Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Low Fat Baked Onion Rings

skinnytaste.com is an amazing blog and I am so glad I found out about it! This is also from Gina's blog, along with the last like 4 things I just posted and these are fantastic. Chris loves onion rings with a nice juicy burger, but since I have been dieting we have not been eating greasy fried rings. But, when I stumbled upon this recipe I knew I had to give it a shot. Honestly, Chris was skeptical, but when he tasted these babies he was in heaven. These are so good. Be careful though, they are so addicting. I am glad the serving size is huge, but I again had to practice self control on these babies. Perfect with a burger these are guilt free and delciious! Make them a lot! Trust me.

Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 2 • Serving Size: 1/2 • Old Points: 1 pt • Points+: 2 pt
Calories: 74.7 • Fat: 0.6 g • Carb: 14.7 g • Fiber: 1.6 g • Sugar: 1.7 g • Protein: 2.9 g

1 medium onion, sliced into 1/4 inch rings
2 1/4 cups low fat buttermilk
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup Italian seasoned whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 cup crushed corn flake crumbs
salt to taste
olive oil baking spray (I just drizzled Olive oil over them)

Place slices of onion in a shallow dish. Pour the buttermilk over the top and let them soak for about 1 - 2 hours, refrigerated.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

Combine panko, bread crumbs and corn flakes in a large dish, season with salt.

Dip each soaked onion ring into the crumb mixture; coat well. Place rings onto two cookie sheets. Lightly spray with oil. Bake about 12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Avena-Healthy Oatmeal Shake

I made this for Chris and I's breakfast this morning, and we were quite satisfied. We both loved this so much! Chris said it tasted like Horchata to him and I just thought it was dang good and a fun way to get more oatmeal into my body. It was easy to make and was so filling. I was worried I would be hungry too fast but it held me until lunch. I will definately be making this for breakfast again and I want to see if I can get Lexi to drink this too, we will see. Enjoy!

Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 4 • Size: 1 cup • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 123.9 • Fat: 1.8 g • Protein: 6.8 g • Carb: 21.3 g • Fiber: 3.2 g

1/2 cup quick oats
2 cups water
1 cup fat free milk
1 cup ice
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp ground cinammon

Cook oats and water in a small pot for about a minute or two, stirring often until it becomes thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and let it cool a few minutes.

In a blender add milk, sugar, cinammon. Add oats and ice. Blend on high until very smooth. Chill in refrigerator or pour in a glass over ice. Enjoy!! Makes 4 cups.

Roasted Cauliflower

Oh baby, this is a good side dish. I served this with the pork chops and mushrooms and shallots and it was the best meal ever! The cauliflower is so good, I had to control myself not to eat the entire pan! Also, this is easy and once again, healthy for you. Chris is not a cauliflower fan, but he said this was too good to be cauliflower. He ate a bunch of this stuff. So, make this and you will not be disappointed.

Note: I halved this for my family.

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 1 cup • Calories: 94 • Old Po gints: 3 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 126 • Fat: 10.5 g • Carbs: 5.9 g • Fiber: 2.5 g • Sugar: 0 • Protein: 2.8 g

6 cups uncooked cauliflower florets (about 1 large) cut small
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
kosher salt and fresh pepper
juice of 1/4 lemon
1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Combine cauliflower, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper well so all the florets are coated and seasoned. Place in a large shallow roasting pan and place in the center of the oven.

Roast for about 25-35 munites, turning florets occasionally so they are evenly cooked. Remove from oven and top with Parmigiano Reggiano and additional salt and pepper if needed.

Pork Chops with Mushrooms and Shallots

I made this for dinner tonight served with roasted cauliflower (post next) and roasted asparagus, and I have to say it was one of the best dinners we have had in a while. This was so so so good! Chris loved it! I loved it! Heck, our vegetarian daughter even gave the chops a bite. Wahoo! The key is not overcooking the chops, so they do not dry out. But, oh man, these are definately worth making. And, did I mention they are healthy? That is right, good for the body and soul. I love it when tasty food is good for me.

Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 4 servings • Serving Size: 1 chop • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 179.9 • Fat: 9.5 g • Protein: 18.5 g • Carb: 4.3 g • Fiber: 0.9 g
Adapted from Food and Wines
1 tsp butter (I used Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
4 pork loin chops (with bone), 1 inch thick, trim all visible fat
1/2 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup chopped shallots (I couldn't find shallots, so I substituted red onion and it was fine)
1 cup fat free chicken stock
10 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp chopped, fresh parsley

In a large frying pan heat the butter over moderately low heat. Season pork with salt and pepper. Raise heat to medium and add the chops to the pan and sauté for 7 minutes. Turn and cook until chops are browned and done to medium, about 7-8 minutes longer. Remove the chops and put in a warm spot.

Add shallots to the pan and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the stock to deglaze the pan, stir in the mustard, 1 tbsp parsley, then add mushrooms, season with fresh pepper and cook about 3 minutes, or until mushrooms are done. Put the chops on a platter and pour the mushroom sauce over the meat, top with remaining parsley.

Note: Food and Wines says it is ok if the pork chops are pink in the center. Trichinosis is killed at the relatively low temperature of 150°. I use a thermometer to check the center and usually leave it until it hits 160°. Don't overcook or they will become dry.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Italian Meatball Subs, All Homemade

I made these for a family in our ward who moved into a new house, and although I haven't heard if they were a hit over there, they sure were a hit at our house. This is Chris's favorite sub that he gets at Subway and so this homemade version was right up his alley. It was even better than Subway, were his exact words. You must serve these on the french bread rolls that I posted today and you must serve them with provolone cheese. Yummo! We loved this little gems. I hope you do too.
Of course, this recipe comes from Kitchen Cafe, love her!

*Note: When I make these, I often prepare and bake the meatballs earlier in the day. To reheat, I place the meatballs in the pot with the simmering sauce and let them warm up together.

*Makes 25-30 meatballs/about 7-9 sandwiches

1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs or crushed saltines
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan or mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
2 pounds ground beef or ground turkey

To dredge the meatballs:
1 1/2 cups flour in a shallow baking dish

For the sandwiches:
1 recipe French Bread Rolls, shaped into sub rolls and baked according to the recipe
Sliced mozzarella or provolone cheese

In a large bowl, mix all of the meatball ingredients together EXCEPT the meat. Let the mixture sit for 10-15 minutes so the breadcrumbs/crackers can soak up the liquid a little bit. Add the meat and mix well with your hands until all the ingredients are combined.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly grease the foil. Form golf ball-sized meatballs and dredge them in the flour until lightly coated. Place the meatballs on the baking sheet about one inch apart. Bake for 20 -25 minutes until the meatballs are completely cooked through.

When the meatballs come out of the oven, let them sit for about 15 minutes. Gently scrape off any fat and place the meatballs in a 9X13-inch baking dish (or similar size). Pour the hot tomato sauce over the meatballs.

To assemble the sandwiches, slice the buns in half. (If desired, lay the buns flat open on a baking sheet and top one side with cheese - toast in the oven for 4-5 minutes at 400 degrees until the buns are toasted and cheese is melted.) Place 3-4 meatballs on each bun and top with desired amount of sauce. Serve immediately with lots of napkins.

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon sugar (this helps cut the acidity of the tomatoes)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine the sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a low simmer. Simmer for 10-15 minutes on low. Keep warm until the meatballs are finished baking.

Chicken and White Bean Enchiladas with Creamy Salsa Verde

These were filling and delicious! My mom and brother came to visit and since my mom is trying to be more health conscious, like me, I decided to try out more recipes from skinnytaste.com. I am glad I did! These were really good and satisfied my craving for enchiladas. They were easy to make and tasted great! I will be making these again for sure.

Chicken and White Bean Enchiladas with Creamy Green Chile Sauce
Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1 enchilada • Old Points: 4 • Points: 5
Calories: 230 • Fat: 7.3 g • Protein: 20.4 g • Carb: 28.7 g • Fiber: 12.2 g

Chicken and White Bean Filling:
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup minced white onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles
15.5 oz can Navy beans (or Cannellini beans)
8 oz cooked shredded chicken breast
1/3 can water
1 chicken bullion
1 tsp cumin

Green Chile Enchilada Sauce:
1 tsp butter
1/2 cup chopped white onion
2 tbsp flour
1 cup fat free chicken broth
7 oz can chopped green chile
2 jalapeños, chopped (I used jarred)
1/2 cup light sour cream
3/4 cup reduced fat Mexican cheese
8 medium low carb tortillas
chopped fresh cilantro or scallions (or both!)

