Simple Kale Salad Recipe – 2 Smart Points

Simple Kale Salad

You guys. My kids ate this salad. MY KIDS ATE KALE. A ton of it! If that’s not a selling point for a recipe, I don’t know what is. This kid friendly, Simple Kale salad Recipe is not only a breeze to make, it’s absolutely delicious! The key in this dish, is to NOT be gentle with the kale when mixing everything together, and to let the salad sit for at least an hour. Do NOT skip this step! It’s what helps the kale tenderize a bit, and allows the flavor of the dressing to soak through the strongly flavored kale. Also, because I’m lazy, I used a bag of pre-washed and prepared kale mix that I found at Whole Foods. It just saved me the extra steps of trimming my own kale. And the roasted pumpkin seeds add such a nice extra crunch and nutty flavor. Seriously, sooooo yummy!

[Read more…]

Jam Squares – 3 Smart Points

Jam Squares

While I always try to make the healthiest choices and snack on fruit and vegetables, there is nothing like a treat every once and a while. I really like to have cookies on hand. That way I can have a sweet treat for dessert after lunch, or as a mid afternoon pick-me-up without too much effort. Although I’ll admit, with the number of “sweet treats” I post here, it looks doubtful that I actually do snack on fruits and vegetables. I wanted to do something different than my typical chocolate chip cookies. I thought I’d do shortbread cookies (one of my favorites) with a twist. I decided to add jam to the centers of the shortbread cookies. [Read more…]

Mini Cherry Pies – 10 Smart Points

Sweet cherry pie.

I typically do most of the cooking in our house. We have a great deal – one cooks and the other one cleans. However, there is one thing that my husband does that is far, far superior to my efforts. Pie – my husband makes incredible pies. We usually have a number of pie fillings (peach and apple) made up and frozen so all he has to do is make the crust and plop in the filling. However, recently, I thought it’d be fun to have a slight change from the normal. So, instead of the usual large pie, we made little individual cherry pies. They were amazing. It was really fun to have little individual pies that we could share with some ice cream for a sweet treat after dinner one night. The remainder can be easily frozen so that they’re ready to thaw, warm and serve. It’s a great way for me to practice portion control, since it’s always very tempting to have another piece.

[Read more…]

Spinach & Beet Salad – 7 Smart Points

Healthy Beet Salad with fresh sweet baby spinach, kale lettuce, nuts, feta cheese and toast  melted

I have gotten out of the habit of salads for lunch. I went through a couple of weeks where I had a delicious mandarin chicken salad with ginger sesame dressing for lunch every day. But it’s been about 3 weeks since I’ve had salads for lunch, what with all the leftovers we’ve had. So I decided to break that streak with a fresh spinach salad. I enjoy baby spinach, so I thought I’d start with a pile of that on my plate. Top the spinach with tender, roasted beets that have been thinly sliced. I sprinkled on a little fat free feta and a few walnuts. Then I simply drizzle over a couple of tablespoons of my favorite fat free vinaigrette. It was a great way to get myself back into the healthier choices for lunch. It was bright, refreshing and incredibly delicious. [Read more…]

Spinach, Artichoke, and White Bean Soup Recipe – 6 Smart Points

Spinach, Artichoke, and White Bean Soup

We are still in the midst of summer, but savory fall foods are already filling up my brain, and I’ve already started working on some new seasonal recipes! A recent one that I whipped up is this Spinach, Artichoke, and White Bean Soup. I’m a HUGE fan of artichokes, and this soup definitely delivers their amazing flavor. Every spoonful is bursting with their unique flavor, but softened a bit by the creamy, mild beans and velvety broth. It’s a pretty quick and easy recipe to make, which is great when you don’t have much time or energy on your hands. But it’s hearty enough to be satisfying, and can easily be served as a main dish or a side. Loaded with protein, fiber and iron, this Spinach, Artichoke, and White Bean Soup is as nurturing as it is delicious. Enjoy!

[Read more…]

Moroccan Spiced Shrimp Over Garbanzo Bean Salad – 4 Smart Points

Moroccan Spiced Shrimp Over Garbanzo Bean Salad

With the beautiful summer weather we’ve been having, my husband has been outside grilling food on a very regular basis. And today’s recipe for Moroccan Spiced Shrimp Over Garbanzo Bean Salad was actually inspired by 5 year old who LOVES shrimp! On a recent beach excursion, we stopped to have lunch at a local, seaside restaurant, and my daughter was begging to order anything with shrimp. We opted to get her this dish, and she absolutely loved it. I tried my best to replicate the version from the restaurant, and I’m pretty pleased with the results…it turned out delicious and very light at just 4 Smart Points per serving. Of course, the final approval came from the harshest critic, my little girl herself, and she vehemently approved. So if you are looking for a new grilling recipe to try this summer, get this one on your menu ASAP!

