Tag Archives: Weight Watchers

9 Apr 2011 Pasta Primavera

Adapted from: Whole Foods Market. Meals for 4 under $15. (Spring 2011). Austin, TX: Whole Foods Market.

Pasta Primavera

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson

My Comment: Finally! A real spring day and temperatures climbed to the 60s. To celebrate, I cooked this pasta primavera from Whole Foods Market’s Spring 2011 Four Meals flyer.  I halved the recipe and found the servings size enormous – the full recipe easily will feed 6 moderately sized servings.

Ingredients

1 lb. whole wheat linguine, cooked, reserving 3/4 cup pasta water
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lb. button mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 large spring onions or 4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cup frozen green peas
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3 TBSP lemon juice
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped

Method

1. Cook pasta according to directions on package a set aside with reserved 3/4 cup cooking water.

2. Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook until just golden brown (3-4 minutes). Add garlic and onions and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in peas, salt and pepper. Immediately cover and cook until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

3. In the same skillet over medium heat, toss the hot, drained pasta with reserved pasta water, cheese and lemon juice.

4. Gently toss mushroom mixture and tomatoes into the cooked pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper and transfer to serving bowls. Top with basil and serve.

Serves 4 (I think it’s more like 6). Weight Watcher Points = 8 (4 servings) or 5 (6 servings)


27 Mar 2011 Greens with Carrots, Feta Cheese and Brown Rice

Adapted from Whole Foods Market. Greens with carrots, feta cheese and brown rice. Downloaded from the web on 3/26/2011.

My Comment: About 6 months ago, I received a bunch of kale as part of our CSA share. Having

Greens with carrots, feta cheese

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.

never had kale before, I hadn’t a clue what to do with it. Over time I’ve discovered I actually like it — and how nutritious and inexpensive it is. This recipe is no exception; it’s quick and delicious. Only use the frozen rice if you’re pushed for time.

Ingredients

2 carrots shredded
2 bunches dark leafy greens, stems removed and leaves very thinly sliced (her’s where I used kale)
1/2 red onion
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 pound feta cheese, crumbled
1 (20-oz) package Whole Foods frozen whole grain brown rice (here’s where I use dry rice and cook it myself — the frozen is a timesaver)

Method

1. Put carrots, greens, onions, 1/4 cup water, salt and pepper into a large deep skillet and toss well. Cover and cook over medium heat, tossing once or twice until greens are wilted and tender — 10 to 15 minutes.

2. Toss with feta cheese and spoon over cooked brown rice.

Serves 4. Weight Watcher Points = 8.


25 Mar 2011 Quinoa Mushrooms and Peas with Miso

Adapted from Whole Foods Market. Health starts here: Quinoa mushrooms and peas with miso. (2011). Austin, TX: Whole Foods Market.

My Comment: This week I treated myself to dinner with a friend at a local vegetarian restaurant, Life Alive right here in downtown Lowell.  This recipe reminded me a lot of some of my favorite Life Alive specialties. The taste of miso and ginger in this dish is both satisfying and clean. A quick, low-fat and vegan dish — what’s not to like?

Quinoa with Mushrooms

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 medium carrots, diced
2 cups sliced white mushroom (I used baby bella)
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 tsp ground ginger (I used fresh ginger, finely diced)
4 tsp mellow white miso paste
3/4 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup sliced green onions

Method

1. Place quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold water until water runs clear. Drain quinoa and set aside.

2. In large skillet, bring 1/2 cup water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add carrots and cook about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, garlic, and ginger. Cover and cook until mushrooms are tender and have released their liquid. Uncover and cook 2 to 3 minutes longer or until most of the water has evaporated.

3. Add quinoa and stir one minute. Whisk miso into 2 cups water and add to quinoa. Bring to a simmer, then cover and continue simmering until quinoa until it is almost tender, about 12 minutes.

