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February 19, 2006

Shrimp Salad Baskets

Makes 24
Prep 20 min
Cook 2 min

1 1/2 lb (about 32 per lb) raw medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/3 cup light mayonnaise
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
1 1/2 Tbsp minced scallion
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp hot pepper sauce
1/2 cup finely chopped radishes
24 frozen mini fillo-pastry shells (from two 2.1-oz boxes), thawed
Garnish: reserved shrimp (see Step 2) and fresh dill

Put shrimp with water to cover in a 2-qt saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook 1-2 minutes until shrimp are cooked through. Drain in a colander, cool under running cold water, drain, then pat dry.

Reserve 24 shrimp for garnish; finely chop rest and place in a medium bowl; stir in remaining ingredients except radishes and pastry shells.

No more than 45 minutes before serving: Stir radishes into salad. Fill shells, add garnish and refrigerate.

Blueberry Quick Bread

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar plus 1 TBSP
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp freshly grated lemon peel
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups fresh or unthawed individually quick-frozen blueberries
1 container (8 oz) lemon lowfat yogurt
1 large egg
2 TBSP stick butter or margarine, melted

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Coat an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 in or 9x5 in nonstick loaf pan with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, mix flour, 2/3 cup sugar, the baking powder, lemon peel, baking soda and salt. Stir in blueberries.

In a medium bowl, whisk yogurt, egg and butter. Ad to flour mixture; stir until moistened (batter is thick). Spoon into prepared pan; sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbsp sugar.

Bake 50 minutes or until browned and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes, invert on a wire rack, turn top side up and cool completely.

Per serving: 201 cal, 4 g pro, 39 g car, 1 g fiber, 3 g fat (2 g sat), 28 mg chol, 321 mg sod

Mexican Beef and Tomato Tortillas

Serves 6

1 lb lean ground beef
2 15.5-oz can pinto beans, drained & rinsed
2 10-oz can rotel
2.5 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
8 (6-inch) soft corn tortillas
6 oz (1 1/2 cup) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream (opt)

Brown ground beef in medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 2-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove beef from skillet; drain on paper towels.

Wipe skillet dry with paper towels. Return beef to skillet; stir in beans, tomatoes, chili powder and cumin. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat tortillas as directed on package.

To serve, sprinkle cheese evenly over tortillas. Top each with beef mixture and sour cream; fold tortillas in half.

Peppered Cube Steaks with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy


4 servings

4 beef cube steaks (about 1 lb)
1 tsp garlic-pepper blend
1 1/3 cups water
2 Tbsp margarine or butter
1/2 cup milk
1 1/3 cups mashed potato flakes
1 cup beef broth
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp cornstarch

Sprinkle both sides of each cube steak with garlic-pepper blend. Spray 12-inch nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat until hot. Ad steaks; cook 6-8 minutes turning once.

Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, combine 1 1/3 cups water and margarine. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in milk and potato flakes with fork until potatoes are of desired consistency.

Remove steaks from skillet; cover to keep warm. In same skillet, combine broth, 1/4 cup water and cornstarch; cook until bubbly and thickened, stirring constantly. Serve gravy over steaks and potatoes.

300 calories, 11 g fat

Lo Mein (Ham or Chicken)

1 tsp. vegetable oil
1/2 med. red bell pepper in 2" strips
1 pkg (3 oz) Oriental flavor Ramen noodles
2 scallions, sliced
4 oz. diced ham steak or diced cooked chicken
11/4 cup water
3 cups finely shredded green cabbage

Heat oil in 5 qt. pot. Add meat & pepper strips and cook about 5 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon.

Add water, seasoning pack and cabbage.

Break noodles in half and put on top of cabbage. Cover. Reduce heat to low and cook 6 minutes (until noodles are tender).

Add onions & meat mixture. Cook 2 more minutes.

Caribbean Chicken with Coconut Rice

Prep: 12 min
Cook: 35 min

1/4 cup flour
2 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
6 boned, skinned chicken thighs (1 1/2 lb), fat trimmed, cut crosswise in thirds
1 can (14 oz) light coconut milk
2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 Tbsp oil
1 1/4 cups uncooked parboiled (converted) white rice
2 cups shredded carrots
1/4 cup golden raisins

Mix flour, curry powder, salt and pepper in a large, sturdy plastic food bag. Add chicken; toss to coat.

Shake can of coconut milk vigorously; pour into a 4-cup measure. Add water to equal 3 cups.

Stir coconut in a deep, large nonstick skillet over medium heat 3 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a small bowl.

Wipe skillet with a paper towel. Add 1/2 Tbsp oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken and, turning once, cook 3 to 4 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with remaining oil and chicken (save flour mixture remaining in bag); return other half of chicken and any juices to skillet.

Whisk flour mixture in bag into coconut-milk mixture. Add to skillet along with the rice, carrots, raisins and all but 2 Tbsp toasted coconut. Stir to mix well.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring 2 or 3 times, 20-25 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid absorbed. Sprinkle with reserved coconut.

Serves 4. Per serving: 595 cal, 41 g pro, 72 g car, 5 g fiber, 16 g fat (5 g sat fat), 141 mg chol, 780 mg sod

Asian Shrimp with Linguine

Serves 4

Prep & Cook: About 30 min

12 oz linguini pasta
1 lb raw medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

SAUCE
1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp grated peeled fresh ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 English (hothouse) cucumber, halved lengthwise, sliced thin crosswise (3 cups)
Garnish thinly sliced scallions and radishes

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Stir in pasta, return to a boil and cook, stirring often, until nearly firm-tender, about 7 minutes.

Add shrimp and, stirring often, cook 2 to 3 minutes until cooked through. Drain in a colander.

Put Sauce ingredients in same pot; stir to mix. Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce heat to low and simmer 2 minutes.

Remove pot from heat; add linguine, shrimp and cucumber. Toss to mix and coat. Pour into serving bowl; add garnish.

Per serving: 540 cal, 32 g pro, 80 g car, 3 g fiber, 10 g fat (1 g sat fat), 140 mg chol, 1225 mg sod

Pasta With Shrimp

Serves 4
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes

12 oz bow-tie pasta
1 bag (16 oz) frozen baby corn-and-bean blend
1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 1/4 cups bottled Alfredo sauce
1 jar (7 oz) roasted red peppers, drained, cut in large dice

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta; cook as package directs, adding frozen vegetables 4 minutes before pasta is done.
2. Meanwhile coat a large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add shrimp; saute 2-3 minutes just until cooked through. Transfer to a plate.
3. Add Alfredo sauce and 1/2 cup water to skillet. Stir to mix. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened. Add shrimp and diced peppers and cook 1 minute or until heated through.
4. Drain pasta and vegetables; transfer to a large serving bowl. Add shrimp and sauce; toss to mix and coat.
Per serving: 630 cal, 36 g pro, 86 g car, 5 g fiber, 15 g fat (8 g sat fat), 190 mg chol, 998 mg sod

Corn and Black Bean Salad

Prep Time - 10 min
Cook Time - 1 min

3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon jalapeño, seeded and chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can (15-oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (11-oz.) whole kernel corn, drained
1/2 cup diced seeded green bell pepper
1/2 cup diced seeded red bell pepper
1/2 cup diced peeled onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

In a small skillet over low heat, brown cumin until fragrant, about 1 minute; remove from heat. Add lime juice, oil, jalapeno and salt; whisk to blend. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine black beans, corn, green pepper, red pepper, onion and cilantro. Add lime dressing to bean mixture and toss to coat evenly. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Makes 6 Servings

Tofu Patties

Prep Time: 17 min
Cook Time: 10 min

1/2 chopped and peeled onion
1 celery stalk, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
20 ounces firm tofu, drained
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons curry
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sesame seed

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Combine onion, celery and green bell pepper; sauté in oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Drain tofu in a colander, then mash with a fork and mix in beaten egg, whole wheat flour and soy sauce.
Add cooked vegetables and curry. Form into patties and coat in wheat germ, cornmeal and sesame seeds. Transfer to a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

Makes 8 servings

Marinated Vegetable Kebabs

Prep Time - 10 mins
Cook Time - 5 mins
Stand Time - 15 mins

1 package tofu (12 oz.), cut in 1-inch cubes
1 yellow squash, cut in 1-inch cubes
1 onion, cut in 1-inch cubes
2 carrots, sliced ½-inch thick
6 cherry tomatoes
1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut in 1-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut in 1-inch pieces
6 mushrooms
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried basil
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried thyme
1 clove garlic

Combine tofu, squash, onion, carrots, tomatoes, green pepper, red pepper and mushroom in a medium bowl.

Combine soy sauce, water, honey, basil, oregano, thyme and garlic in a large bowl. Place the cut vegetables in the marinade, stirring to coat; let sit 15 minutes.

Thread tofu and vegetables onto bamboo skewers and grill about 5 minutes, or until browned. Use remaining marinade to baste while cooking.

Makes 6 Servings

Skewered Root Vegetables

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 17 mins

8 baby carrots
8 baby turnips, ends trimmed
8 baby pattypan squash
8 pearl onions, trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pinch salt
1 pinch ground black pepper

Preheat grill. If using bamboo skewers, soak in water for 30 minutes.

Wash carrots and trim green tops to 1 inch. Place in a bowl with turnips, squash and onions. Drizzle with olive oil. Toss gently until evenly coated. Skewer vegetables. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Lightly oil grill. Place skewers on grill and cook until tender, turning occasionally, 17 to 20 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Beef and Mushroom Kabobs

1 pound sirloin steak
1 medium green or red pepper
2 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
12 large mushrooms
1 tablespoon each lemon juice and water
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Salt to taste

Trim fat, and cut steak into 1 inch cubes. Whisk together oil, lemon juice, water, mustard, honey, oregano and pepper in large bowl. Add beef, pepper and mushrooms, which have been cut into chunks., turning to coat. Thread onto skewers, alternating. Grill for 9-12 minutes, turning occasionally

Seafood Kabobs

medium size shelled and deveined shrimp
Bell pepper cut into 1 inch squares
cocktail onions
fresh scallops
halibut cut into 1 inch cubes
melted butter

Intermix the ingredients and place on long skewers. Coat with melted butter and place on preheated and hot grill. Turn frequently, painting with melted butter occasionally. Remove from grill when the shrimp have turned pink on all sides and halibut is a uniform opaque white color.

Chicken-Stuffed Shells

Prep & Cook: 35 min
Bake: 35 min

1 box (12 oz) large pasta shells
2 1/4 cups bottled marinara sauce
4 cups diced cooked chicken breast (from 4 medium breast halves)
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped parsley leaves
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper

Heat oven to 400 deg. Grease a 13 x 9 in baking dish.

Cook shells as package directs. Drain and cool under gently running water. Select the 20 best-looking shells; reserve others for another use.

Meanwhile, put 1 cup marinara sauce in prepared baking dish; coat bottom evenly.

Combine chicken, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper; stuff into shells. Arrange on sauce in dish; drizzle with remaining 1 1/4 cups sauce. Cover snugly with foil.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Serves 5. Per serving - 483 cal, 12 g fat (4 g saturated)

Frozen Thin-Mint Grasshopper Pie

Prep & Cook: 12 min
Cool: 30 min
Freeze: 24 hours

1 box (8.8 oz) dark-chocolate thin mints (such as After Eight)
1 1/4 cups heavy (whipping) cream
1 6-oz ready-to-fill chocolate crumb crust
25 large marshmallows
1/4 cup each white creme de cacao and green creme de menthe
Garnish: whipped cream, thin mints and mint sprigs

Reserve 4 thin mints for garnish. Put remaining 26 mints in a small saucepan; add 2 Tbsp cream. Stir over medium-low heat 1-2 minutes until melted and smooth. Or microwave in a 4-cup glass measure about 1 minute. Pour into crumb crust and place in freezer to cool until firm, about 30 minutes.

Put marshmallows and creme de cacao in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir with a whisk 4-5 minutes until melted and smooth. Whisk in creme de menthe; place in freezer to cool about 10 minutes.

Put remaining cream in a large, deep bowl. Beat with mixer until stiff peaks form when beaters are lifted. Whisk cooled liqueur mixture to recombine, then fold into the cream until well blended. Pour over thin-mint layer. Cover and freeze at least 24 hours.

Before serving, garnish with thin mints, whipped cream and mint springs. To make clean cuts, dip a long, sharp knife in hot water between cuts.

Serves 8
Per serving: 478 calories, 23 g fat (12 g saturated)

Fettuccine with Cheese Sauce

Prep: 15 min
Cook: 12 min

12 oz fettuccine pasta
2 cups frozen green peas
2 tsp minced garlic
5 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach leaves (5 oz)
1 1/4 cups bottled Alfredo sauce
1/3 cup 1% lowfat milk
1 pt cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half

Cook pasta as package directs. Put frozen peas in a colander, set in sink.

While pasta cooks, coat a large skillet with nonstick spray. Heat over medium-low heat; add garlic and cook 1 minute or until soft. Stir in spinach; cook until wilted. Stir in Alfredo sauce and milk. Cook 1-2 minutes to heat.

Drain pasta over peas in colander. Transfer to a large serving bowl and add sauce and tomatoes; toss to mix and coat.

Serves 4
Per serving: 525 cal, 13 g fat (8 g saturated)

Linguine with Clams and Parsley

Prep: 15 min
Cook: 12 min

12 oz linguine pasta
1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 cans (6.5 oz each) chopped clams, drained; juice reserved
1 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp freshly grated lemon peel
juice from 1 medium lemon
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Cook pasta as package directs.

While pasta cooks, put wine, onion and garlic in a large saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook 5 minutes or until onion is soft.

Add reserved clam juice and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered 3-5 minutes for flavors to blend. Stir in clams; heat through.

Drain pasta, return to pot. Add clam sauce and remaining ingredients; toss to mix and coat.

Serves 4
Per serving: 439 calories; 3 g fat (0 g saturated)

Enchilada Pie

Prep: 20 min
Bake: 40 min

1 lb lean ground turkey
2 tsp ground cumin
1 jar (16 oz) salsa
1 cup chopped fresh tomato
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilis
1 cup frozen corn kernels
3 flour tortillas (8-in)
1 pkg (8 oz) light 4-cheese Mexican blend
Toppings: reduced-fat sour cream and chopped tomato; cilantro

Heat oven to 350 deg. Coat a 9-10-in deep-dish pie plate or a round 2 1/2-3 qt casserole with nonstick cooking spray.

Put turkey into a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Sprinkle with cumin and cook about 5 minutes, stirring to break up clumps, until meat is no longer pink.

Stir in salsa, tomato, chiles and corn. Bring to a simmer and cook about 10 minutes to develop flavors.

Put 1 tortilla in bottom of prepared pie plate. Spread with 1/2 the meat mixture, then sprinkle with 1/3 the cheese. Repeat layers using 1/2 the remaining cheese. Top with remaining tortilla; cover with foil.

Bake 30 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake 10 minutes longer or until cheese melts. Let cool 5-10 min before cutting in wedges.

Serve with toppings; garnish with cilantro.

Serves 6-8
Per serving: 240 calories, 10 g fat (4 g saturated)

Buffalo Shrimp

Serves 8
Active: 5 min/Total: 8 min

(Step 2 can be prepared up to 8 hours ahead. Refrigerate tightly covered.)

2 1/2 Tbsp butter
3 1/2 Tbsp hot pepper sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
24 peeled, deveined extra large shrimp, tails left on (about 1 lb)
4 ribs celery, cut in sticks
Garnish: lime wedges

Heat broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil; coat with nonstick spray.

Melt butter in small bowl in microwave or small saucepan. Remove from heat; stir in pepper sauce and garlic. Place shrimp on prepared baking sheet; drizzle and toss with 3 Tbsp butter mixture.

Broil, turning once, 2 1/2 minutes or until shrimp are just cooked through. Toss with remaining sauce. Arrange on platter; serve with celery. Garnish with lime wedges.

Per serving: 97 cal, 12 g pro, 1 g car, 0 g fiber, 5 g fat

Smoked Gouda Tuna Melt

1 pouch (3 oz) light tuna in water
1 (4 oz) pkg cream cheese, grated
1/4 lb smoked Gouda cheese, grated
4 slices bread
2 slices tomato
4 slices bacon, crisply cooked
butter

In a food processor, blend cream cheese and smoked Gouda. Stir tuna and cheese mixture together until blended well. Divide tuna mixture and spread on 2 slices of bread. Put one slice of tomato and two slices of bacon on tuna mixture, and cover with second slice of bread. Butter outside of bread. Grill until golden brown on both sides. Makes 2 servings.

Chicken Alfredo and Pasta

Prep & Cook: 27 min

1 lb penne or rotini pasta
1 bunch (1 1/4 lb) broccoli, cut bite-size
3 Tbsp stick butter
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs (1 lb, 2 oz), cut into 1 in pieces
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp flour
2 cups milk
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp freshly ground pepper

Cook pasta as package directs, adding broccoli the last 5 minutes of cooking time.

Melt 1 Tbsp butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and garlic; cook 2 minutes. Remove to a bowl.

Melt remaining butter, add flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Whisk in milk and nutmeg. Bring to a gentle boil; stir 3-4 minutes until thickened. Stir in chicken.

Reserve 3/4 cup cooking water; drain pasta. Return to pot; add reserved water, the sauce, cheese and pepper. Toss to mix.

Serves 6
Per serving: 487 calories, 11 g fat (3 g saturated)

Applesauce

8 - 10 apples
1/2 c water
3/4 c brown sugar
1/4 t cinnamon

Peel, quarter and core apples. Process through slicing blade of food processor. Put water in slow cooker and add sliced apples. Slow cook on low for 6 - 8 hours. Stir. Add brown sugar and cinnamon and slow cook 1/2 hour longer.

Apple Betty

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
4 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 8-9 inch pan.

Mound sliced apples in pie plate. Sprinkle with orange juice.

In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Mix well, then cut in butter or margarine until mixture is crumbly. Scatter over apples.

Place pie in preheated oven and bake 40-45 minutes. Serve warm.

Tabouleh

1/4 cup bulgur (cracked wheat)
1 cup water
3/4 cup pine nuts
1 cup finely chopped Mint leaves
2 cups finely chopped Parsley
8 small Tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup peeled, seeded and chopped cucumber
1/4 cup finely chopped Scallions (spring onions)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Soak cracked wheat in the water for twenty minutes. Place pine nuts on a baking sheet and toast in oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Place Mint, Parsley, Tomatoes, cucumber and Scallions in a large bowl. In a separate bowl combine the lemon juice, Salt and garlic. Slowly whisk in the oil. Stir in pepper. Add cracked wheat and pine nuts to Parsley mixture. Pour on the dressing and toss well.

The dressing and parsley mixtures can be prepared up to 3 hours ahead and combined just before serving.

Lite Fruit Smoothies

1 cup orange juice
1 cup fat-free plain yogurt
1 frozen banana
1 cup frozen strawberries or raspberries
6 packets Equal sweetener

Peel and cut banana into large chunks. Place in plastic freezer bag, seal and freeze at least 5 to 6 hours or overnight.

Place all ingredients in blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.

Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 202 cal, 8 g protein, 45 g carbo, 0 g fat, 3 mg chol, 78 mg sodium.

Salmon Dip

1 can (13.5) oz. salmon drained and de-boned
1 (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 T lemon juice
1 tsp liquid smoke
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1 T finely chopped green onions
2 tsp horseradish mustard
1 drop red food coloring (optional, enhances the color of salmon)
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Garnish
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Mix thoroughly the cream cheese, lemon juice, liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, salt and mustard. Blend in the red food coloring and stir thoroughly until nice and smooth in color. Stir in grated onion and chopped nuts. In a separate bowl, thoroughly mash up the drained and de-boned salmon. Finally fold the salmon into the other well-blended ingredients. Chill at least one hour before serving with your favorite crackers.

Salmon and Cream Cheese Spread

8 oz cooked salmon
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese with chives and onions
1 T lemon juice
2 tsp prepared horseradish
few dashes bottle hot pepper sauce

Flake the salmon and set aside. Blend the remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor until well-mixed. Add salmon. Cover and process until well mixed. Serve with crackers or rye bread toast.

Apple Date Cake

3 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups apple slices, peeled
1 cup dates, chopped
1 cup pecans, chopped

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, then add sugar, oil and vanilla. Beat. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Then add to the egg mixture all at once. Mix well. Add apples, pecans and dates. Blend well. Pour into a greased 11x7x2 baking pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 55 minutes or until cake tests done when a toothpick is inserted in a center.

12 servings

Sunny Side Up Breakfast Pizza

1 cup cornmeal or all-purpose flour, for rolling dough
1 4-inch ball of prepared dough, at room temperature
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach, lightly packed
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
2 eggs, at room temperature
5 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Lightly sprinkle work surface with cornmeal or flour. Place dough directly in the middle of the work surface. Roll out gently into either a 12-inch rectangle or circle (1/4-inch thick). Brush both sides with olive oil and set aside until ready to grill.

If you are grilling on a charcoal grill, set coals on one side of the grill.

Place dough directly on the cooking grate over medium heat for 1-3 minutes, until the crust is well marked and browned. Flip dough and and spread spinach evenly over cooked side of crust. Create a rim around the outer edge of the pizza with the tomato (this will keep the eggs from sliding off the pizza.) Sprinkle cheese over the spinach. Crack 2 eggs directly in the center of the pizza and top with crumbled bacon. Move to indirect heat (for charcoal: the side of charcoal grill that has no coals. For gas: turn off burner directly under pizza). Cover grill and cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked like traditional sunny-side up eggs and the bottom of crust is well browned.

Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Chinese Chicken Pizza with Hoisin Sauce

1 4-inch ball of prepared Dough, at room temperature
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup Hoisin sauce (available in the Asian section of most grocery stores)
2 grilled skinless, boneless chicken breasts, diced, or equivalent amount of store-bought BBQ chicken, or any left-over chicken,
4 scallions, finely sliced
2/3 cup cilantro leaves, lightly-packed, stems removed before measuring
1/2 red bell pepper, seeds and membranes discarded, sliced into paper-thin strips
1 cup mozzarella, grated
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Sprinkle your rolling surface with a handful of flour or cornmeal. Place dough directly in the middle of the surface. Roll out the dough gently into either a 12-inch rectangle or circle (1/4-inch thick.) Brush both sides with olive oil and set aside until ready to grill.

Place dough in the center of the cooking grate, directly over the heat for 1-3 minutes, until the crust is well marked and browned. Flip dough and spread Hoisin sauce evenly over cooked side of crust. Spread chicken, scallions, cilantro and bell pepper evenly over crust. Sprinkle cheese over top. Move to Indirect heat (for charcoal: the side of charcoal grill that has no coals; for gas: turn off burner directly under pizza). Cover grill and cook for 5-10 minutes, or until bottom is well browned, and cheese is fully melted.

Remove from grill, season with salt and pepper, and slice. Serve immediately.

Grilled Pesto & Artichoke Pizza

Pizza crust
1/4 cup basil pesto
Spinach
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped coarsely
1 large tomato, sliced
1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese
Garlic salt to taste

Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat (or oven at 350 degrees). Grill pizza crusts, top sides down, 4 to 6 inches from medium heat 3 to 5 minutes or until light brown. Remove from grill.

Spread pesto over grilled side of crusts. Sprinkle garlic salt over the top. Top with spinach, artichoke, and sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle with cheese.

Cover and grill about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Black Bean Burger

2 cups black beans
1 small chopped onion
1/2 hot pepper, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 cup flour

Sauté the onion, garlic, hot pepper and oregano together with the diced red bell pepper in olive oil (about 1 tbs). Add cumin and chili powder. Mash black beans in bowl. Add corn, bread crumbs, and spice mixture above. Add flour until mixture becomes a dough you can shape into patties. Pan-fry in a pan sprayed with oil. Cook 5-10 minutes per side until browned.

BOCA Gyro Burgers

4 frozen BOCA Meatless Original Burgers
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
1/4 medium unpeeled cucumber, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 clove garlic, peeled
4 foldable pita breads
2 plum tomatoes, sliced
1 cup shredded lettuce

HEAT burgers as directed on package. MEANWHILE, place sour cream, cucumber and garlic in blender or food processor container; cover. Blend 10 to 30 seconds or until almost smooth.

COVER pita breads evenly with tomatoes and lettuce; drizzle with sour cream sauce. Top each with 1 burger, cut in half. Makes 4 sandwiches.

Glazed Carrot Recipe

8 med Carrots, cut diagonally in thin slices
4 Tbsp Apple juice concentrate
1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp Ground allspice
2 tsp Grated orange peel
1 1/2 cup water
2 tsp Cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons water

Put carrots and remaining ingredients except corn starch mixture in med size saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 min or until carrots are tender, but not soft. Add cornstarch mixture; cook; stirring constantly, until mixture thickens.

Orzo with Spinach and Pine Nuts

1 teaspoon margarine
1 clove garlic -- minced
1 3/4 cups water
3/4 cup uncooked orzo
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup tightly packed chopped fresh spinach
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon pine nuts -- toasted

Melt margarine in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add
garlic and saute 1 minute. Add 1-3/4 cups water, orzo, and salt,
and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 13 minutes
or until liquid is absorbed. Stir in spinach and remaining
ingredients.

Per serving: Cal 321 (23% from fat) / Prot 12.8g / Fat 8.1g
(Sat 2g, Mono 2.7g, Poly 2.6g) / Carb 50.3g / Fiber 2.7g / Chol
4mg / Iron 3.9mg / Sodium 289mg / Calcium 114mg

Yield: 2 1-cup servings

Cashew & Pork Stir-Fry

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pork tenderloin (about 1 pound), cut into 1/4-inch strips
1 medium yellow onion, cut into 8 wedges
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups broccoli flowerets
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into squares (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup cashews or peanuts (optional)
1 1/2 cups white rice, cooked

In a small bowl, combine broth, soy sauce, and cornstarch. Mix well. Set aside. Heat a wok or large nonstick skillet over high heat.

Add oil to wok; heat until hot but not smoking. Add pork to wok; cook, stirring constantly, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Transfer pork to a paper towel-lined plate.

Add onion and garlic to wok; cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add broccoli and bell pepper; cook, stirring constantly, until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes.

Add pork to wok. Give the broth mixture a good stir and add to wok. Cook, stirring, until pork is heated through and sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Stir in cashews. Place rice on individual serving plates. Spoon pork mixture over rice. Serve immediately.

Serves 6. Per serving: 427 Cal.; 25g Protein; 13g Fat; 52g Carb.; 537mg Sodium; 50mg Chol.; 3g Fiber

Chinese New Year Cookies

For the Cookies:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, plus extra to grease the baking sheet
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 egg whites
1 cup all-purpose flour

For the Fortunes:
paper or vellum for 16 fortunes
non-toxic ink

Preparation Time: 45 minutes plus standing
Baking Time: 8-12 minutes per cookie
Makes 16 cookies

Writing the Fortunes:
1. Cut paper or vellum into 5 x 1/2-inch strips. Write or type desired messages onto the paper.

Making the Cookies:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the center of a baking sheet well.

2. In a medium bowl, cream together sugar and butter until fluffy; add vanilla.

3. In a small bowl, using a wire whisk, whisk egg whites until light and frothy. Add egg whites to sugar and butter mixture; whisk until smooth. Beat in flour. Let batter sit for 10 minutes.

4. Spoon about 1 tablespoon batter onto the baking sheet. Using a thin spatula, spread the batter into a 5-inch diameter round, making sure to keep edges neat.

5. Bake until golden around edges, about 8 minutes. With a spatula, gently lift the cookie from the baking sheet. (It will be hot.) Working quickly, fold the cookie in half.

6. Bend pointed edges of cookie toward each other; hang on the rim of a bowl to cool. Thread fortune into cookie; repeat with remaining batter.

BOCA Chili

2 bell peppers (red, yellow or green), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. oil
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained
1 can (15 oz.) chili beans in sauce
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 pkg (12 oz.) frozen BOCA Meatless Ground Burger
1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chilies, drained
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin

COOK and stir peppers, onion and garlic in oil in large saucepan on medium-high heat 3 minutes.

ADD remaining ingredients. Bring to boil; reduce heat.

SIMMER 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with chopped tomato, green onion, reduced fat shredded cheese, light sour cream, hot pepper sauce or other favorite toppings, if desired. Makes 8 (1 cup) servings.

Great Spicy Substitute: Substitute 1/4 cup chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for chopped green chilies.

Brie-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion -- chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, cored, coarsely chop
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup apple cider
4 ounces Brie cheese, rind removed, cut into chunks
4 medium chicken breast halves, on the bone, with skin (2 lbs)

Heat oil in medium size nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook until very tender, about 8 minutes. Add apple, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 cup cider; cook until apples are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool slightly; Stir in Brie. Divide stuffing into 4 equal portions.
Heat oven to 400°.

Run fingers under breast skin to separate from flesh. Put one-fourth of the stuffing under the skin of each breast; press gently to distribute filling evenly. Season chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place in 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish.

Bake in 400 degree oven until no longer pink near bone, 35 minutes. (180 degrees on instant-read meat thermometer). Remove chicken to platter; keep warm.

Prepare sauce: Skim fat from baking dish. Scrape drippings into small saucepan. Heat over medium heat. Add remaining 1/2 cup apple cider; cook to reduce by half. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon thyme and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Spoon over chicken.
Serves 4.

Shrimp Creole

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 lbs frozen shrimp, deveined and fully-cooked
1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
1 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup diced celery
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp chili powder

Heat oil in large skillet. Add onion to skillet and cook until browned. Stir in tomato sauce, pepper, celery, salt, garlic powder and chili powder. Simmer over low heat uncovered about 10 minutes. Add shrimp and cook for 5 minutes or until shrimp is heated through.

To make ahead: Follow above steps, then remove from heat and cool. Place into 1 1/2-quart casserole that is lined with heavy foil, with enough overlap for a double fold seal. Seal and freeze. When frozen, remove foil pack from casserole and return to freezer. When ready to cook, remove foil from frozen Creole and slip Creole into the casserole in which it was frozen. Cover with foil and bake 1 hour in a preheated 400 degree oven.

Serve over cooked rice or noodles.

Serves 3 to 4.

Tenderloin for Two with Peppercorn Cream

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 (6 oz) beef tenderloin steaks
salt
pepper
1/4 cup brandy
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon multicolored peppercorns, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 tablespoons sour cream
hot cooked rice
fresh oregano sprigs, for garnish
Heat olive oil in a medium skillet until hot. Sprinkle tenderloin steaks with salt and pepper. Sear tenderloin steaks on both sides in skillet. Remove from skillet, and place on a rack in a broiler pan. Broil 5 1/2 inches from heat (with electric oven door partially opened) 5 to 7 minutes on each side or until meat thermometer registers 140 degrees (rare), 150 degrees (med. rare), or 160 degrees (medium).
Add brandy to drippings in skillet; bring to a boil, and deglaze pan by scraping particles that cling to bottom. Add minced garlic, peppercorns, oregano, and salt; cook 1 minute. Add whipping cream; bring to a boil, and cook 6 to 7 minutes or until sauce is reduced by half. Remove from heat; Whisk in sour cream, and spoon sauce over steaks. Serve with rice. Garnish, if desired.
Yield: 2 servings.

Almond-Stuffed Flounder with Creamy Tarragon Sauce

If you prefer, cook three ounces of fettuccine or linguine to serve under these fancy fish rolls in place of the wild rice. Choose a tomato or spinach pasta for added color and flavor.

2 4-ounce fresh or frozen flounder or sole fillets (1/4 to 1/2 inch thick)
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese (2 ounces)
2 tablespoons chopped almonds
1 tablespoon snipped chives
2 tablespoons margarine or butter, softened
Paprika
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup shredded carrot
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon dried tarragon, crushed
Dash salt
Dash white pepper
1/2 cup milk
1 cup hot cooked wild rice
Fresh tarragon (optional)

1. Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse fish; pat dry with paper towels. Set aside.
2. For stuffing, in a small bowl combine half of the Swiss cheese, the almonds, chives, and 1 tablespoon of the margarine or butter.
3. Spoon half of the stuffing onto one end of each piece of fish. Roll up fish around the stuffing. Place fish, seam side down, in a small baking dish. Sprinkle with paprika. Pour 3 tablespoons of the wine into the dish. Bake, uncovered, in a 375 degree F oven for 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
4. Meanwhile, for sauce, in a small saucepan cook carrot in the remaining margarine or butter for 3 to 4 minutes or until tender. Stir in the flour, tarragon, salt, and white pepper; add milk all at once. Cook and stir until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Stir in remaining Swiss cheese and remaining wine.
5. To serve, place fish rolls atop hot cooked wild rice; top with sauce. Garnish with fresh tarragon, if desired. Makes 2 servings.

Fettuccine with Herbed Shrimp

12 ounces fresh or frozen peeled, deveined shrimp
6 ounces packaged dried plain and/or spinach fettuccine
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil or cooking oil
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon instant chicken bouillon granules
1 tablespoon snipped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1-1/2 teaspoons snipped fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup snipped parsley

1. Thaw shrimp, if frozen. Cut shrimp in half lengthwise, set aside.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; keep warm.
3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan cook mushrooms, onion, and garlic in hot oil until onion is tender but not brown.
4. In a small mixing bowl stir together wine, bouillon granules, basil, oregano, cornstarch, and pepper. Add to saucepan. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.
5. Add shrimp to wine mixture. Cover and simmer about 2 minutes or until shrimp turn opaque. Stir in tomatoes; heat through.
6. Spoon the shrimp mixture over pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and parsley. Toss to mix. Makes 4 main-dish servings.

Hello Dollies

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 cups baking morsels (e.g., combination of chocolate chips, white chocolate, butterscotch chips, etc.)
1 pkg (7 oz.) coconut
1 cup chopped nuts
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a 9 x 13-inch baking pan, melt butter (takes approx. 5 minutes in preheated oven). Mix the graham crackers into the melted butter in pan. Pat graham cracker mixture into bottom of pan, forming a base. Sprinkle baking morsels of your choice, then nuts, and coconut over top. Drizzle sweetened condensed milk over top of layers, coating well. Bake for 35 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack; cut into bars.

Spinach Fettuccini with Salmon

1 lb spinach fettuccini
1-2 Tbsp capers
1 tsp olive oil
3/4 tsp pepper, divided
jar of alfredo sauce
1 cup green peas
4 (4 oz) salmon fillets
1/4 tsp salt

Prepare pasta according to package. Saute peas and capers in hot oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat until peas are tender. Stir in 1/2 tsp pepper. Remove from heat and set aside. Heat alfredo sauce in pot at medium. Add cooked pasta. Add to pea mixture and toss. Keep warm. Sprinkle salmon evenly with remaining 1/4 tsp pepper and salt. Grill salmon, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat (350-400 F) 4-5 minutes on each side. Serve over fettuccine mixture.

Sunrise Breakfast Pizza

1 lb. sausage
1/2 cup onions, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1 can (4 oz) mushrooms, drained
OR 1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 can (8 oz) crescent rolls
1/4 cup milk
4 eggs, beaten
1 pkg (8 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown sausage, drain well. Saute peppers, onions & mushrooms in small amount of drippings until tender. Line 9x12 inch baking pan with crescent rolls, pat into pan. Pour on sausage mixture, add combined egg and milk mixture, sprinkle cheese over top. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.

Apple Streusel Cake

Ingredients:

For the Streusel:
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup chopped apples
1 cup sliced almonds, pecans or walnuts (optional)
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp butter, melted

For the Cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup orange juice

For the Glaze:
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2.5 tsp orange juice

Streusel:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9- or 10-inch tube pan. To prepare streusel, in a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, apples, almonds, flour and cinnamon. Stir in melted butter.

Cake:
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and baking soda; mix well. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time; beat well after each addition. Add vanilla.

Set mixer to low; alternately beat flour mixture and orange juice into egg mixture. Spoon half of butter into tube pan. Sprinkle with half of streusel.

Spoon the remaining batter over the streusel, spreading to make an even layer. Swirl batter with a knife to create a marble pattern.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove cake from oven; sprinkle top with remaining streusel. Return cake to the oven; bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; cool completely.

Glaze:
Combine confectioners' sugar and orange juice. Mix well. Turn cake out onto a serving plate; invert so streusel is on top. Drizzle glaze over cake; serve.

Serves 12

Bubble Bread

18 frozen dinner rolls
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 box (3 oz.) butterscotch cook-and-serve pudding mix
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup butter, melted

Grease and flour Bundt pan. Place frozen rolls around side and bottom of pan. Mix brown sugar, pudding mix, granulated sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Sprinkle over rolls. Pour melted butter over top. Place, uncovered, on cabinet overnight. Next morning bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Cheesy Garlic Bread

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

1 medium loaf French bread, unsliced
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cloves garlic, halved
1 tsp dried parsley
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut slices down the length of bread loaf at 1-inch intervals, without cutting all the way through.

Rub slices and top of loaf with cut sides of garlic halves. Mince garlic.

Combine butter, garlic, parsley and Parmesan in a small bowl. Spread butter mixture between bread slices and on top of loaf.

Wrap bread in foil, leaving top partially uncovered. Bake until heated through, about 15 minutes.

(For a variation, substitute white Cheddar cheese for the Parmesan and chopped chives for the parsley.)

Serves 4

Chocolate Turtle Cheesecake

Prep Time 30 min
Cook Time 5 min

Ingredients:

1 (7-oz) pkg caramels
1/4 cup evaporated milk
3/4 cup chopped pecans, divided
1 (9-in) chocolate crumb piecrust
2 (3-oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups milk
1 (3.9-oz) pkg chocolate instant pudding mix
1/2 cup fudge topping

Place caramels and evaporated milk in a heavy saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring continually, until smooth, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped pecans. Pour into piecrust.

Combine cream cheese, sour cream and milk in a blender. Process until smooth. add pudding mix; process for about 30 seconds longer.

Pour pudding mixture over caramel layer, covering evenly. Chill, loosely covered, until set, about 15 minutes.

Drizzle fudge topping over pudding layer in a decorative pattern. Sprinkle top of cake with remaining pecans. Chill, loosely covered, until serving time.

(For a variation, drizzle 1/4 cup caramel topping over the cheesecake instead of the fudge topping.)

Serves 12

Edible Cookie Bowl

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup blanched, slivered almonds, finely ground
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
assorted cookies, candies, etc. to put inside bowl

Directions:
Cover the outside of loaf pan with foil. Spray with vegetable cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, almonds and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium, beat butter, sugar, egg and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add flour mixture; beat until a dough forms, about 2 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Roll dough out to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter with scalloped edges, cut out shapes.

Cover pan with cutouts, overlapping and pressing them slightly.

Bake cookie bowl until edges are firm, about 15 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and cool completely.

To remove the cookie bowl, carefully lift it off the foil-lined loaf pan. Remove foil.

Arrange candies or other assorted cookies in the cookie bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap until ready to serve.

Variations:
Candy dish - fill small cookie bowl with M&Ms

All wrapped up - as a gift, wrap in colorful cellophane paper and tie with ribbon
Ice cream bowl - Bake a few smaller cookie bowls and serve with ice cream for a fun dessert treat
Make a round cookie bowl by overlapping and molding the cookie disks over a round bowl.

Funny Monkey Face Cookies

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp banana extract, optional
2 squares (2 oz) semisweet chocolate, melted
1 box (16 oz) confectioners' sugar
6 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp powdered egg whites
brown food coloring

Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; set aside. Using mixer on high, beat butter and sugar until creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in egg and extracts; add chocolate until blended. On low speed, gradually add flour mixture and beat until a stiff dough forms. Divide dough in half; shape into 1-inch thick disks. Wrap each in plastic wrap. Chill until firm, 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 baking sheets. Roll dough to a 1/4 inch thickness. Using a monkey template, cut out shapes; transfer to baking sheets.

