Wednesday, December 31, 2008

La Madeleine's Tomato Basil Soup

La Madeline is one of my favorite places to eat. It is a french bistro type place. They are famous for their tomato basil soup, so when I found a recipe for it I had to give it a try. I was surprised how much it tasted like the real thing! Definitely a keeper. It makes quite a bit of soup so I halved the recipe since it was just two of us. There was still plenty for leftovers. I bought a panini press during the Black Friday sales. It is my new favorite toy. So I made some turkey paninis to go with it. The dinner was a huge success. My husband gave it two thumbs up!
Here is the original recipe:
La Madeleine Tomato Basil Soup
4 cups canned whole tomatoes, crushed
4 cups tomato juice
12 to 14 Basil leaves, washed
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 lb (1 stick) sweet, unsalted butter
Salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon crushed black pepper
Combine tomatoes and juice in a saucepan. Simmer over medium-low heat for 30 minutes. Cool slightly, then place in a blender or food processor and process with 12-14 basil leaves to puree. ( This might have to be done in small batches).
Return to sauce pan and add cream and butter, stir over low heat until cream and butter are incorporated. Garnish with basil leaves and serve.
Serves 8
WW Points per serving: 6pts.
For the paninis: I used Sourdough bread and spread spinach dip on each slice. Then placed turkey, tomato and asiago cheese slices. Put together and placed on panini press for 1-2 minutes. Enjoy!

Hamburger Casserole Crock Pot Recipe

I know I have been really bad about blogging lately, but things have been crazy with the holidays. I do have a couple new recipes to share though.
I absolutely love my crockpot. I work long hours most days so it is nice to come home and have dinner already ready. This recipe didn't turn out looking really pretty but it tasted great. A perfect hearty meal for a cold night.

Hamburger Casserole Crock Pot Recipe

16 oz. extra lean gr. beef (or turkey)
2 cups sliced raw potatoes
1 1/2 cups sliced carrots (I used frozen)
1 cup chopped celery ( I omitted)
1/2 cup chopped onion( I omitted)
1 cup frozen peas –thawed
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn – thawed
1 10 oz. can healthy Request Tomato Soup
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1 can mushrooms ( I omitted)
Salt and Pepper

In large skillet brown meat, onion & celery mixture and mushrooms.

In slow cooker - sprayed with a butter flavored spray (or a non-stick cooking spray), combine meat mixture, potatoes, carrots, peas, and corn. Stir in tomato soup, water, parsley flakes and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours.

Serving = 1 cup Each serving = 5 Weight Watchers Points

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Domestic Goddess

Ok, well not actually a Domestic Goddess but I am kind of proud of myself. As a kid, I was really domestic. I loved to help mom cook and I enjoyed sewing. I made quilts and even clothes for myself ( they definitely weren't fashionable, but still). Somewhere along the way of growing up, I lost that passion for new interests. They all started coming back though, once I met my now husband. I started to learn how to cook again. Now it is one of my favorite hobbies. My mom mentioned that I should make some curtians for my kitchen since I was having a hard time finding some that I liked. So here I am again, in front of the sewing machine. I was nervous at first since it had been so long but they turned out pretty cute. Check it out!

Pasta Roll-Ups with Turkey and Spinach

Here is yet another recipe from my Clean Eating magazine. I am on a roll. Jeff said it needed more salt, but other than that he gave it a thumbs up. I wasn't real crazy about the sauce, but all in all a good dinner.

Pasta Roll Ups with Turkey and Spinach

Serves 8
4pts per serving

1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb ground turkey breast
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 28-oz can whole tomatoes in juice
1 tsp salt
8 sheets dried high-protein or whole-wheat lasagna
1 10-oz box frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 15-oz container non-fat ricotta cheese
1 egg
3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute. Turn heat to medium-high and add ground turkey, breaking it up with a spatula until meat shows no sign of pink. Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg, then add tomatoes and salt. Reduce heat to medium-low, stir, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes, occasionally stirring and breaking up tomatoes with a wooden spoon.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, rinse and allow to cool in a colander.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Squeeze all remaining moisture from thawed spinach and place in large bowl. Add ricotta cheese, egg and a 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese to bowl. Stir until combined.

