Purpose of this blog is for me to try out recipes from my Weight Watchers cookbooks and hopefully I can find some really yummy, low point recipes to share. But this site is NOT an official Weight Watchers site.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Chicken Fauxdon Bleu -8pts

I love Chicken Cordon Bleu, it is so many points, I knew I needed to find a way to cook this cheaper. I think I have done just that.
Chicken Fauxdon Bleu
(8 points per serving, makes 2 servings)

  • 8 oz chicken breast, cut into two 4oz pieces (cut it as wide as possible)
  • 2 servings of ham (check your serving size and calories on your ham, as long as your serving is below 50 calories per serving you should be okay)
  • Swiss cheese, one serving- cut into two pieces (check your serving size)-if you don't have Swiss you can you any cheese you like, we used Colby/Monterey Jack (because that is what we had)
  • seasoned breading from the "Flaky Chicken-6pts" recipe, be skimpy on the seasonings (maybe leave them out)-2oz RITZ crackers crumbled, 1 tsp Parm, 1/4 tsp basil, 1/4 tsp oregano, 1/4 c plain non-fat yogurt.

directions: Take your 4oz pieces of chicken, butterfly them (slice them long ways through the most middle as possible spot, DO NOT CUT ALL THE WAY THROUGH). In that open cut place the 1/2 serving of cheese, on top of the cheese place the ham. Close the chicken the best as possible, stab with toothpicks to hold the best it can. Roll in the non-fat yogurt, then int he crackers/seasonings mix, place on sprayed baking tray. Bake  for 20 minutes at 375 (or until done). One chicken is one serving.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Poached Pork Chops-6 pts

I love a good pork chop, but I have always have had a problem with cooking it all the way through without overcooking (burning) the outer layer. My mom solved this problem (after many years of eating them a little burnt) by baking them. I do like them baked, but not as much as grilled on the stove top. The problem was solved by a recipe in one of my Weight Watcher cookbooks, although I am seasoning completely different. The answer is poaching. Never thought about poaching a pork chop.
Poached Pork Chops
6 points per serving

  • 5 oz pork chops, bone cut off and any viable fat,- one for each serving
  • pinch of salt for each chop side
  • sprinkle of pepper
  • season all (we have this organic seasonal from Costco- Kirtland brand, it is wonderful on pork chops)-sprinkle it over each side
  • half an onion chopped, leave in large slices
  • 1 cup of chopped mushrooms (or whatever you'll want to eat)
  • 1/2 cup of water*water should just cover the bottom of your pan, depending on the size of your pan this amount of water may be more, may be less
directions: spray skillet with cooking spray or spray butter, start cooking the onions and mushrooms. Just as the onions are starting to go clear put in the seasoned chops. Scoop up onion/mushroom mixture and put on top of pork chops. Let the first side brown, then flip, replace onion/mushrooms, let brown. Once both sides are browned to liking, pour in the 1/2 cup of water*. Try to have as many of the onions and mushrooms on top of the pork chops. Poach until all the water cooks off, again important not to put in too much water. If the outside of your pork chop is not browned to liking, finish it before removing it from heat. Serve with the onions and mushrooms on the side.
This method can be done without onions and mushrooms, and with a variety of seasonings. The biggest thing is the concept of stove top grilling and poaching it for the perfect juicy and browned pork chop.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Best Lasagna (Spinach-Beef)- 6 points

Last week I made a double meat tiny lasagna for my husband and I to use our weekly points. I made it in a 9x9 (1 quart casserole dish), we cut it into 9 pieces. It was 8pts per piece. That got me thinking, the ingredients without the meat really weren't that bad. I don't want to give up my meat, but to use less meat-hmmm. I don't mind vegetarian lasagna. I've had it made with spinach and its not bad. What would spinach with ground beef taste like? Once I had the idea, I knew I had to try making it. Layer of spinach and a layer of meat.
Spinach-Beef Lasagna-Best Ever
makes 4 LARGE servings in a 9x9 glass (1 quart casserole dish), 6 pts each

  • 1/2 lb of ground beef (90 lean or higher)
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp Italian Sausage Seasoning Mix
  • 4 c spinach fresh-steamed till wilted or 1 1/2 frozen-thawed (or how much you are feeling like eating remember it will seem like less once cooked)
  • 1 c Fat-Free Cottage Cheese
  • 6 Lasagna sheets (I love the bake sheets that Barilla makes, the points are based off of 190 Cal, 2 fat, 2 dietary fiber- 2 servings)
  • 2 c Pasta Sauce (Classico Basil and Sun-dried tomatoes, based on 50 Cal, 1 fat- 4 servings)
  • 1/2 c Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 c Parmesan cheese
directions: Start by cooking up the onion chopped up into small pieces and garlic in a skillet pan, add in the 1/2 lb ground beef and the Italian Sausage Seasoning Mix. Once browned, remove from heat. Next layer up. 2 sheets fit on the bottom, layer of cooked meat mixture, drop 1/2 c of cottage cheese over the meat and 3/4 c pasta sauce, mix the cottage cheese and pasta sauce. Second layer, 2 lasagna pasta sheets, 4 c spinach, 1/2 c cottage cheese and 3/4 pasta sauce (mix cottage cheese and sauce). Third layer, 2 lasagna pasta sheets, 1/2 c pasta sauce spread over past sheets, sprinkle over the Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Place in oven, cook at 375 for 40 minutes (or until all cooked and golden brown). Cut into 4 equal portions. Makes a HUGE serving that is SO filling for so few points-one serving is about half your plate. 
Served it to my in-laws for dinner-- they LOVED it, My husband loved it "WOW", can't vouch for children my little one is just starting to eat solids. Served it with zucchini, other suggestions- California Veggies, steamed carrots, peas, broccoli.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Italian Sausage Seasoning Mix

