Some of my friends are incredible cooks. In fact, there is one couple in particular who are really good cooks and make the best eggplant parmesan. I’ve tried it a couple of times, but I decided that it was better if I just had it when we were at their house. My first attempt was really awful. I’m someone who really has an issue with texture, so I’m very picky about my eggplant parmesan. But, I decided to give it one more shot, and I’m glad I did – this is delicious. I’ve found that the trick is to peel the eggplant and fry it after coating it with the breadcrumbs. The other major issue I ran into was the seeds. If the eggplant is too ripe, then the seeds are big and the flavor isn’t good. The skin should be tender and glossy, and the eggplant shouldn’t be too big. Then, just peel it, bread it and fry it. Frying the eggplant gives it a crispness and enhances the flavor. Once you’ve got the eggplant layered with the pasta sauce and cheese, you’ll never be able to tell that this isn’t made with regular pasta. Even the skeptics turn out loving this absolutely delicious eggplant parmesan.
Risotto is one of those dishes that I really enjoy making. It’s rich and delicious without being overwhelming, plus it really “dresses up” my meal and makes it seem classier than it really is. One of the downsides I usually have with risotto is serving it with things like pork or chicken breast. It all tastes great, but it’s pretty monochromatic. This fabulous butternut squash risotto fixes that. The butternut squash adds flavor, fiber and color to the risotto. Since you bake the rice, it’s easy to fix the rest of the meal while the risotto is cooking. Be careful with your pans though – you want to make sure you can fit both the pan with the squash and the pan with the rice in the oven at the same time. This risotto is also vegetarian and gluten free, so it’s a great for company of any kind. If you don’t care for cooking with wine, substitute reduced fat milk for the wine. It’ll be just as tasty.
I love to have quick and easy meals that I know I can make anytime because I have everything on hand. Penne with Roasted Red Pepper Ragu is one of those meals for me. I know that I keep everything on hand, so it’s easy to make during the week when I don’t know what else to cook. I’ve found that the key to this delicious sauce is a little bit of red wine. The red peppers and tomatoes work so well together, and the spices in the Italian sausage and oregano enhance the sauce flavor. But the wine adds a depth of flavor that is richer and deeper. The sauce isn’t as tomato tasting, but instead has a more well rounded flavor. I personally am not a huge fan of wine and don’t drink it, so I make sure to simmer my sauce for long enough that the alcohol is completely evaporated. By that time, the wine has really cooked into the sauce and made it just perfect. [Read more…]
Shrimp scampi is a popular restaurant dish. It’s made with garlic and oil or butter then broiled. It’s delicious, don’t get me wrong, but it’s also pretty unhealthy. Anything broiled in butter, doesn’t exactly lend itself to being healthy. However, this garlic herb shrimp is a perfect substitute. It’s delicious and full of flavor, but without the broiling in butter – you’ll love it. I usually saute the shrimp in a skillet, but you can also grill the shrimp. If you’re pining for some pasta to go along with your garlic herb shrimp, add zucchini noodles to it. It’s simple and delicious.
I really enjoy Italian food. There is a wonderful flavor that comes from all of those fresh onions, tomatoes, herbs and garlic. One of the foods that’s always a little bittersweet for me is fettuccine alfredo. It’s wonderful – don’t get me wrong. But it’s so high in calories (not to mention the fat!) that it’s hard to really enjoy it. I searched for weight watchers alfredo, but the first one I found was one that had been altered to be healthier – and it was still 12 points +! That was never going to work, so I came up with this one instead. It’s still rich and delicious, but it’s got a little twist. Instead of noodles (which are so high in carbohydrates that everything else pretty much doesn’t count), I used a spiralizer to slice zucchini noodles. If you don’t have a spiralizer, just thinly slice zucchini into fettuccine sized pieces. I was pleasantly surprised that this alfredo makeover tasted really delicious.
