Archive | November, 2013

Weight Watchers Mexican Chicken

27 Nov

This is so easy, I was sure it wasn’t going to be good. Seems like it would be salty and overpowering, but it was really yummy. I really liked it with Spanish rice and a southwest slaw.

– 1 1/3 lbs boneless chicken breast, cut into chunks
– 1 envelope taco seasoning*
– 1 cup salsa or picante sauce


1. Place chicken chunks into a large ziplock baggie with taco seasoning. Shake until chicken is well coated.

2. Place chicken into a pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. I just used a small oval pan. I wouldn’t recommend anything larger than 9×9.

3. Bake at 375 for about 20 min. Pour Salsa over chicken and continue baking 10 more minutes.

As is: 4 servings= 247 Calories per serving

Approximately 6 weight watchers points plus per serving.


I think this is best If you top each serving with either 2 tablespoons shredded cheddar, or 2 tablespoons reduced fat sour cream or plain greek yogurt. DELICIOUS.

Editors note:  Shave off 20 calories per serving by using our homemade taco seasoning, instead of storebought!


Easy, Yummy 3 Ingredient Potato Soup

26 Nov

– 2 cans of chicken stock
– 1 bag of frozen O’Brien style potatoes (with onions and peppers)
– 1 envelope of pioneer White Gravy Mix
– 1 cup water

1. Heat Chicken Stock in a large pan.
2. Add frozen potatoes. Cook until thawed and warm.
3. In a separate container, mix water with gravy mix packet.
4. Stir Gravy slurry into chicken stock and potatoes.
5. Cook on low for 20 min or so.

I served this with 1 tablespoon of bacon bits, 2 tablespoons reduced fat sour cream, and 2 tbsp. shredded low fat cheddar, and it was YUMMY!!!

VF: Replace Chicken Stock with Veggie Stock to make this Vegetarian Friendly!

5 Servings= 196 Calories per serving

with bacon, cheese, and sour cream= 325 Calories per serving


Banana Pudding Cake

25 Nov

– 1 box of yellow cake mix
– 3 egg whites
– 12 oz clear diet soda (i used 7up 10 calorie. zero or diet would also work fine)
– 1 box (4 servings) of sugar free instant banana pudding
– 2 cups of cold 1% milk
– 1 container of coolwhip “light”
– 1 box (4 servings) of sugar free instant vanilla pudding
– 1 cup cold 1 % milk
– 2 fresh bananas, thinly sliced

1. Mix cake mix, egg whites and diet soda together. Pour into a 13X9 pan sprayed with non-stick spray and bake according to package directions.

2. Remove cake from oven. Allow it to cool about 5 minutes. Using the end of a wooden spoon, poke several holes into the cake, about 1 inch apart, and press hard enough that the spoon end touches the glass.

3. Mix 2 cups of milk with banana pudding mix. Mix about 2 minutes until it begins to thicken, but is still pourable consistency. Pour pudding mixture across cake, purposefully filling all holes with pudding. Spread any remaining pudding evenly over top of cake.

4. Refrigerate for 1 hour, then proceed with step 5.

5. Place banana slices evenly across surface of cake.

6. In a separate bowl, mix vanilla pudding and remaining 1 cup of cold milk, just until blended. Gently fold in coolwhip until well mixed.

7. Top the cake with this frosting mixture, spread evenly.

8. Refrigerate at least 1 additional hour before serving. I think this cake is best the next day, but it’s delicious regardless.

12 servings= 240 Calories per serving.
16 servings= 180 Calories per serving.

Note: you could easily make this entirely sugar free by replacing regular cake mix with sugar free variety. Adjust calories accordingly.


Lasagna Roll Ups

21 Nov

I’ve seen some version of this recipe on many different sites. I love to make lasagna, but I don’t do it often, so I thought this version might shave some time off the very time consuming process of making a full lasagna. It did, and it’s a healthy, delicious version. Freezes well too. Great leftovers.

– 8 lasagna noodles
– 1 jar of Prego “light smart” traditional sauce
(or click here to make my easy, homemade marinara)
– 16 oz of low fat ricotta cheese
– 2 tbsp. parmesan cheese
– 1 box of frozen spinach
– 1 egg
– 1 tsp garlic powder
– 1 tsp oregano
– 1 cup shredded, reduced fat mozzarella cheese


1. Boil noodles in salted water until soft and flexible.

2. While noodles cook: Place frozen spinach in a colander and run under hot water until thawed. Use a paper towel to press all water out of the spinach (by smooshing it into the bottom of the colander). It’s important that you remove as much liquid as possible from the spinach.

