Grilled Steak & Hummus Mashed Potatoes

Not only have I been blogging every day this week, but today is a two-fer! You can get your grilling on tonight with this Weight Watchers grilled steak and Hummus Mashed Potatoes from Gimme Some Oven.

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I had recently stocked up on some steaks on sale (most of my stories start like that, I’ve realized), because I’m a good wife and I know my husband loves steak…so what do I do? Create a WW recipe out of it. 😉 However, this marinade was just delightful! The steak was so tasty and flavourful and great to grill on a spring or summer day (or fall or winter…).

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The mashed potatoes were good too, but I added in more hummus than the recipe called for, and neither of us could taste it at all. They were good, just not good as advertised, if that makes sense. I used different potatoes (I can’t remember what kind though), so maybe the hummus just got lost in the potato flavour. In any case, it was still a successful dinner all around, and hopefully will be for you as well!

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Grilled Steak

serves 2

Ingredients:
-2tbsp chili sauce, or ketchup
-1tbsp packed brown sugar, dark-variety
-1 garlic clove, minced (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
-1tbsp Worcestershire sauce
-2tsp mustard, course-grain recommended
1tsp ginger root, fresh, minced (or 1/4 tsp ground ginger)
-2 steaks

Directions:
-Preheat grill to high.
-In a small bowl, combine chili sauce (or ketchup), sugar, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and ginger, and brush the sauce all over steak. Grill, flipping once, brushing steak with any leftover sauce while steak cooks, about 6 to 7 minutes per side, or until desired degree of doneness.
-Remove steak to a cutting board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing against the grain.

Hummus Mashed Potatoes

serves 2

Ingredients:
-1-ishlbs Yukon gold potatoes
-1-2tbsp butter
-1-2cu favorite hummus, homemade or store-bought
-1/8tsp salt (or more to taste)
-1/8tsp freshly-cracked black pepper
-optional garnish: chopped fresh Italian parsley, lemon wedges, extra drizzle of olive oil

Directions:
-Peel the potatoes if you would like, and cut them into large chunks, roughly the same size. Immediately add to a large stockpot and fill with water until the potatoes are covered, then bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until a fork-tender. Remove from heat and drain the water.
-Return the pot to the burner and use a potato masher to mash the potatoes until smooth. Then turn off heat, and add in butter, hummus, salt and pepper, and stir until combined. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Then top with garnishes if desired.

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Turkey Scaloppine

In completely un-food-related news, I am finally on season 5 of Glee! I had watched pretty much all of the other seasons, until now. The first episode in, it just FEELS different. I am sure it is related to the unfortunate passing of actor Cory Montieth, but it just feels…off. I am cringing, too, waiting for them to mention something about Finn’s character, but so far there has been radio silence.

Back to food-related topics, I made this turkey scaloppine parmesan recipe from Food.com and it is a Weight Watchers recipe! I googled what “scaloppine” and basically it’s Italian (duh) and refers to a thin cut of meat, usually veal, dredged and cooked with red or wine sauce. Well…there ya go. It was handy that I had some turkey breasts on hand, since they had been on sale at the grocery store. I have never cooked turkey breasts before but it was quite similar to cooking chicken. They were so thick that I cut them in half. Everything else is pretty self-explanatory. It was yummy!

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Turkey Scaloppine Parmesan

serves 2

Ingredients:
-2 turkey cutlets
-1.5cu fat free marinara sauce
-2 slices fat free mozzarella cheese
-1⁄4cu grated parmesan cheese

Directions:
-Spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat. Add the cutlets and cook until browned, a few minutes per side, then transfer to a plate.
-Add the marinara sauce to the skillet and bring to a simmer, then add the cutlets and turn to coat with the sauce. Top each cutlet with 1 slice of the mozzarella and a spoonful of the sauce. Sprinkle with the Parmesan.
-Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the cheese melts and the cutlets are cooked through, about 2 minutes.

