I made cauliflower steaks. I sliced about 1-inch thick pieces. Of course, I was really only able to get two or three steaks and the rest fell apart. I tried cooking them two different ways and I tried with BBQ sauce (Sweet Baby Rays) and just salt and pepper. The ones BBQ ones are the right and the plain are left. I did it with the grill pan and in the broiler. Obviously, the ones with lines are the grill pan.
For both with and without BBQ sauce, the broiler did a better job. It has more charring, was more cooked through, and had better flavor. For the ones with the BBQ sauce, the broiler was noticeably better! The sauce caramelized better and it was more flavorful. I did them for 13 minutes on the first side and about 12 on the second
One thing I discovered when eating a few pieces raw was that salt is really key to bringing out the sweetness of the cauliflower. While these were pretty good, I still think the curry kind is better!
I made a pretty simple meal. I grilled (with the grill pan) a salmon burger and I steamed about 4 oz of frozen shrimp. The shrimp were overcooked a lost a lot of flavor. I think this is because i cooked them from frozen.I also steamed a bunch of sugar snap peas. Many sites (and Meredith) recommended de-stringing them. I could t figure out how to do that nor did I taste a string. So I just ate then as is. I liked how simple they were to make (I ate cutting green beans). I may try doing them in the pan next time.
Points for the meal were 4 for the salmon burger and 2 for shrimp. Not bad!!!
I was going to eat out when I remember I had a spaghetti squash I haven’t eaten. I bought a pack of Italian chicken sausage at Target (2.2 points plus/link and 5 links/package). I also bought Classico Tomato Basil sauce (1 point plus/serving, 5 for the whole thing. Lowest one available). I halved the raw squash, deseeded it, lammed it, added salt and pepper, and microwaved it for 13 minutes. Pretty standard. I sliced the sausage into pieces and did it in the pan for a while. It was cooking too much on the bottom and not enough all around so I threw it in the broiler. Once the squash was done, I microwaved the sauce. Once it was all done, I mixed it all together with some parm cheese. It made two very large servings! It was also extremely good. I do not know if it was the sauce; the sausage or the mix, but I liked it a lot and very low points! ( (2.2+1)*5+(some for the cheese)=~18 total). So 9 points for each meal!
Meredith and I made Blue-Hubbard Squash Croquettes following the recipe below with a few changes. Note that she directed so I may miss a thing or two:
- Added some chopped bacon (Black Forrest aged/smoked bacon from WF. Very, very good)
- Blue hubbard squash
- Chopped jalapeño (with seeds. nice spice)
- Different cheeses (Ricotta Salata and Cinnamon Toscano)
- Served with home-made, fat-free tzatziki instead of yogurt sauce
- bacon grease instead of olive oil
As usual, we used the recipe but didn’t exactly measure everything. They came out very good. A bit reminiscent of butter-nut squash falafel more than anything else. The bacon got a bit lost in the mix which was unfortunate since it was so good alone. It was a good way to use up the squash which was kinda lacking in flavor alone.
We also added some asparagus to the pan for the last eight minutes or so
I made curry chicken and served it over wheat berries (instead of brown rice) with roasted broccoli. This was an interesting meal since I used both very slow cooking for the chicken and very fast [pressure] cooking for the wheat-berries.
I did the chicken in the slow-cooker. I made the sauce the night before. In a bit of oil, I lightly browned grated ginger, garlic (two cloves), curry powder, and a bunch of red-curry paste. I used 3 cups of almond-coconut milk with some ginger chuncks and a bit more curry powder. I also added salt and pepper. I cut the chicken into pieces and marinated in mix overnight then put the whole thing in the slow-cooker in the morning on low.
I do not understand what curdled in it since there was no dairy, but something did, as you can see. Overall, the chicken was overcooked. I think even with 3 cups of milk, there wasn’t enough to fill the cooker so it was a bit too hot. And the whole thing wasn’t incredibly flavorful as I had hoped.
