Italian Spinach and Tomato Egg White Frittata and a New Endeavor

Spinach growing at Dienger Gardens in Cinci, OH

I have awesome cousins. See, I come from a very LARGE Irish/Italian/German liberal Catholic family. I have 27 first-cousins; they’ve survived leukemia, marathons and mudathalons, political protests, backpacking through 6 different continents, stints in the Finnish Army, lots of college and lots of crazy family get-togethers. How could I not think they are amazing?

Some of these awesome cousins started a CSA. That’s “community supported agriculture”. My cousin, Stephen, decided he wanted to be an organic farmer, got some apprenticeships on farms and the rest is history. Well, actually, it’s just starting so it’s not history yet! Here’s a link to more information. He did it last year and my parents took part. They were absolutely thrilled! His produce is BEAUTIFUL. I’ve never seen swiss chard so vibrant. The pumpkins were bright and full of flavor. I love it! Here’s his garden’s FB page if you want to check out pictures and more recipes!

This year, Steve and two of his sisters, Amy and Ellen, decided to do a newsletter for all those who are participating in the CSA. And since I’m their awesome chef-to-be cousin, they asked me to write up a recipe each week highlighting some of the produce that will be given out that week! I can’t tell you how excited I am to be a part of this. I’m even participating in another local CSA this year (splitting a basket with a friend since our full basket last year was too much) so that I can get some seasonal produce to be inspired by.

This first recipe highlights spinach. It’s a stealthy, sneaky leafy-green that gives you large amounts of calcium and iron (even some fiber!) without you even noticing. It cooks quickly and tastes amazing. Mix it with some tomato, cheese, egg and italian spices and you’ll be in heaven (especially since it’s only 3 points per portion, so go ahead and have two!)

My cousin, Steve, is on the right and the other guy is Jules. They both have their own farms and together they are “Our Harvest Coop”.

Italian Spinach and Tomato Egg White Frittata
Servings: 4
PointsPlus Per Serving: 3


  • 6 large egg whites (or 5 extra-large), 2 PP
  • 4 oz crumbled light feta cheese, 7 PP
  • 3 handfuls of rinsed and drained spinach
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 white or yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder or red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1. Turn oven on to 350. Then heat up an OVEN-PROOF skillet (small or medium sized) to medium heat.

2. Cut up the onion and tomato if you haven’t already. Spray the skillet with Pam and put in the onion. Saute for about 2 minutes and then add tomato and spinach. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Drain some of the excess juices from the pan and return it to the stove.

3. While your fillings are cooking, mix your cheese into your eggs whites (shred it first if you need to) and add the spices. Pour egg mixture over fillings. Put away all your utensils now! Leave it be until it browns slightly around the edges.

4. Once it’s slightly browned, stick the whole skillet onto the top rack of the oven and let it finish cooking for about 10-12 minutes. This will finish baking it and let it get nice and bubbly on top. Once the timer goes off, check to make sure it’s cooked thoroughly. If it is, there should be no excess liquid on top and it should be able to slide right out of the skillet once you loosen the edge. Slice into fours and enjoy!

If you want to check out some other frittata recipes, try my Havarti Ham and Veggies Frittata or this Bacon Tomato Cheese Frittata that I highlighted from Closet Cooking!

Chobani Giveaway Winner and a Delicious New Recipe!

WOW! I received 45 entries for the Chobani giveaway and the lucky winner was…

Congratulation, Melissa!  She had six entries, so she was bound and determined!  Melissa, please send me an email with your contact information so that I can get that case of Chobani to you!

In true fashion, it chose the number 13, which was actually pretty perfect since I became the Featured Blogger on the 13th day of the month!  Kewl.  Thank you to everyone else for participating and don’t be disheartened!  I’m having a Popchips giveaway soon!

Now, I was going to post a recipe for the tzatziki sauce that I made, but it still needs a little perfecting, so that will be done later this week.  But I’m not leaving you with NOTHING!

My girlfriend and I have made a few big purchases in the last month, so we’ve been budgeting like crazy, thanks to You Need a Budget.  It’s this awesome software that’s keeping us in line and on track.  Needless to say, buying meat isn’t a priority right now, lol.  We have so many vegetables from our awesome CSA that vegetarian dishes are working their way into our weekly menus.  I’ve actually enjoyed the challenge.  I’m definitely one of those people who could never be a full-time vegetarian.  I like my meat!  I like the texture and the protein and the flavor… so, I’ve had to be creative.

