Monday, December 15, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Vegetable Minestrone with Pasta WW Momentum p 233 (5 POINTS)

Tuesday: Capellini with Spicy Red Clam Sauce WW Pantry to Plate p 27 (5 POINTS)

Wednesday: Anticuchos (6 POINTS)

Thursday: Wild Mushroom Soup WW Turnaround Program p 39 (2 POINTS)

Friday: Calzones WW New Complete Cookbook p 312 (5 POINTS)

Saturday: Beer Braised Bratwurst and Onions (9 POINTS – cut points by cutting down on oil and I calculated using turkey brats 19 1/2 oz)

Sunday: Wine Tasting

For more menu ideas visit:

2 lbs carrots
3 lbs onions
1 bunch celery
1 small zucchini
1 small yellow squash
1/2 pound green beans
1 head garlic
3 shallots
1/2 pound fresh white mushrooms
1/2 pound fresh cremini mushrooms
3 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
1 bunch parsley

olive oil
1 cup red wine vinegar

15 1/2 oz can chickpeas
14 1/2 oz can petite diced tomatoes
2 (6 1/2 oz) cans chopped clams
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup evaporated fat-free milk

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat spirals or other tube pasta
6 oz capellini
1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
2 cups all-purpose flour

black pepper
dried oregano
dried thyme
dried marjoram
bay leaf
crushed red pepper
ground cumin

1 cow heart, about 2 pounds
2 pounds bratwurst

3/4 cup frozen chopped spinach

1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 large egg

12 ounces dark German beer
1/4 cup ají Panca (Peruvian pepper puree)

Vegetable Minestrone with Pasta
Serves 6
From WW Momentum Cookbook

15 1/2 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
14 1/2 oz can petite diced tomatoes
2 carrots, sliced
2 onions, diced
2 celery stalks, with leaves, sliced
1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 small yellow squash, halved lengthwise and sliced
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
7 cups water
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat spirals or other tube pasta
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or parsley

Combine all the ingredients except the pasta and basil in a 5 or 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook until the vegetable are fork-tender, 4-5 hours on High or 8-10 hours on low.

About 30 minutes before cooking time is up, cook the macaroni according to the package directions, omitting the salt if desired. Stir the pasta and basil into the soup.

Per serving (about 2 cups): 247 Cal, 2 g Fat, 0 g Sat Fat, 0 G Tras Fat, 0 mg Chol, 408 mg Sod, 50 g Carb, 9 g Fiber, 12 g Prot, 111 mg Calc. POINTS 4

FILLING EXTRA: Add 2 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced, to the soup at the same time as the other vegetables. This will increase the per-serving POINTS value by 1. This recipe works with the SIMPLY FILLING technique.

Capellini with Spicy Red Clam Sauce
Serves 4
From WW Pantry to Plate

6 oz capellini
2 tsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 (6 1/2 oz) cans chopped clams, drained, liquid reserved
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
Chopped parsley

Cook the capellini according to package directions, omitting the salt if desired; drain.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the clams with 1/2 cup of their liquid and the tomatoes, oregano, thyme and crushed red pepper; bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the flavors blend and the sauce thickens, about 7 minutes.

Add the cooked pasta and toss to coat. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.

Per serving (1 1/4 cups): 287 Cal, 4 g Fat, 1 g Sat Fat, 0 g Trans Fat, 29 mg Chol, 533 mg Sod, 44 g Carb, 4 g Fib, 18 g Prot, 126 mg Calc. POINTS 5
MAKE IT CORE: Use any whole-wheat pasta in place of the capellini

Anticuchos (Peruvian Grilled Beef Heart)
Serves 4 people. (Can use beef steak cut into slices, this tastes a lot like fajita meat) You can find the pepper puree in most Mexican stores. If you live in an area with a large Peruvian community, you may be able to buy whole or ground aji amarillo. If not, use hot paprika in its place, or Spanish smoked paprika, which you can find at I've also subbed jalapenos and chilies and even Tabasco – just tasting to make it the heat that I wanted it.

1 cow heart, about 2 pounds
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup ají Panca (Peruvian pepper puree)
2 tablespoons dry oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup red wine vinegar

Soak 4 wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes.

Carefully trim off the fat and silverskin from the cow heart. On a slight diagonal, cut the cow heart into horizontal slices about 1/2-inch thick.

