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Archive for the ‘South Beach Friendly’ Category

So simple… and so good!! I made this just as the recipe suggested.. with fresh cauliflower… That being said I think a few shortcuts to this would make it even easier .. not that its difficult at all lol! I’ll be giving it a try next time I make it…

  • Replace fresh cauliflower with frozen
  • Chop garlic into smaller pieces and just toss with cauliflower instead of pre-boiling. They may burn though… we’ll have to see…

Anyway, this was a great side dish as well as a main dish when tossed with pasta! Very easy and very filling! I made it once with the pine nuts and once without… both ways were yummy! Enjoy!   Here is the recipe from Ina’s book:

Barefoot Contessa, How Easy is That?

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole head garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, trimmed and cut into large florets
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil, divided
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

How to pull it all together:

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • Bring small pot of water to a boil and add garlic cloves. Boil for 15 seconds. Drain, peel, and cut off any brown parts. Cut the largest cloves in half lengthwise.
  • On a sheet pan, toss the cauliflower with the garlic, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Spread the mixture out in a single layer and roast for 20-25 minutes, tossing twice until cauliflower is tender and the garlic is lightly browned.
  • Scrape the cauliflower into a large bowl with the garlic and pan juices. Add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, the parsley, pine nuts, and lemon juice. Sprinkle with another 1/2 teaspoon salt, toss well and serve hot or warm.

It’s so good you will be picking the little bits off the pan and eating them while waiting for the rest of your meal to finish cooking lol! Enjoy!!

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broccolini

DING DING!!! IT’S THE BONUS RECIPE CHALLENGE!!!

This month’s challenge was Sauteed Broccolini, chosen by Mary Ann of Meet Me In The Kitchen.  Good choice Mary Ann, as this dish went perfectly well with the Chicken Piccata in the last post.  My first challenge with this dish was actually finding the broccolini.  Luckily I went to the store armed with the visual aid of the pretty picture from the website.  So, I went up and down the produce aisle in Sainsbury until I found it.  True, I could have asked someone, but I’ve had enough odd looks from the employees there in the past when asking for “American” things that I was just not going there.  (FYI: Some things that get odd looks: canned pumpkin, corn meal, fat free cheese… the list goes on.)  Sigh… 8 more days and I’ll be back on American soil!

SO….. this dish was ridiculously simple.  Blanch the broccolini, or ‘Tender Stem Broccoli” as it was called, in hot salted water.  Then saute it in a pan for like 2 minutes with some stuff.  The end.  And, it was delish!

 

Here is the recipe:

Sauteed Broccolini

Source: Ina Garten

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch broccolini
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 lemon, zested
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

How to pull it all together

  • Blanch the broccolini in a large pot of salted boiling water for 2 minutes.  Drain immediately and immerse in a bowl of ice water.
  • Melt the butter in a large saute pan.  Add the lemon zest  and garlic and stir.  Drain the broccolini and add it to the garlic mixture and heat for 2 minutes.  Add the lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper, and toss well before serving.

If you care to join us at the Barefoot Bloggers click here to link to the site and hop aboard! :o)

PS: To make this South Beach and/or WW friendly, you can replace the butter with a trans fat free spread.

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greek-bean-stew-with-feta-2

 

I ♥ FETA!!

And…. I’m starting to like beans.  But only certain ones… not the nasty ones! Let’s just make that very clear.  However, in an effort to expand the repertoireof recipes I make I happened upon this one.  Once again, I was a sucker for marketing. Yup, the pretty picture in the cookbook sucked me in!  Reading through the ingredient list it sounded pretty simple and non yucky (even with the beans). I mean, how can you go wrong with yummy, tangy, creamy feta cheese?  You can’t!  So I tried it out and had it for dinner as hubby is at some Darts and Snooker night (weird British Pub thing… don’t ask).  Anywho… it was super delish and very filling!  I find beans in general kind of confusing… especially over here in England as sometimes they are called something different.  So, I just looked at the picture in the cookbook and tried to match it to one of the cans in the local Sainsbury.  Turns out I used butter beans… they were good even plain!  I may be converted yet! 

