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Zucchini with Tomato Gravy

24 Jan

This was a yummy side dish that I quite enjoyed.  The sauce is lovely and quite different.  It can be used over baked or broiled chicken or pork chops as well.

Ingredients: 

  • 3 large green zucchini squash, washed and sliced
  • 1 cup of tomato juice or V8
  • 1/3 cup Chicken Broth
  • 2 TBSP light Butter (I use one that’s 50 cal/tbsp)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder

Directions: 

  1. Mix half of the tomato juice and all the corn starch in a small bowl and whisk until mixture is smooth.
  2. In a small skillet, mix tomato juice/cornstarch mixture, remaining 1/2 cup of tomato juice, chicken broth, salt, pepper and garlic powder to the pan.
  3. Bring the tomato gravy mixture to a boil.  Reduce Heat and simmer, stirring constantly for 3 minutes, until thick.
  4. Remove tomato gravy from heat and stir in 1 TBSP of light butter.
  5. In a separate skillet, melt remaining 1 TBSP of butter.
  6. Add sliced zucchini to the melted butter, stir and cook for about 5 minutes until zucchini is soft.  Add a little salt and pepper to the zucchini as it’s cooking.
  7. Once Zucchini is cooked, divide into 4 equal servings of zucchini, topped with tomato gravy.


Makes 4 servings= 76 Calories per serving

Appx 1 weight watchers points plus per serving

 

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Chinese Chopped Chicken Salad

27 Oct

I’ve fallen in love with the Chinese Chicken Salad at California Pizza Kitchen, so I set out to find a recipe that would allow me to come close to this delicious dish at home, and I have to say this is pretty darn good.  It lacks the fried wontons that I love on the CPK version, but that just lends it to be even lower in calories, and to be honest, it is delicious without them, so I hardly even missed them.  I encourage you to try this one out.  I made it “Quick and Easy” By chopping all the veggies and combining in a large ziploc bag the day before.  I also went ahead and baked 2 chicken breasts and set them aside.  The day I had them for lunch, I just mixed the dressing, chopped the chicken, threw in the sesame seeds and almonds and mixed it all up with the lettuce mix.  This was yummy.

Editors Note: The dressing is a little on the sweet side, which i don’t mind.  If you like things a little less sweet, go with 2 TBSP Splenda brown sugar and subtract 15 Cal per serving.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 head of Napa Cabbage, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded (Julienne) carrots
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 bunch of scallions, chopped
  • 10 oz boneless skinless chicken breast (seasoned with salth and pepper and baked or grilled)
  • 2 TBSP Roasted Sesame Seeds
  • 1/2 cup Slivered Almonds

Dressing:

  • 1 1/2 TBSP Sesame Oil
  • 3 TBSP peanut butter
  • 4 1/2 TBSP Hoisin Sauce
  • 1 TSP Asian Chili Sauce
  • 4 1/2 TBSP Rice Vinegar
  • 3 TBSP Splenda brown sugar mix
  • 1 1/2 TSP grated ginger

Directions:

  1. Prep all your veggies. Chop your lettuce, cabbage, scallions, carrots, and cilantro, and mix together.  If you do this ahead of time, store in a big sealed ziplock bag in the fridge.
  2. Salt and pepper your chicken, and either grill or bake it ahead of time.  I don’t like hot chicken on a cold salad, so i give mine plenty of time to cool.
  3. Assemble your salad by mixing the lettuce mix with your chicken and adding sesame seeds and almonds.
  4. Mix all of the dressing ingredients in a bowl with a wisk until you have a smooth mixture.
  5. Add Dressing to salad and mix everything together until dressing is evenly coating other ingredients.

Note: To serve as a side, omit chicken and serve as 8 servings. 155 cal per serving

Makes 4 very generous portions

1 Serving= 400 Calories

Appx 8 weight watchers points plus per serving

  
Dressing Ingredients:

Finished Dressing

Final Product:

Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots

17 Oct

I’ve never been a big fan of cooked carrots, unless they were in a roast.  My mother used to make glazed carrots occassionally when I was a kid, and I remember having like them because of the sweetness, so I thought I’d give them a shot.  I’m trying to broaden my repertoire of side items, and this one seems to be a good fit.  I hope you enjoy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb bag of baby carrots
  • 3 TBSP of Splenda Brown Sugar mix
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 2 TBSP of light butter or margarine (50 cal per tbsp)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Place carrots into a large saucepan, with enough water to cover them about halfway. Bring pot to a boil, and reduce to a simmer.  Simmer carrots, covered, for about 10-12 minutes. (You could also steam them if you prefer)
  2. Remove carrots from pan and set aside. Melt butter in the saucepan; stir brown sugar, honey, salt, and cinnamon into butter until brown sugar is melted.
  3. Stir Carrots into sauce and allow everything to cook together about 5 minutes, stirring throughout.  

