Monday, October 25, 2010

Roasting Real Pumpkins

If you want to see me make Pumpkin Pie Rice pudding you can do so here:

Okay, some of you can't easily buy canned here goes.  You can see that I bought two.  Cut it in half and remove the stem.  Turn it upside down on foil lined pan and cover with foil and roast at 350F for about 45 minutes until tender.

Then scoop out...

Then mash...

Then I refrigerated the pumpkin.  It made about two cups.  I used all of it in the pumpkin Pie Rice pudding although I calculated that it was about 1/4 to 1/2 cup more than needed and it turned out just fine.  I also used a fine wire mesh strainer and strained off a bit of excess juice. I would say that there was a good 1/4 cup that came off of the pumpkin.  The rice pudding was just the same as when I make it with canned pumpkin.  With canned,  I use the whole can or 15 oz of pumpkin.
Here it is:

See the earlier blog post for the recipe!  Next up will be pumpkin custard, hey I am in a pumpkin mood.  Oh, and I did roast the pumpkin seeds on the same foil in the oven after the pumpkin was cooked.  I salted and peppered them.  When they were roasted we ate them, shells and all.  It only had an ounce of seeds.  I weighed them because they do count as syns but they were a lovely salty treat!  Shhh, that was another secret!  Boy, I do know how to let those secrets out of the bags I am hauling, huh!  Oh, and I lost 6 pounds this week...did I tell you that I am getting SMALLER!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Go-to salads for a quick meal...

My favorite quick tuna salad

Oh, yum!  Can I say that Fat Free Greek Yogurt is your friend?  IT SO IS!  If you haven't met her yet, say hello to a Greek Goddess!  You'll see why if you make this salad.  This was my lunch today...yum.  So this is what I do, I will share a secret or two here...let me whisper...

I boil a few eggs, usually about 6 or so and I mark them with a pencil and stick them in the fridge.  I substitute fat free Greek Yogurt for mayo...and I am a mayo snob, only really liking Hellman's.  Greek yogurt can separate a bit if you don't eat it right away so you wouldn't want to make this one day and eat it days later, in fact, here is how I do it when I am bringing it with me to work.

I put all the ingredients in the container and do not mix them until I am ready to eat!  That is  a secret y'all!

Here goes:

2 hard boiled eggs
1 can of white tuna, packed in water, drained
1 rib celery
1 green onion, sliced
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon fat free Mayo
2 TBSPs fat free Greek yogurt
Small cooked pasta, there is about 3/4 cup here but add what you wish, it is free!

Mix and eat!  So fast and easy and with ingredients you probably have on hand.  I enjoyed mine with a ruby red grapefruit, peel 'em and eat 'em!  I really love them, in fact I am rather addicted to ruby reds right now and they are super slimming.  I peel off the tough skin between the juicy flesh...they are fun to peel and so yummy to eat.  I have been eating them every day because I love them and I did lose 6 pounds this week!  I ate this tuna at least twice too, because it was very satisfying to me.

Why not try this too:

Curried Chicken Salad

Cooked chicken chunks, fresh or canned
2 eggs, hard boiled
celery, cut up
apple, cut up
1 tsp raisins, minced (syns)
Greek Yogurt
1 tsp ff mayo
salt, pepper and curry powder

This one is yummy too!  No need to be hungry at lunch time!  You can even throw cooked rice or pasta into this mixture and it is a meal in itself. Who needs bread for lunch!

Lentil Rice Salad

This salad makes a fast, easy lunch.  Throw some into a bowl, grab a piece of fruit and a bottle of water and you are set to go.  That is what I need.  I like to have left overs for lunch because they are easy.  But there are not always left overs to be had.  This one takes some preparation.  I would liken it to the Bean Salad recipe that I have already posted because you do the chopping and make it ahead of time.  Then you have it on hand for a fast meal or an addition to your dinner. I made a lot of this.  Lentils have loads of protein and are a slimming way to get protein.  I thought this was yummy. 

 Check it out and let me know what you think.  I will post the second go-to recipe in a day or so, hey, I am busy, why do you think I need a go-to salad anyways?  Speaking of that I am so excited to GO-TO weigh in this week at Slimming World because I got weighed today and I was lower than I have been, like, way lower...I am getting SMALLER! May be I should show you that too, huh?  My girls took this I am and  here they are too...

