I have been trying to cook at home more this month and what a month to do it! Are there just amazing, yummy and happy foods out there in the fall or what?! I been doing very well with this part of myNovember goals.
Cooking at home has so many GREAT benefits:
1) It's cheap! Even if you spend a little more on organic produce or shop at your favorite co-op, it will be less in the long run because you will get more servings and be able to make more.
2) You get to spend time at home with the fam, the wife, the kids, the cats! You name it! Make it fun or romantic, just make it at home!
mine don't help at all.
3) Left overs!! I cook and eat for one mostly so I often have leftovers, but cooking for a family too can create excess too! Left overs are great, you can either have them "as is" or you can....
4) Get creative--make something new out of your left over food! It's a great way to create new favorites and use all your left overs. You would be amazed at what you can make from what you have too--take a peek and see what you have in your pantry to work with!
5) Lastly, it is easier to make your meals healthier at home! You can cut down on any ingredient, you can use healthy oils, trim the fat, go low fat and you will know exactly how everything is prepared!
So this week I decided to go veggie and make aVegetable-Barley Casserolea new Weight Watchers recipe that I encountered. It is spicy and cheesey and full of things you probably have in your house right now! Plus what is more Minnesotan in the fall than a hot-dish, goulash or casserole! You got it--nuthin!
2 tsp canola oil
1 small onion chopped
1 large garlic clove minced
2 cups frozen corn kernels thawed
3 cups swiss chard (I used kale!!)
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, with chillies, well-drained
2 Cups cooked barley, quick cooking recommended
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 black pepper
2 sprays cooking spray
1/2 cups low-fat shredded cheddar cheese, sharp
I LOVE kale and don't cook with it enough!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Heat oil in very large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, corn and swiss chard (or Kale); cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent and swiss chard (sigh...or KALE) is tender, about 5 min. Stir in tomatoes, barley, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper.
Coat a 2-3 quart backing dish with cooking spray. Spoon barley mixture into prepared dish in an even layer and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until cheese melts and mixture is hot, 25-30 minutes.
3 points per serving
3 cups of kale, once it was wilted down a pinch, didn't seem like enough so I added another handful. I love green food!
I added kidney beans to the dish on the sly... to bulk it up a little bit and pump up the protein. I know that will affect the points, but I don't know how much! Shhh....
Finished Product! SO good. After the taste test, I would add more garlic as well. But I will be making this again!
Also, I had at least2 cups of extra barleythat I am going to use for breakfasts! Whole grains are a wonderful way to keep you full till your morning snack. Heat it up, add a little bit of milk or rice milk and these toppings: