Tuna Salad Stuffed Tomatoes – 4 Smart Points

Tuna Salad Stuffed Tomatoes

I think that everybody has those favorite easy meals. The ones that you gravitate to when you’re home by yourself for the night. For my husband, one of those meals is a tuna salad sandwich. I thought I’d try and make a slightly more elegant version of a tuna salad sandwich with these tomatoes. It works great. The larger tomatoes, like beefsteak tomatoes, have lots of seeds and pulp on the inside that are easy to scoop out. Once the insides are removed, you can use it as a little bowl for just about anything. In my case, that was a rather delicious tuna salad. I lightened it up a bit by using fat free mayonnaise and non fat Greek yogurt, but didn’t sacrifice anything in the flavor. Be sure to use white or light tuna canned in water and then drain it before flaking it into the salad. I added the hardboiled egg because I had a couple on hand, but I’ve also tried it without, and it’s just as tasty. It’s a great way to really make a classic favorite a little more sophisticated. A keeper in our house! [Read more…]

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Chickpea Puttanesca over Polenta – 6 Smart Points

Chickpea Puttanesca over Polenta

In an effort to eat less meat (the reason why is a whole looking other blog post for another time), I’ve been experimenting with more vegan and vegetarian Weight Watchers Recipes. A friend of mine cooked this for me one day, and it was so good, I knew I had to recreate it at home! The mild, soft polenta is topped with a tangy puttanesca sauce that’s to die for. Now, because you all know I love shortcuts, I used a prepared log of Trader Joe’s Organic Polenta. If you want to make your own from scratch, you absolutely could. I just often have my hands full while cooking dinner, so I try to save time wherever I can. But even with the pre-made polenta, this traditional Italian recipe is divine! You get a hint of the salty brine from the olives and capers, and the sweet and tangy tomato sauce balances it all out. It’s loaded with protein and fiber and is incredibly satisfying. A real bargain for just 6 Smart Points too! Enjoy.

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Pasta with Spinach Pesto – 7 Smart Points

Pasta with Spinach Pesto

Pesto is a delightful way to dress pasta that’s a little different than your typical red or white pasta sauce. It usually just requires a lot of fresh basil, pine nuts and olive oil. This is one that mixes that up a little bit. The spinach is mild enough, but the basil adds the classic “pesto” flavor. Not only that, spinach is a nutritional powerhouse. This is also one of my favorite types of recipes – quick and easy to put together – just stick everything in a food processor. If your pasta is ready too soon, just rinse in cold water (helps to minimize the sticking) and then leave it drained. When you’re ready to serve, just reheat the pasta by running under hot water. If you’ve got extra of the pesto, it should keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks. The tomatoes add a beautiful pop of red to the dish and the flavor complements the pesto perfectly. [Read more…]

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Salmon with Tarragon Cream – 6 Smart Points

Salmon with Tarragon Cream
Salmon is one of my favorite types of fish. I typically make it one of two ways – lots of lemon, dill and onions or with a citrus salsa. I thought I’d mix it up a bit and try salmon with this tarragon cream. It was really easy to make, and it’s a wonderful change from traditional tartar sauce. Tarragon isn’t an herb that I use frequently, but it’s common in French cuisine. It has a similar flavor to anise, a strong flavor that is dark and rich. You definitely don’t want to overdo it. If you’re cooking the tarragon, be sure to add it right at the end so it doesn’t get bitter. I really like this flavor combination. The tarragon gives the cream a rich flavor, and it goes so well with salmon, which can be a little strong. I also really like that this is so easy to make. I made the tarragon cream while the salmon was cooking. While the oven is preheating, it’s easy to put together some vegetable side dishes. Mix up your dinner routine with this delicious new recipe. [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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Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup – 4 Smart Points

