Upside-Down Almond-Fudge Tartlets

This Cooking Light Recipes boxed calendar is going to be the death of me. I can barely wait to turn to the next recipe every other day! The excitement and anticipation wreaks havoc on my impatient body. Well, not really. But it does entice my taste buds and gets me cooking things that I probably shouldn’t have in the house because it’s bad for my hips…. because that’s straight where it goes.

Luckily, it’s Cooking LIGHT and not Cooking LOADED. I can eat an entire one of these tartlets and still stay within my points for a day (I still get a lot of points). It’s completely worth it too because these are just fantastic! You can change up the nuts on top too. Don’t like almonds? Use pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts or even peanuts. Let your taste buds be your guide. Just don’t let your taste buds to convince you to eat two of them like mine did. Tricky buds.

tart, tartlet, almond, fudge, chocolate, dessert

Upside-Down Almond-Fudge Tartlets (from Cooking Light)
Servings: 6
PointsPlus per Serving: 13 (or cut each in half for 7 PP per serving)


  • 1 cup coarse chopped almonds, toasted, 23 PP
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chocolate, 16 PP (I used what I had, which was 1 square bittersweet, 1 square unsweetened and 2 squares semi-sweet)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (I used crisco butter-flavored sticks for 19 PP)
  • 2.25 oz all-purpose flour (around 1/2 cup), 6 PP
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder, 1 PP
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs, 4 PP
  • 6 tbsp sugar (I just used 8 tbsp organic cane sugar instead of the sugar and cane syrup for 10PP)
  • 2 tbsp golden cane syrup
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract


upside down chocolate almond fudge tart, dessert1. Preheat oven to 350. Set oven rack to lowest third of oven.

2. Coat 6 mini removable-bottom tart pans with cooking spray (CL uses a 9 inch round tart pan). Sprinkle almonds in the pans, distributing evenly. **If you need to toast your almonds, just put them in a dry pan over medium heat and toast until fragrant**

3. Combine chocolate and butter in top of a double boiler. Cook over simmering water until chocolate melts, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; set aside. (I just put a smaller sauce pan on top of a bigger sauce pan with water and put the stovetop on medium. Then the chocolate/butter went into the smaller pan and melted that way. Worked like a charm!)

4. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, cocoa, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk.

5. Place eggs in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 2 minutes or until thick and pale. Gradually add sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, beating at medium speed 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Add golden cane syrup (if using) and vanilla; beat on low speed 1 minute or until blended. Add chocolate mixture; beat 1 minute or until blended. Add flour mixture, and beat on low speed just until combined.

6. Pour batter over nuts into prepared pans, spreading evenly. Bake in lower third of oven at 350 for 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out with a few moist crumbs (20 if you’re using the 9 inch tart pan). Invert tart onto a serving platter. Top with a scoop of ice cream if you like for some added deliciousness!

Need to serve these at a later time? Nuking them for about 25 seconds will do the trick. You can also try topping them with a scoop of ice cream. I’d recommend vanilla, butter pecan or coffee flavored. Mine stayed good in the fridge for almost a week, so yours should too!

Pork and Veggie Enchiladas and a New Bike!

Click here for this Shrimp Enchiladas Verde recipe by “Eat, Live, Run”!

I GOT A BIKE!!  Jess and I were finally able to drive up to the REI where it was shipped to and picked it up on Saturday.  Then we drove back the same day… which made it a 6 hour drive round-trip.  But it was totally worth it.  She’s a beauty!  Pictures will come later.  We went for our first bike ride together the next morning instead of going to church and it felt just as good as a spiritual refresher.  We did almost seven miles, which isn’t much on a recumbent bike in a gym, but certainly is with slight hills and lots of cracks in the pavement!  We’re both getting squishy seats soon because, well, you know why.  The feeling of a numb coochie is slightly unnerving. (TMI?)

After the biking, we went swimming!  The water was perfect.  The pool had just opened and no one else was in there, so Jess and I dove right in to cool, cool water.  With the crazy heat we had the last couple weeks, every time we got in the water it felt like we were getting into warm bath water.  Gross.  This was the first time it truly felt like a pool.  Awesome.

Click here for this Zucchini Beef Enchiladas recipe from “Recipe Girl”!

Since I knew we’d both be biking in to work the next day, I wanted to make lunches ahead of time so I could leave the house before the heat index rose too much.  I also wanted to use up some of the veggies I’d had in the fridge for a couple weeks from our local CSA, The Wingfield Farm.  I didn’t have the typical mexican blend cheese in the fridge, so I improvised!  In fact, these enchiladas are full of so much delicious flavor that the tiny bit of feta cheese I put in was really more of an afterthought.  So, these enchiladas can definitely be dairy/lactose-free for those of us who fall into that category.  YAY!  And if you happen to be vegan or vegetarian, take out the pork, use another veggie like corn, potato or kale (just make sure to add a bit of the spices to the veggies that I list for seasoning the pork) and this can be a vegan dish as well!  I love it went that happens :)

This is also my recipe of the week for my cousin’s CSA newsletter.  It’ll be highlighting the tomatoes, garlic, onion and summer squash that everyone will be getting in their baskets.  Score!

