August 19, 2011 1 comment

Mmmm… Pasta! I love Italian food. Baked Ziti probably makes the list in the top 5, although it would be hard for me to narrow a top five. I’m typically no fan of spicy, but this recipe had a good kick to it. It’s amazing how much punch the red pepper flakes can pack. From now on, I think I’ll halve the measurement every time it’s called for. It alsways surprises me how spicy it ends up being. I used the leftover turkey sausage links from the Sausage with Peppers recipe and they worked out just great. That’s another thing I love about Cook This Not That, they use the same ingredients throughout the whole book. So you don’t buy something and use it just once, you can use it several times, until it’s gone.

Source: Cook This Not That, David Zinckenko & Matt Goulding

Servings: 4
Cost per serving: $3.01

Calories: 410
Fat: 12 g (5 g saturated)
Sodium: 600 mg

10 oz. ziti, preferably whole wheat if you can find it
1 tbsp olive oil
2 links preecooked chicken or turkey sausage, diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 can (28 oz) tomato puree
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 c. fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
3/4 c. cubed mozzarella (preferably fresh)
Parmesan for grating

Preheat the oven to 400. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta until a minute shy of being done (it’ll finish cooking in the oven). Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet or saute pan over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook for about 2 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the onion, garlic, and pepper flakes and cook until the onion is soft and translucent. Stir in the tomato puree, plus a good pinch of salt and black pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer for at least 10 minutes. Drain the pasta. Add to the skillet and toss with the sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil and mozzarella. Dump the pasta into a 12×9″ baking dish, sprinkle the top with a bit of Parmesan, and cover with foil. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes, until the top is crusty and browned. Garnish with basil leaves and serve.

Cook This instead of enjoying Olive Garden Five Cheese Ziti al Forno
Calories: 1050
Fat: 48 g (26 g saturated)
Sodium: 2370 mg

I know I’ve said it a million times. But seriously, I am in love with my Cook This Not That cookbook. In love. There are so many recipes that have turned out so delicious. That’s pretty rare, I would say. Most cookbooks have a few good recipes – but this one has almost all good recipes. This particular recipe was fun to make. Messy, extremely messy. But fun. The honey mustard sauce was the perfect condiment to drizzle over the top. Since the chicken itself was 350 calories and I wanted a side, I paired it with freebies: vegetables! You can’t go wrong with some steamed veggies! They were the perfect side and this was the perfect meal.

Source: Cook This Not That, David Zinczencko & Matt Goulding

Servings: 4
Cost per serving: $2.14

Calories: 350
Fat: 12 g (6 g saturated)
Sodium: 710 mg

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 oz each) pounded to uniform 1/4″ thickness
Salt and black pepper to taste
8 thin slices deli ham
4 slices Swiss cheese
2 tbsp flour
1 egg, beaten
1 c. panko bread crumbs
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. honey
1/2 tbsp olive oil mayonnaise

Preheat the oven to 450. Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper. Lay two slices of ham and one slice of cheese across each breast, then roll widthwise until you have a tight, jellyroll-like package. Place the flour, egg, and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Working with one rolled-up breast at a time, dip first in the flour to lightly coat, the in the egg, then immediately in the bread crumbs. Use your fingers to make sure the chicken is evenly coated with crumbs. Arrange the chicken on a baking sheet and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the chicken is firm to the touch and cooked though and the bread crumbs are brown and crunchy. While the chicken bakes, stir together the lemon juice, mustard, honey, and mayo to make a smooth, uniform sauce. Serve the chicken with the honey mustard drizzled over the top.

Cook This instead of enjoying Mimi’s Cafe Chicken Cordon Bleu:
Calories: 1360
Fat: 81 g (33 g saturated)
Sodium: 3007 mg


August 14, 2011 2 comments

There are some recipes you try and they are good, and there are some recipes you try and they are great. This is one of those recipes that is great. If you’ve ever had Olive Garden’s Chicken Marsala, this tastes exactly like it! I’ve got a little beef with the Olive Garden and their ridiculously high calorie meals – so this recipe comes at a great time. Last week I went to lunch with some friends and had no idea until later that night as I was counting my calories discovered my lunch was 1175 calories! That’s insane. This dish comes in at a wonderful 400 calories. The perfect size meal. Granted I did add mashed potatoes.. but you can’t have chicken without a side. I didn’t have prosciutto (and frankly I don’t care for it – had a bad experience on our honeymoon) so I just left it out. Also, see my note at the end of the recipe in regards to the wine. This dish is fantastic and will be made again and again.

