Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

I haven't posted in quite a bit, but there were many major events this fall, all good. I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year and hope you look to my blog in the new year for more recipes.

Here's to a great 2010!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Creamy Fruit Tart

Today was my friend and co-worker Karen's birthday! Yay KP! So to celebrate, she requested a fruit tart, and I'm always ready to meet these requests. I did a little research on tarts and found a different version, but adapted it to make it my own. It's definitely not for the calorie conscious....but so creamy and so good. With a gingersnap crust and a mascarpone cream cheese filling, it's a definite favorite!!

Creamy Fruit Tart
Serves about 14 (can serve more if you make the slices smaller, it's a very rich filling)

32 gingersnap cookies, finely crushed
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1 container (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Assorted berries

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine the crushed gingersnap cookies and melted butter in a medium bowl. Mix well. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch tart pan with a removeable bottom. Bake crust until it turns a darker brown and is set, 12 – 15 minutes. Let crust cool completely (can be made a day ahead and chilled).

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the mascarpone cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, honey, lemon zest and vanilla extract until smooth and combined. Spread filling in the baked crust. Arrange berries on top and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.

(For those of you counting, it's about 7 pts per slice.)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fried Pumpkin Blossoms

I've never grown pumpkins before, but the one good thing about it is that there are blossoms everywhere! I can pick about 5 or 6 a day. You'll want to pick the male blossoms, those that are on stems and not attached to mini pumpkins. They can be prepared the same as zucchini blossoms. They are so tasty and filling, I can't believe I've never had them before.

Fried Pumpkin Blossoms
Serves 4 as a side dish

1 large egg white
1/4 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons white wine
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
16 pumpkin blossoms, cleaned and pistons removed
4 tablespoons olive oil

Place the egg white, milk and white wine in a shallow bowl. Whisk thoroughly. Place the bread crumbs on a plate. Dip the pumpkin blossoms in the egg white mixture and then coat lightly in the bread crumbs.

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the coated blossoms and cook until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Serve warm.

(Each fried blossom is 1 pt.)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Crispy Oven-Baked Onion Rings

Did you ever just want to throw caution to the wind and go to Burger King and get an order of onion rings? No? Oh well, guess it's just me. Here is my idea of a very close second to my favorite BK onion rings, without the frying! They are so crispy and delicious, no ketchup is necessary.

Crispy Oven-Baked Onion Rings
Serves 2

1 large Vidalia onion
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
3/4 cup cornflake crumbs
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

Slice the onion and separate into rings. Place in a shallow bowl and pour the buttermilk over the onion rings. Chill for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine the corn flake crumbs, garlic powder, parsley, cumin, black pepper and salt in a medium bowl. Mix to combine.

Measure 2 tablespoons of the corn flake mixture and place on a plate. Remove one onion ring from the buttermilk and coat with the corn flake mixture. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining onion rings, adding corn flake mixture 1 tablespoon at a time as needed. Spray coated rings lightly with nonstick cooking spray.

Bake on the bottom rack of the oven until cooked through and crispy, 15-20 minutes.

(Each serving is 2 pts.)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Barbecue Chicken Salad

We had a potluck party at work a few weeks ago and I came up with this twist on ordinary chicken salad. It is so flavorful and low in fat, you won't miss your regular fat recipe. The dressing is more barbecue sauce than mayonnaise. I served them on slider rolls for work, but that would add more points than you need. To keep your calories down, serve it on a low-fat roll or bread, or keep it really low and serve on top of lettuce.

Barbecue Chicken Salad
Serves 4

2 cups chicken meat (I used the white meat portion of a rotisserie chicken)
2 1/2 tablespoons barbecue sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's Honey Barbecue)
1 tablespoon reduced fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup thawed roasted corn (from Trader Joe's) or regular corn kernels
1/2 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 large stalk celery, diced
2 scallions, sliced
salt and black pepper, to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. Chill at least 4 hours or overnight.

(Each 1/2 cup serving is 4 pts.)

Here is a photo of the sliders I made for the potluck at work. I doubled the recipe and it made about 48 sliders. Everyone loved them!

Monday, May 18, 2009

PB Chocolate Chip Rice Cake

I had to write and tell you about a great snack idea my friend Kathryn told me about. It is delicious and totally satisfying!! And the best part of it's only 2 pts!! It makes a great afternoon snack when you're really craving something sweet.

