Archive | January, 2015

Almond Cookies

25 Jan

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

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Moroccan Chicken

22 Jan

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

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Southern Greens seasoned with country ham

21 Jan

This was a favorite in my house growing up.  Even as a kid, I could not get enough turnip greens, collard greens, mustard greens, mixed greens, kale.  Any green you got, with some country ham and a little vinegar. DELICIOUS.   My mom and my grandmothers made their greens on the regular stovetop, but I make mine in the pressure cooker, because I’m usually short on time.  I’ll give you directions for both.

Ingredients:

  • 2 bunches of greens ( I like turnip or collard best)
  • 6 oz of country ham pieces for seasoning (chunks, not slices. an 8 oz hamhock could also work)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Directions:

1. Fold each leaf of greens over, and cut out the thickest part of the stem (as shown below) for each leaf.  Then rough chop leaves about 3 or 4 times.

2. Thoroughly rinse all chopped greens, and drain off the rinse water.  Sometimes greens have dust or dirt from the garden they grew in.  it’s important to clean them well.

3. At this point, you’ll do 2 different things depending on if you’ve got the time to slow-cook them, or if you’re pressure cooking.

Stove top:  Open the ham and mix the pieces in with the greens.  Add water to top of greens (you’ll need more than the 1 cup here). Bring pot to boiling and turn heat down to a low boil. I cook them on the low boil for 2 – 3 hours, until tender.   Salt and Pepper to taste

Pressure cooker:  Open the ham and mix the pieces in with the greens and the water.  Place lid tightly on the pressure cooker, and cook on high until shaker rattles.  Allow to rattle about 10 minutes before removing from heat and releasing steam.  If there is still plenty of liquid left, you can continue cooking uncovered until liquid cooks off. Salt and Pepper to taste.

Makes 4 Servings= 125 Calories per serving

Approximately 3 weight watchers points plus

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Angel Food Cake

20 Jan

This is a treat that everyone knows is a great low-calorie substitute for some of the heavier, richer cakes.  I love it, and I buy it at the grocery store pretty regularly in the summer.  I thought I’d try my hand at scratch making it, and I was pleased with both the calorie count, and the taste.  If you’re up for making a cake from scratch, this will save you some calories.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup all purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 13 room temperature egg whites (large eggs)
  • 2 TBSP cream of tarter
  • 1/2 TSP Salt
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 TSP Vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Sift and blend your flour and powdered sugar together into a small bowl.  Set aside for now.
  2. In a large bowl (in your stand mixer if you have one), beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and continue mixing on medium speed until the mixture becomes forms soft peaks.  Slowly Begin adding in granulated sugar, about 3 tablespoons at a time.   Continue mixing on medium-high speed until egg whites form stiff peaks when mixer is turned off and removed. Stir in Vanilla Extract.
  3. By hand, mix flour mixture into egg whites, just until you can no longer see the flour.  Do not overmix, but be sure to mix from the bottom of the bowl so the flour is mixed thoroughly throughout.
  4. Spoon batter into a pre-coated (nonstick spray) bundt or tube (angel food) pan.
  5. Bake at 375  for 35 minutes.

Note: you may need to run a plastic knife around edges of cake in order to invert it onto a cooling rack to cool.

Makes 12 Servings= 155 Calories Per Serving

16 Servings= 112 Calories Per Serving

Appx 4 weight watchers points for 12 servings/ 3 for 16 servings.

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Simple broiled chicken

15 Jan

This is about as basic as it gets folks, but it’s one of my husband’s favorite was to prepare chicken. It’s quick, easy, and super healthy.

Ingredients:

– 4 (6 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
– salt
– pepper
– paprika (all to taste)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Sprinkle salt, pepper and paprika on both sides of chicken.

3. Spray a baking pagan with nonstick spray.

4. Bake for 10 min.

5. Turn oven up to “Lo” broil and broil 5-7 min.

Voila! Easy breezy. Enjoy!

1 breast = 210 calories

Appx 5 weight watchers pp

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Thai chicken lettuce wraps

10 Jan

I’ve had this on my list for so long, and finally got around to making it tonight! Man I’m glad I did! These were light, delicious, just enough spicy, and pretty easy, to boot. This is the first time I’ve ever bought Thai peanut sauce, but I would recommend this brand. I was very pleased with the results. This one was a 2 person recipe, because my kids are not in to it. You could easily double the recipe to serve 4.

Ingredients:

– 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
– salt and pepper to taste
– 1/4 cup very thin sliced onion
– 1/4 cup very thin sliced red bell pepper
– 1/4 cup sliced water chestnuts, cut into quarters
– 1 tsp minced ginger
– 1 tbsp minced garlic
– 1/3 cup Thai peanut sauce (San-J brand recommended)
– 1 head Bibb lettuce

Directions:

1. Dice chicken into little pieces. I used frozen, thin sliced filets (Tyson select size) and left them slightly frozen to make them easier to cut. Cut into pieces about 1/4- 1/2 in square. Salt and pepper chicken.

2. Spray a medium sized skillet with non stick spray, and add chicken, onion, and peppers. Sautéed until chicken shows no more pink.

3. Add garlic, ginger, and water chestnuts, and continue cooking mixture until liquid cooks off.

4. Once liquid is cooked off chicken mixture, mix in sauce and cook on low just another minute or two, to heat sauce through.

5. Separate, rinse, and dry the leaves of your Bibb lettuce. Snap off long stems if needed, but be careful not to tear leafy part.

6. Divide chicken mixture into two equal parts, and serve with lettuce leaves for wrapping.

2 servings= 406 calories per serving

Appx 9 weight watchers points plus per serving

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Chocolate banana milkshake

5 Jan

So, I love sweets, and ice cream is really a weakness for me. This is a little high calorie for a midnight snack, but…sometimes you need a shake. This one guarantees that you also get some potassium and fruit too. Makes about 10 oz.

– 1 cup of breyers fat free vanilla ice cream
– 1/2 a banana
– 1/3 cup 1% milk
– 1 tsp cocoa powder

Everything goes in the little personal smoothly blender until smooth.

Makes 1 10 oz shake= 265 calories
Appx 7 weight watchers points plus

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