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Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup

22 Sep

I put this recipe together while trying to recreate a soup I’ve had many times at Izzy’s restaurant in Cinci. This goes nicely with the Turkey Reuben sandwich I posted yesterday, and combined they’re only about 300 calories!

It’s a simple but yummy soup.  I really enjoyed it, and if you like cabbage, I think you will too.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small-medium head of cabbage, diced into 1 inch squares
  • 1/2 a medium onion, chopped
  • 40 oz of beef broth (use vegetable broth to make this vegetarian!)
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 TBSP splenda brown sugar blend
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together in a soup pot, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and cook, covered for about 1 hour, stirring periodically.

Note:  I tried to make this in the crockpot and it didn’t really work.  This one’s a stovetop soup for me going forward.

Makes 6 cups of soup at only 42 Calories per cup!

0 weight watchers points per cup

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.


  

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!


  

Strawberry Froyo

29 Jun

This recipe was time consuming, but the ice cream was pretty yummy. The kids loved it.  I’ll probably make this again, but it’s a weekend recipe (takes some time).  Please keep in mind that this recipe is finicky.  You have to let it freeze just the right amount of time, and it has to be eaten right away, and it’s a lot of work… but i’m glad i made it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 1/4 cups 1% milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TBSP Splenda no-calorie sweetener
  • 1 Cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 2 TBSP honey

Directions:  

1. Place strawberries in a small food processor and puree until only small chunks remain.

2. Combine yogurt, splenda, vanilla and honey in a bowl. Mix in strawberries and 1/2 cup milk.

3. Pour mixture into a gallon-sized zip-top freezer bag. Lay the bag flat, and spread the mixture into an even layer pressing to eliminate air pockets. Close the bag and lay it flat on a shelf in the freezer.

4. Freeze the mixture 3-4 hours

5. Remove the bag from thee freezer and break the mixture into small pieces.

6. Place the pieces in the bowl of a food processor; add remaining milk and blend until smooth.

7. Pour ice cream into an 8×4 bread pan.  Cover with plastic wrap and return to freezer.

8.  Freeze for 1-2 hours, and serve immediately.  If you freeze it longer, and it gets too hard to scoop, let it sit on the counter for 5-10 minutes or until it’s scoopable.

Editors Note: I actually added 1 drop of red food coloring before freezing the first time.  You don’t have to, but i liked the color 🙂

Makes 8 servings= 85 calories per serving

appx 2 weight watchers points plus


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

 

Vegetable Beef Soup

18 Mar

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

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

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