Thursday, September 23, 2010

Crockpot Asian Beef and Noodles

I was really in the mood to try a different crockpot recipe tonight. When I came across this one on Lauren's blog, I thought Id give it a try. It was super easy and I really liked it! Another good one for my crockpot rotation.

And not too bad as far as weight watchers is concerned, 12 points per serving.

Crockpot Asian Beef and Noodles
Recipe from Lauren's Kitchen

4 servings


1 (16 ounce) package frozen stir fry vegetables
2 - 2 1/2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1" cubes
1 (12 ounce) bottle stir-fry sauce, any flavor
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 (3 ounce) packages ramen noodles, broken (I used a 6oz package of Chinese chow mein noodles)
1/4 cup green onions, chopped


Coat a 4 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Place frozen vegetables in the bottom and top with stew meat. In a medium bowl, stir together stir-fry sauce, water, and red pepper. Pour over stew meat and vegetables in cooker.

Cover and cook on low for 9-10 hours or on high for 4 1/2-5 hours (I recommend low, it will help to break the meat down more).

At the end of cooking time, discard spice packets from ramen noodles. Stir noodles and green onions into meat mixture. Cover and let stand 10 minutes more. Stir before serving. This can be kept on warm for 1-2 hours.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Healthy Butternut Squash Soup

This soup tasted rich, but it was very low in fat and calories! I even put it through weight watchers "recipe builder" and found out it was only 3 points per serving. And it was super tasty and filling. Another 5 star meal, I'm on a roll!

Butternut Squash Soup
Recipe adapted from
Food Network


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 fresh sage leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, halved, seeded, and diced
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth for vegetarian version
1/2 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan


Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, sage, 1 teaspoon of the salt and season with pepper, to taste. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, about 15 minutes. Raise heat to medium-high, add the tomatoes, and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the tomatoes break up and the onions brown slightly, about 7 minutes. Add the squash and the remaining teaspoon salt, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender, about 12 minutes. Add the broth, bring to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, until the vegetables tender, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender, or with an immersion blender. Return the soup to the pot and reheat over medium heat. Stir in yogurt and vinegar. Serve the soup in warm bowls with a touch of Parmesan cheese if desired.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cheeseburger Pasta

Maybe it should be Turkey Burger Pasta?

This recipe is like homemade hamburger helper. Just as easy and so much better for you! I lightened it up a little more than the original recipe by using ground turkey breast and reduced fat cheese. Another winner from Allison, earning 5 stars from Zach!

Cheeseburger Pasta


1 lb ground turkey breast
2 3/4 cups water
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tsp onion powder
2 cups elbow mac, uncooked (I used shells)
4 oz reduced fat velveeta, cubed


Brown meat in a large skillet, drain.
Add water, ketchup, onion powder and mix well.
Bring to a boil and add mac. Simmer on med-low heat, covered, for 8-10 minutes (until pasta tender).
Stir in velveeta and cook until melted, stirring occasionally.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Grilled Vegetable Salad

This salad recipe came from Ina Garten's Grilled Panzanella Salad recipe. I decided to leave out the bread and add a spinach and arugula mix instead. I never thought of adding grilled veggies to a salad, but I am glad that I now know how good it is.

Grilled Vegetable Salad
Heavily adapted from
Barefoot Contessa


Dressing -

Good olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Salad -

1 bag spinach and arugula mix
1/2 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 small container grape tomatoes, cut in half
10 large basil leaves
1 red onion, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 3 large pieces
2 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 3 large pieces
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted


Prepare grill.

In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, mustard, vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.

Place the cucumber, tomato, and basil in a large bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss together. Set aside.

When the grill is ready, brush 1 side of the onion slices and the peppers with olive oil. Place them, olive oil side down, on the grill and cook for 4 minutes. Brush the other side with olive oil, turn them over and continue cooking an additional 4 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the grill and place on a cutting board. Slice the peppers 1/2-inch thick, separate the onion rings and add them both to the cucumber mixture.

Add spinach and arugula mix to the cucumber mixture. Pour the reserved vinaigrette over the vegetables and toss together. Serve warm.

Cecily preparing the veggies for the grill:

Finn relaxing outside while we grill:


Fettunta with Prosciutto

Seriously delicious. And easy. Might be my new go to appetizer.

Fettunta with Prosciutto
adapted from
Barefoot Contessa


6 slices good French boule, sliced 3/4-inch thick
1 to 2 plump garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup good extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 ounces thickly sliced prosciutto, minced
1 1/2 ounces finely grated smoked mozzarella or good Parmesan
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

10 large basil leaves


Heat oven to broil

Toast the bread on a baking sheet under the broiler until golden. Remove the bread from the oven and immediately rub the garlic cloves over the top of the bread's surface. For really garlicky fettunta, rub hard and use both cloves of garlic. Drizzle a generous tablespoon or more of olive oil over each slice of bread.

Combine the prosciutto, cheese, basil and parsley in a small bowl. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over each slice of bread. Return the bread to the broiler and cook the fettunta just long enough to melt the cheese and rewarm the toast a bit, about 1 minute. Serve hot.


Tuscan Lemon Chicken

This chicken was so good!! Perfect for dinner outside on a beautiful September night! I served it with a really good grilled vegetable salad and Fettunta with Prosciutto, also a Barefoot Contessa recipe. I was a little nervous about preparing a whole chicken this way since I've never done it, but it came out great.

Tuscan Lemon Chicken
Recipe from Barefoot Contessa


1 (3 1/2-pound) chicken, flattened
Kosher salt
1/3 cup good olive oil
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, halved


Sprinkle the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt on each side. Combine the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, and 2 teaspoons pepper in a small measuring cup. Place the chicken in a ceramic or glass dish just large enough to hold it flat. Pour the lemon marinade over the chicken, turning it in the dish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Turn the chicken 2 or 3 times while marinating.

When ready to grill, prepare a hot charcoal fire on 1 side of a grill (or turn a gas grill on low heat). Spread 1/4 of the coals across the other side of the grill. Place the chicken on the cooler side, skin side up, and weigh it down with the dish you used for marinating. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until the underside is golden brown. Turn the chicken skin side down, weight again with the dish, and cook for another 12 to 15 minutes, until the skin is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through. Place the lemon halves on the cool side of the grill, cut side down for the last 10 minutes of cooking. Remove the chicken to a plate or cutting board, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Cut in quarters, sprinkle with salt, and serve with the grilled lemon halves.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Crockpot Stuffed Bell Peppers

I really liked how the crockpot cooked the peppers in this dish, but next time I will add some more elements to the filling to make it a little more flavorful. Definitely look for this recipe to be revisited!

Slow-Cooker Stuffed Bell Peppers
adapted from: A Year of Slow Cooking by way of Cook Pray Love


5-6 bell peppers in a color of your choosing, tops cut off and reserved, seeds and membranes removed
1 lb ground turkey breast
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 14.5 oz can of Italian-flavored or fire-roasted tomatoes
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic salt
1/3 cup water


Brown ground turkey
In a bowl, mix the ground meat with the rice, tomatoes, Worcestershire, ketchup, black pepper, and garlic salt.
Stuff each pepper with the mixture.
Nestle the peppers in your slow-cooker and top with the reserved pepper tops.
Pour the 1/3 cup of water into the bottom of the slow-cooker to prevent the peppers from burning.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
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