Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes – 9 Smart Points

Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joe

As a kid, I grew up eating Sloppy Joe’s as a regular staple. It was an easy meal to cook, and pretty inexpensive to make, so we ate it a LOT. I do occasionally make Sloppy Joe’s for my kids, which they love, but I will still enjoy one myself every now and then. Not too long ago, I decided to try out a new concept I’d seen around a few times, by combining the ingredients of a Philly Cheesesteak in the form of a Sloppy Joe. Really, this is a spectacular idea, and I’m totally surprised it hasn’t become a huge thing yet! The end result was wildly successful, and absolutely delicious. All the traditional Philly Cheesesteak flavors were there, but it was an easier recipe to assemble because everything was already combined together before I even got it on the bun. And these cheese just melts right into the ground beef making it oh-so sloppily amazing. I recommend sandwich thins with this recipe in order to cut calories, but you can use any kind of bun you’d like. When I made this recipe for my photo, I used the only buns I had on hand at the time, which wasn’t the sandwich thins, but you get the idea. :) Enjoy!

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Lazy Satay Chicken Recipe – 9 Smart Points

Lazy Satay Chicken

My kids have always loved Thai Chicken Satay (or “the yellow chicken on a stick”, as they refer to it). And who can blame them? Tender, juicy chicken marinated in a heavenly peanut sauce that is then grilled to perfection and served with extra sauce for dipping. It is divine! But rather than going out to a restaurant, which can get pricey and also lead to eating other tasty, but high calorie foods (Mango Sticky Rice, anyone?), I like to try and prepare a lighter, healthier version at home. I decided to make an attempt at the chicken satay, but after I set my chicken in the marinade, I realized that I didn’t have any skewers on hand. At that point, I debated whether to load up the kids in the car (who were playing quietly and peacefully at the time) and head to the store to grab some, or just leave the kids alone and try making this recipe without the skewers. The latter option won out. And thus, my Lazy Satay Chicken recipe was born. I’m not gonna lie…I LOVED not dealing with the hassle of the skewers! When I served it, I just gave my kids some toothpicks, and they enjoyed using that to dip their chicken in the peanut sauce. Easy peasy. While this dish is still 9 Smart Points per serving, it’s still a lot lighter and healthier than the ones you’d get at a Thai restaurant. But it’s JUST as flavorful and delicious!

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French Onion Chicken Casserole Recipe – 9 Smart Points

French Onion Chicken Casserole

It may be in the high 80’s this week, but I’ve been in need of some comfort food lately. And while enjoying one of my favorite soups, French Onion – which I ADORE, I got the idea for a simple casserole that incorporated some of those divine flavors. I wanted it to have some protein, and I needed it to be kid-friendly too, because it just makes my life so much easier when the whole family eats the same thing. So I tossed around a few ideas and ingredients, and the end result is this creamy, comforting French Onion Chicken Casserole Recipe. It was actually quite easy, and required very basic ingredients…most of which I almost always have on hand. I love serving this with some roasted asparagus or broccoli for a complete meal. And if you love onion flavored dishes as much as I do, try my Roasted French Onion Potatoes – they are soooooo GOOD. Enjoy!

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Salmon Curry Recipe – 9 Smart Points

Salmon Curry

I used to cook a lot of recipes with coconut milk, but I have been reluctant to do so ever since the new Weight Watchers Smart Points plan came into effect. Coconut milk is high in saturated fat, so I was concerned that it would raise the Smart Points value of my recipe too much. But I was pleasantly surprised when this Salmon Curry recipe turned out to be less Points than I anticipated! Sometimes, you just gotta eat the good stuff and spend the extra Point or two. And this dish is definitely worth it. Plus, it’s such a fast and easy meal to cook, and works excellently with frozen salmon (which I prefer to buy because it costs less!). The salmon is perfectly poached in the coconut milk, and the mild curry flavor was just the right amount without being too spicy, so my kids could enjoy it as well. I had this on the table in less than 30 minutes, and it was insanely good! For the kids and my husband, I served it over quinoa, and for myself, I served it over cauliflower rice in order to avoid having to add more Points. Truly, the cauliflower rice was delicious! I actually liked it even better than the quinoa. This was such a fantastically flavorful and healthy meal that left me feeling completely satisfied. So glad I decided to get back on the coconut milk train! Enjoy.

