Lazy Lasagna and “Substitute Yourself Skinny” Cookbook Giveaway

This summer, I was lucky enough to travel through Italy with several journalists from around the U.S. One of them, whom I hit it off with immediately, was Susan Irby. Susan is known as the “Bikini Chef”, the host of the well-loved Bikini Lifestyles on 790 KABC in Los Angeles, CA. This radio station actually spans the globe with listeners in Italy, France, Germany, Australia, Canada and many other countries worldwide. She was a blast to be with on the trip, and I’m so excited to share her current cookbook with you, Substitute Yourself Skinny. Susan is a 7-time author who helps people obtain their healthy bikini goals by focusing on lifestyle changes rather than a short term diet.

Her recipe for “Lazy Lasagna” really caught my eye. It’s perfect for when the weather is cool, and kids love it. For only 308 calories and 3 grams of fat per serving, everyone can feel good about eating a hearty slice of this family favorite. This is just one of many delicious low-fat and beautiful recipes in her book. I am excited to give away one copy of her book. Just follow the steps below for a chance to win a copy. Winner will be chosen Sunday, October 30th at 8 a.m.

1. Leave a comment below telling me your favorite healthy pasta recipe.

2. Follow Alison Lewis on Twitter

3. Like Ingredients, Inc. on Facebook

4. Follow Susan Irby, The Bikini Chef on Twitter

5. Like The Bikini Chef on Facebook

Lightened Up Chicken Tetrazzini

Lately, I’ve had so many requests for an easy, healthy fall weeknight dinner recipe that kids will love too. This recipe for Lightened Up Chicken Tetrazzini is one that really sticks out in my mind. I purchase a rotisserie chicken for the chopped, cooked chicken which makes my life easier. I also used light cream cheese, low sodium chicken broth and whole wheat noodles to make this dish healthier. The panko breadcrumb topping is probably my favorite part, giving it a toasty crunch and pretty golden color. This is a great make-ahead recipe or wonderful to take to someone who is ill or just had a baby. Feel free to make this recipe ahead of time and freeze. To thaw, place in the refrigerator overnight and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before baking as directed.

Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches

For Fourth of July weekend, I wanted to share my recipe for Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches from my new cookbook “400 Best Sandwich Recipes: From Classics & Burgers to Wraps & Condiments”. I came up with this recipe last summer while I was working on this book. My three kids were in the kitchen helping me, so I tried to make it as simple as possible. It is perfect to serve this weekend if you are celebrating with friends and family, or anytime this summer. Use your favorite homemade chocolate recipe or store-bought cookie dough.

This recipe is from “400 Best Sandwich Recipes: From Classics & Burgers to Wraps & Condiments” 2011 by Robert Rose Inc. Reprinted with permission and photo credit by Colin Erricson.

Any Occasion Chocolate Cupcakes

This is not one of my typical “lightened-up” recipes, but I had to share these Any Occasion Chocolate Cupcakes with you. My daughter, Leigh, made this recipe for me the night I arrived home from being in Italy for a week. I was so excited to come home to my family and true comfort food. These are so spectacular. You don’t even need to make homemade icing. I wanted to post the recipe for Father’s Day, but I was traveling again this past week. I realized that this recipe is perfect for so many occasions: Father’s Day, birthdays, parties, showers or just because. I thought they would be a great way to start off the week so enjoy.

Strawberry Cobbler

Cobblers are one of my all-time favorite desserts. When I was trying to decide on a recipe to feature for the February issue of the Birmingham Magazine, the first thing that came to mind was a warm succulent Strawberry Cobbler. I thought it would be different to add oats to the topping, making it lighter and healthier. The recipe worked perfectly on my first try during recipe testing (I love it when that happens). When my 3 kids said, “Mom, this is the best thing you have ever made.” I must admit, I agreed. Enjoy on Valentines, Mother’s Day or really anytime. It’s true comfort food, easy to prepare and so worth it.

Family Favorite: Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs

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I made Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs last night, and my kids went nuts over it. For some reason, they acted like I had slaved in the kitchen all day. They were so impressed! This recipe is a breeze. It’s true comfort food for the first week of school. Feel free to substitute ground turkey if you prefer. 

Chicken-Leek Pot Pie on NBC’s Today Show

Okay…I had it first. On the NBC Today Show just a few minutes ago, Curtis Stone was on the show making Leek Pot Pie. Our recipes are very similar except I used a few more vegetables, no flour, no cream, no tarragon, and no puff pastry. His recipe is easy though so check it out along with the video. It’s pretty funny, and he is adorable.


http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/28674699#28674699

 

Chicken and Leek Pie

Recipe by Curtis Stone

4 servings

Ingredients

3 whole chicken legs with thighs attached (preferably from corn-fed chickens)
 Salt and freshly ground black pepper
 1 teaspoon olive oil
 2 tablespoons butter
 1 onion, finely diced
 1 leek, cut in half lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch strips
 1 tablespoon coarse-grained (Pommery) mustard
 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
 1 cup chicken stock
 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk
 1/4 cup heavy cream
 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
 1/2 17.3-ounce package frozen puff pastry (1 sheet), thawed
 1 large egg
 Sesame seeds, for garnish

Directions

To roast the chicken: Preheat the oven to 400° F. 

Sprinkle the chicken legs with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Place the chicken legs on a large heavy rimmed baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes.

Turn the chicken legs over and continue roasting for 20 minutes, or until the chicken legs are golden brown and cooked through. Set aside to cool slightly.

Reserve the pan drippings on the baking sheet.

Shred the chicken meat into large chunks and place the chicken in a bowl. You should have about 12 ounces of chicken meat.

Discard the sinew, bones and skin.

To prepare the filling: Melt the butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat.

Add the onion and leek and sauté for 5 minutes, or just until tender. Stir in the mustard ,then the flour, and cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Slowly whisk in the chicken broth, 3/4 cup of milk, the cream, and the reserved pan drippings.

Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the sauce thickens.

Stir in the shredded chicken and tarragon and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Chill until cool.

To assemble pie: Preheat the oven to 375° F.

Spoon the chicken mixture into a 1 1/2-quart baking dish.

Roll out the sheet of puff pastry into an 11-inch square.

Drape the puff pastry over the pie and press it against the rim of the dish to seal. Cut slits into the pastry to allow steam to escape.

Mix the egg and remaining 1 tablespoon of milk in a small bowl to blend. Brush some of the egg mixture over the pie and garnish with sesame seeds.

Set the pie on a heavy baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown.

Set aside for 30 minutes to cool slightly.