Monthly Archives: February 2012

Fiberful Fruit Bars

by Steph

I really hope you guys have a Trader Joe’s by you.  I love that place.  They really have some good stuff there. And Cheap wine, well mine doesn’t have cheap wine but the one 45 minutes away does.

I rarely get through a shopping trip anywhere without TJ telling me he is hungry, so one day at Trader Joe’s (TJ’s – haha! get it?) when he found these Fiberful Bars and said he wanted the “green one” I was skeptical that he would like it, but did not want to deny him the opportunity to try.  Well he loved it! YAY! Score one for the sneaky veggie snack!!!  At $0.49 a bar I grabbed a bunch.

These lovely little snacks are not bad for you either.  They have 6 grams of fiber, and I know all you weight watchers people are looking for ways to sneak in fiber into your diet.  They have dried fruit, psyllium husk and flaxseed (and some have veggies).  The flavors are Mixed berry, Apricot, Blueberry Apple and Fruit and Veggies. And the best part, they are only 1 Weight Watchers Points+ per bar.  Give one a try next time you are at TJ’s :-)

http://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-flyer/article.asp?article_id=406

 

 

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Shrimp Bok Choy Stir-Fry

by Steph

Stir-fry is the best, isn’t it?  They are an easy healthy way to get a complete meal loaded with good for you veggies.  Tom even eats all his veggies in a stir-fry. This is a good one, its got a little kick to it and a Thai flare with some peanut butter added in at the end. Yum, who doesn’t love peanut butter?? If you don’t, there is something wrong with you :-) This is a big serving and its only 6 weight watchers points+.  I ate mine with out rice but Tom had his with some brown rice.    If you don’t have a wok, you can just use a large deep skillet.

 

Here are your ingredients

  • 12 oz uncooked shrimp, cleaned and peeled
  • 1 TBS grated ginger
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 3 TBS  low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 – ½ tsp Siracha (or any hot pepper sauce)
  • 1 TBS creamy natural peanut butter
  • 1 small bunch of bok choy
  • ½ small onion
  • ½ Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 container of Shitake Mushrooms

Equipment Needed

  • Cutting Board & Knife
  • Small Bowl
  • Ziploc bag
  • Wok

In a small bowl, mix the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, siracha and 1 tsp of cornstarch.

Add the shrimp and the soy sauce mix to a Ziploc bag and let the shrimp marinate for 20-30 minutes.

I use this time to chop and prep all my veggies for the stir-fry. Slice the bok choy into strips (you can eat the stem and all on bok choy)

Slice the pepper and onion into thin strips

To prep the shitake mushrooms, first remove the stems and then slice the caps into strips.

Heat the Wok over medium high heat, coat with cooking spray.  Add all your vegetables and cook for 5-7 minutes until the Bok choy wilts.

Remove the bok choy and recoat the wok with cooking spray.  Add the shrimp and cook about 3-4 minutes until they are cooked through.    Remove the shrimp

In a separate bowl mix chicken stock with 1 tsp of cornstarch.  Add to the wok and scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan.

Cook for about 5 minutes until sauce thickens.

 

Add the 1 TBS of peanut butter

MMMMMM

mix well until combined.

Return the vegetables and shrimp to the pan, cook for another minute or two until warmed through.

Serve by itself or over rice. Enjoy!!

Nutritional Information (without rice)

Makes 2 servings

6 WW Points+ per serving (calculated through WW online recipe builder)

CALORIES 319; FAT 4.6g; SAT. FAT 0.8g;  CHOLEST. 345mg; CARB. 32.4g; FIBER7.6 g; SUGAR 11.7g; PROTEIN 38.6g

(Calculated through loseit.com, some data may not be accurate)

 

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Ricotta Meatballs

by Steph

I have mentioned before that my husband is not a huge fan of pasta, he eats it because I make it, and otherwise he would go hungry.  When he married an Italian it was in our wedding agreement that he has to eat it once a week :-) Just kidding.  But he does have a requirement when we have pasta.  It either has to have meat (sausage and/or meatballs) or Italian Bread.  If I forget, I never hear the end of it.

So I was watching the food network, or cooking channel, or something like that and they were talking about this place that makes this meatball sandwich, but the meatballs were made with Ricotta.  OH MY!! Seriously how bad could that be?  So I wrote it down to try making these.  These are seriously good, full of flavor.  The Ricotta makes the meatballs nice and moist.  I used breadcrumbs this time to make them but I think next time around I will leave them out. I don’t think they are needed (get rid of some carbs). But I have told you the best part.  They are only 1 Weight Watchers Points+ per meatball. YIPPY!!! I made them small but you could make them twice as big and they still would only be 2 points+ per meatballs.

