Saturday, February 27, 2010

Tropical Deluxe Pizza

Friday nights often end up being "Homemade Pizza" nights - purely because we can make a pizza that we want and it does feel like we have purchased take away.

I wanted something different, as I do tend to make a vegetarian pizza to keep my points low.... so I made this pizza which served 2 and I have to say I was really happy with the result.

I love a tropical (hawaiian) pizza but not overly satisfied with the amount of cheap ham and cheese that the takeaway provides so I tought I would make my own..... so here it is (and yes it was delish!!)

Tropical Deluxe Pizza

Serves: 2
Points per serve: 5.5

cooking spray
1 x Lebanese Bread (100 grams)
100 grams baby spinach leaves
50 grams ham, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
100 grams button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup pineapple pieces in natural juice, drained
6 raw green prawns, peeled, rinsed and cut in half lengthwise
40 grams reduced fat grated mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Spray a pizza or oven tray with cooking spray. Place lebanese bread onto tray. Spread tomato paste over bread. Sprinkle over the spinach leaves, hame, onion, mushrooms, pineapple pieces, prawns and finally cheese.

Cook in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes or until the pizza is cooked through and cheese is golden.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Mexican Meatball Casserole

Mexican Meatball Casserole are a slightly spicy meatball cooked and served in a thick tomato salsa style sauce. Served with rice or mashed potatoes this is a meal that pleases everyone, young and old. In fact this is a recipe that I have cooked for many years - actually since Noel and I first started living together.

Although this isn't an authentic Mexican recipe, it would be hard to fault as a made up recipe due to it's flavours. Best all this is a very easy recipe to make, it can be frozen if you have any leftovers that is.. although that's very rare in our house.

Mexican Meatball Casserole

Serves: 4
Points per serve: 4

500 grams lean beef mince
1 onion, finely diced
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 zucchini, grated
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 egg white
cooking spray
1 brown onion, diced into large chunks
1 red capsicum, diced into large chunks
1 green capsicum, diced into large chunks
425 gram can diced tomatoes
375 gram jar mild salsa
Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius.

In a large bowl mix together mince, onion, carrot, zucchini, garlic, chilli, paprika, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, parsley, tomato paste and egg white. Shape mixture into 12 balls.

Spray a large frying pan with cooking spray and heat over medium. Cook meatballs for 2 minutes each side or until browned all over. Place is large casserole dish. Add onions, capsicum, tomatoes and salsa, stir gently to combine. Cover and cook in oven for 30 - 40 minutes or until sauce has thickened slightly and meatballs cooked through.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Spaghetti Marinara

We have just endured what I would say was a very busy fortnight which meant a few things just didn't get done and this, sadly, was one of them. I was very shocked to be reminded by the date of my last entry just how long it had been. However, I do have to say that not only were we busy but there were several nights that takeaway was the option such a BBQ Chicken and pre-made salad for the Twilight Sports Picnic, hot dogs at the Football Club Registration night for the kids, lunch out on Sunday, etc. that needless to say our menu plan didn't get followed all that well and I actually started to miss the kitchen. And here we are past mid week already.....

BUT last night we cooked and ate in... sitting at the table as a family is a favourite thing of mine. Something quick and simple we had Spaghetti Marinara. This is actually also the first time I have cooked this for the family and as usual made a few changes to an authentic style Marinara to suit us as we are quite fussy "fish" eaters believe it or not - so no mussels or baby octopus for us!! You could probably add them if you wish.

Overall a tasty dish and one that I will cook again. It was enjoyed by the family, but like I said we are a "fussy fish" family.

Spaghetti Marinara

Serves: 4
Points per serve: 6.5

375 grams spaghetti or pasta of your choice
cooking spray
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 x 425g cans diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon freshly chopped basil
1 tablespoon freshly chopped oregano
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup water
125 grams calamari tubes, sliced
200 grams boneless white fish fillets, cubed
200 grams raw prawns, shelled and deveined
200 grams scallops, roe removed

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook spaghetti according to packet direction until al dente. Drain and set aside keeping warm.

Heat a large frying pan that has been coated with cooking spray over low heat, add onions and garlic and cook for 2 - 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and add wine, tomato paste and tomatoes. Simmer for 5 - 10 minutes, stirring occasionally or until the sauce reduces and thickens slightly. Add the herbs and season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

Spray another large frying pan with cooking spray and saute the calamari, fish, prawns and scallops in batches, for 1 - 2 minutes or until cooked.

