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Archive for the ‘Italian’ Category

 

So, I found another recipe that sounded worth trying on Pinterest: Alfredo Lasagna Roll Ups. I made it Wednesday nights (with a few alternations), and both John and I loved it…these were so yummy! Will definitely definitely make again!

 

Ingredients

  • 6 lasagna noodles
  • 2-3 chicken tenderloins
  • Italian seasoning
  • Butter
  • Minced garlic
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Bottle of red sauce/marinara
  • For Alfredo Sauce
    • 1 pint heavy cream
    • 2 Tablespoon cream cheese
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 stick of butter
    • 1/2 – 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Directions

For Alfredo Sauce

  1. In saucepan, combine butter, cream & cream cheese.
  2. Simmer until it’s all melted & mixed well.
  3. Add Parmesan & garlic powder.
  4. Simmer for 15-20 minutes on low

For the Rest

  1. Preheat to 350 degrees
  2. Prep 8×8 pan by spraying with a little bit of non-stick spray and pour some red sauce in to just cover the bottom of the pan.
  3. Start boiling a pan of water
  4. While water gets to boiling, start cooking the chicken with a little bit of Italian seasoning, butter, and garlic.
  5. When chicken is done, cut into small (slightly smaller than bite-size) pieces and split into 6 piles.
  6. When the water is at a rolling boil, drop in noodles and cook for about 8-10 minutes (or until al dente).
  7. Drain and rinse noodles with cold water to prevent them from sticking to each other.
  8. Lay out the noodles on some wax paper & blot dry with a paper towel.
  9. Spread a little bit of alfredo sauce over each noodle. (Don’t put too much or it will make a bigger mess for you to clean up later.)
  10. Sprinkle a little bit of Italian seasoning.
  11. Take one of your little groups of chicken and try to spread them out evenly over the noodle.
  12. Add a little bit of cheese.
  13. To roll up, start at one end and roll the noodle over the toppings. You won’t be able to roll them tight and will have to lift the noodle a little over the chicken, otherwise you will end up pushing all the toppings out the other side.
  14. Place the roll-up in the pan, seam-side down so they don’t come undone.
  15. Once they are all in the pan, pour some more alfredo sauce overtop
  16. Sprinkle a little Italian seasoning if you want, then add cheese on top.
  17. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted on top.
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Okay, so I know it’s been like almost two months since I posted…but I warned you all, P2 year is crazy! At least a test a week, plus classes, patient visits, etc etc. But, I’m surviving! And school isn’t totally to blame for my lack of blog posting,  because a) due to mine and John’s schedules, I can only cook a few times a week and b) I have been making pretty much made the same stuff that is already posted on this blog. However, I did try a recipe tonight for some lasagna (find original here) and it was pretty darn good! And you don’t have to pre-cook the noodles, and use store bought sauce, so it isn’t as time consuming as some lasagna’s can be. Anyways, here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • minced garlic
  • 1 (24-28 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce (I recommend Prego Roasted Garlic and Herb)
  • 1 (16 ounce) package cottage cheese
  • 1 pint part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (16 ounce) package lasagna noodles, uncooked
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, cook and stir ground beef until brown. Add garlic and onions; saute until onions are transparent. Stir in pasta sauce, and heat through.
  2. In a medium size bowl, combine cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, and eggs.
  3. Spread a thin layer of the meat sauce in the bottom of a 13×9 inch pan. Layer with uncooked lasagna noodles, cheese mixture, mozzarella cheese, and meat sauce. Continue layering until all ingredients are used, reserving 1/2 cup mozzarella. Cover pan with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F (175 degree C) oven for 45 minutes. Uncover, and top with remaining half cup of mozzarella cheese. Bake for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and let stand 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

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Tonight I made Italian for dinner…and boy was it good! John gave the meal–Chicken Parmesan with “Farfalle Alfredo” (more on the later–a 9 out of 10, and I liked it alot, which is saying something, b/c I am normally a harsh critic of my cooking. First, I’ll give the chicken parmesan recipe:
Chicken Parmesan

Ingredients

  • 1 lb thin sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts (i.e., 4 (4 oz) chicken breasts)
  • 2 beaten egg whites
  • ½ cup dried bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • ½ cup shredded part skim Mozzarella cheese
  • 2 Tbs shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Combine breadcrumbs & seasonings in a bowl.
  3. Dip chicken into egg whites then into breadcrumbs.
  4. Spray a skillet with cooking spray, then add oil.
  5. Heat oil in  skillet & add chicken; brown until done.
  6. Place chicken in a sprayed baking dish; cover with tomato sauce; sprinkle with cheeses
  7. Bake 25 min @ 350.

This recipe makes 4 servings @ 5 pts each.

Farfalle Alfredo

So this isn’t a recipe so much as product recommendations. I bought some Farfalle pasta (by Private Selection, supposedly “Made in Italy,”) and some Delallo Alfredo Sauce (made in and imported from Italy) at Kroger. Maybe I was just really hungry, but I think the fact that these were imported really did make a difference. Both were flavorful, and the sauce was especially good (better than your typical store bought alfredo, anyways).

Of course, pasta and alfredo isn’t super nutritious…so we just made sure to measure out or portions. 🙂

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Want something tasty, easy to make, and, oh yeah, not loaded with fat and calories? If so, then try this! I made this tonight, and it was pretty good!  If you look at the nutrition (at the end) and it seems high, it really isn’t, considering this is an entire meal.


Italian Herb Chicken w/Pasta

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 (4-5) oz  boneless, skinless chicken breasts*
  • 1/4 cup fat free italian dressing
  • 2 tbs Montreal Chicken seasoning (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning (optional)
  • 1 cup Marinara/tomato sauce
  • 2 cups cooked spaghetti

*I used PERDUE® PERFECT PORTIONS® Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts. These are great — it is a bag of 5 individually wrapped chicken breasts, so you can use the ones you want, and keep the rest for later. I have found these packages in both the fresh chicken and the frozen chicken section. Tonight I used fresh; they were 4.8 oz each, and had 130 cals and 1.5 g of fat (I think the frozen might differ slightly).

Directions

  1. Cut chicken breasts into pieces/slices. Toss with dressing and seasonings, then marinate in fridge for 30 minutes or more.
  2. Cook pasta according to directions; drain.
  3. Preheat oven to 350.
  4. Put chicken into a sprayed baking dish, and bake for 20-35 minutes.
  5. Heat pasta sauce, then pour over chicken.
  6. Divide chicken mixture into halves, and pour each over 1 cup of pasta.
  7. Add some parmesan, if desired.

Nutrition

  • 1 Serving = Half of chicken mixture (one marinated breast & 1/2 cup pasta sauce), 1 cup pasta
    • Per serving: 455 calories; 5 g fat; 4 g fiber; 9 WW points.
  • Keep in mind that what size chicken breast you use will change the nutrition, and that different pasta and pasta sauce brands may differ slightly (though that difference is probably minimal). Also, clearly adding parmesan cheese adds more calories/points…1 tbs of grated parmesan has 20 cals and 1.5 g fat (1 pt), and 1 tbs of shredded parmesan has 28 cals and 2 g of fat (1 pt).

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The following is a recipe I found on a blog site I like entitled “Kevin and Amanda’s Recipes” (see a link to their page on the right, under “Blogroll”). They called it Grilled Chicken Pasta in a Tomato Cream Sauce, and actually adapted it from a recipe by the Pioneer Woman (see link to her page under Blogroll as well) entitled Penne a la Betsy.

John really liked this dish; I undercooked the pasta, so the too-firm texture kind of messed it up for me, but I would definitely make it again and see how I like it with adequately cooked pasta. Anyways, here it is!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Montreal Steak* seasoning
  • 1/2 pound penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp salt & pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded

*I used Montreal Chicken Seasoning, since it was chicken, but I’m sure steak seasoning works fine too

Directions

  1. Rinse chicken breasts in cold water. Layer between sheets of wax paper and pound to even thickness.
  2. Season both sides with Montreal seasoning.
  3. Preheat grill for medium high heat, lightly oil grate, and grill chicken breasts on medium high heat for 6-8 mins each side… OR heat 2 tbsp butter & 2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the butter and olive oil is nice and hot, add chicken breasts and cook 5 mins each side. Set chicken aside to cool.
  4. In a large pot, boil water with 1 tbsp salt. Add 1/2 lb penne pasta noodles and boil according to package directions.
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is tender, but do not let the garlic turn brown (about 3-5 mins).
  6. Add the chicken broth to the pan and allow to reduce by half.
  7. Meanwhile, slice chicken. Once the broth has reduced, stir in tomato sauce.
  8. Add the heavy cream and stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat to low.
  9. Chop the parsley and basil, add to sauce and mix well.
  10. Drain pasta and add to sauce. Stir well to coat.
  11. Serve pasta on plates, top with sliced chicken.

