Creamy Butternut Squash Baked Pasta

Angela:

Although my dairy allergy would prevent me from divulging in this dish, it still looks amazing enough to share! Some of my FB followers asked for a tasty, different butternut squash recipe that could possibly be snuck under a spouse’s nose without them noticing that it’s actually healthy. This recipe is exactly that. Enjoy!

Originally posted on Eat Healthy Be Happy:

Oh, my friends. This dish is wonderful. It’s like fall in my house (even though it’s only July). I received a butternut squash in my box this week and knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. Make the Winter Squash Lasagna from Deborah Madison’s book Vegetarian Suppers. I had a bag of whole wheat pasta hanging out in my pantry so I decided to try a baked pasta instead of the lasagna and this is what resulted.

Creamy Butternut Squash Baked Pasta with Kale and Walnuts | Eat Healthy Be Happy

In the book, Madison serves the lasagna on a bed of garlicky kale, so I incorporated the kale and extra garlic into the baked pasta. The end result is very good, the buttery textured squash melts in your mouth and the sweetness from the squash evens out the bite of the kale. The creamy sauce brings with just that little “Hmm, what is that?” (As Rachel Ray would say… or…

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Ricotta Chard Pasta Sauce

This weekend, Jess had a taste of what it might feel like to be pregnant… backwards. Confusing? Well, let me explain.

Jess took this lovely photo of me cheesing it up right before we biked back home with all our farmers market purchases!

For some God-forsaken reason, my body woke up at 5:26 am on Saturday morning. Then Max got up and then Jess woke up because everyone left her. What do you do that early on a Saturday? You bike to the local cafe for a cup of iced coffee and then you bike over to the Farmers Market and get your pick of the beautiful produce, that’s what!!

We picked up 1.5 pounds of green beans, 1 lb of yellow squash, 1 ginormous zucchini, 1 bouquet of flowers, 1 lb of lettuce, 1 quart each of yellow peaches and fingerling potatoes and one 7 lb watermelon. It didn’t matter that we only had bikes to get back home; we wanted that watermelon. So, Jess put it in her backpack and strapped it on. The first thing she said was, “I feel like I’m pregnant, but backwards.” Hah! True true. And then we biked home. She could feel it in her back and her knees, but she got it home! I faithfully rode behind her to make sure she was okay (although it could be because she’s just faster than me in general) and luckily we arrived home without incident, but definitely with a little extra sweat!

Today she enjoyed a huge bowl of it all to herself, which she thoroughly earned! Thank you, my love, for a great effort and tasty reward :)

And now I give you a new recipe that I made up for the weekly CSA newsletter I contribute to! This highlights the swiss chard, garlic and herbs that they’ll be receiving in their baskets. Jess and I have made numerous versions of pasta sauces and this combines the best of the veggies with just the right kind of creamy cheesiness. If you don’t have swiss chard, you can substitute spinach and it’ll taste just as good!

Semi-Homemade Ricotta Chard Pasta Sauce
Servings: 8
PointsPlus Per Serving: 3

I think her bike likes my bike. Good thing too because the feeling is mutual :)

Ingredients

  • 1 jar roasted garlic pasta sauce, any brand (preferably Meijer Organic), 8 PP
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, divided, 4 PP
  • 3-4 handfuls fresh swiss chard
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium zucchini/squash finely diced
  • 1/3 cup part-skim ricotta cheese, 3 PP
  • 2 tbsp light butter (optional), 4 PP
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1-2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp allspice

Directions
1. Warm up 2 tsp of the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add minced garlic, onion, basil, parsley and red chili flakes and cook until fragrant (around 2 minutes). Then, add swiss chard and cook down for about 4-6 minutes. Once it’s cooked down and onions are translucent, transfer to a food processor and chop it all up until almost pureed, but not quite to a smoothie texture. You still want some texture!

2. Now, get out a big sauce pot and warm up the last tsp of olive oil and the butter (if you’re using it) and put the finely diced zucchini in. Add the dried oregano and a pinch of the salt and pepper you’re using just to flavor it up a little. Cook for about 3 minutes and then pour in both the jar and can of tomato sauces. Add the ricotta cheese, salt, pepper, nutmeg and allspice and stir until well blended.

