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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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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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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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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One Pan Cheesy Chili Mac Recipe – 9 Points +

One Pan Cheesy Chili Mac

Have I mentioned before how much I adore one pan meals? With 2 young kids, 3 cats, and a husband who acts like a teenager, they just make my life SO much easier. This One Pan Cheesy Chili Mac Recipe was a HUGE hit and I’m really excited to share it. I used extra lean ground beef in this, but you could easily substitute ground chicken or turkey if you prefer. The tender, perfectly seasoned meat is cooked in one skillet along with whole wheat macaroni noodles, and then it’s all topped with gooey, melty Mexican cheese. Try this recipe, and I’d be surprised if your family didn’t love it as much as mine.

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One Pan Quinoa Taco Skillet – 7 Points +

One Pan Quinoa Taco Skillet

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!

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Arugula and Smoked Salmon Salad Recipe – 9 Points +

Arugula and Smoked Salmon Salad

Talk about a complete meal in one bowl! This incredibly delicious Arugula and Smoked Salmon Salad is absolutely packed with healthy fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Not only is mouthwateringly good, but it is very filling and loaded with enough energy and nutrition to last you a long time. I love making this salad for lunch, and I have no problem not getting hungry until dinner time. Or, I will make this salad for dinner when I want to avoid snacking in the evening (which is my biggest problem). The flavor combination in this Weight Watchers salad recipe is outstanding….peppery arugula topped with smoky salmon, tangy balsamic coated tomatoes, filling whole wheat couscous, and wonderfully nutty toasted pine nuts with sweet raisins. All covered in a creamy, tangy dressing that will leave your tastebuds doing backflips. My husband and I are absolutely in love with this Arugula and Smoked Salmon Salad Recipe, and I highly recommend all of you giving it a try! It’s one very complete, and satisfying dish for just 9 Points +.

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Lemon Pepper Vegetables – 1 Points +

Lemon Pepper Vegetables

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.
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Roasted Chicken Breasts with Tomatoes and Garbanzo Beans – 7 Points +

Roasted Chicken Breasts with Tomatoes and Garbanzo Beans

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.

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