Saturday, October 18, 2008

Just a bit of Menu Planning

So I've planned the menu for this week - but I haven't gotten all the recipes typed up yet - I'll get it done by Monday for Menu Plan Monday. I do have this weekends done though. We've eaten the Hashbrown Egg Stacks and the Tortellini Soup already. YUM! It's nice to have something else to add to the breakfast rotation besides pancakes (which are tasty but pointy). The only problem was that my POG (plain ole grocery) didn't have hash brown patties. I had to buy regular shredded hash browns - but it worked out fine. I just cooked them in the skillet with Pam and then divided them into 4 wedges. I'll post the recipes for this weekend below this post since that's all I've got ready.

B: Bacon, Egg and Hash Brown Stacks (4 pt)
L:Tortellini in Garlic Broth with White Beans and Greens (6 pts)
D: FiL's

L:Eggplant Parmigiana (Classic Caesar Salad & Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread) 9 pts
D:Manhattan Clam Chowder (1/4 c oyster crackers) 6 pts

Baja-Style Fish Tacos 7 pts

Spicy Turkey Burgers with Tzatziki (pita bread and cherry tomatoes) 5 pts

Rigatoni Bologonese 6 pts

Tuna Steaks with Creamy Mustard Sauce (1/2 c cooked egg noodles, 1 c steamed broccoli florets) 7 pts

Spankopizza 10 pts for 2 pcs

Bacon, Egg and Hash Brown Stacks
POINTS® Value: 4
Servings: 4
This is a nice twist on the usual potato and egg breakfast. Leave an extra "stack" in the refrigerator for a quick, microwave-reheatable meal.

2 sprays cooking spray
4 frozen hash brown potato patty, prepared without fat
2 large eggs
3 large egg whites
3 oz Canadian-style bacon, finely chopped
1 tbsp scallions, minced, green part only
1/8 tsp hot pepper sauce, optional
1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste
8 tsp ketchup, hot and spicy variety (optional)

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Place hash brown patties in skillet; cook over medium heat on first side until golden brown, about 7 to 9 minutes. Flip patties; cook until golden brown on second side, about 5 minutes more.

Meanwhile, coat a second large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium-low heat. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, egg whites, bacon, scallion, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper; pour into prepared skillet and then increase heat to medium. Let eggs partially set and then scramble using a spatula. When eggs are set, but slightly glossy, remove from heat; cover to keep warm until hash browns are finished cooking.

To assemble stacks, place 1 hash brown patty on each of 4 plates. Top each with 1/4 of egg mixture and serve with 2 teaspoons of ketchup. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if desired. Yields 1 stack per serving.

Notes: Finely diced turkey bacon makes a nice alternative to the Canadian bacon in this recipe. Just make sure to cook the bacon before adding it to the eggs (could affect POINTS values).

Tortellini in Garlic Broth with White Beans and Greens
Makes 4 Servings
We cook the tortellini separately and add it at the end to keep the broth from getting too starchy. Whether you use fresh or frozen tortellini be sure to watch the time so it doesn't overcook.

3 cups fresh or frozen cheese tortellini
3 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken both
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried sage or rosemary leaves, crumbled
2 cups coarsely chopped or cleaned spinach or other greens
16 oz can small white or navy beans, rinsed and drained
4 sun-dried tomatoes, minced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the tortellini according to package directions, until just tender (do not overcook).

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring the broth, garlic, sage, and 1 cup water to a boil. Stir in the spinach, beans and tomatoes. Reduce the heat and simmer until the spinach and tomatoes are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tortellini; simmer about 1 minute longer. Sprinkle with the cheese and serve.

Per serving: 351 cal, 4 g fat, 2 g sat fat, 26 mg chol, 967 mg sod, 48 g carb, 6 g fib, 18g prot, 274 mg calc. POINTS 6

Shopping Flash: It pays to invest in good Parmesan cheese, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano, because a little goes a long way in the flavor department. Buy a small wedge, cut into smaller wedges, and keep them wrapped in plastic, then in foil, in the refrigerator or freezer. (It's a dry cheese, so it doesn't spoil as fast as other cheeses, and freezing won't compromise it's texture.) Bring it to room temperature, then grate what you need by hand or in a food processor.

From: WW Cook it Quick!

