Beefy Burgers

I needed something quick and simple for dinner tonight and was craving burgers so I went with the meatloaf burgers I saw on Foodie Fashionista's blog and was pleasantly surprised at the taste and juiciness of these burgers. These will definitely be a go-to recipe this summer when we start using the grill more. I think I'll side them with sweet potato fries next time.

The only thing I didn't get right was the whole caramelized onion thing. Mine sort of just burned. Maybe I sliced them too thin? Not thin enough? Oh well... crispy onions tasted great on this too.

Meatloaf Burgers
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 egg, beaten (I used 1/4 cup egg beaters)
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 20 ounces 90% lean ground beef
Caramelized Onions
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cup yellow onions, sliced thin
  • 1 1/2 cup red onions, sliced thin
  • pinch of sugar
Smokey Ketchup
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.

At the same time
heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat in a small saute pan. Add onions and cover pan. Cook until onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. Add sugar and continue to cook for about 10 more minutes, until the onions are golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix ingredients from egg through bread. Stir in cooked onions and garlic. Add meat to bowl and mix well with hands. Mixture will be much wetter than a typical burger mixture. Shape meat into 6 equal patties. Grill or broil to desired level of doneness.

Mix ketchup and
Worcestershire sauce together.

Serve on a light hamburger bun with smokey ketchup and carmelized onions.

Yields 6 servings.
7 WW points each

I leave you with my burned onions...

Sweet BBQ

I love chicken. I am sure you've noticed it. I go through a pack of chicken from Costco in two weeks. Yeah, that's like... a lot of chicken. I don't know why. It's so versatile and easy to work with. I am going to try to branch away from chicken but not anytime soon.

Saturday was a pretty busy day for me. I had a 6 mile run in the morning (Lake Murray) and than quickly showered and ran to a cooking class. After that Joseph wanted to go to an afternoon movie. So cooking something elaborate was out of the question. Out came the crock pot. After going through the many crock pot recipes I have I found a great one that I had all the ingredients for. And I didn't even have to thaw the chicken...

Source: Weight Watchers Crock Pot word doc (no actual source... been floating through the WW message boards)

BBQ Chicken
  • 3 chicken breasts (I used frozen)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons mustard (I used dijon)
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Hot pepper sauce to taste (I used Frank's Red Hot, about two teaspoons)
Put chicken in crock pot and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Mix all other ingredients in a bowl and pour over chicken. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or until cooked thoroughly.

WW points for sauce is 2 pts for 8 servings
I assumed since there was so much sauce left that it could cover 8 breasts... you can count it however you like

I served this with mashed cauliflower... YUM!

Cheesy, Meaty Pasta

As soon as I saw this post in my GR from Amber's Delectable Delights I knew I had to make it. It looked great! I love pasta and spinach together. This recipe wasn't super easy because there were a lot of things going on but I got Joseph in the kitchen :) He helped a lot. Whisking, grating, mixing, etc. I wish I could have gotten an apron on him... just kidding!

The taste was great. I made a lighter version but it was still pretty up there in points (I had 9 activity points to use so I was still way within my daily ration). I couldn't find fat-free ricotta (still keeping my eye out) and I didn't want to sub ICBINB for the butter because I didn't think it was too much butter to really worry about. I'll see what the difference is in points and see how it tastes the next time I make it. Joseph thought that the meatballs didn't have enough flavor. Not sure what else to add to make it more flavorful. Any ideas?

Source: as seen on Culinography

Florentine Mac and Cheese and Roast Chicken Sausage Meatballs
  • 1 pound cavatappi corkscrew shaped hallow pasta (I used 1 package of penne)
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken (I used 1 1/4 pounds or 20 ounces)
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and finely chopped (I used 2 tsp dried rosemary)
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup low fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano Reggiano, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs, plus more, if needed* (I used panko)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided (I forgot to use)
  • 2 boxes, 10 ounces, chopped frozen spinach (I used one box)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup whole milk (I used 1%)
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg, eyeball it
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Place a large pot of water on to boil for pasta. When it comes to a boil, salt it and add the pasta to cook to al dente. Strain pasta reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.

While the water is coming to a boil, in a large mixing bowl combine the chicken, salt and pepper, rosemary, fennel seeds, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano - a rounded handful, egg and bread crumbs. *If the mixture seems too wet, add a handful of bread crumbs and mix together.

Form 8 large round balls, about 3 to 4-inches. Coat balls in a couple of tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and lightly grease a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (I forgot to do this and only sprayed non-stick on the pan). Arrange balls on the baking sheet and roast 17 to 18 minutes until juices run clear.

Defrost spinach in microwave 8 to 10 minutes on "defrost" setting depending on the microwave.
Place the boxes in a shallow dish to catch any run off.

While the meatballs roast, in a medium sauce pot over medium heat, melt butter, whisk in flour, cook 1 minute then whisk in stock and milk, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and thicken 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 cup grated Parmigiano and reduce heat on lowest setting.

Wring spinach completely dry in clean kitchen towel then separate as you add it to the sauce. Also add the reserved 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.

