Classic Cuban Picadillo Recipe – 5 Smart Points

Classic Cuban Picadillo

If you’ve never had it/heard if it before, picadillo is a traditional and popular dish that is a staple in Cuban cuisine. It’s basically a tender stew of ground beef and tomatoes, with cinnamon and/or raisins added for sweetness, and olives added for salt. It’s typically served over rice, but also works great as a stuffing for empanadas, quesadillas or wraps. It smells and tastes heavenly, and is the ultimate in Cuban comfort food. This recipe is favorite of my kids’ and always gets gobbled up. They eat it with the rice, and my husband and I just ate it as is. To keep it healthy and Weight Watchers friendly, I just used an extra lean ground beef and used cinnamon instead of raisins. It was incredibly fast and easy to make, and was absolutely divine. Truly a satisfying and indigent dish that is totally guilt free. I highly recommend giving this one a try!

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Greek Quinoa Salad Recipe – 4 Smart Points

Greek Quinoa Salad

Our family is on a quinoa eating kick lately, and I’m taking advantage of it my cooking as many Weight Watchers quinoa recipes as I can! Today’s recipe is just a simple Greek salad with quinoa as the base, instead of lettuce. This makes an amazing side dish to accompany any fish or chicken meal. But you can also make this as a main course salad simply by adding some grilled chicken or fish right on top of it. I just adore the texture and nutty flavor that the quinoa adds to it. And it’s so much more filling than a standard salad! This Greek quinoa salad is so incredibly flavorful, and I’ll often serve it on top of a bed of butter lettuce and top it with some grilled chicken and veggies for a very satisfying meal! It makes a great dish to take to potlucks and barbecues too, so if you are looking for some ideas of dishes to take along and share, this is it. Enjoy!

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Honey Lime Salmon Recipe – 5 Smart Points

Honey Lime Salmon

Today, my kids asked me to post about their favorite salmon recipe – my Honey Lime Salmon. Roasted salmon is a great meal option for busy days when I’ve had little to no time to prep, because it cooks so quickly. Plus, this particular Weight Watchers salmon recipe is easy to follow, and requires just a handful of ingredients. So with little fuss, I can get a healthy and delicious meal on the table that the whole family enjoys. I often will throw some chopped veggies on the baking pan to cook along with salmon, and I’ll toss them with any extra honey lime sauce I may have. Then it becomes a simple, one pan meal, which means less to clean up. Yay! I’ve also served this over some fresh steamed rice, if I’m looking to add some carbs to the meal. But it’s such a tasty and easy meal, you’ll find this recipe becoming one of your go-to’s too.

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Arabic Fattoush Salad Recipe – 2 Smart Points

Arabic Fattoush Salad

On a trip to Israel a few years ago, my husband and I stopped at this amazing Arabic restaurant in Jerusalem. And of all the fantastic foods I got to try on my visit, I will never forget the fattoush salad I had there. IT WAS AMAZING. I know that may sound crazy…to be so blow away by a salad, but the incredible flavor combination of this traditional arabic salad was divine. Fresh mint and parsley, combined with cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, and warm toasted pita bread, then topped off with a tangy vinegar garlic dressing and crumbled feta cheese. So good!! Bit the best part about this salad was the addition of a popular Middle Eastern spice called sumac. This is what sealed the deal and made this Arabic Fattoush salad so incredibly delicious! At the restaurant, I was introduced to the owner’s friend who runs an online casino, Casino Arbi. We had a great chat about some foods and seasonings that were central to Arabic culture, and as soon as I returned to the states, I got into the kitchen to try and recreate some of the fantastic foods that I enjoyed and learned about. Sumac has since become a staple in my kitchen now. I love it on salads, meats, and on tops of steamed rice. So today, I’m sharing my recreation of the Arabic Fattoush salad….and it’s just 2 Smart Points per serving. This one is a must try!

