Friday, August 31, 2012

Roasted Tomatoes and Zucchini

As summer is winding its way down, it seems the cherry tomatoes are winding up! We have so many on our vines! As you all know - there is nothing quite like a garden tomato - cherry or otherwise!

It seems that we are not quite done with the zucchini crop either. So, with that in mind I was on my continual hunt for something delicious to try with these to veggies! My search proved 'fruitful'.

This recipe although not a main meal, could be paired with rice or noodles to make it more filling. We did serve it over rice (which negated it's low cal appeal!).

Roasted Tomatoes and Zucchini Recipe (from Laa Loosh)

A great low calorie side dish to any meal, these Roasted Tomatoes and Zucchini are flavorful and fresh. At 0 Points + per serving, it’s a wonderful guilt free vegetable recipe.


  • 2 medium sized zucchini, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 small container of cherry tomatoes (about 20 tomatoes), sliced in half
  • Non-fat olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 tsp sea salt


  1. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Line a small baking sheet with aluminum foil (for easy cleanup) and lightly mist with the non-fat cooking spray.
  3. Place tomatoes and zucchini onto baking sheet and lightly mist with non-fat cooking spray or olive oil mister, then sprinkle evenly with the sea salt.
  4. Roast in oven until vegetables start to char, about 15-20 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately.

Quick Notes

NOTE: Because this Roasted Tomatoes and Zucchini Recipe only uses vegetables and trace amounts of olive oil, I count it as 0 Points +. However, if you add up the nutritional information and plug it into your Weight Watchers Calculator, you’ll see that it comes up as 1 Points +. So it’s up to you how you want to count it.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

Entire recipe makes 4 servings
Serving size is 1/2 cup
Each serving = 0 Points +

PER SERVING: 43 calories; 0g fat; 8g carbohydrates; 3g protein; 3g fiber

Surprisingly my son and husband both LOVED this recipe and went back for more. I didn't have the heart to tell them it was a "Weight Watcher's" Recipe. Because they enjoyed it so much, it receives the distinction of "2" on the RollRater!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Zucchini Soup

Now, I know what you're thinking...."Soup in this hot weather! Forget it!" This is actually a COLD soup (of which I am not usually a fan). But this came recommended by long-time blog follower, fellow teacher and friend, Judy C. She new I was looking for zucchini recipes and sent this along. It is not only delicious but it's healthy too!

It has taken me a while to make this soup because it calls for a blender (something I do not own). So my sister-in-law, Dianne, heard I wanted to try this and offered up her Hamilton Beach Personal Blender. I looked at it and thought, "This little thing isn't going to work." But in fact, it was just perfect.

So, Grab your pot! Get your blender! And go!

Zucchini Cold Soup
  • Saute one large Vadalia onion in butter in a fairly large pot
  • Dice 4 pounds green zucchini
  • When onion is sauteed, add zucchini to pot
  • Add one small can College Inn fat free chicken broth
  • Stir and Cover

  • When zucchini is cooked, cool on stove
  • Add 1/2 teasp. salt and one full teasp. curry
  • When pot is cool, put into a blender to "blend" to thicken soup consistency
  • Serve with croutons

No here is where it got a little tricky for me. I didn't have any curry so I decided a good substitute would be crushed red pepper flakes. While I love the taste of them, my dear Dave does not. Unfortunately, I added a bit too much and it was overly spicy for him.

I thought I wouldn't enjoy the cold soup and it was actually a nice change. I'm thinking though that this could be easily served warm...Judy might have to chime in on this one.

So even though one of us did not go back for seconds, the other did. Therefore, this recipe receives a 2 on the Roll-Rater scale.

By the way - do you like my vintage Syracuse China Bowls circa 1950's? A great purchase on eBay!

Let me know if you try the soup!

Happy Dining!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Yellow Squash Casserole

My sister in law came for a visit last night, so I wanted to cook something special for her with vegetables from our garden. The summer squash is looking fabulous this summer and like the zucchini we have more than we can cook! I had some left over mushrooms from the night before and wanted to use them too. In the pantry was a can of water chestnuts just waiting to be added to a dish.

So, I started looking for a recipe with summer squash and water chestnuts and
found this Yellow Squash Casserole at It only has 6 ingredients and I happened to have all of them on hand. Mushrooms were not part of the recipe, but I added them anyway.

