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Orange Cream Fruit Salad

Reviewed: Jun. 2, 2003
I modified the recipe a bit so it would have less sugar & calories. I substituted a 1 oz. package of sugarfree instant vanilla pudding, used skim milk & light sour cream & cut up pineapple rings (as my market didn't have tidbits). I didn't bother to peel the granny smith apple I used. I'd saved the drained pineapple juice; I dipped the apple in the pineapple juice, & then drained it. Dipping it in the juice kept the apple from turning brown. I also added about a cup of red seedless grapes, cut in half for color. I think fresh strawberries &/or blueberries would add to the presentation. After reading the other reviews, I decided to make the dish the night before which I would recommend. I drained the fruit well & put the fruit (without the bananas) in a separate container & the orange juice dressing in another container in the frig overnight. I brought the 2 containers & 2 bananas to work today to a baby shower. I drained the fruit again in the morning just before I left for work as people had commented on the dish being too liquidy. Just before serving, I cut up the 2 bananas into the fruit & then mixed the container of "orange cream" into the fruit. At least 8 people asked me for the recipe!
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137 users found this review helpful

Easy Pasta Fagioli

Reviewed: Dec. 30, 2003
I'm giving this 4 stars but I did change the recipe. The amount of tomato sauce (32 oz.) compared to the amount of chicken broth (14 oz.) seemed off to me. I thought it might taste just like eating tomato sauce. Anyway, I reversed the amounts with 32 oz. of 99% fat free broth and 15 oz. of tomato sauce. I may experiment with the proportions in the future. I also added one chopped onion instead of using only one slice & reduced the basil quite a bit, due to family preference. Finally I added whole wheat pasta separately to the soup at the table so the pasta wouldn't get too mushy when the leftovers were reheated.
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130 users found this review helpful

Rice with Black Beans

Reviewed: Apr. 7, 2003
I have a very similar version of this recipe. The one I used called for draining & rinsing the beans, adding 2 minced garlic cloves (instead of garlic powder), adding 2/3 cup water & using 1 and a half cups of instant brown rice (instead of one cup white rice). Instead of stewed tomatoes, I used diced tomatoes & just added some garlic powder, onion powder & basil. This last time I added a dash of cayenne too & a little leftover slivered cooked chicken. It's fine meatless though. It's a nice meal to make when you don't have something defrosted & want something quick, easy & nutritious.
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103 users found this review helpful

Artichoke Spinach Lasagna

Reviewed: Mar. 12, 2003
Excellent. I sauteed the onion & garlic in a little olive oil instead of Pam for more flavor and didn't bother to spray the baking pan. With the sauce in the bottom of the pan, the lasagna didn't stick. I substituted a little oregano for the rosemary (I guess you could substitute a little basil too), used whole wheat lasagna noodles and, per one reviewer's recommendation, used a jar of (Classico) portobello mushroom sauce. Instead of the frozen spinach, I substituted a 6 oz. bag of baby spinach which I just washed, drained, & chopped into slightly smaller pieces. Although I did chop the artichokes a bit, I'd chop them a little smaller next time. Just a note - this lasagna isn't high (like you'd think of for a meat lasagna). If you'd like it higher, you could probably double the recipe, except for maybe the feta that you sprinkle on top.
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99 users found this review helpful

Pita Pizza

Reviewed: Apr. 2, 2004
I'm giving this 5 stars, even though I changed the recipe. I just love finding a way to have pizza, if you want to eat whole grains instead of white flour. I think this is more low carb than having regular pizza as well. I may try using a pita in the future but I've been making this recipe using whole wheat tortillas. Instead of grilling them, I put them on aluminum foil on a cookie sheet. Then I spread a little olive oil on top, then red sauce, shredded lowfat mozzarella, & then whatever I want as a topping. I bake them at 350 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes. Even though they're thin, you actually can pick them up to eat them like pizza slices. I've topped them at various times with fresh sliced mushrooms (which I've microwaved for a couple minutes 1st & drained so they wouldn't be too watery on the pizza), zucchini slices (partially microwaved 1st), & cooked drained ground meat. YUM!
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93 users found this review helpful