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One Pot Moroccan Chicken Rice and Potatoes Recipe – 9 Smart Points

One Pot Moroccan Chicken Rice and Potatoes Recipe

On those nights when you want a complete meal in one pot, this One Pot Moroccan Chicken Rice and Potatoes Recipe is a breeze, and it delivers a delicious and filling meal with minimal effort. By cooking all the food together in one pot, the chicken juices really help to add amazing flavor and tenderness to the rice and potatoes. And the Moroccan spices make it all just taste soooooo good together! This recipe was taught to me by my amazing Moroccan friend who makes this meal at least once a week. The first time I had it served to me at her house, I assumed this was a dish she slaved over all day. But to my surprise, it’s a pretty easy, hands off meal that comes together perfectly! And who doesn’t love having just 1 pot to clean up afterwards?

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Strawberry Banana Oat Smoothie – 9 Smart Points

Strawberry Banana Oat Smoothie

One of the best things about June, in my opinion, is that there is so much produce that comes into season. It’s perfect for all sorts of delicious, seasonal and healthy food. Smoothies are something that I really enjoy. They’re a quick and easy breakfast or snack. Since I’m usually the only one to eat the smoothie, I’ll make up the whole recipe, then leave the other half of the smoothie in the fridge for a snack later on in the day, or breakfast for the next day. One thing I noticed with this wonderful strawberry banana smoothie is that it’s important to make sure you let the blender blend for quite a while. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to start with the oats, pulse them into a flour and then add the rest of the ingredients. The first time I tried it, I just tossed everything in together (like I always do for smoothies). But between the oats and the frozen strawberries, it wasn’t as delicious and creamy as I was expecting. The next time, I blended the oats first then added everything else and it worked much better. Give this one a try – with sweet and juicy strawberries, protein packed yogurt and heart healthy oats, you can’t go wrong. [Read more…]

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BBQ Beef – 9 Smart Points

BBQ Beef

Since last weekend was a 3 day weekend with Memorial day, my in-laws came down for the weekend. We had a couple of projects to work on while they were here (the guys had a couple of projects, I was just hoping to get out of as much work as possible), so it worked perfectly. I like to have everything planned out and everything I possibly can prepped before a weekend like that. It makes life so much easier and less stressful. I also love food and cooking, so it was a perfect opportunity to take advantage of 2 extra mouths and make some delicious food! I had a beef roast (just a regular chuck roast) that desperately needed to get out of the freezer and used, so I decided to do BBQ beef. I wanted to do it in the crockpot, since it’s easy and turns out really delicious meat. I also wanted to do a Carolina inspired BBQ sauce. Since some of our close friends are from the Carolinas (he’s originally from the North and her from the South), they’ve introduced us to some really delicious BBQ. This sauce is just perfect. It’s a combination of the traditional ketchup based sauces that I’m used to (being from the North), but it’s got the tangy apple cider vinegar that really gives the sauce a robust flavor. It’s not as sharp as distilled white vinegar and is almost a little sweet. I skipped the hot sauce (Since none of us like it really hot), but added it here so that you can adjust it to your taste. I love this BBQ beef, it’s definitely going to be a great recipe for the summer. I don’t have to use the oven and it goes so well with potato salad, coleslaw, veggie trays or any other summer sides I want to serve it with. [Read more…]

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IKEA Copycat Swedish Meatballs Recipe – 9 Smart Points

IKEA Copycat Swedish Meatballs

I don’t about you folks, but when I go to IKEA, I can’t wait to get down to their cafeteria and wrap my tastebuds around some of their famous Swedish meatballs! They are just soooooo good! Since I can’t realistically make a trip to IKEA every time I want their meatballs, I got to work making a healthier IKEA Copycat Swedish Meatballs Recipe. It’s actually a pretty easy recipe to make, and these meatballs turned out just as good, if not, BETTER than IKEA’s. Now, I just need to create a lighter version of their delicious Lingonberry sauce to go with it, and I’m set! At 9 Smart Points for 6 meatballs and sauce, this delicious dish makes a perfect Weight Watchers substitute for the original version. If you love IKEA’s Swedish Meatballs as much as I do, this copycat version is a must try!

