Squash Soup – 5 Smart Points

I don’t know about you – but I’m ready for fall. Here in our little corner of the Midwest, the weather can’t make up it’s mind. It’ll be in the 50s on day and the upper 70s the rest of the week. Since fall and winter are two of my favorite seasons (actually the only one I don’t like is the really hot part of summer), I’m always eager to get them here a little quicker. One of the ways I can do that is with a little squash soup. I’m pretty picky about my squash soup. I’ve had good squash soup, and I’ve had horrible squash soup. I typically like my squash with butter and brown sugar (not the best option for me), so I’ve been learning how to do it other ways. I’ve learned with the right seasonings and a little sour cream, the squash soup is pretty wonderful. I had to process a lot of pumpkin last fall, and after getting incredibly frustrated trying to peel it, my mom suggested a wonderful trick – bake it! I was in the process of canning the pumpkin, so I didn’t want it to be mush before I put it in the jars, but it doesn’t need long. About 10-15 minutes (depending on the size of the pumpkin) at 350 degrees F. All I did was wash them, cut them in half and stick them in the oven. The skin peeled off (just like when you dunk peaches in hot water) and the seeds came out easily too. It’s the perfect way to make anything with pumpkin and squash when you need to peel it. When it comes to this soup, the easiest way to finish it off is with an immersion blender. However, since I don’t have one, I can assure you that a regular blender works just fine. [Read more…]

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Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Sandwich Recipe – 5 Smart Points

Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

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. :)

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Crockpot Split Pea Soup – 2 Smart Points

split-pea-soup

I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure about split pea soup. It doesn’t sound very appealing and it definitely doesn’t look appealing. However, it’d been awhile since I’d done anything in the crockpot, so I thought I’d give it a try. I’ll admit, there are still more appealing looking meals out there. A large bowl of green soup isn’t top pretty. But the rich and delicious flavor of the soup more than makes up for it. I love how simple it was to put together. Just stick it all in the crockpot and turn it on. Once you’re ready to serve it, just use an immersion blender to puree it to your desired consistency. This is a great way to use up the ham bone from the Sunday dinner. What I really loved about this whole meal was how easy it was to to make! Everything went in the crockpot in the morning and got turned on. In the evening, all I had to do was puree it and decide what sides to serve with it. If you want to make it a little prettier, add a few pieces of chopped ham to the top of the bowl, or add a little sour cream to make it a little more creamy.

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BBQ Beef – 9 Smart Points

BBQ Beef

Since last weekend was a 3 day weekend with Memorial day, my in-laws came down for the weekend. We had a couple of projects to work on while they were here (the guys had a couple of projects, I was just hoping to get out of as much work as possible), so it worked perfectly. I like to have everything planned out and everything I possibly can prepped before a weekend like that. It makes life so much easier and less stressful. I also love food and cooking, so it was a perfect opportunity to take advantage of 2 extra mouths and make some delicious food! I had a beef roast (just a regular chuck roast) that desperately needed to get out of the freezer and used, so I decided to do BBQ beef. I wanted to do it in the crockpot, since it’s easy and turns out really delicious meat. I also wanted to do a Carolina inspired BBQ sauce. Since some of our close friends are from the Carolinas (he’s originally from the North and her from the South), they’ve introduced us to some really delicious BBQ. This sauce is just perfect. It’s a combination of the traditional ketchup based sauces that I’m used to (being from the North), but it’s got the tangy apple cider vinegar that really gives the sauce a robust flavor. It’s not as sharp as distilled white vinegar and is almost a little sweet. I skipped the hot sauce (Since none of us like it really hot), but added it here so that you can adjust it to your taste. I love this BBQ beef, it’s definitely going to be a great recipe for the summer. I don’t have to use the oven and it goes so well with potato salad, coleslaw, veggie trays or any other summer sides I want to serve it with. [Read more…]

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Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana Recipe – 6 Smart Points

Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana

If you’ve ever been to Olive Garden’s all-you-can-eat soup, salad and breadsticks lunch special, then you are going to love today’s recipe! I’ve been a fan of their Zuppa Toscana soup for as long as I can remember, but with all the fat and calories, indulging in this delicious dish at Olive Garden could easily cost me almost an entire day’s worth of Smart Points – and that’s before we factor in the breadsticks and salad. Yikes! So, I’ve come up with my own lighter version at home, and it is fantastic. It’s a simple, slow cooker recipe that turns out incredibly tasty, yet with just 6 Smart Points per serving. Admittedly, I was feeling quite lazy and made this with pre-cooked Italian sausage links from Applegate Farms. Ideally, you could use ground Italian chicken sausage for a more authentic flavor. But you will need to brown that sausage first before adding it to the slow cooker. By using the precooked sausage, I saved a step (an an extra pan to wash). Plus, Applegate’s sausages are really tasty! No harm, no foul. This copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana recipe is a real win for any Weight Watcher. Enjoy!

