I always love ordering chicken tortilla soup at my favorite Mexican restaurant. But depending on how it’s prepared, this dish can be dangerous in terms of Weight Watchers Points. Adding in your favorite fixin’s can really rack up the extra fat and calories too. After a bit of work in the kitchen, I came up with own version that is a LOT healthier than the restaurant version, but very healthy and low in Smart Points. And don’t worry – my chicken tortilla soup recipe still includes the cheese and tortilla strips. By using a hand blender to puree the soup, it helps to give the soup a creamy, velvety feel, without adding any high fat milk or cream. My kids love it too, because they have no idea they are eating so many vegetables! And you can top it with fresh red onion, jalapeños, or avocado for an extra boost of flavor, if desired. At just 8 Smart Points, this satisfying soup will fill you up and thrill your tastebuds too. Enjoy!
Guess what? It’s nearly Thanksgiving! If you’re American and anything like me – it’s one of your favorite holidays. I love getting together with family and eating. There’s always new recipes to try and it’s so much fun to taste new creations while catching up with loved ones. But, as much fun as it is to try new dishes, it’s just as wonderful to have the old classics there every year as well. In fact, I think Thanksgiving is about the only time that I have green bean casserole. I’m not sure why I don’t make it the rest of the year, it’s so easy, delicious and everyone loves it. Not to mention – it’s only 3 points +! That is the best part, and you don’t even have to use fat free soup. With a little less onions sprinkled on top and skim milk, you’ve got a delicious and healthy side dish ready to go within no time.
Curry is one of those dishes that is simple and delicious. This curry is even more simple and tasty – and it’s vegan, gluten free and dairy free. Chickpeas are a great food. You can make flour with them (garbanzo bean flour), add them to soups and stews and salads. They’re full of fiber and are a great source of protein. I typically use canned chickpeas, since they’re easy to have on hand and they’re ready to go. I just rinse and drain them and toss them into whatever I’m making. Curry is one that can be a little tough if you’re not careful. Some people like their curries hot enough to light their hair on fire, others prefer a little more mild. If you’re someone (like me) that doesn’t like really hot curry, you can start with half of the curry paste, and then season it to taste. If you accidently add too much, add a little plain Greek yogurt to your curry. The yogurt will help to tame your curry without altering the flavor. This curry is great for an easy and delicious weeknight meal.
As it’s cooler now, the garden produce is pretty much done, although we’ve had a pretty warm fall. Thankfully, one of the things (or rather, two of the things) that are still keeping great since we brought them in are the pumpkins and squash. And with this hummus recipe, it’s perfect. Pureed pumpkin and squash combined with chickpeas and delicious seasonings to create a fall hummus. This hummus is wonderful on pita chips, but it’s also fabulous on carrots sticks as well. It’s a great snack and it holds well in the fridge for several days. Since it has chickpeas in it (also called garbanzo beans), it’s packed with fiber, which means it helps to keep you full longer. It’s definitely a little spicy with cayenne pepper and chili powder, but you can always season it to taste. If you’re baking pumpkin and squash, you can puree it before hand, or simply weight out 8 oz of chunks and puree them with the garbanzo beans. The reason why I recommend pureed pumpkin and squash is that is ensures a smooth texture, and that there won’t be any chunks in the hummus. Give this delicious fall hummus a try. It’ll give your day just the kick of flavor it needs!
As much as I love cooking, there’s nothing more I hate than doing the dishes and cleanup afterwards. Most of my cooking tools and pots and pans need to be hand washed, so depending on the complexity of my recipe, that can lead to a LOT of post-cooking work. Which is why I have become a huge fan of one-pan/pot meals – they are super easy to cook, and require a lot less cleanup. This One Pan Quinoa Taco Skillet Recipe has become a recent favorite in our home. Made with quinoa instead of rice and lean ground turkey instead of ground beef, it’s a lot healthier and absolutely delicious. Top with shredded cheese, red onion, avocado, roasted corn, shredded lettuce – or whatever your taco-loving heart desires. Just make sure to count the extra Points Plus you may incur. Enjoy!
Our garden hasn’t done great this year, but I’ve still enjoyed cooking with the produce we’ve gotten out of the garden. These delicious grilled lemon pepper vegetables are a wonderful side. The easiest way to make these is by using a grill pan, but you can also wrap them in aluminum foil to grill them. Or they can be baked or stir fried. They are bright and colorful – which is one of the (many) reasons why I love to add a side of vegetables to every meal. Vegetables are so easy to make in so many different ways. They add color and texture to the meal, not to mention flavor and nutrients. One of the best things about these vegetables is that you can change it up with whatever you happen to have on hand, they’ll be just as tasty.
There’s little I love more than a meal that delivers wonderful presentation and flavor but with very little effort and prep. This Roasted Chicken Breasts with Tomatoes and Garbanzo Beans dish is such an amazing and healthy Weight Watchers recipe that boasts tender, juicy chicken that is wonderfully seasoned, and yet it is incredibly simple to make. The fresh tomatoes add a nice touch of acidity while the garbanzo beans add a nice earthy flavor. I chose to cook this with bone-in and skin on chicken breasts because it really helps to keep the chicken moist. Just make sure to remove the chicken skin before eating if you are watching your Weight Watchers Points.
We don’t live close to family, so there are a couple of folks that have adopted my husband and I as their kids, well actually, we’re lucky enough to have been “adopted” by several families in the area. They take exceptionally good care of us and we thoroughly enjoy sharing delicious meals with them (as they are all very good cooks). One couple is from North Carolina, so when I saw a recipe for black eyed pea salad, I knew I had to bring it the next time we went to their place for a meal. And I was absolutely right to be excited. I don’t remember if I’ve ever had black eyed peas before, but I love this salad. It’s bright and beautiful and reminded our friends of home. It’s a perfect salad to have with grilled burgers or chicken breast, and is easy to make for potlucks – where it’s sure to be a hit.
This is one of my very favorite salads. I love to make it for potlucks, it just goes so well and everyone loves it. I also love to make it for myself. It’s a perfect lunch, and lasts all week. It’s full of flavor and color, plus it’s very high in fiber (10 grams per serving), which helps to keep you feeling full longer. I use two red bell peppers, I like the sweeter, subtler flavor better. But if you’d like a little more color, use a green pepper. It lasts well for more than a week in the fridge, so it’s perfect for a week of lunches.