4. Add peas, cover and continue cooking until quinoa grains are tender and liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to a bowl and stir in green onions. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6. Weight Watcher Points = 4.


21 Mar 2011 Spring Vegetable Minestrone

Adapted from Farre, Viviane Bauquet. Chop, Chop! Vegetarian Times. (April 2010). Issue 376, Volume 36, No. 5. p. 42.

Spring Minestrone

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.

 

My Comment What better way to kick off spring than this spring soup! Even though it is snowing today (on the first day of Spring) in New England, we’ve flirted with some fine spring weather in the last week. That makes me long for the days when fresh veggies start to show up in our markets! As Viviane Farre’s introduction to the recipe states, the secret to success is getting all the veggies about the same size. And while I’m sure a crisp white wine would be a more subtle flavor, I threw in the alcoholic beverage I had on hand — which happened to be Marsala. Not bad.

Ingredients

3 TBSP olive oil plus more for drizzling
2 large shallots, finely diced
3/4 cup dry white wine
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
3 medium carrots, peeled & cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 large yukon gold potato, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice
2 medium young turnips, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice (I used rutabaga — out of vegetable ignorance)
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
12 Italian parsley springs, 8 fresh thyme springs + 2 bay leaves–all tied together to add to soup (and fish out later — no thanks! I just threw the herbs in the pot)
10 oz. fresh or frozen shelled peas
4 oz. snow peas, trimmed and cup in 1/8 inch wide slices
3 cups lightly packed spinach leaves
2 TBSP minced fresh tarragon for garnish

Method

1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium high heat. Add shallots, saute 2 minutes or until softened. Add wine, garlic, and cayenne. Simmer for 4 minutes.

2. Add carrots, potato, and turnips and saute for 1 minute. Add broth and 5 cups of water (this seemed a bit much — add the water in batches if you’d rather). Tie together parsley, thyme and bay leaves with kitchen twine and add to the soup. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer on medium-low for 20 minutes.

3. Stir in snow peas, peas, and spinach. Cover and simmer five minutes more. Remove herb bundle (see my note above) and discard. Adjust salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls, sprinkle with tarragon and drizzle with additional olive oil if desired.

Serves 8. Weight Watcher points = 5 points.


28 Feb 2011 Glazed Carrot and Tomato with Wild Rice Ragout

Adapted from Vegetarian Times. Glazed carrot and tomato with wild rice ragout. (March 2009, p 60 print edition). Downloaded from the web on February 27, 2011.

My Comment: This was a delightful surprise! I have to admit that I did not buy a bag of wild rice; I just used what we had on hand in the pantry. Also, in place of pan frying the tofu, I took a page out of Susan Voisin’s recipe over on Fat Free Vegan (a great resource for Vegans) and baked the tofu ahead of time. It was quite yummy and did not fall apart.  Highly recommend that method of cooking tofu.

Ingredients

Glazed Carrot Tomato Ragout

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.

3 tsp. olive oil, divided
2/3 cup wild rice or wild rice blend
6 oz. extra-firm silken tofu, cut into 2-inch strips
1 cup peeled baby carrots, sliced lengthwise
9 cherry tomatoes, halved (2/3 cup)
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
1/2 tsp fennel seeds

Method

1. Cook rice according to package directions. (since I used a non-packaged rice, I just cooked up a batch of rice)

2. Here is where I baked the tofu in place of pan frying, but I am leaving the original directions for those who would prefer them. Heat 1 tsp. oil in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu, and cook 5 minutes, or until browned, turning once. Transfer to plate.

3. Add remaining 2 tsp. oil to skillet, and reduce heat to medium. Add carrots to skillet, and cook 10 minutes, or until softened and beginning to brown, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, and fennel seeds, and simmer 2 minutes, or until liquid is thickened and reduced, stirring occasionally. Stir in reserved tofu; cook 1 minute, or until heated through. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and serve over rice garnished with additional parsley.

Serves 2. Weight Watcher Points = 11.


