It’s so weird to me sometimes that a few simple ingredients can create such delicious food. Take flour, salt and eggs and a splash of water. What have you got? Homemade pasta!
So we’ve declared Thursday nights as “spin the fridge wheel” and use up/eat up just what is on hand. And I didn’t cheat all that much! Last weekend my store had roma tomatoes on the $1 rack – long time readers know how I am like a bee to honey for that dollar rack! I actually got four of those packages of tomatoes and only had to throw one out. I quartered them, added some whole garlic cloves added about a tablespoon of olive oil to the whole GIANT sheet pan and sprinkled with salt and pepper and roasted them for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.
Once cooled, I just put them in a container, pushed it to the back of the fridge and quickly forgot about it. Until last night. I originally thought I’d make tomato soup out of the tomatoes, but then I quickly realized I could make pasta! I had 16 smart points going into dinner, so pasta for dinner was quickly born. For the sauce, I heated up my stock pot over medium low heat and added the roasted tomato/garlic mixture. It was pretty thick, so I added a 14 ounce can of no sugar added diced tomatoes (um, read the labels – A LOT of canned tomatoes have added sugar which adds points!), a tablespoon Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper and salt and pepper to taste. That simmered while I got my pasta going.
So I cheated for the pasta. While most purists will do the flour on the counter, make a well and slowly incorporate the egg into the flour mixture, every.single.time I’ve tried to do that the eggs never incorporate, I’ve got flour on every surface of my kitchen and all over myself. My hands have more pasta dough on them than the actual counter, and well, it’s a weeknight and I was hungry and decided to make the dough in the food processor.
This is definitely going on the list of things to make all.the.time. Next time I am going to add baby spinach to the mix and see if I can make spinach pasta! I am calling the sauce 2 WW points since I roasted the pasta with olive oil and with the tablespoon of shaved Parm, that was an 8 point dinner!
So what other deliciousness have I eaten this past week? (note, I am only putting the WW points for my eats. I know a lot of readers aren’t doing WW but since I am not counting calories, I am already putting my food into WW and didn’t have time to then figure out the calories – thanks!)
- Chobani/blueberry/honey bunches of oats. The Chobani is 2, the blueberries 0 and 1/2 cup of the honey bunches of oats was (3). This was surprisingly filling for 5 smart points!
- Steel cut oats from Trader Joe’s. Okay, when you do the math, paying $1.79 for two servings of oatmeal is ridiculous, but this is great to have on hand to grab and go so you don’t find yourself going to McDonald’s to get a yogurt parfait but then your mouth says “I’ll have the sausage biscuit combo please!” Not that it’s happened to me personally. Each oat serving is 5 smart points.
- Not too far from the frozen oatmeal in the freezer case was Trader Joe’s very berry cherry frozen mix. There is no added sugar, so a 1 cup serving is 0 points! I make my own sauce by taking 1/2 a cup of the frozen fruit and adding a couple tablespoons of water and let it simmer about 5 minutes or so over medium heat until the berries start to melt. Then I sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of corn starch to the mix and bring the heat up to high and cook for another minute until the sauce starts to thicken.
- The delicious end result! The oats (5), the berry sauce (0), the banana (0) and then 1/2 an ounce of mixed nuts for 2, so 7 smart points all together.
- Aldi has their Fit & Active line and that giant flat bread is only 2 WW points!
- Beef! 6 ounces of beef is 5 smart points. I sautéed mushrooms and zucchini (0) and Hannah made skinny twice baked potatoes on the side. That recipe will be coming soon, but my half of potato was 6 smart points. My secret though? Most steak houses brush the beef with clarified butter before it hits your table. To get that mouth feel of butter, after I cooked the steak, I melted 1/2 teaspoon of butter (1 smart point) and tossed my beef in the butter, so I got a buttery flavor with each bite. Um, 12 delicious smart points and guess what? It doesn’t taste like “WW food” because it’s real food.
