Mediterranean-Style Salad Pizza

January 11th, 2011

Sometimes it is hard to be a food blogger.  There are days when meals are easy everyday food that no one would be interested in hearing about.  I have been going through a period like that lately.  We have eaten lots of homemade soup, but they are soups I have talked about before.  I did make a wonderful chicken noodle soup the other night with twice the celery and carrots that I normally put in it and half the noodles;  very good and good for us.

But Friday night, before we went to a concert,  I made a quick meal of these pizzas that were in a Weight Watcher’s cookbook.  I’m not sure what it was about them, but they were a hit.  It might have been the artichoke hearts, the roasted red peppers or the balsamic vinegar, but we both loved them.  I added a bit of bacon to the recipe because I love bacon in pizzas.  The dressed lettuce is placed on the tortillas and heated briefly in the oven to warm everything and slightly wilt the lettuce.  David even said that this would be good on Sunday nights when we normally have real pizza.  I agree.

Give these a try for a quick supper or lunch.


1 heart of romaine lettuce, thinly sliced ( about 3 cups)
1 tomato, seeded and chopped ( I skipped this )
1 (8 1/2 ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1 cup canned cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
1 (7 ounce ) jar roasted red pepper, drained and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 strips of bacon, sliced, cooked and drained
4 ( 7 inch ) whole wheat tortillas
8 tablespoons shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Meanwhile, toss together the lettuce, tomato, artichoke hearts, beans, roasted pepper, vinegar, oil, and black pepper in a medium bowl.  Arrange the tortillas on a baking sheet.  Top each tortilla with about 1 1/4 cups of the salad (I think I used a little less)  and sprinkle with some of the cooked bacon and 2 tablespoons of the mozzarella.  Bake until the cheese melts and the lettuce wilts slightly, about 5 minutes.

As an aside, while walking today I saw flocks and flocks of birds heading South.  I understand that Florida is the only state in the SE without snow today.  I think the birds are heading for the Bahamas.  I would be too if I could.  Stay warm.

Printable recipe

Blueberry-Almond French Toast Bake

March 6th, 2010

On this sunny Saturday morning I baked this lovely breakfast casserole. Our friends needed something special to see them off on their journey home, but I am still trying to be mindful of our
calorie intake. This blueberry french toast bake came from Ellie Krieger’s So Easy cookbook. I like her recipes because she packs a lot of nutrition and flavor into her food and not a lot of fat. Also this is one of those great casseroles that you assemble the night before and just bake in the morning. It made the kitchen smell like cinnamon and vanilla and gave me time to prepare the rest of the breakfast while I sipped my morning coffee.

The last two weeks have been a challenge to our commitment to weight lose but we are still on course. I have been walking every day and am thinking of joining a yoga class. Believe it or not, David has joined a Zoomba class at his gym. He is not known for his rhythm and I have a hard time picturing him salsa dancing. At least he is getting a good workout.

Give this recipe a try. It is crispy on top and soft and eggy on the inside with a flavor burst of blueberries and cinnamon. By the way I halved the recipe below and cooked it in a 9″ square pan.


Cooking spray
1 whole wheat baquette (about 18″ long), cut into 1 ” cubes
2 cups low-fat milk
8 large eggs
8 large egg whites
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/3 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

Spray a 9 X 13 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Arrange the bread in a single layer in the baking pan. Whisk together the milk, eggs, egg whites, maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon. Pour the egg mixture over the bread in the pan, spreading it around so the liquid saturates the bread. Scatter the blueberries evenly on top. Sprinkle with the almonds and brown sugar. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Uncover and bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Serve hot.

Serving size – 1 4×3 inch piece, 270 calories. 5 Weight Watchers points

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Spicy Tangerine Beef and a Snowy Day

February 2nd, 2010

What fun it was to be in North Carolina for the snow storm and to get to spend time with my son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter. Kristen was scheduled to be in Atlanta for an event honoring her business, but she opted to miss it for fear that she would not be able to get home on Sunday. Michael kept a fire burning all day Saturday and we had the neighbors over for S’mores Saturday night. Rachel got bundled up Saturday morning to play in the snow.

She is waiting for her Mimi and Mommy to suit up and get outside.

She said the snow tasted like sugar. Unfortunatly it was not a packing snow, so we could not make a snowman.

