Peanut Butter “Ice Cream” Sandwich Cookies

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So every once in awhile I need something sweet…and creamy….and cold.  I decided to go in my way-back machine and pull out a recipe that made the rounds of Weight Watchers back when I did it the first time, the early 2000’s.

Basically you put cool whip between two graham crackers and froze it.  Trust me at the time this was about the best thing ever invented because it was like a point or two if I remember correctly.

Times and tastes change, and as I’ve gotten older a little frozen cool whip doesn’t exactly cut it, and those graham crackers are way more points then they used to be.

I’m also a peanut butter addict.  Did I ever tell you that?  I could sit and just eat peanut butter out of the jar.  I love it that much.

So I decided to replace the graham crackers with Pizzelle cookies, and Italian waffle cookie that is a bit more Smartpoint friendly.  They are also way better in my opinion.  And bigger…lol

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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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Easy and Fast Veggie Stir Fry

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So I work a lot.  Like a 40 hour work week is a vacation for me.  At our meeting this week someone mentioned how much we eat out now.

We never ate out when I was a kid in the 80’s.  Unless it was someone’s birthday or an anniversary we ate home cooked meals, and none of us had weight problems.  We ate dessert every night for God’s sake!

I fell into the take out routine in my 30’s, and it’s also when I packed it on.  Even when you are trying to eat healthy they add so much salt and oil and the tears of puppies that even if you don’t eat huge portions (which they usually are) you don’t have a hope in hell of maintaining or good God losing weight.

I’m hungry when I get home, and if I haven’t prepped something, or I don’t want to wait an hour for something to be done, or sometimes I’m just to damn tired to cook I make this.  This is my go-to recipe on those nights when I’m hangry and just over it.

I can have this from prep to my plate in 10 minutes, and it’s GOOD.  I keep brown rice in my fridge at all times – just to be prepared and because I eat this at least once a week!

The most important thing about this is to have everything ready to go and measured out. I put my seasonings in a ramekin, and have everything else out with the measuring spoons.

What is completely awesome about this is you can adjust your rice or your oil or your egg beaters if you have a lot or a little points.

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Staple Meal – All Purpose Mexican Chicken

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At 1 Smartpoint and ounce (or 4 Smartpoints for 6 ounces!) this chicken is something I keep on hand at all times.  I call it all purpose because it can be used for Tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, taco salad….this list goes on and on.

This is easily frozen before cooking time, so when chicken is on sale I’ll make me up a couple of bags of this for the freezer.

It is also easy to pack up for lunches or a quick dinner when you have just ran out of time.

The best part is you can have this done in about 12 minutes in the Instant Pot, or throw it in the crock pot.  Super, super easy.

This chicken is full of flavor and spice.  I made tacos with this for a Weight Watching friend with cheese and sour cream.  It came in at 6 points, but he said if they were 15 points it would be worth it.

They are that good.

I had quesadillas last night, and they were fabulous.  With the low point chicken I splurged and had some honest to goodness cheese on them:

enchiladaa

You can wrap it up in a tortilla, bake and have a burrito.  It is amazing on a salad with some tomatoes, onions, black olives, and a dab of sour cream!

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Low Smartpoint Chicken and Noodles

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This is one of my favorite recipes for when I need that comfort food feeling.  I’ll be the first to admit it – pasta is my downfall.  I could live on the stuff.  Take your meat, your chocolate, your sugar, hell even bread.  The one thing that I love love love to eat is pasta!

I was so excited when I found these Carba-Nada Egg Fettuccine Noodles. At 3 Smartpoints for a cup and a half you just can’t beat it.  They are freakin’ good too!  I’ll include stove top and Instant Pot directions.

This chicken and noodles recipe  comes in at 5 points for 1 1/2 cups.  Amazing!