The recipe is from the book Good Cooking, The New Basics by Jill Dupleix.  So far, everything I’ve tried out of this book has been awesome!  The little trivia portion of the recipe says that the traditional beans to be used are dried gigantes(What the heck is that? Sounds a bit scary!).  It then goes on to say that since those beans need overnight soaking (too much work for me) you can use canned jumbo lima (hurl!), cannellini (um ok) or red kidney beans (shudder unless they are in chili).  I (as you can read above) just matched the pictures like a 3 year old would.  And I’m glad I did!

This recipe is both South Beach and WW friendly (ballpark @ 5 pts per serving, but you can get it lower)… it can be made more so by halving the amount of olive oil and replacing with cooking spray… you can also use low fat feta and replace the sugar with a sweetener.

 

Here is the recipe:

Greek Bean Stew with Feta

Source: Good Cooking, The New Basics by Jill Dupleix

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, peeled (dur? why do they put that on there? Like you’re going to cook the onion in it’s skin whole? eww!)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for serving
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed (I minced mine up with the knife)
  • 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced dill
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (you can replace with a sweetener I would think if you are carb counting, although I don’t think 1 tbs will kill you)
  • 3 cups canned beans
  • 4 oz feta cheese

How to pull it all together:

  • Halve and finely slice the onion. Heat olive oil in a heavy pan and fry the onion until soft but not browned. 
  • Add the garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, and 2 cups water. 
  • Stir in bay leaves, parsley, half the dill, the sea salt, pepper, paprika, and sugar, bring to a simmer.
  • Simmer, partially covered, until nice and thick, 20-30 minutes.  Drain and rinse beans, then add them to the stew and simmer gently for 10 minutes longer.
  • Rinse the feta cheese (I didn’t do this), pat dry, and cut into chunky cubes.  Add to the pan and simmer until the cheese is soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Serve in small bowls, drizzled with a little extra olive oil (I didn’t do this either) and sprinkled with the remaining dill.  Serve hot or room temperature, with some warm flat bread and a Greek salad.

 

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salmon

LOOK OUT!  IT”S THE OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS!  That just sounds scary,  but apparently it’s very good for you!  In an effort to branch out of the chicken rut my family has come to be in, I decided that we should try to eat some sort of fish at least once a week.  Now, I am not a fan of “fishy” fish so I was at first kind of iffy on salmon.  Every time I’ve had it at a wedding or at a restaurant it always kind of tasted the same.  No matter how it was prepared it always just had that “salmony” flavor.  So I decided to try this marinade.  It’s from The Joy of Cooking , All About Chicken book which was a Christmas present at some point from my mother in law (thanks by the way! we use it all the time!).  The marinade is very basic and easy and the most important thing is to use freshly squeezed lemon juice, not the stuff from a bottle.  It WILL make a difference, and it won’t be a good difference either.  So spring for a couple of lemons.  Anyway, back to the salmon.  It is very, very flavorful!  It actually has a bit of flavor besides the ‘salmony” flavor!  We have finally found our way of getting those scary sounding omegas… and we eat it at least once a week.

Here is the marinade recipe:

Broiled Lemon Garlic Chicken 

(Just use the marinade on the fish, although it’s very good on chicken too!)

Source: The Joy of Cooking, All About Chicken by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker & Ethan Becker

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup fresh strained lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons pressed or very finely minced garlic (I tend to use closer to 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (you can add more if you like)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (I sometimes use less and then add it if it’s needed)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Salmon (I use @ 4 pieces usually and have plenty of marinade to spoon over rice etc)

How to put it all together:

  • Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl, whisk together
  • Add the fish, skin side up so that the fleshy fish part is soaking in the marinade
  • Spoon some of the marinade over the top
  • Let it marinate in the fridge for at least a few hours
  • Place in pan/broiler safe casserole and broil until the tops of the garlic bits  look golden and the fish is pretty much cooked in the middle. Let it sit for a few minutes because it will continue to cook

The extra marinade is tasty over rice or cous cous if you serve it with the salmon.  A simple cucumber salad is also nice on the side.

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tomato-basil-soup-1

 

Ina strikes again! In my never-ending quest to find filling foods that are either low in carbohydrate count or point value I have found another winner!

The Roasted Tomato Basil Soup is something I had seen Ina make on her show and it just looked really good.  She of course used the perfectly ripe, red, plump, and juicy plum tomatoes probably from her crazy East Hampton garden.  I used the kind of orange looking ones that Sainsbury had… grown in the Canary Islands.  Ina used delicious bunches of basil from her giant herb garden… I used the ones in the plastic container from Sainsbury.  That being said, this came out really good.  It’s a bit heartier then the canned variety, and much fresher without the tinny can taste.  It was a tad too salty but that could be my fault.  I used regular table salt not kosher salt as the recipe called for because I didn’t have it.  So, maybe that was why??  Next time I make it I’ll use less salt and add it at the end if it’s needed.  The other thing I tweaked was that I cut down the olive oil usage to 1/2 the amount called for and only used 1 Tbs butter instead of 2.  It was fine, and cut out some fat that was not really necessary in my opinion. 

What I love about this soup is that you really taste the fresh basil. I think basil is one of my favorite smells!  It also delivers a little kick afterwards from the red pepper flakes.  Next time I make it I may add some things … I was thinking roasted zucchini would be very tasty pureed into this… and for some reason shrimp… not sure why…. not that I would puree the shrimp of course (gross!) but I think it may be something to explore.

The only other changes I would make to this recipe (if I make it exactly as Ina did) is to perhaps roast the garlic in their cloves with the tomatoes rather than sauteing in the pan. I think a roasted garlic taste would have been yummier.  Also, next time I may scoop out the tomato seeds. Sometimes they annoy me.

Here is the recipe:

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

Source: Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

  • 3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons good olive oil  I used 1/2 this amount and supplemented with olive oil cooking spray as needed
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter I used 1 tablespoon
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28-ounce) canned plum tomatoes, with their juice
  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves  I used dried thyme as they didn’t have fresh in the store
  • 1 quart chicken stock or water I used chicken stock, why blah it out with water??

How to put it all together:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 
  •  Toss together the tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.
  • In an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the butter, and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown.
  • Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken stock. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Pass through a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade. (I used my food processor and it was fine) Taste for seasonings. Serve hot or cold.

tomato-basil-soup-2tomato-basil-soup-3Mmm.. mmm… good!

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Abruzzese Lentil Soup

I never thought I would like lentil soup. It just sounded gross… all those beans etc… However, I am a sucker for good marketing! I know.. you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover blah blah blah but honestly, it’s the first thing that grabs your attention! Which is how I found this recipe… The book is called Good Cooking-The New Basics by Jill Dupleix. I flipped through it and saw a picture of the most yummy looking bowl of soup. So, I decided to try it. I am so glad I did! I make a pot a week practically to eat for lunch. It’s hearty and filling, with tons of healthy things in it… and it’s super low WW pt value! Whip it up… it’s better than the crap out of a can!

Here is the recipe:

Abruzzese  Lentil Soup

From:  Good Cooking-The New Basics by Jill Dupleix

  • 1 1/4 cups small brown or green lentil (I mixed both types)
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed ( I used 3-4)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 14 -oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 14 -oz can chickpeas, drained
  • sea salt & pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • freshly grated Parmesan for serving

How to put it all together:

  • Rinse the lentils, then place in pan ( I used my big soup pot though) with the garlic, bay leaves and 6 cups of cold water. Cook until almost tender, @ 30 minutes, skimming occasionaly.
  • In the meantime, finely slice the onion and celery, and dice the carrots. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan (I just used a frying pan). Add the onion, carrots, and celery, and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes
  • Add the tomatoes and stir well, then add into the lentil pot. Simmer until nice and soupy, @ 20 minutes
  • Add the chickpeas, sea salt, and pepper, and simmer for at least 10 minutes or longer, adding extra water as necessary
  • Stir in chopped parsley and ladle into soup bowls. Serve with grated Parmesan.

You can also dish into individual freezer bags and have a quick lunch to microwave! 

As the author said, this is a rustic, slow-cooked soup. Lentils are low in fat, high in protein and easy to cook!

 

 

 

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