Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Cherry Chocolate Surprise Cake

This recipe is adapted from one on They have a ton of recipes from different users, all WW-friendly. Only change I would make here is using one of the triple-fudge cake mixes. I used plain devil's food this time. I think another cake mix would make it a bit more rich, but this is still good to curb cake cravings :-)

4 cups mini marshmallows
1 package devil's food dry cake mix (you can also use yellow cake as well)
15 oz lite cherry pie filling (if you can find no sugar added, it drops the pts. to 2 per serving)
10 fl oz diet sprite
2 medium egg whites

Heat over 350 degrees. Coat a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Spread marshmallows evenly over bottom. Prepare cake using diet sprite and the egg whites. Pour batter over marshmallows. Spoon cherries evenly over batter. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Sometimes the cherries sink and the marshmallows rise, other times, the marshmallow form their kind of sweet, almost crisp layer on the bottom, very tasty.

Servings: 20
WW Pts: 3 (2 if you find no sugar added pie filling)

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

I have my own version of sauce, but I wanted one with a few more vegetables worked into it. The recipe below is adapted from CL, with some added spices. 
This is a great recipe if you have a DH or kids who aren't to much of a fan of vegetables. The shredded zucchini ends up blending into the sauce, making it chunky, but it doesn't stand out.

1 1/2 pounds ultra-lean ground beef
cooking spray
1 1/2 cups diced onion
1 1/2 cups diced green bell pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced (I doubled this to 6, and honestly, would add more next time)
2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 large)
1 teaspoon dried oregano (doubled)
1/2 teaspoon salt (doubled)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (doubled)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (doubled)
1/4 cup sugar
2 (28-oz) cans crushed tomatoes, undrained
1 (14.5-oz) can stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 (12-oz) can tomato paste
1 (7-oz) bottle roasted red bell peppers, undrained
14 cups hot cooked spaghetti (about 1 3/4 pounds uncooked pasta)
Also added:
1 tsp basil
1 tsp italian seasoning
1 tsp cinnamon
Cook meat in a large dutch over over medium-high heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain meat well and set aside, wipe out pan, and coat with cooking spray.
Place the pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the diced onion, diced bell peppers and minced garlic, and saute 5 minutes or until tender. Add zucchini, and saute 5 minutes. Drain vegetables. Return meat and vegetables to pan and stir in dried oregano, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Cook mixture over medium-high heat 5 minutes. Add sugar, crushed and stewed tomatoes, tomato paste, and roasted red peppers to pan, and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until sauce is thick. Serve meat sauce over pasta.

Makes 14 servings (1 cup sauce, 1 cup pasta)
WW: 7 pts.
Calories: 353; Fat:4.6 (sat 1.3 g); Protein: 20.1g; Cholesterol: 30 mg; Sodium: 381 mg; 
Fiber: 4.8g; Carbs: 59g
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Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Lighter Pastitsio

This recipe is from the WW Cookbook "Take Out Tonight", I really made no other modifications other than halfing it for myself (full recipe is below) and adding a tad more garlic. It's pretty satisfying if you're looking for a creamy pasta baked dish. Next time I would add more nutmeg and more cinnamon... maybe even some ground cloves to the beef. It's not bad for a light version though!

Source: WW Take Out Tonight Cookbook
3 cups reduced fat % milk
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
8 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 pound spaghetti
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3/4 pound lean ground sirloin (10% or less fat)
1 pound plum tomatoes, choppws
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 11x7 inch baking dish with nonstick spray
2. For white sauce: combine milk, cornstarch and eggs in saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened, 7-9 minutes. Remove from eat and stiry in 6 tablespoons of te parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, 1/8 teaspoon of pepper, and the nutmeg, cover and set aside.
3. Cook spaghetti according to directions, drain.
4. For filling: heat a large non stick skillet over medium-high heat. Swirl in the oil, then add the onion, stirring occasionally until onion is softened, 4-6 minutes. Add the sirloin and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until browned, 5-6 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, garlic, cinnamon and the remaining salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until juice from tomatoes evaporates 4-5 minutes. 
5. Arrange half of cooked spaghetti over bottom of baking dish, cover with filling, then other half of spaghetti. Distribute white sauce evenly over top, sprinkle remaining parmesan over the top. Bake until top is golden, 30-35 minutes.  Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

WW Points: 7
Calories (per 1 cup): 319, 11g fat (sat 4g), 103 mg cholesterol, 512g sodium, 36g carbs, 3g fiber, 19g protein
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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Lunch from Leftovers, and I miss my garden

So I wasn't going to post today, but I figured the more often I do, the longer my motivation will last, right?

This is my version of bread salad, which turned out to be a quite tasty lunch. It's missing key components that make me miss my summer garden any more. Panzanella is a bread salad from the Tuscany region of Italy. It's a great way to use last night's bread. Usually it involves a huge amount of fresh basil and parsley, neither which I had on hand, so I tried to compensate with other things. Both usually grow in my garden out back, I can't wait until spring!

1 slice day-old crusty bread, drizzled with olive oil, salt, pepper and toasted, and cut into bite-sized pieces
2 small tomatoes, cut into bite size pieces
6 jumbo black olives, sliced
1 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
a sprinkle of italian seasoning (if you don't have fresh herbs on hand)
salt and pepper to taste.

Combine all together and enjoy!

WW Points: approx. 4.5 

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Butternut Squash Soup

This is a modified Cooking Light recipe called Butternut Squash Soup with Toasted Walnuts. I modified the recipe, didn't use the walnuts and this got a double thumbs up from my husband. The calories don't change in my modified version and are probably less than the Cooking Light version because I didn't use the nuts. I served it up with some toasted bread with olive oil. Enjoy, we loved this one!

8 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (app. 2 1/4 lbs)
1 medium sweet onion, cut in wedges
5 cloves garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt (divided) (CL recipe has 3/4 teaspoon)
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (divided) (CL recipe has 1/2 teaspoon)
Cooking spray
4 cups warm 2% reduced fat milk (divided)
1 (14-oz) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth (divided)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (added to CL recipe)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (added to CL recipe)
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (added to CL recipe)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (added to CL recipe)
1/4 cup chopped walnut, toasted (I didn't use)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Combine squash, onion, garlic, oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper on foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until tender. Place half of squash, broth and milk into blender, process until smooth. Pour pureed mixture into sauce pan. Repeat with other half of squash, broth, and milk. Add leftover salt, pepper, then cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves and heat contents of saucepan over medium heat for 5-10 minutes until hot.  Ladle into bowls, sprinkle a dash of cinnamon and nuts if you'd like.

Yield: 8 servings of 1 cup each. 

Calories 204; Fat 5.9g (sat 1.9 g,, mono 1.7g, poly 2.1g); Protein 7.5g; Cholesterol 9mg; 
Calcium 271mg; Sodium 370mg; Fiber 5.3g
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