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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Lobster and Shrimp Scampi – 10 Points +

Lobster and shrimp scampi

 

I absolutely love seafood. I started creating some scampi recipes that did not have butter in them to see what they would taste like and I was pleasantly surprised. This lobster and shrimp scampi is the perfect dish to have at the end of the week when you have some points to use. It is delicious. Some recipes use all parts of the lobster, but I prefer to use the tails, especially if I want to reduce time in the kitchen. I have found it easier to check the tenderness of the tails verses the whole lobster. I used regular organic pasta noodles. You certainly can use whole wheat or whole grain pasta as I have done that with shrimp scampi. But I do prefer the regular pasta for this recipe.

Lobster and Shrimp Scampi – 10 Points Plus

Although this recipe is higher in points, it’s made without the butter and heavy oil. This lobster and shrimp scampi recipe may seem like it has many steps, but it really is easy to prepare and worth the wait.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz Spaghetti uncooked
  • 2 lobster tails small size
  • 12 peeled and deveined shrimp, large size
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ cup dry white wine
  • ¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsps fresh minced parsley (or dry)
  • 2 tbsps fresh ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Prepare spaghetti according to directions on box.
  2. When pasta is done save about ¼ cup of the pasta water and drain the rest.
  3. In a 3-quart or large saucepan bring about 6 cups of salted water to a boil and add lobster tails.
  4. Simmer lobster tails uncovered about 8-12 minutes or until the shell is bright red (you can poke a fork in the meat to check to see if it is tender).
  5. Once the lobster tails are done; drain and add cold water to cool them.
  6. You will need to crack open the shells and pull out the lobster meat (I give them a quick rinse to make sure all the shell and pieces or rinsed off).
  7. In a large nonstick skillet, add olive oil and heat on medium-high.
  8. Saute shrimp and cook until shrimp is just pink or coral color, about 2-3 minutes.
  9. Add the garlic and cook stirring constantly, about 1 minute.
  10. Transfer shrimp to a large dish and keep warm (I cover the dish with foil).
  11. In the skillet, combine the broth, wine, lemon juice, parsley, the salt and pepper; and bring it to a boil.
  12. Boil uncovered about 5 minutes.
  13. Chop up lobster meant into small pieces and add both lobster and shrimp to the sauce; mix well.
  14. In a large pasta bowl add pasta and scampi sauce; mix well.
  15. If the pasta seems a little dry, you can add the left over pasta water, if not, you can throw it out.
  16. (Optional) You can top with shredded Parmesan cheese; but you must recalculate and update your points.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 25-30 minute(s)

Diet tags: Reduced fat, High protein

Number of servings (yield): 4

Culinary tradition: Italian

Calories: 393

Fat: 9

Protein: 27

Entire recipe makes: 4 servings
Serving size is about: ½ cup serving
Each serving = 10 Points +

PER SERVING: 393 calories; 9 g fat; 47 g carbohydrates; 27 g protein; 2.1g 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

Arugula and Mushroom Pasta Recipe – 9 Points +

Arugula and Mushroom Pasta

When I want to indulge in a hearty, satisfying pasta dish that doesn’t skimp on portion size, this Arugula and Mushroom Pasta Recipe is one of my favorites. The simple wine sauce is light and delicate, allowing for the wonderful earthy flavors of the mushrooms and peppery arugula to come through. This Weight Watchers pasta recipe also offers a very satisfying serving size, which I love. I often like to top it with a bit of grated parmesan, but if you prefer to keep it vegan, you can skip it. The colorful vegetables will help bring out some fantastic flavors, so you won’t miss the meat. But if you insist on adding some additional protein, this dish works great with shrimp, chicken or scallops.

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Sole Piccata Recipe – 5 Points +

Sole Piccata

Light, delicate, and extraordinarily delicious, this Sole Piccata Recipe has become a recent family favorite! I picked up some sole on sale at the market, and was trying to decide what to do with it, when I got the idea to try using a piccata sauce, similar to what I’d use on chicken. The sole fish is very mild, as is chicken, so the piccata sauce was the perfect compliment. High in protein, yet light on Points +, this dish is not only incredibly simple to prepare, but tastes amazing and requires just a handful of ingredients. Serve it up with some roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a light soup for a complete meal. A great dinner recipe to try if you want to add more heart healthy fish into your diet!

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Pumpkin Ravioli with Brown Butter Sauce – 7 Points +

Pumpkin Ravioli with brown butter sauce.

Although pumpkin is usually the flavor of autumn, this is a great recipe that can be prepared all year long. It’s easy to make and takes very little time. Pumpkin ravioli with brown butter sauce is comfort food without the guilt. The sage and nutmeg add a nice addition to this recipe. The sweetness of the pumpkin is balanced well with the brown butter sauce. I usually serve this at dinner with a side salad.

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Stuffed Shells Casserole Recipe – 8 Points +

Stuffed Shells Casserole

I came up with the idea for this recipe on a day when I had planned to make traditional stuffed shells for dinner, but realized what I had in my pantry was the little pasta shells and not the big shells for stuffing. Grrrrr. I had bought all the other ingredients at the store earlier that day, and I was determined to make it work anyway. So I decided to do an inside out /casserole version, and I have to say, it turned out truly fantastic. I may never go back to making traditional stuffed shells again! It was a lot faster and less tedious than stuffing shells. Each big and hearty portion is just 8 Points + – not bad for a dish made with pasta and three different types of cheese. The whole family loved it, and it made for great leftovers. Definitely a Weight Watchers Casserole Recipe to add to you repertoire. Enjoy!

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Cold Cut Salad – 6 Points +

Cold Cut Salad

I have always loved grinders, subs or hoagies depending on where you live at. At one time, I avoided eating them in order to watch calories, carbs and fat. Instead of avoiding them, I decided to turn my favorite cold subs into salads. One of my favorites is a cold cut and I decided to tweak it just a little bit. This is a very tasty and hearty “sub-salad.” I did not use cheese or bologna. I have made this cold cut salad with several variations. But you can certainly add what you like just remember to calculate the difference.

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Oven Fried Chicken Breast – 8 Points +

Oven Fried Chicken Breast

I never would have believed that “fried” chicken could be delicious if it were baked. But I was certainly incorrect. I tried several oven fried chicken breast recipes and this is one of my favorites. I prepared it with a serving of low-sodium chicken flavored Stove Top stuffing. If you use the Stove Top, you will need to add 3 Points + to the meal. I have served this dish with steamed broccoli or yellow squash instead of the stuffing on other occasions.

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Broccoli and Shrimp Scampi – 7 Points +

Broccoli and Shrimp Scampi

Scampi does not have be heavy on oil and butter. In fact, this alternative recipe is very satisfying and makes a great main meal. A healthy pasta is used along with broccoli which adds a nice touch to this Italian favorite. A family member who loves a local restaurant’s version was open to trying a healthier version and loved it. She commented on how there was not a plateful of oil at the bottom and she loved the broccoli that was added. Without the heavy oil you can really appreciate and taste the other ingredients which is was makes this dish so good.
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