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!
I love salads, but I really don’t love all the chopping and prep work. It’s time consuming, and messy, and honestly, I’m just to beat to bother. Somedays, you just really need a no-fuss side salad, and this Thai Ginger Peanut Slaw is one of absolute favorites. First of all, the the convenience of a pre-packaged broccoli slaw mix is such a game changer. It’s great to to have salad base options that is more than just lettuce! Broccoli slaw is packed with vitamins and minerals, and the crunch is just delightful. You simply dump that mix in a bowl, toss in some cilantro, and your good to go. Now, let’s talk about the ridiculously delicious dressing that is going to rock your slaw. It’s comprised of a handful of ingredients that are whisked together in minutes, and will truly take the flavor of your salad to a whole new level. It’s creamy, nutty, salty, tangy, spicy, and a touch sweet. And all your tastebuds will be thoroughly satisfied! Today, I’m sharing just the quick and easy version of this salad, but you can easily add more veggies and some protein if you want to bulk it up some, or serve it as a complete meal. It’s such a fantastic Weight Watchers salad recipe to help keep you in track, without making dishes that are too complicated or bland. I’m telling you, it’s a game changer! Enjoy.
I have a recipe for quinoa almond butter blondies that is just wonderful. It’s a great one to make for people who have food intolerances to things like eggs, gluten and even dairy, since the recipe either has none (eggs and gluten) or is easily modified (applesauce instead of butter). One of the downsides of using quinoa flour is that it tends to be very expensive in the grocery store. However, with some regular, whole quinoa and a coffee grinder, you can make your own quinoa flour very easily. Since the brownies turned out really delicious, I thought I’d try a chocolate chip cookie version. Cookies work better for me, since I can have them frozen and just get out a couple (either in dough and then cook them up or already cooked and just thaw them) and they stay fresh and I don’t have to eat the whole batch. I wanted to make these gluten free, so I used a gluten free flour blend, but it’s easy to switch it back to regular wheat flour. One cup of gluten free is equal to one cup of all purpose or whole wheat flour. I also used dark chocolate chips, since I love the flavor of dark chocolate (and can use unsweetened ones), but you can switch them out for semi sweet or milk chocolate if you’d prefer. [Read more…]
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!
Today, my kids asked me to post about their favorite salmon recipe – my Honey Lime Salmon. Roasted salmon is a great meal option for busy days when I’ve had little to no time to prep, because it cooks so quickly. Plus, this particular Weight Watchers salmon recipe is easy to follow, and requires just a handful of ingredients. So with little fuss, I can get a healthy and delicious meal on the table that the whole family enjoys. I often will throw some chopped veggies on the baking pan to cook along with salmon, and I’ll toss them with any extra honey lime sauce I may have. Then it becomes a simple, one pan meal, which means less to clean up. Yay! I’ve also served this over some fresh steamed rice, if I’m looking to add some carbs to the meal. But it’s such a tasty and easy meal, you’ll find this recipe becoming one of your go-to’s too.
I’m trying to increase my protein intake, and for me, one of the easiest ways to do that is to add a protein shake to my day. I’ve got a couple of favorite store bought ones, but I wanted to try and get the same flavors and textures at home. One of the downsides of protein shakes is that if you don’t do it right, you end up with a grainy texture – which I dislike. I also tend to have to adjust the ingredients slightly, and then again, so I end up with enough smoothie for the next week. I had a bunch of strawberries to use up, and added a ripe banana as well so that I could have the extra vitamins before my walk. The oatmeal adds some fiber to help me stay full longer, as well as being heart healthy. Almond milk is always an alternative in smoothies, and works great, but I went with skim since it’s high in protein and calcium, but lower in fat. A little vanilla helps to bring all the flavors together. The result was a perfect smoothie. I used it for a snack both before and after my walk. Since I had some congestion recently, I was using some Emergen-C to get extra vitamins to try and prevent getting any more illnesses (that seem to be going around). I added my packet of Emergen-C to the second half of my smoothie and gave it a good shake. It added a little bit of fizz to the smoothie, which really seems to lighten the smoothie. The end result of that I liked it so well, I thought I’d add a little sparkling water or club soda into the second half of my smoothie, just to freshen it up. That’s easy to do, and if you make sure your sparkling water or club soda has no flavorings that add points, you don’t alter the points of your original smoothie. However, when adding the carbonation – be careful not to stir or shake too vigorously or you’ll end up with a little more cleaning than you wanted!
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.