Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Craft Time

I have been reading these awesome craft blogs lately and it has gotten me into the craft mood. I know this isn't really cooking related, but I just wanted to post these because I am excited about how they turned out. I decoupage a W for our last name, I got the idea from a fellow blogger and love how it looks. The other craft was with decorative crosses. I saw something similar at local shopping center and figured I could recreate it myself. It isn't exactly the same, but I like the results. Here they are:

Pizza with Sun-Dried Tomato Sausage and Peppers

This is another great recipe from the WW Comfort Classics cookbook. It was surprisingly filling. I couldn't find sun-dried tomato chicken sausages, but I did find smoked mozzarella with artichoke and garlic chicken sausage that were only 100 calories a link so I figured it would work just as well. It was delicious. I am not the biggest fan of bell peppers but I definitely didn't mind them in this dish. Again the husband was surprised to find this was another WW recipe and that it was healthy. I served this is a light Caesar salad.

Pizza with Sun-Dried-Tomato Sausage and Peppers
WW Comfort Classics Cookbook
Serves 4 (serving size 1/4 pizza)
Points: 7

2 (3 oz) fully cooked sun-dried tomato chicken sausages, sliced (I used Smoked Mozzarella with
Artichokes and Garlic chicken sausage)
1 (8oz) package sliced mushrooms (I omitted)
1/2 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced (I used green bell pepper)
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 (10 oz) thin whole-wheat pizza crust
1 cup fat-free tomato-basil pasta sauce
2/4 cup shredded fat-free mozzarella
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan

Place an oven rack on the bottom rung of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425.

Spray a medium nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add mushrooms and bell pepper to the skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat.

Place the crust on a baking sheet. Spread evenly with the pasta sauce; top with the mozzarella, sausage, and mushroom mixture. Sprinkle with the Parmesan. Bake until crust is crisp and the cheese is melted, 8-10 minutes. Cut into 8 wedges.


Cheesy Chicken Carbonara with Fettuccine

I had been reading about the new Weight Watchers Comfort Classics Cookbook that just recently came out on the WW Community board and how good the recipes are. So I decided to order it and give a few a try. I am so glad I did! This was my first recipe that I tried and it was great! I am an Italian food lover myself so this recipe just called my name. My husband couldn't believe that is was a 'diet' meal. I did use thin spaghetti instead since for some odd reason my husband doesn't like the fettuccine noodle and I added some peas for a little extra color.

Cheesy Chicken Carbonara with Fettuccine
WW Comfort Classics Cookbook
Serves 4 (serving size 1 cup)
Points: 7

6 oz fettuccine (I used thin spaghetti)
3/4 cup fat-free milk ( I used 1%)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
4 slices center cut bacon, chopped
1 small onion, chopped (I omitted)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup chopped cooked chicken breast

Cook the pasta according to package directions, omitting the salt if desired. Drain and keep warm.

Meanwhile, whisk the milk, Parmesan, egg, salt, and pepper in a bowl until blended.

Cook the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the onion begins to brown, 2-3 minutes.

Add the chicken and cook until heated through, 1-2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the fettuccine and the milk mixture. Cook, tossing, until the sauce is thickened and creamy, 2-3 minutes.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

It has been cool and rainy for the last week. I guess you could say fall is here. I have been craving Broccoli Cheese soup with all this gloomy weather. Nothing is better than a warm bowl of soup on a rainy day. I was excited when I found this recipe on the Cooking Light website. It was voted one of the reader's favorites and I would have to totally agree. It was delicious! It hit the spot and fixed my craving. I also made roasted cheesy tomatoes. The perfect compliment to the meal. :)

Broccoli and Cheese Soup
From: Cookinglight.com
Serves 6 (serving size: 1 1/3 cups)

Cooking spray
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (16-ounce) package broccoli florets
2 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 ounces light processed cheese, cubed (such as Velveeta Light)

Heat a large nonstick saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute 3 minutes or until tender. Add broth and broccoli. Bring broccoli mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook 10 minutes.

Combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Add milk mixture to broccoli mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Stir in pepper. Remove from heat; add cheese, stirring until cheese melts.

Place one-third of the soup in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Return pureed soup mixture to pan.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 203 (28% from fat)
Fat: 6.3g (sat 4g,mono 1.8g,poly 0.4g)
Fiber: 2.9g

* For the cheesy tomatoes, I took some plum tomatoes, cut in have and remove the seeds. Place on a baking sheet and sprinkle some breadcrumbs and about 1 tsp of shredded mozzarella cheese. Spray olive oil spray on them. Broil at 400 for about 2-3 minutes. That's it!

Chicken Spinach Quesadillas

This was a delicious, quick meal. I got to use my panini press for it! I love anything I can use any of my fun cooking tools. :) Plus who doesn't love a quick weekend night meal? These were pretty filling so you wouldn't really need to make any sides to go with it. My husband really enjoyed them and had two servings!

Chicken Spinach Quesadillas
From: http://ericaskitchenadventures.blogspot.com/
who got it from : Ellie Krieger
Serves 4
6 pts per serving (Does not include sour cream)

1 T oil1 large onion, chopped (I used onion powder)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 c cooked, shredded or chopped chicken
1 t ground cumin
1 t chili powder
1 t dried oregano
2 c baby spinach, sliced into ribbons
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
4 (10-inch) whole wheat tortillas
1 c shredded Mexican blend (I used 2% reduced fat shredded Mexican Cheese)
1/2 c Salsa and sour cream for serving

Heat oil in a large saute pan. Add the onions and cook about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.

Add chicken, cumin, chili powder and oregano. Stir to incorporate all spices. Then add the salsa and cook for about 2 minutes until heated through.

Add spinach, salt and pepper and cook until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat.

On 1/2 of a tortilla shell - layer on a bit of cheese, the chicken mixture, then a bit more cheese. Fold and repeat with remaining tortillas.

Heat a large nonstick skillet or cast iron skillet to medium heat (or panini press). Place the quesadilla in skillet and cook until lightly browned and cheese is melted (about 2-3 minutes), flip and brown other side.

To serve - cut into thirds and serve with salsa and/or sour cream.


Crock Pot Pasta Fagioli

As winter approaches, I tend to turn to my crock pot for most our dinners. I love my crock pot! This was a new recipe that I am glad I tried. It was warm, delicious and very filling. It taste alot like the Pasta Fagioli soup from Olive Garden. It made a ton so if you aren't cooking for a large group, I would try to half the recipe. Definitely a remake!

Crock Pot Pasta Fagioli
From: A Year of Slow Cooking
1 pound lean ground beef, browned and drained
1/2 large red onion, chopped (I just put in onion powder)
1 cup carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes (and juice)
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups beef broth
1 jar (16.5 oz) pasta sauce
2 tsp oregano
1 T Tabasco sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup dry pasta, to add at end of cooking time
Brown the meat on the stove top, and drain well. Let it cool a bit.
Chop up the carrots, onion, and celery. Add it to the empty crock pot. Drain and rinse the beans, and add them. Add the whole cans of tomatoes, and the pasta sauce. Add the beef broth. Add the salt, pepper, oregano, and Tabasco sauce. Stir in your meat.
Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4. When the vegetables are tender, stir in the 1/2 cup of dry pasta.
Cover and cook for another hour on low, or until the pasta is tender. It will swell quite a bit. Serve with a bit of parmesan cheese if you have it.
**Use a 6 quart or larger crock pot, or cut the recipe in half.