We are still in the midst of summer, but savory fall foods are already filling up my brain, and I’ve already started working on some new seasonal recipes! A recent one that I whipped up is this Spinach, Artichoke, and White Bean Soup. I’m a HUGE fan of artichokes, and this soup definitely delivers their amazing flavor. Every spoonful is bursting with their unique flavor, but softened a bit by the creamy, mild beans and velvety broth. It’s a pretty quick and easy recipe to make, which is great when you don’t have much time or energy on your hands. But it’s hearty enough to be satisfying, and can easily be served as a main dish or a side. Loaded with protein, fiber and iron, this Spinach, Artichoke, and White Bean Soup is as nurturing as it is delicious. Enjoy!
Pasta dishes are one of my favorite go-to meals when I’m in a hurry and need dinner fast. I can my own pasta sauce, so I always have a few jars of that on hand so I can mix up a meal of spaghetti if we’re in a hurry. However, I thought I’d try something a little different for this one. I love pasta with pesto, but I saw a recipe on Pinterest for one with spinach, and I just had to try it. The original called for far more oil (and a far more expensive oil), but I used olive oil, and it worked fine and tasted fabulous. Since the nuts tend to make their own oil when they’re processed for long enough, I started with that and let it go for a few minutes. After a couple of minutes, I drizzled in a little olive oil at a time until it reached the right consistency. Combined with whole grain pasta, some garden fresh tomatoes, you’ve got a simple and delicious meal ready to go.
In college, Chinese takeout used to be a staple of mine. But now that I eat lighter and smarter, creating healthier versions of my favorite Chinese fast foods became a top priority.
Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry was a meal I used to eat a lot, because I assumed it was one of the “healthier” choices, having chicken and broccoli in it. Little did I know. But now I can make my own light and healthy Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry for a lot less Points and with minimal effort. This stir fry tastes authentically delicious….even my kids gobbled it up! And at just 6 Smart Points per serving, I’m able to enjoy one of my favorite Chinese foods without ruining my day.
I’m not a huge fan of shrimp, but I do try to cook it every once in a while. As usual, I fell back on an Asian inspired shrimp stir fry. I’m someone who thinks you really can’t go wrong with stir fry veggies and some really delicious Asian seasonings. This one really exceeded my expectations. For me, the sweet chili sauce was what made this a little different than my normal stir fry. For my normal stir fry I use soy sauce, sesame oil and rice vinegar. I didn’t want to add the really rich and dark flavor of the hoisin, but the sweet chili sauce added a really delicious flavor without overpowering the flavor of the whole dish. I’m not a fan of spicy foods, but the sweet chili sauce adds just a little bit of spice to really bring the whole dish alive. The shrimp is light and a great source of healthy, omega fatty acids. Shrimp is also a great source of lean protein, and the crisp-tender vegetables are a perfect complement to the succulent shrimp.
In addition to some projects we were working on last weekend, my in-laws also brought us some really delicious, fresh, ripe blueberries. I love blueberries. Growing up, my grandparents lived on the coast of Washington. Grandma had the most amazing blueberry patch ever. It was about 6 feet by 10 feet and completely encased in a large chicken wire cage, to keep the birds out. The only downside was the bugs, because we could go in there and have as many blueberries as we could eat. Each summer, I try to get some fresh blueberries so that I can freeze them to add to sauces, muffins and all sorts of other things the rest of the year. A few blueberries have to be saved to be eaten fresh, and a few have to be used in a special recipe. This years special recipe was fresh blueberry muffins.
Today’s Mushroom Chicken with Creamy Wine Sauce has quickly become one of my all time favorite Weight Watchers Chicken Recipes. The earthy mushrooms and juicy, tender chicken are roasted to perfection and then smothered in the most divine, creamy wine sauce. It tastes fresh from a restaurant, yet is quick and simple to prepare at home, with very minimal prep. The sauce was so good, that I was actually spooning out the remaining bits of it from the baking dish before I washed it. Yes, I did. No shame in my game! And at just 6 Smart Points per serving, this is an ideal light and tasty dinner recipe for a busy weeknight. If you want to make an average meal taste like you slaved away all day in the kitchen, this Mushroom Chicken with Creamy Wine Sauce is a must try. Enjoy!
I love rice pilaf with seasonings and vegetables, but sometimes it’s nice to have a change. A quick and easy change for pilaf is to use couscous instead of rice. Couscous isn’t gluten free like rice, but it’s really easy to make and has a delicious flavor. It’s originally from North Africa. Couscous is made from durum wheat, and is really easy to make. Once your broth or water is boiling, it just takes 5 minutes to cook the couscous. This particular type of couscous is kind of like grains of sand, it’s tiny and has a mild, nutty flavor. If you want your dish to look a little different, use Israeli couscous. While Israeli couscous has a much larger size, it is similar in flavor and works just as well. This couscous pilaf is a great side dish. It’s so easy to make. It’s a perfect side dish to toss together while you’re waiting for the rest of the meal to finish cooking. [Read more…]
I don’t typically have desserts around since I just want to eat them, but sometimes, it’s nice to have some desserts. I had some coconut macaroons recently, and they were delicious, but I wanted something a little lighter, so I went with these macarons. These are classic French meringue based cookies that are just delightful little things. They are light and just a little sweet, but not overpowering. You can serve them with frosting in the middle, which is traditionally how they’re served. Or, you can serve them with some frozen yogurt, pudding or some lemon curd instead. These cookies are naturally gluten free, and are really quite easy to make. I dyed my several colors (just separate the batter to do that), so I had a little more variety without making tons of cookies. Be careful not to over handle the batter though, or they might end up falling. Also make sure that you beat the egg whites in a glass or metal bowl. Plastic bowls tend to hold on to grease residue, and that will prevent the egg whites from becoming a meringue. But with those two tips, it’s easy and simple to make these delicious little cookies. [Read more…]
This Miso Ginger Salmon is one of my most favorite dishes at a local Japanese restaurant. It’s the perfect blend of salty and tangy, and works like a dream with the slightly sweet and smoky salmon. Ideally, I’d cook this on a grill, but when I’m too busy (or lazy) to head out to my grill, a simple broiling in the oven works fantastically! I love giving the fish a nice charred edge, and marinating the salmon before hand really helps give it excellent flavor. Serve over steamed rice alongside some roasted vegetables or your favorite Asian-style salad.
I’m always looking for new and delicious dressing recipes. I love to have salads, and one of the ways I like to keep my salads fresh and interesting is by changing up my dressings. I typically make my own dressing, since I can alter it however I want, and make enough for just a couple of salads. I wanted to try a tangy mustard dressing, and this one fits the bill. I like the tangy Dijon mustard and cider vinegar that is rounded out with the delicious shallots. I tried it with arugula, chicken breast and strawberries. It’s a delicious combination that is light and refreshing. The strawberries add enough sweet to complement the dressing perfectly, the arugula is light and fresh and the chicken adds the savory protein to help get you through to the next meal. It’s a simple and delicious salad that’s great for a quick lunch during the week. [Read more…]
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.
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…]