Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pasta with Goat Cheese and Roasted Asparagus

I just saw this recipe in the new Everyday Food cookbook Fresh Flavor Fast. I love goat cheese and asparagus, so I knew I would have to make this dish. It was a perfect spring dish that came together quickly.

Pasta with Goat Cheese and Roasted Asparagus
from Fresh Flavor Fast from Everyday Food

2 bunches asparagus (2 pounds), tough ends removed
5 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
salt and pepper
12 oz cavatappi or other short pasta
5 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled
2 to 3 tablespoons snipped fresh chives, for garnish (omitted)
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (added)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Place asparagus on large baking sheet.
Dot with 2 tbsp butter and season with salt and pepper.
Roast until tender, tossing occasionally, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and cut into 2 inch pieces.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Cook pasta until al dente according to package directions.
Reserve 1 & 1/2 cups of pasta water, drain pasta, and return to pot.
In a bowl, combine goat cheese, remaining 3 tbsp butter, red pepper flakes, and 1/2 cup pasta water.
Season with salt and pepper, and whisk until smooth.
Add goat cheese mixture and asparagus to pot, toss with pasta to combine.
Add pasta water to create a thin sauce to coat pasta.
Serve in shallow bowls and garnish with chives.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Chinese Chicken and Cabbage Salad

Here is another great light flavorful salad from Weight Watchers.

Chinese Chicken and Cabbage Salad
Weight Watchers

3 (5 ounce) skinless boneless chicken breast halves
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1 star anise
5 whole black peppercorns
1 quarter-size slice fresh ginger
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp minced peeled fresh ginger
1 medium head (about 1 pound) Napa cabbage, very thinly sliced
1/3 onion, very thinly sliced
1 bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

Combine the chicken, broth, water, star anise, peppercorns, and ginger slice in a medium saucepan.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the chicken is nearly cooked through-about 7 minutes.
Remove from heat and let stand, covered for 7 more minutes.
Drain the chicken, reserving the liquid for another use.
When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred into bite-sized strips.
Meanwhile, whisk together the lime juice, vinegar, jalapeno pepper, soy sauce, garlic, sugar, and minced ginger in a large bowl.
Add cabbage, onion, and bell pepper and toss.
Add the chicken and toss again.
Serve immediately, or cover and chill for up to 2 hours ahead.

Per serving (2 cups)=3 points

Thai Shrimp on Baby Greens

This is a light and flavorful salad from Weight Watchers. It was quick to put together and filling.

Thai Shrimp on Baby Greens
Weight Watchers

1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 lb medium-size shrimp, cooked and shelled
2 cucumbers, peeled, quartered lengthwise, seeded, and sliced
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
3 tbsp dry-roasted peanuts
1/4 cup light coconut milk
1/4 cup nonfat yogurt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 cups baby salad greens

Per serving (2 cups)=4 points

Combine lime juice, salt, and shrimp in a zip-close plastic bag.
Squeeze out the air and seal the bag.
Turn to coat the shrimp.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Place the cucumber slices in a sieve to drain for 15 minutes.
Combine the shrimp, drained cucumbers, scallion, bell pepper, and peanuts in a large bowl.
Combine the coconut milk, yogurt, and crushed red pepper flakes in another bowl.
Drizzle the mixture over the shrimp and vegetables, add the cilantro, and toss.
Serve the shrimp salad over the baby greens.

Baked Potato Soup

I received this recipe from my sister who got it from her friend Becky Kittaka. I will admit that this soup took a long time to make (you have to bake the potatoes-hence the name). The result was a nice soup to enjoy on a cold day. I made a few changes to lighten up the recipe.

Baked Potato Soup
by Becky Kittaka

5 or 6 baked potatoes
1/2 cup celery
1 medium onion, diced
1 tbsp butter
1 cup water
salt and pepper
chicken bouillon to taste (used 1 small can reduced sodium chicken broth)
1 cup half and half (omitted)
1 cup milk (used 2 cups)
1 lb Velveeta cheese, cubed (used Velveeta Light)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 lb bacon, cooked crisp, drained, and crumbled (used turkey bacon)

Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese and chopped scallion

In a large pot, saute celery and onion in butter about 5 minutes.
Chop potatoes (I left the skins on) and add to pot.
Add water, bouillon (chicken broth), and salt and pepper.
Cook on 15 minutes on medium heat.
Reduce heat and add milk (and half and half is using).
Add cheese cubes and cayenne pepper.
Simmer on low for 15 to 20 minutes until hot.
Garnish with bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, and scallion and serve.