Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Honey-Smoked Pork Tenderloin - 11 Smart Points and 7 Winning Points




This is a light and easy meal to make with a sweet, slightly smoky flavor.

Ingredients:

3 Tbs. butter
1 lb. 2" diameter pork tenderloin sliced 2"
4 medium carrots, sliced 1"
3 stalks celery, sliced 1"
1 small onion, sliced 1/8"
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. sage
3 Tbs. honey
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1 tsp. liquid smoke
1/2 tsp. minced fresh garlic


Instructions:

In 10" skillet, melt butter until sizzling, add pork and carrots.  Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until meat is browned (about 5 to 6 minutes).  Reduce heat to medium.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Cover, cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisply tender (10 to 12 minutes).

YIELD:  4 Servings

SERVING SIZE:  About 4 oz of pork and equal distribution of vegetables
POINTS:  7 Winning Points and 11 Smart Points




Thursday, October 12, 2017

Skillet Pasta and Vegetables - 8 Weight Watchers Smart Points or 5.25 Winning Points



This dish is obviously quite good....that's a lot of cheese!   I lightened up this recipe by using light butter and reduced-calorie shredded Mozzarella, but next time I will use 1/4 cup of it per serving since there are only 4 servings total in this dish.  That will reduce the overall points, which I'll note the next time I make this. 

Ingredients:

4 oz. uncooked bow tie pasta
1/4 c. light butter
1 tsp. minced fresh garlic
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 small eggplant, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 medium red onion, cut into eighths
1 tsp. basil leaves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1-1/2 c. (6 oz.) shredded reduced-fat Mozzarella cheese

Instructions:

Cook pasta according to package directions and drain.  In 10" skillet, melt butter until sizzling and stir in garlic.  Stir in remaining ingredients except pasta and cheese.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisply tender (about 4 to 6 minutes).  Stir in pasta.  Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until heated through (2 to 3 minutes).  Stir in cheese.  Serve immediately.

YIELDS:  4 servings
SERVING SIZE:  1/4 of dish
POINTS:  8 Smart Points or 5.25 WP

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Lemon-Raspberry Ice Squares - 5.5 Weight Watchers Smart Points or 3 Winning Points



This dessert was a find by me for using up raspberries many years ago.  It can be lightened up further, as the points depend greatly on the sugar cookies, butter, and yogurt used.  I tend to use real ingredients.  Vegan yogurt might be a good option to try with light butter and fat-free yogurt for fewer points.

Unfortunately, I was unable to find some lower-calorie vanilla sugar cookies and there were a lot of points involved in the ones I chose, but I also only used about 7 of them compared to the 18 called for in the recipe.  

The image above is a slice of the entire recipe cut into 9 portions and it's sitting on a salad-sized plate, so it's a good size.  Cutting the entire batch in 18 portions would halve the points. The whipped cream topping is not included in the points for this recipe, as that depends on your choice for whipped topping. 

The lemon and raspberry go so well together.  Just make sure you let it sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes to soften a tad because "Ice" squares are pretty hard to get through with forks and spoons otherwise.

Ingredients:

1 c. (about 18) crushed lemon-flavored sugar cookies
1/4 c. sugar
3 Tbs. butter
1 c. raspberry-flavored yogurt
1 c. low-fat buttermilk
1/3 c. sugar
2 c. frozen or fresh raspberries
sweetened whipped cream

Instructions:

In small bowl, stir together crushed cookies, 1/4 cup sugar and butter.  Press on bottom of 9" square baking pan and set aside.

In medium bowl, stir together remaining ingredients except raspberries and whipped cream.  Fold in raspberries. Pour yogurt mixture over cookie crust.  Cover and freeze until firm, about 3 to 4 hours.

To serve, let stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes.  Cut into 18 squares (or 9) and garnish with whipped cream.

You can also change up the flavor for this recipe.  Use blueberry-flavored yogurt and blueberries or strawberry-flavored yogurt with strawberries.  Heck, switch it all up and make it a combo deal, just remember the lemon flavor in the "crust" and choose complimentary flavors.

YIELDS:  18 servings
SERVING SIZE: 1/18
POINTS:  5.5 Smart Points or 3 Winning Points

YIELDS:  9 servings
SERVING SIZE: 1/9th
POINTS:  11 Smart Points or 6 Winning Points

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Hearty Cheese, Turkey & Zucchini Supper Sandwiches for 10 Weight Watchers Smart Points and 6 Winning Points




Once again, my camera settings have changed and the coloring in the pics is slightly off, but that's life with my 11-year-old.

These open-faced turkey sandwiches are packed full of flavor because of the homemade chese sauce and the basil the zucchini cooked in.  I was a little hesitant about trying this one, but I am so glad we did.  So was Mr F.  He loved it.  One child ate it and liked it, one outright refused to even try it, and the other wasn't home, so no family rating on this one.

