One of my all time favorite sandwiches, is this slimmed down version of a grilled Reuben sandwich. Just by using high quality, but lower fat/calorie ingredients, I was able to transform a traditional Grilled Reuben Sandwich into one that’s very Weight Watchers friendly at just 8 Smart Points for the whole sandwich. All the beloved flavors are in there – melty Swiss cheese, earthy rye bread, salty corned beef, tangy sauerkraut, and creamy Thousand Island dressing – but it’s waaaaaaay less Points than a restaurant version. I cooked mine in a panini press (hence the grill marks), which is fantastic to use if you have one, but the instructions are for pan grilling. If you want a hot, melty sandwich that won’t blow your Points budget, this is it. Enjoy!
Health and Food
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I don’t know about you, but our garden is winding down. I love to have the fresh garden vegetables all summer, but there comes a point when I get tired of it (particularly of the 1 billion cherry tomatoes when my husband doesn’t eat them). So, I’m always a little bit glad to see the garden slow down and not have to come up with any new recipes for cherry tomatoes, squash, zucchini, eggplant, and whatever else I might have growing like mad. But I wanted to give one last recipe a try. Actually, I wanted to create on last recipe. One of my favorite cakes is the Texas sheet cake. I love the flavor and texture of that cake, it’s rich but not too sweet and the frosting is just delicious. There are two problems with it – it’s dry when I make it gluten free, and it’s not exactly healthy. So, I thought I’d try a gluten free healthy makeover version. And it was definitely a success! Chocolate zucchini cakes are always really nice and moist, and applesauce is a great way to replace oil or butter in a cake (ONLY cakes and quick breads, not everything). So, I got to work. I found a very low sugar frosting recipe (not quite the same, but seriously amazing). I think adding the zucchini and the applesauce really makes a difference when it’s gluten free. Quite often, I find that if I’m not really careful, my gluten free cakes tend to turn out a little drier than I like. This one was perfect. And if you don’t need gluten free, just substitute a plain wheat flour, cup for cup. [Read more…]
I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure about split pea soup. It doesn’t sound very appealing and it definitely doesn’t look appealing. However, it’d been awhile since I’d done anything in the crockpot, so I thought I’d give it a try. I’ll admit, there are still more appealing looking meals out there. A large bowl of green soup isn’t top pretty. But the rich and delicious flavor of the soup more than makes up for it. I love how simple it was to put together. Just stick it all in the crockpot and turn it on. Once you’re ready to serve it, just use an immersion blender to puree it to your desired consistency. This is a great way to use up the ham bone from the Sunday dinner. What I really loved about this whole meal was how easy it was to to make! Everything went in the crockpot in the morning and got turned on. In the evening, all I had to do was puree it and decide what sides to serve with it. If you want to make it a little prettier, add a few pieces of chopped ham to the top of the bowl, or add a little sour cream to make it a little more creamy.
Whenever I feel like I need a break from cooking for the evening and we don’t have leftovers – I ask my husband to grill something. Sometimes it’ll be something really simple like hamburgers or grilled pork chops, but other times (when I warn him early enough), he marinates something. This time the marinade was really simple – a fat free Italian dressing. We marinated the chicken for about 1 hour, then threaded it on the skewers with the veggies we wanted. We brushed a bit more dressing over the top and grilled it. It was perfect. It’s simple but adds a zesty flavor to the chicken skewers. It’s easy to add a bright and colorful salad, whipped up while the chicken is grilling. We added squash, mushrooms, tomatoes and little red onions to our skewers. We also tried grilled plantains, since my husband wanted to try them (we weren’t fans). Another great thing about these skewers is that I can heat up the leftover skewers and add them to couscous, quinoa or a whole grain pasta for lunch (or dinner). [Read more…]
When I want a quick and easy salad recipe for lunch, this Chicken and Broccoli Slaw Salad with Almond Butter Dressing is one of my absolute favorites. I don’t know about anyone else, but I get so tired of traditional lettuce based salads all the time. This salad has broccoli slaw as the base, which packs in a ton of nutrition and crunch! Over the weekend, I’ll often cook a few chicken breasts to keep on hand during the week so that I can throw this salad together for myself on a busy day. And did I mention how delicious the Thai-inspired dressing is!?! If you don’t like/have almond butter, you can use peanut butter. I just personally prefer the flavor and health benefits of the almond butter. But regular peanut butter works just fine. And at just 6 Smart Points per serving, you get a delicious and satisfying salad without an ounce of guilt!
In my opinion, eggplants are one of the most under-used vegetables. This Roasted Eggplant Salad is perfect example of how easy they are to use and flavorful the eggplant is. By roasting it, the eggplant develops a beautiful, smoky flavor. Combine it with the crunchy, fresh bell peppers and onions, then finish it off with fresh lemon juice and olive oil, and you’ve got one amazing mouthful of deliciousness. And since the only ingredient that’s counted in this recipe is the olive oil, each serving comes out to just 1 Smart Point per serving. I’ll use this salad as a topping for my chicken, a dip for my pita, or I’ll add a chopped hardboiled egg to it for protein packed side salad. It’s so versatile and so flavorful, you’ll find yourself making it over and over again.