Bake cookies until firm, about 8 minutes. Place sheets on wire racks; cool slightly. Transfer cookies to racks; cool completely.

In a large bowl, with mixer on medium, beat confectioners' sugar, water and powdered egg whites until thick and fluffy. Set aside 1 cup icing; divide remaining among 2 bowls. Using brown food coloring, tint 1 bowl light brown; tint second bowl dark brown.

Place 1/2 cup light brown icing into a pastry bag fitted with a small writing tip; outline cookie with wavy line. Inside wavy line, pipe outline of face. Thin remaining light brown icing with water; fill in outline of face. Let dry completely, about 45 minutes.

Fill a resealable plastic bag with white icing; snip off 1 corner and pipe eyes. Fill pastry bag fitted with a small writing tip with dark brown icing; pipe eyebrows, nose, ears, mouth and dots on white areas for eyes. Let dry, about 30 minutes.

Makes 3 dozen.

Mini Gingerbread Houses

Ingredients:
- For Gingerbread:
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

- For icing glue:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 egg white
1/3 cup boiling water

- Extras & recommended decorations:
stiff cardboard
pastry bag with small & medium round tips
prepared vanilla frosting
bite-size frosted wheat cereal
striped Hershey's Kisses
various shapes of pretzels
ice-cream cones

Directions:
- Making the Gingerbread
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a small pan, cook corn syrup, brown sugar and vegetable shortening over medium heat, stirring until smooth.

In a large bowl, combine flour, ginger and cinnamon. Mix well. Add corn syrup mixture, stirring until dough forms. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle. Cut shapes (see template below); place 1 inch apart on baking sheets. Bake 10-15 minutes. Place sheets on racks; cool slightly. Trim cookies; cool completely.

- Making the House
For icing glue, in a medium bowl, combine confectioners' sugar, cream of tartar and egg white; add boiling water. Beat until icing holds stiff peaks.

Working with the front and sides of house first, generously apply the icing glue along adjoining sides. (It's best to apply icing with a pastry bag fitted with a medium tip, but you can also use a spatula.) Hold the walls upright while the icing hardens. Repeat with remaining sides.

Once sides are firmly together, liberally apply icing glue to bottom edges. Attach house framework to the cardboard base. Let icing harden.

Next apply roof. For best results, apply the icing glue to top edges of side, front and back walls. Apply icing glue along peak of roof. Gently press roof pieces in place. Allow icing to harden well before decorating.

- Decorating the House:
Using a pastry bag fitted with a small tip, pipe decorations onto house.

Spread cardboard base with frosting and attach frosted cereal or pretzels as a fence while frosting is still moist.

Spread the roof liberally with frosting and attach striped chocolate candies or other sweets as desired. Let icing harden before moving to display area.

Variations; Use colored icing, candy-coated wafers, jelly beans and other candies for a colorful house. For an elaborate house, make graham cracker door and windows, a mini pretzel fence, a nonpareil roof and an ice-cream cone tree.

Mustard Lemon Chicken Breasts

2 Tbsp mustard
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. paprika
4 6-oz. skinless chicken breasts, halved

George Foreman Grill Instructions:
Mix first 5 ingredients.
Add chicken breast and let it marinate for at least 1/2 hour in the refrigerator.
Preheat the grilling machine for 3-5 minutes.
Place marinated chicken on Grilling Machine and close lid. Let cook for 3-1/2 minutes.
Remove and serve
Serves 4.

Parslied Potatoes

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs small new red potatoes, scrubbed
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
1/2 tsp pepper

1. Peel a strip of skin from around the middle of each potato; place potatoes in cold water. Set aside.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; add oil. Saute onion and garlic for 5 minutes or until tender. Add broth and 3/4 cup parsley; mix well. Bring to a boil.
3. Place potatoes in a single layer in skillet. Return to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
4. Remove potatoes with a slotted spoon to serving bowl. Add pepper to skillet; stir. Pour sauce over potatoes. Sprinkle with remaining parsley.

Variation: Replace parsley with basil leaves and add 1/4 tsp hot red pepper flakes for an Italian twist.

Serves 6

Pasta Primavera with Shrimp

Prep Time 30 minutes

8 oz linguine pasta
1 each small red and yellow bell pepper, quartered lengthwise; cut crosswise in narrow strips
2 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise, then cut crosswise in 1/2-inch thick pieces
4 oz fresh snow peas, stem ends trimmed
3 Tbsp olive oil
12 oz raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pt grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
2 Tbsp narrow strips fresh basil leaves

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook as package directs, adding bell peppers, zucchini and snow peas about 1 minute before pasta will be done. Remove and reserve 3/4 cup cooking water; drain pasta and vegetables well in a colander.

2. While pasta cooks, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and saute until nicely browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Remove to a large serving bowl.

3. Add garlic to skillet and stir 1 to 2 minutes until golden. Stir in reserved cooking water, then add to bowl with shrimp, along with the pasta and vegetables and tomatoes. Toss to mix and coat; garnish with basil.

Per serving, 414 calories, 23 g fat

Serves 4

Pepper Sirloin Steak

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes

Ingredients:
1 (2.5 lb) sirloin steak, 1.5 inches thick
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup chopped fresh chopped parsley or 4 tsp dried parsley
1/4 cup minced onion
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp dry mustard

Lightly score edges of steak at 1-inch intervals. Preheat grill or broiler.

Combine butter, parsley, onion, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, and mustard in a small saucepan. Heat, stirring continually, over low heat, until butter melts. Reserve 1/4 of the mixture.

Place steak on grill or broiler pan. Brush steak with butter mixture. Cook, basting frequently with butter mixture, about 6 minutes per side (for medium).

Place steak on a serving platter. Cut thin slices across the grain. Drizzle reserved butter mixture over steak.

Rib Roast Dinner

1 Tbsp coarsely cracked black pepper
1 2.25-lb boneless rib roast or tenderloin
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 Tbsp fresh chives
1 Tbsp fresh tarragon leaves
1 tsp dried thyme

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Rub the pepper evenly over beef, pressing gently so pepper adheres.

Place the herbs in a large measuring cup and chop using kitchen shears.

On a sheet of waxed paper, combine fresh and dried herbs. Roll beef in herb mixture to completely coat.

Loosely tie the beef at 2-inch intervals with kitchen twine. (Do not tie the beef too tightly with twine or the flavorful meat juices might escape.) Place beef on roasting rack.

Roast until an instant-read meat thermometer registers 155 F for medium, about 30 minutes (or 170 for well-done). Let stand for 5 minutes; carve into thin slices.

Serves 6

Roaring Lion Cookies

Baking Time: 8 minutes

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1 large egg
2 Tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 cups butterscotch chips, melted
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted
chocolate sprinkles

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer set on high, beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, milk and extracts.

With mixer on medium, gradually beat flour mixture into butter mixture until a soft dough forms, about 2 minutes. Form dough into a ball; wrap in plastic wrap. Chill dough until firm, about 30 minutes

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. Using the lion cutter, cut out shapes. Transfer to prepared baking sheets. Bake until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Place sheets on wire racks; cool slightly. Transfer cookies to racks; cool completely.

Spread melted butterscotch over tops of cookies, leaving face area plain.

Fill a resealable plastic bag with 1/4 cup melted butterscotch. Snip off 1 corner and pipe a tail along center of body.

Using tweezers, place chocolate sprinkles onto butterscotch around the fact to form mane and end of tail. Fill another plastic bag with melted chocolate chips, snip off 1 corner and pipe on face. Let cookies stand until set, about 1 hour.

Makes 4 dozen

Rosemary Lamb Chops

Ingredients:
4 lamb chops, shoulder or loin
2 tsp fresh chopped rosemary (or 1/2 tsp dried)
ground black pepper to taste

Foreman Grill Directions:
Coat chops with rosemary and pepper.

Preheat the grilling machine for 3-5 minutes

Close lid and cook for 5 minutes for medium (a hint of pink in the middle) and 7 minutes for well done.

Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Salsa with Corn

Cut corn from 2 ears; stir in an equal amount of rinsed canned black beans, 1 tsp minced jalapeno pepper, and 2 Tbsp each lime juice and olive oil. Serve with chips.

Strip Steak Polynesian

4 Tbsp soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp honey
4-6 oz. strip steaks

Foreman Grill Directions:
Combine the first 3 ingredients
Marinate the strip steak in the mixture for approximately one hour in the refrigerator.

Preheat the Grilling Machine for 3-5 minutes

Place the marinated strip steak onto the preheated grill. Close the lid.

Grill for 3 minutes, open grill, add the rest of the marinade sauce to the top of the steaks. Close the lid.

Grill for 1 minute, then serve on a bed of rice.

Serves 4

Tender Pot-Roasted Beef

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:
1 (2-lb) bottom round or rump roast, trimmed
juice of 1 lemon
1 oven cooking bag
2 onions, thinly sliced
8 baby carrots
2 medium potatoes, peeled, quartered
4 stalks celery, sliced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp dried thyme
2 cups tomato juice

Place beef in a shallow roasting pan. Sprinkle beef with lemon juice; pierce with a fork. Cover and refrigerate until ready to roast. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare beef in oven cooking bag according to package directions. Return to roasting pan. Arrange onions, carrots and potatoes around beef. Top with celery and bell pepper.

Sprinkle beef with garlic, mustard, and thyme. Pour tomato juice around beef in cooking bag. Seal bag; cut slits. Roast for 1 hour or until very tender. (To reduce cooking time to 45 minutes, cut the uncooked beef into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange slices, slightly overlapping, in the oven cooking bag.)

Remove beef from oven cooking bag. Let stand, covered, for about 5 minutes; cut into slices. Arrange vegetables around beef on a serving platter.

Serves 4

Tomatoes with Sole

2 tsp olive oil or red wine (optional)
2 small onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 small tomatoes, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh basil or 1/2 tsp dried, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp ground pepper
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 lb fillet of sole (or any white fish fillet)

Foreman Grill Directions:
Preheat the grilling machine for 3-5 minutes

Saute the onion and garlic in oil or wine for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the tomato, half of the herbs and a few grinds of pepper. Lay the fish on top, add the lemon juice and remaining herbs.

Cover and let cook for 2-3 minutes.

Lift the fish and the vegetables onto a plate. If any juices have dripped into the Drip Tray, use as a sauce to pour on top of the fillet.

Serve wth fresh bread or rice.

Vegetable Party Bouquet

Ingredients:

- For the Base:
1 large head of cabbage

- For the Bouquet:
1 bunch radishes
1 yellow bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
5 medium carrots
2 bunches green onions
2 cups broccoli florets
2 cups cauliflower florets
1 cucumber, sliced into rounds
1 pint cherry tomatoes
5 stalks celery with tops
1 small head endive
1 bunch chicory
1 bunch asparagus spears, blanched
1 box thin Italian breadsticks
bamboo skewers
large basket, 2 inches deep

Preparing the Vegetables:
Cut off ends of each radish. Slice halfway down on four sides to form petals. Place in bowl of ice water.

Core bell peppers; cut into vertical leaf-shaped slices.

Make tulips from carrots by slicing toward pointed end of carrot with top of paring knife to form a petal -- do not cut through. Form two more petals around carrot. Angle knife tip to separate flower from rest of carrot. Continue cutting out more tulips from carrot.

Cut off bottom of the green onion stalks (about 3 inches); reserve upper portions. Make close vertical slits in white part of onion, from cut end down to an inch from base. Place in ice water to frill.

Assembling the Bouquet:
Trim skewers to various lengths. Place leftover green onion stalks over some skewers like a sheath.

Insert tops of sheathed skewers into bottoms of all florets, pepper and cucumber slices, radish and carrot flowers, tomatoes, prepared green onions, celery stalks and endive and chicory leaves. Insert unsheathed skewers into asparagus spears and breadsticks.

Cut cabbage in half; place in bottom of basket. To form a pleasing rounded bouquet, insert ends of skewers into cabbage, balancing shapes and colors of vegetables. Place vegetables on shorter skewers along outer rim of basket.

Tips:
To make ahead, chop and carve the vegetables up to 1 day in advance. Store in a bowl of ice water in the refrigerator.
Olives, yellow squash and green peppers can be substituted for some of the listed ingredients.
Can be served with cheesy herb dip and crisp sesame crackers for an appetizer. Or for a main meal, serve with favorite soup and bread.

Variations:
A simple circle: Arrange sliced rounds of cucumbers, various peppers and endive spears in overlapping circles. Fill the center with broccoli florets and diced peppers.
The square root: A brightly-colored square platter, filled with colorful cut-up vegetables arranged in a tic-tac-toe grid, makes a stunning presentation.

Meringue Nests with Nutella Nutty Eggs

Servings: 8
Serving Size: 1 nest (3 eggs)

Ingredients:
Meringue Nests:
2 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1/2 cup toasted almonds, finely ground

Nutella Eggs:
1 cup Nutella
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar


To make Meringue Nests with Nutella Nutty Eggs:
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line 2 jelly roll pans with aluminum foil. Butter and flour each pan. Using a toothpick, and a 2-inch biscuit cutter, trace 8 circles onto the foil.

Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in an ungreased mixing bowl. Using a hand- held mixer, beat the egg whites at medium speed until soft peaks form. Continuing to whip, gradually add the sugar and increase mixer speed to high. Whip until the meringue looks glossy and reaches stiff peaks. Spread 2 tablespoons of meringue onto each circle and, with a spoon, hollow out an indentation. Sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon of almonds on each nests and bake for 1 hour or until dry. Allow nests to cool before peeling from foil.

To make the eggs:
Stir the Nutella and corn syrup together until completely incorporated, forming a dough. Divide the dough in half and roll each piece into a log 6-inches long. Cut each log into 12 pieces and roll them one at a time between your hands to form an oval-shaped egg. Place eggs on a tray and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

When ready to serve, whip the cream to stiff peaks ad spoon 2 tablespoons into each next. Top with 3 eggs and dust lightly with cocoa powder and confectioner's sugar.

To toast the almonds:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spread the almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Allow the nuts to cool completely before grinding.

Grilled Corn with Garlic Dill Butter

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 8 hours
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 Tbsp chopped fresh dill weed
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 fresh ears of corn with husks

Stir together first 3 ingredients; cover and chill 8 hours.

Remove husks from corn. Grill corn, uncovered, on a lightly greased grill rack over medium heat about 10 minutes or until corn is tender, turning occasionally. Serve with herbed butter.

Serves 6

Italian Grilled Potato Skins

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 20 min

Ingredients:
6 medium baking potatoes
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1 (14-oz) jar pizza sauce
1/2 (6-oz) pkg. sliced pepperoni
1 1/2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend

Microwave potatoes on high for 8 minutes, turning once; slice in half lengthwise.

Combine oil, garlic and Italian seasoning in a small bowl. Brush cut surfaces of potato halves with half of oil mixture.

Grill potatoes, cut-side down, on a lightly greased grill rack over medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until tender.

Scoop out insides of each potato half, leaving a half-inch-thich shell. Brush insides of the potato shells with remaining oil mixture. Spoon sauce into each shell; add pepperoni and cheese.

Return potatoes to the grill and cook 5 minutes more or until cheese melts.

Serves 12 as an appetizer.

Per serving: 231 cal, 16 g fat

Spinach Mushroom Pizza

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 10 min

1 (10-oz) pkg fresh baby spinach
1 (8-oz) pkg sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 (14-oz) jar pizza sauce
1 (12-oz) pkg refrigerated pizza crusts
3/4 (8-oz) pkg shredded mozzarella cheese

Saute first 5 ingredients in a large skillet 3 minutes or until spinach is wilted; drain and remove from heat.

Spoon sauce evenly over pizza crusts. Add spinach mixture and sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Grill, covered with grill lid, over indirect heat about 3-5 minutes or until slightly crisp.

Serves 6 as a main dish or 12 as an appetizer.

Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches with Hummus

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes

5 zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices
1 red onion, sliced crosswise into 1/2 inch slices
1 large tomato, sliced crosswise into 1/2 inch slices
1 red bell pepper, seeded and quartered
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
4 pita bread pockets
1 (8-oz) pkg hummus

Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl; drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with oregano, salt and pepper.

Grill vegetables on a lightly greased grill rack over medium heat for 5 minutes or until browned. Meanwhile, spread inside of pita pockets with hummus. Divide cooked vegetables equally among pita pockets.

Variation: substitute mustard, ranch dressing or feta cheese for hummus.

Serves 4

Per serving: 350 cal, 13 g fat

Nutella Coconut Semifreddo

3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted (see instructions) and cooled, divided
4 large eggs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup Nutella, warmed slightly and divided (see instructions)
2 cups heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

Spray a 9x5-inch loaf pan with non-stick spray, line it with parchment or wax paper and spray the pan completely again. Dust the pan with 1/2 cup toasted coconut, covering the sides and the bottom generously.

Place the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl and set it over a pot of just-simmering water, whisking constantly until the eggs are warm, about 2 minutes. With an electric mixer, immediately whip the egg mixture on high speed until pale and triple in volume, about 3-5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup Nutella and the remaining 1/4 cup coconut and mix on low speed just to combine. Pour half of the cream mixture into the prepared pan and drizzle with half of the remaining warmed Nutella. Repeat. Using a knife or spatula, lightly swirl the Nutella into the cream. Pour into the prepared pan. Freeze for at least 4 hours.

Invert the pan onto a serving plate and, using a warm wet cloth or a culinary torch, warm the sides until the semifreddo releases from the pan. Remove the paper and slice. Serve cold with your favorite fresh fruit.

* To toast the coconut - Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

* To warm the Nutella - In the microwave, heat on high in a microwaveable bowl for 5 seconds. Or for the stovetop, heat on low heat in a pot until mixture becomes creamy.

Makes 12 1-piece servings.

Nutella Banana Empanadas

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
10 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/3 cup ice water
1 large banana, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 cup Nutella
2 Tbsp granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Using 2 forks or knives, or a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles a cornmeal texture. This step also can be done in the food processor, using the pulse button, making sure not to overmix. Add the water all at once, stirring gently with a fork just until the dough comes together. Form dough into a 6-inch square, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

In a separate small bowl, stir the copped banana into the Nutella just until combined. It will thicken and become stiff.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide in half. Roll out each half to a 14-by-i-inch rectangle, 1/4-inch thick. Using a square or round 3-inch cookie cutter, punch out 8 pieces per half. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of the Nutella-banana mixture onto each dough cutout. Brush the outer perimeter with water, folding the sides together to form a pocket. Pinch the edges together with a fork, brush with a little water and sprinkle with sugar. Freeze on parchment or foil-lined baking sheets for at least 15 minutes. (The empanadas can be made up to this point and may be frozen for up to 3 months.) Bake the empanadas until golden, about 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Serving ideas: Serve warm with cinnamon ice cream or whipped cream.

Alternative: If you're in a rush, try using ready-made pie crust dough instead of making it from scratch.

Serves 8 (2 pieces per serving)

Nutella Black and White Cheesecake

Ingredients:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream, divided
3/4 cup Nutella, warmed slightly and divided (see instructions)
1 chocolate cookie pie crust

In a bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, whisk 1/2 cup heavy cream with the Nutella, leaving no lumps. Whip the remaining heavy cream until soft peaks form. Divide the cream in half, folding half into the cream cheese and half into the Nutella mixture. Alternately spoon the two batters into the pie crust, creating layers. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and serve.

* For an extra touch, drizzle some warmed Nutella over the top of the pie and on individual plates before serving.

* To warm the Nutella - In the microwave, heat on high in a microwaveable bowl for 5 seconds. Or for the stovetop, heat on low heat in a pot until mixture becomes creamy.

* Hint: To help the heavy cream whip faster, freeze the bowl and beaters for 5-10 minutes before adding the liquid.

Makes 12 1-slice servings

Cheese Biscuits

1 cup biscuit mix
1/4 milk
2 T mayonnaise
1/2 c grate cheese
dash salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Blend together biscuit mix, cheese, milk, mayo, and salt w/ fork. Shape into balls. Bake on a greased baking sheet for 7-10 minutes.

Bacon and Cheese Biscuits

1/2 c. shortening
2 c. flour
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 c. crisply cooked and crumbled bacon
2/3 to 3/4 c. milk

Heat oven to 450. Cut shortening into flour until crumbly. Stir in cheese and bacon. Stir in enough milk until soft dough forms. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead gently 10 times. Roll or pat dough 1/2 inch thick. Cut with floured 2 1/2 inch cutter. Place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until golden brown. About 10 biscuits.

Nutella Granita

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Nutella
3 cups water
2 oranges, zested and juiced (see instructions)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 whole vanilla bean, split and scraped

Pour all the ingredients into a 2-quart saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil while stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat.

Strain the mixture into a 13x9-inch casserole dish and place it in the freezer for 2 hours, scraping every 30 minutes with a fork. (At first the mixture will be liquid and seem as if you're only stirring it, but as it freezes, it will begin to get icy and you'll eventually be able to scrape it.) Continue until the mixture is completely frozen and crystallized.

Transfer the mixture to a food processor and pulse it a few times to smooth. Freeze until ready to serve.

* To zest the oranges, after washing them thoroughly, scrape the rinds of the oranges against a fine cheese grater or citrus zester, being careful not to remove the bitter white pith that surrounds the oranges. (Grated citrus rind contains the aromatic oils that give flavor to the food.) To juice the oranges, cut them in half and using a juicer or a spoon inserted in the center of each piece, squeeze the oranges over a bowl with a strainer to catch any seeds.

Makes 8 1/2-cup servings

Nutella Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ingredients:
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp instant espresso powder
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup Nutella, divided
6 oz white chocolate bars, coarsely chopped
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup dry-roasted cashews, coarsely chopped
2 pints vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and espresso powder. In a medium bowl, using a hand-held mixer, beat together the butter and shortening for 1 minute. Add the sugars and beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes. Lower the speed, scrape down the sides and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Stir in the vanilla, 1/3 cup Nutella and the flour mixture. Add both chocolates and cashews. Place 2 Tbsp of batter per cookie on a sheet pan, allowing for 3 inches in between each one, and bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool cookies completely. Spread 1 cookie with 1/2 Tbsp Nutella. Place a large scoop of ice cream on another cookie and sandwich the two together so the Nutella and ice cream face each other. Continue with remaining cookies.

Makes 8 sandwiches (8 servings)

Nutella Linzer Cookies

Ingredients:
- Cookie Dough:
2 cups blanched hazelnuts, toasted and cooled (see instructions)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
6 Tbsp Nutella

- Filling:
1/2 cup Nutella
1/2 cup raspberry jam
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar (optional)

Grind the hazelnuts, cornstarch and salt in a food processor for 30 seconds or until finely ground. Add the eggs and 6 Tbsp Nutella and pulse until the mixture comes together. Pat the dough into a circle, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Divide the dough in half and roll out each piece between 2 sheets of parchment or wax paper to 1/4-inch thickness (or 8x10 inches). Using a 2-inch fluted cookie cutter, cut out 12 cookies per piece. On one baking sheet, using a 1-inch cookie cutter, cut into the center of each cookie and remove that cutout leaving a hole for the jam. Transfer the cookies to a fresh parchment paper or aluminum foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Spread the cookies without the holes (these are the bottoms) with 1 tsp of Nutella, then 1 tsp raspberry jam. Sift confectioner's sugar over the cookies with the holes and place them on top of the bottoms, creating 12 delicious sandwich cookies.

* To toast the hazelnuts - Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spread the hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Allow the nuts to cool completely before handling.

Makes 12 servings

Nutella Rice Pudding

Ingredients:
6 cups low-fat milk, divided
1 cup Nutella
2 cinnamon sticks (or 2 tsp ground cinnamon)
1 cup arborio rice
1 cup sour cherries or cranberries, dried

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 13x9-inch glass or metal (not aluminum) pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Whisk together 4 cups milk and the Nutella in a heavy-bottomed 4-quart saucepan. Add the cinnamon sticks and bring to a boil. Add the rice and sour cherries or cranberries and transfer to the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the remaining milk, combining well, and bake for 15 minutes longer. Remove the sticks. Cool for 15 minutes. Serve hot or cover and refrigerate. Serve with cinnamon-dusted whipped cream.

Makes 12 1/2 cup servings

Nutella Stix-n-Stones

Ingredients:
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips
1 cup Nutella
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped (see instructions)
1 cup cocktail peanuts
2 cups chow mein noodles
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil. In a bowl, melt the white chocolate chips and peanut butter chips in the microwave on medium power (50 percent) for 2 minutes. Add the Nutella and stir until smooth. Gently fold in the nuts, noodles and cranberries until completely combined. Drop by heaping tablespoons on to the prepared sheet and allow to set for 30 minutes. Store in an airtight container.

* To toast the hazelnuts - Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spread the hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Allow the nuts to cool completely before handling. If using hazelnuts with the skin on, rub them together in a kitchen towel after cooling to remove the skins.

Makes 36 pieces/servings.

Nutella Strawberry Finger Crepes

Ingredients:
1-1/4 cups milk
2 whole eggs
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp strawberry preserves
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 cup Nutella
2 Tbsp confectioner's sugar

Puree the milk, eggs and 2 Tbsp strawberry preserves in a food processor until smooth. Add the flour and melted butter, and pulse a few times until completely blended, but do not overmix. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Spray a crepe pan with non-stick cooking spray (or use a 9-inch non-stick frying pan and warm over medium heat. When the pan is hot, pour 1/4 cup batter in the pan, maneuvering it to spread the batter along the bottom. Once the mixture sets on top, carefully flip the crepe to cook the other side. Flip the crepe one more time onto a plate lined with parchment or wax paper. Repeat until all the batter is gone, separating each crepe with paper.

Spread each crepe with 1 Tbsp Nutella and 1/2 Tbsp strawberry preserves. Roll up and dust with confectioner's sugar. Serve with whipped cream if desired.

Makes 12 servings, 2 crepes per serving

Nutella Super Smoothies

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Nutella
1 pint low-fat vanilla yogurt
1 cup skim milk
1 pint mixed fruit, frozen
1 large banana, cut into 1-inch pieces

Put all ingredients in a blender and puree for 2 minutes or until smooth. Garnish with shaved chocolate, fresh berries or whipped cream.

Makes 8 1-cup servings

Nutella Swirl Ring

Ingredients:
1/2 cup warm water
1 pkg active dry yeast
4 Tbsp granulated sugar, divided
1/2 tsp salt, divided
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup Nutella, warmed slightly (see instructions)
2 Tbsp water (for brushing)
non-stick cooking spray

In a large bowl using an electric mixer, stir together 1/2 cup warm water, yeast, 2 Tbsp sugar and 1/4 tsp salt. Add 1 cup flour and the butter and mix on medium speed for 4 minutes. Add the remaining 2 cups flour and mix for an additional 2 minutes. Grease a large bowl with non-stick spray or butter and place the dough on it, turning it once. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 1 hour in a warm place until double in volume.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. When the dough has fully risen, punch it down and transfer to a floured surface. Roll the dough out to a 12-by-16-inch rectangle and spread evenly with the warmed Nutella, leaving a 1-inch band around the edge bare. Beginning at the log end, tightly roll up the dough like a newspaper, forming a 16-inch-long log. Brush the ends with a little water, and bring them together, pinching to form a ring. Transfer the ring to the prepared baking sheet. Using a sharp knife sprayed with non-stick cooking spray or oil, slice the ring into 12 individual buns - being sure not to cut all the way through so that the buns are still connected and allowing 1 inch between each slice. Gently separate them, so they rest against one another like dominoes. Brush the ring with 2 Tbsp water and sprinkle with remaining 2 Tbsp sugar. Bake for 35-45 minutes until golden brown. Let cool slightly before serving.

To warm Nutella: In the microwave, heat on high in a microwaveable bowl for 5 seconds. Or, for the stovetop, heat on low heat in a pot until mixture becomes creamy.

Servings: 12

Nutella Pumpkin Pie

Servings: 12
Serving size: 1 slice

Ingredients:
1 package pie crust dough mix (for 9-inch pie)
1/2 cup Nutella
1 cup sweetened condensed milk, divided
2 egg yolks
2 eggs
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin pie mix 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

To make Nutella Pumpkin Pie:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare the pie crust according to the directions on the box and line it in a 9-inch pie plate. Using a fork, press the dough around the edge of the plate. Line the pie with aluminum foil and fill with dried beans, uncooked rice or pie weights so the crust holds shape while baking. Pre-bake the shell for 10 minutes. Remove the dried beans, uncooked rice or pie weights and the aluminum foil from the pie crust and turn the oven down to 325 degrees.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, blend the Nutella with 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk and 2 egg yolks, stirring until mixed thoroughly. Carefully spread mixture evenly into the pie crust and bake for 30 minutes until puffy and just set.

In a second medium bowl, stir together the remaining sweetened condensed milk, 2 whole eggs, caned pumpkin pie mix and pumpkin pie spice. Gently spoon the mixture of the baked brownie layer of the pie and continue to bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool completely and refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve with whipped cream.

Alternative:
If you're in a rush, use a 9-inch ready-made pie crust instead of making it from scratch.

Heart-Shaped Toast

Servings: 8
Serving size: 1 piece

Ingredients:
12 slices cinnamon raisin bread
1/2 cup Nutella
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pint fresh raspberries

To make Nutella Heart-Shaped Toast:
Using 2-inch and 3 1/2" heart-shaped cookie cutters, punch 8 of each size out of the cinnamon raisin bread (each slice of bread should yield 1 large, or 2 small hearts). Toast each piece until golden brown and spread the large ones with 1 tablespoon of Nutella. Top the smaller toast pieces. In a chilled medium bowl, whip the heavy cream, maple syrup and vanilla extract until firm peaks form. Spoon a small dollop of cream on top of each toast, garnish with a few raspberries and serve.

For a change, substitute your favorite fruit for the raspberries. Or, add a touch of mint or a sprinkle of nuts.

Christmas Log

Servings: 12
Serving size: 1 slice

Ginger cake:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup potato starch
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 tablespoons candied ginger root, finely chopped
4 large eggs
1/4 light brown sugar
1/4 granulated sugar


Orange cream filling:
2 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons orange zest
1/2 cup granulated sugar
8 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened


Frosting:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup Nutella
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled


Sprinkle the final product all over with chocolate shavings for that "just out of the woods" look.


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2" x 17" jelly roll pan, line with aluminum foil, then grease and flour the foil, tapping out the excess flour.


Make the ginger cake:
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and potato starch. Stir in the gingers and set aside. In another medium bowl, using a hand-held mixer, whip the eggs on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the sugars; increase mixer speed to high speed and beat for 5 minutes longer or until the mixture has tripled in volume. Gently fold in the flour mixture in 3 batches until fully incorporated. Pour into the prepared pan and spread the batter evenly with a spatula. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the surface springs back lightly when touched.

Remove the cake from the oven and dust the surface lightly with confectioner's sugar. Lay a kitchen towel or a large piece of parchment over the cake and cover with a cooling rack. Carefully invert the cake onto the rack and gently remove the pan and the foil. Starting with the long end, roll the cake up in the towel and allow it to cool completely.


Make the pastry cream:
In a 4 qt. heavy bottomed saucepan, bring the milk, orange zest and sugar just to a boil. Remove from the heat. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and cornstarch. Slowly add the yolk mixture to milk, whisking constantly. While continuing to whisk, return the pan to a medium high heat, and boil for 2 minutes. Pour the hot pastry cream into a heat proof glass bowl and stir in the butter. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely cooled, about 1 hour.


Make the chocolate frosting:
Beat the butter and honey together using a hand-held mixer. Add the Nutella and bittersweet chocolate; whip until completely smooth.

Assemble the cake:
Gently unroll the cake from the towel, trim 1/4" off the sides with a serrated knife or kitchen scissors and spread the surface with the orange cream. Re-roll the cake.

Cut off a piece on the bias 2" from one end of the cake. Spread the rest of the roll with 3/4 of the frosting. Place the extra piece, flat side down, on top of the cake and cover with remaining frosting, so it resembles a log with a broken branch.

Chill for 30 minutes. To serve, garnish with chocolate curls, chopped toasted hazelnuts, and dust with confectioner's sugar.

Add ginger spice and orange to Nutella and you have a formula destined to be a holiday classic.

Black Bean & Roasted Red Pepper Dip

1 pkg (1 oz) Lawry's Taco Spices & Seasonings
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 jar (7 oz) roasted red peppers, drained
1 pkg (12 oz) light cream cheese
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1-2 tsp lime juice
Garnishes: chopped tomato and fresh cilantro

In food processor combine all ingredients except garnishes; mix thoroughly. Serve with tortilla chips and assorted raw vegetables.

Makes 2 cups

South of the Border Guacamole Dip

2 large ripe avocados
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
2 green chile peppers, seeded and chopped
1/8 tsp black pepper
3 Tbsp lemon juice

Chop avodacos coarsely and mash until smooth. Add tomato, onion, and chiles and mix gently. Add pepper and lemon juice. Stir. Cover tightly with plastic wrap until ready to serve. Serve with tortilla chips.

Spicy Refried Bean Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes

1 (16 oz) can refried beans
1 (4.5 oz) can chopped green chiles
1/2 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 cup water
1/4 cup coarsely crushed tortilla chips
2 tsp sliced green onions
1 tsp finely chopped jalapeno chile

In medium saucepan, combine all ingredients except chips, onions and jalapeno chile; mix well. Cook over medium heat until mixture just comes to a boil, stirring frequently.

Sprinkle each serving with chips, green onions, and jalapeno chile.

Makes 2 (1 1/2-cup) servings

Calories 250, fat 4 g

Ratatouille and Rice Stew

Prep Time: 40 minutes

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup uncooked regular long-grain white rice
1 small eggplant, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 medium green or yellow bell pepper, coarsely chopped
2 cups water
1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes, undrained, cut up
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried oregano leaves
1/4 tsp pepper
2 oz (1/2 cup) shredded fresh Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until garlic just begins to brown.

Stir in all remaining ingredients except cheese. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 18-22 minutes or until rice and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle each serving with cheese.

Makes 4 1-3/4 cup servings

220 Calories, 9 g fat

Quick Corn and Bean Chili

Prep Time: 25 minutes

1 lb lean ground beef
2 (15-oz) cans spicy chili beans, undrained
1 (14.5-oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (11-oz) can whole kernel sweet corn, undrained
1 (4.5-oz) can chopped green chiles

Brown ground beef in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. Drain well. Return to saucepan.

Add all remaining ingredients; mix well. Cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until thoroughly heated and flavors are blended, stirring occasionally.

Makes 5 (1 1/2-cup) servings

420 calories, 14 g fat

Vegetable, Bean and Ham Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 hours 15 minutes

1 cup dried navy beans, sorted rinsed
1 cup diced cooked ham (about 6 oz)
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup sliced carrots
2 (14.5-oz) cans ready-to-serve chicken broth
3/4 cup water
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper
2 bay leaves

Soak beans 8 hours or overnight. Drain. *

In 3 1/2 to 4 quart slow cooker, combine beans and all remaining ingredients; mix well.

Cover; cook on low setting for 8-12 hours.

At serving time, remove and discard bay leaves.

280 calories, 4 g fat

* Soak dried beans overnight in enough water to cover them by two inches. Or quick-soak the beans; place them in a large saucepan and add water to cover. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer the beans for 2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it stand, covered, for 1 hour. Drain and rinse the beans thoroughly.

Meatball Pasta Soup

Prep Time: 50 minutes

1 Tbsp olive or vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups water
2 (14.5-oz) cans Italian-style stewed tomatoes, undrained, cut up
1 (18-oz) pkg frozen cooked meatballs or Italian meatballs, thawed
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 oz (1/2 cup) elbow macaroni or rotini (spiral pasta)

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.

Add all remaining ingredients except macaroni; mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10 minutes.

Add macaroni; cook, uncovered, 10-15 minutes or until macaroni is tender.

Makes 6 (1 1/2-cup) servings

340 calories, 20 g fat per serving

Queensland Crab Bisque

queensland-crab-bisque.jpgPrep Time: 15 minutes

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sliced green onions
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp celery salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
1 quart (4 cups) milk
1 (6-oz) pkg frozen crabmeat, thawed
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup dry sherry
Green onion curls, optional

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions; cook and stir until tender. Stir in flour, celery salt and pepper; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Gradually add milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is slightly thickened. Stir in crabmeat, whipping cream and sherry; heat gently, stirring frequently. Garnish with green onion curls.

Makes 4 1-1/2 cup servings

410 calories, 28 g fat

Light Cheesy Mexicali Soup / Queso

Prep Time: 40 minutes

- TOMATO MIXTURE
1 tsp butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups (3-4 medium) chopped seeded tomatoes
1 cup water
2/3 cup low-sodium tomato juice
1 (4-oz) can whole green chiles, drained, cut into bite-sized strips
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3-5 drops hot pepper sauce

- CHEESE MIXTURE
1 (12-oz) can evaporated fat-free milk
1 cup water
8 oz pasteurized prepared cheese product, cubed (2 cups)
4 oz (1 cup) shredded Mont Jack cheese (made from 2% milk)
1/2 cup nonfat sour cream
1 Tbsp flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp butter

- GARNISH (optional)
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley or cilantro

Melt 1 tsp butter in medium nonstick saucepan. Add 1/2 cup onion and garlic; cook over medium heat 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in all remaining tomato mixture ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large nonstick saucepan, combine all cheese mixture ingredients; mix well. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently with wire whisk, until cheese and butter are melted and mixture just begins to boil.

Remove saucepans from heat. Slowly add tomato mixture to cheese mixture, stirring constantly. In small bowl, combine green onions and cilantro for garnish, if desired. Sprinkle each serving with green onion mixture.

Makes 6 (1 1/3-cup) servings

280 calories, 13 g fat

Lemon-Ginger Shrimp Noodle Soup

Prep Time: 25 minutes

2 (14.5 oz) cans ready-to-serve chicken broth
1 cup water
2 carrots, diagonally sliced
1 stalk celery, diagonally sliced
1 (3-oz) pkg. shrimp or chicken-flavored ramen noodle soup mix, noodles partially broken
1 1/2 teaspoons grated gingerroot
1 tsp finely shredded lemon peel
1/8 tsp pepper
4 oz (1 cup) fresh snow pea pods, cut in half diagonally (or substitute 1 cup frozen sugar snap peas, thawed)
12 oz shelled deveined uncooked medium shrimp

In large saucepan, combine broth, water, carrots, celery, seasoning packet from soup mix, gingerroot, lemon peel and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook 1 minute.

Add noodles and pea pods; mix well. Reduce heat; simmer 2 minutes.

Stir in shrimp. Cook 3-4 minutes or until shrimp turn pink and soup is thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally.

Makes 4 (1 1/2-cup) servings

220 calories, 6 g fat

Chicken Soup Italiano

Prep Time: 40 minutes

1 Tbsp olive or vegetable oil
1/2 medium red or green bell pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 small zucchini, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 cup water
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp pepper
2 (14.5-oz) cans chicken broth
2 1/4 oz. (1/2 cup) uncooked ditalini pasta (elbow or small shells can be substituted)
1 oz (1/4 cup) shredded fresh Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat until hot. Add bell pepper, onion, zucchini and garlic; cook and stir 3 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.

Add all remaining ingredients except ditalini and cheese. Bring to a boil. Add ditalini; cook 12-15 minutes or until ditalini is tender, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle each serving with cheese.

Makes 4 1.5 cup servings

290 calories, 12 g fat

Chicken and Vegetable Bow Tie Soup

Prep Time: 30 minutes

1 tsp oil
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
3 (14.5 oz) cans ready-to-serve chicken broth
2 cups water
1 (1-lb) pkg frozen broccoli, carrots and cauliflower
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
2.5 oz (1 cup) uncooked bow tie pasta (farfalla)
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat until hot. Add celery; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until crisp-tender.

