Monday, October 17, 2011

Chicken and Potatoes

Yes, it's been 3 months (and 1 day!) since I posted. Wow... I weighed this morning and am still hovering at the same weight as last May so I did something drastic. I started all over. Yep, I reset my weight on my Weight Watchers Online account so that today is my starting day and starting weight. After I post, I'm going to update my ticker so it will say I've lost 0 pounds. I'm hoping I can finally stick with this. It only takes one time of doing it right to erase all the times of doing it wrong, right?

Chicken and Potatoes

3 c potatoes, chopped
4 chicken leg quarters
1 can reduced-fat cream of chicken soup
1 envelope of onion soup/dip mix

Put the potatoes in crockpot. Put the chicken on top. Cover with the soup then sprinkle the soup/dip mix on top. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

This makes about 8 servings at 5 PointsPlus each. If you eat more, adjust accordingly. I will sometimes eat about 1 1/2 servings, depending on what we are having for side dishes.

Broccoli-Cheddar Casserole

1 can reduced-fat cream of chicken soup
1/2 c skim milk
2 t yellow mustard
16 oz frozen broccoli, thawed
1 c fat-free cheddar, shredded
1/3 c dried bread crumbs
2 t butter, melted

Stir soup, milk, mustard, broccoli and cheese in a 9x13 casserole dish sprayed with Pam.

Mix bread crumbs with butter then sprinkle on top of broccoli mixture.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Makes 6 servings at 3 PointsPlus each.

I will be serving Pillsbury Grands Biscuit and will have 1. I no longer buy the reduced-fat version of these because although I couldn't tell the difference, my sons said they could and when Weight Watchers re-vamped their points system, they now have the same number of points for either version.

Total PointsPlus for dinner: 13

I hope to "see" y'all tomorrow!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cran-Orange Geleatin Salad

I made this the other night (I think Wednesday?) with Campfire Bundles (previously posted). It was great. The entire family enjoyed it, which is rare.

Cran-Orange Gelatin Salad

15 oz can mandarin oranges
2 pkgs cranberry Jello (3 oz each)
1 1/2 c boiling water
16 oz can whole-berry cranberry sauce
1 1/2 c crushed pretzels
6 T butter, melted
5 T sugar, divided
8 oz pkg fat-free cream cheese
8 oz frozen fat-free Cool Whip, thawed

Drain oranges, reserving juice in a 2-cup measuring cup; set aside oranges and juice.

In a large bowl, dissolve the Jello in boiling water. Stir in cranberry sauce until melted. Add enough cold water to the reserved juice to measure 1 1/2 cups; add to Jello mixture. Stir in oranges. Chill until partially set (this took about 1 hour for me).

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the pretzels, butter and 2 T sugar. Press into un-greased 9x13 dish; chill.

In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and remaining sugar until smooth. Fold in Cool Whip. Spread over crust. Spoon Jello mixture over cream cheese layer. Chill for at least 3 hours or until set.

Yield: 15 servings at 6 PointsPlus each.

Notes: As usual, I changed several things from the original recipe. First, it called for sugar-free Jello. I am allergic to Nutrasweet so I used regular Jello. Also, it indicated "salt-free" pretzels. I have had similar recipe to this one made with strawberry Jello and strawberries. I thought it would taste better with the salted pretzels so I used those. Instead of sugar, the original recipe used "sugar substiture equivalent to 5 T sugar". I figured it's only 5 PointsPlus for REAL sugar so I used that (divided by 15 servings, it didn't matter). I also used fat-free Cool Whip instead of reduced-fat Cool Whip because my store doesn't carry the reduced-fat. Using the original ingredients will change the PointsPlus value (pretty sure it will be lower). This is another recipe I got from "Light & Tasty" magazine (now called "Healthy Cooking by Taste of Home").

This morning I made:

Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins

1 1/2 c Oats (quick or old-fashioned), uncooked
1 1/4c all-purpose flour
1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 t cinnamon
1 t baking powder
3/4 t baking soda
1 c unsweetened applesauce
1/2 c skim milk
3 T canola oil
1 egg white

1/4 c Oats (quick or old-fasioned), uncooked
1 T firmly packed brown sugar
1/8 t cinnamon
1 t butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400. Line 12 muffin cups with paper baking cups OR lightly grease bottoms only. Combine dry ingredients; mix well. Add combined applesauce, milk, oil and egg white; mix just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fill muffin cups almost full. For topping, combine all ingredients; sprinkle evenly over batter. Bake 20-22 minutes or until deep golden brown. Let muffins stand a few minutes; remove from pan. Serve warm.

Yield: 12 muffins at 5 PointsPlus per muffin.

Notes: The original recipe called for vegetable oil. I don't buy that and had canola oil on-hand so I used that. Also, it said to use margarine for the topping. I used butter instead.

These were a HUGE hit with my family! Will be making this regularly. Yum!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Popover Apple Pie

Last night we had Campfire Bundles (previously posted) and:

Popover Apple Pie

3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 t salt
2 eggs
2 egg whites
3/4 c skim milk
1 c cold orange juice
1 pkg (3 oz) cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
3/4 t allspice
6 large peeled tart apples, sliced
1/4 c dried cranberries
1 t powdered sugar

In a bowl, combine flour and salt. Combine the eggs, egg whites and milk; whisk into the dry ingredients just until blended. Pour into a 10" ovenproof skillet coated with butter-flavored Pam. Bake at 450 for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 (do not open oven door). Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until deep golden brown (do not underbake).

In a microwave-safe bowl, whisk the orange juice, pudding mix and apple pie spice. Stir in apples and cranberries. Cover and microwave on high about 10 minutes, stirring every 2 1/2 minutes or until apples are tender. Spoon hot apple mixture into crust. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately.

Yield: 8 servings at 6 PointsPlus each.

Notes: The original recipe (from "Light & Tasty" magazine, now named "Healthy Cooking") called for 1% milk, but we only buy skim milk so I used that. The crust turned out fine. Also, it said to use sugar-free pudding mix. I'm allergic to Nutrasweet so I used regular. And it said to sprinkle 1/4 cup chopped walnuts on it right before adding the powdered sugar. I'm allergic to nuts so I skipped that. Your PointsPlus value will likely change, but not sure which way since some changes I made would increase it and some made would decrease it.

Talk about your mixed reactions. As soon as my husband took a bite, he said, "you don't have to make this again". Yikes! I tried it anyway. I loved it! One of my sons said it was too "egg-y" and the other said he would have left out the dried cranberries, but they both said they like it anyway. I'm probably not gonna fix it again just because nobody said the same thing, but I did like it.

Tonight is Taco Salad Night. I am also fixing Cran-Orange Gelatin Salad. It looks fantastic so I hope I have good reviews tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Chicken Pasta Primavera

I got this recipe from "Light & Tasty" magazine (it's since changed it's name to "Healthy Cooking"), but I changed it a bit.

Chicken Pasta Primavera

10 oz uncooked spaghetti
1 can reduced-fat cream of chicken soup
6 oz light sour cream
1 c water
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp garlic powder
3/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
10 oz pkg frozen broccoli, thawed
10 oz pkg frozen carrot slices, thawed
4 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
5 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a dutch oven, combine the soup, water, lemon juice, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir in vegetables; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Stir in chicken; heat through. Drain spaghetti; add to chicken mixture and toss to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Yield: 8 servings at 7 PointsPlus per serving.

The original recipe used a 16 oz pkg of "California-blend vegetables". I do not like cauliflower so I bought broccoli and carrots then instead of using partial packages, I added a few things. The original recipe also didn't include the light sour cream, but I didn't want to use a partial can of soup. Also, I added more of each of the other ingredients to come up with what I thought was a good ratio. It turned out fantastic. Even the boys ate it, although Adam did pick out the broccoli, and our 3 year old Granddaughter even ate it. Have added this to my favorites.

I've not totally been ignoring my blog, but lately I've been fixing a lot of re-runs so not much new to post about. I have several new recipes coming up, but tonight our dinner is a re-runs (Campfire Bundles). I will be posting about the dessert I'm fixing.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bacon Hash Brown Bake

I think I'm back into my routine enough that I ought to be able to start posting regularly again.

Bacon Hash Brown Bake

8 slices Oscar Mayer Ready-to-Serve Bacon, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/4 c vegetable oil
4 c frozen hash browns
12 oz pkg frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
8 eggs
1 c fat-free evaporated milk
1/2 t salt
1 c shredded fat-free cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add hash browns and cook for 2 minutes; turn over and cook another 2 minutes. Add vegetables and cook 3-4 minutes. Transfer to 9x13 baking dish sprayed with Pam. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and salt. Stir in cheese and bacon pieces. Pour evenly over potato mixture.

Bake uncovered for 40-45 minutes, or until eggs are set.

Tip: To save time, prepare this casserole ahead of time, except for baking. Store covered in refrigerator up to 24 hours.

Yield: 9 servings at 6 PointsPlus each.

Note: original recipe used turkey bacon. My kids don't like turkey bacon so I switched to regular. Also, the original used regular cheese, but I switched to fat-free. It also called for "1 cup" chopped onion and red bell pepper, but I used a whole medium one of each.

My family LOVED this. Even the boys ate it, except they picked out the red bell pepper. I thought about substituting Egg Beaters for the eggs, but went ahead and used regular eggs. That change would have lowered the PointsPlus value by 1 1/2 per serving.

After an almost "mutiny" by my sons, I am going to cook "regular" (their words, not mine! LOL) for the next 2 weeks. I'll still be attempting to cut PointsPlus in areas they hopefully won't notice. As an example, tonight we are having meatloaf, but I'm using venison (as lean as 96% ground beef). Another night we are having a casserole that uses a can of cream of chicken soup. I will use the 98% fat-free version. I'll write about my results.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hamburger Pie

Yesterday I forgot to mention that I gained 2.5 #s last week. Yep. To say it was a disappointment would be an under-statement, but to say it was a surprise would be a lie. Back on track this week.

Last night we had:

Hamburger Pie

Preheat oven to 375. Spray 9" pie plate with Pam.

To make crust, mix 1 c reduced-fat Bisquick with 1/4 c skim milk in medium bowl just until soft dough forms. Transfer to lightly floured surface and knead 5 times. Roll out dough then ease into pie plate, pressing evenly against bottom and side of pie plate.