Fra Diavolo Sauce With Pasta

Reviewed: Jan. 31, 2004
I substituted 28 oz. crushed tomatoes. Only 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes was spicy enough for us; I think 1 tsp. would have been atomic. I'd suggest adding a smaller amount of the crushed red pepper flakes to start, tasting it, & then adding the amount that you (& your family) would prefer. You can always add more seasoning as needed but if it's too much, the recipe could be ruined. Also I just added the scallops & defrosted shrimp to the sauce at the end without cooking them in olive oil first. I served the dish over half a lb. of whole wheat angel hair pasta. Next time, I'm going to try adding some red wine to the sauce for a little extra flavor.
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85 users found this review helpful

Best Yet Turkey Chili

Reviewed: Oct. 29, 2005
I browned the ground turkey 1st in a non-stick pan & then drained it. I then took it out of the pan, added a little olive oil to the pan, & sauteed a chopped onion with the green pepper. I used frozen corn & added a cup of water as I prefer it with a little more liquid. Also I added more seasoning as a "pinch" of the seasonings made it too bland. Next time, I'll make a double batch & put it in individual sized frozen containers that I can bring to work for lunch.
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63 users found this review helpful

Greek Pasta Salad I

Reviewed: Jun. 16, 2003
I substituted sliced zucchini, cut in half, for the mushrooms & omitted the olives & pepperoni, due to family personal preferences. I may serve the pepperoni on the side, next time for those who'd like to add it. I also took the advice of some reviewers to save some of the dressing to add just before serving so the pasta wouldn't be too dry. Another hint is to take the dish out ahead of time as the olive oil solidifies in the fridge.
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62 users found this review helpful

Orange and Lentil Soup

Reviewed: Feb. 8, 2004
I thought this was tasty but my husband, who's a big lentil soup fan, loved it. I sauteed the onion in a little olive oil instead of butter (as it's healthier). When the onion was softened, I added some minced garlic, which I briefly sauteed, before adding the rest of the ingredients. I also diced the carrot instaed of shredding it & used only 1/4 tsp. thyme, due to family preference. I added all the broth at the same time & didn't bother blending the ingredients at the end. A little texture from the lentils & veggies was fine with us. I would suggest that if you go to the trouble of making this that you double the recipe so you can take some to lunch or freeze it for another time.
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59 users found this review helpful

Lentil Soup

Reviewed: Mar. 12, 2003
Yummy! I didn't pre-soak the lentils 1st (although I rinsed & drained them). Maybe because of this, the soup required about 2 hours of cooking time. The carrots though weren't soft enough after only one hour. You may need more broth or water depending on how thick you like the soup. I may try it with a small can of crushed tomatoes next time.
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58 users found this review helpful

Mostaccioli with Spinach and Feta

Reviewed: Jan. 11, 2003
I'd make this for company. I combined this recipe with the instructions for "Suki's spinach and feta pasta" which is almost the same recipe. I used a 6 oz. bag of baby spinach that I washed & chopped & also used whole wheat penne. I sauteed the garlic for just a little while 1st. I added salt & pepper & also added 1/2 a pound of defrosted shrimp, just to warm it up, before adding the pasta & feta cheese (I happened to have plain feta in the frig). If you keep stirring the mixture at the end, the feta melts & the sauce gets an orangy, creamy texture. I also put red pepper flakes on the table, if someone wanted even more zip. I'll try 3/4 of a cup of feta next time as my husband thought the feta had a strong taste, although I loved it & we finished the whole dish.
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54 users found this review helpful

Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Reviewed: Oct. 8, 2006
I agree with the reviewer that the pumpkin had a subtle taste. My husband was surprised when I told him about the "secret ingredient." I also added a can of chicken broth as I like a more liquidy, soupy texture.
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52 users found this review helpful

Roasted Asparagus and Yellow Pepper Salad

Reviewed: Jun. 13, 2004
The first time I made this, my husband said it was way too oily. The second time, I put the veggies in a bowl, poured just a little olive oil on top & mixed them with my hands to coat them. Then I used only 1/4 cup olive oil & half of the seasonings for the dressing. I substituted pourable Splenda for the sugar & just added some salt & ppper instead of the hot sauce & salad seasoning mix. I used chopped pecans the 2nd time, which I preferred to the almonds. Also adding some red peppers to the yellow adds to the presentation. I'd suggest checking the asparagus after 10 minutes to see how al dente or roasted you'd like them. I took another reviewer's suggestion & baked them for 18 minutes (9 minutes a side). Two other suggestions... If you want leftovers, I'd suggest doubling this recipe. Also if you refrigerate the dish, you should take it it out ahead of time as the olive oil solidifies in the frig.
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52 users found this review helpful

