Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Roasted Veggies

Ok, this recipe is not rocket science, but these roasted veggies are delicious! You can use whatever veggies you have on hand. I went with asparagus, yellow squash, zucchini, red and yellow peppers and onions. Next time I might try to add eggplant and tomatoes. I served these with a lean pork chop and roasted fingerling potatoes for an easy weeknight meal.

Roasted Veggies

The Stuff:
1 pound asparagus
1 large or 2 small zucchini
1 large or 2 small yellow squash
1 large onion (I used sweet yellow onions, red would be good too)
1 yellow pepper
1 red pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt

The How To:
  • Preheat oven to 400
  • Chop the veggies into bite size pieces
  • In a large ziplock bag add half the veggies and 1 tablespoon of olive oil; shake around until veggies are well coated
  • Add to a cookie sheet and then do the same with the other half of the veggies and the olive oil
  • Top the veggies with s&p and bake for 30 minutes or until the veggies are soft

WW friends: The whole thing is 7 pp due to the oil, you can cut back on the oil if you want, but I don't think you'll get the same results. The serving I had was 2pp and soooo delish!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Seafood Pasta

Pasta is my go to meal, its fast, easy and keeps me full. For this meal I basically cleaned out the cupboards and refrigerator. I've been traveling so much lately I haven't had time to go to the grocery store so I was literally looking at bare cupboards and had to use my imagination for this one. And you know what I decided? That's the best way to make dinner! I had some frozen shrimp, frozen seafood (Scallops, calamari and shrimp medley from Trader Joe's), edamame and sun dried tomatoes. Writing it out makes it sound a little odd, but I tell you it was great.

Seafood Pasta

The Stuff:
teaspoon olive oil
1 large shallot
1 glove garlic
1 large heirloom tomato (or whatever type you have)

I love Heirlooms!
8 oz frozen, shelled edamame
8-10 oz seafood (any combination will work)
1/8 cup sun dried tomatoes
1 roasted red bell pepper (I used the jarred kind)
1 teaspoon season salt
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Juice from 1 Meyer lemon
2 teaspoon olive oil, separated

The How To:
  • Cook pasta as directed and drain reserving 1 cup of pasta water
  •  Heat up the oil, chop shallots and garlic, add to pan 
  • While shallots and garlic are cooking (5 minutes) defrost the seafood and set aside
  • Add frozen edamame to pan (I use frozen because it thaws out just enough in the saute pan and adds a nice texture to the dish), cook for 3 minutes
  • Dice sun dried tomatoes and bell peppers and add to pan
  • Add seasoning and cook for 3 minutes
  • Add seafood and cook for 5 minutes 
  • Add 1/2 cup of pasta water and scrap bottom of pan of all the goodness
  • In a big bowl throw in pasta, remaining pasta water, heirloom tomatoes (diced) and contents of pan, stir until well incorporated
  • Spoon portions into bowls and add 1/8 cup Parmesan cheese to each bowl, add half lemon juice and half olive oil in each bowl, stir
  • The lemon, Parmesan and pasta water make a sort of sauce that is delicious and refreshing!

WW Friends: 1 portion for me was 9 points, for an accurate count you should tally yours up


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tilapia Fish Sticks

I am not sure about you, but when I was a kid fish sticks made a regular appearance on the dinner table. They were easy for my mom to make leaving her time to pack lunches, clean house and do the other 100 different things single moms have to do. As I've gotten older, I'm not a fan of frozen fish sticks - I am actually not sure there is anything "fishy" about them. So, I decided to make a grown up version using panko and tilapia and baking them - these babies are good! And, still pretty easy, not as easy as the frozen ones, but who eats frozen fish sticks anymore?:)

Tilapia Fish Sticks

The Stuff:
3 tilapia fillets
1 cup panko crumbs
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 cup egg white substitute or 2 eggs beaten

The How To:
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • Cut fish in half like a hot dot and then in half like a hamburger (am I the only one that grew up with this? Just in case, cut longways and then cut short ways :)
  • In a bowl put panko, pepper, parsley and chili powder, in another bowl put beaten eggs
  • Create an assembly line with cut fish first, then egg, then panko, then a cookie sheet sprayed with Pam cooking spray
  • Take fish one piece at a time and dip in egg until well coated, then dip into panko until completely covered, place on cookie sheet, continue with remaining fish
  • Spray fish with a couple sprays of Pam to help seal the crumbs
  • Bake for 10 minutes, then flip and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until browned
  • Serves 2-3 depending on how hungry The MR. is...I normally have 1 tilapia fillet, served with cooked spinach and sweet potatoes
WW Friends: 4 sticks (1 fillet) is 4p+


Monday, June 6, 2011

Peas, Prosciutto and Pasta

Three "P's" that are delightful together: peas, prosciutto and pasta. This is an easy weeknight meal that is literally ready in minutes (10 tops). The peas take all of 2 minutes to cook, the pasta is 7-9 depending on what kind you use and the prosciutto doesn't have to be cooked. Talk about easy!

