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Saffron Butternut Squash Risotto

2 Nov

This time of year fresh fruits and vegetables are hard to find. The oranges I bought the other day were from South Africa and my tomatoes were from Brazil. It is hard to buy local when you live in a cold climate. Especially in a place like Connecticut that gets slammed with 9 inch snow storms in October! Yuck!!! You can however find one type of vegetable everywhere and that is SQUASH. I was never much of a squash fan growing up. I like zucchini and yellow squash, but never really knew what to do with the spaghetti, acorn and butternut varieties. My mother always would roast them with butter and salt and pepper, which was okay, but nothing that I craved. I picked up two butternut squash at a local farm stand for 1.00 each. If you are not sure what a butternut squash looks like here is a picture.

 

To prepare a butternut squash you must peel it. (I used a vegetable peeler) Cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and then cut it into bite size pieces. I have 2 amazing recipes for you coming up this week. The first Roasted Butternut Squash Saffron Risotto and then Roasted Butternut Squash Goat Cheese Ravioli with a brown butter, caramelized onion, bacon sauce. And yes…they are ww friendly!!! So the next time you see those strange looking squash in the grocery store, grab one! They are delicious and really good for you!!

    Saffron Butternut Squash Risotto

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Curried Vegetables with a Yogurt Cream Sauce

29 Sep

 

Indian food is one of my favorites. But, I am not a fan of the smell or taste of curry powder. A few years ago on of my Mom’s friends, Indira, came to her house to visit. She was born and raised in Nepal which is very close to India. The flavors are similar and the dishes are mostly vegetarian. She loves to cook and decided to treat us all to a traditional Nepalese meal. Dumplings with a tomato, chili sauce, curried vegetables with yogurt sauce, Chicken Curry and rice. It was amazing and she didn’t use curry powder in anything. This recipe is very easy to make and extremely healthy! I used a bunch of my fresh tomatoes from our garden. You can serve it as a main course over rice or as a side. Enjoy!

Curried Vegetables with a Yogurt Cream Sauce

 

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 can of chickpeas drained
  • 1 head of cauliflower cut into small pieces
  • 1 zucchini sliced
  • 4 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 small piece of fresh ginger (1 inch) chopped or 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsps plain, fat free greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Directions

  1. Add the oil to a large pot. Saute onions and garlic until soft.
  2. Add chickpeas, cauliflower, zucchini, tomatoes and spices. Stir well and let simmer on low for 30 minutes. Stir often to help tomatoes break down.
  3. Check that chickpeas and cauliflower is softened.
  4. Add greek yogurt and stir well.
  5. Serve over rice. (add points for rice)

 

Amount Per Serving 1 cup

3 points + per serving (with out rice)

Nutritional Information

Calories

131

Total Fat

1.2g

Sodium

321mg

Total Carbohydrates

24.4g

Dietary Fiber

4.7g

Protein

5.9g

 

Lots of news and a new recipe for you!

7 Sep

Hi everyone, you may be wondering where I have been and the answer is in the DARK! Connecticut was hit hard by hurricane Irene and we did not have power for 7 DAYS!!! Yes 7 day with out power. Which included no phones, water or flushing of toilets. Living with 3 kids on cereal was crazy, so I escaped to my parents house. To top it all off school was delayed by a week due to trees down on many streets. But, I have been working on some cool stuff for you; I did a review for Barefoot Wine and Bubbly, I am working on a review for Amy’s Organic Foods new light and lean meals (only 6 points + each) and I have a new recipe for you! Oh and the best news is I was chosen to create an ad for Nature’s Path Granola Bars!! I created a 30 second musical commercial for them! My first paying gig!! Yeah!! I will be posting the video soon.

With all the lack of power stuff going on, the grill was our best friend. This is a recipe we made to eat along with grilled chicken and it was amazing!!!!! It is actually totally filling and is a meal in itself. You will love it!!

 

http://thedigitallatina.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/get-your-grill-on.jpg

Image and recipe from Self Magazine

Polenta Stack with Navy Bean, Feta, Basil Salad [...]

Fresh Vegetable Tart

27 Jul

My mother in law gets a variety of cooking magazines and every time I go to her house I sit and browse through them. This recipe caught my eye in The Best of America’s Test Kitchens 2011 Light and Healthy version. I am always looking for ways to use fresh zucchini and tomatoes, because we have tons of them in our garden and they are my favorite vegetables. This tart was wonderful. The crust was amazing and the filling was light and creamy. We ate it with grilled chicken and it made a perfect summer meal. I made it a second time using herbed goat cheese as the filling instead of the ricotta and that was fabulous. This is not only delicious, but beautiful! Enjoy!!

