FIVE Veggie Upgrades and Meal Ideas
Jan09

FIVE Veggie Upgrades and Meal Ideas

Steamed broccoli won’t stop me from reaching for hubby’s pizza, but if I have delicious veggies already prepared, it’s a breeze to stick to Simple Start and feel the Power Foods Love! I hope you’ll be inspired by my quick and easy Veggie Upgrades and satisfying Weight Watchers Simple Start meals!     Simple Roasted Winter Veggies 1 sweet potato, 1 yam, and 4 carrots: peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes. Spray half sheet pan covered with olive oil cooking spray. Spread out veggies in a single layer and spray them with cooking spray. Sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast at 425 degree F for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender and brown. They’ll be sweet and a little caramelized—yummm!   Turn into a Heart-Warming Winter Salad Toss Trader Joe’s Butter Lettuce and Radicchio (or greens of your choice) with Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil or Trader Joe’s Fat Free Balsamic Vinaigrette (0 WW PP for 2 tablespoons). Top with warm veggies, Turkey Meatballs, halved (Trader Joe’s frozen – 3 WW PP for 2 meatballs), and Parmesan Cheese (1 WW PP for 1 tablespoon) or kick it up a notch with Trader Joe’s Shaved Cheese Blend. (3 WW PP for 2 tablespoons) This is Mr. Picky’s FAVORITE lunch!     TIP: We LOVE slightly sweet and bodacious (can you call vinegar bodacious?), Gourmet Blends Traditional Balsamic Vinegar! I can’t wait for my salad every night because this vinegar is SO special! It’s somewhere between a reduction (like Trader Joe’s Balsamic Glaze) and a regular balsamic. Just sweet and thick enough! (And it’s ZERO points!)   I get mine at the Calabasas Farmer’s Market, but you can purchase them online at gourmetblends.us >>   Mushroom Madness Sauté sliced mushrooms in a nonstick skillet sprayed with Olive Oil spray; season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium high heat for 8 – 10 minutes. TIP: Crimini Mushrooms (Baby Portabellas) are meatier and more flavorful than Button Mushrooms, but either will work.   Make it a Mixed Grill This is my go-to, Power Foods, slim-down-fast meal! Add a Boca Original Vegan Veggie Burger, fried egg and sautéed tomato and onion slices cooked in cooking spray in a nonstick skillet. Sprinkle with Worcestershire sauce and/or mix ketchup and Worcestershire for dipping. – or – Guilt-Free Pasta Add Baby Spinach and Barilla Plus Spaghetti or Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Quinoa Fusilli Pasta, a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Parmesan Cheese for a light and healthy Pasta Entree. (You’ll only be paying points for the Parmesan: 1 WW PP for 2 tablespoons) – or – Polenta Topping Polenta is a great...

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Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
Dec18

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

This time of year—when we’re surrounded by tempting treats—this low fat, comforting soup will feel slightly indulgent and satisfy your sweet tooth, without taking you down! And it’s easy enough to make during the week, but special enough to serve for guests.   I was inspired to make this by the 2-pound container of butternut squash chunks (preservative free) at Costco.   You can, of course, just peel, core and cut up a large butternut squash to yield about the same amount. Nothing ever compares to the freshest ingredients that you peel and chop yourself, but sometimes using convenience items is the difference between getting a homemade dinner on the table, or just not attempting anything… so I’ll always opt for using precut veggies to help out when you need it! A touch of curry powder adds an interesting flavor, without overpowering the delicious squash or making it spicy. Trader Joe’s Curry Powder works perfectly in this recipe, but any mild curry powder will do.   “Sweat” the onions first, over low heat, to soften them and release the moisture—without browning them.   Garnish with Low Fat Greek Yogurt to balance the sweetness and add extra protein. If you’re doing Weight Watchers Simple Start or Simply Filling, Fat Free Greek Yogurt will keep this a Weight Watchers Power Food. Yummm!! Butternut Squash and Apple Soup 2013-12-18 14:32:41 Serves 6 4 Weight Watchers PointsPlus per serving. WW Power Food. Write a review Save Recipe Print 159 calories 28 g 0 g 5 g 4 g 1 g 351 g 59 g 10 g 0 g 5 g Nutrition Facts Serving Size 351g Servings 6 Amount Per Serving Calories 159 Calories from Fat 47 % Daily Value * Total Fat 5g 8% Saturated Fat 1g 4% Trans Fat 0g Polyunsaturated Fat 1g Monounsaturated Fat 4g Cholesterol 0mg 0% Sodium 59mg 2% Total Carbohydrates 28g 9% Dietary Fiber 5g 19% Sugars 10g Protein 4g Vitamin A322%Vitamin C60% Calcium9%Iron8% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Does this look wrong? Ingredients 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, high quality 1 large yellow onion, chopped 1 teaspoon mild curry powder 2 pounds butternut squash chunks (1 large) 2 small golden delicious apples, or other sweet apples 14.5 oz can (2 cups) low sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth) kosher salt freshly ground black pepper water Instructions Add olive oil, onions, curry powder, and two large pinches of salt to a large dutch oven or stockpot and cook uncovered, over low heat, for 10 - 15 minutes, until...

