Monday, December 14, 2009

Old Fashion Chicken and Dumplings

I am posting this one for Nathanael. But I know that everyone loves a good pot of chicken and dumplings in the winter. This recipe is easy and good enough to serve to guests. I have not figured out the points on this, but it isn't too high.

3 lbs chicken (I like legs and thighs) skin removed
seasoning salt
cooking spray
6 cups chicken broth

Cut chicken into parts if not already done. Brown it on both sides in a nonstick pan sprayed with cooking spray.
Simmer the broth in a dutch oven (4 or 5 quart pot with lid).
Add the chicken to the simmering broth. Cook at a low simmer for 20 minutes or until completely done.
Check the broth to make sure it has enough salt and pepper.

Mix:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup corn meal
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry dill weed
7 oz buttermilk
1 egg

After you have mixed the batter, let it rest for 5 minutes.
Drop heaping tablespoons of batter into simmering broth. Cover the pot and simmer on lowest setting for 20 minutes. DO NOT PEEK OR LIFT THE LID!

If you like, you can add peas, diced carrots and dice potatoes to the pot before you add the dumplings.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Joe's PUMPKIN PIE - Crustless

I have not tried this yet, but it is a traditonal pumpkin pie without the crust. Let's all try it! It is like a classic custard and who can complain at 1 point per serving?

3/4 cup liquid egg substitute
3/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 3/4 cups pumpkin (one can)
1 cup evaporated skim milk


Beat egg substitute, honey, spices, salt, and
pumpkin together. Grease a deep 8X8” glass pan –or- 9" pie plate. Pour pumpkin mixture into pan. Bake at 325 degrees about 1 hour, until a knife blade comes out clean. Cool thoroughly.

Serve with a topping, if desired.

If cut into 9 pieces – ONE POINT EACH

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pumpkin Pie

Looking for a pumpkin pie recipe that is 8 or 9 points? Here is a classic Weight Watcher version - that I have modified, of course. It is only 3 points for 1/8 of a 9 inch pie! One of my at work members, Kathy, actually first told me about using the phyllo sheets for the crust. It really works. If you know what to do with the remaining sheets, let me know. You can't refreeze them.


4 spray(s) cooking spray
4 sheet(s) phyllo dough
1/2 cup(s) brown sugar (brwon sugar splenda works fine here)
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp table salt
1 1/2 cup(s) canned pumpkin, puree (one whole can)
1 1/2 cup(s) fat-free evaporated milk (one whole can)
1/2 cup(s) fat-free egg substitute
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 9-inch round pie pan with cooking spray.

Cut phyllo sheets in half. Place 1 sheet in prepared pan and lightly coat with cooking spray. Top with another sheet of phyllo, placing corners just to the right of the previous sheet's corners. Repeat with remaining sheets to form a circle. Press layered phyllo into pan and roll in edges. Bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Whisk together brown sugar, spices, cornstarch and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together pumpkin, evaporated milk, egg substitute and vanilla in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk wet ingredients into dry ingredients.

Pour filling into crust. Bake until set, about 50 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into 8 pieces.

I serve with low cal whipped topping.

Without topping this is just 3 points per slice!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Buckwheat Crepes

In the United States we usually eat crepes made of white flour. In France it is common to get them made with buckwheat; especially in Normandy. These are quite hardy and filling but because of the fiber, they are low in points!

I like to make them and use them to fill with left over stew or roast and gravy. I also like them for breakfast with slice of Canadian bacon and an egg. They make the left overs into a special meal. They can be stuffed and frozen for a quick meal later.

When I did the math on them 2 crepes is 3 points. Not bad!

¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon buckwheat flour
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 2/3 cup milk
3 eggs
1 tablespoon butter, melted
¼ teaspoon salt

Preparation:
Whisk all the ingredients vigorously until the crepe batter is completely smooth; allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 2 hours (or overnight - this is important for the development of the texture of the dough) before making into crepes.
Melt a little butter (I just use cooking spray in a nonstick pan) in a crepe pan or large skillet over low-medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons of batter to the pan and swirl until the bottom of the pan is covered with batter. Cook the crepe for 1 minute, or until the crepe is slightly moist on top and golden underneath. Loosen the edges of the crepe, slide the spatula under it, and then gently flip it upside down into the pan. Cook for 1 minute and transfer the cooked crepe to a plate to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Makes 10 crepes.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Butter VS Margarine!

