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…]

Salmon with Orange Soy Glaze – 5 Smart Points

Salmon with Orange Soy Glaze

Salmon is one of my favorite meats. I really enjoy the flavor of salmon. It’s not as fishy as some types of fish and has a strong flavor that can be easily balanced with really delicious sauces. I like to serve my salmon with lemon, onions and dill or with a citrus salsa, but I thought I’d do something different. I didn’t want to just season the salmon with soy sauce, so I found a delicious glaze with orange juice and rice wine. Both the orange juice and rice wine helped to lighten the very strong flavor of the soy sauce. It was simple to make but really delicious. I decided to broil the salmon, since that was simple and quick. If you’re so inclined, you can make a second batch of sauce while the salmon is cooking to serve with the salmon. It’s delicious served with steamed rice, steamed or stir fried veggies and marinated cucumbers. [Read more…]

Marinated Tomatoes – 4 Smart Points

Marinated Tomatoes

It’s finally spring! I don’t know about you, but with some of our recent weather, I feel like it’s easy to forget that. I thought that called for a recipe to remind me of the warmer weather. Something that is refreshing and fresh and delicious, something that makes me feel cooler in warm weather. These marinated tomatoes were just the thing. I used cherry tomatoes, since that’s what I had on hand, but you can use any type of tomatoes you want. If you like your salad to have a little more juice, definitely use a juice tomato, like a regular beef steak tomatoes or even Romas. One of the things I like about apple cider vinegar is that it doesn’t have quite the same bite as other vinegars. It almost seems a little sweet. It’s perfect for these tomatoes, it adds the kick they need to make your mouth water, but isn’t enough to make your eyes water too. I like to let mine sit on the counter while I’m making the rest of dinner to let the flavors blend together better, but if you like your tomatoes chilled, then refrigerate it overnight and you’ll have one delicious, colorful and refreshing side dish!
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Pulled Pork Salad – 7 Smart Points

Pulled Pork Salad

Who doesn’t love a beautiful salad? Salads are a great meal. They are light and refreshing and since spring is in full swing, it’s the perfect meal to feel like you’re taking full advantage of the warm weather. This salad is delicious. The mixed baby greens provide a delicious base for this salad. Add in frozen or fresh green peas, some onion and a little mint and you have a salad packed with flavor and nutrients. With plenty of fiber, as well as iron, baby greens are a great way to feel full for much longer. I decided to give this salad a refreshing twist with the dressing as well. Cilantro and lime go together so well that they make a perfect dressing. I put everything in the blender to make it smooth and easy. If you’re one of those people that doesn’t like cilantro, you can omit the cilantro and olive oil, and use half an avocado instead. The flavor will definitely be different, but just as delicious. For me, this is a great way to make something new and fresh with leftovers. Leftover pork (roast or chops) shredded work perfectly for this. [Read more…]

Couscous Pilaf – 6 Smart Points

Couscous Pilaf

I love rice pilaf with seasonings and vegetables, but sometimes it’s nice to have a change. A quick and easy change for pilaf is to use couscous instead of rice. Couscous isn’t gluten free like rice, but it’s really easy to make and has a delicious flavor. It’s originally from North Africa. Couscous is made from durum wheat, and is really easy to make. Once your broth or water is boiling, it just takes 5 minutes to cook the couscous. This particular type of couscous is kind of like grains of sand, it’s tiny and has a mild, nutty flavor. If you want your dish to look a little different, use Israeli couscous. While Israeli couscous has a much larger size, it is similar in flavor and works just as well. This couscous pilaf is a great side dish. It’s so easy to make. It’s a perfect side dish to toss together while you’re waiting for the rest of the meal to finish cooking. [Read more…]

Honey Soy Chicken Drumsticks Recipe – 7 Smart Points

Honey Soy Chicken Drumsticks

Lately, I’ve been a bit behind with my meal planning and food organizing. Things have been really chaotic for my family these last few months, and sometimes, life just gets in the way. Unfortunately, this had let to a lot of eating out, less cooking at home, and poor food choices. However, during this tumultuous time, the few times that I have managed to cook a healthy meal, I’ve been lucky enough to have a few quick and easy recipes up my sleeve to rely on. Meals that I can prepare on the fly and require just a handful of ingredients. This Honey Soy Chicken Drumsticks is a hit with the family EVERY TIME. I’m not kidding! It’s incredibly flavorful and tender, and really helps to satisfy everyone’s sweet and salty cravings. Serve over a bed of fluffy, steamed brown rice and with a side of roasted veggies, and you’ve got a delicious meal in a pinch. Enjoy!

