Not Your Mama’s Lima Beans-Penne with Sundried Tomatoes and Baby Lima Beans with Crumbled Bacon

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As I’ve mentioned before-I absolutely love cookbooks. And I love putting my own twist to the simplest of recipes. I found a simple recipe for Linguini with Sundried Tomatoes and Peas in my Eat Clean Diet Cookbook. It looked so yummy and simple.

Well I had no peas in my freezer, so I thought I’d improvise with what I had-and give lima beans the spotlight. Lima beans are never anyone’s favorite legume. And finicky sharks rarely tolerate them. But in this pasta dish, you’ll forget that’s what you’re eating. Even the kids.

This dish features whole wheat penne pasta and a heart healthy olive oil and Sundried tomato garlic sauce with a hint of sweet red wine, tossed with tender baby Lima beans and topped with crisp bacon crumbles.

Ready to get cooking?

Ingredients for Penne with Sundried Tomatoes and Baby Lima Beans with Crumbled Bacon
2 cups whole wheat penne
5 oz bacon
2 cups frozen baby Lima beans
1/4 cup Sundried tomatoes in oil, drained
1 1/2 Tb Sundried tomato pesto
1/4 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 large shallot, minced
2 Tb sweet red wine
2 tsp chicken tomato bouillon
Salt and pepper to taste

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Bring a large pot of salted water to boiling and cook the penne as directed until al dente, about 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat a large nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Cook the bacon until crisp and drain. Crumble or chop and set aside. Do not wipe the pan.

Add 1/4 cup olive oil to the pan. When the oil is hot (add in a piece of garlic and watch it sizzle) add the garlic and shallots. Sauté about 3 minutes over medium heat.

Meanwhile transfer the pasta to a large bowl using a slotted spoon. Do not dump the cooking water. Add the frozen baby lima beans to the water and boil 5 minutes. Then remove from heat. Drain the lima beans, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.

Chop the Sundried tomatoes and add to the pan with the pesto. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally.

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Spoon the baby lima beans into the saucepan. Add the reserved pasta cooking water to the saucepan and 2 tsp chicken bouillon with tomato flavor. Stir to combine. Add 2 Tb sweet red wine and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about 8 minutes.

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Remove from heat and toss well with penne pasta in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Spoon pasta onto 4 serving plates and top each with crumbled bacon. Looking for a vegan or vegetarian version of this meal? Omit the bacon or use soy, and substitute vegetable stock for the pasta water and chicken bouillon.

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Penne with Sundried Tomatoes and Baby Lima Beans with Crumbled Bacon

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Number of servings: 4

Per Serving 690 calories

Fat 45 g

Carbs 57 g

Protein 17 g

4

Penne with Sundried Tomatoes and Baby Lima Beans with Crumbled Bacon

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 19

*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.

*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat penne
  • 5 oz bacon
  • 2 cups frozen baby Lima beans
  • 1/4 cup Sundried tomatoes in oil, drained
  • 1 1/2 Tb Sundried tomato pesto
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2 Tb sweet red wine
  • 2 tsp chicken tomato bouillon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boiling and cook the penne as directed until al dente, about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat a large nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Cook the bacon until crisp and drain. Crumble or chop and set aside. Do not wipe the pan.
  3. Add 1/4 cup olive oil to the pan. When the oil is hot (add in a piece of garlic and watch it sizzle) add the garlic and shallots. Sauté about 3 minutes over medium heat.
  4. Meanwhile transfer the pasta to a large bowl using a slotted spoon. Do not dump the cooking water. Add the frozen baby lima beans to the water and boil 5 minutes. Then remove from heat. Drain the lima beans, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.
  5. Chop the Sundried tomatoes and add to the pan with the pesto. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally.
  6. Spoon the baby lima beans into the saucepan. Add the reserved pasta cooking water to the saucepan and 2 tsp chicken bouillon with tomato flavor. Stir to combine. Add 2 Tb sweet red wine and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about 8 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and toss well with penne pasta in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  8. Spoon pasta onto 4 serving plates and top each with crumbled bacon.

Notes

Looking for a vegan or vegetarian version of this meal? Omit the bacon or use soy, and substitute vegetable stock for the pasta water and chicken bouillon.

Did you ever eat lima beans as a kid?

