Green Garlic Pasta

Last night was one of those nights when I just did not feel like cooking, so hoping for some inspiration i started flipping through my stack of cooking magazine. I came across this delightful, spring only recipe in the April Issue of Fine Cooking. It is spring only because of the green garlic – if you don’t have access to it, I’m afraid you are out of luck. This dish is a little taste of spring at it’s best, rich and creamy and totally satisfying.

Ingredients:
3 oz green garlic
6 oz whole wheat pasta
2 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP best quality Parmesan

Slice the white part of the green garlic into thin rounds. Juilienne the green part.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt heavily. add pasta and cook 8 – 10 minutes.

In a 12 inch skillet, heat the oil over low heat, add garlic and a pinch of salt, cover and cook 8 min stirring frequently.

When pasta is cooked, use tongs to transfer to skillet with garlic, add 1/4 cup pasta water and stir. Add Parmesan and 2 TBSPs pasta water, remove from heat, cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve in bowls.

Serves 2
9 WW PP

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French Garlic Soup

It’s been raining for what seems like weeks and I’ve been fighting a bug all week so I was craving something soothing and warm and found it in Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan. I’ve made a few changes, added only 3 egg yolks, I also double the herbs cos I figure if you got ’em use ’em. This soup is sure to cure whatever ails you with it’s garlicy goodness.

Ingredients:
1 head of garlic (about 10 cloves), thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
6 sprigs of thyme
12 sage leaves
Salt
3 cups chicken stock
3 cups water
3 egg yolks
8 oz Parmesan cheese, grated

Add garlic to a large Dutch oven, herbs, water, stock and 1 tsp salt an bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cook for 1/2 hour.

whisk together the egg yolks and Parmesan cheese. Whisk in a couple paddles of soup and then whisk into soup. Remov from heat and serve.

Serves 6.

5 WW Points Plus

Baked Artichokes

My step mom sent me this recipe and I just had to share it! She is the best cook I know and is heavily responsible for my becoming a foodie! Of course I added extra garlic because garlic is good. I also added the lemon zest, no sense in green wasting the best part, I also added red pepper flakes for some heat.

Ingredients:

4 cloves garlic per choke
juice of one lemon
Zest of one lemon
1 TBSP olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
Red pepper flakes – to your taste
3 TBSP broth
2 artichokes

Equipment:
heavy foil
Baking dish

Preheat oven to 425.

Mix together lemon juice, zest, oil, broth, pepper flakes and salt.

Place artichokes in center of foil and loosely pull up the sides of the foil, place in baking sheet. Spread leaves apart, stuff with garlic and pour the mixture over petals. Tightly wrap the foil and bake 60-90 minutes.

Serves 2.

2 WW Points Plus.

Herbaceous Chicken Meatballs

These meatballs are filled with herby goodness. I use what ever herbs I have on hand, and use LOTS of ’em!! Even Mr Picky has been know to eat one or two. These meatballs take about 30 minutes total to make so they are great weeknight meal. I usually make a double batch and freeze half for a quick meal on one of those nights I am just to tired to cook.

Ingredients:
3 slices torn white bread
1/3 c milk
3 oz pancetta, finely chopped
1 small onion chopped
1 clove of garlic
3 TBSP fresh sage
3 TBSP fresh chives
3 TBSP Italian parsley
2 tsp thyme

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Tear bread into chucks, place in a bowl and pour milk over, soak for 5 minutes.

Cook pancetta in a small pan over medium heat until crispy.

In a food processor, add the onions, garlic and herbs, process until finely chopped. Add milk/bread mixture an pulse a couple times until combined, pour into large bowl. Add pancetta and chicken, use your hand to mix well.

At this point, you can freeze for later or bake.

Form 12 meatballs and place on a baking sheet. Spray or brush with a little olive oil. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until cooked through and lightly browned.

Serves 4 – 6

3 WW points plus per meatball

Roasted Garlic

Roasted garlic makes almost everything better. When I make it, I cook up a big batch and store some in the freezer for quick access.

Ingredients:
4 – 6 heads of garlic
1 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP water
Salt
Pepper

Preheat oven to 400.

Break up cloves but do not peel. Place garlic in a shallow baking dish in a single layer, toss with oil and water. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and wrap tightly with foil.

Bake for 50 – 60 minutes until garlic is soft.

Cool. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week or in a zip lock in the freezer.

Kale Chips

This recipe is sure to get anyone to eat their veggies. And if that is not enough reason to rush out and buy some kale, here’s on more – it is super easy!

