Watermelon and Arugula Chicken Salad

Looking for a light, refreshing and easy recipe? Try this from the June 2016 Cooking Light magazine. On top of being light and refreshing, it was also very satisfying and quick to pull together. I loved it and will make it again!



4 cups cubed fresh watermelon
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 (5-ounce) package arugula
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
8 ounces skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast, shredded (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Combine watermelon, onion, mint, and arugula in a large bowl.
  2. Add almonds and chicken; toss to combine.
  3. Combine oil, rind, juice, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  4. Add oil mixture to watermelon mixture; toss gently to coat.


Nutritional Information:
Calories 238
Fat 12.1 g
Satfat 1.7 g
Monofat 7.6 g
Polyfat 1.9 g
Protein 20 g
Carbohydrate 16 g
Fiber 2 g
Cholesterol 50 mg
Iron 1 mg
Sodium 445 mg
Calcium 96 mg
Sugars 11 g
Est. Added Sugars 0 g


Feta and Green Onion Couscous Cakes over Tomato-Olive Salad

This is an incredible recipe, one that had to make the blog. Easy and delicious – I can’t wait to make it again. The tomato olive salad really complimented the cakes. I got this recipe from Cooking Light, June 2009.

feta couscous cakes2



1/3 cup uncooked whole-wheat couscous
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons egg substitute
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
Cooking spray

2/3 cup chopped seeded tomato
2 tablespoons chopped pitted kalamata olives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups gourmet salad greens


To prepare cakes:

  1. Place couscous in a medium bowl
  2. Stir in 1/2 cup boiling water.
  3. Cover and let stand 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
  4. Fluff with a fork and cool slightly.
  5. Add cheese and the next 3 ingredients (through pepper).
  6. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.
  7. Spoon about 1/3 cup couscous mixture into 4 mounds in pan.
  8. Lightly press with a spatula to flatten to 1/2 inch.
  9. Cook 2 minutes or until lightly browned.
  10. Coat tops of cakes with cooking spray.
  11. Carefully turn cakes over; cook 2 minutes or until heated.

To prepare salad:

  1. Combine tomato and next 5 ingredients (through 1/8 teaspoon pepper).
  2. Arrange 1 1/2 cups greens on each of 2 plates.
  3. Top each serving with 1/2 cup tomato mixture.
  4. Arrange 2 cakes over tomato mixture.


Nutritional Information:
Calories 289
Fat 14 g
Satfat 3.6 g
Monofat 8.1 g
Polyfat 1.8 g
Protein 10.7 g
Carbohydrate 30.6 g
Fiber 4.4 g
Cholesterol 13 mg
Iron 2.7 mg
Sodium 478 mg
Calcium 154 mg

Cuban Black Bean Soup

This recipe is from Cooking Light, January/February 2008. It’s Super Bowl Sunday and we went for a really long walk and are now back getting ready to watch the half time show (we recorded). 🙂


I’m not a fan of green bell peppers so I used red, yellow and orange ones instead. In hindsight, I should have cut out the sugar given this switch. It didn’t need sugar at all. I also added more salt than the recipe called for – I kept tasting until it was right so I don’t know how much.

We researched a wine pairing for this and landed on a 2009 Malbec from Imagery Winery. A red with little to no tannins. Yummy pairing and meal.

2 bay leaves
1 pound dried black beans
12 1/2 cups water, divided
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 1/2 cups chopped green bell pepper (about 3 medium)
2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped shallots (about 2 small)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups diced peeled avocado
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 cups thinly sliced red onion
1 1/2 cups chopped 33%-less-sodium smoked, fully cooked ham
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup light sour cream
10 teaspoon unsalted pumpkinseed kernels, toasted
1/3 cup finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper (about 2 medium)
Lime wedges (optional)

Place bay leaves and beans in a Dutch oven. Add 12 cups water to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 2 1/2 hours or until tender, stirring occasionally.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add bell pepper, chopped onion, and shallots to pan; cook 10 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring frequently.
Stir in cumin, dried oregano, and fresh oregano; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes.
Place vegetable mixture in a blender; add remaining 1/2 cup water. Puree until smooth.
Add vegetable mixture, sugar, and salt to beans; simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Discard bay leaves.
Combine avocado and juice; toss gently.
Ladle 3/4 cup bean mixture into each of 10 bowls; top each serving with about 3 tablespoons avocado mixture, about 3 tablespoons red onion, 2 tablespoons ham, about 1 1/2 tablespoons cilantro, about 1 1/2 tablespoons sour cream, 1 teaspoon pumpkinseed kernels, and about 1/2 teaspoon jalapeño pepper. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.
Serves 10 (see No. 10 above for serving size)

Nutritional Information:
Calories 344
Caloriesfromfat 31 %
Fat 12 g
Satfat 3.4 g
Monofat 5.7 g
Polyfat 2.3 g
Protein 18.6 g
Carbohydrate 43.9 g
Fiber 14.7 g
Cholesterol 14 mg
Iron 6.1 mg
Sodium 637 mg
Calcium 110 mg

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Shallots

It feels like it’s the first day of fall however it’s the middle of October and it’s still in the 70s. I want it to be fall dammit, so we’re having soup.

