Chicken Pesto Bake Recipe – 3 Smart Points

Chicken Pesto Bake

Here’s another easy and delicious way to dress up chicken breasts! In the Chicken Pesto Bake recipe, the chicken breasts are first topped with flavorful pesto sauce, then fresh tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. It’s literally, just a handful of ingredients, but it delivers quite a tasty dish. I usually just buy a jar of prepared pesto sauce for this, but you can also make your own, if preferred. But at just 3 Smart Points per serving, this simple Weight Watchers chicken recipe offers a great way to indulge in wonderful flavors, while still keeping the Points low. It’s also packed with protein and extremely low carb. If you have the extra Points to spare, try this on some fresh Italian bread and serve as a sandwich. I usually like to pair this dish with a fresh side salad or some steamed veggies for a complete meal. Enjoy!

[Read more…]

PLEASE SHARE THIS RECIPE:

One Pan Crispy Parmesan Chicken Recipe – 7 Smart Points

One Pan Crispy Parmesan Chicken

We are winding down to the last few weeks of the school year, and I am running out of steam. That means I need fast and easy weeknight dinners that are healthy, and Weight Watchers friendly. This One Pan Crispy Parmesan Chicken Recipe is perfect for the days when I want a fabulous, home cooked meal, without requiring a lot of effort. Another fabulous one pan meal for dinner, means a lot less dishes to wash after dinner! This Crispy Parmesan Chicken recipe was a home run with the whole family. The baked chicken was so juicy, and the crispy parmesan coating had a nice hint of garlic and Italian seasonings. Having the veggies coated in the same delicious mixture made them absolutely delectable, and my kids ate every last bite. My son even took leftovers to school for lunch the next day! It’s so good, and so easy to make, you will not regret adding this dish to your meal plan. Enjoy!!

[Read more…]

PLEASE SHARE THIS RECIPE:

Roasted Cauliflower Chicken Bolognese Recipe – 5 Smart Points

Roasted Cauliflower Chicken Bolognese

Pasta is one of my kids’ favorite meals, so I find myself making it a lot. The problem is, I also love pasta, but those noodles always end up making the dish too high in Points for me to eat it. So I’m always looking for an alternative way to enjoy my favorite pasta dish, without having to use actual pasta. “Zoodles” has always been a preferred option of mine, but recently I decided to try roasted cauliflower instead, and I have to say, I like it even BETTER! You guys — it is really, really good!! The cauliflower is so mild, it picks up the flavor of the sauce, and is a great way to enjoy a guilt free pasta dish. I recently tried it with my light bolognese sauce, and it was absolutely amazing! What a great way to pack in more nutrition, enjoy a delicious and decadent pasta dish, and not use too many Smart Points. I’ll definitely be trying roasted cauliflower as a substitute for pasta in some other popular Italian recipes too. Enjoy!

[Read more…]

PLEASE SHARE THIS RECIPE:

Chicken Bruschetta Recipe – 3 Smart Points

Chicken Bruschetta

Now that temperatures are starting to heat up here in California (sorry, East Coast), I’ve been craving meals that are fresh and light, as opposed to rich and comforting. One that I tried recently was this delicious Italian Chicken Bruschetta. Bruschetta, if you’ve never had it, is kinda like Italian salsa. It’s a simple blend of fresh tomatoes, basil and garlic. It is incredibly easy to make, but the flavor is wonderfully bright and complex. I decided to use it on top of some simple grilled chicken breasts, and the result was divine! You can grill your chicken, roast it, or pan fry it — whichever you prefer. The fresh bruschetta on top is the perfect complement. This is also magnificent as a sandwich with some fresh Italian bread and some creamy goat cheese – one of my most favorite sandwiches ever! The flavors are so bold and mouthwateringly good. So grab some tomatoes and basil, and give this chicken bruschetta recipe a try….you’ll be so glad you did!

[Read more…]

PLEASE SHARE THIS RECIPE:

Italian Herbed Chicken in a Creamy Mushroom Wine Sauce – 6 Smart Points

Italian Herbed Chicken in a Creamy Mushroom Wine Sauce

When I’m feeling a little fancy, this easy Italian Herbed Chicken in a Creamy Mushroom Wine Sauce Recipe is just the ticket. I had something similar once at an Italian restaurant in Los Angeles, and I was blown away by how rich and flavorful this dish was. So I recreated a lightened up version myself, and it’s pretty amazing. First of all, I love ANY sauce with red wine in it. Seriously, I will just eat it all up with my spoon and then lick the plate. And the red wine sauce simmered with milk and parmesan cheese is oh so heavenly. Most recipes that have a creamy sauce use heavy cream which can really increase the Weight Watchers points. By using milk and a bit of cornstarch, this dish delivers the perfect consistency and flavor with a LOT less saturated fat and calories. My kids ate this over steamed rice, with a side of roasted brussel sprouts. It was sooooo good! If you want to up your chicken dinner game, try this Italian Herbed Chicken in a Creamy Mushroom Wine Sauce recipe and wow your whole family!

