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.