Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Penne Shrimp, Tomato & Spinach

My co-worker Anne gave me an idea for a different recipe (which I might eventually try), but then this recipe emerged. It's so fresh tasting and perfect for the season, when the weather is starting to get warmer. Plus, it's so filling, you definitely won't go hungry!

Penne Shrimp, Tomato & Spinach
Serves 1

2 ounces penne (I used Ronzoni Smart Pasta)
1/2 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
8 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 oz fresh spinach
1/2 cup fire roasted diced tomatoes (from a 14.5 ounce can)
1 tsp Italian seasoning

Cook pasta according to package directions for firm. Generously spray a large skillet with olive oil spray and add olive oil. Heat over medium heat and add garlic. Saute garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add shrimp, and cook until opaque and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove shrimp from the skillet and set aside.

Add the spinach to the skillet and saute until wilted, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and Italian seasoning. Add the shrimp back to the skillet. Continue heating until cooked through. Add cooked pasta and toss to coat. Serve.

(This large single serve is only 6 points, and very filling!)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Dad's Strawberry Yogurt Pie

For any family gathering, it's a must that my dad make this yogurt pie. It wouldn't be a family dinner without it. He's tried to make changes to the pie, or use a different flavor yogurt, but the original is the best. I've called for a reduced-fat crust instead of the full-fat version; it helps to save a point.

Dad's Strawberry Yogurt Pie
Serves 8

1 container (8 ounces) lite cool whip
2 containers (6 ounces each) Dannon light and fit strawberry yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 reduced-fat graham cracker crust (8 serving)

Combine the cool whip, yogurt and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Use a wire whisk to blend well. Spoon the filling into the crust. Spread evenly in crust. (I know the picture shows some peaks, but my dad took the picture and he wanted to create some flourish!) Chill pie overnight before serving.

(Each serving is 4 points.)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Mini Turkey Meat Loaves

The girl who cuts my hair, Tina, told me about a barbecue sauce that she absolutely loves called Sweet Baby Ray's. I decided to try it. The taste is amazing! I decided to use it in a turkey meat loaf recipe and it was the perfect ingredient. Instead of a large meat loaf, I formed the turkey mixture into mini meat loaves, which is the perfect portion controller.

Mini Turkey Meat Loaves
Makes 4 (Serves 2-4)

12 ounces lean ground turkey (93% lean)
1/4 cup fat-free egg substitute
1/4 cup plus 4 teaspoons honey barbecue sauce, divided
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup finely grated carrots
1/2 cup finely diced onion (about 1/2 small onion)

Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Combine the ground turkey, egg substitute, 1/4 cup barbecue sauce, bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, carrots and onion. Mix well. Divide the turkey mixture into 4 portions and form each into 4 small loaves. Place loaves onto prepared baking sheet. Brush the loaves with the remaining barbecue sauce. Bake turkey loaves until cooked through and brown around the edges, about 35 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

(For those of you counting, each loaf is 5 points.)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Potato Kugel

This is a recipe based on another recipe from a neighbor who lives in the same apartment building as my parents. Her daughter used to be one of my babysitters when my brother and I were growing up. This potato kugel, or pudding as some people call it, is very easy to make if you have a food processor (I'm sure that wasn't how it was supposed to be prepared years ago, but I value the skin on my knuckles too much.) I used egg substitute instead of real eggs and reduced the amount of oil that the original recipe called for, but I don't think it sacrificed the flavor. I hope you enjoy it too!

Potato Kugel
Makes 15 squares

3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and shredded
1 cup fat-free egg substitute
3/4 cup matzo meal
1 large vidalia onion, grated
2 Tbsp canola oil
Salt and black pepper

Preheat oven to 400F. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Spray a 13- x 9-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon the potato mixture into the prepared pan. Bake until browned on top and firm, about 45 minutes. Let cool about 15 minutes before cutting into squares to serve.

(Each square is 2 points.)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Heat--A Book Review

Sorry everyone, I've been a little slow in putting up new recipes. Hopefully that won't be a continuing trend. Plus, I was a little under the weather over the weekend, and that's when I usually do my new recipe trials.

In the meantime, I wanted to share a book that all the foodies out there must read:
Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany by Bill Buford.

The author becomes an apprentice to celebrity chef Mario Batali and learns the ins and outs of working in a NYC restaurant. He makes his way through almost every station in the kitchen and basically becomes Batali's kitchen slave. Buford does learn all about the art of the kitchen and even travels to Italy to learn from those who taught Batali the basics of real Italian cooking.

It was a great read, and if you happen to come across, definitely pick it up.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Soft Beef Tacos

I haven't had tacos in a long time and the supermarket had a really good deal on ground beef this week. It was super quick to make and sooooo filling. I couldn't believe one taco could be so filling. If you want to bulk it up even more, add diced tomatoes and chopped green pepper.

Soft Beef Tacos
Serves 2

1/2 small onion, finely chopped
6 1/2 oz lean ground beef (93% lean)
1 tsp taco seasoning mix
1/2 cup salsa (I prefer Chi-Chi's brand)
1 cup shredded lettuce
2 medium low-fat whole-wheat tortillas
1/3 medium avocado, diced

Spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion, and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add ground beef and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the taco seasoning over the ground beef mixture, stirring to combine. Stir salsa into ground beef mixture. Heat over low heat until heated through, about 1 minute.

Warm the tortillas according to the package directions. Spoon half of the beef mixture into each tortilla. Top with shredded lettuce and diced avocado. Serve.

(For those of you counting, each taco is 6 points. If you want to add 1/4 cup fat-free cheddar cheese, add another point.)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Cinnamon Toffee Cookies

This cookie recipe is a slice and bake cookie and very easy to make. It's perfect to have on hand when you want to make just a few cookies to satisfy that sweet craving. Please note: You need to place in the freezer overnight before slicing and baking, so plan accordingly. Enjoy!!

Cinnamon Toffee Cookies
Makes 60

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup Olivio spread or butter
1 serving egg substitute
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
3 tablespoons toffee bits

Beat together Olivio, brown sugar, egg substitute and vanilla in a large bowl. Combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt in a separate bowl. Gradually beat flour mixture into sugar mixture. Stir in toffee bits. Form dough into two 2-inch-thick logs on plastic wrap. Wrap and freeze overnight.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice dough into 1/8-inch slices. Place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake until crisp and just brown around the edges, about 8 minutes. Let cool about 10 minutes on baking sheets and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

(For those of you counting, each cookie is 1 point.)