foodie 1

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

White Bean, Rosemary, Garlic and Red Pepper Dip

We made this dip way back in February for our little Super Bowl snack fiesta!  It was very low in points -- only 1 point for 1/6th of the recipe! -- and yummy.  I did make quite a few modifications to the original recipe however.  It called for parsley and I used rosemary instead.  It called for small diced red pepper to be mixed in the dip and I just threw it in the food processor with everything else (this modification was mostly out of laziness and time constraints of watching the big game).  We already had the roasted garlic from a previous recipe, so that was quick to just pull out of the fridge.  The original recipe also called for lime juice, which I substituted with lemon juice.  First off, we had a lemon left from a recipe I needed the zest for, and I thought lemon would go better with rosemary than lime.  I'd definitely feel free to vary the herbs as I did here, lime and  cilantro would be very good I would think.  I served it with whole wheat pita chips, red pepper strips and cucumbers for dipping.  

White Bean, Rosemary, Garlic and Red Pepper Dip
adapted from Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook
makes 6 servings

1/2 garlic bulb, about 6 large cloves
1 cup canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 scallions, cut into large pieces
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 1/2 teaspoons rosemary
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Preheat oven to 400 decrees.  Cut off a thin slice from the pointed end of the garlic bulb.  Wrap the garlic in foil and roast until soft, about 30 minutes.  
  • Unwrap the foil and let the garlic cool slightly.  Squeeze the garlic from the skins into a food processor.  
  • Add the beans, lemon juice, olive oil, scallions, red pepper, rosemary and caynne, puree.
  • Transfer to a bowl.  Refrigerate, covered, until the flavors are blended, at least one hour.  Serve with pitas, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots for dipping.
Nutritional Info
Calories: 84
Fat: 3g
Fiber: 3 g
WW Points: 1

Monday, March 29, 2010

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I modified this recipe from one I found on Cooking Light's website. Their website has quickly become my first place to go when I need to search for a recipe. I love that it lists calorie counts and nutritional info, which makes finding out the Weight Watchers points a snap. It's a great resource and I decided to "give back" by subscribing to the magazine. I figured I got so many great recipes for free recently, I might as well start paying to get some more! I am very excited and can't wait for my subscription to begin.

These cookies were originally Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip and Pecan cookies. I was looking for an oatmeal cookie, but they typically have raisins, and I do not like raisins. So, I started looking for an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, but most of them had nuts, and I don't like nuts in my cookies either. I adapted this recipe by adding more chocolate chips in place of the pecans. I looked it up and estimated the correct chocolate chip to pecan substitution to maintain about the same nutritional info. They turned out really great. They had a delicious flavor, the oatmeal makes them feel semi-healthy and they were crisp on the outside, but chewy in the middle. I used a small cookie scoop, and recalculated the points for the amount of cookies I ended up with, and was happy to see they were one point per cookie! The dough was quite dry, and i had trouble keeping it in a nice ball-shape when scooping them -- they often crumbled apart when coming out of the cookie scoop. That was my only complaint. They didn't spread out that much, they mostly kept their rounded, domed shape as they cooked. I didn't mind their shape, but if you wanted to avoid it you could use a glass to press the balled dough shape down into a flatter cookie before baking, like you would a snickerdoodle.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies 

adapted from Cooking Light 
Yield: 3 dozen (serving size: 1 cookie)

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 5 1/2 ounces)
1 cup regular oats
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup semisweet chocolate mini chips


  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt), stirring with a whisk; set aside.
  • Place sugars and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add vanilla and egg; beat until blended. Gradually add flour mixture, beating at low speed just until combined. Stir in mini chips.

  • Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until edges of cookies are lightly browned. Cool on pans 2 minutes. Remove cookies from pans; cool on wire racks.
Nutritional Information 
Calories: 81
Fat: 3g
Fiber: 0.5g
WW Points: 2  

Friday, March 26, 2010

Chocolate Muffins

This is one of the recipes from my Cookbook of the Month, Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook.  I made these when Zach's mom and sister were coming to visit for a weekend.  I wanted to have a yummy breakfast option that would still feel like a dessert, and chocolate muffins were a good option.  They were easy to make and held up well to freezing.  I made them when we had the giant snowstorms here in the Washington, DC area, and I was home from school on my week of snow days.  It was about 3 three weeks that they were frozen, and they survived just fine.  They were light and not too heavy as chocolate muffins can be.  

Chocolate Muffins
Makes 12 Servings

1 1/2 cups flour
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fat free milk
1 egg
4 teaspoons unslated butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.  
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt.  In a small bowl, combine milk, egg, butter and vanilla.  Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients, stirring just until blended.  Do not overmix.
  • Spoon the batter into the cups, filling each about to-thirds full.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 20-25 minutes.   
  • Cool in the pan on a rack 5 minutes; remove from the pan and cool on racks. 
Nutritional Info
Calories: 91
Fat: 2 g
Fiber: 0 g
WW Points per muffin: 2

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lumberjack Hash

Just like the Apple Cinnamon Coffeecake, I found this recipe while searching the Cooking Light website in preparation for my parent's weekend visit.  I knew I wanted something that would use hash browns, simply because I was in the mood for them.  The combination of peppers, onion, ham and cheese with the potatoes was delicious.  I thought it was a great morning treat, perfect for a weekend breakfast.  It was great right alongside scrambled eggs and coffee.  I topped mine with hot sauce, but you could also top with ketchup, or they are great as is!

Lumberjack Hash
Cooking Light 

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed (about 1 pound)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 ounces 33%-less-sodium ham, diced
3/4 cup (3 ounces) reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese


  • Heat oil and butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook 5 minutes. 
  • Add bell pepper and garlic; cook 3 minutes. 
  • Add potatoes, salt, pepper, and ham; cook 16 minutes or until potatoes are golden brown, stirring occasionally. 
  • Top with cheese; cook 2 minutes or until cheese melts.
Nutritional Information 
Calories: 276 
Fat: 9.1g
Fiber: 3.5g
WW Points: 6 

Monday, March 22, 2010

Apple Cinnamon Coffeecake

I found this recipe in a quick search of the Cooking Light website.  My parents were coming into town for the weekend and I wanted a coffeecake to have around for breakfast in the mornings.  It was very good, especially nice and warm out of the oven.  It was easy to heat up for a few second in the microwave though.  It was moist and the crumbs on top were very yummy.  It was easy to make and easy to eat!  The only change we made is that we used a Cortland apple instead of the Granny Smith, just because that's the kind we already had in the house.  

Apple Cinnamon Coffeecake 

Cooking Light 
Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1 piece)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup 1% low-fat milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup diced peeled Granny Smith apple (about 1 apple) (We used a Cortland.)
Cooking spray

1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces


  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • To prepare cake, lightly spoon 1 1/2 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture.

  • Combine milk, melted butter, vanilla, and egg, stirring with a whisk; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Fold in apple. Pour batter into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray.
  • To prepare streusel, combine brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle streusel evenly over batter. 

  • Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack before serving. Serve warm.
Nutritional Information 
Calories: 197 
Fat: 4.6g
Fiber: 0.8g
WW Points per serving: 4

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cookbook of the Month: March 2010

I am a little late on this, but I have been working on a few recipes from the cookbook, I just haven't posted the intro post.  I chose my Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook as the Cookbook of the Month for March.  Since we've been following the program, and getting excellent results so far -- I'm down 12.5 pounds, Zach has lost 16! -- I decided it was a good choice.  I like that the cookbook lists calories and other nutrition info plus calculates the WW points.  I always double check the points though, since this was published several years ago, and the WW program has undergone a few changes since then.  Nothing major I think, since I've never found a major issue with the previous points calculations, but they do revamp the program every year.  So, look forward to some recipes from the Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook!  I normally link to an Amazon or Barnes and Noble page for more information about the book, but I believe this one is out of print, as I bought it 4-5 years ago. 

