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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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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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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Pinterest and Zucchini Chips
Nov02

Pinterest and Zucchini Chips

I spent the morning trying to figure out what exactly Pinterest is, and managed to sign up for an account and even create some boards. (Yay me!) With a bit of help from my best friend Lynda—i.e. lynda.com software training. I highly recommend subscribing if you’re into technology. Or even if you’re just a bit challenged by technology! They have fantastic, informative tutorials on everything—from Facebook to WordPress. Anyway… I found my cousin, Tammy, on Pinterest, and came across the attached recipe she had pinned for Zucchini Chips. I happened to have two beautiful zucchini in the fridge (we called these baby marrow in South Africa!) and had been wondering what to do with them. Even Mr. Picky (aka Sam) thought they were delish! They really do give you that chip fix. BTW: I promised him that I wouldn’t be photographing or “styling” his dinner… and then I just couldn’t help myself! But I only took a couple of pics with my iPhone5 this time—hence the lame visual for this recipe! I did make a few changes… (They were a bit too “naked” for me!) Baked Zucchini Chips Adapted from The Naked Kitchen Enjoy right out of the oven as they don’t keep well. Click here for Sarah’s recipe on The Naked Kitchen >> Notes: It only occurred to me after I had sliced the zucchini that I should’ve used my mandoline slicer, which I had just glorified in my Fat Free Potato Chips recipe… just yesterday! Duh! Not sure why Sarah’s recipe calls for the vinegar in the milk, but it tasted great so I’ll add it again! Any ideas…? She said to stir gently until combined but not over stir. I found the milk/flour mixture a bit lumpy and had to work the flour in with a spatula. Again, not sure what would’ve happened if I had ‘over-stirred’—which I kind of did. Any ideas…? I ran out of parmesan cheese mix so couldn’t use up all my zucchini—annoying! That’s why I doubled it to 1/2 cup of each. I love make-ahead recipes, so next time I will refrigerate the coins after they have been coated and then let them come to room temp before baking them off—I’ll let you know how that works out. Cool Tools Kyocera Ceramic Adjustable Slicer Zucchini Chips 2013-08-05 15:44:11 Serves 2 Write a review Save Recipe Print Prep Time 20 min Cook Time 25 min Total Time 45 min Prep Time 20 min Cook Time 25 min Total Time 45 min 494 calories 58 g 32 g 19 g 24 g 7 g 415 g 1278 g 13 g 0 g 11...

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Orna’s Curried Veggies
Oct16

Orna’s Curried Veggies

This dish was inspired by the beautiful japanese eggplant and zucchini I found at the Tapia Brothers Pumpkin Patch in Encino. My first request when my dad comes to visit from South Africa is for my curry powder. Ok, the truth is, it comes a very close second… right after my Cadbury Top Deck and Cote D’or Bouchées. (If you don’t know what these two are you’re probably better off!) “Curry” is not necessarily synonymous with “spicy”. It is just a flavor which comes from a mix of spices (coriander, turmeric, red pepper, cumin, etc.) and you get many different types of “curry” dishes. I have such fond memories of going to the Oriental Plaza —the bustling Indian Market in Johannesburg—with my mother. I would happily tag along as she picked up fresh spices and magnificent fabrics, and then she would treat me to a fresh, hot samosa. (We pronounced it “samoosa”.) I don’t even know what spices exactly are in this fantabulous blend of curry-goodness that my dad gets custom-made by his special Indian lady, and shleps 10,000 miles for me. But when my nose comes anywhere near the bag, I literally start to salivate and daydream about what I can make with it. You, of course, don’t have to import custom-made curry from South Africa, but can buy any brand of yellow curry powder (Indian, not Thai) from your local grocery store. Even Trader Joe’s has a good curry blend. The first time I made curry for Sam (the husband), I didn’t fish out all the leaves, twigs and seeds, and he didn’t appreciate the “texture” of the dish. So I now strain it. But don’t worry, the kind you buy in the supermarket is just plain, simple powder. I’m sure the fancy, authentic Indian chefs would frown on me using ketchup and sugar in my recipe, and not cooking the spices first to bring out the flavor. But sometimes you don’t want to go to all that trouble, and this is healthy and super-delicious without all the work. Please try it and let me know how you do! Orna’s Curried Veggies Mild or spicy but always tasty! Notes: If you don’t like spicy food don’t worry, this will just be tasty but it won’t be hot. If you prefer more spice add 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Japanese eggplant is smaller and more tender than regular eggplant, so it won’t be bitter, and you’ll have less of the middle, pulpy part when you cut it up into small pieces. You can also use Chinese or Italian eggplant. Don’t cut up the eggplant until you are ready to...

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