Friday Fun-day!

In between homework and chores, Mommy and Luchi have been having tons of fun in the kitchen! Luchi had some homemade sweet potato mash and Mommy had a fruity salad and roasted chick peas for lunch! Girls gotta eat! This amazing new popcorn I found has been in a bowl by my computer screen for some of the morning as well! What an awesome snack! Eat whole foods and feel amazing!

I just piled anything fresh I had into a bowl to create this masterpiece. Apples, raspberries, tomatoes, avocado, peppers, feta, and spring mix topped with raspberry walnut dressing.

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These are just organic garbanzo beans from a can, rinsed, dried, tossed in 1 tbsp of olive oil, baked for 25 mins at 400 degrees and then sprinkled with spices of your choice! (I used 1/2 tsp of each, salt, coriander, paprika, and garlic powder) They are crunchy and delicious! 4 points plus for 1/2 cup.

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Look at those little teeth!! I love this baby!!

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We are going to finish our Valentine’s this evening…stay tuned for that post!

Asparagus and Pesto Salad with Shrimp and Goat Cheese

downloadIngredients:

  • 1 bundle of asparagus (cut bottoms off of each spear)
  • 1 pint of grape tomatoes
  • 5 ounce pack of spring mix lettuce
  • Buitoni pesto (will need 1/4 cup for 4 servings)
  • Crumbled Goat Cheese (will need 1/2 cup for 4 servings)
  • 24 Frozen Shrimp
  • Red Wine vinegar (will need 1/4 cup for 4 servings)
  • Salt, Pepper, and Garlic Powder

Directions

First wisk 1/4 cup of pesto into 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar to make your dressing.

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Use steamer basket to steam the asparagus, with a sprinkle of garlic powder on them. In a separate pot, boil 24 shrimp per package directions. You can salt the water or boil them in broth for a little more flavor if you wish.

Pile the spring mix into 4 bowls (divide the 5 oz package into 4 bowls). Top with asparagus, shrimp, tomatoes, and goat cheese (1/8 cup per serving). Pour dressing over the salads, add salt and pepper (as much or as little as you like) and enjoy!

This recipe makes about 4 salads. Weight watchers Points Plus 2012: 4 points for each salad!

Each salad has about 21g of protein, healthy fats, and veg! Serve with some fruit or a small yogurt for lunch or have this as an appetizer for dinner! I hope you try it and love it!

Feta Bruschetta

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup of feta cheese
  • 2 tbs of good seasons italian dressing
  • 8 basil leaves, cut into very thin strips
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 slices of wheat bread (from the bakery)

Directions:

Place 4 slices of wheat bread in toaster. While the bread is toasting, combine first five ingredients. Pile the mixture on top of the toasted bread and enjoy!

Weight watchers Points Plus 2012: 4 points for 1 bruschetta topped slice of toast

This balanced snack is packed with whole grains, protein from the feta, and lycopene from the tomatoes! The basil makes these taste so fresh and delicious!!

2 Great Salads, 4 Points each!

These 2 easy salads have 3 of the same ingredients and 3 different ingredients; this makes for little waste, easier shopping, and easier points tracking!

The 3 constant ingredients in the salads are Organic Baby Spinach leaves (1 cup), Crumbled Feta (1.5 tbsp), and Honey Roasted Almond Slices (1 tbsp). CLICK HERE FOR COUPON FOR ALMOND ACCENTS!

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Salad #1: Honey Balsamic Watermelon Salad

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To make this salad, place the 3 constant ingredients (listed above) into the bowl. Add 1/2 cup of sliced tomato, 1/2 cup of cubed watermelon, and 2 tbsp of Ken’s Honey Balsamic Dressing!

Salad #2: Sesame Ginger Mandarin Orange Salad

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To make this salad, place the 3 constant ingredients (listed above) into the bowl. Add cucumber slices (about 1/4 cup), 1/4 cup of drained mandarin oranges, and 2 tbsp of Newman’s Own Low Fat Sesame Ginger Dressing!

Weight Watchers Points Plus 2012: 4 points for each salad!!

Enjoy a whole wheat roll and fresh baked cookie alongside of one of these salads to make a great lunch! Wash it down with my Blueberry-Lemon Iced Tea!

The spinach is packed with antioxidants and the protein provided by the almonds and feta will help these salads keep you full until dinner!

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Crock Pot Sweet Potatoes

The very best way to cook sweet potatoes, in my experience, is in the crock pot! They come out PERFECT every single time! This is easiest way to get the best outcome with the least prep time!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 or 3 sweet potatoes (similar in size, about 5″ is great for a single person)
  • 1/4 cup of water

Directions:

Pour the 1/4 cup of water into the crock pot, the temperature of the water doesn’t matter. Clean the outside of the potatoes off with warm water; you can use a vegetable brush if you have one but I just do the best I can with my hands. Place the potatoes in the pot, cover, and cook on high for 4 hours.

Serve with a little butter, salt, and pepper or gravy! Delicious.

I also really like to put these into a salad, especially with a red wine vinegar dressing! (see photo above)

The water and the heat steam the potatoes; when they come out they are so soft!

If nutients were money, sweet potatoes would be considered the Oprahs, Bill Gates’, and Beyonces of the vegetables. They are full of fiber, potassium and a variety of vitamins. This article discusses the benefits of sweet potatoes in even more detail, if you are interested!

Weight watchers Points Plus 2012: 4 Points for 5″ potato with 1/2 tbsp of butter spread (I like Smart Balance Butter & Canola and Extra Virgin Olive Oil Blend), salt and pepper.

*I have only ever used this technique to cook 2-3 potatoes at a time so if you were looking to make more, I would be lying if I told you it works, or not. I don’t think it could hurt to try…if you do, let me know how it goes…

 
Enjoy!!

Poorman Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground meat (I use organic ground turkey)
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup of frozen corn (you can use any frozen veggies you like)
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese (1/4 cup per serving; I used a mix of provolone and mozzarella)
  • 1 can of petite diced tomatoes (28 ounce)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 6 cups of chicken broth (homemade is the best!)
  • 4 cups of uncooked pasta
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Cook pasta according to package directions.

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Brown meat in a large pot, the same pot you will use for the rest of the soup.

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When meat is browned, add broth, seasoning, and tomatoes to the pot and bring to a boil. (I puree the tomatoes because my husband doesn’t like the tomatoes in “chunks”)

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Once soup is boiling, add veggies and cook until the veggies are tender. To serve, put one cup of pasta in a bowl, top with a few ladles of soup, and finish off with 1/4 cup of cheese per serving.

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This soup provides a lean source of protein from the meat and the tomatoes provide lycopene, an incredibly healthy antioxidant compound! Enjoy!

This recipe makes about 10 cups of soup, not including the pasta! I freeze 4 cups of the soup for later. Weight watchers Points Plus 2012: 4 points for 1 cup (add 4 points for one cup of pasta and another 2 for the cheese)

Whole Chicken in the Crock Pot and Chicken Broth from scratch

Okay, so this is the best thing ever…

I have been doing this for a while now and my hubby loves me a full 10% more than he would had I not figured this out!

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole organic chicken
  • paprika (About 1 tsp)
  • garlic salt (About 1 tsp)
  • pepper (a few shakes)
  • 3.5 cups of water (for step 2)

Directions:

Step 1 is to make the Chicken itself and step 2 is for an amazing organic broth!

Step 1: Remove the “guts” from inside your chicken and rinse him off in cool water for a few seconds. Sit the chicken in the crock pot and sprinkle him with your seasonings. Let him cook for about 7 hours on low or 5 on high and you have yourself a beautiful chicken! Remove the meat from the carcass but DON’T THROW THE CARCASS AWAY. Keep your carcass in the Crock Pot with the amazing juices for step 2.

Step 2: Add 3.5  cups of water to the juices and carcass. Cook on low overnight or for another 7 hours, strain and contain! Refrigerate your broth and scoop off the layer of fat from the top before you use it.

*If you are going to freeze the broth, first refrigerate it, then remove the fat layer, then freeze!
**I often cook this chicken on a Monday so we have the meat for sandwiches for the week (better than lunch meat for your bod) and I use the broth on Tuesday for soup!

Every 1 ounce of this chicken is worth Weight Watchers Points Plus Value: 1 ; One serving is 4 ounces : Weight Watchers Points Plus Value: 4

Italian Wedding Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound ground meat (I use chicken breast)
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tbs dry whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbs grated Parmesan cheese (plus extra to sprinkle on top)
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 6 cups of chicken broth (homemade is the best!)
  • 2 cups of slices escarole
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo
  • 1/3 cup of chopped carrot
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Put chicken broth on the stove in a large pot and cover. In a big bowl combine meat, egg, crumbs, cheese, italian seasoning, onion powder, and garlic powder; mix with your hands and form tiny meatballs. Once the broth starts to boil, add the meatballs (one at a time) followed by the escarole, carrots, and pasta. Gently stir and cook on medium high until pasta is al dente. Take a meat ball out, cut it in half. The meatball should be cooked through (if not, cook a little while longer). Serve with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. Enjoy!

This soup is all of your food groups in one bowl! It is so adorable with the meatballs! The escarole is high in vitamin A (good for healthy vision) and C (good for skin and immunity). The chicken broth I make is full of minerals from the chicken bones like calcium and magnesium! I like to eat this alongside the Bulgar Salad or the Mediterranean Tuna Salad!

This recipe makes about 5 cups of soup! Weight watchers Points Plus 2012: 4 points for 1 cup

*recipes was adapted from allrecipes.com

Mediterranean Tuna Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15 ounce) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 (4 ounce) cans of chunk light tuna in water, drained
  • 1 cup of cucumber, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 2 teaspoons of dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup of feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup of lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Combine all ingredients and serve over greens, beside some sliced fruit with a slice of toasted whole wheat baguette, or with a bowl of soup! Enjoy!!

Add olives if you wish! (I don’t care for olives so I leave them out)

This recipe makes about 6 cups. Weight watchers Points Plus 2012: 4 points for 1 cup

This is very filling, full of protein, healthy fats, and fiber! All the lemon juice is great for weight loss because it aids in digestion!

*this recipe was adapted from laaloosh.com!