Add broth and water; bring to a boil. Add frozen vegetables; return to a boil.

Add all remaining ingredients; mix well. Simmer 15 minutes or until pasta and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. If desired, season to taste with salt and pepper.

Makes 6 (1 2/3-cup) servings

190 calories, 6 g fat

Mexicali Chicken and Corn Soup

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 12 hours, 20 minutes

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 (1-lb) pkg frozen corn
2 (14.5-oz) cans ready-to-serve chicken broth
1 (14.5-oz) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
3/4 cup uncooked instant brown rice
1 Tbsp taco seasoning mix

In 3.5 to 4 quart slow cooker, combine chicken, corn, broth, and tomatoes; mix well.

Cover; cook on low setting for 8-12 hours.

About 20 minutes before serving, stir in rice and taco seasoning mix. Cover; cook an additional 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir before serving.

Makes 5 (1 2/3-cup) servings.

300 calories, 8 g fat

Pesto Baguettes

Prep Time: 20 min

- BREAD
1 cup + 1 Tbsp water
1/4 cup purchased pesto
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil leaves
3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp bread machine or active dry yeast
1/4 cup pine nuts
cornmeal

- TOPPING
1 egg white
1 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp shredded fresh Parmesan cheese

Use bread machine that produces 1 1/2-lb or larger loaf. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Measure remaining bread ingredients carefully, adding all ingredients except cornmeal. Follow manufacturer's directions for placing ingredients in bread machine pan.

Select Dough/Manual cycle. Do not use delay cycle. Follow manufacturer's directions for starting machine.

Remove dough from your pan with lightly floured hands; place on lightly floured surface. Knead dough 10 times. Cover; let rest 10 minutes.

Grease large cookie sheet; sprinkle lightly with cornmeal. On lightly floured surface, roll dough to form 14-inch square. Cut dough in half crosswise. Beginning with 14-inch side, roll up each half of the dough tightly; pinch edge of dough to seal. Taper ends of each roll slightly. Place loaves 3 inches apart on cornmeal-topped cookie sheet

With sharp knife, make 4 diagonal cuts, 1/4 inch deep, on each loaf. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and cloth towel. Let rise in warm place (80-85 degrees) for 20-35 minutes or until almost doubled.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, beat egg white and 1 Tbsp water slightly. Brush mixture over tops of loaves. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm, or cool on wire racks. Makes 2 (14-slice) loaves.

Per (1-slice) serving: 70 calories, 2 g fat

Sun-Dried Tomato Focaccia

Hands-On Time: 20 minutes

- BREAD
3/4 cup water
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup cut-up oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
1 cup bread flour
1 cup wheat flour
1 Tbsp instant nonfat dry milk
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bread machine / active dry yeast

- TOPPING
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
2 Tbsp shredded fresh Parmesan cheese

Use bread machine that produces 1 1/2-lb or larger loaf. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Measure remaining ingredients carefully, adding all bread ingredients. Follow manufacturer's instructions for placing ingredients in bread machine pan.

Select Dough/Manual cycle. Do not use delay cycle. Follow manufacturer's directions for starting machine.

Remove dough from pan with lightly floured hands; place on lightly floured surface. Knead dough 5 times. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. In small bowl, combine 1 Tbsp olive oil and garlic; mix well. Set aside.

Grease large cookie sheet or 12-inch pizza pan. Place dough on greased cookie sheet; press or roll to form 10-inch round. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and cloth towel. Let rise in warm place (80-85 degrees) for 25-35 minutes or until doubled in size.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. With fingers or handle of wooden spoon, poke holes 1 inch apart in dough. Brush with oil-garlic mixture. Sprinkle with basil and cheese.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes before serving. Cut into wedges.

Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 160 calories, 4 g fat

Classic Pasta e Fagioli

Prep Time: 1 hour

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup (3 oz) diced Canadian bacon or lean cooked ham
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 (15.5-oz) can great northern beans, drained, rinsed
2 (14.5-oz) cans ready-to-serve fat-free chicken broth
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp dried rosemary leaves, crushed
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 oz (1 cup) uncooked small shell pasta
1/3 cup shredded fresh Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir 2 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients except pasta and cheese. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Add pasta; cook 10-15 minutes or until pasta is tender. Sprinkle each serving with cheese.

Makes 4 (1.5 cup) servings.

Per serving: 280 calories, 6 g fat

German Sausage and Cabbage Soup

Prep Time: 30 minutes

1 Tbsp margarine or butter
3 cups purchased coleslaw blend (from 16-oz pkg)
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 stalk celery, sliced
1/2 tsp caraway seed
12 oz. precooked kielbasa, quartered lengthwise, cut into 1/2-inch slices
3 cups frozen southern-style hash-brown potatoes
2 (14.5-oz) cans ready-to-serve chicken broth
1/4 tsp coarse ground black pepper

Melt margarine in large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add coleslaw blend, onion, celery and caraway seed; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.

Add all remaining ingredients; mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 5-10 minutes or until potatoes are tender and soup is thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally.

Makes 5 (1.5-cup) servings.

Per serving: 340 calories, 22 g fat (With low-fat turkey kielbasa: 8 g fat)

Tuscan Mushroom Soup

Prep Time: 45 minutes

1/2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup hot water
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp finely chopped shallots
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lb white button mushrooms, sliced
6 oz wild mushrooms (such as shitake, cremini or oyster), stems trimmed, sliced
2 (14.5 oz) cans ready-to-serve chicken broth
3 Tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

In a small bowl, combine dried porcini mushrooms and hot water. Let stand 15 minutes. Drain, reserving liquid. Chop porcini mushrooms. Strain reserved soaking liquid; set aside.

Heat oil in 4-quart saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat until hot. Add shallots and garlic; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until shallots are tender and garlic just begins to brown.

Add button and wild mushrooms, chopped porcini mushrooms, broth and 1/2 cup of the reserved mushroom-soaking liquid. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.

In a small bowl, combine remaining mushroom-soaking liquid, flour, salt and pepper; mix with wire whisk until blended. Stir into soup. Cook an additional 3-5 minutes or until soup is bubbly and slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle each serving with parsley.

Makes 4 (1.5-cup) servings

Per serving: 150 calories, 5 g fat

Easy Shrimp and Vegetable Chowder

Prep Time: 15 minutes

1/2 cup ready-to-serve fat-free chicken broth
2 cups frozen broccoli, carrots and cauliflower
1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
1 (10-oz.) container refrigerated Alfredo sauce
1 (6-oz) pkg frozen cooked ready-to-eat small shrimp, thawed, rinsed

In medium saucepan, combine broth, frozen vegetables and basil. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 4-5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.

Stir in Alfredo sauce and shrimp. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently.

Makes 2 1.5-cup servings

Per serving: 430 calories, 25 g fat (Using light Alfredo sauce: 340 calories, 17 g fat)

Apricot Cream Cheese Ring

1/3 cup water
2 Tbsp butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
2 cups bread flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1-3/4 tsp yeast
1 pkg (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 Tbsp bread flour
1/2 - 1/3 cup apricot preserves
1 egg, beaten, if desired
2 Tbsp sliced almonds

Measure carefully, placing all ingredients except cream cheese, 1-1/2 Tbsp flour, the preserves, beaten egg and almonds in bread machine pan in order recommended by the manufacturer.

Select Dough/Manual cycle. Do not use Delay cycle.

Remove dough from pan, using lightly floured hands. Cover and let rest 10 minutes on lightly floured surface. Mix cream cheese and 1-1/2 Tbsp flour.

Grease round pan, 9 x 1-1/2 inches, with shortening. Roll dough into 15-inch circle. Place in pan, letting side of dough hang over edge or pan. Spread cream cheese mixture over dough in pan; spoon preserves over cream cheese. Make 28 cuts (use kitchen scissors dipped in flour or sprayed with cooking spray) along edge or dough at 1-inch intervals to about 1/2 inch above cream cheese. Twist pairs of dough strips and fold over cream cheese. Cover and let rise in warm place 40-50 minutes or until almost double.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Brush beaten egg over dough. Sprinkle with almonds. Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool at least 30 minutes before cutting.

Makes 1 Coffee Cake (10 servings)

Cranberry Orange Rolls

1 cup water
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
3-1/2 cups bread flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp yeast
ORANGE TOPPING (see recipe)
2/3 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup pecan halves, if desired
1/2 cup cranberry-orange relish
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp butter or margarine, softened

ORANGE TOPPING
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp grated orange peel
Mix all ingredients.

Measure carefully, placing water, 1/4 cup butter, egg, flour, sugar, salt and yeast in bread machine pan in order recommended by manufacturer.

Select Dough/Manual cycle. Do not use Delay cycle.

Grease rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches, with shortening. Make ORANGE TOPPING; pour into pan. Sprinkle cranberries and pecans over topping. Mix relish and cinnamon; set aside.

Remove dough from pan, using lightly floured hands. Cover and let rest 10 minutes on lightly floured surface. Flatten dough with hands or rolling pin into 15x10-inch rectangle. Spread 2 Tbsp butte rover dough to within 1/2 inch of edges. Spread relish over butter. Roll up tightly, beginning at 15-inch side. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal. Stretch and shape roll to make even. Cut roll into fifteen 1-inch slices. (A piece of dental floss or heavy thread helps cut even slices: place floss under the roll, bring ends of floss up and crisscross at top of roll, then pull ends in opposite directions.) Place cut sides down in pan. Cover and let rise in warm place 45-60 minutes or until double. (Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.)

Heat oven to 350. Bake 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately place heatproof serving platter or tray upside down onto pan; turn platter and pan over. Leave pan over rolls 1 minute; remove pan. Serve rolls warm, or let stand until cool.

Makes 15 rolls

Roasted-Pepper Foccacia

1 cup water
1 Tbsp butter or margarine, softened
3 cups bread flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp yeast
1/2 cup roasted red bell peppers, drained and chopped
1/3 cup quartered marinated artichoke hearts, drained
cornmeal
1 Tbsp olive oil
coarse salt (optional)

Measure carefully, placing all ingredients except bell peppers, artichokes, cornmeal, oil and coarse salt in bread machine pan in order specified by manufacturer.

Select Dough/Manual cycle. Do not use Delay cycle. Add bell peppers and artichokes at the beep.

Remove dough from pan, suing lightly floured hands. Cover and let rest 10 minutes on lightly floured surface.

Grease large cookie sheet with shortening; sprinkle with cornmeal. Pat dough into 15x12-inch rectangle on cookie sheet. Cover and let rise in warm place 35-40 minutes or until almost double.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Make deep depressions in dough at 1-inch intervals with fingertips. Drizzle or brush with oil. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm, or cool on wire rack.

Makes 1 Focaccia (12 servings). Per serving: 155 calories, 3 g fat

Country Loaf

1 recipe STARTER (see below)
1 Tbsp tablespoon olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 cups bread flour

STARTER
1 cup bread flour
1 tsp sugar
1-1/4 tsp yeast
1 cup very warm water (120-130 degrees)

Mix flour, sugar and yeast in large bowl. Add warm water. Beat with wire whisk or electric mixer on low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let stand about 1 hour or until bubbly. (For best results, store in warm (80-85 degrees), draft-free place.)

Add STARTER and remaining ingredients to bread machine in order recommended by manufacturer.

Select Dough/Manual cycle. Do not use Delay cycle.

Remove dough from pan, using lightly floured hands. Cover and let rest 10 minutes on lightly floured surface.

Grease cookie sheet with shortening. Gently shape dough into even round ball, without releasing all of the bubbles in the dough, but stretching sides of dough downward to make a smooth top. Place with smooth side up on cookie sheet. Using spray bottle with fine mist, spray loaf with cool water. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place 25-30 minutes, or until almost double.

Place square pan on bottom oven rack; add hot water to pan until about 1/2 inch from top. Heat oven to 425. Spray loaf with cool water; sprinkle lightly with flour. Carefully cut three 1/4-inch-deep slashes on top of loaf with sharp serrated knife.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until loaf is deep golden brown with crisp crust and sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack; cool.

Makes 1 loaf (12 slices). Per slice: 130 calories, 1 g fat

Parmesan Garlic Breadsticks

1 cup water
2 Tbsp butter or margarine, softened
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp parsley flakes
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1-1/2 tsp yeast
1 egg, beaten

Measure carefully, placing all ingredients except egg in bread machine pan in order recommended by manufacturer.

Select Dough/Manual cycle. Do not use Delay cycle.

Remove dough from pan, using lightly floured hands. Cover and let rest 10 minutes on lightly floured surface.

Grease 2 large cookie sheets with shortening. Divide dough into 12 pieces, using floured hands. Roll each piece into 8-inch rope. Place 1 inch apart on cookie sheets. Cover and let rise in warm place 15-20 minutes or until almost double.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Brush beaten egg over dough. Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 12 breadsticks/servings. Per breadstick: 130 calories, 3 g fat

Caesar Bread

3/4 cup plus 3 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 cups bread flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp Caesar dressing mix (dry)
1-3/4 tsp yeast

Place all ingredients in bread machine in order recommended by manufacturer.

Select Basic/White cycle. Use Medium or Light crust color. Makes 1-1/2 lb loaf (12 slices). Per slice: 150 calories, 3 g fat.

Double-Corn Jalapeno Bread

3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons water
2/3 cup frozen whole kernel corn -- thawed
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon jalapeno chile peppers -- chopped
3 1/4 cups bread flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast

Place all ingredients in bread machine, in order specified by manufacturer.

Select Basic/White cycle. Use Medium or Light crust color. Do not use Delay cycle.

Makes 1-1/2 lb (12 slice) loaf. Per slice: 155 calories, 2 g fat

Caramelized-Onion Bread

1/2 cup CARAMELIZED ONIONS (see recipe below)
1 cup water
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cups bread flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp yeast

- CARAMELIZED ONIONS
1 Tbsp butter or margarine
2 medium onions, sliced

To make CARAMELIZED ONIONS, melt butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Cook onions in butter 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until onions are brown and caramelized; remove from heat.

Add all ingredients except onions to the bread machine in order recommended by manufacturer. Select Basic/White cycle. Use Medium or Light crust color. Do not use Delay cycle.

Add onions at the beep signal.

Makes 1-1/2 lb loaf (12 slices). Per slice: 150 calories, 2 g fat

Pepperoni Pizza Bread

1 cup + 2 Tbsp water
3 cups bread flour
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
1 3/4 tsp yeast
2/3 cup sliced pepperoni

Place all ingredients except pepperoni in the bread machine, in the order recommended by bread machine manufacturer.

Select Basic/White cycle. Use Medium or Light crust color. Do not use Delay cycle.

Add pepperoni at the beep signal.

Makes 1 1/2-lb loaf (12 slices). Per slice: 165 calories, 3 g fat.

Crusty Italiano Loaf

1 cup + 2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp butter or margarine, softened
3 cups bread flour
2 Tbsp dry milk
1 envelope (.07 oz) dry Italian dressing mix
3 Tbsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp yeast

Use Basic/White cycle. Use Medium or Light crust color.

Makes 1 1/2-lb loaf (12 slices). Per slice: 160 calories, 2 g fat

Classic White Bread

1 cup + 2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp butter or margarine softened
3 cups bread flour
3 Tbsp dry milk
2 Tbsp sugar
1.5 tsp salt
2 tsp yeast

Select Basic/White cycle. User Medium or Light crust color. Makes 1.5-lb loaf (12 slices)

Per slice: 145 calories, 2 g fat

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

1 cup + 2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp butter or margarine, softened
3 cups bread flour
3 Tbsp sugar
1.5 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2.5 tsp yeast
3/4 cup raisins

Select Sweet or Basic/White cycle. User Light or Medium crust color. Wait until bread machine beeps to add raisins.

Makes 1.5 lb loaf (12 slices)

Per slice: 175 calories, 2 g fat

Slow-Cooked Chop Suey over Rice

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 7 hours, 30 minutes

1 lb. boneless pork shoulder, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 small onion, cut into 1/4-inch wedges
1 (5-oz) can sliced bamboo shoots, drained
1/2 cup purchased teriyaki baste and glaze *
1 tsp grated gingerroot
1 (1-lb) pkg frozen broccoli, carrots and water chestnuts, thawed, drained *
2 cups uncooked instant white rice
2 cups water

In 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine pork, onion, bamboo shoots, teriyaki baste and glaze, and gingerroot; mix well.

Cover; cook on low setting for 5-7 hours.

About 15 minutes before serving, stir vegetables into pork. Increase heat setting to high; cover and cook an additional 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile, cook rice in water as directed on package. Serve pork mixture over rice.

Makes 5 servings. Per serving: 430 calories, 14 g fat

* Look for teriyaki baste and glaze in the Asian food section near the soy and teriyaki sauces. To thaw frozen vegetables, rinse them or microwave on HIGH for 2-3 minutes. Drain thawed vegetables well before adding.

Beef Ragout on Polenta

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 10 hours, 20 minutes

1 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 lb. beef stew meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 (14-oz) jar tomato pasta sauce
1 (24-oz) pkg polenta, cut into 10 slices

In 4 to 6-quart slow cooker, layer all ingredients except polenta in order listed.

Cover; cook on low setting for 8-10 hours.

About 10 minutes before serving, heat polenta as directed on package. Arrange 2 warm polenta slices on each individual serving plate. Top each with about 1 cup beef mixture.

Makes 5 servings. Per serving: 290 calories, 7 g fat

Rosemary Beef and Tomatoes over Noodles

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 10 hours, 20 minutes

2 Tbsp margarine or butter, melted
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp beef base*
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 lb. beef stew meat, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
8 oz (4 1/2 cups) uncooked wide egg noodles
4 Italian plum tomatoes, chopped
1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

In 4 to 6-quart slow cooker, combine margarine, onion, beef base, salt, pepper and beef; mix well.

Cover; cook on low setting for 9-10 hours.

About 15 minutes before serving, cook noodles as directed on package. Meanwhile add tomatoes and rosemary to beef mixture; mix well. Increase heat setting to high; cover and cook an additional 10 minutes. Serve beef mixture over noodles.

Serves 4. Per serving: 530 calories, 18 g fat

* Beef base is a thick concentrated paste with a more intense flavor than beef bouillon. Both can be found in the dry soup section of the store. Bouillon can be used in place of the beef base, but the beef flavor will be milder.

Slow-and-Easy Barbecued Ribs

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 hours, 40 minutes

RIBS:
2 lb. boneless country-style pork loin ribs
1 medium onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced

SAUCE:
2/3 up barbecue sauce
1/3 cup plum jam

Spray 4 to 6-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Place ribs, onion and garlic in sprayed slow cooker.

Cover; cook on low setting for 8-10 hours.

Drain and discard juices from slow cooker; wipe edge of cooker clean. In measuring cup, combine barbecue sauce and jam; mix well. Pour or spoon mixture over ribs, coating evenly.

Cover; cook on high setting for an additional 25-30 minutes or until ribs are glazed. Serve sauce with ribs.

Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 440 calories, 29 g fat

Pork Chops and Sweet Potatoes for Two

2 Tbsp margarine or butter, melted
1 medium (12-oz) dark-orange sweet potato, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 onion slices
2 (1-inch-thick) boneless pork loin chops (about 1-1/4 lb)
6 dried apricots
1 small apple, peeled, sliced
salt
3 Tbsp Hungry Jack Microwave Ready Regular syrup
1/2 tsp grated gingerroot

In 3 to 4-quart slow cooker, combine 1 Tbsp of the margarine, sweet potato and onion; mix to coat potato well. Cut slit horizontally in each pork cop, cutting to within 1/2 inch or opposite edge to form pocket.

Insert 3 apricots and several apple slices into each chop. (If necessary cut apple slices in half.) Sprinkle chops with salt. Add any remaining apple slices to sweet potato mixture.

Heat remaining Tbsp margarine in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add chops; cook 2-3 minutes or until browned, turning once. Place chops over potato mixture in slow cooker. In same skillet, combine syrup and gingerroot; mix with pan drippings. Drizzle mixture over chops and potatoes.

Cover; cook on low setting for 5-6 hours.

Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 33 g fat, 890 calories

Turkey and Stuffing with Onion Glaze

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours, 15 minutes

1 Tbsp margarine or butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp apple jelly
1 (6-oz) pkg. turkey-flavor one-step stuffing mix
3/4 cup water
1 (2 to 2 1/2-lb) boneless skinless turkey breast half (or substitute boneless turkey roast)
Salt and pepper

Melt margarine in medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook 4-5 minutes or until tender and lightly browned, stirring. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, spray 4 to 6-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Place stuffing mix in sprayed slow cooker. Drizzle with water; mix gently. Sprinkle turkey breast half with salt and pepper. Place on stuffing mix. Spoon onion mixture over turkey; spread evenly.

Cover; cook on low setting for 5-6 hours.

Cut turkey into slices. Serve stuffing topped with turkey slices.

Makes 5 servings. Per serving: 400 calories, 7 g fat

Slow-Roasted Chicken with Honey-Ginger Glaze

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours, 15 minutes

2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp grated gingerroot
1 (4 - 4 1/2 lb) whole roasting chicken
2 garlic cloves, quartered
1 orange, sliced
1 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp dry sherry or orange juice

In small bowl, combine honey, soy sauce and gingerroot; mix well. Rinse chicken, discarding neck and giblets. Pat dry with paper towels. Place garlic and 2 of the orange slices in chicken cavity. Tie string around legs and tail sections, leaving about 6 inches of extra string. Tie string in same way around breast area. (String will be used to easily lift chicken from cooker.)

Spray 4 to 6-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Place chicken, breast side up, in sprayed slow cooker with string extending over edge of cooker. Brush chicken with honey mixture.

Cover; cook on low setting for 6-8 hours or until chicken is fork-tender and juices run clear.

Using string, carefully lift chicken from slow cooker; place on serving platter. Cover with foil. In small saucepan, combine cornstarch and sherry; blend well. Add juices from slow cooker; mix well. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils, stirring occasionally. Brush sauce over chicken. Garnish with remaining orange slices and fresh herbs, if desired.

Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 390 calories, 21 g fat

Salsa Swiss Steak

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 10 hours, 20 minutes

2 tsp oil
1 1/2 lb boneless beef top round steak, trimmed of fat, cut into 5 pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 medium onion, halved lengthwise, sliced
1/2 medium green bell pepper, cut into bite-sized strips
1 (10 3/4-oz) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup chunky salsa

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Sprinkle steak with salt and pepper. Place steak in skillet; cook 4-6 minutes or until well-browned, turning once.

Transfer steak to 4 to 6-quart slow cooker. Top with onion and bell pepper. In same skillet, combine soup and salsa; mix well. Pour over vegetables and steak.

Cover; cook on low setting for 8-10 hours.

Remove steak pieces from slow cooker; place on serving platter. Stir sauce well. Serve sauce with steak.

Makes 5 servings. Per serving: 260 calories, 11 g fat

Hot Artichoke and Spinach Dip

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes

2 cups frozen cut leaf spinach
1 (14-oz) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
1/2 cup refrigerated Alfredo sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 oz (1 cup) shredded Swiss cheese

Cook spinach as directed on package. Drain spinach, pressing with fork to remove excess liquid. Chop spinach finely.

In 1- to 3-quart slow cooker, combine spinach and all remaining ingredients; mix well.

Cover; cook on low setting for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. Serve with sliced French bread, crackers, chips, or vegetable dippers. Make into a main dish by adding cooked chicken and crumbled bacon and serving over pasta.

Makes 2 1/2 cups. Per 2 Tbsp serving: 90 calories, 7 g fat

Slow-Cooked Hot Crab Dip

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes

1 (8-oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp white wine Worcestershire sauce*
1 Tbsp dry sherry or apple juice
1/4 cup sliced green onions
2 (6-oz.) cans crabmeat, drained

In 1 to 3-quart slow cooker, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic salt and Worcestershire sauce; mix well with fork. Add sherry, onions and crabmeat; mix lightly.

Cover; cook on low setting for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. Serve with assorted crackers or cut-up fresh vegetables

Makes 2 1/2 cups. Per 2 Tbsp serving: 100 calories, 9 g fat.

* Regular, dark Worcestershire sauce can be used, but the dip will have a slight tan color.

Hot Reuben Spread

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes

1/2 lb. sliced cooked corn beef, coarsely chopped*
1 (160oz) can sauerkraut, rinsed, well drained
3/4 cup purchased Thousand Island salad dressing
8 oz (2 cups) shredded Swiss cheese
1 (3-oz) pkg. cream cheese, cubed

In 1 1/2 to 3-quart slow cooker, combine all ingredients; mix well.

Cover; cook on low setting for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. Stir spread. Serve with toasted cocktail rye bread slices.

Makes 4 cups. Per 2 Tbsp serving: 70 calories, 6 g fat

* Order thinly sliced corned beef from your grocery store deli. Or look for packaged thinly sliced corned beef near the sandwich meats. In a pinch, rye crackers can be used in place of the toasted rye bread.

Cheeseburger Bites

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours, 15 minutes

BITES:
1 lb lean ground beef
2 Tbsp ketchup
2 tsp instant minced onion
1 tsp prepared mustard
8 oz Velveeta cheese, cut into 2-inch cubes (2 cups)
24 miniature sandwich buns, split

TOPPINGS:
dill pickle chips
sliced Roma tomatoes
shredded lettuce
ketchup and mustard

Brown ground beef in large skillet over medium-high heat until thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently to break into small pieces. Drain. Stir in 2 Tbsp ketchup, onion and 1 tsp mustard.

Spray 3-1/2 to 4-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon beef mixture into sprayed slow cooker. Top with cheese.

Cover; cook on low setting for 3-4 hours.

To serve, stir beef mixture. Spoon 1 rounded tablespoon mixture into each bun. Serve with desired toppings.

Makes 24 appetizers. Per appetizer: 170 calories, 8 g fat

French Onion Meatballs

Prep Time: 10 minutes (Ready in 4 hours, 40 minutes)

2 (18-oz) pkg frozen cooked meatballs
1 (12-oz) jar savory beef gravy
1 (1-oz) pkg dry onion, soup mix
1 Tbsp dry sherry, if desired

Place meatballs in 4 to 6-quart slow cooker. In medium bowl, combine gravy, soup mix and sherry; mix well. Add to meatballs; mix lightly

Cover; cook on low setting for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours. Serve with fondue fork or long toothpicks.

Makes 72 meatballs (18 servings of 4 meatballs each). Per serving: 170 Calories, 12 g fat

Confetti Wild Rice Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 10 hours, 15 minutes

1/2-lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces *
2/3 cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed, drained
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup)
3 (14 1/2-oz) cans ready-to-serve chicken broth
1/2 tsp dried marjoram leaves
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed, drained
1 1/2 cups frozen broccoli florets, thawed, drained

In 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine all ingredients except corn and broccoli; mix well.

Cover; cook on low setting for 8-10 hours.

About 5 minutes before serving, stir thawed corn and broccoli into soup. Increase heat setting to high; cover and cook an additional 5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.

Makes 6 (1 1/2-cup) servings. Per sering: 200 calories, 4 g fat

* Chicken thigh meat is better suited for long slow cooking than chicken breast meat. Lighter meat tends to dry out in the slow cooker.

Slow-Cooked Baked Beans

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 14 hours, 10 minutes

1 (16-oz) pkg dried navy beans, sorted, rinsed
1 cup water
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup molasses
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp salt
3 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp liquid smoke

In Dutch oven, combine beans and 10 cups water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 2 hours. Drain and discard liquid.

In 3 1/2 to 4-quart slow cooker, combine drained beans, 1 cup water, and all remaining ingredients; mix well.

Cover; cook on low setting for 10-12 hours.

Makes 10 (1/2-cup) servings. Per serving: 240 calories, 1 g fat

Greek Chicken Pita Folds

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours, 10 minutes

1 medium onion, halved, sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 1/2 tsp lemon-pepper seasoning (or substitute 3/4 tsp salt + 1/4 tsp pepper + 1 tsp grated lemon zest)
1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
1/4 tsp allspice
4 pita bread folds
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 Italian plum tomato, sliced
1/2 medium cucumber, chopped (about 1/2 cup)

In 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine onion, garlic, chicken, lemon-pepper seasoning, oregano and allspice; mix to coat with seasoning.

Cover; cook on low setting for 6-8 hours.

About 10 minutes before serving, heat pita bread as directed on package. Meanwhile, remove chicken from slow cooker; place on plate. Stir yogurt into onion mixture. Shred chicken with 2 forks. Spoon chicken onto warm pita breads. With slotted spoon, transfer onion mixture onto chicken; top with tomato and cucumber. Fold each pita in half to serve.

Makes 4 sandwiches. Per serving: 390 calories, 10 g fat

Slow-Cooked Chicken and Dumplings

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 9 hours, 50 minutes

1 tsp oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups sliced celery
1 1/2 cups fresh baby carrots
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 (1.8-oz) pkg dry leek soup mix (or substitute dry mushroom soup)
4 cups water
1 (10.8-oz) can biscuits
1 Tbsp cornmeal
1 1/2 cups frozen sweet peas
1/4 tsp pepper

Heat oil in medium skillet over medium high heat until hot. Add chicken; cook and stir until browned.

In 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine chicken, celery, carrots, mushrooms, soup mix and water; mix well.

Cover; cook on low setting for 7-9 hours.

Separate dough into 5 biscuits; cut each into 8 wedges. Sprinkle wedges with cornmeal. Stir coated biscuits pieces into hot chicken mixture.

Cover; cook on high setting for an additional 25-30 minutes or until biscuits are no longer doughy in center.

About 10 minutes before serving, microwave peas in covered microwave-safe dish on HIGH for 3-4 minutes or until hot. Just before serving stir peas and pepper into chicken mixture.

Makes 5 (1 3/4-cup) servings. Per serving: 440 calories, 19 g fat.

Slow-Cooked Texas Chili

CHILI
1 1/2-lb. beef top round steak, trimmed, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce
1 (15.5 or 16-oz) can pinto beans, undrained
1 (4.5-oz) can chopped green chiles
3 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin

TOPPINGS (optional)
sour cream
shredded Cheddar cheese
sliced green onions

In 4 to 6-quart slow cooker, combine all chili ingrediens; mix well.

Cover; cook on low setting for 8-10 hours.

To serve, ladle chili into bowls. Top each with sour cream, cheese and onions.

Makes 6 (1 2/3-cup) servings. Per serving: 330 calories, 10 g fat

Southwest Beef and Bean Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 19 hours, 10 minutes

1 cup dried red kidney beans, sorted, rinsed
1 cup water
1 1/4 lb beef stew meat, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (or substitute round steak or chuck roast)
1 (1.25-oz) pkg taco seasoning mix
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (15.25-oz) can sweet corn, drained
1 (14.5-oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (4.5-oz) can chopped green chiles

In large bowl, soak beans in 3 cups water for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and discard liquid.

In 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine drained beans, 1 cup water and all remaining ingredients; mix well.

Cover; cook on low setting for 10-11 hours.

Makes 6 (1 1/2-cup) servings. Per serving: 340 calories, 6 g fat

Garlic Smashed Red Potatoes

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours, 45 minutes

3 lb. small (2- to 3-inch) red potatoes
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup cream cheese with chives and onions (from 8-oz. tub)
1/4 to 1/2 cup milk

Halve or quarter potatoes as necessary to make similar-sized pieces. Place in 4- to 6-quart slow cooker. Add garlic, oil, salt and water; mix well to coat all potato pieces.

Cover; cook on high setting for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours or until potatoes are tender.

With fork or potato masher, mash potatoes and garlic. Stir in cream cheese until well blended. Stir in enough milk for soft serving consistency. Serve immediately, or cover and hold in slow cooker on low setting for up to 2 hours.

Makes 14 (1/2-cup) servings. Per serving: 140 calories, 5 g fat

Santa Fe Frittata

Total Time: 12 minutes

1 bag (16 oz) frozen broccoli, corn and red peppers
1 carton (15 oz) Southwestern Egg Beaters
4 oz pepperjack cheese, shredded (1 cup)

Position broiler rack 4in. from heat. Heat broiler. Wrap handle (if not heatproof) of large nonstick skillet with foil.

Heat 2 tsp oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add frozen vegetables and 1/2 tsp salt; saute 1 minute.

Reduce heat to medium. Pour Egg Beaters over vegetables. Cover and cook, lifting edges of frittata occasionally to let liquid run under, 8 minutes or until almost set.

Sprinkle with cheese. Broil 1-2 minutes, just until cheese melts. Cut in wedges; serve with salsa if desired.

Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 192 calories, 9 g fat

Wiggly Worm Cake

2 c Brown sugar
2 c Milk
6 tb Butter
1 1/2 c Raisins
2 ts Cinnamon
1 ts Cloves
1 ts Nutmeg
1/2 c Prepared worms
3 c White flour
2 ts Baking soda
2 ts Baking powder
2 x Eggs


Instructions

Directions: To prepare worms (Red Wiggler earthworm) place them in peat moss for 12-14 hours to clean out grit. Then rinse in clear water and plunge into boiling water flavoured with a bit of lemon. Remove worms after 2 mins., and repeat plunge into boiling water twice more for 2 min. with fresh pot of water and lemon each time. Drain thoroughly,spread on a flat tin,and bake for 10 min. at 350 degrees. Results look like shoelaces and store well. to make cake: Combine eggs, sugar, and butter in a bowl. Beat until fluffy. Add spices, baking powder and baking soda and flour alternately with milk while beating continuously. Add raisins and worms. Makes 2 loaf pans or one 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until done. Recipe by Mrs.Linda Wiebe,Cambridge,Ontario. Winner of a competition pro- moting the use of worms in cooking Printed in Issue #13 Harrowsmith Magazine, 1978 Liz Parkinson

(12 servings)

Garlic Butter Fried Worms

1/4 cup butter
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup cleaned insects*
Melt butter in fry pan. Reduce heat. Sauté garlic in butter for 5 minutes. Add insects. Continue sautéing for 10 - 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

* Mealworms are especially delicious prepared in this manner, but other insects can be used as well.

Banana Worm Bread

1/2 c Shortening
3/4 c Sugar
2 Bananas, mashed
2 c Flour
1 ts Soda
1 ts Salt
1/2 c Chopped nuts
2 Eggs
1/4 c Dry-roasted army worms

Mix together all ingredients. Bake in greased loaf pan at 350 degrees For about 1 hour.

For earthworm prep instructions, see
http://www.naturewatch.ca/english/wormwatch/cool/recipes.html

Toffee Worm Surprise

3/4 cup tightly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup live mealworms (you can get them at a pet shop or bait shop)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
colander
paper towel
cookie sheet
9-inch square baking pan

Mealworms come in a container with either bran or crumpled newspaper. To separate the mealworms from the packing material, place in colander and gently toss. Remove dead mealworms and any other bits of debris. Wash mealworms in colander under cool water. Place on paper towel and pat dry. They are now ready for cooking.
Place paper towel on cookie sheet. Spread mealworms on paper towel and place in 200-degree oven for one to two hours until they are thoroughly dry and crunchy. They are now dry roasted.

Butter baking pan. Coarsely chop dry-roasted mealworms and set aside. Carefully heat sugar and butter in saucepan until boiling. Stir over medium heat for seven minutes. Remove from heat and stir in roasted insects. Pour into pan.

Sprinkle chocolate chips over hot mixture and cover pan for five minutes or until chocolate melts. Remove cover and spread melted chocolate evenly over toffee. While still warm, cut into 1 1/2-inch squares. Refrigerate until firm.

Microwave Pecan Brittle

1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup pecan halves
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon baking soda

In a 1 1/2 quart glass bowl, combine sugar, light corn syrup, and salt. Cover and microwave on HIGH for 4 minutes.

Add pecan halves, vanilla, butter, and baking soda; stir well.

Pour into a buttered 9 x 13-inch baking dish and spread evenly.

Cool 30 minutes to 1 hour before breaking into pieces.

Makes 18 servings.

Quick Corn Mazatlan

1 (16-oz) can whole-kernel corn
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1 (4-oz) can diced green chilies
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper

Drain the corn, reserving 2 Tbsp liquid. Combine the reserved liquid and cream cheese in a saucepan over a low flame and cook until smooth, stirring constantly. Add the green chilies, green onions, red pepper and corn and mix well. Serve hot or cold.

Yield: 4-6 servings

White Bean Soup with Greens

This southern Italian soup features white beans. Choose from great Northern beans, cannellini beans, or any other white bean you happen to have on hand.

1 1/2 pounds Swiss chard, escarale, or beet greens, trimmed
6 cups chicken broth
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 cup cooked white beans
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Red-pepper flakes, for garnish

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the greens and cook for 7 minutes, or until barely tender. Drain the greens, squeezing out as much water as possible. (This can be done several hours before cooking in the soup. It is not necessary to cut the greens, because they will break apart while they cook in the soup.)

Bring the broth to a simmer in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and greens. If using canned white beans, place them in a strainer and rinse them under cold running water to remove excess sodium. Add the beans to the broth. Simmer gently, partially covered, for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper to taste. (Do not add the salt before the soup has finished cooking, or it may become too salty.)

Ladle the soup into heated bowls. Pass the cheese and pepper flakes at the table.

Serves 6. Per Serving: 79 calories, 2 total fat (1 g sat), 0 mg cholesterol, 12 g carbohydrate, 6 g protein, 4 g fiber, 1008 mg sodium

Taco Pie

1 lb ground beef, drained
1 small onion (optional)
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 prepared pie crust, or 1-2 package crescent rolls
1-2 chipotle peppers, chopped
1/2 can green chilis
reduced fat or regular mild cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375°. If using crescent rolls, spread them on the bottom of a pie pan (you'll have to stretch them out a little to get to the edge of the pan if you don't use more than one can).

Cook ground beef. Add chipotle peppers, taco seasoning mix and 1/4 cup water.

Put beef mixture in pie pan. Cover with chilis and cheddar cheese. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Breakfast Casserole

1 lb pork sausage
10 white sandwich bread slices, cubed (6 cups)
2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
6 large eggs
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon Worcetershire sauce

Cook sausage in a skillet over medium heat, stirring until it crumbles and is no longer pink; drain well. Place bread cubes in a lightly greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish, sprinkle bread evenly with cheese, and top with sausage. Whisk together eggs and remaining ingredients; pour evenly over sausage mixture. Cover and chill casserole for eight hours. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until set. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Note: You can substitute ham for the sausage.

Chicken Soup Parmigiana

8 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 envelope chicken noodle soup mix
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 (8 oz) can whole, peeled tomatoes, chopped
1 cup sliced zucchini or yellow squash
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan or mozzarella cheese

Cut chicken into 1/2-inch pieces. Combine soup mix, water, oregano, basil and garlic powder in large saucepan. Add chicken, tomatoes, and squash. Bring to boil over medium flame. Reduce flame and cook for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with cheese.

Mini Meatball Soup

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan in a slow stream
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
1 clove garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound lean ground beef
1 egg, beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs (I toasted a heal and crumbled it)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

6 cups chicken stock or broth
2 cups water
3 cups dried pasta
2 cups cabbage (optional)
1/8 cup sugar

In a deep pot over medium heat add oil, chopped carrots, celery, garlic, onion, and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Cover pot and cook veggies 5 or 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the veggies cook, combine meat, egg, garlic, grated cheese, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, nutmeg.

Uncover your soup pot and add broth and water to the pot. Increase heat to high and bring soup to a boil. When soup boils, reduce heat a bit and start to roll meat mixture into small balls, dropping them straight into the pot. You are making meat dumplings that will cook in the broth. When you are done rolling the meat and adding to the pot, add pasta to the soup and stir. Add 1/8 cup sugar. Cover and simmer soup 10 minutes. When pasta is tender, stir in chopped cabbage (or spinach) in batches. When cabbage has wilted into the soup, the soup is done and ready to serve. Adjust your seasonings. Makes about 8 servings.

