Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I had the "luck o' the Irish" to share this recipe on a favorite blog of mine, Ma Nouvelle Mode.  It seems appropriate to share it here today in case you missed the guest post.

This ol' blog world has many green beverages, green snacks, and green desserts this time of year.  I wanted to give you something out of the norm but still delicious.  Please warm up with this soup and have a fantastic St. Patrick's Day!

Green Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 quart vegetable broth or stock
1 large (about 9-ounce) russet potato, peeled and cubed
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 pounds any mixed greens, like spinach, Swiss chard, bok choy, etc., torn into pieces
2 tablespoons dry sherry or dry white wine
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish, optional
Packaged crispy onions for garnish, optional

In large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.  Increase temperature to high, add vegetable broth and potato, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.

Stir beans and greens into pot.  Continue to simmer 5 to 10 minutes more, until potato is fork-tender and greens are wilted.  Pour soup into blender container, in batches if necessary, and blend until smooth.  Return soup to pot and stir in sherry, salt, and pepper, and warm through.  Serve in bowls with parsley and/or crispy onions sprinkled on top, if desired.  Makes 8 (1-cup) servings, 2 points plus for Weight Watchers or 125 calories each.

Note:  Like many soups and stews, if you have the time to make it a day ahead, the flavors will meld together and the soup will be even tastier.

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Secret

It's time to let you in on a little secret.  Time .  is  .  getting  .  away  .  from  .  me.  With a (fairly) new job and an upcoming wedding in our family, my time is filled with a myriad of mind boggling details.  Dinner these days is comprised of old standbys and quick combinations of things laying around the kitchen.  My passion for recipe development is sadly on hold as I put other things first.

I will be sharing with you less often.  Please use the tried and true recipes you have seen on these pages up till now and know that I'll return when time permits.  I have grown to love those of you who loyally come along side me and enjoy my recipes.  Thank you many times over.

I leave you for now with a creamy pudding recipe.  Oranges sat on my patio table, having fallen off our windblown tree. They made me dream of orange for breakfast, orange for lunch, and orange for dinner.  And then for dessert,  I dreamed up this pudding to use orange again.

With this recipe, you will have the richest, sweetest pudding - and you won't need to open a box to make it!  Even better, there will be no guilt in indulging.  Be sure to lick every bit off your spoon.

Chocolate Orange Pudding

2 cups plus 3 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk, divided
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest (use a microplane if you have one)
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fresh berries for garnish, optional

Pour 2 cups almond milk into medium saucepan and place over medium low heat.  In small bowl, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, orange zest, and salt.  Add remaining 3 tablespoons almond milk and vanilla and whisk until smooth.

When bubbles form around edge of saucepan and milk is hot, whisk in sugar mixture.  Raise heat to medium and cook, whisking often, until boiling and thick.  It should take about 20 minutes.  Pour into 5 small bowls and cover with plastic wrap that touches pudding to prevent skin from forming. 

Place in refrigerator to chill and finish thickening.  Before serving, garnish with berries if desired.  Makes 5 servings, 2 points plus for Weight Watchers or 111 calories each.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Peanut Noodles

I want to dive into this pot again and slurp up the yummy noodles.  Only problem is, they're all gone!

To make dinner quickly when I return home from work, it helps if I've made the individual parts of a recipe in the morning.  I boil the noodles, prepare the veggies, and mix up the sauce.  It all goes into the fridge.  Later, it ends up in my trusty nonstick skillet and onto our plates so dinner is ready in no time.

This recipe is rather flexible.  Whatever vegetables you have on hand can go into the mix.  Spice is up as much as you like - and start slurping!

Peanut Noodles

8 ounces brown rice spaghetti noodles
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1 carrot, finely grated
2 cups any other vegetables, chopped (I used baby bok choy and Swiss chard)
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chunky peanut butter
1 tablespoon hot sauce, or to taste (I used Tapatio)
1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 (13-ounce) can light coconut milk
Salt to taste, optional

Cook noodles according to package directions; drain and set aside.   Meanwhile, coat large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray.  Heat to medium and add green onions, carrot, other vegetables, and ginger.  Cook until vegetables are soft.  Stir in cilantro.

