Tag Archives: dinner

Quick Dinner Ideas (and Cobb success!)

4 Dec

cobbsalad

I’ve been so busy recently, and outside of trying to fanatically plan my meals for the week and making something hearty on Sunday to last for a good part of the week, I’ve been trying to develop an arsenal of quick meals.

While hopped up on Benedryl last night after an unfortunate incident with an eggplant, I made an easy cobb salad. Now, the husband was categorically opposed to salad-as-dinner before last night. Another quick meal is fajitas, which I make pretty frequently as a two in one meal, meaning he gets fajitas and I get a salad — chicken sausage, quickly sauteed bell peppers and red onions, some shredded cheese, some romaine lettuce, some black beans, a little sour cream/greek yogurt… voila! He can make tacos, I can make a salad, and we are both content (plus it usually makes 4 servings with one package of chicken sausage). So, while I am fully a fan of salad for dinner, he believed that he would be hungry.

Not so, with this quick, easy and SUPER FILLING Cobb salad.

What you’ll need:
rotisserie chicken
1 avocado
cherry tomatoes
1 can pitted black olives
1 English cucumber
1 head of romaine lettuce
2 hardboiled eggs
blue cheese crumbles (mine had dried cranberries in them – yum!)
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 lime

1. Peel all chicken from the skin and put in a bowl. I usually get between 2-3 cups of chicken out of one rotisserie chicken (tip: get the kosher chicken; not sure why, but it always tastes better). There will be leftover chicken, you only need maybe 1/4-1/2 cup of chicken per serving.
2. Rinse the tomatoes and rinse/drain the olives.
3. Chop: the cucumber, the avocado, the cherry tomatoes, the lettuce, the hardboiled eggs. Put them into their own little containers if you have a picky husband. (Chris dislikes olives and uncooked tomatoes, and is indifferent towards any avocado). Put the juice of half a lime over the avocado to prevent from browning.
4. Assemble! I put the romaine down first, and then make little segments with everything, as seen in the photo.

Husband’s verdict? He liked it and definitely said he would eat it again!

Love a good, quick meal that is so easy a girl hopped up on Benedryl can make it ūüôā

Besides fajitas, I like to make a quick stirfry, breakfast for dinner (with chicken sausage and eggs), burgers or quick gyros. Any other ideas?

Baked Scallop Pasta

6 May

I hope everyone had a fun Cinco de Mayo! ¬†Personally, even though I had a themed bridal shower to attend, I managed to stay on point and on track with my weight loss! ¬†Weigh in day is tomorrow, so hopefully it will be a great weigh in! ¬†I’ve successfully navigated dinners this week and I’ve managed to make it to the gym several times (3 times last week; I will “start over” today so one workout in this morning!).

Sometimes I want to feel decadent while on a diet, and the person I look to most often for decadent recipes in the Pioneer Woman.  When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to adapt it for Weight Watchers.  Soooooo good.  (See the original recipe here: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2012/03/seafood-pasta/)

Baked Scallop Pasta

Adapted from the Pioneer Woman

Serves 2 — ¬†good for a date night spent in! 12 (hearty!) points plus per serving; feel free to adjust amount of pasta and scallops if you want less points.

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz. uncooked whole wheat pasta (I chose linguine)
  • 2 cups of fresh tomatoes, diced (I love cherry tomatoes… super sweet!)
  • 1 tsp light butter
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup canned chicken broth
  • 1 pound scallops
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • pinch of red pepper, to taste
  • basil, cut into strips
ingredients

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and throw a pot of water on the stove for pasta.
  2. Cook pasta a little over halfway to al dente… it should still be somewhat crunchy. Set aside. (It helps if you have a cute sous chef to do the heavy lifting for you!)¬†sous chef
  3. While pasta is cooking, heat 1 tsp. of olive oil and 1 tsp. of light butter in a pan.  Add cleaned scallops to the pan and cook for about 1 minute on each side. They should have a little color.  Remove from the pan and set aside.  
  4. In the same pan, heat another tsp. of olive.  Throw in some garlic and sautee for about 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth and let simmer for about two minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Pour in the tomatoes and their juice, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, and stir the pan, letting all the flavors simmer together for about 10 minutes.  
  6. Take two pieces of aluminum foil and overlap them in an oven-proof baking dish.  Smooth down until it makes a little pouch
  7. Add pasta to the aluminum foiled dish.  Next, add the sauce.  Finally, pour the scallops on top, including the juices.
  8. Fold over the foil so that everything is enclosed in the little packet.  At this point, put everything in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  9. After everything has cooked, top with your basil.  Enjoy!

