Sorry for getting this post up late. I completely forgot about doing it!!
John grilled the mushrooms after marinating them with a little olive oil and bourbon balsamic vinegar. We served them on light bread toast with a thin smear of light mayo. The toast was more than a little dry. I guess we will go back to eating higher calorie regular bread and have one slice instead of two. I garnished my faux burger with pan roasted onion and basil. For the broccoli salad I substituted Splenda for sugar and water plus xanthan gum for most of the olive oil that is supposed to be in this salad. Obviously without the sugar and most of the oil the texture and taste was a little off but it was still edible.
Grilled Portobello mushroom and broccoli salad
Autumn is coming even though here in Northern California it is supposed to be near to 100F in the coming week. So I am thinking warm, cozy soups. I have lots of warm weather dishes that I am so eager to make.
Tonight’s soup is kind of a crossover dish. It is hearty but it is quick to make so it does not heat up the kitchen. This is my take on a recipe from NY Times Cooking, Chickpea Stew with Orzo and Mustard Greens. It is behind a paywall, unfortunately. It is basically a vegetable soup with chickpeas and I use ditalini instead of orzo and spinach instead of mustard greens. To keep the soup vegan omit the Parmesan cheese from the original recipe and use vegetable stock rather than chicken.
Chickpea and pasta soup
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
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
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
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