In non-stick skillet on medium-high, brown 1 # extra-lean ground beef (I used venison), 1 finely chopped onion, 2 T Worcestershire sauce and 1 minced garlic clove. Stir in 2 T reduced-fat Bisquick. Remove skillet from heat and let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, mix 1/2 c Egg Beaters, 1/2 c reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese and 2 T grated Parmesan cheese in small bowl. Spoon beef mixture into crust; top evenly with cheese mixture. Bake until filling is set and crust is golden, about 25-30 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before cutting.

Yield: 6 servings at 6 PointsPlus each.

This was okay, but it needed something (kinda bland). Am thinking of adding a green bell pepper next time IF I make it again.

For dessert I fixed a brownie thing that I included nuts in because I am allergic and I did NOT want to eat this. I figured the PointsPlus value just to see and came up with 30 PointsPlus each! Since this blog is about losing weight, I won't post the recipe.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Baked Chicken & Barbara Sue's Broccoli Casserole

I went to back-to-back all-day crops at Busy Scrappin' at the end of the week. It's a scrapbook store here in Bellevue, NE. If you live local, you should go by and see what all they have. Their workspace is fantastic and they couldn't have found better people to work there. LOVE IT!

So, I left my family with a full refrigerator of leftovers for Friday and Saturday. This was what we had Thursday for dinner:

Baked Chicken

In a bag, mix 1/2 c Parmesan cheese, 1 Tbsp minced onion and 1 t Season-All Seasoned Salt. Toss 2-3 lbs chicken pieces, a few at a time. Bake 1 hour in 350 oven.

Yield: 4 servings at 7 PointsPlus each.

Note: I used 2 #s boneless, skinless chicken breast. Also, I used a 9x13 casserole dish sprayed with Pam. This recipe came from McCormick/Schilling.

Barbara Sue's Broccoli Casserole

Boil 32 oz pkg frozen broccoli and 1 medium onion (chopped). Drain. Mix with 1 cup sour cream and 1 can cream of chicken soup (can use cream of mushroom). Mix with 1/2 an 8 oz pkg Pepperidge Farm Stuffing Mix. Pour into 9x13 pan sprayed with Pam. Sprinkle the remaining stuffing on top then pour a melted stick of butter on top. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Yield: 10 servings at 4 PointsPlus each.

Note: I use fat-free sour cream and reduced fat cream of chicken when I make this AND when I calculated the PointsPlus value. Also, I've been making this recipe over 20 years, but in the last year or so I have been unable to find an 8 oz pkg of Pepperidge Farm Stuffing Mix. I buy the larger pkg (I think it's 12 oz) and have a little leftover.

Last night we had tuna salad sandwiches and chips (I had fat-free Pringles). Nothing exciting, but I was tired.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Overnight Stuffed French Toast

20 slices French bread (1" thick)
8 oz fat-free cream cheese
3 c Egg Beaters
2 c skim milk
1/3 c plus 1 3/4 c sugar-free maple-favored syrup, divided
1 t vanilla extract
1/4 t cinnamon
2 1/2 c sliced fresh strawberries

Arrange 10 slices of bread in 9x13 pan sprayed with Pam. Spread each slice with cream cheese. Top with remaining bread. In a large bowl, whisk Egg Beaters, milk, 1/3 c syrup, vanilla and cinnamon; pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until top is lightly browned and a thermometer reads at least 160. Serve with strawberries and remaining syrup.

Yield: 10 servings at 6 PointsPlus each.

This was great! VERY tasty, filling, satisfying, etc. Our Granddaughter was here for dinner and also loved it. One thing I want to mention is that I was thinking the maple syrup and strawberries would be weird, but it was really good.

I also made bacon (3 pieces are 4 PointsPlus).

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Campfire Bundles

Last night's meal was fantastic! It was VERY easy to prepare and incredibly tasty. Definitely adding it to our favorites.

Campfire Bundles

1 large sweet onion, sliced
1 EACH large green, red and yellow bell pepper
4 medium potatoes, cut into 1/4" slices (I used Yukon Gold)
6 medium carrots, cut into 1/4" slices
1 small head cabbage, sliced
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
14 oz Oscar Mayer Turkey Smoked Sausage
1/2 c butter, cubed
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper

Place the first 8 ingredients on 3 pieces of double-layered heavy-duty foil (about 18" square). Top with sausage; dot with butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fold foil around mixture and seal tightly.

Grill, covered, over medium heat for 30 minutes. Turn and grill 30 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender. Open the foil carefully to allow steam to escape.

Yield: 6 HUGE servings at 8 PointsPlus each.

NOTE: My husband was working on our oldest son's car when I needed this grilled. I don't do the grill so I lined a 9x13 pan with 3 layers of foil then put everything on top and covered with foil (sealing well). I baked in a 350 oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. It came out great.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Crock Pizza

Sorry for the long delay. It took me a little longer than I thought to be okay after my baby graduated high school. I think I'm better now.

I'm going to start writing about the meals we had the night before so I don't have to change things based on how it turned out. If I write AFTER I fixed it, I can include the notes in the original recipe.

So, last night we had Crock Pizza. My Mother-in-law gave me this recipe several years ago and it's still a family favorite.

Crock Pizza

12 oz. pkg Kluski noodles (I have ONLY been able to find these in Nebraska)
1 1/2 #s ground beef (I use venison)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 # mushrooms, sliced
16 oz jar pizza sauce
8 oz jar spaghetti sauce (haven't found that size so I buy a bigger one and freeze the leftover)
8 oz shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
8 oz shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
6 oz pkg sliced pepperoni

Cook & drain noodles. Meanwhile, brown ground beef, onions, green pepper and mushrooms. Drain. Add sauces to meat mixture and simmer well. Layer twice (noodles, meat sauce, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese and pepperoni) in crock pot on high for about 30 minutes.


layer in 9x13 casserole dish sprayed with Pam. Bake in 350 oven for 20 minutes.

Yield: 8 servings at 6 PointsPlus each.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Way Behind!

I kinda fell off the wagon posting-wise last week, but am happy to say that I was down 2 lbs when I weighed this morning.

I had an ultra busy week last week and have another one coming up this week. Our youngest son will be graduating from high school on Saturday. We are having his party at our home so I've got a lot to do to get ready.

Last night we ordered in as my husband was sick, but didn't want me to have to cook on Mother's Day. We have plenty for leftovers tonight so I won't be cooking. I will try to make the time to post my recipes this week, but don't be surprised if I'm not back until Sunday or Monday.

I wanted to add comments about the last recipes I posted. We did NOT like the Baked Cod with Asparagus. There are too many easier recipes that taste much better so I won't be making it again. The cake was delicious, but very sloppy so next time I will make a point of going to a store that has the light Cool Whip (am thinking it will be thicker and make the cake more stable). VERY yummy though.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Baked Cod with Asparagus

Last night's dinner came out great. Was a little worried with all the changes, but it was very tasty!

Tonight's recipe came from the TV show "The Biggest Loser". They had a challenge a few weeks ago where the contestants were paired up and had a short time to come up with a tasty and healthy meal. The recipe I'm making was made by Moses and Olivia.

Baked Cod with Asparagus

4oz fresh cod fillet
1/2 bunch fresh asparagus (8oz)
1 bunch scallions (green onions), cleaned and trimmed
Parmesan cheese (grated)
1 lemon
Garlic powder
Dill (preferably fresh)
Cooking oil spray (I'm using Pam)

Preheat oven to 400. Lightly spray baking dish with Pam. Place scallions on bottom of baking dish (making a bed for the cod). Season cod with 1/4 t garlic powder, 1/4 lemon juiced, 1/8 t black pepper and a sprig of dill. Tent cod baking dish with a piece of foil. Set aside while preparing asparagus.

Place asparagus in another baking dish sprayed with Pam. Season with 1/4 t garlic powder, 1 t Parmesan, 1/4 lemon juiced and 1/8 t black pepper. Place both dishes in preheated oven and bake for 7 minutes.

In the meantime, slice the other half of the lemon and caramelize the slices in a pan. Remove asparagus from oven; keep warm. Remove tent from cod. Bake cod for another 3 minutes. Place cod on a dinner plate. Top with fresh dill sprig and a caramelized lemon wheel. Place asparagus next to cod on plate. Sprinkle with remainder of Parmesan.

This makes 1 serving (I will be making 4 servings) at 4 PointsPlus.

Since dinner is so low in PointsPlus value, I will be also fixing a dessert.

Crumb-Topped Chocolate Cake

1/4 c plus 5 T butter, softened and divided
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1/4 c unsweetened applesauce
1 t vanilla extract
1 c all-purpose flour
1 c cake flour
1/3 c baking cocoa
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 1/4 c buttermilk (I'm using low fat)
1/2 c graham cracker crumbs
1/3 c semisweet chocolate chips
2 c reduced-fat whipped topping

In a large mixing bowl, beat 1/4 c butter and sugar until crumbly, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in applesauce and vanilla. Combine the flours, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Transfer to two 9" round cake pans coated with Pam.

Combine graham cracker crumbs, chocolate chips and remaining butter. Break into small pieces; sprinkle evenly over batter.

Bake at 375 for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

Spread whipped topping between layers and over sides of cake, leaving the crumb top exposed. Refrigerate leftovers.

Yield: 16 servings at 6 PointsPlus each. NOTE: I calculated this using fat-free Cool Whip (they didn't have "light" at my grocery store).

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake

Last night's Pizza Lasagna was excellent! The red bell pepper maintained a tiny bit of crunch giving it a unique blend of textures. Yum!!! The Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread was, as always, a hit with my family.

Tonight's recipe comes from Beth Hood's blog (

Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake

2 c cooked chopped chicken (about 2 large boneless breasts)
3 oz diced ham
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 c sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
2 c shredded Swiss cheese
1 box stuffing mix for chicken
butter and water called for on stuffing box

Cook stuffing according to package directions; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine chicken, ham, cream of chicken soup and sour cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste (go lightly on the salt since the soup and ham are pretty salty on their own).

Pour mixture into a 9x13 pan sprayed with Pam.

Sprinkle cheese evenly over the chicken mixture. Carefully add stuffing in an even layer on top of the cheese.

Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Yield: 6 servings at 11 PointsPlus with the following changes made: I am using reduced-fat cream of chicken soup, fat-free sour cream and olive oil in place of butter when making the stuffing. The PointsPlus value was too high for me as originally written.

Fettuccine with Spinach and Ricotta

6 oz whole-wheat fettuccine
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch spinach
1/4 c beef broth
1/4 t black pepper
3/4 c fat-free ricotta
2 t parsley

Cook the fettuccine according to package directions; drain and keep warm.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until soft, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add spinach, broth and pepper; cook, stirring, until the spinach is soft and the broth has thickened to a glaze, about 10 minutes.

