Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Shrimp and Squash Vindaloo - WW 5 points plus

This is what you get as an image for this meal for two reasons. 
1. The dish looked like yellow hell in pictures
2. Chris ate it so damn fast I really didn't have time to take pictures. Damn man take time to chew the damn stuff.

Needless to say. Awesome. That is if you like shrimp and squash and curry of you don't like that stuff than this would just suck for you, pretty much. Anyway, I love WW recipes that Chris really enjoys, it makes this whole trying to lose my fat ass thing a bit easier.

One thing I will say is that you don't need acorn squash for this - go ahead and use butternut if you want. I am actually also thinking about making a vegetarian version of this with cauliflower instead of shrimp, I think that would be very good as well. I served this over quinoa (is that spelled right), but I think cous cous would have been better, (adding this will add to the points value of this dish) I really didn't' think it needed anything, but Chris wanted to lay it on a nice bed of carbohydrates.

And another thing. I am officially sick and tired and then sick again of all this snow. We are getting another 6-10" tonight. Lovely. And it always comes during my morning or evening commute.
When its not snowing, its ass biting cold, like -2 degrees cold. I love that too. We have officially escalated the 15 year retirement plan to 12, I can't stand this weather. I want grape vines and farms that produce all year round, not this cold arctic tundra that is the I-95 corridor.

Shrimp and Squash Vindaloo | 5 WW points plus

2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp Ground Cumin Seed, or other brand
1/4 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, optional
1 medium acorn squash
1 spray(s) cooking spray
3 medium shallot(s), peeled and minced
2 clove(s) (medium) garlic clove(s), minced
2 cup(s) vegetable broth, fat-free, sodium-free
1 pound(s) shrimp, medium-size, peeled and deveined

In a small bowl, stir the vinegar, curry powder, cinnamon, cumin, ginger, salt, and cayenne, if using, until the mixture forms a paste. Set aside.

Cut the squash in half along its "equator"; scoop out the seeds with a small spoon, preferably a grapefruit spoon. Set the squash cut side down on a cutting board; use a vegetable peeler to peel off the skin, shaving along the natural arc of the flesh. Cut the flesh into 1-inch cubes, repeat with the second squash half, and set aside.
Spray a large saucepan with nonstick spray and set over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic; cook, stirring often, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Do not let the garlic brown. Add the prepared curry paste; cook, stirring constantly, for 15 seconds.
Add the squash; cook, stirring all the while, until coated in the spices, about 20 seconds.
Pour in the broth; bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer slowly until the squash is tender, about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the shrimp. Cover again and cook until the shrimp are pink and firm, about 3 minutes. Yields about 1 1/4 cups per serving. 

Rating = So Damn Good

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Barrel Fever | Pino Evil

Its been a long time since I've written a Barrel Fever post, and believe you me it has not been for lack of drinking wine, its just the fact that once I get a few glasses in me, I simply don't remember to take a picture of the wine label, and then poof, the wine is gone. We've literally drank dozens of bottles since my last post, whenever that was. You know what sucks, I don't even have a good wine for my return to wine blogging. This one sucked so bad that I had to post it so that you would not be tempted to pick up a bottle of this shit if you saw these three little monkeys calling out to you from the label. Walk away, and pick up any other bottle.

If you know anything about Pinot Noir, you know it's distinctive, the nose, is always lovely and the palate has the most distinct lingering flavor. This, this had absolutely no Pinot characteristics and was just flabby and unremarkable from nose to palate to finish. 

Yuck Yuck Yuck.

I think I paid $8 - totally not worth it.

Rating = Ugh 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Creamy Corn Chipotle Dip | WW 1 Point +

Creamy Chipolte Corn Dip

Just in time for the Pats game this weekend, an awesome, figure friendly dip. I made this the other night because I had a can of chipotle chilis in adobo opened from a recipe I had made the day before. This little number is so smoky and creamy, you'd never guess it was only 1 point. Serve with vegetable dippers and this is a seriously good thing to nosh on while the Patriots take on the Jets. Maybe I'll go all barefoot the day of the game in order to try and distract Rex Ryan. We all know about his foot fetish. I have to admit, I think Sanchez is hot though. 

