Baked Egg with Feta and Spinach

Baked Egg with Feta and Spinach
Serve 4

4 eggs, separated
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 teaspoon of your preferred herb blend (I used Penzey’s Mural of Flavor.)
1 cup (packed) fresh baby spinach, finely chopped
Pepper to taste

1.  Preheat oven to 350F.
2.  Spray oven-safe custard cups with cooking spray (or otherwise grease them.)
3.  With electric mixer, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
4.  Gently stir in cheese, spinach and herbs.
5.  Divide between the four cups.
6.  With a spoon, create a small well in the center of the egg white mixture.
7.  Carefully slide a yolk into each well.
8.  Place cups on a baking sheet, and place in oven.  Back 10-14 minutes, until the egg white puffs up and browns. The yolk will be hot and thick, but not solid.

Note: in the picture, I topped the egg with a half tablespoon of Greek yogurt. That was unnecessary, and won’t be repeated in the future.

Nutritional data:
Calories:       106
Fat:                 7g
Sat fat:            3g
Chol:           220mg
Sodium:       186mg
Carbs:          1.6g
Fiber:           0.2g
Protein:        9.3g

Crumbled bacon and finely shredded sharp cheddar
Shedded Swiss and minced mushrooms
Fresh basil, scallion and Parmesan

Turkey Dumpling Soup

Turkey Dumpling Soup
Serves 4

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 onion, minced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced thinly
1 garlic clove, smashed and minced
16 ounces (2 cups) reduced sodium chicken stock
12 (1.5 cups) ounces water
4 ounces (0.5 cup) white wine
8 ounces shredded, cooked turkey (or chicken)
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup cottage cheese
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon seasoning (I used Penzey’s Sunny Paris. Alternative combinations could be tarragon and thyme, onion and garlic powder, or sage and celery seed)

  1. In a medium to large sauce pan (3-4 quart), heat the olive oil over med-high heat. Add onion, carrots and celery. Saute until the onion begins to turn translucent.
  2. Add garlic. Saute another minute.
  3. Add stock, wine, cooked turkey and sage. Bring to a boil, reduce heat (medium-low, but not to a low simmer) to a low boil for 15 minutes.
  4. While you wait for the soup to boil, mix together dumpling ingredients.
  5. After 15 minutes, increase the heat to medium-high.
  6. Using a soup spoon or tablespoon, drop dumpling batter into the soup by the spoonfuls. Cover, reduce heat to simmer, and let the dumplings cook for 15 minutes. They are done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Nutritional data (approximately 1.5 cups soup and 2-3 dumplings)
Calories:    192
Fat:             3.9g
Sat fat:        1.2g
Chol:            97mg
Sodium:     190mg
Carbs:        19.1g
Fiber:           1.9g
Protein:     17.9g

Creamy Turkey, Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup

Creamy Turkey, Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup
Serve 4

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, smashed and minced
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup shredded carrot
Seasoning (your preference–I used Penzey’s Sunny Paris.)
1 cup reduced sodium chicken stock (I used homemade, no salt added chicken stock)
1/2 cup white wine
8 ounces shredded cooked turkey (or chicken)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Heat a 10″ non-stick skillet over med-high heat. Add olive oil.
  2. Sautee onions until beginning to soften and turn translucent.
  3. Add mushrooms. Let them cook, undisturbed for 2 minutes, then stir together.
  4. Add garlic and carrot.
  5. While the mushrooms are cooking, melted the butter in a small saucepan. Add flour to form a roux.
  6. Add milk, and stir over medium heat until it begins to bubble. Remove from heat.
  7. Add shredded turkey to mushrooms.
  8. Add stock and wine. Bring to a boil.
  9. Stir in the roux. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. As it cooks it will thicken.

