I cannot spare the time to tell you how busy my life gets. I don’t think I have to, given the sporadic nature of blog updates this season. Sure, I have a decent excuse (two months of recovery from my cycling accident), but, in the interest of making the most of the little time I do have, it’s best when I discover or create dishes that are extremely quick and extremely tasty. I’m not talking picking up the phone and calling for a pizza, mind you, but I do have a recipe here that takes probably less time than waiting for that pizza, plus it’s FAR better for you! Continue reading
Squash, tomatoes, eggplant, bell peppers, onions, basil. These delicious things come together in a fantastic medley of summertime joy called ratatouille. Typically a provincial French dish, it’s simple. Peasant food. Abundant and inexpensive and extremely versatile.
Make a batch and enjoy it on its own (or with some crusty bread or whole wheat pasta). Then save the rest and stir it into your eggs in the morning, add it to a pizza, reheat it, whatever you want! I’ve even enjoyed it cold, combined with cottage cheese! The flavors only get lovelier as they combine over the week. Continue reading
Delicious strawberries are coming into season. After you pick yours, or pick yours out from the store, whip up this delicious recipe for a special dessert.
The lovely foamy pink sauce for the strawberries is wonderful, but use a deep bowl, otherwise the sabayon will fly out of the bowl when beaten.
Best Ever Desserts, from Weight Watchers Publishing Group
2 pounds strawberries, hulled
1/2 cup fresh orange juice, or Meyer lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 tsp orange (or Meyer lemon) zest, (3-inch-long) strip, removed with a vegetable peeler
3 large uncooked egg yolks
- Chop enough strawberries to equal 1 cup; set aside. Quarter the remaining strawberries and divide evenly among 4 wine glasses or goblets; set aside.
- Combine the chopped strawberries, wine, orange juice, sugar, and orange zest in a medium saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Reduce the heat and simmer until the strawberries are very soft, about 5 minutes. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve set over a small bowl, pressing hard on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard the solids.
- Meanwhile, fill a medium saucepan with 1 1⁄2 inches of water and bring almost to a simmer over medium heat. With a hand mixer on medium-high speed, beat the egg yolks in a deep bowl until frothy, about 1 minute. Slowly beat in the warm strawberry mixture. Set the bowl over the saucepan and beat until the mixture is tripled in volume and very thick, about 10 minutes. Remove the bowl from the saucepan. Spoon the sabayon over the strawberries, dividing it evenly. Serve at once. Yields 1 1⁄4 cups sabayon and 1 cup strawberries per serving.
This dish is delicious, quick, and just 4 PPV! Serve with 2/3 cup of long-grain brown rice (3 PPV) and steamed snow peas and carrots (0 PPV).
1/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
4 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick)
1 teaspoon peanut oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon bottled ground fresh ginger (such as Spice World)
1/3 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons sake or dry sherry
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon wasabi paste
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
- Place panko in a shallow dish. Place egg white in another shallow dish. Dip pork in egg white; dredge in panko.
- Heat peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat; add pork. Cook for 4 minutes on each side or until done. Remove pork from pan; sprinkle with salt.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add ginger to pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Combine broth and the next 4 ingredients (through wasabi) in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add broth mixture to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in green onions. Spoon sauce over pork.
This is another standard. My S.O. Roy found this online, and I modified it further so it’d become even more PPV-friendly (7 PPV/serving, 8 servings per recipe).
adapted from Culinary in the Desert
1 pound uncooked spicy Italian chicken sausage
2 cups onion, diced
2 cups carrots, diced
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried red pepper flakes
29 oz canned crushed tomatoes in tomato puree, preferably fire roasted
14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
10 oz tomato sauce
8 ounces uncooked whole wheat pasta (fusilli work well)
4 cups fresh baby spinach, loosely packed
4 Tbsp basil
6 cups fat-free reduced sodium chicken broth
2 oz parmesan cheese
2 cups Weight Watchers Shredded Cheese, Four Cheese Italian Style Blend
In a Dutch oven over medium-high, add sausage and cook until browned—crumble the sausage as you go with a wooden spoon. Add the onions and carrots—cook 3 minutes. Mix in the garlic, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper—cook 1 minute. Pour in the broth, crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil* and add in the pasta. Simmer soup until the pasta has cooked. Mix in the fresh spinach and cook until wilted—about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
To serve, place ¼ cup of shredded Italian cheese in the bottom of 8 bowls. Evenly divide the soup between the 8 bowls. Sprinkle each serving with ¼ oz. Parmesan and basil.
*NOTE: If you will be planning leftovers, do NOT add the pasta and spinach before taking out the soup cooked to this point. The pasta will soak up all the broth and get mushy, and the spinach will get stringy. Add the pasta and spinach when you reheat, one ounce per serving.
I am putting this on the menu for next week… looks fantastic and FAST. I’ll serve it with some brown long-grain rice—3/4 cup for 4 PPV.
3 cups uncooked broccoli, small florets, or broccoli rabe
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp olive oil, extra-virgin, divided
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp table salt, divided
1 pounds uncooked shrimp, large, peeled, deveined
3 cloves (large) garlic, sliced
1/3 cup canned chicken broth
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Put broccoli and water in a microwave-safe bowl; cover and microwave on high until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain well; set aside (be cautious when uncovering bowl).
Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and cook, stirring often, until lightly toasted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape toasted crumbs into a bowl; stir in lemon zest and 1/8 teaspoon salt.
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in same skillet over medium-high heat; add shrimp and sauté until shrimp turn pink, about 2 minutes. Add garlic; sauté until very light golden, about 1 minute.
Stir in broth, pepper flakes and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring to loosen bits from bottom of pan, just until shrimp is cooked through, about 1 minute.
Remove skillet from heat and add cooked broccoli; toss to mix and coat. Drizzle with lemon juice and remaining teaspoon oil; toss again. Serve shrimp and broccoli sprinkled with toasted breadcrumbs. Yields about 3/4 cup shrimp with broccoli and 4 teaspoon breadcrumbs per serving..
When I started my journey, this recipe was one of my favorites. It’s easy and delicious, and it cooks by itself! As a spice lover, I generally double the spices and peppers, and I exchange the oregano for Mexican oregano.
If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can adapt the recipe for oven cooking with these instructions.
Also, I’ve had great success swapping the pork for boneless, skinless chicken breast, with no PPV impact. At 5PPV per serving, this meal sticks to your ribs. Add some brown rice (3 PPV for 2/3 cup) or another whole grain (barley is very toothsome and yummy at 3 PPV per 2/3 cup, too) to make a hearty meal that supports your activity.
What’s your favorite food that you’re eating these days? Why? Please add your comment below!
- 1 medium uncooked onion(s), chopped
- 2 clove(s) (medium) garlic clove(s), minced
- 1 cup(s) uncooked carrot(s), chopped
- 1 Tbsp chili powder, medium-hot
- 1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
- 1 small jalapeño pepper(s), seeded, chopped (don’t touch seeds with bare hands) or 1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo, chopped
- 1/2 tsp table salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
- 2 pound(s) uncooked lean pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 15 oz canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- 15 oz canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 15 oz canned pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup(s) canned tomato puree
- 29 oz canned diced tomatoes, with green pepper, celery and onion, undrained
- 6 oz canned tomato paste
Combine onion, garlic, carrots, chili powder, oregano, jalapeno, salt and pepper in a 5-quart (or larger) slow cooker; stir. Add remaining ingredients; stir again.
Cover and cook on HIGH setting for 6 to 8 hours. Yields about 1 cup per serving.
We start cooking the chili at a HIGH setting so the ingredients quickly reach a safe temperature. You can reduce the heat to LOW after 3 to 4 hours, if you prefer.
This recipe is part of our Make Ahead Soups, Chilies and Stews series. To learn more about this cook-and-freeze feature, click here.