Monthly Archives: April 2012

Crispy Oven Fries

by Steph

Crispy Oven Fries

5 Weight Watchers Points+

If I had to pick my one weakness when it comes to food, I would have to be French Fries.   I just adore them, could eat them everyday.  I love both regular and sweet potato equally.  I have a hard time not ordering them at restaurants; I can sometimes refrain if I have made oven fries during the week. They are a great alternative, and so much better for you.

It has taken me a while to get the perfect oven fry.  Two key things, you need to use Russet Baking potatoes.  Second, you need to pre-cut and soak the potatoes in cold water ahead of time.  I usually soak them anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. The result is a perfect crispy french fry…delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Russet Baking Potatoes
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

Equipment

  • 1 bowl
  • French fry cutter, or good knife
  • 2 Kitchen towels
  • baking sheet

First Cut the potatoes into match sticks either using a French Fry cutter or a sharp knife.

Place them in a bowl and cover with cold water.  Let them soak for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Pre-heat your oven to 450. Drain the potatoes and lay them out a kitchen towel.  Place another towel over the potatoes and dry them well.

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

Lay them out on a baking sheet (coated with cooking spray) in a single layer.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping them over half way through.

These would be good with any variety of spices…Garlic, Cajun, parmesan cheese. Go Crazy! They are guilt free :-)

Enjoy!!

Nutritional Information

5 WW Points+ per serving

CALORIES  172; FAT 7g; SAT. FAT 0.5g;  CHOLEST. 0mg; CARB. 26g; FIBER 2g; SUGAR 1g; PROTEIN 3g

(Calculated through calorie-count.com, some data may not be accurate)

 

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Homemade Vanilla Extract

by Steph

I mentioned a while back that it kills me to spend so much money on those pre-mixed spice packages, so I make my own.  Well, same goes for Vanilla Extract. Its really crazy how expensive that stuff is.  I come to find out, homemade Vanilla extract is so simple to make!  Really this post is going to be super short because you can’t believe how easy this is.  Its also makes a great homemade gift Idea if you have any foodie friends.

Vanilla beans can be a little expensive in the store, I buy mine online and they are a relatively good price.  I get them from My Spice Sage online.

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Vodka
  • 3 Vanilla Beans

Equipment

  • Glass jar

 

First measure out 1 cup of vodka.

Take the vanilla beans, and using a sharp knife make a slit down the length of the vanilla beans.  Don’t cut all the way through, just through the top layer to open the pod up. (even though I did a little, oops)

Place the vanilla beans in your glass jar and pour the vodka over top.

Place in a dark cool location and let it sit for 1 month. Occasionally give the jar a whirl to mix it up.

After a month it will ready to use. I make new jars when I am low and then combine them.

Now go make some vanilla extract! :-) Enjoy!

 

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Spicy Black Bean Tacos

by Steph

Spicy Black Bean Tacos

7-9 Weight Watchers Points Plus

In an effort to save some money and for health reasons, I decided a while back to try to make at least 1-2 meals a week meatless.   Now, this can be really challenging, you know with the veggie-phobe I married, if veggie-phobe is even a word :-) it takes a lot of pouring through recipe books and looking online to find a recipe that Tom might eat.  I stumbled across this recipe for black bean tacos on Self.  I decided to give them a try and added them to our weekly meal plan.

Well the day came to make them, and Tom called on his way home and asked what’s for dinner.  When I told him, I just heard his voice deflate “oh, ok…” ugh.  To be honest, I was a little skeptical too.  But I pushed through, and boy am I glad I did. These are GOOD.  And Tom not only ate them, but also had seconds. WOOHOO! These are spicy; you can tone down the spice by the amount of jalapeno you add (you can also remove seeds and ribs). Black beans are such a good meat replacement in these; you almost don’t even notice you are not eating meat.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup black beans, rinsed and drained well
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ yellow corn meal
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tsp. salt (divided)
  • ½ tsp. black pepper (divided)
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed (or canned, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small jalapeno, minced
  • 2 medium scallions, sliced
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 8 corn tortillas

*** If you use regular corn tortillas, the points+ value is 7.  I used crunchy and that made them 9 points+

Equipment Needed

  • Food Processor
  • Baking sheet
  • Small bowl
  • Cutting board and knife

 

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

To make the corn salsa:

In a small bowl, add the corn, jalapeno, bell pepper, scallions, ¼ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper.

Squeeze limejuice over mixture, stir and set aside.

To make the tacos:

Chop your garlic in the food processor.

To the food processor, add black beans, rolled oats, corn meal, chili powder, and ¾ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper. Process until well combined.  Stop a few times during the processing to scrape down the sides (uh um…turn processor off first)

Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and crumble the black bean mixture on the pan. Yes, I know it kind of looks like dog food.

Cook for 15 minutes until they become crispy.

Break up the pieces with a spoon until crumbly and resemble ground beef.

Cook for 10-15 more minutes.  While black beans cook, warm your tortillas.  If you sing crunchy, just warp in foil and place in oven. If you are using regular tortillas, heat in a skillet with non-stick spray.

Divide the bean mixture between tortillas and top with corn salsa

Enjoy!

 

Nutritional Information

4 servings, 2 tacos per serving

7 Weight Watchers points+ (for corn tortillas)

9 Weight Watchers points+ (for crunchy shells)

321 calories per serving, 3 g fat (0 g saturated), 60 g carbs, 13 g fiber, 14 g protein

Spicy Black Bean Tacos

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup black beans, rinsed and drained well
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ yellow corn meal
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tsp. salt (divided)
  • ½ tsp. black pepper (divided)
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed (or canned, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small jalapeno, minced
  • 2 medium scallions, sliced
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 8 corn tortillas

*** If you use regular corn tortillas, the points+ value is 7.  I used crunchy and that made them 9 points+

Equipment Needed

  • Food Processor
  • Baking sheet
  • Small bowl
  • Cutting board and knife

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. To make the corn salsa:
  3. In a small bowl, add the corn, jalapeno, bell pepper, scallions, ¼ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper.  Squeeze limejuice over mixture, stir and set aside.
  4. To make the tacos:
  5. Chop your garlic in the food processor.
  6. To the food processor, add black beans, rolled oats, corn meal, chili powder, and ¾ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper.  Process until well combined.  Stop a few times during the processing to scrape down the sides (uh um…turn processor off first
  7. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and crumble the black bean mixture on the pan.
  8. Cook for 15 minutes until they become crispy.  Break up the pieces with a spoon until crumbly and resemble ground beef.
  9. Cook for 10-15 more minutes.  While black beans cook, warm your tortillas.  If you sing crunchy, just warp in foil and place in oven. If you are using regular tortillas, heat in a skillet with non-stick spray.
  10. Divide the bean mixture between tortillas and top with corn salsa

 

Nutritional Information

4 servings, 2 tacos per serving

7 Weight Watchers points+ (for corn tortillas)

9 Weight Watchers points+ (for crunchy shells)

321 calories per serving, 3 g fat (0 g saturated), 60 g carbs, 13 g fiber, 14 g protein

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Biscuit Chicken PotPie

by Steph

Biscuit Chicken Pot Pie

8 Weight Watchers Points+

Last week my husband requested Chicken potpie; he does not request meals that often (I am usually on my own when it comes to planning the meals) so of course I worked it into our weekly meal plan.  Then I got coupon for a Perdue oven roaster, Hooray! (I love me some coupons) It was like the stars aligned to make chicken potpie. :-) So I decided the make my perfect garlic roast chicken and use the left over to make the requested chicken pot pie.

Well, the day came to make chicken potpie, I was going to make it all from scratch.  The filling, you know sautéing the onions, making a rue; Also planned on making my own pie crust. WELL that didn’t happen.  All you mommies of 2 years olds will understand.  My son was having a “rough” day, if I left a 1 inch radius of him he would scream relentlessly.  So I did what any mom would do and sat there by his side and stressed over dinner.  So I called my husband and told him to pick up biscuits.  I would change my plans and make quick and easy biscuit chicken pot pie.  It comes together so quick (you don’t even need to defrost the veggies) so Tom could cuddle with TJ while I quickly whipped up this recipe.  Crisis Diverted.

 

Ingredients

  • 4 Reduced fat homestyle biscuits.
  • 6 oz roasted chicken, diced into bite size pieces
  • ½ cup frozen green beans
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup healthy request cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup healthy request cream of mushroom soup

Equipment Needed

  • Deep Skillet
  • 8×8 baking dish

Pre-heat oven to 350.  In a deep skillet add the 2 soups and chicken and heat over medium heat.

Add the vegetables, let cook for about 5 minutes or so, until warmed through

Spray and 8×8 baking dish with cookig spray and add the chicken mixture.

Take each biscuit and stretch it out until it’s about half the original thickness, place the biscuits on top of the chicken mixture.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until the biscuits are browned and the filling is hot and bubbly.

 

Enjoy!!

