Chipotle Vegetarian Chili Recipe

It’s the time of year when I like to make a lot of soups, and chili, of course. This Chipotle Vegetarian Chili recipe is one of my newest favorites filled with black beans, corn, fresh vegetables, and chipotle peppers. I used the canned chipotle peppers, and they are great. Just don’t go overboard and add too many. You can always add more, so start with one or two and a little bit of the sauce. The peppers and a little beer add a wonderful spicy and smokiness to this chili, but this recipe is still very healthy and low in fat. It’s perfect for an easy weeknight dinner or for casual entertaining.

Panko-Crusted Fish Sticks with Edamame Salsa

On a busy school night or jam-packed weekend, these Panko-Crusted Fish Sticks are a snap to prepare and one of my kids’ favorites! They taste and look so fantastic – no one will ever know they are oven-fried. And with only 390 calories and 10 grams of fat, I feel good about serving this recipe to the kids and their friends. Whether you pair them with this Edamame Salsa or chop them up for a salad, they are perfect for football parties, picnics and casual dinners! On top of it all, what I really love is that the exact measurements can be used to make fish “cakes” as well.

I developed these crunchy fish sticks as part of the CanolaInfo “Home is Where the Heart is” Recipe Collection for World Heart Day 2011 (Sept. 29). This observance encourages families to take their health into their own hands starting at home with diet and exercise. To learn more about World Heart Day or to view the complete recipe collection, visit CanolaInfo.org. Lastly, be sure to check out CanolaInfo’s new interactive Facebook game, which features my recipes!

Chipotle-Spiced Pork: 5 Ingredients, 10 Minutes

Friends have been asking me what they can make for dinner since they often get in a rut and need new ideas. I know they want recipes that are simple, light and tasty. I love using thinly sliced pork loin chops often because they cook so quickly and are so versatile. This simple version of Chipotle-Spiced Pork has only 5 ingredients, and they are super flavorful (and pretty too)! If you’re making some for the kids, omit the chipotle, and add additional lemon pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice (unless they like spicy foods). Be sure to check Pork Loin recipes on Readers Digest

Weeknight Favorite: Low Calorie, Low-Fat Awesome Tasting Greek-Style Meatloaf

IMG_2374

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I thought you might want to get back to some lighter weeknight fare. This meatloaf is amazing, and only 142 calories and 4 grams of fat per serving. I developed it for Laura’s Lean Beef Company, and it’s a hit. If you don’t like meatloaf, but you like feta cheese, Greek seasonings and herbs, you will love this dish. This recipe makes two meat loaves, so you can freeze one or give one to a friend. I gave my extra to my friend tennis friend, Heidi. She told me that she didn’t really like beef in recipes. When she tried it, she said that I changed her entire mind-set. When you make this recipe, you will see what I mean.

Italian Night Favorite: Chicken Cutlets with Fresh Herbs and Tomatoes

IMG_2396

Italian night is always a favorite at my house, and I love to use chicken cutlets for their simplicity and ease. This recipe can be made in under 30 minutes, and it’s so easy to do. It’s fresh, flavorful and is perfect for busy weeknights. I serve with whole wheat pasta for the kids, and everyone is happy.

Dinner Under 30 Minutes or Football Game Day Delight: Pizza Romano

I love to serve Pizza Romano for a quick weeknight dinner or even for weekend football game fare. There’s some great SEC football games this Thursday night and this weekend, so I thought I would offer up something that’s truly simple, low-fat and delicious. I love to use Laura’s Lean Beef for the beef in this recipe. Good luck to your favorite teams!

Light and Simple Seared Scallops with Mint Pesto

img_13201

So many friends tell me that they are intimidated to cook scallops. Really, they are so incredibly easy! They cook in no time at all in a saute pan or on the grill, and really, the only thing you need is some kosher salt, black or red pepper and a touch of olive oil. I love making scallops because they are so simple, so delicious, yet almost elegant for a weeknight supper. They are fabulous mixed with pasta, in a salad and especially just on their own. We eat them often at my house, and even my 8-year-old, Zachary, is a huge fan! The Mint Pesto is so versatile and can also be served with fish, steak, chicken or pork.


Seared Scallops with Fresh Mint Pesto 

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 6 minutes

Yield: Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

2/3 cup fresh mint leaves

1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves

3 cloves garlic

1/4 cup almonds, toasted

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided

4 teaspoons grated lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided

2 teaspoons olive oil

11/2 pounds large sea scallops

Cooking spray

Watercress, mixed greens (optional)

Preparation

1. Process mint, parsley, garlic, almonds, Parmesan, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, lemon zest, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and olive oil in a container of a food processor until smooth. Remove and set aside.

2. Drizzle scallops with remaining lemon juice and season with remaining kosher salt and pepper.

3. Heat a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add scallops and cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until done. Top scallops with Mint Pesto and serve over watercress or mixed greens, if desired.