3. In a medium sized bowl, Mix ricotta, parmesan, spinach, egg, garlic, and oregano together.

4. Open Spaghetti sauce and pour about 1/4 of the jar into the bottom of a baking pan, coated in non stick spray.

5. Place a row of paper towels flat on the counter, long enough to accommodate all your noodles, and about 3 or 4 towels tall. Remove noodles and lie them each flat on the paper towel. Use additional paper towel to pat excess water from the top of the noodles. It’s important that the noodles are dry.

6. Spread Ricotta mixture evenly across each noodle (a little less than 1/3 cup per noodle) using all of the mix.

7. Roll each noodle up, and place it seam down in the pan.

8. Cover all rolls with remaining sauce and top with mozzarella cheese.

9. Cover pan with foil and bake on 400 for 25 min.

10. Remove foil and continue baking 5-10 min longer (until cheese reaches desired color and texture).

Makes 4 Servings= 460 Calories per serving


Beef Stew- Crockpot

19 Nov

– 1 lb stew meat
– 1 onion, quartered
– 30 baby carrots (about 2/3 of a bag)
– 3 stalks of celery, chopped about 1 inch wide
– 1 large russet potato, chopped into roughly 1×1 inch chunks
– McCormick Beef Stew seasoning packet (1)
– 2 cups of water
– 1 tsp salt
– 3 bay leaves
– pepper to taste
– 1 tbsp. corn starch


1. Place beef and all veggies into crockpot. Add salt, pepper, and bay leaves.
2. Mix water and Beef Stew seasoning together until mostly dissolved. Pour mixture into crockpot, over beef and veggies.
3. Stir ingredients together. Cook on low 6-8 hours.
4. 15-30 min before serving, remove about 3 tbsp. of juice, and mix in a separate cup with 1 tbsp. corn starch until smooth.
5. Add corn starch slurry back into stew. Mix, and cook on high with no lid until ready to serve. This will thicken the sauce.
6. Remove Bay leaves before eating.

Note: I like my beef stew with rice, as seen in the photo. I served with 3/4 cup of jasmine rice, which made my meal exactly 600 calories.

4 Servings= 447 Calories per Serving

beef stew

Tuscan White Bean Soup

17 Nov

I made this today, and it was delicious! It’s not a traditional, country bean soup. It’s really a lot like a minestrone without noodles. However, My Kentucky roots being what they are, I decided to serve this with cornbread. And, I’m glad I did 🙂

– 1 can of cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
– 1 can of navy beans (Drained and rinsed)
– 1 Can of petite diced tomatoes
– 1 can of rotel
– 1 can of Chicken stock
– about 20 baby carrots, chopped
– 1 medium onion, chopped
– 2 bay leaves
– 3 tbsp. minced garlic
– 2 tsp dried thyme
– 1 box of frozen spinach
– salt and pepper to taste

VF: Replace Chicken Stock with Veggie Stock to make this vegetarian friendly!


1. Mix all ingredients except for spinach in a crockpot. Mix well.
2. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
3. 30 min before serving, add spinach, stirring periodically.

Makes 9 (1 cup) servings. 1 cup = 123 Calories

Note: I was in a hurry the first time I made this, so I tried 3 hours on high. No dice. The veggies weren’t soft. So I added about 1 1/2 cups of water and put it in my pressure cooker to finish the job. It came out WONDERFUL. I really enjoyed this soup.


Strawberry Poke Cake

16 Nov

I found this recipe today, and I’m SO EXCITED about the possibilities! Today I made white cake with Strawberry jello. I think it would also be awesome with lemon cake and cherry jello, chocolate cake and raspberry jello… the possibilities are endless. I will say, I was VERY surprised how much I loved this. Very light. Would be great for Summer.

– 1 boxed white cake mix
– 3 egg whites
– 12 oz diet or “10” 7 up. ( or diet sprite, or sprite zero, or diet ginger ale)
– 1 small box of sugar free jello
– 1 cup boiled water
– 1/2 cup cold water
– 1 tub of light cool whip

1. Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, mix cake mix, soda, and egg whites. Pour into a 9 x13 pan sprayed with non-stick spray.

2. Bake cake according to directions on box. Once cake is finished, cool 30 min.

3. Once cake has cooled, use a 2 prong meat fork (or a knife, or wooden skewer) to poke many holes all the way through the cake, to the bottom of the pan.

4. Boil cup of water. Once its boiled, mix with jello until dissolved. Add cold water, mix well.

5. Pour jello mixture evenly over cake. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or more.

6. Top Cake with cool whip before serving.

12 Servings= 191 Calories per slice

* Another great option is to use a small box of sugar free instant strawberry pudding. Mix with 1 cup of cold water, and then softly fold in cool whip. This Icing would be awesome on this cake. I didn’t use it this time because I was trying to get the cake under 200 Calories, and this would have pushed it just slightly over.

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Coconut Pineapple Cake

11 Nov

Note: I originally found this recipe on a site called Dashing Dish, and i looked forward to making it. I made it this weekend, and it was really yummy. The recipe is directly from this other site, so I won’t take credit for the recipe itself. However, i wanted to repost it, because my calorie count varied a great deal from the original published count. Please enjoy this cake.

– 1 box of vanilla cake mix (i used betty crocker)
– 2 tbsp coconut extract (separated into 2 equal parts)
– 1 20 oz can crushed pineapple (in juice, not drained)
– 1 cup cold 1% milk
– 1 box (1 oz) sugar free instant vanilla pudding mix
– 1 tub of light cool whip
– 2/3 cup of shredded coconut


1. Mix cake mix, pineapple and 1 tbsp coconut extract in a mixing bowl. Transfer to a 9X13 baking pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. (Originally recipe calls for 2 round pans. I just wasn’t in a cake building kind of mood)
2. Bake cake mixture according to directions on the cake mix box.
3. In a medium bowl, mix milk and remaining 1 tbsp of coconut extract. Slowly add pudding mix while wisking vigorously unti all lumps are gone.
4. Gently stir in tub of cool whip until smooth. Regrigerate frosting.
5. Once cake has cooled completely, top with frosting, and sprinkle shredded coconut evenly across surface.

12 Servings= 250 Calories per serving


afterthoughts: I liked this cake much better on day 2. On day 1 the extract gave it a bit of an artificial flavor, but I gave it another try on day 2 and it was really yummy.


10 Nov

Note: Decent Chili takes a long time to make. Several hours. You could mix this all together, heat it up, and eat it…but it wouldn’t do the recipe or your tastebuds justice. In our house, Chili is always a Saturday night meal, for this reason. So hang onto this one until you’ve got some time to give 🙂


– 1 lb lean beef (I used 96% lean)
– 1 onion, chopped
– 1 green pepper, chopped (optional)
– 1 can of petite diced tomatoes
– 1 can of regular diced tomatoes
– 1 can of “chili hot” (or mild) beans
– 1 can of dark red kidney beans
– Tomato Juice (i buy a large can, and sometimes i use it all)
– 1 Tbsp brown sugar
– 1 tbsp chili powder
– 1 packet of “Chili-O” seasoning
– 1 tiny, tiny sprinkle of cinnamon (seriously, be VERY careful here.. you just want a tad. I just barely tap the container once)


1. Brown beef and chopped onions (peppers if you got ’em) in a bottom of a large pan. Drain beef before adding seasoning packet.
2. Add seasoning packet, brown sugar, chili powder, and cinnamon and tomatoes, and stir.
3. Stir in all remaining ingredients, except tomato juice.
4. Stir in about 1/2 the can of juice, and cook on medium, stirring regularly for about 10 min.
5. Turn heat down to a simmer. Leave chili to simmer, stirring occassionally for the next 2 hours. Keep extra juice handy, the longer your chili cooks, the more you’ll want to add.
6. As juice progressively cooks down, add more tomato juice, a little at a time. You don’t want this to end up like a soup… so only add what will have time to cook down before you eat it.
7. Continue simmering chili until you’re ready to eat and consistency is good. My chili typically simmers for a good 4 hours or more, and the longer it cooks, the better it tastes.

Enjoy 🙂

*Note, i like to top with plain greek yogurt (instead of sour cream) crackers, shredded cheese. Sometimes i add noodles. Sometimes i put fritos in there. these are all yummy options, but none of these toppings are accounted for in the calorie count below, so track those separately. I also rarely eat only 1 cup of Chili. The serving size is really just a measurement to figure the calories for however much you eat.

Calories= 1 cup of chili, 215 Calories

Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon Glaze

4 Nov

– Pilsbury Yellow Cake mix
– 1 15 oz can of pumpkin
– 1 individual size serving (1/2 cup) unsweetened applesauce
– 2 whole eggs
– 3 egg whites
– 1/3 cup water
– 1/3 cup sugar
– 1/3 cup splenda
– 1 teaspoons cinnamon (separated)
– 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

– 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
– 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 1/2 tbsp. 1% milk


1. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, pumpkin, sugar, splenda, eggs, egg whites, water, applesauce, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Pour into a 10-in. fluted tube pan coated with cooking spray.

2. Bake at 350° for 65-75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

3. In a small bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, remaining cinnamon and enough milk to achieve desired drizzling consistency. fill a ziplock sandwich sized baggie with glaze. cut the corner off the bag and use the bag to drizzle glaze over cake.

12 Servings= 250 Calories per serving