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So, today I made another recipe from the Cooking Light cookbook– slow cooker lasagna. It wasn’t the best we ever had, but it was better than Stouffer’s (which isn’t bad to begin with):

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground round
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp (bottled) minced garlic
  • 1 (26 to 28-ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 8 lasagna noodles, uncooked
  • 1 (4 1/2-ounce) jar mushrooms
  • 1 (15-ounce) carton part skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided

Directions

  1. Cook beef, garlic, and Italian seasoning in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until beef crumbles; drain.
  2. Combine spaghetti sauce and water in a small bowl.
  3. Place 4 uncooked noodles in bottom of a lightly greased crockpot. Layer with half each of beef mixture, spaghetti sauce mixture, and mushrooms.
  4. Spread ricotta cheese over mushrooms. Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Layer with remaining noodles, meat, sauce mixture, mushrooms, and mozzarella cheese.
  5. Cover and cook on HIGH setting 1 hour; reduce heat and cook on LOW setting 5 hours.***

***I definitely didn’t need 5 hours; I’d say that after the first hour on high, 2-3 hours on low would probably do it.

Nutrition

  • Servings: 8 (serving size: 1 cup)

  • Cal: 361; Fat: 12.2 g; Protein: 28.6 g; Carb: 31.1 g; Fiber: 3.2 g; Chol 61 mg; Sodium: 595 mg

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Viva Fibra!

So tonight I made Hungry Girl versions of Chicken Parmesan and Fettuccine Alfredo. For the chicken, I once again used fiber “breadcrumbs” (hence the title of this post; fibra= Italian for fiber). Overall, John and I were pretty pleased with these recipes:

Chicken Parmesan

Ingredients

  • 2 (5 oz) boneless skinless chicken breasts (raw)
  • 2/3 cup Fiber One cereal
  • 1/2 cup Egg Beaters, Original**
  • 1.5 tsp. reduced fat grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 oz. (approx. 1/2 cup) shredded fat-free mozzarella cheese
  • 2/3 cup canned tomato sauce
  • Optional: garlic powder, basil, oregano, salt and pepper

**This recipe calls for 1/4 cup Egg Beaters (for easy dunking), but it will only take approx. 1 tbsp. to coat the chicken. 1 tbsp. Egg Beaters was used when calculating nutritionals.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Using a blender or food processor, grind Fiber One cereal to a breadcrumb-like consistency. Add parmesan to crumbs (if desired, season crumbs with optional spices, as well).
  3. Place crumbs in one small dish and Egg Beaters in another.
  4. Next, pound your chicken so it’s a bit flattened.
  5. Coat raw chicken on both sides with Egg Beaters, and then coat with crumb mixture. Place chicken on a baking pan sprayed with nonstick spray. Spray a light mist of nonstick spray on top of chicken and place in oven.
  6. Cook for 10 minutes, and then turn chicken over. Add another light mist of nonstick spray and cook for an additional 10 – 12 minutes (or until chicken is fully cooked and coating looks crispy).
  7. Meanwhile, if desired, mix tomato sauce with your seasonings of choice.
  8. Remove chicken from oven, top with sauce and then cheese, and return chicken to oven until cheese is melted.

Nutrition
Per Serving (1 chicken breast): Calories: 295; Fat: 3.5g; Sodium: 890mg; Carbs: 27g; Fiber: 11g; Sugars: 3.5g; Protein: 46.5g; 5 Weight Watchers Points

Fettuccine Alfredo

Ingredients

**They do not sell these ANYWHERE near me, and they are expensive to buy online. You can try and find them where you live–it will be in the Tofu section, not the pasta section. Their website says where they are sold, so you can look their first. Anyways, apparently they have like a 0 points value, but I just had to use pasta. So, if you need to, substitute 2 cups cooked noodles for tofu noodles.

Directions

  1. Use a strainer to rinse and drain shirataki noodles well. Pat dry. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave for 1 minute. Drain excess liquid. Dry as thoroughly as possible, using paper towels. Cut noodles up a bit, using kitchen shears if you’ve got ’em.//Or, if using real pasta noodles: cook noodles, strain, and separate out 2 cups of it.
  2. To noodles, add sour cream, grated topping, and cheese wedges, breaking cheese wedges into pieces as you add them. Microwave for 2 minute.
  3. Stir well and then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Nutrition
PER SERVING (half of recipe): 99 calories, 4g fat, 376mg sodium, 9.5g carbs, 4g fiber, 1g sugars, 5.5g protein — POINTS® value 2 **

**This is assuming you use the tofu noodles. If you sub whole wheat pasta, points value changes to about 5. If regular pasta, about 6. Those are still better nutrition wise than what you’d get at a restaurant!

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