Orange Cauliflower Recipe – 4 Points +

Orange Cauliflower

The dilemma is all too familiar….Orange Chicken…it’s DELICIOUS. But, it’s deep fried and then smothered in an indescribable sweet/sour/spicy/orange-y sauce. Therefore, it’s laden with extra fat, calories, and Weight Watchers Points, and we all try to avoid it. But we can’t. Because it’s sooooooo GOOOOOOOOD. And if you are a vegetarian, the smell of this entree alone is enough to make you reconsider not eating meat. What are we to do? After dealing with this dilemma on a regular basis, I decided to get experimental. And after a few Pinterest inspiration searches, and a few recipe trials and errors, the end result is this delicious Orange Cauliflower, a vegetarian’s version of orange flavored chicken. By subbing out the chicken with cauliflower florets, you still get all the flavors you love, but in a much healthier package. And for those of you who don’t like vegetables, this Weight Watchers Recipe is a FANTASTIC way to eat them! It tastes NOTHING like cauliflower. And while it doesn’t taste exactly the same as the restaurant version, it’s pretty spectacular. So for all you orange chicken junkies out there, and for you vegetarians who’ve always wanted to eat it, this Weight Watchers Orange Cauliflower is your ticket. Just 4 Points Plus per serving, too! Enjoy.

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Roasted Chicken Shawarma Recipe – 5 Points +

Roasted Chicken Shawarma Recipe

One of the many things I love about Southern CA is the access to a fantastic selection of international cuisine. And after getting hooked on chicken shawarma from my trips to Israel, it’s pretty easy to get my craving for it satisfied here. However, the restaurant version is not very Weight Watchers friendly. So I decided to make my oven roasted version that still has all the ridiculously delicious flavors of a traditional chicken shawarma recipe, but with a lot less Weight Watchers Points Plus. Making this dish was incredibly easy, and each 2 piece serving of chicken came out to just 5 Points +. I served this chicken straight out of the pan, but I also like to slice it into thin strips, and stuff it into a pita with some tahini, or feta cheese, and some of Israeli cucumber salad….sooooooo GOOD! This Roasted Chicken Shawarma Recipe is a MUST try!

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Cilantro Lime Cucumber Salad Recipe – 2 Points +

Cilantro Lime Cucumber Salad

You know those days where you spent so much time working on the main course, that you completely forgot to prepare a side dish? Well, that happens to me a LOT. More often than I’d like to admit. Sometimes I’m too busy, sometimes I too lazy, and sometimes I’m just ill-prepared. But on those days, quick and easy Weight Watchers salad recipes like this Cilantro Lime Cucumber Salad, save me. I almost always have these ingredients on hand, and I can throw this together in just a few minutes. I highly recommend using a mandolin slicer in order to get nice, evenly thin cucumber slices. But it can absolutely be done with a knife too – it’s just not as easy. The flavors are fresh and amazing, and each serving is just 2 Points +. I usually prefer to go a bit heavy on the red pepper flakes as I really like that heat, but this time I made it for my kids, so I didn’t use as much. This salad also makes a perfect, low calorie side for summer BBQ’s, so definitely add it to your “must make this summer list”. Enjoy!

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Skinny Peruvian Beef Saltado Recipe – 6 Points +

Peruvian Beef Saltado

Recently, I had the luxury of eating at a local Peruvian restaurant, and if you’ve never had Peruvian food, you are really missing out! The flavors are bold and fresh, and absolutely divine. I opted for the Lomo Saltado dish, which is basically a sirloin stir fry served over french fries or potato slices. It was sooooooo good! My version eliminates the potatoes, in order to save some Points Plus, and bulks up on veggies and protein. But the traditional vinegar and soy sauce seasoning is so incredibly simple, yet so wonderfully flavorful. And at just 6 Points + per serving, this Weight Watchers stir fry recipe is a real treat. My while family loved it, and it’s now becoming part of our regular meal rotation. This recipe is a must try, you guys!

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Roasted Cumin Spiced Cauliflower and Garbanzo Beans

Roasted Cumin Spiced Cauliflower and Garbanzo Beans

If you’ve been reading LaaLoosh for a while, you’ll probably know that roasting vegetables is one of my favorite ways to eat them. The roasting process adds such a fantastic flavor, and even my kids will eat their veggies this way, so that’s a huge plus. One of our family’s favorite vegetables to roast is cauliflower, so recently, I decided to experiment with a few ideas and see if I could take a standard, roasted cauliflower recipe, and kick it up a notch. Mission accomplished. This Roasted Cumin Spiced Cauliflower and Garbanzo Beans is so ridiculously simple, but is absolutely delicious and truly tastes like something that would be served as a side dish in a fancy restaurant. You can enjoy it is as is, or serve on top of salads or in soups for added flavor bonus. I like to serve it in a pretty bowl, garnished with fresh parsley, alongside my protein of choice. If you are looking for a way to get more fiber in your diet, this easy Weight Watchers side dish recipe is a must.

