Monday, January 19, 2009

Pork Lo Mein and Egg Rolls

This is a Weight Watchers recipe and I personlly thought the points values for the pork were kind of high for what you get. Like I said before, I prefer large volume and low points. The egg rolls, on the other hand, were awesome! 1 point per egg roll!! I had to go to a lot of stores to find egg roll wrappers. Nick finally found spring roll wrappers at an Asian market in Ann Arbor. I don't think they are the same thing but they worked just fine. It also made me start brainstorming that you can use the wrappers and stuff just about anything inside.....spring roll burritos, anyone?? Stay tuned for future posts!

Pork Lo Mein Ingredients
8 oz. lean pork tenderloin - cut into strips
3 TBSP low sodium soy sauce
1 TBSP minced garlic
2 TBSP fresh ginger - peeled and minced
8 oz. uncooked linguini
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 c. carrots - thinly sliced
1 tsp. canola oil
4 oz. buttom or shiitake mushroom caps - sliced
1/2 c. reduced sodium chicken broth
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1/3 c. scallions - sliced

Pork Lo Mein Instructions
1. In a med. bowl, toss pork with 2 TBSP of soy sauce, garlic and ginger. Let stand 20 min.

2. Meanwhile, cook linguini in a large pot of lightly salted water. Add carrots to pot 5 min before linguini will be done. Drain and set aside.

3. Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over med/high heat. Add mushrooms and pork. Increase heat to high and stir fry until mushrooms release their liquid and become lightly browned and pork is cooked through. About 6 min.

4. Add drained linguini and carrots, broth, remaining soy sauce and sesame oil to skillet. Toss over low heat until combined. Remove from heat and stir in scallions. Serve immediately.

Egg R0ll Ingredients
1 head Chinese cabbage - outer leaves removed - shredded
2 med. carrots - peeled and shredded
2 garlic cloves - minced
2 scallions - white and green parts - chopped
1 TBSP fresh ginger - peeled and minced OR 1/2 tsp dried
1 TBSP low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp. cornstarch
8 average egg roll wrappers - about 1/2 oz. each
4 sprays olive oil cooking spray

Egg Roll Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Place cabbagee in a bowl and cover. Microwave on high until wilted, about 4 min. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Add carrots, garlic, scallions, ginger, soy sauce, cornstarch and oil. Mix well.

3. Arrange egg roll wrappers oon a clean, dry surface. Spoon cabbage mixture diagonally onto each wrapper. Folder over one corner to cover filling. Fold up borth corners. Moisten edges of remaining flap with water and roll up wrapper jellyroll style until sealed. Transfer egg rolls to prepared baking sheet and coat with cooking spray.

4. Bake until golden brown, about 25 min. Serve hot.

Serving size - pork - 1 1/4 c. - 7 points. Egg Rolls - 1 roll - 1 point

White Turkey Chili - Crock Pot

Weight Watchers Crock Pot chili. This was tasty and easy. I didn't use the full 2 pounds of turkey but it was still good. Nick is pretty much obsessed with cilantro so he was excited to see that this recipe calls for it. In the bottom left corner of the picture is a spoon. It looks a little weird.

1 spray cooking spray
2 lbs uncooked ground turkey breast
1 large onion - chopped
2 garlic cloves - chopped
32 oz. chicken broth
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chili powder
30 oz. canned white beans - drained and rinsed
3 TBSP fresh lime juice
1/4 c. fresh cilantro - coarsely chopped

1. Coat a large skillet with cooking spray. Cook turkey, onion and garlic over med/high heat,stirring occasionally, until turkey is browned - about 10 min. Drain off and fat.

2. Add turkey mixture and remaining ingredients to a crock pot. Cover and cook on low heat for at least 4 hours. Top with extra cilantro before serving.

Serving size - 1 c. - 5 points

Baked Blueberry Peach French Toast

I started making this on Saturday morning and as I was pulling it out of the oven, Nick reminded me that we were meeting his parents for lunch at 11am. It was 10:30. So, into the fridge the dish went and we ate it the next day. I think I would cook it a little longer because it tasted a little mushy to me. Either that or sticking it in the fridge overnight might have messed it up too. FYI - you can make it up until the point that you have to bake it. Cover it and then just cook it when you're ready. Nick and Ben both liked it.