Pass The Butter, Please

This is interesting . . .
Margarine was originally manufactured to fatten turkeys. When it killed
the turkeys, the people who had put all the money into the research
wanted a payback so they put their heads together to figure out what to
do with this product to get their money back. It was a white substance
with no food appeal so they added the yellow coloring and sold it to
people to use in place of butter. How do you like it? They have come out
with some clever new flavorings..

DO YOU KNOW.. the difference between margarine and butter?
Read on to the end...gets very interesting!

Both have the same amount of calories.
Butter is slightly higher in saturated fats at 8 grams compared to 5
grams.
Eating margarine can increase heart disease in women by 53% over eating
the same amount of butter, according to a recent Harvard Medical Study.
Eating butter increases the absorption of many other nutrients in other
foods.
Butter has many nutritional benefits where margarine has a few
only because they are added!
Butter tastes much better than margarine and it can enhance the flavors
of other foods.
Butter has been around for centuries where margarine has been around for
less than 100 years .

And now, for Margarine..

Very high in Trans fatty acids.
Triple risk of coronary heart disease ..
Increases total cholesterol and LDL (this is the bad cholesterol) and
lowers HDL cholesterol, (the good cholesterol)
Increases the risk of cancers up to five fold..
Lowers quality of breast milk.
Decreases immune response.
Decreases insulin response.

And here's the most disturbing fact..... HERE IS THE PART THAT IS VERY
INTERESTING!

Margarine is but ONE MOLECULE away from being PLASTIC..

This fact alone was enough to have me avoiding margarine for life and
anything else that is hydrogenated (this means hydrogen is added,
changing the molecular structure of the substance).

You can try this yourself:

Purchase a tub of margarine and leave it in your garage or shaded area.
Within a couple of days you will note a couple of things:

* no flies, not even those pesky fruit flies will go near it (that
should tell you something)
* it does not rot or smell differently because it has no nutritional
value ; nothing will grow on it. Even those teeny weeny microorganisms
will not a find a home to grow. Why? Because it is nearly plastic. Would
you melt your Tupperware and spread that on your toast?

Share This With Your Friends.....(If you want to 'butter them up')!

Chinese Proverb:
'When someone shares something of value with you and you benefit from
it, you have a moral obligation to share it with others.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Red Pepper Sauce

Fast, Easy and Good! What more can you ask for? How about no points!

Try this super easy sauce on eggs, chicken, fish or vegetables. If you think it makes too much, just freeze it in small batches and use it later.

RED PEPPER SAUCE

1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 12 oz jar of roasted red peppers (not in oil)
healthy pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 - 4 cloves of garlic. minced
1 tsp olive oil

Heat the oil in a small saute pan until it shimmers. Turn off heat and add garlic.
Dump everything into a blender (including garlic). Completely puree contents.
Taste to make sure the spices are suitable to you.
Done.

1/4 cup is 0 points

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cauliflower Puree

KEEP READING even if you don't like cauliflower. Really if you try this you will not have to go back to mashed potatoes for comforth.

I keep working with this recipe and I think I have got this right. This makes a great substitute for mashed potatoes. It seems really rich but has very little fat.

1 head of cauliflower
1/2 cup half and half (can use fat free)
1 teaspoon of salt (more or less to taste)
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
pinch of nutmeg (optional)

Chop up the cauliflower - stem, leaves and all. Steam the cauliflower until it is exceedingly soft (mushy). Drain. Drop it all into a blender (food processor will work but a blender does a better job). Add the remaining ingredients. Puree until completely smooth.

It will be a bit thinner than the potatoes but heck, it is more eligant too!

Makes 6 generous servings - 1 point each

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Apple-Carrot Slaw

This is from the newest Weight Watcher Cookbook! These books keep getting better and better! I wanted to share it because it is good, simple and great use of some fall vegetables!

Makes 6 servings (2/3 cup)

1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise (you can substitute 1/4 of plain yogurt to cut down on points value)
2 Tbsp apple-cider vinegar
2 Tbsp sugar (or try Splenda if you have sugar issues)
1/2 medium head red cabbage, shredded
2 cups shredded carrots
2 medium Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into matchstick strips
1/3 cup golden raisins

Stir the mayonnaise, vinegar, and sugar together in a large bowl until well mixed. Stir in the cabbage, carrots, apples, and raisins. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Serve at once or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 2 hours.

POINTS value per serving: 2

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Orange Quinoa Salad

I am always trying to get people to try eating grains. Here is a great salad made with Quinoa. This grain is native to South America. It is one of the few super grains. That means it has loads of protien and complex carbohydrates. You could live on the stuff. It has a delicious nutty flavor.

