Showing posts with label Healthy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Healthy. Show all posts

July 7, 2014

Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus {Recipe}

I love hummus.  What I love even more is that I've come up with a couple of different variations now that I enjoy and can make at home.  Bonus!

Nothing like dipping a multi-grain pita chip or carrots into a creamy hummus that is full of flavor to satisfy that afternoon craving for a snack.


Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus

January 26, 2014

Chipotle Kale Chips {Recipe}


Spicy, crisp kale chips are just the thing to satisfy that crunchy-food craving, in a healthy way!
Chipotle Kale Chips


I know I must be the VERY last person to finally make kale chips.  They have been all the rage for the longest time, but as is usually the case... I'm slow to buy-in to some food fads.

Why did I finally give it a try?  Last week I went to lunch with a couple of friends from work and one mentioned that she had just made kale chips the previous weekend. She raved about how good they were and so simple to prepare.   Then when I went to the produce market on Saturday, lo-and-behold there was a lovely selection of kale just waiting to be added to my cart.  It was meant to be!

April 3, 2013

Healthy Lunchbox {recipe: Almond-Dill Chicken Salad}

I'm on a constant search for quick and easy lunchbox ideas.  Sometimes I struggle with ideas for My Boys lunches, but other times... it's actually mine that gets lost in the shuffle.  If I forget to send their lunches in, I'll get a phone call from the school and they'll serve them a hot lunch (that they already told me they weren't interested in, which is why they didn't order it) and then, I have to send in the money to pay for it.  That is assuming that they have enough 'extra' lunches that day since they don't actually have a kitchen at our elementary school... needless to say, forgetting to pack their lunches is simply not.an.option.
Almond-Dill-Chicken-Salad



When it's the morning crunch to get things done before I head off to work and leave My Husband in charge of getting them on to the bus... I often run out of time to pack some healthy food for my own lunch.  I've gotten better in the last couple of weeks, and that's due to planning.  Planning is so very important to ensuring I don't forget about my own lunch... which will then cause me to have to buy something... and our cafeteria at work can leave little to be desired no matter how hard the current chef tries... it's just not that good, and I don't trust the items they list as their "lighter side" when I see them sitting in a sauce.  I think their idea of "lighter" and mine differ quite a bit.

So, the ideal option is for me to pack up my little bag with good-for-me foods.  I've been taking several servings of fruit daily which is helping me curb my chocolate cravings.  Late afternoons are a real struggle, but I'm managing when I bring in something satisfying like a little bit of peanut butter to spread on banana slices.

Lunch is frequently leftovers, but sometimes I underestimate how much everyone will eat at dinner and when they love something I won't have anything left for my lunch the next day.  This Almond-Dill Chicken Salad is ideal for these situations.

The original recipe was from the The Good Carb Cookbook.  I've had this cookbook for quite awhile and have tried a few recipes from it.  It got pushed aside for the many other cookbooks I've collected since then, but recently came back out when I was trying to plan some healthy meals.  I am not a fan of the "no carb" craze, because I don't feel all carbs are "bad".  It's about choosing the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to carbs... high fiber and avoiding added sugars.

I adjusted the recipe a bit to suit my tastes and to accommodate what I had on hand when I decided to make it.  It's a great recipe to throw together and you'll be able to get at least 2, maybe even 3 lunches out of it.



Almond-Dill Chicken Salad

Recipe by Patsy K (inspired by The Good Carb Cookbook)
Ingredients
  • 1 - 8 ounce can chicken (or 1 cup cooked, diced chicken)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons sliced scallions
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons reduced fat sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
Cooking Directions
  1. If using canned chicken, add to a bowl and use a fork to break it up so that it's not large pieces (should resemble shredded chicken when finished).
  2. Add the almonds, scallions, mayonnaise, sour cream and dill to the chicken and combine completely. If it is too dry, add a little more mayonnaise.
  3. Chill until ready to serve in whole wheat pitas or on whole wheat bread.

Note:  The link for the cookbook will take you to the Amazon site where you can get more information on the book, and order if you'd like.  I receive a small referral fee if you choose to purchase via this link.
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March 11, 2013

Green Giant's Big Surprise



Guess what?  Green Giant has a fabulous new healthy snack that  you can feel good about enjoying!   They now make some tasty veggie snacks!

Green Giant has been a popular name in my family since I was a little girl.  We always had their canned veggies in the pantry to use whenever we might be running low on the fresh veggie options for dinner at any time.   I still keep a supply of their canned and frozen veggies available to add an extra veggie or two to our evening meals.  Now, they've gone and found a way to bring that veggie goodness to crunchy snacks that everyone can enjoy.

Green-Giant-Roasted-Vegetable-Chips

The Roasted Veggie Tortilla Chips are a nice change from the usual tortilla chips you may be used grabbing for a snack.  They are full of cheddar flavor which just might fool you into thinking these are not so good for you... when, in fact they can brag about their 17 grams of whole grain goodness!  Add to that the use of real veggies and their crisp crunch and you've got a snack you can feel good about sharing with your kids.

January 16, 2013

#EatLiveBe - Preparation {Recipe: Warm Barley Salad}



#eatlivebe its all about planning so I eat healthy today! Some of my snacks that will go to work with me.

This week, I've been working on preparing and planning things ahead of time.  Taking a cue from Cate's #EatLiveBe post last week.

What a difference thinking ahead and putting together my lunch and snacks the night before makes.  I restocked my fruits and veggies later in the week last week to make sure I could fill my lunch bag with lots of healthy and filling options.

Just getting up in the morning to all ready prepped lunches gets me off to the best start for the day.  No rushing around and only getting the kids lunches ready, but having time to eat breakfast at the same time that they are is so nice.

I really wanted to start working out in the mornings before starting my day... so far that hasn't worked.  I have a hard time getting moving when its cold AND dark outside.  So, for now I'm getting my time in on the treadmill in the evenings.  Not my favorite time to do it, but it's what works for now.  I've read that as long as you find a time that you can get exercise in, to just go for it.

Love this new snack I found at Trader Joe's!  Slightly addictive.
I made a trip to Trader Joe's last week and spied these cool new {to me} snacks.  They are crunchy green beans... it's like eating a chip with a touch of salt, but they are green beans.  Totally fills that craving for a crunchy-salty snack in the afternoon.  I paired it with some almonds and that got me through the afternoon very nicely.

I've actually found that I'm packing so many healthy options in my lunch bag that I'm not able to finish them all!  Feeling satisfied after lunch and my late day snack has made a big difference in the need to go searching for something from the sundry shop in my office building.  And, you know what they have in there, right?  All pre-packaged sugary snacks or chips. I haven't needed to go visit even for a bottle of water, since I've been bringing my own in a reusable bottle each day this week!

I'm also noticing that these changes, while they may be small, are making me feel better in many ways. I tend to feel more "blue" in the winter months, but the last week or so I've felt more energized and motivated to get things done.  I'm also trying to take some time each day for myself, which is not always easy... so, sometimes it's just a few minutes to read a magazine in peace.

Pancetta and shredded Brussels sprouts for a warm barley salad side dish.This week, I'm sharing a very simple side dish that I made after getting some inspiration from Food Network magazine.  There was a salad that was to accompany a dish in the current issue, but I ended up altering it quite a bit and the results were super tasty, and overall good for you, too!

I know that pancetta doesn't seem all that healthy, but it adds a fabulous contrast to the shredded Brussels sprouts and the barley.  This is a super easy way to add flavor without having to ransack the pantry looking for inspiration.

I also found some quick cooking barley at Trader Joe's... cooks in 10 minutes so that made this dish come together in less than 20 minutes.  Which was perfect since that was how long the London broil need to rest before I could start slicing it.

Make sure to check out Cate, Sarah and Joanne's #EatLiveBe posts to see what they are sharing this week.   If you are posting about your own healthy changes in 2013, please leave a link to your post in comments so I can come and support you, too!

