Light Asian Broccoli Slaw & Quinoa Salad
Jan21

Light Asian Broccoli Slaw & Quinoa Salad

This deliciously refreshing salad has a little crunch, a little sweet, and a lot of healthy in each bite. And it literally takes TEN minutes to throw together!   I got the idea from my girlfriend, Nicole, who added tortilla chips to my Sweet & Spicy Tuna and Quinoa Salad (my most re-pinned recipe ever!), to make it less “light”. Loving the idea of the crunch, it inspired me to upgrade my Tuna Lunch Salad into a fun Super Bowl Party Salad, with cranberries and almonds. The quinoa absorbs the dressing and adds an interesting texture, not usually found in Chinese Chicken Salads—which started the craze for all the Asian-inspired salads—made with Ramen Noodles, which are higher in carbs, fat, and calories! (Who needs those?!) Did you know that a Chinese Chicken Salad at the Cheesecake Factory is 960 Calories?! They don’t even list the fat or fiber, so it’s impossible to calculate the points. I’m not sure why these cute little ancient grains (pronounced keen-wah) bring me such joy. 🙂 Especially now that you can buy pre-cooked packages at Trader Joe’s! (Love that!)     Mann’s is my favorite Broccoli Slaw because the red cabbage adds color, and I find Trader Joe’s Broccoli Slaw a little tough and unruly! But any brand will do—in fact, you could even use regular cole slaw to change it up.   Love that you can buy already-toasted almonds! Add them at the end to keep the crunch. If you’re not a fan, sunflower seeds or pepitas (pumpkin seeds) will do the job.   Trader Ming’s Sesame Soy Ginger Vinaigrette rocks! And I love that it doesn’t count on Weight Watchers Simple Start or Simply Filling. But you could substitute any light Asian-inspired dressing. If you’re using an Asian-style dressing with oil, you can leave out the sesame oil.   Sesame Oil gives a wonderful, rich flavor, and a little goes a long way. If you don’t have any, leave it out, but it adds a lot to any oriental dish, so it’s a worthy investment!   I use Trader Joe’s organic Dried Cranberries, which are just as tasty and sweet as the regular ones, but lower in calories and sugar. Trader Joe’s organic Dried Cranberries 3 PointsPlus for 1/3 cup (120 calories) Trader Joe’s Dried Cranberries 4 PointsPlus for 1/4 cup (140 calories)   Apple Cider Vinegar blends well with the other flavors, and the little bit of acidity brightens up the dish. If you don’t have any, you could use rice vinegar, rice wine vinegar, or even a drop of balsamic vinegar. Add Trader Joe’s Just Teriyaki Chicken or Teriyaki Tofu Trader Joe’s Organic Baked Tofu, Teriyaki Flavor to make it a...

Read More
Mario Batali’s Brutti Ma Buoni Cookies
Mar15

Mario Batali’s Brutti Ma Buoni Cookies

I first saw these Italian Meringue Cookies (translation: Ugly But Good) in a Weight Watchers Magazine, many years ago.   I finally made Mario Batali’s version from Foodnetwork.com—my go-to recipe resource—and they were simply divine. And the best part is they make a fantastic Passover Dessert and are low points to boot! (Weight Watchers PointsPlus value coming soon.) I’m not usually a fan of meringues, but these light, crispy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside, nutty puffs are delicious. I think the name is misleading because they are actually quite cute! The perfect sweet treat following a heavy holiday meal. In my humble opinion, most Passover Desserts are not worthy; not of the time to make them nor the calories to eat them! Since no flour or leavening agents are permitted, many recipes substitute Matzo Meal for flour. The best options are recipes that naturally don’t contain flour—like Flourless Cheesecake. And these cookies! Enjoy! Let me know how you like them. Freeze well. How to Whip Egg Whites Adapted from Baking at Home with The Culinary Institute of America Make sure there are no traces of fat in the whites themselves or on the equipment. (no yolk) Egg whites should be at room temperature when whipped, but are easier to separate while still cold. (Let rest 10 – 15 minutes after separating.) Begin whipping at a slow to moderate speed, until the whites loosen and become foamy. Add sugar gradually with mixer on moderate speed, then cinnamon, salt and vanilla, and increase speed to high. As more air is beaten into the whites, the texture becomes very smooth and the foam thickens enough to mound slightly. When you see the whisk start to leave track marks in the egg whites you are at the “soft peak” stage; the foam is still very glossy and moist, and when you pull the whisk out of the bowl and turn it upright, the whites slump over to one side in rounded peaks. As you continue to whip egg whites, they reach the “medium peak” stage. You will see distinct tracks left by the whisk or beater as you whip. The peaks formed when the whisk is lifted retain their shape longer, but are still glossy and smooth. This is the ideal stage for foams to be folded into batters. Maria Batali’s recipe calls for butter and sugar for greasing the cookie sheet, but I find it easier to just use parchment paper instead; and this makes the cookies non-dairy or pareve. I forgot what a huge quantity of cookies this recipe makes, and had to run out to pick up my toddler from preschool right in the...

Read More