Add the cooked, drained fettuccine to the pan along with the ricotta; cook, tossing gently, until just warmed through, 2 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve at once.

Yield: 4 servings at 4 PointsPlus each.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Time to Catch Up!

The Pork Chops from Thursday were great! Definitely will fix those again.

We had leftovers Friday then I wasn't home on Saturday so I'm just one day behind on posting my recipes.

Last night was:

Hearty Egg Casserole

1# bulk pork sausage
1 small onion, chopped
16 oz pkg frozen spinach, thawed and well drained
1 c reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese, divided
3 c Egg Beaters
1 c fat-free half-and-half
1 c skim milk
1/4 t ground nutmeg

In a large non-stick skillet, cook sausage and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Remove from heat; stir in spinach and 1/2 c cheese. Transfer to 9x13 pan sprayed with Pam.

In a large bowl, beat egg beaters, half-and-half, milk and nutmeg. Pour over sausage mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting.

Yield: 12 servings at 7 PointsPlus each.

I got the original recipe from Taste of Home - Healthy Cooking, but changed so much about it that I just used the original more like a suggestion. The original had mushrooms, full fat cheese, 10 oz of Spinach, etc. It turned out great though. Ate some leftover for breakfast this morning.

Tonight we are having:

Pizza Lasagna

1/2# lean ground beef (I'm using venison)
29 oz canned diced tomatoes, undrained
15 oz canned ready-to-serve creamy tomato soup (I bought Healthy Choice)
6 oz canned tomato paste
1/2 c water
1 medium onion, chopped
1 t EACH dried oregano and garlic powder
1/2 t salt
9 uncooked lasagna noodles
4 oz sliced turkey pepperoni
1 1/2 c (6 oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1 medium sweet red pepper, diced
6 green onions, chopped
2 1/4 oz canned sliced black olives, drained

In a non-stick skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. For sauce, in a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, soup, tomato paste, water, onion and seasonings.

Spread 1/2 c sauce in a 9x13 pan sprayed with Pam. Top with 3 noodles and 1/3 of the sauce, then pepperoni. Sprinkle with 1 c cheese. Top with 3 noodles and 1/3 of the sauce. Top with red pepper, green onions and beef. Top with remaining noodles, sauce and cheese. Sprinkle with black olives.

Cover and bake at 350 for 70-80 minutes or until noodles are tender. Uncover; bake 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes.

Yield: 12 servings at 5 PointsPlus each.

I'm also going to serve Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread. Not the lowest PointsPlus value, but my family loves it.

Will be going to Cracker Barrel for lunch with a friend. I will order the vegetable plate so I can get my "5 a day", but have to admit, I can't turn down their Sweet Iced Tea.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pork Chops with Scalloped Potatoes

Today is Thursday. That usually means "Craft Day". Today it was cancelled. I was bummed, but considering it's almost noon and I'm still in my pajamas, I'm thinking it all worked out okay.

Even so, I had already planned a crock pot meal for today so here it is:

Pork Chops with Scalloped Potatoes

4 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
8 boneless pork chops (about 4 oz each)
1 1/2 t canola oil
2 large onions, sliced and separated into rings
2 t butter
3 T all-purpose flour
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
14 1/2 oz chicken broth
1 c skim milk

Place potatoes in 5 or 6 quart crock pot coated with Pam. In a large non-stick skillet, brown pork chops in oil in batches.

Place chops over potatoes. Saute onions in drippings until tender; place over chops. Melt butter in skillet. Combine flour, salt, pepper and broth until smooth. Stir into pan. Add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Pour sauce over onions. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until pork is tender.

Yield: 8 servings at 6 PointsPlus each.

I'm also fixing the Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread that I previously wrote about. Sorry that my blog isn't advanced enough to look up a specific recipe like some are. I'm just doing this for fun. You will notice that we are having no real serving of vegetables for dinner. I had pineapple for breakfast and a huge salad for lunch to counteract that.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cheddar Bacon Chicken

A quick "catch-up"... The Turkey Tetrazzini was great. Also, the Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo was very good, but NOT as creamy and thick as that from L&N Seafood. Still, I'll probably make it again. The Lemon Crumb Cake...WOW! Absolutely delicious! I did make a few changes though. The Lemon Pie Filling I had was 21 oz. I went ahead and used it anyway. Also, I bought low-fat buttermilk. I figured the extra pie filling would make the PointsPlus go way up, BUT using the low-fat buttermilk actually made the PointsPlus drop to 6 from 8. I did NOT have vanilla ice cream with mine. Instead I opted for 3 T fat-free Cool Whip (zero PointsPlus added).

I got the following recipe from

Cheddar Bacon Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2" thickness
salt and pepper
1 T olive oil
1/4 c barbecue sauce
1/2 c diced tomatoes
1/4 c real bacon pieces
1 c reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese

Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook on both sides until done. Place chicken on baking sheet and top with barbecue sauce, tomatoes, bacon pieces and cheese, in that order.

Place in oven and broil just long enough for cheese to melt.

Yield: 4 servings at 10 PointsPlus each.

Note: Original recipe used regular shredded cheddar cheese. I switched to reduced-fat to save a few PointsPlus.

Baby Carrots 'n' Broccoli

1 1/2 c baby carrots
4 c fresh broccoli florets
2 T olive oil
1 t Season All

In a saucepan, bring 4 c water to a boil; add carrots. Cover and simmer 5 minutes; drain and pat dry.

In an ungreased 10x15 pan, combine carrots with remaining ingredients. Bake, uncovered, at 425 for 7-9 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring once.

Yield: 4 servings at 3 PointsPlus each.

Note: I'm not sure about this PointsPlus value. Carrots, Broccoli and Season All have zero PointsPlus. The olive oil has 7 PointsPlus, divided by 4 servings, this would be 2 PointsPlus each, BUT when I entered the info into the "recipe builder" on the Weight Watchers website, it came up as 3 PointsPlus.

I'm not fixing a dessert tonight because we have leftover Lemon Crumb Cake. Yum!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo

This was my favorite dish at L&N Seafood. We don't have one here so I'm not sure if they still serve that. This version is lower in fat than the original, but hopefully it will taste as good.

Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo

6 oz uncooked fettuccine
2 T butter
4 1/2 t all-purpose flour
1 c fat-free half-and-half
1 lb cooked medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
1/3 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 t salt
2 T minced fresh parsley

Cook fettuccine according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually add half-and-half. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Drain fettuccine; stir into pan. Stir in the shrimp, cheese and salt; heat through. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

Yield: 4 servings (1 cup each) at 8 PointsPlus each.

We will be having a salad with this and the following for dessert:

Lemon Crumb Cake

2 c buttermilk
1 c sugar
2 eggs
2 T butter, melted
2 t vanilla extract
3 c all-purpose flour
1 1/4 t baking powder
1 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1 can (15 3/4 oz) lemon pie filling


1 c all-purpose flour
2/3 c sugar
1/3 c cold butter
reduced-fat vanilla ice cream, optional

In a large bowl, beat the first five ingredients until well blended. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda; gradually beat into buttermilk mixture until blended. Pour into a 9x13 pan sprayed with Pam. Drop pie filling by teaspoonfuls over batter.

In a small bowl, combine flour and sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over batter. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Serve warm with ice cream, if desired.

Yield: 20 servings at 8 PointsPlus (not counting ice cream).

Monday, April 25, 2011

Leftovers Tonight

Yesterday was Easter. We had Ham, Asparagus, Potato Salad, Deviled Eggs (usually wouldn't serve them at the same meal as potato salad, but one of the boys requested them) and Pillsbury canned Crescent Rolls (reduced fat at 3 PointsPlus each). I was a little nervous about my weigh-in this morning. I had been very careful about not using my Weekly PointsPlus Allowance because I was saving it until yesterday. I wondered if that would cause a gain since it was the day before my weigh-in, but was happy to see a 2.5# loss this morning!

Even though our oldest son joined us for Easter dinner (he lives local), we have TONS of leftovers so tonight I won't be cooking.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Turkey Tetrazzini

Last night's Macaroni Scramble was delicious. I wouldn't change a thing. The Cheesy Quick Bread was VERY cheesy and delicious. Adam (our 19 year old picky eater) loved it as well.

Tonight I am making another recipe from Taste of Home - Healthy Cooking. It is also a "new to me" recipe. I will be making Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread also (have posted that recipe previously).

Turkey Tetrazzini

1/2 pound uncooked spaghetti
1/4 c finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 T butter
3 T cornstarch
14 1/2 oz can chicken broth
12 oz can fat-free evaporated milk
2 1/2 c cubed cooked turket breast
4 oz can mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1/2 t seasoned salt
dash pepper
2 T grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 t paprika

Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain. In a large saucepan, saute onion and garlic in butter until tender. Combine cornstarch and broth until smooth; stir into onion mixture. Bring to boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat to low. Add milk; cook and stir 2-3 minutes.

Stir in the spaghetti, turkey, mushrooms, seasoned salt and pepper. Transfer to an 8" square baking dish coated with Pam. Cover and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and paprika. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until heated through.

Yield: 6 servings at 8 PointsPlus each.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Macaroni Scramble

This is another recipe I found from Taste of Home - Healthy Cooking (formerly known as "Light & Tasty").

Macaroni Scramble

1 c uncooked corkscrew pasta or elbow macaroni
1/2 # lean ground beef (I'll be using venison)
1 small onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
10 3/4 oz can condensed tomato soup, undiluted
1 T minced fresh parsley OR 1 t dried parsley flakes
1 t dried oregano
1/4 t salt
1/t t pepper
1/2 c shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

Cook past according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the beef, onion, celery, green pepper and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are tender; drain.

Drain pasta; add to the beef mixture. Stir in the soup, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 4-5 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with cheese.

Yield: 3 servings at 9 PointsPlus each.

I also got this next recipe from Taste of Home - Healthy Cooking.

Cheesy Quick Bread

1 1/2 c reduced-fat Bisquick
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 c skim milk
1 c shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, divided
1 T butter or stick margarine, melted

Place Bisquick in a bowl. Combine egg and milk; mix well. Stir into the Bisquick just until moistened. Sit in 1/2 c cheese.

Transfer to a loaf pan sprayed with Pam. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Drizzle with butter. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean and loaf is golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack. Store leftover in the refrigerator.

Yield: 12 slices at 3 PointsPlus each.