In the coming week, my plan is to make sure I am drinking enough water, exercise and find a make-ahead breakfast that I can prepare on Sunday so that I can just grab it in the morning.  I find that I need protein in the morning to keep me going, so perhaps I'll try a frittata this weekend.


Warm-Barley-Salad




Warm Barley Salad

Recipe by Patsyk
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces diced pancetta
  • 1 cup quick cooking barley
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 1/2 cups Brussels sprouts, shredded
  • salt and pepper to taste
Cooking Directions
  1. Combine barley and vegetable broth in a pot and bring to a boil. Allow to cook for about 10 minutes.
  2. While barley is cooking, heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat and add pancetta. Cook until fat begins to render out and the pancetta is lightly browned.
  3. Add the Brussels sprouts, salt and pepper and allow to cook until the sprouts begin to soften or look "wilted".
  4. Add the barley to the skillet and stir to combine. Heat until thoroughly warmed and serve immediately.


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 Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.

January 2, 2013

Healthy Grains {Recipe: Mushroom & Caramelized Onion Barley} #EatLiveBe


Happy New Year!  Yes, I do realize I'm a day late on that one... but, can you blame me for taking a couple of days to just kick back?  Ok... so, I didn't totally kick back the last couple of days because I was sick for several days before that and finally had the energy to get some things done... which meant, just catching up the last couple of days!  Boy... I am totally rambling right now!

Did you notice that I added the #EatLiveBe hashtag to this post title?  Well, it's officially time to revisit and restart these healthy posts again.  I'm not doing it alone either... I've got Cate, Sarah and Joanne joining me again in working on some healthy changes in the coming year.

I mentioned some of my goals for the coming months in my post last week... of course, the day after I wrote that post... I was knocked out with a horrible cold that put me out of commission for several days.     So, even though I got off to a great start early last week by getting my activity in... the last few days have been more about being good to myself and getting the rest I really needed so that I could get better faster.  I think this is the first time I didn't push myself to keep going when I got sick and it truly seemed like it didn't last as long as it has in the past.  Go figure.

Caramelized onions and mushrooms will be tossed with barley tonight.  #ELB #healthyliving

Something I've been wanting to incorporate more of recently are more whole grains.  I've attempted this in small bits in the past by making a Wheatberry Salad and a Wheatberry Bruschetta Salad, which were both very tasty and appealed  only to me and no one else in my house.  That's ok, because I made them so I'd have quick and easy, healthy lunches to take to work.

Now, it's time to come up with some great side dishes that my whole family (or at least a majority of us) will enjoy in place of pasta every time I serve dinner.

We had all enjoyed a barley salad at a Hanukkah dinner at our temple back in December... and, since I couldn't find an exact replica of that recipe, I started playing around with some of my own ideas.

August 6, 2012

Bruschetta Wheatberry Salad {Recipe}

Earlier this year, I made a Wheatberry Salad with Cranberries that I loved and it made a perfectly filling lunch for me to take to work.  I've thought about trying to come up with another version for awhile... and finally did it last week!

I've been loving the fresh tomatoes that are in season right now, so it was obvious to choose to use them in this recipe.  I wanted to do a bit of a spin on the tomato topping typically served on bruschetta.

Bruschetta-Wheatberry-Salad
As I was thinking about what else to add to the salad, I ended up with a number of things that I always have on hand... which will make the possibility of this salad being a "repeater" much more likely.


February 23, 2012

Chicken and Sausage Stew to Warm You Up

Even though we've had a very mild winter, there are still very chilly evenings that remind us what season it really is.  So, a comforting stew that can be thrown together pretty easily on a weeknight when you don't have to head out can be a very good thing.

This month's issue of Cooking Light called to me... to be honest, it hasn't in awhile.  I would flag a couple of recipes, but never go back and add them to my list to actually make them.  I don't know why, but the recipes had lost their appeal the last few months.  This month, the focus in the issue is on comfort classics and many are updated and lightened up.  I can get into that idea.

