Grilled Acorn Squash

I refuse to acknowledge that it is getting colder when it comes to using the grill – until there is snow in my way I will probably still be grilling! I made some of my go to BBQ Chicken Thighs and knew I needed a veggie to go with it. I looked through my crisper and found an acorn squash and decided I would give it a try on the grill. I prepared it the same way I do for the oven and the result was a delicious perfectly cooked squash to go with my chicken. I really love the grill marks too and caramelized bits on the squash.

squash

Grilled Acorn Squash: Serves 2-3

1 Acorn Squash – approx 6-8″ in Diameter
2tsp Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

Cut the squash in half through the stem, scoop out the seeds and pulp. Brush the olive oil onto the cut sides of the squash and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Wrap each half with tightly with tin foil. I turned my grill onto high and placed the wrapped squash, cut side down, on the top rack of my grill. I grilled for 45 minutes but you will know they are done and ready when you can easily pierce the skin and squash flesh with a steak knife (like going through butter!).

Remove from the grill, carefully unwrap, take a large spoon and scoop out the squash from the skin, serve and enjoy!

Tip: I really like to top mine with a dollop of sour cream!

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WW: 1 Points Plus / serving

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Lemon Pepper Mahi Mahi

Has anyone else noticed that the price for seafood has more then doubled in the last 6-8 months?! This really throws a wrench in my love of recipes with shrimp or in my favorite salmon dish with sauteed asparagus. I just cannot justify paying 30-40$ for a bag of shrimp that I got not too long ago for 14$ so I have been doing without but this past week I just had to have seafood of some sort so I was searching the seafood aisle when I found some Mahi Mahi for less than an arm and a leg.

I grabbed some asparagus and I decided I would try Lemon Pepper seasoning with my mahi mahi and boy was it a good decision! Simple – 3 ingredients and about 6-7 minutes in a pan.

LP MM

Lemon Pepper Mahi Mahi: Serves 2

2 Fillets of Mahi Mahi – about 6 oz. Each
1tsp Lemon Pepper Seasoning
2tsp Olive Oil

First – put a skillet over medium heat and add the oil to the pan. While the pan heats up sprinkle the seasoning over both sides of the filets. Now put the fillets in a single layer in the pan and cook for approximately 3-4 minutes then flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily. Remove from the pan, serve and enjoy!

I personally recommend serving with some sauteed or roasted asparagus (I just tossed my asparagus in the skillet once the mahi mahi was finished with some olive oil) and simple brown rice cooked in water with a splash of olive oil and some salt.

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WW: 4 Points Plus / serving

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Beef Stroganoff

For years I have thought about trying beef stroganoff, but darn near every recipe I saw had mushrooms as a main ingredient and they are not an ingredient I am particularly fond of.  As I was trying to think about what to have for dinner I was mentally running through the items in my fridge and kept coming up with zucchini, onion and beef.  It was at that moment a light bulb went off that I was going to make my own version of stroganoff – one without mushrooms but with zucchini and onions.

This dish reminds me a lot of a dish from my childhood – Creamy Chicken & Mushroom Egg Noodle Casserole but was a bit healthier with the addition of the sauteed vegetables. I recommend giving this dish to some picky eaters as there are no large chunks of vegetables but you know they are there and you are getting their benefits.

Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff: Serves 4

8oz Whole Wheat Egg Noodles
1lbs Ground Beef – I use 93/7
1 Large Onion – Diced
1 Large Zucchini – Shredded & Squeezed of excess liquid (approx 3-4C shredded)
1tsp Olive Oil
1/2-1tsp Garlic Powder
Salt & Pepper
1 Can Campbells Condensed Mushroom Soup – 98% FF
1/4C Sour Cream – I use Daisy’s Light
1/4C Chicken Stock – FF or Water

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the egg noodles until al dente, drain and set to the side. In a skillet over medium heat add the olive oil with the onions and some salt and pepper, cook for 2 minutes until they start to soften then add the zucchini with more salt and pepper. After another 2 minutes add the ground beef and sprinkle with the garlic powder and more salt and pepper, brown the meat with the veggies and once completely browned put the whole mixture into a large colander and push out excess liquid – the zucchini and beef will give off juices that make it kinda soupy so you want to get rid of these, I just used the back of my spoon and pushed, stirred and pushed again until most of the liquid was gone.

