Couscous with Pomegranates & Butternut – 7 Smart Points

Couscous with Butternut

Here is a seriously delicious combination of pomegranate, butternut and orange. It’s a simple and easy meal that can be tossed together in no time. I love the fact that I can make it up really quickly. Squash can be sliced in half, and baked for about 10 minutes. It’s easier to peel and cube then. It’s also easy to freeze it then and I can have it all year. Roasted in the oven with some olive oil, salt and pepper until it’s tender. It’s a great way to make squash without loading it up with butter and brown sugar. I highly recommend baking it for a few minutes first. I learned last fall with my pumpkins (when I was canning a whole bunch of them, about 30 or 40 quarts) that if you bake the pumpkin (or squash in this case) for about 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees, it looses the skin and seeds enough that they are easy to remove. Then just stick your squash in a ziploc bag and it’s ready to be baked when you need it. Since I don’t always have quinoa on hand, and it takes longer to cook, couscous is a great alternative to that. It doesn’t take long to cook, has a much more mild flavor and is less expensive. It’s a great combination with the crunchy and juicy pomegranate seeds. This is a bright, colorful and delicious salad that is simple to put together to complement your meal tonight. [Read more…]

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Autumn Hummus – 3 Points +

 

Autumn Hummus

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!
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Butternut Squash Risotto – 7 Points +

Butternut Squash Risotto

Risotto is one of those dishes that I really enjoy making. It’s rich and delicious without being overwhelming, plus it really “dresses up” my meal and makes it seem classier than it really is. One of the downsides I usually have with risotto is serving it with things like pork or chicken breast. It all tastes great, but it’s pretty monochromatic. This fabulous butternut squash risotto fixes that. The butternut squash adds flavor, fiber and color to the risotto. Since you bake the rice, it’s easy to fix the rest of the meal while the risotto is cooking. Be careful with your pans though – you want to make sure you can fit both the pan with the squash and the pan with the rice in the oven at the same time. This risotto is also vegetarian and gluten free, so it’s a great for company of any kind. If you don’t care for cooking with wine, substitute reduced fat milk for the wine. It’ll be just as tasty.

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Roasted Butternut Squash with Tahini and Za’atar – 4 Points +

Roasted Butternut Squash with Tahini and Za’atar

Liven up a standard Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe with the addition of two wonderfully bold flavors – tahini sauce and za’atar spice blend. In this Weight Watchers side dish recipe, the sweet, buttery squash is complemented by the roasted sesame flavor of the tahini sauce and the alluring spice mixture of the zaatar. If you haven’t ever tried za’atar before, once you do, I guarantee it will become one of your pantry staples! It’s a Middle Eastern spice blend that involves some combination of ground dried oregano, thyme or marjoram, ground sumac, toasted sesame seeds and often, salt. It’s often used on breads, chicken, and on top of hummus or soft cheeses. Zaatar has an amazing and unique flavor that is aromatic, and tangy at the same time. This simple, yet amazing side dish is not only delicious and full of nutrients, each serving is just 4 Points +, making it a very Weight Watchers friendly recipe too.

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Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna Recipe – 6 Points +

Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna

Lasagna has always been one of my favorite comfort food recipes, so I was excited to experiment with a fall lasagna recipe that I had been dreaming/salivating over for months. My Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna was definitely a hit and it captured all the seasonal flavors I was craving. By roasting the butternut squash, it gets nicely caramelized, which adds a wonderful flavor. So while this step does add some extra time to the preparation, it is absolutely worth it. I also prefer to leave the squash kinda chunky when I mash it, because I like the texture. But if you’d rather puree it or make it smoother, by all means, do so! You just may need to add a bit more broth to thin it out. Here’s a shot of the inside of mine:

Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna

And at just 6 Points + for each delicious, cheese covered serving, this Weight Watchers Fall Recipe is a must try.

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Butternut Squash Turkey Bolognese Recipe – 6 Points +

Butternut Squash Turkey Bolognese

Even though it’s still crazy hot here in Southern California, I can’t help but fantasizing about fall and all the delicious Weight Watchers Fall Recipes I’ll be whipping up this season! In light of my fall food fantasies, today I’m sharing this delicious and super easy Butternut Squash Turkey Bolognese Recipe. Made with a jarred butternut squash pasta sauce (I used THIS one from Dave’s Gourmet), you’ll get a healthy and mouthwatering pasta dish that’s very simple to prepate, but tastes like you’ve been slaving over the stove all day working on it. The sauce is incredible…so fresh tasting, so creamy, and yet very light. By adding the cooked ground turkey sauteed with onion and garlic, the dish becomes more hearty and homemade tasting. And the fresh basil adds the perfect finishing touch. So, if you are in the mood for fall, this light Butternut Squash Bolognese is a must try.

