Posts Tagged ‘Bella Cooks’

bilblcooksI found this recipe in the November issue of Self magazine, and knew I had to give it a try.  I made it tonight for my parents and sister, and they couldn’t stop raving.  The recipe takes a bit of prep, but it’s perfect to make when entertaining, because the actual cooking time is relatively short – less than 20 minutes.  Plus, your guests will be really impressed! It’s a hearty, satisfying meal that is perfect for fall and winter.

Nutrition Info:

portabello nutrition

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(Note: the original recipe called for chicken broth, but I didn’t include it in the dish I made because I didn’t think it needed it).

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

First, clean the portabello mushrooms and remove the gills and caps.

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Place a piece of parchment paper on a rimmed cookie sheet.  Put mushrooms cap up on the cookie sheet. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and brush half of it onto the mushroom caps.

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Bake for 8 minutes.

While the mushrooms are cooking, start sauteeing shallot/garlic/onion mixture with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Add in rosemary.

2013-11-02 18.44.46 The kitchen will start smelling heavenly at this point.

Add cannelini  beans that have been drained and rinsed, cubed prosciutto, and parsley.  Cook for 5 minutes. Remove mixture from pan and set aside.  Add spinach to skillet and wilt, about a minute.

At this point, the mushrooms will be ready.  Flip them over so you can fill them.  Brush with remaining olive oil/balsamic mixture.  Add spinach.  Then fill with bean/prosciutto mixture.

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Combine panko breadcrumbs and cheese, and divide among mushrooms.

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Coat with olive oil spray and bake for 10 minutes.  The panko breadcrumbs will turn golden and the kitchen will fill with such an amazing aroma that your dinner guests will ask if it’s almost ready.  Tell them it will be worth the wait.

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It’s hard to believe that something that tastes this good and has this much flavor is only 265 calories!


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I’ve been meaning to make this recipe for over 8 months, but just never got around to it, until today.  This version is inspired by Hungry Girl, but I changed it quite a bit to suit my tastes.  (HG used Tofu Shiratake Noodles, and while I tried to be open minded about them at first, I have grown to strongly dislike them.  I’d rather use the extra points and have real pasta rather than those). Growing up my mom never made “American” dinners like this (she made us excellent, more gourmet meals), so it was fun to try to make a very traditional “comfort food” recipe.


download-2 (Not pictured: grated Parmesan cheese)

12.5oz Dreamfields whole wheat elbow macaroni
12oz frozen, shelled edamame
2  6oz cans Albacore tuna in water, drained
2 cans Campbell’s Healthy Request 98% fat-free condensed cream of mushroom soup
4 wedges Laughing Cow Light cheese, swiss flavor
4 TBSP Parmesan cheese
garlic powder, to taste
cayenne pepper, to taste
black pepper, to taste
salt, to taste

Makes 6 7-point servings. (I plugged it all into the WW.com eTools Recipe Builder).  Obviously, if you made the portion size smaller, the points would decrease.


Boil pasta in water until al dente, about 7 minutes.

download-3Place frozen edamame in colander and rinse with cold water. Drain pasta over edamame in colander to defrost.

In a large pot (I used the one I cooked the pasta in), add tuna, cheese wedges, cream of mushroom soup, salt, pepper, cayenne, and 2 TBSP Parmesan cheese.

Combine all ingredients, mixing well.

Spray a baking pan with Pam and add pasta mixture.

download Sprinkle remaining 2 TBSP of Parmesan over casserole.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.

download-1 Enjoy!

The reason I made this recipe with edamame instead of the more traditional peas is that I hate peas.  Plus, I figured that the edamame added more protein and still retained the look of the dish.

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This weekend was really busy for me because grades are due on Monday at 8am and I had 2 sets of research papers, 1 set of essays, and 2 sets of tests to grade.  I’m not done yet, but I decided to take a break from all the grading and get ready for the week ahead. In an earlier post, I asked all of you for some lunch ideas that I could make ahead on the weekend and enjoy all week.  I got so many terrific ideas, but while I was at Trader Joe’s, I was hit with a great inspiration to prepare a delicious and easy soup.