For the wheat berries, I read a few different things but I finally just kind of made it up. I skipped the presoak as I had in the past which seemed fine. I mixed 1 cup of dry wheat berries with 2 or so cups of water. I pressure cooked it on high for 12-15 minutes and then released. They were cooked but a bit chewy. I drained the excess water.
I also roasted broccoli (425 for about 25-30 min, rotated once) which came out pretty good!
I made my pretty standard roasted veggies with sausage. I used the same smoked turkey sausage as last time. Again, I didn’t like it at first but the flavor really grew one me.
This came out pretty spicy. I do not know if it was the poblano or the crushed red pepper. I should note that other than salt, I put all of the spices in a mortar and pestle to mix and crush. In the thing, I used:
- 1 small potato (~ 9 oz)
- Red bell pepper
- Poblano pepper
- 1 can of quartered artichoke hearts
- 1/2 red onion
- Crushed red pepper
- Parsley (dried)
- sage (dried)
- rosemary (lots!)
- thyme (powdered)
- Minced onion
- garlic powder
I made Banana-Oat bars for a long bike ride the next day. I figured I usually have oatmeal with a banan for breakfast so I could just have half of this recipe for breakfast and take the rest for snacks on the ride.
It was based on the recipe below but there is a lot of freedom. I used a bit less than two cups of oats since it is what I had, and it was quick oats (smaller pieces) so they were more dense. I also used about 2 1/4 banana since they were small. I added some almonds (slices; toasted first), chopped dates and some cranberries. I also used a bit of Splenda. Finally, when I pressed it into the pan, I then sprinkled it with pumpkin-pie spice.
I like the bars a lot. It was certainty more interesting than just eating oatmeal and also a lot easier since I could eat while getting ready. I ate half for breakfast (1 cup of oatmeal) and then I had a quarter as a snack at one point on the ride. I liked the dates and the cranberries however I was disappointed with how lost the almond flavor was in there. I would have preferred to use the slivered kind but they didn’t have them. I’ll probably just skip them in the future so as to not have the calories with no flavor.
I made tacos and roasted cabbage. I used red cabbage to mix it up this time though it didn’t affect the flavor. It was good as usual though I think I am getting a bit sick of it. I should look for alternative cabbage recipes or just give it a break for a bit.
I also made taco meat with beef, onions, 1/2 a bell pepper and a bunch of spices (including taco powder). The meat was pretty standard and fine. The problem was I tried to put it in wraps that were too old and too big. It just didn’t hold together well. I think I prefer when I make hard shells out of smaller tortillas and use them.
Oh, and I used a spinach-arugula mixture inside of it too.
Standard seared salmon with the stove-oven technique. I do not know if I just had my timing perfect, or if it was the fish (from TJ’s, frozen), but this was the best salmon I think I have ever made. I used sandwich sprinkle on it as well, which was good, but I’m not sure it added too much flavor.
I was also going to make kale chips but I opted for just sautéing it instead.
I made falafel based on my regular recipe. I again went very heavy on the cilantro and parsley. I also went very heavy on the crushed red pepper. Though I forgot the salt but that was fine. The real breakthrough was using the food processor (using pulse) to break up the chickpeas and bring it all together. The worked really, really well to mix it and save my having to crush the chick peas.
But it made it very, very wet. I had to add a bit more flour. It was still very wet. I cooked it for 15 minutes as directed but when I flipped them, I let them go for 30 minutes (2x the recipe) to get them to dry out more. They flattened a lot and gave a strange shape as you can see. That worked fine but I need to plan for the timing.
They were really good. I liked them more than the previous ones and they were so easy (at least compared to the old way).
I also made steamed asparagus. Pretty standard.
Point wise was pretty low.
1 can chick peas…9
1 tsp Olive Oil…1
13 for the whole thing isn’t bad!
I made shakshuka in a manner combining the first time and last time. I started with some fennel (which I need to read up on the propper way to cut) and onion. I added to that a habanero pepper, a poblano pepper, broccoli, carrots, celery then a 28 and 14 oz can of tomatoes (once all the other veggies were well softened). I also used a bunch of paprika, hot hungarian paprika, oregano, parsley garlic powder, salt, pepper and probably other stuff I don’t remember. I let it cook uncovered for about 25 minutes. I then poached 6 eggs into it and let them cook. I ended up turning up the heat to try to get rid of more liquid. It burned the bottom pretty badly, but it wasn’t a big deal. when it was done, I added 4oz of light feta.