I DARE you to try this!

Dressing:
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Salad:
1 1/3 cups uncooked quinoa
2 3/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons extravirgin olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted

Dressing, combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl; stir with a whisk until well blended.
To prepare salad:
Combine quinoa, 2 cups water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium pot with lid; bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat; simmer 12 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, and cool to room temperature.
Drizzle the quinoa with the olive oil. Fluff the oil in with a fork.
Stir in dressing, onions, and the remaining ingredients.
Cover and chill.

For 6 servings this is only 3 points each...and you get your healthy oil and a grain serving!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Vegetable Challenge

Well, Weight Watchers has been trying to get us all to eat more Fruits and Vegetables this summer. For some this is an easy task but others are struggling. Sometimes we have an aversion things we didn't like or eat as a child.

Here is an easy way to prepare vegetables to maximize flavor and enjoyment and you get some healthy oil in too!

You will need 1 1/2 cups of vegetables per person; 1 t oil; S&P to taste: 2 T water; and a nonstick pan with a lid.

Cut your vegetable (broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, asparagus, Brussels sprouts all work well) in bit size pieces. Use one to 1 1/2 cup per person.

Heat your pan with 1 teaspoon of olive oil(per serving). When the oil is hot add the vegetables. Allow them to sit (don't stir) for 1 minute. Toss them (or stir) and cook 1 minute. Toss and cook one minute more (that makes 3 minutes).

Season the vegetables with salt and pepper (add red pepper flakes and garlic if you like).

Immediately add 2 Tablespoons of water (a bit more for larger pan and multiple servings) to the pan and cover. Cook for 2 minutes to allow the vegetables to steam.

Uncover and allow the water to evaporate and enjoy.

Only 1 point and you get a vegetable and a healthy oil into your diet!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Summer BBQ Rub

I love to use rubs on grilled meat. For me they are great because I get a taste in every bite, they are easy to apply and they don't have to be high in calories or points. Here is one that is easy and quick. I am using it tonight on a pork tenderloin (remember if it is loin it is lean and WW Green). It is also good on chicken, beef or even salmon!

For a rub like this to work best, just roll your protien in it or dust the meat right before you grill it.

1 tsp sugar
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp pepper

Mix the dry ingredients. You may want to spray your meat with a spritz of cooking spray before rolling in the rub.

This adds no extra points to your food!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Banana Boat Adventures

~ Sharon Lee Riguzzi

Sharon, a Weight Watcher Leader who pasted away last year, wrote a book full of essays on life for her members. Here is a good one to kick off the summer months of family fun times and vacations.

Banana Boat Adventures

Spending last week in the Caribbean with all of our kids and their spouses left us with wonderful Kodak moments. Watching everyone getting along and enjoying one another’s company warmed my heart.

Since I am not fond of the water, it took days of my kids’ begging me to be adventurous, to be daring, to live, before I finally broke down and dived in (well, maybe it was more baby-stepped in). Seven of us saddled the banana boat---my pregnant daughter was able to be the photographer. As our “no problem, Mon” speedboat driver crisscrossed and turned, they were chortling: I was screaming. While they were switching seats with one another, I was keeping my eyes shut, clutching on tight as we bounced over the waves. Eventually everyone fell off except me-Esther Williams (if you don’t know who that is, you’re probably too young to read this). That is, technically I didn’t fall off. It was more a case of hanging on by one leg and a death grip (forget Esther Williams, think Lucy Ricardo).

As the family returned to the boat, they faced the task of pushing, one was pulling. I was still screaming. One tried to instruct, and another tried another tactic. All the people onshore probably thought this was some sort of boat show. Finally I was back on top of the banana for the revved-up ride back to shore.

Once back on solid sand, one of my kids asked, “Why were you so scared?” I replied, “I felt like I was drowning. I hated not being in control.”

Another daughter blurted, “Mom, didn’t you realize you were wearing your life jacket, which would keep you floating? And besides, don’t you know we were there to help you, and we never would have let anything happen to you?”

When did the roles reverse? I missed that memo.

Do you ever feel like you’re drowning? Do you ever feel you’re losing control? So often in life, with the pressure of work, family, responsibilities, I sometimes feel like I am going under. And yet my daughters’ questions made me realize what had been my main problem in the salty sea. Yes, I was afraid, but my carrying on had blocked my senses from recognizing that help was close at hand. All I had to do was reach out and calmly ask for it. My screaming prevented me from hearing offers of how we could accomplish our feat (and getting me on the banana boat was exactly that.)


