Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cheeseburger Pasta

I love trying new pasta dishes, especially ones that incorporate meat; it makes the dish that much more filling.  And throw some cheese in there, and you've got yourself a winner as far as my belly is concerned.

This was so delicious that I immediately regretted not doubling it and having leftovers.  And the fact that you don't even have to cook the pasta?  Score!  Another great dinner from my friend Kelly, and so perfect for those cool autumn nights that NJ seems to be missing right now.

Cheeseburger Pasta
very slightly adapted from Running Mama Cooks

  • 1 lb ground turkey breast
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 3/4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1T mustard
  • 2 cups elbow mac, uncooked
  • 4 oz reduced fat velveeta, cubed
Brown meat in a large skillet, drain.

Add water, ketchup, onion, and mix well.

Bring to a boil and add mac. Simmer on med-low heat, covered, for 8-10 minutes (until pasta tender).

Stir in velveeta and cook until melted, stirring occasionally.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Chicken Cheesesteaks

I'm always looking for different things to make with the leftovers from roasting a chicken, and last week I decided to make chicken cheesesteaks.

These were so fast and easy!  They would have been even better on big crusty rolls, but I just threw them on hot dog rolls.  I also don't love how the cheese is kind of clumped on top; next time I will probably melt the cheese in with the chicken for a more consistent coating.

Chicken Cheesesteaks
from Lauren's Kitchen

  • 2T olive oil
  • 1 pepper, sliced
  • 1/2-1 onion, sliced
  • 3-4 cups shredded chicken
  • 4oz low-fat Velveeta, cubed
  • 4 crusty rolls
Preheat broiler.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the peppers and onions and saute until tender.  Add the chicken and saute until warm.  Add the Velveeta and stir until almost completely melted and incorporated.

Divide the mixture among the rolls and heat under the broil to desired done-ness.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Apple Banana Bread

We took the kids apple picking last weekend, and I couldn't wait to start baking with our selection!  My husband has been asking for an apple pie, and I'll get there, but I needed something easy to do that first night.

I loved this recipe because it gave me a use for some of the bananas in my freezer.  It was nice and sweet and made a great breakfast the next morning.

Apple Banana Bread
very slightly adapted from

  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 or 3 peeled, chopped apples

Beat sugar, eggs and butter. Slice in bananas. Let mixer do the mashing. Add baking soda, vanilla, cinnamon, and flour. Fold in chopped apples. Fill greased and floured bread pans 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pasta with Pancetta and Leeks

I've never cooked with pancetta before, and, after my experience trying to buy it, I must assume that most people don't use this either.  I had to ask FOUR DIFFERENT EMPLOYEES in my local Stop and Shop where I might find packaged pancetta, and no one had any idea.  It was a fellow shopper who eventually pointed me in the right direction.

This confuses me, though, because it was actually very delicious.  Though perhaps not the healthiest dinner, this was fast to whip up and was a hit.  It's perfect not only for fall, but also for those winter days when you crave something comforting.

Pasta with Pancetta and Leeks


  • 12 ounces, weight Pasta, Cooked Al Dente
  • Reserved Pasta Water, If Needed
  • 3 ounces, weight Chopped Pancetta
  • 3 whole Leeks, Sliced Thin
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • ½ cups Dry White Wine
  • ½ cups Heavy Cream
  • Salt And Freshly Ground Pepper, To Taste
  • Parmesan Cheese, Shaved

Preparation Instructions

Cook pasta and set aside. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water.

Saute chopped pancetta until fat is rendered and it starts to brown. Add sliced leeks and cook for 8 minutes. When you add the leeks, you can also throw in a pat or two of butter if you want to. This’ll give the dish some scrumptious flavor. I add it after the bacon is browned because I don’t want the butter to brown. After 8 to 10 minutes, pour in wine, then cook an additional 1-2 minutes, until reduced. Reduce heat to low, then pour in cream. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in Parmesan shavings. Toss in pasta, adding a little pasta water to thin as needed. Serve with Parmesan shavings over the top—delicious!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Asian Turkey Meatballs With Lime Sesame Dipping Sauce

I love meatballs, and I love trying new ways to make them.  This recipe is fast, easy, and healthy - perfect for a quick weeknight meal.  The flavor of the meatballs coupled with the dipping sauce is reminiscent of take-out, only much better for your budget and waistline.

Asian Turkey Meatballs With Lime Sesame Dipping Sauce
from Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 4  Size: 3 meatballs  Calories: 229 • Points: 4.75 pts
  • 1/4 cup panko crumbs
  • 1-1/4 lbs 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
Dipping Sauce
  • 4 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 chopped fresh scallion
Preheat oven to 500°F.

Mix ground turkey, panko, egg, salt, scallions, cilantro, 1 tbsp soy sauce, and 2 tsp oil and mix with your hands until combined well. Shape 1/4 cup meat mixture into a ball and transfer to a baking dish. Repeat with remaining mixture. Bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes.

For the dipping sauce mix together lime juice, water, soy sauce, and remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in a bowl. Add scallions.

Transfer meatballs to a serving dish. Stir sauce, then drizzle meatballs with 1 tablespoon sauce.

Serve meatballs with remaining sauce. Chances are you won't use all the dipping sauce.
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