Crush the oregano between your fingers (this will wake up the flavor). With a whisk, combine the garlic, aji, oregano, cumin, pepper and vinegar. Immerse the meat in the marinade and refrigerate 2-8 hours.

Skewer the cow heart, about four pieces to each skewer. Heat a grill pan over high heat until smoking hot. Season the skewers with salt.

Sear on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Baste the meat with the marinade and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Serve with a light herb sauce and boiled potatoes or grilled corn.

Wild Mushroom Soup
Makes 4 servings
From WW Turnaround Program Cookbook

White and cremini mushrooms pair up in this silky, soothingly rich soup. If you want an even more pronounced mushroom flavor, soak 1/2 ounce dried mushrooms in warm water for 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the mushrooms to a sieve, rinse with cold water, and then add to the fresh mushrooms in step 1.

1/2 pound fresh white mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1/2 pound fresh cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 onions, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 cup evaporated fat-free milk
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine 3 cups of the mushrooms with 1 1/2 cups of the broth in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a blender or food processor; puree then return to the saucepan.

Meanwhile, spray a large nonstick saucepan with canola oil nonstick spray and set over medium heat. Add the onions, carrot, and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are wilted, about 10 minutes. Add the vegetable mixture to the mushroom puree in the saucepan, along with the milk and remaining 1 1/2 cups broth; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add the parsley, thyme, marjoram, and pepper; simmer 5 minutes.

Per serving (1 1/4 cups): 131 cal, 1 g fat, 0 g sat fat, 0 g trans fat, 3 mg chol, 571 mg sod, 23 g carb, 3 g fib, 12 g prot, 232 mg calc. POINTS 2

TIP Always clean mushrooms just before using, but never immerse them in water, as they are highly absorbent and apt to becoming mushy. Instead, rinse them under cold water and blot dry with paper towels. Or simply wipe them off with a damp paper towel. If you don't mind spending a little extra money, you can use 1 pound cremini mushrooms.

Beer Braised Bratwurst and Onions
Browning the bratwurst prior to combining them with the onions and beer gives them a deeper flavor; you can likewise grill them with similar results.
Serves 4-6

2 pounds bratwurst
5 tablespoons olive oil
6 cups thinly sliced onions
12 ounces dark German beer
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place the bratwurst in the skillet and cook, turning frequently, until the sausage is lightly browned. Transfer the bratwurst from the skillet to a platter and set aside.

Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet over medium heat. Add the onion slices and sauté gently until they are translucent but not browned.

Pour the beer into the skillet with the onions. Stir, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the skillet, then add the bay leaf and the black pepper. Bring the beer to a light boil. Reduce the heat to simmer, cover the skillet and allow the beer and onions to cook for about 15 minutes to marry the flavors.

Add the bratwurst to the skillet, cover and simmer for another 15 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and serve.


Calzones, originally from Naples. Are stuffed pizzas. Although they are traditionally filled with heavy cheese, our lightened spinach-and-cheese version keeps all the great flavor of the original.
Makes 6 servings
From Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook

1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
3/4 cup lukewarm (105-115 F) water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp olive oil
3 shallots, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup thawed, frozen chopped spinach, squeezed dry
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over 1/4 cup of the lukewarm water. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

In a food processor, combine 1 3/4 cups + 2 Tbsps of the flour and 1/4 tsp of the salt. With the machine running, scrape the yeast mixture and the remaining 1/2 cup of lukewarm water through the feed tube just until the dough forms a ball. Knead the dough by pulsing until it is smooth and elastic, about 30 times.

Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray; place the dough in the bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until it double in volume, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in small nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Saute the shallots and garlic until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the spinach; cook about 2 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl; stir in the ricotta, feta, egg, mint, oregano, the remaining 3/4 tsp of salt and the pepper.

Preheat the oven to 400F; spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle a work surface with the remaining 2 Tbsp of flour. Turn out the dough; divide into 6 pieces. Roll out each piece into a 6-inch circle. Place about 2 heaping tablespoons of filling on one side of each circle, then dampen all around the edge; fold over and press with a wet thumb to seal. Transfer the calzones to the baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and crisp, 20 -25 minutes.

Per serving (1 calzone): 231 Cal, 7 g Fat, 3 g Sat Fat, 0 g Tras Fat, 51 mg chol, 529 mg Sod, 33g Carb, 1 g Fib, 10 g Prot, 160 mg Calc POINTS 5

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