Chinese Chopped Chicken Salad

27 Oct IMG_1284

I’ve fallen in love with the Chinese Chicken Salad at California Pizza Kitchen, so I set out to find a recipe that would allow me to come close to this delicious dish at home, and I have to say this is pretty darn good.  It lacks the fried wontons that I love on the CPK version, but that just lends it to be even lower in calories, and to be honest, it is delicious without them, so I hardly even missed them.  I encourage you to try this one out.  I made it “Quick and Easy” By chopping all the veggies and combining in a large ziploc bag the day before.  I also went ahead and baked 2 chicken breasts and set them aside.  The day I had them for lunch, I just mixed the dressing, chopped the chicken, threw in the sesame seeds and almonds and mixed it all up with the lettuce mix.  This was yummy.

Editors Note: The dressing is a little on the sweet side, which i don’t mind.  If you like things a little less sweet, go with 2 TBSP Splenda brown sugar and subtract 15 Cal per serving.


  • 1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 head of Napa Cabbage, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded (Julienne) carrots
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 bunch of scallions, chopped
  • 10 oz boneless skinless chicken breast (seasoned with salth and pepper and baked or grilled)
  • 2 TBSP Roasted Sesame Seeds
  • 1/2 cup Slivered Almonds


  • 1 1/2 TBSP Sesame Oil
  • 3 TBSP peanut butter
  • 4 1/2 TBSP Hoisin Sauce
  • 1 TSP Asian Chili Sauce
  • 4 1/2 TBSP Rice Vinegar
  • 3 TBSP Splenda brown sugar mix
  • 1 1/2 TSP grated ginger


  1. Prep all your veggies. Chop your lettuce, cabbage, scallions, carrots, and cilantro, and mix together.  If you do this ahead of time, store in a big sealed ziplock bag in the fridge.
  2. Salt and pepper your chicken, and either grill or bake it ahead of time.  I don’t like hot chicken on a cold salad, so i give mine plenty of time to cool.
  3. Assemble your salad by mixing the lettuce mix with your chicken and adding sesame seeds and almonds.
  4. Mix all of the dressing ingredients in a bowl with a wisk until you have a smooth mixture.
  5. Add Dressing to salad and mix everything together until dressing is evenly coating other ingredients.

Note: To serve as a side, omit chicken and serve as 8 servings. 155 cal per serving

Makes 4 very generous portions

1 Serving= 400 Calories

Appx 8 weight watchers points plus per serving

Dressing Ingredients:

Finished Dressing

Final Product:

White Chicken Chili (Crock Pot)

20 Oct IMG_1247

This recipe is nice and hearty, and a great winter staple in any house.  My version is a little on the spicy side (for example, my youngest won’t eat it, but my 2 older kids love it).  I suppose you could make it milder by using plain tomatoes instead of rotel, or a “mild” version of the green chiles and verde sauce. You could also reduce the Cayenne by half.  You can also mix in some reduced fat sour cream to cut the heat.  I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do.  Best part?  It’s another great crock pot recipe for those busy nights.


  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 3 Cans of Great Northern Beans
  • 1 Can Original Rotel
  • 1 can of green enchilada sauce (Enchlidada Verde)
  • 1 Can of reduced fat chicken broth
  • 1 small can of roasted green chiles (or regular diced green chilis if you can’t find roasted)
  • 1 Cup of Corn (frozen or canned)
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped
  • 1 TBSP water
  • 1/2 TSP cayenne pepper
  • 1 TBSP cumin
  • 1/2 TSP Pepper
  • 1 TSP Salt


  1. Drain the liquid from your Rotel, and Corn if you’re using canned. Also drain 2 of the 3 cans of beans.
  2. Place Chicken in the crock pot, and pour contents of all the cans on top of it.
  3. Place Chopped onion and 1 TBSP water in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds.  Then dump it into the crockpot.
  4. Add Cumin, Salt, Pepper, and Cayenne Pepper into the Crock Pot.
  5. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  6. Remove Chicken, shred it with a fork, and return it to the pot.
  7. Stir the soup, and enjoy.  Serve with low fat sour cream and shredded cheese. (not calculated in this calorie count)

Makes 10 (1 Cup) Servings= 188 Calories per serving

Appx 4 Weight Watchers Points Plus per cup

Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots

17 Oct IMG_1164-0

I’ve never been a big fan of cooked carrots, unless they were in a roast.  My mother used to make glazed carrots occassionally when I was a kid, and I remember having like them because of the sweetness, so I thought I’d give them a shot.  I’m trying to broaden my repertoire of side items, and this one seems to be a good fit.  I hope you enjoy.