This soup is one that I’m sure you seen before, as many cooks have made it.  I think I may have seen one version of this on 30 Minute Meals, but I’ve adapted it a bit.

3 “C” Soup (with cannellini beans, collard greens, and spicy Italian chicken sausage)

Ingredients (I’m sorry I don’t have the usual photo of all of the compiled ingredients because I didn’t think of posting this until I was halfway through cooking it).

4 links spicy Italian chicken sausage, fully cooked (I cut each link into 8 pieces to make portion control easier)
2 cans cannellini beans, drained
collard greens (I used one HUGE bag of cut & cleaned greens that I bought at Trader Joe’s)
8 cups chicken broth (I used free-range, fat free, low sodium chicken broth from TJ’s)
1 onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced (I used about 4-5 cloves, but I love garlic)
2 TBSP olive oil
red pepper flakes, to taste
salt, to taste
cayenne pepper, to taste

Makes 8 4-point servings


This soup is so easy that you really don’t need many directions.  This is one of those “dump it” soups that I love making.

In a large pot, sauté onion, garlic, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes in olive oil until transparent.

Add sausage to pot and brown to taste.

Turn flame to high and add collard greens.  These wilt down by at least half by the time they cook, so don’t worry that they won’t all fit.  They will.  At this point I added more red pepper flakes (I like spice!) and some salt.

Add chicken broth.

Add cannellini beans. I don’t rinse the beans for this soup because I like the thickness the starch adds to the final product.

download-41 Bring to a boil

download-31 Once the pot comes to a boil, lower flame and simmer for 20-25 minutes.

The finished soup is delicious, hearty, and plenty of veggie servings!  All for only 4 points per serving!


I can’t tell you how organized and ready for the week I feel after preparing this easy soup!  I have plenty for several lunches this week and lots of leftovers:

download-1 Soup’s On!

Still need other lunch ideas

Since I don’t like eating the same thing for lunch (or dinner, for that matter) everyday, I’m also planning on making chicken salad wraps (thanks Scale Junkie for the good idea!).  If any of you have any other lunch ideas, please leave them in the comments.

What about Breakfast?

With all of my emphasis on lunch, I didn’t mention that breakfast is really difficult for me on weekdays.  Since I have to be to school so early, I never have time to eat breakfast at home, so I’m always throwing a little something into my lunch bag.  Sometimes it’s little more than a banana and a yogurt. (I’m not a huge egg eater, and although I’m liking them a lot more than I used to, I can’t see myself eating eggs (or an egg casserole) all week).

Then I started thinking about something I could make for a make-ahead breakfast, and I thought of Crockpot Oatmeal! Many of you have mentioned that you make Irish Steel Cut Oats in the crockpot.  I’ve never done this before, but I’m planning on making it tonight overnight.

I looked up the directions online, and it seems like it couldn’t be simpler: spray a crockpot with Pam, add 4 1/2 cups of water, 2 TBSP butter (if desired), then 1 cup of dry oats. Turn on low and cook for 6-8 hours, overnight.  It makes 4 servings.  I have lots of fruit that I can add in the morning – blueberries, bananas, and strawberries.  I’m planning on having a bit of Fage greek yogurt on the side because 1 cup is only 2 points, and it’s such a good source of protein.

OK, how about dinner?

After all of this cooking, I decided to keep dinner fairly simple:

download I made one of TJ’s cornmeal pizzas. The one I chose had kalamata olives, red bell peppers, feta, mozzarella, and spinach.  Half a pizza is 7.5 points, which isn’t bad for dinner.  I paired it with a spinach salad with grape tomatoes and sliced mushrooms with balsamic vinaigrette.  It was filling and tasted so good.

Ok, enough of this cooking stuff, I need to get back to grading, ’cause those essays aren’t going to correct themselves!

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