[Read more…]

Carrot Cake Pancakes with Blueberries – 5 Smart Points

Blueberry Pancakes

Saturdays I usually make a delicious brunch. Pancakes are one of my favorite things to make on days like that. I recently found a carrot cake pancake recipe and thought I’d give it a try. I really liked it. The carrot is a mild flavor that adds moisture to the pancakes – much like zucchini in chocolate cake. I topped mine with fat free Greek yogurt and fresh blueberries. I added a little bit of maple syrup for a little extra sweet – and it was delicious. Be sure to grate the carrots by hand, the store-bought grated carrots are just too coarse and you’ll end up feeling like you’re eating carrot stick pancakes. Hand grated carrots are much more fine and tender, so they just melt into the flavor of the pancake. Give these delicious dessert-like pancakes a try – you won’t be disappointed! [Read more…]

Sweet & Sour Teriyaki Chicken – 8 Smart Points

Sweet & Sour Teriyaki Chiccken

Growing up, my mom had the best teriyaki chicken recipe. Every time we all get home, she makes us a massive batch of teriyaki chicken. I decided to tweak her recipe a little bit this time and do some sweet and sour teriyaki chicken. Adding a sweet and sour sauce to the traditional teriyaki sauce lightened the flavor and made it more of a sauce than a marinade. So, I made my typical stir fried chicken and vegetables and added this delicious sauce. You don’t need to use the same broccoli and peppers that I did, toss in what you have on hand or whatever you like in your stir fries! Add some carrots, baby corn, water chestnuts, edamame, snow peas or anything else that you enjoy. All those veggies are great add ons since they don’t cost you an additional points. If you feel like you want a bit of carbohydrate or side dish, brown rice or whole grain pasta is a great choice. [Read more…]

Chicken & Apple Sliders – 7 Smart Points

Chicken & Apple Sliders

I recently was in Costco and had a sample of a chicken and apple slider. It was delicious, so I set out to make a similar recipe that I could do at home. I’m not sure if these are exactly the same, but they are delicious all the same, so who cares? I like how easy these are to make. I can make them up ahead of time and freeze them. Then I can just cook up a couple of them for lunch or dinner. When I need a quick meal, they’re ready to go. All I have to do is broil them for a few minutes. I like to pair these with an Asian coleslaw with a copycat Applebee’s salad dressing and some sweet potato fries. It’s a delicious, simple and healthy meal that’s ready to go in less than 20 minutes. This is perfect for our busy weeknights, or when I simply don’t know what else to make! These sliders are definitely keepers in our house! [Read more…]

Couscous with Pomegranates & Butternut – 7 Smart Points

Couscous with Butternut

Here is a seriously delicious combination of pomegranate, butternut and orange. It’s a simple and easy meal that can be tossed together in no time. I love the fact that I can make it up really quickly. Squash can be sliced in half, and baked for about 10 minutes. It’s easier to peel and cube then. It’s also easy to freeze it then and I can have it all year. Roasted in the oven with some olive oil, salt and pepper until it’s tender. It’s a great way to make squash without loading it up with butter and brown sugar. I highly recommend baking it for a few minutes first. I learned last fall with my pumpkins (when I was canning a whole bunch of them, about 30 or 40 quarts) that if you bake the pumpkin (or squash in this case) for about 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees, it looses the skin and seeds enough that they are easy to remove. Then just stick your squash in a ziploc bag and it’s ready to be baked when you need it. Since I don’t always have quinoa on hand, and it takes longer to cook, couscous is a great alternative to that. It doesn’t take long to cook, has a much more mild flavor and is less expensive. It’s a great combination with the crunchy and juicy pomegranate seeds. This is a bright, colorful and delicious salad that is simple to put together to complement your meal tonight. [Read more…]

One Pot Moroccan Chicken Rice and Potatoes Recipe – 9 Smart Points

One Pot Moroccan Chicken Rice and Potatoes Recipe

On those nights when you want a complete meal in one pot, this One Pot Moroccan Chicken Rice and Potatoes Recipe is a breeze, and it delivers a delicious and filling meal with minimal effort. By cooking all the food together in one pot, the chicken juices really help to add amazing flavor and tenderness to the rice and potatoes. And the Moroccan spices make it all just taste soooooo good together! This recipe was taught to me by my amazing Moroccan friend who makes this meal at least once a week. The first time I had it served to me at her house, I assumed this was a dish she slaved over all day. But to my surprise, it’s a pretty easy, hands off meal that comes together perfectly! And who doesn’t love having just 1 pot to clean up afterwards?

[Read more…]

Strawberry Cake Roll – 7 Smart Points

Strawberry Cake Roll

Around the holidays last year I made a couple of Swiss cake rolls. I really enjoyed making the cake rolls. It turns out they’re not as difficult as I thought they were. The trick is to roll them while the cake is still warm, then they can be unrolled, filled and rerolled fairly easily. I used parchment paper to roll my cake and it worked perfectly. With some leftover fresh strawberries, I decided to try a strawberry cake roll – and it was fabulous. I started with my favorite frosting recipe – cool whip and low fat cream cheese. While I prefer to use real whipped cream, I can get almost the same flavor with cool whip, but without the fat! Then I added fresh chopped strawberries for my filling. I went the easy route and used a plain box mix for the cake. You can use any flavor you like – white, yellow, funfetti, chocolate – whatever you prefer or whatever you have on hand. The box mix makes this easy to make and really light and fluffy. It was fun, delicious and looks beautiful and elegant. Since my husband doesn’t like chocolate – it’s even better! It’s now one of my favorite non-chocolate desserts! [Read more…]