You may also enjoy Extra Meaty Restaurant Style Spaghetti

Twisted Cheesy Breadsticks with Marinara Shots

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I really don’t know when restaurants or anyone for that matter decided to start filling us up with bread and starches before a meal, but it has become a pretty habitual thing in our culture. Red Robin-our local burger joint-provides basketfuls of French fries. Any local Mexican restaurant serves crisp tortilla chips and salsa. Italian restaurants bring out fresh sourdough or French baguettes with fresh bruschetta for slathering on. And pizza joints fill us up with twisted breadsticks or Crazy bread and warm marinara sauce.

I went to the local Olive Garden Italian Restaurant with my co-workers today for a company New Year’s lunch. The first thing they brought out to us was the warm (well moderately warm) breadsticks glazed with butter and Parmesan cheese. That brought about some light conversation of meal starters at restaurants.

I guess some of these traditions may have rubbed off on me, because like any good restaurant, I decided to make my family of Famished Fish some Twisted Cheesy Breadsticks with Marinara Shots to accompany the Pizza Potato Soup I’d made one night.

I found this recipe online and with a few additions, this is what I came up with.

You probably already have these Ingredients at home.
In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, begin with:
1½ cups warm  water
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. yeast

Let this rest for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to foam a bit.

Then gradually with the mixer on low, or with a wooden spoon and a LOT of elbow grease, slowly add:
3½ cups flour
1 tsp Salt

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Mix this just until incorporated, on low speed.

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Then switch the speed to medium and “knead” the dough with the dough hook and smooth and soft.

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Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, cover with a clean dish towel, and let rise for 10 minutes.

Did you notice this is totally vegetarian?! If you use soy cheese and olive oil, it can be vegan too!

Because I topped this with:
1 cup of shredded cheddar and jack cheese
1 Tb of parmesan cheese, reserved
1 Tb of melted butter mixed with 1 tsp garlic salt

Punch down the dough, flatten it out into a large rectangle about 3/4″ thick and brush with melted garlic butter. Cut dough into 1″ wide strips along the short end.

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Follow the simple steps pictured below.

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And bake at 400F on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray or lined with parchment paper, for 15-20 minutes until slightly golden. Sprinkle with reserved parmesan cheese.

Serve with some warm marinara sauce that has been spooned into shot glasses.

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And you know all the famished fish and finicky shark gobbled these twisted snacks all up!

Recipe derived from Six Sisters

Twisted Cheesy Breadsticks with Marinara Shots

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Number of servings: 12

Per Serving 202 calories

Fat 5 g

Carbs 31 g

Protein 7 g

12

Twisted Cheesy Breadsticks with Marinara Shots

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 5

*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.

*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 Tb sugar
  • 1 Tb. yeast
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar and jack cheese
  • 1 Tb of parmesan cheese, reserved
  • 1 Tb of melted butter
  • 1 tsp garlic salt

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine warm water, sugar and yeast.
  2. Let mixture rest for 5 minutes to allow yeast to foam.
  3. Then gradually with the mixer on low, or with a wooden spoon and a LOT of elbow grease, slowly add the flour and salt.
  4. Mix this just until incorporated, on low speed.
  5. Then switch the speed to medium and “knead” the dough with the dough hook and smooth and soft.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, cover with a clean dish towel, and let rise for 10 minutes.
  7. Punch down the dough, flatten it out into a large rectangle about 3/4″ thick and brush with melted butter mixed with garlic salt. Cut dough into 1″ wide strips along the short end.
  8. Preheat oven to 400F.
  9. Sprinkle cheddar and jack cheese on the strips.
  10. Fold the strips in half, sandwiching the cheese in the strip.
  11. Twist at both ends to create a twisted breadstick. Some of the cheese with poke out of the sides.
  12. Let strips rest for 20 minutes to rise.
  13. Transfer to a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray or lined with parchment paper.
  14. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
  15. Sprinkle with reserved parmesan cheese.
  16. Serve with marinara of choice.

Notes

Did you notice this recipe is totally vegetarian?! If you use soy cheese and olive oil, it can be vegan too! Makes about 24 breadsticks.

What is your favorite meal starter?

You may also enjoy Whole Wheat Deep Fried Artichokes with Tarragon Dipping Sauce

Sweet Withdrawals – S’more Protein Pancakes

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Okay it’s the day after Christmas but I’m not ready for sugar withdrawals. I wish I’d had time for baking this season, but instead I ate half the fudge and a large portion of cookies off of my sister-in-laws cookie platter on Christmas Eve. And I am getting back into the workout routine and healthy eating, really. But for all of us who still have that sweet tooth, let’s dig into these S’more Protein Pancakes. What better use of the marshmallows and Hershey bars we have lying around from holiday baking right?