3. Once it’s warm (around 5-8 minutes or so), add the chard/onion puree and stir well. Cook for about 8 minutes on medium low heat, test it and then add salt/pepper according to taste, and then lower heat and let simmer for around 10-20 minutes. The longer you simmer, the better the flavor!

4. Serving size is around 1/2 cup. Pour over your favorite noodle, use in a lasagna or on a meatball sub, put on steamed veggies or even straight over lettuce or sprouts! It might be good enough that you’ll want to eat it with a spoon :)

Chobani Giveaway Winner and a Delicious New Recipe!

WOW! I received 45 entries for the Chobani giveaway and the lucky winner was…

Congratulation, Melissa!  She had six entries, so she was bound and determined!  Melissa, please send me an email with your contact information so that I can get that case of Chobani to you!

In true Random.org fashion, it chose the number 13, which was actually pretty perfect since I became the Featured Blogger on the 13th day of the month!  Kewl.  Thank you to everyone else for participating and don’t be disheartened!  I’m having a Popchips giveaway soon!

Now, I was going to post a recipe for the tzatziki sauce that I made, but it still needs a little perfecting, so that will be done later this week.  But I’m not leaving you with NOTHING!

My girlfriend and I have made a few big purchases in the last month, so we’ve been budgeting like crazy, thanks to You Need a Budget.  It’s this awesome software that’s keeping us in line and on track.  Needless to say, buying meat isn’t a priority right now, lol.  We have so many vegetables from our awesome CSA that vegetarian dishes are working their way into our weekly menus.  I’ve actually enjoyed the challenge.  I’m definitely one of those people who could never be a full-time vegetarian.  I like my meat!  I like the texture and the protein and the flavor… so, I’ve had to be creative.

This recipe was inspired by Budget Bytes.  She made zucchini pizza boats and they looked so appealing that I took it and ran with it!  I wanted to do it with more of an Italian style, so that’s what I did.  What happened next… was pure deliciousness.  I didn’t miss the meat and my girlfriend said she didn’t even miss the noodles; if you know ANYTHING about my girlfriend, it’s that she loooooooves her noodles!  Noodles are a weekly occurrence in our home, so that statement is a true testament to how exquisite this dish was!  Plus, it’s made with stuff that you probably have in your kitchen right now.

OHMYGOODNESSGETINMAHBELLYNOWPLEASETHANKSNOMNOMNOM

Italian Stuffed Zucchini
Servings: 2 (or 4 if you are serving sides)
PointsPlus Per Serving: 8 (or 4 if you have 4 portions)

Ingredients

  • 1 ginormous zucchini (a 3-5 lb one will do!)
  • 1 cup reduced fat spaghetti sauce, 3 PP
  • 1 oz parmesan cheese (fresh if you have it), 3 PP
  • 1 oz feta cheese (i used full fat cheeses), 2 PP
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs (any kind will do), 5 PP
  • 1/4 cup diced sweet/yellow onion
  • 1 tsp olive oil, 1 PP
  • 1 tbsp italian seasoning (parsley, basil, oregano)
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 425.

2. Slice zucchini in half and scoop out the insides, leaving about 1 cm – 1/2 inch all the way round. Put insides in a bowl and set aside.

3. Lightly spray the bottom of a roasting pan with Pam and place 2 zucchini halves in, insides up.

4. Heat up tsp oil in a small non-stick pan and saute onion. Once sauteed, put into bowl and set aside.

5. Get out a chopping board and roughly chop up insides of zucchini and then place back in the bowl. Add spaghetti sauce, onions, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, italian seasoning, bread crumbs, cheese and a little salt and pepper if you’d like. Mix together.

6. Spoon mixture into zucchini halves until evenly distributed. Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese over top and place in oven.

