Banana Coconut Pudding – 5 Smart Points

Banana Coconut Pudding

Of course you’re all familiar with my never ending quest to have new and yummy banana recipes. This one fits the bill. It’s perfect for my brother too, who is lactose intolerant. It’s made with light coconut milk, but it’s not an overpowering flavor. Combined with the sweet banana pieces and the tender tapioca pearls, it’s a wonderful dessert. I garnished it with another sliced banana, but you could also whip a little coconut milk and garnish it with a dab of that on top of the bananas. It’s a great dessert that really isn’t labor intensive. It’s perfect if you want to serve something elegant and delicious for your dinner party, or just end a family dinner with a sweet treat. You can chill the pudding in one large bowl, or, if you’re looking for a great way to make cute individual desserts, scoop the warm pudding into small ramekins and chill the pudding in those. [Read more…]

Lemon Glazed Greek Chicken – 3 Smart Points

Lemon Glazed Greek ChickenChicken is one of my favorite meats. It’s such a great source of lean protein and it goes so well in so many different dishes. The downside is that I tend to get stuck in a little rut and fix the same things over and over again. It’s hard to get out of that and try new things. But this Lemon Glazed Greek Chicken sounded great. It’s a combination of several different recipes, since many of the Greek chicken recipes I’ve seen use a lot of olive oil. This one is more tzatziki chicken, with a yogurt based marinade. Lots of garlic and lots of lemon with those classic Greek spices, and you’ve got a delicious chicken in no time. You can use any cut of chicken you like for this, but I’d recommend removing the skin first, since the marinade will be able to soak in much better. It’s delicious with a side of roasted baby potatoes and a side salad with some grilled asparagus. [Read more…]

Cucumber & Tomato Salad – 2 Smart Points

Cucumber & Tomato Salad

One of the reasons why I love side salads is that it’s a great way to add veggies (and nutrients) to my meal. It’s also a great way to add a pop of color to my meal that just makes it seem more fun and interesting. Fresh salads are just great anyway. They are so refreshing and light that they’re always tasty. This one is full of color with the green cucumbers, red tomatoes and radishes, yellow bell peppers and red onions. The dressing is simple and delicious – one of those vinaigrettes that I love. I always use a little canning jar with a lid to mix up my dressing ingredients. I just toss everything in it and then screw on the lid and shake it up. If you’d like to mix up this salad a bit more, use yellow tomatoes and a red pepper, or a mix of red and yellow tomatoes.
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Easy Cauliflower Soup Recipe – 4 Smart Points

Easy Cauliflower Soup

With the chilly weather finally in full force here in SoCal (and by chilly, I mean 60 degrees), I’ve been ALL about the soups. I find that they are a great way to use up extra veggies before they go bad. So last week, when I found a head of cauliflower in my vegetable drawer that i had forgotten to roast as a side dish one evening, I decided to use it in a quick, easy, and very light Cauliflower Soup Recipe. There are many ways to make cauliflower soup….but this is one of the easiest and fastest. If you want to add an extra flavor boost, try roasting the cauliflower and garlic before adding to the pot! Sooooo good. At just 4 Smart Points, this simple soup makes a great side dish for a chilly day.

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Chicken Fried Rice – 7 Smart Points

Chicken Fried Rice

One of my guilty pleasures is Panda Express. I love their fried rice and orange chicken. Thankfully, we don’t have a Panda Express in town, so it’s just a guilty pleasure when we go on a long road trip and find one along the way. However, fried rice is something that I really enjoy. I’ve made some really delicious pineapple fried rice (the key to that is that you really do need to add fresh pineapple right at the end), but I thought I’d give chicken fried rice a try this time. Leftover chicken is a staple in our house, since I use it in so many recipes (it’s so easy, healthy and delicious), so I used that and some leftover rice to begin my fried rice. The key to fried rice is that your rice should be cold. I try to plan rice for a side dish with a meal the day or two before and make the extra I need then. Just stick it in the fridge and it’s ready to go when I need to make fried rice. One of the great things with fried rice is that you can make it any way you like. Add all the veggies your heart desires, or substitute the chicken with tofu to make it unique to you. A word of advice with peas in fried rice – use edamame (soy beans) instead of regular sweet peas. While the sweet peas are more traditional, they do tend to turn funny colors if you overcook them. The edamame don’t lose their color and really add a beautiful look to your fried rice.
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Lemon Butter Chicken – 5 Smart Points

Lemon Butter Chicken

With my New Year’s Resolution in full swing, I am committed to eating healthy (yet deliciously), and this Lemon Butter Chicken Recipe is an ideal dish! The chicken is cooked to perfection in a velvety lemon butter sauce that is to die for. It’s hard to tell in the photo, but there is spinach in that dish too…it’s just buried under the heavenly sauce. Next time, I’ll try doubling the spinach I used because it wilted so much in the sauce, and there really wasn’t a lot of it in the final product. And at just 5 Smart Points per serving, this dish makes a great Weight Watchers dinner recipe that will help keep you on track without sacrificing flavor.