Black Bean Chili

Reviewed: May 24, 2004
I sauteed a little garlic with the vegetables in the beginning. I also used 1 red bell pepper, eliminated the jalapeno pepper, chopped the mushrooms into small chunks because they were large, used frozen corn niblets, and only used 1/2 tsp. of cumin. I didn't bother pureeing some of the chili either. It was tasty as chili, especially with some shredded cheddar as a topping. Another time though when I reheated it, I added an extra cup of chicken broth to the leftovers as well as some cooked brown rice. I think I actually preferred it this way as a yummy black bean soup. Of course, when adding more liquid, you can adjust the seasoning to your taste.
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43 users found this review helpful

Feta Artichoke Dip

Reviewed: Oct. 21, 2007
I'm rating this 5 stars IF you reduce the amount of mayo by half. I rinsed the artichoke hearts & the pimintoes separately under cold water to get rid of any excess salt. You should make sure they're drained well so the dip isn't watery. I substituted 1 tsp garlic powder for the diced garlic. Finally I didn't bother with the tomato & scallion garnish, although I'm sure it would have added some nice color. The main point though is that I doubled the recipe (using a total of only 1 cup mayo when doubling it) & it was a huge success at a party I attended last night. People told me it was yummy & I even was askd for the recipe. I asked the hostess, after I told her the secret ingredient was feta) whether she thought it might be better with a garlic & herb feta or a tomato & basil flavored one. She said it was perfect the way it was.
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42 users found this review helpful

Chicken and Artichoke Minestrone

Reviewed: Jun. 4, 2005
I really enjoyed this soup & will make it again. The only reason I'm giving it 4 stars instead of 5 is that I only used 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes & it was spicy enough for my family. I think 3/4 tsp. would have been way too spicy for us. I used frozen corn, 6 oz. bag of fresh baby spinach, and substitued 15 oz. of crushed tomatoes as I prefer this to the diced ones. I also cut up some left over cooked whole wheat angel hair pasta which I added when heating it up. As minestrone usually has some beans in it, I'll probably add some cannellini or navy beans to the soup the next time, either in addition to or instead of the chicken.
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39 users found this review helpful

Amy's Barbecue Chicken Salad

Reviewed: Nov. 16, 2005
Even though the fried onions would have been tasty & added a nice texture, I left them out to reduce the calories. I also omitted the cilantro due to family preference. The 2nd time I made this, I used 2/3 cup of ranch dressing & 1/3 cup barbeque sauce because my husband likes a milder taste. It was still good but I also thought it was fine the 1st time I made it, with the dressing proportions as written.
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37 users found this review helpful

No Sugar Apple Pie

Reviewed: Jun. 22, 2005
I simmered the granny smith apples for about 5 minutes & used Langer's frozen apple juice (11.5 oz.) which was labeled as having no added sugar. I made my own thin graham cracker crust, omitted the top crust, & topped the pie with chopped walnuts, as one reviewer suggested. The pie didn't have any artificial sugar aftertaste as the sweetener is apple juice. I wasn't sure about adding 3 Tbsp of cornstarch as I'd seen recipes with less but the consistency was fine. I made this for Father's Day for my diabetic dad and everyone loved it. My sister pronounced it "perfect" & asked me for the recipe.
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37 users found this review helpful

Pecan French Toast

Reviewed: Apr. 25, 2004
I served this as one of the dishes for a Sunday brunch this morning for 8 guests, and it was a success. I used skim milk, substituted Splenda for the sugar and cinnamon for the nutmeg, and sprayed the baking pan with PAM. I think a cinnamon raison bread would be yummy but as I try to eat whole grain products, I used whole wheat bread. I may add some raisons next time and make half with nutmeg to see which flavor we like best. My company had a choice of eating it plain (which was fine) or topping it with pourable Splenda, sugar, syrup, or fresh strawberries.
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37 users found this review helpful

Shrimp Appetizer

Reviewed: Jun. 16, 2003
This actually tasted a little sweet, I guess because of the cocktail sauce. I'd suggest adding some horseradish to the cocktail sauce to give it more of a kick. I think it would be better without the mozzarella, which just took away from the taste of the shrimp. There are so many appetizer recipes with cheese that I'd just prefer that you tasted the shrimp more.
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35 users found this review helpful

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