Tuesday, June 5, 2012

"Cheesy" Macaroni

Ok, if you're looking for something that tastes exactly like Mac 'n' Cheese without using cheese, I don't think it exists.  However, if you're looking for a healthier, lower points, non-dairy macaroni dish that has the texture and mouth feel of mac 'n' cheese and is super yummy, try this!  It's fast to whip up, and I had all the ingredients in my pantry!  I'll bet you only have to purchase 1 or 2 items if you cook on a regular basis.

I started with a recipe I found here Easy Macaroni and Cheeze and added to suit my own tastes.  By the way, this website is awesome for vegan recipes!

1 pound pasta, cooked according to directions

For the sauce
1 1/4 cup water
1 cup Silk original milk
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
3 TBSP cornstarch
2 TBSP lemon juice
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 TBSP Tahini
1 tsp miso
2 TBSP Vegan Worchestershire sauce
black pepper to taste

Put the sauce ingredients in the blender and give it a whiz.  Drain the cooked pasta, return it to the pot and pour in the sauce.  Heat for a couple of minutes until the sauce thickens. 

Seriously, that's it.  It takes 15 minutes or less and it is Yummo!  It makes 6 cups.  The whole dish is 57 WWPP.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hummus and Sun-dried Tomato Panini

This one is so simple and only 7 WWPP.

Hummus and Sun-dried Tomato Panini

Take 2 slices of your favorite bread, I used plain old whole wheat sandwich bread. Spread each slice with 1 TBSP of hummus.  Chop up some sun-dried tomatoes and add to one slice of bread.  Top with the other slice.  Heat 1 tsp of olive oil in a skillet.  Grill both sides until they are a nice, crispy, golden brown.  Or use your Panini maker if you have one.  Devour!

Pumpkin Oatmeal

I know, it's not really pumpkin season, but it sure was good this morning after a cool and drizzly Manhattan commute.  Almost like eating pumpkin pie for breakfast.  Omar said all the guys at his office came over to smell it.

Pumpkin Oatmeal

3 cups old-fashioned oats
5 cups water
1 can of pumpkin
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Combine all ingredients in saucepan.
2. Cook over medium heat until liquid is mostly absorbed, stirring occasionally.

The whole pot is 43 WWPP.  I got 5 generous servings. (about 1.5 cups each)

You won't believe they aren't eggs!

The first time I made this Omar kept saying, "There's really no egg in here?"  Seriously, this is good! 

Sunday night I made some, sauteed some mushrooms with tarragon and put it all in a whole wheat wrap for Monday morning breakfast.  Just refrigerate and re-heat in the microwave for 30 seconds in the morning for a hot, delicious breakfast on the go.

Breakfast Scramble

8 ounces extra-firm tofu
1 Yukon Gold potato, diced
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground turmeric

Crumble the tofu in a mixing bowl with a whisk or by hand. Steam the potato for about 5 minutes. (I did this in the microwave) While it is steaming, heat a saute pan up to medium heat and spray with cooking spray or add a little oil (count extra points if you add oil). Add the tofu and salt.  Gently and slowly stir it cooking for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir the turmeric and potato into the scramble, cooking for 1 more minute.

The whole batch is 12 WWPP. 

Black Bean Chipotle Burgers

Black Bean Chipotle Burger

Makes 4 burgers

1/4 red onion, minced
1 cup cooked black beans
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 cloves roasted garlic
2 tablespoons A1 Steak Sauce
1/2 cup cooked oats (cooked in water)
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
Nonstick cooking spray, for sautéing

Sauté the red onion over medium-high heat until it just starts to turn brown. Mash the beans, chipotle, onion, cilantro, cumin, black pepper, garlic, and steak sauce together until you have a rough paste (there should still be some texture to the beans, but the mixture should mostly be smashed). Add the oats. Stir the bread crumbs into the black bean mix and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Press everything together and add more bread crumbs, if necessary, until you have a tight dough. Lightly oil your hands so the dough doesn’t stick when you form it into patties. Create palm-size patties. Spray a skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Sauté the burgers over medium-high heat until slightly browned on both sides.