Because it's higher in points, go for low-point sides to accompany it.  A half of an English muffin would be half the points listed here and would make a nice lunch as well.

Because most of the butter that the zucchini is cooked in remains in the pan upon completion, I've taken the liberty of removing some of the points assigned to it in the recipe while allowing for some extra calories/points for the bit of butter on the zucchini.

You can probably lighten it up further by using light butter and low-fat cheese, but I already did this recipe using 1% milk and used whole-wheat English muffins.  Also...I didn't use all of the cheese sauce.  I just eyeballed it and estimate each received around 2 tablespoons of cheese sauce.


Ingredients:

Cheese Sauce Ingredients:

2 Tbs butter
1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 c. milk
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 Tbs. chopped fresh chives

Sandwich Ingredients:

2 Tbs. butter
1 medium zucchini, sliced 1/4"
1 tsp. basil leaves
4 English muffins, split, toasted
8 (1-oz.) slices of cooked turkey


Instructions:

In a 2-qt. saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and stir in flour, salt, mustard, and pepper.  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth and bubbly (1 min).  Add milk.  Continue cooking over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and comes to a full boil (4 to 5 mins).  Boil 1 minute.  Remove from heat.  Stir in cheese and chives until cheese is melted. Keep warm.

In 10" skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter and stir in zucchini and basil.  Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until crisply tender (3 to 5 mins).  Place toasted English muffin halves on serving plate and top each half with 1 slice turkey, 1/8 zucchini mixture, and cheese sauce.

YIELDS:  4 servings
SERVING SIZE:  2 halves
POINTS:  10 Smart Points or 6 Winning Points

Monday, October 9, 2017

Springtime Ham and Asparagus Salad for Only 2 Weight Watchers Points

arranged to visually see each serving size via sections between asparagus spears



This salad is so low in points and light and refreshing that you can double up your servings for more of a meal salad.  It serves 6, so a single portion is more of a side salad and not as filling alone.

The homemade dressing has a strong lemon flavor, so if you're not a fan of lemon, try cutting the amount in the recipe back a bit.  I also added garlic powder to this batch but plan on trying it next time with actual minced garlic added to the dressing.

I also only applied one tablespoon of dressing per serving of salad with leftover dressing at the end, which means this actually fewer in point than I figured for the entire dressing recipe to begin with.

Single serving in large salad bowl



Salad Ingredients:

16 asparagus spears
4 c. torn lettuce
2 c. cubed 1/2" cooked ham
2 hard cooked eggs, quartered (I chose to slice them instead going for even eggs per serving)

Dressing Ingredients:

1/2 c. fat-free dairy sour cream
2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbs. chopped fresh chives
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1 Tbs. low-fat mayonnaise


Instructions: 

In 10" skillet, place asparagus, add enough water to cover.  Cook over medium-high heat until water comes to a full boil.  Boil 1 to 2 minutes and drain.  Rinse immediately with cold water until fully cooled.  This stops the cooking process.  Don't overcook your asparagus. You want them crisply tender, not mushy.

Arrange ham, eggs, and asparagus spears on lettuce on either individual salad plates or platter.   

In small bowl, stir together all dressing ingredients.  Pour dressing over salad if all will be eaten upon serving.  If wanting to save your salad in the event you'll have leftovers, apply dressing to individual servings and store dressing in an airtight container.

YIELDS:  6 servings
SERVING SIZE:  1/6 of platter
POINTS:  2 WWWP or 2 SmartPoints



Sunday, October 8, 2017

Spinach-Stuffed Steaks - 7 Weight Watchers Points and 9 Smart Points





These spinach-stuffed steaks turned out delicious.  The recipe calls for strip, T-bone, or Porterhouse steaks with bones in, but all I had were some boneless NY strip steaks cut about 1" thick.  This was so filling that I only ate half of a steak.  The recipe calls for 1.5 pounds total of steak, which this worked out to be as well.  Since cutting all four in half would be 8 servings, I got to halve the points as well.  I also served this with the garden-stuffed mushrooms recipe found here.

Individually, the components of this recipe are just kind of, well, meh, but when put altogether...just yummmm. 

Ingredients:

(2) 3/4-lb. steaks (strip, porterhouse, T-bone) with bones in (mine were boneless)
6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2" pieces
2 Tbs. butter

Stuffing Ingredients:

10-oz pkg frozen spinach, thawed, drained
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. minced fresh garlic

Sauce Ingredients:

1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 c. water
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. minced fresh garlic


Instructions: 

In small bowl, stir together all stuffing ingredients and set aside.