Pork and Veggie Enchiladas
Servings: 4 (3 enchiladas per serving, plus fall-out filling!)
PointsPlus Per Serving: 10 (or 7 PP for 2 enchiladas each)

Click here for this Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas recipe by “The Novice Chef”!


  • 8 oz pork tenderloin, trimmed, 10 PP
  • 12 extra thin La Mission corn tortillas, 12 PP
  • 3 cups diced zucchini/yellow squash
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed, 7 PP
  • 3 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 3 jalapenos (or less if you don’t want it spicy), diced
  • 3 tsp olive oil, 4 PP
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • spices to season pork (I used ground coriander, ancho chile powder, garlic powder, sea salt and a little adobo powder)
  • 1/3 cup crumbled reduced fat feta cheese, 2 PP (optional)
  • 2 packages Frontera Verde Enchilada sauce, 6 PP (or 2 cups of another green enchilada sauce of your choice)

1. Get out a cast iron skillet and turn to medium heat. Season your pork on both sides and cook on each side for about 5-7 minutes or until done.

2. While it’s cooking, get out a medium sized mixing bowl. Rinse the black beans and pour in. Dice up your tomatoes, chop your cilantro and dice your jalapenos and put those in the bowl as well.

3. Now, dice up your zucchini and onion and set aside in a separate bowl. Heat up a medium-sized non-stick pan to medium low heat and pour in 1 tsp of the olive oil and garlic. Let the garlic get fragrant for about 15 seconds and then put in the zucchini and onion. Cook for about 3 minutes or until just tender, then put in the bowl with the other veggies and beans.

Click here for this Thai Chicken Enchiladas recipe by “How Sweet It Is”!

4. Take your cooked pork and let it sit on a chopping block for a few minutes to cool. Then, slice into thin strips (against the grain, preferably) and dice each of those strips. Combined the diced pork with the other filling.

5. Now you can turn your oven on to 375. Take the same non-stick pan you used for the zucchini and onion pour in the enchilada sauce and the last 2 tsp of olive oil and stir up (if you have non-fat greek yogurt, I sometimes stir in a spoonful of it as well to make the sauce creamier). Turn heat to low so that it just gets a bit warm.

6. Take out a 9×13 glass pan and spray with Pam. Organize your counters so you have 12 tortillas on your left, pan of sauce to the right of that, glass dish next to that and the bowl of filling on your right (and a small bowl with the feta if you’re using it next to that). This setup seems to work the best for me. Now, take one tortilla and dip into sauce so that both sides have been covered. Put in the glass dish, sprinkle in a little feta and spoon in a generous scoop of the filling. Roll tortilla, keeping the folded ends on the bottom and shove it into the corner of the pan. Repeat for the next 11 tortillas. You should end up with two rows of six enchiladas, a bunch of leftover filling and about 1 cup of leftover sauce. Scoop the leftover filling into the middle of the dish between the rows of the enchiladas and pour the leftover sauce all over the enchiladas.

7. Rinse your hands and then put into the oven for 35-40 minutes. Take out, top with a little greek yogurt or guacamole or salsa and enjoy!

Agave-Lime Salmon

Have you ever felt that life is so overwhelming that you don’t even want to cook? Yeah, that was me yesterday. Luckily, I have a great fiancee who takes care of me and buys me flowers and food magazines when I’m feeling stressed! But I’m feeling just peachy now, so no worries! On to funner topics of conversation.

We found a reception venue! Oh man, so excited. Now we can finally order the invites, finish our registries, set up tastings and enjoy the little details. Oh, and our awesome “event specialist” looks like Adele and has a daughter named Adele… AND we gave my mom an Adele CD for Mother’s Day. Umm… awesome?

We also decided to go to New Orleans for a mini honeymoon! So if you all have some suggestions on where to go or where to stay for two people (and possibly a doggie) who love food, art, music and the outdoors, please let us know!

Speaking of food, here’s a tasty recipe that I tried a couple weeks ago. We had bought some beautiful looking salmon from Whole Foods (river sockeye salmon, to be exact) and knew that we had to do something delicious with it. I searched through my cookbooks (since they’re finally unpacked!) and found a recipe in Good Housekeeping Fast Weeknight Favorites that I picked up randomly at Kohls. Best five dollar book purchase EVER merely because of this recipe.

Jess said it was the best fish she’s ever eaten in her life. And she doesn’t really like fish. So, that was quite a statement. I completely agree with her. And I’m totally making this again. This is a PERFECT summer dish and it’s clearly one that will impress anyone that you serve it to! Enjoy!

Beautiful Photo by Jess!

Agave-Lime Salmon (adapted from Good Housekeeping’s Honey-Lime Salmon recipe)
Servings: 4
PointsPlus Per Serving: 7


  • 4 6-oz wild caught salmon fillets or one large 1.5 lb salmon fillet, 23 PP
  • 3 tbsp agave nectar, 5 PP (they used honey, but either works just fine)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp lime zest (just get a fresh lime for this, it’s essential!)
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp hot water

1. First off, make sure that you are using fresh salmon fillets, as in “bought from the store that day and haven’t been frozen”. They will give you the best flavor. I used a river sockeye salmon fillet from Whole Foods. Expensive, but worth it! If you can’t afford that or you just have frozen, that will be fine too, but make sure they are completely defrosted.

2. In cup, mix honey, cumin, coriander, salt, lime peel, pepper, and 1 teaspoon very hot water until blended.

3. With tweezers, remove any bones from salmon. With hands, rub honey-spice mixture all over salmon.

4. Place salmon on grill over medium heat and cook 10 minutes or just until salmon turns opaque throughout and flakes easily when tested with a fork, carefully turning salmon over once with wide metal spatula. Or you can use a cast iron pan and just prep it with 2 tsp of canola oil over medium-low heat and cook the salmon about 4-5 minutes per side.

5. Sprinkle salmon with cilantro and serve with lime wedges.

Spicy Tuna Veggie Salad

You might have read it on my FB page, but Jess and I are doing our own round of The Game On! Diet.  We’ve only got 174 days until we get married!  And that means we’ve only got 174 days to shed some more weight to look even more dazzling in our outfits.  Plus, we made the deal extra sweet.  The total number of points we could get combined is 6800.  If we score at least 6650 points combined, we’re getting an iPad!  AND if we get 6775 points combined, we’re getting a speaker system for it.  We’re totally gonna win this thing!

It’s only day two, but I already feel the benefits of eating smaller meals five times a day.  I have more control.  Weight Watchers always keeps me on track with points, but I’d been finding myself eating all of much lunch food and most of my snacks in one sitting rather than stretching it out throughout the work day.  With this plan, I am drinking 3 liters of water each day, exercising at least 20 minutes every day, not snacking at ALL every day, and even working on some new and old habits.  Like last time, I decided that my old habit to break would be playing games on my phone once I lay down to go to sleep.  No more of that!  And my new habit this time is to straighten up the apartment or pack boxes (since we’re moving to a new place next month) for at least 20 minutes a day.  I’m even starting to prepare more of my meals in the evenings to save on time in the mornings.

Last night, I cooked a fancy schmancy dinner in less than 20 minutes: Grilled Balsamic Marinated Tri-Tip Steak (balsamic dressing and steak in a bag in the fridge for 2 days which I grilled on a cast iron grill pan), Roasted Asparagus (sprayed with canola spray and sprinkled with salt and pepper), and Baked Red Potatoes (which I cooked in the microwave on the baked potato setting).  It was perfect and within the constraints of the plan!  After relaxing for a bit, Jess mentioned that she still had one more meal left to eat for the day and she was in the mood for my Chinese Noodle Soup with Chicken.  So we made that together!  Instead of rice noodles, we used soba noodles which are made with buckwheat, salt and water.  They are actually really good!  We also put in chicken, carrots, scallions and rabini.  I didn’t get any last night since I had already eaten all my meals, but I have some today for one of my meals and I’m looking forward to it!

I also hardboiled a dozen eggs for meals and made us each some Spicy Tuna Veggie Salad.  And that is the recipe I’ll be sharing with you today.  It’s inspired by a recipe that I saw in the Game On! Diet book, but I changed so many things in it that I feel comfortable calling it my own recipe.  It’s a new twist on tuna salad without the pickle relish and mayo.  Instead, this is chocked full of veggies and the dressing is made from two different mustards and some olive oil.  It’s full of flavor and it fills me up!  I like to eat it over a bed of romaine lettuce, but you can also eat it without anything else or with some wheat crackers.  And if you want to change up the veggies that are in it, you can do that too.  That’s how I came up with my combination!  Jess’ was a little different than mine (I left the onions out of hers and put more dijon and less spicy mustard).

Spicy Tuna Veggie Salad (inspired by Bill’s Spicy Tuna Salad from The Game On! Diet book)
Servings: 1
PointsPlus Per Serving: 7 (since all the veggies are fresh, I don’t count the extra 2 PP that the WW Recipe Builder would add on for them)


  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 1/2 small tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, diced
  • 1 can water-packed tuna, regular or white, 5 PP
  • 1/4 cup kidney beans, 1 PP (or a different bean of your choice)
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp spicy mustard
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp olive oil, 1 PP

1. Put all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir with a spoon. Serve it whenever you’re hungry! It should keep in the fridge for up to one week.

