Chicken Corn Chowder – 162

What is better than a delicious, creamy, hot chowder on a cold night? How about a delicious, creamy, hot, healthy chowder on a very cold night? Coming right up….. 🙂

Chicken Corn Chowder

Chicken Corn Chowder

2 teaspoons margarine (I use Smart Balance Light)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken, cut into cubes
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon rosemary
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 – 5 red potatoes, diced
3 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
2 – 1/2 cups skim milk
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 – 14 oz. can no-salt added creamed corn
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn

Heat margarine and olive oil in large dutch oven over medium-high heat, add chicken, onion, and garlic; saute until chicken starts to brown. Season with sage, basil, thyme, rosemary and black pepper. Add potatoes, mix well. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender. Add most of the milk; reserve about 1/4 cup, increase heat and bring to a fast simmer. Mix cornstarch with 1/4 cup of reserved milk and stir into chowder. Mix well and stir until thickened. Add corn and heat for an additional 1 – 2 minutes.

Pastacos – 169

Sunday night we were getting ready to watch yet another Patriots game (which they won – 😀 ) and I need a meal that is worthy of eating during a football game (which means it needs to have a big fun factor and go nicely with Bud Light). I wanted to make tacos, but I was out of taco shells. Game time was approaching and we were all hungry, so I needed something that would come together quick. What I decided on is a combination of pasta and tacos…hence the name PAStacos. It’s quick, easy, and delicious!



1 lb. ground turkey or ground beef
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon paprika
1 – 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 Tablespoons minced jalapeno peppers
1 can fat-free refried beans
2 – 15 oz. cans no salt added diced tomatoes
1 – 8 oz. can no salt added tomato sauce
1 – 12 oz. box Rotini, cooked and drained (no salt added)
low-fat cheddar and/or jack cheese for topping

Brown turkey in olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Season with chili powder, garlic, powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, cayenne, oregano, paprika, cumin and black pepper. When the turkey is nicely browned and cooked through add jalapeno peppers, beans, tomatoes and sauce. Mix well and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add turkey mixture to cooked and drained pasta and toss well. Serve with shredded low-fat cheddar or jack cheese.

Feta Stuffed Chicken Breasts – 170

I read an interesting article in the New York Times last week entitled “While Warning About Fat, U.S. Pushes Cheese Sales” (click the title to read it). The article talks about an organization called “Dairy Management” and how they work with companies to increase their cheese sales (among other things).

Now, it’s certainly not news that corporations use consultant companies to increase sales and to create marketing strategies to push consumers to buy their products. What was disturbing about the article was that “…Dairy Management, which has made cheese its cause, is not a private business consultant. It is a marketing creation of the United States Department of Agriculture— the same agency at the center of a federal anti-obesity drive that discourages over-consumption of some of the very foods Dairy Management is vigorously promoting.

Apparently  because Americans are drinking mostly low-fat and skim milk (which is a very good thing), there is a lot of  whole milk and milk fat leftover and Dairy Management has decided that the best way to help the dairy farmers is to push cheese in every way possible. For instance, they were behind Domino’s “More Cheese, Less Dough” $12 million marketing campaign. Dairy Management wants Americans to eat more cheese and they want that cheese to be full fat.

Well, I can’t compete with their million dollar marketing campaign. All I can do is promote my ideas of low-fat and non-fat dairy products (along with whole grains, lean protein, and plenty of fruits and veggies). Then I can put these ideas into delicious recipes and show (whoever is looking) that really healthy food can be fun and yummy. So here is my recipe for a cheese stuffed chicken breast using fat-free cheese that tastes delicious and has less than 200 calories and a little over 1 gram of saturated fat per serving…take that Dairy Management!

Feta Stuffed Chicken Breasts


1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, pounded flat
1/3 cup dry whole wheat breadcrumbs
¾ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ cup crumbled fat-free feta cheese
1 teaspoon fresh basil, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh chives, chopped

Preheat oven to at 400°. Mix breadcrumbs, dried basil, pepper, and garlic powder together in small bowl. Mix feta cheese, fresh basil, and fresh chives in another bowl. Dredge one side of chicken breasts in breadcrumb mixture and lay flat, crumb side down, on a baking sheet that has been coated with cooking spray. Spoon 1/4 of the feta mixture onto each piece of chicken and fold breast in half. Spray each breast lightly with olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes.

