Weight Watcher Wednesday Balsamic Tomato Slices

Last Friday I attended my first Weight Watcher’s meeting. I was pleasantly surprised. There were probably 20 people there with a wide range of ages from college age to elderly. The leader was friendly, informative and perky. The information shared was helpful and encouraging. That day a woman, probably in her late 60’s, met her goal weight by losing almost 90 pounds. 

I also joined the online site and am tracking my food online. There is an iPhone and iPad app for tracking that makes eating out easy. 

I have decided to use Wednesday’s as a Weight Watcher highlight. I will share my favorite food and recipe blogs that are Weight Watcher friendly and or share a recipe I have tried or one of my old tried and true that I have lightened up and calculated the WW points. 

This week I am breaking down a recipe I have already blogged about and am now calculating the points. Balsamic Tomato Slices is a really low point recipe with a hearty flavor.


Balsamic Tomato Slices

Ingredients:
2 large beefy tomatoes
Balsamic Vinegar
1 bag of Spinach
2 Tablespoons fresh minced garlic
Dash or two of olive oil
1 2-cup bag of shredded Italian Cheese
Fresh ground salt and pepper

Slice two tomatoes in to thick slices and place on cookie sheets. Drizzle Balsamic Vinegar on each of the slices. Let marinate for 1 hour. Bake tomatoes on 350 degrees for 7 minutes.

Add olive oil to a large skillet. Warm on medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir until the garlic is mixed well with the oil.  Remove the long stems from the spinach and add the entire bag to the garlic oil. Saute until spinach is lightly cooked.

Remove tomatoes from oven. Evenly divide the spinach on to the top of the tomato slices. Grind salt and pepper on the tomatoes and spinach. Add cheese to the top. I used about 2/3 of the bag of cheese. 

Broil for about 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.



The only points that have to be counted for is the cheese and the small amount of oil used to saute the spinach. Everything else counts as free points. That is a recipe worth making. I have concluded the Balsamic Tomato Slices are 1 point per slice if 1/8 of a cup of cheese is used and the oil used is 1 TBSP for the bag of spinach. The two large tomatoes should make 12 slices. 

Balsamic Tomato Slices

Last week on Pinterest I ran across this post. It was a photo of a pan of tomatoes and some sparse directions. There was not a link to take you to the original source. Apparently it was taken and added with a phone with no other reference. Well, the photo looked yummy and I decided to give it a try. Since there wasn’t any amounts in the recipe listed, I came up with my own. After tasting it, I decided it was well worth sharing. 

We are so fortunate to just be down the road from a great farm stand where I was able to buy large delicious tomatoes.


Balsamic Tomato Slices

Ingredients:
2 large beefy tomatoes
Balsamic Vinegar
1 bag of Spinach
2 Tablespoons fresh minced garlic
Dash or two of olive oil
1 2-cup bag of shredded Italian Cheese
Fresh ground salt and pepper

Slice two tomatoes in to thick slices and place on cookie sheets. Drizzle Balsamic Vinegar on each of the slices. Let marinate for 1 hour. Bake tomatoes on 350 degrees for 7 minutes.

Add olive oil to a large skillet. Warm on medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir until the garlic is mixed well with the oil.  Remove the long stems from the spinach and add the entire bag to the garlic oil. Saute until spinach is lightly cooked.

Remove tomatoes from oven. Evenly divide the spinach on to the top of the tomato slices. Grind salt and pepper on the tomatoes and spinach. Add cheese to the top. I used about 2/3 of the bag of cheese. 

Broil for about 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

This makes a great side dish to any meat. Enjoy!

sharing:

Mardi Gras Dinner Party with Red Beans and Rice Recipe

We have a group of friends that we have dinner with once a month. There are usually 8 couples but each month is a different mix because of life responsibilities, traveling, etc. Our hosts, Adonia and Michael, did a wonderful job Saturday. Our theme was Mardi Gras. Adonia and Michael are from south Alabama and have attended a Mardi Gras ball, parades, etc. before moving to SC.  They did a wonderful job with decorations, don’t you agree?
Kitchen table.