There was an entire article, with recipes, on how to use a jar of tomato sauce and add some key ingredients to make it something extra special.  While I wasn't overly excited about some of the recipes in that article... the Chicken and Sausage Stew spoke to me.
Chicken-and-Sausage-Stew


February 21, 2012

Baked Red Snapper with Herbed Butter

One of my goals this year was to make sure we are eating fish once a week.  Most week's I am definitely making this happen, which I feel really good about because those meals always seem lighter and healthier for some reason.

 
I've also been trying to expand beyond tilapia and cod as my mainstays when it comes to making fish.  The other night, I made red snapper for the first time.  It's another mild fish, but with nice reddish color to the flesh before it's cooked.

 
Red-Snapper-with-Herbed-Butter

 
In my search for healthy weeknight meals, I decided it was time to pull out a cookbook that hasn't been shown enough love... Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast.  I've had it for awhile and have a number of pages flagged to go back to and make at some point.  I'm so glad I revisited this cookbook for this dish!


January 27, 2012

Review: The Carb Lovers Diet Cookbook (Recipe: Oatmeal-Cranberry Muffins)

I have read tons of books on various types of diets and how to lose weight.  When I initially received an email asking if I'd like more information on the Carb Lovers Diet Cookbook, I did hesitate because I just didn't know if I need to add to my already huge collection of cookbooks and diets.  Once I did a little checking, I could see that it wasn't going to be a free-for-all-eat-all-the-carbs-you-want-diet.  I was also intrigued because I saw that this wasn't one of those diets that suggests you completely eliminate an entire food group.  I just can't get my head around those diets because they work for awhile and then you go back to the "old ways" because you crave the foods you gave up.
I am not going to review the merits of the diet or the meal plans that are provided in this book, since I have not followed them myself.  If you are interested in following the plan, the book does provide a Kick-Start meal plan (1200 calories per day) that lasts for 1 week, which is then followed by a 21 day meal plan (1600 calories per day) to help you continue losing. 

My review is really about the recipes and this cookbook has 150 healthy, balanced recipes to choose from as you work towards improving your diet.  I'm very interested in any book that promotes whole grains, fresh produce and lean proteins.  From everything I have seen over the years, these are the elements necessary to embarking on healthy eating.  Portion control is also key, and necessary even with these recipes.

 The Carb Lovers Diet Cookbook is filled with fabulous photos that will make your mouth water.  The theory behind this cookbook is not that you can go crazy filling up on carbohydrates, but rather that if you choose your carbs wisely you can still enjoy them as part of a healthy lifestyle.

January 3, 2012

Happy 2012! (Baked Spaghetti Squash)

Well, we are 2 days into 2012 and hopefully, everyone is off to a great New Year!  We had a really nice weekend with family and friends... and of course, food! 

 
I hope to share many more recipes in the coming year, and will likely add some different kinds of reviews as well.  Now that I have rediscovered my love of reading, I will be adding some book reviews as I plow my way through some best sellers and some older books that I missed during the years when I didn't have time to read. 

 
I also hope to get back to challenging myself with new cooking techniques, but the twist will be to make sure we are eating a healthy balance of foods that include wonderful produce and lean meats.  This speaks to the Eat. Live. Be. Reboot. challenge I've been participating in, which I will continue to share each week on Wednesdays (as long as Blogger doesn't give me grief with getting my post done!).

 
So, let's start the year off with a simple way to prepare spaghetti squash!
spaghetti-squash-with-parmesan-cheese

 

 

December 28, 2011

Eat. Live. Be. Reboot. (Recipe: Wheatberry Salad with Cranberries)

Don't forget to enter the fabulous giveaway that Grumpy's Honeybunch is hosting!  Check out my Brie Bites post for more information on how you could win!

Nothing like getting past one holiday feast only to look forward to another weekend of indulging, right?  New Year's is coming and it's likely to be brought in with lots of food to nibble on... and we'll, be enjoying some football food come Sunday night.