In our quest to eat healthier and to save money we have been learning to make our own seasoning mixes. Those packages and pre-mixtures you purchase at the store are so convenient BUT many contain a preservative (often molasses) and that adds calories. I learned that I could make my own Taco Seasoning. My husband loves Italian Sausage, but buying it is expensive compared purchasing the ground beef and I think the way sausage is packaged is gross to handle. One day, after I had made our Taco Seasoning my husband had a light bulb moment- we could make our own seasoning and put it on our ground beef. Therefore it would taste like Italian Sausage.
Italian Sausage Seasoning Mix
use 2 tsp or 2/3 Tbs per 1/2-1 lb of meat (to your taste)

  • 2 tbs Fennel
  • 2 tbs dried minced garlic
  • 1 tbs black pepper
  • 1 tbs Paprika
  • 1 tbs Oregano
  • 1 tbs Basil

If you are someone (like myself) who likes the taste of Fennel but do not like the large crunchy thing in your food-suggestion: put the Fennel into a grinder (food processor, coffee grinder). Even if you don't mind the texture of non-ground fennel, try grinding it, it helps the flavors come through with less in each serving.

Flaky Chicken served with Veggie Melody-6pts

This recipe came from my book with recipes made for two. When my husband tried it he was amazed and said you'd never know it was a low-cal/fat meal because it doesn't taste like it. The name is actually Flaky Herb Chicken.

Flaky Chicken-8pts per serving
  • 2 oz round butter crackers (RITZ)
  • 1 tsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 2 thin 4 oz pieces of chicken
  • 1/4 c plain low-fat yogurt (~1/2 those 6 oz containers)
  • 2 tsp veg oil
directions: heat oven 425 degree, combine crackers, cheese and herbs. Dip chicken into yogurt, then into the crumble mixture. Place on non-stick baking sheet and place into oven. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon oil on each piece before putting it in oven, cook 7-8 minutes, then drizzle another 1/2 tsp oil, cook for another 7-8 minutes (until done and lightly brown).
Flaky Chicken-6pts per serving
  • 2 oz RITZ crackers
  • 1tsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 8 oz chicken, cut into thin strips (min of two, I like to cut more strips-each serving is half of the chicken)
  • 1/4 c plain non-fat yogurt
  • spray butter or Pam
directions: same as above, instead of using the Veg oil, give it a spritz of the spray butter or the Pam. Between the changes of the non-fat yogurt and taking away the oil we are saving 2 whole points for the same serving of food. Other ways to trim, RITZ came out with a low fat cracker, and a whole grain cracker. I haven't tried them yet, or looked at the nutritional facts to see which is better, but it might be possible to shave another point.

Veggie Melody- 1 pts per serving
(makes min of 2 servings)
all veggies raw to start, can do more of any desired
  • 3 oz potatoes (can add more, but add 1 pt for whole, div by number of servings)
  • 1/2 of a yellow squash
  • 1/2 of a zucchini
  • 2 carrots,
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1/2 small onion (or 1/4 large)
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • water
directions: chop all veggies into cubes. Place in a baking dish (glass or corningware are what I suggest). Pour over them the olive oil and add the herbs. Toss all the veggies until they are all covered. Add water, just a tad until it just barely covers the bottom of the dish (no more than 1/4 inch deep). Cover and put in oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Feel free to change any amounts of any of the veggies. I just find these amounts make it great for 2 servings. Also add any other veggies you think will be good (peppers, tomatoes).

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Beef Kebabs-6pts

When I saw this recipe I remembered the kebab racks that we got for our wedding, the ones we used once and have been sitting in our cupboards since. What a wonderful idea, make use of things we own. The recipe only had meat, onions, red peppers, and mushroom caps. But I like my skewers with lots of veggies. The recipe also suggested marinading the meat overnight, I decided to make it with less time than that and instead I only marinaded it for 30 minutes.
Beef Kebabs
(4 servings)
  • 1 onion cubed
  • grated zest of lemon
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp chopped mint
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1 lb boneless beef tenderloin, cut into ~1inch cubes. (I used chuck roast, to cut cubes, other beefs can be used, just make sure the points are right).
  • 1 bay leaf
  • veggies cut into 1 inch sizes (mushroom caps, green peppers, red peppers, yellow peppers, orange peppers, yellow squash, zucchini, onion, tomatoes, cauliflower, carrots, cucumbers, just about anything that sounds good to you. My mom likes to put pineapples on her skewers-put that changes the points just a big).
directions: blend in a food processor the onion, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, cloves, cumin, thyme, mint, paprika, cayenne pepper. Place sauce and meat into a plastic bag. Place in the fridge overnight (or 30 minutes but it won't be as juicy). Remove meat from fridge, take meat from bag, pour all extra juices into a small sauce pan, add bay leaf to sauce and bring sauce to boil, let boil for 3 minutes. Take meat and veggies, place on skewers. Broil. I cut everything smaller pieces, and stuffed it on the skewers. It made a lot more skewers. In fact I used only 8 oz of meat, and got 6 skewers out of it. Cook throughly. Baste skewers with left over marinade while cooking, any marinade leftover at that point serve on the side. Each skewer (when making 4 skewers with the full lb of meat) is one serving.
Ideas as sides- couscous, wild rice, hummus.