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Chocolate Chip Banana Bread – 4 Smart Points

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I’m not sure about everyone else’s house, but we almost always seem to have bananas that are getting overripe. As a result, I’m frequently making something that requires overripe bananas. Well, to be perfectly honest, I frequently make things like banana bread, but I also usually have a half a dozen bananas in the freezer. If your bananas are getting ripe, and you don’t have time to make something, just stick them in the freezer. Those bananas are perfect for making this banana bread. The number of bananas, along with the way that the liquid is reserved and then reduced from the bananas adds to the rich banana flavor and also the incredibly moist texture of this banana bread. I typically cover the banana bread with foil about half way through cooking. This helps the center cook without the top getting too brown. Really, this is a fabulous recipe. If you’re not a fan of chocolate (like my husband), just use walnuts instead of chocolate chips. I love this for breakfast and quick snacks – it’s so moist and delicious.

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Blueberry Mango Yogurt Pops – 2 Smarts Points

Blueberry Mango Yogurt Popsicles

I love blueberry and mango together. It’s one of my favorite smoothie flavors, so I usually have frozen blueberries and mangos in the freezer. They’re great for smoothies, and blueberries are perfect to add to pancakes, scones and muffins. This makes it perfect to have blueberries and mangos on hand to make some really delicious frozen yogurt pops. I don’t have the actual popsicle molds, but paper cups (avoid the ones with wax coating if possible) and wooden sticks work just as well. These are a great treat for me, they provide the sweet treat that I often crave in the afternoons. However, since it’s full of fruit and low-fat yogurt, it’s a much better option that candy or ice cream. These are just a great treat and they’re perfect for all the kids – the little ones and the big ones! [Read more…]

Chunky Applesauce – 2 Smart Points

Chunky Applesauce

Well, it’s the time of the year when the remaining garden produce is needing used. It’s kept pretty well until now, but if I want it to taste good, I need to use it pretty quickly. Since we have a few apples left, I thought it was a perfect time to make chunky applesauce (and an apple crisp with the rest of them). We had a variety of apples from my in-laws, but the specific apples you use doesn’t matter too much. The key to delicious applesauce, apple, butter, apple crisps or apple pies is the variety. Use a variety of apples – three or four different types of apples. Use apples that are sweet, soft, tart and firm. The varieties will really meld together to make a delicious finished product. When it comes to applesauce (especially chunky), you want to make sure that you use one apple that is tarter (and more firm) that will add a little zip to your sauce, and will keep its shape once it’s cooked. I love this applesauce. It’s perfect for breakfast, just for part of breakfast or to top crepes or pancakes. But it’s perfect for a snack or dessert as well.
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Spaghetti Pie – 8 Smart Points

Spaghetti PieThe winter holidays of Christmas and New Year’s are always a little crazy for my husband and me. Christmas is usually spent with my family and then New Year’s with his family. When my family all descends on us, I have to have everything planned to within an inch of it’s life. Every meal is planned, shopped for and prepped as much as I can. It makes life so much easier, and I’m able to enjoy time with my family that way. But when my parents came back and spent a few days with us after New Year’s, I had nothing ready. So my mom suggested this delicious spaghetti pie recipe. Sure, I’d heard of spaghetti pie, but I just assumed it was noodles and sauce mixed together and baked in a pie plate. I was pretty skeptical of this recipe, but it was absolutely delicious. I used gluten free pasta, and it worked just as well as wheat pasta. Just be careful not to use a bigger pie plate than 9 inches or you won’t have enough crust. It was really pretty easy to put together, since I had meat sauce in the freezer that I just thawed out. It was simple and delicious. While the pie was baking, it gave us plenty of time to put together a salad and steam some peas. Beautiful, delicious and loved by everybody!

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Gluten Free Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins – 5 Smart Points

GF Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Lemon poppy seed muffins are classic. Everyone needs a good lemon poppy seed muffin recipe. I decided that I needed a light and delicious lemon poppy seed muffin recipe that was gluten free. I’ve found over the years that when it comes to baked goods, yogurt is a great way to go. Want the lightest, fluffiest and most delicious gluten free biscuits? Use yogurt in place of the milk (even buttermilk). Use the same amount (2/3 cup buttermilk is 2/3 cup yogurt). Then let them sit for a few minutes and you’ll be amazed at how delicious they are. So I gave it a shot with these lemon poppy seed muffins. Fabulous! I substituted applesauce in place of the traditional butter, since they’re much lower in fat that way. With quick breads (like muffins, banana bread and cakes) you can substitute unsweetened applesauce for the butter. This is great for those recipes that call for 1 cup of oil (seriously, just reading it is enough to give me a heart attack). These muffins are delicious. They’re easy to make and wonderful – light and fluffy. They’re definitely a new favorite around our house.
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Easy Chicken Lo Mein Recipe – 7 Smart Points

Easy Chicken Lo Mein

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…I am OBSESSED with Chinese food. Seriously, I can never get enough. But following the Weight Watchers plan, eating Chinese food on a regular basis can get me into some serious trouble! So I regularly attempt to create my own healthier and lighter versions, hence this incredibly delicious Chicken Lo Mein Recipe. It was AH-MAZING. Me, my husband, and both kids loved it. Plus, it was super quick and easy! When adding the veggies for this dish feel free to get creative…I used what I happened to have on hand in the fridge, but next time, I’ll add some mushrooms, bell peppers and maybe some bok choy. Also, if you don’t have access to or can’t find the broccoli slaw, you can use regular broccoli and shredded carrots. I just used the slaw form because my kids are more likely to eat vegetables if they aren’t easily visible. But if you need to get your Chinese food craving satisfied, this Easy Chicken Lo Mein is a WINNER at just 7 Smart Points per serving! Enjoy.

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