Sorry, some bad lighting here...I'll do more pictures later... just thought you wanted to see my smaller sized jeans ; - )

My girls took the pictures...aren't they the cutest!?! 

Lentil Rice Salad Recipe
(I doubled this because to me that is the whole point of making it ahead.)

1/2 cup lentils, washed and cooked per directions
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup chopped tomato ( I used grape tomatoes)
1/4 sliced green onions
1 cup diced carrots
1/4 cup lightly sauteed red onion
3/4 cup green pepper (I only had red on hand)
1 1/2 cups broccoli or cauliflower flowerets
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3/4 cups brown rice (cooked, yeilds a larger amount)

3 Tablespoons Nakano, Marukan or other Seasoned Gourmet Rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Add lentils to water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil; cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain.  Prepare rice according to package directions. Prepare vegetables while rice and lentils are cooking.  Mix lentils, rice and vegetables.  Whisk together dressing ingredients and pour over vegetable mixture.  Chill well before serving.

I can also envision this recipe with a few twists.  You could make it Mediterranean by adding fat free feta, cucumbers, mint, and olives. Or what about adding tuna and a small pasta?  How about fresh pineapple tidbits, chicken pieces and curry powder? 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Green Chile Stew

Oh my goodness!  Can I say this might be the best thing I have put in my mouth for quite a while?  I am you all might know...haha, I am experimenting on you!  But at least everything I put up here is good.  This, this one is a love. Of course I used my roasted Hatch Green chiles and I don't know what to tell you if you can't buy them?  Try canned green chiles in the Mexican food aisle or better yet, roast some poblano chiles and use them, but they won't be Hatch...and I don't want to lose this recipe so up onto the blog it goes!

It is so good I want to stand on the street corner and pass it out so people can taste it!

Here goes:

1 3/4 lbs. lean beef cut into stew cubes
4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, diced with skin on
9 large Hatch chiles, roasted and diced (or 1 cup canned chiles)
2 large cloves garlic, minced
7 cups chicken boullion
4 cups carrots, sliced
2/3 cup instant mashed potato flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Brown the meat in an 8 qt saucepan sprayed with Pam.  Drain off liquid and fat and place meat aside.  Respray pan with Pam spray and add cubed potato.  Brown for a few minutes and add the meat back in.  Add salt and pepper, garlic, carrots and chicken boullion.  Simmer on medium until carrots are tender.  Add instant mashed potatoes to thicken a bit.  I served it over a cut spaghetti noodles since they are free but it would be totally fine over rice or just plain....mmmmm, just typing it makes me want to eat more but I am so satisfied already.

Don't you love it when you cook something that is so tasty that you really know you had dinner and you enjoyed every bite? Mmmmmm, next year I am buying a case of those Hatch chiles already roasted...I guess if I run out of them I will be trying my Poblano suggestion, huh?  Then I could compare for you...well, maybe...

Oh, I really came up to this room to hem my new jeans because I am down another size...big problem huh?  I'm getting SMALLER!

Mushroom Rice Crust Quiche

Cooked mushrooms and rice form the crust, with sauteed green onions on top and reduced fat cheese evenly distributed.

Voila!  This was a great quick breakfast today too!
Now for the detail:

3/4 lb (12 Oz) fresh mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 cup cooked white rice (or brown)
8 green onions, cut in 1 inch pieces
2 slices reduced fat monterey jack cheese
1 cup fat free cottage cheese
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon paprika (divided)
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the mushrooms in a skillet sprayed with Pam.  Add cooked mushrooms to 1 cup of cooked rice and form into a crust in a pie dish. (You can also spray that with Pam).  Saute the green onions and layer on top of the crust.  Cut slices of cheese and evenly distribute them over the pie.

Use a BLENDER to blend the eggs and cottage cheese adding 1/4 tsp of paprika and salt and pepper.  This makes the mixture very smooth for an even consistency.  Pour over the crust; sprinkle with the remaining paprika and bake for 30 minutes at 350F or until set.  It would be yummy to add some chopped up ham to this or some sauteed asparagus or spinach!  Remember that the sliced cheese is an "A" choice and the cottage cheese is FREE!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Lemon Chicken

Lemon Chicken

The basic ingredients are simple...change up the veggies and use what you like.
And Voila!

