Sunday, March 27, 2011


Today we had veggie enchiladas. I, of course, surfed the Internet looking for recipes and came up with a few. However, after looking at the various recipes I found, I ended up making up my own.

Veggie Enchiladas
1 10 box frozen spinach, thawed an drained with excess liquid squeezed out
1 cup frozen corn
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 4 oz can diced mild green chilies
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
pinch crushed red pepper
10 corn tortillas
2 oz low-fat cream cheese, divided into 10 small pieces
1 cup (more or less) shredded cheddar cheese

1- In a large bowl mix spinach, corn, beans, and chilies. Set aside.
2- In a medium size sauce pan, heat olive oil. Saute onion until just beginning to turn golden; add minced garlic and saute for about 1 more minute. Add tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, cocoa powder, red pepper. Cook to blend, but do not boil. Set aside.
3- Wrap tortillas in moist paper towels and microwave for 1 minute. Prepare a large casserole by spraying it with non-stick spray.
4- Take one tortilla at a time, put spinach mixture in middle of tortilla and add 1 piece of cream cheese. Roll tortilla unto itself, place onto prepared casserole seam side down. Repeat with all tortillas.
5- Place any spinach mixture left over all tortillas. Spread tomato mixture over all then shredded cheese.
6- Bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Makes 10 servings, more or less.

It was pretty good. But the tortillas got a little tough on the seam side. Next time I will make more sauce and put some down in the casserole before putting the enchiladas in. They were tasty though.

We also had corn fritters from Whole Foods - these were yummy - and some edamame succotash. I was not fond of the succotash myself. Mom liked it and gets to take it home with her.

I also made a Ricotta Cheese cake from the Eating Well Dessert Cookbook. It was good too.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Portobello Thoughts

I still didn't know what exactly was for dinner until just before I made it. I figured something with Portobello mushrooms would probably work out. So, I asked Michael to make a salad and to pick up some portobellos and mozzarella cheese at the grocery while I went with my friends Debbie and Suzi to the River City Casino this morning. We didn't come home winners, but the dinner I made was a winner!

My recipe was kind of a portobello parmesan/pasta bake.

6 portobello mushroom caps, cleaned with stems and gills removed
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup walnuts, chopped fine
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/4 cup parsley
1 Tablespoon Italian seasonings
fresh ground pepper
salt to taste
2 cups shredded part-skim Mozzarella cheese, divided
freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 bag no yolk egg noodles
1 jar pasta sauce

Prepare the mushrooms. Mix the walnuts, garlic, parsley, seasonings, 1 cup mozzarella, and about 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese in a small bowl.

Wrap a cookie sheet with aluminum foil, spray with nonstick spray. Brush olive oil on mushrooms. Place mushrooms on cookie sheet. Put 2 Tablespoons mixture on each mushroom. Broil in oven for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook noodles according to label instructions.

Prepare a large baking dish by spreading about 1/2 cup of pasta sauce over the bottom of the dish. When noodles are cooked drain them and place them on top of the pasta sauce. Place broiled mushrooms on top of noodles. Spread the remaining pasta sauce over all. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and about 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese over all. Place in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned.

We ate the mushrooms dish with a fresh salad and warm bread. It was terrific! And, really easy to prepare. I will definitely make this again.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

After Dinner Thoughts

I think I've only had quinoa one other time; so, of course, this was my first time cooking it. The verdict: I'll cook it again, and I'll make this dish again. I thought it was pretty yummy, and not too hard to pull together. Mom and Dad both liked dinner tonight. Michael - not so much; he said he wasn't fond of the texture. He also said, "it's not terrible." I liked the flavors with the sesame oil and the soy sauce - not too heavy.

The cucumber was good. I used an English cucumber for the first time. It might have a little less taste than the common cucumbers I am used to eating. Not that cucumbers have a big flavor to begin with. Overall, a good dinner.

So, after my tantrum about desserts a few weeks ago, I gave in and decided to make a pie. I made Lucky Leaf's Lemon Sponge Pie recipe. It's a winner! I will definitely make this again. Because the recipe calls for the egg whites to basically be whipped into a light meringue then folded into the lemon mixture, it made a delightfully light pie. I also picked up some Meyer lemons at the grocery yesterday and I cut the peel and pith from two lemons and sliced them; then I added a tablespoon of sugar to the lemons and let it all mingle together in the refrigerator for awhile this afternoon. Mom and I used a little of the Meyer lemons/sugar mixture on top of our slices of pie - yum!

I don't think I'll be making dinner next Sunday. We have a home party to go to and I have a gift certificate for dinner for four at a local restaurant. That's what I expect we'll be doing next Sunday. When I make Sunday dinner again, I'll be sure to share with you!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A 500 Calorie Meal

In January I joined Club Fitness with several of my girlfriends (Andrea, Cindy, Liz, Rhonda, Cassy, and Dawn). I have been going faithfully several times a week to Zumba and Pilates classes, and to meet with a trainer twice a week. So far I've lost 5 pounds; this makes me happy but it's much too slow. I know my biggest hurdle at this point is what I eat (and how much). While we really do eat quite healthy for the most part, I do have my downfalls. Interestingly, I had to work quite a bit extra this week and only got to the gym once - and still lost weight! I figure that's because I was so busy working I didn't have time to graze.

Nancy, a co-worker of mine, gave me a recipe for a Broccoli & Goat Cheese Souffle, which looks pretty good; she actually gave me the Eat Healthy magazine to look at (a magazine put out by The Commissary). In the magazine the recipe is part of an article on "Healthy Week: the un-diet diet: 500-calorie menus." I'll try the souffle sometime, but not this week.

Well, that got me surfing a bit to see what other 500-calorie meals are out there. Apparently this is a big push from Eating Well magazine. The souffle is on Eating Well's Web site too (I don't know which came first - the chicken or the egg, but I have my suspicions the recipe is originally from Eating Well). Anyway, I also came across this menu for Toasted Quinoa Salad with Scallops & Snow Peas served with Japanese Cucumber Salad and a glass of White Wine - that just sounds absolutely divine to me! So, that's what I plan to make. I needed to know before I go to Zumba this morning so I can stop by the grocery on my way home. When I get time, I'm going to browse through all five weeks of 500-calorie menus to see what other treats we might try.

Well, it's off to Zumba! I'll be sure to tell you all about Sunday dinner.