Monday, September 28, 2015

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Swirl Brownie Cake

The kids asked for something sweet as a treat after school this afternoon and thought up this one that I haven't made in a long time. It's only 4 Weight Watchers points per square out of a total of 16 squares/servings. I changed the recipe a little and got more of a brownie-like texture, so I'll share how I have it on my recipe card that I'm sure I got from Weight Watchers eons ago and then what I did to get a more brownie-like texture as well in parenthesis next to specific ingredients. I bet you can sub in some other nut butters as well to switch it up a little.



INGREDIENTS: 

1 Tbs all-purpose flour (I used Pam baking spray for the pan)
1/2 c. reduced-calorie stick butter, softened
1-1/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 large egg whites (I substituted 1/2 cup pasteurized egg product of all egg whites)
1 large egg (I substituted 1 egg yolk with egg-white product above)
1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup reduced-fat creamy peanut butter

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a 9-inch-square baking pan with cooking spray and dust with the 1 Tbsp of flour (or Pam baking spray) and set aside.

Cream the butter and gradually add in the brown sugar until well blended on medium speed.  Add vanilla extract, egg whites (or egg product), whole egg (or 1 egg yolk), and beat well.

Mix the 1-1/2 cups flour with 1/2 tsp. baking powder in a separate bowl and slowly add into mixture until well blended.

Divide the mixture evenly, about 1-1/2 cups in 2 parts. Into one part mix in the 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa and into the other bowl mix in the 1/4 cup reduced-fat creamy peanut butter (you will have two batters now).

Spoon each mixture alternately into the prepared pan. Bang on the counter to level and using a knife create swirls.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

YIELDS: 16 servings

POINTS: 4 points per square

Tuna And Wild Rice Salad



This dish was so Filling, I couldn't even Finish it, so if you are looking for a hunger buster, this is a good one!

INGREDIENTS:

Salad:
1 (6.2-oz.) pkg fast-cooking recipe of long-grain and wild rice such as Uncle Ben's
2 (6-oz.) cans low-salt albacore tuna in water, drained
1 (14-oz.) can quartered and chopped artichoke hearts, drained
1 (4.5-oz.) jar sliced mushrooms, drained

Dressing:
1/2 cup sliced green onions
2 Tbs white wine vinegar
1 Tbs olive oil
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp pepper

Base and Topping:
8 romaine lettuce leaves
12 cherry tomatoes, halved


INSTRUCTIONS:

Prepare the rice according to package directions but leave out the fat (butter or oils)

Combine the rice, tuna, artichokes, and mushrooms in a large bowl and toss gently.

Make the dressing by combining the green onions, vinegar, oil, mustard, and pepper in a jar with lid for shaking or a bowl in which you can whisk together. Add dressing to the tuna mixture., tossing gently again.

Serve salad by lining the dish with lettuce, placing 1-1/4 cups of rice mixture atop the lettuce, and topping with halved cherry tomatoes.

YIELDS: 4 servings

POINTS: 6 points per serving

INFORMATION:  298 calories (15% from fat); 22.4g protein; 5g Fat (0.7g saturated); 43.7g carb; 2.3g fiber; 17mg cholesterol; 3.7mg iron; 1208mg sodium; 77mg calcium)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Roast-Beef-Wrapped Asparagus Rolls



This is a great low-point snack at only 3 Weight Watchers points per 4 rolls, but I cheat a little and use a horseradish sauce that is pre-made and therefore count each roll as 1 point.

You'll need asparagus and thin-sliced roast beef.


To make the horseradish sauce from scratch, you'll need to mix the following ingredients together:

2 Tbs low-fat mayonnaise
2 tsp. prepared horseradish

If you'd like to cheat like I do to save a little time, I use Woeber's Horseradish sauce that I find in the condiments isle at my grocery store.  I put either version into a baggie and snip the end off to apply it quickly in a steady bead along the inside (spreading it with a knife can be a bit of a pain).

To prepare the asparagus, you need to blanch it quickly in boiling water. Snap off the ends of your asparagus while the water heats to a boil and prepare a dish large enough to accommodate them filled with ice cubes and water to shock it.  Shocking stops the cooking process and maintains that nice crispness.  Once the water is boiling, place all asparagus in the water so that they are covered with water. (I use a large and deep skillet).  Boil for no more than 4 minutes, and sometimes less time depending on the thickness of your asparagus.  Once the water turns green, I pull one out, put it into the ice water, and quickly taste it for texture.  You don't want it to get mushy. A nice snap is what you are looking for. When ready, remove all asparagus from the boiling water and put straight into the ice water.  Let rest for a minute, then drain and dry.

