Healthy, Make-Ahead Green Beans
Nov01

Healthy, Make-Ahead Green Beans

Don’t waste points—or calories—on Green Bean Casserole! Unless that’s your favorite childhood dish, and it’s a worthy expense. This easy, make-ahead side is perfect for Thanksgiving—or Thanksgivukkah, the nickname given by American Jews to this first mergence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah since 1888. I love that you can make the beans and the vinaigrette up to two days ahead, and then you don’t need to take up oven or stove space! Blanching the green beans (cooking until tender in rapidly boiling, salted water) and then chilling in ice water, keeps the vibrant green color and and prevents them from getting limp or mushy. The water for boiling the beans and the ice water needs to be salty (like the ocean), or your beans will taste bland.     Mild shallots impart just enough flavor, without making them too strong or onion-y. Click here for How to Mince a Shallot   Green Beans with Mustard Vinaigrette 2013-10-31 14:18:37 Serves 12 Weight Watchers Power Food (count the olive oil toward your daily serving). Or 2 Weight Watchers PointsPlus per serving. Write a review Save Recipe Print 93 calories 5 g 0 g 7 g 2 g 1 g 131 g 2190 g 2 g 0 g 6 g Nutrition Facts Serving Size 131g Servings 12 Amount Per Serving Calories 93 Calories from Fat 65 % Daily Value * Total Fat 7g 11% Saturated Fat 1g 5% Trans Fat 0g Polyunsaturated Fat 1g Monounsaturated Fat 5g Cholesterol 0mg 0% Sodium 2190mg 91% Total Carbohydrates 5g 2% Dietary Fiber 3g 12% Sugars 2g Protein 2g Vitamin A8%Vitamin C6% 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? Beans 3 pounds green beans, trimmed 3 tablespoons salt Vinaigrette 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard 4 teaspoons red wine or sherry vinegar 1 shallot, minced 1 garlic clove, minced 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste 1/4 teaspoon pepper Instructions For the beans: Bring about 8 quarts water to boil in a large pot over high heat. Fill large bowl with ice water mixed with 1 tablespoon salt; set aside. Add beans and about 2 tablespoons salt to boiling water and cook until mostly tender, but still underdone, with slight crunch in center, 3 - 5 minutes. Drain beans, then transfer immediately to ice water. Let beans cool completely, about 5 minutes, then drain and pat dry with paper towels. For the vinaigrette: Shake all ingredients together in jar with tight-fitting lid. To Store: Wrap beans...

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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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Low Fat Cinnamon Apple Cake
Jun14

Low Fat Cinnamon Apple Cake

You don’t have to be a baker to make this cake! It’s super-easy and absolutely delicious. Only 8 Weight Watchers PointsPlus values per slice.   Your family will be chomping at the bit to try it, after inhaling the wonderful aroma while it bakes. The cream cheese in the batter—even though fat free—gives the cake its moist, luscious texture, and cuts the calories and fat. Delicious for dessert, as a coffee cake, or even for breakfast. I love that you can make it the day before and it will still be moist and delicious. I went with Trader Joe’s 0% Frozen Vanilla Greek Fat Free Yogurt. Slightly tart, but deliciously smooth and creamy. (If you’re a Pinkberry fan, you’ll love it.) If you’re going to all that trouble to bake a low-calorie cake, it seems a little silly to add full fat ice cream to the plate! Don’t you think? Only 100 calories and zero grams of fat for a 1/2 cup serving. Compare to 160 calories and 16 grams of fat in TJ’s Super Premium French Vanilla Ice Cream. Springform Pan If you don’t have an 8-inch springform pan, you can use an 8 1/2 or 9-inch springform, but reduce the baking time to 50 – 60 minutes. It’s really worth it to invest in good baking equipment because you will see a huge difference in your baked goods. Apples Always buy an extra apple or two just in case! The original recipe calls for Rome apples, but I’m partial to Fuji for their flavor and texture. From reading reviews online, it seems as if almost any apples will work. Click here for an easier way to peel and core apples >> Cream Cheese Fat free  or low fat cream cheese work just as well, but make sure to use the one in a block, not in a tub. I usually use Fat Free Philadelphia, but this time I used Trader Joe’s Low Fat Cream Cheese and it was delish. Half the fat of regular cream cheese What is Softened Butter (and Cream Cheese)? Softened butter (65 – 67 degrees) should easily bend without breaking, and should give slightly when pressed. Let refrigerated butter sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. For faster softening, cut it into slices. It shouldn’t be melting at all, or it won’t retain the air incorporated during creaming. Tips for Success Don’t overmix the batter; when you see the last traces of flour disappearing it’s time to stop mixing!   Gently stir in the cinnamon-apple mixture with a silicone spatula. Mix in the apples just until incorporated evenly. Mmm… yummy batter! Smooth...