Meanwhile reheat the tomato sauce mixture and add water, stirring well.

Add cooked seafood to the warmed tomato sauce mixture and stir gently.

Place cooked spaghetti in a serving dish and top with marinara sauce mixture or if you wish toss sauce through cooked pasta and serve.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Whipped Eggs on Toast

I wanted this morning's breakfast to be a little nicer than just eggs on toast and had recently come accross a recipe for Whipped Eggs which as you can imagine intrigued me no end...

So what else could be on the menu for Valentine's Breakfast than these little wonders. I must say they were very easy to make and assemble. Somewhat like a meringue but with no sugar and topped with warmed Dijonnaise (instead of hollandaise which would be nice also) made for a savoury filling breakfast.

As each toast is quite low in points you could serve with some bacon or roasted tomatoes or sauteed mushrooms etc, but we had two each instead of 1!!

Whipped Egg on Toast
(recipe source Recipes+ Magazine January 2010)
Serves: 4
Points per serve: 2.5
4 eggs, at room temperature
pinch of salt
2 x 2cm thick sliced Italian or Sourdough bread, toasted
4 tablespoons Low Fat Dijonnaise or Caesar Dressing
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives or spring onions

Preheat oven to 170 degreese Celsius.

Line a baking tray with baking paper or foil and place toast on it.

Seperate eggs carefully, keeping yolks whole. Using an electric mixer, beat whites with a pinch of salt in a clean dry bowl until soft peaks form. Spoon into a puffy mound on the centre of each toast. Shape a hollow in the top. Slip a yolk into each hollow.

Bake for 5 minutes. Spoon 1 tablespoon dressing over each yolk. Bake for a further 5 minutes or until whites are just golden and yolks set to your liking. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chives.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Barbecue Prawns

Growing up, and even today, I would have to say that this prawn dish holds so many memories. My mam completed a Chinese Cooking Course when I was 13 or 14 and while she was a great cook to start with the addition of "asian" flavours in our house added excitement to a house full of food lovers.

At around the same time The Australian Women's Weekly produced a cookbook, Chinese Cooking Class Cookbook. I think my mam and dad cooked nearly every recipe from it, delighting us with simple meals for dinner and pulling off the most memorable banquets when needed.

Needless to say Barbecue Prawns was a regular meal as it's quite easy and although called "Barbecue" this does not relate to the way it's cook rather to the flavour of the sauce. It's one of those dishes that everynow and then I fancy and last night was one of those nights.
The original recipe however calls for 1 cup of oil to be used in the cooking process and we all knows what that means - high points. I have removed the oil, replacing it with cooking spray and still got the same result.. which of course made me happy.

Barbecue Prawns
(recipe adapted The Australian Women's Weekly Chinese Cooking Class Cookbook)

Serves: 2
Points per serve: 5.5

500 grams raw king prawns, peeled and deveined
2 teaspoons cornflour
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg white
1 teaspoon curry powder
cooking spray
1 large onion
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons satay sauce
3 tablespoons lite cream
1/2 capsicum, sliced
lettuce leaves
Using a sharp knife make a deep slit along the back of each prawn.
Put cornflour, salt and unbeaten egg white into a bowl, mix well. Add prawns, mix well and allow to stand for 1 hour.
Heat cooking spray in a wok or large frying pan and heat over high heat. Add prawns and fry quickly for 2 minutes or until prawns are just cooked. Remove from pan.
Respray same wok with cooking spray and add onion, saute for 2 minutes. Add curry powder and sugar, stir for 1 minute. Return prawns to the pan and stir for 1 minute. Add satay sauce and cream, bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add red capsicum. Remove from heat.
Line serving dish with lettuce leaves, spoon prawns over.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Creamy Peppercorn Sauce

This would have to be one of Noel's favourited sauces to accompany steak. In fact where ever we go for dinner he always ordered Steak cooked rare with peppercorn sauce! Talk about being a creature of habit. I like to scan the specials boards looking for something different - something I haven't tasted or tried before, but that's another story.

Knowing that Noel likes a good peppercorn sauce it was obvious that I needed to come up with one that tasted brilliant but was also lower in fat that the normal cream ladden accompaniment that he has grown fond of. All I can say is thank God for Carnation Light and Creamy Evaporated Milk!!