In small bowl, whisk together peanut butter, hot sauce, soy sauce, and brown sugar.  Add coconut milk and whisk until fully combined.

Place noodles in skillet with vegetables and add sauce.  Toss together and cook until heated through. Taste to see if salt is desired.   Makes 4 servings, 9 points plus for Weight Watchers or 378 calories each.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Asian Bean Burger

It's dinnertime.  There's nothing thawed, nothing planned, and hungry people.  What to do?

Open a few cans of beans and a few minutes later, dinner is served.

Asian Bean Burgers with Spicy Sauce

1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans
1/2 cup panko or other dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup fat free liquid egg substitute or 2 egg whites
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon reduced sodium soy sauce or tamari, divided
1 teaspoon dried ground ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced, divided
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon fresh chili paste, crushed red pepper, or wasabi paste, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Sandwich buns, optional

Rinse and drain beans and place in large mixing bowl.  Mash with fork, leaving some chunkiness.  Add breadcrumbs, green onions, egg substitute, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, ginger, and half the garlic.  Stir with wooden spoon until well combined.

Form bean mixture into 6 even patties.  Place on nonstick griddle over medium heat.  Cook 5 to 7 minutes until first side is golden brown and starting to crisp.  Flip burgers and cook an additional 5 to 7 minutes.

Make sauce by whisking mayonnaise, remaining 1 teaspoon soy sauce, remaining minced garlic, chili paste or other spicy ingredient, and sugar until smooth.  Serve hot burgers topped with sauce on buns or lettuce leaves.  Makes 6 servings, 4 points plus for Weight Watchers or 170 calories each (not including buns, if using).

Monday, February 13, 2012

Chocolate Mini Cupcakes

Uh oh . . . I've bought into the conventional wisdom that one must have chocolate for Valentine's Day.

Chocolate does not have to be bad.  This tiny cupcake gives you enjoyment without  guilt.  You could top it with icing or keep it simple like I did.  It quickly satisfied my "need" and I will not be sorry on Valentine's Day.

Chocolate Mini Cupcakes

3/4 cup unbleached white, whole wheat pastry, or gluten free flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon canola or other mild oil
1 1/2 teaspoons white distilled vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
Whipped topping or powdered sugar, optional

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Coat 2 (12-cup) mini muffin pans with nonstick spray or line with mini cupcake papers; set aside.

In mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking soda. In separate small bowl, stir together milk, applesauce, oil, vinegar, and vanilla.  Add liquid to dry ingredients and stir until just combined, then gently stir in chocolate chips.

Distribute batter evenly between muffin cups.  Bake 17 minutes, or until top of one cupcake springs back when gently touched.  Remove from pans and cool completely on wire rack.  Serve with a dollop of whipped topping or a sprinkle of powdered sugar, if desired.  Makes 24 mini cupcakes, 1 point plus for Weight Watchers or 47 calories each.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Saturday Scones

Driving home from work the other night, this is what I saw:

So beautiful, I just had to share.

Now, on to the food.  This past week, my husband ran a few errands when I was a bit "under the weather."  He came home from his trip to Costco with the most lovely carton of fresh raspberries.  These berries went against the produce rule I try to follow: buy local and organic.  But how can one resist when the berries look and taste so good?  So, scones were on the menu for Saturday morning.  What a treat!

Consider these for Valentine's Day morning.  They'd be perfect.

Raspberry Scones

2 cups flour, white, whole wheat, or gluten free
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons canola or other light oil
1/3 cup agave nectar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot water
1 cup fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat liner and set aside.  In mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Stir in oil, agave, and vanilla, just until combined.  Gently stir in water, then raspberries.  Batter will be thin at first, but will quickly thicken.

Using 1/4-cup measure, scoop batter onto prepared baking sheet, leaving about an inch between them.  Bake 12 minutes or until scones are golden.  Remove immediately from pan and serve.  Makes 10 scones, 4 points plus for Weight Watchers or 143 calories each.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Carrots - It's a Wrap!