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Pan-Seared Turkey Cutlets with Pearl Couscous and Black-Eyed Peas
Jun05

Pan-Seared Turkey Cutlets with Pearl Couscous and Black-Eyed Peas

This recipe in the June issue of Food Network Magazine caught my eye; fresh, healthy, easy and yummy—and you can find almost all the ingredients at Trader Joe’s. I much prefer Israeli couscous (a/k/a pearl couscous, or maftoul) to smaller, traditional couscous. Made from “pasta pearls,” it has the same texture and satisfying toothsome bite as pasta. (Try Near East Basil & Herb Pearled Couscous for a quick and easy side dish.) I forgot to pick up a lime at Trader Joe’s (why do I ALWAYS forget a key ingredient?!), and anyway, I thought the lime and chili rub might be a) a bit plain, and b) a bit spicy for hubby And so the tweaking began… – lemon for lime – a bit of Cumin, and TJ’s lovely South African Smoke Seasoning Blend, and you have a mediterranean dish with a South African twist!                   I’d never heard of black-eyed peas until I started making my Cowboy Caviar—now my favorite and most popular savory recipe. THE BEST Cowboy Caviar—healthy dip/salad/snack >> If you haven’t tried it yet, take the leftover black-eyed peas and make a batch! (I also love the cumin in this recipe.) I used Allens canned black-eyed peas in both recipes, but you can use frozen too. You can find them at Gelsons Market If you can’t find them, substitute with black beans or even edemame! Gourmet Blends slightly sweet White Balsamic Vinegar and fruity Meyer Lemon Olive Oil add the perfect finishing touches. If you don’t have them, a splash of lemon and a pinch of sugar will do. You can purchase Leonardo e Roberto’s Gourmet Blends Balsamics and Olive Oils at GourmetBlends.us >> Serve with Trader Joe’s Eggplant Hummus—sprinkled with a little Paprika to make it look pretty. Only 1 Weight Watchers PointsPlus value for 2 tablespoons I wasn’t sure if picky hubby or picky toddler would go for the couscous-with-veggies-side (they didn’t), so I made the pan-roasted potatoes for backup. Orna’s super-easy Pan-Roasted Potatoes See Trader Joe’s Shopping List for how to make them >> Wrap the leftovers (sans potatoes) in a Whole Wheat Middle Eastern Flatbread for a tasty lunch!   Orna’s Notes Trader Joe’s cutlets can be a little tough. Next time I’ll try some from Whole Foods and see how they turn out. I’ll also add a couple of diced Persian Cucumbers at the end, to up the veggies and give a bit of a crunch. Cool Tools Masterclad  Pro Series Non-stick 12-inch sauté pan >> Pan-Seared Turkey Cutlets with Pearl Couscous and Black-Eyed Peas 2013-08-06 18:17:55 Serves 4 12 Weight Watchers PointsPlus Values per...

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Anne Burrell’s Pignoli Cookies
Mar23

Anne Burrell’s Pignoli Cookies

If you like marzipan or almonds you will love these little chewy, almondy cuties! The first time I made them, I followed Anne Burrell’s instructions and used a disposable pastry bag. My three-year-old, Aja, had a blast piping her own cookies, which I baked in the toaster oven. She was having a hard time understanding why she couldn’t just eat the dough right out of the bag—like she does with icing. Ironically, hers turned out better than mine—which were a bit too big and thus underdone in the middle. This time I used a small cookie scoop, which I found much easier, and the cookies were all the same size (mostly) and cooked though. The slightly bigger cookies were still underdone and stuck to the parchment—and the smaller ones were a little more brown than I think is visually appealing. I thus lowered the oven temp in the recipe from Anne’s 350 degrees for 12 – 14 minutes to 300 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes. I am planning on making these again in the next few days with these changes, and I will then update this post. I still wanted to post this in the meantime because it’s a great recipe for Passover and there’s only 3 days to go! Let me know if you make it and how the oven temp and times worked out for you! I saved some of the dough for Aja and let her pipe her own little cookies using a ziplock bag. She learned how to do this from a fantastic app called Hello Cupcake!   Pine Nuts can be quite pricey; Trader Joe’s carry an 8oz bag for a great price. Cool Tools Small Cookie Scoop, Parchment Sheets, Microplane Grater Anne Burrell's Pignoli Cookies 2013-08-06 17:13:51 Yields 44 2 Weight Watchers PointsPlus per cookie Write a review Save Recipe Print Prep Time 20 min Cook Time 15 min Total Time 35 min Prep Time 20 min Cook Time 15 min Total Time 35 min 80 calories 10 g 0 g 4 g 1 g 0 g 19 g 7 g 9 g 0 g 3 g Nutrition Facts Serving Size 19g Yields 44 Amount Per Serving Calories 80 Calories from Fat 35 % Daily Value * Total Fat 4g 6% Saturated Fat 0g 2% Trans Fat 0g Polyunsaturated Fat 1g Monounsaturated Fat 2g Cholesterol 0mg 0% Sodium 7mg 0% Total Carbohydrates 10g 3% Dietary Fiber 1g 2% Sugars 9g Protein 1g Vitamin A0%Vitamin C0% Calcium2%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...

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