Last night, the salmon patties were very good, but I was not a fan of the beans (won't be making them again). The bread pudding was probably the best I've ever had. Definitely adding it to my favorites.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Salmon Patties! YUM!!!

I found this recipe in Taste of Home - Healthy Cooking. This will be the first time I've made it and the two that follow.

Salmon Patties with Mustard Sauce

2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1/4 c dry bread crumbs
1/4 c chopped green onions
1/4 c fat-free mayonnaise
2 cans (14 3/4 oz each) salmon, drained
2 t butter
Mustard Sauce:
2 T fat-free mayonnaise
1 T Dijon mustard

In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Add salmon; mix well. Shape into 6 patties. In a large nonstick skillet, cook patties in butter over medium heat for 6 minutes on each side or until browned.

In a small bowl, combine the sauce ingredients. Serve with salmon patties.

Yield: 6 servings (1 patty with 1 T sauce) at 6 PointsPlus each.

I can't remember where I got the next 2 recipes.

Herb Garlic Beans and Vegetables

2 T olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 small celery stalk, chopped
1 small carrot, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
16 oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
16 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
15 oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 t fresh thyme
2 t white wine
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in medium saute pan. Add onions, celery and carrots. Cook over medium heat until tender, adding garlic during last 2 minutes. Add beans, thyme and wine. Salt and pepper to taste.

Yield: 10 servings at 3 PointsPlus each.

Rum Raisin Bread Pudding

3 c 1" cubes French Bread
3/4 c raisins
1/4 c golden raisins
2 1/4 c fat-free half and half
2 1/2 T butter
3/4 c Egg Beaters
2/3 c sugar
1 t cinnamon
1 t rum extract
1/4 t nutmeg
powdered sugar (garnish)

Spray a 7 x 11 baking dish with Pam; add bread cubes and raisins. Heat half and half and butter in a medium saucepan, stirring until butter is melted and mixture is almost boiling; let cool for 10 minutes. Whisk together Egg Beaters, sugar, cinnamon, rum extract and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in butter mixture, mixing until well blended. Pour over bread cubes, making sure that all are coated with mixture; let stand for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350. Place baking dish in a larger pan with 1/2" of hot water. Bake for about 30 minutes, then tent loosely with foil and bake for 10 minutes more or until liquid is absorbed. Let cool to warm before serving. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired. Makes 8 servings.

Yield: 8 servings at 8 PointsPlus each. I did not factor in powdered sugar. If you use it, 1 t has zero PointsPlus, but 1 T has 1 PointsPlus.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I stole that from "Scrubs". A great show until the last season, then it deserved to get cancelled.

Last night's fish was GREAT!!! Definitely going into the list of favorites. The Beans were fine, but not "special" as the name of the recipe stated.

Tonight we are having:

Bird's Next Breakfast Cups

12 bacon strips
1 1/2 c Egg Beaters
6 T shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend
1 T minced fresh parsley

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat for 2 minutes on each side or until partially set but not crisp. Coat 6 muffin cups with Pam; wrap 2 bacon strips around the inside of each cup. Fill each with 1/4 c Egg Beaters; top with cheese.

Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes or until set. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan. Sprinkle with parsley.

Yield: 6 servings at 4 PointsPlus each.

Note: I fix enough for each of us to have 2 of these. At only 8 PointsPlus total, this still is on the low end for an entree.


I use Hungry Jack Premium Hashbrown Potatoes. VERY easy to fix and only 3 PointsPlus per serving (makes a total of 6 servings).

Monday, April 18, 2011

Crunchy Oven-Fried Fish

Yeah, I got tired of trying to come up with "titles" so I figured I'd just use the name of the entree for the day.

Crunchy Oven-Fried Fish

1/4 c all-purpose flour
3 egg whites
1/3 c fat-free mayonnaise
2 T all-purpose flour
3/4 t paprika
1/2 t garlic powder
4 high-fiber crispbreads (Wasa)
1 1/2 t olive oil
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
8 (3 oz each) tilapia fillets
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper

Preheat oven to 425. Place large rack in large rimmed baking pan; spray rack with Pam. Place 1/4 c all-purpose flour on sheet of wax paper. Beat 3 egg whites in shallow bowl until frothy; whisk in fat-free mayonnaise, 2 T all-purpose flour, paprika and garlic powder. Crush Wasa crispbreads into fine crumbs; transfer to pie plate. Add olive oil, 1/4 t salt and 1/4 t pepper; toss well until crumbs are evenly moistened. Sprinkle tilapia fillets with 1/4 t salt and 1/4 t pepper. Working with 1 fillet at a time, coat both sides with flour, tapping off excess; then dip in mayonnaise mixture and then in crumbs, pressing to adhere. Transfer prepared fillet to rack. Bake fillets until firm and coating is browned, about 20 minutes.

Yield: 4 servings (2 fillets each) at 6 PointsPlus each.

Recipe from WeightWatchers Magazine

Special Green Beans

1# fresh green beans, trimmed
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 t parsley
2 T olive oil
2 T red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 t Dijon mustard
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper

Place beans in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook 4-7 minutes or until crisp-tender.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Drain beans; stir in onion mixture and heat through.

Yield: 4 servings (3/4 c each) at 3 PointsPlus each.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Texas Beef Stew

Tonight I was trying another new recipe and decided to post after making it. It turned out okay, but I probably won't make it again. The spices were not my favorites, but after reading, you might want to try it. I'm just not a huge fan of a lot of cilantro.

1 # lean boneless bottom round roast, trimmed and cut into 1" chunks (I used venison)
1 t salt
1/2 black pepper
2 large white onions, chopped
4 large carrots, cut into 1" pieces
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/2 jalapeno pepper, chopped (wear gloves to prevent irritation)
1 T ground cumin
1 T ground coriander
28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
2 earns corn
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
1 T red-wine vinegar

Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper. Spray a Dutch oven with Pam. Sear beef, in batches, over medium-high heat until browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer each batch to a plate.

Add next 6 ingredients and cook until golden. Stir in beef, tomatoes and bay leaf. Bring to boil. Simmer, covered,until beef is tender, 1 1/2 hours.

Cut 1 ear of corn crosswise into 1" pieces. Remove the kernels from the remaining cob. Add all the corn to the stew and cook 10 minutes. Stir in cilantro and vinegar. Discard bay leaf.

Yield: 4 servings at 7 PointsPlus each.

Note: As I have mentioned before, I do NOT like spicey foods. Because of this, I omitted the jalapeno. Still didn't like it, but it might be what was "needed" to give the stew more flavor. All I could taste was the cilantro.

Semisweet Espresso Cheesecake

2 c crushed reduced-fat Oreos (about 20 cookies)
2 T butter, melted
3 pkg (8 oz EACH) reduced-fat cream cheese
1 pkg (8 oz) fat-free cream cheese
1 c sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 T coffee liqueur
2 T instant espresso powder
1 t vanilla extract
2 oz semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled

Place a 9" springform pan coated with Pam on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18" square). Securely wrap foil around pan.

In a small bowl, combine cookie crumbs and butter. Press into the bottom of prepared pan. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 325 for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheeses and sugar until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Stir in coffee liqueur, espresso powder and vanilla. Remove 1 1/4 c batter to a small bowl; stir in chocolate until well blended.

Pour plain batter over crust. Drop chocolate batter by tablespoons over plain batter. Cut through batter with a knife to swirl. Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1: of hot water to larger pan.

Bake at 325 for 40-45 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan.

Yield: 16 servings at 8 PointsPlus each.

This is to die for! Definitely will NOT be baking this again unless we have company because it's going to be hard to not keep going back for leftovers.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Another New Recipe

Last night's dinner was fantastic. The recipes were fairly easy and very filling. I didn't change anything from the recipes, which is rare.

Tonight we are having:

Garlicky Shrimp & Spinach

1 T olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1 # raw medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 c dry white wine
1 bunch spinach, thick stems removed (4 cups)
4 thick slices country bread, toasted

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and 1/4 t each salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until tender, about 2 minutes.

Add shrimp and cook for 2 minutes. Turn shrimp, add wine and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until shrimp are opaque throughout, about 2-3 minutes.

Add spinach and cook, tossing, until beginning to wilt, 1-2 minutes. Serve over the bread.

Yield: 4 servings at 7 PointsPlus each.

Note: I found shrimp that also had tails removed. This recipe didn't state that and even had a photo of the completed recipe with the tails on the shrimp. I didn't want to have to remove tails while eating so I bought the other.

Also, I wasn't sure what "country bread" was so I bought one of those big loaves of "Italian bread" (in the foil-ish bag) and will be using that.

I have fixed this next recipe many times before. It's one of my favorites because of how easy it it.

Roasted Red Potatoes

1 1/2 T Mrs. Dash Original Blend, divided
12 small red potatoes, cut into wedges
2 t unsalted butter, melted
2 t olive oil

Preheat oven to 400. Add olive oil and melted butter to a large bowl; add potates and 1 T Mrs. Dash and toss. Place on a cookie sheet and roast for 30 minutes. Increase heat to 450. Sprinkle remaining Mrs. Dash and continue to roast 5-10 minutes or until tender and browned.

Yield: 4 servings at 6 PointsPlus each.

We will also be having a salad to help hit my "5 a day".

Friday, April 15, 2011

"Not Chicken Again!"

That's what Scarlet (our 3 year old Granddaughter) said to me when I was fixing dinner one night. I do love chicken and guess I fix it a lot.

Spiced Maple Chicken

1/4 c sugar free syrup (I'm using Log Cabin)
1/4 t ground ginger
1 T soy sauce
2 T white wine
1 T canola oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 t red pepper flakes
1/8 t salt
1/8 t black pepper
2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved
Chopped parsley for garnish

Mix first 9 ingredients in a bowl; add chicken. Let sit refrigerated 4 hours or overnight, turning occasionally--discard marinade after removing the chicken.

Broil 5-6" from heat, about 7 minutes. Turn and continue broiling another 7 minutes or until cooked. Sprinkle with parsley to garnish.

Yield: 4 servings at 4 PointsPlus each.

Broccoli Rice Hot Dish

2 c hot cooked rice
3/4 c shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
1/2 c Egg Beaters
3/4 t garlic salt

10 oz frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
1/2 c chopped sweet red pepper
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 c Egg Beaters
1/2 c skim milk
1/2 t onion salt
1/2 t pepper
1 c shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

In a bowl, combine rice, cheese, Egg Beaters and garlic salt. Press firmly into a 2 qt baking dish sprayed with Pam. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place broccoli, red pepper and onion in a steamer basket over 1" boiling water in a sauce pan. Cover and steam for 5 minutes or until crisp-tender.

In a bowl, combine the Egg Beaters, skim milk, onion salt and pepper; stir in vegetables. Pour over crust. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 375 for 25-30 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

Yield: 6 servings at 6 PointsPlus each.

Apple Oat Snack Cake

1 c boiling water
1/2 c old-fasioned oats
1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t salt
3/4 c sugar
3/4 c packed brown sugar
1/3 c unsweetened applesauce
1 egg
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
1 medium apple, peeled and chopped

1/2 c old-fashioned oats
1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c packed brown sugar
1 t ground cinnamon
3 T cold butter

In a bowl, combine boiling water and oats; set aside. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a mixing bowl, combine sugars and applesauce; beat well. Add egg, vanilla and oat mixture; mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until combined. Fold in apple.

Pour in an 8" square baking dish sprayed with Pam. For the topping, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; sprinkle over batter. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Yield: 12 servings at 7 PointsPlus.

Last night's dinner was INCREDIBLE! Thanks to Beth Hood for allowing me to share some of her recipes on my blog. The pork was very tender and the sauce had just enough of a "kick" to it, but not too spicey and the green beans were delicious. LOVED the pumpkin bread! I ended up going over my Daily PointsPlus Allowance by 9 PointsPlus, but hadn't used any of my Weekly PointsPlus so I was still okay.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pork, the other white meat

Last night was another night of leftovers. I know...two nights in a row, but we seriously had a FULL refrigerator so I didn't cook again.

Tonight I am stealing another recipe from:

It's okay, I asked her. We went to high school together.

Pulled Pork

4-5 pound boneless pork butt
1 1/2 t smoked paprika
2 t black pepper
1 t cayenne pepper
1 t dried thyme
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t salt
1 c water

Combine all seasoning in a small bowl and rub evenly over pork. Place meat in a 6 quart slow cookier. Add water. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.

Place pork on a large cutting board or platter and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Pull apart into shreds. Mix with barbecue sauce and serve on buns.

Yield: 10 servings at 6 PointsPlus each, not counting the bun. I usually don't include PointsPlus for buns because there are so many varieties and many are made at local bakeries so not available in other areas. I pick a bun that I can get here and it's only 3 PointsPlus.

Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

10 oz can tomato puree
1 1/2 c root beer
1/2 c finely chopped sweet onion
1/4 c light brown sugar
2 T lemon juice
1 t chipotle chile powder
1 t salt
1/4 t cumin
1/4 t dried oregano
1/8 t crushed red pepper
1/2 c cider vinegar

Stir together all ingredients in a 2 quart saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 25-30 minutes, until sauce thickens.

Yield: 10 servings at 1 PointsPlus each.

Basil-Garlic Green Beans

3 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
5 T light butter, cubed
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 T dried basil

Place beans in a large kettle and cover with water. Bring to a boil; cover and cook for 8-10 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and keep warm.

In the same pan, melt butter. Add garlic; cook and stir until golden. Add basil and beans; toss to coat.

Yield: 12 servings (3/4 c each) at 1 PointsPlus each.

Pumpkin Spice Bread

2 1/4 c sugar
2 c all-purpose flour
1 1/3 c cake flour
2 t baking soda
2 t ground cinnamon
1 t salt
1 t baking powder
3/4 t ground cloves
1/2 t ground nutmeg
4 eggs
1 c solid-pack pumpkin
1 c buttermilk (I use fat-free)
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
1/3 c canola oil

In a large bowl, combine the first nine ingredients. In another bowl, whisk eggs, pumpkin, buttermilk, applesauce and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.

Transfer to two loaf pans coated with Pam. Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted near center comes out with moist crumbs. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

Yield: 32 thin slices (16 from each loaf) at 4 PointsPlus each.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Another Night of Leftovers

I can't remember if I wrote about my weigh-in yesterday so just in case, I lost 2#s last week and my Daily PointsPlus Allowance dropped again (just 1 PointsPlus lower).

Last night's meal was INCREDIBLE! The bread was very easy to make, BUT I ran out of butter and Parmesan cheese so had to add some making the PointsPlus value go up to 5 (it was originally 4). Not sure why it worked out that way, but it was so good I'm going to leave it that way since it's only 1 extra PointsPlus. The roast was tender and juicy. I've fixed that dessert before and was once again pleased with the results.

A product I want to recommend today is Jimmy Dean's D-Lights. I get the one with sausage on an English muffin. It's quick and easy and only 6 PointsPlus. That's about my limit for a breakfast item, but I like it when I know I'm going to be eating lunch late. Today I'm having lunch with my Sister-in-Law (Amanda). We are going to Chili's. I did a google search for "Chili's nutrition" and found a website with 3 pages of listings from their menu. I will be going through it, calculating PointsPlus so I can figure out what I'm going to eat BEFORE going to the restaurant. I've done it the other way before...choosing what I thought was healthier, only to come home and find I was way off! I was at Ruby Tuesday's or Applebee's (can't remember which) one night and REALLY wanted a Philly Cheesesteak. I decided to be "good" and ordered grilled salmon with vegetables. I got home and figured the PointsPlus. I could have had the Philly Cheesesteak AND FRIES for 1 PointsPlus LESS than what I ordered! Nowadays, if I'm unsure of PointsPlus values before going, I order grilled chicken breast and steamed vegetables. No, it's not on the menu, but if they sell chicken breast and vegetables, they will fix it that way for you.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Took the Weekend Off Again

Saturday night we met another couple for dinner so no recipes for that day, but I do have a recipe for last night and three more for tonight.

Roast Chicken Breast with Potatoes and Asparagus

2 T whole-grain Dijon mustard
1 t dried tarragon
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t extra-virgin olive oil
1 t honey
1/2 t salt
1 skinless bone-in chicken breast (about 1 1/4 pounds)
4 small white, purple OR red potatoes (about 1/2 pound), cut into 1" chunks
2 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
1/2 pound fresh asparagus

Preheat oven to 400. Spray a 9x13 pan with Pam.

Combine mustard, tarragon, garlic, oil, honey and salt in a medium bowl. Add chicken; toss well to coat.

Place chicken, breast side up, in center of pan. Add potatoes and carrots to remaining mustard mixture; toss well to coat and arrange around the chicken. Roast 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, trim and discard tough ends of asparagus and cut into 2" lengths. Add to the potatoes and carrots in pan, stirring to coat. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in chicken breast registers 170 and the vegetables are tender, about 12 minutes longer.

Cut the chicken bresst in two. Thinly slice, discard bones, and serve with vegetables.

Yield: 2 servings at 10 PointsPlus each.

Note: I doubled this recipe so the "first roast" was 30 minutes (instead of 25), then after adding asparagus I roasted an additional 15 minutes (instead of 12). It was PERFECT! Delicious and filling. This is being added to my favorites.

Tonight we are having:

Roast with Fall Vegetables

1 t dried parsley
2 t crushed fennel seeds
1/2 t olive oil
3/4 t dried thyme
1/2 t salt
1 (1 1/2 pound) beef tri-tip roast, trimmed (I'm using venison)
1 pound red potatoes, cut into 1" chunks
1/2 pound onions, chopped
1 c baby carrots

Preheat oven to 400. Spray a large roasting pan with olive oil nonstick spray.

Combine parsley, fennel seeds, oil, 1/4 t of the thyme and 1/4 t of the salt in a small bowl. Place roast in center of roasting pan and spread parsley mixture evenly over top.

Combine potatoes, onions, carrots and remaining 1/2 t thyme and 1/4 t salt in large bowl. Lightly spray vegetables with olive oil nonstick spray and toss to coat.

Place vegetables around roast. Roast until vegetables are tender and instant-read thermometer inserted in center of roast registers 135 for medium-rare, about 35 minutes. Transfer roast to cutting board and let stand 5 minutes. Cut into 12 slices and serve with vegetables.

Yield: 6 servings (2 slices roast and HEAPING 3/4 c vegetables) at 6 PointsPlus each.

Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread

3 T butter, melted, divided
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
10 oz package refrigerated buttermilk flaky biscuits (10 biscuits)

Preheat oven to 350. Brush 1 t butter over bottom and sides of loaf pan.

Spoon cheese into small bowl; cut each biscuit into quarters. One at a time, dip each biscuit quarter into remaining butter, then into cheese, turning to lightly coat all sides and using all the butter and cheese.

In prepared loaf pan, layer coated biscuit quarters with edges touching; bake until loaf is browned, 30-35 minutes. Invert loaf pan onto serving platter; let stand in pan for 1 minute. Carefully remove pan; serve warm.

Yield: 10 servings at 4 PointsPlus each.

Frozen Yogurt Cookie Dessert

12 reduced-fat Oreos, crushed
1 qt. reduced-fat frozen vanilla yogurt, softened
1/3 cup chocolate syrup
1/4 c dry roasted peanuts
8 oz fat-free Cool Whip

Set aside 1 T cookie crumbs. Sprinkle remaining crumbs in 7x11 dish coated with Pam. Freeze 10 minutes.

Carefully spread yogurt over cookie crumbs. Drizzle with chocolate syrup and sprinkle with peanuts. Spread with Cool Whip; sprinkle with reserved crumbs. Cover and freeze. Remove from freezer 10 minutes before serving.

Yield: 12 servings at 5 PointsPlus each.

I've fixed the dessert before (it was FANTASTIC!), but the 2 other recipes are new. I'll update tomorrow with my opinions and/or changes.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Busy Day Today

I'm going to a crop at Busy Scrappin' ( 11am - 6pm. Joel doesn't know it yet, but he's going to help with dinner tonight!

Yesterday's recipes had mixed results. The Coq au Vin was delicious! The asparagus was probably one of the best things I've had in a long time. Definitely added to my "favorites". The Lemon Cake was fine, but I probably won't make it again. All-in-all, still a successful meal.

Tonight's meal is another of my "tried-and-true". LOVE it and super easy.

Layered Taco Salad

1 c salsa
1 T lime juice
1# ground venison (original recipe calls for 93% lean gropu beef)
1 envelope taco seasoning (any brand)
6 oz baked tortilla chips (about 60 chips)
12 c sliced Iceberg lettuce
6 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 c shredded reduced-fat Mexican blend cheese
1 yellow or red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/3 c fat-free sour cream

In a small bowl, combine the salsa and lime juice; set aside. In a large nonstick skillet, cook venison over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Sprinkle with taco seasoning; stir to coat. Remove from heat. Divide tortilla chips among 6 plates. Layer with lettuce, tomatoes, beans, cheese, bell pepper, venison mixture, onion, salsa mixture and sour cream. Serve immediately.

Yield: 6 servings at 10 PointsPlus each.

I'm also going to heat up a can of fat-free refried beans. One serving (1/2 c) is 2 PointsPlus.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Crock Pot Day

First, I wanted to say that the recipes from yesterday were INCREDIBLE! And the whole family loved them, which is rare these days since our middle son hates most vegetables.

Tonight I'm trying 3 new recipes and will post results/comments tomorrow.

Coq au Vin

4 slices bacon, diced
1 jumbo onion, chopped
1# baby carrots
4# whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces and skinned (they actually sell them just like that if you don't want to go to the trouble of cutting and skinning a chicken)
1/2 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
1 c dry white wine
3/4 c chicken broth
1 1/2t dried thyme
1/4 c chopped fresh parsley

Spray a large nonstick skillet with Pam and set over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until lightly browned, 3 minutes. Add onion and cook until softened, 8 minutes. Transfer mixture to 5- or 6-quart crock pot. Stir in carrots.

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Spray skillet with Pam and set over medium-high heat. Add half of chicken and cook until browned, 5 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to crock pot. Repeat. Add wine to skillet; bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Pour wine into crock pot. Stir in broth and thyme. Cover and cook until chicken is fork-tender, 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low. Top with parsley.

Yield: 8 servings (1 piece of chicken with 3/4 c vegetables and sauce) at 5 PointsPlus each. This is gonna be an average because a drumstick and breast do not have the same amount of points. Just figure it out by how much of the total you eat.

Baked Asparagus

1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
1 T olive oil
salt and pepper

Shake asparagus and olive oil in plastic bag until asparagus is coated. Lay asparagus in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.

Yield: 4 servings at 2 PointsPlus each.

I got this recipe from a blog written by a woman I went to high school with ( She has tons of GREAT recipes!

Lemon Cake

1 box "one-step" Angel Food Cake Mix (it will say "one-step" on the box)
12 oz Sprite
21 oz can Lemon Pie Filling

Mix ingredients. Pour into 9x13 pan sprayed with Pam.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Yield: 12 servings at 6 PointsPlus each. You can add up to 2 T of Fat-Free Cool Whip for no additional PointsPlus.

Note: The original recipe called for "diet lemon-lime carbonated soft drink". I am allergic to Nutrasweet so I use regular (4 PointsPlus instead of zero).

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"Junk Food" Night

I've found some healthy versions of what would normally qualify as "junk food" and will be trying them tonight. I have not made either of these recipes before, but will add notes/opinions tomorrow.

Bubble Pizza Loaf

2 tubes (10 oz each) refrigerated pizza crust
1 1/2 c pizza sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
6 oz sliced turkey pepperoni
3 c (12 oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided

Cut dough into 1" cubes; place in a large bowl. Add pizza sauce; toss to coat. In a nonstick skillet coated with Pam, saute onion and red pepper for 4-5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add to the dough mixture. Sprinkle with pepperoni and 1 1/2 c mozzarella cheese; gently toss.

Transfer to 9x13 pan coated with Pam. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes before cutting.

Yield: 12 servings at 7 PointsPlus each.

Marshmallow Graham Treats

13.7 oz box No Pudge Fudge Brownie Mix
2/3 c non-fat vanilla yogurt (I'm using Yoplait Light Thick & Creamy French Vanilla)
2 c mini marshmallows
2 graham crackers, crushed
2 T chocolate syrup

Prepare brownies as directed.

Preheat oven to 350. Top cooked brownies with marshmallows. Bake until marshmallows are slightly browned, about 2-4 minutes. Remove from oen and allow to cool slightly.

Top with crushed graham crackers and drizzle with chocolate syrup.

Yield: 16 pieces at 3 PointsPlus each.

A few other products I've tried recently:

Smart Ones Tuna Noodle Gratin - at 6 PointsPlus, it's a good lunch. The flavor is excellent although I'd prefer more vegetables. I usually add a "side" of broccoli while cooking the meals with fewer vegetables.

Smart Ones Santa Fe Style Rice & Beans - While I'm NOT a fan of spicy foods, this one is GREAT. It has just enough spice to be interesting without going into the "hot" category. It's 8 PointsPlus, so kinda high for me for a lunch, but definitely worth it.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Family Favorite

Tonight we are having Sloppy Joes, Tater Tots and Stuffed Sweet Onions. This is one of my favorite meals. I also tried a new breakfast meal that I am including at the end.

Sloppy Joes

1# ground venison (you can use 93% lean beef if you don't have venison available)
1 c ketchup
4 T water
2 T brown sugar
2 t Worcestershire sauce
2 t yellow mustard
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t salt
4 hamburger buns

In a saucepan, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the ketchup, water, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic powder, onion powder and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 30-40 minutes. Serve on buns.

Yield: 4 servings at 6 PointsPlus NOT COUNTING the bun. The PointsPlus values for different kinds/brands of buns vary greatly. I get "light" whole wheat buns which are 3 Points Plus each.

I use Great Value brand Tater Tots. When baked in the oven, you can have 10 for 4 PointsPlus.

Stuffed Sweet Onions

3 qts water
4 medium sweet onions, peeled
1 T chopped green onion
1/2 t dried parsley
6 t butter, divided
1/2 c chopped fully cooked lean ham
1/4 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
1/4 t celery seed
1/8 t garlic powder
1/2 c bread crumbs, divided

In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add onions; cover and boil 9-11 minutes or until tender. Drai; cool 5 minutes. Cut a thin slice off the top of each onion; carefully hollow out, leaving a 1/2 inch shell. Chop removed onion.

In a nonstick skillet coated with Pam, cook the chopped onion, green onion and parsley in 4 t butter for 3 minutes. Add ham, salt, pepper celery seed and garlic powder; cook until onions are tender and ham is lightly browned. Stir in 1/4 c bread crumbs; heat through. Stuff into onion shells.

Melt remaining butter; toss with remaining bread crumbs. Sprinkle over stuffing. Broil 6 inches from the heat 3-4 minutes or until crumbs are lightly browned and onions are heated through.

Eggs Florentine

4 large egg whites
1 t water
1/8 t salt
1/8 t black pepper
1 t onion, finely minced
1 c packed baby spinach leaves
2 slices fat-free cheese (I use Kraft Sharp)
1 English Muffin (I use Thomas' Hearty Grains Double Fiber Honey Wheat)

Combine egg whites, water, salt and pepper in a small bowl and set aside. Do NOT whisk or beat egg whites.

Heat a medium nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat and lightly coat with nonstick spray. Add onion and saute until soft, 1-2 minutes. Stir in spinach and continue cooking until spinach wilts, 1-2 minutes. Add egg white mixture and cook until egg whites are opaque, about 3 minutes; using a large spatula, flip over and cook until other side is done, 1-2 minutes. Push eggs and vegetables with spatula to middle of pan and turn off heat. Place cheese slices over eggs until melted, 1-2 minutes. Using spatula, divide and scoop equal amounts egg and vegetable mixture onto each English Muffin half.

Yield: 2 servings at 3 PointsPlus each.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Seafood Tonight!

I LOVE seafood!!! We used to rarely have any kind of fish, even though I love it. I thought that when you wanted fish, you would go to Red Lobster. The thought of fixing it at home kinda scared me. When I started Weight Watchers and realized how much healthier seafood was, it inspired me to try.

This is one of my favorites:

Seafood Pasta Delight

8 oz uncooked vermicelli
2 T cornstarch
1 t sugar
3/4 t salt
Dash pepper
1/2 c chicken broth
1/2 c dry white wine (or additional chicken broth)
1/4 c soy sauce
1 medium red bell pepper, sliced thin
1 medium yellow bell pepper, sliced thin
1 medium green bell pepper, sliced thin
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 t ground ginger
1 T olive or canola oil
1# uncooked sea scallops, halved
1# uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 t sesame oil

Cook pasta according to pkg instructions. In a bowl, combine cornstarch, sugar, salt and pepper; stir in the broth and wine (or additional broth) and soy sauce until smooth; set aside.

In a large nonstick skillet or wok, stir-fry the peppers, garlic and ginger in oil 2-4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add scallops and shrimp; stir-fry 2 minutes longer. Stir cornstarch mixture and add to the pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Drain pasta; add to skillet. Heat until scallops are firm and opaque and shrimp turn pink. Sprinkle with sesame oil.

Yield: 8 servings at 7 PointsPlus each.

Note: The original recipe used 1/2 c chicken broth and 1/2 c dry white wine. We don't drink much white wine so I usually don't have it onhand and just use 1 c chicken broth. Also, it called for 1 c fresh or frozen sugar snap peas. I noticed my family would pick those out (I was the only one who liked them) so I added the green bell pepper in place of that.

Cream Cheese Streusel Bars

1 1/4 c powdered sugar
1 c all-purpose flour
1/3 c baking cocoa
1/4 t salt
1/2 c cold butter
8 oz reduced fat cream cheese
14 oz fat-free sweetened condensed milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 t vanilla

In a large bowl, combine powdered sugar, flour, cocoa and salt; cut in butter until crumbly. Set aside 1/2 c for topping; press remaining crumb mixture into 7x11 pan sprayed with Pam. Bake at 325 for 8-12 minutes.

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, milk, egg and vanilla until blended. Pour over crust. Bake at 325 for 15 minutes. Top with reserved crumbs; bake 5-10 minutes longer (filling will be set). Cool on a wire rack. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Yield: 15 squares at 7 PointsPlus each.

Yes, it is kinda high for a dessert, but absolutely worth it and dinner itself is very low in points so I can fit it in.

I haven't exercised since Wednesday and ate fastfood all day Friday and Saturday so I wasn't surprised this morning when I weighed and found I had gained a half pound. Even though I wasn't surprised, I'm still not happy about it and will make a more concentrated effort to PLAN my exercise time so I don't feel like I can't squeeze it in.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Monday's Weigh-In

I forgot to mention this week's weigh-in. I lost 1.5#s. WooHoo!

Tonight I'm fixing spaghetti. Yeah, no recipe. I just throw stuff in by looking at it so I'm gonna give some more opinions on products I've tried.

Smart Ones Broccoli and Cheddar Roasted Potatoes - LOVE this! It's 6 PointsPlus and absolutely delicious (and filling). I always have this onhand.

