Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fajita Turkey Burgers

Fajita Turkey Burgers
Adapted from Cooking Light, July 2006

1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 1/2 tsp Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime Seasoning
1 TBS tomato paste
1 cup bread crumbs
1 lb lean ground turkey
1 egg white or 2 TBS egg substitute
hamburger buns, toasted

Dressing for burgers: Mix mayo with salsa verde until you get desired taste and consistency.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray; add onion and bell peppers. Saute 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in 1/2 tsp Mrs. Dash and set aside to cool.

Combine breadcrumbs, onion mixture, 1 tsp Mrs. Dash, tomato paste, turkey, and egg white in a large bowl. Divide turkey mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a 3/4 inch thick patty. Heat grill pan over medium heat. Cook patties 4 minutes on each side or until done. Place patties on buns and top with mayo/salsa spread.

I served these with Trader Joe's crinkle cut fries. Patrick said the burgers tasted like something he'd order in a restaurant. They were probably the best homemade burgers I've ever had. The peppers, onion, and Mrs. Dash really made the flavor pop. You could substitute any seasoning you like, or add red pepper for a kick. We ate 2 burgers tonight and will see how the other 2 re-heat tomorrow.

Pimento Cheese

Pimento Cheese

Shredded Cheddar
Jar of pimentos

Blend items together in food processor or blender.

There's not a whole lot more Southern than pimento cheese sandwiches. I grew up eating them and continue to crave them every now and then. My grandfather's was always the best because he used real cheese and mayo. I personally use 2% shredded cheddar and reduced fat mayo. For this particular batch, I used one package of Kraft 2% shredded cheddar and a 4 oz jar of pimentos. I drained some of the liquid out before throwing them in the food processor, but not all. The less liquid you drain, the less amount of mayo you need which cuts the fat down a bit.

This is one of those foods that I didn't realize until only a few years ago was available for purchase in stores. I thought everyone made their own since it's so simple! Whenever I get tired of lunch meat, PB&J, or taking leftovers pimento cheese is a tasty option.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Blueberry Cinnamon Muffins

Blueberry Cinnamon Muffins
From Southern Living, July 2002

1/4 cup regular oats
2 TBS brown sugar (I used Splenda blend)
1 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar (I used Slenda blend)
1/2 cup egg substitute
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup fat free buttermilk (I couldn't find fat free, so I substituted light)
1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350.

Stir together oats, brown sugar, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Set aside.

Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add egg substitute, beating until blended. Stir in vanilla extract.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Add to butter mixture alternating with buttermilk, ending with flour mixture. Gently stir in blueberries. Spoon batter into muffin pans coated with cooking spray, filling 2/3 full. Sprinkle evenly with oat mixture.

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until tops are golden. Cool muffins in pans for 5 minutes; remove and cool on wire racks.

Yield: 15 muffins (I actually got 17)

These muffins are on the cakey side and don't get huge, but they are tasty! Next time I'll probably line the muffin pans with paper cups because the blueberries sank to the bottom and made them hard to remove without falling apart. However, the blueberries I bought at Harris Teeter were huge, so that might be a factor. Considering there isn't any oil or real eggs in this recipe, they're not too bad for you nutrition wise. Definitely a keeper recipe and I think these would be good to freeze.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mexican Chicken Casserole

Mexican Chicken Casserole
Adapted from Kraft Foods

3/4 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tsp ground cumin
1 green pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups salsa
2 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
1 15 oz. can reduced-sodium or no salt added black beans, rinsed
1 tomato, chopped
2 6-inch whole wheat tortillas
1/2 cup reduced-fat Mexican-style cheese

Preheat oven to 375.

Cook and stir chicken and cumin in nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium heat 2 min. Add peppers; cook 2 min., stirring occasionally. Stir in salsa; cook 2 min. Add cream cheese; cook 2 min. or until melted. Stir in beans and tomatoes.

Spoon 1/3 of chicken mixture into 8-inch square baking dish; cover with 1 tortilla and half each of the remaining chicken mixture and shredded cheese. Top with remaining tortilla and chicken mixture; cover.

Bake 20 min. or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese; bake, uncovered, 5 min. or until melted.

As you can tell, I'm on a Kraft Foods recipe kick. I'm pretty tired every evening these days, and I'd rather make something super easy than eat Lean Cuisine or pizza every night. Like most Kraft recipes, this was really easy and full of flavor. I liked how it called for a lot of fresh vegetables, not just canned. We will definitely make again, and might try with shredded chicken or ground turkey.

(Apologies for the really horrible pictures.)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Creamy Tomato-Basil Pasta with Shrimp

Creamy Tomato-Basil Pasta with Shrimp

From Kraft Food & Family Summer 2010

3 cups bow-tie pasta, uncooked (I used whole wheat pasta)
1/4 cup KRAFT Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing, divided
1 lb. uncooked peeled deveined medium shrimp
1 cup Fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp. each garlic powder and black pepper
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed (I used reduced fat)
2 cups grape tomatoes
1/2 cup KRAFT shredded parmesan cheese (I used grated because it's all I had)
8 fresh basil leaves, cut into strips (I used dried basil and just sprinkled it on top)

Cook pasta as directed on package. Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp. dressing in large skillet on medium heat. Add shrimp; cook and stir 2 to 3 min. or until shrimp turn pink. Use slotted spoon to remove shrimp from skillet; cover to keep warm. Discard any drippings in skillet.

Add remaining dressing, broth and seasonings to skillet; cook 2 min. or until heated through. Add cream cheese; cook and stir 2 to 3 min. or until melted. Stir in tomatoes; cook 1 minute.

Drain pasta. Add to ingredients in skillet. Stir in parmesan and half the basil; top with shrimp and remaining basil.

We really liked this recipe, but Patrick requested less tomatoes and more shrimp next time. He's not a fan of warm grape tomatoes, but I liked them. Using reduced fat cream cheese and reduced fat parmesan helped cut down on the fat in this recipe, but you definitely couldn't tell!

And she cooks again!

So, about that very long lull in the cooking.....pregnancy is just the perfect excuse not to do things! By the time I get home from work I'm either not in the mood for what I was planning on making, feeling ill (not anymore, but definitely for awhile there), or just too tired. However, I will try and suck it up and cook more often because I need to get back in the habit.