Saturday, April 25, 2015

Chicken Stuffed with Spinach, Ricotta, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Hi guys. Me again. And I brought a friend, Spinach and Ricotta. Remember him? He's awesome. But this time, he brought Sun-Dried Tomatoes along and let me tell you, three is most definitely NOT a crowd with this group.

This recipe is so easy and delicious. It's perfect for a quick after-work dinner or to make over the weekend and refrigerate for lunches for the week. I've made a lot of chicken in my lifetime, but I think I can officially say this will be my new go-to recipe.

It's really easy too, you guys. You just need to cut your chicken breasts in half lengthwise, mix up your filling, and spread it on the chicken. Cutting chicken breasts lengthwise isn't the easiest thing to do, but you'll be okay if you use a sharp knife. I promise. Also, it doesn't have to be perfect. Just cut them in half lengthwise as best as you can.


Then, mix up your filling. It's important to use sun-dried tomatoes that are NOT in oil. It's much healthier this way.

Then just spread the filling across the chicken halves, top with the other halves, and bake!

The end result? Perfectly cooked chicken with a warm, cheesy, spinachy (I'm officially making "spinachy" a word - I'm an editor, pretty sure I can do that) filling.

Ta-da! I made this for the first time a few days ago and sent a picture to my friend since I knew she loved the Spinach and Ricotta English Muffin Pizzas I posted a few weeks ago. I know she'll be making this, and I'd love to know if you try it, too!

Until next time!


  • 4 5-oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I use Perdue Perfect Portions)
  • 1/2 cup part skin ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, cooked according to package instructions (TIP: I cook the whole package [9 or 10 oz, depending on the brand] and just store the leftovers in a tupperware in the refrigerator)
  • 6 sun-dried tomato halves, not in oil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese (or grated parmesan cheese)
  • Salt, pepper, and garlic powder (to taste)

Serving size: One stuffed chicken breast
Weight Watchers PointsPlus value: 5


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick, no-calorie cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Using a very sharp knife, carefully halve the chicken breasts lengthwise. If the chicken isn’t very thick, this will be difficult, but doable. If you don’t get the halves exactly even, it’s fine. Close enough is fine – we’re not striving for perfection here.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and grated cheese. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and mix to combine.
  4. From the chicken breast halves, take the four larger halves and arrange them on the baking sheet. Distribute the spinach mixture evenly across all four halves, then top with the smaller halves.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Let the chicken cool slightly (just a couple of minutes) before serving.

Nutritional Information

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Lightened-Up Carbonara Pasta

This dish right here is the definition of a happy accident. I hadn't gone food shopping this week and worked late a few nights and needed to make something quick. I boiled some pasta and was rummaging through my fridge to see what I could add to it. I had some bacon, an onion, and a pepper. I found some peas in the freezer, added a makeshift cheese "sauce," and was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

It wasn't until later that I realized it resembled a carbonara. I knew I needed to add it to the blog.

It's really quite easy to make. Start by chopping and cooking your veggies.

While they're cooking, prepare the pasta. Add the cheese wedges and mix - this will serve as your "sauce."

Now, I'm not a professionally trained chef (shocking, I know). I make meals that are easy, tasty, and diet-friendly. Maybe one day I'll learn how to cook a real, professional sauce but until then, these The Laughing Cow cheese wedges work just fine.

When the veggies are done, add them to the pasta and stir to combine.

If your cheese wedges didn't melt fully before, they'll definitely melt when you add the hot, cooked veggies and stir. 

Next up, BACON. I never liked bacon as a kid, but as an adult I've developed a taste for it. I'm late to the game, I know. But the point is, I like it now and I use it in lots of recipes and it really just takes them from good to great. For this recipe, cook the bacon, then crumble it over the pasta and stir to combine.

Finally, add the grated cheese, season with salt and pepper, and BOOM. Lightened-up carbonara pasta. 

I made this tonight (Sunday) and plan on bringing it to work for lunch this week. It can be microwaved and eaten hot, or eaten cold as a pasta salad - it's great both ways.

As always, feedback is appreciated!

Until next time!


  • 12 oz (1 box) shell pasta, cooked according to package instructions
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 5 wedges The Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss cheese
  • 10 slices Oscar Mayer center cut bacon (or brand of your choice)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

Serving size: 1/5 of recipe
Weight Watchers PointsPlus value: 9


  1. Spray a large frying pan or skillet with no-calorie nonstick cooking spray. Place it on the stove on medium/high heat and add the green pepper, onion, and peas. Stirring occasionally, cook until the veggies are soft and slightly brown, about 10-12 minutes. (Note: It saves time if you cook the pasta while the veggies are cooking).
  2. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and then transfer to a large bowl.
  3. While the pasta is still hot, add the cheese wedges to the bowl and stir immediately to melt and combine. If the cheese doesn’t melt fully, don’t worry – you’ll stir again after you add the cooked veggies.
  4. When the vegetables are done cooking, add them to the pasta and stir to combine.
  5. Cook the bacon according to package instructions (I always microwave mine, it’s fastest and easiest). Crumble the bacon over the pasta and then stir to combine (I usually just wait until the bacon cools off and then break it into pieces with my fingers).
  6. Add the grated cheese and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, give it one final stir, and serve!

Nutritional Information

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Ham and Egg Breakfast Cups

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope everyone's having a great weekend. Here in New York, this is the first weekend that we've had really nice spring weather two days in a row, so I've really been enjoying that.

Anyway, I'm really excited to share this recipe! Last week, I was asked about breakfast recipes and I realized that I didn't have many! Breakfast is one of my favorite meals, but unfortunately it doesn't always get the attention it deserves from me. Most days I wake up, get ready for work in a sleepy daze, and take the train to the city. By the time I have my coffee in hand and I'm settled at my desk, I usually just heat up some oatmeal and call that breakfast (not knocking oatmeal - it's delicious - but it can get a little boring day after day).

That's what's so great about this recipe - it's really easy (seriously, minimal effort required), super fast, and the leftovers can be refrigerated and eaten for breakfast all week. 

One thing you will need is a muffin tin - if you don't have one, I bet those paper cupcake holders would work just fine, but I can't guarantee it because I didn't try it.

Anyway, once the oven is preheated, you start by spraying the muffin tin and lining each cup with a slice of ham. (Note: I only have a 6-muffin tin, so this recipe yields 6 servings. If you have a second tin, or don't mind baking in two shifts, it can easily be doubled to yield more).

In a small bowl, mix together your filling. The beauty of this recipe is that you can basically add whatever you want to the eggs here and customize the filling to your liking. I used green bell pepper, onion, salt, and pepper - very simple, but I love the combination of peppers and onions, especially with eggs. A tip, though: if you want to go a little crazy with the veggies (or if you want to add a meat, like bacon or sausage or something), reduce the amount of egg a bit. Too many add-ins and there will probably be too much to fit in the cups.

So anyway, once you have your filling, distribute it evenly among the ham-lined muffin cups. I found that it helps to spoon it in, rather than try to pour it in.

Top them off with some shredded cheese - because why not? - and then pop them in the oven.

The result is delicious, cheesy, veggie-filled, muffin-shaped egg cups wrapped in crispy sweet ham. They're REALLY good. I had two for breakfast (with a little ketchup, since I grew up always putting ketchup on my eggs and omelettes) with some coffee and was fully satisfied - they're pretty filling.

The leftovers are in a tupperware in my fridge, ready to come to work with me this week for a much-needed break from oatmeal.

So that's that - as always, feedback is appreciated! 

Until next time!


  • 6 slices (about 2 1/4 oz) Oscar Mayer honey ham
  • 1 cup liquid egg whites (equivalent to whites from 6 eggs)
  • 1/4 small green pepper, chopped fine (about 3-4 tbsp)
  • 1/4 small sweet onion, chopped fine (about 3-4 tbsp)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese (or cheese of your choice)

Serving size: 1 breakfast cup
Weight Watchers PointsPlus value: 1


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray. Line each muffin cup with a slice of ham. Set aside.
  3. In small bowl, mix egg whites, green pepper, and onion. Season with salt and pepper and mix to combine.
  4. Distribute the egg mixture evenly among the ham cups (it helps to use a spoon for this), then sprinkle the shredded cheese over the tops.
  5. Bake for 22-25 minutes until egg is no longer runny. Serve warm.

Nutritional information

Monday, April 6, 2015

Spinach and Ricotta English Muffin Pizzas

I think that spinach and ricotta might be one of my favorite combinations. Full disclosure, I only realized this about a year and a half ago when my husband and I moved to Bethpage. When moving to a new town, it's important to scout out a few locations. You need to find a new go-to restaurant, bagel place, sushi place, and of course, pizza place.

In our search for our new go-to pizza place, one of the places we tried had this amazing spinach ricotta slice. Cheesy, warm ricotta cheese mixed with spinach and topped with melted mozzarella. DROOL. It's absolutely delicious, but I can imagine the nutritional stats are less than impressive.

I knew I wanted to create a lighter version. Enter the English muffin.

What a great lower-calorie alternative for crust! English muffin pizzas are nostalgic for me. My mom used to make them for dinner from time to time when I was a kid. As an adult, I've created and eaten many variations of the English muffin pizza, with many different toppings, but I have to say this version is my favorite. And it's really easy, too!

While the oven is preheating, toast your English muffins. It's not a necessity, but I prefer my English muffin pizzas to be a little crispy.

Mix the ricotta, spinach, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a small bowl.

Distribute evenly among the toasted muffins, and top with grated cheese.

Sprinkle with the shredded mozzarella, bake for 8-10 minutes, and that's it - dinner's ready!

Easy, fast, and delicious - what more could you ask for? As always, feedback is appreciated if you give this one a shot. 
Until next time!


  • Two Fiber One English muffins (I like the original variety)
  • 1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup frozen chopped spinach, cooked according to package instructions (TIP: I cook the whole package [9 or 10 oz, depending on the brand] and just store the leftovers in a tupperware in the refrigerator)
  • 1/4 tsp salt (or more, to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (or more, to taste)
  • 1.4 tsp garlic powder (or more, to taste)
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup fat-free shredded mozzarella cheese

Serving size: Entire recipe
Weight Watchers PointsPlus value: 11


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
  2. Toast the English muffins to your desired level of crispiness. Arrange on the foil.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, spinach, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Spread evenly over the four English muffin halves.
  4. Sprinkle the ricotta cheese and shredded mozzarella evenly over the muffins. 
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the mozzarella is melted completely. Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, and then enjoy!

Nutritional information