Friday, May 27, 2011

Angel Hair with Avacado and Tomatoes

This is a light and tasty side that goes great with grilled chicken.
  • 8 ounces uncooked angle hair pasta 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves 
  • 1 small avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into small cubes
  • 4 medium tomatoes, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  1. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package. 
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat oil in 3 quart saucepan over medium heat. Cook garlic in oil about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until garlic is tender, but not brown. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir basil, avocado and tomatoes into garlic in saucepan. toss vegetable mixture and pasta. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Nutritional Information:
6 servings.
Per Serving: 6 weight watchers points+  220 cals, 10g fat, 30g carbs, 3g fiber, 6g protein
Recipe from Betty Crocker's Diabetes Cookbook, 2003

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Crispy Pecan-Crusted Chicken Breasts

If you like fried chicken then this is the meal for you. This oven fried chicken goes great with a side of fresh veggies. 
  • 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk 
  • 4 (5 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breasts 
  • 1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped 
  • 1/3 cup plain dries bread crumbs (I used panko bread crumbs because I had them on hand)
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

  1. Pour buttermilk into medium bowl and add chicken; cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes or longer.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine pecans, bread crumbs, and cajun seasoning on sheet of waxed paper. Remove 1 chicken breast from buttermilk, allowing the excess buttermilk to drip off. Coat chicken with pecan mixture, gently pressing to help it adhere. Discard any leftover buttermilk and pecan mixture. Lightly spray chicken on both sides with non stick spray. 
  3. Spray large nonstick oven proof skillet with non stick spray and set over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until golden, 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until chicken is cooked through, 10-12 minutes.

Nutritional Information: 
Per Serving (1 breast) 6 weight watcher points+
252 cal, 9g fat, 8g carbs, 1g fiber, 32g protein
Recipe from Weight Watchers Points Plus Just 5; 125 recipes with 5 Ingredients  2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

BBQ Spice Rub

I added some dehydrated garlic to mine.
I saw this in an add for Lowes Home Improvement of all places. It was advertised as a fathers day gift idea, which it would be a great one. We decided we would give it a try, turned out pretty good.  Feel free to change the ingredients as needed to make it your own. You can also half the recipe for a smaller amount.Great on chicken, fish, beef, and vegetables.
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 4 teaspoons ground hot chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  1. Combine all ingredients in a clean jar with lid. Mix thoroughly. Mixture will stay fresh for a month.
Recipe from Lowes Creative Ideas, Summer 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

Fresh Berry Crumble

I made this last Friday for dessert and it was such a hit that we made it again on Sunday. You can use strawberries and black berries too if you like. The recipe can easily be cut in half to make a smaller amount for two or four servings.

  • 2 cups  fresh blueberries
  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 Tbsp regular butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup unpacked light brown sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  2. Place berries in a medium bowl. In another medium bowl, combine flour and sugar. Remove 3 tablespoons of flour mixture and gently toss with berries. Place berries in an 8-inch square pan.
  3. To make topping, add melted butter to remaining flour mixture; combine well. Crumble little bits of topping all over top of berries. Bake until berries just start to bubble, about 35 to 40 minutes. Cut into 8 pieces; serve warm or at room temperature. Yields 1 piece per serving. 
Nutritional Information: 5 points+ per serving recipe from

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pork Medallions with Marsala and Mushrooms

  • 1lb pork tenderloin trimmed 
  • 1/2 pound mixed wild mushrooms (If you like mushrooms I would suggest doubling the amount)
  • 2 Shallots
  • 1/3 cup Marsala wine or apple juice
  • 1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth 
  1. Cut pork into 8 equal pieces. Place 1 piece between 2 sheets wax paper; gently pound with meat tenderizer or rolling pin until 1/2 inch thick. Repeat with remaining pork pieces.
  2. Spray large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium- high heat, Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper to taste; add to skillet and cook until browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to plate and keep warm. 
  3. Add mushroom, shallots, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are browned, about 5 minutes. Add wine, scrapping up browned bits from bottom of skillet. Cook until liquid is almost completely evaporated, about 4 minutes. Add broth and boil 3 minutes. Transfer pork back to skillet to warm through. 

    Nutritional Information:
    Per Serving (2 pieces pork and 1/3 cup mushroom and sauce): 186 cal, 3g fat, 8g carb, 0g fiber, 25g protein.
    Recipe from Weight Watchers Points Plus Just 5; 125 recipes with 5 Ingredients  2011

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    White Sangria

    A light and refreshing take on sangria. Great for a summer party! Grab an extra lime to slice for garnish.

    • 1 large orange
    • 1 lemon
    • 1 lime
    • 2-3 cinnamon sticks
    • 1 cup vodka 
    • 1 cup Triple Sec or Grand Marnier
    • 2 bottles dry white wine, chilled
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 quart club soda, chilled
    1. Thinly slice the orange, lemon and lime; remove all seeds. Place the fruit slices in a bowl with the cinnamon sticks. Pour vodka and Triple Sec over fruit slices. Chill, covered, for 4 to 12 hours.
    2. Combine the chilled wine and sugar in a large glass pitcher or punch bowl. pour the fruit mixture into the pitcher, discarding the cinnamon sticks. Add the club soda. Stir well before serving. 
    Yields 20 servings

    Saturday, May 14, 2011

    Creamy Spinach Risotto

     This recipe is supper creamy and rich. You can also use lemon juice instead of white wine and swap asparagus for the spinach if you prefer. It is a great side with grilled chicken or steak. 

    • 1 package of baby spinach, torn into bite-size pieces 
    • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter    
    • 3 small shallots, minced  
    • 1 cup uncooked arborio rice   
    • 1 Tbsp dry white wine
    • 4 cups canned chicken broth    
    • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • Salt and pepper to taste 

    1. Coat a medium pot with cooking spray and set over medium heat; melt butter. Add shallots; cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add rice and toss to coat; cook for 2 minutes. Add wine; cook, until all wine has been absorbed, stirring continuously so rice does not stick to sides of pot, about 1 minute.
    2. Meanwhile, bring broth to a simmer; keep warm
    3. Add 1/2 cup of hot broth to pot at a time; stir until absorbed. Repeat with remaining broth, making sure each addition of broth is absorbed before adding more. This process takes about 20 minutes.
    4. When rice turns creamy and just done (should be slightly chewy and not mushy), remove pot from heat; add cheese and stir well. Stir in baby spinach; season with salt and pepper. Yields 1 scant cup per serving. 

    Nutritional Information:  
    5 points+ per serving. Serves 6. 
    Recipe from


    Friday, May 13, 2011

    Rosemary-Balsamic Pork Chops

    This meal goes great with couscous and freshly steamed asparagus for a complete and quick weeknight dinner.

    • 4 Bone in pork loin chops, about 1/2 inch thick (I used thin cut)
    • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
    • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    • 2/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth 
    • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


    1. Sprinkle pork with rosemary, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook for 4 minutes per side. Transfer to pate. 
    2. Add broth and vinegar to skillet, bring to boil, scrapping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Boil until mixture is syrupy, about 5 minutes. Add pork to skillet and cook until heated through, about 1 minute per side. 

    Nutritional Information: 
    Per serving (1 pork chop with 1 tablespoon of sauce) is 4 points+
    170 cal, 8g fat, 3g carb, 0g fiber, 20g protein

    Recipe from Weight Watchers Points Plus Just 5; 125 recipes with 5 Ingredients  2011

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    Briased Chicken Thighs with Tomatoes and Green Olives

    This is a great week night dinner. If you like a spicier sauce add a few pinches of red pepper flakes and a couple of  whole or halved garlic cloves. 
    • 4 Skinless, boneless chicken thighs
    • 2/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
    • 3 plum tomatoes, chopped
    • 1 onion, thinly sliced
    • 1/3 cup halved pitted green olives 

    1. Spray large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes per side.
    2. Add broth, tomatoes, onion, and olives; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until vegetables are tender and Chicken is cooked through, about 6 minutes.
    Nutritional Information:
    Per serving (1 chicken thigh with 1/2 cup sauce) is 6 points+
    222 cal, 12g fat, 6g carbs, 2g fiber, 22g protein

    Recipe from Weight Watchers Points Plus Just 5; 125 recipes with 5 Ingredients  2011

    Sunday, May 8, 2011

    Tapas Tapas Tapas

    Tapas are small plates or appetizers in Spanish cuisine. They can be served hot or cold. While Alan and I were in Barcelona we had the best tapas of the entire trip. If you are ever in Barcelona go to La Bombeta, C/ Maquinista, 3, 08003 Barcelona, Spain. Their food was divine, every single thing we ordered was so good.

    We stared off with a pitcher of sangria, very addicting,  while we looked through the menu and selected our tapas. After putting our Spanish lessons to good use, as written above their bar "no hablo ingles", we made our selections. We started with the house specialty, bombas ,deep-fried balls of fluffy mashed potato served with a spicy brava sauce. OMG, seriously like nothing I had ever had before. The potatoes were light an fluffy and they had ground chorizo in them that gave them a spicy kick. The brava sauce is like a spicy mayo that complements the potatoes very well. Our other tapas included  ham croquettes, patatas bravas, grilled mushrooms, chorizo, and for dessert we split creme catalana casera. Creme catalana casera is a custard based dessert that is similar to creme brulee, only served cold. Here are few photos of our fantastic meal!

    Bombas, I will have to learn to make these.

    ham croquettes

    patatas bravas

    grilled mushrooms


    Creme catalana casera