This recipe is from Cooking Light. I added in a small red onion because I didn’t have four shallots and added way more ginger than the recipe called for so it had a little heat. (I thought roasting it might mellow it some. Next time, I’ll stick to the recipe on that one.) Served it with a white blend and crusty bread. Delicious.

butternut shallot soup
4 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large shallots, peeled and halved
1 (1/2-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced
2 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons (1-inch) slices fresh chives
Cracked black pepper (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Combine first 5 ingredients in a roasting pan or jelly-roll pan; toss well.
  3. Bake at 375° for 50 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
  4. Cool 10 minutes.
  5. Place half of squash mixture and half of broth in a blender.
  6. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender.
  7. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters).
  8. Blend until smooth.
  9. Pour into a large saucepan.
  10. Repeat procedure with remaining squash mixture and broth.
  11. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
  12. Top with chives and pepper, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 2/3 cup soup and 1 teaspoon chives)

Nutritional Information:
Calories 112
Caloriesfromfat 20 %
Fat 2.5 g
Satfat 0.4 g
Monofat 1.7 g
Polyfat 0.3 g
Protein 3.3 g
Carbohydrate 22.4 g
Fiber 3.6 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Iron 1.6 mg
Sodium 266 mg
Calcium 84 mg

Roasted Cauliflower and Fettuccini

Roasted cauliflower is addictive, coupled with citrus and garlic and pasta? Divine! A few simple ingredients that are transcended by putting them together. It’s from Cooking Light, September 2012. I couldn’t wait to get it up on my blog. This is an amazing recipe and I didn’t change anything with the exception of the pasta. I didn’t have fettuccine so I used linguine. We served it with a Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling which was a perfect pairing.


1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
3 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
8 ounces uncooked fettuccine
1 1/2 ounces pancetta or cured bacon, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved (about 1/2 cup)


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Combine first 4 ingredients; drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Toss.
  3. Arrange mixture on a baking sheet; bake at 400° for 40 minutes or until cauliflower is tender and golden, stirring twice.
  4. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.
  5. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.
  6. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add pancetta.
  7. Cook for 5 minutes or until crisp, stirring frequently.
  8. Remove pancetta and set aside.
  9. Add remaining 2 1/2 teaspoons oil to drippings in pan.
  10. Add 1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid to drippings in pan and bring to a boil over high heat.
  11. Boil 30 seconds or until emulsified, stirring constantly with a whisk.
  12. Add rind, juice, thyme, and garlic to pan.
  13. Add pasta; toss.
  14. Remove from heat.
  15. Add cauliflower and pancetta; toss.
  16. Top with cheese and serve immediately.

Serves 4 (serving size 1-1/4 cups)

Nutritional Information:
Calories 410
Fat 13.6 g
Satfat 4.9 g
Monofat 4.9 g
Polyfat 0.8 g
Protein 19.3 g
Carbohydrate 55.7 g
Fiber 7.7 g
Cholesterol 20 mg
Iron 3.1 mg
Sodium 583 mg
Calcium 222 mg

Summer Orzo Salad

Catching the last yields for the summer. This is a terrific, light and easy recipe and a great way to sneak in pasta and not feel bad about it. (I’m always seeking that!)

I found this recipe on the Oh My Veggies blog, a terrific vegetarian blog with lots of fresh recipes and great ideas. I followed the recipe almost exactly but I grilled the corn.



8 oz. orzo
1 c. green beans, trimmed
2 ears corn, kernels removed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1/4 c. torn basil leaves
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook orzo according to package.
  2. Two minutes before cooking time is done, add green beans to pot.
  3. Drain in a fine mesh colander and rinse with cold water.
  4. Transfer orzo and green beans to a large bowl.
  5. Stir in remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Corn and Crab Cakes

The recipe is from Cooking Light, August 2012 and is delicious. I love a good crab cake and while this isn’t a “traditional” crab cake, the sweet corn with the crab was a terrific combination. A great recipe for excellent crab cakes and a must make again.



1/2 cup fresh yellow corn kernels
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
3 tablespoons chopped green onions
3 tablespoons canola mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
8 ounces crab claw meat, shell pieces removed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), divided
Cooking spray
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped green onions
3 tablespoons canola mayonnaise
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Dash of kosher salt
1 drop hot pepper sauce


  1. To prepare cakes, combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring until well blended.
  2. Stir in 3/4 cup panko.
  3. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions; shape each into a 1-inch-thick patty.
  4. Arrange patties in a single layer on a small baking sheet.
  5. Place patties in freezer for 20 minutes or until firm.
  6. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  7. Coat pan with cooking spray.
  8. Add remaining 3/4 cup panko to pan; coat panko lightly with cooking spray.
  9. Cook 2 minutes or until toasted, stirring frequently.
  10. Place toasted panko in a shallow dish; dredge crab cakes in toasted crumbs.
  11. Wipe pan clean with paper towels.
  12. Melt 2 1/4 teaspoons butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; swirl to coat.
  13. Coat both sides of 4 cakes with cooking spray.
  14. Add coated cakes to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
  15. Remove from pan, and keep warm.
  16. Repeat procedure with remaining butter, cooking spray, and crab cakes.
  17. To prepare sauce, combine parsley and remaining ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well. Serve with cakes.

Yields 8; Serving size: 2 cakes and about 1 tablespoon sauce.

Nutritional Information:
Calories 279
Fat 13.9 g
Satfat 3.3 g
Monofat 5.5 g
Polyfat 2.9 g
Protein 15.6 g
Carbohydrate 20.5 g
Fiber 1.6 g
Cholesterol 109 mg
Iron 1 mg
Sodium 569 mg
Calcium 68 mg