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Food for Grownups

Fall Comfort Food: Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Kale, Brown Butter & Herbs

Food for Grownups
fall comfort food
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So my sisters have done the “23 and me” genetic testing and we are virtually positive there’s nary a trace of Italian that runs through our veins. But sometimes I just feel that in another life, I would be barefoot in a kitchen in Tuscany, whipping up all kinds of Italian specialties I can’t pronounce and dramatically talking with my hands. Basically Sophia Loren meets Julia Child.  Sounds glamorous and delicious, right?

Now that I’ve settled back into my nest after a very exciting two weeks on the road for my sons’s wedding and visiting the Hallmark movie set for one of my books, I’m finally able to spend some time in my kitchen. It’s restorative and grounding to be home. It recharges my batteries.

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Fierce Roundup: The Very Best Heathy Tacos On The Internet

Food for Grownups
healthy taco recipes

This post is dedicated to one of my favorite foods: the taco! Not only are they delicious, but tacos are the perfect vehicles to load up on big flavor without a lot of calories. The hot sauce, cilantro, feta, and salsa are all healthy ways to jazz up some lean protein. It’s like magic.

There’s a lot of flexibility here to make healthy tacos work for my Weight Watchers Freestyle program, so that’s another added bonus.

I would say that my love of healthy tacos originated from my time spent living in Mexico, but it dates back further than that. They are consistently a mainstay on the menu, no matter the season. I have a clever habit of transforming leftovers into “creative” tacos. As in, tikki masala tacos, Korean beef and broccoli tacos, you get the idea. I pretend like it’s super fancy “fusion” food. The Chairman doesn’t know the difference. continue reading

Lemony, Herby, Healthy Egg Salad with No Mayo, No Guilt, and Zero Weight Watchers Points

Food for Grownups
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A friend of mine travelled to the Willamette Valley recently and was going on and on about this egg salad from Red Hills Market. I kept thinking to myself, surely it can’t be that good? Egg salad is egg salad, right? But then she showed me the picture.

And it took my breathe away.

Heavenly, cloud-like whites with specks of bright yellow yolk, heavily spattered with fresh herbs, sea salt, cracked pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. My friend said it wasn’t saucy, heavy, gooey, or gluey. It was simply perfect. continue reading

The Best Hatch Chile Recipes To Cook This Season

Food for Grownups

It’s about this time of year that I start getting mad cravings for that spicy, smoky, and sweet taste of Hatch Chiles. If you have missed the loud ad campaigns from your local grocery store or the Hatch Chile pics flooding Instagram, it’s Hatch Chile Season. Yes, it gets its own season.

Why are these such a big deal, you ask?

Well, for one, they are amazing and unlike any other chile. Stores roll out the red carpet welcome for these suckers every time this year in late summer. While they are more accessible in the Southwest, chefs all over are flying them in fresh just like oysters plucked from the sea. continue reading

Healthy Chicken Parmesan (only 6 Weight Watchers Freestyle Points!)

Food for Grownups
healthy chicken parmesan

When it comes to dining out, I’m a very loyal customer. Or possibly a creature of habit.

When my husband and I move to a new area, we spend a few weeks surveying local eateries, then settle on two or three that become “our restaurant.”  It’s not that we never dine out at other locations, but these are the spots we frequent on a regular basis.  The staff knows us by name, and vice versa, and we can almost always get a table, even in the high season.

One of our favorites is a delightful little Italian bistro. The food is good, the service friendly, and the prices are fair.  When we walk in the door, we’re welcomed so warmly that we feel like family. Or at least members of the club. continue reading

Tomato Sauce Recipe with Fresh Tomatoes (No Peeling Required!)

Food for Grownups
tomato sauce recipe with fresh tomatoes
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In case you hadn’t guessed by now, it’s Tomato Week here at Casa de Bostwick. The gazpacho earlier this week was the kickoff.

I imagine it’s the same at a lot of casas around the country. When the tomatoes are ripe, everything else comes to a standstill.

Well, okay. Not quite everything. continue reading

Last Minute Garden Gazpacho – Just 1 Weight Watcher Freestyle Point!

Food for Grownups
last minute garden gazpacho, weight watchers freestyle

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I’m a big proponent of planning ahead and managing priorities.  That’s why I’ve become such a huge fan of the Living Well Planner.

(By the way, if you’ve been on the fence about purchasing one, do it now! The pre-order period for the new version is nearly over. That means this is your last chance to order yours for $10 off the regular price AND get another $10 worth of free gifts with your order.  So, really, order yours now. You’ll be glad you did. )

But here’s the thing. The best planner on the planet won’t do you any good if you don’t actually write in it.

(Sigh.) continue reading

Weight Watchers Breakfast Ideas: Crepes with Ricotta & Orange Sauce (only 3 WW Freestyle Points!)