It was very good. No overly strong flavors (not even the anise) but it was a lot of food with some good flavor. And I especially love when broccoli cooks in tomato sauce! The whole thing was 4 points for the feta, plus 12 for the eggs for 16 total. It made a large dinner and lunch so 8 for both! Not bad.
I also roasted some of the extra broccoli. It was good.
I made steak and roasted cauliflower. The steak was an 11oz NY strip. I rubbed a bit of olive oil on it and then used salt and pepper. I did it on a hot cast-iron grill pan. I did about 6 minutes on the fist side and 5 on the other. I was aiming for medium. See the photo below. It came out about right but I think the outside could have been a bit more cooked with this redness inside. I wonder if I should have used a hotter pan (this was around setting 8 on the induction). After it was done, I covered it with aluminum foil and let it rest for 5 minutes.
I think this is the best steak I have ever made, though I have most certainly had better. It was pretty juicy; not overcooked and tender. I’d definitely try making it agian.
I also made roasted cauliflower. I used the curry cauliflower recipe but with a mixture of chili powder and cayenne (with a bit of olive oil)
I made oven-fried zucchini as a side (leftovers from yesterday were the main meal). I sliced a long zucchini in half, the. I used the mandolins on the largest setting to make slices. I breaded it with egg beaters and bread crumbs then baked then on a silpat, in the oven at 475. I flipped them at a about 15 min and the gave them 10 more.
They were very good and you could easily think they were fried! I enjoyed them very much. Unfortunately, breadcrumbs are not very low in points. I should look for an alternative (NOT fiber one). Also, using the silpat worked very well. I should use it more!
The original plan was to make something like the buffalo chicken poblanos but I couldn’t find poblanos and I only had a small piece of chicken. So I used green peppers and I made a filling with lots of vegetable fillers. First, I cut the pepper and baked it in the oven (425F) while I was preppy the rest so it could pre-bake. I didn’t time it but I’d say it was about 20 minutes. I made a filling with the following:
- Shredded chicken (9oz, done in the pressure cooker then shredded in the mixer. Also with Frank’s Red Hot in the water)
- lots (and lots) of spinach
- the tops of the green pepper and half a red pepper
- half an onion
- Franks Red Hot
- Goat cheese medallion
- some shredded (2%) cheese
I used goat cheese instead of Laughing Cow wedges because I thought it would add more flavor. I didn’t end up tasting it at all so I probably won’t do that again. When this was all done, I filled the peppers, topped them with a bit more shredded cheese and baked them at 425 for half an hour.
It was very good but very wet. When I cut into the pepper, water basically poured everywhere. I ended up cutting it so it was basically like eating the filling with a bit more pepper. I still enjoyed it but I think I need to do a better job draining the drying the filling first. And maybe use fewer peppers in the filling so that the pepper shell’s flavor didn’t meld into it.
I also had a plain spinach salad.
I made a very simple meal. I sprayed a piece of cod with pam, sprinkled it with McCormick Chicken Seasoning, garlic powder and pepper, then baked it for 25-30 minutes at 400. I think I overcooked it a bit since it was a tad chewy, but not too bad. Still, it was pretty good and extremely simple! Nothing out-of-this-world, but definitely good enough.
I also steamed asparagus (cut into thirds) and sprinkled it with parmesan cheese. I bought the skinnier ones since they tend to be more flavorful. I do not know if it was the asparagus, cooking time, etc, but this was probably the most flavorful asparagus I have ever made. I didn’t do anything special; it was just really, really good! And also very simple.
I had been wanting to try this for a bit. I basically started making normal Sloppy Joes without meat. While it was going, I cooked about 2/3-3/4 cups of dry lentils covered for a bit. I let the sloppy joe sauce simmer then, after the lentils were partially cooked (partially uncovered to cook down), I added them and let it cook. I basically stayed true to the recipe but with extra mustard, a bit of honey, splenda, lots of garlic powder and a tiny tad of Dave’s Insanity (to really kick up the heat). I served it with spinach on top.
