Ranch Meatballs Recipe – 5 Points +

Ranch Meatballs Recipe

A good variation to meatloaf are these tasty Ranch Meatballs! Easy to make and always a crowd pleaser, you can enjoy them in a variety of ways: as is, in a sandwich, with pasta and sauce, on top of salads, in soups, in a pita pocket with salad and tahini sauce…I could go on on. I like to make 2 or 3 batches of them, and freeze them so I have something quick and delicious on hand for when I need a dinner or lunch STAT. My kids love them too, which is great for the evenings where I’m serving a dinner that they don’t like, and I need a healthy alternative for them. They are super tasty and the best part is that you get 6 meatballs for just 5 Points! They key here is using extra lean ground beef – it should be 96% lean and 4% fat – so make sure that’s the one you get if you want to keep this at just 5 Weight Watchers Points. Enjoy!

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Roasted Butternut Squash with Tahini and Za’atar – 4 Points +

Roasted Butternut Squash with Tahini and Za’atar

Liven up a standard Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe with the addition of two wonderfully bold flavors – tahini sauce and za’atar spice blend. In this Weight Watchers side dish recipe, the sweet, buttery squash is complemented by the roasted sesame flavor of the tahini sauce and the alluring spice mixture of the zaatar. If you haven’t ever tried za’atar before, once you do, I guarantee it will become one of your pantry staples! It’s a Middle Eastern spice blend that involves some combination of ground dried oregano, thyme or marjoram, ground sumac, toasted sesame seeds and often, salt. It’s often used on breads, chicken, and on top of hummus or soft cheeses. Zaatar has an amazing and unique flavor that is aromatic, and tangy at the same time. This simple, yet amazing side dish is not only delicious and full of nutrients, each serving is just 4 Points +, making it a very Weight Watchers friendly recipe too.

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Lobster and Shrimp Scampi – 10 Points +

Lobster and shrimp scampi

 

I absolutely love seafood. I started creating some scampi recipes that did not have butter in them to see what they would taste like and I was pleasantly surprised. This lobster and shrimp scampi is the perfect dish to have at the end of the week when you have some points to use. It is delicious. Some recipes use all parts of the lobster, but I prefer to use the tails, especially if I want to reduce time in the kitchen. I have found it easier to check the tenderness of the tails verses the whole lobster. I used regular organic pasta noodles. You certainly can use whole wheat or whole grain pasta as I have done that with shrimp scampi. But I do prefer the regular pasta for this recipe.

Lobster and Shrimp Scampi – 10 Points Plus

Although this recipe is higher in points, it’s made without the butter and heavy oil. This lobster and shrimp scampi recipe may seem like it has many steps, but it really is easy to prepare and worth the wait.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz Spaghetti uncooked
  • 2 lobster tails small size
  • 12 peeled and deveined shrimp, large size
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ cup dry white wine
  • ¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsps fresh minced parsley (or dry)
  • 2 tbsps fresh ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Prepare spaghetti according to directions on box.
  2. When pasta is done save about ¼ cup of the pasta water and drain the rest.
  3. In a 3-quart or large saucepan bring about 6 cups of salted water to a boil and add lobster tails.
  4. Simmer lobster tails uncovered about 8-12 minutes or until the shell is bright red (you can poke a fork in the meat to check to see if it is tender).
  5. Once the lobster tails are done; drain and add cold water to cool them.
  6. You will need to crack open the shells and pull out the lobster meat (I give them a quick rinse to make sure all the shell and pieces or rinsed off).
  7. In a large nonstick skillet, add olive oil and heat on medium-high.
  8. Saute shrimp and cook until shrimp is just pink or coral color, about 2-3 minutes.
  9. Add the garlic and cook stirring constantly, about 1 minute.
  10. Transfer shrimp to a large dish and keep warm (I cover the dish with foil).
  11. In the skillet, combine the broth, wine, lemon juice, parsley, the salt and pepper; and bring it to a boil.
  12. Boil uncovered about 5 minutes.
  13. Chop up lobster meant into small pieces and add both lobster and shrimp to the sauce; mix well.
  14. In a large pasta bowl add pasta and scampi sauce; mix well.
  15. If the pasta seems a little dry, you can add the left over pasta water, if not, you can throw it out.
  16. (Optional) You can top with shredded Parmesan cheese; but you must recalculate and update your points.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 25-30 minute(s)