Food for Grownups
weight watchers breakfast ideas
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Look at me here, putting on my best Julia Child smile and acting like a chef who never makes messes or mistakes. Am I convincing you? Well, guess what? Everyone makes mistakes. In the history of food, there’s never been a self-respecting chef who didn’t make a big mess. It’s just part of the creative process.

Crepe Happens

I know sometimes my blogs look like a professional photo shoot mixed with a five star restaurant (or maybe they don’t). But it always takes me a couple of tries, a whole lot of pictures, and boatloads of patience to get the desired result. It doesn’t come naturally. It isn’t effortless. It’s hard work and I love it. But what I lack in finesse, I make up for in enthusiasm.

It’s important to show you the full picture with a little behind the scenes action. As I am working on this recipe, one grand-darling is coloring on my granite countertops and singing about mermaids. The other is moaning about losing a half-chewed piece of strawberry. My mother is silently chugging coffee in the corner (possibly with a healthy dose of Cointreau thrown in there). My husband went to take out the recycling three hours ago and hasn’t been seen since. I am dressed for the early morning run that I still hadn’t managed to work in by noon.

Meanwhile, my very anxious spaniel, Showgirl, was doing her best to blend in with the buffalo check in the breakfast nook, away from the antics of the grand-darlings. The only pitter patter of little feet that she enjoys are, well, her own.

The Fanciest of all the Weight Watchers Breakfast Ideas

Alright, enough time spent baring my soul. Now, let’s talk about these crepes, shall we?

I’ve always loved a good crepe. Mostly because they are French and sound fancy. Give me Nutella banana crepes. Give me a ham and cheese crepe. I don’t discriminate. They’re the perfect vehicle for cloud-like ricotta and a bright, citrusy sauce, if I do say so myself.

For this recipe, I wanted the ricotta to be simple, with just a hint of sweetness and aromatic orange zest. The sauce, which proved to be more of a challenge than I expected, needed to be bursting with orangey goodness and bits of actual orange.

Here’s the recipe – straight from the kitchen of yours truly.

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weight watchers breakfast ideas

Weight Watchers Breakfast Ideas: Crepes with Ricotta & Orange Sauce (only 3 WW Freestyle Points!)


  • Author: Marie
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: breakfast
  • Method: stovetop

Description

This healthy Weight Watchers breakfast option will give your breakfast a certain je ne sais quoi. Okay, I really don’t speak French but I speak crepe, and that’s sort of the same thing. A citrusy sauce tops these ricotta-filled crepes and the result is a not-too-sweet alternative to your basic bowl of oatmeal. One thing I know for sure: it was a winner in my household. In a perfect world, it would be a very clever idea to top the dish with chopped mint to complement the citrus and the colors, but as we had already sent dear husband to the store three times, we decided to just let it go.


Ingredients

For the crepes:

  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cups fat-free milk
  • 1/2 cup white or wheat flour (the points are the same)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • Cooking spray

For the ricotta filling:

  • 8 oz fat-free ricotta
  • zest of one orange
  • 2 tsp honey

For the orange sauce:

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 TBS Cointreau or Triple Sec
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp honey
  • one orange, segmented plus more for garnish

Instructions

Make the crepe batter. In a blender, mix all ingredients until well combined. Chill for at least one hour.

For the filling, mix together the ricotta, honey, and orange zest into a small bowl and set aside.

For the sauce, heat a saucepan to medium and add in orange juice, Cointreau, honey, and vanilla. Once warm, sift in the cornstarch, whisking constantly to avoid clumps. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes until slightly reduced. Add segmented oranges at the very end.

While the sauce is thickening, make the crepes. Spritz pan with cooking spray, add a thin layer of batter, and cook on each side for a couple minutes each until light golden brown and thoroughly French.

To assemble the crepes, lay one cooked crepe on a plate, fill down the center with ricotta mixture, roll it up like a cigar, and top with a heavenly drizzle of orange sauce.

Notes

By using fat-free ricotta and honey for the ricotta filling and sauce, I was able to keep the Weight Watchers points down, at only 3 points per crepe! I hope you and your family enjoy this as much as we did!

Keywords: crepes, French breakfast, Weight Watchers breakfast ideas

Healthy Frittata Recipe with Corn, Gruyere, & Canadian Bacon (only 4 WW points per serving!)

Food for Grownups
health frittata recipe
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These past few days, I’ve been enjoying time with two granddaughters, my eldest son, and his wife. I’ve mostly stuck to tried and true recipes, like my easy, make-ahead salmon skewers and my pesto chicken thighs, but today I wanted to blow their socks off with brunch.

But there was a catch.

How do I make something delicious that everyone will love without blowing all of my Weight Watchers Freestyle points for the day? It also needed to be easy, quick, and not too many crazy ingredients that I couldn’t find at my local supermarket. Also, when you are cooking for various palates, like your grandkids, it’s safest to stick with the basics.

But basic is boring! So I decided to take a risk.

Spoiler alert: the risk paid off. continue reading

Cool Down with Low Calorie Cocktails (4 points or less on Weight Watchers!)

