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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Shrimp and Grits

I love Shrimp and grits, I love to order them out, I love all the variations on them, how everybody does them differently and I really love how it makes me sound like a country girl from Georgia when I say "I'm makin' shrimp n' grits!"  Ha! This week I saw Texas Gulf Shrimp on sale at the store so I picked up a pound. This recipe is loosely based on a Bobby Flay Shrimp and Grits Recipe that I have. Except mine has 1/2 the calories and all the flavor, go me! Really the secret is cooking the grits in stock instead of water, gives them tons of flavor without added fat!

4 cups (1 32 oz box) chicken stock
3/4 cup quick grits
1/3 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1 t butter
1 lb shrimp, cleaned & de-viened
3 slices bacon
2 scallions
1/4 of a red onion, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lemon, just the juice
1 t Creole/Cajun seasoning

Add 4 cups of stock to a sauce pan and bring to a boil, whisk in the grits stirring to make sure they don't clump. Return to a boil then reduce the heat and cover for 5-7 minutes or until they are cooked. (You don't want them thick, at this point they should be a little runny, they will thicken as they sit, so just remove from the heat add the butter and cheese, stir to combine and let sit).

Add 3 slices of bacon to your non-stick skillet, cook until crisp, remove from pan and let the bacon drain and cool on a paper towel, once cooled crumble the bacon. Then add the onion and garlic to the bacon grease (there shouldn't be much grease with only 3 strips of bacon but if it is a lot then dab with a paper towel). Mine wasn't bad so I just threw the garlic and red onion right in the pan and cooked for 2-3 minutes then add the shrimp and the Creole seasoning. Cook until pink about 3-5 minutes. Finally, squeeze the lemon juice on top add back in the bacon crumbles and the scallions. Cook for 1-2 minutes then serve on top of the grits! YUM!!!

I sprinkled some seasoning on the shrimp before I threw them in the skillet
Sauteing the garlic and onion...
These grits are ready for the cheese...
Pour into your dish, I used my pie pan...
Once the shrimp is cooked, add the bacon and scallions, mmm the house smells good!
Pour on the grits and eat it up!

Weight Watcher Friends: This recipe makes 4 servings at 7 points per serving.

Source: Bobby Flay

Monday, April 23, 2012

Grilled Flank Steak

I love flank steak, it's so versatile. Just throw it in a Ziploc bag with whatever seasonings you like, marinate then grill it and you have a great dinner! Most of the time I throw in onions, lime juice and cilantro and make it a Mexican meal but a few weeks ago our good friends Mark and Diana had us over for dinner and they made a wonderful flank steak with an Asian flair and it was so good!! I bought a pretty flank steak this week and called her for the recipe when she gave it to me and I found out it had a 1/2 cup of oil in it (1/4 cup sesame and 1/4 cup of vegetable oil), I then knew why it was so great! So I modified her recipe for a couple of reasons, one was to make it leaner but the other is because I didn't have some of her ingredients. Mine turned out great, my husband said if I made this every night he would be happy, so thanks Diana for the inspiration!

1 lb Flank Steak
1/4 soy sauce (I use gluten free)
2 T Rice wine vinegar
1 t Canola Oil (sesame oil would have been good, but I was out)
1 T fresh ginger, minced
1 T fresh garlic, minced

Place steak in a Ziploc bag, add the rest of the ingredients, move it all around to coat the meat. Marinate for at least 1 hour but the longer the better. Heat grill to high then cook steak  for about 6 minutes per side (or as long as you would like depending on how done you like your steak). Let the meat rest for at least 5 minutes up to 10 and slice meat thinly against the grain.
Marinate the flank steak.
Hot off the grill...
Slice thinly and against the grain of the meat for tenderness.
I served it with  Asain Broccoli Slaw and rice noodles that were tossed in soy sauce, honey and dijon mustard, thinly sliced carrots and onions topped with cilantro.

Weight Watcher Friends: This serves at least 4 adults, each serving is 4 points! Not bad for steak!! I served this with my broccoli slaw and it was great! Which makes for a nice dinner under 6 points~

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Salsa Jack Chicken

I made this Friday night, on a whim. My husband came home from work and I had gotten a new jar of Jack's Fresh Salsa from Costco. Have you had it?? It is yumm-o! I like to slice carrots in half so they have flat side for scooping and use them like chips for my salsa, a great 0-point way to snack! Anyway I wanted more salsa so I just made this up, my husband did not sound thrilled when I told him but I said let me try and we can see if it is any good. It took about 10 minutes from start to finish and it was great! Since he was having a beer and sitting at the bar chatting with me we cut some up and put them on chips and made little apps. This is ridicuoulsy simple, nothing fancy, just yummy so I wanted to share!

1 pound chicken breast, sliced in half
1 t olive oil
1/2 cup fresh salsa
6 T Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
Fresh chopped cilantro, for garnish

 Directions: Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add oil. Season chicken breast with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Add chicken breast to skillet and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side or until cooked through. Remove from heat, top each chicken breast with 1 tablespoon of Monterrey Jack cheese, allow cheese to melt, then top with one tablespoon salsa. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve.

Hot from the skillet

Top with cheese, it will melt quickly, mmm melting cheese!

Topped with Salsa then garnished with fresh cilantro

Oops, I ate it while I was photographing then wasn't hungry for dinner :)

Then we cut it into bite sized portions to make a little appetizer, super yummy on a chip!

