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TITLE (EDIT)
Cooking Skinny - Weight Watchers Recipes
DESCRIPTION
Here you will find healthy dishes that do not sacrifice any of the flavor that can be found in their full-fat origins. This collection of recipes is both low fat and tasty, because after all this is the same food I cook on a daily basis for friends and family. My food philosophy is to eat clean, whole foods and maintain good portion control. This is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. When you cook your own meals, you know you can feel good about what is going into your body. Let me help you guide your way and teach you how to prepare delicious, light, fresh meals your whole family will enjoy and won't realize it is good for them! I'm also a huge advocate of Weight Watchers because of their "everything in moderation" approach. It has worked for the wife and I, and it can for you as well.
[1,240 words]
TITLE KEYWORD
Cooking
AUTHOR
Fred Horton
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fred Horton (1974- ) was born in Phoenix, Arizona to an American father and an Italian mother. Pursued radio broadcasting and underwent an intense trade school program with The Academy of Radio & Television Broadcasting where he completed his certificate in May of 1995. Since then he has worked for the computer industry for the past 17 years.
[January 2013]
Cooking Skinny - Weight Watchers Recipes
Fred Horton




1 BREAKFAST


Apples and Cinnamon Breakfast Quinoa

Some of you may be asking, quinoa for breakfast? Well yes, quinoa served warm, with its nutty taste and chewy texture, pairs beautifully with fresh crisp autumn apples, golden raisins, pecans, warm milk, vanilla and cinnamon – a delightful breakfast that is both protein packed and comforting.

I just love the flavor sensations from each spoonful – the sweetness of the raisins, the pop from the quinoa, and the crunch of the apple and pecans. Fresh pears and cranberries would also make a wonderful alternative to apples and raisins. If you like your cereal a little sweeter you can drizzle it with a teaspoon of honey just before eating.  One bowl will keep you fueled and satisfied until lunch.

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a hunger-curbing and power-packed nutritional all-star.  Loaded with satiating protein (8 grams per cup) and filling fiber (5 grams per cup), this super food digests slowly, which keeps blood sugar and insulin levels steady. You’ll also get impressive doses of doses of thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, zinc, potassium, magnesium and selenium, along with 15 percent of your daily iron needs. No wonder the ancient Incas, who considered the crop sacred, referred to quinoa as the mother of all grains!

Be sure to rinse the quinoa well before cooking to rinse off the saponins which has a slightly bitter flavor.  I like to warm my milk up, then pour it in right before serving. Enjoy!

Apples and Cinnamon Breakfast Quinoa
Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1 bowl (1/4 of recipe)
Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 316 • Fat: 8 g • Carbs: 53 g • Fiber: 6 g • Protein: 9 g • Sugar: 20 g
Sodium: 35 mg
 
    1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed well
    1 1/2 cups water
    1 tsp cinnamon + more for sprinkling
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
    1/4 cup golden raisins
    1 cup warmed fat-free milk for drizzling (non-dairy milk is fine)
    1 gala apple, peeled and diced
    1/4 cup pecans, chopped

Combine quinoa, water, cinnamon and vanilla in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes until quinoa can be fluffed with a fork.  Divide cooked quinoa between four bowls then stir in apple sauce, raisins, and pour in warmed milk. Top with fresh cut apples and pecans and a dash of cinnamon. Makes 4 servings. You can divide the recipe to make 2 servings

















Asparagus and Swiss Cheese Frittata

Spring is here and asparagus is at its best this time of the year. I buy lots of it and steam it to use for quick recipes throughout the week. Asparagus is high in fiber, vitamin A and C, and low in calories. This delicious frittata uses reduced fat Swiss cheese and egg whites to keep this low in points.

Servings: 4 servings • Time: 20-25 minutes
Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 228.2 • Fat: 11.3 g • Carbs: 12.6 g • Fiber: 3.6 g • Protein: 21.2 g 

    1/2 lb asparagus, tough ends trimmed off
    1/2 cup shallots, chopped
    2 tsp butter
    3 large eggs
    5 large egg whites
    1 tbsp 1% milk
    2 tbsp fresh grated Pecorino Romano
    3 oz reduced fat Swiss cheese (I used Sargento)
    Salt and fresh pepper to taste

Steam asparagus crisp and tender, about 2-5 minutes. Thinly slice on the diagonal. 

Preheat oven to 350°.

Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in shallots and sautι until golden, about 4-5 minutes. Add steamed asparagus, salt and pepper. In a medium bowl whisk eggs, egg whites, grated cheese, milk, salt, and pepper. Add half of the Swiss and mix well. Add eggs to the skillet making sure eggs cover the asparagus. Cook on medium for about 4 minutes, until the edges begin to set. Move the skillet to oven. Cook about 15 minutes, or until frittata is completely cooked. Serve warm, cut into 4 equal wedges.









Avena - Healthy Oatmeal Shake

Breakfast on the go? This quick shake is healthy and delicious!

It's nutritious, high in fiber, lowers cholesterol and tastes delicious! Avena is a very popular cold beverage in many Latin countries. Here's my healthy low fat version.

Servings: 4 • Size: 1 cup • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 123.9 • Fat: 1.8 g • Protein: 6.8 g • Carbs: 21.3 g • Fiber: 3.2 g
 
    1/2 cup quick oats
    2 cups water
    1 cup fat free milk
    1 cup ice
    3 tbsp sugar
    2 tsp ground cinnamon

Cook oats and water in a small pot for about a minute or two, stirring often until it becomes thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and let it cool a few minutes.

In a blender add milk, sugar, cinnamon. Add oats and ice. Blend on high until very smooth. Chill in refrigerator or pour in a glass over ice. Enjoy!! Makes 4 cups.

















Baked Bananas

I seem to be on a banana kick lately. These simple, guiltless baked bananas taste similar to Bananas Foster and you'll swear there's butter in there! Great served with whipped cream, fro-yo, chopped nuts, raisins or even served with oatmeal. Bananas are so good for you; they are naturally sweet and rich in potassium, which plays an important role decreasing the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. Enjoy this for dessert or breakfast!

Servings: 1 • Calories: 143 • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4

    1 medium ripe banana, cut in half lengthwise
    2 tsp honey
    Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and cut bananas in half. Arrange banana in an oven safe dish or on tinfoil. Sprinkle with cinnamon and honey. Cover and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on how soft you like them.

--

Crock Pot Kailua Pork

Kailua Pig is popular at Hawaiian luaus where a whole pig is smoked in a sand pit with sea salt, banana leaves and koa wood. This simple crock pot method mimics the smoked flavor of using natural liquid smoke and the results are an easy, mouth-watering, juicy pork recipe anyone can make at home. Perfect for your next Luau!

Be sure to buy the boneless pork shoulder blade roast, as it is leaner than the pork shoulder picnic. This slow cooks in your crock pot for about 16 hours so I started mine at night and let it cook overnight for 8 hours on low, then when I got up I reset it for another 8. Depending on your crock pot this may take less time, use your judgment.

Servings: about 8 • Serving Size: 4 oz  • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 160 • Fat: 7 g • Protein: 24 g • Carb: 0 g • Fiber: 0 g • Sugar: 0 g

    3 lb pork shoulder blade roast, lean, all fat removed
    1 tbsp liquid mesquite smoke
    1 tbsp coarse sea salt

Place pork in the crock pot and stab it all over with the tip of a knife. Rub sea salt all over pork. Drizzle the liquid smoke all over and set crock pot to low; cook about 16 hours.

Remove from crock pot and place on a large platter. Remove any fat you may have missed and shred pork with two forks. Discard liquid reserving a little as needed to keep pork moist.




Steam asparagus crisp and tender, about 2-5 minutes. Thinly slice on the diagonal. 

Preheat oven to 350°.

Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in shallots and sautι until golden, about 4-5 minutes. Add steamed asparagus, salt and pepper. In a medium bowl whisk eggs, egg whites, grated cheese, milk, salt, and pepper. Add half of the Swiss and mix well. Add eggs to the skillet making sure eggs cover the asparagus. Cook on medium for about 4 minutes, until the edges begin to set. Move the skillet to oven. Cook about 15 minutes, or until frittata is completely cooked. Serve warm, cut into 4 equal wedges.









Avena - Healthy Oatmeal Shake

Breakfast on the go? This quick shake is healthy and delicious!

It's nutritious, high in fiber, lowers cholesterol and tastes delicious! Avena is a very popular cold beverage in many Latin countries. Here's my healthy low fat version.

Servings: 4 • Size: 1 cup • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 123.9 • Fat: 1.8 g • Protein: 6.8 g • Carbs: 21.3 g • Fiber: 3.2 g
 
    1/2 cup quick oats
    2 cups water
    1 cup fat free milk
    1 cup ice
    3 tbsp sugar
    2 tsp ground cinnamon

Cook oats and water in a small pot for about a minute or two, stirring often until it becomes thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and let it cool a few minutes.

In a blender add milk, sugar, cinnamon. Add oats and ice. Blend on high until very smooth. Chill in refrigerator or pour in a glass over ice. Enjoy!! Makes 4 cups.

















Baked Bananas

I seem to be on a banana kick lately. These simple, guiltless baked bananas taste similar to Bananas Foster and you'll swear there's butter in there! Great served with whipped cream, fro-yo, chopped nuts, raisins or even served with oatmeal. Bananas are so good for you; they are naturally sweet and rich in potassium, which plays an important role decreasing the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. Enjoy this for dessert or breakfast!

Servings: 1 • Calories: 143 • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4

    1 medium ripe banana, cut in half lengthwise
    2 tsp honey
    Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and cut bananas in half. Arrange banana in an oven safe dish or on tinfoil. Sprinkle with cinnamon and honey. Cover and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on how soft you like them.
























Baked Eggs with Wilted Baby Spinach

Today there's a slight chill in the air and the wind is whistling through my windows. Perfect morning to turn my oven on for this simple breakfast of baked eggs with wilted baby spinach. High in vitamin A, C, Folate, Manganese and Potassium.

If you don't have Adagio cheese you can use Parmesan cheese or even Feta cheese. I've also used frozen organic spinach in a pinch and it works out just fine. You can use any leafy green vegetable you desire, kale orchard would also make great options.

If you want to do this all on the stove, you can easily make 4 wells in the wilted spinach in a large pan and drop the eggs into each one, then cover and cook on low until the eggs are set.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1 egg • Old Points: 3 pt • Points+: 4 pt
Calories: 152.5 • Fat: 9.3 g • Protein: 12.2 g • Carbs: 7.9 g • Fiber: 3.7 g • Sugar: 0.7 g • Sodium: 244 mg (without salt)

    2 tsp olive oil
    1/4 cup diced shallots
    1 1/2 lb baby spinach, large stems removed
    4 large eggs
    Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
    2 tbsp shredded Adagio cheese
    Baking spray

Preheat an oven to 400°F. Lightly spray four oven-safe dishes or ramekins with cooking spray.  Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat, add oil, shallots and cook 2-3 minutes. Add spinach, salt and pepper and cook until the spinach wilts, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in Adagio cheese and remove from heat.

Divide the wilted spinach among the oven-safe dishes, making a well in the center of each. Break an egg into each dish and season with salt and pepper. Place the ramekins on one or two rimmed baking sheets and bake until the whites are set and the yolks are firm around the edges but still soft in the center, about 17 minutes or to your liking. Serve immediately.



Baked Oatmeal with Blueberries and Bananas

Start your day off right with this warm, satisfying heart-healthy breakfast your family will love.

Oatmeal baked with ripe bananas, blueberries, cinnamon, honey and walnuts... need I say more? Yes! This IS as good as it sounds, I promise!!

You can make this with any combination of nuts and fruit you like, the possibilities are endless! But I really loved biting into a sweet warm banana, I felt like I was eating dessert.

Your family will thank you for this one, and you'll feel good knowing they are eating a healthy breakfast. Enjoy!

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 1/6th • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 6 pts  
Calories: 211.7 • Fat: 5.4 g • Protein: 5.6 g • Carbs: 38.1 g • Fiber: 3.8 g • Sugar: 22.8 g • Sodium: 76.9 mg (without salt)    

    2 medium ripe bananas, (the riper the better) sliced into 1/2" pieces
    1 1/2 cup blueberries
    1/4 cup honey (or agave)
    1 cup uncooked quick oats
    1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    3/4 tsp cinnamon
    Pinch of salt
    1 cup fat free milk (or any milk you desire)
    1 egg
    1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375° F.  Lightly spray a 8 x 8" or 9 x 9" ceramic baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.

Arrange the banana slices in a single layer on the bottom of the ceramic dish. Sprinkle half of the blueberries over the bananas, 1/4 tsp of the cinnamon, 1 tbsp of the honey and cover with foil. Bake 15 minutes, until the bananas get soft.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the oats, half of nuts, baking powder, remaining cinnamon, and salt; stir together.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining honey, milk, egg, and vanilla extract. Remove the bananas from the oven, and then pour the oat mixture over the bananas and blueberries. Pour the milk mixture over the oats, making sure to distribute the mixture as evenly as possible over the oats.  Sprinkle the remaining blueberries and walnuts over the top. Bake the oatmeal for about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the oatmeal has set. Serve warm from the oven.



































Baked Oatmeal with Pumpkin and Bananas

Baked oatmeal with ripe bananas, pumpkin and pecans is the perfect way to start your morning!

When this first came out of the oven, I wasn't so sure...but after my first bite I knew I had a winner!

Ever think about how perfect a banana is? My favorite way to eat them is when they are bright yellow, with no brown spots. I always throw a banana in my bag for a quick snack on the go, but does that mean when they get all dark brown they are bad? No way! I never throw bananas out... ever! Once they go start to get brown spots, I use them for smoothies, baked oatmeal, banana nut pancakes, banana nut cookies, muffins, banana bread and more. The riper they are, the sweeter they become and if I know I don't plan on using them right away, I freeze them for banana ice cream (recipe coming tomorrow).

If you have ripe bananas lying around, give this baked oatmeal a try. It's so good; it almost tastes like banana-pumpkin nut bread. In fact, I told my toddler it was cake, and she ate it (cold).

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 1/6th • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 226 • Fat: 6 g • Carbs: 41 g • Fiber: 4.6 g • Protein: 6 g • Sugar: 23g 
Sodium: 77 mg  (without salt)

    3 medium ripe bananas, (the riper the better) sliced into 1/2" pieces
    1 cup canned pumpkin
    1 tbsp honey
    3 tbsp brown sugar
    1 cup uncooked quick oats
    1/4 cup chopped pecans
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    3/4 tsp cinnamon
    1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
    1/4 tsp nutmeg
    Pinch of salt
    1 cup fat free milk (or any milk you desire)
    1 egg
    1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375° F.  Lightly spray a 8 x 8" or 9 x 9" ceramic baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.

Arrange the banana slices in a single layer on the bottom of the ceramic dish. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp of the cinnamon, honey and cover with foil. Bake 15 minutes, until the bananas get soft. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the oats, half of nuts, baking powder, remaining cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg and salt; stir together.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, brown sugar, milk, egg, and vanilla extract. Remove the bananas from the oven, and then pour the oat mixture over the bananas. Pour the pumpkin mixture over the oats, making sure to distribute the mixture as evenly as possible.  Sprinkle the remaining nuts over the top. Bake the oatmeal for about 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the oatmeal has set. Serve warm from the oven.






























Banana Nut Pancakes

Banana lovers will love these low fat pancakes. The flavor of banana nut bread in a pancake, made with whole wheat flour, potassium rich bananas and fiber rich walnuts, which are also high in omega 3 fatty acids. Delicious topped with agave or maple syrup (extra points). I've included the points with and without the nuts.

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 2 pancakes • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 145.7 • Fat: 4.0 g • Protein: 6.7 g • Carbs: 22.1 g • Fiber: 3.1 g

WITHOUT NUTS:  
Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 2 pancakes • Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 129.1 • Fat: 2.4 g • Protein: 6.3 g • Carbs: 21.8 g • Fiber: 3.0 g

    1 cup whole wheat flour
    2 tsp baking powder 
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp cinnamon
    1 large banana, very ripe, mashed
    1 cup 1% milk
    3 large egg whites
    2 tsp oil
    1 tsp vanilla
    2 tbsp chopped walnuts (optional)
    Olive oil or butter flavor cooking spray

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Combine milk, egg white, oil, vanilla and mashed bananas in a bowl and mix until smooth. Combine wet ingredients with the dry and mix well with a spoon until there are no more dry spots. Don't over-mix. Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Spray cooking spray to lightly coat and pour 1/4 cup of pancake batter. When the pancake starts to bubble and the edges begin to set, flip the pancakes. Repeat with the remainder of the batter.

Makes about 3 cups of batter which yields 12 pancakes.






Blueberry Compote

A fruit topping made with fresh blueberries, perfect over ice cream, rice pudding, or mousse, just use your imagination.

This morning I made homemade crepes topped with blueberry compote and it was delicious! I love to make compote with fresh berries like blueberries, blackberries or raspberries to serve over crepes, whole wheat pancakes, waffles, or oatmeal. 

Servings: 4 • Size: 2 Tbsp • Time: 12 minutes
Old Points: 1 pt • Points+: 2 pt
Calories: 89 • Fat: 0.0 g • Protein: 0.5 g • Carbs: 22.7 g • Fiber: 2.0 g  

    2 cups fresh blueberries
    1/4 cup sugar
    3 tbsp water

In a blender, pulse the blueberries, water and sugar. Add to a small sauce pan and heat on medium-low for about 10-12 minutes until it becomes thick and sticks to the spoon. Serve warm. Makes about 1/2 cup.





















Breakfast Crθme Brule

Crθme Brule for breakfast? No, I haven't lost my mind!

The custard in this low fat crθme Brule is actually Greek yogurt sweetened with fruit preserves on the bottom, and topped with fresh fruit. What a fancy way to serve breakfast or even dessert with very little effort while making you look like a rock star in the kitchen!

This recipe is so easy to make, and it's absolutely delicious! Use your favorite fruit preserves and top with the same fresh fruit. I highly recommend using a crθme Brule torch. I've tried using my broiler to caramelize the sugar with success most of the time, but it's much easier to control this with a torch.

This would be perfect for a Mother's day brunch or dessert if you're having a dinner party. Be sure you have enough fuel in your torch and you may want to experiment with one before you making this for a large crowd.

This can be made for one or more than a dozen; assemble the preserves and yogurt ahead of time then add the sugar right when you are about to torch the sugar. If you add the sugar sooner, the sugar will be absorbed by the yogurt and it won't work. I recommend serving immediately. Enjoy!!

Servings: 1 • Serving Size: 1 ramekin • Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 195.4 • Fat: 0.1 g • Protein: 16.1 g • Carbs: 32.3 g • Fiber: 0.4 g • Sugar: 30.9

    1 tbsp low sugar strawberry preserves
    6 oz fat free vanilla Greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
    1 tbsp turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw)
    1 sliced strawberry to top

Place fruit preserves at the bottom of a 6 or 7 oz ramekin. Top with yogurt. When ready to serve top with sugar. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top. Cool a few minutes then top with fruit. Serve immediately.






Broccoli and Cheese Mini Egg Omelets

Little baked omelets using your favorite omelets baked in cupcake tins.

These little broccoli and cheese omelets are delicious, but use any combination of vegetables you like. Some ideas that come to mind are mushrooms, peppers, onions, etc.

I combined egg whites with whole eggs but egg beaters would work as well and may lower the points. Leftovers can be heated up and enjoyed throughout the week. 

Servings: Makes 9 cupcakes • Old Points: 2 pts each • Points+: 2 pts each
Calories: 103.9 • Fat: 6.5 g • Carbs: 2.7 g • Fiber: 1.2 g • Protein: 8.7 g

    4 cups broccoli florets
    4 whole eggs
    1 cup egg whites
    1/4 cup reduced fat cheddar
    1/4 cup good grated cheese like pecorino Romano
    1 tbs olive oil
    Salt and fresh pepper
    Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°. Steam broccoli with a little water for about 6-7 minutes. When broccoli is cooked, mash into smaller pieces and add olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well. Spray cupcake tin with cooking spray and spoon broccoli mixture evenly into 9 tins. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites, eggs, grated cheese, salt and pepper. Pour into the greased tins over broccoli until a little more than 3/4 full. Top with grated cheddar and bake in the oven until cooked, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately. Wrap any leftovers in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator to enjoy during the week.









Broccoli and Cheese Omelet

This is a quick low point breakfast, perfect to use up your leftover broccoli and a great way to get veggies into your breakfast. I just discovered Weight Watchers Swiss Cheese, only 1 point.

Servings: 1 • Serving Size: 1 omelet • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 183.2 • Fat: 8.5 g • Protein: 20.6 g • Carbs: 6.4 g • Fiber: 2.6 g • Sugar: 1.9 g Sodium: 251.2 mg

    1 egg
    2 egg whites
    1 tbsp skim milk
    Salt and fresh pepper
    Oil spray
    1/2 cup broccoli, cooked
    1 slice Swiss cheese (WW reduced fat 1 pt Swiss)

In a small bowl beat egg, egg whites, milk, salt and pepper. In a medium non-stick skillet heat on medium, spray the pan lightly with oil. When skillet is warm add the eggs rotating pan to completely cover. Reduce heat to low flame.  Lay the cheese down in the center of eggs and top with broccoli. When the eggs are set, flip the sides over to the center to create your omelet.


















Brown Rice Horchata

Horchata de arroz is a deliciously refreshing Mexican beverage made from rice, milk, sugar and cinnamon and served chilled over ice. Wonderful for those who is lactose intolerant if you substitute the milk for almond milk.

It's usually made with white rice but I experimented with brown rice and raw sugar and the results were perfect. Sweeten to your taste or even experiment with Stevia or Splenda for those of you on a restricted sugar diet.

Servings: 5 • Serving Size: 1 cup • Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts  
Calories: 137.5 • Fat: 0.7 g • Protein: 2.9 g • Carbs: 31.4 g • Fiber: 1.3 g
Sodium: 30.7 mg

    1 cup rinsed brown rice (I used short grain brown rice)
    4 cups water
    2 cinnamon sticks
    1 cup skim milk
    1/3 cup raw sugar or agave (or more to taste)
    1 tsp dark vanilla extract
    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon plus more to top

Soak the rice overnight or at least 8 hours in water with cinnamon sticks.

The next day discard cinnamon sticks and blend the rice and water in your blender water at the highest speed for about 5 minutes. Pass through a fine mesh sieve about two times to catch all the gritty bits. (A stocking works great) Discard the remaining rice pulp. Pour into a pitcher, add skim milk, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla and mix well by stirring. Refrigerate until ready to serve. To serve fill a glass with ice, pour Horchata into a glass and sprinkle a little cinnamon on each serving just before drinking.










Brownie Batter Pancakes

Servings: 1 • Size: 6-8 silver-dollar pancakes • Old Pts: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 172 • Fat: 2.4 g • Carbs: 32 g • Fiber: 6.7 g • Protein: 5.3g
Sugar: 4.7 • Sodium: 241.7 (without salt)

1/4 cup Bob's spelt flour (or all-purpose or for gluten free use Bob’s gluten-free flour)
   	1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp Hershey’s Special Dark unsweetened cocoa powder (or Dutch	cocoa)
1 tbsp Hershey’s Special Dark unsweetened cocoa powder (or Dutch cocoa)
1 1/2 packets nunaturals Stevie or 1 tbsp + 1 tsp sugar (you can use less if you’re planning to top with syrup and don’t want the actual pancakes to taste sweet)
Pinch of salt (optional)
1 1/2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
5 1/2 tbsp nondairy milk of your choice

Mix dry ingredients very well, then add wet. Make pancakes! There are only 130 calories in this entire recipe. If you want a more substantial breakfast, feel free to make a bigger serving and/or go crazy with the toppings!! And if you’re feeling really crazy: Try topping these with: Chocolate-Chip Cookie Dough Dip. Cookie dough brownie batter pancakes… who knew such decadence could be healthy?!


















Caramelized Onion, Red Pepper and Zucchini Frittata

Caramelized onions, sautιed bell peppers and zucchini combined create a winning egg dish.

Frittatas are very versatile; they can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner if paired with a salad. Cut into small squares, they can be served as an appetizer as well.

This starts on the stove and finishes in the oven. I like to use half eggs, half egg whites to lighten my frittatas yet maintain the taste and texture I prefer and keep the vitamins, iron and nutrients, but if you wish to use all egg whites, that would certainly work. 

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1/4th • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 157.7 • Fat: 9.3 g • Protein: 14.6 g • Carbs: 5.7 g • Fiber: 1.6 g Sugar: 0.8 g • Sodium: 243 mg (without salt)

    1 white onion, thinly sliced rings
    1 medium red pepper, diced
    1 1/2 cups zucchini, diced into matchsticks
    4 large eggs
    4 large egg whites
    1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
    2 tsp olive oil
    Salt and fresh pepper

Preheat oven to 400°. Over medium-low heat, heat oil in a 10-inch skillet. Stir in onion and cook until slightly brown, about 10 minutes. Add peppers and cook 5 more minutes, then add zucchini. Season with salt and pepper and cook 3 more minutes stirring occasionally. In a medium bowl whisk eggs, egg whites, parmesan, salt and pepper. Add eggs to the skillet making sure eggs cover all the vegetables. When the edges begin to set (about 2 minutes) move skillet to oven. Cook about 10-15 minutes, or until frittata is completely cooked. Serve warm, cut into 4 pieces.





Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins with Glaze

Any chocolate lovers out there? These double chocolate muffins made with bananas, chocolate chips and cocoa powder are moist and choco-licious! If you like the thought of eating chocolate for breakfast, then this is for you!

There are many chocolate lovers in my house, and these muffins disappeared quickly. I added a glaze on top for presentation, I like how it contrasts over the dark chocolate, but for the flavor you don't even need it; either way the points remain the same. This recipe makes 12 large muffins; you could probably even get 14 if you fill the muffin tins 3/4 full. Mini muffins would make a great back to school snack for the little ones, they won't even know there's fruit in them! Leftovers can be refrigerated or frozen to last longer.

Servings: 12 • Size: 1 muffin • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 170.5 • Fat: 5.3 g • Protein: 2.6 g • Carbs: 31.8 g • Fiber: 2.1 g
Sugar: 16.1 g • Sodium: 41.3 mg

    3 1/2 ripe medium bananas, mashed
    1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
    1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
    1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    3/4 tsp baking soda
    1/4 tsp salt
    2 tbsp butter, softened
    1/3 cup sugar
    2 large egg whites
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    1/2 cup chocolate chips
    2 tbsp confectioners’ sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 325°. Line a muffin tin with 12 liners. In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add egg whites, bananas, apple sauce, vanilla, and beat at medium speed until thick. Scrape down sides of the bowl. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk. Add flour mixture to bananas, then blend at low speed until combined; do not over mix. Fold in chocolate chips and pour batter into muffin tins.  Bake on the center rack for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

If making the glaze, combine confectioner's sugar and 1/4 to 1/2 tsp water to make a glaze. Drizzle over each muffin.








































Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Scones

Buttermilk scones sweetened just to perfection studded with chocolate chips. Kind of like eating a giant chocolate chip cookie for breakfast... without the guilt.

Yes, I just found my new favorite scone! Chocolate makes everything better!

Servings: 12 • Serving Size: 1 scone • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts  
Calories: 199.6 • Fat: 8.1 g • Protein: 3.7 g • Carbs: 29.8 g • Fiber: 2.3 g Sugar: 12.8 g • Sodium: 257.4 mg

    3/4 cup cold buttermilk
    1/4 cup sugar
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    1 large egg
    1 cup all purpose flour (Bob's Red Mill)
    1 cup white whole wheat flour (Bob's Red Mill)
    1 tbsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    3 tbsp chilled butter (must be cold) cut into small pieces
    3/4 cup chocolate chips
    Cooking spray
    1 large egg white, lightly beaten
    1 1/2 tbsp sugar

Preheat oven to 375°. Combine the first four ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Cut in chilled butter with a pastry blender, or you could use 2 knives, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gently fold in chocolate chips. Add milk mixture, stirring just until moist. Place dough onto a floured surface and knead lightly four times with floured hands. Form dough into a 9-inch circle onto baking sheet, about 3/4" thick. Using a knife, cut dough into 12 wedges all the way through. Brush egg white over dough and sprinkle evenly with sugar. Bake until golden, about 18-20 minutes, depending on your oven. Serve warm.




Chocolate Crepes with Strawberries

Servings: 12 • Serving Size: 1 crepe • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 139.3 • Fat: 1.5 g • Carbs: 24 g • Fiber: 0.9 g • Sugars: 13.5 g • Protein: 3.7 g

    1 cup all purpose flour
    2 tbsp unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder
    1 tbsp powdered sugar
    1 1/2 cups 1% milk
    2 large egg whites
    1 whole egg
    1 tsp oil
    Butter flavored spray
    24 medium strawberries, sliced (2 in each crepe)
    1 1/2 cups fat free cool whip
    3/4 cup chocolate syrup to serve

Blend flour, milk, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, eggs and oil until smooth in the blender. Heat a large nonstick pan on medium-low flame. When hot, spray with buttered flavored spray to coat bottom of pan. Pour 1/4 cup crepe mixture into pan, swirling pan slightly to make crepe thin and smooth. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until bottom of crepe is light golden brown. Flip; cook 30 seconds to 1 minute or until light golden brown. Repeat with remaining buttered flavored spray and crepe mixture.

To serve, spoon 2 tbsp whipped cream into center of each crepe. Top with strawberries and fold each edge of crepe over filling. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar and top with 1 tbsp chocolate syrup on each. Serve warm.

Batter can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.











Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti

Warning: Make at your own risk... Highly addictive, hard to eat just one!!

I loved everything about these cookies. The dough was easier to work with than the biscotti without butter, the texture was moist and chewy, and the pistachios, heavenly!  Only problem is I ate more than my share. So if you make these, you might want to only make half! Don't say I didn't warn you!!

You can make these without the butter using the same method I used in my chocolate-chocolate chip biscotti recipe, for crispier biscotti, and only 2 points plus each. Enjoy!!

Servings: 24 • Size: 1 biscotti • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 103.6 • Fat: 4.3 g • Carbs: 14.8 g • Fiber: 1.0 g  • Protein: 2.5 g

    1-2/3 cup all purpose flour
    1/2 cup unsweetened good quality cocoa powder
    1-1/2 tsp baking powder
    Pinch of salt
    3/4 cup whole pistachios
    2 oz butter (1/4 cup), softened
    3/4 cup superfine sugar (you can put sugar in food processor)
    2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 375°. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Add pistachios, and mix. In a mixer, mix butter and sugar on medium speed for 1-1/2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined to make dough. Remove the dough and using your hands, divide the dough into two or three pieces and form into long flat shapes about 8 long x 1-1/2 inches wide. Place on the lined baking sheets and bake 20 minutes.

When cool enough to handle, gently cut the loaves on the angle into 1/2 inch slices (a serrated bread knife works best). Return to the baking sheet fitting as many as you can on the baking sheet, you may need to do this in batches. Bake the biscotti for another 3-4 minutes on each side; less if you like it softer. Makes about 24.


Chocolate Zucchini Bread

My giant zucchini that I picked from my garden today inspired me to try a new zucchini recipe. I have tons of zucchini recipes on my site that I rotate frequently but I've never tried baking bread with it. I found this recipe on Eating Well and reduced the sugar to 1 cup. This recipe replaced most of the fat with apple sauce so it's low in fat, yet is very moist. If you don't like nuts, you can replace them with chocolate chips.

Servings: 16 slices • Serving Size: 1 slice • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 190.4 • Fat: 8.1 g • Protein: 4.1 g • Carbs: 27.8 g • Fiber: 2.4 g • Sugar: 14.4 g • Sodium: 3611.1 mg (without salt)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, preferably Dutch-process
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (1 3/4 ounces)
 2 cups grated zucchini (1 medium)
Baking spray

Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray two 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pans with cooking spray. Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Whisk eggs, sugar, applesauce, oil, vanilla and melted chocolate in another large bowl until blended. Add the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Fold in zucchini and walnuts. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake the loaves 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes. Invert onto rack and cool completely.





Chorizo and Egg White Breakfast Burrito

Chorizo is a Spanish pork sausage seasoned with paprika, which gives it its distinct taste. If you can't find chorizo, Portuguese Linguica sausage is similar in taste. A little goes a long way for flavor.

Servings: 2 • Serving Size: 1 breakfast burrito • Points: 5 pts
Calories: 242.8 • Fat: 15.4 g • Protein: 21.4 g • Carbs: 11.3 g • Fiber: 7.0 g 

    2 oz chorizo, skin removed, sliced
    1 tbsp red wine vinegar
    3 large egg whites
    1 large egg
    Salt and pepper
    2 high fiber low carb whole wheat wraps (I used La Tortilla Factory)

In a small bowl combine egg whites, egg, salt and pepper and whisk well. In a medium sautι pan, heat on medium heat. Add chorizo and cook about 1 minute on each side until slightly browned. Add vinegar and cook another minute to reduce. Add eggs to the pan and scramble until cooked, stirring often. Serve on a low carb high fiber tortilla such as La Tortilla Factory.





















Cinnamon Apple Spiced Oatmeal

I love starting my morning with a bowl of oatmeal, its heart healthy comfort food in a bowl. I eat a lot of oatmeal because high cholesterol runs in the family and oatmeal is known for reducing cholesterol. In addition, it's high in fiber, a perfect way to fuel my morning.

My perfect bowl of oatmeal is all about the toppings. I love to add a combination of flavors and textures such as dried fruit, granola, nuts, cinnamon, or whatever I'm in the mood for that day. I also like to switch things up because I'm not the type of person to eat the same thing every day, so it may be pumpkin spiced oatmeal one morning, brown sugar and walnuts the next.

When I'm not enjoying my oatmeal hot, I usually make avena, which is a delicious oatmeal smoothie, an easy on-the-go breakfast. I'm thinking a cinnamon spiced apple avena may be tomorrow's breakfast! Or what about no-cook pumpkin overnight oats in a jar.

Servings: 1 • Serving Size: 1 bowl • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 228.7 • Fat: 2.5 g • Protein: 5.2 g • Carb: 50.2 g • Fiber: 5.6 g 

1/3 cup uncooked quick oats
2 tbsp apple butter
Dash of cinnamon
1 tbsp low fat granola 

Cook oatmeal in water according to package directions. Pour cooked oatmeal in a bowl and top with apple butter, granola, and cinnamon. You can add a little skim milk if you like your oatmeal thinner. Enjoy!












Cornmeal Cake (Bolo de Fubα)

A quick and easy Brazilian cornmeal cake recipe. Everything goes in the blender, now that's my kind of baking!

I love this cake. It's similar in texture to cornbread only sweeter and moister. You can have it for breakfast, or eat it for dessert.

In fact, as I am typing this right now, I wish I had a piece right now. There is parmesan cheese in here; I was surprised seeing that myself but it works! I wouldn't change a thing!  

Servings: 21 • Serving Size: 1 piece • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 162.7 • Fat: 2.7 g • Protein: 4.3 g • Carb: 31 g • Fiber: 0.8 g  

3 cups skim milk
4 large eggs
1-1/2 cup yellow corn meal (coarse)
1-1/2 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2-1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
Baking spray

Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 13" x 9" x 2" baking pan with baking spray. Add milk, eggs, corn meal, sugar, flour, and butter to blender.  Mix all ingredients until blended well (about 1 minute).  Then add baking powder and grated Parmesan cheese and blend on lowest setting or pulse for a few seconds. Pour mixture into baking pan and bake at 350° F for 50 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes before serving (I like it warm). Cut into 21 pieces.










Czech Crepes with Berries and Cream

Servings: 12 servings • Time: 20 minutes 
• Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 106.2 • Fat: 1.1 g • Carb: 19.8 g • Fiber: 2.4 g • Protein: 3.6 g  

For the Crepes (makes about 12):

1 cup flour
1 1/2 cups 1% milk
1/3 cup egg whites (or 2 large egg whites)
1 whole egg
1 tsp oil
Non-stick spray
Powdered sugar

For the Berry Filling:

6 oz package blackberries
6 oz package raspberries
12 oz package strawberries cut in quarters
2 tbsp sugar
Whipped topping (I like Tru Whip)

In a medium bowl, combine all berries and sugar. Let stand at least 10-15 minutes. In a blender, blend flour, milk, eggs and oil until smooth.  Heat a nonstick crepe pan on medium-low flame. When hot, spray with cooking spray to coat bottom of skillet. Pour about 1/4 cup crepe mixture into pan, swirling pan slightly to make crepe thin and smooth. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until bottom of crepe is light golden brown. Flip; cook 30 seconds to 1 minute or until light golden brown. Repeat with remaining crepe mixture.

To serve, spoon whipped cream into center of each crepe. Top with berry mixture and fold each edge of crepe over filling. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar. Best if served warm.

Recipe can easily be doubled to serve more. Extra batter can be refrigerated for up two days.



Delightful Apple Spiced Scones with Spiced Glaze

When the weather gets cool, turn your oven on and warm up the house with the sweet smell of apples and cinnamon. The temperature dropped like 20 degrees since last week, and these homemade buttermilk scones with small bits of apples and a cinnamon spice glaze were the perfect excuse to bake.

Chocolate chip scones are usually my favorite scone variety, but these apple scones may have taken their place! The scones aren't too sweet, so the glaze gives it the perfect balance of sweetness in every bite. If you want to cut back on your sugar, you can make half the glaze, then drizzle it on instead.

Perfect for an afternoon tea or a lazy Sunday brunch. Enjoy!

Servings: 12 • Size: 1 scone • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pt
Calories: 184 • Fat: 4 g • Carb: 37 g • Fiber: 2 g • Protein: 3 g • Sugar: 19 g
Sodium: 250 mg  

1/2 cup cold buttermilk
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
Cooking spray
1 cup white whole wheat flour 
1 cup all purpose flour  
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp chilled butter (must be cold) cut into small pieces
2 cups diced apples, peeled (I used Granny Smith)

For the glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
2 tbsp cold fat free milk (plus 1/2 tbsp if needed)

Preheat oven to 375°. Combine the first five ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Combine the flours, baking powder, cinnamon nutmeg, and salt in another large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Cut in chilled butter with a pastry blender, or you could use 2 knives, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Fold in diced minced apples. Add buttermilk mixture, stirring just until moist. Place dough onto a floured surface and knead lightly four times with floured hands. Form dough into a 9-inch circle onto baking sheet, about 3/4" thick. Using a knife, cut dough into 12 wedges all the way through.

Bake until golden, about 18-20 minutes, depending on your oven. Place on a cooling rack about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the glaze: Mix powdered sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg with 2 tbsp of milk, adding 1/2 tbsp more (1 tsp at a time) if necessary to get the consistency to the right thickness. Stir until completely smooth. Place scones on parchment or wax paper and drizzle the glaze over the scones using a spoon - or- place the glaze in a shallow bowl and dip the top of the scones into the glaze, then let it sit on the waxed paper to harden.

Makes 12 scones.




















Easy Pumpkin Spice Granola

Making your own granola is easier than you think, and the beauty of doing it yourself is you can customize it to suit your taste and it's6 so much cheaper than buying it in the store.

Since pumpkin is so popular this time of year, I thought it would be fun to make a pumpkin version using oats, quinoa, maple, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, pecans, pepitas and dried cranberries.

Granola is great to eat alone as a snack, or over yogurt, but my favorite way to eat granola is with some fresh fruit and almond milk; it's one of my favorite quick breakfasts.

I paired this with some fresh chopped apples and pears, if you have some pumpkin butter, you can even stir some in... yum! (FYI, the cute spoon is from For Such a Time Designs)

The trick to keeping a bowl of granola cereal light is the ratio of fruit, milk and granola. First I fill my bowl with fresh fruit, then top it with 1/3 cup of granola and then some unsweetened almond milk. It's a great way to get your serving of fresh fruit and has lots of fiber to keep you feeling full longer. I've included the nutritional info both ways, for your convenience.

Servings: 11 • Serving Size: 1/3 cup  • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 133 • Fat: 4.5 g • Carbs: 21.5 g • Fiber: 3 g • Protein: 3 g 
Sugar: 8g • Sodium: 10 (without salt)

Bowl of Cereal (1/3 cup granola, 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 cup apples):

Servings: 1 • Size: 1 bowl  • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 183 • Fat: 6 g • Carbs: 32 g • Fiber: 5 g • Protein: 3 g • 
Sugar: 14.5 g • Sodium: 69 (without salt)

1/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well and pat dry with paper towel
1 1/2 cups rolled oats*
1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
1/4 cup pepitas (or other seed)
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup real maple syrup (or honey)
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp oil (coconut or canola)
1 tsp pumpkin spice (or more to taste)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Pinch kosher salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325° F. Spread oats* and quinoa out on a parchment lined baking pan. Toast in the oven 10 minutes, stirring once. Remove the oats from the oven, pour the toasted oats into a medium bowl and add the ground flaxseeds, pepitas, pecans and dried fruit. Reduce oven to 300° F.

In a second medium bowl, combine maple syrup, pumpkin puree, oil, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, salt and vanilla. Pour over oats and stir together with a spatula. Spread back onto a baking sheet and bake an additional 20 minutes, or until golden.

Makes 3 2/3 cups.

*Use gluten free oats for gluten allergies.


























Eggs and Soldiers with Asparagus

Strips of whole wheat toast "soldiers" and crisp tender asparagus dipped into a soft boiled egg, if that's not the perfect spring breakfast, I don't know what is!

Not only is this a quick, affordable, healthy way to start the morning (takes less than 10 minutes), it's also fun dunking your toast strips and asparagus into the yolk.

Eggs yolks used to get a bad rap, but according to the USDA, egg yolks are considered a healthy option because they are high in protein, vitamins and minerals. The nutrients in eggs can play a positive role in muscle strength, brain function, eye health and more.

As a child, I remember having soft boiled eggs for breakfast. My mom would serve it in a cute little egg holders and a mini spoons which is probably what started my obsession with egg holders. Don't you just love them!

Servings: 4 • Size: 1 egg, 1 slice toast, 5 asparagus • Old Points: 4 pt • Points+: 4 pt
Calories: 221.1 • Fat: 7.2 g • Protein: 12.1 g • Carb: 29.2 g • Fiber: 4.9 g • Sugar: 0.0 g • Sodium: 227.0 mg (without salt)

4 large brown eggs
4 slices whole wheat toast
20 thin spears of asparagus
Salt and fresh cracked pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium heat, when boiling add the eggs, cover and set the timer for 6 minutes. While the eggs are cooking, make the toast. Slice each piece into 4 or 5 strips. When 2 minutes of cooking time remain for the eggs drop the asparagus into the pot of simmering water to cook. When the timer goes off, drain the eggs and asparagus and run the eggs under cold water to stop the cooking. Remove the tops of the eggs and serve with salt and fresh cracked pepper, toast and asparagus for dipping into the yolk.




Egg Omelet with Broccoli and Cheddar

This is a great way to use leftover broccoli. This tastes so delicious; no one would know it's good for you!

4 egg whites
Cooked broccoli
1 oz reduced fat cheddar cheese
Cooking spray
Salt and pepper

In a medium non-stick skillet, heat pan on medium-low. In a small bowl, beat egg whites and season with salt and pepper. Heat leftover broccoli in microwave until hot. Once pan is hot, spray a light coat of Pam to coat the pan. Pour in eggs and rotate the pan slightly so the eggs coat the bottom of the pan. Let the eggs cook a few minutes so they set, rotating the pan again if any egg remains uncooked, then place broccoli and cheese in the center and fold sides over. If you have extra broccoli and cheese left, place on top of omelet and transfer onto a plate.























Egg Tomato and Scallion Sandwich

Sliced hard boiled eggs, juicy ripe tomatoes, chopped scallions with a touch of mayonnaise, salt and pepper – enjoy this for breakfast or lunch.

It's so simple but the flavors just work with the tomatoes and scallions. Now that I work at home, I make it quite often for myself and my daughter as she often requests it.

Easy Tip: Keep hard boiled eggs in your refrigerator for a quick breakfast on the go, to add to sandwiches or even salads.

Servings: 1  Serving Size: 1 sandwich • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 213 • Fat: 9.5 g • Protein: 13.5 g • Carb: 21 g • Fiber: 5.5 g 
Sugar: 5 g • Sodium: 363 mg (without salt)

100 calorie sandwich roll (deli thin flats, potato rolls, etc)
1 tbsp chopped scallions
1 large hardboiled egg, sliced
1 tbsp light mayonnaise
1 thick slice ripe tomato
Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Assemble the sandwich by placing the egg on the bread, then the tomato, then scallion. Top with salt and pepper and spread mayonnaise on the top of the bread.
















Eggnog French Toast

Here's a quick and healthy low fat breakfast for the holidays and a great way to use your leftover eggnog. Delicious topped with sugar free syrup, agave nectar or honey.

Servings: 2 • Serving Size: 2 slices • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 166.7 • Fat: 2.5 g • Carb: 28.4 g • Fiber: 5.9 g • Protein: 10.9 g • Sugar: 9.2 g

    1/2 cup skinny eggnog
    2 large egg whites
    4 slices Weight Watchers whole grain bread
    Butter flavored spray
    Cinnamon
    Nutmeg
    Powdered sugar

Whisk egg whites, cinnamon, and eggnog in a shallow bowl. Heat nonstick skillet on medium heat. When warm, mist with cooking spray. Soak bread into egg mixture, then place on hot skillet. Cook until golden. Top with cinnamon and powdered sugar. Serve with sugar free syrup, agave nectar or honey.



















Eggnog Pancakes

What's better than waking up to pancakes for the Holidays! I swapped out the milk in my whole wheat pancake recipe and replaced it with Silk Nog and some extra nutmeg for a fun Holiday twist.

Why Silk Nog? I checked the labels of all the eggnogs available in the supermarket, and Silk Nog had the cleanest ingredients, and only 90 calories per serving. It's also non-GMO, and perfect if you are lactose intolerant. If you like another brand of light eggnog, you can certainly use it in its place. I topped mine with a little honey and powdered sugar, but you can use maple, agave or your favorite toppings.

Servings: 7 • Size: 2 pancakes or 4 mini • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 5 pt
Calories: 197 • Fat: 3 g • Carb: 36.5 g • Fiber: 5 g • Protein: 11 g • Sugar: 1 g
Sodium: 135 mg  (without salt)

    2 cups white whole wheat flour
    4 1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    2 tsp sugar
    1 tsp nutmeg
    2 large eggs
    2 cups Silk Nog
    2 tbsp water
    2 tsp vanilla
    Cooking spray

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the mixing bowl and mix well with a spoon until there are no more dry spots; don't over-mix. Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Lightly spray oil to coat and pour 1/4 cup of pancake batter. When the bubbles settle and the edges begin to set, flip the pancakes. Repeat with the remainder of the batter.

Makes 14 pancakes.

If using the Nordic pancake maker, use 2 tbsp of pancake mix to make 28 mini pancakes.



Eggs with Scallions and Tomatoes

Huevos Pericos are a typical Colombian breakfast typically eaten with arepa and hot cup of cocoa. The smell of sautιed scallions and tomatoes really brings me back whenever I make this for breakfast.

This is typically made with whole eggs, but I did a combination of eggs and egg whites to lighten this up. Brew yourself a nice cup of cocoa and enjoy!

Servings: 2 • Size: 1/2 • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 155.0 • Fat: 7.7 g • Protein: 13.9 g • Carb: 8.5 g • Fiber: 2.3 g

    2 large eggs
    3 large egg whites
    4 diced scallions
    1 large diced tomato
    1 tsp olive oil
    Salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in a frying pan on a medium-low flame and add scallions and tomatoes. Mix eggs in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the eggs to the frying pan and stir as they cook 2-3 minutes.




















Greek Yogurt with Berries, Nuts and Honey

I've never been a fan of yogurt until I discovered Greek yogurt. I love the slightly sour taste it has topped with some fresh berries, sweet honey and some nuts for texture. I swear I feel like I am eating something bad! It's like having dessert for breakfast yet, so healthy with the added benefits of protein and active probiotic cultures which are great for your intestines. I am starting to see Greek yogurt everywhere now, in Trader Joe's and even my local supermarket carries Chobani which is what I used here.

Greek Yogurt with Berries, Nuts and Honey
Serving: 1 • Time: 2 minutes • Old Points: 4.5 pts • Points+: 6 pts

    6 oz. nonfat plain Greek yogurt
    1 tbsp honey
    1/2 cup fresh berries
    1 tbsp (.25 oz) crushed walnuts

Place yogurt in a dish, top with berries, nuts and honey. (5 pts plus without the walnuts) Granola would taste great too.






















Guiltless Egg and Bacon Sandwich

When you are craving bacon and eggs, make this quick, easy egg sandwich.

This is both filling and healthy! I like to buy egg whites from Trader Joe’s; it's great to have on hand.

Servings: 1 serving • Time: 5 minutes • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 158.7 • Fat: 2.8 g • Carb: 16.2 g • Fiber: 2.2 g • Protein: 17.9 g • Sugar: 0.4 g Sodium: 494.2 mg

    3 egg whites
    2 slices turkey bacon, cooked
    1 tbsp chopped green pepper
    Pam or spray cooking oil
    Salt and pepper
    Thomas' Whole Wheat mini pita pockets

In a small bowl, combine egg whites salt and pepper and scramble. Set a medium frying pan on low flame, spray pan with oil when hot. Add pepper and sautι 1 minute, then add eggs and cook stirring frequently. Add crumbled turkey bacon and mix well until eggs are cooked.
Place the pita in the microwave for 30 seconds. Remove and cut pita in half. Stuff with eggs and enjoy!


















Hash Brown Egg White Nests

Perfect little portion controlled hash brown nests filled with eggs, cheese and ham. You can fill these little babies with any combination of ingredients. I used what I had on hand and they turned out wonderful. Leftovers can be reheated to eat throughout the week.

I like my hash browns crispy so next time I will bake them a little longer but all ovens are different so use your judgment. Also, some of my muffins stuck a little to the tin so be sure to generously spray the tin and use a non-stick muffin pan.

Servings: 3 • Size: 2 egg muffins • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 133.4 • Fat: 1.8 g • Carb: 15.3 g • Fiber: 1.8 g • Protein: 13.2 g • Sugar: 0.6 • Sodium: 297.7 (without salt)

     Olive oil spray
    1/2 cup minced onion
    1 cup shredded potatoes, Simply Potatoes
    Dash of garlic powder
    Salt and pepper to taste
    1 cup egg whites or egg beaters, beaten
    2 tbsp diced onions
    1/4 cup diced bell peppers
    0.8 oz reduced fat Swiss, chopped
    1 oz turkey ham, diced
    Dash of garlic powder
    Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly spray a muffin tin with oil spray. Combine potatoes, 1/2 cup onion, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Fill each muffin tin with 1/4 cup of potatoes and press along the side of the tin so that it forms a nest.

Bake 35 minutes or until golden brown and edges are crispy.

While nests are baking, combine the egg whites with remaining ingredients in a medium bowl.  Remove nests from the oven when golden brown. Fill each cup with about 3 tbsp of egg mixture. Return to the oven and bake an additional 17-20 minutes or until eggs are fully cooked.


Huevos Rancheros

Golden egg yolks mingle with tomatoes, green chilies and cheese over a crispy corn tortilla for breakfast... what can be better! Low fat, naturally gluten-free and vegetarian.

Really easy to make. You can also serve this with sliced avocados on the side. Buen Provecho!

Servings: 2 • Serving Size: 1 egg, tortilla and sauce • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 194.3 • Fat: 10.1 g • Protein: 12.1 g • Carb: 14.4 g • Fiber: 2.3 g • Sugar: 1.6

    1/2 tsp oil
    1/2 onion, minced
    1 medium tomato, minced
    2 tbsp chopped green chilies (I used Old El Paso)
    Oil spray
    Salt and pepper
    Pinch cumin (optional)
    2 large eggs
    1/4 cup shredded lettuce
    1 oz shredded cheese (I used Cabot 50% reduced fat Pepper Jack)
    2 tsp chopped cilantro
    Olive oil spray (I used my Misto)
    2 corn tortillas (I used Mission Extra Thin yellow corn)

Heat oil in a small pan. Add onions and cook one minute add tomatoes, chilies, cumin, salt and pepper and cook another few minutes. Set aside and keep warm. In another medium non-stick pan, lightly spray the tortillas with oil on each side and heat a few minutes on both sides until tortillas gets crispy and pockets or air bubbles start to form inside. Set aside. 

In the same pan, lightly spray more oil and add eggs, salt and pepper. Cover and cook until sunny-side up or to your liking.

To serve, place a tortilla on each plate, top with egg, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese and cilantro.


Healthy Banana Smoothie

This is a quick and easy, low point, healthy breakfast I like to make when I am on the run. It's delicious! I usually keep the vanilla yogurt in the freezer. Otherwise, I would add some ice.

Servings: 2 servings • Time: 2 minutes • Points: 2.5 points

    1 banana
    1 (6 oz.) Weight Watchers Vanilla Yogurt
    1/4 tsp vanilla extract
    2 cup fat free milk

In a blender, process all ingredients until smooth. Serve immediately.




























Healthy Pumpkin Oatmeal Shake

A perfect breakfast on the go!

Servings: 4 • Size: 1/4th • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 160.7 • Fat: 2.2g • Protein: 5.8 g • Carb: 34 g • Fiber: 6.6 g

    1/2 cup quick oats
    2 cups water
    1 cup fat free milk (vegans use almond milk)
    1 cup ice
    1/2 cup pumpkin puree
    3 tbsp brown sugar
    1-2 tsp cinnamon
    Pumpkin pie spice to taste 

Cook oats and water in a small pot for about a minute or two, stirring often until it becomes thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and let it cool a few minutes.

In a blender add milk, pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice. Add oats and ice. Blend on high until very smooth. Chill in refrigerator or pour in a glass over ice. Enjoy!!



















Honey Coconut Blueberry Bran Muffins

Start your morning right with these healthy bran muffins lightly sweetened with honey, fresh blueberries and coconut flakes. So moist and delicious, you won't even realize they are light.

It's been years since I had a bran muffin, but my first time actually making them and I was surprised how good they turned out. Enjoy one for breakfast with a cup of coffee or tea and you are good to go. Freeze the rest to enjoy throughout the month or make a half batch.

Servings: 16  Serving Size: 1 regular size muffin • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 144 • Fat: 4.8 g • Protein: 3.4 g • Carb: 24 g • Fiber: 4 g • Sugar: 11.6 g
Sodium: 135 mg

    1 cup wheat bran
    1-1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
    1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
    1/4 cup chopped walnuts
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or skim is fine)
    1/2 cup honey
    1 tsp vanilla
    3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
    2 tbsp coconut oil (or canola)
    2 large eggs, beaten
    12 oz blueberries

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Line a muffin tin with 16 liners.

Combine the wheat bran, wheat flour, baking soda and baking powder. Stir in nuts and coconut. In a separate bowl, blend applesauce, almond milk, honey, coconut oil, vanilla and egg.  Add to dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Fold in blueberries. Spoon into paper-lined muffin cups and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Makes 16 muffins.





Insanely Good Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

Yes, these muffins are insanely good! Hard to believe they are low fat. Think baked oatmeal, but in the form of a muffin... so moist and they are just as good the next day.

Think of the variations you can come up with replacing the blueberries with raisins, apples or even chocolate chips! 

Servings: 12 • Serving Size: 1 muffin • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 127 • Fat: 2.3 g • Protein: 2.8 g • Carb: 28.4 g • Fiber: 2.2 g • Sugar: 17.3 g
Sodium: 222.7 mg

    1 1/2 cups Quaker quick oatmeal
    1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or skim milk)
    1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
    2 tbsp agave (or sugar, honey)
    1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
    2 egg whites
    1 tbsp oil
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 cup fresh blueberries
    Baking spray

Preheat oven to 400°. Line a muffin tin with liners and lightly spray with oil. Place oats in a food processor or chopper and pulse a few times. Soak oats in milk for about 30 minutes.  In a medium bowl combine brown sugar, agave, apple sauce, vanilla, egg whites, oil and mix well. In a third bowl combine whole wheat flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and whisk to combine. Combine oats and milk with sugar, applesauce mixture and mix well. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Fold in blueberries. Spoon into the muffin tin and bake for 22-24 minutes. Enjoy!!




Lemon Cranberry Scones

Fresh baked lemon scented scones studded with cranberries, topped with a lemon glaze; a perfect Sunday morning treat.

I'm a scone lover and enjoy playing around with different varieties. Lemon scones have been on my to-do list for quite some time, the added dried fruit was a last minute addition that turned out wonderful.

For perfect scones, be careful not to over-knead the dough and be sure your butter is chilled. Leftovers can be stored in air-tight containers for up to two days. I've tried these using all whole wheat flour but I prefer to use a blend of whole wheat and white. Enjoy!

Servings: 10 • Serving Size: 1 scone • Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 192.5 • Fat: 4.7 g • Protein: 4.3 g • Carb: 33.9 g • Fiber: 2.1 g  
Basic Scone recipe modified from Cooking Light

    2 tbsp sugar
    2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, divided
    1/2 cup low fat buttermilk
    1/4 cup sugar
    1 tbsp lemon zest
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    1 large egg
    2 cups Ultra grain flour (or 1 cup white, 1 cup whole wheat)
    1 tbsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    3 tbsp chilled butter (must be cold) cut into small pieces
    3/4 cup dried sweet cranberries or cherries

Position rack in top third of oven; Preheat oven to 375°.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Make glaze by combining 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp lemon juice. Combine buttermilk, remaining lemon juice, sugar, lemon zest, vanilla, and egg in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Cut in chilled butter with a pastry blender, or you could use 2 knives, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gently fold in cranberries or cherries. Add buttermilk mixture, stirring just until moist. (Dough will be sticky)  Place dough onto a floured surface and knead lightly four times with floured hands. Form dough into an 8-inch circle onto baking sheet, about 3/4" thick. Using a knife, cut dough into 10 wedges (do not cut all the way through). Brush lemon glaze over dough. Bake until golden, about 18-20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Serve warm or room temperature.

If you leave out the dried fruit, the scones are 4 points plus each.






































Light Spinach and Feta Frittata

Spinach, scallions feta and eggs make a fabulous breakfast or a low carb lunch with a Greek salad on the side.

To make this low fat frittata I've replaced most of the eggs with egg whites. For convenience I usually buy Trader Joe's cage free liquid egg whites, but you can use Egg Beaters or separate them yourself if you prefer. When buying parmesan cheese, I like to buy Parmigiano-Reggiano, it has a sharp, strong-flavored, nutty taste. Inferior versions of parmesan can have a bitter taste.

Servings: 4 servings • Serving Size: 1/4 of frittata • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 140.6 • Fat: 6.8 • Carbs: 5.5 • Fiber: 2.2 g • Sugar: 0.3 g • Protein 15.2

    2 whole eggs
    8 large egg whites
    1 tsp olive oil
    1/2 red onion, finely chopped
    3 scallions, chopped
    10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed
    2 oz crumbled feta
    2 tbsp Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
    salt and freshly ground pepper

Squeeze all water from spinach. In a 9 inch non-stick sautι pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and scallions and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. 

Meanwhile in a medium bowl, beat the eggs. Add salt, pepper, cheeses and spinach and mix well. Pour the mixture into the skillet and cook until the bottom sets, about 5 minutes. Hold a large plate over the pan and invert the frittata onto the plate, then slide it back into the pan. Cook about 5 minutes longer. Serve hot.






Low Fat Banana Nut Bread

Insanely moist banana nut bread without all the fat!

Banana nut bread is one of my favorite quick breads and trust me, this recipe will not disappoint! Make sure your bananas are very ripe for best results.

Servings: 26 slices (2 loaves) • Size: 1 slice • Old Points: 3 pts  • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 129.2  • Fat: 4.4 g • Carbs: 20.6 • Protein: 2.8 • Fiber: 1.4 g

Without Nuts:
Old Points: 2 pts  • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 106.1  • Fat: 2.1 g • Carbs: 20.2 • Protein: 2.3 • Fiber: 1.2 g

    7 ripe medium bananas, mashed
    1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
    2-1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
    1-1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    4 tbsp butter, softened
    1 cup light brown sugar
    4 large egg whites
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    3 oz (3/4 cup) chopped walnuts
    baking spray

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease two 8x5 inch loaf pans with baking spray. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk. Set aside. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add egg whites, bananas, apple sauce and vanilla, and beat at medium speed until thick. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Add flour mixture and walnuts, then blend at low speed until combined. Do not over mix. Pour batter into loaf pans and bake on the center rack for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let the pan cool at least 20 minutes, bread should be room temperature before slicing.



Low Fat Blueberry Scones

I have been meaning to make scones for a long time because I feel they make a perfect Sunday morning breakfast with a nice hot cup of tea. Blueberries are considered a super fruit and are rich in antioxidants. These scones came out light and fluffy, and the aroma of fresh baked goodness filled my home.

Servings: 8 servings • Calories: 216 • Points: 4.5 pts • Points+:6  pts

    2 cups unbleached flour
    1/4 cup sugar
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1 tbsp baking powder
    1/4 (half stick) cup frozen butter
    3/4 cups light buttermilk
    1 egg
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. Using the large holes of a cheese grater, grate the frozen butter into the flour. Mix well with flour. In a medium bowl, mix the buttermilk, egg and vanilla. Using a fork, slowly stir in the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, until all the mixture is moistened. Do not over work the dough. Fold in the blueberries. Line a cookie sheet with a Silpat, or parchment paper. Drop large spoonfuls onto the cookie sheet (to avoid tough scones, do not press or compact). Bake in the center rack 18 minutes. Remove and let them cool about 5 minutes before eating.












Low Fat Chewy Granola Bars with Pecans Raisins and Chocolate

Moist and Chewy low fat granola bars loaded with chocolate chips, raisins and pecans in every bite. Perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack.

I cut them in long bars like the granola bars you buy in the store, but it's actually a lot easier to cut them in squares which is how I will make them in the future.