Preheat oven to 375°.

For the Filling:
In a medium pan, heat olive oil on low. Add onions, garlic and saute until soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add green chiles, beans, water, bullion, and cumin. Mix well and cover. Simmer on low 15 minutes. Remove cover, add chicken and cook an additional 5 minutes, or until it thickens and liquid boils down. Set aside.

Green Chile Enchilada Sauce:
In a large nonstick pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens and starts to turn translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add flour and stir well. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth. Whisk until the sauce becomes smooth. Cook over medium heat until the sauce boils and thickens, about 4-5 minutes. Add green chiles, jalepeños, and salt to tatse. Cook another minute then remove from the heat. Stir in the sour cream.

Spread about 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9x13" baking dish. Fill each tortilla with 1/3 cup of the chicken/white bean filling. Roll the tortillas and place seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Continue filling remainder of the tortillas.

Pour the enchilada sauce over the top of the enchiladas. Top with cheese. Cover with aluminum and bake 20-30 minutes, until the enchiladas are hot and the cheese is melted. Remove from oven and top with fresh cilantro or scallions.

The Ultimate Cheesecake

My husband requests plain cheesecake with raspberry sauce every year for his birthday, it never changes. He likes what he likes. I always make the cheesecake that is already posted from allrecipes.com, but since we had family in town, I wanted to see if I could find an easier way to make a fantastic cheesecake. I turned to none other than Kitchen Cafe. She uses Tyler Florence, food network chef's, recipe and says she loves it. Since she and I tend to like the same type of food, I thought I would give it a try. Everyone agreed that it was amazing. My mom likes it just as much as the other one I make, and this one was so much easier, so I think I will make this one more often. It is creamy and decadent and is cheesecake perfection. I love the lemon zest, it added just a little something extra special and with the raspberry sauce, it was amazing! So, you can make both of these recipes and decide for yourself which one you like better.

3 cups finely ground graham crackers (about 40 squares)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted

2 (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 lemon, zest finely grated
1 pint sour cream, room temperature

To prepare crumb crust: In a mixing bowl, combine the crust ingredients together with a fork until evenly moistened. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan (I use a 10-inch springform pan b/c it is all I have and it works great) with non-stick cooking spray. Firmly press the mixture over the bottom and 1-inch up the sides on the pan, use your fingers or the smooth bottom of a glass. Refrigerate the crust while preparing the filling.

To prepare filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute just until smooth and free of any lumps. Gradually add the sugar and beat until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to slowly beat until combined. Stir in the vanilla and lemon zest. Blend in the sour cream. The batter should be well mixed but not overbeaten. Overbeating incorporates too much air and will cause the cake to puff when baking, then fall and crack when cooling. Pour filling into the crust-lined pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 50-55 minutes. The cheesecake should still jiggle slightly, it will firm up after chilling. Be careful not to overcook! Do not do a toothpick test in the cake’s center, this will make a crack. Loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula around the inside rim. Let cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for at least 4 hours to set up. Demold and transfer to a cake plate. Slice the cheesecake with a thin, nonserrated knife that has been dipped in hot water and wiped dry after each cut.

There is no need to bake this in a waterbath, it comes out perfect without it. I do leave mine in the oven after I turn it off with the door cracked open for at least 30 minutes to avoid cracks.

French Bread Rolls

I have now made these rolls twice and each time they were utterly fantastic! I first made them last sunday to use for the bread on our italian meatball subs, which was great and will be posting that sandwich recipe in a minute, and then I made them this week when my mom and brother were visiting, and although they were supposed to be used for the sloppy joes I already posted, we just ended up eating them instead. But, the point is these are great rolls! They are no-fail and I love that too! Make these for making sandwiches or just because and you will be happy you did.

