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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Turkey Sausage, Kale and Bean soup

There such a chill in the air today with the wind and the rain it was the perfect day for hot soup and hot tea. This one hit the spot!

1 t oil
1 package of light turkey sausage (kielbasa) sliced into rounds
1 onion, diced
5-8 baby carrots, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
two 32oz cartons chicken stock (NOT broth)
1 can beans (I usually use pinto)
2 cups of chopped Kale
Salt and fresh cracked Pepper to taste


Heat the oil in a nonstick pan, add the sausage cook on each side for about 2-3 minutes, I like for the sausage to get browned on each side. Then add the onions, carrots and combine for about 4 minutes, add garlic and cook for another minute.  Then add the stock and be sure to scrape the good bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the beans, bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer for about 10 minutes right before you are ready to eat, add the kale and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Weight Watcher friends: 1 cup of soup is 3 points so  a large bowl (of 2 cups) is only 6 points. I add extra kale to my  bowl because I love how hardy it makes it!

My kids and husband sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top of theirs :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

I have been making this one for years now, it was my father-in-law's favorite thing I make!! We had it at his 75th birthday party, oh how I miss him!

1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 T water
2 T Dijon mustard
2 T honey
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 T Olive Oil (if you are not a weight watcher person this recipe actually calls for 1/4 cup Olive oil)
1-2 large Onion sliced in rings
1 Pork Tenderloin
1/2 t Kosher salt
Pepper to taste

Whisk together vinegar, water, mustard, honey and olive oil until well blended. Add garlic and pepper and stir together. Pour into a large freezer bag with the onion rings and pork. Refrigerate for at least an hour but can be overnight.

When you are ready to cook, heat oven to 425 and heat a skillet on the stove to sear the tenderloin (KEEP THE MARINADE!) Sear the tenderloin on all sides, usually about 2-3 minutes per side so the pork gets a nice crust. Put it in a baking dish and put it in the oven for 25 minutes or until the pork is cooked through. Once it is finished let it rest for about 10 minutes. Then slice into medallions.

While the pork is cooking in the oven use the pan that you seared the pork and add the marinade and onions, bring to a boil scrapping off the bits of pork into your sauce and let boil for about 2-3 minutes. Then reduce heat and let simmer until the pork is done.

Pour the marinade/sauce over the pork and serve. My husband LOVES this with mashed potatoes and eats the sauce like gravy! So I always serve this with mashed potatoes and usually either green beans/broccoli or asparagus.

Weight Watcher Friends: This has 4 points per serving of pork. I usually eat it with a small amount of the mashed potatoes and lots of veggies. It is so flavorful and yum!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Greek Chicken Pita Salad

I made this last night and it was SO good!!!! This salad is awesome, very light and super good! I made my salad and marinaded my chicken around 2pm. Then when it was time to cook the chicken it was super easy because the salad was ready except for the chicken. I made the dressing while the chicken was cooking so the prep time took me about 15 mins and then again at meal time it took another 15 mins. So it seemed like an easy dinner!

1lb of thin sliced chicken breast
1 whole lemon
1 cup grape tomato halves
1 cucumber sliced (I like the seedless kind with the skin)
1/2 cup olives (black or kalamata)
1/2 red onion sliced thin
1 cup of low fat pita chips
5 cups lettuce (mix it up, I used Romain and spinach)
1/2 cup red win vinegar
1 t chopped garlic
3 T olive oil
feta cheese
salt & pepper

In a small bowl combine garlic, red wine vinegar salt, pepper and 2 t olive oil and some zest from your lemon (I added some fresh parsley because I had it on hand but you could add some dry Mediterranean spices), whisk well pour into a plastic bag and add chicken, and toss around to make sure the chicken is coated. Put in fridge to marinate for at least an hour but can be as long as you want.

In a large salad bowl  add lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion & olives.

To make dressing:
Use the juice of the lemon, should be about 3-4 T and some zest. Add 1-2 T of olive oil and whisk vigorously. I added 2 t of water, salt & pepper and whisked again. set aside until right before you eat.

