I always love ordering chicken tortilla soup at my favorite Mexican restaurant. But depending on how it’s prepared, this dish can be dangerous in terms of Weight Watchers Points. Adding in your favorite fixin’s can really rack up the extra fat and calories too. After a bit of work in the kitchen, I came up with own version that is a LOT healthier than the restaurant version, but very healthy and low in Smart Points. And don’t worry – my chicken tortilla soup recipe still includes the cheese and tortilla strips. By using a hand blender to puree the soup, it helps to give the soup a creamy, velvety feel, without adding any high fat milk or cream. My kids love it too, because they have no idea they are eating so many vegetables! And you can top it with fresh red onion, jalapeños, or avocado for an extra boost of flavor, if desired. At just 8 Smart Points, this satisfying soup will fill you up and thrill your tastebuds too. Enjoy!
Asian noodles are one of my favorite ways to whip together a quick lunch for myself when there aren’t any leftovers. I love the flavors of the soy sauce, chili sauce and sesame oil combined with the rich and spicy garlic. My favorite part of these noodles is how easy they are to put together. I used buckwheat noodles in this recipe, but you can use any type of noodle you want. I will frequently use a gluten free spaghetti noodle, because it’s what I have on hand. Add more of your favorite vegetables and even toss in some leftover chicken breast to add more protein to the dish. The dark noodles, bright and cute pepper rings and tender zucchini noodles are perfectly seasoned. It’s a delicious meal that’s ready in no time!
I was recently asked to design a recipe with frozen basil in it. I decided to go with classic clover rolls, and then add sundried tomatoes and basil to it. They were delicious! They were light and fluffy (provided you don’t over bake them like I did with my first batch), and had just the right blend of tomato and basil flavor. I find the sundried tomato flavor is often too strong when just mixed into salads and pastas, but with this, the basil seemed to temper it a bit. They were perfect with some spaghetti and a side salad. My original recipe used all purpose flour, but you can substitute whole wheat and get a little more fiber and whole grain nutrition in them. I’ve also made them with gluten free flour. They didn’t rise quite as well, so they were a little denser, but were still delicious. Give these clover rolls a try – you won’t be disappointed with their elegant flavor. [Read more…]
I don’t about you folks, but when I go to IKEA, I can’t wait to get down to their cafeteria and wrap my tastebuds around some of their famous Swedish meatballs! They are just soooooo good! Since I can’t realistically make a trip to IKEA every time I want their meatballs, I got to work making a healthier IKEA Copycat Swedish Meatballs Recipe. It’s actually a pretty easy recipe to make, and these meatballs turned out just as good, if not, BETTER than IKEA’s. Now, I just need to create a lighter version of their delicious Lingonberry sauce to go with it, and I’m set! At 9 Smart Points for 6 meatballs and sauce, this delicious dish makes a perfect Weight Watchers substitute for the original version. If you love IKEA’s Swedish Meatballs as much as I do, this copycat version is a must try!
Oprah has said what everyone else is thinking – it’s possible to lose weight without giving up anything. One of the keys to loosing weight and keeping it off is to find a way to compromise. To find a way to enjoy your favorite foods while not going overboard. For many people I know, one of those things you want to keep enjoying is bread. Baked goods are something that just about everyone loves. Whether you’re try to lose weight, diabetic and counting carbs or gluten intolerant, there is something about a chewy and delicious piece of bread that can’t be replaced. One way to make bread healthier is to use whole wheat flour. Just make sure that the flour is finely ground. If your flour isn’t finely ground, your bread could be grainy. Whole wheat flour adds a richer texture and flavor to these traditional Italian rolls. Ciabatta are rustic Italian rolls that are chewy with a crispy crust. They are made with a starter, biga, that is fermented overnight. The dough is very wet, almost more like batter than dough. Letting the dough sit before kneading allows the flour to absorb the water so the dough is the right consistency. These rolls do take longer than normal to make, but the delicious texture and flavor definitely make it worth while to make a batch of these for a special occasion.
