Simple advice for a better life.

Broccoli and Steak Stri Fry - 3My favorite diet to follow is The Fat Smash Diet, however I know many others who prefer the Weight Watchers Diet.

Do whatever works the best for you.

All that matters, is that you eat healthy and stay in  motion, so you not only look great, but also feel energized and confident about yourself.

Your body will reward you now, and especially in your “Golden Years”, so you can continue to enjoy life rather than spending time and money in medical facilities.

I found a recipe for a delicious looking dish, Weight Watchers Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry.

It was pretty quick and easy to prepare, and quite delicious.

Best of all, it’s ONLY 5 points per serving.

This recipe yields at least 4-5 servings.

Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry – Weight Watchers Recipe

Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry – Weight Watchers Recipe

Serve as is, or with a small serving of Brown Rice...count your points...

Ingredients

  • 3/4 lbs. Sirloin beef
  • 2 1/2 Tbs. Cornstarch, divided
  • 1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. Canola oil
  • 1 cup Chicken broth, low-sodium
  • 5 cups Broccoli florets, fresh
  • 1 Tbs. Ginger root, minced
  • 4 garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. Red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1/4 cup Soy sauce, low-sodium

Instructions

  1. Rinse the Sirloin beef, and trim off all fat, and membranes.
  2. Slice, against grain, into thin strips (2 millimeters thick).
  3. Spread out on a cutting board.
  4. Mix 2 Tbs. cornstarch with 1/4 tsp.of salt; sprinkle over the meat to coat evenly.
  5. Heat 2 tsp. canola oil in a deep frying pan, add the meat in one layer.
  6. Cook 2 minutes on each side.
  7. Transfer to a bowl, and set aside for now.
  8. Add 1/2 cup of broth into pan, to deglaze it.
  9. Add broccoli florets to the pan, cover it and cook 2 minutes, stirring at least twice.
  10. Uncover, add ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes.
  11. Cook 1 minute.
  12. In a separate cup, mix remaining 1/2 Tbs.cornstarch, with 1 Tbs. water, to dissolve, then add 1/2 cup of broth and soy sauce. Pour over broccoli.
  13. Simmer for 1 minute, to thicken slightly.
  14. Gently fold in beef.
  15. Serve hot.
http://suburbangrandma.com/saving-money/beef-and-broccoli-stir-fry-weight-watchers-recipe/

Eastern European Meatballs - servingMost of us here in the US are used to preparing meatballs in tomato sauce, however Eastern Europeans customized this dish to their own taste and ingredients.

I already shared a post on Meatballs with Mushroom Sauce, but today I will post my recipe for Meatballs with Cabbage.

If you like Cabbage Rolls (Holubtsi – in Ukrainian, or Golabki – in Polish), you will enjoy this dish.

The taste resembles Cabbage Rolls, but this recipe is much simpler to prepare.

Ukrainian Meatballs with Cabbage – Eastern European Recipe

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ukrainian Meatballs with Cabbage – Eastern European Recipe

Ingredients

    Meatballs:
  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground meat (I prefer meatloaf mix – pork/beef/veal)
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tbs. Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbs. olive or canola oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Cabbage and Veggies:
  • 1 white cabbage, medium size, cored and chopped
  • 1 Leek, cleaned well and chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 large carrot, shredded on large eye shredder
  • 1/2 Granny Smith apple, cored, peeled and shredded
  • 2 Tbs. olive or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup water mixed with 1 chicken or beef bullion (or use broth)
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 Tbs. Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tbs. Dill weed
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

    Meatballs:
  1. In a medium size bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, egg, milk, seasoning, salt, pepper and Parmesan Cheese. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan, and saute the onions, until translucent.
  3. Add the chopped garlic, and saute for 1 minute longer.
  4. Add onion to the seasoned mixture.
  5. Mix in the meat, to incorporate all ingredients into uniform paste.
  6. From 1.5 inch size meatballs, and place on a cookie sheet lined with aluminium foil, greased with cooking spray.
  7. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake 10 minutes on each side, turning once.
  8. Remove from oven, and transfer meatballs into a medium pot. Set aside for now.
  9. Cabbage and Veggies:
  10. Heat 2 Tbs. of oil in a 6 quarts pot, and saute the onions until translucent.
  11. Add carrots and leeks and saute 2 minutes longer.
  12. Add minced garlic and saute 1 minute.
  13. Add chopped cabbage, water/bullion or broth, apple,and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, mixing gently, but frequently.
  14. Add meatballs and bay leaf.
  15. Cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  16. Mix tomato paste with 1 Tbs. of water, and fold into cabbage/meatball mixture.
  17. Season to taste with salt, pepper and dill.