This recipe was inspired by Budget Bytes.  She made zucchini pizza boats and they looked so appealing that I took it and ran with it!  I wanted to do it with more of an Italian style, so that’s what I did.  What happened next… was pure deliciousness.  I didn’t miss the meat and my girlfriend said she didn’t even miss the noodles; if you know ANYTHING about my girlfriend, it’s that she loooooooves her noodles!  Noodles are a weekly occurrence in our home, so that statement is a true testament to how exquisite this dish was!  Plus, it’s made with stuff that you probably have in your kitchen right now.


Italian Stuffed Zucchini
Servings: 2 (or 4 if you are serving sides)
PointsPlus Per Serving: 8 (or 4 if you have 4 portions)


  • 1 ginormous zucchini (a 3-5 lb one will do!)
  • 1 cup reduced fat spaghetti sauce, 3 PP
  • 1 oz parmesan cheese (fresh if you have it), 3 PP
  • 1 oz feta cheese (i used full fat cheeses), 2 PP
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs (any kind will do), 5 PP
  • 1/4 cup diced sweet/yellow onion
  • 1 tsp olive oil, 1 PP
  • 1 tbsp italian seasoning (parsley, basil, oregano)
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425.

2. Slice zucchini in half and scoop out the insides, leaving about 1 cm – 1/2 inch all the way round. Put insides in a bowl and set aside.

3. Lightly spray the bottom of a roasting pan with Pam and place 2 zucchini halves in, insides up.

4. Heat up tsp oil in a small non-stick pan and saute onion. Once sauteed, put into bowl and set aside.

5. Get out a chopping board and roughly chop up insides of zucchini and then place back in the bowl. Add spaghetti sauce, onions, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, italian seasoning, bread crumbs, cheese and a little salt and pepper if you’d like. Mix together.

6. Spoon mixture into zucchini halves until evenly distributed. Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese over top and place in oven.

7. Cook for 35-50 minutes depending on how firm you want your zucchini to be. Serve and enjoy!

Now, make sure not to cut off the ends of the zucchini. In my picture, I have one side cut off because I used part of it for a different recipe a few days before. The zucchini was that big.  You can use smaller zucchinis if you want.  Maybe two normal-large ones.  The wider the better, too!  You want your zucchini to be like a little boat so that none of the insides drip out. Seriously, this dish is AMAZING. You won’t want any little bits dripping out!

Angela’s Alfredo Sauce

Yum doesn’t even begin to describe this.

I am a proud Italian (amongst other things). I love our history of food and family, of sauce and noodles, of loud fights that include lots of hands in faces intense expressions of emotion and the like. I am NOT proud of the fact that it wasn’t until the age of 25 that I ever attempted making my own alfredo sauce.

All the pastas and sauces I’ve made and eaten and still I couldn’t have even told you what it consisted of!?! Bad Italian, bad.  Unacceptable.  So, when a non-Italian friend made some for me and I realized how easy it was, (and how much better I could make it taste) I decided to give it a whirl. Well, first, I smacked myself in the face for not making it sooner and then I gave it a whirl. And let me tell you…. I nailed it. I TOTALLY nailed it.

I used heavy whipping cream, a LOT of butter and fresh parmesan cheese.  Every time I made it, people went crazy with delight… and then they had stinky gas later (a bit too much dairy and garlic?)  Okay, I’m usually the one who has the gas, especially when I’ve eaten two servings of garlic, buttery, creamy, cheesy goodness.  Lordy lord.  But this alfredo sauce was WORTH it.  That’s saying something.

Needless to say, I haven’t made full-fat alfredo sauce since I started WW.  In fact, the average alfredo sauce is 9 PP per 1/3 cup!  YIKES!  I can only imagine how many points I was eating in one sitting.  So, I made it a mission this past month to perfect a skinny-fied version.  The first attempt wasn’t right because I didn’t stir it enough and let it boil and bubble and it ruined the texture.  The second attempt was great texture-wise, but it was too spicy for my girlfriend (I swear the red pepper flakes jumped into the pot all on their own).  But this last attempt was perfect!  I nailed it again.  It had the perfect texture, just the right amount of spice and it was soooo tasty!  I poured it over veggie spiral noodles, chicken and broccoli and enjoyed every last bite.   And I promise you will too!