If you have just cooked your steak and it's resting please use the pan juices as it adds flavour to the sauce but if you don't have pan juices it still tastes brilliant.

Creamy Peppercorn Sauce

Serves: 8
ProPoints per Serve: 1
Old Points per serve: 1

cooking spray
30 grams green peppercorns, drained and crushed
375 ml can Carnation Light and Creamy Evaporated Milk
1 tablespoon beef stock powder
1 tablespoon cornflour
2 tablespoons water
Spray frying pan with cooking spray (or use the same pan you cooked your steak in) and heat over medium high heat. Add peppercorns and cook for 1 minute to release flavour.
Add milk and stock powder, stirring until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer. Combine cornflour and water and add to sauce, continually stirring for 2 - 3 minutes, until thickened slightly.

Balsamic and Herb Mushrooms

I love eating the large mushrooms and although jam packed with flavour and vitamins they are sometimes a little boring so I decided to marinade giving them just that extra little zing. The marinade was a basic combination of balsamic vinegar, olive oil and herbs.

These were cooked over direct heat on the weber whilst Noel cooked the steak but they could be easily (and I have) roasted in the oven.

Balsamic and Herb Mushrooms

Serves: 8
Points per serve: 1

8 large or 16 medium mushrooms
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup red wine
1 tablespoon dried oregano flakes
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper

Place mushrooms in a large snap lock bag.

In a small jug mix together remaining ingredients, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Pour of mushrooms, seal bag and toss mushrooms around ensuring mushrooms are well coated.

Cook until soften and starting to darken, turning several times.

If cooking in the oven:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Place mushrooms on a lined oven tray or baking dish. Cook for 20 - 30 minutes turning several times.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mojo Pork Cutlets with Sweet Potato Wedges

I have to say that we were totally impressed with this dish and not only can I cook it again but they would have been happy to have it tonight and tomorrow night if you understand what I am saying. I think this has just become the "favourite" pork dish (well for the time being anyways!)

"Mojo" marinade is a mix of citrus and spice and is very popular in Cuban cooking. Not only was it jam-packed with flavour but not overpowering this dish is so simple and quick to prepare - another excellent mid week dish!

Mojo Pork Cutlets with Sweet Potato Wedges
(recipe adapted from Australian Good Food Magazine March 2010)

Serves: 4
Points per serve: 6.5

1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
4 x 250 gram pork loin cutlets
freshly ground black pepper
cooking spray
juice of 2 oranges
1 orange, sliced
2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
coriander leaves, to garnish

Preheat oven to 250 degrees Celsius.

Rub 1 tablespoon olive oil and cumin seeds over pork cutlets. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Spray a large frying pan with cooking spray and place over high heat. Cook pork for 2 - 3 minutes on each side or until cumin seeds are toasted and pork golden. Transfer to a baking dish.

Pour over orange juice and scatter over orange slices. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes, or until orange starts to caramelise and pork is cooked through.

Meanwhile heat remaining oil in a large pan over medium heat. Cook sweet potato, turning for 10 minutes, until golden and tender.

Place pork and orange slices on plates and drizzle with pan juices. Scatter over coriander and serve with wedges.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Chicken Cacciatore with Mashed Potatoes

We had friends over for dinner tonight. So I wanted to cook something that would be prepared early, slow cooked and then be able to be served up without me spending all evening in the kitchen instead of with our guests.

I came across this recipe and although I had made this dish before I was intrigued by the use of different ingredients. Not only was it easy to make the recipe was easily adapted so it went in the oven but it was also low in fat which I was impressed with.

Chicken Cacciatore with Mashed Potato
(recipe adapted from Weight Watchers Programme Cookbook)

Serves: 4
Points per serve: 5.5

cooking spray
320 grams skinless chicken drumsticks (4)
440 grams chicken thigh fillets, fat trimmed and halved (4)
6 rashers Weight Watchers Bacon, finely chopped
1 medium brown onion, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
800 gram can chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
1 tablespoons drained baby capers in vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley
500 grams potatoes, peeled and diced
1/3 cup skim milk

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Lightly spray a large non stick fry pan with cooking spray and heat over high heat. Cook chicken, in batches, for 5 minutes or until browned all over. Transfer to a large casserole dish. Respray pan with oil, add bacon and cook for 3 minutes or until browned. Place in casserol dish with chicken. Respray pan, add onion and celery, cooking for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the onion mixture to casserole dish along with the carrot, garlic, tomatoes, sugar and vinegar. Cover and cook for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile boil, steam or microwace potatoes until very tender. Mash together with milk and season with salt and pepper.