 

Here are your ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground beef (I used Laura’s Lean)
  • 2 links of Turkey Sausage, casing removed
  • 1 cup Low fat Ricotta
  • ¼ cup pecorino Romano (grated)
  • ½ cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • ** 10-12 cups Tomato Sauce of your Choosing (I will post my sauce recipe later)

 

Equipment needed

  • Mixing bowl
  • Cookie sheet
  • Large Pot

 

Place the ground beef and turkey sausage in a bowl.

Add the Ricotta

Add the pecorino Romano

Then the Parsley and Seasoning and Eggs

Take Gods Utensils (AKA your hands) and mix well.

Form 32 small meatballs and place on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray

Bake at 375  for 10 – 15 minutes until the meatballs just form a crust on them.

Meanwhile start warming (or making you sauce). When your meatballs are done add them to the pot of sauce

Cook for about 1-2 hours.

Grate some fresh pecorino on top and Enjoy!! (yea I had 4…I’m not gonna lie)

 

Nutritional Information (*for just the meatballs, not including sauce, as points value varies by sauce)

Serving Size is 2 Meatballs, makes 16 servings total

2 WW Points+ per serving (calculated through WW online recipe builder)

CALORIES 3.8; FAT 3.8g; SAT. FAT 2.2g;  CHOLEST. 19.5mg; CARB. 0.9g; FIBER 0.1g; SUGAR 0.6g; PROTEIN 10.5g

(Calculated through loseit.com, some data may not be accurate)

 

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Lentil Soup

by Steph

I know I have mentioned it before, but I really, really dislike winter. The only thing that makes it tolerable is the fact that I can eat soup.  With winter quickly coming to an end (Hurray!!) I decided to make some more soup while I still can.  This time, Lentil soup, its so satisfying and good for you.  I made a big pot, put it pre-portioned containers and put them in the freezer.  Now I have a warm, hearty satisfying meal anytime.  This recipe is 5 weight watchers points+ per 1 ¼ cup serving.

Here are your ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Lentils
  • 8 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 Can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 onion
  • 2 Carrots
  • 2 Ribs of Celery
  • 1 ½ tsp dried thyme
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 8 Tbs grated parmesan cheese

Equipment needed

  • Large stock/soup pot
  • Cutting Board & knives

Finely dice your onion, celery and carrots

 

Heat 1 TBS olive oil in stock pot . Add your onion, celery and carrots and cook for 5-7 minutes until onion is translucent.

Mince the Garlic and add it to the pot, along with thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another minute until fragrant.

 

 

Add Stock, diced tomatoes and lentils.

 

 

Cover and cook for about 1 hour. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if desired

 

Top each serving with 1 TBS of grated parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!!

 

Nutritional Information

Makes 8 servings, 1 ¼ cup per serving

5 WW Points+ per serving (calculated through WW online recipe builder)

CALORIES 123; FAT 0.1g; SAT. FAT 0g;  CHOLEST. 0mg; CARB. 28.2g; FIBER 10.5g; SUGAR 2.5g; PROTEIN 11.9g

(Calculated through loseit.com, some data may not be accurate)

 

 

 

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Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Glaze

by Steph

Asparagus is one of the few vegetables that my husband will eat, so I make it a lot. I usually just roast it and toss some Parmesan cheese on it at the end.  But, I decided to change things up a bit and add a balsamic glaze, boy was it good.  I love balsamic vinegar, its delicious.  When you reduce it, it thickens up and gets nice and sweet.  I believe you can buy a balsamic glaze in the store, but it’s so easy to make why bother.  A lot of people add sugar, I don’t feel it’s needed.

The glaze would be delicious on other roasted veggies such as butternut squash, or brussel sprouts.  Or over salmon, yummm.

Here are your ingredients

  • 1 Bunch Asparagus
  • 1-Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp. olive oil

Equipment

  • 1 Bowl
  • Cookie Sheet or Baking Dish
  • 1 Pot

First you need to make the Balsamic glaze. This has to be done at least 30 minutes before, but it can be done hours ahead or the day before and stored in the fridge

Pour one cup of Balsamic vinegar into a pot and bring to a boil

 

Let it cook for 30 minutes until it has reduces, One cup will reduce down to ¼ cup.  The smell can be a little overpowering so turn on the fan if needed. It’s done when it coats the back of a spoon. It will thicken as it cools.

