Archives for the month of: May, 2013

feta artichoke pesto

Inspired by Mediterranean food ingredients I made a chilled pasta dish with whole-grain penne, feta, pesto, and fresh veggies.

It’s perfect for healthy eating!

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 oz. whole-grain Barilla penne pasta, cooked and cooled (2 oz. uncooked ends up being approx 3/4 c.-1 c. cooked)
  • 1 Tbs. pesto (here’s my 5-ingredient pesto recipe)
  • 1/4 c. artichokes canned in water, chopped into large pieces
  • 2 Tbs. chopped red onion
  • 1/4 c. crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 grape tomatoes
  • pepper, to taste

WHAT YOU DO:

Mix the penne and pesto together until combined. Top with artichokes, onion, feta, and tomatoes. Serve chilled.

strawberry banana spinach smoothie

I’m pretty sure I’m the last person on earth to try Greek yogurt. I tried it only recently and now think it’s the bees knees 😉 Not to mention it’s thick and creamy since the liquid is strained out, and it has lots of protein, so it’s fairly healthy (and low in Weight Watchers+ Points, if you’re into that).

So I decided to try it in a smoothie and broke out the blender, which reminded me of my high school days working at an Orange Julius lol. I used one of my favorite fruit combos: strawberry banana, and threw in some spinach to add extra nutrients without it tasting like a vegetable.

This smoothie was so filling and delicious, and perfect for the awesome early-summer weather we’re having.

Here’s what I came up with…

COMBINE IN A BLENDER AND BLEND UNTIL SMOOTH:

  • 1 c. sliced strawberries
  • 1 sliced banana
  • 1 c. fresh spinach
  • 1/2 c. vanilla Fage FruYo Greek Yogurt (0% fat)
  • 1/2 c. water OR a few ice cubes

The entire serving has only 3 WW+ points, since the 1/2 c. yogurt is 3 points, and the fruits and veggies are free. Yippee!

smoothie ingredients: strawberries, banana, spinach, vanilla Greek nonfat yogurt

strawberry banana spinach smoothie

strawberry banana spinach smoothie

You may also like… BERRY BANANA BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE! Just 4 easy ingredients.

Berry Banana Breakfast smoothie - just 4 ingredients and only 3 WW+ points

Greek Salad

Greek Salad (Photo credit: Katherine Martinelli)

I recently created some new recipes inspired by the Mediterranean Diet, and included them while tracking my Weight Watchers points.

I incorporated lots of fresh ingredients, ditching the processed foods, and included heart-healthy fats and oils.

The best part is they are quick and easy, and share lots of the same ingredients, so I could shop once and make lots of different variations with the same foods. 

Here’s what I came up with (photos to come)…

Artichoke Shrimp & Pasta Toss – 8 Weight Watchers Plus Points

Shrimp and Artichoke Salad – 6 Weight Watchers Plus Points

Spinach Salad with Feta Crumbles – 7 Weight Watchers Plus Points

Shrimp & Pesto Pasta Toss – 9 Weight Watchers Plus Points

I recently created some new recipes inspired by the Mediterranean Diet, and included them while tracking my Weight Watchers points.

I incorporated lots of fresh ingredients, ditching the processed foods, and included heart-healthy fats and oils.

The best part is they are quick and easy, and share lots of the same ingredients, so I could shop once and make lots of different variations with the same foods.

Here’s one I came up with (still working on the photos):

Mediterranean Artichoke Shrimp & Pasta Toss

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 11 medium/large frozen pre-cooked shrimp, thawed
  • 2 oz. whole-grain penne pasta, cooked and cooled
  • Artichoke hearts, canned in water (to taste)
  • 5 grape tomatoes
  • 5 black olives

WHAT YOU DO:

While thawing shrimp in cold running water according to package directions, combine the remaining ingredients.

Toss in thawed shrimp and enjoy.

Entire serving: 8 Weight Watchers Plus Points

Related Recipes:

I recently created some new recipes inspired by the Mediterranean Diet, and included them while tracking my Weight Watchers points.

I incorporated lots of fresh ingredients, ditching the processed foods, and included heart-healthy fats and oils.

The best part is they are quick and easy, and share lots of the same ingredients, so I could shop once and make lots of different variations with the same foods.

Here’s one I came up with (still working on the photos):

Mediterranean Shrimp and Artichoke Salad

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 11 medium/large frozen pre-cooked shrimp, thawed
  • artichoke hearts, canned in water (to taste)
  • baby spinach
  • 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice (more or less to taste)
  • fresh ground black pepper (to taste)

WHAT YOU DO:

While thawing shrimp in cold running water according to package directions, make a bed of baby spinach on your serving dish. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, and black pepper and toss. Top with thawed shrimp and enjoy.

Entire serving: 6 Weight Watchers Plus Points

Related Recipes:

I recently created some new recipes inspired by the Mediterranean Diet, and included them while tracking my Weight Watchers points.

I incorporated lots of fresh ingredients, ditching the processed foods, and included heart-healthy fats and oils.

The best part is they are quick and easy, and share lots of the same ingredients, so I could shop once and make lots of different variations with the same foods.

Here’s one I came up with (photos to come):

Combine in a serving dish and toss until combined:

  • 11 medium/large frozen pre-cooked shrimp, thawed
  • 2 oz. whole-grain penne pasta, cooked and cooled
  • 1 Tbs. pesto (here’s my 5 ingredient pesto recipe)
  • 5 grape tomatoes

Entire serving: 9 Weight Watchers Plus Points

Related Recipes:

I recently created some new recipes inspired by the Mediterranean Diet, and included them while tracking my Weight Watchers points.

I incorporated lots of fresh ingredients, ditched the processed foods, and included heart-healthy fats and oils.

The best part is they are quick and easy, and share lots of the same ingredients, so I could shop once and make lots of different variations with the same foods.

Here’s one I came up with (photos to come):

Spinach Salad with Feta Crumbles

Combine in a serving dish and toss until combined:

  • 2 c. baby spinach (more or less to taste)
  • 1/4 c. crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
  • fresh chopped dill (to taste)

Entire serving: 7 Weight Watchers Plus Points

Related Recipes:

wasabi sesame soy cucumber salad

One of my favorite combinations is salt & vinegar. Salt & vinegar chips, salt & vinegar potatoes, and salt & vinegar cucumbers, just to name a few. Last year we grew tons of cucumbers in the garden and I probably ‘pickled’ my insides by eating so many fresh cucumbers marinated in vinegar and kosher salt.

Now, just in time for vegetable garden planting season, I have another favorite cucumber recipe that includes the delicious spice of wasabi and the flavor of soy sauce, all soaked in rice vinegar, and topped with toasted sesame seeds (adapted from shewearsmanyhats.com).

5-17-2013 (2)

Best of all, the whole batch has less than 190 calories, and less than 10 grams of fat.

The entire Serving is just 5 Weight Watchers Plus Points!

Also, here’s a great addition to your pantry: Amazon has an 64-ounce container of Kikoman soy sauce for only $14! It lasts basically forever and is great for stir fry recipes, rice, marinades, etc. Also if you have Amazon’s Prime there’s free two-day shipping. Awww yeah!

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • Cucumbers: until ours are ready in the garden, I used 6 mini seedless store-bought.
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbs rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp wasabi sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp soy sauce

WHAT YOU DO:

Peel cucumbers (I remove part of the skin, and leave part on, so it looks like stripes) and cut into thin slices.

Place cucumber slices in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Leave for about 15 minutes so the extra moisture drains out, and while waiting, toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, approximately 5 minutes or until browned.

In a bowl, mix together vinegar, wasabi, sugar, and soy sauce. Add the cucumbers and stir until combined. Refrigerate and serve chilled. Garnish with sesame seeds.

wasabi sesame soy cucumber salad

wasabi sesame soy cucumber salad

wasabi sesame soy cucumber salad

Recipe Makes 1 Serving

Estimated Nutrition Facts for 1 Serving

  • Calories 188.4
  • Total Fat 9.3 g
  • Cholesterol 0.0 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 23.7 g
  • Dietary Fiber 3.8 g
  • Sugars 17.6 g
  • Protein 4.7 g

 

1st birthday photo shoot idea - paper pennant banner, big bowl of Os

I took a few photos for our littlest guy’s 1st birthday. I set him up in our dining room to use the floor and the wall as a backdrop, and made sure we were close to the windows to get lots of awesome natural light.

For a simple background I hung up the paper party banner that I made, and for about 3.5 seconds (ha!) I was able to get a couple of shots with the fabric party hat I also made.

 1st birthday photo shoot - giant bowl of Os

I loooovvve anything with Buffalo sauce, so I made up my own spicy dip, including feta cheese and fat-free cream cheese.

I added some crunch with celery sticks on the side for dipping.

This entire batch is barely over 200 calories, and has less than 10 grams of fat. It equals out to 5 Weight Watchers+ Points, which isn’t bad considering you can eat it ALL and not have to break it into separate servings if you don’t want to.

What You Need:

  • 4 oz. fat-free cream cheese
  • 1/4 c. crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. minced garlic (more or less to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp. Frank’s Buffalo Sauce (more or less to taste)
  • raw celery sticks, for dipping

What You Do:

Combine in a small bowl and stir: cream cheese, feta, garlic, and hot sauce. Serve with raw celery strips.

I don’t have a photo of mine yet, but here’s what it sorta looks like…

Estimated Nutritional Info — 5 Weight Watchers+ Points

•          Servings Per Recipe: 1

•          Amount Per Serving

•          Calories: 213.5

•          Total Fat: 9.6 g

•          Cholesterol: 42.3 mg

•          Total Carbs: 9.5 g

•          Dietary Fiber: 0.5 g

•          Protein: 21.8 g