Grilled Chicken, Pear, and Candied Pecan Salad – 12 Smart Points

Grilled Chicken, Pear, and Candied Pecan Salad - 12 smart Points

When I want a salad that is insanely filling and satisfying, this Grilled Chicken, Pear, and Candied Pecan Salad is one of my favorites. I know that 12 Smart Points may seem like a lot, but for an entire meal, that is delicious, and will give me sweet, tangy, and salty all in one, it’s not too shabby of a deal. Nothing is sacrificed in this incredibly tasty dish, and it’s a breeze to prepare. The balsamic maple dressing is absolutely divine, and the variety of flavors and textures in the salad are to die for. There is something about the combination of the creamy, tangy goat cheese, with the sweet and tart cranberries, and the crunchy sweet and salty pecans that truly feels like a party in my mouth. You could make this dish a little lower in Points by cutting out the cranberries and using different nuts or cheese, but in my opinion, every Point is absolutely worth it! The restaurant version of this salad clocks in at around 23 Smart Points, so it really is a great bargain. If you are tired of basic salads, this Grilled Chicken, Pear, and Candied Pecan Salad is a must try!

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Spinach Artichoke Chicken Breasts Recipe – 6 Smart Points

Spinach Artichoke Chicken Breasts

If you love Spinach and Artichoke dip, you’ll go bonkers over this meal version! Tender roasted chicken breasts are smothered with a creamy spinach artichoke topping, delivering a mouthful of cheesy chicken goodness. This recipe takes relatively little effort, but the end result tastes like you’ve spent all day preparing it. The chicken is so moist and delicious, and the velvety spinach artichoke topping is perfection. Doesn’t it look tasty? If you have a few extra Points to spend, I’d recommend serving the finished chicken breast inside a toasted baguette or sandwich roll….it’s sooooo yummy!

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Baked Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken Teriyaki Recipe – 6 Smart Points

Baked Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken Teriyaki

This Baked Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken Teriyaki Recipe is one that my kids ask for again and again. I love that it’s super easy to make, that it tastes fantastic, and is just 6 Smart Points per serving. Just pour the sauce over the chicken pineapple, and peppers, and bake! You could make this even lighter by using chicken breasts instead of thighs, but my family tends to prefer the dark meat. Breasts would work really well though, given that they are cooked in the sauce, so that would help keep them super moist and juicy. Traditional Teriyaki sauces use a lot more sugar, which also helps give a thicker sauce, but this sauce is still deliciously sweet and flavorful without being too sweet. It’s also a perfect topper for steamed rice, which I highly recommend with it. Enjoy!

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Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey White Chili Recipe – 10 Smart Points

Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey White Chili

Got some leftover turkey in your fridge? I sure do. And this Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey White Chili Recipe is exactly what I’m going to be using it in tomorrow. I’ve always felt that the leftover turkey just doesn’t taste as good as the other Thanksgiving side dishes do the next. It always ends up being the last leftover left. And given that turkey can tend to be a bit dry, putting it in a creamy chili is the perfect resolution. The calorie count for this recipe is based on a blend of both white and dark turkey meat. If you use just the white meat, then you can take off about 2 extra Smart Points. It’s such a filling and satisfying dish though, I think it’s worth it to keep the dark meat in there. If I make this for lunch tomorrow, it’ll easily keep me full tis dinnertime, so I don’t mind spending the extra Points. Serve with a light salad or steamed veggies for a complete meal. Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

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Raspberry Cheesecake Mousse – 5 Smrt Points

raspberry-cheesecake-mousse

I love a sweet treat. They’re something that I frequently like to have around the house. It’s absolutely true that you shouldn’t overdo it, but I’m a firm believer in treating yourself. Cheesecake is one of those things that my husband and I both love (especially my husband). However, cheesecake isn’t something that’s great to have around the house. A tiny sliver of cheesecake is full of points, and really just tastes like more. I thought I’d try and find a much lighter version of a cheesecake. Something that is more fluffy, and healthier. I’ll admit, my whole motivation for this is being able to have a larger piece but not sacrificing more of my points for it. This recipe is perfect. Since it’s so light and fluffy, it’s more of a cheesecake mousse. It’s delicious. It’s so light that it’s not nearly as rich and decadent as regular cheesecake – but it’s so satisfying. I love the fluffy texture and I really feel like I actually get to have a treat. It’s enough that I’m satisfied when I’m done, but I don’t have to sacrifice extra points for it. What I found was the solution was just a little bit of gelatin. The gelatin helps it to have the structure that the mousse needs and helps it to hold up. But this also enabled me to use lighter ingredients and not nearly as much cream cheese. The result is a light and fluffy confection that is satisfying but not too rich or overwhelming. This one is definitely a keeper in our house. It’s delicious, easy to make, beautiful and I can make it in a large dish or individual serving containers to switch it up. [Read more…]