PB Chocolate Chip Rice Cake
Serves 1

1 lightly salted rice cake
2 tsp. peanut butter
15 semisweet chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli)

Spread the peanut butter onto the rice cake and sprinkle with the chocolate chips. Enjoy!!

(It's only 2 pts!)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

I made these cookies for our company pot luck lunch and it is really hard for me to not eat them all! They are so chocolaty and filled with peanut butter chips. They are soft and chewy and crisp around the edges.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
Makes 5 dozen

2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups peanut butter chips (I used Reeses)

Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until combined. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Gradually add the flour mixture, stirring until combined. Stir in the peanut butter chips. Chill the cookie dough for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place about 2 inches apart on nonstick baking sheets. Bake until cookies are set and edges are firm, turning halfway through baking, about 12 minutes. Place the baking sheets on wire racks. Let the cookies cool completely.

(Each cookie is 2 pts.)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Pesto Chicken Rollantine

I've had this idea for a while, and I decided to give it a try. It was so tender and delicious, and I was even impressed that I found reduced fat pesto sauce at Stop 'n' Shop. It was yummy!

Pesto Chicken Rollantini
Serves 4

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 3 ounces each)
2 teaspoons reduced fat pesto sauce
2 jarred roasted red pepper halves, cut into pieces
1/2 cup reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese (I used Sargento)
1/4 cup low-fat spaghetti sauce (I use Scalfani)
3 tbsp seasoned bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Place the chicken breast halves between 2 pieces of waxed paper. Using a meat mallet, pound until thin. Place the flattened chicken on a flat work surface.

Divide the pesto sauce and spread over the chicken. Top with roasted red pepper pieces. Spoon the tomato sauce on top of each and them sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese.

Roll the chicken jelly-roll style and place seam-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Spray the chicken rolls with nonstick cooking spray and pat the bread crumbs onto each. Lightly spray again to moisten the crumbs.

Bake the chicken until bread crumbs are browned and the filling starts to bubble at the edges, 20–25 minutes.

(Each serving is 6 pts.)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mexican Wedding Cakes

We had a mini Cinco de Mayo celebration at work and I decided to make these buttery cookies. They are so good they melt in your mouth! Toasting the walnuts adds an extra nutty flavor to these cookies. Make them for your next fiesta!

Mexican Wedding Cookies
Makes 64 cookies

1 1/4 cups walnut halves
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350F. Place the walnuts on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake nuts until toasted and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Let the walnuts cool completely.

Once the walnuts have cooled, place them in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add 2 tablespoons flour to the nuts in the food processor. Pulse until finely chopped, but be careful not to turn them into a paste. Set aside. Combine the remaining flour with the salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture gradually, beating until combined. Stir in the chopped nuts. Cover the dough and chill for 1 hour.

Roll the dough onto 1-inch balls and place them 2 inches apart on nonstick baking sheets. Bake the cookies, turning halfway through baking, until the edges are lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and place on wire racks to cool for about 5 minutes.

Line a flat working surface with waxed paper. Sift 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar over the waxed paper. Place the cookies on the sugar. Sift the remaining sugar over the cookies. Let cool completely.

(Each cookie is 2 pts.)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Praline French Toast Bake

Here is another dish I made for brunch with my friends yesterday. I've made this before, but each time I make it, I add something different. This time I added chopped pecans. It almost tastes like pralines, which is where it gets it's name. And the best part about this dish is that you can prepare it the night before. Just pop it into the oven in the morning!

Praline French Toast Bake
Serves 10

1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 tbsp light corn syrup
1 loaf thin French baguette bread, cut into 1-inch slices
1 cup chopped pecans
4 large eggs
2 cups skim milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt

In a saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter and corn syrup and heat over low heat, stirring often. Let mixture come to a boil and continue to boil for 1 minute. Pour mixture into the bottom of a 13- x 9-inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle with the chopped pecans. Arrange the bread slices over the sugar mixture in the dish, placing the slices close together.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Pour over the bread slices in the dish. Cover the dish and place in the refrigerator overnight.

Preheat oven to 350F. Uncover the baking dish and bake until the sugar mixture is bubbly and the bread is browned and crisp, about 45 minutes.

