FIT Hits the PAN – Cheesy Layered Potatoes

It has been almost two weeks since my last post. Things have been very hectic around here! My best friend had her baby so we were waiting in anticipation of meeting her. I also attended my 20th (yes, I am that old) High School reunion. I would like to diverge a bit before I move on to this week’s recipe. There were several people on our Facebook page posting why they would not go during the months leading up to the event. Of course there were a large group of us who were very excited and looked forward to reuniting with old friends. Some of the excuses were cost (which I understand), scheduling with the start of school year (another reasonable excuse), no sitter, etc.

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One overwhelming reason we heard for not attending was that high school was not a good experience for them. I want to focus on that for a moment because all of you at some point will be faced the decision of whether or not to attend a reunion (10, 20, 30, etc). There are very few instances where basing your decision to attend any reunion on your experience in high school is valid. People change so much over the years and most of them change for good. I was not “popular” but I enjoyed my group of friends in high school and was friendly with the people I didn’t know. The best part about our reunion was that everyone was happy to see each other regardless of the crowd they were in all those years ago. It was one of the best nights I have had in a very long time. I look forward to cultivating the friendships that were made. In case you were wondering, the people who were not planning on going who decided to attend had a wonderful time!

On to today’s recipe!

Cheesy Layered Potatoes
Serves 6-8
Nutrition Info
122 calories/6g fat/7g protein/11g carbs/19mg cholesterol/1g sugar/1g fiber

I created this recipe because I had a potato that needed to be used as soon as possible. My husband loves scalloped potatoes. Personally, I am not a fan but these are pretty good. I love cheese so how bad could they be? ;)
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Ingredients

  • 1 large baking potato (1/8 inch thick slices)
    • I used a mandolin and I left the skin on for vitamins
  • 1/4 c. fat free plain yogurt
  • 3/4 c. part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste

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Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 375° F
  • Coat 8 x 8 pan with non-stick cooking spray or blush with olive oil
  • Add one layer of potato slices to the bottom of pan
  • Sprinkle with 1 tsp. each of onion powder, garlic powder and Italian seasoning
  • Spread 1/4 c. of ricotta cheese over potatoes
  • Drizzle 1/2 the yogurt over ricotta
  • Sprinkle 1/3 of the cheddar cheese on top
  • Repeat the process
  • Top the second layer with the parmesan cheese
  • Cover with tin foil and bake for one hour
  • Remove from oven and serve!

This dish would be great with steak or pork chops!

FIT Hits the PAN Friday – Chunky Avocado Lime Salsa

Last weekend, my husband’s co-workers decided they were all going to have a contest for who could make the best salsa. My husband messaged me this recipe from Yammie’s Noshery and asked me to make it. I grumbled for a few minutes because it was not on my schedule (I am mildly OCD when it comes to planning my life), but then I agreed to make the recipe. It was worth an unscheduled grocery trip! I liked it so much that I ended up making a second batch for me to eat at home :) I should have prefaced this entire post with the fact that my husband does not like avocado so this dish was not for him at all (don’t ask).

The flavors of this recipe harmonize beautifully and the lime gives it an extra kick! If you are having  a party, I recommend doubling the recipe because it will not last long! I served this salsa with lime chips per my husband’s request, however I think Stacy’s Simply Naked Pita Chips or plain tortilla chips would be better because they do not have an overpowering flavor.

Side note: Yammie’s website has some incredibly naughty but delicious recipes. She has a talent as a food photographer as well! If you enjoy food photography, take some time to look through her website; you will not be disappointed. 

  • 1 ripe avocado, chopped up
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup corn, thawed if frozen
  • 1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
  • Chopped cilantro (I used dried)
  • Salt and pepper
Mix all the ingredients together. Serve with corn chips.

FIT Hits the PAN Friday – Lentil Salad

I have had a bag of lentils sitting in my pantry for about a month that were begging to be used so when I saw this recipe on Facebook and I had to try it! Normally, my husband will turn his nose up at anything with lentils, but he loved this dish! I was actually pretty shocked he offered to try it without me asking. The recipe makes a large amount so it would be great for a party side dish! The only time-consuming part is dicing all the veggies, but you can use it as a chance to work on your knife skills.

One funny side note; I went to my mom’s to get the fresh parsley because she has a terrific herb garden. I cut what I thought was parsley but turned out to be cilantro. While the cilantro did not ruin the dish, it was a tad overpowering. Make sure you grab the parsley :)

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Lentil Salad
Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 5 • Size: scant cup • Old Points: 1 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 102 • Fat: 3 g • Carb: 20 g • Fiber: 9 g • Protein: 7 g • Sugar: 1 g
Sodium: 255 mg • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry brown lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup finely diced carrots
  • 1/3 cup finely diced celery
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 5 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper

Directions:

In a medium saucepan combine lentils, bay leaf, and thyme. Add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered until lentils are tender but not mushy, about 16 to 20 minutes.

Drain lentils and discard bay leaf. Place in a large work bowl with carrots, celery, red pepper, red onion, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to combine and serve chilled or room temperature.

Makes 4 1/2 cups

FIT Hits the PAN Friday – Sausage Veggie Lasagana

My father-in-law was in town so I decided to make lasagna. Mainly because it is super simple and also because the last time I cooked for him, we were on the Engine 2 Diet and I made vegan lasagna. My father-in-law was born and raised in a very small town in Alabama. They don’t take kindly to vegan anything, so you can imagine his face when I told him what was in that lasagna and I had to redeem myself. This definitely did it; he had two helpings!

This dish is not super healthy but you could tweak it a bit to make it healthier by substituting low fat cheese (do not use fat free as it doesn’t melt). Don’t skimp on the sausage because that is what gives the dish it’s flavor. You could also sub zucchini noodles instead of regular pasta. Remember that zucchini holds a lot of water so it will upset the consistency of the lasagna if you are not careful. Make sure you place it on paper towels and press it between two dinner plates before you use it! Pardon the quality of my photo :-/

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Sausage Veggie Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 2 links sweet Italian turkey sausage (lean)
  • 1 -16 oz container of part-skim ricotta
  • 1 bag shredded mozzarella
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce (we use Publix Garlic & Onion)
  • 1 box no-boil lasagna noodles (we use Barilla)
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded
  • 1 medium zucchini, shredded
  • 2 cups baby spinach, rinsed and dried
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
  • Remove the  sausage from the casings and break up in a medium skillet
  • Cook the sausage all the way through
  • Turn heat to medium-low
  • Add diced tomatoes, jar of sauce, carrots, zucchini and spices and mix well
  • Simmer on low for 15-20 min until carrots are tender
  • Once sauce is ready, ladle a large spoonful into bottom of prepared pan (9×13 glass is best)
  • Add layer of noodles to the pan, then layer ricotta, spinach, mozzarella, sauce until the pan is full.
  • Top with mozzarella, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.

*Covering the lasagna with foil while baking keeps it from drying out.

 

FIT Hits the PAN Friday – Red, White and Blueberry Trifle

I know the Fourth of July is long gone, but I made this recipe for a party we attended over the holiday weekend so I had to share it with you! It was super simple to make and delicious! Thanks again SkinnyTaste for another wonderful recipe! Since seasonal fruit varies throughout the country (peaches are great in Florida right now), you could substitute whatever is available in your area for this dish. I think it would be great with mango, kiwi, pineapple etc. Get creative!

On a personal note, I have been extremely lazy in blogging lately, so I apologize for the limited posts. Life has seemed to pleasantly get in the way :) I hope to come back strong in the Fall with some great health and wellness topics as well as some new recipes. I may even venture away from the SkinnyTaste website a little, but no promises! Until then, have a terrific rest of the summer and I am sure I will pop in here and there with some updated info.

Red, White and Blueberry Trifle
Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 14 • Serving Size: 1 cup  • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 169.1 • Fat: 0.4 g • Protein: 2.5 g • Carb: 38 g • Fiber: 3.0 g • Sugar: 16.5 g 
Sodium: 102.8 mg  

Ingredients: 

  • 10 oz angel food cake, cut into 1-inch cubes*
  • 2 pints strawberries, sliced
  • 2 pints blueberries

For the cream filling: 

  • 6 tbsp fat-free sweetened condensed milk (I used Borden Eagle)
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 1 package sugar-free white chocolate instant pudding mix
  • 12 oz fat-free frozen whipped topping, thawed

Directions:

Whisk the condensed milk and water in a bowl. Whisk in the pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set; fold in the whipped topping.

Arrange half of the cake in the bottom of a 14-cup trifle dish. Sprinkle evenly with a layer of blueberries. Spread half of the cream mixture over the blueberries and gently spread (I piped it using a plastic bag and cut the corner off). Top with a layer of strawberries. Layer the remaining cake cubes on top of the strawberries, then add more blueberries and top with the remaining cream mixture. Finish with the remaining strawberries and blueberries, arranging them in a pretty pattern. Cover and refrigerate at least one 1 hour.

*I only used 10 oz of a 16 oz cake.