Wednesday, September 29, 2010

White Bean - Garlic Dip | WW 1 pt

White Bean Dip
Remember when you were little and you used to get bored? Where have those days gone? What I wouldn't give to have a lazy Sunday afternoon where I was just bored, where my mind and hands were not busy doing half a dozen tasks at once, where I just thought to myself, "shit, I'm bored, I wish I had something to do. Remember when you were little and Christmas seemed like it was a lifetime away? Christmas is 87 days away and all I can think is "shit, it will be here before we know it". Why, why is time moving so damn fast right now? Is it because every year that we get older, a year is indeed a smaller piece of your life span on this earth, therefore it actually is a smaller unit of time as it relates to the time you've been alive? Want to hear something that will make you feel like time is on an unfair trajectory? I was running the other morning and happened on the Oldies 103.3 radio station, and, they led of the next block of "oldies" with Prince's iconic hit Party Like It's 1999. I nearly crapped my pants. When did Prince become an Oldie? Oh, and then the next artist...wait for it...Madonna. Madonna. 

I'm speechless, we've become our parents generation and it happened without us even noticing.

Well, if age is inevitable at least this dip will help me get there without orthopedic shoes and elastic waistbands on all my pants.  

White Bean Garlic Dip
6 servings | 1 pt

1/2 garlic bulb
1 cup canned cannellini beans rinsed and drained
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 scallions, minced
1/4 orange or red bell pepper seeded and finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp minced fresh cilantro or parsley
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 - 1/4 tsp cayenne

1. Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees. Cut off a thin slice from the pointed end of the garlic bulb. Wrap the garlic in foil and roast until soft, about 30 minutes. Unwrap the foil and let the garlic cool slightly. Squeeze the garlic from the skins into a food processor or blender. Add 1/2 cup of the beans, the lime juice and oil; puree.

2. Transfer to a medium bowl; stir in the remaining 1/3 cup of beans, the scallions, bell pepper, cilantro, salt and cayenne. Refrigerate covered until the flavors have blended, at least one hour.

Rating = Good (better the next day)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cream of Broccoli Soup | WW 2pts

Broccoli Cream Soup

Every once in a while a recipe surprises you. This was one of those recipes, it was a cold night, I wanted soup, we always have carrots, celery and onion in the house (what's the fancy name for that? Mira-poi? said with a French accent and a twirl of the right hand as you play with your imaginary mustache) whatever, I had all the ingredients, I made it, and we at the whole freaking pot that night. Do yourself a favor, double the recipe. Make extra, freeze it. Whatever, we thought it was that good.

Cream of Broccoli Soup
1 1/2 tbs canola oil
1 inion, chopped
1 small carrot chopped
1/2 celery stack chopped
3/4 tsp dried thyme
1 pound broccoli florets
3 cups fat free chicken stock (of course I used veggie stock)
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup fat free milk
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

1. in a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil. Add onion, carrot, celery and thyme; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and broth. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer covered until broccoli is tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat add lemon juice and let cool for a few minutes.

At this point you can use an immersion blender to blend together or blend in batches in a blender and return to pot. Add milk, salt and pepper and cook for an additional 5 minutes to reheat.

And as you can see from the picture I topped it with freshly shaved Parmesan cheese.

Rating = So Damn Good (especially for Weight Watchers)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Weekend to Make My Eye Stop Twitching

Yellow Flower

Yes, the left eye, the "tired" eye as the eye doctor puts it, has started its Mexican jumping bean dance again. This happens in time of holy shit stress. Many things, too many to count really are stressing the ever living shit out of me right now. But this past weekend...labor day weekend was dedicated to doing whatever the hell I felt like doing at the time. We got in the car, no agenda, no itinerary, no plans and just enjoyed the weekend and our time together. We stopped and smelled the proverbial flowers, and as you can see from above, the not so proverbial, the actual.

We picked blackberries...

Blackberry Picking

We visited the glass blower...

Glass Blowing_2

We found some waterfalls...


We made pizza with our home grown tomatoes and basil, and drank too much wine...

Pizza Margherita

We remembered that most of our labors, are labors of love. 

Friday, September 03, 2010

More from the Garden Goodness | Potato Leek Soup

Potato Leek Soup 

My mind has been in a million directions lately, I've been canning, cooking, gardening, working, stressing, running, meditating, grinding my teeth, getting a zit, flipping through cookbooks. I just don't have a singular stream of consciousness right now, its all jumbled hence the randomness of these thoughts and observances:

1. I feel like the worst place to get a zit on your body is right where the leg meets the ass, because this is where your underwear elastic hits and it will bug the ever living shit out of you until it goes away.

2.  I saw a sign on the side of the highway, it was bright purple and it screamed in large letters FREEDOM FERTILITY. This is fine, its the fact that on the sign there was an image of what I think was supposed to be a lively sperm swimming up stream, but it ended up looking like an angry octopus, you know, right before it shoots you in the face with poisonous ink. I don't think that was the message the fertility place was looking to send. Just really bad marketing on their part.

3.  I was driving the other day and happened to look in my rear view mirror and saw the woman driving the car behind me (with her windows up) take an enormous can of aerosol hairspray out of her bag and spray her hair for a good 45 seconds - while she was driving, with the windows up, I mean the only think that would have made that worse is if she was smoking a virginia slim or something like that.

4. Chris has informed me that I fart a lot in my sleep. He could be making this up, but I tend to believe him. Thank goodness I'm asleep and don't have to deal with that.

5.  I haven't had a pedicure in forever. My feet suck right now.

6.  George Clooney is still wicked do-able

7.  The garden is still producing. The other day when the sky was all angry and the temperatures dipped 30 degrees, I went out and picked four beautiful leeks and created this wonderful creamy rich soup to warm the bones. It was even better the next day.

Low Fat Potato Leek Soup
2 tsp canola oil 
2 medium shallots, minced 
3 medium leeks, sliced (white and light green parts only) 
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces 
1 cup fat-free, reduced sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth) 
1 2/3 cups fat free milk 
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh snipped chivevs
Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add shallots, leeks and potatoes, and cook on a low to medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken or vegetable broth and milk, and simmer half covered on a medium heat for 30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. [Transfer vegetables and some of the liquid to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add more of the remaining liquid until desired consistency.] I have a handy dandy motor boat blender so I just blended it in the bowl.

Ladle into 4 soup bowls; season with black pepper and add chopped chives or fresh parsley. 
Per Serving: Calories 170, Calories from Fat 24, Total Fat 2.7g (sat 0.3g), Cholesterol 2mg, Sodium 211mg, Carbohydrate 29.9g, Fiber 3.7g, Protein 6.7g
4 servings = 3pts each