(Each serving is 8 pts!! Don't even bother counting if you're on WW with this one.)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Crustless Spinach Quiche

I had some friends over for brunch this morning and created this egg dish. Most of my friends know that I don't eat eggs or cheese (I know, crazy huh?), but I talked to those who do and thought I came up with a great combination. (The picture was taken after they chowed down!)

Crustless Spinach Quiche
Serves 8

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium Vidalia onion, diced
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
6 large eggs
1 1/2 cups skim milk
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
2 large tomatoes, diced

Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a 9-inch pie dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a medium skillet, add the olive oil. Heat over medium heat. Add the onions; saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.

In a large bowl, add the eggs, milk, salt and pepper; whisk until combined. Add the Swiss, tomatoes, and sauteed onion and spinach. Pour the egg mixture into the prepared pie dish.

Bake the quiche until the eggs are set and edges are browned, about 30 minutes. Let the quiche stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

(Each serving is 5 pts.)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Turkey Empanadas

I found a recipe on Epicurious and decided to try it out. Of course, I made a few changes to make it my own and it came out really great. I seasoned the ground turkey with a Mexican seasoning (Penzy's Adobo Seasoning), and added diced tomatoes, chopped olives and roasted corn. Plus, to make it even easier, I used Pillsbury Refrigerated Pizza Dough. I served it with the Seasoned Tomato Rice.

Turkey Empanadas
Serves 5

1 tube (13.8 ounces) Pillsbury Pizza Crust Dough
1/2 medium Vidalia onion, diced
8 ounces ground turkey
1 tsp. Adobo Seasoning (from Penzy's; if you don't have this, use your favorite Mexican seasoning)
half of a 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup pimiento-stuffed olives, chopped
1/2 cup roasted corn kernals (I used Trader Joes)
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Unroll the pizza dough and divide it into 5 pieces. Shape them into rounds and place on the prepared baking sheet.

Spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Add the onions and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the ground turkey and continue cooking and stirring until turkey is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Drain any excess fat from the pan. Add the Adobo seasoning, diced tomatoes, chopped olives, roasted corn, black pepper and salt. Cook, stirring, until heated through, about 3 minutes longer.

Using a slotted spoon, divide turkey mixture among the dough rounds on the baking sheet. Fold the dough in half and fold edges over, pinching to seal. Spray the empanadas with cooking spray to coat.

Bake, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking, until the crust is lightly browned on top and around the edges, about 20 minutes. Serve warm.

(Each empanada is 6 pts.)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Seasoned Tomato Rice

My parents were visiting my brother, Todd, and his fiancee, Brenda, in Texas last month and they mentioned a rice dish that Brenda made. She pureed tomatoes and added it to cooked rice and then seasoned with spices. I decided to try it myself, even though I didn't have all the details. It was really tasty!

Seasoned Tomato Rice
Serves 4

1 bag Success Instant Brown Rice
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. salt

Cook the rice according to package directions. Drain and place back in the pot you used to cook the rice in. Using a hand blender, puree the tomatoes. Add the cumin, garlic powder, black pepper and salt to the pureed tomatoes. Stir the tomato mixture into the rice; mix well. Heat over a low flame until heated through.

(Each 1/2 cup serving is 2 pts.)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Asian London Broil

I haven't made steak in a while and was looking for a new way to make London broil. I've wanted to try an Asian twist and came up with this marinade. It provides a great flavor to this London broil, but you could also use it as a marinade for chicken or fish. And instead of baking, why not grill? I'm sure it would be great! Make sure you serve the beef with some of the beef's juices. Soooo good.

Asian London Broil
Serves 6

2 tbsp. hoisin sauce
1 tbsp. garlic-ginger sauce
1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1/4 tsp grated fresh gingerroot
1 pound London Broil, trimmed of any visible fat

Place the hoisin sauce, garlic-ginger sauce, rice-wine vinegar, sesame oil and gingerroot in a resealable plastic bag. Add the London broil to the marinade. Let the London broil marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375F. Remove the London broil from the marinade and place in a baking pan. Discard the marinade.

Bake the London broil, turning several times, until desired doneness, about 25 minutes for medium well.

Let beef stand for 10 minutes. Slice across the grain into thin slices to serve.

