Carrot Cake Pancakes with Blueberries – 5 Smart Points

Blueberry Pancakes

Saturdays I usually make a delicious brunch. Pancakes are one of my favorite things to make on days like that. I recently found a carrot cake pancake recipe and thought I’d give it a try. I really liked it. The carrot is a mild flavor that adds moisture to the pancakes – much like zucchini in chocolate cake. I topped mine with fat free Greek yogurt and fresh blueberries. I added a little bit of maple syrup for a little extra sweet – and it was delicious. Be sure to grate the carrots by hand, the store-bought grated carrots are just too coarse and you’ll end up feeling like you’re eating carrot stick pancakes. Hand grated carrots are much more fine and tender, so they just melt into the flavor of the pancake. Give these delicious dessert-like pancakes a try – you won’t be disappointed! [Read more…]

Sweet & Sour Teriyaki Chicken – 8 Smart Points

Sweet & Sour Teriyaki Chiccken

Growing up, my mom had the best teriyaki chicken recipe. Every time we all get home, she makes us a massive batch of teriyaki chicken. I decided to tweak her recipe a little bit this time and do some sweet and sour teriyaki chicken. Adding a sweet and sour sauce to the traditional teriyaki sauce lightened the flavor and made it more of a sauce than a marinade. So, I made my typical stir fried chicken and vegetables and added this delicious sauce. You don’t need to use the same broccoli and peppers that I did, toss in what you have on hand or whatever you like in your stir fries! Add some carrots, baby corn, water chestnuts, edamame, snow peas or anything else that you enjoy. All those veggies are great add ons since they don’t cost you an additional points. If you feel like you want a bit of carbohydrate or side dish, brown rice or whole grain pasta is a great choice. [Read more…]

Chicken & Apple Sliders – 7 Smart Points

Chicken & Apple Sliders

I recently was in Costco and had a sample of a chicken and apple slider. It was delicious, so I set out to make a similar recipe that I could do at home. I’m not sure if these are exactly the same, but they are delicious all the same, so who cares? I like how easy these are to make. I can make them up ahead of time and freeze them. Then I can just cook up a couple of them for lunch or dinner. When I need a quick meal, they’re ready to go. All I have to do is broil them for a few minutes. I like to pair these with an Asian coleslaw with a copycat Applebee’s salad dressing and some sweet potato fries. It’s a delicious, simple and healthy meal that’s ready to go in less than 20 minutes. This is perfect for our busy weeknights, or when I simply don’t know what else to make! These sliders are definitely keepers in our house! [Read more…]

Couscous with Pomegranates & Butternut – 7 Smart Points

Couscous with Butternut

Here is a seriously delicious combination of pomegranate, butternut and orange. It’s a simple and easy meal that can be tossed together in no time. I love the fact that I can make it up really quickly. Squash can be sliced in half, and baked for about 10 minutes. It’s easier to peel and cube then. It’s also easy to freeze it then and I can have it all year. Roasted in the oven with some olive oil, salt and pepper until it’s tender. It’s a great way to make squash without loading it up with butter and brown sugar. I highly recommend baking it for a few minutes first. I learned last fall with my pumpkins (when I was canning a whole bunch of them, about 30 or 40 quarts) that if you bake the pumpkin (or squash in this case) for about 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees, it looses the skin and seeds enough that they are easy to remove. Then just stick your squash in a ziploc bag and it’s ready to be baked when you need it. Since I don’t always have quinoa on hand, and it takes longer to cook, couscous is a great alternative to that. It doesn’t take long to cook, has a much more mild flavor and is less expensive. It’s a great combination with the crunchy and juicy pomegranate seeds. This is a bright, colorful and delicious salad that is simple to put together to complement your meal tonight. [Read more…]

One Pot Moroccan Chicken Rice and Potatoes Recipe – 9 Smart Points

One Pot Moroccan Chicken Rice and Potatoes Recipe

On those nights when you want a complete meal in one pot, this One Pot Moroccan Chicken Rice and Potatoes Recipe is a breeze, and it delivers a delicious and filling meal with minimal effort. By cooking all the food together in one pot, the chicken juices really help to add amazing flavor and tenderness to the rice and potatoes. And the Moroccan spices make it all just taste soooooo good together! This recipe was taught to me by my amazing Moroccan friend who makes this meal at least once a week. The first time I had it served to me at her house, I assumed this was a dish she slaved over all day. But to my surprise, it’s a pretty easy, hands off meal that comes together perfectly! And who doesn’t love having just 1 pot to clean up afterwards?

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Strawberry Cake Roll – 7 Smart Points

Strawberry Cake Roll

Around the holidays last year I made a couple of Swiss cake rolls. I really enjoyed making the cake rolls. It turns out they’re not as difficult as I thought they were. The trick is to roll them while the cake is still warm, then they can be unrolled, filled and rerolled fairly easily. I used parchment paper to roll my cake and it worked perfectly. With some leftover fresh strawberries, I decided to try a strawberry cake roll – and it was fabulous. I started with my favorite frosting recipe – cool whip and low fat cream cheese. While I prefer to use real whipped cream, I can get almost the same flavor with cool whip, but without the fat! Then I added fresh chopped strawberries for my filling. I went the easy route and used a plain box mix for the cake. You can use any flavor you like – white, yellow, funfetti, chocolate – whatever you prefer or whatever you have on hand. The box mix makes this easy to make and really light and fluffy. It was fun, delicious and looks beautiful and elegant. Since my husband doesn’t like chocolate – it’s even better! It’s now one of my favorite non-chocolate desserts! [Read more…]