To make the asparagus, first trim off the woody edges of the asparagus.  If you hold 1 asparagus at both ends and bend in half it will snap where it needs to be cut. You can do all of them like this or use the 1 as a guide and cut the rest.

Place them in a bowl and season with salt and pepper and coat with olive oil.

Lay in a single layer on a cookie sheet at cook at 425 for about 10 -15 minutes.

Place them on a plate and drizzle with the Balsamic Glaze.  Store any left over glaze in the fridge.

 

Enjoy!!

 

Nutritional Information

Serves 2-4

2 WW Points+ per serving (calculated through WW online recipe builder)

CALORIES 95; FAT 4.8g; SAT. FAT 0.7g;  CHOLEST. 0mg; CARB. 10.6g; FIBER 2.8g; SUGAR 7.3g; PROTEIN 3.1g

(Calculated through loseit.com, some data may not be accurate)

 

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Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi with Spicy Orange Sauce

by Steph

I went to a wedding once and had this Macadamia nut crusted Mahi Mahi that was out of this world.  To this day I have yet to re-create it. But this recipe here comes close.  Its delicious, even Tom eats it, sans sauce, he doesn’t like fruit in his meals for some weird reason. Picky, Picky, Picky :-) Just kidding.

The recipe with the sauce is 6 Weight Watchers Points+.  Mahi Mahi is such a wonderful fish too, its a real meaty piece of fish, also delicious in fish tacos. Tom and I went fishing in Mexico a long time ago (pre kids) and I caught a Mahi Mahi, Fun Times.

Here are your ingredients:

For the fish

  • 1 Can light coconut milk (1/3 cup gets absorbed during the marinating)
  • 16 oz Mahi Mahi
  • 1 oz macadamia nuts
  • ¼ cup panko bread crumbs

For the sauce:

  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/4 tsp siracha (Asian chili sauce)
  • ½ cup low sugar or no sugar added Orange Marmalade
  • ½ chicken broth

 

Equipment needed:

  • Bowl
  • Baking Dish
  • Food Processor
  • small pot or pan for sauce

Prehat the oven to 425.  Put the Mahi Mahi in a bowl and cover with the light coconut oil and let marinate for about 30 minutes

Meanwhile, chop your macadamia nuts in a food processor until they are crumbly like

Mix the Panko and the Breadcrumbs

Remove fish from the coconut milk and season with salt and pepper

Roll the fish in the panko-nut mixture until coated.  Place on a foil lined baking dish and lightly spray with cooking spray

Cook for 15-20 minutes until browned and fish is cooked through.

While  fish cooks, make the sauce.  Place the ginger, marmalade, chicken broth, and chili sauce in a pan and cook over medium high heat until the sauce has reduced by half


Serve with the fish.

 

Enjoy!!
Nutritional Information
Recipe Makes 4 Servings

6 WW Points+ per serving (calculated through WW online recipe builder)

CALORIES 329; FAT 7.4g; SAT. FAT 1.3g;  CHOLEST. 106.6mg; CARB. 33.8g; FIBER 0.9g; SUGAR 17g; PROTEIN 28.9g

(Calculated through loseit.com, some data may not be accurate)

 

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No Bake Strawberry Chocolate Cheesecake cupcakes

by Steph

For Super Bowl my parents brought over a cheesecake.  But there were only a few of us so we froze half of it and sent them home with it. Well, we were over their house last week and my husband went to go get a piece, and guess what…it was gone.  I thought he was going to cry (It was kind of funny). He really loves cheesecake.  So, I decided for Valentines day I would make these No bake Strawberry Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes (lightened up of course).  They were YUMMY. We had them again last night.  They are 5 Weight Watchers Points+ per cupcake (not bad considering regular cheesecake is about 12 points)

 

Here are your ingredients:

  • 1 cup light frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 4 oz light cream cheese
  • ¾ cup pureed strawberries
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 24 Chocolate Wafer Cookies
  • 3 TBS light butter, melted
  • 10 ½ oz fat free sweetened condensed milk

Equipment Needed

  • Muffin tin & cupcake lines
  • 2 Bowls
  • Hand Mixer or stand mixer
  • Ziploc bag and mallet or rolling pin

Instructions

Puree your strawberries in a food processor or blender

Press pureed strawberries through a sieve to remove some of seeds

 

Line muffin tins with cupcake liners

 

Place chocolate cookies in a ziploc bag and crush with a rolling pin or mallet until they are fine crumbs

 

 

Mix crushed cookies with melted butter and combine well

 

 

Press cookie mixture into the bottom of the muffin tins

 

In a separate bowl, whip cream cheese until fluffy

 

Mix in sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract

 

 

Stir in 1/3 cup of the pureed strawberries, reserve the rest for topping

 

Fold thawed whipped topping into the cream cheese picture

 

 

 

Isn’t that a pretty color :-)


Evenly distribute the cream cheese mixture over the top of the crushed  cookies

 

 

 

Place in the freezer for 6-7 hours.  When ready to eat, top each cupcake with extra strawberry puree

Eat and Enjoy!!

