September 25, 2009

Pulled Chicken and Chili Spiced Fries

Here's another review from the Comfort Classics cookbook from Weight Watchers. This time around we have the Pulled Chicken Sandwiches and the Chili-Spiced Thick Oven "Fries".

I didn't really care for the pulled chicken. It needed more of a kick to it. I would have preferred bottled bbq sauce over making my own. The oven fries, were delish. Definitely something I'll be making again. Especially since it's only 2 points per serving.

Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

Prep-10 min * Cook-25 min * Serves 4

1/2 cup ketchup
2 T packed dark brown sugar
1 T yellow mustard
1 T apple-cider vinegar
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp ground ginger
4 (1/4 lb) skinless, boneless chicken things (I used chicken breast), trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
8 slices whole wheat bread, toasted (I used hamburger rolls)
12 bread and butter pickle slices (I didn't use these)

Stir the ketchup, sugar, mustard, vinegar, chili powder, cumin, allspice, and ginger together in a medium skillet; add the chicken and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is tender, 20-25 minutes.

Remove from the heat and shred the chicken with 2 forks. Serve the chicken mixture between the bread slices with the pickles on the side.

7 points per serving * 2/5 Rating

Chili-Spiced Thick Oven "Fries"

Prep-10 min * Bake-25 min * Serves 4

3 large (8oz) russet potatoes, scrubbed (I peeled mine)
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray.

Halve the potatoes and cut each piece lengthwise into quarters; place on the baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil and toss to coat. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer and bake until the bottoms are deep golden and crisp, about 15 minutes. Turn the potatoes onto the opposite cut side and bake until crisp, 10-15 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, combine the sugar, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the fries and toss to coat.

2 Points per Serving * 5/5 Rating

Caribbean Beef Stew with Coconut Basmati Rice

You know, I've never really tried a sweet potato. I think I may have had a bite of one baked in the oven, one Thanksgiving. I would always choose white potatoes over sweet potatoes even though the sweet are much better for you. When I spotted this stew recipe I debated on substituting the sweet potatoes with white ones. I'm glad that I didn't - the lightbulb finally went off and I am now a "liker" of sweet potatoes. They fit very well with this stew recipe.

I made this recipe as suggested but next time I'll save some time by cooking it in a crockpot. Plus, I'll add more coconut milk to the rice - I was disappointed that I couldn't taste the coconut at all.

Caribbean Beef Stew with Coconut Basmati Rice

Prep-15 min * Cook 1 HR 15 Min * Serves 6 * 7 Points

page 74 from the Comfort Classics cookbook by Weight Watchers

3/5 Rating

1 lb lean boneless beef bottom round, cut into 1" chunks
1 T jerk seasoning (I used cajun)
2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (14.5 oz) reduced-sodium beef broth
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 lb fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces (I used 1 can instead)
2 cups water
1 cup brown basmati rice
1/2 cup (reduced-fat) coconut milk

Sprinkle the beef with seasoning. Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until broned, 4 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the beef is almost tender, 45 minutes. Add the potatoes and simmer, covered, until almost tender, 15 minutes. Add the beans and simmer, covered until tender, about 6 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, to make the rice, bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the rice and coconut milk; return to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the rice is tender, about 40 minutes. Serve the stew with the rice.

Mexican Night Weight Watcher Way

Mexican Food - I hear those two words and my mouth starts to water. One of the things I start to miss while watching my weight is mexican food. When I go out to eat at a restaurant, the food is covered in ooey, gooey, cheesy goodness. Which also equals high fat and calories.

I was so excited to see a couple of Mexican recipes in the new Comfort Classics cookbook from Weight Watchers. BBQ Turkey, Corn and Mango Quesadillas and Crunchy Bean-and-Cheese Nacho Cups; I decided to pair these two recipes together for a night of Mexican Fiesta. The mango added a fresh new taste that has now become one of my favorites.

BBQ Turkey, Corn and Mango Quesadillas

Prep-15 min * Cook-15 min * Serves 6

1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced

1/2 cup fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels (I used canned)

6 oz thin-sliced deli turkey breast, cut into thin strips

2 T bbq sauce

3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat pepperjack

4 (8 inch) whole-wheat tortillas

1 mango, peeled, pitted and sliced

2 T chopped cilantro

Spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionaly, until softened, 5 minutes. Stir in the corn and cook 2 minutes.

Place the turkey and bbq sauce in a medium bowl and toss to coat.

Sprinkle half of the cheese on 2 of the tortillas, then top evenly with all of the turkey mixture, onion mixture, mango, cilantro and the remaining half of the cheese. Top with the remaining 2 tortillas, lightly pressing down on each stack.

