13 Bean Soup Recipe – 5 Smart Points

13 Bean Soup Recipe

I’m so grateful that my kids love beans as much as they do. And this 13 Bean Soup Recipe gives me an opportunity to provide them with a healthy and delicious soup that is not only full of nutrients, protein, and fiber, but it’s just 5 Smart Points per serving – which is great for me! It’s also a really filling soup, so perfect for when you really need to satisfy your hunger without going through all your Points. This 13 Bean Soup is also incredibly easy to prepare. You can really use any dry bean mix that you like. I’m personally a fan of Bob’s Red Mill bean soup mix, so that’s what I use. It also freezes and reheats really nicely, so if you have any leftovers, it’s great for lunches or when you need a meal in a pinch.

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Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Lemon Garlic Dip – 1 Smart Points

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Lemon Garlic Dip

I’m not ashamed to admit that brussel sprouts are one of mine (and my children’s) favorite vegetables. I make them A LOT, and to keep them from getting too boring, I try to find new ways to prepare them. One of my favorites, is this Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Lemon Garlic Dip Recipe. The creamy, tangy, and refreshing dip is the perfect complement to the salty, smoky, bitterness of the brussel sprouts. Plus, the dip can be made in a pinch, so it’s a great way to jazz up your vegetable side dish with little effort. Calculating only the dip and the oil for roasting, this dish clocks in at just 1 Smart Point per serving! That’s pretty hard to beat for something so tasty. If you are in need of a healthy, vegetable side dish recipe that is sure to impress, these Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Lemon Garlic Dip are sure to be a hit. Enjoy!

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Country Potatoes Recipe – 5 Smart Points

Country Potatoes

These Country Potatoes make for a simple, minimalist side dish recipe that is fast and easy to cook, yet has the wonderfully distinct flavor of good old fashioned home cooking! A handful of ingredients are brought together in a perfect, hearty, comforting dish that pairs really well with steak, chicken or fish. In fact, they were so good that my family nearly gobbled them all up before I was able to snap a picture! I love that these potatoes cook up so quickly, and the flavor of all the vegetables aren’t overwhelmed with seasonings or sauces, allowing them to really shine. I’ve also served these as my take on breakfast potatoes a few times too, and they were a real treat alongside some turkey bacon and eggs. At just 5 Smart Points per serving, you’ll get a seriously satisfying side to your favorite main course, without going overboard.

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Veggie Pilaf – 4 Smart Points

Veggie Pilaf

I tend to get stuck in a rut when it comes to veggies. So I recently combined a couple of my favorite veggie sides to try and get a fresh flavor from an old favorite. I posted about my favorite spice combination for vegetables. I decided to use the same seasoning for my favorite vegetables, but make it into a pilaf. I typically use what I have on hand for veggies for a rice pilaf. This time was no different. It’s a beautiful side dish that is so easy to put together. I have found that it’s easiest to use cooked rice, just like when you make fried rice. I try to plan ahead so I can have my rice cooked and ready to go. It works the best if I start my rice when I start the rest of my meal prep. That way, when the meal is almost ready to go on the table, I can mix the rice and sautéed veggies. If you’re looking to do something even more low carb, use cauliflower rice instead of regular rice. Either way, this is a light and delicious vegetable side dish. [Read more…]

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Kale & Brussels Sprouts with Creamy Poppy seed Dressing – 4 Smart Points

Kale And Brussel Sprouts with Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing

Kale is one of the new “superfoods”. It’s packed with nutrients including vitamins A, K and C. It’s also a great source of fiber and iron. Brussels sprouts are also filled with vitamins and fiber. It’s a great side dish to combine the two. They really need something to spruce them up though. I thought I’d do a light poppy seed dressing to add some extra flavor. Sprinkle on a few almonds to add a little more crunch, or add some craisins if you want to add a little color and sweet. I really like the texture and flavor of the salad. One of the keys I’ve found to kale is making sure you take out the center spine, since it can be bitter and tough. The combination of kale and Brussels sprouts and poppy seed dressing is a light and delicious side dish. I really like to use it to spruce up any meal, to add color and crunch to my meal. And, while it’s not great leftover (it tends to get soggy), I’ve found it’s best if I make it first and let it sit in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or so until we’re ready to eat. It gives it time to let the dressing soak in a bit and the flavor is even better. [Read more…]

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Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana Recipe – 6 Smart Points

Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana

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!

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Warm Mushroom and Lentil Salad Recipe – 5 Points +

Warm Mushroom and Lentil Salad

This savory and satisfying side dish is a breeze to prepare and goes great with just about any meal. The tender lentils and pan fried mushrooms are incredibly delicious and packed with nutrition. And I love this unique salad that doesn’t feature the leafy greens as its star….they are merely a supporting character in this dish. I used baby kale in mine, but arugula or spinach would work really well too. The earthy flavors make this hearty Weight Watchers recipe a delicious dish that is sure to make an impression, while still keeping those Smart Points in check.

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Balsamic Garlic Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms – 2 Smart Points

Balsamic Garlic Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms

One of my new favorite vegetable side dish recipes is this Balsamic Garlic Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms dish. It’s quick and easy (you know I love those kinds of recipes!) and is very flavorful.The sweet and tangy balsamic vinegar adds such a nice taste and light caramelization to the perfectly roasted veggies. I seriously could not get enough of it. Serve this healthy side dish with your favorite protein for a complete meal!

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Easy Cauliflower Soup Recipe – 4 Smart Points

Easy Cauliflower Soup

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.

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Balsamic Roasted Asparagus -3 Points +

Balsamic Roasted Asparagus

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.
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Broccoli Salad Recipe – 7 Points +

Broccoli SaladIf you’ve ever had a Broccoli Salad before, you’ll understand the reason why this salad has become such a popular side dish at parties, buffets, and potlucks – it’s just so flipping GOOD! My spin on this well loved dish uses a few variant ingredients to keep it a bit lighter and more heart healthy. The crunchy broccoli and walnuts are combined with onions and raisins, then topped with a creamy, sweet, and tangy dressing that is insanely delicious. There are lots of variations to this salad, so you can definitely alternate/add/eliminate other ingredients if you want to shake things up. Try it with carrots, bacon, pumpkin seeds, candied pecans, dried, cranberries, kale, or even roasted brussel sprouts.I highly recommend adding this as a side dish to one of your favorite dinners, or adding some grilled chicken to it and serving it as a lunch salad.

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Pumpkin Cornbread Recipe – 4 Points +

Pumpkin Cornbread

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!

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