Tag Archives: Cooking Light

Zucchini and Caramelized Onion Quiche

I really love quiche, but I had never made one until now. I’ll pretty much eat anything with caramelized onion in it, so this Cooking Light recipe seemed like a good place to start. I thought it turned out great and, after initially turning her nose up at it, Olivia eventually gave in and ate her whole piece. We had this dish for dinner, but it would also be a fantastic brunch option.

Zucchini and Caramelized Onion Quiche

1 refrigerated pie crust
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
2 tsp sugar
4 cups sliced zucchini
3 cloves of garlic, minced
¾ tsp kosher salt, divided
1 cup low-fat milk
1½ tbsp all-purpose flour
½ tsp pepper
3 large eggs
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft and translucent. Sprinkle in sugar, stir, and continue cooking until the onions are very tender, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool and then finely chop.

2. Preheat oven to 425°. Unroll pie crust and fit into a 10-inch pie plate. Bake the pie crust for 12 minutes or until edges are golden. Remove and allow to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 375°.

3. Heat large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add remaining olive oil the pan. Add zucchini and garlic, and sprinkle with ¼ tsp salt. Sauté 5 minutes or until zucchini is crisp-tender. Cool slightly.

4. Arrange caramelized onions over the bottom of the pie crust; top with zucchini mixture. Combine ½ tsp salt, milk, flour, pepper, eggs, and cheese in a mixing bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Pour the egg mixture over the zucchini and onions.

5. Bake the quiche at 375° for 35 minutes or until set. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting. 

Easy Chicken Tostadas

Instant rice and rotisserie chicken make this meal super quick and easy for a busy weeknight. I tweaked a few things from the original recipe (like using brown rice instead of white, wheat tortillas instead of flour, and shredded reduced fat colby jack instead of queso fresco), but the finished product was still delicious. I cut my two year old’s tostada into quarters so it would be easier for her to pick it up, but it was still a bit difficult for her to handle—she ended up just eating the stuff off the top.

Chicken Tostadas with Chipotle Rice

Adapted from Cooking Light

3 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 ½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp salt
1 cup diced tomato
½ cup diced white onion
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 avocado, peeled and diced
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 (6-inch) whole wheat tortillas
2 cups shredded green leaf lettuce
1 (15-ounce) can organic black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups shredded boneless rotisserie chicken breast
¼ cup shredded reduced fat cheese

For the rice:
1 ¾ cups water
1 tbsp butter
2 tsp chipotle seasoning
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
2 cups instant brown rice
1 small can of mild green chiles
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro


1. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add tomato, onion, cilantro, and avocado; toss gently to coat.

2. To make the rice, combine water, chipotle seasoning, salt, and pepper in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add rice and stir gently. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 5-8 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and stir in the cilantro and green chiles.

3. Heat a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add ¾ tsp oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add 1 tortilla to pan; cook 1 minute on each side or until browned. Repeat procedure 3 times with remaining 2 ¼ tsp oil and tortillas.

4. Place 1 tortilla on each of 4 plates. Layer each tortilla with ½ cup lettuce, about ½ cup beans, ½ cup chicken, ¼ cup avocado salsa, and 1 tbsp cheese.


Chicken and Dumplings

Growing up in southern Virginia, this comforting dish was a staple at our dinner table the moment the temperature dropped. I consider myself something of a connoisseur when it comes to chicken and dumplings, so when I came across a healthier version in Cooking Light, I wasn’t expecting much.

How could this low-cal version possibly compare to my beloved (and now closed *sniff sniff!) Rodman’s Bones & Buddy’s? I’d say it compared pretty well! I made a couple of changes to the original recipe to make it a bit easier and to up the veggie count. You need to try this one before the winter’s out—trust me, you won’t be disappointed (Mom, I’m talking to you!).

Chicken and Dumplings
Adapted from Cooking Light 

1 cup chopped onion
1 tsp minced garlic
¼ cup dry sherry
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
4 cups fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
1 can condensed, reduced-fat, reduced-sodium cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
4 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, green beans, and corn)
¼ cup water
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 cups Bisquick mix
2/3 cup skim milk

1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray.  Add onion and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes.

2. Stir in the next five ingredients (sherry through soup) and bring to a boil. Add the chicken and bring back up to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 35 minutes.

3. Stir in the frozen vegetables.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the water and the cornstarch, and then add the mixture to the pot, stirring well.

5. In another bowl, mix together the Bisquick and the milk. Drop the dough in spoonfuls into the pot.

6. Bring the chicken mixture to a simmer and continue to cook for 20 minutes, turning over the dumplings and stirring occasionally.

7. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes or until the dumplings are done. 

Soy Citrus Scallops with Soba Noodles

There was a recent episode of Chopped where the chefs had to make a dessert using soba noodles. I had never had soba noodles before, but knowing that they were a type of Japanese buckwheat noodle, I couldn’t imagine having them for dessert. But I was intrigued, so I decided to try them out. I found this (more traditional) recipe for scallops and soba noodles with a soy citrus marinade/sauce from Cooking Light that seemed easy enough; plus the total cooking time was only 20 minutes, which made it doable for a busy weeknight.

While some of the “fast” recipes from Cooking Light seem to take me much longer than the listed time, this one actually was as easy as it seemed. I changed the original recipe just slightly by adding more veggies, and the dish was a hit with my two year old. If I had a con for this recipe, it would be that it’s a bit pricey compared to our usual meals—one pound of scallops will run you around $15—and I had a difficult time finding soba noodles (several grocery stores were all sold out??). Overall, I would make this again, though I may grill the scallops next time, sans marinade, and just toss everything together at the end.

Soy Citrus Scallops with Soba Noodles
From Cooking Light

3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp minced peeled fresh ginger
1/4 tsp chili garlic sauce
1 tbsp dark sesame oil, divided
1 lb large sea scallops
4 cups hot cooked soba (about 6 oz uncooked buckwheat noodles)
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 bag of frozen steam-in-the-bag vegetables (I used carrots, sugar snap peas, and baby corn) 

Combine first six ingredients and 1 teaspoon oil in a shallow baking dish; add scallops to dish in a single layer. Marinate 4 minutes on each side.

Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove scallops from dish, reserving marinade. Add scallops to pan; sauté 1 minute on each side or until almost done. Remove scallops from pan; keep warm. Place remaining marinade in pan; bring to a boil. Return scallops to pan; cook 1 minute.

Steam vegetables according to the directions on the bag. Toss noodles with salt and green onions.

Place 1 cup noodle mixture on each of four plates. Top each serving with vegetables and about three scallops, and drizzle with a tablespoon sauce.

Figs in a Blanket

I made this recipe from Cooking Light as an appetizer for our Christmas dinner and it was a huge hit. The original recipe called for apricots and blue cheese, but I’m a big fan of fig and goat cheese together, so I decided to change it up a bit. The original recipe also called for them to look like cute, neat little “angels”—mine turned out looking more like pigs in a blanket. But they still tasted delicious, and that’s what really matters!

Figs in a Blanket
Adapted from Cooking Light’s Apricot-Blue Cheese Angels

1 cup boiling water
1 6 oz package figs, chopped (I used Calimyrna, but Mission would work as well)
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
2 oz crumbled goat cheese
2 sheets frozen pastry dough, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Combine 1 cup boiling water and figs in a medium bowl, and let stand for 10 minutes. Reserve 2 tbsp of the soaking liquid, and then drain the figs in a colander. Place figs, reserved 2 tbsp soaking liquid, walnuts, honey, juice, and cinnamon in a food processor; pulse until coarsely ground. Add cheese to processor; pulse 3 times or until blended.
  3. Place 1 sheet pastry dough on a work surface lightly dusted with flour. Gently roll into a 12 ½-inch square. Cut dough into 25 (2 ½-inch) squares. Top each dough piece with about 1 tsp fig mixture. Working with one dough piece at a time, bring corners up to the center and pinch closed. Place the pastries on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat steps with remaining dough and fig mixture, placing formed pastries on a second baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush pastries evenly with egg. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until golden.


Supermarket Shortcuts and Speedy Desserts from Cooking Light

I’ve been getting Cooking Light magazine for years, and I always find great recipes, healthy eating tips and inspiration in its pages. The April 2012 issue, however, seemed almost as if it were written just for me. The focus this month was on fast and easy meals, shortcuts and quick desserts. I always fold down the corner of the page when I find a recipe I want to try, but this time nearly all of the corners were tabbed!

The article “Supermarket Shortcut Solutions” recommended using fresh or canned pizza dough, fresh pasta, hummus, precooked brown rice, and rotisserie chicken to get dinner on the table in a flash, and there are 20 different recipes using these ingredients. With the exception of the fresh pasta (I usually just use the wheat pasta in the box), I am an old pro at using these shortcuts. I also love using jarred roasted red peppers, frozen veggies, Tyson® Grilled & Ready Chicken Strips, fish sticks for fish tacos (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it), frozen shrimp, and whole grain couscous (throw in some rotisserie chicken and steam-in-the-bag veggies and you have a full meal in less than 10 minutes)!

Photo: Nigel Cox; Styling: Tiziana Agnello

But what caught my eye more than any other recipe was the one for the Limoncello Freeze. My husband and I were introduced to limoncello during a trip to Italy several years ago, and I’ve loved it ever since. My mom has even perfected a limoncello cheesecake (which, come to think of it, I’ll have to share here later). This Limoncello Freeze sounds so quick and easy, I will definitely be giving it a try as soon as I am over this stinking sinus infection and can taste food properly again!

Limoncello Freeze
From Cooking Light, April 2012
Makes four

1/4 cup lemon curd

2 1/2 tbsp limoncello

2 cups vanilla low-fat ice cream

12 mini vanilla meringue cookies

Combine the curd and limoncello in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk to blend. Add ice cream to curd mixture; stir gently to swirl. Spoon 1/2 cup ice cream mixture into each of 4 bowls; top each with 3 meringue cookies.

Now tell me that doesn’t look like it would hit the spot on a hot summer day?!