You know those days where you spent so much time working on the main course, that you completely forgot to prepare a side dish? Well, that happens to me a LOT. More often than I’d like to admit. Sometimes I’m too busy, sometimes I too lazy, and sometimes I’m just ill-prepared. But on those days, quick and easy Weight Watchers salad recipes like this Cilantro Lime Cucumber Salad, save me. I almost always have these ingredients on hand, and I can throw this together in just a few minutes. I highly recommend using a mandolin slicer in order to get nice, evenly thin cucumber slices. But it can absolutely be done with a knife too – it’s just not as easy. The flavors are fresh and amazing, and each serving is just 2 Points +. I usually prefer to go a bit heavy on the red pepper flakes as I really like that heat, but this time I made it for my kids, so I didn’t use as much. This salad also makes a perfect, low calorie side for summer BBQ’s, so definitely add it to your “must make this summer list”. Enjoy!
If you’ve ever had tabbouleh salad before, you know how delicious it is. But the fact that it’s traditionally made with bulgar (a grain), the Points Plus can really rack up quickly due to the high amount of carbohydrates. By simply replacing the bulgar with grated cauliflower instead, you get a dish that tastes ridiculously similar to traditional tabbouleh, but for just 4 Points + per serving. Its light and refreshing flavor makes this side salad a wonderful accompaniment to your favorite meal. And it’s slam packed with vegetables, so you get a nice healthy dose of those, too. Now, some people may argue the Points Plus value on this Weight Watchers recipe, due to the fact that except for the olive oil, everything else is 0 Points Plus when eaten alone. However, my Weight Watchers leader said that when you combine all the vegetables together in a recipe like this, it changes the structure and can therefore raise the Points Plus value. So, what I did here was calculate all the nutritional information for each ingredient, and added it all together. Then entered it into my Weight Watchers Points Plus Calculator, and came up with 4 Points + per serving. If you are counting just the olive oil, it’s 2 Points + per serving. Either way, it’s a great bargain and absolutely delicious side salad recipe. This is a MUST try, folks!
Today, I want to share one of my staple side salad recipes. This delicious and ridiculously simple Greek salad recipe is made very frequently in my house because it’s so flavorful, everyone loves it, and it goes with a huge variety of main courses. I love the wonderful combination of flavors and textures in this Weight Watchers Greek Salad – sweet, crunchy cucumbers, brine-y olives and the bold, lemony dressing, all topped off with creamy and salty feta crumbles. SO good! And the best part is that each serving is just 2 Points +. It’s a great low calorie salad recipe to add to your collection of staple Weight Watchers recipes that can be relied upon time and time again.
Nothing says summer bbq to me like a good, old fashioned pasta salad. Growing up, they were at EVERY family bbq and I’ve grown accustomed to expecting them. Over the years, I’ve experienced a variety of pasta salads, but my favorite was always the creamy/sweet/tangy one. But the traditional version of this pasta salad recipe is very heavy on the mayo and sugar, making it pretty high in Weight Watchers Points, as well as cholesterol! My healthier version makes just a couple changes to make it lighter and lower in Points Plus, but still delicious. First of all, I used a whole wheat pasta – that’s a no-brainer. Then, I subbed out most of the mayo for a fat free Greek yogurt. But I had to keep some mayo to maintain the taste and texture, so I used my favorite mayonnaise alternative – Reduced Fat Vegenaise instead. You can really use just about any veggies you want in this Weight Watchers Pasta Salad Recipe – I just used what I traditionally knew as the most popular ingredients for it. And it turned out to be everything I hoped for…crunchy vegetables with a creamy, sweet, and slightly tangy dressing. Perfect!
I am a spicy food fanatic. If it’s spicy, I’ll eat it. One of the good things about that, is that most hot sauces/spicy seasonings are relatively low in Points, so I can use a lot of them to really flavor up my foods without adding on many, if any at all, calories and Points. In fact, my vegetables are often just the vehicle for some spicy sauce or dressing that I love. And this Spicy Cucumber Salad Recipe that I’m sharing today is a pretty fantastic way to eat cucumbers. The siracha based dressing for this salad adds such tremendous flavor with a big kick of heat, but for just 1 Points + per serving. So this is a great Weight Watchers side salad recipe that helps to fill me up without using a lot of Points Plus. I love this salad so much, I’ll often even throw it together for a late night snack The crunch and the flavor help me tame that evening snack beast. :)
In an effort to “detox” my body this week for the holiday eating I indulged in, I’m making an effort to eat mostly low carb/high protein, and as little processed food as possible. One dish that will be on my menu is this Chicken and Garbanzo Bean Pesto Salad Recipe for just 6 Points +. Not only is it super easy to make, but it’s a great way to utilize leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken, and with all the protein and fiber, it’s a pretty satisfying salad. The basil pesto dressing adds a lovely and bold flavor without needing to use too much of it, which is great for helping to keep the Points low. Pair this Chicken and Garbanzo Bean Pesto Salad with your favorite low calorie soup or a roll or baked potato to make it a complete and very filling meal. Enjoy!
