Well, here we are…the last day of 2016. And I’m full steam ahead in the kitchen prepping for weeks of healthy eating and holiday binging detox! Today’s recipe is one that is a HUGE help to me when I’m trying to cut calories…Stuffed Cabbage Soup. Growing up, my mom would often make stuffed cabbage rolls for dinner. I remember that they were really tasty, but that we didn’t have them often because the recipe required a lot of steps and it was quite time consuming to make. So to get the flavors of traditional stuffed cabbage rolls without all the work, I prefer to make my “lazy mom” version, which basically combines all the ingredients in a soup rather than the rolls. It’s WAY easier, and it tastes wonderful! So bright and fresh, but still hearty and satisfying. I eliminated the rice to save some calories, and I honestly didn’t miss it at all. If you still feel like you need the rice, you could always try Miracle Rice, which is zero calories, so it won’t affect the Smart Points count at all. I actually just made a huge batch of this soup, and am freezing individual portions of it, so I can have it on hand when I’m hungry or hangry (so hungry that I’m angry). It prevents me from eating food that isn’t a part of my healthy eating plan which can derail my progress. If you love stuffed cabbage rolls, I highly recommend this leaner, lighter, soup version instead! Enjoy. And Happy New Year!!
With 2016 almost at an end, it’s time to get back on track and detox from all the holiday goodies. Gyros have always been one of my favorite guilty indulgences, and today I’m sharing my favorite healthy makeover of a traditional Greek gyro. First of all, I subbed out the fatty, high cholesterol lamb meat with tender chicken breast marinated in an amazing blend of Greek spices, lemon juice and yogurt which helps to tenderize the breasts while giving them fantastic flavor. Also, by making my homemade tzatziki sauce, I was able to lower the calories while also bringing in some more incredible tastes. Trust me when I tell you that after making your own tzatziki sauce, you will never want to buy the pre-made store bought kind again. Finally, everything is served on top of a whole wheat pita, and topped with fresh red onion and tomato slices. It is so good. SO GOOD! And at just 7 Smart Points each, these healthy chicken gyros make a great Weight Watchers lunch idea.
When I want a salad that is insanely filling and satisfying, this Grilled Chicken, Pear, and Candied Pecan Salad is one of my favorites. I know that 12 Smart Points may seem like a lot, but for an entire meal, that is delicious, and will give me sweet, tangy, and salty all in one, it’s not too shabby of a deal. Nothing is sacrificed in this incredibly tasty dish, and it’s a breeze to prepare. The balsamic maple dressing is absolutely divine, and the variety of flavors and textures in the salad are to die for. There is something about the combination of the creamy, tangy goat cheese, with the sweet and tart cranberries, and the crunchy sweet and salty pecans that truly feels like a party in my mouth. You could make this dish a little lower in Points by cutting out the cranberries and using different nuts or cheese, but in my opinion, every Point is absolutely worth it! The restaurant version of this salad clocks in at around 23 Smart Points, so it really is a great bargain. If you are tired of basic salads, this Grilled Chicken, Pear, and Candied Pecan Salad is a must try!
If you love Spinach and Artichoke dip, you’ll go bonkers over this meal version! Tender roasted chicken breasts are smothered with a creamy spinach artichoke topping, delivering a mouthful of cheesy chicken goodness. This recipe takes relatively little effort, but the end result tastes like you’ve spent all day preparing it. The chicken is so moist and delicious, and the velvety spinach artichoke topping is perfection. Doesn’t it look tasty? If you have a few extra Points to spend, I’d recommend serving the finished chicken breast inside a toasted baguette or sandwich roll….it’s sooooo yummy!
