Wendy Zitzman - Author Archive

Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana Recipe – 6 Smart Points

Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana

If you’ve ever been to Olive Garden’s all-you-can-eat soup, salad and breadsticks lunch special, then you are going to love today’s recipe! I’ve been a fan of their Zuppa Toscana soup for as long as I can remember, but with all the fat and calories, indulging in this delicious dish at Olive Garden could easily cost me almost an entire day’s worth of Smart Points – and that’s before we factor in the breadsticks and salad. Yikes! So, I’ve come up with my own lighter version at home, and it is fantastic. It’s a simple, slow cooker recipe that turns out incredibly tasty, yet with just 6 Smart Points per serving. Admittedly, I was feeling quite lazy and made this with pre-cooked Italian sausage links from Applegate Farms. Ideally, you could use ground Italian chicken sausage for a more authentic flavor. But you will need to brown that sausage first before adding it to the slow cooker. By using the precooked sausage, I saved a step (an an extra pan to wash). Plus, Applegate’s sausages are really tasty! No harm, no foul. This copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana recipe is a real win for any Weight Watcher. Enjoy!

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Warm Mushroom and Lentil Salad Recipe – 5 Points +

Warm Mushroom and Lentil Salad

This savory and satisfying side dish is a breeze to prepare and goes great with just about any meal. The tender lentils and pan fried mushrooms are incredibly delicious and packed with nutrition. And I love this unique salad that doesn’t feature the leafy greens as its star….they are merely a supporting character in this dish. I used baby kale in mine, but arugula or spinach would work really well too. The earthy flavors make this hearty Weight Watchers recipe a delicious dish that is sure to make an impression, while still keeping those Smart Points in check.

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Green Olive and Apricot Chicken Recipe – 7 Smart Points

Green Olive and Apricot Chicken

Heaven on a dish, this delightfully easy chicken recipe packs a tremendous flavor punch. The sweet and salty flavors of the olives and apricots are a dream, and the bit of caramelization from the chicken just makes this meal melt in your mouth. If you aren’t a fan of apricots, this dish would work well with dried prunes or figs too. And I love how simple it is to prepare! I literally had it in my fridge within 5 minutes, then I just let it sit overnight, so by the time the next evening rolled around, I simply had to toss it in the oven and forget about it. Serve with your favorite salad or steamed veggies, and serve atop some warm, while wheat couscous if you have a few extra Points to spare.

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Cabbage Shell Chicken Tacos with Chipotle Cream – 5 Smart Points

Cabbage Shell Chicken Tacos with Chipotle Cream

If there’s one food I could eat everyday for weeks without tiring if it, it’s tacos. That’s partly because there are SO many different ways to prepare them, and I’d never get bored. For this chicken tacos recipe, I used cabbage leaves instead of traditional taco shells to help cut carbs and calories. I also added some swiss chard leaves for added nutrition and for it’s aesthetics. The fresh, raw corn salsa is such a unique flavor too…which I adored. My husband said he would have preferred that the corn was roasted first, so if raw corn isn’t for you, just roast the cob in the oven or on the grill first. But the real show pony of this recipe is the chipotle sour cream!! I could NOT get enough of it! These tacos were a total hit…my 6 year old devoured them….even with that cabbage shell. And at just 5 Smart Points per taco, you are getting one seriously delicious and nutritious dish!

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Balsamic Garlic Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms – 2 Smart Points

Balsamic Garlic Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms

One of my new favorite vegetable side dish recipes is this Balsamic Garlic Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms dish. It’s quick and easy (you know I love those kinds of recipes!) and is very flavorful.The sweet and tangy balsamic vinegar adds such a nice taste and light caramelization to the perfectly roasted veggies. I seriously could not get enough of it. Serve this healthy side dish with your favorite protein for a complete meal!

Balsamic Garlic Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms
Balsamic Garlic Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms
Print Recipe
An amazingly flavorful side dish that requires little effort. It’s easy to get those veggie servings in when they taste this good!
Servings Prep Time
4 10
Cook Time
20
Servings Prep Time
4 10
Cook Time
20
Balsamic Garlic Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms
Balsamic Garlic Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms
Print Recipe
An amazingly flavorful side dish that requires little effort. It’s easy to get those veggie servings in when they taste this good!
Servings Prep Time
4 10
Cook Time
20
Servings Prep Time
4 10
Cook Time
20
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and mist with non-fat cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar and garlic. Add in the veggies and toss to coat. Spread out the green beans and mushrooms evenly onto the pan, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in oven and roast for about 20 minutes, or until veggies are well browned.
Recipe Notes

**An important bit of info to note...when calculating the nutritional data, I did NOT include the green beans, mushrooms or garlic, since those are 0 Points. This is per Weight Watchers instructions. Only the non fruit or vegetables are counted towards the nutritional data and Smart Points value.