1 1/2 lb of yellow squash
1 can of water chestnuts
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 (8 oz) sour cream
1 medium onion chopped
1 carrot grated

1. Mix all ingredients & put in lightly greased casserole dish
2. Make topping by browning 20 crushed crackers in a frying pan with one stick of butter.
3. Sprinkle over the top and bake 1 hour at 350
4. Let it sit before serving

I chopped the mushrooms and lightly sauteed them with the onions. I did not use the full amount of butter called for, and substituted sour cream with "light" sour cream. (I was tempted to try plain yogurt in place of sour cream but will wait till I'm not entertaining.)

Variations could include adding some zucchini and green/red pepper as it would give it a nice flavor while making it colorful. The crackers could be exchanged with stuffing mix. Lots of options.

Not sure of the exact calorie count, but here are the stats for a similar dish. In any event it sure is delicious as a side dish with a grilled pork tenderloin and garden salad. Just the right addition for a meal!

A NEW feature will be added to One Dish Dining called: "Potluck Photos." If you try one of these recipes and send me your photos - I will add them to the above page with your name and any variations you made to the recipe! Hope we'll get many takers!

Next recipe: Continuing with the summer vegetable series: Zucchini Soup suggested by Judy C!

Delights in Dining!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Chicken & Black Bean Casserole

I'll be upfront - this is NOT a One Pot Wonder! Although it ends up in one pot, I used 1 pot for the rice, 1 frying pan for the chicken, 1 frying pan for sauteing onions & mushrooms, several cutting boards and a large mixing bowl. The end result was it was worth it!

Deciding it was going to be a chicken night, I wanted to pair that with zucchini as that vegetable can be found in abundance in our garden (as you may remember from the previous post). I started perusing the web and came up with this wonderful recipe. The Chicken & Black Bean Casserole recipe was found at Six Sisters' Stuff: Healthy Meals. (They found it at AllRecipes...check out the reviews it got!)

I didn't follow the recipe exactly: I omitted the carrots (because I wasn't paying attention), I substituted crushed red pepper flakes for the chile peppers (as Dave doesn't like overly spicy); changed rice to 1 cup measurement, and didn't use the cayenne pepper. Variations could include: using summer squash too, adding tomatoes, leaving out the chicken for a vegetarian meal, using white rice, leaving out the beans (but that makes!)adding corn, etc.)

NEW to One Dish Dining: I'm adding a 'rating scale' to each post...I'll call it the Roll-Rater (as in Car-ROLL). A rating of "2" would indicate great meal as it means that someone wanted 2nds...a rating of "1" means we liked it, but not enough to make again! Find the Roll-Rater at the end of this post!

Chicken & Black Bean Casserole:
1/3 cup brown rice
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup diced onion
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
2 cooked skinless boneless chicken
breast halves, chopped
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt to taste
ground cayenne pepper to taste
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chile
peppers, drained
1/3 cup shredded carrots
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1. Mix the rice and vegetable broth in a pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 45 minutes, or until rice is tender.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a large casserole dish.
3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and cook the onion until tender. Mix in the zucchini, chicken, and mushrooms. Season with cumin, salt, and ground cayenne pepper. Cook and stir until zucchini is lightly browned and chicken is heated through.
4. In large bowl, mix the cooked rice, onion, zucchini, chicken, mushrooms, beans, chiles, carrots, and 1/2 the Swiss cheese. Transfer to the prepared casserole dish, and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
5. Cover casserole loosely with foil, and bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Uncover, and continue baking 10 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly browned.

Recipe Facts:
Yield: 8 Servings
Calories: 337
Total Fat: 21g
Cholesterol: 77 mg

Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook time: 1 hour (due to rice)

Even though there were more pans than I desire (as you know I don't have a dishwasher), the meal was a success as the Roll-Rater shows. Hoping you'll give it a try.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Summer Vegetable Casserole

Our garden is chock full of zucchini and summer squash already! Several years ago I pleaded with my husband to stop planting them as they were taking over the garden, and well, quite honestly (and no surprise really) I didn't know how to cook them other than using the steaming method.

During this hiatus I came across several wonderful recipes using those particular vegetables. The first recipe literally fell into my lap when it dropped from the mailbox. It was sent by my sister, the Real Estate broker. (Other recipes will be shared in later posts.)

So, I pleaded with my husband, the gardener to plant zucchini and summer squash once again! You can see he did as the garden is now overrun with these nuclear looking plants!

So here is why I now love zucchini and summer squash:
Summer Vegetable Casserole:

2 yellow squash (small)
2 zucchini (small)
6 medium potatoes (peeled)
1 large onion
1 lemon (zest)
4 T olive oil
4-6 Tomatoes (sliced or 1 15 oz can diced toms)
2 oz Feta Cheese
1 1/2 tsp season salt

Preheat over to 375 degrees. Cut potatoes into 1/8 inch thick slices and all other vegetables into 1/4 inch slices. In a bowl mix all vegetables except tomatoes with lemon zest, 3 T oil, seasoning salt, and pepper. Place in 9" x 13" casserole. Top with tomato slices and crumbled feta and drizzle with 1 T olive oil. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove foil and cook another 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are slightly browned.

This can be served as a side dish or a main course. For the meat lovers you can add sausage for a heartier meal (just slice them and cook the same). If you are not a feta lover then substitute parmigian, mozzarella or another favorite cheese.

Serves: 8 Calories/serving: 188
Protien 5g
Carb 25g
Fat 9g
Fiber 4g

Prep time: 20 minutes Total Cook Time: 1 hour 15 min

Honestly, I don't think you will be disappointed with this dish. Please leave a note in the comment section if you have a chance to try it!

Delights in your Dining!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Homemade Sausage!

Stopped by to visit my sister the other day and her husband was in the kitchen making homemade sausage with left-over pork. Although this is not a one pot dinner, I thought it was such an interesting process that would be noteworthy enough to share. I'm fairly certain that the average person most likely purchases their sausage from the grocery store and doesn't quite think about how it's made (at least I don't).

My brother had a pig roast last weekend and there was lots of left-over pork, so he offered it to my brother-in-law. My brother-in-law just recently purchased a fancy grinder, A Big Bite Grinder , with the thought of making all kinds of homemade sausages.

So how do you go about making sausages? Apparently you grind the meat (in this case, pork) using the grinder after cutting it into manageable sized chunks. Once all the meat is ground up you add your spices (view the various recipe links below), then stuff the paste into the casings using a stuffer. You can use all natural or collagen. When the sausage is stuffed into the casing you can create the length of sausage wanted by twisting and creating the links. The trick is to twist one way on one end and the other way on the other end.

Really, I hadn't thought about it before, but it sure looks like sausages are fun to make & it's great knowing what exactly is going into it. I believe that was the original reason my brother-in-law began making his own!

Check out the proud chef below and let me know in the comment section if you have tried making your own sausage!

Special Thanks to my brother-in-law for allowing me to film!


Sausage Mania - This site contains all things sausages including a photo tutorial.
Let's Make Sausages - A website with all kinds of i
nformation pertaining to sausages.

How to Make Sausage!
This is one section of the above website which outlines how to make sausages.

Homemade Sausage Recipes: All kinds of recipes from Meat Processing includingBratwurst, Chorizo and English Bangers.

Monday, July 9, 2012

One Dish Dining Debut - Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole!

Chicken Cordon Bleu has been a favorite food of mine forever.  Whenever we go to a restaurant I check to see if it's on the menu.  Then one day I found this recipe online at SouthernFood.
Before adding soup & milk

The first time I made it I followed the recipe to a "T". Variations have included using chicken nuggets in place of breaded chicken, or using cheddar cheese instead of swiss, or using rolled up pieces of sliced ham instead of diced ham or adding another can of cream of chicken to allow for more sauce. 

Our family favorite:  Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Prep time: 20-30 min
Cook time: 30 min

  • 2 pounds skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • Bread Crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 8 oz Swiss cheese, cubed
  • 8 oz ham, diced
  • 1 can (10 3/4 oz) cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup milk


Whisk together the egg and 1/2 cup milk. Dip chunks of chicken in egg mixture, then into bread crumbs, coating well. Brown in a little oil until golden. Place chunks in baking dish, add cubes of swiss cheese and small pieces of ham. Mix cream of chicken soup with 1 cup of milk; mix well and pour over all. Bake about 30 minutes at 350° or until tender and bubbly.
(From Colleen Haass)

My family just loves this recipe even with the different variations I have tried.  (Although I no longer use the nuggets as it really isn't quite the same, but works in a pinch if you don't have time to bread and cook the chicken.)

Happy Dining!