As it starts to cool down this fall, I feel a lot more like making and eating soups. One of the reasons that I love soups is that they are so quick and easy to put together. Chili is one that always ends up in our crockpot, along with minestrone and a few others. I typically do a chicken noodle soup, but decided to leave the noodles out this time. I just combined chicken broth, chicken and vegetables into a healthy and delicious soup that was ready in less than 30 minutes. It’s a great way to use up leftover chicken, or the leftover turkey we’ll all have in a few weeks. This soup isn’t one of those super hearty, “stick to your ribs” kind of soups, but this is a lighter soup that is perfect with half a sandwich for lunch or a light dinner. Since it is lighter, I really like to have it with half a sandwich, since that’s perfect for a meal for me without being too much food all at once. One of the other nice things about this soup is that it’s easy to add in whatever vegetables you like or have on hand. I used peas, carrots, onion, kale and turnip. [Read more…]
Fal and football season are already in full swing, and I can’t stop fantasizing about Super Bowl foods! With buffalo wings using being one of the key dishes on any Super Bowl Sunday table, I decided to try out a lighter, healthier take on that popular recipe. My Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Sandwich is not only super easy to make, but because it uses skinless bombers breasts, it’s way lighter and healthier than the wings. Plus, it’s a lot less messy. And making a sandwich out of the meat makes it a much more filling food. If I have an extra Point or two to spend, adding a tbsp of blue cheese dressing to this sandwich is absolutely DELISH, and I highly recommend it.For this recipe, you’ll want to use whole wheat buns that are around 90 calories each. And if you want to skip the buns altogether, you can use the buffalo chicken meat on top of a salad, which would eliminate 3 Smart Points per serving! Either way, this Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Sandwich Recipe is as delicious as it easy, and is a must try for any buffalo chicken wing lovers. :)
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). [Read more…]
When I want a quick and easy salad recipe for lunch, this Chicken and Broccoli Slaw Salad with Almond Butter Dressing is one of my absolute favorites. I don’t know about anyone else, but I get so tired of traditional lettuce based salads all the time. This salad has broccoli slaw as the base, which packs in a ton of nutrition and crunch! Over the weekend, I’ll often cook a few chicken breasts to keep on hand during the week so that I can throw this salad together for myself on a busy day. And did I mention how delicious the Thai-inspired dressing is!?! If you don’t like/have almond butter, you can use peanut butter. I just personally prefer the flavor and health benefits of the almond butter. But regular peanut butter works just fine. And at just 6 Smart Points per serving, you get a delicious and satisfying salad without an ounce of guilt!
Today’s Honey Soy Chicken Recipe is yet another dish that my whole LOOOOOOOVED. Including me. I love chicken that has incredible flavor, but to achieve that, it usually requires a long marinade time. During the week, when I’m super busy, I often have to come up with a meal on the fly, and typically don’t have time to wait for a marinade. So when I forget/don’t have time to marinade, I rely on this Honey Soy Chicken dish to deliver a tender and juicy chicken, with knockout flavor. The sauce has all the sweet, salty, and tangy flavors combined to make for one seriously mouthwatering chicken recipe. Serve the chicken (and the remaining sauce from the pan!) over steamed brown rice and veggies for a complete meal.
Mexican food is my happy place. In fact, I have yet to try a Mexican dish that I didn’t like, and the good things is that many Mexican food recipes can be petty easily adjusted to suit my Weight Watchers plan. This is great, because I eat it ALL.THE.TIME. One of my favorite Mexican foods are enchiladas…..cheese enchiladas, chicken enchiladas, shredded beef enchiladas…you name it. I ADORE them. But when making them at home, I sometimes have an issues with rolling up those corn tortillas without having them break apart. I’ve tried a few tricks, and I can make it work, but it’s still a pain. So I decided to try doing some chicken enchiladas in casserole form and the result was AMAZING. Seriously, amigos. This dish is soooooo goooood. I actually just made these for dinner last night, and couldn’t wait to post them here on the blog for you to try! Feel free to top them with any extras you see fit…jalapeños, sour cream, diced red onions….whatever floats your boat. This Chicken Enchilada Casserole was loved by the whole family and I highly recommend you get in the kitchen and make this bambino ASAP.
Growing up, my mom had the best teriyaki chicken recipe. Every time we all get home, she makes us a massive batch of teriyaki chicken. I decided to tweak her recipe a little bit this time and do some sweet and sour teriyaki chicken. Adding a sweet and sour sauce to the traditional teriyaki sauce lightened the flavor and made it more of a sauce than a marinade. So, I made my typical stir fried chicken and vegetables and added this delicious sauce. You don’t need to use the same broccoli and peppers that I did, toss in what you have on hand or whatever you like in your stir fries! Add some carrots, baby corn, water chestnuts, edamame, snow peas or anything else that you enjoy. All those veggies are great add ons since they don’t cost you an additional points. If you feel like you want a bit of carbohydrate or side dish, brown rice or whole grain pasta is a great choice. [Read more…]
I recently was in Costco and had a sample of a chicken and apple slider. It was delicious, so I set out to make a similar recipe that I could do at home. I’m not sure if these are exactly the same, but they are delicious all the same, so who cares? I like how easy these are to make. I can make them up ahead of time and freeze them. Then I can just cook up a couple of them for lunch or dinner. When I need a quick meal, they’re ready to go. All I have to do is broil them for a few minutes. I like to pair these with an Asian coleslaw with a copycat Applebee’s salad dressing and some sweet potato fries. It’s a delicious, simple and healthy meal that’s ready to go in less than 20 minutes. This is perfect for our busy weeknights, or when I simply don’t know what else to make! These sliders are definitely keepers in our house! [Read more…]