Nutritional data:
Calories:       222
Fat:                7.7g
Sat fat:           4.3g
Chol:              46mg
Sodium:         54mg
Carbs:         16.5g
Fiber:            1.5g
Protein:      16.4g

Mushroom-Spinach Baked Eggs

Mushroom-Spinach Baked Eggs
Serves 4
4 pieces bread, lightly toasted
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
4 cups baby spinach (4 ounces)
¼ cup milk
4 large eggs
¼ cup shredded cheese
1.   Preheat oven to 350F
2.   Spray 8×8 baking pan with cooking spray
3.   Preheat 10” non-stick skillet. Add olive oil
4.   Saute onions until they get translucent (4-5 minutes)
5.   Add mushrooms. Let them cook, undisturbed for 4 minutes. Then stir together, cooking another 4 minutes.
6.   Add spinach, stir together. Let the spinach begin to wilt.
7.   Lay the toasted bread in the pan in single layer, trimming the bread to make it fit if needed.
8.   Spread mushroom-spinach evenly over the toast. Make 4 wells in the topping, one for each piece of toast.
9.   Pour 1 tablespoon milk in each well.
10. Carefully crack eggs and place 1 egg in each well.
11. Bake for 25 minutes.
12. After 25 minutes, sprinkle cheese evenly. Return to oven for 5 more minutes
13. Remove, cut into four portions and serve.
Cooking it a total of 30 minutes will give you a warm but still liquid yolk. Adding 5 more minutes will give you a yolk that is very thick, but not yet solid.
Nutritional data:
Calories:      171
Fat:              8.1g
Sat fat:         2.7g
Chol:          216mg
Sodium:      232mg
Carbs:       15.9g
Fiber:          3.6g
Protein:     12.1g

Spaghetti Squash Boat

Spaghetti Squash Boat
Serves 4

1 medium spaghetti squash
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 red (or green) bell pepper, sliced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup shredded cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional ingredients: jalapeno peppers, diced cherry tomatoes, diced ham

  1. Pierce the skin of the squash in many places. Place in microwave and cook for 8-10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F
  3. While the squash cooks, pre-heat a non-stick saute pan.
  4. Add oil and saute the onions and peppers until the onions begin to get translucent and soft (4-6 minutes). Turn the heat off.
  5. When the squash is done in the microwave, cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds.
  6. With a fork, pull out the squash. It will come out in long shreds, similar in shape to strands of spaghetti. Pull the squash out of both halves and place in a bowl.
  7. Combine squash meat, onions, peppers and cheese. Place in one of the squash shells.
  8. Place in an 8×8 baking pan (or similar). If the squash will not rest without tipping, use a piece aluminum foil, rolled into a tube, and then shaped into a ring to use as a base. (In fact, just plan to need it.)
  9. Bake 25-35 minutes, or until the top begins to brown.

Nutritional data:
Calories:       90
Fat:              5.9g
Sat fat:         3.2g
Chol:            15mg
Sodium:      115mg
carbs:          6.3g
Fiber:          1.4g
Protein:       3.7g

Note: If you are making this for a large meal and are very busy with other menu items, this could be prepared in advance. Follow the directions above, but stop after step 7. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate1-2 days. When ready to finish, preheat oven to 350, and cover the squash loosely with aluminum foil for 25 minutes. Then remove foil, and let it finish for another 15. (That should get it entirely heated. The foil will prevent excess browning.)

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
Makes about 48 cookies

1 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
3/4 teaspoon baking soda

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Live two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Using an electric mixer, combine all ingredients until fully incorporated.
  3. Drop by level teaspoonfuls onto baking sheets, spacing them 1.5 inches apart.
  4. Bake until the cookies are puffed and lightly brown, about 8-10 minutes.
  5. Let cook on the sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Nutritional data (per cookie):
Calories:        33
Fat:                 2g
Sat fat:            0g
Chol:              3mg
Sodium:        35mg
Carbs:            3g
Fiber:             0g
Protein:          1g

Chocolate-Pumpkin Torte

Chocolate-Pumpkin Torte
Serves 8

This makes a dense brownie-like cake, very moist and richly chocolate. I topped this picture with melted Nutella, but I also have topped it with melted peanut butter, caramel sauce, or bittersweet chocolate. A raspberry or strawberry sauce would also be really good on top.

There is very little pumpkin flavor. I think I noticed it only because I knew that it was in the batter.

I used Splenda to greatly reduce the calories. If you prefer to use sugar, then you will just have more calories to calculate, but the recipe will otherwise be the same technique.

1 cup flour
4 eggs (separate three and reserve all)
1.5 cups Splenda, divided (or the same amount of sugar)
1 cup mashed pumpkin (canned is okay, make sure it is 100% pumpkin)
1/2 cup cocoa
8 teaspoons Nutella (optional topping, but I added those calories to the nutritional data below.)

(Special equipment needed:  springform pan and cooling rack.  See my comment at the end about alternate equipment.)