Place a slice of roast beef down, place asparagus on top, and drizzle a thin line of horseradish sauce.  Then roll 'er up. That's it.  They are great cold.

If you have very thick asparagus spears, one stalk will do per roll, but feel free to double 'em up if they're particularly thin like I did in the above picture.

Enjoy!

YIELDS: 4 servings of 4 rolls

POINTS: 3 points per serving (4 rolls)

INFORMATION:  5g total fat; 1g saturated fat; 50mg cholesterol; 179mg sodium; 3g total carb; 1g dietary fiber; 19g protein; 15mg calcium

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Salmon with Mango Glaze



I have been hunting for eons for a great-tasting way to Fix this Family of mine salmon, and now I have one.  That also includes me.  I know we can get ourselves to eat anything if it suits our tastebuds just so, so this became a personal challenge to me.

I was given this recipe by a Friend.  There seems to be many versions online as well, including one with star anise, which I might try somewhere down the line.  I just kept basting this salmon about every 5 minutes with the glaze mixture reserving just enough to hit it once it was done and before serving.  This is delicious.  My husband is not a Fish Fan at all.  In Fact he groaned about dinner when he learned it was going to be salmon, but he loved this and said, "I could eat this all day long." So, take that to the bank as an endorsement!

6 oz of salmon is 7 points, and the only ingredient in the glaze to have points is the mango nectar at 3 points per 5-oz serving.  I would say this *may* add a single point to each 6-oz portion of salmon at the most, so I'm assigning this dish 8 points per serving.

Tip:  Save the remaining mango nectar into ice-cube trays for the next go-around with this recipe.  Each cube is one ounce, so fill up 5 cubes, Freeze and bag 'em up for later!

GLAZE INGREDIENTS:

2 Tbs soy sauce
1 tsp minced ginger
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp. rice vinegar
5 oz. mango nectar (3 points)
2 6-oz salmon fillets about 1" thick or just one big piece like mine to divvy up later


INSTRUCTIONS:

Mix first 5 ingredients together in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 15-20 minutes until mixture reduces by about half.  Strain the mixture through a sieve so that all you have left is the liquid ingredients.

Line your broiler pan with tinfoil and spray with cooking spray.  Broil the salmon about 5 to 6 inches away from the heat.  Pull out and baste with the glaze about every 5 minutes if very thick piece like mine was or about every 3 minutes if thinner. The salmon is done when it Flakes easily with a Fork. Once done, apply one more basting of glaze and serve.

POINTS: 8 points (with glaze)


Friday, September 18, 2015

Chicken-Salad Stuffed Jumbo Shells for 8 Weight Watchers Points



One thing I miss when I'm trying to count calories, points, etc. is cold macaroni salad.  Granted, it's the tuna kind, but this is a very easy-to-make chicken version that even Mr. F liked. (I can't get him to try cold pasta salads, but since this didn't look like one, he gave it a go and was pleasantly surprised.  He asked for more. ;)

My version, as pictured, is a little different than the recipe listed below.  I left out the olives and used canned no-salt-added chicken breast, as well as regular Italian dressing. Sometimes I just don't have the patience for shredding chicken breasts.

INGREDIENTS:

6 uncooked jumbo pasta shells (not macaroni)
3 Tbs light mayo
2 Tbs fat-free Italian dressing
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 c. chopped cooked chicken breast
2/3 c. drained canned chopped artichoke hearts
1/4 c. finely chopped red bell pepper
2 Tbs chopped ripe olives
6 fresh basil leaves

INSTRUCTIONS:

Prepare chicken salad filling first.  Combine the mayo, Italian dressing, and onion powder in a medium bowl and stir well.  Add in the chicken, artichokes, bell pepper, and olives and stir well.

Cook the pasta shells for about 10-13 minutes according to package directions and drain well.

Line each shell with a fresh basil leaf and then add in about 2-1/2 to 3 Tbs of chicken salad mixture. You can serve at room temperature or chill well before serving.  Top with some salt and pepper and serve atop a bed of lettuce.

YIELDS: 6 shells or 2 servings of 3 shells each

POINTS: 8

Nutritional Information:  306 calories (25% from fat); 24.5g protein; 8.4g fat (2.3g saturated); 31.1g carbs; 2.7g fiber; 81mg cholesterol; 3.1mg iron; 624mg sodium; 62mg calcium

It's a Warm, Nutty, Peach Shortcake Dessert for 4 Points!



Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm.  Such a nice, warm treat.  I call it peach shortcake!  The kids and Mr. F had their's with a bit of Fat-Free whipped cream.  Mine without.  The whole batch comes out to 16 points, so I divided it into 5 servings for only 3 points per serving.  At 4 servings per batch, it's 4 points per serving. Add a point if needed should you use the whipped topping!

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 c. low-fat biscuit and baking mix, such as Bisquick
1/4 cup sugar, divided
2 Tbs chopped pecans toasted
3 Tbs skim milk
1/8 tsp butter extract
2 c. drained canned sliced peaches in juice
2/3 cup white grape juice (I used apple juice since I had that handy)
1/4 tsp applie-pie spice


INSTRUCTIONS:

Combine the baking mix, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and the toasted pecans in a bowl.  Add the milk and the butter extract and mix just until moist, then set aside.

Combine the remaining sugar, the peaches, the grape juice, and the apple-pie spice in a medium saucepan (that you can later cover) and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Drop the dough into 4 mounds on top of the boiling peach mixture and cover.  Reduce heat to medium and cook for 8 minutes or until dumplings are done.

Spoon peach mixture evenly into 4 dessert dishes and top each with dumplings.

You can store the leftover peaches in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 5 days.

YIELDS:  4 servings

POINTS:  4

Nutritional Information:  189 calories (17% from fat); 2.6g protein; 3.6g fat (0.4g saturated); 38.1g carbs; 0.6g fiber; 0mg cholesterol; 1.2mg iron; 184mg sodium; 38mg calcium


Raspberry-Chocolate Floats for 2 Weight Watchers Winning Points



This is such a yummy treat for ONLY 2 Weight Watchers Winning Points!  The whole Family loved it.  I need to keep searching for a sparking water brand that does not have artificial sweetener in it because I don't like that taste, but other than that, this was good!  Granted, it could get expensive with the price of raspberries these days, but I have my own raspberry patch in my own backyard and it's raspberry season! So when I managed to pick 3 whole cups of raspberries today, this was on the menu this evening! I used black raspberry-flavored sparkling water and used low-fat chocolate frozen yogurt.

INGREDIENTS:

1-1/2 c. fresh raspberries
4 tsp sugar
2 c. raspberry-flavored or plain sparkling water, chilled
1 c. chocolate low-fat ice cream (total, as only 1/4 c per serving)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Place raspberries in a food processor and process 15 seconds or until smooth.  Now for the annoying part, strain out the seeds in a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and toss out those pesky seeds.  Add the sugar into the puree and stir well.  Set aside until sugar is well incorporated and no longer gritty.

Combine 2 tablespoons raspberry puree and 1/2 cup sparkling water in each of 4 glasses and stir gently.  Add 1/4 cup ice cream to each glass. Serve immediately.

YIELDS: 4 servings

POINTS: 2 points per serving

Nutritional Information:  94 calories (17% from fat); 1.9g protein; 1.8g fat (0.8mg sat); 18.5g carb; 0g fiber; 5mg cholesterol; 0.3mg iron; 0 mg sodium; 60mg calcium

Winner Winner Hoisin Pork Dinner!



Oh Em Gee.  This is delicious.  If you're looking for a new way to prepare pork tenderloin, this is it, and for only 7 Weight Watchers Winning Points. I chose to use brown rice instead of the long-grain rice as listed.

Pictured with it is also a recipe for Cracked Pepper Linguine that I'll share in another post.

INGREDIENTS:

1 Tbs dark sesame oil
1/4 to 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, cut crosswise into 1/2"-thick slices

6 Tbs water
1/3 c. dry sherry
3 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
3 Tbs hoisin sauce

2 c. hot cooked long-grain rice, cooked without salt or fat
1/4 c sliced green onions

cilantro sprigs (optional)


INSTRUCTIONS:

Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray, add oil, and place over medium-high heat until hot.  Add the pepper and garlic and saute 1 minute.

Add pork and cook 4 minutes per side or until browned.  Remove pork from skillet and wipe skillet clean with a paper towel.

Combine the water, sherry, cilantro, and hoisin sauce in skillet and cook over medium heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Return pork to the sauce-skillet, turning to coat well.

Place rice on a platter. Place pork atop the rice and spoon the hoisin sauce from pan over top of pork medallions.  Sprinkle with green onions and garnish with cilantro sprigs if desired.

YIELDS: 4 servings (serving size 3 ounces of pork and 1/2 cup rice)

POINTS: 7 points

Per Serving:  303 calories (23% from fat); 27.1g protein; 7.9g fat (sat 1.9g);  29.1g carb; 1g fiber; 79mg cholesterol; 2.6mg iron; 195mg sodium; 34mg calcium