Spread 1 cup of cooked tomato sauce into bottom of a 9" x 10" casserole dish. Lay a cooked lasagna noodle flat in front of you. Use your fingers to spread 1/8 of ricotta mixture across the noodle and roll it up. Place the rolled pasta seam side down, into the casserole dish. Repeat with remaining noodles. Spread remaining tomato sauce over roll-ups, then top with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella.

Bake, covered with foil, for 20 minutes. Remove foil and broil for 5 minutes or until the rollups are browned and bubbly

NUTRIENTS PER SERVING: 234 Calories, 3g Total Fat, 5g fiber, 7g Sugar, 28g Protein, 508mg, Sodium

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Broiled Eye Round Steak

Steak was on sale the other week, so I decided to pick some up. With the weather so cold, I wasn't sure how I was going to cook them having only cooked steak on the grill. I came across this recipe in my Clean Eating magazine and thought I would give it a shot. The steaks came out very juicy and tender, just the way we like them, but I wasn't too keen on the flavor the marinade gave it. I will definitely broil steaks again in the future, especially since it was so easy and quick, but will probably go back to my old ways of marinating. At least I tried something new, right? I served it with mashed potatoes and creamed spinach.

Broiled Eye Round Steak
From: Clean Eating magazine Jan/Feb 2009

4 3oz eye round steaks
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp cracked black pepper
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped (used onion powder)
1/4 tsp sea salt


Trim fat from steaks

In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, pepper, garlic, onion, and salt, and mix well. Massage marinade into meat for 5 minutes before refrigerating it. Marinate meat in mixture overnight.

After marinating, preheat broiler. Broil meat for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, turning once.

(If you have an indoor grill, you can opt to use it instead of broiling the steaks. Simply preheat grill and cook meat for a total of 4 to 7 minutes, depending on desired level of doneness)

Serving Size: 3-oz
WW Pts: 4pts per serving

Lemon-Artichoke Chicken

Like I promised, I am finally writing about some of the new recipes I have been trying. This one I got from my Clean Eating magazine. It turned out pretty good, but I probably would use less lemon and pound my chicken breast a little thinner. It would be perfect over a bed of pasta. I had roasted zucchini and squash with a touch balsamic vinegar as a side. Trying to lower my carb intake and all.

Lemon-Artichoke Chicken
From: Clean Eating magazine Jan/Feb 2009

1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 tbsp dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp sea salt or course kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning ( to taste)
1 lb think chicken cutlets
Olive oil cooking spray
1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, cut lengthwise and thinly sliced (omitted since DH hates onions)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 14oz can artichoke hearts, drained and cut into sixths
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice ( about 2 lemons)
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped for garnish

In a shallow bowl, thoroughly combine flour, oregano, pepper and 1/4 tsp salt. Dredge each chicken cutlet in flour mixture, shake off excess and place on a plate.

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium to medium high, so skillet is hot but not smoking. Add 1/2 of the chicken cutlets and cook 3 to 5 minutes per side, until lightly browned and cooked through. Transfer to a clean serving plate and repeat with the remaining cutlets, coating skillet once more with cooking spray. Cover your serving plate with foil to keep chicken warm.

Adjust temperature to medium-low and heat oil. Place onion in pan and cook, stirring frequently until soft and golden, 5-6 minutes. Add garlic, cooking for 1 minute, stirring constantly; then chicken broth, bringing it to a simmer; followed by artichokes, lemon juice, and zest, simmering for 2-3 minutes until heated through and slightly thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour artichoke mixture over chicken cutlets, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Serving Size: 4 oz chicken, 1/2 cup artichoke mixture
Approx Weight Watchers Points: 4pts

I didn't forget

I know I have been really bad about updating my blog lately. The truth is I have been on a little hiatus on the cooking front, well just have been lazy and haven't been cooking much. But that is over and I am back. I have several new recipes I am trying this week. So far the ones I have tried haven't been a huge hit, but I'm not giving up. I am going to update you with them soon. I promise! I am at work right now and don't have the recipes and pictures with me. Stay tuned!