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Nov 13, 2009

Roasted Mediterranean Vegetable Focaccia

You can roast the vegetables 1 day ahead. Just make sure to rewarm them before using them.

4 plum tomatoes, halved
2 large portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch wedges
1/2 small eggplant, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 (8-inch) focaccia bread
1 (14-oz.) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup crumbled tomato-basil feta cheese

1. Heat oven to 450°F. Line 15x10x1-inch baking pan with foil. Place tomatoes (skin side-up), mushrooms, bell pepper, eggplant and onion on pan. Lightly spray vegetables with cooking spray.

2. Bake 15 to 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender and lightly browned. Place vegetables in large bowl.

3. Place bread on ungreased baking sheet; bake 3 to 5 minutes or until heated through.

4. Meanwhile, add artichoke hearts and vinegar to vegetables; toss gently to coat.

5. Cut bread in half horizontally. Place vegetables on bottom half; top with cheese. Cover with top half of bread. Cut into quarters; serve warm.

4 servings

Slow-Cooker Short Rib Sandwich

Slow-Cooker Short Rib Sandwich

Ribs are perfect for the slow cooker because the longer you cook them, the more tender they become.

4 lb. beef short ribs
1 medium onion, halved, cut into wedges
1 1/2 cups red wine or nonalcoholic red wine
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
6 crusty hard rolls, split

3/4 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Place ribs in slow cooker; top with onion wedges.

2. Combine wine, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and 1 teaspoon salt in small bowl; pour over ribs. Cover and cook on low 9 to 12 hours or until meat is very tender and falls away from bones.

3. Meanwhile, combine all sauce ingredients in small bowl. Cover and refrigerate.

4. With tongs or slotted spoon, place ribs and onions in shallow pan; remove bones and fat. Slice or pull meat apart. Moisten meat mixture with cooking juices as desired. Discard remaining cooking juices or reserve for another use. Place meat in rolls; top with sauce.

6 sandwiches

Italian Sausage- and Rice-Stuffed Peppers

The sausage contributes much of the flavor to these tasty stuffed peppers, so choose one that’s got a little zip.

2 red and/or yellow bell peppers, halved lengthwise, seeded, deveined
1 link fully cooked spicy Italian chicken sausage, halved, thinly sliced*
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 cup cooked brown rice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup purchased marinara or pizza sauce
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1. Heat oven to 425°F. Place peppers, cut-sides up, on microwave-safe plate; cover with waxed paper. Microwave on high 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Turn to drain.

2. Spray medium skillet with cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat until hot. Cook and stir sausage 1 to 2 minutes or until browned. Add garlic; cook and stir 30 seconds or until fragrant. Stir in rice and basil.

3. Spoon sausage mixture into pepper halves; place on small foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Spoon marinara sauce over peppers; top with cheese. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until peppers are tender and cheese is lightly browned.

TIP *If you can’t find spicy Italian chicken sausage, add 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper at same time as garlic.

2 servings

PER SERVING: 335 calories, 11 g total fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 15.5 g protein, 43.5 g carbohydrate, 30 mg cholesterol, 920 mg sodium, 6.5 g fiber

Rosemary-Lemon Herbed Turkey

A subtle infusion of fresh rosemary and lemon gives turkey a hint of flavor that even Thanksgiving purists will appreciate.

3 tablespoons oil from jar of oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, divided
4 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 (12-lb.) turkey
3 (14-oz.) cans lower-sodium chicken broth, divided
1 onion, cut into wedges, divided
6 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped, divided
6 fresh rosemary sprigs, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 lemon, halved
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 to 3/4 cup instant flour (such as Wondra)

1. Combine 2 tablespoons of the oil, chopped rosemary, minced garlic and lemon peel.

2. With hands, loosen skin of turkey from flesh along breast, thigh and upper leg portions. Rub oil mixture over flesh and under skin; cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. (Turkey can be made to this point 1 day ahead.)

3. Meanwhile, heat oven to 350°F. Place 1 cup of the broth and half each of the onion wedges, sun-dried tomatoes and rosemary sprigs in bottom of shallow roasting pan; top with rack.

4. Rub turkey with remaining 1 tablespoon oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on rack. Squeeze lemon halves over turkey; place in cavity of turkey, along with crushed garlic and remaining onion, sun-dried tomatoes and rosemary sprigs. Tent breast loosely with foil.

5. Bake 1 hour; remove foil. Add 3/4 cup of the broth; bake 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until juices run clear between drumstick and thigh and internal temperature reaches 175°F. to 180°F.

6. With tongs, tilt turkey to drain any accumulated juices from cavity. Remove filling from cavity; discard. Place turkey on platter; cover loosely with foil. Let stand 20 minutes.

7. Add all but 1 cup of the remaining broth to roasting pan; bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 5 minutes, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from bottom of pan.

8 .Meanwhile, whisk remaining 1 cup broth and 1/2 cup of the flour in medium bowl. Whisk into liquid in pan; boil 3 to 4 minutes or until thickened, adding additional 2 to 4 tablespoons flour mixed with 2 to 4 tablespoons water if thicker gravy is desired. Serve with turkey.

10 servings

PER SERVING: 430 calories, 20 g total fat (5.5 g saturated fat), 49.5 g protein, 9.5 g carbohydrate, 135 mg cholesterol, 465 mg sodium, 1 g fiber

Greek Pasta Bowl

Serve this quick and hearty pasta with a Greek-style salad of cucumbers, plum tomatoes, red onion and romaine lettuce drizzled with a light red wine vinaigrette dressing.

