On a trip to Israel a few years ago, my husband and I stopped at this amazing Arabic restaurant in Jerusalem. And of all the fantastic foods I got to try on my visit, I will never forget the fattoush salad I had there. IT WAS AMAZING. I know that may sound crazy…to be so blow away by a salad, but the incredible flavor combination of this traditional arabic salad was divine. Fresh mint and parsley, combined with cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, and warm toasted pita bread, then topped off with a tangy vinegar garlic dressing and crumbled feta cheese. So good!! Bit the best part about this salad was the addition of a popular Middle Eastern spice called sumac. This is what sealed the deal and made this Arabic Fattoush salad so incredibly delicious! At the restaurant, I was introduced to the owner’s friend who runs an online casino, Casino Arbi. We had a great chat about some foods and seasonings that were central to Arabic culture, and as soon as I returned to the states, I got into the kitchen to try and recreate some of the fantastic foods that I enjoyed and learned about. Sumac has since become a staple in my kitchen now. I love it on salads, meats, and on tops of steamed rice. So today, I’m sharing my recreation of the Arabic Fattoush salad….and it’s just 2 Smart Points per serving. This one is a must try!
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.
I love blueberry and mango together. It’s one of my favorite smoothie flavors, so I usually have frozen blueberries and mangos in the freezer. They’re great for smoothies, and blueberries are perfect to add to pancakes, scones and muffins. This makes it perfect to have blueberries and mangos on hand to make some really delicious frozen yogurt pops. I don’t have the actual popsicle molds, but paper cups (avoid the ones with wax coating if possible) and wooden sticks work just as well. These are a great treat for me, they provide the sweet treat that I often crave in the afternoons. However, since it’s full of fruit and low-fat yogurt, it’s a much better option that candy or ice cream. These are just a great treat and they’re perfect for all the kids – the little ones and the big ones! [Read more…]
Well, it’s the time of the year when the remaining garden produce is needing used. It’s kept pretty well until now, but if I want it to taste good, I need to use it pretty quickly. Since we have a few apples left, I thought it was a perfect time to make chunky applesauce (and an apple crisp with the rest of them). We had a variety of apples from my in-laws, but the specific apples you use doesn’t matter too much. The key to delicious applesauce, apple, butter, apple crisps or apple pies is the variety. Use a variety of apples – three or four different types of apples. Use apples that are sweet, soft, tart and firm. The varieties will really meld together to make a delicious finished product. When it comes to applesauce (especially chunky), you want to make sure that you use one apple that is tarter (and more firm) that will add a little zip to your sauce, and will keep its shape once it’s cooked. I love this applesauce. It’s perfect for breakfast, just for part of breakfast or to top crepes or pancakes. But it’s perfect for a snack or dessert as well.
Whenever I decide to grill something, I always like to have as much of the meal grilled as possible. That means less dishes to do, and it also means that my husband will make the whole thing. These vegetable skewers are just the thing. They go so well with a simple grilled chicken breast and some grilled spicy potatoes tops of the meal. It’s important to marinate these vegetables, but I like to do that while I’m thawing the chicken breast and prepping the potatoes. While it’s possible to marinate these for up to 12 hours, I’m usually not organized enough to get that done. And since the veggies are basted with the leftover marinade while they’re being grilled, they are still just as tasty even when they’re only marinated for 30 minutes. You also get to have a whole bunch of vegetables for only 2 points plus!
It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to vegetables. Whether it’s having the same vegetables over and over, or fixing them the same way every time. These Brussels sprouts are definitely different and delicious. They are lightly roasted, just enough to be tender, and then tossed with pomegranate seeds and walnuts. If you like a little more pomegranate flavor, you can add 3 tablespoons of pomegranate syrup to the salad. It makes it even more delicious, but the syrup can be a little difficult to find. Don’t worry, it’s still incredible as it is. This is a salad that’s perfect for a side dish. It’s easy and beautiful, but without too many points. It’s also great for someone who is watching their carb intake, since it’s so low in carbohydrates but high in fiber. All in all, it’s a delicious combination – tasty and healthy!
When I need something to snack on, I try to reach for fresh, raw vegetables. Mainly because they are incredibly good for me, but also because their high fiber content can fill me up and prevent me from getting down and dirty with a not so Weight Watchers friendly food. So when you eat fresh veggies as much as I do, you are constantly on the lookout for delicious, exciting, and low calorie dips to dunk them in. And this Red Pepper and Eggplant Dip Recipe has become one of my favorites! The roasted bell peppers and eggplant add a lovely smokey flavor, while the garlic and lemon juice tie it all together with a brilliant zing. And each 1/3 cup serving is just 2 Points Plus, so I don’t need to feel guilty about my heavy dipping. This Red Pepper and Eggplant Dip makes a fantastic dunk for not only fresh veggies, but pita wedges, crackers, cheese…just about anything, really. You can also smother roasted vegetables or meats with it too, if you are looking for a way to give those foods an extra kick. You really can’t go wrong with such a light and healthy dip!