Living room.

Living room. Isn’t this mask the incredible?

Dining room.

Host and hostess.

Hubby, Stan, and myself.

 All the girls.
 King Michael, because he found the baby in the King Cake.

The girls again.

The guys. Stan didn’t get the memo that it was Men in Black night!

I made Authentic Louisiana Red Beans and Rice with Andouille Sausage.  

Simmering on the stove!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dry kidney beans
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups long grain white rice

Directions

  1. Rinse beans, and then soak in a large pot of water overnight.
  2. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion, bell pepper, garlic, and celery in olive oil for 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Rinse beans, and transfer to a large pot with 6 cups water. Stir cooked vegetables into beans. Season with bay leaves, cayenne pepper, thyme, sage, parsley, and Cajun seasoning. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 2 1/2 hours.
  4. Stir sausage into beans, and continue to simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the rice. In a saucepan, bring water and rice to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve beans over steamed white rice.
Yields 8 servings.
Soak beans in water overnight. Drain, rinse and add fresh water.

Gather all the spices and add to the beans.

Chop the pepper, celery, onion and garlic. Cook in olive oil.

I know this is a weird photo. It is one pound of Chicken Andouille Sausage. I cut in to bite size pieces and added to the beans after simmering for 2 1/2 hours.

Simmering and was so delicious!

Original recipe came from Allrecipes.com at this link.

I have linked up to Craft-O’Maniac Monday Link Party – http://craftomaniac.blogspot.com/
& at Keeping It Simple Link Party   http://craftskeepmesane.blogspot.com/2012/02/motivate-me-monday-109.html
 & at Skip To My Lou link Party http://www.skiptomylou.org/2012/02/13/made-by-you-monday-86/



Recipe Monday – Not Your Typical Baked Beans

Not Your Typical
Baked Beans




A great pot-luck recipe that I am always asked to bring to a dinner is my Baked Beans. They aren’t your typical beans. They have 2 meats and a sweet and savory flavor. I made these for a dinner we went to on Saturday evening and are shown in my casserole with insulated carrier.

Baked Beans

1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cans pork and beans
1/2 brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 cup ketchup
3-4 strips of bacon

Brown ground beef with onion. I boil it and pour off fat with water to help with the fat content. In large mixing bowl, mix ground beef, onion, sugar and garlic powder. Add ketchup; this should loosen the consistency. Add more ketchup, if needed. Pour in to a sprayed casserole dish. Place bacon strips on top. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes, until bacon is done and beans are bubbly.

Baked Beans are great with grilled meat, burgers and hotdogs or pulled pork.

Recipe Monday – Green & White Salad

Green and White Salad
16 oz. frozen baby sweet green peas
16 oz. frozen shoe peg corn (white corn)
6 oz. Parmesan cheese, shredded
Mayonnaise
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Thaw peas and corn. You may do this by running cool water over peas and corn while using a colander or allow to thaw in refrigerator in bags. Important: Do not cook the peas and corn! Mix thawed peas and corn, cheese, salt, pepper and enough mayonnaise to bind mixture together. Serve chilled.
This is great for summer grilling. I serve Green and White Salad with grilled, chicken, pork or beef.

Recipe Monday – Potato Salad

One of my all-time favorite summer sides is potato salad. It goes with any meat entree, especially grilled, and it is delicious with a sandwich. My daughter recently asked for my Potato Salad recipe and she said it was a big hit with all her roommates. Maybe your family would also enjoy it.

