Orna’s New Year Soup
Jan05

Orna’s New Year Soup

I went to TJ’s yesterday to get ingredients for soup (the first thing I do to get myself back on track), but alas, their truck hadn’t arrived and I couldn’t find most of my usuals (mirepoix, cauliflower, etc.). So I decided to change-it-up (leeks, parsnips, etc.)… and who knew, it turned out to be a big hit! (even with picky one and two) BTW – if you’re not buying TJ’s mirepoix (chopped onions, carrots, and celery), you should be!  You can mix and match veggies and liquids, and even seasonings—just use this as a base if you like. But then you can’t throw me under the bus if it doesn’t turn out delish (wink) Would you believe that I can’t use emoticons because wordpress literally obliterates every single word I type following it.  Yup, I’ve lost entire posts because of one cute little wink or smile. (Argh) And the secret ingredient is… If you’ve been following me you’ll know that my usual secret soup ingredient is curry powder, but since I love the taste of Good Seasons Italian Dressing (made with balsamic vinegar = huge yum) I thought… hmmm… I wonder how this would be in my soup? And it’s a big thumbs up. (New secret ingredient!)   And PLEASE peeps, taste, taste, taste, and season, season, season! You have to taste your food to know if it’s going to be delicious—so taste it along the way and add more salt and pepper if necessary. If it’s too acidic add a pinch of sugar. (I’m sure you won’t need any for this soup though because the squash and carrots are sweet) And if you wanted to garnish it with parmesan cheese, go for it! My little one prefers it pureed (she drinks it out of a cup with a straw), so I use an immersion blender and add some back to the soup to thicken it. (Much easier and less mess than a blender or food processor) Our Costco has immersion blenders for a steal, or you can find good ones on Amazon >>   Anyway… without further ado, here’s my latest soup recipe. (Check out my YouTube channel for my other version with curry as the secret ingredient. And check out my Butternut Squash and Apple Soup for another quick soup idea) Orna's New Year Soup 2016-01-05 14:50:53 Delicious, healthy, quick vegetable soup. Write a review Save Recipe Print 1164 calories 248 g 0 g 19 g 28 g 3 g 2483 g 606 g 78 g 0 g 14 g Nutrition Facts Serving Size 2483g Amount Per Serving Calories 1164 Calories from Fat 169 % Daily Value * Total Fat 19g 30%...

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Get a Veggetti! (Fab Zucchini Noodles)
Jul17

Get a Veggetti! (Fab Zucchini Noodles)

I first saw Zinguini (zucchini “noodles”) on Caffe Delfini’s menu in Santa Monica—where they claim to have invented them. (Only in LA, right?!) But you probably know by now that I have a slight pasta obsession (okay, major), so I’m not about to order vegetables masquerading as spaghetti on date night.  But when I saw this Veggetti at Bed Bath & Beyond, I thought it would at least be fun to try with my four-year-old, and mayybeeee get her to eat more veggies. You’ll find this Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Cutter on Amazon for $13.05   It couldn’t be easier to use. You literally just insert the zucchini (aka baby marrow or courgette) or carrot, cuke—you name it—and twist…   and out come beautiful noodles! (Make sure to get large veggies or it won’t work as well.)   Okay, you probably realized from the face that Aja only made a couple—the rest was me.   Most surprising was that it felt like I was eating spaghetti!!! (Waaaaay better pasta fix than spaghetti squash or broccoli slaw.) SO yummy that I just couldn’t wait to share it with you. And it’s of course a Weight Watchers Power Food—fab if you’re doing Weight Watchers Simple Start or Simply Filling. (Or Gluten Free, Paleo, Mediterranean Diet, or any other kind of Low Fat, Low Carb, Clean Eating)   The plan was to plate it and take beautiful pics for you, but I just. couldn’t. stop. eating it… and so before I knew it there was nothing left to photograph. (Sorry) Plus, taking pics is the most tedious, painful process for me (does it look appetizing? will people want to pin it?) so this time I just decided to-hell-with-it, I’m just eating and posting.  Luckily I took a quick snap of it in the pan!   You could serve it as a side dish, or top with your favorite tomato sauce and parmesan. Yum!  I used Trader Joe’s Everyday Seasoning—a wonderful blend of mustard seeds, salt, pepper, garlic and just enough chili pepper for a slight kick—which happens to be from South Africa, but that’s not why I love it. But if you don’t live near a Trader Joe’s (sad as that may be), you could just as easily use S&P and garlic powder.     Next time I’ll try Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute which is my favorite spice blend. I use it in my Cauliflower Muffins which are aah-mayzing! >> Click here for my Trader Joe’s Shopping List (with Weight Watchers Power Foods and PointsPlus values) >>    Simple Start Dinner Idea For the ultimate low point, high-protein, Power Food dinner, serve with a tilapia filet sprayed with...