7. Cook for 35-50 minutes depending on how firm you want your zucchini to be. Serve and enjoy!

Now, make sure not to cut off the ends of the zucchini. In my picture, I have one side cut off because I used part of it for a different recipe a few days before. The zucchini was that big.  You can use smaller zucchinis if you want.  Maybe two normal-large ones.  The wider the better, too!  You want your zucchini to be like a little boat so that none of the insides drip out. Seriously, this dish is AMAZING. You won’t want any little bits dripping out!

Boca Cheeseburger Salad

Sometimes life leaves you without your buns. Suck it up and make a salad! HAH.

No, that’s not very nice. As often as we’d like to tell others to “suck it up and deal with it” for a plethora of different obstacles in life, it’s not always the best way to go about helping others work through the frustration and get to the other side. I don’t always react positively to that advice, so why would I expect others to? Let’s try this again.

Sometimes life leaves you without your buns. Turn it into an opportunity to try something new and different! Woot woot. And that’s exactly what I did. I ran out of hamburger buns and I was craving a burger, so I had to be creative. When you can’t put something into sandwich form, you can usually turn it into a salad and it’s just as tasty and definitely as satisfying. Instead of light mayo on a bun, I used ranch in the salad. Instead of tomato on a bun (since I didn’t have any), I put corn in the salad. And it was SUPER tasty.

Not the highest quality photo, but it was an awesome salad!

Boca Cheeseburger Salad
Servings: 1
PointsPlus Per Serving: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 cups salad greens
  • 1 boca burger, cooked and cut into pieces, 2 PP
  • 1 slice 2% american cheese ripped into little pieces (or 1 oz shredded lowfat cheddar), 1 PP
  • 2/3 cup corn kernels, 2 PP
  • 1 tbsp light ranch, 1 PP
  • 1 tbsp your favorite mustard (i used habanero mustard)
  • chopped fresh tomato (optional)

Directions
1. Make sure corn kernels are defrosted (if they didn’t come from a can) and that boca burger is all cooked and cut up. Then mix all ingredients together and enjoy!

Easy peasy. Add different ingredients if you like. I would have added tomato, but I didn’t have any :( If you’re willing to add an extra point on there, cook up a slice of bacon and cut it up to add to the salad too! Or maybe sauteed onions or zucchini. Whatever you’d put on an actual cheeseburger, you can add to this salad. I think it’s safe to say that almost ANY sandwich could be made into a salad! (except for an ice cream sandwich….)

Angela’s Alfredo Sauce

Yum doesn’t even begin to describe this.

I am a proud Italian (amongst other things). I love our history of food and family, of sauce and noodles, of loud fights that include lots of hands in faces intense expressions of emotion and the like. I am NOT proud of the fact that it wasn’t until the age of 25 that I ever attempted making my own alfredo sauce.

All the pastas and sauces I’ve made and eaten and still I couldn’t have even told you what it consisted of!?! Bad Italian, bad.  Unacceptable.  So, when a non-Italian friend made some for me and I realized how easy it was, (and how much better I could make it taste) I decided to give it a whirl. Well, first, I smacked myself in the face for not making it sooner and then I gave it a whirl. And let me tell you…. I nailed it. I TOTALLY nailed it.

I used heavy whipping cream, a LOT of butter and fresh parmesan cheese.  Every time I made it, people went crazy with delight… and then they had stinky gas later (a bit too much dairy and garlic?)  Okay, I’m usually the one who has the gas, especially when I’ve eaten two servings of garlic, buttery, creamy, cheesy goodness.  Lordy lord.  But this alfredo sauce was WORTH it.  That’s saying something.

Needless to say, I haven’t made full-fat alfredo sauce since I started WW.  In fact, the average alfredo sauce is 9 PP per 1/3 cup!  YIKES!  I can only imagine how many points I was eating in one sitting.  So, I made it a mission this past month to perfect a skinny-fied version.  The first attempt wasn’t right because I didn’t stir it enough and let it boil and bubble and it ruined the texture.  The second attempt was great texture-wise, but it was too spicy for my girlfriend (I swear the red pepper flakes jumped into the pot all on their own).  But this last attempt was perfect!  I nailed it again.  It had the perfect texture, just the right amount of spice and it was soooo tasty!  I poured it over veggie spiral noodles, chicken and broccoli and enjoyed every last bite.   And I promise you will too!

