You know when it's freezing outside and all you crave is some delicious soup to warm you to the core?  Well, I actually don't know what that's like. You know why? I live in South Florida! However, this soup was absolutely perfect and definitely hit the spot, even on a warm 87 degree Florida day. :)

We paired the soup with some Italian bread toasted with garlic, oil, and mozzarella, and then topped with basil and tomato.  This little sandwich was to die for! Even with fat free mozzarella cheese! I found a new brand of fat free cheese that is now my favorite.  

My husband actually thinks this soup tastes like the old Olive Garden minestrone soup.  He loved it!  We froze half of it to have it again in a couple of weeks and I can't wait to enjoy it for the second time! :) 

Ingredients for Tomato Soup: 
  • 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 gloves of garlic, minced 
  • 2 34 oz jars of Classico Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce
  • 1 32 ounce box of Swanson Organic Chicken Broth
  • 2 15 ounce cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed 
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1.5 cups of Barilla Bitalini Pasta
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Ingredients for Mozzarella, Tomato, & Basil Sandwich: 
  • 1 loaf of Italian bread
  • 4 ounces or 1/2 a block of Lifetime Fat Free Mozzarella Cheese
  • A few fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 tomato, sliced into circles 
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced 
  • 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  

Warm the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add the carrots, onion, and garlic and saute until soft, about 5-10 minutes.  Add the jars of tomato sauce, chicken broth, cannellini beans, red pepper flakes, pasta, and pepper.  Simmer for about 15-20 minutes. 

While the soup is simmering, put the minced garlic in a small bowl with the olive oil.  Cut the loaf in half and then in half again, like a sandwich.  Then, using a brush, brush the garlic and oil all over the inside of the bread.  Add about three pieces of mozzarella to each piece of sandwich, along with a little more oil, and three or four leaves of basil.  Wrap the sandwiches in foil and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is soft and melted.  Remember, it's fat free cheese so it won't melt the same as regular fat cheese, but it will be soft.  

After the sandwiches are done, add some tomato slices to each sandwich and serve along side with the soup.  This makes about 8 servings of soup, so save some room in your freezer to have some more soup later! 

W-O-W. This was absolutely decadent and delicious! I saw this recipe on Martha Stewart's website and I knew that I could make a diet-friendly version.  Martha's recipe calls for whole milk and butter, both of which were cut out of my version (and not missed one bit!). Honestly, before I took the first bite, I was wary of how it would taste, but it reminded me of the Boston Market creamed spinach, but only better!! I quote my husband, "This is one of the best meals you have made yet." This is definitely going into the regular rotation. Enjoy :) 

Oh and I believe the KEY to this being so delicious is the fat free half and half.  I have been using this lately as a substitute for whole milk and it has worked wonders! 

*Swankers, unfortunately I found out that we cannot eat Land O Lakes Fat Free Half and Half because it contains mono-diglycerides, which is basically another form of hydrogenated oil.  I will attempt this recipe again with 1% milk or skim milk to see if I can come out with the same results!* 

  • 1 pound/1 bag of fresh spinach 
  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil (I used Mazola)
  • 1 large shallot or 2 small ones, minced
  • 1 tbsp of all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup of Land O Lakes Fat Free Half and Half
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper

Place the spinach in a large saucepan over medium heat (the spinach will fill up the entire pot) and season with kosher salt.  Cover and cook, tossing occasionally, until wilted, about 4 to 5 minutes.  Transfer the wilted spinach to a colander, and rinse thoroughly under cold water until completely cooled.  Then, put the spinach in a thin towel and squeeze as much liquid out of the spinach as possible.  Set aside. 

In a medium saucepan (I used the same one that I cooked the spinach in), heat the vegetable oil over medium-low heat, add the shallot, and season with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring until soft but not browned for 3 to 5 minutes. 

Then, add the flour, and continue stirring for one minute (do not let it brown).  After that, add the 3/4 cup of fat free half and half.  Simmer gently over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, for 1-2 minutes (or a little longer if necessary).  

Remove from heat, stir in the spinach and season with more salt and pepper to taste if necessary. ENJOY!
I found this recipe on The Pioneer Woman's blog and wanted to try it immediately! It's absolutely delicious and lives up to the Pioneer Woman's reputation.  This is the first recipe I have tried of hers, and I will definitely be trying more! 

  • 20 small to medium new potatoes
  • 5 to 7 whole heads of garlic
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Quarter new potatoes and set on a large rimmed baking sheet. Lop off the very top of each garlic head and arrange throughout the potatoes. Drizzle olive oil over the tops of the garlic and all over potatoes; do the same with the wine. Generously salt and pepper potatoes and garlic. Toss potatoes to coat. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake at 375 for 45 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for 20 to 30 minutes until nice and golden.

*Tip - I used tongs to squeeze the garlic out of the bulbs and it worked great.

Mashed potatoes are just a staple for some meals.  For example, what's Thanksgiving without mashed potatoes?  Or meat loaf? Or fried chicken? Of course, since I can't have butter, cream, etc. I have had to find an alternate way to enjoy my mashed potatoes. Once when I was checking out Martha Sterwart's "Light and Healthy" section of her recipes, I discovered her recipe for Garlic Mashed Potatoes.  I love this side dish! I have also made more traditional mashed potatoes with the "milky" flavoring, but I haven't perfected that recipe just yet so I'll wait to post it for now :). 

  • 1/4 cup of olive oil 
  • 1/4 cup of potato water
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 medium/large gold potatoes 
  • 1 tbsp of fresh chopped parsley 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

Bring a pot of water to simmer/boil.  While the water is heating, peel and cut all of the potatoes into 1 and 1/2 inch chunks.  Place the potatoes in the water with 2 and a 1/2 teaspoons of salt.  Boil the potatoes until a knife can be inserted into a potato chunk and the potato falls off the knife easily.  Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them in a colander and set aside. 

While the potatoes are cooking, heat the olive oil in a small sauté pan.  Add the minced garlic and cook until the garlic is browned and soft.  Make sure to stir constantly to keep it from burning.  Set the garlic oil aside. 

Once the potatoes are cooked and drained, add the reserved potato water and smash them with an eggbeater, potato smasher, food mill, etc until the potatoes are smooth.  After that, add the garlic and oil and stir some more.  Add salt and pepper to taste and also the parsley.  Enjoy! 
Macaroni and Cheese is one of the best comfort foods, hands down!  I hadn't had it for many years because I couldn't find a decent fat free cheese that melted well or tasted good, but once I did, I make it whenever I am craving something cheesy for lunch or as a side for dinner.  I absolutely love this simple dish! 

*If you can, buy Bordens Fat Free American Cheese Slices, this is the BEST. Other fat free cheeses work fine (like Kraft) but Bordens definitely makes a huge difference in the taste.*

  • 2 tbsp cornstarch 
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp dry mustard powder 
  •  1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 and 1/2 cup of skim milk
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • 12 slices of Borden Fat Free American Cheese Slices
  • 8 OZ of elbow macaroni 
  • Pam Cooking Spray

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Boil the macaroni according to package directions. In a medium saucepan on medium-high heat, combine the cornstarch, salt, dry mustard, and pepper.  Stir well so there aren't clumps and everything is incorporated. 

Stir in the skim milk until it's smooth.  Then, stir in the olive oil.  Continue to stir constantly, and bring the mixture to a boil for one minute. Turn the heat down to low and remove the pot from the heat.  Mix in 10 of the cheese slices and stir well until all the clumps are gone and you have a cheese sauce.  If necessary, put the pot back on the low heat in order to make this job easier (be careful not to burn the sauce).

Strain the elbows and add them to the cheese mixture.  Mix well so that the cheese sauce is coating the noodles evenly. 

Spray a two quart casserole dish with Pam. Pour the macaroni and cheese in the dish. Break up the remaining two cheese slices into strips/pieces and scatter on top of the macaroni. Bake the dish for 20 to 25 minutes or until it's hot and bubbly and the edges are browned.  

This is one of my favorite Fall recipes and I cannot wait to make it every year. This is actually a Martha Stewart recipe that I adapted (made better!) 

Ingredients for Roasted Fall Vegetables: 
  • 2 pounds (about 1 medium) butternut squash cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 pounds new red potatoes (about 12-14) scrubbed and quartered 
  • 1 pound medium red onions (about 2-3) peeled and quartered
  • 1 pound of carrots (6-8 medium) halved lengthwise if thick, and cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil 
  • Kosher salt
  • black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Place the vegetables and garlic on baking sheet lined with tinfoil.  You may need to baking sheets.  Drizzle the vegetables with oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and ground black pepper. 

Roast the vegetables in the oven until tender and beginning to brown, about 45 minutes.  Toss the vegetables and rotate the sheets halfway through cooking. 

You can serve these vegetables on the side of anything, but my favorite is with some delicious oven roasted chicken or turkey.  Mmm mmm good!
This is one of my husband and I's absolute favorite recipes!  Thus, it's the first recipe on my blog! I actually found it on the Swank MS Diet Message Board, posted by the user named KerrBear.  I adapted it a bit though and love the results! 

I find it pretty simple to make, and it's great as a main course or as an appetizer for a party.  I once brought it to a Super Bowl party and it was a huge hit! Of course, as everything on this blog, it is very low fat, so don't feel guilty about enjoying these delicious "chicken wings"! 

"Wing" Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 pounds of chicken breast, cut into small/bit size strips 
  • 1/2 cup of Hooters Wing Breading (or regular flour with a little salt and pepper)
  • 1 sleeve of crushed Fat Free Saltines
  • 1 bottle of Footy's Wing Sauce
  • Pam/vegetable oil to moisten the baking sheets
  • Celery sticks for snacking! 
"Blue Cheese" Sauce Ingredients: 
  • 1 container of President Fat Free Feta Cheese Crumbles (or any other brand you can find, crumbled or not)
  • 4 TBLSP of Hidden Valley Low Fat/Fat Free Ranch

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the chicken breast into bite size strips. 

Crush the whole sleeve of Fat Free Saltines using a food processor or plastic bag and mallet.  Make sure that they aren't too finely crushed, since you want them to have the consistency of chicken wings. 

After the Saltines are crushed, make an assembly line of chicken, Hooters Wing Breading/flour, egg whites mixed with a little bit of water, and the crushed Saltines. 

First, coat the chicken in the flour, then dip it in the egg mixture, and then in the Saltine crumbles.  Make sure that the chicken is coated completely in the crumbles. Place each piece of chicken on the greased baking sheet. 

*Tip: Use only one hand for the coating process, this will actually help you go faster and keep one hand clean.  

Cook the chicken pieces for 20 minutes in the oven, turning them over once to cook evenly. Cut the fattest piece of chicken to make sure that they have all cooked through, then put all of the pieces of chicken in a large mixing bowl. Pour the entire bottle of Footy's Wing Sauce in the bowl and toss the chicken in the sauce until each piece is coated thoroughly.

While the chicken is baking, put 4 TBLSP of Low Fat/Fat Free Ranch dressing and 4 TBLSP of Feta Cheese Crumbles in a container. Mix well and put the sauce in the refrigerator to cool.  Clean and cut the celery up into bite size pieces.  

Display the chicken on a platter with the celery and sauce.  Enjoy! :)