Veggie spirals, chicken, broccoli and my alfredo sauce. Perfection!

Angela’s Alfredo Sauce
Servings: 4 (1/3 cup per serving)
PointsPlus Per Serving: 3 (a helluva lot better than 9!)


  • 2 tbsp light butter, 4 PP
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups 1% or 2% milk, 5 PP
  • 1/2 cup grated reduced-fat parmesan cheese, 4 PP
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with a little water

1. Get out a sauce pan and turn onto medium-low heat (around a 4 of 10) and put butter in pan to start melting. After it’s melted a little bit, put in garlic, basil, oregano, parsley and red pepper flakes. Mix around and let simmer for about a minute or so. (This helps the flavor of the herbs and garlic to be released.)

2. Pour in the milk. Grab a whisk (your main tool for this sauce) and mix in the parmesan cheese. Let all the flavors blend and then after a few minutes, mix in the cornstarch.

3. The key to the perfect texture is to keep whisking it. Don’t let it boil, otherwise the milk with start to curdle and you’ll end up with a grainy texture to your sauce. Keep whisking and after about five minutes, the alfredo will start to thicken. Continue whisking. Taste test it and adjust to your liking.

4. Pour over any noodle or vegetable and enjoy!

I’ve recently read about people enjoying red sauce over broccoli slaw.  I can’t say that idea excites me, but I can DEFINITELY say that I would eat this alfredo sauce over broccoli slaw!  Shit, I’d eat it over corn on the cob it’s that good.  So, try it over some of those steamed veggies or spaghetti squash or broccoli slaw.  You really can’t go wrong with cheesy anything over veggies.

Oh, and I reclaimed my “Italian” card :)

Grill, Brine and Sunshine

Sunshine!  It’s here!  It might not stay too long, so we MUST take advantage of it now.  How am I going to do that?  GRILLING!!!  (Am I too excited about this?  I’ve noticed my intense use of exclamation points lately.)

Click here to go to this recipe from a fellow Cinci girl!

I love grilling.  I grill from the beginning of Spring to the end of Autumn with our cute red charcoal grill.  Charcoal is the only way to go in my opinion.  You just can’t get that awesome smokey flavor when using a gas grill (although they try to imitate that with fake briquettes).  It wasn’t until last Spring that I had my own grill and a patio to use it on, so I took full advantage.  I can’t even count how many times I grilled!  But I can list off what all I grilled…. burgers, roasts, hot dogs, chicken, brats, sausages, zucchini, corn, peppers, bread, shrimp, chicken wings, onions, snap peas and green beans, etc.  Anything that was in my fridge was grilled, really.  We even bought some hickory chips to add extra flavor.

Click here to go to this recipe from Sara’s Kitchen!

Out of all the things I grilled, my brined chicken breasts were absolutely the best.  I spent a good hour searching through BBQ chicken recipes until I figured out what I wanted to do.  I wrote it down, tried it out and was shocked at how delicious it actually was!  In fact, the first time I made it I used 3 whole chicken breasts instead of one (my girlfriend and I usually just split one since that’s all the meat we need for a day) and we ate all three.  It was just SOOO GOOD!  So juicy, flavorful and succulent… It seriously doesn’t get much better than this.

Tonight we’re going shopping for more chicken because we’re grilling tomorrow, but I had to give you the recipe today just in case any of you were planning on enjoying the warmer weather too!

Saucy Italian Chicken
Servings: 3 (1 breast per person) or 6 (if you cut each breast in half)
PointsPlus Per Serving: 8 for three servings, 4 for six servings


  • 3 chicken breasts, 17 PP
  • 1/2 cup your favorite BBQ sauce (I like Trader Joe’s All-Natural), 5 pp

Brine (No points for this because you drain the water and not even a points worth soaks into the chicken)

  • 1 bowl big enough to cover the chicken with water
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar


  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil (optional)
  • 6-8 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (only about 1 tsp will actually stay on each breast so it’s only 3 PP)
  • 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes (less if you want, but I like more!)

Click here to go to this recipe from The Bitten Word!