Smore Protein Pancakes
Ingredients:
1 cup oats
1 cup wheat flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 oz wedge grated Mexican chocolate
1 Hershey bar
1 cup marshmallows
3-4 Tb boiling water
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 scoop vanilla soy protein powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups soy milk

Begin by mixing the oats, flour, sugar and Mexican chocolate in a blender or food processor. Add the protein powder, baking soda and salt. Blend in the eggs and soy milk.

Preheat a nonstick pancake griddle over medium heat. Spray lightly with cooking spray and pour pancakes into 1/4 cup ladles onto hot griddle surface. Let the pancake cook and bubble around the edges, about 1 min and flip and cook through another 45 seconds, until lightly browned.

Combine the marshmallows and boiling water in a small saucepan and warm over low heat until fluffy.

Layer pancakes, 1/4 of the Hershey bar and marshmallow fluff. Dust with cinnamon and serve. Makes 4 yummy servings.

These pancakes are super kid friendly, with heart smart oatmeal and healthy fat chocolate and spicy cinnamon for a healthy blood flow. And just enough sweet to make you forget they are actually good for you. 😉

Okay now to proceed with the day’s workout-and reward myself with protein and chocolate!

S’more Protein Pancakes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Number of servings: 4

Per Serving 496 calories

Fat 10 g

Carbs 87 g

Protein 17 g

4

S’more Protein Pancakes

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 13

*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.

*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1.5 oz wedge grated Mexican chocolate
  • 1 Hershey bar
  • 1 cup marshmallows
  • 3-4 Tb boiling water
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 scoop vanilla soy protein powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups soy milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Begin by mixing the oats, flour, sugar and Mexican chocolate in a blender or food processor. Add the protein powder, baking soda and salt. Blend in the eggs and soy milk.
  2. Preheat a nonstick pancake griddle over medium heat. Spray lightly with cooking spray and pour pancakes into 1/4 cup ladles onto hot griddle surface. Let the pancake cook and bubble around the edges, about 1 min and flip and cook through another 45 seconds, until lightly browned.
  3. Combine the marshmallows and boiling water in a small saucepan and warm over low heat until fluffy.
  4. Layer pancakes, 1/4 of the Hershey bar and marshmallow fluff. Dust with cinnamon and serve.

How do you wind down from holiday sweets?

You may also enjoy Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

Merry Christmas Peppermint Krispy Treats

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Merry Christmas! Cooking with your kids is always fun stuff, and around the holidays is the best. Gingerbread houses, cookie decorating and marshmallows and sprinkles light up any kids world.

My finicky shark and I made these Peppermint Rice Krispy Treats for Christmas this year. So simple, so tasty and done in less than 10 minutes. These Jet-Puffed Peppermint Marshmallows are the best thing to hit the holiday season since eggnog. I just added some peppermint marshmallows to my morning café latte mocha and it was delicious!

All you need to make these yummy Christmas Peppermint Krispy Treats:
6 cups crisp rice cereal
1 10 oz bag jet-puffed peppermint mini marshmallows
3 Tb butter
1 Tb holiday sprinkles
2 oz crushed peppermint candies
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Microwave the butter and marshmallows in a large microwave safe bowl for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes.

Pour the mixture over the crisp rice cereal.

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Press into a greased 13×9 inch casserole dish or decorative mold.

Have your kids help with the candy crushing.

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Crush the peppermint candies over the Krispy Treats. This is the perfect job for finicky sharks!

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Sprinkle with holiday sprinkles.

 

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Cut into 24 squares and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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Enjoy while watching your favorite Christmas movie.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Famished Fish readers. Enjoy the season.

Merry Christmas Peppermint Krispy Treats

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Number of servings: 24

Per Serving 76 calories

Fat 2 g

Carbs 14 g

Protein 1 g

24

Merry Christmas Peppermint Krispy Treats

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 2

*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.

*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups crisp rice cereal
  • 1 10 oz bag jet-puffed peppermint mini marshmallows
  • 3 Tb butter
  • 1 Tb holiday sprinkles
  • 2 oz crushed peppermint candies

Instructions

  1. Microwave the butter and marshmallows in a large microwave safe bowl for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes.
  2. Pour the mixture over the crisp rice cereal.
  3. Press into a greased 13×9 inch casserole dish or decorative mold.
  4. Have your kids help with the candy crushing.
  5. Crush the peppermint candies over the Krispy Treats.
  6. Sprinkle with holiday sprinkles.
  7. Cut into 24 squares and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

What is your favorite Christmas movie?

