Roasted Squash and Zucchini

20 Apr IMG_9503

This is one of my favorite summer side dishes.  I could literally eat a bowl full for dinner. I love this stuff. I hope you do too!

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 green zucchini sliced (about 2 cups worth)
  • 1-2 yellow squash, sliced (about 2 cups worth)
  • 1/2 a purple onion, sliced in large “chunks” (basically quarter 1/2 an onion)
  • 2 Tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp  black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 475, and place a large baking sheet In the oven while it heats.
  2. Mix sliced vegetables, oil, salt and pepper.  I like to just throw them into a big ziplock freezer back and shake them around until everything’s covered.
  3. Spray the baking sheet with nonstick spray.
  4. Spread veggies in a single layer and bake for 15-20 min, turning once about halfway through.

Makes 4 Servings= 65 Calories per serving

1 serving = 1 weight watchers points plus

Chocolate coconut cookies

19 Apr IMG_9491

These little gems were super low calorie, and pretty delicious! I think next time I’ll add a tsp of almond extract and call them “almond joy.”

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
  • 6 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 cups shredded sweetened coconut

Directions:

  1. Sift together confectioners sugar, granulated sugar, cocoa and flour. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix egg whites until soft peaks form.
  1. Slowly mix in cocoa mixture a little at a time until incorporated.
  2. Stir in coconut.
  3. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Using a 1 tbsp cookie scoop, place batter on sheet about 1 inch apart.
  5. Bake at 325 for 22 min.
  6. Cool completely before serving.

1 cookie= 45 calories

2 cookies= 90 calories

1 cookie= appx 1 weight watchers points plus

2 cookies= appx 3 weight watchers points plus

 

Vegetable Beef Soup

18 Mar IMG_9223-1

Hi Friends!  Winter is winding down here in Kentucky, so I thought I would take this last cool week (i hope) to make a pot of Vegetable soup.  Now, Veggie soup is something I’ve made since, well, I don’t even remember when.  But, for whatever reason, I never thought to post it here.  Veggie soup is so versatile, which is one of the things I love about it.  For instance, nobody in my family ever made meatless vegetable soup, but I cooked it for 10 years during my vegetarian days.  My mom always included stew meat, and my granny always made it with ground beef.  Today, we’re going to go the ground beef route, but if you’re a vegetarian, you could easily just leave the beef out, so I’m going to mark this one “vegetarian friendly” over there on the categories column as well.

One of the characteristics I always found interesting in my granny’s soup, was her ability to get the ground beef to break up into a very fine texture.  I asked her how she did it like that, and she just said she didn’t really know.  So, after years of experimenting (including a couple of years where i literally poured a whole lb of ground beef into a blender) I finally got my own technique that works.  You’ll notice the “boil and stir” method in my directions below.  If you like big chunky ground beef, you can skip that and omit the broth altogether.  This is not my Granny’s recipe per-se, but it combines her beef technique with my mom’s addition of chopped cabbage, which is my favorite thing about her soup. So this is the best, of both.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 can of beef broth
  • 2 cans of original “Veg-all”
  • 1 Large can of V8 juice (use the whole thing- 46 oz)
  • 1 can (15 oz) petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups of chopped raw cabbage
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, on the stovetop, combine 1 lb ground beef and 1 can broth.  Cook on medium, and stir the heck out of the beef until it all breaks up into a weird beefy sludge. (appetizing, i know…but this is how you get the really fine beef I talked about).  Continue cooking on stovetop, and stirring, until all the beef has browned.  Then drain the beef in a colander over the sink.  You don’t even need the broth. It’s strictly for beef-texture purposes.
  2. Now, combine all those other ingredients, including beef, into a crockpot or a large pan on the stove top.  If you’re using the crock pot, cook on low for 5-6 hours.  If you’re doing the stovetop, just simmer it for an hour or so until the cabbage is nice and done.

Makes 10 cups of soup

1 cup = 145 calories per serving

Approximately 3 weight watchers points plus 





Broccoli and cheese potato bake

2 Mar IMG_9137

This recipe was presented to me as a sort of “gratin” with the potatoes taking the place of the heavy cream in the sauce.  Although, I really liked the outcome of the recipe once I made my low-cal changes to it, it didn’t feel “gratin”-y, if you know what I mean.  What this reminded me of was a broccoli and cheese stuffed baked potato.  Delicious in it’s own, but a gratin it is not.  So, I present to you, Broccoli and cheesy potato bake.  It looks i little crazy, but everyone in my house enjoyed it.  Even the tiniest one (4 yrs old) enjoyed it, and the biggest one (my husband) even ate the leftovers!

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz yukon gold potatoes
  • 10 oz uncooked broccoli florettes
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (shredded, or powdery, but i prefer shredded)
  • 1/4 cup 2% shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup 2% shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon light margarine or light butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
  • pinch of nutmeg

Instructions:

1. Wash, peel. and cut potatoes into 1 inch cubes. Mix all 3 cheeses together in a bowl, and set aside.

2. Place potatoes, broccoli, and 2 1/2 cups of water into a pan.  Cover with a lid and bring them to a boil.

3. Allow potatoes and broccoli to boil, covered for about 17 minutes.

4. Drain Potatoes and broccoli, but reserve some of the water in a separate bowl for later.

5. Return drained potatoes and broccoli to the pan, and use a spoon to smush the potatoes and broccoli together, until there are no chunks of potato left.

6. Mix in about 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking water, salt, pepper, nutmeg, butter, and 1/2 of the cheese mixture.  Spread evenly in 1 quart baking pan sprayed with non-stick spray.

7. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top, and broil until cheese is melted and begins to brown.  2-4 minutes or so.

 

Makes 5 servings= 140 calories per serving 

approximately 3 weight watchers points plus per serving

IMG_9137

IMG_9139

Asian pork loin medallions

25 Feb IMG_0711-0

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 lb pork loin, sliced into 1/2 inch medallion
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 1/3 cup red wine
  • 3 tbsp hoisin sauce

Directions:

Coat a large skillet with nonstick spray. Add sesame oil, and heat on medium heat.

Salt and pepper pork medallions.

Add red pepper, garlic, and pork to pan. Cook pork medallions about 5 minutes per side, stirring garlic around as meet cooks.

Remove pork and set aside. Add water, wine, and hoisin sauce to skillet and cook until sauce thickens.

Return pork to pan for about 2 minutes to warm.

Serve over rice or noodles. (Not included in calorie count)

Makes 4 servings=  220 calories per serving

Appx 5 wow points plus

 

Almond Cookies

25 Jan IMG_8911

These little cookies were a delightful treat.  They were a nice, subtle kind of sweet, for those of you who don’t like your desserts to be over-the-top sweet.  I enjoyed them, and my kids couldn’t get enough.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 Cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 TSP baking powder
  • 1/8 TSP salt
  • 6 TBSP light margarine, softened
  • 1/4 Cup sugar
  • 2 TBSP splenda
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 TSP almond extract
  • 1/4 TSP vanilla extract
  • 1 TBSP water
  • 1/2 TBSP sugar
  • 14 Slices of almond

Directions:

  1.  Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl, and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat margarine until creamy.  Add 1/4 Cup of sugar and 2 TBSP splenda and beat until sugar is incorporated and mixture is smooth.
  3. Add yolks, vanilla, and almond extract and blend until incorporated.
  4. Gradually add flour mixture into butter mixture, and continue mixing until  all ingredients are well combined.
  5. Using a cookie scoop, form the dough into 14 balls, about 1 inch or so.
  6. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place dough balls about 2 inches apart.  ightly use a fork to slightly “smoosh” cookies down into cookie shape.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk egg white and water.  Brush cookies lightly with egg white wash, and sprinkle 1/2 TBSP of sugar lightly over cookie tops.
  8. Press 1 almond slice into the top of each cookie.
  9. Bake at 325 for 18 minutes.

1 cookie=70 Calories

2 cookies= appx 3 weight watchers points plus

2015/01/img_8911.jpg

Moroccan Chicken

22 Jan IMG_8891

Remember a while back, when I said I was experimenting with new spices?  Tonight’s exotic adventure includes the North African spice “Ras El Hanout” and it was really fragrant and delicious.  Next time, I think I’m going to cut the chicken up, add some peppers, and serve this over rice.  I ordered my Ras El Hanout on ebay but you can make your own if you want.  Here’s a recipe on Epicurious!

Ingredients:

  • 4 (6 oz) chicken breasts (i used Tyson right-size. they’re perfect!)
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TBSP Ras El Hanout
  • 1 TBPS light butter or margarine
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • Salt
  • 2 TSP honey

Directions:

1. In an oven-proof skillet, heat olive oil on medium.  Add 1 TBSP ras el hanout, Mix and cook for 2-3 minutes, just to toast the spices.

2.  Add chicken breasts, and coat each breast with the spice mixture. Allow breasts to cook about 4-5 minutes.  Remove chicken, and set aside.

3. Add butter to skillet, and melt butter, swirling it around to incorporate remaining spices.

4. Add onions to butter mixture, and sauté about 4 minutes. Place chicken breasts on top of onions in pan.  Sprinkle the whole dish with salt.  Drizzle honey over the top of the mixture.

5.  Place skillet containing onions and chicken into a preheated oven.  Bake on 400 for 10-12 minutes. Serve chicken and onions together.

Makes 4 servings= 278 Calories per serving.

Appx 7 weight watchers points per serving

2015/01/img_8891.jpg

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