May 11, 2010

REALLY Healthy Pasta with Tomatoes and Arugula

This is really healthy pasta, I mean it... 2 Weight Watchers points per cup of cooked pasta. (Compared to 4 points for normal).

A big thank you to Gourmet Mom on the Go, who sent me a package of this Fiber Gourmet pasta and some other goodies as a pick-me-up when I was having a rough week.

This stuff is good. I was a little afraid that the nutrition facts and therefore the Weight Watchers points would be, um, too good to be true.

Let's put it this way, when you see 18 g of fiber per serving on a package, you think you will most surely be "punished" for trying to skimp on points by overloading on fiber.

Honestly... it wasn't really a problem! Again, I was a little worried that I'd be overloading on fiber, since I typically eat a lot of fiber throughout my day anyway (fruit, fresh veggies, whole grains), but there honestly weren't any bad side effects. (This is a lovely conversation, isn't it?)

So, now that I know this is a low calorie, low point way to get some delicious pasta in the evenings when I'm craving comfort food and a glass of wine, I am addicted.

I've been making the tomato fettuccine pasta with grape tomatoes that I blister and roast in a pan with fresh garlic, then add a little spinach or preferably arugula. I drizzle about 1 Tbsp of olive oil, some salt, and possibly some grated Parmesan, and there ya go!

Honestly, it is really delicious. Just read this review at Slashfood. I just ordered a case of the spaghetti for 20 bucks (6 packages).

And if I eat this pasta the way I like it with some olive oil and a bit of parm, it's around 4 points total!

May 10, 2010

Honey mustard brussel sprouts with bacon

This recipe for brussel sprouts would probably count as an unhealthy dish, but since the brussels are leafy green healthful veggies, I still pretend the recipe is a healthy choice.

And while the recipe is tremendous, I'm sorry to say that I don't actually have a recipe for these. But, I think there's a Southern Living recipe out there somewhere for honey mustard brussel sprouts, because I believe that's where my mom got the recipe. So, ya know, let me know if you find it. It wouldn't hurt for me to start following a recipe too since I also think my mom mentioned her version called for a dash or two of Worcestershire sauce.

So here's how you make the ones I experimented wih one day:

Start with bacon...

(yes, I know I told you it wasn't that healthy of a recipe. Go with it).
  1. Cook the bacon in a pan (around 2-3 strips). Remove the bacon, and drain any excessive grease from the bottom of the pan, leaving just a little for cooking.
  2. Add fresh, trimmed brussel sprouts cut in halves to the pan to saute until they start getting tender, and to where they have been moderately roasted. Add a bit of kosher salt or pepper to the pan.
  3. In a side bowl, melt half a stick of butter. (Yes, I know... the real healthie foodie would be disgusted by this amount of butter. In the meantime, I've taken over and think butter on brussel sprouts is absolutely delicious and necessary.)
  4. Add about 2 Tbsp of Dijon mustard. Add sugar or honey to taste. Some might say you could also use honey mustard. That might be easiest.
  5. Coat the brussels in the honey mustard sauce and crumble bacon on top.
And there you are! And PS, the butter is truly necessary in the sauce in order to cut the overwhelming taste of the mustard.

It is important to note that Ben loves these so much, he eats them like candy. He has been known to make them just for himself on a Tuesday night...

We made these with salmon and it was delicious!

April 13, 2010

Playing catch up: Classic Beef Pot Roast (for 300 calories!)

What month is it? Hmm.... April. Yeah.

What are you craving these days? Fresh produce like strawberries and asparagus that are finally in season?

Yeah, sorry - this recipe is out of season. But well worth noting, because back when I made it - it was above noteworthy!

I looked up pot roast recipes over the winter, simply because I was looking for a man-pleasin', stick-to-your-ribs kind of recipe for winter. This recipe really did the trick, and also reminded me that hearty doesn't always mean... fatty.

Put simply: this was awesome. I should have known by the ratings on

I was getting lots of compliments from all of the guys I was feeding that night, but more importantly, this was the kind of recipe where I said to myself: "This really is awesome! Go me!" I kind of couldn't get over myself... and shouldn't we all feel like this when we slave over a meal?

(And now you know why I felt it necessary to post about a meal I made 4 months ago...)

So, on with the recipe :)

Classic Beef Pot Roast

From Cooking Light, October 2006.


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 (3-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped onion
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • Fresh thyme leaves (optional)


Preheat oven to 350º.

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chuck roast with salt and pepper. Add roast to pan; cook 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove roast from pan. Add onion to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until tender.

Return browned roast to pan. Add the red wine, thyme sprigs, chopped garlic, beef broth, and bay leaf to pan; bring to a simmer. Cover pan and bake at 350° for 1 1/2 hours or until the roast is almost tender.

Add carrots and potatoes to pan. Cover and bake an additional 1 hour or until vegetables are tender. Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaf from pan; discard. Shred meat with 2 forks. Serve roast with vegetable mixture and cooking liquid. Garnish with thyme leaves, if desired.

February 21, 2010

Lentil and Arugula Salad with Pine Nuts and Goat Cheese

Sorry that it's been a while, but I have a lot of catching up to do on what I've been making. First off, is one of my new favorite salads.

I'm always looking for a new way to enjoy salads, because truthfully I most often prefer vegetables in another form. I've found that I like lentils and onion on salads because they bring a lot of flavor and extra texture to the salad without packing on too much additional fat and calories. I tried this combo on a previous version but I'm still experimenting on what I like.

So what's been missing? The right dressing. I've recently discovered that I would prefer a homemade vinaigrette over a bottled dressing, any day. In particular, Ive been taking some white balsamic vinegar and whisking it with olive oil, salt and pepper. Making it myself allows me to get the right level of tangy sweetness without being overpowering. In particular, some of the low fat dressings seem to rely too much on sweeteners to compensate for flavor, and end up turning me off of the salad altogether.

So - here's what's in the salad I've been loving lately:

  • Arugula
  • Goat cheese (or feta)
  • Toasted pine nuts (or sliced almonds)
  • Sauteed red onion
  • Steamed lentils (precooked from Trader Joe's)
  • White balsamic dressing

The goat cheese here was a little melted from the onions and pine nuts, which I had just taken from their respective pans on the stove, but it was still good!

I've also added chicken occasionally to make it an entree salad. Ben really like this salad, too so we've recreated it several times. I've tried using a regular spring mix of greens or spinach but looking back I think it was best with the arugula.

Please share any other salad recipes you have; I'm always looking for more!