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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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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Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup – 4 Smart Points

Roasted Red Pepper Soup
I am someone who really enjoys soup in the winter. There’s something about a bowl of rich and delicious soup that is comforting and definitely helps to warm you up on a cold night. Well, today wasn’t actually cold (it was a January warm “snap”), but I still love roasted red pepper tomato soup. Plain tomato soup really isn’t my thing. I’m not a huge fan of the flavor, but roasted red peppers add something to the tomato soup to make it really delicious. I like to make up a huge batch of this and then freeze several quart bags of it, once it’s cooled down. It’s a great way to have a really fast, delicious and homemade dinner ready to go. I usually serve it with grilled cheese sandwiches, but you can just put a few croutons in the soup if you’re watching your carbs. I like the sour cream in this soup. It seems to add a little more creamy flavor without quite as much fat as some options. I typically use Daisy light sour cream, since it doesn’t have all the extra ingredients. You can skip the sour cream to keep the fat down, but it adds the creaminess that you really need to put this soup over the top. [Read more…]

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Quinoa Stuffed Mini Peppers – 4 Smart Points

Quinoa Stuffed Mini Peppers
Quinoa is one of those things that I just love. It’s gluten free and packed with nutrients, so I really like to mix up my normal routine and have it as the base of different dishes. These stuffed peppers are a fabulous little snack, side dish or appetizer. It’s a little more work because of all the chopping (especially all those little peppers), but it’s totally worth it. If I don’t already have quinoa made up, I’ll chop all of the veggies and do all the prep while the quinoa is cooking. While the recipe calls for cocktail tomatoes (also called Campari, they’re typically the “tomatoes on the vine” you find), you can use Roma tomatoes, instead. I wouldn’t recommend grape or cherry tomatoes, since they don’t chop up into small pieces as easily. Also, you have to remember that the mini peppers you’re using are tiny – so chop small. I ran into that problem, and had to do a little more chopping. You can also take a couple of the peppers and chop them into the quinoa mixture (like I did). These peppers are great to take to a potluck or have at a party. They’re small, tasty and easy to handle. I love these little peppers, they’re pretty and delicious! [Read more…]

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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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Cabbage Shell Chicken Tacos with Chipotle Cream – 5 Smart Points

Cabbage Shell Chicken Tacos with Chipotle Cream

If there’s one food I could eat everyday for weeks without tiring if it, it’s tacos. That’s partly because there are SO many different ways to prepare them, and I’d never get bored. For this chicken tacos recipe, I used cabbage leaves instead of traditional taco shells to help cut carbs and calories. I also added some swiss chard leaves for added nutrition and for it’s aesthetics. The fresh, raw corn salsa is such a unique flavor too…which I adored. My husband said he would have preferred that the corn was roasted first, so if raw corn isn’t for you, just roast the cob in the oven or on the grill first. But the real show pony of this recipe is the chipotle sour cream!! I could NOT get enough of it! These tacos were a total hit…my 6 year old devoured them….even with that cabbage shell. And at just 5 Smart Points per taco, you are getting one seriously delicious and nutritious dish!

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Zucchini Lasagna – 8 Smart Points

Zucchini Lasagna

Who doesn’t love lasagna? It’s a favorite meal of mine, and one that I can easily make gluten free (just use gluten free noodles). It’s a great meal to stick in the freezer when I know I’m going to be out of town, so that my husband can just stick it in the oven after work. I thought I’d give our traditional lasagna recipe a low-carb makeover. Zucchini works so well as noodles in other traditional pasta dishes, so why not lasagna? It turns out this is delicious. I’m pretty picky about how I like my zucchini (especially cooked), but this was delicious. It was tender, but not overpowering with the rest of the delicious sauce. Give this one a try for one of your next family meals. It’ll be a definite hit!
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Fish Tacos – 6 Smart Points

Fish Tacos
I enjoy fish, and it’s something that’s easy and healthy to make. My favorite is salmon, since it has a stronger flavor that works so well with citrus. The things you can do with it are just about endless. I’m not as big of a fan of the white fishes, simply because it’s usually a much stronger “fishy” flavor and requires lots of tartar sauce. Although, I got to go on vacation with my family last fall and we spent a few days on Prince Edward Island on the East Coast of Canada. I had the best fish and chips of my life there – tender and mild and delicious. But I digress… So, I thought I’d try some fish tacos with white fish. I was hoping that will plenty of seasonings, it would help with the flavor of the fish. It did. These are great. The fish is so easy to cook when you broil it – just make sure you set the timer or you’ll have to have a plan B for dinner. I really liked the sauce, so I reserved half of it to serve as a sauce over the fish tacos. I had to use 2 tortillas for each person, because there was really no good way to fit that much food into one corn tortilla and still be able to eat it. I really like this recipe. It’s really easy to make (I used the bagged cabbage so I didn’t have to shred my own and I already had some on hand), and it comes together so fast! [Read more…]

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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!

Balsamic Garlic Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms
Balsamic Garlic Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms
Print Recipe
An amazingly flavorful side dish that requires little effort. It’s easy to get those veggie servings in when they taste this good!
Servings Prep Time
4 10
Cook Time
20
Servings Prep Time
4 10
Cook Time
20
Balsamic Garlic Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms
Balsamic Garlic Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms
Print Recipe
An amazingly flavorful side dish that requires little effort. It’s easy to get those veggie servings in when they taste this good!
Servings Prep Time
4 10
Cook Time
20
Servings Prep Time
4 10
Cook Time
20
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and mist with non-fat cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar and garlic. Add in the veggies and toss to coat. Spread out the green beans and mushrooms evenly onto the pan, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in oven and roast for about 20 minutes, or until veggies are well browned.
Recipe Notes

**An important bit of info to note...when calculating the nutritional data, I did NOT include the green beans, mushrooms or garlic, since those are 0 Points. This is per Weight Watchers instructions. Only the non fruit or vegetables are counted towards the nutritional data and Smart Points value.

Entire recipe makes 4 servings
Serving size is about 1 cup
Each serving = 2 Smart Points

PER SERVING: 61 calories; 7g fat; 1g saturated fat; 0g carbohydrates; 0g sugar; 0g fiber; 0g protein

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Cucumber & Tomato Salad – 2 Smart Points

Cucumber & Tomato Salad

One of the reasons why I love side salads is that it’s a great way to add veggies (and nutrients) to my meal. It’s also a great way to add a pop of color to my meal that just makes it seem more fun and interesting. Fresh salads are just great anyway. They are so refreshing and light that they’re always tasty. This one is full of color with the green cucumbers, red tomatoes and radishes, yellow bell peppers and red onions. The dressing is simple and delicious – one of those vinaigrettes that I love. I always use a little canning jar with a lid to mix up my dressing ingredients. I just toss everything in it and then screw on the lid and shake it up. If you’d like to mix up this salad a bit more, use yellow tomatoes and a red pepper, or a mix of red and yellow tomatoes.
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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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Lemon Butter Chicken – 5 Smart Points

Lemon Butter Chicken

With my New Year’s Resolution in full swing, I am committed to eating healthy (yet deliciously), and this Lemon Butter Chicken Recipe is an ideal dish! The chicken is cooked to perfection in a velvety lemon butter sauce that is to die for. It’s hard to tell in the photo, but there is spinach in that dish too…it’s just buried under the heavenly sauce. Next time, I’ll try doubling the spinach I used because it wilted so much in the sauce, and there really wasn’t a lot of it in the final product. And at just 5 Smart Points per serving, this dish makes a great Weight Watchers dinner recipe that will help keep you on track without sacrificing flavor.

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