You may also enjoy Jello Jiggler Brain Jammers

 

Holiday Eggnog Crepes with Maple Rum Syrup

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One Sunday a month my family of famished fish get to wake up to the smell of fresh buttery crepes on the stove. And this Sunday was no different-other than making these just before 11 dozen tamales. (Boy was I crazy!)

But I did change one thing with my usual crepes-I added some holiday spirit. Some eggnog to be exact. Oh boy were these some of the softest and fluffiest crepes. All that whipped egg and sweet nutmeg was just the thing we needed to get in some holiday spirit. And of course we drizzled these with spiced rum infused maple syrup.

I made these crepes with the same technique as my Original Crepes, with just these simple recipe add-ins.

Holiday Eggnog Crepes

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups flour
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups eggnog
1/3 cup plus 1Tb milk
2 Tb sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Dash salt
2 Tb melted butter
1/2 tsp almond extract
powdered sugar for dusting
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 Tb spiced rum
8 Tb whipped cream

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First combine the eggs, eggnog, milk, sugar and spice and almond extract in a large mixing bowl. Whisk well.

Slowly whisk in the flour and melted butter.

Ladle onto an 8-inch non-skillet sprayed with cooking spray that has been preheated over medium heat.

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Twirl the pan to coat with the crepe batter and let cook about 30-45 seconds.

Flip with a rubber spatula.

Cook the other side about 15-30 seconds, until cooked through. Do not over brown.

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Fold crepes into quarters and keep warm under a clean dish towel.

Dust with powdered sugar to serve.

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Combine the maple syrup and spiced rum and drizzle over crepes. Garnish with whipped cream and sprinkle with additional nutmeg.

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One bite of these Holiday Eggnog Crepes will get you right in the Christmas spirit.

My family and I really enjoyed these. I love the versatility of crepes. Just add a couple things here and there and you have special breakfast treat.

Holiday Eggnog Crepes with Maple Rum Syrup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Number of servings: 4

Per Serving 580 calories

Fat 16 g

Carbs 88 g

Protein 16 g

4

Holiday Eggnog Crepes with Maple Rum Syrup

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 14

*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.

*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Ingredients

    For the Eggnog Crepes

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups eggnog
  • 1/3 cup plus 1Tb milk
  • 2 Tb sugar
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • Dash salt
  • 2 Tb melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • For the Maple Rum Syrup and Garnish

  • 2 Tb powdered sugar for dusting
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tb spiced rum
  • 8 Tb whipped cream
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Instructions

  1. First combine the eggs, eggnog, milk, sugar and spice and almond extract in a large mixing bowl. Whisk well.
  2. Slowly whisk in the flour and melted butter.
  3. Ladle onto an 8-inch non-skillet sprayed with cooking spray that has been preheated over medium heat.
  4. Twirl the pan to coat with the crepe batter and let cook about 30-45 seconds.
  5. Flip with a rubber spatula.
  6. Cook the other side about 15-30 seconds, until cooked through. Do not over brown.
  7. Fold crepes into quarters and keep warm under a clean dish towel.
  8. Dust with powdered sugar to serve.
  9. Combine the maple syrup and spiced rum and drizzle over crepes. Garnish with whipped cream and sprinkle with additional nutmeg.

Notes

Makes 12-14 crepes.

What is your favorite holiday breakfast?

You may also enjoy Berry Almond Cheese Blintz

Get Mugged by Chocolate-Lowfat Fudgy Brownies in a Mug

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I’ve been mugged. By chocolate and mug cakes and brownies galore. Mug cakes are all the rave right now. Mix a few things in a mug and zap it for a minute or two in the microwave and get a delicious treat out of it?! Sure! I’m especially into testing out the many protein mug cakes for my finicky shark for a great breakfast treat. I’ve seen a few on Instagram I can’t wait to try!

Maybe these mug creations were inspired from the simple microwave lava cake mixes and muffins that are famously sold in grocery stores. Either way, I’m pretty hooked. I came across this super simple brownie mug recipe on Pinterest while looking for a gift ideas for my sons’ teachers. Of course, after calculating the nutrition on this and recipe testing, I came to the conclusion that applesauce works great in this recipe, as well as scaling it back in half! So one great recipe and crafty idea from Pinterest turned into these yummy Lowfat Fudgy Brownies in a Mug.