Kristen made a yummy pasta dish for dinner which she said she will blog about sometime soon. It was orecchietti pasta in a creamy tomato sauce with Trader Joe’s chicken sausage with sundried tomatoes. She added a little wine and balsamic vinegar to it and it was a very complex satisfying meal. I am so lucky to have a daughter-in-law who loves to cook as much as I do.
The planes were flying on Monday so I returned to Florida. It is a culture shock of sorts to get on a plane in cold blustery weather and get off in balmy weather. Believe me, I am not complaining. Dinner last night was this spicy tangerine beef from the Weight Watchers in 20 Minutes cookbook. It was wonderful over brown rice. It is so colorful. I love the addition of the tangerines to this. The zest was added too so it had a very fresh taste to it.
2 Tangerines*
2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons water, divided
3/4 pound boneless sirloin steak, trimmed and thinly sliced**
3 cups small broccoli florets
3 scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths
1 small red bell pepper, cut into strips
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Grate the zest from the tangerines; set aside. Peel the tangerines and separate into sections; reserve the sections. Stir together the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of the water in a cup until smooth; set aside.
Spray a nonstick wok or large deep nonstick skillet with nonstick spray (I just used a little olive oil) and set over medium-high heat. When a drop of water sizzles in it, add half of the beef and stir-fry until browned, about 3 minutes, using a slotted spoon to transfer the beef to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining beef.
Add the broccoli and the remaining 2 tablespoons water to the wok; cook, covered about 2 minutes. Increase the heat to high. Add the scallions, bell pepper, garlic, tangerine zest, soy sauce, and crushed red pepper; stir-fry about 1 minute. Stir the cornstarch mixture and add to the wok; stir-fry until the sauce thickens and bubbles, about 1 minute. Return the beef to the wok, along with the tangerine; stir-fry until heated through, about 1 minute longer.
* I cut the tops off of each tangerine section to make it easier to remove the seeds.
** I used Laura’s Lean Beef available at Target superstores. It is grass fed beef and does not use any antibiotics.
Serves 4. 4 Points

Glazed Pork Chops

January 30th, 2010

I have flown into the eye of the storm. Yesterday I flew to North Carolina ahead of a strong storm front to help take care of my Granddaughter for the weekend. So far we have 6 inches of snow and it is now sleeting with no end in sight until late tonight. My DIL Kristen was supposed to be in Atlanta for a meeting but had to cancel because of the weather, so we are all hunkered down in the house watching DVD’s and waiting for a chance to go out and build a snowman. The airport is closed and I am wondering if I will be able to make my flight home on Monday.

Before I left I made these glazed pork chops as one of our Weight Watcher’s meals. For some reason it does not seem like a diet. The sweet potato fries were good too. They are Alexia Spicy Sweet Potato Fries found in the frozen foods section of the store. The glaze on the pork chops makes them both sweet and savory. If this is not enough for you go over to My Year on the Grill for some delicious praline pecans for dessert. Dave is tempting me with decadent food.


1/2 cup apricot jam
2 Tbls coarse grained mustard
1 Tbls soy sauce
2 Tbls lime juice
1 garlic clove minced
Pinch cayenne
4 5 oz. Boneless Pork Chops
1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp canola oil

Combine jam, mustard, soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, and cayenne in a small bowl.

Sprinkle the pork chops with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork chops and cook until browned and cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes per side; transfer to a platter and keep warm. Add the jam mixture to the skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the chops.

4 Servings. 6 Points

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Kielbasa and Black Bean Soup

January 27th, 2010

This is not what I am supposed to be making this week for Barefoot Blogger Thursday. Sometimes circumstances get in the way when you belong to a foodie group. I mentioned last week that we had joined Weight Watchers. We have our first weigh-in this afternoon. I have lost two pounds. Not great but at least I am going in the right direction. What I was supposed to make was Ina Garten’s Shrimp Bisque. I have made it before and it is delicious; full of succulent shrimp and half-and-half and butter. Right now I can’t afford the calories. The recipe was chosen by Jennifer of Our Blessed Home. You have to go over to her blog on Thursday or after to get the details of Ina’s soup.

The soup I did make made me feel so healthy. It is full of good for you vegetables like spinach, red peppers, carrots and celery. It tasted wonderful. In this past week I have tried to slow down and actually savor what I am eating. I have appreciated every mouthful. Another benefit of this attempt at losing weight is the fact that I have been walking two miles a day. Our dog Daisy is benefiting from these long walks too. She trots along at my pace and comes home panting and drooling. So do I. I am becoming very familiar with our neighborhood and I hope to increase the distance I walk. Give this soup a try. It is perfect for a light lunch.

KIELBASA AND BLACK BEAN SOUP (From Weight Watchers in Twenty Minutes)

1 tsp canola oil
1/2 pound low-fat turkey kielbasa, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 carrots, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

Heat the oil in a large nonstick pot or nonstick Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the kielbasa and cook, stirring, until lightly broned, about 3 minutes.

Add all the remaining ingredients except the spinach; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes longer.

3 Points. 6 Servings

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© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.