Servings: 16 • Size: 1 square or bar • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 183.1 • Fat: 7.8 g • Carb: 29.7 g • Fiber: 2.6 g • Protein: 2.8 g • Sugar: 17.4
Sodium: 162.5

1 cup oat flour* (or 1 cup oats finely ground in food processor or blender)
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
    1/2 cup unpacked brown sugar
    1 large egg
    1/4 cup honey
    1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    2 cups quick oats*
    1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
    1/2 cup raisins
    1/2 cup chopped pecans

*use gluten-free oats if you are on a gluten free diet

Preheat oven to 350°; line a 9 x 9 baking pan with 2 long pieces of parchment paper, long enough to go up over the sides for easy removal. Lightly spray with oil. In a medium bowl, whisk together oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In a large bowl, with a mixer cream together the butter and the sugar on medium speed.   Add the egg followed by the honey, applesauce and vanilla extract. Working by hand, stir in the flour mixture and the oats until just combined and no streaks of flour remain; stir in the chocolate chips, raisins and nuts. Spoon oats onto prepared baking dish, flattening to make even. Bake for about 23-25 minutes, or until light brown at the edges. They will seem soft and undercooked, but once they cool they will set completely. Cool completely on a wire rack then refrigerate before cutting. This will help them hold together better. To cut use a long serrated bread knife and cut in a sawing motion.

Try them with cranberries instead of raisins, you can replace the chocolate chips with mini M&M's, leave the nuts out, add coconut, whatever you like!!

































Low Fat Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

A super moist zucchini bread loaded with chocolate chips in every bite. I used a whole wheat blend and lots of apple sauce and the results were moist and delicious.

It took a few tries to get this one perfect, but it was worth it in the end. Everyone loved this and couldn't get enough. Give this a try, I'm sure you'll agree, a perfect way to get your kids to eat zucchini!

Servings: 16 • Serving Size: 1 slice • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 147.5 • Fat: 4.1 g • Protein: 2.2 g • Carb: 29.9 g • Fiber: 1.7 g  Sugar: 17 g Sodium: 186.5 mg

As Muffins:
Servings: 12 • Size: 1 muffin • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 175.6 • Fat: 5.7 g • Protein: 3.4 g • Carb: 31.9 g • Fiber: 3.2 g • Sugar: 15.5 g  • Sodium: 248.4 mg 

    1 cup all purpose flour (I used unbleached)
    1 cup white whole wheat flour (regular whole wheat flour would work)
    1/2 cup brown sugar (not packed)
    1-1/8 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp vanilla
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 cup chocolate chips
    1 large egg, beaten
    2 tbsp melted butter
    1 cup apple sauce
    1-1/2 cups shredded zucchini (not packed)

Preheat oven to 325°. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Mix well. Add chocolate chips and gently mix to combine. In a medium bowl, mix egg, vanilla, melted butter, apple sauce and zucchini. Add to the flour mixture and stir until just blended. Pour batter into a large 9x5 inch loaf pan. 

Bake at 325° for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for about 10 minutes. Remove loaf from pan and let it cool before slicing.


Low Fat Irish Soda Bread

I love to have Irish Soda Bread for breakfast hot out of the oven with some low fat spread and a cup of tea. This is very easy to make, even if you have no experience baking. If you prefer to make a bread to serve with dinner, omit the raisins and sugar and you can add caraway seeds.

    1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
    1 1/2 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp salt
    4 tbsp sugar
    1 1/2 cups 1% buttermilk
    3 oz (2/3 cup) raisins

Preheat oven to 375°. Mix all dry ingredients (first 5) in a large bowl with a whisk. Slowly add buttermilk stirring with a wooden spoon until a soft dough is formed. Add raisins, knead the dough lightly on a sheet of wax paper or a floured surface for about 1 minute. Form into a round, slightly flattened shape. Place on a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Using a sharp knife, make an X at the top about 1/2 inch deep. Bake about 40 minutes, until golden. To test if it's done, insert a toothpick into the bread, if it comes out clean it is done. Let it cool on a bakers rack for about 5-10 minutes before serving.


















Mixed Berry Whole Wheat Muffins

Fresh raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries baked in low-fat whole wheat muffins. Perfect for breakfast or to enjoy as a snack.

I've made these muffins using both all whole wheat pastry flour and with a blend of whole wheat and white. Both work well but if I had to choose, I prefer using a blend. If fresh berries aren't available, frozen berries would work as well.

Servings: 12 • Serving Size: 1 muffin • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 151.5 • Fat: 2.7 g • Protein: 3.1 g • Carb: 29.7 g • Fiber: 2.6 g • Sugar: 13.4 g
Sodium: 215 mg 

    1 1/2 cups pureed strawberries (from about 16 oz strawberries)
    1 cup 100% whole wheat pastry flour (Bob's Red Mill)
    1 cup all purpose flour
    1/3 cup sugar
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/3 cup raspberries
    1/3 cup blackberries
    1/3 cups blueberries
    1 large egg, beaten
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    2 tbsp melted unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 325°. In a blender, puree strawberries until smooth, you should have 1 1/2 cups when done. If you have more, discard the rest. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Mix well. In a medium bowl, mix eggs, melted butter, vanilla and strawberry puree. Add to the flour mixture and stir until just blended.  Gently fold in remaining berries. Pour batter into 12 lined muffin tins and bake at 325° for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for about 10 minutes.






Low Fat Pomegranate Scones

These fresh baked scones are low fat, and studded with ruby red pomegranate arils. The key to making perfect scones is to not over-knead the dough, and to make sure your butter is chilled. For those of you not familiar with scones, scones are lightly sweetened English biscuits served at tea time. I love serving them with light butter and honey, some people prefer jam (pomegranate jelly would be great!). Leftovers can be stored in air-tight containers for up to two days.

Since returning from my trip to Fresno where I was invited to POM's Harvest Tour, I've been playing around with ways I want to use pomegranates in recipes. Aside from my favorite way to enjoy a pomegranate, which is simply eating the arils straight from the fruit, I've also enjoyed them in salads, and martinis. I have a lot more pomegranate recipes in my head I will be sharing with you in the future. I hope you enjoy the scones as much as I did. Baby Madison enjoyed them too!

Servings: 10 • Serving Size: 1 scone • Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 177.5 • Fat: 4.7 g • Protein: 4.8 g • Carb: 28.9 g • Fiber: 1.7 g  
Basic Scone recipe modified from Cooking Light

    1/2 cup 2% milk
    1/4 cup sugar
    2 tsp lemon zest
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    1 large egg
    2 cups ultra grain flour*
    1 tbsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    3 tbsp chilled butter (must be cold) cut into small pieces
    1 cup pomegranate arils from a POM Wonderful Pomegranate
    cooking spray
    1 large egg white, lightly beaten
    2 tbsp sugar

Preheat oven to 375°. Combine the first five ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Cut in chilled butter with a pastry blender, or you could use 2 knives, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gently fold in fresh pomegranates. Add milk mixture, stirring just until moist. (dough will be sticky), place dough onto a floured surface and knead lightly four times with floured hands. Form dough into an 8-inch circle onto baking sheet, about 3/4" thick. Using a knife, cut dough into 10 wedges (do not cut all the way through). Brush egg white over dough and sprinkle evenly with sugar. Bake until golden, about 18-20 minutes, depending on your oven. Serve warm.

* I've been baking with Ultra grain flour lately and loving it. It tastes and looks like white flour, with increased fiber, vitamins and minerals. If you can't find this, a 50/50 blend of white and whole wheat flour would work.


































Low Fat Pumpkin Bread With Pepitas

Servings: 16 slices • Serving Size: 1/2 inch thick slice • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 103 • Fat: 2.2 g • Protein: 2.1 g • Carb: 18.7 g • Fiber: 0.7 g • Sugar: 10.2 g • Sodium: 280.5

    1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (homemade or canned)
    1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
    3/4 cup sugar
    1 tsp baking soda
    2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
    1/2 tsp nutmeg
    1/4 tsp cinnamon
    1/4 tsp salt
    2 tbsp vegetable oil
    2 large egg whites
    1 1/2  tsp vanilla extract
    baking spray
    2 tbsp pepitas

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with baking spray. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, pumpkin spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt with a wire whisk. Set aside. In a large bowl mix oil, egg whites, pumpkin puree and vanilla; beat at medium speed until thick. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Add flour mixture, then blend at low speed until combined. Do not over mix. Pour batter into loaf pan, top with pepitas and bake on the center rack for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let the pan cool at least 20 minutes, bread should be room temperature before slicing.










Low Fat Strawberry Scones

Fresh baked strawberry scones topped with strawberry preserves. Can a morning get better than that? Strawberries are in abundance this time of year, and I've had scones on my mind all week. Typically I use white flour when I make scones but today I did a mix of white and whole wheat. The points remain the same if you want to use only white flour. The trick to making scones is to use cold butter and cold buttermilk. Don't overwork the dough and you'll have perfect scones.

Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1 scone • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 201.1 • Fat: 6.5 g • Protein: 4.5 g • Carb: 32.2 g • Fiber: 2.7 g  

    1 cup fresh strawberries, cut into small pieces
    1 cup all purpose flour
    1 cup whole wheat flour
    1/4 cup sugar plus 1 tsp for topping
    1/4 tsp salt
    2 tsp baking powder
    1/4 (half stick) cup frozen butter
    3/4 cups 1% light buttermilk (cold)
    1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 400°. Mix strawberries with 1 tbsp of sugar and set aside. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. Using the large holes of a cheese grater, grate the frozen butter into the flour. Mix well with flour. In a medium bowl, mix the buttermilk, vanilla. Using a fork, slowly stir in the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, until all the mixture is moistened. Do not over work the dough. Fold in the strawberries. Line a cookie sheet with a Silpat, or parchment paper. Drop 8 equal large spoonfuls onto the cookie sheet (to avoid tough scones, do not press or compact). Bake in the center rack 18 minutes. Remove and let them cool about 5 minutes before eating.













Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins

Moist and delicious low fat whole wheat muffins loaded with blueberries in every bite.

Isn't it dissatisfying when you buy a blueberry muffin thinking it's a healthy breakfast option and it's basically a sweet piece of cake with blueberries and lots of fat disguised as a muffin?

These muffins are low in calories and fat, high in fiber and good for you! Most of the fat has been replaced by applesauce which gives you a very moist muffin without all the added fat. You can make a half batch just as easily as making a whole batch if 12 muffins are too much for your household. I love them best fresh out of the oven, but I usually reheat them a few seconds in the micro the next day and tightly wrap any remaining with plastic wrap.

Servings: 12 • Serving Size: 1 muffin • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 147.3 • Fat: 2.7 g • Protein: 2.7 g • Carb: 28.5 g • Fiber: 3.4 g • Sugar: 12.3 g

    1 cup unsweetened applesauce
    2 cups 100% whole wheat pastry flour (Bob's Red Mill)
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 1/2 cups blueberries (about 6.5 oz)
    1 large egg, beaten
    1 tsp vanilla
    2 tbsp melted butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 325°. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Mix well. In a medium bowl, mix eggs, melted butter, vanilla and applesauce. Add to the flour mixture and stir until just blended.  Gently fold in blueberries. Pour batter into 12 lined muffin tins and bake at 325° for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Cool for about 10 minutes.




Lightened Up Crθme Brule French Toast

A make-ahead baked French toast casserole with a sweet sugar-coated bottom, perfect for a Christmas morning breakfast.

What's better than waking up with a house full of guests and having a no-fuss breakfast when you wake up. Serve this with fresh fruit to complete your table.

This uses a half loaf of challah bread, so you can easily double this and make two if you have more guests. And as an fyi, portions are pretty large, if you cut this into 8 pieces, it would be 7 points plus.

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 1/6th • Old Points: 7 pts • Points+: 9 pts
Calories: 310.9 • Fat: 5.6 g • Carb: 59.9 g • Fiber: 0.2 g • Protein: 13.1 g

    1 cup unpacked brown sugar
    1/4 cup water
    cooking spray
    10 oz Challah bread, sliced 1 inch thick
    2 large eggs
    1 cup egg substitute
    1-1/2 cups 1% milk
    1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    1 tsp Meyers rum (optional)
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 tsp powdered sugar
    1 tsp cinnamon

In a small heavy saucepan melt brown sugar and water over moderate-low heat, stirring, until smooth and melted, about 1 minute, then pour into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange bread slices in one layer in baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, egg substitute, milk, vanilla, rum, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and salt until combined well and pour evenly over bread. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight. Preheat oven to 350° F. and bring bread to room temperature. Bake uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, 40 to 50 minutes.

Top with cinnamon and powdered sugar.


Make-Over Breakfast Sausage and Mushroom Strata

A make-ahead breakfast casserole made with day old bread, eggs, cheese, sausage and mushrooms. This recipe from the archives is perfect for Christmas morning. You can make this with just about anything, just use your imagination!

Breakfast stratas can be pretty high in fat, generally using at least 8 eggs and 2 to 3 cups of cheese. To lighten this dish I used less eggs, turkey sausage in place of pork sausage, fat free milk, reduced fat cheese and whole wheat ciabatta bread.

You can easily swap out the mushrooms for asparagus or bell peppers, use ham instead of sausage, and make it with any cheese you like. Enjoy, whatever flavor combination you come up with!!

Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1/8th • Old Points: 7 pts • Points+: 7 pts
Calories: 288.2 • Fat: 12.4 g • Carb: 18.2 g • Fiber: 1.3 g • Protein: 24.3 g

    8 oz wheat ciabatta bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (Chabaso)
    12 oz turkey breakfast sausage (I used Jenny-O in frozen section)
    2 cups fat-free milk
    1-1/2 cup (4 ounces) reduced-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese
    3 large eggs
    12 oz egg substitute, like egg beaters
    1/2  cup  chopped green onions
    1 cup sliced mushrooms
    1/2 tsp paprika
    salt and fresh pepper
    2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400°. Arrange bread cubes on a baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 8 minutes or until toasted. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage to pan; cook 7 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Combine milk, cheese, eggs, egg substitute, parmesan cheese, paprika, salt and pepper in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add bread, sausage, scallions and mushrooms, tossing well to coat bread. Spoon mixture into a 13x9-inch baking dish. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Preheat oven to 350°. Uncover casserole. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Cut into 8 pieces; serve immediately.










































Mango Lassi

Servings: 3 • Time: 5 minutes • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 138.7 • Fat: 0.3 • Carbs: 26.7 • Fiber: 1.3 • Protein: 9.2

Ingredients:

    1 mango, chopped
    6 oz fat free Greek yogurt
    1 cup fat free milk
    1 1/2 tbsp sugar or honey
    1 cup crushed ice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.




























Mango Nut Bread

There is nothing like fresh baked bread for breakfast. This low fat bread uses one of my favorite tropical fruits, the mango. The addition of coconut flakes gives this bread a tropical flair. I love this with a smear of mango butter!!

For those of you who have never baked bread before, this is very simple to make. The only appliance I used was a blender to purιe the mango. The rest was mixed by hand.

Servings: 16 slices • Serving Size: 1/2 inch slice • Old Points: 2.5 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 125.1 • Fat: 3.9 g • Protein: 2.6 g • Carb: 21.0 g • Fiber: 1.6 g

    1 cup mango purιe (about 2 ripe mangos)
    1 cup all purpose flour
    1 cup unbleached whole wheat flour
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/4 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 cup chopped walnuts
    1/4 cup coconut flakes
    1 large egg, beaten
    2 tbsp melted butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 325°. Puree mango in a blender until smooth. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Mix well. Add nuts and coconut and mix to combine. In a medium bowl, mix eggs, melted butter and purιed mango. Add to the flour mixture and stir until just blended. Pour batter into a large 9x5 inch loaf pan and bake at 325° for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for about 10 minutes. Remove loaf from pan and let it cool before slicing.







Mango Peach Smoothie

Not all fruit smoothies are low in calories so be careful and make sure you know what you are getting when you order one out. Best guarantee to knowing what you're eating is to make it yourself!! 

Servings: 2 • Serving Size: 1 cup • Points: 1 pt
Calories: 99.7 • Fat: 0.3 g • Protein: 2.3 g • Carb: 26.0 g • Fiber: 5.0 g 

    4 oz peach fiber one yogurt
    1 medium sliced peach
    1 cup mango, sliced
    1 cup ice

Blend everything together and serve.



























Mushroom-Shallot Frittata

Servings: 4 servings • Time: 15 minutes • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 132.0 • Fat: 7.7 g • Protein: 10.9 g • Carb: 6.0 g • Fiber: 0.8 g  

    4 shallots, finely chopped
    1/2 lb mushrooms, finely chopped
    2 tsp fresh chopped parsley
    1 tsp thyme
    3 eggs
    5 large egg whites
    1 tbsp fat free half and half (or milk)
    1/4 cup fresh grated Pecorino Romano
    1 tbsp butter
    salt and fresh pepper

Preheat oven to 350°. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in shallots and sautι until golden, about 5 minutes. Add chopped mushroom, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper. In a medium bowl whisk eggs, egg whites, parmesan, half and half, salt, and pepper. Add eggs to the skillet making sure eggs cover all the mushrooms. When the edges begin to set (about 2 minutes) move the skillet to oven. Cook about 15 minutes, or until frittata is completely cooked. Serve warm, cut into 4 equal wedges.



















Bananas Fosters Topped Overnight French Toast

Dessert for breakfast? This make-ahead baked French toast casserole topped with Bananas Fosters will wow your guests this Easter! Put out some bowls of fresh berries and fruit and your guests won’t even know this is a lightened up French Toast.

I tested this out and everyone loved it. It's almost like a bread pudding, you could probably even enjoy this for dessert. Hope you enjoy! You can easily double this recipe for a bigger crowd.

Servings: 8  • Serving Size: 1 slice with bananas • Points: 6 pts • Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 294.8 • Fat: 4.9 g • Protein: 10.5 g • Carb: 59 g • Fiber: 1.6 g    

    Cooking spray
    10 oz Challah bread, sliced 1 inch thick (Hawaiian or Brioche would      work)
    2 large eggs
    1 cup egg substitute
    1-1/2 cups fat free milk
    1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/4 cup agave or white sugar
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 tsp Meyers rum or rum extract (optional)

For the Banana Topping:

    1 tbsp light butter
    1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1 tbsp Meyers rum or 1 tsp rum extract (optional)
    4 medium ripe bananas, sliced

Spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange bread slices in one layer in baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, egg substitute, milk, vanilla, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, agave or sugar, salt and rum until combined well and pour evenly over bread. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight for best results.

Preheat oven to 350° F. and bring bread to room temperature. Bake uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, 40 to 45 minutes. Meanwhile while it's baking, in a large deep sautι pan melt light butter over low heat. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and rum and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add a few drops of water if needed and let sauce simmer about 2 minutes. Add sliced bananas and remove from heat. Keep covered until french toast comes out of the oven.

When french toast is cooked, divide among 8 plates and top with bananas. Enjoy!!































Papaya Coconut Muffins

What do you do with left over papaya? You make muffins of course! Papaya and coconut give these low fat muffins a tropical flair. If you can't take a trip to the tropics, bring the tropics to your kitchen!

These are moist and wonderful from the minute they come out of the oven. If you can't find papaya in your market, ripe mango would work too.

Servings: 14 • Serving Size: 1 muffin • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 126.6 • Fat: 3.0 g • Protein: 2.3 g • Carb: 22.8 g • Fiber: 2.7 g • Sugar: 8.8 g

    1 cup papaya purιe
    2 cups 100% whole wheat pastry flour (Bob's Red Mill)
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/4 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 cup coconut flakes
    1 large egg, beaten
    1/2 tsp vanilla
    2 tbsp melted butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 325°. Puree papaya in a blender until smooth. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Mix well. Add coconut and mix to combine. In a medium bowl, mix eggs, melted butter, vanilla and purιed papaya. Add to the flour mixture and stir until just blended. Pour batter into a prepared muffin tins and bake at 325° for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for about 10 minutes.











PB & J Yogurt

Peanut butter, grape jam, peanuts, and fresh red grapes on top of a bowl of yogurt... who needs the bread!

I used reduced sugar grape jelly, but strawberry preserves and different nut butters would be fabulous alternatives. I went with a reduced-fat peanut butter, but PB2 would work great too!

Servings: 1 • Size: 1 bowl • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 240 • Fat: 7 g • Protein: 22 g • Carb: 24 g • Fiber: 1 g • 
Sugar: 17.5g • Sodium: 251 mg 

    6 oz fat free plain Chobani
    4 tsp reduced sugar grape jelly
    2 tbsp red seedless grapes, cut in half
    1 tbsp reduced-fat peanut butter
    1 tsp unsalted peanuts

Place the yogurt in a bowl. Top with jelly, then peanut butter. Sprinkle peanuts and grapes and grab a spoon!





















Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Moist and delicious muffins made with ripe mashed bananas, apple sauce and Better than Peanut Butter. These are so awesome!

I had a request to make low fat banana peanut butter muffins a few weeks ago and figured even though it's not something I would normally eat, I'm sure you would all like them. Well who knew how good they would be!

I put a little extra peanut butter in the center of each muffin to give you the extra peanut butter flavor when you bite in. The only way I could make these light was to use Better than Peanut Butter, I buy it at Trader Joe's. I'm sure PB2 would work as well but I haven't tried it in this recipe. Of course, regular peanut butter would work too but you'll have to adjust the nutritional info.

Servings: 12 • Size: 1 muffin • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 160.6 • Fat: 3 g • Protein: 3.9 g • Carb: 30.8 g • Fiber: 1.6 g • Sugar: 13.2 g • Sodium:  104.3 mg

    3 ripe medium bananas
    1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
    1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
    3/4 tsp baking soda
    1/4 tsp salt
    2 tbsp butter, softened
    1/3 cup light brown sugar
    2 large egg whites
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    10 tbsp Better'n peanut butter (divided into 8 tablespoons and 2 tablespoons)

Preheat oven to 325°. Line a muffin tin with 12 liners. Mash bananas in a bowl, set aside. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk. Set aside. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add egg whites, bananas, apple sauce, vanilla, and 8 tablespoons better'n peanut butter, and beat at medium speed until thick. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Add flour mixture, then blend at low speed until combined. Do not over mix. Pour batter into muffin tin halfway, then add 1/2 teaspoon of the remaining better'n peanut butter into each muffin well.  Top off each muffin with remaining batter, and bake on the center rack for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.













































Petite Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Loaves

If chocolate is something you crave, why not make it healthier with these petite loaves made by you!

Whole wheat mini banana bread made with ripe bananas and chocolate chips are sure to leave a smile on anyone's face.

These make 8 large muffins in comparison to using a normal sized muffin tin which gives you 12-13. If you don't have these Petite Loaf Pans you can use one large 8 x 5-inch loaf instead, cooking time will be closer to 50-60 minutes or use a regular sized muffin tin, baking them for about 25 minutes.

Because they are so large the nutritional info is a little higher, so I have also provided the nutritional info for regular sized muffins.

Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1 mini loaf • Old WW Points: 4 • Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 197.8 • Fat: 5.0 g • Carb: 40.8 g • Fiber: 4.0 g • Protein: 4.2 g • Sugar: 21.9 g
Sodium: 222 mg

As muffins:
Servings: 12 • Serving Size: 1 muffin • Old WW Points: 3 • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 131.9 • Fat: 3.3 g • Carb: 27.2 g • Fiber: 2.7 g • Protein: 2.8 g • Sugar: 14.6 g
Sodium: 148.6 mg

    3  ripe medium bananas
    1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
    1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
    3/4 tsp baking soda
    1/4 tsp salt
    2 tbsp butter, softened
    1/3 cup brown sugar
    2 large egg whites
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    1 1/2 oz mini chocolate chips
    Smart Balance baking spray

Preheat oven to 325°. Spray a non-stick loaf pan with cooking spray. Mash bananas in a bowl, set aside. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk. Set aside. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add egg whites, bananas, apple sauce, vanilla; beat at medium speed until thick. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Add flour mixture, then blend at low speed until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Do not over mix. Pour batter into muffin pan; bake on the center rack for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.




































Pumpkin Banana Bread

Baking is a science and remaking cakes and breads to make them healthier is not always as easy as say remaking a pot of soup or a casserole. So whenever I am experimenting with baking, my fingers are crossed the whole time. I wasn't too worried about this pumpkin banana bread because I basically took my Banana Nut Bread recipe which is a deliciously moist bread and I improvised it with the pumpkin and spices. This came out super moist and we had a difficult time waiting for it to cool because it smelled so good! We scoffed up half this bread before I got a chance to photograph it. This was wonderful topped with some Pumpkin Spiced Cream Cheese!

Servings: 12 slices (1 loaf) • Serving Size: 1 slice • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 146.5 • Fat: 2.7 g • Carb: 33.3 g • Fiber: 1.6 g • Protein: 2.7 g 

    Cooking spray
    3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
    1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
    3/4 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp ground cloves*
    1/2 tsp ground nutmeg*
    3 very ripe medium bananas, mashed
    1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
    2 tbsp butter, softened
    1/2 cup light brown sugar, unpacked
    1 large egg white
    1 large egg
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional, 5 pts+ per slice if using)

Preheat oven to 325°. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan with baking spray.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, pumpkin spice and salt with a wire whisk. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add egg whites, egg, bananas, pumpkin and vanilla, and beat at medium speed until thick. Scrape down sides of the bowl.
Add flour mixture and nuts (if using), then blend at low speed until combined. Do not over mix. Pour batter into loaf pan and bake on the center rack for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let the pan cool at least 20 minutes, bread should be room temperature before slicing.

* 1 tsp of pumpkin spice can be substituted for cloves and nutmeg.





































Pumpkin Butter

Pumpkin lovers will love this simple low fat pumpkin butter recipe which is so versatile to use, and deliciously good for you. Your kitchen will be filled with pumpkin spice aromas while making this.

A few ideas that come to mind with what you can do with pumpkin butter; serve it on toast or scones, add it to your latte for a pumpkin latte, make pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin cheesecake, add it to yogurt with granola for a pumpkin yogurt parfait... have I enticed you yet? I cooked a pumpkin in my crock pot and pureed it in the blender, but canned pumpkin would work just as good. I love using real cinnamon sticks for this, but ground cinnamon would work in place of them.

Servings: 30 • Serving Size: 2 tbsp • Old Points: 1 pts • Points+: 1 pts
Calories: 32 • Fat: 0.1 g • Protein: 0.5 g • Carb: 9.5 g • Fiber: 1.3 g • 
Sugar: 8 g • Sodium: 3.5 g 

    3 1/2 cups pumpkin puree, or 1 (29 ounce) can (not pumpkin pie filling)
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    3/4 cup apple cider or juice
    1 cup packed brown sugar
    2-3 cinnamon sticks
    1-2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (to taste)

Combine pureed pumpkin, vanilla, apple juice, spices, cinnamon sticks and sugar in a large saucepan; stir well. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 - 40 minutes or until thickened. Stir frequently. Adjust spices to your taste. Makes 3 3/4 cups.













Pumpkin Nut Muffins

With a chill in the air, weekends in the Fall are perfect for baking muffins. These pumpkin nut muffins have very little oil, but lots of pumpkin taste. The pecans add a little crunch in every bite that I just love! Enjoy them with some hot tea or a cup of pumpkin spiced latte!

Coincidentally, these are dairy-free for those with a milk intolerance.

Servings: 12 • Size: 1 regular sized muffin • Old Points: 3 pts • 
Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 162.5 • Fat: 7 g • Carbs: 23.5 g • Fiber: 2 g • Protein: 3 g • 
Sugar: 14 g • Sodium: 170 mg

    1/2 cup white whole wheat flour (King Arthur)
    3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour (King Arthur)
    3/4 cup raw sugar
    1 tsp baking soda
    2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
    1/4 tsp nutmeg
    1/4 tsp cinnamon
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
    2 tbsp vegetable oil
    2 large egg whites
    1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    baking spray
    1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and lightly spray liners with oil for easy removal. In a medium bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking soda, pumpkin spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt with a wire whisk. Set aside. In a large bowl mix pumpkin puree, oil, egg whites and vanilla; beat at medium speed until thick. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Add flour mixture to the wet mixture, then blend at low speed until combined; do not over mix. Fold in chopped nuts. Pour batter into prepared muffin tin and bake on the center rack for 24 - 26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let them cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Makes 12 muffins.

















Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese

As the weather chills and the days get shorter, I am getting excited about the fall and fall flavors like pumpkin pie, hot cider, soups and stews for dinner. Here is a delicious way to bring the flavor of pumpkin cheesecake into your morning breakfast which I found on Pinch My Salt. I altered it a bit to make it skinnier and it was perfect! It's like having a little bit of dessert for breakfast.

Servings: 12 • Size: 1 oz • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 2 pts
Calories: 65.8 • Fat: 4.1 g • Carbs: 6.2 g • Fiber: 0.4 g • Protein: 1.5 g • Sugar: 4.8 g • Sodium: 1.6 mg

    8 oz Philadelphia 1/3 fat cream cheese
    1/2 cup pureed pumpkin (canned is fine)
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
    2 tbsp brown sugar
    1 tbsp agave nectar or honey

Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and beat until smooth. You can easily 1/4 or halve this recipe if you wish to make less.


















Pumpkin Spiced Crepes with Pumpkin Butter

The taste of pumpkin pie for breakfast without the guilt? Every bite of these low fat crepes seasoned with cinnamon and pumpkin spice will fill your palate with the taste of Autumn. Crepes can be eaten for breakfast or dessert, and they are easy to make. Put all the ingredients in the blender to make the batter, then cook each crepe in a 6-inch non stick pan on low heat. For those of you on Weight Watcher points, these are only 3 points plus each!

Servings: 12 • Serving Size: 1 crepe with filling • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 107.1 • Fat: 1.1 g • Protein: 3.8 g • Carb: 23.5 g • Fiber: 1.7 g  

    1 1/2 cups fat free milk
    2 large egg whites
    1 whole egg
    1 tsp oil
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 cup white whole wheat flour (all purpose works fine)
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
    butter flavored spray
    1 1/2 cups pumpkin butter (2 tbsp in each crepe), warmed
    fat free whipped topping (optional)
    powdered sugar (optional) 

Blend flour, milk, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, eggs and oil until smooth in the blender. Heat a large nonstick pan on medium-low flame. When hot, spray with buttered flavored spray to coat bottom of pan. Pour 1/4 cup crepe mixture into pan, swirling pan slightly to make crepe thin and smooth. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until bottom of crepe is light golden brown. Flip; cook 30 seconds to 1 minute or until light golden brown. Repeat with remaining buttered flavored spray and crepe mixture.

To serve, spoon 2 tbsp pumpkin butter into center of each crepe, fold the edge of crepe over filling and roll, placing the crepe on a plate seam side down. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar and a little more pumpkin spice or cinnamon. Serve warm.

Makes 3 cups. Batter can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.










































Pumpkin Spiced Oatmeal

A warm, creamy bowl of pumpkin spiced oatmeal is a great way to start your morning! High in fiber and heart healthy whole grains, this breakfast will fill you up and keep you satisfied until lunch.

I love the convenience of overnight oats in a jar, but today I was craving a warm bowl of oatmeal just like Mom used to make. She made the best oatmeal when I was a kid, it was so creamy (made with whole milk) and she always cooked it with cinnamon sticks.

I tried to replicate the creaminess using a blend of almond milk and water to keep it light and the results were wonderful. Topped it with homemade pumpkin butter, skinny pumpkin granola and a pinch more cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice... heavenly!

If you've made pumpkin granola, it's the perfect topping to add a little crunch. If not, you can top it with a few dried cranberries and chopped pecans or pepitas. Enjoy!

Servings: 1 • Serving Size: 1 bowl • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 216 • Fat: 6 g • Carb: 38 g • Fiber: 6 g • Protein: 6.5 g • 
Sugar: 6.5 g • Sodium: 106 mg

    1/2 cup uncooked oats (us GF oats of gluten-free)
    1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
    1/2 cup water
    pinch of pumpkin pie spice
    pinch of cinnamon 

 For topping:

    1 tbsp skinny pumpkin butter
    1 tbsp skinny pumpkin granola

Cook oatmeal in almond milk and water along with cinnamon (you can add a cinnamon stick too) and pumpkin spice according to package directions. Pour cooked oatmeal in a bowl and top with homemade pumpkin butter, skinny pumpkin granola, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Enjoy!



Pumpkin Spice Pancakes with Pumpkin Butter

These whole wheat pancakes are lightly seasoned with brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and topped with pumpkin butter for a hearty Autumn breakfast. Low fat, high in fiber and just plain good or you!

Servings: 4 • Size: 2 pancakes 2 tbsp pumpkin butter • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 7 pts
Calories: 254.3 • Fat: 3.4 g • Protein: 9.1 g • Carb: 51.6 g • Fiber: 3.0 g

    1 cup whole wheat flour
    2 tsp baking powder 
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
    1/4 cup pumpkin butter or canned pumpkin
    1 tbsp brown sugar
    1 cup 1% milk
    3 large egg whites
    2 tsp oil
    1 tsp vanilla
    butter flavor cooking spray
    1/2 cup pumpkin butter for topping 

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Combine milk, egg whites and pumpkin butter or canned pumpkin in a bowl and mix until smooth. Combine wet ingredients with the dry and mix well with a spoon until there are no more dry spots. Don't over-mix. Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Spray oil to lightly coat and pour 1/4 cup of pancake batter. When the pancake starts to bubble and the edges begin to set, flip the pancakes. Repeat with the remainder of the batter. Top each serving with an additional 2 tbsp pumpkin butter. In addition you can top with maple syrup or agave, (extra points)







Red Pepper Egg-In-A-Hole

As I was thumbing through Everyday Food Magazine, I came across this recipe that I think is brilliant! It's like an egg-in-a-hole, but lighter and for those of you not eating carbs or gluten-free, a great alternative! I served mine on a half point piece of WW whole wheat toast, but the bread is completely optional. Next time I think I'll try these in large onion rings? Maybe even topping with a little grated cheddar? So many possibilities.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1 egg • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 2 pts
Calories: 79.8 • Fat: 5.0 g • Protein: 6.4 g • Carb: 1.4 g • Fiber: 0.1 g

    Olive oil spray
    1 bell pepper cut into 4 1/2" thick rings
    4 large eggs
    salt and fresh pepper

In a large nonstick skillet, heat on medium heat. When hot, spray olive oil spray, add pepper and let it cook a minute, then add egg into the center of the pepper. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the egg whites are mostly set but the yolks are still runny, 2-3 minutes. Gently flip and cook 1 more minute for over easy, longer if you like them over well.




















Ricotta Cheese Chocolate Chip Muffins

Moist chocolate chip muffins loaded with chocolate morsels in every bite. What a perfect way to start you morning if chocolate is your weakness. Also great as an afternoon snack.

These originally started with whole wheat flour, but after a few attempts at these I got the best results using self-rising cake flour. The taste and texture was exactly what I expect from a muffin. Next time I may try to do a blend of white whole wheat flour and cake flour to see how they come out. Until then I didn't want to keep you waiting!

If you are watching your sugar intake, I'm sure these would work great with a Splenda blend.

Servings: 12 • Size: 1 muffin • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 195.4 • Fat: 4.7 g • Carb: 34.2 g • Fiber: 0 g • Protein: 4.9 g • Sugar: 19.2 • Sodium: 324.2

    2 cups self rising cake flour (Presto)
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/4 cup I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Light
    3/4 cup sugar
    3 large egg whites
    8 oz fat free ricotta cheese
    1/2 tbsp vanilla
    9 tbsp mini semi-sweet chocolate chip morsels

Preheat oven to 375°. Mix flour and baking soda. Mix and cream butter and sugar. Beat egg whites and add to butter/sugar mixture. Mix in ricotta cheese, then flour mixture and vanilla. Fold in chocolate chips and spoon into lined muffin tins about 3/4 filled. Bake at 375° for 15-16 minutes and let cool.




Makes 12 muffins.







Skinny Applesauce Nut Bread

Moist cinnamon apple bread made with homemade applesauce, small chunks of fresh apples and walnuts in every bite. It's so moist and delicious, you won't believe it's low fat!

I really enjoyed this bread for the past few days each morning with a hot cup of tea. The only thing wrong with this bread? Sadly, my crock pot applesauce and apple sauce bread is all used up but I will be making another batch of applesauce this week, it's too easy not to!

Yes, you can make it with store bought apple sauce, but it is so much better with homemade. I've made this with and without the apple pieces, I love the extra sweetness and moistness the chunks of apples add to the bread. Be sure to dice them small so they cook through.

Servings: 16 slices • Serving Size: 1/2 inch thick slice • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 122.1 • Fat: 3.7 g • Protein: 2.4 g • Carb: 23.9 g • Fiber: 2.5 g • Sugar: 14 g • Sodium: 134 g
 
    1 large finely diced, peeled apple, diced into 1/4" pieces
    1/2 tsp lemon juice
    1 tbsp agave
    1/8 tsp + 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1 1/2 cups homemade applesauce (or store bought)
    1 1/2 cups King Arthur white whole wheat flour
    3/4 cup brown sugar, not packed
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
    pinch allspice
    1/4 tsp salt
    2 tbsp vegetable oil
    2 large egg whites
    1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    baking spray
    1 1/2 oz chopped walnuts

In a medium bowl combine apple, 1/8 tsp cinnamon, agave, and lemon juice. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with baking spray. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and salt with a wire whisk. Set aside. In a large bowl mix oil, egg whites, sugar, apple sauce and vanilla; beat at medium speed until thick. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Add the flour mixture, then blend at low speed until combined. Do not over mix. Fold in apples and walnuts. Pour batter into loaf pan and bake in the center rack about 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Let the pan cool at least 20 minutes, bread should be room temperature before slicing.



































Skinny Green Monster Smoothie

A vitamin packed smoothie, perfect for breakfast or lunch on the go!

Ok, so I'll admit, first time trying a green monster smoothie... and quite honestly I was not prepared to like it! I mean, spinach in a smoothie?? Even though green may be my favorite color, it sounded way too healthy even for my taste! But it's January, a month of new beginnings, resolutions and cleaning our bodies so I was willing to take a chance. So, after someone recently sent me their recipe I took a chance and tried it for myself. What's the worst that could happen? If I don't like it, I'll just toss it, right? I had all the ingredients on hand and put them in my blender. Myself, my teenager and my aunt just watched as the blender ran and the smoothie turned into a shade of bright green. I was the first to test it out, and not bad! Good actually! All I really tasted was the peanut butter and banana, nothing else really stood out. I could get used to this! They all agreed, even my picky teenager thought it was good!

So, why should you try a GREEN MONSTER?? Vitamins!! A, C, K, iron, fiber, folate, lutein, magnesium, potassium, protein and calcium! Give it a try and see what you think!

Servings: 1 • Serving Size: about 2 cups • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 253.4 • Fat: 4.0 g • Carb: 38.6 g • Fiber: 5.5 g • Protein: 17.5 g • Sugar: 18.4 g • Sodium: 236.7 mg

    1 small frozen ripe banana, peeled
    2 cups baby spinach
    1 tbsp Better n Peanut Butter
    3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
    1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt (I used Chobani)

Place all the ingredients into the blender, add ice (optional) and blend until smooth. You can really make this so many ways, add flax seeds, add protein powder, throw in blueberries, etc. Start with this basic recipe and play around with variations. Give it a try!






Skinny Green Tropical Smoothie

A tropical green smoothie made with pineapple, shredded coconut and bananas, then blended with spinach, light coconut milk and Greek yogurt. High in Vitamin A, B-6, C, Manganese and fiber.

I've been really addicted to green smoothies since I first tried them, some of you may remember the Skinny Green Monster made with spinach bananas and peanut butter... so good! I got my friends and family members hooked in it too! It's amazing how you can't taste the spinach, and every time I have one I try making it different.

This tropical version has been on my mind for some time, I just love the combination of pineapple and coconut, and the sweet bits of shredded coconut give each sip an Island flair. I've also added mango, flax seeds, papaya would be good too! You can leave the yogurt out and add a bit more coconut milk to make it dairy-free. Enjoy!!

Servings: 2 • Serving Size: 1 3/4 cups • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 228 • Fat: 7.7 g • Protein: 10.2 g • Carb: 30.2 g • Fiber: 3.9 g • Sugar: 19.4 g • Sodium: 70.5 mg

    3/4 cup light coconut milk
    6 oz fat free Greek yogurt
    3/4 cup fresh pineapple, cubed
    1 ripe medium banana
    1 cup spinach
    2 tbsp sweetened shredded coconut
    1 1/4 cups ice

Put everything into the blender and blend until smooth. Makes about 3 1/2 cups.










Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie

This simple low calorie smoothie combines exotic kiwis with strawberries and yogurt. A delicious combination and a great high fiber breakfast on the go, loaded with vitamin C!

Servings: 2 • Serving Size: 1 cup • Old Points: 1 pt • Points+: 2 pt
Calories: 63.6 • Fat: 0.3 g • Protein: 2.2 g • Carb: 15.8 g • Fiber: 4.9 g 

    strawberry fiber one yogurt
    5-6 strawberries
    1 kiwi, peeled
    1 cup ice

Blend all ingredients together and serve.



























Swiss Chard Frittata

At first bite you'll love the sweet caramelized onions, in combination with the savory flavors from the Swiss chard, eggs and cheese. A perfect meatless dinner when paired with a salad and some crusty bread. Or you can serve it for breakfast or brunch, it's easy to make ahead and reheat before serving.

Swiss chard is one of my favorite leafy green vegetables and it's an excellent source of vitamins K, A, and C, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants and fiber. If chard is not available, try this with kale or spinach.

To keep it light, I usually I prefer to make my Frittatas with half egg whites/half whole eggs but to further lighten it you can make this with all egg whites as well.

Depending on how you serve this, it will serve four to six people.  Leftovers can be refrigerated and reheated.

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 1/6 • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 138.7 • Fat: 5.5 g • Protein: 12.3 g • Carb: 12.7 g • Fiber: 4.9 g • Sugar: 2.1 g
Sodium: 446 mg (without salt)  

    4 large eggs
    4 large egg whites
    1/4 cup grated Swiss Cheese
    1/2 bunch (6 1/2 cups) Swish Chard, washed well
    1 large white onion (2 cups), sliced thin
    2 tsp light butter
    salt and fresh pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400°. In a medium bowl combine eggs, egg whites, cheese and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside. Separate the stems from the leaves of the chard. Dice the stem into small pieces. Roll the leaves up and slice into thin ribbons, about an 1/8-inch thick. Heat a 10-inch skillet on low heat; melt half of the butter and add the onions with a pinch of salt and pepper. Slowly cook the onions, stirring occasionally until the onions become translucent, about 8-10 minutes. Bring the heat up to medium and cook until the onions caramelize. Set the onions aside. Increase the heat to medium-high, add remaining butter and add the chard stems. Cook about 3-4 minutes. Add the chard leaves to the pan and cook until wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low; pour egg mixture into the skillet and add caramelized onions, salt and pepper and mix well to blend. Reduce heat to low and cook until the edges set, about 6-8 minutes. Once the bottom and edges set, place in the oven and bake until completely set through, about 4-5 minutes.

Remove from the oven and place a dish over the pan; flip onto the plate. Cut into wedges and serve.



































Triple Berry Smoothie

Strawberries, raspberries and blackberries blended with yogurt and ice. I'm a berry lover, so the fact that they are good for you is a bonus. This smoothie is low in calories, rich in vitamin C and loaded with cancer preventing flavonoids and phytochemicals. Drink up!!

Servings: 2 • Serving Size: 1 cup • Old Points: 1 pt • Points+: 2 pt
Calories: 68.4 • Fat: 0.4 g • Protein: 3.3 g • Carb: 12.9 g • Fiber: 3.1 g   

    1/2 cup blackberries and raspberries
    5 medium strawberries
    1 cup crushed ice
    6 oz WW berries and cream nonfat yogurt

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve with a straw.


























Very Blueberry Smoothie

Servings: 2 • Serving Size: 1 cup • Old Points: 1 pt • Points+: 2 pt
Calories: 80.5 • Fat: 0.0 g • Protein: 3.4 g • Carb: 16.2 g • Fiber: 3.0 g   

    3/4 cup blueberries
    1 cup crushed ice
    6 oz WW blueberry nonfat yogurt

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve with a straw.
































Western Omelet Potato Skins

Potato skins for breakfast? Why not! Potato skins stuffed with scrambled eggs, ham, pepper, onion and topped with reduced fat cheddar cheese, it's a perfect breakfast combination.

Servings: 2 • Serving Size: 2 skins • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 305.1 • Fat: 7.6 g • Protein: 23.8 g • Carb: 35.1 g • Fiber: 2.7 g 

    2 medium russet potatoes
    olive oil spray
    2 large eggs
    3 egg whites
    2 tbsp fat free milk
    2 thin slices lean ham, chopped
    2 tbsp chopped onion
    1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
    salt and fresh pepper
    4 tbsp reduced fat cheddar cheese

Pierce potato with a fork a few times all around. Place in microwave and cook about 5 minutes per potato. When finished, allow to cool enough to handle. Cut potatoes in half horizontally. Scoop out potatoes leaving about 1/4 inch thick wall. (Skins weigh 2.5 oz after scooped). In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Add onion, pepper and ham and mix well. Spray a medium nonstick skillet with olive oil spray and cook the eggs, mixing often. Heat oven to 450°. Lightly spray potato skins on both sides with oil. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Fill with eggs and top each one with 1 tbsp cheese. Place on a baking sheet and bake 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
























2 Appetizers

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Sautιed ground chicken thighs, shiitake mushrooms and water chestnuts seasoned with Asian spices are served in a crispy cold lettuce leaf with a spicy hoisin dipping sauce. I can't think of a more playful appetizer to celebrate the Year of The Dragon!

Oh and one more thing I want to mention, if you want to turn this into a main dish, make some steamed rice and serve each wrap with rice and chicken, it's very good! Enjoy!!

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 1 lettuce wrap • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 102.7 • Fat: 3.1 g • Carb: 9.6 g • Fiber: 0.9 g • Protein: 8.4 g • Sugar: 4.6 g • Sodium: 344.1 mg

    8 oz skinless, boneless chicken thighs, ground
    1/4 cup water chestnuts, chopped fine
    1/4 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
    1 tbsp soy sauce (I used reduced sodium)
    1/4 tsp dark soy sauce
    1/2 tsp oyster sauce
    1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
    1 tbsp rice wine or dry sherry
    1⁄2 tsp sugar
    freshly ground white pepper, to taste
    2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    6 iceberg lettuce leaves, rinsed (careful not to break)
    2 tbsp diced scallions

For the Spicy Hoisin Dipping Sauces:

    4 tbsp hoisin sauce
    1/2 tsp chili sauce, I used Sriracha
    1 tbsp warm water

Place mushrooms in hot water to soften a few minutes. Remove stems and chop fine. Combine soy sauces, oyster sauce, 1/2 tsp sesame oil, rice wine, sugar, and pepper in a bowl.  Combine ground chicken (I put the chicken in the food processor), softened mushrooms and water chestnuts into a bowl. Pour over chicken; toss. Let marinate for 15 minutes.

Mix Spicy Hoisin Dipping Sauce ingredients in another bowl. Set aside.

Heat remaining sesame oil in a wok or skillet over high heat. Add garlic; cook until golden, about 10 seconds. Add chicken mixture; stir fry until browned, breaking the chicken up as it cooks, about 4-5 minutes.

To serve, spoon 1/4 cup of the chicken into each lettuce leaf. Garnish with scallions and a spoon a little Spicy Hoisin Dipping Sauce onto each one.

Serves 6

















Asian Flank Steak Skewers

Thin strips of grilled flank steak marinated with lime juice, ginger, garlic, sesame oil and soy sauce. These skewers disappear quickly at every gathering, so you may want to make a lot! With the Superbowl just around the corner I thought these would be a great appetizer for the steak lovers in your home. I myself love beef and enjoy these as an appetizer, but I also make them for dinner served with rice and roasted broccoli on the side. You can make this on an indoor grill, a cast iron grill pan or make them outside on the grill. Always cut the meat across the grain at a slight angle with a very sharp knife.

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 4 skewers (1/6th) • Old Points: 4 • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 150 • Fat: 7.1 g • Carb: 2.0 g • Fiber: 0.1 g • Protein: 17.9 g • Sugar: 0.0 g • Sodium: about 400 mg (since most of the marinade is discard, it may be less)

    1 1/2 lbs flank steak, sliced thin
    1 1/2 cups reduced sodium soy sauce (Use Tamari for Gluten Free)
    2 cloves minced garlic
    1 tsp fresh ginger
    1 tsp sesame oil
    1 lime, juice of

Soak wooden skewers in water about 30 minutes to prevent burning. Marinate the steak in all the ingredients for about 1 hour or more. Discard marinade and thread the sliced steak onto the skewers. Heat your grill or grill pan to high heat; when hot grill a few minutes on each side until browned and cooked though.

Makes about 24 skewers.











Avocado and Crab Salad

Servings: 2 • Size: half of recipe • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 210.3 • Fat: 16.6 g • Carb: 9.3 g • Fiber: 6.0 g • Protein: 9.8 g • Sugar: 0.6 g
Sodium: 308.3 mg (without salt)

    1 medium Hass avocado
    4 oz lump crab meat
    2 tbsp chopped red onion
    1 lime, juice of
    1 tbsp chopped cilantro
    1 tsp olive oil
    salt and pepper

In a medium bowl, combine onion, lime juice, olive oil, cilantro salt and pepper. Add crab meat and toss well. Cut avocado open, remove pit and spoon out avocado. Cut into large chunks and add to crab. Mix carefully, not to mash the avocado. Spoon back into avocado shells and enjoy!


























Avocado and Mango Salsa

A light and colorful party dish with chips. The combination of flavors, sweet and salty with tangy hint of lime makes this a winner. This is also great over grilled fish or chicken!

Servings: 5 • Serving Size: 1/2 cup • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 119.4 • Fat: 8.2 g • Carb: 12.6 g • Fiber: 3.4 g • Protein: 1.3 g 

    1 mango, peeled and diced
    1 avocado, peeled and diced
    1 plum tomato, diced
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 jalapeρo, seeded and diced
    1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    2 tbsp fresh lime juice
    1/4 cup chopped red onion
    1 tbsp olive oil
    salt and fresh pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients and let it marinate in the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.




















Bacon Wrapped Chicken Bites

This is easiest hot appetizer that you'll ever make. Uses only TWO ingredients and it's soooo good, I guarantee these will disappear in minutes! 

With Superbowl around the corner, I've had these on my mind to post for a while. These are the perfect tasty game day treats and you can easily assemble them ahead of time. When your guests arrive, throw them in the oven and the aroma of bacon that will fill your home will have everyone salivating. Using center cut bacon reduces the fat, and wrapped around lean chicken breast you have yourself one delicious appetizer! If you want a sauce for dipping, you can use Sweet red chili sauce or duck sauce on the side. Your low-carb friends will thank you for these as they are carb-free, gluten-free, and semi guilt-free (just don't eat the whole batch).

Servings: 10 • Serving Size: 3 chicken bites • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 2 pts  
Calories: 70.1 • Fat: 2 g • Protein: 12.1 g • Carb: 0 g • Fiber: 0 g • Sugar: 0 g
Sodium: 117.6 mg 

    1.25 lbs (3) boneless skinless chicken breast, cut in 1-inch chunks (about 30 pieces)
    10 slices bacon, cut into thirds

Preheat oven on to 375°F. Wrap a piece of bacon around each piece of chicken; secure with a toothpick and place on a baking sheet (use foil for easy cleanup). Bake on the lower rack turning halfway about 25 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked and browned. Blot on a paper towel and serve right away.













Baked Corn and Crab Cakes

The end of summer always makes me a little sad. I love the warm weather, sunshine, being outdoors, and of course the selections of fresh fruits and vegetables available to us. There is a small part of me that is excited about fall and the change of seasons, but I am absolutely getting the most out of my favorite summer vegetables while I can.

These crab cakes which I adapted from this recipe were delightful with little sweet bits of corn in each bite. There is no need to cook the corn, it cooks as it bakes. Serve these with a salad and some fresh garden tomatoes and you have yourself a meal.

The trick to making sure the crab cakes hold together is to refrigerate them before baking, so don't skip that step.

Servings: 8 • Size: 1 crab cake • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 97 • Fat: 3 g • Protein: 11 g • Carb: 7.5 g • Fiber: 1 g • Sugar: 1.5 g
Sodium: 385 mg 

    1 cup corn kernels (fresh)
    1 cup (about 30) reduced fat Ritz crackers, crushed
    1 whole egg plus 2 egg whites, beaten
    4 scallions, chopped fine
    1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
    2 tbsp light mayonnaise
    2 tbsp fat free yogurt
    1/4 cup fresh parsley
    1 lemon, juiced
    16 oz premium lump crab meat, picked free of shells
    salt and pepper to taste
    cooking spray

In a large bowl, combine corn, crushed crackers, eggs, scallions, pepper, mayo, yogurt, parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix well, then fold in crab meat, careful not to over mix so the crab remains in large chunks. Gently shape into 8 patties using a 1/2 cup measuring cup. Chill in the refrigerator at least 1 hour before baking.

Preheat oven to 425°. Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray. Bake about 12-14 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.












































Baked Eggplant Sticks

Strips of eggplant, breaded and baked until golden and served with a quick marinara sauce. Serve these as a snack, appetizer or side dish.

Eggplant is probably not for everyone, but if you like eggplant, or want to try introducing them to your family and don't know how, this is a good place to start. There are many varieties of eggplant, Japanese eggplant is a bit sweeter and milder. If you have a farmer's market near you, you will find a lot of varieties is season right now.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1/4 • Old Points: 1 pt • Points+: 1 pt
Calories: 86.9 • Fat: 2.9 • Carbs: 0.7 g • Fiber: 2.9 • Protein: 4.3 g • Sugar: 0
Sodium: 202.4

    10 oz eggplant
    1 tsp olive oil
    1/2 tsp kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
    1/2 cup Italian Seasoned breadcrumbs
    2 tbsp parmesan cheese
    1 large egg white
    oil spray 
    1 cup quick marinara sauce for dipping (extra points)

Preheat the oven to 450°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly spray with oil. Cut ends off the eggplant. Slice eggplant in half, then into 1/4 inch thick slices. Lay each slice on the cutting board and cut into 1/4 inch strips. Be sure to cut all the strips the same size so they cook evenly. Place eggplant strips in a bowl and season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Combine breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese in a bowl, and egg whites in another. Dip a few strips of eggplant at a time into the egg whites, then into the breadcrumbs. Using a fork, remove eggplant from crumbs and place on the baking sheets. Spray with more oil and bake 10 minutes in the middle rack.

Turnover and bake an additional 5 minutes, or until golden. Serve hot.




Baked Empanadas

I love empanadas!! Empanadas are delicious turnover pastries stuffed with peccadillo, crab, guava, cheese or anything you desire. All Latin countries have different versions of empanadas with variations of dough and fillings. Some are fried and some are baked. Personally I love them fried but they are terribly fattening so this is my low point empanada version of a personal favorite. These were made with beef peccadillo and for the dough I used Goya brand discs from the frozen section in my supermarket but if you want to make yours from scratch, The meat can be made in advance. Since I make peccadillo so often, I always have leftover to make empanadas.

Servings: 10 empanadas • Cook Time: 15 minutes • Points: 3 points each

    1 14oz. package of (10) frozen Goya discs, defrosted
    1 egg beaten
    glass of water
    Baking Pam Spray

For the meat filling get the beef peccadillo. Preheat the oven to 400°. Spray 2 cookie sheets with Pam baking spray. On a working surface like a large wooden cutting board, spread the dough out slightly using a roller. Place 2 tsp of the peccadillo filling in the center of the dough. Moisten the edge on the top half of the circle with a little water on your finger. Fold the bottom half of the dough up until the edges meet and seal with your fingers by pressing down to form a half circle. Next, fold the edges of the dough using your fingertip, fold one corner of the empanada over, pressing down firmly, repeat eating all around, pressing firmly each time to maintain a seal around the edge of the empanada in a spiral pattern. Gently transfer each empanada onto the cookie sheet and lightly brush the top of the empanada with egg wash.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.









Baked Lump Crab Cakes with Red Pepper Chipotle Lime Sauce

The baked crab cakes are out of this world! You'll think they came from a high end restaurant. Serve these as an appetizer or enjoy as a meal with a salad.

Trying to come up with a low fat crab cake was quite a challenge, but you won't miss the fried version when you taste these. The sauce adds just the right amount of heat to them, but you can adjust to your taste. I highly recommend using fresh crab meat rather than canned for best results. I’ve tried to use canned crab meat but if you do not buy lump they are not the same. Do not skip refrigerating the patties before baking, this really helps them stay together.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1 cake • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 173.6 • Fat: 8.8g • Protein: 13.1 g • Carb: 11.7 g • Fiber: 1.3 g

For the Zesty Chipotle Lime Sauce:

    1 tbsp roasted peppers (jarred)
    1/4 cup light mayonnaise
    1 tsp minced canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
    1 tsp fresh lime juice

For the Crab Cakes:

    9 ounces lump crab meat, picked free of shells
    1/2 cup (about 13) reduced fat Ritz crackers, crushed
    1 whole egg plus 1 egg white, beaten
    2 finely chopped scallions
    2 tbsp finely chopped red bell pepper
    1 tbsp low fat mayonnaise
    2 tbsp fresh cilantro (or parsley)
    1/2 lime, juiced
    salt and pepper to taste
    cooking spray


Red Pepper Chipotle Lime Sauce: In a small blender (or magic bullet) puree mayonnaise, lime juice, roasted pepper and chipotle pepper. If you don’t have a magic bullet, you can certainly mince by hand.


Crab Cakes: In a large bowl, combine crushed crackers, eggs, scallions, pepper, mayo, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Mix well, then fold in crab meat, careful not to over mix so the crab remains in large chunks. Gently shape into patties using a 1/2 cup measuring cup. Chill in the refrigerator at least 1/2 hour before baking.

Preheat oven to 400°. Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray. Bake about 8-10 minutes on each side, until nicely browned.

Drizzle red pepper chipotle lime sauce over crab cakes and serve.






























Skinny Baked Mozzarella Sticks

Part-skim mozzarella sticks coated with crispy seasoned breadcrumbs and baked until hot and golden. Serve them with marinara sauce and you have yourself an appetizer everyone will love.

Hot mozzarella sticks, I can't think of a more popular finger food with both kids and adults alike! I mean, what's not to like? Baking them as opposed to frying and using part skim cheese doesn't affect how good these are. The cheese still melts, see for yourself! Of course, you'll want to serve them hot right out of the oven, because like any cheese, as they cool they harden.

It actually took me several attempts to get these perfect. I played around with different brands of light string cheese to see which yielded the best results. The winner was Sargento part-skim, low-sodium. Although it's not the cheese with the least amount of fat compared to some other brands, it had the best flavor and wasn't as salty as I found some brands to be.

These are freezer friendly, in fact these MUST be frozen before you bake them or you will have one big cheesy mess in your oven! The good news is you can bread them all ahead of time then place them on tray with wax paper and freeze them until you are ready to bake. Make the marinara sauce a day ahead as well. Happy Superbowl Sunday!!

Servings: 12 • Serving Size: 2 pieces • Old Points: 1 pts • Points+: 2 pts*
Calories: 86.8* • Fat: 4.8 g • Protein: 7.4 g • Carb: 3.5 g • Fiber: 0.2 g • Sugar: 0.2
Sodium: 168.6

    12 sticks part-skim, reduced sodium mozzarella string cheese (Sargento)
    1 large egg, beaten
    2 tbsp flour
    5 tbsp Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
    5 tbsp panko crumbs
    2 tsp parmesan cheese
    1 tbsp dried parsley
    olive oil cooking spray (I used my Misto)

Cut cheese in half to give you 24 pieces. Place cheese in the freezer until cheese is frozen. In small bowl, whisk the egg. Place the flour on another small dish. In separate bowl, combine bread crumbs, panko, parmesan cheese and dried parsley. Dip the frozen sticks in flour, shaking off excess, then into the egg, then coat with the crumbs.

Repeat this process with the remaining cheese placing them on a tray with wax paper. Place cheese back into the freezer until ready to bake (this is a must or they will melt before the crumbs get golden).

When ready to bake preheat oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray with oil.

Place frozen cheese sticks on baking sheet. Spray the tops of the mozzarella sticks with a little more oil and bake in the bottom third of your oven until crisp, about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn and bake an additional 4 - 5 minutes watching them closely so they don't melt.

Makes 24 pieces.

* There will be extra crumbs and flour after breading, I've deducted them from the nutritional info.

























Baked Seasoned Fries with Skinny Garlic Aioli

Low fat, crispy fries baked in your oven. A quick, inexpensive and easy side dish your whole family will love. Keep the skin on the potatoes for added fiber.

Sodium girl asked me to participate in her Love Your Heart Recipe Rally in honor of National Heart Health Month and post a low sodium recipe to prove that many Americans can take healthcare back into their own hands. The USDA recently announced its latest food guidelines which called for many Americans to reduce their sodium intake to 1,500 mg a day (equal to 1/2 teaspoon of salt).

Now, I have no experience with cooking without salt, so this was quite a challenge. I had to pick a recipe that would normally be eaten with salt, and the first thing that came to mind was french fries. My approach to making this blog worthy, was to really punch up the flavors with lots of herbs and seasonings, then make a yummy garlic dipping sauce.

Note; baking time will vary depending on your oven and the size of your fries, so use your judgment and cook until they look right to you. 

