Monday, September 28, 2009

9. Gnocchi Florentine

I took this recipe from the September-October issue of Weight Watchers Magazine.

I did not think I was going to like this. I do not like cooked spinach, and I had never eaten gnocchi before. I have to say I am incredibly impressed, I loved it. It was incredibly flavorful! It was also visibly pleasing with the greens and reds and the gnocchi looking so plump. I omitted the onions even though I like them because my room mate is sick and hates them, but I'm sure it would have been even better with!

Gnocchi Florentine - 7 pts per serving
Makes 4 servings (1 cups each w/ 1 tsp Parmesan)

1 17oz package fresh whole wheat gnocchi
1 onion chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/2 lb extra lean ground beef (5% fat or less)
1 2/3 cups fat free marinara sauce
1 10oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 tsp black pepper
4 tsp grated Parmesan cheese

1. Cook the gnocchi according to the package directions.
2. Spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over med-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and seasoning. Cook stirring occasionally until the onion is slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the beef and brown, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon for about 2 minutes, Stir in the marinara sauce, spinach and pepper and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until heated through, about 2 minutes, stirring once halfway through the cooking time.
3. Drain the gnocchi, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the gnocchi and the reserved liquid to the spinach mixture stirring until blended. Cook uncovered until the gnocchi absorbs some of the sauce, about 2 minutes.

Serve sprinkled with the Parmesan.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

8. Triple Berry Smoothie

EDIT: Picture uploaded!
Okay, so my camera was dead. I don't have a picture yet! However, this was AMAZING and easy so when I make it again tomorrow I will take a picture and edit this for those of you interested. The color is deep and red, so rich and inviting and it tastes so good! If there is one fruit you dislike I imagine you could substitute any that you love! It is important that the fruit (except banana) be frozen so that you get that smoothie texture that everyone loves.

Triple Berry Smoothie - 3.5pts per serving
Serves 2
Special Equipment: Blender

1 cup FROZEN raspberries
1 cup FROZEN cherries
1 cup FROZEN blue berries
1 cup almond milk
1 tbsp Splenda (OPTIONAL)

Add to a blender and blend until you get a consistency that you like. Pour into two glasses and enjoy!

Do this! You wont regret it!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

7. Home Made Burgers

After this long, and regretful week (my grandfather passed very suddenly) of family get-togethers and trying so keep my self control I thought I deserved some comfort food. However, since I spent the week eating bad comfort food, I thought I'd try something a little better for me...

These are wonderful! They are moist and flavorful, and only 3 points per burger, or 4 points with a slice of yellow American cheese which is how they are pictured here. Serve on a whole wheat bun with all of the trimmings!

Home Made Burgers - 3 points per serving or 4 points with cheese.
Makes 12 burgers

2lbs 95% lean ground beef
6 oz cornbread stuffing, dry mix
2 egg whites
1/3 cup tomato ketchup
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp BBQ Seasoning, dry
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix everything together in a large mixing bowl until well blended.
Shape into 12 even sized hamburger patties.
Cook over medium heat until the burger is cooked as well as you want.
Now you can add your slice of cheese (remember to add a point!).


Friday, September 18, 2009

6. Crock Pot Chicken Curry

I love curry! Normally when I make this, I do it in a large pan or pot on the stove and in the last 15 minutes of simmering I add a 12oz can of coconut milk. The coconut milk adds a savory sweetness and thickens the curry up nicely. I didn't want to pack the points on so I used a coconut curry flavored chicken broth instead. If you use the 12oz can of coconut milk it will add 2pts per serving. This recipe serves 12 (good sized servings) so its great for lunches too!

Crock Pot Chicken Curry - 4 points per serving
Serves 12
Special Equipment: Crock Pot

4 whole uncooked boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
2 1/2 cups frozen pepper strips
28oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups diced onion
2 cups chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup rasins
4 cups chicken broth
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp curry powder
2 tbsp ground tumeric
1/2 tbsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground red pepper

Place all ingredients into crock pot, stir and put the lid on. Turn crock pot on low, and let cook for 6-8 hours. Serve over rice.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

5. Chinese Pineapple Chicken

I didn't get a picture of this tonight until after the horde had started devouring it! It still looks yummy! This is another one I took from my week one Weight Watchers book. I made a mistake! I thought that I followed the directions to serve 6, but a re-read after dinner alerted me to the fact that it was to serve 4! Oh no! We will live, but there is a lesson in this! Pay attention to the directions! My 3rd grade math teacher would be twitching at me right now...

Chinese Pineapple Chicken - 5 points per serving
Serves 4/serves 6@ 4 points per serving

cooking spray
4 medium scallions, chopped
1 tbsp ginger root, fresh, chopped
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 pound uncooked boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cups canned pineapple tidbits, packed in juice
1/4 cup black bean sauce
2 cups cooked brown rice, kept warm (regular or instant)

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set pan over medium-high heat. Add scallions, ginger and garlic; cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add chicken and cook until lightly browned on all sides, stirring often, about 5 minutes.