16 slices light whole wheat bread - I don't know what they are talking about here. I only used 12ish and that was cramming them together.
1 c. blueberries - fresh OR frozen - thawed
1 c. peaches - chopped - fresh OR frozen - thawed
2 1/2 cc. fat free skim milk
2 c. fat free egg substitute
2 TBSP sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 TBSP powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400.

2. Arrange 8 (or in my case, 6) slices of bread in bottom of a 9x13 inch basking dish, squishing slices together to make one layer. Sprinkle blueberries and peaches over top.

3. In a med. bowl, whisk together milk, egg substitute, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Pour half of milk mixture over fruit and top with another layer of bread. Pour remaining milk mixture over bread. Using a spatula, press top layer of bread down to saturate with milk mixture.

4. Cover dish with foil and bake 20 min. Uncover and bake until egg mixture is set and top is golden brown, about 10 min more. Cool slightly before sifting powdered sugar over top. Slice into 8 pieces.

Serving size - 1 piece - 4 points

Baked Mac & Cheese plus Broccoli with Cheese Sauce

Mac and cheese that is waist line friendly!!! I made it while Nick ran to the store and ended up leaving it in the oven for an extra 10 min waiting for him to get home, which soaked up some of the extra cheese. I used some of the cheese sauce from the broccoli and it was still super yummy!! I would definitely recommend this one!! The broccoli was good. I was indifferent to the cheese sauce but added it anyway in an attempt to convince Ben that veggies can be tasty. He said "I didn't mind them". He is too funny. He has started figuring out that I count the points to everything and now he wants to know how many points are in the foods he eats. Interesting twist - he thinks the most points wins! Nick tried telling him it's like golf but I think it got lost in translation.

Mac & Cheese Ingredients
12 oz. uncooked macaroni, elbow type - I used Ronzoni Smart Taste which shaves off a point
1/2 c. fat free sour cream
12 oz. fat free evaporated milk
8 oz. low fat chedder - shredded
1 TBSP. dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 TBSP dried bread crumbs
2 TBSP grated parmesan cheese

Mac & Cheese Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and transfer to a bowl. While pasta is still hot, stir in sour cream and set aside.

3. Heat milk in a small saucepan over med heat until tiny bubbles appear just around the edges. Apparently, this is called scalding. Reduce heat to low, add cheese and simmer until cheese melts, stirring constantly with a wire whisk, about 2 min. Remove from heat and stir in mustard, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

4. Add cheese mixture to pasta and mix well. Transfer to a 3 quart casserole dish.

5. Combine bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over pasta.

6. Bake until top is golden. About 30 min.

Broccoli Ingredients
1 lb. fresh broccoli florets
1 1/2 c. fat free skim milk
2 TBSP flour
3/4 c. low fat shredded chedder
2 tsp. dijon mustard
3/4 tsp salt

Broccoli Instructions
1. Steam broccoli until crisp-tender. I threw it in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap and threw it in the microwave for about 5 min. Drain off excess water once steamed.

2. Meanwhile, in a med saucepan, whisk together milk and flour until blended. Place over med/high heat and bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 3 min. Remove from heat. (as I type this I just realized I skipped the whole thickening step...I guess that explains why my sauce was a little runny) Whisk in cheese until melted. Whisk in mustard and salt.

3. Pour sauce over broccoli and toss until coated. FYI - there is a lot of cheese sauce for the amount of broccoli. I served the broccoli and then drizzled cheese sauce over top. Or you can add more broccoli to the recipe.

Serving size - Mac & Cheese - 1 c. - 5 points - 4 points with ronzoni pasta. Broccoli - 1 c. - 2 points

Weight Watchers Cheese Sticks

Weight Watchers did this whole special on remaking comfort food so I printed a lot of the recipes. This was one of them. I am using the stock photo because I kept them in the oven about 30 seconds too long and the cheese melted just a bit too much and they turned into cheese patties instead of cheese sticks. They still tasted fabulous but not so pretty. Anyway, my only recommendation is to pay attention to the time because if you miss the point to take them out you end up with mush. Also, I want to share a grocery store find that I use in this recipe. Aunt Millie's Fiber for Life bread - 2 slices for just 1 point. 1 slice is actually ZERO points.

