Posts Tagged ‘recipe exploration’

Recipe Exploration – Low Fat Crock Pot Chicken & Dumplings

February 8, 2013 Leave a comment


So good it will make you want to hug yourself like Grandma!

So good it will make you want to hug yourself like Grandma!

By: Breezermom ( modified by J. Valentine

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time:  4-6 hours

Servings: 7

Nutrition(per serving):
Calories: 333
Fat: 9.3
Sat. Fat: 2.7
Sodium: 1,347
Carbohydrates: 33.9
Fiber: 3.6
Sugars: 6.7
Protein: 28.1


  • 25 ounces of Chicken Breast (2 12.5 oz cans of chicken for ease)
  • 1 (10 ¾) can of low fat cream of mushroom
  • 1 (10 ¾) can of low fat cream of chicken
  • 2 (10 ¾) soup cans of water
  • 4 teaspoons of all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of chicken bouillon granules
  • 1 ½ Cups of Frozen Peas and Carrots
  • 1 Cup of Onion
  • 10 Pillsbury Grand Biscuits (low fat version)
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of Oregano


  1. Mix all ingredients except biscuits in the Crockpot.
  2. Cut biscuits into quarters and gently stir in mixture.
  3. Cover; cook on low 4 to 6 hours.


  • If you wish for it to be thicker at the end of the cooking process, take the lid off the and let it cook uncovered for 10-30 minutes to your thickness preference.
  • For more awesomeness, add a nice side of mashed potatoes. Comfort like Grandma used to make!

Recipe Exploration: Chicken and Veggie Casserole

January 2, 2013 1 comment

I love casseroles. No. I don’t think you understand. I looooooooooove casseroles. I love them so much I would marry them if it was legal. I’m lobbying for it so fingers crossed.

But the main problem with casseroles and my weight loss plan is that a normal casserole’s calorie content would equal two meals for me so I’ve been avoiding them with sadness.

It took me six months to realize, I should Google healthy casseroles. What is wrong with me!  So I went on a quest. It took one minute. Success! \

I modified the original recipe a bit as you can do with this. Casseroles are very forgiving in substitution which makes them wonderful yet again. I listed the recipe exactly as I prepared. Feel free to be creative. Let me know your favorite modifications!

Chicken Veggie Casserole

Chicken and Veggie Casserole

Minutes to Prepare: 15

Minutes to cook: 20 (15 if you break it up into separate containers)

Number of Servings: 6

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 340

Fat: 12.4

Sodium: 736

Carbohydrates: 38

Protein: 24


  • 2 tablespoon margarine
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 tablespoon dry parmesan cheese
  • 7 oz whole wheat penne pasta
  • 2 tablespooon oil
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon minced garlic (2 cloves of garlic if you use fresh)
  • 4 1/2 ounce can of mushrooms
  • 12 oz good quality canned chicken (Canned works great for casseroles, I’ve found. If you use fresh, chop it.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Tony’s Chachere’s Spicy seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)*
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)*
  • whipped cream cheese**
  • 3 slices pepperjack cheese *
  • 3 stalks green onions chopped
  • nonstick cooking spray

*If you aren’t a fan of spicy things, omit or lower the amount of cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes and replace the pepperjack with a different kind of cheese. Also because I used three small containers, you might need more pepperjack cheese to cover the top.

**If needed.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Start preparing the sauce by melting the margarine in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Once the butter foams up (it won’t take long), add the flower. Stir immediately and continuously for 1 minute.
  4. Add milk and parmesan cheese and continue to stir until it starts to bubble.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring intermittently.
  6. While the sauce is simmering, prepare the pasta according to package directions. Add a handful of salt and a tablespoon of oil to the water. Drain.
  7. In a large saucepan, add a tablespoon of oil and heat to medium heat.
  8. Add in garlic and onions and saute for 1 minute.
  9. Add in peppers and saute for another minute.
  10. Add in canned mushrooms and canned chicken. Stir until mixture is heated up.
  11. Turn down to low heat.
  12. Add pepper, italian seasoning, Tony’s seasoning, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes to white sauce while stirring continuously.
  13. If the mixture is too thin, use whipped cream to thicken it. I ended up using 1 tablespoon 1/3 less fat Italian seasoned whipped cream cheese.
  14. When all spices are incorporated, pour sauce into chicken mixture stir well.
  15. Add in pasta until all pasta is covered.
  16. Spray a 9 x 13 oven proof casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray (I used three small crocks.) Pour pasta into dish.
  17. Bake for 20 min (lower time for smaller containers), adding the cheese during the last few minutes until melted.
  18. Add green onion on top of cheese