Coconut Cupcakes: Barefoot Bloggers

The first February recipe was Coconut Cupcakes.  I must admit I had mixed feelings upon seeing the recipe choice.  Zach and I had just started eating healthier and using the Weight Watchers program to drop a few pounds, so seeing this recipe with all the butter and sugar and cream cheese didn't exactly fit in with our plan to minimize temptations.  But, then I realized I was hosting a work meeting soon, and it would be a great opportunity to make the cupcakes and have one or two, but let someone else eat the majority of them!  So, these are a bit late (yes, almost a month!) since I wanted to make them for this meeting, so we wouldn't end up eating them all.  The people at the meeting really enjoyed them, several asked for teh recipe, and with still more leftover I sent them into with Zach to work.  I LOVED the cupcake recipe, and the combination of vanilla and almond flavors, they were moist and delicious.  I also loved the frosting, again with the vanilla and almond combination, a favorite in my family.  I really like the flavor of coconut (Malibu rum is one of my favorite spirits) but not so much the texture of shredded coconut.  So, I will definitely keep the recipe, minus the coconut as a great basic white cupcake and frosting.  

chosen by Jamie of Jamie’s Green Kitchen.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Rosemary Roasted Almonds

I found this recipe in my appetizers section of my clipped out recipes.  It was perfect since we had just bought a bag of almonds for snacking and had some rosemary leftover from another recipe to use up.  We had them as a snack during the Super Bowl and then for snacking for a few weeks afterward.  Yum!

Rosemary Roasted Almonds

Cooking Light
Serving Size: 2 tablespoons

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chile powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Dash of ground red pepper
1 (10-ounce) bag whole almonds (about 2 cups)


  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl; toss to coat. Arrange nut mixture in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake at 325° for 20 minutes or until lightly toasted. Cool to room temperature.
Nutritional Information 
Calories: 111 
Fat: 9.9g 
Carbohydrate: 3.6g
Fiber: 2.1g
WW Points: 3

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Herbed Soba Noodles with Sauteed Chicken

I found this recipe in an issue of Everyday Food.  I have never cooked soba noodles before, so that was a motivating factor in choosing the recipe.  Also, it features cilantro as a prominent flavor, which is Zach's favorite herb, so I knew he would love it.  It was very, very yummy.  It definitely had an intense herb flavor, and you need to be sure to check your teeth for herb remnants before going out anywhere, but the flavor is worth it!  The chicken was moist and a great match to the herbs.  The soba noodles were definitely different than typical pasta, but in a good way.  We will definitely make this again!

Herbed Soba Noodles with Sauteed Chicken
Makes 4 servings

4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
1 cup fresh parsley
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 teaspoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
12 ounces chicken cutlets
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 package (8.8 ounces) soba (Japanese buckwheat noodles)


  • In a food processor, finely chop scallions, cilantro, parsley, garlic, and ginger with vinegar and 1 tablespoon oil. Transfer to a bowl.
  • In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Season chicken with cayenne, salt, and pepper. Working in batches, cook, turning once, until opaque throughout, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to a cutting board; let cool 5 minutes, and thinly slice.
  • Cook soba according to package instructions. Drain; toss with herb mixture. Serve chicken with soba; garnish with cilantro.
Nutrition Information:
Calories: 380
Fat: 8.6g
Carbohydrates: 50.5g
Fiber: 0.8g
WW Points per serving: 8

Monday, March 8, 2010

Shrimp Scampi: Barefoot Bloggers

This is the first entry for the February Barefoot Bloggers recipes.  We decided to make this for Valentine's day and enjoy with couscous.  We made two versions, the shrimp scampi, as the recipe calls for, but we split the marinade and sauce in half and also did a dish with chicken, cut into bite size chunks.  I don't really like shrimp, so it was a chance for me to enjoy the recipe as well.  It was so good!  Very lemony, but really excellent. 

