Beef Stroganoffserves 84PointsPlus*add additional PointsPlus for noodles1 lb package lean ground beef 90/101 can Campbells Healthy Request Cream of Mushroom soup1 can Campbells HR Cream of chicken soup1 Cup Fat Free Sour Cream1 envelope onion soup mix1 1/2 Cups sliced fresh mushrooms1/2 Cup waterpepper to taste
One of the great things about leading WW meetings is that I have to pay attention to all these elements of the program that are really, really helpful. This morning I said something along the lines of finding new foods or new ways of enjoying old foods, to keep things “fresh.”
I’m still sort of on the sick side. I’ve got pretty low energy and a sore throat. Yesterday I was surprised at how much I felt like eating. I wanted real comfort food, like mashed potatoes and pudding. Baby food. I realized that if I keep going too long like this, without exercising, soon I’m going to be in trouble.
So on the way home from the meeting I stopped at the Farmers Market. I spotted a cauliflower. I didn’t really think about it much. But I brought it home, chopped it up and put it in the over (425) for half an hour. When the buzzer went off, it was crispy and browned, crunchy and yet soft on the inside. I mixed it with a little jarred pesto and put it in a big bowl. OH WOW. It was like… the best comfort food ever. I was so happy. And it happened spontaneously. This was one of the few things we discussed in today’s meeting and it felt so good to just implement it in a way that satisfied my need for comfort and yet is still really healthy.
Now, a nap. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Last night our housemate (yes, we have a new housemate for several weeks!!!!) taught us how to make homemade gyoza, or potstickers. They were easy. They were healthy and awesomely delicious. It was wonderfully exciting. I admit I ate wayyy more than your standard “portion” because I was just so thrilled. Oh well.
I wish we could always have a housemate as awesome as this. The sound of vegetables being chopped in the kitchen, NOT BY ME, was such a revolutionary sound! Somebody else was cooking! It was incredible. I was so happy.
Want to know how to make beautiful and delicious gyoza? I just watched. But this is the basic idea of it:
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined and chopped up (we used the easy-peasy frozen kind)
- chopped up can of water chestnuts
- chopped up green onions (3-4??)
- little bit of sesame oil
- minced garlic
- minced ginger
- little bit soy sauce?
- wonton wrappers
Mix up all ingredients. Put teaspoon? of mixture in half of wonton wrapper (they’re round). Seal with water and make a little pocket. Line up on tray. When you have a few dozen, put a little bit of oil in bottom of nonstick pan. Add gyoza and cook until they are browned on the bottom. Add a little bit of water and cover to steam cook the rest of the way. Probably takes about 5-8 minutes per batch. Eat. ENJOY!
WOW have I had a culinary experience tonight. First, let me back up and say that a month or so ago, I was contacted by the authors of a new cookbook, Almost Meatless, to see if I’d like to cook, photo and blog about a recipe from the book for an “Almost Meatless Blogger Potluck.” This sounded like great fun to me, and I really liked the premise of the book (using meat as more of a condiment than a heavy main ingredient) They assigned me (after I’d chosen a few from their table of contents) to “Chicken Biscuit Pot Pie.” This sounded yummy. I LOVE chicken pot pie, and have forever. But it’s generally not been either WW- or-diabetes friendly (mostly due to the pie crust) so I’d been resigned to not eating much of it in my future. I jumped at the chance to get a healthier version.
Well. Let me say. This cooking experience was memorable!
FIRST let me say that for a working mom, this recipe is neither cheap, nor easy nor quick. It is NOT something to whip up on a week night when one does not have all manner of ingredients in one’s pantry.
I left work at 5:15 pm. Went to store. Ended up having to buy almost $70 of ingredients because I didn’t HAVE a lot of this stuff. Whole wheat pastry flour. Wheat bran. Bottle of white wine. Leeks. Parsnips. Etc. Here are my groceries.
Got home at 6:15pm. Commenced cooking. Luckily, I had already bought several munchies which was a GOOD THING. The kids were not home. This was also a VERY GOOD THING. I had some friends coming over and they ended up being my very patient food-testing guinea pigs. Ditto, good thing.
I decided to follow the recipe as faithfully as possible, which I often don’t. But I wanted to be faithful to the original so I could give an honest assessment of both the process and the product.
It took me exactly TWO HOURS to make, start to finish. I had my mother chopping along as assistant. Without her, it could’ve been two and a half. Let me just say that was almost a deal breaker right there.
This could make a lovely, for-company, WEEKEND meal but no no no no no way could one sanely manage this on a school/work night. It was actually quite entertaining and laughable, and had there been offspring in the house, someone would have ordered pizza hours ago.
Anyway. I found the process not difficult, but VERY long. Very very long. It was an exercise in slow food. I kept thinking, this better be worth it.
At 8:15, the timer went off (so did the smoke alarm, because it had bubbled over the top into the oven floor, causing a lot of smoke). I took pictures. I thought it was strikingly beautiful. We ladled it into bowls. There were 5 grownups in attendance. The comments were:
- Needs more salt.
- I would order this in a fancy gourmet comfort-food restaurant.
- It was okay, but it took so long.
- The top was like a bran muffin.
- The flavors and texture remind me of Thanksgiving and stuffing!
- I couldn’t tell that the parsnips were not potatoes. This is probably a healthy substitution.
- The broth is fantastic.
- I would totally eat this. I AM eating this! Yum!
SO. I think the reviews (including my own) were generally VERY enthusiastic, but overall, this was all overshadowed by the insane amount of time and work that went into producing this dish.
When I make Chicken Pot Pie for my family, it’s five minutes of prep and five ingredients: a rotisserie chicken, Pillsbury pie crust, a bag of frozen vegies and two cans of Healthy Choice cream of chicken soup. Voila. My family loves it. (I actually got this recipe from the WW site, I think) I KNOW my kids would not be wild about the Grownup Version. But I would definitely make it for company. I would definitely make a leisurely afternoon of preparing it.
But this cookbook was not advertised to be quick, easy OR cheap. Just healthier, and delicious, which it delivered on in both areas.
Have a few hours to kill and a desire for some yummy healthy food? Recipe below the break!! Continue reading “GrownUps’ Chicken Pot Pie”
Here’s my first recipe!! Some folks on Twitter were discussing kale today, and it reminded me of my friend Ericka Lutz’s awesomely delicous kale salad that she made for us one night. I used to be kind of kale-o-phobic, but this turned me into a true, true believer!
NOTE: It has to be the kind of kale that looks like this.
Ericka Lutz’s Raw Dino Kale Salad
This is adapted from a recipe I found in the New York Times. We sometimes get a CSA box — this is AMAZING with the Dino Kale (otherwise known as Black Kale, or Lacinto Kale or Tuscan Kale). Don’t try it with other kinds of kale, it will rip your guts out. THIS recipe will make you groan — in the GOOD way.
1 head organic Dino Kale
Juice of 1 Lemon (pref. Meyer)
½ clove garlic — crushed and chopped
3 TBS Olive Oil
pinch of red pepper flakes
¼ cup really good parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
1 slice really good toast made into bread crumbs
Wash kale and cut off bottom two inches of stem, then slice crossways very fine to make little shreds.
Combine finely grated parmesan cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, chopped garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper in a bowl — pour over kale and let sit for 5 minutes.
Toast and grind bread.
Garnish salad with extra cheese and breadcrumbs.