Broccolini with Paprika, Garlic & Almonds


This weekend I found the most beautiful broccolini at the farmers market and wanted to do something special with it. The smokiness of the paprika really adds something special to this dish – thanks to Epicurious for the inspiration.

TBSP olive oil, divided
1/4 c toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 pounds broccolini, rinsed
1/3 c water
1 to 2 tsp Sherry wine vinegar

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add almonds. Stir until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and paprika. Sprinkle with coarse salt; sauté 1 minute. Add broccolini; sprinkle with coarse salt. Add 1/3 cup water. Cover and boil until crisp-tender and still bright green, about 4 minutes. Pour off any water. Season to taste with coarse salt and pepper. Mix in 1 to 2 teaspoons vinegar. Transfer broccolini to bowl and serve.

4 servings.
3 WW PP per serving.

Chard with Raisins and Pine Nuts


This recipe is amazing!! Everyone was fighting over it, even the kiddos. This recipe really brings out the sweetness of the chard and the pine nuts make it extra special.

2 TBSP raisins
2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
1 14- to 16-ounce bunch Swiss chard, thick stems removed
1/4 c finely chopped shallots
2 cloves garlic mined
2 chopped seeded tomato
1 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
2 TBSP pine nuts
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Cook Swiss chard in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Drain well. Pat with paper towels to remove excess water. Finely chop chard. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and minced garlic and sauté until onion is tender, about 3 minutes. Add tomato and parsley and stir 1 minute. Increase heat to high; add pine nuts, nutmeg, raisins, and chard and stir 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4 servings.
3 PP per serving

Bacon, Cheddar & Leek Souffle


I love soufflés, they are not as hard as everyone thinks, and really, what is better then eggs and cheese?

1/2 c thinly sliced leeks
2 TBSP unsalted butter
6 slices of lean bacon, cooked, drained, reserving 2 tablespoons of the fat, and crumbled
1/3 c all-purpose flour
1 1/3 c milk
cayenne to taste
1 1/2 c coarsely grated Cheddar
4 large eggs, separated
Cream of tartar
1/4 c finely grates Parmesan cheese

In a 2 – 3 qt pan cook the leeks in the butter and the reserved bacon fat over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened, stir in the flour, and cook the roux stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the milk in a stream, whisking, and boil the mixture, whisking, for 2 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cayenne, the Cheddar, and salt and pepper to taste, whisking until the cheese is melted. Add the egg yolks, 1 at a time, whisking well after each addition, and whisk in the bacon.

In a bowl with an electric mixer beat the egg whites with a pinch of cream of tartar until they hold stiff peaks, whisk about one fourth of them into the cheese mixture, and fold in the remaining whites gently but thoroughly.

Prepare souffle dish: generously butter dish, then pour in parmesan cheese, cover with plastic wrap and shake to distribute the cheese.

Pour the mixture into a buttered 1 1/2-quart soufflé dish and bake the soufflé in the middle of a preheated 375°F. oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until it is puffed and golden.

Serve the soufflé immediately.

Serves 4.

Spiced Spaghetti Squash


It’s Monday Night, I had to work later than usual and I need an idea for dinner quick… I knew I had a spaghetti squash in the fridge but was missing my usual go to ingredients, so I turned to Epicurious for a little inspiration and found something wonderful and easy. I added extra spices and swapped olive oil for butter, and it came out with a wonderful spicy burn!

1 spaghetti squash
6 TBSP olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp cayenne
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
3 -4 green onions chopped

Pierce squash (about an inch deep) all over with a small sharp knife to prevent bursting. Cook in microwave oven on high power in 4 minute incremuntapped until squash feels slightly soft when pressed, 16 – 20 min depending on the size of your squash. Cool squash for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt butter in aAdd garlic and cook, stirring, until golden, about 1 minute. Stir in spices and salt and remove from heat.

Carefully halve squash lengthwise (it will give off steam) and remove and discard seeds. Working over a bowl, scrape squash flesh with a fork, loosening and separating strands as you remove it from skin. Toss with olive oil, spices, onion and cilantro.

4 servings
4 WW PP per serving.

Bacon and Chard Pasta


Pasta with veggies and bacon – what could be better? This dish comes together super quick and is perfect for a weeknight meal, or weekend where you feel too tired to cook. I wash and remove the stems from the chard the day I buy it from the farmers market them wrap it in a couple paper towels and store on a Tupperware container till I need it, it will last over a week this way. The best past all the prep work is done ahead of time.

1 lb pasta
6 oz bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
1 large red onion, halved, sliced
1 large bunch Swiss chard, stemmed, chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/3 c grated Parmesan cheese

Cook bacon in heavy large pan over medium heat until beginning to crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Drain all but 2 tablespoons bacon drippings from skillet. Add onion and sauté over medium-high heat until softened, about 7 minutes. Add Swiss chard and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add pasta cooking liquid to skillet. Toss until chard is wilted and tender, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle vinegar over; cook 1 minute.

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.

Add pasta to sauce in pan and toss to coat. Sprinkle with bacon and cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

6 servings
7 WW PP per serving.

Ricotta Spaghetti Squash


This dish is garlicy cheesy goodness and what no pasta!?!? What could be better??

1 small spaghetti squash (about 2 pounds)
1 c part skim ricotta
5 clove garlic, mashed
1 TBSP olive oil
6 to 8 fresh sage leaves
Salt and pepper
1/4 c pine nuts, toasted

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Pierce the whole squash in several places with a knife or fork, place it in a baking dish, and bake until flesh is tender (easily pierced with a fork), about 60 to 75 minutes.

Remove squash from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a little bit of oil in a small pan. Quickly fry sage leaves until crispy but not burnt. Crumble sage leaves into a large bowl and combine with ricotta and garlic. Set aside.

Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Pull a fork through the flesh to separate and remove the strands from the shell. Add to bowl with ricotta mixture.

Combine squash and ricotta mixture and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle with pine nuts before serving.

4 servings.
5 WW PP per serving.

Gnocchi with Tomato Basil Sauce


This is a great weeknight meal. I start the sauce while I’m packing lunches and get food into my boys bellies. It’s tasty and quick. I use store bought gnocchi because with work and kids I just don’t have to make my own.

1 package of gnocchi
28 oz canned tomatoes
1 onion, minced
4 cloves of garlic minced
1 TBSP olive oil
1 bunch of basil, chopped
Red pepper flakes
4 TBSP pine nuts
Grated Parmesan cheese

In a 3 qt pot heat oil over medium heat, add garlic and onion, cook for 3 – 4 minutes until garlic just starts to brown. Add tomatoes, chili flakes and basil. Cook for about 30 minutes on low heat.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add gnocchi. When they start to float to the top, move them to sauce pan.

Top with pine nuts and cheese.

Serves 4.

Spam Sushi Roll


I admit it – fried spam is tasty especially coupled with soy sauce. This is my take on spam sushi aka Musubi, I spiced it up a bit by added sriracha sauce. I also made a veggie roll with cucumber and avocado.

1 recipe sushi rice (a la Alton Brown)
1 can Spam, sliced into 8 slices and the slice them lengthwise.
Soy Sauce

Make sure sushi rice is at room temperature.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat, add spam and cook for about 5 minutes until nice and crispy on the underside. Flip the spam over and pour soy sauce on top of each slice, about 1/2 tsp. cook for 4 more minutes and remove from pan.

Spread sushi rice on nori, add spam and a drizzle of sriracha sauce, then roll – a $1.99 sushi matt comes in really handy here. Slice and serve.

Makes about 4 rolls.