With the first whiff of Spring this year, I was already beginning to crave cool summer drinks and treats. One of my favorites is this Mint Lemonade Slushy recipe. I fist had one of these drinks on a trip to Israel, where it’s referred to as “limonana”. Under the hot desert sun, I don’t think I’ve ever had a more refreshingly delicious drink! The original recipe uses sugar as a sweetener, but to cut out those calories and Points, I just replaced the sugar with organic stevia. Honestly, I’m not a fan of artificial sweeteners of any kind, and I try to avoid them when I can. But there are some times where I just HAVE to have one of these Mint Lemonade Slushies, and I don’t want to blow a ton of my precious Smart Points to have one. So I use the Stevia, and this recipe ends up costing me 0 Points. Yay! When I make it for my kids, I sweeten it with honey instead of the Stevia, and they LOVE it. It’s not hard to see why….it is SO FLIPPING’ GOOD. It’s truly there perfect poolside drink. And if you want add some extra excitement and turn this into an adult beverage, feel free to blend it with some vodka or gin…just be sure to factor in those points. Enjoy!
One great thing about having my in-laws visit, is that I always pickup a few delicious Middle Eastern style recipes that taste like I’ve spent hours cooking them, but are actually quite simple. This Moroccan Apricot Chicken Recipe is just that. The chicken is fall-off-the-bone tender and is unbelievably moist and juicy. It’s rubbed in a combination of spices, seared, and then braised to perfection in the most delicious sauce. And it’s all done in one pot (you know I love those one pot meals)! This chicken turns out perfect EVERY time I cook it, and it’s become a staple for dinner parties or big family dinners. Serve over rice or couscous, along with some roasted veggies or salad for a complete meal. Enjoy!
As it’s cooler now, the garden produce is pretty much done, although we’ve had a pretty warm fall. Thankfully, one of the things (or rather, two of the things) that are still keeping great since we brought them in are the pumpkins and squash. And with this hummus recipe, it’s perfect. Pureed pumpkin and squash combined with chickpeas and delicious seasonings to create a fall hummus. This hummus is wonderful on pita chips, but it’s also fabulous on carrots sticks as well. It’s a great snack and it holds well in the fridge for several days. Since it has chickpeas in it (also called garbanzo beans), it’s packed with fiber, which means it helps to keep you full longer. It’s definitely a little spicy with cayenne pepper and chili powder, but you can always season it to taste. If you’re baking pumpkin and squash, you can puree it before hand, or simply weight out 8 oz of chunks and puree them with the garbanzo beans. The reason why I recommend pureed pumpkin and squash is that is ensures a smooth texture, and that there won’t be any chunks in the hummus. Give this delicious fall hummus a try. It’ll give your day just the kick of flavor it needs!
There’s little I love more than a meal that delivers wonderful presentation and flavor but with very little effort and prep. This Roasted Chicken Breasts with Tomatoes and Garbanzo Beans dish is such an amazing and healthy Weight Watchers recipe that boasts tender, juicy chicken that is wonderfully seasoned, and yet it is incredibly simple to make. The fresh tomatoes add a nice touch of acidity while the garbanzo beans add a nice earthy flavor. I chose to cook this with bone-in and skin on chicken breasts because it really helps to keep the chicken moist. Just make sure to remove the chicken skin before eating if you are watching your Weight Watchers Points.
With the last few days of summer to savor, I’m sharing a reliable and delicious side salad recipe that I have made quite a bit this summer, as my whole family loves it. My Whole Wheat Cous Cous Feta Salad Recipe is super easy to make and is a delicious and satisfying side dish that works with so many different meals. The bright, juicy tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers and salty feta are combined with hearty garbanzo beans and whole wheat cous cous to deliver a seriously satisfying dish! It also works wonderfully as leftovers, so I often double the batch and use it in lunches the next day or two. So take advantage of those delicious summer tomatoes and get this salad on your table, ASAP! At just 4 Points + per serving, it’s a great way to feel satisfied while staying on track.
One of my all time favorite Weight Watchers quinoa recipes is this super easy Quinoa Salad with Tahini Dressing — it’s to die for! Admittedly, I’m pleasantly surprised my kids really enjoyed this dish…my son even took leftovers for lunch! And at just 6 Points +, it’s a really satisfying summer side dish that is lovely and absolutely delicious. If you are already a fan of quinoa or a newcomer looking for some fantastic quinoa recipe ideas, this dish is a great one to try! I love the variety of textures, and the lemony tahini dressing just pulls it all together so beautifully. I’ve also made this with the addition of cucumbers, roasted zucchini, cauliflower and eggplant too, and it is fabulous. Enjoy!
Tabbouleh (or tabouli) is a Middle Eastern vegetarian side dish made with tomatoes, cucumber, herbs, bulgur wheat and onion. It’s seasoned with olive oil and lemon juice. This is a very refreshing, summery dish that goes well with just about anything. Since I don’t eat wheat, I usually make this with quinoa (much to my husband’s annoyance, since he doesn’t care for quinoa). It’s traditionally made with bulgur wheat, but quinoa works well with it as a gluten free option. With fresh herbs from the garden, this is a perfect time of the year to make this delicious and refreshing side dish.
When I need something to snack on, I try to reach for fresh, raw vegetables. Mainly because they are incredibly good for me, but also because their high fiber content can fill me up and prevent me from getting down and dirty with a not so Weight Watchers friendly food. So when you eat fresh veggies as much as I do, you are constantly on the lookout for delicious, exciting, and low calorie dips to dunk them in. And this Red Pepper and Eggplant Dip Recipe has become one of my favorites! The roasted bell peppers and eggplant add a lovely smokey flavor, while the garlic and lemon juice tie it all together with a brilliant zing. And each 1/3 cup serving is just 2 Points Plus, so I don’t need to feel guilty about my heavy dipping. This Red Pepper and Eggplant Dip makes a fantastic dunk for not only fresh veggies, but pita wedges, crackers, cheese…just about anything, really. You can also smother roasted vegetables or meats with it too, if you are looking for a way to give those foods an extra kick. You really can’t go wrong with such a light and healthy dip!
When cooking family meals, I always have to take into consideration my kids likes and dislikes. This can be tedious, but it forces me to come up with new and creative foods that not only please my kids, but that my husband and I find delicious. A recent hit was this this Ground Turkey Patties with Tahini Yogurt Sauce Recipe. The turkey was quite moist and tender, and the creamy yogurt tahini sauce was absolutely delicious. I’ve never had tahini combined with yogurt before, so this was new to me, and I found it to be fantastic. My husband and I ate our patties over a bed of lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers with a lemon vinaigrette and then topped with the yogurt tahini, my daughter ate her patties dipped straight into the tahini yogurt sauce, and my son enjoyed his stuffed into a pita pocket with the sauce, and some of the salad that my husband and I used. So as you can see, it’s a pretty versatile dish. Each 3 patty serving, with sauce, is just 4 Points +, making this a wonderfully light meal choice. Though this recipe states it makes 6 servings, it is a small serving, so you may end up choosing extra 1 or 1/2 a serving to feel really satisfied. Enjoy!