If you know me or you follow this blog, you know my absolute favorite food is Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing.  Period.

Unfortunately, my attempt at a healthy diet does not allow me to indulge in my "favorite" very often.  When I saw this idea on a fun blog I follow called Chocolate-Covered Katie, I couldn't wait to come up with my own version. 

Carrot Cake Wrap

2 tablespoons Neufchatel (light) cream cheese, room temperature
2 teaspoons powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 low carb or low fat tortillas
2 small carrots, grated
2 tablespoons raisins
Sprinkle of cinnamon
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts, optional (I'm not a fan)

Mix Neufchatel, powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth.  Divide between tortillas and spread evenly.  Cover with carrots and dot with raisins.  Sprinkle with cinnamon, then walnuts, if using.  Roll up and cut in half on the diagonal.  Makes 2 servings, 4 points plus for Weight Watchers or 170 calories each.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Blueberry White Chocolate Muffins

Mention white chocolate and you've got my attention.  Something about the smooth creaminess of a bite of white chocolate melts my heart every time.

I recently saw a recipe for muffins made with raspberries and white chocolate.  Knowing I had a clamshell of blueberries in my fridge, I took the idea and ran with it.  A bit of lemon added a little zing, and the white chocolate took simple blueberry muffins to a whole new level.

Blueberry White Chocolate Muffins

2 cups white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/4 cup nonfat liquid egg substitute
2 tablespoons mild oil, such as canola
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Line muffin pan with paper liners.  In medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In small bowl, combine milk and lemon juice.  Let sit several minutes to curdle, then stir in lemon zest, egg substitute, oil, and vanilla.  Add liquid ingredients to flour mixture, stirring until just moistened.  Gently stir in blueberries and white chocolate.

Scoop batter into muffin cups, filling about 3/4 full.  Bake 14 to 16 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center of one comes out clean.  Makes 12 muffins, 4 points plus for Weight Watchers or 180 calories each.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Roasted Cauliflower

This is another shameless plug for roasted vegetables.  Cauliflower is in season right now.  If you, like me, do not like to stink up the kitchen with the smell of steamed cauliflower, roasting is for you.

The method is simple and the result is delicious.  Wash, core,  and cut the cauliflower into florets.  Pile them onto a baking pan covered with parchment paper or coated with nonstick spray.  Drizzle with only a tablespoon of olive oil for a huge head of cauliflower and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Spread florets out in a single layer.  Roast in a 400-degree oven for 15 minutes, stir, then roast 15 more minutes until browned on the edges.  Serve hot.

For more "roasted veggie" inspiration, click here, here, and here.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Recipe inspiration comes from unlikely places.  A sweet gift from my son and his girlfriend resulted in a sweet breakfast idea!

A beautifully packaged pancake mix made a quick meal using only eggs, milk, and syrup from my kitchen.  It occurred to me it would not be difficult to recreate the yummy treat with a few other ingredients.  No pretty package but a pretty plate of steamy pancakes!

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

1 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup white whole wheat or unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup nonfat liquid egg substitute
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
Warm maple syrup or other toppings, to serve, optional

Preheat griddle to medium high heat.  Measure milk and stir in vinegar; let sit several minutes to curdle.  In medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Stir in egg substitute and curdled milk, then chocolate chips.

Pour about 3 tablespoons batter onto griddle for each pancake.  Flip when bubbles appear and edges begin to look dry.  Pancakes are done when both sides are lightly browned.  Makes 10 pancakes, 2 points plus for Weight Watchers or 69 calories each.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Naan Pizza

Here is credit where credit is due:  my son created this pizza and eats it frequently.  He made it for me and I knew immediately it would make an appearance on Tracy Cooks it Right.

Naan bread has found it's way to most stores these days.  It's an oval-shaped flat bread a little thicker than pita.  I love the chewy texture of the whole wheat version, and the size is perfect for two lunch portions of pizza.