Dirt

1 package chocolate pudding (prepared according to package w/ skim milk)
1 tub fat free cool whip
1/2 package Oreo cookies (put in large Ziploc bag and crumble with rolling pin - or use processor)

Make pudding according to instructions on box. Fold in cool whip. Add Oreo cookies. Cool and eat, or eat and then cool if you're like us and can't wait :-)

Chicken and Dumplings

1 package chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
1 tablespoons butter
1 russet potato, peeled and diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced or thinly sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 rib celery, diced
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning, 1/3 palm full ( or 1/2 t. thyme and 1/2 t. sage)
2 tablespoons flour, a handful
1 quart chicken broth or stock, canned or paper container

Dumplings:
2 cups bisquick
2/3 cup milk
Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1 cup frozen green peas (optional)

Dice tenders into bite size pieces and set aside.

Place a large pot on stove over medium high heat. Add oil, butter, vegetables and bay leaf and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Season mixture with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Add flour to the pan and cook 2 minutes. Stir broth or stock into the pot and bring to a boil. Add chicken to the broth and stir.

Place biscuit mix in a bowl. Combine with 2/3 cup milk and parsley. Drop tablespoonfuls of prepared mix into the pot, spacing dumplings evenly. Cover pot tightly and reduce heat to medium low. Steam dumplings 8 to 10 minutes. Remove cover and stir chicken and dumplings to thicken sauce a bit. Stir peas into the pan, remove chicken and dumplings from heat and serve in shallow bowls.

Perfect Eggnog

Ingredients:
6 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 quart skim milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup whipped topping (as desired)
garnishes or stir-ins, such as chocolate curls, cinnamon, ground nutmeg or peppermint sticks (optional)

Preparation:
In a large saucepan, beat together eggs, sugar and salt. Stir in 2 cups of milk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is just to a boil and thick enough to coat a metal spoon.

Remove from heat. Stir in remaining 2 cups of milk and the vanilla.

Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Just before serving, pour into a bowl or pitcher. Fold in whipped topping and garnish or add stir-ins, as desired. Serve immediately.

Yield: 1 1/2 quarts or 12-16 (1/2 cup) servings

Salmon Cakes

1 (14.75 ounce) can salmon, drained and flaked
2 eggs, beaten
1 small onion, diced
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 Pick through the salmon and remove any bones. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and add the diced onion, salmon and pepper. Mix thoroughly.
2 Shape into 2 ounce patties; about 7 or 8 patties. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Fry each patty for 5 minutes on each side or until crispy and golden brown.

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Info
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 295
Total Fat: 20.3g
Cholesterol: 152mg
Sodium: 588mg
Total Carbohydrates: 2.4g
Dietary Fiber: 0.4g
Protein: 24.6g

Tuna Curry

2 Tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup chopped onion
2/3 cup chopped yellow, red, or green bell pepper
2 (6 oz each) cans tuna, drained and flaked
1 cup sour cream [prev 2 cups]
2 tsp curry powder
[1/2 tsp cumin?]

Over medium-low heat melt butter in a large saucepan. Add garlic, onions and green pepper. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft.

Stir in tuna, sour cream, curry powder, salt and pepper. Heat until warm and serve.

(Note: Would be delicious with chopped tomatoes added just before serving.)

Makes 4 servings. Per serving: Calories: 235; Total Fat: 18.3g; Cholesterol: 53mg; Sodium: 111mg; Total Carbohydrates: 5.2g; Dietary Fiber: 0.5g; Protein: 13g

All Bran Seed Loaf

Ingredients
3/4 c Whole wheat flour
3/4 c Orange juice
3/4 c Flour; all-purpose
1/4 c Honey
1 Tbsp Baking powder
2 ea Eggs
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 c Vegetable oil
1/3 c Sesame seeds
1/2 c Bran cereal
2 tsp Poppy seeds

Directions
Stir together flour, baking powder, salt and seeds. In large bowl, beat together orange juice, honey, eggs and cereal. Let stand 2 min. Add flour mixture, stirring only until well combined. Spread evenly in greased 8.5 x 4.5 x 2" loaf pan. Bake at 350f about 40 min. Let cool 10 min and remove from pan. Cool completely before slicing.

Chocolate Clay

It is important that there be no water on utensils or containers! Melt 7 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips in a double boiler. Stir in 1/2 cup light corn syrup. Pour out on waxed paper and refrigerate 45 minutes. Peel off and knead (it takes some muscle!) until it is smooth and pliable and loses its shine. Store in the refrigerator.

Black-Eyed Pea Soup

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chiles
4 (16 oz) cans black-eyed peas, drained, rinsed
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chiles
3 (11 oz) cans beef broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
6 slices crisp bacon, crumbled

Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium flame. Add onion and garlic and cook until light brown. Add green chiles, black-eyed peas, diced tomatoes and beef broth and mix well. Add salt and pepper. Cook until heated through. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with bacon.

Yield: 10-12 servings

Chocolate Baklava

Serves 16
Active: 50 min
Total: 1 1/2 hr (plus cooling)

Planning Tip: Can be made through Step 5 up to 3 days ahead. Refrigerate covered. To serve, warm cake at 350°F 20 minutes.

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted
1 cup each coarsely chopped walnuts and pecans, lightly toasted and cooled
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
13 sheets frozen fillo dough (from a 16-oz box), thawed as pkg directs

Syrup & Sauce
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 Tbsp honey
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Heat oven to 400°F. Brush a 9 x 3-in. springform pan with some of the melted butter.

2. Mix nuts, chocolate, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Unfold fillo; place a stack of 13 sheets on work surface (store rest as box directs). Lay 1 sheet on work surface; keep rest covered with plastic wrap topped with a damp towel. Lightly brush sheet with butter, brushing edges first. Stack and butter 3 more sheets, placing each on stack at a 45° angle. Gently lift stack; press into springform pan, pressing any ends above pan onto inside of pan. Sprinkle 1/3 the nut mixture over bottom.

3. Using base of pan as a guide, cut 9-in. rounds from remaining sheets; save scraps. Buttering each, stack 4 fillo rounds on work surface. Gently press stack onto nut mixture in pan; sprinkle with 1/2 remaining nut mixture. Repeat with 4 more rounds and rest of nuts. Top with last fillo round. Butter scraps, loosely crumple each and place closely together on top to cover.

4. Bake 35 to 40 minutes until fillo is well browned. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

5. Syrup & Sauce: Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes until just slightly thickened. Slowly pour 2/3 cup evenly over Baklava. Add chips to rest of syrup; stir until melted and smooth.

6. To serve: Drizzle dessert plates with chocolate sauce; top with a wedge of baklava.

Per serving: 337 cal, 4 g pro, 38 g car, 2 g fiber, 21 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 16 mg chol, 137 mg sod. Total cost: $6.91

Chicken Breasts with Wild Mushrooms and Marsala

Active: 21 min
Total: 21 min

4 skinless, boneless chicken-breast halves (about 6 oz each), tenders (thin strip on underside of each breast half) removed
1⁄2 tsp each salt and freshly ground pepper
1⁄4 cup flour
2 Tbsp each oil and butter
12 oz fresh crimini or white button mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbsp finely chopped shallot
1 Tbsp ground dried porcini mushrooms (see Note)
1⁄2 cup each dry Marsala and fat-free chicken broth

Season chicken with 1⁄4 tsp each salt and pepper. Dredge in flour; shake off excess.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook, turning once, 6 to 8 minutes until lightly browned on both sides and barely firm when pressed in centers. Transfer to a plate; cover to keep warm.

Melt butter in same skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and, stirring occasionally, cook 6 minutes or until liquid evaporates. Stir in shallot; cook 2 minutes or until soft. Stir in ground mushrooms, then Marsala. Increase heat, bring to a boil and boil 30 seconds. Add broth; return to a boil.

Add chicken; turn to coat. Reduce heat; simmer until sauce thickens. Season with remaining salt and pepper.

Serves 4. Per serving ($1.64): 392 cal, 43 g pro, 12 g car, 1 g fiber, 15 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 114 mg chol, 545 mg sod

Note: Brush any grit off 1⁄4 cup sliced dried porcini. Grind mushrooms in a blender or spice grinder until powdered.

Chicken and Basil Roulades with Mustard Sauce

Active: 30 min
Total: 1 hr

MUSTARD SAUCE
1⁄2 cup plain lowfat yogurt
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp chopped fresh chives

2 Tbsp butter, melted
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
4 skinless, boneless chicken-breast halves (about 6 oz each), pounded between 2 pieces plastic wrap to 3⁄8 in. thick
1⁄2 tsp each salt and freshly ground pepper
1⁄3 cup plain lowfat yogurt
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 cup fine fresh bread crumbs
1⁄2 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese

Sauce: Mix ingredients in a small bowl. Let stand at room temperature while chicken bakes.

Heat oven to 400°F. Lightly brush a baking sheet (preferably nonstick) with some of the melted butter.

Sprinkle basil in center of each breast; season with salt and pepper. Fold in short ends; roll up from long side.

Mix yogurt and mustard in a shallow bowl, bread crumbs and cheese in a shallow dish. Roll breasts in yogurt mixture, then crumb mixture. Place on baking sheet; drizzle with remaining butter.

Bake about 30 minutes until coating is golden brown and chicken shows no sign of pink when cut into center. Serve with a dollop of sauce on the side.

Serves 4. Per serving ($1.76): 350 cal, 47 g pro, 10 g car, 0 g fiber, 12 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 125 mg chol, 859 mg sod

Chicken and Asparagus Roulades

Active: 20 min
Total: 35 min

1 1/4 lb pkg thin-sliced boneless chicken breasts
12 thin sandwich-sized slices Swiss cheese
1 lb asparagus, woody ends snapped off; spears simmered in salted water until tender, then cooled

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.

Place 1 slice chicken on each of 4 sheets of plastic wrap. Cut extra chicken in pieces; place, overlapping, on slices so each is about equal size. Cover with plastic wrap; pound to fuse pieces to slices and until evenly tick. Uncover; sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.

Top each with 3 slices cheese to 1/2 inch of edge. Place 1/4 the asparagus at narrower end. tightly roll up; secure with a wooden pick. Roll roulades in 1 1/2 Tbsp flour.

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add roulades; brown on all sides. Place on baking sheet. Bake 10-15 minutes until chicken is cooked through. carefully remove picks and slice.

Serves 4. Per roulade: 336 cal, 48 g pro, 5 g car, 1 g fiber, 14 g fat (8 g sat fat), 121 mg chol, 205 mg sod

Swedish Bean and Bacon Soup

Serves 6
Active: 15 min
Total: 45 min

6 strips bacon, cut up
1 cup chopped onion
7 cups chicken broth (from cubes)
2 cups sliced carrots
1 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 small bay leaf
1 can each (15.5 oz each) small white, Great Northern, and navy beans
1 large potato, peeled and cut in 1/2-inch cubes
4 cups shredded cabbage
sour cream (optional)

Cook bacon in a 5-qt pot over medium heat 5 minutes or until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Pour off all but 1 Tbsp fat.

Saute onion in fat 4 minutes or until soft. Add broth plus 1 extra cup water, the carrots, bacon, marjoram, allspice and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients and boil gently 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaf. Top servings with sour cream if desired.

Per serving:
336 cal, 20 g pro, 57 g car, 15 g fiber, 6 g fat (2 g sat fat), 7 mg chol, 1845 mg sod

Jamaican Pork with Creamy Lime Salsa

1/2 cup Hellmanns Light Mayonnaise
1 Tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 tsp grated lime peel (optional)
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
4 large boneless pork chops, 3/4-inch thick (also works with boneless chicken breasts or halibut steaks)
1 Tbsp Jamaican jerk seasoning
1 medium mango, sedded, peeled and sliced into 8 pieces (optional)

For Creamy Lime Salsa, in a medium bowl, blend mayo, lime juice, onion, garlic, lime zest and pepper; set aside.

Evenly season chops with jerk seasoning. Grill or broil chops until done. To serve, arrange chops on serving platter, then evenly garnish with mango and Creamy Lime Salsa. Serve with remaining Salsa.

4 servings.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Raspberry Sweetheart Cakelets

Makes 12 medium-size muffins or cakelets

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 cup frozen raspberries, partially thawed (raspberries must be individually frozen variety not juice pack variety)
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Have all ingredients at room temperature. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter and flour a sweetheart rose pan or medium-size muffin pan. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt over a sheet of wax paper and set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together the milk and vanilla and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the soft butter and 3/4 cup of the sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, and beat well after each addition.

Reduce speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with half of the milk in 2 additions. Beat each addition just until incorporated. Stop the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Transfer the butter mixture to another bowl, and wash and dry the mixing bowl well before beating egg whites. Beat the whites with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a spatula, fold in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar until combined. Gently fold the egg white mixture into the batter just until a few streaks of whites remain.

Toss the partially frozen raspberries with about 2 tablespoons of flour in a colander just to coat them. Gently incorporate the berries into the batter. Divide the batter into the wells of the prepared pan. (A medium-size ice cream scoop works well.)

Bake until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cakelet comes out clean, about 15-18 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for about 15 minutes before removing cakelets. Let cool completely and dust with powdered sugar just before serving.

Chocolate Fudge Pie

Makes 8-10 servings

This is a new version of a chocolate pie with an orange tang, developed by Karen Barker, pastry chef, cookbook author and co-owner of the Magnolia Grill in Durham, N.C.

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, cut into pieces
10 tablespoons butter
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1-3/4 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup orange juice (see note)
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
1 refrigerated unbaked pie crust, pressed into 9-inch pie pan
Powdered sugar and whipped cream, for garnish

Preheat oven to 425 degrees (see note).

Melt unsweetened chocolate and butter in top of a double boiler. Combine eggs, egg yolk, sugar, salt, vanilla and flour. Whisk to combine.

Whisk in orange juice, orange marmalade and reserved chocolate mixture. Pour mixture into prepared pie crust. Bake for 25 minutes until puffed, set and slightly crusty on top. Cool completely before serving. Sprinkle the pie with powdered sugar and serve with whipped cream.

Notes: This pie bakes at an unusually high temperature to create its ultra-creamy interior and contrasting crusty exterior. Substitute Grand Marnier for the orange juice, if preferred.

Chocolate Buttermilk Cake

Makes a 9-inch, 3-layer cake or 24 muffins or baby cakes and 2 cups ganache

3/4 cup water
3/4 cup cocoa
1 cup buttermilk
2-1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Softened butter and cocoa, to prepare pans

GANACHE
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
8 ounces heavy cream

Bring water to boil, pour over the cocoa powder and mix until smooth. Cool to room temperature and whisk in buttermilk. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Lightly butter and dust baking pans with cocoa.

Sift flour with baking powder, baking soda and salt twice, and set aside. With electric mixer on low speed, beat the butter for 1 minute until light and fluffy.

Slowly add the sugars, about 2 tablespoons at a time. Continue to beat on medium speed for 3 or 4 minutes longer, scraping down the beaters and sides of the bowl as needed. The mixture should look fluffy.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating for 10 seconds after each, until absorbed by the butter mixture. Beat in vanilla. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat for 2 minutes longer until smooth.

With large rubber spatula, fold the sifted ingredients into the batter in 3 additions, alternating with the chocolate and buttermilk mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute until smooth.

Distribute batter evenly in prepared pans, smooth tops and rap the pans sharply on the counter to break up any large air bubbles. Bake for 12-17 minutes for muffins, and about 18-20 minutes for cake layers. Center of cakes should spring back when lightly touched. (Do not over-bake, as times vary slightly in different ovens.) Remove cakes from the oven, and cool them for a couple of minutes. Loosen slightly; cakes or muffins should shrink away from the sides of the pans slightly.

Unmold and glaze with ganache or dust with powdered sugar. Garnish with fresh raspberries, strawberries or a dollop of whipped cream.

For ganache, chocolate can be broken into chunks and chopped in a food processor. Place in a medium-size mixing bowl and set aside.

In a small saucepan over low heat, bring the cream to just under a boil. Watch this carefully. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Let it stand for 30 seconds, then blend with a rubber spatula. Begin from the center and work outward so mixture comes together smoothly.

Let the mixture stand and come to room temperature before using. Spread over cakes. (Ganache can be used like a glaze while it is still warm or like an icing after it comes to room temperature.)

Praline Sweet Potatoes

10 servings

8 medium sweet potatoes (about 5 lbs), peeled and cut into thirds
1/4 cup Splenda
1 cup pecans (4 ounces)
5 TB Smart Balance spread
1/2 cup LOL Half and Half
1 ¼ teaspoons salt

Directions:
1. In 8-quart saucepot heat sweet potatoes and enough water to cover to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 20-25 min., until fork tender. Drain, return to saucepot.
2. Meanwhile, grease cookie sheet. In 1-quart sauce pan, heat Splenda and ¼ cup water, stirring gently, over low heat until Splenda dissolves. Increase heat to medium and boil rapidly, without stirring, about 7 min, until syrup turns light golden brown.
3. Stir in pecans and 2 TB Smart Spread until combined. Spread pecan mixture into a thin layer on cookie sheet; cool.
4. In saucepot with sweet potatoes, add in half and half, salt and remaining 3 TB Smart Spread. With potato masher, mash potatoes until almost smooth. Heat mixture over low heat.


To serve, spoon mashed sweet potatoes into large bowl. Break pecan mixture into small pieces and sprinkle on top.

Apple Stuffed Chicken Breast

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup chopped apple
2 tablespoons shredded low-fat Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon finely crushed pecans (or the nut of your choice)
1 tablespoon Smart Balance spread
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Combine apple, cheese, and crushed pecans. Set aside.

Flatten chicken breasts between sheets of waxed paper to 1/4 inch thickness. Divide apple mixture between chicken breasts, and roll up each breast. Secure with toothpicks.

Melt Smart Balance in a 7 inch skillet over medium heat. Brown stuffed chicken breasts. Add wine and 1/4 cup water. Cover. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink.

Transfer chicken to a serving platter. Combine 1 TB water and cornstarch; stir into juices in pan. Cook and stir until thickened. Pour gravy over chicken, and garnish with parsley. Serve.

Chickpea and Rosemary Dip with Zucchini Chips

2 cans (15 ounces each) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
1 small jar (6 ounces) roasted red peppers, drained and coarsely chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 cloves garlic, cracked away from the skin
4 stems fresh rosemary, leaves stripped from stems
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (eyeball it)
1 package “everything” flavor flat breads
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 zucchini, sliced into 1/8 inch discs

Combine chickpeas, roaster red pepper, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Turn the processor on and stream in olive oil. Remove spread to a serving bowl and surround with flat breads, grape tomatoes, and zucchini.

Spinach and Artichoke-Stuffed Portobellos

Portobellos

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil (evoo) (a drizzle)
5 medium Portobello mushroom caps
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Stuffing

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (once around the pan)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 pound fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1 can (15 ounces), artichoke hearts in water (6 to 8 count), drained well on paper towels
4 to 6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped and chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
3 slices Italian bread, toasted and chopped into small cubes
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (a handful)
6 ounces fontina cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare the mushrooms caps: Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add a drizzle of evoo and the mushroom caps. Season caps with salt and pepper, and cook three minutes on each side. Add balsamic to the pan and allow the vinegar to cook away as it coats the caps. Transfer balsamic-glazed caps to a cookie sheet.

Make the stuffing: Return pan to the stove and add evoo, garlic and onion. Sauté onions and garlic, 3 minutes; add spinach to the pan and let it wilt. Coarsely chop artichoke hearts and add to the spinach. Season veggies with salt, pepper, and thyme. Add chopped toast and dampen stuffing with chicken or vegetable stock. Combine stuffing and sprinkle with a little grated cheese. Top each mushroom with 1/5 of the stuffing and sprinkle lightly with a few strands of fontina. Set mushrooms in oven for 5 minutes to set the mushrooms and melt the cheese strands. Cut each mushroom into 4 pieces and transfer to a serving dish.

Orzo with Parsley and Lemon Zest

1/2 pound orzo pasta
Coarse salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (eyeball it)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
The zest of 2 large lemons
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (a couple handfuls)

Directions
Cook orzo in salted water, 7 to 8 minutes, al dente. Drain well, transfer to a warm serving bowl, and drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, add lemon zest and parsley, and toss to combine the flavors with the orzo.

MAKES 4 SERVINGS

Penne with Parsley and Walnut Pesto

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (eyeball it)
2 cloves cracked garlic
2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley, stems removed
1/2 cup walnut pieces or 2/3 cup walnut halves, toasted
1/4 teaspoon ground or grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1 pound penne rigate (with lines) pasta
1/3 pound fresh green beans, cut into thirds

Directions

In a small saucepan over medium heat cook garlic in oil, 5 minutes, then remove pan from heat. Fill the food processor with parsley leaves, loosely packed. Add walnuts and 1/2 of the warm oil and both cloves of garlic to the parsley in the processor. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper, set lid in place and pulse grind the mixture into a thick paste. Add any remaining parsley and pulse to combine. Transfer to a large pasta bowl. Stir in remaining oil and cheese. Adjust seasonings to taste.

While cooking penne to package directions for al dente, watch the time. After about 6 minutes, add green beans to the pasta pot. The beans will cook along with the pasta for the last 2 or 3 minutes. Drain pasta and beans together in a colander, then transfer to the pasta bowl with the pesto. Toss for 1 to 2 minutes to combine. Serve immediately.

MAKES 4 SERVINGS

Indian Spiced Fruit

2 green apples, cored and chopped
1 red pear, cored and chopped
1 banana, sliced
1 can (15 ounces) apricots in syrup, drained
1 can (15 ounces) pitted black cherries, drained
1-inch gingerroot, grated or minced
The juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon each ground nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and serve or chill.

MAKES 4 TO 6 SERVINGS

Grilled Cheese Bread

1 French baguette
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (2 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
2 Tbsp chopped green onion
1-2 Tbsp milk
2 tsp Dijon mustard

Preheat gas grill to medium. Cut bread into 1-inch slices, cutting to but not through the bottom of the loaf. Combine cream cheese, Cheddar cheese, sesame seeds, green onion, milk and Dijon mustard in a bowl, mix well and spread between the slices of bread. Wrap baguette loosely in foil. Place on the grill. Grill for 20 minutes, turning once.

Yield: 12 servings

Meatball Stroganoff

1 pkg (1.5 oz) stroganoff sauce mix
1 box (1.5 lb) fully cooked Italian-style turkey meatballs
1 cup fat-free sour cream

Prep time - 20 min

Whisk sauce mix into 2 cups water to blend. Pour into a large skillet, add meatballs and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10-15 minutes until meatballs are hot.

Remove from heat and stir in sour cream. Serve over noodles and sprinkle with parsley if desired.

Low Fat Ranch Dressing

Yield: 1 cup

1/2 cup fat free sour cream
1 tbsp real mayonnaise
1/4 cup nonfat milk
1 tsp lemon juice; freshly squeezed
1 tbsp powdered ranch dressing mix

Combine ingredients; beat with whisk until smooth. Refrigerate.

Chicken in Wine Sauce

4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into strips
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 medium tomatoes, sliced

In a medium skillet, heat the oil and garlic over medium heat. Sprinkle the chicken with the salt and pepper, then add to the skillet and cook for 7-10 minutes. Add the white wine and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Remove the chicken to a platter. Saute the tomatoes in the skillet until tender. Place the tomatoes over the chicken and cover with the pan drippings.

Serves 4. Per serving: 190 calories, 15 total fat (2 g sat), 12 mg cholesterol, 5 g carbohydrate, 6 g protein, 1 g fiber, 117 mg sodium

Warm Winter Soup

Cooked tomatoes contain a powerful anticancer agent called lycopene. Here's a wintry version of tomato soup that will help you stay warm and healthy (South Beach Phase 2 and 3 only).

Ingredients
8-10 ripe tomatoes (3 lbs.), cored, halved, and seeded
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
2 red onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cups defatted, reduced-sodium chicken stock
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions
Preheat broiler. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Place tomatoes on the baking sheet, cut-side down. Broil until skins are blistered, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Slip off skins and chop coarsely.

Meanwhile, in a medium-sized saucepan, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until the onions are very soft, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in tomatoes and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and process until smooth; return to the saucepan. Stir in chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour. (The soup can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.)

Mexican Chickpea Soup

Serves 4
Prep Time: 40 min Active, 1 hr 10 min Total

2 lb butternut squash, peeled, cut in half, seeded and cut in 1-inch chunks
1 red bell pepper, cut in 1-inch chunks
1 onion, cut in 12 wedges
6 large cloves garlic, peeled
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed
1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (7 oz) corn, drained
1-2 tsp canned minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1. Heat oven to 425 F. Put fresh vegetables, garlic, 1 Tbsp oil, the salt and pepper in a roasting pan or on 2 rimmed baking sheets; toss to mix and coat. Spread in a single layer. Roast, stirring once, 25 minutes or until vegetables are lightly browned and tender.

2. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Stir in oregano, cumin and cinnamon; cook about 1 minute until fragrant. Stir in 5 cups water, the chickpeas, tomatoes, corn and chipotle peppers. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes to blend flavors.

3. Stir in roasted vegetables and cilantro; reheat if necessary.

Per serving: 332 cal, 9 g pro, 51 g car, 9 g fiber, 13 go fat (2 g sat fat)

Mexican Salad

Makes 8 cups

Prep Time: 15 min

Serve with sour cream and taco chips, or roll up in warmed flour tortillas.

Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp each minced garlic and salt and pepper

Salad:
3 cups raw or cooked fresh corn kernels
1 can (about 15 oz) black beans, rinsed
3 ripe tomatoes, cut in chunks
1 each green and red bell pepper, chopped
1/3 cup chopped cilantro

1. Dressing: Mix oil, lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a 2 1/2 qt serving bowl.
2. Add remaining ingredients; toss gently to mix and coat.

Hearty Fiesta Chicken Soup

4 cups chicken broth
1 cup salsa
19-oz can red kidney beans, rinsed
1 1/2 cups shredded chicken
fresh baby spinach
shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Bring 4 cups chicken broth and 1 cup salsa to boil in a large saucepan. Add a 19-oz can rinsed red kidney beans and 1 1/2 cups shredded leftover chicken; heat through. Stir in 2 handfuls of fresh baby spinach; cook just until wilted. Serve topped with shredded Monterey Jack cheese.

Serves 4

Gingered Baby Carrots

1 lb baby carrots, steamed
1 1/2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
chopped parsley

Toss steamed baby carrots with melted butter, sugar and ginger. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Serves 4

Seafood Kabobs with Bean & Tomato Salad

Serves 4
Prep Time: 40 min

Marinade/Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp freshly grated lemon peel
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 bunch scallions, bottom ends cut in 32 pieces, remaining green chopped
1 Tbsp chopped fresh sage leaves (or 1 tsp dried)
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tsp dried)
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves (or 1/2 tsp dried)

Kabobs:
16 large peeled and deveined shrimp (about 8 oz)
8-oz 1-in-thick swordfish steak, cut in 16 chunks
16 small white mushrooms

Salad:
1 can (19 oz) cannellini beans, rinsed
1 large beefsteak tomato, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup each chopped parsley and red onion

1. Heat grill and have ready 8 10-inch or longer skewers. (See note below.)
2. Marinade/Dressing: Put olive oil, lemon peel and juice, and salt and pepper in a large bowl; whisk to blend. Remove and reserve 2 Tbsp. Add chopped scallion greens and herbs to mixture remaining in bowl. Add scallion pieces, shrimp, swordfish, and musrooms; stir to coat. Marinate while making the salad.
3. Salad: Put ingredients in a serving bowl. Add reserved Marinade/Dressing; stir gently to mix and coat.
4. Kabobs: On each skewer, alternately thread 2 each mushrooms, swordfish chunks and shrimp and 4 pieces of scallion. Grill 10 minutes, turning once, or until just cooked through. Serve with salad.

Note: If using wooden or bamboo skewers, soak them in water 30 minutes to prevent scorching. Run 2 skewers side by side through the food to keep it from swiveling when turned on the grill.

Per serving: 385 cal, 31 g protein, 27 g carb, 8 g fiber, 18 g fat

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower

1 1/2 quarts water
1 medium head cauliflower, separated into florets (about 5 cups)
1 clove(s) garlic, peeled
1/4 cup Hellmann’s Mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves (optional)

1. In 3-quart saucepot, bring water to a boil. Add cauliflower and garlic and cook covered 15 minutes or until florets are tender; drain.
2. In food processor or blender, process cauliflower, garlic, Hellmann's or Best Foods Real Mayonnaise and salt until creamy, scraping down sides as needed. Stir in basil and serve immediately.

Makes: 2-1/2 cups
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Per Serving: Calories 120, Total Fat 10g, Saturated Fat 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat 0g, Monounsaturated Fat 0g,
Cholesterol 5mg, Sodium 240mg, Total Carbohydrate 7g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Sugars 3g, Protein 4g

Minted Cucumber Salad

1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tsp sugar (or Splenda)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 long seedless (hothouse) cucumber, scrubbed and cut in half rounds
6 red radishes, trimmed and cut in small wedges

Mix first 5 ingredients in a serving bowl. Add cucumber and radishes; stir to mix and coat.

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Goat Cheese & Roasted Red Peppers

Chicken w/ Goat Cheese & Red Peppers
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced (1 tsp)
1 shallot, minced
1 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves
6 cups fresh washed spinach leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup drained, chopped jarred roasted red peppers
1 Tbsp chopped capers
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 boneless skinless whole chicken breasts, cut in half and pounded lightly
4 oz mild goat cheese, at room temperature
1 Tbsp olive oil for brushing chicken

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the garlic, shallot, and thyme for 2 minutes, until softened. Add the spinach, and saute for 1 minute longer, until just wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the skillet from the heat and let mixture cool.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a small bowl, mix the roasted red peppers with the olives, capers, and balsamic vinegar.

Place about one-quarter of the spinach mixture in the center of each pounded chicken breast. Evenly divide the goat cheese among the chicken breasts, placing a small piece over the spinach; then top with 1 tablespoon of the roasted red peppers.

Fold the top of the breast over the filling to form a package, sealing the bottom of the chicken packages wherever needed. Place the chicken on a baking pan. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Uncover, brush the chicken with a little olive oil, and cook an additional 10 minutes, until the chicken is brown.

Makes 4 servings. 5.1 grams of carbohydrate per serving.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Elvis Loved

1/2 c thyme
1/4 c oregano
1/4 c basil
1/2 c onion powder
1/2 c garlic powder
1/2 c dry mustard
1/2 c paprika
1/4 c chili powder
1/2 c celery seed
2 Tbsp salt
1/2 c coriander
1/2 c cumin
1/3 c kosher salt
1/4 c cayenne pepper
1/2 c ground black pepper
1/4 c ground white pepper

3 gals. buttermilk
3 cases organic free range chicken (roughly 30 chickens, divided into 1.5- to 2-lb. sections)

Mix these amounts of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, then whisk in the buttermilk until it's thoroughly mixed.

Pour the batter over the chickens and marinate for up to five days - keep refrigerated, of course.

For frying
Now mix another 4x the above dry ingredients, and add:
2 lbs. cornstarch
8 qts. all-purpose organic whole wheat flour

Dredge the marinated chicken pieces in the dry herbs/flour/cornstarch mixture mix.

Fry the dredged chicken in a large skillet with hot peanut oil @ 375 degrees. Once chicken has reached a golden brown color, finish cooking it in the oven.

Luscious Lime Shrimp Salad

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 small green onion, chopped
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
pinch white pepper
1 pound (20) large shrimp
1 tablespoon red pepper (minced)
Bibb Lettuce

Instructions
In a large bowl, whisk the lime juice, green onion, cilantro, olive oil, garlic, hoisin sauce, and white pepper together to make a marinade.

Peel, devein, and clean the shrimp, rinse in cold water and set aside to chill for 30 minutes.

Cook the shrimp in a non-stick skillet on medium heat with 2 tablespoons of the marinade for 2 to 3 minutes—it's done when it turns pink. Pour the skillet contents into the marinade bowl add the red pepper, toss and set aside to chill. Place 4 serving dishes with the shrimp to chill.

To serve: On each of 4 chilled serving plates, place a bed of Bibb lettuce, spoon the shrimp onto the lettuce. Serve.

Serves 4

Hot Artichoke Dip

1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup Carb Options™ Whipped Dressing
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 4 oz.)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped or 1/4 teaspoon Lawry's® Garlic Powder With Parsley (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. In 1-quart casserole, combine all ingredients. Bake uncovered 25 minutes or until heated through. Serve with a platter full of crunchy vegetables or your favorite low-carb dippers.

Makes: 40 (1 Tbsp.) servings
Preparation Time: 5 Minute(s)
Cook Time: 25 Minute(s)
Nutrition Information Per Serving:
Calories 35, Total Fat 3g, Saturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 5mg, Sodium 110mg, Total Carbohydrate 1g, Dietary Fiber 0g, Sugars 0g, Protein 1g, Net Carbs+ 1g

Instant Apple Crisp

No Sugar Added apple pie filling (3 cups)
4 tablespoons softened butter
4 tablespoons oat flour
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Grease a small baking pan lightly. Stir one teaspoon of the cinnamon into the pie filling; spread out evenly in pan. Mix the remaining ingredients and sprinkle over top of pie filling. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes, until bubbly and lightly browned. Serves six.

Per serving: 15.2g carbohydrates; 8.1g fiber; 0.4g sugar; 1.6g protein; 14.9g fat; 20.4mg cholesterol; 16.6mg sodium; 197 calories

Chars Crockpot Sugar Free Applesauce

5 cups unsweetened applesauce (2 23 ounce jars)
2 cups pourable Splenda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed ginger

Mix all ingredients together in a 3 quart crockpot. DO NOT COVER. Cook on High 5-6 hours, stirring occasionally. Let cool and refrigerate. Will keep several weeks. Can also be frozen.

You could also use cored, peeled, and finely diced or food-processor-chopped fresh apples for this.

Apple Butter

1/4 pound of dried, unsulphured sliced apples (2 cups)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups unsweetened frozen apple juice

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, simmer covered 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat. Cool slightly. Pour into blender. Blend until smooth.

Chicken Breasts with Dijon Crust

Prep Time: 30 min

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp reduced-fat sour cream
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp safflower or canola oil
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 4 oz each)
1/2 tsp salt, preferably fine sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Adjust oven rack to the highest position. Heat to 450 degrees F. Coat a large baking sheet with nonstick spray.

Mix mustard and sour cream in a small bowl. In a shallow dish combine bread crumbs, thyme and oil.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brush or spread top of breast halves wth mustard mixture. Mustard side down, dip into crumb mixture, pressing mixture firmly onto chicken. Arrange coated sides up on prepared baking sheet.

Bake 15 minutes or until crumb mixture has lightly browned and chicken is cooked through.

Serves 5. Per Serving: 168 cal, 27 g pro, 4 g carb 0 g fiber, 3 g fat (1 g sat)

Cajun Black Bean Soup

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
3 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
3 (15 ounce) cans BUSH'S® BEST Black Beans
Black pepper
Salsa and shredded cheese, optional

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion, cook 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, cumin, chili powder and oregano. Puree 1 can of beans, add to pot. Add second can of beans (do not puree). Drain last can of beans and add to pot (do not puree). Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often. Add black pepper, to taste. Garnish with salsa and shredded cheese on top.

Makes 6 servings

Pork with Mushroom Gravy

1 12-oz pork tenderloin, cut in 1/2-inch-thick slices
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 pkt (1.3 oz) roasted pork gravy mix

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook 2-3 minutes per side until lightly browned and just barely pink in center. Remove to plates; cover loosely with foil to keep warm.

Reduce heat to medium, add mushrooms to pan and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until lightly browned and soft. Stir in 1 1/4 cups water and gravy mix; cook, stirring occasionlly, 3 minutes or until gravy thickens. Spoon over pork; garnish with parsley, if desired.

Serves 4
Per Serving: 190 cal, 19 g pro, 7 g carb, 1 g fiber, 8 g fat (2 g sat)
Prep Time: 25 min

Baked Alaska Pie

1 pt each raspberry, coconut and mango sorbet, softened 30 minutes in refrigerator
6-oz ready-to-fill graham cracker crust
2 Tbsp Just Whites powdered egg whites or meringue powder *
1/2 cup sugar

Spoon raspberry sorbet into pie crust; spread evenly. Repeat with coconut, then mango sorbet, mounding mango sorbet in center. Freeze 4 hours or until hard.

Place oven rack in middle of oven. Heat to 450 degrees F.

In a large bowl beat powdered egg whites and 6 Tbsp warm water with mixer on low speed until powder dissolves. Increase speed to high and beat until soft peaks form when beaters are lifted. Gradually beat in sugar until soft, shiny peaks form.

Quickly spoon onto pie, covering sorbet completely and spreading to touch crust around entire edge. Swirl meringue decoratively.

Bake 5 minutes or until peaks are golden. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

Serves 8-10. Per serving: 316 cal, 2 g pro, 60 g carb, 2 g fiber, 8 g fat (4 g sat fat)

* Just Whites is available in supermarkets nationwide. Meringue powder can be found in supermarket baking sections or stores selling cake-decorating supplies.

Tex-Mex Pulled Pork

Roll up in warmed burrito-size flour tortillas, or serve in taco shells or on burger buns.

SAUCE
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 cup bottled BBQ sauce
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 cans (4.5 oz each) diced green chilies
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

One 2 1/2-lb well-trimmed boneless pork loin roast
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Mix Sauce ingredients in a 3-qt or larger slow-cooker. Add pork, then spoon sauce over pork just to cover.

Cover cooker and cook on high 3 1/2 hours or on low 8-10 hours, until pork is fork-tender. Remove pork to a cutting board and, using 2 forks, pull meat into shreds.

Pour sauce into serving bowl; stir in the cilantro and shredded pork.

Prep Time: 3.5 hours on high, or 8-10 hours on low

Serves 6. Per serving: 265 calories, 32 g pro, 12 g carb, 2 g fiber, 9 g fat (3 g sat fat)

Spaghetti Alla Carbonara

2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
6 1/8-inch-thick slices lean pancetta or thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 tsp freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese (or grated Parmesan cheese)
4 large eggs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb spaghetti
6 quarts boiling salted water

Heat the oil and pancetta (or bacon) in a 12-inch saute pan over medium heat, cooking until the pancetta is crisp. Take care not to burn the glaze that appears. It should be brown and cover the bottom of the pan. Cover and set aside.

In a bowl, beat 2 teaspoons of the cheese into the eggs, along with a little salt and pepper.

Cook the pasta in fiercely boiling water, stirring often, until tender yet slightly undercooked. Just before draining, remove 1/4 cup of the pasta water and add it to the pancetta. Drain the pasta in a colander.

Reheat the pancetta over medium heat, scraping up the brown glaze. Add the pasta to the pan, tossing to blend. Mix in the eggs and keep mixing until they're firm and clinging to the pasta. Taste for salt and season generously with pepper. Turn into a warmed bowl and serve immediately. Season with additional cheese as desired.

Serves 6 to 8 as a first course, 4 as a main dish

==== LYNNE'S QUICK TIPS ====
* Pancetta is Italian bacon cured with salt, pepper, bay leaves and cloves, rolled into a cylinder and aged several months. Pancetta's intensely meaty taste brings body and robustness to a dish. It is safe to eat raw and keeps well frozen up to 6 months. Reliable brands to look for are Molinari and Rapelli. Substitute a good quality, meaty, thick sliced bacon if pancetta is unavailable.

