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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Lighter Beef Bolognese
Apr17

Lighter Beef Bolognese

Who doesn’t have fond memories of eating Spaghetti Bolognese as a kid! This is my healthier take on Giada De Laurentiis’ Simple Bolognese—chock full of veggies, and with tips I learned from making Anne Burrell’s more complex and time-consuming, traditional Bolognese.   I love that you can make this the day before, but be warned that the house will smell so incredible that it will be hard to wait until the next day!   I learned from Chef Anne Burrell to add the pasta to the sauce in the pot, with a little pasta water (if necessary) and “marry the two together.” If I’m not using all of it, I just add an equal amount of sauce to the amount of pasta I’m using. Add a little more sauce on top of each plate, drizzle a little high-quality olive oil over the top and sprinkle some parm to finish. Yumm! Who needs Maria’s!   His and Hers     I don’t usually make two different types of pasta, but I thought this would be a good way to illustrate this gorgeous sauce. Barilla Plus Spaghetti is my fav because it has extra protein and fiber; even little Aja loves it. Sam prefers Trader Joe’s Corn Pasta because it’s easier on his stomach. Click here for Orna’s Trader Joe’s Shopping List >>   I like Trader Joe’s Parmesan which has a coarser texture. Please do not use parmesan from a green can!   I found Laura’s Lean Beef (92% lean, 8% fat) at Ralph’s Market, and it was delicious. Check their website for a market near you that carries it.   I used Menage a Trois wine—because that’s my favorite wine to drink. See Trader Joe’s and Costco Shopping Lists. Make sure your knife cuts are even and the veggies are chopped small. It might sound as if you’re using a lot of salt, but you have to season every single layer, or the end product will taste bland; I learned this from Anne Burrell. Make sure to use kosher salt – it really makes a difference. I copied Alton Brown’s trick of keeping it in a sugar bowl; makes it easy to pinch. Remember that the parmesan cheese will add some salt at the end, so don’t over-salt. How to Coarsely Chop Mushrooms To coarsely chop the mushrooms; slice them with a sharp knife, and then working in batches, run your knife through them in different directions to get them chopped approximately the same size. Cool Tools Mario Batali 6-quart Dutch Oven LOVE using my dutch oven for this! Epicurious hard spatula Lighter Beef Bolognese 2013-08-06 17:15:29 Serves 4 Write a review...

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Portabella Mushrooms with Balsamic Marinade—grilled or sautéed
Apr15

Portabella Mushrooms with Balsamic Marinade—grilled or sautéed

I saw these gorgeous Portabella mushrooms at Costco and it inspired me to make these easy, fresh and delicious mushrooms. I sautéed them in a pan, but in summer just throw them on the grill for a healthy side. Only $4.79 for 4 at Costco Marinated Portabella Mushrooms You can add 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme or dried basil to the marinate if you’re a fan of herbs. I like to serve them with balsamic vinegar and olive oil or balsamic vinaigrette for the extra lettuce once I’ve eaten my share of the mushrooms! Nutritional Info for 1 mushroom with 1 cup of greens calories 60 fat 3g carb 7g protein 3g 2 Weight Watchers PointsPlus values for 1 mushroom with 1 cup of greens Weight Watchers Power Food Click here for more info on Weight Watchers Power Foods >> Click here for Orna’s Trader Joe’s Shopping List >> Click here for Orna’s Costco Shopping List >> Portabella Mushrooms with Balsamic Marinade 2013-08-06 17:15:20 Serves 4 Write a review Save Recipe Print Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 10 min Total Time 20 min Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 10 min Total Time 20 min 64 calories 9 g 0 g 3 g 3 g 0 g 212 g 246 g 6 g 0 g 2 g Nutrition Facts Serving Size 212g Servings 4 Amount Per Serving Calories 64 Calories from Fat 24 % Daily Value * Total Fat 3g 4% Saturated Fat 0g 2% Trans Fat 0g Polyunsaturated Fat 0g Monounsaturated Fat 2g Cholesterol 0mg 0% Sodium 246mg 10% Total Carbohydrates 9g 3% Dietary Fiber 3g 10% Sugars 6g Protein 3g Vitamin A11%Vitamin C6% Calcium3%Iron5% * 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 4 large Portabella mushrooms, stems discarded 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil 1 clove garlic, minced 1 tablespoon soy sauce (use low sodium if required) about half a 1 lb bag mixed greens (recommended: Trader Joe's Butter Lettuce with Radicchio) olive oil cooking spray Instructions Whisk balsamic vinegar, garlic, soy sauce and oil together in a measuring cup. Place mushrooms in a gallon ziplock bag; pour sauce over and distribute evenly over mushrooms, expelling air before closing. Marinate in fridge 1 - 3 hours (or at room temperature for 1/2 hour), turning frequently. To Saute Remove mushrooms from sauce; discard sauce. Slice mushrooms into 1-inch thick pieces. Spray a 12-inch non-stick sauté pan with olive oil cooking spray. Saute mushroom slices over medium-high heat, stirring often, until cooked through,...

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Easy Oven Fried Rice
Mar11

Easy Oven Fried Rice

This recipe—from Sam’s family—is a real gem. So easy and everyone will ask you for the recipe. I’m not usually a fan of canned mushrooms, but sometimes you need something super-easy that you can just dump, cook, stir, and serve! I recommend Brandywine mushrooms.  Oven Fried Rice 2013-08-05 17:49:04 Serves 6 Write a review Save Recipe Print Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 1 hr 30 min Total Time 1 hr 40 min Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 1 hr 30 min Total Time 1 hr 40 min 415 calories 54 g 0 g 19 g 6 g 1 g 139 g 1126 g 1 g 0 g 17 g Nutrition Facts Serving Size 139g Servings 6 Amount Per Serving Calories 415 Calories from Fat 169 % Daily Value * Total Fat 19g 29% Saturated Fat 1g 7% Trans Fat 0g Polyunsaturated Fat 3g Monounsaturated Fat 14g Cholesterol 0mg 0% Sodium 1126mg 47% Total Carbohydrates 54g 18% Dietary Fiber 1g 5% Sugars 1g Protein 6g Vitamin A0%Vitamin C0% Calcium3%Iron4% * 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 Uncle Ben's Original Parboiled Long Grain Rice 1 package Lipton's Onion Soup Mix 4 tablespoons soy sauce 1/2 cup vegetable oil (recommended: Crisco) - I use less than half a cup 1 regular or two small cans sliced mushrooms (recommended: Brandywine) water Instructions Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place rice and onion soup mix in a 2-quart casserole dish. Drain mushrooms into a measuring cup; add enough water to the juice to make 3 cups of liquid. Add mushrooms, liquid, oil, and soy sauce to casserole dish; stir all ingredients very well. Cover tightly and bake for 1 1/2 hours. (Do not remove lid before the time is up!) The mushrooms will all come to the top. Leave the lid on till you're ready to serve; mix well and serve! Notes You can cook for one hour earlier in the day, keep covered, and then put back in the oven for a half hour together with your chicken or beef or whatever else you're cooking. Delicious on day 2 or 3. Freezes well. By Orna beta calories 415 fat 19g protein 6g carbs 54g more OrnaBakes...

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