Notes

Serve hot, with pasta, mashed potatoes, or even a fresh piece of rye bread....aahh just like in Europe. Tastes even better the next day, as flavors have time to blend together. The meatballs can be made ahead, or even previously frozen. These meatballs freeze very well.

http://suburbangrandma.com/saving-money/ukrainian-meatballs-with-cabbage-eastern-european-recipe/

Ukrainian-Meatballs-Eastern Europeans like their meatballs served with mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes, and a side dish of well seasoned sautéed cabbage.

You might think this is a strange combination, but it’s just a matter of acquiring a taste for it, and loving it.

Meatballs and cabbage stew is another interesting dish you might think is different, yet very tasty.

Today I will share my recipe for the Ukrainian Meatballs with Mushrooms.

This recipe yields 4-6 servings.

Meatballs Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground meat (I prefer meatloaf mix – pork/beef/veal)
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tbs. Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbs. olive or canola oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Mushroom Gravy Ingredients:

  • 10 oz white mushrooms, rinsed and sliced (trim off the stem ends)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. Canola or Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 cup Half and Half
  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs. Dill weed, fresh or dried
  • 1/2 tsp. Maggi Seasoning, optional

 Meatballs Directions:

  1. In a medium size bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, egg, milk, seasoning, salt, pepper and Parmesan Cheese.  Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan, and saute the onions, until translucent.
  3. Add the chopped garlic, and saute for 1 minute longer.
  4. Add onion to the seasoned mixture.
  5. Mix in the meat, to incorporate all ingredients into uniform paste.
  6. From 1.5 inch size meatballs, and place on a cookie sheet lined with aluminium foil, greased with cooking spray.
  7. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Bake 10 minutes on each side,  turning once.
  8. Remove from oven, and transfer meatballs into a medium pot.  Set aside for now.

Mushroom Gravy Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan
  2. Saute onions until golden.
  3. Add the chopped garlic, and saute a minute longer.
  4. Add sliced mushrooms, and saute until they begin to release their juices (5 minutes), stirring often.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. In a small cup or bowl, combine the cream with flour, to form a smooth mixture.
  7. Mix the cream/flour mixture with the mushrooms.  Bring to boil.
  8. Pour mushroom gravy over meatballs,  and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  9. Season with Dill Weed, and Maggi seasoning.
  10. Serve hot, over mashed potatoes, or your favorite pasta.

Enjoy!

 

 

Birthday Party AppetizersWhether you are cooking at home, dining out, or ordering take out, there are almost always some leftovers to deal with after the fact.

There is nothing wrong with having leftovers.   After all, you spent time and money on this food, so you deserve to enjoy it to the last morsel.

Some prepared dishes are not suitable for later use as a leftover…they lose their taste and texture, so it is best to just part with them right there and then.

Numerous others, on the other hand, are still great for at least one or two meals, or even to be frozen for that rainy day when you have no time or desire to cook.

Some people do not like leftovers, and never keep them.  However, if you are like me, you don’t mind them, and feel that you get your money’s worth if you use them.

Most Europeans don’t believe in leftovers….maybe because they hardly ever have any.

They serve their meals already preportioned per plate, and make just enough to feed the crowd they accounted for.  The portions are large enough to satisfy the consumer, so there is no need, or room, for seconds.  Therefore, there are no leftovers.  Any remaining food on each plate, which hardly ever happens, is discarded.  It is almost impolite to ask for a “Doggie Bag”.

Here in the USA we have no problem asking the waiter/waitress to pack up our leftovers to take home with us.

It is very important to keep track of your leftover food in your fridge, which is one of my pet peeves.  I almost feel like I am a fridge police, whether it is at home or at work.

There is nothing worse than seeing “old” food sitting in the fridge way past its safe consumable time.

My personal time line for using up leftovers in up to 3 days…4 being the absolute max.

Now I will share my best way of using up leftovers, and keeping your fridge fresh, and ready for restocking.

Since most of us work full-time, and don’t have much time for cooking during the week, we prepare extra food on weekend, to hold us over for couple of days.  Then by mid-week, it’s time for some take out.  By Thursday we have leftovers to use, or lose.

I consider Thursday  a “Leftover Smorgasbord Dinner Day”.  We pull out all the leftovers from the past few days, and add something new if needed, and call it a day.

Everyone is to create their own plate of food from the smorgasbord spread available.  We also use disposable dishes and utensils that day, to save time on clean up effort.  Whatever food is remaining after this dinner, gets discarded for good.

This is the BEST way to free your fridge of leftover food, and to prevent any food from hiding in there for too long.

