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!
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.
|12 people||5 minutes|
Simple and delicious! Just stick everything in the crockpot in the morning and turn it on. In the evening you've got a healthy, delicious soup ready to go.
Entire recipe makes 12 servings
Serving size is about 1 cup.
Each serving = 2 Smart Points
PER SERVING: 85 calories; 2g fat; .7g saturated fat; 7.7g carbohydrate; 3.2g sugar; 8.3g protein; 2.1g fiber
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).
These skewers can also be baked at 350 degrees F for approximately 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
Entire recipe makes 4 servings
Serving size is about 4 oz chicken with vegetables (total of about 12 oz)
Each serving = 5 Smart Points
PER SERVING: 247calories; 4.8g fat; 1.3g saturated fat; 11.9g carbohydrate; 6.9g sugar; 38.4g protein; 2.8g fiber
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.
|6 people||10 minutes|
Everything gets tossed in one pot - it's easy and simple to make. It's packed with nutrients and flavors, and is great for a quick and delicious dinner.
Entire recipe makes 6 serving
Serving size is about 1 cup
Each serving = 8 Smart Points
PER SERVING: 301 calories; 9.9g fat; 1.4g saturated fat; 44.6g carbohydrates; 2.8g sugar; 11.5g protein; 10.8g fiber
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!
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.
I always enjoy spicing up the same old dishes. It’s fun to take something that we have on a regular basis and make it in a new and different way. My two favorite ways of making pork chops is to grill them or bake them and then smother them in either apples and onions or with homemade applesauce. However, it’s kind of fun to do something different and I really enjoy one dish meals, where I can just toss everything in together and then just put together something quick and easy for the side dish – like a side salad or some steamed broccoli. For us, it’s the perfect Sunday dinner, ready for us when we walk back in the door after church. The pork chops turned out succulent and juicy. Full of flavor but and moist! One of the tricks of this, I’ve found, is to sear the meat first in a fry pan and it helps to seal in the juices. In my experience, bone in pork chops also helps with this. Then just mix together the apples, potatoes & spices and bake it all. Once it’s done, add your favorite vegetables (or whatever you happen to have on hand) and you’ve got a delicious meal ready to go. [Read more…]
You guys. My kids ate this salad. MY KIDS ATE KALE. A ton of it! If that’s not a selling point for a recipe, I don’t know what is. This kid friendly, Simple Kale salad Recipe is not only a breeze to make, it’s absolutely delicious! The key in this dish, is to NOT be gentle with the kale when mixing everything together, and to let the salad sit for at least an hour. Do NOT skip this step! It’s what helps the kale tenderize a bit, and allows the flavor of the dressing to soak through the strongly flavored kale. Also, because I’m lazy, I used a bag of pre-washed and prepared kale mix that I found at Whole Foods. It just saved me the extra steps of trimming my own kale. And the roasted pumpkin seeds add such a nice extra crunch and nutty flavor. Seriously, sooooo yummy!
We are still in the midst of summer, but savory fall foods are already filling up my brain, and I’ve already started working on some new seasonal recipes! A recent one that I whipped up is this Spinach, Artichoke, and White Bean Soup. I’m a HUGE fan of artichokes, and this soup definitely delivers their amazing flavor. Every spoonful is bursting with their unique flavor, but softened a bit by the creamy, mild beans and velvety broth. It’s a pretty quick and easy recipe to make, which is great when you don’t have much time or energy on your hands. But it’s hearty enough to be satisfying, and can easily be served as a main dish or a side. Loaded with protein, fiber and iron, this Spinach, Artichoke, and White Bean Soup is as nurturing as it is delicious. Enjoy!
Saturdays I usually make a delicious brunch. Pancakes are one of my favorite things to make on days like that. I recently found a carrot cake pancake recipe and thought I’d give it a try. I really liked it. The carrot is a mild flavor that adds moisture to the pancakes – much like zucchini in chocolate cake. I topped mine with fat free Greek yogurt and fresh blueberries. I added a little bit of maple syrup for a little extra sweet – and it was delicious. Be sure to grate the carrots by hand, the store-bought grated carrots are just too coarse and you’ll end up feeling like you’re eating carrot stick pancakes. Hand grated carrots are much more fine and tender, so they just melt into the flavor of the pancake. Give these delicious dessert-like pancakes a try – you won’t be disappointed! [Read more…]