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Sandwich with Beet Hummus & Greens – 5 Smart Points

Sandwich with Beet Hummus

I’m not someone who loves sandwiches, but every once in a while, I get on a kick where I really like sandwiches and really want sandwiches. It’s nice to have some variety for sandwiches though. While I like turkey and swiss with tomatoes and lettuce, I thought I’d really change it up by trying a vegan sandwich that was completely different than my normal one. I think the keys were the hummus and the avocado. The beef hummus not only added a beautiful color to the sandwich, but it also served as the sandwich spread. The avocado added the right flavor and texture to the sandwich, as well as giving it a delicious moistness. While the serving size is only a half a sandwich, it’s easy to pair this with a side salad, a cup of soup or even just some fruit and nuts. It’s a perfect size to really hit the spot and satisfy your bread craving without going overboard. [Read more…]

Granola with Raisins – 9 Smart Points

Granola with Raisins

I love granola with yogurt for breakfast in the morning. I’m not a big morning person, so any weekday breakfast that is quick, easy and delicious is a winner for me. This granola is perfect. It’s light and delicious, but isn’t overwhelming. I can add any fruit I want to in my yogurt and it goes perfectly with the granola. I liked how much it made, it was plenty for a couple of weeks, but since it’s granola, it holds well in an airtight container for a month or more. If you’re concerned, just refrigerate or freeze the airtight container. The honey and raisins add all the sweetness I thought it needed, but for me, coconut adds a little more sweet that is a richer flavor. The cinnamon and vanilla really serve to pull the whole combination together so that the flavors work well with each other. If you like softer granola, just make sure to keep an eye on it so you can pull it out when it gets to the right consistency. If you like crunchy granola, leave it in for the full 20 minutes and then let it sit out for an hour or more to get more crunchy. [Read more…]

Strawberry Shortcake – 8 Smart Points

Strawberry Shortcakes

Everyone needs to have dessert on a regular basis. Or at the very least, everyone needs a treat on a regular basis. In my experience, if you don’t splurge and indulge your craving, you’ll end up out of control one day. I like to have a variety of dessert recipes on hand so when I see the ingredients, or get the craving, I can put something together and have a treat. For me, the trick is to make sure there are individual servings of the dessert, so I don’t go overboard with the piece of cake or brownie that I cut. Strawberry shortcake is perfect for that. When I bake with wheat flour, I really like to use a very light whole wheat flour. It looks, tastes and feels like regular all-purpose flour, but it packs a lot more nutrients into each serving. These shortcakes came out perfect – tender and light. When you top them with whipped topping and sweet strawberries, you can’t go wrong. Since the strawberries are zero points, that’s where I splurge and add a few more to satisfy my sweet tooth. If you don’t like fat free whip topping, go with a creamy fat free Greek yogurt, and flavor it with a little vanilla. Whichever topping you use, these are definitely a family favorite! [Read more…]

Country Potatoes Recipe – 5 Smart Points

Country Potatoes

These Country Potatoes make for a simple, minimalist side dish recipe that is fast and easy to cook, yet has the wonderfully distinct flavor of good old fashioned home cooking! A handful of ingredients are brought together in a perfect, hearty, comforting dish that pairs really well with steak, chicken or fish. In fact, they were so good that my family nearly gobbled them all up before I was able to snap a picture! I love that these potatoes cook up so quickly, and the flavor of all the vegetables aren’t overwhelmed with seasonings or sauces, allowing them to really shine. I’ve also served these as my take on breakfast potatoes a few times too, and they were a real treat alongside some turkey bacon and eggs. At just 5 Smart Points per serving, you’ll get a seriously satisfying side to your favorite main course, without going overboard.

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Asian Chicken Buns – 7 Smart Points

Asian Chicken Buns

A few years ago, my aunt sent me a steamer basket. It’s a beautiful wooden steamer basket with several layers, so you can steam veggies, leftover rice and meat all at once. I decided it was finally time to break it out to try these steamed chicken buns. These delicious little buns are very similar to pot stickers, but the outside is slightly different. Pot stickers are usually made with wonton wrappers, but these buns are made with a homemade yeast dough. I wanted to make these a little healthier than the original recipe, so I used half whole wheat flour. I’ll admit, since this is a yeast dough, it’s a little more involved than I would typically do for an appetizer type recipe, but it was definitely worth it. The outside is tender and savory, and the filling is delicious. For the filling, I started with ginger and ground chicken (or turkey). Add the bamboo shoots and shallots adds to the savory flavor for the filling. Then the filling is rounded out with the delicious seasonings that make the whole bun just delicious. While these are supposed to be an appetizer, if you’ve got a little extra time to make the dough, these are delicious for appetizers or even for a main dish. Serve them with some steamed, fresh or stir fried vegetables to make this a complete meal. You can also make a little extra of the seasoning sauce to use it for a dipping sauce. These are absolutely delicious – well worth waiting for the dough to rise! [Read more…]

Mediterranean Salad – 3 Smart Points

Mediterranean Salad

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.
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