1. Mix brine ingredients in bowl. Put chicken breasts in, cover with saran wrap and let soak in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours. While it’s brining, mix together your marinade!

2. Once done brining, drain brine from bowl, leaving chicken in (or put it in a gallon ziploc bag). Pour marinade over chicken. Let marinate anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours. You can marinate it all the way up to 6 hrs if you want, but any more than that and the enzymes in the meat will start to break down (chicken = goo).

3. Get your grill ready during the last 20 minutes of the marinating. Once it’s nice and hot, pour the 1/2 cup BBQ sauce into a bowl and grab a marinade brush. Put each chicken breast on the nice, hot grill and generously spread BBQ over top. Leave lid down to get flavors soak into meat (make sure your vent is open!). After about 5 minutes, flip chicken and brush on the rest of the marinade. Close lid again and check every couple minutes until it’s reached desired done-ness (should be another 5 minutes).

4. Once it’s done, eat immediately! Your taste buds will thank you! This is fantastic paired with grilled vegetables of any kind and a potato dish! Personally, I’d recommend grilled zucchini and mashed potatoes for an out-of-this-world culinary experience.

Homemade Pizza!

There’s no pizza like homemade pizza.  If you’ve never made homemade pizza, tonight’s the night to try it out!  It’s healthier, cheaper, versatile and if you make the dough in advance, it takes less time than delivery!

My girlfriend and I had a hankering the other night to make some pizza of our own, so I looked up a few different pizza dough recipes until I found the one we wanted. We knew we wanted to be healthier so we found a whole wheat dough recipe. Then we scoured our cabinets and fridge for ingredients to put on top. We had a few different cheeses, some spaghetti sauce, and I pulled out some raw onion and sundried tomatoes too. We cooked it all up, watched the movie “The Family Man” and enjoyed ourselves and our pizza immensely! It was quick and easy to make, so I figured I’d share the recipe with you.

Basic Pizza Dough
Servings: 4 (four individual pizzas, not 4 pieces!)
Points Per Serving: 13 per individual pizza! (so like 2 PP per piece, not including toppings)


  • 1 tsp sugar (or honey)
  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast (or 1 package of quick active yeast), 1 PP
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups all purpose flour, 21 PP
  • 2 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour, 25 PP
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, 7 PP
  • 1 2/3 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (for more pliable crust)

1. Combine the water and sugar in a 2-cup measuring jug. Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand until foamy, about 5-10 minutes. Stir in the oil.

2. Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Make a crater in the middle of the flour and pour in the liquids. Mix with wooden spoon until all the ingredients are in. Then, use your clean hands to continue mixing and kneading until you’ve formed it into a ball. If necessary, turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly until smooth and elastic.

3. Leave the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl lightly with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm spot until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.

2. Punch down the dough, then cut in half . Refrigerate or freeze in floured zip-close freezer bags at this point or use as directed in the recipe. Yields enough dough for 2 medium pizzas with 6 servings each (if you’ve included the vinegar, you can definitely do 4 smaller pizzas or 6 personal pizzas!).

All the tasty ingredients ready for the oven!

Once the dough is ready, it’s up to you as far as what you want on it! I used a spaghetti sauce, parm/romano/feta/mozzarella cheese, PBO, slivered onion and sundried tomato. You can add as much or as little as you want. Depending on how much is on there, you’ll want to cook it for anywhere from 11-15 minutes on 480 degrees. Just remember to check on it instead of putting it in and walking away or it might burn! This dough is thick (without the vinegar), so the thinner you make it, the less time it will take to cook.

A few tips.
– Poke holes in the dough with a fork to keep air bubbles to a minimum.
– Put flour or cornmeal on the bottom of the pan to keep it from sticking (totally works!).
– Rub olive oil over the whole pizza before you start putting on toppings and sprinkle some garlic powder on the edges to make your crusts even tastier!
– Remember to count the points of your toppings too!
– Attempt (in my case, unsuccessful) to NOT eat the entire pizza in one sitting.

two slices into it… I ate it all.

Eating Healthy on a Budget: Veggie Saute over Pasta

One nice thing about vegetables is that they are relatively cheap. You can get a lot for a little bit of money, but you have to make sure you use them up quickly or they’ll go bad!  They’re also great at soaking up flavor, so you can get them to be a perfect compliment to almost any dish.