Notes/Alterations for next time:
-This was too spicy for Omar. Next time I will leave out the chipotle peppers. I also added a dolop of the adobo sauce, which the recipe doesn't call for. I thought they were great, but not for those who like their food on the mild side.
-I am going to try adding more onion and omitting the pre-cooking step.  I like raw onion and think it will be fine, but I'll let you know.
-I'm going to start with slightly less bread crumbs next time adding more as needed instead of adding the entire 1 1/2 cups at the start.

6 WWPP per burger. Serve with your favorite condiments. I ate mine with avodado and olive tapenade. Make sure to count points for your bun and extras!

Enjoy!

Day 4........

I'm on Day 4 of no meat and no dairy and it's going amazingly well.  I feel terrific, my energy level has doubled, maybe tripled, and I'm eating the most delicious, healthy food.  As I write this, I'm having my lunch of a left-over Black Bean Chipotle Burger topped with Avocado and baby carrots on the side.  It is delicious!  The burger recipe will be posted soon along with some other great recipes I've made the past couple of days.

Day 2 and 3 I had pretty bad headaches and was a little tired and grumpy so I'm definitely going through withdrawal from something (most likely dairy), but I'm not craving meat at all.  Even better, I'm not craving cheese.  I have discovered that avocado is a great cheese substitute on a sandwich.  It's like adding cheese AND butter, but with less fat and calories and so much better for me!  Try it sometime.

I'll keep you posted on my progress and update you on the recipes I find.  Stay Tuned!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Better than Tuna Salad

I am always looking for healthy alternatives to the foods I enjoy.  Recently, I've been reading a lot about the benefits of a plant based diet.  A diet free of animal products boasts a lowered risk of every disease imaginable including heart disease, cancer, arthritis, allergies, inflammation, and pretty much anything that ails and/or ages you.  AND it's better for the planet.

For me, getting healthy is a must.  I am closing in on 42 years in this body and some days, particularly days I eat poorly, I feel significantly older.  Heart disease, diabetes, and cancer run in my family.  I've recently added blood pressure medication to my daily regime, Omar is on meds for high cholesterol, and we both need to drop some significant weight and raise our energy levels if we want to live a long and happy life together doing things we enjoy.

Thursday night I came home and asked Omar if he would mind if we started reducing the amount of meat and animal products we consume with the intention of eventually completely cutting these things out of our diets. (maybe)  I was prepared for a bit of a fight.  This is a man who loves his food!  I briefly explained the health benefits and ( I love my husband so much)  his immediate response was, "Ok, great! When do we start?"  Seriously, no arm twisting at all.  I'm a lucky girl.  So I got together a few recipes I wanted to try and today we did our usual shopping, only we didn't purchase ANY meat.  (don't worry, our freezer is still stocked with plenty of chicken, ground beef and ground turkey.  I said gradually)

My first recipe was a success!  If you like Tuna Salad you will love this VEGAN version.  Yes, I said vegan!  Absolutely NO animal product.  AND it's super low in points!  Try it out.  I promise you will love it. Omar said it tasted a lot like tuna salad and was surprised when I told him there were no eggs in it.  He didn't even miss the mayo! 

Better than Tuna Salad

4 teaspoons Tahini*
2 teaspoons plain non-dairy milk (use regular milk for a non-vegan version if it's what you have)
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce (recipe calls for tamari, but I didn't have any)
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kelp granules (I didn't have these so I left them out)
1/2 teaspoon pure maple syrup
pinch of sea salt (I used Kosher salt)
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 stalk diced celery
1/2 apple, diced (I used a Fuji apple)
**The recipe called for the these 3 items, but I guess I was hungry and totally forgot to put them in.  I will add them next time, but the salad was delicious as I made it.
     2-4 tablespoons diced green or red bell pepper
     2 teaspoons capers
     1-2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped

In a bowl, whisk together the tahini with the milk, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, tamari, mustard, kelp granules, maple syrup, salt, and pepper.  Add the chickpeas to the bowl and mash slightly with a fork or potato masher leaving some of them intact.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix.

