Friday, December 27, 2013

Recipe: Spaghetti Caprese

This is a great solo week night dinner that's under 500 calories!


  • 2 oz. spaghetti
  • 1 large diced heirloom tomato (seeds removed)
  • 2 TBS fresh basil (chopped)
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 oz mozzarella, part skim (finely diced)
  • 1/2 cup cannelloni beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 1/2 tsp white balsamic vinegar
  • fresh parsley (to taste)

To Make:

  1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
  2. Toss cooked spaghetti with tomato, sliced basil, garlic, olive oil, and mozzarella. The goal is to get the mozzarella to soften just a bit.
  3. Finish dish with cannelloni beans, drizzled with white balsamic vinegar and spring of fresh parsley (or more basil, if you prefer).
Servings: 1
Per Serving: 440 calories, 70 g carbs, 11 g fat, 23 g protein, 14 g fiber, 11 WW pts

Monday, December 16, 2013

Recipe: Creamy Tomato Goat Cheese Pasta with Green Peppers and Mushrooms

This was one of those "on the fly" recipes which turned out surprisingly good. For those who aren't tomato fans, I'll let you in on a secret: I'm actually not a fan of them, either. However, I've found that if I buy cherry or grape tomatoes and quarter them, they cook down and become more of a sauce than actually pieces of tomato.  When the goat cheese mixes in, the resulting sauce is reminiscent in texture and color to a vodka sauce, but its much lighter and has a delightful "tangy" flavor that's absolutely addictive.

  • 2 oz dry pasta
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, washed and quartered
  • 1/2 green pepper, sliced into thin strips (or color of your preference)
  • 1 cup white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 oz creamy goat cheese (I'm using Vermont Creamery)
  • salt/pepper/garlic powder -- to taste
To Make:
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Spray a pan with non-stick spray, and saute pepper, mushrooms and tomatoes until tender. The tomatoes should break down. Season with salt/pepper/garlic.
  3. Add pasta to pan with sauteed vegetables. Add goat cheese and mix to fully incorporate. 
  4. Remove from heat and serve.
Servings: 1
Per Serving: 333 Calories, 60 g carbs, 6 g fat, 15 g protein, 9 g fiber; 9 WW Pts

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Recipe: Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower "Wings"

Saturday night is when I have my cheat meal. Actually, Saturday night is when I pay homage to one of the world's most perfect foods: Buffalo Wings.Needless to say, buffalo wings are some of my favorite foods. Under duress, I may admit to dreaming about them occasionally. Unfortunately, they aren't exactly the healthiest things out there. In fact, with each individual wing clocking in at 3 points, they may be closer to the "unhealthy" end of the spectrum than a lot of other foods -- especially the amount I'd ideally like to be eating!

The good news is, I found a substitution which will allow me to get that crispy buffalo kick I love.

Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • Dash of hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • pinch salt substitute
To Make:
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 
  2. Mix flour, water, salt, and dash of hot sauce into a small bowl.
  3. Chop cauliflower into bite-sized pieces. Dip pieces into batter until coated evenly, then place on a greased baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes or until batter has hardened.
  5. Once cauliflower has completed baking, brush pieces with your favorite hot sauce and continue to bake for a few more minutes, until cauliflower is crispy.
  6. Remove from oven and enjoy!!
Serves: 4
Each Serving: 104 calories, 23 g carbs, 1 g fat, 4 g protein, 4 g fiber, 3 WW Pts

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I Dreamed a Dream.... of Chopped?!

A few nights ago, I had a dream I was a contestant on Chopped. I honestly don't remember what ingredients were in my appetizer and entree baskets, but my dessert needed to include:

  • Chocolate
  • Mango
  • Orange
  • Celery
Honestly, if I'd been given these ingredients in real life and told to create in 30 minutes, I don't know what I would do. But in the dream, I decided to make "Dessert Nachos".

First, I went to the pantry for flour tortillas, which I cut up, salted, and threw in the oven to crisp up into chips. Then I chopped up the chocolate and put it on a double boiler to melt. Finally, I chopped up the mango, orange, and celery and marinaded them with fresh mint, tequila, and a bit of rum -- so that the end result was a salsa of sorts. Finally, I took my tortilla chips out of the oven, and drizzled my melted chocolate over the chips. 

Before everyone gets too excited, I woke up before I finished the dream -- so I don't even know if my plates were done by the time the buzzer sounded. I like to think I won, though.

To be honest, I almost want to try to make my dish in real life, just to see how it would've tasted. Hmmmm could make a great Manfriend Taste Test video.....