My Sweet Marie

Archive for April 2015

My Sweet Marie

Quinoa (play /ˈknwa), a species of goosefoot, is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, or grain, as it is not a member of the grass family. Quinoa is closely related to species such as beets,spinach and tumbleweeds. Quinoa has become highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (12%–18%). Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), and like oats, quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it a complete protein source, unusual among plant foods. It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorous and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest.

Quinoa Tabouleh

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup quinoa
  1. Cook quinoa in boiling water till all water is absorbed.

Dressing:

  • 1/4…

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These little babies are delicious and not too hard to make. They are light on calories, can be made ahead of time and frozen if preferred. I am going to make mine into nests then serve berries and cream with them, can you say yummy? My grand-kids like them as is, just pop in their mouths! They are corn free, dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free..pretty much everything free!! here’s how to do it:

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg whites
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 cup maple sugar or syrup

Directions:

Thoroughly clean and dry the whisk attachment and bowl of a stand mixer, making sure to remove any and all soap residue.

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk the egg whites and sea salt together until soft peaks form.  Gradually add the maple sugar and continue whisking until you have stiff peaks.

If using a piping bag and pastry tip, add the meringue mixture and pipe small, Tablespoon-size pyramids onto the parchment paper.  Or, you may spoon Tablespoon-size dollops directly on the paper.  The meringues don’t spread or grow much at all as they cook, so there’s no need to leave much room between the cookies.

Sprinkle with additional maple sugar, if desired.

Cook at 225 degrees F for 2 hours, then turn off the oven and leave the cookies to cool with the oven door closed, about three hours or more – even overnight.  Leave out until completely cool and store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Everyone loves pizza right? I sure do but with me being on WW I am looking for ways to cut calories/points so why not use your veggie as a base for pizza? Hence, Portobello pizza! It’s simple and tasty and quick! Here’s how I made mine:

Ingredients:

  • Portobello mushrooms (washed and stem taken off, save for pizza)
  • pizza sauce
  • toppings like pineapple, bacon, ham, hot peppers, red peppers, onions, pepperoni, broccoli, olives, chicken etc
  • cheese (goat’s tofu, cheddar, mozza, parm, asiago, your call, pick one or two!)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. place your mushrooms on a parchment covered tray.
  3. first top the mushrooms with your pizza sauce.
  4. Top them as you prefer now, veggies only? Meat only? Meat and Veg…really a million combinations are yours to be had!
  5. Bake in the heated oven for 20-30 minutes, keeping an eye on them and removing them once the cheese is completely melted and the mushroom is cooked!
  6. They can be made dairy-free, gluten-free and/or vegetarian or even vegan if you wanted!
  7. Enjoy with a nice green salad!
  8. Also you can use the stems by chopping them and use them as a topping!

Protein is a big part of me staying on track and not off eating all kinds of junk food. These nuts are tasty, healthy and easy to do. They are great when having company and the kids will love them too! here’s how to do it:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almonds, in skins, natural
  • 2 cups cashews, not salted
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. maple sugar or syrup or honey
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. mustard powder
  • 1 tsp dried coriander or cilantro
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, mix the seasonings, oil and mustard.
  2. In a large bowl add all the nuts then toss with the seasoning mix.
  3. Spread on a baking tray covered in parchment.
  4. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, stirring mid-way.
  5. Store in an air-tight container for a week or so.

Have you gotten on the spiralized wagon yet? If not, hop on and hitch a ride with me! Oh what fun I am having with veggies, who knew? I love me some noodles but not only am I gluten-intolerant but I am over weight so noodles can only happen occasionally. Well, not anymore! I can have zucchini noodles any old time I want! How fun!

So if you’re reading this and wondering what the heck I am talking about, a spiralizer is a kitchen tool to make spiral noodle like vegetables. So you put your veggies in and turn the crank and voila, there they are! It is amazing. Google paderno spiralizer. There are many out there, hand held or counter top, I say go with what your budget will afford you. Here’s how I made my pad thai salad.