Toss pasta with the spinach-white sauce and adjust seasonings.

Serve Florentine Mac-n-Cheese with 2 meatballs per person along side (I served with one meatball and it was more than enough!).

Serves 8
6 WW points for Florentine Mac-n-Cheese
7 WW points per Meatball

WC April/May Recipe Exchange - Family Recipes

I checked my email when I got home and found that my recipe was sent to me. I was sooo happy to see what my recipe was because a. I didn't want to make anything on my menu for this week and b. I had two chicken breasts in the fridge ready to go so I did something I never do. I didn't procrastinate and made my recipe the same day I got it!

The result? A 5 ingredient recipe (not including s&p) that was simple and tasty! Joseph enjoyed it and asked me to make it again. He suggested making chicken strips next time... and also suggested I make them for lunch this weekend :) Enjoy!

Baked (not Fried) Chicken

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 egg (I used egg beaters)
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle chile powder
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used Panko)

Preheat oven to 350

Place egg in bowl and beat slightly. Add spices. Dip chicken in egg and coat in breadcrumbs

Bake for 25-30 minutes

Serves 4 (1/2 breast per serving)

4 WW points

Chutney Craziness

Tonight was the night. I finally used my McQuade's Fig n' Ginger Chutney for Joseph's belated birthday dinner. I wasn't able to make the Fig & Ginger tart tonight but plan on making it this weekend. I went with some thick pork chops so that they'd be juicy and really soak in the flavor of the chutney. The end result was in one word JUICY!

Although Joseph didn't care for the items in the chutney he mentioned more than once that he enjoyed the flavor and the glaze that the chutney made over the pork chops. Half of one pork chop was more than enough for me! I will definitely be buying some more flavors of McQuade's chutneys.

Source: My head & McQuade Fig n' Ginger Chutney

Pork Chops with Fig & Ginger Chutney Glaze
  • 2 1 1/2 inch pork chops
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp McQuade's Fig n' Ginger Chutney
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Salt and pepper both sides of the pork chops. Place chops in skillet and do not move when you put them in. Cook for 5 minutes and than turn and cook other side for 5 minutes to create a good sear. Add chutney to the top after about 3 minutes on the second side.

Place chops in a baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 155 degrees and let rest for 5 minutes. The pork chops should be very light pink in the middle.

I served the chops with the chutney on the side leaving a nice glaze on the chops. YUM!

Banana blah...

I am on the hunt for a low-fat banana bread recipe and have 5 that I am going to work through over the next few weeks. I had 4 very ripe bananas so I used two in this recipe and am saving two for tomorrow when I attempt another recipe. This one was good except for the fact that the cooking time was way off. 1 hour of cooking = burnt, dry banana bread.

I added mini chocolate chips instead of pecans in order to make it a bit more of a dessert and these are the only reason why I am eating it... slowly :)

Source: Weight Watchers message boards

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 bananas, very ripe
  • ½ cup egg substitute
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans (I subbed mini chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9x5 loaf pan with nonstick spray. In a medium bowl, combine flours, salt and baking soda; set aside. In a large bowl, mash bananas with fork; add egg substitute, honey, flour mixture and pecans. Scrap into prepared pan and bake 1 hour or until tests done.

Yield: 12 servings
2 WW points per serving

Crunchy Parmesan

I had a plan this week. I was going to get back on track and make dinner at least five nights out of the seven. Well... Monday I got a craving for pizza and skipped the gym for some CPK :( Not a good choice on my part. I ate a whole White Pizza. Yeah, a whole one. One serving (two slices) is 6 ww points. Urg. It was damn good but I definitely used up my weekly points.

So yesterday was out too because I had my first Bernette class. My grammy got me a Bernina Bernette 92c for my birthday this year (yeah, I was totally surprised too!) and they give you one free class to learn how to use it. I will definitely be going to more classes. Harriet at Sew Hut was amazingly friendly and warm. She was a really good teacher and I look forward to working with her in the future. I might just decide to branch off into a sewing blog too... Well I was there from 6-9 and had to get dinner before hand so I went to Pick Up Stix and had some Orange Chicken (pretty high up in points too!).

So now it's Wednesday and I'm looking at the menu I picked out for the week and just could not bring myself to make anything I listed. So I went searching for inspiration... My saved recipes in GR, of course! I found this recipe for a simple chicken dish and knew I had to try it. The flavors melded well together and it truly was a 30 minute meal.

I served the chicken with asparagus and a whole grains blend from Trader Joe's.

Source: Two Novice Chefs, One Tiny Pink Kitchen

Parmesan Dijon Chicken

  • 2 large chicken breasts, cut in half (4 pieces total)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used panko breadcrumbs)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used a three cheese blend, Parmesan, Romano, Asiago)
  • 3 T melted butter
  • 2 T Dijon mustard
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix melted butter and Dijon mustard in a large bowl or flat dish. Mix bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in a large Ziploc bag.

Dip the chicken into the butter/mustard mix making sure to thoroughly coat it. Then toss into the bag and coat with crumb mixture. Place chicken in single layer in a rectangular pan sprayed lightly with olive oil Pam.