2 sprays olive oil cooking spray
8 oz. canned tomato sauce
2 tsp. ground oregano
3 slices reduced calorie wheat bread - torn
1 tsp. dried thyme
8 oz. park skim mozzarella cheese - cut into 8 finger-like shapes
2 TBSP. honey mustard

1. Preheat oven to 400. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. In a small saucepan, combine tomato sauce and 1 tsp. of oregano. Set pan over low heat and simmer 10 min.

3. Meanwhile, in a food processor (or blender, in my case - see previous post) combine bread, remaining tsp. oregano and thyme. Process until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Place crumbs in shallow bowl.

4. Coat cheese sticks with honey mustard. Transfer cheese to bread crumb mixture and turn to coat. Arrange cheese on prepared baking sheet and lightly coatt with cooking spray.

5. Bake until golden brown - about 4-5 min. Serve with warmed tomato sauce on the side.

Serving size - 2 sticks and 1/4 c. sauce - 4 points

Stuffed Shells and Zucchini Flan

The shells were tasty and super cheesy. The recipe calls for canned sauce but I would add some seasoning to it just to jazz it up a bit. Other than that, super easy and yummy. The zucchini flan was delicious! I actually ate the leftovers for breakfast the next day. I used a grater to shred the zucchini and it worked but took forever. I would definitely recommend a food processor if you have one. Nick and I have added that to the mental wedding registry list.

Stuffed Shells Ingredients
1 c. part skim ricotta cheese
1 c. fat free cottage cheese
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 TBSP dried oregano
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 c. canned tomato sauce
1 lb. cooked jumbo shell pasta - approx. 24 shells

Stuffed Shells Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Mix together cheeses, salt, garlic powder, oregano and pepper.

3. Spread a few spoonfuls of tomato sauce on bottom of a 9x13 in. dish.

4. When cookeed shells are cool enough to handle, fill each shell with cheese mixture and place in baking dish. Side note: make sure you get a good grip on the shell, they are slippery little buggers. When all the shells are in dish, spoon remaining tomato sauce over shells. Cover pan and bake for 20 min.

Zucchini Flan Ingredients
7 small zucchini - trimmed and shredded
2 sprays olive oil cooking spray
4 large eggs - beaten
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. fresh oregano - minced OR 1/4 tsp. dried
1/3 c. parsley - minced (I just used dried, aboout 1 TBSP)
1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese (I found fat free and used that - tasted the same to me)
1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2. TBSP olive oil

Zucchini Flan Instructions
1. Steam, parboil, or microwave shredded zucchini until soft but not mushy, about 2-7 mintues, depending on the cooking method. Drain thoroughly and allow to cool.

2. Preheat oven to 375. Coat a 9x13 inch baking dish wiith cooking spray.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked zucchini, eggs, salt, pepper, oregano, parsley, feta, parmesan and oil. Pour into a prepared baking dish. Bake until center sets, about 3o min. Allow to cool for at least 5 min before cutting into 12 pieces. Serve hot, warm or chilled.

Serving size - 4 shells - 4 points & 1 piece of flan - 2 points

Chicken Curry Saute and Curried Cauliflower

Weight Watchers curry style. It was pretty good but I didn't find it very spicy. I ended up adding a bunch more curry to my personal plate. I am always on the lookout for low point high volume dishes and the cauliflower dish is one to add to the list. 2 cups is only 4 points. 2 cups is A LOT of cauliflower. Also, my mom gives me a hard time about not cooking a lot of carbs for Nick. She thinks he is going to wilt away to nothing. So anyway, I made some instant brown rice to serve this over. Rice is about 4 points per cup.

Chicken Ingredients
4 tsp. olive oil
1 lb. chicken breats - cut into strips
1 onion - chopped
2 garlic cloves - minced
2 tsp fresh ginger - peeled and minced
2 carrots - sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
3/4 c. reduced sodium chicken broth
1 TBSP. tomato paste
1 c. grape tomatoes - halved
1/4 tsp. salt

Chicken Instructions
1. Heat 2 tsp. oil in a large skillet over med/high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until browned and cooked through, about 3 min. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

2. Heat the remaining 2 tsp. oil in the same skillet over med/high heat. Add the onion, garlic andd ginger. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 2 min. Add the carots andd curry powder. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 min. Stir in the brooth and tomato paste, bring to a boil. Boil until the liquid starts to thicken and the veggies are crisp-tender, about 2 min. Stir in the chicken, tomatoes and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 1 min.

