🐓 Comfort chicken dinner. 1/11/20

We bought a rotisserie chicken at Costco the other day. I read somewhere that you should always buy a chicken when you are there because it is such an amazing value. I had no real plans for it other than to use it for lunches. Today was kind of stressful so I decided that I would make what we used to call Chicken Monday before we started eating more vegetarian.

I warmed up chicken slices gently in some chicken broth so they would not get dried out. To go along with the chicken I steamed some butternut squash (also available at a Costco pre-peeled and cut!) and broccoli. Dinner was warming and calming.

Chicken in broth, butternut squash, broccoli

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🥬 Vegetarian/vegan tacos. 1/10/20

Most people love tacos! They are so versatile. You can stuff them with beef, chicken, fish, shrimp, or,  like tonight’s dinner, with beans and condiments. The filling I made is pinto beans thickened with fat free refried beans and spiced up with salsa.  For the toppings I used more salsa, cilantro, a cabbage-y salad mix, some Greek yogurt (omit for vegan preparation), and a delicious avocado dip that I found on cookieandkate.com. It is a mixture of avocado, cilantro, jalapeño, salt, lime juice, and a splash of water. I whizzed it up with my immersion blender. John toasted the corn tortillas right over the flame on our stove. It was delish!

WW blue points = 9


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🥩 Grilled flank steak. 1/9/20

I have to admit that I kind of went off the rails on Wednesday. Cooking, dieting, cooking, dieting, I needed a break. Although I had planned a nice vegetarian meal of bean tacos, they never got made. John was a willing accomplice when I suggested Chinese take-out. So we sort of overdid it with moo shu pork, steamed rice, and Mongolian beef. I am paying for it at the scale. Mea culpa.

Anyway we are back on track with a grilled flank steak, baked potato, and Brussels sprouts. Flank steak is a fairly lean piece of meat and coupled with a half potato and a green vegetable makes a nutritious and filling meal. John does a great job cooking the meat and I give him the two potato halves that I have microwaved to finish on the grill. While he is busy outside I sauté the B. sprouts and just wish I could use a bunch of butter to brown them better.

WW blue points = 9

Grilled flank steak, baked and grilled potato, Brussels sprouts

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⚓️ Scallops, snow peas, steamed new potatoes 1/7/20

Scallops, snow peas and steamed potatoes-if you are me there is nothing better. This is my favorite meal for special events and for every day.  We were at Costco this morning and scallops were on the “to buy” list. Once they were in the cart, I wanted them for dinner. It is good that John likes them a lot, too!

There is no real recipe for this. John sears the scallops. I steam the potatoes, and sauté the snow peas. I make some tartar sauce. And then we dig into the best low calorie meal ever created. Yum!

WW blue points = 6 (oil, mayo, potatoes, lite canola butter)

Scallops, snow peas, steamed potatoes

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🐓 Chicken vegetable soup. 1/6/20

Today I am a magician in the kitchen. I made chicken soup with no work at all.  I took the remnants of the chickpea stew we has last Thursday and added a half container of chicken stock. Then I dumped in part of a bag of hearty greens and cabbages. This was followed by cauliflower that I had cut up previously for hors d’oeuvres. Next were chicken pieces from Costco and a couple of slices of deli turkey.  Heated it up and, voila, chicken vegetable soup dinner!

Chicken vegetable soup

Use your leftovers creatively! It is easy, delicious, and economical.

WW blue points = 7 (oil, pasta)

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🥬 New recipe! Vegan lentils with roasted root vegetables. 1/5/20

This is my take on a recipe by Melissa Clark of NY Times Cooking. I wanted more vegetables and to make it a little less fussy. It turned out really tasty even with my shortcuts like pre-chopped butternut squash, bottled vinaigrette, and hearty greens from a container instead of radicchio.  My recipe is included below.

First I assembled the vegetables to be roasted. A celeriac or celery root is a strange looking thing but it has a nice nutty flavor when roasted. And although the recipe calls for beets, and I would have been using golden beets if I had had them, I substituted in half a head of cauliflower.

Vegetables to be roasted

After they were cut up I put them in a plastic bag with a tablespoon of olive oil and some salt and pepper and massaged them around . Then I cooked them in a single layer on a lined sheet pan in a 400F degree oven for a total of 40- 50 minutes. For the first twenty-fivc minutes of cooking they are covered and for the last 20 minutes, uncovered. Poke them to see if they are done.

Roasted vegetables hot out of the oven

While they are cooking you can make the lentils according to the recipe. This recipe is originally called a salad but I prefer everything served warm. So it is time for assembly. Hearty greens on the bottom, lentils next, and vegetables all around.

Lentils with roasted root vegetables

Both John and I liked this a lot.  It fits in well with our trying to be more plant-based in our eating. But most of all it is kind of like vegetable comfort food. I’ve included my rendition of the recipe.

WW blue points = 4 (oil for cooking and vinaigrette)

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Weekly menu. January 5 – January 11, 2020

Here’s the weekly menu for the week coming up starting tomorrow. As usual I have put in more days than 7 so we can have a little flexibility. I have thrown in a beef meal because I think maybe John does not want to live on vegetables, chicken, and shellfish all the time.  The day we make it will be declared a “special occasion.” Also I have some carryover from last week with the lentils and roasted root vegetables, which I am really looking forward to making, and some leftovers from last week’s chickpea stew. I think it is going to be a really good week!

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