Gazpacho Soup

I first tried gazpacho when I was on my honeymoon in Jamaica. The soup was presented in  these little wine glasses and it was delicious. It almost reminds me of eating salsa with a spoon, although the soup is  blended and salsa is kind of chunky. Gazpacho is an easy way to use up all those summer tomatoes that are growing in your garden. This soup freezes well too. I didn’t have any storage containers to freeze food in, but luckily  we had some freezer bags. I need to buy some more storage containers sometime soon.

For Christmas last year, my friend got me this great recipe book for canning and preserving foods called Preserving the Harvest. There’s so many great recipes I want to try for homemade BBQ sauce, ketchup, preserved lemons, and different types of jams. This gazpacho recipe is from this book.

 

Servings: 10 (1 cup)

Calories: 93, Fat: 3g, Carbohydrates: 16g, Fiber: 3, Protein: 0

Ingredients:

6 medium tomatoes, peeled, cored, and chopped
5 cups of vegetable juice
2 medium cucumbers
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon of fresh dill (I used a tsp of dried dill)
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon of hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon of pepper

1. Combine all ingredients and toss until the vegetables are evenly coated with oil, vinegar and herbs.

2. Pour into two 1 1/2-quart freezer containers. Seal, label well, and freeze for up to 3 months.

3. To serve, thaw in the refridgerator overnight and store chilled.

Strawberry Ice Pops + A Giveaway!

What’s a good and healthy refreshing treat to have on a really hot summer’s day?  An ice pop, of course! And to celebrate, I’m giving away this cook book with a ton of different ice pop recipes in it called Pops! Ice Treats for Everyone. There’s a lot of cool looking flavors in it like pumpkin pie ice pops and I noticed there’s even one that has vegetables in it. The book even shows you how to make the ice pops that  look like there’s different herbs and fruits floating around inside of them using clear liquids.

To apply for this giveaway:

1. Like my page on facebook.

2. Comment and tell me what your favorite ice pop flavor is.

Please be sure to leave an email address when you comment to, so that I can get a hold of you.

Contest Ends on August 1st, 2012. I will pick one lucky random winner.

 

I’ve made two flavors since I’ve got that ice pop mold of mine and I figured out a good way to get them out of the molds. You have to submerge them in some cold water or else if you submerge them in hot water the ice pops start to melt. That’s a good thing to remember with any ice pop mold. Not just the one that I have.

These strawberry ice pops are probably the best ones I’ve ever made yet and there’s so many more flavors to make. I’ll be posting some more through out the contest! Enjoy.

Strawberry Ice Pops

4 cups of fresh strawberries, cut

3/4 cup of sugar

1 cup of water

Juice of one lime

Directions:

In a small sauce pan boil the sugar and water together until you no longer can see any of the sugar. Meanwhile while the sugar and water mixture is boiling, cut the strawberries. Puree the strawberries in a blender and pour the sugar syrup into the mix. Pour strawberry mixture into ice pop molds and freeze.

Mango Chile Lime Ice Pops

My new ice pop mold finally came in on Monday morning and it’s great. I’m glad I bought the thing. The mold is very sturdy and to get the ice pops out all you need to do is submerge the mold in some hot water for awhile. I bought this one here, it was only 15.00 on amazon.com.

I found some really ripe, and I mean really ripe mangos at the grocery store. In order to find a ripe mango, I look for ones that are orange and even have a little bit of yellow on the skin. One of the chefs on food network once said that they would get a mango on a stick with a little bit of chile powder on it. That gave me the idea to put in a little bit of chile powder in the mango puree.. That combo sounds weird, I know… but trust me. These are pretty darn good.

Servings: 6

Points Plus: 3

Calories 103, Fat 0.3g, Sodium 2mg,  Carbohydrate 27.1g ,  Fiber 2.2g, Protein 0.61g

 

Ingredients:

3 ripe mangoes

1/2 teasspoon of chile powder

juice of half a lime

1/4 cup of sugar

1/2 cup of water.

Directions:

1. In a medium sauce pan, boil the sugar and water together until the sugar has evaporated. Let Cool. While the sugar water is cooling puree the mango in a food processor and add in the chile and lime. Once the sugar water is cool add that into the mango mix.

2. Use one of those measuring cups that have an angle to it, so that you can pour it into the ice molds easier. Freeze and enjoy.