[Read more…]

PLEASE SHARE THIS RECIPE:

Creamy Lemon Parmesan Chicken Piccata – 6 Smart Points

Creamy Lemon Parmesan Chicken Piccata

If you’ve ever been to a good Italian restaurant and ordered Chicken Piccata, then you know how absolutely delicious this dish can be. Simple, yet tremendously flavorful. There’s an amazing Italian restaurant not too far from me that I paid a recent visit too (I was craving their breadsticks, but that’s a different story). I decided to try their chicken piccata because of the sauce description in the menu. It was a bit different from most chicken piccatas I’ve had before, and the description had me salivating. Rather than a traditional lemon/wine sauce, they used a creamy Parmesan sauce instead. And for anyone who knows me well, cheese is my weakness. I CANNOT RESIST IT. So I decided to use my “flex” Points and splurge, and it was well worth it! And then I made up my mind to recreate a healthier and lighter version at home so that I could some more regular, guilt free indulging. The creamy, lemony sauce is like a river of velvet in your mouth, and the tender, juicy chicken breasts are the perfect vehicle for that heavenly sauce! I ate this right off the plate, but my kids enjoyed theirs over pasta. Next time, I’ll try serving it over some zoodles. This Creamy Lemon Chicken Piccata is the ultimate in gourmet comfort food!

[Read more…]

PLEASE SHARE THIS RECIPE:

Pasta with Spinach Pesto – 6 Smart Points

Pasta with Spinach Pesto

Pasta dishes are one of my favorite go-to meals when I’m in a hurry and need dinner fast. I can my own pasta sauce, so I always have a few jars of that on hand so I can mix up a meal of spaghetti if we’re in a hurry. However, I thought I’d try something a little different for this one. I love pasta with pesto, but I saw a recipe on Pinterest for one with spinach, and I just had to try it. The original called for far more oil (and a far more expensive oil), but I used olive oil, and it worked fine and tasted fabulous. Since the nuts tend to make their own oil when they’re processed for long enough, I started with that and let it go for a few minutes. After a couple of minutes, I drizzled in a little olive oil at a time until it reached the right consistency. Combined with whole grain pasta, some garden fresh tomatoes, you’ve got a simple and delicious meal ready to go.
[Read more…]

PLEASE SHARE THIS RECIPE:

Spaghetti with Ragu – 7 Smart Points

spaghetti-787043 (1)

This year for New Year’s day dinner, my in-laws had an Italian theme. One of the recipes we ended up with was a lasagna made with a homemade Ragu. I fell in love with it. The flavor of the Ragu was so delicious. It was rich, but not overpowering and wasn’t tomato based. Most of my pasta sauces are tomato or cream based, so this one was a breath of fresh air. I got the recipe and have made it several times since then. It makes a lot, so I tend to freeze part of it or I end up with too much sauce to use before it went bad. The only downside of this recipe for me, is that you need to simmer it for a couple of hours. I don’t care for wine, so I simmered mine for at least 2 hours to make sure no wine flavor remained (don’t worry, all the alcohol has burned off by then). I’ve also found that the wine adds a depth to the flavor that the Ragu is really lacking without the wine. So, just plan ahead and make this Ragu on Saturday or Sunday (or any day you have the time to do the prep) and then store it until you use it later in the week. If you can’t find the pancetta, just use bacon as a substitute. This is perfect for spaghetti (or any other kind of pasta), or you can use it as your sauce for a lasagna. Any leftovers you won’t use within a week, just put it in a bag and freeze it for the next time. It’s rich, but not overpowering, and incredibly delicious. It’s my all-time favorite pasta sauce, and I love that I get to toss the veggies in the food processor to make the prep really easy. [Read more…]

PLEASE SHARE THIS RECIPE:

Spaghetti Squash and Turkey Bolognese Recipe – 7 Smart Points

Spaghetti Squash and Turkey Bolognese

Sometimes, I just want a big, heaping plate of spaghetti with a rich, flavorful meat sauce. But the Smart Points in a typical bolognese could end up adding up to a whole days worth of Points! So in order to satisfy my craving without ruing my diet, I created this simple, no-frills Spaghetti Squash and Turkey Bolognese Recipe. I just sub out the carb heavy spaghetti noodles for the light, nutritious, and 0 Smart Points oven-roasted spaghetti squash. Topped with a decadent, lightened up turkey bolognese sauce, this recipe is one seriously satisfying meal! When I have a few extra Points to spare, I’ll also add some grated Parmesan on top – soooooo good! Serve with your favorite salad or roasted veggies, and even a slice of garlic bread, for a meal that is sure to fill you up.

[Read more…]

PLEASE SHARE THIS RECIPE:

Ciabatta – 4 Smart Points

Whole Grain Ciabatta

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.
[Read more…]

PLEASE SHARE THIS RECIPE:

Lasagne with Bolognese Sauce – 7 Smart Points

Lasagna with Bolognese Sauce

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…]

PLEASE SHARE THIS RECIPE:

Mediterranean Salad – 3 Smart Points

Mediterranean Salad

I love salads and vinaigrettes. I recently found a really delicious herbed feta that I wanted to try in a light and colorful tossed salad. Since it was an herbed feta, I knew the salad would have to be light and not over powering. I wanted a dressing that could complement the salad and feta, but not compete with it or overpower it. I started with a balsamic vinaigrette but flavored the dressing with a little Italian seasoning. The Italian seasoning perfectly set the dressing off, it helped to lighten the rich flavor of the balsamic so that it complemented the salad. The baby lettuce is my absolute favorite greens for a salad. They are light and tender, and have more flavor than the regular head lettuce. You can also add any of your other favorite vegetables to this salad. Add chopped mushrooms, or some chopped summer squash for a little more color. Give this delicious Mediterranean inspired salad a try for a light and refreshing lunch on these beautiful spring days.
[Read more…]

PLEASE SHARE THIS RECIPE: