Tag Archives: Peppers

Philly Cheese Steak

This is one of those recipes that isn’t much of a recipe really. More like an example of how to make those naughty things we love a bit healthier. My husband loves philly cheese steaks, especially when they come in pizza form. So with some leftover buns I decided to give making these healthier a go and see if they pass with the cheese steak eater. They did! Here is what I did.

  • Thinly sliced eye of round steak, tossed in montreal steak spice
  • thinly sliced 4 crimini mushrooms
  • thinly sliced 1/2 sweet onion
  • thinly sliced 1/2 red pepper
  • 4 sliced of reduced fat provolone cheese
  • 2 herbed sub buns
  1. Saute the steak in a hot pan until done. Remove and set aside and keep warm.
  2. Add the mushrooms and onions to the pan and cook until the juices come out and the onion caramelize slightly. You can add the red peppers to the cooking mixture if you like. I like mine to have some crunch left in them.
  3. Layer the steak in the cut buns, top with the mushroom and onion mixture. Layer red peppers on top and then the cheese.
  4. Arrange the sandwiches on a flat pan and put under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly. Serve!

Makes two subs. There is so much room for variation in this recipe it’s difficult to post nutritionals for it. I will say though that for us it was what I usually spend on dinner. This philly was totally conquered and really easy.

Fajita Spice Blend

My husband tends to wrinkle his nose whenever I pick up a fajita or taco packet or kit. I like to sing the little song that goes with them, I find them a tasty guilty pleasure but they appear to be the bane of his existence. The prepackagedness of them seems to be his biggest complaint.  Oh yeah, revel in my created word of the moment. Mmmmmm. Moving on, I decided to break down and make my own spice mix for fajita. I can’t believe how easy it was really. Although, I will miss my husband loudly announcing in the grocery store that I was getting Fa-jI-tahs…oh yeah…the j is not an h sound for this one. The stares from aghast women as they cover the ears of their precious innocent giggling children. Won’t anyone think of the children? Alright…maybe there weren’t many aghast women or scandalized children but you get the idea. Funtimes.

  • 1 packet chicken reduced salt oxo
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 tbl paprika
  • 3 tbl chili powder
  1. Combine, store in a sealed jar.

For chicken fajita:

  1. Sprinkle 3 tbl worth of the spice and 1 tsp of olive oil onto two chicken breasts cut into strips. Stir, and allowed to marinate for 1 hour.
  2. Slice a medium onion and pepper.
  3. Heat a pan to medium. Add the chicken to the hot pan, brown and cook until done.
  4. Add the onions, peppers, and 1/4 cup water. Cook until the water reduces to form a nice thick sauce.

Serve on a whole grain tortilla or on a salad. Serves two. Each serving contains 178 calories, 5.1 grams of fat, and 3.5 grams of fibre. I imagine this mix would be good for beef, pork and tofu as well.

Mexican Style Low Fat Layered Dip

Come on, everyone has a recipe for these. They are so great for parties or in my case role playing groups. I usually have a chili layer I include in these but I skipped it this time to make it more vegetarian friendly. Served this with a choice of regular tortilla chips and baked chips…and it disappeared fast. Such a crowd pleaser and really not that hard to portion control for yourself. Get a spoon and grab a cross section for yourself, fill up a ramekin (which is usually 1/4 cup) and you have yourself one serving of this dip! That and you won’t have to fight the others as they omnomnom this too. Why no pictures of it baked? Because as soon as it came out of the oven it was grisly zombie scene of devouring frenzy. Goodtimes.

First layer ( the jalapeno popper inspired layer)

  • 5 oz. Fat free cream cheese
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (with seeds)

Second layer ( guacamole inspired layer)

  • 1 avocado
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1/2 small onion
  • salt and pepper to taste

Third layer

  • 4 tbl Taco sauce of desired hotness or chili layer

Fourth Layer (bean dip inspired layer)

  • 1 cup low fat refried beans
  • 1 tbl lime juice
  • 2 tsp. Taco seasoning

Fifth layer

  • 1/2 cup shredded light cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions
  1. Combine ingredients for first layer in a blender. Jalapeno first and then added the cream cheese, room temperature. Spread evenly on bottom of oven proof container. I use my loaf pan, always the perfect size.
  2. Combine the various layers ingredients and layer them on top accordingly. For the bean layer I used the blender. Finish it up by sprinkling the cheese on top and then topping with green onions (if serving cold, if baked add green onions after baking).
  3. Two ways to serve this. Keep in the refrigerator for an hour and serve cold or heat oven to 350F and bake for 30 minutes (or until cheese is just the way you want it). I prefer the hot way.

Makes about 8 servings of about 1/4 cup. Each serving contains 102 calories, 4 grams of fat and 3.6 grams of fibre. Calculated assuming you used a taco sauce layer, if you go with chili make sure you add those values! Totally delicious!


Spicy Spread

No, I’m not being dirty…this time. This is a spicy margarine spread that I made for an awesome side dish the other day. It was a nice step away from the usual and perfect for compliment a delicious fall time veggie: corn! Oh glorious corn! This is the last month for farmer’s market around here so I’ve been taking advantage of all that fresh local corn. I used this on a lovely sweet yellow corn, num! I think its extra great that the spread turns into such a fall festive colour too. Check it out!

  • 2-3 tbl light cooking margarine
  • 1 red hot chili pepper (not the band…that would just get gruesome)
  • 1 tsp fresh basil, chopped
  • ground pepper to taste
  1. Remove the seeds and top of the pepper. Chop very fine.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl or ramekin until it looks like above. Allow to sit at room temp for 10 minutes before using.

This makes about 4 tbl of spicy spread. Each tbl contains 22 calories, 1 gram fat and .2 gram of fibre. To use this spread I covered a cob of sweet yellow corn and grilled the corn for 20-30 minutes on low or medium heat. I specifically wanted that slight char and smoky taste. I basted one side, cooked, flipped halfway through cooking and basted the other side. The end result on the cob:

Mmmmm. For more civilized eating the corn can be cut off the cob carefully to give you something more like this:

Either way it remains tasty! A great side dish during this harvest season. The best part is, everything except the margarine was obtained from my local farmers market. Hurray!

Roasted Red Pepper Bean Dip

You know what one of my biggest vices is? Chips and dip. Oh how I love chips and dip. Especially that perfect regular potato chip with a tasty homemade french onion dip. Tortilla chips with a roasted red pepper dip are another favoured combination. I was introduced to that naughty combination by a friend when I was living in Halifax. Good times. Good thing too since it opens the door to this healthier alternative for me. Instead of picking up a calorie and fat laden treat from the store I just whip this bad boy together in a minute or so and enjoy! It’s so full of fibre I have actually used it as a light lunch on occasion. Such a filling snack!

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 (19 ounce) can white kidney beans, drained
  • 7 ounces of roasted red peppers (if from a jar, drain)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth.

Makes 8 servings about 1/4 cup each. Each serving contains 84 calories, .4 grams of fat and 6.2 grams of fibre. Served with toasted whole wheat pita wedges or veggies this snack is absolutely a complete craving buster. I highly recommend this for lunches too. That high fibre content makes me feel so full I usually just have that, some pita, and some veggies then call it a day.