Have you ever had English Peas? If not you should start, or if you have bravo - keep it up! These suckers are bigger than normal peas, have a nice crunch to them, a little sweet and oh so good.
Peas, Prosciutto and Pasta

The Stuff:
1 pound English peas peeled
3 oz prosciutto, cut in small strips
1 pound of your favorite pasta (I think something with some shape works best)
1 roasted red bell pepper, chopped (I ALWAYS keep jarred roasted red bell pepper on hand, they are great in dressings, sauces and pasta)
1 shallot, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
S&P to taste
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

The How To:
Make pasta as directed, reserve 2 cups of pasta water
Blanche peas: boil water, throw in peas for about 2 minutes, immediately run under cool water, set aside

Before being blanched, but oh-so-cute!
In a saute pan heat 1 tablespoon of oil and throw in red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute to open up the flavor
Throw in shallots, garlic and red bell pepper until tender, about 5 minutes
Take of heat and throw in prosciutto piece by piece not in one big chunk, this will help it keep separated
Toss in peas and pour mixture over cooked pasta, mix well
Toss in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, stir
Pour in a little pasta water at a time until it makes a sauce
Top with s&p, FRESH Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley

Serve with sourdough bread to sop up the yummy juices


(WW Friends, I will post nutrition facts SOON! I have been so behind on my posts that by the time I get to posting I have NO idea what the points are - I sooo need to get organized! This is about 6 p+)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Stuffed Peppers with Heirloom Tomato Sauce

Stuffed peppers are one of my favorite things, the small problem is I forgot all about them! Its been years since I've last made them - but after making them this last time I will NOT let that happen again. They are so easy and a complete meal in one! Lots of veggies, some protein and a little cheese - yum! You can use whatever colored pepper you'd like for this recipe. I used green because they were huge, but feel free to mix it up.

Stuffed Peppers

The Stuff:
2 large peppers or 4 small ones
1 pound of lean pork
2 zucchinis
2 summer squash
1/2 cup mushrooms
1 small onion
2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 recipe of heirloom tomato sauce (see below)
1 egg
splash of Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder (cut back if you don't like heat)
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 thick slices of mozzarella cheese

The How To:

Preheat oven to 350

Heirloom Tomato sauce:
1 cup of ripe heirloom tomatoes
1/8 cup olive oil
Place ingredients in a food processor or blender and mix until tomatoes have broken down and formed a sauce

Stuffed Peppers:
Cut the tops off the peppers

Use a cheese grater to shave the zucchini and squash

Chop the mushrooms
Chop the onion

In a bowl mix all the ingredients except the cheese, peppers and tomato sauce

There's meat under there, promise :)
Coat the bottom of a casserole dish with half the heirloom tomato sauce

Add the well combined ingredients to the peppers, really stuff them good. Don't be afraid if they seemed overflowing, that's what you want
Add peppers and top with remaining tomato sauce
Bake for 40 minutes, take out and top with the mozzarella cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes or until the cheese is nice and melted

Look at the ooey gooey cheese!

This is the "smaller" of the two - soooo yummy!

 Not the best picture, but you get the idea.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Lasagna Cupcakes

You know the "If you could only eat one type of cuisine for the rest of your life what would it be?" question? Well, I always answer it with Mexican, but Italian is not far behind. I love the combo of pasta, cheese and sauce - in any form it always tickles my fancy! This lasagna recipe is really fun and would make a wonderful potluck dish. Its portion controlled, and light on the carbs as you do not use big sheets of lasagna noodles you use wonton wrappers. These are also really easy to make! I owe credit to Hungry Girl as this is her recipe.

Lasagna Cupcakes

The Stuff:
1 pound lean ground turkey
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup mushrooms
1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes, I use the one with basil and oregano
2 cloves of garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon each of dried: oregano, basil and parsley
1 10oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 1/2 cups of low fat ricotta
1/4 cup fat free egg substitute (I use egg whites)
24 small wonton wrappers (I could not find square ones, but round worked fine)
1 1/2 cups shredded reduced fat mozzarella cheese

The How To:
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • In a large skillet add turkey and cook until no longer pink, make sure to use a wooden spoon and crumble as you cook, top with S&P to taste
  • Add onion and mushrooms and cook until veggies are tender
  • Reduce heat to low and add tomatoes, 1 clove of garlic, spices and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • While the turkey mixture is simmering, combine spinach, ricotta, egg, dash of salt, and remaining garlic to a bowl and mix well.
  • Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with nonstick spray
  • Press a wonton wrapper onto bottom of pan in each cup, evenly distribute the ricotta mixture and smooth with back of a spoon
  • Evenly distribute the turkey mixture on top of the ricotta mixture and top with a little mozzarella cheese
  • Top with another wonton wrapper, pressing it down on to the cheese but making sure the edges are poking out
  • Top with remaining mozzarella cheese
  • Bake for about 10 minutes or so or until the edges are browned and cheese is melted

Weight Watcher friends: 1 cupcake is 5 points


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Meyer Lemon Curd

So, remember those yummy scones I posted a couple days ago? Well, I have the PERFECT item to top them with - Meyer Lemon Curd! My, oh my talk about yummy! Curd is an English tradition one would find during high tea paired with biscuits or scones. It is so easy to make its a crime that I've never made it before. Using Meyer lemons was ideal because it cut the amount of sugar out that I had to use.  

