Saturday, February 27, 2010

It's all Greek to me


To be honest, I'm not sure if this is technically Greek.  Feta is Greek, right?  I'm just gonna roll with it.  Also note, this picture was taken on my messy computer desk with my iPhone camera, I apologize.  =P

I wasn't sure what to make for dinner tonight, but since I have some leftover feta cheese from the quiche the other night, I wanted to use some more of it.  Prof. Peanutbutter loves the classic Italian appetizer of tomatoes, olive oil, basil, and mozzarella, but he's also a big fan of feta.  I figured I'd combine those flavors into a tasty pasta dish.

Tomato and Feta Pasta

8 oz. Whole Wheat Spaghetti
2 large whole Red Ripe Tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup Spinach, choppped
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1/2 cup Reduced Fat Feta Cheese
1 tbsp. Basil
1 tsp. Onion powder

1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
2. Drain and return to pot.
3. Over very low heat, add all other ingredients and stir.

To be fair, this wasn't the healthiest meal.  It probably should have been four servings (as I used four servings of pasta) but we were STARVING.  Next time I may reduce the olive oil and maybe add some chicken to make it more filling.  But it was GOOD.  I put in the spinach to add more veggies.  Prof. Peanutbutter hardly noticed it.

Chef Shorty: 4.5 noms
Prof. Peanutbutter: 4.5 noms


I heart pancakes, take two


You may remember this recent post about 100 cal. pancakes, and how they were kind of blah.  Well, I tried again this morning, and they came out much better!

Banana Nut Pancakes

1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
2 tbsp Splenda
1/2 cup Pecans, crushed
1 cup Skim Milk
1/2 cup Egg Beaters
2 tbsp Vanilla extract
2 Bananas, mashed
2 tbsp Cinnamon

1. Mix flour, baking soda, nuts and Splenda in bowl.
2. Mix milk, eggs, bananas and vanilla in another bowl.
3. Beat into dry mix roughly, so as to add more air to mix.
4. Stir in cinnamon last.
5. Serving size is 1/3 cup mix.
6. Use Pam on skillet when cooking and sweeten with sugar free syrup and/or fruit!

Number of Servings: 10


My bananas and pecans added 50 cal. to each pancake, but it also made two more than before.  I froze the last two to have during the week.  These were MUCH tastier than the original.  I upped the flour a bit to compensate for the wet bananas, and I think I made the right call.  Mine come out very well done because I still haven't got the whole pancake-flipping thing down, but they were fine.  Enjoyed, as always, with three slices of center cut bacon (60 cal.).  I'm still not a huge fan of these "fake" pancakes, though they are a decent substitute; but somehow my beloved LOVES them, so that's fine with me.

Chef Shorty: 3.5 noms
Prof. Peanutbutter: 4.5 noms

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Chicken pot chicken pot chicken pot piiiiiiiie!


This is what was left of our chicken pot pie.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture before we nommed it all.  It was THAT GOOD.

Adapted from Warner's Topless Chicken Pot Pie on

Chicken pot chicken pot chicken pot piiiiiiiie!

1 Oronoque Orchards 9" Deep Dish frozen pie crust
1/2 cup Leeks (white part only, chopped)
4 tbsp I Can't Believe it's Not Butter - Light
1/4 cup White flour
1 cup Chicken stock, low sodium
1 pouch Perdue Roasted Chicken Short Cuts (9 oz.)
1 package Mixed Vegetables, frozen (10 oz.)
1 dash Pepper
1/2 tsp Thyme

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Place a large saucepan over moderate heat.
3. Add the butter and allow to melt.
4. Add the sliced leeks and saute for 1-2 minutes.
5. Add the flour, and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
6. Slowly add the stock and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until mixture thickens.
7. Add the thyme, pepper, vegetables, and chicken; stir to combine.
8. Prick the bottom of the pie crust and place on a sheet pan; fill with chicken mixture and bake for 30 minutes. Cool 4-5 minutes before serving.

I did reduce the calories a bit from the original recipe by using the butter substitute, and the original called for 16 oz. of chicken but the 9 oz. looked like plenty, and it was.  I cut this into 4 pieces instead of 6 because it falls apart easily, and Prof. Peanutbutter nommed two slices in no time.  I had one and saved the other for lunch the next day.

Oh.  My.  Nom!  This was soooooo good.  It tasted much less healthy than it was.  Cutting out the potatoes and the top crust definitely make it lower calorie.