 

 

***Note, these melt fast, so place any uneaten ones back in the freezer until ready to eat.

 

Nutritional Information

Makes 12 Servings, 1 cake per serving

5 WW Points+ per serving (calculated through WW online recipe builder)

CALORIES 188; FAT 4.7g; SAT. FAT2.6 g;  CHOLEST. 11.3mg; CARB. 32.5g; FIBER 0.7g; SUGAR 25.3g; PROTEIN 4.1g

(Calculated through loseit.com, some data may not be accurate)

 

 

 

 

 

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Homemade Whole Wheat Pancakes

by Steph

Stop! Put down the frozen box of pancakes!! I know they are easy…but I have something better, I promise :-) I don’t judge, I have bought the frozen waffles, frozen pancakes…all of that. But I have been trying to limit the amount of processed stuff I put in my body.  Not to mention most of the processed food labeled “whole wheat” is not 100% whole wheat.  These pancakes are truly 100% whole wheat, with nothing artificial and no preservatives.

These pancakes are light and fluffy and only 5 weight watchers points+ for 3 pancakes. Now, I know what your saying.  You don’t have time to make pancakes in the morning, you want something quick and easy. Here’s what I do, I make a big batch of these and I freeze them myself.  That way we always have homemade pancakes ready to go. And TJ loves them, yup a 2 year old loves 100% whole wheat pancakes.

There are two tricks to make these light and fluffy.

1) Use whole wheat pastry flour. Whole wheat pastry flour is milled from a low protein soft wheat which gives it a much softer & finer texture than regular whole wheat flour.

2) Whip your egg whites until they have doubled and make peaks.

 

Here are your ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (I use bob’s red mill)
  • 2 whole eggs, separated
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TBS baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 TBS canola oil
  • 3 TBS honey

Equipment needed

  • Hand mixer and/or a whisk
  • 3 bowls (1 for egg yolks, 1 for egg whites and one for dry ingredients)
  • spatula & mixing spoons
  • griddle
  • cooking spray

 

Whisk together your dry ingredients

In a separate bowl, mix your egg yolks, milk, vanilla extract, oil and honey

Add your wet ingredients to the dry.  Mix until they are well incorporated

 

 

In a separate bowl, whip your egg whites until they are stiff.  I have used both a hand mixer and whisk. Its MUCH easier with the hand mixer. But its doable with a whisk…just takes a bit longer

 

Add the whipped egg whites to the flour and liquid mixture.  Fold them together gently.  You don’t want to deflate all that air you just worked into the whites :-) its what makes these wonderfully fluffy.

 

Preheat your griddle or skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray.

Drop batter by 1/4 cup onto the hot griddle.

When they start to bubble, they are ready to flip.  Here’s a cute heart one I made for TJ

 

 

Serve up hot with some real maple syrup

 

MMMMMM

 

Enjoy!!

 

Nutritional Information (without syrup)

7 servings, 3 pancakes per serving

5 WW Points+ per serving (calculated through WW online recipe builder)

CALORIES 202; FAT 7.8g; SAT. FAT .9g;  CHOLEST. 61.3mg; CARB. 27.7g; FIBER 2.9g; SUGAR 9.8g; PROTEIN 6.5g

(Calculated through loseit.com, some data may not be accurate)

 

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Sugar Cookies

by Steph

I just made some valentines sugar cookies with my son, so I thought I would post the recipe real quick before making dinner :-) (keep me from eating them all) These are cute and tasty. They are not too bad either.  3 weight watchers points for 2 cookies, with icing. If you leave the icing off they are 2 points, and if you just want 1 cookie, they are only 1 point.  I got the original recipe from cooking light.

 

Here are your ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 5 TBS butter, softened
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract

Icing ingredients

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 TBS skim milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

 

Equipment:

  • Stand or Hand mixer
  • Baking sheets (lined with parchment paper)
  • bowl for icing
  • food coloring
  • Rolling pin

 

Beat your butter and sugar until creamy

 

Add Vanilla and egg white and mix

 

In a separate bowl, whisk your dry ingredients

Slowly add your dry ingredients to your wet

 

Continue to mix until the dough comes together and it pulls off the sides of the bowl.