Creamy Corn Chipotle Dip
3 Tbsp = 1 points plus

4 oz fat-free cream cheese   
2 item(s) canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeded   
3 cup(s) frozen corn kernels, or fresh corn kernels*   
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice   
1 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin Seed
1/2 tsp table salt 

Place all ingredients in a food processor fitted with the chopping blade; 
pulse a few times, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and process until 
smooth. To store, spoon into a medium bowl, cover, and refrigerate for up 
to 3 days; return to room temperature before serving. Yields about 3 
tablespoons per serving.

I actually think this recipe is better the next day, so make ahead if you can.
I also stirred in a bit of chopped fresh cilantro to mine, I think it made it a bit better than the original recipe.

Rating - Damn Good

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Back in the Saddle Again | Low Fat Mexican Vegetable Soup

Back in the saddle. As in back into my fat pants. It all started with the trip to Mexico, when it seemed perfectly reasonable to order mudslides for breakfast, because calories don't count in a foreign country, especially not Mexico. Then it was Halloween candy, Thanksgiving, Holiday Parties (read cookie swaps and egg nog martini's), then Christmas itself, and then to top it off New Years. I've put on the obligatory you know, 8 pounds of pure adipose tissue. So, I joined weight watchers again, it worked the last time I needed to lose weight, let's hope it doesn't fail me now. 

Not to mention that I turn the big 35 in a couple months - one of my good friends Julie also turns 35 a few weeks after me. We've begun what we are calling the 35 IS THE NEW 25 challenge - the challenge is to look as good at 35 as we did when we were 25 - its cardio, eating well, weights, etc. No all clean living though, Lord knows there's no way on this green earth that I'd give up wine for anything, but I am making sure that I "plan" my diet for the days that I want to have wine, which is pretty much Wednesday through Saturday, (I hit the treadmill a little harder those days) and I also start training for my May 1st half marathon next month, so that should help. I hope. 

Ok. So this soup has one points plus value, I get 29 points a day, so the days that I make this one of my meals makes it easy to get a couple glasses of wine into my diet and daily points allowance usage.

There are three versions of this soup, Italian, Mexican and Asian, I have made the Italian and Mexican, both great, but very different from each other. This is the Mexican version - very good, very hot - if you like it hot and spicy, make this, but serve it with beer, the only wine that would work with this in the least bit would be a sweeter Riesling to help cut through the heat - but seriously, just drink a Dos Equis. 

Mexican Vegetable Soup | 1 Points Plus Value
2 cup(s) green snap beans, fresh, cut into bit-size pieces   
3 clove(s) garlic clove(s), minced (medium)   
2 small zucchini, cubed   
14 oz canned diced tomatoes, Mexican-style preferred   
1 medium spanish onion, chopped    
1 medium green pepper(s), chopped    
1 cup(s) chopped tomatillos    
1 medium jalapeno
1/2 medium poblano chile, finely chopped   
1 tsp fresh oregano   
1/2 tsp Durkee Ground Cumin Seed, or other brand   
6 cup(s) vegetable broth   
1/2 cup(s) roasted red peppers, water-packed (about 2 peppers)   
1 Tbsp canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce   
1/2 cup(s) cilantro, fresh, chopped   
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice   
3/4 tsp table salt   

Place green beans, garlic, zucchini, tomatoes, onion, green pepper, 
tomatillos, jalapeno, poblano, oregano, cumin and broth into a large soup 
pot. Puree roasted peppers with chipotle in adobo sauce in a blender or 
food processor; stir into soup. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat; 
reduce heat to low, and simmer, partly covered, for about 10 minutes. 
Stir in cilantro, lime juice and salt. Serve. Yields about 1 cup per serving.