Food Find – Snack Attack!

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There are times when you just gotta have a snack.  I don’t mean an apple, or a banana, or a bunch of celery sticks.

A SNACK.

Crunchy, salty goodness.

I have two favorites that work with well with my Weight Watcher’s Smartpoints.

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Skinny Pop Popcorn – 3 SP a 4.4 oz bag

I know I can make my own, but it usually ends up being about 25 Smartpoints because have you ever made Popcorn with garlic infused oil?  Yeah,  it is amazing and something that I do every once in awhile, but that’s the thing – you can only do things like that once in awhile, not every night.

This gives me my fix for 3 Smartpoints and is really good.

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Cape Cod Chips – 4 Points a serving

I am still mad at Costco for not having my serving size individual bags of these anymore, but the big bag works too.  I bring the bag home and portion it out immediately into zip top sandwich bags.

For me this is an important step because they are seriously good and you would never guess they have 40% less fat.  I’m not a huge chips person, but when I get the craving I try to have these on hand.

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Easy Healthy Tuna Casserole

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Man, or Woman cannot live by lean protein and vegetables alone.  At least I can’t.  I need something with some substance, something that provides a bit of comfort every once in awhile.

I was inspired by this recipe for Cream of Mushroom soup on Skinnytaste, which is like my favorite cooking inspired blog/website.  I changed it up but had never tried making a cream based soup with the blending of flour and water.  It turned out to be a pretty cool technique!

Fish is probably the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to Smartpoints, so this is loaded with it!

I have to admit that this is going in my every once in a great while category because it was so good, so comforting, so delicious, that I wanted to eat more than I should.

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Smart Swap – Tzatziki Sauce

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When I am trying to keep my weight in check my problem isn’t with my meals – I love healthy food.  Like when I was a kid I used to cry if we didn’t have salad.  Yeah, I was a weird freakin’ kid and pretty much still am.

No, the fruits and veggies are not my problem but what is my problem are the things I add to those fruits and veggies.  Sugar, sauces, dressing….I love those too and they can sometimes be more calories then if you just had a flippin’ steak!

Tzatiziki Sauce is a Greek sauce that I keep in my fridge at all times!  It is made with Greek Yogurt, Dill, Cucumber, Garlic, and Lemon and it is delicious and flavorful.  It is a great sub for a lot of things, like marinades (FAB on chicken), veggie dip, and even salad dressing.  It adds a nice kick to sandwiches too.

I use the Wildtree seasoning blend when I make mine, which makes it easy and organic, but there are tons of blends out there in your local grocery store, or there are tons of recipes out there for it.  If you’d like to try the Wildtree blend you can click here.

It is literally 3 points for a whole cup!  2 tablespoons are ZERO and you can have up to 8 tablespoons for one point!

Cucumber toasts are awesome!  Use your favorite carbohydrate delivery device, add some sliced cucumber, Tzatiziki sauce, and maybe some olives – delicious and low smartpoints!

Smart Swap – A Love Letter to Bulgar Wheat

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Bulgar, Burghul, Bulghar….It’s spelled many different ways but this staple in my pantry is one of my very favorite foods.  I learned about Bulgar Wheat my first go round with Weight Watchers, back in 2002.  I didn’t even know it existed, but I joined to support my Armenian friend who was getting married.

To her family Bulgar was like potatoes to my family.  It was something they ate quite a bit.  This gem is a complex carb and can easily replace rice in most dishes.  White rice comes in at 7 Smartpoints a cup, and Bulgar at 4.

It fills you up big time, and takes on the flavor with a slight nutty tone to whatever liquid it is cooked in.  I would be hard pressed to eat a cup of this along with a meal, and that’s saying something as I am a champion at eating 🙂

You can find this in your International section of your local grocery store.  The store closest to my house didn’t carry it, so I recommended it and now they do.  I always use the course #3, as it is bigger and more rice like.  You will see this over and over in my recipes, because it is just that good!

Smart Swap – Turkey Sausage Links

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So normally I am not a huge fan of the substituting Turkey for everything to lower the points.  I’m not even a fan of Turkey, but I have acquired a new appreciation for it.

My Mother, God rest her soul, was one of the best cooks on the planet.  Okay so maybe no one knew that outside of our family and friends, but she was phenomenal in the kitchen.  Everything I know I learned from her.

Anyway the one thing that woman could not get right was Turkey.  Anyone remember that scene from the movie Christmas Vacation where they stick a fork in the Turkey and all the air comes out and it collapses because it was so dry?

Yeah, every Thanksgiving was like that and no one ever said a word.  We just gnawed on our Turkey Jerky like it was the best thing ever because my Mama was not someone you messed with.  Ever.

I asked her about it after I was older, didn’t live with her, and was pretty sure she wouldn’t kill me.  Basically she was afraid of it being underdone and making someone sick.

So Turkey is not my favorite thing, but I’m coming to realize that as long as you don’t cook it with the fires from the seventh layer of hell it’s not bad.

I’ve tried several different turkey breakfast sausage things and Jimmy Dean has the best in my opinion.  I love love love (did I say love?) breakfast and at 3 Smartpoints for 3 links it saves my breakfast loving Weight Watcher heart every weekend!

Smart Swap – Rice Rollers

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So I’m not a big fan of processed food.  Back in the day when Weight Watchers first started the “CORE” program it really changed the way I view food and how I eat.  Even after I fell of the wagon and was dragged for miles and miles I still ate a mostly whole food, cooked from scratch diet.

That being said, sometimes you just have to do a smart swap – swapping out a high point item for a more point friendly option.

Breakfast is a big deal for me.  I may have grown up in the Chicagoland area, but my family is from the south and skipping breakfast was not an option.  Ever.  Growing up that way I have to eat in the morning.

During my work days I always have the same thing.  1 cup of Kirkland Greek Yogurt (from Costco) mixed with one cup of blueberries, a dash of vanilla, and a drop of stevia extract.  That is 3 points, which is really good for that amount of food.  I’m a texture person though.  I have to have something besides mush, so I’d add 1/4 cup granola, which gave my breakfast a 4 point boost.

Now I have no problems having a 10 point breakfast on my days off, but during the week…when I don’t have time to cook and am going just for nourishment… Nope!

So I found these rice rollers while at Costco, and they save me 2 points.  Each rice roller is just 2 points.  I break it up into smaller chunks and add it to my yogurt.  I get the texture and it is really more filling.

Never mind that they kind of remind me of that Sugar Snap cereal from when I was a kid.  Oh yeah, they are delicious, something I never thought I’d say about a rice cake kind of deal!

You can find these at Costco sometimes.  It has been hit or miss for me so I started ordering from this link to Bamboo Lane Crunchy Rice Rollers: 3.5oz 8 Packs of 8 Rollers“>Amazon.  They have become to important in my daily routine to run out!

I’m hoping to have at least one Smart Swap a week, so be sure to check back!