12 August 2013

Cauliflower Mashed "Potatoes"

Let me start by saying I did not tell Will these were not regular mashed potatoes. Not because he wouldn't have eaten them, but because I wanted to see if all the comments on the recipe were true - if he wouldn't be able to tell the difference. HE COULD NOT. He was saying "These potatoes are really good" and things similar. I told him when he was finished and he could not believe those were made out of only cauliflower.

I am a carb lover, and let me say I would eat these over mashed potatoes ANY DAY. They are creamy and delicious.

1 head of cauliflower
1 tbsp lite cream cheese (I used a Laughing Cow wedge)
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp of minced garlic
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Chives for garnish

Wash and cut cauliflower into small pieces. Boil in a pot of water for about 10-15 minutes or until soft and cooked. Drain and dry using paper towels. Immediately place in food processor or blender. You do not want the cauliflower to cool. Puree the cauliflower with the cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt and pepper.  Sprinkle the top with chives and a few dashes of pepper. Serve! It's amazing. For real.

Original recipe found here.

Delicious Marinated Tomatoes & Cucumbers

I could have eaten the entire bowl of this! I made some lower cal substitutions from the original recipe - It called for 3/4 c olive oil! I used 1 tbsp and it was perfect. In fact, I think that would be SO oily with 3/4 c. I also used a sugar substitute in place of the real sugar. I liked getting to use so much of my fresh basil and parsley! Delicious, fresh summer side!

3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 tbsp sugar (I used a sugar substitute)
1½ tsp garlic salt
1½ tsp seasoned salt
¾ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
½ c red wine vinegar
4 green onions, sliced
6 whole Tomatoes, cut into wedges
2 large cucumbers, seeded & chopped

Whisk together everything except the tomatoes/cucumbers. Add the tomatoes and cucumbers and toss to coat.  Marinate in the fridge! YUM!

Original recipe found here.

07 August 2013

"Mac & Cheese" Spaghetti Squash

OMG. How do I adequately describe this? I just can't... you have to try it to fully understand. So creamy, cheesy, gooey, and delicious. ONLY 270 calories for the entire recipe!!

So I followed this recipe, and it's a single serving recipe which is great since Will is out of town. But I wanted just a little more sauce (because I felt like I had 2 c of squash instead of 1 1/2 c it calls for, and I was going to add veggies.) So I recalculated the calories the way I made it and it came to 270 cal. A little bit bit of a bigger serving and a little cheesier for only 50 calories more. The original recipe has 220 for the whole recipe. I also used the cheddar/mozzarella because I did not have a Mexican blend.

Of course this could also be split in half for sides for two people. I just ate all of mine and I am very full. So it's good and filling. :) A big ol' bowl of spaghetti (squash) and cheesy goodness. Can't go wrong.

Below I am posting the recipe for how I made mine.

2 c spaghetti squash
1 tbsp flour
1/2 c skim milk
1/4 c fat-free shredded cheddar
1/4 c part-skim shredded mozzarella
3 green onions, sliced
1/2 small green bell pepper, diced
1/2 tomato, diced
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese

This is how I always cook my spaghetti squash: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Poke squash with a fork all over. Place in a baking dish (whole) on its side. Bake for 1 hr. Remove. Let cool, then cut in half. Scoop out the middle part and the seeds. Use a fork to "shred" the squash. I think it's the easiest way.

Ok, now that we have cooked squash... Preheat oven to 350. Spray a small casserole dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, whisk together flour and salt & pepper. Slowly whisk in milk until smooth. Cook and stir until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted and smooth.

In a bowl, stir the cheese sauce into the cooked spaghetti squash until well combined. Add some of the tomatoes and green onion, and all of the peppers. Mix well. Spread in prepared casserole dish.
Sprinkle with the remaining green onions, tomatoes,  and Parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through. Then enjoy because it's amazing!!!

Original recipe found here.

Chickpea & Tomato Salad with Fresh Basil

Definitely going to take this as part of my lunch during school. The recipe is two servings, coming in at 245 cal. But it's really filling! I will probably even split the recipe into 3 servings next time. We only get about 20 minutes to eat when it's all said and done, and even then I can never eat much because there is just too much on my mind. Too much to do! But anyway, this is SO good!

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
About 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
25 large basil leaves, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp honey
pinch of salt

Toss all ingredients together and chill for at least 20 minutes, allowing all the flavors to merge. Then EAT!

Original recipe found here.

06 August 2013

Sautéed Zucchini & Squash "Noodles"

I finally bought a mandolin(e) a few weeks ago. (I seriously don't know which spelling is correct... I've googled it, but I've seen both used. The package mine came in had the "e" on the end. I also realize it's a musical instrument as well). Anyway, I am obsessed with my mandoline now. You NEED one if you don't have one. I got this one at Bed Bath & Beyond. It's $10 and has a lot of different settings.

So yesterday I used it on squash and zucchini to make "noodles"! I've done this before, but I used my grater to grate the zucchini/squash into "noodles" ... it took a long time but that's all I had. The mandoline makes it SO easy! SO fast! Better too, because they are much more noodle-like than when you use a grater.

I kind of think I could just eat a big bowl of zucchini/squash "noodles" every night...

Fresh from the mandoline... yum!

squash/zucchini - just use how much you want. I think I used 2 medium zucchini and 2 small squash for this.
1/4 c onion (I sliced mine thin)
1 tsp minced garlic
olive oil spray

After you shred your zucchini/squash with the mandoline, put it in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Let sit 10-20 minutes to draw out some water. Squeeze out water. I also put mine between some paper towels to remove some additional water. Spray a large skillet with olive oil and heat over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion and saute about 2-3 minutes. Add squash/zucchini, along with salt/pepper to taste. Saute about 2 more minutes, remove from heat, and enjoy!

01 August 2013

Creamy Baked Tacos (Weight Watchers Recipe)

YUM! This was delicious! I don't know what makes these different from enchiladas... but they called them tacos... so I am too. Also, I'm not including this in the ingredients, but I did grate a tiny bit of pepper jack cheese over the top.

1 lb very lean ground beef
1 pkt low-sodium taco seasoning
1 green bell pepper, seeded & chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 c water
8 tortillas (low carb 60 cal)
1 c shredded fat-free cheddar cheese, divided
1 can red-fat cream of mushroom soup
1/2 c hot taco sauce
1/3 c skim milk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9x12" cooking dish with spray. In a large non-stick skillet, cook meat with onion, garlic and bell pepper until browned; drain fat well, then return to skillet. Add in the taco seasoning mix and water and simmer over medium-low heat stirring for 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 c cheese.

Divide meat mixture between 8 tortillas. Roll them up and place seam side down in the baking dish. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 c cheese over tacos. In a bowl, mix together the taco sauce, soup, and milk. Pour over tacos. Bake 20 minutes.

Original recipe found here.

Light Cheesy Squash Casserole

I love squash casserole, but I was looking for a lighter recipe. I found this great lower cal recipe, and it comes from... 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet. Thought that was funny. Only 95 calories per serving, and it's nice and cheesy!

2 lbs yellow summer squash — sliced
3/4 c chopped onions
1 tbsp light butter
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 c skim milk
3/4 c shredded fat free cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
cooking spray
1/2 c Panko

Spray a large pan and heat over medium-high heat. Saute onions and squash for 5-7 minutes, until soft. In another smaller sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk; cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat; add cheese, salt, and pepper, stirring until cheese melts. Add to the squash mixture; stir well.

Spoon squash mixture into a shallow 1 1/2 quart casserole coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle squash mixture evenly with Panko. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Original recipe found here.