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Ranch Meatballs Recipe – 5 Points +

Ranch Meatballs Recipe

A good variation to meatloaf are these tasty Ranch Meatballs! Easy to make and always a crowd pleaser, you can enjoy them in a variety of ways: as is, in a sandwich, with pasta and sauce, on top of salads, in soups, in a pita pocket with salad and tahini sauce…I could go on on. I like to make 2 or 3 batches of them, and freeze them so I have something quick and delicious on hand for when I need a dinner or lunch STAT. My kids love them too, which is great for the evenings where I’m serving a dinner that they don’t like, and I need a healthy alternative for them. They are super tasty and the best part is that you get 6 meatballs for just 5 Points! They key here is using extra lean ground beef – it should be 96% lean and 4% fat – so make sure that’s the one you get if you want to keep this at just 5 Weight Watchers Points. Enjoy!

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Roasted Butternut Squash with Tahini and Za’atar – 4 Points +

Roasted Butternut Squash with Tahini and Za’atar

Liven up a standard Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe with the addition of two wonderfully bold flavors – tahini sauce and za’atar spice blend. In this Weight Watchers side dish recipe, the sweet, buttery squash is complemented by the roasted sesame flavor of the tahini sauce and the alluring spice mixture of the zaatar. If you haven’t ever tried za’atar before, once you do, I guarantee it will become one of your pantry staples! It’s a Middle Eastern spice blend that involves some combination of ground dried oregano, thyme or marjoram, ground sumac, toasted sesame seeds and often, salt. It’s often used on breads, chicken, and on top of hummus or soft cheeses. Zaatar has an amazing and unique flavor that is aromatic, and tangy at the same time. This simple, yet amazing side dish is not only delicious and full of nutrients, each serving is just 4 Points +, making it a very Weight Watchers friendly recipe too.

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Mushroom Rice Pilaf – 6 Points +

Mushroom Rice Pilaf

 

We love rice and any side dish with rice in it is a family favorite. Mushroom rice pilaf is the perfect addition to a main course. I serve this when I make chicken or fish. I have made this on “Meatless Mondays” as well. I use low-sodium chicken broth and water to cook the rice. I think it adds a nice flavor. Rice cooking times may vary according to taste preference. I used regular white organic raw mushrooms, but I’ve made this using a combination of mushrooms too.

 

Mushroom Rice Pilaf – 6 Points +

This is a tasty side dish that takes very little time to prepare. Mushroom rice pilaf can be made with beef broth, but I prefer the low-sodium chicken broth.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown rice – long grain
  • 1 tbsp Extra Light Olive Oil
  • 2 cups slice raw mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped onions (a sweet onion is used for this recipe)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  1. In a 2-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add mushrooms, onion, garlic powder and pepper stirring often until the mushrooms and onion start to get tender, usually takes 3 – 4 minutes.
  3. Add water, chicken broth and rice.
  4. Stir and increase heat to high.
  5. Once it starts to boil; reduce heat and cover.
  6. Simmer for 40-45 minutes or until rice is tender.
  7. Keep covered, remove from heat and let stand about 5 minutes.
  8. Stir and serve hot.

Preparation time: 5-10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 40-45 minute(s)

Diet tags: Low calorie, Reduced fat

Number of servings (yield): 4

Calories: 235

Fat: 5

Protein: 6

Entire recipe makes: 4 servings
Serving size is about: about ½ cup
Each serving = 6 Points +

PER SERVING: 235 calories; 5 g fat; 42 g carbohydrates; 6 g protein; 2.5g fiber

Healthy Chocolate Energy Shake – 2 Points Plus

Healthy Chocolate Energy Shake

Sometimes mid-morning instead of a snack, I make this easy healthy chocolate energy shake. One afternoon while at a vitamin and herbal shop, I picked up a couple of single packets of energy shake mixes. In the past, many of the shake mixes I bought weren’t very tasty and had a “grainy” taste to them. I was pleasantly surprised when I made this at home. I picked up a couple of packets of Spiru-Tein High Energy Protein and tried several flavors. The chocolate is amazing. You don’t necessarily need a blender, but I used one to make sure all the lumps were gone. This shake is filling and definitely held me over until lunch.

Healthy Chocolate Energy Shake – 2 Points +

This is a quick and easy mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. This healthy chocolate energy shake is delicious is low-fat and low-calorie.