To prepare steaks, trim excess fat.  Split each steak from outer edges toward bone making a pocket.  Divide spinach mixture and fill each pocket.

In 10" skillet cook bacon and butter over medium-high heat until browned (5 mins).  Place steaks in same skillet and cook over medium heat, turning once, until desired doneness (7 to 9 mins for medium steaks).  Place meat on platter and keep warm while preparing sauce.

Pour off fat leaving bacon and brown particles in pan.  Reduce heat to medium and stir in flour.  Cook, stirring occasionally until mixture is smooth and bubbly (1 min.)  Stir in remaining sauce ingredients.  Continue cooking, stirring occasionally until thickened (4 to5 mins).  Serve over steaks.

YIELDS:  4 servings
SERVING SIZE: 6 oz of steak without filling
POINTS:  6.5 WWWP or 8.75 Smart Points (9 if rounding up)

Garden-Stuffed Mushrooms for 1.5 Weight Watchers Winning and Smart Points Each




These stuffed mushrooms make a good appetizer for the Weight Watchers conscious party goer...keep that in mind.

This recipe makes 16 stuffed mushrooms and for the Winning Points that I do, it comes out to 1.4375 points or 1.5 rounded up....so I'm going with 3 points even for every 2 mushrooms consumed.   For the newer Smart Points system, it works out to 1.5625 points per mushroom, but rounding up would be 2 points per mushroom.  That's quite a jump for a round up, so I'm leaving it up to you if you want to count these at 3 points for every 2 consumed as well or whether you would rather it be 2 points per mushroom and therefore 4 per every 2.  There are only 7 in the above picture because we started eating them before the spinach-stuffed steaks that were to accompany them were done cooking.  The recipe for the spinach-stuffed steaks can be found here.

The filling was quite easy to make.  I just put some herb-seasoned boxed stuffing mix into the food processor and pulsed it to break it down a little and proceeded from there.  Below is a picture of all of the stuffing ingredients ready to mix in a bowl.



Ingredients:

1/2 dried, crumbly style herb-seasoned stuffing, crushed
1/4 c. butter, melted
1/4 c. finely chopped carrot
1/4 c. finely chopped green pepper
pinch of pepper
2 Tbs. finely chopped onion
16 mushroom (2"), stems removed


Instructions:

Heat oven to 35 degrees.  In small bowl stir together all ingredients, except mushrooms.  Stuff each mushroom cap with 1 tablespoon filling.  Place in buttered 13" x 9" baking pan.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender.

YIELDS:  16 mushrooms
SERVING SIZE:  2 mushrooms
WINNING POINTS: 3 WWWP/2 mushrooms
SMART POINTS:  4 SP/2 mushrooms

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Iced Banana Berry Salad for 6 Weight Watchers Points for Me and 8.5 SmartPoints for You

(Plated on a salad plate)


Since I had to figure out points from scratch on this one, I did both the old way for myself and the new point system Smart Points for you.  These are made about the size of a dessert one might eat if not dieting, so if the points seem high to you, just cut it in half and get a diet-sized dessert in.

This recipe is a result of finding ways to use up the hand-picked raspberries growing in my back yard when I feel up to braving the spiders who wish to claim them. Ugh.  Can you spot the spider that is so cleverly camouflaged in the below photo?



No?  How about now?


Well, I tried to get up close to him so you could see these crazy little crab-like spiders that have me doing the heebie-jeebie dance with arms flailing around the yard often much like Tom Hanks did in the movie The Money Pit with the bumblebee.  No joke. It's not pretty.  It's blurry, but you get my point.  Since I've had one attach a web to my hair one time and fly in the wind in front of my face...I no longer try to go deep into the berry patch to get the ones in the back.  The spiders can have them.  I think I need a beekeeping suit to go after those.  The crab spiders have now also received some new neighbors because I keep seeing this other kind of spider there now as well.




I used some tart pans that I had to create individual servings, but you can use a meatloaf-style pan as well and slice it into 8 even portions...16 if you want smaller servings.  The entire recipe works out to 51 Winning Points or 68 Smart Points, so you can figure out your own points based on how many servings you go with in total, and I left off the whipped cream topping in the points total because you can figure that out yourself since it depends on how much topping and which kind of whipped cream you go use.


Ingredients:

1/4 c. sugar
1 c. dairy sour cream (Fat-Free)
1 Tbs. grated lemon peel
2 Tbs. whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. (2 med.) sliced bananas

1 c. blueberries*
1 c. raspberries*

Garnishing Options:
mint leaves
raspberries
blueberries


Instructions:

In large bowl, stir together sugar, sour cream, lemon peel, and lemon juice.  In a chilled small mixing bowl, beat chilled whipping cream at high speed, scraping bowl often, until stiff peaks form (1 to 2 minutes).  By hand fold in whipping cream, vanilla, bananas, and berries into sour cream mixture.