I served it on whole wheat bread with baby carrots and the rest of the apple.

I made 2 large sandwiches with enough left over for a 3rd smaller, but still generous sandwich.  The entire batch has only 10 WWPP.  It was very filling, but not heavy.

*Tahini is sesame paste.  You can usually find it with the olives, with other Mediterranean foods, or sometimes in the produce section.  It is used to make hummus and other Mediterranean foods.

Try it and let me know what you think!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Southern Fried Squash - Not as fattening as it sounds, so read on!

This is one of my all-time favorite recipes passed down from Granny. Serve this with the meatloaf in my last post and mashed potatoes.  Southern heaven!

Southern Fried Squash

3 lb. yellow squash, sliced in this rounds, about 1/8 inch thick
1/4 cup corn meal
2 TBSP flour
2 TBSP vegetable oil
salt and pepper

Put cornmeal and flour in a large ziploc bag or a big bowl.  Add the sliced squash and toss to coat. 

Heat oil in skillet, preferably cast iron, but non-stick works fine too.  Pour the squash mixture into the skillet.  Don't worry about the extra corn meal, it will crisp up and stick to the squash as it cooks.  Cook over medium heat tossing occasionally until the squash is soft.  About 30 minutes.

Granny's Meatloaf

My Granny Ceretha tought me how to make this meatloaf.  When I was young, Granny would come to stay with my sister Lisa and I when Dad needed to travel for business. The first dinner she made each visit was meatloaf, mashed potatoes and fried squash.  My favorite!!!  The next day she would make a meatloaf sandwich for my lunch.  It was widely known at Roswell High School that a meatloaf sandwich in my lunch meant that Granny had arrived!  Omar loves this meatloaf.  He asks for it at least once a month, sometimes twice.  I always send him to work the next day with a meatloaf sandwich, just like Granny used to make.  BTW, a meatloaf sandwich is whole wheat sandwich bread, meatloaf and cheddar cheese.  No condiments needed.

Granny Ceretha's Meatloaf

1 lb. ground beef
1 egg
2 slices sandwich bread, torn into small peices
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup ketsup, plus more for the top
1 onion, chopped
salt, 1 hearty pinch
fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Tear up bread and place in a bowl.  Pour milk over bread and let sit a few minutes to saturate the bread.  Add the other ingredients and mix until well combined.  Do not overwork the meat.

Place mixture in a loaf pan, spread extra ketsup on the top and bake for 1 hour.

*This recipe can be doubled but will be too big for the loaf pan.  In this case, shape into a loaf and bake on a cookie sheet.  Increase the time by 15-30 minutes depending on thickness of your loaf.  A meat thermometer should read 180 degrees when meat is cooked through. I always line my cookie sheet with aluminum foil for easier clean up.

**Sometimes I add a little fresh parsley or cilantro and 1/4 cup grated romano or parmesan cheese.

***Any kind of bread works fine.  You can also use 1/2 cup store bought bread crumbs or stuffing mix.  Flavored croutons make a tasty meatloaf too, but make sure to soak them in the milk long enough to soften them.  You also may need to add a little extra milk if you use croutons.  The soaked bread is what keeps the meatloaf moist so make sure whatever you use is saturated!  Don't add any herbs or cheese if you use the croutons or your meatloaf will be SUPER rich.  You will need to go lighter on the salt also.

Chicken Fajitas, Salsa Fresca and Guacamole

Fajitas are a fun way to have dinner.  At the Grant/Ramirez abode we generally eat dinner on the couch, the bed, the computer desk or wherever there's a spot to sit down.  I know.....it's not the way newlyweds should eat, but if you saw the size of our Manhattan apartment you would totally get it. 

