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No Bake Cookies

I did drop off the face of the blog there at the end of last year. I have my reasons excuses. But the bottom line is I am going to try to be back. I loved sharing recipes but I am off Weight Watchers and trying to get happy.

Cooking makes me happy so now I am ready to share again. I am in search of a new name if anyone has any ideas. For now I’ll stick with what we got.

I made these amazing cookies a few weeks back. They were no bake chocolate chip cookies. I won’t call them raw because I am fairly sure chocolate chips are not “raw.” I started with a recipe from Clean Eating my favorite mag. They wanted me to use coco nibs but where do you even find those?? I also used a bit more dates and a few less raisins because we like dates in this house.  So here it is the first recipe of the New Year!!

No Bake Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 small boxes of raisins

1 cup of whole dates pitted

2 cups of old fashioned oats

3 Tbsp agave nectar

2 tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt

½ cup 60% dark chocolate chips (or what ever you like and have)

  1. In a food processer blend the raisins and dates
  2. In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients and mix to incorporate. Now here is the deal I only have a mini food processer so if you have a big one mix all the ingredients in that but leave the chocolate chips out and mix those in by hand. If you are like me then do not stress it all comes together it just takes a little love.
  3. Shape the cookies into balls. I have this scoop for cookies and I think it is about 2 tablespoons (see picture below). So, I used that and I made 22 cookies. Now to keep the scoop and cookies from becoming one I put some oil on a paper towel and periodically wiped the scoop.
  4. Chill the cookies in the refrigerator for a few hours or enjoy right away.

Fun Cookie scoop.

The Green part is soft so you can pop the cookies out. So clever. I think I picked it up at Bed Bath & Beyond.

Healthy and Refreshing

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Sense I went on Weight Watchers I have cut back dramatically on the amount of past we eat. It just isn’t worth the points if it doesn’t fill me up. Using the soba noodles made this recipe so yummy and they were very substantial. Essentially this recipe is from Cooking Light but my big issue with their recipes is they are quite heavy in oil. So, as usual I made a few tweaks. I hope you like what I did.

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Chicken and Soba Noodle Salad

4 Servings

5 Points/Serving

6 oz Udon Noodles

¼ cup rice wine vinegar

2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

1 Tbsp honey

1 tsp chili sauce with garlic

1 tsp dark sesame oil

1 tsp fresh grated ginger

1 cup Trader Joe’s “Just Chicken”

2 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced

6 Tbsp scallions, sliced

1 Tbsp dry roasted peanuts, chopped

  1. Cook the noodles in boiling water. Drain and rinse under cold water.
  2. Combine rice vinegar through ginger in a large bowl and whisk.
  3. Add the noodles, chicken, and cucumber and toss to coat.
  4. Separate salad between four plates and top with scallions and nuts.

Serve with a spinach salad dressed with a rice wine vinaigrette.

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Ellie’s Week

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This week’s menu is inspired by Ellie Krieger’s cookbook The Food You Crave. I borrowed it from the library!! Have you ever done that? I love the chance to dig into a cookbook before I commit to making a purchase.  I am looking forward to trying a bunch of her recipes. All of her recipes are super healthy and most of them look great. I am going to try two this week. We will see how it goes.

Monday: Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin (p. 197), Brown Rice, and Bok Choy

Tuesday: Chicken Fingers (p. 200), Broccoli, and Sweet Potatoes

Wednesday: Fish Tacos (Clean Eating, Fall 2008, p. 35) and Refried Beans

Thursday: Pizza and Salad

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: Party!!

Sunday: Tomato Soup and Cheese Sandwiches

Tonight we had the Teriyaki Pork and I almost followed the recipe. Just two little changes, instead of the chili flakes I used chili garlic sauce and I cooked down the marinade to serve on top.

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Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin

4 Servings

4 Points/Serving

1 pound pork tenderloin, fat removed

¼ cup Soy Sauce

2 Tbsp brown sugar, packed

2 Tbsp sherry

2 Tbsp rice vinegar

2 garlic cloves, pushed through he garlic press

1 tsp fresh ginger, grated

¼ tsp chili garlic sauce

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large Ziploc bag and squish around. Marinade in the fridge for 30 minutes to 4 hours.
  2. Preheat the broiler. Place the pork under the broiler pan for about 15 minutes depending on thickness turning once about halfway through cooking. An instant read-thermometer should read 155 degrees.
  3. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes.
  4. While the meat is resting pore the marinade into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until it is thick and saucy.

I know some are iffy about used marinade but I think if you boil it you are cooking it like you would cook the pork so…I think it is just fine.

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Tex-Mex Tuesday or Wednesday

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Well this meal didn’t happen on Tuesday because I had a night off from work and we decided to go to dinner with friend. I knew that I needed to make it on Wednesday so my veggies wouldn’t go bad. So we made a few shifts in the menu plan. The recipe in Clean Eating Sep/Oct inspired me but I used a bunch more turkey and added my favorite spices. My recipe ended up being huge!! I think it grew in the pan. We still have leftovers. The good news it we liked it a lot.