Ingredients:

  •  1 large zucchini, washed and ends trimmed
  • 1 large carrot, peeled
  • 1/2 red pepper, sliced very thin
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced thin or done in spiralizer
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 6 oz chicken breast, if doing meat( cooked and sliced thin) or tofu or shrimp
  • 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp. peanuts

Thai  peanut dressing

  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1-2 tbsp. chunky peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. olive or canola oil
  • optional 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  •  1 teaspoon Asian hot sauce, such as Sriracha, or  ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced ginger

Directions:

  1. Spiralize your zucchini and carrot. Place in a large salad bowl.
  2. Top with the pepper, onion, sprouts and chicken, tofu or shrimp or all three!
  3. Toss the salad gently, careful not to break all the noodles.
  4. For the dressing, blend all ingredients together and pour the dressing over the salad.
  5. Top with a squeeze of lime and garnish with the peanuts.
  6. Serve hot or cold. To warm, simply nuke for a minute or two per serving. Makes 2-3 large servings.

 

This is one of my popular posts and recently I have been making lettuce wraps. I use leaf lettuce and use fillings like salad and or meats and roll like a burrito. You can make a thai dressing and use it as dip too for added fun! I have recipes for thai dips/dressings, use the search engine to the right to find the one you like! Just one more idea for the Ww wagon ride!

My Sweet Marie

In the summer time my hubby loves a wrap for lunch. some days he will take salads too but wraps are one of his favourite foods! Apparently I make good ones as he’s had them at the wrap joints but mine are better! He’s no dummy! Here’s how you do it:

Ingredients:

  • 10-12″ tortillas (spinach, white, gluten-free, WW etc)
  • spread such as mayo, spreadable cream cheeses or sour cream or Caesar dressing
  • mustard
  • lettuce (spring mix, iceberg, romaine chopped, even cole slaw mix will do)
  • tomato diced
  • cucumber sliced
  • shredded carrots
  • red onion sliced thin
  • meats (turkey, ham, salami, roast beef, chicken etc)
  • Cheese shredded any type even goat’s cheese!

Directions:

  1. Warm your tortilla just enough so that it’s very pliable, maybe 15-30 sec. in microwave oven.
  2. Spread your entire tortilla with the spread of your choice. I like mayo but you have whatever you like. Get right to the…

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Today at the WW meeting I felt inspired to do more to help my fellow WW peeps. I love to cook and I know this is a challenge for some people so maybe by me posting some recipes I can help you out! I love going to the meetings as they inspire me to do better. I love when people share their wisdom, their love and mostly their support as this is not an easy journey, but none the less, we have been thrown together on this train and well, somebody has to steer the darn thing! So here’s today’s post of my favourite 5 veggies!

  1. Steamed purple cabbage: Seriously, you chop up a red cabbage, throw it in a large pot, add water and vinegar. Boil the heck out of it until it is falling apart tender. This could take 1-2 hours. But once it’s done, you have enough for a few days and truly it is so tasty, just a bit of salt and pepper and you are ready to go!
  2. Green beans: Do you like spice? If so, steam your beans whichever method works for you, I like using a steamer but a micro will work too. Once they are cooked, toss them with a bit of Siracha(Rooster) sauce. Ta-da, that’s it, great with chicken, pork, steak, whatever!
  3. Roasted Veggies:  Take your favourite veggies like carrots, onions, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, beets, rapini, kale, zucchini…I could go on! Wash them and chop them into large chunks, toss with very little olive oil(1 tbsp. for a large tray) and lay flat on a parchment covered tray, roast for 45 minutes at 375. Delicious.
  4. Sweet potato fries: Wash your taters and cut into wedges, dice or slim fries. Toss with 1 tbsp. of olive oil per 1-2 small to med. sweet potatoes and roast at 375 for 45 minutes to an hour depending on the cut. You will want them crispy. This is also great with rutabagas. I like to mix both together and surprise my hubby, get those veggies in! Don’t stack the taters as they’ll be mushy.
  5. Salsa veggies: Use the frozen veggie blend of beans/carrots, steam in the micro and top with some salsa and if you can/want go crazy and add 1/4 – 1/2 cup of shredded cheese. Be sure to count the cheese in your points! I like goat’s cheese on mine with a splash of balsamic vinegar…divine!

I hope these veggie ideas have helped you today and I will post more snack ideas up in the next few days! I love comments so please feel free to share your ideas and I’ll be sure to post them! Remember to count your points when adding olive oil!

Sweet Marie