Here’s a great recipe that I whipped up on a long, cold winter night when I was craving something savory and satisfying, but I didn’t have any meat thawed. I knew that pasta would be a great option, but I’d eaten pasta with red sauce earlier in the week and I really just wanted to use some veggies. I went to the grocery store and picked up my weekly veggies and I was excited to find organic zucchini, so I knew I wanted to use it!

This dish was wonderful and very inexpensive (non-organic equals less money spent too). All it required was one zucchini, a cup of broken up broccoli, some garlic, oil, butter, milk, spices and whatever noodle I wanted to use. I ended up using one of my favorites, these tiny organic veggie shells that I got from our local Food Co-op. All together, this dish would only cost you a few dollars from the noodles, zucchini and broccoli. It’s yummy, satisfying, good for you and won’t take a chunk out of your pocket!  I’d estimate about $1.75 per serving including your noodles.

Veggie Saute for Pasta
Servings: 2
PointsPlus Per Serving: 4


  • 1 large zucchini, skin on, diced
  • 1 cup broccoli, broken into small pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, 4 PP
  • 1/2 tbsp light butter, 1 PP
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup low-fat milk, 1 PP
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat parmesan cheese, 1 PP


1. Heat up oil in pan. Put in garlic, red pepper flakes and herbs first and let them become fragrant.

2. Put in zucchini and broccoli. Mix and cook for about 5 minutes.

3. Put in butter, salt and pepper and let it melt as you stir. Once melted, pour in milk and cheese.

4. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 5 more minutes.

6. Put on top of your favorite noodle. Enjoy!

This was fantastic on top of our noodles. It would probably be best with a penne, shell or other non-spaghetti type noodle just because it’s a chunky veggie saute. My girlfriend loooooved it. She had been craving pizza that night and this made her forget all about pizza. We topped it with a little extra parmesan cheese and enjoyed every bite. I hope you enjoy it too!

Mighty Meaty Spaghetti Sauce

There are two kinds of Italians – those that are all about “the noodle” and those that are all about “the sauce”.  My girlfriend and I are opposites.  She’s all about the noodle and I’m all about the sauce!  She could make up a bowl of penne or capellini, melt a little butter, salt and parmesan on top and be a happy camper (such a carb-a-holic!).  But a saucy girl needs her sauce!

I grew up with a mom that could make spaghetti sauce so good that we’d just put it in a bowl and eat it like stew.  Maybe we’d throw in a little parmesan or scoop it out with tortilla chips or a hunk of bread, but the sauce was the main attraction.  It was warm, filling and it ALWAYS hit the spot.  It’s been passed down generation to generation and I’m sorry to say that you will NOT be getting that family secret!  I got enough grief for giving out the ravioli recipe!

Do not fret, though!  I have a healthy, semi-homemade meat sauce for you that’s almost as good as Mom’s secret recipe.  It’s sure to not disappoint.  In fact, I made it twice over Thanksgiving while in Ohio and it (along with the raviolis) was a humongous hit with my girlfriend’s family!  Even the picky eaters loved it enough to have seconds and thirds :)  It’s rich and filling and it was perfect with leftover Thanksgiving rolls.

All simmered and ready to be devoured

Mighty Meaty Spaghetti Sauce
Servings: 7-8 (1/2 cup servings)
PointsPlus Per Serving: 3



  • Jennie-O Extra Lean Ground Turkey 1/2 lb, 7 PP
  • Olive Oil 1 tbsp, 4 PP
  • Pam
  • 3 Garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp dried parsley

Spaghetti Sauce

  • Prego Roasted Garlic Parmesan Italian Sauce (whole can), 7 PP
  • 1/2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp light butter, 1 PP
  • 1 tsp allspice (optional)


1. Get out medium sized sauce pan, put it on medium high heat and put the olive oil in to warm up.  Add the garlic to cook up just a minute before you put in the turkey

All the spices on the meat, ready to be mixed in

2. Put in your ground turkey, spray the top with a little pam and pour on all the spices listed for the meat.  Mix and chop it up as it cooks until you’re left with nicely cooked and chopped up turkey!  This takes about 15-20 minutes.

3. Drain the turkey meat to get rid of the excess water and grease.  Return to sauce pan.

4. Put your heat down to medium-low and pour in your can of spaghetti sauce.  Mix around so the turkey isn’t just resting on the bottom of the pan anymore.