Smart Ones Creamy Rigatoni with Broccoli & Chicken - This is just okay. The flavor is non-existent and the sauce is very runny. It's 7 PointsPlus so not too bad, but I don't think I'll buy it again.

Healthy Choice Roasted Chicken Verde - I might be the only one who doesn't know this, but evidently "Verde" means super spicey! LOL Actually, it's a place (westernmost point of Africa). I am not a lover of super spicey and actually threw this out after ONE bite. It's only 6 PointsPlus so if you like hot food, you might like this.

I'm going to a two-day scrapbooking crop tomorrow and Saturday (10am-10pm) so I might not get around to posting until Sunday, but I will be back.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Only Baking Today

Tonight at our church, the Lenten Supper is being done by the choir. Joel sings in the choir. They are doing baked potatoes with toppings. Joel is making chili so I am not going to be cooking again today, BUT... Carl (our 17 year old) is in the play (Anything Goes) at school. On performance nights, they do food so the kids don't have to run around trying to eat and get back on time, etc. You only have to "pitch in" food one night and your child gets to eat every night. Tonight is our night to "pitch in". The e-mail said that they kids LOVE desserts (I've always sent regular food) so I am baking desserts.

Cinnamon Pumpkin Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
15 oz can solid-pack pumpkin
2/3 c sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c egg beaters
1/3 c water
1/4 c unsweetened applesauce
2 1/2 t cinnamon, divided
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1 1/2 c powdered sugar
1/2 t vanilla extract
1-2 T skim milk

In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pumpkin, sugar, eggs, egg beaters, water, applesauce, 1 t cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour into Bundt pan coated with Pam.

Bake at 350 for 65-75 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before turning out onto wire rack to cool completely.

In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, vanilla, remaining cinnamon and enough milk to achieve drizzling consistency. Drizzle over cake.

Yield: 14 servings at 7 PointsPlus each.

Spiced Brownies with Cream Cheese Swirl

3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 c sugar
1 egg yolk
1 T all-purpose flour
18.3 oz box of brownie mix
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground ginger
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1/8 t ground cloves
1/4 c water
2/3 c melted butter
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350. Line 9x13 baking dish with foil, extending foil over the pan edges. Lightly grease foil. Set pan aside. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese and sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until combined. Beat in egg yolk and flour; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine brownie mix, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Follow instructions on brownie mix box, substituting melted butter for the amount of oil called for. Spoon batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Spoon cream cheese mixture in small mounds on top of brownie batter. Use a table knife to swirl cream cheese mixture into brownie batter.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until center is set (cream cheese swirl will be lightly browned). Cool in pan on a wire rack for 1 hour. Cover and chill until serving time. Using the foil, lift the uncut brownies out of the pan. Cut into bars.

Yield: 32 TINY brownies at 4 PointsPlus each.

Note: This is NOT something I would normally bake for having around the house. If I did, I would substitute fat-free cream cheese and use "No Pudge" brownie mix, light butter and egg beaters.

I will be baking one more thing, but haven't decided what it will be yet. I was thinking of a recipe I have for Cranberry Vanilla Blondies since I have all those ingredients.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Leftovers Night

We've got too many leftovers in the refrigerator so tonight I won't be cooking, but I wanted to share some products I've tried and my opinions of them.

Smart Ones Slow Roasted Turkey Breast

Absolutely delicious! And only 5 PointsPlus! The only thing I could say that I don't like about this is no vegetables. When I put it in the microwave oven, I added a container with a cup of broccoli (zero PointsPlus) to cook at the same time. Sometimes, I'll also put a piece of light bread (1 PointsPlus) in the toaster at the same time then spray once or twice with Parkay and sprinkle a bit of garlic salt. Definitely fills me up.

Lean Cuisine Alfredo Pasta with Chicken & Broccoli

This was okay, but I won't buy it again. The sauce was very runny and had practically no flavor. Also, it was 8 PointsPlus which is high for a lunch for me. I've mentioned before that non-Weight Watchers brands have "old points" on the box. This one said it was 6 Points. I'm guessing they'll eventually update their system, but until then I don't think I'll buy their products without knowing the actual PointsPlus.

Have you tried Weight Watchers yogurt? It's amazing and only 2 PointsPlus!

Have you tried anything new lately?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Catching Up

Okay, I took 2 days off while we had company, but I'm back.

Today's post will be kinda long because I'm going to include what I fixed yesterday. I was gone all day Saturday so I didn't cook. ;-)

Parmesan Pork Tenderloin

1 lb pork tenderloin
3 T seasoned bread crumbs
1 T grated Parmesan cheese
1 t salt
1/8 t pepper
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced

Cut tenderloin crosswise into 8 slices, about 1 inch thick. Place each slice on its cut surface and flatten with heel of hand to 1/2 inch thickness. Combine crumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper; dredge pork slices to coat. Heat large non-stick skillet coated with Pam over medium heat. Add pork, onion and garlic and saute 8-10 minutes, turning pork once and stirring vegetables occasionally.

Yield: 4 servings (2 pieces of pork) at 4 PointsPlus.

Green Beans with Bacon

3 c fresh or frozen cut green beans
2 bacon strips, diced
1/4 c chopped onion
1/4 c chopped green pepper
1 1/2 t all-purpose flour
1/2 c skim milk
1/4 t salt
Dash white pepper
Dash ground nutmeg

Place beans in a saucepan and cover with water; bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, 8-10 minutes or until tender. Meanwhil, in a nonstick skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels. Drain, reserving 1 t drippings. In the drippings, saute onion and green pepper until tender.

Drain beans; set aside. In a small bowl, combine flour and milk until smooth; stir into onion mixture. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened. Add beans; heat through.

Yield: 4 servings (about 3/4 each) at 2 PointsPlus.

Patrician Potatoes

5 pounds medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 T butter, melted
8 oz fat-free cream cheese
8 oz reduced-fat sour cream
2 t salt
2 t minced chives
1/4 c Parmesan cheese
1 t paprika

Place potatoes in a Dutch oven and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 15-20 minutes or until tender.

Drain potatoes and place in a large bowl; mash with butter. In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sour cream and salt until light and fluffy; add to potatoes. Stir in chives.

Transfer to 9x13 pan coated with Pam. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and paprika. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Yield: 12 servings (1 cup each) at 6 PointsPlus.

Tonight we are having:

Bacon Chicken Alfredo

16 oz whole wheat fettuccine
8 bacon strips, chopped
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1/2 t salt, divided
1/4 t pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T butter
3 T cornstarch
3 c skim milk
1 c half and half
16 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 c grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 t Italian seasoning

Cook fettuccine according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain.

Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 t salt and pepper. Cook chicken and garlic in butter over medium heat 4-6 minutes or until meat is no longer pink; remove and keep warm.

Combine cornstarch and milk until smooth; stir into skillet. Add cream and remaining salt. Brin to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add the spinach, chicken, 3/4 c cheese, Italian seasoning and half of bacon; cook and stir until cheese is melted.

Drain the fettuccine; add to chicken mixture. Cook and stir until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bacon.

Yield: 8 servings (1 cup each) at 12 PointsPlus. Yes, a bit higher than most dinners that I eat, but VERY worth it. I plan for this meal by eating lighter breakfast and lunch on this day.

I'll also have a salad on the side (3 PointsPlus for fat-free cheese, bacon bits and fat-free salad dressing).

Friday, March 25, 2011

In-Laws Coming

Joel's parents will be here sometime today (not sure what time) and staying through Sunday. I have an all day scrapbooking crop to go to tomorrow so I'm cooking dinner tonight, but they are on their own tomorrow. I figured Joel will probably take them out for dinner. Tonight we are having:

Butter Roasted Chicken

3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/4 c chicken broth
1/3 c lemon juice
4 t butter
4 t paprika
1 1/2 t salt
4 t brown sugar
2/3 t pepper
2/3 t dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t cayenne pepper

Place chicken in un-greased 9x13 baking dish. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a saucepan; bring to boil. Remove from heat and pour over chicken. Cover and bake at 325 for 1-1/4 hours, basting occasionally. The ENTIRE dish equals 42 PointsPlus so just divide it by how much you eat. I usually eat one small-ish breast and it is 4 PointsPlus.

Favorite Corn Bake

1 c all-purpose flour
1 c cornmeal
3 T sugar
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1 egg
1 c reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 c unsweetened applesauce
1/4 c butter, melted
15 oz can whole kernel corn, undrained
15 oz can cream-style corn

In a large bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk the egg, sour cream, applesauce and butter. Stir in corn. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Transfer to 9x13 baking dish coated with Pam.

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.

Yield: 12 servings at 6 PointsPlus each. Yes, kinda high for a side dish, but definitely worth it!

Note: When I bought the corn for this last week, the whole kernel corn was in a 15 1/4 oz can and the cream-style corn was in a 14 3/4 oz can. Not sure why the change, but wanted to point out that you might not be able to find the exact size cans listed.

Broccoli & Cheese Casserole

1 can reduced-fat Cream of Celery Soup
1/2 c skim milk
2 t yellow mustard
16 oz frozen broccoli, thawed
1 c shredded fat-free cheddar cheese
1/3 c dry breadcrumbs
2 t butter, melted

Stir soup, milk, mustard, broccoli and cheese in 9x13 casserole dish sprayed with Pam.

Mix breadcrumbs with butter in bowl and sprinkle over broccoli mixture.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Yield: 6 servings at 3 PointsPlus.

Note: I found this recipe in a magazine. It had all "full fat" ingredients AND it used Cream of Mushroom soup. My kids don't like mushrooms so I changed that to Cream of Celery and I changed the soup, milk and cheese to reduced/non-fat versions.

I also wanted to point out that since I only have one oven, I am baking these all at the same time using 350 as the setting. Since the Corn Bake recipe involves "baking" and needing to "rise", I didn't want to change it's temperature. The chicken will do fine with just a 25 degree change, but I'll have to watch for the time and check the temp of the chicken before taking it out.

Another thing I wanted to mention is my "cookbook". I subscribe to Weight Watchers Monthly, Healthy Cooking by Taste of Home (formerly named "Light & Tasty") as well as Better Homes & Gardens, Women's Day, etc. I also find recipes in the newspaper, online, etc. When I find a recipe I want to try, I cut it out and put it in my "cookbook". It's a Mead Composition Book (not the spiral kind, but the one with the black and white "marble" cover). I use a glue stick to attach it to the page, along with a photo if there is one and I immediately calculate the PointsPlus. If after trying the recipe, I don't like it or for whatever reason decide I won't make it again (too much work, too expensive ingredients, etc.), then I just peel it off the page. You can usually see that there was a recipe there, but it's quickly covered by another recipe I find.

