Lighter Blueberry Muffins

As the Mom of two boys who would rather eat donuts for breakfast (or a restaurant style plate of bacon, eggs, and pancakes), finding healthy breakfast options is a struggle!  Don’t get me wrong, they will eat cereal. One of them ate two bowls of Chocolate Frosted Flakes just today. My point is, that unless I can fake them them into a healthy breakfast option, they are looking for their morning sugar rush!  They are not into fruit topped quinoa for breakfast. Who would be!?

These Lighter Blueberry Muffins are at least a step in the right direction.  With only a small amount of sugar, and no oil or butter, maybe these muffins can help us all avoid the dreaded “muffin top.” ~Tracy

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Lighter Blueberry Muffins
    Ingredients
  • ~ 1 c. low fat milk (1%)
  • ~ ¼ c. non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • ~ ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • ~ 1 large egg
  • ~ 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • ~ ⅓ c. sugar
  • ~ 3 tsp. baking powder
  • ~ ½ tsp. salt
  • ~ 1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries (rinsed and dried)
  • ~ 2 T. brown sugar
  • ~ ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. In medium bowl, combine other dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  4. Beat milk, yogurt, and egg in a large bowl.
  5. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients mixing just until combined. It’s fine for the batter to have a few lumps.
  6. Gently fold in the blueberries.
  7. Generously spray cups of muffin pan with baking spray. Even if using paper liners it is important to generously spray them with baking spray. With no oil in this recipe, muffins will stick without spraying the pan or liners.
  8. Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups, filling each about ⅔ full.
  9. Sprinkle a small amount of the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture over the top of each muffin.
  10. Bake at 400 for about 22 minutes or until golden brown.

Weight Watchers Info.: Makes 12 muffins. Each muffin equals 4 Weight Watchers SmartPoints.

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/09/17/lighter-blueberry-muffins/

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Caprese Stuffed Mushrooms

I made these for New Year’s Eve a while back, and after setting them on the table, I stepped into the kitchen to get a couple more snack trays to bring over.  I got sidetracked getting one of the kids something for second, and I swear it had been maybe a minute by the time I came back; there was one left.  “Look, we saved you one, honey!” says my husband. 

So…I knew they must have been good!  And I’m glad they enjoyed them.  🙂 

These make an amazing appetizer or side dish.  Don’t skip the balsamic reduction. It really sends them over the top! And don’t turn your back on your friends once you serve them.  😉 ~Erin

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So easy…just make your Balsamic reduction (I mean, shockingly easy — recipe below).

Clean, stuff, cook, drizzle, and viola!

Caprese Stuffed Mushrooms

Caprese Stuffed Mushrooms from Four Sisters Dish

    Ingredients:
  • ~8 – 10 baby portabella mushrooms
  • ~Babybel mozzarella single serving cheeses (one for each mushroom)
  • ~2 tsp. olive oil
  • ~2 or 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ~4 - 5 grape tomatoes, halved (one half for each mushroom)
  • ~½ c. balsamic vinegar
  • ~1 tsp. brown sugar
  • ~chopped fresh basil
  1. In a small sauce pan, stir the brown sugar into the balsamic vinegar; bring to a simmer over low heat and continue to simmer until it has reduced by at least half, stirring occasionally.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  3. Clean the tops of the mushrooms with a damp paper towel and remove the stems.
  4. Brush the mushroom tops on all sides with olive oil and place them, top-side down, in a shallow baking dish.
  5. Fill each mushroom top with a little minced garlic.
  6. Place one Babybel mozzarella on top of the garlic; then place one tomato half on top of the cheese.
  7. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and drizzle liberally with the balsamic reduction.
  9. Sprinkle with chopped fresh basil.
  10. Serve immediately.

Weight Watchers Info.: Each cheesy caprese mushroom is 3 SmartPoints.

