If you’ve ever been to Olive Garden’s all-you-can-eat soup, salad and breadsticks lunch special, then you are going to love today’s recipe! I’ve been a fan of their Zuppa Toscana soup for as long as I can remember, but with all the fat and calories, indulging in this delicious dish at Olive Garden could easily cost me almost an entire day’s worth of Smart Points – and that’s before we factor in the breadsticks and salad. Yikes! So, I’ve come up with my own lighter version at home, and it is fantastic. It’s a simple, slow cooker recipe that turns out incredibly tasty, yet with just 6 Smart Points per serving. Admittedly, I was feeling quite lazy and made this with pre-cooked Italian sausage links from Applegate Farms. Ideally, you could use ground Italian chicken sausage for a more authentic flavor. But you will need to brown that sausage first before adding it to the slow cooker. By using the precooked sausage, I saved a step (an an extra pan to wash). Plus, Applegate’s sausages are really tasty! No harm, no foul. This copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana recipe is a real win for any Weight Watcher. Enjoy!
With the chilly weather finally in full force here in SoCal (and by chilly, I mean 60 degrees), I’ve been ALL about the soups. I find that they are a great way to use up extra veggies before they go bad. So last week, when I found a head of cauliflower in my vegetable drawer that i had forgotten to roast as a side dish one evening, I decided to use it in a quick, easy, and very light Cauliflower Soup Recipe. There are many ways to make cauliflower soup….but this is one of the easiest and fastest. If you want to add an extra flavor boost, try roasting the cauliflower and garlic before adding to the pot! Sooooo good. At just 4 Smart Points, this simple soup makes a great side dish for a chilly day.
This roasted asparagus is simple and delicious. It’s a great side dish to add to your meal, since it adds color, texture and nutrition . Since, it’s roasted, this asparagus is easy to stick in the oven and have it done in time for the rest of your meal, with a minimum of fuss and effort. I always try to find the tiniest asparagus spears I can, since those are the most tender (and the only ones I like). It also helps if you break off the tough ends of the stalks. Just bend the stalk and it will break in the right spot so you can discard the hard end. You don’t have to, but those tough ends aren’t very good to eat. The balsamic reduction the asparagus is cooked with adds a rich and delicious flavor to it. You can also roast the asparagus (or grill it) and then serve it with the reduction drizzled over the top – it’s great both ways.
Fall is officially in full swing, and like everyone else, I’m on a pumpkin craze. There are SO many amazing pumpkin flavored goodies and treats available right now, it’s insane! In addition to trying out some tasty looking products I find at the store, I’ve also been in the kitchen whipping up some homemade, healthy pumpkin recipes too. Though it’s been over 100 degrees here this week (boo for California in the fall!), I’ve been working on a Pumpkin Cornbread Recipe that I hope you love as much as I do! Moist, delicious, slightly sweet cornbread that bakes up light and tender boasting a traditional corn flavor, but with a hint of pumpkin and spice. Goes AMAZINGLY well with chili or soup, and if you want to spend the extra points, is best when topped with hot butter. So get on the pumpkin craze bandwagon and give my Pumpkin Cornbread recipe a try this fall. Each serving is just 4 Points Plus!
With the last few days of summer to savor, I’m sharing a reliable and delicious side salad recipe that I have made quite a bit this summer, as my whole family loves it. My Whole Wheat Cous Cous Feta Salad Recipe is super easy to make and is a delicious and satisfying side dish that works with so many different meals. The bright, juicy tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers and salty feta are combined with hearty garbanzo beans and whole wheat cous cous to deliver a seriously satisfying dish! It also works wonderfully as leftovers, so I often double the batch and use it in lunches the next day or two. So take advantage of those delicious summer tomatoes and get this salad on your table, ASAP! At just 4 Points + per serving, it’s a great way to feel satisfied while staying on track.
One of my all time favorite Weight Watchers quinoa recipes is this super easy Quinoa Salad with Tahini Dressing — it’s to die for! Admittedly, I’m pleasantly surprised my kids really enjoyed this dish…my son even took leftovers for lunch! And at just 6 Points +, it’s a really satisfying summer side dish that is lovely and absolutely delicious. If you are already a fan of quinoa or a newcomer looking for some fantastic quinoa recipe ideas, this dish is a great one to try! I love the variety of textures, and the lemony tahini dressing just pulls it all together so beautifully. I’ve also made this with the addition of cucumbers, roasted zucchini, cauliflower and eggplant too, and it is fabulous. Enjoy!
Tabbouleh (or tabouli) is a Middle Eastern vegetarian side dish made with tomatoes, cucumber, herbs, bulgur wheat and onion. It’s seasoned with olive oil and lemon juice. This is a very refreshing, summery dish that goes well with just about anything. Since I don’t eat wheat, I usually make this with quinoa (much to my husband’s annoyance, since he doesn’t care for quinoa). It’s traditionally made with bulgur wheat, but quinoa works well with it as a gluten free option. With fresh herbs from the garden, this is a perfect time of the year to make this delicious and refreshing side dish.
If you are new to the shishito pepper craze, don’t be worried that they are spicy. In fact, shishito peppers are actually very sweet and mild. And there are a ton of incredible shishito peppers recipes out there to try. One of the most popular, is an Asian style shishito pepper. The peppers are first cooked until charred, then tossed with some incredible garlic and Asian flavors. It’s SUPER easy and SUPER delicious. To eat them, simply hold the stem, and bite off the whole pepper, seeds and all. Quite honestly, this dish is never one that I never want to share. It’s so good, I could easily eat the whole thing myself. And the best thing is that each serving is just 1 Points +! Give these a try and they are sure to become a fast favorite of yours too.
Lately, I just cannot resist buying those colored carrots at the market. They are so pretty, and my kids think it’s super fun getting colored carrots in their lunch box. So I’m always looking for fun ways to use them in new Weight Watchers Recipes. And this easy Rainbow Carrot Salad Recipe, is not only lovely and delicious, but it comes out to just 1 Points + per serving! So light and refreshing, it makes a perfect healthy side dish salad that pairs well with a variety of main courses. Sometimes, I throw in a handful of golden raisins, or shredded green apple for and extra kick! Enjoy.