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Squash Soup – 5 Smart Points

I don’t know about you – but I’m ready for fall. Here in our little corner of the Midwest, the weather can’t make up it’s mind. It’ll be in the 50s on day and the upper 70s the rest of the week. Since fall and winter are two of my favorite seasons (actually the only one I don’t like is the really hot part of summer), I’m always eager to get them here a little quicker. One of the ways I can do that is with a little squash soup. I’m pretty picky about my squash soup. I’ve had good squash soup, and I’ve had horrible squash soup. I typically like my squash with butter and brown sugar (not the best option for me), so I’ve been learning how to do it other ways. I’ve learned with the right seasonings and a little sour cream, the squash soup is pretty wonderful. I had to process a lot of pumpkin last fall, and after getting incredibly frustrated trying to peel it, my mom suggested a wonderful trick – bake it! I was in the process of canning the pumpkin, so I didn’t want it to be mush before I put it in the jars, but it doesn’t need long. About 10-15 minutes (depending on the size of the pumpkin) at 350 degrees F. All I did was wash them, cut them in half and stick them in the oven. The skin peeled off (just like when you dunk peaches in hot water) and the seeds came out easily too. It’s the perfect way to make anything with pumpkin and squash when you need to peel it. When it comes to this soup, the easiest way to finish it off is with an immersion blender. However, since I don’t have one, I can assure you that a regular blender works just fine. [Read more…]

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Balsamic Roasted Sweet Potatoes Recipe – 6 Smart Points

Balsamic Roasted Sweet Potatoes

If you are looking for a healthy Thanksgiving side dish recipe this year, these Balsamic Roasted Sweet Potatoes are a fantastic alternative to candied yams. Yes, I know traditional candied yams are swimming in butter and melted marshmallow and nothing can quite compare to that, but these sweet potatoes are a LOT better for you and a great way to help you stay on track this holiday season. Plus, they are incredibly easy to prepare, requiring just 3 steps and a small handful of ingredients…most of which you probably already have on hand. And they are so delicious, you won’t be making them just at Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

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Vegetable Chicken Soup – 4 Smart Points

vegetable-chicken-soup

As it starts to cool down this fall, I feel a lot more like making and eating soups. One of the reasons that I love soups is that they are so quick and easy to put together. Chili is one that always ends up in our crockpot, along with minestrone and a few others. I typically do a chicken noodle soup, but decided to leave the noodles out this time. I just combined chicken broth, chicken and vegetables into a healthy and delicious soup that was ready in less than 30 minutes. It’s a great way to use up leftover chicken, or the leftover turkey we’ll all have in a few weeks. This soup isn’t one of those super hearty, “stick to your ribs” kind of soups, but this is a lighter soup that is perfect with half a sandwich for lunch or a light dinner. Since it is lighter, I really like to have it with half a sandwich, since that’s perfect for a meal for me without being too much food all at once. One of the other nice things about this soup is that it’s easy to add in whatever vegetables you like or have on hand. I used peas, carrots, onion, kale and turnip. [Read more…]

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Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Sandwich Recipe – 5 Smart Points

Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

Fal and football season are already in full swing, and I can’t stop fantasizing about Super Bowl foods! With buffalo wings using being one of the key dishes on any Super Bowl Sunday table, I decided to try out a lighter, healthier take on that popular recipe. My Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Sandwich is not only super easy to make, but because it uses skinless bombers breasts, it’s way lighter and healthier than the wings. Plus, it’s a lot less messy. And making a sandwich out of the meat makes it a much more filling food. If I have an extra Point or two to spend, adding a tbsp of blue cheese dressing to this sandwich is absolutely DELISH, and I highly recommend it.For this recipe, you’ll want to use whole wheat buns that are around 90 calories each. And if you want to skip the buns altogether, you can use the buffalo chicken meat on top of a salad, which would eliminate 3 Smart Points per serving! Either way, this Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Sandwich Recipe is as delicious as it easy, and is a must try for any buffalo chicken wing lovers. :)

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Grilled Reuben Sandwich Recipe – 8 Smart Points

Grilled Reuben Sandwich

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!

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Gluten Free Zucchini Texas Sheet Cake – 7 Smart Points

GF Zucchini Texas Sheet Cake

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…]

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Crockpot Split Pea Soup – 2 Smart Points

split-pea-soup

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.

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