Jambalaya – 181

Another football weekend – another Patriots victory! To me, football games and yummy, spicy food just seem to be made for each other. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that hot, spicy food pairs so beautifully with a cold beer or two! I’ve been a Patriots fan since 1985 (not a Super Bowl that Pats fans remember fondly 🙁 ). Since living in Tennessee (Titan’s Country), I’ve had to become a loyal DirecTV customer so that I can take advantage of their “NFL Sunday Ticket”. DirecTV also offers a DVR package; something I’ve come to realize that I can no longer live without. I DVR everything – shows Eric doesn’t like, so I can watch them without listening to him complain – shows I don’t like, so Eric can watch them without listening to me complain – and, of course, all of the Patriot’s games. This way, every Pat’s game is on late every Sunday afternoon. The early games (here in Central time) start at noon. I just can’t crack a beer and eat Jambalaya at noon. So now I don’t have to. We usually start the game around 5, fast forward through ALL the commercials, pause it at half-time, cook some fun food, and then watch the second half while eating a delicious dinner and a couple of icy cold Bud Lite Limes!! Of course, this does mean that I can’t watch any other games (who cares!) or look at my Facebook page; because I don’t want to know the outcome of the game before I watch it. But getting to watch the game on my time and completely eliminating the commercials is SO worth it 😉




1 Tablespoon Canola oil
1  lb. boneless skinless chicken, cubed
Creole Seasoning (recipe below)
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
2 cups okra, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon diced jalapeno peppers
1 – 6 oz. can tomato paste (no salt added)
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon Louisiana hot sauce
4 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken borth
2 – 14 1/2 oz. cans diced tomatoes (no salt added)
2 links, Tofurkey Italian Sausage
2 bags Success brown rice, cooked according to package directions

In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with a generous amount of Creole Seasoning. Add chicken to the hot oil and saute until nicely browned, but not cooked through. Add the onions, celery, bell pepper, okra, garlic and season with Creole Seasoning ; saute 4 – 5 more minutes. Add jalapeno peppers, tomato paste, bay leaf, crushed red pepper, hot sauce, broth and tomatoes to the pan. Bring to a low simmer and cook for 15 – 20 minutes. Add the Tofurkey and simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and mix in the cooked rice. Serve topped with shredded low fat Cheddar and Jack Cheese.

Creole Seasoning

3/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 Tablespoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon oregano

Combine all ingredients in a spice jar, shake well to blend.

Ground Turkey Stroganoff – 182!

I used to make this recipe with ground beef; however it is just as tasty with ground turkey. If you prefer ground beef, go for it! I would simply substitute the chicken broth with beef broth if you are going to do that. This recipe comes together super fast, basically by the time the noodles are done – you are ready to eat!


Ground Turkey Stroganoff


1 cup fat-free plain yogurt
3 Tablespoons no salt added tomato paste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pound 99% fat-free ground turkey
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 – 12 oz. package sliced mushrooms
1 cup low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 – 16 oz. package whole wheat egg noodles, cooked according to package directions (omit the salt)

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat add the ground turkey, breaking it up as it cooks. Season with basil, garlic powder, oregano, and pepper. Continue cooking until the turkey is starting to brown, but is still pink. Add the onion, garlic and saute for another 2 – 3 minutes; add the mushrooms and cook until the turkey is no longer pink and the mushrooms are browned. Pour in almost all of the chicken broth, reserve about 2 Tablespoons in a small bowl. Cook, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes. Add the cornstarch to the reserved broth and mix until dissolved. Add this mixture to pan; cook, stirring constantly for 2 – 3 more minutes or until slightly thickened. Reduce heat to very low; stir in yogurt mixture. Cook for 1 minute or until heated (do not boil). Stir in parsley. Mix with the cooked egg noodles and serve!

Honey Mustard Chicken & Rice – 187 to go…

I’m in a bind, I’m way behind,  I’m looking to make a meal….that was bad  😈  But, I have to admit I am getting behind in my quest for 200 recipes in 400 days. A few Rhett shows and an amazing birthday vacation to Clarksdale, Mississippi have contributed to my slippage. Check out Eric’s blog, with photos, here – it’s actually a series of blogs. I am determined to reach my goal, so I am going to have to step it up!

Last night my plan was to make breaded chicken strips with a honey mustard dipping sauce (which is also a great recipe that I will add at a later date). My wonderful prep cook began chopping veggies and the chicken while listening to some blues albums. Just as he started chopping, the phone rang;  it was my sister, Donna. I hadn’t talked with her since before my vacation so I took the phone in the other room and chatted for quite a while. I told her all about our awesome vacation and she told me about my great-niece’s wedding which she had attended over the weekend. After about a half hour, Eric popped his head in the door of my office to let me know that the prep was done and ready for me. I said goodbye to Donna and headed for the kitchen. Unfortunately, Eric had been paying more attention to the music he was listening to than to my prep instructions. He had given me chicken cubes instead of strips. So a quick reassessment of dinner plans was in order. I looked over a few recipe ideas I had been toying with and came up with this. I hope you all like it as much as we did!

Honey Mustard Chicken & Rice

Honey Mustard Chicken and Rice

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 Tablespoons honey
3 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 Tablespoons plain fat-free yogurt
2 bags Success brown rice, cooked according to package directions

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in skillet; add chicken. Saute chicken for 2 – 3 minutes; season with pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and cayenne. Continue sauteing until chicken is nicely browned and cooked through. Push chicken to the outside edges of the skillet; add the honey and mustard to the center and mix together until blended, then start mixing in the chicken from the edges. When completely blended, cook over very low heat for 2 – 3 minutes. Add yogurt and mix; cook just long enough to heat the yogurt and blend the flavors. Mix in the cooked rice and enjoy!

Chicken Parm Burger – 193 to go

Chicken Parm Burger

Chicken Parm Burger1 – lb 99% fat-free ground chicken or turkey
1 egg
3/4 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup low fat Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried onion flakes
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup seasoned, dried whole-wheat bread crumbs

2 teaspoons canola oil

2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon fresh basil, minced
1/4 cup low sodium, fat-free chicken broth

4 slices Provolone or Mozzarella Cheese

4 whole wheat hamburger buns

Combine ground chicken and next 7 ingredients; form into 4 patties. Place bread crumbs on a plate, dredge patties in bread crumbs.  Heat canola oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat, place patties in pan; cook for approximately 4-5 minutes on each side (until browned and cooked through). Place 1 slice of cheese on each burger when they are almost completely cooked to melt.

While the patties are cooking, place the olive oil in another frying pan over medium heat. Add tomatoes, garlic and fresh basil; mix well. Cover the pan and cook until the tomatoes start to burst. Press the tomatoes with a wooden spoon until they are mush; add the broth and cook down (uncovered), stirring constantly until slightly thickened.

Serve burgers on whole wheat buns, topped with the fresh tomato sauce.


Healthy Tacos – 195 to go!

Healthy Tacos

Healthy Tacos

1 lb. ground beef or ground turkey
1 recipe “Taco Seasoning” (see below)
1  can fat free re-fried beans
2 bags Success Brown Rice, cooked and drained
2 cans diced, no salt added tomatoes
2 Tablespoons minced jalapeno peppers

Brown ground beef or turkey add taco seasoning; mix well. Addre-fried beans and mix well, then add tomatoes and jalapenos. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat 2 – 3 minutes. Add the brown rice and mix well. Continue stirring over a low heat for a minute or so.

Serve in taco shells with low-free plain yogurt, low-free cheddar and/or Jack cheese, shredded lettuce, and salsa (look for a low-salt, low-sugar variety or make your own…recipe coming soon!).

Taco Seasoning

1 Tablespoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.


Chili – 197 left!

This recipe has so many great options and variations. Sometimes I use turkey or ground beef or meatless grounds, sometimes I add mushroom, sometimes creamed corn. I can make it at dinner time or I can make it early in the day and throw it in the crock pot. It all works!



1 lb ground turkey, ground beef or 1 12 oz package of Quorn Meatless Ground
1 green pepper, chopped (or any combination of approximately 2 peppers – colors of your choice)
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
(*optional* 1 – 8 oz. package  mushrooms, sliced)
1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon oregano
3/4 teaspoon basil
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
4 Tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 can diced tomatoes
1 – 12 oz. can tomato sauce
(*optional* 1 – 12 oz. can creamed corn)
1 cup low sodium, fat-free chicken broth
2 -15 oz cans beans (great northern beans go great with ground turkey, red kidney beans are my favorite with ground beef or the meatless grounds) rinsed and drained

In large dutch oven, saute the ground meat until lightly browned. Add the peppers, onion, mushrooms (if using mushrooms); continue sauteing for 3 -4 more minutes. Add the garlic and spices; mix well. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce and broth; mix well. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 30 – 60 minutes (even longer, if desired, the longer it simmers the spicier the flavor). Add the beans and simmer for another 15 – 20 minutes.

**NOTE** Recently I’ve been making this as a crock pot meal, it allows it to simmer for a longer time and turns out great. I follow the same directions except – while I’m sauteing the meat, veggies, and spices – I add the canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, creamed corn (if using) and beans to the crock pot. Once the meat, veggies, and spices are done in the saute pan, simply dump all of that into the crock pot with the tomato mixture and add the cup of chicken broth. You can cook it for as long as you have time. If I make this in the morning, I’ll set it to low for 7 or 8 hours – if I forget (which I usually do) and don’t start it until after lunch, I’ll set it to high for 3 – 4 hours.

Baked Feta Meatballs – Day One – Recipe One – 199 to go

And so it begins….

Baked Feta MeatballsBaked Feta Meatballs

2 cups cooked brown rice
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
5 Tablespoons reduced-fat crumbled feta cheese, divided
1/4 cup fat-free mozzarella cheese
1 lb. 99% lean ground turkey
1/4 cup egg substitute
1/4 cup dried whole-wheat bread crumbs
6 Greek olives, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced; divided
4 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/4″ slices
1/2 cup onion, sliced
1 cup marinara sauce (use a good low-sodium variety)

Preheat the oven to 450°. Coat a 13″ x 9″ baking dish with cooking spray. Scatter the zucchini, onion and half of the minced garlic in the bottom of the baking dish. In a large bowl, combine the rice, oregano, 4 Tablespoons of the feta, 2 Tablespoons of the mozzerella, ground turkey, egg substitute, bread crumbs, olives and the rest of the minced garlic. Stir until well combined. Shape the turkey mixture into about eighteen 1 1/2″ balls. Place the meatballs on top of the zucchini; drizzle with the marinara sauce. Cover tightly. Bake for about 25 minutes. Uncover and top with the remaining 1 Tablespoon of feta cheese and 2 Tablespoons of mozzarella. Let sit in the oven for a couple of minutes, or until the cheese melts.