Eggplant Parmigiana
POINTS® Value: 3
Servings: 4
We slimmed down this fattening favorite. Baking the eggplant gives the dish a crispy texture without the fat that comes from frying.

1 spray cooking spray
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs, Italian-style
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 medium raw eggplant
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cup canned tomato sauce
1/2 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9 X 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.

Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning and garlic powder in a medium-size bowl; set aside. Remove skin from eggplant and trim off ends; slice eggplant into 1/2-inch-thick slices.

Dip eggplant first into egg whites and then into bread crumb mixture. Bake eggplant on a nonstick cookie sheet until lightly browned, about 20 to 25 minutes, flipping once.

Place a layer of eggplant on bottom of prepared baking dish, then add 1/3 of tomato sauce and 1/3 of mozzarella cheese. Repeat with 2 more layers in same order. Bake until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling, about 10 minutes more. Slice into 4 pieces and serve.

Classic Caesar Salad
POINTS® Value: 2
Servings: 2
If you thought this salad was off limits because it's loaded with fat, think again: Our slimmed down version goes easy on the oil and cheese so you can keep this dish on the menu.

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
2 medium garlic cloves, sliced
1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 average anchovies canned in oil, drained, finely chopped or mashed with a fork
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped, rinsed well and patted dry

Combine all ingredients, except lettuce, in a blender or food processor; purée until blended. (Note: Omit the anchovies if you do not like their flavor.)

Place lettuce leaves in a large bowl and toss with dressing until well coated. Yields about 2 cups per serving.

Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread
From WW Winning Points Wk 7 Card
Makes 10 Servings : 132 Calories, 8 g fat, 0.4g fiber 3 pts (from card - calculated with WW recipe builder it's 4 pts but I think that Pillsbury has changed their biscuits since the recipe came out too. I was able to find a generic brand of biscuits that are 9.5 oz per can but Pillsbury are now 12-16 oz for their flaky ones.) I like to use FF Italian dressing instead of margarine sometimes - drops Points by 1.
I sometimes add Mrs. Dash Tomato-Basil or or Penzy's Sandwich Sprinkle or Italian Seasoning if I want extra flavor.

3 Tbsp margarine, melted, divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
One 10-oz package refrigerated buttermilk flaky biscuits (10 biscuits)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Brush 1 tsp of the margarine over the bottom and sides of a 7 1/2 X 3 1/2 X 2 1/4-inch nonstick loaf pan.

Spoon cheese into small bowl; cut each biscuit into quarters. One at a time, dip each biscuit quarter into remaining margarine, then into cheese, turning to lightly coat all sides and using all of the margarine and cheese.

In prepared loaf pan, layer coated biscuit quarters with edges touching; bake until loaf is browned, 30-35 minutes. Invert loaf pan onto serving platter; let stand in pan for 1 minute. Carefully remove pan; serve bread warm.

Manhattan Clam Chowder
From WW Dining for Two
Serves 2

If this soup is a favorite of yours, keep these few everyday ingredients in your pantry or freezer. You'll be ready to whip it up at a moment's notice. Irish-style bacon, made from pork loin, is very lean and full of flavor. If you can't find it, use Canadian bacon. For a no-meat chowder, try adding a 1-inch square piece of Parmesan cheese to the simmering soup to give it depth of flavor. If you like, serve with a few oyster crackers - 1/4 cup will increase the POINTS value by 1.

1 small onion, chopped
1 (1 oz) slice lean Irish-style bacon, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 carrot, diced
14 1/2 oz can sliced stewed tomatoes
1 cup bottled clam juice or fish broth
1 medium (6 oz) baking potato, scrubbed and diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 (9 oz) pkg frozen cut green beans
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
10 oz can whole baby clams in juice
1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp dried

Spray a medium nonstick saucepan with nonstick spray and set over medium heat. Add the onion, bacon, and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 8 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, clam juice, potato, and bay leaf; bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Add the green beans and pepper; return to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the beans are tender, about 3 minutes. Add the clams and their juice and cook until just heated through, about 2 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and stir in the thyme.

Per serving (generous 2 cups): 302 calories, 3 g Fat, 1 g Sat fat, 0 g Trans fat, 56 mg chol, 1201 mg sod, 45 g carb, 7g fib, 25g prot, 185mg calc. POINTS 5

TIP: You an easily double this recipe and refrigerate or freeze half in two (2-cup) containers ready to tote for lunch for another day.

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