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Quinoa and Black Bean Salad Recipe – 5 Smart Points

Quinoa Black Bean Salad

Quinoa, like rice, is one of those versatile grains that you can do so much with. This simple, healthy Quinoa and Black Bean Salad Recipe is not only a breeze to throw together, it’s flavorful, satisfying, and just 5 Smart Points per serving. It’s a perfect side dish to just about any meal. I’ll even use leftovers on top of a salad for lunch the next day! The quinoa has a lot of fiber, protein, and nutrients, so it’s a much healthier alternative to rice. Though, some do not like the slightly nutty, earthy taste of the quinoa. But in this recipe, the lime, garlic, and cilantro really help to balance out that flavor, so it’s an ideal quinoa recipe for anyone who may not be a huge fan of quinoa. Even my kids will eat this cold in their lunch boxes. At just 5 Smart Points per serving, my Quinoa and Black Bean Salad Recipe is a great Weight Watchers side dish recipe to fill you with nutrition and help keep you on track.

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Creamy Lemon Parmesan Chicken Piccata – 6 Smart Points

Creamy Lemon Parmesan Chicken Piccata

If you’ve ever been to a good Italian restaurant and ordered Chicken Piccata, then you know how absolutely delicious this dish can be. Simple, yet tremendously flavorful. There’s an amazing Italian restaurant not too far from me that I paid a recent visit too (I was craving their breadsticks, but that’s a different story). I decided to try their chicken piccata because of the sauce description in the menu. It was a bit different from most chicken piccatas I’ve had before, and the description had me salivating. Rather than a traditional lemon/wine sauce, they used a creamy Parmesan sauce instead. And for anyone who knows me well, cheese is my weakness. I CANNOT RESIST IT. So I decided to use my “flex” Points and splurge, and it was well worth it! And then I made up my mind to recreate a healthier and lighter version at home so that I could some more regular, guilt free indulging. The creamy, lemony sauce is like a river of velvet in your mouth, and the tender, juicy chicken breasts are the perfect vehicle for that heavenly sauce! I ate this right off the plate, but my kids enjoyed theirs over pasta. Next time, I’ll try serving it over some zoodles. This Creamy Lemon Chicken Piccata is the ultimate in gourmet comfort food!

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Crack Slaw Recipe – 2 Smart Points

Crack Slaw

So apparently, this “crack slaw” thing is a big deal. I’ve been hearing all about it lately, and with such an interesting name, I had to see what in the world it was. Crack slaw is basically just a simple stir fry made with cabbage and ground beef that is supposed to be so incredibly delicious that it’s addictive. Just like crack. Given that it’s high in protein, and low in sugar and carbs, I knew this would be a perfect Weight Watchers recipe to try. So I did a bit if research, and came up with my own version of crack slaw. I choose to use ground chicken instead of ground beef to lower the fat content, added in some broccoli slaw I had on hand, and made a few tweaks to the seasoning. And I have to say, this was pretty darn good! You could definitely play around with this and incorporate any veggies you’d like. Red bell pepper, snow peas, mushrooms are a few great options. And at just 2 Smart Points per serving, this Weight Watchers recipe could be a life saver!

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Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup Recipe – 1 Smart Point

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

With the cold, rainy weather we’ve been having in here in SoCal lately, I have been a soup making machine! My kids LOVE soup, and it’s very helpful for me, because it fills me up, is easy to make, and is great to freeze for when I need a quick snack or meal. A recent soup I just made to go with my daughter’s favorite lunch (grilled cheese sandwiches) was this Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato soup. Oh Em Gee….this was SO delicious! The soup was made entire from scratch, with all whole food ingredients. It was light, brightly flavored, and wonderfully fresh. I’ve made homemade tomato soup from scratch before, but the real trick here is the roasting of the vegetables. It adds such a slightly smokey flavor, and really helps to bring out the flavor of the vegetable. And the best part? It’s just 1 Smart Point per serving! You’ve gotta give this one a try ASAP.