I’ll make a pact with each and every one of you. The next time any of us feels like we are drowning, we will take the following steps:

• Breathe.
• Look around to see who is available to help. (If no one is in sight, make a few calls. This might take a while, especially if our MO has been “I can do it myself!”)
• Ask for help.
• Let them help.
• Forget about not wanting to bother anybody else. If they asked you for help wouldn’t you pitch in?

I rest my case.

After the fright of the banana-boat experience left me, I realized I was proud that I actually had done something out of my comfort zone. It energized me so much that I suggested we all go on the water trampoline.

Who knew it would take more out of me than the banana (and I’m just talking about climbing the ladder). But that’s another Shot.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Brownies with Black Beans


I kept hearing people talk about brownies with black beans. Unfortunately, no ome could give me a recipe or had actually tasted them! So I started looking around for ideas or recipes. I came across a funny conversation on a Weight Watcher discussion page and came up with a simple idea to try.

I liked the results a lot. I got a really moist brownie that was really chocolaty. I decided to take them to a party (they were a huge hit) but I dressed them up a little bit. Here's what I did:

CHOCOLATE BLACK BEAN BROWNIES

1 box brownie mix
1 15 oz can black beans (NOT drained)
3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant coffee

Blend the beans (and the liquid), instant coffee, and cocoa in a blender until smooth.
Empty the contents of your mix into a bowl.
Add the bean mixture and mix by hand until smooth.
Bake as directed on the package.

Mine, cut into 24 pieces, were 1 point each. This will vary depending on the mix you use and the beans. You'll have to do the math.



To dress them up for a party I did this (this is going to add about 1 to 1/2 point per brwonie):

Mint Brownie Topping

Icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine, softened
1 tablespoon crème de menthe or 1/4 teaspoon mint extract

Glaze:
1 ounce semisweet chocolate
1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine

To prepare icing, combine powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon butter, and liqueur. Beat with a mixer (or with a whisk) at medium speed until smooth. Spread the icing evenly over brownie layer; refrigerate 30 minutes or until icing is set.

To prepare glaze, place chocolate in a small microwave-safe dish. Microwave at high for 45 seconds; stir in 1 tablespoon butter. Microwave at high for 20 seconds. Stir until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over icing; refrigerate for 30 minutes or until the glaze is set.

Metabolism - What is it?

I hear Weight Watcher members talk about metabolism a lot! The problem is we usually talk about it without really understanding what it is and how much control we have over it. Here is some information from Weight Watchers that can clear up some of those things we might believe (or not).

METABOLISM...is the number of calories the body burns:
♦ At rest
♦ By digesting and absorbing food
♦ During physical activity

What is TRUE about Metabolism?

1. If I have a slow metabolism I have to just work with that.
Increasing physical activity, especially strength / resistance training to minimize loss of lean muscle mass will increase your metabolism.
Eating a well balanced diet (vitamins & some minerals are required for metabolism)and smaller more frequent meals will increase your metabolism.


2. We can’t stop the slowing of our metabolism due to age.
Aging lowers metabolism only because people tend to be less active and may not maintain their muscle mass.

3. The body goes into ‘starvation mode’, when you eat too little” and you stop losing.
Because the body becomes more efficient at burning fewer calories over time your metabolism can slow, but not shut down, meaning weight loss slows.
That’s why it’s critical that you set realistic expectations for your weight loss.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Good Carb - Bad Carb

These are the truth about carbs that we discussed last week at Weight Watcher meetings. Below is a potato soup full of good carbs - ENJOY!

MYTH # 1: All carbohydrates are created equal.

There are two main types of carbohydrates: simple and complex.

Simple carbohydrates (simple sugars) include:
• table sugar (sucrose), which is plentiful in soda and candy
• fructose and lactose, which are found in healthier foods such as fruit and milk, which supply other nutrients

Complex carbohydrates, "starches":
• are found in foods like breads, legumes, rice, pasta, fruits,
and vegetables such as potatoes.
• take longer to digest and can help you feel more satisfied.
• contain many more nutrients than simple carbohydrates.
As with simple carbohydrates, some complex carbs are healthier
than others.

∗ Whole grain versions of complex carbohydrates include
oatmeal, bulgur, brown rice, whole cornmeal, quinoa, spelt,
foods made with whole wheat, etc. Opt for whole
grains as often as possible.

