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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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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Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili Recipe – 8 Smart Points

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili

Well, my favorite team didn’t make it to the Super Bowl (so close, though!), but that doesn’t mean I won’t partake in Super Bowl festivities! And where there’s a Super Bowl party, there’s food…lots of yummy food. To keep myself on track, I like to bring along a big pot of this delicious Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili to share. It is SO good, and always a hit on game day. When I take it to a party, I bring along a bag of tortilla chips with it, along with diced onions, avocados, shredded cheese, and sliced jalapeños…some of my favorite taco toppings. This give people the option of dipping the chips in it, or just eating it like a traditional chili – straight out of the bowl. And everyone LOVES it! It’s a Weight Watchers Super Bowl recipe that is super easy to make, freezes wonderfully, and tastes incredible. If you want to feel like you are indulging without actually indulging, this Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili Recipe will do the trick. It’ll definitely be on our game day menu this year!

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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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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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Crockpot Split Pea Soup – 2 Smart Points

split-pea-soup

I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure about split pea soup. It doesn’t sound very appealing and it definitely doesn’t look appealing. However, it’d been awhile since I’d done anything in the crockpot, so I thought I’d give it a try. I’ll admit, there are still more appealing looking meals out there. A large bowl of green soup isn’t top pretty. But the rich and delicious flavor of the soup more than makes up for it. I love how simple it was to put together. Just stick it all in the crockpot and turn it on. Once you’re ready to serve it, just use an immersion blender to puree it to your desired consistency. This is a great way to use up the ham bone from the Sunday dinner. What I really loved about this whole meal was how easy it was to to make! Everything went in the crockpot in the morning and got turned on. In the evening, all I had to do was puree it and decide what sides to serve with it. If you want to make it a little prettier, add a few pieces of chopped ham to the top of the bowl, or add a little sour cream to make it a little more creamy.

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Roasted Eggplant Salad Recipe – 1 Smart Point

Roasted Eggplant Salad

In my opinion, eggplants are one of the most under-used vegetables. This Roasted Eggplant Salad is perfect example of how easy they are to use and flavorful the eggplant is. By roasting it, the eggplant develops a beautiful, smoky flavor. Combine it with the crunchy, fresh bell peppers and onions, then finish it off with fresh lemon juice and olive oil, and you’ve got one amazing mouthful of deliciousness. And since the only ingredient that’s counted in this recipe is the olive oil, each serving comes out to just 1 Smart Point per serving. I’ll use this salad as a topping for my chicken, a dip for my pita, or I’ll add a chopped hardboiled egg to it for protein packed side salad. It’s so versatile and so flavorful, you’ll find yourself making it over and over again.

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Smothered Pork Chops – 6 Smart Points

Pork Chop

I always enjoy spicing up the same old dishes. It’s fun to take something that we have on a regular basis and make it in a new and different way. My two favorite ways of making pork chops is to grill them or bake them and then smother them in either apples and onions or with homemade applesauce. However, it’s kind of fun to do something different and I really enjoy one dish meals, where I can just toss everything in together and then just put together something quick and easy for the side dish – like a side salad or some steamed broccoli. For us, it’s the perfect Sunday dinner, ready for us when we walk back in the door after church. The pork chops turned out succulent and juicy. Full of flavor but and moist! One of the tricks of this, I’ve found, is to sear the meat first in a fry pan and it helps to seal in the juices. In my experience, bone in pork chops also helps with this. Then just mix together the apples, potatoes & spices and bake it all. Once it’s done, add your favorite vegetables (or whatever you happen to have on hand) and you’ve got a delicious meal ready to go. [Read more…]

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Peruvian Chicken Stir Fry Recipe – 4 Smart Points

Peruvian Chicken Stir Fry

This Peruvian Chicken Stir Fry recipe is one of my favorite, and incredibly reliable chicken recipes that deliver an absolutely delicious dish with minimal effort. Sautéed bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes are so flavorful, and the simple stir fry sauce is low in Smart Points, but big on taste. This is a great healthy dinner recipe that you can get on the table in less than 30 minutes, looks lovely, and is a big hit with the entire family. My kids love this over some steamed brown rice, but when I have a few extra Points to spare, I serve it over baked french fries, as is the traditional Peruvian way. Just 4 Smart Points per serving, this Peruvian Chicken Stir Fry will steal your heart the same way it’s stolen mine. Enjoy!

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Spaghetti Squash and Turkey Bolognese Recipe – 7 Smart Points

Spaghetti Squash and Turkey Bolognese

Sometimes, I just want a big, heaping plate of spaghetti with a rich, flavorful meat sauce. But the Smart Points in a typical bolognese could end up adding up to a whole days worth of Points! So in order to satisfy my craving without ruing my diet, I created this simple, no-frills Spaghetti Squash and Turkey Bolognese Recipe. I just sub out the carb heavy spaghetti noodles for the light, nutritious, and 0 Smart Points oven-roasted spaghetti squash. Topped with a decadent, lightened up turkey bolognese sauce, this recipe is one seriously satisfying meal! When I have a few extra Points to spare, I’ll also add some grated Parmesan on top – soooooo good! Serve with your favorite salad or roasted veggies, and even a slice of garlic bread, for a meal that is sure to fill you up.

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Lasagne with Bolognese Sauce – 7 Smart Points

Lasagna with Bolognese Sauce

One of the best parts of pasta in my opinion is the sauce. There is nothing like homemade pasta sauce, whether it’s a cream sauce or a red sauce. The flavors of homemade sauce are so much more vibrant and rich than canned pasta sauce. I’ve found that it’s worth my while to make my pasta sauce. Lasagna is one of those pastas that is truly delicious when topped with a homemade pasta sauce. This simple Bolognese sauce is just what it needs to really be delicious. I decided to try a lasagna without cheese this time, so I needed the sauce to pick up any slack from the missing cheese. And this sauce did just that. It was really quite easy to prepare and the end result was something that was really rich and the flavors were vibrant. Since it’s homemade, you can tweak the flavors to fit your individual taste preference. This lasagna with Bolognese sauce is a little more work, but the flavor in the end makes it worth every minute. [Read more…]

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Lentil Bolognese Recipe – 10 Smart Points

Lentil Bolognese

This thick and hearty vegetarian Lentil Bolognese is not only delicious, but incredibly satisfying. While it doesn’t taste the same as a traditional meat-based bolognese, the unique flavor is wonderful in itself. And with all the fiber and protein this dish delivers, it packs quite a nutritional punch. The sauce is definitely not lightweight…it’s rich and abundant, and does a great job of satisfying your hunger. It’s well worth the 10 Smart Points per serving, as you’ll be full for quite a while. Serve with a light salad or your favorite roasted veggies for a complete meal.

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