1 (9-oz.) pkg. refrigerated tortelloni or ravioli, preferably chicken and prosciutto
4 cups coarsely chopped Swiss chard leaves
1 (14.5-oz.) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1/3 cup halved pitted Kalamata olives
3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1. Cook tortelloni according to package directions, eliminating any oil. Add chard during last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain.

2. Combine tomatoes, olives and rosemary in large saucepan; cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until heated through. Return tortelloni and chard to pan; cook until heated through. Serve topped with cheese and pepper.

4 (1-cup) servings

PER SERVING: 195 calories, 7.5 g total fat (3 g saturated fat), 12 g protein, 21.5 g carbohydrate, 65 mg cholesterol, 735 mg sodium, 2.5 g fiber

White Chocolate Raspberry Thumbprints

3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 1/4 cups finely chopped pecans or

For the Filling:
4 squares (1 oz each) white baking
chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam

In a small bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks. Combine the flour and cocoa. Gradually add to the creamed mixture. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until easy to handle. In a shallow bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy. Place the nuts in another shallow bowl. Shape the dough into
1-inch balls. Dip in the egg whites. Roll in the nuts. Using a wooden spoon handle, make an indentation in the center of each cookie. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 F for 8-10 minutes. Remove to the wire racks to cool. In a microwave, melt the white chocolate and the butter at 70 % power for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave at additional 10 to 20 second intervals. Stir until smooth. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon into each cookie. Top each with about 1/4 teaspoon jam. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 3 dozen

Chocolate Macadamia Macaroons

Chocolate Macadamia Macaroons

2 cups flaked coconut
1/2 cup finely chopped macadamia nuts
1/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp baking cocoa
2 tbsp flour
a pinch of salt
2 egg whites, beaten
1 tbsp light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
4 squares (1 oz each) semisweet chocolate

In a large bowl, combine the coconut, macadamia nuts, sugar, cocoa, flour, and salt. Add the egg whites, corn syrup, and vanilla. Mix well. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 325 F. for 15-20 minutes or until set and dry to the touch. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pans to wire racks. Cool completely. In a microwave, melt the chocolate. Stir until smooth. Dip the bottom of each cookie in the chocolate. Allow the excess to drip off. Place on waxed paper. Let stand until set.
Makes 1 1/2 dozen

Cooked Fluffy 7 Minute Frosting

Cooked Fluffy 7 Minute Frosting

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
2 egg whites
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine sugar, water, egg whites, corn syrup and salt in the top of a double
boiler; blend. Place over simmering water.

Using an electric mixer, beat the mixture constantly at high speed for 7
minutes or until the mixture triples in volume and holds firm peaks. Remove
from heat; beat in vanilla.

Spread on cooled 2-layer cake.

Black Magic Cake

Black Magic Cake

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup strong black coffee or 2 tsp. powdered instant coffee (plus 1 cup
boiling water)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

In large bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder
and salt.

Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of
electric mixer 2 minutes. (Batter will be thin.) Pour batter evenly into
prepared pans.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted comes out clean.

Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost as
desired. Serves 10 to 12.

Note: A 13-by-9-by-2- inch pan can be used. Cook 35 to 40 minutes.

Baked eggplant Parmesan

Baked eggplant Parmesan

Prep: 30 minutes Cook: 20 minutes Makes: 6 servings

3 egg whites, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons fat-free milk
1 cup panko crumbs
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 medium eggplant, cut into 12 ( 3/8 -inch) slices
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 can (14.5 ounces) no-salt-added whole tomatoes
1 can (8 ounce) no-salt-added tomato sauce
1 can chopped, peeled, seeded tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Combine egg whites and milk in a shallow plate.
Combine panko crumbs, flour and seasoning in another shallow plate. Dip
eggplant slices in egg white mixture, turning to coat, then in crumb
mixture, turning to coat. Arrange in a single layer in a lightly oiled
baking sheet with sides. Spray top of each slice generously with olive oil
cooking spray. Bake 10 minutes or until golden. Turn slices; spray again.
Bake until slices are golden and crisp, 10-12 minutes.

Meanwhile for sauce, heat the oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring, until onion is tender. Add mushrooms;
cook, stirring, until mushrooms are tender, 3-4 minutes. Add whole tomatoes,
breaking them apart with a spoon. Stir in tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes,
basil and salt. Simmer 15 minutes.

Arrange 2 eggplant slices on each plate. Top with ½ cup sauce. Sprinkle
lightly with cheese.

Nutrition information

Per serving: 140 calories, 17% calories from fat, 3 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 1 mg
cholesterol, 22 g carbs, 7 g protein, 215 mg sodium, 4 g fiber

Pineapple Banana Muffins

Pineapple Banana Muffins

1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons beaten egg
1/4 cup oil
2 tablespoons milk or non-dairy substitute
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 medium)
1/3 cup unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained

In a small bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder,
cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In another bowl, whisk the egg, oil, milk and
vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in bananas and
pineapple. Coat muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray or use paper liners;
fill 3/4 full with batter. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until a
toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a
wire rack. Serve warm. Makes 6 muffins.

Chocolate Banana Tart

Chocolate Banana Tart

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum
6 firm-ripe bananas
1/4 cup apricot preserves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend crumbs, butter, 1/3 cup sugar and salt in
a food processor until mixture begins to hold together. Pat onto bottom and
up sides of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Bake in middle of
oven until side of crust is firm to the touch, 14-18 minutes. Sprinkle
chocolate chips into hot crust and let stand 5 minutes to soften. Spread
evenly over bottom of crust. Beat cream with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons
sugar and rum until it holds soft peaks. Cut bananas into 1/4-inch-thick
slices. Whisk preserves and add bananas, tossing to coat. Spoon banana
mixture into crust and top with whipped cream.

Serves 8.