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Simple Sauteed Broccolini (Baby Broccoli)
May09

Simple Sauteed Broccolini (Baby Broccoli)

This way of making broccoli/broccolini/broccolette is reeeeeally easy, reeeeeeally healthy, and even your little ones will like it. Trust me—you’ll never make steamed broccoli again! My friend, Sloane, just invited me to do a recipe swap—which I was reluctant to do, because the last time I did it almost all the people I invited declined, and it seemed to be more trouble than it was worth. But since Sloane is a fabulous cook, I thought I’d give it a go. (Sorry in advance to the 20 friends who will soon be getting the invite from me!) And then to choose a recipe… where to even begin?! The instructions were for something simple–preferably that you make from memory. AHA! My Sauteed Broccolini! It MUST be good, because my other friend, Nicole, called me for the recipe after I made it for her and her two little darlings. (When you get a two, three, and four year old to eat your veggie dish, it’s a happy day!) Here are the little princesses making Valentine’s Cookies (That’s mine on the left)   And then I thought… if I’m typing this up to send out in a recipe swap, shouldn’t I be sharing it with the rest of you…? So here it is! What is Broccolini? Similar to broccoli, but with a milder, sweeter taste and smaller florets. Fun for kids to grab onto the long, thin stalks—especially if they have those pretty little yellow flowers, which BTW are edible. Though sometimes labeled “Baby Broccoli” it is not, in fact, “young broccoli”, but rather a hybrid of broccoli and kai-lan (Chinese Kale), and is popular in Japan. I usually buy it at Trader Joe’s (fav TJ’s veg!)—but these days you’ll find cute little bunches of it in the produce section of most US markets. Click here for my Trader Joe’s Shopping List (with Weight Watchers Power Foods and Points Plus) >>   At Vons (Safeway) look for Broccolette   I couldn’t live without my Masterclad 12-inch nonstick pan (I have two!)—look out for them at Costco trade shows, where they are heavily discounted. The one with the lid is perfect for sautéing and then steaming veggies. Click here for my Costco Shopping List >>   How to Smash Garlic Smashing garlic makes it easier to peel and releases its garlicky oils, which will flavor your olive oil just enough, and the larger pieces of garlic won’t burn as easily as little ones. Place the back of your chefs knife down on the clove and carefully give it a whack or two with your fist. Then slice off the end and peel. Have you...