Ingredients

  • 1 1.13 oz Spiru-Tein Whey Protein Powder mix (Chocolate flavor is used for this recipe)
  • 1 cup Skim Milk

Instructions

  1. In a blender (I used a single serve blender) add milk and packet mix.
  2. Blend until well mixed.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: None

Diet type: Vegetarian

Diet tags: Low calorie, Reduced fat, Reduced carbohydrate, High protein

Number of servings (yield): 1

Culinary tradition: USA (General)

Calories: 180

Fat: 1

Protein: 14

Entire recipe makes: 1 serving
Serving size is about: 1 cup
Each serving = 2 Points +

PER SERVING: 180 calories; 1g fat; 9 g carbohydrates; 14 g protein; 1g fiber

Thai Shrimp Curry Recipe – 7 Points +

Thai Shrimp Curry

I’ve always loved the creamy, spicy and tangy taste of curry recipes. And overtime I have a chance to try a new version, I jump on it! However of my good ol’ reliable standby curry recipes that I make frequently at home is this Thai Shrimp Curry Recipe. You can find the coconut milk, fish sauce and curry paste in the Asian section at the grocery store (Thai Kitchen is the brand I used, and it’s pretty readily available at most stores). I also love to bulk this dish up with vegetables such as carrots, red bell peppers, zucchini and tomatoes…yum! The flavor and heat is in the curry paste, so add more or less to suit your taste. I also like mine tangy, so I often add extra lime juice. Feel free to play around with yours until you achieve the perfect flavor that suits your mood. At just 7 Points + per serving, this Thai Shrimp Curry Recipe is way healthier than most restaurant versions. Enjoy!

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Oven Fried Chicken Strips – 6 Points +

Oven Fried Chicken Strips

I love fried chicken, but unfortunately we all know it is not a healthy choice. Oven fried chicken strips is a perfect alternative. I cut up some thin chicken breasts (although the strips are a bit “off shape”) and decided to try buttermilk instead of eggs for dipping. I love the taste as it allows the chicken to taste moist and not dry. I did not add salt or pepper as I tried the Grill Mates Montreal Chicken Seasoning instead. It was a nice addition. I served this dish with a vegetable side dish. You can add a dipping sauce for the chicken strips, just be sure to calculate the points and add them to your meal.

Oven Fried Chicken Strips – 6 Points +

Oven fried chicken strips are an easy, tasty and healthy alternative to the traditional dish.

Ingredients

  • 4 thin, boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used Perdue Fit & Easy Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Thin Sliced –already cut perfectly in a package in the fresh meats area of a grocery store)
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon Grill Mates Montreal Chicken Seasoning
  • Non-stick cooking spray (Olive oil flavor is used for this recipe)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a shallow bowl combine breadcrumbs, cheese, and chicken seasoning, mix well.
  3. In a second shallow bowl add buttermilk.
  4. Slice chicken breasts into 3 strips each.
  5. Dip chicken strips into buttermilk first and let excess drip off before dipping into dry mixture.
  6. Dip chicken strips into dry mixture making sure to coat all of the strips with the dry mixture.
  7. Spray a shallow baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  8. Lay the chicken strips flat on baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes or until pink is gone and desired crispness has been reached.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20-25 minute(s)

Diet tags: Low calorie, Reduced fat, High protein

Number of servings (yield): 4

Culinary tradition: USA (Southern)

Calories: 253

Fat: 5

Protein: 31

Entire recipe makes: 4 servings
Serving size is about: about 3 strips
Each serving = 6 Points +

PER SERVING: 253 calories; 5 g fat; 19 g carbohydrates; 31 g protein; 2.5g fiber

Baked Macaroni and Cheese – 5 Points +

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

This baked macaroni and cheese recipe is easy to prepare as well as low fat. I have many variations for this traditional baked macaroni and cheese dish and this is the one I most recently prepared. The cayenne pepper adds a little spice and I prefer freshly ground pepper as well. I will serve this as a light main meal with a side salad for lunch or dinner. This recipe was prepared as a side dish to chicken loaf (a.k.a. meatloaf) or pork chops.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese – 5 Points +

I have loved baked macaroni and cheese since I was a kid. It’s the perfect comfort food. This is a healthy version and very tasty.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dry macaroni (Dreamfields Elbows is used for this recipe)
  • 3/4 cup evaporated fat-free milk
  • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese (Horizon Organic: Low-fat Small Curd Cottage is used for this recipe)
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese (Reduced fat – Cabot’s Sharp Cheddar is used for this recipe)
  • 1 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp. dry bread crumbs
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Prepare macaroni according to instructions on the box.
  3. In a saucepan, heat milk over low heat.
  4. Add the cheeses (except Parmesan) until melted, stirring constantly.
  5. Drain pasta and place in a 2 quart casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray.
  6. Remove the cheese sauce from the heat then pour on top of cooked pasta.
  7. Stir and mix cheese and pasta well.
  8. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.
  9. Bake the casserole for 15-20 minutes until bubbly and the top is browned.

Preparation time: 10-15 minutes

Cooking time: 20-25 minutes

Diet type: Vegetarian

Diet tags: Low calorie, Reduced fat

Number of servings (yield): 4

Culinary tradition: USA (Traditional)

Calories: 212

Fat: 3.3

Protein: 16.2

Entire recipe makes: 4 servings
Serving size is about: approximately 1 cup
Each serving = 5 Points +

PER SERVING: 212 calories; 3.3 g fat; 27.9 g carbohydrates; 16.2 g protein; 0.7g fiber