Stuffed peppers were always a staple in my house, growing up. My mom usually made them once every other week, and I can still remember the taste of that delicious beef and rice filling! My healthier version consists of a quinoa and ground chicken filling. It’s mixed with a tangy tomato sauce, seasoned with Italian herbs and topped with a bit of mozzarella cheese. It’s delicious, filling, and just 7 Points + for 2 stuffed pepper halves! And I have to say, it is SOOOOO good. Even better than the one my mom makes — but please don’t tell her that. :) My kids love it too which is a HUGE plus. I also love how quick and easy this is to prepare, so it’s great for a busy weeknight dinner. I usually pair this with some fresh roasted vegetables and or a salad for a complete meal.
When it starts to get this time of year, two things are growing in abundance in the garden – tomatoes and basil. That means its time for garden fresh chicken bruschetta. Bruschetta is a wonderful aromatic dish that has the whole house smelling delicious for hours afterwards. Traditionally, bruschetta is served on fresh french bread, but this recipe doesn’t use french bread. It’s much lower in carbohydrates and points, and you won’t miss the french bread either.
*There was an error in the previous nutrition information. This recipe has been updated.
Quinoa is one of my favorite grains. It’s naturally gluten free, so it’s something I know I can always eat. It’s packed with nutrients and protein, and has a delicious nutty flavor. I cook mine in my rice cooker with chicken broth (for a little added flavor), and then store the leftovers for a quick and easy lunch. This caprese quinoa is delicious and perfect for a lunch, since you don’t have to cook it. I also love to do a Mexican quinoa with corn, black beans, avocado, red onion and some lime vinaigrette. I’ll also do an citrus chicken quinoa or quinoa tabbouleh. Having quinoa for lunch is perfect for me, since my husband isn’t a huge fan, and it’s so simple for a weekday lunch. You can cook this on the stove, or in a rice cooker. Cook it just like rice, but if you use chicken broth in place of water, it adds a little more flavor. As a side note, I left my basil whole (since I thought it photographed better), but the recipe calls for it to be chiffonade (finely sliced), which adds a better flavor to the dish. For this, make sure to use fresh mozzerella in this recipe, the flavor is much better.
We all have rushed evenings when you need something tasty in a hurry. This Penne with Sausage & Vegetables fits the bill perfectly. It’s full of flavor, nutrients and color. For me, it’s a quick meal because I’m able to multi-task. The first thing is to get the pasta on, then the sausage while the pasta is cooking. While the pasta and sausage are cooking, chop the vegetables. I also like to have vegetables (especially peppers) already chopped to save time during the week. The leftovers of this are perfect for another quick meal or for lunch. [Read more…]
When I want to indulge in a hearty, satisfying pasta dish that doesn’t skimp on portion size, this Arugula and Mushroom Pasta Recipe is one of my favorites. The simple wine sauce is light and delicate, allowing for the wonderful earthy flavors of the mushrooms and peppery arugula to come through. This Weight Watchers pasta recipe also offers a very satisfying serving size, which I love. I often like to top it with a bit of grated parmesan, but if you prefer to keep it vegan, you can skip it. The colorful vegetables will help bring out some fantastic flavors, so you won’t miss the meat. But if you insist on adding some additional protein, this dish works great with shrimp, chicken or scallops.
I came up with the idea for this recipe on a day when I had planned to make traditional stuffed shells for dinner, but realized what I had in my pantry was the little pasta shells and not the big shells for stuffing. Grrrrr. I had bought all the other ingredients at the store earlier that day, and I was determined to make it work anyway. So I decided to do an inside out /casserole version, and I have to say, it turned out truly fantastic. I may never go back to making traditional stuffed shells again! It was a lot faster and less tedious than stuffing shells. Each big and hearty portion is just 8 Points + – not bad for a dish made with pasta and three different types of cheese. The whole family loved it, and it made for great leftovers. Definitely a Weight Watchers Casserole Recipe to add to you repertoire. Enjoy!
I am a big fan of side salads with a meal or soup. I will prepare a side Caprese Salad when I am making an Italian style chicken dish or a side for Italian Wedding soup. I prefer a colorful presentation which is why I use both yellow and red tomatoes. I prefer to use the balsamic vinegar instead of salt and pepper. The basil adds a very nice compliment to this traditional salad. The oil helps bind the ingredients and the vinegar is added for flavor. I have prepared this salad without the vinegar and just the oil topped with salt and pepper.