Diet tags: Reduced fat, High protein

Number of servings (yield): 4

Culinary tradition: Italian

Calories: 393

Fat: 9

Protein: 27

Entire recipe makes: 4 servings
Serving size is about: ½ cup serving
Each serving = 10 Points +

PER SERVING: 393 calories; 9 g fat; 47 g carbohydrates; 27 g protein; 2.1g fiber

Mushroom Rice Pilaf – 6 Points +

Mushroom Rice Pilaf

 

We love rice and any side dish with rice in it is a family favorite. Mushroom rice pilaf is the perfect addition to a main course. I serve this when I make chicken or fish. I have made this on “Meatless Mondays” as well. I use low-sodium chicken broth and water to cook the rice. I think it adds a nice flavor. Rice cooking times may vary according to taste preference. I used regular white organic raw mushrooms, but I’ve made this using a combination of mushrooms too.

 

Mushroom Rice Pilaf – 6 Points +

This is a tasty side dish that takes very little time to prepare. Mushroom rice pilaf can be made with beef broth, but I prefer the low-sodium chicken broth.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown rice – long grain
  • 1 tbsp Extra Light Olive Oil
  • 2 cups slice raw mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped onions (a sweet onion is used for this recipe)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  1. In a 2-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add mushrooms, onion, garlic powder and pepper stirring often until the mushrooms and onion start to get tender, usually takes 3 – 4 minutes.
  3. Add water, chicken broth and rice.
  4. Stir and increase heat to high.
  5. Once it starts to boil; reduce heat and cover.
  6. Simmer for 40-45 minutes or until rice is tender.
  7. Keep covered, remove from heat and let stand about 5 minutes.
  8. Stir and serve hot.

Preparation time: 5-10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 40-45 minute(s)

Diet tags: Low calorie, Reduced fat

Number of servings (yield): 4

Calories: 235

Fat: 5

Protein: 6

Entire recipe makes: 4 servings
Serving size is about: about ½ cup
Each serving = 6 Points +

PER SERVING: 235 calories; 5 g fat; 42 g carbohydrates; 6 g protein; 2.5g fiber

Healthy Chocolate Energy Shake – 2 Points Plus

Healthy Chocolate Energy Shake

Sometimes mid-morning instead of a snack, I make this easy healthy chocolate energy shake. One afternoon while at a vitamin and herbal shop, I picked up a couple of single packets of energy shake mixes. In the past, many of the shake mixes I bought weren’t very tasty and had a “grainy” taste to them. I was pleasantly surprised when I made this at home. I picked up a couple of packets of Spiru-Tein High Energy Protein and tried several flavors. The chocolate is amazing. You don’t necessarily need a blender, but I used one to make sure all the lumps were gone. This shake is filling and definitely held me over until lunch.

Healthy Chocolate Energy Shake – 2 Points +

This is a quick and easy mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. This healthy chocolate energy shake is delicious is low-fat and low-calorie.

Ingredients

  • 1 1.13 oz Spiru-Tein Whey Protein Powder mix (Chocolate flavor is used for this recipe)
  • 1 cup Skim Milk

Instructions

  1. In a blender (I used a single serve blender) add milk and packet mix.
  2. Blend until well mixed.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: None

Diet type: Vegetarian

Diet tags: Low calorie, Reduced fat, Reduced carbohydrate, High protein

Number of servings (yield): 1

Culinary tradition: USA (General)

Calories: 180

Fat: 1

Protein: 14

Entire recipe makes: 1 serving
Serving size is about: 1 cup
Each serving = 2 Points +

PER SERVING: 180 calories; 1g fat; 9 g carbohydrates; 14 g protein; 1g fiber

Thai Shrimp Curry Recipe – 7 Points +

Thai Shrimp Curry

I’ve always loved the creamy, spicy and tangy taste of curry recipes. And overtime I have a chance to try a new version, I jump on it! However of my good ol’ reliable standby curry recipes that I make frequently at home is this Thai Shrimp Curry Recipe. You can find the coconut milk, fish sauce and curry paste in the Asian section at the grocery store (Thai Kitchen is the brand I used, and it’s pretty readily available at most stores). I also love to bulk this dish up with vegetables such as carrots, red bell peppers, zucchini and tomatoes…yum! The flavor and heat is in the curry paste, so add more or less to suit your taste. I also like mine tangy, so I often add extra lime juice. Feel free to play around with yours until you achieve the perfect flavor that suits your mood. At just 7 Points + per serving, this Thai Shrimp Curry Recipe is way healthier than most restaurant versions. Enjoy!