Food for Grownups, Hospitality and Entertaining
low calorie cocktails, weight watcher cocktail recipes
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN REFERRAL LINKS. IF YOU CLICK THROUGH AND TAKE ACTION, I MAY BE COMPENSATED, AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU.

 

I don’t know about you, but in Central Oregon, we’ve had quite a heat wave. My car said the temperature was 104 yesterday. My car can be a bit dramatic (we have that in common), but still, this part of the country just isn’t set up for three figure temperatures. Most houses around here don’t even have air conditioning.

So what do I do to cool down? Well, for one, I’ve been spending a lot of time swimming laps, training for my first triathlon (T minus 1 month!). But with guests in the house this week, I decided to take it upon myself to bless them with a plethora of summer sippers to help us beat the heat. Aren’t I a good hostess?

There was a couple of criteria for these cocktails. First, they needed to be delicious. Second, for the benefit of everyone here, they needed to be healthier than normal. Personally, I aimed to keep each cocktail at four points or less on my Weight Watchers Freestyle plan (and I succeeded, most of my recipes are only 3 points!). We got a little creative with the ingredient list, using Truvia, a naturally-derived sugar alternative, and diet ginger beer, diet tonic, and flavored kombucha.

I made:

  • Skinny G&T (3 points)
  • Perky Paloma (4 points)
  • Blackberry Basil Mule (3 points)
  • Grapefruit Kombucha Gimlet (3 points)

Wondering how they turned out? They were awesome.

Here’s four recipes for low calorie cocktails, four points or less on Weight Watchers, that you and your guests will love this summer.

         

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Perky Paloma


  • Author: Marie
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 serving
  • Category: cocktails
  • Method: stirred
  • Cuisine: happy hour

Description

Step aside, margarita. This tequila-based cocktail is apparently the national drink of Mexico. It’s refreshing, light, and oh so festive. Salted rim optional.


Ingredients

¼ cup fresh grapefruit juice
half of a lime
1 tsp Truvia
1.5 oz. tequila
¼ cup club soda
grapefruit wedge for garnish

Instructions

In a glass, combine Tequila, Stevia, juice from half a lime and fresh grapefruit juice. Stir well. Top it off with diet club soda and ice, and garnish with a grapefruit wedge.

Keywords: paloma, tequila, low-point cocktail recipe, low-calorie cocktail recipe, weight watchers cocktail

 

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Skinny Gin & Tonic


  • Author: Marie
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 serving
  • Category: cocktails
  • Method: on the rocks
  • Cuisine: happy hour

Description

One of the lowest calorie cocktails possible, aside from just drinking straight liquor (which I don’t really recommend!) is the gin and tonic. Its light, bubbly, and refreshing.


Ingredients

1.5 oz gin (I use Tanqueray)

3 lime wedges

4 oz diet tonic water


Instructions

Mix all ingredients together with ice in the glass of your choice. Garnish with more limes.

Keywords: gin and tonic, weight watchers cocktail recipe, low-point cocktail, low-calorie cocktail

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Blackberry Basil Mule


  • Author: Marie
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 serving
  • Category: cocktails
  • Method: stirred
  • Cuisine: happy hour

Description

While a Moscow Mule is traditionally served with mint and lime, this version is full of summer flavor, with blackberry and basil leading the charge. The diet ginger beer is the perfect thing to take it up a notch.


Ingredients

1/4 cup blackberries

1 TB basil leaves, chiffonade or minced

½ lime

1.5 oz vodka

½ cup diet ginger beer

½ TB Truvia optional (add sweetener as needed. my berries were so sweet I didn’t need any!)

extra basil and lime wedge for garnish


Instructions

Mix the berries, basil leaves, vodka, Stevia, and lime juice in the glass of your choice. Muddle the berries using a muddler tool. Top it off with ginger beer. Shake vigorously in cocktail shaker with ice and strain. Pour into a festive glass and garnish. Voila!

Keywords: mule, vodka, blackberry, basil, low-calorie cocktail recipe, low-point cocktail

low calorie cocktails, weight watcher cocktail recipes

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low calorie cocktails, weight watcher cocktail recipes

Grapefruit Kombucha Gimlet


  • Author: Marie
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 serving
  • Category: cocktails
  • Method: shaken
  • Cuisine: happy hour

Description

A gimlet is traditionally a gin-based cocktail. Grapefruit masks gin in a dangerously wonderful way. This grapefruit kombucha, which is lower points than juice, is also great for gut health since its a fermented tea product. I love the added sweetness and the bit of fizz it brings.


Ingredients

1/4 cup Grapefruit kombucha (or flavored Kombucha of your choice)

1.5 oz. gin

juice of half a lime

1 tsp. Truvia

Grapefruit wedge


Instructions

Pour all ingredients into cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously with ice and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with grapefruit slice.

Keywords: gimlet, gin, grapefruit, low-point cocktail recipe, low-calorie cocktail recipe