No way did Clark use "lite" cheese or (thrown together) homemade marinara sauce.  Prosciutto also found it's way under the cheese on his.  But even made my way, this lunch was quick and delicious and will make an appearance again real soon.

Naan Pizza

4 whole wheat naan breads (I used "Good Life" brand)
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
8 teaspoons pesto, homemade or storebought
6 ounces sliced lite provolone cheese

Place naan breads on griddle preheated to medium high heat to get warm on one side.  In small bowl, combine tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder.  Flip naan breads and spread tomato sauce almost to the edge of each one.

Spread 2 teaspoons pesto on top of tomato sauce on each naan bread.  Lay cheese slices evenly over pesto.  Continue cooking on griddle until cheese is melted.  Cut each naan bread into 4 slices.  Makes 8 (2-slice) servings, 5 points plus for Weight Watchers or 206 calories each.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Thai Soup

It began like this: I said to my girlfriend, "I have leftover coconut milk and I must think of something to do with it."  Neither one of us had an idea then, but a little while later, I was slurping soup.

Easy to make with mostly ingredients you'd have on hand, the simple but vibrant flavors will delight your tastebuds.  In the cold of winter, this soup will surely brighten your day.

Thai Vegetable Soup

1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup light coconut milk (from a can)
1 tablespoon red curry paste (I used "Thai Kitchen" brand from the Asian section of the market)
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons fish or soy sauce
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 large leek, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups), or use 1 large onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 broccoli crown, chopped (about 2 cups)
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced (about 3/4 cup)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 lime, juiced (1 tablespoon)
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, optional, for garnish

In medium saucepan, whisk together broth, coconut milk, curry paste, sugar, and fish or soy sauce; set aside.  In large nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add leek and garlic and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until leek begins to soften.  Add broccoli, pepper, and 1/4 cup water; cover and cook 3 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.  Set pan aside momentarily.

Place saucepan over medium heat and bring ingredients to a simmer.  In small bowl, whisk cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water until smooth.  Pour into simmering liquid and continue whisking until thickened.  Stir in vegetables and lime juice.  Ladle into bowls and top with cilantro leaves, if desired.  Makes 4 (1-cup) servings, 3 points plus for Weight Watchers or 115 calories each.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Birthday Sco-Nuts!

Ooh, ooh, ooh!  I'm so excited!  This month marks the first birthday of Tracy Cooks it Right.  I thought and thought about what I could make to celebrate.  What favorite could I lighten up to share with you?

I have a weakness for buttermilk donuts.  I know just where to go for the densest, sweetest glazed buttermilk donuts in my area.  The sad thing is, I can't bring myself to have this special treat but once or twice a year.  The fat and calories -  oh my!  So for my special celebration I bring you "Buttermilk Sco-nuts."  They are a cross between my beloved buttermilk donuts and scones.  Please enjoy!

And thank you to my special readers out there who stick with me through the thick and THIN of it all!

Buttermilk Sco-nuts

2 cups unbleached flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons stick trans fat free margarine
3/4 to 1 cup lowfat buttermilk

3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Coat a large baking pan with nonstick spray or parchment paper and set aside.  Measure flour, sugar. baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg into bowl of food processor.  Pulse until well blended.  Cut margarine into 1/2-inch cubes and add to bowl.  Pulse until mixture is well combined.

Dump flour mixture into medium bowl.  With wooden spoon, stir in 3/4 cup buttermilk plus more if needed, until mixture begins to form a ball.  Using hands, divide into 8 sections.  Form into oblong pieces about 4 by 1 1/2 inches each, place on baking pan, and flatten slightly.

Bake 12 minutes or until sco-nuts begin to brown.  Measure powdered sugar into small bowl.  Heat milk 10 seconds in microwave and stir into sugar along with vanilla.  Spread evenly on tops of sco-nuts and serve.  Makes 8 sco-nuts, 5 points plus for Weight Watchers or 204 calories each.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Roasted Vegetable Tart

If you are a food lover like I am, you probably get a thrill going to Williams-Sonoma kitchen stores.  I can spend hours browsing there.  It's dreamland for me! 