Cake Batter Pancakes

My birthday is tomorrow, and I’ll be 31 years old. I thought I’d kick start my birthday with some cake batter pancakes for dinner. Yes, for dinner. I absolutely love anything that is birth cake flavored especially ice cream and yogurt. These pancakes hit the birthday cake craving spot, and instead of making a 2 layer cake this saves on the calories and sugars.

I used a tablespoon of truvia instead of sugar for these and they still tasted sweet. They’re so pretty with all the rainbow colored sprinkles on top. Tonight, I’m going to make an ice cream cake, to bring to work tomorrow for Treat Day.

Servings:12

Points plus per pancake: 3 (from WW points plus calculator online)

Recipe from How Sweet it Is.

Cake Batter Pancakes

makes about 12 pancakes

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup yellow cake mix
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 cups milk (I used vanilla almond milk)
assorted sprinkles

Combine flour, cake mix, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl and mix.
Add 1 cup of milk, egg and vanilla extract and stir until smooth.
You want the batter to look like regular pancake batter; not too thin, not too thick.
This will vary greatly on the brand of cake mix you use.
Start with 1 cup of milk and add more if needed.
I suggest a small taste test as well to see if the pancakes are flavored enough.

Preheat a skillet on medium heat (I use an electric grilled and turn it to 250 degrees).
Fold desired amount of sprinkles into batter.
Pour batter in 1/4 cup measurements onto skillet and let cook until bubbles form on top,
about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook for 1 minute more. Serve with vanilla glaze.

Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
assorted sprinkles

Mix milk, extract and powdered sugar until glaze forms. You may need to add a little more sugar or water/milk to reach desired consistency. Mix into glaze and drizzle on pancakes.

3 Point Enchilada Fail!

You know how Weight Watchers has those commercials where they mention the 2 point Enchiladas? I’m not sure whether or not it’s 3 points or 2. Anyways… I thought that was too good to be true. I searched and searched for a recipe online and couldn’t find one.  I also thought the only way to have that done was to use some kind of vegetable as the tortilla. Then,  I came across this tortilla that was only 50 calories and 7 grams of fiber. It’s a Smart & Delicious tortilla and it’s good otherwise. It’s not good when it gets soaked in Enchilada sauce, then it becomes soggy. Yuck. It wasn’t very good. Anyways, I tried. I really did. Maybe someone out there might like soggy tortillas. ;) It’s good for making tacos or quesadillas however.I’m not going to give up though .;)

Also I wondered what greek yogurt would taste like as a filling since it’s used in place of sour cream sometimes. Bobby Dean always uses it too it seems. Anyways.. I just decided to post it because not all recipes work out the way you want them too.

Here’s the recipe if you decide to go ahead and give it a try.

Ingredients

3/4 cup of greek yogurt
1/2 cup of 2% Mexican cheese or reduced fat Mexican cheese
2 tablespoons of salsa
1 teaspoon of taco seasoning
6 servings of Low Carb High fiber tortillas such as Smart & Delicious
3/4 cup of Enchilada sauce

Extra toppings
Cheese
Pico de gallo

In a bowl mix the yogurt, cheese, salsa, and taco seasoning. Place about two tablespoons of the mixture into a tortilla and roll it up.
You don’t have to fold in the edges at all. Spray some cooking spray on top and the enchilada sauce over the tortillas.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Top with extra cheese (more points or pico de gallo.

 

 

 

Alton Brown’s Meatloaf

Ben and I are fans of Alton Brown and just recently, Ben bought his cookbook online. We’ve been wanting to try the meatloaf recipe, but didn’t want to spend oodles of money on ground chuck and sirloin. I subbed extra lean ground turkey for this recipe and loved the taste. The meatloaf however was over cooked. I don’t know what my problem is with cooking meat to the right temperature? We had a thermomoter too and I was pulling it out to check what the temp was after 30 minutes. Not even close. I even googled to see what the temperature of the meat should be when the turkey was cooked through. One website said 165. Think that’s a little bit too high. Alton’s recipe said 155.

The great thing about this recipe is, that it’s only 3 points per slice using extra lean turkey. I sliced it into 10 equal servings. You could have 2 slices for only 6 points too or make a turkey meatloaf sandwich.

Chop your veggies.

Process the bread croutons and spices together until they look like this.

Next, process the vegetables after you’ve taken out the bread crumbs.

Mix everything together in a bowl. It’s ok to use your hands.

Shape your meat loaf into a loaf form so that it looks like the picture above. Use a bread pan to help you.

We had meatloaf and french fries.