Orange Beef and Barley Pilaf (Weight Watchers)

I realize, once again, that it has been SOOOOO long since I have posted on this blog! This time, I have the busy-ness of life, as well as starting my own business to thank! I fell in love with Jamberry Nail Wraps so much that I decided to start selling them – check out my site for Never the Same Jams here. Nails and cooking – my two therapies. Bonus: I don’t have to worry about chipping polish when I’m peeling garlic or onions. 😉

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Several weeks ago (maybe months?) I made this delicious WW-inspired orange beef and barley pilaf from food.com! It was pretty simple and tasty. The pilaf, I must admit, was my favourite part. I don’t use barley very often (aka ever), but I had some left over from a beef and barley stew I made awhile back, and it is a nice change-up from rice, pasta, and quinoa.

I wish I could remember more about this dish, but I didn’t really change or edit much, though I might have added in more spices or sauces to amp up the flavour (I’ve found that some WW recipes unnecessarily skimp on flavour). Enjoy!

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Orange Beef and Barley Pilaf

serves 2-4

Ingredients:
For the beef
-3 scallions, sliced
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1tbsp peeled fresh ginger, minced
-1tbps grated orange zest
-1lb boneless sirloin steak, trimmed and cut into matchstick-thin strips
-10oz fresh sugar snap or snow peas and baby carrots
-2tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
-2tbsp orange juice
-1tsp cornstarch
-1tbsp cold water
For the barley
-1cu broth
-2⁄3cu quick-cooking barley
-2cu sliced mushrooms
-1tbsp low sodium soy sauce

Directions:
For the beef
-Spray a large nonstick wok or skillet with nonstick spray and set over high heat. When a drop of water sizzles on it, add the scallions, garlic, ginger, and orange zest. Stir-fry until the scallions soften, about 1 minute.
-Add the beef and stir-fry until browned, about 3 minutes. Then add the sugar snap peas and baby carrots, and stir-fry until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce and orange juice, then bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 seconds.
-Meanwhile, mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl until smooth. Add the cornstarch mixture to the wok and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thickened, 30 seconds (at this point, I felt this was a little unnecessary, as it wasn’t overly thick to begin with, but use your best judgment).
For the barley
-Bring broth to a boil in a saucepan, then add quick-cooking barley. Simmer, covered, for about 12 minutes (my barley was not quick-cooking, so I had to adjust my cooking time).
-Spray a skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook until tender (you can do this without mushrooms – I just used whole ones, for my husband, but I picked them off my dish). Add the barley and soy sauce. Then serve.

Lighter Chicken Enchiladas

I love Martha Stewart. She’s basically a cooking and organizational goddess in my book. But recently, she kinda failed me. A few weeks ago, I made these lighter chicken enchiladas by good ol’ MS, and later referenced to it on Facebook.
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To be clear, the recipe and dish itself was not a failure – the final product was quite good – and you’d truly never know that it’s “light.” BUT, her instruction on how to cook the chicken failed miserably and ended up taking forever to make this dish. She said to basically steam the chicken, and I had never done that before, so I followed her instruction to a tee, and ended up with not even half-done chicken. Like…the ENTIRE center was still raw and pink. Therefore, I had to kick up the oven and bake for about 30 more minutes until it was done. It really irritated me for several reasons. One, baking chicken is not unhealthy, so it would have been just as easy to do that in the first place. Two, it wasted a lot of time. I spent 20 minutes on the steaming method, then had to spend an additional 30+ minutes actually cooking the chicken, when it didn’t work. It would have been so much easier, and less time consuming, to just bake it to begin with.
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In any case, I digress. As long as you don’t steam your chicken (or maybe you have a tried-and-true steaming method – if so, please share!!), you will be fine, because like I said, the final product was truly quite delightful! Also, I omitted the chiles, because I didn’t want to buy a whole can just to use a small amount (hate that), plus my husband doesn’t like peppers.