* Pecorino Romano is an aged sheep's milk cheese. It should have a big, bold, tangy flavor with no bitterness and unpleasant sharpness. Avoid domestic brands; they're bitter, exceedingly salty and generally terrible. A reliable import is made by Sini Fulvi Sini and may be found in cheese shops and specialty stores. If unavailable, substitute sharp provolone found in most supermarkets.

Lynne's Super Stuffed Turkey Burger

1 medium onion, thinly sliced
Small handful tasty grape tomatoes, halved
1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound raw ground turkey
2 tablespoons dry wine (white or red)
1 to 2 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch cubes
2 large hamburger buns
Condiments such as catsup, mustard, etc.

1. Put 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet and heat over high. Add onions and tomatoes with generous sprinkles of salt and pepper. Sauté over high, stirring frequently, until onions begin to brown. Add garlic and cook until onions are wilted and soft. Remove from heat. Set aside half of the onion mixture for topping burgers.

2. Blend ground turkey with remaining onion mixture, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Shape into 2 balls. Make a deep hole with your thumb and insert half of the cheese into each ball. Pinch hole closed and flatten ball into 3/4- to 1-inch thick patties with no sign of cheese on the outside. Patties will be very soft and sticky.

3. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium high. Sear burgers about 30 seconds on each side until browned. Turn carefully with a pancake spatula as patties are soft and can break easily. Lower heat to medium-low and cook about 5 minutes per side, or until there is no pink at center of burger and an instant-read thermometer measures at least 150°F. Serve hot on buns, topping with reserved onions and your favorite condiments.

Makes 2 generous burgers; multiplies easily

==== LYNNE'S QUICK TIPS ====
* Ground turkey should be half light and half dark meat.

* Use lean ground beef instead of turkey if you wish.

* Substitute another cheese, such as Havarti, Colby or Monterey Jack.

Pasta and Bean Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 pound prosciutto di Parma, cut into medium dice (double-smoked bacon can be substituted)
1 small carrot, peeled and cut into small dice
1 small Spanish onion, peeled and cut into small dice
1 stalk celery, cut into small dice
2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
Coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
1 quart store-bought, reduced-sodium vegetable broth or homemade vegetable stock
1 quart water
2 medium baking potatoes, peeled
One 1-pound-13-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup dried ditalini pasta, cooked and drained
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
Extra-virgin olive oil

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the prosciutto and cook, stirring, until the prosciutto begins to render its fat, about 5 minutes.

Add the carrots, onion, celery, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, stir to coat the other ingredients, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the broth, water, and potatoes. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the potatoes are very soft (a sharp, thin-bladed knife should easily pierce their center), about 20 minutes. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer the potatoes to a bowl. Mash the potatoes with a masher or a large fork or spoon.

Return the mashed potatoes to the pot and stir them into the soup. If not serving immediately, let cool, cover and refrigerate for a few days or freeze for up to 1 month. Reheat before proceeding.

Add the beans and pasta. Cook over medium heat until the beans are warmed through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rosemary, crushed red pepper, and cheese. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary.

To serve, ladle some soup into each of 8 bowls. Top with some more cheese and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

Serves 8

This recipe can be made in advance, but don't add the pasta until the soup has been reheated or the noodles will expand like sponges and turn this into a watery pasta dish. For the same reason, if you only serve a portion of the soup at a time, keep the amount you don't use separate and pasta-free.

==== LYNNE'S QUICK TIPS ====
* Ditalini are tiny, very short tubes of macaroni. Find them in most large supermarkets.

* Cured pork products lend flavor and depth to a dish. An ounce or two goes a long way when used as a seasoning, so don't worry about calories.

Pork Souvlaki

MARINADE
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2-lb center-cut boneless pork loin, fat trimmed, cut in 1 1/2 inch chunks
6 10-12 inch long metal skewers

Marinade: Blend ingredients in blender or food processor until smooth. Pour into a gallon-size ziptop bag. Add pork loin, seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate 15 minutes or up to 24 hours.

Heat outdoor grill or oven broiler. Lightly oil grill rack or broiler-pan rack.

Thread pork on skewers (discard any remaining marinade), leaving some space between chunks. Grill or broil, turning skewers as needed, 10-12 minutes until browned and just barely pink at center. Serve with Greek salad and pitas.

Prep Time: 22 minutes

Serves 6. Per serving: 277 cal, 34 g pro, 2 g carb, 0 g fiber, 14 g fat (4 g sat fat)

Pork Milanese

2 medium red onions, sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound mesclun salad greens
3 large tomatoes, cored and diced
6 pork loin chops
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole milk
4 large eggs
1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, clarified, or olive oil
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
2 lemons, cut into wedges, for serving

Brush each onion slice with olive oil, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, and grill or broil using high heat for 4 minutes per side, until nicely charred. Cool to room temperature.

Prepare a tossed salad by combining the mesclun, tomatoes, and grilled onions in a medium bowl. Do not dress the salad until just before serving.

Position a pork chop between 2 pieces of parchment paper and use a mallet to pound each to a ?-inch thickness, especially around the bone. Set aside and repeat with the remaining chops. Set out 3 shallow bowls: one containing the flour; one containing the milk and eggs, lightly beaten; and one containing the panko. Dredge the chops in the flour, tapping off the excess; dip in the milk-egg mixture; and then coat with the panko. Sprinkle each with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Heat a dry 12-inch sauté pan over a medium flame for about 1 minute, then add 3 tablespoons of the clarified butter or olive oil (or enough to coat the bottom of the pan). When the butter is hot, add 2 breaded pork chops. Brown each side well, about 4 minutes, and be ready to add more clarified butter to the pan if it appears dry. Plate the chops as they finish and continue cooking the rest.

Whisk the vinaigrette and dress the mesclun salad. Place a small heap of salad on top of each chop, and serve with lemon wedges to be squeezed over.

==== BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE ====
Makes 1 cup

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Modena balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Using either a bowl with a whisk or a jar with a lid, add the olive oil to the vinegar and whisk or shake to combine. Add about ? teaspoon of sea salt and several grindings of black pepper. Keep at room temperature until needed or refrigerate for up to a week. Whisk immediately before using.

Serves 6

==== LYNNE'S QUICK TIPS ====
* Panko, or Japanese-style bread crumbs, are thin and delicate with jagged edges. They give a light, crispy texture to fried foods. Find them in the Asian foods section of supermarkets and at Asian markets. Store tightly covered in a cool, dry place.

* Mesclun, or spring mix, is a varied mixture of tender, young greens that may include frisée, arugula, oak leaf lettuce, radicchio, mâche, dandelion greens and others. Many supermarkets now sell it in bulk. While the per-pound price is high, just a handful adds texture and flavor to ordinary salad greens.

Tagliatelle with Caramelized Onions and Fresh Herbs

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
3 to 4 medium to large onions, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
About 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 to 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
2 tablespoons Italian parsley leaves, minced
1/2 cup tightly packed basil leaves, finely chopped, or a blend of basil, marjoram, rosemary, sage and thyme
5 whole scallions, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 pound tagliatelle pasta, cooked "al dente" and drained
About 6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

1. In a large heavy skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, cover, lower heat to low and cook about 30 minutes, or until soft and clear. Uncover and continue cooking slowly until onions are golden. Add the garlic and cook over low to medium-low about 5 minutes. Add stock, simmer a few minutes and then add the cream.

2. Shortly before serving, add the prosciutto and herbs. Cook only long enough to heat through. Toss with the hot pasta and some of the cheese. Pass remaining cheese separately.

Serves 6 to 8

==== LYNNE'S QUICK TIPS ====
* The slower you cook onions, the sweeter they become; the faster they are cooked, the more robust they will be.

* The onions could be cooked ahead, covered and refrigerated. Reheat, then proceed with the recipe.

* If prosciutto is hard to get, use an Italian style salami.

* Tossing fresh herbs with hot pasta keeps all their character intact.Panko, or Japanese-style bread crumbs, are thin and delicate with jagged edges. They give a light, crispy texture to fried foods. Find them in the Asian foods section of supermarkets and at Asian markets. Store tightly covered in a cool, dry place.

Skillet Sichuan Noodles

Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces ground pork or chicken
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup peanut oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
2 scallions, half of the green stalks removed, thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon chili oil
1 tablespoon light brown or granulated sugar
1 cup chicken stock
1 (10-ounce) package dried Chinese noodles (lo mein noodles) or 12 ounces spaghetti

1. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a rolling boil in a large pot over high heat.

2. Set a large skillet over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix the ground pork or chicken, one tablespoon soy sauce, and a few grinds of pepper to combine well. Add 2 tablespoons peanut oil and the pork to the hot pan. Cook the meat for 5 to 7 minutes or until it is well browned, breaking it apart with a spatula as it cooks. Remove the meat to a paper towel to drain.

3. Wipe out the skillet and set over medium heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons peanut oil to the skillet. Add the garlic, ginger, and scallions and cook for 2 minutes. Add the peanut butter, the remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, chili oil, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the chicken stock to the skillet and stir or whisk to combine. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the sauce is thickened and shiny.

4. Meanwhile, when the water comes to a boil, cook the noodles until al dente (as little as 3 minutes for lo mein), separating them as they cook. Drain and rinse with hot water. (If using Italian pasta, partially drain and place the wet pasta back in the cooking pot until needed.) Place the noodles on individual plates, ladle the sauce over them, and garnish with the pork and ground pepper.

Serves 2 to 3, but can be easily doubled

This is an Americanized version of a classic Chinese dish. However, it is well suited to a quick midweek supper, and all of the ingredients can be found in any decent supermarket.

I prefer ground pork, but chicken can be used in a pinch. If you do not like spicy food, cut the chili oil back to either 1 or 2 teaspoons. You can also use spaghetti instead of Chinese noodles.

==== LYNNE'S QUICK TIPS ====
* My pick of supermarket soy sauces is Kikkoman. It's made without unnecessary additives. Under no circumstances should you buy La Choy, a truly nasty creation.

* Tamari is usually (not always) soy sauce made without wheat. It is not necessarily better, only different.

Apple-Cherry Crisp

3 each large Granny Smith and Cortland or McIntosh apples (3 lb total), peeled, cored and sliced
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup tart dried cherries
1/2 cup apple cider or juice
3/4 stick (6 Tbsp) butter, cut up
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Have ready a shallow 2-qt baking dish.

Mix apples, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 Tbsp flour and the cherries in a large bowl. Transfer to baking dish; pour cider over apple mixture.

In same bowl combine remaining brown sugar, remaining flour, the butter and cinnamon until well blended. With pastry blender or fingers, mix until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over the apples.

Bake 50-55 minutes or until top is browned and apples are tender when pierced. Place on a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Prep Time: 1 hr, 10 min

Serves 8. Per serving: 318 cal, 2 g pro, 61 g carb, 3 g fiber, 9 g fat (5 g sat fat)

Rustic Little Apple Pies

PASTRY
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 stick cold butter, cut small
1 Tbsp freshly grated orange peel
1/4 cup ice water

3 small Golden Delicious apples
3 Tbsp sliced natural (with skin) almonds
3 Tbsp granulated sugar mixed with 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
6 tsp fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp stick butter, cut small
Garnish: confectioners' sugar

To make pastry in food processor: Put flour, butter and orange peel in processor; pulse until coarse crumbs form. Add water all at once; pulse just until dough begins to leave sides of bowl.
To make pastry by hand: Put flour in a bowl and cut in butter with a pastry blender until coarse crumbs form. Add peel and water; stir with a fork until mixture clumps together and a dough forms.

Gather into a ball, flatten and cut in 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a bowl, flatten, then place each between sheets of plastic wrap. Roll each with a rolling pin to a 6-inch diameter circle (circles don't have to be perfect). Refrigerate while preparing remaining ingredients.

Peel apples, halve, then core with a melon baller. Cut wedges to remove stem and bud ends. Turn halves cut side down and slice thin.

Heat oven to 425 F. Have a large baking sheet ready.

One at a time, remove dough circles from refrigerator. Peel off plastic and place dough circle on baking sheet. Leaving a 1- to 1 1/2-inch border, fan apple slices overlapping on dough. Sprinkle with 1/2 Tbsp each almonds and sugar mixture and 1 tsp orange juice. Fold edges of pastry over apples. Repeat to form 5 more pies. Dot apples with butter.

Bake 10 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake 25-30 minutes more until pastry is lightly browned and apples are tender. Remove pies to wire rack to cool until just warm. Just before serving, dust with confectioners' sugar.

Prep Time: 1 hr 20 minutes

Makes 6. Per pie: 341 cal, 4 g pro, 36 g carb, 2 g fiber, 21 g fat (12 g sat)

Antipasto of Seared Tuna & Roasted Peppers

3 oz tuna steak (about 1-inch thick)
Coarsely ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup roasted red peppers
1/2 tsp olive oil, preferably extra-virgin
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp drained capers
Allowed vegetables
Caper berries, lemon wedges, and lettuce for garnish

Sprinkle both sides of tuna steak with pepper. Lightly oil a large nonstick skillet or coat it with nonstick cooking spray. Heat the skillet over high heat until a drop of water sizzles; add the tuna and cook until the underside is lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes, then turn and cook just until opaque in the center, 4 to 5 minutes longer. Remove from the skillet and cool to room temperature. (Tuna can be cooked up to 8 hours ahead. Cool to room temperature, wrap, and refrigerate.)

Shortly before serving, cut the tuna on the bias into 1/4-inch slices. Cut the red peppers into 1/4-inch slices. Arrange tuna and peppers on a serving plate. Sprinkle with pepper, then drizzle with the olive oil and lemon juice. With a vegetable peeler, shave the cheese into thin slices. Scatter the cheese and capers over the tuna and peppers. Serve with allowed vegetables. Garnish with caper berries, lemon wedges, and lettuce, if desired.

Recipe reprinted with permission of EatingWell, The Magazine of Food & Health.

Serves 2. Per serving: 170.48 calories, 4.1 total fat (1.77 g sat), 26.22 mg cholesterol, 16.22 g carbohydrate, 17.06 g protein, 3.69 g fiber, 400.09 mg sodium

Wild West Steak

1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil, preferably canola oil, divided
1/2 Spanish onion, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 Tbsp coarse-grained mustard
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 4-oz bison or beef tenderloin steaks, about 1-inch thick, trimmed of fat

Prepare a charcoal fire or gas grill.

Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add red peppers and cook until the onions are golden, about 10 minutes more. (If the mixture becomes too dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.)

In a small bowl, whisk mustard with 1/4 cup water. Add to the onion mixture and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; keep warm.

Brush steaks lightly with remaining oil and season to taste with salt and a generous grinding of black pepper. Grill steaks to desired doneness, about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Serve with the onion-pepper mixture.

Serves 2. Per serving: 170.75 calories, 7.56 total fat (1.76 g sat), 60 mg cholesterol, 4.62 g carbohydrate, 22.68 g protein, 0.75 g fiber, 56.62 mg sodium

Apple and Almond Souffle

3 medium baking apples, peeled, cored, and cut into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons sugar substitute
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
5 egg whites
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted (optional)

In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the apples and water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until the apples are tender. Stir in the sugar substitute and almond extract. Remove from the heat and place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. (Place a hot pad underneath the pot in the refrigerator.)

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on high speed, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. With a rubber spatula, gently fold into the cooled apple mixture. Spoon the mixture into a 1 1/2-quart souffle dish.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until the souffle is puffed and browned. Sprinkle with the almonds before serving, if using. Serve warm.

Serves 4. Per Serving: 150 calories, 3.5 total fat (0 g sat), 0 mg cholesterol, 25 g carbohydrate, 6 g protein, 2 g fiber, 70 mg sodium

Black Cherry Baked Apples

2 baking apples
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons dried cherries, raisins, or apricots
2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup diet black cherry soda

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Using an apple corer or sharp knife, remove the apple cores from the stem ends without cutting the apples all the way through the outer end. Place the apples cored side up in a 9" X 9" baking dish.

Sprinkle the apples inside and outside with the cinnamon. Spoon the cherries or raisins and the walnuts into the apples. Drizzle a little soda into each apple. Pour the remaining soda into the baking dish.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until the apples are tender.

Serves 2

Deviled Chicken Breasts

The term à la diable, or deviled, refers to the spiciness of the coating. Most likely borrowed from the English, the technique lends itself particularly well to intense French mustard. While sometimes completed with a layer of bread crumbs and served with a spicy sauce, this version packs in plenty of zip with little effort.

* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
* 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
* 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
* 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
* 1-1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
* 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
* Pinch cayenne

Place an oven rack about 6 inches from the broiler element. Heat the broiler.

Mix together the salt, thyme, and pepper; sprinkle over both sides of the breasts. Drizzle both sides with the 1 tablespoon of olive oil; rub to coat all surfaces. Place on a broiler pan. Broil skin side up for 6 to 8 minutes, until well browned; turn and broil for an additional 8 minutes.

Mix the Dijon mustard, lemon juice, dry mustard, cayenne, and the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a small bowl. Remove the breasts from the broiler; turn off the broiler and set the oven temperature at 450°F. Turn the breasts skin side up; spoon the mustard mixture over the breasts and spread to coat. Bake for 10 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink in the thickest portion when cut with a knife.

LYNNE'S TIPS
* This chicken is good cold. Make a double batch so you'll have leftovers for tomorrow's lunch.

* Turn the dish into weeknight party food by making it ahead and arranging slices on a bed of black bean-red onion salad. Dust with torn coriander leaves and tuck in lemon wedges. Now you have a one-dish buffet supper. Not bad for 15 minutes of prep.

4 servings

Roasted Butternut Squash with Balsamic Vinegar

Serve this squash the way it's eaten in country houses in the part of the Emilia-Romagna region where nearly every family makes its own balsamic vinegar. Small bottles of balsamico are set out on the table, and everyone seasons their squash to taste with the vinegar. Try the squash with grilled lamb chops, roast chicken, pork and simple sautéed fish dishes.

1-1/2 to 2 lbs butternut squash
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp artisan balsamic vinegar (Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena or Reggio-Emilio), or 3 to 4 Tbsp high-quality commercial balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Cut the squash lengthwise in half. Seed and cut it into 3- to 4-inch squares, with skin intact. Score the flesh with crosshatch cuts about 1/2 inch deep. Rub all over with olive oil.

Set the pieces, skin side down, on the cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 45 minutes, or until easily pierced with a knife and lightly browned. Serve hot or at room temperature, sprinkled with the balsamic vinegar.

Serves 6 to 8

Scrumptious Apple Dessert Cake

2 cups sugar
1 cup margarine or butter
2 eggs
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
6 apples, grated
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp vanilla

Mix ingredients and bake in 225 degree oven for 1 hour. Pour topping over cake while still warm.

Topping:
1 cup milk
4 tsp butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp corn starch

Stir until thickened.

Dump Cake

1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple, undrained
1 can (21 oz) pie filling (cherry, peach or apple)
1 pkg (18.25 oz) plain yellow cake mix
12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted
1/2 cup unsweetened grated coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F for a glass pan or 350 degrees F for a metal pan. (Glass pans are better if you're planning on storing the dessert for longer than a day; after that a metal pan will begin to corrode.)

Spoon the pineapple evenly over the bottom of an ungreased 13- by 9-inch baking pan. Cover the pineapple with the pie filling.

Pour the dry cake mix evenly over the fruit mixture so that it reaches all the sides of the pan. Drizzle the entire pan with the melted butter. Sprinkle the coconut and pecans evenly over the top of the cake.

Bake the cake until it is deep brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake topping comes out clean, 55-60 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.

Spoon the warm dump cake into bowls, and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Serves 18-20

Total Time: 65-70 minutes (10 minutes Prep Time + 55-60 Baking Time)

Cinnamon Blueberry Crumble Bars

1 pkg (18.25 oz) plain yellow cake mix
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Set aside an ungreased 13- by 9-inch baking pan.

Place the cake mix, melted butter, oatmeal, brown sugar, eggs, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. The mixture will be thick. Reserve 1 1/2 cups for the topping. Transfer the remaining crust mixture to the pan. Using your fingertips, press the mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan so that it reaches all sides.

For the filling, place the blueberries and granulated sugar in a small bowl and stir to combine. Pour the blueberries onto the crust, and spread with a spoon so that the berries are evenly distributed. Pinch off pieces of the reserved crust mixture and scatter them over the filling.

Bake the cake until it is light brown and bubbling, 40-45 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool, 30 minutes.

Cut the cake into 24 bars. Remove the bars from the pan with a metal spatula and serve.

Can be frozen, wrapped in alumninum foil, for up to 6 months. Thaw the bars overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Makes 24 Bars

Total Time: 50-55 minutes (Prep Time: 10 minutes, Baking Time: 40-45 minutes)

Easy Tiramisu

Cake:
Vegetable oil spray for misting the pan
1 pkg (18.25 oz) plain white cake mix
1 1/3 cups water
2 Tbsp vegetable oil (e.g., canola, corn, safflower, soybean, sunflower)
3 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Syrup:
3/4 cup hot water
2 Tbsp instant coffee powder
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 cup Kahlua or other coffee-flavored liqueur

Topping:
2 cups low-fat or nonfat vanilla yogurt
1 pkg (16 oz) cream cheese at room temperature
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly mist a 13- by 9-inch baking pan with vegetable oil spray. Set the pan aside.

Place the cake mix, water, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed. The batter should look thick and well blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it out with the rubber spatula. Place the pan in the oven.

Bake the cake until it is golden brown and springs back when lightly pressed with your finger, 32-35 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile, prepare the syrup. Place the hot water, coffee powder, and sugar in a small bowl and stir to combine until the coffee and sugar dissolve. Stir in the coffee liqueur. Poke holes in the cake with a chopstick or drinking straw and spoon the syrup over the cake so that the syrup can seep down into the holes. Set the cake aside

Prepare the topping. Place the yogurt, cream cheese, and confectioner's sugar in a large mixing bowl and blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1-2 minutes. The mixture should look well-combined and thick. Spread the topping over the syrup-soaked cake, using the rubber spatula to spread the topping out to the edges of the cake. No more than an hour before serving, sift the cocoa powder over the topping so that it covers the top of the cake. Slice the cake into squares and serve.

Store the cake, covered in aluminum foil, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Serves 20

Total Time: 47-52 minutes (Prep Time: 10-12 minutes, Baking Time: 32-35 minutes, Assembly Time: 5 minutes)

Apple Almond Dessert

2 cans (19 oz) apple pie filling (or other fruit pie filling such as cherry)
1 pkg (18.25 oz) white cake mix
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup coarsely chopped almonds
3/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In greased 13- by 9-inch cake pan, mix pie fillings. Combine dry cake mix, oats, brown sugar and almonds. Sprinkle evenly over fruit. Pour melted butter evenly over crumble mixture, moistening crumbs as much as possible.

Bake 50-60 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.

Hello Dolly Cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine
1 cup vanilla wafer crumbs
1 cup chocolate chips
1 (3 oz) can flaked coconut
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the margarine in a 9- x 13-inch baking dish and place in the oven to melt.

Layer the vanilla wafer crumbs, chocolate chips, coconut and pecans in the baking dish. Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the layers.

Bake for 30 minutes. Let stand until cool. Chill, covered, overnight. Cut into squares.

Yield: 2 dozen

Tiramisu Cake

1 box (18.25 oz) devil’s food cake mix, prepared as box directs, substituting coffee for the water
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp freshly made espresso or strong coffee
2 Tbsp coffee-flavored liqueur (such as Kahlua, optional)
2 tubs (8 oz) mascarpone cheese
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1/3 cup sugar

Garnish: unsweetened cocoa powder and coffee beans

Heat oven to 350° F. Line a 13 x 9-in. baking pan with foil, letting foil extend about 2 in. above pan at both ends. Coat foil with nonstick spray.

Spread cake batter in prepared pan. Bake as box directs. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Holding foil ends, lift from pan. Trim rounded top off cake with a long serrated knife until flat. Holding foil ends, lift cake and return cake to pan.

Mix 1/4 cup espresso and the liqueur in a small bowl; brush over top of cake.

Stir mascarpone and remaining espresso in a large bowl until blended. Beat cream and sugar in a medium bowl on high speed until soft peaks form when beaters are lifted. Fold into cheese mixture until smooth. Spread over cake, adding swirls with back of a spoon.

Lightly dust cake with cocoa stirred through a strainer. Cut in squares; cut squares diagonally in half. Garnish with coffee beans.

Per serving: 400 cal, 5 g pro, 32 g car, 1 g fiber, 28 g fat (14 g sat fat), 84 mg chol, 310 mg sod

Serves 16

Active: 40 min
Total: 1 1/2 hr

Little Chocolate Souffles

5 Tbsp sugar
2/3 cup Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Chips
4 large eggs, at room temperature

Heat oven to 350° F. Lightly coat six 4-oz souffle dishes or custard cups with nonstick spray; dust with 2 Tbsp sugar. Place on a rimmed baking sheet.

Melt chips as package directs.

Separate egg yolks from whites, putting 4 whites in a large bowl and 2 yolks in a small bowl (save remaining 2 yolks for another use.)

Beat whites with mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining 3 Tbsp sugar until peaks are stiff.

Stir chocolate into yolks until well blended; stir in about 1/2 cup whites. Fold chocolate mixture into remaining whites until just blended. Divide among prepared dishes.

Bake 16-18 minutes until risen and tops look dry. Dust with confectioners' sugar, if desired. Serve immediately.

Serves 6

Active: 10 minutes
Total: 28 minutes

Per serving: 240 cal, 4 g pro, 27 g car, 0 g fiber, 13 g fat (6 g sat fat), 142 mg chol, 42 mg sod

Butterscotch Chip Cookies

1 white or yellow cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
1 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a spoon, mix cake mix, eggs and oil or melted butter. Stir in butterscotch chips. Drop dough balls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 9-12 minutes or until light golden brown around edges. Remove cookies and place on nonstick rack to cool.

Butterscotch Chip Oatmeal Cookies

1 yellow or spice cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup applesauce
2 cups quick oats
1 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a spoon, mix cake mix, eggs, oil and applesauce together. Stir in quick oats one cup at a time. Add butterscotch chips. Drop dough balls onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake 9-12 minutes or until light golden brown around edges. Remove cookies and place on nonstick rack to cool.

Spiced Pumpkin Nut Cookies

1 spice cake mix
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 cup milk chocolate chips or raisins, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a spoon, mix cake mix and pumpkin together in large bowl. Stir in nuts and, if desired, chocolate chips or raisins. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake 8-12 minutes. Cool 2-3 mintues on cookie sheet before removing to a nonstick rack to cool completely.

Luscious Lemon Bars

Bars:
1 white or yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 egg

Filling:
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup lemon juice

powdered sugar to garnish

Preheat oven to 350°. With a spoon, mix cake mix, butter and egg together. Press into a greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Mix eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder and lemon juice together. Spread evenly over dough. Bake 30-35 minutes or until light golden brown on top. Cool completely. Sprinkle powdered sugar over top and cut into bars. Store in refrigerator.

Oatmeal Caramel-Apple Bars

Bars:
1 yellow, white, or spice cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 cups chopped apples
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Topping:
1/2 cup flour
1 jar (16 oz) caramel ice cream topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a spoon, mix cake mix, eggs and butter. Stir in rolled oats. Press into a greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Sprinkle apples and nuts evenly over dough. Bake 25-30 minutes.

In saucepan, mix flour and caramel topping. Stirring constantly, bring to boil. Continue stirring and boil 3-5 minutes to thicken. Remove from heat and drizzle caramel topping over dessert. Cool completely. Refrigerate for an hour and cut into bars. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator.

Easy Layer Bars

Bottom Layer:
1 yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 egg

Top Layer
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup coconut
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
3/4 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a spoon, mix cake mix, butter and egg. Press dough into a lightly greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk over dough layer. Sprinkle coconut, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and nuts evenly over top. Bake 20-25 minutes or until light golden brown around edges. Cool completely and cut into bars.

Caramel Chocolate Surprise Bars

1 yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped nuts
1 jar (12 oz) caramel ice cream topping

Preheat oven to 350°. With a spoon, mix cake mix, butter, and evaporated milk. Spread 3/4 of dough evenly into a greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Spread chocolate chips and nuts over bottom layer. Pour caramel topping evenly over top. Break rest of dough into small pieces and drop evenly over top. Bake 20-25 minutes. Cool 30 minutes. Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator.

Banana Pie Bars

1 white or yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 egg
2 medium bananas, thinly sliced
2 small boxes banana instant pudding
3 cups cold milk
12 oz whipped topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a spoon, mix cake mix, butter, and egg. Press dough into a lightly greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Bake 14-18 minutes or until light golden brown around edges. With a spoon, remove air pockets by pushing down evenly over entire hot crust. Allow crust to cool completely.

Place bananas evenly over crust. Beat pudding mixes and cold milk with wire whisk 2 minutes. Spread evenly over banana slices. Chill 3-4 hours, then spread whipped topping over top before serving. Store in refrigerator.

Carrot Spice Cupcakes

1 spice cake mix
ingredients listed on back of cake mix box
1 1/4 cups shredded carrot
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped or grated nuts
1 can (16 oz) white or cream cheese frosting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease cups of muffin pan and set aside. Make cake batter as directed on back of box. Stir in carrot, cinnamon, and nuts. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake 18-23 minutes or until done. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely.

Top cupcakes with frosting. Makes 24 cupcakes.

Peaches-and-Cream Pudding Bars

1 white or yellow cake mix
1 egg
1/3 - 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 small boxes vanilla or cheesecake instant pudding
3 cups milk
1 can (29 oz) sliced peaches, drained
12 oz whipped topping
fresh sliced peaches, optional

Preheat oven to 350°. With a spoon, mix cake mix, egg, and butter together. Press dough into a lighly greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Bake 14-18 minutes or until light golden brown around edges. With a spoon, remove air pockets by pushing down evenly over entire hot crust. Allow crust to cool completely.

Mix together pudding mix and milk until thick. Chill pudding 5-10 minutes. Place half of sliced peaches evenly over top of cooled crust. Spread half of pudding over peaches. Place remaining peaches over pudding. Spread remaining pudding over peaches. Cover and chill at least 3 hours.

Before serving, frost dessert with whipped topping and garnish with fresh peaches if desired. Cut into bars and serve. Store in refrigerator.

Pumpkin Crunch

4 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 can evaporated milk
1 tsp salt
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
1 box yellow or spice cake mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup chopped pecans or almonds
8 oz whipped topping

Preheat oven to 350°. Slightly beat eggs in a large bowl. Add sugar, pumpkin pie spice, evaporated milk, salt and pumpkin into beaten eggs. Pour into a lightly greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Sprinkle cake mix evenly over pumpkin mixture. Drizzle butter over entire cake mix layer. Sprinkle nuts evenly over top. Bake 50 minutes. Allow to cool 1 hour. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. Serve each individual piece with a scoop of whipped topping. Store in refrigerator.

Fruit Pizza

1 white cake mix
1 egg
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup powdered sugar
8 oz cream cheese, softened
8 oz whipped topping
sliced strawberries, bananas, kiwi, pineapple, apple, blueberries, peaches or grapes
coconut, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a spoon, mix cake mix, egg and butter together. Mix in flour. Spread dough thinly to cover a lightly greased jelly roll pan or cookie sheet. Bake 10-14 minutes or until light golden brown around edges. Allow to cool completely.

Mix powdered sugar, cream cheese and whipped topping together. Spread over cookie layer. Top with sliced fruit of choice. Sprinkle coconut over top if desired. Store in refrigerator.

Rocky Road Pizza

1 chocolate cake mix
1 egg
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a spoon, mix cake mix, egg, and butter together. Spread dough thinly to cover a lightly greased jelly roll pan or cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Top hot crust evenly with marshmallows, chocolate chips, and nuts. Drizzle caramel topping over pizza. Return to oven for an additional 3-5 mintues to puff marshmallows and slightly melt chocolate. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

Slow-Cooker Hot Chocolate

4-5 cups nonfat dry milk
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
1/2 to 3/4 cup baking cocoa
2 tsp vanilla
11 cups water
Optional: 2 tsp mint extract or almond extract

Combine all ingredients in 4 1/2- to 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally. Makes 10-15 servings.

Serve with whipped cream sprinkled with mini chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and/or marshmallows.

Holiday Wassail

3 sticks cinnamon
2 tsp ground cloves
8 cups water
3/4 cups frozen cranberry juice cocktail concentrate
3/4 cup frozen raspberry juice concentrate
3/4 cup frozen apple juice concentrate
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
orange slices, optional

In a 3 1/2- to 5-quart slow cooker, combine all ingredients except orange slices. Cover and cook on high heat for 2-3 hours or on low heat for 5-6 hours. Float orange slices in slow cooker during the last hour of cooking. Makes 12-15 servings.

Slow-Cooker Bean Dip

1 can (20 oz) refried beans
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp taco seasoning
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Combine all ingredients except cheese in greased 2- to 3 1/2-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on high heat 30 minutes and then on low heat for an additional 30 minutes or on low heat 2-3 hours. Add cheddar cheese the last hour on low heat. Makes 4-8 servings.

Serve with tortilla chips or wrapped in a warm flour tortilla.

Chocolate Fondue

2 cups milk chocolate chips
2/3 cup half-and-half

Stir chocolate chips and half-and-half together in greased 1- to 2-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 1 hour. Stir halfway through cooking time and again when fondue is finished. Makes 6-8 servings.

Dip fresh strawberries or chunks of angel food cake.

Caramel Fondue

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup brown sugar
1 can sweetened condensed milk

In a saucepan, mix together all ingredients and bring to boil. Transfer to a preheated, greased 1- to 2 1/2-quart slow cooker and set on low heat to serve. Makes 6-8 servings.

Dip apple slices or chunks of angel food cake, or spoon over apple-spice cake.

Simple Slow-Cooker Chili

2 lbs ground beef, browned and drained
1/2 cup dried minced onion or 1 large onion, chopped
1 large can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
2 cans (8 oz each) tomato puree
1 can (16 oz) kidney beans
1 can (4 oz) diced green chilies
1 cup water
1 tsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Combine all ingredients in greased 4 1/2- to 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on high heat 2-3 hours or on low heat 4-6 hours. Makes 6-8 servings.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

5 cups hot water
2 Tbsp instant chicken boullion granules
1 large can (46 oz) chicken broth
2 cups cooked chicken
1 tsp salt
15 baby carrots, cut in thirds
3 cups egg noodles, uncooked

Combine all ingredients except egg noodles in greased 3 1/2- to 5-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat 4-6 hours. 30 minutes before serving, stir in egg noodles. Cover and cook on low heat for an additional 3 minutes. Do not overcook. Makes 4-6 servings.

Slow-Cooker Taco Soup

1 can (15 oz) chili with beans and meat
1 can (15 oz) whole kernel corn
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 to 3 Tbsp dry taco seasoning mix

Combine all ingredients in greased 3 1/2- to 4 1/2-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat 6-8 hours. Makes 4-6 servings.

Slow-Cooker Slow Roast

3-4 lb rump roast
1 lb bag baby carrots
1 cup chopped onion or 1/2 cup dried minced onion
8-10 red potatoes, quartered
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 cup water

Place carrots, onion, and potatoes in bottom of greased 4- to 5-quart slow cooker. Place meat on top of vegetables. Dissolve soup mix in water and pour over meat. Cover and cook on low heat 8-10 hours. If using a frozen roast, cook on low heat an additional 2-4 hours. Makes 6-8 servings.

Slow-Cooker Cola Roast

3 lb beef roast
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
2 cans (12 oz each) cola *

Place roast in greased 4- to 5-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle with soup mix. Pour soda over all. Cover and cook on low heat 7-8 hours. Makes 4-6 servings.

* Diet soda cannot be substituted.

Beef and Mushrooms

3 lbs stew meat, cubed
1 can (10 3/4 oz) cream of mushroom soup
2 cans (4 oz each) mushrooms
1/2 cup apple juice
1 envelope dry onion soup mix

Combine all ingredients in greased 3 1/2- to 5-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat 10 hours. Makes 4-6 servings.

Simple Beef Stroganoff

1 lb stew meat, cubed
1/2 cup dried minced onion
1 can (10 3/4 oz) cream of mushroom soup
1 can (4 oz) mushrooms
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1 cup sour cream *

Combine all ingredients except sour cream in greased 3 1/2- to 5-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat 6-8 hours. Add sour cream the last hour of cooking. Makes 4-6 servings.

Serve over hot noodles.

* For a richer taste, substitute 1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese.

Slow-Cooker Lasagna

12 lasagna noodles, uncooked
1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 jar (28 oz) spaghetti sauce
1/4 cup water
1 carton (16 oz) cottage cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated

Break noodles in half. Place half of the noodles in bottom of greased 4-quart slow cooker. Stir Italian seasoning into meat and spread half over the noodles already in slow cooker. Then layer half of the sauce and water, half of cottage cheese, and half of mozzarella cheese over beef. Repeat layers. Cover and cook on low heat 4-5 hours. Do not cook more than 5 hours. Makes 6-8 servings.

Slow-Cooker Sweet-and-Sour Beef or Chicken

2 lbs stew meat, cubed, or 2 lbs chicken breast
1 bottle (10 oz) sweet-and-sour sauce
1 cup shredded carrots
2 Tbsp chili garlic sauce
4-6 cups hot cooked rice

Combine all ingredients except rice in greased 2- to 3 1/2-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat 6-8 hours. Ladle over hot cooked rice. Makes 4-6 servings.

Slow-Cooker Brisket

4 lb beef brisket
1 tsp salt
2 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp paprika
1/2 to 1 tsp garlic powder
pepper to taste

Trim all excess fat from meat. Combine seasonings until well blended; rub into brisket. Place meat in greased 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, with the side that had more fat on top, cutting to fit if necessary. Cover and cook on low heat for 10-12 hours. Remove meat from liquid and cut across grain into thin slices. Makes 4-6 servings.

Slow-Cooker Onion Meatballs

2 pkgs (18 oz each) frozen cooked meatballs
1 jar (12 oz) beef gravy
1 envelope dry onion soup mix

Combine all ingredients in greased 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker. Cook on low heat 3-4 hours. Makes 4-6 servings.

Meatballs can be served on a platter with toothpicks as appetizers, or on toasted hoagies with provolone cheese as sandwiches.

Slow-Cooker Barbecued Meatballs

2 pkgs (18 oz each) frozen cooked meatballs *
1 bottle (16 oz) barbecue sauce
1/3 cup chopped onions

Combine all ingredients in greased 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker. Cook on low heat 3-4 hours. Makes 4-6 servings.

Meatballs can be served with toothpicks as appetizers, or on toasted hoagies with mozzarella cheese as sandwiches.

* Cocktail sausages could be substituted.

Slow-Cooker Hawaiian Chicken

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple
1 bottle (16 oz) barbecue sauce
4-6 cups rice, cooked

Place meat in greased 3 1/2- to 5-quart slow cooker. Combine pineapple and barbecue sauce and pour over meat. Cook on high heat for 3-4 hours or on low heat 6-8 hours. Serve over rice. Makes 4-6 servings.

Slow-Cooker Pineapple Chicken

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/8 tsp pepper
paprika, to taste
1 can (20 oz) pineapple tidbits, drained
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2-3 Tbsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp minced garlic

Place chicken in greased 3 1/2- to 5-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle with pepper and paprika. In a separate bowl, mix pineapple, mustard, soy sauce, and garlic together; pour over chicken. Cover and cook on high heat 3-4 hours or on low heat 7-9 hours. Makes 4-6 servings.