Ingredients:

1 10 Oz Bag Carba-Nada Egg Fettuccine Noodles
1 Pound Chicken Breast
1 Cup Chopped Celery
1 Cup Carrot Sticks
1 Small White Onion, diced
4 Cups Chicken Broth
1 1/2 Tablespoon Wildtree Herbes De Provence Blend (or poultry seasoning)
2 Teaspoons Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Salt

Instant Pot Directions:

Season Chicken with Herbes De Provence blend (or your local grocery store version) and set to the side.  Put Instant Pot in Saute mode and add oil.  Add Celery, Carrots, and onions. Season with salt.  Saute for 2-3 minutes, until onions become translucent, stirring occasionally.

Add Chicken Broth, stirring to get any stuck bits from the bottom.  Gently place chicken on top of the liquid, close the lid, and set for 10 minutes Manual.

When finished do a quick release and remove chicken.  Shred with two forks.  Empty your noodles into the liquid, then place chicken on top.  Set for 1 minute manual.

Quick release, stir, and you are done!  You may want to add a bit more salt once it’s finished.  I have been weaning myself off using so much so I don’t use a lot in my cooking anymore!

Stove Top Directions:

Follow Instant Pot directions except boil on stove.  When you go to poach your chicken, be sure liquid is boiling.  Bring down to a simmer, cover, and check the temp of chicken after 15 minutes.  It should reach a safe temperature between 15-20 minutes.

Once chicken has reached temp, remove and shred.  Add noodles to your broth and veggies, and cook 3 minutes, stirring often.  Re-add chicken when finished and you are good to go!

I use Wildtree in my recipes but always try to give an alternative.  If you are interested in Wildtree products you can find them here.

Edited to add:  Amazon has Instant Pots on sale for $99 today (5/9/17) so if you were thinking of buying one now is the time!

Staple Meal – Stuffed Pepper Soup

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So would you believe me if I told you this Stuffed Pepper Soup is 2 Smartpoints for a cup?  I didn’t believe it and put the ingredients in the recipe builder over and over and over again until I had to accept it.

I can’t tell you how many times this recipe has saved my Weight Watcher life!  With the fiber from the Bulgar and the protein from the meat it is very, very satisfying!  I’m including directions for both the Instant Pot and the stove top, but if you have a pressure cooker it is so much more flavorful made that way!

Makes 13 1 Cup servings

Ingredients:

1 lb 93% Ground Beef
28 ounce can diced tomatoes (use petite if you like smaller chunks)
1 small onion, chopped
3 Green Peppers
1 Red Pepper
4 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup Bulgar Wheat
1 tablespoon Wildtree Ranchers Steak Rub (Montreal Steak Seasoning is a good sub)
Salt and Pepper to taste (I use Wildtree’s California Garlic and Pepper blend to cut down on the sodium)

Method of Preparation:

Instant Pot:
Turn pressure cooker on saute mode, and once it reaches “HOT” status add your ground beef and onions.  Season with steak seasoning. Saute until beef is cooked through.  Remove from Instant Pot and add olive oil.  Put in your peppers, season to taste with salt and pepper or your choice of seasoning, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Put everything back in the pool.  Add broth, tomatoes, and Bulgar and give it a good stir.

Lock on lid and cook on manual high pressure for 7 minutes.  Let naturally release for 10, then release the rest of the steam.

On the Stove Top:

In a large skillet heat until hot and add your ground beef and onions.  Season with steak seasoning. Saute until beef is cooked through.  Remove from skillet and add olive oil.  Heat oil and put in your peppers, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper or your choice of seasoning.  Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a stock pot add all ingredient together, giving it a good stir. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat to a simmer.  Cook for at least 40 minutes to up to an hour, stirring occasionally.

Enjoy!

I use Wildtree products in a lot of my recipes, but I always try to give a substitute.  If you’d like to check out Wildtree, you can visit my site HERE.

 

Fettuccine with Meatballs and Red Sauce

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So I found this new food find, which I posted about here.  Carba-Nada Fettuccine Noodles just may be my Weight Watchers saving grace.

I love pasta.  LOVE IT.  A cup of pasta is 6 Smartpoints, which who eats just a cup of pasta, and more than that takes up way to much of my 30 Smartpoints.  Yeah, I have my extras, but those are for things like popcorn at the movies and let’s be honest here, alcohol.