Gyros. I ADORE them. And when I used to live in Los Angeles, my husband and I used to go to this amazing little restaurant that sold the most delicious gyros. It was right around the corner from our apartment, and we used to walk there VERY REGULARLY for dinner. I remember how I used to stand there and literally salivate as I watched them slice that beautifully tender meat off the rotisserie. But now, being a Weight Watcher, I’d have to seriously limit my gyro consumption if I wanted to actually lose any weight. So when my friend told me about this yummy Chicken Gyros Recipe she tried from Annie’s Eats, I decided to give it a try myself and see if it would truly have the flavors and satiety to satisfy my gyro craving. Using chicken instead of lamb meat was a good start to keeping it light. I just had to add in a few more spices to give it more of an authentic gyro taste. And then I served it on whole wheat pita. I also used much simpler Tzatziki sauce method, and was very pleased with how excellent (and easy!) and was. The gyros were fantastic. If you are a gyro lover, add these Greek Chicken Gyros to your ‘Must Try’ list, asap.
Still plenty of summertime left to fire up that grill and start cooking! On of my favorite Weight Watchers Grilling Recipes is this Grilled Middle Eastern Turkey Kebabs with Cucumber Yogurt Dip. Having been to the Middle East a few times, kebabs are one of the most delicious foods I’ve had there. So I wanted to create my own lighter version, and the results are pretty fantastic. The ground turkey meat is incredibly flavorful, and the cucumber yogurt dip is the perfect complement. It’s hard to believe that each serving is just 6 Points +! Truly a delicious and satisfying meal that will keep you on track with your Weight Watchers goals. So instead of burgers, hot dogs and grilled chicken, give these Grilled Middle Eastern Turkey Kebabs a try instead. Enjoy!
It is a fact that I have a minor obsession with Shrimp Spring Rolls. While I love the roll itself, I am mostly just looking for a vehicle for that delicious peanut dipping sauce they come with! Sooooooo GOOD. Light, fresh, doesn’t involve cooking….perfect for a hot summer’s day lunch. Never thinking that it would be a feat I could conquer, for months, I toyed with the idea of trying to make my own Shrimp Spring Rolls. If I was able to do this, I would be able to have an endless supply of them, readily available at my whim. It was worth a shot. So I got to work and did my best to recreate a healthier, Weight Watchers Shrimp Spring Roll Recipe that would satisfy my craving, yet still be low in Points Plus. And while my rolling and display skills may not be on par with professional Shrimp Spring Roll Maker Guys, the flavor profile I established was on point!! They were absolutely delicious. And the peanut lime dipping sauce was just as tasty as I hoped and prayed it would be. And just 5 Points + for two big spring rolls with sauce! These light, fresh, low calorie Shrimp Spring Rolls make me super happy, and I make them much more often than I care to admit.
This is a super easy yet delightfully fresh and flavorful Cucumber Fennel salad that goes great with salmon, white fish, tuna…any fish really. I’ve also served it with chicken and pork before too. The creamy and tangy cucumber dressing is so incredibly simple and it adds such a nice balance to the delicate flavors of the cucumber and anise-like fennel without being overwhelming. And at just 1 Points + for a nice 1 cup serving, you really can’t go wrong with this Weight Watchers salad recipe. It’s also a nutrition powerhouse – the fennel has a lot of fiber, Vitamins A & C, potassium and calcium. And then you get a nice a dose of protein from the Greek yogurt dressing, and an extra boost of Vitamins A, C & K from the cucumber. All for a whopping 50 calories a serving! This cold and crisp Cucumber Fennel Salad Recipe is a must try this summer.
In college, I used to LOVE eating cold, leftover Chinese food, straight from the carton in the fridge (actually, I still love to do that). In fact, Chinese food is one of the very few leftover foods, originally served hot, that I enjoy eating cold. My favorite are the chow mein noodles…..MMMMMMM. And when cold, leftover Chinese food wasn’t an option, I often ordered cold noodle salads at my favorite Oriental restaurants. But now, being a Weight Watchers member and a mom trying to make healthy food to serve her family, I try to avoid fatty, high calorie, high sodium foods from restaurants. And instead, I try and create a healthier “knockoff” at home that is still incredibly tasty, but low in Weight Watchers Points Plus and as healthy as I can get it. My version of Oriental Cold Noodles turned out absolutely AMAZING. Seriously, I couldn’t stop eating it. It was so fresh, zesty and tangy, and truly a real treat for just 6 Points + per serving. This is now what I turn to for my cold noodle fix. Pair it with some miso soup for a delicious and complete meal.
This Thai Shrimp Salad Recipe was something I literally came up with and executed in about 20-25 minutes. I had just experimented with a Shrimp Spring Roll Recipe the day before which was FANTASTIC (recipe coming soon), and I just could not stop craving the flavors. Plus, I had some leftover ingredients on hand. So, I tossed together the salad, softened the saifun bean thread noodles, and whisked up the dressing. It was absolutely delicious and very filling for just 5 Points +. The saifun bean threads really help add some bulk to the salad without adding a lot of extra Points. The shrimp and peanut lime dressing provide the protein. It was one very satisfying salad. Next time I make it though, I’ll add more vegetables…like some small sweet red peppers and sugar snap peas. I was just in such a hurry to eat, I didn’t take the time to get too creative and add a lot of color like I usually try to do. I just needed that salad in my belly…ASAP! And don’t be intimidated by the “saifun bean threads”…they are just cellophane noodles or “glass noodles”…you should be able to find them in the Asian section of your grocery store. If you aren’t concerned about Weight Watchers Points, add some peanuts for extra crunch and deliciousness.