Friday, July 23, 2010

Bon Voyage!

I have two new recipes to post but they will have to wait because we are setting sail for vacation! In the morning we're off for 10 glorious days of cruising with family to the beautiful Cayman Islands and Cozumel, Mexico. I went to a WW meeting this morning for last minute encouragement and was pleasantly rewarded by finally hitting my 50lb mark that's been plaguing me for two weeks. Hopefully my vacation eating will not get the best of me and I can remain true to my healthy lifestyle commitment! See you when we return, until then Happy Cooking!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mushroom Stroganoff

Again with the rainy, stormy weather here in South Texas so another night for a nice hearty meal to warm the spirit! This recipe is an adaptation from, "The Complete Guide to Traditional Jewish Cooking," for those of you that love stroganoff this is a great version that will leave you with the same satisfied feeling as its caloric Russian namesake. The rich flavors of nutty mushroom with pressed garlic, chives, onions and wine over noodles make this a delicious comfort meal for only 4pts per serving! Best try: Mushroom Stroganoff

For those of you that have been skipping dessert to save on points I thought I would share my go-to summer delight. At a whopping, mere, 2pts this dessert has the look, smell, and feel of a much naughtier treat. Simply buy pre-made angel food cake at your local grocery (make sure to check the nutritional information, most serving sizes are 100 calories or less!), top with 2tbsp of fat free whipped topping (0pts), and then heap on any fresh summer fruit that you have lying around. All this goodness for only 2pts!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Artichoke and Pesto Pizza

Last night was another pizza night, this time of the artichoke pesto persuasion! I cannot stress enough how lovely it is to keep Sara Lee Pitas around for when your inner pizza craving monster emerges. This variation has a foundation of sweet basil pesto topped with baby portabellas, artichokes, black olives, crushed red pepper, freshly ground black pepper and tops off with mozzarella cheese. The whole sh-bang only totals 6pts and yet retains the tasty distinction of a gourmet pizza. Happy Cooking! Artichoke and Pesto Pizza

Monday, July 19, 2010

Feel Good Sweet Potato

Last night felt like a potato night; the last potato I tried was an adaptation of a Rachael Ray dish so why not try again? This time I searched for sweet potatoes and while I could not find a stuffed recipe to my liking I did find her recipe for "Feel Good Potato Skins". So I simply left the potato intact, added all the ingredients listed and then re-stuffed into one shell rather than into skins. To make it WW friendly I used all fat free ingredients in lieu of their full fat counterparts and substituted turkey bacon for the traditional fat back. The end results were a delightful mix of sweet potato with smokey bacon, sweet paprika, fresh onion-y chives and the sharp goodness of cheddar. For only 6pts you have a great, filling meal! Better try: Feel Good Sweet Potato

Friday, July 16, 2010

Watermelon Salad with Cucumber, Scallion, and Feta

This amazing 1pt salad comes from, "WW Savoring Summer," and makes for a refreshing alternative to the more traditional summer side salads (potato, macaroni, etc). The ingredients may not strike you as belonging together: sweet watermelon, cool cucumber, and bright scallion set off by red wine vinegar and the distinct flavor of feta. The results, however, are a divinely fresh summer fruit salad. I served it up last night next to a simple Cajun roast beef and cheddar melt making my whole meal 6pts. Try serving it alongside your favorite sandwich or let it stand alone...either way a great way to spend 1pt: Watermelon Salad with Cucumber, Scallion, and Feta

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Caprese Pasta Salad

Those attending WW meetings know that the challenge this week was/is to incorporate fresh herbs into your meals; I use fresh herbs nightly from my very small patio garden but I thought I would find a recipe that truly placed all emphasis on fresh tasting herbs and veggies. This recipe comes from, "WW Savoring Summer," and is both easy to make as well as a big crowd-pleaser! The ingredients in this recipe are very simple making it essential to get the best quality ingredients that you can; very ripe fresh tomatoes, good olive oil and if possible try to purchase handmade orecchiette. The simple flavors of the freshly pressed garlic and sweet basil combined with the full flavor of ripe tomatoes and handmade pasta make this a stunning example of how herbs can make a meal. The original recipe totaled 6pts per serving but by exchanging reduced fat mozzarella with fat free the points drop to 5pts! Happy Cooking and be sure to try: Caprese Pasta Salad

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Turkey Tamale Pie served with Guacamole Salad

Last night's meal was inspired by my intense craving for Mexican...don't get me wrong I still go out to Mexican restaurants but now that I am on WW it's just not as fun when your order includes: no sour cream, no cheese, no meat, no sauce, etc etc. When cooking Mexican at home, however, all the fixings can be had when in moderation and no-fatness making this meal feel, taste and look like something very not WW indeed! The Turkey Tamale Pie begins with a layer of red pepper roasted refried black beans, moves up to spice-i-fied ground turkey mixed with black olives...goes higher with a layer of cornbread/jalapeno mix and tops off with caramelized red onion and cheddar cheese. Yum..yum...yum! This fantastic pie will only cost 5pts per slice and for a great accompaniment try serving with Guacamole Salad for an additional 4pts. I realize this is a pointsy meal but if you're like me you try to save points for your favorite meal each day. If you don't have the points try for a simpler approach by whipping up a salsa vinaigrette (2tbsp salsa + 1tbsp vinegar) to top off your shredded lettuce for a 0pts salad. Either way gotta try: Turkey Tamale Pie as well as Guacamole Salad

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cajun Shrimp with Succotash

When I think of summer I think of farm fresh veggies...what better dish to show off the season's finest than succotash? There are countless ways of making succotash but for the sake of brevity this simple version uses three classic summer staples: corn, zucchini and sweet red pepper. Mix in loads of Tabasco, Creole seasoning and a dash of freshly ground black pepper for a seriously spicy punch. Serve alongside Creole spiced shrimp grilled to order and top off with a squeeze of fresh lemon for an overall amazing meal on a hot summer night for only 5pts! Gotta try: Cajun Shrimp with Succotash

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tomato-Pesto Ravioli

Last night's dinner is proof in itself that anyone with 10 minutes of time can make a WW friendly meal at home! As I keep mentioning we have been SO busy surprise then that around 7:40pm last night we realized our hunger and the need for an insanely fast meal. Several ideas came to mind but my penchant for Italian on Friday nights held true so pasta it was! The challenge to this dish is finding a store that sells pre-made light cheese ravioli...once you have secured the pasta add in fire roasted tomatoes and a bit of pesto and voile! Admittedly omitting the pesto will save you some points but for those of us that love the sweet nutty basil mixture an extra point or so is worth the trouble; top with fresh cut basil and parmesan (1pt extra) if desired and you have a great/fast Italian meal for 7pts. Happy Cooking! Tomato-Pesto Ravioli

Friday, July 9, 2010

Mushroom and Vegetable Moo Shu

Moo Shu! hehe...I just like the way that last night we dined in Chinese style for a vegetarian take on a classic Chinese dish. This recipe comes from, "WW From Pantry to Plate" and though originally listed as a 5pt meal I got it down to 3pts! This was accomplished by switching canola oil for cooking spray to saute and using egg substitute over real; the end results were a fantastically fragrant stir fry dish. The combined flavors of fresh ginger with the various toasted mushrooms and edamame make this a definite repeat. Traditionally this dish is served with thin pancakes...the book suggests using a tortilla replacement and while I thought it might taste odd it was actually quite good. If you use a La Tortilla Factory tortilla (find these if you have not already, Tortilla Link) then it costs 0pts to add. If you still have points leftover then you might want to also add rice to make the dish even heartier, I used basmati but any will work. An all around great recipe good for any of those Chinese take out cravings! Mushroom and Vegetable Moo Shu

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fire Roasted Chili Mac

Needless to say that this past holiday weekend combined with house hunting appointments has seriously thrown off my normal cooking routine. I did attempt to make something Tuesday night and the best that can be said for it is that my Clover bear enjoyed the addition to her kibble! What could be so bad you ask? The answer is a recipe for Spanish Tortilla found in the, "WW New Complete Cookbook." There was something about it that just did not go well with neither Wojtek or myself. So moving on to very, very good things...we have last night's comfort food of the week...chili mac! For those of you not in Southern Texas we are experiencing a bit of flooding with dark skies, thunder and the what better way to unwind at night than with a nice hot bowl of chili. This particular version is an adaptation from a WW online recipe that switches up Mexican flavor with fire roasted vegetables. The chili starts with caramelized onions, add in roasted red peppers, fire roasted tomatoes and the flavor is rich and smokey. The best thing about this dish is that chili only gets better tasting with time and you will definitely have leftovers on this one, so for only 4pts...gotta try Fire Roasted Chili Mac

p.s. If you have the extra points top chili with 1/4cup of fat free cheese for an additional 1 point!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Grecian Pizza

Friday night is pizza night! We all know this to be true, so why should life on WW be any different? The best thing about pizza made at home is that the options are endless! I will have to share with you some of my favorites as time goes on but last night we had a lovely Grecian Pizza for a mere 5pts! I used a round pita bread in lieu of crust and proceeded to top with an assortment of complimentary Greek staples: black olives, roasted red peppers, feta cheese, fresh tomatoes, basil, sauteed spinach, mushrooms, and of course artichokes. The only points come from the cheese, black olives and the amazing 1pt only pita. If you have been missing out on pizza night give this 5pointer a try! Grecian Pizza

Friday, July 2, 2010

Poutine with Mushroom Gravy and Garlic Cheese

First off this week has been crazy, not to mention that we still have two parties to attend over the weekend! So all apologies for the lack of cooking that has been occurring; I only hope that my exercise efforts are counter-acting said festivities. That aside...Happy Canada Day!!! or belated at least. So if you can't get Wojtek to Canada...bring Canada to him! Poutine, for those of you that don't know, is a food strongly associated with Canadian cuisine. Essentially it is all things terrible combined into one dish...fries, gravy and cheese curds! There are many variations but for this version I opted to go for flavor through herbs and veggies rather than using a fattier meat based gravy. The fries were freshly cut by hand and seasoned to make them carry a bit of flavor rather than fried crunch and oven baked until crisp. The mushroom gravy was accentuated by the addition of mushrooms and caramelized onions in sherry and the "cheese curds" were replaced by 100 Calorie Pack Mozzarella Garlic & Herb cheese bites. The end results according to W, " poutine I've ever had!" Clearly he is too sweet for words, but it really did turn out great and would make for a good introduction to this classic Canadian fare if you have never not bad when only 7pts, pair with asparagus and you've got a great meal. Poutine with Mushroom Gravy and Garlic Cheese