My recent trip lead me straight to the cookbook section and my eyes landed on a beautiful new book called Plenty.  It is written by the chef/owner of Ottolenghi, a renowned restaurant in London, U.K.  Turning the pages and gazing at the beautiful pictures, I was stuck on one.  "Ottolenghi's Very Full Roasted Vegetable Tart" imprinted itself on my mind until today when I made a "Tracy Cooks it Right" version.

This tart is a bit more complicated than my usual recipes but the end result is worth it.  Please don't let a few extra steps keep you from trying it.  And take a look at the beautiful book that inspired it.

Roasted Vegetable Tart

1 medium eggplant, diced in 3/4-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
6 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 (6-ounce) sweet potato, peeled and diced in 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
1 small zucchini, diced in 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
1 frozen pie crust, thawed
1/2 cup jarred roasted red and/or yellow peppers, well drained
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/3 cup part skim ricotta cheese
2 ounces lowfat Feta cheese
7 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup nonfat liquid egg substitute
1/2 cup nonfat creamer (I used So Delicious Original Coconut Milk Creamer)

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Cover baking sheet with parchment paper or coat with olive oil spray.  Place eggplant on pan and toss with 4 teaspoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Roast 12 minutes, remove from oven and stir in sweet potato.  Roast 12 more minutes, remove from oven and stir in zucchini.  Roast 12 more minutes, remove from oven, and reduce oven heat to 375°F.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add onion, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and bay leaves.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and golden, about 20 minutes.  Discard bay leaves.  Let onion cool several minutes.

Prick pie crust all over with fork and spread onions evenly in the bottom.  Place roasted vegetables on top of onions, and next, the peppers.  Sprinkle with half the thyme.  Dot with little pieces of the ricotta and Feta.  Lay tomato halves cut side up on top of the cheese.

In small bowl, whisk together egg substitute, creamer, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.  Pour evenly into pan.  Sprinkle with remaining thyme.  Place pan on baking sheet and bake 30 minutes, or until filling is golden on top and set.  Cool 10 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve immediately.  Makes 6 servings, 8 points plus for Weight Watchers or 327 calories each.

Note: The original recipe did not call for light ingredients.  You could make this with your own crust, regular cheeses, eggs, heavy cream, and lots of olive oil.  The nutritional information would be much different! 

Thursday, January 12, 2012


I must be craving cheese.  Not just any cheese.  Rich, elegant cheese like the Gorgonzola I had the other day.  Today I am dreaming of Brie.  Just a little bit, but melty and creamy and, well. . . rich.

There is something special about the combination of fruit with cheese.  In this case, strawberry jam in my sandwich contrasts beautifully with the Brie, but cranberry sauce, chutney, or any other fruit spread would be delightful.

Brie Grilled Cheese

2 slices sprouted wheat bread (I used Fresh and Easy brand)
1 ounce Brie cheese, thinly sliced
Several leaves fresh spinach
1 tablespoon strawberry jam or other fruit spread
1 teaspoon butter or trans fat free margarine

Place bread on flat surface; lay cheese on one slice and top with spinach.  Spread jam on other slice.  Put sandwich together and  butter one side with half the butter.  Place butter side down on hot griddle and spread remaining butter on top slice.

Cook until golden brown on first side, then flip sandwich and cook until golden brown on other side.  Cut in half and serve immediately.  Makes one serving, 10 points plus for Weight Watchers or 378 calories.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Gorgonzola Frittata

Add one elegant ingredient to an otherwise simple recipe and all of a sudden you have an over-the-top dish.  Gorgonzola cheese is the perfect elegance to enhance a frittata.

If Gorgonzola is not a flavor you favor, try goat or feta cheese instead, but a thrilling flavor is achieved with this tangy, rich blue cheese.  And don't be afraid to use egg "substitute."  It's not really a substitute at all, but just egg whites with beta-carotene added to provide the yellow color yolks would add.  You save on fat, calories, and cholesterol, and you get the benefit of a healthy lean protein.