Eggs Benedict is always my go to brunch choice when dining out. I am absolutely obsessed with it, and I love all the different varieties out there! Seriously…soooooo many good ones. Occasionally, I’ll make it at home for myself, and when I do, I use my homemade hollandaise sauce which helps to save a ton of extra fat and calories. If an effort to make my eggs benedict even more light and healthy, I created this Portobello Eggs Benedict Recipe that is just 4 Smart Points (including the hollandaise!) and is absolutely delicious. Plus, it’s a great way to get those veggie servings in. Enjoy!
CEven though not everyone in the house likes quinoa, I do. I like to make up a batch in my rice cooker and then make simple, nutritious and delicious lunches with it. It provides a nice change from salads on some days. However, I’m a huge fan of one pot meals. Anything that I can do that doesn’t have the kitchen covered in dishes is great (my husband is even more a fan, since he does the dishes when I cook!). This one is great. All those delicious Mexican flavors that I love – black beans, corn, onions, cumin, garlic and cilantro all wrapped up into one delicious dish. Since avocadoes were on sale recently, and we had a perfectly ripe one, I sliced up avocado to put on top after it was done cooking. My favorite part was how easy it was. I just put everything in a pan, covered it with a lid and waited. [Read more…]
Today’s Honey Soy Chicken Recipe is yet another dish that my whole LOOOOOOOVED. Including me. I love chicken that has incredible flavor, but to achieve that, it usually requires a long marinade time. During the week, when I’m super busy, I often have to come up with a meal on the fly, and typically don’t have time to wait for a marinade. So when I forget/don’t have time to marinade, I rely on this Honey Soy Chicken dish to deliver a tender and juicy chicken, with knockout flavor. The sauce has all the sweet, salty, and tangy flavors combined to make for one seriously mouthwatering chicken recipe. Serve the chicken (and the remaining sauce from the pan!) over steamed brown rice and veggies for a complete meal.
The funny thing about mayonnaise, is that I always hated it as a kid. For some reason, I could never get on board with the flavor. Nowadays, as a an adult, I am full-fledged, car carrying mayo lover. If it wasn’t so high in Points, I’d eat it straight out the jar with a spoon. In fact, my love for mayo has led me to get a little experimental in making my own, homemade mayonnaise recipes. Recently, I tried making a cholesterol free version, using just the egg white instead of the whole egg. And I used less oil. For added kick, I added in some chopped up chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. This turned out to be the BEST DECISION EVER. I cannot even begin to tell you how good this is. Im actually eating a grilled ham and cheese sandwich right now, with some if this Homemade Chipotle Cholesterol Free Mayonnaise because just writing about it was driving me mad. I needed to eat it…NOW. Super easy to make, and though its not as low in Smart Points as I wanted it to be, it is still cholesterol free and absolutely delicious. Totally worth the 3 Points per serving. Treat yo’self!
Mexican food is my happy place. In fact, I have yet to try a Mexican dish that I didn’t like, and the good things is that many Mexican food recipes can be petty easily adjusted to suit my Weight Watchers plan. This is great, because I eat it ALL.THE.TIME. One of my favorite Mexican foods are enchiladas…..cheese enchiladas, chicken enchiladas, shredded beef enchiladas…you name it. I ADORE them. But when making them at home, I sometimes have an issues with rolling up those corn tortillas without having them break apart. I’ve tried a few tricks, and I can make it work, but it’s still a pain. So I decided to try doing some chicken enchiladas in casserole form and the result was AMAZING. Seriously, amigos. This dish is soooooo goooood. I actually just made these for dinner last night, and couldn’t wait to post them here on the blog for you to try! Feel free to top them with any extras you see fit…jalapeños, sour cream, diced red onions….whatever floats your boat. This Chicken Enchilada Casserole was loved by the whole family and I highly recommend you get in the kitchen and make this bambino ASAP.
When trying to eat a high protein/low fat diet, it’s no secret that egg whites can play a huge a role in your eating plan. I always keep a big bowl of prepared, hardboiled eggs stashed in my refrigerator for quick and easy access. Eating the yellow part of the egg does provide a lot of nutrients, healthy fats, and cholesterol, but when I want to keep my Smart Points low, I stick to just the whites. One of my favorite ways to enjoy them is in this Basic Egg White Salad Recipe. It has all the beloved flavors of a traditional egg salad, but with a lot less fat, sugar and calories. At just 2 Smart Points per serving, this egg white salad goes great on a sandwich, on top of a salad, or straight out of the bowl! You can’t go wrong with this reliable recipe.