Mom’s Veggie Soup

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So this is a soup I grew up eating.  I’ve modified it slightly to make it more Smartpoint friendly, but it is easy, fast, and delicious!

I knew my Mom had a bad day when we had this because it was so easy to make.  In fact, I was probably the one making it after about 1st grade.  I’ve always cooked with my Mom, and this was the recipe that didn’t need much supervision, so when the bottle of wine came out and my Mom announced we were having this for dinner, I knew she had a hell of a day.

You can get 14 cups out of this recipe.  You can add more broth if you like it more juicy, or if you replace the bulgar with barley you will automatically get more broth.

It is 3 Smartpoints a cup or 5 Smartpoints for 2 cups.

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Easy Chili

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So I made this in my Instant Pot.  I was nervous about making it in my Instant Pot because my Mom always cooked it for hours on the stove or in the slow cooker to get those awesome flavors.

Yes, I am a “Pothead” (what they call us in the Instant Pot cult lol) through and through, but this is one I’ve never tried.  Until now, and it is delicious!  I’m so thankful to the Instant Pot Community on Facebook because they post such awesome stuff and give me courage to try things like this!

You all unfortunate people that don’t use an Instant Pot can do this one too, it’ll just take 6 to 8 hours longer 🙂  I’ve definitely modified it to be more Weight Watcher friendly, and it makes about 12 cups and is 4 Smartpoints a cup.  Not bad!

I’ve written this recipe a little different because all the ingredients can make it seem overwhelming.  It’s not, I promise!  My Mom was always adamant about following the steps on this one, and like most Moms she was always right!

Oh and the little hot dog fingers were put in for my little nephew – points not counted for those 🙂  I have Halloween on the brain!  I also made this with children in mind, so if you like your chili spicy double your cumin and add a tablespoon of crushed red pepper 🙂

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Chicken Lemon Rice Soup

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So who doesn’t love Chicken Lemon Rice Soup?  It’s comforting and delicious.  Most people don’t have this unless they are at a restaurant, but that would change if they realized how easy it is to make at home!

It is even easier if you have an Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker!  I use the 6 Quart Instant Pot religiously.  I seriously do not think I would have been half as successful with my weight loss without it!

This soup is so good.  I took some to work (with extra for the coming days) and after smelling it everyone in my office had ate it up.  I guess I need to get to planning more lunches for the week!

Before I go into the recipe I want to show you what type of bulgar I use:

burghul

It is important to get the larger grain Bulgar.  I’m sure it would work with the smaller kernels, but I haven’t tried it and don’t know what kind of mouth feel you will get with it.  I talk about my love affair with Bulgar here: Smart Swap – A Love Letter to Bulgar Wheat

It doesn’t matter the brand, just try and get the largest kernel you can.  You usually find this in the International Isle at your grocery store, or you can buy in bulk at Whole Foods and stores like that.

Ingredients:

1 Cup Uncooked Bulgar Wheat
6 Cups Chicken Stock (I use Wildtree Chicken Bouillon)
2 Lemons
2 Eggs

Chicken:  Marinate these ingredients in refrigerator for at least a half hour.

1 Pound Chicken (Two small breast, not one big honking one for cook time)
1 Tablespoon Wildtree California Style Garlic and Pepper Blend (Or 2 Tsp Garlic powder 1/4 teaspoon black pepper)
2 Teaspoons Wildtree Garlic Infused Grapeseed Oil (or your favorite oil)

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Spicy Sausage and Potato Soup

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I can’t believe we are heading towards the end of summer, and my attention is turning to more fall like recipes.  This spicy sausage and potato soup is comfort food at it’s finest.  It’s also incredibly easy and only 4 Smartpoints a cup!

This can either be cooked in the Instant Pot, or slow cooker.

Ingredients:

2 Pounds Red Potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size pieces)
1 Medium Onion, chopped
1 Pound Spicy Chicken Sausage (I use Trader Joe’s) Sliced
4 Banana Peppers, sliced in rings
3 Cups Chicken Bouillon (I use Wildtree), divided
1 Cup FF Milk
1/4 Cup Instant Mashed Potatoes
2 Tablespoons Flour
2 Teaspoons Minced Garlic
2 Teaspoons Salt
2 Teaspoons Black Pepper

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Italian Beef Sandwich – Instant Pot or Slow Cooker

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Italian Beef Sandwiches are one of my all time favorite meals.  This is one of my favorite recipes and it was my Mom’s.  You can do this in either the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker or in a slow cooker.

