If you’ve ever been to a good Italian restaurant and ordered Chicken Piccata, then you know how absolutely delicious this dish can be. Simple, yet tremendously flavorful. There’s an amazing Italian restaurant not too far from me that I paid a recent visit too (I was craving their breadsticks, but that’s a different story). I decided to try their chicken piccata because of the sauce description in the menu. It was a bit different from most chicken piccatas I’ve had before, and the description had me salivating. Rather than a traditional lemon/wine sauce, they used a creamy Parmesan sauce instead. And for anyone who knows me well, cheese is my weakness. I CANNOT RESIST IT. So I decided to use my “flex” Points and splurge, and it was well worth it! And then I made up my mind to recreate a healthier and lighter version at home so that I could some more regular, guilt free indulging. The creamy, lemony sauce is like a river of velvet in your mouth, and the tender, juicy chicken breasts are the perfect vehicle for that heavenly sauce! I ate this right off the plate, but my kids enjoyed theirs over pasta. Next time, I’ll try serving it over some zoodles. This Creamy Lemon Chicken Piccata is the ultimate in gourmet comfort food!
I truly believe that this Baked Falafel Recipe is actually much better than the traditional fried version. The flavors from the spices and fresh parsley and cilantro are bright and bold, and the garbanzo beans are thick and meaty. The outside is crisped to perfection, and the inside is soft and creamy. Topped with homemade tahini sauce and fresh cucumber salad, and stuffed into a whole pita, it’s one seriously satisfying meal. You can even skip the pita, and serve the falafel and on top of a big salad. With lots of protein, fiber, and flavor, this healthy homemade falafel recipe is an excellent one to try this New Year. Enjoy!
If you love Spinach and Artichoke dip, you’ll go bonkers over this meal version! Tender roasted chicken breasts are smothered with a creamy spinach artichoke topping, delivering a mouthful of cheesy chicken goodness. This recipe takes relatively little effort, but the end result tastes like you’ve spent all day preparing it. The chicken is so moist and delicious, and the velvety spinach artichoke topping is perfection. Doesn’t it look tasty? If you have a few extra Points to spend, I’d recommend serving the finished chicken breast inside a toasted baguette or sandwich roll….it’s sooooo yummy!
This Baked Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken Teriyaki Recipe is one that my kids ask for again and again. I love that it’s super easy to make, that it tastes fantastic, and is just 6 Smart Points per serving. Just pour the sauce over the chicken pineapple, and peppers, and bake! You could make this even lighter by using chicken breasts instead of thighs, but my family tends to prefer the dark meat. Breasts would work really well though, given that they are cooked in the sauce, so that would help keep them super moist and juicy. Traditional Teriyaki sauces use a lot more sugar, which also helps give a thicker sauce, but this sauce is still deliciously sweet and flavorful without being too sweet. It’s also a perfect topper for steamed rice, which I highly recommend with it. Enjoy!
If you are looking for a healthy Thanksgiving side dish recipe this year, these Balsamic Roasted Sweet Potatoes are a fantastic alternative to candied yams. Yes, I know traditional candied yams are swimming in butter and melted marshmallow and nothing can quite compare to that, but these sweet potatoes are a LOT better for you and a great way to help you stay on track this holiday season. Plus, they are incredibly easy to prepare, requiring just 3 steps and a small handful of ingredients…most of which you probably already have on hand. And they are so delicious, you won’t be making them just at Thanksgiving. Enjoy!
When I want a quick and easy salad recipe for lunch, this Chicken and Broccoli Slaw Salad with Almond Butter Dressing is one of my absolute favorites. I don’t know about anyone else, but I get so tired of traditional lettuce based salads all the time. This salad has broccoli slaw as the base, which packs in a ton of nutrition and crunch! Over the weekend, I’ll often cook a few chicken breasts to keep on hand during the week so that I can throw this salad together for myself on a busy day. And did I mention how delicious the Thai-inspired dressing is!?! If you don’t like/have almond butter, you can use peanut butter. I just personally prefer the flavor and health benefits of the almond butter. But regular peanut butter works just fine. And at just 6 Smart Points per serving, you get a delicious and satisfying salad without an ounce of guilt!
Today’s Honey Soy Chicken Recipe is yet another dish that my whole LOOOOOOOVED. Including me. I love chicken that has incredible flavor, but to achieve that, it usually requires a long marinade time. During the week, when I’m super busy, I often have to come up with a meal on the fly, and typically don’t have time to wait for a marinade. So when I forget/don’t have time to marinade, I rely on this Honey Soy Chicken dish to deliver a tender and juicy chicken, with knockout flavor. The sauce has all the sweet, salty, and tangy flavors combined to make for one seriously mouthwatering chicken recipe. Serve the chicken (and the remaining sauce from the pan!) over steamed brown rice and veggies for a complete meal.
I always enjoy spicing up the same old dishes. It’s fun to take something that we have on a regular basis and make it in a new and different way. My two favorite ways of making pork chops is to grill them or bake them and then smother them in either apples and onions or with homemade applesauce. However, it’s kind of fun to do something different and I really enjoy one dish meals, where I can just toss everything in together and then just put together something quick and easy for the side dish – like a side salad or some steamed broccoli. For us, it’s the perfect Sunday dinner, ready for us when we walk back in the door after church. The pork chops turned out succulent and juicy. Full of flavor but and moist! One of the tricks of this, I’ve found, is to sear the meat first in a fry pan and it helps to seal in the juices. In my experience, bone in pork chops also helps with this. Then just mix together the apples, potatoes & spices and bake it all. Once it’s done, add your favorite vegetables (or whatever you happen to have on hand) and you’ve got a delicious meal ready to go. [Read more…]
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.