Servings: 2 • Serving Size: 1 potato • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 198 • Fat: 5.3 g • Protein: 3.5 g • Carb: 36.1 g • Fiber: 4.0 g  Sodium: 22.1 mg

    2 medium potatoes, russet or Yukon gold, washed and dried
    2 tsp olive oil
    1 tbsp herbs de provence (or use a combo of dried rosemary, thyme, marjoram)
    1/4 tsp oregano
    1 tsp smoked paprika
    1/4 tsp chili powder
    1/4 tsp onion powder
    1/4 tsp garlic powder
    1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper
    fresh lime zest 



Skinny Garlic Aioli

Servings: 2 • Serving Size: 2 tbsp • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 2 pts
Calories: 59.8 • Fat: 4.9 g • Protein: 1.4 g • Carb: 2.3 g • Fiber: 0 g  • Sodium: 125.1 mg

    2 tbsp light mayonnaise
    2 tbsp fat free Greek yogurt
    1 clove garlic, crushed

Preheat oven to 400°. Line baking sheet with foil for easy clean-up. Lightly coat with cooking spray. Cut each potato lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices; cut each slice into 1/4 inch fries. In a large bowl, combine cut potatoes and oil; toss well. Add rosemary, thyme, garlic and seasoning. Toss to coat. 
Place in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake uncovered for about 25 minutes or until tender crisp, turning once half way through. Remove from oven serve with garlic aioli.

























Baked Turkey Croquettes

Not sure what to do with all your leftover turkey? Croquettes are a perfect way to use your leftover turkey! You could substitute chicken breast for turkey if you wish. Enjoy! 

Servings: 6 • Size: 3 croquettes • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 217.1 • Fat: 6.2g • Protein: 13.8 g • Carb: 26.9 g • Fiber: 2.7 g 

    12 oz cooked turkey breast, chopped fine (a food processor or chopper is great for this)
    3 potatoes, peeled, cooked and mashed
    3/4 cup fat free chicken broth
    2 tsp olive oil
    3 cloves garlic
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1/2 cup parsley, chopped
    salt and fresh pepper
    1/2 cup seasoned whole wheat bread crumbs
    1 egg, whisked
    olive oil spray (about 1 tbsp)

In a large bowl, mash potatoes with 1/4 cup broth, salt and pepper. Set aside. Sautι garlic, and onions in oil on low heat. Add parsley, salt and pepper and cook until soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add turkey, and remaining broth, mix well and shut heat off. Add turkey to mashed potatoes and using your clean hands mix well. Taste for salt and adjust if needed. Preheat oven to 450°. Measure 1/4 cup of mixture then form into croquettes. Place on waxed paper. Repeat with remaining mixture. Dip each croquette in egg wash, then breadcrumbs and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet for easy cleanup. Spray generously with olive oil spray (about 1 tbsp worth). Bake in the oven about 15 minutes, or until golden.










Baked Zucchini Sticks

Servings: 3 • Size: 1 zucchini (sauce extra) • Old Points: 1.5 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 121.9 • Fat: 2.4 • Carbs: 21.0 g • Fiber: 6.0 • Protein: 6.7 g

    3 medium zucchini sliced into 3" x 1/2" sticks
    1 large egg white
    1/3 cup seasoned whole wheat bread crumbs
    2 tbsp grated Pecorino Romano cheese
    cooking spray
    1/4 tsp garlic powder
    salt
    fresh pepper

In a small bowl, beat egg whites and season with salt and pepper. In a zip lock bag, place breadcrumbs, garlic powder and cheese and shake well. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray and set aside. Dip zucchini sticks into eggs then into bread crumb and cheese mixture, a few at a time and shake to coat. Place the breaded zucchini in a single layer and spray more cooking spray on top. Bake at 425° for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with 1/2 cup marinara sauce for dipping.























Quick Marinara Sauce

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 1/2 cup • Old Points: 1 pt • Points+: 1 pt
Calories: 51.5 • Fat: 0.8 • Carbs: 9.0 g • Fiber: 1.1 • Protein: 0.1 g  

    1 tsp olive oil
    2 cloves garlic, smashed
    28 oz cans crushed tomatoes (I like Tuttorosso)
    1 small bay leaf
    1 tsp oregano
    2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
    salt and fresh pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425°. In a medium pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and sautι until golden, being careful not to burn. Add crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, basil and bay leaf. Stir and reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer about 20 minutes.

























Banging' Good Shrimp

Stir fried shrimp mixed with a creamy sweet and spicy chili sauce served on a bed of shredded lettuce and purple cabbage topped with scallions. This is a banging' good slimmed down copycat recipe of Bonefish Grill's very popular Bang Bang shrimp. Takes about 10 minutes to prepare which makes this perfect for lunch, as an appetizer or even a light meal.

With the popularity of Thai food, ingredients like Thai Sweet Chili Sauce and Sriracha are very easy to find in your local supermarket or even stores like Target depending on where you live. Look for the Thai Kitchen line, I used their sweet chili sauce in this recipe.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1/4th or recipe • Old Points: 5 pt • Points+: 5 pt
Calories: 215.7 • Fat: 7.6 g • Protein: 23.8 g • Carb: 11.9 g • Fiber: 1.0 g • Sugar: 6.3 g
Sodium 443.9 mg 

    5 tbsp light mayonnaise
    3 tbsp Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
    1 tsp Sriracha (to taste)

For the Shrimp:

    1 lb large shrimp, shelled and deveined (weight after peeled)
    2 tsp cornstarch
    1 tsp canola oil
    3 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
    1 cup shredded purple cabbage
    4 tbsp scallions, chopped
In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, Thai sweet chili sauce and Sriracha. Set aside. Combine lettuce and cabbage and divide between four plates. Set aside.

Coat shrimp with cornstarch, mixing well with your hands. Heat a large skillet or wok on high heat, when hot add oil. When oil is hot add the shrimp to hot pan and cook tossing a few times until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove from pan and combine with the sauce coating well.

Place shrimp on lettuce and top with scallions.












































Beef Carpaccio

My favorite appetizer when I go to a local Italian spot near me is the beef carpaccio. Thin sliced raw beef, arugula and shaved Asiago. Here I used rare roast beef and made a lemon vinaigrette. 

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1/4th of dish • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 2 pts
Calories: 79.6 • Fat: 5.3 g • Protein: 8.3 g • Carb: 0.6 g • Fiber: 0.1 g

    1/4 lb rare roast beef, thinly sliced
    1/2 lemon, juice of
    1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    salt and fresh pepper
    1.5 cups baby arugula
    .25 oz shaved Asiago or Parmesan Cheese

Whisk lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Lay the roast beef over a plate. Add half of the vinaigrette to the roast beef. Top with arugula, salt, pepper, remaining vinaigrette and shaved Asiago. Serve immediately.























Broccoli and Cheddar Skinny Potato Skins

The skin of the potato contains all the fiber, therefore my skinny potato skins are not only tasty appetizers, they are also good for you! These make great appetizers or you can serve them as a side dish. I like to start these in the microwave and finish them in the oven or grill to shorten the cooking time and avoid heating up my kitchen now that the weather is getting warm. You can easily double or triple this recipe. A great way to use up any leftover broccoli. 

Servings: 2 • Serving Size: 2 halves • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 192.7 • Fat: 2.9 g • Protein: 13.1 g • Carb: 30.0 g • Fiber: 4.3 g 

    2 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed clean and dry
    Spray oil
    salt and pepper
    2 oz Cabot's 75% Light Vermont Cheddar, shredded 
    1 cup cooked broccoli florets, chopped

Pierce potato with a fork a few times all around. Place in microwave and cook about 5 minutes per potato. When finished, allow to cool enough to handle. Cut potatoes in half horizontally. Scoop out potatoes leaving about 1/4 inch thick wall. Save scooped out potatoes for tomorrow's skinny mashed potatoes.

To Make On the Grill: 
Preheat grill on medium flame to 450°. Lightly spray potato skins on both sides with oil. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Grill flesh side down about 4 minutes. Turn and fill with cheese and broccoli and grill an additional 4-5 minutes. 

To Make In the Oven: 
Heat oven to 450°. Lightly spray potato skins on both sides with oil. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Fill with cheese and broccoli, place on a broiler pan and bake 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.







Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil

Basil and tomatoes complement each other beautifully and are usually overflowing in my garden in the late summer months. This is a wonderful way to use them up, serve this as an appetizer or a side dish.

Servings: 26 • Size: 1 slice bread with tomatoes • Old Points: 1 pt • Points+: 1 pt
Calories: 49.6 • Fat: 0.6 g • Carb: 9.1 g • Fiber: 0.5 g • Protein: 1.1 g • 
Sugar: 0.2 • Sodium: 2 mg (without salt)

    6 or 7 ripe plum tomatoes, diced
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1/4 small red onion, chopped
    1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    olive oil spray
    2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
    kosher salt
    freshly ground black pepper to taste
    16 oz baguette or French bread
    1-2 garlic cloves, peeled

Combine tomatoes, chopped garlic, red onion, vinegar, oil, salt, pepper, and basil. Set aside. Slice bread into 1/2 inch thick slices. Place on a tray and spray lightly with olive oil. Toast bread under broiler, until golden, watching closely not to let it burn. When bread is toasted, rub each piece with whole garlic clove. Place bread on a platter and top with tomato mixture. Serve immediately or the bread will become soggy. Makes approximately 26 small slices.












Skinny Buffalo Chicken Potato Skins

What's football without the appetizers. These potato skins are stuffed with shredded buffalo chicken breast made in the crock pot, then topped with melted cheese, blue cheese dressing, carrots and celery – they are seriously delicious! Remember these crock pot buffalo chicken lettuce wraps? Same chicken, only this time I stuffed them in potato skins and topped them with cheese. So good!

You can make the chicken, blue cheese dressing and potatoes ahead, then when you're ready to serve your guests assemble them and pop them in the oven! Double or triple it for more servings. They even make a great meal. Enjoy!

Servings: 12 • Size: 1 potato skin, loaded • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 2 pt
Calories: 82 • Fat: 2 g • Carb: 7 g • Fiber: 1 g • Protein: 8 g • Sugar: 0.5 g
Sodium: 110 mg 

    6 medium Idaho or Russet potatoes*
    cooking spray (I use my Misto)

For the chicken:

    12 oz boneless skinless chicken breast (or tenderloins)
    1 celery stalk
    1/2 onion
    1 clove garlic
    16 oz fat free low sodium chicken broth
    1/3 cup hot cayenne pepper sauce (I used Frank's)

For the toppings:

    12 tbsp reduced fat shredded cheese
    1/2 cup carrots, cut into 2-inch matchsticks
    1 large celery stalks, cut into 2-inch matchsticks
    1/4 cup Skinny Blue Cheese Dressing

In a crock pot, combine chicken, onions, celery stalk, garlic and broth (enough to cover your chicken, use water if the can of broth isn't enough). Cover and cook on HIGH 4 hours or LOW 6 hours. Remove the chicken from pot, reserve 1/2 cup broth and discard the rest (or save for other recipes). Shred the chicken with two forks, return to the slow cooker with the 1/2 cup of the broth and the hot sauce; Cook on HIGH for an additional 30 minutes. Makes 1 1/2 cups chicken. Meanwhile, pierce potato with a fork a few times all around. Place in microwave and cook on high about 5 minutes per potato; set aside to cool. Cut potatoes in half horizontally. Scoop out potatoes (I save the extra potato to make skinny garlic mashed potatoes the next day) leaving about 1/4 inch thick wall, skins will weigh about 1 oz each. Heat oven to 450°. Lightly spray potato skins on both sides with oil and place a foil lined baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and bake 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, add 2 tablespoons of chicken meat filling into each potato skin, top with 1 tbsp shredded cheese and bake 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Top each with 1 tsp blue cheese dressing, shredded carrots and celery and start eating!

*Nutritional info based on 12 oz potato with skin on.



























Caprese Salad

Insalata Caprese is a simple salad of fresh mozzarella and tomatoes topped with basil and a splash of balsamic. A perfect summer appetizer or first course, especially when tomatoes are at their peak.

Servings: 8 • Size: 1 oz cheese, 1 slice tomato • Old Points: 2.5 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 100.4 • Fat: 7.5 g • Carb: 1.8 g • Fiber: 0.3 g • Protein: 6.5 g • Sugar: 0.4 • Sodium: 180 (without adding salt)

    1 large tomato, sliced into 8 slices
    8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced into 8 slices
    5-6 basil leaves, sliced
    2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
    1 tsp balsamic vinegar
    salt and fresh pepper

Place sliced mozzarella on a large plate or platter. Top with tomato, olive oil, balsamic, basil, salt and pepper.






















Chick Pea and Roasted Pepper Dip

This healthy dip is easy to make and taste great with crudites such as cucumbers, peppers, zucchini and celery. You can substitute jarred roasted peppers if you wish but freshly roasted peppers are best. Chick peas are high in dietary fiber, protein, folate and zinc.

Servings: 4 • Time: 5 minutes • Calories: 201 • Points: 4 pts

    15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained
    1 roasted red pepper, skin and seeds removed
    2 tbsp fresh parsley, leaves only
    2 cloves garlic
    1 tbsp sesame oil
    juice of 1 lemon
    salt and fresh pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Add a little water if it is too thick. Blend until smooth. Serve with fresh vegetables like cucumbers, peppers, celery, or whatever you desire.






















Chicken Quesadillas

These chicken quesadillas are a meal in one! Loaded with chicken and veggies and very filling (I couldn't finish mine). I made these for dinner with my leftover avocado mango salsa but these are also great for lunch or you can even serve them as appetizers.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1 quesadilla • Old Points: 7.75 pts • 
Points+: 10 pts
Calories: 386.9 • Fat: 18.6 g • Carb: 31.6 g • Fiber: 16.3 g • Protein: 37.7 g  

    16 oz skinless chicken breast, fat trimmed
    cumin
    oregano
    garlic powder
    salt and fresh pepper
    cooking spray
    1/2 small onion, cut into strips
    1 bell pepper (red or green) cut into strips
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 tbsp oil
    1-1/3 cup Weight Watchers Mexican blend shredded cheese
    1 cup avocado-mango salsa
    8 low carb whole wheat flour tortillas, La Tortilla Factory

Slice chicken breast in half so you have 4 cutlets. Season chicken generously with salt, pepper, cumin, oregano and garlic powder. Lightly spray a skillet on medium heat with oil or if using a grill, grill chicken until cooked on both sides. Remove from heat and cut chicken into strips, set aside. To the skillet, add 1 tbsp oil and cook onions and peppers, season with salt and pepper. Cook about 2 minutes, add garlic and continue cooking until vegetables are soft being careful not to burn the garlic. When cooked, set aside. Heat skillet on medium heat and lightly spray with oil. Add tortilla, top with cheese, chicken, onions, peppers, and pico de gallo or avocado-mango salsa. Top with the other tortilla. Cheese should be melted and the bottom of the tortilla should be golden brown. Put a plate on top of the quesadilla to flip it over onto the plate. Then slide the other side onto the skillet. Cook another minute and remove with a spatula. Cut into wedges and serve with sour cream if you wish.



Chilled Lobster Salad with Sweet Summer Corn and Tomatoes

The perfect light summer salad, made with sweet summer corn, grape tomatoes, garden herbs and chilled steamed lobster. Serve this for two as a main dish salad or for four as a first course as pictured here.

Swap It Tip: If you don't live near the coast and don't have access to live lobster, you could use lump crab meat, cooked shrimp or even imitation  or can crab instead.  

Servings: 2 as main course • Size: 1/2 of recipe • Old Points: 7 pts • Points+: 9 pts
Calories: 349 • Fat: 10.4 g • Protein: 39 g • Carb: 25.5 g • Fiber: 3.7 g • Sugar: 3.5 g
Sodium: 668 mg (without salt)

    2 medium ears of corn
    12 oz cooked, chilled lobster meat (yield from 2 – 1-1/2 lb lobsters)
    1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
    1 tbsp chopped chives
    juice of 1 large lemon
    4 tsp olive oil
    salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
    8 Boston lettuce leaves, rinsed and dried

Cook corn in boiling water for about 4-5 minutes; set aside to cool. Cut kernels of the husk and place in a large bowl. Chop chilled lobster meat from tails and claws into large bite sized chunks; add to the bowl. Add tomatoes, chives, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste; toss to combine, Place lettuce leaves on two plates. Top each plate with lobster salad and enjoy!









Creamy Parmesan Spinach Dip

Classic full-fat spinach dip got skinny by using low-fat ingredients and getting most of its flavor from Parmigiano Reggiano.

I love using crudites as low-carb dippers such as raw broccoli, celery or carrots, but I usually serve this with reduced-fat crackers or baked chips for my guests. A typical serving size for a dip is usually about 2 tablespoons depending how many appetizers are being served, but I calculated this based on a larger portion.

Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1/4 cup • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 2 pts
Calories: 79.4 • Fat: 6.2 g • Carb: 3.3 g • Fiber: 0.9 g • Protein: 3.2 g 

    10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and excess liquid squeezed out
    1/2 cup light sour cream
    5 tbsp light mayonnaise
    1/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
    1/4 cup scallion, chopped
    fresh pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Can be made one day in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. Makes about 2 cups.


















Deviled Eggs

*Tip - eggs are easier to peel when they are at least 1 week old so don't use fresh eggs, try to use older eggs. Once eggs are fully cooked, run under cold water.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 2 halves • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 3
Calories: 96.8 • Fat: 7.5 g • Carb: 1.0 g • Fiber: 0.0 g • Protein: 6.3 g • Sugar: 0.3 g
Sodium: 156.1 mg




    4 large hard boiled eggs, cooled and peeled
    2 tbsp low fat mayonnaise
    1 tsp Dijon mustard
    paprika
    salt and fresh pepper to taste
    2 tbsp chopped chives

Cut eggs in half long ways. Remove yolks and put them in a bowl. Add mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir well and pipe them back into egg whites. Top with chopped chives and paprika.





















Easy Crust-less Spinach and Feta Pie

A simple Greek inspired pie combining savory flavors such as spinach, feta, asagio, dill and scallions. Perfect to take to a potluck!

Served with a salad, you can turn this into a main dish, or cut it into smaller wedges to serve as an appetizer. If you use full fat feta cheese, the fat only increases by 1 gram, and the points increase to 4 per serving. Enjoy this warm or at room temperature.

Servings: 6-8 • Serving Size: 1/6th • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 125.9 • Fat: 5.3 g • Protein: 8.8 g • Carb: 12.3 g • Fiber: 2.5 g • Sugar: 1.7 g
Sodium: 433.1 mg 

    10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and liquid squeezed out
    1/2 cup scallions, chopped
    2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
    2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
    1/2 cup (2.5 oz) reduced fat crumbled feta
    2 tbsp grated Asiago cheese
    1/2 cup white whole wheat flour (Bob's Red Mill)
    1 tsp baking powder
    2/3 cup fat free milk
    1 tsp olive oil
    2 large eggs, beaten
    1/2 tsp kosher salt
    fresh cracked pepper to taste
    cooking spray (I used my Misto)

Preheat oven to 400°. Lightly spray a pie dish with cooking spray or your Misto. Mix spinach, scallions, dill, parsley, feta cheese, and in the pie dish. Sift flour and baking powder in a medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients to the bowl and blend well. Pour into pie dish. Bake 28 to 33 minutes or until knife comes out clean from the center. Let it stand at least 5 minutes before serving.






Edamame Hummus

Edamame is more commonly known as a soybean. In Asia, soybeans have been used for over two thousand years as a major source of protein. The pods are lightly boiled in salted water, and then the seeds are squeezed directly from the pods into the mouth with the fingers. Using soybeans instead of chickpeas to make this hummus I guess you can say is Asian-Middle Eastern fusion. Serve this as a dip or for lunch with crudites for a low carb meal

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 1/4 cup • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 107.4 • Fat: 6.7 g • Carb: 7.2 g • Fiber: 3.8 g • Protein: 6.1 g • Sugar: 0.5 g Sodium: 11.4 mg

    1 1/2 cups Edamame (green soy beans) cooked and shelled
    2 tbsp tahini paste (sesame seed paste)
    1/4 cup water plus more if needed
    1 tsp lemon zest
    juice of one lemon
    1 clove garlic, crushed
    Kosher salt to taste
    pepper
    2 tsp olive oil
    black and white sesame seeds as a garnish (optional) 

In a food processor, blend soy beans, tahini, water, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, salt, pepper and 1 tsp olive oil until smooth. Add more water if needed until consistency is smooth. Place in a bowl and top with remainder oil and sesame seeds. Serve with your favorite vegetables.













Guacamole

Avocados are high in fiber, rich in vitamin B, E and K and have 60 percent more potassium than bananas. I prefer Haas to other varieties. Guacamole is great with tortilla chips, baked plantain chips, chicken fajitas, or even on a wrap in place of mayonnaise. You can also add diced tomatoes but this is how I like mine.

Servings: 6 • Size: 1/6th • Calories: 149.4 • Points: 3 pts
Fat: 13.3 g • Fiber: 6.1 g • Carbs: 8.8 g • Protein: 1.8 g

    3 medium Hass avocados, halved
    1 lime, juiced
    1/3 cup red onion, minced
    1 tbsp chopped cilantro
    kosher salt and fresh pepper

Place the pulp from the avocados in a medium bowl and slightly mash with a fork or a potato masher leaving some large chunks. Add lime juice, salt, pepper, cilantro and red onion and mix thoroughly. If you are serving this at a later time, a great tip to keep the guacamole from turning brown is by placing the pit in the bowl with the guacamole and cover.




















Hot and Cheesy Crab and Artichoke Dip

Hot and cheesy imitation crab and artichoke dip, serve this with baked chips and you have the perfect appetizer for a party.

What to do with all that imitation crab? I decided to make a hot dip with it using ingredients I had on hand.

I can see using a good light Swiss, such as Jarlsburg or a light mozzarella instead of cheddar, but all I had was cheddar and I thought it was fine.

This is large enough to feed a crowd. If you don't want as much, you can certainly make half or freeze half for later. Make this a day ahead, then pop it in the oven before you are ready to serve. Let me remind you, this is a dip, so the serving size is 1/4 cup which I think is pretty average knowing people will pick on other stuff. Only 2 points plus per serving, I had to double check and see if I was wrong!

I tried this with pretzel thins, baked lentil chips (pictured here), baked corn chips.. it was great with all. Use what you like, and if you prefer to use real lump crab, go for it! You can even sprinkle some panko on top before baking... I would have but didn't have any.

Servings: 16 • Size: 1/4 cup dip • Old Pts: 2 pts • WW Points+: 2 pts
Calories: 78 • Fat: 4 g • Carb: 4 g • Fiber: 0 g • Protein: 6 g • Sugar: 0 g
Sodium: 427 mg 

    14 oz can artichoke hearts packed in water, drained (8.5 oz dry wt)
    1 lb crab meat, imitation or lump
    2 tbsp chives
    6 tbsp reduced fat sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
    6 tbsp light mayonnaise (Hellman's)
    1/3 cup parmesan cheese
    3/4 cups shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
    1 - 2 tsp Tabasco sauce
    1 tsp lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 400°. Drain the artichoke hearts and chop fine. Chop the crab meat fine. Add them to a medium bowl and add remaining ingredients. Mix well using a rubber spatula, then transfer into a shallow baking dish. Bake until the cheese is melted and the top becomes golden, about 30 minutes. Serve hot with baked chips.

Makes 4 cups.









































Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Bring this hot spinach and artichoke dip to your next football party, no one will know it's light!

Football season is here! I usually like to make my Skinny Buffalo Wings, along with one of my many meatball recipes such as Swedish Meatballs, Southwest Turkey Meatballs, or Asian Turkey Meatballs. I also have tons of fabulous Skinny Dip options for your to bring to your next football party!

This is easy to prepare ahead of time, then throw it in the oven when you are ready to eat. I served this with Pretzel Crisps, but baked chips would also be great.

Servings: 15 • Serving Size: 1/4 cup • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 2 pts
Calories: 73.3 • Fat: 4.4 g • Carb: 3.4 g • Fiber: 0.9 g • Protein: 5.2 g • 
Sugar: 0.6 g • Sodium: 244.7 g

    13.75 oz artichoke hearts packed in water, drained
    10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed
    1/4 cup chopped shallots
    1 clove garlic
    1/2 cup fat free Greek yogurt
    1/2 cup light mayonnaise
    2/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
    4 oz shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
    salt and fresh pepper to taste
    olive oil spray

Preheat oven to 375°. In a small food processor, coarsely chop the artichoke hearts with the garlic and shallots. Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Place in an oven-proof dish and bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes, until hot and cheese is melted. Serve right away. Can be made one day in advance and stored in the refrigerator before baking. 

Makes about 3 3/4 cups.  






Hot Spinach Dip

Hot, cheesy, spinach dip, perfect with crackers or baked chips.

I guess this is dip week, I thought a hot spinach dip would be fitting after posting yesterday's cold spinach dip. There's a place for both versions, but if I had a choice, I'd go for the hot version. I like to bake this in the oven until the edges get golden, but if all you have handy is a microwave, it will do. Great for parties.

Servings: 10 • Serving Size: 1/4 cup • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 92.2 • Fat: 6.8 g • Carb: 3.0 g • Fiber: 0.7 g • Protein: 5.3 g

    10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and excess liquid squeezed out
    1/2 cup light sour cream
    5 tbsp light mayonnaise
    1/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
    1/4 cup scallion, chopped
    1 clove garlic, crushed
    1 cup (4 oz) shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
    fresh pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375°. Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Place in an oven-proof dish and bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes, until hot and cheese is melted. Serve right away. 

Can be made one day in advance and stored in the refrigerator before baking. 

Makes about 2 1/2 cups.












Italian Stuffed Artichokes

Artichokes stuffed with breadcrumbs and grated cheese make a fun holiday side dish or enjoy these for lunch. Digging into the leaves and scooping out the fleshy part of the leaf is fun.  This is something my family has done for years.  Only this is a lightened up version.

These require a little bit of prep work but if you're an artichoke lover, it's worth it. Expect to get messy when eating these because you'll be eating them with your hands and you might want to set extra plates to put the discarded leaves. If you've never eaten a stuffed artichoke before, what you have to do is pull off a leaf and scrape the fleshy part at the leaf's bottom between your teeth, and discard the rest of the leaf. Once all the leaves are gone, you'll be left with the artichoke heart in the center which is probably the best part and worth working towards. These are filling! You may want to share one or you can eat a whole one as a meal. Enjoy!! 

Servings: 2  • Serving Size: 1 artichoke • Points: 7 pts • Points+: 9 pts
Calories: 357.9 • Fat: 10.7 g • Protein: 17.6 g • Carb: 46.2 g • Fiber: 8.5 g   

    2 medium artichokes
    4 cups water
    1/2 lemon
    2 tsp olive oil
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    3/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
    1/4 cup grated pecorino Romano or a good parmesan cheese
    1 egg white, whisked
    1 cup fat free chicken broth (vegetable broth can be used instead)
    2 oz white wine
    olive oil spray

Cut the stems and the tops off the artichokes. Using a scissor cut off the tips of the leaves and squeeze lemon all over to prevent browning. In a large pot, fill with 4 cups water and place artichokes upside down in pot. Boil 12-14 minutes. Remove from water and set aside to cool. When artichokes have cooled, remove the center leaves and scoop out the choke with a teaspoon. In a small sautι pan, heat oil and sautι garlic until golden (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat. Add breadcrumbs, grated cheese, and egg white and mix well. Place artichokes in a baking dish and stuff the centers and leaves all around with the stuffing. Spray lightly with olive oil. Fill the bottom of the baking dish with broth and wine and cover with aluminum foil. 

Bake for 40 minutes at 350° removing the foil the last 10 minutes of baking.








































Low Fat Baked Onion Rings

Crispy and light with no greasy mess. Great as a snack or a perfect side dish to a nice juicy burger!

Note: I was left with 2/3 of the crumb mixture and 2 cups of the buttermilk after these were done, which I deducted from the nutritional values. 

Servings: 2 • Serving Size: 1/2 • Old Points: 1 pt • Points+: 2 pt
Calories: 74.7 • Fat: 0.6 g • Carb: 14.7 g • Fiber: 1.6 g • Sugar: 1.7 g • Protein: 2.9 g  

    1 medium onion, sliced into 1/4 inch rings
    2 1/4 cups low fat buttermilk
    1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
    1/4 cup Italian seasoned whole wheat bread crumbs
    1/4 cup crushed corn flake crumbs
    salt to taste 
    olive oil baking spray (I used my Misto)

Place slices of onion in a shallow dish. Pour the buttermilk over the top and let them soak for about 1 - 2 hours, refrigerated.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Combine panko, bread crumbs and corn flakes and place half of the crumbs in a large dish, season with salt. Reserve the rest for when the first batch is used up. This should help avoid clumping and they should stick better to the onions. Dip each soaked onion ring into the crumb mixture; coat well. Place rings onto two cookie sheets. Lightly spray with oil. Bake about 12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.











Mozzarella Basil and Tomato Skewers

An easy appetizer recipe perfect for summer get togethers and a great way to use up all your backyard tomatoes!

Servings: 16 • Serving Size: 1 skewer • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 106.1 • Fat: 7.2 g • Carb: 3.3 g • Fiber: 0.6 g • Protein: 7.3 g • Sugar: 0.1 g Sodium: 137.1 mg

    16 bamboo skewers
    48 grape tomatoes
    48 small basil leaves
    1 lb fresh mozzarella, cut into 32 1-inch cubes
    3 tbsp olive oil
    1 tbsp balsamic
    Salt and Freshly cracked black pepper

In a small bowl, combine olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. Marinate mozzarella in dressing about 30 minutes. Thread tomatoes, basil and mozzarella onto skewers. Arrange on a platter and serve.






















Oven "Fried" Pickles with Skinny Herb Buttermilk Ranch Dip

Cornmeal panko herb crusted dill pickles baked in the oven until golden and crisp. Have you ever had fried pickles? Fried pickles to a New Yorker is quite uncommon, alien actually! But in the South they are wildly popular. The first time I tried fried pickles was at a restaurant in DC, I found myself trying to decide if I liked them, yet oddly reaching for seconds and thirds.

Baking them worked out great, the crumbs stuck perfectly and with a generous amount of oil sprayed on top, they baked to a golden crisp. You can easily make 1/2 batch (1-16 oz jar) for less people. If you are watching your sodium, you may not want to make them unless you can find low sodium dill pickles.

Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 6 slices with dip • Old Points: 1 pts • Points+: 
3 pts
Calories: 58.6 • Fat: 1.4 g • Protein: 2.4 g • Carb: 9.1 g • Fiber: 0.6 g • 
Sugar: 0.3 g • Sodium: 1248.8 mg 
 
    2 -16 oz jars (48 slices) sliced oval dill hamburger pickles, I used Vlasic
    1/2 cup of Panko crumbs
    1/4 cup of cornmeal
    1/4 cup of flour
    1/4 tsp of smoked paprika
    1/2 tsp chipotle powder
    1/4 cup dried parsley
    1/8th tsp kosher salt
    1 large egg
    1 large egg white
    olive oil spray (about 1 tsp)

For the Ranch Dip:

    1/4 cup fat free sour cream
    1/4 cup fat free Greek yogurt
    1 tbsp light mayo
    1/4 tsp garlic powder
    1/4 tsp onion powder
    1/2 tbsp chopped fresh chives 1/4 tsp salt
    freshly ground pepper to taste 
    1 tsp white balsamic vinegar 
    1/3 cup 1% low fat buttermilk

Make ranch dip by combining all the dip ingredients and refrigerate until pickles are done. Place pickles to drain on paper towels. Mix crumbs and flour together along with paprika, parsley, and half the chipotle powder and salt. Whisk eggs and egg whites in a bowl and season with remaining chipotle powder. Dip pickles in egg mixture and then into the crumb mix, pressing down on the crumbs. Heat oven to 450°F along with 2 baking sheets. When the oven reaches 450°, remove baking sheets and spray with olive oil spray; place pickles on the baking sheets and spray the tops of the pickles with the more oil.  Bake 8-10 minutes, turn and spray if needed and cook an additional five minutes. Remove pickles from cooking sheet and serve hot with dip.
































Pan con Tomate (Spanish Tomato Bread)

This is what happens when I have a crusty loaf of bread and some fresh ripe tomatoes in my garden! A popular tapas dish from Spain, Pan con Tomato is a tomato rubbed garlic bread. It's super easy to make and is typically served as an appetizer. I almost forgot how good it was until I was reminded a few weeks ago while having tapas.

You can use any crusty bread, I used a rustic loaf but a french baguette or Italian bread cut open would work great too. I toasted slightly in the oven, but you can also grill it if you're dining al fresco. Once toasted you rub a clove of garlic over the bread and a half of tomato. Sprinkle with a little salt, pepper and olive oil and eat. Simple! This is the time to make it while tomatoes are at their peak. If you don't like the idea of raw garlic, leave it out or use roasted garlic instead! Personally, I can be very happy having this for lunch with a green salad!

Servings: 8 • Size: 2 oz bread plus tomato • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 
5 pts
Calories: 185 • Fat: 4.5 g • Protein: 5.5 g • Carb: 31 g • Fiber: 2 g • 
Sugar: 0 g • Sodium: 385 mg 

    16 oz rustic loaf or French baguette, sliced 1/4 inch thick
    2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
    3 ripe medium tomatoes, cut in half
    kosher salt to taste
    freshly cracked black pepper
    4 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375°. Place bread on a baking sheet and place in the oven to lightly toast for about 5 minutes, or until slightly crisp on top and barely golden; remove from the oven. While still hot, lightly rub the garlic cloves over the surface. Then rub the tomato halves over the tops of the toasted bread. 

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil; serve immediately while still warm.





Pico de Gallo Salsa

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, try this fresh and healthy salsa recipe with tomatoes, peppers and onions goes great with chips, grilled fish, chicken and in tacos. This salsa is low in calories and fat. You can adjust the heat and any ingredients to suit your taste. If you can't find chile peppers, jalapeρo peppers work great too.

Servings: 4 servings • Time: 10 minutes • Points: 0 pts

    4 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped
    1/4 cup finely chopped white onion
    2 chile peppers, mild or hot, seeded and finely chopped
    2 tbsp chopped bell pepper
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves (no stems)
    2 tbsp fresh lime juice
    salt and pepper, to taste

In a bowl combine all ingredients. Let it marinate in the refrigerator at least an hour for best results.





















Pumpkin Pie Dip

Everything you love about pumpkin pie, made into a light and fluffy dip. This stuff is dangerous!! I think this would be a fantastic addition to my Thanksgiving table.

My last can of pumpkin in my cupboard either means fall is coming to an end, or time to buy more pumpkin! I still have so many pumpkin recipes I want to make, but this one is a winner. I think I better stock up on pumpkin puree before it's gone!

Servings: 12 • Size: 1/2 cup • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 102.9 • Fat: 0.1g • Protein: 1.8 g • Carb: 27.7 g • Fiber: 0.9 g

    15 oz can pumpkin
    3/4 cup brown sugar (Splenda would work too)
    1 tsp vanilla
    1/8 tsp cinnamon
    1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or more to taste)
    6 oz fat free Greek yogurt (I used Chiobani)
    8 oz cool whip free
    cut up apples to dip (extra points)

Mix pumpkin with brown sugar, vanilla and spices, blend well. Mix in yogurt. Fold in cool whip and chill in refrigerator until ready to eat.
Makes about 6 cups.
















Shrimp Ceviche Cocktail

Shrimp cocktail is fine, but when I want something special, I like to have my shrimp ceviche style!

Tossed with avocados, cucumbers, tomatoes, cilantro and fresh lime juice... and sometimes I add a serrano pepper for zing. Served in martini glasses, it's the perfect appetizer for any special occasion and perfect for the Holidays.

If you want to make a larger dish to bring to a party, this Mexican Shrimp Cobb Salad in a trifle dish is quite impressive and delicious.

Note: For food safety reasons, I used cooked shrimp. While the citrus juice “cooks” the fish, it doesn’t kill the bacteria. This isn’t an issue with raw fish, but it is with shellfish like shrimp it is. If you have access to fresh shrimp off the boat, then raw shrimp would be fine.

Servings: 9 • Size: 1/2 cup salad + 1/4 cup lettuce • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 3 pt
Calories: 100 • Fat: 4 g • Carb: 5 g • Fiber: 2 g • Protein: 11 g • Sugar: 1 g
Sodium: 135 mg  (without salt)

    1/4 cup chopped red onion
    2 small limes, squeezed
    1 tsp olive oil
    1 lb large cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined*
    1 medium Hass avocado, diced into chunks
    1 medium tomato, diced
    1 cup diced English cucumber, not peeled
    1 Serrano pepper, seeds removed and minced
    2 tbsp chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
    salt and fresh black pepper to taste
    1 lime cut into wedges for serving
    2 1/4 cups shredded iceberg lettuce

In a small bowl combine red onion, lime juice, olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper. Let them marinate at least 5 minutes to mellow the flavor of the onion. In a large bowl combine shrimp, avocado, tomato, cucumber, Serrano pepper. Combine all the ingredients together, add cilantro and gently toss. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Fill nine martini glasses with shredded lettuce. Top each with 1/2 cup shrimp salad and garnish with a sprig of cilantro. Serve with a wedge of lime.
Makes 4 1/2 cups.

*Weight after shrimp has been peeled.







































Shrimp Salad on Cucumber Slices

This makes an elegant appetizer or a delicious lunch for four. I love using dry Adobo to season shrimp salad, but if you don't have Adobo, any seasoned salt would work great. I always keep Greek yogurt on hand to lighten up recipes that require mayonnaise. I combined the mayo with the Greek yogurt to keep it light and creamy and the results were delicious. This yields about 1 lb salad without the cucumbers.

Also great served on whole grain toast.

As an Appetizer: 
Servings: 30 • Serving Size: 1 piece • Old Points: 0 pts • Points+: 0 pts
Calories: 15.7 • Fat: 0.4 g • Protein: 2.5 g • Carb: 0.5 g • Fiber: 0.1 g    

As Lunch: 
Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1/4 lb salad, 1/4 cucumber • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 117.5 • Fat: 2.8 g • Protein: 18.8 g • Carb: 3.7 g • Fiber: 1.0 g   

    3/4 lb cooked shrimp, peeled (weight after peeled)
    2 celery stalks, chopped
    1 tbsp red onion, chopped
    2 tbsp light mayonnaise (I used Hellmann's)
    1 tbsp fat free Greek yogurt
    Goya Adobo
    salt and fresh ground pepper
    30 thin slices cucumber (about 1 large)
    chopped chives for garnish

Combine shrimp, celery, onion, mayonnaise, yogurt, and season to taste with adobo and pepper. Arrange cucumbers on a platter, season with salt and top each slice with a heaping tablespoon of shrimp salad. Top with chopped chives for garnish.








Skinny Artichoke Dip

A delicious hot artichoke dip baked with parmesan cheese, reduced fat mozzarella cheese and topped with bread crumbs. Your unsuspecting guests will have no idea they are indulging in lightened up party fare. Serve this with baked pita chips, crostini or any low fat chip.

And just a little history on artichokes, did you know they are one of the oldest foods know to humans? Ancient Greeks and Romans considered artichokes a delicacy and an aphrodisiac and women were even banned from eating them in the 16th century. Well it's the 21st century so women, enjoy!

Servings: 10 • Serving Size: 1/4 cup • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 2 pts
Calories: 73.7 • Fat: 4.0 g • Carb: 4.8 g • Fiber: 0.7 g • Protein: 4.5 g

    13.75 oz artichoke hearts packed in water, drained
    2 tbsp chopped shallots
    1/4 cup fat free Greek yogurt
    1/4 cup light mayonnaise
    1/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
    1/2 cup (2 oz) shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
    salt and fresh pepper to taste
    2 tbsp whole wheat bread crumbs
    olive oil spray

Preheat oven to 400°. In a small food processor, coarsely chop the artichoke hearts with the shallots. Combine artichokes, yogurt, mayonnaise, parmesan cheese, mozzarella, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Place in an oven-proof dish and top with breadcrumbs. Lightly spray the crumbs with olive oil then bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes, until hot and cheese is melted. Serve right away.

Can be made one day in advance without the breadcrumbs and stored in the refrigerator before baking. Add breadcrumbs before baking. 

Makes about 2 1/2 cups.





Skinny Baked Jalapeρo Poppers

With Superbowl around the corner, these lightened up Jalapeρo Poppers will make the perfect party appetizer. Jalapeρo peppers stuffed with cheese, coated with seasoned panko, then baked not fried. You won't miss the full fat version!

Back to making these jalapeρos, one important note when making these, wear gloves while handling the peppers. There is nothing worse than touching your eye or lip with jalapeρo fingers, trust me, I've done it! Also if you have little kids, be careful to discard all the seeds if any fall on the floor.  These can be made ahead of time, then baked when ready to serve. One points plus each, Enjoy! 

Servings: makes 24 • Size: 2 poppers • Old Points: 1 pts • Points+: 2 pts
Calories: 61.6 • Fat: 2.7 g • Protein: 4.2 g • Carb: 5.3 g • Fiber: 0.7 g  
 
    12 jalapeρo peppers, sliced in half lengthwise
    4.5 oz light cream cheese
    5 medium scallions, green part only, sliced
    2 oz shredded low fat sharp cheddar (I used Cabot 50%)
    1/2 cup egg beaters or egg whites, beaten
    1/2 cup panko crumbs*
    1/8 tsp paprika
    1/8 tsp garlic powder
    1/8 tsp chili powder
    salt and fresh pepper
    spray oil

Preheat oven to 350°. Wearing rubber gloves, cut peppers in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and membrane. Combine cream cheese, cheddar and scallions in a medium bowl. Combine panko, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper in another bowl. Fill peppers with cheese filling with a small spoon or spatula. Dip peppers in egg beaters. Place pepper in panko mixture, using a spoon to make sure all the seasoning doesn't fall to the bottom of the bowl. Spray a baking pan with oil spray. I lined my pan with parchment for easier cleanup. Lightly spray the peppers with a little more oil spray.

Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, until golden and cheese oozes out.

Remove from oven and serve immediately. Serve hot.
*I used 1/4 cup more panko to make it easier to coat, then I was left with 1/4 cup which was tossed and not calculated in the nutritional info.








































Skinny Crack Dip

All the flavor of buffalo wings without messy hands! Perfect for your Superbowl Party. I lightened this using low fat and fat free ingredients. Adjust the heat to your liking and serve this with celery, chips or crackers. The reason I call it Crack Dip is that once you eat some, you will not stop until it is all gone!  Always a HUGE hit at any get together.

Servings: 9 • Serving Size: 1/3 cup • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 107.9 • Fat: 4.9 g • Carbs: 5.4 g • Fiber: 0 g • Protein: 10.3 g

    4 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
    1 cup fat free sour cream
    1/2 cup Franks hot sauce (or whatever hot sauce you like)
    1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
    1 tsp white wine vinegar
    2 cups (14 oz  raw) cooked shredded chicken

Mix the first 5 ingredients together until smooth. Add the chicken and put this in the crock pot on low for 3-4 hours. Serve warm.

To do this on the stove, simmer on low heat 30 minutes.




















Skinny Buffalo Wings

Baked, not fried, these wings will be the hit at your next party!

Traditional buffalo wings are deep fried and made with lots of butter. These are broiled to reduce fat and calories and we eliminated the butter altogether. You can adjust the heat to your taste. Great for appetizers, lunch or dinner!

Servings: 9 • Serving Size: 2 chicken wings • Old Points: 5 pts • 
Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 204 • Fat: 5.4 g • Carbs: 2.3 g • Fiber: 0.6 g

    3 lbs (about 18) chicken wings
    1/2 cup + 2 tbsp Franks hot sauce
    1/4 cup white vinegar
    2 tbsp oregano
    4 tsp paprika
    1 tbsp garlic powder
    1 tbsp chili powder
    salt and fresh pepper
    2 celery stalks, sliced into strips
    2 carrots, peeled and sliced into strips
    low fat blue cheese dressing (extra pts)

In a large bowl combine chicken, 2 tbsp hot sauce, vinegar, oregano, paprika, garlic powder, chili powder salt and pepper. Mix well and let marinate for 30 minutes. Place wings on a broiler rack and broil on low, about 8 inches from the flame for about 10-12 minutes on each side. (All ovens are different so be careful not to burn and make sure it is cooked before removing). While chicken cooks, heat the remaining hot sauce until warm. Toss the hot sauce with the chicken and arrange on a platter. 

Serve with celery and carrot strips and blue cheese dressing or dipping.








Skinny Coconut Shrimp

Golden baked coconut encrusted shrimp with a sweet and spicy apricot dipping sauce. Set these out on a platter in front of some hungry guests and I guarantee they will disappear!!

I tried these using all egg whites but the crumbs stuck better with a whole egg, as for the flour, you will only use about 1 tbsp worth so that is what I calculated.

Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 3 shrimp, 1 tbsp sauce • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 161.6 • Fat: 3.4 g • Protein: 10.2 g • Carb: 22.2 g • Fiber: 1.8 g • Sugar: 15.7 g • Sodium: 164.3 (without salt)

    1 lb (24) large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (weight after peeled)
    1/2 cup + 1 tbsp shredded sweetened coconut
    1/2 cup + 1 tbsp panko crumbs
    2 tbsp all purpose flour (you will only use 1 tbsp)
    1 large egg
    pinch salt
    non-stick spray (I used my Misto)

For the Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce:

    1/2 cup apricot preserves (you can use sugar free if you wish)
    1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
    3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 425°. Spray a non-stick baking sheet with cooking spray. Combine coconut flakes, panko crumbs and salt in a bowl. Place the flour on a small dish. Whisk egg in another bowl. Lightly season shrimp with salt. Dip the shrimp in the flour, shaking off excess, then into the egg, then in the coconut crumb mixture. Lay shrimp on the cookie sheet then spray the top of the shrimp with more cooking spray; bake in the middle rack for about 10 minutes. Turn shrimp over then cook another 6-7 minutes or until cooked though. Remove from oven and serve with dipping sauce.

For the sauce, combine all the ingredients and place in a small bowl.



Skinny Texas Cheese Fries

Guiltless cheesy seasoned fries topped with bacon, jalapeρos and scallions served with a cool homemade low-fat buttermilk ranch on the side.

Folks... this is sooooo good!! Pure comfort food!! So when it's cheese fries you are craving, make them yourself and you'll save hundreds of calories and have better portion control preparing it yourself. A half order at Chili's is a whopping 1260 calories and 89 grams of fat, yikes!!

This recipe is a serving for two, if you want to make this into a meal, why not serve a large fresh garden salad on the side, with more ranch dressing! You'll have those carbs you crave and feel completely satisfied. 

I left the skin on for added fiber, and I opted to use a full fat cheddar so that the cheese melts beautifully, I just used less of it and I think it was perfect. if you prefer using reduced fat cheese, Cabot and Sargento are two brands I like to use.

Servings: 2 • Serving Size: 1/2 • Old Points: 6 pt • Points+: 7 pt
Calories: 259 • Fat: 12.3 g • Protein: 10.1 g • Carb: 29 g • Fiber: 2.9 g • Sugar: 1.4 g • Sodium: 590.5 mg (without salt)

If you make the homemade low-fat buttermilk ranch ad 1 point plus or 52 calories.

    2 medium potatoes (2/3 lb total), Yukon gold or russet, washed and dried (skin on)
    2 tsp olive oil
    1 tsp smoked paprika
    1/4 tsp chili powder
    1/4 tsp onion powder
    1/4 tsp garlic powder
    1/8 tsp cumin
    coarse salt and fresh cracked pepper
    1 slice center cut bacon, cooked & finely chopped
    1/3 cup sharp shredded cheddar cheese
    2 tbsp diced scallions
    1 tbsp sliced pickled Jalapeno (jarred on canned)

Preheat the oven to 400°. Line baking sheet with foil for easy clean-up. Lightly coat with cooking spray. Cut each potato lengthwise into 1/4 inch thin slices; then cut each slice into 1/4 inch fries. In a large bowl, combine cut potatoes and oil; toss well. Add seasoning (paprika to salt and pepper). Toss to coat. Place potatoes in a single layer on a lightly greased large baking sheet. Bake uncovered for about 25 minutes or until tender crisp, turning once half way through (depending on thickness this may require more or less time).  Remove from oven, place fries into two small oven safe dishes (or one large dish for sharing), top with cheddar cheese, sliced jalapenos, scallions and bacon bits and return to oven for  about 2 minutes, or until the cheese melts. 

Serve with low fat buttermilk ranch dressing and serve.



































Skinny Ranch Dip

Do you like to dip? I love dipping my sandwiches, chips, fries, veggies... basically everything in dipping sauces but that can add extra unwanted calories or points if you're not careful.

This light ranch dip is a great low fat dipping sauce recipe for snacking. Serve it with fresh veggies like carrots, celery, or even great with baked fries. 

Servings: 2 • Serving Size: 1/2 • Old Points: 1 pt • Points+: 1 pt
Calories: 41.3 • Fat: 3.5 g • Protein: 0.8 g • Carb: 1.7 g • Fiber: 0.2 g  

    2 tbsp light mayonnaise
    2 tbsp fat free plain Greek yogurt
    2 tbsp fresh chopped scallion
    salt and fresh pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and serve. Keeps refrigerated for about 2 days.























Spicy Crunchy Tuna Tartar

Tuna is an excellent source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. If you're a tuna lover like me, you will love this appetizer!! Serve this as a fancy dip with baked chips, seeded flat bread, or on cucumber slices to keep it low carb. Also makes a fabulous lunch over a bed of baby greens. Buy your tuna at a reputable fish market and impress your friends!

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1/4 • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 197.6 • Fat: 10.3 g • Protein: 18.6 g • Carb: 7.9 g • Fiber: 3.1 g  

    8 oz sushi grade Ahi tuna, finely chopped
    2 tsps pure sesame oil
    1 tsp rice wine
    2 tsp fresh lime juice
    2 tsp soy sauce
    1 tsp Sriracha hot sauce (to taste)
    2 tbsp chives, minced
    2 tbsp panko crumbs
    1 ripe, firm Hass avocado, diced
    1 tsp black and white sesame seeds

Combine sesame oil, rice wine, lime juice, soy sauce and sriracha. Poor over tuna and mix. Add chives and gently combine tuna with diced avocado, refrigerate until ready to serve. Add panko crumbs just before serving and top with sesame seeds.
















Skinny Spinach and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms

Mushroom caps are generously stuffed with a combination of sautιed baby spinach, chopped mushrooms, bacon, bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. A lighter alternative to traditional stuffed mushrooms yet loaded with tons of flavor. The stuffing is so good, I could eat it by the spoonful! I like the flavor of real bacon, so I buy center cut which is a bit leaner than regular bacon and I drain it well after cooking. Can you make them with turkey bacon? Sure, if you don't eat pork that would work.

Can you make these vegetarian? Why not replace the bacon with a little Feta cheese and chopped fresh herbs.

Can you make them ahead of time? Yes, you can prepare the stuffing ahead, then fill and bake them right before serving.

They are only 34 calories each or for those of you on Weight Watchers, only 1 point each so I know what some of you will be making Superbowl Sunday!! Enjoy!

Servings: 11 • Serving Size: 1 mushroom • Old Points: 1 pts • Points+: 1 pts
Calories: 34.7 • Fat: 1.5 g • Protein: 2.9 g • Carb: 3.2 g • Fiber: 0.9 g • Sugar: 0.7
Sodium: 58.3 (without salt)

    14 oz (1 package) fresh mushrooms, stems separated
    2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
    4 cups fresh baby spinach
    4 slices center cut bacon
    1 tsp olive oil
    1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
    2 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
    Smart Balance cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly spray a foil lined baking pan or baking dish with cooking spray. Remove stems from mushrooms and mince fine. Heat a medium sized skillet. Rinse spinach and add to the skillet; cook until it wilts, about 2 minutes. Remove from the pan, squeeze excess liquid and chop fine. Set aside. Dry skillet, add bacon to the skillet and cook on low heat until bacon is cooked through. Set aside on a paper towel. Coarsely chop. Clean skillet and add olive oil to the pan. Add garlic and sautι until golden, about 2 minutes. Add minced mushroom stems and sautι until soft, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and combine mushroom stems with sautιed spinach, bacon, bread crumbs, and parmesan
cheese. Season mushroom caps with salt. Fill mushrooms with spinach mixture, rounding tops off. Place on an oven safe dish and lightly spray the tops with oil.  

Bake 20 minutes or until golden. Eat warm.

Makes about 11 medium sized mushrooms.
































Zucchini Carpaccio

Zucchini season is here which is a great reason to make this perfect summer side dish. Use a mandolin or potato peeler to thinly slice the zucchini. Let the zucchini marinade in the lemon juice for at least 10 minutes before topping with arugula and shaved Parmesan. You can serve this as an appetizer, side dish or even as a light lunch

Servings: 4 • Time: 5 minutes • Calories: 81 • Old Points: 2 pts • 
Points+: 2 pts
Calories: 78.9 • Fat: 6.0 g • Carb: 5.3 g • Fiber: 2.0 g • Protein: 2.8 g 
Sugar: 1.6 g • Sodium: 89.3 mg (without salt)

    2 medium zucchini, ends cut off and thinly sliced
    1/2 lemon
    4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
    salt and fresh pepper
    1 cup baby arugula
    1/4 cup shaved Parmesan

Combine oil and lemon juice. Place a layer of zucchini to cover the bottom of a platter. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil and lemon juice. Repeat layering zucchini, salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice until all zucchini is used up. Let marinade for at least 10 minutes. Right before serving, top with fresh arugula, shaved Parmesan and serve.

















Zucchini Pizza Bites

I loved these zucchini pizza bites!! A perfect way to use up all the zucchini in your garden and satisfy your craving for pizza in a low carb way. I enjoyed these for lunch, but they also make a great snack. This recipe was modified slightly from Roni at Green Light Bites using ingredients I had on hand. I had leftover pizza sauce from the night before, which was simply crushed tomatoes (Tuttorosso) with sautιed garlic, salt and pepper, cooked for just under 5 minutes. You can add basil, pepperoni, sausage, whatever you like on your pizza. If you are wondering why there are only 3 pizzas in the photo, when the serving size is 4, I dropped one! 

Servings: 1 • Serving Size: 4 pieces • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 124.8 • Fat: 5.7 g • Protein: 8.2 g • Carb: 10.4 g • Fiber: 3.0 g   

    4 slices large zucchini 1/4" thick (or 1 medium zucchini cut on diagonal)
    Spray olive oil (I used my Misto)
    2 tbsp pizza sauce
    1/4 cup part skim mozzarella
    salt and pepper

Cut zucchini about 1/4 inch thick. Spray both side lightly with oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil or grill for about 2 minute on each side. Top with sauce and cheese and broil for an additional minute or two. (Careful not to burn cheese)





























3 Chicken Recipes

Arroz Con Pollo

Arroz con pollo, or chicken and rice is the ultimate one dish meal for my family. So many people ask me about my favorite dishes I make at home for my family, well this is certainly one of them! We like to serve this with hot sauce or Colombian aji picante and a simple green salad on the side.

I make many versions of this dish depending on my mood or what's in my refrigerator, in fact you may have tried my Mom's recipe, if so, I know you're going to love my version!

For some variations, you can add olives, use a few threads of saffron instead of the sazon, or use boneless chicken breast. So there you have it, go get some hot sauce and dig in!

Servings: 8 • Size: 1 cup rice plus 1 thigh • Old Points: 7 pts • Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 311.1 • Fat: 4.6 g • Protein: 17.9 g • Carb: 48 g • Fiber: 0.6 g   

    8 skinless chicken thighs
    1 tbsp vinegar
    2 tsp sazon (I use Badia Sazon Tropical)
    about 1/2 tsp adobo powder
    about 1/2 garlic powder
    3 tsp olive oil
    1/2 onion
    1/4 cup cilantro
    3 cloves garlic
    5 scallions
    2 tbsp bell pepper
    1 tomato, diced
    2 1/2 cups enriched long grain rice
    4 cups water
    1 chicken bouillon cube
    salt to taste (about 2 tsp)

Season chicken with vinegar, 1/2 tsp sazon, adobo and garlic powder and let it sit 10 minutes. Heat a large deep heavy skillet on medium, add 2 tsp oil when hot. Add chicken and brown 5 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside.

Place onion, cilantro, garlic, scallions and pepper in mini food processor. Add remaining teaspoon of olive oil to the skillet and sautι onion mixture on medium-low until soft, about 3 minutes. Add tomato, cook another minute. Add rice, mix well and cook another minute. Add water, bouillon (be sure it dissolves well) and remaining sazon, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Taste for salt, should taste salty enough to suit your taste, add more as needed.

Add chicken and nestle into rice, bring to a boil. Simmer on medium-low until most of the water evaporates and you see the liquid bubbling at the top of the rice line, then reduce heat to low heat and cover. Make sure the lid has a good seal, no steam should escape (You could place a piece of tin foil or paper towel in between the lid and the pot if steam escapes).

Cook 20 minutes without opening the lid. Shut heat off and let it sit with the lid on an additional 10 minutes (don't peak!!!) Fluff with a fork and eat!














Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Sautιed ground chicken thighs, shiitake mushrooms and water chestnuts seasoned with Asian spices are served in a crispy cold lettuce leaf with a spicy hoisin dipping sauce. I can't think of a more playful appetizer to celebrate the Year of The Dragon!

Oh and one more thing I want to mention, if you want to turn this into a main dish, make some steamed rice and serve each wrap with rice and chicken, it's very good! Enjoy!!

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 1 lettuce wrap • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 102.7 • Fat: 3.1 g • Carb: 9.6 g • Fiber: 0.9 g • Protein: 8.4 g • Sugar: 4.6 g • Sodium: 344.1 mg

    8 oz skinless, boneless chicken thighs, ground
    1/4 cup water chestnuts, chopped fine
    1/4 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
    1 tbsp soy sauce (I used reduced sodium)
    1/4 tsp dark soy sauce
    1/2 tsp oyster sauce
    1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
    1 tbsp rice wine or dry sherry
    1⁄2 tsp sugar
    freshly ground white pepper, to taste
    2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    6 iceberg lettuce leaves, rinsed (careful not to break)
    2 tbsp diced scallions

For the Spicy Hoisin Dipping Sauces:

    4 tbsp hoisin sauce
    1/2 tsp chili sauce, I used Sriracha
    1 tbsp warm water

Place mushrooms in hot water to soften a few minutes. Remove stems and chop fine. Combine soy sauces, oyster sauce, 1/2 tsp sesame oil, rice wine, sugar, and pepper in a bowl.  Combine ground chicken (I put the chicken in the food processor), softened mushrooms and water chestnuts into a bowl. Pour over chicken; toss. Let marinate for 15 minutes. Mix Spicy Hoisin Dipping Sauce ingredients in another bowl. Set aside. Heat remaining sesame oil in a wok or skillet over high heat. Add garlic; cook until golden, about 10 seconds. Add chicken mixture; stir fry until browned, breaking the chicken up as it cooks, about 4-5 minutes.

To serve, spoon 1/4 cup of the chicken into each lettuce leaf. Garnish with scallions and a spoon a little Spicy Hoisin Dipping Sauce onto each one.

Serves 6.




































Asian Glazed Drumsticks

These Asian inspired drumsticks are finger licking' good! It's hard to believe they are low in points. The glaze would also be great with thighs or wings. I served this with steamed vegetables to make this a complete low fat meal and drizzled the remaining glaze over the vegetables. Also would be wonderful over rice. Thighs would also work great in this recipe, but chicken breast would get too tough. If you must, remove chicken breast after 15 minutes, then allow the sauce to reduce down.

Have you tried Sriracha hot sauce (the one with the rooster on the bottle)? This stuff is very addicting!! I think it may one day be as popular as ketchup! This spicy Thai chili sauce is available in many stores including Walmart these days, but if they don't sell it near you, you can buy it online.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 2 drumsticks • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 213 • Fat: 4.7 g • Protein: 27.5 g • Carb: 12.7 g • Fiber: 0.4 g  

    8 medium chicken drumsticks, skin removed
    olive oil spray (I used my Misto)
    1 cup water
    1 tbsp Sriracha hot sauce (more or less to taste)
    1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
    1/2 cup soy sauce
    4 tsp agave nectar (or sugar)
    3 cloves garlic, crushed
    1 tsp ginger, grated
    2 tbsp chives or scallions, chopped
    1 tsp sesame seeds

In a heavy large saucepan, brown chicken on high for 3-4 minutes with a little spray oil. Add water, balsamic, soy sauce, agave, garlic, ginger, hot sauce and cook on high until liquid comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for about 20 minutes. Remove cover and bring heat to high, allowing sauce to reduce down, about 8-10 minutes, until it becomes a thick glaze, turning chicken occasionally. (Keep an eye on glaze, you don't want it to burn when it start becoming thick) Transfer chicken to a platter and pour glaze on top. Top with chives and sesame seeds and serve.




Asian Grilled Chicken

I love spring! It's so nice to get outside and use my grill. Here is a tasty Asian inspired recipe for grilled chicken recipe I love to make when the weather warms. Letting it marinade overnight gives you the best results. This marinade is also great on boneless, skinless thighs. Serve this with a salad, rice or vegetables.

Servings: 3 • Size: 2 cutlets • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 295.9 • Fat: 6.1 • Carbs: 11.4 • Fiber: 1.3 • Protein: 39.9

    6 thin boneless skinless chicken cutlets (3 oz each)

For the Marinade:

    2 tbsp lemon juice
    2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
    2 green onions, minced
    1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce (for gluten free, use tamari)
    1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
    1 tsp honey
    2 tsp sesame oil

Combine all marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Pour the mixture over the chicken, turn the pieces to coat evenly, cover and place in refrigerator a minimum of three hours, but preferably overnight.

Preheat grill to high. Grill chicken top side down first until well browned charred, about 5 minutes, turn and cook on the second side about 3 more minutes. Transfer to a serving platter.










Asian Peanut Noodles with Chicken

Peanut noodles just got a makeover! Stir fried chicken strips, rice noodles, scallions, carrots, broccoli slaw, bean sprouts in a spicy peanut sauce. A winning combination of spicy, crunchy, sweet and salty will tantalize your taste buds and making this yourself will be easy on your wallet and waistline.