Now, here's the detail...

2/3 cup chicken boullion ( 1 cube in 2/3 cup warm water)
1 tsp soy sauce
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
4 sachets of Splenda sweetner
1 Tablespoon cornstarch (syns) (could use arrowroot)

Mix above ingredients with a whisk in a small bowl.

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
salt and pepper
2 tsps. tarragon ( I used Penzey's Sunny Paris seasoning)
8 green onions cut in 1 inch pieces
1 pound fresh asparagus cut in 1 inch pieces
2 cups thinly sliced carrots

Spray a large skillet with cooking spray.  Add chicken and green onion and stir until chicken is no longer pink. Salt and pepper the chicken in the skillet. Remove from skillet.  Re-spray the skillet and add the asparagus and carrot and saute them for about 4 minutes or until tender crisp.  Add the chicken back into the skillet and the sauce mixture.  Stir over medium heat until the sauce thickens and serve over a bed of rice or couscous.

I love the lemon flavor with asparagus but you could certainly try other veggies like green beans, peas, sugar snap peas etc.  Don't forget to count cornstarch as syns even though it is only a Tablespoon!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Rice Pudding

My pumpkin pie rice heaven creation...force yourself to chill it and eat it cold.

I don't know what to say...I am speechless!  That is a miracle in itself...but this, this creation is beyond amazing.  It is certainly delicious enough to be your Holiday Pumpkin dessert, but at the same time, it is syn free and can so just be your breakfast.  Part of me wants to keep it for special occasions to appreciate it and not get tired of it.  At the same time, I want to eat it twice a day!  This is SO EASY TO MAKE.  On Slimming World you can eat 1/4 of this and count it as 1 A choice.  Really, I used fat free milk and you could use a higher fat content milk in this and still just count it as an "A" choice, but why add fat when this is so delicious!  I did eat some just out of the oven because my whole house smelled divine.  Having done that, I did prefer it cold.  Yum, is it morning yet because I can't wait to eat more of this!  Should I share my secret recipe or make you beg?  Ah, alright, I am into sharing...

Pure Pumpkin goes...

Pumpkin Pie Rice Pudding

3 eggs
2 cups cooked rice
2 1/2 cups (20oz) fat free skim milk
14 Packets of Splenda Sweetner
1 15 oz. can pumpkin (NOT PUMPKIN PIE FILLING)
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. ground Allspice
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Beat eggs in a bowl, mix in milk, spices and Splenda.  Put in a saucepan and add the rice, pumpkin and vanilla. Bring just to a boil...stirring the entire not boil this, just bring it up to the point where it could.  Then dump it into a baking dish sprayed with Pam Spray and bake it for 35 minutes at 350F in a preheated oven.  Allow it to cool down and then chill.  
4 servings, each one is 1 "A" choice on Slimming World.

Oh my gosh...hope you love it like me.  This would be simply divine for Thanksgiving with a spoon of Cool Whip on top.  Even though that would be a syn I think you will agree that it would be a very satisfying dessert.  You could also make this in individual ramekins by placing them in a shallow pan with about an inch of water and baking them that way.  Hey, let me know how you like it and I will go work on my next creation.  Peace, out!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Rice Pudding, a yummy breakfast!

Mmmmmmm, all baked and ready to eat!  Thanks Mark!  Mark was Man of the Year in Slimming World and he makes the best rice pudding.   So, of course I decided to upload it to Youtube and you can see it on my channel laurelwright7 .  With making extra rice, I made stuffed peppers, stuffed cabbage rolls and then Mark made Rice pudding.  It makes 4 servings and I like to eat it with half a sliced banana on top.  In fact, I wish I had some right now.  Here is how he makes it for me.

Rice Pudding
3 cups of fat free skim milk
3 eggs
10 or 12 packets of Splenda
2 cups of rice, cooked
cinnamon to taste

Mix the above ingredients in a sauce pan and bring slowly just to a soft boil while continuously stirring.  Then dump into a dish sprayed with Pam Spray and bake at 350F for 15 minutes or until set. Don't forget to see Mark make it on youtube...he is camera shy so I had to sneak up on him!