Makes about one dozen rolls

1 1/2 cups warm water
3/4 tablespoon instant yeast (or 1 tablespoon active dry yeast)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups all-purpose flour, give or take a few tablespoons

In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl by hand, combine the warm water, yeast, sugar, oil, salt and 2 cups of the flour (if you are using active dry yeast instead of instant yeast, let the yeast proof in the warm water and sugar for about 3-5 minutes until it is foamy and bubbly before adding the oil, salt and flour). Begin mixing and continue to add the rest of the flour gradually until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. Judge the dough not by the amount of flour called for in the recipe but in how the dough feels (see a tutorial on working with yeast here). The dough should be soft and smooth but still slightly tacky to the touch.
Knead the dough in the stand mixer or by hand until it is very smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes in a stand mixer or 8-10 minutes by hand. Lightly spray a large bowl with cooking spray and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl with lightly greased plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until it has doubled (this usually takes about an hour).
Lightly punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly greased countertop. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and form the dough into round balls. Place the rolls on a lightly greased or silpat-lined baking sheet about an inch or two apart. Cover the rolls with lightly greased plastic wrap taking care not to pin the plastic wrap under the baking sheet or else the rolls will flatten while rising. Let the plastic wrap gently hang over the sides of the pan to fully cover the rolls but not press them down. Let the rolls rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 12-14 minutes until lightly browned and cooked through.

*Freezable Option: I almost always make a double or triple batch of these rolls. Once they are baked and cooled, I place them in a zipper-lock freezer bag and put them in the freezer. I either take them out a few hours before I need them or I take them out frozen and microwave them for about 2-3 minutes on 70% power.

Another Amazing Sloppy Joe Recipe

I have already posted a sloppy joe recipe that I love LOVE LOVE! But, when my mom and brother were here visiting, I made Kitchen's Cafe version and I love it just as much. I don't know if it is better, so I want to keep both on this blog, so you have two different variations to make. This particular recipe makes a lot, so it is great to make the whole batch, use what your family can eat, and then you can freeze the rest. These were supposed to be served on the French Bread Rolls, that I will post in a minute, but due to the day getting away from me and no flour in the house, we had to buy some instead. But no matter what you put this on, it is delicious!

*Makes 8-12 sloppy joes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, roughly chopped
2 ½ pounds ground beef (I used extra lean ground beef and it was still delicious)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2/3 cup smoky BBQ sauce (or whatever BBQ sauce is in your fridge)
½ cup ketchup(I used low sugar)
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup soy sauce (I used low sodium)
Freshly ground black pepper
8 to 12 rolls

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until they start to turn translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the beef and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat, until it is finely crumbled, the liquid boils off and the meat begins to brown, about 10 minutes. Drain the grease off the meat and onions. Stir in the tomato paste, and keep stirring until the meat is coated. Add the BBQ sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire, soy sauce, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Cook until the sauce is slightly thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. You can make the sloppy joe meat up to 2 days in advance and reheat it over low heat or in the microwave.

Wrap the rolls in aluminum foil and warm in the oven for about 10 minutes. Serve the sloppy joes hot with the warmed rolls.

*Freezable Meals: The leftover sloppy joes can be frozen. I store it in a freezer-safe container and then thaw in the refrigerator prior to serving. I reheat on medium-low heat in a saucepan on the stove.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Strawberry, Pinenuts, and Feta Salad with a Zesty Lemon Dressing

I made this for lunch today and Chris and I each loved it! It reminded me of Spring and how I want MI to have Spring SOON! This salad so got me in the spirit for warmer weather and sunshine. The dressing is light and refreshing and yummy! We served it will roasted chicken and it was one delicious lunch. I will definately be making this salad again, maybe for Easter, we will see. Anyways, you must make this for a quick, healthy, satisfying lunch, you will not be disappointed, I promise.

Thanks Sisters Cafe for another amazing recipe
Note: I halved the salad and dressing recipe, since there was only two of us and it made a nice sized portion. So, I would say if you make recipe as it, it would probably feed 4-5 adults as a side salad.

3T fresh lemon juice
3T sugar
1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tbsp grated lemon rind
1/4 cup canola or light olive oil

3 cups fresh spinach
1 cup fresh strawberries ,sliced
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
Feta cheese to taste (I used Gorgonzola, because that is what I had, and it tasted good still)

In blender combine lemon juice, sugar, mustard, grated lemon rind and oil. Pulse until mixture is combined , thickened and sugar is dissolved.