  • 1 lb bag of baby carrots
  • 3 TBSP of Splenda Brown Sugar mix
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 2 TBSP of light butter or margarine (50 cal per tbsp)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon


  1. Place carrots into a large saucepan, with enough water to cover them about halfway. Bring pot to a boil, and reduce to a simmer.  Simmer carrots, covered, for about 10-12 minutes. (You could also steam them if you prefer)
  2. Remove carrots from pan and set aside. Melt butter in the saucepan; stir brown sugar, honey, salt, and cinnamon into butter until brown sugar is melted.
  3. Stir Carrots into sauce and allow everything to cook together about 5 minutes, stirring throughout.  

Makes 5 servings= 90 Calories per serving

Appx 1 weight watchers point plus per serving


Pork Guinness Stew

13 Oct IMG_1148-0

This is a hearty Irish stew made easily in the crock pot. It turned out very filling and delicious, and the calorie count was much lower than I expected. I call this guiness stew because you use a dark beer (like guinness) in the stew. It doesn’t have to be guiness. Any dark beer will do.  In fact, the one I used wasn’t actually guinness. One thing I love about crock pot recipes is how easy they are the day of.  For this one, I cut the meat, salt and peppered it and stored it in the crock pot insert in the fridge overnight.  I cut the onion/carrot/celery and stored them together in a ziplock bag in the fridge, and measured out all my spices and set them aside.  So on the morning that I put this together I just peeled and chopped a potato, and put everything in the crock pot.  This made life easy on one of those busy days, and the house smelled fantastic when I got home from work :)  One thing… don’t cut the potato the night before… it could oxidize in the fridge which is bad news.


  • 2 lb lean pork loin
  • 1 large russet potato
  • 25 baby carrots
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped into 1 in slices
  • 1 can low fat chicken broth
  • 8 oz of dark beer
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp caraway seed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp corn starch


1. Cut your pork loin into cubes, about 1 inch x 1 inch, and place pork in the bottom of crock pot. Salt and pepper the pork to taste.

Note:  I find cutting the pork is easier if you freeze the meat about halfway first. If the meat is already frozen, thaw it halfway before attempting to cut (I just set a frozen pork loin in the fridge Sunday night, and I prepped this Monday evening to cook Tues morning).

2. Peel potato and chop into about 1×1 inch pieces as well. Spread evenly over meat. It’s important that potatoes are directly on top of meat so they will be covered with liquid while cooking. If they are not covered they will not cook through and they may oxidize and turn black (you don’t want that)

3.  Place carrots, onion and celery on top of potatoes.

4.  Mix broth, beer, vinegar, bay leaf, garlic powder, and caraway seeds together and pour over the items in the pot.

5. Cook on low for 10 hours. Don’t open the lid. Seriously. Don’t open it until it’s done.

6. After cooking 10 hours, mix contents with a spoon and remove 1/2 cup of broth. In a small bowl mix 1/2 cup broth with corn starch until a smooth cream is formed.

7. Pour cornstarch mixture into crock pot and stir to mix well with the stew. Turn crock pot up to high and leave uncovered for 10 min, stirring periodically. This will thicken your sauce.

Serve with rice, bread, noodles, or as is. Makes 9 1/2 cups of stew.

1 cup= 182 calories

Appx 4 weight watchers points per cup

Lower Calorie Deviled Eggs

6 Oct IMG_1081

So, there’s not much you can do to a deviled egg to make it lower in calories.  And actually, when you look at other side items, even a full fat deviled egg or 2 is not a bad decision when faced with choices at a cookout or party.  The one thing you can do to lighten up a deviled egg, is switch regular mayo for a fat free version of either mayo, or miracle whip. The difference in calories is less than 2 calories per serving if you use Kraft brand ff mayo instead of miracle whip.  I used miracle whip because I had it on hand (i use it for tuna and sandwiches) however, I actually prefer the Fat Free Mayo for deviled eggs (I like a more savory egg).  This recipe gives you just the right amount of each ingredient to make yummy deviled eggs.


  • 6 hard boiled eggs, cooled
  • 2 TBSP fat free mayo or fat free miracle whip
  • 1 1/2 TBSP sweet pickle relish
  • 1 TSP yellow mustard
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Paprika for garnish


  1. Cut eggs in half, longways.  This leaves you with 12 half eggs.
  2. Scoop the cooked yolks out of the middle of each egg, and place them all together in a small bowl.
  3. Use the back of a spoon to smoosh all the egg yolks.  Keep smooshing until they are well mashed and not too lumpy.
  4. Add all ingredients except your egg whites and paprika, and stir ingredients together until you have a smooth yellow filling for your eggs.
  5. Basicall all you do at this point is fill the holes in the whites with yolk mixture.  You can just spoon it in, or you can cut the tip out of a ziplock back and fill the back with yolk to “pipe” the yolk mixture into the egg.  You could even place a star shaped piping tip in the bag if you are super fancy.  I usually just spoon them in if I’m making a small batch, and I’ll do the “hole in a bag” piping for larger batches. It just seems to be neater and easier.  I rarely use a piping tip, but if you’re doing this for some fancy occassion, go for it!
  6. Sprinkle the tops of your finished eggs with paprika.

