Quick and Healthy Blueberry Oat Bran Muffins
May29

Quick and Healthy Blueberry Oat Bran Muffins

These moist and tasty muffins are SO quick and easy, and good for you too! Pop them in the freezer for a quickie breakfast-to-go, or fab for kids’ lunches.   Only 3 Weight Watchers PointsPlus for one low fat, high fiber, super-satisfying muffin!   I was pumped to find Toasted Oat Bran at Trader Joe’s. I’ve always been a huge fan of its creamy texture—kind of like Cream of Wheat meets Oatmeal. If you don’t live near a TJ’s, never fear, you’ll find it at most markets next to the oats. It’s delish for breakfast—or even as a late night snack. And since it’s a Weight Watchers Power Food, it’s ZERO POINTS if you’re following the Simple Start or Simply Filling plans.   What is Oat Bran?  I was surprised to discover that Oatbran isn’t just the ‘husk’ of the oat, but is contained in the outer layer of the ‘groat’ which remains after the shelling process. (Confused? So was I!)   Click here for the full explanation from Mornflake >>   Here’s my version of the Oat Bran Recipe on the back of the Trader Joe’s container. They have a nuttier, denser texture than traditional blueberry muffins (a/k/a cake!). And they’re, of course, waaaaay better for you!   Click here for my Trader Joe’s Shopping List (with WW Power Foods & PointsPlus) >>   Blueberry Oat Bran Muffins 2014-05-26 17:23:04 Yields 12 3 Weight Watchers PointsPlus per muffin. Write a review Save Recipe Print Prep Time 20 min Cook Time 15 min Prep Time 20 min Cook Time 15 min 110 calories 22 g 0 g 3 g 4 g 0 g 67 g 119 g 11 g 0 g 3 g Nutrition Facts Serving Size 67g Yields 12 Amount Per Serving Calories 110 Calories from Fat 30 % Daily Value * Total Fat 3g 5% Saturated Fat 0g 2% Trans Fat 0g Polyunsaturated Fat 1g Monounsaturated Fat 2g Cholesterol 0mg 0% Sodium 119mg 5% Total Carbohydrates 22g 7% Dietary Fiber 3g 11% Sugars 11g Protein 4g Vitamin A1%Vitamin C2% Calcium8%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 2 cups Trader Joe's Oat Bran, uncooked 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup fat free milk (or 1 or 2%) 2 egg whites, lightly beaten 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil 3 tablespoons honey 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries Instructions Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Line 12 medium muffin cups with paper baking cups or spray bottoms only with no-stick cooking spray....

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Olaf Cupcakes
Apr03

Olaf Cupcakes

My four-year-old is obsessed with the movie Frozen, so I thought it would be a fun project to make Olaf the Snowman cupcakes with her. And I was right!   I was surprised at how easily she bit his cute little head right off. (cold!)   Making fun cupcakes has been on my to-do list forever, because ever since my husband, Sam, put the Hello, Cupcake! app on my iPad, Aja has been completely enamored with it.   Highly Recommend this iPad app!   I then bought the book for her (when she was about three), and she would stare at the pages for hours on end. Hello, Cupcake: $9.20 on Amazon >>   I learned some great tips from her (my little one!) as she watched, learned, and quoted from this fantastic book and app! She had been nagging me to make something from the book, so I thought I’d combine her love for the movie and the book in this project. There wasn’t an Olaf Cupcake in the book, but I got some great tips, ideas, and inspiration from it. Don’t feel like you have to go to ten different stores and spend a fortune on special gels and gadgets—you can easily pull these together with some cupcakes, frosting, and a few candies. I just gave you details for the way we made them.   Aja insisted that we NOT use licorice (I’m guessing most four-year-olds find it as offensive as she does…?), so I fortunately—or unfortunately—discovered my new favorite candy whilst looking for a substitute. Licorice (my fav) and chocolate?! You’ve got to be kidding me! (I won’t tell you how many I ate while making these cupcakes.)   I’d love to see your versions of Olaf—PLEEZ send me pics! Especially the ones of your little ones making them. 🙂   Tips From Hello, Cupcake For fantastic cake mix cupcakes: Use buttermilk in place of the water, and add an extra egg (I used Duncan Hines Classic Yellow Cake Mix) Use a freezer Ziploc bag for piping the batter into the muffin cups   What You Will Need for SIX Olaf the Snowman Cupcakes 6 colored cupcake liners or mini doilies to set him on (Michael’s/Party City) 12 vanilla cupcakes (completely cooled) 12 mini vanilla cupcakes, papers removed (completely cooled) 1 – 2 x 16 oz cans vanilla frosting (recommended: Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Classic White) 12 mini marshmallows for the feet Chocolate Twizzlers for the hair and arms (or licorice or pretzels) mini eyeballs for the eyes (or mini brown M&Ms) (Michael’s/Party City) mini chocolate chips for the buttons (or brown M&Ms) Sunkist Orange Slices or Fruit...