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Granola with Raisins – 9 Smart Points

Granola with Raisins

I love granola with yogurt for breakfast in the morning. I’m not a big morning person, so any weekday breakfast that is quick, easy and delicious is a winner for me. This granola is perfect. It’s light and delicious, but isn’t overwhelming. I can add any fruit I want to in my yogurt and it goes perfectly with the granola. I liked how much it made, it was plenty for a couple of weeks, but since it’s granola, it holds well in an airtight container for a month or more. If you’re concerned, just refrigerate or freeze the airtight container. The honey and raisins add all the sweetness I thought it needed, but for me, coconut adds a little more sweet that is a richer flavor. The cinnamon and vanilla really serve to pull the whole combination together so that the flavors work well with each other. If you like softer granola, just make sure to keep an eye on it so you can pull it out when it gets to the right consistency. If you like crunchy granola, leave it in for the full 20 minutes and then let it sit out for an hour or more to get more crunchy. [Read more…]

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Beef Tacos – 9 Points +

Beef Tacos

I love using the crockpot for meats and soups. It’s a great way to cook things without my having to attend to them every second. The meat that is cooked in the crockpot is tender, moist and delicious. Crockpots are my favorite way to cook up a chicken that I’m going to debone and then chop up and freeze. This fabulous beef taco recipe is another one that’s perfect in the crock pot. Sure, you can simmer it on the stove in the sauce for about 2 hours until it’s tender, but it’s so much easier to just stick it in the crockpot, turn it on and walk away. The meat turns out delicious and tender every time. Once you’re ready to eat, serve these with your favorite toppings. I love to pile on the veggies (especially since they’re zero points plus) and a dab of sour cream and cheese.

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One Pan Cheesy Chili Mac Recipe – 9 Points +

One Pan Cheesy Chili Mac

Have I mentioned before how much I adore one pan meals? With 2 young kids, 3 cats, and a husband who acts like a teenager, they just make my life SO much easier. This One Pan Cheesy Chili Mac Recipe was a HUGE hit and I’m really excited to share it. I used extra lean ground beef in this, but you could easily substitute ground chicken or turkey if you prefer. The tender, perfectly seasoned meat is cooked in one skillet along with whole wheat macaroni noodles, and then it’s all topped with gooey, melty Mexican cheese. Try this recipe, and I’d be surprised if your family didn’t love it as much as mine.

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Arugula and Smoked Salmon Salad Recipe – 9 Points +

Arugula and Smoked Salmon Salad

Talk about a complete meal in one bowl! This incredibly delicious Arugula and Smoked Salmon Salad is absolutely packed with healthy fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Not only is mouthwateringly good, but it is very filling and loaded with enough energy and nutrition to last you a long time. I love making this salad for lunch, and I have no problem not getting hungry until dinner time. Or, I will make this salad for dinner when I want to avoid snacking in the evening (which is my biggest problem). The flavor combination in this Weight Watchers salad recipe is outstanding….peppery arugula topped with smoky salmon, tangy balsamic coated tomatoes, filling whole wheat couscous, and wonderfully nutty toasted pine nuts with sweet raisins. All covered in a creamy, tangy dressing that will leave your tastebuds doing backflips. My husband and I are absolutely in love with this Arugula and Smoked Salmon Salad Recipe, and I highly recommend all of you giving it a try! It’s one very complete, and satisfying dish for just 9 Points +.

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