Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sausage Rigatoni Bake

biggest loser baby!!! this is also a 1 serving recipe, just adjust for your family!

3 ounces extra lean ground pork
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. italian seasoning
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
pinch of salt

rigatoni and sauce:
3/4 c. whole wheat rigatoni
2/3 c. thin 1 inch long red or yellow bell pepper stips
1 c. canned crushed tomatoes
1 Tb. no salt added tomato paste
1 Tb. water
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. honey
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. grated reduced fat parmesan cheese

preheat oven to 400 degrees.

to prepare sausage combine the pork, fennel seeds, parsley, pepper flakes, italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt. with clean hands or a fork mix well.

Place a medium nonstick skillet over medium high heat until it is hot enough for a spritz of water to sizzle on it. with an oven mitt, briefly remove the pan from the heat to lightly mist with olive oil spray.

Add the sausage to the pan. Cook until no longer pink. remove from the pan and cover to keep warm.

to prepare the rigatoni and sauce: lightly mist a 2 to 3 cup baking dish with olive oil spray. set aside.

cook the pasta according to package directions. drain and set aside. (they may take longer because they are wheat)

meanwhile return the skillet to the heat, add pepper strips, and cook until tender. add the sausage. add tomatoes, tomato paste, water, oregano, honey, and garlic powder. stir to mix well. Add the pasta. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with the cheese. cover with aluminum foil.

Bake for 10 min. remove the foil. bake for 5 min. or until heated through and the top is starting to brown. Let stand for 5 min. before serving.

*my picky brother loved this dish, and so did my 1 year old!!

chicken with apricot mustard sauce

another biggest loser recipe! (we are trying to eat healthy around here)!

1 Tbl. dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 to 1 tsp. cayenne
1/8 tsp. salt
4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/3 c. apricot 100% fruit preserves
2 Tbl. spicy brown mustard

preheat grill to high heat. ( we put them in the oven on the broiler about 400 degrees)

in small bowl combine all spices. mix to blend.

place chicken on a large plate. drizzle with oil. rub to coat both sides of the chicken evenly with the oil. sprinkle the seasoning mixture over both sides of the chicken. rub to coat evenly. cover with plastic wrap. refrigerate for at least 10 min. for the seasoning to flavor the chicken.

Meanwhile, spoon the preserves into a small microwavable bowl. cook on low power in 15 second intervals until melted. stir in the mustard until well blended. set aside.

place the chicken on the grill and reduce the heat to medium. (if it is not possible to reduce the heat, cook the chicken away from direct heat). Cook for 3 to 5 min. per side, or until no longer pink and the juices run clear. serve each breast with 2 1/2 Tbls. of the sauce spooned over the top.

*this was super super yummy!

spicy meatballs with chili sauce

Ok this recipe is built for only 1 serving. I of course use a pound of hamburger and just dump the rest of the spices in without measuring. I think you get the point.

this came out of my biggest loser cookbook, it is healthy!!!!

1/4 pound 96% lean ground beef
2 Tbls. cooked brown rice (if I don't have leftover brown rice from the night before or whatever, I just use a little bit of oatmeal)
1/4 tsp. dried parsley
1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. fennel seeds
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp. dried minced onion (I usually just cut up a fresh onion really small)
pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper

2 1/2 tbls. chili sauce (we use the sweet chili sauce, i did use the hot once...we had to eat half a box of Popsicles and a whole gallon of milk to cool down our mouths!!!!!)
1/8 tsp. hot pepper sauce, or more to taste (I have never found this product, if you do let me know)

*for my sauce I usually do the sweet chili sauce a little BBQ sauce, and some ketchup if it is too spicy. you could really do any kind of sauce you like, it probably just isn't as healthy as the sauce they tell you to use!!

preheat oven to 400 degrees.

in medium bowl combine the meatball ingredients and mix well. I use my hands! form mixture into 1 inch meatballs. place the meatballs in a single layer on a nonstick baking sheet. bake for about 7 min. (I usually bake for about 9 min. since i do more) make sure meatballs are not pink inside.

meanwhile in a small bowl, combine your sauce ingredients. pour the sauce over the meatballs. Toss to coat with sauce and serve immediately.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

8 cups Water
2 T. Chicken Bouillon
2 can cream of chicken soup
1 sm. Onion, chopped fine
1 1/2 cups Carrots, chopped
1 1/2 cup Peas, frozen
3 cup Chicken, cooked and shopped into small pieces
one large stalk celery chopped
1/2 tsp Thyme leaves, crushed
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper
1/4 tsp. Parsley flakes
1/4 tsp. Basil
1/8 tsp Oregano
1 (12 oz.) pkg. Egg noodles, any type - I like no yolks, healthier

Mix water, bouillon and cream of chicken soup together in large soup pot. Then add everything else. Cook until noodles are done and then remove from heat and let sit for 10 - 15 minutes to thicken and cool. EAT!!! I put rolls in the oven while it thickened. Timing was perfect. Note: I added way less herbs - dashes not teaspoons. I also didn't need to add the salt. It is thick and creamy, very yummy.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Olive Gardens Sausage & Peppers Ziti Marinara

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Serving Size: 4

1 1/2 lbs sweet or hot Italian sausages links
1 1/3 cups green bell pepper, seeded & cut into 1” x ¼” strips
1 can Italian-style or plum tomatoes, including liquid (28 oz)
1 can tomato puree (10 3/4 oz)
1 tsp garlic cloves, chopped finely
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup basil, fresh, chopped finely, firmly packed
Salt & pepper to taste
1 lb ziti or penne pasta, cooked according to package directions
Fresh parsley, chopped
Parmesan cheese, grated

Pre-heat oven to 350ºF.

1. BAKE sausage links in oven for 20 minutes or until completely cooked. Cut sausages in half lengthwise; then cut into 1/2" slices. Result will be semi-circles of sausage. Set aside.
2. SAUTE pepper slices in olive oil until their crispness is lost, but not soft.
3. CHOP tomatoes or use a food processor on “pulse”; do not puree tomatoes.
4. COMBINE chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, garlic, olive oil and fresh basil in sauce pan. Bring to a simmer. Add sausage pieces and pepper pieces and stir well.
5. TRANSFER cooked, drained pasta to large serving platter. Top with sausage & pepper marinara mixture.
6. GARNISH with parsley and grated Parmesan cheese
Parmesan cheese