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Stuffed mushrooms

31 Aug

My husband loves these mushrooms. They are pretty simple to make, and they make a tasty side, or appetizer. I apologize that I wasn’t able to get a better photo, but this was one of those nights where the kids were wound up and we had a billion things going on, so here are my mushrooms (pictured as a side item for spaghetti).

Ingredients: 

  • 12 medium to large mushrooms
  • 6 wedges of laughing cow cheese, garlic and herb flavored
  • 1/3 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano

Directions:

1. Wash mushrooms and carefully pull the stems out of the caps (set the stems aside, we will need those). Be careful to try to keep the mushroom caps intact.

2.  Once all stems have been removed from the mushrooms throw away half the stems and chop the other half into tiny pieces.

3. Unwrap all of your cheese wedges and place them in a microwavable bowl. Microwave your cheese for about 20 seconds to soften.

4. Mix breadcrumbs, garlic powder, and oregano with cheese. Stir in chopped up mushroom stems and mix until well combined.

5. Use a spoon to fill each mushroom cap with about a tablespoon of filling.

6. Line mushroom caps up (filling side up) inside a baking pan and cook for 20 minutes at 400°

Makes 12 mushroom caps

28 calories per mushroom

(Appx 2 weight watchers points plus for 3 mushrooms)

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Baked Eggplant Parmesan

10 Aug

This is one of my Daddy’s favorite things.  I had never made it before tonight, but I’m glad I tried it out, because it was a hit.  If you like the traditional version, I think you’ll love this low calorie alternative.  Not too difficult, but a bit time consuming since you have to let the eggplant sit to draw all the moisture out.  Very delicious.

Ingredients: 

  • 2 medium sized eggplants
  • Salt
  • 1 Cup italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup shredded paremsan cheese (the shreds, not the powder)
  • 3 egg whites
  • 3 TBSP water
  • 1 cup homemade marinara or Prego Light Smart Sauce
  • 1 cup 2% shredded mozzarella

Directions:

Wash and dry eggplant, and slice it into 1/2 inch slices (they should be round).  You should have about 20 slices.

Lay sliced eggplant out flat on a paper towel, and sprinkle both sides of each round piece liberally with salt.  Cover with a 2nd paper towel.  Let the eggplant sit for 20 min.  The salt will draw the moisture out of the eggplant. Don’t skip this step 🙂

In a shallow dish, mix bread crumbs, garlic powder, and parmesan cheese.

In a separate shallow dish, mix egg whites and water.  Whisk until they are well combined.

Once Eggplant is done resting on the paper towels, wash each slice off and pat dry.

Dip each slice of eggplant into egg wash, and then press down into breadcrumb mixture, covering both sides with breading.

Place eggplant slices in a single layer on 2 baking sheets which have been sprayed with non stick spray.

Bake on 450 for 20 minutes, flipping each slice halfway through cooking.

Top each slice with about 1 tablespoon of marinara sauce, and sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the slices evenly.

Return to oven and bake an additional 3 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Makes 5 servings.  1 serving= 2 slices of eggplant (or 1 large slice and 2 little slices)

258 Calories per serving

Appx 7 weight watchers points plus per serving


  

Baked Eggplant Rollatini

10 Aug

This dish basically makes a manicotti using eggplant instead of noodles.  It was delicious.  I mean, it was super delicious, and so low in calories that I can definitely see this returning to my dinner table sooner, rather than later.  Even if you’re not sure whether you like eggplant, you should give this a try.  It takes a little time, but it’s worth it. Don’t skip the part about letting the eggplant sit with the salt on it, or you’ll end up with a watery finished product.

Ingredients: 

  • 2 smaller Eggplants or 1 very large eggplant
  • salt
  • 1 1/4 cups of homemade marinara or Prego LightSmart Sauce
  • 1 Egg white
  • 1 TBSP minced garlic
  • 1 container (15 oz) part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese (the shreds, not the powder)
  • 1 cup 2% shredded mozzarella cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 

  1. Wash and dry eggplant, and cut off the stem end.  Use a mandolin slicer to slice the eggplant longways into about 1/4 inch thick slices (your slices should be sort of oval shaped, not round).  You want to keep the 16 best slices for your dish and discard the rest.
  2. Spread out several paper towels, and spread the eggplant slices out in a single layer on top of the paper towels.  Sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt, flip them over, and sprinkle the other sides with salt as well.
  3. Place another layer of paper towels on top of the eggplant, and let them sit for about 15 minutes.  You will notice the paper towels will become wet as the salt draws the moisture out of the eggplant.
  4. Pat the eggplant dry, and lay them flat in a single layer on 2 baking sheets, lined in parchment paper.
  5. Bake on 450 for 8 minutes.
  6. While the eggplant is baking, stir together in a medium bowl: Ricotta, garlic, salt and pepper, egg white, and parmesan cheese.
  7. Spray a 9×13 glass pan with nonstick spray, and pour 1/2 cup of marinara sauce into the bottom.  Cover the bottom of the pan evenly with sauce.
  8. Once your eggplant is out of the oven, spoon about 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture onto each one, and roll it from the bottom up.  Roll it loosely so you don’t press all the filling out.
  9. Line eggplant rolls up in 2 rows, placing them seam side down in the baking dish (on top of the marinara sauce).
  10. Cover the dish with the remaining sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese, and cover the whole pan in foil.
  11. Bake for 25 minutes.

Makes 4 servings of 4 rolls each= 300 calories per serving

Each “roll” is 75 calories if you choose to eat less than 4.

Appx 5 weight watchers points plus per serving!


  

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

Crockpot lasagna

18 Nov

A coworker recently brought me a recipe she had found for a crockpot lasagna. Naturally I was inclined to take it and use it to experiment on a low cal version. Lasagna is a dish I love to make, but it’s time intensive. This recipe still requires some prep time, but I can do it the night before and just have my husband pop it in to cook.

Ingredients:

– 12 oz lean ground beef (I used 93%)
– 12 oz Italian turkey sausage
– 1 jar prego light smart sauce
– 1 can diced tomatoes
– 1/2 cup water
– 1 medium onion, dice
– 2 TBSP minced garlic
– 15 oz part skim ricotta
– 3 egg whites
– 1 tsp dried oregano
– 1 tsp dried basil
– 1/2 tsp garlic powder
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 9 standard lasagna noodles
– 1 cup 2% shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

1. Sauté beef, sausage, onions and garlic together in a skillet, breaking up meat until it’s all cooked through.

2. Add tomatoes (don’t drain them), prego, water, salt and garlic powder to the skillet and mix until all ingredients are incorporated.

3. In a separate bowl mix ricotta, egg whites, oregano, and basil.

4. Line the inside of your crockpot with aluminum foil. I used one large piece going longways, and one long piece going too to bottom. Press foil down to conform to the shape of the crockpot. Spray with nonstick spray.

5. Pour 1 1/2 cups of sauce mixture in crock and spread evenly across the bottom.

6. Use 3 noodles and lay them side by side across bottom of crock, longways. They’re too long for the crockpot so you’ll need to break the end off to make them fit. Lay the middle noodle down first. The edge noodles may overlap the middle noodle which is fine.

7. Spread 1/2 of ricotta mixture evenly over the noodles.

8. Spread 2 cups of sauce mixture over ricotta.

9. Repeat steps 6-8. Noodles. Ricotta. Sauce.

10. For the The last layer of your lasagna, arrange noodles, too with remaining sauce, and mozzarella cheese.

11. Place lid on crockpot and cook on low about 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

12. Use aluminum edges to carefully remove lasagna and foil from the crockpot. Set the foil and lasagna on a platter and allow to cool 15-20 min.

13. Peel aluminum edges away and slice and serve your lasagna.

6 servings= 605 calories per serving
Appx 16 weight watchers points plus

8 servings = 455 calories per serving
Appx 16 weight watchers points plus

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Stuffed Shells Florentine

20 Aug

This recipe is pretty classic, pretty easy, but not all that “quick” so it makes a good weekend recipe at my house. If you want to make it on a weeknight, and you’re short on time in the evenings, i’d recommend making the sauce, and stuffing the shells the night before, and then just adding the sauce, cheese, etc for the baking the next evening. Also, if you don’t want to make the sauce i’ve linked to here, you can use Prego Smart Light without affecting your calorie count. Any other jarred sauce will increase your calories.

 

Ingredients:

  • 30 Barilla Jumbo Shells
  • 1 batch (or about 3 cups) Marinara Sauce
  • 15 oz Part Skim Ricotta Cheese
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 Tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 Cups mozzarella cheese shredded (divided into 1/2 cup, and 1 cup)
  • 1 Box frozen chopped spinach, thawed

 

Directions:

1. Boil a large pot of water, and boil your shells until al dente.

2. Mix ricotta, egg white, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup mozzarella in a medium sized bowl.

3. Lay about 4 stacked paper towels flat on your counter. Spread the thawed spinach out on these towels, and top with about 3 additional paper towels. Press hard to remove all the water from the spinach. This is very important. Otherwise your pasta will be watery.

4. Mix Spinach into ricotta mixture until everything is well incorporated.

5. Spread about 3/4 cup of marinara sauce on the bottom of an 8X13 baking pan.

6. Carefully stuff each shell with about 2 TBSP of Ricotta mixture, and set them into the 8×13 pan on top of the sauce. Arrange them in rows. They will be a tight fit.

7. Once all shells are stuffed and arranged, pour remaining Marinara sauce evenly over the tops of the shells.

8. Sprinkle evenly with remaining mozzarella cheese.

9. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 20 min. Uncover and continue baking an additional 5-10 min.

10. Allow shells to sit/cool for about 5-10 min before serving. They will be hot.

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Cheesy Beefaroni Bake

5 Aug

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8-ounce) package small elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 TBSP minced garlic
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded 2% reduced-fat cheddar cheese

For Sauce:

  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 2 TBSP all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup shredded 2% reduced-fat cheddar cheese

 

Directions:

1. Cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain pasta, and then lightly coat pasta with cooking spray. Set aside.

2. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray, and sautee onion, garlic, and ground beef. Cook until beef is cooked through and onions become semi-transparent.

3. Add tomato sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes or until most of liquid evaporates.

4. Add pasta to beef mixture in pan, stirring to combine. Spoon pasta mixture into an 9X9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

5. In a small/medium sauce pan, mix milk, flour, nutmeg, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Whisk ingredients together over medium heat, until well blended. Stir constantly with a wisk until mixture thickens.

6. Once mixture has begun to thicken, add 1 cup cheese, stirring until smooth. Pour cheese mixture evenly over the top of the pasta mixture, And stir it all around a little. Top evenly with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

This “let it sit” part is important. This stuff is 1. molten-lava hot when it comes out of the oven, and 2. in need of some room-temp thickening. So, hold your horses here and give it 5 minutes 🙂 Enjoy.

Makes 6 Servings= 386 calories
Apps 10 weight watchers points plus

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