Chef Shorty: 4.5 noms
Prof. Peanutbutter 5 noms


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sato II - A restaurant review


Sato II - Stoneham, MA

Tonight, I did not feel like cooking.  I had plans to eat out with my family but they fell through (my plans, not my family...LAWL).  I had nothing planned for dinner, so Prof. Peanutbutter and I headed to a local sushi/fusion place I'd been wanting to try: Sato II.

I like sushi, but mainly just the veggie ones.  I'm okay with some raw fish, but I prefer not to order it.  Prof. Peanutbutter wants nothing to do with sushi, but luckily this place offers a full fusion menu with Chinese, Japanese, and Polynesian.

We shared a plate of six Gyoza (fried meat dumplings) for our appetizer.  They were perfectly crispy and extremely tasty.  We both loved it.  Then for dinner, I ordered California rolls (cooked crab meat, avocado, and cucumber), sweet potato rolls (my FAVORITE), and miso soup.  Prof. Peanuterbutter ordered Szechuan spicy chicken (basically Kung Pao chicken).

My sushi was delicious, as was my soup.  Sushi is a very filling meal, and as usual, I didn't finish.  I left one lonely California roll on my plate, and gave one sweet potato roll to the fiance to try.  I went into a serious carb coma the second we got home.  

Prof. Peanutbutter loved his meal, as it was nice and spicy.  It consisted of chicken, peanuts, and mixed veggies (peppers, celery, chili peppers, onions) in a brown sauce.  There were entire chili peppers in there, which he carefully ate one at a time.  I had a few bites and it was very nommy.  I enjoy dishes with chicken and peanuts.

The service was good, but they brought out my sushi long before the Prof's chicken, and forgot my soup, so I had to remind the waiter I ordered it.  Otherwise, they were very attentive and cleared each plate as soon as we finished with it.  It had sort of a townie-bar atmosphere, as the bartender seemed to know everyone.  It's a fairly small place and was almost full on a weeknight.  They look very popular so I don't think I'd attempt going there on a weekend; luckily they deliver too.

It was a nice evening at a low-key place with cuisine we don't normally have.  I was very satisfied.  I did however estimate my meal (with a light beer) at about 1,100 calories, so I definitely went over my limit for the day.

Chef Shorty: 4 noms
Prof. Peanutbutter: 4.5 noms

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Quickie? No Mr. President, QUICHE...

Gore and Bush were in a restaurant ordering brunch. The waitress asks Gore what he would like to order. After looking at the menu, Al says, "I would like Eggs Benedict."

The waitress says, "Fine, and what will you have President Bush?"
Perusing the menu, George says, "Well, I think I'd like to have a quickie."

Taken aback, the waitress responds, "Why Mr. President, that's awful!"

Then Gore leans over and whispers into Bush's ear, "George, that's pronounced 'quiche.'"


Mwa ha ha.  I've always loved that joke.  =)

So a friend recommended this quiche recipe to me and I had to give it a try.  I love egg-based foods, probably because breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.  I substitute Egg Beaters in everything, because the reduction in calories and cholesterol is so extreme and they taste the same to me.  Some people may disagree.

Adapted from Crustless Spinach, Onion and Feta Quiche on

Spinach, Onion, and Feta Quiche

1 medium onion, diced
6 oz fresh baby spinach
1 cup Egg Beaters
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
pinch cayenne pepper
1 1/3 cups non fat milk
1/2 cup reduced-fat feta cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. Lightly grease a 10-inch quiche/tart pan (or a pie plate).
3. In a medium frying pan, cook diced onion with a bit of vegetable oil (or cooking spray) over medium-high heat until translucent and tender. Add in fresh spinach and cook until just wilted. Set aside to cool for a few minutes
4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk in milk, then stir in spinach-onion mixture.
5. Pour quiche base into prepared pan. Top with feta cheese.
6. Bake for 25 minutes, or until center is set and the outside edge is golden brown.
7. Let set for 5 minutes, then slice and serve.

I knocked off almost 40 cal. and 4 grams of fat per serving by subbing Egg Beaters (she had used half eggs and half Egg Beaters), whole wheat flour, and reduced-fat feta.  Prof. Peanutbutter ate three slices and I had two, plus we each had three slices of center cut bacon (because we're definitely not vegetarians!).  My meal totaled 273 calories!  That's it!  And we were both full.  Amazing meal.  Had the last slice for breakfast the next morning (we had this for dinner, though it works equally well as a breakfast).

Chef Shorty: 4.5 noms
Prof. Peanutbutter: 4 noms (He's not a huge fan of spinach.)

I'm definitely making this again and experimenting with different veggies and cheeses.  I'm thinking tomatoes, onions, peppers, and reduced-fat Mexican cheese next time!