Add the mix back to the saute pan and add the soup, sour cream and chicken stock to it over low heat until incorporated and starting to bubble, add the noodles back in and stir around. Remove from the heat, cover with a lid and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before stirring one last time, serving and enjoying.

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WW: 11 Points Plus / serving
(Note if you served a half serving it would be 5PP – I will be doing this for the leftovers with some roasted carrots on the side!)

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Bangers and Mash

This week has been a long one for me and I wanted a low key comfort food dinner but didn’t want to feel guilty about eating it! This dinner was easy to put together and I was able to clean up my kitchen as it cooked. Now I have a clean kitchen, a full belly and lots of leftovers. This recipe uses my Mashed Potatoes with Cauliflower recipe and adds Chicken Sausage to complete the Bangers and Mash theme.
bangersmash

Bangers + Mash: Serves 4

1.25 lbs Red Potatoes
3C Frozen Cauliflower (or Fresh)
1/4C Sour Cream (I use Daisy’s Light)
2TB Butter
2-4TB Milk
Salt / Pepper
4 Italian Chicken Sausages – approx 4oz each.
1tsp Olive Oil

I like to have the skins of the potato in my mashed potatoes, if you do not then peel your potatoes! Either way scrub them clean, and chop into even pieces (I do 1/2″ cubes), rinse under cold water, then place in a sauce pot covered with cold, salted water and bring to a boil and cook until easily pierced with a fork. In a separate pot cover the cauliflower with salted water and bring to a boil and cook until a fork easily pierces the stems.

Drain the potatoes & cauliflower and place the cauliflower in a mixer and beat until well minced. Add the potatoes, milk (start with 2TB), sour cream, butter and some salt and pepper and continue to mash until nice and smooth. Add more milk if you like your potatoes a little more loose and taste to see if you need more salt and pepper.

While the potatoes and cauliflower are cooking add the olive oil to a saute pan and heat over medium heat, add the sausages to the pan, cover with a lid and every few minutes turn them over until they are brown all over and cooked through. Once completely cooked place a sausage on top of a serving of the mash, serve and enjoy!

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WW: 9 Points Plus / serving

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Chicken Gnocchi Soup

I was at Olive Garden a few weeks ago and tried their Chicken Gnocchi Soup and was inspired to make my own version that was much chunkier with more veggies and chicken in a delicious creamy broth. This made a huge pot that I can’t wait to dig into! Very filling, and a different take on a traditional chicken soup / chowder.

Chicken Gnocchi

Chicken Gnocchi Soup: Serves 12-16

6-8 Chicken Thighs – Skinless
1 Large Onion – Diced
4-5 Celery Stalks – Diced
4-5 Carrots – Diced
2 Bay Leaves
1TB Chicken Bouillon (I use Better then Bouillon)
1C Heavy Cream
1.5C Milk (I used Fat Free)
2TB Corn Starch
~10-12C Water
15oz Can Creamed Corn
1lbs Gnocchi – I bought Fresh Prepackaged from Wegmans
Salt & Pepper

In a large – and I mean large, soup pot add the chicken, onion, celery, bay leaves, generous salt and pepper (about 1TB salt / 1-2tsp pepper) and water (note I did not measure my water, I was using a huge dutch oven and had about 4-5″ of water in the pan – enough to cover the chicken by an inch or two). Bring this up to a boil and let the chicken cook through. Once the chicken is completely cooked remove it from the pot, remove and discard any excess fat and bones then take the chicken and shred it either by hand, with two forks, or toss it into your stand mixer and beat on low for about 30 seconds.

While you are shredding the chicken turn the the pot down to a low simmer and remove and discard the bay leaves. You’ll notice that excess grease will be gathering on top, with a large spoon carefully remove this grease from your pan and discard. Add the chicken back to the pot with the carrots, creamed corn and bouillon and give it a taste test – is it flavorful? is it bland? adjust as necessary – I like mine peppery so I always use fresh ground pepper in high quantities.

Next mix the milk with the cornstarch until completely incorporated then add to the soup pot, bring up to a boil and stir for a few minutes, add the cream and continue to stir another 3-4 minutes letting all the flavors mesh together. Lastly add the Gnocchi and cook for 2-3 minutes per the package instructions, remove soup from the heat and let the soup sit. Ideally you would make this the day before eating as the cream sauce will really absorb the soup flavors overnight but you can eat it now if you can’t resist! (I may of had a bowl!)

Serve & Enjoy!

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WW: 7 Points Plus / serving @ 12 servings
5 Points Plus / serving @ 16 servings

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