Grilled Cauliflower

If you were on the East Coast this weekend you know how absolutely wonderful it was outside! We had the house open, breeze blowing in and no worry about snow. Needless to say my grill was cranked up and ready to go last night. I had a head of cauliflower in the fridge that needed to be used and a grill basket saying “why not?!” I have roasted cauliflower in the past with great success and figured grilling wasn’t that different. This was a great addition to some grilled marinated chicken breasts and rice pilaf and super simple to make.

Grilled Cauliflower

Grilled Cauliflower: Serves 3-4

1 Head Cauliflower – Cut into Large Florets
1TB Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

Break your cauliflower into large florets – I quarter, remove the core, then just pull apart and slice super large chunks into half so the pieces are all approximately the same size. Toss with the olive oil and salt and pepper and place in a grill basket. Place on your grill and cook over medium heat for 30-40 minutes tossing once or twice (I actually put it on the grill while it was heating up then once they were done just turned off the portion of the grill they were on while the remainder of my meal cooked!) Serve & Enjoy!

WW: 1 Points Plus / serving

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Creamy Cheesy Noodle Bake

I love the Pioneer Woman! Her Blog, her TV show, always makes me want to get in the kitchen and try her delicious looking food. While her family is physically working hard everyday on their ranch I sit behind a computer most of the time so I often try to lighten her recipes or add more veggies to stretch the deliciousness out to more servings. I have had multiple friends say they tried her Sour Cream Noodle Bake and loved it so I decided to adapt it for myself and I loved the results! This is a lighter version and while it is pretty darn good day 1 I actually enjoyed it even more as leftovers.

Creamy Cheesy Noodle Bake

Creamy Cheesy Noodle Bake: Serves 8

1C Sour Cream – I use Daisy’s Light
1.5C Cottage Cheese – I use Fat Free
8oz Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1-1/4 lbs Ground Beef – I use 93/7
12oz Egg Noodles – I used Whole Grain
15oz Can Diced Tomatoes – Drained
15oz Can Tomato Sauce
1 Onion – Diced
1tsp Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

In a large skillet over medium heat add the olive oil and the onions with some salt and pepper, cook for 2-3 minutes then add the ground beef with salt and pepper and brown the beef. Once the beef is browned, drain the excess fat from the pan then add the tomatoes and tomato sauce with some additional salt and pepper to the pan and let it gently simmer while you assemble everything else.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the egg noodles until al dente – make sure to not over cook them as they will bake and continue to cook in the oven. Once cooked drain and return to the pot.

This step is not necessary but I felt that it would allow the cottage cheese to melt better – I blended the cottage cheese until it was the consistency of the sour cream. You can do that or not, it is your choice, the next step is to mix the sour cream with the cottage cheese and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add 2oz of cheddar cheese (1/4 of the package) to the sour cream mix. Now dump all of this into the noodle pot and stir to incorporate.

The Pioneer Woman recommends layering creamy noodles, beef mixture, creamy noodles, beef and topping with the remaining cheddar cheese. I knew that my boyfriend would not be a fan of just the plain noodles so I chose to mix it all together and pour into a large greased casserole dish. You do whichever sounds best to you, I don’t think you could really make a mistake here. Whatever you do – top the casserole with the remaining cheddar cheese. Put in a 350° oven for about 15-20 minutes until the cheese on top is nice and melted. Remove from the oven, let it sit for a minute then serve and enjoy!

WW: 10 Points Plus / serving

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Weeknight Beef Stew Pasta

This recipe reminds me very much of the Beef Stew my mom makes but did not require any long simmering times and is more of a pasta dish then a true stew. I loved that I was able to make it in the time it took to boil water and cook the noodles and I’m positive my leftovers today will be even more tasty, it just one of those dishes that begs to get better with time.