Since we have no dishes to wash on this day, we devote our time to cleaning up the fridge, and getting it ready for fresh food from Friday or Saturday shopping.

It works very well every time, and it also is fun, economical, and stress free.

I suggest you try it too, and share your comments.

Have fun!

Cheese Cloth wrapping step 1

Stuffed cabbage - servings 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was chatting with a friend of mine about cooking ….surprise…..surprise…; she was telling me about an interesting dish her family and friends really enjoyed.

She kindly shared her recipe, so I finally had a chance to try it out, and share it with you.

The preparation process might look involved,  but it really isn’t bad.

The finished product looks impressive, especially before the stuffed cabbage head is cut up into serving sections.

Serving piece

 Ingredients:

  • 1 head white cabbage
  • 1.5 lbs. meatloaf mix meat (pork, beef, veal)
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and shredded on a large eye grater
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs. chopped Flat Leaf Italian Parsley
  • 2 tsp. Paprika
  • 1 Tbs. Italian Seasoning
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 cup of bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 Tbs. catchup
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 sheet of cheese cloth ( easily found at your grocer)
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 cubes beef bullion
  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions:

  1. Fill a large pot 1/2 full with water.
  2. Add 1 Tbs. salt, and bring to boil.
  3. Remove one layer of the outer leaves from the head of cabbage and discard. Trim the end of the core, but do not carve it out.
  4. Place the head of cabbage into the boiling water (core down), and boil for 15 minutes.
  5. Turn the cabbage head with the core up, and boil 15 minutes longer.Cooling the cooked whole cabbage
  6. Remove from heat, and submerge the cabbage in ice water for 15 minutes.
  7. Save the cabbage water for later use.
  8. Gently trim off some of the thick rib of the cabbage, from the core upward, but make sure the leaves remains attached to the core.Cabbage head ready for stuffing
  9. Gently unfold the leaves one by one, and spread them out to the side of the core. Don’t worry if they split slightly; it will be fine once the head is reconstructed.
  10. Repeat this process until you have at least 3-4 layers of leaves.
  11. Cut out the middle portion of the remaining tightly folded leaves (save for later use)
  12. Set the cabbage leaves aside for now.Sauteing veggies for stuffing
  13. Add oil to sauce pan, and heat it on medium heat.
  14. Add the chopped onions, and saute 5 minutes.
  15. Add shredded carrot and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  16. Add chopped garlic, and saute 1 minute longer.Stuffing ingredientsStuffing ready to use
  17. In a large bowl, mix the meatloaf mix with the sauteed onions, salt and pepper, paprika, Italian Seasoning, chopped parsley, egg, water, and catchup.
  18. Mix all to incorporate evenly.
  19. Spread the cheesecloth on a platter, and place the cabbage leaves over it.
    Stuffing step 1
  20. Make a large ball (size of a tennis ball) put of the prepared filling,  and place it in the middle of the spread out cabbage leaves.
  21. Bring up one layer of leaves, and fold over the filling ball, to enclose it.Stuffing step 2-3
  22. Spread a generous amount of filling onto the second layer of leaves.
  23. Fold them up towards the created filling ball, and carefully recreating the head of cabbage.
    Cheese Cloth wrapping step 1
  24. Repeat this process until all the leaves are used up.Cheese Cloth wrapping step 2
  25. Bring up all 4 corners of the cheesecloth, fit snugly around the stuffed cabbage head, and tie it all together at the top of the head.Cooking step 1
  26. Place the ball of cabbage in a medium pot.
  27. Mix 5 cups of cabbage water with beef bullion.
  28. Mix in 1/2 of the tomato paste.
  29. Pour over the tied cabbage head.
  30. Add bay leaves, and more water if necessary, so at least 2/3 of the cabbage ball is submerged.
    Cooking step 2
  31. Bring to boil, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.
  32. Remove cabbage head from the pot, and set on a serving platter.  Remove and discard the cheesecloth.
    Cooking step 3Cooking step 4
  33. Carefully place the cabbage head in an oven proof casserole dish, and set aside.
  34. Heat the remaining liquid in the pot, and cook to reduce to about 2 cups.
  35. Mix flour with a small amount of cabbage liquid, to form a smooth paste.
  36. Mix in  heavy cream, and remaining 1/2 of tomato paste.
  37. Pour this mixture into the cabbage water.
  38. Bring to boil and cook for few minutes to form a creamy sauce.
  39. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  40. Pour sauce over the cabbage head.
  41. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and bake it uncovered for 20 minutes.
  42. Remove from oven, and cut up into wedges (from middle top of the cabbage head toward the bottom).
  43. Serve it hot.

Enjoy and share comments.

 

 

 

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