5. Mix in all the spices (not the butter just yet) and let simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Make sure to put a lid on because thick, beautiful sauce has a tendency to bubble and explode and it’ll get all over you and the counter.

Two of my favorite sauces to use!

6. Once sauce is nice and hot, put in butter and stir around.  Let simmer for another five minutes or so before you taste test.  Season to taste.

7. Eat alone or over your favorite noodle!

You can really use any type of sauce you have around for the base.  Cheese sauces are good, mushroom sauces are good (my girlfriend hates mushrooms, so I don’t cook with them often, even though I love them!).  I just love the flavor of a great roasted garlic sauce.  It has a little extra something in it that makes it special.  Just remember to check the points value by using the Weight Watchers Wiki, although it will be out of date now….  I’ll have to find a new updated one!  And don’t forget that everything should be seasoned to taste.  You might not like as much garlic, but you love the basil; so change it up!

I hope you enjoy this healthy meaty marinara sauce.  It’s wonderful!  And here’s one last picture to show you my raviolis with this sauce.  It’s a great way to serve them – layer sauce, then ravs, sauce, ravs, sauce, ravs, etc. until you reach the top!


Spaghetti Sauce on Foodista

Perfect Pita Pizzas

I put a status update on Facebook a few days ago about needing ideas for a quick, easy and tasty meal to make for dinner. My friend Johnell gave me this great idea and I figured I would share it with you! I didn’t have any pitas to use, so I didn’t actually make the meal, but I thought I could share it with you anyway since figuring out points is an easy task!

The perfect pita pizza is a relative concept.  It’s based solely on the person eating the pizza. Luckily, these little slices of goodness are quick and easy to prep AND cook!  I’ll be stocking up on pitas soon!  One day I might be in a hawaiian mood, so my perfect pita pizza would be turkey bacon, pineapple and onion.  My girlfriend might be in a greek mood, so her perfect pita pizza would probably be an olive oil and herb base topped with chicken, feta cheese and spinach.  The possibilities are endless!  (Seriously, how many times have I said this on my blog already?)

Points values are based on the ingredients used, but typically any type of small pita would be 2 points.  You’ll probably use one that’s closer to 6 inches in diameter, though, so that will be 4 points.  Most spaghetti sauces are about 3 points for a 1/2 cup and you’d probably use about 2 tbsp max on a pita pizza, so it would only be 1 point for the sauce.  Cheese is typically about 2 points for a 1/4 cup (as long as it’s reduced-fat).  I’d probably use that amount since I LOVE cheese.  So…. if you did just a cheese pita pizza with 2 tbsp of sauce and a 1/4 cup of cheese, it would be 7 points!  Add some veggies on there and it’s STILL only 7 points!  Here are some easy directions for those of you that want them and I’ll list some ingredient suggestions at the end (with point values!)

Photo Courtesty of:

Perfect Pita Pizzas
Servings: 1
PointsPlus Per Serving: 7 (including pita, 2 tbsp spaghetti sauce and 1/4 cup reduced-fat cheese)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put pitas on a nonstick pan. Put sauce down (or olive oil) and spread around. Put on some herbs if you like.

2. Top with preferred toppings. Put on cheese. Repeat if desired.

3. Put in oven (either on pan or directly onto rack) and bake for about 10 minutes.

4. Take out, slice, enjoy!

Ingredient Suggestions
Hawaiian (8 PP) – 1/4 cup pineapple, 1 slice ham/bacon, onion, 1/4 cup RF mozzarella cheese
Mexican (10 PP w/o enchilada sauce) – 1/4 cup ground turkey/beef/chorizo with taco seasoning, diced tomatoes, no sauce (or enchilada sauce), lettuce, diced onions, 1 tbsp sour cream, hot sauce, 1/4 cup mexican blend cheese
Italian (8 PP with red sauce) – 1 1/2 oz chicken sausage, sauteed onions and peppers, mozzarella cheese, PBO (parsley, basil, oregano), a bit of chopped garlic, either spaghetti sauce or a light rub of olive oil
Greek (9 PP) – 1 oz grilled chicken, feta cheese, diced onion, spinach, black olive, diced tomato
Veggie (7 PP)– black olives, sauteed onions and peppers, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, mozzarella/cheddar cheese
Chili (10 PP) – 1 oz ground beef/turkey, chili powder, 1/4 cup chili beans or cannelini beans, diced onion, 2 tbsp sour cream, cheddar cheese
Breakfast (9 PP) – asparagus pieces, fresh sliced mushrooms, olive oil w/ salt, pepper and spices, colby/mozzarella cheese, cracked egg right on top of everything
Fire-Breather (9 PP) – pepperjack cheese, jalapeno slices (or habanero!), diced onion, chorizo/chicken, chili powder, tabasco/green chile sauce, sour cream, (either a low-fat ranch, enchilada sauce or red sauce on the bottom)