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Crockpot Beef Stew – 7 Points +

Crockpot Beef Stew

I feel a like Wendy, I’ve had all of the turkey I can handle for a little while. It’s why tacos (beef tacos) are on the menu this week, along with this delicious beef stew. I love to cook stews and soups in the crock pot. Not only is it easy, but it’s a guaranteed way to make sure that I don’t burn it to the bottom of the pot – like I do with just about everything. The other great thing about crockpots is that you can take just about any meat and make it deliciously tender in the crockpot. This stew is great. You can chop everything up and stick it in the crockpot the night before. Store the crockpot (covered) in the fridge for the night and then in the morning, all you have to do is put the pot into the crockpot base and turn it on. It’s a great one pot meal, with very few prep dishes. But, if you’re looking for a side dish, serve it with a fruit salad or relish tray of veggies to keep those points down. You can also add peas, green beans or any other vegetable you like to have in your stews. This stew is savory, rich and delicious – perfect for a simple and easy meal that warms you up on a cold winter day.
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Beef Tacos – 9 Points +

Beef Tacos

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.

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Slow Cooker Beef Tips – 9 Points +

Slow cooker crock pots are wonderful kitchen tools. They make easy work of dinner, and the result is a delicious meal. Beef tips from sirloin steak are one of the meats that are perfect in the crockpot. This meal takes very little prep, and you end up with tender beef tips at the end of the day. This succulent beef and mushroom meal is served over traditional egg noodles.

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Crock Pot Cheesy Chicken and Potatoes Recipe – 7 Points +

Crock Pot Cheesy Chicken and Potatoes

This Weight Watchers Crock Pot Recipe for Crock Pot Cheesy Chicken and Potatoes always hits the spot when I’m craving something hot, cheesy and filling. The chicken breasts and potatoes are seasoned and slow cooked all day, then a delicious cheese sauce is made in just 5 minutes, using the remaining cooking juices and a few other ingredients. Feel free to throw in a few extra vegetables if you’d like — onions, mushrooms, and green peppers are a few I like to add in often. And at just 7 Points + for each satisfying serving, my Crock Pot Cheesy Chicken and Potatoes Recipe will soon become a family favorite of yours too. Serve with a light salad for a complete meal. Enjoy!

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Crock Pot Lemon Rosemary Whole Chicken Recipe – 3-6 Points +

Crock Pot Lemon Rosemary Whole Chicken Recipe

Ever since I first tried cooking a whole chicken in my slow cooker, I’ve been hooked. It gives me the most delicious, most juicy and moist chicken ever, hands down. They key is to stick it under the broiler for a bit before slow cooking it. This locks in the meat’s natural juices, and helps deliver an absolutely decadent meal. However, if you prefer a more crispy skinned exterior, simply do the broiling process after the chicken is slow cooked. This step is super easy, and will really make a difference in the end product. I also want to note that because this is a whole chicken, the servings will vary in nutritional stats and Points Plus, depending on which part of the chicken you eat and how large that serving is. On AVERAGE, each serving will range in 3-6 Points +, WITHOUT the skin. Breasts would be about 4 Points +, Drumsticks 3 Points +, Thighs 5 Points + …you get the idea. This Weight Watchers Crock Pot Whole Chicken Recipe has gone into our regular meal rotation, because it undeniably delicious. The lemon and rosemary seasoning is my favorite, but you can play around with other spices and herbs as much as you like. TIP: After you’ve removed all the meat, place the carcus of the chicken back in the crock pot with all of the leftover juices, lemons, onion, etc, add water, cover and slow cook on low overnight. The next morning strain out all the bits and you’ve got your own, homemade fresh chicken broth that is a zillion times tastier than any store bought kind! I freeze mine and save it for a future recipe. Seriously…DO THIS…you will love it!

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Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings Recipe – 8 Points +

Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings

With the heat wave finally starting to come to an end here in Southern California, I’m really getting into the swing of fall cooking! One of my family’s favorite dishes is this Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings Recipe. It is SO ridiculously delicious and SO filling and satisfying. You can feel free to experiment and add other veggies if you’d like. Sometimes, I make it without the potatoes, and that shaves an extra Point off. But those moist, thick, fluffy dumplings are just heavenly, and are the true star of this popular comfort food recipe. Perfect for a chilly day, this tasty Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings is sure to become a family favorite of yours too! Enjoy.

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Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe – 6 Points +

Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I LOVE MY CROCKPOT. With two young kids, I am busy…constantly. And cooking a healthy Weight Watchers Recipe in my crockpot, can make getting dinner together an absolute breeze. This Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe is one of the kids’ favorites, and it’s just 6 Points + per serving (without the toppings). I just throw in all of the ingredients in the morning, then come dinner time, it’s ready to go! That long, slow simmering process gives the fiberrific soup such fantastic flavor, which I love. Of course, no chicken tortilla soup would be complete without some toppings, so feel free to add on whatever you like – just make sure you calculate the extra Point or two that it may add. Here are some great topping suggestions: avocado slices, reduced fat shredded Montery Jack cheese, sour cream, jalapeño slices, diced red onion, crumbled tortilla chips, chopped cilantro and lime wedges. Yum!

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