Halfway Homemade: More Quick, Easy Recipes (cont.)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch pie plate with canola cooking spray.
  2. In medium bowl, combine light cream cheese, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder, then spread on the bottom of prepared pie plate.
  3. In medium size bowl, combine the two cheeses and two types of peppers. Sprinkle half the cheese-pepper mixture over the cream cheese layer. Spread pizza sauce over the top of this, then sprinkle with the remaining cheese-pepper mixture.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve warm with multigrain tortilla chips or dipping sticks cut from Boboli whole-wheat pizza crust.

Yield: Makes 10 servings

Nutrition Information per serving (not including bread dippers or tortilla chips): 136 calories, 11 g protein, 5 g carbohydrate, 8 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 25 mg cholesterol, 0.4 g fiber, 313 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 53%.

Party Sandwich Sub

1 unsliced loaf of whole-wheat sourdough or French bread (some bakeries bake this fresh!)
1/2 cup light cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 pound thinly sliced extra lean ham (any type you like)
1/2 pound thinly sliced lean roast beef
6 big slices dill pickle


  1. Cut the bread lengthwise and carefully hollow out the top and bottom halves of the loaf, making sure to leave at least 1/2 inch of bread as a shell (you can save the inside part for another use).
  2. In small bowl, combine cheeses, onion, light mayonnaise, and Worcestershire sauce by hand or with mixer on low speed. Spread this mixture over the cut sides of both halves of the loaf.
  3. Layer the ham on the bottom half. Top with pickles, then roast beef. Gently press the top half over the bottom half. Wrap in plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Cut into slices (1 1/2-inches wide).

Yield: Makes about 8 party servings.

Nutrition Information per serving: 304 calories, 23 g protein, 30 g carbohydrate, 9.9 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 52 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 920 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 29%.

Italian-Style Veggie Bake

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup chopped bell pepper
1 cup sliced zucchini
1 1/2 cups bottled pizza sauce or marinara
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup egg substitute
2 green onions, chopped (optional)
1 cup Heart Smart Bisquick
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1 large egg (use a brand higher in omega-3s, if available)
1 cup shredded reduced fat mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat an 8-inch square baking dish with canola cooking spray.
  2. Pour olive oil into a large nonstick frying pan and heat over medium-high heat. When hot, add mushrooms, bell pepper, and zucchini and saute until tender and lightly brown. Turn off the heat, stir in the pizza or marinara sauce, and spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
  3. In small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, and green onions (if desired) until blended. Drop small spoonfuls of this mixture on top of the mushroom mixture.
  4. In the small bowl, combine the Bisquick, milk, and egg using a fork. Pour this over the cheese and veggie mixture in the baking dish. Coat one side of a sheet of foil with cooking spray and cover the baking dish well with it, the sprayed side against the food. Bake about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Uncover the dish, sprinkle the mozzarella over the top, and bake until cheese melts (5 to 10 minutes).

Yield: Makes about 6 servings

Nutrition Information per serving: 275 calories, 17 g protein, 27 g carbohydrate, 12 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 60 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 750 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 39%.

Slow Cooker Barbecue Boneless Ribs

Who doesn't love the taste of barbecue ribs? These have the taste and fall-off-the-bone texture of restaurant ribs -- but without all the grease!

About 2 1/2 pounds boneless, very lean, beef short ribs, trimmed of visible fat (my butcher makes it from the center brisket)
Black pepper
Garlic powder
Canola cooking spray
1 onion, sliced
16 ounces of the best barbecue sauce you can get your hands on


  1. Sprinkle ribs lightly with pepper and garlic powder.
  2. Start heating a large nonstick frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Spray pan generously with canola spray. Place ribs in pan, and brown on all sides, if possible (about 6-8 minutes altogether)
  3. Put sliced onion into slow cooker. Cut ribs into serving size pieces and put in slow cooker. Pour in barbecue sauce. Cover and cook on LOW about 8-9 hours (or on HIGH about 5 hours).

Yield: Makes about 8 servings

Nutrition Information per serving (if half of the barbecue sauce is consumed): 221 calories, 28 g protein, 12.5 g carbohydrate, 5.6 g fat (1.8 g saturated fat), 83 mg cholesterol, 1.3 g fiber, 404 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 23%.

Key Lime Whip

Lime Whip:
2 (6-ounce) containers lime yogurt (light or low-fat)
1 cup light (or nonfat) Cool Whip or other non-dairy whipped topping, refrigerated (not frozen)
Cookie topping:
3 lower-fat vanilla sandwich cookies or shortbread cookies, broken into pieces
1/8 cup roasted walnuts (or raw walnuts)


  1. Add cookies and walnuts to small food processor and pulse into crumbs.
  2. In small bowl, combine lime yogurt with whipped topping until well blended. Spoon lime mixture into 4 small dessert cups and sprinkle the cookie topping of the top of each.
  3. Cover and store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

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