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Quick Cauliflower Curry
Jan03

Quick Cauliflower Curry

This is the most satisfying and indulgent, eat-the-whole-bowl-and-don’t-feel-bad food that I know of. And it’s sooo easy to make; especially if you use pre-washed cauliflower. (I’m not a huge fan of having to soak and de-bug the cauliflower myself!) My first Thanksgiving as a Weight Watcher, I remember being impressed and amazed at the “Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes” that everyone was making at the time. As you must know by now, I’m a total curry-head, so this is my take on that old recipe, with an Indian twist. Unfortunately, Indian food is often laden with fat and calories, and traditional Cauliflower Bhaje (my fav) can set you way back in points. It also takes time to develop flavors, and purchasing and toasting all the different spices can be expensive and time consuming. This is a super-easy way to get a curry fix, without breaking the PointsPlus bank! Warning: I was banned from making it in our house because of the stench of the cauliflower cooking in the microwave (our house really retains cooking smells)… but I figure that’s better than my husband having to listen to me whine and moan about my big butt!! On a more serious note—I’ve realized that I have to go back to taking care of myself and making and preparing the foods that keep me satisfied and in control. It makes me feel better about myself, and then I am a better wife and mother. That’s the ONLY thing I miss from my single days—I could cook and eat whatever I wanted! Fat-Free, Mashed Cauliflower Curry 2013-08-05 16:56:10 Serves 2 Write a review Save Recipe Print Prep Time 5 min Cook Time 5 min Total Time 10 min Prep Time 5 min Cook Time 5 min Total Time 10 min 49 calories 10 g 0 g 1 g 4 g 0 g 181 g 130 g 4 g 0 g 0 g Nutrition Facts Serving Size 181g Servings 2 Amount Per Serving Calories 49 Calories from Fat 5 % Daily Value * Total Fat 1g 1% Saturated Fat 0g 1% Trans Fat 0g Polyunsaturated Fat 0g Monounsaturated Fat 0g Cholesterol 0mg 0% Sodium 130mg 5% Total Carbohydrates 10g 3% Dietary Fiber 4g 16% Sugars 4g Protein 4g Vitamin A0%Vitamin C137% Calcium5%Iron6% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Does this look wrong? Ingredients 12 oz bag cauliflower florets, pre-washed (recommended: Trader Joe's) 1/2 - 1 teaspoon curry powder (depending on how spicy you like it) 1 teaspoon chicken flavor soup and recipe mix (recommended: Telma) 1 tablespoon hot water pinch of sugar...

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Orna’s Curried Veggies
Oct16

Orna’s Curried Veggies

This dish was inspired by the beautiful japanese eggplant and zucchini I found at the Tapia Brothers Pumpkin Patch in Encino. My first request when my dad comes to visit from South Africa is for my curry powder. Ok, the truth is, it comes a very close second… right after my Cadbury Top Deck and Cote D’or Bouchées. (If you don’t know what these two are you’re probably better off!) “Curry” is not necessarily synonymous with “spicy”. It is just a flavor which comes from a mix of spices (coriander, turmeric, red pepper, cumin, etc.) and you get many different types of “curry” dishes. I have such fond memories of going to the Oriental Plaza —the bustling Indian Market in Johannesburg—with my mother. I would happily tag along as she picked up fresh spices and magnificent fabrics, and then she would treat me to a fresh, hot samosa. (We pronounced it “samoosa”.) I don’t even know what spices exactly are in this fantabulous blend of curry-goodness that my dad gets custom-made by his special Indian lady, and shleps 10,000 miles for me. But when my nose comes anywhere near the bag, I literally start to salivate and daydream about what I can make with it. You, of course, don’t have to import custom-made curry from South Africa, but can buy any brand of yellow curry powder (Indian, not Thai) from your local grocery store. Even Trader Joe’s has a good curry blend. The first time I made curry for Sam (the husband), I didn’t fish out all the leaves, twigs and seeds, and he didn’t appreciate the “texture” of the dish. So I now strain it. But don’t worry, the kind you buy in the supermarket is just plain, simple powder. I’m sure the fancy, authentic Indian chefs would frown on me using ketchup and sugar in my recipe, and not cooking the spices first to bring out the flavor. But sometimes you don’t want to go to all that trouble, and this is healthy and super-delicious without all the work. Please try it and let me know how you do! Orna’s Curried Veggies Mild or spicy but always tasty! Notes: If you don’t like spicy food don’t worry, this will just be tasty but it won’t be hot. If you prefer more spice add 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Japanese eggplant is smaller and more tender than regular eggplant, so it won’t be bitter, and you’ll have less of the middle, pulpy part when you cut it up into small pieces. You can also use Chinese or Italian eggplant. Don’t cut up the eggplant until you are ready to...

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