This week, we are sharing something from television, and I imagine we'll all interpret that in different ways... that's what I like about how we are doing it this time.  I may look at the topics as they rotate and find something different each time that speaks to me.   Cate, Sarah and Joanne may interpret each topic in a completely different way... which, will often make me look at something in a whole new light. 

I don't watch a ton of television these days.  I was lucky enough to receive a new Kindle Touch, so I am much more into reading right now.  But this morning, I was able to sleep in a bit since I have some time off from work to be with My Boys while they are on break from school... so, I watched a bit of television.  I enjoy watching the Today Show and today was a segment about People Magazine's feature sharing weight-loss stories. 

I find these stories to be so inspiring because they had so much more to lose than I do, and they didn't let that stop them.  Once they hit their "moment of truth", they had the motivation and focus to make the weight-loss a reality. 

Inspired by what I saw in each of the people featured today, I decided to make a wheatberry salad.  Wheatberries are a grain (not actually a fruit!) and full of good stuff for you... and what's more, they are pretty tasty and filling.
Wheatberry-Salad-with-cranberries-and-almonds


July 14, 2011

Simplicity in the Summer (Grilled Zucchini & Yellow Squash)

When summer comes, I always look forward to life slowing down a bit.  The kids don't have homework (other than some workbooks I have them do to keep their brains from going "mushy"), no sports practices or games ... just day camp and spending time doing things we enjoy.

For some reason, I don't feel like we've had that laid back summer I was hoping for... at least not yet.  We still have quite a bit of summer left before school begins (we start later than most of the country - after Labor Day).  So, there's still time to enjoy the freedom of less scheduled time in the evenings and weekends.

One of the best parts of this time of year is that fresh produce is so abundant that I often try to serve more than one vegetable at dinner.  Not that everyone will dig into both of them, but there are so many more options to work with to entice them into eating something new.

grilled zucchini and squash

Zucchini and yellow sqaush are something I love to bring home in the summer months.  So easy to prepare with just a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of Kosher salt and the favorite seasoning of the day.  This time it was an Italian seasoning blend. 

I chose to grill them up and they became tender and just a bit sweet while cooking.  You could even toss the leftovers with some cold pasta, cherry tomatoes and anything else you can find for a slightly different pasta salad to nibble on for lunch.  Maybe even some bits of fresh mozzarella as well.  I'm thinking that may become a reality this weekend so that I can have some myself!

I did find out that My Oldest LOVES, LOVES, LOVES a simple caprese salad!  I served it twice in the last week, and he was my biggest customer on that one!  Who knew that sliced tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and olive oil would be such a big hit with my 9 year old?  He still won't touch the zucchini, but this he devoured... go figure!

Caprese Salad

What is your favorite way to enjoy the plentiful produce bounty this time of year?
Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.
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July 12, 2011

Mini Blueberry Crumbcakes

It's no secret that I have a sweet tooth.  Just look at all of the cookies, cakes, muffins and desserts I've made over the last few years.  With the warmer weather and just being busy doing other things I haven't been baking as much as I'd like (or as much as My Boys would like).

Recently, I bought a container of fresh blueberries and had been nibbling on them or adding to the fruit cups I put together for the boys camp lunches.   Since I hadn't gotten through them quick enough, they were begging to be made into something yummy.

When I did a search I found a post by one of my favorite blogging friends, Grumpy's HoneyB, for Blueberry Crumbcake.  As soon as I saw her photos, I knew I'd be making this recipe.  I did decide to make it in muffin tins rather than as a 9-inch cake pan, because I like the portion control.

Mini Blueberry Crumbcakes 02

Mini Blueberry Crumbcakes 04

The recipe originated with Cooking Light, and I've always had good luck with their recipes I knew this one would be a perfect treat.  By changing the recipe to mini-cakes, I did adjust the temperature to 375 degrees and cooking time to about 22-25 minutes and they baked up beautifully.

