With the cold, rainy weather we’ve been having in here in SoCal lately, I have been a soup making machine! My kids LOVE soup, and it’s very helpful for me, because it fills me up, is easy to make, and is great to freeze for when I need a quick snack or meal. A recent soup I just made to go with my daughter’s favorite lunch (grilled cheese sandwiches) was this Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato soup. Oh Em Gee….this was SO delicious! The soup was made entire from scratch, with all whole food ingredients. It was light, brightly flavored, and wonderfully fresh. I’ve made homemade tomato soup from scratch before, but the real trick here is the roasting of the vegetables. It adds such a slightly smokey flavor, and really helps to bring out the flavor of the vegetable. And the best part? It’s just 1 Smart Point per serving! You’ve gotta give this one a try ASAP.
Notch-yo average nacho (see what I did there?), these healthy Cauliflower Nachos are an absolutely decadent treat that are completely guilt free. Nachos are one of my favorite guilty indulgences, and just by making a couple of healthy changes, I can enjoy a big heaping serving of them. In this recipe, we are simply switching out the high fat, high calorie tortilla chips, and substituting them with Mexican spiced, roasted cauliflower slices. Cauliflower has such a mild, neutral flavor, that when you smother it with seasonings, cheese, salsa, red onions, etc, it takes on the flavor those foods, and you don’t really notice it. Granted, it doesn’t have the “crunch” of tortilla chips, but let’s face it…the chips are just a vehicle for all those nacho toppings! Feel free to go crazy and add other toppings like black beans, ground chicken or beef, carne asada, diced peppers…you get the idea. I cannot even begin to tell you how happy this recipe makes me. It’s a MUST try!
With the chilly winter weather in full swing, I just cant get enough soup! Chicken noodle soup has always been one of my family’s favorite comfort foods, but the traditional egg noodles that are used can really add up the calories. By simply subbing out the egg noodles with “noodles”, which is just zucchini that has been spiraled, I was able to make my homemade chicken noodle soup recipe a LOT lighter and healthier. Now I can indulge in a big bowl of delicious chicken soup for just 3 Smart Points! It’s so delicious and satisfying, and absolutely guilt free. Spiraled zucchini can be used in so many recipes, and it’s really quite fast and easy to do. If you don’t have one already, I highly recommend one. The one I have (THIS one) is small, cheap, and does a great job…no need for anything fancy. If you love chicken noodle soup but have been avoiding it because of the high calorie noodles, this recipe will win your heart.
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!!
I truly believe that this Baked Falafel Recipe is actually much better than the traditional fried version. The flavors from the spices and fresh parsley and cilantro are bright and bold, and the garbanzo beans are thick and meaty. The outside is crisped to perfection, and the inside is soft and creamy. Topped with homemade tahini sauce and fresh cucumber salad, and stuffed into a whole pita, it’s one seriously satisfying meal. You can even skip the pita, and serve the falafel and on top of a big salad. With lots of protein, fiber, and flavor, this healthy homemade falafel recipe is an excellent one to try this New Year. Enjoy!
Baby, it’s cold outside! Warm up with this tasty Weight Watchers Winter Lentil Vegetable Soup Recipe that’s packed with fiber to help you feel full, and Vitamin C to help ward off those seasonal viruses. The flavors of this vegan soup recipe are bright and fresh, and are the perfect anecdote to the winter blues. And with all that damage you’ll end up doing with holiday goodies, this is a dish you can really feel good about, as each hearty serving is just 3 Smart Points each. Freeze leftovers in pre-portioned containers for a quick lunch or snack to have on hand when you are feeling hangry! :) Enjoy.
This Baked Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken Teriyaki Recipe is one that my kids ask for again and again. I love that it’s super easy to make, that it tastes fantastic, and is just 6 Smart Points per serving. Just pour the sauce over the chicken pineapple, and peppers, and bake! You could make this even lighter by using chicken breasts instead of thighs, but my family tends to prefer the dark meat. Breasts would work really well though, given that they are cooked in the sauce, so that would help keep them super moist and juicy. Traditional Teriyaki sauces use a lot more sugar, which also helps give a thicker sauce, but this sauce is still deliciously sweet and flavorful without being too sweet. It’s also a perfect topper for steamed rice, which I highly recommend with it. Enjoy!
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…]
Oh, how I adore these tacos. This quick and easy Chipotle Shrimp Tacos Recipe is not only a perfect weeknight dinner recipe that can be prepared in a pinch, they are incredibly delicious. The rich, smoky chipotle cream sauce is the star of this dish. The amount of chipotles in adobo sauce will affect how spicy these are, so if you can’t take too much heat, stick with just 1 tbsp. However, if you can handle spicy, then add as much as you’d like. I actually doubled the recipe so that I could have some for lunch the next day. One thing to pay attention to is the tortilla size. The ones I used in this recipe were the “slider” size. If you use a larger tortilla, it may add an extra Point. Serve with black beans, and roasted corn on the cob or other roasted veggies for a complete meal. Enjoy!
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. :)
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.
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!