Spaghetti Squash and Turkey Bolognese Recipe – 7 Smart Points

Spaghetti Squash and Turkey Bolognese

Sometimes, I just want a big, heaping plate of spaghetti with a rich, flavorful meat sauce. But the Smart Points in a typical bolognese could end up adding up to a whole days worth of Points! So in order to satisfy my craving without ruing my diet, I created this simple, no-frills Spaghetti Squash and Turkey Bolognese Recipe. I just sub out the carb heavy spaghetti noodles for the light, nutritious, and 0 Smart Points oven-roasted spaghetti squash. Topped with a decadent, lightened up turkey bolognese sauce, this recipe is one seriously satisfying meal! When I have a few extra Points to spare, I’ll also add some grated Parmesan on top – soooooo good! Serve with your favorite salad or roasted veggies, and even a slice of garlic bread, for a meal that is sure to fill you up.

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Double Chocolate Banana Muffins – 7 Smart Points

Chocolate Banana Muffins

This banana muffin is probably my all time favorite banana recipe. It is moist, delicious and very easy to put together. I’ve made it about a dozen times and it has yet to fail me. The original recipe was for a banana bread, but I rather dislike making banana breads. They take so long to bake and a piece of banana bread isn’t nearly as convenient as a muffin. I almost always make my quick breads into muffins. In fact, I love to make these as mini muffins. The mini muffins are just perfect for a couple of bites of a snack without going overboard. As much as I love mini muffins, I left this one as regular sized muffins for this recipe. These regular muffins are great for me as a treat after a walk or bike ride, or as a mid afternoon snack with some fruit or veggies. I always make mine gluten free with a baking mix, but you can use regular all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour just as easily with no substitutions. Use up your leftover bananas with these delicious muffins. The moist, rich chocolate muffin won’t disappoint.

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Lasagne with Bolognese Sauce – 7 Smart Points

Lasagna with Bolognese Sauce

One of the best parts of pasta in my opinion is the sauce. There is nothing like homemade pasta sauce, whether it’s a cream sauce or a red sauce. The flavors of homemade sauce are so much more vibrant and rich than canned pasta sauce. I’ve found that it’s worth my while to make my pasta sauce. Lasagna is one of those pastas that is truly delicious when topped with a homemade pasta sauce. This simple Bolognese sauce is just what it needs to really be delicious. I decided to try a lasagna without cheese this time, so I needed the sauce to pick up any slack from the missing cheese. And this sauce did just that. It was really quite easy to prepare and the end result was something that was really rich and the flavors were vibrant. Since it’s homemade, you can tweak the flavors to fit your individual taste preference. This lasagna with Bolognese sauce is a little more work, but the flavor in the end makes it worth every minute. [Read more…]

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Pulled Pork Salad – 7 Smart Points

Pulled Pork Salad

Who doesn’t love a beautiful salad? Salads are a great meal. They are light and refreshing and since spring is in full swing, it’s the perfect meal to feel like you’re taking full advantage of the warm weather. This salad is delicious. The mixed baby greens provide a delicious base for this salad. Add in frozen or fresh green peas, some onion and a little mint and you have a salad packed with flavor and nutrients. With plenty of fiber, as well as iron, baby greens are a great way to feel full for much longer. I decided to give this salad a refreshing twist with the dressing as well. Cilantro and lime go together so well that they make a perfect dressing. I put everything in the blender to make it smooth and easy. If you’re one of those people that doesn’t like cilantro, you can omit the cilantro and olive oil, and use half an avocado instead. The flavor will definitely be different, but just as delicious. For me, this is a great way to make something new and fresh with leftovers. Leftover pork (roast or chops) shredded work perfectly for this. [Read more…]

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Honey Soy Chicken Drumsticks Recipe – 7 Smart Points

