Monday, July 18, 2011

Ranch Popcorn & Vanilla Popcorn

From: Rochelle

Last night we had some friends over for games. I made two kinds of popcorn and both were a hit! I really liked the Ranch Popcorn. I also made Vanilla Popcorn and I have included the recipe on the bottom but I forgot to take a picture. The nice thing about popcorn is it is a whole grain, filling, and a nice snack when you have the munchies!

Ranch Popcorn

1/4 t Onion Powder
1/4 t Garlic Powder
1/4 t Dried Dill
1/2 t Chives
1/8 t Salt
1/8 t Ground Black Pepper
1-2 T Olive Oil
1/2 C of Popcorn Kernels- air popped

*If you feel like you need more flavor in your popcorn (like I wanted), just add a little bit more of each herb, and perhaps more salt. If you add more olive oil too, it makes it coat further.

In a small bowl combine everything but the popped popcorn. Mix thoroughly. Drizzle over popped popcorn. Using two spoons, toss the popcorn until evenly coated. 

Vanilla Popcorn

1/2 C Popcorn Kernels- popped (Can use more popcorn if you don't want it AS coated. It would taste just fine.)
1/2 C White Sugar
1/2 C Smart Balance Butter
2 T Corn Syrup
1/4 t Baking Soda
1 t Vanilla 
*Chopped nuts--optional 

In a sauce pan, combine sugar, butter, corn syrup, and baking soda and boil for about 2 minutes on medium heat--stirring frequently. Stir in the vanilla and pour the hot liquid over the popped popcorn. Using two spoons, toss the popcorn until evenly coated. If you want nuts, add them at this point. Serve! 

Chicken Spinach Alfredo Pizza

From: Rochelle

I already have posted on here a Chicken Alfredo Pizza, but I made this version and I had to share! I finely chopped up some spinach in my food processor and mixed it in with my alfredo sauce. Added some extra nutrients without anyone knowing. ; ) I also added turkey bacon on it which tasted heavenly! Just two modifications that really bumped up the YUMMY factor on this favorite!

Chicken Spinach Alfredo Pizza

Pizza Crust:
1 C All-Purpose Flour
2 C Whole-Wheat Flour
1 T Instant Yeast
1/2 tsp Salt
2 T Olive Oil
1 C (+ maybe 1/4 C if it is too dry) Warm Water

Mix ingredients together until well combined. You might have to add a little bit of water until it is a good moist dough. Add water 1-2 tablespoons at a time. Knead on a lightly floured surface for about 5-6 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes. Roll out dough into the size of pizza you would like. Flour the top of the dough and fold in quarters. Transfer to a greased pizza pan and carefully unfold. Let rise in a warm oven for about 10 minutes (or until desired thickness). Bake the crust at 400 degrees for about 7 minutes. Take out from the oven, put on the sauce and toppings, and then put back in the oven for about 7-10 minutes. Let cool , cut and eat!

*Tip: If you don't have a pizza cutter, try using clean scissors to cut your pizza. It works BEAUTIFULLY!*

1/2 Jar Ragu Alfredo Sauce +1 large handful of spinach finally chopped- mix together
1 Chicken breast cooked and chopped to bite-sized pieces*
4 slices of turkey bacon cooked until crispy
1/2 Onion- sliced - (I sauteed them in the same pan as the bacon ; )
Your choice of cheese, grated for on top

*I baked mine in the oven with olive oil drizzled over it, salt, pepper, a little bit of poultry seasoning, and oregano at 400 degrees for about 1 hour covered with tin foil and it tasted wonderful!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Cinnamon Banana Whole-Wheat Crepes

From: Rochelle

For the Forth of July, I wanted to make a special breakfast. Cinnamon Banana Crepes with strawberries sounded perfect for a light breakfast before a heavy BBQ filled day! These are so quick to make because you blend everything in your blender, and then they pour easily into your pan BEAUTIFULLY! And, they are whole-wheat- BONUS!

Cinnamon Banana Whole-Wheat Crepes

Yield: Approximately 10-12 crepes, depending on size.

Large Eggs
3/4 C
1/2 C
1 C
Whole-Wheat Flour
3 T
Melted Butter
Ripe Banana
1 tsp

Extra Butter to coat the pan

1. In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and pulse for 10 seconds. Alton Brown says to place the crepe batter in the refrigerator for 1 hour. This allows the bubbles to subside so the crepes will be less likely to tear during cooking. The batter will keep for up to 48 hours.I will be honest, I did not do this. . . I just cooked them right away and had no problems. 

2. Heat a small non-stick pan. Add butter to coat-very importaint! I used Smart Balance. Pour 1 ounce of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly.(I put the lid on the pan so it cooks it quicker.) Cook for 30 seconds and flip. Cook for another 10 seconds and remove to the cutting board. Lay them out flat so they can cool. Continue until all batter is gone. I think the banana and whole-wheat in these makes them a little thicker than normal crepes, but they are SO yummy!