Thursday night Omar was going to be late getting home giving me time to leisurely make dinner without a starving man hovering over me asking, "When is dinner?" and "Can I have a snack?"  About half way through the preparation of my meal I was feeling extra special and decided we were going to eat at the table. Well, that and with my extra time, the meal kept getting more elaborate.  This turned out to be a most wonderful, unexpected, middle of the week date night!  We enjoyed a delicious meal, talked about our day, reminisced and shared stories about our past, and all because I made food that needed to be eaten at the table.  Believe me, I'm going to remember that trick!  Here are the recipes:

Chicken Fajitas

2 lb. chicken breast
1 pkg. taco seasoning
juice of 2 limes
1 TBSP canola oil
2 red bell peppers
1 large onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Flour tortillas

Toppings
grated cheddar
sour cream
salsa fresco (recipe below)
guacamole (recipe below)

Cut Chicken into 1/2 inch strips.  Mix chicken with taco seasoning and lime juice.  Marinate for about 30 minutes. 

While chicken is marinating, cut the pepper and onions into strips about the same size as your chicken and chop the cilantro.

Heat oil in skillet on high heat.  Add chicken and cook through, about 6-7 minutes.  Add peppers and onions.  Cover and cook stirring occasionally another 5-10 minutes or until your veggies are as soft as you like them. 

Assemble your toppings and put everything out on the table.  Everyone can build their own fajitas.


Salsa Fresco

10 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 small red onion, diced small
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
juice of 2 limes
salt and pepper to taste
*1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped very fine

Combine first 4 ingredients and taste.  If your tomatoes and lime are in season and ripe, you may not need any salt so always taste your salsa before adding salt.

*If you like a spicy salsa, add the jalapeno.  Omar doesn't like them, so I leave it out when I make it for him.  It doesn't add a lot of heat, just that unique jalapeno flavor.


Guacamole

2 ripe avocados
1 plum tomato, seeded and diced small
1/2 small red onion, diced small
1 garlic clove, very finely minced
juice of 2 limes
1/4 tsp. salt
fresh ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mash with a fork.  I leave the avocado slightly chunky.

*Put the lime juice on the avocado as soon as you cut it open to keep it from browning.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Turkey Breakfast Strata

Make this recipe Saturday night and sunday morning breakfast is easier than ever.  Serve with fruit for breakfast or a salad for lunch. 

I found several recipes similar to this one that called for various kinds of sausage.  I wanted to keep it healthier and decided to make my own turkey sausage.  I followed the herbs through the rest of the dish as well.  This was delicious!  It makes 8 generous servings at 10 WWPP each.

Turkey Breakfast Bread Pudding

8 oz. ground turkey
1 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP fresh sage leaves, chopped
2 TBSP fresh rosemary, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
6 oz. day old bread (I used about 3 oz of left over french bread and 3 oz of regular whole wheat sandwich bread)
2.5 cups fat free half and half
8 eggs
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1.5 tsp kosher salt
2 tomatoes, diced, seeds and liquid removed
8 oz. Swiss cheese, grated
4 oz. cheddar cheese, grated

Brown turkey in the olive oil.  Add 1 TBSP each of the sage and rosemary, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Cut the bread into half inch pieces.

Mix the eggs, half and half, salt, pepper, and remaining sage and rosemary.

Spray a 13 by 9 inch glass casserole dish with non-stick spray.  Layer half the bread, half the turkey, half the tomatoes and half the cheese.  Add a second layer with the remaining ingredients.  Slowly pour the egg mixture over the top.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Uncover and bake 40 minutes or until golden brown.  Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Chicken Jambalaya

This recipe takes a little help from a box of Zatarain's Jambalaya mix but I added personal touches to make it my own.  If you like your Jambalaya spicy you're gonna want to add some kick to this one.  If I were making it for a spice loving crowd I would have added a few dashes of hot sauce.  Omar doesn't like spicy food so I toned it down a bit for him.  Don't worry, there is still plenty of flavor, its just on the mild side.

Chicken Jambalaya
1 box Zatarain's Jambalaya
1 lb. Chicken breast
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup rice
8 oz. tomato sauce
2.5 cups water
1 TBSP vegetable or canola oil
salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste
4 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in a large skillet with a lid.  Cut chicken into small bite size pieces.  Brown the chicken in the oil.  Add the onions and peppers and saute for 3-4 minutes.

Add the water and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil.

Add the contents of the Zatarain's box and 1/2 cup of rice.  Stir.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Taste and decide if you need salt, pepper or hot sauce and make the necessary adjustments.

Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.

The whole dish is 49 WWPP.  It makes 8 cups.  That's only 6 points per cup!  Serve with a 2 point salad and you've got a delicious and low points meal.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Shepherd's Pie

Yesterday I could not decide what to make for dinner. I spent my lunch hour eating at my desk perusing recipes on Oprah.com.  I found Prince William's favorite Cottage Pie which looked delicious, but weighed in at 22 WWPP per serving.  Given the anticipated serving size I felt reasonably sure I would be plenty full on half a serving for 11 WWPP, but something told me to keep looking.  A few recipes later I saw sweet potatoes.  That's when it hit me.  I decided to make my own "Thanksgiving" version of Shepherd's Pie using ground turkey with onions and spinach in place of the traditional beef and sweet potatoes on top.  Prince William's version also had cheddar cheese on top.  And since cheese is ALWAYS a good addition and I LOVE blue cheese with sweet potatoes, I went with Gorgonzola.  Check out my "recipes" page for this and other recipes.

The entire 13 by 9 inch dish came out to only 66 WWPP.  I decided to call it 6 servings at 11 WWPP each which was a very generous portion.  I served it with a salad of mixed greens dressed with my Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette (also on recipe page) which is similar to the one in my last post, but better.  It was so delicious and even better for lunch the next day! 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Dinner at home with friends

Tonight my friend Rochelle is coming to dinner.  I was planning to make spaghetti with ground turkey, but since I have company I decided to turn it up a notch.  Also with only 1 pound of turkey in the fridge, I wanted to make sure there were plenty of leftovers for lunch tomorrow and lower the points a bit.  Here's what I came up with:

Suzanne's Turkey Bolognese

2 TBSP olive oil
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
1 lb. ground turkey
1 jar marinara or homemade tomato sauce*
3 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large skillet and brown the mushrooms without salt.  Don't skip this step or your mushrooms will lose flavor and texture.  It takes about 10 minutes, but you can use the time to prep your other veggies.  Once the mushrooms are brown, add the onion and peppers and saute for 5 minutes until the onions are translucent and the peppers begin to get tender.

Move the veggies to one side of the skillet and add the ground turkey.**  Brown the turkey then mix the turkey and veggies together.  Add the sauce, garlic, salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer the sauce until your pasta is cooked.  Add 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese and toss just before serving. 

1 cup of pasta with 1 cup of sauce is 10 WWPP.

*Normally I like to use my own homemade sauce, but I didn't have any in the freezer so I cheated a little with a good jarred sauce from the grocery store.  I used Classico's Tomato and Basil Marinara.  I'll post my recipe for homemade sauce soon.

**You could take the veggies out to brown the turkey, but I don't have room on my counter and it just dirties another dish so I just move them over to the side while the turkey browns. 

I served my Turkey Bolognese with a mixed green salad with a simple balsamic vinaigrette:

1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
2 TBSP olive oil
pinch of salt and pepper

Whisk in a big bowl and toss with salad greens.

Makes 3 servings at 2 WWPP each.  I always alter my oil to 2tsp./serving and 1 tsp./serving of vinegar.  When it's Just Omar and I, I use 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar and 4 tsp olive oil.  To be honest, I don't always measure, but I try to get 2 parts olive oil to 1 part vinegar.

I hint for taking salads to work: Put your dressing in the bottom of the container.  Place your salad greens gently on top plus any toppings you like.  When you're ready to eat your salad, toss it all together.  This keeps your salad from getting soggy and wilted and prevents having to carry the dressing in a separate container.  It really works!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Michael Ciarello at the food cart + Veggie Caponata sandwiches for dinner

Johanna, Machina and I went to the Steaks & Frites cart for burgers on Wednesday for lunch.  The burger was nothing to blog about, but standing online waiting for his burger was Food Network Star Michael Ciarello.  And he is just as good looking in person!  I tried not to stare, but I'm not sure I was successful.  Man, I love New York!

Another reason to love New York....Amy's Bread!  To the dismay of my WW journal, Amy's bread is ON MY BLOCK in Hell's Kitchen and offers a wide selection of fresh baked breads and pastries every day.  Luckily, the line is always out the door and down the block and I'm not willing to wait in line unless I really need something. Okay, need is a strong word, but I was making Veggie Caponata sandwiches and wanted some good sour dough bread on which to serve them, so to Amy's I went.  In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I also got a loaf of Rosemary Bread for pre-dinner snacking with olive oil.  LOL What can I say?

My next stop was the cheese shop across the street for some fresh mozzarella.  And again in the interest of full disclosure, the cheese shop was followed by a visit to the wine store next door.  But I digress.....

So back at home, I got to work on the Caponata.  Here's the recipe:

1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 eggplant, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes with their juice
2 TBSP capers, drained
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large skillet.  Add chopped onion and saute until tender, about 3 minutes.  Add the eggplant and cook another 5 minutes.  Add the bell pepper and cook another 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and oregano and cook for 20 minutes until the mixture has thickened and the veggies are tender.  Add wine, capers, salt and pepper.  Serve on sourdough bread with fresh mozzarella cheese.

Next time I make this, I'm going to add olives.  I would have added them this time, but I was out :-(  I think this would also make a good pasta sauce or side dish to a meat or lamb dish.  Some feta cheese sprinkled in would be good too!  Another idea I had for next time is to make extra to use in a breakfast frittata sometime.

The whole big pan of it is only 12 WWPP so it's a great points deal.  I would say it made about 6 cups.  I made 4 sandwiches plus a big scoop of caponata on the side of each sandwich.

Tomorrow night: Turkey Bolognese!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A new spin on my blog.....

A lot has happened since I last checked in. I met a wonderful man and we married on 11/12/11, I got a job at the National Audubon Society as the Administrative Assistant to the Legal Department, I've lost 30 pounds on Weight Watchers, and life in NYC is still awesome! I'm still teaching private music students, mostly piano right now, in addition to my "day job" and I cook a lot. Which brings me to the new spin on my blog. I often post my meal creations on facebook with great response from people who want the recipe so with my renewed interest in food and cooking, I'm going to try blogging about food for a bit and see how it goes. Any of you who know me know that food is one of my very favorite subjects.

Did I mention that my kitchen has about 18 inches of counter space and room for only 1 person to stand? It's a challenge, but I still manage to create tasty and healthy meals that my husband loves. Hopefully, you will love reading about and making my recipes in your kitchen. I'll try to include tips and tricks for working in a small kitchen and favorite kitchen gadgets I like too!  Oh, and weight watchers points when I know them.

Sunday night for dinner I made Giada's Turkey/Pancetta Meatloaf (4 servings, 7 WWPP/serving).  I didn't make the sandwiches in the recipe, just the meatloaf.  With it, I served Giada's Carmelized Fennel and Pancetta Salad (2 servings, 5 WWPP/serving).  *I used 1/2 the oil  and less vinegar in the salad recipe to cut down on points.  While my husband loved this recipe, I don't think I will serve the 2 things together again.  It was very rich. 
Tonight we had the leftover turkey meatloaf.  To go with it, I created a mixed green/potato salad.  I boiled some red potatoes and tossed them with homemade vinegarette (recipe below) then added some mixed greens and tossed it all together. It was really good. The warm potatoes wilted the lettuces slightly and was quite tasty!  I used about 10 oz of potatoes and all of the dressing below for 2 servings at 6 WWPP each.  Will make this one again!

Garlic Red-wine vinegarette
1 tsp. dijon mustart
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 garlic clove grated
1/2 small red onion finely chopped
2 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste
2 TBSP olive oil

Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

A note on the creation of this recipe: I intended to use 3 tsp. red wine vinegar, but I ran out so I added a lemon juice instead.

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we did and I hope you'll follow my blog and send the link to your friends. I'm looking forward to sharing what's going on in my kitchen and my life in NYC.