Saturday, June 5, 2010

More Delicious (and Healthy) Recipes

Since I included the delicious pasta salad recipe in my last post, I realized that I haven't yet shared a great SUPER EASY recipe from my friend Amy that we've been having at least a couple of times per month lately. French dip sandwiches with sweet potato fries- healthy, yummy and so quick to make- everything I look for in a weekday meal. And since I'm posting this, I also wanted to include Shana's recipe for crock pot pork chops and potatoes, and a yummy pasta version of shepherd's pie. If you guys have other recipes to share, send them this way!

Amy's French Dip Sandwiches
(makes 4 sandwiches, 6 WW points each)
  • 1 package sliced roast beef
  • 1 can low-sodium beef broth
  • Dried onion (optional)
  • Pepper, garlic, salt seasoning if desired (I just use Montreal Steak Seasoning)
  • 4 sandwich rolls (whole wheat hot dog buns from Trader Joe's are perfect)
  • 4 slices of cheese (optional, provolone or Swiss are great)
1. Toast rolls. (I throw them in the oven, and after they are toasted, I add the cheese so that it can melt.)

2. In a small saucepan, bring broth with dried onion and any other desired spices to a low boil. (I actually just do this in the microwave.)

3. Assemble sandwiches by dipping roast beef briefly into the broth (about 30 seconds) and stuffing into rolls.

4. Serve with broth on the side to dip (au jus).

Sweet potato fries make an easy, yummy side with this meal. The pre-cut sweet potatoes from Trader Joe's are perfect for this- just toss with a teaspoon of olive oil and any desired spices (again, I just use a little Montreal Steak Seasoning). Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes (turn them halfway through). They turn out soft and nicely browned, but if you prefer crispy fries, I'm told that you just need to coat them with a little egg whites before baking (I haven't tried it myself).

Shana's Pork Chops a-la-crock pot

  • Thick sliced pork chops (number depends on size of crock pot)
  • 1-2 packets of Lipton onion soup, dry mix
  • Worcestershire sauce (to taste- use liberally)
  • Water
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
Place pork chops, onion soup mix, Worcestershire sauce and enough water for gravy (pork chops should be immersed) in crock pot in the morning. Add enough pepper to create a lovely peppery layer at the top of concoction. Leave enough time to cook chops on high for 30 minutes before leaving. After 30-60 minutes, set crock pot on low setting and set timer for as many hours as you’ll be gone (preferably 6-10). Pork chops can be frozen if you plan on leaving them in for a long time, but thawed chops are usually more tender. Shana has also been known to throw in some red potatoes in for the last few hours. Enjoy!

Cheesy Italian Penne Shepherd’s Pie
(Serves 6, 8 Weight Watchers points per serving)

From Rachel Ray's website, modified slightly to have less fat- more time consuming than I prefer, but I can make it over the weekend and freeze it for an easy weekday meal. This Italian version of a Shepherd's Pie is so healthy and delish. It uses ground turkey instead of lamb, and has added zucchini and carrots for a veggie boost!

• 1/2 pound mini penne or any mini short-cut pasta
• Salt
• 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
• 1 pound ground turkey
• 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 3 medium carrots, diced
• 1 medium zucchini, diced
• 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1 cup chicken stock, divided
• 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1 cup milk
• 1 cup shredded provolone

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Place a large pot filled with water over high heat and bring up to a boil to cook the pasta. Once boiling, add some salt and the pasta, and cook until al dente according to package directions. Heads up – reserve one cup of starchy water before draining the cooked pasta. Drain well and transfer pasta back to the cooking pot.

While the water is coming up to a boil for the pasta, place a large skillet over high heat with olive oil. Once the oil starts to ripple, add the ground turkey and break it up into small pieces as it cooks using the back of a wooden spoon or a potato masher. Cook until the turkey is nice and brown, about 8-10 minutes.

Add the veggies and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, 1/2 cup chicken stock, half of the reserved starchy water, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Continue to cook for 10 more minutes, stirring every now and then.

While the veggies and turkey are cooking, place a medium-size sauce pot over medium heat with the butter. Once the butter melts, add the flour and cook 1 minute, whisking constantly so the flour doesn't burn. Whisk in the milk and the rest of the starchy pasta water and chicken stock, bring up to a simmer and cook until thickened. Once thick, turn off the heat, add the cheese to the pot and stir until completely melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cover the bottom of a large, oven-safe baking dish with the turkey and veggie mixture. Meanwhile, add the cheese sauce to the reserved pasta in the pasta pot. Stir to coat then transfer the cheesy pasta to the baking dish. Spread it out to cover the turkey mixture evenly. Place in the oven and bake until the top is golden brown, about 12-15 minutes.

1 comment:

  1. The Cheesy Italian Penne Shepherd’s Pie sounds really good. But I'm a single dad and don't have the time. I prefer the slow cooker recipes. So, thanks for both.

    Hey! Come to think of it, my boy is going to WI to visit his mom for a spell in the summer. I can make the Shepherd's pie then. Not all is lost! Kewl and thanks again.

    Mike Rocha