Gorgonzola Frittata
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup nonfat liquid egg substitute
1/4 cup nonfat creamer (I use So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a seven or eight-inch ovenproof skillet.  Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic.  Cook, stirring frequently, about five minutes until onion is translucent and carrots soften.

Preheat broiler.  Combine egg substitute, creamer, salt, and pepper.  Pour over vegetables in skillet abd sprinkle with Gorgonzola.  Cover and cook 5 to 8 minutes until frittata is almost set.  Place under broiler for 2 to 4 minutes until golden brown on top.

Let frittata rest several minutes and serve warm.  Makes 4 servings, 3 points plus for Weight Watchers or 136 calories each.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Garlic Herb Romanos

Perusing the frozen vegetable section at Trader Joe's, I stumbled upon these intriguing beans.

A simple skillet side dish seemed the best use of them.  So yummy and so easy!

Garlic Herb Romano Beans

1 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons butter or trans fat free margarine
1 (1-pound) package frozen romano beans
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (I used thyme and rosemary)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add oil and butter or margarine and cook until bubbly.  Stir in beans and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes, until defrosted and warmed through.

Add herbs, salt, and pepper to skillet and cook, stirring gently, 2 more minutes.  Serve immediately.  Makes 4 (3/4-cup) servings, 1 point plus for Weight Watchers or 50 calories each.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sausage Stuffed Peppers

One of my favorite easy dinners is sausage and pepper sandwiches.  Today I give you a fresh new take on this old family recipe.

Omitting big Italian rolls filled with the sausage and peppers results in a much lighter meal.  Serve with a green vegetable or salad to keep the light theme going.  After all, it is the new year, and we could all benefit from increasing our vegetable intake.

Sausage Stuffed Peppers

4 medium red, orange, or yellow bell peppers, tops sliced off and reserved, seeds and veins removed
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 (3-ounce) links Italian sausage, cut lengthwise and sliced in 1/4-inch slices
          (I used Trader Joe's vegetarian style)
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 ounces sliced lite Provolone cheese

Preheat oven to 375°F.  On stove, bring large pot of water to rolling boil.  Add peppers and boil two minutes; drain and reserve.  Measure olive oil into large nonstick skillet and bring to medium heat.  Toss out stems of peppers and chop remaining tops.  Add to skillet along with onion.  Cook and stir three minutes until vegetables begin to soften.

Add sausage to skillet, raise heat to medium-high, and cook about eight minutes, until sausage begins to brown. Stir in tomato sauce; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes until thick.  Take skillet off heat and stir in breadcrumbs and salt.

Coat baking pan in which to snugly fit whole peppers with nonstick spray.  Fill each pepper with one-fourth sausage filling.  Bake 25 minutes, then remove from oven and lay cheese slices evenly on top.  Place back in oven for five more minutes to melt cheese.  Makes four servings, four points plus for Weight Watchers or 202 calories each.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Picnic Seafood Wrap

My family had a fun beach picnic and hike on New Year's Eve day.  What a pleasant way to look forward to the new year and reminisce about the old.  Of course, yummy food was involved.

These wraps come together quickly and taste better after sitting in the ice chest awhile.  With light potato chips and selection of fruit, topped off with my mother's chewy peanut butter bars,  we were fueled for our hike.  Fun times and special memories!  Happy New Year to one and all!

Seafood Wrap

1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound imitation crab, shredded
1/3 pound cooked baby shrimp
1/2 cup thawed frozen artichoke hearts, chopped
1/4 cup thawed frozen peas
5 light flour tortillas (I used La Gloria brand, made from white whole wheat)
About 10 fresh spinach leaves
1/2 medium avocado, sliced

Combine mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper.  Place crab, shrimp, artichoke hearts, and peas in medium mixing bowl.  Add dressing and mix well; set aside.

Lay tortillas on flat surface and place several spinach leaves and avocado slices on each.  Divide seafood mixture evenly among tortillas, about 3/4 cup each.  Roll them up, tucking in the ends.

Cut wraps diagonally and serve, or wrap in foil and take on a picnic.  Makes 5 servings, 6 points plus for Weight Watchers or 248 calories each.