Monday, February 23, 2009

Anniversary Menu Plan Monday

Well, once more it's going to be eating more out of the pantry this week. My husband's windshield of his truck had gotten a small crack in it one day a few week ago, probably from a rock, and from the wide swings in temperatures we've had recently it spread all the way across the other day. So he's going to have to get that fixed and I'll help to save some money by using what's in the our pantry. I was hoping to have some Mediterranean-Style Baked Lima Beans, but I don't have dry or frozen lima beans on hand (the fresh automatically get eaten, I don't freeze them for later). What I thought were lima beans turned out to be favas, and while they might work, I'd rather stick with limas since I don't have to peel them. I'll have to wait until the next time I head to the store and pick some up.

This Saturday is our 11th Wedding Anniversary!! :) I'm making dinner -and yes, I wanted to - the menu is below. I have a T-bone from my sister in the freezer, so I'm going to use that. I haven't decided what other vegetable I'm making and the cheesecake is going to be an experiment for me since I don't have an exact recipe yet. I'm trying to duplicate our wedding cake, kinda. I'm going to use some light cream cheese like I do normally for a plain cheesecake, and I've not made a flavored cheesecake before, and I don't really have a recipe for this so I'm just winging it. Wish me luck! Our cake had crushed chocolate cookie base, chocolate cheesecake with orange flavoring in it and a chocolate ganache top. I'm not going to get majorly fancy with orange segments and chocolate curls because it's just us. As it is I don't really want to make a whole cheesecake as it is, since it's just the two of us, but since it freezes well, I'm going to be freezing the extra in slices.

Monday: FFY (hubby will be home late- I don't have a lot of leftovers, so it's really whatever you can find!)
Tuesday: Egyptian Rice and Lentils (Koshary) recipe below
Wednesday: Red Beans & Rice (packaged mix) with Chicken sausages
Thursday: Burmese Soup (Red Lentil Soup)
Friday: Chez JJ Pizza (Homemade Pizza)
Saturday: Our 11th Wedding Anniversary - and I'm really going to mix cultures. :) I'm making Bistecca alla Fiorentina, Pommes Frittes (although oven baking them, so I guess they're more Oven fries), and Chocolate Orange Cheesecake.

For more menu ideas visit I'm an Organizing Junkie

Egyptian Rice and Lentils (Koshary)
Adapted From "Extending the Table" -Fiza, Mattareyya, Egypt; and Mary F. Beck, Cairo, Egypt
Koshary is Egypt's street food. Vendors serve this low-cost, nutritious meal in dishes or plastic bags from little kiosks. It is also an important dish for Coptic Orthodox Christians because it is meatless and can be eaten during times of fasting. In Egypt the sauce is made from fresh tomatoes, and the rice and lentils are always served with macaroni.
My Notes: From a friend on the WW CLC board (Jilly) who's husband is from Egypt, she makes a spicy vinaigrette to go on top at the end just like we would use Tabasco or Pepper Vinegar and puts a bay leaf in with the rice and lentils. She just gives ingredients for the vinaigrette, just mix them to your tastes.
Serves 8

Rice and Lentils:
2 tablespoons oil
1 1/4 cups lentils
3 cups boiling water (or stock)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1 dash pepper
1 1/2 cups rice
1 cup boiling water (or stock)
3/4 cup tomato paste
3 1/2 cups tomato juice (or tomato sauce or pureed tomatoes)
1 green pepper, chopped
3Tbsp celery leaves, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or crushed chilis to taste)
2 cups macaroni, any variety
3 Tbsp of above sauce
1 Tbsp oil
Browned Onions:
2 tablespoons oil
3 onions, sliced
4 garlic clove, minced
JillyBean's Spicy Vinaigrette (all to taste):
red pepper flakes
minced garlic
apple cider vinegar
olive oil

In a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, brown lentils in 2 Tbsp oil, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the 3 cups boiling stock, bay leaf, and the salt and pepper. Cook uncovered 10 minutes over medium heat. Stir in the rice and 1 cup stock. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 25 minutes without stirring.

Meanwhile make sauce: Heat all the sauce ingredients together in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 20-30 minutes.

