For the Freezer, Recipes, Weeknight Favorites

Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana (Potato & Sausage Soup)

Sometimes, I just need to eat out – and a trip to Olive Garden might be one of my favorite guilty pleasures when we travel to the closest “large town” – which is not really all that large….  I love the soup, salad, breadstick deal – but as we don’t travel that far, that much, making it at home was something I was very interested in.  I’ve made this soup on the stovetop – but making it in my instant pot so super fast – easy, and done in about 30 minutes.  Win/Win!

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Baking, Light and Healthier, Recipes, Weight Watchers

Cherry Almond Crisp – 3 WW Points Per Serving

I was craving something sweet tonight – and with not much in the way of bad for me stuff in the house – I put on my thinking cap and came up with a Cherry Almond Crumble.

Maddie and I had a cherry crisp at a local restaurant this summer that was to die for – while that was probably sugar laden and full of butter, I thought I could recreate a close facsimile with sugar substitute and some ingenuity.  This is totally worth it.  if you cut the “pie” into 8 servings its 3 PointsPlus per serving.

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Light and Healthier, Menu Planning, Recipes, Weight Watchers

Chicken & Bean Enchilada Stuffed Shells – 7 SP WeightWatchers

I am back on the Weight Watchers bandwagon because I have to do something – and the macro-whatsit thingy my personal trainer had me on sucked – and did basically nothing.  Not a body builder, fella – not looking to get “swol” – already “swol”- and not in a good way.

I had a recipe similar to this bookmarked but it was something like 17 SP per serving – so I tackled it with my trusty recipe calculator and got it down to 7 SmartPoints when you calculate the ingredients and points at – if you use the nutrtion on the recipe it comes out completely different – FYI.  I’m going with what WW says.  I Hope you like it!

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Light and Healthier, Recipes, Veggies and Fruit

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

We try – and sometimes succeed – to make Monday a meatless Monday when dinner time rolls around.  When I described this meal to my kids they wrinkled their noses – but – they liked it!  you could add in veggies if you like – I kept it simple for the first try.

I roasted my red peppers on my new pellet grill.  They don’t “char” like they do on gas, but they sort of melt into this roast-y gorgeous deep red/brown color that peels wonderfully and tastes amazing.  Once they’re suitably cooked down on the grill and squished, put them in a sealed bowl (cover with plastic wrap) for about 20 minutes – the skin just slides right off.  Cut off the tops and take out the seeds and voila – roasted red peppers.  If you use your grill and they get black, it’s okay – that works too!

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Budget Friendly, Recipes, Weeknight Favorites

Chicken & Veggie Lo Mein – 1 Chicken Breast Recipe

I had one chicken breast hanging out in the fridge that I needed to use up, but there are three of us for dinner so what to do with it was sort of haunting me.  I could have thawed out some more chicken, but time got away from me this week so that wasn’t an option.  I did some searches for “1 chicken breast recipe” and found quite a few stir fry options.  It’s a great way to make a small amount of protein feed a few people.  Budget-friendly recipes are always great to have in your repertoire!

I’m a big fan of those fat KA-ME udon stir fry noodles and always have them in my pantry – so I put this together!  Hope you enjoy! Continue Reading

Light and Healthier, Menu Planning, Recipes, Weeknight Favorites

20 No Cook Dinner Ideas – Beat the Heat!

It’s June.  It’s Hot.  Our A/C is not working and the repair guys wont be here for another 3 days.  I am not getting anywhere near the oven, stove, microwave or any other form of heat until it’s fixed.

I know I’m not the only one suffering from lack of cool air, albeit temporarily.  This made me think of some ideas for no-cook dinners for days when even plugging in the toaster is too much.  If you have anything to add, I’d love to hear your no-cook ideas!

  1. Turkey Sandwich with Potato Chips.  Okay – this is a no brainer, but I think we forget this can be dinner, too.  There’s no reason this has to be that complicated.  Make a sandwich, add some chips, carrot sticks or a salad and voila – yum.  The key to making this dinner-like is the toppings – dont just slap some meat and cheese on a piece of bread, get creative.  Thin sliced cucumbers, alfalfa sprouts, shredded carrots, jarred or deli red peppers and/or pepperoncini.  Make it awesome!
  2. Wrap it up!  Make a salad, add some diced ham or turkey and wrap it up in a tomato basil or spinach wrap.  Serve with chips or store-bought potato salad.  I have a weakness for the redskin potato salad from City Market (Kroger.)  You can also make yummy Cucumbers with Lemony Dressing to go with it.

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