Bake uncovered 30 minutes, making sure to flip the chicken over halfway through baking. Chicken is done when juice is no longer pink when you cut into the center of the thickest piece.

4 servings (1/2 breast per serving)

7 WW points per serving

It's arrived!

I received my McQuade's Celtic Chutney today! I cannot wait to use it. I will be buying pork chops among many other ingredients tomorrow after work in preparation of the best darn dinner Joseph's ever had. I will be making pork chops with a fig n' ginger chutney glaze and will finish it off with a fig newton like tart. Not sure on the exact recipe yet but I'm working on it.

Fresh Pasta

I finally sucked it up and went through with attempting to make fresh pasta. I definitely thought it was worth attempting because the recipe called for two ingredients: eggs and flour. And it looked sooo fun to make a crater and add eggs .

It was even more fun kneading the dough and making it all smooth. I think that was my favorite part. I got to release all of the stress that built up during the day and kneaded away. The ball of dough began to form and smooth out. Once I was done with kneading I placed the ball of dough in a bowl and kept it covered for about 20 minutes.

After the dough was done resting I was ready to divide the dough into three equal pieces and start passing it through the smooth part of the pasta maker. I passed each piece through a total of three times. The first time I used the widest setting, the second I went a notch up and the third I went one more notch up. The pasta was still pretty thick.

The next step was to pass the pasta through the specific noodle die. I chose the linguine mold/die. I passed each large strip through and than put the formed noodles aside while I put the other two strips through. Once all of the noodles were formed I placed them into boiling water to cook. 5 minutes later I had cooked pasta noodles!

I topped the noodles with a simple marinara sauce and added some olives cause I love olives. It turned out surprisingly well. Next time I will try to get the noodles a bit thinner. I think that the thickness I got them to would be great for a chicken noodle soup. Perhaps I should try to make that this weekend!

Source: Nook & Pantry
Serves 2
6 WW points for pasta only

I won... AGAIN!

Yup. It must be luck because I just keep on winning great stuff from Blake over at This time it is Fig & Ginger Chutney from the folks over at McQuade's Celtic Chutney.

Those who wanted a chance at winning had to post what they would do with the jar of chutney. The best 24 entries won a jar. And I won!!! Check out this post for all of the winning entries and check back here in a week or two for my pork chop and dessert recipe!

Eh... Halibut

I am not sure if I just wasn't enthusiastic about this meal or if it really just wasn't good but both Joseph and I found it lacking in flavor and something else. It didn't quite fill us up (so we had a bit more rice and green beans) and I didn't want to take it to work for lunch the next day. If I don't take left overs for lunch than you know that I didn't like it at all! I am pretty good about giving food a second chance as a left over.

Maybe you'll have better luck with it or will find some way to spice it up... maybe add some lemon pepper?

Source: Recipe Goldmine

Crunchy Garlic Broiled Halibut
  • 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 4 (6 ounce) halibut steaks
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons plain dried bread crumbs

Heat broiler. Line baking sheet with foil.

In mini food processor, combine parsley, oil, garlic, and 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons water; process until finely chopped. Transfer mixture to small bowl.

Place fish on prepared baking sheet; spread each fish steak with thin layer of parsley mixture; reserve remaining mixture.

Broil fish 4 inches from heat, 3 minutes. Remove fish from broiler; leave broiler on.

Add bread crumbs to remaining parsley mixture; stir to combine. Pat an equal amount of bread crumb mixture onto each fish steak; broil 3 minutes longer, until fish flakes easily when tested with fork.

Serves 4.

8 WW points

Spicy Fun!

I don't usually like spicy things but I've been venturing out and testing my limits. Well, tonights dinner was nothing different. I have never had Frank's Red Hot Sauce and tried it tonight. Boy was it good! It wasn't super burn-your-tongue hot, more of a tasty heat. The cornflakes were a great addition to this meal and definitely made the strips crispy good.

Next time I will probably serve the sauce on the side or will do half sauced and half no-sauce because Joseph definitely didn't like the spicy :) This would be great for parties too! I think I'll cut the strips in half and serve them at Joseph's birthday party as an appetizer.

Source: Amber's Delectable Delights

Buffalo-Style Chicken Strips with Ranch Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely crushed cornflakes
  • 1 pound chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/3 cup hot sauce (I used Frank's Red Hot)
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (I used Tabasco)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup fat-free ranch dressing
  • 4 celery stalks, cut into 1/4 x 3-inch sticks
  • 4 carrots, cut into 1/4 x 3-inch sticks
Preheat oven to 400°.

Combine first 6 ingredients in a shallow dish, stirring with a whisk. Place egg whites in a shallow dish. Place cornflakes in a shallow dish. Working with 1 chicken strip at a time, dredge in flour mixture. Dip in egg whites; dredge in cornflakes. Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken strips, flour mixture, egg whites, and cornflakes.

Lightly coat chicken strips with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until done, turning once.

Combine hot sauce, pepper sauce, and Worcestershire in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in butter. Drizzle hot sauce mixture over chicken. Serve with ranch dressing, celery, and carrots.

3 Servings, 6 WW points


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