Now that temperatures are starting to heat up here in California (sorry, East Coast), I’ve been craving meals that are fresh and light, as opposed to rich and comforting. One that I tried recently was this delicious Italian Chicken Bruschetta. Bruschetta, if you’ve never had it, is kinda like Italian salsa. It’s a simple blend of fresh tomatoes, basil and garlic. It is incredibly easy to make, but the flavor is wonderfully bright and complex. I decided to use it on top of some simple grilled chicken breasts, and the result was divine! You can grill your chicken, roast it, or pan fry it — whichever you prefer. The fresh bruschetta on top is the perfect complement. This is also magnificent as a sandwich with some fresh Italian bread and some creamy goat cheese – one of my most favorite sandwiches ever! The flavors are so bold and mouthwateringly good. So grab some tomatoes and basil, and give this chicken bruschetta recipe a try….you’ll be so glad you did!
When I want a salad that is insanely filling and satisfying, this Grilled Chicken, Pear, and Candied Pecan Salad is one of my favorites. I know that 12 Smart Points may seem like a lot, but for an entire meal, that is delicious, and will give me sweet, tangy, and salty all in one, it’s not too shabby of a deal. Nothing is sacrificed in this incredibly tasty dish, and it’s a breeze to prepare. The balsamic maple dressing is absolutely divine, and the variety of flavors and textures in the salad are to die for. There is something about the combination of the creamy, tangy goat cheese, with the sweet and tart cranberries, and the crunchy sweet and salty pecans that truly feels like a party in my mouth. You could make this dish a little lower in Points by cutting out the cranberries and using different nuts or cheese, but in my opinion, every Point is absolutely worth it! The restaurant version of this salad clocks in at around 23 Smart Points, so it really is a great bargain. If you are tired of basic salads, this Grilled Chicken, Pear, and Candied Pecan Salad is a must try!
If you are looking for a healthy Thanksgiving side dish recipe this year, these Balsamic Roasted Sweet Potatoes are a fantastic alternative to candied yams. Yes, I know traditional candied yams are swimming in butter and melted marshmallow and nothing can quite compare to that, but these sweet potatoes are a LOT better for you and a great way to help you stay on track this holiday season. Plus, they are incredibly easy to prepare, requiring just 3 steps and a small handful of ingredients…most of which you probably already have on hand. And they are so delicious, you won’t be making them just at Thanksgiving. Enjoy!
I really like to use beans in things because it makes it much lower in fat than meat, but it’s still a great source of protein. Beans are also a great source of fiber – which really helps when you’re trying to eat healthy and lose weight. The fiber helps to fill you up and when you feel full longer, you’re less likely to eat as much. They’re also so handy to have on hand. I usually just have a variety of canned beans on hand (several cans of each) so that I have them ready to go when a recipe calls for them. I wanted to do something with fresh garden vegetables, but something with a definitely Mediterranean flavor to it. I ended up combining a couple of recipes, including one with a really tasty oil and vinegar dressing. I used a low calorie pita bread as a scoop and I fell in love with it. It’s easy to put together and right now you can get garden fresh veggies and herbs to put in this. It’s fabulous fresh, and (I think) even better after it’s had a day or two to marinate. While I had it with pita bread the first time, it really wasn’t necessary. It was just as good with a spoon! This will definitely become a favorite salad for my lunch options. [Read more…]
I love salads and vinaigrettes. I recently found a really delicious herbed feta that I wanted to try in a light and colorful tossed salad. Since it was an herbed feta, I knew the salad would have to be light and not over powering. I wanted a dressing that could complement the salad and feta, but not compete with it or overpower it. I started with a balsamic vinaigrette but flavored the dressing with a little Italian seasoning. The Italian seasoning perfectly set the dressing off, it helped to lighten the rich flavor of the balsamic so that it complemented the salad. The baby lettuce is my absolute favorite greens for a salad. They are light and tender, and have more flavor than the regular head lettuce. You can also add any of your other favorite vegetables to this salad. Add chopped mushrooms, or some chopped summer squash for a little more color. Give this delicious Mediterranean inspired salad a try for a light and refreshing lunch on these beautiful spring days.
I am someone who isn’t a big fan of blue cheese. I can handle it if there isn’t too much of it and it isn’t too strong. But I thought I’d give this salad a try, and figured I could always pick the cheese out if I needed to. Turns out, I didn’t need to. I was surprised that the strong and sharp flavor of the blue cheese worked so well with the balsamic vinaigrette and the sweet pears. It turned out to be a delicious salad. While the recipe calls for fresh pears, canned pears (canned in juice, then drained), could be chopped and added just as easily. Dress the salad and sprinkle on the blue cheese just before serving, or the cheese can overpower the flavor of the dressing and the pears. The tender and mild baby lettuce leaves were perfect to balance out the rest of the flavors. However, if you’re someone who doesn’t care for blue cheese, or can’t have it, you can leave it out, or substitute a feta (or similar cheese) for it. [Read more…]
In an effort to eat less meat (the reason why is a whole looking other blog post for another time), I’ve been experimenting with more vegan and vegetarian Weight Watchers Recipes. A friend of mine cooked this for me one day, and it was so good, I knew I had to recreate it at home! The mild, soft polenta is topped with a tangy puttanesca sauce that’s to die for. Now, because you all know I love shortcuts, I used a prepared log of Trader Joe’s Organic Polenta. If you want to make your own from scratch, you absolutely could. I just often have my hands full while cooking dinner, so I try to save time wherever I can. But even with the pre-made polenta, this traditional Italian recipe is divine! You get a hint of the salty brine from the olives and capers, and the sweet and tangy tomato sauce balances it all out. It’s loaded with protein and fiber and is incredibly satisfying. A real bargain for just 6 Smart Points too! Enjoy.
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!