Once the sauce is made, Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain and mix with 3 Tbsp of the above sauce and 1 Tbsp oil.

To make browned onions, heat oil in a small skillet. Saute onions and garlic over medium heat till brown, about 10-15 minutes.

Serve rice-lentil mixture in one serving dish and macaroni in another. Place side-by-side on plates, ladle sauce over and top with browned onions. Or pile rice-lentil mixture and macaroni on a large serving platter. Spread tomato sauce over, and top with onions. Individuals may add plain yogurt.

Burmese Lentil Soup
From: Katen Joshi on "Calling All Cooks" Episode CA1A08 Food Network
Serves: 4-6

2 cups red lentils
1/3 cup fresh cilantro
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
10 to 12 green chilies cut into rings
2 large Idaho potatoes grated on medium grater
Vegetable oil
2 to 3 cups Vidalia onions cut into 1-inch slivers
Cubed bread (1/4-inch to 1/2-inch cubes)
Salted butter
1 cup fresh cilantro

In advance: pour distilled vinegar into a bowl with the green chili rings and let sit for at least 1 hour prior to serving soup.

To prepare soup, wash red lentils in warm water, 2 or 3 times over. Then fill large pot with 5 to 6 cups water. Cook lentils over medium flame until they lose their form, and a soup-like base is formed. Add fresh chopped cilantro, salt and pepper to soup, set soup aside.

Next, prepare the rest of the add-ins. Grate Idaho potatoes and deep fry to golden brown in hot oil. Place on paper towels to absorb excess oil, then put into a bowl. Saute onions in pan with 1/3 cup vegetable oil until golden-dark brown and caramelized, then place in a bowl. Saute cubed bread in a mixture of 1/4 cup oil and 1/4 cup butter until golden brown, put in a bowl. Roughly chop cilantro, put into a bowl.

To serve, place soup and add-ins on the table. Guests place 2 or 3 ladles of soup into their soup bowl, then, in middle of soup bowl, pile high with desired add-ins; do not spread out garnish.

Bistecca alla Fiorentina
From: "At Home with Michael Chiarello" Cookbook

The classic Bistecca alla Fiorentina is a large porterhouse steak that usually weighs around one kilo (2.2 pounds). In Tuscan restaurants the steak is offered by the "etto" or in 100-gram (4 oz.) increments. This great steak includes both the strip loin and the fillet. I also use a rib-eye steak with this method. Always use the best meat, gray salt, coarse ground black pepper and balsamic vinegar that you can find. The marriage of all these ingredients will reveal a noble meal of authentic Italian flavor.

For my Tuscan BBQ on Weekend Today, I paired the bistecca with two unique condimenti, or finishes, to the steak: grilled lemon halves or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. An option to using expensive and rare balsamic is to use a Tuscan-flavored steak sauce. I make one with roasted garlic,sweetened with raisins, and, to give it a nice bite, black pepper. As you’ll see throughout this menu, Italians love a mix of tart and sweet,called agrodolce.

About Gray Salt: If you change just one thing about your cooking, make it the salt. The gray salt I use, from Brittany’s coast, retains all the minerals found in the sea, echoing your body’s mineral content exactly. Because of its taste, I use gray salt exclusively, and cherish the natural flavors it highlights in all foods.

2 lb. Porterhouse steak, about 2 inches thick
Gray Salt
Coarse ground black pepper
Extra Virgin Olive oil
Aged balsamic vinegar (optional)
1 lemon (optional)
Roasted Garlic Balsamic Steak Sauce (optional) -recipe below [make day before if using]

Let the steak rest outside of the refrigerator for one hour before cooking. Liberally season the steak with gray salt and pepper and press the seasoning into the meat.

To grill: Use a hot, clean and oiled grill. Grill the steak for about 5-6 minutes on each side for medium rare. The filet will cook a little faster than the strip loin. Move the steak every two minutes or so for even cooking and a crispy exterior.

For pan roasting: If pan-roasting, preheat the oven to 450° F. Heat a cast-iron skillet with a little olive oil until smoking hot. Turn on the fan, open the window and stand back to avoid getting spattered! Using tongs, place the steak in the center of the pan. Cook until the first side is seared brown, about 4 minutes. Turn the steak and place the pan in the oven until the steak is done, about 6 minutes for medium rare.

Remove the steak to a carving board and let rest for at least 5 minutes before carving.

Grilled Lemon Halves: Cut the lemon in half and brush the cut side with olive oil.

For pan roasting: Place cut side down alongside the steak. When marked, turn the lemons over and cook in the oven alongside the steak.

To grill: Place the lemons cut side down on the grill to mark. Turn the lemon over and move to a cooler part of the grill to finish cooking. Serve all bistecca with some extra gray salt on the table.

Roasted Garlic-Balsamic Steak Sauce

Bon App├ętit | August 2007
Michael Chiarello
Yield: Makes about 4 cups
DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 week ahead. Keep refrigerated.
A sweet substitute for traditional steak sauce. Try it on a rib eye, use it to marinate flank steak, or mix it into ground beef for burgers.

1 1/2 cups warm water
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallots
3 large plum tomatoes, cored, quartered
1/4 cup roasted garlic paste from jar
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons apple jelly or red currant jelly
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 teaspoon (or more) fine sea salt
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon (or more) freshly ground black pepper

Combine 1 1/2 cups warm water and raisins in medium bowl; let stand until raisins are soft, at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour. Mix vinegar and shallots in small bowl; let stand 15 minutes. Add vinegar mixture to raisin mixture, then stir in all remaining ingredients. Working in 3 batches, puree mixture in blender until smooth. If desired, season with more salt and pepper. Return mixture to medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 12 hours to blend flavors.

Baked Pommes Frites
Michael Chiarello

6 russet potatoes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Peel potatoes and cut into quarter-inch thick slices (lengthwise) cut again into 1/4-inch thick fries. Place the potatoes into a bowl with cold water; this will help keep the fries crisp. Just before cooking, drain water and place on paper towel, pat dry.

Put in a bowl; add olive oil, 1 tablespoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Toss well and lay out in 1 layer on nonstick baking sheet. Bake until light brown. Cook for approx 30 - 40 minutes, turning frequently until golden brown.

Remove from oven, allow to cool for a minute or two and serve.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Late Menu Plan Monday

I think we're going to have to plan to replace our vacuum cleaner some point soon. We got it when we got married, almost 11 years now (on the 28th). I'm having trouble finding the bags for it as it is (I guess because most of the newer ones are becoming bagless?) and lately I'm getting a burning rubber smell after a bit. I tried today to see if I could find where the belt was, but no luck. The only removable parts are the Hepa filter, another foam filter thing at the bottom of the bag and the bag itself. I did spend an hour cleaning the beater bar and removing my hair from around a part where you can't reach it very well. Good thing I have hemostats (I actually use them for removing pin bones from fish too). The person who designed that part of the vacuum didn't have long hair, that's for sure.

To get some natural light in the house today, I've got the front door open, and Miko is laying at the back door and has a straight-line view through to the storm door. She gets up occasionally and runs to bark at the cars that drive by or a leaf that blows by. Why she doesn't just lay there and bark I don't know, but at least she is getting some exercise. ;) I may have to close it soon though, my headache can't handle it, and she'll probably start limping soon too.

The menu this week isn't exciting by any means. I'm still trying to save some money and use pantry stuff.

Monday: Macaroni & Cheese (store-brand packaged) with canned tuna and frozen veggies
Tuesday: Beef Noodle Soup (cooked beef from the freezer)
Wednesday: Bagel Dogs (frozen turkey dogs in the freezer) recipe is posted elsewhere on here- if you would like to have, just ask.
Thursday: Turkey and Stuffing Casserole (cooked turkey from the freezer and homemade white sauce not canned soup)
Friday: Homemade Pizza

For more menu ideas visit: I'm an Organizing Junkie

Stovetop Tuna Mac
4 servings
From "Mr. Food"

1 package macaroni and cheese dinner
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
1 (6-ounce) can white tuna, drained and flaked
8 buttery crackers, coarsely crushed

In a large saucepan, prepare the macaroni and cheese dinner according to package directions, adding the frozen mixed vegetables to the boiling macaroni in water for the last 2 minutes of cooking time. Drain and return the macaroni and vegetables to the saucepan.

Stir in the remaining ingredients as directed on the package; mix well. Stir in the tuna, sprinkle the crushed crackers over the top, and serve.

Beef Noodle Soup

This is another wonderful recipe that can incorporate any left over beef you might have. This soup tastes great and is easy to make.

Left over beef, cubed
1 medium chopped onion
2/3 cup chopped celery
2 tablespoons beef bouillon granules
1/8 teaspoon dried parsley
2/3 cup chopped carrot
3-3/4 cups water
1-2/3 cups egg noodles

In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute the meat, onion, and celery for 5 minutes. Stir in the bouillon, parsley, carrots, water, and egg noodles. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

Turkey and Stuffing Casserole
Makes: 5-6 servings

1 pkg. (14 oz.) seasoned dry stuffing mix
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup COLLEGE INN® Chicken Broth
1 (10.75 oz.) can condensed cream of celery soup
1 (10.75 oz.) can condensed cream of turkey soup
3 cups shredded cooked chicken or turkey
1/4 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Combine the first 4 ingredients, and set aside.
Separate the 2 soups in separate bowls and add 1/2 soup can of water to each; stir these well and set aside.
Place 1/3 of the crumb mixture into a lightly greased 9×13-inch baking dish.
Layer 1/2 of the chicken/turkey and pour the celery soup over this.
Layer another 1/3 of the crumb mixture, followed by the remaining turkey.
Pour the turkey soup over and top with the remaining crumb mixture. Drizzle with butter and pack the mixture firmly into the dish.
Bake 20 to 30 minutes.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Yeah, I know I never got around to typing up the trip to WV. I hope to get around to it at some point. I've also been pretty bad about updating. Things have been keeping me pretty busy around here, and add in TOM and the migraines that come with it and you're lucky to even see anything. ;) I pretty much just followed the dinners last week. *SIGH* I had a feeling that would happen (the Red Pepper, Mozzarella Pesto sandwiches I did make once for me, and then on the weekend for us). Oh well. It hasn't been a great eating weekend in terms of diet for me this week, and once my period started I realized why I've been so noshing last and this week. At least my period isn't as bad as it used to be thanks to the ablation, but I still get everything else that goes along with it though. It could be a lot worse, so I can't really complain. I guess the biggest thing is something I've had to deal with my whole life really - the fact that I never know when it's going to come. The only time I did know was when I was taking BCP's (to help control it and my headaches actually) but with my liver problems I can't use them anymore (and it may have actually been the reason for all of my tumors).

I'm now playing around with Google Calendar to menu plan and general calendar stuff. So far it's going well, although figuring out how to sync with Lightening (Sunbird for Thunderbird) took a bit.

Here's the menu plan for this week - it's just dinners this time.

Monday: Slow-Cooker Pork Ragu (using leftover Kahlua pork from Christmas)
Tuesday: Fried Rice (using Freezer Stash)
Wednesday: Turkey Bratwursts
Thursday: Bobotie
Friday: Chez JJ Pizza

For more menu ideas visit: I'm an Organizing Junkie

Slow-Cooker Pork Ragu

Pork butt or shoulder is an economical cut of meat that's perfect for making this slow-cooked stew topping for pasta.
Source: Woman's World - October 17, 2006

2 ribs celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds boneless pork butt or shoulder
1 (16 ounce) jar marinara pasta sauce
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1/4 cup red wine or water
3/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon salt
16 ounces fusilli pasta

Place first 4 ingredients in 3-quart slow-cooker. Top with pork.

Combine sauce, tomato paste, wine, fennel seeds, pepper flakes and salt. Pour over pork; cover.

Cook on LOW for 10 hours, until tender.

Transfer pork to plate. Use 2 forks to shred pork; stir into sauce in slow-cooker.

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.

Basic Fried Rice
Serves 4

2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
3 eggs, beaten
2 strips bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
4 scallions, trimmed and sliced into 1/4-inch rings (reserve 1 heaping tablespoon sliced dark green portion for garnish)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
1 tablespoon minced ginger (about a 1-inch piece)
1/3 cup finely chopped carrot (1-2 carrots)
1-2 fresh chilies like jalapenos or Thai chilies, to taste, seeded and minced (optional)
4 cups cooked rice, at room temperature
2-3 tablespoons soy sauce

In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 teaspoon vegetable oil over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Pour beaten egg into pan and swirl egg around to coat entire bottom of pan. When egg is beginning to bubble, about 1-2 minutes, break it up into pieces using a spatula or wooden spoon, and remove from pan.

Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to pan over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp, 2-3 minutes. (If bacon begins to burn, lower heat to medium.)

Add scallions, garlic, ginger, carrot and (if using) chilies to pan, and cook, stirring often, for 1-2 minutes or until garlic becomes golden. Return cooked egg to pan.

Add rice and stir to coat well with the other ingredients. Cook for about 2 minutes to allow rice and egg to become hot. Turn heat down to medium-low, and pour soy sauce over rice. The pan may be quite full (depending on its size), so stir carefully to allow even distribution of soy sauce throughout rice.

Taste for salt, and add an additional 1 tablespoon of soy sauce if you like. Sprinkle with reserved dark green scallion slices to serve.

*Add chopped raw shrimp (1/4-1/3 pound) 1 minute after adding scallions, garlic, ginger and carrot.
* Add small cubes of firm tofu (about 1/2 cup) 1 minute after adding scallions, garlic, ginger and carrot.
* Stir in small pieces of leftover cooked chicken just before adding rice to pan.
* For a mellower pork flavor, try pancetta instead of bacon.
* For Thai-style fried rice, sprinkle 1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce over mixture before returning egg to pan, and squeeze juice from half a lime over rice just before serving.
* To get more of your vegetables, slice raw green beans (about 1/4-1/3 cup) very thin (1/8 inch) and add along with scallions, garlic, ginger and carrot.
* Drizzle with sesame oil and sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top

Riva's Milwaukee Brats
From: Riva Heron @ Dinners by the Dozen
Serving Size: 6

6 Bratwurst Links
12 Ounces beer
2 Cups sliced Peppers and Onions
6 Hoagie buns

Combine in bag and freeze. To cook, thaw completely and pour into baking pan and heat on stove or on grill. Heat until sausages are warmed through. If desired, remove sausages and sear on grill for 1-2 minutes. Place in brat bun, garnish with peppers/onions. Enjoy.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 325 Calories; 23g Fat (68.2% calories from fat); 13g Protein; 11g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 51mg Cholesterol; 653mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 3 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

South African Bobotie

Serving Size: 6

1/2 cup diced onion
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup dried apricot, diced
1 1/4 cups White Bread, cut into cubes
2 1/2 cups 1% Low-fat Milk
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1 pound browned ground beef
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1/4 cup raisins
4 Tablespoons sliced almonds
1/2 cup Egg Substitute

Place bread into small bowl and pour 1/2 the milk over it – allow to soak. In another bowl, combine curry powder, chili powder, lemon juice, salt, pepper and ground beef. Add the raisins, almonds, apricots and soaked bread (including the milk the bread soaked in). Spoon mixture into a greased pan. Combine egg mixture and remaining milk. Pour over the meat mixture in the pan.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 536 Calories; 26g Fat (43.6% calories from fat); 34g Protein; 42g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 89mg Cholesterol; 1174mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 3 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 1/2 Fruit; 1/2 Non-Fat Milk; 3 Fat.

Chez JJ's Pizza
(Using WW Basic Pizza Dough with Variations and Chez JJ's Pizza Sauce so you don't have to hunt for the recipes)

Basic Pizza Dough
Makes 2 (12 inch) pizza crusts (6 servings each)
From Weight Watchers Pizza,Pizza: 150 deliciously dazzling ways to make everyone's favorite pie

This dough makes enough for two pizzas, so you can freeze half the dough for another day. If you freeze it, thaw it in the refrigerator over night or on the counter for 1 1/2 hours. Unlike other bread dough, pizza dough only needs to rise only once. After rising, simply punch it down, then let it rest for 15 minutes before rolling or stretching to the desired shape. If you like you can let the dough rest in a floured zip-close freezer bag in the refrigerator overnight. You'll find it easiest to roll out or stretch bread dough when it's at room temperature.

1 1/2 cups warm water (105-115 F)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 pkg active dry yeast (2 1/2 tsp)
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt

Combine the water and sugar in a 2-cup measuring just. Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the oil.

Combine the flour and salt in a food processor. With the machine running, scrape the yeast mixture through the feed tube; pulse until the dough forms a ball, about 1 minute. If necessary, turn the dough onto a lightly flour surface and knead briefly until smooth and elastic.

Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray; put the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl lightly with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm spot until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.

Punch down the dough, then cut in half. Refrigerate or freeze in floured zip-close [I have better luck with a bit of oil in the bag instead of flour- about a tsp and spread around the bag] freezer bags at this point or use as directed in the recipe.

Per serving (1/12 of dough): 174 cal, 2 g fat, 0 g sat fat, 0 mg chol, 292 mg sod, 34 g carb, 1 g fib, 5 g prot, 7 mg calc, POINTS: 3

TIP: if mixing by hand: To make bread by hand, combine the water, sugar and yeast in a large bowl; set aside until foamy. Stir in the oil, flour and salt until the dough starts to gather around the spoon. Turn the dough on to a lightly floured surface; knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

Cornmeal Pizza Dough: Pizzas with a Mexican influence are terrific made on a cornmeal crust. Substitute 1 cup cornmeal for 1 cup of the all-purpose flour.
Per serving: (1/12 of the dough): 178 cal, 2 g fat, 0 g sat fat, 0 mg chol. 292 mg sod, 35 g carb, 2 g fib, 5 g prot, 5 mg calc, POINTS: 3

Semolina Pizza Dough: Using part semolina flour makes a crispier-crusted pizza. If you can't find semolina flour, use farina cereal. Substitute 1 1/2 cups semolina flour for 1 1/2 cups of the all-purpose flour.
Per serving (1/12 of the dough): 192 calories, 2 g fat, 0 g sat fat, 0 mg chol, 292 mg sod, 38 g carb, 2 g fib, 6 g prot, 8 mg calc, POINTS 4

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough: Whole-wheat flour makes a higher-fiber, more nutritious crust. Substitute 1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour for 1 1/4 cups of the all-purpose flour.
Per serving (1/12 of the dough): 177 cal, 2 g fat, 0 g sat fat, 0 mg chol, 292 mg sod, 34 g carb, 3 g fib, 6 g pro, 5 mg calc, POINTS 3

Chez JJ's Pizza Sauce
This is mostly a mixture of a Cooking Light Marinara sauce for the freezer and one on the web that is supposed to be like Papa John's Sauce. I call it Chez JJ's Pizza Sauce now. :) This makes a little more than enough sauce for 2 pizzas depending on how much sauce you like on your pizzas. We like about 1/2 cup of sauce per 12" pizza.

15 oz crushed tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp crushed fennel [gives a bit of a sausage-like flavor]
1 tsp red pepper flakes

Combine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes until thickened. Let cool. You can freeze. You can also double/triple as needed.

To make a pizza:
Preheat oven to 450. Roll dough into a 12" circle. Prick with a fork and place onto oven stone. Par-bake for 4 minutes. If you don't have a stone, place on pan and par-bake on bottom rack of oven instead. Remove from oven - and if it has bubbled up a bit, I usually press down with a towel or my pizza peel and let cool a bit before topping on a wire rack.

For each pizza top with 1/2 cup of sauce (if not using homemade I will just use jarred spaghetti sauce), 3/4 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese (or 3 oz Italian cheese blend) and then with 17 turkey pepperoni slices and any other toppings (thin sliced onions, mushrooms, peppers, etc). Don't put a whole lot of toppings on because too many will make the pizza soggy. The sprinkle about 2 Tbsp of shredded Parmesan on top.

Bake for about 9 minutes until the cheese is melted and starting to brown and the edges are browning (it's going to be 12-15 minutes total including the par-baking).

Take out and let cool for about 3-5 minutes so the cheese won't slide off when you go to cut it. Eat and enjoy.

It's going to be about 5 points per slice depending on if you add any more pointy things to the pizza when you top it. Now, if you eat two pieces, it's not 10 points for both, it's going to be 11, just to warn you, and it's going to be 16.5 points for 3. So watch how many you eat.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

While I recover from my gravy-infused weekend trip to WV for my husband's grandmother's 80th birthday party, I figured I'd at least get my menu posted. I was smart and planned my menu BEFORE we left. :) Mainly this was done because I knew it wouldn't be pretty. So I've got it figured out points-wise pretty much for the main meals.

I'll try to write more about the trip later. I've got to get my blood drawn tomorrow for my 3-month recheck and it'll be interesting to see if they actually get blood or gravy. ;) I hope this weekend won't impact my blood values.

Monday: B: Cereal L: Black & White Bean Salad, Mozzarella, Red Pepper and Pesto Sandwich D: Hand-Slappin' Chicken, Cauliflower, Collards
Tuesday: B: Strawberry Vanilla Shake L: same as above D: Slow Cooker Beef Beef Chili, cornbread
Wednesday: B: Fruit & Yogurt L: Same as above D: Garlic-Studded Pork Loin, Roasted Veg
Thursday: B: Egg, bacon, & veggies L: Ham N Swiss sandwich and Tomato Soup D: Tex-Mex Taco Salad
Friday: B: Egg & Cheddar Sandwich, L: Bean Salad, sandwich D: Pizza

For more menu ideas visit: I'm an Organizing Junkie

Everything may change (usually it's going to be breakfast or lunch). This morning ended up being coffee and pepperoni rolls. Yes, I was introduced to pepperoni rolls this weekend too. I think my blood will be a bit viscous.

Garlic-Studded Pork Loin
Makes 3 Entrees 6-8 Servings Each
Come home and enjoy this Mediterranean-style roast after a busy day. Slow cooking your main dish leaves you a little extra time for finishing touches: a roasted head of garlic to spread on a fresh baguette, fresh mozzarella over sliced tomatoes topped with fresh basil leaves, or perhaps a simple spinach salad with red onion, pitted Kalamata olives, and feta. - KN
From: Fix, Freeze, Feast

1 pork loin, (about 8 lbs)
2 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp black pepper
18 garlic cloves
3/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup water
3 one-gallon freezer bags, labeled

Mix oregano, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and set aside.

Rinse and trim loin as desired. Cut loin into three equal roasts. Using the tip of a sharp paring knife, cut twelve openings 3/4 inch deep in each roast. Slice each garlic clove in half and place one garlic piece in each opening.

Rub each roast with one-third of the seasoning mixture. Place one roast into each freezer bag. Over each roast, measure 1/4 cup oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice, and 1/4 cup water.

Seal and freeze.

To cook one entree: Completely thaw one entree in the refrigerator. Put roast and marinade in the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

NOTE: Lemon juice from Concentrate- If you choose bottled lemon juice, take care to check the expiration date on the bottles. While 2-packs of lemon juice are three to five times less expensive per fluid ounce at the warehouse club, it does not keep indefinitely. If you purchase more than you will use in cooking, consider using it to clean around the house. Lemon is a natural cleaning agent and deodorizer. Contact the manufacturer for other household uses or consult some of the books in our Resources section.

Black and White Bean Salad
Serves 4

1 cup canned white beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 large tomato, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 medium celery stalk, diced
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp minced Italian parsley
1/8 tsp table salt, or more to taste
1/8 tsp ground black pepper, or more to taste

In a large bowl, combine beans, tomato, onion and celery. Gently stir in vinegar and sprinkle with parsley; season to taste with salt and pepper.

Strawberry Vanilla Shake
Serves 2

1/2 oz fat-free, sugar-free instant vanilla pudding and pie filling mix (use half 1 oz package)
2 cups strawberries, sliced
1 cup fat-free milk
1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt

Combine all ingredients together in a blender; puree until smooth.