Quick Ingredients:
2 Tb all purpose flour
2 Tb granulated sugar
1 Tb unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tb semi-sweet chocolate chips
pinch salt
1 Tb unsweetened applesauce
1 Tb water

On a side note, if you mix a whole lot of this for gift giving as I did, measure 1/3 cup, plus 2 Tb mix and add 1 Tb each of applesauce and water for each mug brownie.

First get your ingredients together.

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Next, mix them all inside a  microwave safe mug. None of that fancy stuff with gold foil trim, this brownie will cause enough sparks to your taste buds.

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If you are feeling daring, sprinkle a few more chocolate chips on top of the mixture.

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Microwave this on high heat for 60 seconds. This will get you an almost lava like consistency. For a slightly firmer brownie, but just as fudgy, make it 90 seconds.

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Dust it with some powdered sugar. You know you want to.

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And scoop some out for a fancy bite.

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Or run a knife around the inside of the mug and turn it over on a plate so you can dress it with some whipped cream. Oh yum!

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Now for my craftiness…I wrote on some mugs with a Sharpie Oil Based Pen, then I baked the mugs for 30 minutes at 350. Make sure you get the oil based or ceramic pens because regular Sharpie will stay on in the dishwasher, but it will rub off after a soak in the sink, go figure. But for a quick Christmas gift, it can work on a short time schedule with no time to shop for ceramic pens. Which is what I did-doh! (But I went back for the good pen after the holidays and it works like a charm!) After that I made a quadruple batch of brownie mix, placed it in a zip bag with instructions, shoved that into the mug, topped it with a 4 oz container of applesauce and topped that with a fresh mug brownie. Then I wrapped it up with plastic wrap and viola-gifts for teachers. See, don’t you just love Pinterest?

Finicky shark tips? My boys have requested these several times since first making these 6 days ago! Two fins up!!

Lowfat Fudgy Brownies in a Mug

Prep Time: 4 minutes

Cook Time: 1 minute

Total Time: 5 minutes

Number of servings: 1

Per Serving 244 calories

Fat 4 g

Carbs 52 g

Protein 3 g

1

Lowfat Fudgy Brownies in a Mug

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 7

*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.

*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tb all purpose flour
  • 2 Tb granulated sugar
  • 1 Tb unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tb semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • pinch salt
  • 1 Tb unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 Tb water

Instructions

  1. In a microwavable mug, whisk together dry ingredients.
  2. Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Add applesauce and water and mix well.
  4. Microwave for 60-90 seconds, depending on desired consistency.
  5. Garnish as desired with powdered sugar or whipped cream.

Notes

Microwave this on high heat for 60 seconds. This will get you an almost lava like consistency. For a slightly firmer brownie, but just as fudgy, make it 90 seconds.

What are you wrapping for your child’s teacher this Christmas?

You may also enjoy Hot Coco Cocoa or Gluten Free Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Popping Into the Month of December-Peppermint Bark Popcorn with Cranberries and a Giveaway

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Peppermint and snowflakes, gift boxes and wrapping paper-it’s Christmastime. Time to take in the seasons greetings and cheer and relax and enjoy the family time.

My family and I recently enjoyed the newest Disney movie Frozen last weekend. It was hands down my newest favorite Disney feature. The morals, the storyline, the whole thing was just pure hearted and uplifting. All the boys and I were cracking up the whole time-with a few happy tears, too! I would see it again in a heartbeat.

And of course we had our bucket of popcorn and bubbly soda. But what I love about these popcorn and movie nights is the closeness it brings to our family of famished fish. Tis the season right?

So I thought, why not spread some Christmas cheer with another seasonal popcorn giveaway-and a $25 gift card for Fandango! If you’ve never heard of Fandago, it’s a website with a smart phone app, that enables you to buy and reserve movie tickets at select theaters across the US in advance.

And you’ll also get all the fix-ins to make this month’s featured Popcorn Flavor, Peppermint Bark Popcorn with Cranberries.

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Look at these yummy stir-in-gredients!

Fresh peppermint, sweet and tangy cranberries and smooth, rich white chocolate all wrapped up with buttery and salty popcorn.