Let's face it, peanut noodles are not light. Peanuts are high in fat, combined with noodles which are high in carbs and you have yourself a heavy dish. So I had to make some major adjustments to make this dish skinny. Increasing the vegetables was a must, so I loaded this with plenty of noodle sized vegetables to really blend well with the noodles and increase the fiber.

Have you tried Better'n Peanut Butter? I'm a huge fan, it's low fat and tastes really good, sold at Trader Joe's and healthy food stores, here's the link to find the nearest store near you. If you've tried it let me know what you think. If you can't find it, I suggest using light peanut butter instead but the points will change slightly.

Rice sticks or rice noodles can be found in the Asian section of your supermarket and make this a gluten free dish. If you can't find rice noodles, udon noodles or even linguini would work. I know some of you like those Japanese shirataki noodles, I confess I've yet to try them, but I did the calculations, 5 points plus per serving if you use them instead.

Although there seems to be a long list of ingredients here, it really comes together quite quickly. I bought pre-shredded carrots and broccoli slaw to help speed things up.

Try this with shrimp or tofu for vegetarians!

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 1/6th of recipe • Old Points: 6 pts • 
Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 337.9 • Fat: 4.6 g • Carbs: 51.4 g • Fiber: 3.7 g • Protein: 21.1 g

Light Peanut Sauce:

    14.5 oz fat free chicken broth (vegetarians use vegetable broth)
    5 tbsp better'n peanut butter
    1 tbsp Sriracha chili sauce
    2 tbsp honey
    2 tbsp soy sauce (use Tamari for gluten free)
    1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    16 oz chicken breast, cut into thin strips
    salt and pepper (to taste)
    1 tbsp Sriracha chili sauce (more or less to taste)
    juice of 1/2 lime
    5 cloves garlic, crushed
    1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
    1 tbsp soy sauce (use Tamari for gluten free)
    1/2 tbsp sesame oil
    8 oz rice noodles
    3/4 cup green onion, chopped
    1 1/4 cups shredded carrots
    1 1/4 cups cup shredded broccoli slaw 
    1 cup bean bean sprouts
    2 tbsp chopped peanuts 
    1 lime, sliced
    cilantro for garnish (optional)

For the peanut sauce: Combine 1 cup chicken broth, peanut butter, sriracha, honey, 2 tbsp soy sauce, ginger, and 3 cloves crushed garlic in a small saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat stirring occasionally until sauce becomes smooth and well blended, about 5-10 minutes. Set aside.




Boil water for the noodles cook pasta according to package instructions. 

Season chicken with salt and pepper, sriracha, lime, garlic, ginger and soy sauce. Heat a large skillet or wok until hot. Add oil and sautι chicken on high heat until cooked through, about 2-3 minutes; remove from heat and set aside. Add 2 cloves crushed garlic, scallions, carrots, broccoli slaw and/or bean sprouts and salt, sautι until tender crisp, about 1-2 minutes. 

Drain noodles and toss with peanut sauce and additional chicken broth if needed to loosen the sauce. When chicken is cooked, toss with noodles.

Divide noodles and chicken between 6 bowls, top with sautιed vegetables, bean sprouts, chopped peanuts (or you can toss everything together to hide the vegetables so your family members don't push them aside!) and garnish with cilantro and lime wedges.


Baked Chicken with Dijon and Lime

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 2 thighs • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 214.4 • Fat: 11.2 g • Protein: 23.8 g • Carb: 1.5 g • Fiber: 0.2 g  

    8 small chicken thighs, skin removed
    3 tbsp Dijon mustard
    1 tbsp light mayonnaise
    1 clove garlic, crushed
    1 lime, squeezed, and lime zest
    3/4 tsp pepper
    Salt
    Dried parsley

Preheat oven to 400°. Rinse the chicken and remove the skin and all fat. Pat dry; place in a large bowl and season generously with salt. In a small bowl combine Dijon, mayonnaise, lime juice, lime zest, garlic and pepper. Mix well. Pour over chicken, tossing well to coat.

Spray a large baking pan with a little Pam to prevent sticking since all the fat and skin was removed from chicken. Place chicken to fit in a single layer. Top the chicken with dried parsley. Bake until cooked through, about 30-35 minutes. Finish the chicken under the broiler until it is golden brown. Serve chicken with the pan juices drizzled over the top.


















Baked Chicken Milanese with Arugula and Tomatoes

Breaded chicken cutlets, baked in the oven topped with arugula, tomatoes and balsamic.

Whenever I go to this Italian restaurant by my house, I'm always tempted to order the not-so-skinny version of this dish. There is something about breaded chicken topped with arugula that really strikes my fancy. This lightened up version is much more figure-friendly, and perfect to make with summer's ripe tomatoes. Hope you enjoy!

Servings: 6 • Size: 3 oz chicken with salad • Old Points: 4 pts • 
Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 250 • Fat: 8.5 g • Carb: 17.4 g • Fiber: 3 g • Protein: 24.3 g • 
Sugar: 1.1 g • Sodium: 87.2 mg (without salt)

Baked Chicken Cutlets Only -
Servings: 6 • Size: 1 cutlet from 4 oz raw • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 198 • Fat: 6 g • Carb: 11 g • Fiber: 0.8 g • Protein: 24 g • Sugar: 1 g
Sodium: 420 mg (without salt)

For the Salad:
 
    1 tbsp olive oil 
    2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    5 medium ripe tomatoes, diced
    1/4 small red onion, sliced thin
    1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
    kosher salt and pepper to taste
    6 cups baby arugula

For the chicken:

    24 oz (3) boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced in half lengthwise
    3/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
    1/3 cup grated Romano cheese (or parmesan)
    1 lemon, juice of
    1 tbsp olive oil
    kosher salt
    fresh cracked black pepper
    olive oil spray (I used my Misto)

In a medium bowl, whisk olive oil and balsamic. Add tomatoes, basil and onions; season with salt and pepper. and toss. Set aside at least 10 minutes so the juices combine. Preheat oven to 450°.  Place a large baking pan in the oven to get hot. Combine breadcrumbs and grated cheese in one bowl. In another bowl combine olive oil, lemon juice, and pepper. Lightly pound chicken breasts into cutlets, you should have 6. Wash and dry cutlets well with paper towels; season with salt and pepper. Dip cutlets into lemon/oil mixture, then into breadcrumbs, pressing firmly to adhere. Remove the baking pan from the oven and spray with cooking spray. Place the chicken on the baking sheets and spray with olive oil spray on top.

Bake chicken, turning once halfway through for about 15 minutes total, or until chicken is golden. Remove from the oven and top with arugula and tomato salad on top.



























Baked Chicken Parmesan

An Italian classic, lightened up. Baking the cutlet as opposed to frying really lightens this dish up while remaining moist and full of flavor. Serve this over pasta or with a large salad to keep it on the lighter side.

We all love this dish in my home, it's perfect for a weeknight yet good enough to serve to company. This is also how I bake my chicken cutlets if you want it without the cheese and sauce. Kid friendly and delicious, make this tonight!!

Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1 piece • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 6 pts 
Calories: 224.5 • Fat: 8.6 g • Protein: 25 g • Carb: 14 g • Fiber: 1.5 g

    4 (8 oz) chicken breast halves, sliced in half to make 8
    3/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (I used whole wheat)
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    2 tbsp butter, melted (or olive oil)
    3/4 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese (I used Polly-o)
    1 cup marinara or Filetto di Pomodoro
    cooking spray

Preheat oven to 450°. Spray a large baking sheet lightly with spray. Combine breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese in a bowl. Melt the butter in another bowl. Lightly brush the butter onto the chicken, then dip into breadcrumb mixture.  Place on baking sheet and repeat with the remaining chicken. Lightly spray a little more oil on top and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Turn chicken over, bake another 5 minutes.   Remove from oven, spoon 1 tbsp sauce over each piece of chicken and top each with 1 1/2 tbsp of shredded mozzarella cheese. 

Bake 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted.










Balsamic Chicken with Roasted Vegetables

Chicken and vegetables seasoned with sage, rosemary and balsamic vinegar, then baked in the oven. A delicious healthy meal, with very little clean-up.

This great Italian dish was from my cooking session with my good friend Julia of Julia's Healthy Italian. She's a mom of four small kids, an amazing cook and was so sweet to share this dish with all of you.

Prep time is quick, throw it in the oven and dinner is ready in 35-40 minutes. For easy clean up you can make this in disposable tins.

Servings: 5 • Size: 2 thighs plus vegetables • Old Points: 8 pts • 
Points+: 9 pts
Calories: 347.1 • Fat: 17.0g • Protein: 31.1 g • Carb: 19.2 g • Fiber: 5.8 g

    10 (20 oz) boneless skinless chicken thighs
    20 medium asparagus, ends trimmed, cut in half
    3 red bell peppers
    1 cup carrots, sliced in half long way
    2 red onions, chopped in large chunks
    10 oz sliced mushrooms
    1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    1 tsp sugar
    salt and pepper
    3 tbsp fresh rosemary
    2 cloves garlic, smashed and sliced
    2 tbsp oregano or thyme
    4 leaves fresh sage, chopped

Preheat oven to 425°. Wash and dry the chicken well with a paper towel. Combine all the ingredients together and using your hands and arrange in a very large roasting pan. The vegetables should not touch the chicken or it will steam instead of roast. All ingredients should be spread out in a single layer. If necessary use two baking sheets or disposable tins to achieve this. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes.





Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Chicken

Although I wish I was still away on vacation in sunny Florida, I am happy to be home cooking my own healthy meals again. It's not always easy eating healthy on vacation or in the airport. This dish is fairly simple to make and the whole family will love it. I ate two pieces with the remaining broccoli on the side for a perfect meal. 

Makes: 9 pieces • Size: 1 piece • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 142 • Fat: 4.9 • Carbs: 4.8 • Protein: 19.4

    3 (24 oz total) large chicken breast halves
    1 large egg
    2 tsp water
    3/4 cup whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs
    2 cups broccoli floret, cooked, chopped small
    5 slices reduced fat Swiss cheese (I used Lacy Swiss)
    salt
    spray oil
    toothpicks

Preheat oven to 350°. In a small bowl, combine egg, water and a little salt. Beat with a fork to make an egg wash. Set aside. Fill a second bowl with breadcrumbs. Slice chicken breast halves into thin cutlets. I usually get 3 thin cutlets out of one breast half. Pound them to make them thinner if you wish. This helps when you wrap the cutlets. Cut each slice of cheese in half. Place a 1/2 slice cheese in the center of the chicken and top with a little broccoli. Wrap chicken around to completely cover cheese, using toothpicks to secure. Season with a little salt. Dip chicken into egg wash, then breadcrumbs. Spray cookie sheet with oil and place chicken on cookie sheet. Lightly spray chicken with oil and bake about 25 minutes, until cooked.










Broiled or Grilled Pollo Sabroso

Pollo Sabroso means delicious chicken in Spanish so I thought the name would be perfectly fitting for this flavorful chicken that everyone loves in my house.

Latin food has so much flavor because we like to use lots of seasoning and this chicken is no exception. A quick recipe for the broiler or grill; you can use thighs, legs, breast, wings, whatever you like. I usually let this marinate at least 20 minutes, but it's even better if you marinate it overnight.

I personally enjoy this with all visible fat trimmed off the chicken and a small piece of skin on top. If you wish to make this without the skin, the points will be lower.

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 1 thigh • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 154.1 • Fat: 9.5 g • Protein: 15.5 g • Carb: 0.4 g • Fiber: 0.1 g 

    6 medium chicken thighs
    1 tbsp vinegar
    2 tsp soy sauce
    1 packet Sazon (in Spanish aisle, I prefer Badia brand with no MSG)
    Adobo (in Spanish aisle)
    garlic powder
    oregano
Season chicken with vinegar and soy sauce. Add sazon, a generous amount of adobo, garlic powder, oregano and adobo and mix well. (Don't use your hands or they will turn orange) Let chicken marinate at least 20 minutes. Broil or grill on low until chicken is cooked through, careful not to burn. Enjoy with rice and salad.












Cajun Chicken Pasta

Celebrate Mardi Gras with this colorful Cajun spiced pasta tossed with chicken strips, bell peppers, red onion, mushrooms and scallions in a creamy light sauce.

One of the easiest ways to lighten up a pasta dish is to add tons of protein and vegetables to your dish which keeps the portions large and the carbs low and this dish is a perfect example. Be sure to be generous with your Cajun spices, it should have plenty of kick so don't be shy! 

This dish comes together rather quickly once all your vegetables are chopped. 

You can make this with shrimp instead of chicken, or use a combination of both. Make this vegetarian by leaving the chicken out or replacing it with tofu and the chicken broth with vegetable broth. You can also make this gluten-free by using brown rice pasta and replacing the flour with 1 teaspoon of corn starch. Hope you enjoy!!

Servings: 5 • Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 323.8 • Fat: 6.2 g • Protein: 25.9 g • Carb: 44.1 g • Fiber: 6.3 g • Sugar: 3.2 g
Sodium: 126.5 mg (without salt) 

    8 ounces uncooked linguine (I used Dreamfields)
    1 pound chicken breast strips
    1-2 tsp Cajun seasoning (or to taste)
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
    1 medium yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
    8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
    1/2 red onion, sliced
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    2 medium tomatoes, diced
    1 cup fat free low sodium chicken broth
    1/3 cup skim milk
    1 tbsp flour
    3 tbsp light cream cheese
    fresh cracked pepper
    2 scallions, chopped
    salt to taste
    Smart Balance cooking spray
Prep all your vegetables. In a small blender make a slurry by combining milk, flour and cream cheese. Set aside. Season chicken generously with Cajun seasoning, garlic powder and salt. 

Prepare pasta in salted water according to package directions.

Heat a large heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; spray with cooking spray and add half of the chicken. Sautι 5 to 6 minutes or until done, set aside on a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken. Set aside. Add olive oil to the skillet and reduce to medium; add bell peppers, onions, and garlic to skillet, sautι 3-4 minutes. Add mushrooms and tomatoes and sautι 3-4 more minutes or until vegetables are tender. Season with 1/4 tsp salt, garlic powder and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Reduce heat to medium-low; add chicken broth and pour in slurry stirring about 2 minutes.

Return chicken to skillet; adjust salt and Cajun seasoning to taste, cook another minute or two until hot, then add linguine; toss well to coat. Top with chopped scallions and enjoy!

Makes 7 1/2 cups.






















Cheesy Baked Spaghetti Squash Boats with Grilled Chicken

Roasted spaghetti squashed topped with marinara sauce, grilled chicken, melted mozzarella and some fresh basil. I had a hard time naming this one, but I think you get the point.

I was craving something cheesy for dinner last night, and I had spaghetti squash sitting in my counter without a plan, so I came up with this tasty dish. When my husband heard what I was making, he didn't sound too excited, but after he ate he thought it was pretty good.

If you've never had spaghetti squash before, it's a winter squash that has spaghetti-like strands when you cook it and fluff it with a fork. Does it taste like spaghetti? Well no, it's kind of neutral in flavor, so it takes on the flavor from whatever you season it with. I always have homemade marinara sauce on hand, either in the refrigerator or freezer, which makes quick weeknight meals a snap.

If you want to speed this up, you can microwave the spaghetti squash instead, I provided both instructions below.

For those of you on Weight Watchers, each boat is only 6 points plus and it filled me up. In fact, because it's so light, I may use fresh mozzarella next time I make this so it's even cheesier, this recipe can afford it!

There are so many delicious types of winter squash, including acorn, butternut and spaghetti. Whichever gourd you go for, you can be assured you’re making a healthy choice. Winter squash is loaded with vitamins A and C, potassium and fiber. They also contain some folate and thiamin, a B vitamin that helps the body turn carbs into energy. Look for squash with a think, hard skin that’s free of blemishes. Make sure it feels heavy for its size—that’s a sign of freshness. You can keep squash for up to a month in a cool, dry place.

Servings: 4  Serving Size: 1 boat • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 326 • Fat: 8 g • Protein: 29 g • Carb: 35 g • Fiber: 7 g • Sugar: 10 g
Sodium: 318.5 mg (without salt)

    2 small/medium ripe spaghetti squash
    salt and fresh pepper, to taste
    4 thin chicken cutlets, about 3 oz each
    pinch garlic powder
    1/4 tsp oregano
    2 cups quick marinara sauce, warm
    1 cup part skim shredded mozzarella (Polly-o)

Preheat oven to 350°. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and fibers with a spoon. Place on a baking sheet, cut side up and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast about an hour or until the skin gives easily under pressure and the inside is tender.

If you prefer the microwave, cut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds and fibers and place on a microwave safe dish and cover. Microwave 8-9 minutes.  

Meanwhile, while the squash is roasting, season chicken cutlets with salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano. Heat a grill pan (or a George formal grill) over medium-high heat, when hot grill chicken on both sides until cooked through, about 3-5 minutes. Set aside on a dish.

Remove the spaghetti squash from the oven or microwave and carefully fluff the spaghetti-like strands on each half with a fork, leaving the squash in the shell. Season with salt and pepper, then spoon about 1/4 cup marinara in each boat. Slice the chicken on the diagonal and place each piece on top of each squash half. Top the chicken with 1/4 cup each of remaining marinara sauce, then top with cheese and place back into the hot oven and cook until the cheese is melted and the sauce is hot, about 12 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil and serve with parmesan cheese on the side if desired.














Cheesy Jalapeρo Popper Baked Stuffed Chicken

What happens when you combine Skinny Baked Jalapeρo Poppers with chicken?? Oh yeah baby!! Cheesy stuffed chicken breast stuffed with diced jalapeρo, cream cheese, cheddar jack cheese, scallions and bacon!

I basically deconstructed my jalapeρo poppers and stuffed them into chicken and the results where mouth watering!! I used bread crumbs because I was out of panko, but I think seasoned panko would give these a wonderful crunch like I used on my Skinny Baked Jalapeρo Poppers.

I made the serving size a generous two pieces, so a simple vegetable, fiesta lime rice, or a salad on the side would make this a complete meal. Trust me, you won't want to stop at just one!

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 2 stuffed breasts • Old Points: 9 pt • 
Points+: 9 pts
Calories: 371 • Fat: 17.5 g • Protein: 42.7 g • Carb: 11 g • Fiber: 1.5 g • Sugar: 0.6 g • Sodium: 355.8 mg (without salt)

    2 slices center cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
    3 jalapeρos, chopped (remove seeds for milder)
    3 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
    4 oz reduced fat shredded cheddar jack (Sargento)
    2 tbsp chopped scallions
    8 thin sliced skinless chicken breast cutlets, 3 oz each
    1/2 cup Italian seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs
    1 1/2 juicy limes, juice of
    1 tbsp olive oil
    salt and fresh pepper
    olive oil non-stick spray

Wash and dry chicken cutlets, season with salt and pepper.  Preheat oven to 450°. Lightly spray a baking dish with non-stick spray. Combine cream cheese, cheddar, scallions, jalapeρo and bacon crumbles in a medium bowl. Lay chicken cutlets on a working surface and spread 2 tbsp of cream cheese mixture on each cutlet. Loosely roll each one, secure the ends with toothpicks to prevent the cheese from oozing out. Place breadcrumbs in a bowl; in a second bowl combine olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Dip chicken in lime-oil mixture, then in breadcrumbs and place seam side down on a baking dish. Repeat with the remaining chicken. When finished, lightly spray the top of the chicken with oil spray.

Bake 22-25 minutes, serve immediately.







































Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken, red peppers and mushrooms simmer in tomato sauce for a great tasting, simple, weeknight meal your whole family will enjoy. My mother made this often when I was a child and I have always loved this recipe. I modified Mom's recipe to make it Weight Watcher friendly by removing the chicken skin, fat and using less oil. Top this with some good grated like Pecorino Romano.

Servings: 6 • Size: 1 thigh, 3/4 cup sauce, 1 cup pasta • Old Points: 6 • Points+: 8
Calories: 326.4 • Fat: 3.8 g • Protein: 20.6 g • Carb: 56.0 g • Fiber: 9.1 g  

    6 chicken thighs, skin and fat removed
    olive oil spray
    1 red bell pepper, chopped
    1 cup chopped mushrooms
    1/2 onion, chopped
    2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
    1/4 cup fat free chicken broth, more if needed
    1 tsp dried oregano leaves
    1/4 cup fresh chopped basil leaves
    salt and freshly ground black pepper
    6 cups cooked (12 oz uncooked) high fiber or whole wheat pasta 

Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large heavy sautι pan, heat the pan over a medium-high flame and spray with cooking oil. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and sautι just until brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. Add the peppers, onion and garlic to the pan and sautι over medium heat until the onion is tender, about 3-4 minutes, then add mushrooms and cook another 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes, broth, and oregano. Cover the pan and bring the sauce to a simmer. Continue simmering over low heat until the chicken is just cooked through, about 25 minutes. Add the chopped basil 5 minutes before sauce is done. Serve over whole wheat or high fiber pasta like Ronzoni Smart Taste.






Chicken and Broccoli Noodle Casserole

Shredded chicken breast and broccoli cooked with noodles in a light creamy sauce topped with toasted breadcrumbs. A simple dish the whole family will love, even the little ones!

This is an inexpensive dish, you can make this ahead, then top it with the breadcrumbs and put it in the oven 20 minutes before you are ready for dinner.

I buy chicken breast in bulk because it's less expensive. When I get home from the store I separate the chicken placing some in my refrigerator to use right away, I take a portion and place them in freezer bags to freeze for the future and I set two or three chicken breasts aside and throw them in my crock pot. I pour some water over them and 4-6 hours later I have perfect shredded chicken to use in other recipes though out the week such as enchiladas, chicken salad, stuffed peppers, or whatever! A great way to save time in the kitchen and only takes minutes to do.

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 1/6th • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 313 • Fat: 9.9 g • Protein: 27.2 g • Carb: 31.2 g • Fiber: 4.4 g • Sugar: 2.6 g
Sodium: 256.7 mg (without salt)

    6 oz Ronzoni Smart taste noodles (or no-yolk)
    2 tsp oil
    4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
    12 oz fresh broccoli florets, chopped



    1 tbsp butter
    1 medium shallot, minced
    3 tbsp all purpose flour
    1-3/4 cups fat free chicken broth
    1 cup 1% milk
    12 oz cooked shredded chicken breast
    4 oz shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar (Sargento)
    cooking spray
    3 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese
    2 tbsp seasoned breadcrumbs (I used whole wheat)

Cook noodles in salted water until al dente, or slightly undercooked by 2 minutes. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and cook on medium heat until golden, about 1 minute. Add the broccoli and a little salt, sautι and cover the broccoli for about 3 minutes on medium heat until the broccoli begins to soften. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 375°. Lightly spray a 9 x 12 casserole dish with cooking spray. In a large pot, heat butter over medium-low heat, when melted add the shallot and cook until soft, 2-3 minutes. Add the flour and a pinch of salt and stir well, cooking an additional 2-3 minutes on medium-low heat. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth until well combined over medium heat; whisk well for 30 seconds, then add the milk and bring to a boil. Simmer on medium heat, mixing occasionally until it thickens (about 6-7 minutes). Remove from heat and add reduced fat sharp cheddar and 1 tablespoon of the parmesan cheese; mix well until the cheese melts. Add the shredded chicken, noodles and broccoli to the sauce and mix well until evenly coated. Pour into a casserole dish and top with parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Spray a little more cooking spray on top and bake for about 20 - 25 minutes. Place the casserole under the broiler a few minutes to get the crumbs crisp and golden (careful not to burn).


























Chicken and Cavatelli Soup

A hearty bowl of this chicken and pasta will fill your tummy and warm your soul. This dish is somewhere between a soup and a stew. You may want to set your table with spoons AND forks!

Cavatellis are Italian pastas, sometimes made with ricotta, sometimes without. The ones made with ricotta are sold frozen in some supermarkets or Italian specialty stores. There is a lot more liquid when you first make this, it's more like a soup. But as it sits, it thickens, and the pasta absorbs the liquid. This photo was actually taken the next day when I reheated it for lunch. One bowl is very satisfying, even for my husband who has a hearty appetite.

White meat lovers, you can replace the thighs with 4 breast halves but you'll have to cook it for less time. Let the soup simmer 15 minutes without the chicken, then cook 15 more minutes with the chicken, remove chicken after 15 minutes, cut or shred, then add back to pot when you add the pasta. (7 points+). Enjoy!

Servings: 5 • Size: 2 thighs w pasta and broth • Old Points: 7 pts • 
Points+: 9 pts (If using white meat, 7 pts+ for 4 chicken breasts)
Calories: 347.1 • Fat: 7.8 g • Carbs: 33.0 g • Fiber: 2.2 g • Protein: 33.9 g

    1 tbsp butter
    1 medium onion, sliced thin
    2 tbsp all purpose flour
    5 cups low sodium fat free chicken broth
    1 cup celery, sliced
    2 large carrots, sliced
    1 clove garlic, minced
    2 bay leaves
    salt and fresh pepper to taste
    10 skinless chicken thighs, all fat removed
    8 oz frozen ricotta Cavatelli

In a large pot, melt butter. Add onion and cook on low about 6 minutes, until onions are soft. Add flour and stir, cooking another minute. Add chicken broth, celery, carrots, garlic, bay leaves and salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken and bring to a boil, then partially cover, simmer on low 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cook Cavatelli in a pot of salted water according to package directions. Drain and add to soup when soup has cooked. Cook another minute or two. Remove bay leaves and divide in five bowls.
To reheat, you may need to add a little water.









































Chicken and White Bean Enchiladas with Creamy Salsa Verde

White beans, shredded chicken, green chile, sour cream and cheese. Need I say more?

Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1 enchilada • Old Points: 4 • Points: 5
Calories: 230 • Fat: 7.3 g • Protein: 20.4 g • Carb: 28.7 g • Fiber: 12.2 g 

For the Chicken and White Bean Filling:

    1 tsp olive oil
    1/4 cup minced white onion
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chilies
    15.5 oz can Navy beans (or Cannellini beans)
    8 oz cooked shredded chicken breast
    1/3 can water
    1 chicken bullion
    1 tsp cumin

For the Green Chile Enchilada Sauce:

    1 tsp butter
    1/2 cup chopped white onion
    2 tbsp flour
    1 cup fat free chicken broth
    7 oz can chopped green chile
    2 jalapeρos, chopped (I used jarred)
    salt
    1/2 cup light sour cream
    3/4 cup reduced fat Mexican cheese
    8 medium low carb tortillas
    chopped fresh cilantro or scallions (or both!)

Preheat oven to 375°. 

For the Filling:

In a medium pan, heat olive oil on low. Add onions, garlic and sautι until soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add green chilies, beans, water, bullion, and cumin. Mix well and cover. Simmer on low 15 minutes. Remove cover, add chicken and cook an additional 5 minutes, or until it thickens and liquid boils down. Set aside.

Green Chile Enchilada Sauce:

In a large nonstick pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens and starts to turn translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add flour and stir well. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth. Whisk until the sauce becomes smooth. Cook over medium heat until the sauce boils and thickens, about 4-5 minutes. Add green chilies, jalapenos, and salt to taste. Cook another minute then remove from the heat. Stir in the sour cream. Spread about 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9x13" baking dish. Fill each tortilla with 1/3 cup of the chicken/white bean filling. Roll the tortillas and place seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Continue filling remainder of the tortillas.

Pour the enchilada sauce over the top of the enchiladas. Top with cheese. Cover with aluminum and bake 20-30 minutes, until the enchiladas are hot and the cheese is melted. Remove from oven and top with fresh cilantro or scallions.





















Chicken Cordon Bleu

These are elegant enough for company yet kid-friendly if you want to make them for your family. Serve them with a big salad and enjoy!

Money Saving Tip - buying the chicken breasts and slicing them yourself will cut the cost in half. If you are having trouble doing this, you can buy thin pre-sliced cutlets.

Makes: 12 pieces • Serving Size: 1 piece • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 222.7 • Fat: 9.3 g • Protein: 28.4 g • Carb: 5.2 g • Fiber: 0.6 g   

    32 oz (4) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    1 large egg
    2 large egg whites
    1 tbsp water
    3/4 cup seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs (I like 4C)
    12 (1 oz each) slices thin lean deli ham
    12 (1 oz each) slices reduced fat Swiss cheese
    salt
    spray oil
    toothpicks
Preheat oven to 350°. Slice chicken breast halves into thin cutlets. I usually get 3 thin cutlets out of one breast half. Pound them to make them thinner if you wish. This helps when you wrap the cutlets. Cut each slice of cheese into squares and stack on top of each other. Place a slice of ham on top of the chicken, top with cheese and wrap chicken around to completely cover cheese, using toothpicks to secure. (Make sure no holes so cheese doesn't leak out) Season with a little salt. Whisk eggs and water to make an egg wash. Dip chicken into egg wash, then breadcrumbs.

Spray cookie sheet with oil and place chicken on cookie sheet. Lightly spray chicken with oil and bake about 25 minutes, until cooked.









Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk

Chicken, curry spices, potatoes and coconut milk give this dish an aromatic flavor you'll really enjoy. Enjoy this over basmati rice for a complete meal (or great with roti). To make this light I use skinless chicken and I remove all fat. I buy Light Coconut Milk from Trader Joe's, it's is half the points of regular coconut milk. I am starting to see other brands carry it as well.

Servings: 6 • Size: 1 thigh with sauce and potato • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 160.0 • Fat: 6.3 g • Protein: 15.0 g • Carb: 10.5 g • Fiber: 1.3 g • Sugar: 0.3 g • Sodium: 63.9 mg  without salt

    1 tbsp olive oil
    1/2 tsp roasted cumin
    1-1/2 tsp garam masala
    2 tsp curry powder
    1/2 onion, minced
    5 cloves garlic, minced
    1 large tomato, chopped
    2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
    1/2 cup light coconut milk
    3/4 cup water
    1 large potato, peeled and diced small
    6 skinless chicken thighs
    kosher salt to taste


Add oil to a large pan, on medium heat. When oil is hot add onion and garlic and sautι. Add cumin, masala and curry powder and mix well. Place chicken in the pan and season with salt. Mix together with all spices and brown on both side for a few minutes.  

Add tomatoes, cilantro, water, coconut milk and adjust salt to taste. Mix all ingredients and cover pan, simmer on low until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Add potatoes and more water if necessary and simmer, covered an additional 5-10 minutes.





Chicken Divan

Broccoli and chicken in a creamy cheesy sauce, topped with more cheese and breadcrumbs. Your family will thank you for this! Chicken Divan was created in the 1930s at the Divan Parisian Restaurant in Manhattan, and since has become an American classic. While most recipes call for mayonnaise, canned soup, and a lot more fat, this recipe has been significantly lightened up to maintain its flavor without all the added fat.

You can make this quicker by using leftover chicken, or precooked chicken breasts. Can you use frozen broccoli? Yes, of course you can, but nothing beats the flavor of fresh broccoli in my opinion. I served this with a green salad on the side to make this a complete meal.

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 1/6th • Old Points: 7 pts • Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 335.7 • Fat: 12.3 g • Protein: 34.5 g • Carb: 19.8 g • Fiber: 4.1 g  

    1-1/2 lbs broccoli (3 large heads) chopped
    24 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts (or 18 oz cooked)
    salt and fresh ground pepper
    1 tbsp butter
    2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    2 tbsp shallots, minced (onions would work too)
    4 tbsp flour
    1 cup fat free chicken broth
    1 cup fat free milk
    2 oz dry sherry (white wine would work)
    6 oz shredded reduced-fat Swiss
    1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
    1/4 cup seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs
    cooking spray

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the broccoli and blanch 3 minutes. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Drain well and set aside. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Using a grill pan or Forman grill, sautι chicken on medium-low heat on both sides until browned, and just about cooked through, about 5 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and transfer chicken to a cutting board. When cooled, slice chicken into bite sized pieces. Heat a medium skillet on medium heat. Add the butter and oil until melted and then add garlic and shallots. Sprinkle the flour and whisk until smooth. Stir in broth, milk and sherry and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in half of the Swiss cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange the broccoli in a casserole dish and pour half of the sauce over the broccoli. Arrange the chicken on top and cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle the remaining Swiss cheese, grated parmesan and top with breadcrumbs. Spray a little oil on top.

Bake 30 minutes, serve hot.



































Chicken Enchiladas

If you're an enchilada lover like me, you will love these!! Enchiladas are always my dish of choice when I go out for Mexican and this recipe is as good as any recipe you'll find in a restaurant (if not better) without all the fat!  I like to serve these with yellow rice, re-fried beans and a little fat free sour cream topped with chopped scallions and cilantro. Leftovers are great the next day too! I always have shredded chicken breast on hand, I usually make a whole package of chicken breast in my crock pot to use for recipes throughout the week. Leftover chicken would also work. Look for whole wheat, low carb such as La Tortilla Factory, or Mission Low Carb Whole Wheat Tortillas.

Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1 enchilada • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 159.5 • Fat: 5.9 g • Protein: 16.2 g • Carb: 17.8 g • Fiber: 8.3 g  

For the sauce:

    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1-2 tbsp chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
    1-1/2 cups tomato sauce
    1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
    1/2 tsp ground cumin
    3/4 cup fat free chicken broth
    kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste

For the chicken:

    1 tsp vegetable oil
    8.5 oz (2 breast halves) cooked shredded chicken breast
    1 cup diced onion
    2 large clove garlic, minced
    1/4 cup cilantro
    kosher salt
    1 tsp cumin
    1/2 tsp dried oregano
    1 tsp chipotle chili powder
    1/3 cup chicken broth
    1/2 cup tomato sauce
    8 (7-inch) reduced carb whole wheat flour tortillas (la tortilla factory)
    1 cup shredded low fat Mexican cheese
    non-stick cooking spray
    1/2 cup chopped scallions or cilantro for topping
In a medium saucepan, spray oil and sautι garlic. Add chipotle chilies, chili powder, cumin, chicken broth, tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Set aside until ready to use. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat the vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sautι onions and garlic on low until soft, about 2 minutes. Add chicken, salt, cilantro, cumin, oregano, chili powder, tomato sauce, chicken broth, and cook 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Spray a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish with non-stick spray. Put 1/3 cup chicken mixture into each tortilla and roll it. Place on baking dish seam side down, top with sauce.  Then top with cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven on the middle rack for 20-25 minutes. Top with low fat sour cream or scallions if you wish. (Extra points.

Makes 8 enchiladas.




























Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini Boats

A fun twist on a Mexican favorite! Summer zucchini hollowed out and stuffed with shredded chicken, enchilada sauce, cheese and scallions. Serve this with cilantro lime rice and you'll have yourself a fiesta!

This idea is the perfect way to use up leftover chicken, plus it's perfect for low-carb and gluten-free diets - and yes, yellow squash would also work well.

Servings: 8 • Size: 1 zucchini boat • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 116 • Fat: 3.5 g • Protein: 12 g • Carb: 11 g • Fiber: 3 g • 
Sugar: 4.5 g • Sodium: 410 mg (without salt)

For the enchilada sauce:

    olive oil spray (I used my Misto)
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 or 2 tbsp chipotle Chile in adobo sauce, more if you like it spicy
    1-1/2 cups tomato sauce
    1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
    1/2 tsp ground cumin
    2/3 cup fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
    kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste

For the zucchini boats:

    4 (about 32 oz total) medium zucchini
    1 tsp oil
    1/2 cup green onions, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, crushed
    1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
    1/4 cup chopped cilantro
    8 oz cooked shredded chicken breast
    1 tsp cumin
    1/2 tsp dried oregano
    1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
    3 tbsp water or fat free chicken broth
    1 tbsp tomato paste
    salt and pepper to taste

For the Topping:

    3/4 cup reduced fat shredded sharp cheddar
    chopped scallions and cilantro for garnish

For the enchilada sauce: In a medium saucepan, spray oil and sautι garlic. Add chipotle chilies, chili powder, cumin, chicken broth, tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Set aside until ready to use. For the Zucchini Boats: Bring a large pot of water to boil. Preheat oven to 400°. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and using a small spoon or melon baller, scoop out flesh, leaving 1/4" thick. Chop the scooped out flesh of the zucchini in small pieces and set aside. Drop the zucchini halves in boiling water and cook 1 minute; remove from water. In a large sautι pan, heat oil and add onion, garlic and bell pepper. Cook on medium-low heat for about 2-3 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add chopped zucchini and cilantro; season with salt and pepper and cook about 4 minutes. Add the cumin, oregano, chili powder, water, and tomato paste and cook a few more minutes, then add in chicken; mix and cook 3 more minutes. Place 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a large (or 2 small) baking dish, and place zucchini halves cut side up. Using a spoon, fill each hollowed zucchini with 1/3 cup chicken mixture, pressing firmly. Top each with 2 tablespoons of enchilada sauce, and 1 1/2 tablespoons each of shredded cheese.  

Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes until cheese is melted and zucchini is cooked through.

Top with scallions and cilantro for garnish and serve with low fat sour cream if desired.















Chicken Fajitas

Fajitas are great to make in the summer, when you want to use your grill, but in the colder months, you can use an indoor grill like the George Forman grill, which is perfect because it requires little oil. You can also make this on a cast iron skillet. I have found many low point tortillas available in various stores. Usually if they are low carb, low fat, they are 1 pt. La Tortilla Factory - Low-Carb/Low Fat Large Size are huge and also great for wraps and quesadillas.

Servings: 4 servings • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 192.1 • Fat: 5.5 g • Carb: 16.7 g • Fiber: 8.3 g • Protein: 25.5 g 

    16 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts
    1 bell pepper, cut into strips
    1 Poblano chile, cut into strips
    1 onion, cut into strips
    3 tbsp lime juice
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1 tsp garlic powder
    ancho chile powder or chipotle chili powder, to taste
    salt and pepper to taste
    2 tsp olive oil
    4 low fat, low carb tortillas (La Tortilla Factory)

Marinate the chicken with lime juice, and season with chile powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder and cumin. Season vegetables with salt and pepper and toss with olive oil. Heat George Forman grill or similar. Grill chicken until well browned, but not hard to the touch. Transfer to a plate when done. Cut into strips. Grill vegetables until tender (about 15 minutes). Once cooked, combine with chicken. Serve immediately with tortilla and toppings. 

Optional 0 point toppings: Salsa, chopped Serrano chilies, chopped fresh cilantro, sliced green onions.







Chicken Francese




Chicken Francese is a favorite in my house and one that my husband cooks very well, but it is not exactly Weight Watcher friendly. I re-made this dish making it lighter and lower in points without sacrificing the taste we are accustomed to and even fooled my not-so-easy to fool.

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 2 cutlets • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 7 pts
Calories: 265.7 • Fat: 6.1 g • Carb: 9.2 g • Fiber: 0.5 g • Protein: 39.1 g

    4 large (32 oz) chicken breast halves, thinly sliced in 3 (12 cutlets total)
    1/2 cup unbleached flour
    1/2 cup egg whites, beaten
    1 lemon, juice of
    1/2 lemon sliced thin
    1/3 cup white wine
    1 can low sodium fat free chicken broth
    cooking spray
    salt and fresh pepper
    3 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
    2 tbsp butter

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place the flour in a bowl, and the beaten egg whites in another bowl. Heat a very large non stick pan over medium heat. When hot spray with cooking spray to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Lightly flour chicken, then dip in eggs and add to the hot pan a few at a time. Sautι chicken 2-3 minutes on each side. When cooked, transfer onto a plate. Spray the pan again and repeat until all chicken has been cooked. Once all chicken is cooked, place the chicken broth in the bowl with the remaining flour and whisk. Add to the pan along with the juice of the lemon, white wine, lemon slices, parsley and butter and simmer on low heat for about 2 minutes so it reduces slightly and thickens. Turn off heat. Return chicken to the pan to combine with the sauce. Serve immediately with a nice big salad.








Chicken Milanese with Arugula and Tomatoes

Breaded chicken cutlets, baked in the oven topped with arugula, tomatoes and balsamic.

Whenever I go to this Italian restaurant by my house, I'm always tempted to order the not-so-skinny version of this dish. There is something about breaded chicken topped with arugula that really strikes my fancy. This lightened up version is much more figure-friendly, and perfect to make with summer's ripe tomatoes.
 
Servings: 6 • Size: 3 oz chicken with salad • Old Points: 4 pts • 
Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 250 • Fat: 8.5 g • Carb: 17.4 g • Fiber: 3 g • Protein: 24.3 g • 
Sugar: 1.1 g • Sodium: 87.2 mg (without salt)

Baked Chicken Cutlets Only -
Servings: 6 • Size: 1 cutlet from 4 oz raw • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 198 • Fat: 6 g • Carb: 11 g • Fiber: 0.8 g • Protein: 24 g • Sugar: 1 g
Sodium: 420 mg (without salt)

For the Salad:
 
    1 tbsp olive oil 
    2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    5 medium ripe tomatoes, diced
    1/4 small red onion, sliced thin
    1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
    kosher salt and pepper to taste
    6 cups baby arugula

For the chicken:

    24 oz (3) boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced in half lengthwise
    3/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
    1/3 cup grated Romano cheese (or parmesan)
    1 lemon, juice of
    1 tbsp olive oil
    kosher salt
    fresh cracked black pepper
    olive oil spray (I used my Misto)

In a medium bowl, whisk olive oil and balsamic. Add tomatoes, basil and onions; season with salt and pepper. and toss. Set aside at least 10 minutes so the juices combine. Preheat oven to 450°.  Place a large baking pan in the oven to get hot. Combine breadcrumbs and grated cheese in one bowl. In another bowl combine olive oil, lemon juice, and pepper. Lightly pound chicken breasts into cutlets, you should have 6. Wash and dry cutlets well with paper towels; season with salt and pepper. Dip cutlets into lemon/oil mixture, then into breadcrumbs, pressing firmly to adhere. Remove the baking pan from the oven and spray with cooking spray. Place the chicken on the baking sheets and spray with olive oil spray on top.

Bake chicken, turning once halfway through for about 15 minutes total, or until chicken is golden. Remove from the oven and top with arugula and tomato salad on top.



























Chicken Panini with Arugula, Provolone and Chipotle Mayonnaise

One word to describe this hot Panini... dee-licious!

I'm in love with the flavor combination of this grilled chicken Panini made on Ciabatta bread with melted provolone, arugula and a spicy chipotle mayonnaise. This sandwich is perfect for lunch or dinner and you can easily prepare this for one or a family of eight!

A Panini press is on my Christmas list this year, but not having one has never stopped me from making Panini’s before. I lightly spray the bread with oil and use my George Forman grill and it's ready in minutes. You could even use a grill pan on the stove and place an iron skillet on top to press it down. 

Servings: 1 • Size: 1 Panini • Old Points: 8 pts • Points+: 9 pts
Calories: 345 • Fat: 9.8 g • Carb: 40 g • Fiber: 0.3 g • Protein: 24.4 g • Sugar: 0.4 g
Sodium: 663.2 mg

    1 tbsp Hellman's light mayonnaise
    1 tsp chipotle in adobo sauce (or to taste)
    3 oz Ciabatta, sliced open
    1.75 oz (1 thin) grilled chicken cutlet
    1 slice Sargento reduced fat provolone
    0.5 oz (about 1/2 cup) baby arugula
    Smart Balance cooking spray

Combine mayonnaise and chipotle pepper sauce in a small bowl. You can use any hot sauce, Sriracha or chipotle Tabasco would also work; season to your taste. Spread the spicy mayonnaise inside the Ciabatta. Lay the provolone cheese, grilled chicken and arugula in the bread; close and lightly spray the top with cooking spray.  Place on a Panini press and close until the cheese melts and the bread is toasted. Cut in half and eat immediately.






Chicken Parmigiano Burgers

A quick lunch or weeknight meal ready in less than 10 minutes your whole family will enjoy! Chicken burgers topped with Pomodoro sauce and melted mozzarella on a hardy bun. Grill them or you cook them indoors in a skillet. Easy enough to adapt for one or a large group.

Burgers are the perfect weeknight meal and using lean chicken or turkey burgers keep these burgers figure friendly. You can certainly buy your own ground chicken and make the patties yourself but if you don't feel like getting your hands dirty, the pre-seasoned patties are perfect. If you're feeling extra lazy and you are lucky enough to have a Trader Joe's near you they make delicious pre-cooked chicken burger in the refrigerated section which are so good!

I always have sauce on hand, it's smart to make large batches of sauce to jar or freeze so you can whip up quick meals in a pinch... of course store bought jarred sauce would work as well. Serve these over fat free rolls such as Ciabatta or whole wheat Kaiser if you can find them. Points may vary depending on brands. The rolls I used were 110 calories, 0 fat, 0 fiber, 23 carbs.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1 burger •  Old Points: 7 pts • Points+: 8
Calories: 324.7 • Fat: 8.9 g • Protein: 31.1 g • Carb: 28.8 g • Fiber: 0.9 g • Sugar: 2 g
Sodium 775 mg (without adding salt)
 
    16 oz lean chicken burgers
    4 oz part skim mozzarella cheese (I used Alpine Lace)
    1 cup Pomodoro sauce (jar sauce would work)
    4 rolls such as Ciabatta rolls

Heat the sauce; cook burgers 2-3 minutes on each side. Top with cheese; when melted put on a roll and top with sauce. Enjoy!








Chicken Piccata

Chicken Piccata is an Italian chicken dish served in a lemon, wine, butter sauce with capers and parsley.  This is one of my favorites that I can never get sick of.  Veal can also be used for replacement.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1 piece • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 214 • Fat: 5.5 g • Protein: 24.2 g • Carb: 13.4 g • Fiber: 2.8 g 

    2 (16 oz total) chicken cutlet halves, all fat trimmed
    freshly ground black pepper
    2 large egg whites
    2/3 cup seasoned whole wheat dry bread crumbs
    olive oil spray (about 1 tbsp worth)
    1 tbs light butter
    juice of 1 lemon, lemon halves reserved
    1/4 cup dry white wine
    1/2 cup fat free chicken broth
    1 tbsp capers
    Sliced lemon, for serving
    Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for serving

Cut chicken into 4 cutlets, then place cutlets between 2 sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap and pound out to 1/4-inch thick. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. In a shallow plate, beat the egg whites and 1 teaspoon of water together. Place the bread crumbs in another plate. Dip each chicken breast first in the egg, then bread crumbs. Heat a large sautι pan over medium to medium-low heat. Spray a generous amount of olive oil spray on one side of the chicken, and lay it in the pan, oil side down. Spray the top of the chicken generously to coat and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Set aside until you make the sauce.

For the sauce, clean the sautι pan. Over medium heat, melt butter, add the lemon juice, wine, chicken broth and the reserved lemon halves, salt, and pepper. Boil over high heat until reduced in half, about 2 minutes. Discard the lemon halves, add the capers and serve one chicken cutlet on each plate. Spoon on the sauce and serve with a slice of lemon and a sprinkling of fresh parsley.




Chicken Quesadillas

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1 quesadilla • Old Points: 7.75 pts • 
Points+: 10 pts
Calories: 386.9 • Fat: 18.6 g • Carbs: 31.6 g • Fiber: 16.3 g • Protein: 37.7 g  

    16 oz skinless chicken breast, fat trimmed
    cumin
    oregano
    garlic powder
    salt and fresh pepper
    cooking spray
    1/2 small onion, cut into strips
    1 bell pepper (red or green) cut into strips
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 tbsp oil
    1-1/3 cup Weight Watchers Mexican blend shredded cheese
    1 cup avocado-mango salsa
    8 low carb whole wheat flour tortillas, La Tortilla Factory

Slice chicken breast in half so you have 4 cutlets. Season chicken generously with salt, pepper, cumin, oregano and garlic powder. Lightly spray a skillet on medium heat with oil or if using a grill, grill chicken until cooked on both sides. Remove from heat and cut chicken into strips, set aside. To the skillet, add 1 tbsp oil and cook onions and peppers, season with salt and pepper. Cook about 2 minutes, add garlic and continue cooking until vegetables are soft being careful not to burn the garlic. When cooked, set aside. Heat skillet on medium heat and lightly spray with oil. Add tortilla, top with cheese, chicken, onions, peppers, and pico de gallo or avocado-mango salsa. Top with the other tortilla. Cheese should be melted and the bottom of the tortilla should be golden brown. Put a plate on top of the quesadilla to flip it over onto the plate. Then slide the other side onto the skillet. Cook another minute and remove with a spatula. Cut into wedges and serve with sour cream if you wish.








Chicken Rollatini with Prosciutto and Cheese

Chicken cutlets dipped in lemon and olive oil, gently coated in a combination of bread crumbs and Romano cheese then rolled with prosciutto, cheese and red onion and baked until golden. Serve this with a simple arugula salad or tomato salad for a complete dinner.

I've had my eye on this one for a while, a perfect way to make chicken breasts if you're tired of the same old thing. I loved using olive oil and lemon juice to dip the chicken in before the breadcrumbs, it really added to the dish.

There is no need to season the chicken with salt, the prosciutto gives you all the salt you need. If you are watching your sodium, use low sodium ham in place of the prosciutto and use unseasoned breadcrumbs or make your own instead. I used Sargento reduced fat provolone cheese which was wonderful and really complimented the prosciutto!

Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1 chicken • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 168.6 • Fat: 6.4 g • Protein: 22.1 g • Carb: 4.6 g • Fiber: 0.7 g • Sugar: 0.0 g

    8 thin chicken cutlets, 3 oz each
    4 (2.8 oz) slices thin lean prosciutto, sliced in half
    4 slices Sargento reduced fat provolone or mozzarella, sliced in half
    1/2 cup whole wheat Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
    1/4 cup Romano cheese (or parmesan)
    1 lemon, juice of
    1 tbsp olive oil
    fresh pepper
    1/4 red onion, sliced
    olive oil non-stick spray

Wash and dry cutlets well with paper towels. Combine breadcrumbs and grated cheese in one bowl and olive oil, lemon juice, and pepper in another bowl. Preheat oven to 450°. Lightly spray a baking dish with non-stick spray. Dip the chicken in the lemon-oil mixture, then in the breadcrumbs to coat well. Place each cutlet on a work surface such as a cutting board and lay 1/2 slice prosciutto, 1/2 slice cheese and a few chunks red onion on one side of the chicken cutlet.  Roll and place seam side down in a baking dish (no toothpicks needed). Repeat with the remaining chicken. When finished, top with remaining crumbs and spray lightly with oil.

Bake 25 - 30 minutes. Serve immediately! Serving size is listed as one, but if you are having this as a low carb meal with a salad, I suggest you have two.






































Chicken Rollatini Stuffed with Zucchini and Mozzarella

Shredded zucchini, garlic and mozzarella cheese rolled in chicken cutlets, then dipped in oil and fresh lemon juice, breaded and baked to perfection!

A wonderful way to use up end of summer zucchini and your family will love this, even the non-vegetable lovers!!

I've listed the nutritional info for one, I first made this last week without photos and enjoyed one with a side of rice and vegetables and I felt very satisfied. Today I remade this for lunch and had a hard time finishing two with a fresh garden salad on the side.

Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1 cutlet • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 4 pts 
Calories: 171.9 • Fat: 6.3 g • Protein: 20.3 g • Carb: 7.9 g • Fiber: 0.9 g • Sugar: 1.3 g Sodium: 280.7 mg (without salt) 

    1 tsp olive oil
    4 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 1/2 cups (1 medium) zucchini, shredded
    1/4 cup + 2 tbsp Romano cheese (or parmesan)
    3 oz part skim shredded mozzarella
    salt and pepper to taste
    8 thin chicken cutlets, 3 oz each
    1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
    1 lemon, juice of
    1 tbsp olive oil
    salt and fresh pepper
    olive oil non-stick spray 

Wash and dry cutlets, season with salt and pepper.  Preheat oven to 450°. Lightly spray a baking dish with non-stick spray. 
In a large skillet, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add oil when hot then sautι garlic a minute, or until golden. Add zucchini, 1/4 cup Romano cheese, salt and pepper and sautι about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool. When cool, add mozzarella cheese and mix to combine. Lay chicken cutlets down on a working surface and spread 3 tbsp of zucchini-cheese mixture on each cutlet. Loosely roll each one and keep seam side down. Combine breadcrumbs and grated cheese in one bowl; in a second bowl combine olive oil, lemon juice, and pepper in another bowl. Dip chicken in lemon-oil mixture, then in breadcrumbs and place seam side down in a baking dish (no toothpicks needed). Repeat with the remaining chicken. When finished, lightly spray with oil spray.

Bake 25 - 30 minutes. Serve immediately. Serving size is listed as one, but if you are having this as a low carb meal with a salad, I suggest you have two.





































Chicken Rollatini with Spinach alla Parmigiano

Baked chicken breasts rolled with spinach and ricotta topped with Pomodoro sauce and melted mozzarella. A dish the whole family will love! I guess you can say this is a cross between my Chicken Parmigiano and Spinach Lasagna Rolls. 

Perfect for a large crowd, or to feed a hungry family. These are very filling, I served this with a big salad and I was very content with just one piece. These re-heated beautifully the next day and we were happy to enjoy them again for leftovers. Enjoy!!

Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1 stuffed breast • Old Points: 4 pts • 
Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 194.7 • Fat: 7 g • Protein: 24.2 g • Carb: 7.2 g • Fiber: 1.5 g

    8 thin chicken cutlets, 3 oz each
    1/2 cup whole wheat Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
    1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
    6 tablespoons egg whites or egg beaters
    5 oz frozen spinach, squeezed dry of any liquid
    6 tbsp part skim ricotta cheese
    6 oz part skim mozzarella (I used Polly-O)
    olive oil non-stick spray (I use my Misto)
    1 cup Pomodoro sauce or your favorite marinara sauce
    salt and pepper to taste

Wash and dry cutlets, season with salt and pepper.  Preheat oven to 450°. Lightly spray a baking dish with non-stick spray. Combine breadcrumbs and 2 tbsp grated cheese in one bowl and 1/4 cup egg beaters or egg whites in another. Shred or finely chop 1.5 oz of mozzarella cheese and combine with remaining grated cheese, spinach (make sure you squeeze it dry), 2 tbsp egg beaters, and ricotta cheese. Lay chicken cutlets down on a working surface and spread 2 tbsp of spinach-cheese mixture on each cutlet. Loosely roll each one and keep seam side down. Dip chicken in egg mixture, then in breadcrumbs and place seam side down in a baking dish (no toothpicks needed). Repeat with the remaining chicken. When finished, lightly spray with olive oil. Bake 25 minutes. Remove from oven, top with sauce then cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and bubbling, about 3 more minutes. Serve with additional sauce on the side and grated cheese.

















Chicken Ropa Vieja

Shredded chicken breast with peppers and onions and lots of Latin flavor. Cuban cuisine is a favorite of mine and Ropa Vieja, traditionally made with shredded skirt steak, cumin, peppers and onions is a flavorful dish usually served with white rice and plantain. Chicken makes a wonderful lighter alternative to this recipe. A great way to keep your meat dishes low in points is to use meat as a condiment and add lots of vegetables. I find cooking the chicken first in my crock pot makes this easier, but you can cook it on the stove as well. To make this with beef, substitute the chicken breast with skirt steak.

I used my leftovers to make a burrito bowl (I love Chipotle!) for lunch the next day served over brown Cilantro lime rice, Southwestern black bean salad, lettuce and shredded cheese and it was fabulous and healthy!

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1 cup • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 234.8 • Fat: 5.4 g • Protein: 31.3 g • Carb: 12.8 g • Fiber: 2.6 g 

    3 (22.5 oz) chicken breast halves
    1 small onion, quartered
    1 tomato, quartered
    1 carrot, peeled and chopped
    2 cloves garlic, peeled
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1 small onion, thinly sliced
    1 small green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
    1 small red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
    1/4 cup dry white wine
    1/2 cup tomato sauce
    reserved broth
    1 tsp cumin, or more to taste (I like a lot)
    garlic powder
    salt and pepper to taste

Place chicken, onion, tomato, carrot, and 2 cloves of garlic into crock pot. Add water to cover, and set to high for 4 hours until the chicken is tender. If cooking on the stove, cook on medium-low, and simmer until the chicken is tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Place the chicken into a bowl and shred it into strips using a fork; set aside. Reserve the liquid. In a large deep skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onions, green peppers, and red peppers. Cook about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in chicken, tomato sauce, white wine, and about 3/4 cup of the reserved broth to create a nice sauce. Season with cumin, garlic powder salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer on low for about 10 minutes more adding more broth and seasoning if needed.

Makes 4 cups.






































Chicken Sausage Brown Rice Stuffing with Celery and Mushrooms

Brown rice stuffing made with Italian chicken sausage, celery, mushrooms, and onions. Serve this as a Thanksgiving side dish or you can even enjoy this as a meal. It's so good and naturally gluten free!

To serve this as a main dish, double the portion. It would be 7 servings, 1 1/2 cups.

Servings: 14 • Size: about 3/4 cup • Old Points: 2 pt • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 106.9 • Fat: 3.2 g • Carbs: 16.4 • Fiber: 1.3 • Protein: 3.6 g • 
Sugar: 1.0 • Sodium: 220 mg (without salt)

    1 1/2 cups brown rice
    3 1/2 cups water
    1 chicken bouillon (I used Knorr)
    5 links raw sweet Italian chicken or turkey sausage (I used al fresco)
    2 tbsp olive oil
    6 celery stalks, chopped
    1 large onion, chopped



    16 oz sliced fresh mushrooms
    salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Cook brown rice in water and chicken bouillon according to package directions. While the rice is cooking, in a large heavy sautι pan cook chicken sausage on medium heat, breaking up the meat into small pieces as it cooks until the sausage is cooked through and is browned. Set aside on a dish. Add olive oil to the pan and add the onion, sautι one minute, add the celery, salt and pepper to taste; cook about 12 minutes, until celery is soft. Add the mushrooms to the pan, more salt and pepper if needed and cook, stirring 5 minutes, then cook covered for 2 minutes, or until the mushrooms have released their juice and are cooked through. Add the sausage and the cooked rice to the pan and mix well. 

Makes 10 1/2 cups.





Chicken Shiitake & Wild Rice Soup

Looking for more cold weather comfort food? This thick and creamy wild rice soup is a perfect one pot meal. Chicken, wild rice, and mushrooms are combined in this rich and hearty soup with a touch of light sour cream. 

One thing to note is the rice expands the longer it sits, so you may need to add more water to adjust the correct thickness. This reheats fine the next day with a little added water.

For the wild rice combo I used Carolina rice, it comes in a seasoned package. If you can't find that brand, you could use Rice a Roni Long Grain and Wild Rice.

Servings: 6 • Size: 1-1/2 cups • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 237.6 • Fat: 4.3 g • Protein: 14 g • Carb: 35.4 g • Fiber: 1.7 g  

    1 tbsp butter
    1 small onion
    1 tbsp flour
    8 cups (64 oz) fat free low sodium chicken broth
    1 cups water
    2 chopped carrots
    3 garlic cloves
    2 celery stalks
    4 skinless chicken thighs
    4.5 oz long grain rice and wild rice combo (I used Carolina)
    1/2 cup long grain white rice
    4 oz. shiitake mushrooms, sliced
    2 tbsp light sour cream (vegans can use vegan sour cream or leave it out)
    salt and fresh pepper

Melt butter in a large pot on medium heat, add onion and sautι until soft but not browned, about 3-4 minutes. Add flour and sautι another minute. Add chicken broth, water, carrots, garlic, celery, and chicken thighs, cover and simmer 20 minutes. Add wild rice mix along with its seasoning, long grain rice, mushrooms, salt and pepper to taste and simmer on low, covered 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove chicken from pot and shred with two forks, return to pot, add sour cream and more water if too thick, adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve.


Chicken and White Bean Enchiladas with Creamy Salsa Verde

White beans, shredded chicken, green chile, sour cream and cheese. Need I say more? These have just the right amount of kick to them and hit the spot if you're craving Mexican food. They are high in fiber and so filling (one enchilada is a perfect serving size). The easiest way for me to make shredded chicken is in my crock pot. I let it cook all day while I'm at work, then I come home and shred it and freeze the broth for other recipes. Click here for the recipe. For other great enchilada recipes try my favorite Chicken Enchiladas with Red Enchilada Sauce, or Turkey and Black Bean Enchiladas. 

Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1 enchilada • Old Points: 4 • Points: 5
Calories: 230 • Fat: 7.3 g • Protein: 20.4 g • Carb: 28.7 g • Fiber: 12.2 g 

For the Chicken and White Bean Filling:

    1 tsp olive oil
    1/4 cup minced white onion
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chilies
    15.5 oz can Navy beans (or Cannellini beans)
    8 oz cooked shredded chicken breast
    1/3 can water
    1 chicken bullion
    1 tsp cumin

For the Green Chile Enchilada Sauce:

    1 tsp butter
    1/2 cup chopped white onion
    2 tbsp flour
    1 cup fat free chicken broth
    7 oz can chopped green chile
    2 jalapeρos, chopped (I used jarred)
    salt
    1/2 cup light sour cream
    3/4 cup reduced fat Mexican cheese
    8 medium low carb tortillas
    chopped fresh cilantro or scallions (or both!)

Preheat oven to 375°. For the Filling:
In a medium pan, heat olive oil on low. Add onions, garlic and sautι until soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add green chilies, beans, water, bullion, and cumin. Mix well and cover. Simmer on low 15 minutes. Remove cover, add chicken and cook an additional 5 minutes, or until it thickens and liquid boils down. Set aside. 

Green Chile Enchilada Sauce:

In a large nonstick pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens and starts to turn translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add flour and stir well. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth. Whisk until the sauce becomes smooth. Cook over medium heat until the sauce boils and thickens, about 4-5 minutes. Add green chilies, jalapenos, and salt to taste. Cook another minute then remove from the heat. Stir in the sour cream. Spread about 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9x13" baking dish. Fill each tortilla with 1/3 cup of the chicken/white bean filling. Roll the tortillas and place seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Continue filling remainder of the tortillas. Pour the enchilada sauce over the top of the enchiladas. Top with cheese. Cover with aluminum and bake 20-30 minutes, until the enchiladas are hot and the cheese is melted. Remove from oven and top with fresh cilantro or scallions.



















Chicken and White Bean Stuffed Peppers

These flavorful stuffed peppers are high in fiber and very filling. Serve this with a side salad for a complete meal. This is a great way to use up leftover chicken. If you don't have any leftover chicken breast, my favorite way to make shredded chicken is in the crock pot. It's easy and the chicken literally falls apart. You can freeze the broth for future recipes. Here's the recipe. Also try my turkey and rice stuffed peppers, they are delicious!

Servings: 5 • Serving Size: 2 halves • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 303.7 • Fat: 5.9 g • Protein: 29.9 g • Carb: 34.9 g • Fiber: 6.5 g

    2 tsp olive oil
    1 onion, chopped
    4 cloves garlic, chopped
    1/2 half red bell pepper
    1/4 cup parsley (or cilantro)
    5 bell peppers (red or green)
    14 oz shredded cooked chicken breast
    1/2 tsp cumin
    adobo (or salt) to taste
    15.5 oz can white beans
    1/2 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar 

In a medium pan, heat oil on medium heat. Add chopped onions, garlic, parsley and red pepper. Sautι until soft, about a minute. Add chicken and season with cumin and adobo. Add beans and 1 to 1-1/2 cups of water and simmer for about 5-10 minutes, until it thickens and the liquid reduces. Adjust spices to taste. Preheat oven to 350°. Cut peppers in half removing seeds and stem. Place peppers in an oven-proof dish. Fill each pepper with 1/3 cup of chicken and bean mixture. Pour about 1/3 cup water or chicken broth on the bottom of the dish. Cover tight with foil. Bake 30 minutes at 350°. Remove foil, top with cheese and bake uncovered another 5 minutes.









Coconut Chicken Salad with Warm Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

Warm oven-fried coconut chicken over a bed of baby greens, cucumber, tomato, shredded carrots topped with a hot honey mustard vinaigrette. It's the perfect mix of salty and sweet, warm and cold. 

For the chicken I found the cornflake crumbs gave this a nice crispy texture, but unseasoned breadcrumbs would work just as well in their place. This would also be great with shrimp, enjoy!!

Servings: 3 • Serving Size: salad with 2 chicken tenders • Points: 8 pts • Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 397.6 • Fat: 11.0 g • Protein: 26.8 g • Carb: 32.5 g • Fiber: 4.4 g • Sugar: 10

    6 (about 12 oz) chicken tenderloins
    6 tbsp shredded coconut
    1/4 cup panko crumbs
    2 tbsp crushed cornflake crumbs
    1/3 cup egg substitute or egg whites
    pinch salt
    olive oil spray
    6 cups mixed baby greens
    3/4 cup shredded carrots
    1 large tomato, sliced
    1 small cucumber, sliced

Vinaigrette

    1 tbsp oil
    1 tbsp honey
    1 tbsp white vinegar (balsamic would work too)
    2 tsp Dijon mustard

Whisk all vinaigrette ingredients; set aside. Preheat oven to 375°. Combine coconut flakes, panko, cornflake crumbs and salt in a bowl. Put egg whites or egg beaters in another bowl. Lightly season chicken with salt. Dip the chicken in the egg, then in the coconut crumb mixture. Place chicken on a cookie sheet lined with parchment for easy cleanup. Lightly spray with olive oil spray and bake for 30 minutes turning halfway, or until chicken is cooked through. Place 2 cups baby greens on each plate. Divide carrots, cucumber, tomato evenly between each plate. When chicken is ready slice on the diagonal and place on top of greens. Heat dressing in the microwave a few seconds and divide equally between each salad; a little over 1 tbsp each.






































Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

All the flavors you love from buffalo wings without all the added fat.

Making shredded buffalo chicken in the slow cooker is super easy, anyone can do this and you can use the chicken for everything from wraps and salads, to pizza toppings, sandwiches and more! A great low-carb way I like to eat this is in a lettuce wrap topped with shredded carrots, celery and blue cheese dressing. I used my skinny blue cheese dressing (not included in n.i.) or if you're not a fan of blue cheese, you can use my skinny ranch.

Servings: 6 • Size: 1/2 cup chicken + veggies • Old Points: 3 pts • 
Points+: 3 pt
Calories: 147.7 • Fat: 0.1 g • Carb: 5.2 g • Fiber: 1.6 g • Protein: 24.9 g • Sugar: 1.7 g • Sodium: 879 mg

For the chicken:

    24 oz boneless skinless chicken breast
    1 celery stalk
    1/2 onion, diced
    1 clove garlic
    16 oz fat free low sodium chicken broth
    1/2 cup hot cayenne pepper sauce (I used Frank's)

For the wraps:

    6 large lettuce leaves, Bibb or Iceberg
    1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
    2 large celery stalks, cut into 2 inch matchsticks

In a crock pot, combine chicken, onions, celery stalk, garlic and broth (enough to cover your chicken, use water if the can of broth isn't enough). Cover and cook on high 4 hours. Remove the chicken from pot, reserve 1/2 cup broth and discard the rest. Shred the chicken with two forks, return to the slow cooker with the 1/2 cup broth and the hot sauce and set to on high for an additional 30 minutes. Makes 3 cups chicken. To prepare lettuce cups, place 1/2 cup buffalo chicken in each leaf, top with 1/4 cup shredded carrots, celery and dressing of your choice. Wrap up and start eating!



Crock Pot Chicken a la Criolla

Criolla (literally Creole) is a Spanish word widely used to describe Caribbean or Hispanic cuisine. In this simple yet flavorful dish, boneless skinless chicken thighs are stewed in the slow cooker with bell peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, olives, cilantro and spices. Served over rice, this is one tasty and inexpensive meal for 9 points plus!

As promised, I played around with my crock pot last night making this easy yet flavorful dish which requires no pre-cooking on the stove. In most cases, I think it's always best to brown the chicken, onions and garlic in a skillet before adding it to a slow cooker because it adds a depth of flavor you just don't get when you skip that step. That being said, for this dish I didn't think it was necessary because it has so many aromatics, herbs and spices that flavor is not lacking. Because slow cookers tend to mute the flavors from the long cooking times on low heat, you should always taste it at the end and adjust the spices and salt if needed. Also, adding extra fresh herbs at the end is always a must in my opinion.

Servings: 5 • Size: 2 thighs + vegetables & sauce • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 5 pts*
Calories: 211 • Fat: 6.2 g • Protein: 28.8 g • Carb: 9.9 g • Fiber: 1.9 g • Sugar: 2.1 g
Sodium: 447 mg (without salt)  

    10 (2 lbs) skinless boneless chicken thighs, fat trimmed
    1 small onion, diced
    1 garlic clove, crushed
    1 bell pepper, chopped or sliced
    4 plum tomatoes
    2 tbsp alcaparrado or pitted Spanish olives
    8 oz can tomato sauce
    1/4 tsp oregano
    1/4 tsp cumin
    salt to taste
    1-2 bay leaf
    1/4 cup chopped cilantro (plus 2 tbsp more for serving)

Place chicken, onion, garlic, pepper and tomatoes in the crock pot. Season with salt, cumin and oregano. Mix well so everything is seasoned. Add tomato sauce, alcaparrado (or olives) along with 1 tbsp of the brine, 1/2 cup water, bay leaf and cilantro. Mix well and set crock pot to HIGH 4 hours or LOW for 6 hours. When done, taste for salt and seasoning and adjust spices as needed. Add 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro and serve over rice.

*Serve over 3/4 cup white or brown cooked rice for a satisfying 9 points plus meal.





































Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore

The sweet aroma of bell peppers simmering slowly all day long with onions and chicken in crushed tomatoes will make you a very happy person when you get home from work. Serve this over your favorite pasta, rice or polenta and enjoy!

Cacciatore means "hunter" in Italian, often the chicken is dusted with flour and fried in oil before simmering in tomatoes with onions and peppers. This skinny version removes the skin and skips the deep frying, but you won't miss it.

When using your crock pot, I always recommend browning the meat and vegetables first for deeper flavors and a thicker sauce because liquids don't evaporate in the slow cooker.

But for those of you who don't want to dirty a pan, or don't have that extra time to brown first I tested this out using the quick method of dumping it all in the slow cookers.

Verdict: The sauce wasn't as thick as I would have liked, so my easy fix: I set the crock pot to high with the cover off for one additional hour to let it simmer and thicken and that worked fine. Perhaps adding a little flour would also help I thicken. If you want to add mushrooms to the sauce, this would also be a great time to do so.

For the stove top version, see Chicken Cacciatore. Cooking on the stove differs from the crock pot, liquids evaporate quickly on the stove where as in the slow cooker nothing evaporates. When you add all the elements to your crock, you may be tempted to add broth but don't. There will be plenty of liquid once it starts cooking. Also, flavors tend to get muted in the slow cooker, so I always adjust my herbs and seasoning in the end to get it where I want it.

Servings: 8 • Size: 1 thigh, 1/2 cup sauce, veggies • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts*
Calories: 126.2 • Fat: 2.8 g • Protein: 13.9 g • Carb: 9.2 g • Fiber: 0.6 g • Sugar: 4.1 g • Sodium: 271.6 mg  (without salt)

    8 chicken thighs, with the bone, skin removed
    28 oz can crushed tomatoes (Tuttorosso my favorite!)
    1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
    1/2 green bell pepper, sliced into strips
    1/2 large onion, sliced
    1 tsp dried oregano 
    1 bay leaf
    salt and fresh pepper to taste
    1/4 cup fresh herbs such as basil or parsley for topping

Quick method: Season chicken with salt and black pepper and place in the slow cooker. Pour tomatoes over the chicken, top with onions and peppers, add oregano, bay leaf, salt and pepper, give it a quick stir and cover. Set crock pot to LOW 8 hours or HIGH 4 hours. When the timer beeps, remove lid and keep the crock pot on HIGH one hour to help it thicken.

Better method but requires more prep:  Heat a large skillet over medium-high, lightly spray with oil (I use my Misto) and brown chicken on both sides a few minutes, season with salt and pepper. Add to the slow cooker. To the skillet, spray with a little more oil and add onions and peppers. Sautι until juices release and the vegetables become golden, a few minutes.

Add to the slow cooker. Pour tomatoes over the chicken and vegetables, add oregano, bay leaf, salt and pepper, give it a quick stir and cover. Set crock pot to LOW 8 hours or HIGH 4 hours.

Remove bay leaf, adjust salt and pepper and enjoy!

* Pasta not included in nutritional info.

















Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup

Everything I love about chicken enchiladas... in a bowl! I love turning classic meals into soups lately, it's an easy way to make a meal and it doesn't require dirtying too many pots.

A few hours later this delicious bowl of soup emerged which I topped with cheese, scallions, cilantro and a dollop of fat free sour cream. I served it with avocado on the side. This was very tasty, filling and had just the right amount of kick! Add more or less chipotle to your taste.

I've labeled this as freezer friendly, whether you want to make your meals ahead to freeze for the month, or save your leftovers for lunch. To reheat you can microwave or reheat over the stove

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups + cheese • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 7 pts
Calories: 260.9 • Fat: 6.6 g • Protein: 25.4 g • Carb: 29.9 g • Fiber: 6.7 g • Sugar: 4.1 g • Sodium: 572 mg (without salt) 

    2 tsp olive oil
    1/2 cup onion, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    3 cups low sodium fat-free chicken broth
    8 oz can tomato sauce
    1-2 tsp chipotle chili in adobo sauce (or more to taste)
    1/4 cup chopped cilantro (plus more for garnish)
     15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
    14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes
    2 cups frozen corn
    1 tsp cumin
    1/2 tsp dried oregano
    2 8 oz skinless chicken breasts (16 oz total)
    1/4 cup chopped scallions, for topping
    3/4 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
    fat free sour cream (optional)

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic and sautι until soft, 3-4 minutes. Slowly add the chicken broth, tomato sauce and chipotle adobo sauce and bring to a boil. Add cilantro and remove from heat. Pour into crock pot. To the Crockpot, add drained beans, diced tomatoes, corn, cumin, oregano and stir. Add the chicken breasts; cover and cook on low heat for 4-6 hours.

Remove chicken and shred with two forks. Add chicken back into the soup, adjust salt and cumin to taste. Serve in bowls and top with fat free sour cream, cheese, scallions and cilantro. You can also top with avocado or crushed tortilla chips. Enjoy





































Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili

There is nothing like a lazy Sunday when you have a meal cooking all day in the crock pot and the aroma of food is in the air, or coming home from work on a weeknight and having dinner ready when you get home. I love my slow cooker and this chicken chili is a delicious, low point, high fiber meal. It's so easy to make and it is great over rice, with multi-grain chips, topped with low fat cheddar cheese or low fat sour cream. This makes a lot and it is even better the next day for lunch!

Servings: 10 • Size: 1 1/4 cups • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 203.7 • Fat: 1.4 g • Carb: 33.3 g • Fiber: 10.0 g  • Protein: 16.9 g

    1 onion, chopped
    1 16-oz can black beans
    1 16-oz can kidney beans
    1 8-oz can tomato sauce
    10 oz package frozen corn kernels
    2 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes w/chilies
    1 packet taco seasoning
    1 tbsp cumin
    1 tbsp chili powder
    24 oz (3-4) boneless skinless chicken breasts
    chili peppers, chopped (optional)
    1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Combine beans, onion, chili peppers, corn, tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder and taco seasoning in a slow cooker. Place chicken on top and cover. Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours. Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in. Top with fresh cilantro. Also try it with low fat cheese and sour cream (extra points).











Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

Slow cooked shredded chicken with corn, tomatoes and black beans. Prep this the night before and turn your crock pot on in the morning for an easy weeknight meal.

Serve over rice or in a bowl with nachos on the side, and don't forget the toppings. Chopped scallions, fresh cilantro, fat free yogurt or sour cream and reduced fat cheddar are my favorites.

Servings: 8 servings • Size: 1 cup • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 190 • Fat: 1.5 g • Fiber: 5.6 g • Carbs: 23.1 g • Protein: 21 g

    24 oz (1 1/2) lbs chicken breast
    14.4 oz can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
    15 oz can black beans
    8 oz frozen corn
    1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    14.4 oz can fat free chicken broth



    3 scallions, chopped
    1 tsp garlic powder
    1 tsp onion powder
    1 tsp cumin
    1 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
    salt to taste

Combine chicken broth, beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt in the crock pot. Season chicken breast with salt and lay on top.  Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours. Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in. Adjust salt and seasoning to taste. Serve over rice or tortillas and your favorite toppings.










Filipino Adobo Chicken

In the Philippines, adobo refers to the process of stewing chicken or pork in vinegar and a soy based sauce with lots of garlic. As this simmers, your kitchen will be filled with an intoxicating sweet and sour aroma that will leave you anxious to eat.

I served this over brown basmati rice which made this a complete meal. It's recommended marinating this overnight but if you're pressed for time, at least one hour before cooking. I always use dark meat when making stew; legs and thighs both work well.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 2 drumsticks • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 174.8 • Fat: 4.3 g • Protein: 27.2 g • Carb: 5.0 g • Fiber: 0.5 g 

    8 chicken legs on the bone (skin removed)
    1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
    1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
    1 small head of garlic, crushed
    6 ground peppercorns
    4 bay leaves
    1 jalapeρo, chopped (optional)

Marinate chicken in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, jalapeρo and pepper, for at least an hour (overnight is ideal).  

Add chicken, 1/2 cup water, bay leaves and marinade into a deep nonstick skillet and cook on medium-low heat. Cover and cook until the meat is tender, about 45 minutes. Remove the cover and cook an additional 15 minutes, until the sauce reduces. Discard bay leaves and serve over rice.












Filipino BBQ Pork Skewers

If you want to make a delicious recipe at your next BBQ that will wow everyone, this is it. I have tried this marinade on beef, pork and chicken and it's great on everything.

Servings: about 16 skewers • Serving Size: 4 oz • Points: 4 pts

    2.5 lb pork country style ribs, all fat trimmed, cut into 1" x 1" cubes

For the marinade:

    6 oz 7-up
    1/2 cup soy sauce
    1/2 cup white vinegar
    1 lemon, juice of
    1/3 cup brown sugar
    6 cloves garlic, crushed
    1 tsp black pepper
    crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Mix all ingredients in a large non-reactive bowl and marinate the meat overnight. If using wooden skewers, soak in water at least an hour so they don't burn on the grill. Thread the meat onto skewers and grill. Discard unused marinade. Enjoy!!

















Five Spice Roasted Chicken Legs

Oven roasted chicken legs take on exotic Asian flavors by the addition of a little Chinese five-spice. An easy weeknight dish, the chicken is marinated in soy sauce, ginger, shallots, garlic and Chinese five-spice then roasted in the oven. Serve this with jasmine rice or brown fried rice and a vegetable for a complete meal.

I chose to use whole legs with thighs and drumsticks attached as opposed to using a whole chicken, because I find it easier to serve but you can make this with a whole chicken, thighs, legs, breasts... whatever you prefer! The sodium is hard to calculate because half of the marinade gets tossed so keep that in mind.

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: drumstick + thigh • Old Points: 7 pts • 
Points+: 7 pts
Calories: 295.3 • Fat: 8.7 g • Carb: 5.3 g • Fiber: 0.2 g • Protein: 46.5 g • Sugar: 2.7g • Sodium: 550 mg (actually less since most marinade is tossed)

For the marinade:

    6 cloves of garlic
    1 large shallot
    1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
    1 tbsp agave (or sugar)
    1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce (tamari for gluten free)
    1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
    freshly ground black pepper 
    3 lbs (6) chicken legs (thighs and legs attached), fat trimmed

In a blender combine the marinade ingredients; blend until smooth. Place the chicken in a large, re-sealable zip-top bag or container and pour in the marinade. 

Toss the chicken inside the bag to cover evenly with the marinade and refrigerate for 6-8 hours or as long as overnight. 

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place the chicken on a rack in a foil lined roasting pan. Create a loose tent over the chicken with foil.

Roast the chicken in the center of the oven 30 minutes; remove foil and continue to cook, basting occasionally until the internal temperature is 165°-170°F, about 45 minutes longer (Insert thermometer between the leg and the thigh).









































Grilled Chicken Bruschetta

Juicy tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, red onion, garlic and balsamic can turn plain grilled chicken into a delicious weeknight meal in minutes! Make the Bruschetta the night before or early in the morning and let all the flavors marinate, then when you are ready to eat grill some chicken and you have yourself a quick weeknight meal.

Bruschetta is usually served over bread but there really are no limits, you can serve it over pizza, tossed with pasta or wherever your imagination leads you. To quote my husband, "You could serve this over cardboard and it would be good!" We made this a light and simple, low carb, gluten-free dinner and served as pictured, but if you want the carbs this would also be great over whole wheat pasta or even served with some crusty bread to soak up the juice.

A few things I want to mention, recipes that only require a few ingredients really benefit from the quality of the ingredients you use. Use a good extra virgin olive oil, fresh basil and high-quality aged balsamic; it makes all the difference! I've been using imported balsamic vinegar these past few weeks which is absolutely delicious.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 4 oz chicken + tomatoes •  Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 6
Calories: 236.8 • Fat: 8.5 g • Protein: 32.4 g • Carb: 6.8 g • Fiber: 1.3 g • Sugar: 0.5 g • Sodium: 182.9 mg (without the salt)

    3 medium vine ripe tomatoes
    2 small cloves garlic, minced
    1/4 cup chopped red onion
    2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped
    1 tbsp extra virgin oil
    1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
    3 oz part skim mozzarella, diced
    1.25 lbs (8 thin sliced) chicken cutlets

Combine onion, olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. Set aside a few minutes. Chop tomatoes and place in a large bowl. Combine with garlic, basil, onion-balsamic combo and additional salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and let it sit at least 10 minutes or as long as overnight. Toss in the cheese when ready to serve.

Season chicken with salt and fresh pepper. Grill the chicken cutlets on your indoor or outdoor grill, top with Bruschetta and serve.








































Grilled Chicken and Spinach Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Chicken marinated with lemon, garlic and oregano, then grilled to perfection. Served over a colorful salad with a white balsamic vinaigrette, does it get better than that?

Trust me, you'll never make grilled chicken any other way. This is my favorite marinade for grilled chicken, the longer it marinates the better.  You can even freeze the chicken in the marinade when you first buy it, then let it thaw in the refrigerator the day before you are ready to use it.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1/4th • Old Points: 4 pt • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 183.1 • Fat: 8.1 g • Protein: 17.5 g • Carb: 11.7 g • Fiber: 3 g • Sugar: 1.7 g •  Sodium: 101.7 mg (without salt)

    4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (3 oz each)
    7 oz bag baby spinach
    few thin slices of red onion
    1/2 sweet red bell pepper, sliced into strips
    1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes sliced in half
    1 carrot, sliced into ribbons

For the Marinade:

    2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
    1 tsp dried oregano
    1 tsp garlic, crushed
    kosher salt to taste
    fresh ground black pepper to taste

For the White Balsamic Vinaigrette:

    1/4 cup basil leaves
    3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
    2 tbsp chopped shallots
    1 tbsp water
    2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the marinade ingredients - lemon juice, oregano, garlic puree, salt and black pepper and pour over chicken, let it marinade in the refrigerator a minimum of two hours, but preferably 4-6 hours or longer. Place all the vinaigrette ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside. Preheat an indoor or outdoor grill to medium-high, make sure your grates are clean and lightly oiled to prevent sticking. When the grill is hot, lay the chicken on the grill. Cook the chicken until well browned on both sides and firm, but not hard to the touch. Transfer to a plate when done.

Divide spinach, onions, carrots, tomatoes and peppers on 4 plates. Top with the chicken and drizzle with balsamic dressing over each.

































Grilled Chicken with Spinach and Melted Mozzarella

Grilled chicken doesn't have to be boring, top it with sautιed spinach with garlic, mozzarella cheese and roasted peppers and you have a quick and easy chicken dish your family will love! This is perfect for any busy weeknight; serve with pasta or a simple salad for a low carb meal. On hot days, no need to turn your oven on, you can do this all on the gas grill, put the chicken back in the bbq with indirect heat until the cheese melts. I used homemade roasted peppers for this but jarred peppers would work perfectly fine. This makes great leftovers for lunch the next day!

Servings: 6 • S Size: 1 cutlet, spinach, cheese • Old Points: 4 pts • 
Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 153.3 • Fat: 4.2 g • Protein: 24.5 g • Carb: 4.0 g • Fiber: 1.3 g • Sugar: .7 g

    21 oz (3 large) chicken breasts sliced in half lengthwise to make 6 cutlets
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 tsp olive oil
    3 cloves garlic, crushed
    10 oz frozen spinach, drained
    3 oz shredded part skim mozzarella
    1/2 cup roasted red pepper, sliced in strips (packed in water)
    olive oil spray

Preheat oven to 400°. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Lightly spray a grill with oil (I used my George Forman) or grill outside on a gas grill. Cook chicken on the grill until no longer pink, careful not to overcook or you'll have dry chicken.

Meanwhile, heat a sautι pan on medium heat. Add oil and garlic, sautι a few seconds, add spinach, salt and pepper. Cook a few minutes until heated through.

When chicken is done, lay on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment for easy clean-up. Divide spinach evenly between the 6 pieces and place on top. Top each with half oz mozzarella, then slices of roasted pepper and bake until melted, about 6-8 minutes.


Healthy Baked Chicken Nuggets

hunks of all white meat chicken breasts coated in breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese then baked until golden. An easy chicken recipe your whole family will love. What can be more kid friendly than chicken nuggets, even the pickiest kids like them. Serve them with ketchup, bbq sauce or whatever you like to dip your nuggets into. Adults can serve them over your favorite salad for a satisfying lunch.  Kids love finger foods or anything you can eat with toothpicks. Give it a try, your kids will be so excited!

Once I'm in breading mode I usually make breaded zucchini sticks as well and bake them all at the same time along with some pasta and a salad for a complete meal. Double these for more or make half for less servings.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1/4th of nuggets • Old Points: 4 pts • 
Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 164.9 • Fat: 4.6 g • Protein: 22.1 g • Carb: 7.7 g • Fiber: 0.9 g • Sugar: 0.1 g

    16 oz (2 large) skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into even bit sized pieces
    salt and pepper to taste
    2 tsp olive oil
    6 tbsp whole wheat Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
    2 tbsp panko
    2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
    olive oil spray (I used my Misto)

Preheat oven to 425°. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray. Put the olive oil in one bowl and the breadcrumbs, panko and parmesan cheese in another.

Season chicken with salt and pepper, then put in the bowl with the olive oil and mix well so the olive oil evenly coats all of the chicken.

Put a few chunks of chicken at a time into the breadcrumb mixture to coat, then on the baking sheet. Lightly spray the top with olive oil spray then bake 8 - 10 minutes. Turnover then cook another 4 - 5 minutes or until cooked though.



Homemade Chicken Broth From Your Crock Pot

What's better than coming home to homemade chicken stock and cleaning out your refrigerator at the same time. Simply throw all the ingredients into the crock pot the night before, turn it on in the morning and come home to a splendid stock. Save the chicken for recipes where shredded chicken is needed or use it in your soup. Lots of people ask me for my chicken soup recipe but honestly, that depends on what's in my fridge. Here's an easy recipe for chicken stock. You can also use giblets, leftover chicken bones, wing tips or chicken backs.

Servings: Varies • Serving Size: 1 cup • Old Points: 0 pts • Points+: 0 pts

    3 chicken breast halves
    1 onion, quartered
    1 tomato, quartered
    1 cup carrots
    2 celery stalks
    2 cloves garlic
    2-3 sprigs thyme
    3 bay leaves
    fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley (I used cilantro)
    whole peppercorns
    kosher salt

Place all ingredients into crock pot and fill with water. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. When it's done, throw out all the vegetables, strain the liquid and remove the chicken for other recipes, like chicken salad, or anything that calls for shredded chicken.

If you're not using the stock right away you can store it in containers and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for several months. When the stock is chilled, the fat will rise to the top and harden and you can easily remove it.

To make this on the stove, place all ingredients in a large pot, cover and simmer low for several hours.




Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken

A fabulously spicy chicken dish made light with skinless chicken legs and thighs, simmered in a pot with light coconut milk, scallions, onions, tomatoes, garlic, thyme and one very hot scotch bonnet pepper. I served this with Jamaican rice and beans, and a simple tomato avocado salad, and boy was this delicious!

I just love the tropical flavors in Jamaican cuisine, it's similar to Latin cuisine only a whole lot hotter! The scotch bonnet pepper is commonly used in Jamaican cuisine, but I warn you, it's spicy!! This small little pepper packs a whole lot more heat than a jalapeρo so a little goes a long way. I like spicy foods, but I personally can only tolerate using 1/2 pepper for my taste and wearing gloves when handling the pepper is a must. If you like really spicy food, then add the whole pepper and please, keep them away from the kids and pets!!

I'm a dark meat lover so I chose the legs and thighs, but you can use a whole chicken cut up, or just the breast if you prefer white meat. I recommend using chicken on the bone, because bones give stews flavor and although it would still work with boneless chicken, it won't be as good. Enjoy!!

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 1 thigh and drumstick • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 6 pts Calories: 235 • Fat: 9.3 g • Protein: 27.6 g • Carb: 8.5 g • Fiber: 1.6 g • Sugar: 1.1  •  Sodium: 371.5 mg

    6 bone-in chicken legs with thighs attached, skin removed (6 thighs, 6 drumsticks)
    1 lime or 1/4 cup lime juice
    1 large tomato, chopped
    4 medium scallions, chopped
    1 large onion, chopped
    2 garlic cloves, chopped
    1/2 - 1 hot scotch bonnet pepper, seeds + membrane removed, chopped
    4 sprigs fresh thyme or 2 tsp dried thyme
    2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce (for gluten free use GF Tamari)
    1 tsp coconut oil (canola would be fine too)
    1 medium carrot, chopped finely
    2 tsp cornstarch
    1 1/2 cups unsweetened light coconut milk (I like Thai Kitchen)
    1/4 tsp kosher salt

Squeeze lime over chicken and rub well. Drain off excess lime juice. Using gloves combine tomato, scallion, onion, garlic, scotch bonnet pepper, thyme and soy sauce in a large bowl and add to the chicken. Cover and marinate at least one hour. Heat oil in a Dutch pot or large saucepan. Shake off the seasonings as you remove each piece of chicken from the marinade, reserving the marinade for later. Lightly brown the chicken on medium-high heat. When browned on all sides, pour the marinade over the chicken and add the carrots. Stir and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Mix cornstarch and coconut milk and add to stew, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and cook an additional 20 minutes or until tender, add salt to taste.































Grilled Chicken and Spinach Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Chicken marinated with lemon, garlic and oregano, then grilled to perfection. Served over a colorful salad with a white balsamic vinaigrette, does it get better than that? And trust me, you'll never make grilled chicken any other way. This is my favorite marinade for grilled chicken, the longer it marinates the better. You can even freeze the chicken in the marinade when you first buy it, then let it thaw in the refrigerator the day before you are ready to use it. Hope you enjoy!

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1/4th • Old Points: 4 pt • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 183.1 • Fat: 8.1 g • Protein: 17.5 g • Carb: 11.7 g • Fiber: 3 g • Sugar: 1.7 g  • Sodium: 101.7 mg (without salt)

    4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (3 oz each)
    7 oz bag baby spinach
    few thin slices of red onion
    1/2 sweet red bell pepper, sliced into strips
    1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes sliced in half
    1 carrot, sliced into ribbons

For the Marinade:

    2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
    1 tsp dried oregano
    1 tsp garlic, crushed
    kosher salt to taste
    fresh ground black pepper to taste

For the White Balsamic Vinaigrette:

    1/4 cup basil leaves
    3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
    2 tbsp chopped shallots
    1 tbsp water
    2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper




Combine the marinade ingredients - lemon juice, oregano, garlic puree, salt and black pepper and pour over chicken, let it marinade in the refrigerator a minimum of two hours, but preferably 4-6 hours or longer. Place all the vinaigrette ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside. Preheat an indoor or outdoor grill to medium-high, make sure your grates are clean and lightly oiled to prevent sticking. When the grill is hot, lay the chicken on the grill. Cook the chicken until well browned on both sides and firm, but not hard to the touch. Transfer to a plate when done.

Divide spinach, onions, carrots, tomatoes and peppers on 4 plates. Top with the chicken and drizzle with balsamic dressing over each.


































Lemon Feta Chicken with Oregano

Mediterranean ingredients such as lemon, oregano and feta cheese makes your everyday chicken dinner spectacular. The cheese forms a nice crust on top when broiled, you won't even miss the skin! Serve this with a big green salad and a simple side dish like orzo with broccoli.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 2 thighs • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 203.8 • Fat: 8.2 g • Protein: 29.1 g • Carb: 2.2 g • Fiber: 0.5 g

    8 skinless chicken thighs
    juice of 1 lemon
    2 tsp garlic powder
    3 tsp oregano
    salt and fresh ground pepper
    1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 375°. Trim all fat off chicken. Season chicken with salt, pepper, oregano, and lemon juice. Place in a roasting pan and bake for about 35 - 40 minutes. When chicken is cooked, remove from the oven and sprinkle with feta.

Broil on low for about 2-3 minutes, until cheese is golden brown (careful not to burn).


















Lighter Chicken Salad

I always make my chicken salad from scratch by cooking the chicken breast in chicken broth and I usually add some onion, parsley and celery to the broth to give the chicken a lot of flavor. Using light mayonnaise and some of the broth keeps the chicken salad moist without the added fat.

Servings: 3 • Serving Size: 1/3 • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 169.4 • Fat: 5.3 g • Protein: 25.4 g • Carb: 4.1 g • Fiber: 1.0 g • Sugar: 0.0 g  • Sodium: 664.6 mg

    2 pieces boneless chicken breasts
    1 chicken bullion
    1/4 onion, chopped
    2 tbsp parsley chopped
    2 celery stalks, finely chopped
    3 tbsp Hellmann's Light Mayonnaise

In a medium sauce pan, place chicken, half the celery, half the onion, parsley and cover with water. Add bullion and cook on medium flame, covered for about 15-20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Once cooked, remove chicken and let cool. Reserve chicken broth.

Cut chicken into small pieces and place in a bowl. Add onions, celery and mayonnaise, 1/8 cup reserved chicken broth and mix well. If looks dry add 1/8 cup more. Serve on a bed of lettuce, in a lettuce wrap or on your favorite bread.















Lighter Chicken Saltimbocca

Chicken breast stuffed with prosciutto and sage in a light wine sauce.

I get this dish all the time from my favorite Italian restaurant, but theirs is loaded with butter (butter makes everything taste so good!). The challenge of making this without all the fat yet keeping the chicken moist took me a few attempts. Last attempt was perfection! Rich and decadent, you would never think "light" when eating this. This dish is restaurant quality, and only 3 points per piece! For the olive oil spray I always use my Misto, which lets me use the oil of my choice, but you can purchase readymade. The prosciutto is salty so this really doesn't require salt. Serve it over your favorite wilted greens.

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 1 piece • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 155.2 • Fat: 4.3 g • Protein: 21.7 g • Carb: 4.5 g • Fiber: 0.2 g 

    3 (8 oz) chicken cutlet halves (24 oz total) , fat removed
    3 (1.5 oz) slices paper thin prosciutto, cut in half
    6 sage leaves
    1/4 cup flour
    olive oil spray
    1 tbsp butter
    salt and fresh pepper
    3/4 cup fat free chicken broth
    1/4 cup white wine

Cut each breast into two cutlets to make a total of 6. Pound each one to about 1/4". Season chicken with pepper. Lay a sage leaf on top, then a 1/2 slice of prosciutto, fold over and lightly pound ends of chicken to seal. Place flour in a shallow bowl and lightly dredge chicken in flour, shaking off excess. Heat a nonstick frying pan. When hot, spray olive oil. Sautι chicken 1 minute on each side. You may have to do this in a few batches. 
Remove chicken from pan and deglaze the pan with wine, scraping up any brown bits. Add chicken broth, butter and return chicken to the sauce. Finish cooking on low, 5 minutes. Serve this over a bed of wilted greens and top with sauce.





Skinny Chicken Enchiladas

If you're an enchilada lover like me, you will love these!! Enchiladas are always my dish of choice when I go out for Mexican and this recipe is as good as any recipe you'll find in a restaurant (if not better) without all the fat!

If you're new to my site and seeing this for the first time, you are in for a treat! If you are a regular on my site, you're probably wondering why this is posted as new. I like to serve these with yellow rice, re-fried beans and a little fat free sour cream topped with chopped scallions and cilantro. Leftovers are great the next day too!

Look for whole wheat, low carb such as La Tortilla Factory, or Mission Low Carb Whole Wheat Tortillas.

Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1 enchilada • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 159.5 • Fat: 5.9 g • Protein: 16.2 g • Carb: 17.8 g • Fiber: 8.3 g  

For the sauce:

    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1-2 tbsp chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
    1-1/2 cups tomato sauce
    1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
    1/2 tsp ground cumin
    3/4 cup fat free chicken broth
    kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste

For the chicken:

    1 tsp vegetable oil
    8.5 oz (2 breast halves) cooked shredded chicken breast
    1 cup diced onion
    2 large clove garlic, minced
    1/4 cup cilantro
    kosher salt
    1 tsp cumin
    1/2 tsp dried oregano
    1 tsp chipotle chili powder
    1/3 cup chicken broth
    1/2 cup tomato sauce
    8 (7-inch) reduced carb whole wheat flour tortillas (la tortilla factory)
    1 cup shredded low fat Mexican cheese
    non-stick cooking spray
    1/2 cup chopped scallions or cilantro for topping

In a medium saucepan, spray oil and sautι garlic. Add chipotle chilies, chili powder, cumin, chicken broth, tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Set aside until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat the vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sautι onions and garlic on low until soft, about 2 minutes. Add chicken, salt, cilantro, cumin, oregano, chili powder, tomato sauce, chicken broth, and cook 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Spray a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish with non-stick spray. Put 1/3 cup chicken mixture into each tortilla and roll it.

Place on baking dish seam side down, top with sauce.

Then top with cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven on the middle rack for 20-25 minutes. Top with low fat sour cream or scallions if you wish. (Extra points) Makes 8 enchiladas.
















Skinny Chicken Tikka Masala

Tender chunks of boneless chicken breast cooked in an aromatic creamy tomato sauce. Chicken tikka masala, probably the most popular dish on the menu of any Indian restaurant here in the states, but ironically this dish is claimed to be originally from Britain and is actually Britain's national dish.

I've attempted a skinny version of this dish many times without all the cream and ghee (clarified butter) yet never felt quite satisfied with the results. I almost gave up figuring this is probably just one of those dishes that does not lighten up well, after all it's also known as Butter Chicken!

There is no standard recipe for chicken tikka masala; a survey found that of 48 different recipes, the only common ingredient was the chicken so I am sure we all have different ideas of what it should taste like. I gave it another shot using fat free yogurt and low fat milk in place of the cream and we felt for a lightened up version it was pretty darn good and not too complicated, my kind of recipe! I served this over a basmati medley but this would also be wonderful with naan.

Servings: 4 • Size: 3 oz chicken + sauce • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 190.4 • Fat: 4.5 g • Carb: 12.8 g • Fiber: 2.0 g • Protein: 24.5 g • Sugar: 5.1  •Sodium: 99.3 (without salt)

    2 tsp canola oil or you could use butter
    1 small onion, minced
    1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
    3 cloves garlic, crushed
    1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
    4 oz fat free yogurt (I used Chobani)
    1/2 cup 1% milk
    1 tbsp cumin
    1 tbsp garam masala
    1 tsp turmeric (optional)
    1/2 tbsp chili powder
    salt to taste
    16 oz (2 boneless) chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
    4 tbsp fresh cilantro (or to taste)

Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until golden. Add the crushed ginger, stir for a few minutes then add the garlic and cook another minute. Add cumin, garam masala, turmeric, chili powder, and salt; mix well until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, yogurt and milk. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Add chicken and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes or until cooked through. Add a generous amount of chopped cilantro and serve with Basmati Rice or Naan.






































Spanish Chicken and Rice

Chicken and rice, otherwise known as arroz con pollo is a delicious one pot meal the whole family will love. Arroz con pollo can be made so many different ways and also varies from country to country. In fact, I don't use a recipe when I make this, I just use whatever I have on hand so it may never turn out the same twice. I hope you enjoy it!

Some of my Latin recipes you'll see "sazon" listed in the ingredients. I buy Badia's sazon because it has no MSG but you can make it yourself if it's not available near you. Sazon basically means seasoning in Spanish; it typically includes salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder, dried ground coriander seed, cumin, ground oregano and ground achiote (annatto) seeds. The achiote (annatto) is what gives the sazon the reddish color and makes the rice yellow. You could sub paprika for the achiote, if this isn't available to you. Some varieties contain azafrαn (saffron), a pinch is all you'll need if you want to add it. When you make your own, a good ratio is one tbsp of each spice. Mix well and store it someplace dry. When a recipe calls for a packet, simply use 1 1/2 tsp in place of the sazon. Best part, no msg.

It's perfectly fine to use the chicken on the bone, and yes, you can use white meat if you prefer however, I personally find white meat too dry in this dish for my taste. I love this served with a little hot sauce on top and a simple salad on the side. If you would like to try my version which is made slightly different, and has no beer, click on Arroz Con Pollo, Lightened Up or make them both and let me know which you like best!

Servings: 8 • Size: about 1 1/2 cups • Old Points: 7 pts • Points+: 9 pts
Calories: 319 • Fat: 5.2 g • Carb: 46.3 g • Fiber: 1.7 g • Protein: 18.3 g • Sugar: 0.4 g • Sodium: 844 mg

    8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, chopped
    1 cup chopped onion
    1 medium bell pepper
    2 cloves garlic
    2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
    1 tbsp olive oil
    3 3/4 cups water
    3/4 cups light beer
    2 oz tomato sauce
    1 chicken bouillon cube
    1 packet Badia sazon (or make your own, see above)
    6 oz frozen mixed vegetables
    2 tbsp (30 g) alcaparrado (or pitted green olives, capers and pimentos)
    2 1/4 cups uncooked long grain white rice
    2 tsp kosher salt

Place onion, bell pepper, garlic, and cilantro in a chopper or food processor to chop fine. In a large heavy pot with a good fitting lid such as a Dutch oven; heat 1 tsp of oil over medium heat. Season chicken pieces with salt and sautι until browned, about 5-7 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside.

Heat remaining oil in skillet, then add onions, peppers, garlic and cilantro. Sautι, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add water, beer, tomato sauce, chicken bouillon, sazon, chicken and salt. Cook 10-12 minutes on medium heat.

Add frozen mixed vegetables, alcaparrado (or pimientos) with a little of the brine (liquid) from the olive jar, and rice. Stir and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until water boils down and barely skims the top. Once the water level reaches the top of the rice, cover with a tight fitting lid so no steam escapes and cook 25-30 minutes. (Tip: if your lid doesn't have a good tight fit, place a paper towel over the pot then cover as pictured below)

Shut heat off and let the pot sit with the cover on an additional 10 minutes. Remove lid and fluff with a fork.

Makes about 12 1/2 cups.















Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

Broccoli rabe and Italian chicken sausage are tossed with orecchiette (otherwise known as little ears because of their shape) and a whole lot of garlic! This lightened up version will not disappoint!!

Pasta with sausage and broccoli rabe is one of my favorite Italian pasta dishes. The combination of the broccoli rabe with the garlic, red pepper flakes, Parmigiano Reggiano and sausage makes my taste buds do the happy dance!! If you've never had it, step out of your comfort zone and give it a try.

Broccoli rabe otherwise known as rapini has a slightly bitter taste, but the bitterness mellows when you blanch it for just under two minutes. The photos really didn't do this dish justice, we were so hungry and the lighting was poor, that I rushed through the photos and we had no leftovers. Even my picky kids, one year old and teenager both loved this. You can use any pasta shape you like, low carb or whole wheat would also be great.

They key to this dish is finding a great tasting chicken sausage. I recommend trying a few brands, not all are equal in taste and the lean factor. I found an incredibly delicious chicken sausage with broccoli rabe at my local Organic market, Wild By Nature. The flavor is outstanding, but I have had great results from Italian markets as well.

I understand there will soon be a new law requiring the meat section of your supermarket to carry a nutritional label, personally I can't wait! I had no nutritional info on this sausage, so I used the nutritional info for Isernio Italian Chicken Sausage to calculate.

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 7 pts
Calories: 289.4 • Fat: 5.3 g • Protein: 21 g • Carb: 38.7 g • Fiber: 3.7 g • Sugar: 1 g

    1 large bunch broccoli rabe, washed and 2" trimmed off stems
    1 lb lean chicken sausage, removed from casing
    1 tsp olive oil
    5-6 cloves garlic, chopped
    10 oz orecchiette
    1 cup low sodium fat free chicken broth
    1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
    crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Cut broccoli rabe in quarters. Bring a large pot of water to boil. When it comes to a rolling boil, add broccoli rabe. Blanch for about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes, drain and set aside in a colander. Re-fill pot with water and salt for the pasta and bring back to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions for al dente.

In a large deep sautι pan, brown sausage on medium heat, breaking up into small pieces as it cooks. When completely cooked through set aside in a dish or a bowl.

Increase heat to medium high, add olive oil to the pan; when hot add garlic and cook until golden (don't burn). 

Return broccoli rabe to the pan, mix well with the garlic and oil, season with salt and pepper and cook about a minute.  

Return cooked sausage to the pan and mix well.

Drain pasta and add to the broccoli rabe. Reduce heat and stir for about 30 seconds. Add chicken broth, parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes if using. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and toss another 30 seconds so that everything is mixed well and the pasta is coated with the sauce. Remove from heat and add to a large pasta dish or divide equally between 6 pasta bowls. Serve with additional grated cheese if you desire.
















Oven Fried Chicken

This "fried" chicken is moist and crispy and loaded with flavor, yet won't leave you feeling guilty after you eat it. Putting the chicken pieces on a rack above foiled baking sheets is key to getting the chicken crispy. If you're looking to eat healthy yet not sacrifice flavor, make this recipe, your family will love you for it!

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 1 drumstick • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 170.7 • Fat: 6.6 g • Protein: 14.5 g • Carb: 14.7 g • Fiber: 3.1 g  

    6 medium bone-in skinless drumsticks
    2 1/2 cups bran flakes
    3 tsp kosher salt, less if you are using regular salt
    1/2 tsp garlic powder
    1/2 tsp paprika
    1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
    1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
    5 tbsp Hellman's light mayonnaise
    1 tsp Dijon mustard
    Oil spray

Preheat oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with foil and set a rack above. Spray rack with oil. 

Crush cereal in a food processor or chopper. In a bowl mix crushed cereal with salt, paprika, garlic powder, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Place in a shallow dish or zip lock bag. 

Combine mayonnaise and Dijon mustard. Using a cooking brush, brush onto chicken then coat chicken with crushed cereal mixture. Place chicken on wire rack and spray with oil. Bake 35-40 minutes.










Pasta with Italian Chicken Sausage, Peppers and Escarole

This hearty Italian pasta dish has plenty of flavor without all the added fat of traditional pork sausage. Quick, easy and delicious! Not all chicken sausages are alike, so it's a good idea to know your butcher or the person making the sausage if possible. I sampled a few Italian chicken sausages from different stores before I found a favorite at a nearby Italian specialty store made with all white meat. Living in New York, I'm fortunate to have some great Italian resources nearby, if you can't find chicken sausage, turkey sausage would be perfectly fine. I had no nutritional info, so I used the nutritional info for Isernio Italian Chicken Sausage to calculate. If you can't find escarole, you could use Swiss chard or fresh spinach instead.

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 1-1/2 cups • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 297.7 • Fat: 5.5 g • Protein: 20.6 g • Carb: 47.2 g • Fiber: 7.5 g • Sugar: 1.1 g

    12 oz Ronzoni Smart taste pasta (or whole wheat or low carb)
    1 tsp olive oil
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1 red bell pepper, chopped
    5 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 lb Italian chicken sausage, removed from casing
    1 medium head escarole, rinsed and torn into bite sized pieces
    1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
    1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
    salt and fresh pepper to taste

Rinse escarole and tear into bite sized pieces. Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water. Reserve 1 cup water before draining. While pasta water boils, heat a large non-stick skillet on medium heat. Add olive oil; when hot add onions, peppers, garlic, salt and pepper.  Cook until soft, about 4-5 minutes.  Add sausage, breaking up with a wooden spoon and cook until golden, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add escarole, cover and cook 2 minutes; remove the cover, stir and cook about 3 more minutes or until wilted. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Add cooked pasta, red pepper flakes, reserved water and Parmigiano Reggiano, toss well and transfer to a large serving bowl. Serve immediately.


Pasta with Italian Chicken Sausage, Escarole and Beans

Penne pasta is tossed with garlicky escarole, lean Italian chicken sausage, cannellini beans, crushed red pepper and grated cheese. I cannot even begin to describe how good this is, I hope the photos can at least do this dish some justice! If you can't find escarole use kale.

I've tried many alternatives to Italian pork sausage, not because I don't like pork but because I have a hard time finding lean pork sausage. I'm a bit picky when it comes to Italian food growing up here in New York where we're surrounded by great Italian restaurants and stores  so finding a good sausage alternative is not easy. I must say, I'm pretty impressed with Al Fresco's uncooked Italian sweet chicken sausage if you’re lucky enough to find that near you give it a try. I can't vouch for their cooked sausages since I haven't tried them. Turkey Italian sausage would work just as well in this dish.

This pasta is a winner with everyone in my home, even the picky kids. You can easily make this gluten free by using brown rice pasta. Or make it vegetarian by leaving the sausage out, using vegetable broth and adding another cup of beans. Enjoy!!

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 1-1/2 cups • Old Points: 7 pts • Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 331.9 • Fat: 8.6 g • Protein: 22.5 g • Carb: 44.7 g • Fiber: 8.0 g • Sugar: 0.8
Sodium: 525.9 (without salt)

    10 oz Ronzoni Smart taste pasta (or whole wheat or low carb)
    1 tsp olive oil
    1 medium onion, chopped
    4 cloves garlic, chopped
    12 oz uncooked Italian chicken sausage, removed from casing (Al Fresco)
    1/2 cup fat free, low sodium chicken broth
    1 cup cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (Eden)
    1 medium head (7-8 cups) escarole rinsed and torn into bite sized pieces
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
    1/4 tsp crushed red pepper, or to taste (optional)
    salt and fresh pepper to taste

Rinse escarole and tear into bite sized pieces. Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente in a large pot of salted water. Reserve 1/2 cup water before draining. While pasta water boils, heat a large non-stick skillet on medium heat. Add olive oil; when hot add onions, garlic, salt and pepper until soft, about 4-5 minutes. Add sausage, breaking up with a wooden spoon and cook until golden, about 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside in a dish. Add chicken broth and beans to the skillet.  Add the escarole; stir and cook about 4 minutes or until wilted.

Gently stir in sausage, pasta, red pepper flakes, 1/2 cup of the reserved water or more if needed and grated Parmesan. Adjust salt and pepper if needed and toss well; transfer to a large serving bowl. Enjoy with some extra cheese on the side.

































Roasted Potatoes, Chicken Sausage and Peppers

Roasted potatoes, onions, sausage and peppers roast in the oven with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and rosemary. Don't you love a meal that only dirties one pan? This is an easy one-dish meal that makes clean-up a breeze, and the smell in your kitchen will make everyone hungry! Anytime I find a great alternative to fatty Italian pork sausage, I'm all over it! I have nothing against pork, I just wish they would make leaner pork sausage. I'm pretty picky about my Italian sausage, but I loved al fresco's sweet Italian chicken sausage, I almost forgot it was chicken while I was eating and it's 75% less fat that pork sausage, and it's gluten-free, so that's a plus!

This is a really easy dish to make, the main thing is cutting everything about the same size and don't crowd the pan. The potatoes take the longest to cook, so if you cut them small it all evens out. The onions get a little charred which I love, if you want to avoid that you can add them with the sausage.  I've even made this with Turkey Kielbasa and it turns out cheap, simple and great. Try it with red potatoes, new potatoes or russet.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1/4th • Old Points: 7 pts • Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 324.7 • Fat: 11.4 g • Protein: 22.6 g • Carb: 32.9 g • Fiber: 4 g • Sugar: 1.8
Sodium: 586.8 mg (without salt)

    1.5 lb (about 3 large) potatoes, russet or new
    1 medium onion, peeled and quartered, layers separated
    2 red bell peppers, seeds removed and cut into 1 inch pieces
    2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
    kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
    1 tsp chopped rosemary (fresh or dry)
    1/2 tsp garlic powder
    olive oil spray (I use my Misto)
    1 lb Italian chicken sausage (al fresco's) cut each link into 6-7 slices

Cut the potatoes into small 1" x 1/2 inch pieces. These take the longest to cook so cutting them small ensures everything cooks evenly. Preheat oven to 375°. Spray one large non-stick baking sheet, or two small ones with olive oil spray to prevent the potatoes from sticking. In a large bowl, combine potatoes, onions, peppers, olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary and garlic powder. Mix well to be sure everything is coated with oil and seasoned evenly. Pour onto the prepared baking sheet and place in the center of the oven; bake for 15 minutes. Use a spoon to toss so nothing sticks or burns.

Add the sausage to the baking sheet with the potatoes and vegetables and bake, tossing once or twice for 25-35 minutes, or until your potatoes are cooked through. Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your potatoes and sausage, keep an eye so they don't burn.



































Sesame Encrusted Baked Chicken Tenders

If you like the taste of sesame as much as I do, you'll love these simple baked chicken tenders coated with sesame seeds, panko and a hint of soy sauce. Perfect for a quick weeknight meal.

I served this with scallion rice and some extra soy sauce on the side because I was pressed for time, but this would be great with brown fried rice, quinoa fried rice or even over a salad or some stir fried vegetables. 

Servings: 4 1/2 • Serving Size: 2 chicken tenders • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 196.9 • Fat: 9.1 g • Protein: 22.9 g • Carb: 5.7 g • Fiber: 1.5 g • Sugar: 0.3 g  Sodium: 400 mg

    18 oz chicken tenderloins
    salt and pepper to taste
    2 tsp sesame oil
    2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
    6 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
    1/2 tsp coarse salt
    4 tbsp panko
    olive oil spray (I used my Misto)

Preheat oven to 425°. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick oil spray. Combine the sesame oil and soy sauce in a bowl, and the sesame seeds, salt and panko in another. 

Place chicken in the bowl with the oil and soy sauce, then into the sesame seed mixture to coat well. Place on the baking sheet; lightly spray the top of the chicken with oil spray and bake 8 - 10 minutes. Turnover and cook another 4 - 5 minutes longer or until cooked through.










Skinless Chicken Thighs with Shallots in Red Wine Vinegar (Poulet Au Vinaigre)

This popular French chicken dish, made with vinegar, shallots, and white wine is quick and easy to make. Red wine vinegar gives it an intense, tangy flavor, that mellows as it simmers. Shallots are similar to onions, and are always a staple in my house along with onions and garlic. They can transform any ordinary dish and make it extraordinary. The ease of this dish makes it perfect for a busy weeknight dinner.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 2 thighs with shallot sauce • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 242.5 • Fat: 7.0 g • Carb: 11.0 g • Fiber: 0.3 g • Protein: 28.6 g

    8 lean chicken thighs, skin removed
    salt and fresh pepper
    1/2 cup red wine vinegar
    1 cup fat free chicken broth
    1 tbsp honey
    1 tbsp tomato paste
    1 tsp butter
    1 large shallot, thinly sliced (3/4 cup)
    2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
    1/2 cup dry white wine
    2 tbsp light sour cream
    2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley

Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a medium saucepan, combine vinegar, honey, 3/4 cup chicken broth and tomato paste. Boil about 5 minutes, until it reduces down to about 3/4 cup. Remove from heat. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat and add chicken. Cook on both sides, until brown, about 6-8 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside. Add the shallots and garlic to the skillet and cook on low until soft, about 5 minutes. Pour the sauce over the chicken, add the wine, remaining broth salt and pepper. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes until tender. Remove the chicken, add sour cream and stir into the sauce (if sauce dries up, add more broth). Boil a few minutes then return chicken to skillet. Top with fresh parsley.



Skinny Chicken Pesto Bake

Baked chicken breast topped with skinny basil pesto, tomatoes, mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Quick and easy, serve this with pasta for a complete meal. This is a great way to use up your end-of-summer basil. If it's still warm out, you can also do this on the grill.

As the weather turns cooler, I've been making and freezing skinny pesto in small batches to keep on hand throughout the year. You can freeze them in ice cube trays and measure them out or use small containers like I did here. Enjoy!

Servings: 4 • Size: 1 piece • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 236 • Fat: 11.5 g • Carbs: 2.5 g • Fiber: 0.5 g • Protein: 28.5 g • Sugar: 0 g
Sodium: 491 mg (without salt)

    2 (16 oz total) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    salt and fresh pepper to taste
    4 tsp Skinny Basil Pesto
    1 medium tomatoes, sliced thin
    6 tbsp (1.5 oz) shredded reduced fat mozzarella cheese
    2 tsp grated parmesan cheese

Wash chicken and dry with a paper towel. Slice chicken breast horizontally to create 4 thinner cutlets. Season lightly with salt and fresh pepper.

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Line baking sheet with foil or parchment for easy clean-up.

Place the chicken on prepared baking sheet. Spread 1 tsp of skinny pesto over each piece of chicken.

Bake for 15 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center. Remove from oven; top with tomatoes, mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Bake for an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

To Grill: Grill chicken over medium flame on both sides until cooked through in the center.  Lower flame, top chicken with tomatoes and cheese, and close grill until cheese melts.


Slow Cooker Chicken Black Bean Tacos

This easy taco recipe requires no pre-cooking, just throw it all in the crock pot and you'll have a delicious weeknight meal. Black beans and chicken breast, simmered in the slow cooker make the perfect filling for tacos, burritos, enchiladas, or even a burrito bowl and it's loaded with fiber.

Personally, I love this served in crunchy corn taco shells. I make a quick red cabbage slaw which adds a little acidity and crunch, and it's a healthier option than iceberg. Add some spicy pico de gallo for freshness and avocados, and I am one happy gal! So good you won't even miss the cheese!

I often make my own pico de gallo, but when I'm pressed for time, I have no problem buying it. There are lots of great options in the refrigerated produce section of the supermarket, Nature's Promise is usually my go-to, is organic and has just the right amount of kick.

Avocado is so good on tacos, and loaded with heart healthy fats. It's creamy and delicious and I totally skip the sour cream, but if you rather save on calories and leave it out, fat free Greek yogurt works fine in its place.

As for my slow cooker, believe it or not, I've had many bad experiences with crock pots cooking to hot and turning out strange tasting food... until I bought my current Slow Cooker, the Hamilton Beach Set and Forget 6 Quart Slow Cooker. Love it and I've been using it for over a year with great results every time

Servings: 4 • Size: 3 tacos • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 8 pt (10 w avocado)
Calories: 313 • Fat: 8 g • Carb: 41 g • Fiber: 8 g • Protein: 22 g • Sugar: 4 g
Sodium: 716 mg (without added salt)

    12 oz raw skinless chicken tenders or breast
    15 oz can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed (Goya)
    10 oz can tomatoes with mild green chiles (I used Rotel)
    1 1/8 tsp chili powder
    3/4 tsp plus 1/8th tsp ground cumin
    1/4 tsp garlic powder
    1/4 tsp oregano 
    1 medium scallion, diced
    1 tbsp chopped cilantro (optional)

For the Slaw:

    1 1/3 cups shredded red cabbage
    1 tsp red wine vinegar (or lime juice)
    salt and black pepper, to taste

For the Taco:

    12 crisp corn taco shells

Season chicken with pinch of salt, garlic powder, oregano, 1/8 tsp of the chili powder and 1/8th tsp cumin. 

Add the beans and tomatoes to the crock pot and season with the remaining chili powder and cumin. Place chicken in the crock pot and cover. Cook on HIGH 2 hours.

Meanwhile, combine shredded cabbage with vinegar (add more to taste), season with salt to taste; set aside.

Remove chicken from the crock pot and shred with two forks. Drain beans and transfer to a platter, or back to the crock pot to keep warm. Top with shredded chicken, scallions and cilantro.

To serve, warm the taco shells according to package directions. Fill with equal amounts of bean and chicken mixture. Top with cabbage and your favorite toppings.

















Sofrito Chicken Stew

Skinless chicken legs and thighs, slowly stewed in light beer (it cooks out) with scallions, tomatoes, cilantro, peppers, garlic and spices. My favorite way to eat this is served over rice with a slice of avocado. I make so many variations of this dish depending on what I have on hand; sometimes I add baby potatoes, yucca, bay leaves, or I'll make it without the beer. 

Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1 thigh • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 129.1 • Fat: 4.7 g • Protein: 14.6 g • Carb: 5.9 g • Fiber: 1.2 g • Sugar: 0.7 g  • Sodium: 675.4 mg 

For Sofrito:

    1 tbsp olive oil
    6 scallions, chopped
    4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
    2 tomatoes, diced
    1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
    1 tsp ground cumin
    2 tsp salt
    1 packet sazσn or 1 tsp annatto seed powder

For Stew:

    8 pieces chicken legs and/or thighs on the bone, skin removed
    1/2 tsp garlic powder
    6 oz light beer
    1 cup water
    salt to taste
    1/2 cup cilantro, chopped (or to taste)

Heat oil in a deep sautι pan. Add scallions and garlic, sautι 2 minutes, add tomatoes and peppers. Season with salt, cumin, and sazσn or annatto. Set aside. Season chicken with salt and garlic powder; add to center of the pan allowing chicken to brown slightly on both sides. Combine chicken with sofrito, and add beer, water and cilantro, adjust salt if needed. Cover pan and simmer on low until chicken is cooked through, about 20-30 minutes. Serve over rice.



Spanish Chicken and Rice

Chicken and rice, otherwise known as arroz con pollo is a delicious one pot meal the whole family will love. Arroz con pollo can be made so many different ways and also varies from country to country. In fact, I don't use a recipe when I make this, I just use whatever I have on hand so it may never turn out the same twice.

Some of my Latin recipes you'll see "sazon" listed in the ingredients. I buy Badia's sazon because it has no MSG but you can make it yourself if it's not available near you. Sazon basically means seasoning in Spanish; it typically includes salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder, dried ground coriander seed, cumin, ground oregano and ground achiote (annatto) seeds. The achiote (annatto) is what gives the sazon the reddish color and makes the rice yellow. You could sub paprika for the achiote, if this isn't available to you. Some varieties contain azafrαn (saffron), a pinch is all you'll need if you want to add it. When you make your own, a good ratio is one tbsp of each spice. Mix well and store it someplace dry. When a recipe calls for a packet, simply use 1 1/2 tsp in place of the sazon. Best part, no msg.

It's perfectly fine to use the chicken on the bone, and yes, you can use white meat if you prefer however, I personally find white meat too dry in this dish for my taste. I love this served with a little hot sauce on top and a simple salad on the side. If you would like to try my version which is made slightly different, and has no beer, click on Arroz Con Pollo, Lightened Up or make them both and let me know which you like best!

Servings: 8 • Size: about 1 1/2 cups • Old Points: 7 pts • Points+: 9 pts
Calories: 319 • Fat: 5.2 g • Carb: 46.3 g • Fiber: 1.7 g • Protein: 18.3 g • Sugar: 0.4 g  • Sodium: 844 mg


    8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, chopped
    1 cup chopped onion
    1 medium bell pepper
    2 cloves garlic
    2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
    1 tbsp olive oil
    3 3/4 cups water
    3/4 cups light beer
    2 oz tomato sauce
    1 chicken bouillon cube
    1 packet Badia sazon (or make your own, see above)
    6 oz frozen mixed vegetables
    2 tbsp (30 g) alcaparrado (or pitted green olives, capers and pimentos)
    2 1/4 cups uncooked long grain white rice
    2 tsp kosher salt

Place onion, bell pepper, garlic, and cilantro in a chopper or food processor to chop fine.