Potato Salad

5 large potatoes
3 boiled eggs, peeled and cut up
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1/2-3/4 cup sweet pickles cubed or sweet pickle relish
1/4 – 1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoon sweet pickle juice
salt and pepper to taste

Cut up potatoes in small pieces. You may peel the potatoes prior to cutting up or leave peel on, your choice. Cover with cold water and 2 teaspoons salt. Boil for 15-20 minutes. Drain. Let potatoes cool. I run cool water over them to stop any further softening and drain in the colander. Add onion, pickles, eggs, mayonnaise, pickle juice, salt and pepper. Mix gently with the potatoes. Cool in refrigerator 1-2 hours before serving. Before serving I sprinkle Paprika on top to just “pretty it up”. 🙂

Recipe Monday – Black Eye Pea Salsa

My recipe this week is a delicious and very easy salsa. It is great served with Tortilla Chips, especially the lime ones, or corn chips. My friend, Brenda, served this to me a few years ago and it is now a go-to recipe for our family.

Black Eye Pea Salsa
1 can Bush’s Best Black Eye Peas, drained (black beans can be used instead)

1 can white shoepeg corn, drained

1 can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano flavor

1 can Rotel tomatoes and chili’s

8 ounces Zesty Italian Salad Dressing (can use fat-free)

Chopped onion to taste (I use a half of medium size onion)

Chopped jalapeno to taste

Mix all ingredients together and marinate in refrigerator for at least 1 1/2 hours. I think it is best if it marinates for longer, even overnight. This is great as an appetizer or as a side dish to any grilling menu.

Recipe Monday – Squash Delight

Squash Delight
When my husband and I married 26 years ago, he asked me to get two recipes from his mom. My Lemon Cheese Pie that I have already shared is one of them and this is the second one. It is one of our family favorites. Both my son and daughter love this and often request it. It is such a wonderful side dish and goes with any meat. We had it yesterday with a beef roast. Yummy!
Ingredients:
1 pound yellow squash, washed, sliced and boiled lightly
1/2 cup chopped onion, boiled with the squash
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup grated cheese (we use Velveeta but cheddar is fine)
1/2 stick butter, melted
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Drain squash and onion, add all the ingredients together. Pour in to a 2 quart sprayed casserole dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 – 60 minutes or until bubbly and the top is lightly golden brown.

Recipe Monday – Chicken Broccoli Casserole

My family loves casseroles and really, what’s not to love? You can put together a hearty meal, that includes veggies, carbs and meats, in minutes that feeds an entire family. And most importantly, they taste great! This recipe is loved by my family. I hope you enjoy making and eating it. I forgot to take a picture of the ingredients and even forgot to take a picture with it all together. I did, however, take one after we had served ourselves dinner.

Chicken Broccoli Casserole

1 large box of Rice-a-Roni, chicken flavor

16 oz. frozen broccoli florets

3 chicken breast

1 can cream of chicken soup (I use low-fat version)

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup cheddar cheese

Prepare Rice-a-Roni according to package directions. Boil chicken. Save 1 cup of the broth. Cook broccoli florets slightly. Chop chicken in to bite-sized pieces. Mix soup, mayonnaise and broth thoroughly. Layer rice, broccoli and chicken in a sprayed 9 x 13 inch casserole dish. Pour sauce over the rice mixture. Cover with 1 cup of cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until bubbling, about 20-25 minutes. Serve with fruit and bread and you have a delicious meal. For vegetarians: replace chicken broth with veggie broth and omit chicken.

Recipe Monday – Veg-All Casserole

Veg-All Casserole
2 cans Veg-All, drained
1 can Water Chestnuts, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup mayonnaise
1 stick butter (there is a new 1/2 butter and 1/2 olive oil stick and this works fine and helps reduce fat but the whole butter is, of course, delicious!)
1 roll Ritz crackers, crumbled (we use the whole grain to help cut the fat)
Mix Veg-All, water chestunuts, onion, cheese and mayonnaise. Pour into a sprayed 9 x 13″ casserole dish. Melt butter and mix with crumbled cracker crumbs. Sprinkle on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Makes 8 servings.
This is one of my kids favorite veggie casseroles. It goes great with any meat. It is also very filling for a vegetarian, which my daughter is. She can eat this with a side of fruit and has a good meal. Enjoy.
Bunny Tales

Sweet Sophistication with a Touch of Whimsy

domestic diva, M.D.

my mother raised the perfect housewife...then I went to med school

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