Veggie spirals, chicken, broccoli and my alfredo sauce. Perfection!

Angela’s Alfredo Sauce
Servings: 4 (1/3 cup per serving)
PointsPlus Per Serving: 3 (a helluva lot better than 9!)

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp light butter, 4 PP
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups 1% or 2% milk, 5 PP
  • 1/2 cup grated reduced-fat parmesan cheese, 4 PP
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with a little water

Directions
1. Get out a sauce pan and turn onto medium-low heat (around a 4 of 10) and put butter in pan to start melting. After it’s melted a little bit, put in garlic, basil, oregano, parsley and red pepper flakes. Mix around and let simmer for about a minute or so. (This helps the flavor of the herbs and garlic to be released.)

2. Pour in the milk. Grab a whisk (your main tool for this sauce) and mix in the parmesan cheese. Let all the flavors blend and then after a few minutes, mix in the cornstarch.

3. The key to the perfect texture is to keep whisking it. Don’t let it boil, otherwise the milk with start to curdle and you’ll end up with a grainy texture to your sauce. Keep whisking and after about five minutes, the alfredo will start to thicken. Continue whisking. Taste test it and adjust to your liking.

4. Pour over any noodle or vegetable and enjoy!

I’ve recently read about people enjoying red sauce over broccoli slaw.  I can’t say that idea excites me, but I can DEFINITELY say that I would eat this alfredo sauce over broccoli slaw!  Shit, I’d eat it over corn on the cob it’s that good.  So, try it over some of those steamed veggies or spaghetti squash or broccoli slaw.  You really can’t go wrong with cheesy anything over veggies.

Oh, and I reclaimed my “Italian” card :)

Bacon Tomato Cheese Frittata

Click here to go to this recipe from “Point-less” Meals!

For someone who hates monotony, breakfast can be…. frustrating. On average, you have about five options: cereal, something with eggs, pancakes/waffles, yogurt, meat-product of some kind. That doesn’t even cover a whole week! So, if you want to make breakfast less monotonous, you really have to be creative (different kinds of omelets doesn’t count. It’s still an OMELET.)

Some of my awesome Reluctant Foodies and I struggle with breakfasts, so I went on a search for a recipe that looked tasty and wouldn’t be too boring… and I think I found one! This one DOES have eggs, but it’s no omelet. It’s a frittata. Now THAT’S a fun word! When you tell someone you had a frittata for breakfast, they most likely will not think “BORING.” This recipe comes from the “Point-less” Meals blog. I haven’t had a chance to make it yet, but it’s in my plans for this week!

Click here to go to this recipe from Chaos in the Kitchen!

When you are making this, remember that you need an OVEN-PROOF skillet pan. No melty skillet handles, please. Also, this is just bacon, tomato and cheese. If you don’t like one of those ingredients or you don’t have one on hand, you can always substitute it for something else. Not a fan of turkey bacon? Try canadian bacon or regular bacon (just recount the points). No tomato? My mom would put in asparagus! I might put in sauteed spinach or even some broccoli. Don’t like onion? Just take it out and add some garlic powder to the mix or add scallions (they aren’t quite as oniony). And as always, I recommend adding some Goya Adobo spice to pump up the flavor!  This is especially helpful when trying to break up the monotony.  I’ll probably add some of that, a bit of extra garlic powder and some chili powder when I make this.  Yum!

Bacon Tomato Cheese Frittata
Servings: 4
PointsPlus Per Serving: 5

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs, 6 PP
  • 3 egg whites, 1 PP
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup skim milk, 2 PP
  • 8 slices turkey bacon, 6 PP
  • 1 cup fat-free shredded cheddar cheese, 4 PP

Click here to go to this recipe from Closet Cooking!

Directions
1. Preheat broiler.

