I always love ordering chicken tortilla soup at my favorite Mexican restaurant. But depending on how it’s prepared, this dish can be dangerous in terms of Weight Watchers Points. Adding in your favorite fixin’s can really rack up the extra fat and calories too. After a bit of work in the kitchen, I came up with own version that is a LOT healthier than the restaurant version, but very healthy and low in Smart Points. And don’t worry – my chicken tortilla soup recipe still includes the cheese and tortilla strips. By using a hand blender to puree the soup, it helps to give the soup a creamy, velvety feel, without adding any high fat milk or cream. My kids love it too, because they have no idea they are eating so many vegetables! And you can top it with fresh red onion, jalapeños, or avocado for an extra boost of flavor, if desired. At just 8 Smart Points, this satisfying soup will fill you up and thrill your tastebuds too. Enjoy!
At Thanksgiving one of the desserts was a flan. I’ve been wanting to make it even since. Flan is a custard that is baked and has a delicious caramel topping over it. It seems a little intimidating at first, but it’s actually pretty easy to do. The hard part is making sure you don’t stir the syrup, just let it slowly cook on medium until it begins to boil, then watch it carefully. I made mine in little ramekins, since it’s easier to serve that way, but you can make it in one large baking dish if you don’t have ramekins. It works great with regular milk (reduced fat) or with lactose free milk. It’s rich and creamy, a delicious dessert that is elegant and sure to please everybody who tries it.
You’ve probably figured out by now that I love my Saturday morning breakfasts. During the week my husband and I do our own thing, we’ll have leftovers or just have cereal. But on the weekend, we (well, really, me, but sometimes I can bribe my husband to do it) cook a proper breakfast and we get to eat it in a leisurely fashion before walking the dog. Huevos Rancheros isn’t one that I make very often, but it’s fabulous. I had some avocados recently, so I decided to make it one morning. In fact, I made it twice recently. The first time I just used salsa, and the second time I made this sauce. Let me tell you, the key is the sauce. This sauce is fabulous. You can use jalapenos to it (in place of the chilies), but I like mine to be mild, so I use mild chilies instead. Trust me, this sauce makes this an incredible dish. It’s not something that I make on a morning when I want a quick breakfast – but it’s perfect for a lazy morning, brunch or even breakfast for dinner.
I love using the crockpot for meats and soups. It’s a great way to cook things without my having to attend to them every second. The meat that is cooked in the crockpot is tender, moist and delicious. Crockpots are my favorite way to cook up a chicken that I’m going to debone and then chop up and freeze. This fabulous beef taco recipe is another one that’s perfect in the crock pot. Sure, you can simmer it on the stove in the sauce for about 2 hours until it’s tender, but it’s so much easier to just stick it in the crockpot, turn it on and walk away. The meat turns out delicious and tender every time. Once you’re ready to eat, serve these with your favorite toppings. I love to pile on the veggies (especially since they’re zero points plus) and a dab of sour cream and cheese.
As much as I love cooking, there’s nothing more I hate than doing the dishes and cleanup afterwards. Most of my cooking tools and pots and pans need to be hand washed, so depending on the complexity of my recipe, that can lead to a LOT of post-cooking work. Which is why I have become a huge fan of one-pan/pot meals – they are super easy to cook, and require a lot less cleanup. This One Pan Quinoa Taco Skillet Recipe has become a recent favorite in our home. Made with quinoa instead of rice and lean ground turkey instead of ground beef, it’s a lot healthier and absolutely delicious. Top with shredded cheese, red onion, avocado, roasted corn, shredded lettuce – or whatever your taco-loving heart desires. Just make sure to count the extra Points Plus you may incur. Enjoy!
I love to grill this time of year. Well, actually, I love to have my husband grill this time of year. The “dog days of August” might technically be over, but we’ve not quite gotten to fall here in the Midwest. It’s still hot and humid, so the last thing that I want to do is to heat up the house by using the oven. With these delicious chicken fajitas, I don’t have to. I like to double my seasonings, the marinate the chicken breast in the seasonings for about 30 minutes, just to add extra flavor. Then, while my husband grills the chicken breast, I saute the onions, peppers and garlic. The chicken and peppers can be served with a tortilla, but they’re just as good by themselves – not to mention you don’t have as many points. I like to serve my chicken fajitas with a side salad, and maybe some salsa too.
By now you’ve probably realized that I love to have leftover roast chicken to use in a variety of recipes. Chicken enchiladas are a wonderful dish. They’re easy and delicious, and they’re perfect to stick in the freezer for later. My problem is that I prefer green enchilada sauce and store bought green enchilada sauce typically has wheat in it. So, I had to improvise. What I ended up with was this truly delicious green enchilada sauce that uses green tomatillos and is really easy to make. I typically used canned tomatillos, because I can keep a couple of cans on hand instead of having to plan ahead and use fresh. I’ll serve my enchiladas with chopped lettuce, fresh tomatoes and cucumbers and salsa. For those not watching points (or calories), add a little sour cream or shredded cheese to the top. You won’t use all of the sauce in the pan, so save some to heat up and spoon over the whole thing. I prefer my sauce mild, so I don’t add more than 1 jalapeno and often I’ll substitute a can of mild green chilies in place of it. If you like hot sauce, just add more jalapeno peppers.
You know those days where you spent so much time working on the main course, that you completely forgot to prepare a side dish? Well, that happens to me a LOT. More often than I’d like to admit. Sometimes I’m too busy, sometimes I too lazy, and sometimes I’m just ill-prepared. But on those days, quick and easy Weight Watchers salad recipes like this Cilantro Lime Cucumber Salad, save me. I almost always have these ingredients on hand, and I can throw this together in just a few minutes. I highly recommend using a mandolin slicer in order to get nice, evenly thin cucumber slices. But it can absolutely be done with a knife too – it’s just not as easy. The flavors are fresh and amazing, and each serving is just 2 Points +. I usually prefer to go a bit heavy on the red pepper flakes as I really like that heat, but this time I made it for my kids, so I didn’t use as much. This salad also makes a perfect, low calorie side for summer BBQ’s, so definitely add it to your “must make this summer list”. Enjoy!
I really love to experiment in the mornings for breakfast. I had some left over canned black beans and salsa one day, which led me to adding them to my breakfast meal. This egg, black beans and salsa recipe is really easy and quick. I really like the salsa and black beans with the egg as it adds a nice Mexican flavor. The pepper jack cheese adds just enough spice. You can certainly use a flour tortilla and make this recipe into a wrap too. I cook my egg over medium but have used a scrambled egg as well.
Cornbread does not have to be unhealthy, dry or blah tasting. This recipe adds some Mexican corn, green chilies and cheese. It’s healthier with the fat-free milk. I’ve made this with low-fat buttermilk as well. I love this as a side with vegetarian chili.