 

Nutritional Information

4 Servings

8 WW points+ per serving

Calories 324; Fat 8.4g; Sat. Fat 4.5g; Cholesterol 40mg; Carbohydrates 41.3g; Fiber 3.6g; Sugar 8.8g; Protein 19.6

 

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Avocado Breakfast Tacos

by Steph

Avocado Breakfast Tacos

6 Weight Watchers Points Plus

I recently started loving Avocados.  I dint for the longest time, I don’t know why.  I also was terrified in the amount of fat in an avocado, but it’s a healthy fat so I am over that now. The only problem with avocados is if you are the only person in your house that eats them, they go bad super fast.  So you need to find creative ways to use up a whole avocado in a day or two.  If you cover it with lime or lemon juice and wrap it tightly it will stay in the fridge for a day.

Back to the topic, so I had this avocado and needed to use it up, so I decided on breakfast tacos OLE! I really do love tacos.  They are good any time of the day J  These are tasty and filling.  I had them for breakfast (obviously) and was full all the way until lunch, something that does not happen that often, I’m always hungry. So next time you have an avocado to use up, try these. You wont be disappointed.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Avocado (a little shy of ½ of an avocado)
  • 3 Egg whites, beaten
  • ½ vine ripe tomato, diced
  • 1 tsp minced jalapeno
  • 1 TBS minced onion
  • 1/5 cup spinach leaves
  • 2 small corn tortillas
  • 1 TBS chopped cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

Equipment Needed

  • Skillet
  • Cutting Board and knife

 

Dice your avocado and squeeze ½ of the lime over it to prevent it from getting brown

Chop your tomatoes, pepper, onion and cilantro. Place in a bowl and squeeze the other half of the lime over top.

Heat a non-stick skillet and coat with cooking spray.  Brown the tortilla shells and set aside

Re-coat the pan with cooking spray and scramble your egg whites.  When cooked, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Top the tortillas with spinach and divide the eggs evenly over the two tortillas.

Top with the tomato mixture and Avocado.

 

Enjoy!!

Nutritional Information

6 Weight Watchers Points+

Calories 226; Fat 5.8g; Sat. Fat 0.8g; Carbohydrates 30.7g; Fiber 5.7g; Sugar 2.6g; Protein 15.3

 

 

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Perfect Garlic Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

by Steph

Perfect Garlic Roast Chicken and Vegetables

8 Weight Watchers Points+

Do you guys have any go to recipes that you make all the time? Well this is mine, I make this roast chicken A LOT,  and it comes perfect every time.   Its also great because I get at least 2-3 meals out of a roast chicken.  You can make so many things with left over roast chicken, one of which is chicken pot pie (another one I make often, and will be posting that recipe shortly).  But seriously, this chicken comes out so moist and yummy, you are really going to love it.   The roasting time I give is based on a 6-7 lb chicken, but follow the directions on your bird if it is a different size.

 

Here are your ingredients:

  • (1) 6-7 lb roasting chicken
  • 6-7 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 lb baby potatoes
  • baby carrots (1/2 lb)
  • 2 onions

 

Equipment Needed

  • 2 small bowls
  • cutting board, knife
  • roasting pan

 

Preheat your oven to 375. Finely mince the garlic cloves and parsley.  There should total of 2 Tbs of garlic and 2 Tbs of parsley.

In each bowl, put 1 TBS of garlic, 1 TBS of parsley, 1 TBS of olive oil, ½ tsp of salt and ¼ tsp of pepper. Use one of the bowls for the chicken and put one aside for the veggies later.

Rinse the chicken, pat it dry and place it in a roasting pan.  Rub the entire chicken with the garlic mixture.  Lift up the skin on the breast of the chicken and rub some of the mixture under the skin as well. You really gotta get in there to make sure its well coated :-)

Cover the chicken with aluminum foil and place in the oven for 1 hr.  While the bird is in the oven, prepare your veggies.  I usually do this when there is about 15 minutes left in the cooking time.

Chop your potatoes and onions.  Place them in a bowl with the carrots.  Mix well with the other garlic and parsley mixture.

When the hour is up, take the bird out of the oven and uncover it.  Place the vegetables around the chicken.  Place back in the oven for another hour – 1.5 hours.

Take the chicken out of the oven.  Place the chicken in on a dish and surround with the vegetables.  You can slice the chicken before plating with the veggies, it just doesn’t photograph as nice :-)

Enjoy!!

 

Nutritional Information

Breast (skin removed) & vegetables nutrition

8 weight watchers points plus

Calories 330; Fat 11; Sat. Fat 1.7; Cholesterol 65.7; Carbs 29.3; Fiber 8.2; Sugar 11.4; Protein 29.2

Leg (skin removed) & vegetables

9 weight watchers points plus

Calories 361.4; Fat 14.6; Sat Fat 2.6; Cholesterol 104; Carbs 29.3; Fiber 8.2; Sugar 11.4; Protein 29.2

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