Friday, January 20, 2017

Chicken Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Sausage Breakfast Braid for 6 Points



Oh my gosh! This is a huge Family Favorite and it's only 3 Weight Watchers points per slice!  I've even made this just before going to bed and it heats up in the microwave just Fine the following morning because who likes to use an oven in the morning? Not me.

I'll take more photos of this one in the process of prepping in case anyone needs it the next time I make it.

I use a roll of sausage and double up the fixings for the sausage mixture portion so that I can then divide it up for different braids on different days. I just withhold the addition of the egg until after I divide the sausage mixture, rather than cooking up 4-oz portions of sausage. I have yet to find a version of the sausage with jalapeno peppers premixed into it so I just add my own jalapeno peppers to the pan as it is cooking.

Ingredients:

1 13.8-oz. can refrigerated pizza crust dough
Cooking Spray
1 Tbs olive oil
1/4 c chopped onion
4 oz chicken sausage with jalapeno peppers, chopped
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 c (2 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 c shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 c chopped seeded jalapeno pepper
1 large egg white, lightly beaten


Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Unroll the dough onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray and pat into a 15 x 10-inch rectangle.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sausage and cook 9 minutes or until lightly browned.  Stir in eggs and cook 1-1/2 minutes or until set and remove from heat. (My version: Cook sausage, chopped jalapeno, and onion until cooked through/slightly browned for whole sausage roll and then divide mixture up into servings for this recipe. Add sausage back to pan and then add eggs.)

Sprinkle Monterey Jack cheese lengthwise down center of dough leaving about a 2-1/2-inch border on each side.  Spoon egg/sausage mixture evenly over cheese and then top with cheddar over the egg mixture and top with jalapeno pepper.  (Since in my version I've added the jalapeno pepper into the sausage mixture myself, I do not add more jalapeno).

Make 2-inch-long diagonal cuts about 1 inch apart on both sides of dough to within 1/2 inch of the filling using a sharp knife or kitchen shears (I recommend the shears!). Arrange strips over filling.  Press ends under to seal.  Brush with egg white and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Let stand 5 minutes .  Cut crosswise into 8 slices.

YIELD: 8 slices

Servings: 4 servings
Serving Size: 2 slices

Points: 3 points per slice

Nutritional Information:  Calories 246, Fat 15.6 g (sat 6.3 g, mono 6.6 g, poly 1.5 g); Protein 15.9 g; Carb 11 g; Fiber 0.2 g; Chol 147 mg; Iron 1.2 mg; Sodium 516 mg; Calc 173 mg

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Pizza Quesadillas for 6 Weight Watchers Points



These thick and hearty quesadillas are quick and easy!  For those in the Family who turn up their noses at the sight of mushrooms and green peppers, I limited their servings to just the cheese and pepperoni with a side of dippable raw veggies.  As you know, I'm on the hunt for meal ideas that can help me be successful and keep me from making more than one meal--one for me and one for "the others".

Since each quesadilla is 6 points and is cut into thirds, it stands to reason that each "wedge" (upon cutting them into thirds) is worth 2 points, so if you want to up your intake to 8 or 10 points if allowance permits, go for it!

Ingredients:

1-1/2 c fresh presliced mushrooms
1/2 c prechopped green bell pepper
1/2 tsp dried basil
4 (8") 96% fat-free flour tortillas
1 c (4 oz.) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
20 slices turkey pepperoni (5 per quesadilla)
Pinches of garlic powder and/or onion powder
1 c pizza sauce such as Ragu Homestyle


Instructions:

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat the pan with cooking spray. Add mushrooms and bell pepper and cook for 4 minutes until tender stirring frequently. Stir in basil.

While cooking the peppers and mushrooms, coat one side of each of the four tortillas with nonstick spray and place the sprayed side down and dry side up on the counter/work surface.

When peppers and mushrooms are ready, divide this mixture up evenly among the four flour tortillas covering only one half of each tortilla.

Start your pizza sauce to warming in a small saucepan.

Top each vegetable-covered tortilla with 1/4-cup of mozzarella cheese and 5 slices of turkey pepperoni. Season each with pinches of garlic powder and/or onion powder to your personal taste.

Fold each tortilla in half and place two at a time into heated pan with the folded sides together creating a circle from your two now halves and brown each side.

YIELD: 4 servings
SERVING SIZE: 1 Quesadilla cut into thirds and 1/4 c sauce
POINTS: 6 points per quesadilla (and 2 points per wedge)

Nutritional Information:  Calories 283 (32% from fat); Fat 10 g (sat 3.9 g), Protein 16 g; Carb 33.2 g; Fib 4.6 g; Chol 26 mg; Iron 3.1 mg; Sodium 904 mg; Calcium 333 mg

Carrot-Apple-Ginger Smoothie for 3 Weight Watchers points or 6 Smart Points each

Please excuse this plastic tumbler's gnarly edges. ;)

This smoothie recipe can be quite refreshing. You can use 2 ice cubes for a cold drink style or add 4 for more of a thickened smoothie.