When I first got them I tried a simple cheese sauce with these 3 points for a cup and a half wonders, and it was fab.  I wanted to try something different with it when I had more time, and I made this dish that had my stomach full of comfort food goodness with less Smartpoints that just what regular pasta would have been….Plain!

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Steak and Cabbage

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Alright, I’ll admit it.  I have a long way to go with my food photography, and I probably should do better than a paper plate. This was a quickie though, and one of my absolute favorite recipes that is super good in Smartpoints and also follows the Simply Filling technique!

This recipe always brings awesome memories of my Mom.  She loved this meal, so we had it a lot.  Granted it isn’t the sexiest looking dish, but it is deep with flavor and gives that comfort food good vibes for sure.

I snapped these pics awhile ago, and I was doing the Simply Filling technique.  When using Smartpoints, I separate the Bulgar, steak, and cabbage on my plate to better count points.  Bulgar is 4 points a cup, the steak is 3 Smartpoints for 3 oz, and the cabbage is free.

I used my most favorite appliance in the entire world to make this, my Instant Pot.  If you have memories of your Grandma’s pressure cooker blowing up and hitting the ceiling don’t fret!  The new versions have tons of safety features, and can replace several appliances like your crock pot or rice cooker.  It makes PERFECT eggs.

Watch Amazon because they have it as the deal of the day all the time!

I’ve also included stove top instructions for those of you who do not have a pressure cooker.

Ingredients:
1.5 pounds tenderized round steak
1 small head of cabbage, core removed, quartered
3 teaspoons Wildtree Rancher Steak Rub (Or Montreal Steak Rub found in grocery store or just liberal salt and pepper)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup Bulgar Wheat (found in the International aisle at the grocery store)
2 1/2 cup beef broth
Method of Preparation:
Season steak liberally with seasonings:
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Cut into 1 inch strips, being sure to keep them all the same size:
 st9
Set your Instant Pot to Saute Mode, drizzle oil  and wait for it to read hot.  Working in batches so not to crowd the pan give each piece a steak a good browning.
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Once all the steak is done remove from pan and add the broth  Scrape the bottom of the pan and get all those delicious bits off and melted into your broth.  Add Bulgar.
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Stir to incorporate
Next layer cabbage on top of bulgar/broth.
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Give it a pinch of salt and then layer steak on top.
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Close lid and cook on manual mode for 8 minutes.  Let naturally release for 10 minutes, and release any remaining pressure.  Stir all ingredients together, and if it still is a little juicy return to saute mode for a few minutes.  Enjoy!
If you are following Weight Watchers or count calories you can easily remove the steak and cabbage so that you can measure your bulgar.
Now if you want to cook this on the stove top:
You will not use the bulgar.  I use this to sop up the extra juice in the pan for this, and I love bulgar.  You will be stirring to much to do it this way.
So instead of putting your ingredients in your Instant Pot, you will put them in your pan on the stove.  You need a very deep pan, and to be honest I usually use my stock pot.  I brown the steak just like above, add only 1 cup of broth, then return all – steak and cabbage to the pan.  cook on low for at least 50 minutes, stirring about every 5.
I used Wildtree products on this recipe.  As usual I’ve given subs for them, but if you’d be interested in ordering my website is here.  I appreciate the support 🙂

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Staple Meal – Pizza

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So I was born in Chicago and pizza sauce runs in my veins.  The Smartpoint count for Pizza on Weight Watchers is enough to bring a grown woman to tears, so when I am really crazing that ooey-gooey goodness I make my own.

That’s not to say that I don’t ever enjoy the heaven that is Gino’s East or Giordano’s.  I simply eat smaller portions and you know, not every other day.

I keep my monster pizza cravings at bay by making a better Smartpoint version at home.  This has quickly become one of my go-to staple meals.  If I’m running late at work, tired when I get home, or just a complete unorganized mess I always have these ingredients in my pantry so that I can make a quick, nutritious, delicious meal.