Makes 6 servings (2 egg halves each)= 82 Calories

Appx 2 weight watchers points per 2 egg halves


Weekly Menu # 2

28 Sep

This is the 2nd of what I hope to be a series of weekly menus and shopping lists.  Each week I will include at least 1 or 2 “quick and easy” recipes in my menu that I can throw in the crockpot or on the stove quickly for hectic nights. This shopping list was designed to meet the following needs:

  • 6 nights of Kid friendly recipes
  • 2+ nights of quick and easy meals
  • Ingredients that can be used in more than 1 dish
  • Budget and calorie friendly (600 calories or less per dinner)


The Menu:

Bean Soup and corn bread (quick and easy) (1 ½ cups of soup and 1 jiffy cornbread muffin= 418 calories)

Oven Baked Chicken Tenders with Hungry Girl Onion rings (393 calories)

Penne Chicken Florentine and Stuffed Mushrooms (524 calories with 3 mushrooms)

Parmesan Tilapia with broccoli and Rice* (quick and easy) (340 Calories)

Unstuffed Peppers and simple salad (418 calories)

Roasted Red Pepper and Swiss stuffed chicken breast* with roasted potatoes and turnip greens (560 calories)


*I’m putting chicken bouillon cubes on your grocery list. When you cook your rice to go with your Tilapia, throw that in there. The extra calories are negligible but it enhances the flavor a ton. For the Broccoli, you’re just going to steam it and add a little spray butter and salt. I don’t have a recipe for steamed broccoli. Calories include 1 cup steamed broccoli, and 160 calories worth of Rice.

*For the Roasted Red Pepper and Swiss Stuffed chicken, You’re going to use the laughing cow garlic and herb instead of regular swiss that’s in the recipe. I’m doing this because the stuffed mushrooms also call for laughing cow, and this way you won’t have to buy 2 different types of laughing cow (it’s too expensive for all that, and combining these 2 recipes uses up a full container).


The List:


Onion 3 (at least one large onion)

Onion- Red- 1



1 lemon (or lemon juice)

12 large mushrooms


1 cucumber

1 tomato

2 bunches of turnip greens



1 country ham hock

6 oz of country ham pieces for seasoning (chunks, not slices. an 8 oz ham hock could also work)

1 lb of chicken tenderloins (or breast meat, sliced into tenders)

12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast

4 (5 oz) chicken breasts, boneless, skinless

Tilapia filets (fresh or frozen, 3-4 oz each)

1 lb lean ground beef


Center Aisles:

Olive Oil

Chicken stock (26 oz)

Chicken broth (1 can)

Minced garlic (sometimes found in produce)

Dry navy beans or great northern beans (1 lb)

Jiffy Cornbread mix – 1 box

All purpose flour, or seasoned flour if available

Panko bread crumbs

Fiber One Cereal

Ronzoni smart taste penne (1 box)

Brown Instant Rice

Diced tomatoes (1 can)

Tomato sauce (15 oz)

Worcestershire sauce

Chicken bullion cubes

Balsamic vinegar

Roasted Red Peppers

Fat free mayo





Low fat ricotta cheese (8 oz)

Grated parmesan cheese

Powdery parmesan cheese (optional)

Laughing cow cheese wedges- garlic and herb

Shredded cheddar



Frozen spinach

Mixed peppers



Bay leaves





Onion powder

Garlic powder



Crushed red pepper

Italian herbs

Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup

22 Sep IMG_0941

I put this recipe together while trying to recreate a soup I’ve had many times at Izzy’s restaurant in Cinci. This goes nicely with the Turkey Reuben sandwich I posted yesterday, and combined they’re only about 300 calories!

It’s a simple but yummy soup.  I really enjoyed it, and if you like cabbage, I think you will too.


  • 1 small-medium head of cabbage, diced into 1 inch squares
  • 1/2 a medium onion, chopped
  • 40 oz of beef broth (use vegetable broth to make this vegetarian!)
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 TBSP splenda brown sugar blend
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


Mix all ingredients together in a soup pot, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and cook, covered for about 1 hour, stirring periodically.

Note:  I tried to make this in the crockpot and it didn’t really work.  This one’s a stovetop soup for me going forward.

Makes 6 cups of soup at only 42 Calories per cup!

0 weight watchers points per cup


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