Monday, June 27, 2011

Shredded Green Beans, with lemon-lime zest and snipped chives

This is another recipe that is delicious on the spot, but also makes great picnic/lunch fare.

You can get fuffy cutting the beans, or you can put them through a chopper, it won’t be nearly as pretty, but it will be a lot faster.

Shredded Green Beans, with lemon-lime zest and snipped chives
4 servings, 2 P+/serving

3/4 pound green and/or yellow beans, tops and tails trimmed
2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
2 TBSP water
Grated zest of 1 lg lemon
Grated zest of 1 lime
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
Fine salt and pepper to taste

Slice beans on a diagonal into roughly 1/8 inch pieces. The result should be tiny, angular zeros.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beans and stir until coated with oil, then add the water. Cover and cook 2-3 minutes, until the beans are brightly colored and tender; give the pan a good shake midway through to ensure even cooking.

Remove from the heat and stir in the zests and half of the chives. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve garnished with the remaining chives.

Source: Super Natural Cooking, Heidi Swanson, P. 91

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Watermelon and Cucumber Salad

The funny story about this recipe is that it was in a Weight Watchers magazine years ago (2006) and since, every summer, my friend and I have the same email conversation: “Do you still have that watermelon salad? You know the one with the cucumber?” and it goes on, one of us find it and we happily make it all over again.

You can’t get simpler than this, it’s delicious too!

Watermelon and Cucumber Salad
4 servings, 0 pts/serving

2 pounds seedless watermelon, rind removed, cut into ¾ inch chunks (about 3 cups)
2 Kirby cucumber, thinly sliced
1 Jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 TBSP Red-wine vinegar
¼ tsp salt

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Let stand until the flavors are blended about 15 minutes.

Source: Weight Watchers Magazine July/August 2006 p. 131

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Jamaican-Style Potato Salad

Ok, honestly I haven’t done this in a while. Every summer I bring it back out though, and carry it around from potlucks to BBQs, make a batch on Sunday and happily eat it for the next 2 days.

It’s one of those easy, recipes that are good right away, or a day and a half later. I got so many good comments about it that I’m never afraid to bring it along.

Jamaican-Style Potato Salad
6 servings, 3 P+/serving

1 ½ pound new potatoes, halved if large (I like to mix red and yellow for looks)
1 TBSP canola oil
2 Celery stalks, finely chopped
1 small onion, thinly sliced
½ green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
½ red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
½ cup reduced sodium chicken broth
¼ cup apple-cider vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard (I like to use whole grain, prettier)
½ tsp sugar free jerk seasoning
½ tsp salt

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add potatoes, return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are fork-tender, 15-20 minutes. Drain in a colander; set aside.

Meanwhile, to make the dressing, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the celery, onion, and bell peppers; cook, stirring, until softened, 6-8 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut into ¾ inch chunks; transfer to a serving bowl. Pour the dressing over the potatoes and toss gently to coat. Serve within 4 hours or refrigerate, covered up to 2 days. For the best flavor serve at room temperature.

Source: Weight Watchers, Savoring Summer 2007, p. 70.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Tuscan Potato and Pepper Packets

Packet side dish #2!

Again, I think these are the perfect side dishes for the grill. Easy to put together, no mess, no dishes (YAY!), you can throw it together in minutes and let it do its thing while you are grilling away.

I put in the very explicit explanations for those who have never done packets, but bottom line is: prep the food, make packets big enough for the steam to have space (so the packet doesn’t blow open during cooking), and make sure to seal well so that the steam doesn’t escape.

This has been a favorite of ours for a long time now!

Tuscan Potato and Pepper Packets
4 servings, 4 P+/serving

1 TBSP olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBSP chopped, fresh rosemary
½ tspsalt
½ tsp black pepper (I put coarsely ground)
1 pound red potatoes, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced.

Prep the grill: Medium fire (or put the packet on the side away from the hot flame).

Prep the food: Combine the oil, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the potatoes, bell pepper, and onion and toss to coat evenly.

Make the packets: Tear off 4 (15x18 inch) sheets of heavy-duty foil and spray with nonstick spray. Place one-fourth of the potato mixture in the middle of each foil sheet. To close the packets, bring the two opposite long sides of the foil up to meet in the center; fold the edges over twice to make a tight seal. Double fold the open sides to seal the packets.

Cook: Place the packets on the grill rack and grill, covered, until the potatoes are tender, 20-25 minutes (it’s ok if it over cooks a little, it’s even better!). With one or two wide spatulas, transfer the packet to a cutting board; carefully open, standing back to avoid the steam. Transfer the mixture from each packet to a plate.

Source: Weight Watchers, Best Eats 2008, p. 159

Note: It’s a good recipe to prep ahead and bring to a BBQ somewhere. If you make the packets ahead of time, the potatoes and peppers have time to marinate, and you can just throw them on the grill. I’m not fuffy about opening the packets, I just eat it straight out of the packet. That’s how we roll ;o)