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/09/13/caprese-stuffed-mushrooms/

Mongolian Beef

I’m like many of you, always looking for ideas to mix up our dinner routine. I love Asian inspired foods, and this is a hit at our house. A little smoky and a titch spicy, it’s the perfect recipe for all the picky eaters around here! ~Kathy

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Mongolian Beef
    Ingredients:
  • ~1 T. cornstarch
  • ~¾ c. reduced sodium chicken broth
  • ~2 T. reduced sodium soy sauce
  • ~1 heaping T. hoisin sauce (which ever brand you love as they vary a bit)
  • ~1 dash liquid smoke
  • ~½ to 1 tsp. red pepper flakes, optional
  • ~3-4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • ~½ tsp. garlic salt
  • ~1 tsp. sesame oil
  • ~1 lb. boneless top sirloin steak, cut into thin strips
  • ~1 ½ tsp. olive oil
  • ~8 green onions
  • ~3 c. hot cooked rice (just cook using instructions on box)
  1. Begin cooking rice; follow instructions on your box.
  2. In a small bowl, combine broth and cornstarch until smooth. Stir in the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, liquid smoke, pepper, garlic, garlic salt, and sesame oil; set aside.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, stir fry beef in 1 ½ teaspoons olive oil until no longer pink. Remove from pan and keep warm.
  4. In the same skillet, stir fry the onions to crisp tender in remaining olive oil. Stir the cornstarch mixture gently then add to the pan. Bring mixture to a boil over medium high heat, stirring for 2 minutes, or until thickened.
  5. Reduce the heat, add beef and heat through. Serve over rice with additional soy sauce, if desired.
  6. Garnish with fresh, thinly sliced green onions.

Weight Watchers info.: Makes 4 three-ounce servings of beef mixture at 5 points each. (Point total does not include rice, so that you can adjust for the type and quantity of rice you prefer.)

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/09/10/mongolian-beef/

Honey Spice Cookies

A regular request of the grandkids when they’re at our parent’s house (and as you’d suspect, they usually get what they want at Grandma and Pappaw’s house), these cookies are the perfect chewy goodness with a cup of coffee or ice cold glass of milk.  I’ve been craving these cookies lately…I’m ready for those comfort foods that are perfect on a cool, crisp fall day.  You can keep your pumpkin spice latte.  I’m eating cookies!  ~Tracy

 

Honey Spice Cookies
    Ingredients
  • ~2 ¼ c. all purpose flour
  • ~1 ½ t. baking soda
  • ~½ t. salt
  • ~1 t. ground ginger
  • ~½ t. cinnamon (make this a heaping ½ tsp. if you love cinnamon like we do)
  • ~½ t. ground cloves
  • ~1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
  • ~¾ c. vegetable shortening
  • ~¼ c. honey
  • ~1 unbeaten egg
  1. In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, shortening, honey, and egg. Beat well.
  3. Gradually add dry ingredients, mixing well.
  4. Chill dough for 1 hour.
  5. Shape rounded teaspoons full into balls.
  6. Dip half of each dough ball into water and then into sugar.
  7. Place sugar side up on parchment lined baking sheet.
  8. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.
https://foursistersdish.com/2018/09/06/honey-spice-cookies/

 

Not-Your-Ordinary-Pizza-Crust Pizza

salt_20180819_174255_810.jpgThis recipe inspiration is brought to you by some good folks in one of the cast iron cooking groups I follow on Facebook.  If you own a cast iron pan (or even if you don’t), I urge you to follow a couple groups. There are some amazing recipes posted there!  The meaty crust pizza I spotted in the cast iron cooking group had a ground beef “crust.”  Intriguing, but I felt like ground turkey could be more easily seasoned to taste Italian, which is more fitting for pizza obviously.  I have to say, I was right!  This Italian seasoned turkey “crust” is so flavorful, you won’t even miss regular pizza dough crust.   ~Erin

Not-Your-Ordinary-Pizza-Crust Pizza
    Ingredients:
  • ~ 1 lb. 99% fat free ground turkey breast
  • ~ 1 T. Italian seasoning
  • ~ 1 egg, beaten
  • ~ ½ c. seasoned breadcrumbs (I used Progresso Garlic & Herb.)
  • ~ ¼ tsp. salt
  • ~ ½ c. jarred pizza sauce (I used Classico Fire Roasted.)
  • ~ 2 c. low-moisture, part skim mozzarella cheese
  • ~ ½ c. Jimmy Dean fully cooked sausage crumbles
  • ~ Thinly sliced fresh veggies: I used 1 small red bell pepper, ½ a purple onion, a few mushrooms
  • ~ fresh basil, optional
  • ~ nonstick cooking spray
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Spray a metal sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the ground turkey, Italian seasoning, egg, bread crumbs, and salt until combined.
  4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared sheet pan and pat into a ½ inch thick circle; bake 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the turkey “crust” from the oven and loosen from the sheet pan using a spatula, if necessary.
  6. Increase the oven temperature to broil.
  7. Top the turkey-crust with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, sausage crumbles, and finally the sliced veggies.
  8. Broil for about 10 minutes, until the cheese begins to brown.
  9. Top with chopped fresh basil, if desired.
  10. Slice and serve hot.

