Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mediterranean Vegetable, White Bean & Feta Penne

We try to have 1 day a week that we don't eat any meat. We both enjoy this pasta, it's great cold as well. My husband's cousin came over and I had some left over in the fridge and asked her to try it. She thought it was great and couldn't stop eating it. She was a little embarrassed when she saw the bottom of the bowl. I was happy that she did! The original recipe involved sauteing the veggies, but I prefer to roast mine, it brings out the flavor more.

6 oz of whole grain penne
1 cup cooked or canned white beans
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 tbs. plus 1tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium zucchini, cut into small chunks
1 medium bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 small onion (red), cut into chunks
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1 cup crumbled reduced fat feta

1. Cook penne and drain.
2. In a bowl, combine tomatoes, vinegar, basil, pepper flakes and salt: set aside
3. Roast the zucchini, garlic, bell pepper, onion and garlic with the olive oil- leave the veggies a little crunchy.
4. Then just add the rest of the ingredients together.

This is the nutritional information printed bellow the recipe:
per 1 1/2 cup serving
Calories: 353
Total fat: 12g (I think you could reduce this easily by using less or no oil when roasting the veggies)
Fiber: 11g (11grams!!!!)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Seafood Corn Chowder

Seafood Corn Chowder

1 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 White onion chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 stalks of celery chopped
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (seeded if you'd like to reduce heat)
1 t smoked paprika
3/4 tsp dried thyme
1 lb russet potatoes, peeled and chopped (I like the skins on)
3 cups of frozen corn
1 cup of low-fat milk
3/4 lb sea scallops
1/2 lb scallions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced

I found this recipe in the Clean Eating magazine. I really like their recipes.

1. cook the onion, carrots and celery in the oil, season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft; season with salt and pepper. Add jalapeno, paprika and thyme and cook for 1 minute, stirring well. Add 3 cups of water, increase heat and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and reduce to simmer until just tender. Add corn and milk: season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 3 more minutes.
2. 2. Take 3 cups of the mixture from the pot and puree. I did this the blender. Transfer puree back to pot, stir to combine and return to medium heat: bring to a simmer.
3. Add scallops to pot and simmer for 3 minutes. Add shrimp and simmer for 2 minutes or until shellfish are opaque in center. Next time, I would just saute the shellfish in the oil with some garlic to add flavor.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day Dinner

Since Valentine's Day fell on a Monday we felt well, "Mondayish." We thought about going out to eat but that is a difficult task in a small community with restaurants that only serve fried food and Tracey has to follow a low fat diet. We opted to make dinner at home instead. The only candles we had in the house were emergency ones, so we lit those and turned out the lights. We ate quietly at the kitchen table with the cat watching us from the window sill. Since we weren't in a restaurant, Tracey was happy that he could wear his baseball cap. We had to wash the dishes afterward but we didn't have to tip a waitress! Tracey brought me the beautiful flowers that you see on the table. We made a lighter version of chicken cordon bleu, you can find the recipe and nutritional information here and roasted red pepper and feta mashed potatoes, which I found way too sour. I would omit the lemon juice and cut down on the yogurt the next time. It was a nice evening, it was our 16th Valentine's day together or half of my life.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Haddock fillets with Corn Relish

red pepper flakes
cayenne pepper
fresh haddock or any kind of fish
1 egg

Mix the first 5 ingredients together. Crack the egg into a bowl and beat. Dip the haddock in the egg first and then coat with the cornmeal mixture. Fry it in a pan with non-stick cooking spray. If I made this again, I think I would just bake the fish in the oven.

Corn Relish
green peppers
red onions
cayenne pepper
corn (I used frozen)
tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

Saute the first ingredients together with a bit of olive oil. When the vegetable are soft add in the corn and heat thoroughly. Add the balsamic vinegar lastly.

I found the recipe a bit bland but Tracey liked it. I would season the cornmeal mixture a bit more next time.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tortellini Primavera

Tortellini Primavera
1 pkg (19 oz) frozen cheese tortellini (I used fresh pasta that I found at the Super Store)
1/2 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp, butter (I omitted this to make the recipe even leaner)
2/3 cup of fat free milk (I used 1%)
1 pkg. (10 oz) chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 pkg. (8 oz) fat-free cream cheese, cubed
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 large tomato, chopped
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta according to package directions. In a large skillet, coated with non- stick cooking spray, saute the mushrooms, onion, and garlic in butter until tender. Stir in milk; heat through. Stir in cream cheese and Italian seasonings; heat through. Drain pasta; toss with the sauce and tomato. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Nutritional information (serves 5):
serving size: 1 1/4 cups
calories: 341
Fat: 10 grams
Fiber: 4 grams

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Lemon dilly potatoes

Lemon dilly Potatoes
fat free sour cream
fresh dill

Cut the potatoes into chunks (I would have left the skins on but Tracey had already taken them off before I asked him to do otherwise), boil and allow to cool. Juice a lemon and pour on top of the potatoes. Chop the dill and add to the potatoes along with the sour cream. We ate them with a Greek salad and souvlaki. It was the perfect comfort food for a snowy day.

Our good friend, Jamie and his daughter Ireland came over and plowed our driveway for us. Perhaps we owe him a meal...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Low fat Burgers

Did you know that some cuts of beef are actually lower fat than chicken? It's true! Check out this link.
I had my butcher trim all the visible fat from an inside round roast and grind it into hamburg. Keep in mid that a lower fat cut of meat means that it's going to be much dryer than a fattier cut. So here is what did to make a tender, juicy burger:


200 grams of beef (enough for two people)
2 cloves of garlic and about 1/4 of an onion fried in cooking spray. Cooking them first adds moisture and flavor to the burger. It also ensures that you don't bite down on a half cooked onion because the burger cooks fast).
2 tsp. of old bay seasoning (recipe to follow)
1 tbs. of oatmeal (yes oatmeal!) you can use bread crumbs if you wish
1 egg white

Mix everything together and form into hamburger patties. You may need to refrigerate the patties if they're too soft to handle. Fry the patties in in a pan with cooking spray and don't over cook them or flatten them down or they'll loose moisture. Voila!
Each 100 gram beef burger is around 3 grams of fat. A lean ground chicken burger is 6 grams of fat/100 gram burger. No burger is complete with out fries...

Oven Fries
3 Large potatoes
1 tablespoon of olive oil
cajun seasoning

Cut the potatoes into long strips to resemble french fries and place on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Poor the olive oil over the fries and sprinkle generously with the cajun seasoning. Toss the fries around to coat evenly- get your hands in there! Bake in a 450 degree oven until they are crispy and browned. I've never been a fried french fry lover but have always enjoyed these.