2. Heat a 10″ oven-proof nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray. (OVEN-PROOF, otherwise it will melt!)  Put in the onion and cooked for 2 minutes.  Then roughly chop up the turkey bacon and put in the pan with the onion.  Finish cooking for about 3 more minutes.  Add in tomato and cook for another minute.

3. Whisk together eggs, salt, pepper and milk.  Stir in cheese.  Pour into skillet over the fillings and cook on medium heat until the bottom is set and firm (8-10 minutes).

4. Place under broiler for 3 minutes or until top is set.  Cut into 4 wedges.  Enjoy!

Angela’s Mac ‘n Cheese

Creamy, Cheesy Gooooodness.

There’s something quite wonderful about homemade mac ‘n cheese that makes it beat boxed mac ‘n cheese every single time. Maybe it’s the special blend of cheeses that you see melting together in front of your eyes instead of that orange powder that magically turns into a cheese product. Maybe it’s the beautiful crust of browned carby goodness on top. Whatever it is, it’s real and it’s real good. What’s NOT good is the massive amount of points that come along with such a great cheesy dish!

This is my very first attempt at homemade mac and cheese and I must say, it’s quite good. It’s a softer, white cheese based mac n cheese, but it’s got a bit of a kick! What food that I make does NOT have a kick? Seriously. You’d think my fridge would be crumpled on the floor with all the kicks I give to the food in it ;) I used whole wheat noodles and low-fat cheeses to lower the points and make it a bit healthier. So, here’s my recipe for you to enjoy. I hope my kicks don’t knock you off your feet!

Angela’s Baked Mac ‘n Cheese
Servings: 6 (1 cup each)
PointsPlus Per Serving: 10

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Sargento RF Mexican blend shredded cheese, 7 PP
  • 1/8 cup Sargento RF Italian blend shredded cheese, 1 PP
  • 3 slices RF sharp cheddar cheese slices, 4 PP
  • 6 oz Velveeta pepper jack cheese, 7 PP
  • 2 oz grated parmesan cheese, 3 PP
  • 2 oz grated romano cheese, 3 PP
  • 2 1/2 cups dry whole wheat organic rigatoni, 13 PP
  • 1 1/2 cups dry whole wheat organic rotelle/spirals, 7 PP
  • 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, 3 PP
  • 2 1/2 cups low-fat milk, 7 PP
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs, 3 PP
  • 1 tbsp land-o-lakes light butter with canola oil, 1 PP

Directions
1. Cook macaroni according to package directions, omitting salt.

2. Preheat oven to 375.

3. Place flour in a large saucepan.  Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended.  Cook over medium heat until thick (about 8 minutes), stirring constantly.  Add cheeses; cook 3 minutes or until cheese melts, stirring frequently.  Remove cheese mixture from hea; stir in cooked macaroni and salt.

4. Spoon mixture into a 2-quart casserole coated with cooking spray.  Combine bread crumbs with butter; stir until well blended.  Sprinkle over macaroni mixture.  Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

You can use your own blend of cheeses if you want to use up what is in your fridge.  Just make sure you have a nice blend!  That’s what I did.  The recipe I based this off of used a lot more cheddar and processed cheese.  Just make sure to count the points!  And, of course, the bread crumbs on top are optional.  I baked this in a casserole dish with the lid on, so the bread crumbs didn’t actually get browned and crunchy, so I’d recommend doing this in a bigger glass or ceramic dish.

Macaroni and Cheese on Foodista

Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas

Photo Courtesy of: Johnell B.

We officially have our first recipe submitted by a reader!!! She’s a friend of mine who is experiencing some great success on Weight Watchers with a lot of hard work and determination, so kudos to Johnell B.!!

Johnell and I had some back and forth conversation trying to come up with a good recipe for enchiladas since she was going to be making some for a dinner with her sweetie. She ended up making these, and since she’s just wonderful, she took a picture and sent me the recipe! They look AMAZING, so I’m going to make them soon. You should too!