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Cauliflower Nachos Recipe – 5 Smart Points

Cauliflower Nachos

Notch-yo average nacho (see what I did there?), these healthy Cauliflower Nachos are an absolutely decadent treat that are completely guilt free. Nachos are one of my favorite guilty indulgences, and just by making a couple of healthy changes, I can enjoy a big heaping serving of them. In this recipe, we are simply switching out the high fat, high calorie tortilla chips, and substituting them with Mexican spiced, roasted cauliflower slices. Cauliflower has such a mild, neutral flavor, that when you smother it with seasonings, cheese, salsa, red onions, etc, it takes on the flavor those foods, and you don’t really notice it. Granted, it doesn’t have the “crunch” of tortilla chips, but let’s face it…the chips are just a vehicle for all those nacho toppings! Feel free to go crazy and add other toppings like black beans, ground chicken or beef, carne asada, diced peppers…you get the idea. I cannot even begin to tell you how happy this recipe makes me. It’s a MUST try!

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Chicken Zoodle Soup Recipe – 3 Smart Points

Chicken Zoodle Soup

With the chilly winter weather in full swing, I just cant get enough soup! Chicken noodle soup has always been one of my family’s favorite comfort foods, but the traditional egg noodles that are used can really add up the calories. By simply subbing out the egg noodles with “noodles”, which is just zucchini that has been spiraled, I was able to make my homemade chicken noodle soup recipe a LOT lighter and healthier. Now I can indulge in a big bowl of delicious chicken soup for just 3 Smart Points! It’s so delicious and satisfying, and absolutely guilt free. Spiraled zucchini can be used in so many recipes, and it’s really quite fast and easy to do. If you don’t have one already, I highly recommend one. The one I have (THIS one) is small, cheap, and does a great job…no need for anything fancy. If you love chicken noodle soup but have been avoiding it because of the high calorie noodles, this recipe will win your heart.

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Stuffed Cabbage Soup Recipe – 1 Smart Point

Stuffed Cabbage Soup

Well, here we are…the last day of 2016. And I’m full steam ahead in the kitchen prepping for weeks of healthy eating and holiday binging detox! Today’s recipe is one that is a HUGE help to me when I’m trying to cut calories…Stuffed Cabbage Soup. Growing up, my mom would often make stuffed cabbage rolls for dinner. I remember that they were really tasty, but that we didn’t have them often because the recipe required a lot of steps and it was quite time consuming to make. So to get the flavors of traditional stuffed cabbage rolls without all the work, I prefer to make my “lazy mom” version, which basically combines all the ingredients in a soup rather than the rolls. It’s WAY easier, and it tastes wonderful! So bright and fresh, but still hearty and satisfying. I eliminated the rice to save some calories, and I honestly didn’t miss it at all. If you still feel like you need the rice, you could always try Miracle Rice, which is zero calories, so it won’t affect the Smart Points count at all. I actually just made a huge batch of this soup, and am freezing individual portions of it, so I can have it on hand when I’m hungry or hangry (so hungry that I’m angry). It prevents me from eating food that isn’t a part of my healthy eating plan which can derail my progress. If you love stuffed cabbage rolls, I highly recommend this leaner, lighter, soup version instead! Enjoy. And Happy New Year!!

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Baked Falafel Recipe with Tahini Sauce – 6 Smart Points

Baked Falafel with Tahini

I truly believe that this Baked Falafel Recipe is actually much better than the traditional fried version. The flavors from the spices and fresh parsley and cilantro are bright and bold, and the garbanzo beans are thick and meaty. The outside is crisped to perfection, and the inside is soft and creamy. Topped with homemade tahini sauce and fresh cucumber salad, and stuffed into a whole pita, it’s one seriously satisfying meal. You can even skip the pita, and serve the falafel and on top of a big salad. With lots of protein, fiber, and flavor, this healthy homemade falafel recipe is an excellent one to try this New Year. Enjoy!

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