Source: Cook This Not That, David Zinczenko & Matt Goulding

Servings: 4
Cost per serving: $5.20

Calories: 390
Fat: 9 grams (2 g saturated)
Sodium: 520 mg

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast, pounded to uniform 1/4″ thickness
1 c. flour
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 oz prosciutto, sliced into thin strips
8 oz. cremeni mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
3/4 c. Marsala wine
3/4 c. low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley

Season the chicken with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Place the flour in a shallow bowl and add the chicken; coat evenly, shaking off any excess flour. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick pan or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Cook the chicken (don’t overcrowd the pan; cook in two batches if need be) for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until golden brown on the outside and cooked all the way through. Transfer to a serving platter and keep warm. Add additional oil to the pan if needed, then saute the prosciutto for 1 to 2 minutes, until it starts to crisp up. Add the mushrooms and continue sauteing until well browned. Stir in the Marsala and broth, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Cook until the liquid has reduced to about 1/2 c. Season with salt and pepper, add the parsley, and pour over the chicken.

Cook This instead of enjoying Romano’s Macaroni Grill Chicken Marsala
Calories: 650
Saturated Fat: 12 g
Sodium: 1790 mg

[My 2 Cents]
I’m not a wine drinker and have never purchased alcohol. Recently I’ve noticed grocery stores carrying “cooking wines” in the aisle near the oils and vinegars. There are a small handful of different varieties including: cooking white, red, and Marsala wine. They are in small 16 oz. bottles costing less than $2.50. I was so excited when I discovered them. There are many recipes that call for wine and I’ve wanted to try them but didn’t want to have to spend the money on a bottle of wine that would never be used. This is the perfect compromise.

I absolutely LOVE bratwurst sausages, the only problem is they are terrible for you!!! This is an awesome alternative that I found from Cook This Not That. I couldn’t find chicken sausage, so I went with a sweet Italian turkey sausage. So delicious. This sandwich is packed with flavor. The peppers and the onions are the perfect addition. By the end I felt full and satisfied. I will definitely make this over and over!

Source: Cook This Not That, David Zinczenko & Matt Goulding

Servings: 4
Cost per serving: $2.56

Calories: 370
Fat: 20 g (9 g saturated)
Sodium: 650 mg

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow onion, sliced
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 links uncooked chicken or turkey sausage
4 hot do buns (preferably potato buns)
4 slices provolone
Spicy mustard to taste

Preheat grill or pan. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the red and yellow peppers and the onion and cook, stirring occassionally, for about 10 minutes, until lightly blistered and soft. Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper and add the vinegar. Reserve. Grill the sausages for about 12 minutes, until lightly charred and cooked all the way through. This can also be done in a pan, over medium-low heat. Heat the rolls on the grill until warm and toasted, if you like. Lay a slice of provolone cheese in each roll, drizzle with mustard, then top with a sausage. Divide the peppers and onions among the four sandwiches.

Cook This instead of enjoying Domino’s Itallian Sausage and Peppers Sandwich
Calories: 900
Fat: 49 g (23 g saturated)
Sodium: 2240 mg

This dish very closely resembles what my husband and I make for our “mock” Cafe Rio. So when I saw this in the Cook This Not That cookbook I knew it would be something that would be right up our alley. Ever since the Crock Pot Carne Asada I’ve been hooked on corn tortillas. As you can tell by the directions this meal is very quick and easy. We didn’t have a rotisserie chicken so I just cooked and shredded the frozen tenderloins that we did have. You can do either. Already having a chicken that’s flavored, roasted and ready to go would make the process that much easier. I also had never heard of Cotija cheese and don’t particularly fancy feta, so I replaced them with just plain ole mozzarella. Great meal. Low in calories. Simple. Delicious!

Source: Cook This Not That, David Zinczenko & Matt Goulding

Servings: Four
Cost per serving: $2.33

Calories: 345
Fat: 12 g (4.5 g saturated)
Sodium: 800 mg

8 corn tortillas
3 c. shredded rotisserie chicken (about three-fourths of a store bought chicken)
1 1/2 c. bottled salsa verde
1/2 c. crumbled Cotija or feta cheese
1 med onion, minced
1 c. chopped fresh cilantro
2 limes, quartered

Heat the tortilla in a large skillet or saute pan until lightly toasted. Combine the chicken with the salsa in a large mixing bowl, then divide evenly among the tortillas. Top with crumbled cheese, onion, and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

Cook this instead of enjoying Chili’s Crispy Chicken Tacos
Calories: 1650
Fat: 76 g (21 g saturated)
Sodium: 4080 mg