Entire recipe makes 4 servings
Serving size is about 1 cup
Each serving = 2 Smart Points

PER SERVING: 61 calories; 7g fat; 1g saturated fat; 0g carbohydrates; 0g sugar; 0g fiber; 0g protein

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Easy Cauliflower Soup Recipe – 4 Smart Points

Easy Cauliflower Soup

With the chilly weather finally in full force here in SoCal (and by chilly, I mean 60 degrees), I’ve been ALL about the soups. I find that they are a great way to use up extra veggies before they go bad. So last week, when I found a head of cauliflower in my vegetable drawer that i had forgotten to roast as a side dish one evening, I decided to use it in a quick, easy, and very light Cauliflower Soup Recipe. There are many ways to make cauliflower soup….but this is one of the easiest and fastest. If you want to add an extra flavor boost, try roasting the cauliflower and garlic before adding to the pot! Sooooo good. At just 4 Smart Points, this simple soup makes a great side dish for a chilly day.

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Lemon Butter Chicken – 5 Smart Points

Lemon Butter Chicken

With my New Year’s Resolution in full swing, I am committed to eating healthy (yet deliciously), and this Lemon Butter Chicken Recipe is an ideal dish! The chicken is cooked to perfection in a velvety lemon butter sauce that is to die for. It’s hard to tell in the photo, but there is spinach in that dish too…it’s just buried under the heavenly sauce. Next time, I’ll try doubling the spinach I used because it wilted so much in the sauce, and there really wasn’t a lot of it in the final product. And at just 5 Smart Points per serving, this dish makes a great Weight Watchers dinner recipe that will help keep you on track without sacrificing flavor.

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Easy Chicken Lo Mein Recipe – 7 Smart Points

Easy Chicken Lo Mein

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…I am OBSESSED with Chinese food. Seriously, I can never get enough. But following the Weight Watchers plan, eating Chinese food on a regular basis can get me into some serious trouble! So I regularly attempt to create my own healthier and lighter versions, hence this incredibly delicious Chicken Lo Mein Recipe. It was AH-MAZING. Me, my husband, and both kids loved it. Plus, it was super quick and easy! When adding the veggies for this dish feel free to get creative…I used what I happened to have on hand in the fridge, but next time, I’ll add some mushrooms, bell peppers and maybe some bok choy. Also, if you don’t have access to or can’t find the broccoli slaw, you can use regular broccoli and shredded carrots. I just used the slaw form because my kids are more likely to eat vegetables if they aren’t easily visible. But if you need to get your Chinese food craving satisfied, this Easy Chicken Lo Mein is a WINNER at just 7 Smart Points per serving! Enjoy.

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Moroccan Apricot Chicken – 5 Points +

Moroccan Apricot Chicken

One great thing about having my in-laws visit, is that I always pickup a few delicious Middle Eastern style recipes that taste like I’ve spent hours cooking them, but are actually quite simple. This Moroccan Apricot Chicken Recipe is just that. The chicken is fall-off-the-bone tender and is unbelievably moist and juicy. It’s rubbed in a combination of spices, seared, and then braised to perfection in the most delicious sauce. And it’s all done in one pot (you know I love those one pot meals)! This chicken turns out perfect EVERY time I cook it, and it’s become a staple for dinner parties or big family dinners. Serve over rice or couscous, along with some roasted veggies or salad for a complete meal. Enjoy!

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Teriyaki Meatball Bowl – 7 Points +

Teriyaki Meatball Bowl

I’m going to cut right to the chase here…this Teriyaki Meatball Bowl was amazing! My kids loved it, as did my husband and I. I used ground chicken for the meatballs, but ground pork or turkey would work well too. Baking the meatballs also made for an easier, more hands off cooking process, and that homemade Teriyaki sauce is beyond delicious — hitting all the right flavor notes, sweet, tangy, and salty. SO GOOD! If you want to kick up the heat a bit, feel free to add in some red pepper flakes. I normally use brown rice anytime I make rice, but my son has been begging for white rice, so I decided to treat him. The brown rice would definitely add some more fiber, so that’s what I’d recommend if you are trying to eat healthy. Definitely add these Teriyaki Meatball Bowls to your menu this week…you won’t be sorry!

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Lemon Artichoke Chicken Recipe – 5 Points +

Lemon Artichoke ChickenAnother one of my favorite, super easy chicken dinner recipes is this delicious Lemon Artichoke Chicken dish. The seasoning are soon tasty, and the chicken comes out perfectly juicy and tender. At just 5 Points + per serving, you get a delicious entree that offers a nice amount of protein and fiber with barely any carbs. Also, note that the recipe only calls for a tsp of saffron threads, but my photo may show more. I tend to get a little heavy handed with the saffron because I adore it, but feel free to use as much or as little of the saffron as you want. This dish works really nicely over orzo pasta or brown rice, and I like to serve it with a simple side salad for a complete meal. Enjoy!
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Broccoli Salad Recipe – 7 Points +

Broccoli SaladIf you’ve ever had a Broccoli Salad before, you’ll understand the reason why this salad has become such a popular side dish at parties, buffets, and potlucks – it’s just so flipping GOOD! My spin on this well loved dish uses a few variant ingredients to keep it a bit lighter and more heart healthy. The crunchy broccoli and walnuts are combined with onions and raisins, then topped with a creamy, sweet, and tangy dressing that is insanely delicious. There are lots of variations to this salad, so you can definitely alternate/add/eliminate other ingredients if you want to shake things up. Try it with carrots, bacon, pumpkin seeds, candied pecans, dried, cranberries, kale, or even roasted brussel sprouts.I highly recommend adding this as a side dish to one of your favorite dinners, or adding some grilled chicken to it and serving it as a lunch salad.

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