 pieces and serve. Yields 1 piece per serving. 10 Points+ per serving

Recipe from

Friday, February 25, 2011

Italian Spiced Shrimp

  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves (I used dried oregano)
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice (I used brown rice)
  • 1 3/4 cups hot water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed with press
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained well
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound 16- to 20-count shrimp, shelled and deveined, with tail part of shell left on if you like
  • 8  leaves basil, very thinly sliced, for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. While oven heats, finely chop onion and oregano.
  2. In 3-quart shallow baking dish, combine rice and water. Cover tightly with foil and bake 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in 5- to 6-quart sauce pot, heat oil on medium. Add onion, oregano, and red pepper; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds or until golden, stirring. Add wine and heat to boiling; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 6 minutes or until wine is reduced by half, stirring occa­sionally. Stir in tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Remove from heat.
  4. Arrange shrimp on top of rice in baking dish, in single layer. Pour tomato mixture evenly over shrimp; cover tightly with foil and bake 15 minutes or until shrimp turn opaque. Garnish with basil.
Nutritional Information: Yields 6 servings
6 weight watcher points+ value per serving
(per serving)
Total Fat4g
Saturated Fat1g
Total Carbohydrate35g
Publish Post
Dietary Fiber2g

 Recipe from Good Housekeeping Magazine, January 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Grilled Asparagus

Pair this side dish with grilled steak, pork, or chicken for a yummy and healthy combination.

  • Asparagus
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Minced garlic 
  1. Rinse asparagus. 
  2. Cut tough ends off asparagus and discard. 
  3. Mix asparagus with salt, pepper, olive oil, and garlic in a grill safe dish.
  4. Grill until tender.

Nutritional Information: Yields 4 servings
Each serving has 1 weight watcher points+

    Tuesday, February 22, 2011

    Grilled Asian Pork Chops

    This is a delicious recipe that we discovered in a weight watchers magazine. It is quick, easy, and a crowd pleaser. This recipe is great for a quick dinner or even at a BBQ for something a little different.

    • 6 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
    • 1 teaspoon pepper
    • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
    • 2 teaspoons lime juice
    • 6 garlic gloves
    • (4 oz) boneless center-cut loin pork chops (1/4"- 1/2" thick)
    1. Prepare grill
    2. Combine all ingredients in a zip lock bag. Seal and refrigerate 10 minutes. 
    3. Remove chops from marinade, discarding marinade.
    4. Place chops on grill and cook for 3, 4 minutes on each side or until done. Yields 6 servings
    Nutritional information: 
    4 weight watcher points+
    170 cal
    7g fat
    24.5g protein
    0.7 carbs
    Recipe from Weight Watchers Five Ingredient 15 Minute Cookbook , 2006

    Saturday, February 19, 2011

    Whole-Wheat Banana Nut Muffins

    I love make big breakfasts on weekend mornings. These banana nut muffins are a frequent occurrence in our house. They are quick, easy and a great way to get rid of ripe bananas. Don't let the whole wheat flour trick you into thinking they will be bland and dry. These muffins are full of flavor and very moist.I always 1/2 this recipe to make 1 dozen. Whole recipe make 2 dozen.

    • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat four
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup unsalted butter
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4 large bananas)
    • 4 eggs
    • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional) 

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Fill two cupcake pans with 24 cupcake liners.
    3. In a medium bowl stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. 
    4. In a mixing bowl beat together the butter and sugar until blended. 
    5. Add banana and mix well.
    6. Beat in eggs and mix completely. Don't worry if the mixture looks lumpy and curdled.
    7. Add the flour mixture and stir just until blended.
    8. Fold nuts into batter.
    9. Spoon batter into prepared cupcake pans and bake for 20 minutes, or until wooden pick comes out clean. Allow to cool on wire rack. 

    Pasta Fagioli

    One of my favorite places to find healthy recipes is on They have a community recipe page that is filled with healthy and diet friendly recipes. I visit this site almost daily to check out the new posts. I saw this one a few weeks ago and thought I would try it. It is loaded with veggies and turned out delicious.

    • 1 lb chicken sausage ( I used Italian turkey sausage)
    • 32 oz chicken broth
    • 16 oz Cannellini beans (I used great northern white beans)
    • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
    • 1 cup dry whole wheat pasta (macaroni might be a good alternate to the spaghetti I had on hand)
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 1 cup carrots sliced 
    • 1 cup zucchini diced 
    • 1 lb mushrooms sliced
    • 1 tablespoon ground basil
    • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 14 oz diced tomatoes with green  pepper and onion
    • 8 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

    1. In a non stick pan brown sausage with the minced garlic.
    2. In a stock pot bring broth, diced tomatoes, and seasonings to a boil. 
    3. Add browned sausage and garlic. (I drain mine first on a paper towel to collect excess grease. 
    4. Cover and simmer for 10- 20 minutes.
    5. Meanwhile cook and drain pasta.
    6. Add all the veggies except spinach to the stock pot and simmer for 10- 20 minutes until veggies are tender. 
    7. Add spinach and cooked pasta. Simmer until spinach is wilted.
    8. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese and serve.  
    Nutrition Information:
    8 servings at 6 weight watcher points+ value per serving.

    Recipe from

    Warm Raspberry Chocolate Cake

     This cake was perfect for the Valentines Day dinner party. The cake frosts itself while baking in the oven,  making for quick presentation prep during the dinner party. I doubled this recipe and it easily fed 10. Enjoy!
    • 3 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
    • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream
    • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon baking cocoa
    • 1/2 boiling water
    • 1/4 cup milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam
    • 1/2 cup butter softened
    • 1/3 cup brown sugar 
    • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup all- purpose flour
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • fresh raspberries for garnish
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
    2. Combine the chocolate, 1/2 cup jam and the heavy cream in a small heavy saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until smooth. Pour into a buttered 9 inch cake pan.
    3. Combine the baking cocoa and the water in a bowl and mix well. Add the milk, vanilla, and 1/3 cup raspberry jam and mix well.
    4. Cream butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. 
    5. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
    6. Combine four, baking soda and salt in a bowl. 
    7. Add to the cream mixture alternately with the jam mixture, beating well after each addition.
    8. Pour evenly over the chocolate mixture in the cake pan. 
    9. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted comes out clean. 
    10. Cool in the pan for 10- 20 minutes. 
    11. Run knife around edge and invert onto serving platter. 
    12. Garnish with fresh Raspberries. 
    Note: You may prepare the cake one day in advance. Do not invert onto the serving platter. Let stand, covered, at room temperature in the cake pan. Reheat, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes and serve as directed.
    Yield: 6 to 8 servings
    Recipe from Savor the Seasons 2007