Add olives and capers to the chicken dish and cook for a further 10 - 20 minutes or until sauce has thickened. Remove chicken and transfer to a serving dish. Spoon over sauce and sprinkle with parsley.

Serve with mashed potato.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Satay Chicken Pizza

We love homemade pizza nights as it gives us a chance to experiment with toppings. We all make our own pizza using Lebanese Bread (Pita) as the base so it's low in fat and not as filling as using dough.

Recently I had come accross a recipe for Satay Chicken Pizza and I just knew that was what I was making. Another easy Weight Watcher friendly recipe that was quick and tasted fantastic.

Satay Chicken Pizza
(recipe adapted from Weight Watchers Cook Easy)

Serves: 4
Points per serve: 6

500 grams chicken breast fillet, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup satay sauce
2 lebanese bread rounds
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 red capsicum, thickly sliced
50 grams baby spinach leaves
50 grams low fat mozeralla cheese

Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.

Lightly spray a large non stick frying pan with cooking spray and heat over a medium high heat. Cooked the chicken for 3 - 4 minutes or until cooked through. Add soy and satay sauce and simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes.

Place bread on baking trays and spread with tomato paste. Top with onion, capsicum and chicken mixture. Sprinkle with spinach leaves and mozeralla cheese. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until pizza bases are crisp.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sticky Honey Lamb with Vegetables

This is a dish that we haven't had for quite sometime but when we do it's always a hit with us not only because of it's taste but in the fact it's quick and easy.

The sweetness is completely balanced by the chilli, which I must say is not overpowering at all. This and the crispness of the vegetables makes it a dish that would please even fussy eaters I am sure.

We served it with some steamed rice but it would go really well with some noodles also.

Sticky Honey Lamb with Vegetables
(recipe adapted from Weight Watchers Recipe Collection 2003)

Serves: 4
Points per serve: 4.5

cooking spray
500 grams lean lamb strips
1 brown onion, thinly sliced
3 carrots, juliened
1 red capsicum, thinly sliced
1 green capsicum, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons barbecue sauce
3 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
1 teaspoon crushed ginger
4 tablespoons honey
fresh coriander for garnish

Spray a wok or large frying pan with cooking spray and heat over high heat. Add lamb in batches and cook, stirring, until lamb is just cooked and browned. Remove to a plate.

To the same pan add onion, carrots and water, stirring for 2 - 3 minutes or until carrots start to soften. Add capsicum and cook for a further 1 - 2 minutes.

Meanwhile in a small jug mix together barbecue sauce, sweet chilli sauce, garlic, ginger and honey. Add to the pan and bring to the boil, allowing to thicken slightly. Return lamb to the pan, stirring until fully coated. Serve garnished with coriander.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Creamy Chicken and Bacon Fettucine

The kids had been pestering me for pasta - it's one of their staple meals! The both enjoy pasta especially when a creamy sauce is part of the equation and tonight's meal definitely fit the bill. And to be totally honest we haven't had it for a while now.

This creamy sauce coupled with chicken and bacon, somewhat similar to the Carbonara sauce, was very easy and a flavoursome dish. Although a little higher in Weight Watcher Points values it provided great sized servings also which helps with a hungry family!!

Creamy Chicken and Bacon Fettuccine
(recipe sourced from Weight Watchers Cook Easy Cookbook)

Serves: 4
Points per serve: 7

240 grams dried fettuccine
cooking spray
300 grams chicken breast fillet, thinly sliced
1 small brown onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
125g Weight Watchers Bacon, thinly sliced
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 cup evaporated skim milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup reduced fat/light sour cream
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water, following packet instructions, or until just tender. Drain. Return pasta to the pan.

Meanwhile, lightly spray a large non stick frying pan with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Cook chicken for 3 - 4 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer to a bowl.

Cook onion, garlic and bacon in the same pan, stirring, for 3 - 4 minutes or until onion has softened and bacon is golden. Add wine and cook until reduced by half. Combine milk, egg and sour cream in a jug, season to taste with salt and pepper, and add to pan. Simmer, stirring, for 2 - 3 minutes or until thickened. Stir in chicken, cheese and parsely.

Add chicken mixture to pasta. Toss to combine and serve.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)