🥩 Linguine with meat sauce and salad. 9/19/19

In deference to my diet I made less pasta and filled half my bowl with salad. I made the spaghetti sauce in July and I do not know the exact amounts of the ingredients so I could not assign a WW value to my dinner. I figured that eating less would have to make it okay.

For a couple of years now I have been lamenting over the fact that Good Seasons no longer makes a fat-free version of their salad dressing packet. In order to remedy this I bought xanthan gum and emptied a regular packet and 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum in a cylindrical container. I poured in a cups worth of 3:1 water and vinegar whilst running my plunge blender. The result was a viscous salad dressing. To this mixture I added 1 teaspoon of olive oil which improves its flavor and mouth-feel tremendously. It only adds 30 calories to the entire cups worth or less than 4  calories for 2 tablespoons. WW points=0!

You can make up your own spice blends and not even bother with the packet if you want. Or try flavored oils and vinegars!

Linguine with meat sauce and salad

Posted in Beef, Easy, Italian, Kitchen tips, Pasta, Recipes, Vegetables | Tagged , | Leave a comment

🥬 Vegan vegetable soup in half an hour. 9/18/19

Tonight is supposed to be chickpea stew but I have vegetables calling to me, so, change in plans! Here is how to get homemade vegetable soup on the table fast. Cut up the onions first. Turn your pan on medium low and add some olive oil. Dump the chopped onions in, add a little salt, and let them sweat. Cut up the garlic, carrots, and celery next. When the onions are translucent pop in the garlic and stir it around. When you can smell the garlic, put in the carrots and celery to cool the pan down and keep the garlic from burning.

In other words after the onions and garlic start preparing your vegetables from the hardest to the most delicate. Add salt along the way and give it a stir every few minutes. Add the vegetable stock at the end and turn up the heat to get it all simmering. In my soup, in addition to what I mentioned above, I added green beans, black eyed peas, snow peas, broccoli, parsley, and tomatoes. By the time I added the last delicate ingredient, the hardest ones were almost cooked through. The final simmer cooks them all perfectly. At the end I added a chiffonade of spinach.

WW points – 1

Vegetable soup

 

Posted in American, Easy, Kitchen tips, leftovers, Legumes, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian, WW points | Tagged | Leave a comment

🍗 Three cup chicken 9/16/19

One thing I am learning from keeping track of everything I eat is that I have been eating in a pretty healthy manner except between 5PM and 7PM. Between those hours John and I would drink our glasses of wine and eat hors d’oeuvres. All very civilized, but while I did not gain weight from doing this, I also did not lose any. So I have substituted iced tea in for wine and tasty popcorn for other less healthy snacks. Now all I have to do is keep this up!

Tonight’s dinner is 3 cup chicken. We used one chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces and cooked it with ginger and garlic in dry sherry and soy sauce sweetened with a little brown sugar. It is finished with basil leaves and scallions. We served it over some of the brown rice from yesterday and had steamed broccoli on the side.

WW points – 9

Three cup chicken, brown rice, broccoli

 

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🥬 Red lentils with brown rice. 9/16/19

Here is a couple of cool things about red (actually coral colored) lentils. They turn yellow when you cook them! They cook really quickly, in about fifteen minutes! So if you are hankering for a quick vegan meal, sauté some chopped onions, garlic and ginger, add the lentils and veg stock, and spice it up with turmeric, cumin, and cayenne. Then with 15 minutes of simmering, it’s ready! Add a little non-fat plain yogurt on top to make it look fancy. I had mine with brown rice but if you are short on time, pita will do.

WW points 5 (4 for rice, 1 for olive oil)

Red lentils with brown rice

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Weekly menu. 9/15/19-9/21/19

Hi, I am back! John and I have taken a vacation while I was pondering over what to do with my blog and we got back yesterday. Many thanks to the folks who stopped by even when I was not writing anything.

Here is what I have decided to do. This past year I have taken a few falls which has made my adventuring more precarious. In addition to a bad knee I have also wrenched my back, and torn the rotator cuff in my right shoulder. I still have not decided whether to have the surgery on it. It means a long recovery with iffy results.

In order to help my knee and back and be more mobile for a trip with our daughter for her birthday in March, I have decided to lose some weight and be serious about the rehab exercise for my back and shoulder. I am going to take a look at the new WW plan which has totally been revamped since I worked for them years ago. If I decide to go that route, I will start including a point count for the dinners we make. I imagine this will all start around September 22.

Also to be a good citizen of the earth, I will try to increase the number of vegetarian or vegan meals a week. I am hoping to include an emoji that will identify the type of meal easily.

 

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Having a little break. 8/28/19

Hi my fellow vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians, and omnivores!

I am on a little break right now and plan on resuming with my almost every day dinner ideas that I cook up with my husband, John, around the middle of September.  I really appreciate the time you take to read my posts.

I am trying to decide whether I should post less often and not repeat previous dinners. Or should I continue with adding recipes? I have begun to include more recipes in my blog. Since we do not tend to always use written down recipes, trying to come up with a faithful reproduction is hard! Did I put in a dash, a pinch, or a quarter teaspoon? Originally I was trying to work on weight loss. Do I want to continue with that? Should I get a fancier set-up for my pictures? So you see I feel like I am at a crossroads.

Maybe I will come up with some answers during my little break. Maybe not. In any case look for my next post mid-September.

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Vichyssoise – a summer potato soup. 8/22/19

There are two components to tonight’s dinner, a Mediterranean salad and a French soup. There is some question as to whether vichyssoise is a French or American creation. Potato and leek soup served hot has been around in France since potatoes became popular in Europe. But was it the Americans who came up with the cold version? Who knows!

My Mediterranean salad consists of Romaine lettuce, cucumber chunks, our abundant orange cherry tomatoes, olives, feta, and oil and vinegar. In Italy you are never given a recitation of salad dressings to choose from. Plopped down on the table is a set of oil and vinegar and salt and pepper. Dress your own salad!

Mediterranean salad

Going through my vegetable drawer in the fridge I notice two leeks, two potatoes, and a half an onion. It is my inspiration for vichyssoise and I make the soup first thing this morning while it is still cool.  I will post a recipe here but everything is approximate. After cooking my soup and blending it, the color is a lovely creamy white. I chill it until dinner and garnish with thyme and chives.

Vichyssoise garnished with thyme and chives

Marymom’s Vichyssoise
Ingredients approximate. Serves 4

1 tsp. butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned thoroughly and sliced into rings
2 peeled russet potatoes, diced
2-3 cups chicken stock, enough to cover vegetables
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt to taste
Fresh herbs for garnish

Melt butter in oil. Add onions. Season lightly. Cook over low heat until translucent. Add leeks and potatoes. Season lightly again. Cook vegetables together for a few minutes. Add chicken stock to cover vegetables. Bring to boil. Lower to simmer. Simmer for about 25 minutes until the potatoes are tender. I covered it partially during the simmer. Let cool somewhat. Stir in milk and cream. I used a stick blender to purée the soup but I think a blender probably would have worked better. Adjust seasoning (it needs quite a bit of salt.) Chill. Serve cold with an herb of your choice.

 

Posted in Easy, French, Mediterranean, Recipes, Vegetables | Tagged , | 1 Comment