I liked it a lot. It was pretty easy and I think healthier than the regular one with beef. Last time I said it was 11 for the beef. Considering this was 9 for the lentils, I guess I didn’t save too much. Still different and really good.
The green beans were done with Penzy’s Sandwich Sprinkle. I started with just olive oil and the sprinkle and once it was a bit blackened, I added some water, with a lid to steam it and get it to cook all the way.
This was another recreation of something Meredith made a while ago. It was really easy too. We started by roasting chopped cauliflower at 450 for 20-30 minutes until it was starting to show some browning. Then, we sautéed half an onion and a lot of finely chopped mushrooms. After they had been well reduced and cooked, we added a thing of the Trader Joes Soy Chorizo (pictured below). We then immediately added the roasted cauliflower and mixed it together. We let it cook and get a bit crispy. We also added some capers and the brine. It gives it a bit of saltyness and more flavor. Extremely good and extremely easy. The chorizo is 4.85 servings at 3.9 points plus per for 19 total. Add two or three for oil and incidentals. Basically, two large servings at 12 points each! I would definitly make this again. Also, the soy chorizo may be good when used in something else. I’ll keep it in mind.
We also made a red-lentil dip from the recipe below. I think she followed the recipe pretty closely except she used grits in place of corn meal. I am honestly not sure if there is really any difference. It’s interesting how the corn meal gets cooked by the lentils and not on its own. We also probably used extra sriracha. I liked it a lot. It was maybe a bit gritty but not too bad. I would go lighter on the parsley as well. I could imagine making this as a meal unto itself, or spreading it on some vegetable as a really nice side. It could also take the place of hummus
edit note: Added note to capers
I made this at Adam’s apartment. I used roughly the normal taco stew but we really just threw it together more than anything. I used extra zucchini, more meat, lots of salsa, etc. I also used peas instead of corn since that is all we had. There really isn’t much more to tell about it. It was pretty standard. As a side note, we didn’t have any sour-cream or yogurt so we used bleu-cheese dressing. It was actually a really different but nice flavor.
The brussel sprouts were done between 400 and 450 (I don’t recall which we used, I think it was 450). They were pretty good!
The main meal here was the mushroom thing based on the recipe below. Meredith had made it a while ago and we decided to do it again. We actually had planned it for the night before but scrapped it for lunch the next day so it had a long marinade. Meredith had found this mixed light-dark miso paste that was very good. We served it on a bed of arugula. It didn’t make much but it was extremely flavorful. I would happily make it again, but I would make more. I think Meredith may have used less oil.
Meredith also made chia pudding. I do not recall all of the details but basically chia seeds in vanilla almond or coconut milk and let it pud (yes, it’s now a verb) in the fridge. We topped it with chopped pistachios. It is very good and pretty easy. It tasted a bit like tapioca pudding but much easier to make. I also added some splenda to mine to make it sweeter. Oh, and we also used dried fruits.
Finally, we threw together a banana bread. There is absolutely no chance we could make it again or even describe it. We were trying to make a banana filling with mashed banana, splenda, maple and some other syrups. It got way too soupy so we tried to add some corn starch. Still not much success. Finally, we gave up and made it into banana bread. Meredith did it and I do not recall the details but it got very puffy. Whatever Meredith looked up called for some cider vinegar. Of course, when we added the baking soda, it bubbled. So we added some baking powder. It was a bunch of adding this and that until we were satisfied. We divvied it up into mini-muffin tins and these ramekins. They came out a bit tough (probably too much mixing) but they were really good. I was happy with them!
We made chocolate drizzle popcorn. We basically air-popped a bunch of popcorn and the drizzled chocolate over it. We used just plain old (boring) hersheys melted in the microwave. We drizzled it on the popcorn as evenly as possible and then refrigerated it. They came out pretty good with a nice mix. There was just a little bit of chocolate on every piece.It was good though my hands got covered in chocolate.