Sunday, April 27, 2008


The hubs and I were craving ribs lately so I decided to make them this weekend, along with an au gratin potato recipe I've been wanting to try. When I went to get the ribs I was able to find some boneless ribs, score. So this is the method I used to cook them:

1. Boil a large pot of water. Add ribs to the boiling water. Gently boil for 1 hour.
2. Remove from pot and drain on paper towels.
3. Season with garlic salt and pepper.
4. Set the oven to broil. Line a pan with aluminum foil. Place ribs on foil-lined pan and baste with your favorite bbq sauce.

5. Place pan under broiler for about 2 minutes. Remove, flip ribs, baste again, return to broiler for about 2 minutes. Repeat for each side and enjoy!

This method of cooking ribs is a combination of the way my family did it, and the method I found in Katie's blog.

To go with the ribs, I used Ashlee's potatoes au gratin recipe. It was really easy and good. I can imagine how great they would be if I didn't use low-fat cheese and if I would've doubled the amount of cheese.

Ribs would also go great with some homemade potato salad. Look for that in the blog this summer!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Grilled Spicy Lemon Chicken

I do the best I can without an actual "fire" grill. I use a grill pan and it doesn't always result in great grill marks, but it's still super easy. I have to give credit for this idea to my friend, Jess (thanks, Jess!). It's a great light, summery (and low-fat too!) way to prepare chicken. If you're looking for a way to spice up your next chicken dinner, definitely give this simple and versatile marinade a try!

Grilled Spicy Lemon Chicken
Source: adapted from my friend Jess

juice of 2 lemons
3 tsp EVOO
1-2 tsp crushed red pepper
1-2 tsp crushed garlic
a dash of dried oregano
season with salt and pepper
2-4 chicken breasts
Combine all ingredients (except chicken) in a small bowl. Mix well with a whisk to help incorporate the oil. Transfer marinade and chicken to a large plastic baggie. Place in fridge to marinate for about 15-30 minutes. Grill or cook until no longer pink.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Oh sweet nachos...

I love mexican food. Mexican food can sometimes be a challenge on the Weight Watchers diet. I heard great things about the Weight Watchers Take-Out Tonight! cookbook. And lucky for me, there was a special section for Mexican food alone. The first thing that grabbed my eye for ease of execution and best probability for tasting great was the Nachos Supreme. THANK GOD I found this recipe. Seriously - if you're on Weight Watchers, this recipe is a must-try!

Source: Weight Watchers Take-Out Tonight! cookbook - copyright 2002

1 teaspoon olive oil (I excluded)
1 onion, finely chopped (I excluded)
1 garlic clove, minced (I excluded)
1/2 pound ground skinless turkey breast
2 Tbsp taco seasoning mix
1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 (8-ounce) jar taco sauce
6 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into quarters
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese (I used a 2% mexican blend)
1 Tbsp sliced pickled jalepenos, chopped (I buy diced jalepenos in a jar)
1 tomato, diced
2 scallions, chopped
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (I excluded)
1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Swirl in the oil, then add the onion and garlic. Cook stirring occasionally, until softened, 3-5 minutes. (I skipped this entire step)
2. Add the turkey and the taco seasoning mix. Cook, breaking up the turkey, until browned, about 6 minutes.
3. Stir in the beans and taco sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are blended, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. Preheat the broiler. Arrange the tortilla pieces in one layer on the broiler rack; spray the tortillas lightly with nonstick spray. Broil 4 inches from the heat, turning frequently, until crisp, about 4 minutes. (I cooked each side for 2 minutes - Keep an eye on them so that they don't burn)
5. Transfer the tortilla chips to a 9x13-inch broiler proof baking pan (I just used a baking sheet lined with foil for both steps 4 and 5). Spoon the turkey mixture evenly over the chips. Sprinkle with the cheese and jalepenos. Broil 4 inches from the heat until filling is hot and the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes (keep an eye on them).
6. Top with tomato, scallions and cilantro. Serve at once.

OPTIONAL: I served each chip with a small dollop of fat-free sour cream

NUTRITIONAL INFO (1/6 of nachos): 215 cals/4 g fat/5 g fiber

I use this recipe for my taco seasoning mix:

2 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp black pepper

It makes a good amount which I just store in a spice jar.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Spicy Shrimp Scampi with Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash? "What's that?" I asked my friend, Dana. She tried telling me how closely it resembles actual spaghetti. Now, on my Weight Watchers endeavors I need to find ways to get veggies in wherever I can. But I was skeptical to say the least. So, about a month ago I found a spaghetti squash in the grocery store. I'd never even noticed them before, because quite frankly, I'm not a fan of squashes (or is it squeesh?). Yes, friends, it took me a month to get up the guts to cook it. Now, Dana said she bakes her spaghetti squash. My friend, Jess, says she microwaves her. My Google search for spaghetti squash cooking tips landed me here. I found this site quite helpful for the spaghetti squash novice.

Well, I couldn't think of a better recipe to try the "squash instead of spaghetti" method than the Shrimp Scampi recipe previously featured on my blog here. Well, that was thanks to Dana again - because she tried it first.

Well, I made this dish last night - it was experimental. But guess what - I liked it SO DAMN MUCH that I had it again tonight! So I decided to blog it. Now, for those Weight Watchers followers - 1 cup of spaghetti squash is a ZERO point food! One cup of wheat pasta is 3 points! And 1 cup of regular pasta is 4 points!

To make this dish more enjoyable, I realized after the "experimental" half of the dinner last night that I would like it so much better with more sauce. So today I made up a new batch of sauce, cooked up some more shrimp, microwaved my leftover spaghetti squash and scarfed it down.

2 tsp EVOO (2 points)
6 oz shrimp (3 points)
minced garlic to taste (about 2-3 cloves)
1/2 cup white wine (2 points)
zest and juice of 1 lemon (or to taste)
crushed red pepper to taste (for spicy I used 1 tsp)
1 cup cooked spaghetti squash (0 points)
1. Heat oil. Add shrimp and saute until pink and firm (1-2 minutes). Remove shrimp and set aside.
2. Add minced garlic to pan and saute until fragrant (about 30 seconds) - Be careful not to burn.
3. Add wine and lemon juice. Reduce a pinch.
4. Return shrimp to pan and remove from heat.
5. Serve over spaghetti squash.

Serves: 1 (easily doubled)

Seriously, this is a delicious, healthy and elegant 7 point meal. And you can reduce or eliminate the oil altogether to save on points.