Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Potato, Pea, and Panir Curry

The Potato, Pea, & Panir Curry from the Enchanted Broccoli Forest is the best thing that I have made in a long, long time. OMG. So Good.

Please don't let the ingredient list intimidate you. All the spices can be purchased in the bulk food section and most cost between $.07 - $.25.

The spices were fragrant. I recognized their beauty after I dumped them into the dutch oven.

I was expecting to eat a large serving and was pleasantly surprised when I only needed a cup. I made minimal changes to the recipe and it ended up making 7.5 cups. I calculated the points based off of 7 (1 cup) servings. When I track this in my food journal, I tend to add another point. I don't know. I didn't feel right about only using 3 points for this dish. WW guilt, perhaps?

I will spare you from viewing all of the recipe builder images created with varying serving sizes. I still cannot believe only 3-4 points/serving.

Here's how it was made:

1. Thinly slice 2 large potatoes. Place in a saucepan and cover with water. Simmer until tender.
2. In a dutch oven, heat 1 TBSP oil. Add 1 TBSP mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp caraway seeds, 3 TBSP sesame seeds, 2 tsp cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp ground cloves, and a pinch of thyme heat until the seeds begin to pop.
3. Add the cooked potatoes, 1 1/4 tsp salt and 5 cloves of minced garlic. Cook over med/low heat until potatoes are well coated.
4. Add 3 TBSP fresh lemon juice and 6 ounces fat-free Greek yogurt. Cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cayenne as preferred.
5. Add 2 cups peas and 1 cup fat-free cottage cheese. Stir together and cook until heated.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Hom Mak (Banana Pear Smoothie)

I came across this combination when reading, "The Elements of Life". The chef's original recipe suggests homemade almond or soy milk. I am a fan of almond milk, however, I find fat-free cow's milk to be more filling. Furthermore, I love checking off a milk box under the "good health guidelines" in my food journal.

I make this smoothie using:

1 cup fat-free milk
1 banana (sliced)
1 pear (chopped)
1 tsp honey
cinnamon to garnish

I have not added spinach to this mix, but think it would work great.

I like my smoothies to be 4-5 points. The recipe builder gives this recipe 6 points, but I only count it as 5.5. (My program is working for me and if it stops, I will change it to 6. And the individual components add up to 5.5.) One day, I will use frozen banana slices and would only use 1/2 a banana. This would reduce the total by one point. I enjoy the flavor of honey in this smoothie and simply cannot omit it.

Lastly, I love using mason jars to transport my liquids. They are great for salad dressings and soups.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Salsa Chicken

They had me at brown sugar.

Normally, I find WW recipes to be average and had high hopes that this one would be better. We had all the ingredients on hand! Bonus. It turns out that I did like this dish better than average.

I hate calculating points for things like this. I doubled the chicken (2 huges breasts - weight unknown) because I didn't want a use a whole jar of salsa for a small amount of chicken. (In the future, I may use one breast and 1/2 the salsa mixture. We had a lot of leftovers.)

My serving was 1/2 breast and therefore the recipe made 4 servings.

I served the chicken with green beans (0 pts for 1 cup) and quinoa (2 pts for 1/2 cup). There may have been dessert.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Review: Mushroom Pie with Spinach Crust

I made Mollie Katzen's Mushroom Pie with Spinach Crust (from "Enchanted Broccoli Forest"). The recipe called for "thick yogurt" and I decided to use a non-fat greek yogurt. I am not sure if that was right, because the yogurt flavor was strong. Overall, the recipe was good and I think I would make it again. (I tend to try new things instead of reusing tried and true recipes - unless they are quick ones.) I did dirty quite a few dishes. The original recipe suggests four servings. However, I felt that it makes 8 filling servings.

I ran the recipe through WW recipe builder and 1/8 the pie is only 3 points! I think it would be 3 points if you followed the exact recipe too. I made slight adjustments for the "modifications" that I made: 1. I used 9 ounces of spinach instead of 12; 2. I was also slightly short on mushrooms; 3. I shredded two slices of reduced-fat swiss cheese instead of using already grated swiss cheese. I didn't melt any additional cheese on top of the pie and only mixed it in the filling; and 4. I reduced the white flour in the pie crust from 3/4 cup to 2/3 of a cup to adjust for the lack of spinach.

Not bad for a filling meal. And I think if you wanted to eat 1/4 the pie, 6 points isn't bad either. And if you are a quiche person, the spinach crust is genius!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Ice Cream

I am in love with Skinny Cow Ice Cream cones. In San Diego, they cost approximately $4.99-$5.49 for a box of four delicious (3 point) treats. I decided that I could "make" something similar for much less. It isn't wise for me to bring caramel or chocolate sauce into my home. However, a drizzle would not add many points (depending on the brand) if your willpower is greater than mine.
I came home from the store with Black Cherry Chocolate Chip Low Fat Frozen Yogurt (90 cal, .5 fat, 0 fiber @ $2.99) and plain ice cream cones (20 calories, 0 fat, 0 fiber @ $1.49). I weigh the ice cream (70 grams) using my handy kitchen scale to make sure that I am getting my points worth!

What I like about Skinny Cow is that they come in single portions. Not that I always stick to one portion, but I am more willing to bring already rationed treats into my home over a giant container of frozen yogurt. It is my hope that the ice cream cones will maintain this single portion size mentality. I calculate the cone shown to be 2 points! I realize the replication is not even close to the original Skinny Cow love that I have had. But when it came down to points I went with the flat cone. And who can resist cherry ice cream smiles?