March 14, 2009

My Variations For a Receipe from Cooking Light

I've mentioned that I adore Cooking Light - especially after my beloved roommate gave me a subscription for Christmas. It's more stimulating than a cookbook, and they give you the nutrition facts at the end of each recipe so you can easily work them in to any diet plan.

In this month's iss
ue, they have a recipe for seared scallops over spinach with canellini beans. I wanted to try this recipe because I love wilted spinach, and scallops are ridiculously healthy for you. 2 oz of scallops (either 10 small or 4 large) are only 1 Weigh Watchers point. So here's the original (which I plan to make when my boyfriend comes to town in a week), but I've followed the recipe up with a few, lower-maintenance ideas for using the same ingredients that you might have on had.

The Original:
Seared Scallops with Warm Tucan Beans

I think this recipe looks amazing, and quickly earmarked the page I saw it on when I got my March 2009 issue of Cooking Light. I liked that you add beans to the wilted spinach, and the delicious broth you make to simmer the beans in with onion and garlic. They also give a great suggestion for making some grilled bread to soak up all the extra liquid too!

I had gotten home on time from work one day and was ready to try the recipe just for fun; I even had all of the ingredients, including the scallops which I had bought frozen from Trader Joes. After realizing that it takes a LONG time to thaw scallops (apparently you can't just defrost them in the microwave... what do I know about scallops?), I decided to go ahead and make the rest of the dish leaving out the scallops, and saving them for another time.

(Photo from Cooking Light)

An Easier Twist: Simple side dish of spinach and white beans
Yeah, so this "low maintenance" twist is now not near as exciting I know, but the spinach and beans... ahem.... warm Tuscan beans... were still delish, and I love veggie dishes that I can bring towork as a low-calorie snack during the day. You can definitely taste the white wine in the broth, but it's a refreshing flavor to cut the taste of the spinach on it's own. Without the flavor of the scallops in this solo act, you might want to kick up the amount of garlic. Plus, I just love garlic.

Wilting the spinach.....

Fabulous photography I know. Fortunately my stove top is the only place with good lighting in my entire apartment.
Please don't compare my photos to the beautiful one from Cooking Light above.

Using Leftovers: Pasta with spinach, beans, mushrooms and feta
I was craving pasta one night (shocker) and since I had some of the spinach mixture leftover, I thought it would be great over linguine, particularly since the mixture still had a lot of liquid to it. I also had some mushrooms in the the fridge that, admittedly I just threw in because I needed to use them before they went bad. It was easy enough to saute the mushrooms with a little bit of low-fat butter while I boiled the pasta.

I reheated the spinach leftovers in the microwave, and added it to the drained pasta and stirred in the mushrooms. I also had some crumbled fat-free feta on hand and tossed it in for a different flavor and for a little protein.

Overall I was pretty pleased with my impromptu dish! It was pretty tasty, and he beans and veggies added more to the bowl without increasing the amount of pasta. Also, I was proud I could take advantage of what was in the fridge last minute. This recessionista is trying not to waste food, ya know.The only tweak I would make for next time would be to ease up on the amount of mushrooms - I put it a pretty big carton since I was trying to use them all up, which was robably overkill.


  1. Um, can you be my personal chef? That looks so good and light.

  2. Yeah so I should have been reading your blog for a while. I cook frozen seafood ALL the time. To thaw them quickly you just have to fill a bowl or your sink with warm (not hot) water and dump them in. Just replace the water when it comes to room temperature. I have been doing it this way for a while, but a fish expert suggested this method also in a recent issue of 'Everyday with Rachel Ray'