27 Feb 2011 Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Adapted from MeatlessMonday.com. Sweet potato shepherd’s pie. Downloaded from the web on Feb. 19, 2011.

My Comment: The Meatless Monday website was a new find for me — and it is proving to be invaluable! Even though we, or at least I, am committed to a vegetarian diet, the idea of making one night a week “meatless” is appealing on many levels.

Shepherd’s Pie is one of Adrien’s childhood favorites — I won’t tell you what rude name WE gave it in my high school — so I humor him from time to time with some variation on it. With 3 grams of fat and 7 grams of fiber, this is a more healthy alternative that even I enjoyed.

Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.

Ingredients

1 pound sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon butter
6 small red potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup sliced onion
1 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 cups water
1 cup red wine
1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
5 tablespoons flour
2 portobello mushroom caps, cut into bite-size pieces
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoon dried sage
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bring two saucepans of water to a boil. Add red potatoes to one and sweet potatoes to the other. Cook until tender, 10-15 minutes. Drain and set aside. Mash the sweet potatoes with butter, adjusting flavor with salt and pepper. Set mashed sweet potatoes aside.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Add onion slices and shiitake mushrooms, cover, and let the mushrooms sweat for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in the water, wine and tamari, and bring to a boil. Whisk in flour, stirring until there are no lumps. Allow to simmer.

3. Add portobello pieces, and saute briefly until mushrooms are browned on the outside. Add the carrots, celery and potatoes. Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with thyme and sage. Pour the mixture into a 9-inch glass pie dish. Cover with mashed sweet potatoes.

4. Bake for 40 minutes in the preheated oven, until potatoes are golden brown.

Servings = 8. Weight Watcher Points = 6.


26 Feb 2011 Mexican Bean and Tortilla Pie

Adapted from Weight Watchers. Mexican bean and tortilla pie. (subscription only). Downloaded from the web on Feb. 19, 2011.

My comment: The servicing size – 1/6 of a 6 inch tortilla is really small! Better have some veggies or a salad on the side.  However, it was a tasty and quick dish — be sure to thoroughly heat it which may mean keeping in the oven for longer than 30 minutes.

Ingredients

Mexican Tortilla Pie

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.

1 cup canned (jarred) tomato sauce
3/4 cup salsa
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
5 medium corn tortillas (6-inch size)
30 oz. canned black beans, drained, rinsed and mashed
8 oz. chopped green chilies (canned okay)
1/2 cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese

Method

1.  Preheat oven to 400F. Combine tomato sauce, salsa, cilantro, chili powder and cumin in a small bowl.

2. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add as many tortillas as will fit in one layer. Cook for about 1 minute, turning once, until lightly toasted. Remove and set aside. Repeat until all 5 tortillas have been toasted.

3. Spoon 1/4 of the tomato sauce mixture over the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate or shallow baking dish. Top with a tortilla. Spread with 1/2 cup of the mashed beans, top with 2 TBSP of chilies followed by 1 TBSP of grated cheese. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, ending with the remaining tortilla, sauce, and cheese.

4. Cover dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 5 minutes more until the cheese is bubbly and the dish is thoroughly heated.  Cut into 6 wedges and serve.

Yield: 6 servings. Weight Watcher points = 5.


21 Feb 2011 White Bean and Collard Green Soup

Adapted from Katzen, M. New enchanted broccoli forest. (2000). Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press. page 21.

White Bean & Collards Soup

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.

My Comment: In Mollie Katzen’s Enchanted Broccoli Forest, this soup is called White Bean and Escarole Soup — on Mollie’s website, she has renamed it. In my version, I used neither white beans or escarole 🙂  In fact, this is what makes this such a great soup recipe — follow the building blocks — start with the Trinity (onion, celery, carrots) and throw in whatever you have on hand.