Cauliflower Ingredients
1 large onion - chopped
1 TBSP. fresh ginger- peeled and minced
2 garlic cloves - minced
2 TBSP curry powder
6 c. cauliflower florets
1 1/2 c. canned chickpeas - rinsed and drained
1 Golden Delicious apple - peeled and chopped
2 c. veggie broth
1/2 c. plain greek-style yogurt - I couldn't find greek style so I just bought fat free plain yogurt

Cauliflower Instructions
1. Spray a large nonstick saucepan with nonstick spray and set over med heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 3 min. Add the ginger and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, just until fragrant, about 30 sec. Add the curry powder and cook, stirring constantly, just until fragrant, about 20 sec. Add the cauliflower, chickpeas, and apple. Cook, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, about 2 min.

2. Stir in the broth and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits with a spoon. Reduce the heat and cook, covvered, until the cauliflower is tender, about 15 min.

3. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the yogurt and stir until blended. Let the curry stand, covered, until the yogurt is heated through, about 5 min.

Serving size - chicken - 3/4 c. - 4 points. cauliflower - 2 c. - 4 points

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Hunter Style Chicken

Another Weight Watchers recipe. Nick made this one while I was with my mom at a wedding florist consultation. I walked in the door to candles and this yummy smelling dish. He served it over elbow macaroni so you would need to add 4 points per cup of pasta to the total or 3 points for the ronzoni pasta. Very good!

2 chicken breasts - cut into big chunks
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 tsp. olive oil
1 onion - chopped
3 garlic cloves - minced
2 bell peppers - we used red but orange or yellow are fine - seeded and chopped
1/4 lb. white mushrooms - sliced
1 celery stalk - chopped
28oz can diced tomatoes
small can tomato paste

1. Sprinkle the chicken with the salt and pepper. Heat 2 tsp. of the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over med/high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned - 3-4 min on each side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.

2. Heat the remaining 1 tsp. of oil in the same skillet over med/high heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened,, about 3 min. Add the peppers, mushrooms and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5-6 min. Return the chicken to the skillet, add the tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir to coat and mix everything. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered until the chicken is cooked through and the veggies are tender - about 20 min.

Serving size - 1 piece of chicken with 1/2 c. veggies and sauce - 4 points

Vegetable Lasagna

Another Weight Watchers veggie laz recipe. The one I posted quite awhile ago didn't have any cheese in it. This one is absolutely loaded with cheese. Also, Ben (the 6 year old) loves this recipe. It calls for shredded carrots and I would suggest buying shredded carrots instead of trying to shred baby carrots; majoy PITA! Again, I subbed the Ronzoni lasagna noodles in place of whole wheat noodles (same points value). I cook the pasta while doing steps 2 and 3. It saves a little time and all of the components need to cool before assembling.

9 lasagna noodles - cooked and drained - I don't remember where I read this but if you cool your noodles by laying them out on foil they don't stick to each other and get all nasty and tear.
8 tsp. olive oil
1 onion - chopped
2 garlic cloves - chopped
1 tsp. dried basil
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1/4 c. tomato paste
1 tsp. salt
2 zucchini - halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
4 carrots - shredded
30 oz. fat free ricotta cheese
2 c. fat free mozzarella - shredded
1 egg

1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9x13 inch pan with nonstick spray.

2. Heat 4 tsp of the oil in a large saucepan over med/high heat. Add the onion, garlic and basil. Cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 2 min. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste and 1/2 tsp of the salt. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cool sauce 10 min.

3. Heat the remaining 4 tsp of oil in a large nonstick skillet over med/high heat. Add zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally until lightly browned, about 6 min. Add the carrots and the remaining 1/2 tsp. of salt; cook, stirring occassionally, until carrots soften, about 4 min. Remove the skillet from the heat and cook the veggie mixture 10 min.

4. Combine the ricotta cheese, 1.5 c. of the mozz ceese and the egg in a bowl.

5. Spread 1/3 of the sauce over the bottom of the pan. Top with 3 noodles. Spread half of the cheese mix over the noodles. Top with half of the veggies and 1/3 of the sauce. Repeat layering the 3 noodles, remaining half of cheese and the veggies. Top with the remaining 3 noodles, 1/3 sauce and 1/2 c. mozz cheese.

