Our Favorite Recipes of 2011

Friday, December 30, 2011

So it's the end of another year.  Can you believe it?  I can't 2012, already?!  I thought I would make it easy for you to find our favorite posts of 2011.  We loved each and every one of these dishes and hope you will, too.

Main Dishes

Shepherd's Pie

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Shepherd's Pieadapted from Taste of Home Everyday Light Meals
6 medium potatoes
1lb carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 1/2lblean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 jar (12oz) fat-free beef gravy
1 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp rubbed sage
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 cup fat-free milk
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:  Peel and cube the potatoes; place in a large saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cover and cook for 20 minutes or until tender.  Add 1inch of water to another saucepan; add carrots.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer until crisp-tender, about 7-9 minutes.  Drain.
 In a large nonstick skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.  Stir in the carrots, gravy, 1/2 tsp salt, sage, thyme, rosemary and pepper.  Transfer to a shallow 3qut baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray.
 Drain the potatoes; mash with milk, butter and remaining salt.  Spread over meat mixture.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until heated through. 

Nutrition Facts:
Cal 390
Fat 13g (6g sat fat)
Choles 53mg
Sodium 859mg
Carb 43g
Fiber 6g
Protein 30g

Diabetic Exchange:  3 lean meat, 2 starch, 2 vegetable, 1/2 fat

-I used ground chicken instead of ground beef.
-I added a can of Italian styled diced tomatoes.
-I used a packaged gravy instead of a jar.
-I did not sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Here's what you'll need:

Peel and cube the potatoes.

Slice up the carrots.

Dice up the onion.

Put the carrots in water to boil and soften.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Brown the ground chicken.

Cook the potatoes, drain and add the butter.

Add the onion to the ground chicken.

Once the chicken is cooked through, add the carrots.

I decided to use a can of Italian-style diced tomatoes.

Add the tomatoes and the herbs.

Make the gravy.  If using jarred gravy, skip this step.

Add the gravy to the pot and let simmer for 5-6 minutes.

Pour into a greased baking dish.

Spread the mashed potatoes over the top.

Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes.

Here's what you'll end up with:
Our Thoughts:
We love shepherd's pie around this house and this one is no different.  The addition of the brown gravy in with the mixture of onions and tomatoes really gave an extra depth.  Scott said it was one of his favorite meals that I have made in a long time and he had 3 helpings! 

This is a perfect comfort food dish!

Hope you enjoy!

Texas Ranch-Style Stew

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Texas Ranch-Style Stew adapted from Everyday Light Meals
1 cup small shell pasta
1lb lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cans (5.5oz) reduced-sodium V8 juice
1 can (15oz) ranch-style beans or baked beans, undrained
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Directions:  Cook the pasta according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, cook the beef, onion, green pepper and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.  Stir in the remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Drain the pasta.  Stir into the stew.  6 Servings

Nutrition Facts:
One Serving (1 1/3 cups) equals:
Cal 307
Fat 7g (3g sat fat)
Cholest 37mg
Sodium 886mg
Carb 37g
Fiber 7g
Protein 22g

Diabetic Exchange: 3 lean meat, 2 vegetable, 1 1/2 starch

-I did not use a green pepper.
-I used ground chicken instead of beef. (Nutrition Facts reflect ground beef)
-I did not use picante sauce.

Here's what you will need:

Brown the meat.

Cook the pasta according to the package directions.

Add the onions, garlic, and rest of the ingredients.

Simmer for 8-10 minutes.

 Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the other ingredients.

Here's what you'll end up with:
Our Thoughts:
This is another easy recipe from the Taste of Home Everyday Light Meals cookbook that I received from my sister for Christmas.

This recipe was very easy, almost like a pantry meal, and was perfect for a cold winter's night.  I did feel like a little flavor was lacking, even with the addition of the V8, so I think that this recipe definitely needs the addition of the picante sauce.  I continued to add more chili powder and cumin to taste.

Hope you enjoy!

Thai Ginger Chicken over Noodles

Monday, December 26, 2011

Thai Ginger Chicken over Noodles adapted from Schnuck's Cooks
1/2 (14.5oz) package multi-grain spaghetti
3oz fresh snow peas (about 1 cup), each cut diagonally in half
1 cup shredded carrots
2/3 cups Thai Kitchen Chili & Ginger Sauce
1 1/4lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast fillets
3 Tbsp Asian Spice Rub
2 Tbsp canola oil

Directions:  Heat 4 quart covered saucepan of salter water to boiling over high heat.  Add pasta and cook as label directs.  Add snow peas and carrots to boiling pasta water during last 5 minutes of cooking.  Drain, then return to same saucepan.  Stir in ginger sauce; cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, sprinkle rub over both sides of chicken.  In nonstick 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add chicken and cook 6 to 7 minutes or until internal termpature reaches 165F, turning twice during cooking.  Transfer chicken to cutting board.  Slice chicken and serve over noodles.

-I sliced up a small onion.
-I used almost the whole bottle of Thai Kitchen Thai Chili & Ginger Sauce.
-I used 1/2 bag of stir-fry veggies instead of just snow peas or carrots.
-I added a splash of soy sauce and a splash of rice wine vinegar.
-I did not use the Asian spice rub but just used garlic salt and sesame seeds.

Here's what you'll need:

Season the chicken and cook until juices run clear.  Add in the onions.

Add a splash of soy sauce and rice wine vinegar.

Cook the pasta according to directions.

Add in the veggies.

Let the vegetables continue to cook but pull out the chicken and slice/dice it up.  Add it back to stay warm.

Drain the pasta and add the sauce.  I used 1 whole box of spaghetti and 1 full bottle of sauce.

Here's what you'll end up with:
Our Thoughts:
I found this recipe tonight when I went to the grocery store.  The grocery chef was offering samples at their tasting station.  I thought it was pretty good and it was something a little different, always a bonus. 

I opted not to use the Asian spices that the recipe called for because when I tasted it at the store I knew that the kids would NOT like the rub.  It was very peppery (almost peppercorn-like) and I didn't really like the contrast it gave to the sweeter sauce.

The noodles, on the otherhand, were really good.  I loved the sauce.  It was sweet and spicy at the same time but not too spicy that the kids wouldn't eat it.  I honestly could have just eaten the noodles and this sauce and been happy.  It will be in the Asian section and looks like this:

Hope you enjoy!

Turkey Spaghetti Pie

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Turkey Spaghetti Pie adapted from Everyday Light Meals
6oz uncooked spaghetti
5 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup egg substitute
3/4lb lean ground turkey breast
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 medium green pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups meatless spaghetti sauce
1 cup fat-free cottage cheese
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Directions:  Cook spaghetti according to package directions.  Drain well and cool to room temperature.  In a bowl, combine the spaghetti, Parmesan cheese and egg substitute.  Transfer to a 9 inch pie plate coated with nonstick cooking spray and form into a crust; set aside. 

In nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook turkey, onion and green pepper until turkey is no longer pink; drain.  Add spaghetti sauce; heat through.  Spread cottage cheese over crust; top with turkey mixture.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.  Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.  Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

Nutrition Facts
One serving (1 wedge) equals
Cal 274
Fat 11g (4g sat fat)
Cholesterol 57mg
Sodium 710mg
Carb 19g
Fiber 2g
Protein 25g

Diabetic Exchanges:  3 lean meat, 1 starch, 1 vegetable

-I just used 3 whole eggs instead of egg substitute (not calculated in the above nutrition facts)
-I did not use a green pepper.
-I did not use the shredded mozzarella cheese.

Here's what you'll need:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Chop an onion.

Brown the ground turkey.

Cook the spaghetti according to package instructions.

Add the onions to the ground turkey

Add the spaghetti sauce to the turkey to warm.

In a separate bowl, pour the Parmesan cheese.

Add the eggs or egg substitute.

Drain the spaghetti, add to the egg/cheese, and mix.

Pour into a coated 9 inch pan.

Spread the cottage over the spaghetti.

Add the meat mixture on top.

Pop in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.

Here's what you'll end up with:
Our Thoughts:
My family loved this dish!  Kanin had 3 helpings and even pick Gracie ate it.  The cottage cheese really added an extra gooeyness to the dish but you could also substitute ricotta.

The 2 things I would do different is that I would add more sauce and I would mix everything together and then pour it into the baking dish.  Other than that, I wouldn't change a thing.

Hope you enjoy!