Makes 5 servings= 90 Calories per serving

Appx 1 weight watchers point plus per serving

  
 

Lower Calorie Deviled Eggs

6 Oct

So, there’s not much you can do to a deviled egg to make it lower in calories.  And actually, when you look at other side items, even a full fat deviled egg or 2 is not a bad decision when faced with choices at a cookout or party.  The one thing you can do to lighten up a deviled egg, is switch regular mayo for a fat free version of either mayo, or miracle whip. The difference in calories is less than 2 calories per serving if you use Kraft brand ff mayo instead of miracle whip.  I used miracle whip because I had it on hand (i use it for tuna and sandwiches) however, I actually prefer the Fat Free Mayo for deviled eggs (I like a more savory egg).  This recipe gives you just the right amount of each ingredient to make yummy deviled eggs.

Ingredients:

  • 6 hard boiled eggs, cooled
  • 2 TBSP fat free mayo or fat free miracle whip
  • 1 1/2 TBSP sweet pickle relish
  • 1 TSP yellow mustard
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Paprika for garnish

Directions:

  1. Cut eggs in half, longways.  This leaves you with 12 half eggs.
  2. Scoop the cooked yolks out of the middle of each egg, and place them all together in a small bowl.
  3. Use the back of a spoon to smoosh all the egg yolks.  Keep smooshing until they are well mashed and not too lumpy.
  4. Add all ingredients except your egg whites and paprika, and stir ingredients together until you have a smooth yellow filling for your eggs.
  5. Basicall all you do at this point is fill the holes in the whites with yolk mixture.  You can just spoon it in, or you can cut the tip out of a ziplock back and fill the back with yolk to “pipe” the yolk mixture into the egg.  You could even place a star shaped piping tip in the bag if you are super fancy.  I usually just spoon them in if I’m making a small batch, and I’ll do the “hole in a bag” piping for larger batches. It just seems to be neater and easier.  I rarely use a piping tip, but if you’re doing this for some fancy occassion, go for it!
  6. Sprinkle the tops of your finished eggs with paprika.

Makes 6 servings (2 egg halves each)= 82 Calories

Appx 2 weight watchers points per 2 egg halves

 

Parmesan Potato Wedges

16 Sep

I altered this recipe from one that I found online, which had much higher calories.  With just a couple tweaks of ingredients, it turned out both delicious and low calorie.  I hope you enjoy.

Ingredients: 

  • 3 russet potatoes
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 11/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese (I used kraft)

Directions:

  1. Slice each potato into 8 wedges.  (I sliced down the middle longways, and then 3 cuts through each half, leaving me with 24 “wedges”)
  2. In a large bowl, cover the wedges with the olive oil, and stir it around so the oil coats all the potatoes evenly.
  3. Add all the seasonings as well as the cheese and mix well until all potatoes are covered.
  4. Spray a large baking sheet very liberally with nonstick spray.  Line the wedges up side by side with the potato skills facing down on the sheet.
  5. If there is any cheese left in the bowl, you might as well scoop it on top of the less cheesy wedges (you already counted the calories so you might as well eat the cheese!)
  6. Bake at 425 for 25-30 minutes.  If you put them skin side down, you don’t even have to flip them during baking.

Makes 5 servings= 234 calories per serving 

Appx 6 weight watchers points plus

BEFORE:


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)

Simple Side Salad with Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette

29 Aug

So, I feel sort of silly even listing this as a “recipe” because it’s so stinking simple.  But, I guess it’s the contribution of the homemade, very low calorie dressing that makes it legitimate for me.  I hope you guys enjoy.  Keep in mind here, that I only feel like I need a little dressing on a salad these days.  Some folks may want more dressing, so I’ve added some additional info on how to get more dressing for not too many more calories.  This recipe is for 1 side salad.

Ingredients:

  • Romaine Lettuce, 2 cups chopped
  • Red onion, 2-3 TBSP chopped
  • 1/4 of a medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped (you can peeling and seeding, but I don’t like eating peels or seeds in my cukes)
  • 1/4 of a medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • about 1/8 tsp of Italian seasoning (herbs like oregano, basil, etc)

Directions:

Add all veggies to a bowl.

Use a small container to mix together oil, vinegar, and Italian seasoning.  You’ll see that I’ve decided to use a children’s medicine spoon.  It holds the ingredients perfectly, helps you to measure them, and pours easily.  Just place your finger over the top and shake until everything is combined. If you’re using a tiny bowl instead, you may have difficulty whisking such small amounts together, but give it a go anyway. I have faith in you.  (but seriously, if you have one of these spoons… so awesome)

Makes 1 side salad

Salad Only: 30 calories

Salad with dressing as shown: 75 calories (1 ww points plus)

Want more dressing? Use 1 more teaspoon of vinegar for only 5 more calories. If you add more oil, it’ll be 40 calories per tsp.