Recipe Exploration: Baked Ziti

April 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Name: Baked Ziti
By: Renee

Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 30 min

Servings: 8


  • 1 pound Ziti
  • 1 pound lean ground beef or Italian Sausage
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 24 oz jar of spaghetti sauce
  • 6 oz sliced provolone cheese
  • 6 oz sliced mozzrella cheese (can use shredded if you don’t have sliced)
  • 1 ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup fresh basil


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. In a large skillet, brown beef or sausage over medium heat. Add onions and garlic; saute until tender. Drain off fat and add spaghetti sauce; simmer for about 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  4. In a lightly greased 3 quart baking dish, place about half of the pasta; top with a layer of provolone and mozzarella cheese slices. Spread on a layer of sour cream and half the spaghetti sauce mixture.
  5. Cover with remaining pasta, cheese and sauce; sprinkle a layer of Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until cheese and sauce are bubbly; serve.


  • You can substitute any tubed pasta.  I used penne.

Recipe Exploration: Vegetable Parmesan Penne

April 2, 2012 1 comment

Name: Vegetable Parmesan Penne
By: Renee

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 30 min

Servings: 6


  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • ½ cup of chopped squash
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 cups sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil chopped
  • 3 ounces grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Toss with olive oil.
  3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, roast asparagus, broccoli, bell pepper, zucchini, squash, and onion until flecked with dark brown. Set aside.
  4. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Saute garlic and sun-dried tomatoes until heated through. Toss with penne, roasted vegetables and Parmesan. Place in a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  5. Bake in preheated oven 30 to 40 minutes, until hot.


  • Good idea to use a stir fry mix to save on time and money.  Be careful using frozen.  Fresh seems to work best with this recipe
  • This would be excellent with chicken, shrimp or bacon if you are feeling meaty
  • You can add in oil from sun dried tomatoes for extra flavor

Recipe Exploration: Spicy Black Bean Burgers

April 2, 2012 1 comment

Name: Spicy Black Bean Burgers
By: Renee Valentine

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time:  10 min

Servings: 4


  • 1 can (16 Oz. Size) Black Beans
  • ½ whole Onion, Cut Into Wedges
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Peeled And Rough Chopped
  • 1 whole Red Pepper, Stem And Seeds Removed, Chopped
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha Hot Sauce (or Your Favorite Hot Sauce)
  • ½ cups Finely Chopped Cilantro
  • 1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 4 whole Burger Buns Or Kaiser Rolls


  1. Drain the can of black beans. In a mixing bowl, mash the black beans with a fork or a potato masher.
  2. Use a food processor to chop the onion, garlic, and red pepper until very fine. Stir the mixture in with the beans.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the egg, cumin, onion powder, chili powder, Sriracha and cilantro. Add this to the bean mixture and combine well.
  4. If the mixture has a lot of liquid, strain with a cheesecloth or let it strain through a colander with very fine holes. Once the excess liquid has drained off, return the bean mixture to the bowl and stir in half of the bread crumbs.
  5. Use your hands to form four evenly sized patties. Coat the outside of the burger patties in the remaining bread crumbs.
  6. Heat the oil in a skillet on medium high heat. Cook burgers in the pan until heated through and slightly browned on both sides.
  7. Put the burger on top of a bun. Dress with all your favorite burger condiments and enjoy!


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