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...

Read More
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...

Read More