Well, I hope that you enjoy these different combinations. Remember, you can try any mix of ingredients that you like! Make a couple different kinds. Make sweeter ones if you want with sweetened ricotta cheese, fruit and a light whipped cream or yogurt on top. And if you make one and you shock yourself with it’s tasty goodness, comment on this entry and share the wealth! Good luck to you all in your future pita adventures!

Raviolis Running Wild!

Last year’s freezer. 166 dozen!

What do you do when you have 33 dozen homemade, carb-o-licious raviolis in your fridge and no clue what their point value is?  Shit if I know!  Let me try this again….

What do you do when you have 33 dozen homemade, carb-o-licious raviolis in your fridge and no clue what their point value is?  Give them all away!  HAH.  Not happening.  I made them with my own two hands, suffered through massive flour attacks, intense meat/cheese ball rolling and dangerous 3 ft long sheets of noodle flying over my head.  I am NOT giving them all away.  Let’s try this one more time….

What do you do when you have 33 dozen homemade, carb-o-licious raviolis in your fridge and no clue what their point value is?  Bring 1/3 to my girlfriend’s family Thanksgiving, give 1/3 away as Christmas presents and figure out the point value per rav so I can keep 1/3 of my hard work (and totally worth it) and enjoy them!

On my mom’s side of the family, our traditional “Ravioli Day” feels a bit like Jesus’ day in the park with the loaves and fishes.  Only we don’t do it by God-magic.  We do it the Italian way – loud, messy and with lots of wine (although we never run out of wine…. maybe there is a little god-magic a foot!).  This year, we beat our record of 166 dozen in one day by two dozen.  168 raviolis from scratch!  It’s slightly ridiculous, but oh so worth it.  They taste so good.  I’ve never even bothered to figure out their nutrition facts, though, only how many I could eat in one sitting (almost two dozen, for the record).  But times have changed and so have my food choices, so it’s time to sit down and figure out the point value.

After hours of my own personal effort, I give you the recipe (and points value!) for a long kept family secret.  I’m also going to list healthier suggestions for when you make your own ravs.  I hereby baptize you as  Ravioli disciples!  (Get the reference?  Hehe.)

Homemade Beef & Spinach Raviolis
Serves: 10-15 people
PointsPlus per Ravioli: 16 per dozen (this does not include whatever you top it with)

Dough (13 dozen ravs, 8 PP per dozen)

  • 6 cups flour, 69 PP
  • 6 eggs, 12 PP
  • 1 cup warm water (must be warm)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, 28 PP
  • 1/2 tsp salt

1. Pour all the flour into a big bowl and form a big hole in the middle. Pour all the eggs into the hole. Slowly mix the flour into the eggs.

2. Mix in the water and olive oil until the dough is nicely formed into a ball. Put back into the bowl, take some more olive oil and rub the top of it.

3. Put a towel over the bowl and set aside to rise for an hour.

Filling (13 dozen ravs, 8 PP per dozen)

  • 1 lb ground chuck, cooked and crumbled, 21 PP
  • 1 loaf italian bread (no crusts!) broken into marble-sized pieces, 25 PP
  • 1 lb fresh spinach
  • 1 bunch parsley (i go for 1 cup fresh chopped)
  • 10 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, 28 PP
  • 2 cans chicken stock, 1 PP
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese, 11 PP
  • 1 cup grated fresh romano cheese, 13 PP

1. Take stems off spinach (if you don’t have a food processor).

2. Heat oil in pan. Saute spinach, garlic, parsley and worcestershire together. At this point, my family would put it in a food processor and chop it all up, so chop it up somehow so that the spinach is in small pieces.