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Tex-Mex Sloppy Joes

6 Servings

2 Points/Serving

cooking spray

1 pound extra lean ground turkey

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 yellow bell pepper, diced,

1 red onion, diced

salt and pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp chili powder

¼ tsp ground cumin

¼ tsp ground coriander

1 Tbsp tomato paste

1 corn on the cob, kernels cut off

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 cup low sodium chicken broth

2 tsp low sodium soy sauce

1 Tbsp arrowroot powder dissolved in 2 Tbsp of water

  1. Heat a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add turkey and brown, about 4 minutes.
  2. When turkey is crumbly add peppers and onion, at this point I sprinkle with a teensy bit of salt and a good shake of pepper. Cook about 4 minutes.
  3. Add the spices and tomato paste, stir well and cook about a minute.
  4. Stir in the corn, tomatoes, broth, and soy sauce. Bring the whole mixture to a boil over high heat then reduce heat cover and simmer about 20 minutes.
  5. Add the arrowroot powder mixture and stir for 30 to 60 seconds. The sauce will thicken nicely.

I served this on Orowheat® Sandwich Thins with a slice of soy cheese for a total of 4 points.

I think I will freeze the leftovers for a day that I just can’t face cooking.

This Week’s Plan

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Last week’s menu got a little wonky because of last minute dinner invitations and the store being out of certain ingredients. Things ended up more like this:

Monday: Out with David

Tuesday: Warm Chicken Sausage Salad (The Apartment Kitchen)

Wednesday: Out with the in-laws

Thursday: Cold Sesame Noodles (Cooking Light, September 2009, p. 88)

Friday: Girls Night Salad

Saturday: Pork Noodle Salad (Cooking Light, September 2009, p. 78)

Sunday: Breakfast for Dinner!

The Cold Sesame Noodles were amazing I will share my version of the recipe soon. The Pork Noodle Salad was only okay. The pork was great but somehow it just wasn’t right with the noodles. I think next time I would pair it with brown rice.  It was however tasty for leftovers on Friday.

This week I am not trying as many new recipes but I am looking forward to trying the Tex-Mex Sloppy Joes we missed last week on account of the store being out of extra lean ground turkey. Can you believe that?!?! Well they had turkey today at Ralph’s so I am going to try again.

Here is the plan for this week.

Monday: Breakfast for Dinner (Done and Yum)

Tuesday: Tex-Mex Sloppy Joes (Clean Eating, Sep/Oct 2009, p. 38)

Wednesday: Pizza

Thursday: Lentil Salad with Sausage (Family Circle Oct 2009, p. 116)

Friday: Out

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday: Steak with Sweet Potatoes and Okra

I am looking forward to a delicious week. What do you have planned?

Warm Chicken Sausage Salad

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Well as you know I can’t follow a recipe to save my life but I think I stayed pretty close on this one. This meal is a total winner. It had a little of everything and it looks beautiful. Like

As planned I used the Apartment Kitchen recipe as my base.  I couldn’t find fava beans so I substituted garbanzo beans. I know they are not really comparable but it sounded good to me. I forgot to get the shallots so I used red onion. I also played with the amount of pasta and sausage to make it more Weight Watchers friendly. Finally, I took out the cheese because of my intolerance.

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Warm Chicken Sausage Salad

2 Servings

6 Points/Serving

2 oz Whole Wheat short pasta

Pam Butter Spray

2 ½ TJ’s Jalapeno Chicken Sausages (100 cals each), thinly sliced

½ small red onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

½ cup canned garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

3 cups arugula

3 Tbsp red wine vinegar

Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. Boil water and heat a large pan over medium heat.
  2. Add salt and pasta to boiling water.
  3. While the pasta cooks spay the pan with Pam and add the sausage, onion, and garlic. Cook until the onions are soft and slightly browned.
  4. Add the garbanzo beans and sauté another few minutes till warmed.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cooked and drained pasta, tomatoes, arugula, red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Stir together until the arugula gets bright green and wilted.

This makes two generous portions.

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I added cheese to the husband’s plate.

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Menu Planning!!!

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I love menu planning. I like to wakeup early on Sunday morning and eat first breakfast and clip coupons. Then I look through the ads and flip through my magazines to find the recipes that look good to me. I have recently been using the Clean Eating meal plans to map out my breakfast, lunch, and snacks. It makes things so easy. To be honest I don’t always stick to the plan but it makes me feel good to have it there.

This is what I end up with.

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Monday has been a total bust because I am having one of those days where I am lazy and just go with the flow. And David offered to take me to Santa Monica for dinner.

I wont bore you with all of my meal plans because they are a bit boring but the dinners are looking great to me. So this is what my week is shaping up to look like:

Monday: Out with David

Tuesday: Warm Chicken Sausage Salad (The Apartment Kitchen)

Wednesday: Cold Sesame Noodles (Cooking Light, September 2009, p. 88)

Thursday: Tex-Mex Sloppy Joes (Clean Eating, Sep/Oct 2009, p. 38)

Friday: Girls Night Salad

Saturday: Pork Noodle Salad (Cooking Light, September 2009, p. 78)

Sunday: Breakfast for Dinner!

I’ll let you know how it goes and how I modify the recipes. Now that I look at things I have a lot of noodles on the menu…It still looks tasty to me.

Reader Question: Do you meal plan? How often do you stick to your plan?

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