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Oven Fried Chicken Strips – 6 Points +

Oven Fried Chicken Strips

I love fried chicken, but unfortunately we all know it is not a healthy choice. Oven fried chicken strips is a perfect alternative. I cut up some thin chicken breasts (although the strips are a bit “off shape”) and decided to try buttermilk instead of eggs for dipping. I love the taste as it allows the chicken to taste moist and not dry. I did not add salt or pepper as I tried the Grill Mates Montreal Chicken Seasoning instead. It was a nice addition. I served this dish with a vegetable side dish. You can add a dipping sauce for the chicken strips, just be sure to calculate the points and add them to your meal.

Oven Fried Chicken Strips – 6 Points +

Oven fried chicken strips are an easy, tasty and healthy alternative to the traditional dish.

Ingredients

  • 4 thin, boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used Perdue Fit & Easy Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Thin Sliced –already cut perfectly in a package in the fresh meats area of a grocery store)
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon Grill Mates Montreal Chicken Seasoning
  • Non-stick cooking spray (Olive oil flavor is used for this recipe)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a shallow bowl combine breadcrumbs, cheese, and chicken seasoning, mix well.
  3. In a second shallow bowl add buttermilk.
  4. Slice chicken breasts into 3 strips each.
  5. Dip chicken strips into buttermilk first and let excess drip off before dipping into dry mixture.
  6. Dip chicken strips into dry mixture making sure to coat all of the strips with the dry mixture.
  7. Spray a shallow baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  8. Lay the chicken strips flat on baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes or until pink is gone and desired crispness has been reached.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20-25 minute(s)

Diet tags: Low calorie, Reduced fat, High protein

Number of servings (yield): 4

Culinary tradition: USA (Southern)

Calories: 253

Fat: 5

Protein: 31

Entire recipe makes: 4 servings
Serving size is about: about 3 strips
Each serving = 6 Points +

PER SERVING: 253 calories; 5 g fat; 19 g carbohydrates; 31 g protein; 2.5g fiber

Baked Macaroni and Cheese – 5 Points +

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

This baked macaroni and cheese recipe is easy to prepare as well as low fat. I have many variations for this traditional baked macaroni and cheese dish and this is the one I most recently prepared. The cayenne pepper adds a little spice and I prefer freshly ground pepper as well. I will serve this as a light main meal with a side salad for lunch or dinner. This recipe was prepared as a side dish to chicken loaf (a.k.a. meatloaf) or pork chops.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese – 5 Points +

I have loved baked macaroni and cheese since I was a kid. It’s the perfect comfort food. This is a healthy version and very tasty.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dry macaroni (Dreamfields Elbows is used for this recipe)
  • 3/4 cup evaporated fat-free milk
  • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese (Horizon Organic: Low-fat Small Curd Cottage is used for this recipe)
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese (Reduced fat – Cabot’s Sharp Cheddar is used for this recipe)
  • 1 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp. dry bread crumbs
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Prepare macaroni according to instructions on the box.
  3. In a saucepan, heat milk over low heat.
  4. Add the cheeses (except Parmesan) until melted, stirring constantly.
  5. Drain pasta and place in a 2 quart casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray.
  6. Remove the cheese sauce from the heat then pour on top of cooked pasta.
  7. Stir and mix cheese and pasta well.
  8. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.
  9. Bake the casserole for 15-20 minutes until bubbly and the top is browned.

Preparation time: 10-15 minutes

Cooking time: 20-25 minutes

Diet type: Vegetarian

Diet tags: Low calorie, Reduced fat

Number of servings (yield): 4

Culinary tradition: USA (Traditional)

Calories: 212

Fat: 3.3

Protein: 16.2

Entire recipe makes: 4 servings
Serving size is about: approximately 1 cup
Each serving = 5 Points +

PER SERVING: 212 calories; 3.3 g fat; 27.9 g carbohydrates; 16.2 g protein; 0.7g fiber

Oven Baked French Fries – 3 Points +

Oven baked french fries
Comfort food does not have to be high in calories and fat. This is an alternative to french fries. Instead of heavy oils and grease, oven baked fries are much better. As a bonus, they are healthier too.