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Combine flour, cocoa and 1 cup of Splenda in a large bowl.
  3. Stir in pumpkin until evenly mixed.
  4. With an electric mixer, add one whole egg and all yolks.
  5. Clean the beaters completely.
  6. In a separate bowl, place egg whites. Mix with electric mixer, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form.
  7. Add remaining 1/2 cup Splenda, beating until the egg whites are shiny and begin to hold firm peaks.
  8. Spray springform pan with cooking spray.
  9. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the pumpkin-cocoa mixture. Gently fold until thoroughly mixed. Add remaining egg whites, folding together gently until well incorporated.
  10. Pour batter into springform pan
  11. Bake 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  12. Remove collar and cool completely on a cooling rack.
  13. When cool, cut into eight pieces.
  14. Melt the Nutella, and drizzle about 1 teaspoon on each piece. Dress with a bit of whipped topping (if desired.)

Nutritional data:
Calories:        140
Fat:                 6g
Sat fat:          2.4g
Chol:           105mg
Sodium:         36mg
Carbs:         19.4g
Fiber:           4.3g
Protein:        6.9g

If you do not have a springform pan (and if you don’t know what it is, then you don’t have one) here is an alternate method. Take a 9″ pie tin and line it with aluminum foil. You will probably need the extra wide foil. Press the foil down so that it conforms to the shape of the tin and then spray it with cooking spray. When you are done baking, you just pick up the foil by the edges and then set it on the cooling rack.

Also, if you prefer to not use canned pumpkin, you can use an equal amount of cooked squash or cooked sweet potato.

Panko Breaded Chicken with Bourbon-Pecan Butter Sauce

Panko Breaded Chicken with Bourbon-Pecan Butter Sauce, served on Garlicky Sauteed Spinach Serves 4

20 ounces chicken (I used boneless skinless chicken breasts)
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
Seasoning of your choice (I used Penzy’s Sunny Spain.)

  1. Cut breasts into one inch wide strips.
  2. Separate the egg. Throw away the yolk. Add water. Whisk together.
  3. Place panko crumbs in a shallow dish. Season to taste
  4. Dip breasts in egg wash. Dredge in crumbs on both sides, and set aside.
  5. Preheat large (10″ or larger) non-stick pan. Add oil.
  6. When the oil is hot, carefully lay the chicken in the pan. Let cook until browned, then turn.
  7. Total cooking time will be 6-10 minutes.
  8. Removed from heat and cover the keep warm.

Nutritional data (5 ounces of chicken only):
Calories:        129
Fat:                0.6g
Sat fat:              0g
Chol:               70mg
Sodium:         147mg
Carbs:            4.8g
Fiber:             0.2g
Protein:        23.6g

Sauce (can be made while the chicken cooks):
1 ounce pecans, crushed
2 ounces (1/4 cup) bourbon (or your favorite whiskey)
1 ounce chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter (unsalted)

  1. Place pecans in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Toss frequently until getting hot and fragrant (2-3 minutes).  Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Place bourbon and chicken broth in sauce pan. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add butter. Stir until melted.
  4. Stir in pecans.

Nutritional data (1 tablespoon sauce):
Calories:        108
Fat:                8.1g
Sat fat:           2.3g
Chol:             7.6mg
Sodium:         3.1mg
Carbs:              1g
Fiber:            0.7g
Protein:         0.8g

Garlicky Sauteed Spinach:
Serves 2
1 bag (9 ounce) baby spinach
4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 tablespoon olive oil

  1. In the same large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  2. When the oil is hot, add sliced garlic.  Toss for one minute.
  3. Place fresh spinach in pan.
  4. Toss repeatedly, until the spinach wilts.

Nutritional data:
Calories:         83
Fat:               5.3g
Sat fat:          0.8g
Chol:               0mg
Sodium:       120mg
Carbs:           7.4g
Fiber:            3.4g
Protein:         4.7g

Place spinach on the plate. Top with 5 ounces (three strips) on the spinach. Drizzle 1 tablespoon sauce over the chicken.

An alternative to the above uses tilapia fillets. Instead of 20 ounces of chicken, use 16 ounces of tilapia (four fillets). Prepare the meal as above.

Panko-Breaded Tilapia

Beef Stew and Cheddar-Chive Biscuits

Beef Stew
Serves 2 (1.5 cup portions)

2 pounds beef, cubed into 1/2 inch cubes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2-4 cloves garlic, mashed and minced
4 tablespoons flour
6 tablespoon water
16 ounce beer (your preferred type, darker is better in this)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup low sodium beef (or chicken or vegetable) broth (I used home made broth, with no added salt.)
1 bag (16 ounces) frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 cup shredded carrots (optional, but I used them)
Salt and pepper to taste (I used no salt when I made this)

  1. Heat non-stick Dutch oven or other large kettle over medium-high heat. Add oil.
  2. When oil is hot, add beef cubes. Season with salt/pepper.  Brown on all sides.
  3. While the beef is cooking, mix together the flour and water to make a thin paste.
  4. Add flour paste to a mixing bowl, and stir in tomato paste.  Stir until well-mixed.
  5. Stir in broth and beer.  Use a large bowl or the beer will foam over and make a mess.
  6. Remove beef from heat, and keep warm.
  7. In the beef cooking juices, add onion and saute over medium-high heat until beginning to turn translucent.  Add garlic and cook for one minute.
  8. Return beef to pot. Add all vegetables (they can still be frozen) and the beer/broth mix.
  9. Bring to a boil.
  10. Reduce heat to low.  Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on how thick you want the gravy

Nutritional Data:
Calories:    312
Fat:          13.3g
Sat fat:       5.2g
Chol:          80mg
Sodium:      89mg
Carbs:      16.7g
Fiber:         2.3g
Protein:    25.4g

Cheddar-Chive Drop Biscuits
Serves 6 (2 biscuits per portion)

1 cup all purpose flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
0.5 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons cold butter
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Combine all three dry ingredients together in a bowl.
  3. Cut the butter into small cubes.  Add to flour.
  4. Using your fingers, pick up the butter cubes and mash them into the flour, until there are no noticeable butter lumps.  This will only take a few minutes.
  5. Add yogurt and chives. Stir until partially mixed. 
  6. Add cheese. Stir until well mixed and forms a sticky ball.
  7. Turn out on a floured surface. Sprinkle lightly with flout and kneed/fold 10 times.
  8. Grease a baking sheet.
  9. Drop by spoonfuls onto baking sheet.  You will get about 12 biscuits.  When baked, they will be about 2 inches in diameter.
  10. Bake 7-9 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.

Nutritional Data: (2 biscuits)
Calories:    143
Fat:            5.6g
Sat fat:       3.5g
Chol:          150mg
Sodium:    239mg
Carbs:      16.9g
Fiber:         0.6g
Protein:      5.9g

Chicken Breast and Mushrooms in a Vinegar-Cream Sauce

Chicken Breast and Mushrooms in a Vinegar-Cream Sauce
Serves 4

4 chicken breasts (I used 4 ounce breasts)
Your preferred herb blend (I used Penzey’s Sunny Paris.)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium Vidalia onion, sliced and quartered
6 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
3 cups (8 ounces) crimini mushrooms, cut into quarters
8 ounces white wine
2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 ounces (by weight) plain Greek yogurt

  1. Place chicken breasts in a Ziploc bag. With a mallet, pound them thin (1/4 – 1/2 inch). Season with your favorite seasoning.
  2. Preheat a large non-stick skillet. Spray with cooking spray.
  3. Pan fry breasts, on both sides, until fully cooked (8-12 minutes). Remove from the pan, cover to keep warm.
  4. Place olive oil in the skillet (do not wipe it clean of chicken residue.) Add mushrooms. Saute until beginning to get soft  (4-6 minutes over medium heat.)
  5. Add onion. Continue to saute until the onions are beginning to get translucent.
  6. Add garlic. Let cook for 1 minute.
  7. Remove and cover to keep warm.
  8. Again, without cleaning the skillet, carefully pour in the wine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  9. Add vinegar and tomato paste. Stir until mixed.
  10. Add yogurt, stir until mixed.
  11. Return chicken and mushrooms to the skillet. Toss to coat.
  12. Serve over rice, pasta, or other starch (if desired.)

The picture shows Summer Quinoa Salad and steamed broccoli.

Nutritional Data for one chicken breast and 1 portion of sauce:
Calories:       257
Fat:               6.2g
Sat fat:             1g
Chol:              65mg
Sodium:        207mg
Carbs:          14.2g
Fiber:            2.3g
Protein:          28g