chosen by Jill of Insanely Good Food

Smoked Turkey and Black Eyed Pea Salad

I found this recipe when cutting up my latest Food Network magazine.  When I get the newest version of a cooking magazine, I take my scissors to the old one to save just the recipes I want and file them away in my box of recipes.  It used to be an old show box, but I just got a nice new filing box at Ikea so now my clipped out recipes can wait patiently in style.  :-)  I don't think to have main dish salads at all really.  When I think salad for dinner I think of some awful version of a salad buffet with the iceberg lettuce with the carrot savings and purple cabbage, not so great veggies that have been sitting out too long and goupy dressings.  This salad convinced me I need to start thinking differently.  I forget about the many different kinds of salad greens that are ready to go right in the supermarket and different ways to top them.  The black eyed pea and turkey mixture was warm and played off the crispness of the romaine.  I liked it a lot and have since dug out my stack of recipes filed under 'Salads' to review for some yummy main dish options.  

We made just a few changes -- all romaine for the lettuce, no celery (I don't like it) and our grocery store did not have frozen black eyed peas so we got canned instead.  I really liked the heat of the cayenne and the bites of the pickle found throughout the salad.  In fact, we've made this salad twice in the last two weeks!  I can't say I've remade a recipe that fast before!  We did have some of the smoked turkey to use up, but this is definitely a winner!

Smoked Turkey and Black Eyed Pea Salad

2 cloves garlic, minced
4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 10-ounce box frozen black-eyed peas, thawed
1/3 cup sliced bread-and-butter pickles, plus 4 tablespoons pickling liquid
8 ounces smoked turkey leg or breast, skin removed and meatshredded
4 scallions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt
Cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon Creole or whole-grain mustard
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
10 cups torn arugula, escarole and/or romaine
2 stalks celery, chopped (with leaves) (omitted)


  • Combine the garlic, thyme and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the black-eyed peas and 2 tablespoons pickling liquid and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the turkey and heat through, about 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat and add the scallions, and salt and cayenne to taste. Discard the thyme.
  • Meanwhile, whisk the mustard and the remaining 2 tablespoons pickling liquid in a large bowl. Add salt and cayenne to taste, then gradually whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add the tomatoes and toss. Add the arugula, celery and pickles and toss again. Divide among bowls and top with the black-eyed peas and turkey.

Per serving: 
Calories 318
Fat 18 g 
Fiber 5 g
WW Points: 7

Monday, March 1, 2010

Lighter Eggplant Parmesan

I found this recipe in an old copy of Everyday Food that I "borrowed" from my parent's house over the holidays.  By "borrowed" I mean that I took it without telling my mom, cut out the recipes I wanted and threw out the rest of the magazine.  :-)  I was looking for a meatless recipe for the first Friday of Lent and this was perfect.  I thought it turned out fantastic.  I can't say too much about the actual execution of the recipe, since Zach made dinner that night, but the flavors and taste were great.  I really liked the pink sauce that was used for between the layers of eggplant, it was not acidic like a straight marinara sauce might be, and I really enjoyed it.  This definitely makes our "keeper" recipe list.  We had it with a slice or two of Italian bread.  Yum!

Lighter Eggplant Parmesan

from Everyday Food, December 2008
Serves 4
WW Points per serving:4

1 large eggplant (2 pounds), sliced 1/2 inch thick crosswise
1 tablespoon olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup fat-free (skim) milk
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup marinara sauce
1/2 cup grated part-skim mozzarella
1/3 cup grated Parmesan

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Arrange eggplant on two rimmed baking sheets. Brush eggplant on both sides with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown and very tender, 20 to 25 minutes, turning slices and rotating sheets halfway through.
  • Meanwhile, make sauce: Off heat, in a medium saucepan, whisk together 1/4 cup milk, flour, and garlic. Gradually whisk in remaining 3/4 cup milk and 1/2 cup marinara sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, and cook until pink sauce has thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Spread 1/4 cup marinara sauce in the bottom of a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Alternate layers of baked eggplant with pink sauce. Dollop with remaining 1/4 cup marinara sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake on upper rack until browned and bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes.