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Julie & Julia" With a Healthy Twist

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hello, I recently got a Weight Watchers cookbook and suddenly...I want to cook. I'm a single working mom and have been for 17 years now. My three children have menu's memorized at every fast food establishment in the Bernalillo county area. My parents divorced when I was 13 and I really didn't get much culinary preparation growing up. On February 19th I started Weight Watchers on my own armed with a points slider and points finder donated by a friend. I have lost 8.5 pounds since that day. I am having so much fun that I decided to start a blog in much the same fashion as Julia did on the movie "Julie & Julia". I wont be updating daily just every time I try a new dish. Today I got one off of "YouTube" entitled Easy Vegetarian Pasta submitted by lechantn0ir. I know there is a section for submitting recipes, however, this blog is just going to document my experience. Tip: when in doubt about a cooking method, check out YouTube, someone somewhere in this world has probably posted it. In this particular recipe I had no idea how the best pasta salads out there were I know the secret. Cook the olive oil with the spices 1st and wilt the vegetables before adding the cook pasta.

Easy Vegetarian Pasta Ingredients:
1 pound of fusilli pasta (I used Rotini)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove minced (I used both powder and fresh)
1 (9 ounce) bag of fresh spinach, roughly chopped
8 ounces (1/2) pint cherry tomatoes halved(I used grape)
1 cup grated Asiago (the best cheese in the world)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 tsp salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions from lechantn0ir:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, warm olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and tomatoes and cook until the spinach wilts, about 2 more minutes. Add the cooked pasta and toss. Add the cheeses, salt, pepper, and the pasta cooking liquid and stir to combine.

Transfer the pasta to a serving plate and serve.

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  • CFELTS217
    So tonight I made the Vegetable Quesadillas in my Weight Watchers Cookbook (page 274).

    2 cups small broccoli florets
    1 1/2 cup fat free milk
    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
    1/2 cup thawed frozen corn kernels
    1/4 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
    1/4 cup coarsely chopped green chiles
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    6 (6-inch) fat-free flour tortillas

    1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook broccoli 2 minutes; drain.
    2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Farenheit; spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
    3. In a small nonstick saucepan over medium heat, whisk the milk and flour; cook, stirring frequently, 4-5 minutes. Stir in the corn, bell pepper, chile, salt, and cayenne; remove from heat to stir in the broccoli and cilantro.
    4. Spoon the vegetable mixture in the center of the tortilla leaving a 1 inch border all the way around and fold in half; bake until hot and bubbling, about 8 minutes. Serve at once.

    Serves 4, 3 weight watchers points per serving.
    184 Calories, 2g Fat, 0g Sat Fat, 0g Trans Fat, 2mg Col, 436mg Sod, 33g Carb, 4g Fib, 9g Prot, 173mg Calc.

    Include cubed cooked chicken for the non-vegetarians in the family.
    2925 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/15/2010 9:58:20 PM
  • JACKIE4019
    What a GREAT idea. I hope I don't miss any of your blogs.
    2930 days ago
    I LOVE this idea, loved the movie too.
    2930 days ago
    This sounds delicious... I am almost ready to eat lunch. Did the youtube have any nutritional information available and how many servings it is supposed to be?
    2930 days ago
    Cooking healthy is so much easier than people think! Good luck!
    2930 days ago
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