In a large heavy pot with a good fitting lid such as a Dutch oven; heat 1 tsp of oil over medium heat. Season chicken pieces with salt and sautι until browned, about 5-7 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside.

Heat remaining oil in skillet, then add onions, peppers, garlic and cilantro. Sautι, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add water, beer, tomato sauce, chicken bouillon, sazon, chicken and salt. Cook 10-12 minutes on medium heat.

Add frozen mixed vegetables, alcaparrado (or pimientos) with a little of the brine (liquid) from the olive jar, and rice. Stir and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until water boils down and barely skims the top. Once the water level reaches the top of the rice, cover with a tight fitting lid so no steam escapes and cook 25-30 minutes. (Tip: if your lid doesn't have a good tight fit, place a paper towel over the pot then cover as pictured below)

Shut heat off and let the pot sit with the cover on an additional 10 minutes. Remove lid and fluff with a fork.

Makes about 12 1/2 cups.












Spaghetti with Sautιed Chicken and Grape Tomatoes

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups • Old Points: 5.5 pts • Points+: 9 pts
Calories: 329.7 • Fat: 6.8 g • Carb: 48.3 g • Fiber: 7.2 g • Protein: 25.0 g

    2 skinless chicken breast halves, diced in 1 inch cubes
    cooking spray
    1/2 tsp each of dried oregano and dries basil
    kosher salt and fresh pepper
    8 oz spaghetti (high fiber or low carb) I used Ronzoni Smart Taste
    2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
    6 cloves garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
    4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
    4 tbsp chopped fresh basil

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.

Season chicken generously with salt, pepper, oregano and basil. Heat a large skillet on high heat. When hot, spray with oil and add chicken. Cook about 3-4 minutes, until no longer pink. Remove chicken and set aside.

Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Reserve about 1/2 cup pasta water before draining.

While pasta cooks, add olive oil to skillet on high heat. Add garlic and sautι until golden brown (do not burn). Add tomatoes, salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium-low. Sautι about 4-5 minutes. When pasta is drained, add pasta to tomatoes and toss well. If pasta seems too dry, add some of the reserved pasta water. Add fresh basil and chicken and toss well. Serve and top with good grated cheese.










Summer Vegetables with Sausage and Potatoes

Lean Italian chicken sausage with summer bell peppers and zucchini sautιed with baby red potatoes and fresh herbs for a quick one pot meal.

I love a meal that only dirties one pot because although I may love to cook, I really don't love to clean! This is also gluten-free for those of you with a gluten intolerance, dairy-free and egg-free.

You can use Italian chicken sausage or turkey sausage depending on what is available to you in your area. My local health food store and Italian deli also carry their own homemade sausage which is wonderful. If rosemary isn't your thing, use fresh thyme instead.

Servings: 4 • Size: little over 1 3/4 cups • Old Points: 7 pts • Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 326 • Fat: 11 g • Protein: 23 g • Carb: 33.5 g • Fiber: 5.3 g • 
Sugar: 5 g  • Sodium: 897 mg

    1 lb baby red potatoes, cut in half or quartered
    2 tsp oil
    1/2 tsp garlic powder
    1 tsp kosher salt
    fresh cracked pepper
    14 oz Italian chicken sausage, sliced 1-inch thick
    1 large onion, chopped
    4-5 cloves garlic, smashed with the side of the knife
    1/2 orange bell pepper, diced 1-inch squares
    1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced 1-inch squares 
    1 red bell pepper, diced 1-inch squares
    2 tbsp fresh rosemary (or other fresh herb such as thyme)
    2 cups zucchini, 1/2 inch thick and quartered

Place oil and potatoes in a large, deep non-stick skillet with a tight fitting lid on high heat; season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. When the skillet gets hot and starts to sizzle, reduce heat to low and cook with a tight lid on for about 20-25 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to prevent the potatoes from burning. Remove from heat and let them sit 5 minutes without removing the lid.  Set potatoes aside on a dish.

Add the sausage to the skillet and sautι on medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally until browned but not quite cooked through, about 10 minutes. Season chopped vegetables with salt and pepper. Add onions, peppers, garlic and rosemary to the skillet and mix. Continue cooking stirring occasionally until onions and peppers become slightly browned. Add zucchini and cook an additional 5 minutes, mixing as it cooks until cooked through.

Return the potatoes back to the skillet and mix well. Adjust salt and pepper as needed; cover and cook 5 more minutes.

Makes about 7 1/2 cups.
































Thai Fried Rice

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1/4th • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 320.8 • Fat: 7.0 g • Carb: 43.9 g • Fiber: 2.5 g • Protein: 20.2 g
 
    8 oz chicken breast, cut in small cubes
    3 cups jasmine rice, cooked
    1/2 large onion, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    2 scallions, chopped
    3 egg whites, scrambled
    1 whole egg, scrambled
    2 tomatoes, sliced
    3 Thai chili peppers (optional)
    4 tsp vegetable oil
    4 tsp soy sauce (or more to taste)
    2 tsp fish sauce
    salt and pepper

Prepare rice ahead of time according to package instructions. It's best if it's made slightly on the dry side.

Heat a wok on a high flame. Meanwhile, season chicken with salt and pepper. When the wok is very hot, add 2 tsp oil. When the oil gets hot, add the chicken and cook on high a few minutes, tossing so that its browns all over. Remove chicken from wok and set aside, add the eggs and salt and cook a minute or two until done. Set aside.

Add the remaining oil to the wok and add the onion, scallions and garlic. Sautι 1 minute, add the chili pepper and tomatoes and stir in all the rice. Add soy sauce and fish sauce stir to mix all the ingredients. Keep stirring a few minutes, then add egg and chicken back to the wok. Adjust soy sauce if needed and stir well another 30 seconds. Serve with sliced cucumbers.

















4 Beef Recipes




Asian Flank Steak Skewers

Thin strips of grilled flank steak marinated with lime juice, ginger, garlic, sesame oil and soy sauce. These skewers disappear quickly at every gathering, so you may want to make a lot!

With the Superbowl just around the corner I thought these would be a great appetizer for the steak lovers in your home. I myself love beef and enjoy these as an appetizer, but I also make them for dinner served with rice and roasted broccoli on the side.

You can make this on an indoor grill, a cast iron grill pan or make them outside on the grill. Always cut the meat across the grain at a slight angle with a very sharp knife.

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 4 skewers (1/6th) • Old Points: 4 • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 150 • Fat: 7.1 g • Carb: 2.0 g • Fiber: 0.1 g • Protein: 17.9 g • Sugar: 0.0 g • Sodium: about 400 mg (since most of the marinade is discard, it may be less)

    1 1/2 lbs flank steak, sliced thin
    1 1/2 cups reduced sodium soy sauce (Use Tamari for Gluten Free)
    2 cloves minced garlic
    1 tsp fresh ginger
    1 tsp sesame oil
    1 lime, juice of

Soak wooden skewers in water about 30 minutes to prevent burning. Marinate the steak in all the ingredients for about 1 hour or more. 

Discard marinade and thread the sliced steak onto the skewers.

Heat your grill or grill pan to high heat; when hot grill a few minutes on each side until browned and cooked though.

Makes about 24 skewers.


































Barbacoa Beef

If you like cumin and spicy food, then you'll love Barbacoa Beef. Spicy shredded beef braised in a blend of chipotle adobo, cumin, cloves, garlic and oregano. This was a recipe request I was glad to make. Another Chipotle's inspired dish. If you've never eaten at Chipotle's, then you probably don't understand the obsession.

I made this in my pressure cooker which cut down the cooking time by half but you can use a regular pot or slow cooker. One thing I should mention, I used four chipotle peppers and it was very spicy, so use your judgment on how much to use depending on how spicy you like your food. Enjoy!!

Servings: 9 • Serving Size: 4 oz • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 161.4 • Fat: 5.0g • Protein: 24.9 g • Carb: 2.8 g • Fiber: 0.7 g

    3 lbs beef eye of round or bottom round roast, all fat trimmed
    5 cloves garlic
    1/2 medium onion
    1/2 lime, juice
    2-4 chipotles in adobo sauce (to taste)
    1 tbsp ground cumin
    1 tbsp ground oregano
    1/2 tsp ground cloves
    salt and pepper
    3 bay leaves
    1 tsp oil
    1 cup water

Place garlic, onion, lime juice, cumin, oregano, chipotles, cloves in a blender. Trim all fat off meat, cut into 4 inch chunks. 

Season with salt and pepper and brown on high heat in 1 tsp oil. Add liquefied spices, water, bay leaves and simmer on low two hours in a pressure cooker. (If you are making this in a regular pot, you will have to double the cooking time to at least 4 hours or more, covered on low flame and add more water from time to time to make sure it doesn't dry out.) Once cooked and the meat is tender, remove the meat and place in a dish. Shred it with two forks, and reserve the liquid for later (discard the bay leaf). Return the shredded meat to the pot, adjust salt and cumin (you may need to add more) to taste and add some of the reserved liquid back. 

Simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes to let the flavors penetrate.










































Beef, Potato and Quinoa Soup

For the meat and potato lover, this soup is for you. Hearty soups like this are exactly what I love about South American cuisine. A nourishing one pot meal, typically served with aji and avocado on the side.

This soup uses cooked quinoa, which is a South American seed which has become very popular in North America lately. Quinoa is very high in protein, and contains all 9 essential amino acids, lysine, phosphorous, copper, iron and magnesium. It's gluten-free and you can find it at any healthy food store, Amazon, Trader Joe's and even at your local supermarket. Click here for the recipe to cook basic quinoa.

By now I don't think I have to tell you just how much I love Latin American cuisine. It's the ultimate comfort food to me, so I am happy to share some wonderful South American dishes with you. This dish was adapted from Laylita's Recipes, her blog features many wonderful Ecuadorean dishes.

The key to making a good beef soup is letting the beef simmer until it gets soft, the longer the better so the meat is tender. If you have a pressure cooker, this will cook in half the time and the meat will be incredibly soft. I love my pressure cooker, probably more than my crock pot but I wrote the directions assuming you don't own one. I recommend buying one, it's great for making stews and beans in half the time, and the flavors really get into the food. I own a 6-quart Presto which is perfect for making a pot of beans.

Servings: 4 • Size: 1-1/2 cups • Old Points: 7 pts • Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 307.9 • Fat: 13.8 g • Protein: 15.7 g • Carb: 31.3 g • Fiber: 4.6 g  

    2 tsp olive oil
    6-7 scallions, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 tomato, diced
    1 tsp cumin
    1/2 tsp Badia Sazon with Annato
    1/2 lb beef, cubed into small bite size pieces (I used beef tenderloin)
    5 cups water
    beef bullion
    1 carrot, peeled and sliced
    2 tbsp yellow bell pepper, diced
    2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
    1 cup cooked quinoa
    6 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
    salt and pepper to taste

Sautι oil in a large pot, add scallions and garlic and sautι until soft over medium heat, about 3 minutes. Add tomato, cumin, sazon with achiote, 1/4 cup cilantro and cook another 2 minutes. Add beef, water, bullion, carrot, bell pepper, salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low about 1-1/2 hours, until meat is tender.

Add potato and cooked quinoa and cook an additional 25 minutes. Add remaining chopped cilantro and serve.































Braised Brisket with Potatoes and Carrots

Lean beef brisket slowly braised in the oven with potatoes, carrots and onions. Slicing the brisket half-way through cooking assures that the meat is tender and flavorful. Perfect for Passover or Easter dinner.

I made this recipe Passover friendly using ground matzo in place of flour. I simply took a matzo I had from my matzo pizza and ground it in the food processor or you could also use cake meal which they sell in the Kosher section of your supermarket. If you are not celebrating Passover you could use all purpose flour instead. For gluten free, rice flour works fine. This serves about 8 people, give or take depending on this size of your brisket after it's trimmed or how hungry your guests are!

Servings: will vary • Size: 4 oz beef, 1 potato + carrots • Old Points: 6 pt • Points+: 7 pt
Calories: 292.7 • Fat: 6.6 g • Protein: 28.8g • Carb: 29 g • Fiber: 4.4 g • Sugar: 3.1 g • Sodium: 355.1 mg (without salt) 

    1 large (about 5 lbs) beef brisket, trimmed of all fat
    1 tbsp cake meal (or flour if not for Passover, rice flour for gluten-free)
    freshly ground black pepper
    1 tbsp olive oil
    4 large white onions, peeled and thickly sliced
    3 tbsp tomato paste
    kosher salt
    4 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
    2 cups fat free beef broth
    3 large carrots, peeled and trimmed 2 inches long
    8 medium (32 oz total) red potatoes, quartered
    1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Lightly season the brisket with salt and pepper to taste and lightly dust with cake meal. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large 7-quart Dutch oven or other heavy pot with a lid large enough to hold the brisket. Add the brisket to the pot and brown on both sides, about 10-12 minutes.

Remove meat and set aside. Add the onions, salt and pepper to the pot and cook until soft and browned, about 10-12 minutes stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.

Return the brisket and any accumulated juices to the pot on top of the onions. Spread the tomato paste over the brisket, sprinkle with salt and more pepper to taste, then add the garlic, beef broth and carrots to the pot. Cover the pot, transfer to the oven, and cook the brisket for about 1-1/2 hours.

Remove the brisket and transfer to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, slice the meat across the grain into approximately 1/8-inch-thick slices. Return the slices back to the pot, keeping the brisket together so it resembles the unsliced brisket.

Add potatoes and sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper.

Cover the pot and return to the oven. Reduce heat to 325°F and cook the brisket until it is fork-tender and the potatoes are cooked through, about 1 1/2 hours. Check once or twice during cooking to add more broth if needed.

To serve you can arrange the meat on a platter with the carrots, onions, potatoes and some of the liquid and garnish with fresh chopped parsley. Serve the remaining gravy on the side.




















Carne Bistec-Colombian Steak with Onions and Tomatoes

Beef lovers, you'll love this quick Colombian steak dish cooked with onions, tomatoes and cumin. The onions and tomatoes create a flavorful sauce which is wonderful served over rice. Add a salad and you'll have a wonderful meal for under $10.

You'll find variations of this recipe in different South and Central American countries and regions. Some finely chop the tomatoes and onions, some use scallions in place of onions which is also delicious. As a kid I used to push the onions away, but now I just love them. Serve this with an egg on top and it's called Bistec a Caballo. Have all your ingredients prepped before you start cooking.

Sirloin tip side steak is an extra lean steak with very little marbling. This cut usually needs to be marinated or cut very thin so that it won't be tough. Here is a great reference I like to refer to often for the 29 lean cuts of beef. If your budget permits, buy grass fed beef which is lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, and higher in omega-3 fatty acids, which are considered heart-healthy.

Servings: 6 • S Size: 3 oz steak + onions tomatoes • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 182.9 • Fat: 7.2 g • Carbs: 3.0 g • Fiber: 0.7 g • Sugar: 0.0 g • Protein: 25.2 g

    1-1/2 lbs grass fed sirloin tip steak, sliced very thin
    salt to taste
    garlic powder to taste
    cumin to taste
    4 tsp olive oil
    1 medium onion, sliced thin or chopped
    1 very large tomato or 2 medium tomatoes, sliced thin or chopped

Season steak with salt and garlic powder. 

Heat a large frying pan until VERY HOT. Add 2 tsp of oil then half of the steak and cook less than a minute on each side. Set steak aside, add another teaspoon of oil and cook remaining steak. Set aside.

Reduce heat to medium, add another teaspoon of oil and add the onions.  

Cook a minutes, then add the tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper and cumin and reduce heat to medium-low.

Add about 1/4 cup of water and simmer a few minutes to create a sauce, add more water if needed and taste adjust seasoning as needed. Return the steak to the pan along with the drippings, combine well and remove from heat.


































Carne Guisada (Latin Beef Stew)

Chunks of beef are simmered in beer with scallions, garlic, tomatoes, cumin and cilantro. Sometimes I make it with just the meat, sometimes I add yucca or potatoes. Serve this over rice with a little aji picante and you'll have a delicious comfort dish, Latin style!

I get lots of emails telling me how much you all love my Latin dishes. It's probably what I do best. When I crave beef stew, it's always this Colombian version I crave. You can use water in place of beer if you prefer. If achiote or sazon isn't something you can find near you, leave it out, it will still be good!

This is a great recipe for those of you who own a pressure cooker. The meat comes out so tender in half the time. I've included directions for those of you who own a pressure cooker. I've never made this in my crock pot, but I'm sure it would be great too, I may experiment with it next time I make it, I would probably add less liquid.

Servings: 5 • Size: about 1 cup • Old Points: 4 pt • Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 192.9 • Fat: 5.3 g • Carbs: 11.5 • Fiber: 1.6 • Protein: 23.2 g • Sugar: 1.1 • Sodium: 255.5 mg

    2 tsp olive oil
    1 cup scallions, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    2 small tomatoes, chopped
    2 tbsp cilantro, minced
    1.5 lb choice round beef stew, cut into small chunks
    1/3 cup light beer
    1/3 cup water
    1/2 tsp cumin 
    1/4 tsp adobo (or salt)
    1/2 tsp achiote (or sazon)
    1 bay leaf
    salt to taste
    10 oz baby red potatoes, halved or quartered

In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add scallions and garlic and sautι about 2 - 3 minutes; add tomatoes, cilantro and a pinch of salt. Cook another 2 minutes, stirring.

Add beef to the pot along with beer, water, cumin, adobo, achiote, bay leaf and salt if needed. Cover and simmer on low heat 1 1/2 hours. Test to make sure beef is tender, if not cook another 15 minutes.

Add potatoes and cook until soft, about 20 minutes depending on the size.

For pressure cooker instructions: 

In a large pressure cooker, heat oil over medium heat. Add scallions and garlic and sautι. Add tomatoes, cilantro and a pinch of salt. Cook another 2 minutes, stirring, about 2 - 3 minutes;

Add beef to the pot along with beer, water, cumin, adobo, achiote, bay leaf and salt if needed. Cover pressure cooker; when the lid is locked, reduce heat to low and cook 25 minutes. When the 25 minutes are up, shut stove off. When the pressure from the pot is released, remove the lid, and place the pot uncovered over medium heat. Bring to a boil, add potatoes and cook uncovered until potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes depending on the size.

Makes about 5 cups. Perfect served over 3/4 cup cooked rice.






















Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup

Cabbage, potatoes, bell pepper and aromatics simmered on the stove with corned beef create this wonderful one pot meal. A fun twist on a Classic Irish dish!

I thought this was a great way to enjoy corned beef and incorporating lots of vegetables. A few notes: I purchased a 2 1/2 lb piece or corned beef brisket. After I trimmed all the fat off it was 2 lbs. I boiled all the beef in the soup which shrunk to 18 oz, but only used half (9 oz cooked) of the corned beef in the soup and used the other half in another recipe.

Servings: 5 • Serving Size: 1 3/4 cup • Old Points: 6 pt • Points+: 7 pt
Calories: 281 • Fat: 12.2 g • Protein: 13.7 g • Carb: 31.6 g • Fiber: 6.6 g • Sugar: 3.6 g • Sodium: 782 mg

    2 tsp olive oil
    2 leeks, chopped (whites and light green only)
    2 cloves garlic
    3 medium carrots, chopped
    1 yellow pepper, chopped
    1 lb lean corned beef brisket (yields 9 oz cooked)
    6 cups of water
    2 bay leaves
    1/4 cup chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
    1 small head cabbage, cored and chopped
    1 large potato, peeled and cubed
    fresh pepper to taste

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium low heat. Add leeks and sautι until soft, about 4-5 minutes; add garlic, carrots and yellow pepper and sautι about 2-3 minutes. Add corned beef, peppercorns or seasoning packet that comes with the corned beef, bay leaves, parsley and water; cover and bring to a boil. Simmer covered on low heat for 3 hours, until the meat becomes tender. Remove the corned beef, set it on a cutting board and shred with a fork. Return it to the pot then add the cabbage and potatoes, taste for salt and pepper and adjust as needed. Cook until the potatoes and cabbage are tender, about 45 more minutes.

Makes 9 cups.


Corned Beef and Cabbage with Horseradish Cream

What's St. Patrick's Day without Corned Beef and Cabbage!

A simple way to prepare this classic Irish dish. Top it with horseradish cream or mustard and serve it with a side of creamy cauliflower puree as a low carb alternative to potatoes. Keep in mind the meat shrinks down to almost 1 lb when cooked.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1/4 of meat and veggies • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 7 pts
Calories: 292.5 • Fat: 16.1 g • Protein: 19.3 g • Carb: 20.5 g • Fiber: 8.3 g   

Horseradish Cream
Servings: 5 • Serving Size: 1 tbsp • Old Points: 0 pts • Points+: 0 pts
Calories: 14.8 • Fat: 0.2 g • Protein: 0.7 g • Carb: 2.6 g • Fiber: 0.2 g   

    2.5 lbs corned beef brisket in brine, fat trimmed off
    1 cup baby carrots, peeled
    1 small head cabbage, cut into 4 wedges
    2 bay leaves

For the Horseradish Cream

    1 tbsp prepared grated horseradish
    1/4 cup fat free sour cream
    1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
    salt and pepper

In a large pot, place brisket, bay leaves and enough water to cover. Simmer, covered for about an hour per pound. When meat is tender add carrots. Boil for about 10 minutes, then add cabbage. Cook another 15- 20 minutes, until tender.

Remove the meat and place on a cutting board. Slice the meat across the grain into thin slices. Serve with vegetables and ladle some broth on top.




Cuban Picadillo

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 1/2 cup • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 170 • Fat: 7 g • Protein: 22.5 g • Carb: 4.5 g • Fiber: 1 g • Sugar: 1.5 g
Sodium: 237 mg (without the salt)

    1/2 large chopped onion
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 tomato, chopped
    1/2 pepper, finely chopped
    2 tbsp cilantro
    1-1/2 lb 93% lean ground beef
    4 oz (1/2 can) tomato sauce
    kosher salt
    fresh ground pepper
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1-2 bay leaf
    2 tbsp alcaparrado (capers or green olives would work too)

Brown meat on medium flame in large sautι pan and season with salt and pepper. Use a wooden spoon to break the meat up into small pieces. When meat is no longer pink, drain all juice from pan.

Meanwhile, while meat is cooking, chop onion, garlic, pepper, tomato and cilantro.




Add sofrito (onion mixture) to the meat and continue cooking on a low flame. Add alcaparrado and about 2 tbsp of the brine (this adds great flavor) cumin, bay leaf, and more salt if needed. Add tomato sauce and 1/4 cup of water and mix well. Reduce heat and simmer covered about 15-20 minutes.










Garlic Lover's Roast Beef

Vampires beware, garlic in every bite! And if that's not enough garlic, serve this with roasted broccoli with garlic mashed potatoes! In my house, there can never be too much garlic.

This was one of those nights that dinner was ready after the sun went down, so the lighting was not the usual natural light I like to use when photographing food. In addition to bad lighting, the smell of roasted garlic throughout my home made hungry tummies eager to eat, so I didn't get that perfect shot. You'll just have to trust me on this one, if you love roast beef and garlic, you'll love this roast.

Servings: varies depending on size • Size: 3 oz • Old Points: 4 pts • 
Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 174.5 • Fat: 8 g • Protein: 24 g • Carb: 0.2 g • Fiber: 0 g  

    2-3 lb roast or eye round, all fat trimmed off
    3-4 cloves garlic, cut into slivers
    olive oil spray (I used my misto)
    kosher salt, to taste
    fresh cracked pepper, to taste
    2 tsp dried chopped rosemary (optional)
    meat thermometer

Remove roast from refrigerator 1 hour before cooking to reach room temperature. Trim all the fat off the meat. Using a sharp knife, pierce meat about 1/2 inch in and ad a sliver of garlic in each hole, pushing all the way in. Lightly spray the meat with olive oil and season generously with salt, pepper and rosemary. Place the thermometer all the way into the center of the meat. Preheat oven to 350°. When the oven reaches 350°, place the roast in a roasting pan and put in the oven.

Roast until the thermometer reads 130° for rare, 140° for medium rare, 150° for medium, and 155-160° for well done. Remove the roast from the oven and let it rest 10-20 minutes before you cut it so that the juices distributed evenly. I personally remove my roast beef from the oven when it is 135° for medium rare. The temperature will rise an additional 5 degrees as it sits.



Grilled Flank Steak with Black Beans Corn and Tomatoes

This steak dish has a fiesta of flavors, the flank steak is seasoned with cumin and garlic and grilled to perfection, then topped with a fresh black bean, corn and tomato salad for a quick and tasty family friendly weeknight meal.

In this Tex Mex version, the flavors can be easily tweaked to suit your family's taste, make it spicy with some chopped jalapenos, or swap out an ingredient for those picky kids. Enjoy!

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 3 oz steak plus salad • Old Points: 5 pt • 
Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 249.8 • Fat: 9.4 g • Protein: 25.6 g • Carb: 8.9 g • Fiber: 2.3 g • Sugar: 2.4 g • Sodium: 385 mg

    1 1/2 lb flank steak
    1/2 tsp cumin
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    1/2 tsp kosher salt
    fresh cracked pepper to taste

For the black bean, corn and tomatoes:

    3 tbsp red onion, minced
    1 tsp olive oil
    1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
    2 medium vine ripe tomatoes, diced
    1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
    1 cups frozen corn kernels (fresh is fine)
    2 tbsp finely minced cilantro
    kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste

Season steak with the crushed garlic, cumin, salt and pepper and set aside 5-10 minutes. Combine red onions, olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and set aside a few minutes. Add tomatoes, black beans, corn, cilantro and set aside. Heat a clean lightly greased indoor or outdoor grill on high heat. Grill steak on high heat, 6-8 minutes on each side or until your desired degree of doneness. Let the meat rest about 5 minutes before slicing. Slice the beef into thin slices across the grain, place on a platter and top with corn, black bean and tomato salad.










































Grilled Steak Fajitas

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 2 fajitas (3 oz meat total + onions, peppers + 2 tortillas)
Sodium: 487.6 mg (without adding salt) • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 297.8 • Fat: 13.1 g • Protein: 28.9 g • Carb: 30.4 g • Fiber: 16.1 g • Sugar: 1.7 g

For the Steak

    2 lbs flank steak, trimmed of fat
    3 cloves garlic, crushed
    1 tbsp cumin (or to taste)
    2 scallions, sliced (optional)
    salt + fresh pepper to taste

 For the Onions and Peppers

    3 medium onions, sliced into long strips
    3 bell peppers (I used multi-colors), sliced into strips
    1 tbsp olive oil
    salt + fresh pepper to taste
    12 7" flour tortillas, such as La Tortilla Factory Low Carb High Fiber

I like to season the steak a few hours ahead. Pierce steak with a fork all over to tenderize. Season steak with cumin, garlic, scallions, salt and pepper. Allow steak to rest at room temperature at least 10 minutes before grilling. 

In a large grill-safe pan such as a clay Chamba or cast iron skillet combine onions, peppers, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss well to coat. Place on the BBQ and cook on medium-low heat, tossing occasionally until onions are caramelized, about 20 minutes. This could also be cooked inside on the stove as well. When the onions and peppers are done, set aside to keep warm on the top rack of your grill; raise the flame of the grill to high flame. Discard scallion and sear steak 4-6 minutes without moving, turn the steak over and cook a few more minutes until rare or medium rare (well done will be too tough). Remove from grill and let it rest a few minutes before cutting.  Cut meat into small cubes and combine with the cooked onions and peppers and serve with tortillas, cheese, guacamole and sour cream.



Herb Crusted Rib Eye Roast

The combination of sour cream, horseradish, herbs, garlic and breadcrumbs make this a fabulous roast. Simple enough to make as a weeknight dinner served with vegetables or elegant enough to serve for a special occasion. I found this recipe in an old Everyday Food magazine and modified it to make it lighter. I will definitely be making this again when I am craving beef. I had this with a salad and fresh vegetables to keep the points down.

Servings: 5 • Serving Size: 5 oz • Old Points: 7 pts • Points+: 7 pts
Calories: 304.6 • Fat: 12.3 • Carbs: 8.1 • Fiber: 1.4 • Sugar: 0.7 • Protein: 38.1

    2 1/2 lbs beef eye round roast, all fat trimmed off
    2 tbsp fat free sour cream
    3 tsp prepared horseradish
    kosher salt and fresh pepper
    1/2 cup whole wheat seasoned bread crumbs
    1 tbsp herbs de provence (rosemary, thyme, marjoram and savory)
    1 clove garlic, crushed
    2 tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 400°. In a small bowl combine sour cream, salt, pepper and horseradish. In another bowl combine breadcrumbs, herbs, garlic and oil.

Season meat with salt and pepper. Sear roast in a large skillet on high heat for about 10 minutes total on all sides. Place in roasting pan and cover with sour cream and breadcrumbs on top of roast. Place in the oven and cook until thermometer reads 140°, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove and let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing. Serves 8.












Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

Basically a deconstructed version of stuffed cabbage layered with shredded cabbage, ground beef and brown rice cooked in tomatoes then topped with melted cheese.

This turned out great, and easily serves 10 people. Although stuffed cabbage doesn't usually have cheese, I loved the addition of it in this recipe. I gave you the nutritional info with and without the cheese but if you don't have any allergies to cheese, I say make it with! Leftover can be frozen and reheated for another day.

Servings: 10 • Serving Size: 1/10th with cheese • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 7 pts
Calories: 250.9 • Fat: 11.3 g • Protein: 16.9 g • Carb: 23.8 g • Fiber: 5.5 g • Sugar: 2 g • Sodium: 459 mg (without salt)  

Without Cheese: • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 194.9 • Fat: 7.7 g • Protein: 10.5 g • Carb: 23 g • Fiber: 5.5 g • Sugar: 2 g • Sodium: 291.2 mg (without salt)  

    2 tsp olive oil, divided
    1 lb. 95% lean ground beef
    1 large onion, chopped fine
    1 tbsp finely minced garlic
    1/2 tsp. dried thyme
    1 tsp sweet Hungarian Paprika
    salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste 
    1 1/2 heads green cabbage, coarsely chopped
    1 can (14.5 oz.) petite dice tomatoes with juice
    1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
    1/4 cup water
    2 cups cooked brown rice 
    2 cups low-fat mozzarella cheese (Sargento)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a large glass casserole dish with non-stick spray. (My dish was 13" x 10")

Heat a large frying pan on medium heat; add ground beef and cook until it's browned and cooked through, breaking it apart as it cooks. Remove ground beef and set aside.

In the same pan, add 1 tsp olive oil, chopped onion and cook over medium heat until the onion is translucent and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic, dried thyme, and paprika and cook about 2 minutes more. Then add the diced tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, and ground beef. Add water to the pan. Simmer until it's hot and slightly thickened, about 15-20 minutes.

While it simmers, cut cabbage in half, cut out the core, and remove any wilted outer leaves; chop the cabbage coarsely into 1 inch pieces.

Heat remaining olive oil in a large frying pan or Dutch oven; add the cabbage and cook over medium-high heat until the cabbage is wilted and about half cooked, turning it over several times so it all wilts and cooks. Season with salt and fresh-ground black pepper.

When the meat and tomato sauce mixture has cooked and thickened a bit, stir in the 2 cups of cooked rice and gently combine.

Spray casserole dish with non-stick spray and the layer half the cabbage, half the meat mixture, remaining cabbage, and remaining meat mixture. Cover tightly with foil and bake 40 minutes, or until the mixture is just starting to bubble on the edges.

Remove foil and sprinkle on cheese (if using.) Bake uncovered an additional 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and starting to slightly brown. Serve hot.

Freezer friendly if you have leftovers. To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then either microwave until hot or heat in the oven in a glass dish covered with foil.













Beef Stroganoff

There are many variations of Beef Stroganoff recipes out there and chances are your favorite recipe is the one you grew up eating it as a child. Some like it with or without mushrooms, peas, wine, tomato sauce, etc.

This is the recipe I grew up eating (lightened up a bit). Now, I don't usually make recipes with canned soup, but I've always enjoyed this as a kid, so I thought I would share Mom's recipe. It's been years since I've eaten this, and this was my family's first time tasting it, so they were the deciding factor if this would get posted or not.  Growing up we ate this mixed with egg noodles but to lower the points, why not serve this over spaghetti squash? 

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 3/4 cup • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 251.9 • Fat: 9.3 g • Protein: 28.1 g • Carb: 12.7 g • Fiber: 1.2 g • Sugar: 6.2 g • Sodium: 281.2 mg

    1-1/2 lbs lean tri-tip sirloin steak, trimmed of all fat, cut in thin 1/4" x 2" strips
    olive oil cooking spray
    1 tbsp butter
    1 small onion, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, chopped
    10 oz of sliced mushrooms
    1 can of Campbell's tomato soup
    1 cup of water
    1 small fresh bay leaf
    2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
    2/3 cup of light sour cream

In a heavy saucepan, heat pan over high heat. When pan is hot, spray with oil and add steak. Brown meat until cooked. Remove meat from pan. Lower heat, melt butter, then add onions. Cook about 2-3 minutes until translucent, add garlic and mushrooms and sautι about 2-3 more minutes until cooked. Add a can of tomato soup, steak, water, bay leaf, and Worcestershire sauce. Cover and cook on low about 40 minutes. Remove bay leaf and mix in sour cream. Serve over noodles or rice.




Pepper Steak

Strips of beef and peppers are stir fried in a wok to create a delicious main dish, ready in no time!

I love stir fried anything, this pepper steak is always a hit in my house. The key when stir frying is to have all your ingredients chopped and prepped before you start to cook. Once prepped, your meal will be ready in minutes. This is perfect served over white or brown rice.

Servings: 4 • Cook Time: 10 minutes • Old Points: 5.5 • Points+: 6
Calories: 235.3 • Fat: 8.9 g • Protein: 35.4 g • Carb: 11.8 g • Fiber: 1.2 g 

    12 oz top round beef, trimmed to 1/8" fat, prime grade
    4 tsp plus 3 tbsp soy sauce
    1 tbsp rice wine
    3 tsp cornstarch
    5 tsp vegetable oil
    1 large onion, sliced into thin strips
    1 bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Slice meat into thin slices with the grain. Cut each strip across the grain about 1" long so you have small thin slices. Place in a bowl and add 4 tsp of soy sauce, 1 tbsp of rice wine, 1 tsp cornstarch and black pepper.

In a small bowl, mix 3 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp water and 2 tsp cornstarch. Set aside.

Heat the wok on high heat. Swirl in 1 tbsp oil and add the beef spreading evenly in the wok. Cook undisturbed for 20 seconds letting the beef brown. Using a spatula, stir meat, cooking another 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add remaining 2 tsp of oil to wok, add peppers and onions and cook about 2 minutes. Return beef to the wok, add the sauce and red pepper flakes and stir fry about 30 seconds until slightly thickened.





Roast Beef

Slow roasting beef gives you a juicy, tender roast. You will be amazed at how easy this is to prepare and any leftovers make a great lunch the next day. Purchase a meat thermometer if you don't own one and it will come out perfectly cooked every time. Serve this with your favorite veggies.

Serving Size: 4 oz meat • Servings: varies • Old Points: 4 • Points+: 4

    Meat thermometer a must
    Any size rump roast or petite sirloin roast, fat removed
    Salt and fresh pepper
    1/2 onion quartered
    toothpicks

Gravy:  (note 1/2 cup would be 1 point+)

Serving Size: 1/4 cup • Servings: 12 • Old Points: 0 • Points+: 0

    3 cups beef stock
    4 tbsp flour

Remove roast from refrigerator 1 hour before cooking so that it reaches room temperature. Trim all the fat off the meat to keep it lean. Rub the meat with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Using toothpicks, adhere onion pieces to the top of the roast. Place the thermometer all the way into the center of the meat. Place in a pan and set your oven anywhere between 300° to 350°. Roast until the thermometer reads 130° for rare, 140° for medium rare, 150° for medium, and 155-160° for well done. Remove the roast from the oven and let it rest 10-20 minutes before you cut it so that the juices are distributed evenly. I always remove my roast beef from the oven when it is 135° for medium rare. The temperature will rise an additional 5 degrees as it sits.

To make gravy, add 1 cup of beef broth to the pan drippings, stirring to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Pour it into a small pot and heat on medium. Add 3 tbsp flour to remaining broth and mix well. Pour it into the pot and whisk over low flame. Add all drippings accumulated from cutting the roast beef into the pot, bring to a boil and stir until it thickens, simmering on low a few minutes. Adjust salt and pepper.


Shepherd’s Pie

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with this lightened Shepherd’s Pie, filled with lean beef, skinny mashed potatoes and lots of vegetables. You can make this a day ahead and bake it when you are ready to eat. This would also be great with chopped turkey.

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 10.5 oz • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 7 pts
Calories: 290.5 • Fat: 11.1 g • Protein: 16.8 g • Carb: 31.5 g • Fiber: 4.9 g   

Potatoes:

    1-1/2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, diced
    3/4 cup fat free chicken broth
    2 tbsp fat free sour cream
    salt and pepper
    paprika

Filling:

    1 lb 95% lean ground beef
    1 tsp oil
    1 medium onion, diced
    1 celery stalk, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, diced
    8 oz mushrooms, diced
    10 oz frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, corn, peas, green beans, baby lima beans)
    2 tbsp flour
    1 cup fat free beef broth
    2 tsp tomato paste
    1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
    1 tsp freshly chopped rosemary leaves
    1 tsp freshly chopped thyme leaves
    salt and pepper

Boil potatoes in water until cooked and soft. Drain and mash with chicken broth, sour cream, salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 400°.

In a large sautι pan brown meat. Season with salt and pepper. When cooked, set aside on a plate. Discard any fat in the pan, add oil, onion and garlic and sautι on medium heat about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and celery and sautι another 3-4 minutes. Add flour, salt and pepper and mix well. Add frozen vegetables, beef broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, thyme, chopped meat and mix well. Simmer on low about 5-10 minutes.

Spread the meat mixture on the bottom of a 11x7 glass baking dish. Top with mashed potatoes, using a fork to scrape the top to make ridges and sprinkle with paprika. Bake 20 minutes or until potatoes turn golden. Remove from oven and let it cool 10-15 minutes before serving.
































Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy

Lean ground beef and turkey are combined with breadcrumbs and sautιed onions then shaped into patties and simmered in a mushroom gravy to create a lightened version of this retro American dish. 

Serve this with Skinny Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Skinny Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes or for a low-carb option Creamy Cauliflower Puree and you have a complete meal. It's hard not to imagine a TV dinners when you think of Salisbury Steak, originally a poor man's beef dish made with ground beef and fillers, shaped to resemble a real steak back in the great depression when steak was a luxury. 

Servings: 8 • Size: 1 patty with mushroom gravy • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts  
Calories: 202.8 • Fat: 7.8 g • Protein: 21.7 g • Carb: 10 g • Fiber: 1.2 g • Sugar: 1.7 g • Sodium: 524.7 mg 

    1 1/2 tsp oil
    3/4 cup onions, minced
    1 lbs 93% lean ground beef
    1 lb 93% lean ground turkey
    1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
    1 large egg
    1 large egg white
    2 cups beef broth
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/8 tsp ground black pepper, to taste
    8 oz sliced mushrooms
    2 tbsp all-purpose flour
    2 tbsp tomato paste
    1 tsp red wine vinegar
    2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, to taste
    1/2 tsp mustard powder
    1/4 cup water
    chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

Sautι onions in oil over medium heat until golden brown, about 5 minutes. 

In a large bowl, combine half of the sautιed onions, ground beef, ground turkey, bread crumbs, egg, egg white, 1/4 cup beef broth, salt and black pepper.

Shape into 8 oval patties.

In a large deep skillet over medium-high heat, brown both sides of patties. Set aside on a dish.

Add mushrooms to the skillet, season with salt and pepper and sautι 2-3 minutes.
Return patties to the skillet with the mushrooms.

In a small bowl, blend flour and remaining broth until smooth. Mix in remaining onions, tomato paste, vinegar, water, Worcestershire sauce and mustard powder.

Pour over meat and mushrooms in skillet.

Cover and cook on low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over Skinny Garlic Mashed Potatoes with a vegetable on the side. Enjoy!!

























Sloppy Joes

If you don't like getting your hands dirty, then this is not for you! I didn't grow up eating traditional sloppy Joes as a kid, the closest thing that came to a Sloppy Joe in my house was picadillo on a roll (which is quite good by the way) so when I got a recipe request for a low fat Sloppy Joe, I had to do some research.

Servings: 7 • Serving Size: 1/2 cup or 1/4 lb • Old Points: 2 pts •
 Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 121.8 • Fat: 3.7 g • Protein: 13.7 g • Carb: 9.9 g • Fiber: 2.1 g 

    1.25 lbs 93% lean ground beef sirloin
    1 tbsp steak seasoning or seasoned salt
    1 carrot, minced
    1 medium onion, minced



    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1/4 cup red bell pepper, minced
    4 oz mushrooms, minced
    1 tbsp red wine vinegar
    1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
    2 cups tomato sauce
    2 tbsp tomato paste

Chop all the vegetables really fine, using a chopper or food processor.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the meat to the pan and break it up as it cooks. Season with steak seasoning and cook the meat until it browns, then add onion, garlic, carrots, mushrooms and red peppers to the skillet. Reduce heat to medium and add red wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce, cook 5 more minutes. Add tomato sauce and paste to pan, stir to combine. Cover and reduce heat to simmer and cook an additional 5 minutes. Using a measuring cup, pile 1/2 cup of sloppy meat onto toasted buns.

TIP: When calculating calories or points for meat, always weigh it after it's cooked, as meat weighs more raw. Case in point, I used 1.25 lbs (20 oz) of lean beef, then weighed it after, and it weighed .85 lbs (13.6 oz), so if you are using the raw weight, your information will be incorrect.



Spicy Thai Beef and Jasmine Rice

I love a good rice dish, and I love spicy beef so this recipe sounded like something I would enjoy. I just received my order from the Asian Food Grocer and was excited with all my Asian ingredients and my lovely chopsticks. One of the items I purchased was Jasmine rice. I modified the recipe, which was on the back of the rice package by tweaking the seasoning, adding more vegetables and using lean beef.

Servings: 5 • Serving Size: 1 cup • Old Points: 6 • Points+: 7
Calories: 287.5 • Fat: 8.9 • Carbs: 37.9 • Fiber: 3.1 • Protein: 13.6

    3/4 lb 95% lean ground beef
    1/2 onion, chopped
    6 green onions, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
    3 carrots thinly sliced
    1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
    1 cup Jasmine Rice
    2 tbsp soy sauce (plus more to taste)
    1 tsp Asian fish sauce
    1/3 cup fresh chopped cilantro

Heat a heavy medium pot over high heat. Add beef and sautι until browned. Add onion, scallions, garlic, crushed red pepper and 1 tbsp soy sauce. Sautι another 2 minutes. Add carrots, red pepper, rice, 2 cups water, fish sauce and remaining soy sauce. Reduce to low heat, when the water is almost evaporated, cover. Simmer on low about 20 minutes. Add cilantro and mix well and keep covered for 10 more minutes. Makes 5 cups.












Steak and Cheese Sandwiches with Onions and Mushrooms

Steak and cheese sandwiches are my weakness! I love them for lunch or dinner and have a really hard time passing  them up.  I love this with Swiss, provolone, cheddar or even American cheese... reduced-fat of course.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1 sandwich • Old Points: 7 pts • Points+: 9 pts  
Calories: 350.4 • Fat: 8.1 g • Protein: 24 g • Carb: 43.5 g • Fiber: 2.5 g • Sugar: 1.1 g • Sodium: 26.8 mg (without salt)

For the steak:

    1/2 lb thin cut beef round sandwich steaks
    1/2 large onion, sliced into rings
    1/2 tsp olive oil
    8 oz sliced mushrooms
    4 seconds cooking spray (I like Smart Balance)
    garlic powder to taste
    salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

For the sandwich:

    12 oz French bread or baguette, cut into 4 pieces (see tip)
    4 slices reduced-fat cheese slices (I used Sargento provolone)

Start by preparing the steak, click Quick Skillet Steak with Mushrooms and Onions for the recipe.

Preheat oven to 425° or set your broiler to low.

Once the steak is cooked and ready, cut bread into 4 pieces (see tip). Divide steak and mushrooms evenly between four sandwiches and place a slice of cheese on each one. Place sandwiches on a cookie sheet and heat in the oven or broiler until the cheese melts; 2 - 3 minutes, careful not to burn if using the broiler. Enjoy!!





Stuffed Pepper Soup

Bell peppers, chopped tomatoes and lean ground beef are simmered in broth with onions and garlic, then topped with brown rice. Everything you love about a stuffed pepper, in a soup!

This hearty bowl of soup will warm you up on a chilly day. I guess you can call this a lazy stuffed pepper because it tastes just like a stuffed pepper without all the extra work. Topped with brown rice it's a satisfying meal. 

Servings: 6 • Size: 1 1/3 cups soup, 1/2 cup rice • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 7 pts
Calories: 261.2  Fat: 4.8 g • Carb: 37.5 g • Fiber: 4.7 g • Protein: 17.6 g • Sugar: 6 g • Sodium: 606.3 g  (without salt)

    3 cups cooked brown rice
    1 lb 95% lean ground beef
    1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
    1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
    1 cup finely diced onion
    3 cloves garlic, chopped
    2 cans (14.5 oz each) cans petite diced tomatoes
    1 3/4 cups tomato sauce
    2 cups reduced sodium, fat-free chicken broth
    1/2 tsp dried marjoram
    salt and fresh pepper to taste

In a large pot or Dutch oven, brown ground meat on high heat and season with salt. Drain fat if any, reduce heat to medium-low, then add peppers, onions and garlic. Cook about 5 minutes on low heat.

Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, marjoram and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Serve about 1 1/3 cups of soup in each bowl and top with 1/2 cup cooked brown rice.

Makes about 8 cups.





Swedish Meatballs

Lean meatballs seasoned with a hint of allspice and served in a creamy beef gravy. These meatballs seems decadent but they are actually lighter than you think. Serve them as an appetizer with toothpicks or over your favorite noodles. To make these gluten free you can make them without the breadcrumbs. Enjoy!

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 5 meatballs • Old Points: 4 pt • Points+: 5 pt
Calories: 213.5 • Fat: 10 g • Protein: 25.1 g • Carb: 8.5 g • Fiber: 1 g • 
Sugar: 2 g • Sodium without adding salt: 346 mg 

    1 tsp olive oil
    1 small onion, minced
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 celery stalk, minced
    1/4 cup minced parsley
    1 lb 93% lean beef
    1 egg
    1/4 cup breadcrumbs
    salt and pepper to taste
    1/2 tsp allspice
    2 cups reduced sodium beef stock
    2 oz light cream cheese

In a large deep sautι pan, heat oil on medium heat, add onions and garlic; sautι until onions are translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add celery and parsley and cook until soft, about 3-4 more minutes. 

Let cool a few minutes. In a large bowl combine beef, egg, onion mixture, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and allspice. Mix well and form meatballs with your hands 1/8 cup each (fill 1/4 cup then divide the meat in half).

Add beef stock to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and slowly drop meatballs into the broth. C

over and cook about 20 minutes. Remove the meatballs with a slotted spoon and set aside in a serving dish. Strain the stock, add to blender with cream cheese and pulse until smooth. Return to pan and simmer a few minutes to thicken, then pour over meatballs. 

Garnish with parsley and serve over noodles or with toothpicks if you want to set these out as an appetizer.

This makes 22 meatballs, nutritional info is based on 5 meatballs with gravy.








































Vietnamese Shaking Beef (Bo Luc Lac)

Vietnamese steak salad served on a bed of greens and tomatoes, topped with pickled onions and a lime dipping sauce. This widely popular Asian dish combines many taste sensations and creates a harmony of flavors with every bite. The “shaking” in the name refers to the tossing of the beef back and forth in the wok after it’s quickly seared.

You can serve this as a salad for a low carb meal or make some rice on the side. This is traditionally served over a bed of watercress which I couldn't find, so I used an arugula blend instead. Thick soy sauce is traditionally used here, but you can use low sodium soy sauce instead if this is not available to you.

This was a recent recipe which I wanted to make as authentic as possible and upon doing some research came I came across and this recipe from Ravenous Couple who was guest posting on Rasa Malaysia. I had no doubt this dish would be a hit with my family and I hope you all like it too. I've made some adjustments to the recipe to lighten it a little but I tried to stick as close as possible to the original.

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 3 oz beef + lettuce, onions, tomato
Sodium 1451 mg  • Old Points: 6 pt • Points+: 7 pt
Calories: 268.9 • Fat: 10.1 g • Protein: 27.3 g • Carb: 16.6 g • Fiber: 0.9 g • Sugar: 12 g

Marinade:

    1 1/2 lbs beef top sirloin, fat trimmed and cut into 1″ cubes
    5 cloves crushed garlic
    1 tbsp agave or sugar
    1 tbsp oyster sauce
    1 tbsp fish sauce
    1 tsp sesame oil
    1 tsp thick soy sauce (or use low sodium soy sauce)

Vinaigrette

    1/2 cup rice vinegar
    1 1/2 tbs sugar (or agave)
    1 1/2 tsp kosher salt


Dipping Sauce

    juice of 1 lime
    1/2 tsp kosher salt
    1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper

Salad:

    1 small red onion, thinly sliced
    4 cups watercress leaves or mixed baby greens
    2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
    1 tbsp canola oil, divided

Marinate steak at least 1 hour before cooking, or overnight for best results. Combine garlic, oyster sauce, agave or sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil with the beef.

For the vinaigrette combine rice vinegar with salt and sugar. It should be a balance of sour, salty and sweet.

Thinly slice the red onion and use about 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette to pickle and set aside covered in fridge for about 10 minutes. Prepare bed of greens and tomatoes in a serving platter and set aside.

Make dipping sauce by squeezing lime juice over salt and pepper in a small ramekin.

Heat a large wok or pan over high heat. When very hot add 1/2 tbsp oil and when it begins to smoke, add an even layer of beef (half) and allow to sear for about 2 minutes, before “shaking” to sear the opposite sides for about another 1-2 minute more to brown all the sides.  Repeat this with the second batch of meat using the remainder of the oil.

Transfer beef to bed of watercress and tomatoes. Drizzle remainder of the vinaigrette over the beef and greens and top with pickled red onions. Serve with lime dipping sauce.






Quick Skillet Steak with Onions and Mushrooms

Meat lovers will LOVE this quick weeknight steak dish! Mushrooms and onions are the perfect compliment to steak, plus they add bulk without added calories or fat. A great example of using steak as a condiment.

Originally when I made this steak dish, it was intended for my steak sandwich recipe, but since this is also so good over rice, I felt it deserved its own post. (Steak and cheese sandwich recipe coming tomorrow!) Serve this with a salad and you have a complete meal! Have all your vegetables sliced and ready before you start cooking, this takes only minutes to make once everything is prepped. Enjoy.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1/4th (about 4 oz) • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 2 pts  
Calories: 95.4 • Fat: 4.1 g • Protein: 12.5 g • Carb: 3.5 g • Fiber: 1.0 g • Sugar: 1.1 g Sodium: 26.8 mg (without salt)

    1/2 lb thin cut beef round sandwich steaks
    1/2 large onion, sliced into rings
    1/2 tsp olive oil
    8 oz sliced mushrooms
    4 seconds cooking spray (I like Smart Balance)
    garlic powder to taste
    salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Slice beef into thin strips. Season with salt, garlic powder and fresh pepper to taste. Heat a large skillet over high heat. When the skillet is very hot, spray with cooking spray and add half of the beef. Cook one minute, then turn steak and cook an additional 30 seconds. Set aside in a large dish. Spray the skillet again and when it gets hot add the remaining steak, cooking one minute, then turning and cooking 30 seconds more. Add remaining steak to the dish. Return skillet to heat and spray once again with cooking spray; add onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook one minute, then turn and cook onions an additional 30 seconds or until onions are golden.

Lower heat to medium and add 1/2 tsp olive oil to the skillet, add mushrooms, salt and pepper and lightly spray the top of the mushrooms with cooking spray. Cook 1 1/2 minutes, then turn mushrooms and cook another minute and a half. Add to dish with steak and onions and stir to combine. Serve over rice.



















































5 Pork Recipes

Crock Pot Asian Pork with Mushrooms

Boneless pork roast slow cooked in Asian spices creates a aromatic pork dish with mushrooms and broth, perfect over noodles or rice with fresh chopped green onions, cilantro and sriracha.

I'm liking my crock pot more and more lately because I am understanding how to make it work and what not to do from some crock pot disasters in my past. Food cooked in the crock pot is blander than dishes made on the stove. To compensate, I learned to boost the seasoning and I usually have to add more at the very end to taste. Fresh herbs should always be added at the end of cooking. Searing the pork before adding it to the crock pot is a must, so don't skip this step. If you want to do this the night before, you can set it all up and leave it refrigerated, then turn it on in the morning.

Because this makes a lot, I enjoyed this two nights with leftovers to spare. The first night we enjoyed it over rice noodles, soba or buckwheat noodles  would also be great.

The second night, I reheated some of the pork and broth on the stove and though in some handfuls of baby spinach to it and let it wilt. We had this over rice and my husband couldn't stop raving. Next time I make this I will try adding chopped carrots, baby corn, or Bok Choy in the end for extra vegetables.

A few notes about the ingredients: I always buy sesame oil with cayenne at the Asian grocery, it's infused with cayenne and very spicy. If this is something not available to you, use regular sesame oil and add a pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes instead.

Chinese five spice is available your spice aisle, it's an exotic combination of anise, star anise, cinnamon, cloves and ginger, great for marinades in Asian dishes. I love the rich warm flavor it adds to this dish. 

Servings: 7 • Size: about 3 oz pork + mushrooms • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 224.1 • Fat: 8.5 g • Protein: 25 g • Carb: 11 g • Fiber: 0.4 g • 
Sugar: 7.3 • Sodium: less than 854 mg, since you don't use all the liquid

    2 lb lean boneless pork sirloin roast (aka pork center rib roast, pork center loin roast)
    kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
    Non-stick oil spray (I used Smart Balance spray)
    1 cup low-sodium fat-free chicken broth
    1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce (for gf use gf tamari)
    1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
    3 tbsp agave (or sugar)
    1 tsp hot sesame oil (aji oil)  (or use sesame oil + pinch red pepper flakes)
    1/2 tsp Chinese five spice (I used McCormick)
    3 cloves crushed garlic
    1 tbsp fresh grated ginger root
    8 oz sliced mushrooms (I used baby Bella)

For topping:

    1/4 cup chopped scallions
    1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Season pork on all side with salt and fresh cracked pepper. Heat a skillet on medium-high heat, spray with a little oil and brown the pork on all sides for about 7 - 8 minutes.

In the crock pot, combine the broth, soy sauce (or Tamari), balsamic, agave, sesame oil, Chinese five spice, garlic and ginger; add the pork and set the slow cooker to 8 hours on low.

Thirty minutes before the timer goes off, remove the pork and set aside to rest a few minutes; add the mushrooms to the crock pot, cover and cook on low for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, shred the pork using two forks.

When the mushrooms are tender, remove about 1 cup of the broth and reserve if needed. Add the shredded pork to the crock pot and mix well. If adding baby spinach, add at the end and cover a few minutes until it wilts.




































Crock Pot Kailua Pork

Kailua Pig is popular at Hawaiian luaus where a whole pig is smoked in a sand pit with sea salt, banana leaves and koa wood. This simple crock pot method mimics the smoked flavor of using natural liquid smoke and the results are an easy, mouth-watering, juicy pork recipe anyone can make at home. Perfect for your next Luau!

Be sure to buy the boneless pork shoulder blade roast, as it is leaner than the pork shoulder picnic. This slow cooks in your crock pot for about 16 hours so I started mine at night and let it cook overnight for 8 hours on low, then when I got up I reset it for another 8. Depending on your crock pot this may take less time, use your judgment.

Servings: about 8 • Serving Size: 4 oz  • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 160 • Fat: 7 g • Protein: 24 g • Carb: 0 g • Fiber: 0 g • Sugar: 0 g

    3 lb pork shoulder blade roast, lean, all fat removed
    1 tbsp liquid mesquite smoke
    1 tbsp coarse sea salt

Place pork in the crock pot and stab it all over with the tip of a knife. Rub sea salt all over pork. Drizzle the liquid smoke all over and set crock pot to low; cook about 16 hours.

Remove from crock pot and place on a large platter. Remove any fat you may have missed and shred pork with two forks. Discard liquid reserving a little as needed to keep pork moist.














Garlic Lime Marinated Pork Chops

The lime zest gives these chops an extra zing. Adjust the seasoning to your liking. Make these in the broiler or on the grill. Serve this with cilantro lime rice on the side.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1 pork chop • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 194.6 • Fat: 7.8 g • Protein: 27.7 g • Carb: 2.3 g • Fiber: 0.6 g • Sodium: 235.5 mg

    4 (6 oz each) lean boneless pork chops
    4 cloves garlic, crushed
    1 tsp cumin
    1 tsp chili powder
    1 tsp paprika
    1/2 lime, juice of
    lime zest
    salt and fresh pepper

Trim any fat off pork. In a large bowl season pork with garlic, cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Squeeze lime juice and some zest from the lime and let it marinade at least 20 minutes.

Line broiler pan with foil for easy clean up. Place pork chops on the broiler pan and broil about 4-5 minutes on each side or until nicely browned.




















Honey Baked Spiral Ham

Spiral hams are perfect for the Holidays because they are precooked and sliced which makes for easy serving when it comes out of the oven. This simple homemade glaze is made with fresh orange juice, honey, pineapple juice, Dijon mustard and a touch of brown sugar reduced down until it thickens. 

Servings: about 12 • Serving Size: 3 oz • Points: 4 pts
Calories: 170.6 • Fat: 7g • Protein: 16.1 g • Carb: 13.1 g • Fiber: 0 g  

    8-9 lbs (fully cooked) spiral bone-in ham

Glaze:

    1/3 cup pineapple juice
    1/2 orange, juice of
    2 tsp Dijon mustard
    1/4 cup honey
    1 tbsp brown sugar

Preheat oven to 275°. Place ham in a roasting pan, cut side down. Cover tightly with foil or place in a baking bag. Bake ham in oven at 275° 12-15 minutes per pound, depending on the size of your ham. (Approximately 2 hours)

In a small sauce pan combine brown sugar, honey, orange juice, pineapple juice and Dijon. Whisk well and simmer on low 8-10 minutes, stirring often until it reduces down and thickens into a glaze.

Remove ham from oven 15 minutes before the ham is ready and brush the glaze onto the ham. Finish cooking the ham for the last 15 minutes uncovered.









Mexican Slow Cooked Pork Carnitas

I know a lot of you share my love for Mexican food, so I think you will agree this is the most amazing pork recipe for the crock pot. Coming home from work and smelling this when you walk in the door is heavenly.

Browning the pork first is essential so don't skip this step. Pork shoulder is very inexpensive and you can make a few meals out of this. Be sure to buy the boneless pork shoulder blade roast, as it is leaner than the pork shoulder picnic. The prep for this is about 15 minutes the night before. Get it ready and refrigerate it so you simply take it out and plug it in when you get up. Serve this with tortillas, use in burritos, or simply have this with cilantro lime rice. You can make your own Chipotles burrito bowl with lettuce, sour cream, corn salsa, guacamole, or whatever else you usually put in yours!

Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 4 oz (1/2 cup) • Old Points: 4 pts • 
Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 176 • Fat: 7.7g • Protein: 25.8 g • Carb: 1.3 g • Fiber: 0.1 g

    2.5 lb pork shoulder blade roast, lean, all fat removed (I used Smithfield)
    6 cloves garlic, cut into sliver
    cumin
    dry adobo seasoning (I used Goya)
    garlic powder
    3/4 cup 99% fat free chicken broth
    2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (to taste)
    2 bay leaves 

Season pork with salt and pepper. In a medium sautι pan on medium-high heat, brown pork on all sides for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Using a sharp knife, insert blade into pork, cutting small holes and insert garlic slivers. Season pork generously with cumin, adobo and garlic powder all over.

Pour chicken broth in the Crockpot, add bay leaves and chipotle peppers. Place pork in crock pot and cover. Cook low for 8 hours. After 8 hours, shred pork using two forks and combine well with the juices that accumulated at the bottom. Remove bay leaves and adjust salt and cumin (you will probably need to add more). Let it cook another 15-30 minutes.


Pork Chops with Dijon Herb Sauce

This is the best way to prepare pork chops. They come out juicy and full of flavor. I have been making this recipe for years from one of my Food and Wine cookbooks. You can use any fresh herbs, but I always use chives and parsley since I have them in my garden. Here's the recipe modified slightly to keep it light.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1 chop • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 166.5 • Fat: 9.2 g • Carb: 2.6 g • Fiber: 0.2 g • Protein: 16.4 g

    1 tsp butter
    4 pork chops (22 oz with bone, fat removed), 1 inch thick, trim all visible fat
    1/2 tsp salt
    fresh ground pepper
    3 tbsp chopped onion
    3/4 cup fat free chicken stock
    1 tbsp Dijon mustard
    2 tbsp chopped, fresh herbs like parsley, chives

In a large frying pan heat the butter over moderately low heat. Season pork with salt and pepper.  

Raise heat to medium and add the chops to the pan and sautι for 7 minutes. Turn and cook until chops are browned and done to medium, about 7-8 minutes longer. Remove the chops and put in a warm spot.

Add the onion to the pan and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the stock and boil until it reduces to 1/2 cup, about 3 minutes. Stir in the mustard, herbs, and 1/8 tsp pepper. Put the chops on a platter and pour the sauce over the meat.

