Tag Archives: points plus recipe

chunky split pea soup

This soup is soooo gooood!  I haven’t made split pea soup for a long time because my favorite recipe is made with a ham hock.  This version that just landed in my mailbox (courtsey of Weight Watcher’s Magazine) is vegetarian! Yeah!  And I love the addition of swiss chard and sweet potatoes.

Chunky Split Pea Soup

  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 1 large, onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 celery ribs, sliced
  • 1 lb. dried green split peas, rinsed and picked over
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 3 cups chopped Swiss chard
Heat oil in large pot over medium heat.  Add onion and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3-4 minutes.  Add carrots and celery.  Cook, covered, until lightly browned, stirring occasionally, 4-5 minutes.
Stir in split peas, broth and salt.  Bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 45 minutes.  Stir in sweet potatoes and cook, covered, until split peas are softened and potatoes are fork-tender, about 20 minutes.  Stir in swiss chard.  Cover and cook until swiss chard is tender, about 10 minutes.
Serves 6.  Each 1 1/2 cup serving is 7 PointsPlus.
Recipe from Weight Watchers Magazine.
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Posted by on October 19, 2011 in points plus, soups, vegetarian


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bolognese sauce

Over the weekend we had a household full of teenagers as we celebrated my daughter’s 16th birthday.  She and her friends spent the afternoon wandering the corn maze at the local pumpkin patch (wandering is being polite).  At one point she texts me that they are lost.  I quickly responded “DON’T CALL 911!”  We returned home to carve pumpkins and enjoy a pasta buffet.

This bolognese sauce was one of the three sauces we had at the party.  It has a delicious long-cooked taste for only 2 hours on the stove.  It’s very similar to my long-standing favorite recipe from Marcella Hazan’s cookbook “Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.”  Marcella uses a bit more butter, a full cup of wine and a cup of whole milk, so this sauce is a bit lighter.  It may give up a little depth, but my husband who was raised on Marcella has a hard time telling the difference.

Bolognese Sauce

  • 4 oz. pancetta or prosciutto, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, minced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, minced
  • 1 lb. 96/4% lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 (28 oz. each) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup half & half (optional)

In a deep heavy sauce pan, saute pancetta or prosciutto until fat melts.  Add butter, onions, celery, and carrots and cook until soft.  Add meat, season with salt and pepper and saute until the beef has lost its raw, red color (should be very light brown, don’t heavily brown).  Add wine, cook until it reduces down, about 3-4 minutes.  Add tomatoes and bay leaf.  Simmer covered on low, at least 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Add half & half (if using) and parsley, cook 2 minutes longer.  Makes about 8 cups.

Recipe adapted from (Gina’s Skinny Recipes).  1/2 cup has 2.25 Weight Watcher PointsPlus.

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Posted by on October 17, 2011 in beef, pasta, points plus


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whole wheat pumpkin muffins with cream cheese filling

I’ve had a lot of positive feedback from the whole wheat pumpkin muffin recipe I posted last week.  Here is the cream cheese variation I mentioned in my post.

P.S. The pecan halves didn’t burn in the oven, I just had really bad shadows in my picture.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup Vanilla Bean sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 4 oz. light cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 12 pecan halves

In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients.

In a second bowl, beat the egg, water and oil together.  Whisk in the pumpkin.

Combine the wet ingredients with the flour mixture.  Stir just until combined.  Let rest one hour.

Meanwhile, combine the cream cheese, brown sugar and vanilla in a small bowl.  Spread the mixture onto a piece of parchment or waxed paper, roughly 1 inch wide, 6 inches long and 1/4 inch thick.  Place in freezer.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a muffin tin or use 12 muffin cups or silicone liners.   Fill the muffin cups evenly, smoothing the tops.  Take the cream cheese out of the freezer and cut into 12 slices.  Insert one slice halfway into the center of each muffin.  Top with a pecan half.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Let cool 5 minutes before removing from muffin tin.  Makes 12.

Recipe adapted from Kitchen Parade.  Each muffin has 4 WWpts+.


Posted by on October 13, 2011 in baking, points plus, snacks


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beef tenderloin with mushroom-red wine sauce

This tenderloin recipe is really a snap to make and very impressive!  It was perfect for my mother-in-law’s visit last week.  It was delicious served with smashed potatoes.  After cleaning all day in preparation for her arrival (I make it sound like she’s a dignitary!), this was actually a very easy and speedy dinner to put together.

Beef Tenderloin with Mushroom-Red Wine Sauce

  • 4 (4 ounce) beef tenderloin steaks, trimmed of visible fat
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 7 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup beef broth, divided
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Sprinkle steaks evenly with 1/4 tsp. pepper and 1/4 tsp. salt; set aside.

Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add steaks, cook 3-4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.  Remove steaks from pan; keep warm.

Reduce heat to medium; add shallots, garlic and mushrooms.  Saute 2 minutes.  Add wine, 1/2 cup broth, thyme, remaining salt and pepper.  Increase heat to medium-high and cook 7 minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping pan to loosen browned bits.

Combine cornstarch and remaining 1/2 cup broth in a small bowl.  Stir with a whisk.  Add cornstarch mixture to pan and bring to boil.  Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Return steaks to pan and cook 1 minutes or until thoroughly heated.  Sprinkle with parsley.  Makes 4 servings (one steak with about 1/3 cup sauce).  Each serving has 6 WWpts+.

Recipe slightly adapted from Weight Watchers.


Posted by on October 11, 2011 in beef, points plus


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nutty tofu with collard greens

Give tofu a chance!  It really is a blank canvas since it takes on the flavors of the sauces it is cooked with.  In this case, the tofu is coated in a tasty almond butter sauce. 

Nutty Tofu with Collard Greens

  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 cups collard greens, rinsed and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 14 oz. block of extra-firm tofu, diced to 1/2″ pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 6 Tbsp. almond butter
  • 2 Tbsp. mirin
  • 2 tsp. rice vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 lime, cut into quarters

Heat the sesame oil in a medium fry pan over medium-high heat.  Add onion, garlic, and ginger; turn heat down to medium and saute for about 4 minutes or until the onion is soft, stirring frequently.

Add the tomatoes, collard greens, salt, and red pepper flakes.  Stir and cook for 3 minutes (the greens will start to cook down).  Add the tofu and tamari and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a small bowl, combine the almond butter, mirin, rice vinegar, and 1-2 Tbsp. water.  Stir to dissolve almond butter.  Add sauce to the collard mixture, and cook for 2-3 more minutes.

Taste the collard greens;  they should be tender.  If you want them softer, cook them for a little longer.  Serve over rice and top with lime wedges and cilantro.  Serves 4.

Recipe from

 Each serving (without rice) has 4 Weight Watcher PointsPlus.

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Posted by on October 7, 2011 in points plus, vegetarian


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