Oven baked french fries – 3 points +

This easy side dish of oven baked french fries is a perfect healthy alternative. I serve these with malt vinegar when I make fish and chips, or grilled burgers (both beef and turkey). I have made these with veggie burgers too. My friend’s children love these and prefer them to fast food french fries.

Ingredients

  • 2 large Russet baking potatoes cut into strips and/or wedges
  • 4 teaspoons light extra light olive oil (Filippo Berio Extra Light Olive Oil is used for this recipe)
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • Malt vinegar or ketchup (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray
  3. Peel potatoes into ½ inch strips
  4. In a small bowl add potatoes, olive oil, seasoning and toss.
  5. Place the potatoes on the cookie sheet and bake 15 minutes.
  6. Flip potatoes over and bake 10 more minutes or until desired tenderness or crispiness.
  7. After potatoes are done dab with a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
  8. Flavor with malt vinegar or ketchup and serve hot.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time:

Diet type: Vegetarian

Diet tags: Low calorie, Reduced fat

Number of servings (yield): 4

Culinary tradition: USA (General)

Calories: 102

Fat: 5

Protein: 2

Entire recipe makes: 4 servings
Serving size is about: 1/2 of a potato
Each serving = 3 Points +

PER SERVING: 102 calories; 5g fat; 13 g carbohydrates; 2g protein; 1g fiber

Roasted Beet and Carrot Salad with Feta – 3 Points +

Roasted Beet and Carrot Salad with Feta

With Easter and Passover right around the corner, this delicious Roasted Beet and Carrot Salad is a perfect and beautiful side dish for your big holiday dinner. The bright colors are a lovely nod to the spring season, and the flavor combination is nothing short of sensational. The smoky roasted vegetables with the peppery arugula and creamy feta, topped with a sweet and tangy dressing, this Weight Watchers salad recipe is sure to become a favorite. I would also suggest topping it with some grilled chicken or roasted salmon and serving it as a main course for lunch. And at just 3 Points + per serving, it’s a great bargain!

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Tropical Strawberry Smoothie Recipe – 2 Points +

Tropical Strawberry Smoothie

Get a healthy dose of the tropics with this light and easy Tropical Strawberry Smoothie Recipe! I absolutely love this flavor combination, and each serving boasts a tremendous dose of vitamin C and potassium. With no added sugar, and all natural ingredients this smoothie makes a great idea for a healthy breakfast or snack on the go. My kids love this smoothie just as much as I do! I usually prefer to use mostly frozen fruits in this, just because it’s easy, and so I don’t have to add ice to make it cold. Fresh works great too, so no worries if that’s what you’ve got on hand. Each serving comes out to just 2 Points +, so you can indulge in a fabulous tasting smoothie without feeling any guilt.

Tropical Strawberry Smoothie

Cool and refreshing, this healthy smoothie has all the flavors of the tropics, but with zero guilt. Loaded with vitamin C, it’s a great cold buster too!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups strawberries
  • 1 cup mango
  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 1 cup pineapple, diced
  • 1 banana
  • 3 dates
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut water

Instructions

  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender, and process until smooth. Add additional coconut water, ice, or water to reach desired consistency.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time:

Diet type: Vegan

Diet tags: Low calorie, Reduced fat, Gluten free, Raw

Number of servings (yield): 6

Culinary tradition: USA (General)

Calories: 89

Fat: 0g

Protein: 1g

Entire recipe makes 6 servings
Serving size is 1 cup
Each serving = 2 Points +

PER SERVING: 89 calories; 0g fat; 24g carbohydrates; 1g protein; 3g fiber

Arugula and Mushroom Pasta Recipe – 9 Points +

Arugula and Mushroom Pasta

When I want to indulge in a hearty, satisfying pasta dish that doesn’t skimp on portion size, this Arugula and Mushroom Pasta Recipe is one of my favorites. The simple wine sauce is light and delicate, allowing for the wonderful earthy flavors of the mushrooms and peppery arugula to come through. This Weight Watchers pasta recipe also offers a very satisfying serving size, which I love. I often like to top it with a bit of grated parmesan, but if you prefer to keep it vegan, you can skip it. The colorful vegetables will help bring out some fantastic flavors, so you won’t miss the meat. But if you insist on adding some additional protein, this dish works great with shrimp, chicken or scallops.

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