Warm Mushroom and Lentil Salad Recipe – 5 Points +

Warm Mushroom and Lentil Salad

This savory and satisfying side dish is a breeze to prepare and goes great with just about any meal. The tender lentils and pan fried mushrooms are incredibly delicious and packed with nutrition. And I love this unique salad that doesn’t feature the leafy greens as its star….they are merely a supporting character in this dish. I used baby kale in mine, but arugula or spinach would work really well too. The earthy flavors make this hearty Weight Watchers recipe a delicious dish that is sure to make an impression, while still keeping those Smart Points in check.

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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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Banana Coconut Pudding – 5 Smart Points

Banana Coconut Pudding

Of course you’re all familiar with my never ending quest to have new and yummy banana recipes. This one fits the bill. It’s perfect for my brother too, who is lactose intolerant. It’s made with light coconut milk, but it’s not an overpowering flavor. Combined with the sweet banana pieces and the tender tapioca pearls, it’s a wonderful dessert. I garnished it with another sliced banana, but you could also whip a little coconut milk and garnish it with a dab of that on top of the bananas. It’s a great dessert that really isn’t labor intensive. It’s perfect if you want to serve something elegant and delicious for your dinner party, or just end a family dinner with a sweet treat. You can chill the pudding in one large bowl, or, if you’re looking for a great way to make cute individual desserts, scoop the warm pudding into small ramekins and chill the pudding in those. [Read more…]

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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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Gluten Free Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins – 5 Smart Points

GF Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Lemon poppy seed muffins are classic. Everyone needs a good lemon poppy seed muffin recipe. I decided that I needed a light and delicious lemon poppy seed muffin recipe that was gluten free. I’ve found over the years that when it comes to baked goods, yogurt is a great way to go. Want the lightest, fluffiest and most delicious gluten free biscuits? Use yogurt in place of the milk (even buttermilk). Use the same amount (2/3 cup buttermilk is 2/3 cup yogurt). Then let them sit for a few minutes and you’ll be amazed at how delicious they are. So I gave it a shot with these lemon poppy seed muffins. Fabulous! I substituted applesauce in place of the traditional butter, since they’re much lower in fat that way. With quick breads (like muffins, banana bread and cakes) you can substitute unsweetened applesauce for the butter. This is great for those recipes that call for 1 cup of oil (seriously, just reading it is enough to give me a heart attack). These muffins are delicious. They’re easy to make and wonderful – light and fluffy. They’re definitely a new favorite around our house.
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Flan – 5 Points +

Flan

At Thanksgiving one of the desserts was a flan. I’ve been wanting to make it even since. Flan is a custard that is baked and has a delicious caramel topping over it. It seems a little intimidating at first, but it’s actually pretty easy to do. The hard part is making sure you don’t stir the syrup, just let it slowly cook on medium until it begins to boil, then watch it carefully. I made mine in little ramekins, since it’s easier to serve that way, but you can make it in one large baking dish if you don’t have ramekins. It works great with regular milk (reduced fat) or with lactose free milk. It’s rich and creamy, a delicious dessert that is elegant and sure to please everybody who tries it.
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Arabic Peanut Butter Power Bars – 5 Points +

Peanut Butter Power BarsPeanuts are central to the Arabic culture. In my last visit to Saudi Arabia, I’ve been introduced to an interesting local Peanut Bars. I forgot the name for these bars, but it was delicious. I’ve talked with one of the local guys and learned how to do these bars- and created my version, which is Arabic Peanut Butter bars. While traveling to the Arabic world, I’ve been introduced to the local casino guys- Daud from  at online-casino-arabic.com (an Arabic blog that covers the online gambling scene in the arabic world), explained to me that these bars are one of the local perks at the their casinos – while playing roulette, poker and slots, hosts will cater these interesting peanut gems. Online Roulette (or, as written in arabic روليت اون لاين), can definitely be a fun game, but- if you ever play at these casino, watch your pockets- it can be addictive.

So here’s the Peanut Butter Bars recipes. Give it a try!