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What you’ll need:
3 – 3.5 oz bags popped microwave popcorn
12 oz white chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
8 candy canes, crushed (4 oz peppermint candy)
red sugar sprinkles (optional)

Get all your ingredients ready.

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Melt the white chocolate chips at 30 seconds intervals for 1-2 minutes, stirring between intervals.

Quickly stir in the crushed candy canes and pour over the popped corn.

Fold the peppermint bark into the popcorn quickly.

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Stir in the dried cranberries and sprinkle with red sugar sprinkles (optional).

Cool and serve.

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And then enter this Rafflecopter Giveaway by me!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Peppermint Bark Popcorn with Cranberries

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Number of servings: 12

Per Serving 322 calories

Fat 14 g

Carbs 48 g

Protein 4 g

12

Peppermint Bark Popcorn with Cranberries

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 9

*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.

*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Ingredients

  • 3 3.5 oz bags popped microwave popcorn
  • 12 oz white chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
  • 4 oz peppermint candy
  • 2 tsp red sugar sprinkles (optional)

Instructions

  1. Get all your ingredients ready. Crush the peppermint candy canes (8 large candy canes or 4 oz peppermint candy).
  2. Melt the white chocolate chips at 30 seconds intervals for 1-2 minutes, stirring between intervals.
  3. Quickly stir in the crushed candy canes and pour over the popped corn.
  4. Fold the peppermint bark into the popcorn quickly.
  5. Stir in the dried cranberries and sprinkle with red sugar sprinkles (optional).
  6. Cool and serve.

What is your favorite Disney movie?

You may also enjoy Apple Spice Popcorn with Pecans

Gnocchi and Asparagus with Bruschetta Vodka Sauce

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I think Italy designed their country’s flag around their food. If you think of all the common Italian foods, what colors are they? Red, white and green. Rich red tomatoes, bright green basil and fresh herbs, and pasta and breads as white as the soft flour it’s made with.

And think of all the quiet Italian restaurants we visit every day from the high end romantic ones to the family style noisy ones. All have the soft lighting, red and white checkered table cloths, green or white linen napkins and lovely clinking of forks and wine glasses. All have the Italian appeal. It just welcomes you in. It’s no wonder the food is so amazing. Italians know their stuff. And if you are going to design a flag around something, why not base it on the food? Well, that’s my thoughts anyway, though obviously not factual at all. I just love Italian food!

So the other night when I was in the mood for soft potato gnocchi and bruschetta-some fresh amazing food-I just did like any good Italian would do-I kept it colorful. And came up with intoxicating Potato Gnocchi and Asparagus with Bruschetta Vodka Sauce. If you don’t know what gnocchi is, they are mini potato dumplings made by rolling strands of potato dough and cutting bite sized pieces off with a fork and dropping them into salted boiling water. Or you just buy prepackaged gnocchi in the dry pasta section of the grocery store.

My ingredient list was simple:
1 package frozen steamable asparagus
1 lb dry potato gnocchi
2 Tb olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tb shallot, minced
5 Roma tomatoes, halved and sliced thinly
3/4 cup lowfat milk
1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
1/2 cup fresh basil, sliced thinly
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2-3 Tb vodka
2 oz shaved asiago cheese

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Bring a large pot of salted water to boiling. When the water is boiling rapidly, add the gnocchi and cook until all the gnocchi has floated to the top of the water. Drain and keep warm.

Meanwhile heat the steamable package of asparagus in the microwave according to package directions.

Again meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes until tender.

Stir in the tomatoes and lowfat milk.

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Slowly stir in the marinara sauce and 2 Tb of the vodka. Add the salt and red pepper flakes and heat through, cooking for about 5 minutes.

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Finally stir in the remaining Tb of vodka and the basil. Remove from heat.

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Plate the asparagus and the gnocchi as desired.

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Spoon the Bruschetta Vodka Sauce over the top of the gnocchi and asparagus and sprinkle with shaved asiago cheese.

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Serve immediately.

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Makes 4 delicious servings.

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Finicky notes: My not so finicky shark enjoyed every last bit of this meal. My finicky shark prefers his sauce not touching his food and his gnocchi tossed in butter and asiago cheese, with the asparagus on the side. Either way, it is finicky shark approved 😉

Dietary changes: Vegans-use coconut milk instead of dairy and skip the cheese or use dairy free cheese
Gluten sensitivity-look for gluten free gnocchi or make your own here

Derived from Food Network. Gotta love that network!