Ingredients:

1/4 c. 100% carrot juice, chilled
1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/4 c. organic fat-free vanilla yogurt
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
1/2 frozen ripe banana
2-4 ice cubes

Instructions:  Place all  ingredients in a blender and voila!

Serves: 1
Points: 3 Points
SmartPoints: 6 (5.5 rounded up)

Nutritional Information:  Calories 138; Fat 0.1 g (sat 0 g, mono 0g, poly 0.1g); Protein 4.3 g; Carb 32.7 g; Fiber 2.3 g; Chol 2 mg; Iron 0.3 mg; Sodium 79 mg, Calcium 126 mg

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Chocolate-Chocolate-Chip Avocado Cookies for 2 Points Each!



Seriously, if you need a chocolate Fix, this is a good one. Especially Fresh out of the oven with the ooey gooey chocolate and even warned in a microwave for a few seconds afterward.

Yes, it's dairy free and gluten free (if you use gluten-free flour, which I do), and even vegan too. It's so easy to make and the whole Family gobbles them up completely unaware they're made with avocado!

I've tried this recipe with different types of flour, regular all-purpose, whole wheat flour, gluten-free versions, and I've settled on Cup-4-Cup gluten-free as my favorite in this recipe.

I've also tried this recipe with different chocolate chips--milk chocolate, dark chocolate, semi-sweet, etc. and I've settled on semi-sweet chips as my favorite, but feel free to pick your poison here.


INGREDIENTS:

parchment paper
1/2 cup mashed avocado
1/2 cup turbinado sugar (method to making sugar-big rough, crystal-like granules)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 c gluten-free flour
100 grams of chocolate chips of your choice


INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line your cookie sheet with parchment paper.

While the oven is preheating give your avocado and turbinado sugar a good whirl in a food processor or blender.

Add vanilla and apple cider vinegar and give another quick whirl until blended well/incorporated.

Mix the cocoa powder, the flour, the baking soda, and the cinnamon in a separate bowl with a whisk and add half at a time to moist mixture and blend after each addition.

Mix in chocolate chips by hand.

Spoon about a tablespoon of cookie dough onto your parchment-lined cookie sheet and use the backside of your spoon to flatten and shape the cookies somewhat, as they don't expand and shape much on their own.  Try to make sure there are no thin spots on the outer edges as they will cook/burn quickly and affect the taste of your first bites.

Bake for 10 minutes.



Sunday, January 8, 2017

Hamburger Steak with Carmelized Onions and Lemon-Thyme Green Beans



This is a very simple, quick and easy dish to make. It doesn't even matter if the "sauce" gets onto the beans, they go well together. A three-fourths cup of beans is only 1 point and the burger steak rings in at 4 points.

For the picky kids, who were scared of the onions and sauce, they put their patty onto a bun with the usual condiments, so all were able to partake in this one in one way or another.

Now for the green bean recipe, I have no idea what kind of bag of pretrimmed and microwavable beans they wer hoping I could find, but I just bought precut frozen green beans and I quickly boiled them for a few minutes in water to heat them up from a frozen state.

Hamburger Steak Ingredients:

1 lb ground sirloin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp dried Italian seasoning
Cooking Spray
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 c beef consomme (I used beef broth)
1/4 c balsamic vinegar

Hamburger Steak Instructions: 

Combine the first four ingredients in a small bowl. Shape into four 1/2-inch thick patties

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add patties, cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Transfer patties to a platter.

Add onion to pan and coat onion with cooking spray. Saute over medium-high heat 4 minutes. Return patties to pan.

Combine consomme/broth and balsamic vinegar and pour over onion and patties. Bring mixture to a boil and cover reducing heat and simmering five to six minutes or until meat is done.

YIELD: 4 servings
SERVING SIZE: 1 patty and about 1/3-cup onion/broth mixture
POINTS: 4 points

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: Cal 163 (28% from fat); Fat 5 g (sat 2 g); Pro 23.7 g; Carb 6.3 g; Fib 0.8 g; Chol 60 mg; Iron 2.2 mg; Sod 375 mg; Calc 17 mg



Lemon-Thyme Green Beans Ingredients:

1 (12-oz.) pkg pretrimmed green beans
2 Tbs light stick butter
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp grated fresh lemon rind

Lemon-Thyme Green Beans Instructions:

Pierce bag of green beans with a fork. Microwave at HIGH 4 minutes or until tender.

While beans cook, soften butter. Combine butter, thyme, and lemon rind in a large bowl. Add green beans aand toss to coat.

YIELD: 4 servings
SERVING SIZE: About 3/4 cup
POINTS: 1 point

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: Cal 62 (55% from fat); Fat 3.88 g (sat 2.3 g); Pro 1.8 g; Carb 6.7 g; Fib 2.7 g; Chol 7 mg; Iron 0.7 mg; Sod 229 mg; Calc 41 mg