Dump out dough onto some plastic wrap and form into a ball.  Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes

 

Once chilled, roll your dough out to  1/8 – 1/4 inch thickness and cut into desired shapes

 

Cook in a 375 degree oven for 8 minutes until edges start to brown. Remove and let cool completely before icicing

 

To make the icing, mix the vanilla, milk and powdered sugar in a bowl.  TJ helped with the mixing :-) Add food coloring if desired

Decorate and Eat.  I hope you enjoy! Happy Valentines day!

 

Nutritional Information

Makes about 40 small cut out cookies, serving size is 2 cookies

3 WW Points+ per serving (calculated through WW online recipe builder)

CALORIES 100; FAT 3g; SAT. FAT 1.8g;  CHOLEST. 7.7mg; CARB. 17.2g; FIBER 0.2g; SUGAR 11g; PROTEIN 1.1g

(Calculated through loseit.com, some data may not be accurate)

 

 

 

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Dumpling Fest 2012

by Steph

Every year, our former neighbor and close friend Sarah, throws a party called “dumpling fest”.  A bunch of us get together to make these totally delicious dumplings.  This year she invited me over early to help get them all together.  Of course I jumped at the opportunity, now I have the recipe (Yippy!) and I can share it with you folks.  The party was a great time, lots of wonderful people and great conversions.  The food wasn’t so bad either

When I sat down with my trusty calculator, I was happy to find out this dumpling recipe is weight watchers points+ friendly.  We have the serving size at 10, I know it seems like a lot, but seriously when you eat them you won’t want to stop at ten.  The recipe Sarah gave me serves about 40-50 people. I broke down the recipe for you into non-party proportions. Your welcome :-)

Just a heads up that I have not made it yet in smaller proportions but am going too. And the pictures are of the larger quantities

*** We used a food processor to chop/mince all ingredients

Here are your ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup finely minced ginger
  • 1/2 head of Napa Cabbage
  • 1/4 cup scallions
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey (93%)
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbs low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbs canola oil
  • 1/2 cup cooked shrimp
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 50 wonton wrappers
Optional Toppings
  • Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Soy Sauce
  • Sesame Oil
  • Minced Ginger
  • Minced Garlic

Equipment needed:

  • large pots/bowls, to mix
  • food processor
  • cutting board/knife
  • measuring spoons and cups

Get together your ingredients

Seriously do you see the size of these scallions??

 

Peel your ginger, with either a peeler, a knife or a spoon

 

Put the ginger in your food processor with the “s” attachment

 

 

Shred the nappa cabbage

 

Shred your shrimp (make sure the shrimp is cooked – boiled…sarah boiled hers with some old bay, oregano and bay leaf)

 

As you finish processing each thing, add it to your mixing pot (or pots in our case)

 

Here’s a shot of our cooking assistants :-) I think they wanted the shrimp

Next, Mince your scallions (by hand). We tried using the food processor:
Failed
So we did it by hand
Much better
Chop your cilantro by hand
Here’s Sarah Mixing
Add your liquids, Soy sauce, sesame oil, and canola oil.  Make sure it smells right. I know that sounds weird, but you’ll know the smell. If its not really fragrant you might need to add more soy or sesame oil.  But careful with the  sesame oil, its very potent
We let the mixture rest in the fridge for the day (about 6-7 hours).  Then filled the dumplings at the party.
You take one wrapper, and wet all the edges with water.  Put a generous tsp of filling in the center
Fold the wrapper in half or in a triangle.
OR if you are talented, you can make other dumpling shapes. Like these fancy pants ones here
Aren’t they pretty??  (curtesy of Rich…he’s a chef, can you tell?) You make a triangle and then fold the edges in across the bottom and seal.
To cook the dumplings you bring a large pot of water to a boil.  When the water boils, add your dumplings.
The water will stop boiling.  When the water comes to a boil again, add a cup of cold water
When the water comes back up to a boil the dumplings are done. Drain and serve
Top with whatever you like and Enjoy!
I had a little soy sauce and garlic on mine.
Nutritional Information (without toppings)
Makes 5 Servings (50 wontons total)
10 Wontons per serving

 

11 WW Points+ per serving (calculated through WW online recipe builder)

CALORIES 431; FAT 12g; SAT. FAT 2.5g;  CHOLEST. 78.9mg; CARB. 53.3g; FIBER 3.5g; SUGAR 2.6g; PROTEIN 25.7g

(Calculated through loseit.com, some data may not be accurate)

 

 

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