Gnocchi and Asparagus with Bruschetta Vodka Sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Number of servings: 4

Per Serving 650 calories

Fat 15 g

Carbs 100 g

Protein 23 g

4

Gnocchi and Asparagus with Bruschetta Vodka Sauce

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 16

*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.

*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Ingredients

  • 1 package frozen steamable asparagus
  • 1 lb dry potato gnocchi
  • 2 Tb olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tb shallot, minced
  • 5 Roma tomatoes, halved and sliced thinly
  • 3/4 cup lowfat milk
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2-3 Tb vodka
  • 2 oz shaved asiago cheese

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boiling. When the water is boiling rapidly, add the gnocchi and cook until all the gnocchi has floated to the top of the water. Drain and keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile heat the steam-able package of asparagus in the microwave according to package directions.
  3. Again meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes until tender.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes and lowfat milk.
  5. Slowly stir in the marinara sauce and 2 Tb of the vodka. Add the salt and red pepper flakes and heat through, cooking for about 5 minutes.
  6. Finally, stir in the remaining Tb of vodka and the basil. Remove from heat.
  7. Plate the asparagus and the gnocchi as desired.
  8. Spoon the Bruschetta Vodka Sauce over the top of the gnocchi and asparagus and sprinkle with shaved asiago cheese.
  9. Serve immediately.

How do you top your gnocchi?

You may also enjoy The Simplest Chicken Parmesan

Monkeying Around with Pumpkin-Spiced and Iced Pumpkin Monkey Bread

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We all know how Facebook just knows what stuff we read and love to talk about on our pages right? I mean, take Pillsbury for example. How did they KNOW I was looking for a delicious pumpkin breakfast for my kids. Like this yummy Pumpkin Spice Pull Apart Bread for example. OMG I wanted to make that now!

But as much as their recipe looks and IS really simple to make, I knew Monkey Bread would be extremely ideal for my finicky sharks. And perfectly bite sized, since they love to eat everything with their fingers. I remember making this in grade school-my teacher tossing biscuits in a big ziplock bag full of cinnamon and sugar and baking it in a crock pot or something! Do they do that anymore?!

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So I got out my can of Pillsbury Grands Homestyle Biscuits-not the flaky kind full of excess butter. And my big can of Pumpkin Pie Mix-I love to keep this on hand for Pumpkin Spice Latte’s (PSL’s for you Starbuck’s fans). And of course—sugar, butter and pumpkin pie spice. What else right?

That can of biscuits was easily cut into quarters to make 32 cute little triangle bread dough pieces.

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And mixing the bread triangles with the sugar, melted butter and pumpkin pie mix with some extra pumpkin pie spice was all that left to do before these hit the oven in a lightly greased loaf pan.

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Just sprayed down with a bit of cooking spray and dumped into get all nice and ooey gooey toasty.

 

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And just 350F and 50 minutes later this Pumpkin Monkey Bread was ready to be Spiced and Iced.

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Some powdered sugar, pumpkin pie spice and a bit of milk was all I needed to dress up this beautiful loaf.

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And some very hungry sharks-er children-were all I needed to watch it disappear.

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Again.

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And again. This was even great reheated for breakfast-the next day.

Alright, now that wasn’t so hard was it? Okay, let’s eat!

Spiced and Iced Pumpkin Monkey Bread

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes

Number of servings: 8

Per Serving 392 calories

Fat 13 g

Carbs 66 g

Protein 5 g

8

Spiced and Iced Pumpkin Monkey Bread

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 11

*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.

*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Ingredients

  • 1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury® Grands!® biscuits (8 biscuits)
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin pie mix (not plain pumpkin)
  • 2 Tb butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, divided
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Prepare a 8x4 loaf pan by spraying lightly with cooking spray.
  3. Separate the biscuits and cut each into quarters, making 32 triangles.
  4. In a large bowl combine dough, pumpkin pie mix, sugar, melted butter and 1 tsp of the pumpkin pie spice.
  5. Carefully spoon mixture into prepared loaf pan.
  6. Bake for 50 minutes until edges are lightly browned and dough is cooked through.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, milk, vanilla and remaining 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice.
  8. Turn out monkey bread loaf onto a platter and drizzle with spiced icing.
  9. Serve immediately.

Notes

Refrigerate leftovers up to 1 week. Reheat in microwave for 30-60 seconds on high heat.

Do you have a Monkey Bread memory?