Johnell’s Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas
Servings: 6
PointsPlus Per Serving: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded (she poached the chicken in season water, but baked is good too), 11 PP
  • 6 non fat flour tortillas, 8 PP
  • 1 can organic green enchilada sauce, 5 PP
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp red pepper/cayenne
  • 1 small can chopped green chiles
  • 1 can diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup low fat shredded cheese

Directions
1. Using cooking spray, cook onions, garlic, cumin, red pepper and green chiles a few minutes. Add chicken and tomatoes. Simmer.

2. Dip a tortilla in some green sauce then put about a sixth of the chicken mix in the center, top with about 1 tbsp cheese per roll up, place seam side down in pan. Do this for all tortillas and filling.

3. Top with remaining sauce and cheese, cover and bake for about 30 minutes on 375.

Fajita Chicken Stuffed Poblanos

Fresh out of the oven!

OOOOOoooooo AAAAAAaaaahhhh!!!  This is what comes to mind when I hear the word “poblano”.  It just dances on the tongue like the cha cha.  Po-blaaaaaaa-no.

I’ve had chile rellenos at a couple different restaurants.  At first I was like “ew.  peppers?  lame.” See, I’m not a huge fan of regular green peppers or “capsicums”.  I think they’re bitter and don’t serve much of a purpose except for added crunch in tuna salad sandwiches and a bit of bitterness in yummy italian beef.  But the more I saw other people trying chile rellenos, the more I wanted to try them.

When I finally ate my first one, my mouth said “yum!”  It’s less about the pepper and more about the stuff inside, be it chicken or beef.  Some of them come breaded, some of them are totally stuffed and some of them, quite frankly, aren’t too tasty.  So I decided to try making my own!  This one isn’t breaded, isn’t fried, but it IS tasty!  Since it’s baked and the poblanos are fresh, rather than roasted beforehand, they provide a satisfying crunch with each bite.

Next time I’m using a melting cheese!

Fajita Chicken Stuffed Poblanos
Servings: 4
PointsPlus Per Serving: 8

Ingredients

  • 2 medium poblano peppers
  • 1 chicken breast, 6 PP
  • 3/4 cup cooked brown rice, 4 PP
  • 1 small can diced green chiles
  • 1 small tomato (optional)
  • 1/4 small yellow/white onion diced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp fajita spice (more if needed)
  • 1 tbsp canola oil, 4 PP
  • 1/4 cup RF cheddar or mexican blend cheese (2 oz), 2 PP
  • 4 oz queso chihuahua melting cheese (1/2 cup), 11 PP

Directions
1. If your rice isn’t already cooked, cook it! About 1/4 cup dry will yield the right amount for this recipe. I mixed fajita spice into the water to add extra flavor.

2. Put a skillet on medium high heat and put half the canola oil in to warm. Dice up your onion and your garlic. Put it in to brown. Pour a generous sprinkling of fajita spice over the onion and garlic. Cook until nice and carmelized, put into bowl and set aside.

3. Next, cut up the raw chicken into cubes and put them into to pan you used for the chicken. Pour the other half of the canola oil into the pan. Sprinkle generously with fajita spice. Once it’s thoroughly cooked (about 10 minutes), take out of pan and chop up.

4. At this point, you can preheat the oven to 350. Put the onions and garlic, chicken, rice, diced green chilis and diced tomato (optional) into that same pan again! Stir up nicely, sprinkle coriander and cumin over it, along with more fajita spice. Let it cook up and allow all the flavors to blend together for about 5 minutes. If you want a bit of added heat, sprinkle with some chipotle spice, tabasco, or el yucateco green chili sauce. So good!

5. Put into a bowl and mix in the RF shredded cheese. Set aside. Take poblano peppers and cut into halves, removing the seeds and the stems. Take out a glass or ceramic baking dish, spray with Pam. Put the four poblano halves into the dish and fill each one with 1/4 of the chicken/rice mixture. Top with 1 oz slice of queso melting cheese. Put in oven and cook for 35 minutes. Once done, take out and enjoy!

One bite in. Yummmmm!