(Each serving is 4 pts.)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cake Balls

Yes, you read the recipe title correct. They are called Cake Balls and I found the recipe on Allrecipes and needed to give this a try. You can't even imagine how good these are, and if you can see the ingredients below you probably are a little curious at how these even work, but it does (trust me). Now, they aren't entirely WW friendly, but I did offer the points at the bottom (if you even need — or want — to count).

Cake Balls
Makes 34

1 box (9 ounces) Duncan Hines Devil Food's Cake mix
1/2 can Duncan Hines Chocolate Frosting
6 ounces semisweet chocolate
6 ounces white chocolate

Bake cake according to package directions. Let cool and then crumble the cake into a large bowl. Add the chocolate frosting and mix to combine. Place bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Using your hands, roll mixture into about 1 1/2-inch balls (you should have about 34). Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. (This helps to prevent the cake from creating crumbs in the coating.)

Place semisweet chocolate and white chocolate in separate microwave-safe bowls. Microwave each bowl separately on 50% power at 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval until smooth. Dip half the balls into the melted semisweet chocolate and the other into the melted white chocolate, setting each back on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Using the tines of a fork, drizzle white chocolate on semisweet chocolate-coated balls, and semisweet chocolate on the white chocolate-coated balls. Chill until ready to serve, at least 3 hours.

(Each ball is 3 pts.)

PS: If you can't find the half boxes, just use a regular 18 ounce box of cake mix, prepare as directed and use the full can of frosting, and double the amount of chocolate.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Roasted Chickpeas

My cousin Stacey told me about this easy snack. They almost remind me of soy nuts, but much tastier. Make sure the chickpeas are completely dry before roasting, this will help them dry out faster. Check them every 10 minutes during the baking time since they can burn easily.

Roasted Chickpeas
(Serves 4)

1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas (should measure out to be 1 1/3 cups)
your favorite seasoning blend (I used a Mexican blend)

Rinse chickpeas and dry well. (I let them dry for a few hours.)

Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Spread the chickpeas on the baking sheet. Spray the chickpeas with the cooking spray. Sprinkle liberally with your favorite seasoning. Bake until crisp and split open, shaking the sheet every 10 minutes, 30–40 minutes. Let cool slightly before eating.

(Each 1/3 cup serving is 1 pt.)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Guiness Pot Roast

I've thought of trying this recipe for a long time, and when Stop 'n' Shop had beef roasts on sale, I figured now would be a good time. It was so tender and flavorful, it was amazing. I brought some in for my co-worker, Jen, and she even drank the gravy from the plate (it was that good)! It's even better when you prepare it a day or two in advance.

Guinness Pot Roast
Serves 6

3 cups water
3 packets beef broth granules
2 large dried porcini mushrooms
1 tbsp olive oil
3 pounds lean beef round roast, trimmed of all visible fat
2 medium onions, sliced
1 tsp. light brown sugar
1 can Guinness Beer
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1 tablespoon cornstarch
6 medium baby potatoes, scrubbed and cut into quarters

Boil 3 cups of water. Add the beef broth granules to the boiling water and stir. Add the dried mushrooms to the broth mixture. Let the mushrooms steep in the broth for 10 minutes. Remove the porcini mushrooms and discard.

In a large pot, add the olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the beef roast and brown on all sides. Remove roast and transfer to a plate. Add to the onions to the same pot. Sprinkle with the brown sugar and sauté the onions until softened, about 3 minutes.

Return the roast to the pot. Add the Guinness, beef broth, garlic cloves, and Dijon mustard. Reduce heat to simmer and cover the pot. Cook roast for 2 hours, turning often and stirring mixture.

Add the cornstarch to the mixture and stir. Add the potatoes to the pot. Re-cover the pot. Continue cooking until meat falls apart when you stick a fork in it, about 1 hour longer. Remove the roast and the potatoes to a serving platter. Uncover the pot and bring gravy to a boil and let cook for 5 minutes.

To serve, using two forks, pull roast into pieces. Serve gravy alongside the roast and potatoes.

(Each serving is 7 points.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chicken Nuggets

I was in the mood for some finger food, so I thought I would make some chicken nuggets. These were actually pretty good, especially since they were fried, but baked. They were really good dipped in some barbecue sauce (my favorite is Sweet Baby Rays). Enjoy!

Chicken Nuggets
Serves 2

7 oz uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into about 1-inch pieces
1 serving egg substitute
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup uncooked yellow cornmeal
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place the egg substitute in a bowl. Add the chicken pieces. Place the bread crumbs, cornmeal, garlic powder, cumin, black pepper and salt in a resealable plastic bag; shake to combine. Add the chicken pieces to the plastic bag and shake to coat the chicken.

Place the coated chicken pieces on the prepared baking sheet. Spray with nonstick cooking spray to moisten. Bake, turning halfway through baking, until the crumbs are browned and chicken is no longer pink, about 20 minutes. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

(Each serving is 5 pts.)

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Spinach Dip

I know at some point in your life, you've had this popular dip, served inside a bread bowl. What I bet you didn't know if that if you use lower fat ingredients, you can enjoy this fabulous dip without worrying about all the calories. Of course, serving it in a bread bowl would defeat the purpose (unless you can control yourself from eating the bread, which I can't), but it's great with low-fat crackers and cut-up veggies.

Spinach Dip
Serves 8

1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach
1 container (16 ounces) light sour cream
1 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
1 packet vegetable soup mix (I used Knorr)
3 scallions, chopped

Thaw spinach and squeeze out excess moisture. In a medium bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, and vegetable soup mix. Mix well. Add thawed spinach and chopped scallions. Mix well. Chill at least 4 hours before serving (best if made the day before).

(Each serving, which is 1/4 cup, is 3 pts.)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hearty Polenta Pie

I love polenta, and I never really get to make it. It's actually high in fiber and low in calories for a single serving. To make polenta, you really need to stir and stir, but the end result is worth it. I found instant polenta in the supermarket and it takes 3 minutes to make. I decided to turn the polenta into a base for my Turkey Bolognese that I posted yesterday. Topped with some reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, it was so amazing and the portions were huge! I hope you love it as much as I did.

Hearty Polenta Pie
Serves 6

4 cups water
1 tsp. salt
1 cup instant polenta (I used Scalfani; to get the correct point value, make sure to choose an instant polenta that is 140 calories, 0 fat, and 4 fiber per 1/4 cup serving)
2 cups Turkey Bolognese
3/4 cup reduced-fat shredded mozzarella cheese (I used Sargento)

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9-inch deep dish pie plate with nonstick cooking spray.

Place the 4 cups water and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add the instant polenta to the boiling water, gradually, while stirring contantly. Continue to stir contantly for 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Spoon the cooked polenta into the prepared pie pan. Let sit until polenta is firm, about 15 minutes.

Spoon the bolognese sauce onto the polenta in the pie pan. Top with mozzarella cheese. Spray a piece of foil with nonstick cooking spray. Place over the polenta pie.

Bake the pie covered for 10 minutes. Remove foil cover and continue baking for 15 minutes. Cut into 6 wedges to serve.

(Each serving is 5 pt pls.)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Turkey Bolognese

This meat sauce is so good, I was actually eating it with a spoon from the pot. It is great and very filling over a plate of high-fiber pasta. It's even better when you make it a few days in advance and the flavors blend. (Sorry I didn't take a photo of this one.)

Turkey Bolognese
Serves 5 (1 cup per serving)

1 container (26.75 ounces) Pomi Strained Tomatoes
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes seasoned with basil, garlic & oregano
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp Italian seasoning, crushed
1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
2 tsp. olive oil
1 medium Vidalia onion, diced
2 cloves garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground turkey, 93% lean
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, combine the strained tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning and dried rosemary.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and garlic. Saute until softened and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove from the skillet and add to the pot with tomato mixture. Add the ground turkey to the skillet, and cook for medium heat until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Drain any excess fat in the skillet; add the turkey to the pot. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover the pot and reduce heat to low, and let simmer for about 1 hour.

(Each 1 cup serving is 5 pt pls.)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ok, I have to say, these are the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever made! They are so chewy, yet the edges are still crisp. I replaced ground oatmeal for 1 cup of the flour and a larger ratio of brown sugar to granulated sugar also keeps the calories a bit lower. You definitely have to make these for your next party or family gathering.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 4 dozen

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup oatmeal, finely ground
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, ground oatmeal, baking soda and salt. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake the cookies, turning halfway through baking, until edges are nicely browned, about 12 minutes. Place the baking sheets on wire racks to cool.