Slow-Cooker Sweet-and-Sour Chicken

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 jar (18 oz) sweet-and-sour sauce
1 bag (16 oz) frozen Szechuan vegetables stir-fry
6 cups cooked rice
1/4 to 1/2 cup toasted, chopped almonds (optional)
1/2 tsp salt

Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces. In greased 3 1/2- to 5-quart slow cooker, combine chicken, sweet-and-sour sauce, frozen vegetables, and salt. Cover and cook on high heat for 2 1/2 - 3 hours or on low heat for 5-6 hours.

Slow-Cooker Savory Pork Roast

4-5 lb pork loin roast
1/2 cup dried minced onion
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp crushed dried bay leaf
1 Tbsp garlic powder

Place roast and onion in greased 4 1/2- to 5-quart slow cooker. Add soy sauce, bay leaf, and garlic powder. Cover and cook on low heat 7-9 hours. Makes 8-10 servings.

Slow-Cooker Sweet-and-Sour Pork

1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 can (20 oz) pineapple chunks, drained
1 cup sweet-and-sour sauce
1/4 tsp ground ginger

Place all ingredients in the order listed above in greased 2- to 3 1/2- quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat 4-6 hours. Makes 2-4 servings.

Serve over hot cooked rice with a side of steamed oriental vegetables.

Slow-Cooker Pork Chops and Mushrooms

4 boneless pork chops, 1/2-inch thick
2 medium onions, sliced
1 can (4 oz) sliced mushrooms, drained
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1/2 cup water
1 can (10 3/4 oz) cream of mushroom soup

Place meat in greased 3 1/2- to 4 1/2-quart slow cooker. Top with onions and mushrooms. In a separate bowl, combine soup mix, water, and soup. Pour over mushrooms and pork chops. Cover and cook on low heat 6-8 hours. Makes 4 servings.

Slow-Cooker Barbecue Pork Sandwiches

2-3 lbs boneless pork roast
3/4 cup dried minced onion
1 bottle (12 oz) barbecue sauce
1/4 cup honey
sandwich rolls

Place roast in greased 3 1/2- to 5-quart slow cooker. Combine onion, barbecue sauce, and honey. Pour mixture over meat. Cover and cook on low heat 6-8 hours. When roast is done, use two forks to shred meat. Makes 4-6 servings.

Slow-Cooker Holiday Ham

3-5 lb ham
24-36 whole cloves
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup honey

Pierce ham with cloves; cover entire ham. Place in a greased 4- to 6-quart slow cooker. Pour juice and honey over ham. Cover and cook on low heat 6-9 hours. Remove cloves before slicing and serving. Makes 8-10 servings.

Slow-Cooker Carrot Cake

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup grated carrots

Combine all ingredients in a 2-quart mixing bowl by hand. Spread batter in greased 2- to 3 1/2- quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 hours, or until firm in the center. (You can lightly jiggle the covered slow cooker to check firmness.) Makes 4-6 servings.

Top with whipped topping or your favorite cream-cheese frosting.

Slow-Cooker Caramel Rolls

2 pkgs (8 oz each) refrigerator biscuits
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix sugar and cinnamon together in small bowl. Dip individual biscuits into melted butter and then into cinnamon and sugar mixture. Place each covered biscuit in greased 3 1/2- to 5-quart slow cooker. Cook on high heat 2 1/2 - 3 hours or until rolls are done. You can check rolls in the cetner after 2 hours for doneness. Makes 6-8 servings.

Triple Rich Chocolate Cake

1 box (18 oz) devil's food cake mix
4 eggs
1 cup light sour cream
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
1 pkg (3 oz) instant chocolate pudding
1 cup chocolate chips

Combine all ingredients by hand in a 2-quart mixing bowl.* Pour batter into greased 3 1/2- to 5- quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat 5-6 hours, or until done in the center. Do not cook this recipe on high heat. Makes 8-10 servings.

* It is important that you combine ingredients by hand and not with a mixer.

Slow-Cooker Cherry Biscuit Cobbler

2 pkgs (8 oz each) refrigerator biscuits, separated and quartered
1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup melted butter or margarine

Mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter in a small bowl. Mixture will be lumpy. Grease a 3 1/2- to 5-quart slow cooker, then layer 1 package biscuits, half the cinnamon and sugar mixture, and then half the pie filling. Add the second package of bicsuits; cover with the remaining half of the cinnamon and sugar mixture, and top with the remaining half of the pie filling. Cover and cook on high heat 2 1/2 - 3 hours, or until biscuits are done in the cetner. Makes 6-8 servings.

Slow-Cooker Granola Apple Crisp

2 cans (21 oz each) apple pie filling
2 1/2 cups granola cereal
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup melted butter or margarine

Place pie filling on bottom of greased 3- to 4 1/2-quart slow cooker. In the order listed above, sprinkle remaining ingredients over the pie filling. Cover and cook on low heat 3 hours. Makes 6-8 servings.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped topping.

Slow-Cooker Cherry Jubilee

2 cans (21 oz each) cherry pie filling
1 pkg (18 oz) yellow cake mix
1/2 cup melted butter or margarine

Spread pie filling in the bottom of greased 4 1/2- to 6-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle dry cake mix powder over the top. Pour melted butter over the top. Cover and cook on high heat 2 hours or on low heat 4 hours. Makes 10-12 servings.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped topping.

Slow-Cooker Chocolate Custard Cake

Batter:
2 cups of a packaged brownie mix
1 large egg
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup water

Sauce:
1 cup hot water
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp baking cocoa

In a 2-quart mixing bowl, mix batter ingredients by hand. Pour batter in greased 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker. Mix sauce ingredients together in separate bowl. Pour sauce evenly over batter. Do not stir after sauce has been added. Cover and cook on high heat 2 - 2 1/2 hours. Allow cake to cool for 30 minutes before servings. Serve with vanilla ice cream. Makes 6-8 servings.

Sage and Rosemary Pork

FILLING:
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh sage or thyme leaves
1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

PORK LOIN:
2 lbs boneless center-loin pork roast
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Fresh sage leaves, for garnish
Rosemary sprigs, for garnish

To make the filling: In a small bowl, combine the parsley, sage or thyme, rosemary, garlic, oil, mustard, salt, and pepper.

To make the pork loin: Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Butterfly the pork loin. Sprinkle the top side of the butterflied loin with half of the salt and pepper. Spread the filling evenly across the loin, leaving a 1/2-inch border along the edge where you made the first cut.

Beginning at the opposite edge, roll the loin up to wrap the filling. Using kitchen twine, tie the loin every 1 1/2 inches to hold its shape.

Rub the loin with the oil and sprinkle with the remaining salt and pepper. Place the loin in a small roasting pan and position on the center rack of the oven. Roast for 1 hour, or until a thermometer inserted in the center registers 155° F and the juices run clear. Let stand for 10 minutes before carving. To prevent slices from unrolling, skewer the roast every 1/4 inch with wooden picks along the edge where the roll ends. Slice crosswise between the wooden picks and ties. Remove the kitchen twine before serving. Garnish with the sage leaves and rosemary sprigs.

Serves 6

Sweet Potatoes with Maple Syrup

3 3⁄4 lb sweet potatoes
1⁄2 stick (4 Tbsp) butter
1⁄3 cup maple syrup
1⁄2 tsp each salt and pepper
1⁄3 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 1⁄2 cups miniature marshmallows

Heat oven to 400°F. Have ready a rimmed baking sheet and 1 1⁄2-qt shallow baking dish.

Pierce each potato once with a fork and place on a baking sheet.

Bake 50 min to 1 1⁄4 hours until very soft. When cool enough to handle, split potatoes and scrape pulp into a large bowl. Add butter, syrup, salt and pepper; mash until smooth. Spoon into baking dish. Cover with foil.

Heat oven to 350°F. Bake 30 minutes until hot. Remove foil. Sprinkle with pecans, then marshmallows; bake 6 to 7 minutes until marshmallows are slightly toasted.

Serves 8 Active: 20 min/Total: About 2 hr 10 min

Per serving: 303 cal, 3 g pro, 54 g car, 5 g fiber, 9 g fat (4 g sat fat), 15 mg chol, 229 mg sod

Ginger & Sweet Potato Soup with Cilantro

2 tsp olive oil
1 medium leek, white part only, cut in half lengthwise, rinsed well between layers, and thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 lbs sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cubed
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped, plus 1 tsp grated
4 cups chicken broth (homemade or reduced-sodium canned), or vegetable stock
3/4 tsp salt, or to taste
1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
2 Tbsp 1% milk
Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
Lime wedges

Heat oil in a 4- to 6-quart Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add leek and carrot. Cook, stirring often, until they begin to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in sweet potatoes (or yams) and chopped ginger. Add broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until sweet potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes.

In batches, if necessary, transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Return the soup to the pot, season with salt, and reheat. Just before serving, stir in grated ginger. Whisk yogurt and milk in a small bowl until smooth. Ladle soup into bowls, and drop a large dollop (or several small dollops) of thinned yogurt onto each one. Draw the tip of a knife or a toothpick through the yogurt to make decorative swirls. Garnish with cilantro and serve with lime wedges for squeezing into the soup.

Makes 8 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Start to finish: 50 minutes

Nutritional Information:
128 calories
2 g total fat (1 g sat fat)
2 mg cholesterol
24 g carbohydrate
4 g protein
4 g fiber
301 mg sodium

Italian Chicken

Estimated Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Servings: 4

1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp capers, drained
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 anchovy, finely chopped, or 1 Tbsp anchovy paste
1 Tbsp minced garlic
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 small can sliced black olives, drained
1 7-oz can sliced mushrooms, drained
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (or to taste)
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp oregano
2 Tbsp red wine
2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs, fat trimmed
shaved Parmesan cheese, optional

Add all ingredients, except the chicken, to the slow cooker; mix well. Add the chicken and stir to coat it with the other ingredients.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

To serve, transfer chicken thighs to individual plates using tongs. Stir the sauce and spoon a little onto each serving. Garnish with Parmesan shavings if desired.

Mexican Chicken

Estimated Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Servings: 6

2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp adobo seasoning
1 cup chicken broth
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/3 tsp chili flakes
1/2 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 green bell peppers, chopped
2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs, fat trimmed
1 15.5-oz can black beans, drained
1 4-oz can chopped green chilies, drained
shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
sour cream (optional)

Add first eleven ingredients (tomato paste through bell peppers) to the slow cooker crock and mix well.

Add chicken thighs and stir well to coat chicken with seasonings; then add black beans and chlies; do not stir.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Before serving, stir thoroughly. Serve with cheddar cheese and sour cream, if desired.

Thai Red Curry Chicken

Estimated Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Servings: 5

1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp red curry paste
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 14-oz can coconut milk
3 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp Splenda Granular sweetener
2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs, fat trimmed, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 8-oz can bamboo shoots, drained
1/2 head fresh cauliflower, core removed and broken into florets (about 2 cups)
3/4 lb fresh green beans (about 4 cups)
2 Tbsp thinly sliced fresh basil leaves (optional)

In the slow cooker, combine the curry paste, broth, coconut milk, fish sauce, and Splenda; mix well with a whisk. Add chicken, onions, bamboo shoots, and cauliflower; stir to coat ingredients with sauce.

Place green beans on top of mixture and cook on low for 8 hours.

Before serving, stir the green beans into the dish, and add sliced basil, if desired.

Chicken with Summer Vegetables

Estimated Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 7 hours
Servings: 6

2 Tbsp olive oil
6 cups (about 3 lbs) zucchini and/or yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
2 Tbsp white wine
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced 1/4-inch thick on the diagonal
3/4 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp dried oregano
2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs, fat trimmed
1 4-oz log of chevre (mild goat cheese), optional
8-oz package of sliced fresh mushrooms, optional

Add all ingredients except chicken thighs and chevre to the slow cooker; stir well to combine.

Add chicken thighs and stir all ingredients togther. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours.

Before servings, stir well. Garnish each serving with a round of goat cheese, if desired.

Chicken Piccata

Estimated Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Servings: 4

3 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce (about 2 shakes)
2 Tbsp quick-cooking tapioca
2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breasts, fat trimmed, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 lemon, pierced 6 times with a paring knife and cut in half
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp capers, drained
1 cup sliced mushrooms, sauteed in 1 tsp of butter (optional)
2 tsp fresh parsley, finely chopped

Grease the slow cooker with the butter (leave the excess in the crock). In a liquid measuring cup, combine the wine, Tabasco sauce, and tapioca; stir and add to the slow cooker.

Add the chicken pieces and remaining ingredients, except for the parsley.

Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. When done cooking, remove lemon halves, stir in parsley, and serve.

Chicken Saltimbocca

Estimated Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Servings: 6

cooking spray
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (about 1/2 oz) chopped
2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into thirds lenghtwise
12 thin slices provolone cheese (about 9 oz)
1/2 lb sliced prosciutto or good-quality boiled ham
1/4 cup fresh sage leaves
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Coat the slow cooker crock with cooking spray; set aside.

Slice the cheese in half crosswise, making two stacks. Then cut each stack in half again, making rectangular pieces.

Assemble the roll-ups: On a cutting board or clean counter, lay one prosciutto or ham slice with a short end closest to you. Lay two pieces of cheese atop the prosciutto slice, lined up with the bottom edge of the prosciutto slice. Lay one strip of chicken across the cheese. Roll up, starting at bottom edge (chicken may stick out the ends of the roll-up). Place roll-up in the slow cooker and repeat until all prosciutto, cheese and chicken is used, making layers of roll-ups in the crock as you go. Tuck the sage leaves around and between the roll-ups. Sprinkle roll-ups with pepper.

Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. When done cooking, use tongs to remove the roll-ups to a platter. Turn slow cooker to high. Stir cream and Parmesan into the juices in the crock; cover and cook about 10 mintues.

Return roll-ups to the slow cooker to coat the with the sauce, and serve.

Pork with Prosciutto and Artichoke Hearts

Estimated Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Servings: 5

1 14-oz can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp oregano
2 Tbsp white wine
4 oz prosciutto, chopped
2 lbs boneless center-cut pork chops, fat trimmed (or use boneless, skinless chicken thighs)
1 14.5-oz can of diced tomatoes, drained (optional)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese

Add all ingredients, except for cream and cheese, to the slow cooker; mix well. Make sure chops are lying flat in the crock.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

When done cooking, use tongs to transfer pork chops to a platter. Add the cream and Romano cheese to the crock; stir well to combine them with the cooking juices. Return pork chops to the crock to coat with the sauce.

Spinach-Stuffed Mushrooms

1/2 package (2.5 oz) frozen, chopped spinach
pinch of salt
2 large mushrooms
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

In a medium saucepan, bring 1/4 cup water to a boil. Add the spinach and salt. Cover, and cook according to package directions. Wash the mushrooms. Remove the stems, trim off the ends, and then chop the stems.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the chopped mushroom stems. Sauté until golden, about 3 minutes. Remove from the pan. Add the mushroom caps to the skillet and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the mushroom caps to a heatproof serving platter.

Drain the spinach. Stir in the sautéed chopped mushrooms.

Spoon the spinach mixture into the caps and serve immediately or place in the oven on low heat to keep warm.

Orange Roughy in Scallion and Ginger Sauce

1/3 cup dry sherry or vermouth
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4 cup finely chopped green onion
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
2 orange roughy fillets (1 pound)

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Mix the sherry or vermouth, soy sauce, sesame oil, onion, ginger, and garlic in a small bowl.

Place the fish fillets in an ovenproof casserole dish. Drizzle the marinade over the fish and bake for 12 minutes or until the fish flakes easily.

Cod, sole, or flounder may be substituted for the orange roughy.

Serves 2

Cinnamon Walnuts

Estimated Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 1/2 hours
Servings 12

1 lb raw walnut halves
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
2 tsp cinnamon, divided
1 tsp sugar, divided
1 Tbsp Splenda
1 tsp vanilla

Place tha walnuts in the slow cooker.

In a small bowl, mix together the butter, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp sugar, Splenda, and vanilla. Mix well and pour over the walnuts in the slow cooker, stirring well to coat the nuts.

Cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours. When done cooking, sprinkle the remaining sugar and cinnamon over hte nuts, toss well,a nd serve warm, or allwo to cool, uncovered, until serving time.

* Don't worry about the small amount of sugar; it makes the cinnamon coat the nuts much better than without it.

Cocktail Party Meatballs

Estimated Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Servings: 15

1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup Splenda
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp quick-cooking tapioca
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp dried minced onions
3/4 cup water
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 2-lb bag frozen prepared meatballs, thawed

Add all ingredients except the meatballs to the slow cooker. Mix well, then add meatballs and stir to coat them with the sauce.

Cover and cook on low for 4 hours, stirring 2-3 times during cooking.

Orange Almond "Cakes"

Nonstick baking spray
2/3 cup (3 oz.) blanched almonds
1 medium navel orange
3 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar substitute
1/2 tsp baking powder
4 tsp nonfat plain yogurt
Pomegranate seeds, garnish only

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 4 ramekins with nonstick baking spray.

In food processor fitted with metal blade, process almonds until finely ground; scrape out of processor and set aside.

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zest off the orange. Cut orange into quarters; slice off tough stem ends of each quarter. Remove any seeds. Add half of the zest and all the orange quarters to processor; process to a smooth paste. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Add eggs, sugar substitute, baking powder, and ground almonds; process until blended.

Pour batter into prepared ramekins, filling almost to the top. Bake on top rack of the oven 30 minutes, until firm to the touch. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Cut pomegranates in quarters. Bend quarters in half backwards to release seeds.

Top individual cakes with a dollop of the yogurt; garnish with seeds.

South Beach, Phase 2. Serves 5. Per serving: 163 calories, 11 total fat (1 g sat), 112 mg cholesterol, 10 g carbohydrate, 7 g protein, 2 g fiber, 108 mg sodium

Meatballs Stroganoff

Estimated Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Servings: 15

1/2 tsp black pepper
2 cubes beef bouillon
1 cup water
1 packet dry stroganoff sauce mix
2 Tbsp dried minced onions
1 10-oz pkg mushrooms, finely chopped
1 2-lb bag frozen prepared meatballs, thawed
1 1/2 cups sour cream, room temperature
1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce (about 2 shakes)

Add first 6 ingredinets (pepper through mushrooms) to the slow cooker and mix well. Add the meatballs.

Cover and cook on low for 3 hours. Stir to coat meatballs with sauce, then cook 1 hour more.

Just before serving, add sour cream and Tabasco sauce; stir well.

Coconut Custard

Estimated Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours (plus 1 hour to cool)
Servings: 8

2 tsp butter
3 cups half-and-half
1 cup canned cocnut milk
5 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup Splenda
2 cups unsweetened, shredded coconut
pinch kosher salt
1/4 tsp coconut extract
whipped cream (optional)
toasted, unsweetened coconut (optional)

Grease the slow cooker with the butter (leave excess in the crock); set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except whipped cream and toasted coconut; mix well and pour into the slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low for 3 hours. At the end of the cooking time, give the slow cooker a gentle jiggle to make sure the custard is set (or touch the top of the custard to test it). If it's not set, cook 1/2 hour more. If it is set, leave the crock uncovered and let the custard sit for 1 hour at room temperature.

Slice the custard and use a pie server to remove each piece ( the first piece will be difficult to remove in one piece; after that it should be easy.) Garnish custard with whipped cream and a sprinkling of toasted coconut, if desired. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Beef Bourguignon

Estimated Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Servings: 6

8 pieces cooked bacon, chopped
1 1/2 cups red wine
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp quick-cooking tapioca
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 10-oz packages mushrooms, quartered
1 1/2 tsp celery salt
2 lbs beef stew meat, fat trimmed
1 1-lb bag frozen pearl onions, thawed

Add first 10 ingredients (bacon through tapioca) to the slow cooker crock; stir well to combine.

In a medium skillet, over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil; add mushrooms and celery salt to the pan. Increase heat to medium-high and cook mushrooms until they are browned and have given off their liquid (about 5 minutes). Drain mushrooms and add them to the slow cooker crock.

Return skillet to the heat, add remaining olive oil and brown the beef in the oil. Add the beef and the onions to the slow cooker crock, then stir all ingredients together well.

Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours. Stir stew well and cook 1 hour more. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Approximate nutritional content: Calories: 585, Protein: 43g, Net Carbs: 9g, Fat: 37g, Cholesterol: 140mg, Sodium: l,431mg

Sausage and White Bean Soup

Estimated Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Servings: 6

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 lbs sweet Italian sausage, meat pushed out of casings
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 14.5-ounce can cannellini beans, drained
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp quick-cooking tapioca
1 14.5-oz can chicken broth
1 head escarole, washed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet, over medium heat, warm olive oil; add sausage meat and onions; cook until sausage is browned and onions are soft, about 7 minutes. Drain off any fat.

Add sausage and onion mixture to the slow cooker crock, then add all remaining ingredients, except escarole and Parmesan. Mix gently until tomato paste dissolves.

Cover and cook on low for 7 hours. Add chopped escarole; stir well and cook 1 hour more. Serve in individual bowls, topped with grated Parmesan cheese.

Approximate nutritional content: Calories: 489, Protein: 28g, Net Carbs: 12g, Fat: 34g, Cholesterol: 94mg, Sodium: 1,600mg

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Estimated Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Servings: 5

cooking spray
1 lb lean ground beef (90% lean)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cube beef bouillon
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 14.5-oz can "petite" diced tomatoes
1 packet dry vegetable soup mix
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
5 bell peppers (red, green, yellow, or orange)

Coat the slow cooker crock with cooking spray; set aside.

Spray a large skillet with cooking spray, warm over medium heat and add ground beef, garlic, pepper, and bouillon. Add Worcestershire sauce, tomatoes, dry soup mix, garlic and water; stir well and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let mixture cool 10 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of the cheese.

Cut the tops off the peppers and pull out the seeds and membranes. Fill pepper cavities with the meat and cheese mixture; sprinkle remaining l/2 cup cheese over tops. Place filled peppers in the slow cooker crock.

Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours. Let peppers sit, uncovered, for 10 minutes before serving.

Approximate nutritional content: Calories: 395, Protein: 31g, Net Carbs: llg, Fat: 24g, Cholesterol: 104mg, Sodium: l,145mg

* Plan-Ahead Tip: This is a nice dish to put together in the evening, then pop into the slow cooker on your way to work the next day. To do so, prepare the recipe through Step 2, then refrigerate the meat mixture until the morning, when you assemble the dish.

Thai Green Curry Beef

Estimated Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Servings: 5

1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp green curry paste
1/4 cup beef broth
1 14-oz can coconut milk
3 Tbsp bottled Thai fish sauce
2 Tbsp Splenda Granular sweetener
2 lbs round steak, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup carrot "matchsticks" (cut from 1/2 carrot)
1 7-oz can sliced mushrooms, drained
1/2 head fresh cauliflower, core removed, broken into florets (about 2 cups)
3/4 lbs fresh green beans, trimmed (about 4 cups)
2 Tbsp thinly sliced basil leaves (optional)

In the slow cooker crock, combine curry paste, broth, coconut milk, fish sauce, and Splenda; mix well with a whisk. Add beef pieces, onions, carrots, mushrooms, and cauliflower pieces; stir to coat ingredients with the sauce.

Place green beans on top of mixture and cook on LOW for 8 hours.

Before serving, stir the green beans into the dish, and add sliced basil, if desired.

Approximate nutritional content
Calories: 506, Protein: 57g, Net Carbs: 9g, Fat: 25g, Cholesterol: 140mg, Sodium: l,154mg

* Tips: Use fresh vegetables; frozen ones tend to disintegrate in this recipe. The green beans do tend to lose some of their color during cooking. If you prefer a bright green bean, you can either put them in the crock halfway through the cooking process, or leave them out entirely, steam them on the stove, and then mix them in right before serving. Do not use "light" coconut milk, as it will separate during cooking. Green curry paste and fish sauce are available at some larger grocery stores, in the "ethnic" aisle. We use the Thai Kitchen brand.

Tex-Mex Pork Chops

1 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
1 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp olive oil
4 boneless thin-cut pork loin chops (4 oz each)

Mix cilantro, chili powder and oil in a small cup. With fingers, spread over chops. Coat a small nonstick skillet with nonstick spray; heat over medium heat. Add chops, increase heat to medium-high and cook 3-4 minutes, turning once, until cooked through.

Scalloped Sweet Potato Pizza

Serves 6
Bake: 35 mins

1 tube (10 oz) refrigerated pizza crust
1 medium sweet potato
1 medium onion
2 tsp vegetable oil
1/8 tsp pepper
1 cup preshredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 pkg (6 oz) thinly sliced 97%-fat-free ham
1 box (10 oz) frozen chopped kale, thawed and squeezed dry
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 425°F. Coat a 15 1/2 x 10 1/2-inch jelly-roll pan with nonstick cooking spray. Unroll pizza crust and press evenly over bottom of pan. Bake 5 minutes or just until crust is starting to brown around edges.

Meanwhile peel and thinly slice the sweet potato (see Tip) and onion. Place in a medium bowl, add oil and pepper and toss until well coated.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese over crust. Top with ham, kale and the potato mixture. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and the Parmesan cheese.

Bake 15 minutes or until crust is crisp and browned on bottom and potato and onion are tender.

Per serving: 296 cal, 17 g pro, 37 g car, 4 g fiber, 8 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 26 mg chol, 786 mg sod

Hearty Sausage Pizza

Serves 8
Bake: 55 mins

8 oz reduced-fat sweet Italian pork sausages
2 each small yellow squash and zucchini
1 red bell pepper
4 oz smoked mozzarella cheese
1 pkg (16 oz) prebaked Italian pizza crust
3/4 cup bottled marinara or pizza sauce
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil

Heat oven to 425°F. Have a baking sheet ready.

Bring sausages and 1/4 cup water to boil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Cover and cook 5 minutes, adding more water if needed. Uncover and cook until sausages are browned and cooked through. Remove from skillet; set aside.

Meanwhile cut both squashes diagonally in 1/2-in.-thick slices, and bell pepper in rings; shred the cheese (1 cup). Place pizza crust on baking sheet; spread sauce evenly over crust.

Wipe skillet clean. Heat 1 Tbsp oil. Add squashes and sauté 6 to 8 minutes until browned and tender. Remove from pan. Sauté pepper rings in remaining 1 tsp oil until browned and tender.

Slice sausages; place on pizza along with the vegetables. Sprinkle with cheese. 6. Bake 10 minutes or until cheese melts and crust is hot.

Per serving: 277 cal, 15 g pro, 31 g car, 2 g fiber, 13 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 23 mg chol, 673 mg sod

Rio Grande Dip

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 1/2 - 4 hours
Makes: 6 cups

8 oz bulk Italian sausage
1/3 cup (1 small) finely chopped onion
2 15-oz cans refried black beans
1 1/2 cups bottled salsa
1 4-oz can diced green chile peppers
1 1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese

In a large skillet cook the sausage and onion until meat is brown. Drain off fat. In a 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker combine meat mixture, refried black beans, salsa, and undrained chile peppers. Stir in cheese.

Cover and cook on low-heat for 3-4 hours or on high heat for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

Serve immediately or keep covered on low-heat setting for up to 2 hours. Stir just before serving. Serve dip with vegetable dippers.

10 g carb per 1/4 cup dip with 1 cup vegetables

Chipotle Con Queso Dip

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 1/2 - 3 1/2 hours
Makes: 4 1/2 cups

2 lbs packaged processed cheese spread, cubed
1 10-oz can chopped tomatoes and green chile peppers, undrained
1-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

In a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker combine the cheese spread, undrained tomatoes, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and Worcestershire sauce.

Cover and cook on low heat setting for 3 to 3 1/2 hours or on high heat for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours. Whisk before serving to smooth out any lumps. Serve warm with vegetable dippers. Keep warm on low heat setting for up to an hour.

Per 3 Tbsp dip with 1 cup vegetables: 8 g carb, 10 g fat, 157 cal, 1 g fiber, 9 g pro

Asiago Cheese Dip

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 1/2 - 4 hours
Makes: 7 cups

1 cup chicken broth or water
4 oz dried tomatoes (not oil packed)
4 8-oz cartons dairy sour cream
1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
1/2 of an 8-oz pkg cream cheese, cut up
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
8 thinly sliced green onions (about 1 cup)
1 1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded Asiago cheese
thinly sliced green onion (optional)

In a medium saucepan bring the broth to a boil. Remove from heat and add the dried tomatoes. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain; discard the liquid. Chop the tomatoes.

Meanwhile, in a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, cream cheese, mushrooms, 1 cup green onions, and Asiago cheese. Stir in the chopped tomatoes.

Cover and cook on low heat for 3-4 hours or on high seting for 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Stir before serving and sprinkle with additional green onion. Keep warm on low heat setting for 1-2 hours. Serve warm with vegetable dippers or pita wedges.

Per 1/4 cup dip with 1 cup vegetables: 212 cal, 19 g fat, 31 mg chol, 256 mg sodium, 8 g carb, 2 g fiber, 4 g pro

Low-Carb Slow Cooker Hot Cocoa

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 1/2 - 4 hours
Makes: 10 servings

3/4 cup Splenda
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
8 cups milk
1 Tbsp vanilla

In a 3 1/2- to 5-quart slow cooker combine Splenda and cocoa powder. Add milk; use a whisk or rotary beater to combine well. (Cocoa powder may not dissolve completely until the mixture is heated.)

Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 3-4 hours or on high-heat setting for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

Just before serving, add vanilla. Carefully beat milk mixture with a whisk or rotary beater until well mixed and frothy. Ladle cocoa into mugs.

Variations:

Spicy Cocoa - Add 1 tsp ground cinnamon and 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg with the cocoa powder

Mocha Cocoa - Add 3 Tbsp instant coffee crystals with the cocoa powder.

Per 6 oz serving: 126 cal, 4 g fat, 15 mg chol, 99 mg sodium, 13 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 8 g pro

Cranberry-Apple Cider

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 2 1/2 - 7 hours
Makes 8 servings

6 inches stick cinnamon, broken*
1 tsp whole allspice
4 cups apple cider or apple juice
4 cups low-carorie cranberry juice cocktail
1/4 cup Splenda
lemon slice (optional)

For spice bag, cut a 6- to 8-inch square from a double thickness of 100-percent-cotton cheesecloth. Place cinnamon and allspice in center of cheesecloth square. Bring corners of cheesecloth together and tie with a clean cotton string.

In a 3 1/2- to 4 1/2-quart slow cooker combine apple cider, cranberry juice, and Splenda. Add spice bag to cider mixture.

Cover and cook on low-heat for 5-7 hours or on high-heat for 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 hours. Discard the spice bag. Ladle cider into cups. If desired float a lemon slice in each cup.

Per 8-oz serving: 81 cal, 0 g fat, 0 mg chol, 22 mg sodium, 20 g carbs, 0 g viber, 0 g pro

*Tip: To break cinnamon stick, place in heavy plastic bag and gently pound with meat mallet.

Beef and Red Bean Chipotle Chili

Prep: 20 minutes
Stand: 1 hour
Cook: 5-12 hours
Makes 8 servings

1 cup dry red beans or dry kidney beans
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 lbs boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1" cubes
1 cup (1 large) coarsely chopped onion
1 14-oz can beef broth
1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped, plus 2 tsp adobo sauce
2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 14 1/2-oz can diced tomatoes with mild chiles, undrained
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
1/4 cup snipped fesh cilantro (optional)
1 medium red sweet pepper, chopped (optional)

Rinse the beans. Place the beans in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover; let stand for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook half of the beef and the onion in hot oil over medium-high heat until meat is light brown. Transfer to a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. Repeat with remaining beef. Add the broth, chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, oregano, cumin, salt, undrained tomatoes, and tomato sauce to the cooker; stir to combine. Drain and rinse the beans and stir into cooker.

Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 10-12 hours or on high heat setting for 5-6 hours. Serve topped with cilantro and sweet pepper.

Per serving: 276 cal, 6 g fat, 873 mg sodium, 67 mg chol, 22 g carb, 8 g fiber, 31 g pro

New Mexico Beef Stew

Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 6-14 hours
Makes 6 servings

2 cups fresh corn kernels or 1 10-oz pkg frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
1 15-oz can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
2 cups chopped, peeled celery root or 1 cup sliced celery
1 cup (1 large) chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
1 1/2 lbs boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried thyme, crushed
1 28-oz can whole tomatoes, cut up and undrained

Place all ingreients in 4- to 5 1/2-quart slow cooker, adding in order listed.

Cover and cook on low heat setting for 12-14 hours or on high heat setting for 6-7 hours. Stir before serving. Season to taste.

Per serving: 367 cal, 8 g fat, 54 mg chol, 1078 mg sodium, 42 g carb, 7 g fiber, 33 g pro

Sancocho Pork Stew

This hearty stew, believed to originate in Panama, is mildly spiced with chili powder and chile peppers. The sweet potatoes lend a completmentary sweetness.

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 4-8 hours
Makes 8 servings

3 medium yams or sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2" pieces
1 large green sweet pepper, cut into strips
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
1 medium onion, sliced and separated into rings
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 lbs boneless pork shoulder, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups water
1 10-oz can chopped tomatoes with green chile peppers, undrained
1 9-oz pkg frozen cut green beans

In a 3 1/2- to 5-quart slow cooker, add all ingredients except green beans, in order listed.

Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 7-8 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 1/2-4 hours, adding the frozen green beans the last 15 minutes.

Per serving: 256 cal, 6 g fat, 55 mg chol, 388 mg sodium, 32 g carb, 5 g fiber, 20 g pro

Tuscan Sausage and Bean Soup

Prep: 20 minutes
Stand: 1 hour
Cook: 5-10 hours + 10 minutes
Makes 6 servings

1 1/4 cups dry Great Northern beans
4 cups cold water
8 oz uncooked Italian sausage links, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch sliced
2 1/4 cups water
2 14-oz cans beef broth
1 cup (1 large) chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning, crushed
1 medium (about 1 1/2 cups) yellow summer squash or zucchini, sliced
1/3 cup dry red wine or water
1/2 of a 10-oz pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1 14 1/2-oz can low-sodium diced tomatoes, undrained
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Rinse beans. In a large saucepan combine the beans and the 4 cups cold water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer for 10 minues. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet cook sausage until brown. Drain on paper towels.

In a 3 1/2- to 5-quart slow cooker combine the drained beans, the 2 1/4 cups wter, broth, onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, sausage, squash, and wine.

Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 9-10 hours or on high-heat setting for 5-6 hours or until beans are tender.

If using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting. Stir spinach and undrained tomatoes into soup. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes more or until heated through. Serve in bowls. If desired, sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese.

Per serving: 329 cal, 14 g fat, 31 mg chol, 841 mg sodium, 33 g carb, 10 g fiber, 17 g pro

Creamy Chicken Chowder

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 2-6 hours
Stand: 5 minutes
Makes 6 servings

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 11-oz can whole kernel corn with sweet peppers, drained
1 10 3/4-oz can condensed cream of potato soup
1 4-oz can diced green chile peppers, undrained
2 Tbsp snipped fresh cilantro
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
3 cups chicken broth
1 8-oz carton dairy sour cream
1/2 of an 8-oz pkg cheese spread with jalapeno peppers, cubed

In a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker combine chicken, corn, soup, undrained chile peppers, cilantro and taco seasoning mix. Stir in broth.

Cover and cook on low heat for 4-6 hours, or on high heat for 2-3 hours.

Stir about 1 cup of the hot soup into the sour cream. Stir the sour cream mixture and cheese into the mixture in cooker; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Whisk until combined.

Per serving: 327 cal, 15 g fat, 74 mg chol, 1906 mb sodium, 23 g carb, 2 g fiber, 25 g pro

Herbed-Port Pot Roast

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 4-10 hours
Makes 8-10 servings

2 1/2- to 3-lb beef chuck pot roast
1/2 cup (1 medium) chopped onion
1/2 cup port wine or apple juice (inexpensive ruby port is fine)
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
3 Tbsp quick-cooking tapioca
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried thyme, crushed
1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
2 cloves garlic, minced

Trim fat from meat. If necessary, cut roast to fit into slow cooker. Place meat in cooker.

In a bowl combine onion, port wine, tomato sauce, tapioca, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, oregano, and garlic. Pour over meat.

Cover and cook on low heat for 8-10 hours or on high heat for 4-5 hours. Transfer meat to a serving platter. Skim fat from gravy. Pass gravy with roast.

Per serving: 230 cal, 5 g fat, 84 mg chol, 247 mg sodium, 9 g carb, 1 g fiber, 31 g pro

Pot Roast with Mushroom Sauce

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 5-12 hours
Makes 5-6 servings

1 1/2-lb boneless beef chuck eye roast, eye of round roast, or round rump roast
1 16-oz pkg frozen tiny whole carrots
1 4-oz can mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1/2 tsp dried tarragon or basil, crushed
1/4 tsp salt
1 can condensed golden mushroom soup

Trim fat from meat, and, if necessary, cut roast to fit into slow cooker. In the cooker combine vegetables, tarragon, and salt. Place meat on top of vegetables. Pour soup over all.

Cover and cook on low heat setting for 10-12 hours or on high heat setting for 5-6 hours.

Beef Brisket with Barbecue Sauce

Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 5-12 hours + 10 minutes
Makes 8 servings

3/4 cup water
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 tsp instant beef bouillon granules
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2-lb fresh beef brisket
1/2 cup catsup
2 Tbsp Splenda
2 Tbsp butter or margarine

For cooking liquid, in a bowl combine water, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, bouillon granules, mustard, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and garlic. Reserve 1/2 cup liquid for sauce; set aside in refrigerator. Trim fat from meat. If necessary, cut brisket to fit into a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. Place meat in cooker. Pour remaining liquid over brisket.

Cover and cook on low heat for 10-12 hours or on high heat for 5-6 hours.

For sauce, in a small saucepan combine the 1/2 cup reserved liquid, catsup, Splenda, and butter. Heat through. Serve sauce with meat.

Per serving: 194 cal, 9 g fat, 56 mg chol, 482 mg sodium, 7 g carb, 0 g fiber, 21 g pro

Beef with Broccoli

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 4-10 hours + 15 minutes
Makes 6 servings

6 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 medium onions, cut into wedges
1 1/2 lbs beef round steak, cut into 1/2-inch bias-sliced strips
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 3/4-oz envelope beef gravy mix
4 cups broccoli florets

In a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker place carrots, onions, beef strips, ginger and garlic. Stir together water, soy sauce, and gravy mix. Pour over meat and vegtables.

Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8-10 hours or on high heat setting for 4-5 hours.

If using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting. Stir in broccoli. Cover and cook about 15 minutes more or until broccoli is crisp-tender. If desired, serve over hot cooked brown rice.

Per serving: 213 cal, 3 g fat, 64 mg chol, 507 mg sodium, 16 g carb, 5 g fiber, 29 g pro

Spicy Sloppy Joes

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 3-8 hours
Makes 8 servings

1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
1 cup (1 large) chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 6-oz can vegetable juice
1/2 cup catsup
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp Splenda
2 Tbsp chopped, canned jalapeno peppers (optional)
1 Tbsp prepared mustard
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
8 whole wheat hamburger buns, split and toasted
shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

In a large skillet cook ground beef, onion, and garlic until meat is brown and onion is tender. Drain off fat.

Meanwhile, in a 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow coooker, combine vegetable juice, catsup, water, Splenda, jalapeno peppers (if desired), mustard, chili powder, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir in meat mixture.

Cover and cook on low heat setting for 6-8 hours or high heat setting for 3-4 hours. Spoon meat mixture onto bun halves. If desired sprinkle with cheese.

(For a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker: Double all ingredients; prepare as above. Makes 16 servings.)

