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!
I enjoy fish, and it’s something that’s easy and healthy to make. My favorite is salmon, since it has a stronger flavor that works so well with citrus. The things you can do with it are just about endless. I’m not as big of a fan of the white fishes, simply because it’s usually a much stronger “fishy” flavor and requires lots of tartar sauce. Although, I got to go on vacation with my family last fall and we spent a few days on Prince Edward Island on the East Coast of Canada. I had the best fish and chips of my life there – tender and mild and delicious. But I digress… So, I thought I’d try some fish tacos with white fish. I was hoping that will plenty of seasonings, it would help with the flavor of the fish. It did. These are great. The fish is so easy to cook when you broil it – just make sure you set the timer or you’ll have to have a plan B for dinner. I really liked the sauce, so I reserved half of it to serve as a sauce over the fish tacos. I had to use 2 tortillas for each person, because there was really no good way to fit that much food into one corn tortilla and still be able to eat it. I really like this recipe. It’s really easy to make (I used the bagged cabbage so I didn’t have to shred my own and I already had some on hand), and it comes together so fast! [Read more…]
One of the reasons why I love side salads is that it’s a great way to add veggies (and nutrients) to my meal. It’s also a great way to add a pop of color to my meal that just makes it seem more fun and interesting. Fresh salads are just great anyway. They are so refreshing and light that they’re always tasty. This one is full of color with the green cucumbers, red tomatoes and radishes, yellow bell peppers and red onions. The dressing is simple and delicious – one of those vinaigrettes that I love. I always use a little canning jar with a lid to mix up my dressing ingredients. I just toss everything in it and then screw on the lid and shake it up. If you’d like to mix up this salad a bit more, use yellow tomatoes and a red pepper, or a mix of red and yellow tomatoes.
With the chilly weather finally in full force here in SoCal (and by chilly, I mean 60 degrees), I’ve been ALL about the soups. I find that they are a great way to use up extra veggies before they go bad. So last week, when I found a head of cauliflower in my vegetable drawer that i had forgotten to roast as a side dish one evening, I decided to use it in a quick, easy, and very light Cauliflower Soup Recipe. There are many ways to make cauliflower soup….but this is one of the easiest and fastest. If you want to add an extra flavor boost, try roasting the cauliflower and garlic before adding to the pot! Sooooo good. At just 4 Smart Points, this simple soup makes a great side dish for a chilly day.
With my New Year’s Resolution in full swing, I am committed to eating healthy (yet deliciously), and this Lemon Butter Chicken Recipe is an ideal dish! The chicken is cooked to perfection in a velvety lemon butter sauce that is to die for. It’s hard to tell in the photo, but there is spinach in that dish too…it’s just buried under the heavenly sauce. Next time, I’ll try doubling the spinach I used because it wilted so much in the sauce, and there really wasn’t a lot of it in the final product. And at just 5 Smart Points per serving, this dish makes a great Weight Watchers dinner recipe that will help keep you on track without sacrificing flavor.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…I am OBSESSED with Chinese food. Seriously, I can never get enough. But following the Weight Watchers plan, eating Chinese food on a regular basis can get me into some serious trouble! So I regularly attempt to create my own healthier and lighter versions, hence this incredibly delicious Chicken Lo Mein Recipe. It was AH-MAZING. Me, my husband, and both kids loved it. Plus, it was super quick and easy! When adding the veggies for this dish feel free to get creative…I used what I happened to have on hand in the fridge, but next time, I’ll add some mushrooms, bell peppers and maybe some bok choy. Also, if you don’t have access to or can’t find the broccoli slaw, you can use regular broccoli and shredded carrots. I just used the slaw form because my kids are more likely to eat vegetables if they aren’t easily visible. But if you need to get your Chinese food craving satisfied, this Easy Chicken Lo Mein is a WINNER at just 7 Smart Points per serving! Enjoy.
Even though I love salads, I really love salads for two reasons – they’re pretty and I can pack in the goodies. I’m not someone who just serves a bag of mixed lettuce and calls it a salad. My salads have lettuce, cucumbers, mushrooms, bell peppers, tomatoes, craisins, cheese and nuts in them. They’re beautiful and packed with flavor. Next to mixed baby lettuce, spinach is about my favorite green to use. Not only is it a great way to add nutrients to a smoothie, but it’s a wonderful base for a salad. Since we’ve got lots of fresh pears right now, I thought I’d add some pear to this spinach salad. I’ll be honest, goat cheese sounds great, but it can be a bit strong. If you get a more mild goat cheese, it’s much better, or you can just use feta cheese. When it comes to salad, feta is typically my go to cheese, so when I make this for a quick weekday lunch, I’ll probably use feta most of the time. However, if you’re feeling adventurous, add blue cheese instead of goat cheese. The balsamic vinaigrette is a powerful flavor, so it can balance out any cheese you want to try in there. This delicious salad is perfect for a healthy lunch. It’s packed with flavor and nutrients. It’ll also help keep you satisfied, since it’s packed with fiber.
One of my favorite breakfasts is whole grain granola with yogurt and fruit. It’s something that I never get tired of, and granola is easy to take with me. It’s a great snack and perfect for a healthy breakfast when I’m traveling if I’m not sure whether or not the breakfast is something I can eat – you can almost always get yogurt. I like to add fresh fruit to it, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, bananas, peaches – whatever I happen to have on hand. In less than 5 minutes I’ve got a delicious breakfast that’s full of protein fiber and healthy fats. One of my favorite granolas is a gluten free one from Van’s foods. I love it because it’s soft and chewy, but it’s also expensive. This granola recipe is just as good, cheaper to make and something I can whip up in no time! I keep a very close eye on mine so that I don’t overcook it. It’s fine when it’s crunchy, but my preference is the soft and chewy granola, so I don’t cook mine for very long. If you prefer a little crunchier granola, just cook it a little longer. This is perfect for breakfast or a snack, it’s filled with essential fats and has 3 grams of fiber per serving!