I also didn't have any buttermilk on hand - that's what happens when you haven't been baking, you don't have the usual staples hanging around in the kitchen.  But no worries, there is a way to make a perfect substitute!  Add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to a 1 cup liquid measuring cup.  Then add 1 cup of milk and let sit for 5 minutes.  After it sits, you have your simple substitute for buttermilk and can use as much as you need to for your recipe. 

Mini Blueberry Crumbcakes 05

They are perfect little cakes (or muffins if you prefer so tht you can indulge at breakfast!).   My Oldest loved them, but I will recommend sharing them right away or lightly covering them for only a day or so.  If you cover them too tightly, they get a bit soft (still delicious) but they are so moist you don't need them to be kept air-tight.  Enjoy!

Blueberry Crumb CakeAdapted from: Cooking Light Annual Recipes, 1999,Via Grumpy's HoneyBunch

12 paper muffin cups
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup stick butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk
1 cup blueberries
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place the 12 muffin cups into a muffin tin and set aside.

Beat 2/3 cup sugar and 1/4 cup butter at medium speed of a mixer until blended (about 5 minutes). Add vanilla and egg; beat well. Lightly spoon 1-1/3 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in blueberries.

Pour into prepared muffin tin. Combine 3 tablespoons sugar and remaining ingredients in a bowl; stir until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle sugar mixture over batter. Bake at 375 degrees for 22-25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.
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July 5, 2011

Fennel and Apple Salad

Sometimes it's the simplest things that can give you enjoyment.  Spending a day on the beach, going crabbing, watching fireworks.  All of these things are part of summer and are simple pleasures.

July 4th 2011-02

Our 4th of July weekend was filled with all of these simple pleasures.  We also enjoyed several meals that were what I'd call "vacation indulgences.  So, after a weekend of indulging, I was craving something a bit different with dinner on Monday night. 

I wanted a side dish that was a salad with some crunch.  When I was perusing the produce at a local market, I saw fennel bulbs and decided I would make a salad from them.  I remember a friend of mine making a shaved fennel salad to accompay a meal a few years back and I really loved the flavor.

June 8, 2011

Steak with Blue Cheese Sauce

I love trying new recipes.  Of course, that is one of the things people who write food blogs do.... so, when My Family asks me to make something more than once in a 2 week period, it's definitely worthy of a new post!

I had to laugh the first time I made this because My Oldest has developed a taste for blue cheese.  Since it's such a strong flavored cheese, I thought he was going to opt-out of the sauce like His Brother.  He even stirred in some of the blue cheese crumbles into this mashed potatoes.  Gotta love a kid who will do that! 

May 24, 2011

Tangy Tuscan Lime Muffins

When the May issue of Cooking Light showed up in my mailbox, I was thrilled to find a few recipes I wanted to try.  I pulled out the section on making muffins right away... because, well... I love to bake muffins and the variety in this issue spoke to me right away.  Everything from sweet to tangy to chocolatey to savory. 

I had some limes hanging around so, I made an adjustment to the Tuscan Lemon Muffins by using the limes.  This was one of those times when I had all the ingredients on hand at the moment I got the urge to bake.  I just love when that happens!

tuscan lime cupcakes collage


May 19, 2011

Flavorful Cucumber Avocado Salsa

This week we have seen so much rain that I think we might just float away! On my way home on Wednesday, the rain was coming down so hard that the water had no where to go... but, across the roads.  I was wary of driving through certain stretches of one of our busier roads because it does tend to flood a bit.  Fortunately, I left work before it had time to really get too high.

After I picked up My Boys from school we were on our way home and I pointed out to them that the little bridge that is over a shallow stream was likely to be overtaken by the water tonight.  The water was very close to reaching the road - up probably 5-6 feet and no where to go. 

I really am wondering what is happening with the weather the past year or so... our Winter seemed brutal between snowstorms that actually caused my office to shut down and our schools to use all 3 snow days plus 2 extra days... and, now Spring doesn't seem to be anything but rain with a few warm, sunny days thrown in to tease us.