Ingredients:
1 bunch of kale
1- 2 tsp olive oil
Salt

Preheat oven to 250.

Remove leaves from stem, wash in a salad spinner. Make sure the leaves are dry place on a baking sheet in a single layer. Use a olive oil mister to lightly, but evenly coat leaves or drizzle with oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt.

Cook for 15 min, then start checking every 5 minutes – you want them to be crispy like chips, but not burnt.

Serves 2.

1 WW PP per tsp of oil.

Guinness Cake

This cake is yummy and quick! What better treat is there for St Patty’s Day, or any day you are craving cake. I lightened it up a bit, it still tastes yummy and is a little easier on the waistline. If your lucky enough not to have this worry about your waistline use all purpose flour in place of whole wheat and butter instead of apple sauce. But the applesauce does add a nice texture.

Ingredients:
1/4 c butter
1/4 c applesauce, unsweetened
1 c Guinness
6 TBSP cocoa, unsweetened
1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 c all purpose flour
3/4 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 c sour cream (fat-free for me)
1 egg, lightly beaten

Icing/Glaze
1/4 c Guinness
2 TBSP agave syrup (or light corn syrup)
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350

Spray a 9 inch round pan Pam or butter and flour.

Melt butter in a small pan, add Guinness, and apple sauce, stir on low heat and bring to just a boil. Remove from heat and stir in cocoa until well combined.

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, soda and salt. Stir in chocolate mixture, egg and sour cream. Stir until well combined. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake 30 minutes the check with a cake tester PR toothpick, if it comes out clean it is done, if not cook for 5 minute increments until it does – I hate dry cake.

Cool cake completely in pan.

In a small skillet, heat Guinness and syrup, till just starting to boil, remove from heat and stir in chocolate. Let cool to a warm room temp, about 20 minutes, then pour on cooled caked. Let set for one hour.

Serves 8 – 12
WW PP – cut to 12 servings – 6 pts a slice

Roasted Aspargus with Green Garlic

Spring has started in the SF Bay Area, sure it’s still rainy and cool, but this weekends visit to the Hayward Farmers Market had me jumping up and down for joy – the very first green garlic and asparagus of the season had appeared!

So when trying to decide what to cook for dinner I combined my two early spring treats into one wonderful roasted treat.

Ingredients:

1 bunch of asparagus, tough ends snapped off

3 -4 green garlic bulbs, white and light green parts, chopped

2 tsp olive oil

Salt

Preheat oven to 425.

Toss green garlic, asparagus , salt and olive oil together in a roasting pan.

Cook for 15 – 20 minutes until the asparagus starts to brown slightly. Cooking time will vary depending on width of asparagus.

Serves 2 -4
1 WW PP (4 servings)

Dijon Pork cutlets

This is a quick weeknight meal. It works best if you can chill the cutlets after you bread them and before you cook them. Everyone loves it – even picky toddlers have been know to eat these pork cutlets. These are great leftovers too – reheated or cold.

Ingredients:
1 lb pork tenderloin, sliced and pounded to 1/4 inch
3 + TBSP Dijon mustard
1/2 c flour
1 + c panko breadcrumbs
2 + TBSP olive oil
Fresh parsley
Lemon wedges

Prepare 3 trays or bowls, one with flour, one with mustard, and one with panko.

Pat your pork dry and dredge in flour, rub in mustard (you want to coat both side evenly – I use my fingers) then coat with panko, press it in and lay cutlets in a single layer on a plate or tray. Chill for 1 hour.

In a 12 inch skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add cutlets in a single layer, don’t crowd them. Cook for 3 min per side. Remove from heat and drain on a paper towel. You may need to add more oil, do so between batches.

Snip parsley over the top of cooked cutlets and serve with lemon wedges.

*Lighten it up: use 2 tsp oil and spray cutlets with olive oil spray. This version is 5 WW PP for 4 oz cooked cutlet.

Serves 4 – 6
5 WW PP per cutlet

Pumpkin Muffins

Another veggie muffin for my little pumpkin. Once again you can substitute regular flour for my whole wheat, oat bran, flax combo. This time I baked them in a bunny shaped whoopee pie mold.

Ingredients:
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c oat bran
1/2 c ground flax seed
1/2 c brown sugar
1 TBSP baking powder
1 TBSP pumpkin pie spice
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 c milk
1 can pumpkin
1/4 c applesauce
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 c raisins
1/2 c nuts

Preheat oven to 400.

Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

Mix wet ingredients in a large bowl.

Combine wet and dry ingredients, add nuts and raisins.

Bake muffins for 20 – 23 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Makes about 24 muffins.