Honey Soy Chicken Drumsticks

Lately, I’ve been a bit behind with my meal planning and food organizing. Things have been really chaotic for my family these last few months, and sometimes, life just gets in the way. Unfortunately, this had let to a lot of eating out, less cooking at home, and poor food choices. However, during this tumultuous time, the few times that I have managed to cook a healthy meal, I’ve been lucky enough to have a few quick and easy recipes up my sleeve to rely on. Meals that I can prepare on the fly and require just a handful of ingredients. This Honey Soy Chicken Drumsticks is a hit with the family EVERY TIME. I’m not kidding! It’s incredibly flavorful and tender, and really helps to satisfy everyone’s sweet and salty cravings. Serve over a bed of fluffy, steamed brown rice and with a side of roasted veggies, and you’ve got a delicious meal in a pinch. Enjoy!

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Asian Chicken Buns – 7 Smart Points

Asian Chicken Buns

A few years ago, my aunt sent me a steamer basket. It’s a beautiful wooden steamer basket with several layers, so you can steam veggies, leftover rice and meat all at once. I decided it was finally time to break it out to try these steamed chicken buns. These delicious little buns are very similar to pot stickers, but the outside is slightly different. Pot stickers are usually made with wonton wrappers, but these buns are made with a homemade yeast dough. I wanted to make these a little healthier than the original recipe, so I used half whole wheat flour. I’ll admit, since this is a yeast dough, it’s a little more involved than I would typically do for an appetizer type recipe, but it was definitely worth it. The outside is tender and savory, and the filling is delicious. For the filling, I started with ginger and ground chicken (or turkey). Add the bamboo shoots and shallots adds to the savory flavor for the filling. Then the filling is rounded out with the delicious seasonings that make the whole bun just delicious. While these are supposed to be an appetizer, if you’ve got a little extra time to make the dough, these are delicious for appetizers or even for a main dish. Serve them with some steamed, fresh or stir fried vegetables to make this a complete meal. You can also make a little extra of the seasoning sauce to use it for a dipping sauce. These are absolutely delicious – well worth waiting for the dough to rise! [Read more…]

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Asparagus Risotto – 7 Smart Points

Asparagus Risotto

I love rice. I love it in all it’s forms, well, except instant. For me, it doesn’t matter if it’s white or brown, wild, in a dish, by itself, I love it all. One of the things I learned to cook after getting married (getting married made me very adventurous in the kitchen, trying new dishes), was risotto. It turns out it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Typically, I use the cheater, easy version of risotto. I just stick all the cold stock and wine in at once and stir it occasionally. It absolutely works that way, but it’s better if you do it properly – a ladle of broth at a time and stir it. It helps the rice to become creamier (without adding unhealthy amounts of cheese). However, if you’re in a hurry, or lazy, or have other things that you need to do, you can just put all the broth in at once and you’ll still get a delicious risotto. Another key to this dish is tender young asparagus. Look for the smallest asparagus shoots you can find – they’re more tender and much more delicious. I bend each shoot (holding the ends) and let it snap. Typically, that breaks off the end that is tough and hard, leaving me with tender asparagus shoots. Another thing that is important in this one is the shallots. I’m someone who thought that there isn’t much difference between an onion and a shallot. Let me tell you – there is. Shallots are lighter and sweeter than onions. Sautéed with a little butter and some mushrooms and a dash of thyme, they are delicious on top of chicken or beef. Shallots make this a lighter risotto that is a rich and delicious flavor. Onions will have a much more powerful and potent flavor that will change the whole flavor of the dish. Give this one a try – you’ll love the creamy risotto with the sweet and savory shallots and the tender asparagus.
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Chicken Vesuvio Recipe – 7 Smart Points

Chicken Vesuvio

I first had this tasty dish in a little hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant in Los Angeles. It was served in a cast iron pan, and the smell alone was enough to have me drooling. Once I dug in, I was pretty sure I was in heaven. Moist chicken, and crisp, golden brown potatoes in a bright garlic wine sauce (it’s quite garlicky, so I’d recommend this dish for garlic lovers only). It was pure perfection. I even ate the peas, which is rare for me, because peas are not my favorite. If you look online, you’ll find a ton of different versions of this popular dish, but my version is slimmed down to offer all the flavor of the traditional dish, but for just 7 Smart Points per serving. Enjoy!