Weight watcher friends: I used a 1 pound package of chicken breast for my recipe I sliced each breast and half giving me six breasts. I had six servings at three points per serving.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sweet and Sour Pork

Lately I have been making lots of Asian style dinners. I have found that they are easy to make gluten-free, which is good for me, also my husband seems to like anything as long as it's "Chinese food". Traditionally if you ordered this in a Chinese Restaurant, you would get little breaded, fried pork pieces, this is a much lighter version which I think is much better and 10 times healthier. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to pull this one off, however, it turned out great! After my son cleared his plate he pulled a stool over to the stove and ate all the pork out of the pan, leaving me nothing but sauce and veggies for leftovers, and I consider that a sign of a good meal!
1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 green bell pepper, diced large
1/2 red bell pepper, diced large
1/4 fresh pineapple, cubed
1/2 onion, diced large
1/2 cup water chestnuts, sliced
2 t canola oil
Seasons for pork: salt, pepper & garlic powder to taste

2/3 cup chicken stock
4 T soy sauce (I use gluten-free)
1 T ketchup
2 T brown sugar
1 t cornstarch
1/2 t garlic powder


Whisk together chicken stock, soy sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, cornstarch and garlic powder and set aside.
Season cubed pork with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Heat oil over medium-high heat, add pork and let brown, try not to stir the pork for the first 2 to 3 minutes to allow pork to turn golden brown. Once it forms a golden brown crust begin to stir it around and cook through then remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

Next add the onion, cook for 2 minutes, then add red and green bell peppers, cook for 1-2 minutes, next add water chestnuts. Then turn heat to high and add sauce mixture, bring to a boil then reduce heat and let the sauce thicken, this will only take about 2-3 minutes. Add the pork back to the sauce/veggie mixture and cook for 3-5 minutes on low heat. Just before serving add the pineapple, you just want it to be warmed through, not cooked. Serve immediately over steamed rice.

1lb pork tenderloin trimmed and cut in 1 inch pieces,
Seasoned and cooked
Veggies cooked, I did moisten them with my Misto a couple times
Sauce thickens pretty quick...
And is delicious over rice!

Weight Watcher Friends: This was great and very low in points and very high in flavor! The pork, veggies, and sauce divided into 5 servings is 3 points each. I made 3 cups of cooked rice and served the sweet and sour pork on top which made it 6 points per serving.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Sautéed Chicken with Tangy Salsa

I have been in such a recipe rut lately... it has really been quite a drag. But this afternoon I pulled this one out of the air, and I'm so glad I did because we all enjoyed it. This is a great recipe to make on any given night because it uses staples that we all have in our kitchens.

For the chicken:
6-8 chicken breasts, sliced thin
2 t olive oil
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
Garlic powder

For the salsa:
1.5 cups tomatoes, diced (I used half cherry and half grape because that's what I had)
1/4 cup red onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 t red wine vinegar
1 T fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

For this dish it is best to prepare the salsa ahead of time. Mix tomatoes, red onion, garlic, vinegar, parsley, salt and pepper. Gently stir to combine. Refrigerate for up about an hour.

Season chicken breast with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Adding as much or as little as you would like, keeping in mind that the tangy salsa has a lot of flavor! Heat a non-stick skillet to medium-high, add oil, heat then add chicken. Cook on each side for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from pan and plate the chicken immediately adding a tablespoon of mozzarella cheese to each chicken breast, this way the cheese will melt quickly. Top each chicken breast with 1 to 2 tablespoons of tangy salsa. Serve immediately.

Weight Watcher Friends: I used 1lb chicken breast and cut them into thin slices I had 8 slices, each slice was 3 points with the cheese and salsa. The salsa is 0 points so if you like it, eat up!

Sunday, April 1, 2012


I can't believe I haven't ever blogged this one before, I used to make it all the time but haven't in a while. I have been in a new recipe funk lately, nothing major just sort of un-inspired. I am excited for summer veggies they always get me in a fresh-new-food-mood.  This morning, I got out some old cookbooks looking for some inspiration and saw this oldie but goodie. Glad I did because we ate good tonight!

2 slices of bacon, diced (I bought 2 slices of peppered bacon from the meat counter, yum!)
2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
7 oz turkey kielbasa sausage, sliced
3/4 lb whole shrimp, peeled
1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 T garlic, minced
3/4 cup peas, frozen
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 10 oz package of yellow saffron rice

Cook rice according to the package directions and set aside. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until brown. Move bacon to a paper towel and pour most of the grease out (about 80% leaving a small amount for cooking the chicken and sausage). Add the sausage to the pan and brown on both sides, then move to the side of the pan and add the chicken. Once the chicken is cooked through add the veggies, onion, red and green bell pepper, garlic. Stir to combine and cook until the vegetables soften. Return the bacon to the pan. Turn heat to high, add 1/2 the chicken stock (you may need more but just start with 1/2), add the peas and place the shrimp on top, cover and simmer for 3-5 minutes until the shrimp are cooked. Add the hot rice to the pan and stir to combine, add salt and pepper if needed and serve.

Once the chicken is cooked, push the meat to the sides and add the veggies to the center, once they begin to soften mix it all together

Weight Watcher Friends: This recipe serves 6 adults 1.5 cups per serving. Each serving has only 8 points!

Source: Recipe adapted from  Make it in Minutes; Weight Watchers cookbook