You may also enjoy Brown Sugar Scones

 

 

 

Juicy Cuban Turkey Burgers with Pineapple and Avocado

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Like seriously, I think I’ve died and gone to turkey burger heaven. Juicy, flavorful, plump and light this turkey burger packs on flavor and punch.

I’ve been on this Clean Eating Around the World kick and I was dying to make some Cuban Black Bean Burgers I saw on Pinterest, but covered in Avocado Crema-I still will-still dying here. But the husband doesn’t particularly care for black beans-or ground turkey for that matter. Well, that was the case. I’ve had a couple of turkey burgers from different food joints and he liked my turkey burgers when he tried them. Because they were packed with juicy flavor.

So I did my research on how to make the juiciest turkey burger and what specific spices of Cuba I can add to my burger, and this creation (kisses tips of fingers) is muy bueno. Now I really wish this photo could capture this burgers true colors (the swirls of turmeric and Spanish paprika mixed in are gorgeous!) but this gal is none the photographer (practice makes perfect right?) but much the cook. So just get to the kitchen and make this okay. 😉

Ingredients for Cuban Turkey Burgers with Pineapple and Avocado:
2 lb ground lean turkey
1/4 cup Best Foods Mayonnaise with Olive Oil
2 Tb ground flax seed
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp Spanish paprika
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt

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Combine the ground turkey, ground flax seed and mayonnaise in a large bowl. Combine the spices and add to the turkey mixture. Using your hands, mix the spices into the turkey well.

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Divide into 6 equal portions and shape into patties the size of a large hamburger bun.

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Heat a nonstick griddle or large skillet over medium high heat.

Spray lightly with cooking spray.

Salt and pepper the turkey patties if desired. Cook on griddle 5-8 minutes per side until cooked through and no longer pink in center. Just peak at the center of the patty with the tip of a sharp knife, but do not cut all the way through, to avoid the juices spilling out of the burger.

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Remove burgers to a plate and let rest five minutes to retain juiciness before serving.

Served on whole grain buns (yes I know my photo has white buns-hubby hates wheat) smeared with mustard. Top with pineapple slices, avocado and pickles if desired. Swiss cheese would also be wonderful on these burgers.

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Spear with a toothpick to hold together and serve with carrots sticks.

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Now these are mile high pretty babies! 1/3 pounders to be precise. Feel free to make 8 of these into 1/4 pound burgers if you wish. We were feeling awfully famished when I made these! These pack a whopping 38 grams of protein (great for finicky sharks with autism) and are super healthy with roughly 550 calories and plenty of high omega fats from olive oil and avocados.  Enjoy! My boys AND the neighbor boy “gobbled” these up. And for a gluten free meal, opt for gluten free bread. These burger patties are GFCF! This post is featured on ‘Healing with Foods Friday’.

Juicy Cuban Turkey Burgers

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Number of servings: 6

Per Serving 597 calories

Fat 30 g

Carbs 46 g

Protein 38 g

6

Juicy Cuban Turkey Burgers

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 14

*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.

*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Ingredients

    For the Patties

  • 2 lb ground lean turkey
  • 1/4 cup Best Foods Mayonnaise with Olive Oil
  • 2 Tb ground flax seed
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp Spanish paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • For the Burgers

  • 1 medium avocado, sliced
  • 6 pineapple slices
  • 6 whole wheat hamburger buns
  • 6 Tb mustard

Instructions

  1. Combine the ground turkey, ground flax seed and mayonnaise in a large bowl. Combine the spices and add to the turkey mixture. Using your hands, mix the spices into the turkey well.
  2. Divide into 6 equal portions and shape into patties the size of a large hamburger bun.
  3. Heat a nonstick griddle or large skillet over medium high heat.
  4. Spray lightly with cooking spray.
  5. Salt and pepper the turkey patties if desired. Cook on griddle 5-8 minutes per side until cooked through and no longer pink in center. (Just peak at the center of the patty with the tip of a sharp knife, but do not cut all the way through, to avoid the juices spilling out of the burger.)
  6. Remove burgers to a plate and let rest five minutes to retain juiciness before serving.
  7. Served on whole grain buns smeared with mustard. Top with pineapple slices, avocado and pickles if desired. Swiss cheese would also be wonderful on these burgers.

Notes

This recipe is for 6 - 1/3 pound servings. Recipe may also be divided into 8 - 1/4 pound servings. Nutritional value will be reduced.

Please comment and let me know what you think!

You may also enjoy Turkey Bruschetta Sliders