Asian Breaded Albacore

I did something fishy. And I don’t mean mysterious or questionable… I mean tasty! When Jess and I were in Ohio a couple weekends ago, we made sure to stop at Trader Joe’s to fill up on all the grocery items we can’t get locally – nicely priced organic fruits and veggies, better cheeses, organic frozen meals, coconut cookie thins, etc. As we were about to check out, Jess turned to me and said,

“Don’t you want to get some frozen fish steaks?” I said, “YEAH!”, because in fact, I did. If there was a Whole Foods around, we’d be getting fresh ones, but the second best option is frozen, so I picked out a pair of beautiful albacore tuna steaks.

Then we got home and I looked around for a recipe that sounded both succulent and satisfying for my taste buds, but not too crazy for Jess’. The packaging contained a recipe for lemon-pepper breaded steaks, but I’m not so fond of that combination. It’s overdone with fish. And there was a recipe I found in one of my cookbooks for sesame teriyaki tuna steaks, but I knew I wanted some panko breading on there. Conclusion? Make up my own recipe! So I did. And it was wonderful.

I’d never had albacore tuna in any other form than chunked and packed in a can with water (and if you’re curious about the difference between albacore tuna and regular tuna, click here). These steaks looked too beautiful to pass up. I marinated them in an Island Teriyaki sauce for an hour and then breaded them with panko bread crumbs and asian spices, but the best part was pan-frying them in just a couple teaspoons of sesame oil! It really brought the flavors together. It’s a beautifully flavored dish that doesn’t overpower the palate with too much spice or too much fish. And it’s just as good when it’s reheated!

Pan-fried perfection

Asian Breaded Albacore
Servings: 2-4
PointsPlus Per Serving: 7 PP for 2, 5 PP for 3, 3 PP for 4


  • 13 oz fresh albacore tuna steaks, 8 PP (I bought a pack of two from the frozen section of Trader Joes)
  • 2 tbsp teriyaki sauce, 1 PP
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, 2 PP
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp sesame oil, 2 PP

1. First thing you want to do is put your fish in a glass dish and pour the teriyaki sauce over top to marinate it in the fridge for about an hour.

2. While it’s marinating, combine all the ingredients from the bread crumbs through ground coriander in another glass dish.

3. Once your fish is done marinating, take it out of the fridge and set it on the counter. Warm up the sesame oil in a skillet on medium heat. Bread all sides of the fish with the panko bread crumbs and then place into the hot skillet.

4. Cook each side for 2-3 minutes, 2 minutes for rare, 3 minutes for medium-rare. Rare should be slightly pink in the center. Once done, serve and enjoy!

If you want to pair it with a tasty dipping sauce, mix together 2 tbsp light mayo, 1 tbsp sriracha sauce and 1/2 tbsp lemon juice. It’s the perfect combination of flavors!

Spicy Lamb and Potato Stew

Life has been busy!  I apologize for the lack of blogging.  I’ll be getting back on that now.  Today I’m sharing a recipe that I tried in the colder months, but figured I’d share with you now before it’s WAY too hot for a stew!  Later this week – another frittata, protein smoothies and other tasty goodness.

This recipe comes from The Best Ever Indian Cookbook, just like most of my other Indian recipes.  Jess and I both really enjoyed this, especially since it actually DOES have a kick to it!  The flavors just blend really well together.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Topped off with a little chobani and we’re good to go!

Spicy Lamb and Potato Stew
Servings: 3
PointsPlus Per Serving: 7


  • 8 oz lamb leg or loin, cubed, 6 PP
  • 1 tbsp oil, 4 PP
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 fresh green chile, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock, 1 PP
  • 2 1/2 cups raw potato, cut in large chunks, 7 PP
  • chopped fresh cilantro to garnish

1. Remove any visible fat from the lab and cut the meat into neat 1-inch cubes.

2. Heat the oil in a large heavy pan and fry the onion, bay leaves, chile and garlic for 5 minutes.

3. Add the meat and cook for about 6-8 minutes, until lightly browned.

4. Add the ground coriander, round cumin, ground turmeric, chili powder, and salt and cook the spices for 3-4 minutes, stirring all the time to prevent the spices from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

5. Add the tomatoes and stock and simmer for 5 minutes. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 1 hour.

6. Add the bitesized chunks of potato to the simmering mixture, stir in, and cook for another 30-40 minutes, or until the meat is tender and much of the excess juices have been absorbed, leaving a thick, but minimal sauce. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and serve piping hot.