Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Beefy pasta and an awesome 1 point side

Things got a little tough at 6 p.m. My stomach was growling and I almost succumbed to a Snickers bar while I was shopping for points-friendly fare. Thankfully, both of the recipes I tried tonight - our first two points recipes - turned out to be keepers. Ken really liked both the Beef Pasta Skillet and the Asparagus with Prosciutto. Me? I LOVED the asparagus. I want to eat it every day. And as long as I can find (and afford) the prosciutto, I might just do that.

Here are the recipes, adapted from Weight Watchers 15 Minute cookbook/magazine:

Beef Pasta Skillet
6 oz. farfalle pasta (uncooked)
1 lb. ground sirloin (at least 90% lean)
2 c. tomato basil pasta sauce
1/4 tsp. black pepper (preferably freshly ground)
1/2 c. shredded part-skim mozzarella

1. Cook pasta as directed on package (unless package calls for fat - omit fat). Drain pasta (when it is time to add it to beef in step 3).
2. At the same time the pasta cooks, brown ground beef over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Drain and return beef to skillet.
3. Add sauce and pepper to skillet with beef; cook 2 minutes. Add pasta to skillet; cook 2 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese; cook one minute or until cheese melts.

Makes 5 servings. Serving size is one cup.
Per serving: 336 calories; 9.1 g fat; 27 g protein; 33.9 g carbs; 1.1 g fiber; 56 mg cholesterol; 3.9 mg iron. 7 points.

Asparagus roasted with prosciutto
1 lb. asparagus spears
butter flavored spray (Can't Believe It's Not Butter)
1/8 tsp. salt (preferably freshly ground sea salt)
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced (or 1 tsp. minced garlic from a jar)
1/4 c. prosciutto, coarsely chopped
Optional: 1/2 tsp. lemon rind (great use for the Microplane in the shortcuts post)
Optional: 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Line jelly roll pan with aluminum foil.
2. Rinse asparagus; snap off tough ends and place on foil. Spray with butter spray (be generous but do not soak). Sprinkle seasonings on asparagus, toss to distribute. Sprinkle with prosciutto.
3. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until asparagus is tender-crisp.

4 servings.
Per serving: 37 calories; 1.4 g fat; 3.4 g protein; 3 g carbs; 1.3 g fiber; 6 mg cholesterol; 1.4 mg iron. 1 point.

Notes: Both of these recipes would be great for people who aren't counting points, as well as those who are. Even people who don't think they like asparagus will probably like this recipe!
For easy and affordable freshly ground salt and pepper, try the McCormick grinders, found near the spices in the grocery store.

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