March 14, 2012

"Eat The Whole Bowl" Ice Cream!

Have you ever taken a look at the nutrition label of your favorite ice cream? Did you notice the serving size? Have you ever measured out 1 serving of that ice cream? If you're on Weight Watchers like I am, then you probably have done all of the above at least once!

Sometimes, a half a cup of ice cream just isn't enough! Sometimes, you just want a whole full bowl of the stuff!

That's me tonight. All I want is a big, chock-full bowl of fudgey, peanut buttery ice cream! Now, I don't have an ice cream maker. However, I happened to remember an idea from one of my favorite recipe bloggers: Chocolate-Covered Katie's voluminous vanilla ice cream!

Now, Katie's recipes all recommend using some creamer or coconut milk to help make the ice cream creamier. However, since I'm on Weight Watchers, my goal is different -- volume without additional Points Plus! Katie mentions that her ice cream recipes tend to be less rich using just almond milk (my non-dairy milk of choice, but you can use soy milk, coconut milk, or whatever!); so, I was wondering if there was some way to re-introduce the "creamy" without the Points Plus!

...Here's what I came up with ;)

"Eat the Whole Bowl" Ice Cream

Yields: 1 serving
Serving Size: The whole darn thing! ;)
PointsPlus per Serving: If you run this through Weight Watcher's recipe builder, the banana and almond milk base = 3 PointsPlus ...and additional points will depend upon your add-ins. However, if you're like me and do not want to count PointsPlus for the banana (since this is a raw combination of ingredients), then the PointsPlus are determined by ONLY your add-ins. For my add-ins today, it was 3 PointsPlus.

1 medium banana, sliced
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or non-dairy milk of your choice; may affect PointsPlus values)
1 TBS Reduced Fat Peanut Butter (optional)
1 TBS Wax Orchard Fudge Sauce (or chocolate/fudge sauce of your choice; just be sure to calculate the PointsPlus!)
1 tsp Splenda (or other sweetener, if desired. I did not add any sweetener to mine tonight!)

Slice your banana and put some slices into small bowls (or into an ice cube tray!)
Pour your 1/2 cup of almond or other non-dairy milk evenly into the small dishes with some of the banana slices.  
Place the remaining banana slices on a plate. Place all of the banana slices and banana/milk mixture into the freezer and freeze completely through.
Remove frozen milk/banana mixture by running the bottom of the containers under hot water until you can pop the frozen portion out.
Place all banana slices and milk/banana mixture portions into your food processor (I have not tried this in a regular blender and can't vouch for whether that would work or not).
Blend until the mixture turns "pebbly" as shown below
Add your mix-ins and optional sweetener! I used reduced fat natural peanut butter and Wax Orchard Fudge Fantasy Sauce
Blend until the mixture becomes one well-blended, creamy portion
Scoop into a dish using an ice cream scoop (or just a spoon...or eat directly from blender!)


March 5, 2012

Sweet and Spicy Black Bean Chicken Chili

This recipe was pretty much a shot from the hip. I needed to come up with something using only the ingredients in my pantry. So, I had a little "Chopped" competition with myself! I love "Chopped," it's probably one of my favorite shows of all time. For those of you who don't know, "Chopped" is a show on Food Network where contestants get a basket of ingredients and must turn them into a delicious dish. So, in my "Chopped" competition with myself, my ingredients were chicken breast, black beans, sweet potatoes, half an onion, and canned diced tomatoes.... GO!

Sweet and Spicy Black Bean Chili

Yields: 9 servings
Serving Size: 1 cup
PointsPlus per Serving: 5 P+

2 cans black beans (15 oz each), drained and rinsed
1/2 cup chopped onion
1-2 cloves minced or crushed garlic (I used 2)
1 uncooked sweet potato, chopped (8.5oz or "medium")
2 cans diced tomatoes (14.5 oz each) 
1 3/4 pound uncooked boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed
1 tsp salt
2 TBS chili powder


Chop your sweet potato and onion. Mince or crush your garlic. Cube chicken breast into even pieces.

Spray a non-stick pot with cooking spray. Heat the pan on medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, and sweet potato. Cook until onion is translucent and sweet potato is tender.

Add chicken, salt, and chili powder. Cook until chicken is cooked through.

Add tomatoes (with their juice!) and drained/rinsed black beans.

Simmer 10 minutes until chili is heated through.

Serve with rice (additional points!) or as-is.