Meyer Lemon Curd
Recipe adapted from Epicurious

The Stuff:
4 Meyer Lemons
1/4 cup sugar (add more if you want it sweet, I like the tart lemony flavor so kept the sugar to a minimum)
2 large eggs
1 stick unsalted butter cut in to cubes

The How To:
  • Grate lemon zest to measure about a tablespoon
  • Squeeze the lemons to get 1/2 cup of juice
  • Whisk together the zest, juice, sugar and eggs in a metal bowl
  • Add butter

  • In a saucepan, simmer water, once brought to a simmer lower heat to low
  • Place metal bowl with ingredients on top of saucepan making sure the pan is not so full of water that the water touches the bottom of the bowl - you don't want that
  • Whisk ingredients continuously until thick and smooth

  • You can run the curd through a sieve, I didn't find it necessary though
  • Serve warm, or cover and put in fridge until you are ready to use, I had trouble not eating by the spoon full as soon as it was done cooking - this stuff is GOOD!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mini Cinnamon and Buttermilk Scones

I've been sitting on this scone recipe for a couple months but never had the opportunity to make them. Well, Easter changed that. Scones tend to be a little dry naturally, so expect that when you make them. They are perfect for dipping in coffee or tea. These Cinnamon and Buttermilk Scones are wonderful and really easy to make. I put a vanilla glaze on the top to help keep it moist. Store scones for a couple days in an airtight container at room temperature.

Cinnamon and Buttermilk Scones

The Stuff:
1 egg
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon of cinnamon (you can do less, but I LOVE cinnamon)
3 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoon cold, unsalted butter cut into cubes
zest of 1 Meyer lemon

The How To:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Beat egg, buttermilk and lemon zest together, set aside
  • In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together
  • Add the butter and using your fingers (you can use a pastry cutter, but whats the fun of that?) to cut butter into flour until you have a pebbly mixture
  • Pour the egg and buttermilk mixture into flour mixture
  • Stir with a rubber spatula until combined, do not over mix
  • Flour a working surface and turn the dough out and pat to quarter inch thick
  • Using a sharp knife make triangles with the dough
  • Place triangles onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes or until browned
  • Serve with your favorite jam


Monday, April 18, 2011

Tomatillo, Chicken, and Hominy Soup

This dish is a posole, which is a thick and heart soup perfect for dinner! Never used hominy? It is basically a corn kernel, sold in a can, not much of a taste but adds a nice texture to soups. Tomatillos add a lemony taste - even though the name seems like it should be a tomato I never get much of a tomato taste out of them. They are delish though! This soup is yummy, low points, easy to put together and filling. Top with light sour cream, cilantro and crushed tortillas.

This makes 6 servings

Tomatillo, Chicken & Hominy Soup

The Stuff:

1/2 pound tomatillos, husks and stems discarded
2 shredded chicken breast from this recipe
32 oz low sodium chicken stock
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
1 small can chopped green chilies
1 large onion chopped
5 garlic cloves chopped
1 jalapeno
1 30oz can hominy drained
salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoon cumin
1 cup cilantro

The How To:

Quarter the tomatillos and the jalapeno, remove the jalapeno seeds if you don't like heat

Add 3/4 cup cilantro, the tomatillos and the jalapeno to a food processor or blender, pulse until chopped

Add tomatillo mixture, onions, tomatoes, garlic, chilies to a pot and cook for 10 minutes

Add chicken stock, salt & pepper, and cumin and simmer for 15 minutes until warmed up
Serve up into bowl, top with avocado, remaining cilantro, sour cream, and half chicken breast
Add crushed tortillas and eat up! (you can add all the toppings at once, but I forgot the tortillas so I added them after:))
Weight Watcher Friends: 1 serving is 3 p+, add extra points for your toppings


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Shrimp Salad

We had a potluck at work the other day and since I anticipated their being lots of heavy type foods I wanted to make something a bit lighter. This recipe from Gina's Skinny Recipes is a sure winner! I changed some things, but either way would be great. This is crisp, refreshing and filling!

Shrimp Salad

The Stuff:
3/4 pound shrimp, peeled
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 tablespoon red onion (Gina adds less, but I thought more was good)
1 tablespoons olive oil mayonnaise (if you haven't tried this, give it a shot, yum!)
2 tablespoon fat free plain Greek yogurt
Seasoned Salt, Chili powder, dash cumin
30 cucumber slices, about 1 large cucumber
Chopped chives

The How To:

Run a knife through the shrimp once or twice, add to a mixing bowl
Add celery

Add Onion, mayonnaise, yogurt and seasoning

Mix until well combined

Place a heaping tablespoon of shrimp salad on each cucumber slice

This is a small portion of the shrimp salad, you can beef it up
Top with chives and eat up!

Weight Watcher Friends: 1 cucumber slice with 1 tablespoon of shrimp salad is 0pp, 4 are 2pp