∗ Refined grains such as the white flour and regular rice,
are processed, which removes the outer layer of the
grain, along with fiber, vitamins and minerals.


MYTH # 2: Carbohydrates are the main cause of weight gain.

∗ Consuming too many calories — regardless of whether they come from carbs, protein, fat, or anything else — is the main cause of weight gain. In fact, many studies have shown that switching to a complex carbohydrate, low-fat eating style can lead to weight loss, not weight gain.

∗ Recent research also indicates that an eating plan rich in complex carbohydrates is recommended for overweight individuals.


MYTH # 3: Carbs are empty calories. (Well, no and yes.)

∗ Complex carbohydrates contain naturally occurring nutrients, like fiber, vitamins, minerals and iron, rather than added nutrients like those found in fiber pills and liquid fiber supplements.
∗ Simple carbohydrates with added table sugars, such as soda, on the other hand, add calories and very few nutrients or physical satisfaction.

∗ To help avoid empty calories with carbs, do the following:
• Choose Filling Foods.
• Include whole grains and fruits & vegetables & limit sugars.


MYTH # 4: Carbs eaten after 7 p.m. turn to sugar.

Regardless of the time of the day, all carbohydrates turn into glucose, which is blood sugar. It is then a form of energy, which is used to perform essential functions in the body.


MYTH #5: You need to eat more protein than carbs before exercising.

For regular exercise, “a relatively high-carbohydrate, moderate protein, low-fat meal is best,” says Suzette Kroll, registered dietitian.
“People often underestimate the importance of the carb part of the equation when fueling up for exercise, especially strength training. Protein is important for muscle building and repair, but in order to lift those weights you need carbohydrates for energy.”

Easy Potato Soup

4 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed and diced
2 large leeks, cleaned and sliced
1 onion, diced
Salt and Pepper to taste
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
cooking spray

  1. Heat a 4 quart stockpot or dutch oven over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray and add the leeks and onions.
  2. When onion softens (about 4 minutes) add the potatoes to heat through.
  3. Add the broth, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer.
  4. Cook 30 minutes or until the potatoes are completely tender.
  5. Puree the soup in batches in a blender or food processor.
  6. Adjust the seasonings to taste.

Each one cup serving is only 1 point.
You may want to garnish with chives or scallions and a dollop of plain yogurt.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Mac and Cheese that Everyone Loves!

Okay! I love pasta. When I eat macaroni and cheese I want it cheesy and creamy. I don't want to sacrifice favor and comfort for anything. But it would be nice to have big portion and know that I am within my daily points target or even getting some of the good health guidelines.

So when I created this recipe it had to be just darn good! I also didn't want it to taste "healthy" and be fussy to make. This does the trick! And I even used Velveeta (yes it is real and made from milk) which should be quite a plus for my friends at Kraft!

The best part is, when I calculated the points value it was 14 points per serving before and now it is only 6 points!


MACARONI AND CHEESE - the cheesiest!

12 oz whole wheat pasta - I use penne but you can use any kind you prefer
4 T flour
pinch nutmeg
1 qt nonfat milk
1/3 cup dry milk (optional)
½ t each S & P (or to taste)
4 oz Swiss cheese, grated
4 oz Velveeta Light (2%)
10 oz box frozen butternut squash puree, defrosted
2 T Romano (or Parmesan) cheese, grated
  1. Heat oven to 350.
  2. Prepare 2 quart dish (spray with cooking spray).
  3. Cook pasta and set aside. You may want to hold the pasta in a pot of tepid water so it does not clump together.
  4. Make a white sauce. Pour 3 cups of milk into a sauce pan (big enough to hold both the sauce and pasta) over medium heat. In a container with a lid, mix the flour, dry milk and remaining milk. Shake up until it is completely mixed up with no lumps.
  5. When the milk is hot (almost ready to boil) stir in flour mixture (I use a whisk), salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  6. Bring to a boil and allow to thicken to the consistency of heavy cream.
  7. Add cheeses and squash to melt.
  8. Fold in pasta.
  9. Pour into prepared dish.
  10. Top with 1/2 cup bread crumbs mixed with 1 tsp olive oil and 1 tablespoon Romano cheese (optional).
    Bake 40 minutes.

This makes 6 generous portions or will feed 8 - 10 as a side.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Fresh Strawberry Pie

When I was a child I always wanted to taste a fresh strawberry pie (you know the ones you see in the revolving pie case in restaurants). It just looked so good to me. My mother thought I wouldn't like it so I never got to have one. She wasn't stingy with desserts, she just preferred strawberry shortcake or just about anything else.