In a large bowl, toss together spinach, strawberries, nuts and feta. Toss with enough dressing to coat.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Slow Cooked Black Eyed Peas with Ham

I made this for dinner tonight, and as it was sitting in the crock pot, Chris wasn't so sure he would like this healthy, inexpensive meal. He also didn't think it would fill him up. Well, I am happy to report that He and I loved this dish. We served it over brown rice and it was so yummy, hearty, and it was very filling. It is a healthy twist on a Southern dish and it really is comfort food, which is good since there is still snow on the ground here in MI. Anyways, this meal is inexpensive as well, which is always a bonus. And, because it cooks in the slow cooker, it is easy to assemble and makes the house smell so good! So, try this one out.

Source: Skinny Taste, a new favorite healthy food blog

Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1 cup • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 161.4 • Fat: 1.6 g • Protein: 9.3 g • Carb: 29.2 g • Fiber: 6.7 g

8 oz smoked lean ham steak, diced (or a ham bone would be perfect)
1 pound dried black-eyed peas, rinsed and soaked overnight
2 bay leaves
1 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and minced
1 tomato, diced
1/2 tsp chili powder (I used chipotle)
1-1/2 teaspoons cumin
salt to taste
1 tsp ground black pepper

Soak peas overnight in 6 cups of water. The next morning, drain peas and add to slow cooker. Add 4 cups of water, bay leaves and ham. Cover and cook on high 6 hours or until the beans are tender.

After 6 hours, in a large frying pan, add oil and sauté onion, garlic, bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, and tomato until soft, about 6 minutes. Add to the slow cooker and season black eyed peas generously with salt, cumin, chili powder and black pepper. Cover and cook on high 1 to 1 1/2 more hours. Discard bay leaves and serve.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

THE Cornbread and Fluffy Honey Butter

I have posted a cornbread recipe before, and although I still love that one, THIS one is even better! I have now been making this one a lot, in fact, I made it tonight to take to our ward's chili cook off and it was gone within seconds of me placing it on the table. The honey butter is a must with this, it is the best honey butter I have ever had! My family loves this cornbread. It is so good, in fact, I don't think I will ever have to make another recipe again!

½ cup cornmeal
1 ½ cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 ¼ cup milk

Add dry ingredients, make a well and add oil, butter, eggs, and milk into the center. Stir until just mixed (batter will be runny - don't be alarmed!). Bake in an 8” square pan at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. This doubles perfectly for a 9X13-inch pan.

Honey Butter:
2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup marshmallow fluff

Whip all together with an electric mixer and serve at room temperature (can be refrigerated and softened).

From My Kitchen Cafe (www.mykitchencafe.blogspot.com)

Slow Cooked Apple Butter

This smells and tastes amazing! You can spread this on toast, eat it on pancakes/waffles, or put it in oatmeal like I have done this past week. This makes your house smell divine and although it is so simple, thanks to the slow cooker, it does take time so be sure to watch the amount of time on the recipe. I am going to make lots of this in the fall and can it for the winter months next year. Man, I am in love with this stuff.

Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 16 • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons • Old Points: 1 pt • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 88.5 • Fat: 0.3 g • Protein: 0.2 g • Carb: 24.5 g • Fiber: 2.2 g

2.5 lbs (6 large) apples, peeled, cored, finely chopped (I used gala)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp nutmeg

Place the apples in a slow cooker. Top with sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg and mix well.

Cover and cook on low 10 hours, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thickened and dark brown.

Uncover and puree with an immersion blender (I don't have an immersion blender, so I used my food processor and it worked great). Cook on high uncovered 1-2 hours.

Spoon into sterile jars, or containers and refrigerate.

Makes 2 cups.

Cinnamon Apple Spiced Oatmeal

This entire week, I have been eating this oatmeal. Let me tell you, it is good and satisfying, especially for the cold, wintry weather we have been having still. I am not normally an oatmeal kind of person, in fact, I used to say I hate oatmeal. But, this recipe has changed my mind. This oatmeal reminds me of Fall and has such a wonderful flavor, I have no problem eating the entire bowl. I love it and the fact that it is heart healthy and full of fiber and protein and no salt makes me love it all the more.

P.S. The homemade apple butter is what makes this oatmeal so fantastic! It is easy to make and is a must. I will post the apple butter recipe next!

Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 1 • Serving Size: 1 bowl • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 228.7 • Fat: 2.5 g • Protein: 5.2 g • Carb: 50.2 g • Fiber: 5.6 g
1/3 cup uncooked quick oats (I use 1/2 cup uncooked)
2 tbsp apple butter
dash of cinnamon
1 tbsp low fat granola

Cook oatmeal in water according to package directions. Pour cooked oatmeal in a bowl and top with apple butter, granola, cinnamon. You can add a little skim milk if you like your oatmeal thinner. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cheese Rolls with Buttery Parmesan Crust

I think the title alone makes these sound so wonderful, but I just want you to know that these are a different, fantastic twist on a normal dinner roll. The melty cheese in the center is such a special treat. And, the topping was dangerously delicious. I only had one, but let me tell you, it took a lot of self-control to not eat all 15 of these bad boys. They are light and buttery and so amazing. Oh, I am in love with this dinner roll. Okay, I am done, still dieting Heidi, keep saying that.

*If you double the recipe, don't double the amount of yeast - it should stay the same as in the original recipe**

4 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup lukewarm milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
5-6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

8 ounces cheddar or pepperjack cheese, cut into 15 cubes

2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup Italian-flavored bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water

For the dough, combine all the ingredients and mix and knead until you have a soft, elastic dough (don't add too much flour - the key to soft dinner rolls is a soft dough!). Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover, letting rise in a warm place for 20-30 minutes.

Prepare a 9X13-inch pan by lightly greasing the bottom and sides with butter or nonstick cooking spray. Deflate the dough and divide into 15 pieces. Shape the pieces of dough into rounds and punch a cube of cheese from the bottom up into the center of each piece. Pinch the dough tightly together to close the bottom. Place the rolls, pinched side down, in the prepared baking pan. Cover and let rise again for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until nearly doubled.

While the rolls are rising, melt the butter and stir in bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. When the rolls have risen, brush the tops with the egg yolk beaten with water. Sprinkle tops of rolls liberally with the bread crumb mixture. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the tops of the rolls are nicely browned. Remove from the pan immediately and cool on a rack. Serve warm.

From My Kitchen Cafe (www.mykitchencafe.blogspot.com)

Tricolor Pasta Salad

I love pasta salad, but I am in love with this one. This was a huge hit with my friends. I almost forgot I was dieting and would have eaten the entire thing myself, except I remembered I should be careful :) This is so good! The basil pesto and pinenuts just add so much flavor and jazz up an ordinary pasta salad. This would be great served as a side dish for a BBQ and I also think you could add some grilled chicken to make it a main dinner course. But, however you want it, just make it! It will change the way you view pasta salad.
from My Kitchen Cafe (www.melskitchencafe.com)

1 12 oz. package Pasta Rotini, tri colored, cooked and drained
3 roma tomatoes, diced
1 can black olives, sliced
¼ cups red onion, finely diced
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
6 fresh basil leaves, cut into strips
4 tablespoons basil pesto
2/3 cup creamy Caesar dressing
2 teaspoons sauté spice (equal parts black pepper, salt, and garlic powder)
½-1 cup toasted pine nuts

Cook pasta and coat with Caesar dressing while warm. Add the rest of the ingredients (minus the pine nuts) and toss. Top with toasted pine nuts.

Note: I served mine at room temperature, but Chris ate it straight out of the fridge and said that was good too!

Honey Lime Fruit Salad

I know, I know, you don't really need a recipe for fruit salad, I mean you just throw fruit in a bowl right? But, let me tell you something. Once you make this fruit salad, you will never eat it another way again. What makes this special you might be wondering? Well, what makes this stand out is the fresh taste of lime zest, the sweet, subtle hint of honey, and the poppy seeds not only make it look as pretty as a picture, it lends a good texture as well. Really, this fruit salad was so good! I cannot wait for the summer months where I can make this over and over and over. It is very refreshing and I felt like it was summer when I was eating it, even if outside shows me different :)

*Note: This fruit salad is best served right away (or at least within an hour of making) because the strawberries tend to stain the light colored fruit. It doesn't affect the taste at all but is a slight bummer for presentation.

*Serves 4

1 (20 oz.) can pineapple chunks, drained well
1 can mandarin oranges, drained well
2-3 ripe kiwi, peeled and sliced into thick half moons
1 cup green grapes, halved
1 cup strawberries, quartered
Zest from one lime, about 1 tablespoon
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon poppy seeds (optional)

Combine the fruit in a medium-large serving bowl. Add the lime zest and poppy seeds, if using, and gently toss. Drizzle the honey over the fruit and again, gently mix until the fruit is evenly coated with the honey. Serve.