Wipe the skillet clean, spray with nonstick spray, and set over medium heat. Add one of the tortilla stacks and cook until lightly browned and heated through, 2-3 minutes on each side. Transfer the quesadilla to a cutting board and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining tortilla stack. Cut each quesadilla into 6 wedges.

3 Points * 5/5 rating

Crunchy Bean-and-Cheese Nacho Cups

Prep-25 min * Bake-10 min * Serves 10

1 plum tomato, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 cup salsa
3 T fat-free sour cream
1 T chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp lime juice
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 cup fat-free spicy refried beans (my store didn't have spicy beans so I used regular fat-free and added chili powder)
40 baked cup-shaped tortilla chips (I used Tostidos baked cups)
1 1/4 cups shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend (I used Weight Watchers brand)

2 scallions, chopped (I omitted these since I didn't have any on hand)

Preheat oven to 400. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray.

Stir together the tomato and the salsa in a small bowl. Stir together the sour cream, cilantro, lime juice and cumin in another bowl.

Place the beans in a microwavable bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and prick a few holes in the plastic. Microwave on high until hot, 2 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the beans into each tortilla cup; sprinkle evenly with the cheese and scallions. (I used a cookie dough scooper to fill the cups - it made it very easy and less messy)

Place the tortilla cups on the baking sheet and bake until the cheese is melted, 5 minutes. Top each cup evenly with the tomato mixture, then with the sour cream mixture.

2 Points per serving (4 nacho cups) * 4.5/5 rating

September 23, 2009

Asian Kebabs

Last month I grabbed my Grill It! Weight Watchers cookbook and planned out my meals for the week. One of the dishes I made that week was a dish called Asian Beef Kebabs (pg. 40). My husband, who is a huge meat eater said it was some of the best meat he's ever eaten. That's a huge compliment in my household. Since he is also a hunter, he asked that I make that same recipe utilizing venison.

Here's the recipe for you to enjoy. Try it with beef, venison or even chicken.

Asian Kebabs

Makes 4 servings, 3 points each (utilizing beef)

1/4 C chopped scallions (we used some from our garden)

2 T reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 T minced peeled fresh ginger (I used 2 tsp dry)

1 T rice-wine vinegar

2 tsp canola oil

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

1 garlic clove, minced (I use 1 tsp of the pre-minced garlic)

3/4 pound lean beef tenderloin, cut into 16 strips (I used venison tenderloin instead)

1/4 cup Chinese mustard (optional)

Combine everything, excluding the mustard and put into a ziplock bag to marinate for at least 15 minutes or refrigerate overnight.

Remove the meat from the marinade and place on skewers. Discard remaining marinade. Place kebabs on grill and grill 5 minutes. Turn and grill an additional 5 minutes. Serve the kebabs with the mustard on the side.


Scallions from my garden


Finished Kebab - Yummy!

September 17, 2009

Brunswick Stew Review

I am feeling right at home now back with the Weight Watchers program. I'm on week 5 and I've lost 7 pounds. There was a tough week during the county fair and I actually skipped my weight in. I knew the scale wasn't going to be very friendly.

Last week I picked up the new Weight Watchers cookbook, Comfort Classics. I planned out the next two weeks of meals and they all consist of meals from this cookbook. I'll be posting reviews for them all here. So make sure you stop back by to see what rating I give them.

A couple of nights ago we tried the Brunswick Stew (Weight Watchers Comfort Classics, p. 79)

Prep: 15 min. Cook: 40 min. Serves 4. Points 5

1 T flour
1/4 tsp cayenne
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, each cut into 4 pieces
2 slices center-cut bacon
2 stalks celery, cut into 1/2" pieces (I didn't have any on hand so I skipped this)
1 onion, cut into 1" slices
1 med. red pepper, cut into thick strips
1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes (I used a quart of canned tomatoes from my garden)
1 cup thawed frozen mixed veggies (corn, carrots, peas and green beans) (I used a can of each as I didn't have any frozen)
1 T apple-cider vinegar (I used Pomegrante Basalmic Vinegar)
1/2 tsp Worcester sauce
1/8 tsp hot pepper sauce

1. Combine the flour and cayenne in a medium bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat.

2. Cook the bacon in a large saucepan until crisp. (one tip which I use, thanks to the Food Network - I cut two "strips" from a package of frozen bacon. Cut so you're cutting a strip across the whole package. That way your getting pieces instead of a strip. Then you can put the other bacon back in the frezzer for future use)
Drain on a paper towel - crumble if needed (you won't need to if you use my tip above). Add the chicken to the saucepan and cook until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate.

3. Add the celery, onion, and bell pepper to the saucepan; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, 4-5 minutes. Stir in the chicken, bacon, tomatoes, mixed vegetables, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper sauce; bring to a boil.

4. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the vegetables are very tender and the stew is thickened, 20-25 minutes.

Our rating - 3.5/5 stars.