Food and Wines says it is ok if the pork chops are pink in the center. Trichinosis is killed at the relatively low temperature of 150°. I use a thermometer to check the center and usually leave it until it hits 160°. Don't overcook or they will become dry.





Pork Chops with Mushrooms and Shallots

These pork chops are juicy and flavorful, perfect with a side of roasted cauliflower. This was adapted from one of my favorite pork chop recipes, Pork Chops with Dijon Herb Sauce. The addition of mushrooms and shallots were delicious and my daughter decided she finally likes mushrooms. Fresh thyme would make a great substitution for parsley.

Servings: 4 servings • Serving Size: 1 chop • Old Points: 4 pts • 
Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 179.9 • Fat: 9.5 g • Protein: 18.5 g • Carb: 4.3 g • Fiber: 0.9 g 

    1 tsp butter
    4 pork loin chops (with bone), 1 inch thick, trim all visible fat
    1/2 tsp salt
    fresh ground pepper
    1/4 cup chopped shallots
    1 cup fat free chicken stock
    10 oz sliced baby Bella mushrooms
    1 tbsp Dijon mustard
    2 tbsp chopped, fresh parsley

In a large frying pan heat the butter over moderately low heat. Season pork with salt and pepper. Raise heat to medium and add the chops to the pan and sautι for 7 minutes. Turn and cook until chops are browned and done to medium, about 7-8 minutes longer. Remove the chops and put in a warm spot.

Add shallots to the pan and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the stock to deglaze the pan, stir in the mustard, 1 tbsp parsley, then add mushrooms, season with fresh pepper and cook about 3 minutes, or until mushrooms are done. Put the chops on a platter and pour the mushroom sauce over the meat, top with remaining parsley.

Note: Food and Wines says it is ok if the pork chops are pink in the center. Trichinosis is killed at the relatively low temperature of 150°. I use a thermometer to check the center and usually leave it until it hits 160°. Don't overcook or they will become dry.




Pressure Cooker Split Pea Soup with Ham

When I want a hearty bowl of split pea soup in a hurry, my pressure cooker is my best friend! Split pea soup is loaded with fiber, and it's a comforting meal on a chilly night. I usually serve this with a slice of crusty bread, toasted and rubbed with a little garlic.

This soup is also my favorite way to use up leftover ham or a ham bone. It's super easy, but not always super quick... unless you use a pressure cooker! 

Using a pressure cooker cuts the cooking time by less than half and everything always tastes better for some reason. I've been using my pressure cooker for years; in South America it is widely popular to make soups, beans, and stews because it's quick and saves on gas. I own a fancy electric one, but for some reason I still rather use my old stove top Presto.

When making soups and stews in the pressure cooker, very little  liquid evaporates, so I usually cut the liquid down a bit. I found a great Pressure Cooker Cheat Sheet on Pressure Cooker For Dummies, if you own one and are scared of it, you might find this interesting.

I used Better than Bouillon, I love the flavor it adds to soups, but you can use chicken broth in its place if you prefer.

By the way, this soup freezes well, leftovers are perfect for lunch or make a batch for once a month cooking.

Servings: 6 • Size: 1 1/4 cups • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 7
Calories: 254 • Fat: 2 g • Carb: 51.5 g • Fiber: 20 g • Protein: 24 g • 
Sugar: 5 g • Sodium: 694.5 mg (to reduce the sodium use less bouillon)

    1 lb dry green split peas
    1 tsp olive oil
    2 large carrots, peeled
    1 medium onion, diced
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    7 oz reduced sodium ham steak, diced (Boar's Head)
    6 cups water
    1 tbsp Better Than Bouillon or 1 cube*
    1 bay leaf

Rinse peas under cold water.

n a pressure cooker, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and garlic and sautι 4-5 minutes. Add ham, peas, water, chicken bouillon and bay leaf and bring to a boil. When the liquid boils, cover and lock the lid and continue cooking until the pot reaches pressure, then reduce heat to low and set a timer for 20 minutes.

After the 20 minutes, shut the stove off and let the pressure cooker release the steam on its own. When the lid unlocks, adjust liquid if needed, taste for salt and pepper and remove bay leaf. If the soup looks like it should cook a little longer, you can let it simmer covered (unlocked) until it has reached your desired thickness.

To make without a pressure cooker, add 2 more cups water and simmer covered on low for 2 hours.

*Check labels for Gluten Free


























Slow Cooked Pernil (Puerto Rican Pork)

Slow cooked pork marinated in garlic, citrus juices, cumin and oregano. Pernil is a typical pork dish in the Latin Caribbean islands such as Puerto Rico and Cuba, served with rice and beans during the holidays or whenever there's a reason to celebrate. My husband loves pernil, especially my cousin Katia's recipe from Food For Every Season. I decided to lighten up her recipe, and bravely against my husband's wishes, I opted to use my crock pot.

A typical Pernil recipe is slow roasted in the oven with a huge slab of fat on top, which gets crispy as it cooks. My lightened version is a lean boneless shoulder blade roast, trimmed of all fat and slow cooked in the crock pot to make this easy enough to make as a weeknight meal. Be sure to buy the boneless pork shoulder blade roast, as it is leaner than the pork shoulder picnic. Season the meat the day before and refrigerate it in the crock pot. Then when you wake up, take it out and plug it in and come home to a home cooked meal.

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 4 oz  • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 176 • Fat: 7.2 g • Protein: 24.4 g • Carb: 3.6 g • Fiber: 0.2 g

    3 lb pork shoulder blade roast, lean, all fat removed
    4-5 cloves garlic, crushed
    1 tbsp coarse salt
    1/2 tsp oregano
    1/2 tbsp cumin
    1/4 tsp crushed black pepper
    3 oranges, juice of (1/2 cup)
    2 limes, juice of

Using a sharp knife, cut slits into the pork and stuff holes with half of the crushed garlic. Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over pork. Place in the ceramic part of the crock pot, cover and refrigerate, turning pork occasionally so the marinade covers all of pork. The next day, remove the crock pot and cook on low, 8 hours.

After 8 hours, remove pork and shred using two forks. Remove liquid from crock pot and add pork back to crock. Add about 1 cup of the liquid back and adjust salt, pepper and cumin (you will probably need to add more). Let it cook another 15-30 minutes.












































Spinach Prosciutto and Mozzarella Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Pork tenderloin stuffed with prosciutto, mozzarella, baby spinach and sun dried tomatoes; a wonderful dish for the Holidays. Serve this with potato parsnip mash, skinny garlic mashed potatoes, or creamy cauliflower puree and some roasted vegetables on the side.

Pork tenderloin is perfect for the holidays, and it's just as lean as chicken breast. I love how the colors of the spinach and sundried tomatoes look so festive when you cut it open. You can easily double this recipe to serve eight. If you've never butterflied a tenderloin, it's not very hard. I found this video on how to cut a pork tenderloin which you may find helpful, although I cut mine a little different as described below. Either way is fine.

Servings: 4 • Size: 2 slices • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 5 pt
Calories: 208 • Fat: 8.5 g • Carb: 3 g • Fiber: 1 g • Protein: 29 g • Sugar: 1 g
Sodium: 219 mg  (without salt) 

    3 cloves garlic, crushed
    2 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
    2 tsp Dijon mustard
    1 tsp olive oil
    1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
    1 (1 lb) pork tenderloin
    1 1/2 oz reduced fat mozzarella cheese (Polly-o)
    2 cups fresh baby spinach
    2 tbsp chopped sun dried tomatoes
    1 oz thin sliced prosciutto
    salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste

Combine crushed garlic, lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, and pepper; mix well.

Cut a lengthwise slit down the center of the tenderloin to within 1/2- inch of bottom (careful not to cut all the way through). Open tenderloin so it lies flat. On each half, make another, lengthwise slit down the center to within 1/2-inch of bottom; cover with plastic wrap. Flatten to 1/4-in. thickness with a mallet.

Remove plastic wrap; spread 1/2 of the garlic/Dijon mixture on the inside of the pork. Layer the cheese, spinach, sun dried tomatoes and prosciutto on top, press down gently.

Roll up pork jelly-roll style, starting with a long side. Tie the roast at 1-1/2-inch to 2-inch intervals with kitchen string.

Season lightly with salt, and remaining garlic/Dijon mixture. Place on a rack in a shallow baking pan.

Bake, uncovered, at 425° for 25-30 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160°. Place under the broiler to brown the top for 5 minutes, then transfer to a serving platter or cutting board. Let stand 10 minutes before removing string and slicing. Slice in 8 pieces.






























Split Pea Soup with Ham Hock

This soup is a satisfying delicious meal very high in fiber. A perfect soup on a cold evening.

Servings: 6 • Size: 1/6th of recipe • Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 183.3 • Fat: 5.9g • Protein: 10.9 g • Carb: 22.2 g • Fiber: 7.3 g

    16 oz bag of dried split peas
    1 medium chopped onion
    1 garlic clove or more if you like more garlic, use 2-3 cloves of garlic
    8 cups fat-free chicken broth
    2 tsp of olive oil
    2 large carrots - chopped
    salt and pepper, to taste
    1 ham hock

Wash peas and drain them. In a pot, sautι onions and garlic in about 2 tsp of oil.

Add peas, carrots, ham hock and your chicken stock, then cover the pot and let it come to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Once it boils you can reduce heat and cook for about two hours (beans should be very soft by then). Make sure to check the water and consistency. You may need to add hot water if it becomes too thick.
Remove ham hock and serve.

Serve with toasted bread. (Extra pts)













Slow Cooked Sweet Barbacoa Pork

Sweet and spicy slow cooked pork sweetened with brown sugar, cola, chipotle chilies, green chilies, cumin and spices. Delicious over cilantro lime rice and black beans.

We had enough for several meals, and made a burrito bowl out of the leftovers with cilantro lime rice, black beans (recipe coming soon), pico de gallo, lettuce, avocado and a little low fat cheese. But this was also great served over rice. The crock pot is parked on my counter lately, it's so helpful on the days I have to go in to work. What can beat coming home from work and smelling dinner just about ready!

Since the marinade gets tossed after it cooks, I wasn't sure how to calculate, so I counted half the sugar and cola from the marinade just to be sure. Adjust the heat to your liking, this is medium heat, if you like it hot, add more chilies, if you prefer it mild, use less. Enjoy!

Servings: about 10 • Serving Size: 3 oz • Old Points: 4.5 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 202.5 • Fat: 6.3 g • Protein: 26.2 g • Carb: 11.5 g • Fiber: 0.6 g
Adapted from Favorite Family Recipes

For the Marinade:

    2.5 lbs pork loin roast, all fat trimmed
    salt and pepper
    garlic powder
    6 oz Coke zero
    1/4 cup brown sugar (unpacked)
    1/4 cup water

Step 2

    8 oz Coke zero
    6 oz can sliced green chilies
    8 oz tomato sauce
    1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce
    1/8 tsp garlic powder
    1/8 tsp cumin
    1/8 tsp chipotle chili powder (to taste)
    salt and pepper to taste
    1/3 cup brown sugar (unpacked)

Season pork with salt, pepper and garlic powder and place in the crock pot. Add 6 oz of coke and 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Marinate refrigerated for a few hours or overnight turning meat at least once while marinating.

Remove crock from refrigerator, add water, and cook on high for about 3-4 hours (or until it shreds easily). Remove pork from crock pot and discard any liquid left in the pot. Shred pork with two forks.

Step two: In the crock pot, combine 8 oz coke, green chilies, tomato sauce, chipotle chile, garlic powder, cumin, chipotle chili powder and remaining brown sugar.

Put shredded pork back in the crock pot and combine with sauce. Adjust salt and pepper to taste, cover and cook on high 1-1/2 hours more.




























Slow Cooker Filipino Adobo Pulled Pork

We love Filipino Adobo Chicken in my home, I make it at least once a month because it's just so darn easy to make and everyone loves it.

Adobo pork is also commonly made the same way, so I decided to test it out in the crock pot with a lean pork loin which is not so exactly the traditional method, but I love making pork in my slow cooker, so why not!

I left the pork whole rather than cutting it up in small chunks to make more of a Filipino pulled pork (and because I'm a bit lazy) but cutting it into small cubes would work out fine as well.

Served it over jasmine rice topped with fresh scallions and with some garden tomatoes on the side and it was a wonderful, simple meal.  Enjoy!

Servings: 7 • Serving Size: 3 oz pork • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 174 • Fat: 8 g • Protein: 22 g • Carb: 3.5 g • Fiber: 0.2 g • 
Sugar: 1 g • Sodium: 806 mg

    1.75 lb lean pork center loin
    1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce (gluten free use tamari)
    1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
    1/2 cup water
    5 cloves garlic, crushed
    6 ground peppercorns
    4 - 6 bay leaves
    1 jalapeρo, chopped (optional)
    2 tbsp chopped scallions, for garnish

Place pork, soy sauce, vinegar, water, garlic, peppercorns and bay leaves (jalapeρo if using) in the crock pot; cover and set to low heat 6 to 8 hours turning over half way through cooking.

Remove the pork, shred with two forks and put it back in the crock pot for one more hour to let the flavor get into the meat. Discard bay leaves and serve over rice and top with chopped scallions.





Slow Cooker Pork & Green Chile Stew

Chunks of lean pork, slow cooked in the crock pot with tomatoes, green chilies and jalapeρo for a delicious weeknight meal with a little bit of heat!

Serve this with tortillas, or over brown rice with a little light sour cream and a slice of avocado if you wish and you'll have a delicious meal.




This recipe is really so versatile – you can add more broth if you want more liquid, you can also add tomatillos, cilantro, and make it your own. For speed and convenience I used canned green chilies and jalapeno, but you can certainly use fresh and roast your own. This has a little bit of kick, but you can certainly turn it up by adding more jalapeρos or chile powder.

I bought a boneless loin roast and trimmed quite a bit of the fat off before cooking, so keep it in mind that you'll lose some meat.  I like to brown the meat before adding it to the crock pot for best results and add a little flour to pork as it browns before adding it to the crock pot so that it thickens a bit. If you have gluten allergies, you can skip this step. If you don't have time to brown your meat no worries, it will still work out fine. Enjoy!

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: little over 3/4 cup • Old Points: 6 pts • 
Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 253 • Fat: 9 g • Carbs: 5.5 g • Fiber: 0.5 g • Protein: 33 g • 
Sugar: 1.5 g • Sodium: 836 mg (without salt)

    2 lbs* boneless pork loin roast, lean, all fat trimmed off
    salt and pepper to taste
    cooking spray
    2 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
    
3/4 cup diced onion
    2 cans (4.25 oz each) whole green chilies, sliced into thick rounds
    2 tbsp chopped jalapeρo, or more to taste

    10 oz can diced tomatoes and green chilies (Ro*Tel Mild)

    1/2 cup fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
    
1 tbsp cumin
    1/2 tsp garlic powder

    salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste


Cut pork into 2-inch pieces. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat a large non-stick skillet on high heat; when hot lightly spray the pan with oil and brown the pork over medium heat on all sides, about 3 - 4 minutes total. Sprinkle 1 tbsp of flour over pork and stir to cook 30 seconds, sprinkle remaining flour over pork and cook an additional 30 seconds.

Add browned pork to the crock pot, along with the remaining ingredients.

Cook on LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for 4 hours (if using a Dutch oven, cook on low heat for 3-4 hours). When done, adjust season, salt and pepper to taste if needed.

Makes about 5 cups.

*Weight after all fat is trimmed.




























Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Warning: this smells incredible while it slow cooks all day!

Pulled pork is one of those dishes you can serve all year round. It's perfect for pot lucks or large gatherings because you can feed a crowd without slaving in the kitchen. I came up with this leaner version using boneless pork tenderloin and homemade BBQ sauce which gave me complete control of what was added.

I'm not a fan of pulled pork that is swimming in sauce, so I use just enough to flavor the pork along with the reserved juices of the pork and serve the extra sauce on the side. I found these delicious whole wheat potato rolls, only 100 calories/2 points plus by Martin's. and made a simple slaw with a little vinegar, salt and a touch of olive oil and it was a perfect meal.

I used the smallest loin I could find since I was making this for my family. Depending on the size of your pork loin, you will have to alter how much BBQ sauce to add. Keep in mind the pork shrinks after it is cooked, so you will want to weigh it cooked. I basically added 2 tablespoons of BBQ sauce for every 3 ounces of cooked pork along with some of the reserved juices from the pork. (If your kids don't like BBQ sauce, set some of the pork on the side for them before adding it back to the crock pot)

Servings: 8 • Size: 3 oz pork + 2 tbsp sauce • Old Points: 5 pts • 
Points+: 5 pt*
Calories: 206 • Fat: 5.5 g • Carb: 12.3 g • Fiber: 0.6 g • Protein: 26.4 g • Sugar: 10.2 g • Sodium: 554.1 mg

    2.5 lb boneless pork loin roast (center cut, trimmed of all fat)
    2 tsp red wine vinegar
    2 tsp Hickory liquid smoke
    1 tsp garlic powder
    1 tsp sea salt
    1 cup Homemade Kansas City BBQ Sauce

Place pork in the slow cooker and season with salt, vinegar, garlic powder and liquid smoke. Cover and set to high 6 hours. Remove pork and transfer onto a large dish; reserve all the liquid into a cup and set aside.

Shred the pork with two forks and put it back into the slow cooker along with about 3/4 cup of the reserved liquid and the BBQ sauce (for every 3 oz cooked pork, I used 2 tbsp BBQ sauce). Cook on high one more hour.

*Nutritional info is for pork only, bread is extra.














































6 Sandwiches, Burgers & More

Asparagus Prosciutto Panini with Garlic Mayonnaise

Melted Swiss cheese, asparagus, prosciutto, arugula and garlic mayonnaise pressed in a Ciabatta. Did that just make your stomach growl?

Panini's are the perfect weeknight meal, they come together quickly and you can literally clean out your refrigerator coming up with new variations. If you can make a grilled cheese, you can make a Panini, that's how easy it is and you don't need a fancy Panini press to make it. Prior to owning a Panini press, I used my George Forman grill or you could even use a grill pan on the stove and place an iron skillet on top to press it down.

I grilled the asparagus right on the Panini press, so there's no dirtying extra pans. You can make this a meatless Monday by leaving the ham out for 8 pts plus, it will still taste great!

Servings: 1 • Size: 1 Panini • Old Points: 7 pts • Points+: 9 pts
Calories: 337.2 • Fat: 9.2 g • Carb: 45.9 g • Fiber: 1.2 g • Protein: 18.5 g • Sugar: 0.2 g • Sodium: 978 mg

    2 oz thin asparagus, tough ends trimmed
    1 tbsp Hellman's light mayonnaise
    1 clove crushed garlic
    3 oz Ciabatta, sliced open
    1 slice (1/2 oz) prosciutto ham (Dilusso, or use ham)
    1 slice low fat Swiss (Sargento)
    1/3 cup baby arugula
    olive oil spray (Misto)

Preheat Panini grill. Lightly spritz asparagus with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. When the grill is hot, grill asparagus about 3-4 minutes until tender crisp. Set aside.

Combine mayonnaise and garlic in a small bowl. Spread the garlic mayonnaise inside the Ciabatta. Lay the cheese, prosciutto and asparagus in the bread; close and lightly spray the top with cooking spray.

Place on a Panini press and close until the cheese melts and the bread is toasted. Cut in half and eat immediately.


























BLT Lettuce Wraps

Crispy reduced fat bacon, shredded lettuce and ripe diced tomatoes mixed with light mayonnaise wrapped in a crispy green iceberg lettuce cup. A low carb guiltless BLT!

There is something about the flavor combination of a BLT that invokes childhood memories of sitting around mom's kitchen table, it's funny how the flavors of food can trigger a memory. Oh what I would give to be a kid for a day again. Back then we probably had it on white bread, but today I enjoy them just as much on a lettuce wrap, same great flavors without the bleached white bread.

This is easy to make ahead for lunch on the go and perfect for Low Carb or Gluten Free diets. You can use turkey bacon or lean center cut pork bacon, low sodium or nitrate-free bacon or even meatless bacon, whatever your preference. I used Oscar Meyer center cut bacon which is sliced close to the bone so it's lower in fat and calories than regular bacon but tastes just like the real thing.

Servings: 1 • Serving Size: 2 lettuce wraps •  Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 4
Calories: 160.7 • Fat: 10 g • Protein: 10.8 g • Carb: 8.1 g • Fiber: 1.9 g • Sugar: 0.8 g • Sodium 505.8 mg  

    4 slices lean bacon (pork or turkey) cooked and chopped
    1 medium tomato, diced
    1 tbsp light mayonnaise (I like Hellman's)
    3 large iceberg lettuce leaves
    fresh cracked pepper

Carefully remove 2 large outer leaves of a head of lettuce. If you rip or tear one, just save it for the 3rd leaf you need to shred. Shred the 3rd leaf and set aside.

Dice tomato and set aside in a bowl. Place lettuce cups on a plate, top with shredded lettuce. Add tomato.

Then bacon and roll it like a wrap and dig in!




BLT with Avocado

For the bacon lovers in your life! Bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado on toasted whole grain bread. With summer tomatoes at their peak, this is the best time to enjoy these yummy sandwiches, perfect for lunch or school.

I love a BLT for lunch, if made with center cut bacon and whole grain bread it's lighter than a traditional BLT and a great sandwich to pack for lunch. Swapping the mayo for the avocado adds some healthy fats that you can mash up or leave sliced.

For lettuce I used what I had on hand, which happened to be arugula - use romaine, or whatever you like. If you don't eat pork, of course turkey bacon would work. For picky kids, cater to their taste; if they don't like one of the ingredients, leave it out or swap it for something else.

To make this even lighter, serve open faced and save on calories, carbs and points (6 points vs. 8 points). With a light soup on the side like cream of zucchini or creamy cauliflower (you can put the soup in a thermos for lunch on the go) you'll have yourself a satisfying meal.

For a low-carb BLT you might also like my BLT Lettuce wraps! Try them with avocado too!

Servings: 1 • Size: sandwich w/ 2 slices bread • Old Points: 6 pts • 
Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 292 • Fat: 13 g • Carb: 34 g • Fiber: 5.4 g • Protein: 14 g • 
Sugar: 4 g • Sodium: 489 mg  

    3 slices center cut bacon (Oscar Mayer)
    2 slices honey 7-grain bread, toasted (nature's own)
    1/4 cup lettuce of your choice
    2 thin slices tomato
    1/4 Haas avocado, sliced
    salt and pepper to taste

Place the lettuce on the toasted bread, top with remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste. Finish with second slice of bread and cut in half.



Eggplant Panini with Pesto

Perfect summer Panini made with eggplant, tomatoes, mozzarella and skinny pesto on crispy French bread. Make this for one, or for the whole family.

I love Panini night in my house because everyone is happy and they are so easy to make. If you're capable of making a grilled cheese, then you can make a Panini, that's how simple and you don't need a fancy Panini press to make it. Prior to owning my Panini press, I used my George Forman grill or made them on the stove in a grill pan with an iron skillet on top to press it down.

I grilled the eggplant right on the Panini press, so there's no dirtying extra pans. A perfect Meatless Monday dish, and even the meat-lovers in your house will enjoy this sandwich.

Servings: 4  Serving Size: 1 Panini • Old Points: 7 pts • Points+: 9 pts
Calories: 336 • Fat: 8.5 g • Protein: 11.4 g • Carb: 50 g • Fiber: 3.8 g • 
Sugar: 2.7 g • Sodium: 394 mg (without salt) 

    1 large eggplant, about 12-14 oz
    kosher salt to taste
    olive oil spray (I used my Misto)
    12 oz French bread (or baguette), cut into 4 pieces
    4 slices part skim mozzarella cheese (Sargento )
    2 tbsp skinny pesto 
    8 thin sliced tomato

Slice the eggplant into 1/4-inch thick slices. Place the eggplant slices on a paper towel and season with salt; set aside about 30 minutes. This will help draw some of the moisture out of the eggplant. Pat the eggplant dry with paper towels. Slice the bread open and place 3 slices of grilled eggplant, 1 slice of mozzarella, 1/2 tablespoon of pesto, and 2 slices of tomatoes on each sandwich.

Close and lightly spray the top of the bread with oil. Place on a Panini press and close until the cheese melts and the bread is toasted. Cut in half diagonally and eat immediately.



Greek Salad Sandwich

If you love a Greek Salad, then you'll love this sandwich. Crisp Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, Kalamata olives, feta cheese and red onion on Ciabatta bread with a touch of oil and red wine vinegar. 

Some of you have been asking me for more sandwich recipes to pack up for work, school or to eat on the road. This is a great sandwich, it's meatless but has plenty of flavor from the olives and feta. You can even add some sun dried tomatoes.

Other sandwiches I love that don't require heating up Egg Scallion and Tomato Sandwich, Tomato Roasted Pepper and Mozzarella Sandwich, Prosciutto Arugula and Balsamic Sandwich, Heirloom Tomato Sandwich, Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Avocado and Tomato, and my favorite... Roast Beef, Arugula and Shaved Parmesan. More sandwiches are coming soon, what are some of your favorite sandwiches?

Servings: 4 • Size: 1 sandwich • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 291 • Fat: 8 g • Protein: 8.4 g • Carbs: 46 g • Fiber: 1.5 g • 
Sugar: 0.5 g • Sodium: 697 mg (without salt)

    2 tbsp red wine vinegar
    4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
    5 tbsp Kalamata olives, minced
    4 thin slices red onion
    coarse salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
    4 tbsp crumbled feta
    12 oz Ciabatta bread, cut into 4 pieces
    8 Romaine lettuce leaves
    1/2 medium cucumber, thinly sliced
    1 medium tomato, thinly sliced

In a small bowl whisk red wine vinegar, and olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Add chopped olives and red onions set aside. 

I like to add the onions to the vinegar, this mellows out the sharpness of the onion, but completely optional.

Spread the olive mixture on 4 slices bread. 

Top with lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, and red onion; season with salt and pepper. Top with feta, close and cut sandwich in half.










































Heirloom Tomato Sandwich

A juicy open faced summer tomato sandwich on crusty bread drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, a chiffonade of fresh basil, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Simplicity at its best!

I bought the tomatoes at the farmer's. I love using fresh herbs from my garden, they always seem to taste better just knowing I grew them myself.

If you want to make a great tasting sandwich, use only the finest ingredients, period. The bread is the most important part of the sandwich in my opinion. If the bread tastes good on its own then you know you're sandwich will be delicious. I used a fresh baked Ciabatta, it has a crisp crust and a moist interior. This sandwich required minimal effort and I'm not going to lie, I ate both servings for an 8 point lunch!

Servings: 2 • Size: 2 oz bread with tomatoes • Old Points: 3 pts • 
Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 162.6  Fat: 2.4 g • Carbs: 29.8 g • Fiber: 0.7 g • Protein: 4.5 g • Sugar: 0 • Sodium: 335.4 (without salt)

    4 oz Ciabatta bread, sliced in half
    6 slices ripe heirloom tomatoes
    1 tsp olive oil
    kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
    1 large basil leaf, cut chiffonade

Place fresh tomatoes on bread, drizzle with olive oil, salt and fresh pepper and top with basil.













Open Faced Tuna Sandwich with Avocado

Tuna with minced vegetables on a toasted slice of multi-grain bread with avocado and sprouts. A quick and easy, satisfying lunch.

Avocados are good for you, loaded with heart-healthy fats and antioxidants. According to Bodybuilding.com, avocados are listed as one of the 15 Best Fat Burning Foods. I'd love to tell you I buy them for all those reasons, but quite frankly we just love them. 

To make the tuna salad quickly, I throw all the vegetables in my chopper and pulse a few times. If I am eating one sandwich, I keep the rest refrigerated for the next day. Easy!

Just under 250 calories and for those of you on Weight Watchers, 6 points plus.

Servings: 3 • Serving Size: 1 sandwich • Old Pts: 5 pts • WW Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 247 • Fat: 8 g • Carb: 28 g • Fiber: 6 g • Protein: 18 g • Sugar: 3 g
Sodium: 384.5 mg (without salt)

    5 oz can albacore tuna (in water), drained
    1/4 cup carrots, minced
    1/4 cup celery, minced
    1 tbsp red onion, minced
    1 tbsp Hellman's Light mayonnaise (or Greek yogurt)
    1 tsp red wine vinegar
    salt and pepper, to taste
    3 slices multi-grain bread, toasted
    6 thin slices tomato
    3 romaine lettuce leaves
    1/2 medium Haas avocado, thinly sliced
    0.5 oz alfalfa sprouts

Combine tuna with minced carrots, celery, red onion, mayonnaise, vinegar, salt and pepper.

Place lettuce on toasted bread. Top with tomato, tuna, avocado and alfalfa sprouts.



Prosciutto, Arugula and Balsamic Sandwich

Prosciutto di Parma, peppery arugula, sweet balsamic and heart healthy olive oil on French bread is a winning combination.

The addition of prosciutto in this sandwich is a perfect example of using meat as a condiment. It has so much concentrated flavor, that a little goes a long way. I load this up with arugula and balsamic (sometimes I add fresh tomatoes and shaved parmesan) and I'm one happy camper!  You can always substitute arugula for spinach or kale.

French bread or baguettes are usually fat free, so that's my bread of choice when I make a sandwich. Always check nutritional info because some brands add oil. And by the way, I cheated and scooped out some of the bread to give me a larger sandwich for less carbs, I think this is a Long Island thing, we do that with bagels too! 

Servings: 1 • Serving Size: 1 sandwich • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 7 pts
Calories: 289.8 • Fat: 6.8 g • Carb: 40.8 g • Fiber: 1.7 g • Protein: 10.8 g
 
    3 oz French bread or baguette
    2/3 cup baby arugula
    .75 oz imported prosciutto (fat trimmed)
    2 tsp balsamic vinegar
    1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
    fresh cracked pepper

Whisk together balsamic and oil. Cut bread, top with arugula, prosciutto and top with balsamic, oil and fresh cracked pepper.













Roast Beef, Arugula and Shaved Parmesan on a Baguette

Crusty bread, peppery arugula and fresh shaved Parmesan cheese makes an everyday cold cut like roast beef taste like a gourmet sandwich. Perfect for lunch on the go, pack along some veggies and fruit on the side and you have yourself a meal.

Servings: 1 • Size: 1 sandwich • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 7 pts
Calories: 283.8 • Fat: 4.5 g • Protein: 21.6 g • Carb: 36.1 g • Fiber: 1.5 g • Sugar: 0.2 g
Sodium:  147.7 mg
 
    2.75 oz baguette or French bread
    2 oz lean roast beef
    1//2 cup baby arugula (aka rocket)
    .25 oz shaved Parmesan
    fresh cracked pepper

Slice bread in half and layer with roast beef, arugula, shaved Parmesan and fresh cracked pepper.























Skinny Buffalo Burger Quesadilla

100% grass-fed buffalo burgers with melted cheddar jack cheese and pico de gallo wedged in between two whole wheat tortillas. No pink slime in these burgers!!

Did you know that 100% grass-fed meat is leaner than grain-fed meat? The benefits of eating wild buffalo are that it's hormone-free and antibiotic-free, it tastes just like beef only sweeter and it's much leaner. Because the meat is so lean, you have to cook it for less time than you would a fattier ground beef burger or it will become dry and overcooked.

You can make the pico de gallo yourself, but I cheated and used a pre-made organic brand for convenience. Look for small fajita sized whole wheat tortillas, I used La Banderita which were 2 points plus for two tortillas and I actually took a scissor and trimmed it a bit smaller to fit my burger better, but that's totally optional!

Servings: 4 • Size: 1 grass fed burger • Old Points: 7 pts • Points+: 8 pt*
Calories: 316.3 • Fat: 13.8 g • Carb: 16.9 g • Fiber: 1 g • Protein: 33.8 g • Sugar: 0 g • Sodium: 525.4 mg (without salt)

    1 lb 100% lean grass-fed ground buffalo
    1 cup pico de gallo
    1 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar jack cheese (Sargento)
    8 small whole wheat flour tortillas, cut smaller if desired (La Banderita)
    spray oil
    salt and fresh pepper

Form 4 flat patties, as thin as you can. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a pan to medium-high heat; when hot, lightly spray the pan with oil and add the burgers. Cook burgers about 2 minutes on each side or to your liking. Set aside. Clean the pan and heat on medium heat. Lightly spray with oil and place 4 tortillas on the pan (if your pan is small, you can do one at a time). Place 2 tbsp cheese on each tortilla, then 2 tbsp pico de gallo.

Top with buffalo burger, then remaining 2 tbsp pico de gallo and 2 tbsp cheese on each. Place the other tortilla on top; flip and cook until the cheese melts on the other side.



Skinny Tuna Melt

Classic comfort diner food, just got a make-over... the low fat tuna melt. Adding veggies to your tuna, replacing the full fat cheese and mayonnaise with light mayo and cheese and serving it opened faced makes this classic sandwich lower in fat and Weight Watcher friendly. Use your favorite whole grain bread and serve with a salad or a cup of soup on the side.

Servings: 2 • Serving Size: 1 opened face sandwich • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 231.1 • Fat: 6.3 g • Protein: 28.6 g • Carb: 14.7 g • Fiber: 3.5 g    

    1 4.5 oz can tuna (in water) drained
    1/4 cup carrots, shredded
    1/4 cup diced celery
    1 tbsp red onion, minced
    1 tbsp light mayonnaise (Hellman's Light)
    1 tsp red wine vinegar
    salt and pepper
    2 slices light whole wheat bread 
    2 slices 2% cheese
    2 slices tomato
    oil spray (I used my Misto)

Combine tuna, celery, carrots, onion, mayonnaise, vinegar, salt and pepper.

Heat a large skillet over low heat. Spray skillet with oil, and place two slices of bread on top. Top bread with cheese, then tuna salad and tomato. Cook on low heat until cheese melts and bread gets toasty. Serve immediately.













Tomato, Fresh Mozzarella, Roasted Pepper on Whole Wheat Bread

Rustic whole wheat Italian bread, fresh mozzarella, summer tomatoes, basil and balsamic vinegar. My favorite meatless sandwich!

Servings: 1 • Size: 1 sandwich • Old Points: 7 pts • Points+: 9 pts
Calories: 356.3 • Fat: 8.6 g • Protein: 16.6 g • Carb: 53.3 g • Fiber: 2.5 g • Sugar: 4.5 g
 
    3.25 oz whole wheat Italian or French Bread
    1 oz thin sliced fresh mozzarella
    1 oz roasted red peppers
    3 slices ripe tomato
    3 basil leaves
    1/4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
    1 tsp balsamic vinegar
    salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Cut bread in half horizontally, layer ingredients on the bread, drizzle olive oil and vinegar and finish with salt and pepper.




















Turkey Burgers with Zucchini

Want your kids to eat more veggies? Hide them in their burgers, they'll never know! I'm in experimental mode this weekend and played around with adding zucchini to my turkey burgers.

This was great for so many reasons! Not only did they taste great, adding zucchini also lowered the calories and fat per serving, it made one extra burger and what a great to get your picky kids to eat their vegetables. This made 5 big burgers. Serve them on low point hamburger buns and top with lettuce, tomatoes, red onion slices, pickles, ketchup or mustard (add extra points). These can be grilled or cooked indoors.

For best results: use a hand grater to grate the zucchini, onion and garlic super fine. Get the pan hot before you put the burgers on to get a nice sear, then lowered the flame to the lowest setting to let the burgers cook all the way through, turning a few times so the burgers don't burn. 

Servings: 5 • Size: 1 burger no bun • Old Points: 3 pts (bun extra) • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 156 • Fat: 6.8 g • Protein: 18.6 g • Carb: 5.5 g • Fiber: 1.3 g

    1.25 lbs 93% lean ground turkey
    1 small zucchini, grated 
    1/4 cup seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs
    1 clove garlic, grated
    1 tbsp red onion, grated
    salt and fresh pepper
    oil spray 

In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, zucchini, breadcrumbs, garlic, onion, salt and pepper. Make 5 equal patties. Heat a large skillet on high heat. When hot, lightly spray oil. Add burgers to the pan and reduce the heat to low. Cook on one side until browned, then flip. Flip over a few times to prevent burning and to make sure the burgers are cooked all the way through. If grilling, clean grill well before cooking and spray with oil spray to prevent sticking.





Skinny Turkey Cuban Sandwich

If you're craving a Cuban sandwich, this should satisfy your craving! I have a weakness for Cuban sandwiches, if you have never tried one, they are usually made with roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, thin sliced pickles and mustard, then pressed with a sandwich press or a Panini grill until everything is hot and the cheese is melted. Very popular in Miami Florida. I think leftover turkey breast makes a great, lighter alternative to roast pork and it's a great way to use your leftover turkey this Thanksgiving. I found this French bread in the deli section of my supermarket that was soft and perfect for a Cuban, and only 2 pts a piece. Have one of these for lunch or dinner and enjoy!!

Servings: 1 • Size: 1 sandwich • Calories: 321 • Old Points: 7 pts • Points+: 10 pts

    1 6" slice French Bread (fat free)
    3 oz leftover turkey breast, heated
    1 slice of ham
    2 thin slices of Alpine Lace Swiss cheese
    3 slices of pickles
    mustard
    Pam cooking spray

Slice the bread open. Spread mustard on both sides. Place cheese and pickles on the bread. Add turkey and top with ham. Close your sandwich, spray the sandwich press with buttered flavored Pam and press down until the cheese is melted and the crust is a little crispy. Cut the sandwich on the diagonal and enjoy!













Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps

For a lighter alternative to taco shells you can enjoy these lettuce taco wraps. Add your favorite toppings like low fat cheddar, light sour cream, chives, tomatoes or whatever you like on your tacos. Making your own taco seasoning is a healthier alternative to buying packaged taco seasoning, and uses less sodium, no sugar, no preservatives and no msg. It also saves you money if you are on a budget. If you prefer to use the package seasoning, simply replace it with the spices listed here.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 2 taco wraps • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 134.1 • Fat: 1.7 g • Carb: 9.7 g • Fiber: 2.4 g • Protein: 21.3 g • Sugar: 4.3

    1.3 lbs 99% lean ground turkey
    1 tsp garlic powder
    1 tsp cumin
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp chili powder
    1 tsp paprika
    1/2 tsp oregano
    1/2 small onion, minced
    2 tbsp bell pepper, minced
    3/4 cup water
    4 oz can tomato sauce
    8 large lettuce leaves from Iceberg lettuce

Brown turkey in a large skillet. When no longer pink add dry seasoning and mix well. Add onion, pepper, water and tomato sauce and cover. Simmer on low for about 20 minutes.

Wash and dry the lettuce. Place meat in the center of leaf and top with tomatoes, cheese and salsa or whatever you prefer. (Toppings extra points)

















7 Seafood Recipes

Grilled Shrimp Night

Servings: 4 • Cooking Time: 5-7 minutes • Points: 4 points

    Wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
    1-1/2 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined
    Old Bay seasoning to taste
    1/4 cup fat free Italian dressing
    1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
    4 tsp honey

Preheat the grill. Thread shrimp onto skewers and season with Old Bay.
In bowl, mix Italian dressing, Worcestershire sauce, and honey.
Cook shrimp over medium/hot flame. When shrimp start to turn pink baste with Italian dressing mix and turn. Repeat every 3 to 4 minutes until done. Serve hot and enjoy!

* 1 lb of shrimp = 8 pts
1-1/2 lbs of shrimp = 12 pts






Banging Good Shrimp

Stir fried shrimp mixed with a creamy sweet and spicy chili sauce served on a bed of shredded lettuce and purple cabbage topped with scallions. Takes about 10 minutes to prepare which makes this perfect for lunch, as an appetizer or even a light meal.

With the popularity of Thai food, ingredients like Thai Sweet Chili Sauce and Sriracha are very easy to find in your local supermarket or even stores like Target depending on where you live. Look for the Thai Kitchen line, I used their sweet chili sauce in this recipe.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1/4th or recipe • Old Points: 5 pt • Points+: 5 pt
Calories: 215.7 • Fat: 7.6 g • Protein: 23.8 g • Carb: 11.9 g • Fiber: 1.0 g • Sugar: 6.3 g • Sodium 443.9 mg 

    5 tbsp light mayonnaise
    3 tbsp Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
    1 tsp Sriracha (to taste)

For the Shrimp:

    1 lb large shrimp, shelled and deveined (weight after peeled)
    2 tsp cornstarch
    1 tsp canola oil
    3 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
    1 cup shredded purple cabbage
    4 tbsp scallions, chopped

In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, Thai sweet chili sauce and Sriracha. Set aside. Combine lettuce and cabbage and divide between four plates. Set aside. Coat shrimp with cornstarch, mixing well with your hands.

Heat a large skillet or wok on high heat, when hot add oil. When oil is hot add the shrimp to hot pan and cook tossing a few times until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove from pan and combine with the sauce coating well.

Place shrimp on lettuce and top with scallions.



Banging Grilled Shrimp Skewers

I've had it on my mind to turn my popular Banging Good Shrimp recipe into a summer dish you can make right on the grill. These shrimp skewers are the bomb! The spicy, salty, sweet combination of the creamy chili sauce is what makes them so good.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 2 skewers •  Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 140 • Fat: 4.7 g • Protein: 18.5 g • Carb: 4.2 g • Fiber: 0.1 g • Sugar: 2.8 g
Sodium: 266.9 mg
 
    2 1/2 tbsp light mayonnaise
    2 tbsp scallions, chopped fine
    1 1/2 tbsp Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
    1/2 tsp Sriracha (or to taste)

For the Shrimp:

    40 large (12.8 oz) raw shrimp, shelled and deveined (weight after peeled)
    fresh cracked pepper
    oil spray

Combine the mayo, scallions, sweet chili sauce and sriracha sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.

Soak wooden skewers in water at least 20 minutes (or use metal ones to avoid this step). Season shrimp lightly pepper. Place 5 shrimp on 8 skewers.

Heat a clean, lightly oiled grill to medium heat, when the grill is hot add the shrimp, careful not to burn the skewers. Grill on both sides for about 6 - 8 minutes total cooking time or until the shrimp is opaque and cooked through..

Set shrimp aside on a platter and quickly brush sauce onto the shrimp; serve immediately.






Baked Garlic Lemon Tilapia

Classic sauce of butter, lemon and fresh parsley goes perfect with any fish. I try to eat fish twice a week. For a quick healthy dinner on a busy weeknight, this is simple and delicious.

Servings: 6 servings • Total Time: 15 minutes • Old Points: 5 pts • 
Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 199.5 • Fat: 7.2 g • Carb: 1.0 g • Fiber: 0.1 g • Protein: 33.4 g • Sugar: 0 g • Sodium: 29.0 mg

    6 (6 oz each) tilapia filets
    4 cloves garlic, crushed
    2 tbsp butter
    2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
    4 tsp fresh parsley
    salt and pepper
    cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400°.

Melt butter on a low flame in a small sauce pan. Add garlic and sautι on low for about 1 minute. Add the lemon juice and shut off flame.

Spray the bottom of a baking dish lightly with cooking spray. Place the fish on top and season with salt and pepper. Pour the lemon butter mixture on the fish and top with fresh parsley. Bake at 400° until cooked, about 15 minutes.














Broiled Salmon with Rosemary

Juicy salmon with rosemary, lemon and garlic, takes minutes to prepare which is always perfect for busy weeknights.

Salmon is high in protein and has heart-protective benefits associated with omega-3 fatty acids found in their fish oil. It is suggested that we eat fatty fish twice a week, I don't always manage that but I try!

Servings: 4 servings • Size: 5 oz • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 6 pts

    24 oz or 4 pieces of salmon
    olive oil spray
    2 tsp fresh lemon juice
    2 tsp fresh, chopped rosemary
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    salt and fresh pepper to taste

Combine lemon juice, rosemary, salt, pepper and garlic. Brush mixture onto fish.

Spray the rack of a broiler pan with olive oil spray and arrange the fish on it. Broil 4" from the heat until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, approx. 4-6 minutes per 1/2" of thickness. If fish is more than 1" thick, gently turn it halfway through broiling.

















Broiled Tilapia with Thai Coconut Curry Sauce

This amazing fish dish will make you look like you really know your way around the kitchen. The sauce really makes the dish! For you Thai lovers, this recipe is a keeper. Prep all your ingredients before you start cooking, I used my mini food processor to save time (love this!). This dish is quick, easy, took less than 30 minutes start to finish. Perfect over jasmine rice. (You can substitute basil for cilantro if you don't care for cilantro)

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 1 piece fish plus sauce • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 225.2 • Fat: 6.9 g • Protein: 35.5 g • Carb: 5.6 g • Fiber: 1.1 g
 
    1 tsp dark sesame oil, divided
    1 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
    1 cup chopped scallions
    1 tsp curry powder
    2 tsp red curry paste
    1/2 tsp ground cumin
    4 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
    1 tbsp brown sugar
    2 tsp Asian fish sauce
    1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
    1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    6 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
    salt
    Cooking spray

Preheat broiler. Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic; cook 1 minute. Add pepper and scallions; cook 1 minute. Stir in curry powder, curry paste, and cumin; cook 1 minute. Add soy sauce, sugar, Asian fish sauce, and coconut milk; bring to a simmer (do not boil). 

Remove from heat; stir in cilantro or basil if using.

Brush fish with 1/2 teaspoon oil; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. 

Place fish on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Broil 7 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Serve fish with sauce, rice, and lime wedges.
















Broiled Tilapia Oreganata

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1 piece  • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 196.5 • Fat: 7.7 g • Protein: 30.1 g • Carb: 2.4 g • Fiber: 0.5 g 

    1 tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried
    4 (5 oz) tilapia fillets
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp fresh pepper
    4 tsp olive oil
    1 garlic clove, minced
    2 tbsp whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs

Preheat broiler. Line broiling pan with aluminum foil.
Rinse tilapia. Pat fillets dry with paper towels. Season with salt, pepper and oregano. Add garlic, drizzle with oil and sprinkle bread crumbs on top.
Arrange fillets in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil about 8 inches from the heat until the topping is browned. Be careful not to overcook the fish.
Serve with lime and your favorite vegetables.






















Broiled Tilapia with Tomato Caper Sauce

I try to eat fish twice a week because of the health benefits. This is one of my favorite ways to eat fish. This is a simple dish with only a few ingredients. I recommend always using high quality ingredients to achieve maximum results like extra virgin olive oil, fresh pepper, ripe tomatoes and a good dry wine. These subtle differences can make a dish go from good to great.




Servings: 4 servings • Calories: 256.5 • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 6 pts
Fat: 10.5 g • Carbs: 1.7 g • Fiber: 0.2 g • Protein: 37.4 g

    2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    4 (6 oz) tilapia filets
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    2 shallots, minced
    2 tomatoes, chopped
    2 tbsp capers
    1/4 cup white wine (I use Pinot Grigio)
    salt and fresh pepper

Brush fish with 1 tbsp olive and season with salt and pepper.

In a medium sautι pan, heat remaining olive oil. Add garlic and shallots and sautι on medium-low about 4-5 minutes. Add tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Add wine and sautι until wine reduces, about 5 minutes. Add capers and sautι an additional minute.

Meanwhile, set broiler to low and place fish about 8 inches from the flame. Broil until fish is cooked through, about 7 minutes.

Place fish on a platter and top with tomato caper sauce.

Note: The olive oil adds to the flavor of this dish and is an essential healthy oil. If you want to lower the points, you can lightly spray olive oil with a Misto or use Pam. Points per serving would be lowered to 4 points per serving, 197 calories, 3.8 grams of fat.





Chili Shrimp and Asparagus Stir Fry

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1/4 • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 148.6 • Fat: 3.2 g • Protein: 21.3 g • Carb: 8.9 g • Fiber: 2.9 g • Sugar: 1 .2g
Sodium: 494.8

    2 tbsp soy sauce (use tamari for gluten free)
    1 tsp sherry
    1 tbsp grated peeled fresh ginger
    2 tsp sesame oil
    1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into 2-inch pieces
    1 chili pepper, sliced
    2 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 bell pepper, sliced
    1 lb large shrimp, cleaned
    salt and pepper to taste

Stir together soy sauce, sherry and ginger; set aside.

In a wok, heat 1 tsp sesame oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add shrimp and cook until shrimp turns white, about 3 minutes. Remove from wok and set aside.

Add remaining oil to wok. When oil is hot, add asparagus and cook 5 minutes or until tender-crisp, stirring frequently. Add garlic. Add peppers and stir another minute. Add shrimp back into the wok. Pour sauce over everything and mix another minute. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over rice if desired.












Cilantro Lime Shrimp

Cilantro and lime make this simple shrimp dish outstanding. Serve this over rice or with a salad. Shrimp is one of my favorite skinny foods to cook with. It's packed with protein, low in calories, and cooks in minutes which is great when you need a quick delicious meal.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 6 oz • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 197.3 • Fat: 4.1g • Protein: 35.9 g • Carb: 2.4 g • Fiber: 0.1 g

    2 tsp olive oil
    2 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined
    6 cloves garlic, crushed
    1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    1 lime
    salt and pepper 

Heat a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Add oil to the pan, when hot add shrimp. Season with salt and pepper. When the shrimp is cooked on one side, about 2 minutes, turn over and add garlic. Sautι another minute or two until shrimp is cooked, careful not to overcook. Remove from heat. Squeeze lime all over shrimp and toss with cilantro. Serve hot.




















Clam Chowder Lightened Up

Thick and creamy clam chowder, without all the added fat that it usually is prepared with. Using milk instead of cream lowers the calories, blending part of the soup helps thicken it.

Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1 1/4 cups • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 209.1 • Fat: 5.8 g • Protein: 16.2 g • Carb: 23.4 g • Fiber: 1.7 g • Sugar: 5.7 g Sodium: 209.5 mg (without salt)

    2 tbsp unsalted butter
    2 tbsp flour
    1 large white onion, chopped fine
    2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
    3 cups 2% milk
    1 cup fat free vegetable broth
    2 (10 oz) cans clams, drained, juice reserved
    2 bay leaves
    1 tsp thyme
    2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
    kosher salt and fresh pepper
    1 cup fresh corn

In a large pot, melt butter. Add onions, and heat on low heat until onions are translucent. Add flour and stir. Add milk, vegetable broth, clam juice, potatoes, bay leaf, thyme and salt & pepper to taste.  

Cook on low until potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes. Remove half of the soup and bay leaves and put in blender. Return to pot. Add clams, corn and adjust salt if needed and cook another 5 minutes. Serve and garnish with fresh parsley.











Skinny Coconut Shrimp

Golden baked coconut encrusted shrimp with a sweet and spicy apricot dipping sauce. Set these out on a platter in front of some hungry guests and I guarantee they will disappear!!

I tried these using all egg whites but the crumbs stuck better with a whole egg, as for the flour, you will only use about 1 tbsp worth so that is what I calculated.

Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 3 shrimp, 1 tbsp sauce • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 161.6 • Fat: 3.4 g • Protein: 10.2 g • Carb: 22.2 g • Fiber: 1.8 g • Sugar: 15.7 g • Sodium: 164.3 (without salt)

    1 lb (24) large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (weight after peeled)
    1/2 cup + 1 tbsp shredded sweetened coconut
    1/2 cup + 1 tbsp panko crumbs
    2 tbsp all purpose flour (you will only use 1 tbsp)
    1 large egg
    pinch salt
    non-stick spray (I used my Misto)

For the Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce:

    1/2 cup apricot preserves (you can use sugar free if you wish)
    1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
    3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 425°. Spray a non-stick baking sheet with cooking spray.

Combine coconut flakes, panko crumbs and salt in a bowl. Place the flour on a small dish. Whisk egg in another bowl. Lightly season shrimp with salt. Dip the shrimp in the flour, shaking off excess, then into the egg, then in the coconut crumb mixture. Lay shrimp on the cookie sheet then spray the top of the shrimp with more cooking spray; bake in the middle rack for about 10 minutes. Turn shrimp over then cook another 6-7 minutes or until cooked though. Remove from oven and serve with dipping sauce.

For the sauce, combine all the ingredients and place in a small bowl.


Creamy Shrimp and Celery Salad

A light and refreshing salad, perfect for a hot summer day. The Old Bay seasoning gives it a little kick, the cucumbers and celery give it the perfect crunch.

Servings: 4 • Size: Based on 4 oz shrimp • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 160.2 • Fat: 4.3 g • Carb: 3.8 g • Fiber: 0.7 g • Protein: 25.1 g • Sugar: 1.8

    16 oz large cooked shrimp, peeled
    2 medium cucumbers, peeled and sliced
    1 large celery stalk, sliced thin
    1/4 cup low fat sour cream
    2 tbsp light mayonnaise
    2 tbsp lime juice
    1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
    salt to taste

In a medium bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, lime juice, Old Bay and salt. Add shrimp, celery, cucumbers and mix. Refrigerate until ready to serve.




















Drunken Shrimp

Drunken shrimp just got a makeover. Not sure if you can call this drunken since I cut down the wine a great deal, but they aren't 100% sober either. Serve this with some crusty bread on the side to soak up the juice!

As always, the rule when cooking with wine is to use the wine you are drinking. I always have Pinot Grigio on hand. Don't use cooking wine when a recipe calls for wine, it's not the same. If you are not a wine drinker, buy a small bottle just for cooking, and keep it in your refrigerator.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1/4th • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 175.6 • Fat: 9.2 g • Protein: 22.5 g • Carb: 1.9 g • Fiber: 0.3 g • Sugar: 0.1 g • Sodium: 861.4 mg

    2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
    2 tsp unsalted butter
    1 tsp anchovy paste
    1.25 lb large or jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (1 lb after peeled)
    6 garlic cloves, chopped
    1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
    fresh pepper to taste
    2 tablespoons of capers (rinsed)
    1/4 cup of white wine
    1 cup clam juice
    juice from one lemon
    generous handful of chopped parsley

Heat olive oil and butter in a skillet. Add garlic, pepper flakes, and sautι 2-3 minutes.

Add wine, clam juice, lemon juice, anchovy paste, parsley, salt and pepper, and stir. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes. Do not overcook the shrimp or it will become tough and chewy. Serve shrimp with liquid in a bowl and some crusty bread on the side to soak up the juice.






Flounder Piccata

Lightly pan fried breaded filet of flounder served in a lemon, wine, butter sauce with capers and parsley. A wonderful way to enjoy flounder, tilapia or any white fish.

We often have this with chicken for those of you who don't like fish, but I discovered it's great with fish too, and perfect for Christmas Eve for those of you who eat fish.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1 piece • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 7 pts
Calories: 268.7 • Fat: 7.9 g • Protein: 34.5 g • Carb: 13.6 g • Fiber: 2.9 g • Sugar: 0.1 g • Sodium: 366.5 (without salt)

    4 flounder filets (17 oz total)
    freshly ground black pepper
    2 large egg whites
    2/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
    olive oil spray (about 1 tbsp worth)
    1 tbsp light butter
    juice of 1 lemon, lemon halves reserved
    1/4 cup dry white wine
    1/2 cup fat free chicken broth
    1 tbsp capers, drained
    sliced lemon, for serving
    2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, for serving

Season fish with salt and pepper.  Heat oven to 200°.
 
In a shallow bowl, beat the egg whites. Place the bread crumbs in another dish. Dip each fish filet in the egg whites, then bread crumbs. 

Heat a large sautι pan over medium to medium-low heat. Spray a generous amount of olive oil spray on one side of the fish, and lay it in the pan, oil side down. Spray the other side of the fish generously to coat and cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until fish is opaque and cooked through. Set aside on a platter in a warm oven until you make the sauce. 

Over medium heat in the same pan, melt butter, add the lemon juice, wine, chicken broth and the reserved lemon halves, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Boil over high heat until the liquid is reduced to half, about 3 - 4 minutes. 

Discard the lemon halves, add the capers and spoon the sauce over the fish; place a slice of lemon on each filet and top with fresh parsley.
















Garlic Shrimp

This garlicky shrimp has the flavors of Spain and takes minutes to make. Adjust the heat according to your taste. This is wonderful over Scallion Cilantro Rice. Serve this as an appetizer or a main dish. You can easily double this recipe.

Servings: 3 • Serving Size: 1/3 rd • Old Points: 4.5 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 210.5 • Fat: 7.2 g • Protein: 31.2 g • Carb: 3.6 g • Fiber: 0.3 g 

    1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined (weight after you peel them)
    6 cloves garlic, sliced thin
    1 tbsp Spanish olive oil
    crushed red pepper flakes
    pinch paprika
    salt
    1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley
    Lime wedges for serving

In a large skillet, heat oil on medium heat and add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Sautι until golden, about 2 minutes being careful not to burn. Add shrimp and season with salt and paprika. Cook 2-3 minutes until shrimp is cooked through. Do not overcook or it will become tough and chewy. Add chopped fresh herbs and divide equally in 3 plates.


















Grilled Garlic Dijon Herb Salmon

Salmon fillets seasoned with a garlic, Dijon herb sauce and served with a squeeze of fresh lemon... delicious!!

Salmon is a fatty fish, rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and vitamin A. When buying salmon, I try to look for wild Alaskan salmon, a sustainable fish that lives in pristine waters and consumes a diverse, healthy diet. It's available frozen year round. I used a cast iron grill pan to make this but an outdoor grill works just the same, be sure the grates are clean and oiled to prevent sticking. If you don't own a grill, this can also be made in the broiler of your oven adding the mustard sauce during the last minute of cooking.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1 fillet w lemon • Old Points: 5 pt • Points+: 6 pt
Calories: 233.6 • Fat: 7.9 g • Protein: 34.7 g • Carb: 3.1 g • Fiber: 0.1 g • Sugar: 0.2 g • Sodium: 240.6 mg (without salt)

    4 garlic cloves
    1 tsp dried Herbs de Provence
    1 tsp red wine vinegar
    1 tsp olive oil
    2 tbsp Dijon mustard
    olive oil spray (I used my Misto)
    4 (6 oz) wild salmon fillets, 1" thick (if frozen, thaw first)
    salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
    4 lemon wedges for serving

In a mini food processor, or using a mortar and pestle mash garlic with the herbs, vinegar, oil, and Dijon mustard until it becomes a paste. Set aside. Season salmon with a pinch of salt and fresh pepper. 

Heat a grill or grill pan over high heat until hot. Spray the pan lightly with oil and reduce the heat to medium-low. Place the salmon on the hot grill pan and cook without moving for 5 minutes. Turn and cook the other side for an additional 3-4 minutes spooning on half of the garlic herb mustard sauce. Turn and cook 1 more minute spooning the other side of the fish with remaining sauce. Turn once again and let the fish finish cooking about one more minute. 

Note: the fish should have a total cooking time of about 9-10 minutes per inch. If your fish is thinner, reduce the total cooking time.

Transfer the fillets to plates and serve with fresh lemon wedges.









































Grilled Pesto Shrimp Skewers

Homemade pesto with basil from my garden makes a scrumptious addition to shrimp. Serve these at your next backyard BBQ or serve them with pasta or a salad for a quick weeknight meal!  They served them on a platter over a bed of greens, but this is also great served as skewers so you can hold them in your hand. These are low-carb, gluten-free and delicious!

Note: Keep in mind that when you remove the shell from the shrimp it will weigh less, so I started with about 2 lbs of shrimp to get 1 1/2 lbs after I peel them. Depending on the size of your shrimp you will get different amounts. I used jumbo, so that gave me about 35 shrimp, 5 on each skewer. One skewer is the perfect serving size but if you want to serve this as an appetizer, you can put 3 as a small bite.

Servings: 7  Serving Size: 1 skewer • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 180 • Fat: 8.4 g • Protein: 25.3 g • Carb: 0.4 g • Fiber: 0.2 g • Sugar: 0 g • Sodium: 292 mg (without salt)

    1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
    1 clove garlic
    1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
    3 tbsp olive oil
    1 1/2 lbs jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (weight after peeled)
    kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste
    7 wooden skewers

In a food processor pulse basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper until smooth. Slowly add the olive oil while pulsing. Combine raw shrimp with pesto and marinate a few hours in a bowl. Soak wooden skewers in water at least 20 minutes (or use metal ones to avoid this step). Thread shrimp onto 7 skewers.  

Heat an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan over medium-low heat until hot. Be sure the grates are clean and spray lightly with oil. Place the shrimp on the hot grill and cook until shrimp turns pink on the bottom, about 3-4 minutes; turn and continue cooking until shrimp is opaque and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. 

Serves 7.


Grilled Tuna over Arugula with Lemon Vinaigrette

A few fresh and simple ingredients make this the perfect light summer meal! Ready in less than 10 minutes. 

Tuna is one of the easiest fish to grill because it almost never sticks if your grill rack is squeaky clean; spray your grill rack with oil before cooking for perfect results every time. 

Servings: 1 • Size: 5 oz tuna and salad • Old Points: 7 pts • Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 297.8 • Fat: 15.5 g • Protein: 35.4 g • Carb: 3.8 g • Fiber: 1.6 g • Sugar: 1.8 g • Sodium: 326.3 mg  (without salt)

    5 oz sashimi tuna (sushi grade)
    1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
    1 tsp fresh lemon juice
    2 cups baby arugula
    1 tsp capers
    kosher salt and fresh pepper

Season tuna with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.

Place arugula and capers on a plate. Combine oil and lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Heat your grill to high heat and clean grate well. When grill is hot, spray grate with oil to prevent sticking then place tuna on the grill; cook one minute without moving. Turnover and cook an additional minute; remove from heat and set aside on a plate.

Slice tuna on the diagonal and place on top of salad. Top with lemon vinaigrette and eat immediately.








Healthy Breaded Shrimp

Delicious and healthy breaded shrimp, without the added fat. Jumbo shrimp, coated with seasoned breadcrumbs, panko and grated cheese, then baked until golden. Serve this with lemon wedges and you will have one happy family. You may want to make extra, because these shrimp disappear quickly!

I had a lot of extra crumbs left after I breaded them, so I double dipped the shrimp into the egg and breadcrumbs until I used them all up which gave the shrimp extra coating.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1/4th • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 3 pts 
Calories: 134.6 • Fat: 2.1 g • Protein: 18.2 g • Carb: 9.5 g • Fiber: 0.6 g • Sugar: 0.8 g • Sodium: 424.4 mg (without salt) 

    16 oz jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (weight after peeling 12.5 oz)
    salt and pepper to taste
    1/4 cup egg substitute (egg beaters)
    6 tbsp whole wheat Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
    2 tbsp panko
    2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
    Cooking spray (I used my Smart Balance)

Preheat oven to 450°. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Put the egg beaters in one bowl, and the breadcrumbs, panko and parmesan cheese in another.

Wash and dry the shrimp. Season shrimp with salt and pepper, then put a few at a time in the bowl with the egg beaters to coat.




Put a few pieces of shrimp at a time into the breadcrumb mixture to coat, then on a baking sheet. Once all the shrimp is breaded, if you still have crumbs left, re-dip the shrimp back into the egg beaters and then back into crumbs and back onto the baking sheet.

Spray the top of the shrimp generously with baking spray then bake in the middle rack for about 6-7 minutes. Turn shrimp over then cook another 3 minutes or until cooked though. Remove from oven and serve right away with lemon wedges.


Sesame Crusted Tuna Steak on Arugula

Sushi grade tuna encrusted with sesame seeds, all I can say is yum!!! This is an easy main course salad.

Servings: 4 servings • Time: 10 minutes • Old Points: 6 pts • 
Points Plus: 8 pts
Calories: 331 • Fat: 13.6 g • Carb: 18.4 g • Fiber: 2.7 g • Protein: 31.3 g • Sugar: 11.0 g • Sodium: 616.7 mg

    16 oz sushi grade tuna
    1 tsp toasted sesame oil
    8 tsp black and white sesame seeds
    kosher salt
    fresh pepper
    4 cups arugula

For the soy-ginger vinaigrette:

    1 tbsp minced ginger
    1 tbsp minced green onion
    1 tbsp minced garlic
    1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
    1/4 cup red wine
    1/4 cup soy sauce
    1 1/2 tbsp honey
    2 tsp toasted sesame oil
    1 tsp Dijon mustard

Rub the tuna steaks with 1 tsp oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Dip entire surface of each steak into sesame seeds. Place the tuna steaks in a very hot sautι pan and cook for only 1 minute on each side. Set aside on a platter.

Meanwhile, prepare salad and soy vinaigrette. Lightly coat salad with vinaigrette. Slice tuna steaks and place on top of arugula. Drizzle additional vinaigrette over the top.





Shrimp Creole

This southern Louisiana shrimp dish is cooked with tomatoes, onions, peppers and celery. Adjust the spice to your preference, but don't be scared of a little heat!

With Fat Tuesday right around the corner, I was craving some Creole food and I knew exactly who to go to, my friend Mary from Deep South Dish. Her blog features authentic coastal southern recipes. I adapted this to make it lighter and used ingredients I had on hand. 

Turned out delicious and it was quick and easy to make. Serve this over white rice, brown rice or would even be great over quinoa.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1/4th • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 211.9 • Fat: 4.6 g • Carb: 17.6 g • Fiber: 4.2 g • Sugar: 7.8 g • Protein: 25.8 g

    2 tsp olive oil
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
    1/2 cup celery, chopped
    2 cloves of garlic, minced
    14-ounce can of diced tomatoes
    8 oz tomato sauce
    1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
    1/4 tsp Cajun Seasoning such as Slap Your Mama (more or less to taste)
    1 bay leaf
    1 tbsp of all purpose flour (1 tsp corn starch for gluten-free)
    2 tbsp water
    1 lb of large shrimp, peeled and deveined
    2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
    2 tsp hot sauce, to taste
    1 medium scallion, sliced
    2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
    salt to taste

In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, green bell pepper, garlic and celery and sautι until tender. Add tomatoes and tomato sauce, cayenne pepper, Cajun spice, bay leaf and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer 20-30 minutes.

Make a slurry of the flour and water and stir into the tomato mixture. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Lightly season the shrimp with the Cajun seasoning and add immediately to the tomato mixture. Add Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce; stir together. Cook for another 5 to 6 minutes, or until shrimp is opaque and cooked through, adjust salt if needed.

Add chopped green onion and parsley and serve.



































Spicy Shrimp Fried Rice

They say spicy food makes you eat less and speeds up your metabolism. I'm not sure how true that is, but I do like some spice in my food once in a while and I feel satisfied with smaller portions. I made this with brown rice, which has more fiber, therefore keeps you full longer and a nice firm texture for fried rice. Every bite of this rice, is loaded with shrimp and a little bit of heat!

Servings: 4 • Size: 1-1/2 cups • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 307.3 • Fat: 7.0 g • Protein: 22.7 g • Carb: 37.4 g • Fiber: 3.5 g 

    3 cups brown rice cooked
    1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined (peeled weight is .75 lb)
    2 egg whites, scrambled
    1 whole egg, scrambled
    1/2 onion, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, diced
    5 scallions, chopped, whites and greens separated
    oil spray
    1 tbsp sesame oil with cayenne pepper
    1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
    4 tsp soy sauce (or more to taste)
    1 tsp Asian fish sauce
    salt and fresh pepper

In a bowl, season shrimp with cayenne pepper, chili powder, paprika, salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Scramble eggs with a drop of water and season with salt and pepper. In a hot wok, spray a little oil and cook the eggs. When cooked, remove from pan and set aside.

Let the wok get really hot. Add sesame oil and sautι onions, scallion whites, garlic and hot pepper flakes for about 1-2 minutes. Add shrimp and sautι until no longer translucent. Add rice and cooked egg along with soy sauce and fish sauce, mixing well for about 2 minutes. Add greens of the scallions and serve.




Thai Coconut Curry Shrimp

Here's another shrimp dish with the sweetness of coconut milk which compliments the spiciness of the red curry paste in this simple dish. Serve this over jasmine rice for a complete meal. If you've never used fish sauce before, don't let the smell fool you. It blends with the other flavors and really adds to this dish.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1/4th • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 135 • Fat: 4.4 g • Protein: 18.5 g • Carb: 4.7 g • Fiber: 0.9 g 

    1 tsp oil
    4 scallions, whites and greens separated, chopped
    1 tbsp Thai red curry paste
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
    6 oz light coconut milk
    2 tsp fish sauce
    1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
    salt to taste

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil on medium-high. Add scallion whites and red curry paste and sautι one minute. Add shrimp and garlic, season with salt and cook about 2-3 minutes. Add coconut milk, fish sauce and mix well. Simmer about 2-3 minutes, until shrimp is cooked through. Remove from heat, mix in scallion greens and cilantro. Serve over rice and enjoy!


























8 Baked Breads, Cakes & Cookies

Apple Cranberry Crumble

Delicious, comforting and perfect for your Holiday table! Apples and cranberries topped with oats, nuts and a little brown sugar are baked in the oven and served warm. Now this is my kind of comfort food!

To serve a large crowd, simply double the recipe and use a larger baking dish. You can easily make this ahead, then reheat when you are ready to serve.

Servings: 8 • Size: 3/4 cup • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 211.5 • Fat: 5.4 g • Carb: 44.7 g • Fiber: 2.9 g • Protein: 1.8 g • Sugar: 35.5 g • Sodium: 186.6 mg

For the filling:

    3 cups (about 4) peeled gala apples, sliced
    1 cup fresh cranberries
    1 tbsp flour or cornstarch
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    2/3 cup honey or agave*
    cooking spray such as Smart Balance

For the topping:

    3/4 cup dry quick-cooking oats
    1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
    1 tbsp all-purpose flour
    3 tbsp light butter, melted (such as Land O Lakes)
    1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
    1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Lightly spray a 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Combine apples, cranberries along with the rest of the filling ingredients in a bowl. Pour into baking dish and even out with a spoon.

In another bowl, combine the topping ingredients; sprinkle over apple/cranberry mixture.

Bake uncovered, for 55-60 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Serve warm.

























Banana Apricot Turnovers

Here's an easy dessert recipe that is simple to make. This recipe will kill your sweet tooth. Even makes a yummy breakfast.

Servings: 9 servings • Total Time: 40 minutes • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 7 pts

    1 pkg. Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets (2 sheets)
    1 large banana cut into 9 pieces
    9 tbsp apricot preserves
    Pam buttered flavor cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cut each pastry sheet into 9 equal squares. (18 total)

Place 1 tablespoon of apricot preserves in the center each of the 9 squares. Place one slice of banana on top of the preserves. Place another pastry square on top and seal edges with a fork.

Spray cookie sheet with baking spray. Transfer the pastries onto the cookie sheet with a spatula.

Bake at 350° until golden brown, approximately 35 minutes.

















Black and White Chocolate Chip Clouds

Black and white chocolate chip meringue cookies are the perfect fix to cure your sweet tooth. They are light and airy and melt in your mouth and somehow get better with time. I like to make them the night before and store them in an air tight container, the next day they are nice and chewy and even chewier the day after. Low fat, gluten-free and delicious! Make sure your bowls and spatulas are squeaky clean, your egg whites are room temperature and you use a metal bowl to guarantee success.

Servings: 30 • Serving Size: 1 cookie • Old Points: 1 pt • Points+: 1 pt
Calories: 55.6 • Fat: 2.1 g • Carb: 8.2 g • Fiber: 0.8 g • Sugar: 7.9 g • 
Protein: 1.0 g 
 
    3 large egg whites (room temperature)
    1/8 tsp cream of tartar
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1/2 cup white chocolate chips
    1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Heat oven to 300°F. Cover cookie sheet with nonstick silicone pad or parchment paper.

Using a mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar together in large bowl at high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar a little at a time, then vanilla, beating well after each addition until you get stiff peaks, the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is glossy.

Fold in chocolate chips. Drop mixture by tablespoons onto cookie sheet.

Bake 35 to 45 minutes or just until dry. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet. Cool completely on wire rack. Store covered, at room temperature. Makes about 30 cookies.








Chewy Low Fat Banana Nut Oatmeal Cookies

Move over chocolate chip cookies, I just found my favorite new cookie! The flavors of banana nut bread in a scrumptious oatmeal cookie. Experience a wonderful array of textures and flavors in every bite; nutty, chewy, salty, sweet.

A Warning To All: Only make these if you have people to help you eat them, they are highly addictive! Once again, serving size is two cookies, you'll thank me for that. Have a great weekend everyone!

Servings: 15 • Serving Size: 2 cookies • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 175.8 • Fat: 6.7 g • Protein: 3.5 g • Carb: 28.3 g • Fiber: 1.6 g • Sugar: 14 g

    1 cup all purpose flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cup unpacked brown sugar
    1 large egg
    1/4 cup mashed ripe banana
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    2 cups quick oats
    3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°; line two baking sheets with parchment paper or use a Silpat. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In a large bowl, with a mixer, cream together the butter and the sugars on medium speed. Add the egg, followed by the mashed banana and vanilla extract. Working by hand, stir in the flour mixture and the oats until just combined and no streaks of flour remain; stir in the chopped walnuts. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of the dough onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until cookies become light brown at the edges.

Let cool on baking sheet for 3 or 4 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container so you don't eat them all in one sitting!

Makes about 30 cookies.

Splenda Lovers: Substitute all the brown sugar with 1/4 cup Splenda brown sugar blend, and all the white sugar for 1/4 cup Splenda sugar blend. Points remain the same.





































Chocolate Banana Soufflιs

Soufflιs are light and fluffy and made using mostly egg whites and no flour, which is great if you are on a low carb, or gluten free diet. My daughter makes soufflιs all the time, and actually made the ones pictured here. They are not hard to make, so don't be intimidated. They should be eaten right away or they typically fall after 5-10 minutes so if you are serving these to guests, plan to eat them right out of the oven. I love topping mine with a heaping spoon of cool whip.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 6 oz • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 131.2 • Fat: 3.6 g • Carb: 23.5 g • Fiber: 3.2 g • Protein: 4.8 g

    2 ripe medium bananas, mashed
    2 tsp cornstarch
    1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    2 large egg whites
    3 tbsp sugar
    butter flavored cooking spray

Preheat over to 400F. Coat 4, 6 oz ramekins with butter flavored cooking spray. Place on a baking sheet.

In a medium bowl, mash bananas and vanilla together. Sift cornstarch and cocoa powder over bananas and stir well.

In another medium bowl, beat egg whites with sugar until they form soft peaks. Fold 1/3 of egg whites into banana mixture. When incorporated, fold in the rest of the egg whites. Spoon mixture into ramekins.

Wipe the top 1/4 inch “collar” of the ramekin to remove any excess batter so that the soufflι will rise straight and place ramekins on a baking sheet. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes. Serve immediately.








Homemade Skinny Chocolate Cake

Be still my chocolate loving heart, a moist chocolate cake made from scratch with only three tablespoons of oil in the entire cake! Top this with some chocolate syrup and fresh raspberries and oh my, what a chocolate dessert!

I've been experimenting making a cake from scratch with less fat for a few days now and after a few rounds I finally got it to where my taste testers (aka husband and friends) all thought it was great and couldn't believe it was light.

My secret? There's pudding, yogurt and applesauce in the mix! 

This recipe was created for those of you who like to make their cakes from scratch, but if you prefer a quicker method by using a box cake mix as an ingredient, see my Super Moist Low Fat Chocolate Cupcake recipe.

This cake rises beautifully and the coffee brings out the flavor of the chocolate. Will it work without the pudding? Yes, however the texture will change and you'll need to increase the sugar. Can you use less oil? Yes, but I've already cut out more than half, and using less will work, but the texture will be drier.

I made this in a 13 x 9-inch pan and used a heart cookie cutter to cut out hearts, but you can make this into 24 cupcakes, a Bundt cake or 2 rounds. Hope you enjoy!

Servings: 20 • Serving Size: 2.5 x 2.25 inch slice • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts  
Calories: 163 • Fat: 2.8 g • Protein: 3.2 g • Carb: 33.2 g • Fiber: 1.6 g • Sugar: 19.7 g
Sodium: 335 mg

Ingredients:

    1 1/2 cups sugar
    3 tbsp canola oil
    4 oz unsweetened apple sauce
    1 egg
    2 egg whites
    1 cup HOT coffee
    3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    1 cup fat free milk
    2 cups cake flour (not self rising)
    1 package instant chocolate pudding (not sugar free)
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/4 cup plain fat free Greek yogurt
    spray oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly spray and flour your cake pan.

In a large bowl combine flour, dry chocolate pudding mix, salt, baking powder and baking soda and set aside. (dry ingredients). In a medium bowl, combine HOT coffee with the cocoa powder until it dissolves. Slowly add milk and vanilla extract. Set aside. (wet ingredients). In a stand mixer on low speed combine the sugar and oil; mix to combine well.  Add the applesauce until mixed through. Then add eggs and egg whites until incorporated. Starting with the dry ingredients, slowly add a little of the dry, then a little of the wet ingredients, alternating between wet and dry until all the ingredients are mixed in. Last step is to add the Greek yogurt and just stir to combine. Pour into the cake pan and transfer to oven.




Depending on the pan you use, (I used a 13 x 9-inch pan) bake for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cupcakes will be closer to 25-30 minutes.














Chocolate Chip Clouds

These chocolate chip meringue cookies are a wonderful alternative to standard chocolate chip cookies. They are chocolaty, light and airy and melt in your mouth. A great chocolate fix! If you make them the night before, they are chewy the next day, and even chewier the next, which is how I like them. These are also great if you are gluten free diet. I bought liquid egg whites from Trader Joe's which made this easier to make.

Servings: 30 • Serving Size: 1 cookie • Old Points: 1 pt • Points+: 1 pt
Calories: 53.7 • Fat: 2.2 g • Carb: 8.4 g • Fiber: 1.7 g • Protein: 1.1 g 
 
    9 tbsp egg whites (room temperature)
    1/8 tsp cream of tartar
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
    1 cup chocolate chips

Heat oven to 300°F. Cover cookie sheet with Silpat or nonstick silicone pad.

Using a mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar together in large bowl at high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar a little at a time, then vanilla, beating well after each addition until you get stiff peaks, the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is glossy.

Sift cocoa onto egg white mixture; gently fold until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop mixture by tablespoons onto cookie sheet. Makes 30 cookies.

Bake 35 to 45 minutes or just until dry. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet. Cool completely on wire rack. Store covered, at room temperature.









Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins with Glaze

Any chocolate lovers out there? These double chocolate muffins made with bananas, chocolate chips and cocoa powder are moist and choco-licious! If you like the thought of eating chocolate for breakfast, then this is for you!

There are many chocolate lovers in my house, and these muffins disappeared quickly. I added a glaze on top for presentation, I like how it contrasts over the dark chocolate, but for the flavor you don't even need it; either way the points remain the same. This recipe makes 12 large muffins, you could probably even get 14 if you fill the muffin tins 3/4 full. Mini muffins would make a great back to school snack for the little ones, they won't even know there's fruit in them! Leftovers can be refrigerated or frozen to last longer.

Servings: 12 • Size: 1 muffin • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 170.5 • Fat: 5.3 g • Protein: 2.6 g • Carb: 31.8 g • Fiber: 2.1 g • Sugar: 16.1 g
Sodium: 41.3 mg

    3 1/2 ripe medium bananas, mashed
    1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
    1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
    1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    3/4 tsp baking soda
    1/4 tsp salt
    2 tbsp butter, softened
    1/3 cup sugar
    2 large egg whites
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    1/2 cup chocolate chips
    2 tbsp confectioners’ sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 325°. Line a muffin tin with 12 liners. In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add egg whites, bananas, apple sauce, vanilla, and beat at medium speed until thick. Scrape down sides of the bowl. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk. Add flour mixture to bananas, then blend at low speed until combined; do not over mix. Fold in chocolate chips and pour batter into muffin tins. 

Bake on the center rack for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

If making the glaze, combine confectioner's sugar and 1/4 to 1/2 tsp water to make a glaze. Drizzle over each muffin.





































Skinny Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Scones

Buttermilk scones sweetened just to perfection studded with chocolate chips. Kind of like eating a giant chocolate chip cookie for breakfast... without the guilt. Chocolate makes everything better!

Servings: 12 • Serving Size: 1 scone • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts  
Calories: 199.6 • Fat: 8.1 g • Protein: 3.7 g • Carb: 29.8 g • Fiber: 2.3 g • Sugar: 12.8 g • Sodium: 257.4 mg

    3/4 cup cold buttermilk
    1/4 cup sugar
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    1 large egg
    1 cup all purpose flour (Bob's Red Mill)
    1 cup white whole wheat flour (Bob's Red Mill)
    1 tbsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    3 tbsp chilled butter (must be cold) cut into small pieces
    3/4 cup chocolate chips
    cooking spray
    1 large egg white, lightly beaten
    1 1/2 tbsp sugar

Preheat oven to 375°. Combine the first four ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Cut in chilled butter with a pastry blender, or you could use 2 knives, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gently fold in chocolate chips. Add milk mixture, stirring just until moist.

Place dough onto a floured surface and knead lightly four times with floured hands. Form dough into an 9-inch circle onto baking sheet, about 3/4" thick. Using a knife, cut dough into 12 wedges all the way through.

Brush egg white over dough and sprinkle evenly with sugar. Bake until golden, about 18-20 minutes, depending on your oven. Serve warm.




Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Bailey's Irish Cream Cheese Frosting

Yes, you read that right, there is ale in the cupcakes and Bailey's in the frosting! I guess it's safe to call these grown-up cupcakes, and boy are they good!!

As for the frosting, I knew I wanted to use Bailey's, but I couldn't imagine just how good they would be when combined.

Folks, this was a big success, so if you have a St Patrick's Day party to go to I highly recommend bringing these. You can double the recipe for more.

Servings: 12 • Serving Size: 1 cupcake w frosting • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 188.9 • Fat: 6.3 g • Protein: 3.3 g • Carb: 31.1 g • Fiber: 1.5 g • Sugar: 19.4 g • Sodium: 214.3 mg (without salt)

For the Bailey's frosting:

    5.5 oz 1/3 less fat Philly Cream Cheese, softened
    1/2 cup powdered sugar
    4 tsp Bailey's Irish Cream

For the cupcakes:

    3/4 cup + 1 tbsp sugar
    1 cup flour
    7 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 egg
    1/2 cup stout
    4 oz unsweetened apple sauce
    1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
    1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 1/2 tbsp canola oil
    cooking spray

Combine all the frosting ingredients in a medium bowl and mix until smooth with an electric mixer. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a cupcake tin with 12 liners and lightly spray liners with oil (to prevent sticking).

In a large bowl sift together all the dry ingredients; sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda.

In a medium bowl combine the wet ingredients (egg through canola oil) and beat until smooth.

With a mixer, slowly add the sifted flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Pour into cupcake liners and bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.






























Cinnamon Apple Crisp

There's nothing quite like the smell of apples and cinnamon coming out of your oven and a beautiful fall evening. This cinnamon scented apple crisp is a perfect fall dessert, when apples are at their peak. Serve it warm topped with a scoop of low fat vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt and enjoy. I like to use Empire, Gala, or Braeburn apples when baking.

Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1/8th • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 7 pts
Calories: 242.0 • Fat: 6.8 g • Protein: 2.3 g • Carb: 49.5 g • Fiber: 4.5 g • Sugar: 32.3 g • Sodium: 10.1

For the Filling:

    5 medium apples, peeled and diced
    1.5 oz raisins (small box)
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 lemon, juiced
    3 tsp cornstarch
    1/4 cup agave nectar

For the Topping:

    1 cup Quaker quick rolled oats
    1/3 cup whole wheat flour
    1/2 cup light brown sugar (not packed)
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1/4 cup (half stick) butter, melted

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine apples, raisins, cinnamon, agave nectar and lemon juice in large bowl. Sprinkle with cornstarch. Toss until fruit is coated. Place fruit in an ungreased baking dish.

Mix remaining ingredients. Sprinkle over fruit. Bake about 40 minutes or until topping is golden brown and fruit is tender.

Serve with a scoop of low fat ice cream or fat free frozen yogurt. Enjoy!!


Coconut Macaroons

Moist and chewy coconut macaroons are not just for Passover! They are pretty addicting, and naturally gluten free, so enjoy them any time of the year! Making macaroons couldn't be easier, you simply combine coconut flakes, egg whites, and sugar, simmer on the stove, cool then bake in the oven.  If you want to get fancy you could add some slivered almonds or drizzle them with chocolate, but here's a basic recipe.

Servings: 17 • Serving Size: 2 cookies • Old Points: 3 pt • Points+: 3 pt
Calories: 129.2 • Fat: 7 g • Protein: 1.8 g • Carb: 14.5 g • Fiber: 1.1 g • Sugar: 13.4 g • Sodium: 74.2 mg (without salt) 

    3/4 cup (5 large) egg whites
    2/3 cup granulated sugar
    10 oz sweetened coconut flakes (Baker's)
    1/2 tsp almond extract
    1/4 tsp vanilla extract
    pinch of salt

In a heavy saucepan combine egg whites, sugar and coconut flakes and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until all the ingredients combine together, about 12-15 minutes. The mixture should be sticky and moist, not dry. Remove from heat and stir in the almond and vanilla extracts. Set aside on a dish and let it cool in the refrigerator about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 300°. Using a tablespoon, scoop tightly packed tablespoonfuls onto a baking sheet covered with a Silpat or parchment paper.

Bake 27-30 minutes or until golden.

Makes 38 cookies.








Dark Chocolate Chunk Bread Pudding

Warm chocolate bread pudding with chunks of dark chocolate, reserve this treat for a special occasion.
 
Did you know eating chocolate gives you the same sensation you get as falling in love or being kissed. No wonder people are so addicted to chocolate! But dark chocolate can do more than just fill you with euphoria, it's also high in antioxidants and rich in flavonol. So next time you feel guilty eating a piece of chocolate, realize you are doing something good for yourself (in moderation of course).

This serves two, but you can easily double this to make four. Always use good quality chocolate and cocoa powder to get the best results. Chop the chocolate in large pieces so you'll have nice sized chunks to bite into

Servings: 2 • Size: 1 pudding • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 7 pts
Calories: 277.1 • Fat: 11.1 g • Carb: 34.7 g • Fiber: 2.8 g  • Protein: 9.6 g

    1-3/4 cups (1.25 oz) challah bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (no crust)
    2/3 cup 1% reduced-fat milk
    2  tbsp sugar
    1 1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    cooking spray
    1 oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (Green & Black's 70% dark)
    2  tbsp fat-free whipped topping

Preheat oven to 350°. Arrange bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 5 minutes or until toasted. Remove bread from oven; decrease oven temperature to 325°. 

Combine milk and next 5 ingredients (milk through egg) in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add bread, tossing gently to coat. Cover and chill 30 minutes or up to 4 hours. 

Divide half of bread mixture evenly between 2 (6-ounce) ramekins coated with cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with half of chocolate. 

Divide remaining bread mixture between ramekins; top with remaining chocolate.

Place ramekins in an 8-inch square baking pan; add 1 inch of hot water to pan. Bake at 325° for 35 minutes or until set. Serve warm with 1 tablespoon whipped topping.







































Diet Soda Cake

That's right, not a typo. I believe it was the smart folks at Weight Watchers who figured out you can make any box cake low in points, simply by replacing the oil and eggs with diet soda. Sounds strange and I have always been curious about this.

I used Stewart's Diet Cream Soda with a Betty Crocker Super Moist Cake Mix. I also used two egg whites to make the cake fluffier. Wow, what a delicious low fat, low point cake. I topped mine with some fat free whipped cream. Here's the recipe. Making cupcakes is probably your best option for better portion control and lower points. Keep in mind, 2 cupcakes would be 5 points. Points might vary depending on the brand of cake mix.

Servings: 12 pieces • Serving Size: 1 slice • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts

Diet Soda Cupcakes
Servings: 24 • Serving Size: 1 cupcake • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 2 pts

    1 dry box cake, any flavor
    10 oz diet soda, any flavor
    2 egg whites
    Baking spray

Preheat oven according to box directions. Spray 9 x 13 pan.

Beat cake mix, diet soda and egg whites. Pour into pan.

Bake as directed on box, or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

Let cake cool about 10 minutes before cutting. Cut into 12 pieces. Top with fat free whipped cream if you wish.










Easy Blueberry Buttermilk Cake

A simple summer cake loaded with fresh, juicy blueberries in a lightly sweetened, moist buttermilk cake. And yes, it's light too!

The blueberries are the star of this cake, and I didn't think it needed any frosting. I simply topped it with a little powdered sugar before serving (completely optional) or you can even serve it with some whipped topping (or Greek yogurt) on the side.

Servings: 18 • Serving Size: 1/18th •  Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 168.2 • Fat: 2.9 g • Protein: 3.1 g • Carb: 33.1 g • Fiber: 1.2 g • Sugar: 17.1 g • Sodium: 191.8 mg

    2 3/4 cups cake flour*
    1 1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt 
    1 1/4 cups sugar
    4 tbsp softened unsalted butter
    3/4 cups unsweetened applesauce
    3/4 cups low fat buttermilk
    2 cups blueberries
    1 large egg, beaten
    2 large egg whites
    2 tsp vanilla
    baking spray

Preheat oven to 325°.  Grease a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with baking spray. In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Mix well. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, in a medium bowl, beat sugar and butter for about 3 minutes. Add egg and egg whites one at a time and beat until combined. Add buttermilk, vanilla and applesauce until incorporated. Add wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir until just blended.  Gently fold in blueberries. Place the batter into the prepared cake pan; bake cake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 30-32 minutes.  Serve room temperature.

*If you don't have cake flour, here's a great tip on how to make your own from Joy The Baker.  I'm sure you can do this with whole wheat flour too, but I think it will affect the taste and texture.


Low-Fat Gingerbread Cookies

These gingerbread cookies have less than half of the fat than most gingerbread cookies but the same great flavor. Gingerbread cookies are probably the most popular holiday cookie. I say this because I have gotten so many requests for a low-fat version the past few weeks.

The one thing I must point out is that the dough is a bit stickier than traditional gingerbread dough, since most of the butter is replaced with applesauce. Dusting the work surface with flour before rolling the dough, and dusting a little flour on top makes them easier to work with. As you can see, they turned out great. Any flour on the surface after baking can easily be brushed off.

Servings: 48 • Size: 1 cookie • Old Points: 1 pts • Points+: 2 pts (no icing)
Calories: 56.4 • Fat: 0.8 g • Carb: 12.4 g • Fiber: 0.1 g • Protein: 0.9 g • Sugar: 6 g • Sodium: 30.3 g 

With Icing Per Cookie:

Old Points: 1 pts • Points+: 2 pts
Calories: 66.2 • Fat: 0.8 g • Carb: 14.9 g • Fiber: 0.1 g • Protein: 0.9 g • Sugar: 8.5 g • Sodium: 30.4 g 

    3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
    3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
    1 egg
    1/3 cup dark molasses
    3 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
    1 tsp baking soda
    2 tsp ground ginger
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp allspice
    1/4 tsp ground cloves

For the Icing:

    1 1/2 tbsp egg whites
    1/4 tsp fresh lemon juice
    1 cup powdered sugar
    pinch of cream of tartar

Directions:

For the cookies:

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar and applesauce until smooth. Add the egg and molasses, mix well.

In another large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and spices. Add to sugar and molasses mixture, stirring well.

Divide the dough into two flat balls; cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously dust the surface of your working area with flour before rolling out the dough. Work with one ball of dough at a time, keep the other refrigerated while you do so. 

Roll the dough out to 1/4 or 1/8-inch thickness, sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough if it's a little sticky. Cut the gingerbread with a cookie cutter shape of your choice.

Place cookies 1 or 2 inches apart on a Silpat-lined baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes.

For the icing:




Mix the egg whites with lemon juice. Combine with powdered sugar, mixing well. If the icing is too thin, add more powdered sugar, if it's too thick add a drop of lemon juice. Add to a piping bag to decorate cookies when cookies are cooled.

Depending on the size of your cookie cutter, makes about 48 cookies.










Lemon Cranberry Scones

Fresh baked lemon scented scones studded with cranberries, topped with a lemon glaze; a perfect Sunday morning treat. For perfect scones, be careful not to over-knead the dough and be sure your butter is chilled. Leftovers can be stored in air-tight containers for up to two days. Enjoy!

Servings: 10 • Serving Size: 1 scone • Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 192.5 • Fat: 4.7 g • Protein: 4.3 g • Carb: 33.9 g • Fiber: 2.1 g  

    2 tbsp sugar
    2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, divided
    1/2 cup low fat buttermilk
    1/4 cup sugar
    1 tbsp lemon zest
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    1 large egg
    2 cups Ultra grain flour (or 1 cup white, 1 cup whole wheat)
    1 tbsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    3 tbsp chilled butter (must be cold) cut into small pieces
    3/4 cup dried sweet cranberries or cherries

Position rack in top third of oven; Preheat oven to 375°.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Make glaze by combining 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp lemon juice. Combine buttermilk, remaining lemon juice, sugar, lemon zest, vanilla, and egg in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Cut in chilled butter with a pastry blender, or you could use 2 knives, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gently fold in cranberries or cherries. Add buttermilk mixture, stirring just until moist. (dough will be sticky). Place dough onto a floured surface and knead lightly four times with floured hands. Form dough into an 8-inch circle onto baking sheet, about 3/4" thick. Using a knife, cut dough into 10 wedges (do not cut all the way through). Brush lemon glaze over dough. Bake until golden, about 18-20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Serve warm or room temperature.

If you leave out the dried fruit, the scones are 4 points plus each.



Low Fat Blueberry Scones

Servings: 8 servings • Calories: 216 • Points: 4.5 pts • Points+:6  pts

    2 cups unbleached flour
    1/4 cup sugar
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1 tbsp baking powder
    1/4 (half stick) cup frozen butter
    3/4 cups light buttermilk
    1 egg
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 400°.

In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients.

Using the large holes of a cheese grater, grate the frozen butter into the flour. Mix well with flour.

In a medium bowl, mix the buttermilk, egg and vanilla.

Using a fork, slowly stir in the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, until all the mixture is moistened.

Do not over work the dough. Fold in the blueberries.

Line a cookie sheet with a Silpat, or parchment paper. Drop large spoonfuls onto the cookie sheet (to avoid tough scones, do not press or compact). Bake in the center rack 18 minutes. Remove and let them cool about 5 minutes before eating.









Low Fat Brownie Bites

Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1/8th • Old Points: 2 pt • Points+: 3 pt
Calories: 103.9 • Fat: 4.3 g • Protein: 1.3 g • Carb: 15.6 g • Fiber: 0.6 g 

    2 tbsp margarine
    1/3 cup sugar
    1/4 cup cold water
    1/2 tsp vanilla
    1/2 cup flour
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
    2 tbsp chopped walnuts
    nonstick cooking spray
    1 tsp powdered sugar

In a small saucepan melt margarine, remove from heat. Stir in sugar, vanilla and water. Stir in flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Mix well. Stir in chopped nuts.

Spray the bottom of a 8x4x2 inch loaf pan with nonstick spray coating. Pour batter into pan.

Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool thoroughly. Remove from pan. Cut into 8 bars. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
















Low Fat Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Moist and delicious muffins made with ripe mashed bananas, apple sauce and Better'n Peanut Butter. These are so awesome!

I put a little extra peanut butter in the center of each muffin to give you the extra peanut butter flavor when you bite in. The only way I could make these light was to use Better'n Peanut Butter, I buy it at Trader Joe's. I'm sure PB2 would work as well but I haven't tried it in this recipe. Of course, regular peanut butter would work too but you'll have to adjust the nutritional info.

Servings: 12 • Size: 1 muffin • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 160.6 • Fat: 3 g • Protein: 3.9 g • Carb: 30.8 g • Fiber: 1.6 g • Sugar: 13.2 g • Sodium:  104.3 mg

    3 ripe medium bananas
    1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
    1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
    3/4 tsp baking soda
    1/4 tsp salt
    2 tbsp butter, softened
    1/3 cup light brown sugar
    2 large egg whites
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    10 tbsp Better'n peanut butter (divided into 8 tablespoons and 2 tablespoons)

Preheat oven to 325°. Line a muffin tin with 12 liners. Mash bananas in a bowl, set aside. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk. Set aside. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add egg whites, bananas, apple sauce, vanilla, and 8 tablespoons Better’n peanut butter, and beat at medium speed until thick. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Add flour mixture, then blend at low speed until combined. Do not over mix. Pour batter into muffin tin halfway, then add 1/2 teaspoon of the remaining Better’n peanut butter into each muffin well.  

Top off each muffin with remaining batter, and bake on the center rack for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


Petite Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Loaves

These make 8 large muffins in comparison to using a normal sized muffin tin which gives you 12-13. If you don't have these Petite Loaf Pans you can use one large 8 x 5-inch loaf instead, cooking time will be closer to 50-60 minutes or use a regular sized muffin tin, baking them for about 25 minutes.

Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1 mini loaf • Old WW Points: 4 • Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 197.8 • Fat: 5.0 g • Carb: 40.8 g • Fiber: 4.0 g • Protein: 4.2 g • Sugar: 21.9 g
Sodium: 222 mg

As muffins:
Servings: 12 • Serving Size: 1 muffin • Old WW Points: 3 • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 131.9 • Fat: 3.3 g • Carb: 27.2 g • Fiber: 2.7 g • Protein: 2.8 g • Sugar: 14.6 g
Sodium: 148.6 mg

    3  ripe medium bananas
    1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
    1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
    3/4 tsp baking soda
    1/4 tsp salt
    2 tbsp butter, softened
    1/3 cup brown sugar
    2 large egg whites
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    1 1/2 oz mini chocolate chips
    Smart Balance baking spray

Preheat oven to 325°. Spray a non-stick loaf pan with cooking spray. Mash bananas in a bowl, set aside. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk. Set aside. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add egg whites, bananas, apple sauce, vanilla; beat at medium speed until thick. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Add flour mixture, then blend at low speed until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Do not over mix. Pour batter into muffin pan; bake on the center rack for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


Pink Lemonade Confetti Cupcakes

Servings: 24 • Size: 1 cupcake • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 97.4 • Fat: 2.3 g • Carbs: 17.3 g • Fiber: 0 g • Protein: 1.0 g • 
Sugar: 9.8 • Sodium: 103.7 (without salt) 

    18.25 oz box confetti cake mix, I used Duncan Hines
    2 1/2 tsp powdered sugar-free pink lemonade mix
    1 cup water
    1 tbsp vegetable oil
    1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
    lemon zest from half of a lemon
    2 drops pink food coloring (optional)
    confetti sprinkles, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line cupcake tins with 24 paper liners.

Stir together the water and pink lemonade powder.  Combine the cake mix, pink lemonade mixture, applesauce, lemon zest, food coloring and oil in a large bowl and with an electric mixer, mix until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake pans.  Add sprinkles if using and bake in the oven for 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.

Cool completely on wire racks before serving.















Pumpkin Cupcakes with Pumpkin Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

Skinny pumpkin cupcakes, perfect for Halloween parties, Thanksgiving or anytime you want a low fat pumpkin treat. This recipe couldn't be easier, I used a box of Golden Vanilla cake mix, some canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and water. No oil, butter or eggs added and the results were amazing!

These cupcakes are delicious naked, without frosting, but I thought creating a pumpkin spiced cream cheese frosting would be the perfect topping. If you want to get fancy and pipe it on like I did in the photos, you may have to make a little extra frosting, maybe 1 1/2 batches. But if you are making them for yourself and using spatula to smear some on, the amount listed here will be enough.

Servings: 24 • Serving Size: 1 cupcake • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 2 pts
Calories: 84.2 • Fat: 0.8 g • Protein: 0.6 g • Carb: 18.5 g • Fiber: 0.3 g • Sugar: 9.9 g • Sodium: 140.9 mg 

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Frosting
Servings: 24 • Serving Size: 1 cupcake • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 121.1 • Fat: 2.8 g • Protein: 1.4 g • Carb: 23.2 g • Fiber: 0.5 g • Sugar: 13.9 g • Sodium: 142.3 mg

    18.25 oz Betty Crocker Golden Vanilla Super Moist Cake Mix*
    2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
    1 cup canned 100% pure pumpkin
    1 cup water

For the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting:

    8 oz Philadelphia 1/3 fat cream cheese (do not use fat free)
    1/2 cup pureed pumpkin (canned is fine)
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
    5 tbsp packed brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake wrappers.

Combine cake mix and pumpkin spice in a large bowl. Add pumpkin puree and water, mix about 2 minutes.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake about 20 - 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. For the frosting, combine the cream cheese, pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar until smooth. You can use a spatula to ice the cupcakes or pipe them which may require making more frosting. 

Makes 24

*Betty Crocker has reduced their cake mixes, so read the labels on your box. Dunkin Hines still carries 18.25 oz boxes.






























Pumpkin Nut Muffins

With a chill in the air, weekends in the Fall are perfect for baking muffins. These pumpkin nut muffins have very little oil, but lots of pumpkin taste. The pecans add a little crunch in every bite that I just love! Enjoy them with some hot tea or a cup of pumpkin spiced latte!

This is basically a variation of my Pumpkin Bread with Pepitas, if you prefer to make these into a Pumpkin Nut Bread, the baking time will be 50 to 55 minutes.

And coincidentally, these are dairy-free for those with a milk intolerance. Not sure if they can be made gluten-free, but I think I'll test it out soon with a GF flour and see. If anyone has a favorite GF mix, feel free to comment, I heard Williams Sonoma's GF mix is really good.

Servings: 12 • Size: 1 regular sized muffin • Old Points: 3 pts • 
Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 162.5 • Fat: 7 g • Carbs: 23.5 g • Fiber: 2 g • Protein: 3 g • 
Sugar: 14 g • Sodium: 170 mg

    1/2 cup white whole wheat flour (King Arthur)
    3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour (King Arthur)
    3/4 cup raw sugar
    1 tsp baking soda
    2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
    1/4 tsp nutmeg
    1/4 tsp cinnamon
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
    2 tbsp vegetable oil
    2 large egg whites
    1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    baking spray
    1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and lightly spray liners with oil for easy removal.

In a medium bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking soda, pumpkin spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt with a wire whisk. Set aside.

In a large bowl mix pumpkin puree, oil, egg whites and vanilla; beat at medium speed until thick. Scrape down sides of the bowl.

Add flour mixture to the wet mixture, then blend at low speed until combined; do not over mix. Fold in chopped nuts.

Pour batter into prepared muffin tin and bake on the center rack for 24 - 26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let them cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Makes 12 muffins.































Ricotta Cheese Chocolate Chip Muffins

Moist chocolate chip muffins loaded with chocolate morsels in every bite. What a perfect way to start you morning if chocolate is your weakness. Also great as an afternoon snack.

These originally started with whole wheat flour, but after a few attempts at these I got the best results using self-rising cake flour. The taste and texture was exactly what I expect from a muffin. Next time I may try to do a blend of white whole wheat flour and cake flour to see how they come out. Until then I didn't want to keep you waiting!

If you are watching your sugar intake, I'm sure these would work great with a Splenda blend.

Servings: 12 • Size: 1 muffin • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 195.4 • Fat: 4.7 g • Carb: 34.2 g • Fiber: 0 g • Protein: 4.9 g • Sugar: 19.2 • Sodium: 324.2

    2 cups self rising cake flour (Presto)
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/4 cup I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Light
    3/4 cup sugar
    3 large egg whites
    8 oz fat free ricotta cheese
    1/2 tbsp vanilla
    9 tbsp mini semi-sweet chocolate chip morsels

Preheat oven to 375°.

Mix flour and baking soda. Mix and cream butter and sugar. Beat egg whites and add to butter/sugar mixture. Mix in ricotta cheese, then flour mixture and vanilla. Fold in chocolate chips and spoon into lined muffin tins about 3/4 filled.

Bake at 375° for 15-16 minutes and let cool.

Makes 12 muffins.




Rudolph the Red Velvet Cupcake

Red velvet yogurt cupcakes topped with a chocolate glaze. These festive reindeer cupcakes are easy to make perfect for a Holiday party!

Super easy, I used a box of red velvet cake mix, fat free Chobani yogurt, egg whites and water. Does it get easier than that? You can use any flavored cake mix... chocolate, butter, devil's food cake, etc. as long as your boxed cake mix is 18.25 oz.

I've included the nutritional info with and without the candy because realistically you probably won't eat the antler's and nose... or at least I wouldn't. I'll leave that up to you.

Servings: 24 • Size: 1 cupcake • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 169.3 • Fat: 3.5 g • Carb: 32.5 g • Fiber: 1.4 g • Protein: 2.8 g • Sugar: 22.4 g • Sodium: 309.4 mg

Cupcake and glaze only (no candy, pretzel or cookie): Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 132.3 • Fat: 2.4 g • Carb: 26.3 g • Fiber: 1.2 g • Protein: 2.3 g • Sugar: 19.7 g • Sodium: 251 mg

For the cupcakes:

    18.25 oz Duncan Hines Red Velvet Cake mix
    6 oz fat-free Chobani Greek yogurt
    1 1/3 cups water
    2 large egg whites

For the chocolate glaze:

    1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
    3 tbsp fat-free milk
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    pinch of salt

For the vanilla glaze:

    1/2 cup powdered sugar
    1/8 tsp clear vanilla extract
    1 - 2 tsp fat free milk

For the face:

    24 low fat small vanilla wafers
    72 M&M's, 24 red, 48 brown
    12 pretzels, broken in half to create ears

Preheat oven to 350°. Line cupcake tins with liners.

Combine all the cake ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat until combined. Pour into prepared liners. Bake about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool before frosting.

Make the chocolate glaze: whisk all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Keep the chocolate glaze in the bowl.

Make the vanilla glaze by whisking all the vanilla glaze ingredients in another bowl. Place vanilla glaze in a piping bag.

To assemble the cupcakes, dip the tops of the cupcakes into the chocolate glaze and quickly press the vanilla wafer onto the bottom of each cupcake. The chocolate glaze will dry fast so you want to make a few at a time. Let the glaze harden at least 5 to 10 minutes.

Using the vanilla glaze, pipe 2 circles for the eyes and press the chocolate M&M’s into the glaze. Pipe the vanilla glaze for the nose and press the red M&M onto the nose.

Then insert pretzel pieces for the ears and they are complete.













Skinny Apple Cobbler

What can be sweeter on a chilly Fall evening than warm cinnamon apples topped with a sweet golden cobbler crust. Top this with a spoon of whipped topping or frozen yogurt and you'll feel like you're in a state of apple bliss!

I've been playing around with this cobbler for a few weeks and I'm so excited finally got it right! This was delicious and you'll never know it doesn't have all the butter most cobblers call for. You could make this in a pie dish, if you want to serve it for Thanksgiving, but I love the portion control you get for making them in ramekins. Those of you who prefer Splenda or Truvia, you could certainly swap it out for the agave in the apples. 

Servings: 6 • Size: 1 cobbler • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 7 pts
Calories: 261.5 • Fat: 4.7 • Carbs: 56.9 • Fiber: 4.2 • Protein: 1.9 • 
Sugar: 39.6 • Sodium: 168.1 g 

For the Filling:

    2 1/2 lbs Gala apples, peeled, cored and sliced 1/4" thick*



    1/2 cup agave (or sugar)
    2 tbsp cornstarch
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/4 tsp nutmeg
    pinch of sea salt
    2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
    1/2 cup water

For the Topping:

    1/4 cup King Arthur white whole wheat flour
    1/4 cup King Arthur all purpose flour
    2 tbsp granulated sugar
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/4 tsp baking soda
    2 tbsp chilled light butter, cut into small pieces (I used Land O Lakes)
    1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
    1 tbsp canola oil
    1 tsp light brown sugar (unpacked)

In a large heavy pot, combine all of the apple filling ingredients and simmer on low heat for about 25 minutes, gently stirring occasionally until the apples are soft. Divide warm apples into 6 (8 oz) ramekins.

Preheat the oven to 400°. In a medium bowl, whisk flours, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in chilled butter (must be cold) using a pastry cutter (or 2 knives) until pebble-sized pieces are formed.

In a small bowl combine buttermilk and oil; mix well. Add to the dry mixture and mix until just moistened, careful not to over-mix. Spoon the batter over the apples in the ramekins.


Sprinkle with brown sugar and bake 30 minutes, until apples are bubbling and the topping is golden. Let it stand 8 to 10 minutes before eating.

*weight of peeled apples 26.5 oz

























Skinny Honey Lemon Bars

Pucker Up! These sweet and tangy bars are lighter than traditional bars, but are not lacking in flavor! The sweet and tart topping is made from fresh lemon juice, lemon zest and sweetened with honey atop a shortbread crust. Perfect for potlucks, back yard parties and picnics.

The only problem with these lemon bars is that I find myself making up excuses as to why I can eat another. I suggest making these only if you have some friends to share them with!

Servings: 9 • Serving Size: 1 bar • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 172 • Fat: 6 g • Carbs: 32 g • Fiber: 1 g • Protein: 2.3 g • 
Sugar: 24 g • Sodium: 146 mg
 
For the crust:

    6 tbsp white whole wheat flour
    6 tbsp all purpose flour
    1/3 cup light brown sugar (not packed)
    3 tbsp cornstarch
    2 tsp grated lemon zest
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/4 tsp kosher salt
    4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into bits and chilled
    1 tbsp fat free Greek yogurt

For the filling:

    1/2 cup honey
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    1 large egg white, lightly beaten
    2 tbsp white whole wheat flour
    1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
    1 tsp grated lemon zest
    5 tbsp fresh lemon juice
    1 tbsp powdered sugar, for dusting on top

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Prepare an 8-inch square pan by lightly spraying the inside of the pan with baking spray before lining it with 2 long sheets of aluminum foil folded to fit inside and placed perpendicular to each other in the pan.  This is so you can get the bars out after they are cooked, so don't skip this step.

Cut the sheets long enough to hang over the sides to use as handles to lift out the baked lemon bars before cutting into squares.  Spray the inside of the foil lined pan with baking spray.

For the crust: In a food processor combine the flours, brown sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, baking powder and salt and process until well combined.  Add the butter and yogurt to the flour mixture at once and pulse at least a dozen times before turning out into the prepared pan and pressing into an even layer.

Bake until evenly browned about 20-22 minutes.  Cool the crust on a metal rack for at least 15 - 20 minutes.  Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

Prepare the filling by whisking together the eggs, honey, lemon zest, flour and the salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the lemon juice and pour over the cooled crust.  Bake until filling is set, about 22 minutes.  Cool completely before lifting the bars out of the pan with the foil. Cut into 9 squares and dust with confectioners’ sugar.























Skinny Pumpkin Pie

A Thanksgiving dessert table is never complete without the pumpkin pie. Did you think I would leave it out? This recipe is quick and easy, and I found a really simple solution to a lighter pie crust using store bought crust. I rolled it out thinner. I thought it was, although Since I had all the extra dough, I cut out some leaves with a cookie cutter to make it pretty for the photo, but careful, eating these leaves would increase the points. I calculated the pie crust based on Pillsbury, using just under 5 oz dough. If you rather not go through the trouble, and prefer to use all the dough, each slice would be 6 pts plus. Be warned Trader Joe's pie crust sheets are much larger. The filling has been lightened up, but no one will ever know. 

Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1/8th • Old Points: 3 pt • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 172.3 • Fat: 6.4 g • Carbs: 31.4 • Fiber: 1.7 • Protein: 3.5 g • 
Sugar: 20.7 • Sodium: 143.1 mg

    15 oz canned pumpkin (or homemade pumpkin puree)
    2 tbsp light butter, softened
    3/4 cup light brown sugar, unpacked
    1/2 cup fat free milk
    1 large egg
    2 large egg whites
    1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1 frozen pie crust sheet, Pillsbury (thawed to room temperature)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly dust a large cutting board or flat surface with flour. Roll out a room temperature pie crust sheet, so that it becomes thin enough to cut off about 30%, so that your final crust is 5 oz. Place into a 9-inch pie dish, cutting off excess dough. If you prefer to skip this step and use all the dough, increase points+ to 6 per slice. Place pumpkin in a large bowl. Add light butter, and mix well. Using an electric mixer, mix in brown sugar, milk, eggs, egg whites, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Pour filling into unbaked pie crust.

Bake 60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve with whipped topping and enjoy!



Skinny Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cake is my weakness and I can't think of a better cake to eat on Valentine's Day. I made it my mission this week to make a skinnier version. It's always a challenge to lower the fat in baking so when these came out of the oven (fingers were crossed the whole time) I was so happy to see perfectly baked cupcakes. Topped with low fat cream cheese frosting you wouldn't even know these are light.

Servings: 26 • Serving Size: 1 cupcake • Calories: 141 • Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts

    1 1/2 cups cake flour
    1 cup white whole wheat flour
    1 cup sugar
    1 tbsp unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp white vinegar
    1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
    1/4 cup butter, softened
    1 egg
    2 egg whites
    2 tsp vanilla
    1 1/3 cup light buttermilk
    1 tbsp red food coloring

Preheat oven to 350. Line cupcake tins with liners. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flours, salt, cocoa, and baking powder. In another large bowl beat sugar, applesauce and butter. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl mix baking soda and vinegar. Add half of the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, mix well. Add buttermilk, red food coloring and mix well. Add the remaining dry ingredients and fold in vinegar and baking soda. Pour in prepared cupcake liners 3/4 of the way. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool, then frost with low fat cream cheese frosting. Makes 26 cupcakes.

Low Fat Cream Cheese Frosting

    8 oz 1/3 fat Philadelphia Cream Cheese
    1 cup powdered sugar
    1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat together cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth.














































9 Beverages

Colombian Salpicon

Salpicσn is a fresh homemade Colombian fruit beverage. It's served cold and loaded with chopped fruit such as watermelon, papaya, strawberries, pineapple, oranges, apples, bananas and carbonated soda. 

Serve it with a spoon to eat the fruit then drink the juice when the fruit is all gone.

Servings: 20 • Serving Size: 1 cup • Old Points: 1 pt • Points Plus: 2 pts
Calories: 52 • Fat: 0.4 g • Carb: 13.9 g • Fiber: 2.1 g • Protein: 0.7 g • 
Sugar: 7 g • Sodium: 9.9 mg

    1 1/2 cups diced apples, I used green and Macintosh
    1 1/2 cups diced strawberries
    1 1/2 cups diced watermelon
    1 1/2 cups diced banana
    1 1/2 cups diced papaya
    1 1/2 cups diced orange
    1 1/2 cups diced fresh pineapple
    1 1/2 cups grapes (red and green)
    1 1/2 cups diced kiwi
    6 1/2 cups Sprite Zero or diet champagne kola

Dice all fruit to equal size 1/2 inch pieces. Refrigerate until ready to serve. When ready to serve combine with sparkling soda and place in a large pitcher or punch bowl. Ladle into cups and serve with a spoon.









































Cuban Mojito Recipe

Servings: 1 serving • Time: 2 minutes • Points: 2 points • Yields: 1 drink

Have a Mojito party! This is a popular drink in all the trendy NYC spots. I've loved this Cuban drink long before it became popular. I have figured out an easy low point weight watcher Mojito recipe that tastes great. Use this recipe and add a Caribbean flair to your next party!

    1.5 oz Bacardi Rum
    12 fresh spearmint leaves
    1/2 lime
    7 oz sprite zero or club soda
    2 tbsp. Splenda

In a cool tall glass, muddle the mint, Splenda and lime juice. Add crushed ice. Add rum, soda and stir well. Garnish with a lime wedge and a few sprigs of mint. Serve with a straw.
























Healthy Banana Smoothie

Servings: 2 servings • Time: 2 minutes • Points: 2.5 points

    1 banana
    1 (6 oz.) Weight Watchers Vanilla Yogurt
    1/4 tsp vanilla extract
    2 cup fat free milk

In a blender, process all ingredients until smooth. Serve immediately.
































Mango Bellini

Servings: 1 serving • Time: 5 minutes • Points: 2 points

    1 tablespoon fresh mango pureed
    4 oz chilled Prosecco or Champagne

Combine mango puree and chilled Prosecco in each champagne glass and serve.

































Mango Lassi

Servings: 3 • Time: 5 minutes • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 138.7 • Fat: 0.3 • Carbs: 26.7 • Fiber: 1.3 • Protein: 9.2

    1 mango, chopped
    6 oz fat free Greek yogurt
    1 cup fat free milk
    1 1/2 tbsp sugar or honey
    1 cup crushed ice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.






























Mango Peach Smoothie

Servings: 2 • Serving Size: 1 cup • Points: 1 pt
Calories: 99.7 • Fat: 0.3 g • Protein: 2.3 g • Carb: 26.0 g • Fiber: 5.0 g 




    4 oz peach fiber one yogurt
    1 medium sliced peach
    1 cup mango, sliced
    1 cup ice

Blend everything together and serve.



Nojito

Servings: 1 • Serving Size: 1 tall glass • 
Points: 0 pts with Splenda, 1 pt with sugar
Calories: 58.5 • Fat: 0.1 g • Protein: 0.5 g • Carb: 15.2 g • Fiber: 0.9 g 

    10-12 fresh small spearmint leaves
    1/2 lime, juiced
    7 oz sprite zero or club soda
    1 tbsp sugar or Splenda
    crushed ice

In a cool tall glass, muddle the mint, sugar or Splenda and lime juice. Add crushed ice and soda and stir well. Garnish with a lime wedge and a few sprigs of mint. Serve with a straw.













Pomegranate Martini

Servings: 1 • Serving Size: 4 oz • Calories: 124 • Old Points: 2 pts • 
Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 117 • Fat: 0.0 g • Carb: 13.1 g • Fiber: 0 g • Protein: 0.4 g • 
Sugar: 13 g • Sodium: 11.5 mg

    3 oz Pom Wonderful pomegranate juice
    1 oz citrus infused vodka
    crushed ice
    lemon or lime twist  

Super chill the glass, shake well with crushed ice and add a twist of lemon or lime for a killer drink.




























Pumpkin Smoothie

Servings: 2 • Serving Size: 1 cup • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 185.5 • Fat: 0.5 g • Protein: 10.6 g • Carb: 40.7 g • Fiber: 2.6 g  

    1/2 cup pumpkin butter
    1/2 cup skim milk
    1/2 cup crushed ice
    6 oz nonfat Greek yogurt (or plain would work too)
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon (to taste)
    2 tsp packed brown sugar (or to taste) 


Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve with a straw.



























Skinny Eggnog

Servings: 7 • Serving Size: 1/2 cup • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 106.7 • Fat: 2.5 g • Carb: 15.3 g • Fiber: 0.0 g • Protein: 5.3 g 

    3 cups 1% milk
    1 vanilla bean
    2 large eggs
    1/3 cup sugar
    1 tsp cornstarch
    freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish
    spiced rum or bourbon (optional, extra points)

Heat 2-1/2 cups milk in a medium saucepan. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds; add the seeds and pod to the saucepan and simmer over medium heat.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar and cornstarch until it turns light yellow.

Temper the eggs by gradually pouring the hot milk mixture, about 1 cup at a time, into the egg mixture, whisking constantly (this is important, otherwise you'll make scrambled eggs). Pour the mixture back into the pan. Place over medium heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the eggnog begins to thicken, about 6-7 minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the remaining 1/2 cup milk to stop the cooking. Remove the vanilla pod, let it cool and transfer to a pitcher, chill until ready to serve.

Spike the eggnog with liquor, if desired (extra points), and garnish with nutmeg.











Skinny Eggnog Latte

Servings: 1 • Calories: 73 • Points: 1.5 pts

    2 shots espresso or 1/2 cup of strong concentrated coffee
    1/4 cup skinny eggnog
    1/4 cup nonfat milk
    additional sugar or sweetener to taste (extra pts)
    nutmeg
    *optional reduced fat whipped topping

Brew coffee or espresso.

Heat eggnog and combine with milk. Use frothing wand slowly up and down, side to side until eggnog and milk is thick and foamed. (Or put in blender if you don't have a frothing wand).

Pour coffee or espresso into mug, sweeten to taste and pour hot eggnog mixture over the top. Sprinkle with nutmeg and enjoy!























Skinny Frozen Hot Chocolate

Servings: 2 • Size: little over 1 cup • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 111 • Fat: 1 g • Carb: 20 g • Fiber: 1 g • Protein: 7 g • Sugar: 18 g
Sodium: 166 mg 

    1 1/2 cups fat free milk
    1 cup ice
    4 tbsp Ovaltine Rich Chocolate (or Chocolate Malt flavor)
    1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
    2 tbsp fat free whipped topping (optional)
    drop of peppermint extract (optional)

Pour the milk and ice into your blender. Add in the Ovaltine, cocoa powder, and whipped topping (optional – you could also leave this for the top instead).

Blend  3-4 minutes until the ice is completely chopped and the mixture is thick and icy.

Pour into two glasses, and serve immediately.





















Skinny Pumpkin Spiced Latte

Servings: 2 • Serving Size: 1 latte • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 115.6 • Fat: 0.4 g • Protein: 6.6 g • Carb: 20.8 g • Fiber: 0.7 g   

    1 1/2 cups fat free milk
    2 tbsp pumpkin butter
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
    2 tsp sugar or sugar substitute (to taste) 
    1/4 cup of espresso (or 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee works)
    fat free whipped topping
    pumpkin pie spice for topping

In a small pan combine milk, pumpkin butter and sugar and cook on medium heat, stirring, until boiling. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth (or whisk well with a wire whisk)

Pour into two mugs, add the hot espresso and top with fat free whipped cream and a dash of pumpkin pie spice on top.






















Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie

Servings: 2 • Serving Size: 1 cup • Old Points: 1 pt • Points+: 2 pt
Calories: 63.6 • Fat: 0.3 g • Protein: 2.2 g • Carb: 15.8 g • Fiber: 4.9 g 

    strawberry fiber one yogurt
    5-6 strawberries
    1 kiwi, peeled
    1 cup ice

Blend all ingredients together and serve.































Triple Berry Smoothie

Servings: 2 • Serving Size: 1 cup • Old Points: 1 pt • Points+: 2 pt
Calories: 68.4 • Fat: 0.4 g • Protein: 3.3 g • Carb: 12.9 g • Fiber: 3.1 g   

    1/2 cup blackberries and raspberries
    5 medium strawberries
    1 cup crushed ice
    6 oz WW berries and cream nonfat yogurt

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve with a straw.































Very Blueberry Smoothie

Servings: 2 • Serving Size: 1 cup • Old Points: 1 pt • Points+: 2 pt
Calories: 80.5 • Fat: 0.0 g • Protein: 3.4 g • Carb: 16.2 g • Fiber: 3.0 g   

    3/4 cup blueberries
    1 cup crushed ice
    6 oz WW blueberry nonfat yogurt

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve with a straw.
































Watermelon Martinis

Servings: 4 • Size: 6 oz + 1/4 cup watermelon • Old Points: 2 pts • 
Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 90.3 • Fat: 0.5 g • Carb: 11.6 g • Fiber: 0.6 g • Protein: 0.9 g • Sugar: 7.6 g • Sodium: 2.6 mg

    3 cups seedless watermelon
    2 oz Absolut Citron
    1 oz Midori Melon liqueur
    1 oz fresh lime juice
    1 cup ice cubes

For the garnish:

    watermelon with rind and lime wedges

Dice one cup of watermelon into small cubes. Puree remaining 2 cups of watermelon in a blender and add vodka, liqueur, lime juice and ice and blend well. Pour 6 oz martini into each martini glass, add 1/4 cup remaining watermelon into each glass and garnish with watermelon and lime slices.

For those who don't drink alcohol, add ice cubes and replace it with a splash of orange juice.














ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Fred Horton (1974- ) was born in Phoenix, Arizona to an American father and an Italian mother. Pursued radio broadcasting and underwent an intense trade school program with The Academy of Radio & Television Broadcasting where he completed his certificate in May of 1995. Since then he has worked for the computer industry for the past 17 years.  He has a passion for cooking/baking and loves to create.  He has a passion for cooking/baking and loves to create.

 

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© 2013 Fred Horton
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
January 2013
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
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