 

 

Easy Slow Cooker Black Bean Casserole

8 Mar

This is a great recipe to come out of our (short-lived) Meatless Monday experiment.¬† Now, I don’t want to say that Meatless Monday is over. It’s just that we’ve found it difficult to maintain a totally meatless day.¬† However, we have been making a few meatless meals on a regular basis, and that has helped with our overall decrease in meat intake.¬† This is my easy-to-make favorite.¬† So cheap, so easy, and so tasty!¬† It tastes great on top of some cilantro-lime rice (a create-your-own-Chipotle-bowl, if you will), but also is so filling by itself.¬†

Adapted from My Recipes — see here.

Serves 6; 8 points per serving

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 16 oz. jar of hot salsa
  • 16 oz. of dried black beans
  • 6 oz. of shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
  • OPTIONAL: 1/2 tablespoon of chopped chipotles in adobo

Directions:

  1. Rinse off and pick through the black beans.  Dump the black beans into the slow cooker.
  2. Stir water, salsa, and chipotles in adobo if using.
  3. Set slow cooker on high and cook for 6 hours.
  4. After the slow cooker is done, top with cheese.  Set slow cooker on high and cook for 15 minutes.  
  5. Stir cheese in throughout the black beans so that the whole mixture is melty and gooey and all combined.
  6. Serve!

Cheesy Italian Stuffed Peppers

22 Feb

Do you have that one meal you continuously come back to?¬† The one where, when you finally make it, (and if you’re me, that usually means around 10pm on a Sunday night) you always say, “Now, why don’t we have this more often?”

For me, these Cheesy Italian Stuffed Peppers are it.

Generally, stuffed peppers have some sort of grain in them — brown rice, quinoa, etc. — however, that takes away some additional space for the meat.¬† Plus, you know, it’s less calories/points if you omit the grains.¬† I don’t think this recipe needs any grains.¬† The flavors stand alone.

I stuff these peppers with Italian turkey sausage (if I cannot find that, I season some ground chicken or ground turkey crazy well) and some vegetables — whatever I have on hand.¬†¬† I love spinach and zucchini in this dish.¬† Sadly, I did not have either of those on hand pre-grocery shopping this weekend.¬† A lot of times, I make this recipe with less cheese (think, 1/4 of a cup of cheese instead of one whole cup).¬† I wanted something that tastes decadent, so this is what I decided to go with.¬† Clearly, this recipe is very versatile.

Cheesy Italian Stuffed Peppers

makes 4 servings; 7 points per serving

Ingredients:

  • 4 uncooked bell peppers (I used green this week because they are usually cheaper)
  • 3 baby carrots, chopped
  • 1/4 cup canned¬†tomato sauce
  • 1¬†tsp.¬†olive oil
  • 1¬†lb of Italian¬†turkey sausage, casings removed (I use Gianelli turkey sausage)
  • 2 cloves of garlic,¬†minced
  • 1¬†medium¬†uncooked¬†onion,¬†diced
  • 1 tsp of dried thyme*
  • 1 tsp of dried oregano*
  • 1 tsp of¬†hot paprika¬†paprika*
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup¬†of shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese**

* I honestly am approximating here… I almost always guess at my spices.

** Again, I usually use 1/4 cup of shredded cheese, which would bring the points plus value down to 5 points per pepper.

bubbling pepper stuffing!  

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Take the 4 bell peppers, and cut the tops off.  Remove the seeds from the peppers and set aside.
  3. Take the cut-off pepper heads and chop finely, omitting the inedible ends.  Add this to the rest of your chopped veggies (here we are looking at carrots, garlic, onions, and chopped up pepper bits as our vegetable component)
  4. Heat a skillet over medium heat.  Add olive oil to the pan.
  5. Toss in your chopped vegetables and let them simmer for a minute.
  6. Add crumbled sausage and break everything apart as it cooks down.
  7. After a few minutes, add in spices.   Everything should be mixed together, so give those veggies/sausage a stir.
  8. OPTIONAL STEP: if you are using fresh baby spinach, add this in now with only a few minutes left to go.
  9. After a few minutes of melding the spices, add in the tomato sauce and mix together.
  10. Continue to stir until everything is all melded and cooked together. This should take only a couple more minutes.  The sausage should be completely cooked.
  11. Take skillet off heat and set aside.¬† Put peppers in a baking dish standing up, and fill peppers evenly with the mixture. (And if you happen to take your finger and grab any leftover scraps from the skillet after everything is cool, don’t worry — this is a judgment free zone. And honestly, those little chopped veggies that didn’t make it into their pepper friends need some loving too!)
  12. Pop into oven and let bake for 12 minutes.
  13. Take peppers out, top evenly with cheese, and return to oven for about 3 minutes, or until everything is all bubbly and cheesy and delightful.
  14. Remove from oven, resist the urge to eat immediately before everything has cooled.

finished pepper, about to be devoured.

In other news, I’ve been non-stop craving bacon this week. And I’m thinking about posting a bacon recipe soon… with points values attached.