(Each cookie is 2 pts.)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas

I'm on a bit of a Mexican kick. I've always wanted to try enchiladas, but thought it would have been a little more fattening. I used the low-carb tortillas, and didn't add cheese (simply because I don't like cheese), and it was delicious and low points. I found a peach-mango salsa from Stop 'n' Shop, and it was delicious.

Chicken Enchiladas
Serves 4

2 cups enchilada sauce
12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 tsp. each garlic powder and cumin
1 cup peach-mango salsa
4 low-carb, high fiber tortillas
3/4 cup fat-free refried beans

Preheat oven to 350F. Spread 1 cup enchilada sauce in the bottom of a medium glass dish. Season the chicken with garlic powder and cumin. Spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over medium heat. Add the chicken to the skillet. Cook until chicken is no longer pink and cooked through. Remove the chicken from the skillet and using 2 forks, shred and place in a bowl. Add the salsa to the chicken and mix to combine.

Place each tortilla on a flat surface. Divide the refried beans among the tortillas and spread down the middle. Top with equal portions of chicken mixture. Roll up the tortillas and place in the sauce-lined glass dish. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the filled tortillas in the dish. Cover dish with foil.

Bake for 20 minutes, and uncover and bake for 10 minutes longer. Let the enchiladas cool for 10 minutes before serving.

(Each enchilada is 5 pts.)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Best Weight Watcher Friendly Breakfast

This isn't exactly a recipe, per se, but I wanted to share my favorite Sunday breakfast with you. Sunday mornings, I always make myself 3 low-fat Nutrigrain waffles, 4 strips of Thin & Crispy Butterball Bacon, and 2 tablespoons of lite Log Cabin syrup. It's only 6 pts for the entire plate! And it's so filling, it's amazing. Hope you try this next Sunday!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Chocolate Marshmallow Candy

My cousin Karen found this recipe on the Weight Watchers' website. It's very yummy, but hard to stop at one. I made some adjustments, and cut the original recipe in half, but tastes just as good as the original. It uses bittersweet chocolate, but make sure it is good quality, at least 60% cacao.

Chocolate Marshmallow Candy
Makes 16 pieces

1 bar (4 ounces) bittersweet chocolate 60 % cacao
1 tsp. Better 'n Peanut Butter
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup mini marshmallows

Line an 8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, allowing the foil to hang over the edges.

Break up the chocolate into pieces and place in a microwave-safe bowl. Add the peanut butter to the bowl. Microwave on HIGH at 15 minute intervals, stirring, until melted, about 30 seconds. Mix well to make sure the chocolate is completely melted. Add the vanilla and cinnamon to the bowl. Mix well. Add the mini marshmallows and mix well.

Spread the mixture into the pan. Chill in the refrigerator until firm, about 1 hour. Cut into 16 pieces to serve. Keep chilled until ready to eat.

(Each piece is 2 pts.)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Awesome Chili

This is the perfect time of year for chili. Besides the freezing weather outside (we have a few inches on the ground), it's almost Super Bowl party time! For those of you watching calories, this chili is the perfect party food. After I browned the ground beef, I drained it and then rinsed it as well. Even though I used lean ground beef, every little bit helps, and it didn't hurt the flavor at all. I served it over brown rice. Hope you enjoy it!

Awesome Chili
Makes 10 one-cup servings

1.25 lbs 93% lean ground beef
1 large Vidalia onion, diced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 large green bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (14.5 ounces) pinto beans, drained
1 can (14.5 ounces) black beans, drained
2 cans (14 ounces each) fire roasted diced tomatoes (I used Hunts)
1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes with chiles
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tsp. Adobo seasoning (I bought this from Penzey's; it contains onion powder, black pepper, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne, Mexican oregano and red chili pepper)
1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
drop of liquid smoke

Spray a large pot with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Drain the cooked beef in a colander and rinse; drain again.

In the same pot, spray again with nonstick cooking spray. Add the onion, green pepper, red pepper and garlic. Saute over medium heat, stirring frequently, until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Return the cooked ground beef to the pot. Add the drained pinto and black beans, the diced tomatoes, ketchup, Adobo seasoning, cocoa powder, brown sugar, cinnamon and liquid smoke. Stir well. Cover the pot and reduce heat to low.

Let the chili simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 2 hours.

(Each 1 cup serving is 3 pts.)