Archive for the ‘Dinner’ Category


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.


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.


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This Week’s Plan


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?

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Warm Chicken Sausage Salad


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.


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.


I added cheese to the husband’s plate.


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Hidden Shrimp

Can you see him in there? He is hiding beneath all the yummy!


I didn’t even miss the bun. I used romaine hearts because that is what I had but butter lettuce would have been a better choice.  I served it with mayo free coleslaw and an English muffin. It all felt very decadent and only cost me 5 points.


Shrimp Po’Boys

Serves 4

3 Points/Serving

4 Tbsp Low Fat Mayonnaise

2 Tbsp sweet pickle relish

1 Tbsp shallot, minced

1 tsp capers, minced

1 tsp Taco Bell Mild Sauce (Yes you can get it in a jar and I love it!!)

1 pound large shrimp, pealed and deveined

Butter flavored pan spray

1 ½ tsp Cajun seasoning

1 small tomato

6 large butter lettuce leaves (shred 2 of the leaves)

¼ red onion, thinly sliced

  1. Combine the first five ingredients in a small bowl. Stir and taste. You may want to add a little salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and spray with pan spray.
  3. Combine shrimp and Cajun seasoning and add to pan. Cook about 2 minutes. The shrimp will curl and become pink and plump.
  4. Place one lettuce leaf on each plate and start to layer. I did shrimp, then a little sauce, then veggies and a little more sauce.

This was wonderful and refreshing. I don’t necessarily think there is anything wrong with making this on a roll but I just feel more full when I have my bread separate.

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I KNOW!!!!

I have been missing in action for weeks!!! What is up with that? Well, I have been struggling with things for some time and things have been beginning to pile up. I am trying to decide if I want to stay on Weight Watchers or not. I am happy and healthy at my current weight. I like having the accountability of the program but I am curious to see if I can self regulate with out gaining back the 11 pounds I have managed to lose and keep off over the months. I am also growing weary of getting on the scale every week. No matter what happens I am filled with anxiety every week.

I have still been cooking I am sure you are glad to hear and I have some great recipes to share. To start with this wonderful chicken stir-fry that is straight from the WW site. Only a few little changes.

Chicken and Broccoli

Lemon Chicken with Broccoli

1 ½ Tbsp whole-wheat flour

½ tsp kosher salt

¼ tsp black pepper

12 oz boneless, skinless, chicken breast, sliced thin

Pam butter spray

1 ½ cups reduced sodium chicken broth, divided

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 ½ cups of broccoli, small florets

zest of ½ a lemon

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 tsp cornstarch

  1. Combine flour, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Toss the chicken in the flour mixture to coat.
  2. Heat the pan with butter spray over medium-high heat. Wait until the pan is glimmering and then add the chicken and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  4. Add 1 cup of broth and garlic to the pan. Bring to a boil and scrape up the brown bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon.
  5. Add the broccoli to the pan and cover cooing for 1 minute.
  6. In a small bowl combine the remaining chicken broth and cornstarch. Add the cornstarch mixture to the pan and bring to a simmer over low heat.
  7. Cover and cook until the broccoli is crisp-tender and sauce is thickened, about 1 ½ minutes.
  8. Stir in chicken, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
  9. One serving is about 1 cup.

This was a totally simple meal that I just happened across because I had chicken and broccoli in the fridge and needed a recipe. I typed in “chicken, broccoli” into the WW recipe finder and this popped up. Well the original version of this recipe that I “fixed.”

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New Birthday Chicken

This chicken was amazing. David said, “This is the replacement for birthday chicken!” He loved it. For those of you who don’t know my husband he has a very close relationship with BBQ chicken. Every year he has the same dinner for his birthday: BBQ chicken, California Salad, and corn. So for him to say he now wants this chicken is a huge deal. Now don’t be fooled it is still BBQ chicken but the new recipe is much lighter. So print this out Gini because this is what he wants next year.

Birthday Chicken

Barbecued Chicken

5 Servings
3 Points/Serving

5 chicken thighs, skin removed
Cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

  1. Sprinkle the chicken with Cajun seasoning and get on a hot grill meat side down.
  2. While the chicken is getting started combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl. It will be quite soupy.
  3. Turn the chicken after 8 min and brush with the sauce.
  4. Turn again after 8 min and brush the other side.
  5. Turn again after 4 min and brush one final time.
  6. Turn one last time and finish for another 4 min or until internal temp reads 160F.

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Cooking for Mom

My mom is one of the best people to cook for. She and I know each other’s tastes so well I just know what she is going to love. When I arrived at her house on Thursday evening she was not home from work yet. So I started poking around in the fridge. I knew we were going away for the weekend so I used up all the fresh food I could find.

I love it when things come together. How beautiful is that plate?


Simple pork chops and spinach toped with mushrooms and onions and dill carrots on the side. Wow. Just sitting in the fridge waiting for me. I didn’t follow an exact recipe for this but I will share my process and approximations.

I started by heating a pan over medium heat and spraying olive oil into it.

While I heated the pan a put the baby carrots into a small pot and covered with water and put it on the stove to boil. I boiled the carrots until they were fork tender.

I added the thick pork chops to the pan and cooked till they were almost done. Then I put them on a plate and covered with aluminum foil.

Then back to the pan. I added one small sliced onion the sliced mushrooms and sautéed until they were caramelized. Then out of the pan for mushrooms and onions and in with the spinach, just wilting the spinach adding vinegar and plating it.

While the spinach was wilting I drained the carrots and sprinkled them with sprinkle butter and fresh chopped dill.

Now here is the confession…I usually get the thin chops and mom got the thick ones so the cooking time was all screwed up. Everything had to sit and wait for the chops to finish cooking with a lid on over low heat and a little balsamic vinegar in the bottom of the pan.

It was so fun to have mushrooms all over my plate yum. I think this was a very low point meal. I counted it a 4 points.

Thanks Mom, for letting me raid your fridge. I love you.

Me and Mom

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