In a large skillet on high heat add the chicken breast, mine were wet from the marinade so I did not add extra oil. Brown on both sides to make sure it is cooked through about 3-4 mins per side (depends on how thick your chicken is). Place on a cutting board and slice.

Right before you are ready to eat add the pita chips to the salad toss with the dressing, toss well. Divide into 4 salad bowls and add the cooked chicken and the feta cheese to each bowl.

For my WW friends: Each serving should have between 6-7 points with 1 T of feta, you will have to adjust the points if you use more feta or if you add more dressing.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Balsamic Beet & Goat Cheese Salad

Balsamic Beet & Goat Cheese Salad

1 bunch of fresh beets (3 large)
4-5 cups of fresh spinach or Arugula
1/4 of a red onion thinly sliced
1/3 cup goat cheese

1/3 cup of a good Balsamic Vinegar
2 T of Dijon mustard
2 T of honey
1 T of Olive Oil

Whisk together.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. cut stems and root end from the beets and wrap them each in tin foil. Place in the oven for 45 mins. Let them cool and wear glove when you peel them or your hands will be purple. Slice the beets in circles then cube them. Add them beets to the dressing and place in the fridge for an hour or more.

Place the salad greens in a bowl, top with red onions, beets and goat cheese. Drizzle the dressing from the beets on the salad and enjoy! I love to serve this salad as a side to a thinly sliced peppered tenderloin.

Weight Watcher Friends: The salad and beets have 0 points I count 1 point for the dressing because of the oil and usualy each serving gets no more than 2 points for the goat cheese, so depending on how much cheese you put on yours, it should have no more than 3 points which is incredible because it has HUGE flavor!!!

Veggie Ravioli and Turkey Sausage Ravioli

I always say, I am NOT a short order cook!!! I make one meal and if you don't like it, then don't eat it...but this is one that I did make a variation for my kids and husband, because even though I am not a short order cook I usually do make a few things each night and try to incorporate things that we all enjoy.
But this night I wanted a pasta and a bunch of veggies but I also knew the rest of the fam would want some meat :)
I bought a package of small cheese ravioli from Trader Joes and cooked the whole package
I also made one pot of a homemade marinara sauce (you could use a jar, I just prefer my own)

My marinara sauce:
3/4 tablespoon olive oil
1 whole onion diced small
3-4 cloves garlic (sliced or diced whichever you prefer)
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
fresh basil and parsley (as much as you like)
A few shakes of Garlic Garlic & Onion Onion
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat skillet and saute the onion for a min or 2 then add garlic (careful not to burn).  Add tomatoes, let simmer for about 5-7 mins then add salt, pepper and herbs.

Vegetable Ravioli:
1 zucchini (cut in rounds then quartered)
1 small squash (cut in rounds then quartered)
5 baby Bella mushrooms (sliced)
1 large handful of fresh spinach
1 1/2 cups of cooked cheese ravioli
2 cups marinara

Once the pasta was cooked I used a round pie dish for my ravioli. I put 1 1/2 cups of the cooked ravioli all the raw veggies and 2 cups of sauce and lightly tossed them. I sprinkled the top with a 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and fresh Parm. Place the pie dish in the oven at 350 for about 20-25 minutes. Cook until cheese melts and the veggies are al dente. I ate this with a big salad and divided the pie dish by 4 servings, each serving had between 6-7 points.

For my husband and kids I cooked up a package of turkey kielbasa sausage and cut them in small slices and cooked them in a frying pan. I added sliced mushrooms and sauteed them with the sausage. I used a glass casserole dish and added the meat & mushrooms, the rest of the sauce and cooked ravioli, lightly tossed it all together and covered it with mozzarella, fresh Parm and baked it at 350 for 30 minutes until the cheese was melted and the dish was bubbly!

Everyone was happy!

Chicken Burritos with Feta Creama

So here is a link to an awesome recipe that my dear friend, Tara, sent me. It was awesome, the whole family ate it up (mine and hers).

I made a slightly skinner version by using corn tortillas and not using as much oil as the recipe calls for, I used 1 tablespoon rather than 3 and I used reduced fat sour cream instead of full fat. Each of my burritos only had 4 points! They were so yummy! The chicken was so flavorful and I had some left which I used on top of a salad the next day.