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Fabio’s Mom’s Meatballs, made Light
Oct15

Fabio’s Mom’s Meatballs, made Light

One of my most special family times ever was making meatballs and sauce (from scratch!) with my hubby and little one. These are super-easy and fun to make, and mouthwateringly delicious!   Sam—who only makes Kraft Mac & Cheese—threatened to make them after accompanying me to Fabio Viviani’s Cooking Demo, but I didn’t think he’d actually follow through.   Look what I got Mr. Clean to do! (If he can do it, so can you.) He actually rubbed olive oil into his hands before rolling the balls!!! Needless to say it was a computer-free evening. (Oh! Now I get why he washed the dishes for an hour.)   Fabio insists that the secret to moist meatballs is to cook them right in the sauce, and after trying his, we agree. Do you sear your meatballs, or cook them right in the sauce?   At the risk of upsetting a feisty Italian, I used Laura’s Lean Beef (92% lean) instead of 80/20, recommended by Fabio.   Ricotta cheese keeps them moist, and they were just as tasty with low fat ricotta and lean beef.   You could, of course, make them with turkey, but then they would be turkey meatballs! I eat SO much turkey and chicken, that sometimes I crave that yummy, beefy taste. And these are healthier than many of the turkey meatballs out there. (Especially the pre-cooked ones.) Warning: Very more-ish! This was my third time making them (finally got down to posting the recipe), and once again I couldn’t stop thinking about them all night long, and went back in at 10pm! What is it about them that keeps you going back for more?   Serve with crusty Ciabatta Bread and/or Trader Joe’s Vegetable Radiatore. (5 Weight Watchers PointsPlus for 3/4 cup.)   Baby Broccoli sautéed in olive oil and garlic makes a great side dish—I don’t even need the pasta.   Tips for Success Mince the garlic and the shallots quite finely, because they’re not getting cooked before going into the meatballs. Shallots are a little milder and sweeter than onions. How to Mince a Shallot Keep the root end intact, and make one slice through the middle, horizontally, and then tiny slices almost all the way to the root, but not through it. That way all the pieces don’t separate and go all over the board.   I learned a great tip from Alex Guarnaschelli, to spread the meat around and up the sides of the bowl, so you can season it properly.   Oops! Not quite sure how much salt went into that batch.   The meatballs can be rolled the day before; cover with...

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Turkey Stuffed Zucchini, Yellow Squash and Red Peppers
Sep25