Beef Stew Pasta

Weeknight Beef Stew Pasta: Serves 4-6

1lbs Ground Beef (I used 95/5 Lean)
1 Onion – Thinly Sliced
3 Carrots – Julienne (match sticks)
1tsp Garlic – Minced
1tsp Olive Oil
1TB Dried Parsley
1TB Worcestershire Sauce
1TB Season Salt (I used Crazy Janes)
12oz Egg Noodles (I used whole wheat)
30oz Can Whole Tomatoes – Drained
15oz Can Tomato Sauce

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the egg noodles and cook until al dente. Drain and set to the side. In a large skillet heat the olive oil and garlic over medium heat for 30-40 seconds until the garlic turns fragrant. Add the onion & carrot to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes to soften, add the ground beef to the pan with the season salt and Worcestershire sauce. Break up the meat as it cooks and once browned drain the pan of any excess fat and return the meat and veggie mixture back to the pan. Add the tomatoes to the pan with the parsley and as they cook gently break them up with the back of a fork or a large spoon/spatula. Add the tomato sauce and let it simmer for a minute or two. Add the noodles to the pan (or if your pan isn’t big enough the pan to the noodle pot!) and cook for a minute or two, serve and enjoy!

WW: 8 Points Plus / serving @ 6 servings
11 Points Plus / serving @ 4 servings

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Grilled Potatoes

This weekend I had the joy of buying a beautiful Weber Grill and tonight I made its first meal – BBQ Chicken Quarters & Grilled Potatoes. One of my favorite meals from the grill. I’m sure I’ll say that with every grill meal to come though. Either way JK fans….get ready for some grill recipes. This first one is sure to be a crowd pleaser, not only is it delicious today, but tomorrow morning if you have any extras you can toss in a frying pan with some scrambled eggs and have a wonderful breakfast.

photo 5

Grilled Potatoes: Serves 4

4 Red Potatoes (approx 6 oz each) – thinly sliced
1 Onion – thinly sliced
4tsp Olive Oil
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder

photo 4

Carefully slice the potatoes into approx 1/8″ thick slices – it is most important that the slices stay approximately the same thickness so they all cook at the same rate. Try to keep the sliced potatoes stacked together to look like a whole potato. Once sliced take one of the potatoes and spread out the slices in order on your cutting board, sprinkle 1 tsp of olive oil over each potato then sprinkle with the spices, next take the end piece of potato, then a small piece of onion then the next slice of potato and layer together so the onions become spacers between the potato slices. Lay the potato & onion mixture together on a greased piece of aluminum foil and wrap up tightly. Repeat with the remaining potatoes. Place on a medium high grill for approximately 45 minutes, you can remove one of the packets from the grill and CAREFULLY open the package – watch out for steam, if a fork easily pierces the potatoes they are ready to eat. If not, wrap back up and continue cooking for a little bit. Once finished remove from the grill, carefully open the packet, serve and enjoy!

WW: 4 Points Plus

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Crab Dip Spinach Pasta

As a Marylander I really miss crab foods during the winter. My grocery store had lump crab meat on sale this week so I picked up a pound and was debating what I was going to make with it and I decided to experiment with a new pasta dish incorporating one of my favorite crab recipes – my families Crab Dip. This recipe uses all of the ingredients of the crab dip but in different quantities to make a little bit healthier as well as saucier. I added a box of frozen spinach to add some more health and bulk and really think this recipe is a winner. I feel like I am eating a bowl of crab dip but am getting some real sustenance and veggies in as well.

Crab Dip Pasta

Crab Dip Spinach Pasta: Serves 6-8

12oz Pasta – I used whole wheat
1lbs Blue Crab Lump Meat – Cooked & checked for shells!
8oz Cream Cheese – I use 1/3 less fat
2oz Cheddar Cheese
1/4C Milk
1/2C Sour Cream – I use Daisy’s Light
1/4-1/2tsp Old Bay
1/4tsp Garlic Powder
2-3 Splashes Worcestershire Sauce
1 Box Frozen Chopped Spinach

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and when the pasta is about half way done cooking add the frozen spinach to the pot and let it thaw and finish cooking with the pasta. Drain and set to the side.

While the pasta and spinach are cooking pick through the crab meat for any left over shells and place the picked over meat in a large bowl. In a blender mix the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, milk, sour cream, Old Bay, garlic powder & Worcestershire sauce. Once it is well blended add it to the crab meat and gently fold the crab meat and sauce together. Add the drained pasta and spinach to the crab and gently toss together. It is best if you can let the pasta sit for a little bit before eating so the pasta will absorb the sauce a little bit. Serve & Enjoy!

WW: 8 Points Plus / serving @ 8 servings
11 Points Plus / serving @ 6 servings

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