Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sundried Tomato and Mozzarella Pasta Salad

This is a lovely pasta salad that would make a great packed lunch or good accompaniment to a picnic.  Make it the night ahead for maximum flavour.  You can use a fat free dressing of choice instead of the olive oil and vinegar and this will subtract 2 points from the recipe, however the serving points will remain the same.  By all means bulk this up with more free vegetables.  Roasted red peppers and or chopped cucumber would work very well.


  • 175g pasta, dried
  • 4 sun dried tomatoes (not oil packed) reconstituted and chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 60g low-fat mozarella (half a ball), diced
  • 6-7 basil leaves, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • pinch of sugar
  • salt and pepper to season
Cook pasta as directed on packet.  Rinse with cold water.

Whisk oil, vinegar and sugar together.  Pour over other ingredients in a large bowl.  Toss to cover everything. Season with salt and pepper.  

Serves 4, 5 pro points per serving.

Pro Points per recipe: 22, serves 4.  
Monday, May 16, 2011

Blueberry and Lemon Muffins

I've altered my normally decadent blueberry muffin recipe here to make a lighter alternative.  I honestly couldn't taste the difference and everyone devoured these.  I find that lemon goes beautifully with blueberries and really gives these muffins a zing. Quick and easy to make, tasty and healthy at a mere 5 pro points, what's not to love?  Compare that to a Starbuck's "skinny" blueberry muffin and that's a savings of 5 points!

  • zest of a lemon
  • 100g + 1tbsp caster sugar
  • 200g flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 75g butter, melted
  • 150ml skim milk
  • 50g half-fat creme fraiche
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp lemon extract (optional)
  • 250g blueberries
Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F.  Line a 12 muffin tray with paper cake cases.  Mix lemon zest with the tablespoon of sugar.  Set aside.

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.  Whisk milk, creme fraiche, butter, lemon extract and egg together.  Mix into dry ingredients until uniform. Do not over mix. Gently fold in blueberries.  

Spoon batter into the prepared muffin pan.  Sprinkle the lemon sugar on top of each muffin.  

Bake for 20 minutes until risen and a toothpick comes out clean.  

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Chicken and Mushrooms in White Wine Cream Sauce

Ohaider! Forgive the prolonged absence, insert usual excuses here.  I'm back and I'm still doing Weight Watchers and plan on posting some results and recipes here as I can.  Forgive the photo quality for the next little while, my SLR is acting up and I need to take it to Dublin to get sorted, so I'm stuck with my iPhone, which is not ideal at all.  

This is a wonderful recipe adapted from Gina's Chicken and Mushroom in a Garlic White Wine Sauce. As a general rule I like to avoid chicken fillets as I find them bland and flavourless. Dark meat is always full of flavour and finishing the thighs in the oven allows you to prep the rest of the meal and any side dishes.  I used a dollop of half fat creme fraiche to give this a creamy finish.  The first thing himself said was "this is going to screw up your diet."  Little did he know it was a mere 7 propoints! :)  The kids gobbled this up too, it's full of flavour and a lovely sophisticated meal.


  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (1.5lbs)
  • 50g flour
  • 2 tsp butter, separated
  • 3 tsp olive oil, separated
  • 500g mushrooms
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 100ml white wine
  • 100ml chicken stock
  • 50g half fat creme fraiche
  • handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 200C/400F.  Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour.  Heat a tsp of olive oil and butter in a skillet over a medium-high heat.  Sear all sides until chicken is brown.  Place chicken in a casserole dish and cover with foil.  Finish in the oven until cooked through, around 20-30 minutes.

Add the remaining olive oil and butter to the skillet and saute the onion for a minute or two before adding the mushrooms and garlic.  Turn heat to high and cook until mushrooms give up their liquid.  Lower heat and add wine and stock.  Simmer down to a thick yet fluid consistency.  

Just before the chicken is done, add the cream and 2/3 of the parsley to the sauce.  When the chicken is done, add it and any juices back to the pan with the vegetables.  Stir and serve. 

Serve with rice, pasta or potatoes. Propoints were 7 using the WW site, but based on the nutritional facts from Sparkpeople below, they are 4. I'm sticking with the 7 to be sure! :)

Nutrition Facts
  8 Servings
Amount Per Serving
  Total Fat6.5 g
     Saturated Fat2.1 g
     Polyunsaturated Fat1.0 g
     Monounsaturated Fat2.6 g
  Cholesterol62.5 mg
  Sodium166.6 mg
  Potassium413.7 mg
  Total Carbohydrate7.1 g
     Dietary Fiber1.2 g
     Sugars1.2 g
  Protein16.5 g