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Asian Tossed Salad with Tofu – 7 Smart Points

Asian Salad With Tofu

There are two things about this recipe that I love – salad and Asian. This salad is filled with Asian flavors, from the garlic and sesame dressing to the seasoned tofu. Tofu was an acquired taste for me. Growing up, my mom would make it, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the texture, so it took a long time before I tried it again and realized that I actually like it. The key to really tasty tofu is to make sure it’s seasoned well. Typically, you can’t stir it much, or it will disintegrate, so just simmer it for a while (15 – 25 minutes) in some seasoned broth and you’ll have a seriously tasty meal when you’re done. It’s something you can add to Oriental soups (like a chicken noodle), Asian noodles (even just spaghetti with a peanut dressing and tofu) or serve it on top of rice. I used what I had on hand for vegetables, but feel free to change up the veggies to suit your personal tastes. I like to salad the best when the tofu is still warm, but not hot (or cold). I think it has the best flavor. It’s a simple salad that doesn’t take long to make, but it’s delicious and packed with fiber.
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Cream of Broccoli Soup – 7 Smart Points

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Through some research on my part one of the things that I discovered, is that a lot of low fat cream of broccoli soup recipes have a potato in them. At first I wasn’t sure why, but I figured it made the soup a little richer and creamy. I decided to give it a try and see what I thought. Normally, I’d be pretty picky about my soup. I like my broccoli soup to be really cheesy and rich. This one was really delicious – and it’s so healthy! The avocado and potato really do add to the rich and creamy texture of the soup. It’s packed with broccoli and cauliflower, and just a little bit of cheese for flavor and richness. The result is a delicious soup that’s healthy and really easy to make. I think I’ll probably freeze a little for a quick meal later, but it’s so good, I’m not sure it’ll last that long!
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Breakfast Quinoa with Fruit – 7 Smart Points

Breakfast Quinoa with Fruit

I enjoy breakfast cereals, but I like to have my breakfast cereals a little “spruced up”. I like my oatmeal to have plenty of fruit added for sweetness and for flavor. I love to add rhubarb sauce to my oatmeal, bananas, blueberries, strawberries or anything I happen to have on hand. I decided to switch up my breakfast cereals a little bit by making some quinoa. I like quinoa but I usually make it with chicken broth. I made it with milk this time and then sweetened it with a little bit of honey. Add fresh fruit on top and you have a delicious breakfast that is packed with protein, fiber and flavor. I added blueberries, bananas, apples and a few almonds to mine, but you can use any fruit you have on hand. If you like quinoa, make up a couple of cups and then put it in the fridge. Just heat it and add your toppings for a quick breakfast. If you’re not a huge fan of quinoa, but like the change from the typical oatmeal, mix the quinoa and rice to make a risotto. It lightens the flavor of the quinoa, but you still get a delicious change from the typical breakfast cereals.
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Pasta with Spinach Pesto – 7 Smart Points

Pasta with Spinach Pesto

Pesto is a delightful way to dress pasta that’s a little different than your typical red or white pasta sauce. It usually just requires a lot of fresh basil, pine nuts and olive oil. This is one that mixes that up a little bit. The spinach is mild enough, but the basil adds the classic “pesto” flavor. Not only that, spinach is a nutritional powerhouse. This is also one of my favorite types of recipes – quick and easy to put together – just stick everything in a food processor. If your pasta is ready too soon, just rinse in cold water (helps to minimize the sticking) and then leave it drained. When you’re ready to serve, just reheat the pasta by running under hot water. If you’ve got extra of the pesto, it should keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks. The tomatoes add a beautiful pop of red to the dish and the flavor complements the pesto perfectly. [Read more…]

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