Servings: 10 (That’s per loaf. This recipe makes 2, and I halved the recipe. )

Points Plus: 3 (per slice, cut into 10 equal portions)

 

Ingredients

6 ounces garlic-flavored croutons
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and broken
3 whole cloves garlic
1/2 red bell pepper
18 ounces ground chuck
18 ounces ground sirloin (I used extra lean ground turkey)
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg

For the glaze:

1/2 cup catsup
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Dash Worcestershire sauce
Dash hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon honey

Directions

Heat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a food processor bowl, combine croutons, black pepper, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and thyme. Pulse until the mixture is of a fine texture. Place this mixture into a large bowl. Combine the onion, carrot, garlic, and red pepper in the food processor bowl. Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped, but not pureed. Combine the vegetable mixture, ground sirloin, and ground chuck with the bread crumb mixture. Season the meat mixture with the kosher salt. Add the egg and combine thoroughly, but avoid squeezing the meat.

Pack this mixture into a 10-inch loaf pan to mold the shape of the meatloaf. Onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, turn the meatloaf out of the pan onto the center of the tray. Insert a temperature probe at a 45 degree angle into the top of the meatloaf. Avoid touching the bottom of the tray with the probe. Set the probe for 155 degrees.

Combine the catsup, cumin, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce and honey. Brush the glaze onto the meatloaf after it has been cooking for about 10 minutes.

Strawberry & Blueberry Shortcakes

I found a biscuit recipe on Weight Watchers site and wondered why it was so low in points. 1 biscuit was only 3 points. The canned biscuits I believe are 5 points a piece (and that’s only for low fat ones) The reason why these were only 3 points was because the recipe only called for 2 tablespoons of butter versus a regular biscuit recipe that calls for a stick and a half of butter sometimes. To my surprise the biscuits were actually quite tasty with out all the extra fat added in it.

With the biscuits, I made shortcakes. the berries at the grocery store weren’t super ripe either so I had to add some sugar in them. That helped a little bit. Use either fat free or light cool whip in place of heavy cream and enjoy.

Biscuit Recipe from Weight Watchers

1 cup(s) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp table salt
2 Tbsp salted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/2 cup(s) Friendship Lowfat buttermilk, or other brand
1 spray(s) cooking spray

Berry Filling
1 pint of strawberries
1 cup of blueberries
2 tablespoons of sugar (if needed)

1 container of light cool whip.

Instructions

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife.

Combine flour and next three ingredients in a bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk; stir just until moist.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 4 or 5 times. Roll dough to 1⁄2-inch thickness; cut with a 21⁄2-inch biscuit cutter. Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450°F for 10 minutes or until golden. Serve warm with light butter and honey, if desired (may affect POINTS value). Yield: 7 servings (serving size: 1 biscuit).

Spoon on about 2 tablespoons of coolwhip and some fruit mixture.

Baked Onion Rings

I’ve tried different recipes for baked onion rings and this one seems to work out the best. The egg whites make the bread crumbs stick better to the onion rings. I’ve tried using buttermilk and dipping the onions in eggs and that didn’t seem to work at all. It was very frustrating and then I was even more surprised to learn that you can make your own meringue by just using meringue powder that you can get at the craft stores like Michael’s and hobby lobby. Overall, I was satisfied with using egg whites  even though the bread crumbs didn’t coat the onions completely.

I like Panko bread crumbs, not the regular bread crumbs that come really finely grinded. Hungry Girl likes to use Fiber One cereal a lot for some reason, but use whatever you like. I’ve seen people use potato chips.You can add whatever spices you like to this as welland if you like it a little bit spicier add in more cayenne pepper. I used 1 large onion and calculated the serving size to be 2 from just that onion. 3 points isn’t that bad for half the onion, now is it?


Calories 215.7 | Fat 2.3 g | Carbohydrate 36.5 g | Fiber 3.1 g | Protein 11.6 g
Servings: 2 (half the onion)
Weight Watcher Points: 3

Ingredients
Jenna’s Weight Watcher Recipes

1 large onion
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon cayanne pepper
salt & pepper
3 large egg whites, beaten until stiff peeks form
cooking spray

Instructions

1. In a stand mixer, beat egg whites until peaks form.

2. While egg whites are beating, cut onion rings into large ring forms. In a small pan
add the bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.

3. Dip onions into egg white mixture, and then into bread crumbs. Pat the bread crumbs
onto the onion rings if the bread crumbs aren’t sticking well.

4. Bake at 450 for 15 minutes or until onion rings start to brown. Use Cooking spray to get the onions crispier if needed. I didn’t really need this.