Roasted Red Pepper Soup
I am someone who really enjoys soup in the winter. There’s something about a bowl of rich and delicious soup that is comforting and definitely helps to warm you up on a cold night. Well, today wasn’t actually cold (it was a January warm “snap”), but I still love roasted red pepper tomato soup. Plain tomato soup really isn’t my thing. I’m not a huge fan of the flavor, but roasted red peppers add something to the tomato soup to make it really delicious. I like to make up a huge batch of this and then freeze several quart bags of it, once it’s cooled down. It’s a great way to have a really fast, delicious and homemade dinner ready to go. I usually serve it with grilled cheese sandwiches, but you can just put a few croutons in the soup if you’re watching your carbs. I like the sour cream in this soup. It seems to add a little more creamy flavor without quite as much fat as some options. I typically use Daisy light sour cream, since it doesn’t have all the extra ingredients. You can skip the sour cream to keep the fat down, but it adds the creaminess that you really need to put this soup over the top. [Read more…]

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Green Olive and Apricot Chicken Recipe – 7 Smart Points

Green Olive and Apricot Chicken

Heaven on a dish, this delightfully easy chicken recipe packs a tremendous flavor punch. The sweet and salty flavors of the olives and apricots are a dream, and the bit of caramelization from the chicken just makes this meal melt in your mouth. If you aren’t a fan of apricots, this dish would work well with dried prunes or figs too. And I love how simple it is to prepare! I literally had it in my fridge within 5 minutes, then I just let it sit overnight, so by the time the next evening rolled around, I simply had to toss it in the oven and forget about it. Serve with your favorite salad or steamed veggies, and serve atop some warm, while wheat couscous if you have a few extra Points to spare.

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Cabbage Shell Chicken Tacos with Chipotle Cream – 5 Smart Points

Cabbage Shell Chicken Tacos with Chipotle Cream

If there’s one food I could eat everyday for weeks without tiring if it, it’s tacos. That’s partly because there are SO many different ways to prepare them, and I’d never get bored. For this chicken tacos recipe, I used cabbage leaves instead of traditional taco shells to help cut carbs and calories. I also added some swiss chard leaves for added nutrition and for it’s aesthetics. The fresh, raw corn salsa is such a unique flavor too…which I adored. My husband said he would have preferred that the corn was roasted first, so if raw corn isn’t for you, just roast the cob in the oven or on the grill first. But the real show pony of this recipe is the chipotle sour cream!! I could NOT get enough of it! These tacos were a total hit…my 6 year old devoured them….even with that cabbage shell. And at just 5 Smart Points per taco, you are getting one seriously delicious and nutritious dish!

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Zucchini Lasagna – 8 Smart Points

Zucchini Lasagna

Who doesn’t love lasagna? It’s a favorite meal of mine, and one that I can easily make gluten free (just use gluten free noodles). It’s a great meal to stick in the freezer when I know I’m going to be out of town, so that my husband can just stick it in the oven after work. I thought I’d give our traditional lasagna recipe a low-carb makeover. Zucchini works so well as noodles in other traditional pasta dishes, so why not lasagna? It turns out this is delicious. I’m pretty picky about how I like my zucchini (especially cooked), but this was delicious. It was tender, but not overpowering with the rest of the delicious sauce. Give this one a try for one of your next family meals. It’ll be a definite hit!
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Fish Tacos – 6 Smart Points

Fish Tacos
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…]

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Chicken Fried Rice – 7 Smart Points

Chicken Fried Rice

One of my guilty pleasures is Panda Express. I love their fried rice and orange chicken. Thankfully, we don’t have a Panda Express in town, so it’s just a guilty pleasure when we go on a long road trip and find one along the way. However, fried rice is something that I really enjoy. I’ve made some really delicious pineapple fried rice (the key to that is that you really do need to add fresh pineapple right at the end), but I thought I’d give chicken fried rice a try this time. Leftover chicken is a staple in our house, since I use it in so many recipes (it’s so easy, healthy and delicious), so I used that and some leftover rice to begin my fried rice. The key to fried rice is that your rice should be cold. I try to plan rice for a side dish with a meal the day or two before and make the extra I need then. Just stick it in the fridge and it’s ready to go when I need to make fried rice. One of the great things with fried rice is that you can make it any way you like. Add all the veggies your heart desires, or substitute the chicken with tofu to make it unique to you. A word of advice with peas in fried rice – use edamame (soy beans) instead of regular sweet peas. While the sweet peas are more traditional, they do tend to turn funny colors if you overcook them. The edamame don’t lose their color and really add a beautiful look to your fried rice.
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Lemon Butter Chicken – 5 Smart Points

Lemon Butter Chicken

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.

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