3. After they have cooled you can stack them and store in sealable plastic bags in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for up to two months. When using frozen crepes, thaw on a rack before gently peeling apart.

*Savory Variation:  Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, spinach or sun-dried tomatoes to the egg mixture.

*Sweet Variation: Add 21/2 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of your favorite liqueur to the egg mixture.

Easy Breadsticks

From: Rochelle

I LOVE breadsticks. Olive Garden breadsticks are my biggest weakness-- yikes! These breadsticks are made with whole-wheat which makes them healthy and they are done in less than 30 mins! Enjoy!

Easy Breadsticks

1 C
Warm Water
3 T
Brown Sugar
1 t
1/4 C
3 C
Whole-Wheat Flour
2 1/2 t

  1. Mix all the ingredients together to form a dough. Knead thoroughly to fully mix the ingredients.
  2. Roll out on a floured surface and knead a few more times. Shape into a square. Roll out into a rectangle. If you roll it thinner, you will have crispier breadsticks. I like mine nice and soft and fluffy, so I like leaving mine 1/4-1/2" thick. 
  3. Using a pizza cutter, slice the dough into 3/4 " strips.
  4. You can twist the strips, but I like mine just straight with slashes cut with a knife for decoration. Let rise for 20 minutes in a warm spot. I like putting mine in a warm oven, it speed it up and makes the really rise!
  5. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Once they come out of the oven, brush with butter and sprinkle with garlic salt, parsley, and parmesan cheese.  You can also top with other seasonings like Italian dressing seasoning pouches, or actually mix an herb of your choice IN the dough like thyme or rosemary.


Ravioli with Zucchini

From: Rochelle

At this time of year, EVERYONE's garden starts producing WAY too much Zucchini than one knows what to do with. I LOVE Zucchini grilled, roasted, even raw. This dish is SO easy and SO yummy .  . and, it uses Zucchini! I got this recipe from my Fast & Healthy Cookbook (by Pillsbury). I love that cookbook! Everything I make from it is WONDERFUL and full of flavor! Enjoy this wonderful light summer dinner idea.

Ravioli with Zucchini
From Fast & Healthy, Pg. 234

1 (9 oz) pkg. refrigerated cheese or beef filled ravioli (I got some WAY yummy beef ones that were on sale!)
3 C Zucchini, julienne-cut
1/2 C green onions, sliced
1 med. red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t dried basil leaves ( I get the basil from Christopher Ranch in a jar; it tastes fresh, but lasts a  LONG time in the fridge).
1/4 t Salt
1/8 t Pepper
1/4 C Water
1/2 t low sodium chicken-flavor instant bouillon
1 oz (1/4 C) shredded reduced-fat Mozzarella Cheese

1. Cook ravioli to desired doneness as directed on package.
2. Meanwhile, spray large nonstick skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat until hot. Add zucchini, onions, bell pepper, garlic powder, basil, salt and pepper. Cook and stir 3 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.
3. Drain ravioli; rinse with hot water. Add ravioli, water and bouillon to vegetable mixture; mix gently. Cook over medium-low heat for an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally. Add cheese; toss gently to combine. 

Makes: 4 (1 Cup) servings

Ooey-Gooey Peanut Butter Brownies

From: Rochelle

I found these brownies on and I fell in love! Warning--this are not very healthy . . BUT. . . and occasional indulgence is not TOO bad IF it really is occasional. If you use fat-free sweetened condensed milk, smart balance for butter, non-fat milk, and just the egg-white, you've already cut out a LOT of fat. . SO . . try that and you don't have to feel guilty eating these! They are rich, gooey, and are actually best if you let the cool and set-up a little bit.

Ooey-Gooey Peanut-Butter Brownies

3/4 C sweetened condensed milk, divided (fat-free is fine)
1/4 C Smart Balance, melted and cooled (1/2 stick)
1/4 C non-fat milk
1  box devil’s food cake mix (18.25 oz)
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
cooking spray
1 7 oz jar marshmallow creme (about 1 3/4 C)
1/2 C peanut butter morsels (A very “heaping” 1/2 cup :)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
With an electric mixer, combine 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk, milk, butter, cake mix, and egg white.  Mixture will be very thick.  Spray 9×13 pan with cooking spray.  Press 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of the pan.  Use either floured hands, or spray your hands with cooking spray in order to press it down without having it stick to your fingers.  The layer will be thin.  Bake for 10 minutes.
Combine 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk and marshmallow creme in a bowl and combine until smooth.  Stir in PB morsels.  No one will tell if you stir in some extras.  Spread marshmallow layer over brownie layer in pan.  Carefully drop remaining brownie batter by spoonfuls over marshmallow mixture.  Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool before cutting into squares.
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