 

Fresh Vegetable Tart

Recipe adapted from

The best of America’s Test Kitchens 2011

 

Serves 6

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons of all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup  plus 1 tablespoon of whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup grated paremesan cheese

Filling

  • 1 small zucchini sliced
  • 2 plum tomatoes sliced
  • salt
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup part skim ricotta
  • 1/4 cup part skim mozzerella cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil

Directions

For the crust:
Process the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor until combined. Drizzle the in the oil and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse grains. Add 3 Tbs of ice water and continue to process until large clumps of dough form. If the dough doesn’t clump, add the remaining tablespoon of water and pulse to incorporate.

Press the dough into the bottom and ¾ inch up the sides of a tart pan with a removable bottom. Smooth out bumps. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the freezer until firm, about 30 minutes. Make sure the tart pan is resting on a flat surface (place on a cutting board or plate if necessary.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Set the tart pan on a large baking sheet and remove plastic wrap. Press a double layer of foil into the tart shell and over the edges. Fill tart shell with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until dough is golden brown, about 30-40 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack and remove weights and foil.

Sprinkle Parmesan cheese evenly over the bottom of the tart shell and continue to bake another 5 minutes. Cool tart shell while making the filling.

For the filling:
Increase oven to 425 degrees. Spread zucchini slices and tomato slices in a single layer over several paper towels. Sprinkle lightly with salt and let sit for 30 minutes. Blot the tops of the zucchini and tomatoes dry with a few more paper towels.

In a small bowl, combine 1 tsp of the olive oil with the garlic. In another bowl, mix the remaining 1 tsp of oil, ricotta and mozzarella. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the bottom of the tart shell. Arrange zucchini and tomatoes in a layer on top of the ricotta. Drizzle the vegetables with the garlic-oil mixture. Bake the tart on the baking sheet until the vegetables are slightly wilted, about 20 minutes.

Let the tart cool for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with basil. Remove the outer metal ring of the tart pan. Carefully cut into 6 wedges and serve.

Nutritional Info:

Serves 6 – 7 pts + per serving

Calories 241,  Total Fat 19.1g,  Sodium 348mg Total Carbs 11.2g, Fiber 2g, Protein 6.6 g

 

Zucchini Pancakes

12 Jul

Fresh vegetables are abundant this time of year and our zucchini plants are getting huge. My mother in law shared this recipe with me and I was so excited to try it. My kids were skeptical at first “what’s that green stuff?”, but they gobbled them up and wanted seconds. These are absolutely delicious! We used them as a main dish with a side salad, but they can be used as side dish or even as appetizers (if you make them smaller). We topped ours with light sour cream. Enjoy!

 

Zucchini Pancakes

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Quinoa Tabbouleh – 4 points +

30 Apr

After my venture to Whole Foods the other day, I came home and cooked up some Quinoa to make my stuffed zucchini, but I had quite a bit left over. So I decided to prepare one of my favorite summer salads, Tabbouleh. Tabbouleh is a mediterranean salad that has fresh herbs, vegetables and olive oil. My version is light, easy and wonderful to have with your favorite grilled meat or to bring to a summer picnic. I usually use couscous, but decided Quinoa would be a good substitute. I am going to serve my tabbouleh with some chicken grilled in Mojo marinade. This marinade is 0 points + because it is made of fruit juices. It also has nothing artificial in it and it is all natural.  It is awesome and not to sweet!!! It is a big thing down in Key West. So my parents brought me up a big bottle. You can look for it in a grocery store near you!!! It is awesome with fish, chicken and pork!

 

 

Here is my yummy and simple 4 point + Tabbouleh!

 

 

Quinoa Tabbouleh

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Cheddar Cheese Sauce (2 points +)

10 Mar

I am not a huge vegetable fan. I know that Moms are not supposed to admit this but, just don’t tell the kids. I like to hide vegetables in dishes, so that no one will notice, including me. This cheese sauce is super simple and very versatile. You can put it over veggies or pasta and it is delicious and only 2 points + per serving!

 

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Super Cheesy Low Fat Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

19 Feb

My kids favorite food is Mac and Cheese. They love the boxed version as well as homemade. I bought a big head of cauliflower when I was at the store the other day and was not sure exactly what I was going to do with it. My mom always did a decadent cauliflower bake where she boiled the whole head of cauliflower, then covered it in a mix of mayo and mustard and then shredded cheddar, she would bake it until melted and it was delicious. It was not the healthiest way to dress up a veggie, so I decided to scour the internet and see what else I could find. I found a lot of cauliflower mac and cheese recipes and thought it sounded interesting, however most of them were super high in fat! Heavy cream, cream cheese and whole milk cheese! I knew I could make it a little healthier and still make my family happy! My kids and husband gobbled it up and it reminded me of my mom’s recipe, gooey, cheesy and oh so yummy! (Since I am on ww, I put the points at the bottom of the recipe)

 

 

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