When I do my menu before shopping, I look through my "cookbook". I pick a recipe, I write down all the ingredients I need on my grocery list then I also write down the page number on my menu so I'll be able to find it again when it's time to make it. I long ago realized that it was a lost cause to try to keep these recipes organized since they are constantly changing so this works for me. Weight Watchers changed their plan recently. The PointsPlus values are different than the "old points" so every few days I re-calculate some more recipes.

Okay, I'm going to make my first attempt at posting a picture.

Not sure if it's gonna post... It looks like it might be at the top of this entry, but we'll see when I hit "publish"! LOL Yes, that is a shadow of my cell phone, but I'm not "technically inclined" and that's the only way I could think of to get a picture here. In the picture you can see 3 recipes. When I stick them on a page, it's kinda like doing a puzzle so I can fit more than one per page. When I change things, I make notes right on the page. This works better for me than an actual recipe box or anything else I've tried.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Back to normal

I had a great day yesterday. Joel (my wonderful husband) fixed dinner and cleaned up after. It was delicious!

Thursday is Craft Day. A few friends get together weekly at another friend's house to work on crafts (or just hang out and talk). I'm working on Carl's Graduation Announcements. Maybe one day I'll figure out how to post pictures and share them on here. Since I'll be gone a good portion of the day, often times on Thursday I make a crock pot meal. That is what I'm doing today. Also, I try to have a 2 pointsplus or lower breakfast and very low point dinner because we take our lunch to Craft Day and I opt for fast food. Yeah, it's evil and very high in pointsplus, but it's one day a week and I can fit it in using my weekly "bonus" pointsplus. In case you don't know what that means, Weight Watchers gives you a daily pointsplus amount, but you also get weekly pointsplus that you can use however you want (all at once for a special event or a few each day) or not at all. I usually end up using a few of these each Thursday. Today I'm having a McDonald's Angus Bacon & Cheese hamburger (21 pointsplus) and a medium fries (10 pointsplus), but I'll be drinking an Arnold Palmer (make with Splenda = zero points).

Potato Soup

32 oz pkg of frozen hash browns (some manufacturer's make a 30 oz pkg now. It's fine to use that)
30 oz chicken broth
1 envelope Country Gravy mix

Throw it all in a crock pot and give it a stir. Cook on low 4-5 hours. A 1 1/2 cup serving is only 4 pointsplus. I will also make Krusteaz Fat-Free Honey Cornbread. While not "southern cornbread", it's okay and only 3 pointsplus for a piece.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Birthday

Today I am 46. I'm okay with it. Kinda weird to actually write it down, but REALLY...I'm okay with it.

About a week ago, Joel (my wonderful husband) asked where I wanted to go for dinner on my birthday. I told him that I wanted him to cook for me. He makes INCREDIBLE pancakes. Also, I wanted some Boca "meatless breakfast links" (I guess they can't call them sausage?). They are to die for! And, they have fooled my dog (he thinks they're "real" sausage).

Anyway, no recipe for today, so instead I'm going to tell y'all about what I had for lunch. I usually eat leftovers from dinner the night before, but sometimes there are either no leftovers or the thing we had is too many points for a lunch so I buy LOTS of those frozen "healthy" meals. My favorite brand is Smart Ones, but I've been known to buy the occasional Lean Cuisine or Healthy Choice. The one I ate today is Healthy Choice Sesame Glazed Chicken. The disadvantage of buying this brand or Lean Cuisine is that they do not have the PointsPlus value on the box. It had the "old points" on it, which was 6. I got home and figured it out to be 8. Kinda high for a lunch, but I ate it anyway. It was good, but I probably won't buy it again because of the PointsPlus amount. I really like to keep lunch at 7 or less so this won't be detrimental to my whole day, but still not likely to repeat the purchase. I had 1 1/2 cups of fresh pineapple for breakfast (zero pointsplus) and a cup of coffee, which is also zero pointsplus BUT I insist on REAL SUGAR for my coffee. Yes, I drink Arnold Palmer ALL THE TIME made with Splenda, but just don't like the taste of it in my coffee.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New Workout

I've been doing "Walk Off the Weight in 12 Weeks" ( but I wanted to add something else so yesterday I found this: It's a beginner's ad workout. I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to complete the workout except that when I did the final exercise (Superhumans), I had to stop at 5 reps (they recommend 10 reps). My knees were absolutely killing me. I will fold a towel or something to put under my knees today and try it again.

Tonight for dinner we are having:

Individual Tuna Casseroles

1 1/2 c uncooked whole wheat penne pasta
12oz white water-packed tuna, drained
10 3/4 oz can reduced-fat cream of celery soup
1 1/4 c artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and chopped
1/2 c reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 c roasted sweet red peppers, drained and chopped
3 T chopped onion
1 t dill weed
1 T capers, drained
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 t grated lemon peel
1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 c dry bread crumbs
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 t Italian seasoning

Cook pasta according to pkg directions.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine tuna, soup, artichokes, sour cream, peppers, onion, dill, capers, garlic, lemon peel and pepper flakes. Drain pasta; stir into tuna mixture. Divide among six 10oz ramekins or custard cups.

In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, cheese and Italian seasoning. Sprinkle over tuna mixture. Place ramekins on a baking sheet. Bake uncovered at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

One serving is 9 pointsplus.

I will also be having a salad. I buy bagged salad (zero points) then will add 2 T Kraft Free Catalina (1 pointsplus), 1/4 c fat-free shredded cheddar cheese (1 pointsplus) and 1 T real bacon bits (1 pointsplus).

Monday, March 21, 2011


I lost another 2#s! It's good to see that my efforts are paying off. Today's dinner will be Baked Macaroni & Cheese and Cinnamon Apples. I have my own recipe for this, but am trying a new one that I got from WW Monthly magazine. The Cinnamon Apples are a product made by Country Crock. They come in a container similar to a margarine container. I found it at my store near the meat with other "prepared side dish" things. I decided to try it because I had a $1 off coupon. A serving size is 1/2 cup at 3 pointsplus.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

3 oz whole wheat penne pasta
2 T canola oil
2 T all-purpose flour
2 c skim milk
2 1/3 c shredded fat-free cheddar cheese
1/4 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
14 oz Oscar Mayer Turkey Smoked Sausage

Preheat oven to 350.

Cook penne pasta according to pkg directions. Drain, then rinse under cold running water; drain.

Meanwhile, to make sauce, heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk until smooth. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil; boil 1 minute. Remove saucepan from heat; whisk in 2 c cheddar cheese, salt and pepper until cheese is melted.

Stir pasta into sauce. Chop Smoked Sausage and add to pasta mixture. Pour into 6 individual baking dishes or 1 (2qt) shallow baking dish; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/3 c cheddar cheese. Bake until lightly browned and bubble, about 15 minutes for individual baking dishes or about 25 minutes for 2qt baking dish. let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Serving size: 1 1/4 c at 10 pointsplus. Note: The original recipe was made without the smoked sausage (servings size: 1 c at 7 pointsplus), but my family likes it with the smoked sausage so I added a reduced-fat version I found.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Weigh-In Tomorrow

I'm excited about it because I really feel like I had a great week. I've made a better effort of getting my 5 fruits/vegetables in everyday.

Tonight for dinner we are having:


1 medium green pepper, chopped
28 oz canned tomatoes (I buy the diced ones)
6 oz canned tomato paste
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T canola oil
1 T dried parsley
1/2 t dried thyme
1 c Minute Rice (white)
1 pound cooked shrimp (peeled and deveined)

Combine everything but the shrimp in a crock pot. Cook on high 4-5 hours. Remove tails from shrimp if they have them. Add shrimp and cook until no longer pink, about 1 hour longer. Yield: 6 servings at 5 pointsplus each.

Spinach Corn Muffins

1 c cornmeal
1 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c packed brown sugar
2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 egg
1 c fat-free milk
2 T canola oil
1 C fresh spinach, chopped
3/4 c shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat the egg, milk and oil; stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in spinach and cheese.

Coat muffin cups with Pam; fill 2/3 full with batter. Bake at 400 for 18-22 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 2 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Yield: 1 dozen at 4 pointsplus each.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Two Days In a Row!

Scarlet (our beautiful and perfect 3 year old Granddaughter) spent the night with us last night. It was wonderful. She loved the spaghetti and garlic bread I fixed last night.

So, tonight we are having:

Salmon Cakes w/Tarragon-Chive Sauce

2 T apple cider vinegar
2 t Dijon mustard
2 t chives
1/4 t dried tarragon
1 t capers, drained and chopped
1 t olive oil
1 1/4 t black pepper
14 3/4oz canned salmon, drained
1/4 c fat-free mayo
1/4 c scallions, chopped
3 T dried bread crumbs
1/4 c dried bread crumbs
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 c mixed greens, salad

To make the sauce, combine the vinegar, mustard, chives, tarragon, capers, oil and pepper in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Preheat the broiler. Spray a small baking sheet with Pam.

To make the salmon cakes, with a fork, mash the salmon and bones in a large bowl. Add mayo, scallions, 3 T of the bread crumbs and the egg white. With wet hands, shape the mixture into 4 patties.

Put the remaining 1/4 c bread crumbs on a sheet of wax paper. Coat patties with crumbs.

Place the patties on the baking sheet. Broil 4 inches from the heat until crisp and golden, about 4 minutes on each side.

Yield: 1 patty, 1 T sauce and 1/2 c salad per serving at 6 pointsplus.

Flavorful Mashed Potatoes

4 pounds red potatoes (about 12 medium)
6 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 c fat-free milk
1/2 c reduced-fat sour cream
2 T butter, melted
2 t dried parsley flakes
2 t dried thyme
1 t dried rosemary, crushed
1 1/4 t salt

Scrub and quarter potatoes; place in a large saucepan and cover with water. Add garlic. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender; drain.

In a large bowl, mash potato mixture. Stir in remaining ingredients.

Yield: 12 servings (3/5 c each) at 4 pointsplus.

Lemonade Ice Box Pie

12 oz can fat-free evaporated milk
3/4 c pink lemonade concentrate
1 1/2 c low fat Cool Whip
1 reduced-fat graham cracker crust

In a bowl, combine milk and lemonade concentrate; fold in Cool Whip. Pour into crust. Freeze 3 hours.

Yield: 8 slices at 5 pointsplus.