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Winter Minestrone Recipe – 4 Points +

Winter Minestrone

The ultimate in comfort food, this healthy minestrone soup recipe is a great way to fill up and feel incredibly satisfied without using many Weight Watchers Points. It’s thick and hearty…almost more like a stew, and is loaded with vegetables and fiber. The tomato based broth is seasoned just perfectly, and the spinach adds a nice touch. Each serving is just 4 Points +, so feel free to pair this with a bread stick and salad for a complete, guilt free meal. When I made this minestrone, I used a high fiber alphabet pasta (it was what I had on hand for the kids), but any kind is fine. Though I suggest using something small, like ditalini. The soup also reheats very well…I actually froze individual portions so I could just grab one from the freezer on hectic days where I needed a quick lunch. This feel good Winter Minestrone is as healthy as it is delicious, and I highly recommend giving it a try. Enjoy!

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Butternut Squash and Spinach Pasta Casserole Recipe with Caramelized Onions – 5 Points +

Butternut Squash and Spinach Pasta Casserole Recipe with Caramelized Onions

If you are up to putting in some elbow grease in the kitchen and making an incredibly delicious and healthy pasta casserole recipe, well then this Butternut Squash and Spinach Pasta Casserole Recipe with Caramelized Onions is for you. Loaded with delicious veggies and a fabulous creamy bechamel sauce, each serving is just 5 Points +. It does require lots of separate pots and pans for cooking various components of the casserole, but it is oh so worth it. The garlic sauteed spinach, the onions caramelized in butter, and the roasted butternut squash all combine perfectly in this vegetarian pasta casserole recipe. I used a fresh, whole milk buffalo mozzarella to top it with and it was amazing! It’s a big recipe, so we had lots of leftovers, and it re-heated very nicely as well. This is definitely a Weight Watchers casserole recipe that will impress. And though I made it in the middle of a high temp summer, I’d ideally make this tomato-free pasta recipe in the fall, as the sage and nutmeg give it a fall-like flavor.

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Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe – 7 Points +

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Creamy, rich, cheesy, and deliciously satisfying, this comfort food classic has everything you crave in traditional mac and cheese recipes, but for a lot less Weight Watchers Points. By using butternut squash as a base for the cheese sauce, the dish gets bulked up while not losing any flavor, and while getting a healthy dose of some good for you nutrients. The flavor of the butternut squash is very mild in this mac and cheese — the cheese is still the star, but it allows you to still keep a lot of sauce so the dish isn’t dry like many other Weight Watchers Mac and Cheese Recipes I’ve tried. It’s also a sneaky way to get your kids to eat a vegetable – my 3yr old gobbled it up! And so did I. It was delicious. I’ll definitely be making this dish on a regular basis.

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Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce Recipe – 1 Points +

Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce

Today’s cold and rainy weather made me reminiscent for a tasty butternut squash recipe whose fall flavors would take me back to Autumn one last time before Spring gets here. So with some whole wheat gnocchi sitting in my pantry, and a beautiful butternut squash on my kitchen counter, I went to work creating this Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce recipe. The sauce was so creamy, rich and decadent, and everything I had hoped it would be. The base is the highly nutritious butternut squash, but the sage, butter, garlic and white wine build on the squash to create a melody of fabulous flavors that create a symphony in your mouth. Each 1/2 cup serving is just 1 Points +, making it an ideal Weight Watchers Pasta Sauce Recipe. Serve it over your favorite high fiber pasta or some 0 Point Miracle Noodles for an amazing and healthy dinner idea.

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Sage Butter Winter Vegetables and Pasta Recipe – 6 Points +

Sage Butter Winter Vegetables and Pasta

photo credit: lol foodie

Take advantage of all the delicious seasonal squash with this amazingly yummy Winter Vegetables and Pasta recipe. Healthy and light, you’ll get a full 2 cups serving for just 6 Points +!! Now that’s what I call a meal, people. Just by using a low calorie, high fiber pasta, and bulking up the dish with lots of veggies, you’re able to get a truly delicious vegetarian pasta meal without using up a lot of your Weight Watchers Points Plus, AND you’ll be satisfied. And with the fantastic flavors of the butter, sage, thyme and wine, this dish is truly reminiscent of a fabulous fall day. Enjoy!

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Autumn Spiced Squash Saute Recipe – 2 Points +

Autumn Spiced Squash Saute

If you’ve ever seen this pretty, Fall-looking squash at the grocery store but wondered what it was and what you could do with it, you’re not alone! I have seen it many times, but didn’t even know what kind of squash it was, let alone how to cook it. Well, apparently, it’s called a delicate squash, and it’s delicious. I came across a recipe using it, and decided to give it a try. So glad I did!! Now I have another yummy vegetable in my repertoire to work with. I revamped the recipe, and made a lot of delicious changes. The end result was a tasty Autumn Spiced Squash Stir Fry that’s both sweet and savory. Perfect as a healthy side dish recipe to many meals, this dish has just 2 Points + per serving. It’s a great way to really enjoy the fabulous flavors of Fall!

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