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Double-duty fajitas

I discovered, totally by accident, how easy it is to make fajitas one night and omelets the next morning.  Friday night, I realized I had forgotten to take the chicken breasts I was going to use for dinner out of the freezer.  I needed a back-up plan, and decided chicken fajitas would be easy enough.  I was starving, so I made enough for us to each have three fajitas, but as usual, I got full and didn't eat my last one.  Below is the recipe for 5 fajitas, which will generate some leftover fixings.  I will explain after.

Southwestern Chicken Fajitas

5 Whole Wheat Tortillas
1 cup chopped Perdue short cut chicken breast
3/4 cup Green Peppers, chopped (I used frozen)
3/4 cup Red Peppers, chopped (I used frozen)
1/2 cup Onions, chopped (I used frozen)
1 cup Yellow Sweet Corn, Frozen
5 tbsp Hood Low Fat Sour Cream
3/4 cup Sargento shredded, reduced fat 4 cheese Mexican
Chili powder, black pepper, etc. as desired

1. Spray a large pan with Pam and stir-fry the veggies on medium heat for about 5 min., longer if frozen.
2. Add the chicken and continue stir-frying for another 5 min. Add any desired spices.
3. Drain the mixture, then serve in wheat tortillas with sour cream and cheese.

Number of Servings: 5


Chef Shorty: 4 noms
Prof. Peanutbutter: 4.5 noms

Each tortilla contained about 2 tbsp. of the chicken and veggies mixture, and 1 tbsp. each of cheese and sour cream.  When I declared myself full, Prof. Peanutbutter stored the leftover mixture in the fridge and commented, "You know, you could put this stuff in an omelet tomorrow morning, I bet that would taste pretty good."  Did I mention I'm marrying a genius?
So the next morning I made this:

Chicken Fajita Omelettes

1/2 cup leftover chicken and veggie fajita mixture
1 cup Egg Beaters
1/2 cup Sargento shredded, reduced fat 4 cheese Mexican

1. Spray two small pans with Pam and place on medium-high heat.
2. When the Pam starts to brown, pour 1/2 cup Egg Beaters in each pan.
3. Flip when eggs are almost cooked through.
4. Add 1/4 cup each chicken and veggie mixture and cheese to each omelet.
5. Fold over and reduce heat to low until cheese is melted.


Each omelet is very low-calorie and delicious.  You may wish to serve them topped with a little low-fat sour cream (which I was going to do, but forgot).  We had whole grain white bread with I Can't Believe it's Not Butter - Light on the side.

Chef Shorty: 4.5 noms
Prof. Peanutbutter: 4.5 noms

This was such an easy way to make two meals, and now I will always have the ingredients on hand for last-minute food emergencies.  I especially like the frozen peppers and onions as they keep longer and are already chopped.  I always have frozen corn on hand.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Asian noms


One of my favorite cuisines is Asian food.  Thai, Chinese, it.  I made my own Pad Thai and egg rolls before starting this blog and they came out AMAZING, so I'll have to repeat those some day and post pics.  Tonight I made Apple and Pork Stir-fry with Ginger.  Nom!

From's recipe.

Apple and Pork Stir-fry with Ginger

2 Tbsp. peach jam, preferably fruit sweetened
2 Tbsp. reduced sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp. dark toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp. finely minced fresh ginger root
1/2 pound (8 ounces) pork tenderloin, cut into thin strips
1 1/2 tsp. canola oil
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1 can (8 ounces) sliced water chestnuts, drained
2 firm apples, such as Fuji or Gala, cut into one-inch pieces
1/2 cup scallions, thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. In small bowl, combine jam, soy sauce, water and cornstarch. Set aside. 
2. In large non-stick skillet, heat sesame oil over medium high heat. Add pork and ginger and stir-fry until pork is browned and just cooked through, about 3-5 minutes.
3. Transfer pork and ginger to bowl with slotted spoon. Add canola oil to skillet. Stir-fry peppers, water chestnuts, and apples until peppers are crisp tender, about 3 minutes. 
4. Add pork back to skillet along with scallions. Stir-fry 30 seconds. Add jam mixture. Continue to stir-fry 30 seconds to one minute, or until sauce thickens. Season to taste with black pepper.

Makes 4 servings (2 oz cooked pork per serving).


This was one of the few recipes I've made without changing anything.  It was really really good!  Very colorful, lots of fruit and veggies (far more of those than meat).  I thoroughly enjoyed it and could have eaten lots more.  Prof. Peanutbutter liked it, but isn't a huge fan of fruits in his dinner, and would have preferred some rice with it.

Chef Shorty: 4 noms
Prof. Peanutbutter: 3.5 noms