Baked Chili Rellenos on Foodista

Perfect Pita Pizzas

I put a status update on Facebook a few days ago about needing ideas for a quick, easy and tasty meal to make for dinner. My friend Johnell gave me this great idea and I figured I would share it with you! I didn’t have any pitas to use, so I didn’t actually make the meal, but I thought I could share it with you anyway since figuring out points is an easy task!

The perfect pita pizza is a relative concept.  It’s based solely on the person eating the pizza. Luckily, these little slices of goodness are quick and easy to prep AND cook!  I’ll be stocking up on pitas soon!  One day I might be in a hawaiian mood, so my perfect pita pizza would be turkey bacon, pineapple and onion.  My girlfriend might be in a greek mood, so her perfect pita pizza would probably be an olive oil and herb base topped with chicken, feta cheese and spinach.  The possibilities are endless!  (Seriously, how many times have I said this on my blog already?)

Points values are based on the ingredients used, but typically any type of small pita would be 2 points.  You’ll probably use one that’s closer to 6 inches in diameter, though, so that will be 4 points.  Most spaghetti sauces are about 3 points for a 1/2 cup and you’d probably use about 2 tbsp max on a pita pizza, so it would only be 1 point for the sauce.  Cheese is typically about 2 points for a 1/4 cup (as long as it’s reduced-fat).  I’d probably use that amount since I LOVE cheese.  So…. if you did just a cheese pita pizza with 2 tbsp of sauce and a 1/4 cup of cheese, it would be 7 points!  Add some veggies on there and it’s STILL only 7 points!  Here are some easy directions for those of you that want them and I’ll list some ingredient suggestions at the end (with point values!)

Photo Courtesty of: http://www.noobcook.com

Perfect Pita Pizzas
Servings: 1
PointsPlus Per Serving: 7 (including pita, 2 tbsp spaghetti sauce and 1/4 cup reduced-fat cheese)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put pitas on a nonstick pan. Put sauce down (or olive oil) and spread around. Put on some herbs if you like.

2. Top with preferred toppings. Put on cheese. Repeat if desired.

3. Put in oven (either on pan or directly onto rack) and bake for about 10 minutes.

4. Take out, slice, enjoy!

Ingredient Suggestions
Hawaiian (8 PP) – 1/4 cup pineapple, 1 slice ham/bacon, onion, 1/4 cup RF mozzarella cheese
Mexican (10 PP w/o enchilada sauce) – 1/4 cup ground turkey/beef/chorizo with taco seasoning, diced tomatoes, no sauce (or enchilada sauce), lettuce, diced onions, 1 tbsp sour cream, hot sauce, 1/4 cup mexican blend cheese
Italian (8 PP with red sauce) – 1 1/2 oz chicken sausage, sauteed onions and peppers, mozzarella cheese, PBO (parsley, basil, oregano), a bit of chopped garlic, either spaghetti sauce or a light rub of olive oil
Greek (9 PP) – 1 oz grilled chicken, feta cheese, diced onion, spinach, black olive, diced tomato
Veggie (7 PP)– black olives, sauteed onions and peppers, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, mozzarella/cheddar cheese
Chili (10 PP) – 1 oz ground beef/turkey, chili powder, 1/4 cup chili beans or cannelini beans, diced onion, 2 tbsp sour cream, cheddar cheese
Breakfast (9 PP) – asparagus pieces, fresh sliced mushrooms, olive oil w/ salt, pepper and spices, colby/mozzarella cheese, cracked egg right on top of everything
Fire-Breather (9 PP) – pepperjack cheese, jalapeno slices (or habanero!), diced onion, chorizo/chicken, chili powder, tabasco/green chile sauce, sour cream, (either a low-fat ranch, enchilada sauce or red sauce on the bottom)

Well, I hope that you enjoy these different combinations. Remember, you can try any mix of ingredients that you like! Make a couple different kinds. Make sweeter ones if you want with sweetened ricotta cheese, fruit and a light whipped cream or yogurt on top. And if you make one and you shock yourself with it’s tasty goodness, comment on this entry and share the wealth! Good luck to you all in your future pita adventures!