One of the best parts of pasta in my opinion is the sauce. There is nothing like homemade pasta sauce, whether it’s a cream sauce or a red sauce. The flavors of homemade sauce are so much more vibrant and rich than canned pasta sauce. I’ve found that it’s worth my while to make my pasta sauce. Lasagna is one of those pastas that is truly delicious when topped with a homemade pasta sauce. This simple Bolognese sauce is just what it needs to really be delicious. I decided to try a lasagna without cheese this time, so I needed the sauce to pick up any slack from the missing cheese. And this sauce did just that. It was really quite easy to prepare and the end result was something that was really rich and the flavors were vibrant. Since it’s homemade, you can tweak the flavors to fit your individual taste preference. This lasagna with Bolognese sauce is a little more work, but the flavor in the end makes it worth every minute. [Read more…]
Salmon is one of my favorite meats. I really enjoy the flavor of salmon. It’s not as fishy as some types of fish and has a strong flavor that can be easily balanced with really delicious sauces. I like to serve my salmon with lemon, onions and dill or with a citrus salsa, but I thought I’d do something different. I didn’t want to just season the salmon with soy sauce, so I found a delicious glaze with orange juice and rice wine. Both the orange juice and rice wine helped to lighten the very strong flavor of the soy sauce. It was simple to make but really delicious. I decided to broil the salmon, since that was simple and quick. If you’re so inclined, you can make a second batch of sauce while the salmon is cooking to serve with the salmon. It’s delicious served with steamed rice, steamed or stir fried veggies and marinated cucumbers. [Read more…]
It’s finally spring! I don’t know about you, but with some of our recent weather, I feel like it’s easy to forget that. I thought that called for a recipe to remind me of the warmer weather. Something that is refreshing and fresh and delicious, something that makes me feel cooler in warm weather. These marinated tomatoes were just the thing. I used cherry tomatoes, since that’s what I had on hand, but you can use any type of tomatoes you want. If you like your salad to have a little more juice, definitely use a juice tomato, like a regular beef steak tomatoes or even Romas. One of the things I like about apple cider vinegar is that it doesn’t have quite the same bite as other vinegars. It almost seems a little sweet. It’s perfect for these tomatoes, it adds the kick they need to make your mouth water, but isn’t enough to make your eyes water too. I like to let mine sit on the counter while I’m making the rest of dinner to let the flavors blend together better, but if you like your tomatoes chilled, then refrigerate it overnight and you’ll have one delicious, colorful and refreshing side dish!
Who doesn’t love a beautiful salad? Salads are a great meal. They are light and refreshing and since spring is in full swing, it’s the perfect meal to feel like you’re taking full advantage of the warm weather. This salad is delicious. The mixed baby greens provide a delicious base for this salad. Add in frozen or fresh green peas, some onion and a little mint and you have a salad packed with flavor and nutrients. With plenty of fiber, as well as iron, baby greens are a great way to feel full for much longer. I decided to give this salad a refreshing twist with the dressing as well. Cilantro and lime go together so well that they make a perfect dressing. I put everything in the blender to make it smooth and easy. If you’re one of those people that doesn’t like cilantro, you can omit the cilantro and olive oil, and use half an avocado instead. The flavor will definitely be different, but just as delicious. For me, this is a great way to make something new and fresh with leftovers. Leftover pork (roast or chops) shredded work perfectly for this. [Read more…]
I love rice pilaf with seasonings and vegetables, but sometimes it’s nice to have a change. A quick and easy change for pilaf is to use couscous instead of rice. Couscous isn’t gluten free like rice, but it’s really easy to make and has a delicious flavor. It’s originally from North Africa. Couscous is made from durum wheat, and is really easy to make. Once your broth or water is boiling, it just takes 5 minutes to cook the couscous. This particular type of couscous is kind of like grains of sand, it’s tiny and has a mild, nutty flavor. If you want your dish to look a little different, use Israeli couscous. While Israeli couscous has a much larger size, it is similar in flavor and works just as well. This couscous pilaf is a great side dish. It’s so easy to make. It’s a perfect side dish to toss together while you’re waiting for the rest of the meal to finish cooking. [Read more…]
Lately, I’ve been a bit behind with my meal planning and food organizing. Things have been really chaotic for my family these last few months, and sometimes, life just gets in the way. Unfortunately, this had let to a lot of eating out, less cooking at home, and poor food choices. However, during this tumultuous time, the few times that I have managed to cook a healthy meal, I’ve been lucky enough to have a few quick and easy recipes up my sleeve to rely on. Meals that I can prepare on the fly and require just a handful of ingredients. This Honey Soy Chicken Drumsticks is a hit with the family EVERY TIME. I’m not kidding! It’s incredibly flavorful and tender, and really helps to satisfy everyone’s sweet and salty cravings. Serve over a bed of fluffy, steamed brown rice and with a side of roasted veggies, and you’ve got a delicious meal in a pinch. Enjoy!
I’m not someone who loves sandwiches, but every once in a while, I get on a kick where I really like sandwiches and really want sandwiches. It’s nice to have some variety for sandwiches though. While I like turkey and swiss with tomatoes and lettuce, I thought I’d really change it up by trying a vegan sandwich that was completely different than my normal one. I think the keys were the hummus and the avocado. The beef hummus not only added a beautiful color to the sandwich, but it also served as the sandwich spread. The avocado added the right flavor and texture to the sandwich, as well as giving it a delicious moistness. While the serving size is only a half a sandwich, it’s easy to pair this with a side salad, a cup of soup or even just some fruit and nuts. It’s a perfect size to really hit the spot and satisfy your bread craving without going overboard. [Read more…]