Ingredients

1 to 2 TBSP olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
1 bay leaf
2 stalks celery, minced
2 tsp salt
6 cups stock or water (I used water)
3 – 4 cups cooked white beans (or use 2 cans of beans, rinsed and drained) – I used Kidney beans here
3 TBSP fresh garlic, minced
1 1/2 lbs. collard greens – stemmed and chopped
Freshly ground black pepper

TOP WITH:
Freshly grated nutmeg or Freshly minced parsley or Parmesan cheese

Method:

1. Heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven. Add the onion, bay leaf, celery, carrots and salt. Cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, then add the stock or water. Cover, bring to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer. Cook quietly for about 20 minutes or until the veggies are tender.

2. Add the beans, garlic and as much of the collard greens as you can fit. Cover and wait a few minutes for the greens to cook down. Keep adding greens in batches waiting between additions for them to cook down.

3. Add black pepper to taste, adjust salt. Serve hot, topped with a grating or two of fresh nutmeg, a little parsley, and a generous spoonful of Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4 to 6. Weight Watcher points = 5 points



19 Feb 2011 Lentils, Brown Rice and Carmelized Onions

Adapted from Whole Foods Market. Lentils, brown rice and carmelized onions. Downloaded from the web on Feb. 5, 2011.

My Comment: Frances Moore Lappe always reminded readers that in order to complete a protein, one needed to include a food like rice with beans or lentils. This is, then, a complete protein meal. I had some oranges sliced up to put on the side, but Adrien thought they made an interesting addition right in the lentil mix.

Ingredients

Brown Rice, lentils and camelized onion

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.

1 cup long grain brown rice
1 cup dried brown lentils
3 medium onions (or 1 1/2 pounds), sliced thinly
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Method

1. Bring rice and 2 cups water to a boil in medium pot. Reduce heat to low, cover pot and simmer until liquid is completely absorbed and rice is just tender (about 40 minutes).

2. Meanwhile in a separate pot, bring lentils and 5 cups of water to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover partially and simmer until lentils are tender, but not falling apart (about 30 minutes). Drain, rinse in cold water, and drain again.

3. While lentils and rice cook, bring 1/2 cup of water to a simmer in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until beginning to soften, stirring occasionally – about 8 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water (I used some white wine here), cumin, cinnamon and salt and reduce heat to medium. Continue to cook about 15 minutes or until onions are soft and browned, stirring frequently and adding another 1/4 cup water (or liquid of choice) halfway through cooking or if onions stick to the skillet.

4. Remove 1 cup of the cooked onions and set aside. Stir lentils, rice and pepper into skillet along with the remaining onions.

To serve, top with reserved onions and garnish with parsley.

Serves 4. Weight Watcher points = 4 points.


15 Feb 2011 Warm Winter Greens Salad

Adapted from Whole Foods Market. Warm winter greens salad. Downloaded from the web on February 5, 2011.

My Comment: A piece of advice – don’t heat those greens too much and if you use radicchio, give that a head start in the pan. The first time around with the recipe, I tried to follow the ingredient suggestions; now I would be a little more flexible – nearly any salad type green will work or use a mixture – Olivia’s has a spinach mix that includes escarole and radicchio. Another word of advice – use a fresh lemon. The green bottle just doesn’t compare.

Ingredients

Warm Winter Green Salad

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.

2 TBSP canola oil
1 bunch curly endive or escarole (3/4 lb), roughly chopped
1 head radicchio (3/4 lb.), core removed and roughly chopped
2 TBSP capers, drained
12 Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 TBSP dried currents (I used raisins)
1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
3 TBSP toasted pine nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts or pecans
1 TBSP orange zest

Method

1. Heat oil in a large pot or wok (recommended) over medium high heat. Add greens and radicchio and cook, stirring constantly until just wilted – about 5 minutes.

2. Add capers, olives, pepper flakes and currents. Cook tossing gently for another 15 seconds.

3. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle pine nuts (or other toasted nuts/seeds) and orange zest on top.

Serves 4-6. Weight watcher points = 4.


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