Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Recipe: WW Pierogi Lasagna

Two of my favorite words when it comes to eating are comfort food.  Comfort food is different for everyone, but almost every single person I know has something that they eat when they are feeling under the weather or having a bad day.  To me, comfort food is food that is white- white pasta, mashed potatoes, bread, etc. 

Last week I ran across a recipe for pierogi lasagna.  Wait, you mean combine pasta AND mashed potatoes?!?  I thought this was the best idea I have ever seen.  I was a little worried about how many weight watchers points it would be, but with a few slight changes that didn’t affect the taste too much, I came up with a great and point-friendly version.  All I really did was use low-fat versions of the dairy, which I am normall not a huge fan of but don't mind in cooked foods, and the big help was swapping out 1/2 of the potatoes for cauliflower.

In the future, I might add bacon to give it that little extra something. And because bacon makes everything better!

Pierogi Lasagna (10 servings, 10 points per serving)
Inspired by Omnomicon

1 pound no cook lasagna noodles
¼ cup reduced-fat sour cream
½ cup skim milk
2 cups low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded
2 pounds potatoes
1 head cauliflower
½ cup butter
1 onion, sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut potatoes into a one inch dice and cut up the head of cauliflower, discarding the core.  Put in a pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and cook until everything is tender.  Drain potatoes and cauliflower. 

In a bowl, mash potatoes and cauliflower with milk and sour cream however you prefer.  Since there were a lot, I did it in a stand mixer.  Stir in cheddar cheese and season with salt and pepper.

In a non-stick pan, melt the butter and sauté the onion until translucent.

Take a 13x9 casserole dish, and spread a light layer of oniony butter on the bottom.  Put one layer of pasta noodles. Spread with a little more butter.  Spread ¼ of the mashed potatoes.  Top with more noodles, then onion butter, then potatoes until you run out of pasta.  My top layer was mashed potato covered with buttery onions.

Bake for 20-30 minutes.

I don’t have any pictures because it pretty much looks like a white brick.  But the taste is awesome!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Warning: B*tchfest Ahead

How I feel way too often
So it looks like spring has sprung.  Warm weather, sunshine, birds chirping at f*cking 6 am.  Beautiful.  Which seems like a great time to get off my ass and start running outside.  I am running a 5k in May.  It is almost April. 
When is the last time I went to the gym?  Oh, around 3 weeks ago.  Ugh.  Pathetic.   The last few weekends have been busy with birthdays and family visiting, so I am feeling totally bloated and puffy and gross. 
When is the last time I tracked what I ate?  2 weeks ago.  I have all these excuses but I know none of them are really legitimate. 
How I wish I felt all the time
I slept horribly all weekend.  I have zero energy today.  My house is a mess from having people visiting the last two weekends and I need to straighten up before the cleaning service comes on Wednesday, and I have a much needed hair cut on Tuesday after work, so it has to get done tonight.  My bangs keep poking me in the eyeballs.  Gross.
I have exactly 8 weeks from today to get ready for the Warrior Dash. 

And that is the last of my ranting/self-loathing/beating myself up.  Every day is a new one, and I can’t keep squandering them with a negative attitude.  It is adjustment time!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Recipe: Home Made Egg Drop Soup

I don't want to know how many
WW points are in a beer this size!
I know I haven’t written in a while, but life has just been super-busy.  Scott turned 30 last Saturday, and I arranged a surprise private dinner at Againn, one of his favorite restaurants in DC with a bunch of his friends.   The food was just as good as it usually is in the restaurant, and everyone seemed to really enjoy it.  After dinner we took the stretch Hummer limo I rented to H Street and liter beers at the Biergarten Haus.  All in all, it was a fabulous night of food, friends and fun!
The weekend before, Scott had to work, so I was left to my own devices for dinner.  I had been craving Chinese food, which is some of my favorite food, but take out Chinese isn’t exactly high on the healthy food scale.  My favorites are all fried and drenched in sticky sauces.  One take out staple I enjoy, that isn’t so bad for your, is egg drop soup.  I wasn’t sure how they got both the broth and the egg to have that nice silky texture.  I figured it couldn’t be that hard, so I started looking around at different websites and blogs to get an idea of what it would take to make at home.
As it turns out, it really isn’t that hard to make.  The secret to getting the silky mouth feel of both the broth and the egg is to add cornstarch.  Once you have the broth simmering, remove about ¼ cup and whisk in a tablespoon or 2 of cornstarch, and whisk about ½ tablespoon of cornstarch in with each egg you plan on adding.
There are no pictures of this recipe, because it was just one of those foods that tastes WAY better than it looks.

Home Made Egg Drop Soup (1 serving, but can easily be multiplied) 2 WW points plus per serving

1 cup oyster mushrooms, quartered
2 cups of chicken broth
Green onions, sliced
Soy Sauce, 1 tablespoon
Srirachi, to taste
1 egg, whisked
1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch, divided

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.  Put oyster mushrooms on a baking sheet with either a silpat or tin foil (if using tin foil spray with non-stick spray).  Spray with olive oil, and bake for 20 minutes until crispy.

Heat chicken broth in a pan until simmering.  Stir in soy sauce and a little bit of srirachi, to give it a little kick.  Put in the oyster mushrooms. Let simmer for about 10 minutes so the flavors meld. Meanwhile, whisk the egg with ½ tablespoon of corn starch. Pull out about ¼ cup of hot broth and whisk in the last tablespoon of cornstarch.  Put back in with the broth.  

While the broth is lightly simmering, use a spoon to drizzle the egg into the broth.  Stir gently every few spoon-fulls.  This way gave me a nice silky egg in great bite size pieces. Garnish with the sliced green onions.

I served this is baked egg rolls from Laaloosh, but I used shrimp instead of chicken.

I know the weather is warming up, but if we have a cold snap this will be a great meal to serve!