I can’t tell you how many times this has saved my Smartpoint balance.  Of course I try to plan, prepare – do all those things we are supposed to do but let’s face it.  We are human and sometimes things just don’t work out the way we planned.  Having a Plan B and a Plan C and even a Plan D will help you from getting thrown off the wagon and drug behind it for a few miles.

There really isn’t a recipe for this – you do what you want to do.  A little pizza joint down the street from me used to make a fabulous veggie pizza and they put broccoli and cauliflower on it.  It is super good and helps bulk up the pizza.  I keep frozen broccoli and cauliflower in my freezer, and nuke it on a paper towel for about a minute before putting my pizza in the oven.  It comes out perfect.

So I start with a Tumaro wrap.

tumaro

They are only one point and hold up well!  1/2 cup 2% mozzarella covers it well.  For the sauce I sometimes make my own for zero points with crushed tomatoes, or Ragu has a traditional pizza sauce that is decent but will cost you a point for 1/4 cup.

So the wrap, then the sauce, whatever veggies I have on hand, then the cheese.  I bake that bad boy for about 20 minutes at 350 and dinner is served for 6-9 points, depending if I decide to add Canadian bacon or some other form of meat.

Sometimes I’ll sprinkle some garlic, sometimes I’ll do the Canadian bacon with some pineapple.  It’s nice to switch it up and get a little taste of something that is so comforting.

What is your comfort food?

 

Opa! Chicken Sandwich

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So Costco has this awesome Kirkland chunk chicken in an 8 oz can.  Of course you get like 6 of them when you buy them, so I wanted to get some different recipes.

This is one of my favorites!  You can either do it as a “scramble” like shown in my picture, or you can make patties out of it.  When I’m in a hurry I just do three scoops (I use my ice cream scooper which is 1/4 cup) with a table spoon of oil, crisp it up, and it’s all good!

I use Joseph brand flat bread which is out of this world!  I get it from Walmart, and it is by the deli counter.  2 points each and worth it!

This is my go to dish when I have nothing in the house.  I try to make it up a head of time so it’s ready to cook.  It is so filling.  I mean I am STUFFED when I eat this and it’s so mouth-wateringly flavorful that I am completely satisfied when I eat it!

Opa! Chicken Sandwich – 5-6 points

1 8 oz can Kirkland Chunk Chicken

1 Green Pepper (diced)

1 Small White Onion (diced)

1 Egg

1/2 cup Panko Bread Crumbs

1 Tablespoon Wildtree Opa! Seasoning (or Greek seasoning found at your grocery store)

Grapeseed Oil (I use garlic infused)

Tzatziki Seasoning

1 Cup Greek Yogurt (Plain, Non-Fat)

1/2 cucumber (seeded and grated)

1 Tablespoon Wildtree Tzatziki Seasoning (or brand found at your grocery store)

Garnish:

Tomatoes

Lettuce

1 Joseph Whole Wheat Flat Bread

Directions:

Combined all the ingredients for the Tzatziki dip and put in a  container.  Let the dip sit at least an hour in the refrigerator before serving.

Saute onions and peppers for 3 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

Break up canned chicken with a fork, and mix in Opa! seasoning, egg, bread crumbs, and the cooled peppers.  Let sit in the refrigerator for at least a half an hour.

If you make patties out of this mixture they are one point each.  Heat pan with 1 tablespoon of oil.  Form 9 patties from mixture, cooking 3-4 minutes on each side to make sure they are cooked through.  Each patty is one point.  They aren’t near as good reheated, so I do mine the scrambled way most of the time.

If going for the scramble, heat one teaspoon of oil and add the amount of chicken you would like – 3/4 cup is perfect for the Joseph wrap.  Crisp it up until cooked through and add to your flatbread with your choice of garnishes.

The Tzatziki dip is free for 2 tablespoons or 1 point for 3.  I love it so I usually take the hit and have 3 tablespoons!

Sometimes I use Wildtree seasonings in my recipes.  I always try to put a substitute for them, but if you would like to try Wildtree check out my Wildtree site!