Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Weight Watchers Friendly’ Category

I’m so behind with this blog it’s not even funny!

I have a ton of recipes lined up… and now I have to search through my thousands of archives of pictures to find them!! This recipe for Spring Green Risotto was chosen as one of the May recipes by Kimberly from Indulge and Enjoy. I have to say I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of risotto… I had only had it once at a very nice restaurant in England… however it was so bland I had to dump practically an entire container of salt on it! I should have known better… because honestly at this point I think we all know Ina doesn’t make things that don’t taste good!! That said, I did have to modify this recipe a bit… while I’m sure that the mascarpone is delish… it had like an INSANE amount of calories and fat and since I was just cooking this for the 3 of us and not any guests I took the liberty of slimming it down. I’ve posted my modifications in green. And I just have to say that even with my hip slimming modifications this dish was amazing! Creamy, flavorful, and just yummy yummy!! I made it with lemon garlic grilled chicken cutlets… it was fab!!! ¬†Enjoy!!!


Spring Green Risotto

Source: Ina Garten Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics

Serves: 4 servings for dinner (if you are feeding linebackers) or 6 for appetizers (normal people size ūüôā )

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil * I cut this down to 1 tablespoon and used olive oil cooking spray as needed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter * I cut this out completely
  • 3 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
  • 1 cup chopped fennel
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 4 to 5 cups simmering chicken stock, preferably homemade * I used the one in a box… I think it was College Inn??
  • 1 pound thin asparagus
  • 10 ounces frozen peas, defrosted, or 1 1/2 cups shelled fresh peas * ((SHUDDER)) I hate peas… so I used fresh string beans and cut them in half
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, preferably Italian * I used fat free cream cheese… it was delish!
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives, plus extra for serving

How to pull it all together:

  • Heat the olive oil and butter¬†(I used the 1 tablespoon olive oil and cooking spray) in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the leeks and fennel and saute for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender.
  • Add the rice and stir for a minute to coat with the vegetables, oil, and butter.
  • Add the white wine and simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until most of the wine has been absorbed.
  • Add the chicken stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring almost constantly and waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more.
  • This process should take 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cut the asparagus diagonally in 1 1/2-inch lengths and discard the tough ends.
  • Blanch in boiling salted water for 4 to 5 minutes, until al dente. Drain and cool immediately in ice water. (If using fresh peas, blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes until the starchiness is gone.) ¬†¬†( I blanched the string beans same as the asparagus)
  • When the risotto has been cooking for 15 minutes, drain the asparagus and add it to the risotto with the peas¬†(string beans), lemon zest, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Continue cooking and adding stock, stirring almost constantly, until the rice is tender but still firm.
  • Whisk the lemon juice and mascarpone (fat free cream cheese) together in a small bowl. When the risotto is done, turn off the heat and stir in the mascarpone (cheese) mixture plus the Parmesan cheese and chives.
  • Set aside, off the heat, for a few minutes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve hot with a sprinkling of chives and more Parmesan cheese.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

greek-bean-stew-with-feta-2

 

I ‚ô• 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.

 

Read Full Post »

 

 

 

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!

Read Full Post »

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!

 

 

 

Read Full Post »