Mozzarella, Red Pepper and Pesto Sandwich
Serves 4

3 Tbsp fat-free mayonnaise
1 1/2 Tbsp store-bought pesto sauce
8 oz baguette, cut into 4 equal pieces
6 oz part-skim mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
1 oz roasted red peppers, or 2 pieces, thinly sliced
4 romaine lettuce leaves

In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise and pesto. Halve baguette pieces horizontally and spread mayonnaise mixture on both sides. Top bottom halves with equal amounts of mozzarella, red peppers and lettuce. Cover with remaining bread halves and serve.

Fruit and Yogurt
Serves 1

1 cup light vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup fresh pineapple
1/2 cup blueberries

Top yogurt with fruit.

Egg & Cheddar Sandwich
Serves 1

3 egg whites
nonstick cooking spray
2 slices reduced calorie whole-wheat bread, toasted
2 Tbsp low-fat cheddar cheese

Scramble eggs whites in a pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Place egg on 1 slice bread and top with cheese and other slice of bread.

Egg, Bacon and Veggies
Serves 1

1 egg
1 tomato, halved
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 slice Canadian bacon

In a pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, cook all ingredients. Serve.

Ham & Swiss Sandwich
Serves 1

2 slices reduced-calorie whole-wheat bread
2 oz lean ham
1 slice low-fat Swiss cheese
arugula leaves
sliced tomato
Dijon mustard

Top 1 slice bread with rest of ingredients and top with other piece of bread. Serve.

Roasted Vegetables
Serves 4
Winter's root vegetables are wonderfully flavorful when they're slow-cooked.

1 medium fennel bulb, cored and cut into 1/3-inch thick wedges
1 medium acorn squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
8 oz baby carrots
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 tsp olive oil.
1 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
1 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
2/3 cup vegetable broth, or chicken broth

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Arrange vegetables and garlic in a shallow baking pan. Add oil, sage, salt and pepper to pan; toss to coat

Roast vegetables until almost tender, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. Add broth and bake 10 more minutes. Yields about 1 1/4 cups per serving.

Slow-Cooker Beef Chili
Serves 4 (plus leftovers (2 cups) for Tex-Mex Taco Salad)
From: WW Now & Later

2 pounds bottom round roast, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1 large onion, chopped
2 (15 1/2 oz) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 (14 1/2 oz) cans diced tomatoes
1 large yellow bell pepper, diced
1 (1 1/4 oz) package reduced-sodium taco seasoning
1 Tbsp chili powder

Spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat. Add half of the beef and cook, stirring frequently, until browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker. Repeat with remaining beef. Add the onion to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in the beans, tomatoes, bell pepper, taco seasoning, and chili powder.

Add the bean mixture to the slow cooker, stir to combine. Cover and cook until the beef is fork-tender, 4-5 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low.

Transfer 2 cups of the chili to a microwavable bowl and let cool. Cover and refrigerate up to 3 days for later use in Tex-Mex Taco salad, opposite. Divide the remaining 4 cups of chili among 4 bowls.

Per serving (1 cup): 341 cal, 6 cal fat, 2g sat fat, 0 g trans fat, 84mg chol, 431 mg sod, 30 g carb, 9 g fib, 42 g prot, 92mg calc.

Tex-Mex Taco Salad
Serves 4
Filling Extra: Jazz up these salads by topping the lettuce and tomatoes on each plate with a few slices red bell pepper and thinly sliced scallions.

2 cups reserved cooked Slow-cooker Beef Chili
6 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
2 tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup fat-free ranch dressing
16 baked tortilla chips, broken into pieces
1 cup shredded fat-free cheddar cheese

Cover the chili with plastic wrap; then prick a few holes in the plastic. Microwave on High until hot, 2 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking.

Meanwhile, divide the lettuce and tomatoes among 4 plates; drizzle each plate with 1 Tbsp of the dressing.

Top the lettuce mixture on each plate evenly with the tortilla chips, chili and cheese.

Per Serving (1 salad): 312 cal, 4 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 0 g trans fat, 48 mg chol, 797 mg sod, 39 g carb, 7 g fib, 31 g prot, 327 mg calc.