3. Mix spinach and ground beef together in a big bowl. Add the other spices (not the cheese, bread or broth) in and season to taste, which means you eat a little bit and see if it needs a little something extra. The spicier the better! At least that’s what’s written on my Noni’s recipe card, lol.

4. Add in the cheese. Mix thoroughly.

5. Take 1 1/2 cups of hot chicken broth and put it in a separate bowl. Add pieces of the bread in a little at a time to soak up the broth. Once all the bread is soaked, add it to the meat mixture until it’s about the consistency of meatloaf. If it’s too wet, put in some more cheese. If it’s too dry, add a little milk. Keep checking it for taste until it’s perfect for you!

Ravioli Making Time!
1. Make sure you have a lot of flour in front of you so that you can flour the table, the ravioli molds (if you have them) and the dough. You’ll also need either a dough press or a rolling pin. The dough press is totally worth the money, especially when you’re making so many! Also, you’ll need cookie sheets with wax paper sprinkled with flour to put the ravs on so that you can stack them until they are frozen enough to put into gallon ziploc bags.

2. Put some flour on the table and spread it out. Prep your ravioli molds by taking out the plastic part, flipping over the metal mold and rubbing it in the flour. This keeps the dough from sticking to the mold.

3. Grab a handful of the nicely risen dough and pat on some flour. Thin it out a bit and start putting it through the dough press. We start at #6 a couple times, then go all the way to about #2-3. Careful not to make it too thin and make sure to keep flouring it. I think the best length to shoot for is a little over 2 ft long for each sheet of dough. This is because whether you’re using one or two molds, it will be a perfect length. It’ll either be a top and bottom for one mold, or the bottom OR top of two molds!

4. Once you have your dough properly pressed and floured, lay it right over the mold, making sure to cover each edge completely and press down the plastic top to form the little pockets. Then, just fill each one with a nice cherry tomato-sized meatball! Too big and the rav will explode while being cooked; too small and you’ll feel gypped on the meaty goodness.

Me and my peeps filling ravs.

5. Put another sheet of dough down (or fold over the other foot) over top, flour your rolling pin and roll over the whole mold so that the edges are pressed together and the excess dough can be easily pulled away!

6. Flip ravs onto prepped cookie sheet. Once you have a full sheet, put into the freezer for a bit until they’re hard enough to successfully transfer into ziploc bags! If you’re using gallon-sized bags, you can store two dozen in each and just fold and stack the bags.

7. Rinse and repeat :) You can reuse the excess dough and just keep up until all the filling is gone!

This is just one of many ways that you can make ravs. I’ll put up the recipe for different ones as the weeks go on. You can also make up your own filling! The possibilities are endless. In fact, raviolis are all based on a tradition of using up leftovers before they went bad. They’d just take leftovers from the night before, mix them together with some spice, whip up some dough and VOILA!

Oh, and when you’re ready to eat them, just get a pot of water boiling, drop the frozen ravs in one by one and once they float to the surface (around 2 mins), they’re ready to be devoured! Easy-peasy.

Healthy substitutions? Use ground turkey instead of beef. Or use a half and half mixture. We’ve even made venison ravs before. Turkey tastes almost exactly the same as the beef, probably even a little better. I think it soaks up the flavor better and that’s always a plus in my book! Use 1/4 cup olive oil and some Pam when sauteing the spinach so that you don’t have to use so much. Use reduced-fat and sodium bread and chicken broth.

If you use low-fat cheeses (not fat-free), 1/4 cup less olive oil, turkey and reduced fat/sodium bread and broth, the points will be brought down to 1 pts per dozen! Schweeeet :). The oil and bread makes the biggest difference. You could still use the beef and full fat cheeses and the points would only be 12 per dozen. The dough will be 8 pts per dozen no matter what because of the flour, eggs and oil, but the rest of the points depend on what you’re filling it with. But no matter what, make sure you enjoy the fruits of your labor! Homemade raviolis are amazing. Just a little sauce, pesto or grated romano sprinkled on top or even pan frying them (after being boiled) with some pam, a bit of light butter and garlic…. Now that’s a piece of heaven; a bit-o-magic, a Jesus miracle, whatever you want to call it! As a foodie, I call it TASTAY and TOTALLY WORTH THE EFFORT!

Now, bring on the wine!