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Moroccan Apricot Chicken – 5 Points +

Moroccan Apricot Chicken

One great thing about having my in-laws visit, is that I always pickup a few delicious Middle Eastern style recipes that taste like I’ve spent hours cooking them, but are actually quite simple. This Moroccan Apricot Chicken Recipe is just that. The chicken is fall-off-the-bone tender and is unbelievably moist and juicy. It’s rubbed in a combination of spices, seared, and then braised to perfection in the most delicious sauce. And it’s all done in one pot (you know I love those one pot meals)! This chicken turns out perfect EVERY time I cook it, and it’s become a staple for dinner parties or big family dinners. Serve over rice or couscous, along with some roasted veggies or salad for a complete meal. Enjoy!

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Berry Crisp – 5 Points +

Berry Crisp

There’s always those days when you just feel like you need a dessert. One of the tough things to find is a dessert that is packed with flavor, nutrition and doesn’t have too many points. This fruit crisp is just the thing. Since it’s packed with berries – it’s also packed with fiber and vitamins. You can use frozen or fresh fruit, but I typically use frozen since that’s what I have on hand. Just keep in mind that frozen berries will be a little more juicy. Since there’s some brown sugar in the crisp part, I don’t add extra to the berries, but you can sweeten the berries with a bit of sugar. You can garnish the crisp with a little whipped cream, yogurt or ice cream. This dessert has everything – simple and easy to put together, delicious, nutritious and something that everybody loves.

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Chewy Granola – 5 Points +

Chewy Granola

One of my favorite breakfasts is whole grain granola with yogurt and fruit. It’s something that I never get tired of, and granola is easy to take with me. It’s a great snack and perfect for a healthy breakfast when I’m traveling if I’m not sure whether or not the breakfast is something I can eat – you can almost always get yogurt. I like to add fresh fruit to it, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, bananas, peaches – whatever I happen to have on hand. In less than 5 minutes I’ve got a delicious breakfast that’s full of protein fiber and healthy fats. One of my favorite granolas is a gluten free one from Van’s foods. I love it because it’s soft and chewy, but it’s also expensive. This granola recipe is just as good, cheaper to make and something I can whip up in no time! I keep a very close eye on mine so that I don’t overcook it. It’s fine when it’s crunchy, but my preference is the soft and chewy granola, so I don’t cook mine for very long. If you prefer a little crunchier granola, just cook it a little longer. This is perfect for breakfast or a snack, it’s filled with essential fats and has 3 grams of fiber per serving!

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Lemon Artichoke Chicken Recipe – 5 Points +

Lemon Artichoke ChickenAnother one of my favorite, super easy chicken dinner recipes is this delicious Lemon Artichoke Chicken dish. The seasoning are soon tasty, and the chicken comes out perfectly juicy and tender. At just 5 Points + per serving, you get a delicious entree that offers a nice amount of protein and fiber with barely any carbs. Also, note that the recipe only calls for a tsp of saffron threads, but my photo may show more. I tend to get a little heavy handed with the saffron because I adore it, but feel free to use as much or as little of the saffron as you want. This dish works really nicely over orzo pasta or brown rice, and I like to serve it with a simple side salad for a complete meal. Enjoy!
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Dairy Free Hot Chocolate – 5 Points +

Dairy Free Hot Chocolate

I absolutely love chocolate, but I can’t drink that much milk – it makes me sick. So, I made this fabulous dark chocolate hot cocoa with almond milk. It’s rich and delicious, and my favorite hot cocoa. It’s made from things I always have on hand, so it’s easy to throw together for a cup of hot cocoa when I need a pick-me-up on a cold fall day. I love the nutty flavor of the almond milk, and I like to top mine with a dollop of whipped coconut milk or coconut ice cream. The dry mix you can have ready to go and then just add it to almond milk to heat and serve. One cup of almond milk needs about 4 1/2 tablespoons of cocoa and sugar mix. You can also just whisk the cocoa mixture into the cold almond milk, or remove some of the hot almond milk and mix the cocoa mixture into that. It works best if you start with a little bit of almond milk to make sure you’ve got all the lumps out before you add it in (just like cornstarch or flour in gravy). The next cool fall day that you’re craving some hot chocolate – give this simple and delicious dark chocolate hot cocoa a try.
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