Spoon into individual 1/2-c molds or a loaf pan BUT line whichever you go with with plastic wrap first so you can remove them when ready for serving.

Freeze for 6 hours or overnight.  Unmold on small salad plates.  If using a loaf pan, slice into 8 equal portions about 1" thick.   

If desired, garnish with mint leaves, raspberries, blueberries.

*You can substitute frozen berries for fresh berries.   

YIELDS: 8 servings
SERVING SIZE: 1 slice or tart
POINTS:  6 Winning Point or 8.5 (9 rounded up) Smart Points




Monday, September 25, 2017

Spinach Salad with Feta or Goat Cheese for 2 Weight Watchers Points

This salad has an easy-to-make dressing with a little kick to it and it goes well with the Chile Carmelized Pork Medallions I'll be posting soon (because I forgot to take a picture of them last week).

I don't like feta cheese, but Mr. F loves it, so leave the cheese off and allow people to "pick their poison" as they say for personal preferences.  



Ingredients:

Dressing:
   2 Tbs. Hoisin sauce
   1 Tbs. rice vinegar
   2 tsp. canola oil
   2 tsp. water
   1/4 tsp. chili paste

Salad:
   5-oz. pkg baby spinach
   1/2 c. yellow bell pepper
   1/4 c. thinly sliced red onion
   1/4 c. (1 oz) crumbled feta or goat cheese


Instructions:   Combine dressing ingredients in a container with a lid if you don't plan on using the entire salad in one sitting amongst your diners and apply only enough to each serving individually if so.  It doesn't store well after dressing application, but you can store it without the dressing on it.

Add spinach and remaining salad ingredients into a large bowl.   If going to eat the entire salad preparation in one night, apply all of the dressing and toss to coat.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:  Calories 73; Fat 4.6 g (saturated 1.6g, mono 1.9g, poly 0.9g); Protein 22 g; Carbohydrates 6 g; Fiber 1 g; Cholesterol 9 mg; Iron 0.8 mg; Sodium 256 mg; Calcium 68 mg

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Cauliflower Mash for 2 Weight Watchers Points

As I'm sure you are aware, cauliflower is the thang these days.  People turn it into pizza crust, sandwich bread layers, breadsticks, rice, etc.

I have an old recipe book from which I got this one and it is pretty close to actual mashed potatoes, so I'm sharing.  Nobody else in my Family had a clue it was cauliflower. 

I first tried using a hand mixer to turn the Florets into mashed potatoes, but no dice.  Just put them into the Food processor as suggested and save yourself 2 more pieces of utensils to wash.




Ingredients:

2 (10-oz) pkgs cauliflower florets (6 cups)
1 Tbs butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs evaporated milk
1/3 c. (2.7 oz.) tub-style light cream cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Instructions:

Steam cauliflower, covered, in a large pan 20 minutes or until very tender and drain.  Melt butter in same pan over medium-low heat.  Add garlic and cook 2 minutes or until lightly browned.  Put cauliflower back in and add milk and remaining ingredients and stir.  Place cauliflower mixture in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.

YIELD:  4 servings

SERVING SIZE:  about 1/2 cup

POINTS:  2 points

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:  Calories 120 (51% from fat); Fat 6.8 g (sat 4.5 g); Protein 5.5 g; Carbohydrates 10.3 g; Fiber 3.6 g; Cholesterol 20 mg; Iron 0.7 mg; Sodium 461 mg; Calcium 83 mg


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Acorn Squash with Maple Syrup for 2 Weight Watchers Points

The Fall season is Fast approaching, so here is a good squash recipe!   You can eat a whole half for only 2 Weight Watchers Winning points!




Ingredients:

1 (1 lb.) acorn squash
water
1 Tbs. light butter
1-1/2 Tbs maple syrup
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions:   Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place whole squash in microwave for a minute to make easier to cut in half.  Cut squash in half from stem to bottom.  Cover the bottom of a bake-safe dish that can be covered with a lid with water.  Maybe about 1/4" deep.  Place each squash half cut side down in water-lined baking dish and pierce each with a knife a couple of times. Cover and bake for about 40 minutes.

While squash is cooking, mix butter, syrup, and salt in a small sauce pan over medium heat and bring to a boil.  Spoon this mixture over cooked squash and sprinkle with cinnamon.

YIELD:  2 servings

SERVING SIZE:  1 squash half

POINTS:  2 points

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:  Calories 134 (21% from fat); Fat 3.2 g (sat 1.8g); Protein 1.4 g; Carbohydrates 28.7 g; Fiber 2.7 g; Cholesterol 8 mg; Iron 1.4 mg; Sodium 202 mg, Calcium 69 mg

Monday, September 18, 2017

Roasted Green Beans with Bacon and Shallots for 2 Weight Watchers Points

Well, I'm not really sure what has happened to Pinterest while I was away for the summer, but it looks like you guys/girls, any of my readers, needs to create a description of each new recipe and pin it for a description to show up or for it to show up in an actual search???  All I'm getting is a picture now on Pinterest when I pin my own stuff.  It always winds up being about the marketing dollar and not us little guys who are actually trying to network socially versus advertise doesn't it?

If anybody wants to take pity on this tech-challenged lady and help me Figure out what I'm supposed to be doing now to reach people looking for recipes, it'd be greatly appreciated.  In the interim, I will be searching online to Figure it out. 

Frustrated is my F word for that reason.

Anyway, here is today's recipe for Roasted Green Beans with Bacon and Shallots for only 2 Weight Watchers Winning Points per 3/4-cup serving.





This is really easy and really Flavorful.  I just reserve some bacon from a morning session of frying it up in a pan; maybe some goes into a breakfast for the Family or some BLT's for a lunch, but I keep bacon aside for this later in the day and sometimes even the next day in the fridge until I make it. 

Ingredients:


1 (12-oz.) pkg pretrimmed green beans
2 small shallots
2 tsp olive oil
1/8 tsp salt
2 slices precooked bacon

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Arrange beans in a single layer on a large jelly-roll pan.  Bake at 450 degrees for 13 minutes or until lightly browned and tender.  Crumble bacon and sprinkle over green beans.

YIELD:  3 servings
SERVING SIZE:  About 3/4 cup
POINTS:  2 points

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:  Calories 98 (51% from fat); Fat 5.5 g (sat 1.2 g); Protein 4.2 g; Carbohydrates 9.8 g; Fiber 3.9 g; Cholesterol 6 mg; Iron 1.4 mg; Sodium 225 mg; Calcium 46 mg

Friday, September 15, 2017

Quick Pesto Pasta Tauce Recipe for 3 Weight Watchers Points



This side dish is quick and easy...I repeat quick and easy. I have to fight Mr F because he wants to eat it all by himself versus leaving any leftovers for me for quick points figuring.

Next time I make this, I'll try adding in a bit of chicken breast.  Let me know if you do that first and how you liked it please!

Ingredients:

4 oz.  uncooked multigrain penne pasta (1-1/4 c uncooked)
2 Tbs commercial pesto
2 tsp grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

Cook pasta according to package directions omitting salt and fat.  Drain.  Combine pasta, pesto, and cheese in a bowl and toss well.

YIELD:  4 servings

SERVING SIZE:  1/2 cup

POINTS: 3 (Winning points)

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:  147 calories (29% from fat); 4.8 g Fat (0.8 g saturated); 6.3 g Protein; 20 g Carbs; 3 mg Cholesterol; 1.6 mg Iron; 93 mg Sodium; 38 mg Calcium

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Goat Cheese Sandwich with Cucumber and Alfalfa Sprouts for 4 Weight Watchers Points





This is a light and refreshing snack recipe that I sometimes pair with this recipe for Spicy Vegetarian Black Bean Soup.  Yes, that is a lot of veggies!  I like it that way though, as the cheese and cucumber of the "sandwich" balances the spicy in the soup.

I also sometimes add a bit of other seasoning to the layer of goat cheese, such as garlic powder to switch up the Flavor.  Play around and make it your own that way!  It doesn't get any easier than this really.



Ingredients:

2 Tbs. goat cheese
1 (2-oz) whole-grain English muffin, split, toasted
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
6 (1/8" thick) slices English cucumber
2 Tbs. alfalfa sprouts

Instructions:  Spread 1 tablespoon goat cheese on each half of warm English muffin.  Sprinkle with pepper (and seasoning of your choice to switch it up).  Top with 3 slices of cucumber each and about 1 tablespoon of alfalfa sprouts each and voila!

YIELD:  1 serving

SERVING SIZE:  2 halves

POINTS:  4 points

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:  223 Calories (39% from fat); 9.7 g Fat (6.1 g saturated); 11.5 g Protein; 24.5 g Carbs; 4.1 g Fiber; 2.2 mg Cholesterol; 2 mg Iron; 508 mg Sodium; 240 mg Calcium

Spicy Vegetarian Black Bean Soup for 3 Weight Watchers Points



If you're pressed for time, this is a quick and easy soup to make!  The only real prep involved was mashing half of the black beans; the rest was prepackaged for an open-and-dump-in situation.



I paired this with the Goat Cheese Sandwich with Cucumber and Alfalfa sprouts recipe found here for a total of 7 Weight Watchers Winning points.  As soon as the sugars portion of this recipe is Figured out, I can share the Smart Points values.  Sorry, but old recipes just don't list sugars in the nutritional information and I haven't had the time while cooking to stop and figure them out myself.

I used a Chipotle-flavored meat crumble package, so that added a lot of flavor on it's own.  It was the only bag left, but I'm sticking with those because it worked.   I also had to make my own Mexican Spice blend because I couldn't find any at the store, so I'll include the mixture of spices I used for that as well in case you can't find it either.  I think the pepper stir-fry and fajita vegetables may be the same thing, but I'm not certain because, as is the story of my life, I couldn't find the pepper stir-fry mix either and went with the frozen fajita vegetables mix. 👌

Only Mr F is willing to give this a go.  As I've mentioned previously, the kids don't do beans of any color, shape or size.  If you find you won't eat this faster than it may spoil, then cut the recipe in half.

Ingredients:

2 (15-oz.) cans black beans, rinsed, drained
1 (16-oz.) pkg frozen pepper stir-fry, slightly thawed
1 (12-oz.) pkg frozen meatless burger crumbles
1 (14-oz.) can organic vegetable broth
2 tsp. salt-free Mexican seasoning
1/2c (2 oz.) reduced-fat Monterey Jack Cheese with jalapeno

Home-made Mexican Spice Blend/Seasoning:

2 Tbs. paprika
2 Tbs. no-salt-added chili powder
1-1/2 tsp. onion powder
1-1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1-1/2 tsp ground cumin
1-1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne or ground chipotle pepper (optional)

Mix all Mexican spice blend ingredients together and store in an airtight container for future use.


Instructions:

Mash half of the beans with a fork or a potato masher.  Combine mashed beans and remaining beans in a large dutch oven.  Add pepper stir fry and next 4 ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 8 minutes.  Ladle soup into bowls and top with shredded cheese.

YIELD:  8 servings

SERVING SIZE:  1 cup soup and 1 Tablespoon of cheese

POINTS:  3 points

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:  185 calories (18% from fat); 3.7 g Fat (0.9 g saturated); 14.1 g Protein; 24.9 g Carbs; 6.2 g Fiber; 5 mg Cholesterol; 3.1 mg Iron; 717 mg Sodium; 125 mg Calcium

Chicken Tenders with Pita Chip Coating for 2 Weight Watchers Winning Points



My youngest child requests this dish Frequently.  It happens to be a Family Favorite.  Family Favorites make for a stress-Free meal, and I know all to well that satisfying the Family members is the only way I can maintain a diet.



I tried breaking up the pita chips for this recipe in my food processor, but they just spent a lot of time flying around and not really breaking up.  I wound up using a sandwich baggie and and the bottom of a coffee mug to smash them into tiny bits.

(Raw and prepped for the oven)

As is usual when I don't have the sugar Figures for Figuring out the newer Smart Points, I am only currently able to list the Winning Weight Watchers Points, so if you don't see Smart Points below my recipes, then you need to Figure out the new points by obtaining the Sugar figures necessary.  

Ingredients:

1/2 c. egg substitute
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 c. Parmesan, Garlic and Herb pita chips, finely crushed
1 Tbs. salt-free Italian seasoning
8 (2-oz.) chicken breast tenders
Cooking Spray
1/2 c tomato-basil pasta sauce (such as Classico), warmed

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Break up pita chips using a plastic zip-seal sandwich bag and your choice of tool to crush.  Heat a large baking sheet in oven 5 minutes.  While baking shet heats up, combine the egg substitute and pepper in a shallow dish to accommodate your chicken tenders.  Combine the chips and Italian seasoning in another shallow dish to allow for dredging the tenders after the egg dip.  Really pat the chip coating on there.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and spray with cooking spray.  Place coated chicken tenders onto the baking tray and place into the oven.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until done and warm the tomato-basil pasta sauce in a small saucepan.   When done baking serve up with warm pasta sauce.

YIELD:  8 servings

SERVING SIZE:  1 chicken breast tender and 1 Tablespoon pasta sauce

POINTS:  2 points

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:  79 Calories (11% from fat); 1 g Fat (0.1 g saturated); 14.3 g Protein; 3.7 g Carbs; 0.5 g Fiber; 33 mg Cholesterol; 0.8 mg Iron; 120 mg Sodium; 13 mg Calcium

Friday, January 20, 2017

Chicken Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Sausage Breakfast Braid for 6 Points



Oh my gosh! This is a huge Family Favorite and it's only 3 Weight Watchers points per slice!  I've even made this just before going to bed and it heats up in the microwave just Fine the following morning because who likes to use an oven in the morning? Not me.

I'll take more photos of this one in the process of prepping in case anyone needs it the next time I make it.

I use a roll of sausage and double up the fixings for the sausage mixture portion so that I can then divide it up for different braids on different days. I just withhold the addition of the egg until after I divide the sausage mixture, rather than cooking up 4-oz portions of sausage. I have yet to find a version of the sausage with jalapeno peppers premixed into it so I just add my own jalapeno peppers to the pan as it is cooking.

Ingredients:

1 13.8-oz. can refrigerated pizza crust dough
Cooking Spray
1 Tbs olive oil
1/4 c chopped onion
4 oz chicken sausage with jalapeno peppers, chopped
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 c (2 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 c shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 c chopped seeded jalapeno pepper
1 large egg white, lightly beaten


Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Unroll the dough onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray and pat into a 15 x 10-inch rectangle.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sausage and cook 9 minutes or until lightly browned.  Stir in eggs and cook 1-1/2 minutes or until set and remove from heat. (My version: Cook sausage, chopped jalapeno, and onion until cooked through/slightly browned for whole sausage roll and then divide mixture up into servings for this recipe. Add sausage back to pan and then add eggs.)

Sprinkle Monterey Jack cheese lengthwise down center of dough leaving about a 2-1/2-inch border on each side.  Spoon egg/sausage mixture evenly over cheese and then top with cheddar over the egg mixture and top with jalapeno pepper.  (Since in my version I've added the jalapeno pepper into the sausage mixture myself, I do not add more jalapeno).

Make 2-inch-long diagonal cuts about 1 inch apart on both sides of dough to within 1/2 inch of the filling using a sharp knife or kitchen shears (I recommend the shears!). Arrange strips over filling.  Press ends under to seal.  Brush with egg white and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Let stand 5 minutes .  Cut crosswise into 8 slices.

YIELD: 8 slices

Servings: 4 servings
Serving Size: 2 slices

Points: 3 points per slice

Nutritional Information:  Calories 246, Fat 15.6 g (sat 6.3 g, mono 6.6 g, poly 1.5 g); Protein 15.9 g; Carb 11 g; Fiber 0.2 g; Chol 147 mg; Iron 1.2 mg; Sodium 516 mg; Calc 173 mg

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Pizza Quesadillas for 6 Weight Watchers Points



These thick and hearty quesadillas are quick and easy!  For those in the Family who turn up their noses at the sight of mushrooms and green peppers, I limited their servings to just the cheese and pepperoni with a side of dippable raw veggies.  As you know, I'm on the hunt for meal ideas that can help me be successful and keep me from making more than one meal--one for me and one for "the others".

Since each quesadilla is 6 points and is cut into thirds, it stands to reason that each "wedge" (upon cutting them into thirds) is worth 2 points, so if you want to up your intake to 8 or 10 points if allowance permits, go for it!

Ingredients:

1-1/2 c fresh presliced mushrooms
1/2 c prechopped green bell pepper
1/2 tsp dried basil
4 (8") 96% fat-free flour tortillas
1 c (4 oz.) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
20 slices turkey pepperoni (5 per quesadilla)
Pinches of garlic powder and/or onion powder
1 c pizza sauce such as Ragu Homestyle


Instructions:

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat the pan with cooking spray. Add mushrooms and bell pepper and cook for 4 minutes until tender stirring frequently. Stir in basil.

While cooking the peppers and mushrooms, coat one side of each of the four tortillas with nonstick spray and place the sprayed side down and dry side up on the counter/work surface.

When peppers and mushrooms are ready, divide this mixture up evenly among the four flour tortillas covering only one half of each tortilla.

Start your pizza sauce to warming in a small saucepan.

Top each vegetable-covered tortilla with 1/4-cup of mozzarella cheese and 5 slices of turkey pepperoni. Season each with pinches of garlic powder and/or onion powder to your personal taste.

Fold each tortilla in half and place two at a time into heated pan with the folded sides together creating a circle from your two now halves and brown each side.

YIELD: 4 servings
SERVING SIZE: 1 Quesadilla cut into thirds and 1/4 c sauce
POINTS: 6 points per quesadilla (and 2 points per wedge)

Nutritional Information:  Calories 283 (32% from fat); Fat 10 g (sat 3.9 g), Protein 16 g; Carb 33.2 g; Fib 4.6 g; Chol 26 mg; Iron 3.1 mg; Sodium 904 mg; Calcium 333 mg

Carrot-Apple-Ginger Smoothie for 3 Weight Watchers points or 6 Smart Points each

Please excuse this plastic tumbler's gnarly edges. ;)

This smoothie recipe can be quite refreshing. You can use 2 ice cubes for a cold drink style or add 4 for more of a thickened smoothie.

Ingredients:

1/4 c. 100% carrot juice, chilled
1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/4 c. organic fat-free vanilla yogurt
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
1/2 frozen ripe banana
2-4 ice cubes

Instructions:  Place all  ingredients in a blender and voila!

