Chickpea and Sumac Salad Recipe – 4 Smart Points

Chickpea and Sumac Salad

One of the best things about living in Southern California is the diversity of foods and restaurants. Growing up in PA, my diet was pretty American standard. But after moving to Los Angeles, a whole new world of foods and flavors was opened to me, and I’ve never been happier. Middle Eastern foods are almost always a hit with me, and after dining at a Turkish restaurant recently, I discovered this super simple, yet incredibly flavorful Chickpea and Sumac Salad Recipe. The key in this dish is to really work that sumac into the onions with your hands. It takes that bitter edge off of the onions while making them both a little sweet and a little tart. Combined with tender garbanzo beans, tangy lemon juice, and bright mint and parsley, this said packs a big flavor punch. It’s loaded with fiber and protein, which makes it really quite satisfying for just 4 Smart Points. If you eat vegan, this salad is sure to become a staple in your meals. But we are meat eaters, and I love serving this salad with my Moroccan Beef and Lamb Meatballs. So good!!!

Chickpea and Sumac Salad
Print Recipe
A fresh and boldly flavored salad with Middle Eastern roots, this tasty dish makes a wonderful side to your favorite meal. Sweet, tangy and salty, all the flavor notes are hit in this easy salad recipe.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 10 minutes
Passive Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 10 minutes
Passive Time
5 minutes
Chickpea and Sumac Salad
Print Recipe
A fresh and boldly flavored salad with Middle Eastern roots, this tasty dish makes a wonderful side to your favorite meal. Sweet, tangy and salty, all the flavor notes are hit in this easy salad recipe.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 10 minutes
Passive Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 10 minutes
Passive Time
5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, toss together the onions, sumac, paprika, and salt. Massage onions with hands to rub the spices and salt into the onions, and let sit about 5 minutes. Drain any excess liquid from bottom of the bowl.
  2. Add in the garbanzo beans, parsley, and mint, and toss to combine.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Recipe Notes

Entire recipe makes 6 servings
Serving size is about 1 heaping cup
Each serving = 4 Smart Points

PER SERVING: 153 calories; 3g fat; 0.5g saturated fat; 22g carbohydrates; 2g fiber; 6g fiber; 0g sugar; 6g protein

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Vegan Balela Salad Recipe – 4 Smart Points

Baela Salad

If you’ve never had (or even heard of) Balela Salad before, let me fill you in. Balela is a Middle-Eastern garbanzo and black bean salad, tossed with a tangy, herbed vinaigrette. I typically make this delicious salad anytime I’m cooking for vegans or vegetarians. The beans offer a nice dose of protein, and are wonderfully filling. It’s such a versatile recipe too — you can serve it as a side salad, as a relish for meat or fish, or as a dip for crackers, breads, or pita chips. I’ve also used this in a sandwich or wrap. I’m telling you…a ton of things can be done with this recipe! We’ve been watching a lot of hockey lately (playoffs and now the Stanley cup championship), and this is the perfect game day snack. Even meat eaters will love it! This Vegan Balela Salad recipe is a must try. Enjoy!

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Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes Recipe – 4 Smart Points

Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes

Brussel sprouts. It seems that most people either love them or hate them. I fall into the “love them” category, and I’m grateful that my kids do too! There are many ways to prepare them, but my absolute favorite method is roasting. It brings out the most delicious flavor, and I just cannot get enough of them! In this recipe, I paired them with some sweet potatoes, added some delicious seasonings, and then finished it off by tossing them in red wine vinegar. The flavor combination was spectacular! Something about the earthy, almost bitter taste of the brussel sprouts, with the tender sweetness of the sweet potatoes, just makes this dish mouthwateringly good. And each serving comes out to just 4 Smart Points. So if you need an easy, yet impressive veggie side dish, this Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes Recipe is a great one to try. Enjoy!

Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes
Print Recipe
A superior roasted vegetable recipe that will have your tastebuds singing with joy. The divine flavor combination of the sweet potatoes with the earthy brussel sprouts is a most delicious way to get those healthy vegetable servings in.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes
Print Recipe
A superior roasted vegetable recipe that will have your tastebuds singing with joy. The divine flavor combination of the sweet potatoes with the earthy brussel sprouts is a most delicious way to get those healthy vegetable servings in.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400, and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the brussel sprouts and potatoes with the olive oil, garlic, cumin, and salt and pepper.
  3. Pour the vegetables onto the baking sheet and roast for about 40-45 minutes, or until browned.
  4. Place the hot vegetables in a large bowl, and toss with the red wine vinegar. Serve hot.
Recipe Notes

Entire recipe makes 6 servings
Serving size is about 1 cup
Each serving = 4 Smart Points

PER SERVING: 129 calories; 4g fat; 0.5g saturated fat; 21g carbohydrates; 3g fiber; 0.5g sugar; 1g protein

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Chicken Taco Bowl with Cauliflower Rice – 4 Smart Points

Taco Bowl with Cauliflower Rice

This cauliflower rice trend that’s been going around has really been working for me! I’m amazed at how many places I can switch out a high calorie, flour based carb, for a much lighter and healthier vegetable instead. This Chicken Taco Bowl is no exception. Because the meat and beans are so wonderfully seasoned, and the 0 Points toppings are also immensely flavorful, you can barely notice that the traditional Mexican rice has been replaced with some 0 Point riced cauliflower. Not only is it healthier, but it’s just as delicious and filling. I even mixed some of the cauliflower rice in with regular rice and gave it to my kids….they gobbled it right up. If you need a taco bowl fix, try this low calorie Chicken Taco Bowl recipe with Cauliflower Rice and save yourself some precious Smart Points!

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Copycat Chick-fil-A Chicken Strips – 4 Smart Points

Copycat Chick-fil-A Chicken Strips

The secret has been circulating around the Internet for a few years now that the secret ingredient in Chick-fil-A’s delicious chicken is pickle juice. I’ve previously made a copycat version of their chicken sandwich, and this week, I decided to try it in chicken strip form. I also wanted a slightly crunchier exterior, so I used whole wheat Panko this time, instead of flour. They were absolute perfection! My kids loved them too, and I felt great about giving them these baked, healthier chicken strips instead of the greasy, oily, and non-nutritional kind that the restaurant serves. And at just 4 Smart Points for 3 chicken strips, this recipe makes an ideal Weight Watchers lunch. So instead of hitting up Chick-fil-A, try making this recipe at home, and save yourself some Smart Points!

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Strawberry Oatmeal Smoothie – 4 Smart Points

I’m trying to increase my protein intake, and for me, one of the easiest ways to do that is to add a protein shake to my day. I’ve got a couple of favorite store bought ones, but I wanted to try and get the same flavors and textures at home. One of the downsides of protein shakes is that if you don’t do it right, you end up with a grainy texture – which I dislike. I also tend to have to adjust the ingredients slightly, and then again, so I end up with enough smoothie for the next week. I had a bunch of strawberries to use up, and added a ripe banana as well so that I could have the extra vitamins before my walk. The oatmeal adds some fiber to help me stay full longer, as well as being heart healthy. Almond milk is always an alternative in smoothies, and works great, but I went with skim since it’s high in protein and calcium, but lower in fat. A little vanilla helps to bring all the flavors together. The result was a perfect smoothie. I used it for a snack both before and after my walk. Since I had some congestion recently, I was using some Emergen-C to get extra vitamins to try and prevent getting any more illnesses (that seem to be going around). I added my packet of Emergen-C to the second half of my smoothie and gave it a good shake. It added a little bit of fizz to the smoothie, which really seems to lighten the smoothie. The end result of that I liked it so well, I thought I’d add a little sparkling water or club soda into the second half of my smoothie, just to freshen it up. That’s easy to do, and if you make sure your sparkling water or club soda has no flavorings that add points, you don’t alter the points of your original smoothie. However, when adding the carbonation – be careful not to stir or shake too vigorously or you’ll end up with a little more cleaning than you wanted!
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Chipotle Shrimp Tacos Recipe – 4 Smart Points

Chipotle Shrimp Tacos

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!

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Portobello Eggs Benedict Recipe – 4 Smart Points

Portobello Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict is always my go to brunch choice when dining out. I am absolutely obsessed with it, and I love all the different varieties out there! Seriously…soooooo many good ones. Occasionally, I’ll make it at home for myself, and when I do, I use my homemade hollandaise sauce which helps to save a ton of extra fat and calories. If an effort to make my eggs benedict even more light and healthy, I created this Portobello Eggs Benedict Recipe that is just 4 Smart Points (including the hollandaise!) and is absolutely delicious. Plus, it’s a great way to get those veggie servings in. Enjoy!

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Moroccan Spiced Shrimp Over Garbanzo Bean Salad – 4 Smart Points

Moroccan Spiced Shrimp Over Garbanzo Bean Salad

With the beautiful summer weather we’ve been having, my husband has been outside grilling food on a very regular basis. And today’s recipe for Moroccan Spiced Shrimp Over Garbanzo Bean Salad was actually inspired by 5 year old who LOVES shrimp! On a recent beach excursion, we stopped to have lunch at a local, seaside restaurant, and my daughter was begging to order anything with shrimp. We opted to get her this dish, and she absolutely loved it. I tried my best to replicate the version from the restaurant, and I’m pretty pleased with the results…it turned out delicious and very light at just 4 Smart Points per serving. Of course, the final approval came from the harshest critic, my little girl herself, and she vehemently approved. So if you are looking for a new grilling recipe to try this summer, get this one on your menu ASAP!

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Blueberry Frozen Yogurt – 4 Smart Points

Blueberry Frozen Yogurt

Last summer, some of my friends made some blueberry ice cream that was just amazing. It was made with whole milk and fresh blueberries, sweetened with honey, and was absolutely fabulous. This summer, I decided to try it, but ended up making frozen yogurt instead. I’m lactose intolerant, so I can only do a very small amount of ice cream before I end up regretting my decision. Starting with yogurt and making frozen yogurt seemed like a great alternative. And it was. I started with fat free Greek yogurt. It provided a delicious and creamy base for the dessert, but without the fat. I used plain yogurt since I wanted to add a bit of honey for flavor, and the vanilla was easy enough to add as well. I used my frozen yogurt and sorbet maker from Cuisinart, but you can use any ice cream maker you have. Alternatively, just stick the mixture in the freezer and you’ll end up with a very tasty dessert just as easily as you would have with an ice cream maker.

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Peruvian Chicken Stir Fry Recipe – 4 Smart Points

Peruvian Chicken Stir Fry

This Peruvian Chicken Stir Fry recipe is one of my favorite, and incredibly reliable chicken recipes that deliver an absolutely delicious dish with minimal effort. Sautéed bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes are so flavorful, and the simple stir fry sauce is low in Smart Points, but big on taste. This is a great healthy dinner recipe that you can get on the table in less than 30 minutes, looks lovely, and is a big hit with the entire family. My kids love this over some steamed brown rice, but when I have a few extra Points to spare, I serve it over baked french fries, as is the traditional Peruvian way. Just 4 Smart Points per serving, this Peruvian Chicken Stir Fry will steal your heart the same way it’s stolen mine. Enjoy!

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Ciabatta – 4 Smart Points

Whole Grain Ciabatta

Oprah has said what everyone else is thinking – it’s possible to lose weight without giving up anything. One of the keys to loosing weight and keeping it off is to find a way to compromise. To find a way to enjoy your favorite foods while not going overboard. For many people I know, one of those things you want to keep enjoying is bread. Baked goods are something that just about everyone loves. Whether you’re try to lose weight, diabetic and counting carbs or gluten intolerant, there is something about a chewy and delicious piece of bread that can’t be replaced. One way to make bread healthier is to use whole wheat flour. Just make sure that the flour is finely ground. If your flour isn’t finely ground, your bread could be grainy. Whole wheat flour adds a richer texture and flavor to these traditional Italian rolls. Ciabatta are rustic Italian rolls that are chewy with a crispy crust. They are made with a starter, biga, that is fermented overnight. The dough is very wet, almost more like batter than dough. Letting the dough sit before kneading allows the flour to absorb the water so the dough is the right consistency. These rolls do take longer than normal to make, but the delicious texture and flavor definitely make it worth while to make a batch of these for a special occasion.
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