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Asian Cole Slaw
Apr07

Asian Cole Slaw

This versatile slaw is light, crunchy, and refreshing—fab for summer entertaining. (And waaaaay better for you than traditional Coleslaw!) Only 5 Weight Watchers PointsPlus per serving. It pairs wonderfully with brisket or steak. (Perfect for Passover!) Goes great with Chinese Take-Out too. (Mix it with Lo Mein to bulk it up and reduce the calories.)   When I was in South Africa last November for my dad’s 80th, I helped my sweet Auntie Angie—visiting from Israel—make her popular, five-ingredient slaw for shabbat dinner. Auntie Angie’s Super Simple Slaw one green cabbage, shredded 1 cup white vinegar 1 cup vegetable oil 1 cup sugar (oy!) 4 tablespoons soy sauce It was surprisingly delicious. But a little too high in oil and sugar for me. Then, a few weeks ago, we introduced our close friends, the Hills, to Wood Ranch in Agoura Hills—the always packed BBQ joint in the LA West Valley—and the charming waitress, Mia, insisted that we try some of their most popular sides before proceeding with our order of grilled asparagus and Caesar salad. (I guess she didn’t approve!) Well, I was soooo glad that she did, because otherwise I would never have discovered their fabulous slaw! Refreshingly crispy and just a little sweet. (I wished that I had eaten more slaw and less ribs as I waddled out of there feeling like a stuffed piglet!) Idea! What if I combined Auntie Angie’s Super Simple Slaw with Wood Ranch’s Original Peanut Coleslaw, giving it an Asian twist…? I used the same colorful, crunchy veggies—and of course, the roasted peanuts, which give that sweet and salty bite.  I added ginger and garlic, and substituted rice vinegar (my fav) and lime juice, and reduced the sugar and oil.  Yummmm!!!! And totally addicting! (I have literally eaten pounds of the stuff—just cannot get enough of it!) Trader Joe’s carries Natural Rice Vinegar and Toasted Sesame Oil—both reasonably priced. You can find them in the Asian section of your supermarket.           Add a drop to brighten up any dish, or whisk with lemon juice and olive oil for a tasty dressing.                 Click here for my Trader Joe’s Shopping List (with Weight Watchers Power Foods and PointsPlus) >> If you’re in the mood for chopping veggies (I personally find it quite therapeutic)—go for it. But any 2 pound combination of pre-cut cabbage, red cabbage, and carrots—or even broccoli slaw—will work. I even saw an Asian Blend with Kale at Ralph’s. Make it a Meal Add Trader Joe’s Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Strips   Or StarKist Sweet & Spicy Tuna (Target)   Substitute edamame...

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Quick Mexican Chicken Soup with Hominy
Feb20

Quick Mexican Chicken Soup with Hominy

This delicious Posole (traditional Mexican soup or stew) takes 30 minutes to make, and the fun toppings add interesting textures and surprising flavor-bursts. Yummmy! Even Mr. Picky loved it. (faint)   My first request when I go back to South Africa is for my beloved Samp Mielies—a staple in the diet of the Xhosa South African people. (Mielie means corn in Afrikaans.) I have fond memories of my nanny making it for me. I even had my dad schlep a bag in his suitcase when I first moved to Los Angeles in 1996, and almost burned the house down when I tried cooking it in the microwave! (It usually takes about 3 hours to cook on the stove.) Oy! This was clearly before I learned how to cook. In our recent trip to South Africa, sweetheart Mary made it specially for me. You’ll never believe what her secret ingredient was… Cremora. (South African coffee creamer) Hmmm… interesting. That’s her making me a to-go cup (pad-kos) for the drive to the airport. 🙂   I was ecstatic to discover that hominy (the canned, Mexican version of it), was quite similar—and no cooking required! Hominy is basically like giant, puffed up pieces of corn, but with that pasta-like density and chew-factor. LOVE it! And it’s good for you. (It’s one of my top ten Weight Watchers Power Foods—coming soon) But still, I was never quite sure what to do with it—besides heat and eat.   Then last week I saw an intriguing dish at Gelsons Market in California—and on closer inspection discovered that what I thought was potato was actually hominy.   Actually, in their version, called “Chicken Ranchero”, there was hominy and potato. I fell head-over-heels in love with this dish (actually, more like obsessed) and was determined to re-create it. I remembered seeing Daphne Oz making something similar on The Chew (Daphne Oz’s Chicken Pozole Verde)—where she pureed tomatillos and jalapeños. I thought that using Salsa Verde—a green salsa made from tomatillos, green chiles and cilantro—would make it even more cinchy, and no need to conquer your fear of chiles! (Ok, you’re right…  my fear, not yours!)   If you can’t find Salsa Verde, sauté half a chopped jalapeño pepper with the garlic. Greek Yogurt in Mexican Soup, you say? If you can up the protein while adding creaminess and tang, I say why not! Some people don’t like (actually, more like hate) cilantro, so leave it as an optional topping. Crumble Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt White Corn Tortilla Chips for extra crunch! (They don’t taste guilt free at all)   And would you believe that these are all Weight...

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