Per serving: 310 cal, 13 g fat, 53 mg chol, 522 mg sodium, 27 g carb, 3 g fiber, 21 g pro

Mushroom-Sauced Pork Chops

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 4-9 hours
Makes 4 servings

4 pork loin chops, cut 3/4 inch thick
1 Tbsp cooking oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp quick-cooking tapioca
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup apple juice
1 4-oz can sliced mushrooms, drained
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3/4 tsp dried thyme, crushed
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Trim fat from chops. In a skillet brown chops on both sides in hot oil. Drian fat. In a 3 1/2-or 4-quart slow cooker place onion; add chops. Grind tapioca with a mortar and pestle. In a bowl, combine the tapioca with remaining ingredients; pour over chops.

Cover and cook on low heat setting for 8-9 hours or on high heat setting for 4 to 4 1/2 hours. If desired, serve with hot cooked rice.

(For a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker: Use 6 pork loin chops. Leave remaining ingredient amounts the same and prepare as above. Makes 6 servings.)

Per serving: 327 cal, 16 g fat, 63 mg chol, 632 mg sodium, 17 g carb, 1 g fiber, 27 g pro

Chicken Cassoulet

Prep: 1 hour 50 minutes
Cook: 4 1/2 - 11 hours
Makes 6 servings

1 cup (7-8 oz) dry navy beans
2 1/2 - 3 lbs meaty chicken pieces (breasts, thighs and/or drumsticks)
8 oz cooked Polish sausage
1 cup tomato juice
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp instant beef or chicken bouillon granules
1/2 tsp dried basil, crushed
1/2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion

Rinse beans; place in a medium saucepan. Add enough water to cover beans by 2 inches. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover; let stand for 1 hour. (Or place the beans in a large bowl. Cover with water to about 2 inches above beans. Allow to soak in a cool place overnight.) Drain and rinse beans.

Skin the chicken; set aside. Halve sausage lengthwise and cut into 1" pieces. In a medium bowl combine drained beans, sausage, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, bouillon granules, basil, oregano, and paprika. Set aside.

In a 3 1/2- or 4-quart crockery cooker combine the carrot, celery, and onion. Place chicken pieces on top. Pour bean mixture over chicken. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 9-11 hours or on high heat setting for 4 1/2 - 5 1/2 hours. Remove chicken and sausage from cooker using slotted spoon. Mash bean mixture silghtly. Serve chicken, sausage, and beans in soup bowls.

Per serving: 381 cal, 16 g fat, 88 mg chol, 720 mg sodium, 26 g carb, 4 g fiber, 32 g pro

Slow-Cooker Mole with Chicken

Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 4 1/2 - 11 hours
Makes 4-6 servings

1 14 1/2-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup (1 medium) chopped onion
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp slivered almonds, toasted (divided)
3 cloves garlic, quartered
2 canned jalapeno chile peppers, drained
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3 Tbsp raisins
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp sugar (optional)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground coriander
2 Tbsp quick-cooking tapioca
2 1/2- to 3-lb broiler-fryer chicken, cut up and skinned

For mole sauce, in a blender or food processor combine undrained tomatoes, onion, 1/4 cup almonds, garlic, jalapeno peppers, cocoa powder, raisins, seasme seeds, sugar (if desired), salt, and the spices. Cover and blend or process until mixture is a coarse puree.

In a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker place tapioca. Add chicken and then sauce.

Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 9-11 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 hours. Remove the chicken from slow cooker; arrange on serving platter. Stir sauce; pour sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with the 2 Tbsp almonds. If desired, serve with hot rice.

Per serving: 329 cal, 11 g fat, 95 mg chol, 562 mg sodium, 22 g carb, 3 g fiber, 34 g pro

Creamy Curried Vegetable Soup

Prep: 25 minutes
Cook 4-10 hours
Makes 6-8 servings

1 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (3 cups)
3 cups cauliflower florets
1 1/2 cups (3 medium) sliced carrots
3/4 cup (1 medium) coarsely chopped red sweet pepper
1 cup (1 medium) chopped onion
1 15-oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2-3 tsp curry powder
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
2 14-oz cans chicken broth or vegetable broth (3 1/2 cups total)
1 14-oz can unsweetened coconut milk
2 Tbsp snipped fresh cilantro

In a 3 1/2- to 6-quart slow cooker combine potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, sweet pepper, onion, and beans. Sprinkle curry powder, ginger, salt and red pepper over vegetables and beans. Pour broth over all.

Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8-10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4-5 hours. Stir in coconut milk. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with cilantro.

Per serving: 293 cal, 16 g fat, 0 mg chol, 1030 mg sodium, 31 g carb, 7 g fiber, 9 g pro

Indian Vegetable Soup

Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 4-10 hours
Makes 6-8 servings

1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (5-6 cups)
1 lb red-skin potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces (3 cups)
2 cups chopped tomatoes, or one 14 1/2-oz can low-sodium tomatoes, cut up and undrained
1 15-oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
2 Tbsp snipped fresh cilantro

In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker combine eggplant, potatoes, undrained tomatoes, and garbanzo beans. Sprinkle vegetables with the ginger, mustard seeds, coriander, curry powder, and pepper. Pour broth over all.

Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8-10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4-5 hours. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with cilantro.

Per serving: 162 cal, 2 g fat, 0 mg chol, 889 mg sodium, 30 g carb, 7 g fiber, 8 g pro

No-Bake Mini Heart Cakes

Active: 45 min
Total: 2 3/4 hrs (1 1/2 hrs for icing to set)
Makes: About 14 cakes

1 16-oz frozen poundcake, not thawed

ICING:
5 1/4 cups (1 1/2 lb) confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup milk
3 Tbsp light corn syrup
2 tsp almond or vanilla extract
Red liquid or paste (icing) food color

Decorations: tubes of white, red and pink decorating icing, each fitted with round piping tip; red crystal sugar; and tiny candy hearts

Have ready 2-inch and/or 2 1/2-inch heart-shape metal cookie cutters.

Using a long, sharp knife, trim rounded hump off poundcake so top is flat. Trim crust off sides. Slice cake horizontally in half. Cut hearts from each half.

Put hearts 1 1/2 inches apart on a wire rack set on wax paper to catch drips.

Icing: Stir ingredients, except food color, in a bowl until smooth and as thin as maple syrup. Divide between 2 bowls; cover 1 bowl with plastic wrap. Tint icing in other bowl pink.

Spoon pink icing over half the cakes, completely covering tops and sides. Stir drips on wax paper into icing in bowl; cover airtight. Let icing set 30 minutes. Meanwhile repeat with white icing on rest of cakes.

Thin remaining pink and white icings with a little water as needed; give cakes a second coat. Let set at least 1 hour.

To decorate: With decorating icing, pipe designs and words on cakes. Add red sugar and candy hearts.

Reuben Wraps

Active: 25 minutes
Total: 40 minutes

4 8-inch flour tortilla wraps
4 Tbsp Thousand Island dressing
6 cups baby spinach
8 oz sliced honey-roasted & smoked turkey breast
4 oz thinly sliced Swiss cheese
4 cups bagged coleslaw mix

Spread each tortilla with 1 Tbsp dressing. Top each to within 1 inch of an edge with 1/4 the spinach, turkey, cheese and coleslaw mix. Roll up tightly from side with fillings.

Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 15 minutes. Cut diagonally in halves or thirds.

Serves 4

Beef Stir-Fry

Active: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes

2 Tbsp cornstarch
12-oz boneless sirloin steak, cut into narrow strips
4 tsp canola oil
2 small bell peppers, cut in 1/2-inch strips
1 lb bok choy, stalks and leaves cut in half lengthwise, then crosswise in 1-inch pieces, stalks and leaves separated
4 oz snow peas
1 1/2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp grated fresh orange peel
1/2 cup orange juice
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp soy sauce
Garnish: chopped toasted almonds, shredded carrots and sliced scallions

Put cornstarch in a plastic food bag, add beef, seal and shake to coat.

Heat 2 tsp oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef; stir-fry 3 minutes or until cooked through. Remove to a plate.

Heat remaining oil in skillet; add peppers and bok choy stalks. Stir-fry 5 minutes until almost crisp-tender.

Add bok choy leaves and snow peas; stir-fry 2 minutes. Push vegetables to edge or skillet; put ginger and garlic in middle. Cook 30 seconds until fragrant. Add beef, orange peel and juice and soy sauce. Stir to combine with vegetables until simmering. Transfer to serving plates or bowls and sprinkle with the garnishes.

Serve with brown rice.

Serves 4. Per serving: 296 cal, 20 g pro, 15 g carb, 2 g fiber, 17 g fat (5 g sat), 57 mg chol, 321 mg sod

Black Bean Dip

1 (16-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup prepared salsa, hot or mild
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp ground cumin
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a food processor, combine black beans, salsa, lime juice, cilantro, and cumin. Process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with fresh-cut celery, cucumbers, and zucchini sticks.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

1 jar artichoke hearts
2 cups spinach
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Wilt spinach in a microwave oven on high heat for about a minute. Drain artichoke hearts and mix with wilted spinach and remaining ingredients in a food processor. Puree mixture to a smooth dip. Eat with celery boats, steamed asparagus, green beans or broccoli florets.

Cilantro Dipping Sauce

1/4 cup cilantro sprigs
2 Tbsp parsley sprigs
2 Tbsp blanched, slivered almonds
1/2 clove garlic
1/2 serrano chile pepper, seeded (wear plastic gloves when handling)
1/16 tsp salt
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp water

In a food processor, combine the cilantro, parsley, almonds, garlic, chile pepper, and salt. Process until chopped. While the processor is running, add the lime juice and oil through the feed tube, stopping the machine once or twice to scrape down the sides of the container until the sauce is smooth. Pour the sauce into a bowl. Stir in the water, cover, and chill until ready to serve.

Good as a dipping sauce for chicken tenders.

Pepper Crusted Tenderloin of Beef

1 lb beef tenderloin
2 Tbsp shallots, minced
1/2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
1/2 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp ground black pepper
1 tsp orange zest
About 2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup pearl onions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Immerse the onions in the boiling water for about 2 minutes, then shock with cold water. Cut off the root tip of each onion and squeeze it out of the skin. For convenience, you can also buy a package of frozen pearl onions already prepared.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté for about 2 minutes or until tender. Rub the beef with olive oil. Combine the pepper, salt, garlic, rosemary, and orange zest and pat the mixture on the beef. Increase the heat to high and sear the beef in the pan on all sides. Add the pearl onions and place the skillet directly in the oven. Roast until a thermometer reads 145°F for medium rare. Let stand at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Serves 2-3

Broccoli Parmesan Saute

1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 cups broccoli flowerets
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp honey
1/8 cup parmesan cheese, shaved

Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. When the oil starts to smoke, add the crushed garlic and sauté until fragrant and lightly brown. Add the broccoli and lightly toss in the pan until color darkens and flowerets become just tender. Sprinkle with soy sauce and honey, toss to coat and top with parmesan cheese.

Makes 4 servings. Per 1-cup serving: 252 calories, 7 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 5 mg cholesterol, 730 mg sodium, 32 g carbohydrate, 14 g protein and 10 g fiber.

Ginger Chicken Salad in Cucumber Cups

1 large (7 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breast half
1 tsp chopped lime peel, plus extra strips for garnish
2 1/2 Tbsp fresh lime juice (from 1 large lime)
1 1/2 Tbsp peanut or seasame oil
1 tsp Asian seasame oil
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1/4 red bell pepper, cut into very thin strips
Salt

Place chicken in saucepan with cold water to cover. Bring to a simmer over high heat; reduce heat and let simmer 8 minutes. Cool in cooking water. Drain and shred chicken. In medium bowl, toss lime peel and juice, peanut and Asian sesame oil, and ginger. Fold in shredded chicken. Add salt to taste. Run a citrus zester along the full length of the cucumber to create stripped effect. Cut cucumbers into 18 1/2-inch-think slices. Using a melon baller or a small spoon, scoop out seedy centers to make cups. Fill cups with chicken salad. Garnish with pepper strips and lime zest.

Nutritional Information: 28 calories, 2 total fat (0.3 g sat),
570 mg cholesterol, 0.4 g carbohydrate, 2 g protein, 0.1 g fiber, 6.7 mg sodium

Serves about 18

Roasted Cherry Tomato and Feta Crisps

Topping
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tsp olive oil
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
3 large black olives, or 10 small black olives, pitted and chopped
Salt and black pepper to taste
Fresh rosemary leaves to garnish

Pita Crisps
1 1/2 whole-wheat pita rounds
1 medium garlic clove, smashed
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350° F, In medium bowl, toss tomatoes with oil, salt and pepper. Roast 10 to 15 minutes, until softened, shaking pan occasionally. Keep oven at 350° F. In small cup, stir smashed garlic into oil. No need to chop the garlic to flavor the pita; just smash the clove with the flat edge of your chef's knife and toss the whole thing in the olive oil. Cut 1 pita into 8 even double-layer triangles. Separate each triangle into 2 wedges. Repeat with half of another pita, for a total of 24 wedges. Place pitas, split-side up in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush with garlic oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 7 minutes, until crisp and golden. Cool. Top crisps with tomatoes, feta and olives. Garnish with a rosemary leaf. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutritional Information: 22 calories, 1.3 total fat (0.4 g sat), 180 mg cholesterol, 2 g carbohydrate, 0.7 g protein, 0.3 g fiber, 49.5 mg sodium

Ranch Style Bean & Cheese Dip

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

1 can (15 oz.) Ranch style beans, undrained
1 can (16 oz.) refried beans
1 can (10 oz.) Ro*Tel
1 package (8 oz.) Velveeta cheese
1/2 cup green onions, chopped

Combine all ingredients in large microwave-safe container. Heat, covered, on high power for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Stir before serving.

Double Chocolate Brownie Pancakes

2 cups pancake mix
3 T. unsweetened cocoa
2 T. granulated sugar
1 1/2 c. water
1/3 c. walnuts
1/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips

Combine pancake mix, cocoa and sugar in large bowl. Stir in water with wire wisk until large lumps disappear. Add walnuts and chocolate chips. Stir until evenly mixed. Let batter rest for 5 minutes. Cook according to package directions.

North African Chicken with Crisped Peppers and Greens

The moment you walk into your house, preheat the oven to 475°F
and slip one large or two smaller shallow pans into it. I use a half
sheet pan.

Serves 2

* 1/2 teaspoon each ground allspice, coriander, and cumin
* 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
* 1 large clove garlic, minced
* 1 to 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut
crosswise into 1/2-inch thick sticks
* 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 1/2 pounds mixed peppers (my mix: 2 red bell peppers, 1
Anaheim, 2 jalapeno), seeded and thinly sliced
* 2 very big handfuls (about 5 ounces) organic spring mix greens
* 1 small to medium onion, thinly sliced

1. Slip one large or two smaller shallow baking pans into the oven.
Turn heat to 475°F.

2. In a large bowl, toss together the spices with a generous amount of black pepper, garlic, chicken, and olive oil. Add the peppers and
greens. Toss to blend.

3. Spread ingredients on the hot baking pan, taking care not to burn
yourself. Make sure pieces are spaced apart to help the crisping
process. Roast 20 to 25 minutes, turning occasionally. Greens should
be crisp, and chicken firm.

Easy Parm Garlic Chicken

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 envelope Italian Salad Dressing
1/2 tsp garlic powder
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 2 lbs)

Preheat oven to 400° F. Mix cheese, salad dressing mix and garlic powder.

Moisten chicken with water; coat with cheese mixture. Place in shallow baking dish.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.

Makes 6 servings.

Southwestern Scrambled Eggs

2 whole wheat tortillas
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon chopped scallions
1/2 teaspoon canola oil
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Salsa

Cut 2 toasted whole wheat tortillas into 1/4-inch strips. Whisk 2 large eggs and 2 large egg whites. Add tortillas, salt and pepper. Sauté 1 tablespoon chopped scallions in 1/2 teaspoon canola oil. Add egg mixture; scramble until eggs are set. Serve with chopped fresh cilantro and salsa.

Serves 2

Nutritional Information: 240 calories per serving, 80 g fat (1.5 g sat. fat), 210 mg cholesterol, 23 g carbohydrate, 14 g protein, 2 g fiber, 300 mg sodium

Roasted Asparagus with Warm Lemon Dressing

Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

1 1/2 lb asparagus,woody stems snapped off
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper

LEMON DRESSING:
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup minced shallots
1 Tbsp whole grain mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
2 hard cooked eggs, finely chopped or sieved

Heat oven to 400°. Place asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet; drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly; spread in one layer.

Roast 14-18 minutes, depending on thickness, until tips are lightly browned.

Meanwhile, make dressing. Whisk all ingredients except oil in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in oil to blend.

Arrange asparagus on a platter; drizzle with dressing and garnish with eggs.

Serves 6

Asian Noodles with Shrimp

2 1/4 cups water
1 (14 oz) can light coconut milk
2 cups carrots, shredded
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
12 oz medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 (3 oz) packages ramen noodles, shrimp flavor (discard 1 seasoning packet)
2 cups snow peas, strings removed
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
4 tsp lime juice

Bring water, coconut milk, carrots, and onion to a boil in a medium skillet.

Add shrimp, noodles, and snow peas; bring to a simmer.

Stir to break up the noodles and simmer 2-3 minutes or until the shrimp are cooked.

Remove from heat; stir in one packet of ramen seasoning, cilantro, and lime juice.

Serve hot.

Serves 4. Per serving: 367 calories, 21 g pro, 41 g carb, 4 g fiber, 14 g fat, 105 mg chol, 942 mg sodium

Salmon Chowder

10 3/4 oz can condensed cream of potato soup
14 3/4 oz can cream-style sweet corn
14 3/4 oz can salmon, drained
2 cups milk

In a large saucepan, stir cream of potato soup, cream-style corn, salmon, and milk. Stir to blend and break up slamon. Stir over medium heat just until boiling.

Braised Pork Shoulder

Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 3 1/2 hours

1 Tbsp oil
4 lb bone-in shoulder roast, butt half
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1 Tbsp freshly grated lemon peel
2 lb butternut squash, halved, peeled, seeded and cut in 1 1/4-inch chunks
2 cans (15 oz each) white beans, rinsed

Heat oven to 325° F. Have ready a 5-quart stovetop-to-oven casserole.

Heat oil in casserole. Brown roast on all sides. Add broth, onions, garlic, seasoning, and lemon peel. Cover tightly with a lid.

Bake 2 1/2 hours turning roast once or twice. Stir in squash; cover and bake 30 minutes. Stir in beans; bake covered 15 minutes or until pork and squash are fork-tender.

Transfer meat to platter. Tent loosely with foil to keep warm. Remove vegetable to platter with a slotted spoon. Skim off and discard fat from liquid.

If desired, before serving thicken sauce with 3 Tbsp flour blended with 1/3 cup cold water.

Serves 8. Per serving: 416 cal, 41 g pro, 24 g carb, 5 g fiber, 16 g fat (6 g sat fat), 122 mg chol, 435 mg sodium

Beef Medallions

Active: 15 minutes
Total: 27 minutes

1 1/2-lb center-cut beef tenderloin, visible fat trimmed, strings removed if tied
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/4 cups beef broth
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp quick-mixing flour
2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup dry Madeira wine
Browning and seasoning sauce, optional (such as Kitchen Bouquet or Gravy Master)
1 Tbsp stick butter
1 pkg (4 oz) wild mushrooms

Heat a large nonestick skillet over medium high heat. Add meat and brown well on all sides. Remove to a cutting board and cut crosswise in 4 equal portions. Season both sides of meat with salt and pepper.

Return meat to skillet and cook, turning once, 6 minutes or until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted in center of medallions registers 135°F for medium-rare. Remove to a plate; cover loosely to keep warm.

Mix broth, tomato paste, flour and thyme; set aside. Add wine to skillet; boil 30 seconds. Add broth mixture and cook, stirring, 1-2 minutes until thickened. Stir in browning sauce, if using, a few drops at a time until sauce is desired color.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a separate skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and, stirring occasionally, cook 4 miutes or until browned. Stir into sauce. Serve with the meat.

Serves 4. Per serving: 360 cal, 38 g protein, 5 g carb, 1 g fiber, 16 g fat (7 g sat fat), 113 mg chol, 440 mg sodium

Coco Rice With Green Onions

(Preparation 15 minutes, cooking time 25 minutes)

2 tsp canola or olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup basmati rice
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 cup flaked unsweetened coconut (see note)
1 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped green onions

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; saute 2 minutes or until tender, stirring constantly.

Add rice and turmeric; saute until rice becomes yellow. Stir in unsweetened coconut.

Add broth and 1/2 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer 20 minutes or until tender.

Turn off heat, uncover, and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Stir in green onions and serve.
Makes 4 servings (servings size 1/2 cup).

Note: Dried, flaked unsweetened coconut is found in most Asian stores and natural-food markets.

Nutrition information per serving: 268 cal., 7 g fat (3 g saturated), 0 mg chol., 7 g pro., 48 g carbo., 2 g fiber, 104 mg sodium.

Chicken with Orange Peel Stir Fry

1 (2-lb) fryer or 2 chicken breasts, boned and skinned, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 tsp salt or to taste
2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
1 Tbsp cornstarch
4 cups oil for deep frying
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp preserved mandarin orange peel or fresh dried mandarine orange rind,* cut
into chunks
1 Tbsp scallion, chopped fine
1 Tbsp ginger, chopped fine
2 whole dried red chili peppers, cut into quarters
4 1/2 tsp sherry
1 tsp red wine vinegar
3/4 Tbsp sugar or brown sugar

Sprinkle chicken with salt. Mix with 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and cornstarch.

Heat oil to boiling in wok. Deep fry chicken 1 minute. Drain. Remove chicken and oil.

Heat sesame oil in wok. Stir fry orange peel, scallion, ginger, and chili peppers 1 minute.

Add sherry, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, wine vinegar, and sugar. Then add chicken. Stir fry 2 minutes. Remove to platter. Serve hot over white rice.

Serves 4 to 6

Mexican Spiced Chicken with Avocado Salsa

4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (cutlets), 6 to 8 ounces each

2 teaspoons prepared taco seasoning blend

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 ripe avocados, halved, pitted and peeled

1 16-ounce jars tomato salsa

Sprinkle chicken breasts on both sides with taco seasoning. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, heat oil; add chicken. Reduce heat to low; sauté until well browned on both sides and cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop one avocado and cut remaining avocado into 16 slices; set aside.

Remove chicken from skillet; slice and keep warm. Add salsa to skillet; cook over low heat until hot; stir in reserved chopped avocado.

On four dinner plates, arrange chicken, fanning the slices; top with avocado salsa, dividing evenly. Garnish with reserved avocado slices and, if desired, cilantro sprigs.

Makes 4 servings.

Ginger Dog Treats

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
4 tsp skim milk
2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger

Preheat oven to 375°.

Mix together oil, honey, vanilla, egg and milk in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, blend together flour, baking powder and ginger.

Combine dry ingredients with wet mixture and stir thoroughly.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface, roll out to 1/4-inch thick and cut into shapes.

Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Cool on a rack and store in an airtight container.

Ginger Snap Dog Treats

1/2 cup molasses
2 Tbsp honey
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 Tbsp ground ginger
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a bowl, combine molasses, honey, water and oil.

In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, raisins, and pecans. Stir dry mixture into wet and mix well.

On a lightly floured surface knead and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick, then cut out shapes.

Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Cool on a rack then store in a sealed container.

Animal-Shelter Puppy Treats

Great for puppies and small dogs, whose mouths are too small for larger treats.

2/3 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
2 4-oz jars beef-flavored or chicken-flavored baby food

Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat at 350°F. Have an ungreased baking tray ready.

In a medium bowl, using a large fork, blend the wheat germ and the dry milk, and work in the baby food to make a soft dough. Pinch off small pieces about the size of small green olives, and roll them between floured hands to form small balls.

Place each ball about 1/2 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet, and flatten with the back of a fork. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the cookies feel hard to the touch.

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Allow to air-dry for at least 3 hours before placing them in a container with a loose-fitting cover.

Note: Some dogs may be sensitive to dairy products.

Makes 24 small balls.

Corn-Doggie Dogs

These "corn-doggie dogs" are like corn dogs, but they're made for dogs.

1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1 large egg
1 cup milk, or sufficient for processing
1/2 cup bacon drippings
4 5-inch hot dogs, each cut into 10 slices

Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat at 350°F. Lightly grease the bottoms of a 12-cup, 1 1/4-inch (small-size) muffin pan.

In a large bowl, using a fork or wire whisk, blend the flour, cornmeal and baking powder.

In a medium bowl, using a wire whisk or electric mixer, beat the egg until foamy and doubled in volume. Beat in the milk and bacon drippings.

Using a large spoon or spatula, combine the two mixes, blending until the dry ingredients are just moistened.

Drop 1 teaspoonful of the mixture into each cup of the prepared muffin pan and press a slice of frankfurter into the center of each, topping it with an additional 1/2 teaspoon of the mixture.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the tops are a golden brown color and a wooden toothpick inserted into the cups comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and cool it on a wire rack before removing the dogs to a wire rack to cool completely. Store these corn-doggies in the refrigerator.

Note: Some dogs may be allergic to corn-based products.

Makes 36-48 corn dogs

Quickie Turkey Dog Treats

1 3/4 cups whole-wheat flour
2 4.5-oz jars turkey-flavored baby food
1/2 cup beef broth, or sufficient for processing

Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat at 350°F. Lightly grease or use parchment paper to line a cookie sheet or baking tray.

In a large bowl, using a fork, combine the flour and baby food, mixing until they are well blended and form into a very soft dough. If the mixture is a little dry, add beef broth, 1/4 cup at a time, until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Pinch off small pieces of the dough, and between floured hands, roll them into small balls. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet 1/2 inch apart and flatten them with the back of the fork to 1/4 inch thick.

Bake for about 18-20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the cookies to cool to room temperature on a wire rack. They may be dried in a closed, turned-off oven for 8-16 hours.

Note: Some dogs may be allergic to garlic or garlic powder.

Makes 30 cookies

Tuna Treats

2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup soy flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup canola oil or corn oil
1 cup milk, or sufficient for processing
6 oz can chunk tuna in water, drained

Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat at 350°F. Lightly grease or use parchment paper to line two cookie sheets or baking trays.

In a large bowl, using a fork or wire whisk, blend the whole-wheat flour, soy flour, and cornmeal.

In a small bowl, using a fork, combine the oil, milk, and tuna, stirring until well blended. Make an indentation in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the tuna mixure. Using a large spoon or spatula, blend until this mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl and a smooth dough forms. If it seems a little dry, add more milk 1/4 cup at a time.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured flat surface, and using a rolling pin, roll out to 1/4 inch thick. Use a 1 1/2-inch round cookie cutter to cut out as many cookies as you can, reworking the scraps as you go. The dough will become stiff as it is reworked.

Place the cookies side by side on the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 20-23 minutes or until the cookies appear very dry and the edges are light golden brown. Remove the tays from the oven and cool to room temperature. Turn off the oven.

When the cookies have cooled completely, put all of them on a single baking tray and return them to the cooling oven. Leave them undisturbed, without opening the oven door, for 8-16 hours. Note: These cookies keep very well without going bad after they have been dried as directed above.

Note: Some dogs may be allergic to corn-based products.

Makes 140 cookies

Oatmeal Cookies with Peanut Butter

3 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup uncooked rolled oats
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk, at room temperature
1 Tbsp molasses
1 1/4 cups creamy-style peanut butter
1/4 cup chicken broth, or sufficient for processing

Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat at 375°F. Lightly grease or use parchment paper to line two cookie sheets or baking trays.

In a large bowl, using a fork or wire whisk, combine the flour, rolled oats, and baking powder.

In a medium bowl, using a wire whisk or electric mixer on medium speed, beat the milk, molasses, and peanut butter together until smooth. Stir in the chicken broth.

Using a large spoon, a spatula, or your hand, combine the two mixes, blending until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl and forms a soft dough. If the mixture seems a little dry, add a little broth, a tablespoonful at a time.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured flat surface, and using a rolling pin, roll out to 1/4 inch thick. Use a 1 1/2-inch round cookie cutter to cut out as many cookies as you can, reworking the scraps as you go. The dough will become stiff as it is reworked.

Place the cookies side by side on the prepared cookie sheets or baking trays. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cookies appear very dry and the edges are light golden brown. Remove the trays from the oven and cool to room temperature. Turn off the oven.

When the cookies have cooled completely, put all of them on a simgle baking tray and return them to the cooling oven. Leave them undisturbed, without opening the oven door, for 8-16 hours.

Note: Some dogs don't tolerate milk.

Makes 2 pounds (88 cookies per pound)

Beef-Flavored Canine Cookies

3 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp crisp cooked bacon, crumbled
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
4.5-oz jar beef flavored baby food
2 large eggs
1/4 cup beef or chicken broth, or sufficient for processing

Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Lightly grease or use parchment paper to line a cookie sheet or baking tray.

In a large bowl, using a fork or wire whisk, combine the whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and bacon. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.

In a medium bowl, using a wire whisk or electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the baby food, eggs, and broth.

Using a large spoon, a spartula, or your hand, combine the two mixes, blending until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl and forms a soft dough. If the mixture seems a little dry, add a little broth, a Tbsp at a time.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured flat surface, and using a rolling pin, roll out to 1/4 inch thick. Use a 1 1/2-inch round cookie cutter to cut out as many cookies as you can, reworking the scraps as you go. The dough will become stiff as it is reworked.

Place the cookies side by side on the prepared cookie sheet or baking tray. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cookies appear very dry and the edges are light golden brown. Remove the tray from the oven and cool to room temperature. Turn off the oven.

When the cookies have cooled completely, put all of them on a single baking tray and return them to the cooling oven. Leave them undisturbed, without opening the oven door, for 8-16 hours.

Makes 1 1/4 lbs (125 cookies per lb).

Easy Doggie Strips

Jerky for dogs can be very expensive. Here's a way to make your own meat strips.

6-8 hot dogs or frankfurters
1/2 cup beef drippings

Using a very sharp knife or a cheese or butter cutter (the kind with a taut wire), slice the hot dogs into as many thin slices as possible.

Arrange the slices in a shallow pan or bowl and pour the drippings over the top. Set aside for at least one hour or overnight.

Place them on a microwave-proof plate or platter and microwave on high for 3 mintues. Remove from the microwave and cool to room temperature, about 5 minutes. Then return them to the oven and microwave on high again for another 3 minutes.

Remove from the oven and repeat until the slices have reached the jerky stage of dryness. Be sure to allow for cooling time in between each cooking.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Baking note: These strips can also be made with sausage, although they will have to be sliced with a meat slicer or knife.

Note: Some hot dogs or frankfurters may contain undesirable additives.

Makes 1/2 to 3/4 lb strips

Berry Granita

1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar substitute
1 bag (10 ounces) frozen blueberries
1 lemon, peeled and juiced
lemon twist, for garnish
1/2 cup low-fat frozen whipped topping (optional)

In a small pot over medium heat, combine the water and sugar substitute. Bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, then set aside to cool to room temperature.

In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine the blueberries, lemon peel, lemon juice, and cooled syrup. Pulse for 2 minutes, or until the blueberries are coarsely ground. Pour into a small metal bowl and stir a few times with a fork to break up any large pieces. Cover the bowl with foil and place in the freezer overnight.

Spoon into 6 serving glasses, garnish with a lemon twist, and top with the whipped topping, if using.

Makes 6 servings. Per Serving: 60 calories, 0.5 total fat (0.5 g sat), 0 mg cholesterol, 14 g carbohydrate, 0 g protein, 1 g fiber, 0 mg sodium

Grilled Asian Salmon

1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
2 center-cut salmon fillets, about 5 oz each

Purchase center-cut salmon fillets for this recipe — thinner fillets, cut from the tall end of the salmon, can too easily overcook on the grill. Salmon skin cooks to a tasty crispiness, so keep the skin on when grilling.

In shallow glass dish, combine sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, and vinegar. Add salmon; turn to coat. Marinate, refrigerated, for 30 minutes to 1 hour, turning occasionally.

Preheat grill (medium-high heat); lightly oil grill. Place fillets on grill, skin-side up. Grill about 5 minutes per side. Fish is cooked when a thin knife blade inserted in center reveals that the pink flesh is almost opaque. Serve warm.

Serves 2. Per Serving Nutritional Information: 321 calories; 22 total fat (5 g sat); 70 mg cholesterol; 1 g carbohydrate; 29 g protein; 0 g fiber; 330 mg sodium

Ginger-Miso Tofu Dressing

Prep time: 10 minutes

1/2 cup low-fat firm silken tofu (4 ounces)
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
3 Tbsp white (shiro) miso (see Note)
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp chopped fresh ginger
2 tsp canola oil
1 clove garlic, crushed and peeled

Combine all ingredients in a blender; blend until smooth. Thin with more water, if desired.

Note: Miso - Made from fermented soybeans, miso is a common ingredient in Japanese cooking. There are different types of miso, in shades ranging from white and yellow to reddish brown and dark brown. Available at health-food stores and Japanese markets.

Makes 1.5 cups

Georgia Tea

1 oz vodka
1 oz white rum
1 oz gin
1 oz peach schnapps
fill Pineapple-Orange juice

Fill glass with large ice cubes. Mix alcoholic ingredients in the glass. Fill the rest of the glass with Dole pineapple-orange juice and stir.

Chicken, Avocado, and Black Bean Salad

1/2 package (3 oz) grilled chicken strips, diced
1/2 Tbsp lime juice
3/4 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 (14-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp red bell pepper, finely chopped
pinch of minced garlic
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of ground black pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
3/4 tsp chopped cilantro
1/2 avocado (4 oz), halved

Place the lime juice in a large bowl and gradually whisk in the oil. Stir in the beans, bell pepper, garlic, salt, black pepper, and pepper flakes (optional). Correct seasoning to taste. Add the diced chicken strips, and top with the cilantro. Mix well. Slice avocado and serve beside scoops of chicken and bean salad.

Time-Saver: Make the chicken and bean salad a day or night ahead without the cilantro or avocado. Slice the avocado and add cilantro immediately before serving.

Serves 2

Fresh Berry Sangria

1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh blackberries
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup hulled, halved fresh strawberries
1 tablespoon Splenda or sugar substitute
1 1/2 cups white cranberry juice
1 bottle (750 ml) chilled rose wine
1 cup sparkling water, as desired

Wash berries. In a pitcher, combine all berries, Splenda, and cranberry juice. Let sit 1 hour. Stir in wine and sparkling water to make as bubbly as you like. Serve chilled.

Makes about 2 quarts.

(Note: Recipe is for South Beach Phase 3. To make this a Phase 2 drink, substitute sparkling water or club soda for the fruit juice.)

Nutritional Information: 130 calories, 0 total fat (0 g sat), 0 mg cholesterol, 17 g carbohydrate,
1 g protein, 2 g fiber, 5 mg sodium

Pan Roasted Salmon Steaks with Sherry Vinegar Honey Glaze

1 cup aged sherry vinegar
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup honey
2 Tbsp ancho chile powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 salmon steaks (6-7 oz each)

In a small saucepan over high heat, reduce the vinegar to 1/4 cup. In a mixing bowl, combine the vinegar syrup with the mustard, honey and ancho chile powder and season to taste with salt and pepper. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Heat the tablespoon of oil in a medium saute pan until almost smoking. Brush the salmon on both sides with the glaze. Place in pan and cook until lightly golden brown. Place in oven (350 degrees) and continue cooking for 5-6 more minutes for medium doneness. Remove from oven and brush again with the glaze.

Mango Lassi

1 medium ripe mango, peeled, and diced
1 small frozen banana, cut into large chunks
3/4 cup (6 oz) plain nonfat yogurt
1/4 cup skim milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon Splenda, if desired

In a blender or food processor, puree mango cubes and banana chunks. Add remaining ingredients; process until smooth. Pour into glasses; garnish with additional cinnamon, if desired.

Tip: Don't throw out overripe bananas. Instead, peel and freeze them into resealable plastic bags. This way your next smoothie can be ready in minutes.

Nutritional Information: 170 calories, 0 total fat (0 g sat), 0 mg cholesterol, 39 g carbohydrate,
6 g protein, 3 g fiber, 70 mg sodium

White Chipotle Chicken Chili

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1 3/4 lb), cut into 1-inch chunks
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
Salt and black pepper
3 cans (14.5-oz size) white kidney or cannellini beans, drained (save 1/2 cup draining liquid) and rinsed
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
1 tsp canned chipotle chili, seeded and minced
1/2 cup nonfat half-and-half
Garnishes: Shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese, chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Warm oil in large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add onion; cook 4 minutes, stirring. Push onion mixture to one side; add chicken to skillet; sprinkle mixture with chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cook 5 minutes, stirring.

Increase heat to medium-high. Add 2 cans of the beans and draining liquid, 1 1/4 cups broth, and chipotle; bring to a simmer. Cook 10 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

Meanwhile, combine remaining 1 can beans and 3/4 cup broth in bowl of food processor. Puree until smooth. Add to soup in pot, along with half-and-half. Simmer a few minutes, stirring, until warmed through and flavors incorporated. Serve hot; garnish with cheese and cilantro.

Serves 6. Per serving: 360 calories, 41g protein, 33 g carbohydrate, 8 g fiber, 5 g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 85 mg cholesterol, 671mg sodium

Pesto Chicken and Roasted Pepper Wraps

2 6-inch whole-wheat tortillas
2 Tbsp bottled pesto sauce
1/2 package (3 oz.)grilled chicken strips
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 oz. bottled roasted red bell peppers, drained and halved
2 oz. part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
4 leaves of green leaf lettuce
Salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange the tortillas on a clean work surface. Spread the pesto evenly over each and top with mozzarella. In a microwave-safe bowl, toss together chicken strips, peppers, salt, and black pepper, and cook in the microwave until heated through. While chicken heats up, warm or toast tortillas with cheese. Divide chicken and peppers between tortillas on top of cheese. Top with a lettuce leaf and roll up, tucking in the ends.

Serves 2. Per Serving: 290 calories, 14 g fat (3 g sat fat), 26 mg cholesterol, 22 g carbohydrate, 22 g protein, 2 g fiber, 676 mg sodium

Sock It To Me Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup oil
4 eggs (beaten)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts
8 oz sour cream
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Dump cake mix into a bowl and add sugar, oil and beaten eggs. Mix well.

Add vanilla, nuts and sour cream.

Pour half the batter into a well greased Bundt pan.

Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over batter.

Then add the remaining batter. Bake one hour in preheated 350 degree oven.

California Wrap

1 leaf red or green lettuce
1 slice turkey breast
1 slice ham
1 thin slice tomato
1 thin slice avocado
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 leaf watercress or arugula
1 tablespoon sugar-free Ranch dressing

Fan the lettuce leaf on a plate. Top with the turkey, ham, and tomato. In a small bowl, combine the avocado and lime juice, and then spoon onto the tomato. Top with the watercress or arugula and dressing. Roll up and secure with a wooden pick.

Makes 1 Wrap. Per wrap: 140 calories, 10 total fat (1.5 g sat), 25 mg cholesterol, 4 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 620 mg sodium

Butternut Squash Risotto

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup long-grain brown rice
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
1 package (10 ounces) frozen butternut or winter squash
2 Tbsp nonfat half-and-half
1 tsp finely minced fresh sage
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and black pepper

Warm oil in medium nonstick saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic; cook 2 minutes, until softened, stirring often. Add rice; stir to coat. Add 1 1/2 cups broth; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to a very low; cover and cook 35 to 40 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.

Meanwhile, cook squash according to package directions.

Add squash and remaining 1/2 cup broth to rice, still over low heat. Stir slowly for about 5 minutes, until broth is incorporated. Stir in half-and-half and sage. Keep stirring, adding broth if necessary, until of desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, garnished with cheese.