You can also prep this in a freezer bag and freeze for later.  When I’m making this I like to do two – one to make then and one to freeze and cook later!

Smartpoints on this one are going to depend on how you build your sandwich, and what kind of bread you use.  The meat is 5 smartpoints for 3 ounces.

Ingredients:
3 pound rump roast
1 spaghetti sauce packet found by the gravy packets in your grocery store
1 1/2 tsp ground garlic with 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1 12 oz jar mild banana rings
1 12 oz jar pepperoncini peppers chopped
At cook time:
2 cups good beef stock
6-8 hoagie rolls or your preferred bread
Optional:  2 cups mozzarella cheese

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Italian Sausage and Peppers

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Before I tried this I have to share with you all that I was extremely skeptical.  You see I am a huge sausage and peppers fan, and I just couldn’t see how turkey sausage could be anywhere near close to being as good as regular sausage.

How wrong I was.

turkey

I had picked this up at the store just to try it.  There are 5 of them and if you are counting Smartpoints they are only 4 points each.

Four. Smartpoints. Each.

That is a big bang for your Smarpoints buck.  Trust me, I am not one of those Weight Watchers who will eat something and act like it’s fabulous just because it’s low points or because you can eat a crap ton of it for low Smartpoints.

Nope, I’m a food snob thank you very much.  This is GOOD.

You can cut them up, and top rice or polenta with it:

sand2

You can put it on a bun with some Cape Cod chips for a 10 point dinner:

sand1

Oh, and one more thing.  The sauce from this is amazing so save it!  It is great on pasta or spaghetti squash!

Continue on for recipe!  You can make this in the Instant Pot (pressure cooker) or in your slow cooker.  I’ll include directions for both.  I count 5 Smartpoints for each link due to the saute in oil.

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One Pot Meal – Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

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Sometimes you just need a little comfort.  That comfort can cost you in the waist line big time.  This is one of my favorite comfort meals, and it is so healthy!

I also make it with only one appliance .  My Instant Pot.  I’m always surprised by the lack of activity on the Weight Watchers social media platform Connect about the Instant Pot.  It is such a great tool and is probably one of the most important tools in my weight loss arsenal.

I always recommend reading a recipe first before even attempting it, but you really want to make sure you do that with this one.  This recipe makes 4 servings, but you could double it and not make the mini loaves.  I’ve never done it so I’m not sure on the timing, but I think your potatoes and carrots would be over done because you would need to lengthen the cooking time, and the carrots come out pretty soft as it is.

I like them that way, so be warned if you don’t!

This recipe will yield two mini loaves, 4 cups of mashed potatoes, and 4 – 4 oz servings of carrots.

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Instant Pot Polenta?? Yes Please!

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So I learned the love of Polenta when it was included as a no count food when I was doing the Core program with Weight Watchers back in the day.  It’s a complex carb and a great replacement for some of those starchy sides made up of simple carbs.

It takes on flavor wonderfully and you can really place around with herbs to find what you like.

Making it on the stove top can be tedious, but in the Instant Pot it’s a breeze!  The thing I love about it (besides the fact that it’s delicious!) is that you can mold it into shapes – it will hold any shape once it’s cool!

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Easy Chicken Egg Rolls

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As a serial Weight Watcher I know one of the biggest mistakes is to let yourself get stuck in a rut.  You know what the Smartpoints are of certain foods/meals, so you eat them over and over again.

And you will get bored.  I know a lot of people don’t like to cook like I do, but once you start turning out some really good dishes it becomes more fun.  Also if you don’t get to use your creative side normally it can really come out in your cooking.

I like to consider recipes “guidelines”.  I don’t think I ever follow any specific recipe.  In the middle of it I always think, “oh but if I did this it would be really good.”  Experiment with your food. Have fun!

So me experimenting with food got me to come up with this.  It might be my favorite Weight Watcher friendly recipe yet.  I mean it was damn good.  And easy.  And low in Smartpoints.

Winning.

Coming it at a whopping 3 Smartpoints these egg rolls are seriously filling.  I ate two because I had a boatload of points and was stuffed, and trust me, I can EAT.

I used two of my favorite kitchen appliances to make this, but you could do it just with your oven and stove if you wanted.  I’ll include both versions here.

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