Add pineapple (with its juice) and black bean sauce to skillet; bring to a simmer. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes (again, I let it go ten, stirring occasionally) more.

Serve over rice.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

4. Mexican Meatloaf

I got this recipe right out of my Weight Watchers BOOK 1: Food Plan Basics. It was really very tasty, but the next time I make it I will probably omit the onion or dice it much, much smaller. I made a little extra because Ashley was eating with us, so mine came out to 7 servings, but was still a cool 3 points per serving. I am posting the original here.

Mexican Meatloaf - 3 Points per serving
6 servings
Special Equipment: Broiler pan or something similar.

cooking spray
1/2 pound(s) raw extra lean ground beef
1/2 pound(s) lean ground turkey, breast
2 large egg white(s)
2 oz cornbread stuffing dry mix, (about 1 cup)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
4 oz canned green chili peppers, diced
8 oz canned enchilada sauce

Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a broiler pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mix beef, turkey, egg whites, stuffing mix, onion, chili powder, cumin, chilies and half of enchilada sauce together. Shape into an oval with your hands and place on prepared broiler pan.

Cook for 1 hour, top with remaining enchilada sauce and bake for 5 minutes (it looked like it needed more time so I gave it ten minutes here) more. Slice into 6 pieces and serve.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

3. Southwest Baked Ziti

This recipe was taken from Recipe Goldmine. We loved it, and so I am re-posting it here for all to enjoy! I loved this even though I honestly abhor ricotta cheese. I would eat this again and again! I am posting it in its original form which added up to 5 points a serving, but we added some points and bulk (most of us over here have over 30 points a day right now, and I have 44!) by using another 4 oz of pasta, and upping the cheese and sauce a little. Molly used whole wheat rotini instead of ziti, and it was great! Ours came out to 8 points for a 6th of the pan, which you can see from the picture was very satisfying!

Southwest Baked Ziti - 5 points per serving
Serves 6
Special Equipment: Casserole Dish or baking pan.

8 ounces ziti pasta, uncooked
8 ounces tomato sauce, salt free or regular
8 ounces salsa, hot or mild
3/4 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
1 cup fat-free mozzarella cheese
11 ounces canned corn, drained
4 ounces green chile peppers, drained, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons fat-free parmesan cheese, grated

Cook pasta according to package directions, using the shorter amount of cooking time given. Drain.

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil an 8-inch square baking pan or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine tomato sauce and salsa in a small bowl.

In a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese with half of the mozzarella cheese. Stir in half the sauce, along with the corn, chiles, oregano, and pepper. Add the cooked ziti and mix well. Spoon into prepared casserole. Spread remaining sauce over top of casserole, then sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and then Parmesan cheese. Cover and bake 20 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake 15 more minutes.

Friday, September 11, 2009

2. Cup Fakes

When I got home tonight my wonderful Weight Watchers friend, Ashley (the one who gave me all of the info for the program) was in the kitchen...baking. Yes, baking. I know, I was frightened at first too. I felt like I was doing so well, and here was this person who I thought was supporting me standing in my kitchen like the enemy! She looked at my face, and said: "Eat one, they are worth 4 points each and I wanted cupcakes!"

Sweet relief! She made these using a premixed fat free muffin mix, and ...regular icing... You can use any fat free, low calorie muffin mix you want.

Cup Fakes - 4 points each
(1 box of muffin mix makes 11 servings, Ashley used 2 boxes, and made 22. )
Special Equipment: Muffin or Cupcake pan

1 box Krusteaz Fat Free Cranberry Orange Supreme Muffin Mix
1 can Duncan Hines Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

Bake the muffins as directed on the box.
After they cool, top them with 1 tablespoon of icing each.

That's it! So easy and it really does kill a craving for cupcakes!

I know this isn't a very original recipe, but I know sometimes I get desperate and need something to get me over my hump. Sometimes, its a hug, and sometimes its a craving. Whatever helps you stay on track is what I feel (I know so early in my journey) you need to do.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

1. Taco Soup

I wish I had thought to create this blog before I emptied the crock pot into all of those little containers. You see I just started the Weight Watchers Flex Plan (First meeting this Sunday! WOOT) and I needed something that I could eat all week for lunches, on a low budget. So after scouting around the internet for ideas I came up with Taco Soup. I know there are tons of these out there, but I like to think mine is a little different...

Taco Soup - 3 points per cup
Makes 13 cups.
Special Equipment: Crock Pot

3 boneless skinless chicken breast
1 envelope ranch dressing mix
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
1 medium onion, diced
1 large can (28-30oz) diced tomatoes
1 can Mexican or spicy (I used tomatoes with diced jalapenos) tomatoes
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 large can (28oz) vegetarian baked beans (I used Bush's)

Put everything in the Crock Pot in the order listed here.
Do NOT drain the tomatoes.
Do NOT rinse or drain beans.
Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. (I put it on at 3am, and didn't touch it until noon the next day)
Take chicken out and shred with two forks.
Put chicken back in, stir, and enjoy!