Serves: 1
Points: 3 Points
SmartPoints: 6 (5.5 rounded up)

Nutritional Information:  Calories 138; Fat 0.1 g (sat 0 g, mono 0g, poly 0.1g); Protein 4.3 g; Carb 32.7 g; Fiber 2.3 g; Chol 2 mg; Iron 0.3 mg; Sodium 79 mg, Calcium 126 mg

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Chocolate-Chocolate-Chip Avocado Cookies for 2 Points Each!



Seriously, if you need a chocolate Fix, this is a good one. Especially Fresh out of the oven with the ooey gooey chocolate and even warned in a microwave for a few seconds afterward.

Yes, it's dairy free and gluten free (if you use gluten-free flour, which I do), and even vegan too. It's so easy to make and the whole Family gobbles them up completely unaware they're made with avocado!

I've tried this recipe with different types of flour, regular all-purpose, whole wheat flour, gluten-free versions, and I've settled on Cup-4-Cup gluten-free as my favorite in this recipe.

I've also tried this recipe with different chocolate chips--milk chocolate, dark chocolate, semi-sweet, etc. and I've settled on semi-sweet chips as my favorite, but feel free to pick your poison here.


INGREDIENTS:

parchment paper
1/2 cup mashed avocado
1/2 cup turbinado sugar (method to making sugar-big rough, crystal-like granules)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 c gluten-free flour
100 grams of chocolate chips of your choice


INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line your cookie sheet with parchment paper.

While the oven is preheating give your avocado and turbinado sugar a good whirl in a food processor or blender.

Add vanilla and apple cider vinegar and give another quick whirl until blended well/incorporated.

Mix the cocoa powder, the flour, the baking soda, and the cinnamon in a separate bowl with a whisk and add half at a time to moist mixture and blend after each addition.

Mix in chocolate chips by hand.

Spoon about a tablespoon of cookie dough onto your parchment-lined cookie sheet and use the backside of your spoon to flatten and shape the cookies somewhat, as they don't expand and shape much on their own.  Try to make sure there are no thin spots on the outer edges as they will cook/burn quickly and affect the taste of your first bites.

Bake for 10 minutes.



Sunday, January 8, 2017

Hamburger Steak with Carmelized Onions and Lemon-Thyme Green Beans



This is a very simple, quick and easy dish to make. It doesn't even matter if the "sauce" gets onto the beans, they go well together. A three-fourths cup of beans is only 1 point and the burger steak rings in at 4 points.

For the picky kids, who were scared of the onions and sauce, they put their patty onto a bun with the usual condiments, so all were able to partake in this one in one way or another.

Now for the green bean recipe, I have no idea what kind of bag of pretrimmed and microwavable beans they wer hoping I could find, but I just bought precut frozen green beans and I quickly boiled them for a few minutes in water to heat them up from a frozen state.

Hamburger Steak Ingredients:

1 lb ground sirloin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp dried Italian seasoning
Cooking Spray
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 c beef consomme (I used beef broth)
1/4 c balsamic vinegar

Hamburger Steak Instructions: 

Combine the first four ingredients in a small bowl. Shape into four 1/2-inch thick patties

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add patties, cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Transfer patties to a platter.

Add onion to pan and coat onion with cooking spray. Saute over medium-high heat 4 minutes. Return patties to pan.

Combine consomme/broth and balsamic vinegar and pour over onion and patties. Bring mixture to a boil and cover reducing heat and simmering five to six minutes or until meat is done.

YIELD: 4 servings
SERVING SIZE: 1 patty and about 1/3-cup onion/broth mixture
POINTS: 4 points

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: Cal 163 (28% from fat); Fat 5 g (sat 2 g); Pro 23.7 g; Carb 6.3 g; Fib 0.8 g; Chol 60 mg; Iron 2.2 mg; Sod 375 mg; Calc 17 mg



Lemon-Thyme Green Beans Ingredients:

1 (12-oz.) pkg pretrimmed green beans
2 Tbs light stick butter
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp grated fresh lemon rind

Lemon-Thyme Green Beans Instructions:

Pierce bag of green beans with a fork. Microwave at HIGH 4 minutes or until tender.

While beans cook, soften butter. Combine butter, thyme, and lemon rind in a large bowl. Add green beans aand toss to coat.

YIELD: 4 servings
SERVING SIZE: About 3/4 cup
POINTS: 1 point

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: Cal 62 (55% from fat); Fat 3.88 g (sat 2.3 g); Pro 1.8 g; Carb 6.7 g; Fib 2.7 g; Chol 7 mg; Iron 0.7 mg; Sod 229 mg; Calc 41 mg