Side note: I apologize for the terrible pictures. It’s kind of difficult to take a flattering photo of enchiladas!
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Lighter Chicken Enchiladas

serves 4

Ingredients:
-coarse salt and ground pepper
-3 small boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (I used 2 large ones instead)
-2tbsp vegetable oil
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1/4cu all-purpose flour
-1tsp ground cumin
-1 to 2tbsp minced canned chipotles in adobo
-1 can (14.5oz) reduced-sodium chicken broth
-corn tortillas (6-inch)
-1/2cu grated Monterey Jack cheese

Directions:
-To cook the chicken, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook chicken for about 30-40mins, or until done (I like to cut my chicken into smaller pieces about halfway through, to cook better, and makes it easier to shred/cut later). I lightly seasoned mine with salt and pepper.
-While chicken is cooking, make the sauce: In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Then add flour, cumin, and chipotles in adobo and cook, while whisking, for about 1 minute. Then whisk in the broth and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce it to a simmer, and cook, whisking occasionally, until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 5 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
-Once the chicken is done, shred it with your hands or with forks, and toss it with 1/2 to 1 cup of the finished sauce, making sure to fully coat all of the chicken.
-Pour 1/4 cup sauce into bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish and set aside. Stack tortillas, and wrap in a double layer of damp paper towels; microwave until hot, about 1 minute (this helps make them pliable – you can also follow package instructions or your own method for making corn tortillas pliable). Fill each tortilla with chicken mixture, roll up tightly, and set it, seam-side down, in the baking dish. Do this for each tortilla, then cover with the remaining sauce, and top with cheese.
-Bake until hot and bubbling, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let it cool 5 minutes before serving.

Beef and Bean Chili

A few months ago (aka…summer…) some friends of ours had their 3rd baby, and I signed up to make them a meal and deliver it to their house, so they didn’t have to cook. A bunch of people signed up, I believe 3 nights a week for several weeks, to give mama a break while caring for an infant plus two older kids, while dad is at work. It was fun to meet her baby and treat her to a nice and hot dinner. They had requested low calorie and low carb, which is hard to find in easily-transported dinners (soups, stews, spaghetti, casseroles, etc.), but then I found this beef and bean chili from Weight Watchers that I had been meaning to try and it seemed perfect! I made a double batch so that I could have dinner for my husband and I, as well.

For their batch, I used the canned tomatoes as-is, but I blended the tomatoes for my husband and I’s batch (I HATTTTTE tomato chunks, which I’m sure everyone is well aware).  It was so good! And you can’t even tell that it’s “healthy.” I have found that some WW recipes are touch and go – some are just bland and flavourless, and then some are really spectacular.

Oh, and we STILL have cooked beans left over in the freezer from this…a bag of dried beans makes a lot. And by a lot, I mean A LOT.

I did not get a chance to snap a picture of my own creation, therefore the photo used below is not my own, it is owned by Weight Watchers was obtained from their website.

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Beef and Bean Chili

serves about 6-8

Ingredients:
-1lb lean ground beef
-2tsp olive oil
-1 medium onion, diced
-2 ribs celery, diced
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced (I omitted this, since I was cooking it for two kids as well)
-2tbsp chili powder
-2tsp ground cumin
-1tsp dried oregano
-2 bay leaves
-1/2tsp table salt
-1/2tsp red pepper flakes, or more to taste
-28oz canned crushed tomatoes
-1cu reduced sodium beef broth
-8oz tomato sauce
-30oz canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained
-1/2cu shallots, chopped

Directions:
-Coat a large stockpot with cooking spray and set over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook until browned, breaking up meat as it cooks, about 5 minutes. Remove beef from pot and set aside.
-Add oil to the pot and set over medium-high heat. When oil begins to shimmer, add onion, celery, garlic and jalapeño. Sauté until tender, about 4 minutes.
-Add reserved beef, chili powder, cumin, oregano, bay leaves, salt and red pepper flakes, and stir to coat vegetables and beef with spices. Add tomatoes, broth, tomato sauce and beans, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for about 30 minutes.
-To serve, discard bay leaves, and ladle chili into bowls and top with chopped shallots (I omitted the shallots).