Then I was living in Peoria, Illinois for a few years after college and I was having dinner at a diner with a fellow teacher. She order us each a pieceof pie for dessert. By this time I was convinced I wouldn't enjoyed the glazed berries. But I found that it was very delicious...my mother was wrong!

Years later, in Bloomington, Illinois, my friend, Adrie (one of the best down home cooks ever) made a strawberry pie for dessert one night. I was quite impressed and pleased. Then he shared the recipe with me, which was shockingly simple.

Well, I have cut the points in half from the original but the flavor is fully indulgent. I think my mother would have really liked this too! I hope you give it a try. It is a beautiful way to serve strawberries and it taste as good as it looks!

FRESH STRAWBERRY PIE

1/2 cup white sugar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup water
1 small package Sugar Free strawberry Jello
1 quart strawberries (I like to use small ones), washed and stemmed

1 baked 8 or 9 in pie shell (your own or store bought)

  1. Stir the sugar and cornstarch together in a 2 quart sauce pan.
  2. Turn your flame up to medium and stir in the water (I use a wisk to get it all moving around so it doesn't get lumpy).
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cook on low, stirring for 1 minute (this minute gets rid of any starchy flavor).
  4. Add the jello off the heat and mix completely.
  5. Pour the mixture over the berries to coat completely.
  6. Pour berries into you pie shell.
  7. Refrigerate until set (a few hours).

This is 8 servings and only 3 points each.

I usually top each piece with a dollop of lite whipped topping and a big strawberry.

Monday, March 30, 2009

One + One + One = One (point)

The easiest and lightest way to make a great salad is to just remember my formula. I find that a salad - if it is quick - makes a satisfying snack or can really fill out a meal that just seems too small to satisfy. Try this...

  1. Mix your salad greens (lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, carrots, peppers, parsley - whatever you have on hand). Make sure all of these greens are dry.
  2. Toss with ONE teaspoon of health oil, such as olive oil. When I say toss I mean really toss to coat all the leaves - one teaspoon will do it.
  3. Add ONE teaspoon of Dijon mustard and toss again - at this point you can add spices if you like.
  4. Add ONE teaspoon of vinegar (any flavor you like) and toss again.
  5. Enjoy!

This is only one point. The reason it taste like a fully dressed salad with 3 or 4 points of dressing is because you tossed the oil in before the other liquids. The oil then has a chance to coat everything. If the other liquids are mixed with the oil or added at the same time the liquids will not allow the oil to stick to the leaves. Therefore it will require more oil to taste like a true vinaigrette.

If you are making salad for more than one person, just multiply by the number of people. Your guests will really like this.

Try it; it works!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Hummus - Green Pea

Although hummus is usually made from chickpeas, this green pea version is really good and has a beautiful green color....guest are always pleased and surprised by this twist on something that has become an hors d'oeuvre staple.

1 cup frozen green peas
1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt, Greek-variety recommended
1 medium scallion(s), chopped
1/2 cup dill, fresh
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil, extra-virgin
1 medium garlic clove(s), or more to taste
1/2 tsp ground cumin, or more to taste
1/4 tsp table salt, or more to taste
  1. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add green peas and return to a boil; simmer until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water and drain again.
  2. Place peas and remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender; process until smooth.
  3. Serve dip immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 2 days.

Yields about 1/4 cup per serving.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Asian Vegetable Soup - ZERO Points

Sure the garden vegetable soup is good, but that can be a bit tiring after a year of making the same old same old! Since 1/26/09 is the Chinese New Year, why not celebrate by treating yourself to this version of the zero point soup? I really enjoy the flavors in this one!


ASIAN INSPIRED SOUP

2 cups bok choy, chopped
2 cups cabbage, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh ginger root, finely chopped
4 oyster mushrooms (or any other that is available)
2 cups scallions, sliced
1 8 oz can slice water chestnuts
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 jar or can of bean sprouts (or 1 cup fresh)
2 cups snow peas, cut into spoon size pieces
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cut cilantro, fine chop
salt and white pepper to taste

  1. Put the bok choy, cabbage, garlic, ginger root, mushrooms, scallions, water chestnuts, bell pepper, pepper flakes, and broth into a large pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, cooking for 10 minutes.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and cook for 3 - 4 minutes more.

Hope you enjoy this soup in the year of the ox!