Asian Noodles – 7 Smart Points

Asian Garlic Noodles

I love pasta. It’s one of my many weaknesses. I think I enjoy it so much because it’s something that I can do quickly, it tastes great and I’ve found some really good gluten free noodles that taste wonderful. I love to make garlic noodles. I used to just do noodles with my favorite seasonings. I’ve been adding a variety of vegetables. With the fresh garden vegetables right now, this is just perfect to add your favorite vegetables to whip up a quick and easy pasta dish. I like my noodles with just a little bit of spice, so I use sweet chili sauce. However, if you like a little more spice, use Sriracha instead of sweet chili sauce. [Read more…]

Apple Wrap – 6 Smart Points

Apple Wrap

Who doesn’t love apple desserts? Especially when they’re wrapped up in light and flaky dough. One of the down sides of most apple strudel recipes is that they use either puff pastry or pie dough for the outer wrap. While they’re both delicious, they’re also really high in calories and fat. In my recent quest to find a good alternative, I happened across the delightful Phyllo dough. I’m enjoying playing around with it, so I decided to try the traditional apple strudel recipe as an apple wrap with phyllo dough instead of pastry dough. It was delicious. It’s even more light than the traditional strudel recipes. Typically, the strudel is a little more heavy, dense and rich. This is light, sweet but still tart and really delicious. I have to stop myself from eating more than I should of this one. I love the contrasts of the tart, crisp-tender apples and the light, flaky dough. It’s delicious, easy and I’ll definitely be doing this one again. [Read more…]

Breakfast Sandwich – 8 Smart Points

Breakfast Sandwich (2)

I’m always looking for good brunch ideas, so when I saw one that involved puff pastry and hard boiled eggs, I thought I’d give it a try. Then I looked at the ingredients of the puff pastry and though better. In my quest for a lower calorie recipe to replace the puff pastry, I saw the suggestion to try Phyllo (Fillo) dough. It’s not as robust, so it tends to flake and crumble more easily than puff pastry, but for me, it’s a great alternative to puff pastry. It’s a much lower calorie option, but still have a delightful flaky texture and can be moulded around your food. For me, this was definitely a brunch sandwich. It works perfectly if I don’t get around to eating breakfast until mid morning. I love the tender crunch of the dough as I bite into the sandwich. But be warned – it’s not a neat and tidy sandwich to eat. But it’s delicious enough that it’s totally worth the mess! [Read more…]

Pasta with Spinach Pesto – 6 Smart Points

Pasta with Spinach Pesto

Pasta dishes are one of my favorite go-to meals when I’m in a hurry and need dinner fast. I can my own pasta sauce, so I always have a few jars of that on hand so I can mix up a meal of spaghetti if we’re in a hurry. However, I thought I’d try something a little different for this one. I love pasta with pesto, but I saw a recipe on Pinterest for one with spinach, and I just had to try it. The original called for far more oil (and a far more expensive oil), but I used olive oil, and it worked fine and tasted fabulous. Since the nuts tend to make their own oil when they’re processed for long enough, I started with that and let it go for a few minutes. After a couple of minutes, I drizzled in a little olive oil at a time until it reached the right consistency. Combined with whole grain pasta, some garden fresh tomatoes, you’ve got a simple and delicious meal ready to go.
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Quinoa Cucumber Tomato Salad Recipe – 5 Smart Points

Quinoa Cucumber Tomato Salad

Perfect for a light summer side salad, this Quinoa Cucumber Tomato Salad is not only incredibly easy to make, it’s super tasty! I love the slight crunch of the quinoa along with the fresh, crisp vegetables. And the simple lemon dressing pulls it all together wonderfully. This salad is a great way for me to get my kids to eat some vegetables and healthy whole grains – they love this dish. And any leftovers go great in their lunch boxes the next day. If you have a few Smart Points to spare, I suggest adding in some feta or goat cheese crumbles for an added kick of flavor. It’s sooooooo good! You could also top it with some grilled chicken, and/or add in some extra roasted veggies like bell peppers and zucchini, to make to a complete meal. This Quinoa Cucumber Tomato Salad works great at BBQ’s, potlucks, parties…you name it. It’s versatile, delicious, healthy, and just 5 Smart Points per serving.

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Blueberry Frozen Yogurt – 4 Smart Points

Blueberry Frozen Yogurt

Last summer, some of my friends made some blueberry ice cream that was just amazing. It was made with whole milk and fresh blueberries, sweetened with honey, and was absolutely fabulous. This summer, I decided to try it, but ended up making frozen yogurt instead. I’m lactose intolerant, so I can only do a very small amount of ice cream before I end up regretting my decision. Starting with yogurt and making frozen yogurt seemed like a great alternative. And it was. I started with fat free Greek yogurt. It provided a delicious and creamy base for the dessert, but without the fat. I used plain yogurt since I wanted to add a bit of honey for flavor, and the vanilla was easy enough to add as well. I used my frozen yogurt and sorbet maker from Cuisinart, but you can use any ice cream maker you have. Alternatively, just stick the mixture in the freezer and you’ll end up with a very tasty dessert just as easily as you would have with an ice cream maker.

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