- Greek chicken pitas with home fries and cinnamon apples. My store sells Greek marinated chicken breasts on sale for $3.99 a pound and they are so flavorful and delicious, that when my Mom comes to my house we usually stop at the store so she can stock up on the chicken. I had homemade naan dough in the fridge and quickly pan fried them for a quick weeknight dinner. The naan (2), 4 ounces of chicken (3), tablespoon of tzatziki (0), three ounces of potatoes with ketchup (3) and the sweetest Fuji apple with cinnamon. Hannah and I both said it was like eating a raw apple pie!
- With the Fit & Active flat bread I made a buffalo chicken wrap. I picked up a piece of breaded chicken tender at the store – it weighed 3 ounces so it was 4 sp. I added Frank’s hot sauce, red cabbage to the wrap (6 points) and had two tablespoons of Trader Joe’s sriracha hummus (2) and fruit and carrots on the side for an 8 smart point lunch.
- With only FIVE workdays left I decided to bring in some baked treats for the office. I will post this recipe soon, but I made 16 baby blueberry and lemon scones only using two tablespoons of butter for the whole recipe. Without the glaze the scones are 3 WW points and with the glaze and orange zest, they are 4 points.
- I went freezer diving and brought a serving of my beef and bean chili (5) and added 1/2 an ounce of light Cabot cheese (1) and not pictured is 1/2 an ounce of tortilla chips I used for dipping (2) for a 7 smart point lunch.
- My grocery store had chicken thighs on sale for .69 cents a pound so I baked a bunch of them over the weekend. Jacob LOVES chicken. These were on the small side, but I baked them in my cast iron skillet with Tony Chacheres creole seasoning at 375 for 25 minutes. I peeled the skin off and had 4 ounces of chicken thigh (4) with 3.5 ounce twice baked potato (4) and tzatziki sauce (1) with carrots and fruit (0).
- Breakfast panini! Aldi has a one point per slice bread and I ended up scrambling 1 egg (2) with 1/2 cup egg whites (1) with spinach. At work I put the sammie together with two slices of cooked Trader Joe’s uncured turkey bacon (2) and an ounce of light Cabot cheese (2) with fresh fruit on the side for a 9 smart point breakfast. Super filling too!
- I love the protein pack at Starbuck’s. Someone at my office bought one and had it in the fridge. I went and got my phone to scan the bar code and was shocked that it came in at 14 points! That’s almost half my day! So I made my own protein plate yesterday. I had one of my scones (4), with a hardboiled egg (2) with hot sauce, two tablespoons of PBFit (1) and a cinnamon apple. My protein plate comes in at just 7 smart points and this kept me full for hours. I ate this at 9 am and I didn’t eat lunch until nearly 2:30!
Turns out my last day of work is next Thursday! My boss realized she was going to be out of town next Friday, and the office would be really quiet, and it didn’t really make sense for me to work when it will be slow. She asked if it was okay if I left work a day earlier than planned and it was all I could do not to do a back flip out of her office. Um, yes please! So ONE WEEK FROM TODAY is the first day of the rest of my life.
Have you guys seen the movie The Jerk with Steve Martin? There is a scene where he says he doesn’t need anything. Anything! Except this ashtray. “That’s all I need is this ashtray. Oh, and this paddle game. All I need is this ashtray and paddle game. And these matches!” I kind of feel that’s how it’s going to be every day until I leave. I don’t need anything! Oh, except my crockpot. That’s all I need is my crockpot! And my panini maker. Just the crockpot and the panini maker, that’s all I need! Oh, and the smoothie maker. Just the crockpot, panini maker and the smoothie maker!
Um, not to mention the umpteen dishes, plates, silverware, snowman mugs, measuring cups, etc. that have made their home at this office these last five years.
As I was cleaning out a drawer, I found this note from Hannah. It doesn’t have a date on it, so it could be from last year or five years ago?
How apropos is that note? And just the night before last, she tagged me on this from Instagram:
I am so thrilled that I am showing her by example that you have to fight for what makes you happy and not wait and see if happiness finds you. So I hope that when you wake up and have the choice, you wake up and chase your dreams!
Have an amazing weekend