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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
With 2016 almost at an end, it’s time to get back on track and detox from all the holiday goodies. Gyros have always been one of my favorite guilty indulgences, and today I’m sharing my favorite healthy makeover of a traditional Greek gyro. First of all, I subbed out the fatty, high cholesterol lamb meat with tender chicken breast marinated in an amazing blend of Greek spices, lemon juice and yogurt which helps to tenderize the breasts while giving them fantastic flavor. Also, by making my homemade tzatziki sauce, I was able to lower the calories while also bringing in some more incredible tastes. Trust me when I tell you that after making your own tzatziki sauce, you will never want to buy the pre-made store bought kind again. Finally, everything is served on top of a whole wheat pita, and topped with fresh red onion and tomato slices. It is so good. SO GOOD! And at just 7 Smart Points each, these healthy chicken gyros make a great Weight Watchers lunch idea.
Chili has always been one of my favorite cold weather foods – there’s just something so comforting and soul warming about it. And my Chipotle Chicken Chili Recipe has an extra boost of flavor heat to warm you up! Made with crumbled ground chicken and Italian sausage, this chili is packed with protein and is incredibly satisfying. I’ve made this recipe many times, and it’s always well received. It can feed large crowds and is relatively inexpensive to make. And at just 7 Smart Points per serving, this Weight Watchers chili recipe tastes like a splurge, but is absolutely guilt free. If I have the time, I will let this cook for 3-5 hours….because the longer it cooks, the tastier it is. I also love serving it with a dollop of sour cream or shredded cheddar cheese, and some fresh chopped red onions. Soooooo yummy. Need a dish for game day or Super Bowl Sunday? This Chipotle Chicken Chili is it! Enjoy.
Baby, it’s cold outside! Warm up with this tasty Weight Watchers Winter Lentil Vegetable Soup Recipe that’s packed with fiber to help you feel full, and Vitamin C to help ward off those seasonal viruses. The flavors of this vegan soup recipe are bright and fresh, and are the perfect anecdote to the winter blues. And with all that damage you’ll end up doing with holiday goodies, this is a dish you can really feel good about, as each hearty serving is just 3 Smart Points each. Freeze leftovers in pre-portioned containers for a quick lunch or snack to have on hand when you are feeling hangry! :) Enjoy.