6. Cover the lasagna with foil and bake about 35 min. Uncoverand bake until the lasagna is hot and bubbly - 10-12 min. Let stand 10 min before serving.

Serving size - 1/8 of lasagna - 7 points

Cheesy Chicken & Salsa Skillet

Another Food & Family recipe that turned out pretty good. Nick made this one and he was quite proud. The thing I love about the Food & Family recipes is the fact that they are super easy to make. Plus, a lot of the time you can make the entire recipe out of things you have in your fridge already!!

2 c. multigrain penne pasta - I think I mentioned this before, but I use Rozoni Smart Taste pasta which is a white pasta but has extra fiber in it which translates to 1 less point per cup than regular pasta
1 lb. chicken breasts - cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 c. salsa
1 c. frozen corn - thawed
1 green pepper - cut into short, thin strips
1 c. reduced fat mexican style shredded cheese

1. Cook pasta.
2. Meanwhile heat a large skillet sprayed with cooking spray on med/high heat. Add chicken, cook and stir 2 min. Stir in salsa, corn and peppers. Bring to a boil. Simmer on med/low heat for 10 min or until chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally.
3. Drain pasta. Add to chicken mixture, mix lightly. Sprinkle with cheese. Remove from heat and cover. Let stand 1 min or until cheese is melted.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Tater-Topped Casserole

This issue of Food and Family was basically a thousand variations on the casserole. Perfect for the month of December because I never really felt like cooking much because of everything else going on. I could just throw these together in a few minutes and get other things done while they were baking. Plus Ben seemed to like most of them.

1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion - finely chopped
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 c. milk
1 c. frozen mixed veggies - corn, peas and carrots
1 c. shredded chedder
1 lb. tater tots

1. Heat oven to 375. Brown meat with onions in skillet. Drain and spoon into 8 inch square dish.
2. Mix soup and milk. Pour over meat mixture. Top with layers of mixed veggies, cheese and potatoes.
3. Bake 45 min until potatoes are golden brown and casserole is heated through.

Pork Chops with Apples and Stuffing

Super easy, kid friendly pork chops. All I had to do was tell Ben that it included apple pie filling and he couldn't wait to eat it.

1 pkg stuffing mix for chicken
21 oz. can apple pie filling
6 boneless loin pork chops

1. Heat oven to 375. Prepare stuffing as directed.
2. Spread pie filling onto bottom on 13x9 inch pan sprayed with cooking spray. Top with chops and stuffing. Cover with foil.
3. Bake 30 min and uncover. Bake an additional 10 min or unti chops are cooked through.

Like I said - quick and easy. This might be my shorted post so far.

Amazing Bars

These are chocolate-peanut butter mallow bars from Food and Family. I made them to bring out to my future in laws for a little gathering. My future mother-in-law is known for her desserts and I normally don't even attempt dessert when we are going out there but I couldn't resist with these. I got tons of compliments. They basically combine every yummy thing into one ooey gooey bar.

1 pkg devil's food cake mix
1/2 c. butter - melted
2/3 c. cold milk
3/4 c. creamy peanut butter
7 oz. marshmallow creme
1/2 c. salted peanuts
6 squares semi sweet chocolate - coarsely chopped

1. Heat oven to 350. Mix dry cake mix, butter and 1/3 c. milk until blended. Press 2/3 onto bottom of 13x9 inch pan. Bake 12-14 min until center is almost set. Cool 3 min.
2. Mix peanut butter and remaining milk, spread onto crust. Top with spoonfuls of marshmallow creme and remaining cake mixture. Sprinkle with nuts and chocolate. Press gently into cake mixture.
3. Bake 18 min or just until center is set. Cool before cutting into bars.

Chicken and Biscuits

Another Food & Family recipe. Over the holidays I sacrified eating extremely healthy and instead opted for food that was quick and easy to prepare. That and it wouldn't take hours of convincing Ben to eat it. He really liked this one and I was able to throw the veggies in there to ease my concience. Definitely not a friendly food for those trying to lose weight.

1 can cream of chicken soup
3/4 c. sour cream
2 c. cooked chicken - chopped
16oz. frozen mixed veggies - the carrot, peas and corn combo
1 c. shredded mild chedder
1 c. bisquick
3 TBSP. milk

1. Heat oven to 375. Mix soup and 1/2 c. of sour cream in 8 inch square baking dish. Add chicken, veggies and cheese. Mix.
2. Place baking mix in medium bowl. Add remaining 1/4 c. sour cream and milk. Stir until stiff dough forms.
3. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls into 6 mounds over the chicken mixture. Bake 35 min or unti biscuits are golden brown and chicken mixture is hot and bubbly.

Steak/Potatoes/Broccoli Weight Watchers

I used 3 different Weight Watchers recipes for this meal. The steak is called Steal au Poivre. The broccoli is Microwave Broccoli with Spicy Garlic Oil. The potatoes are Mashed Potatoes Gremolata. The steak had a really good sauce and Nick really liked it. The broccoli was really full of flavor and a cinch to make. And the potatoes were good too. I cut the potato recipe in half since it is meant to serve 6. We had a ton of leftovers still. I started the potatoes first and while I waiting for those to cook is when I started cooking the meat. I threw the broccoli in the microwave when the meat was almost done. Bonus - you get an entire steak and potatoes meal for only 7 points.

Steak Ingredients
4 (3oz.) beef tenderloin steaks - 3/4 inch thick - trimmed of visible fat
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
3 tsp. olive oil
1 onion - chopped
2 garlic cloves - minced
1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme, minced - or 1/2 tsp dried
1 c. reduced sodium beef broth
2 tsp dijon mustard

Steak Instructions
1. Sprinkle the steaks with the salt. Press the pepper onto both sides of each steak. Heat 2 TBSP of oil in a large skillet over med/high heat. Add the steaks and cook until a thermometer reads 145 for med-rare. About 3 min on each side. Transfer the steaks to a plate. (we cooked them a little longer and I would still call it med/rare)
2. Heat the remaining 1 tsp oil in the same skillet over med/high heat. Add the onion, garlic and thyme. Cook, stirring frequently, until slightly softened - about 2 min. Add broth and bring to a boil. Cook until mixture reduces by about 1/3. Stir in the mustard.
3. Add the steaks with any accumulated juices to the skillet. Cook until heated through, about 30 seconds on each side.

Serving size - 1 steak with 3 TBSP sauce - 4 points

Potato Ingredients
2 lbs red potatoes - peeled and quartered - I kept the skins on
2 tsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove - minced
1/2 c. reduced sodium chicken broth
2 TBSP fresh parsley - chopped
3/4 tsp lemon zest
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper

Potato Instructions
1. Combine the potatoes and enough cold water to cover by 2 inches in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered until the potatoes are fork tender - 15-18min. (once the water was boiling is when I started the meat)
2. Drain the potatoes in a colander. Heat the oil in the same saucepan over low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly until fragrant- about 30 seconds. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring frequently, until dry - about 2 min.
3. Meanwhile, microwave the broth until hot
4. Coarsely mash the potatoes with a potato masher or wooden spoon. Stir in the hot broth, parsley, zest, salt and pepper until blended. (this step made me add to the registry list - I never realized that I didn't have a potato masher. I also never realized what a PITA it is to mash potatoes with a wooden spoon. I wouldn't recommend it, unless you like very lumpy mashed potatoes.)

Serving size - 1/2 c. - 2 points

Broccoli Ingredients
1 lb. broccoli crowns - cut into florets - I love broccoli crowns. Way easier to deal with than the whole head of broccoli
2 TBSP water
4 tsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove - minced
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
4 lemon wedges - I just used the same lemon I zested earlier. Not pretty but functional

Broccoli Instructions
1. Combine the broccoli and water in a large microwavable bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and prick a few holes in the plastic. Microwave until the broccoli is crisp/tender - 3ish minutes. Stir once, halfway through cooking. Drain and return the broccoli to the same bowl.
2. Combine the oil, garlic and crushed red pepper in a separate bowl. Microwave until the garlic sizzles - about 30-45 seconds. Add the oil mixture and salt to the broccoli. Toss to coat and serve with the lemon wedges.
Serving size - 1 1/4 c. - 1 point

Deviled Beef Short Rib Stew

This recipe came from a "Cooking with Beer" cookbook I picked up at the Target Dollar Spot (my favorite spot in Target). The picture isn't the greatest but it had a lot of flavor. I wouldn't however say it was beer flavored but good anyway. Plus it's a crockpot recipe which I love! Also, I cut the recipe in half and we still had more than enough for leftovers.

4 lbs beef short ribs - trimmed (I used beef stew meat instead and it worked fine)
2 lbs small red potatoes - scrubbed and cut up
8 carrots - peeled and cut into chunks
2 onions - cut into thick wedges (I ran out of onions but it would definitely help the flavor)
1 bottle beer
8 TBSP. brown mustard
3 TBSP worcestershire sauce
2 TBSP cornstarch

1. Broil ribs 6 inches from heat on rach in broiler pan 10 min or until well browned, turning once (I just put them on a cookie sheet and it worked fine). Place veggies in bottom of crock pot. Place meat on top of veggies.
2. Combine beer, 6 TBSP mustard and 2 TBSP worcestershire in medium bowl. Pour into crock pot. Cover and cook on high 5 hours or until meat is tender.
3. Transfer meat and veggies to a platter to keep warm. Strain fat from broth and pour broth into saucepan. Combine cornstarch with 2 TBSP cold water in a small bowl. Stir into broth with remaing 2 TBSP mustard and 1 TBSP worcestershire. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to med/low. Cook 1-2 min or until thickened. Stir often. Pass gravy with meat and veggies.

Creamy Strawberry Puff Pancake

I made this Christmas Eve morning for Nick, Ben and myself. It is in no way a waistline friendly food but it is so yummy, it's worth the splurge. It calls for red current jelly but I just used strawberry and it was fine. It also calls for fresh strawberries which are about impossible to find right now so I just used frozen and thawed them first.

1 c. flour
1 c. milk
4 eggs - beaten
2 TBSP butter/margarine
3/4 c. ricotta cheese
1 tsp. grated orange peel
3 TBSP. powdered sugar
2 TBSP. red currant jelly
2 c. sliced fresh strawberries

1. Heat oven to 450. In a medium bowl combine flour, milk and eggs. Whisk until smooth.
2. Melt margarine in medium ovenproof nonstick skillet over med/high heat. Coat skillet with melted butter. Immediately pour batter into hot skillet.
3. Bake at 450 for 20-25 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.
4. Meanwhile in a small bowl, combine ricotta, orange peel and 2 TBSP of the powdered sugar. Mix well. Spoon jelly into small bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 10-15 seconds or until melted. Stir until smooth.
5. Remove pancake from oven. Pancake will collapse. Immediately spoon ricotta cheese mixture over pancake. Top with strawberries, drizzle with melted jelly. Sprinkle remaining TBSP powdered sugar over top. Cut into wedges. Serve immediately.

Shrimp Pomodoro Pasta

Another Food & Family magazine recipe. Nick actually made this one while I was at work and he did such a good job, I decided to include it in the blog. Super easy and pretty good. I like my food spicy so I added crushed red pepper flakes after making it. Also, the recipe calls for penne pasta but Nick used rotini. I don't think it really matters all that much in this dish.

1/2 c. balsamic vinaigrette dressing
1 onion - finely chopped
2 garlic cloves - minced
1 can (28oz) diced tomatoes - undrained
2 c. penne pasta
1 lb. cooked cleaned shrimp (I just buy the frozen bags at the grocery store and thaw them)
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese

1. Heat large skillet on med/high heat. Add dressing, onions and garlic. Cook 2 min. Stir in tomatoes and cook 12ish minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile cook pasta.
2. Add shrimp to sauce - cook 2 min or until heated through.
3. Drain pasta, toss with shrimp mixture and sprinkle with cheese.

That's it! Super easy.
Serving size - 1.5 cups - 8 weight watchers points

Breakfast Sandwich

I came up with this one on my own and thought it was pretty good. Basically it's a "healthy" version of an egg mcmuffin. Ben and Nick loved it.

3 egg whites per sandwich
the refrigerated biscuits that come in the scary tube thing that pops when you open it
low fat or fat free cheese slices
turkey bacon

1. Cook the biscuits according to instructions.
2. Cook the egg whites, add salt and pepper and garlic to taste
3. Layer the bacon, cheese and eggs on the biscuit and serve