Turkey Stuffed Zucchini, Yellow Squash and Red Peppers

This is one of my favorite ways to make ground turkey, and to use up gorgeous yellow squash from the Farmer’s Market—and it’s easy, healthy and kid friendly. Use this recipe as a starting point, and make it your own! My husband jokingly (kind of) asked me why I would take the time to make this when there are so many good stuffed peppers on the market. (I obviously hadn’t left enough of a break between my favorite TJ’s and Costco stuffed peppers… and now this homemade version!) However, after asking for seconds, Mr. Picky proclaimed this to be one of his favorite things that I make. Hmm. I use brown rice as a binder (instead of panko) for extra whole-grain goodness, and sauté the squash middles with onions and garlic to add texture and sneak even more veggies into the dish. Minsley cooked brown rice from Costco makes it a snap! If you don’t like bell peppers, just use yellow squash and/or zucchini—it’s your house, so you can use whatever you like! You can even substitute ground chicken to change it up. Extra-lean ground turkey breast would lower the fat and calories, but it wouldn’t be as tasty or moist (or satisfying!), so I recommend using 93% lean.  I’ve used Giada’s Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce (Target) and Trader Joe’s Low Fat Tomato Basil Marinara, and they both work great. Your  favorite marinara sauce would be perfect! Scoop out the flesh with a melon baller Stuff veggies with turkey mixture Cover with marinara and parmesan The most accurate way to tell if poultry is cooked through is with an instant read thermometer. (165 degrees) Click here for Orna’s Trader Joe’s Shopping List >> Click here for Orna’s Costco Shopping List >> Cool Tools Instant read thermometer Turkey Stuffed Zucchini, Yellow Squash and Red Peppers 2013-09-25 00:44:24 Serves 6 10 WW PP per serving Write a review Save Recipe Print 384 calories 15 g 140 g 22 g 32 g 6 g 306 g 454 g 4 g 0 g 13 g Nutrition Facts Serving Size 306g Servings 6 Amount Per Serving Calories 384 Calories from Fat 200 % Daily Value * Total Fat 22g 34% Saturated Fat 6g 32% Trans Fat 0g Polyunsaturated Fat 5g Monounsaturated Fat 8g Cholesterol 140mg 47% Sodium 454mg 19% Total Carbohydrates 15g 5% Dietary Fiber 3g 10% Sugars 4g Protein 32g Vitamin A15%Vitamin C210% Calcium19%Iron18% * 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 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 1/4 pounds 93% lean ground turkey 2 red...

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Apricot Squares
Sep02

Apricot Squares

Grating the dough gives these tasty squares their good looks, and wonderful, crumbly texture!   The smell wafting out of my oven right now takes me right back to my childhood, when my older sister, Sharon, often made these delicious “farfel biscuits.” I’ve fleshed out the simple recipe from The New International Goodwill Recipe Book (which every young Jewish girl in South Africa got when starting out) with detailed instructions and pics. I hope you’ll give them a try, because they’re really easy, and you’ll probably find all the ingredients in your pantry! What you will need  Since this is a jam-centric recipe, buy a good quality jam. I’m partial to Bonne Maman, which is smooth and has a lovely taste, and most importantly doesn’t contain corn syrup. You can find it at most supermarkets these days—even Costco carries the Apricot Preserves, so you know they must be good! Spray baking sheet and line with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang for easy removal Grate half of the chilled dough directly onto the prepared pan Spread the jam evenly on top Grate the remaining dough on top Bake 20 – 25 minutes till golden; after 5 minutes carefully transfer to wire rack to cool completely Cut with a sharp knife into 2-inch squares Apricot Squares 2013-09-01 20:58:35 Yields 35 Write a review Save Recipe Print 184 calories 30 g 25 g 7 g 2 g 3 g 52 g 31 g 15 g 0 g 2 g Nutrition Facts Serving Size 52g Yields 35 Amount Per Serving Calories 184 Calories from Fat 57 % Daily Value * Total Fat 7g 10% Saturated Fat 3g 17% Trans Fat 0g Polyunsaturated Fat 0g Monounsaturated Fat 2g Cholesterol 25mg 8% Sodium 31mg 1% Total Carbohydrates 30g 10% Dietary Fiber 0g 2% Sugars 15g Protein 2g Vitamin A4%Vitamin C3% Calcium3%Iron2% * 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 1 cup butter, salted, room temperature 1 cup sugar 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 large eggs, room temperature 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 4 cups all-purpose flour 4 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt vegetable cooking spray 2 1/4 cups apricot jam, room temperature Instructions Lightly coat an 11 x 17-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray; line the bottom with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Spoon jam into a bowl, and beat with a rubber spatula to smooth out; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt to combine. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with...

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