Nutritional Information: 380 calories, 15 total fat (5 g sat),
15 mg cholesterol, 52 g carbohydrate, 16 g protein, 6 g fiber, 350 mg sodium

Spinach Casserole

1 10-oz package frozen chopped spinach
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 10-oz can cream of mushroom soup
1 8-oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 3-oz can French-fried onions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Drain the spinach, squeeze dry and set aside. Combine the cream cheese and soup in a saucepan over a low flame and cook until blended, stirring constantly.

Combine the soup mixture, spinach, water chestnuts and 2/3 of the French-fried onions in a bowl and mix well. Pour into a greased 1-quart casserole and sprinkle with the remaining onions. Bake for 20 minutes.

Yield: 4-6 servings

Low-Carb Eggnog

3/4 cup egg substitute
1 Tbsp artificial sweetener
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 (12-oz) can evaporated skim milk
1 1/2 cups fat-free half-and-half
1/2 Tbsp brandy extract
Nutmeg

Pour 3/4 cup egg substitute into bowl. Add artificial sweetener and mix on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually blend in vanilla, evaporated skim milk, fat-free half-and-half, and brandy extract. Chill for 24 hours to blend the flavors. To serve, stir well and sprinkle with nutmeg.

Serves 2-3. Per Serving: 214 calories, 0 g total fat (0 g sat),
5 mg cholesterol, 28 g carbohydrate, 20 g protein, 0 g fiber, 372 mg sodium

Rosemary Roast Pork Loin

PORK
1 boneless pork roast (about 2 ½ lb), tied
Salt and pepper
3 large cloves garlic, minced
4 tsp chopped fresh rosemary, plus
fresh rosemary branches for pan
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided

ONIONS
4-6 small red onions
Chopped fresh rosemary
Salt

Preheat oven to 400°F. Pat roast dry with paper towels; lightly season with salt and pepper.

In small bowl, combine garlic, rosemary, and 1 Tbsp of the oil. Spread mixture all over roast.

Warm remaining 1 Tbsp oil in large, heavy ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add roast, fat-side down; cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Rotate roast one-quarter turn and brown, about 2 more minutes. Repeat process until roast is well-browned.

Using tongs, lift roast from pan; slide rosemary sprigs underneath. Set roast, fat-side down, on top of rosemary sprigs.

Remove outer layer of each onion; cut off a slice on the bottom so the onion can sit straight. Using a small knife, make two vertical cuts about halfway down into onion. Push some rosemary and salt into cuts. Arrange onions around roast.

Roast 30 minutes; turn pork fat-side up. Roast 15 to 20 minutes longer, until thermometer registers 145°F. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes.

Transfer to cutting board; cut into thin slices. Serve with onions.

Serves 6. Per serving: 300 calories, 40 g protein, 8 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 11 g total fat, 3 g saturated fat, 125 mg cholesterol, 290 mg sodium

Smoky Chipotle and Chorizo Dip

1 Tbsp olive oil
4 oz finely chopped chorizo sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 15 1/2 to 19 oz cans pinto beans
1 canned chipotle chile en adobo, minced
salt to taste
1/2 cup sour cream, for garnish
chopped cilantro, for garnish
tortilla chips
corn chips

Combine the chorizo and oil in a medium skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the chorizo is browned, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chorizo to paper towels, leaving the fat in the pan. Add the onion and red pepper to the skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the red pepper is tender, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano and cumin and stir until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the beans with their canning liquid and the chipotle pepper. Bring to a simmer, stirring often. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer 1 cup of bean mixture to food processor and puree. Stir back into skillet, with the cooled chorizo. Transfer to a medium bowl and cool. Season with salt. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days. If the chilled dip is too thick, stir in some water or broth. To serve, transfer to a serving bowl. Top with the sour cream and sprinkle with the cilantro. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Serve with tortilla chips and corn chips.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

Chorizo Con Huevos

8 eggs
2 Tbsp oil
1 lb homemade chorizo
1 onion, chopped
2 serrano chilies, chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped
4 flour tortillas
1 avocado, mashed
1/2 cup fresh salsa

Heat the oil in a large skillet over a medium heat. Fry the chorizo until browned. Drain off any excess oil. Add the onion and cook 2 to 3 minutes, add the chilies. Beat the eggs until frothy and add to the chorizo. Stir with a fork as you would scrambled eggs. Fold the cilantro in just before the eggs set. Serve with flour tortillas, fresh salsa and mashed avocado. 4 servings.

Black Bean Chorizo Chili

1 lb chorizo, cut into bite size cubes
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup sweet onion, chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 15 oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 14 1/2 oz cans diced tomatoes with hot peppers, undrained
1 1/2 cups low sodium beef broth or 12 ounces dark beer
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
1/2 tsp dried thyme, crushed
1/4 tsp ground red pepper or dried red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 tsp ground pepper or to taste
garnishes: sour cream, chopped cilantro, sliced green onions

Heat oil in a large heavy saucepan or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add onion, green pepper and chorizo. Cook until sausage is done, stirring to crumble. Drain well. Return chorizo mixture to pan. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. If you like a thicker chili, mash some of the black beans before adding the beans to the meat mixture. Ladle into soup bowls and add toppings of choice.

Chorizo Squares


1 lb Chorizo sausage
1 1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp red pepper
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup butter
Sour cream (for garnish)

Butter 9-inch square baking dish. In large skillet, over medium heat, cook sausage 15 minutes, crumbling meat with fork as it cooks; drain on paper towel. In heavy 3-quart saucepan, bring milk, water and oil to a boil. Add salt, cumin and red pepper. Gradually whisk in cornmeal, stirring constantly. Immediately reduce heat to very low. Cook, uncovered, 20 minutes. Stir in butter until melted; stir in Chorizo. Pour into prepared dish, spreading evenly. Cool, cover and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut cornmeal mixture in 48 bite-size squares, about 1 1/2 inches. Cover dish with foil. Heat 30 minutes. Serve warm.

PUMPKIN BUTTERSCOTCH CAKE

1 2/3 cups butterscotch morsels, divided
2 cups flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp milk

Microwave 1 cup morsels in small bowl on 70% power for 1 minute: stir. Continue microwaving and stirring until melted and smooth. Cool.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in medium bowl. Stir together melted morsels, pumpkin, oil, eggs and vanilla in large bowl with wire whisk. Stir in flour mixture.

Spoon batter into greased 10 inch bundt pan.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 40 to 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan about 30 min. Remove from pan and drizzle with glaze.

Glaze: Microwave 2 tablespoons milk with remaining morsels. Stir until smooth.

Servings : 24
Preparation Time : 1:30

CARAMEL APPLE SALAD

3 medium apples, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 can, 8 oz pineapple, crushed, undrained
1 pkg butterscotch pudding mix, sugar free, dry
1 8 oz tub Cool Whip Lite

Pour pineapple over apples and stir.Sprinkle dry pudding over fruit and stir to moisten. Fold in Cool Whip. Chill.

Servings : 8

Decadent Chocolate Bowl

Chocolate Passion Bowl

3 cups cold milk
2 pkg. (4-serving size each) instant chocolate pudding
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP, thawed, divided
1 baked 9-inch square brownie layer, cooled, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 5-1/2 cups)
1 pt. (2 cups) raspberries

POUR milk into large bowl. Add dry pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended. Gently stir in 1 cup of the whipped topping.

PLACE half of the brownie cubes in 2-quart serving bowl; top with half of the pudding mixture, half of the raspberries and half of the remaining whipped topping. Repeat all layers.

REFRIGERATE at least 1 hour or until ready to serve. Store leftover dessert in refrigerator.

Prep Time: 20 min; Total Time: 1 hr 20 min
Makes: 16 servings

Nutrition (per 2/3 cup serving): Calories 310; Total fat 12g; Saturated fat 4.5g; Cholesterol 15mg; Sodium 330mg; Carbohydrate 49g; Dietary fiber 1g; Sugars 35g; Protein 4g

Spicy Ranch Crackers

1 box fat free Saltine crackers
2 1/2 pkgs. (1 oz. each) dry Ranch dressing mix
Red Pepper Flakes (a few sprinkles)
1 1/4 cups Canola Oil

Place crackers on sides in deep Tupperware container.

Sprinkle on dry dressing mix and pepper flakes. Gently Shake.

Pour oil over crackers. Seal securely and gently shake.

Turn upside down and wait 15 minutes. Turn over. Repeat 4 times. Let sit overnight.

OR, for a quicker, less greasy, option: Place crackers in large plastic bag. Pour oil over crackers and toss to coat. Add seasoning mix; toss again until coated. Bake at 250° for 15-20 minutes.

HOME MADE CHEESE CRACKERS

Saltines
Cayenne
Sharp cheddar

Cover a cookie sheet with saltines, aligning them so that their sides touch. Cover crackers with cheese (grated or thinly sliced, whichever you prefer).

Bake at 350 until cheese bubbles, then turn oven down to 200 and leave for about 8 hours, or overnight.

Fire Crackers

1 sleeve Zesta Fat-Free Saltines
1 tsp Pueblo Rub or seasoning of choice
Hot pepper flakes
10-oz log Sharp Cheddar, grated

Arrange a rack in the center and preheat oven to 475°F.

Spray a 10 x 15 jelly-roll pan (not shiny) with nonstick cooking spray, and arrange crackers (about 40) in rows so that crackers are touching each other. One sleeve fits almost perfectly in this size pan.

Sprinkle seasoning over crackers, then sprinkle with as many pepper flakes as you dare. About 5 flakes to a cracker is good. Finally, top evenly with grated cheese.

Bake for 1 minute only. Turn the oven off. Leave in the oven overnight. The hot oven melts and browns the cheese, producing an even coating of crisp brown cheese. The fat from the cheese soaks into the crackers and puffs them slightly. Leaving them in the oven dries them out well so that they are super crunchy.

Break apart and eat or store. They keep well for several weeks sealed in an airtight tin.

Makes 40 crackers.

Nutella and Graham Cracker Ice Cream Cups

Mini graham cracker dessert pie shells
Nutella
Vanilla Ice cream
Rice pudding
Whipped Cream
Cinnamon sugar

Take cap off of Nutella and microwave approximately one minute until pourable.

Pour small amount of Nutella into each shell, enough to cover entire bottom.

Freeze

Remove desired amount of shells from freezer

Fill shell with ice cream

Top with rice pudding and whipped cream

Sprinkle Cinnamon sugar

Homestyle White Bread

1.5 lb loaf
=====
1 cup + 2 Tbsp water (75°–85°F)
1 Tbsp butter or margarine, softened
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp non-fat dry milk powder
1-1/2 tsp salt
3 cups bread flour
2-1/2 tsp bread machine
yeast

2 lb loaf
=====
1-1/3 cups Water (75°– 85°F)
4 tsp Butter or margarine, softened
2 Tbsp Sugar
4 tsp Non-fat dry milk powder
2 tsp Salt
4 cups Bread flour
2 tsp Bread machine yeast

Select the "Basic" setting.

ExpressBake Traditional-Style White Bread (1.5 lb)

1 cup + 2 Tbsp(9 ounces total) of hot water (115°–125°F)
2 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 cups bread machine flour
5 tsp bread machine yeast

Select the "Express Bake" setting.

Classic French Bread

1.5 lb loaf
=====
1 cup + 2 Tbsp Water (75°– 85°F)
2 tsp Butter or margarine, softened
3-1/4 cups Bread flour
1 Tbsp Sugar
1-1/2 tsp Salt
2-1/2 tsp Bread machine yeast

2 lb loaf
=====
1-1/3 cups Water (75°– 85°F)
2 tsp Butter or margarine, softened
4 cups Bread flour
5 tsp Sugar
1-1/2 tsp Salt
4 tsp Bread machine yeast

Select the "French Bread" setting.

Whole Wheat Bread

1.5 lb loaf
=====
1 cup + 2 Tbsp Water (75°– 85°F)
1 Tbsp + 1-1/2 tsp Butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup Firmly packed light brown sugar
1-1/4 tsp Salt
3-1/2 cups Whole wheat flour
2-1/4 tsp Bread machine yeast

2 lb loaf
=====
1-2/3 cups Water (75°– 85°F)
2 Tbsp Butter or margarine, softened
1/3 cup Firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tsp Salt
4-2/3 cups Whole wheat flour
3 tsp Bread machine yeast

Select the "Whole Wheat" setting.

Banana-Pecan Bread

1.5 lb loaf
=====
2/3 cup Water (75°– 85°F)
3/4 cup Mashed ripe banana
2 Tbsp Butter or margarine, softened
1 large Egg, lightly beaten
3-1/4 cups Bread flour
3 Tbsp Sugar
1-1/4 tsp Salt
2-1/2 tsp Bread machine yeast
1/2 cup Chopped pecans

2-lb loaf
=====
1 cup Water (75°– 85°F)
2/3 cup Mashed ripe banana
2 Tbsp Butter or margarine, softened
2 medium Eggs lightly beaten
4 cups Bread flour
4 Tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Salt
3 tsp Bread machine yeast
2/3 cup Chopped pecans

Select the "Sweet Bread" setting.

Express Bake Oatmeal Date Bread (2 lb loaf)

1-1/2 cups hot water (115°-125°F)
2 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp salt
3 cups bread flour
1-1/2 cups instant oatmeal
1/2 cup finely chopped dates
2 Tbsp fast-rising yeast

Select the Express Bake setting.

Chock Full o' Chocolate Walnut-Zucchini Bread

1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate pieces
2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup canola or other vegetable oil
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp grated orange zest
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground allspice
2-1/2 cups shredded zucchini, about 2 medium zucchini

In a small bowl, combine walnuts and chocolate pieces; add 2 Tbsp of the flour and toss well; set aside.

Spray the bread pan and kneading blade with nonstick cooking spray.

Attach the kneading blade in the bread pan.

Place ingredients into the bread pan in the following order: eggs, oil, the remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, cinnamon, orange zest, salt and allspice. Add zucchini, then the floured walnuts and chocolate pieces along with any flour remaining in the bowl.

Carefully insert bread pan into breadmaker and gently close lid.

Plug the power cord into a wall outlet.

Press the Menu button until the "Quickbread" program is selected.

Press the Start button.

When the baking cycle is complete, press the stop button.

Open the lid and, using oven mitts, firmly grasp the bread pan handle and gently pull the pan straight up and out of the machine.

Unplug the breadmaker and let bread cool before removing from baking pan.

Use a nonstick spatula to gently loosen the sides of the bread from the pan; turn bread pan upside down onto a wire cooling rack or clean cooking surface and gently shake until bread falls out onto rack.

Turn bread right-side up and cool for about 20 minutes before slicing.

Orange-Anise Braided Ring

1/3 cup water (75°– 85°F)
1/3 cup whole milk
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened and cut into 6 pieces
Grated zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups bread flour
1-1/2 tsp anise seeds, crushed
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2-1/2 tsp bread machine yeast
Egg wash (1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 Tbsp water)

Attach the kneading blade in the bread pan.

Place ingredients into the bread pan in the following order: water, milk, eggs, butter, orange zest, sugar, flour, anise, salt and nutmeg.

With finger, make a small indentation on one side of the flour. Add yeast to indentation, making sure it does not come in contact with the liquid ingredients.

Carefully insert bread pan into breadmaker and gently close lid.

Plug the power cord into a wall outlet.

Press the Menu button until the "Dough" program is selected.

Press the Start button.

When the dough cycle is complete... Open the lid and, firmly grasp the bread pan handle and gently pull the pan straight up and out of the machine.

Unplug the breadmaker.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

Remove dough from bread pan to a clean, lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 2 equal pieces.

With hands, lightly roll each piece into a 24-inch rope. Place ropes on prepared baking sheet. Twist ropes loosely together and form into a circle. Place a clean towel over ring and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size.

Using a pastry brush, lightly brush ring with egg wash.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until bread is golden brown.

Remove from baking sheet to wire cooling rack or clean cooking surface.

Allow to cool for about 20 minutes before slicing.

Standard Cake Mix

1/4 cup butter (melted)
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
2 tsp lemon juice
1-1/2 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup granulated sugar

In a small bowl combine butter, vanilla, eggs and lemon juice.

In a second bowl combine flour, baking powder and sugar.

Spray the bread pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine the ingredients from both bowls and place into the bread pan.

Carefully insert bread pan into breadmaker; gently close lid.

Plug the power cord into a wall outlet.

Press the Menu button until the "Cake" program is selected.

Press the Start button.

When the baking cycle is complete, press the stop button.

Open the lid and while using oven mitts, firmly grasp the bread pan handle and gently pull the pan straight up and out of the machine.

Unplug the breadmaker and let bread cool before removing from baking pan.

If needed, use a nonstick spatula to gently loosen the sides of the cake from the pan.

Turn bread pan upside down into a wire cooling rack or clean cooking surface and gently shake until bread falls out onto rack.

Turn cake right-side up and cool for about 20 minutes before slicing.

Year Round Spiced Peach Jam

1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. low-sugar fruit pectin
2 cups thawed frozen sliced peaches
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 tsp. lemon juice

Attach kneading blade in the bread pan.

Place ingredients into the bread pan in the following order: sugar, pectin, peaches, cloves, nutmeg and lemon juice.

Carefully insert bread pan into breadmaker and gently close lid.

Plug the power cord into a wall outlet.

Press the Menu button until the “Jam” program is selected.

Press the Start button.

When the Jam cycle is complete.

Open the lid and, using oven mitts, firmly grasp the bread pan handle and gently pull the pan straight up and out of the machine.

Unplug the breadmaker and let jam cool.

Using oven mitts, carefully pour the jam into a glass or metal container.

Cover and refrigerate to set.

Jam will keep, stored in refrigerator, 2-3 weeks.

MAKES ABOUT 1-1/2 CUPS

Caramel Rolls

1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
1 egg
4 cups bread flour
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons instant powdered milk
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
5 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened (for spreading)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar

Place water, egg, bread flour, white sugar, powdered milk, salt, 5 tablespoons butter and yeast in bread machine in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select DOUGH setting, and turn machine on.

Meanwhile; in a small saucepan, melt 1/3 cup butter. Add 1/2 cup brown sugar and ice cream; bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes. Pour caramel into the bottom of a lightly greased 9 x 13 inch pan.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

When machine has finished cycling remove dough from pan and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Flatten the dough with the palms of your hands and gently stretch it into a rectangle. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a larger rectangle. The dough may be wet, so flour both your hands and the rolling pin. Roll out the dough until it is a large rectangle approximately 12x20 inches in size.

Spread with softened butter, leaving about 1 inch along one long edge dry. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. Crumble 1/2 cup brown sugar over the top.

Roll up, tightening as you go, and seal edge by wetting it lightly with water, then pressing together. Cut into 12-16 rolls, and place in prepared pan of caramel. (Can be put in the refrigerator or freezer at this time.)

Allow to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.

Coconut Noodle Shrimp

2 pkg (3 oz each) any flavor ramen noodles soup mix
1/2 cup lite coconut milk (or 1/2 cup milk + 1/2 tsp coconut extract)
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
1 lb cooked, cleaned large shrimp
1/2 seedless cucumber, halved lengthwise, cut in 1/4-inch thick slices
4 scallions, sliced diagonally

Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a large skillet. Break each package of noodles into 4 sections; add to boiling water (save seasoning packets for another use). Cover skillet, remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, make dressing: Whisk coconut milk, peanut butter, lime juice and crushed red pepper in a medium bowl to blend.

Drain noodles; toss with the shrimp, cucumber, scallions and dressing.

Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 457 calories, 34 g protein, 34 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 22 g fat (7 g sat fat), 221 mg cholesterol, 723 mg sodium

Spanikopita Cups

2 boxes (2.1 oz each) frozen mini fillo pastry shells (30 shells)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp chopped fresh dill
1 box (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, not drained
1/4 cup 1/3-less-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
1/4 tsp pepper
1 pkg (4 oz) crumbled feta cheese
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Place fillo shells on a rimmed baking sheet.

Heat oil in a nonstick medium skillet over medium heat. Add scallions, garlic and dill; cook 1 minute until soft. Add spinach and any liquid; cook 2 minutes until almost dry.

Add cream cheese and pepper; remove from heat and stir until cheese melts and mixture is blended.

Stir in feta and Parmesan cheese. Spoon 1 rounded measuring teaspoon into each shell.

To serve: Bake for 6 minutes, or until hot.

Makes 30. Active 20 minutes, Total 25 minutes

Cuban Black Bean Soup

1 1/3 cups chopped onions
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp pepper
2 ham hocks (1 1/2 lb total)
4 cans (about 15 oz each) black beans, rinsed
2 cans (14 oz each) chicken broth
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Garnish: chopped hard-cooked egg

Mix onions, garlic, jalapeno pepper, cumin, oregano, thyme and pepper in a 4 1/2-qt or larger slow-cooker. Top with ham hocks and beans; add broth.

Cover and cook on low 7-9 hours until meat on ham hocks is tender.

Lift out ham hocks. When cool enough to handle, remove and discard skin and fat. Remove meat from bones, chop coarsely and return to soup. Stir in lemon juice. Garnish with egg.

Serves 4. Per serving: 333 cal, 24 g pro, 47 g car, 13 g fiber, 5 g fat (1 g sat fat), 16 mg chol, 1460 mg sod

Chunky Beef Chili

2 lb lean beef chuck, cut for stew
1 can (28 oz) chunky-style tomatoes in puree, undrained
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
12 oz beer or 1 1/2 cups water
1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 Tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
3 cans (15-16 oz each) Roman or pinto beans, rinsed
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
Garnishes: sour cream, chopped red onion, shredded Cheddar cheese

Mix all ingredients except peanut butter, beans and cilantro in a 4-qt or larger slow-cooker.

Cover and cook on low 7-9 hours untl beef is tender. Stir in peanut butter until blended then stir in beans.

Cover and cook 5 minutes, or until beans are hot. Stir in cilantro.

Serves 8. Per serving: 377 cal, 32 g pro, 32 g car, 8 g fiber, 14 g fat (4 g sat fat), 74 mg chol, 1145 mg sod

Speedy Chicken Saltimbocca with beans and spinach

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp each salt and pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (5 oz each), tender removed (see Note), trimmed of visible fat
1 Tbsp oil
1 tsp dried or chopped fresh sage
4 thin slices prosciutto (about 1/2 oz each)
1/2 cup canned fat-free chicken broth
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp stick butter

Beans
1 can (19 oz) cannellini beans, rinsed
1/4 cup chopped bottled roasted red peppers
1 Tbsp oil
1/8 tsp each salt and pepper
1 bag (9 oz) microwaveable baby spinach

Garnish: fresh sage leaves

Mix flour, salt and pepper in a plastic food bag. Add chicken, close bag and shake to coat. Remove chicken; shake off excess flour.

Meanwhile heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, cover and cook, turning once, 10 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Remove to plates, sprinkle with sage and top each with prosciutto.

Add broth and lemon juice to pan. Increase heat to high and boil until reduced by half. Whisk in butter until melted. Drizzle over chicken.

Meanwhile combine Bean ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl, cover and microwave until hot, then microwave spinach as bag directs. Serve with the chicken.

Serves 4. Per serving: 435 cal, 47 g pro, 32 g car, 9 g fiber, 13 g fat (3 g sat fat), 99 mg chol, 896 mg sod

Chicken-Sesame Stir-Fry

4 large skinned, boned chicken thighs (about 1 1/4 lb), visible fat cut off, meat cut in 1 1/4-in. pieces
2 Tbsp cornstarch

Sauce:
1/2 cup each reduced-sodium soy sauce and fat-free chicken broth
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp each minced garlic and fresh ginger
2 tsp dark Oriental sesame oil

1 Tbsp sesame seeds
2 tsp oil, preferably canola
1 1/2 lb bok choy, stalks separated and cut crosswise in 1-in. pieces (if using baby bok choy, separate stalks and use whole)
1 red bell pepper, cut in narrow strips
1 can (14 oz) baby corn, ears cut in half if large
1/4 cup sliced scallions

Put chicken and cornstarch in a plastic food bag, close bag and shake until chicken is evenly coated.

Measure soy sauce, broth and 1/4 cup water in a glass measuring cup. Add remaining Sauce ingredients.

Stir sesame seeds in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 1 to 2 minutes until lightly toasted. Remove; set aside.

Heat oil in same skillet. Add chicken and stir-fry over medium-high heat 3 minutes or until cooked through and lightly browned. Remove to a serving bowl.

Add bok choy and pepper strips to skillet. Stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes until vegetables are crisp-tender.

Stir sauce to mix well. Add to skillet with baby corn. Boil 1 to 2 minutes until slightly thickened. Stir in chicken, then pour into serving bowl. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and scallions. Serve over rice.

Serves 6. Per serving: 213 cal, 23 g pro, 12 g car, 3 g fiber, 8 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 79 mg chol, 1,018 mg sod

Chicken Braised with Zucchini and Tomatoes

3 1/2-lb chicken, cut in eighths, skin removed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 can (14 oz) chicken broth
3 medium zucchini (about 6 oz each), cut in 3/4-in. pieces
6 plum tomatoes, cut in 1/2-in pieces

Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper, then with the flour. Heat oil in a deep, large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken, cover and cook, turning pieces occasionally, 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate.

Increase heat to medium-high; add onions and garlic to pan and saute 3 minutes, or until golden. Stir in broth and remaining 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper.

Return chicken to skillet. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer gently 10 minutes. Stir in zucchini and tomatoes; cover and cook 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender.

Serves 4. Per sercing: 455 cal, 36 g pro, 9 g car, 2 g fiber, 30 g fat (8 g sat fat), 135 mg chol, 457 mg sod

Tomato Sauce

2 1/4 lbs ripe tomatoes, or a 28-oz can whole tomatoes
1/2 carrot, finely diced
1/2 stalk of celery, finely diced
1 onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic
6 basil leaves

Coarsely chop tomatoes (reserve the juice if using canned). Warm a bit of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and add all ingredients except tomatoes, juice and basil. Brown for about 4 minutes until onions and garlic are translucent.

Add tomatoes with juice and half the basil leaves; let simmer for about 30 minutes. (In the meantime, boil some pasta.) Remove sauce from heat and add remaining basil.

Shortbread Trees

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup roasted, salted macadamia nuts, finely chopped*
1/2 cup (from 7oz pkg) tropical fruit trail mix, finely chopped*
2 cups all purpose flour

Icing:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
6 tsp. milk or water
green food color
dragees for decorating (silver and green)

Heat oven to 350°F.

Beat butter, sugar, vanilla and salt in a large bowl with mixer on medium speed until blended. Stir in nuts, fruit and flour until a dough forms. Divide in sixths.

Shape dough into 6 balls. Place 3 balls on each baking sheet; pat each into a 5" round and cut into 8 wedges (don’t separate).

Bake 16 minutes or until pale golden around edges. While hot, re-cut wedges. Cool slightly on baking sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Make icing by stirring above ingredients together and tint 1/2 green. Spoon each into disposable bags. Cut tips off bags and pipe garlands on triangles. While wet, decorate with dragees. Let dry at room temperature.

* The nuts and dried fruit can be pulsed in a food processor to finely chop.

All-Star Coconut Custards

Active 10 min; Total 1 1/2 hr

1 can (14 oz) unsweetened coconut milk (not cream of coconut)
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
4 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Garnish: toasted coconut

Heat oven to 325° F. Arrange eight 6-oz ramekins or custard cups in a large roasting pan.

Heat coconut milk and cream until steamy. Remove from heat.

Whisk eggs, sugar and salt in a medium bowl until blended. Slowly, whisking constantly, pour in cream mixture. Skim any bubbles and foam off surface with a spoon.

Ladle into ramekins. Place pan in oven and carefully fill pan with hot water to come halfway up sides of ramekins.

Bake 30-35 minutes until a knife inserted in centers comes out clean. Lift ramekins to a wire rack to cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving.

Serves 8. Per serving: 353 cal, 8 g pro, 20 g car, 0 g fiber, 30 g fat (20 g sat fat), 167 mg chol, 127 mg sod

Black Bean Burgers

1 15-oz can undrained black beans
1 4.5-oz can chopped green chiles
1 cup dried bread crumbs
1 egg
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
cornmeal
buns, lettuce, onion, salsa

Slightly mash undrained black beans in a medium bowl with a potato masher. Stir in green chiles, bread crumbs, egg, chili powder and ground cumin. Shape into five 1/2-inch-thick patties. Dredge in cornmeal. Panfry in a little hot oil, turning once, 10 minutes, or until heated through. Serve on buns with sliced onion, salsa, and lettuce. Makes 5.

Noodle Pan Pizza

Time: 15 mins prep; 25 minutes Total

2 links (about 6 oz) hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 bell pepper, cut in thin strips
1 medium onion, cut in thin strips
3 (3 oz) packages beef-flavor ramen noodles
1 tsp oil
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup marinara sauce
4 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup (1 oz) parmesan cheese, grated

Sauté sausage in a large skillet, breaking up clumps as it cooks. Add pepper and onion; sauté until sausage, pepper and onion are cooked. Remove to a bowl.

Cook noodles as packages directs. Drain, then stir in 1 seasoning packet (save remaining 2 packets for another use.)

Heat oil in same skillet over medium heat. Spread noodles evenly in skillet. Pour eggs over noodles. Cover and cook until eggs just begin to set.

Spread with marinara sauce, leaving a 1-inch border of noodles around edges. Top with sausage mixture and cheese.

Cover and cook over medium-low heat to melt cheese.

Makes 6 servings. Per serving ($1.20): 437 cal, 17 g pro, 34 g car, 2 g fiber, 26 g fat (11 g sat fat), 112 mg chol, 999 mg sod

Sweet & Sour Meatballs

Active: 3 min / Total: 18 min

1 can (16 oz) whole berry cranberry sauce
2 cups chunky garden pasta sauce
2 pkg (12 oz each) refrigerated fully cooked turkey meatballs

Put cranberry sauce in a large skillet; break into chubks. Add pasta sauce. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until cranberry sauce melts.

Add meatballs; stir to coat with sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through.

Good served over rice.

Serves 6. Per serving: 366 cal, 17 g pro, 48 g car, 5 g fiber, 12 g fat (4 g sat fat), 61 mg chol, 825 mg sod

Coconut Martini

4 oz coconut cream
6 oz vodka
1 oz coconut rum
Ground cinnamon
2 cinnamon sticks

Combine all ingredients, except cinnamon and sticks, in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into martini glasses. Garnish each with a pinch of cinnamon and a cinnamon stick. Serves two.

Pear and Goat Cheese Salad

1/2 cup chopped walnuts
8 cups mesclun (baby salad greens)
3/4 cup crumbled goat (or blue) cheese
2 sliced pears
1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette

Microwave chopped walnuts on a plate on high 1-2 minutes, stirring twice, until lightly toasted. Put musclun, cheese, pears and the cooled nuts in a large serving bowl. Toss with vinaigrette. Serves 6.

Chicken Sorrento

Total time: 15 min

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 5 oz each)
1 bottle (8 oz) creamy Italian dressing
1 bag (16 oz) frozen stir-fry vegetable blend

Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper.

Heat 2 tsp oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 2 minutes on each side, or until golden.

Pour dressing on chicken; turn to coat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.

Add frozen vegetables, cover and cook 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are crisp-tender.

Serves 4. Per serving: 409 cal, 35 g pro, 15 g car, 3 g fiber, 22 g fat (3 g sat fat), 82 mg chol, 748 mg sod

African Chicken Stew

Time: 30 min

8 chicken drumsticks (about 2 lb), skin removed
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 medium sweet potatoes
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp chili powder
1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes with garlic and onion
1 cup frozen green peas
1/3 cup each reduced-fat crunchy peanut butter and water
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Coat a nonstick 10- or 12-in. skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Place over medium-high heat, add chicken and cook 3 minutes until browned.

Meanwhile peel potatoes and cut in bite-size pieces.

Sprinkle drumsticks with garlic and chili powder (1 side only), turn drumsticks over and cook 30 seconds until fragrant.

Add potatoes and tomatoes; place drumsticks on top. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Sprinkle with peas, cover and cook 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender.

Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken to serving platter. Add remaining ingredients to skillet; stir until blended and hot. Pour over chicken.

Serves: 4. Cost Per Serving: $1.35

Chicken, Corn and Lima Bean Stew

Active Time: 12 min; Total Time: 7-8 hours on low

1 can (28 oz) fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 cups diced onion
1 large green pepper, diced
2 cups frozen baby lima beans
2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
4 sliced cooked bacon, chopped or crumbled
Garnish: lime wedges

Have redy a 4-quart or larger slow-cooker. Add canned tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, cumin and oregano. Stir until thoroughly blended, then stir in the onion, green pepper, frozen lima beans and corn, and the chicken.

Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours, or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken to a cutting board. Using 2 forks, pull meat into shreds. Return chicken to cooker.

Ladle stew into soup bowls and sprinkle with bacon.

Serves 5. Per serving: 422 cal, 39 g pro, 50 g car, 9 g fiber, 9 g fat (2 g sat fat), 117 mg chol, 794 mg sod

Caribbean Pork with Sweet Potatoes

Active: 10 min; Total 7-8 hr on low

1 can (13.5 - 14 oz) lite coconut milk
3 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp Caribbean jerk seasoning
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2-lb boneless pork butt, cut in 1 1/2-inch cubes
2 large (2 lb) sweet potatoes, peeled, cut in 1 1/2-inch cubes
2 cups frozen petite green peas
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Put coconut milk, flour, jerk seasoning and garlic in a 3-quart or larger slow-cooker. Whisk until well blended. Add pork and sweet potatoes; stir until well coated.

Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours, or until meat is tender.

Spoon off fat. Stir in frozen peas and cilantro. Cover and let stand 5 minutes for peas to cook.

Serves 4. Per serving: 757 cal, 49 g pro, 59 g car, 8 g fiber, 37 g fat (14 g sat fat), 158 mg chol, 240 mg sod

Chicken with Kielbasa and Rice

Active: 15 min; Total: 7-8 hr on low

2 cups sliced onion
2 cups celery
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
6 chicken drumsticks (1 3/4 lb), skin removed
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 lb kielbasa, sliced
2 cups 5-minute rice
1 large red pepper, cut in narrow strips
Garnish: chopped scallions

Mix onion, celery, garlic and broth in a 5 1/2-quart or larger slow-cooker.

Rub drumsticks with paprika, salt and pepper. Add to cooker along with the sausage.

Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours or until chicken is tender. Remove the drumsticks to a large plate and cover to keep warm.

Add rice and pepper strips to cooker. Cover and cook 15 minutes, or until rice and pepper are tender. Sprinkle servings with scallions.

Serves 6. Per serving: 479 cal, 29 g pro, 36 g car, 2 g fiber, 23 g fat (8 g sat fat), 106 mg chol, 1228 mg sod

Orzo Risotto with Buttery Shrimp

6 oz. asparagus tips
1/2-lb. (225 g) medium (30-40 ct.) shrimp
3 oz. (55 g) butter
12 oz. (340 g) orzo
1 cup (235 mL) chicken broth
1/2 cup (50 g) grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbs. (7 g) chopped parsley
salt & pepper

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large sauce pan. When the water begins to boil, add about a tablespoon of salt and stir until the salt dissolves. Add the asparagus and cook until tender, about 4 minutes.

Remove the asparagus from the water and set aside. Add orzo to water and cook until al dente, about 9 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt six tablespoons of butter in a large saute pan. Once the butter was melted, let it brown until it produces a nutty fragrance. Drain the shrimp one last time and add them to the pan. Lightly salt and pepper them. Then, cook the shrimp for one full minute before flipping them over and cooking for a final minute.

While the shrimp is cooking and the orzo is boiling, cut the asparagus into 1-in. (2.5 cm) pieces.

Remove the shrimp from the pan.

Drain the orzo, reserving 1/4 cup of pasta water.

Pour the chicken broth into the sauté pan to deglaze it. Bring to a boil, then add to the orzo pot along with the reserved water.

Stir the orzo and broth over medium heat until the liquid thickens a bit and becomes creamy.

Put the cut asparagus and shrimp back in the orzo and mix until heated through.

Remove the pot from the heat and mix in the chopped parsley and grated parmesan. Taste the orzo at this point to determine if additional salt and pepper should be mixed in.

Poached Salmon in Orzo Broth

1 cup hot water
6 dried shiitake mushrooms (1/2 ounce)
2 cups chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 Tbsp uncooked orzo (rosamarina) pasta
1/2-lb salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 2 pieces
1/4 cup sliced drained roasted red bell peppers
1 cup thinly sliced spinach leaves
3 Tbsp thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
2 medium green onions, sliced diagonally
Shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired

In medium bowl, pour hot water over mushrooms. Let stand about 20 minutes or until soft. Drain mushrooms, reserving liquid. Rinse with warm water; drain. Squeeze excess moisture from mushrooms. Remove and discard stems; cut caps into 1/2-inch strips.

Strain mushroom liquid through fine wire mesh sieve or coffee filter into 4-quart Dutch oven. Stir in broth and garlic. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat. Stir in orzo; reduce heat. Add salmon. Simmer uncovered about 10 minutes or until salmon flakes easily with fork. Carefully remove salmon with slotted spatula; keep warm.

Stir mushrooms, bell peppers, spinach, basil and onions into broth mixture. Cook about 2 minutes or until spinach is wilted and orzo is tender.

Place a piece of salmon in each individual bowl; spoon vegetable-orzo broth over top. Sprinkle with cheese.

Cilantro Pesto Dip

Great with crudités as a snack, dolloped on grilled fish or chicken, or tossed with cubed cooked chicken for an easy chicken salad. Also good as a sandwich spread or as a chili or burrito topping.

Prep time: 5 minutes; Total time: 15 minutes

1/3 cup walnuts
1 large bunch cilantro, leaves and stems intact
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp reduced-fat sour cream
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt

Heat oven or toaster oven to 275°F. Spread walnuts on a baking tray and bake until fragrant and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Cool slightly, about 3 minutes.

Chop cilantro, garlic, and walnuts in a food processor, about 25 seconds. With machine running, add oil in a steady stream. Add sour cream, lemon juice, and salt. Pulse a few times to combine. Serve or refrigerate until needed.

Makes 8 servings. Per 2 1/2 Tbsp serving: 100 calories, 10 total fat (1.5 g sat), 1 g carbohydrate, 1 g protein, 0 g fiber, 80 mg sodium

Handmade Country White Bread

Makes 2 loaves

Starter:
1 cup (8.375 oz) warm water (95 - 105° F)
2 tsp (.25 oz) fresh yeast (or 1 tsp active dry yeast)
1 cup (4.875 oz) all-purpose flour

Dough:
3/4 cup (5.75 oz) warm water (95 - 105° F)
3 Tbsp (2 oz) honey
4 tsp (.5 oz) fresh yeast (or 2 tsp active dry yeast)
1/4 cup + 1 tsp (2 oz) vegetable shortening
4 3/4 cups (22 oz) all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp (.5 oz) salt

To create the starter, combine the water and yeast in a medium mixing bowl. Stir to dissolve the yeast fully. Add the flour to the bowl and stir until the ingredients are fully incorporated. Cover with a cloth and ferment the starter at room temperature for 30 minutes.

For the dough, combine the water, honey and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir to dissolve the yeast fully. Add the shortening, flour, salt, and fermented starter. Mix on low speed until the dough is fully developed. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl.

Divide the dough into 2 pieces weighing about 22 oz each. Set aside any remaining dough and freeze for future use. Roll each piece of dough into a smooth ball. Place the dough on the counter or in a proofing basket and cover with a warm, damp cloth to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400° F.

Form the dough into loaves, cover with a warm, damp cloth, and proof at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Score the loaves with a sharp knife, spray with water, and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the crusts are a deep golden brown and the middle of the loaves is 190-200° F.

Remove the bread from the oven and place on a cooling rack for 30 minutes. if the bread was baked in loaf pans, remove the bread from the pans before cooling.