I really enjoy Italian food. There is a wonderful flavor that comes from all of those fresh onions, tomatoes, herbs and garlic. One of the foods that’s always a little bittersweet for me is fettuccine alfredo. It’s wonderful – don’t get me wrong. But it’s so high in calories (not to mention the fat!) that it’s hard to really enjoy it. I searched for weight watchers alfredo, but the first one I found was one that had been altered to be healthier – and it was still 12 points +! That was never going to work, so I came up with this one instead. It’s still rich and delicious, but it’s got a little twist. Instead of noodles (which are so high in carbohydrates that everything else pretty much doesn’t count), I used a spiralizer to slice zucchini noodles. If you don’t have a spiralizer, just thinly slice zucchini into fettuccine sized pieces. I was pleasantly surprised that this alfredo makeover tasted really delicious.
Stuffed peppers were always a staple in my house, growing up. My mom usually made them once every other week, and I can still remember the taste of that delicious beef and rice filling! My healthier version consists of a quinoa and ground chicken filling. It’s mixed with a tangy tomato sauce, seasoned with Italian herbs and topped with a bit of mozzarella cheese. It’s delicious, filling, and just 7 Points + for 2 stuffed pepper halves! And I have to say, it is SOOOOO good. Even better than the one my mom makes — but please don’t tell her that. :) My kids love it too which is a HUGE plus. I also love how quick and easy this is to prepare, so it’s great for a busy weeknight dinner. I usually pair this with some fresh roasted vegetables and or a salad for a complete meal.
When it starts to get this time of year, two things are growing in abundance in the garden – tomatoes and basil. That means its time for garden fresh chicken bruschetta. Bruschetta is a wonderful aromatic dish that has the whole house smelling delicious for hours afterwards. Traditionally, bruschetta is served on fresh french bread, but this recipe doesn’t use french bread. It’s much lower in carbohydrates and points, and you won’t miss the french bread either.
*There was an error in the previous nutrition information. This recipe has been updated.
Quinoa is one of my favorite grains. It’s naturally gluten free, so it’s something I know I can always eat. It’s packed with nutrients and protein, and has a delicious nutty flavor. I cook mine in my rice cooker with chicken broth (for a little added flavor), and then store the leftovers for a quick and easy lunch. This caprese quinoa is delicious and perfect for a lunch, since you don’t have to cook it. I also love to do a Mexican quinoa with corn, black beans, avocado, red onion and some lime vinaigrette. I’ll also do an citrus chicken quinoa or quinoa tabbouleh. Having quinoa for lunch is perfect for me, since my husband isn’t a huge fan, and it’s so simple for a weekday lunch. You can cook this on the stove, or in a rice cooker. Cook it just like rice, but if you use chicken broth in place of water, it adds a little more flavor. As a side note, I left my basil whole (since I thought it photographed better), but the recipe calls for it to be chiffonade (finely sliced), which adds a better flavor to the dish. For this, make sure to use fresh mozzerella in this recipe, the flavor is much better.
We all have rushed evenings when you need something tasty in a hurry. This Penne with Sausage & Vegetables fits the bill perfectly. It’s full of flavor, nutrients and color. For me, it’s a quick meal because I’m able to multi-task. The first thing is to get the pasta on, then the sausage while the pasta is cooking. While the pasta and sausage are cooking, chop the vegetables. I also like to have vegetables (especially peppers) already chopped to save time during the week. The leftovers of this are perfect for another quick meal or for lunch. [Read more…]
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.
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.
I came up with the idea for this recipe on a day when I had planned to make traditional stuffed shells for dinner, but realized what I had in my pantry was the little pasta shells and not the big shells for stuffing. Grrrrr. I had bought all the other ingredients at the store earlier that day, and I was determined to make it work anyway. So I decided to do an inside out /casserole version, and I have to say, it turned out truly fantastic. I may never go back to making traditional stuffed shells again! It was a lot faster and less tedious than stuffing shells. Each big and hearty portion is just 8 Points + – not bad for a dish made with pasta and three different types of cheese. The whole family loved it, and it made for great leftovers. Definitely a Weight Watchers Casserole Recipe to add to you repertoire. Enjoy!
I am a big fan of side salads with a meal or soup. I will prepare a side Caprese Salad when I am making an Italian style chicken dish or a side for Italian Wedding soup. I prefer a colorful presentation which is why I use both yellow and red tomatoes. I prefer to use the balsamic vinegar instead of salt and pepper. The basil adds a very nice compliment to this traditional salad. The oil helps bind the ingredients and the vinegar is added for flavor. I have prepared this salad without the vinegar and just the oil topped with salt and pepper.
Scampi does not have be heavy on oil and butter. In fact, this alternative recipe is very satisfying and makes a great main meal. A healthy pasta is used along with broccoli which adds a nice touch to this Italian favorite. A family member who loves a local restaurant’s version was open to trying a healthier version and loved it. She commented on how there was not a plateful of oil at the bottom and she loved the broccoli that was added. Without the heavy oil you can really appreciate and taste the other ingredients which is was makes this dish so good.
When I want a simple Weight Watchers pasta recipe that packs in a lot of protein and fiber, I turn to this Artichoke Chicken Pasta Recipe, which is one of my go to dinners. It’s very easy to make, doesn’t take a lot of time, looks absolutely lovely, and tastes delicious. Plus, each 1 cup serving is just 6 Points +. I’ve gotten a few emails from previous pasta recipes I’ve posted, mentioning that the actual amount of pasta in the recipes was too small for their family. In order to keep the Points Plus values low, I try to really keep those carbs in check. So, I prefer to take it easy on the carb laden pasta noodles, and bulk up with the veggies and protein. However, if you prefer a larger portion, you can make this a 4 serving meal instead of six. It will come out to a Points Plus value of 9 Points + per serving. Balance that out with a light salad, and it’s still not a bad deal! The delicate wine sauce is fantastic, but if you prefer to not use wine, you can use fat free chicken broth, with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice instead.
This ridiculously easy Lemon Parmesan Arugula Salad is not only a delicious Weight Watchers Salad that clocks in at just 2 Points + per serving, but is incredibly versatile and pairs so well with just about any main course. I often refer to this as a “base salad” because you can enjoy it as is, or add a variety of other amazing ingredients to it. For protein, try adding chicken, salmon, steak, lentils or garbanzo beans. And for extra veggies you can toss in some cherry tomatoes, red onions, sliced bell peppers, peas or roasted zucchini slices. This is truly a great Weight Watchers Recipe to have in your bag of tricks. Enjoy!