Weight Watchers Info.: This recipe makes 8 servings. Each slice is 4 SmartPoints on Freestyle.

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/09/04/not-your-ordinary-pizza-crust-pizza/

Air Fryer (or Oven) Cinnamon Roasted Apples

I started making these little roasted apple bites years ago because, at the time, I didn’t like the texture of a raw apple.  Yes, I have weird texture issues.  I’ve learned to like apples in all forms now but I still love them best cooked… preferably in a pie, let’s be honest.  If I don’t have a good excuse to make a pie though, these are the next best thing.  These can be done in the oven or the air fryer (my favorite is this Go Wise Air Fryer available here*).  I use the air fryer more often than not because it cuts down the cooking time and they come out perfect.  Plus, it’s summer and I only turn on my oven if absolutely necessary.  Regardless of how you choose to cook them, I hope you try this simple recipe.  And by “simple,” I mean REALLY simple.  I hesitated posting the recipe because it is, in fact, so simple.  It’s literally 2 ingredients (3 if you count the cooking spray you spray the pan or basket with) but so many friends have requested the recipe, I decided it needs shared with the world.  These make a great topping for ice cream or yogurt (shown here) or just a great snack by themselves!  Enjoy!  ~Erin

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*This post contains affiliate links.  We earn a small small commission on purchases made via these links.

Air Fryer (or Oven) Cinnamon Roasted Apples
    Ingredients:
  • ~ 4 to 6 sweet/tart apples (My favorite variety is Pink Lady but Jazz or Honey Crisp work well too.), peeled, cored, and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • ~ ¼ to ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ~Nonstick cooking spray
    For conventional oven:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Spray a large sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Spread the chopped apples in one even layer.
  4. Spray them lightly with cooking spray, then sprinkle with cinnamon. Start with ¼ tsp. of cinnamon and add more if needed. (4 apples will probably only need ¼ tsp. but 6 apples or more will obviously require more cinnamon.)
  5. Toss to coat evenly.
  6. Bake 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally until the edges begin to brown.
  7. Remove from the pan and immediately store in a container with a lid. This will help them keep their moisture.
    For air fryer:
  1. Spray the fryer basket with cooking spray.
  2. Place the chopped apples in the basket and sprinkle them with the cinnamon; toss to coat.
  3. Cook at 400°F for 12-14 minutes or until edges begin to brown, pulling the basket out and tossing/stirring the apples every 5 minutes or so. This will help them brown evenly.
  4. Immediately store them in a container with a lid. This will help them keep their moisture.

Weight Watchers info.: This recipe makes 4 to 6 servings at zero SmartPoints each.

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/08/30/air-fryer-or-oven-cinnamon-roasted-apples/

Frozen Margarita Pie

School has started again here, but the 90+ degree temperatures have us hanging on to every bit of that summer feeling while we still can. I find myself longing for two things from summer my family loves – frozen treats and beach vacations.  If you can’t have both, make a dessert that reminds you of the beach!

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This Frozen Margarita Pie reminds me of something I’d eat at an ocean-side restaurant with sand on my feet – I could live in a place like that!  The pretzel crust on this pie really makes the difference by supplying that ‘salt on the rim’ flavor of your favorite sweet margarita.  Make.  Enjoy.  Close your eyes and dream of the ocean.  ~Tracy

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Frozen Margarita Pie
    Ingredients
    Crust:
  • ~5 T. melted butter
  • ~¼ c. sugar
  • ~2 c. pretzel sticks, crushed
  • ~4 squares or two sheets of graham crackers, crushed
    Filling:
  • ~1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • ~1/3 c. fresh squeezed lime juice
  • ~¼ c. limeade concentrate (such as Minute Maid)
  • ~2 T. tequila
  • ~1 ½ T. triple sec
  • ~1 c. heavy whipping cream, whipped
    Topping:
  • ~1 T. lime zest
  • ~whipped cream for garnish
    For the crust:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix melted butter, sugar, crushed pretzels and crushed graham crackers together. I use a big Ziploc baggie for this and simply knead the ingredients until well combined.
  3. Press the mixture in the bottom and up the sizes of a 9” glass pie plate, forming an even layer.
  4. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes; set aside the crust and allow it to completely cool.
    For the filling:
  1. Squeeze the juice from limes (usually 3 to 5 limes) until you have 1/3 c. fresh lime juice.
  2. In a large bowl, combine lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, limeade concentrate, tequila and triple sec.
  3. Gently fold in the whipped cream until all ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Pour all ingredients into cooled crust and smooth.
  5. Sprinkle the top with 1 T. lime zest.
  6. Freeze at least 4 hours but overnight is preferable.
  7. To help release the frozen crust from the dish, you can place the dish in a very shallow dish of warm (not hot) water.
  8. Top with a dollop of whipped cream before serving if desired.
https://foursistersdish.com/2018/08/27/frozen-margarita-pie/

Smoked Tuna Dip

Y’all know, from a recent post of mine, that my husband and I recently went on a trip to Grayton Beach, Florida.  Such a lovely little laid-back beach town.  We ate at some great restaurants while we were there, the first of which was called The Red Bar.  It’s a local dive that was packed with tourists and locals alike.  Their menu was a bit of a shock, as it was written on a chalkboard that they bring to your table.  Apparently it changes daily!  They had a couple of appetizers, around 5 entrees, and 2 or 3 desserts to choose from.  One of the appetizers was Smoked Tuna Dip.  Confession:  I didn’t order it; I went for the artichoke dip instead (which was also amazing), but my friend ordered the tuna dip.  Of course she shared, and, OMG, I was hooked.  We proceeded to order Smoked Tuna Dip at every restaurant we visited in the Grayton Beach area for the rest of the weekend.  I guess it’s a Florida thing?  Sadly, we don’t get smoked tuna dip in Oklahoma…I guess that’s due to the lack of fresh tuna.  Bummer.  So, I’ve done the next best thing and developed a recipe using packaged smoked tuna.  You’re welcome.  I mean, it’s not fresh from the sea, but it’s Okie style and, dare I say, it’s just as good!  ~Erin

Smoked Tuna Dip
    Ingredients
  • ~ 2 pouches (2.6 oz. each) smoked white albacore tuna (I do not recommend canned tuna)
  • ~ 2 oz. 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
  • ~ 3 T. light mayonnaise
  • ~ 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ~ ¼ tsp. liquid smoke, optional (but it makes it more smoky)
  • ~ ¼ tsp. creole seasoning or seasoned salt
  • ~ 2 tsp. smoked paprika, plus a dash for garnish
  • ~ ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ~ about a tsp. of fresh lemon juice
  1. Mix all ingredients until smooth.
  2. Garnish with a dash of smoked paprika.
  3. Serve with pita chips or saltine crackers.

Weight Watchers Info.: This makes 5 servings of ¼ cup each. Each serving is 3 Freestyle SmartPoints.

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/08/23/smoked-tuna-dip/

 

 

 

Spicy Chicken with Rice & Black Beans

My oldest son, and the pickiest eater in our house, has recently moved to his own place and begun one of life’s greatest adventures as a college student.  No, I haven’t cried, but my worry motor has been going over time.  What if he doesn’t study? What if he doesn’t go to class? What if he gets lost?  What if he misses me like crazy and wants to move home but is too proud to say so?  I never said my worries were even remotely realistic, did I?

Looking on the bright side of this situation has me cooking some of the things that he may have rolled his eyes over on his end of the dinner table.  This Spicy Chicken with Beans and Rice is a very Weight Watchers friendly dinner, filled with flavor, and very quick to throw together (I always keep grilled chicken in my freezer during the school year).  Make this and sneak some into the leftover containers you send with your college kid.  Could that convince them to eat a little something healthy…?  I’ll let you know. ~Tracy

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Spicy Chicken with Rice & Black Beans
    Ingredients:
  • ~2 large chicken breasts, thawed
  • ~1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • ~1/2 tsp. seasoned salt, such as Lawry’s
  • ~1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • ~2 c. uncooked brown rice (I use Minute Rice)
  • ~2 c. chicken broth + 2 T. more
  • ~2 cans black beans, drained but not rinsed
  • ~2 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • ~1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • ~1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • ~1 t. ground cumin
  • ~1 c. coarsely chopped cilantro
  • ~1 lime for juice
  • ~tortilla strips for garnish, if desired
  1. Lightly season each chicken breast on both sides with garlic powder, seasoned salt, and black pepper.
  2. Grill each breast until cooked (165 degrees F) and juices run clear.
  3. Set chicken aside to rest before slicing.
  4. Cook rice according to package instructions, using chicken broth instead of water. I usually add a teaspoon of salt to the liquid as well.
  5. Mix black beans, 2T. chicken broth, sliced onion, chopped jalapeno, garlic, and cumin in a large skillet.
  6. Simmer black bean mixture on low for 15-20 minutes allowing flavors to blend together.
  7. Slice grilled chicken into thin strips cutting against the grain.
  8. Plate 1 c. cooked brown rice on dish or plate.
  9. Add approximately ¾ cup black bean mixture on top of rice.
  10. Top with several strips of grilled chicken.
  11. Sprinkle a generous amount of chopped cilantro on top and squeeze approximately a tablespoon of lime juice over the chicken and cilantro.
  12. Top with a few tortilla strips, if desired.

This recipe makes approximately 5 servings at 4 Weight Watchers Freestyle SmartPoints each (excluding tortilla strips).

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/08/20/spicy-chicken-with-rice-black-beans/

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

If you are anything like me you are always on the lookout for shortcuts in the kitchen.  In college, I used to religiously watch Sandra Lee on the Food Network show “Semi-Homemade.”  I loved that show!  Did anyone else watch that?  Her recipes seemed doable for the novice cook I was in my college days.  Frankly, I’m still not a pro, though I do know my away around the kitchen much more so than I did back then.  What I loved about Sandra’s cooking was that she uses some tips and tricks to make her recipes faster and with fewer ingredients.  Ain’t nobody got time to make everything from scratch.  Well, sometimes I do, but not on a school night.  “From scratch” recipes are for weekends.

Speaking of school nights, my kids started back to school recently.  Aren’t they cute?  I just love first day of school pictures!

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Coincidentally, I also started working full time at a new job the same week.  I haven’t worked full time in 10 years so this is going to be a big adjustment for our family.  One such adjustment is going to be with my meal-prep and weekday supper planning.

This is one of the recipes I have adapted to be semi-homemade.  Plus, it can be pre-prepped and thrown in the oven in minutes.  That’s my kind of week day supper!  Pop it in the oven and help the kids with homework while it cooks.  Meals like this are a life saver, I tell ya.  In the words of Sandra Lee, “Keep it simple, keep it smart, keep it semi-homemade.”   Couldn’t have said it better myself.  ~Erin

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole from Four Sisters Dish

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
    Ingredients
  • ~5-6 cups (about 6 breasts) cooked and chopped boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I boiled them.)
  • ~2 cups (12 oz.) smoked or baked ham, chopped
  • ~1 (15 oz.) jar Classico Light Alfredo
  • ~3 T. Dijon mustard
  • ~12 slices (about 4.25 oz) Sargento Ultra Thin Swiss cheese
  • ~2 c. Progresso Garlic & Herb breadcrumbs, divided
  • ~1/3 c. shredded (not grated) parmesan cheese
  • ~½ tsp. garlic salt
  • ~2 T. Land o’ Lakes Light butter, melted
  • ~Nonstick cooking spray
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Spray a 9”x13” casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray, set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the chopped cooked chicken and ham with the alfredo sauce and mustard; stir well.
  4. Pour half the mixture into the casserole dish; spread into an even layer.
  5. In a medium bowl, mix the bread crumbs with the garlic salt and melted butter; continue to work the butter into the crumbs until it resembles wet sand.
  6. Sprinkle a ½ cup of the breadcrumb mixture over the chicken/ham mixture.
  7. Top with the remaining chicken/ham mixture, a single layer of Swiss cheese slices, and the rest of the breadcrumbs.
  8. Spray the top of the breadcrumbs lightly with cooking spray to ensure even browning.
  9. Bake until bubbly and hot, about 40-45 minutes.

Weight Watchers Info.: This recipe makes 8 servings. Each serving is 9 SmartPoints on Freestyle.

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/08/16/chicken-cordon-bleu-casserole/