Archive | April, 2015

Pasta Carbonara

22 Apr

So, I was super excited about this dish.  Not even because Pasta Carbonara is delicious, but because, it’s a little more complicated, as far as cooking goes.  If you don’t do this just right you’ll end up with spaghetti and scrambled eggs, so, listen up and read the directions carefully 🙂  I hope you guys enjoy this as much as we did. Be careful about the bacon you buy. you should get a package that’s no more than 70 calories for 2 slices (my favorite is 50 cals).

Ingredients: 

  • 4 Slices of Center cut bacon
  • 4 TBSP finely chopped onion
  • 12 oz of pasta (i used fettuccini, but spaghetti works too)
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/3 Cup 1% milk
  • 2/3 Cup Shredded parmesan and Romano cheeses (i used a mix of Parm/romano/asiago)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 12 oz Boneless, skinless chicken
  • Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste (for chicken)

Directions:

  1. Season chicken, and get it on the grill.  When it’s done grilling, pull it off and set it aside for now.
  2. Cut bacon slices into little pieces using kitchen scissors, about 1/4 inch square.
  3. In a large skillet, cook bacon on medium high heat until it’s crispy.
  4. Start a pot of boiling water for your pasta, and once it boils, toss the pasta in to cook.
  5. While Bacon is cooking, mix the following items in a large bowl:  Eggs, Milk, Salt, Pepper, cheese.  Whisk until everything is smooth and well incorporated. You need to do this while the bacon is cooking.  The egg mixture needs to be ready to go when the pasta finishes cooking.  You don’t want to let the pasta sit.
  6. When bacon is finished cooking, remove bacon bits and set aside.  Leave grease in pan and use it to sautee the onions until soft, then set the pan, with onions and grease, to the side.
  7. When pasta has finished cooking, remove 1/3 cup of the water before draining.
  8. Very slowly poor the pasta water into the egg mixture, while whisking constantly.  If you’re pouring the water too fast, or not stirring you may end up cooking the egg, which you don’t want yet.
  9. Once Pasta water and egg mixture are well combined, drain your pasta.  Don’t let it sit and dry out or cool down. It’s alright if you don’t get all the liquid out entirely.
  10. Put the pasta into the bowl and mix with egg mixture.  You need to be stirring constantly.
  11. Pour egg and noodle mixture into the pan with bacon grease and onions.  Stir over low heat for about 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly. The sauce should begin to thicken.
  12. Once sauce has reached a good consistency (silky and smooth), mix in bacon and divide evenly into 4 plates or bowls.
  13. Slice chicken and divide among dishes.

Garnish with crushed red pepper or fresh parsley if desired.

Editors note: Seriously. don’t stop stirring, and don’t turn the heat up too high once you get everything in the pan! You’ll end up with scrambled eggs, which is not what we’re going for here 🙂

Makes 4 servings= 550 Calories per serving

Approximately 14 weight watchers points plus per serving

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Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

21 Apr

Um. Bacon.  Yes please!  I happen to also love fresh Brussels sprouts, so for me, this is a match made in Heaven.  Turns out Bacon, by itself, is really high in calories, but if you just use 2-3 pieces to cook with, it’s not so bad.  Also, I like to buy the center cut bacon, because it tends to have less fat, and be lower in calorie.  At any rate, I never buy bacon that has more than 80 calories per 2 slices.  You have to be careful.  Some of the get up to 120 calories for 2 slices.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs of fresh Brussels sprouts
  • 4 Slices of bacon
  • 1/2 an onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons light butter or margarine (50 cal per tbsp.)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • (Optional) 1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Directions:

  1. Cut the ends off each Brussels sprout, and then cut each Brussels sprout in half, vertically. Go ahead and quarter the really big ones.
  2. Cut Bacon into tiny pieces (I use kitchen scissors),and place them in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Cook bacon until crispy. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon, reserving bacon grease in the skillet.  Set bacon bits aside for later.
  4. Melt Light butter or margarine in same pan with bacon fat over medium-high heat. Add onions and Brussels Sprouts and stir to coat them.
  5. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until sprouts begin to soften, about 10-15 minutes. They will have some char to them, which is good. Once they’re softened to your liking, Stir in salt and pepper, vinegar (optional) and  bacon. Serve immediately.

Editors note: I like to cover the pan with a see through lid during the last half of cooking so the steam softens the sprouts a little more. 

 6 servings= 105 Calories per serving

6 Servings= appx 2 weight watchers points plus per serving

 

 

Roasted Squash and Zucchini

20 Apr

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

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