Maybe I'm just a bit grumpy and down due to the grey skies this week and crave some warm sunshine to brighten my mood.  Tonight's dinner was a taste of summer for me.  I chose another recipe from Ellie Krieger and was, once again, very pleased with the results.


May 17, 2011

Ellie Krieger's Sloppy Joe's

I know, I know.. I've been a very bad blogger lately... I haven't even been cooking that many interesting things lately, so you haven't been missing too much.  Hopefully, you are still here with me and will be patient as I work to get back to a regular posting routine.  If you are new here as a result of my new writing gig at Patch, then WELCOME! and, I promise to have something new to share here a couple times a week, and when I'm really inspired a bonus post or two! Ok, let's not get too crazy here considering my irratic posting the last couple of months.... but, I do have some yummy recipes planned for the next week or so, and will post them as quickly as I can! 

December 26, 2010

A Light Meal to Offset the Holiday Eating: Rigatoni with Creamy Sausage Sauce

 Now that the bulk of the heavy eating holidays are done, I thought it might be a good time to share a recipe I made recently.  It's not heavy even though the sauce definitely has a creaminess to it.  I decided to use the ShopRite Imported Roasted Red Peppers that were sent to me as part of the ShopRite Blogger Panel box of goodies for December.

 I loved that the peppers were still whole and had that nice char to them.  I've found some jarred roasted red peppers don't have that and the flavor is just not there.  The dish I added them to comes from Weight Watchers and is filled with lots of good for you ingredients.  You could amp-up the nutrition by using whole wheat pasta, but I opted not to do that as I was serving the whole family and they have not totally accepted the whole wheat pasta just yet.  Occasionally, I can get it past them but not always.

I added some fresh baby spinach, because I had it on hand and it just sounded good.  One of the great things about a dish like this is that you can add just about anything to it and it will work perfectly.  I left out the frozen green peas since my family doesn't care for them in pasta dishes, but I don't think it hurt the dish at all.  It was full of color and was very simple to make - on the table in about 30 minutes.

Just about everyone enjoyed it... as I have mentioned before, My Oldest is going through a picky phase (yes, that can still happen at nearly 9 years old it seems), so he picked out what he liked and left the rest.  I still stand by making only one meal for the family and either you eat it or you don't.  No special meals here.  Eventually, he'll come back around, I think for him it's more of declaring some kind of independence right now.  I'm not worried because he does eat a pretty varied diet in general.

So, this is a tasty recipe that won't immediately go to your hips and may offset some of the indulging you've done recently.  Check the fridge and add what you have and if you have access to a ShopRite store, pick up a bottle of their imported roasted red peppers.  I am sure you'll be pleased with the quality.

 Rigatoni with Creamy Sausage Sauce
Adapted from:  Weight Watchers

 8 ounces uncooked rigatoni
1/8 teaspoon table salt
8 ounces raw turkey sausage, casings removed (I used about 3 links of sweet turkey sausage)
8 ounces mushrooms, quartered (use whatever variety you prefer)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
2 cups loosely packed fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup sliced roasted red bell peppers
1/2 teaspoon salt or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon back pepper, freshly ground

Directions
Cook pasta according to package instructions.

In a large non-stick skillet, cook sausage stirring and breaking it into chunks as it cooks.  Once browned - about 3 minutes - remove sausage to a bowl.  Add mushrooms to the skillet and sauté until  until lightly browned and softened.  Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

In a measuring cup, whisk together flour and milk until smooth; stir into skillet with roasted red peppers, salt and pepper.  Bring the sauce to a boil and simmer until thickened - about 3 minutes.  Stir in the sausage and spinach.  Remove from heat and allow the spinach to wilt.

Finally, add the cooked and drained pasta to the skillet and stir until pasta is coated with sauce and the ingredients are thoroughly tossed together.

About 2 cups per serving with a Points Plus value of 11.  


Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.
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