Note: According to the WW website, 1 heaping cup is 5 points. Sweet!!

Restaurant Style Salsa

Happy early-Thanksgiving!!  I decided to post a VERRRRRY easy appetizer/starter recipe for today, in case you are still looking for something to munch on before the big feast tomorrow.  And let’s be honest – who doesn’t love salsa? This restaurant style salsa recipe comes from Gimme Some Oven.  They are known for some delicious and fairly simple recipes!
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I made this a few weeks ago for a work potluck, and it was so yummy!  I actually doubled the recipe, so that I could have some for my husband and I to enjoy at home – which turned out to NOT be necessary, as the two batches made A LOT…so I am sure that one batch would have been plenty for both work and home.  Oh well, ya live and learn, right?

The only bummer: I bought cilantro as the recipe called for it (and I loooove cilantro), I prepped and made the entire double batch, made a HUGE mess in my kitchen (as you can see from the photos), cleaned up said mess entirely, separately packaged each batch in the fridge, and then realized it.  I FORGOT THE CILANTRO.  Well, let’s just say, I love cilantro, but not enough to make another huge mess in my kitchen, just after cleaning up the first one.  In any case, it was still tasty without it, but probably would have been better with!image

Restaurant Style Salsa

serves A LOT (according to the original blog, it yields about 4cu)

Ingredients:
-2 (14oz) cans fire-roasted tomatoes, drained if you like a thicker salsa (I blended my tomatoes in the blender, and only drained one can prior to doing so)
-3 cloves garlic, peeled
-1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
-1 bunch (about 2 cups loosely-packed) fresh cilantro
-1cu diced white onion
-1 jalapeno, stem removed (and seeded, if you want less heat, and adjust amount to your preference)
-1tsp ground cumin
-1tsp salt
-1tsp sugar
-1/4 tsp black pepper

Directions:
-Pulse all ingredients together in a food processor or blender until smooth, or your desired consistency is reached. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
-Serve immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days.

Watermelon-Mint Salsa

I vaguely recall promising to post this watermelon salsa recipe several weeks ago…you know…when it was still summer.  And here in the Pacific Northwest, it is going back to our drizzling dreariness (kinda love it, not gonna lie!).  Therefore, the intrigue of summer food has kind of faded away for many of us.
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BUT, since when do I subscribe to social norms?  I have been known to grill outside in rain and windstorms and go out for tacos (mmm I miss Moe’s!) in hurricanes…so why not post a summer salsa recipe in the fall? 😉

In any case, I don’t have a link for this recipe, as it came from a coupon book I got from Fred Meyer.  I made it on a day that we were having company over, I needed to make a yummy appetizer, and we had 1/2 a watermelon gifted to us from my mother that I wanted to use up.  I was a bit worried that our guests wouldn’t like it (not everyone is food-venturous), but 4 of us adults just gobbled it all right up! (though I don’t think the 3 kids in tow tried it).  It was a wonderful blend of spicy/zesty, with a faint hint of sweet, and great to pair with chips (or top grilled seafood or a pork chop with, or whatever you want!).
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Watermelon-Mint Salsa

serves 4-6

Ingredients:
-2cu seedless watermelon, diced (I’m not sure how much I used, I don’t think I actually measured)
-1cu cucumber, diced and seeded (I just used an entire cucumber)
-2tbsp red onion, finely minced
-1tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
-1tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
-1/4tsp hot sauce (I think I added a few extra shakes)
-salt, to taste

Directions:
-Combine all ingredients, mixing gently to make sure they are well incorporated.
-Cover and let chill for one hour in the fridge.
-Leftovers can be refrigerated for several days.